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( t o g m s i f l t t a ! lUcot'd.
Silver Coinage.


HOK. W I L L I A M A . P E F F E R ,
OF K A N S A S ,

Thursday, August


The Senate having under consideration the bill (S. 570) discontinuing the
purchase of silver b u l l i o n -

Mr. PEFFER said: No member of this body, Mr. President,
has a keener appreciation of the need for our acting promptly
in response to the President's call than I have; and were it not
that the people whom I have the honor in part to represent have
commissioned me to present their views upon the pending question, I should not at this time ask the attention of the Senate,
and I will thank Senators if they will give me their attention.
In what I am going to say to-day I wish Senators to understand
that I represent at least a million and a half of voters who believe just as I do, and they have a right to be heard here through
one who is authorized to speak for them. W e are deliberating
now, and the views of every member of this body are worth listening to, they are worth considering; for the conditions which
are now presented for our consideration are new in the history
of this country. They are coming upon us like a storm which
has been gathering for many years, but the cloudbursts are just
now opening, and we are beginning to look to see what is behind
them. So I ask in advance that I may be heard attentively and
patiently, as I have listened to every other Senator who has
spoken upon this subject.
It would have been very gratifying to me, Mr. President, could
I have found time in the midst of this hurried occasion to reduce
my thoughts to writing, that I might express them more clearly,
if not more forcibly; but that could not be done. This subject
is not new to me, and that is one reason why I again appeal to
the Senate. I have been thinking for years along the lines which
have converged into what we now see. So, while my thoughts
may be roughly expressed, they are not crude or new.
It was suggested the other day by the venerable Senator from
Vermont [Mr. MORRILL], whose seat is just in front of where I
am speaking, that those of us who venture to discuss this question before we have become warm in this Chamber should tarry
at Jericho, as certain of our ancestors had been advised to do,
until their beards had grown. If the newspaper and the magazine caricatures are to be taken in evidence, Mr. President, I
have been at Jericho some time. [Laughter.]
At the outset I wish to say that I am not interested personally
in mining, nor are the people of Kansas. Seventy-five per cent
of the men whom I represent here are farmers. I had rather
have one good Kansas farm to-day than an equal number of acres,
in the best mineral region in the world. Kansas farmers and
the farmers of the entire country are always prepared with something to live upon.
A little while ago, passing through the mountains in the mining regions, I saw that upon the closing of the mines there were
thousands and thousands of men clustering in the cities out of
employment. A few days afterwards I saw that they were marching to Denver, and that the whole populace there were aroused.
I stopped one night in July last in the city of Leadville, almost
at the top of the Rocky Mountains. In the morning the sidewalks were covered with frost, so cold it was—in a drear, rocky,
barren region—barren of everything except silver and gold and
Those men, thrown out of employment, have no place to go,
no place to rest their heads, no farming lands to occupy their

time, no deep, rich soil, out of which to raise wheat and corn and
other articles of subsistence. They must go out upon the cold
charities of a heartless world—no, not heartless, but they are
thrown out upon the charity of a sympathizing world. That is
a better word. The farmer is always at rest so far as something
to eat is concerned.
While we in Kansas produce as much wheat, as much corn,
and as many cattle and horses in a single year as will outweigh
in value the output of all the mines in the country, while we
have no special interest in mining, we have a great inter est in
the subject of money; and I am receiving letters every day from
the people of that splendid agricultural region saying " Give us
mon9y! Give us money! Twenty-two and 25 cent wheat we can
not live upon except to feed ourselves." It is money the people want.
In that respect, Mr. President, we are broad enough to understand that the people of the entire country are just as much interested in this matter as the men who live among the silver
mines; just as much interested as those pioneers who have entered the fastnesses of the Rocky Mountains, and wrought out
every year since they have been there, as the Senator from Idaho
[Mr. DUBOIS] told us the other day, millions upon millions of
gold, which our Eastern friends are clamoring for. One of the
most astonishing feats of modern civilization is the course of
progress in that stony and rugged region. The only wonder is
that men and women have ever undertaken to live there. Were
it not for the mining interest, were it not for the mineral stores
which are there, nothing of the kind would ever have been accomplished.
While we, the people in the States contiguous to the mining
regions, are interested indirectly because it makes a market for
us, still we are broad enough to understand that the whole country
is interested. I have never heard any Senator upon this floor,
or any Representative of a mining region, whose people are directly interested in the mining of silver and gold, urge upon the
attention of the Senate that it is their peculiar interest, and
that, therefore, they ask the protection of the law. Much and
vitally as those people are interested in the development of the
mining regions, they are manly enough and patriotic enough,
Mr. President, to appeal to the people upon broader grounds.
They put it upon the ground of the public necessity, and not
their local needs, and it is a principle that statesmen ought always to act upon that the public interests are greater than private interests, no matter how intensely they may be involved.
It was suggested by one Senator, a few days ago, that the wiping out of the mining industry would destroy much valuable
property. That is true, but in the progress of civilization there
must needs be wrecks left in the wake, and society can not afford
to pay for all of the losses that are occasioned as the great army
of the people moves forward. We could not with any degree of
consistency, either in law or in morals, stop to pay our friends
in the mining regions the value of their interests before we shall
conclude to coin their silver and their gold into money. The
people need money; the people want the gold, and they want the
silver for public purposes—to make money out of; and for that
reason, and that reason alone, do I insist upon the free and unlimited coinage of silver.
Mr. President, in the great war through which we passed some
years ago, the physical courage and the prowess of the people
were exhibited in such a marked degree that the whole world
looked on in admiration. We have no question about that today; we are all Americans, all Anglo-Saxons. Now, I submit
there is coming a war of greater importance, a war in which
there shall be no South and no North, and I pray that there
may be no East and no West, but that we shall have one undivided country, that all of us shall be actuated by patriotic principles, and that we shall consider these questions from a patriotic standpoint, and only that. I t is a war of reason now, and
not a war with engines of destruction in our hands.
I need not call the attention of the Senate to the importance
of the subject. It was expressed in the message of the President
very plainly and very succinctly; that it reaches out into all the
avenues of trade and of commerce. I need only go back about
twenty-five or twenty-six years to the time when the distinguished
Senator from Ohio, who sits upon my left \Mr SHERMAN], stated



in this Chamber the proposition still more distinctly, if possible,
than the President has done.
He said then that in all of our legislation touching finance we
are treating of matters which pertain to the vital interests of the
people, that our laws upon finance reach to the homes of the poor,
the humble, the lowly, and that when we are proposing to decrease the volume of our currency and appreciate the value of
the basic metals, we are adding to the debts of the people, as
was the case at that time; when we promised to pay 100 bushels
of wheat, we shall have to pay 135 or 140; that where we promised
to pay $100 we shall have to pay $140; so to-day the legislation
which we enact will have its effect for good or evil in every
dwelling in the land, for we are touching upon a subject which
is of vital interest to every human being in this and in every
Other part of the world.
The President in calling Congress together gave us what, in
his opinion, was the cause of the present troubles, and he puts it
in this way on page 5 of the printed message, as we have it before the Senate;
The knowledge in business circles among our own people that our Government can not make its flat equivalent to intrinsic value

I beg close attention to this language—
The knowledge in business circles among our own people that our Government can not make its flat equivalent to intrinsic value, nor keep inferior
money on a parity With superior money by its own independent efforts, has
resulted in such a lack of confidence at home in the stability of currency
.values that capital refuses Its aid to new enterprises, while millions are
actually withdrawn from the channels of trade and commerce to become idle
and unproductive in the hands of timid owners.

The President gives Congress to understand that our own people have lost confidence in the ability of the Government, acting
as "the people's agent, to pay their debts.
I beg leave to place side by side with the President's statement the language of the Senator from Indiana [Mr. YOORHEESJ.
With his usual eloquence, powerful always in debate, clear and
succinct in expression, the Senator gave us to understand in a
speech day before yesterday that it was not want of confidence
on the part of our people that has caused all this trouble and
commotion. I have that Senator's speech before me, and I wish
to call attention particularly to a paragraph on page 390 of the
RECORD. The Senator says:
The national credit of the American Republic, tried by every test which
can be applied, i s better and stronger to-day than the credit of any other
government on the globe. Her bonds, her promissory notes to pay her debts,
as they may be called, bearing a low rate of interest, stand at a premium in
the money markets of the whole earth, and even the cold, cowardly instinct
of hoarded, inactive, interest-hunting capital, in its cautious search for permanent investments, seizes upon them with swift greed wherever they can
be found. The safety of the security appeases somewhat even the usurer's
highly seasoned appetite for richer profits.

And, strange as it may appear, the Senator from Indiana is not
only authorized to speak for the Administration and to explain
the President's views, if they need any explanation, but the Senator kindly and deliberately says so to the Senate. In the first
paragraph of his able and lucid speech he says:
It is undoubtedly true that the calm, unbiased public opinion of the great
body of the American people, irrespective of parties, justifies the action of
the Executive in assembling the legislative branch of the Government at
this time, and yet the causes which have made such action necessary are I
think, widely and dangerously misunderstood and by certain classes purposely and persistently misrepresented.

Then the Senator proceeds to state what the causes are not;
and the first one is that it is not that the people have lost confidence in the credit of the Government's paper.
The people of this country are not afraid of the public credit;
they never were afraid of it. In the time of the nation's need
we were all pleased to receive and to use as money that which
the Congress of the United States authorized and directed that
we should receive as money; and so it is to-day. There is no
clamor upon the part of any class except the usurers. They and
they only are clamoring about the credit of the Government,
and it is only because they desire to add to their already illgotten gains.
If the people were afraid of the credit of their Government, and
feared that we would dishonor our notes, they would not hoard
them as they are doing now, and the national banks would not
feel themselves compelled to issue clearing-house certificates
and require that they shall be used as money, nor would they be
paying a premium upon currency.
The first week of our meeting, Mr. President, the usual report
of R. G. Dun & Co.'s Mercantile Agency was given to the world.
On the first page there is a long recital of the business failures
and embarrassments, the breaking of banking houses, the hoarding of currency, the closing of manufacturing establishments,
the throwing out of thousands of working people upon the streets
without employment. These things show that something else,
everything else, if you please, except what the President urges


upon the attention of Congress, has caused our present misfortunes.
Mr. President, far be it from me, and it ought to be far from
every patriotic citizen, to even suggest that our own people are
ashamed or afraid of their own currency. Let me read from this
report of the Mercantile Agency:
The long-desired meeting of Congress, a President's message which fully
answered expectations, and the arrival of $13,280,000 gold from Europe with
$10,000,000 more on the way, have Inot brought the improvement many anticipated. Stocks are stronger, but failures continue, and the closing of
industrial establishments; idle hands multiply and silent shops; and the
disorganization of domestic exchanges is even greater than a week ago.
Yet there is a more hopeful spirit, though the nation looks to Washington
with some impatience when the Senate seems disposed to rival the mills in
working short time. While statesmen consider, merchants and bankers
and unemployed thousands anxiously wait, knowing that the wrecks of
each passing week make the task of recovery more difficult. There has
been no startling crash, but the formal failures of banks, including one in
this city and several in Nashville, number thirty-four, while refusals to pay
except through a clearing house or with limitations are becoming more
common. The commercial disasters, three hundred and ninety-four in
number, Include such names as R. H. Coleman, the 4'iron king;" J. H.
Walker & Co., of Chicago, in dry goods, and H. L. Hotchkiss, In stocks.
Whatever relief Congress has power to give may be less fruitful for good if
long deferred.
The machinery of exchanges has almost stopped. When $30 per $1,000 is
paid for New York exchanges at Chicago, and $15 or $20 at other Western cities,
settlements between the East and the West, which ordinarily amount to
$3,200,000,000 in a year, become extremely difficult. Even the New York Central could not get currency here on checks of the Boston and Albany, and
was obliged to send to Boston for the money. The root of the trouble is that,
according to reports of July 12 to the Comptroller, over [3131,000,000 of deposits had been withdrawn in two months from part of the national banks,
and probably $177,000,000 from all, besides unknown sums from savings, State,
and private banks, and during the month, since July 12, the withdrawal
and hoarding must have been relatively even greater. A premium of 1 to 2
per cent is paid for gold, and 3 to 4 per cent for currency. The Government
is printing$l,250,000 bank notes daily. The clearing house has issued $5,000,000 more certificates, and the hope is that confidence may be revived and
hoardings unlocked.

