Gordon Clark
Shylock: as banker

CHAPTER XIII.
EFFECTS OF THE CRIME OF 1873.


That the Bank of England should be anxious to pay half a million dollars and "as much more" as might be "necessary" to demonetize silver in the United States, is easily understood.  Every bank in the world doing business on the British system and especially the one omnivorous monster of all, has a direct interest in limiting the volume of basic money and then inflating it with bank-credit.  Again, those who are specially represented by the great central English bank are enormous bondholders.  We know what these men want, whether Jews or Gentiles: it is to increase the demand for what they own — the gold that must be had to pay to themselves the interest and principal of national debts.  Once again, as representing the English Government, the Bank is an agent for the purchase of American silver at the lowest possible figure, as material for whatever silver-coin may be turned out at a profit to the realm.  But the Bank of England is connected, directly or indirectly, with all the great credit and bullion dealers throughout the world.  So it was not at all necessary that the Bank alone should foot the bill of Ernest Seyd.  He told his friend Luckenbach that others were interested, calling them "Germans."  Certainly.  The same Jew-bankers that since 1816 have been behind the scheme of demonetizing half the metallic money of the world would never be left out of this last "operation."  It is well known that the Rothschilds are the heaviest dealers of the world in silver bullion.  It is they who furnish the material for changes of oriental money-systems, as in China and Japan.  It is they who were back of the drain on American gold and silver from 1851 to 1863 — when nearly four hundred and eighty-millions went out of the country — and again from 1864 to 1876 when nearly seven hundred and seventy millions followed.  A few years ago — in 1888 — the report came from China that these Rothschilds had made a secret contract with the Emperor, to substitute silver coin for copper; and in 1889 the Viceroy of the empire Li Hung Chang put up a mint at Canton, to effect the purpose.  It was estimated that if the Chinese were to have even three dollars a head in silver money, the Rothschilds would require the world's entire silver-product for ten years.  These thrifty bullionists hope, of course, that they can always get silver in America for a fraction of its true value.  If they can find John Shermans enough, their prospects are favorable.[1]

But the direct returns to Britons and Hebrews for the demonetization of American silver, are only the smallest consequences of that stupendous crime, with the motives for it abroad.  England pays for wheat, corn, cotton — ALL THE GREAT AGRICULTURAL STAPLES THAT ARE PRODUCED IN INDIA — with silver rupees, for which she has been obliged to have the American metal, notwithstanding the common superstition that Europe has had a "surplus of silver."  This superstition is simply an importation from London, to supply a demand for deception by New York gold-bugs and their credulous victims.  All surplus silver went long ago to Asia — Professor Jevons's "sink of the precious metals" — and London has been able to bear down American silver only by issuing paper money — which she could do to the extent of a few millions of "India Council-bills" put in the place of our product.  Free-coinage of the American dollar would have ended this juggle at any moment.  But our silver having been forced down by England to a commodity, cheap for her gold, the English gold-trust has enabled or rather driven India to undersell the United States in the produce-markets of Europe.  Are some Americans so limp of mind as to doubt the fact ?  Englishmen are not.  In June 1886 the British and Colonial Chambers of Commerce having convened in London, Sir Robert N. Fowler, the distinguished banker and former Lord-Mayor of the city, told them this:

"The effect of the depreciation of silver must finally be the ruin of the wheat and cotton industries of America, and the development of India as the chief wheat and cotton exporter of the world."

At the Second National Silver Convention at Washington, another Englishman and one of the best monetary authorities in the world — Mr. Moreton Frewen — said:

"While many intelligent people here are not always alarmed at the imaginary dangers of free coinage, they do not always recognize the immense importance to your farmers of higher rates for silver — they do not recognize that whenever the price of silver falls, the price of wheat, cotton, and other produce must fall also.  This is a question to which, when in India, I gave very close study and I should like to make this general statement, which I am convinced the experience of the past and of the future will amply confirm.  Let me put it briefly in this way;  the price of wheat in this country is its price in London or Liverpool, less the cost of carriage from here there, and the London price of wheat is under ordinary conditions one ounce of silver per bushel of wheat.  Your farmers will always have to sell a bushel of wheat, say in Chicago, for an ounce of silver less freight charges in London;  if then silver is worth $1.29 per ounce, the London price of American wheat is a dollar and twenty-nine cents, while if silver is worth ninety cents, then your wheat will only realize ninety cents.  This it a statement that will bear close examination and it is the sum of the importance of the silver question to your nation."

