In 1873 the gold dollar was made our standard of value, and has remained so.  Under a law enacted in 1890 we discontinued its coinage.

Up to June 30th, 1915, we had coined of the several denominations $3,378,009,628, of which more than half, or $1,771,694,596, had disappeared entirely ;  exported or used in the arts ;  proving it to be a very unreliable standard, for a medium of exchange, for American products.

The Treasury Department estimated that there was then in the United States $1,606,405,032.  Of this amount 40 per cent had been demonetized by decree of the House of Morgan, through the medium of the New York assay office.

Since June 30th, 1915, we have been demonetizing gold by decoinage, by same method, over $50,000,000 per month.

We have practically ceased the coinage of gold ;  that is, we are now using in the arts about as much gold coin as we are coining.

The special interests who insisted a few years ago that we must have a “money of the world," a “money good in Europe”;  or our trade, and industry would suffer, were the same interests who are now responsible for its rapid demonetization, discredit and repudiation.

This “money of the world,” “good in Europe,” has ceased to circulate in Europe, Asia, or Africa, and practically so in North and South America.  Gone in hiding, as it always has, when most needed.

During the year of 1915 the threatened importation of gold from Europe to pay for war munitions created a near panic in the ranks of the great conspirators, and which they hastily stopped, by extending almost unlimited credit to the Allies of Europe,

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taking what is called “unsecured” promises (government bonds) to pay in “American gold coin of the present standard, weight and fineness.”

At the same time, instead of having gold bullion coined into American dollars, they were rushing the New York assay office twenty-four hours a day to demonetize gold by melting into bullion.

It looked like an attempt to squeeze a premium from the Allies of Europe, as well as from the American victim debtors.

But, the Allies of Europe are not asleep, by any means.

The press reports, though brief, of a recent industrial conference in Paris to prepare, for after the war measures, indicates that they have all unanimously decided to change from gold to a paper currency, as soon as peace has been declared, thus repudiating their “mere scraps of paper” promises to pay in American gold coin, and well they may, as they will not have a cent on the dollar in gold to pay their gold debt obligations.

Can you imagine a greater folly, than for the greatest nation in the world, which we claim to be, and rightly so, composed of more than 100,000,000 of the most intelligent and industrious people on earth, with unlimited rich, natural resources, to continue depending for our future development, and the exchange of our labor, and labor products, on such an uncertain, unreliable, cowardly commodity as our “unit and standard of value”;  our legal tender—lawful money—now monopolized, and hoarded, by a small group of Shylock creditors.

Oh ! what fools and slaves the worship of gold as money makes of men, when manipulated by cunning knaves, who control the political machinery of government. How much longer will the American people continue to trust such unnatural, incapable, or avaricious “pilots” to control our financial legislation, for their own selfish purposes ?

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We cannot afford to wait to secure an ideal financial system all at once.

We should proceed to organize for political and legislative action all along the line, wherever we can make a change for the better.

With that in view, I submit several propositions, upon which we should all be able to unite for legislative action at the earliest possible date.

For Immediate Action.

In view of the clear intent and purpose of the House of Morgan to control all the commerce and industry in our country, through a monopoly of the issue and administration of our medium of exchange, and the rapidity with which it is being accomplished by the demonetization and retirement of our money and currency, makes it imperative that the whole people be warned of the impending danger, and every effort made to thwart, postpone and prevent the final consummation of the conspiracy.

We should have a bill introduced and pressed in Congress to amend the Federal Reserve bank law in line with Section 30 of the proposed Aldrich bill, requiring that for all national bank notes retired from circulation Federal Reserve bank notes should be issued, and made lawful money.  This would stop direct contraction from that source.

Up to April 1st, 1916, this had amounted to $172,799,170.

Make All Money Issued Lawful Money.

An immediate and pressing need, is to make all money coined or issued by the government, a full legal tender for all obligations, public or private, or, in other words, lawful money.

From my own experience, I think that it is safe to say that not more than one person in one thousand understands, or fully realizes, the very marked difference between lawful money and the several kinds of currency we now have in circulation.

