The net result of the improvement of our foreign commerce
since the enactment of the Dingley law may be stated in a sentence,
as follows : For the first time in our history we are exporting more
manufactured articles than w r e are importing, and for the first time
in our history our total exports are more than double our total im-
ports. These figures, it should be remembered, relate to the eleven
months ending May 31, 1898.
TRADE BALANCES COMPARED.
The following table shows the balance of trade in the eleven
months just ended, and compares the figures with those of the cor-
responding eleven months in each year since 1891 :
BALANCK OF TRADE IN OUR FAVOR DURING KLKVEN MONTHS OF FISCAL
YEAR 1898, COMPARED WITH CORRESPONDING PERIOD IN PRECED-
ING YEARS :
Eleven moat ba ending June 1 Imports.
977 800 522
298 253 131
815 901 067
92 340 133
782 218 625
* 14 487 753
* Excess of Imports.
One feature of the discussion of the Dingley law which at-
tracted much attention was the protests from foreign countries,
which were more numerous than in any preceding tariff discussion
8 PROSPERITY SINCE McKINLEY'S ELECTION.
and which were pointed out by those opposing the protective tariff
theory as an evidence that the adoption of the new law would
result in the loss of our trade with those countries. As the count ries
making those protests included nearly all of the leading commercial
nations of the world, the effect of the adoption of the protective tariff
in the face of these protests has been watched with much interest.
The following table shows our exports to the countries in ques-
tion in the first ten months of the preceding year. It will be seen
that in nearly every instance our sales to those protesting countries
have been greater since the adoption of the Dingley law than in the
corresponding months of last year under the low-tariff Wilson law,
the total sales to the fourteen countries in question being nearly
130,000,000 greater in the first ten months of the present year than
in the corresponding months of the preceding year:
KXI'OHTS FROM THK I'MTKI) STATKS TO COUNTRIF.S WHICH OFFKRF.b
I'ROTF.STS AGAINST THK DINCiLKV TARIFF.
United Kingdom and Canada
One effect of the new tariff law which will be of especial interest
is the reduction in the importations of wool which followed the en-
actment of the new law. The following table compares the impor-
PROSPERITY SINCE McKINLEY'S ELECTION. 9
tations of wool, by months, during the eleven months of the fiscal
year with the corresponding months of last year :
IMPORTS OF WOOL WRING EACH MONTH OF FISCAL YEAR 1897 COMPARED WITH 1898.
23 140 431
4 651 009
2 877 877
4 795 170
2 505 673
7 154 542
17 857 218
11 944 KM
Total 11 month -
FARMER'S PRICES INCREASED, WHILE ARTICLES HE BUYS
The effect of the improved conditions among manufacturers
and of our foreign market has been felt by the farmers not alone in
the increase in the price of wheat, but in the price of practically
every article which they have to sell, while in many articles which
they must buy prices have fallen.
The following table presents the price of articles of farm pro-
duction and farm consumption on July 1, 1896, and June 1, 1898,
as shown by the publications of Bradstreets, an accepted authority,
which was widely quoted by Democratic campaigners in 1896.
The comparison of prices of farm production and of articles of
farm consumption is followed by a comparison of prices of silver
on the two dates mentioned :
PROSPERITY SINCK M.KINLEY'S ELECTION".
PRICES OF ARTICLES OF FARM PRODUCTION.
Wheat No 2 red, winter
Corn, No. 2, mixed
(>at< No 2 mixed
15arU>y No 2, Milwaukee
ifc-ef, carra.sM -
Hogs <-ar<-a.v*> ^'hit/agin
Wool. Ohio X, washed
PRICES OF ARTICLES OF FARM CONSUMPTION,
.lulv 1, June 1,
Nails, wire, per keg
Pine, yellow, per M
Standard sheetings, per yard...
Petroleum, refined, per gallon..
Coffee (Rio No. 7, per pound i..