There are multitudinous other evidences besides those of the
commercial reports. I have nearly an armful of newspaper clippings that I collected for the purpose of ascertaining what these
troubles have come from. Evidently the President is mistaken.
All the testimony is against him. I do not wish to be understood
as criticising the President or his motives. I am discussing
statements made in a public document, and that only.
I have great faith in the personal honor and in the patriotism
of the President of the United States. I would honor any occupant of that office because of his high office; but I am calling
the attention of the Senate and of the country to the actual
facts as they exist, for the purpose of showing before I get
through that it is not want of confidence on the part of the
people, but it is because of practical treason upon the part of a
few of our citizens, a class which I hope will some day be relieved
from the responsibility of stealing from the people. I mean the
usurers and the fortune wreckers at the great trade centers who
fatten on the misfortunes of other men.
There are other alleged causes, and I will refer to two of them
before going further. The speakers and the writers of both the
great political parties have been telling us for years, upon the
one side, that our protective policy was carrying the country to
ruin, and, upon the other side, that the free-trade tendencies of
the opposite party were doing exactly the same thing; and that
now what ails us, one party says, is our protective tariff laws, and
the other party says it is the fear of the people that our tariff legislation will be disturbed.
Let us think a moment about this matter. It can not be that
our protective policy has injured us to this extent or that it
would ever do it, for if I should cite no other argument one alone
is sufficient. To-day more than one-half in value of the goods
that we are receiving from foreign countries come in free of
duty, and the duty we pay upon the rest amounts to onlv about
$150,000,000 a year.
Then, on the other hand, I take issue with those friends who
insist that it is the free-trade tendencies of the Democratic party
that are causing all the trouble in the factories, in the mines, in
the workshops, and other places. That can hardly be true. Carpenters and builders and that class of men who are to-day idle
have no interest, either directly or indirectly, in tariff duties.
What fear have the farm hands, the miners in the mountains,
the sailors, the clerks in the mercantile establishments and in
the business houses as to the prospective danger to manufacturing establishments by the course of the Administration now in
Mr. H AWLEY. May I make a suggestion to the Senator just
Mr. PEFFER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HAWLEY. Suppose a manufacturing town that has
been thriving and growingis so afraid of alterations iQ the tariff
that it concludes to suspend all building operations, pigeonholes
the plans for a new factory or a new wing, what becomes of the

carpenters who expect to work a year upon it, for example? It
involves the prosperity of the whole village.
Mr. PUFFER. I remember once upon a time seeing a young
man of a romantic turn of mind sitting down and resting himself beneath the shade of a towering rock. In the midst of his
meditations I inquired what he was thinking about. He said he
was thinking that if in the future he should bring his chUd there
to look at the magnificent scenery surrounding him and the rock
Should fall and kill the boy how lonely he would be in his old
age. Whenever manufacturing establishments do, as a matter
of fact, close their establishments because they expect or because they fear any tampering with the tariff, I will then answer the Senator's question. I do not believe there is one such
case in a thousand.
I have no doubt, Mr. President, that there are a good many
cases where gentlemen do not proceed with projected enterprises, because they fear that possibly they will not receive the
protection that the laws have afforded those who have been at
work in the same line in past years. I can understand that very
well. I know of some instances of that kind, and it is entirely
logical. But I insist that the records of the failures to-day and
for the last half-dozen years in the manufacturing establishments
show that it is not fear of being closed by any prospective tariff
policy, but it is for want of orders. The people in the country
have not money to buy with. My own constituents are selling
wheat at from 25 to 40 cents a bushel, corn at no more than the
cost to produce it, horses at one-fourth of their value, and cattle
at one-third less than their value. They are unable to prosecute their accustomed marches to the merchant for goods; the
merchant fails to sell, and the manufacturers do not receive order?. That is the trouble.
Mr. President, I have often listened to this outcry with wonder and astonishment. I have no party prejudice in the matter.
1 have always been a protectionist and I am at this hour. But I do
not believe in protecting one man against other men in matters of
business. I do not believe in protecting one interest against other
interests, and taxing the masses of the people to support a few men.
I am utterly opposed to that, and so is the whole party to which
I belong. But protection means protection to national industries as a national matter. That was the theory of the fathers.
It was the theory of the old party that I loved so well, and never
departed from until it abandoned the policy of its own early
Now, if the Senator from Connecticut [Mr. HAWLEY] will turn
to the Democratic platform in the year 1884, he will see that
while there is a proposition to revise the tariff, it is expressly
stipulated that whatever revision is done shall be along the line
of saving to the working people of the country whatever they
have gained by reason of this protective policy. The President
in his message in 1887, which was made the rallying cry of the
party afterwards, took the same ground. He gave the people to
understand that their industries should not be molested except
upon a fair line which would save to the workingman whatever
he is entitled to to make him equal with his competitor upon the
other side of the ocean, with his cheaper labor and his cheaper
I see the Senator from Texas [Mr. MILLS] standing before me
and honoring me with his attention. He, as chairman of the
Committee on Ways and Means in the House of Representatives,
presented a bill to that body for their action early in 1888, after
the President's message had been given to the country. The
bill was drawn upon the lines of the message, and was so stated
by the distinguished chairman of that important committee; and
the Senator from Connecticut will remember that the woolen
mills which are established in his own Stats and all through
New England and New York were left with a protection averaging about 40 per cent.
The same class of men who managed to get along in 1846, and
from that to 1857, with a tariff duty averaging about 30 per cent
or along there, and a still lower one in 1857, and did not then
even ask for any increase for the purpose of protection, are not
scared now at the tariff outlook. When Congress met in 1861, in
view of the great war that was coming, called together for the
purpose of raising armies and equipping them, and revised the
tariff, it was done not for protection to manufacturers, but to raise
revenue, and every increase that was made afterwards was made
not for protection, but to save the manufacturers against the
effect of a tax levy made upon them to support the armies.
In 1884 we authorized them to go abroad and employ labor and
bring it here, under contract and a year's mortgage on their income; and not until nearly a dozen years afterwards were the
masses of the people aware that such an act had ever been
passed. We are now reaping its fruits in Pennsylvania, where
men are marched to the polls and vote by number, instead of by

Somsbody in the city of New York is sending to me regularly
the weekly publication known as American Industries. It is in
the Democratic party the same as the American Economist is
in the Republican party. The editor sent out a very intelligent
and capable reporter among the manufacturers to ask their opinions about the revision of the tariff, and in not a single instance
that has come under my observation did those men recommend
a duty below 40 per cent, the average of the Mills bill, on the
lower grades of woolen cloth. The Democratic party dare not,
if it wanted at this hour, to establish free trade in this country.
The very men who are controlling both the great parties to-day
are the men who are standing behind the great manufacturing
interests, and all the money power in Christendom, if need be,
will be brought to bear to prevent the consummation of a plan
of that kind.
There is no danger of free trade unless this fight is forced
upon us to the end, and then every custom-house will be closed
and the trade of the world from that time on will be free. That
is where we are drifting; and the men who are behind the
throne to-day are the men whom I blame for hastening that
consummation when it comes. Ail that we ask is, to use the
language of the old Virginia slave, that "you tote fair." If we
upon our farms are compelled to compete with wlrnt you call the
pauper labor of other countries, you can do it, and we say you
must do it before this fight ends. Be fair with us and we will
be fair with you.
But if the tariff was what ailed us the President would have
been careful to say so. The very fact that it is omitted from his
message is evidence to the country that the interests of the
people are not going to be disturbed by any proposed legislation
of any party. There is as much patriotism among the Democracy as there is among the Republicans. Thank God, tho great
war of the sections is over. A little while ago I read a speech
delivered by the distinguished Senator from Georgia [Mr. GORDON], who thirty-odd years ago was at the head of an army in
gray uniform. He was talking to the old veterans of the rebellion, and he said to them, " The time has come when this Union
and this whole country is ours.
" We have but one flag, we have but one destiny. Our hearts
and our hands are united as citizens of a common country, and
woe be to the enemy that strikes at our vitals." I have heard
no more patriotic utterances in this body than have fallen from
the lips of men whom we went down to visit in 1861,1862,1863,
1864, and 1865.
I did not expect to be drawn off in this sort of a discussion, Mr.
President, but the well-meant interruption of the Senator from
Connecticut, kindly disposed as he always is, for the time being
stimulated a thought upon that line.
The President of the United States was not well advised. Who
were his advisers? They were the same to whom his predecessors since 1873 have gone for counsel. And who were they? By
reference to the current newspaper chronicles of September,
1890, we find that the Secretary of the Treasury then paid a visit
to New York City, and the cause of his visit was an alleged
' stringency in the money market." Out in Kansas, in Nebraska,
in Iowa, in all of that splendid region down in the Carolinas and
in the Virginias and through to Texas, in all the country west
of the Alleghany Mountains, there was the same stringency in
the money market.
On the 31st day of March, 1890, the average market price of
corn in Kansas was 15 cents a bushel, when i t cost 21 cents to
raise it. We made known our wants. Our farmers and those
from every agricultural State in the Union poured in letters by
the thousand to the Secretary of Agriculture and to all the officers of the Government who had any connection with the business ot farming. The Secretary, in response to their appeal,
wrote a long letter in small print, occupying four pages of foolscap, in which he conceded the justice of their complaint. He
spoke kindly about their condition, and the only encouragement
the Secretary could offer them was that Congress was at that
time discussing the currency question, and he thought in due
time the same body would increase the duties upon wheat and
corn and other agricultural products brought in from foreign
countries. Then, he thought, the farmers would have more
money and they would have more protection. That was the condition of the farming population at that time.
The Secretary of the Treasury made a visit to New York to
confer—*not with the people; he paid no attention to the people
in the West or the South; he paid no attention to the masses of
the people anywhere; but this is what he did: He sent out cards
of invitation to a few bankers and other capitalists to meet him
at the subtreasury building, and they met and discussed the situation.
Now, if Senators will turn to page 29 of the report of the Secretary of the Treasury for that year they will find a clear, sue-



cinct statement of why he called upon those bankers and other
capitalists and what the result of his call was.
The result is put down in a table on page 30 of the report of
the Secretary of the Treasury for 1890. It shows that he purchased bonds from those bankers and other capitalists at a
premium of 25 to 26 per cent; that he advanced nine months'
interest on a large number of bonds that were not yet due, the
total amount of the disbursements being $98,276,682.10. The
amount of the advanced interest was $12,009,951.50. These
several transactions are fully set out in the Secretary's report,
on pages 28, 29, and 30, as follows:


No sooner did the wires carry the news of this suggestion than
a gentleman from New York City, whose name was given at
the time and need not now be repeated, started for Washington.
The next day the newspapers came out with this heading: " The
President speaks," and the President gave to the country in his
own language his determination concerning the payment of
thoss notes. The New York World, in commenting upon the
President's statement that all the obligations of the Government will be paid in gold, used this language:

President Cleveland evidently feared that Secretary Carlisle's statement,
given to the public on Thursday, was misunderstood, or at least that it did
not afford a very clear explanation of the present financial situation and
Accordingly, on July 19,1890, a circular was published rescinding that un- the adopted policy of the Administration, and so for the second time within
der which purchases had been made since April 17, 1888, and inviting new three days he has taken the management of the Treasury into his own
proposals, to he considered July 24, for the sale of the two classes of bonds hands. The complaint can not be made that he has not spoken plainly or
before mentioned. Under this circular there were offered on the day pre- that he has kept the public in doubt as to just what he thinks should be
scribed $6,408,350 4 per cents and $594,550 per cents, at prices varying from done and what he intends to do.
121.763 to 128^63 for 4s, and from 103J to 104.40 for 4js, of which there were
purchased all the 4 per cents offered at 124 or less, amounting to $6,381,350,
The President gave the country to understand that every one
and all the 4}s offered at 1031 or less, amounting to $584,550. As the amount of the Treasury notes would be paid in gold.
obtained on this day was less than the Government desired to purchase, the
On the 26th of April the newspapers gave us some knowledge
provisions of the circular were extended, with the result that further purchases were made, amounting in the aggregate to $9,652,500 4s and $706,450 of the gentleman who was moving backward and forward between
4i per cents.
New York and Washington. His name is given as Jordan. The
It was soon apparent that these purchases were inadequate to meet existing conditions; therefore, on August 19 the Department gave notice that reporter says:
4i per cent bonds would be redeemed with interest to and including May 31,
Assistant Treasurer Jordan did not give up yesterday to a series of confer1891; and two days later the circular of August 21 was published, inviting the ences on the subject of gold. The bankers are less disposed to talk with Jorsurrender for redemption of twenty millions of thosebonds, upon condition dan. They are not convinced that he represents anybody above him, and
of the prepayment after September 1,1890, of all the interest to and including they prefer to await the arrival of Secretary Carlisle, that they may talk diAugust 31,1891, on the bonds so surrendered. Under this circular there were rectly to him.
redeemed $20,060,700 4i per cents.
Then the Secretary kindly went over, as the newspapers inNotwithstanding the disbursements resulting from purchases and redemptions of bonds under the circulars of July 19 and August 21, the industrial and formed us, and in a little while he and the bankers agreed to discommercial interests of the country required that large additional amounts agree. After the trouble came, when there was a deficit in the
should be at once returned to the channels of trade, Accordingly, a circular
was published August 30,1890, inviting the surrender of an additional twenty Treasury so far as the $100,000,000 mark was concerned, the bankmillions of 4J per cents upon the same terms as before. This was followed ers of Chicago, the bankers of Denver, and the bankers of Kansas
by another, dated September 6, inviting holders of the 4 per cent bonds to ac- City offered gold to the Government, and some of the little banks
cept prepayment of interest on those bonds to July 1,1891, a privilege which
was subsequently extended to the holders of currency 6s. Under this circular way in the back woods tendered a few thousand dollars—if that
of August 30 there were redeemed $18,678,100 4J percent bonds, and under was all they had—in gold to help the Treasury out; but the
that of September 6 there was prepaid on the 4 per cent bonds and currency bankers of Wall street could not agree with the Secretary and
Cs interest amounting to $12,009,951.50.
These prepayments of interest are expressly authorized by section 3699 of they advanced not a dollar, yet they were the President's adthe Revised Statutes. They were deemed expedient because of the disposi- visers.
tion of the holders of bonds to demand exorbitant prices for them.
Now, Mr. President, it is very important that we should know
The amount of public money set free within seventy-five days by these
several disbursements was nearly $76,660,000, and the net gain to circulation who is dictating our financial policy; and in saying that I do not
was not less than $45,000,000, yet the financial conditions made further wish to be understood as saying that the Chief Magistrate of the
prompt disbursements imperatively necessary. A circular was, therefore, American Republic is being dwarfed by anybody's influence.
published September 13,1890, inviting proposals, to be considered on the 17th, What I do mean to say is that the President of the United States,
for the sale, to the Government, of $16,000,000 of 4 per cent bonds. The offerings under this circular amounted to $35,514,900, of which $17,071,150 were of- honestly believing that the policy dictated by the bankers and the
fered at 126f, or less, and were accepted.
"Napoleons of finance " was the proper policy of the country, so
The total disbursements since June 30,1890, by the means above set forth, says boldly to the people. He has never gone into the backare recapitulated as follows;
Bonds redeemed.

Under circular of Apr. 17, 1888
Under circular of July 19, 1890
Under circular of Aug. 19, 1890
Under circular of Aug. 21,1890
Under circular of Aug, 30, 1890
Under circular of Sept. 6,1890
Under circular of Sept. 13, 1890






•Prepayment of interest.