In other words, India — that enormous possession of Britain — has between two and three hundred millions of simple-minded people — more simple-minded even than the present generation of Americans who read our "metropolitan press" — and those sad-eyed millions of Asia comprehend no money but the silver rupee.  They have always been accustomed to take two-and-a-half rupees, coined from an ounce of silver, for a bushel of wheat, and can be made accustomed to no other equivalent.  When American silver was money — all of it that could be brought to the mint for coinage — its free-coinage money-right made it worth one dollar and twenty-nine cents an ounce and England had to pay that price for silver.  It cost her trade just so much for the material to make the two-and-a-half rupees, to buy the bushel of wheat.  But we having been "influenced by Great Britain," as Senator Bogy said, and having done the demonetizing act that "suits England, but does not suit us," our silver could be bought by England so that she could make two-and-a-half rupees for half the old cost.  Thus she could get her wheat from India for fifty or sixty cents a bushel, according to the value of silver as a "commodity," and competition obliged our farmers to work down to that level, so far as they could keep from sinking under their mortgages.  Such being the case, no wonder that an American farmer has in some respects elucidated this whole affair better than anyone else who has thus far grappled with it.  The farmer is also one of the ablest members of the House of Representatives in Congress — Hon. Joseph C. Sibley of Pennsylvania.  In his justly celebrated speech of August 18th 1893, Mr. Sibley said:

" My friends, we are told that the Treasury and the country through the Treasury, has lost vast sums of money in buying 70-cent silver and storing it in our vaults. * * *

"How much have we lost ?  Have we lost anything ?  Every ounce in the Treasury bought below $1.29 an ounce, its coinage value, is so much gain. * * *

"But supposing we had been loser.  Supposing, Mr. Speaker, that we had as a government chartered one of the ocean greyhounds sailing from New York and had loaded every ounce of silver in the country that has been produced since 1873 to the present time, had bought that silver for $1.29 an ounce, and had that ship to sail just off beyond the banks of Newfoundland, and gone into sufficiently deep water where you could not reach soundings, and sunk it to the depths of the ocean, where it would have remained forever beyond the reach of man — what would have been the effect on the producers of the United States ?

"The highest production of silver in any year has been $73,000,000.  We will say it is $75,000,000.  But we produce 450,000,000 bushels of wheat a year, which since the demonetization of silver has fallen from $1.20 to 54 cents per bushel.  The American farmers have lost from 60 to 70 cents a bushel on wheat.  The price has gone down because England can come here and take 70 cents' worth of silver and measure it against a bushel of wheat in India, just as well as she could do when it was worth $1.29, before we demonetized it by legislation and degraded and disgraced it by our wicked follies.  Now then Mr. Speaker, we have a loss of 50 cents a bushel on wheat — I want to make my statement modest.  We have a loss of 50 cents a bushel on 450,000,000 bushels of wheat a year, which makes a loss to the American farmer of $225,000,000.

"I am not here talking for the silver-mine owners of Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Montana and Utah.  I do not know them.  They are only a small factor in this question.  I am looking to the producers of wheat and corn, cotton and tobacco, and all the wealth of the nation.  We have lost $225,000,000 each year in the value of wheat.  Why, if we had bought that 75,000,000 ounces of silver and sunk it in the depths of the sea, so that England could not have got it at 70 cents per ounce, the American wheat-grower would have been a gainer of $225,000,000 annually.  We produce 2,000,000,000 bushels of corn, and corn has fallen 26 cents a bushel.  Wheat is the great staple, the great leader, and corn is but a follower of wheat among the cereals.  Now then I will say that we lost 20 cents a bushel on corn, and so our American growers of corn have lost $400,000,000 annually upon their crop of corn, so that if they had bought all this silver and sunk it, the corn-growers would have been $325,000,000 to the good.

"We produce 3,212,000,000 pounds of cotton annually, and in 1873 your cotton sold at 22 cents a pound.  To-day it is bringing 7 and 8 cents.  You have lost 12 cents a pound on every pound of cotton: and if the cotton-producers had bought all the silver and sunk it in the depths of the ocean they would have been each year $210,000,000 ahead on the transaction.  In these three leading articles of production in the Union (I will not go through more of them) the loss to the producer each year has been $910,000,000 more than the value of the silver that it would have been necessary to have purchased."

Nearly a thousand millions of dollars a year lost to the United States and gained by Britain, on three American products, apart from silver, by demonetizing that metal ![2]  Here we have the most comprehensive motive of all for the mission of Ernest Seyd to the land of our Tory-Saint of the Whited Sepulchre, John Sherman.