Phosphate, per 2000 pounds
Bar silver, per ounce
Upon this question of the relation of the price of silver to
the price of farm products the following table showing the prices
of wheat, mess pork, wool and silver at various dates during the
last two years is interesting, indicating, as it does, a steady fall in
silver and a steady rise in these three representative articles of
general farm production :
PRICES OF SILVER AND FARM PROD1CTS.
No. 2, red.
July 10 18% . . .
September 26, 1S96
November 1, 1896
April 17, 1897
September 16, 1897
February 25, 1898
March 10, 1898
PROSPERITY SINCE McKINLEY'S ELECTION. 11
One feature of the new tariff act which caused especial com-
plaint among those opposed to the protective theory was the asser-
tion that the duty which was placed on hides would increase the
price of shoes. In answer to this it is only necessary to say that
price tables recently published in Dun's Review quoting the prices
<f boots and shoes from January 1, 1897, to June 2, 1898, show that
in almost every class the prices of shoes are now lower than they
were six months before the adoption of the Dirigley law, which
placed a duty on imported hides.
That the improvement in our commerce and manufacturing
industries following the new tariff law has resulted advantageously
to business is shown by the following table from Dun's Review,
showing amounts of the liabilities of the commercial failures during
the first five months of 1898 as compared with those of the corre-
sponding months of the preceding years since 1893 :
COMMERCIAL FAILURES FIRST FIVK MONTHS.
EXCESS OF GOLD IflPORTS OVER EXPORTS $102,026,989 IN
The enormous balance of trade which the country has enjoyed
during the last eleven months has resulted in the largest importa-
tions of gold in its history. The total importations of gold, in-
cluding ore and bullion, amounted during the eleven months just
ended to $117,057,851, and deducting the exports of gold, which
are $15,030,862, leaves an excess of imports of $102,026,989 for the
eleven months. This is a larger sum than the total net imports in
any full fiscal year in the history of 'the country, and is in marked
12 PROSPERITY S1NVK .M< K 1NLKVS ELECTION.
contrast with the conditions during the preceding Admist ration, in
which every year showed a net exportation ranging ftoni 84.500,000
to $87,500,000, as is indicated by the following table, which shows
the net exports and imports of gold (including bullion and ore) for
the fiscal rears since 1892 :
THE MOVEMENTS OF GOLD.
Kxrecs of exports
Kxce> of imports
887 506 463
> 44 i*53 200
lsy> 1] months)
The effects of these enormous gold importations and of this
general business improvement are felt in the increased amount of
money in circulation in the United States, as shown by the official
statements of the Treasury Department. This statement is espe-
cially interesting, since the assertion was made so frequently during
the campaign ol 1896 that there could be no material increase in
our currency without the free and unlimited coinage of silver. It
will be observed that in spite of the fact that free coinage has not
been adopted, the money in circulation on June 1, 1898, was greater
than on July 1. 1896, by $3:3:3,463.290.
MONEY IN CIRCULATION IN THE UNITED STATUS.
$649 571 l
"i7 V) 4'''J
35 883 ''09
3<1 225 ''65
100 226 855
31 890 000
26 540 000
"4 g(ji| g3(j
PROSPERITY SINCE McKINLEY'S ELECTION* . 13
That the farmers of tho country have had their share of this
general prosperity and have utili/ed it with a wisdom which char-
acterized their course in the campaign of 1896, as well as on other
occasions, is shown by the recently puhlishcd statement that the
farm mortgages in Nebraska, which increased $1,635,000 in 1896,
were reduced by $2,923,000 in 1897. The figures published in the
early months of the present year and their accuracy has not been
called into question show that the farm mortgages filed in Ne-
braska in 1896 were $12,033,000; releases, $11,398,000; increase
in indebtedness. $1,635,000 ; while in 1897 there were filed $11,-
844,000 ; released, $14,767,000 a decrease of indebtedness of
In only a single instance have the farmers failed to realize
improved prices, and that instance is cotton. That this continued
low price of cotton is due to causes other than currency is indicated'
by the following table, which shows the cotton production of the
United States at various years since that preceding the date of the
crime, so called, against silver.
