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Author Topic: Greenback Party Platforms  (Read 15128 times)
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« on: March 08, 2011, 04:49:28 PM »


Platform of the Greenback Labor Party,
Adopted at the National Convention, held in Chicago, June 9 and 10, 1880.

[we declare--]

1. That the right to make and issue money is a sovereign power to be maintained by the people for the common benefit.  The delegation of this right to corporations is a surrender of the central attribute of sovereignty, void of constitutional sanction, conferring upon a subordinate irresponsible power, and absolute dominion over industry and commerce.  All money, whether metallic or paper, should be issued and its volume controlled by the Government and not by or through banking corporations, and when so issued should be a full legal tender for all debts, public and private.

2.  That the bonds of the United States should not be refunded, but paid as rapidly as it is practicable, according to contract.  To enable the Government to meet these obligations, legal tender currency should be substituted for the notes of the national banks, the national banking system abolished, and the unlimited coinage of silver as well as gold established by law.

3.  That labor should be so protected by national and state authority as to equalize its burdens and insure a just distribution of its results;  the eight-hour law of Congress should be enforced;  the sanitary condition of industrial establishments placed under rigid control;  the competition of contract convict labor abolished;  a bureau of labor statistics established;  factories, mines and workshops inspected;  the employment of children under fourteen years of age forbidden, and wages paid in cash.

4.  Slavery being simply cheap labor, and cheap labor being simply slavery, the importation and presence of Chinese serfs necessarily tends to brutalize and degrade American labor;  therefore immediate steps should be taken to abrogate the Burlingame treaty.

5.  Railroad land grants forfeited by reason of non-fulfillment of contract should be immediately reclaimed by the Government;  and henceforth the public domain reserved exclusively as homes for actual settlers.

6.  It is the duty of Congress to regulate inter-state commerce.  All lines of communication and transportation should be brought under such legislative control as shall secure moderate, fair and uniform rates for passenger and freight traffic.

7.  We denounce, as destructive to prosperity and dangerous to liberty, the action of the old parties in fostering and sustaining gigantic laud, railroad and money corporations and monopolies, invested with, and exercising, powers belonging to the Government, and yet not responsible to it for the manner of their use.

8.  That the constitution, in giving Congress the power to borrow money, to declare war, to raise and support armies, to provide and maintain a navy, never intended that the men who loaned their money for an interest consideration should be preferred to the soldier and sailor who periled their lives and shed their blood on land and sea in defense of their country, and we condemn the cruel class legislation of the Republican party which, while professing great gratitude to the soldier, has most unjustly discriminated against him, and in favor of the bondholder.

9.  All property should bear its just proportion of taxation, and we demand a graduated income tax.

10.  We denounce as most dangerous the efforts everywhere manifest to restrict the right of suffrage.

11.  We are opposed to an increase of the standing army in time of peace, and the insidious scheme to establish an enormous military power under the guise of militia laws.

13.  We demand absolute democratic rules for the Government of Congress, placing all representatives of the people upon an equal footing, and taking away from committees a veto power greater than that of the President.

13.  We demand a Government of the people, by the people, and for the people, instead of a Government of the bondholder, by the bondholder, and for the bondholder, and we denounce every attempt to stir up sectional strife as an effort to conceal monstrous crimes against the people.

14.  In the furtherance of these ends we ask the co-operation of all fair-minded people.  We have no quarrel with individuals, we wage no war upon classes, but only against vicious institutions.  We are not content to endure further discipline from our present actual rulers, who, having dominion over money, over transportation, over land and labor, over the machinery of Government, and largely over the press, wield unwarrantable power over our institutions, and over life and property.


Adopted by the People’s Party at Omaha, July 4, 1892.


We declare that the union of the labor forces of the United States this day consummated shall be permanent and perpetual;  may its spirit enter into all hearts for the salvation of the republic, and the uplifting of mankind.

2.  Wealth belongs to him who creates it, and every dollar taken from industry without an equivalent, is robbery.  "If any will not work neither shall he eat."  The interests of rural and civic labor are the same;  their enemies are identical.

3.  We believe that the time has come when the railroad corporations will either own the people or the people must own the railroads, and should the government enter upon the work of owning and managing all roads, we should favor an amendment to the Constitution by which all persons engaged in the government service shall be placed under a civil service regulation of the most rigid character so as to prevent the increase of the power of the national administration by the use of such additional government employes.

FINANCE.

We demand a national currency, safe, sound and flexible, issued by the general government only, a full legal tender for all debts, public and private, and that without the issue of banking corporations;  a just, equitable and efficient means of distribution direct to the people at a tax not to exceed 2 per cent. per annum to be provided as set forth in the sub-treasury plan of the Farmers’ Alliance, or a better system;  also by payments in discharge of its obligations for public improvements.

We demand free and unlimited coinage of silver and gold at the present legal ratio of 16 to 1.