All classes of producers, however, not excepting the richest are victims in greater or less degree to the crime of 1873.  None have complained of it more bitterly than the great manufacturers of Pennsylvania.  Their official organ, for-instance, The Manufacturer contained in its issue of July 29th 1893 the following article:

"Result of a British Conspiracy.

"The assertion made in these columns lately, that the movement for the complete demonetization of silver was the result of a British conspiracy to obtain from us at unnaturally low prices the cotton, wheat, silver and other commodities produced by us, is fully sustained by the following letter written to an American in New York by Mr. Robert Lacy Everett, a member of the British Parliament:

'The one great supreme aim of the moneyed classes and the London press is to restrict the supply of money so as to enrich the owners of it at the expense of the raisers of produce and the owners of land and other real property.  We hope that the sharp intelligence of your people, in the main a nation of producers and land owners, will see through the cruel game of the moneyed classes and frustrate it.  The miseries of the agricultural classes here are indescribable, but they do not clearly see why it is that their prices are forced down to their ruin, so that it is difficult to get them to move.  The wits of the American farmers are sharper.  I hope our salvation will come from you.'

"Whether 'the wits of American farmers are sharper' or not, may be uncertain.  It is difficult, upon any hypothesis, to account for the fact that Congress has steadily resisted for years the clamor for abandonment of silver.  But either the wits of American editors are not sharp, or these persons have deliberately lent themselves to promotion of the British purpose to feed Englishmen and to run English cotton mills at the expense of the American people, and to enhance the value of every debt owed to Britain by Americans.  Gold monometallism and free trade both are devices prepared by Englishmen for injuring other nations for British advantage, and so eager are the plunderers for their prey that they are willing even to sacrifice their own agricultural population and their own agricultural industry that they may filch from their American victims the substance of the latter."

And now for

A FURTHER RESULT OF THE SAME CONSPIRACY.

In the year of our Lord 1893, the schemers of Contraction, from all the banks and Wall-streets known to Satan, filled the world with raving, with wailing and gnashing of teeth, over a certain compromise money-act of the United States called "the Sherman Law."  This law, notwithstanding the name of it, had injected a small amount of silver money into a ruinously scant volume of currency, and had thus held off to some extent the strangulative effects of the gold-plot, which had been twenty years in culminating.  The howl for the "unconditional repeal" of this act, so far as the least scintillation of intelligence stirred behind it, was a howl, pure and simple, from the gold-caves, for a further chance to pillage values.  It was a noise at once so wolfish and so brainless — so clearly a cry of brutes for blood — that bankers themselves, of the better class, turned round with disgust in some instances and exposed it.  In one of the weekly circulars of Messrs. A.R. Chisolm & Co., Bankers and Brokers of 61 Broadway, New York City, they addressed their correspondents and the public in this way:

"The repealers propose to cure the disease of contraction by more contraction. * * * More contraction is madness.  It means half a million more idle men in the next sixty days.  It means silver down to 40 cents, and wheat down to 50 cents, and cotton at 3 cents.  These figures will shut up every bank west of Chicago.  The gold-trust bankers rule this country, not by guns, but by a corner in gold.  Their little game is making silver buy less and gold more, to cheapen the price of India wheat and cotton so that this country, on the single gold-basis, must sell these products below the cost of production."

But all this has long been so clear to Americans of intelligence who have not been deprived of the facts by a pestilential press, that "the breezy West" has even turned the tragedy now and then into comedy, as did Hon. Thomas Fitch of Nevada at the St. Louis Silver Convention of 1889.

"That nation, [said Mr. Pitch] which consumes fifty per cent and produces but seven per cent of the world's supply of silver, beguiled the nation which produces nearly fifty per cent and consumes twenty-five per cent of the world's supply of silver into a conspiracy to strike thirty-five per cent from the value of silver.  That nation which is the greatest importer of wheat in the world, inveigled the nation which is the greatest exporter of wheat in the world, into a financial and commercial dead-fall where thirty-five per cent was taken from the value of wheat.  The nation whose looms would be idle and whose people would be hungry and whose government would be upheaved upon a storm of riot if without a supply of American cotton, deceived the nation which is the greatest producer of cotton into striking thirty-five per cent from the value of cotton.  Why, gentlemen, England is the bunco-steerer of the world;  and Uncle Sam is the gentleman from the rural districts."

For a bird's-eye view of the general effects of demonetizing silver, nothing can be better than the following extracts from that vest-pocket cyclopaedia of the money question by General A.J. Warner, modestly entitled "Facts About Silver." [Published, by the American Bimetallic League, Sun Building, Washington, D.C.]

" Law of Value of Money.

