Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration.
"No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty; none lese inclined to take or touch aught which they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess and which, if cur-rendered, will surely be used to close the doors of advancement against such as they, and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them till all of liberty shall be lost." - Abraham Lincoln.
The substance of the proclamation issued by President Cleveland, convening the special session of Congress, is as follows: -
"Whereas the distrust and apprehension concerning the financial situation, which pervade all business circles, have already caused great loss and damage to our people, and threaten to cripple oar merchants, stop the wheels of manufacture, and bring distress and privation to our farmers, and withhold from our workingmen the wage of labor;
"And, whereas, the present perilous condition is largely the result of a financial policy which the ex-
ecutive branch of the Government finds embodied in unwise laws which must be executed until repealed by Congress; "Now, therefore, I, Grover Cleveland, President of the United States, in performance of a constitutional duty, do, by this proclamation declare that an extraordinary occasion requires the convening of both Houses of the Congress of the United States at the Capitol in the city of Washington on the 7th day of August next, at 12 o'clock noon, to the end that the people may be relieved, through legislation, from present impending danger and distress."
On the 7th of August, 1893, Congress met promptly at the hour indicated in the call. Both Houses organized and the President was notified of the fact.
On the 8th of August, he transmitted a special message to the House and Senate, respectively, in which he set forth his reasons for existing financial depressions, end urged the repeal of the Sherman law as the means to dispel the distrust which wrought such distress among the people. He said: -
"The existence of an alarming and extraordinary business situation, involving the welfare and prosperity of all our people, has constrained me to call together in extra session the people's representatives in Congress, to the end that through a wise and patriotic exercise of the legislative duty with which they solely are charged, present evils may be mitigated and dangers threatening the future may be averted.
"Our unfortunate financial plight is not the result of untoward events nor of conditions related to our natural resources; nor is it traceable to any of the afflictions which frequently check national growth and prosperity. With plenteous crops, with abundant promise of remunerative production and manufacture, with unusual invitation to safe investment, and with satisfactory assurance to business enterprise, suddenly
financial distrust and fear have sprung up on every side. Numerous moneyed institutions have suspended because abundant assets were not immediately available to meet the demands of frightened depositors. Surviving corporations and individuals are content to keep m hand the money they are usually anxious to loan, and those en in legitimate business are surprised to find that the securities they offer for loans, though heretofore satisfactory, are no longer accepted. Values en to be fixed are fast becoming conjectural, and loss and failure have invaded every branch of business."
An analysis of this extract of his message adds accumulative evidence, that this panic was pre-arranged by the nationa1 banks to coerce Congress to repeal the hated Sherman law.
The President asserts that all the elements of prosperity were at hand, and suddenly distrust sprung up on every side.
In speaking of the coinage of silver, he said: -
"Between the 1st day of July, 1890, and the 15th day of July, 1893, the gold coin and bullion in our Treasury decreased more than $132,ooo,ooo, while during the same period the silver coin and bullion in the Treasury increased more than $147,ooo,ooo. Unless Government bonds are to be constantly issued and sold to replenish our exhausted gold, only to be again exhausted, it is apparent that the operation of the Silver Purchase Law now in force, leads in the direction of the entire substitution of silver for the gold in the Government Treasury, and that this must be followed by the payment of all Government obligations in depreciated silver."
A perusal of this part of his message exhibits his animus against silver.
He further says: -
"At this stage, gold and silver must part company, and the Government must fail in its established policy to maintain the two metals on a parity with each other. Given over to the exclusive use of a currency greatly depreciated according to the standard of the commercial world, we could no longer claim a place among nations of the first class, nor could our Government claim a performance of its obligation, so far as such an obligation has been imposed upon it, to provide for the use of the people the best and safest money."
With a remarkable disregard of existing facts, he speaks of a depreciated currency.
He adds: -
"The knowledge in business circles among our own people that our Government cannot mate its Sat equivalent to intrinsic value, nor keep inferior money on a parity with superior money by its own independent efforts, has resulted in such a lack of confidence at home, in the stability of currency values that capital refuses its aid to new enterprises, while millions are actually withdrawn from the channels of trade and commerce to become idle and unproductive in the hands of timid owners. Foreign investors, equally alert, not only decline to purchase American securities, but make haste to sacrifice those which they already have."
