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William Dealtry.

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makes the amount to be $12,750,000,000. All this was
used to destroy the happiness of mankind and the princi-
ples of liberty. They were gigantic efforts of the privi-
leged classes to prevent the amelioration of society, and to
render mankind the eternal victims of oppression. Those
who have contributed this amount went hungry and naked.
The banking system was the reconquest of England to a
worse condition of slavery than that of the feudal ages.

It is a truth, the issues of paper, gold, and silver money
raise the necessaries of life, without giving the worker any
more abilities to produce. The first loan increases the
price of provisions, and the second loan has to be larger to
to purchase them. The paying out of this loan makes the
necessaries of life still higher. Loans and necessaries go



178 THE LABORER;

up at a fearful ratio, increasing the wages of the soldier and
producer. This expanding of the currency has been com-
pared to blowing up a bubble till it bursts, then comes the
misery. Mankind have invented the funding system, or the
putting away paper mon'ey at interest. This may be an
evil, it is probably the least of many evils. It would be a se-
rious evil to get ten dollars for a day's labor and then pay i-t
out for a bushel of wheat. It would require large bags to
contain the money. It is a serious evil to create a large
public debt with an expanded currency, and pay it with a
contracted one.

In 1716, John Law started the Bank of France, " To put
a stop to usury, to facilitate exchanges, to increase manu-
factures, and to enable people to pay more easily their
taxes." These were the motives this man put forth to get
the labor of others. In 1718, the king bought the bank.
To save this bank from demand for specie, the king forbid
the making of silver plate, the payment of debts in specie,
all rents, taxes, and customs were to be paid in paper
money. Fines, imprisonment, and confiscation, was en-
forced against those who had in their possession more than
500 silver livres.

The paper fabric fell. Its fall ruined thousands and re-
duced them to beggary and want; and well it might, by
means of this paper money. The king got $420,000,000
out of their property in the space of four years. To absorb
this paper money, pensions were granted to run twenty and
forty years. Those who had these annuities became pub-
lic paupers, and lived on the labor of others. It is said
plenty of money makes good times. Then these French
men ought to have had good times. They gave their labor
for paper and got state paupers to keep. This money was
used to find gold in Louisiana, and found cities there.



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 179

During the French revolution there was issued paper
money, secured by the property of the church and exiled
nobles. When the English and French engaged in war,
the English counterfeited a great many bales of this money,
and caused it to be circulated in France ; the government
would not redeem it.

The Bank of the United States was started in 1781, with
a capital of gold and silver to the amount of $400,000. It
was owing to this bank that the war of the revolution was
carried to a successful issue. The government got Joans
from it to the amount of $200,000,000. This bank was
re-chartered in 1790 and 1816. In 1836 it was vetoed by
Andrew Jackson. Its capital, by its last charter, was the
sum of $35,000,000, of which the United States contri-
buted $7,000,000.

It becomes the laborer to get a clear idea of what capital
is. It is not the duty of the laborer to take the definition -
of this word from the princely merchant or banker, who
finds it to his interest to mislead the laborer, and get his
surplus labor away from him. Capital, was in olden times, an
accumulation of food and clothes to consume while men
built their houses or engaged in any useful pursuit. This is
still capital, and the creator of it can share it with others, on
condition they help him. If there was no paper money to
get a railroad, men would have to go and hunt for silver
and gold, and pay the builders of the railroad with this
when coined. If these miners concluded that if they built
the road with their own hands, it would be the same as to
seek gold. The labor spent on the road is equivalent to
labor spent on the silver and gold. In the period of a gold
and silver currency the State built all great works by taxes,
and applied the profits to the expenses of the State. Since
the art of printing has been discovered, and causes have led.



180 THE LABORER;

to paper money, men can get railroads, canals, bridges, and
turnpikes for nearly nothing. Men, when they want to
own these things, pledge State debts and mortgages, to the
State authorities, who give the beautiful money to them in
bales. This money costs two dollars a thousand, and it is
exchanged for the mechanic's skill, and the farmer's toil,
at the ratio of two to a thousand. It probably takes half
a day to print this $1,000, and it buys 500 days' labor from
the railroad workers, who will get 250 days' labor from the
farmer and mechanic for it.