"The value of gold depends upon the quantity of gold in the world as compared with its use — not its use in the arts alone nor its use as money alone, but all its uses combined.  If 60 per cent of all the gold in the hands of man is devoted to monetary use and 40 per cent to other uses, then 60 per cent of its value comes from its use as money and 40 per cent from its other uses — that is, the demands upon the stock of gold would come from these uses and the effect of each on the value of gold would be in proportion to its intensity.  The same law governs the value of silver;  and generally the value of money depends upon the quantity as compared with its use, or the demand for it.  This is the fundamental law of money and the most important law in economics.  The conditions which determine need for money or demand for it, are population and wealth — that is, number of people to make exchanges and the quantity of things to be exchanged.

"The Effect of Silver Demonetization.

" The first effect of demonetizing silver was to set up the single gold standard and then to augment that standard by increasing the value of gold.  The value of gold was increased by increasing its use as money at the same time that its production fell off.  In 1873 neither the United States, nor Germany, nor Italy, nor Holland, nor Norway, nor Denmark and Sweden used gold, but after silver was demonetized all these countries, containing a population of 150,000,000 of people, adopted the gold standard and went to using gold; and in ten years these seven states took $1,200,000,000 of gold, so that the gold money then in use was divided up among more than twice as many people as used gold in 1873, while the production of gold fell off from a maximum of $155,000,000 in 1853 to about $105,000,000 in 1890.  On the other hand the world's population is increasing more rapidly than ever before.  The population of the United States doubles in a period of about thirty-four years.  There is no prospect of an increase in the supply of gold, while its use in the arts and dentistry increases every year.  With the single gold standard, what other result is possible than for gold to go on increasing in value from year to year and prices continue to fall ?

"Change in the Value of Land.

"Great as has been the fall in agricultural products, the fall in the price of farm lands has been greater still, notwithstanding the fact that the area of arable land, relatively to population, is rapidly decreasing; and nowhere has the value of land fallen more than in the old settled parts of the country.

"Loss Sustained by Farmers.

"At the price of wheat in 1873 the value to the farmers of the crop of 1893 would have been $455,000,000 instead of $178,000,000 a difference of $277,000,000.  This would have gone a long way toward paying off mortgages.

"The corn crop of 1893 at the price of 1873 would have yielded $660,000,000 instead of $412,000,000.

"The cotton crop of 1893 at the price of cotton in 1873 would have been worth to the South $496,000,000 instead of $184,000,000 its actual value in 1893.

"The difference in the value of farm products in 1873 and in 1893 correctly marks the difference between prices with free coinage of silver as well as gold, and prices as measured by the single standard of gold.  The value of farms and farm lands has fallen even more than farm products.

"It is not easy to calculate the loss to farmers and planters in the twenty years from 1873 to 1893 by the fall in value of farms and farm products, as the direct result of the change in the money standard.  Their ability to pay debts and taxes, at any rate, has been reduced in the exact ratio to the fall in prices.

"Earnings of Labor.

"The earnings of labor, counted in money, have been reduced also.  While many things which the laborer uses have fallen with his earnings, taxes, debts, cost of education and many other things have not been reduced, the net result being a proportional loss to labor;  the greatest loss being, perhaps, in loss of employment and consequently in the total earnings of the laboring class.

"The Extent of the Fall of Prices.

"The extent of the fall in the general range of prices cannot be exactly stated, but tables made at different times by Soetbeer, Saurbeck, Palgrave, the London Economist, and various tables in this country, brought down to 1893, show an average fall of prices of from 33 to 45 per cent, which is equivalent to a rise in the purchasing power of gold of from 50 to 80 per cent.

"That is, on an average, three to three and a half measures of everything, or three to three and a half days' labor must be given for the same quantity of gold which two measures or two days' labor would obtain before silver was demonetized.

"What the Exclusion of Silver from the Money Supply of India and United States means.

"For ages, India, with a population of 270,000,000 of people, has derived her money supply from imports of silver which has been converted, without limit, into rupees for the benefit of the holder.

"In the United States, since the passage of the Bland-Allison Act in 1878, from twenty to fifty million dollars of silver a year have been added to our money volume.  The total increase in the money volume since 1878 from this source has been nearly $600,000,000.  This is now shut off entirely and money supply for all Europe, Australia, India and the United States is limited to gold, while at the same time, including Austria-Hungary which within the same year has decreed the gold standard, more than three hundred and fifty millions of people have been added to those competing for gold !