The people who needed money in the transaction of their business were not heard. The back of the Government was turned
upon them. The face of our officers was toward Wall street
and the bankers and capitalists there. The Secretary of the
Treasury could pay money into their pockets by the purchasing
oi bonds, the premium on which amounted to $17,000,000. He
could advance them nine months' interest upon bonds not yet
due, amounting to $12,000,000 more, making in all over $27,000,000 of the public money paid to the bankers and other capitalists of Wall street, without adequate consideration, while the
people were left to dig a little deeper and to raise a little more
15-cent corn.
I remarked that the present Chief Executive consulted with
that class of men, the men whom his predecessors consulted
since 1873. I will not go back beyond 1890; it would take too
much time. Now, who were the President's advisers in this
case? Coming a little closer home we will see how like the proceedings of 1890 were those of 1893. It was currently reported
in the newspaper dispatches along about the 21st, 22d, and 23d of
April last that the Secretary of the Treasury thought, speaking
for himself, that the Treasury notes which had been issued in
payment for silver bullion might properly be paid in silver. He
carelessly dropped the remark somewhere in company, as it was
alleged, r< There is plenty of silver in the Treasury; there is no
danger of a collapse there."

ground to say this thing. It has not been said in a corner.
Mr. Cleveland (and I honor him for his courage) is willing to
say before the whole world what he believes. He has done it
from the beginning. He is doing it now. No, no; the President
is great among strong men; but he believes in a wrong philosophy that was taught to him in his childhood. Instead of learning his law at the feet of Gamaliel he learned his law at the feet
of the Rothschilds, Baring & Co., Clews, Drexel, and that class
of men—the men who received their teaching from the economists that built up the Bank of England and all the great banks
of antiquity except only one.
Now, I wish to inquire a little into the character of those men
in order that we may see and that the country may see who it is
that is talking to us. Away back about thirty-four or thirty-five
years ago a young man in the city of New York, having a speculative turn of mind, was anxious to become a member of a body
of gentlemen who then met in the basement of a building in that
city to transact their business. They refused admission to the
young man. He came to the conclusion that he would follow a
system of tactics that would force somebody to terms, just as our
traders in grain force people to terms sometimes. He says:

After numerous efforts to gain admission to the exchange without success--

I am talking about the stock exchange of New York—

I finally made up my mind to force it. I at once inserted an advertisement
in the newspapers, and proposed to buy and sell stocks at a sixteenth of 1
per cent each way. This was such a bombshell in the camp of these old fogies
that they were almost paralyzed. What rendered it more distasteful to
them still was the fact that, while they lost customers, I steadily gained
them. The result was that they felt compelled to admit me to their ranks, so
that I could be kept amenable to their rules, and do business only in their
own conventional fashion. My membership cost me in all, initiation fee and
other trifling expenses in connection therewith, $500. This—

Says the gentleman—
presents a striking contrast to the recent price of a seat, $35,000; but though
this difference seems very large, yet the changes in every other respect connected with Wall street affairs have been in similar proportions.

Then he goes on in the next page and says:
Youthful speculators-

Like himself—
Had not then learned the "crooked

In quotation marks—

methods of the young idea of modern times. It was there also that Daniel
Drew began to accumulate those millions that afterwards were subject to
such a rude scattering. It was there that the celebrated " corners " in Rock
Island. Prarie du Chien, and Harlem were concocted. It was there that the
wealth was accumulated which built 20,000 miles of Western railroads, causing many millions of acres, that would otherwise have been a wilderness, to
blossom like the rose, in spite of Mr. Powderly's opinion that no material
good can come out of speculation, and thus adding immense wealth in real
estate to the country, besides conferring incalculable benefits on trade and
commerce, and preparing comfortable homes not only for the pioneers and
surplus population of the Eastern States, but a teeming soil that has attracted the downtrodden of every nation to come and partake of the blessings of freedom and prosperity.

I have read from pages 9 and 10 of " Twenty-eight Years in
Wall Street," by Henry Clews.
Now, Mr. President, going along a little further to pages 19 or
20,1 will simply call attention to what is said there, without
reading more than a portion of it. My object in this is to show
the character—moral, financial, and political—that the advisers
of our public men put before the world. I am doing it in their
own words. Henry Clews is the young man I was speaking of, a
recognized banker and stock-broker, a man standing high not
only in his profession, but standing high in social and religious
circles in the city of New York and everywhere, notwithstanding he goes before the world exposing himself and his coworkers as the most extensive gamblers in the world. Those are
harsh words, I understand; but wait, Mr. President. It is time
that the people have these things exposed to them in all their
nakedness and deformity. On page 16 Mr. Clews says:


The club has already issued $2,000,000 in 6 per cent bonds, with the
proceeds of which the site for their club building was purchased.
Then they invested a large amount in the erection of the building,
and now this dispatch tells us that they have put on an additional
mortgage of $2,000,000 for the purpose of furnishing it, putting
up finishings of marble and the most costly woods in the world.
In the same paper, on the same day, I saw a description of the
balls, the costly revelries that that class of men in New York
City indulge in. These are the men, I repeat, with whom our
executive officers confer—half a dozen speculators who rule the
country with an iron hand.
It is time, Mr. President, that we dissolve partnership with
Wall street. Since the dawn of history the money-changers have
been against the people, always against the people and for themselves. It has been reserved for a Christian civilization in the
closing years of the nineteenth century to throw a garb of respectability about the business of the usurer. It may seem a little harsh to characterize those people as I have done. Let me
quote the language of the distinguished Senator from Indiana
[Mr. VOORHEES] delivered in this body the day before yesterday

upon the same subject.
graph of his speech:

The Senator says in the second para-

For the last five months and a little more, the cry of the pessimist—

And as he used that word and paused a moment to breathe I
straightened myself, while sitting near him, expecting a thunderbolt at my devoted head and at the people for whom I am
speaking, that we were to be termed the pessimists, although I
Wall street has furnished the money that has set the wheels of industry had taken advantage of many occasions to deny that there was
in motion over the vast continent, and in one century has brought us any truth in such a charge so far as we were concerned. But
abreast, in the industrial arts, of countries that had from one to two thou- the Senator proceeds, and says:
sand years the start of us.

For the last five months and
little more, the
of the pessimist, the
Claiming the progress of our American civilization, grand as voice of the prophe t of financial aevil, and the wail crythe apostle of national
it is, to be the output and the legitimate offspring of this gam- bankruptcy have all been heard in the land. These sounds of warning and
menace against the authorities of this Government have gone up from all
bling institution in the very heart of our country.
It must be galling to some of these people that we are now the most available candidates-

Speaking of the people of other countries—

for the commercial and industrial supremacy of the world, and we have obtained this position, in a great measure, through the instrumentality of
Wall street as a civilizer.

Then I refer, without reading it, to the portion of chapter 3, beginning on page 16, which I have marked in red, to show the methods by which those men accumulated their vast fortunes; and he
speaks of them as having grown gray in their business. He says
that they will come down from their comfortable homes in the
time of panic, and these panics occur with reasonable certainty
three or four times every year. They wait until they see a cloud
no larger than a man's hand presaging the coming of a storm in
the financial world. Then, he says, they go out of their homes
like spiders in advance of a storm. They go down to their offices
and rake in a few million dollars that somebody else has lost and
then retire again to the bosom of their happy families.
These men are fortune-wreckers. They think no more of
throwing a mortgage of fifteen, twenty, or one hundred million
dollars over a railroad, or county, or State, or a nation than they
do of eating an oyster for breakfast; and these are the class of
men from whom we seek advice. This is what Mr. Clews says
of them:
But few gain sufficient experience in Wall street to command success until
they reach that period of life in which they have one foot in the grave.
When this time comes these old veterans of the street usually spend long intervals of repose at their comfortable homes, and in times of panic, which
recur sometimes oftener than once a year, these old fellows will be seen in
Wall street hobbling down on their canes to their brokers' offices.
Then they always buy good stocks to the extent of their bank balances,
which have been permitted to accumulate for just such an emergency. The
panic usually rages until enough of these cash purchases of stock is made
to afford a big "rake-in." When the panic has spent its force, these old fellows. who ha ve been resting judiciously on their oars in expectation of the
inevitable event, which usually returns with the regularity of the seasons,
quickly realize, deposit their profits with their bankers, or the overplus
thereof, after purchasing more real estate that is on the up grade, for permanent investment, and retire for another season to the quietude of their
splendid homes and the bosoms of their happy families.
If young men had only the patience to watch the speculative signs of the
times, as manifested in the periodical egress of these old prophetic speculators from their shells of security, they would make more money at these
intervals than by following up the slippery 44 tips "of the professional
"pointers" of the stock exchange all the year round, and they would feel
no necessity for hanging at ithe coat tails, around the hotels, of those specious frauds who pretend to be deep in the councils of the big operators and
of all the new " pools " in process of formation. I say to the young speculators, therefore, watch the ominous visits to the street of these old men.
They are as certain to be seen on the eve of a panic as spiders creeping
stealthily and noiselessly from their cobwebs just before rain.
If you only wait to see them purchase, then put up a fair margin for yourselves, keep out of the "bucket shops" as well as the "sample rooms,' 1 and
only visit Delmonico's for light lunch in business hours, you can hardly fail
to realize handsome profits on your ventures.

What else is there about this? We read the other day, all of
us, that in the city of New York there is a club known as the
Millionaire Club. Seven hundred of the wealthiest men in the
city belong to the club, of which J. Pierpont Morgan is president.

those financial centers where money, its gains and its power, constitute the
chief objects of human worship, and from those—

Not from our poor fellows who dig in the soil and among the
rocks, but—
from those centers have also emanated the cruel edicts of great financial
corporations, commanding a stern contraction of the currency, a sudden
and harsh shrinkage in its circulation, and the consequent inauguration of
a panic, a distress period in the public mind.

And not satisfied with that presentation of the case, not satisfied with that arraignment, harsh as it was, after again calling
attention to the good quality of our public credit, the Senator in
the third paragraph following, says:
Not only do the traffickers in money and the permanent investors of capital hunger and thirst after all the Government bonds now in existence, but
their chief complaint against the present Administration is that the President and his very able Secretary of the Treasury have refused their demand
to issue at least there hundred millions more. This additional block of national indebtedness, increasing in a time of profound peace the interest-eating burdens of American labor, would be hailed with the keenest delight and
swept with miser enjoyment and avidity into unpatriotic vaults by the very
parties who have most loudly and continuously declared, ever since the present Administration came into power, that the credit of the Government was
in deadly peril and its Treasury practically bankrupt.

I think, Mr. President, with the views of the Senator from
Indiana added to mine, we can let Wall street rest a few minutes
at least.
And now what kind of advice do they give us? Their advice
to the President was, "repeal the Sherman law," and the bill to
which l a m speaking was presented in due course of proceedings.
I have here a letter which I have no doubt was sent by copy to
every other member of this bodjr. It is from the same gentleman
whose named is appended to this book as its author, Mr. Henry
Clews. It is dated New York, August 16, 1893. He says:
To insure the repeal of the Sherman silver law it may not unlikely be
necessary from present appearances—

Yes, I should think so—

to offer as a compromise some measure that will continue the recognition
of silver as a money metal, in which event why not reenact the Bland silver
law with the necessary amendments, changing the parity of the dollar to
either 22 to 1, or 24 to 1?

Why not reenact the Bland silver law that was repealed two
years ago in order to give us what we now have?
In that c a s e -

Here is the reason, Mr. President.

He answers it himself—

In that case the monthly purchases of silver would be at the discretion of
the Secretary.

That is it precisely; it would be 44 at the discretion of the Secretary." You remember, Mr. President, and so do the Senators
who are honoring me with their attention, how the Bland law
was executed. It was on the statute books a little over twelve
years, and during that entire period the law was never executed
to its maximum nor beyond a few dollars in advance of the minimum. As Mr. Clews recites very properly, the Secretary was
directed to purchase at least $2,000,000 worth of silver bullion,