Canals were not used in England before the year 1760.
The Duke of Bridgewater conceived the idea of digging a
canal to carry coals into the city of Manchester. He got
a bank note plate ; and the money, when printed, read,
"The Duke of Bridgewater will pay this on demand."
Those who dug the canal got the notes, these were taken
by the farmer and merchant, who believed the duke's pro-
mises, so they let the laborer have real capital food and rai-
ment. When the canal came into use the profits redeemed
the notes, and the duke and his family had a means of sup-
port forever. He did not furnish the capital; he only used
cunning to get others to build this canal. The opinion
that he was rich built the canal.

Before this time coal was carried in wagons, and on the
backs of asses. It was a strange sight to see a long train of
these little creatures, having on their backs a bushel of
coal. The duke, by his enterprise, sent hundreds of men
and boys to other pursuits, perhaps to create luxuries. It
would have been far more rational had the authorities of
Manchester issued the money and made the canal, the per-
sons who fed and clothed the laborers would have got some
of the profits. This would consign to the workshop and
plow, the duke and his family, and many tax-gatherers.



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 181

In this manner railroads, bridges, and turnpikes can be
obtained by the State becoming like a pawnbroker, to re-
ceive property as pledges, and to issue money on it. In this
way a person can become twice as rich as he was before.
This makes the condition of men very unequal one part
toil hard to minister to the idleness and luxury of the other.
Suppose five persons each pledge 20,000 worth of inter-
est-bearing property, with the comptroller; they receive the
sum of $100,000, which was the plan in 1860, now it is
to pledge government securities, which bear interest while
in* pledge. If one of the persons who has received the
$20,000 were to build a bridge with the money, his family
would have a means of support forever. The same with a
turnpike or a railroad.

It is the duty of society to own these, and get their reve-
nues. If society can get a revenue from these sources,
it will send the tax-gatherer to more useful work, and it will
do the same to those who live on these profits. The
United States banks have carried thousands from affluence
to poverty. Many a person has got his father's patrimony,
and then pledged it to some bank ; the speculation not prov-
ing successful, the estate was lost. The natural employ-
ment of man is to cultivate the earth >banks allure him
from it.

Hon. S. P. Chase, when governor of Ohio, in his message,
said : " No system of currency can insure complete protec-
tion against speculation, debt, and revulsion. Credit cur-
rency in the United States is supplied by banks in the form
of notes circulating as money. The number of banks, in
1858, exceeded 1,400; their circulation is $214,778,822;
deposits, $230,358,352; capital, $370,686 ; discounts, $684-
456,887; and specie, $60,000,000. It needs but a glance
at this statement to perceive that a currency so expanded
17



1 82 THE LABORER;

must greatly stimulate hazardous speculation, and tend to
financial disorder. The credit currency must become, in
part or all together, incontrovertible into coin."

The capital of these banks is in the hands of the comp-
troller, and is earning six per cent, interest ; add this interest
to the interest the discounts earn, and add $5,000,000 to
the two interests, and you have $40,000,000, the probable
annual cost of the paper money of this land. The first
sum is what the banks gain by their money getting des-
troyed, burnt, and wrecked. It is said a Lowell factory girl
can make 1,000 yards of cotton cloth in a week; hence, if
the bankers, their families, and dependents were to become
workers, they could make for this people 4,000,000,000
yards of cotton cloth.

Said Helvetius to Frederick the Great, in alluding to some
petitions for monopolies : "Sire, you need not trouble your-
self to read them through ; they all speak the same language.
We beseech your Majesty to grant us leave to rob your
people of such a sum ; in consideration of which, we engage
to pay you a share of the pillage."

Professor Vethake in his book on Political Economy,
when speaking of bank expansions and contractions, says :
"Profits, too, made in this manner can not be classed with
those which result from ordinary gaming. They are pre-
cisely of the same nature with the winnings of the gambler,
who uses false dice, or marked cards, unknown to his vic-
tim , and the act of obtaining them is deserving of no milder
epithet than that of swindling or robbery"

In 1831, Mr Stephen Simpson, Cashier of the United
States Bank, published the "Working-Man's Manual,"
in which the evils of banking are well portrayed. Page 48
says: "It is a singular infatuation, prevailing among Polit-
ical Economists, that the scarcity of food that exists among



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 183

the laboring people is attributable to the excess of popu-
lation, while the palpable fact was staring them in the face,
that the excess of the rich demonstrated the falsity of .the
hypothesis.

