Benson John Lossing.

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1,80G churches, and 118,865 mem

yer; born in Georgia; graduated at
the law school of Augusta, Ga. ; was
in the Georgia Senate in 1859;
served in the Confederate army
through the Civil War, and was an
acting major-general in the Army
of Northern Virginia at the time
of Lee s surrender. He is the author
of Military History of Georgia; and
editor of Confederate Military His
tory (12 volumes).

military officer; born in Moig, Ire
land, in 1787; entered the British
army at the age of twenty years;
served in the East Indies, and
early in 1814 came to the United
States with the rank of brevet-colonel, etc. He died in Baltimore, Md., July 1(5,
He was engaged in the BATTLE OF BLADENS- 1868.

HURG (q. v.) in August, and led the troops Evans, OLIVER, inventor; born in New-
that entered Washington, D. C., and de- port, Del., in 1775; was of Welsh descent,
stroyed the public buildings there. He and was grandson of Evan Evans, D.D.,
was with General Ross in the expedition the first Episcopal minister in Philadel-
against Baltimore in September, and was phia. Apprenticed to a wheelwright, he
near that general when he fell. Evans early displayed his inventive genius. At
was also with Pakenham in the attempt the age of twenty-two years he had in
to capture New Orleans. He was wounded vented a most useful machine for making
in the battle that occurred below that card-teeth. In 1786-87 he obtained from
city. Returning to Europe, he served the legislatures of Maryland and Penn-
under Wellington. Afterwards he was sylvania the exclusive right to use his
elected to Parliament, and was subse- improvements in flour-mills. He con-
quently promoted to lieutenant-general, structed a steam-carriage in 1799, which
In the latter capacity he served in the led to the invention of the locomotive en-




gine. His steam-engine was the first con
structed on the high-pressure principle.
In 1803-4 he made the first steam dredg-
ing-machine used in America, to which
he gave the name of " Oracter Amphi-
bolis," arranged for propulsion either on
land or water. This is believed to have
been the first instance in America of the
application of steam-power to the propel
ling of a land carriage. Evans foresaw
and prophesied the near era of railway
communication and travel. He proposed
the construction of a railway between
Philadelphia and New York, but his lim
ited means would not allow him to con
vince the sceptics by a successful experi

ment. He died in New York City, April
21, 1819.

Evans, ROBLEY DUNGLISON, naval offi
cer; born in Virginia; graduated at
the United States Naval Academy in
1863; took part in the attack on Fort
Fisher, where he was severely wounded ;
was in command of the Yorktoivn in the
harbor of Valparaiso, Chile, in 1891, dur
ing a period of strained relations between
the United States and Chile; commanded
the battle-ship loica and took an active
part in the destruction of Cervera s fleet;
was promoted rear-admiral in 1901. He
is author of A Sailor s Log and many
magazine articles.


Evarts, WILLIAM MAXWELL, statesman ; son in his impeachment before the Senate
born in Boston, Mass., Feb. 6, 1818; in 18G8. President Hayes appointed Mr.
graduated at Yale College in 1837; stud- PJvarts Secretary of State in March, 1877,
ied law, and was admitted to the bar, in and in January, 1885, he was elected
the city of New York, in 1840, where he United States Senator, holding the seat

till 1891. He died in New York City,
Feb. 28, 1901.

Bimetallism. In 1881, after the conclu
sion of his term of service in the cabinet,
he went to Paris as delegate of the United
States to the International Monetary Con
ference. He there made the following plea
for the employment of both gold and sil
ver in the money of the world:

