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SILVER.

SPEECH
OF

HON. JAIES D. RICHARDSON,
OF

TENNESSEE,

IN THE

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,




FRIDAY, AUGUST 25,1S93.

WJLSmiSTG-TOK;
1893.




SPEECH
OF

HON. JAMES D. R I C H A R D S O N .
The House having tinder consideration the bill (H. R. 1) to repeal a part ot
an act, approved July 14,1890, entitled "An act directing the purchase of silver
bullion and the issue of Treasury notes thereon, and for other purposes"—

Mr. RICHARDSON of Tennessee said:
Mr. S P E A K E R : During the Fifty-second Congress, on the 23d
of March, 1892, a bill was pending in this House for the free coinage of silver and for the issue of coin notes, and for other purposes. While that bill was pending I took occasion to submit
some remarks to the House upon it. I stated that I thought it
was the plain duty of Congress to provide for the coinage of both
metals unless it could be shown that of one of the metals there
was a sufficient quantity which could be coined into money to
to meet the demands of our trade and commerce. I also quoted
from the Constitution of the United States the provision that
Congress shall have power 4 'to coin money, regulate the value
thereof, and of foreign coin." I also quoted the provision, * No
*
State shall coin money," and the provision, " No State shall make
anything but gold or silver a legal tender in payment of debts."
I insisted then, Mr. Speaker, that if both metals, gold and silver, could be coined, there would not be enough coin in the
United States to meet the just and legitimate demands of * trade
and commerce. ^ I have seen nothing since that time to lead me
to change the views which I then entertained and expressed. I
stated then that if silver was admitted to free coinage in this
country and to its rights before the law and under the Constitution, I believed it would go to a parity with the other metal..
In the beginning of my remarks to-day I wish to say that I
still entertain those views, and I shall vote for the free coinage
of silver at the ratio of 16 to 1, that failing for 17 to 1, then 18 to
1, then 19 to 1, and 20 to 1; and I shall vote in favor of the BlandAllison bill, and against the unconditional repeal of the Sherman law. [Applause.]
I shall not vote for any ratio higher than 16 to 1, the present
ratio, however, without some feeling of reluctance. I say this
because the ratio of 16 to 1 puts more silver into the standard
silver dollar of the United States than any government puts into
any silver coin in the world. I fear if the United States should
establish a ratio greater than 16 to 1 at an early day in the future all the silver of the United States would go abroad. It could
not be kept here. Foreign governments, then opening their mints
to the free coinage of silver, would have all our silver flowing to
£20




3

4
them. No nation, so far as I know, ever adopted a much larger
ratio than 16 to 1. To change the ratio would mean the recoinag& of all our gold coins, or of all our silver coins, and during the
process of taking up the old coins and getting the new ones into
circulation great confusion and trouble would ensue.
I do not believe there is necessity for a change of the ratio,
for if we are to have bimetallism—the use of both metals—we can
as easily have it at 16 to 1 as at any other ratio. The ratio between the two metals in the days of Washington was about 15 to
1. At a later period, June 29,1834, it was fixed at about 16 to 1,
and thus, in my opinion, it should remain. I can not believe I
am mistaken, that with free coinage we can absorb the annual
supply of silver, and maintain the parity of the metals at 16 to 1
with as much certainty as at a new ratio.
I will only vote for a new and increased ratio now that we
may show a spirit of compromise and fairness to our friends,
members of the same party to which I belong, who honestly
lavor silver as money, yet who insist there is too much difference between the present standard silver and the gold dollar.
The present disparity in value between the two metals, it is
conceded, is great, but I contend that this great disparity is
largely if not altogether the result of legislation hostile to silver. I shall insert here an extract from the speech made by
me in the House on March 23, 1892, and which I now ask the
Clerk to read.
The Clerk read as follows:

