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G E O R G I A ,







The House having under consideration the bill (H. K. 1) to repeal a i>art of an ,
act, approved July 14, 1890, entitled " A n act directing the purchase of silver bullion and the issue of Treasury notes thereon, and for other purposes " —

Mr. SPEAKER : I have listened patiently and attentively to the gentleman from Mississippi, a distinguished Southern member on this
floor, laboring with this House to show that free silver is not good
for his section of the country. "With this proposition I do not concur. He concluded his remarks by saying that he hoped we would
conclude this matter and settle the question now before us from a
nonpartisan standpoint. With him in that I am in hearty accord.
Mr. Speaker, there is no reason why the Democratic party or the
Republican party or the Populists should not now, while this
country is bleeding at every financial pore, while unrest and intense excitement pervades the masses, not only in our great money
centers, our cities and towns, but all over the rural sections of this
country—there is no reason, I repeat, why we should not rise
above a partisan plane and discuss and conclude this question as
sensible men, as statesmen, and as patriots. I am not disposed to
stop and inquire how this condition of things was brought on the
country. It is of but little moment now. It might encourage
Bome man in some campaign speech before his constituency, in time
to come, to be able to say that the other fellows, Democrats or Repnblicans, brought it about.
But that will not do now, nor will it help us to conclude the
question that is before us. Let us approach it as honest men; and
just here I want to say that I believe my friend from Mississippi
[Mr. CATCHINGS], who has just taken his seat, is as honest a man as
I am, but I am thankful that we are very far apart in our opinions as
to the necessities of the common people. I believe every man here
is honest, and that he will thoroughly abide by his convictions. I
am compelled to believe so, Mr. Speaket, from the fact that we are
ail certainly well aware of the condition that confronts us. It is not
a Republican, a Democrat, or a Populist condition. It pervades all
sections of the country, affects all classes of our people.
Now, Mr. Speaker, in regard to this question of bimetallism, I have
been much surprised at developments that have taken place here.
I have not been able to find a single Member;who has been on the
floor making an argument in favor of the bill introduced by the gentleman from West Virginia [Mr. WILSON] who has dared to admit
that he was a monometallist, or that he was a single-standard man.
While some may be, at heart, and if so they well know that the
temper of the people, the long use of both metals as money upon a
parity/ the universal prosperity for nearly one hundred years with

bimetallism would all forbid an open declaration in favor of a single
gold standard, and I predict that if this country should ever become a single gold-standard nation, it will be brought about in the
same manner that silver was demonetized in 1873, "under cover/'
nnknown to those voting upon the measure.
No j every man on that side has been proclaiming the fact to this
House that he is a bimetallism and at the same time he makes no
proposition, no suggestion by which bimetallism can be had. l^ow,
I am disposed, when the fourteen days end, to move to lay on the
table the bill introduced by the gentleman from West Virginia [Mr.
WILSOX] and the bill introduced by the gentleman from Missouri
[Mr. BLAND] and to give these bimetallists en the other side an opportunity to present a bill to this House that will relieve this country, and I will guarantee that every free-silver man will vote for it.
There is something practical in that. There is something beneficial
in it. What is the use of standing on this floor and declaring that
you are for bimetallism and at the same time making every argument against bimetallism, and making no suggestion and no proposition that will cover bimetallism as the standard currency of our
country ?
Now, Mr. Speaker and gentlemen, you may color this as you
please j you may state it as you like, but this question to-day
before this House is simply a sirgle gold standard or a bimetallic
standard. That is the issue, and you can not dodge it. And I want
to appeal to you, the single gold standard friends, for 1 do not
know how else to denominate you. Those of you who are in favor
of the Wilson bill, I want to appeal to you as an honest man to
honest men, that you are not treating the silver question fairly in
this House. Now, let us see if you are. If you are not, then I
believe you ought to accord to us a fair chance, and to silver a fair
opportunity to become one of the money metdls of this country.
The Sherman law repealed the law of 1878 (the Bland-Allison law)
and the Bland-Allison law repealed the law of 1873.
Now the Democratic platform, at Chicago, said this about the
Sherman law, and I desire to call the attention of the gentleman
from Mississippi [Mr. CATCHINGS], who has just taken his seat, to
the language of that platform. The language is that it is a cowardly makeshift. »A makeshift for what? For a gold standard?
No. Well, a makeshift for what? For the free and unlimited
coinage of silver. That is the declaration of the Democratic platform, and it is similar to the declaration of the Republican platform, and similar to the declaration of the Populist platform.
Now, you come here and you undertake to remove the makeshift,
without presenting in its place the substance that the Democratic
party complain about, and it is not fair, it is not.right. And when
you pass the unconditional repeal of the purchasing clause ot the
Sherman law, you do not place us as silver Democrats where the
Democratic platform at Chicago proposed to leave us, without a
nfakeshift, but with a free and unlimited coinage of silver upon
an equitable ratio, sustained in its intrinsic value as well as its
interchangeable value with gold without discrimination against
either metal. You are taking the advantage, and whether you see
it and feel it and purpose it or not, it is true all the same.
Is it right to stand on this floor and thrust into my face the statement that I ought to support and hold to the demands of the Democratic platform, and at the same time propose a measure on this
floor that takes the advantage of two-thirds of the Democratic party

who supported Mr. Cleveland and to whom his election is due today t Is that fair?
Why not f If you agree with the Chicago platform and with
President Cleveland that it was a cowardly make-shift, I am against}
the Sherman law and in favor of its repeal; hut if you agree with
the platform and with Cleveland that it was a make-shift, why take
the make-shift away without putting the thing hack that it was intended to cover f Why not give this House an opportunity of doing
Now, I want to say, Mr. Speaker, in all kindness to our friends
on the other side, that I am not willing to risk your promises and
your assertions about your bimetallism. Yon may be bimetallists
conscientiously. Your convictions may be on that line; but here
is the question: Will it ever be convenient for you to vote for a
bimetallic standard? Can you guarantee it? Will you stand up
here to-day and say th^t fourteen days more shall be devoted to the
consideration of a bill establishing silver and gold upon an equitable ratio, and that at the end of fourteen days we shall take a vote
on that ? Will yon give us that guarantee and assurance if we will
vote for the repeal of the Sherman law? That would be something
tangible—something that a common-sense man can take hold of.
t But who wants promises and nothing but promises and intimations here when our constituents stand behind us clamoring not
for the repeal of the Sherman law but for the substance which the
Chicago platfprm contemplated should be there.
There is another reason why you should not ask it. I take issue
with the gentleman who has just taken his seat [Mr. CATCHINGS],
He made this assertion just before he sat down: " W h y not come
together from a nonpartisan standpoint, shoulder to shoulder, heart
tp heart, and repeal this obnoxious law that has bred all this financial trouble and distrust and suffering all over this country? "
I lay down the proposition that the Sherman law is not responsible for one single particle of it, and if I can not prove it I wilj. vote
for the unconditional repeal of the law.
I want to admit this, Mr. Speaker, that we have had some alarmists, some l i calamity howlers," who have gone abroad in the land
and through the press, and everywhere, and declared that the purchasing clause of the Sherman law was responsible. I understand
that, and I understand they have made a great many people believe
it; but that it is not necessarily true. I remember, two or three years
ago, when the farmers of this country were pretty well organized
and knocking at the doors of Congress and at the doors of your
committee rooms in this Capitol building, asking you to give financial relief to them, pointing out the cloud that, perhaps, was not
then larger than a man's hand, but as it arose over the eastern horizon it became dark and expanded until the farmers and laborers of
the South and West were enveloped infinancialdarkness and gloom.
Gentlemen here on this floor said that we were " calamity howlers/' and that "if we would go home and do more work and talk
less we would be better off." Two gentlemen on the other side of
the House in the Fifty-first Congress made that statement. They
said that we had currency enough; that the banks were stable;
the system of currency was not only ample in volume, but properly
distributed. " You are calamity howlers. Go home and work more
and talk less."
Well I remember, when Governor Flower, of New York, intimated*
to me in a committee room that that was the true condition of things,