The question now put to us is as is
obvious everywhere in the progress of this
conference the question now put to us is,
" Why is it that in your wealth, your
strength, your manifold and flexible ener
gies and opportunities in the conflicts and
competitions of the system of nations rep
resented here, why is it that you feel con
cern for mischiefs which carry no special
suffering or menace to you or anxiety as
to the methods of their cure, when you are
so free-handed as to the methods and re
sorts at your choice? Why should these
evils that have grown out of a short-sight
ed and uncircumspect policy, as you (the
afterwards resided and practised his pro- United States) think; why should you so
fession. He was one of the ablest and persistently call upon all the nations to
most eloquent members of the bar, and unite, and put yourselves, as it were, on
held a foremost rank in his profession for the same footing of danger and solicitude
many years. He was the leading counsel with them?" The answer on our part is
employed for the defence of President John- simple and honest. It needs no ingenuity




to frame it, and it asks no special courtesy
or confidence on your part to believe it.
It is our interest in the commerce of the
world, and we consider no question of the
money of the world alien from that inter
est. Why should we not feel an interest,
and an urgent interest, in the commerce
of the world? We are seated on a conti
nent, so to speak, of our own, as distin
guished from Asia and Europe. We are
nearer to Europe and to Asia than either
is to the other, and if there is to be a great
battle between the Eastern and Western
commerce and a public and solemn war de
clared between the silver of the East and
the gold of the West, who so likely to
make the profit of the interchange between
those moneys, and necessarily, therefore,
of the interchange between the commodi
ties that those moneys master?

But there is another striking position
of our country, not geographical. It is
that we more than all other nations,
perhaps first of all nations, in the
history of the development of commerce,
that our nation holds, in either hand, the
great products of staples, of raw material,
and the great, the manifold, the varied
products of skilled industry, which we
have developed and organized, and in
which we contest with Europe the markets
of the world. We propose to furnish the
products of our agriculture, which feed in
so great share the laborers of Europe and
the machinery of Europe, as inexorable in
its demands as the laborers; and we pro
pose also to deal with the world at large
in the skilled products of industry in
every form applied to those raw ma
terials, and prosecuted under the ad
vantages of their home production. We
contemplate no possibility of taking place
with the less civilized or poorer nations,
to sit at the feet of the more civilized and
richer nations. We have no desire to place
ourselves, on the side of skilled industry,
in the position of a superior nation to in
feriors, though they may depend on us
for this supply. We occupy, quite as much
as in our geographical position, in this
aspect towards the different forms of
wealth, production, and industry, an en
tirely catholic and free position, having
no interest but the great interest that all
nations, as fa-r as money is concerned,
should not be embarrassed in trading with

us, and that we, so far as money is con
cerned, should not be obstructed in selling
our raw products to the skilled nations
of Europe, or the products of our industry
to the consumers in less developed nations.
Besides this equilibrium of selfishness,
which makes the general good our good,
we are free from any bias in the matter
of the production of the precious metals,
trivial as that is in comparison with the
immense and fervid march of commerce.
We produce the two metals equally. Out
of the same prolific silver mines even, the
same ore gives us 55 per cent, of silver
and 45 of gold. How could you imagine a
nation in regard to its production of the
precious metals more indifferent as to
which is made the master of the world?
It is a bad tyranny that we resist. It
is the possession of freedom and of power
in the commerce of the world by the
service of both these metals, in place
of the mastery of either, that we advo

It is hardly necessary to recapitulate
the principal duties of money, but they
have always been of a nature that pre
sented itself in a double aspect. From
the time that money needed to be used
in any considerable volume, and for any
considerable debts among the advancing
nations of the world, there never has
been a time in which the money for man s
use did not present itself in reference to
its service and duties in two aspects. One
is to deal with the petty transactions of
every - day and neighborhood use, where
the smallness of transactions required
money susceptible of easy division; the
other for a transfer in larger transactions
required money to be used in the mass
and with a collective force, money that
was capable of easy multiplication and of
easy management in aggregate values.
But, besides that, there soon came to be a
use of money between the distant parts
of one country and between distant coun
tries, and so an opportunity for disparity
in the treatment of money in these op
posing aspects, with no longer a common
sovereignty that could adjust them one
to the other. In the progress, so rapid,
so vast, so wide, of the interchange of the
products and industries of the world, there
came to intrude itself more and more
necessarily and familiarly, the elements



of distance in space and remoteness of them, together, are competent to supply

dates of beginning and closing transac- for its maintenance.