We demand that the amount of circulating medium be speedily increased to not less than $50 per capita.

We demand a graduated income tax.

We believe that the money of the country should be kept as much as possible in the hands of the people, and hence we demand that all state and national revenues shall be limited to the necessary expenses of the government economically and honestly administered.

We demand that postal savings banks be established by the government for the safe deposit of the earnings of the people, and to facilitate exchange.

TRANSPORTATION.

Transportation being a means of exchange and a public necessity, the government should own and operate the railroads in the interests of the people.

The telegraph, telephone, like the postoffice system, being a necessity for the transmission of news, should be owned and operated by the government in the interest of the people.

LAND.

The land, including all the natural resources of wealth, is the heritage of the people and should not be monopolized for speculative purposes, and alien ownership of land should be prohibited.  All land now held by railways and other corporations in excess of their actual needs, and all lands now owned by aliens, should be reclaimed by the government and held for actual settlers only.


« Last Edit: June 21, 2013, 10:28:00 AM by 789 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2011, 10:39:18 AM »


the National Citizens' Industrial Alliance demand the following reforms in legislation for our platform of principles:

PLATFORM.

    1.  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;  the payment of the national debt as speedily as possible;  and that all money issued by the Government shall be full legal tender in payment of all debts, both public and private.

    2.  We demand the free and unlimited coinage of silver and gold, of the present weight and fineness.

    3.  We demand that Congress shall pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the dealing in futures in all agricultural and mechanical productions, preserving such a stringent system of procedure in trials as shall secure prompt conviction, and imposing such penalties as shall secure the more perfect compliance with the law.

    4.  We demand the passage of laws prohibiting the alien ownership of land, and that Congress take early steps to devise some plan to obtain all lands now owned by aliens and foreign syndicates;  and that all lands now held by railroads and other corporations in excess of such as are actually used and needed by them be reclaimed by the Government and held for actual settlers only.

    5.  Believing in the doctrine of "equal rights to all and special privileges to none," we demand that taxation, national or state, shall not be used to build up one interest or class at the expense of another.  We believe that the money of the country should be kept as much as possible in the hands of the people, and hence we demand that all revenues, national, state or county, shall be limited to the necessary expenses of the Government, economically and honestly administered.

    6.  We demand that Congress provide for the issue of a sufficient amount of fractional paper currency to facilitate exchange through the medium of the United States mail.

    7.  We demand that the means of communication and transportation of both intelligence and commodities shall be absolutely owned or controlled by the people of state and nation, and operated in the interest of the people in a manner similar to the present postal system.

    8.  We demand such legislation as will effectually prevent the extortion of usurious interest by any form of evasion or statutory provisions.

    9.  We demand such legislation as shall effectually prevent the organization or maintenance of trusts and combines for purposes of speculation in any of the products of labor or necessities of life, or the transportation of the same.

    10.  We demand the adoption of the Australian system of voting, and that the ballot cast shall be absolutely secret;  this system to apply to all elections, national, state and municipal.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2013, 10:27:19 AM by 789 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2012, 02:19:37 PM »

Farmers' Alliance (later Populist Party)
1890


Land.-- We desire to secure to every industrious citizen a home, as the highest result of free institutions.  To this end we favor a graduated land tax on all large estates (especially on those held for speculative purposes), the reclamation of all unearned land grants, the settlement of all Indian tribes upon lands in severalty, and the immediate opening of all unoccupied tracts to homesteaders;  also laws preventing corporations from acquiring real estate beyond the requirements of their business, and preventing alien ownership of land.

Transportation.-- The means of communication and transportation should be owned or controlled by the people, as is the United States postal system, and equitable rates everywhere established.

Money.-- The establishment of a national monetary system by which a circulating medium in necessary quantity, and full legal tender, shall issue direct to the people, without the intervention of banks.  Postal savings banks should be established.  We demand the prompt payment of the national debt, and condemn the further issue of interest bearing bonds.

Labor.-- Arbitration should take the place of strikes in settling labor disputes. Labor, the creator of capital, should be protected from the extortion of centralized capital;  equal pay should be given for equal work to both sexes and child labor should be abolished, allowing all children to attend school regularly.

Temperance.-- Excessive wealth resulting in luxury and idleness on the one hand and excessive toil and poverty on the other, lead to intemperance and vice.  The measures of reform here recommended will prove to be the scientific solution of the temperance question.

Miscellaneous.--  The loss occasioned by the payment of purposely depreciated paper currency to soldiers and sailors, should be made good to them;  a graduated income tax should be levied;  United States Senators should be elected by a direct vote of the people;  the employment of armed men by private corporations should be prohibited.
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2012, 12:35:37 PM »

Michigan Prohibition Platform.