I said to him: "Mark my prediction. Two years from now the
bankers and the great industries and corporations of this country
will feel this wave, and then you will see calamity howlers' from
another quarter." And here it is to-day. Who is it begging and
pleading, by telegrams, by circular letters; who is it flooding your
mail and mine?
Thousands and thousands of telegrams were sent to the President
before he called this meeting. Where did they come from! From
the farmers? No. They had ceased to b e " calamity howlers." They
have been squeezed and bled until v they are exhausted, and somebody else has got it now, and they are very tender-footed about it.
I have said that the purchasing clause of the Sherman law, authorizing the Government to purchase 4,500,000 ounces of silver
bullion per month, at the market price, was not the cause of the
present financial trouble.
Now, I want to put the same rule to this Government that we
would apply to an individual in determining this question. Is that
fair? I want to ask some of you bankers. I want to put the same
rule to the nation that I would to a bank as to its solvency. Is
that fair?
The annual production of wealth in the United States is, in round
numbers, $20,000,000,000. Ninp-tenths of this, or $18,000,000,000, is
absolutely necessary for consumption. The total amount of the annual product of all the wealth of the United States is $20,000,000,000;
$18,000,000,000 of that is required for home consumption. One-tenth
of this is saved as a surplus—$2,000,000,000. Listen and let us follow that surplus a little and see what becomes of it,' This is the rule
that measures men and their business: this is the rule that measures
a bank and its solvency, and you will have to give the same measure
to the nation, whether you will or you will not.
The public debt of the United States is $2,027,170,546. The private debt of the United States is $16,700,000,000. The total public and private debt is $18,727,170,546. Take the anuual interest on
the public and private debt and it is $1,310,901,938.22, and that is
at 7 per cent, and it is hardly fair. They pay 8 or 9,1 believe, in
Kansas, and they pay 12 in your State, do they not (addressing Mr.
Mr. KEM. As high as 36 per cent.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. In my State it is 8 in a clean-cut transaction
with a bank; but with one of those loan and trust companies,
where a mortgagehas to go along with it, it isfrom12 to 15, including
commissions ; and yet I made the moderate estimate here of 7 per
The annual interest charge on the private and public debt, at 7
per cent, amounts to $1,310,901,938.22. Now subtract that from the
surplus and you have only $698,098,062 left as surplus.
Now, let us carry the rule one step further. If you should come
to talk about my solvency as a farmer that is the way you would
talk to me. You would say, "How much does Livingston produce
on his farm; how much does he consume of that on his farm; what
is his surplus?" If in debt, "What is the interest that he must pay
at the end of the year, when his crops mature?" That is the way
you would do it.
It is a startling fact that out of twenty billions of products we
have left as a surplus $689,098,062, or $10 per capita for the people of
this country to put into a savings bank. Now, suppose we follow
this thing out a little bit further and ask who has that surplus?

Where is that $10 per capita of surplus? Seventy-five per cent of
the population of this country have not a dollar of it, Twenty-five
per cent of the population have got the entire surplus.
Mr. Speaker, the trnth of the business is just this: We are a borrowing nation. England and Germany are creditor nations. We
have borrowed more money than we can pay. In five years from
this time, if the ratio of production and consumption continues as
it has been for the last ten years, with the increased interest, and
that compounded, the whole of that surplus will be absorbed.
It will take just five years more for that remaining surplus of six
hundred and eighty-nine millions to be consumed by increased interest. Then what will you do? Then the United States Government
must go into the hands of a receiver; but you propose to-day, five
years ahead of time, to put it into the hands of a receiver by repealing the Sherman law and putting nothing in its stead, but turning
the whole country over t<^a single gold-standard nation, England.
Well, gentlemen, if you will wait five years you can have this
country go into the hands of a receiver without that. Mr. Speaker,
we are the most extravagant nation under Heaven. There is no nation to-day that is nearly so extravagant as ours. We buy too
much. We pay too much interest and commission.
The balance of trade for 1893 against us is $93,652,981.
" I t has been calculated that there is at present an annual adverse
balance of trade which arises from foreign travelers, interest payable
abroad, freight to foreign bottoms, etc., amounting to about $158,000,000 against this country, which is invisible as far as trade reports show. These figures have been arrived at from exhaustive
data and have been calculated by an expert writer in the New
York Engineering and Mining Journal." Add the $158,000,000 to
the reported balance against us for 1893 and you have for that fiscal
year a balance against us $251,652,981.
The total balances in favor of this country from 1863 to 1893,
thirty-one years, are $428,222,661. Total adverse and invisible
against us for same period as calculated above from Engineering
and Mining Journal, $4,500,000,000. Take from that amount total
balances in our favor as per reports, $428,222,661, and you have a
clear loss from 1863 to 1893 of $4,071,777,339. How will the repeal
of the Sherman law remedy this evil ? The only offset to this vast
loss is the money brought over in the pockets of immigrants.
Oar financial system has been entirely a class system, not intended
for a period of peace, not intended to build up and develop industries, not intended to promote agriculture, not intended for anything
but war, to conquer the ten rebel States that were fighting the
American flag. That was all you intended the system for; it
answered its purpose well.
Mr. KILGORE. It seemed mighty hard at the time. [Laughter.]
Mr. LIVINGSTON. Yes; we thought it very hard at the time.
Mr. PICKLER. So did we. [Laughter.]
Mr. LIVINGSTON. Listen, now, to what Mr. Chase said on this
financial question. He is good authority with the Republican party,
he is good authority with the Democratic party, and he is good authority with me. He was an honest man and an able man, though
he had his prejudices just as'we all have. He said:
The greatestfinancialmistake of my life was in what I had to do with the passage of the present national-bank act. It ought to be repealed; bat before it can
be done there will be such a contest between the banks on the one side and the
people on the other as has never been witnessed in this country.