    Why Not Lawful Money 205

I would guess further that not more than one in one hundred engaged in the business of banking know.

And I will be charitable enough to say that I believe that not one in ten United States Senators and Representatives now in Congress, or who were in Congress when the several laws and amendments I am going to refer to were enacted, understood what they were voting for.

When you have read this chapter yourself, confess it.

Then inquire of your neighbor, your banker, merchants and business men.  It will be a real benefit to them to know this important fact.

The information I am going to give on these several points is taken from an official book of the Treasury Department, “Information.”

Lawful Money.

Official definition of lawful money :  “Legal tender is a quality given a circulating medium by Congress and possessing this quality it becomes lawful money.”

Gold Coin.

Gold coin is a legal tender at its nominal or face value in payment of all debts, public and private.  And the standard since 1873.

The Silver Dollar.

In 1786 Congress chose as the money unit of the United States the coined silver dollar of 375.64 grains of pure silver.

This was changed in 1792 to 371.25 grains of pure silver.

Up to 1853, the minor silver coins had been a full legal tender.

The legal tender quality was then limited to $5.  In 1878 the weight of the silver dollar was again changed, and it was deprived of its full legal tender quality by an amendment, “except where otherwise

206 The Gold Dollar Unit    

expressly stipulated in the contract."  That will eliminate it when Shylock makes his demand.

The coinage of the standard silver dollar was discontinued in 1873 and restored to a limited extent in 1878.  This latter law was repealed in 1893.

Subsidiary Silver.

In 1792 the minor silver coins were made a full legal tender.

In 1853 their legal tender quality was limited to $5.  Since then the legal tender limit has been raised to $10.

If legal tender for $10, why not for $20, or $100 ?  Why not unlimited, as they were for nearly one hundred years ?  This is one place where money monopoly has no reverence for “the fathers.”

A peculiar feature of the law is that “They may be presented in sums, or multiples, of $20 to the treasurer, or any Assistant Treasurer of the United States for redemption or exchange into lawful money.”

The banker can gather them up in due course of business and have them converted into gold if he so wishes.

If they can be redeemed in unlimited quantity by sending them in to Washington, then why not Congress make them lawful money without all that expense and bother.  The present method cannot be justified as good business for the people, with small amounts, or with large debts to pay.

In whose interest was this ridiculous farce enacted ?  There is only one guess necessary.  You have guessed it the first time.

By so amending this law there would be added to our lawful money the very considerable sum of $187,466,970, and this should be done.

There was no demand on the part of the people for this discrediting and demonetizing of silver money.  Then as the law stands today, neither the standard silver dollar nor the subsidiary silver coins are full legal tender, although for the purpose of deception they are made partially so.

    Why Not Lawful Money 207

Why was that exception clause added to the law making the silver dollar a legal tender ?

And why was that legal tender quality of the subsidiary silver coins permitted to be limited ?

I claim that it was a part of the general scheme of the money power to control the volume of lawful money in circulation, and that it was done with such cunning and skill as to escape the attention of the people, or their representatives in Congress, while the faithful engineered the legislation “in the interest of the people.”

They could not demonetize silver openly, and what they could not do in the open, they have accomplished by stealth.

This becomes very easy under our present system of PARTY LOYALTY where the voter accepts of the “rubber stamp” selected by the money controlled party machine as their representative, instead of selecting and electing an independent representative of their own, a student of political economy.

The Silver Certificate.

They could not demonetize the standard silver dollar in 1878, for it was still the people’s favorite coin, and too late the people had discovered the trick of 1873, by which coinage of the dollar had been discontinued.

However, under cover, they practically accomplished their object in the 1878 law by providing that the silver dollars in quantities of not less than ten, and in any amount above, might be deposited with the Treasurer of the United States, and receive therefor silver certificates, which are not a legal tender—lawful money.

Under this law, or amendment, by June 30th, 1915, there had been $481,970,395 of lawful money taken out of circulation, and replaced by a shameful, fraudulent pretence of money palmed off upon the people.  This left only $64,647,156, supposed to be in circulation.