tions. These developments of commerce Now, there are but two logical methods
alone embarrassed both of these moneys in which this disorder between gold and
in the discharge of their double duty, silver, this depreciation of their general
were there no exposure to discord between and combined functions, this struggle be-
themselves. But long ago this ceased to tween them, can be put an end to. One
be the limit of the trouble. The actual is to admit, as the intrinsic money of the
service of intrinsic money in the transac- world, only one metallic basis, and to
tion of the petty traffic and the great com- drive out, extirpate, as a barbarism, as
merce of the world, in providing for its an anachronism, as a robber and a fraud,
own transfer from place to place, within the other metal, that, grown old in the
a nation, or from country to country, service and feeble in its strength, is no
across the boundaries or across the seas, more a help, but a hinderance and a mar-
made it impossible for the volume of both plot. That is a task that might be pro-
the metals that the bounty of nature posed to the voluntary action of nations,
could yield to the urgent labor of man to and, if the monometallic proposition be
perform the task. Every form and device the true one, that is the logical course
of secondary money, of representative to which the nations we represent ought
money, which the wit of man could com- to resort, unless they take the only other
pass, and which could maintain its verity logical alternative that is, to make one
as money by its relation to the intrinsic money out of the two metals, to have no
money of the world, was brought in to re- two standards or kinds of money, but one
lieve the precious metals from the burden money, adapted in its multiples and di-
under which, unaided, they must have visions to the united functions of the two
succumbed. All these forms, whether the precious metals.

bills of exchange to run between country I have said that these two are the
and country, or of notes or checks at home, only logical methods. There is another
or of paper money all are but forms of method, and that is, in despair of mak-
credit. While, then, they relieve intrinsic ing one money out of the two metals,
money from the intolerable burden of to make two moneys out of them. This
actually carrying the transactions of the project is not to discard either from
world, they burdened it, so to speak, with the service of mankind, but to separate
moral obligations which it must discharge, them and so mark them as that they
All this vast expanse of credit in the de- shall not occupy the same regions, but
veloped commerce of the world rests divide the world between them. For
finally upon the intrinsic money of the the working of this scheme it is proposed
world, and if you would have fixity, unity, that in some fashion a partition shall
and permanence in the credit operations be made among nations, or sets of na-
of the world there must be fixity, unity, tions, and a struggle for the metals be
and permanence in all the intrinsic money set. on foot to reach an equilibrium or
of the world upon which that credit rests, alternating triumph, or undergo such
This credit is, almost without a figure, a fluctuations or vicissitudes, or enjoy
vast globe, and this service of the precious such a degree of permanence as fortune,
metais to sustain it is that of an Atlas, out of the chaos, may offer to mankind,
upon whom the whole fabric rests. The This scheme might well be defined as
strength of both arms, nerved by a united harmonious discord and organized dis-
impulse of heart and will, is indispen- order. But this is nothing but a con-
sable; neither can be spared. Consequently, elusion that although there is an in-
if there should be any considerable failure tolerable evil, it is not within the
in their force, or any waste of it by an- compass of human wisdom, or human
tagonism between the metals making up strength, or human courage, to attempt
the intrinsic money of the world, the to remedy. This conclusion would leave
credit of the world is deprived of what things to take care of themselves. This
nature in supplying the two precious notion found expression in the sentiments
metals and human wisdom in regulating declared by some of the powers at the
ITT. R 273


conference of 1878. The hopeful expec
tation that was then indulged, that
things would take care of themselves, has
not been realized. Experience since has
shown an aggravation of the mischief, a
continued and widening extension of its
pressure, and produced another appeal
to the wisdom and courage of the nations
to redress it, under which this conference
has been convened.