I'KOWCTION <>K COTTON IN THK UN1TKD STATKS.
lS7(i . . Uvf2 000
1 1 100 001
Not only is the improvement in prices felt in general articles
of farm production, but also in farm stock, which, according to the
estimates of the Department of Agriculture, has increased about
$240, (11)0, 000 in value during the year 1897, the increase being dis-
tributed as follows :
1NCRKASK IN FARM STOCK.
Hogs ' 8,000,000
Farm horses . 25,000,000
Milch cows 65,000,000
Other cattle 104,000,000
14 PROSPERITY SINCE M< KINLEY'S ELECTION.
ADHINISTRATION'S POLICY WITH REGARD TO CUBA.
That the Administration has fully carried out the pledges, ex-
pressed or implied, of the platform in regard to Cuba can not be
doubted by anybody. The platform said : " The Government of
Spain having lost control of Cuba, and being unable to protect the
property or lives of resident American citizens, or to comply with
its treaty obligations, we believe that the Government of the United
States should actively use its influence and good offices to restore
peace and give independence to the island."
The first step taken by President McKinley upon assumim; the
duties of his office was for the protection and release of American
citizens in Cuba held in Spanish prisons. A statement sent to the
Senate by President Cleveland on January 25, 1897, showed that
seventy-four American citizens had been arrested in Cuba since the
beginning of the insurrection. Seven of these had been tried and
appeals taken in two cases; seven others, correspondents of Ameri-
can newspapers, had been banished from the island. The case of
Dr. Ruiz, who had died in prison and whose death was believed to
be due to inhuman treatment by his jailers, was made the subject
of a special inquiry by President McKinley during the first two
weeks of his Administration, and in the other cases such vigorous
steps were taken to obtain their release before many weeks of the
new Administration had passed, ( that every American citizen so
confined was released.
PROTEST AGAINST WEYLER'S POLICY OF CRUEL PERSECU-
TION OF CUBANS.
Another prompt step taken by the President was to bring about
the cessation of cruelties inflicted upon prisoners taken by Spanish
officials in the war in Cuba. The President served notice upon the
Spanish Government shortly after his inauguration that the United
States Government recognized* conditions in Cuba which demanded
PROSPERITY SINCE McKINLEY'S ELECTION. 15
a different treatment from that being followed by General Weyler,
and this demand on his part was complied with. On May 17th he
sent to Congress a message calling attention to the fact that Amer-
ican citizens in Cuba were suffering as the result of the war, and
recommending an appropriation for their relief, which was promptly
adopted by Congress, and money and provisions were sent.
Another result of the protests of the Administration against
the methods pursued in Cuba was seen in the decree of April 20th,
proposing certain reforms in the government of Cuba. The pro-
tests of the United States against the cruelties practiced by General
Weyler were followed by his recall October 8th, and on November
27th by a decree tendering what professed to be a system of auton-
omy, but which soon proved unsatisfactory and delusive.
Meantime the cruelties, especially with reference to the treat-
ment of the reconcentrados, continued so great under General
Blanco, who had succeeded General Weyler, that President McKin-
ley finding all peaceful methods and efforts to bring about the ces-
sation of these cruelties and independence of the Cubans unsuc-
cessful, found himself justified in utilizing the last resort upon
which the nation has now entered and the success of which is
Silver a^ Wheat
Bryan's Argument in the Light of Experience
FROM THE SPEECH OF
Hon. JESSE OVERSTREET,
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Friday, April 29th, 1898.
SILVER AND WHEAT.
I now propose, Mr. Speaker, to refer briefly to some of the arguments
advanced in favor of the free coinage of silver, and to point out the inter-
ests that are at work trying to undo the work of prosperity in order to create
a market for silver. I shall show from unassailable sources that an ounce
of silver, for which we are asked to pay $1.29, in order to enjoy the inesti-
mable blessings of free coinage, can be produced for less than 25 cents.