From time immemorial, perhaps from the beginning of civilization, these
two precious metals have been recognized as money, and have been made
the media of commercial exchange. Gold and silver were the money of our
colonies before the States were formed. The framers of our Constitution
made our monetary system bimetallic when they made recognition of the
two metals in the provisions which I have quoted. I think it can be safely
assumed upon these premises that as representatives of the people in Congress our duty is a plain one—that is, to establish the ratio of value for the
coinage of the two metals, and then to provide for their free coinage. Such,
I assert, was the policy of Congress from the beginning of our Government
under the Constitution, at least from 1792 down to 1873.
During all these years from 1792 to 1873 both of these metals were free coined.
In the latter year, 1873, without any public demand for a change our system
was radically altered, and one of the metals demonetized. This was done
without discussion and without any public demand therefor. It was done
secretly and stealthily. It was done without the knowledge of the members
of Congress who themselves did it. If this radical change in our monetary
system had been made with understanding on the part of the legislators who
did it, and in answer to some popular demand therefor, it might with reason
be contended that there was wisdom in the new policy.
But it is a violent assumption to claim that for nearly a hundred years we
had been pursuing the right policy, and that all at once, without discussion
of the question and without the intention of the Congress which did it, the
new policy was discovered by accident and put into operation. The ratio of
value of gold and silver in this country as fixed by Congress was 16 to 1; that
is to say, gold was sixteen times as valuable as silver. In other words 1
ounce of gold was declared to be equal in value to 16 ounces of silver. At the
ratio of value I have mentioned, these metals circulated in our country side
by side with but little appreciable difference in value until 1873.
In 1873, when the crime was committed of the demonetization of silver,
for it was a crime, it is a fact that this met& exceeded in value the other
metal by about 3 per cent, It is believed now, by the advocates of bimetallism, that if silver is restored to its full constitutional rights, that is, to have
its legal-tender power restored, and to be admitted to the mints for free coinage, that it will speedily appreciate in value until it will be equal to gold.
It will not be controverted that when silver was stricken down in 1873 thaft
about one-half of the money of our country was destroyed, leaving as money
but the one metal, gold. The inevitable result was to immediately enhance
or increase the value of gold. What followed?
520




5
We have but to look back to the intervening years since 1873 to find the
answer. The effect was seen in the depression in business, the stopping of
industrial enterprises, the falling off in the demand for labor, and sfo universal decline in prices. Especially has this been true in all the agricultural
districts in our land. The burden of the debtor class was doubled, and
thousands and tens of thousands of those who had known prosperity and
happiness-were brought to distress. Those who had gold or fixed incomes
were made richer while all the producing classes were made poorer. The
effect was to place gold at a premium of from 40 to 50 per cent., and at the
same time to make it the measure or standard of value of all other property
at its increased value. It may be that silver declined in value, and it did,
compared alone with gold. It was inevitable that such decline would follow.
As to every other commodity on earth I do not believe it can be said that
silver has declined. As compared with land, horses, cor». cotton, wheat,
beef, pork, and indeed every article produced by agriculturists it has surely
not declined, and has lost relatively none of its purchasing power. NotWithstanding the discrimination against it, and it being outlawed as money
by act of Congress, it has maintained a position nearer in value to gold than
any other commodity in the land. It was made a commodity when its power
as money, or to be money, was taken from it by law.

Mr. RICHARDSON of Tennessee. By repeating the foregoing remarks I wish only to emphasize what I then said. I can
not vote for the unconditional repeal of the purchasing clause of
the Sherman law. It * is the only act left on the statute books
which makes any provision for silver, and while I voted against
it when it was enacted in the Fifty-first Congress, I did it because it repealed the Bland-Allison law, which I thought was
preferable to it. I do not like it now. It makes silver a commodity instead of money, but under its provisions the paper
money circulation is increased. And it is the only law, it seems,
under which this can be done.
In taking the position I have indicated, Mr. Speaker, I am in
line with all the Democratic teachings, and all their platforms
ever written, so far as I know. I shall only quote from three
platforms of our party, thefirstquotation being from the national
platform of 1884, which is in these words:

We believe in honest money, the gold and silver coinage of the Constitution, and a circulating medium convertible into such money without loss.

The national Democratic platform of 1892 uses the following
words:

We denounce the Republican 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. We hold to the use of both gold and silver as the standard money
of the country, and to the coinage of both gold and silver without discriminating against either metal or charge for mintage, but the dollar unit pf
coinage of both metals must be of equal Intrinsic and exchangeable value,
or be adjusted through international agreement or by such safeguards of
legislation as shall insure the maintenance of the parity of the two metals
and the equal power of every dollar at all times in the markets and in the
payment of debts; and we demand that all paper currency shall be kent ^t
par with and redeemable in such coin. We insist upon this policy as especially necessary for the protection of the farmers and laboring classes, the
first and most defenseless victims of unstable money and a fluctuating currency.

K there was any room for misunderstanding these words, or
any doubt as to what was meant by the party in the minds of its
members generally, I insist no Tennessee Democrat has any
ground for doubt "or misunderstanding. The following is an
extract from the Tennessee Democratic platform of 1890, which
every Tennessee Democrat advocated:

We demand a currency of gold and silver, and also of paper convertible
Into coin at the option of the holder, and we demand the free coinage of sil520




6
ver on the basis originally fixed by law, and that it and the gold dollar shall
be equally a unit of value.