I wonder if that is not the condition now. That is what Mr.
Chase said,and Mr. Lincoln said its equivalent. Now the extravagance of this country, in my opinion, grew largely out of the very
war of which I have been speaking. Prior to that war our people
were not very extravagant, but at that time they learned extravagant habits of living and moving and doing business. You people
in the North had all the money you wanted at that time—more than
you could handle properly, and it left you with extravagant and
reckless habits.
Mr. HOPKINS of Hlinois. Will it interrupt the gentleman if I
ask him for a reference to that statement of Mr. Chase that he has
just read?
Mr. LIVINGSTON. I will give it to you.
Mr. HOPKINS of Illinois. Is it in any of his published works ?
Mr. LIVINGSTON. I will hand it to the gentlemen so that he
can read it.
Mr. HOPKINS of Illinois. If the gentleman also has at hand
the statement which he attributed to, Mr, Lincoln, I would like to
see that, or a reference to it, if it is to be found in any of his public
Mr. LIVINGSTON. Yes, sir. Now, Mr. Speaker, if the country
is in the condition I have described, if we are a borrowing nation,
and if we have borrowed up to within $686,000,000 of our entire resources, how is the repealing of the Sherman law going to save this
country! I want to say further that,without questioning the honesty of the gentlemen who make the declarations, I do not believe
a word of what is said here about this Sherman law being the cause
of the trouble, from the simple fact that silver and silver certificates and greenbacks and United States Treasury notes, all the
different nine varieties of currency that we have now in circulation,
are all to-day at a parity. No; the idea is a mistake that the Sherman laW is the cause of this trouble.
For thefirsttime in the history of the world neither gold nor silver
nor paper money is a standard dollar in the United States. Is not
that a singular fact f I waut to repeat it, because I think it may
do some of our gold friends good to know it. I say that the silver
certificate, the silver dollar itself, the gold dollar, the gold certificate, neither of these, nor any other form of currency that we have
now in circulation is standard money in New York to-day. ' They
are all at a premium. What is the standard currency of this country to-day f A certified check that can not be collected within thirty
Let us look at this proposition. If the purchase of silver and the
issuing of silver certificates as provided for in the Sherman law
is the cause of the want of confidence—and every gentleman on the
other side who has discussed this subject has announced that the
cause of the trouble is the want of confidence—ho^vv are the facts bo
be explained? Want of confidence in whatf Confidence in the
system of currency, including this depreciated 56-cent dollar! If
that is true, is it not remarkable that the banks to-day are paying a
premium upon the silver dollar, paying a premium upon the certificates that represent the silver bullion in the vaults f
Gentlemen, there is no consistency in any proposition like that. I
want to say now, and I am glad to be able to say it for the benefit
of some gentlemen who may be in doubt as to how they are going to
rote on these questions, that the banks of New York have been
undergoing a very rapid change of opinion for the last forty-eight

hours on this question. They begin to look at it in another light,
with another pair of spectacles, and I am proud of it.
I have on my desk a circular from a gentleman well known in
New York, Mr. Henry Clews, who did last year more than a billion
dollars' worth of business, more business, perhaps, than any other
firm in the city of New York, and in this circular it is stated that,
to secure tjie passage of the repeal of the purchasing clause of
the Sherman law, it would be better to couple with it a bimetallic
proposition, a silver proposition, at the ratio of 1 to 20 or 1 to 24.
I presume that other Members have received the same circular.
Whatdoesthat indicate? I have on my desk, also, a letter showing
that the moneyed and business men of London are beginning 'to
take a very different view of this matter from that which they had
previously taken.
They say now, in London, that this gold mania has gone a great
deal farther, has extended more widely, and taken root much more
deeply than they expected; and they would like to check it.
Oh, gentlemen, this is a false alarm. Those of us who were in the
Confederate army and those of us who were in the UnionArmy know
what a false alarm means. When there was a false alarm we got
badly scared sometimes, but not hurt much, unless by falling over
the rocks and tlje brush in endeavoring to get out of the way of an
expected but imaginary enemy. That is just about the condition
at present.
Now, I am going to make this prediction: If this House should pass
the act to repeal the purchasing clause of the Sherman law, and if
that act should be passed by the Senate and signed by the President,
I will guarantee that the price of products in this country will not
increase. There will be no rise. And I am going to tell you why.
The bulls and bears on Wall street may push up the prices for a day
or two; but that does not affect my proposition. I understand that
they can go there and gamble; but they will gamble themselves
down almost as soon as they gamble themselves up.
Now, look at the proposition. You stop the issue of fifty millions
of currency and then tell me that the price of products will rise!
About one-third of our currency is silver; depreciate that metal/
and bring the silver dollar into bad repute by discriminating in favoi
of gold, and then conclude that with a contracted currency at the
rate of fifty million per annum prices of products and general prosperity will increase^ is a proposition that can not and will not be
accepted as true by the people to be affected by it.
I heard a strange declaration to-day from the gentleman from
Mississippi [Mr. CATCHINGS] and the gentleman from Kentucky [Mr.
MCCREARY] " that the volume of the currency of the country has
nothing to do with the price of its products." Why, sir, there is
not a writer on political economy, there is no statesman whose
speeches or writings I have ever read, there is not a teacher in a
single public institution, who has not taught the reverse of this.
Let me give you an illustration of the proposition of the gentleman from Mississippi: Suppose there are a hundred dollars in my
town on a given day to be invested in potatoes, and there are ten
men who come up with ten bushels, each. They will receive a dollar a bushel for the potatoes. Suppose next day there are only ten
dollars to be invested in potatoes, and there are again ten men who
bring up one hundred bushels of potatoes. If they sell those potatoes, what will they get? The ten dollars is divided among the
hundred bushels which are offered for sale, and the price received
is 10 cents a bushel.


Now, gentlemen, in Savannah to-day, one of the leading cities of
my State, they have agreed to issue New York exchange and certified checks to be sent up the railroad to the warehousemen to pay
for cotton. In the city of Atlanta to-day they have arranged for
clearing-house certificates to do the business that they hope to do,
and there will be perhaps a million bales of cotton that will pass
into and out of Georgia. They propose to do that business by clearing-house certificates and certified checks, and this is the best that
can be done under the condition that confronts them. Should they
be thus embarrassed while Congress has the right to "coin money
and fix its value," and forbids by taxation the State from providing
the remedy ?
Mr. HOPKINS, of Illinois. Those clearing-house certificates are
not used, are they, in any way except to settle the balances between the banks themselves? There is no compulsion about taking
them; they are not forced upon any creditor in the settlement of
Mr. LIVINGSTON. But we can not get anything else with which
to settle balances and what are we going to do? Of course they
are not forced upon any creditor, but when a man is famishing with
thirst he will drink out of a mud hole. That is all there is about
it. Do you tell me that the price of cotton to-day is not dependent
upon the volume pf money necessary to ship it and sell it in Europe ?
Such a statement is nonsense. Let us carry that proposition to its
legitimate conclusion. Suppose there was no money in this country
Now, I am not objecting to those clearing-house certificates, if it
is necessary to use themt I would rather have them than have
nothing. I would rather have a certified check than have nothing.
I am not objecting at all to such makeshifts, but I do object to the
necessity on the part of our banks and business men being compelled to substitute clearing-house certificates and certified checks
for ready cash with which to do business.
They deserve better facilities, and this Congress should see to it
.that our people are not hampered in this way when the crops of
this country must be thrown upon the market.
Now, Mr. Speaker, we have lieard a great deal to-day about an
international conference—a monetary conference. The gentleman
from Kentucky [Mr. MCCREARY] who represented us in that conference was, as I infer from his speech this morning, very much pleased
with his visit, his reception, and everything he saw and heard over
there. But what was the practical good of that conference ? I want
to ask the gentleman from Kentucky—I do not want to squirm or
dodge in reference to this question—I want to ask any gentleman
on the other side who may follow me in this discussion, to give me
a good substantial reason why thts country of ours, with our flag
and our Constitution, with our great population and our vast resources—why we should kneel at the throne of England or any other
foreign country, and ask them to fix, or help to fix, a currency for
us ?
If we-yvere a creditor nation'we could do this without risk. If
we ,were similarly situated and our commodities were interchangeable without let or hindrance we could afford to unite with other
nations in determining how much and what kind of currency should
be used, but so long as we are a money-borrowing nation, with
tariff laws discriminating against those nations to whom we must
go for money, is ifc safe to have them determine what shall be current money with us.

