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8 I L Y


R .






C A R O L I N A ,



FRIDAY, AUGUST 18, 1893.









The House having under consideration the bill (H. R. 1) to repeal a part 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. TALBERT of South Carolina said:
Mr. SPEAKER: NO period ever existed in the history of our
country in which the duty was more imperative upon each and
every one of us here to lay aside all prejudice and all bitterness
and look alone as one man to the present unhappy and distressed
condition of our country. No time ever demanded more serious
and sober thought of the Representatives of this Union than does
the present time. W e are confronted to-day, not with any vague
theories; we are confronted with conditions; and we have arrived
at a crisis in the history of the country when something- must be
done, and done quickly, and done with decision and judgment.
I have sat here and listened with a great deal of earnestness
to speeches upon both sides of this question. I have listened
seriously and patiently, and I must admit that sometimes I have
been somewhat in the position of the little boy whose mother
in making him his first pair of pantaloons put the front in the rear.
The little fellow started for school the next morning, and walked
cheerfully along until he looked down and discovered the situation, when he burst out into a cry, and said, " I don't know
whether I am going to school or going back home." [Laughter.]
I have listened to these arguments, I say, untill have been put
almost in a similar position. I rise to-night with some hesitation, first, on account of my inexperience in a body like this, being a new member. Possibly common prudence would have forbidden me to undertake to address this House this evening from
the fact that looking around me here I see so many members
older and with so much more experience, with so much greater
gift of eloquence and oratory, than myself.
But coming as I do from one of the rural districts of the sunny
South, and representing as I do a constituency as true, as patri-,
otic, as honorable, as high-minded, as any people that ever lived
upon God's green earth, nineteen-twentieths of whom I might
say are unqualifiedly in favor of the free and unlimited coinage
of silver [applause], I deem that a sufficient excuse for saying at
least a few words in their behalf and in advocacy of this measure, which I sincerely believe involves not only the liberties, but
the lives of the masses of the people of the United States.


In my remarks I will not rehash what has been already said
as to the relative amount of gold and silver in foreign countries,
England, France, or Germany, or go into statistics; but will endeavor to prove that it is mere '' claptrap " for our opponents to
say that the Sherman act is the cause of the depression now prevailing. I shall endeavor to show that it is the monetary system
of our country, ending an array of acts culminating in the demonetization of silver.
Although coming as I do from the humbler walks of a farmer's
life, having never been anything but a common, plain, practical
farmer; representing also as I do the farmers and producers of
wealth in common with the other classes of citizens of this great
nation; elected though I was upon a platform of principles one
plank of which was the free and unlimited coinage of silver—
others, Mr. Speaker, can do as they please, but; as for me and
my house we will serve the Lord, and I shall stand on that platform first, last, and all the time. [Applause.]
Platforms are said to be made to get in on and not to stand on,
but it shall not be said of me that I rode in on a platform and deserted it as soon as I got in. And my friends, I contend that
here in this House the Democratic party stands pledged to-day
by every honest purpose to thai plank in the national platform,
as well as in twenty-eight or thirty of the Democratic State platforms of this Union in favor of the same system; and not only
are the Democrats pledged, but nearly every Representative
here is pledged likewise, to bimetallism. And I want to say that
I think it is a sad commentary, at least, and can not understand
how men who have gone through their several districts all over
this nation stumping and promising their constituents to stand
by the platforms and the promises of free silver, can now come
here and make eloquent speeches against it. I say that at least
I can not understand it. And yet I do not impugn their motives,
believing, as I do, that the present distressed condition is not
chargeable and due to the Sherman act, that "cowardly makeshift," as it has been called.
Mr. Speaker, it is a " cowardly makeshift; when it was passed it
was a cowardly makeshift," but it did good, Bnt the trouble is
that it is being used in this House to-day as a much more "cowardly makeshift" by these men who want to dodge out of their
duty and pretend that they can not stand up to their platform.
It is a more " cowardly makeshift" to decry monometallism than
it was on the part of those who put it into their platform.
The present distressed condition of our country is due and
chargeable to a system of legislation which has been enacted
since the beginning of the late war, and is not due to the Sherman act or anything of that sort. And in order to more fully
comprehend the situation I want to say that figures enough
have been given in regard to what the standing of silver and gold
is in England and France and other European countries and all
that. But I would ask you to let us go back to the beginning of
the war and examine some of the legislation preceding that
crowning act of infamy conceived in fraud and brought forth in
iniquity, the demonetization act of 1873 that struck down silver,
standing to-day as a living monument to the power of money to
oppress; that war, which subsequent events have made me be*

lieve was not fought to free the negro and save the Union, but
to enslave the people of America by a moneyed aristocracy i the
most hateful and despotic of all governments possible. [Applause.]
At the beginning- of the war the resources of the National
Government were taxed to their utmost capacity for the purpose
of producing- means to carry it on. Vast volumes of money were
needed, far beyond the capacity of the mints to supply in coin, and
at this time the great Wall street kings and bankers, of whom very
much has been said on this floor, came forward and offered to
loan the Government sufficient money for the purpose, at what
do you suppose? Why, at a rate from 24 to 36 per cent!
They took advantage, Mr. Speaker, of the misfortunes of the
Government, and tried to fatten and aggrandize themselves upon
its needs and thus saddle upon a nation a debt which, at the end of
hostilities, could be used under the European idea led on by English capitalists to make slaves of the American people. These
are the same great, "blessed: Representatives " that we have
heard of to-day who have been talked of so much during this debate as doing so much for the country in its time of need! These
are the men who want to take all money out of the country except gold and make you worship the golden calf, the same Wall
street kings that took advantage of the needs of the Government
to make slaves of the American people. But what did Mr. Lincoln say? Did he accede to their demands?
No, sir. He was not fooled or baffled by them. He said that before he would submit to such a bounty being given to these Shylocks, he would print and issue money until it took a thousand
dollars to buy a breakfast! And he did. Reading from the Constitution, he read that Congress shall have the power to declare
war. He read again that Congress shall have the power to coin
money, issue bills of credit, stamp their value, etc., upon them;
and following along after this declaration, on the ITth of July,
1801, and February 12, 1862, there was passed the legal-tender
act, and sixty millions of greenbacks were issued with which to
pay the soldiers and carry on the war.
My friends, these greenbacks were in the shape of demand
notes on which there had been put no exception clause, and this
money answered its purpose; and here we have, right here, if
you will bear with me, Jefferson's idea of Treasury notes, bottomed on taxes, backed up by all the products of the nation, and
secured by the patriotism of the people—the best kind of money
that can be issued by any country in the world. [Applause.]
The first issue of greenbacks constituted the demand notes
which, unlike all subsequent issues, did not contain the exception clause. Consequently they have always been at par with
gold; and this establishes the fact that had it not been for the
exception clause on all the subsequent issues they would have
always remained at par with gold. Wherever gold went these
notes could have gone, everf into the coffers of the bondholders.
So Congress continued to issue money as necessity demanded,
and with an abundance of this money not even could the ravages
of war check the prosperity of the country, save in those sections
desolated by immediate ravages. Commerce, industry, and education received jiew impetus, and flourished as never before in