"Is it possible that such a tremendous change can be made in the monetary condition of the world without unsettling everything ?  Such a disturbance in the money standard in so short a period of time was never known before in the whole history of the world and we have as yet but seen the beginning of the consequences that must follow this change.  The pricing instrument has thus at last been completely changed from gold and silver to gold alone, while gold under present conditions must rise in value faster than ever, which means that prices must go down faster and go lower than ever.  But the number of dollars required to discharge debts and pay taxes will not be less.  How long will it take under such conditions for those who own the money and the debts of the world, to own the world ?  At the same time nearly all the gold is hoarded in a few great banks and treasuries and is controlled by at most a few hundred men. * * *

"While the mints were open to the coinage of silver, the people had a source of supply of money that could not be controlled by combinations of banks.  But this is the case no longer."

So much for the physical, the material, the industrial consequences of the great crime of 1873.  But the moral consequences of that crime are more shocking and sickening still.  It has almost rotted the blood of the world, so far as its leaders are concerned, with the scrofula of dishonesty.

We remember the disclosure of Hippolyte Grenier in the New York Graphic, as early as 1876:

"An immense fund was raised to bring about the general adoption of the gold metal basis.  The money-writers and political economists of London, Paris, Berlin, Frankfort and Amsterdam were either argued into the adoption of these views or were purchased outright.  Hence the articles in the leading papers of Europe in favor of the gold basis."[3]

"Of course," added Monsieur Grenier, "The object of the great capitalists is quite apparent in the crusade against silver.  By reducing the currency one-half it would add enormously to their wealth, by cheapening products and giving them a still greater monopoly of the circulating medium."

Having not merely millions but literally thousands of millions at stake, England, Israel, and American-Torydom combined have purchased all the literary puddlers of economics in the known world so far as their brains have been in the market.  Some years ago when the "Greenback" movement achieved sufficient prominence to be an educative force in the politics of the United States, the American Association of Bankers were accustomed to send out mendacious and malicious matter to such newspapers as they wished to hire for stabbing the truth and to order the drippings of their poisoned dirks printed as "editorial," and "the bill forwarded."  The Chicago Inter Ocean, the New York Sun, with some other journals which refused to take off the last vestige of common honesty, exposed the bank-assassins instead of obeying them.  But where are nearly all "the leading journalists"?  How well they are whipped in by their masters and how murderously they drive their split stilettos into the bodies of the people !  But they are the true sons of their fathers, who were used in the same way forty years ago to belie and crush the Abolitionists, but failed !

When off its guard, the American press itself — its pen mightier than Benedict Arnold's sword — lets out the whole secret.  At a certain semi-public dinner, within the blessed memory of men not yet old — the champagne having ebbed low in the bottles — a distinguished journalist made a little speech.  It was reported thus:

"There is no such thing in America as an independent press unless it is out in the country towns.  You are all slaves! You know it and I know it.  There is not one of you that dares express an honest opinion.  If you express it you know beforehand that it will never appear in print.  I am paid $150 (per week) for keeping honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with.  Others of you are paid similar salaries for doing similar things.  If I should allow honest opinions to be printed in one issue of my paper, like Othello, before twenty-four hours, my occupation would be gone.  The man who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street hunting for another job.  The business of a New York journalist is to distort the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread, or for what is about the same thing, his salary.  You know this and I know it; and what foolery to be boasting of an independent press.  We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes.  We are jumping-jacks; they pull the string and we dance.  Our time, our talents, our lives, our possibilities, are all the property of other men.  We are intellectual prostitutes."[4]

The "subsidized press," however, is only one immoral offense of the epoch of the gold-bug.  American "statesmanship" — God save it from annihilation — has sunk quite as low as American journalism.  It is now perfectly evident that our two political parties which libel the holy names, "Republican" and "Democratic," are both little more than the decomposed spoils of London Jews and their New York twins of the English bank-system.  Since the death of Lincoln, the Republican party has been completely in the toils of this combination — not wholly through knaves, it is true, but partly through the financial ignorance of tolerably-honest men.  For twenty-five years, the Democratic party has protested against the villainy of Lombard and Wall streets, as all the "Democratic platforms" show.  Meanwhile thousands of the most intelligent Republicans became Democrats on this account.  But as the plot thickened, a third-rate attorney was found in Buffalo who happened by the providence of folly and accident to be at once a nominal "Democrat" and available candidate for the Presidency, and such a nightmare in political morality that he could be rolled, like Juggernaut in his car, on the remains of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and every other true leader of American Democracy.  So a shout went up for Grover Cleveland, as the one "honest man" of his day.  "Fame," said Napoleon, "that is noise."  The noise once started, the fame increased until "The Stuffed Prophet of Buffalo" had more throats in his service than ever "The veiled prophet of Khorassan."  When he was pushed forward for President, however, Democrats themselves exploded with derision at his claims and the New York Star, referring to one feature of his career, said that "the Democratic Party" had "never yet been headed by a hangman." Whatever may have been the taste of such criticism, the Democratic "high executioner" has since hanged his party and has nearly hanged his country.