and he was directed to purchase not more than $4,000,000 worth. chusetts [Mr. HOAR], we in the West are! not alone to blame in
this matter of sectional discussion. I have here something
Not less than two nor more than four.
As a matter of fact, while the Secretary did have the discre- which is but a repetition of many similar expressions that I have
tion which Mr. Clews wants to clothe him with again, to coin found in the metropolitan press of the East, It is from the New
$4,000,000 worth a month, he gave us but $2,000,060 a month in- York World:
stead of $4,000,000, as he ought to have done, and by that means
The strength of this organized oppositionkept away from the people during the period of the operation
Speaking of the opposition to the repeal of the Sherman law—
of that law about 375,000,000 silver dollars that they were enti- and its inspiration come primarily from the States of Nevada, Colorado,
tled to. They would have secured that much more than they Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and the two Dakotas.
did secure if the law had been executed.
The writer omits Kansas and Nebraska, who are of the same
The total amount of silver bullion purchased under the Bland family with the hardy mountaineers; and I say to them here
act (act of February 28, 1878) to August 12,1890, when the Sher- now, speaking for the people of Kansas without regard to party
man law took effect, was 323,635,576 standard ounces, costing affiliations, we are their neighbors and their friends. Their God
$308,199,261, an average of $1.05 per fine ounce. The number of is our God and we worship in the same tabernacle with them.
silver dollars coined out of that bullion was 378,166,793. If the W e will defend them in their mountain gorges to the last, and
maximum amount of $4,000,000 worth of bullion had been pur- when we get through with this, fight and their mines are open
chased and coined every month during the time the law was in we will send them our wheat and our corn and our cabbage and
force instead of $2,000,060, the total number of dollars coined our potatoes and w e will be their friends forever. The writer
would have been about 753,000,000, or an increase of about $375,- goes on to say that:
000,000 above what was actually coined.
These seven States have a total population, according to the Eleventh CenMr. Clews, one of the class who advise our public officers, asks sus, of only 1,146,735. Yet they have fourteen Senatorial votes against two
us, inasmuch as they can not get rid of silver, to go back to the for New York, with its 6,000,000 inhabitants.
Bland law and let the Secretary of the Treasury coin just as
And that writer was then about a hundred miles from the home
many dollars as he pleases, and send out silver certificates upon of my friend from Rhode Island [Mr. DIXON], whose splendid little
them, and then, as was so well said by my distinguished friend State, with all its romantic history, is about as large as two of our
from Iowa [Mr. ALLISON] yesterday, they are not lawful money; Western counties.
you do not pay any taxes upon them; you can not pay your debts
These seven States, with less than a million and a quarter population all
with silver certificates unless your creditor is willing to receive told, counterbalance in the Senate New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts,
Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and New Jersey, with their population of 24,385,760.
them; and if he is a money lender he sticks gold into the note.
Then he goes on in the concluding paragraph and asks:
That is the kind of advice we get!
Why should those
have such preponderence of power, a
Mr. President, this kind of treatment of a vital matter is breed- power so wholly out pocket boroughs their numbers or their importance in
of proportion to
ing bad blood in some parts of the country and insolence in others. any other way?
The people at Denver, wild with excitement and under the inThe same day I picked up the New York Herald and I find a
fluence of a temporary invasion of unemployed workmen, fearing complimentary reference to the Senator from Idaho [Mr. DUthe worst, voiced in the language of their governor, patriotic as BOIS]. If he will give me his attention a moment it may be
any man in the country now or in past years, let loose some wild interesting to him to hear what the Herald had to say about him
expressions which were thrown out upon the wires, and the peo- in connection with the same sort of criticism that I read from
ple were led to believe that the citizens of Colorado, always a the World:
loyal and law-abiding people, were upon the verge of revolution.
What rubbish—
The metaphors of language at such times must be passed over.
The writer says—
If we can smother the conduct of a Government agency to-day in
DUBOIS to talk of
the form of United States banking^ institutions, surely we can for Mr. suppose the scattered"battling for the rights of his own the teemDoes he
population of Idaho could prosper if
forgive a little looseness of expression among the miners, whose ing millions of the East, whose capital, brains, and labor make the country
thoughts may be crudely expressed. After all, they are like the what it is, were to be immersed in irretrievable ruin?
jewels that they dig from the mountain. Take away the dross
When I read that I was moved to take up the statistical record
and you have the pure metal left. Let our country get into war, of Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Colorado, North
nobody would come quicker than those boys who work in the Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. I find that
mines from day to day and feed their little families upon the" pro- the population of those ten States amounts to 4,000,000 and over,
made up in large part, as the Senator from Idaho said the other
There is another sentiment sometimes expressed that is equally day in choice language, of the best brain and muscle of the Eastto be deprecated and to be discouraged. It is the attempt—I do ern States. They are not foreigners, such as we find to-day in
not know that it is an attempt, but it has the effect of arraying many of the large business establishments and hotels in the cities
one section of the country against another. I heard the other of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.
day a gentleman not connected with the party to which I belong,
Go out upon the magnificent prairies of Kansas and of Nebraska
either, say that the two great parties of the country will soon and you will find the very best form of American manhood and
divide upon the Rocky Mountains. I heard another man say womanhood there. So it is all through that splendid region.
that Mason and Dixon's line will be turned half way round, so W e are Americans all. There may be some, and there are a
that, instead of lying between the North and the South, it will lie few, who were born in other lands, but they came here to be a
between the East and the West. Mr. President, let us all here part of this thriving and prosperous people; they have assimilated
in this Chamber, and wherever our influence can extend, dis- themselves with our population; they are citizens of the States
courage all such language as that.
and of the Republic; they vote with us; we elect them to office;
I would not array one section against another. I would heal they are honored and respected citizens.
In addition to the four million population, I find that their
all the wounds between different parts of the country. You
could not blot out the little State of Massachusetts without ex- aggregate valuation in 1890 of taxable property—not the estipunging a part, and a very important part, of American history. mated, but the actual valuation of their property for taxable
You could not blot out of our history the city of New York with- purposes—was nearly a thousand and a quarter million dolout taking away a large part of our most valuable history; nor lars—$1,187,156,990. I find that the six New England S t a t e s could you sink the old Keystone, the home of my childhood, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
without sinking to a very great extent the wealth of this coun- and Connecticut—have a population of 4,700,745, just a little
try, and its enterprises, and its important historic recollections. more than the population of the ten States to which I have called
Let us be for the whole country; and whenever we find a cus- attention. The value of their property is $3,558,215,480, just
tom, no matter whether it be in the West, or the East, or the about three times as much as that of the people in the ten States
North, or where it may be, that is wrong, let us expose it; let us whose names I have mentioned; and yet Kansas was admitted
fight against it; let us undermine it and destroy its influence.
into the Union in 1861, Nebraska several years later, Colorado
How ably and eloquently my distinguished friend from Min- in 1876, and Idaho, the Dakotas, and the other new States only a
nesota [Mr. WASHBURN] fought here against the great gamblers few years ago.
in Chicago last fall, and how eloquently the able Senator from
Tnose people have accumulated yast amounts of wealth in the
Louisiana [Mr. WHITE] defended them! It is a condition, not a ten census years that have just passed, amounting in all to $753,section, that confronts us. I have not yet said a word against 709,711. Their progress, their industry, their loyalty, their enthe East. There are customs and practices in the East that are ergy, their sobriety calls for commendation rather than for condestroying this country, and it is those customs, those practices demnation. They are yet in their swaddling clothes, while New
that I am contending against. It is that that I would expose in England is two hundred and fifty years old.
all its deformity before the American people and before the
As to the representation in the House of Representatives, those
world so that we may understand what ails us.
ten States have 24 members and they have 20 Senators, while
As was expressed a few days ago by the Senator from Massa- the six New England States, with about the same population,



In order that there may be no question about the correctness
of the figures which I have given, I will insert as part of my remarks, Census Bulletion No. 104, under date of August 22,1891,
being a preliminary statement showing the assessed valuation
of real and personal property of the several States and Territories for 1880 and 1890.

have 27 Members and 12 Senators—a total representation of 44
for the ten new States against 39 for the six old ones. The area
of the ten States is 921,500 square miles, while that of the six is
a little over 66,000 square—a proportion of 14 to 1.'
I hope we shall hear no more invidious distinctions here or
elsewhere concerning the pocket boroughs of the West.

[Census Bulletin No. 104, August 22,1891.]
Preliminary statement showing the assessed valuation of real and personal property of the several States and Territories for 1880 and 1890.

Total assessed valuation.

of assessed

States and Territories.
District of Columbia.,
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia


$16,902,993,543 $24,249,589,804 $7,346,596,261
572,518; 361

377,366,784 - 137,894,185
/ 482,184,824
04, 628,074
3,775,325,938 1,123,385,932



50,155,783 62,622,250




Assessed valua- Increase Increase
tion per capita. per cent percent
of asof
valua- popula1880.
$337.01 a$387.62





400.21 1,040.82






a The assessed valuation of Oklahoma not being given, the population of
that Territory is omitted in calculating the assessed valuation per capita for 1890 of the United States.
6 Annual report of 1889.
c The State board of equalization declares that in 1880 the assessed value
was 50 per cent and in 1890 only 25 per cent of the true value; hence the

d Decrease.
e Valuation for local purposes; amount for State purposes, $459,187,408.
f Valu ation for State purposes; amount for local purposes not reported.
Q Assessment of 1886: assessment made every five years.
n Not including unorganized counties,

Under the protection of our laws, Mr. President, an aristocracy of wealth has grown up among us, and upon that subject I
wish to quote a passage in a speech which I had the honor of delivering in this body on the 12th day of May, 1892. It describes
the nature and effect of this wealth of aristocracy of which I
have spoken.

levies tribute on toil, collects revenue from trade, has an interest in every
State, and a lien on every town.
It "moves the money that controls the affairs of the world," says a distinguished banker—Mr. Henry Clews. It wields a " mighty power," he says, a
power greater than that of monarchies. That is the power which demands
gold in payment of debts payable in lawful money; the power that will not
accept the bonds of a people whose mountains are rich in gold and silver, miless they are made payable, principal and interest, in gold.
That is the power that demanded 12 per cent annual interest on loans of
bank paper to the Government at a time when farmers and mechanics, merchants and clerks, and field and shopmen all over the country volunteered
their bodies for use in war; the power that depreciated our currency that it
might purchase our bonds at a discount, then demand payment in gold; the
power that banks on nontaxable bonds and charges 1 per cent a month on
its paper loans; the power that has grown rich on the losses and misf ortunes
of the people; the power that has usurned the functions of government; that
has wrested the prerogatives of voters from their grasp; that nineteen years
ago demonetized silver, and has three times since prevented its restoration
to its ancient place as one of the money metals; that kept from the people
$375,000,000 of silver coin that they were entitled to under the Bland law; that
withdrew $240,000,000 of national-bank notes at a time when the people needed
a large and steady increase of currency.

We have fostered and fed and fattened men at the expense of the people
until they have become a standing menace to popular liberty. Fabulous
fortunes have been gathered in the course of a few years. We have many
men whose checks are good for a million dollars each at any bank where
that amount of money is on deposit. The interests of all these people are
virtually the same. Their combined influence is often greater than that of
the Government itself, and it grows greater every year.
So powerful has this great moneyed interest become that we find it operating in the business affairs of the country everywhere; in the hovels of the
poor, the little stores of the country merchant, on the farm, in the shop, as
well as in the great manufacturing establishments, banks, and clearinghouses. It amounts to an all-pervading force, reaching out through every
avenue of trade, through every channel of commerce, into every department
of business, into the details of every vocation, into every phase and condition of life. It owns every railroad and steamboat line, every telegraph and
Then in this hour of need to whom shall we look for counsel?
cable, every packing house, elevator and merchant mill, every bank and
stock exchange, all the great newspapers of the country, and the important I have been criticising the class of persons with whom our public
agencies for news; it has local attorneys at every county seat, trained law- officers had conferred. Shall we look to them still further for
yers at every court, skilled lobbyists at every capital; it dictates party plat
forms, controls important nominations, and laughs at the popular will; it our counsel? To the men that fatten upon the people who toil,



or shall we look to the people that produce the wealth of the
country and pay the taxes? Shall we look to the bankers who
expand and contract the currency at their pleasure and kindly
transact the people's business for them at 1 to 4 per cent per
month, or shall we turn to the people who have commissioned
us, take them into our confidence, and listen to their complaints
and act on their demands?
Do you tell me, Mr. President, that only professional financiers
shall be heard, and that the demands of boards of trade, stock
exchanges, and other commercial bodies shall be taken as the
voice of the people? I do not believe that it is too much to say
that 75 per cent of the bankers of this country to-day, take them
all as a body, have never given twenty-four hours' solid study to
the subject of finance. They understand how to shave notes,
how to collect interest and rents, but they know nothing about
the foundation principles upon which monetary systems are
Judging by our past legislation, these advisers have not been
safe ones. Immediately after the great war they insisted upon a
contraction of the currency, which cost our people in the end more
than the great war cost us, notwithstanding that that in dollars
and cents amounted to at least $10,000,000,000 when Lee surrendered or was captured in 1865. Since that time we have paid
about $2,000,000,000 in principal of our debt. We have paid a
good deal more than that in the way of interest. We have paid
about $70,000,000 in premiums and advance interest, and to-day
we have a pension roll of over a million persons, requiring a
yearly expenditure of from $150,000,000 to $160,000,000. Yet, I
say, following the advice that was given us by the financiers, cost
us twice as much as the whole war in its active operation cost us.
I mean that it has cost us that much in the depreciation of property.
There has been a constant effort on the part of the Treasury
Department of late years to conceal from the people the true
facts in relation to the contraction of our currency.
Our debts were all contracted with the understanding that they
were to be paid with paper. The people had no money but paper.
Our contracts were made with reference to the paper standard,
and so we continued until what was called " the resumption of
specie payment," under the act of 1875, which was to take effect
on the 1st of January, 1879. Notwithstanding all our business
was done with paper, and our promises to pay were promises to
pay in paper, still, at the conclusion of the war, Wall street demanded payment in coin. During the fiscal year 1866 something
near $400,000,000 of our currency was withdrawn from circulation and most of it put into interest-bearing bonds. During the
next three years, some $900,000,000 more currency was withdrawn
and put into bonds, so that at the beginning of the fiscal year
1870, about thirteen hundred millions of our paper money had
been withdrawn from circulation and the currency volume contracted to that extent.
At the beginning of the fiscal year 1866 (July 1,1865) the amount
of paper money in circulation in the United States was $2,122,437,841.02. During the year, as appears from the report of the Secretary of the Treasury for 1866, on page 164, $211,239,515.41 was
" retired, counted, and destroyed," as follows:
Old issue demand notes
New issue legal-tender notes
One-year 5 per cent notes
Two-year 5 per cent notes
Two-year 5 per cent coupon notes
Six per cent compound interest notes
Gold certificates
First issue fractional currency
Second issue fractional currency
Third issue fractional currency
Discounted on above for mutilations



During the year $181,096,804 was retired from circulation, but
not destroyed, as appears from page 168 of the same report, as
Demand notes redeemable in coin
One-year 5 per cent notes
Two-year 5 per cent n o t e s —
Two-year 5 per cent coupon notes
Three-year compound-interest notes


On the 30th day of June, 1866, as appears on pages 25 and 26
of the report, the amount of Government paper money out was
$1,550,506,311.61, as follows:
Compound-interest notes due 1867-'68
Treasury notes, seven-thirties, due 1867-68
Temporary loan, ten days' notice
Certificates of indebtdedness past due
United States notes
Fractional currency
Gold certificates of deposit



