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stitution and the argument was so apparently conclusive that the republicans became alarmed. It was found that the silver belief was fully grounded--the people of the great West seemed impressed with the idea that more money would make times better, and more money could easily be coined. The government had practically ceased under the Cleveland administration to purchase silver bullion. The mines of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, and other sections, could produce the metal in abundance, and for the government to coin it into money would produce the supply of money necessary to relieve the stringency.
Such arguments appealed to those who felt the pinch of poverty, and the republicans found it necessary to send their best and most eloquent speakers into the field, in order to counteract the influence of the silver advocates. Printing presses throughout the land were set to work to print pamphlets and tracts to explode the democratic doctrine, and great discs of base metal were cast to show how much silver at the prevailing price would have to go into a dollar, to make it the equivalent of a gold dollar. The bullion value of the silver in a dollar was at that time about 50 cents, and the object lesson had its effect upon certain minds.
As indicative of the arguments used by the leading orators during the campaign, the following examples are given:
Congressman Joseph C. Sibley, of Pennsylvania, one of the prominent Eastern men who supported the doctrine of free coinage of silver, said in one of his speeches :
"Silver is the only stable standard of values, maintaining at all times its parity with every article of production except gold. The ounce of silver, degraded by infamous legislation from its normal mintage value of 1.2929 an ounce to about 60 cents, has kept its parity with the ton of pig iron, the pound of nails, and all the products of our iron mills. The ounce of silver has maintained its parity with the barrel of petroleum, with granite blocks, with kiln-burnt bricks. With lumber growing scarcer year by year it still keeps its parity. It is at parity withi the ton of coal; with the mower, reaper, thresher, the grain drill, the hoe, and the spade. Silver at 1.2929 and beef at 7 cents per pound in the farmer's field has kept its parity, and the ounce of silver at 60 cents buys today beef at 2 cents per pound on foot. The pound of cotton and the ounce of silver have never lost their level. No surer has the sun indicated on the dial the hour of the day than has the ounce of silver shown the value of the pound of cotton. As surely as the moon has given high or low tide, just so surely has the ounce of silver given the high and low tide prices of wheat. The ounce of silver has main
tained its parity with your railway dividends, with the earnings in your shops and factories, in all departments of effort.
“If parity with gold is demanded, and the secretary of the treasury construes the law to mean whenever demanded to pay gold, then let us maintain the parity by reducing the number of grains in the gold dollar from 23.22 grains pure gold to 15 grains, or to such number of grains as will keep it at parity. While we may wrong by so doing the creditor class, through the increased value of the products of human industry, we must remember that for every one creditor there are a thousand debtors; and we should remember that the aim of the government is the greatest good to the greatest number, and also the minimum amount of evil. But no such drastic measure is necessary. Parity may be maintained and every declaration of governmental policy fully met by accepting for all dues, public and private, including duties upon imports, silver and paper issues of the nation of every description whatsoever.
"In all the gold-standard nations destitution and misery prevail. With great standing armies in Europe outbreaks are not of frequent occurrence, and yet one rarely peruses his paper without reading of these outbreaks. In Nebraska and Kansas, the land of wheat ard corn, we read of starving households; even in Ohio appeals are sent out for the relief of thousands of starving miners, and yet men have the temerity to tell us that the evils arise from overproduction.
"Men tell us that there is an overproduction of silver, and that its price had diminished in comparison with gold because of its great relative increase. Such statements are not only misleading, but absolutely false. Figures show that in 1600 we produced 27 tons of silver to i .ton of gold; in 1700, 34 tons of silver to i ton of gold; in 1800, 32 tons of silver to i ton of gold; in 1848, 31 tons of silver to i ton of gold; while in 1880 the production of silver had declined until we produced 18 tons of silver to i ton of gold; and in 1890 but 18 tons of silver to i ton of gold; and that, instead of the ratio of coinage being increased above 16 to 1, if relative production of the two metals is to determine the ratio, then the ratio should have been diminished rather than increased, and confirms the fact that merely the denial of mintage upon terms of equality with gold is responsible for all depreciation in the value of silver bullion.
“All the silver in the world today can be put in a room sixty-six feet in each dimension, and all the gold can be melted into a cube of 18 or 20 feet. There are today less than twenty-five millions of bar silver in all Europe. Mr. St. John, the eminent banker of New York, has stated that there was not over five millions of silver that could be made available to send to our mints. Begin to coin silver to the full capacity of our mints, and we would have to coin it for twenty years before giving to each inhabitant a per capita circulation that France, the most prosperous nation in the world today, possesses.
“The struggle today is between the debtor and creditor classes. With one-half the world's money of final account destroyed, the creditor can demand twice as much of the product of your field, your shop, and your enterprise and labor for his dues. In this struggle between debtor and creditor the latter has taken undue advantage and by legislation doubled and trebled the volume of debt. For example, suppose you had given a note to your neighbor promising to pay, one year after date, 1,500 bushels of wheat. You thresh the grain, measure it into the bin, and notify your creditor that the wheat is at his disposal. He goes to the granary, sacks the wheat, and then brings up your notes and states, 'I have taken 500 bushels, which I have endorsed on your note. I will call on you for the balance when next year's crop is harvested.' You say: ‘Why did you not take all the wheat and let me make full payment?' The note-holder answers: 'I did take all the wheat, and there were only 500 bushels in the bin instead of 1,500.'
You fail to understand how that can be possible. You know that you threshed out and measured into that bin 1,500 bushels of wheat. You go to the granary and find that it is true. No wheat is there, but there appears to be an enormous lot of wheat upon those wagons for 500 bushels, and you ask the note-holder: 'Who measured this wheat? and let me see how you measured it.' You see something in the form of a measure about as large as a washtub, and you ask him what that is. He tells you that is the half-bushel measure with which he measured your wheat; but you reply: 'My dear sir, that holds more than half a bushel ;. that measure will hold six pecks: He answers: ‘Correct, it does hold six pecks, but it now takes twelve pecks to make a bushel, instead of four pecks. Together with other friends who had wheat coming to us we went before the committee on coinage, weights and measures and secured the passage of a legislative enactment that it should require twelve pecks instead of four pecks to make a bushel. We have secured this legislation for the proper protection of the holders of wheat obligations, for our own security, and for fear that we should became timid and lose confidence in your ability to pay unless we changed the standard of measure.' But you reply: 'Sir, we who have obligations maturing. contracts long standing, have never asked or consented to the enactment of such legislation. Our representatives in congress never permitted us to understand that any such legislation was pending.' He replies:
Sir, you might have known it had you desired to do so, or had you kept yourself as well posted in legislative affairs as do the holders of