Mark the words, "we demand the free coinage of silver on the
basis originally fixed "by law*" This means free coinage at the
ratio of 16 ounces of silver to 1 ounce of gold, the present ratio.
And mark the other words, both the gold dollar and the silver
dollar "shall be equally a unit of value." With the repeal of
the Sherman law, or the purchasing clause of silver in it, where
is there any provision in the law for silver? There is none left.
No declaration of the party since that date has ever absolved
Democrats from the principles thus clearly set forth, I pledged
the people who elected me. to standby the principles of the party
so often and so clearly enunciated in their platforms, and I shall
do it though no other member of this House votes with me.
Speaking for myself, and for myself only in this sentence, I
would deem myself unworthy of the position which I esteem so
highly as the representative of the people of my district if I
were untrue to the promises made them and were to vote for
any proposition contrary to the free coinage of silver. Others
may do as they please. I shall stand by the platforms of the
party, and the pledges I made the people when I sought their
suffrages as a candidate for a seat in this body.
It has been said there is too much silver being produced, and
that for this reason we must abandon its coinage and resort to
gold alone. This I deny. The production of these two metals
since the'foundation of the world has been about the same. We
have reliable statistics for the past four hundred years—that is,
from 1493 to 1893—and on this point the report of the officers of
the United States Mint shows that for the four hundred years
named the production of gold of the world has been $8,204,303,000, and of silver $9,726,072,500, which is only a slierlit difference,
but the difference is in favor of silver. Let us see how it is for
the past one hundred years—that is, from 1792 to 1892. There
was produced of gold during this time $1,969,692,976, and of
silver $1,158,831,869. Again the difference is not great, but it is
in favor of gold.
For the year 1892 the production of gold was $130,816,600, and
of silver $196,605,200.
I will here insert a table whic h shows the annual production
of gold and silver of the world for the last ten years, 1*893 to 1892,
inclusive:
Yoars.

Gold product. Silver product.

TotaL

$95,400,000
101,700,000
108,400,000
106,000,000
105,775,000
110,197.000
123,489,000
113,149,600
120,518,800
130,816.600
Total-.—.——-.-—..
620




$115,300,000
105,500,000
118,500,000
120,600,000
124,281,000
140,706,000
162,159,000
172,234,500
180,733,000
196,605,200

$210,700,000
207,200,000
226,900,000
226,600,000
230,056,000
250,903,000
285,648,000
285,384,100
307,251,800
327,421,800

1,115,446,000

1,442,618,700

2,553,064,700

I also here insert the following table, which shows the annual
gold and silver production of the United States from 1883 to 1892:
Years.
.1883
1884
1885

1886..

1887

1888

188 9
1890
189 1
1892...
Total.

Gold product.

Silver product.

$30,000,000
30,800,000
31,800,000
35,000,000
33,000,000
33,175,000
32,800,000
32.845,000
33,175,000
33,000,000

$46,200,000
48,800,000
51,600,000
51,000,000
53,350,000
59,195,000
64,646,000
70,464,000
75,417,000
74,989,900

176, 200,000
79, 600,000
400,000

325,595,300

595,661,900

921,256,900

Total.

000,000
86, 350,000

92, 370,000
97,446,000
103, 309,000
108, 592,000
107, 989,900

Mr. Speaker, I -desire to call especial attention to these tables
and figures, for they answer the bald assertions often made that
we have too much silver. They demonstrate conclusively that
the production of the two metals is about of equal proportions
when you take any long period into the calculation. And there
is no other safe method of calculation. They show the wisdom
of bimetallism, and they show unmistakably that the bimetallic
standard is the true one and can be maintained. The exact date
when silver was first used as money is Aot known. It is known,
however, that it was coined in Rome at least two hundred and
fifty years before the birth of Christ and that gold was coined a
few years later. But for centuries before that time gold and
silver were recognized as 41 precious metals," and in definite and
fixed ratio had become the common medium of exchange wherever
commerce was carried on, and by them the value *of other things
was estimated.
The ratio at which thf>se metals were first coined was that at
which they had previously gone into use by weight. We learn
that in Lydia, in the Greek cities of Asia Minor, and in Greece
the ratio was about 13£ to 1. We are told that in Philip's time,
and perhaps earlier, gold was the more abundant metal in Persia,
Macedonia, and Asia Minor, but in most parts of the world silver
was the measuring metal. Boeckh, in his Economy of Athens,
•ays:
The value of gold is more variable than that of silver, which, therefore,
may he considered as the standard of price for gold, as for other commodi*
ties.

In like manner we are told that the gold of David and Solomon
was valued in silver, which was the standard money of Palestine
and the Phoenician cities of the Mediterranean. In his celebrated essay on money, Locke says:

I have spoken of silver coin alone, because that makes the money of account and measure of trade all through the world.

In our country during the colonial period the metallic money
consisted entirely of foreign coins, but the Spanish milled dollar of silver came to be recognized as the money unit and standard
of values in all the colonies. Under our Constitution, when first
formed, our metal money consisted of gold and silver wholly of
foreign mintage, the recognized standard being the Spanish
520




s
milled silver dollar. By the Constitution, as I have already
stated, the right to "coin money, regulate the value thereof,
and pf foreign coin," is given to Congress, and the States are
prohibited from making "anything but gold and silver coin a
tender in payment of debts." 1 find in a recent copy of, the
Commercial Reporter and Railroad Guide a brief but valuable
r6sum6 of the coinage laws of the United States since the adoption of tlie Constitution. I think it is accurate and 1 will insert
it here as a part of my remarks:
FIRST COINAGE LAW.