At the beginning of the year the amount of national-bank
notes out, as appears from the Treasurer's report, was $179,595,210. Adding these several amounts together we have a total
of paper money out on the 1st day of July, 1865, of $2,122,437,841.025, as above stated.
The total amount of money in the country June 30,1870, was
$700,645,668. The currency contraction to this extent, in five
years, while population and business were rapidly increasing,
cost the people fully one-half the value of their property and
doubled the burden of their debts.
But what was lost by the people was gained by a class, and they
are the class of which I have spoken—the gold speculators.
Let us not deceive ourselves, Mr. President. We are face to
face with the gravest problem of the century. No amount of
partisan discussion as to where the responsibility for this condition lies will relieve the situation, nor remove from our path
the plain duty that we owe to the people in this supreme hour
of their need. The situation is full of peril. Dangers beset us
on all sides. Involuntary idleness soon brings want, and want
brings desperation. Nothing but food satisfies hunger. In this
great crisis the country has no use for the partisan. Against
him who would strengthen his party at the expense of his country, the verdict*of his fellow-citizens will be, "Away with him;
crucify him."
But what shall we do? First, let us do what the people ask us
to do; give them money. That is what they are asking for. The
farmers want money; the manufacturers want money; the laborers want employment in order that they may get money; the
bankers themselves want money, and that is all the people are
asking for. Let us pass a bill giving them money. I had the
honor a few days ago to introduce a bill here for the purpose of
issuing$250,000,000of money. It has not yet been reported, and
I dare say it will not be. That is the quickest way out, and that
is my advice.
Then, second, let us have free coinage of silver. What does
free coinage mean? A banker asked me the other day, apologizing at the same time, what free coinage meant. When I explained to him that it was simply taking silver bullion in proper
condition for mintage to the mints and having it formed into
coins for him and taking his coin away, " Why," said he, "that
is just like taking wheat to the mill and having it ground into
flour." Precisely so, and that is what we are asking. But we
are told that we can not have free coinage of silver. No, not now.
They will see us later.
Mr. President, my position has been taken upon this subject.
It is free and unlimited coinage of silver at the present ratio of
16 to 1—that or nothing. It is a matter of principle upon my
part, and upon principle I have no compromise to offer, and will
accept none. I have heard since this discussion has com© up men
of distinction say that they prefer a ratio of 15£ to 1; I have even
heard it put down as low as 11 to 1. I can not understand, in
view of our past history, why we shall measure silver with gold,
rather than measure gold with silver.
In 1831 a committee of this body, composed of distinguished
men, was made up, charged with an investigation of the history
of our coinage, with a view of enacting some new and important
legislation upon the subject. That committee reported that our
coinage was gold and silver, and that the object of the committee had been to conform the gold currency to the silver standard,
and I assert in this presence that we have been measuring gold by
silver continually from the beginning of our Government until
1873, and that at this hour the law of the land is that 371i grains
of pure silver is the standard of our dollar, notwithstanding its
representative is to be made out of 2 5 ^ grains of standard gold.
The act of 1792, in section 9, prescribed the standard of our
money to be a dollar, not silver or gold, but a dollar; that the
dollar piece should contain 371^ grains of pure silver, and that
the value of the dollar should be the value of the Spanish milled
dollar. The value of the Spanish milled dollar was ascertained
by melting up a thousand of them and dividing the product by
a thousand. The quotient was 371i grains. That was the value
of the dollar authorized and coined by the fathers of the Republic. It means that either 37li grains of silver—that and that
only—shall be the value of the dollar, or else it means the value
of the products of the country which that much silver would
buy. In either case we have the advantage in this argument.
Mr. MITCHELL of Oregon. May I ask the Senator a question?
Mr. PEFFER. Yes, sir.
Mr. MITCHELL of Oregon. I wish to know if it is not a fact
that the prices of wheat and flour and cotton, as well as of most
agricultural products for the last twenty years, commencing before the demonetization of silver and following along down to the
present time, have not been regulated and controlled with an
accuracy which is remarkable by the price of silver bullion and
not by the price of gold?

Mr. PEFFER. Yes, Mr. President, that is true, and there is
something more in the same connection that is true; I thank the
Senator for calling my attention to it at this particular place in
the discussion.
A table of a large number of articles has been compiled by the
eminent statistican, Mr. A. Sauerbeck, who finally settled upon
forty-five of them. I can not now enumerate all of them, but I
am expecting before my remarks go to print that I shall have a
list of all of the articles, so that they can be inserted as part of
my remarks. Forty-five of them are articles in daily use among
the people of the country. Taking them and getting the greatest common divisor of their value as people use them, as the
starting point, as the unit, and beginning back in 1874 and coming on down to the present time, the prices of that unit have
dropped from year to year, and silver has kept pace in uniform
ratio substantially from that time until the present.
The following table gives in parallel columns, for the years
1874-'92, (1) the index numbers for the 45 commodities, and (2)
the index numbers of silver for the same years:
Mr. Sauerbeck?8 index numbers.


of 45
principal of silver.




•Lowest price of wheat on record. Lowest prices of stocks since 1884. June
and July lowest price of wool in its history. Fall in price of opium 17 per
cent in one week. Lowest price of silver on record.

Between 1850 and 1870 there was a slight rise in the value of
commodities, and during the same period silver was at a slight
premium compared with gold.
You talk to us about a dishonest dollar. I ask you whether a
70-cent dollar is any more dishonest than a 140-cent dollar or a
150-cent dollar? If you will lay down your 140-cent dollar beside
our 70-cent dollar, and strike an average between them, and call
that the dollar, then you may talk about an honest dollar, but
until that time, I believe it would be better if we would follow
the dollar that follows our products, and not the one that follows the banker's receipts. We only ask to have the old coinage law restored, as it existed before the act of 1873.
In this connection, I desire, without going into a history in
detail of our coinage, to include in my remarks a sketch which
I prepared some time aero, giving a history from the beginning,
in 1782, when the Continental Congress appointed a committee
to look after the subject, and a final report was made in 1791 to
the National Congress, with the concurrence of Jefferson and
Madison, establishing our bimetallic system.

As early as 1782 the Continental Congress instituted an investigation into the condition of the coins of the country. A t that
time every one of the separate States had its own particular coins
and values. The money of account was written in pounds, shillings and pence, the British style of counting, though the Spanish dollar was generally current. Mr. Robert Morris made an
elaborate report to Congress on the subject, but nothing further
was done about it until two years afterwards, when the matter
was taken up and referred to a committee of which Thomas Jefferson was a member. Mr. Jefferson was not satisfiedwith the report of the financier, Mr. Morris, because, he said, while the
principle was sound and was ingenious, yet the unit which he
proposed was too minute for ordinary use, too laborious for computation either by the head or by figures. As Mr. Jefferson put
it, u The price of a loaf of bread would be one-twentieth of a dollar, or 72 units, and a pound of butter would be one-fifth of a dollar, or 288 units."
Some written correspondence passed between Messrs. Morris
and Jefferson on the subject, and finally Mr. Jefferson wrote out
his views in what he called " Notes on the Establishment of a

Mint." They were submitted to members of the Continental
Congress, and finally reported to that body, and were in the end
adopted as the rule of our coinage. The notes of Mr. Jefferson,
to which reference is made here, may be found on page 162 of
volume 1 of his works.
In fixing the unit of money Mr. Jefferson laid down three
rules: First, that it be of convenient size to be applied as a
measure to the common money transactions of life; second, that
its parts and multiples be in an easy proportion to each other so
as to facilitate the money arithmetic; and, third, that the unit
and its parts or divisions be so nearly of the value of some of the
known coins as that they may be of easy adoption for the people; and, he added, " the Spanish dollar seems to fulfill all these
Mr. Jefferson gave the following as his reasons for selecting
the dollar for the unit:
The unit or dollar is a known coin and the most familiar of all to the minds
of the people. It is already adopted from South to North, has identified our
currency, and therefore happily offers itself as a unit already introduced.
Our publicdebt, our requisitions and their appointments, has given it actual
and long position of the place of the unit. The course of our commerce, too,
will bring us more of this than of any other foreign coin, and therefore renders it more worthy of attention. 1 know of no unit which can be proposed
in competition with the dollar but the pound. But what is the pound ? 1,547
grains of fine silver in Georgia, 1,289 grains in Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode
Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, 1,031} grains Jin Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, 960f grains in North Carolina and New
York. Which of these shall we adopt? To which State is that preeminence
of which all are so jealous, and on which impose the difficulties of a new estimate on their corn, their cattle, and other commodities ? Or shall we hang
the pound sterling as a common badge upon all their necks? This contains
1,718| grains of pure silver. It is difficult to familiarize a new coin to the people. It is more difficult to familiarize them to a new coin with a new name.
Happily the dollar is familiar to them all, and is already as much referred to
as a measure of value as their respective provincial pound.

On the 15th day of April, 1790, the House of Representatives
passed a resolution asking the then Secretary of the Treasury,
Alexander Hamilton, to prepare a report concerning the establishment of a mint and the coinage of money, and in response to
that resolution the Secretary prepared a report and presented it
to the House on the 28th day of January, 1791. He sets out by
saying that a plan for an establishment of this nature, that is to
say, a mint, involves a great variety of considerations, intricate,
nice, and important. The general state of debtor and creditor,
all the relations and consequences of price, the essential interests of trade and industry, the value of all property, the whole
income of both the state and individuals, are liable to be extensively influenced, beneficially or otherwise, by the judicious or
injudicious regulation of this interesting institution.
After discussing the importance of the subject and the interests involved he divides the subjects into six different heads, the
first two of which are these: First, what ought to be the nature
of the money unit of the United States; and, second, what the
proportion between gold and silver, if coins of both metals are
to be established.
As to the first of these two divisions, the Secretary, after an
elaborate discussion, came to the conclusion that the dollar
ought to be established and maintained as the money unit 4 for
the currency of the United States, and he used the word ' national," as a " national" coin; and he was of opinion that the dollar then generally current, namely, the Spanish milled dollar,
ought to be used as the money unit, and it was made of silver.
So we have the opinion of Secretary Hamilton that the unit of
value for the United States ought to be a silver dollar—a national coin.
As to the second proposition, whether the standard of money
ought to be a single one or a double one, the Secretary was of
opinion that we ought to establish and maintain the double standard, namely, gold and silver. He was aware, and called attention to the fact, that in the discussion of the subject by public
men generally, our American statesmen largely leaned to the
opinion that the standard ought to be single, and that silver.
But the Secretary came to the conclusion that the double standard was better, and among the reasons he assigned the following:
But, upon the whole, it seems to be the most advisable, as has been observed, not to attach the unit .'exclusively to either of the metals, because
this can not be done effectually without destroying the office and character
of one of them as money, and reducing it to the situation of mere merchr. ndise,
which, accordingly, at different times, has been proposed from different and
very respectable quarters; but which would probably be a greater evil than
occasional variations in the unit from the fluctuations in the relative value
of the metals, especially if care be taken to regulate the proportion between
them, with an eye to their average commercial value. To annul the use of
either of the metals as money is to abridge the quantity of circulating medium and is liable to all of the objections which arise by a comparison of the
benefits of a full with the evils of a scanty circulation.

After discussing at some length the probable results of a single standard, the Secretary concluded that the chief if not the
sole effect of such a regulation would be to diminish the utility
of one of the metals. He then proceeded to discuss the proportion
in which the metals ought to be used; that is to say, what amount
of silver in pounds or in ounces of weight should be equal to 1
pound or 1 ounce of gold by weight, and he came to the same con-