In 1889 the Republicans resumed charge of the Federal Government and with them, as always, Wall Street commanded and scooped the Treasury.  But when the campaign of 1892 came, the great Anglo-American gold-plot after a crusade of nineteen years against the silver dollar, had grown ripe.  As a party — a series of platforms, a mass of voters — the Democrats stood solid in the way of the culmination of the villainy.  But the English and Tory managers who now controlled the wires of our American politics saw that if a Democrat could be elected President, who would assume the role of Dictator, and would use the patronage of his office to bully and bribe his own party out of its promises and its record for a quarter of a century, then the American people might be utterly given over to their despoilers.  Hence Cleveland was preferred to Harrison, though between the two, the son of man was offered nothing but crucifixion.

To cover the great gold-conspiracy of 1892, its foreign and domestic managers decreed the noisy agitation of two minor affairs — Federal interference with Elections for the South and for the North a change of Tariff — the tariff being a thing which the gold-bugs themselves sneered at as "a mere matter of schedules."  Then the cooks and scullions of the press took their orders, as Democrats and Republicans, to deafen and beguile the people.  What with the strictly English press like the New York Times and the Evening Post, the boom-de-ay Jew press like the World, the straight-Republican, straight-monopoly press like the Tribune, and the bank-and-bullion Tory press in general, the work was done to the entire satisfaction of those who paid for it.

"There on the throne to which the blind belief
Of millions raised him, sat the Prophet-Chief,
The great Mokanna.
* * *
He raised his veil — the maid turned slowly round,
Looked at him — shrieked — and sank upon the ground."
[From Moore's "Lalla Rookh."]

It is a long time since the Democratic Party was a "maid"; but after a look at Cleveland in 1893, she certainly gave one "shriek" and "sank upon the ground."

That our political campaign of the previous year was a plot, pure and simple, of the gold-contractionists against the American people, was soon proved by a million votes of those who saw through it and by the words of their leaders who exposed it in advance.  But the False-Prophet of the Tariff took his seat — on the American flag — and then the band of Rothschild, Sherman and Company were quickly enough seen behind him.  It was they and they alone — this international syndicate of grabbers and wreckers — who, having sucked out the life-blood of all business for half a generation by contracting the flow of money, intentionally precipitated the panic of 1893.

It is now pretty well known that as early as the 12th of March — eight days after the inauguration of their President — the Bankers' Association issued to its members what has come to be known as

" The Panic Bulletin."

" Dear Sir: The interests of national bankers require immediate financial legislation by Congress.  Silver, silver certificates and Treasury notes must be retired and the national bank notes, upon a gold basis, made the only money.  This will require the authorization of from $500,000,000 to $1,000,000,000 of new bonds as a basis of circulation.  You will at once retire one-third of your circulation and call in one-half of your loans.  Be careful to make a money-stringency felt among your patrons, especially among influential business men.  Advocate an extra session of Congress for the repeal of the purchase clause of the Sherman law and act with the other banks of your city in securing a petition to Congress for its unconditional repeal, per accompanying form.  Use personal influence with Congressmen and particularly let your wishes be known to your Senators.  The future life of national banks as fixed and safe investments depends upon immediate action, as there is an increasing sentiment in favor of government legal-tender notes and silver coinage."

Unlike the Hazard and Buell circulars, the "Panic Bulletin" may not as yet have been absolutely traced to its source.  But in this instance such technical authentication is of no consequence, the whole programme having become a ghastly fact which has proved itself.  A resolute banker being asked about it recently by a friend, said he had no doubt it was genuine — for it was "about right" — though he had received so many circulars of the sort that he "could not be sure in regard to this special one."  The manifesto merely laid out the well known "object-lesson" of breaking the business of the United States to stop the increase of silver money.  This "object-lesson" was repeatedly threatened by the New York Tribune as long ago as 1877 and on December 24th of that year it said:

"Last week a long list of firms at Chicago was carefully filed away for future use by strong banks here.  'Why?' it was asked.  'Because this is a list of firms who support Bland's bill.'  So spoke an old banker of note."