The first law relating to coinage, under the new Constitution, was the act
ol April 2,1792, establishing the mint. This act provided for striking gold
coins, called eagles, "each to be of the value of ten dollars, or units."
The weight of the eagle, by this act, was made 247} grains of pure gold, or
24.75 grains to the dollar. This act also provided for coining *'dollars, or
units, each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar, as the same is now
current." ,
Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, had a number of the old
Spanish milled dollars, as then in circulation, assayed, and they were found
to contain 371£ grains of pure silver, and therefore the new dollar was made
to contain exactly 371 i grains of pure silver, so that the money unit of the
colonies, as at that time in circulation, was continued as the money unit
•under the new Constitution.
The first gold coins were el even* twelfths fine. The full weight of the eagle
was 247.50 grains pure gold and 23,50 grains of alloy, making the total weight
of the eagle 270 grains. The silver dollar contained 371.25 grains of pure silver and 44.75 grains of alloy, Aaking the full weight of the dollar 415 grains.
The act of 1792 also provided for half dollars, quarter dollars, and dimes of
silver, weighing, respectively, one-half, one-fourth, and one-tenth the weight
of the dollar.
As gold coins contained 24.75 grains of pure metal to the dollar and the silver dollar contained 371J grains, the ratio at this time was exactly 15 to 1.
FREB COINAGE AND LEGAL TENDER.

The same act which established the mint and fixed the weight and fineness
of the coins of the United States also provided that any person might take
either silver or gold to the mint and have it coined for his benefit44 free of
expense," and the said coins were made equally legal tender for all debts,
public and private. By this act fractional coins were also full legal tender.
Thus, the first coinage law enacted under the Constitution, as recommended by Hamilton, concurred in by Jefferson, and approved by Washington, provided for the free and unlimited coinage of both gold and silver.
Subsequent acts fixed the rates at which foreign gold and silver coins
should be legal tender in this country, and various coins, including the
Spanish milled dollar, continued to be legal tender until 1857.
CHANGE XNGOLD COINS.

In 1834 the weight of the gold eagle, or ten-dollar piece, was changed
from 247$ grains of pure gold, or 270 grains of standard gold, to 232 grains of
pure gold, or 23.2 grains to the dollar, or 258 grains of standard gold, or 25.8
grains to the dollar.
^ The pure metal in-the eagle was therefore reduced 15J grains, or 1.55 grains
to the dollar. This new piece, however, was made legal tender for all debts,
past and future, the same as the old one. No change was at this time made
m the silver coins.
By this change in the gold coins the ratio was changed from 15 to 1 to 16
to 1.
In 1837 (January 18) the mint laws were revised throughout, and the standard for both gold and silver was made nine-tenths fine—that is, nine parts
pure metal and one part alloy. And since 1837 all our coins of both metals
have been nine-tenths fine.
The alloy of the gold coins consists of silver and copper, and the alloy of
silver coins of copper only; the alloy in both cases being provided by the
Government.
The pure metal in the gold coins was again slightly changed by the act of
1637, by adding .02 of a grain, so as to make it exactly nine-tenths fine.
520




9
NO CHANGE IN THE VALUE OT THE BUiVER DOLLAR.

By tbe act of 1837 the alloy in the silver dollar was reduced from 44.75 grains
to 41.25 grains, so as to make the dollar just nine-tenths fine, hut the weight
of pure silver was not changed and its value was therefore not changed.
Thus, while the weight of pure gold in the gold dollar has been twice
changed, the weight of pure silver in the standard silver dollar has never
been changed; it is exactly the same unit and the same standard as the first
standard coin minted in the United States.
FREE COINAGE CONTINUED.

