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............... 15 to 1 1872 1873. 1874
... 16 to 1 1875 1876............... 1877. 1878. 1879.................................... 1880 ........ .....
$918,578,000 Gold.......... ............. 1,150,814,000 Or 44 of silver to 56 of gold.
18 to 1
................... 19 tol 1886........................... ........
20 to 1 1887............... .............. .... I to I 1888 .......................... 1889. 1890............................. ...
Silver ........................ $1,298,846,900 Gold ........................... 1,060,055,600 Or 55 of silver to 44 of gold.
22 to 1 19 to 1 )
Now, glance at the above columns of figures and consider for a moment the events that occurred between 1814 and 1874, during which period the commercial ratio of silver to gold remained stationary at 15 to 1.
The American continent, south of the United States, was transformed from European colonies into sixteen independent nations, yet the ratio remained the same.
In Europe great wars disturbed the industrial pursuits of leading nations, such as the battle of Waterloo in 1815, the Crimean war of 1854-5, the war between France and Austria in 1859, and the war between France and Germany in 1870; yet the ratio was unaffected.
In the United States the war with Mexico in 1846 and the great civil war from 1861-5 had no effect upon the ratio.
Great commercial and financial panics occurred in 1857 and 1873, and still the ratio remained stationary at 15 to 1.
But even more significant is the fact that the ratio was unaïfected by the radical fluctuations in the products of silver and gold.
As may be observed by a glance at the above percentages of the world's product of precious metals the silver product, between 1814 and 1873, dropped from 74 to 21 per cent. and then rose to 56 per cent., where it has stood for the past five years. The gold product, during the same period, rose froin 24 to 78 per cent., and then fell to 44 per cent.
The discovery and development of the great gold fields of Australia and California had no effect upon the ratio--notwithstanding during the ten year's from 1851 to 1861 the gold product in the United States was, in value, five hundred times the silver product.
Glance again at the above percentages of the world's product of precious metals and one can see that the popular opinion that there has been an overproduction of silver since 1873 is simply a delusion. The products of silver and gold during the past 23 years have been nearly equal, whereas during the twenty years 1801 to 1820 the silver product was nearly three times that of gold. These statistics are for the whole world, and therefore the fairest possible test for purposes of a contrast.
What, then, is the secret for the unprecedented change in the commercial ratio of silver to gold, which, after centuries of uniformity, rises from 15 to 1 in 1873 to 31 to 1 in 1895?
There is but one possible answer, and that is unfriendly and discriminating legislation.
Glance once more at the columits of figures and it will be seen that the ratio did not change during the year 1873, nor did it take a sudden jump , upward for several years thereafter for the simple reason that it was a long time after the hostile act of 1873 before the American people learned of the crime and began to appreciate its enormity.
In 1878, however, Hon, John G. Carlisle, not Secretary of the Treasury, said in a truly prophetic speech in the House of Representatives:
"According to my view of the subject, the conspiracy which seems to have been formed here and in Europe to destroy by legislation, and otherwise,
from three-sevenths to one-half of the metallic money of the world is the most gigantic crime of this or any other age.
“The consummation of such a scheme would ultimately entail more nisery upon the human race than all the wars, pestilences, and famines that ever occurred in the history of the world."
From that time to the present the public discussion of the subject, in the halls of Congress and the press, has become so general that the people of the United States and the world have been fully informed of the persistent and relentless warfare against silver.
As will be noticed, the most radical change in the commercial ratio conmenced in 1893, when Congress repealed the purchasing act of 1890, and the free coinage of silver was suspended from the mints of British India. Within one year after this concerted attack the ratio jumped from 26 to 1 to 32 to 1.
But it is claimed by the advocates of the single gold standard that legislation cannot change commercial values. That is simply absurd--a violation of the laws of business and common sense.
Suppose, for instance, that an act of Congress could prohibit the use of wheat for making bread, which is one of the principal uses of that product, would not the discriminating act affect the commercial value?
And so hostile legislation prohibiting the use of corn for the manufacture of whisky, or the use of cotton and wool for making cloth would most seriously affect their commercial values.
One of the principal demands for silver is for use as money, and the cutting off of the demand by discriminating legislation affects its commercial value just as it does that of wheat, corn, wool, or cotton.
In conclusion, it is fair to observe that what can be destroyed by hostile legislation can he built up by friendly legislation a wrong done by one act of Congress can be undone by another act of Congress.
SILVER COINAGE PRIOR TO 1873. Much stress has been laid on the fact that more silver has been coinei since the passage of the Bland law in 1878 than before, and certain gold monometallists boast that less than nine millions of dollar pieces were coineil during the former period. This is easily accounted for. The Governmeut had not then taxed State banks of issue out of existence as it has now. They issued the greater part of the money in use till taxed to death. They issued denominations from one dollar up, but as a rule, if at all, did not issue fractional currency. Therefore, of course, a much larger per cent. of silver would be coined into subsidiary coin or fractional currency then than now. The total amount of silver coined prior to 1878 was not merely eight or nine millions, as the rather artful statements of some would lead us to believe, but, including subsidiary and minor coins, was more than $150,000,000.