the history of the country. In speaking' of the war, I do not
propose to discuss the right of secession, but in the language of
the Supreme Court " the republic that survives the storm is an
indissoluble Union of indestructible States." With that motto,
let us turn our backs to the past and look to the future. All
this talk about hard or soft money is nonsense, when you are
talking to a people who have no money at all or a very little at
least. Let it be" remembered that our forefathers achieved our
independence with a continental currency that took a wheelbarrow full to buy a ham.
Now, since Congress had found a provision to supply the people with money, and to supply the Government with money,
there was no longer any demand for Shy lock's gold. But Shylock
didnotsleep. It is said that within four days, I believe, after the
passage of this legal-tender act there was a bankers' convention
held in the city of Washington, consisting of four delegates from
New York, three or four from Philadelphia, and three or four
from Boston. Shylock was alarmed; he saw in the legal-tender
act a friend of the people.
Now, I will not stind up here and pretend to say what was done
in this convention, because I am not a banker and was not there.
I will not pretend to say what was done, but I. suppose they organized a Bankers' Association of America, and soon; but I will
only call your attention to subsequent legislation, and let you do
your own thinking in regard to the matter. On February 25,
1862, fifteen days after the legal-tender act was passed, Congress
passed an act stipulating that the greenbacks should be a legaltender for all debts, public and private, except duties on imports
and interest on the public debt, which, from that time forward,
was paid in coin.
These two sacred things, mind you, greenbacks should not
pay. Charity forbids that I should say that Congress was influenced by that convention, but every man can think, if he does
not speak, and do his own thinking like the man whose lawyer
on one occasion was not talking exactly to suit him in the court
room, and he gotup to make a few remarks himself. The judge,
of course, made him take his seat. He got up again and the judge
made him take his seat again. A third and fourth time this
happened, and finally the gentleman g o t u p and said: "Well,
judge, if you will not let me talk, won't you let me think?"
" W h y , certainly," said the judge. "Well, judge," he said, " I
think you and all these lawyers are a set of grand rascals."
Now, I do not say that anybody was a rascal, not even a grand
rascal, or anything of that sort, but I tell you the time has come
for you to yut your own construction upon things, and not take
the ipse dixit of any man, however learned he may be, or whatever profession he may follow, or whatever position he may
This money might pay the soldier for blood, but not the bondholder for interest. Just think of that. This money should be
accepted by the farmer, but not for import duties. Thus the
greenback was debased from the day of its birth and made a
bastard by the edict o^dts own father. Gold and silver of course
retained their normal value as a circulating medium and became

the money of the hanks, as they circulated between the banks on
the one hand and the custom-house on the other. And listen!
This debased greenback, falling to 40 per cent of its value as
compared with gold, became the money of the people.
Just catch that idea, gentlemen of this House. The bankers, the
stock gamblers, and the brokers must have gold, but the laboring
people, the servants, the people, must have greenbacks, which
they said were good enough for them; and I want to direct your
attention to this system as I go along with it. Then followed in
one year, February, 1863, the national banking act, it may be,
passed with the same influence of the convention in the onward
march to attack and strike down silver. Then the 6 per cent
nonassessable bonds, whose interest was payable in coin, were
sold to the banks, for what? Not for gold. The bankers bought
bonds with depreciated greenbacks, which the Government had
been compelled to swap with Shylock, almost two for one, as
Roark swapped horses with Kilpatrick.
Now, I know you have heard this over and over again, but I
am only going to throw this out to you to try to prove to you
that it is not the Sherman act that has done the devilment, and
that these men who say so do not believe what they say, because
they know better when they are telling yoa that they believe
that. Roark was an old Union man that lived up in North Carolina, and after the war, when Kilpatrick came along through
there, going home, Mr. Roark, who had a very fine horse, went
out to meet Gen. Kilpatrick. He rode up to him and thought
Kilpatrick ought to have known him. He said, "Good morning,
general." Kilpatrick stopped with his crowd. "Good morning." And before saying anything more, he just said to one of
his men, who was riding a very poor horse, "Get off that horse."
And then he said to Roirk, "Get down off your horse." Roark
did as he was told, and then Kilpatrick said, "Change your
saddles." Now he said to Roark, "Get up on the poor horse."
Roark did as he was commanded, and Kilpatrick started off.
Roark said to the general, " Can I speak to you?" "Well," he
said, "talk quick; I must be going." Roark said, " I just want to
say to you that I have been swapping horses for forty years, but
this is the first time I ever traded without X had any say in it."
So it was with the people. They had to swap their money for
gold, and they had no say at all because of this legislation which
was forced upon them. The Government had no voice in the
matter. Bankers paid $40 in gold for $100 in greenbacks. Then
they exchanged the $100 in greenbacks for $100 bonds, which
paid six gold dollars in interest every year, were subject to no tax,
national or State, county or city. So he invested $40 in gold,
a nd he drew six gold dollars in interest, or 15 per cent on his
original investment of forty gold dollars.
But this is not all. The banker was allowed to deposit his
bond in a vault and draw 90 per cent of its value in money to
loan out again at 10 per cent to the people—to loan them their
own money. There, gentlemen of this House, is a subtreasury
pure and simple for the bondholders; and yet you have heard so
much fuss about it when the farmers made a similar kind of a

Mr. DAVIS, Will the gentleman allow me to make an additional statement right there?
Mr.. TALBERT of South Carolina. Certainly.
Mr. DAVIS. The banker got his interest in gold twelve
months in advance.
Mr. TALB ERT of South Carolina. Payable in advance; and
sometimes when Wall street got into a scrape, it was anticipated
six months in advance. At one time ten millions were paid during Cleveland's former administration; and some time ago, if I
mistake not, seven millions were paid out by Mr. Carlisle, the
money being sent outt to these Wall street gamblers when they
got into a scrape. Millions upon the top of millions are appropriated to build navies to rot upon the seas, for railroads and
corporations and expositions and all that sort of thing, and a
great deal of money paid out for the Indians; but when the white
man comes in for anything, why he can not get it. If I am not
mistaken, this House did pass at the last term of Congress a
resolution of sympathy, not of sincere sympathy, for the farmer,
and that is all they got out of the Fifty-second Congress. [Laughter.]
I understand that they actually had the word " sincere"
stricken out, so as to give them simply sympathy. Now, I say
that the farmers are tired of this kind of sympathy. We have had
sympathy from everybody. I am a farmer myself. When the
farmer at the end of the year goes to the merchant and pays his
bill, the merchant says to him, " I sympathize with you; you are
the bone and sinew of the country," but all the time he is poking
the money down into the bottom of his pockets, and tells him,
as he goes out of the store, "Stay out of politics." Then, when
he goes to the lawyer, the lawyer will tell him, as he pays him
a nice, big fee, " I hope you will have a better crop next year,"
and all the time he is poking the money away downin his pocket;
and so it is when he goes to the doctor; and finally he goes to the
good old minister—and God knows we ought to have more of
them; I think this Congress ought to ba preached to more from
what I have heard and seen—but the good old minister, he, too,
will take the contribution, and while he puts it in his pocket he
says: " Brother, if you do not get your reward in this world, you
will in the sweet by and by." [Laughter.] And that is all we get;
but we want something in reality. [Laughter and applause in
the House and in the galleries.]
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair appeals to occupants
of the galleries to preserve order. The galleries are opened for
the convenience of the public by the courtesy of the* House, and
order must be preserved.
Mr. TALBERT of South Carolina. Now, then, starting with
forty thousand in gold, the banker gets one hundred thousand
in bonds bearing 6 per cent iji gold, or six thousand per annum.
With this interest flowing on. he draws from the Government
ninety thousand, which he loans to the people at 10 per cent,
making nine thousand a year; so, on forty thousand he gets fifteen thousand interest, or (371 per cent.* But if this vast harvest
of interest that the bankers have been drawing from the psople
for a quarter of a century were all we could stand it, but it was
not all. Other discriminating: acts have been passed leading up

