Copyright
William Dealtry.

The laborer; a remedy for his wrongs; or, A disquisition on the usages of society online

. (page 14 of 33)
Online LibraryWilliam DealtryThe laborer; a remedy for his wrongs; or, A disquisition on the usages of society → online text (page 14 of 33)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


ease and indolence has banished labor, the only antidote for
such ailments. Too great indulgence in the fine arts con-
sumes part of the time that ought to be employed on the
important duties of life. A man who lives above his
fortune or profits, and accustoms his children to luxury,
abandons them to poverty when he dies. Luxury is an
enemy to population, it enhances the expense of living, and
confines many to the bachelor state. Luxury is, above all,
pernicious in a commercial state. Luxury has been the
ruin of every state where it prevailed. Great opulence
opens a wide door to indolence, sensuality, corruption, pros-
titution and perdition."

Buffon says: "The sole glory of the rich man is to
consume and destroy ; and his grandeur consists in lavish-
ing in one day upon the expense of his table what would
procure subsistence for many families. He abuses equally
animals and men, a great part of whom are a prey to fa-
mine, and pine in want and toil to satisfy his immoderate de-
sires. He destroys himself by excess and others by want."



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 165

k A Russian writer says: "Commerce excites luxury, cor-
rupts manners. Universal dissipation has taken the lead,
and profligacy of manners has followed. Great landlords
grind their people to supply the incessant demands of lux-
ury. The miserable peasant groans under his taxes."

Montesquieu, in his "Spirit of the Laws," says: "If
Poland had no foreign trade its inhabitants would be more
happy. The grandees, who have only their corn, would
give it to their peasants for subsistence. As their too ex-
tensive estates would become burdensome, they would
therefore divide with their peasants. Every one would ob-
tain skins, or sacks of wool from their herds or flocks, so
that they would no longer be at such an immense cost in
providing clothes. The great, who are always fond of lux-
ury, not being able to find it in their own country, would
encourage the labor of the poor. This nation, I affirm,
would then become more flourishing."

Great cities are great evils, and are created by commerce.
They are places of suffering, and should be abolished. A
few centuries ago they were thought an evil. In 1672, an
edict came from Louis XIV, that asserted : " That by en-
larging the city, the air would be rendered unwholesome ;
that cleaning the streets would prove a great additional
labor; that adding to the number of inhabitants would
raise the price of provisions, of labor, and of manufactures ;
that the ground would be covered with buildings instead
of corn, which might hazard a scarcity ; that the country
would be depopulated by the desire that the people have to
resort to the capital ; and, lastly, that the difficulty of gov-
erning such numbers would be an encouragement to rob-
bery and murder."

In 1602, Queen Elizabeth prohibited any new buildings
within three miles of London, in this preamble: "That see-



1 66 THE LABORER;

ing the great and manifold inconveniences and mischiefs
which daily grow, and are likely to increase, in the city of
London, and that such multitudes can hardly be governed,
and provided with food and other necessaries at a reason-
able price, without adding new officers and enlarging their
authority. Many of those who are poor must live by beg-
ging or worse means, and are heaped up together many
children and servants in one house or small tenement."

Lord Kames, in his " Sketches of Man," says: " Mex-
ico and Peru afforded to their numerous inhabitants the nec-
essaries of life in profusion. Cotton was plentiful, more
than sufficient for the clothing. Indian wheat was univer-
sal, and was cultivated without much labor. The natural
wants of the inhabitants were thus easily supplied, and ar-
tificial wants had made no progress. The Indians have
learned from their conquerors a multitude of artificial wants,
variety of food, and rich clothing.

"The Peruvian constitution seems to have been an agra-
rian law of the strictest kind. To the sovereign was given
a large portion of the land for the expenses of the govern-
ment ; and the remainder was divided among his subjects.
Every man plowed his own field, and then assisted his
neighbor. Individuals were taught to do every thing for
themselves. Every one knew how to plow and manure his
land. Every one was a carpenter, mason, shoemaker, and
weaver ; and they were obliged to assist each other in sow-
ing, reaping, and building without any reward."

* " None were idle or fatigued with labor ; the food was
wholesome, plentiful, and equal to all; every one was con-
veniently lodged and well clothed ; the aged, sick, widows,
and orphans, were assisted in a manner unknown in any
other part of the world ; every one married from choice

* Description of the Paraguay Indians, by Abbe Raynal, in his History.