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But they are not satisfied to leave that much out, although most of it that has not been lost, or privately hoarded, is now hoarded by the banks for transmission to the United States Treasurer for retirement, and the zeal with which they are retiring it is evident from the fact that since June 30th, 1915, to March 24th, 1916, $3,325,433 in addition had been retired, and certificates substituted, which would increase the amount of silver certificates to $485,295,828.

Legislation Necessary to Remedy and Restore.

If the several states will enact laws providing that debt obligations shall be payable in lawful money, and if Congress will amend the law of 1878, by cutting out the seven words that never should have been added “except where otherwise stipulated in the contract,” and the unwarranted limit of the legal tender quality of the subsidiary silver coin repealed, we can restore to the volume of lawful money in circulation the very large sum of $672,762,798.

Gold Certificates.

Another cunningly devised false pretence for lawful money was put over, and upon the people, by a law enacted in March, 1907, which “provides for the receipt of deposits of gold coin in sums of not less than $20 and the issue of gold certificates therefor in denominations of not less than $10.”

“Gold certificates are not lawful money.  They are receivable for all public dues and when so received may be reissued, and they may be held by Federal Reserve and national banks as lawful cash reserve.”

They are lawful money for the national bankers, but not for the people ;  and these are the men who are so very much alarmed over the danger of special privilege and class legislation through rural credits.  Consistency ?  Oh ! pshaw !

Certificates of Uncoined Metal.

In March, 1911, another law was enacted, in the interest of efficiency, economy and public convenience

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(?), authorizing the issue of gold certificates of the same quality as those issued for gold coin, on deposit with the United States Treasurer, against gold bullion, and foreign coin—mere commodities.

Up to June 30th, 1915, there had been issued of this sham pretence for money $1,072,847,819.

It may be claimed that they are orders for lawful money.  Well, so is your wheat, your corn, cotton, or other products of labor, surer and safer orders for money.

The rapidity with which these sham, misleading, deceptive certificates are taking the place of lawful money may be judged by the fact that by March 24th, 1916, the volume of gold certificates had been increased by $411,529,120, in a little less than eight months, or over $5,000,000 a month of gold being demonetized.

Put Congress on Record.

What a shame that our government has been led, or forced, into this wicked trap for the exploitation of the people !  A deception unparalleled in the history of any civilized nation in the world, and unless speedily repealed, will result in untold misery and suffering.

We should demand of the present Congress the amendment of the laws of March 4th, 1907, and March 2nd, 1911, by insertion in the proper place, of the following five words :  “All debts, public and, private.”  That is all ;  and that would add to the volume of our lawful money at one stroke of the pen, the very large sum of $1,484,376,939, with, in addition, the many millions now being demonetized, for the press reports are that the New York assay office is running twenty-four hours a day demonetizing gold through the medium of the melting pot.

The present Congress should be put on record, if it requires a special session of Congress to do it.

United States Notes—Greenbacks.

There is still supposed to be $346,681,016 of these United States notes in circulation.  They were auth-

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orized before the conspiracy in its present form was conceived, and when Congress could, and did, write in the vital words, “a full legal tender for all debts, public and private.”

It is well to remember that the $60,000,000 demand notes remained at par with gold from March 17, 1862, when they were made a full legal tender.

But there was a sufficient sinister influence in control at that time to force the government to stultify itself by permitting the addition to the law authorizing the issue of United States notes, the following ten words :  “Except duties on imports, and interest on the public debt.”

Who was responsible for that amendment ?

The soldiers at the front, the farmers, laboring men, mechanics, merchants and manufacturers were all willing to accept them as a full legal tender, in payment for services or products.

Tradition says that a group of patriotic (?) bankers had at that time secured a monopoly of all the free gold in the country, and also owned the government bonds ;  that they had also secured laws providing that all customs dues and interest on the public debt, must be paid in gold.  Now, see in whose interest that exception clause was enacted.  How smooth the game worked.  That exception clause at once made a market for the bankers’ gold, and enabled them to charge the importers, who must have it to pay customs dues, a premium for it all the way up to 275 per cent.  Then, as the government received the gold for import dues the same bankers were waiting for the government to pay it back to them as interest on the public debt.