The prohibitionists of Michigan, in state convention assembled, acknowledging Almighty God as the source of all true government, earnestly endorse the platform of the national prohibition party adopted at Cincinnati; and in addition thereto present the following declaration of principles:

1. Whereas, Many young men whose habits are not formed, and who have anxious parents deeply interested in their welfare, enlist in the service of the State, and attend the annual encampment of our State troops, we believe it to be the duty of our State authorities to surround all young men in such service with moral influences. We therefore regard with the utmost abhorrence the act of our State government, in providing for the sale of intoxicating liquors to the troops while in the service of the State. Akin to this is the equally burning disgrace of permitting the debauching of the youth of our State and nation, in attendance at our State educational institutions, by the refusal of both republican and democratic legislatures to protect them from the open saloon and brothels at the very doors of these institutions.

We call upon all voters to help in ousting from power parties who, by permitting such outrages, have proven themselves traitors to the best home and moral interests of the State.

2. We arraign for public condemnation the truckling utterances of the democratic and republican national platforms on the liquor question. The "anti-sumptuary" declaration of one, and the expression of "sympathy" for "temperance" by the other are equally unmeaning, and designedly misleading; serving only to show the utter weakness of such old organizations when in the firm grasp of a great political principle on which those who support them are irreconcilably divided. It is equally apparent that the newly launched craft, the so-called people's party, after numerous fruitless attempts to indorse prohibition as an issue, is already fatally stranded on this rock.

3. We repudiate the principle of local option as a humiliating and degrading compromise with wrong, and a base subterfuge, used by the dominant parties in league with the saloon power, to quiet an awakening public conscience and retain the temperance voters in rural districts without alienating the slum votes of the cities.

4. The money of the country should be gold, silver and paper, and be issued by the general government only, and in sufficient quantities to meet the demands of business, and give full opportunity for the employment of labor. To this end an increase in the volume of money is demanded, and no individual or corporation should be allowed to make any profit through its issue. It should be made a legal tender for the payment of all debts, public and private. Its volume should be fixed at a definite sum per capita, and made to increase with our increase of population.

5. The right of suffrage should be granted to all citizens regardless of sex. No person should hereafter be given the ballot who is unable to read and write the official language of our country.

6. We insist upon the right of the State to require that all of its youth be educated in the common branches in the English language, and that all schools, public and private, shall be under State inspection and supervision, and that no public aid shall be granted to any educational institution not maintained by the State.

7. We favor, and when we come into power will establish, a practical and efficient reform of the civil service based upon the merit system.

8. All pay for public service should be by reasonable salaries and not by fees, and where fees are exacted they should be covered into the public treasury.

9. The granting of passes by railroads to public officers should be prohibited, and their acceptance should be made a misdemeanor.

10. Property covered by delinquent taxes after ample time for redemption should revert to the State, and not be sold to speculators.

11. We favor a graduated income tax.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 03:27:54 PM by 789 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2012, 12:45:50 PM »

UNION LABOR PARTY PLATFORM.
Adopted at Cincinnati, February 22, 1887.
PLATFORM.
I. Land.
Every human being possesses a natural, inalienable right to sufficient land for self-support, and we desire to secure to every industrious citizen a home as the highest result of free institutions.  To this end we demand a graduated land tax on all large estates, especially those held for speculative or tenant purposes;  the reclamation of all unearned land grants;  the immediate opening of Oklahoma to homestead settlement;  the purchase of all unoccupied Indian lands, and the settlement of the various tribes upon land in severalty;  also, laws preventing corporations acquiring real estate beyond the requirements of their business;  and alien ownership of land.  The systems of irrigation in States and Territories where necessary shall be under such public control as shall secure the free and equitable use of the waters and franchises to the people.

II.  Transportation.
The means of communication and transportation should be owned or controlled by the people, as is the United States postal system, and equitable rates everywhere established.

III.  MONEY.
The establishment of a national monetary system in the interest of the producer, instead of the speculator and usurer, by which a circulating medium in necessary quantity and full legal tender shall be issued directly to the people, without the intervention of banks, or loaned to citizens upon ample security at a low rate of interest, to relieve them from the extortions of usury and enable them to control the money supply.  Postal savings banks should be established;  while we have free coinage of gold we should have free coinage of silver.  We demand the prompt payment of the National debt, and condemn the further issue of interest-bearing bonds, either by the National Government or by States, Territories, counties or municipalities.

IV.  Labor.
Arbitration should take the place of strikes and other injurious methods of settling labor disputes;  the letting of convict labor to contractors in public works should be abolished;  the hours of labor in industrial establishments be reduced commensurate with the increase of production in laborsaving machinery;  employes be protected from bodily injury, equal pay being given for equal work for both sexes;  and labor, agricultural and co-operative associations be fostered and incorporated by law.  The foundation of a republic is the intelligence of its citizens, and children who are driven into workshops, mines and factories are deprived of education which should be secured to all by proper legislation.

We desire to see labor organizations extended throughout all civilized countries, until it shall be impossible for despots to array the workingmen of one country in war against their brothers of another country.