The last sentence of the above extract affords a key to the reason why, in the opinion of the President, the Sherman law should be repealed, that is, with reference to the war waged by him against silver.
At the very time that the President was penning this message, in which he asserted that the stock of silver coin and bullion in the Treasury had increased more than $147,ooo,ooo, silver certificates were sold at a premium of two per cent. by the money brokers of New York City.
On the 5th of August, two days before Congress met, a great banking firm of New York City had the following advertisement inserted in the New York Times and in the Herald: -
"WANTED-SILVER DOLLARS - We desire to purchase at a premium of 3/4 per cent., or $7.50 per thousand, standard silver doll in sums of $1,ooo or more, in return for our certified checks payable through the clearing house.
Zimmerman & Forshav, Bankers, 11 Wall street."
The object of storing up $147,ooo,ooo of silver coin and bullion in the Treasury, at a time when it was at a premium, and then pointing at this accumulation of money and bullion, as a reason for requesting hostile legislation against it, is a damning blot upon the administration..
It exhibits the length to which President Cleveland went, in his efforts to make silver the scapegoat for the traitorous acts of the national banking money power, in assailing the credit of the Government, and in precipitating the panic.
With reference to that part of his message, where President Cleveland sought to convey a wrong impression to the people with reference to the quantity of silver on hand in the Treasury, and in which he asserts that bonds must be constantly issued to replenish the gold reserve, and that there was danger of the Government going on a silver basis, we refer to the following resolution by the Senate August 16, 1893: -
"Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he is hereby, directed to report to the Senate what amount, if any, of the treasury notes issued under the act of Ju1y 14, 1890, commonly called the Sherman Act, have been daring the present month redeemed by the
Government, at the request of the holders thereof, in silver dollars, and whether the holders of such notes were advised, at the time of such redemption, that they could have gold instead of silver if they so desired.
"The Secretary of the Treasury is also directed to inform the Senate whether gold coin has been recently presented to the Treasury Department, or any subtreasury, and silver dollars asked in exchange therefor; and, if so, if such exchanges have been made, and whether the department would or could exchange silver dollars for gold coin if requested to do so by holders of gold."
On the 17th of the same month, the Secretary, after reciting this resolution, replied as follows: -
"In response thereto, I have the honor to say that during the present month, treasury notes issued under the act of July 14, 1890, amounting to $714,636 have been redeemed by the Government in silver dollars.
While I do not pretend to have knowledge of the degree of information possessed by the holders of the notes so redeemed, I am of the opinion that they mere fully advised at the time of such redemption that they could have gold instead of silver, if they so desired. I base this opinion upon the general publicity which has been given to the terms of the Act, no less than upon the instructions of this department to the Treasurer and Assistant Treasurers of the United States, which have been to the effect that such notes were redeemable in silver dollars at the option of the holders. I am also supported in my belief by the fact that in the circular of this department, issued to the public for their guidance in their dealings with the Treasury, and containing the regulations which govern the issue, redemption, and exchange of the paper currency and the gold, silver, and minor coins of the United States, there is a paragraph which reads as follows: -
"4. 'Gold coin is issued in redemption of United States notes, in sums not less than $5o, by the Assistant Treasurers in New York and San Francisco, and
in redemption of treasury notes of 1890, in like sums, by the Treasurer and all the Assistant Treasurers.'
"In further response to the resolution, I have to say that recently gold coin has been presented at an office of this department, and silver dollar asked in exchange therefor, and that the exchange was not made for the reason that all the silver dollars in the Treasury at the time were required under the provisions of the laws relating to the currency to be held in the treasury to cover outstanding silver certificates and treasury notes issued under the act of July 14 1890. At present the department would not and could not exchange silver dollars for gold coin if requested to do so by holders of gold, for the same reason; bet if the condition of the funds of the Treasury were each as to afford a margin of silver dollars in excess of silver certificates and treasury notes outstanding, such exchanges would be made.
The Secretary also says that at that time, the department would not, and could not, exchange silver dollars for gold coin because it did not have them.