It will be seen from the foregoing that the' ratio between gold and silver
coins was changed from 15 to 1, as fixed by the act of 1792, to 16 to 1 by the
act of 1834, and to 15.988-f- to 1 by the act of 1837; but the free coinage of both
silver and gold, as provided by the act of 1792, was continued unaltered to
1873.
From 1792 to 1853 any one could have silver coined freely into any of the
coins provided for by law, and during this period fractional coins were full
legal tender, the same as the dollar piece; and in those times relatively more
of the smaller denominations of money were used than now, and most of the
coinage was in halves and quarters.
Great stress has been laid on the fact that but about $8,000,000 in dollar pieces
were coined from 1792 to 1873, but it did not matter so long as coinage was
free and all coins were full legal tender what particular denominations were
coined.
Fractional coins were made legal tender for only $5 by the act of 1853,
which reduced their weight. They are legal tender now for $10.
More than this, the principal silver coins of the world were full legal tender in the United States until 1857, and they continued more or less in circulation till just before the war. Nobody can tell how many of these coins
circulated here. The Spanish milled dollar, the Mexican dollar, the dollar of
Peru and Bolivia were legal tender attheir face value. The five-franc piece,
the English shilling, and other foreign coins also circulated here, and especially the Mexican and Spanish milled dollars. Certain foreign gold coins
were also full legal tender.
The significant fact in all this is that silver and gold equally and without
limit were money in the United States prior to 1873, and that coinage was
unrestricted and free for both metals. The money standard consisted of the
two metals, together, and not of one alone, and it made no difference where
coins were struck.
The total coinage of gotti from 1792 to 1847, before the gold discoveries of
California and Australia, was but $43,000,000.
In the two years prior to the passage of the act of 1873 over two and a half
millions of standard silver dollars were coined, and nearly a million of these
in the few weeks of 1873, before free coinage was shut oft by the act of February 12, showing that silver had begun to now to our mints as the contraction
of paper took place.

It has been the policy of a certain class to depreciate silver
and to create the impression that silver was an unimportant coin
in the monetary system of the United States even before it was
demonetized in 187.1,. They raise their hands and shout that
only about $8,000,000 of silver coins, all told, had ever* been
minted in the United States up to the time when the mints were
closed to the free coinage of silver money in that year. They
have sought to make the impression in the minds of ignorant
people that that was all the legal-tender silver money the people
of the United States had ever had prior to that time. Some
of them have asserted that they do not know any good reason
why the Government of the United States did not mint more
silven dollars than this eight millions. They do not tell how
many gold dollar pieces the Government had minted up to that
date. It is true that silver coins of the denomination of a dollar
were not coined in the United States Mint prior to 1873 except
the amount of about $7,700,000. But the total silver coinage, including subsidiary coinage, up to 1873 was more than $143,000,000.
It may be stated here that prior to 1847, when the great gold
discoveries of the world commenced to make a sudden and vast
5S0




10
increase in the product of that metal, the relative gold and silver coinage of the United States mints showed silver the favorite, the gold coinage up to that period (1847) being $52,360,792,
and the silver coinage for the same period being $69,072,497. A
plain reason why there was not more silver coined prior to 1873
is the fact that various foreign coins of silver were by law legal
tender in the United States until the year 1857. '
In 1785 the old Continental Congress passed a bill which made
the Spanish milled dollar, which had in it exactly the same
amount of pure silver which the United States standard dollar
has always contained, a legal-tender coin in the United States.
On July 1, 1789, Congress voted that the silver coins of foreign
countries should be legal-tender money in the United States at
prescribed valuations. Thus from the foundation of our Government it will be seen that this Spanish milled dollar, and
other foreign coins, were legal tender at 100 cents down to February 21,1857. These coins came here in vast quantities. The
Spanish dollar containing the same amount of pure silver as our
standard^dollar did not need to be recoined.
In 1834, when Andrew Jackson was President, Congress enacted a law that not only should the silver dollar of France be
legal-tender money in the United States, but that the silver
dollars of Mexico, of Peru, of Chili, of Brazil, and of Central
America should be lawful money in all parts of the United States.
They also legalized the gold coins of various countries. Democratic statesmen in those days, legislating in the interest of
,their country, were not afraid of having too much specie in the
United States. v In 1843, pursuing the same line of reason, Congress enacted that all custom-house duties could be paid in the
silver coin of Prussia, Portugal, Russia,.British America, and
of other foreign mints. The policy thenVas to draw silver and
gold to this country.
\
The fact, therefore, that less than eight millions of silver of
the denomination of a dollar had been coined in the United States
prior to 1873 does not show that silver was not a popular money,
or that no demand existed for it. It was as popular as gold, and
lessfluctuatingin value. While Congress has two or three times
found it necessary to change the amount of gold in the gold
dollar, it has never changed the amount of silver in the silver
dollar.
All parties in this country, I mean political parties that have
existed in its history, have favored bimetallism, the use of both
metals as money. The two greatest leaders of parties the
country has ever known, Jefferson and Hamilton, agreed upon
this policy. There was scarcely any other great party policy
upon which they did agree. These great leaders of the people
in their day enunciated the principles of political parties, which
have existed ever since. They diifered radically in their ideas
and theories of government. On the money question, however,
with them there was harmony.
In a learned report to Congress, dated January 28,1791, Hamilton pointed out that the people of the United States should
not adopt as the unit of their monetary system either a single
gold or a single silver coin, but that the unit of value in the
United States should be the gold and the silver dollar, and that
520




11
a, given amount of one of the precious metals should be equivalent in value at our mints, and in the eyes of the law, to a certain amount of the other precious metal; in short, he recommended to the people of the United States that they adopt the
bimetallic coinage system, a system which the experience of
thousands of years by many nations had demonstrated to be a
safe one. In his terse style he said in this report:
The. general utility will best be promoted by a due proportion of both
metals.