V.  Soldiers and Sailors.
In appreciation of the services of United States soldiers and sailors, we demand for them justice before charity.  The purposely depreciated money paid them during the war should be made equal in value to the gold paid the bondholders.  The soldiers were promised coin or its equivalent, and paid in depreciated paper.  The bondholders loaned the Government depreciated paper and contracted to take it back, but were paid in gold.

VI.  Income Tax.
A graduated income tax is the most equitable system of taxation, placing the burden of government on those who can best afford to pay, instead of laying it on the farmers and producers, and exempting millionaire bondholders and corporations.

VII.  UNITED STATES SENATE.
The capture of the United States Senate by millionaires and tools of corporations, who have no sympathy with free institutions, threatens the very existence of the republic.  We demand a constitutional amendment making United States Senators elective by a direct vote of the people.

VIII.  CHINESE.
Such State and National laws should be passed as will effectually exclude from America the Mongolian slave and Asiatic competition.

IX.  Armed Men.
The employment of bodies of armed men by private corporations should be prohibited.

X.  EQUALITY.
The right to vote is inherent in citizenship, irrespective of sex.

XI.  TEMPERANCE.
Excessive wealth, resulting in luxury and idleness on the one hand, and excessive toil and poverty on the other, leads to intemperance and vice.  The measures of reform here demanded will prove to be the scientific solution of the temperance question.
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2013, 11:26:25 AM »

40th Congress, 2d Session
H.R. 542.
In the House of Representatives
January 27, 1868.
Read twice, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, and ordered to be printed.


Mr. Cary, [Samuel Fenton Cary (1814-1900);  in 1876 Peter Cooper's Greenback Party vice-presidential candidate] on leave introduced the following bill:

A BILL
To establish a uniform currency, provide for the management and liquidation of the national debt, and for other purposes.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled:  That the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, or such officer as may be authorized, be, and he is hereby, authorized and required to issue treasury certificates not bearing interest in denominations of one, two, three, five, ten, twenty, fifty, one hundred, five hundred, and one thousand dollars, which treasury certificates shall be receivable in payment of all debts and demands of every kind due or which may become due to the United States, and of all claims or demands against the United States of every kind whatsoever, (except that portion of the bonded debt created prior to the first, day of July, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and the interest and principal of the national debt which has been by law expressly made payable in coin,) and shall also be lawful money and a legal tender in the payment of all debts public and private within the United States, and shall be receivable for or convertible into the interest-bearing bonds of the United States, authorized to be issued by this act, when presented at the Treasury Department of the United States in sums of not less than one hundred dollars.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, or such other officer as may be authorized by law, be, and is hereby, required to issue bonds of the United States in denomination, of not less than one hundred dollars not more than ten thousand dollars, bearing lawful interest, and payable or redeemable in treasury certificates, authorized to be issued and declared lawful money of the United States by this act, when presented to the Treasury Department of the United States at any time after three months from the date thereof:  Provided, That bonds shall be dated on the first of January, April, July, and October.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the bonds hereby authorized, and all other interest-bearing obligations of the United States issued after the passage of this act, shall bear interest at the rate of three per centum per annum, payable semi-annually in the treasury certificates or lawful money authorized by this act, until otherwise provided by law:  Provided, That Congress may change the rate of interest on the bond, hereby authorized, and on all other interest-bearing obligations of the United States issued after the passage of this act, when, in their judgment, the public interest would be promoted thereby;  but no law making any alteralion in the rate of interest on the public debt shall take effect for six months after its passage.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Treasury, or such other officer as may be authorized by law, be, and is hereby, required to pay all the outstanding bonds or other obligations of the United States created since the first of July, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, when the same shall become due and payable, or due and redeemable at the pleasure of the government, in the treasury certificates hereby authorized to be issued, or to give in exchange therefor the interest-bearing bonds authorized to be issued by this act, at the pleasure of the owner of any such bond or other obligation of the United States, except when it has been expressly provided by law that such bond or other obligation shall be paid in coin;  and the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and directed front time to time, as the same may be required, to purchase with the treasury certificates, or interest-bearing bonds hereby authorized to be issued, by sealed bids or otherwise, as may be most advantageous to the public interest, the coin necessary to pay the interest and principal of the bonds and other obligations of the United States which have by law been expressly made payable in coin;  and the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby directed to give notice by publication in two newspapers published in Washington city to the holders of any such outstanding bonds or other obligations of the United States, to present the same at the Treasury Department for such payment or exchange within five months from the date of the publication of such notice, or at the time the same may thereafter become due and payable, or redeemable at the pleasure of the government, and the interest shall cease to accrue on all such bonds and other obligations of the United States not presented for such payment or exchange within the time before mentioned, or from the time any such bond or obligation shall thereafter become due and payable or redeemable at the pleasure of the government.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Treasury, or such other officer as may be authorized by law, be, and he is hereby, directed, to procure, by having the same manufactured to order, or otherwise, the paper and other material necessary for the printing of the treasury certificates and bonds hereby authorized to be issued, and to cause plates and dies to be engraved in the best manner to guard against counterfeiting and fraudulent alteration, and to have printed therefrom and numbered such quantity of said treasury certificates and bonds and of such denominations as may from time to time be required for the transaction of the business of the treasury of the United States;  the said treasury certificates and interest-bearing bonds shall have such devices and statements, and shall be in such form, and have signatures written or engraved thereon, as the Secretary of the Treasmy may determine upon, and the expenses necessarily incurred in procuring said treasury certificates and bonds shall be included with and defrayed in the same manner as the ordinary expenditures of the government.