But there is, confessedly, a great dif
ficulty in arranging this partition of
money among the nations. I will not
enlarge upon that difficulty; it has al
ready been sufficiently pointed out. It is
inherent and ineradicable. Its terms can
not be expressed by its champions. Some
times it is spoken of as a division be
tween the Asiatic and European nations;
sometimes as a division between the rich
nations and the poor nations; sometimes
as a division between the civilized and
the less civilized nations. There seems
to have been an easy confidence that these
groups could be satisfactorily arranged
for a reasonable equality in this battle
of the precious metals. But I have been
puzzled to know, and no one has dis
tinctly stated, where the United States
were to be arrayed. No one has ventured
to determine whether they were to be
counted as a rich nation or as a poor na
tion; whether as an Asiatic or a Euro
pean nation; whether as a civilized
nation or an uncivilized nation. Yet, I
think it would be no vain assumption
on the part of the United States to feel
that any settlement of the money ques
tions of the world that leaves us out,
and our interest in them, and our wisdom
about them, will not be the decree of an
ecumenical council, or establish articles
of faith that can be enforced against the
whole world. The notion seems to be
that the nations that sit above the salt
are to be served with gold, and those
that sit below the salt are to be served
with silver. But who is to keep us in
our seats? Who is to guard against an
interruption of the feast by a struggle
on the part of those who sit below the
salt to be served with gold, or of those
above the salt to be served with silver?
This project purports to have neither
wisdom nor courage, neither reason nor
force, behind it. It is a mere fashion of

speech for saying that we cannot by
human will, by the power or the polity of
nations, redress the mischief, but that
we must leave the question to work itself
out in discord, in dishonor, in disorder,
in disaster.

This brings us fairly to consider how
great the task is which is proposed for
reason and for law to accomplish. How
much is there wanting in the properties
of these two metals, how much is missing
from the already existing state of feel
ing, of habit, of the wishes and the
wisdom of the world at large, and in the
common - sense of mankind as exhibited
in history or shown to-day, that stands
in the way of the common use of the two
precious metals to provide the common
necessity of one money for the commerce
of the world? The quarrel with nature
seems to be with its perverse division of
the necessary functions of money between
the two precious metals. In their regret
that nature has furnished us silver and
gold, with the excellent properties of each,
instead of one abundant, yet not redun
dant, metal that would have served all
purposes, the monometallists strive to cor
rect this perversity of nature by using
only the not abundant gold and discard
ing the not redundant silver. Well, I do
not know but one might imagine a metal,
a single metal, that would combine all
the advantages which these two metals
in concert have hitherto offered to man
kind. It may be within the range of im
agination to conceive of a metal that
would grow small in bulk when you
wanted it to aggregate values, and grow
large when you wanted to divide it into
minute values. Yet, as I think, the mere
statement, to the common apprehension
of mankind, describes what we should
call a perpetual miracle, and not an order
of nature. Now, if such a metal is a
mere figment of the imagination, if no
such metal with these incompatible quali
ties is found in rerum natura, how are
we going to dispense in our actual money
with that fundamental, inexorable re
quirement of intrinsic money, a physical
capability of multiplication and of di
vision to serve these opposite uses? Why
not then accept the reason, accept the
duty of treating these two metals in
which combined nature has done the ut-


most for this special need of man, by sup
plying the consensus of positive law, that
single nexus between them, that fixity of
ratio by which they two shall be one
money at all times and everywhere; by
which silver, when its multiplication be
comes burdensome and unmanageable,
loses itself in the greater value of gold;
and gold, when its division becomes too
minute and trivial, breaks into pieces of
silver. What nature, then, by every pos
sible concurrence of utility has joined to
gether let no man put asunder. It is a
foolish speculation whether in rerum
rial ura a metal might have been contrived
combining these two opposing qualities.
Let us accept the pious philosophy of the
French bishop, as to the great gift of the
strawberry " Doubtless God Almighty
might have made a better fruit than the
strawberry, but, doubtless, He has not."
This brings us to the essential idea
which lies at the bottom of this effort at
unity of money for the nations, the ca
pacity of law to deal with the simple task
of establishing a fixed ratio between the
metals, so that their multiplication and
division should make but a single scale.
This. Mr. Pirmez would have us under
stand, would prove an ineffectual struggle
of positive law against the law of nature.
It is thus he denounces the attempt at a
practical nc.rus between ther.c metals by
reason, which could not bo supplied by
the physical properties of matter. To me
it seems to require no move than law and
reason and the wit of man can readily
supply, and have constantly supplied, in
innumerable instances, and it should not
be wanting here. The reason of man must
either, in this instance, take the full
bounties of nature and Providence, or
must reject them, as the gross and igno
rant neglect all the other faculties that
are accorded to human effort and to
human progress by the beneficence of God.
Bring this matter to the narrowest limits.
Here is a gap to be filled. Shall we sup
ply it? Will you insist upon what is
called one standard and have two moneys,
or will you insist upon two standards with
the result of one money? But one money
is the object. All question of standards,
one or two, is but a form and mode by
which we may reach what we desire, one
money. I insist, and challenge a refu