A perfect and profitable endless chain for said patriotic (?) group of bankers.

The responsibility is clear, and we may well fix the date for the inauguration of the conspiracy, with the enactment of that exception clause in 1862 ;  for the policy has been fixed and persistent ever since.

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Although the law has not been changed, the greenbacks have been freely accepted by the government for customs dues since 1879.

Then why not remove that ugly stain, by Congress cutting out those ten words “Except duties on imports and interest on the public debt”?

That would add $346,681,016 to the volume of our lawful money, provided that there is still that amount in existence.

National Bank Notes.

The national bank note system, enacted in 1864, was heralded as a great patriotic scheme to primarily make a market for United States bonds, and on the side—not heralded—to provide a basis for the issue of cheap money, for the bankers’ use, for private profit.

It was called the “best financial system in the world,” because the notes were based on government bonds, and interest and bonds payable in gold.  They are not lawful money ;  in fact, it is hard to tell just what they are.  It was perfectly safe for the national bankers to worship them without fear of transgressing the first commandment, second paragraph.  For proof of which I will quote the official definition :  “National” bank notes are not legal tender but are receivable for all public dues except duties on imports, and may be paid out by the government for all purposes except interest on the public debt and for redemption of national bank notes.  They are redeemable in lawful money of the United States by the Treasurer but not by the Assistant Treasurers, and are also redeemable at the bank of issue.”

Although obligations of the government, they will not pay debts due to the government.

They are not lawful money, but they are redeemable in lawful money at just two places in the United States.

The government can pay some things due by the government with them but not others.

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They are not lawful money for the people, but are for the bankers.

What would be thought of an employer of labor who would pay his employes in money that he would net accept in payment of obligations ?

Or of a merchant that would give a due-bill that he would not accept in payment for his own merchandise ?

With 7,560 national banks scattered all over the nation, and all a part of one system, there are just two places where these national bank notes are redeemable.

A national system ;  the best in the world (?).

Because these notes were obligations of the government, they were readily accepted as money by the people, and when the Federal Reserve law went into effect in November, 1914, there were national bank notes in circulation to the amount of $1,121,468,911, or better than one-fourth of the total volume of money in circulation.  No ;  not money, mere due bills or promises to pay in money, which no creditor could be forced to accept.

There is, there can be no justification for our government to so deceive the people in our most vital legislation.

Then, instead of this ridiculous hodge-podge of mixed money, and currency, and impositions which President Taft called “a miserable patchwork that satisfied nobody,” we should demand that Congress should promptly amend the law by eliminating the “tis and isn’ts,” and make it read plainly that the “National bank notes are a full legal tender for all debts, public and private.”  That’s all.

This would increase the volume of lawful money by the full amount of the national bank notes in circulation.

Federal Reserve Bank Notes.

Official definition :  “Federal reserve bank notes are identical in all their attributes with national bank notes,” “the difference being that such notes are taken

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out by Federal Reserve banks instead of by national banks.”

“Federal Reserve notes are issued by the Federal Reserve Board to Federal Reserve banks and their attributes are the same.”

As I have shown elsewhere the plan of the House of Morgan is to substitute a system of bank credit for money, “the only money to be a small amount for counter use” (Reynolds), and this Federal Reserve bank note nondescript currency is to be that farcical substitute for money.

Our Future Money.

Of the ten kinds listed by the Treasury Department this, by all means the very worst and most ridiculous in its attributes as a substitute, has been legally imposed upon us.  The joint committee on Rural Credits calls it “a capstone on a superb structure for commercial credit.”

And President Wilson accepted this, the most ragged patch in the bunch, as the model for our currency of the future—the Federal Reserve Notes.

The last word in financial wisdom by the men whom Mr. Herrick calls “our natural pilots,” and whom I think we might more properly designate the Sovereign House of Morgan.

The Paramount Issue.

Here, then, is the pressing paramount issue for immediate consideration and aggressive political action ;  important enough to rally around its standard every independent, or semi-independent, American citizen, and the organization of a new political party if necessary, with this as its paramount issue.


