On September 1, 1896, 1 bushel of wheat and 1 ounce of silver were of
equal value. On September 1, 1897, 1 bushel of wheat equaled 2 Bounces of
silver in value. The following table shows the fallacy of the free-silver
argument at a glance:
Sept. 1, 1896
Sept. 1, 1896
Sept. 17, 1896
Sept. 26, 1896
Sept. 24, 1896
Oct 24 1896
Oct. 8, 1896
Mar. 6 1897
Oct. 15, 1896
Mar. 13, 1897
Oct. 24, 1896
April 10, 1897
Oct. 29, 1896
May 1, 1897
Nov. 5, 1896
June 26, 1897
Mar. 11, 1897
July 24, 1897
Mar. 18, 1897
July 31 1897
Apr. 15, 1897
Aug. 4, 1897
Apr. 29, 1897
Aug 6, 1897
May 6, 1897
Aug 11 1897
Aug. 20, 1897
Aug 16 1897
Aug. 25 1897 . .
Aug 17 1897
Aug. 27, 1897
Aug. 23, 1897
Sept. 1, 1897
Sept 1 1897
SILVER AND WHEAT.
SILVER DOLLARS COINED BEFORE AND SINCE "THE CRIME
OF 73" THE RECORD OF 1897.
The total coinage of standard silver dollars during the year 1897 amounted
This is significant considered side by side with Table XLIII, contained in
the report of the Director of the Mtot, giving the total coinage of silver
dollars from 1792 to 1873, the year in which it is alleged " silver was struck
down." This table shows th coinage of silver dollars to have been:
From 1792 to 1853 $2,506,890
From 1853 to February 12, 1873. 5,524,348
Total coinage in eighty-one years $8,031,238
It will be seen that the coinage of silver dollars during the single year of
1897 exceeded the total coinage for the eighty-one years from 1792 to 1873
by $13,172,463, or 164 per cent:
Coinage of 1897 $21,203,701
Coinage from 1792 to 1873 8,031,238
The coinage of silver dollars since " the crime of '73 " foots up the enor-
mous total of $487,959,666 down to June 30, 1897. This is what Republican
legislation has done to " discredit " the " money of the people." Not a dollar
was coined from 1806 to 1835, inclusive, operations in that direction having
been suspended by order of President Jefferson. The total coinage of silver
dollars from 1793 to the beginning of the war, when the Democratic party
had been in power continuously for many years, is shown in the following
$ 24 500
Instead of having struck down silver, it will be seen from the foregoing
comparison of official figures that the Republican party is the real friend of
the " dollar of our daddies."
8 SILVER AND WHEAT.
DEMOCRATIC POSITION ON SILVER IN 1876.
That the clamor for the white metal is of comparatively recent origin, and
that " the crime of '73 " itself did not for some years after provoke the
great indignation which the would-be saviors of the country of the present
day pathetically affect, is proved by the speeches of Senators STEWART and
JONES, who were still busy in 1874 praising the unfailing blessings of the
But late as 1876 the Democratic leaders of the House were still sanction-
Ing the " crime of '73 " by proposing legislation prohibiting the Secretary of
the Treasury from purchasing silver bullion for coinage, restricting silver
coinage to subsidiary coinage, fixing the price of silver by the market rate,
providing for the transfer of the seigniorage to the Treasury, and finally
limiting the legal tender of the standard silver dollar to amounts not exceed-
ing $50. Witness the following:
[Forty-fourth Congress. Act to redeem fractional currency. Proceedings in
A bill (H. R. 2450) to provide for a deficiency in the Printing and Engraving
Bureau in the Treasury Department, and for the issue of silver coin of the
United States in place of fractional currency. Reported from the Com-
mittee on Appropriations.
March 27, 1876, Mr. Holman submitted the following as a new section:
" SEC. 3. The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby prohibited from making
any further increase in the interest-bearing debt of the United States by the
issue and sale of bonds for the purchase of silver bullion for coinage. But
silver bullion shall, under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary
of the Treasury, be received by the several mints for fabrication into sub-
sidiary coins, and paid for in such coins at a rate or price per ounce to be
fixed from time to time, according to the market rate, by the Director of the
Mint with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, on the basis of the
difference between the par value of such coin and the value of such bullion,
and an addition not exceeding 1 per cent, in the discretion of the Secretary
of the Treasury, shall be made to the purchasing price as an allowance for
the transportation of coin. And the excess of the par value of such coin
over the value of the bullion so deposited, less the amount that shall be
allowed for transportation, as aforesaid, determined as above provided, shall
be from time to time covered into the Treasury, as the Secretary of the
Treasury shall direct: Provided, hoicerer, That such silver coins of the denomi-
nations aforesaid, and ,the silver bullion now owned by the United States,
shall not exceed in par value the par value of the fractional currency now
authorized by law."