He also said in this report:

To annul the use of either of the met als as money is to abridge the quantity
of the circulating medium, and is liable to all the objections which arise
from a comparison of the benefits of a full with the evils of a scanty circulation.

The other great leader, Jefferson, took a deep interest in devising a coinage system for our country. He was at that time
Secretary of State in Washington's Cabinet. He was pleased
with Hamilton's conclusion that the United States should adopt
as its unit of value the gold and silver dollar. In February,
1792, he wrote these words to Hamilton:

I return you the report on the mint.
must stand upon both metals.

I concur with you that the unit

On March 10,1831, Daniel Webster spoke as follows of Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury:
He saw at last his hopes fulfilled; he saw the Constitution adopted and
the Government under it established and organized. The discerning eye of
"Washington immediately called him to that post, which was far the most
important in the new administration of the system. He was made Secretary
of the Treasury, and how he fulfilled the duties of such a place, at such a
time, the whole world saw with admiration. He smote the rock of the
national resources, and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth. He
touched the corpse of the public credit, and it sprung upon its feet. The
fabled birth of Minerva from the brain of Jove was hardly more sudden or
more perfect than the financial system of the United States as it burst forth
from the conceptions of Alexander Hamilton.

By Some it has been argued that with free coinage of silver
there would be dumped" upon us the silver of Europe. Is
this true? I think not. On this point my opinion, however,
may not be considered so good as some others. I prefer, when
I can offers the opinion of one learned and well-informed on a
question, to do so rather than offer my unsupported opinion. I
therefore present what Mr. R. E. Preston, Acting Director of the
United States Mint, has so well said on this subject. He says:
The silver of Europe is coined at a ratio of 15J to 1. whereas American
coinage is at the rate of 16 to 1, and as the bulk of European sliver has been
in use many years, It has probably lost 3 per cent by abrasion. Here Is a
dead loss of 6 per cent on every dollar's worth of silver to be dumped on
this country, to which must be added freight and insurance. But this is not
all. The European coins could not be offered to our mints. The one-tenth
alloy which they contain would have to be extracted, a loss of 10 per cent,
and the extraction would cost another 5 per cent, making a loss and cost of
not less than 22 cents before the "dump* reached oumnints. the total loss
on every dollar's worth of European silver brought over being not less than
22 cents. To put it in another shape, foreign speculators In order to "dump"
European silver on our mints would be compelled to sell tdr 68 cents the silver that cost them a dollar in gold.

Thus we see European silver could not be " dumped" into our
mints with profit to its owners. Without such profit no one supposes it would be done. Then, again, no European country has
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any more silver and silver coinage than it needs for its own commerce and trade. The world's stock of silver is not too large.
Take the world over, and you will find that of tooth metals the
supply is small compared with population. For instance, the
total gold of the world in coin and bullion used as money amounts
to but $2.51 per capita. The total of silver amounts to but $2.58
per capita. The total of gold and silver amounts to but $5.09 per
capita. So that if all the gold and silver in the world was divided between the inhabitants of the earth equally each of us
would get but $5.09.The average annual production of gold in the world for the
last ten years is H cents for each person, of which about one-half
is used in thearts, leaving less than 4 cents per capita for use as
money. Of silver for the same time the amount to each person
would be 9.7 cents, about one-half of which is used in the arts,
leaving only about 4 cents for each person as money. The entire annual production of both gold and silver is required to
maintain the present amount of money per capita for the increase
of population in the world.
As a matter of interest, I will insert herein in my speech a statementprepared by Mr. Leech, Director of the United States Mint,
for the Committee on Coinage, which shows the estimated and
officially reported amounts of gold and silver in circulation in
the world.
Total gold and silver used as money of the worlds in form of coin and bullion.
Country.
United States
United Kingdom.....
Prance
j
Germany
Belgium
Italy
..
Switzerland
Greece
Spain
Portugal
Austria-Hungary
Netherlands
Scandinavian Union.,
Russia
Turkey
Australia
Mexico
Central America
South America
Japan
India
China
The Straits
Canada
Cuba, Haiti, etc..
Total..