Again, foreign coins of England herself and other countries were made legal tender by our Government and went into circulation without recoinage.
And, still further, as our silver was at a premium, and our ratio of coinage 16 to 1 was higher than that of France, which was 15 or 1542 to 1, there was 16 to 1 was higher than that of France, there was a tendency to carry our
dollar coins abroad, which caused our Government to prefer coinage in smaller denominations.
In this connection it has also been urged, as an argument against silver coinage now, that during Mr. Jefferson's administration an order was made suspending the coinage of silver dollars. Some gold monometallists rely on this as a precedent for our present cessation from silver coinage. The following is the letter of Mr. Madison, then Secretary of State, making the order:
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, May 1, 1806. SIR: In consequence of a representation from the director of the bank of the United States that considerable purchases have been made of dollars coined at the mint for the purpose of exporting them, and as it is probable further purchases and exportations will be made, the President directs that all the silver to be coined at the mint shall be of small denominations, so that the value of the largest pieces shall not exceed half a dollar.
I am, etc.,
JAMES MADISON. ROBERT PATTERSON, Esq.,
Director of the Mint.
An analysis of this order shows that friendliness to silver and not hostility -a desire to extend circulation within our borders and not to stop it-caused the action of President Jefferson. It was made to prevent our people from lieing deprived of their silver currency and not to deprive them of it. The crder did not contemplate the least diminution of silver's use by our people, but was made to extend its use by them. The facts above given as to the amount coined demonstrates this. It shows that Mr. Jefferson intended by that order no curtailment of the use of silver. It is only necessary to look to the coinage of silver by the mints before and after the order was made to further illustrate. For three years before the order was made, the coinage did not amount to $375,000 a single year. Yet, in 1806, the year in which the order was made, the total coinage was more than $801,000, and averaged more than a million dollars per annum for the next succeeding seven years. as is shown by tables on the coinage of gold and silver in the United States prepared by the Treasury Department.
Up to 1853 fractional coins were full legal tender,and it did not matter what the denominations were so long as this was the case.
THE CRIME OF 1873. It is impossible to state who first characterized the act of 1873, demonetizing silver, a crime, but Hon. John G. Carlisle, now Secretary of the Treasury, is entitled to the honor of making the most positive denunciation of the enormity of the crime.
In his prophetic speech in the House of Representatives February 21. 1878, he said:
“According to my view of the subject, the conspiracy which seems to have been formed here and in Europe to destroy br legislation and otherwise
from three-sevenths to one-half of the metallic money of the world is the most gigantic crime of this or any other age. The consummation of such a scheme would ultimately entail more misery upon the human race than all the wars, pestilences, and famines that ever occurred in the history of the world."-Congressional Record, Forty-fifth Congress, second session, vo!. ume 7, part 5, and Appendix, page 44.
A Leap in the Dark. The peculiar history of the act of demonetization is most clearly set forth in a recent letter, by Senator Stewart, of Nevada, addressed to Senator Sherwan, of Ohio. He says:
President Grant's Message. President Grant, when he signed the specie resumption act on the 14th of January, 1875, nearly two years after silver was demonetized, sent a special message to Congress, an extract from which is as follows:
“There are now smelting furnaces for extracting the silver and gold fronu the ores brought from the mountain territories, in Chicago, St. Louis, and Omaha-three in the former city-and as much of the change required will be wanted in the Mississippi Valley States, and as the metal to be coined comes from the west of those States, and, as I understand, the charges for transportation of bullion from either of the cities named to the mint in Philadelphia or to New York City amount to $4 for each $1,000 worth, with an equal expense for transportation back, it would seem a fair argument in favor of adopting one or more of those cities as the place or places for the establishment of new coining facilities."'--Congressional Record, volume 3, part 1, Forty-third Congress, second session, page 459.
If you still insist that President Grant knew that you demonetized silver in the mint act, I desire to call your particular attention to what your colleagues in the Senate and House at the time said when it became known that silver had been demonetized, and particularly to the statement of your colleague, Judge Thurman.
Senator Thurman, on the 15th of February, 1878, in debate, said:
“I cannot say what took place in the House, but know when the bill was pending in the Senate we thought it was simply a bill to reform the mint, regulate coinage, and fix up one thing and another, and there is not a single man in the Senate, I think, unless a member of the committee from which the bill came, who had the slightest idea that it was even a squint toward demonetization."-Congressional Record, vol. 7, part 2, Forty-fith Congress, second session, page 1064.
Senator Conkling, in the Senate on March 30, 1876, during the remarks of Senator Bogy on the bill (S. 263) to amend the laws relating to legal tender of silver coin, in surprise inquired:
“Will the Senator allow me to ask him or some other Senator a question? Is it true that there is now by law no American dollar? And, if so, is it true Wat the effect of this bill is to make half dollars and quarter dollars the