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That in order to prevent and punish counterfeiting and fraudulent alterations of the treasury certificates and bonds authorized to be issued by this act all the provisions of the sixth and seventh sections of the act entitled "An act to authorize the issue of the United States notes, and for the redemption or funding thereof, and for funding the floating debt of the United States," approved February the twenty-fifth, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, as far as applicable, apply to the treasury certificates and the interest-bearing bonds hereby authorized to be issued in like manner as if the said sixth and seventh sections were herein incorporated and hereby adopted as additional sections of this act;  and the provisions and penalties of the said sixth and seventh sections shall extend and apply to all persons who shall imitate, counterfeit, make, or sell any paper such as that used, or provided to be used, for the treasury certificates, or bonds to be prepared in the treasury buildings, and to all officials of the treasury department engaged in engraving or preparing the treasury certificates and bonds hereby authorized to be issued, and to all official and unofficial persons in any manner employed under the provisions of this act.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That so much of the act entitled "An act to provide a national currency secured by a pledge of United Status stocks, and to provide for the circulation and redemption thereof," approved February twenty-fifth, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and so much of "An act to provide a national currency secured by a pledge of United States bonds, and to provide for the circulation and redemption thereof," approved June third, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and also so much of all acts amendatory of either of the before mentioned acts as authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, Comptroller of the Currency, or other officer or agent of the government to deliver circulating notes to any banking association, be, and the same are hereby, revoked and repealed.

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury, and he is hereby directed, to notify within thirty days after the passage of this act, by publication or otherwise, all banking associations organized under the acts of which this act is amendatory, to return to the Treasury Department of the United States all circulating notes heretofore delivered to such associations, or any of them, upon pledge of United States stocks or bonds, within six months after the passage of this act;  and when any such association shall return its circulating notes in sums of not less than one thousand dollars, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to deliver to such association a just proportion of the amount of the stocks or bonds deposited to secure the redemption of the circulating notes of such banking association:  Provided, That in case any such banking association shall neglect or fail to return to the Treasury Department the whole or any part of the circulating notes delivered to such association within six months from the passage of this act then, and in every such case of neglect or failure, interest shall cease to accrue, on all stocks or bonds deposited by any such association to secure the redemption of the circulating notes delivered to such association:  Provided also, That in case any such banking association shall neglect or fail to return to the Treasury Department the whole or any part of the circulating notes delivered to such association within two years from the passage of this act,  then, and in every such case, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to declare the stocks or bonds remaining in the possession of the government deposited by such association forfeited to the government, and to redeem the outstanding notes of circulation of any such association in the treasury certificates authorized by this act.

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That it shall be unlawful for any banking association organized under either of said acts of which this act is amendatory, after six months from the passage of this act, to pay out or put in circulation any circulating medium or currency which is not made a legal tender and declared lawful money of the United States by act of Congress;  and in case any such banking association shall violate the provisions of this section, it shall be the duty or the Secretary of the Treasury to declare the stocks or bonds remaining in the possession of the government deposited by such association, forfeited to the United States, and to redeem the outstanding notes of circulation of such association.

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That after ninety days from the passage of this act it shall not be lawful for the Secretary of the Treasury, or other disbursing officer or agent of the government to pay out the circulating notes of any banking association organized under the acts to which this is amendatory, or the United States legal-tender notes heretofore issued;  but shall discharge or pay all the bonded and other indebtedness of the United States, of every kind and nature, incurred or contracted to be paid since the first day of July, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, or which may hereafter be incurred, in the treasury certificates authorized to be issued and declared to be lawful money by this act, or give in exchange for all such indebtedness the interest-bearing bonds authorized to be issued by this act, at the pleasure of the owner or holder of such indebtedness, (except where it has been by law expressly provided that payment shall be made in coin.)

Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Secretary, or such other officer or officers as may be authorized by law, to keep a correct record of all the treasury certificates and interest-bearing bonds, issued under or in pursuance of this act, describing the same by their numbers and denominations;  also of all the bonds and other evidences of debt of the United States, and of the United States legal-tender notes redeemed, and the circulating notes of banking associations returned to the Treasury Department, describing the same in like manner, and publish monthly reports showing the amount of treasury certificates and interest-bearing bonds issued, and the amount of bonds and other evidences of debt and United States legal-tender notes redeemed, and of the circulating notes of banking associations returned to the Treasury Department;  and shall cancel and destroy all such bonds and other evidences of debt, and United States legal-tender notes so redeemed, and circulating notes of banking associations so withdrawn from circulation, and shall make annual reports thereof to Congress, as now is, or hereafter may be, provided by law:  Provided, That the treasury certificates and bonds authorized to be issued by this act shall not be so destroyed, except they shall be mutilated or rendered unfit for use.

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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 11:30:21 AM »

Erskine Hazard
It is an established fact, that the idea of the Legal Tender originated with Mr. Erskine Hazard  ---James Gallatin
Wednesday, October 2, 1839.
AN ACT
To authorize the issue of Treasury notes, to form the basis of Circulation and Standard of Value.


Whereas it is of the utmost importance in all commercial countries to have a fixed standard of value, as well as one of weights and of measures;  and gold and silver, our present standard, fluctuate so much in price, as to cause great and sudden variations in the prices of all other descriptions of property, without any change in the relative supply and demand for such property, and thus are too variable to be considered as a standard.  And, Whereas, experience having shown that great difficulties and instability in the business of this country, arise from our using gold and silver as the basis of our circulating medium, while the same articles are used in other countries for the same purpose, and thus forcing our currency to contract or expand with all the variations of scarcity, or abundance of the precious metals abroad, it has become necessary to adopt a new basis for our currency, which will be independent of all foreign demand, and be at all times under our own control:  Therefore,

Sec. I.  Be it enacted &c.  That the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he is hereby required to procure engraved plates for Treasury notes of the denominations of $5000, $1000, $500, $100 and $50 respectively, made payable to the respective states and territories of this Union, in the words following to wit:

The United States of America promise to pay to the State of Pennsylvania, [each of the other States and Territories, to have their names engraved in like manner on other plates] or bearer one thousand dollars, [and so the other denominations mentioned above] on demand, by receiving this note, for so much, in payments at the different land offices for the public lands, or, in liquidation of any debt to the United States.
Treasury Office, Washington 184
Countersigned.
Register U.S.;  Register State of Pennsylvania.

Sec. II.  Be it further enacted That the Secretary of the Treasury shall cause to be printed from the said plates, in the proportion of each denomination that may be deemed most convenient, as many notes in favor of each state and territory respectively, as will, agreeably to the ratio of representation, be the share of such respective state or territory of the sum of ____ millions of dollars, and that he shall cause the same to be regularly numbered and registered, and also, to be signed by a register to be appointed by him for that purpose.

Sec. III.  Be it further enacted  That the said notes, when so prepared and registered, shall be delivered upon requisition of the Governors of the several states and territories, in whose favor they are drawn, to the respective treasurers thereof, and when countersigned by registers appointed for that purpose by the several states and territories, shall be deemed and are hereby declared to be a lawful tender for the payment of all debts and contracts which may be made after the passage of this act, unless otherwise expressly stipulated in the said contracts.

Sec. IV. Be it further enacted  That the said notes when redeemed by the United States, shall be immediately cancelled and defaced and marked on the register as paid, and shall not again be issued.  And it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury at the end of each month, to publish a statement of the amount so redeemed and cancelled, specifying the amount of each denomination, and the state or territory in whose favor the notes were drawn.

Sec. V.  Be it further enacted Whenever and as often as the notes redeemed by the United States, shall amount to ____ millions of dollars;  the Secretary of the Treasury shall cause new notes to that amount to be prepared and issued to the Treasurers of the several states and territories, upon the requisition of the Governors thereof, in the ratio of their representation, and the said new notes shall be considered and treated under all the sections of this act, as if they were the original notes directed by the 2d Section of this act, to be printed and prepared.

Sec. VI. Be it further enacted  The re-issuing of any of the notes which may be issued under the provisions of this act, after they shall have been redeemed by the United States, and also the counterfeiting of them, shall be deemed a felony, and any person convicted of either of these offences, shall suffer death
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2013, 12:45:41 PM »

Senator Thomas Benton, February 2, 1831:---

Promissory notes of the United States of America


I am willing to see the currency of the Federal Government left to the hard money mentioned and intended in the constitution;  I am willing to have a hard money Government, as that of France has been since the time of assignats and mandats.  Every species of paper might be left to the State authorities, unrecognized by the Federal Government, and only touched by it for its own convenience when equivalent to gold and silver.  Such a currency filled France with the precious metals, when England, with her overgrown bank, was a prey to all the evils of unconvertible paper.  It furnished money enough for the imperial Government when the population of the empire was three times more numerous, and the expenses of Government twelve times greater, than the population and expenses of the United States;  and, when France possessed no mines of gold or silver, and was destitute of the exports which command the specie of other countries.