Gold.
$702, 018,869
550, 000,000
900, 000,000
500, 003,000
65, 000,000
140, 000,000
15, 000,000
2,000.000
100, 000,000
40. 000,000
40, 000,000
25, 000,000
32, 000,000
ISO, 000,000
50, 000,000
100, 000,000
100, 000,000
5,000,000
45, 000,000
90, 000,000

16t000,000
20, 000,000
3,727,

Silver.
$482,071,345
100,000,000
700,000,000
145,000,000
55,000,000

60,000,000

15,000,000
4,000,000
125,000,000
10,000,000

90,000,000
65,000,000
10,000,000
60,000,000
45,000,000
7,000,000
15,000,000

50,000,000
500,000
25,000,000

50,000,000
900,000,000
700,000,000
100,000,000
5,000,000
2,090,000
3,820,571,346

I have said I did not think there was any possible danger of
the United States having too much silver money. In this connection I desire to make the comparison between this country
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and France. In doing this I use the figures of the Bureau of the
Mint, August 16,1893. At that date there was of gold in coin
and bullion in the United States, $604,000,000, and of silver in
coin and bullion, $615,000,000. The population of the United
States August 1, 1893, was estimated at 67,000,000. The per
capita of gold, therefore, in the United States then was $9.01 and
of silver it was $9.18. Of both metals it was $18.19.
Now let us take France. Of gold she had at that date $20.52
per capita, and of silver, $17.95 per capita, and of both metals a
total of $38.47 per capita. If France can maintain a per capita
circulation of gold and silver of $38.47 for each person, will anyone say the United States can not do the same? Give the United
States the same quantity of silver for each person that France
has, and instead of but $615,000,000, as at present, we would have
$1,155,750,000, or nearly double the present supply.
Give us the same quantity of gold for each person France has,
and instead of but $604,000,000 we would have $1,370,000,000, or
more than double what we now have. We can not get this increase
in gold. If the United States will increase her coin circulation
per capita until it is equal to that of France, it will require in
addition to our present stock of $1,219,000,000 the further sum
of about $1,360,000,000. If we can not get gold, why not increase
it in silver, the product of our own mines? Add our present
silver, $615,000,000, to sum last named above and we would then
have $1,975,000,000, or more than three times as much as wa
now have.
Our demands for circulation are far greater than those of
France. Our commerce is immensely greater, and as our territory is nearlyfiftytimes larger we require more money per capita
than she does. In a small and contracted territory like hers a
much larger amount of business can be transacted successfully
with checks and clearing-house certificates, and other forms A
credit, than in a country like ours. In cities and towns persons
trade all day giving checks, and often do not see a dollar in
money. While the number of their trades is large, and the aggregate of the same will amount to many dollars, as a fact it is
possible not a dollar will be seen by them. They give and take
checks which they place in bank at the close of the day, and do
not handle any money. This form of trading can be resorted to
and practiced in cities, or in countries, even, where cities or
towns are near by and banks are convenient of access. But go
out into the country where the farmers live remote from town,
buy from one of them a horse, a mule, a crop of wheat, or of cotton, and when the trade ia consummated the cash in money is
counted out to him. There cash money is deeded. Trading can
not be carried on with them by chec£s or clearing-house certificates. France can be traveled over in a day, but with us it
takes weeks to make the rounds. Hence in this country we need
more actual money with which to transact business. This argument, however, will not be denied by anyone, and I will not enlarge upon it.
All the facts show there is no danger of our being overrun with
silver, and they show, further, that we can stand to be thus overrun until we get double the amount we now have before we reach
the supply France has, and use it profitably. I repeat, also, that
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there is not too much silver in the world, and there is no danger
in an overproduction. Some who favor the gold standard alone
would not only cease to coin silver, but they say its use as money
should be permanently discontinued. They would coin no money
but gold. They would at one fell blow strike down one-half of
the world's money, and thus to the extent of one-half impair the
power of the people to pay their debts and enjoy the blessings
which an ample circulation imparts. The mischief such a policy
would entail on the inhabitants of the earth and the misery it
would inflict on the people can not be described by words of
mine.
Again I prefer to quote the words of another rather than use
my own, particularly when this other person is one of the foremost men of this country in intellectuality and ability. A few
years ago, standing in his place in this Hall near where I now
stand, when the proposition was pending to restore to silver its
constitutional rights, the gentleman I refer to, the Hon. John
G. Carlisle, said:

I know that the world's stock of precious metals is none too large,-and I
see no reason to apprehend that it will ever become so. Mankind will be
fortunate indeed if the annual production of gold and silver coin shall keep
pace with the annual increase of population, commerce, and industry. According to my view of the subject, the conspiracy which seems to have been
formed here and in Europe to destroy, by legislation and otherwise, from
three-sevenths to one-half of the metallic money of the world (silver) is the
most gigantic crime of this or any other age. The consummation of such a
scheme would ultimately entail more misery upon the human race than all
the wars, pestilence, and famine that ever occurred in the history of the
world. The absolute and instantaneous destruction of half the entire movable property of the world, including houses, ships, railroads, and all other
appliances for carrying on commerce, while it would be felt more sensibly
at the moment, would not produce anything like the prolonged distress and
disorganization of society that must inevitably result from the permanent
annihilation of one-half of the metallic money of the world.