In the face of this statement of the Secretary, where is that awful avalanche of silver which so frightened the President, that he convened Congress in special session to save the country from being overwhelmed in disaster by it?
Here were holders of gold coin actually offering gold coin, that superior money, for silver.
One carious feature of this condition was, that, while the Secretary was paying out gold to the New York banters for export, who average American citizen was offering to take silver in exchange for gold.
On the 1oth of August, Mr. Wilson, of West Virginia, introduced House bill No. 1, providing for the repeal of the purchasing clause of the Sherman law. On the same day, a resolution was adopted limiting the debate on that measure to fourteen days.
Upon the appearance of this repeal bill in the House, the Chambers of Commerce, Boards of Trade, and various other commercial bodies flooded Congress with petitions praying for the repeal of that law.
The newspapers of the East kept up a terrific din urging Congress to prompt action.
Meanwhile, a great debate was going on in the House. On the 12th of August, Mr. Hendrix, a national banker, representing a Brooklyn district, delivered a speech in the House urging the repeal of the purchasing clause. He said: -
"Repeal the Sherman silver law, gentlemen; adjourn and go home; and let the country take care of the rest."
Further on, he predicted that a repeal of this law would compel England to make proposals for a monetary conference, whereupon the following colloquy took place between Mr. Hendrix and Mr. Bland:-
MR. HENDRIX: Let us try the experiment just once and see whether we cannot bring this proud old lady down from her perch. I predict to you that inside of three months - before this Congress meets again - if you repeal this Sherman law and adjourn, England will
make proposals to this country to come into a monetary conference and see what can be done for the sake of her ward, India. The propositions already said to have come through financial magnates. Their names are not given, and therefore I distrust the information, because when men are mentioned I like to know where I can find them.
MR. BLAND: Will the gentleman allow me a question right there?
MR. HENDRIX: Ycs, sir.
MR. BLAND: I understood the gentleman to say a moment ago that we were evoluting toward a gold standard.
MR. HENDRIX: Yes, sir.
MR. BLAND: And now you claim that England is evoluting toward silver. [ Laughter.]
Such was the absurd inconsistency in which this national bank member of Congress involved himself. On the same day, M. D. Harter, of Ohio, also a national banker, with a view to show that there was an abundance of money in circulation, made the following statement: -
"Gentlemen talk a good deal about our circulation per capita. I have very little faith in this per capita claptrap. Let us talk a little about our per capita circulation. They tell us that we have got $24 of circulation per capita, but under our banking methods what have we got? First, the national banks have $27 per capita, as represented by deposits; the savings banks hold $27 per capita; for the trust companies and the private banks $18 is a very small estimate. Add these figures together and you will find what amount of circulation your banking methods give you. They give you $72 per capita. In other words, through this machinery of banking we have increased the currency of the country three times over. But that is not all. Look at the clearing house returns. They show that for the year ending with the 30th of June last, we had
exchanges amounting to $1,ooo per capita throughout this country."
In less than five minutes after this deliverance, he utterly overthrew his former assertions by the following: -
"Your boasted millionaires, your owners of banks, your men who employ thousands of operatives in their manufactories, are begging at the doors of the banks for accommodations as small as $1oo and $2oo. And here at the capital of this great nation, with everything, according to the theory of the silver men, to make prosperity, if you go with a New York draft to a bank, a good bank - for there are none but good banks in Washington and not very many of any other kind in the United States - if you go to any of these banks with a draft on New York for $4o, $5o, or $1oo, you can scarcely get it cashed."
A perusal of the Congressional Record, containing this debate, will bear out the statement that every gold standard advocate who urged the repeal of the Sherman law, produced arguments in favor of repeal that ate each other up as fast as they issued from his mouth. Hon. Burke Cockran, that arrogant and much-vaunted orator, in the course of one of his usual frothy speeches, made the following statement, August 26th: -
"Mr. Speaker, I venture the assertion that we are not suffering to-day from a lack of money, but from a redundancy of money; and I think that proposition can bc demonstrated to the satisfaction of any man who sits in this Hall. According to the statement of the Secretary of the Treasury the circulation today exceeds by some seventy millions the amount in circulation last year, but last year the volume of business was vastly greater than it is today. If a smaller amount of money be able to circulate a greater quantity of commodities, will anybody pretend that the quantity of money we have now is not sufficient for all the purposes of commerce?"