to the one demonetizing silver, forming the link in the supposed
conspiracy of financial legislation systematically impoverishing
the people by legalized robbery the most damnable and reprehensible.
In March,1869, the credit strengthening act was passed, whether
by the influence of the same band I can not say; but, like the
blind man who received his sight, while he could not answer
other questions, said: "One thing I know; that whereas I was
blind, now I see." This much I do know, such an act followed
along, which act doubled the price of the bonds paid by the
bankers at a time when the Government needed no stronger
credit; when it had no bonds to sell ttiis act was passed, declaring that the bonds which were payable in currency {the interest
only payable in gold) should be paid in coin. This act added over
$500,000,000 to the holders of the bonds and that much of a debt
was saddled upon the people in addition.
Oliver P. Morton, in a speech on this act, said:
We should do foul injustice to the Government and to the people of the
United States, after we sold these bonds on an average of not more than 60
cents on the dollar, now to propose to make a new contract for the benefit of
the bondholder.

The Hon. Thad. Stevens, in speaking of the insatiate demands
of the money bond interest, said:
W e were foolish to grant them gold interest, and now they unblushingly
demand further advantages. The truth is we can never satisfy their appetite for money.

Ben Wade, in a letter written at Washington, December 13,
3867, expressed himself as follows:
I am for the laboring portion of our people. The rich will take care of
themselves. We never agreed to pay the bonds in gold; no man can find it
in the contract, and 1 will never consent to have one payment for the bondholder and another for the people. It would sink my party and ought to.

And now I say that the Democratic party, unless it carries out
the pledges made when not in power in order to get into power,
•now that they are in power, will sink their party, and ought to
sink it. If that is treason, gentlemen can make the most of it;
for one I will stick to the pledges I made. The people are awake,
their eyes are open, they are watching the actions of their representatives here, and will no longer submit to broken pledges.
I was elected onaplatiormof principles, as I have said, one plank
of which was free and unlimited silver. I intend to stand or fall
upon that platform. When we have secured that, as I hope we
will, I shall contend for every other plank embodied in the platform on which I was elected. My people expect it; I promised
to do it: and I shall do it though the heavens fall.
JOHN SHERMAN said in a speech February 27, 1867:
The bond owner can demand only the kind of money he paid and he is a
repudiator and extortioner to demand money more valuable than he gave.

See where JOHN SHERMAN stands to-day. At that time he was
a poor man. Now he is a millionaire.
To show, possibly, the hand of conspiracy, shortly after that
notable b ankers'convention the following circular was issued,
signed by their secretary, James Buell. Here is the circular:
DEAR SIB: It is advisable to do all in your power to sustain such daily
and prominent weekly newspapers, especially the agricultural and religious

press, as -will oppose the issuing of greenback paper money, and that you
withhold patronage and favors from all applicants who are not willing to
oppose the Government issue of money. Let the Government issue the coin
and the banks issue the paper money of the country, for we can better protect each other. To repeal the law creating national banks or to restore to
circulation the Government issue of money will be to provide the people
with money, and will therefore seriously affect your individual profit as
banker ana lender. See your member of Congress at once and engage him
to support our interest that we may control legislation.

This circular is signed by the secretary, James Buell. It
speaks for itself, and needs no comment from me.
Connected with this list of acts is also the contraction act of
April 12, 1866, and the refunding act of July 14, 1870. a scheme
to perpetuate the debt of the nation by funding at a iower rate
of interest from year to year, from time to time. To further
show the existence of a conspiracy and to show why I said in the
outset that this war was not fought to free the negro, but to enslave the white man, I will give here a copy of a circular issued
in 1862, after the war had begun in earnest. This circular was
issued by English capitalists, who commissioned one Mr. Hazard, a London banker, to propagate its principles among American bankers with a view of having the financial legislation of
Congress pave the way for its final adoption as the settled policy
of this nation. Here is a copy:
Slavery is likely to be abolished by the war power and chattel slavery destroyed. This I and my European friends are in favor of; for slavery is but
the owning of labor and carries with it the care of the laborer, while the
European plan, led on by England, is capital control of labor by controlling
wages. This can be done by controlling the money. The debt, that capitalists wfll see to it is made out of the war, must be used as a measure to control the volume of money. To accomplish this the bonds must be used as a
banking basis. We are now waiting for the Secretary of the Treasury to
make his recommendation to Congress. It will not do to allow the greenback (as it is called) to circulate as money any length of time, for we can not
control that.

This circular also speaks for itself. Having established the
coin price for bonds, which have not cost their holders more
tlian 60 cents on the dollar, they might have been satisfied; but
now here came the silver question, before it was demonetized.
They commenced work upon it before it was depreciated at all.
To show you that all this talk about depreciation is mere claptrap, they commenced when it was at a premium of 3 or 4
per cent, and to-day it seems that they are making the same cry,
looking for a crash to come to the Government, when silver is
selling at 2 per cent advance in New York; and I am told that a
gentleman went to Secretary Carlisle on last evening {it was so
stated in the evening paper) and tried to buy silver with gold,
and he would not let him have it.
The rock-ribbed mountains of the West have opened the floodgates of their hidden treasures and poured forth streams of silver that amazed the world and promised abundant money for the
country again. Silver then, of course, was coin, and the bonds
payable in coin, and had been the money of the world from the
time of Abraham. Silver was too base and cheap for Shylock
now, and must be demonetized. Then came the act of 1873,
passed under a guise and misrepresentation.
It is said that one Mr. Ernest Seyd, of London, was sent over
with $500,000 to buy the American Congress. I do not pretend
to vouch for this, but ask you to listen and see how easy the act