I want to make this suggestion: Why not have an interstate con.
ferencef Why not? I read, Mr. Speaker, when I was a school hoy,
in the Good Book a sentence which is there yet, that "he who provideth not for his own household has denied the faith and is worse
than an infidel."
My opinion is, sir, that we have some statesmen to-day who would
be vastly benefited if they would only remember that their allegiance first is to America, to their homes, to their people's homes,
and the land, perhaps, of their birth, if not the land of their adoption. In other words, sir, I would hail with delight to-day a proposition adopted by the House of Representatives asking that the
governor, the treasurer, and the comptroller of the currency of
each State in this Union should be called together in Washington
City for the purpose of discussing the situation and concluding
what is best for the United States under the present circumstances
and not for the world.
Let us take care of our own people first. Let us take care of our
own industries first; take care of the great enterprises of the American citizens first, and then obey the Scriptural rule to go out into
all the world to do good. But the trouble about the proposition is
this: We are endeavoring to accommodate ourselves to the requirements of the crowned heads abroad. You want to go over and consult the queen and the king and the rulers of Europe and the Rothschilds and the brokers of Lombard street, and you have never extended an invitation to my people, thepeople from Georgia, thepeo*
pie from Mississippi, the people from Texas, and other States to
come and talk with you New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania
people about our common wants and our commou interests. But you
cross the broad ocean and vote away thousands ^nd thousands of
dollars to get up expensive commissions to deal with people over
there and find out what they want.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I repeat let us have a little interstate monetary conference of our own and see if we can not fix up a money
system in this country that Vf ill satisfy our Republican friends, our
Democratic friends, and the Populists as well, if they can ever be
satisfied. [Laughter]. Let us see if we can not do something for
our own people in our own way and without the interference of
Mr. BOEN. Is not this House the interstate convention of the
nation ?
Mr. LIVINGSTON. Virtually; but it seems somehow or other
when we get up here as Populists, as Democrats, and as Republicans we can not get together from the fact that we have an organized system of partisan proceedings which are not likely, unless
great public pressure is brought to bear, to cause us to rise above
partisanship in a measure for the common good. [Applause.]
Mr. Speaker, I want to say this, that I believe this is an issue, aq
Mr. Chase said and Mr. Lincoln predicted, between the classes on the
one side and the masses on the other; and I want to quote another
expression of Mr. Lincoln's; it is one that I am very fond of. He
said: "God must like the common peoplevery much." Some gentleman present said, " W h y ? " Mr. Lincoln answered, "Because he
made so many of them." This is credited to him, and I think he
said it. I think I can put my finger on the quotation.
But, Mr. Speaker, I am with Mr. Lincoln in that regard; and I
want to say here, with all courtesy and with all respect, that in my
opinion God not only loves them but intends to shield them and


•protect them as long
He sits on His throne, independent of political parties or of government. Why ? Let us see if I am right
about it. Because they are the numerous class of His citizenship.
He made them. They compose three-fourths of the human family.
There is another reason. They own and run the earth when they
can get rid of the politicians. [Laughter.] I want to repeat it that
the common people of this country own and run the earth to-day
and have always done so and always will. I am not speaking of
the extreme class on one side, the millionaires, nor on the other
hand am I speaking of the pauper. I am speaking of the common
people. Why are they called "common peopleT" Because they
have got common sense, and a great deal of it, common needs, and
common obstacles. That is the reason* they have been called the
common people.
But I am going to tell you another reason I think God takes care
of them, whether Congress does or not. They are the bulwarks of
society, and He cares for society. But I am going to tell you still
another thing. We ought to take care of them for the reason that
they are the mainstay or base of this Government of ours, and every
single legislative act in this House and in the other end of the Capitol ought to serve their interests and look to their welfare for the
simple reason that this Government and the country must rely upon
them to continue the Republic as it is. They have common needs
and many of them, which must be supplied, and I want to commend
them to this House to-day.
They have common obstacles which must be overcome, and when
necessary they know how to combine for this purpose, and when
crushed, humiliated, and denied their common rights, have ever
resorted to revolution to maintain them at all hazards. Shall we
tempt them to this last resort ? Now, when more than a million
men have been turned away from the mines, shops, and fiekU "in
this country, when bread riots are common in the East and Northwest, when thousands of dollars, the savings of the common people,
are locked up in suspended banks, when crops ready for the market
must be sold for less than cost of production—I am not speaking for
the millionaires or the banks just at this moment. I mean to refer
to them presently, but I want to commend the common needs of the
common people tQ this House to-day—what is their need? Is it a
single gold standard? If it is then, gentlemen, vote for it. Will
that subserve the common people better than a bimetallic or double
standard? Then vote for it. Do they need more money? Then
vote for that. Do they need better money? Then vote for better
I want to lay down this proposition, and I do not believe there ia
a Congressman on thisfloor,whether he has served here two terms or
twenty terms, who will dispute it—that that Congressman, that
President, or that Senator who looks to the interest of the common
people in all legislative duties and performances, has always
proved a statesman, and always proved a success here and- everywhere.
And I want to lay down the other proposition—that men who
have disregarded the interests of the common people have sooner or
later become political failures, and sooner or later were relegated to
private lifei
Just here I desire to say this about Mr. Cleveland's message: I
believe Mr. Cleveland sent that message to this Congress with as
Arm convictions, with as honest conclusions and purposes as he


ever did anything in his life. I do not believe what is charged to
hiin, that he meant by the language in the last clause of his message to say that a single gold standard was his preference or his
choice. I do not believe it. 1 believe he is a bimetallist; but I
believe he got that scare on, and that he honestly concluded that
if he could get the purchasing clause of the Sherman act out of the
way, why, perhaps we could get bimetallism upon a stronger, safer,
and more permanent basis. I do not know what he meant by the
and such legislation as will strengthen and assure the civilized world that we
•will keep our obligations.

I am quoting the substance and not the verbiage. It makes no
difference what he meant by that message. We must take his letter
of acceptance, take all his life, and not one isolated sentence in a
letter or a message. That is no way to judge a man. Take his
whole life, and no man has been more careful of the interests of the
common people than has Mr. Cleveland. What was his letter of
acceptance! That he was in favor of both gold and silver. That
was not all. That he was in favor of an abundance of currency to
meet the wants of this great people of ours. That was his language.
Now, Mr. Speaker, the Chicago platform, Mr. Cleveland's letter
of acceptance. Judge Turner's speeches, the speeches of Mr. Clarke,
of Alabama, the speeches of every Democrat in the South, and I
presume of every Democrat in the Northwest, said that the Chicago
platform meant bimetallism. I do not know what you people did
up in.the East. I do not know what kind of a campaign you
ran up there. They charge you with Tunning slick campaigns
sometimes, and with twisting in between the corners and making
tracks on both sides of the branch, dodging the tariff question one
day and the financial question.the other. I know nothing about
that; but down South and out West we said the Chicago platform meant bimetallism. We said it meant bimetallism upon an
equitable ratio. We said that Clevelaud stood on that platform, and we said that if the Democratic party got into power in
the executive and legislative branches of the Government, the
Democratic party would enforce that platform to the letter.
I remember standing over in Alabama one day in Col. Denson's
district—and here he sits right behind me. It was up on Sand
Mountain, a peculiar spot in Alabama. The people are g#od people, plain people, and he says all from Georgia. They are honest
people, and you could see it in their faces; but nine-tenths of them
belonged to the Populist party, to the Third party, and when I
arose and stepped out on the platform to talk to them, you could
see it in their faces. I stood there that day in his district with
several thousand of those people in front of me, and I took that
Chicago platform and explained it, and then read Mr. Cleveland's
letter of acceptance and explained it; and although Col. Denson
told me the morning I entered his district that he probably would
be beaten by anywhere from two to four thousand votes, and
although he or anybody else would have gambled upon it, what
was the result t
When we got done with the district, pledging the Democratic
party in favor of the Chicago platform, that district came up and
the Third party vote vanished, and came into the old Democratic
party; and here sits Col. Denson to-day, one of the best Democrats
m the South, and one of the best Members on this floor, as you will
discover one of these days.