COST OF THE PRODUCTION OF AN OUNCE OF SILVER-
IMMENSE PROFIT OF THE SILVER BARONS.
It is generally admitted by those who are not wedded to the theory that
all national blessings flow from the free and unlimited coinage of silver that
the price of silver bullion has been largely reduced because the supply has
outgrown the capacity of consumption or demand. For the four-year period
1871-1875 the annual average of the world's product of the white metal was
but 63,317,014 ounces, while for the year 1896 it was 165,100,887 ounces, and
for 1S95 it was still larger.
This increased production was due to large discoveries of silver ore and
to the constantly increasing cheapness of the method of production, refining,
transportation, etc. It is shown that silver can be produced profitably at
prevailing market prices, because the production continues. It must follow,
then, that if we restore silver to $1.29 an ounce it would mean the payment
of a bonus to the silver barons of the difference between the actual cost of
production and the price to which they wish silver restored. It is interesting
to review some of the official reports made on the cost of the production
of silver as long as ten years ago, when an ounce of silver was worth 93.97
cents as contrasted with 44 cents at the present time.
Professor Austen, of the royal mint in London, carefully investigated the
cost of production of fine silver in this country, and he testified to that
effect before the royal monetary commission December 9, 1886.
The testimony of Professor Austen is in the first report of the royal com-
mission, pages 62 to 67, and appendix in same volume, page 325. From his
testimony it appears that the cost of production of silver was as follows
ten years ago:
4 SILVER AND WHEAT.
COST OF PRODUCTION PER OUNCE FINE.
' Average cost of production in the United States, 51.1 cents per ounce fine.
The cost of production of silver in Mexico, according to the report of Mr.
Stewart Pixley, of the firm of Pixley & Abell, in London, in the same docu-
ment, page 325, averages for ail ounce of pure silver Is. 6d. per
ounce fine, or 37 cents.
According to Professor Austen's returns (same report, volume 1, page 329),
the cost of production of an ounce fine silver in Mexico averaged about 44%
cents, or Is. Sd. per ounce of 0.925 fine, English standard.
In south and Central America Professor Austen gives the cost of produc-
tion of an ounce of fine silver at Is. 5d., or 34% cents per ounce fine. (Same
report, page 328.)
In Germany, the product of the Mansfeld copper mines, according to Pro-
fessor Austen (see same report, page 328) in 1883, the amount of silver pro-
duced annually in the treatment of copper ores is given as 7,200,000 ounces.
Of ibis quantity 6,5OO,OOO ounces were obtained during the
ordinary smelting of copper ores, at a cost of 9 l-2d. per
ounce, English standard of O.925 fine, or 21 5-8 cents per
ounce flue silver. It also states in the same article that by
the improved process of Clandet 32S,OOO ounces were
recovered in Great Britain from copper ores, at 5d. per
ounce standard (O.925 fine), or at 10 7-8 cents per ounce
In Australia the cost of production of pure silver is given by Professor
Austen (same report, volume 1, page 328) as follows:
The report for the year 1886 of the Broken Hill mine, Barrier Ranges,
New South Wales, a mine of considerable importance, has been published.
It states that during the year 1886 the smelting of 10,397 tons of ore yielded
1881 tons of lead and 871,665 ounces of fine silver, at a cost, including mining
charges, of 4 12s. y 2 d. per ton of ore, or at the rate of Is. Id. per ounce of
silver produced (equal to 28% cents per ounce fine silver) if the lead be con-
sidered of no value, but the lead sold at 12 per ton ($58.32 per ton).
Later reports give the production of the Broken Hill mine for 1889 at over
10,000,000 ounces of pure silver and the cost of production not quite 8 pence
per ounce, or about 16 cents per ounce fine.
For the nine months of 1890 the production of the Broken Hill mine was
17,000,000 ounces of pure silver, which according to the bullion cost, at
SILVER AND WHEAT. 5
16 cents, would be about $3,000,000, while at the price we paid for it it would
be over $20,000,000.