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 167

and not from interest, and children were considered a bless-
ing, and could never be burdensome. Debauchery, the
necessary consequence of idleness, which equally corrupts
the opulent and the poor, never tended to abridge the term
of human life; nothing served to excite artificial passions,
or contradicted those that were regulated by nature and rea-
son ; the people enjoyed the advantages of trade, and were
not exposed to the contagion of vice and luxury ; plentiful
magazines, and a friendly intercourse between nations united
in the bonds of the same religion, were a security against
any scarcity that might happen from the inclemency of the
seasons; public justice had never been reduced to the ne-
cessity of condemning a single malefactor to death, to igno-
my, or to any punishment of long duration; the very names
of a tax or lawsuit, those two terrible scourges which every
where else afflict mankind, were unknown."

Civilization can give us no such a picture as this. Bolts
and locks, constables and watchmen, jails and prisons are
to be seen every-where. The causes of which are, men
are taken from useful pursuits to manage the money affairs,
to engage in commercial pursuits, and to govern the nation.
These are so numerous, men are poor. They cause crime
and celibacy. There are two classes in large cities that de-
serve our pity, servant women and milliners. They work
from morn to night on gay dresses covered with beads, rib-
bons, and spangles, which makes the wearer look like a
harlequin, and who is often an idle woman. This gay robe
often sweeps the streets, as trains are in fashion in 1868.
The poor girls at night can work on their own scanty dresses
to the injury of their eye-sight. Strangers who come to a
very large city observe some streets are occupied by infe-
rior merchants, whose families live up stairs. From the
front part runs a long narrow building, which contains the



1 68 THE LABORER;

cooking, dining, and washing-room ; all this is sacred to the
maid of all work; over this is her sleeping cell. In this
place she cooks, scrubs and washes thirteen hours in the
day. She has brick walls around her and can see nothing.
The alley emits vile smells which can not be cured. She
is a stranger to the pleasures of home or friends.

This woman is not as happy as a monk. Abbe Raynal
tells us a beaver is happier than a monk. This writer tells
how these animals saw down a tree with their teeth, and it
falls across the stream, the branches are gnawed off, and
pieces of trees are floated down. A solid dam is made. It
has openings to let off the surplus water. The beaver has
his house on the top of the dam ; it is made of mud and
sticks ; it is plastered inside very smooth, the floor is kept
very clean, and covered with hay. A man can repose very
comfortably in their huts. They build store houses for
food, and it is divided without contest.

" A male and female get acquainted when laboring on the
public works, and agree to pass the winter together ; for this
they lay up food. The happy couple retire to their hut in
September. The winter gives leisure for amorous pursuits.
The couple never leave each other. Their time is conse-
crated to love. On sunshiny days the loving pair walk on
the banks of the river, eat some fresh bark, and breathe
earth's exhalations. Toward the end of winter the female
has those endearing pledges of this universal passion of na-
ture. The father leaves his cell to his family, as it is spring.
The mother goes out and feeds her charge on fish and bark."





CHAPTER VIII.

GOLD, SILVER, AND PAPER MONEY.

MONEY HAS ITS ORIGIN IN THE LOVE OF ORNAMENT A MEANS or KEEPING
THE PEOPLE POOR WHAT MONEY COSTS SOCIETY THE CAUSES OF METAL
MONEY THE HISTORY OF PAPER MONEY OPINIONS OF ANDREW JACKSON.

" Gold 'tis trash, it is the worldling's god." POLLOK.

JOME village mechanics living in Europe were
watching some street occurrence, which caused the
magistrate to come to them and tell them to go
to work. This was very thoughtful in the magistrate. He
no doubt thought much was depending on their labors, and
he was right. It probably never occurred to the mind of
the magistrate, that if he and many others would go to work
at something of utility there would be such an abundance in
the world that disputes would never occur at all. Suppose
these laborers should go along the banks of a stream and
seek for shells and convert them into rings and ornaments,
men would not be any richer. If the magistrate should say
to these men, poverty will overtake you, it would be the
truth. If these persons should go and seek for gold, bitter
poverty would be felt somewhere.