Now what are we to do with these pledges of our platform as
Democrats! What are we to do with them?
Mr. PICKLER. In the next campaign?
Mr. LIVINGSTON. In the next campaign; yes. But I will tell
you, Mr. Speaker, there is something higher than that, that I want to
bring to the attention of members of this floor. What are you going
to do with a man's conscience who has stood up before the people
and made these statements and these pledges? Suppose he goes out
of politics before the next campaign. He goes out feeling that he
has lied, and that he has degraded himself and deceived the people.
There is something higher than simply being on the winning side
in a political campaign.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I want to suggest, if the House will listen to
me for a moment, what you do want instead of the repeal of this
Sherman law unconditional. I am for its repeal. It is a makeshift
and a cowardly makeshift, and I do not care Who made it.
Mr. PERKINS. Does the gentleman understand that the Chicago
platform pledged the Democratic party to the repeal of the Sherman act?
Mr. LIVINGSTON. Yes, I do; and that is not all that it pledged
the Democratic party to do, and that is the,complaint that I am
making now on the floor of this House, that some Democrats who
stand pledged to that platform, as I stand pledged to it, are seeking
to enforce it in piecemeal, and at the same time leaving a part of
the Democratic party who favor the entire platform at such a disadvantage and with such risk that we do not want and do not intend to submit to, if w© can prevent it.
The Democratic voters of this country are a party to this agreement and expressed their approval at the last election. The wonderful success of the Democratic party was not due to any one individual or combination of individuals, but to the fact that the
common people were tired of Republican rule, which had foisted
upon this country high taxes upon the necessities of life, exemption »
to classes from taxation, and contraction of the currency. The success was due to the principles announced and our pledges to stand
by them. Will we keep those pledges is the anxious inquiry by the
common people ?
Mr. PERKINS. Will the gentleman excuse me one moment?
Mr. LIVINGSTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. PERKINS. The clause in the Chicago platform, as I have it
quoted in one of the opening speeches, reads as follows;
W e denounce the Kepublican legislation known as the Sherman act of 1890 as
a cowardly makeshift, fraught with possibilities of danger in the future, which
should make all of its supporters, as well as its author, anxious for its repeal.

Mr. LIVINGSTON. What are you reading from? I can not hear
the gentleman.
Mr. PERKINS. I am reading from the Democratic platform of
Mr. LIVINGSTON. Is that last part of it you read a part of it?
I did not hear distinctly., '
Several MEMBERS. It is a part of the Democratic platform.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. The latter part of it?
Mr. PERKINS. Evidently the gentleman does not recognize it
as being a part of the Democratic platform. .
air. LIVINGSTON. That does not sound like the old hymn book
the Democratic party has been, singing from. You have read only
a part of it.


Mr. PERKINS. Well, now, as I read that platform, it is a call
from the Democratic party upon the Republican party to repeal
that law.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. I do not view it that way. I think it calls
011 all of us to repeal it. It appeals to the author as well. * All. are
invited to take part in the rexieal.
Mr. PERKINS (quoting):
Which should make all its supporters as well as its author anxious for its repeal.

It does not say what effect it should have on the Democrats.
[Laughter.] And it declares it is
Fraught with possibilities of danger in the future.

Possibilities for the Democratic party? [Laughter.]
Mr. LIVINGSTON. The declaration was, "Fraught with possibilities of danger in the future" to the country, and not to any
Mr. PERKINS. A gentleman over here the other day declared in
this House that the Republicans were "not in it." Now, how are
the Republicans to carry out the pledge of the Chicago platform,
under those conditions?
Mr. LIVINGSTON. I will let you make your speech in your
time. I am not responsible for what the gentleman said the othei
day, but I will answer you in this way: I am satisfied that the
Democratic party in Chicago in using the language first read, which
is proper and right, intended to say this, not only to the country, not
to the Democratic party only, that it was a makeshift, and not a
makeshift by the Democratic party. They were general declarations that were truisms j and that was all the party intended to da
at Chicago.
Mr. PERKINS. If the gentleman will excuse me, I should be very
glad to have Tavery Democrat upon this floor construe that platform
into an obligation for the repeal of the purchasing clause of the
Sherman act.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. I want to say this to the gentleman about
construction; There are rules that govern constructions, whether
they apply to the law of m?*n, to epistles, or the Bible, or to anything else; and one rule of construction is this, and I command it
to you, and to all who hinge upon that simple idea of yours, and we
have some Democrats in the same fix—the obligation to carry out
the Chicago platform is an obligation to carry out all of it and not
a part of it. I take it as a whole, and 'we are! to discharge our duties to it as a whole. This is the rule of construction that I insist
Mr. HOPKINS of Illinois. Well, if that be true, why do you not
nave the repeal of the Sherman law in whole instead of the repeal
of the purchasing clause?
Mr. LIVINGSTON. I supposed this, that your side thought that
was just as far as you could presume upon our stupidity and ignorance at one time. [Laughter.] If you had gone any further when
asking for the repeal you would repeal the only law that requires
silver and gold coin to be kept on a parity, and that is the reason
why you did not do it. [Applause.]
Mr. HOPKINS, of Illinois. But this resolution upon which we
are to vote, called the Wilson bill, is something that was prepared
and adopted in the Democratic caucus.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. I understood that it was a nonpartisan caucus. [Laughter.] I saw Republicans there. I think it represented
Republicans, Democrats, and Populists. That is my understanding
about it, though I was not present.


Mr. WARNER. That was the case in the one you were in.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. I suppose it was. It was the case in the one
X was in and I supposed it was the case with this one, too. Nonpartisan, single-standard caucus.
Now} gentlemen, you may coyer up the fact as best you can, that
this fight if won, on your part, means the disuse of silver and for a
single gold standard, but the friends of silver are alert and well
understand your purpose.
Now, why do you propose to repeal the purchasing clause of the
Sherman law? That is not all that you mean to do. The balance
of it has not been developed. That is what we are afraid of. Now,
I have dealt with you honestly and I have told you the truth about
these things. I come to you as an honest man and ask you, if you
are bimetallists, as you declare yourselves to be, how can you favor
the unconditional repeal of the purchasing clause and leave silver
demonetized under the then existing law of 1873 ? Let us stand
together like sensible men and as patriots, if we be bimetallists, and
show our faith by our votes.
Mr. PICKLER. You think if it is not gotten that way it will not
be had at all?
Mr. LIVINGSTON. I am afraid that if we do not get it in that
way we will never get it. If a member on this floor is in favor of
the repeal of the Sherman law and at the same time a bimetallist,
he can find in the bill introduced by the gentleman from Missouri
[Mr. BLAND] an opportunity to express his wishes without risk to
either the repeal or bimetallism, but we are asked to vote for the
Wilson bill—simple repeal—and take our chances for bimetallism
when they are combined in the Bland bill.
My opinion, Mr. Speaker, is that no pure and earnest bimetallist
can or should be expected to do otherwise than vote for the Bland
bill. If he does and finds afterwards no opportunity to establish
bimetallism for this country, he can console himself with the language of the man who had sobered up with great loss: "When I
think of what I uster was, and now is, I think I have thrown .myself away without sufficient cause."
I do not intend to stand here and conceal my fears from you gentlemen, and I ask yon is it fair to put one of your colleagues on this
floor in a position of that kind when he comes to vote? You know
it is not fair. You absolutely force him to vote against a proposition that he wants to vote for because of his fear of the consequences that may follow. It is not fair between legislators; it is
hardly fair between politicians.
Now, Mr. Speaker, my friend from Mississippi [Mr. CATCHINGS]
said awhile ago that there was gold enough in this country to do
the business of the country upon a gold standard. Let us see. I
have here ar statement, received from the Treasury Department yesterday, not yet twenty-four hours old. This shows that we have
gold in coin five hundred and twenty millions. The gentleman from
Mississippi [Mr. CATCHINGS] said we had six hundred and fifty
millions. He, perhaps, included the bullion, but even then he has
fifty millions too much;
We have in the United States gold coin, $520,273,567; gold bullion,
$83,450,336: total, gold coin and gold bullion, $603,723,903, which
.gives us only about $9 per capita and 3$- per cent upon the total
value of all annual products in the United States. Is it possible that
our single gold standard friends mean to contract the currency to
this extent? The total standard silver dollars and fractional silver
coin in the United States is $495,896,328* Silver bullion, $119,277,735.
Add this to the gold coin and gold bullion, and you have a per