Fourteen days preceding this statement of Mr. Cock-ran, he had a check for $1oo payable on a New York bank, and he could not get it cashed in Washington, because at that time the banks of the former city refused to pay the checks of their depositors.
Representative Bowers, of California, gives the following version of this fact, he said: -
"A curious circumstance happened to me yesterday. One of my constituents of California came to me with a $5o check on a New York national bank, drawn in Rhode Island, a for hours from here, and could not get it cashed at the banks in Washington. To-day, my friend, Colonel Cockran, many of you know him, came to me with a check for a hundred dollars, drawn on a New York bank and he could not get it cashed in Washington. I sent it off for collection."
This statement of Mr. Bowers was made in the presence of Mr. Cockran, August 12, 1893, and yet, in view of this fact, the latter subsequently asserted that the country was suffering from a redundancy of money!
The mendacity of those members who spoke for repeal was shameless in the extreme.
Mr. Patterson, of Tennessee, strongly denounced silver in a speech made by him August 14th. He declared that the cause of the panic originated from the fear of the people against the use of depreciated dollars.
At this identical period, the New York banks were offering a premium for the standard silver dollar.
The following debate took place between him and Mr. Williams: -
MR. WILLIAMS, of Mississippi: If it be true that the masses who are scared by the causes which the gentle-
man states, but which they do not understand, and that the capitalist, who docs understand this question, is scared for a different reason, why is it that the capitalists are to-day paying a premium for the silver dollar in New York City?
MR. PATTERSON: Well, that, Mr. Speaker, is a business matter which I have not investigated.[Laughter.]
MR. BYNUM: They are paying a premium for paper money, too.
MR. PATTERSON: Yes, they are paying a premium, I understand, for other small currency. I cannot give the reason for that, unless it be to secure currency to pay wage-earners. The question is outside my line of thought and of my argument.
On the same day, Mr. Harter said that the silver dollar was worth only fifty-eight cents.
The following colloquy took place between him and Mr. Cox, of Tennessee: -
MR. COX: Will the gentleman from Ohio yield for an interruption?
MR. HARTER: I yield with pleasure to my friend from Tennessee.
MR. COX: I have listened with a great deal of pleasure to the gentleman's argument. He has that the silver dollar is worth to-day fifty-four cents.
MR. HARTER: Fifty-eight cents.
MR. COX: Well, fifty-eight cents. Now, the question is, do you know of any man in the United States who has silver dollars that he will sell at that price, fifty-eight cents?
MR. HARTER: Certainly not, under present conditions. But I know every man who has a silver dollar-
MR. COX: One moment, please. Does not the 58-cent silver dollar buy just as much of the products of this country as any other dollar?
MR. HARTER: To that I answer yes. But that is not
the point. That is the present condition under limited coinage, bat you are proposing to change it. In further answer to my friend from Tennessee, whom I regard as an authority on his side of this subject, I say to him that while that is true to-day, the very morning that you have by your law established free coinage in this country, then it ceases to be true, and that every dollar in existence which is now held up to its full nominal value by our present law will sink to fifty-eight cents, the bullion value, as soon as your law becomes operative.
This is an example of the reckless statements put forth by these Cuckoo statements.
On August 21st, Mr. Cooper, of Indiana, who, by some mysterious process, had suddenly become an advocate of the gold standard national banking system, delivered a speech laudatory of credit. He said:-
"Some gentlemen may ask, Why not have morc money and less credit? My answer to that is this with credit you would not need the money and yon would not want it, and without credit it would not circulate, and you could not get it, however great the volume might be. Besides, the world is not moving in that direction; The time has come when 'a good name is rather to be chosen,' even in the commercial world, 'than great riches.' A good name will cause the transfer of more property to-day than all the camels of Job could have carried. A good name unlocks the vaults of the usurer, turns the wheels of industry, and sets the sails of commerce upon the seas. Cash is the law of the savage, confidence an inspiration and instrument of civilization."
