Another hero in the conspiracist mythology is Thaddeus Stevens, the Grand Old Commoner.
Mr. Thaddeus Stevens, Chairman of the Ways and Means, certainly did not think anyone should have consulted Lincoln's Dick, he turned to the Bank of England for an example of legal tender paper money:--
I flatter myself that I have demonstrated, both from reason and undoubted authority, that such notes, made a legal tender and not issued in excess of the demand, will remain at par and pass in all transactions, great and small, at the full value of their face; that we shall have one currency for all sections of the country and for every class of people, the poor as well as the rich.
Some gentlemen are as much frightened as if this were an unwonted apparition, for the first time prowling forth to swallow the rich creditor and nurse the poor debtor. No nation, it is said, has ever tried anything like it.
Let us look at the greatest and wisest commercial nation in the world. In 1797 England was struggling for existence against armed Europe. She needed money, as we do now. She found it impossible to borrow. Gold was likely to leave the country. She passed a law prohibiting the Bank of England from paying coin for her notes until six months after the final ratification of peace. That law remained in force till 1823. It is said she did not make those notes a legal tender. She provided that whoever refused to take them for a debt should have no remedy for its collection; and that a plea of such tender should be a bar to the action. This, I think, is the most stringent legal tender; yet those notes never depreciated to any great extent.
--In the House of Representatives, February 6th 1862.
but who was he before he became 'grand old'? how did he occupy himself prior to 1861 ? what did he do for
the money power before Lincoln's War ?
From 1833, Thaddeus Stevens
was the able leader of the Pennsylvania Legislature where he organized Whigs and Anti-Masons to vote together; in 1835 these two parties elected Joseph Ritner as Governor
of the State.
The years between 1832 and 1836 were the years of Andrew Jackson's war against the Bank of the United States. Followed by 4 years of agitation against banks and for an Independent Treasury......
On March 4, 1836, the Charter of the Bank of the United States expired. What did Mr. Biddle, the president of that bank do ? In January 1836, in the Legislature of Pennsylvania, a bill "to continue the improvement of the State by railroads and canals" was introduced, and in short order, passed both houses. This bill included a section for "other purposes," which "contained the entire draught of a charter for the Bank of the United States, adopting it as a Pennsylvania State bank." The whole entire membership of the Pennsylvania Legislature --under the able leadership of Thaddeus Stevens-- managed NOT to notice this more then one page long charter of the Bank of the United States of Pennsylvania !?! and Governor Ritner signed the act into law.
Some years later the Whigs and Anti-Masons were voted out of the Pennsylvania Legislature, and in January 1842 a committee opened an investigation into the affairs of this bank, relating to the charge of bribery. This committee ascertained that $479,000 was advanced as bribes by the Biddle bank to obtain the State charter in 1836..... Very good reason and explanation why those Whigs and Anti-Masons, and the future 'grand old commoner' himself, managed NOT to notice that bank charter in a canal bill.
So in 1863 Thaddeus wasn't ignorant of what he was doing when he not only voted for, but didn't even object to the National Currency Bank bill which established a banking system and national currency following the blue-print that was outlined by Nicholas Biddle; Thaddeus Stevens knew full well what he was doing, he had already done it once before; and the concept of sneaking bills through the Legislature was not alien or objectionable to him...... (on February 6, 1862, he used a similar procedure to pass a version of the greenback bill which no one has seen)..... Even if (big if) he did not take any money, he had to have known what was going on and what was in that canal bill......
---Oh dear, it is a good thing poor Sarah did not read history
On Tuesday, January 28, 1862, a strange sound came up from the Thaddeus:
"While I am up, I will follow an example which has been set me, and give notice of an amendment which I shall offer to the bill. It is to make the semi-annual interest payable in coin
And on December 19, 1862, he made this statement:
"I procured to be inserted a provision making the duties on imports payable in gold."
---poor Sarah spent a whole chapter on
the "Exception Clause," blaming every shylock and banker for it, when all the while it was Thaddeus --and he explained why he did it; but Sarah did not read the Record.
To put cake on the icing, on June 23rd 1862, during the debates of the second issue of greenbacks, Thaddeus introduced an amendment to the bill which would have abrogated the right of the holder of greenbacks to convert them into 5/20 bonds at their face value.....
When it was pointed out to Thaddeus that it is convertibility that keeps greenbacks at par, this came up from him: "I do not care what is the cause of their keeping at par
When he realized the majority of the House is opposed to his idea, Thaddeus retreated: "I will withdraw my amendment, although it is in accordance with the wishes of the Secretary of the Treasury"
---the right to convert was not taken away until July 1, 1863.
"THE next scheme for robbing the people was the national bank act, passed in 1863. Of all the villainous schemes of robbery ever practiced upon any people our national banking system stands pre-eminent
." ---writes Sarah in chapter 3
, and she is right
So why has Thaddeus Stevens --grand old commoner and radical re-constructionist-- voted for the National Currency Bank bill ? who twisted his arms ?
What was he thinking? that bank notes will peacefully co-exits with U.S. notes ?
Perhaps he understood and went along with the plan outlined by Samuel Hooper (father of greenbacks), that greenbacks were a temporary measure, preceding a more permanent one:
"In order more fully to understand and more easily to meet any objections which may be urged against the first of these measures <greenbacks>, being the one now occupying the attention of the House, it will be desirable to notice the other two <taxation and national banks>, which are designed to be more permanent in their character
, and upon the expected results of which the present measure is in some degree based."
Who opposed and voted against the National Currency Bank bill ? Gold-ites! Vallandigham, Pendleton, Roscoe, Collamer.
My oh, my; Greenbackers were FOR National Currency Banks, gold-ites opposed them.
---poor Sarah, she must be spinning
in her grave ever since
Representatives who voted for the National Currency Bank bill:--
Messrs. Aldrich, Alley, Ashley, Babbitt, Beaman, Bingham, Jacob B. Blair, Blake, Buffinton, Calvert, Campbell, Casey, Chamberlain, Clements, Colfax, Conway, Covode, Cutler, Davis, Delano, Dunn, Edgerton, Eliot, Ely, Fenton, Samuel C. Fessenden, Thomas A.D. Fessenden, Fisher, Frank, Goodwin, Granger, Hahn, Haight, Hickman, Hooper, Hutchins, Julian, Pig Iron Kelley, Francis W. Kellogg, William Kellogg, Lansing, Leary, Lovejoy, Law, McIndoe, McKean, McPherson, Marston, Maynard, Moorhead, Anson P. Morrill, Noell, Olin, Patton, Timothy G. Phelps, Potter, Alexander H. Rice, John H. Rice, Sargent, Sedgwick, Segar, Shanks, Shellabarger, Sherman, Sloan, Spaulding, Thaddeus Stevens, Trimble, Trowbridge, Van Horn, Van Wyck, Verree, Wall, Wallace, Washburne, Albert S. White, Windom and Worcester
---Yes, the Record is a cruel thing; it can ruin the best day-dreams, so stay away from history; ignorance is the greatest bliss on this planet
In 1862 greenbacker John Sherman spoke for an hour in favour of the legal-tender clause; a year later, he spoke for an hour in favour of National Currency Banks. Sarah did not want to know that, either