Regardless of the base, or security, for the several kinds of money or currency now in circulation ;  whether stamped on metal, or based on value; or greenbacks based on the faith and credit of the nation ;  or certificates based on metal, or other commodities ;  or national bank notes based on United States bonds, or

212 The Gold Dollar Unit    

other security ;  or Federal Reserve bank notes based on commercial paper ;  or investment notes based on land ;  or on the stored products of labor ;  or on state bonds, or bonds of other political units.

The final base of security, after all, must be the federal government.  It alone can issue money, real legal tender, lawful money, the only kind, any sovereign state should ever issue.

When the security has been, approved by the federal government, there should be no necessity for designating the base or security and needlessly, multiplying the kinds of money.

There should be but one kind of money, and when issued by the federal government it should be a United States note ;  a full legal tender for all debts, public and private.  That’s all.

Platform Resolution.

To put it in the form of a platform resolution, something like this :

Whereas :  Money is a public utility, issued by the government as a medium of exchange, and for the payment of all public and private obligations, be it

Resolved :  That we demand that Congress shall, at the earliest practicable moment, so amend all of our currency laws, that all money, or currency, of whatever kind that has been coined or issued, or authorized by the government, directly or indirectly, shall be made a full legal tender, for all debts, public or private ;  and be it further

Resolved :  That for the future, there shall be but one kind of money issued by the government, and regardless of its base, or security, or the purpose for which it was issued, it shall be simply a United States note ;  a full legal tender for all debts, public and private ;  and be it further

Resolved :  that all money, coined or issued, should be issued to all classes of business or industries at exactly the same rate of interest, or tax, without private profit, and through the medium best adapted for the purpose.


One of the first steps should be to demonstrate to the general public whether it is possible to enforce our laws against usury as practiced by so many of our chartered public servants, known as national banks.

I have already shown how powerless and obedient even our greatest fighting chief executive was when the head of the House of Morgan called him.

I refer now to the smaller members, the feeders of the system—the national banks.  The extent of their extortionate usury in violation of law, would have remained, veiled in comparative secrecy, had it not been for the accidental appointment of John Skelton Williams as Comptroller of the Currency ;  a public official who thought it was his duty, to enforce the laws of his department.  Space forbids more than a very brief quotation.  As to the prevalence of usury, I quote from p. 23:

“The banks were required to give information on this subject in their reports submitted in response to the call for statement of condition as of December 31st, 1914, and also again at the time of each of the next five ensuing calls for statements.  An analysis of the reports thereupon filed by the national banks shows that some national banks in nearly every part of the country, and nearly all banks in certain sections, have been charging rates of interest on some of their loans which are not only illegal and usurious, but which are intolerable, and if continued inevitably must sap the strength of their customers and injure the communities in which they operate.”

Page 25 :  “Especially from the South and Southwest, the West and Northwest, many bitter complaints have been received of excessive interest charged the farmers and others engaged in agriculture.  In many instances the exaction of the money lenders make it impossible for the farmer to live comfortably and pay

216 First Legislative Steps    

the banks the enormous rates demanded for the use of money needed to produce his crops.

“The exorbitant rates charged the farmers are the more inexcusable when it is considered that the losses made by banks on agricultural paper have been light generally.  The record shows that the farmers’ loans, sooner or later, nearly always are paid, however great may be the sacrifices the farmer must make to meet his obligations.  It is estimated by those in a position to judge correctly that the losses on loans to farmers throughout the agricultural regions amount to not more than, a fraction of one per cent on the money loaned them.  Yet the farmer has been, and is, obliged to pay, in thousands of cases, not only twice the rate of interest usually charged in the cities to merchants and manufacturers, where the risk is just as great, but he actually has been required to pay, in many instances, ten times the interest rate which he ought to be charged, or which is permissible under the law.”

Note.—There is no reason to doubt these statements ;  they were made under oath, by the officers of the banks in question.

Why are the laws not enforced ?  I quote from p. 31:

“As the action against the offending bank must be brought by the customer who has paid the usurious interest, suits are brought rarely.  The customer who borrows at these unlawful rates is afraid to bring suit for the recovery of the money improperly taken from him, realizing that he may be blacklisted by the banks, and however great his need may be at some future time he would be unable to secure further loans.”