At the time he made those remarks, the great national banks of New York City were discounting the checks of their depositors.
This distinguished (?) statesman, after his failure to return to Congress in 1894, gladly accepted the post-
mastership of a small city, in order to obtain some of that cash which he had denounced as "the law of the savage."
On August 14th, Mr. Boatner, who opposed the striking down of silver, severely arraigned the supporters of the repeal bill. He said: -
"I charge, sir, that the advocates of this measure, these thick-and-thin gold men of the Democratic party and of the Republican party who have been endeavoring ever since I have been in Con to force this Government to an issue of cheap bonds, are responsible for the excitement which has created the destruction of pub1ic confidence, and has caused a run upon the banks and the withdrawal of large amounts of money from circulation. They are the men who have sown the wind, and we are now reaping the whirlwind. There is nothing in or about the Sherman law, there is no deduction that can be drawn from that law, which would justify anybody in making the assertion that the United States Government is not good for every obligation that it has put upon the market."
This charge of conspiracy on the part of the gold standard national banking element in the House was not denied by the supporters of that system.
On the 1rst of August, Mr. Cox made the following attack upon Mr. Hendrix and the other national bank members of Congress He said: -
"Mr. Hendrix, who sits just in front of me, delivered his defense of his position for this repeal. I charge here in his presence that nearly one year ago there was issued from the Bankers' Association at New York a circular to the rural banks all over this country, asking for a contribution to procure the repeal of the Sherman act. Does he or any man from New York City deny? That was before the panic. True, a second circular followed, condemning the clerk of that association for issuing that circular, and probably discharged
him; but have you retracted the purpose announced? I want a reply if I have done any one injustice.
"Did you tacitly agree or discuss the question in New York that yon would not rediscount notes from the South unless we would vote for the unconditional repeal of the Sherman act? Did not one of your speakers in one of your bankers' meetings openly declare that you could and would control the finances of this Government?
"Did your papers not boast that you had in your city two hundred millions of gold hoarded in your vaults?
"If I do any man injustice, I pause for correction Here is the fundamental error. Let this Government rule for the people. Let it rule its finances for the purpose of trade and commerce, and forever let it put its everlasting stamp of indignation and condemnation on legislation that legislates one man's property up and another's down. Give as a fair and equal fight for human happiness. [Applause.]"
At the time this debate was going on in the House, the banks of New York were refusing to pay checks drawn on deposits; and were issuing Clearing House certificates in lieu of money.
Exchange on New York banks ranged at from ten to fifty dollars on the thousand.
After quoting a New York bank circular, Mr. Hatch, of Missouri, made the following criticism on the national banks of that city.
On August 23d, he said: -
"Fifty dollars on a thousand dollars in exchange on New York. Why, sir, usually in the West New York exchange is at a small premium or at par. I received a few days ago a letter from the cashier of a bank in which I do my business at Hannibal, Mo. He informed me that he could not take New York exchange for anything less than $1 on the hundred dollars or $10 on the thousand dollars.
"I thought that enormous; but here it appears by this Net York circular that there are other cities in the country that have not as much confidence in the New York banking system as the bankers in my own town. In some of these other cities they will not take exchange on New York at less than $5o on the $1,ooo.
"What have the banks of New York been doing to keep up confidence. Nobody ever lost confidence in the banks of New York until after they entered into that conspiracy in April last to produce a panic in this country- money famine and a panic. But they lost confidence in each other.
"Let me tell my New York friends right now that, in my judgment, the most herculean task ever attempted in any legislative body on the face of God's green earth since the creation of Adam down to the present time will be to restore confidence between the New York bankers. They know each other too well [Laughter.] And there is such a splendid minority of them that have embellished the pages of New York financial history in the last few years by moving across the line into Canada, that I suppose the next step would be to establish confidence between the bankers of New York on this side and those on the other side of the Canadian border.
"Mr. Speaker, I offered on yesterday evening to give my distinguished friend from New York [Mr. Fellows] part of my time, and I intended if he accepted it to make but one condition, because we all know him to be a splendid lawyer; but I wanted some legal ability to blaze the road along that way so as to point out in a clear manner the use of and the character of what is called 'clearing house certificates.'