was passed in 1873, which did destroy silver, thus adding the
straw to the camel's back by further contraction and increasing
the bonded indebtedness, following this with the resumption act
of 1879, and fastening upon this nation a financial system which,
Mr. Carlisle says, has been productive of more misery and crime
to the people of this country than all the wars, pestilence, and
famine with which they have ever been afflicted.
The record of the American Congress for the last twenty-five
years has been one inimical to the interest of the mass of the
people. The acts spoken of completed the infernal machinery
by which the money power is crushing out the lives and liberties
of the people. Trusts and syndicates have been formed, which
have reduced the people to a wage slavery more abject and
heartless than any chattel slavery that ever cursed God's green
earth. These acts are still upon the statute book; this legislation is still in operation and should be undone, and that is
what the people demand.
I refer, Mr. Speaker, to the rpport of the committee in charge
of the bill. The chairman, Mr. Hooper, said:
Mr, Ernest Seyd, of London, a distinguished writer and bullionist, who is
now here, has given great attention to the subject of mint and coinage. After having examined the first draft of this bill made some sensible suggestions which the committee adopted and embodied in the bill.

The finances of the National Government are so adjusted to-day
as to be utilized by one particular class, and a very small class it
is, with power to contract and inflate at will, and as they go on
with the contraction, of couse it is followed by a corresponding
shrinkage in the value of products of labor and everything else
in the nature of property. Then the people are obliged to sacrifice their property ; they are obliged to sell their products. The
speculators get it at the depreciated price; then inflate the currency, and, turning it loose, sell it back at three times what they
This is the system we are living under to-day. It is not the
Sherman act. That has done the sick man a great deal of good.
If it is a " cowardly makeshift" it has acted like a little quinine.
It will cure chills, but they will come back after awhile. Tha
people have been quiet too long. They have stayed quietly at
home, trusting to their representatives at Washington to do the
nice thingfor them, every once in awhile sending up to ask them,
" What of the night?" and the good gentlemen here, these great
big bushy-headed statesmen, fattening and feasting on the best
of the land [laughter], would reply: " A l l is well. Plow on, boys;
we will be down again in the fall; we will want the votes and the
fried chickens as usual." [Great laughter.]
That is the way the people have been treated; that is the way
I have been treated. I have met these gentlemen on the stump
and I have thrown this in their teeth again and again and they
could not deny it. I stand here, sir, as a humble representative
of my people, and I intend to represent their interests as I promised to do. Every other class can get what they want. The
manufacturers can get what they want. The railroads can
get what they want. The bankers can get what they want.
But as soon as the farmers, the laboring people of the world, the
people who make that which feeds and clothes the world, and

who are growing- poorer and poorer every day of their lives, as
soon as they send up a little petition here these great big statesmen sit up and look as wise as owls and say, " It can not be done.
It is unconstitutional!" [This was said in a very sarcastic and
humorous manner, causing renewed laughter.]
They will appropriate millions to go out into the wild woods
to catch Indians and educate them. [Laughter.] They will appropriate millions to take care of the negroes and educate them;
but they will do nothing for the poor white men of this country.
[Laughter.] I speak here for the poor white people of my country. I want to get something for them, along with the Indians
and the negroes, and I am going to stay here until I get it, or
know the reason why. [Applause and laughter.]
Now, my friends, these oppressive laws are still on the statute
book, and if the gentleman from West Virginia [Mr. PENDLETON] loves the people as much as he tells us he does, he ought
to be willing to help to remedy them. Why, he almost cried
when he was telling us how he loved the people. Many of these
gentlemen have talked so much and so earnestly about their love
for the people that I almost thought they were in earnest.
[Laughter.] That legislation is on the statute book to-day.
Mr. PENDLETON. Put there by the Republican party.
Mr. TALBERT of South Carolina. Yes, and you helped them
to keep it there; that is just as bad. A man who receives stolen
goods is as bad as the man who steals them. That legislation is
on the statute book to-day. The people having slept until this
machinery is perfected, have at last awakened from their dream
of freedom to find their liberties fettered and themselves in the
grasp of a system of monopolies whose satanic engines are crushout not only liberty, but life itself.
No longer may they boast of living in the land of the free and
the home of the brave, where every man may worship under his
own vine and fig tree; but the fact stares us in the face that a
despotism of corporate wealth has subverted our free institutions, and that we are living to-day under a moneyed aristocracy*
so to speak. Who does not tremble for the safety of our civilization? The results of legislation are being universally realized,
and fears may be justly entertained that we have already passed
the point beyond which our steps may be retraced and our liberties retrieved.
But God forbid! Although our country is hanging over the
brink of an abyss that blinds and dazzles the mortal eye, I yet
believe that there is a force at work which will neutralize and
stop these destructive influences, that finally the great God who
rules the destinies of nations will bend down over His people in
mercy and in love, and that "Equal rights for all; special privilegesfor none " will be again the anotto of our country, and the
republic will be saved and liberty restored.
The demonetization of silver made all debts and taxes harder
to pa^r by cutting otf half the means of payment. Cotton was
bringing 18 cents per pound when it was dona. In a short time it
was bringing 10 cents. So with property and labor—all went
down in proportion. The remonetization will add back to the
means of payment and lighten the weight of all debts and taxes.
Is it not right to undo a wrong? I need not go into details, as
others have discussed the silver laws ratios.

I submit that what was done in demonetization should be undone. It is a poor rule that will not work both ways. If the
lovers of the people—those men who, by the way they speak
here are ready, one would think, to take the people in their
arms—if they want to do something for the people let them join
with us and help to undo this legislation, by which the country
will be placed b ick to the position in which it was in the good
old days when it was prosperous. You know that from the time
of George Washington, the tobacco planter, up to 1860 this was
a great and prosperous country.
Since 1860 this evil has been coming upon us which is now sapping the very foundations of our civil and religious liberty. The
people are awakening, and ask that this legislation be repealed.
Why not commence by giving us back silver and letting the repeal of other acts follow. Let us bring back that wing of the
Democratic party that is to-day upon the mountain worshipping
the golden calf, not the true God. Let them come back and serve
the only living God.
Thus we stand to-day. Our grand old ship of state is out upon
a tempestuous sea amid the conflicting billows of contending
parties; and I might say, judging from the late message of the
President of the United States, yithout a faithful pilot. He has
left us out in the wide ocean to do the best we can. But, my
friends, let us recollect the words of the dying and lamented
Lawrence, " Never give up the ship." Let us keep flying at her
masthead the flag of retrenchment and financial reform, the flag
of the people—the flag of those who follow the plow, who stand
at the anvil, and in the workshop. With strong arms and stout
hearts we can and will keep the ship afloat and carry her beyond
the breakers out in the smooth and level sea.
But, instead of helping1 to do this, what are gentlemen trying
to do? Trying to repeal the Sherman act. The country is
already bleeding to death, and they want to inflict another
wound and take more blood. Strange doctrine I
Gentlemen say that their position does not mean opposition to
bimetallism. It does not mean anything else, and they know it.
I say, without fear of contradiction, they know it is nothing- else
than momometallism. When Oliver Cromwell was besieging a
certain Catholic town citizens came out with terms of capitulation. One of the terms was that they would give up the town
if he would not disturb them in their worship. " Granted," he
said; " I accept the terms; but the first one of you that is caught
attending mass shall be hanged." [Laughter.]
That is something like the position of these gentlemen.
Some of the members on this floor have gone away back to the
time of Lycurgus. Lycurgus, I believe, left his people, went off
and never came back again. He was something like Hoyle, who,
having been beaten in a game of cards, went off and was never
heard of again. Lycurgus, I believe, wrote his laws upon iron.
I do not profess to be familiar with history; and possibly some
of you gentlemen representing boards of trade or chambers of
commerce may correct me on some of these points. You are so
well equipped in your knowledge, and you know so well how to
frame resolutions in favor of the repeal of the Sherman act.
There has been a great deal of such talk, which is simply silly.