capita of $18 and about
per cent upon the total value of all annual products. Therefore, with all gold coin and bullion, all silver
coin and bullion, we have only $18 per capita and less than 7 per
cent cash with which to meet the actual legitimate business transactions for our country. The remainder must be met by credit; 93
per cent.
The gentleman from Mississippi [Mr. CATCIIINGS] made an argument in favor of credit in lieu of silver. Did he remember when he
made that argument that there is only one class of people in this
country that have credit I A very large maj ority of our people have
no credit; a very large proportion of the remainder obtain credit at a
very high rate of interest. Is it his wish that farmers and 'wageearners shall continue to farm and labor upon the credit of others
at a ruinous rate of interest paid to those who have either credit or
money and who will necessarily get the benefit of the business?
And yet my friend from Mississippi, a Southern man, from a great
Southern State, stood here and contended that the poor people of
that Southern country, white and black, who have no property, who
are mere tenants, mere renters, could live and do their business upon
[Here the hammer fell.]
By unanimous consent, Mr. LIVINGSTON'S time was extended indefinitely.
Mr. LI VINGSTON. I thank the House for its indulgence. I will
try to come to a close in a few moments, for I know that it is not
exactly proper to occupy the time of other speakers and I feel that
every moment that I am on the floor some other gentleman may be
entitled to it.
Now, there is not a banker in this House—and I believe I see one
sitting on my left—who does not know that ho can not do his business in that way. He knows that the Government requires him to
keep on hand & reserve of 25 per cent. With their bonds in the
Treasury vaults, discounted 10 per cent at the start, the Government will not trust the national banks, but requires them to keep
a reserve of 25 per cent. No business man can undertake to do any
kind of business with only 6 per cent of cash, because something
may happen that will knock his credit from under him. For instance, suppose Russia and England should declare war against
the United States to-day, and we should have adopted the gold
standard, with only $603,723,903 of gold, including the bullion;
what kind of a position would this country be in in case of a war
between us and any European power?
If, under such circumstances, the President of the United States
should call you here, there is not a Republican or a Democrat or a
Populist who would not vote for a greenback issue by the million.
A MEMBER. The Populists would do it, surely.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. The Democrats and the Republicans would
do it too. You would have to do it.
Why, Mr. Speaker, should we not have a monetary system that
would carry at least 20 per cent of the total business of this country ? We have now only 9 per cent and a little over. Here is a full
statement. Of national bank-note currency we have $188,101,000;
United States notes, $346,000,000; Treasury notes, $148,000,000;
total, $682,101,000. This added to the gold coin and bullion, silver
coin and bullion, would only give 9£ per cent on total annual products. This is all the money we have, including every variety of
gold, silver,>and paper money which has been issued by the Government.
, Mr. DINGLEY. I am very much interested in the discussion which

the gentleman is pursuing, I understand he is endeavoring to show
that the cause of the present financial difficulty in this country is
the contraction of the currency. Now, I would like to hear from
him some suggestion on this point: We now have one billion six hundred million dollars of currency in this country, the largest outstanding volume of currency ever known in the history of our country;
yet we have a money famine. There would seem to be, not a lack of
outstanding currency, but a lack of confidence. I would like the
gentleman, while pursuing this discussion, to notice that matter.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. I think I touched that point sufficiently in
the very beginning of my remarks.
Mr. DINGLEY. I was not here.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. Let me repeat. We are a borrowing people;
the most extravagant people *to-day under the heavens. The great
bulk of the gold, the great bulk of the silver certificates, and the
great bulk of the silver coin that has been issued, amounting, not
as my friend suggests, to $1,600,000,000, but $1,900,998,966—the
great bulk of that has gone out of this country; it is not here and
can not be here.
Mr. DINGLEY. I am speaking of the amount that is actually outstanding, $1,600,000,000, the largest volume of currency per capita
ever known in the history of our country. Now, in view of that
fact, I would like to have my friend explain how it happens that
,we have a currency famine, and how a mere increase of currency
without an, increase of confidence will remedy the difficulty.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. I can give jrou in a moment several reasons
why currency is scarce. The entire business of this country is
done upon borrowed capital. That capital is borrowed from abroad.
The commissions and interest on that borrowed capital go abroad
annually. All the investments in railroads, express lines, telegraph lines, all the money invested in the great cotton manufactures in the southern and southwestern part of this country, in the
iron mines, in the silver mines, in the gold mines, which are to-day
being developed, is borrowed capital; and the great part of the
product of these investments has gone to Europe.
Now, again, our people are extremely extravagant. If you will
look into the quantity of imported goods coming to this country and
the classes of those goods, you will see where a ^reat deal of the
money goes. Then, again, there is a great deal of it, in my opinion,
between the bedticks and in the stockings of the people. I am candid with you about this matter, and I do not blame the people for
this. When a man shouts "fire" in his own house I am not going
there to sleep. That is just what the banks of this country (lid.
They sounded the alarm. They brought on this panic—this " imaginary" panic—and the common people have common sense. They
wish to get their money where they can put theirfingerson it when
it is wanted.
Mr. DINGLEY. Will my friend from Georgia pardon me at this
point, because it is an important one in this discussion? As I
understand -he now adopts the theory that a "conspiracy 7 ' of the
bankers has caused the .present distrust; that they have gotten upa scare and produced the distrust which has caused what—which
has caused individuals throughout the whole country to withdraw
from the banks the deposits on which those banks were doing busi• ness. In other words, according to this theory, the bankers, who
are supposed to be intelligent men, have gotten up a scare that has
caused the distrust which has resulted in drawing from them the
money on which they were conducting their business.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. I did not go so far as my friend is going; but