It would be useless for me to attempt to add to the picture Mr.
Carlisle has drawp. I believe what he said is true. Gentlemen
may go on and strike down silver, and destroy it as moneyj but
by no word or act of mine shall I contribute directly or remotely
to " the annihilation of one-half of the metallic money of the
world," which I believe now, as did Mr. Carlisle then, would entail more misery upon the human race than all the wars, pestilence and famines that ever occurred on the earth. Another
gentleman, the foremost man of his party, Mr. Blaine, in this
Hall, speaking on this question, used the following words:
On the much-vexed, and long-mooted question of a bimetallic or monometallic standard, my own views are sufficiently indicated in the remarks I
have made. I believe the struggle now going on in this country and in other
countries for a single standard would, if successful, produce widespread
disaster in and throughout the commercial world. The destruction of silver
as money, and establishing gold as the sole unit of value, must have a ruinous effect on ail forms ofproperty except those investments which yield a
fixed return, in money. These would be enormously enhanced in value, and
would gain a disproportionate and unfair advantage over every other species
of property.

And again he said:

1 believe gold and silver coin to be the money of the Constitution, Indeed
the money of the American people anterior to the Constitution which the
great organic law recognized as quite independent of its own existence.
No power was conferred on Congress to declare either metal should not be
money. Congress has, therefore, m my judgment, no power to demonetize
either any more than to demonetize both.
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Mr. Webster, speaking- on this subject on December 21, 1838,
tised the following words:

• Congress has no power granted to it in this respect hut to coin money and
to regulate the value of foreign coins. The legal tender, therefore, the constitutional standard of value, is established and can not be overthrown. I
am certainly of the opinion that gold and silver, at rates fixed by Congress,
constitute the legal standard of values in this country, and that neither
Congress nor any State has authority to establish any other standard or to
displace this.

I have not believed up to this hour that the real cause of the
present distressed condition of the country is the enforcement of
the purchasing clause of the Sherman act. If I did so believe I
would vote for its unconditional repeal. I dd not understand
that President Cleveland attributes this depression wholly to
said act, for he says in his message convening this Congress in
extraordinary session that he believes our bad condition is " principally chargeable to Congressional legislation touching the purchase and coinage of silver." If that act is only " principally
chargeable," it must be conceded that it is not wholly so.
Other causes must exist. What are they? What is the situation? Why all at once, without any untoward events, as the
President says, or conditions relating to our natural resources,
without any afflictions which frequently check national growth
and prosperity, with plenteous crops and abundant promise of
remunerative production and manufacture, with safe investment
and satisfactory assurance to business enterprise, suddenly financial distress and fear spring up on every side?
What causes this panicky feeling? It is not because people
have any doubt or distrust of the money in circulation. When
a bank or other financial institution or an individual becomes
<shaky or doubtful in respect to ability to pay there is a panio
and a rui^on that institution or person bjr those holding its or
his promises to pay. This is natural and inevitable. The creditor fears his debtor will not pay, and he rushes' into the bank,
if it be a bank, and demands payment.. If he has its circulating
notes he is afraid to hold them and demands their redemption
in gold or silver, or other good money*
We have now upon us no such panic as that. On the other
hand, we see people voluntarily removing their money from the
banks, and hiding it away, or placing it as a special deposit in
private vaults. What money? Why any kind of money. They
do not look at it when it is paid out to them to see what kind
of money it is. If it be paper ,paid to them they do not look at it
to see whether it be greenbacks, gold, or silver certificates, or
national bank paper. They gladly received any kind—gold, or
silver, or paper notes. What does this prove? It does not prove
that they are afraid of the Government debasing this same money,
or that they lack confidence in it as good current money. It
does prove that the people have full confidence in all the money
in circulation, whether of gold, silver, or paper, for its full face
value now and at all time to come. The panic is on us, but it is
not due to want of faith in our currency or to any fear of its star
bility.
There is no cause, I mean real cause, existing for the repealing
of the purchasing clause of the Sherman law. That there is a
fictitious cause, a cause created or brought about largely if not
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altogether by banks and bankers themselves, may be admitted.
Their object in the first instance was "to force that repeal. The
repeal may, and I think most likely will, help largely to restore
confidence and remove the distrust in the land. If there was
coupled with this repeal some kind of provision for silver, and
a fair recognition of the obligation which I think is on Congress
to provide for its coinage at our mints, even if the provision for
it was not so liberal as I insist it should be, I would vote for the
repeal. But with nothing offered as a substitute, and no promise of anything in the future with my obligations as I realize
them, and most assuredly with the profession and promises to
my people favorable to free coinage, I can not vote for it. I shall
vote for the free coinage at the various ratios proposed, beginning
with 16 to 1 and ending with 20 tol. When these all fail, if fau
they must, I shall then vote against the unconditional repeal of
the last and only act on the statute books which recognizes silver. Let the result be as it may, I then go home to my constituents, who have five times honored me with a seat on this
floor, without apology or explanation, but with the conscious satisfaction of having discharged my whole duty, and of having
kept my pledges to them.
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