Mr. E. Wells (Democrat) moved the following proviso to the proposed new
" Provided, That if silver bullion is not provided for coinage In sufficient
quanti%r for the redemption of fractional currency, the Secretary of the
Treasury may. under the provisions of the act entitled ' An act to provide for
the resumption of specie payments,' approved January 14, 1875, purchase
silver bullion for the purpose of coinage as provided in said act."
SILVER AND WHEAT. 9
Which was agreed to yeas 118, nays 106.
Yeas Democrats, 45; Republicans, 72; Independent.1.
Nays Democrats, 88; Republicans, 16; Independent, 2.
Mr. Reagan (Democrat), of Texas, offered the following amendment:
Insert as section 4 the following:
" That the silver coins of the United States of the denomination of $1 shall
be a legal tender at their nominal value for any amount not exceeding $50
in any one payment; and silver coins of the United States of denominations
of less than $1 shall be a legal tender at their nominal value for any amount
not exceeding $25 in any one paymeat."
Which was agreed to yeas 122, nays 94.
Yeas Democrats, 99; Republicans, 22; Independent, 1.
Nays Democrats, 28; Republicans, 65; Independent, 1.
March 31, 1876, the amendment offered by Mr. Holman, as amended on
motion of Mr. Wells, was disagreed to yeas 68, nays 77.
The bill as amended by the amendment of Mr. Reagan was then passed
yeas 122, nays 100.
Yeas Democrats, 50; Republicans, 70; Independent, 2.
Nays Democrats, 80; Republicans, 18; Independent, 2.
(For foregoing proceedings see CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, volumes 14 and
SENATOR MILLS, OF TEXAS, ON FREE COINAGE AT 16 TO 1.
Senator MILLS, of Texas, United States Senator and ex-chairman of the
House Committee on Ways and Means, on March 6, 1898, in his letter with-
drawing from the Senatorial race, declared that free silver coinage at the
ratio of 16 to 1 by the United States alone is impossible. He said:
" Now that the great body of the commercial world has taken its stand
against silver, I do not believe it in the power of the United States alone, by
its independent action, to restore the value of silver to par with gold at 16
to 1. I believe that the United States can restore the demand which they
withdrew, but do not believe that they can restore the demand which was
withdrawn by other countries when they closed their mints against silver."
THE STANDARD DOLLAR FALLS TO 39.66 CENTS.
In August, 1897, the silver contained in the standard dollar, which the
Government is now keeping at par with gold, fell to a fraction below 40 cents,
as shown by the following Associated Press telegram:
IQ SILVER AND WHEAT.
NEW YORK, August, 24, 1897.
Silver broke all record again to-day, falling to 23% pence in London, which
is one-eighth penny below the previous low point, and to 5ly 3 cents in New
York, which is one-fourth cent below the previous low record. Mexican dol-
lars sold at 39y 2 cents.
At to-day's New York price for bars, the value of the silver in the standard
silver dollar is 39.66 cents.
SEIGNIORAGE ON THE SILVER COINAGE FISCAL YEAR 1897.
A statement prepared at the Mint Bureau shows that the number of silver
dollars coined at the United States mints during the fiscal year ended June
30, 1897, was $21,203,701, on which the seigniorage or profit to the Govern-
ment amounted to $6,336,104.25. This profit was turned into the Treasury
from time to time as the coinage progressed, and was used to reduce taxation
instead of wandering into the pockets of the silver producers, as would have
been the case under free coinage.
WAGES AND PENSIONSHOW FREE COINAGE WOULD AFFECT
The Journal of the Knights of Labor, published at Washington on October
15, 1896, during the national campaign, told workingmen In a half-page
article, entitled " A recapitulation Have the opponents of Mr. Bryan made
out a good case? " that the value of all workingmen's deposits in savings
banks, the pensions of old soldiers, and " money in all forms " would be cut
in two by free coinage.