I know the truth of the foregoing from personal experience of myself and neighbors, when the common rate was from two to three per cent a month.  It seems incredible that such a condition of usury, as reported by the Comptroller of the Currency for the year 1915,—much, very much, worse than we experienced here in territorial days,—should have been tolerated all these years, and continued after the en-

    Useless Efforts to Stop Usury 217

actment of the Federal Reserve law, which was to free us from all of our financial ills.

The Comptroller had been using moral suasion and threats for over a year to secure a moderation of the extortionate charges of interest.  Then in his annual report he appeals to Congress for the enactment of “AN AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE THAT SUITS AGAINST USURERS BE BROUGHT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.”

“If there should be an amendment to the national bank act authorizing and directing the Department of Justice to bring suit against usurers upon information furnished either through the Comptroller of the Currency or through other sources, the practice of usury in all the national banks throughout the country can be stopped.  I therefore earnestly recommend to the present Congress the passage of such a law.”

The recommendation is well meant, and with ordinary law-abiding citizens might have the desired effect.  He should have learned by this time that he is dealing with a special class, who know that they make the law-makers, and, having made them, have a right to control them, and do control them.

All anti-usury laws, are, and have been, useless in preventing usury.

The true remedy is to deprive any man, or body of men of the power to exact usury, by administering this public necessity, as a public utility, without private profit.

For proof, go back to 1907, when all of the big banks suddenly closed their doors, thus forfeiting their right to do business, and where was the Comptroller of the Currency ?  In this case it would be the Attorney General ;  well, where was the Attorney General then, when the Sherman anti-trust law was being violated ?  No ;  there is no use trying to regulate, or control, the men and system that are now enthroned by giving them a monopoly of the money of the country.  “The men who control the money of a country

218 First Legislative Steps    

are absolute masters of the industry, commerce and legislation of that country.”

What has been the result of the Comptroller’s appeal up to date ?

Although he was very careful to say that a large majority of the national banks were not violating the usury laws, the National Bankers’ Association decreed that the Comptroller must be chastised for “lese majeste,” “official meddling,” etc., and the national council of the Federal Reserve Board have unanimously recommended that the office of the Comptroller of the Currency be abolished.

So far as I know the administration has made no effort to have the amendment enacted, and no member of Congress seems to have the courage to introduce such a bill.

There will be no more attempts made to regulate or control, by the present administration, than there was by the two preceding ones.

For the purpose of demonstration, we should demand and insist that the law be amended as recommended.

Where Begin to Reduce the Rate of Interest.

How and where shall we begin to reduce the rate of interest ?

It is evident from the foregoing that we cannot hope for any change for the better under the present system, or through the medium of the political parties that have fastened the system upon us.  And it is just as evident that we must begin at once an earnest fight all along the line if we are to regain financial freedom.

While aiming at the main fort, we must take advantage of every opportunity to capture a trench.  That is modern warfare.

The first trench to capture is by state legislation by which we can reduce the maximum rate of interest to six per cent, for the use of money or credit.

Congress fixed the maximum rate of interest national banks might charge at six per cent, with an ex-

    Reduce Interest Rates 219

ception clause as follows, Section 5197, United States Revised Statutes :  “Any association may take, receive, reserve, and charge on any loan or discount made, or upon any note, bill of exchange, or other evidence of debt, interest at the rate allowed by the laws of the state, territory or district where the bank is located, and no more, except that where by the laws of any state a different rate is limited for banks of issue organized or existing in any such state under this title.”

It will be noted that by the state fixing the higher maximum the national banks can raise their rates to the state limit.  Then it follows, that if the state reduces the limit to six per cent, the national banks, by the federal law governing them, automatically must reduce their rate to six per cent.

For the future we will have ourselves to blame if we pay more than six per cent per annum.

A simultaneous effort should be made in every state of the union to fix the maximum rate at six per cent.  We will thus materially reduce the rate of interest and be the better prepared to take the next step.  It is useless to wait for others to do it.  We must do it ourselves.