elusion t h a t S i r Isaac N e w t o n h a d a r r i v e d a t i n h i s report t o t h e
treasury of G r e a t B r i t a i n i n 1717, t h e p r o p o r t i o n of about 1 t o 15.
O n e u n i t of w e i g h t i n g o l d t o 15 of t h e s a m e u n i t s of w e i g h t i n
'Silver; a n d s u c h , i n fact, w a s t h e p r o p o r t i o n established i n our
coinage law the n e x t year.
T h i s r e p o r t of Mr. H a m i l t o n w a s b y h i m s u b m i t t e d to T h o m a s
Jefferson, w h o w a s Jthen S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e , for h i s inspection
and consideration. A f t e r a v e r y c a r e f u l r e v i e w and study of Mr.
Hamilton's report, Mr. Jefferson made a few suggestions w h i c h
w e r e i n t h e m a i n a c c e p t e d b y M r . H a m i l t o n , and t h e report as i t
w a s finally p r e s e n t e d t o C o n g r e s s w a s a substantial a g r e e m e n t
b e t w e e n M r . H a m i l t o n and Mr. Jefferson. If t h e r e was any differe n c e b e t w e e n t h e m i n r e s p e c t t o t h e s u b j e c t i t w a s upon t h e
m a t t e r of a s i n g l e or a double standard. Mr. Jefferson i n c l i n e d
t o t h e s i n g l e standard and t h a t s i l v e r , w h i l e Mr. H a m i l t o n pref e r r e d t h e double standard, t h a t of s i l v e r and g o l d . T h e report
of Mr. H a m i l t o n i s found i n v o l u m e 3 of h i s w o r k s , b e g i n n i n g a t
p a g e 149.
H a v i n g a d o p t e d t h e s i l v e r dollar as t h e u n i t , t h e n Mr. Jefferson s u g g e s t e d t h a t w e o u g h t t o h a v e a t l e a s t four coins—one a
g o l d e n p i e c e e q u a l i n v a l u e t o $10; second, t h e u n i t or dollar itself, of silver; t h i r d , t h e t e n t h of a dollar, of s i l v e r also; and,
f o u r t h , t h e h u n d r e d t h p a r t of a dollar, t h i s t o b e m a d e of copper.
A n d h e s u g g e s t e d t h a t p e r h a p s i t w o u l d n o t be amiss t o coin
t h r e e m o r e p i e c e s of s i l v e r , o n e of t h e v a l u e of half a dollar, t h e
o t h e r 20 c e n t s , and t h e o t h e r 5 cents. H e c o n c l u d e s h i s n o t e s
i n t h e s e words:
My proposition, then, is that our notation of money shall be decimal, ae
scendmg at the liberty of the person noting; that the unit of this notation
shall be a dollar; that coins shall be accommodated toit from $10 to the hundredth of a dollar.
A s to t h e w e i g h t of a dollar, i t w a s finally a g r e e d t h a t i t should
b e 371i g r a i n s of p u r e s i l v e r , w i t h s o m e a l l o y of copper. T h i s
w a s incorporated i n t h e first c o i n a g e l a w , passed A p r i l 2, 1792.
Mr. Jefferson's s u g g e s t i o n s t h r o u g h o u t w e r e a d o p t e d .
H a v i n g p r o v i d e d t h e d e t a i l s for e s t a b l i s h i n g a m i n t , s e c t i o n 9
of t h e act p r o v i d e s as follows:
SEC 9. And be it further enacted, That there shall be from time to time,
struck and coined at the said mint, coins of gold, silver, and copper, of the
following denominations, values, and descriptions, namely: Eagles—each to
be of the value often dollars or units, and to contain two hundred and fortyseven grains and four-eighths of a grain of pure, or two hundred and seventy
grains of standard gold. Half eagles—each to be of the value of $5, and to
contain one hundred and twenty-three grains and six-eighths of a grain of
pure, or one hundred and thirty-five grains of standard gold. Quarter
eagles—each to be of the value of two dollars and a half dollar, and to contain
sixty-one grains and seven-eighths of a grain of pure, or sixty-seven grains
and four-eighths of a grain of standard gold. Dollars or units—each to be of
the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four-sixteenth parts of a grain
of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver. Half dollarseach to be of half the value of the dollar or unit, and to contain one hundred
and eighty-five grains and ten-sixteenth parts of a grain, or two hundred and
eight grains of standard silver. Quarter dollars—each to be of one-fourth
the value of a dollar or unit, and to contain ninety-two grains and thirteensixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or one hundred and four grains of standard silver. Dimes—each to be of the value of one-tenth of a dollar or unit,
and to contain thirty-seven grains and two-sixteenth parts of a grain of
pure, or forty-one grains and three-fifth parts of a grain of standard silver.
Ha>i dimes—each to be of the value of one-twentieth of a dollar, and to contain eighteen grains and nine-sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or twenty
grains and four-fifth parts of a grain of standard silver. Cents—each to be
of the value of the one-hundredth part of a dollar, and to contain eleven
pennyweights of copper. Half cents—each to bo of the value of half a cent,
and to contain five pennyweights and a half a pennyweight of copper.
T h o m a s J e f f e r s o n m a y b e j u s t l y r e g a r d e d as t h e author of our
m o n e t a r y s y s t e m . If h e was n o t t h e a u t h o r of t h e first c o i n a g e
law, h i s v i e w s , a t l e a s t , a r e e m b o d i e d i n it. H e originated t h e
d e c i m a l s y s t e m of c o i n a g e — t h a t i t s h o u l d g o b y tens; h e sugg e s t e d and a d v o c a t e d t h e a d o p t i o n of a s i m i l a r s y s t e m as t o
w e i g h t s and measures, and m a d e a n e l a b o r a t e r e p o r t upon t h e
subject i n connection w i t h h i s report on coinage.
T h e Constitution, i n p r o h i b i t i n g t h e S t a t e s f r o m c o i n i n g m o n e y ,
contains a p r o v i s i o n t h a t n o S t a t e s h a l l m a k e a n y t h i n g e x c e p t
g o l d and s i l v e r c o i n a l e g a l t e n d e r i n p a y m e n t of debts. A l l of
our public m e n w h e n r e f e r r i n g t o our standard of m o n e y invariably used t h e w o r d s " g o l d and s i l v e r . " T h o m a s H . B e n t o n i n
h i s T h i r t y Y e a r s i n C o n g r e s s r e f e r s to t h i s m a t t e r r e p e a t e d l y ,
u s i n g t h e words " g o l d and s i l v e r " as if t h e y m e a n t one and t h e
s a m e t h i n g , u s i n g t h e m i n t h e s i n g u l a r number. A n d t h a t w a s
t h e rule before 1873.
I n f a v o r i n g f r e e and u n l i m i t e d c o i n a g e u p o n t h e o l d system, I
d o b u t r e p e a t t h e d e m a n d s of t h e p e o p l e i n t h e i r local State and
n a t i o n a l p a r t y platforms. I h a v e h e r e a l o n g l i s t of platforms i n
1390—Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, and g o i n g o n w i t h
a n u m b e r of others, g i v i n g t h e p l a t f o r m s of t h e different parties,
and c o m i n g d o w n to Kansas w h e r e w e are particularly s e n s i t i v e
u p o n t h i s point—all p a r t i e s w i t h o u t d i s t i n c t i o n f a v o r i n g t h e f r e e
and u n l i m i t e d c o i n a g e of s i l v e r .
T h a t h a s b e e n t h e d o c t r i n e of D e m o c r a t s f r o m t h e t i m e of t h e i r
party's b i r t h t o t h e present, and i n t h i s t h e y b u t followed t h e
t e a c h i n g s of t h e i r g r e a t l e a d e r and t h e a u t h o r of our monetary

s v s t e m . A s far back as 1838 D e m o c r a t s , as a p a r t y , declared t h a t
" G o l d and s i l v e r is t h e o n l y safe and c o n s t i t u t i o n a l c u r r e n c y . "
I n 1880, i n t h e i r national platform, t h e y d e c l a r e d i n favor of
'' H o n e s t m o n e y , c o n s i s t i n g of g o l d and s i l v e r , and paper conv e r t a b l e i n t o c o i n o n demand." T h i s d e c l a r a t i o n w a s r e p e a t e d
i n t h e i r national p l a t f o r m i n 1884. D e m o c r a t s i n t w e n t y - t h r e e
of t h e S t a t e s w h i c h h e l d S t a t e c o n v e n t i o n s i n 1890 declared, i n
one f o r m or a n o t h e r , i n favor of f r e e c o i n a g e of s i l v e r . H e r e i s
w h a t t h e y said:

Arkansas.—'We denounce as iniquitous the silver bill as passed by the present Republican House of Representatives, as an attempt to demoralize silver
and to build up the fortunes of the favored few, and we favor the free and
unrestricted coinage of silver, and an increased volume of currency, restricted
alone to the necessary demands of the country, which shall be a legal tender
for all debts, public and private. We believe the power to issue and control
the volume of the currency belongs alone tolthe Government, and that this
power should not be delegated to or controlled by any other authority.
California.—We favor the free coinage of silver, and demand that it be
made an unlimited legal tender for all purposes, public and private.
Colorado.—We condemn the present Administration for reckless and unnecessary waste of public treasure, by means of which the surplus fund accumulated under the wise and economic Administration of Grover Cleveland
has practically disappeared, in place of which the country is threatened with
a deficiency arising from the increase of expenditures over receipts for the
present fiscal year. We demand the free and unlimited coinage of silver.
Florida.—We persistently and continuously oppose the pernicious system
of contracting the circulating medium of the country, as now conducted by
the National Government. The consideration of the subtreasury bill in Congress indicates a desire unon the part of the whole people for an increase of
a circulating medium, and that it is the duty of our members in Congress to
secure the passage of some law that will give the r e q u i r e d relief.
Idaho.—We tender our gratitude to the Democrats in Congress for their
almost unanimous votes in both Houses for the free and unlimited coinage
of silver, and congratulate the people of our new State that there is one
great political organization in the country committed by its votes in Congress to a measure so essential to the prosperity of Idaho. The silver bill as
enacted by the Republican Congress is a compromise in the interests of
Wall street, clothes the Secretary of the Treasury with power to refuse to
purchase bullion on the pretext that bullion is not offered at the market
price, and enables him to bear the silver market by refusing to purchase except at his discretion and at such prices as he may determine.
Illinois.—We demand that all unnecessary restrictions be removed from
the coinage of silver.
Indiana.—We denounce the silver bill, so called, recently enacted, as an
ignominious surrender to the money power. It perpetuates the demonetization of silver and the single gold standard, whereas the interests of the people require the complete renionetization of silver and its restoration to perfect eonaiity with gold in our coinage. We demand the free and unrestricted
coinage of silver upon the basis existing prior to 1873.
Iowa.—Wo demand the free coinage of silver, and that it may be made a
lesral tender for all debts, public and private, and denounce as unjust and
dishonest the provision of the law recently enacted allowing parties to stipulate against payment in silver and silver certificates, thus setting one
standard of value for the creditor and one for the debtor, one for the poor
man, and the other for the rich man.
Kansas.—We favor the free coinage of silver. We favor such change in our
fiscal laws as will leave the control of our circulating medium of the country wholly in the hands of the Government.
Massachusetts.—We recall with pride the financial policy of the Federal
Government when the Treasury was under control of the Democratic party,
when confidence was felt in the prudence and sagacity of its methods, and
we ask the business men of this State to contrast that administration with
the short-sighted and dangerous policy that has prevailed lately, a policy
which has several times threatened and may at any time lead to a financial
Michigan.—We believe in the free and unlimited coinage of gold and silver,
imhaiiroered by conditions as to the legal-tender qualities of either and unhampered by the proviso suspending coinage of silver after July 1. 1891. We
condemn the Republican policy because it demonetized silver and still refuses
the demand of the people for the restoration of silver to a complete equality
with gold.
Missouri.—We are in favor of the free and unrestricted coinage of silver
and the increase of currency to meet the legitimate demands of trade, and
we believe that the power to issue and control the volume of such currency
should be assumed by the Government.
Nebraska.—We favor the placing of the silver dollar on its former footing
with gold coin in our coinage law, with equal legal-tender qualities, and we
denounce as unjust and dishonest the law recently enacted as a discrimination in favor of the gold coin for the benefit of the money power, and we further declare ourselves in favor of the free coinage of silver.
Nevada.—We declare for the free and unlimited coinage of standard silver
dollars of the present weight and fineness, to bo legal tender for all debts,
public and private, equally with gold.
North Carolina.—The Democrats of North Carolina favor the free coinage
of silver and an increase of the currency and the repeal of the internal-re venue system. * * * We demand the abolition of national banks and the substitution of legal-tender Treasury notes in lieu of national bank notes, issued
in sufficient volume to do the business of the country on a cash system, regulating the amount needed on a per capita basis, as the business interests of
the country expand, and that all money issued by the Government shall be
legal tender in payment of all debts, both public and private.
Ohio.—We favor the free coinage of silver with its present ratio with gold.
Oregon.—We reaffirm the position which has ever been maintained by the
Democratic party, that gold and silver are equally the people's money; we
are opposed to all measures of discrimination against silver, and demand
free coinage to supply the needs of business; and that all money issued by
the Government be made legal tender for all debts, both public and private.
South Carolina.—We demand the abolition of national banks, and that
legal-tender Treasury notes be issued in sufficient volume to do the business
of the country on a cash system, and that all money issued by the Government shall be legal tender in payment of all debts, both public and private. * * * (We favor) the free and unlimited coinage of silver, the increase of currency, and the repeal of the internal-revenue system.
South Dakota.—'That we are in favor of the full remonetization of silver,
the free and unlimited coinage thereof, and the issuance of coin certificates
based thereon, which shall be a full legal tender.
Tennessee.—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