The paper "said on this head:
" Third. That the purchasing power of pensions and savings-bank deposits
would bo out in two by free coinage. This is the only true contention made
by the gold men, and it is fully agreed to by all candid advocates of an
increased volume of money. Fixed incomes, bond mortgages, and money
iu all its forms, whether in savings banks or national banks, would have
much less purchasing power."
The article was from the pen of Mr. H. B. Martin, the editor of the paper
and a member of the general executive board of the order.
PER CAPITA WEALTH.
Is the amount of money in a country an index of its prosperity, as free-
coinage men insist? The per capita metallic wealth of the United States,
according to the report of the Director of the Mint, was $23.70. According to
SILVER AND WHEAT. 11
this theory the people of Aden and Perim, Ceylon, Hongkong, Labuan, and
Straits Settlements ought to be the most prosperous in the world, for theirs
is nearly three times that of the people of the United States, their per capita
share of the world's money stock being $63.680.
Any American ought to be glad to exchange places with the natives of
Hawaii, whose per capita wealth is $60, chiefly gold; or the Siamese, whose
per capita Is $42.68; or the people of the South African Republic, with $38
per capita. Great Britain's per capita is but $20.65; Germany's but $18.95,
yet the export commerce of these nations is enormous. Reducing their pel-
capita share in the money stock of the world to a table, giving their export
commerce in juxtaposition, will show how little relation one bears to the
* Figures of Mr. Jules Roche, formerly French minister of finance and commerce.
Great Britain, with a per capita metallic money wealth 14.03 less than
France, has a world commerce nearly three times as great as that of France,
while Germany, with a per capita metallic stock 15.63 less than France, con-
ducts nearly twice as much foreign business as France.
CONSUL-GENERAL CRITTENDEN ON CONDITIONS IN MEXICO.
Ex-Gcvernor Thomas T. Crittenden, of Missouri, was consul-general to
Mexico under the last Cleveland Administration. Mr. Crittenden is an ardent
free-silver man and vigorously advocated the election of Mr. Bryan in 1896.
Yet this is what Mr. Crittenden sets forth in an official report to the State
Department, dated September 1, 1896, touching the financial question as
bearing upon the industrial conditions of Mexico. Speaking of these condi-
tions in 1873 as compared with 1896, he says:
" Then again (1873), gold and silver were on a par and Mexican money was
almost the equal of the money of all other nations, while to-day, as com-
pared with a gold dollar, it is worth but 52 cents. * * * Finally, it can
be generally proven that the cost of living and of wearing apparel of
native was as low, and in many instances lower, in 1873 than at the pres-
Mr. Crittenden then submits the following report on wages and salaries
paid in and about the City of Mexico at the present date:
SILVER AND WHEAT.
Agents, railway per month
$75.00 to $150.00
4. 00 to 8.00
35.00 to. 75.00
1.00 to 1.50
40. 00 to 200.00
6. 00 to 12.00
25.00 to 75.00
1.50 to 4.75
100. 00 to 160.00
100.00 to 200.00
.50 to 1.00
15.00 to 30.00
250.00 to 350.00
.50 to 1.00
150. 00 to 250.00
2. 50 to 3.50
3. 50 to 5.00
5.00 to 10.00
75.00 to 100.00
20.00 to 50.00
1.00 to 1.50
.50 to 2.00
3.00 to 2.50
2.00 to 5.00
.37$ to .67f
.10 to .15
.50 to 1.00
1.50 to 2.00
3.50 to 5.00
3.50 to 5.00
1.00 to 1.50
.50 to .80
4.00 to 7.00
50.00 to 150.00
2.00 to 2.50
6. 00 to 8.50
7. 00 to 8.00
8.00 to 11.00
10.00 to 12.00
30.00 to 50.00
3.50 to 4.50
2.25 to 3.50
1.00 to 1.50
.37 to .50
150.00 to 175.00
1.00 to 1.25
5.00 to 12.00
1.35 to 1.50
1.75 to 2.50
$39.00 to $78.00
2.08 to 4.16
18.20 to 39.00
.52 to .78
20.80 to 104.00
3.12 to 6.24
13.00 to 39.00
.78 to 2.37
52.00 to 83.20
52.00 to 104.00
.26 to .52
7.80 to 15.60
130.00 to 192.00
.26 to .52
78.00 to 130.00
1.30 to 1.82
1.82 to 2.60
2.60 to 5.20
39.44 to 52.00
10.44 to 26.00
.52 to .78
.26 to 1.04
1.04 to 1.30
1.04 to 2.60
.19^ to .353
.052 to .078
.26 to .52
.78 to 1.04
1.82 to 2.60
1.82 to 2.60
.52 to .78
.26 to .416
2.08 to 3.64
26.00 to 78.00
1.04 to 1.30
3.12 to 4.16
3.64 to 4.16
4.16 to 5.72
5.20 to 6.24
13.60 to 26.00
1.82 to 2.34
1.17 to 1.82
.52 to .78
.29 to .26
73.00 to 91.00
.52 to .65
2.60 to 6.24
.71 to .78
Boiler-makers per day.