The United States possess gold mines, now yielding half a million per annum, with every prospect of equalling those of Peru.  But this is not the best dependence.  We have what is superior to mines, namely, the exports which command the money of the world;  that is to say, the food which sustains life, and the raw materials which sustain manufactures.  Gold and silver is the best currency for a republic;  it suits the men of middle property and the working people best;  and if I was going to establish a working man's party, it should be on the basis of hard money;  a hard money party against a paper party.

I am willing to vote for the substitute recommended by the President, stripped as it is of all power to make loans and discounts.  Divested of that power, it loses the essential feature, and had as well lose the name, of a bank.  It becomes an office in the Treasury, limited to the issue of a species of exchequer bills, differing from the English bills of that name in the vital particular of a prompt and universal convertibility into coin.  Such bills would be in fact, as well as in name, the promissory notes of the United States of America.  They would be payable at every land office, custom-house, and post office, and by every collector of public moneys, in the Union.  Payable every where, they would be at par every where.  Equal to gold and silver on the spot, they would be superior to it for travelling and remittances.  This is not opinion, but history.  Our own country, this Federal Government, has proved it;  and that on a scale sufficiently large to test its operation, and recent enough to be remembered by every citizen.

I allude to the Mississippi scrip, issued from the Treasury some fifteen years ago.  This scrip was no way equal to the proposed exchequer bills: for its reception was limited to a single branch of the revenue, namely, lands, and to a small part of them;  and the quantity of scrip, five millions of dollars, was excessive, compared to the fund for its redemption;  yet, as soon as the land offices of Alabama and Mississippi opened, the scrip was at par, and currently exchanged for gold and silver, dollar for dollar.

Such, and better, would be the proposed bills.  To the amount of the revenues, they would be founded on silver.  This amount, after the payment of the public debt, (post office included,) may be about fifteen millions of dollars.  They would supply the place of the United States' notes as they retired;  and, issuing from the Treasury only in payments, or exchange for hard money, all room for favoritism, or undue influence, would be completely cut off.  If the Federal Government is to recognise any paper, let it be this.  Let it be its own.
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2013, 03:03:00 PM »

Treasury-notes are the only money that can afford the deceived, defrauded and abused American people sufficient and permanent relief.  It has long been demonstrated beyond question that these notes, limited in volume to the needs of exchanges and equities, are "as good as gold".
There is absolutely nothing new or strange in this proposition to constitute gold, silver, and United States treasury-notes, the equal and self-redeemable currency of the American people.  Thomas Jefferson --the most elemental American yet given to his country-- laid down, in substance, the most pressing requirement of our own day.

Perfect money --"scientific money"-- while quite possible, is so far beyond the conception of to-day that even to indicate it is unnecessary.  But the United States can at least adopt some approximation to the financial system of France, which insures industry and protects freedom, instead of following the English system to general impoverishment and "a new form of slavery" for the masses of mankind.  The French system has nothing of what Napoleon called "ideology" in it, but rests solely on experience and "the rule of thumb."  The French, however, are so alert in their ways that they often reach a point better, by merely looking at it with the naked eye, than we heavy Saxons do with a Lick telescope or a Greenwich observatory.

The money of France is very largely metallic --gold and silver, both full legal tender to the extent of their issue, excepting a small amount of subsidiary silver.  As a general thing the two metals are about equally divided in value, at the ratio of one grain of gold to fifteen and-a-half grains of silver.  At present, the value of silver coin in circulation is said to be six hundred and fifty millions of dollars, the value of gold coin being somewhat more.  As the territory of France is small and compact, and the population nearly stationary, her volume of money has become a pretty well known and pretty well fixed quantity.  As she looks to it that her exports shall equal if not exceed her imports, and as she prefers trade with countries using gold and silver to gold alone, she keeps the money metals that have come to her from the store of ages -- the largest proportion that any European country has accumulated.  But, in case of war or other derangement of her affairs, her gold and silver flow out of her own domains.  Then, as a Nation, as a Government, she turns to the Bank of France, and makes its paper-issues legal-tender money to supply any deficiency of metallic currency that may take place.  Thus the volume of money -- "the circulation of the life blood of the community," as the London Times once called it -- is kept flowing and domestic industry is not strangulated.  Financial panics are British and American institutions, and the French have no use for them.

A currency of gold and silver, with free-coinage and with treasury-notes to supplement the inevitable deficiency of the "precious metals," would be our natural American modification of French currency.  Treasury-notes, like the similar issues of France through her Bank, would be absolute legal-tender for all private purposes, and redeemable in government-dues -- revenues and taxes.  It is now settled in economics that such money would all stand equal --absolutely equal-- in any country emitting it in properly limited volume.
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2013, 02:06:44 PM »

Senator Henry Clay explains what the best currency in the world would be:--


The last paragraph in the section provides that, for the purpose of payments on the public account, it shall be lawful for the Secretary to draw upon any of the said depositaries, as he may think most conducive to the public interest, or to the convenience of the public creditors, or both.  It will be seen that no limit whatever is imposed upon the amount or form of the draft, or as to the depositary upon which it is drawn.  He is made the exclusive judge of what is "most conducive to the public interests."