By such language we are reminded of the man who was inquiring of a little urchin standing on the road, the way to a
certain house. He said, "Go this way half a mile to another
road; then take that and go a quarter of a mile; then follow a
blind path, which will lead you to a swamp; then go out into
the middle of the swamp until you find a tremendous big tree;
go up into the fork of that tree; then if you ain't lost I'm a
Dutchman." [Laughter.] That is about like the talk of my
friend from Ohio. I tried to follow him, but he first took me into
a swamp, then into the fork of the tree, and finally we were completely lost. You can not lose the people.
Then another has gone into ecstacies about the greatness of
this country. Well, Mr. Speaker, it is a great country, and I
am proud of it. It is the greatest, richest country on the face
of God's green earth. It has trebled itself in the last twentyfive years if I am not mistaken, and yet from talking of all its
greatness and richness they tell us that she can not compete
with poor little England, or Germany, or some other foreign
country! Why, they talk as if she was a babe that could not get
out of sight of her mother in finances. It is all foolish talk.
Truly, this is a great nation. With 156,000 miles of railroads,
mines and manufactures in abundance, dense cities, population
immense, the great hum of musical industry heard on all sides;
and when I stand on the portico of this Capitol and look out over
this city I am inclined to agree, Mr. Speaker, that it is a great
country. But, sir, when I go to the homes of the American
farmers, among whom I live, what do I see there? I see and
heir nothing but the song of hard times and worse coming. Go
into the homes of the working people, the factory people, and
what do you see? Nothing but starvation, poverty, and death.
The beginning of all this is found in the fact that the wealth
is concentrated in the hands of a few, who use it to grind down
the laboring people of the country into the dust—to grind them
between the upper and nether millstones of want and usury.
True it is, I repeat, a great country, but bsneath all the grandeur and greatness is the canker of a disturbed, distracted, and
oppressed people, growing poorer and crying for relief every
Now, sir, look at some of the further evils of the contraction
which the striking down of silver has produced in this country.
An orator has stated, and it» is true, that the greatest danger today to free government in America is the tendency to concentrate the center of political power at the Federal capital. That
is all true. But concurrent with this political tendency to-day
is another danger equally formidable, equally dangerous, and
that is the concentration of the money of the country in the
hands of a few men.
There is no man of reasonable intelligence to-day who has
noticed the encroachment of the money power on the rights of
the individual, but who is forced to the conviction that the issue
is an open one between plutocracy and the people. Why, such
pilings up of enormous wealth as are every day seen in this
country is even more than the human mind can conceive. Aladdin's lamp becomes dim and Monte Cristo but a trifling, commonplace tale when compared to the magicians of finance in their

financial transactions under this system, and not under the Sherman law at all.
The Sherman law is not in it. To-day the capitalist is surrounded by luxuries which have not bsen seen in all the eras of
this Republic of ours before, and which far surpass the glories
of Rome or Corinth in their' palmiest days, and yet even the first
fruits have scarcely put forth. As the President says, " H e
gives twice who gives quickly," and I ask you to think of that in
this respect. These are things, Mr. Speaker, to think of, and
to think of seriously. Let us give our attention to them.
The same writer has said that a home that costs $3,000,000 and
a breakfast that costs $5,000 are disquieting facts to thousands
of people in the United States who live in a hut and dine on a
crust, when they know their poverty has not come by laziness
in the spring and overproduction in the fall, but that it has
come by unjust, iniquitous, and infernal laws that have been
pissed by the representatives of the very Government they are
taxed to keep up and which ought to support and help them
along. The fact that a man who twenty years ago from poverty
to-day has an income of $20,000,000, and his two associates nearly
as much from the arbitrary control and pricing of a single article of necessary consumption, with no limit to the greed or daring, ftills heavily and strangely on the ears of men who hear it
as^they sit empty-handed while their children are crying around
them for bread, when they know their poverty came by a system of
finance fastened upon us by the laws of the land in the interest
of the money power. But that is not the height of this thing.
Just think of it, my friends : When the agents of a dozen men who
have captured and control a single article of necessary use meet
the representatives of a million farmers from whom they have
robbed millions the year before, with no more moral right than is
behind the highwayman's pistol, and insolently give them the
measure of this year's capacity and tell these men who live by
the sweat of their brow, standing between God^and Nature, that
they must submit to the infamy because they are helpless, then
the first fruits of this system are gathered.
When a dozen men can get together again in the morning, and
fix the price of a dozen articles in common use, with no standard
but their arbitrary will, and no limit but their greed or daring,
and notify the sovereign people of this free republic how much
in the mercy of their masters they shall pay for the necessaries
of life, then the point of intolerable shams has been reached.
Worse than the brigandage of the Middle Ages is the modern
system of finances. Instead of robber kings and brigand chiefs,
we have the money king, gold bug, Wall street gambler, and so
forth. Instead of the robber bands of the Rhine we have the
trust, the syndicate, the corporation.
Shall this shame at which Europe revolted be repeated in free
America? Is it not so, when a trust or syndicate can, by adding
25 per cent of the cost of a single article of common use, levy a
forced tribute upon the people, from the surplus of which they
can put millions upon the top of the millions in their pockets?
And is not that the fact under this system? Wherever we turn
we see labor idle, and see starvation staring into desolate homes,
and strikes against starvation wages.