Brakemen per month.
Bricklayers (natives) per day.
Clerks (office) per month.
Cooks, women do
Cooks, men do
Carpenters. per day.
Conductors, passenger per month.
Conductors, freight do
Conductors, street-car per day.
Coachmen, private (native) per month.
Coachmen, public (native) do
Division (railway) superintendents, do
Drivers, street-car per day .
Stationary, with board per day.
Stationary, without board do
Engravers . do
Firemen, locomotive per month
Firemen, ordinary do
Furnace men per day
Harness-makers, etc do
Iron workers do
Jewelers . do
Laborers, in large cities do
Laborers, in the country do
Laborers in factories (10 to 11 hours) do
Laborers, skilled (10 to 11 hours) \\ do
Machinists (shop) do
Miners, skilled do
Miners, ordinary do
Maids, house per month
Operators, telegraph do
Native p er day
Native p er W eek
Compositors ... do
Policemen p er month
Switchmen p er day
Gold and silversmiths do
Stone masons do
Trainmasters per month
Repairers per day
Coat makers. . t^r OOH t
Vest makers p er yggf,
Pantaloonists p er pa j r
SILVER AND WHEAT. 13
A SOUTHERN EDITOR ON " MEXICAN PROSPERITY."
Throughout the South much Interest has recently been manifested in the
published statement of Mr. Pleasant A. Stovall, editor of the Savannah Press,
who has been making a tour of observations in Mexico. He says that every
branch of business in Mexico suffers greatly because of the fluctuations in
the price of silver. But his most important testimony relates to the effect
of the silver standard on wages. He says:
" Men who went to Mexico years ago and invested money while silver was
at a premium are bankrupt, now that silver has gone down to 45 cents on
the dollar. Ask the American in business in Mexico; ask the trainmen, the
yard-master, the laborers from the States. They will tell you they want the
sound, hard, honest dollar of the American eagle. I talked to a score of
these people, and to a man they advocated sound money. It is the old story.
The laboring man wants to be paid in the best dollar the market affords,
and he should be. He gets his wages now in silver, whose fluctuation is like
the tide in the Bay of Fundy.
I found no complaint among the bankers. They make plenty of money
discounting currency and speculating in the rise and fall of exchange. An
American banking house in Calle San Francisco figures out a probable 30 per
cent every year. It is not hard to see that the working people and business
men must pay this dividend and sustain this loss. I could not help think-
ing what a panic Wall street would have in this country if the United States
were upon a silver basis."
INDUSTRIAL CONDITIONS IN MEXICO.
Side by side with the glowing encomiums which Mr. W. J. Bryan sheds
upon the prosperous condition of labor prevailing in Mexico under the silver
standard, gentlemen will be interested In the following interview with ex-
Congressman John A. McShane, himself a Democrat, who represented the
Omaha district in the House of Representatives:
[From the Washington Post (Independent), February 8, 1898.]
" I will not deny that there is a kind of prosperity in evidence in the Re-
public of Mexico," said Mr. John A. McShane, of Omaha, at the Arlington.
Mr. McShane is at the head of a large mining concern that has been en-
gaged in silver production in the Mexican State of Chihuahua for the past
" It is of this sort: The Government is largely back of it, and to the pater-
nal fostering of the Diaz administration it is mainly due. The government
subsidizes breweries, railroads, industrial plants, and aids in every way to
build up the material resources of the country. Money is used with a liberal
hand, and as a consequence there is much activity and great apparent pros-
perity. The fact that Mexico is on a silver basis does not figure; it can't
help being on that kind of a basis, but I should be sorry to see the United
-States resort to any such policy.