he has made a very good speech and I am willing to let it go out
with mine. I did not say the banks had entered into a conspiracy.
I will say that in my opinion this false alarm came from beyond the
waters, and that our banks are not blumable. The people understand that there is no protection to the depositors in any of those
banks. Therefore no one can blame a depositor in a national bank,
or State bank, for withdrawing his deposit at a time like this, when
banks are suspending, and when no accommodation can be had on
gilt-edge collaterals. The note-holder is protected, and amply so,
by deposit of bonds, but a common depositor has none save as at
common law—collect if you can. No b'onds or collaterals are set
one side for security to depositors. It is true that stockholders are
assessable for double their amount of stock; but the poor depositor
who puts his money in a national bank to-day, or in any other kind
of a bank, is without any protection whatever other than a claim
before the courts.
Mr. Speaker, I want to say in favor of the common people that
they deserve credit for the unlimited confidence which they have
shown in the banking system of this country, which has induced
them to turn into the banks without protection as note-holders are
protected all of their earnings resulting from their daily toil and
the products of their farms and workshops. Especially are they deserving of thanks when real estate and all other species of property
owned by them are excluded as collateral.
Mr. HOPKINS of Illinois. What is the liability of the stockholder of a national bank for, then? 4
Mr. LIVINGSTON. What liability?
Mr. HOPKINS of lUinois. The national-bank act provides that
every stockholder shall be liable not only for the full amount of his
stock, but double the amount of it. For instance, if a stockholder
owns ten shares of stock worth a hundred dollars a share, he shall
be held liable for twice that amount. What is it, then, that this
act provides if it is not protection to the depositor?
Mr. LIVINGSTON. A stockholder can be assessed double his
stock and to that extent creditors or depositors can recover, but a
stockholder can transfer his stock to whom he pleases, and thus
avoid that clause.
Mr HOPKINS of niinois. But what is it intended for ? Why is a
stockholder made liable for such a sum as that in case of any failure or loss by the bank unless it be for the protection of the depositor?
Mr, LIVINGSTON. Of course, the stockholder of the bank would
be liable to the depositors for anything that he has put in, and
double his stock.
Mr. HOPKINS of Illinois. F6r twice the amount that he has
put in.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. But I make this assertion, not to enhance or
to increase the prevailing panic, that there is not a single bank in
the United States to-day that can stand a legitimate run tor twentyfour hours and save itself
Mr. HOPKINS of Illinois. But the point is this: I think the gentleman has said that th** depositors of banks have no security. Now,
I agree that banks could be so established that depositors, say in
national banks, could be better secured than they are at present.
But I maintain that under the present law the depositors are protected not only to the amount of the capital stock, but that the
stockholders are liable for the same amount again. In other words,
you take a national bank with a capital stock of $100,000, and there
are $200,000 to which the depositors can look for protection; $100,000

of the capital stock and $100,000 that can bo collected from the
stockholders in the event of a failure.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. Can you find that liability? Will small depositors arid poor depositors go into the courts to collect small deposits; is that the security the people want?
Mr. HOPKINS of Illinois. It is in the law.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. That is not the question. Is it there when
you want it? A new board of directors and every dollar's worth of
stock can be changed in twenty-four hours.
Mr. HOPKINS of Illinois. Why certainly.
Mr. LIVINGSTON^ The gentleman does not understand me. I do
not mean is it in the law, but is the protection there ? Are the funds
on hand when the occasion arises? Can you mention a single instance now where the depositors have been paid in full?
Mr. HOPKINS of Illinois. I say to the gentleman in answer to
his question, that he can not show a single instance where a stockholder has been assessed for his proportion under such circumstances where he has not been able to pay, and where he has not been
compelled to pay.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. I do not know of a single instance where a
stockholder has been assessed for such a purpose.
Mr. HOPKINS of Illinois. The gentleman can not point to a bank
that has failed, in any part of this country, where the depositors
have lost anything. And I go further and say that he can not show
a bank in the last six years in this country that has gone into liquidation and a receiver has been appointed by the Comptroller of the
Currency where the depositor has lost a cent. I mean a national
Mr. McRAE. You might point to the national bank at Little
Mr. LIVINGSTON (to Mr. HOPKINS of Illinois). You are speaking of national banks ?
Mr. HOPKINS of Illinois. Of course I am speaking of national
banks. I will admit that depositors may lose in the State banks.
There is where I claim that the national-bank system is far more
secure not only for business purposes but to the depositor himself.
But I repeat what I said before, that the gentleman can not show
where a bank, a national bank, has failed in the last six years
where the depositors have lost anything.
Mr. McRAE. Give him as an instance the First National Bank of
Little Rock.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. The First National Bank of Little Rock has
been suggested. I do not know the facts in this case. I do not remember a single national bank at this moment which is in the hands
of a receiver that has been closed and where the business has been
fully settled. Hence the question can not be answered. I see the
Little Rock bank is closed and several others that I could mention,
but whether the depositors are protected or not I can not tell until
the statements are made from the banks.
Mr. HOPKINS of Illinois. But the gentleman has said that we
have a national-bank system where the depositors are not protected.
Now, as I stated before, I ask him to point out w-here, in any
national bank that has failed, depositors have been losers up to
this time.
Mr. HUDSON. I want to say w6 have a national bank in Kansas
which failed and the depositors have not received a dollar and
never will.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. The gentleman from Kausas furnishes an instance. I pass it over to my friend from Illinois.

Mr. KEM. If the gentleman will permit me, I will give liim another instance.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. I can stand here and give a dozen instances
where national banks have been closed up and not a dollar has
been received by the depositors.
Mr. BOWER. I can give you three in North Carolina, one of my
own knowledge and two on information received from my colleague


And two in Mississippi.

Mr. LIVINGSTON. Two in Kansas, two in North Carolina, and
two in Mississippi. They are too numerous now to stop and follow
them up. Are you satisfied?
Mr. HOPKINS of Illinois. When the gentleman answers my proposition by giving the names of the banks. General statements are
cheap, but you ought to be specific and name the banks.
Mr. WILSON ot Washington. I have it from the Comptroller's
Office that during the entire time since the establishment of national banks in this country the net loss, in cases where there have
been failures, has not been'quite8 per cent; that 92 per cent of all
deposits held by banks, that have failed have been paid to the depositors.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. The gentleman agrees with me, and I am
glad to hear him say so, that the depositors are not sufficiently and
amply protected under our banking system, whether national or
otherwise; and I call on him and on every good man—and I believe you are all good men in this House—I call upon everyone of
you to get down to work and substitute for the present system
some system that will give the common people a place for deposit
and a guarantee, when they ^ut their deposits there, that they can
recover them at will.
Mr. PICKLER. That is good advice.
Mr. LIVINGSTON. Now, let us do that. Let us lay down our
Democracy and our Republicanism and our Third Party ism and all
this political partisanship and come to the rescue of the people one
time in the history of this great country.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I want to say what I think this country needs.
It must have a currency system sufficient in volume, good and stable,
and so distributed as to meet the demands of every section and of
all the people of this country. Now, why not ? Do you say it is impracticable?
Well, if you do, it is an admission that I am not going to join you
in. I can suggest to you how it can be had, and have no wild-cat
money and no wild-cat banking system. Supj>lement the gold and
silver currency with paper. Let that paper consist of Government notes, Treasury notes issued by the General Government,
and guaranteed by the Government to the States. Let the States
become responsible to the General Government, and let the States
issue these notes to corporations, requiring the corporations to
give bonds and ample security that whenever one of these notes
is presented at the counter of a bank it shall be redeemed in gold
and silver; and what else do you want? What else does the General Government want?
The Government can ask nothing better than that. It promises
in the note, on the facc of it, to pay to the bearer a dollar, or ten dollars, iu coin. Then let the General Government transfer it to the
State for this purpose, because the State can better determine the
amount of money needed in that particular locality than can pri240

vate corporations. Then let the State issue these hills to private
corporations, taking ample security that whenever one of these
bills is passed over a bank counter for redemption it shall be redeemed.
Then what about the losses to depositors ? Then put a tax of 1 per
cent upon that issue, and let that be collected and covered into the
State vaults, and held as a sacred fund; and whenever a bank fails,
let the examiner put it into the hands of a receiver and close it up,
and whatever the deficit may be let the governor or the State or
treasurer put his hand into that security fund and take out the full
amount to cover all the liabilities and losses by the bank.
Mr. PICKLER. Will you loan money on real estate f
Mr. LIVINGSTON. Then it can make no difference. The State
can loan on pumpkins and geese if it wants to. That is the business of the State. That is one of the beauties of the system. The
State law can regulate the security to suit itself. It is nothing to
the General Government.
Mr. Speaker, the Constitution prohibits the States from making
any money a legal tender except gold and silver. I want to lay
down this proposition, and I want to ask some lawyer to answer it
before this question is done with. If my State of Georgia, through
her Legislature, makes silver a legal tender, as she has done, it is a
legislative act; and has Congress, with the approval of the President, under the Constitution, the right to deny to the State of Georgia the use of silver as a legal tender under its constitution!
I say, as a legal proposition, Congress can not do it. Having
given to my State the right to make silver a legal tender, a constitutional right, no legislation of this House or of the Senate, approved by the President, can declare silver not a legal tender in my
State, under the Constitution of the country. The right to coin
money exclusively by the General Government was incorporated in
the Constitution of the country solely for one purpose, and that was
to have a unformity in the coin. In 1776, July 9, article 9 of the
Confederation was adopted, which reads thus:
The United states in Congress assembled shall always have the sole and exclusive right and power to regulate the alloy and value of the coius struck hy
their authority and by that of the respective States, and to fix the standard of
weights and measures throughout the United States.