"I ask the gentleman, or any other gentleman from New York when he its the floor, to please tell us what a clearing house certificate is, and how it can be used as money without violating the laws of the United States? Do you pay any tax on it? What is it? The promise to pay of a class of men who will not take even their own promises to each other! And
tell me another thing. Why is it every national bank in the city of New York to-day, and for the past thirty days, has been doing business in open and notorious violation of the law, absolutely refusing to pay its checks when presented at the counter? Why is that?"
This challenge of Mr. Hatch was not accepted by the able and brilliant Fellows.
The Missouri congressman truthfully portrayed the methods and character of the New York bankers in their systematic efforts to influence the legislation of congress.
A member of that Congress bore testimony to the fact, that he had seventeen thousand dollars on deposit in a bank in New York City, and that he had presented a check for two hundred dollars at its counter for payment, and that he was refused his own money.
Matthew Marshal, the able financial editor of the New York Sun, exposed the conspiracy of the banks in aggravating the distress then prevalent.
On August 21, 1893, he said: -
"The question is, how much longer our banks can, without bringing on a catastrophe, continue in their course of increasing the volume of clearing house certificates and of denying to their depositors payment in lawful money of their checks. Thus far depositors have been very patient and have good-naturedly submitted to the enforced scaling down of their dues; but they cannot be expected to submit to it forever. A bank that cannot or will not pay claims against it in the regular course of business is, by the decisions of our State courts, insolvent, and, if the Bankrupt Act of 1867 were now in force, a refusal by a bank for forty days to pay checks on demand would be a commission of bankruptcy."
The clique of national bank congressmen did not even attempt to repel these bitter accusations. They knew they were true in every particular.
During the panic now raging, a stock gambler of Wall street rushed into the Stock exchange, and excitedly announced that one of the greatest banks in the city had failed.
A tremendous fall of stocks immediately took place, and this knave bought in vast quantities of the securities injuriously affected by this false rumor.
It is said that this scheme netted this stock gambler the sum of $1o,ooo,ooo.
On August 18, Hon. J. C. Sibley referred to the false reports spread abroad by these lawless speculators, and he instanced this recent case. He said: -
"Another reason for your panic has been chargeable directly to the action of your Wall street gamblers, who have circulated rumors by the wholesale. They permitted one of these gamblers to go into their chamber a few weeks ago and announce that one of the greatest banks in New York had failed. And how did that body punish him for putting in circulation this false report? They suspended him for a year; and it is said his profits through bear operations since this panic commenced have netted him in clear cash over $1o,ooo,ooo. I think he can afford to stand the suspension. "
Acts like that described by Congressman Sibley never failed to win the admiration of the stock gambling element.
Men who were able to engineer a comsummate piece of villainy like the above to a successful termination, were hailed as heroes by the smaller fry of Wall street.
The press of the city glowingly referred to such achievements as "master strokes of financial genius."
Mr. Sibley spoke of the great decline in the farmlands since 1873. He said: -
"We can only judge of the future by the past and
the present. Everything has declined since you demonetized silver, since you commenced hostile legislation against it. Pennsylvania farmlands to-day are not worth forty cents upon the dollar of what they were in 1873. Is not that correct?
"Ma. Hicks: I am sorry to say it is the fact."
The gentleman upon whom Mr. Sibley called to verify his statement, was a Republican member of Congress, and a fanatical believer in the efficacy of a high protective tariff, and he made this admission long before the Wilson tariff bill became a law.
On August 25th, Representative Doolittle, of Washington State, exposed the means practiced by the bankers of the East in strangling the industries of the Pacific coast. He said: -
"There are many things I would be glad to say upon this subject, but my time is limited. A great deal has been said during this debate as to the cause or causes of the trouble that is now upon us. When I came to this city last January to witness the closing of the Fifty-second Congress, I left my home on the shores of Puget Sound, when, so far as confidence was concerned, everything was as placid as a May morning. There was not a man who had not the utmost confidence in the banks throughout that entire country. I know that during the latter days of that Congress an effort was made here to repeal this purchasing clause of the so-called Sherman law, and also to obtain an issue of gold-bearing bonds from the Government.