" The stinted measure of the wages of labor may be just-
ly termed the evil principle of the age. If we substitute
capital, banks, and monopolies, for the barons, lords, and
bishops of the feudal time, we shall realize a juncture so
precisely similar, as to carry out in full an illustration of the
abuses under which the sons of labor now suffer oppression
and injustice. But the law.s have made it a just and meri-
torious act, that capitalists shall combine to strip the man
of labor of his earnings, and reduce him to a dry crust and
a gourd of water. Thus does power invert justice, and
derange the order of nature. He who sows, shall reap ; he
who builds, shall inhabit ; he who produces, shall possess !
This is the dictate of nature, justice, reason, instinct and
common sense. This instinct is crushed by the power of
law and capital. Why should the working classes be
stripped of the fruits of their labor ? Simply because they
are defenceless, and custom has, from time immemorial,
classed them with slaves and servants."

In Spark's u Life of Washington," is a letter to Thos.
Stone, in which the General says : " I do not scruple to de-
clare that, if I had a voice in your legislature, it would
have been given decidedly against a paper emission. The
wisdom of man, in my humble opinion, can not devise a
plan by which the credit of paper money would be long
supported ; consequently depreciation keeps pace with the
quantity of the emission, and articles for which it is ex-
changed rise in a greater ratio than the sinking value of the
money. An evil equally great is the door it immediately
opens for speculation, by which the least designing, and,



184 THE LABORER;

perhaps, most valuable part of community are preyed upon
by the more knowing and crafty speculators."

John Q. Adams says: "As to bankers, there is but little
difference between them and the counterfeiter. If I should
give any preference, the counterfeiter is the best, for neither
of them ever expected nor intended to pay their notes.
The banker, more bold and daring, robs the people under
cover and pretense of the law ; the counterfeiter, more dif-
fident and unassuming, robs the people without law."

Daniel Webster, in 1812, in the U. S. Senate, said:
u Of all the contrivances for cheating the laboring classes
of mankind, none is so effectual as that which deludes with
paper money ! It is the most perfect expedient ever in-
vented for fertilizing the rich man's field by the sweat of
the poor man's brow."

Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to J. Taylor, said: "The
system of banking we have both equally and ever repro-
bated. I contemplate it as a blot left in our institutions,
which, if not corrected, will end in their destruction, which
is already hit by gamblers in corruption, and is sweeping
away in its progress the fortunes and morals of our citizens.
And I sincerely believe with you, that bank establishments
are more dangerous than standing armies."

Andrew Jackson, in a letter to M. Dawson, in 1840,
said : "A national paper currency is a great curse to any
people, and a curse to the laborer of any country, for its de-
preciation falls on the working classes."

Wm. H. Harrison, in a speech made at Dayton, said : " I
am not a bank man ; I was once, and they cheated me out
of every dollar I had placed in their hands."

Wm. Pitt said: "Let the Americans adopt their funding
System, and go on with their banking institutions, and their
boasted independence will be a mere phantom."



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 185

It may seem strange to many why American liberty is
imaginary; it is so, unless it means every man to get all he
can of his neighbor's labor, and keep it. It is self-evident
that the man who is possessed of abundant riches has not
earned them, and the causes that made him rich will make
riches universal, if men will turn the money into other
channels. We say of a slave he is not a freeman, because
others get his toil, and leave him a very small share.

What shall we say of a community that gives a few the
privilege of issuing millions of money, which gets the labor
of others when issued, and the people pay every year for
its use 40,000,000 ? This is a large sum and would find
80,000 homes at a cost of $500 each. This was brought
about in this manner. Soon after the Revolution, the State
Legislatures gave bank charters to a favored few at the ex-
pense of the many. The banks were required by law to
have a third of their issues in gold. Every ten years there
have been "runs" on the bank. When the gold was gone
then came suspension, which means merchants and others
who owe the banks must come and pay. The merchant
sells his soap, sugar, hats, shoes, and clothes for the sus-
pended money, which he is glad to get. The people are
glad to get these things. They are what they work for. So-
ciety has now no money, which brings misery to the daily
laborer, to those who are in debt, or have taxes to pay.