The other day an old friend came to me and said: 11 1 have
coinage of silver on the basis originallyfixedby law, and that it and the gold
dollar shall be equally a unit of value.
learned something; I have learned that there is no such thing
Texas.—We are opposed to the continuance of the national banking system
and demand the abolishment thereof as soon as by law the same can be done. as a money of the world. I have just sent my boy away on a
# * * w e are in favor of the free and unlimited coinage of silver, and in- trip to Europe. He is going to ride among those people there
dorse the action of our Senators and Representatives therefor.
on his bicycle, and take a little exercise. I found, in order to
West Virginia.—That the Democrats of West Virginia * * * declare that
procure money with which the boy could travel, I had to pay a
they are unalterably in favor of the free and unlimited coinage of silver.
Wyoming.—'We demand the free coinage of silver, and we denounce the Re- discount. I had to run around from place to place, and finally I
publican party for the enactment of a law which makes it discrotionary with succeeded in obtaining what he could use when he got to a forthe Secretary of the Treasury to demonetize silver.
eign country."
The same year Prohibitionists in Arkansas, Colorado, KanFrom the time when money was invented we have had moneysas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio adopted free-coin- changers and bankers, who have made i t a business to supply
age resolutions, and independent voters in Iowa, Kansas, Min- the citizens of one nation with currency which will pass among
nesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota declared in the citizens of another nation. That is one of the legitimate
favor of unlimited silver coinage.
functions of banking. Let these speculators procure their gold
Republicans in their national platforms in 1884 and 1888 adopted just the same as I procure my flour, or as my friend from Orethe following resolutions:
gon [MR. MITCHELL,] procures his lumber. We go into the flour
1884.—We have always recommended the best money known to the civilized market and into the lumber market and pay for it in the money
world, and we urge that an effort be made to unite all commercial nations in of the country. If I am dealing with a citizen of Great Britain,
the establishment of an international stand ard| which shall be for all the rela1 can easily procure the money which passes current in Great
tive value of gold and silver coinage.
1888.—The Republican party is in favor of the uss of both gold and silver as Britain when I get there.
money, and condemns the policy of the Democratic Administration in its
I come now to a very interesting part of the subject, passingefforts to demonetize silver.
over some points which I intended to make, and that is the matThat language was properly interpreted to mean free coinage ter of fiat money. I regret that the distinguished Senator from
of silver equally with gold. Republican writers and speakers Massachusetts [Mr. HOAR] is not present. Perhaps some Senaso construed it. No other construction could fairly be put upon tor who takes the same view of monetary philosophy as he does
the words. Bimetallism means the use of two metals alike as a will represent him. I hold in my hand a small bar of gold about
money standard—gold and silver as one. Republican voters so 2 inches in length and one-third of an inch in width. It is standunderstood it, and they appealed to the country on that con- ard gold, Mr. President, 22 carats line, such as we put into our
struction. The junior Senator from Colorado [Mr. WOLCOTTJ, coins. It is pure, with the 10 per cent alloy, ready for mintage.
in a speech delivered here on the 17th day of June, 1890, stated It weighs exactly 258 grains. It is equal in weight with a gold
the case thus:
eagle. Now, I ask any Senator upon this floor—and I am sorry,
The open and avowed views of ex-President Cleveland, while they con- I repeat, that the Senator Iron). Massachusetts is not here, for I
vinced nobodv apparently, either in the Democracy or out of it, were yet wanted to submit the proposition to him, and I wanted to ask
sufficient to paralyze the efforts of the friends of silver in both political par- him to take this gold bar in his hand, and, being an honest man
ties to secure its full recognition. The day star of hope did not rise for us
until the national convention of 1388. Then the Republican convention de- and a profound lawyer, to answer me the question:
clared for silver. It seems droll now to recall the enthusiasm created in the
If I owe to the Senator from Illinois [Mr. CULLOM] $10, can I
far "West in the last campaign. The Republican candidate for the Presidency compel him in law to accept this gold bar in payment of the debt?
had been in public life, but his utterances had not been many or particularly
important. * * * B u t w e hunted u p t h e CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, and Can I compel any citizen "to accept it in the payment of a debt?
being ardent and sanguine, and our hearts being illumined with hope, many Is there any Senator upon the floor who is willing to risk an anof us found here and there a phrase or a sentence which indicated a friendiv
feeling for silver. And we labored among the farmers in the valleys and on swer to that question? We all know what the law is, and we all
the plains and with the toilers in the mining camps in the mountain gulches knaw yesterday, when we were discussing the bill concerning the
and canons with the^a as texts.
national banks, what the law was, but nobody seemed willing to
When it was proposed in 1890 to fasten upon the country the have it enforced. We all understand very well that this bar is
Sherman silver law, which I then predicted would disrupt the not money in any sense of the word; yet Sena-tors who insist upon
Republican party, and it will do so yet, our Republican friends the. intrinsic value of money, and who quarrel over the word
in Kansas met in solemn convention and declared quite as sol- "fiat," say that the gold which is in our coin, not the coin itself,
emnly that while the Sherman law was a step in the "right direc- but the gold which is in it before it is stamped, is worth as much
tion,^'we, the Republicans of Kansas, favor free and unlimited as the coined metal.
coinage of silver." So said my distinguished predecessor in this
Now, I put the question before them in the presence of the
Chamber just a few days before his successor was elected.
American Senate, and I ask again, is there any Senator upon the
You say we can not maintain the ratio of 16 to 1. Why not? floor who will say as a Senator that a piece of standard gold,
Did we not do that thing about eighty years, and had anybody thoroughly tested, weighing as much as the eagle, can be forced
complained? Have we ever been compelled to call to our aid the upon any creditor against his consent? Everyone will answer
assistance of our brethren on the other side of the Atlantic? W e no, of course.
I place before you now a gold eagle, coined according to the
do not ask them to help us in our tariff affairs; we do not ask them
to assist us in reference to any of our local matters. Now, when law. of precisely the same weight and fineness of the bar I have
a great cry comes up from the people to restore to them the old shown to you. I ask you whether that coin can be forced upon
law which was taken away from them without their knowledge any creditor? " W h y , " you say, it d o e 3 not need a n y forcing.
and without their consent, some influence come3 in between us The law of the land makes that legal tender, and no one would
and our lawmakers and says, ''You shall not do this thing;" and think of refusing it." Now, I ask the Senators why is it that
the coin is money, and the gold bar is not?
we do not.
I put the question so plainly that the wayfaring man, though
The proper thing for us to do was well stated a few days ago
by the Senator from Idaho now in the chair [Mr. DUBOIS]: Place a fool, can not err in the answer: What makes the coin money
gold and silver upon the same plane; either restore the protec- and the bar a commodity? The law, and only the law. The law
tion of the law to silver, or remove the protection of the law alone makes money value.
This bar was made for me by a firm of jewelers in the city oI
from gold, and the people' do not care which you do.
So far as I am concerned, I had rather see all of our coinage Chicago. I sent the order through a jeweler of Washington.
laws wiped out, place gold and silver on the markets the same When it was returned I saw it weighed upon scales, so that I
as we do wheat, and corn, and cotton; let the Government pur- know the exact weight of the two pieces. There is a trifling difchase every dollar's worth of both metals which is offered, and ference—a hair or two only—between them, yet one is money, a
as long as the people want silver and gold to rest their paper full legal tender, and the other is not money, though of precisely
upon, lay it away and let it rest as a basis without abrasion, and the same weight, the same metal, and the same quality.
What, then, becomes of this theory of fiat money? The Senwithout counterfeiting, and without any sort of change whatever.
The time is not very far distant when the people will discover ator from Massachusetts spoke about maintaining a fifty-cent
that they do not need any gold or any silver to base their paper dollar at a parity, insisting that 50 cents of the dollar was clear
upon; but so long as they want it, let them have it, and let them fiat; yet we are maintaining it at a parity, and we are forcing a
have all that the miners can dig out of the mountains, and base fraud upon the people according to this argument.
I have here some of the old Continental notes [exhibiting] that
our paper upon that. I do not believe in the Government supplying individual persons with gold or silver, except that they there is so much talk about, which helped the boys out of their
troubles during the war of the Revolution.
may buy it the same as they would buy corn or wheat.
Under the authority of the Continental Congress not a legal
Oh, but you ask me, "How aie you going to get along with
your foreign trade; how are you going to supply the necessary dollar could go out, no taxes could be levied, no revenues could
gold to meet balances with foreign nations?" etc. I would do it be collected, and yet this paper passed among the soldiers of the
just the same as I would do in relation to wheat and cotton and Revolution as money. It was different when we came to the war
corn; I would let the hoarders go and buy it when they want it. of the Rebellion. W e then had a Government established, au303



thorized to coin money and to regulate the value thereof, and
we made our own money. I think a little more of the same
medicine would be very acceptable to the people at this time.
Mr. COCKRELL. Does the Senator intend to have the form
of those notes printed?
Mr. PEFFER. No, I had not thought about that.
Mr. COCKRELL. Why not let the form of them be printed

i n t h e RECORD?

Mr. PEFFER. The peculiar designs and the borders can not
be reproduced without a good deal of trouble and expense; but I
will state the form and dimensions of the several pieces and give
the reading matter on their faces.
Number 1 is a rectangle, 2i inches by 3i inches, and reads:
" One-third of a dollar, according to a resolution of Congress
passed at Philadelphia February 17, 1776."
Number 2 is 3 by 3i inches, with bordering, and reads: 44 This
bill entitles the bearer to receive six Spanish milled dollars, or
the value thereof in gold or silver, according to a resolution of
Congress passed at Philadelphia May 9, 1776."
Number 3 is in similar form and reading. It was issued from
Baltimore, Feburuary 26,1777, and is for $7.
Number 4 is for $8, issued from Philadelphia, September 26,
Number 5 is for $4. No place of issue is stated, but the date is
January 14, 1779.
The reading of the several bills is nearly alike—*4 The bearer
is entitled to receive * * * Spanish milled dollars, or the
value thereof in gold or silver."
Number 5 reads: 44* * * Spanish milled dollars, or an equal
sum in gold or silver."
Mr. GALLINGER. I am extremely interested in the discussion on the part of the Senator from Kansas, and, if it will not
interrupt him, I should like to propound one question for information.
Mr. PEFFER. Very good.
Mr. GALLINGER. I should like to ask the Senator what is
the value of the gold bar which he has exhibited to the Senate?
Mr. PEFFER. I thank the Senator for the question. I had
intended mentioning it, but forgot to do so. Among the jewelers
this gold bar would bring $8.80.
Mr. GALLINGER. What is the value of the coin which the
Senator exhibited?
Mr. PEFFER. It is $10.
Mr. GALLINGER. So that, after all, the Government stamp
or the Government authority does not give the entire value to
the coin?
Mr. PEFFER. Oh, no.
Mr. GALLINGER. And th9 gold bar is not fiat money?
Mr. PEFFER. The gold bar is not money at all, fiat or any
other kind; but the coin is money, and it is fiat money. It s iys
upon its face 44 $10." That is all. That is what the law says its
value shall be, and there is no other way of gauging its value,
Mr. President, but by the terms of the law. The law says it
shall be of the value of $10.
Mr. BUTLER. May I make an inquiry of the Senator for information, for I was very much interested in the question of the
Senator from New Hampshire?
Mr. PEFFER. Certainly.
Mr. BUTLER. I understood the Senator to say that the
value of the bar is only $8.80. So the stamp of the Government
increases its value $1.20.
Mr. PEFFER. Yes, sir. In connection with that, I do not
wish to be understood as saying that the value of $8.80 is intrinsically in the metal, because that is not the truth. A large part
of the measure of the value for commercial purposes is given to it
by reason of the Government using such a large quantity of gold
for money. More than 50 per cent of the gold product of the
world is used for monetary purposes.
Take away the protection of the law, throw it upon the open
market the same as you do silver, and it will go down like silver
has gone down to the level of other property, and then we shall
have justice done, and not until then.
Mr. MITCHELL of Oregon. There is 10 per cent of alloy in
the bar?
Mr. PEFFER. There is—the same as in the coin.
Mr. MITCHELL of Oregon. There is 10 per cent of alloy?
Mr. P E FFER. It is nine-tenths fine.
Mr. MITCHELL of Oregon. Suppose there was no alloy at
all in the bar, leaving the alloy in the coin, what would be the
difference between the bar and the coin in value?
Mr. PEFFER. The jeweler gave me a statement showing
how jewelers measure the value of their gold. It is done by
carats per pennyweight. Pure gold is 24 carats fine, dividing
the weight into pennyweights of 24 grains each. For every
pennyweight of 8-carat gold, the worth would be 32 cents. For
a pennyweight of 10-carat gold the value would be 40 cents; of

14 carats the value would be 56 cents; of 18 carats, 72 cents; of
22 carats (the coin standard), 88 cents; and of44 carats, pure gold,
the value would be 96 cents. I asked him, When I bring this
bar back to sell to the jeweler, what can I get for it?" and he replied , $8.80. Then he gave me a card showing how gold is valued
by the jewelers.
Just one word, Mr. President, about bimetallism. It is a very
indefinite term. I may be a bimetallist and yet believe in using
silver for onty the minor coins. I may be a bimetallist and be
willing that silver shall be a legal tender to the extent of only
$5. Upon the same principle I will be a trimetallist, because we
use nickel as money—gold, silver, and nickel. By the same philosophy I might be a quadrometallist, because we use gold, silver, nickel, and copper—four different metals. But the test of a
bimetallist, from my standpoint, is, do you believe in the free and
unlimited coinage of silver at the old ratio of 16 to 1?
In this bill there is a platform utterance at the end of the
statutory provision which declares .that it is the policy of this
country to maintain a parity between the metals. That same
platform utterance was enunciated in the Sherman law, that we
propose to maintain a parity between the metals. Mr. President, we do not do anything of the kind. When we enacted the
coinage law of 1873 we dropped the silver dollar utterly out of the
list of coins. In 1878, when an attempt was made to restore the
old law, we were put off with a compromise of $2,000,000 a month—
not to exceed $4,000,000 a month—and the Treasury Department,
with the advice, consent, and direction of the Chief Executive
under both parties, gave us one-half the law and kept the other
half away from us. Now, gentlemen may say what they please,
this is an attempt to drive away from the people every vestige
of legislation in favor of silver.
Ah, but you say, 44 We intend to keep the silver coin that we
have at a parity." I do not know whether you do or not. I only
know what you have done, and if you succeed in carrying through
this legislation your next step will be utterly to demonetize silver. But if I be mistaken about that, if we can maintain a parity
at one ratio we can do it at another.
I will now pass on very hurriedly, omitting a good many things
I had intended to say, for the purpose of giving way for other
matters. It is said that this will drive us to a silver standard.
Suppose it does, who will be injured? Who will be benefited?
I would much prefer that our business, if it has to be transacted
upon a monometallic basis, be upon the basis of silver; and I
think I can give very good reasons for it.
The nations of Europe, with whom a large part of our trade .
is conducted, are as to a great many articles compelled to pay a
large tribute before they are permitted to land them upon our
shores. W e tax them upon their manufactured goods; we tax
them upon their cloth, their wool and their cotton; we tax them
upon their cutlery; we tax them upon their coal and upon their
salt, and upon a great many other articles which our people are
constantly using.
Instead of throwing open our doors wide for the trade of the
world, we tax the trade of that portion of the world that to-day
is most largely interested in the things we have to sell, and
those are gold-using countries. We can get along without the
trade of those countries, if we have to do it, so far as our manufactured goods are concerned. Here we have upon our southern border twelve States in South America; we have six States
in Central America, and we have Mexico. There is a field for
our manufactures, while on the other side of the Atlantic is a
field for our farm products. I have bsen surprised at the character and drift of our legislation the last four or five years in
that respect.
Our farmers are to trade in Europe, where we levy taxes upon
their products, while our manufacturers are permitted or asked to
trade in the South American states, where the people raise their
own wheat, and their own corn, and their own cattle, and their
own sheep, and their own wool. If we need tea or coffee that
we can not produce in our own country, both are grown extensively in Brazil. If there are spices that we need, we can get
them in the islands of the sea. If there is anything that we
need, that our people do not produce, we can find it somewhere
without landing a ship upon British, or German, or French soil.
All of the countries to which I have referred are silver-using
countries. They would be ready at any time to unite with us
upon an international monetary standard, while, if Mr. Gladstone speaks the truth—and we all think he does—we need never
expect any international agreement with Great Britain upon any
other basis than gold.
I would be willing to have an international conference for the
purpose of agreeing upon a unit of value, that value to be based
upon the common divisor of a large number of articles in general
use among the people. Give to that unit of value a name, whatever it is, I care not what. Give it a name. Then let it be represented by a sign on paper which shall be an obligation of the