Adam Smith, in his "Wealth of Nations,'' says:
"Among civilized nations many do not labor at all, many
of whom consume the produce of ten times, frequently a
hundred times, more than those who work." Nature
never designed this. As labor gives aching bones and limbs,



170 THE LABORER;

men are continually trying to throw the burden of their
kee-ping on those who labor. A more prolific source of liv-
ing without laboring, consuming without producing, can not
be found than in money, which is truly an invention to get
others' wealth and labor ; which takes from him who labors
the fruits of that labor, and gives it to him who will not
labor.

Money had its origin in a period of the world when the
condition of mankind was equal, when they had nothing
to exchange. It is probable that we are indebted to the
love of ornament for money. It is said that John Lander,
the African traveler, had with him the same medals of brass
that were used by the British Government to get the Amer-
ican Indians to fight against the American people. To
get these medals the Indians will sell the lands of his an-
cestors ; the African will set fire to the villages of neigh-
boring tribes, for the purpose of selling the fleeing inhabi-
tants into slavery, so as to get these ornaments. What a
fearful price do the savages pay for these mean ornaments !
With what pride do they wear them ! Ships go to Africa
with beads and copper coins, which are exchanged for gold
dust, and ivory. No doubt these beads and coins could be
exchanged for wheat if the natives had it. Some of the
Chinese hang their money around their necks as an or-
nament.

When the poor inhabitants of Cuba and St. Domingo,
were first visited by the Spaniards, they had little pieces of
gold in their hair and other parts of their dress as orna-
ments. They were astonished at the rage of the Spaniards
to obtain these, and to give their food and clothing for that
which was of no value to them, nor of any great value to
the Spaniards.

The name money comes from the Latin word moneta y



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 171

a piece of stamped metal. A slave, to whom a sheep was
due, could he be persuaded to receive a coin instead of it,
,vould have no motive to receive it except for ornament.

Those who rule a country always contrive to own the
copper, silver, and gold mines. William the Norman gave
these to his favorites, and forbid all others to seek for silver
or gold. The Duke of Cornwall owned the copper mines.
He could make copper money and give it for what he liked.
Wages were once a penny a day. If a penny was coined in
five minutes, it got a day's labor out of the slave. Money
at first was rude bars, till human ingenuity found out how
to stamp on them the monarch's image.

William I ordered that twelve ounces of silver should be
coined into twenty parts, each part to be called a shilling.
Each succeeding monarch made it to weigh less at every
coinage, a grain or more at a time. In the time of Philip
and Mary, the twenty shillings only weighed five ounces.
If wheat was a shilling a bushel in the time of William, his
pound of silver got twenty bushels of wheat. If the pound
of silver was made into twenty-one shillings, the king had
twenty-one bushels of wheat.

Charles I wanted money. He said : " Let the servants of
the mint mix three penniesworth of silver, with as much
alloy as will make a coin of the size of a shilling." He
was told the servants of the mint would not do it. "Let
them be sent to prison," said the angry monarch. The
order was not obeyed. It would have been in the time of
Henry VIII. European coins are shamefully alloyed.

If the State treasurer were to get in all his taxes, and
get a decree passed that half a dollar should be of the value'
of a dollar, he would pay twice as many debts, so would all
others. When the debts were paid, if another decree were
to bring back again the money to its first value it would be



172 THE LABORER;

a fraud. The king of France changed the livre, a coin that
was divided into twenty-eight parts, to the value of forty
parts. When the king had paid his debts, he changed the
money back again to the first value.

The gold and silver in the English mines was exhausted
about the time of Henry VIII. England has now obtained
enormous supplies of gold from the mines of South Amer-
ica. Many a bagful of gold-dust has gone into the Mint,
to be stamped into money, and then exchanged for the pro-
ducts of labor. This exchanging has been going on for
generations, and it makes the people poorer. Such have
been the accumulations of gold and silver in England, that
twenty times as much is given for wages, as was five cen-
turies ago. This does not improve the condition of the
poor toiler. A bushel of wheat for ages has been the stan-
dard for a day's labor of a skilled laborer. If wages are a
penny a day, the bushel of wheat is worth one penny. If
a day's labor is five shillings, then is the bushel Qf wheat
worth five shillings. Mechanics fall into a fata}; error tc
think the higher their pay, the better is their conation.