Now, with^the permission of the House, I would like to read,
as a further effect of this system, something in addition to what
my friend from Colorado [Mr. PENCE] spoke of partially in his
speech the other day.
Let us take twenty-one States—Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Arkansas,
Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, and Delaware. These
twenty-one States contain 985,635 square miles. Let us take
nine Northern and Eastern States, Maine, Vermont, New York,
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Tennessee, New
Jersey, and Rhode Island. These contain 168,665 square miles,
or nearly six to one in favor of the twenty-one States which I
have mentioned in the factor of land. In 1880 the twenty-one
States contained 28,242,922 people, and the nine States cont lined
14,507,407 people, or two to one in favor of the twenty-one States
in the factor of labor.
In 1880 the twenty-one States that I have mentioned had an
assessed valuation of $6,839,554,628, and the nine States had an
assessed valuation of $7,559,928,915. Thus the twenty-one Stites
and the nine States were neirly equal in the factor of capital.
That is, the twenty-one States had six times the land to work
upon, twice the number of people to do the work, and nearly the
same capital with which to do the work. They should have
gained nearly twelve times as much, or, say, ten times as much.
But let us see. The twenty-one States gained $1,698,195,657,
while the nine gained $3,054,762,222, or nearly double for the
nine over the twenty-one.
In 1880 the twenty-one States had 56 per cent of the total
population, and were able to keep but 23 per cent of the
total wealth gained. The nine had 29 per cent of the total population, and were able to save 41 per cent of the total wealth
gained. Again, fifteen of these States gained in ten years $1,117,188,213. New York alone gained $1,123,385,932, or $6,000,000,000 more than the fifteen. You have heard a great deal here
from New York and Pennsylvania, and you have heard a tremendous amount from Massachusetts this evening. I do not
blame gentlemen for speaking up for Massachusetts, considering
the way she has fattened and feasted upon these Southern, Western, and Northwestern States. Is it not unfair? Is it not robbery? Has this not been done by means of this financial system
spoken of?
£gain, twelve of these States gained in twelve years $897,184,160; while Pennsylvania gained $909,382,016, or $12,000,000 more
than the twelve States. Just think of that. Nine of these
twenty-one States gained $59,441,974, while Massachusetts gained
$69,377,924, or $10,000,00p more that the nine States. Now, I
just give you that for what it is worth. These facts can not be
controverted. Study the question and ask yourself why these
nine States have transferred the wealth of twenty-one States
into their own coffers.
Again, my eloquent friend from Missouri spoke of the national
debt. Before I speak of that, though, I wish to speak of the pep
capita circulation. In 1866 we had $52.06 in circulation; directly
after the war, for each person, that much per capita. Now, I

have the list of the per capita circulation all along down, and it
is said by some men to-day that there is actually less than $5 per
capita in circulation. T know it is contended that there is a
larger amount than that; that there is $21; but in order to reach
that result they count money held in reserve and which is not
in circulation, and there is actually only about $5 per capita in
circulation to-day. And I tell you these avaricious men, these
gold bugs, will come in and get apart of this, or all of it, if necessary, and take it out of circulation.
It reminds me of the story of the little boy who carried his
first sack of corn to the mill to be ground. He c irried it to the
mill and the miller came out and took the s :ck and c irried it in.
He took out the toll and put it into the box. The little fellow did
not like that, and he watched the miller, just as the people are
watching to-day. Then the miller emptied all the corn into
the hopper and put the sack down, and when he turned away
for a moment, the little fellow watched his chance, jerked up
the sack, and started to run away home. The miller ran him
about half way home, and the little boy reached the house all
out of breath. He fell down on the piazza almost exhausted, and
the old gentleman said to him, "Why, what is the matter?"
The boy said, ''Father, that old rascal took every grain of your
corn, and he gave me a hell of a race for the sack." [Laughter],
So I tell you these corporations, these gold bugs, have withdrawn all the money from circulation, on the pretense that times
are hard. It is no such thing, and I deny it. They have withdrawn the money from circulation, all except $5 per capita, and
they are giving us a hell of a race for the $5 [laughter], and if
we do not wake up they will get that; but I intend to stay in
this House and see that they do not get it from my people, or I
will know the reason why.
Mr. SIMPSON. If the gentleman will allow me, I desire to
interrupt him at this point.
Mr. TALBERT of South Carolina. Certainly, I will allow
the gentleman to do anything.
Mr.. SIMPSON. I desire to read a short statement from a
New York daily paper, giving a short synopsis of the report of
the Comptroller of the Currency, showing the decrease in the
amount of currency in circulation. He says that the decrease
in the individual deposits in the banks is $193,000,000, on loans
and discounts of $137,000,000, and in specie of $21,000,000, of undivided profits of banks of $13,000,000. That is from the 112th
of July to th3 4th of August, over $300,000,000.
Mr. TALBERT of South Carolina. Worse and worse. [Laughter.]
Now, then, let us go along from these facts to something else.
In 1866 there were about $2,000,000,000 in circulation, with a population of only 30,000,000 and with one-fiftieth of the business
that is being done to-day. And to-day there is less than onehalf of that in circulation, with nearly 70,000,000 of population
and business increased to over a hundred-fold from what it was
at that time; and yet you see that as business increases, and as
we need more money, the money is contracted, so that they cut
off circulation, and they " get us," as I believe Mr. Watson said,
" a-coming and a-gwine," and get us at both ends; and how are
we going to live under such rules and regulations as that?

Now, then, you must all excuse me, f o r i never wrote a speech
in my life, and I never like to be bothered with notes. I undertook to make a speech with notes once, and I got them all stirred
up together and made a complete failure. That was like the
good old minister, and I hope there are some pre tchers in the
galleries, who told the boys what portion of the Scripture he intended to read for the morning lesson. The boys, finding the
place, glued together the two connecting pages. The nsxt morn-ing the old preacher began to read at the bottom of one page:
And Noah, when he was an hundred years old, took to himself a wife, who

Then turning over—
A hundred and thirty cubits long and 40 cubits wide, and made entirely of
gopher wood, and pitched within and without.

[Great laughter.]
Now, that much puzzled the good old preacher. I hope he
will hear it if such an one is in this House. He took off his spectacles, rubbed them again, and read it and verified it. " Well,"
he says, " brethern, I have not seen it in this book before, but t
know it is true, or it would not have been here."
And he said again. " That is an evidence of the assertion that
is made in another portion of this book, that man is fearfully
and wonderfully made." [Laughter.]
You see Ms faith. I have faith in what I am trying to do. and
in what I am attempting to declare; and I say there are some
men who are fearfully and wonderfully made from what we hear
them say when they talk about monometallism, and I hope, that
they will find it out before they proceed much further.
In 1866,,if you will excuse me, the Government debt was $2,793,892,000, or thereabout, for fear that some of you will take me up
about having the precise figures. Up to this time there has been
paid, as the gentleman from Missouri [Mr. BLAND] said, nearly
twice that amount, or nearly $5,000,000,000, of principal and interest, and yet there remains $1,685,281,000 unpaid. Now, what
I am trying to bring to the attention of the House is this, that
this $1,685,281,000 takes three times as much labor and products
to pay it to-day as it did in 1866.
Now, you may take me up on that if you want to. I am a new
member, I know, but I will answer any question on that, for I
used to answer the shorter catechism in the Sunday school. I
do not want to submit to a civil-service examination like my
friend from Nebraska [Mr. BRYAN] the other day, but I am willing to be questioned on that subject. It is three times as much
because of this contraction. As they contract the currency it
causes a shrinkage in the value of the products of labor, and so
it has caused the shrinkage of three times in the value of the
wheat, the corn, and cotton, so that it will take three times as
much of those products to make this payment as it would have
taken in 1866, and this kind of system bears very heavily upon
the boys who follow the plow on a hot July day. This class I
stand here to fight for, and will so long as life lasts and am
honored by a seat on this floor.
I have followed it many a day, and I expect my friend from
Colorado, Mr. PENCE [putting his hand upon the shoulder of the