government whose stamp it bears, and have no other kind of international agreement except one between the nations as nations.
Let individuals settle their own balances in their own way and
accommodate their trade to that condition of things; but as to a
metallic basis or a local monetary system, I believe in having an
American standard, an American system, just as we have in all
the rest of our administration.
Mr. President, we are looking in the wrong direction for the
primary cause of our trouble.
W e are but infants at the beginning of the alphabet. 4 4 Standing as we do in the evening of the most fruitful century of human
progress, looking backward over achievements grand in their
scope, astounding in their numbers, and bewildering in their effects—discovery, invention, development in all departments of
effort, change and improvement everywhere; and looking forward toward the dawn of a higher and broader civilization, with
fresh discoveries of genius, and nobler reaches of mind, when we
shall have happier conditions, with larger liberty, purer pleasures, and the enjoyment of more abundant leisure, strange it is
that we are just beginning to study one of the most subtle and
cunning agencies of human activity, operating in men's affairs as
the alchemy of spring sets the forces of nature at work to bring
forth verdure and flowers and move vegetation on toward the
harvest time.
How strange that this should be true. That while we have
changed our methods in all departments of industry and are
now searching for new and better ways along every avenue of
growth, we hold with an almost desperate grip to a money system that descended to us from the barbarism of the past. The
time is at hand when we need improvement in our methods of
providing and distributing this most convenient repository of
values. The things which are bound up in the one word
"money*' are an innumerable host that no man can number, involving endless development of mind and thought and energy,
perpetual progress and growth. As healthy blood imparts
vigor and strength to the human body, so money in active circulation quickens the pulses of trade, encourages the toiling poor,
gives employment to willing hands, and brings prosperity and
peace to the people.
The great trouble with us arises from the simple fact (and I
speak the words with emphasis) that we permit a few men to
control our finances. Am I to be censured for suggesting this
thought? Was Cyrus H. McCormick an outlaw because he invented a machine that laid the old grain cradle and the sickle
in the shade? Was Watts to be excommunicated because he
invented the eccentric wheel in the steam engine, or Stevens
for inventing the elevator to carry wheat and flour from the
lower floor to the upper one? Are the Cramps to be censured
because they have brought down the cost of shipbuilding to a
level with the mechanics on the Clyde? Are the men who propose changes by way of improvement to be ostracized because
they ask that something new be tried? W e have tested our
financial system and find it wanting. Now, let us look about us
and see if there is not something better. We are at the mercy
of the usurers to-day, and the usurer is he whose bounty is toii,
whose blessing is want, whose rule is poverty. His breath is
pestilence, his presence is a perpetual menace to liberty and
to every interest which men hold dear.
I have spoken about the repeal of the Sherman law. As that
is not responsible for our misfortunes its repeal will add nothing
by way of relief to the people, and, so far as I am concerned, it
shall never be repealed unless in connection with the act repealing it we have the old coinage law of our fathers restored
to the statute books.
In this time of trouble to whom shall we turn? Let us ask the
people. What do they want? They ask bread and we offer them
a stone. They ask for more money and we propose to give them
less. They ask the loan of money and we close the banks. They
ask for the use of their own funds now in bank and they are
compelled to pay a premium. They ask for means to carry on
their daily business and we permit the usurers to corner the
currency, and we tell the banks to hoard all the lawful money
they can get hold of and give out their own certificates to be
used as money.
Who asks for the repeal of the Sherman law? Let the distinguished Senator from Indiana [Mr. VOORHEES] answer. The
repeal of the Shermanlaw means, as was so well stated by the Senator from Missouri [Mr. VEST] afew days ago, a gold standard. It is
said on the other side that they propose to maintain the present
silver coins as money. I understand that very well: but you propose to measure them by a gold standard, and that is what we
object to. Take away the protection of the law from gold and
we are ready to meet you halfway; but until you do that we are
on this side of the line with our faces to the front.
I wondered, when I heard the Senator from Indiana the other
day, how it will appear in print when the historian comes to


speak of the political apostacy of that distinguished Senator.
He labored hard and eloquently to show that he has abandoned
none of the views that the people understood him to entertain
in the years gone by. 1 have quoted that distinguished m m frequently upon the public platform. 44 Here is what Senator
VOORHEES, of Indiana, said upon the floor of the American Senate," I said to the people. "We have one great apostle of liberty
in our ranks battling for the rights of the common people, that
they may have their money restored to them." The Senator
still insists that he is a bimetallist, but he is following in the
lead of one who says all our obligations shall be paid in gold.
He is following in the lead of one who says that silver coinage
ought to be discontinued and not another silver dollar coined.
He is following in the lead of men who are headed the other
way; and, while grasping the hand of Wall street in one hand,
they slap the people in the face with the other.
There can be but one construction put upon this whole proce3ding. You are attempting to drive the country to the standard of the gamblers. That is what it means, Mr. President,
nothing more or nothing less, stripped of all verbiage. I ask no
better description of that class of men whom I have denominated
gamblers than that used by the distinguished Senator from Indiana, for whom I have the highest personal regard.
Mr. President, when listening to that speech, and after reading it again in print that I might not be mistaken, it seemed to
me that I could read the old story of Isaac and his boys. The old
man's eyes had become dimmed and they played a trick on him.
There was a skin of fur put upon his son's hands, and the old man
heard his voice, and he said, "Come near, that I may feel whether
this is all right. The voice," he says, "is Jacob's voice, but the
hands are the hands of Esau." (See Genesis, 27, to verse 29.)
The Senator is talking for the people, but he is voting with
their enemies.
The next proposition is to increase the national bank circulation; and yet when I introduced a little innocent resolution in
this body yesterday asking for information from the Treasury
Department whether the banks were doing business in violation
of law, immediately a storm in this Chamber arose which has
spread its effect all over the country. It will reach out into
every hamlet, into every lodge of the Knights of Labor, and into
every assembly of the Farmers' Alliance; it will be discussed at
the firesides of the people, by the threshing machines, by the
forges, and in the mills. The people will wonder why that resolution was not adopted, in view of the fact that a bill was pending which proposed to give to the banks an additional $20,000,000
of notes to lend to the people. I have here the resolution which
I submitted. It is as follows:
First. Whether, and in what respect, the national banks, or any of them,
in the cities of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia are being now conducted
in violation of law.
Second. Whether said banks are paying depositors' checks promptly
in lawful money.
Third. Whether said banks, or any of them, are demanding rates of interest higher than those provided by law for the loan of money or in discounting notes and bills.

Now, Mr.President, I wish to say in this connection, lest I may
not have the opportunity to do it again, that I made no charge
against the Secretary of the Treasury nor the Comptroller of
the Currency nor against anyone. It was common rumor that
the banks of the country were violating the law; that they were
refusing to honor the checks of their depositors; that they were
issuing clearing-house certificates and compelling the people to
use them as currency in their daily transactions. I simply wanted
to have this matter officially contradicted, or I wanted to have
the country know that there was some reason why it was permitted; that was all. I did not want to censure anybody. I believe that under the present condition of things the New York
banks did just what they had to do to save themselves, under the
circumstances. I believe the whole system is wrong.
M r . MCPHERSON r o s e .

Mr. PEFFER. The Senator will please pardon me until I
get through on this point. I believe the whole system is wrong;
but having brought us to this trouble, having the country and
its business upon their backs, there was nothing left for them
to do but to send out their'clearing-house certificates, just as 1
have known merchants in the time of a currency famine to issue
their own orders or checks to pass as currency among the people
until the storm is over.
Mr. MCPHERSON. Will it interfere with the Senator if I
should ask him a question?
Mr. PEFFER. No, sir; it does not interfere with me.
Mr. McPHERSON. The Senator stated that it was common
rumor that the banks were acting illegally. I should like to
know if he expects the Comptroller of the Currency to dispute
every common rumor that may appear in the newspapers or in
the open air? Unless complaints should be made to the Comp-




conceded upon this floor to be the truth, I would have an additional argument to urge upon the Senate for the destruction of
that system, and after we have adjourned, having discharged
our duty here, I might go before the people and show to them
the defects of this system that has grown up under our fostering
care; that was all. I did not expect to court-martial anybody or
ask that any man be sent to prison. I wanted the facts, that the
Senate might first have them, and that the country might have
them next.
I have a table here showing the stock of money in the country
on the 1st day of July, 1893:

troller of the Currency in a formal manner how is he to take
cognizance of the matter and proceed as against common rumor?
Mr. P E F F E R . In the discussion that we had here yesterday
abundant reasons were shown
Mr. A L L E N . W i l l the Senator yield to me for a question?
Mr. P E F F E R . Certainly.
Mr. A L L E N . Is it not true that the assistant treasurer at
N e w York is a member of the Clearing House Association at
New York, and therefore the Treasury Department is charged
with a knowledge of the violation of the law?
Mr. P E F F E R . I have no doubt that there are members of
this body and members of the other House who are members of
the Clearing House Association in New York or some other city.
I have no doubt that members of the Administration are bankers and members of clearing-house associations. But, Mr. President, this was not a charge against any of the officers. It was a
simple request for information, and upon that point a quibble
was raised yesterday as to the legal status of it.
The Comptroller of the Currency is placed in charge of the
national banking law. It is his business to know when the law
is violated. It is his business to understand the working of the
banking system, just as a jeweller understands the working of a
clock. During the great war, a part of the time at Fort Donelson, I was placed in charge of the stores belonging to the commissary department, and it was part of my business to sell supplies to the officers. There were many times that we could not
effect the proper change, and in order to supply the want of a
currency I simply wrote a little check with my name signed, as
"Good for 10 cents—PEFFER"; and those checks circulated
throughout all the camp month after month as money.
So in this case, all I wanted to know, all that the resolution
asked for, was to know what is being done by the banks. Then
we could determine what else ought to be done, if anything. I
wanted the country to understand officially whether the banks
of the great cities are using anything else than lawful money as
currency. I wanted to know whether they are paying their depositors. I wanted to know whether they are charging unlawful
rates of interest. I was satisfied that with the honor, the intelligence, and the capacity of the Secretary of the Treasury and
his able assistant, the Comptroller of the Currency, they would
understand just what the Senate wanted and would give us the
actual facts.
Then it was my purpose, I will state very frankly to the Senate, that if it should be shown upon official evidence what was

Statement showing the amounts of gold and silver coins and certificates, United
States notes and national-bank notes in circulation July l, 1893.
coined or

In Treas- in circula- in circulaury.
tion July tion July

$513,743,623 $110,109,923 $403,633,700 $408,7C7,740
Gold coin
419,332,450 362,302,707 57,029,743 56.790, 484
Standard silver dollars
77,256,212 11,855,944 65,400,268 62,rU5,518
Subsidiary silver
94,041,189 1,071,170 92,970,019 141,2;>5,*83i)
Gold certificates
330,957,504 4,468,339 326,489,165 326,830,803
Silver certificates
Treasury notes, act July 14,
147,190,227 6,528,533 140,601,694 98,051,657
United States notes
346,631,016 25,805,333 320,875,683 311,814,840
Currency certificates, act
430,000 11,935,000 29,830, C O
June 8,1872
National-bank notes
178,713,872 3,982,733 174,731,139 167,308,057

2,120,281,093 526,554,682 1,593,726,411 1,603,073,333

Let us turn our faces to the people and give them, say, at least
$250,000,000 now, and then after having done that we can talk
about ratio a little while again.
W e must have more money. There is not enough gold in the
world to make money plenty at present rates of value. W e must
have silver in addition, and particularly for payments of comparatively small amounts. But there is not enough of gold and silver combined for use as money. W e must have paper also, and
there is not enough of gold and silver and paper money, all as
one, now in use to supply the common need. A s we can not suddenly increase our coinage to any great extent, we must resort
to paper to supply immediate and pressing demands.
Here is an interesting table taken from RothwelPs "Universal Bimetallism":

Monetary systems and approximate stocks of money in the principal countries of the world, 1891.
Ratio of
silver to 1
of gold.
Countries and money systems.


Stock of silver.


United States, gold and silver 15.98
United Kingdom, gold
France, gold and silver
Germany, gold
Belgium, gold and silver -----31
Italy, gold and silver
Switzerland, gold and silver
, Greece, gold and silver
Spain, srold and silver
Portugal, gold
Austria-Hungary, gold
Netherlands, gold and silver
Scandinavian Union, gold
Russia, silver
Turkey, gold and silver
Australia, gold
Egypt, gold
Mexico, silver
Central America, silver
South America, silver
Japan, gold and silver
India, silver
China, silver
The Straits
Canada, gold
Cuba, Haiti, gold





Full Limten- ited Total.
der. tender.








40,000,000 120
40,000,000 " 9 0
61.8 "2.2






Sil- PaSil- Uncov- ToGold. ver. ered tal. Gold. ver. per.






10.00 20.00


6.72 3 . 7 2
45.92 28.57

5,000,000 26.23
2,000,000 32.26

5 5 3 . 6 4 , 0 0 2 . 7 2,629,660,00010,264,960,000


13.42 53.02
42.10 10.50
10.26 23.
19.23 50.00
46.38 14.49
30.86 7.41
52.62 47.37
93.46 6.54
86.95 13.05
8.77 87.72



Mr. President, the people are going on guard to-day. Their
posts are i n the farmhouses and in the dwellings of the poor, in
the workshops, in the mines, in the forests, on the lakes and
rivers, and along the highways of commerce. Their counter203

Uncovered Gross total.

$405,790, 000 §1,634, 790,000
700, 000,000
50,000, 000
81,400, 000 1,581, 400,000
918, 000,000
107,000, 000
174, 000,000
54,000, 000
307, 270,000
5 0 . 2 163,470, 000
44, 000,000
14,000, 000
20, 000,000
14,000, 000
298, 000,000
100,000, 000
95, 000,000
45,000, 000
260,000, 000
40,000, 000
130, 000,000
27,000, 000
69, 000,000
500,000, 000
95, 000,000
107, 000, coo
115, 000,000
57, 000,000
2, 500,000
670, 000,000
196, 000,000
928, 000,000
700, 000,000


Per capita.



Stock ot




24.82 15.93 $10.06
16.24 $25.15
7 . 1 5 6.82 14.47 2 . 6 3 1.32 18.48
5.15 15.40 20.52 17.95 2.09 40.56
11.65 8.95 12.12 4 . 2 6 2.16 18.54
31.05 1.70 10.66 9 . 0 2 8.85 28.53
5.27 9.91
53.21 2.99 3.02 1.
. 4 3 5.00 5 . 0 0 4 . 6 7 14.67
.91 1.82 6.36 9.09
33.56 2 . 8 9 2.22 8 . 7 8 5.56 16.56
. 9 3 8.00 2.00 9 . 0 0 19.00
66.66 3.81 1.00 2.25 6.50 9 . 7 5
30.77 1.26 5 . 5 5 14.44 8.89 28.88
.68 3 . 7 2 1.16 3.14 8.02
. 5 3 4.
61.73 7 . 8 9 2.21
. 9 3 1.52 1.36
1.03 25.00 1.75
1.13 14.29 2.14
. 4 3 4.31
.17 4.91
80.00 .02
.71 17.14 19.14
89.55 6.53 1.29
1.40 4.90
35.51 1.91 2.25 1,
.11 3 . 6 4
3.02 9.03
. 5 9 3.56 1.11 8.89 13.56
10.00 1.00 20.00 31.00


sign is " loyalty to the Republic;" the Stars and Strides is their
flag; equal rights is their motto; Anglo-Saxon blood is their inheritance; freedom is their birthright, and to be rulers in their
own country is their destiny.