The Chicago Inter-Ocean of August 20th 1893 said:

"Early in the winter a bank president, conversing with a Chicago man of business, said to him: 'Mr. Jones, we are going to make the West pay up this summer.'  'But why should you press your Western creditors?' asked Mr. Jones.  The reply was: 'Well, we think it would make you a little more thoughtful about currency matters and drive you from your foolish ideas about silver.' "

The comment of the Inter-Ocean was this:

"When the future historian tells the world of the great financial panic of 1893 he will say:  'In the winter and spring months of that year the New York bankers and financiers sowed the wind and during the summer months reaped the whirlwind.'  Colonel Ingersoll, early in the season of disturbance, properly called this 'a bankers' panic.'  Nor are the New York bankers alone to blame.  Those of Boston and Philadelphia come in for their share."

Reporting a conference between New York bankers and the United States Secretary of the Treasury, the Sun of April 27th 1893 said:

"There is a determination also to show the miners of silver the evils of the Sherman law. * * * This work has been started by a number of bankers in the solid communities of the East.  They are daily refusing credits to the South, Southwest and West."

On the 29th of April, the Sun added:

"The statement of Mr. Carlisle to the New York bankers makes it clear that while Mr. Cleveland works in Congress, the bankers will be expected to work not in New York only, but throughout the country, doing their utmost to pinch business in the expectation of causing a money crisis that will affect Congress powerfully from every quarter."

The financial report of the Philadelphia Press, under date of September 22d, contained this frank confession:

"There are ominous rumors on the street that New York will again put the screws on the Senate. * * * There is no question but that the banks of New York are still withholding money from merchants while possessing millions of idle cash, because of a tacit arrangement not to unloose it until the Senate voles for repeal."

The Philadelphia Manufacturer said to its readers on the 23d of September:

"The question has been from the first, how far this panic was natural and unavoidable, and how far it was artificial and manufactured. * * * This 'scare' was evidently artificial in a large measure.  It is moreover believed by many that it was deliberately planned to excite public distrust, to give excuse for the assembling of Congress, and to exert 'pressure' for the repeal of the Sherman act.  It was to be an 'object lesson' to the country. * * * To endeavor to create, by manipulation and artifice, fresh financial distress is simply an attempt to commit a public crime compared with which arson is trivial. * * * One thing must be remarked in this connection:  It will be a dire misfortune if the national banks of the country are betrayed into complicity with such of those in New York as are helping to concoct this scheme of public injury.  Because, if they shall be — if the whole national-bank system is to be tarred with this infamous stick — how is it to be supposed they can be effectively supported when their time of trial comes, as it presently will ? * * * Is it to be supposed that the mass of the people, if further convinced that the money-panic was artificial — in part or entirely a 'set-up job' — will rally in the banks' defense ?  Gentlemen, whoever you are, who propose to make distress wantonly, you are playing with fire and may perish in the flame of your own creating."

The banks, however, continued to "play" with their "fire";  and by means of it, with the aid of the Sherman wing of the Republican party, a Democratic President made the final raid on American silver, and Shy-lock's scheme to plunder a world was at last consummated.

Is it to be supposed that Grover Cleveland, who finally centered this whole conspiracy, is such an incarnation of "innocuous desuetude" that he has no understanding of his epoch, as he stands amid the ruins of it ?

Senator Stewart in a very significant speech of September 25th and 26th, 1893, entitled "Independence of the Co-ordinate Departments of the Government" — in which he exposed the panic-plot in great detail — said to the Senate:

"The matter of suspending the purchase of silver bullion, to cut off circulation and bring on a panic are traced too near the Administration to avoid observation."

What is the use of delicacy with unfaithful public servants ?  To know Grover Cleveland it is only necessary to look at his Secretary of the Treasury.  Here, doubt is done.  This man has a record — one that stares him in the face while it conducts him straight to realms below.  On the 21st of February 1878, John G. Carlisle said to the House of Representatives in Congress:

" I know that the world's stock of the precious metals is none too large and I see no reason to apprehend that it will ever become so.  Mankind will be fortunate indeed if the annual production of gold and silver coin shall keep pace with the annual increase of population, commerce and industry.  According to my views 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 misery upon the human race than all the wars, pestilences and famines that ever occurred in the history of the world.  The absolute and instantaneous destruction of half the entire movable property of the world, including houses, ships, railroads and all other appliances for carrying on commerce, while it would be felt more sensibly at the moment, would not produce anything like the prolonged distress and disorganization of society that must inevitably result from the permanent annihilation of one-half the metallic money of the world."