gentleman who was sitting near him], has followed the plow and
knows how it is. It takes three times the labor to pay that debt,
and this same rule will apply in the case of private debt. A man
having a mortgage on his farm may have paid it over twice,
leaving a small balance, which it will now b3 three times as hard
to pay as if he had paid it all at first. So that this system of contraction amounts to confiscating the labor of American workingmen and makes us hewers of wood and drawers of water unless it is
checked, nothing more and nothing less.
I will give you an illustration. For instance, by contracting
the volume of money it lowered the prices of other property and
added that .much more to the burdens of the debtor class. For
instance, Mr. Burt, a western man, bought a farm for $6,000,
when whe it was $2 per bushel. He paid $3,000 cash, and placed
upon it a mortgage for the remaining $3,000, which he expected
to pay with wheat at $2 a bushel. A part of the $3,000 cash in- vested in the farm was Mr. Burt's savings from his services in
the army. He was a good soldier and bore testimony of having
seen active service. He was one of the first to enlist, and stood
by the old flag until the last shot was fired, then he returned
home, determined to spend the remainder of his days in the enjoyment of that peace so nobly won. Accordingly he purchased
his farm, little dreaming of the vicissitudes that awaited him.
Before the first pay day came the money of the country had
been contracted 25 per cent, the price of wheat had been reduced in the same ratio, from $2 to $1.50 per bushel. Neither
the debt nor interest had in any way contracted, and Mr.B. found
it necessary to hire $250 to make up his payment. He had not
been disappointed in his wheat crop; it was even better than he
expected; but for some inexplicable reason the price was not
what he expected. He was told there had been an overproducduction of wheat; that the supply was greater than the demand;
and yet he knew that one of his neighbors, a day laborer, had
never been so hard pushed to keep the wolf from the door. The
laborer was sober and industrious. Mr. Burt often employed
him, but since the price of wheat had declined he must economize, and the first step in economy was to reduce the wages of
his " help."
When the next payment came due wheat brought but $1 per
bushel, and Mr. Burt was obliged to hire $500 to meet his payment. In applying to a national banker for assistance, he found
that " money was scarce, but he would try and get it for him at
1 per cent a month." Mr. Burt concluded to look farther, and
after a long search found a 4 4 friend," who decided to let him have
the amount at 10 per C3nt in advance. This, taken from $500,
left him $450. The other $50 was made up by selling a few
sheep and the best cow. Heretofore the butter had furnished
Mrs. B. the means for keeping the children respectably clothed,
but now the cow had gone and there was no means of replenishing their clothing. Susan, John, Willie, and even little Mary,
were extremely sensitive, and when their clothes began to be
shabby their fondness for the Sunday school declined.
Mr. Burt did not renew his church subscription that year, and
it was very uncomfortable for him. to sit in his pew and hear the
ministsr preach about the worldly-minded man, who thought

more about the price of wheat than of his soul's salvation, and
who grew so avaricious that he would not subscribe for the support of the gospel. Mr. Burt listened to what the preacher said,
but his heart grew hard, his clothes grew shabby, and his attendance at church grew infrequent and finally ceased altogether.
A few weeks before the third and final payment came due, Mr.
Burt sold his wheat for 75 cents per bushel; a fine crop, but it
failed to meet the requirements of the contract, foreclosure followed, and Mr. Burt and family were turned out penniless into
the street. Setting out in search of work, he unfortunately
reached Michigan justvafter a tramp law had taken effect. Wandering from place to place, shabbily dressed and without any visible means of support, he was finally arrested for vagrancy and
sent to the penitentiary.
Disheartened and overcome by feelings of disgrace, he soon
sickened and died. His friends, ignorant of his whereabouts,
knew nothing of his sad fate. Twenty-four hours after his death,
on a bleak December day, a rough wooden box was landed at the
basement window of a medical department c£ the Athens of
Michigan, and a few days later a subject, with careworn look
pnd locks of prematurely gray, was laid upon a dissecting t .ble.
The students jocosely remarked: " T h e old fellow must have
been a soldier, judging from the number of scars upon his person." But there was one student who did not join in the merriment of his companions. He earnestly scanned the features of
the dead man, and half an hour after the dismissal of the cl'^ss
a missive was winging its way to the State penitentiary. The
next day the expressman brought a little package to the serious
student, he opened it with, trembling hands; alas, his conjectures were realities.
The package contained a few articles of clothing, and in a little soiled package he found some mementoes from his father's
house, among them the picture of a beautiful maiden, his sister
Mary, and by her side a young man in a soldier's uniform. The
blood curdled in his veins. He remembered when that picture
was taken; though only a child the occasion was indelibly fixed
upon his mind. It was a day that his sister was married to a
soldier—Joseph Burt—the pauper of yesterday, the victim of the
dissecting knife, spared from the shot and shell of the battlefield to die a pauper's death, and to suffer a fate that none but
criminals ever know. Ah, m.>»country! where is thy gratitude?
Through the contraction of the currency Mr. Burt's debt was
double, and what is true of this unfortunate death is equally true
of the debt of the Government and of every individual.
Many instances of this sort could be given, but I have not
time, nor do'I wish to take up the valuable time of the House by
going any further in this line. Think of this.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has
Mr. PENCE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the
gentleman may be allowed to continue his remarks until he has
There was no objection.
Mr. TALBERT of South Carolina. I am much obliged to the
House, though not much ^stbnkhed, for a man ought to be al71

lowed to work in the night in his own time. [Laughter in the
House and in the galleries.]
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair would remind occupants of the galleries that any approval or disapproval, on their
part is expressly forbidden by the rules.
Mr. TALBERT of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, do not trouble
the boys; they feel good; they are the laboring boys.
Thus far we have been looking at the evil and the effects resulting from the demonetization of silver and the legislation
preceding that act; but no good can be accomplished in merely
passively looking at results. Our country has been compared
by some of the speakers to a drunken man, or rather the financial system has been so compared, and it has alret-.dy been denied so far as being drunk was concerned, yet air have P greed
that the patient is sick and mus t have relief. A patient whose
vitality is daily depleted by lingering diseases, caused by miasmatic poisons of the swamps, may find temporary relief in abundant doses of quinine, but he can hope for no permanent cure
until he removes the cause, and the whole cause, either by draining his sw^mp or removing the miasma, or remove himself to
God's beautiful sunlight or blue grass of the highlands.
So, then, in our distress we have had the Bland-Alii son bill of
1878, which gives temporary relief, and then the Sherman act of
1890, which also improved the condition of the country to some
extent, but only temporarily. What we want is a permanent
cure. Let us have a lasting one, and to get it is an undertaking
as formidable, as patriotic, and as heroic as its accomplishment
will be grandand glorious. A noted writer has said:
T i e great money powers, as they think, safely Intrenched within their
citadel, look out over their countless ramparts of money bags and see their
hlood-red flag defiantly waving on the parapet where it has waved for more
than a quarter of a century, and adopting as thei rallying cry the VanderDilt motto of "the people be damned*" they defiantly command:
Hang out our banners on the outward walls;
The cry is, still They come! Our castle strength
Will laugh a siege to*scorn. Here let them lie
Till famine and the ague eat them up.