Now, let us pause a moment, and trace the operation of the powers thus vested.  The Government has a revenue of from 20 to 30 millions.  The Secretary may draw it to any one or more points, as he pleases.  More than a moiety of the revenue arising from customs is receivable at the port of New York, to which point the Secretary may draw all portions of it, if he think it conducive to the public interest.  A man has to receive, under an appropriation law, $10,000, and applies to Mr. Secretary for payment.  Where will you receive it ? he is asked.  On New York.  How ?  In drafts from $5 to $500.  Mr. Secretary will give him these drafts accordingly, upon bank-note paper, impressed like and simulating bank notes, having all suitable emblazonry, signed by my friend the Treasurer, (whose excellent practical sense, and solid and sound judgment, if he had been at the head of the Treasury, instead of Mr. Levi Woodbury, when suspension of specie payments took place, would have relieved and mitigated the pecuniary embarrassments of the Government and the people,) countersigned by the Comptroller, and filled up in the usual way of bank notes.

Here is one of them, said Mr. Clay.  [He here held up to the gaze of the Senate a Treasury note, having all the appearance of a bank note, colored, engraved, and executed like any other bank note, for $50.]

This, continued Mr. Clay, is a Government post note, put into circulation, paid out as money, and prepared and sent forth, gradually to accustom people of this country to Government paper.

I have supposed $10,000 to be received in the mode stated by a person entitled to receive it under an appropriation law.  Now let us suppose what he will do with it.  Any where to the South or West it will command a premium of from 2 to 5 per cent.  Nowhere in the United States will it be under par.  Do you suppose that the holder of these drafts would be fool enough to convert them into specie, to be carried and transported at his risk ?  Do you think that he would not prefer that this money should be in the responsible custody of the Government, rather than his own insecure keeping ?  Do you think he will deny to himself the opportunity of realizing the premium of which he may be perfectly sure ?  The greatest want of the country is a medium of general circulation, and of uniform value every where.  That, especially, is our want in the Western and interior States.  Now, here is exactly such a medium; and, supposing the Government bank to be honestly and faithfully administered, it will, during such an administration, be the best convertible paper money in the world, for two reasons:  The first is, that every dollar of paper out will be the representative of a dollar of specie in the hands of the receivers general, or other depositaries;  and, secondly, if the receivers general should embezzle the public money, the responsibility of the Government to pay the drafts issued upon the basis of that money would remain unimpaired.  The paper, therefore, would be as far superior to the paper of any private corporation as the ability and resources of the Government of the United States are superior to those of such corporations.

The banking capacity may be divided into three faculties: deposites, discount of bills of exchange, and promissory notes, or either, and circulation.  This Government bank would combine them all, except that it will not discount private notes, nor receive private deposites.  In payments for the public lands, indeed, individuals are allowed to make deposites, and to receive certificates of their amount.  To guard against their negotiability, a clause has been introduced to render them unassignable.  But how will it be possible to maintain such an inconvenient restriction, in a country where every description of paper imposing an obligation to pay money or deliver property is assignable, at law or in equity, from the commercial nature and trading character of our people ?

Of all the faculties which I have stated of a bank, that which creates a circulation is the most important to the community at large.  It is that in which thousands may be interested, who never obtained a discount, or made a deposite with a bank.  Whatever a Government agrees to receive in payment of the public dues, is a medium of circulation, is money, current money, no matter what its form may be, Treasury notes, drafts drawn at Washington, by the Treasurer, on the receiver general at New York, or, to use the language employed in various parts of this bill, "such notes, bills, or paper, issued under the authority of the United States."  These various provisions were probably inserted not only to cover the case of Treasury notes, but that of these drafts in due season.  But if there were no express provision of law, that these drafts should be receivable in payment of public dues, they would, necessarily, be so employed, from their own intrinsic value.

The want of the community of a general circulation of uniform value everywhere in the United States would occasion vast amounts of the species of drafts which I have described to remain in circulation.  The appropriations this year will probably fall not much short of 30 millions.  Thirty millions of Treasury drafts on receivers general, of every denomination, and to any amount, may be issued by the Secretary of the Treasury.  What amount would remain in circulation cannot be determined a priori, I suppose not less that 10 or 15 millions;  at the end of another year, some 10 or 15 millions more;  they would fill all the channels of circulation.  The war between the Government and State banks continuing, and this mammoth Government bank being in the market, constantly demanding specie for its varied and ramified operations, confidence would be lost in the notes of the local banks, their paper would gradually cease to circulate, and the banks themselves would be crippled and broken.  The paper of the Government bank would ultimately fill the vacuum, as it would instantly occupy the place of the notes of the late Bank of the United States.

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