tation, that at bottom the theory of a
gold standard is the theory of two
moneys. It is the theory of discord be
tween the metals. It is the theory of us
ing one to buy the other, and robbing the
exchange of commodities of what it re
quires to the utmost, the double strength,
the double service of the two metals to
buy and sell, not one another, but the com
modities of the world.

But it is said that this pretence that
law can regulate the metals in their
uses as money involves a fundamental
error in this, that money is itself
a commodity and that law cannot regu
late the ratio of the two metals as money
any more than apportion values between
other commodities. Well, silver and gold
as they come from the mine no doubt are
commodities. There might be imagined
a metal that, besides having all the quali
ties which make it useful to men for
money, might also miss all the qualities
that would make it useful for anything
else. You might have a metal suitable
in all physical properties of gold and sil
ver that was neither splendid for orna
ment, nor malleable, nor ductile for use;
you might have a gold that did not glitter
to the eyes, and a silver that would not
serve to the use. In such case the confu
sion between gold and silver money, and
gold and silver in their marketable uses,
would be avoided. But, as matter of
fact, besides the good qualities which be
nign nature has infused into these metals
for our service as money, they have, as
well, the properties which make them
valuable in vulgar use. These latter uses,
no doubt, in the infancy of mankind,
directed attention to the recondite proper
ties which fitted them for the institution
of money, which later ages were fully to

Although, then, the precious metals, in
their qualities as metals, may remain
commodities, whenever the act of the law.
finding in their properties the necessary
aptitudes, decrees their consecration to
the public service as money, it decrees
that they shall never after, in that qual
ity of money, be commodities. In the
very conception of money it is distin
guished from all exchangeable, barterable
commodities in this, that the law has set
it apart, by the imprint of coinage, to be


the servant of the state and of the world
in its use as money, and to abstain from
all commixture, as a commodity, with the
other commodities of the world. Wher
ever and howsoever this ideal of money
fails to be real, it is because the law is
either inefficient, within its jurisdiction,
which is its disgrace, or because its juris
diction is limited territorially, and be
cause its vigor fails beyond the boun
daries. In the latter case, I agree, silver
or gold, in the shape of the coinage of one
country or another, may become mer
chandise to be bought and sold, in other
countries, as a mere money metal. Mani
festly these exposures to demonetization,
beyond the boundaries, because the legal
force, which has made the metal money,
stops with the boundaries, is the main
cause of the mischiefs in the monetary
system of the world which need redress.
Ihe cause understood, the cure is obvi
ous. It is to carry, by some form of con
sensus among governments, the legal re
lations between the two metals, in their
employment as money, beyond the boun
daries of separate systems of coinage.
These legal relations between the metals
once fixed, no important evasions of it
would be possible, and no serious dis
turbance of it could arise from diversi
ties of coinage. It is for this result and
by this means that we are striving.

But law, it is said, is inadequate in its
strength, in its capabilities, in its vigi
lance, in its authority, to accomplish so

Online LibraryBenson John LossingHarper's encyclopdia of United States history from 458 A.D. to 1905 (Volume 3) → online text (page 42 of 76)