So thought Macbeth; but his castle fell before the resistless
march of the outraged and awakened people. So will fall sooner
or later, stormed with the ballots of American freemen, the
castles of the moneyed powers. The first thing for the representatives of the people to do is to undo the legislation which has
brought about this condition of things. The people have asked
for it, the people—not the boards of trade, not the chambers of
commerce, but the great masses of the people, who pay 80 percent
of every dollar that is appropriated by this august body—the people have asked to have that legislation undone, that they maybe
better able to bear their enormous burdens. They have demanded it. Let us first have free and unlimited coinage of silver at a ratio of 16 to 1. This they want and this they will have.
Nothing less will satisfy them.
As has been well said by a Representative in this debate, anything less than this nobody but a coward will accept. The
Democratic party has promised it. Pay off the bonds; stop the
interest; call in the national bank notes ?nd replace them by
full legal-tender money issued by the Government, and increase

this Government issue of greanbacks if necessary; and this money,
in connection with free and unlimited coinage of silver and gold,
will furnish sufficient money to the people of this great country
to conduct their business on a cash basis. The fate of the pending question on silver will decide this matter. It embodies all
the propositions here, as it was the last act of this conspiracy.
Silver has been made the battle ground and the bone of contention in this great fight for the libarties of the people.
In deciding this matter, look at it as you will, mystify it as you
will, it resolves itself into this, and the great question of the
day is whether the dollar or the citizen shall rule this country;
whether manhood or money shall control this Government and
make her laws. Upon which side will you stand, gentlemen of
the House? Wise men may hesitate and.patriotic men divide,
but there are no middle grounds. It is the dollar and a centralized government on one hand against the citizen and the
States on the other. Where will you stand? Will you stand
with the people or will you stand with the money power? The
people have asked relief of their Representatives; they have demanded certain measures in their platforms of principles and we
are in the midst of a mighty revolution, hitherto bloodless. God
grant that it may continue to be so and the revolution prove to
be a peaceable one; but God alone knows.
But, my friends, this is a contest between the citizen and the
dollar. Men may talk about the greatness and the wealth of this
country and about carrying on its business on u confidenceand
11 sympathy," but confidence and sympathy will not help the
working people of this country. Some gentleman has told us
here of a transaction between two men, each of whom had plenty
of confidence and sympathy, yet they were both in a terrible fix
without money. [Laughter.]
I want to say here in behalf of the people whom I represent, in
common with the1 mass of the people of the United States, that
they need what they ask for; they deserve what they ask for,
and they feel that they deserve it all over this great country;
and if their voice is not heard and heeded, sooner or later there
will come a time when angry people will appear at the gates of
justice in person and demand their righIs in a mood incapable
of reason, for when the flag of retribution is raised it is then too
late to^reason. Then, gentlemen of the House, in the name of
common sense, in the name of right and justice, in the name of
right and reason, give the people,what they ask for.
Some men may point to our standing Army, with the fluttering flag and rolling drum, as the point of strength, but the citizen, standing in the doorway of his home, as he spends the evening of a well-spent day amid the sounds and scenes that are
dearest, satisfied upon his threshold with his family gathered
around his fireside—that man will save his country when the
drum-tap is futile and the barracks have been exhausted. Let
us stand up to that great middle class which, ever since it met
the returning crusaders in England with the demand that the
hut of the humble should be made as sacred as the castle of the
great—that class who have always been the great bulwark of
liberty amongst all English-speaking people.
Then, against the dangers of a centralized government let ua

interpose the approved and imperishable principle of local selfgovernment. Between the rich and poor, now drifting into
separate camps, let us build up this middle class; who, neither
drunk with wealth nor embittered by poverty, shall lift up the
weak and control the strong. Against the jangling of races and
creeds of men oppose the home of the citizens and the faith of
our forefathers that led them smiling and serene through the
valley of the shadow.
Now, my friends, in conclusion let me say, this is the voice of
the people that we hear to-day. They have sent us their petitions. Since I have been here I have received hundreds of letters and petitions from the people of my district and people all
over the gr*nd little State of South Carolina, asking that we
stand up like men for their rights. They are to-day at their
homes watching and praying for relief, expecting us to stand up
for them and grant them what they ask.
I want to say in behalf of my people—the people I represent,
in common with the laboring people all over this country—that
it is their fight, their cause. And this fight, my friends, is not
confined to the United States. It has ciossed the water, and
that mighty man, Gladstone, the greatest man, possibly, that
has lived since Jefferson died, is standing up, in contradiction
of his education and surroundings, and is appealing to the English people to rise up and snatch the last vestige of usurped authority from the crown and place it with the people, where it belongs. Let the people rule. Give us a government" of the people, for the people, by the people."
And let me say, and I repeat it, unless the voice of our people
is heard by their representatives and heeded {" if this be treason
make the most of i t " ) there soon will come a time when an
angry people will appear at the gates of justice in person and
demand their rights in a mcod that will be incapa ble of being
reasoned with; for when the ilag of wrath and retribution is
raised it is then too late to undertake to make terms.
In conclusion, let me appeal to you brave men of the North
who wore the blue, who stood by the Stars and Stripes with a devotion and a courage that would have added new luster to the
splendor of Rome's legions in her brightest days; and to you, the
gallant men of the South who wore the gray, who stood by the sinking stars of a doomed cause, while you bore in your manly hearts
a more forlorn hope than that which inspired the six hundred at
Balaklava—America's heroes—I appeal to you all, now that the
war of twenty-five years is over, which resulted in the emancipation-of chattel slavery, to stand up like men in the gigantic
struggle of to-day between the classes and the masses, involving
the stupendous issues of the freedom of honest labor from the
degradation and slavery of plutocratic power. Then give the
people the relief that they have asked, and they will rise up and
call you blessed. Fail to do this, and you will die as you ought,
ignobly, unmourned, unhonored, and unwept. [Loud, long, and
prolonged applause in the House and galleries.]