"I know that those attempts failed. Upon reaching my home early in April, I found that circulars were being received by every banking man and by people engaged in every business on the Pacific coast, from New York and other money centers of the country. I know that these circulars were full of statements foreboding financial disaster and ruin. They contained notice that credits should be shortened and that money should be withdrawn in many instances where it had
been loaned to people in the West; and all this trouble was to result from the failure of the Fifty-second Congress in its last session to repeal the so-called Sherman Act. These people, interested selfishly in the repeal of the Sherman law and in their attempt to cause the issuance of gold-bearing bonds, were endeavoring to stampede business men all over the Western country into a support of their position.
"Now, Mr. Speaker, it is much easier for people to tear down credit and confidence than it is to establish that credit and confidence. The result of sending out these circulars over the West was that the confidence of people regarding financial conditions began to wane; they began to lose confidence in the banking and other financial institutions of their States and towns. This was the immediate cause, I know, generally over the Pacific coast of the failures that followed."
In the light of this accumulated evidence, who will deny that the murderous panic of 1893 was planned by the national banking money power to force a repeal of the purchasing clauses?
The whole tenor of the arguments advanced by those who urged the repeal of the purchasing clause of the Sherman law was to restore "confidence," to prevent the exportation of gold to foreign countries, and to maintain the credit of the United States.
But the following declaration made by Mr. Hendrix, President of the First National Bank of New York City, otherwise known as "Fort Sherman," clearly shows what influence was brought to bear upon Congress to procure this legislation.
On August 28th, he said: -
"There are petitions from nearly thirteen thousand bankers in the hands of different members here which register the sentiment against the foolishness of our
silver-supporting policy. The wave of popular opinion has reached this House. It betokens a revolution in the American mind. We are not to fool any longer with a depreciated and a rejected money metal, and try to bear alone a burden which civilized nations should share in common. The silver problem will, after our action remain in the world, and on the world, bat not on this country alone. We can take care of the forty cents of credit in our silver dollar. We can keep all of our large stock in free circulation on a parity with gold, and the banks will take care to keep in such position as to meet the demands for foreign exchanges."
The debate upon the repeal bill came to an end An-gust 28th, and a vote was taken on the measure, and it was adopted by 239 yeas to 108 nays.
An analysis of this vote will prove that the Eastern Democrats and Republicans cast an almost solid vote for the bill. It is also evident that President Cleveland "worked in Congress" by means of the enormous influence of his patronage, for an inspection of the vote bears testimony to the fact, that scores of members of the House voted to repeal the purchasing clause who had been lifelong advocates of the free coinage of silver.
The unconditional repeal of that clause did not leave a single law upon the statute-books of the nation that would provide for the coinage of a single additional dollar of silver.
The national banking money power once more gained its point by wholly eliminating the further use of silver as money.
Immediately upon the repeal of the purchasing clause by the House, the New York bankers cabled the news to London.
The action of the House gave great satisfaction to
the money-leading classes of England, as the following extracts from the London press abundantly prove.
In speaking of the effect of the action of the House upon the price of silver, the London Times, on August 29th, said: -
"It is the expiring effort of the silver party. Silver, deprived of the support of the Sherman Act, will sink to a level too low to suit the bi-metallist notions of a proper ratio or to facilitate the establishment of a double standard."
On the same day the Pall Mall Gazette editorially said: -
"When confidence -and credit are restored by the repeal of the pernicious Sherman Act, the task of fiscal reform (single gold standard) in the United States will become easier."
The Daily News of the same date thus expressed its views: -
"The Daily News to-day expresses the opinion that the repeal of the Sherman Act will prove a serious blow to bi-metallists throughout the world, bet a great victory for common sense and the single standard."
It appears, therefore, that the sole object of repealing the purchasing clause of the Sherman law was for the express purpose of depriving silver of its only support, thus lowering its value, and thereby furnishing reasons against its use as money.
Is it not singular, that every effort made by the associated banks of the United States against silver, met the hearty approval of the influential press of Great Britain?