14 SILVER AND WHEAT;
" Ten years of experience in that country has forever set me against the
adoption of a monetary system which is not only in disrepute among the
leading nations of thd world, but which is about to be discarded by countries
like Japan, Brazil, and some of the smaller Spanish-American governments
that were formerly on a silver basis. The masses in Mexico are in a worse
condition than I trust will ever befall our laboring population. This I can
explain by referring to matters that have come under my personal observa-
" When the Sherman purchasing act was in force some seven years ago,
silver was worth $1.21, and a United States dollar was worth in Mexico 100
cents in Mexican money. The dollars of the two countries were on a parity.
At this time we employed about 300 men in our mines, their pay ranging
from $1 to $2.50 per day. It took approximately $10,000 a month to meet the
pay roll. The money to cancel this expense was shipped from Omaha, and
it was exchanged for $10,000 of Mexican coin. We operated general mer-
chandise stores along with our mining concern, and at the time I speak of
sold to our Mexican employees bacon for 20 cents a pound.
" What are the conditions to-day? We still hire 300 men and give them ex-
actly the same scale of wages that obtained prior to the slump in silver
caused by the repeal of the purchasing clause of the Sherman Act. Our pay
roll still aggregates $10,000 a month. To meet this we have shipped us a
like sum of United States money, and here is where the point of difference
comes in. Instead of exchanging that amount at our bank for its nominal
equivalent, we get for it not $10,000, but $22,000 of Mexican money.
" We have here made a clear gain of $12,000. Our employees still render
us 100 cents' worth of work, for which they used to get 100 cents, and do
yet, as far as the name goes, but in reality they receive less than half of
what should be theirs, seeing that the Mexican coin in which they are paid
has shrunk to less than half of its former value.
"But there is more still. When the Mexican miner goes to buy bacon he
finds that in tendering payment he cannot buy it with depreciated money
for 20 cents a pound; the price is now 45 cents. It would still be so if he
could tender a dollar as good as that given him for his labor at the time of
the repeal of the Sherman law. The $12,000 I spoke of simply comes out of
the labor of the country, and when the toiling class of any nation is forced
to such a condition, it is stretching a point to call the people prosperous.
" If the fair and right thing were done by these hard-working miners, their
wages would be doubled. The man that now gets $2 a day is justly entitled
to $4, but labor will bring only what price is fixed in market, like any com-
modity, and employers are not yet far enough advanced in philanthropy to
voluntarily give more than the customary rate.
" So the talk about the prosperity of Mexico, in so far as it applies to the
vast body of its citizens-the common people is a myth. If there is pros-
perity at all, it is not due to. the silver standard, but in spite of it"
SILVER AND WHEAT. 15
MODERN WAR CRIES AGAINST "THE MONEYED CLASSES"
WERE SOUNDING PHRASES IN WASHINGTON'S DAYS.
It must not be supposed that the hue and cry, of Democratic origin, about
" the moneyed classes," and the arraignment of class against class, also of
Democratic birth, are comparative novelties in American politics. They were
just as prevalent under the first Administration as they have been under
recent Administrations. The term most popular in ,the early days of the
Government to designate those who were supposed to be inimical to the
" plain people " was " aristocrat."
Washington was accused of being an "aristocrat." His neutrality . doc-
trine was decidedly unpopular, and the same element which in the present
generation vociferously denounces conservatism in our Government de-
nounced President Washington for refusing to take part in the wars between
England and France. His policy was characterized as a betrayal of the
masses, who were clamoring for war. But when that policy was vindicated
by time and the neutrality doctrine was shown to have brought prosperity
to the people of the United States, the Democrats of that day conveniently
forgot their former hostility to Washington's wise statesmanship, and Jeffer-
son, the leader in this hostile attitude, officially proclaimed a policy against
" entangling alliances."
" A curious phase of prejudice, as already noted, was instilled into the
minds of the unintelligent Democracy of that day"
Writes J. Harris Patton, M. A., in his Short History of the Democratic
" They were often led by the insinuations and hasty assertions of their
leaders to suspect the well-to-do and the educated portion of the community
of being hostile to themselves. These leaders at first, as we have seen,
characterized those who sustained the policy of the Government for the first
twelve years of its existence as " aristocrats," and that term of presumed
reproach was used until superseded by that of the " moneyed power," mean-
ing by the latter epithet those who continued to sustain the financial princi-
ples introduced by Alexander Hamilton and embodied in the policy of Wash-
" The policy of neutrality in the meantime became popular. The epithet
" aristocrat," as originally used, was no longer available. But in relation to