Then take the Constitution under which we now live and operatfe. Article I, section 8, paragraph 5, reads:
To coin money, regulate the value thereof and of foreign coins and fix the
standard of weights and measures.

The only purpose and the only reason why the General Government to-day does not allow Georgia, Carolina, Texap; Michigan,
and Massachusetts to coin tlieir own silver ana gold is simply to
keep a parity and a uniformity in the value of the coin. That is
all. They never had any intention to take from the States the
right to coin their silver and gold product. They always did understand that, and had that right, and the first act under this confederation and the first act of the present Constitution establishing
a mint, gave every State the right to go to the mint of the Government and have coined every dollar of her product at a fixed ratip*
The right has never been taken from the States at all, and all tha*
has been done was for the purpose of having a uniformity of value.
Mr. Speaker, I want to make this appeal to gentlemen on the
floor of this House. We can not afford to dally with this question
while our people are suffering as they are suffering now.
Can the gentleman who sits here on my right [Mr. SIMPSON], and

I regret that he is not in his seat to-day, who stated last night in
his speech just there that he was opposed to compromise and that
he would fight compromise, afford to do so. I want to say to you,
gentlemen, that every act of this House, in my humble opinion, for
a hundred years has been nothing but a compromise. X want to say
that the world was made on a compromising principle. I want to
say that, in my opinion, the next will be on a compromising principle.
I want to say that our family relation is a relation of compromise;
I want to say that our neighborhood relations are a compromise; our
church relations are a compromise.
Who is it in this world who has absolute knowledge and absolute
purity of principle, that he should stand on the floor of this House
and say " I am the great I Am." I never make any mistakes; I never
concede anything/" As a Democrat I know that I have got to make
compromises to get my wish through this House, and I know as
Republicans you have to do it; and I know as honest men in this
body we expect nothing else but compromise measures to go through
either House.
Well, I will take from this House half a loaf of bread if I can
not get a whole one for my people. I am ready to do anything for
relief that is reasonable and consistent. Let th6 relief given be ever
so small, I will take it back to my people and say to them with all
the scuffle, and in all the fight, that is all I could get for you. [Applause.]
Mr. Speaker, the substitute offered by Mr. BLAND provides that a
vote shall be taken on the ratio of silver to gold, beginning at 16 to
1 and up to 20 to 1. The question for our consideration when the
vote is to be taken is which of the several propositions should be
adopted. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that 16 to 1 should be adopted,
and the best reason that I can give for that opinion is that in 1873,
when silver was demonetized, silver was at a premium over gold,
and for nearly one hundred years silver had been on a parity with
gold at 15£ and 16 to 1.
I admit, Mr. Speaker, that the tendency for 1800 years has been
to increase the silver in a dollar as compared to gold. At and efore
the Christian era the ratio of silver to gold was 9 to 1, which was
the ratio with the Jews. The Romans increased it to 11 to 1, where
it stood at the discovery of America. From 1500 to 1620 it rose to
1 t o 1. From 1620 to 1720 it rose to 15£ to 1. From 1720 to 1873
it only rose to 15.92 to 1; but from 1873 to 1878, while demonetized,
it made the advance of two points, to 17.92 to 1, since which it has
continued to advance under adverse legislation. Since the act of
1873 demonetizing silver the rise has been greater than for 2,000 years
previous combined. There was no natural cause for this great rise,
such as existed in the sixteenth century—1620 to 1720. The discovery and development of the vast silver deposits of America
caused the rise at that period.
The unprecedented rise can only be accounted for by a feeling of
universal panic started, no doubt, by a widespread attempt to increase the value of money securities, but kept alive and, fanned into
open flame by the strange and unprecedented methods resorted to
by our Government to keep up the empty appearance of having a
gold currency, and by constant proclamations which treat gold as
the one precious and indispensable thing, to be had at all hazards
and at any cost.
The coinage of gold in the United States from 1793 to 1892, total,
eagles, double eagles, half eagles, three-dollar pieces, quarter eagles,
and dollars h^s been $1,582,317,235.


Coinage of silver in the United States from 1793 to 1892, total,
$657,368,387.10. '
The production of gold in the United States, 1792 to 1892, $1,937,881,769.
The production of silver in the United States, 1792 to 1892, $1,071,422,000.
You see from these tables, Mr. Speaker, that the argument that a
kind Providence is decidedly for bimetallism has some force.
The production of the two metals is about the same. According
to Maurice L. Muhleman, Deputy Assistant Treasurer of the United
States, "the total stock of gold and silver coined or held as bullion
for coinage in the various countries of the world is about $7,800,000,000, of which about half is gold." In this country, in all the world,
Providence has not discriminated against either metal; both in
equal quantities, are found embedded side by side, and under His
direction and inspiration both have been developed in about equal
quantities since the days of Abraham. The only discrimination
ever made against either metal has been brought about by the
"money-changers" those who speculate upon money—the commercial life-blood of the world.
Gold used in arts in the United States, 1871-1891, $188,448,150.
Silver used in arts in the United States, 1871-1891, $119,640,404.
You will see that about
per cent of the gold product of this
country is used in the arts.
Now, Mr. Speaker, if you will take this supply and demand for
silver as a money metal for two thousand years, or for any given
period of twenty years during that time, you will see that there is
no reason why 16 to 1 can not be maintained by this country.
The argument, however, that a change of ratio to a higher one,
say^ven to 20 to 1, would injure those in debt and lessen prices of
products is fallacious. There are only two things that producers
and debtors need fear as to the currency? too small a volume and
unstable money j contraction and depreciation are the hindrances
to good prices of products and facilities for debt-paying to-day.
Silver is, has been depreciated since 1873. The currency is being
constantly and gradually contracted as compared with the population and business of this country.
No one save the Government can sustain loss by making the ratio
20 to 1. And the Government has accumulated about fifty millious
of dollars in her vaults made by speculation on silver that could be
used in the increase without loss to the Government. The miner
would be benefited by an increased ratio. Such an increased ratio
would create a demand for every ounce of silver possible to be
mined annually. The demand for silver dollars abroad at the ratio
of 20 to 1 would keep this country drained of silver, and gold would
flow to us; and, indeed, if we want mdre gold and less silver this is
the way to accomplish that end. One thing, however, would necessarily follow; there would be no premium upon gold and the
"money-ch^ngeBs" and speculators in gold coin would lose their
calling. Again, Mr. Speaker, I appeal to Democrats upon this floor
to unite and do two things—give the country relief and sustain our
platform and our pledges. [Applause].