Suppose the merchants of this country obtairi;ed gold;'
amounting to $100,000,000, and spent it, the inhabitants/
would be that much poorer, with much less of the|comforts :
of life. It is something we can not eat or wear. \ Simple-
tons will give their necessaries for superfluities. Stewart, ofe-
New York, one of the richest men there, has no gold on
his person, proving that it is of no utility, except to sur-
geons and dentists. The papers tell us that during twenty
years the California mines have yielded $1,200,000,000.
This sum would have given 1,200,000 families a happy
home, worth $1,000. A cottage worth $500 with barns
and fences to that amount on land, would make many su-
premely happy. The Secretary of the Interior, tells us




This boy, because he paid for the broom, is made a clerk, which has improved
his looks, at the expense of some one else's comfort ; to prove this his patron ob-
tains a sum of money on a town-lot, or piece of wild land, the buyer of which has
to practice unjust, painful self-denial to obtain it. The Being who rules on high
never designed that a part of his children should keep others in unproductive toil.
In Cincinnati, there are 4,000 clerks and book-keepers ; these working on level,
fertile land, aided by machinery, can produce a sufficiency of food to maintain its
300,000 inhabitants. If its 1,000 persons as police, sweepers of the streets, rulers
of .he city, etc., were to work on M. Greenwood's loom, they could clothe the city.

4



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 173

that when the Pacific Railroad is complete, the product of
the gold mines will be annually $150,000,000. Were
those who seek for gold to work at something else, it would
shorten the hours of labor more than a thirteenth. This
calculation supposes the diggers are laborers earning $500 in
a year, which will give us 300,000 laborers, who can spin
and weave, yearly, 1,350,000,000 yards of cloth, or find
one-third of the nation in food. Those who clothe and
feed the gold seekers do not have much of the gold.

Gold has become so abundant in England that it is put
to strange uses. The Duke of Buckingham has two tons
of silver-ware. The Queen of England has changes of
gold-ware, sufficient to dine two hundred and forty persons.
The Earl of Carlisle has the dome of his mansion covered
with gold. The Duke of Devonshire has one of his gate-
ways covered with gold. Another nobleman has a gold
staircase. It is a frequent occurrence for an idle American
woman to wear jewelry worth $100,000. Ye statesmen
and philosophers, tell us, who are the humble ones, how
much of human happiness is sacrificed to promote all this
senseless vanity ?

Gold and silver money became so abundant, men buried
it in the earth. The wealth of the Jews was in such things
as they could carry away ; they were money-lenders and
exchangers. They were often plundered, persecuted, and
had to find a refuge in other countries, and then purchase
the privilege to return. They have paid at times one-third .
of the king's revenue for protection. The Jews are the
same now as in the time of Moses they had tables at the
door of the temple, and sold or exchanged half-shekels as
an offering to the Lord. Six centuries ago they might be
seen in the commercial marts of Europe, sitting on benches,
exchanging money for the Catholic pilgrims. The benches
16



J 74 THE LABOREB ;

on which they sat were called banco, the Italian name for a

bench, from which comes the name of bank.

The increase of population made the hiding of money

insecure. This led to the formation of banks of deposit by
the Lombards and Jews. The crusades and religious pil-
grimages led to the custom of loaning money to these bank-
ers. These Jewish bankers often loaned money at twelve
and twenty per cent ; for this they may have thought they

had divine permission. In the book of Deuteronomy it is
written, "Of thy brother thou shalt not take usury, of the
stranger thou shalt take usury."

The Bank of Venice was the first in Europe, and was
established in 1171. The republic was pressed for money
and it levied a forced contribution from the richest citizens,
giving them in return a perpetual annuity of four per cent.
An office was established for the payment of the interest. It
was punctually paid, and became the Bank of Venice. At
the office claims were registered, and the right to receive
interest, which was transferable by purchase or death. It
was a bank of deposit, begun without capital. The inva-
sion of the French in 1797 rume d the bank. The repub-
lic was its security. In 1401, the Bank of Barcelona was
established. In 1407, the Bank of Genoa was started.