As long as currency must be redeemed in "specie" the words of John G. Carlisle in 1878 will stand literally true.  Nothing can change their ghastly import unless the problem of money shall some day become an exact science and all metals be relegated to the arts.  In the present state of civilization — our debts being payable in coin, our paper-money and bank-ledger inflations resting on the same ultimate base — to deplete that base is to commit an all-inclusive crime which entails every misfortune that can befall the human race.  Under this system, Herod of Judea need never have commissioned his butcher-guard to "slaughter the innocents."  A sufficient contraction of the currency would have starved the infants at the breast, and the fathers and mothers would have died with their babes.  Better grip or cholera, better small-pox or yellow-fever, better all of them together than the monetary results of the last quarter of a century.

John G. Carlisle knows all this and has said it.  But on the 21st of November 1893 he stood up at a banquet in New York, set at twenty dollars a plate by bankers and capitalists whose acts had brought three millions of human beings to idleness and hunger, and inverted the utterances of his departed honesty as unblushingly as the clown of a circus turns a handspring.

" It is enough [he exclaimed, amid the winks and leers around him] to say at present that we have already on hand a stock of silver, coined and uncoined, sufficient to meet all the probable requirements of the country for many years to come. * * * Gold is the only international money and all trade-balances are settled in gold or which is the same thing, on a gold basis.  It is useless for the advocates of a different system to insist that this ought not to be so. It is so, and we cannot change the fact. * * * The country has recently heard a great deal about bimetallism and a double standard. * * * For my part I have never been able to understand what is meant by a double standard or double measure of value and I have never found any one who could tell me."

If by reason of established demand, two things of one kind are worth exactly one thing of another kind, we have a Secretary of the Treasury, it appears, who cannot understand how this "double-standard" can be a single "measure of value."  In this condition of mind, at a banquet, he extinguishes his own biography and the mathematics of money for thirty centuries.  As a political attorney upside-down, he welcomes "war," advocates "pestilence," and eulogizes "famine."  He invites upon the heads of the American people such "prolonged distress and disorganization of society" as could not be effected by "the absolute and instantaneous destruction of half the entire movable property of the world."

Not all American politicians, certainly, are floundering in such mire as this.  But by long and patient iniquity, without regard to expense, our present brutalizing money-power appears to have left a majority of them with no principles not for sale.  Among all "the signs of the times," what else is so nauseous or so dangerous ?




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1. An excellent summary of this business may be found in the Washington National View of July 15th 1893 from the pen of Jesse Gilmore of San Diego, California, who has given very careful attention to the matter.  The Atlanta Constitution of January 20th 1894 had this to say in the same direction:— "According to a recent writer on the subject, China has a per capita circulation of $1.80 and India a per-capita of $3.44 — all in silver.  In another ten years these two countries at their present rate of progress, will require a per-capita circulation as large as ours and as they will never give up silver, it is a reasonable estimate to say that China will require ten billions four hundred millions of dollars, while India will need seven billions eight hundred millions.  Now, if the world's silver output reaches two hundred millions a year, it would take ninety-one years to produce enough to answer the needs of India and China."

2. As this result has nothing to do with opinion, but is one strictly of mathematics, the attorneys of the gold-trust have seldom touched it, though some occasional barrator, (fee unknown) has pretended not to see it.  Men who long ago rejected all there is in the Bible can be hired cheap to repudiate arithmetic.  It was Macaulay who said that, if the Copernican astronomy had interfered with the money-class, it would have been utterly denied and rejected.  In justice, however, to uninformed honesty, it is well to bear in mind the recent remark of Sir George Chesney that "the world is now divided into two money schools, the bimetallists and the monometallists" — which means into those who understand the question, and those who don't.

3. But one of the best-informed Englishmen ever in America — a man of very wide political, business, club, and press connections on both sides of the Atlantic — tells me that although this movement of subsidization is older in his country than in mine, the sharp, quick, Yankee press is more completely under the thumb of the gold-trust than even its English organs.  The most hopelessly rotten of all is probably our "Mugwump" journalism which, with arms in angles and legs in strides, apes the stupid dignity of British affectation as a long-tailed ulster to cover its bribes and frauds.

4. On tracing up this extraordinary speech, I find that the moral substance of it was first popped off by John Swinton in 1883.  It was "at a banquet of newspaper hacks," in New York, when called upon to speak to the toast, "The Independent Press."  Mr. Swinton has always insisted, however, that his remarks were "clumsily reported," and that they contained no "infamous personal confessions."  He meant also to make a clear distinction between scribblers, as the tools of others, and journalists as free to utter their own convictions.  But Mr. Swinton, who has both "wrought and suffered" for truth, freedom and humanity, happens to be one of the readiest and wittiest speakers of his day, and his little extemporization was considered so funny that the journalistic brotherhood — often more picturesque than profound — "improved upon it" and put it into its present form, in which it has been attributed to half a dozen leading newspaper-men, among them Whitelaw Reid.