In Director Kimball's report of 1887, page 112, on the cost of production
of silver, appears the following statement, showing that the Granite Moun-
tain mine, at Granite, Mont., produced in 1886
Nineteen thousand three hundred and sixteen tons of silver ore; that the
average amount of silver in each ton was 150 ounces of pure silver, and that
the total amount extracted was 2,897,754 ounces of fine silver; that the cost of
mining was $6.06 per ton, and that the reduction of each ton cost $13, or a
total of $19.06 per ton as the cost of production.
This statement was officially furnished by the Granite Mountain Mining
Company to the Director of the Mint in 1887, and is, no doubt, correct; and
here it is worked out by the Director of the Mint:
19,316 tons of silver, cost of mining, at $6.06 per ton $117,054.96
19,316 tons, cost of reduction, at $13 per ton 251,108.00
The product of these 19,316 tons of silver ore amounted to
3,987,754 ounces of fine silver, at a cost of production of
$368,162.96, equal to 12 3-4 cents per ounce.
Thus in this single case, where the cost of production was
a little over $368,OOO, the price that would have been paid
for it under free coinage at the prevailing market price ten
years ago would be over $3,5OO,OOO.
In the report of this company itself to the Director of the Mint for 1887
they give the sale of their silver bullion at 96 cents per ounce. That was
the market price per ounce. Upon their own showing the percent-
age of labor to profit was, for labor, 13.38 per cent.; profit,
86.73 per cent.
SILVER AND WHEAT BRYAN'S ARGUMENTS IN THE LIGHT OF
William J. Bryan and other advocates of free coinage at the ratio of 16
to 1 have based their strongest plea upon the assertion that " wheat and
silver " are " linked together " by some mysterious sympathy that causes
the price of wheat to decline in accordance with the depression of the price
of silver. Mr. Bryan preached this theory to the farmers throughout the
national campaign of 1896, when wheat was unusually low, owing to the
lessened demand for wheat abroad and the lessened demand at home because
of hard times, the result of four years of Democratic misrule. He preached
this theory in season and out of season, on the stump and in Congress. In
the course of his remarks in the House, Wednesday, August 16, 1893, on the
bill to repeal the purchasing clause of the Sherman Act, he said:
SILVER AND WHEAT.
But, as I said, the producers of wheat and cotton have a special grievance,
for the prices of those articles are governed largely by the prices in Liverpool,
and as silver goes down our prices fall. * * * If it is possible to do so,
it is no more than fair that we restore silver to its former place, and thus
give back to the farmer some of his lost prosperity.
The Democratic campaign book of 1896, prepared by Hon. BENTON McMiL-
LIX, of Tennessee, and circulated by the Democratic National Committee,,
elaborated and illustrated this theory by extensive quotations and statistics.
Thus, on page 84, " Decline in farm prices:"
" There is no better illustration of the ruinous consequences flowing from
the adoption by the United States of the single gold standard than a com-
parison of the prices of agricultural products at the date of the demonetiza-
tion of silver with the price now (1896). * * * It will be observed that
since the demonetization in 1873 there has been a decline in every line of
farm products. * * * The demonetization of silver was a bold stroke in
the interest of capital that has reduced the value of, every product In the
world. This is conclusively proven by the fact that just as silver has depre-
ciated, in like proportion have all other values fallen in the scale."
This beguiling argument, which made the judgment of so many farmers
tremble in the scale, has time and again been proved to be the purest fallacy
and the most supreme species of political hypocrisy on the part of Messrs.
Bryan, Towne, Jones, and other free-coinage leaders; but the vicious error
was brought home to every producer of wheat in the United States when,
soon after Major McKinley's election, wheat and silver suddenly parted
company, and while the former went skyward the great white metal took
a tumble in the markets that knocked all the dignity out of it as an inflexible
standard of value.