The Bank of Amsterdam was started in 1609 ; the ma-
gistrates, by authority of the states, were declared perpetual
cashiers to the inhabitants. All merchants were by law
obliged to open an account with the bank, for which they
paid a fee to the city. This bank was to assist the mer-
chants in their commercial dealings. Creditors of mer-
chants were to receive their dues at the bank, and the bills
and receipts were recorded there. For deposits of silver or
gold a certificate was given and recorded. In 1672, the
French invaded the country, and the merchants went for



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 175

their money, and it was there. The French invaded Hol-
land in 1794; the merchants went to the bank for their
money, and it was not there. This compelled the authorities
to confess they had loaned the deposits to Holland, West
Friesland, and the East India Company; the claims on these
were given to those who had the certificates of the bank in
their possession.

In 1640, the merchants of London carried their money
to the Mint in the Tower. Charles I, wanting money, took
.200,000. This destroyed its character as a place of secu-
rity and deposit. The merchants then kept their money at
home, and were robbed by their apprentices and clerks.
This caused the merchants to take their money to the gold-
smiths, who had vaults. The goldsmiths received money
on trust, and allowed interest on it. The receipt passed
from hand to hand as bank notes do now. The goldsmiths
reloaned this money to the king, on the security of the
taxes. This suggested the Bank of England, in 1694.

The mayor and council of London, with some of the
nobility, invited William III and Mary, his queen, to come
from Holland and rule them. Mary was the next heir to
the throne. William wanted to have a war with France.
He did not like to tax the people, for fear he might be ex-
iled like James II, or lose his head, as did Charles I. He
got a charter for the Bank of England on condition it
loaned money to the government. The first loan was the
sum of $6,000,000. The bank was to receive as interest
$500,000. The next sum borrowed was $10,000,000, to
pay a debt to the East India Company. The interest on
this was $800,000. Charles II took out of the treasury
$3,500,000. This belonged to some merchants who had
it in the treasury. Charles's unjust appropriation was made
a small part of the national debt. The people have paid



176 THE LABORER;

this amount fifteen times over, in the shape of interest. A
king dare not ask his subjects for money to carry on a war,
and yet, for pieces of paper money, they will, give salaries
to his officers , food and clothing to his soldiers. Strange in-
fatuation ! These sums, when put together, were called
u The Consolidated Debt." This term is now abbreviated
to " Consols."

In seven years the bank had loaned $80,000,000, a small
trifle. It was the beginning of a source of misery ; and the
germ of a plague that has ravaged England from that day
to this. The Bank of England has contributed from 1694
to 1815, for carrying on useless and desolating wars, the
enormous sum of $6,050,000,000. This borrowing has
made the people of England pay three times this amount
in interest, which amounts with the interest and principal
to $26,050,000,000. Had money never been invented
this enormous sum would never have been got out of the
people. There are 50,000,000 of acres of land in Great
Britain, were they to be sold for $100 an acre, and this ad-
ded to the value of the peoples* dwellings, it would equal
only half of this amount. The funding or banking system
has enabled a few to get from those who labor, the value
of all of England's accumulated labor, excepting the silver
and gold. This calculation supposes the familes number
6,000,000, and that the habitation of each family is worth

$1,000.

The reign of William III may be styled the most unfor-
tunate that England ever saw; during its pernicious prog-
ress were sown the seeds of a system which has poisoned the
happiness of Englishmen, and reduced them from a state of
wealth and universal comfort and ease to a land of toiling
slaves and spirit-broken paupers; who are lorded over by a
moneyed and landed aristocracy, who have divided the gov-



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 177

ernment between them, and by a mixture of crime and er-
ror, in a century and a half, have induced a state of suffer-
ing and insecurity that bids fair to destroy the safety of the
people. The Bank of England was a means of introducing
the folly and wickedness of mortgaging the future happi-
ness and labor of posterity, and also the means of introduc-
ing among the industrious classes pauperism, crime, and
destitution; while the wealth of the country is drawn into
huge masses and placed in the grasp of Jews, loan-mongers,
gamblers in stocks, and every conceivable kind of swind-
ling. It was the means of changing a country of wealth and
happiness into a land of discontented, rebellious paupers,
kept quiet by a standing army. The people are crushed in
to the earth by a paper money aristocracy.

The sum borrowed to carry on the American Revolu-
tion was $695,000,000 ; this has been paid four times over
in interest. The whole sum is $3, 500,000,000. The
English wars in France cost $4,250,000,000, from 1793 to
1815. This sum has been paid twice as interest, which



Online LibraryWilliam DealtryThe laborer; a remedy for his wrongs; or, A disquisition on the usages of society → online text (page 14 of 33)