The Guernsey Times says : " In Muskingum the sheriff,
in 1842, sold at auction a wagon for $5.50; ten hogs at
six and a quarter cents each ; two horses (said to be worth
sixty dollars each) for four dollars ; two cows for one dol-
lar each ; and a barrel of sugar for $1.50. In Pike County,
Missouri, the sheriff sold three horses for 1.50 each; five
cows, two steers, and a calf for $3.25; twenty sheep for
$2.70 5 twenty-four hogs for twenty-five cents ; eight hogs-



1 86 THE LABORER;

y

heads of tobacco for $5.00 ; three stacks of hay for seventy-
five cents." Henry Clay tells us, in 1837 the people lost
in four years by bank failures and depreciation of property
782,000,000, or one-sixth of the property of the Union.
The losses of the country, in 1858, by bank failures was
nearly the same. By the periodical revulsions we have had
for ninety years, or the losses or changes that have occurred,
one part of the community has lost $2,000,000,000. To
make this subject plainer, we will suppose a person has prop-
erty to the amount of $1,000, and he owes $100; when
his property is sold at auction, and the property sells for
$100, it involves a great loss. The person who purchased
the property, may have earned his money by 100 days' labor;
the other has losjt what may have cost him a 1,000 days'
labor. The human mind can not tell or describe how this
land has been blighted by banks of discount, which tempt
men to run in debt. To the bankers, for encouraging these
treacherous institutions, the people will have paid in ninety
years $1,000,000,000.

Suppose a laborer earns in one year $500, and he saves
half of it for sickness and age, in two years he has saved
$500 ; this will keep him two years. If by an inundation of
paper money the commodities of life become twice as high,
he has only what will keep him one year. This man has
labored a day, and he ought to exchange it so as to get a
day's labor from another laborer. To prevent this is an in-
jury. The issues of the late war have affected those who
live by incomes. The money received from interest has
not purchased half as much as before. The plan of many
of the Democrats is to issue more paper money, to pay the
national debt. This will enable a person to pay his debts
with half the labor. A person sells two barrels of flour for
ten dollars, and lends the money, when he gets his money,



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 187

back again it will only purchase one barrel of flour. We
can judge a person if he is rich by the position he assumes.
If a man has plenty of money at interest, he will want paper
and gold money alike in value, so that he can purchase
much with the interest. If a person is in debt he will favor
a flood of paper money so that he can pay his debts easily
At the present time (1868), the currency is all paper, and it
is to be hoped paper money will never again be founded on
gold. The past shows how dangerous is a currency based
on gold, it rises and falls, causing the fortunes and happi-
ness of men be very uncertain.

What better money can we make than by pledging houses
and lands to the authorities. It can be well secured and save
runs on the banks, and then we will have a uniform cur-
rency. In Franklin's boyhood books and papers were not
plentiful. A favorite way to obtain knowlege was by de-
bate. Franklin started this question : u Is the emission of
paper money safe?" In 1729, he wrote an essay on paper
money. The State of Pennsylvania acted on his thoughts;
and issued ,15,000, then ,30,000. In 1736, the assem-
bly issued <8oo,ooo, or $4,000,000. The money was
loaned to the borrowers from a loan office.

Five persons were made trustees of the loan office, under
whose care and direction the bills or notes were printed ;
they were of various denominations, from twenty shillings
to one shilling ; this created no necessity for much silver
money. The trustees took an oath, and gave security for
the due and faithful execution of their office; they were to
lend out the bills on real security for double that amount.
The borrowers were to pay the sum in sixteen years, one
sixteenth was to be paid every year with interest ; the prin-
cipal was loaned out again to others, and the interest was
applied to the expenses of the State. The trustees were



i88 THE LABORER;

taken from different parts of the State, and were to con-
tinue in office four years, and to account to the committee
of the assembly. At the expiration of the term they were to
give up all moneys and securities into the hands of their
successors before their bonds and securities could be dis-
charged. This money was in use up to 1774.

A writer of this period says : u Paper money thus lent
upon interest will create gold and silver in principal, while
the interest becomes a resource that pays the charges of
the government. This currency is the stream which con-
verts all into gold that is washed by it. It is upon this prin-
ciple that the wisdom and virtue of the assembly of Penn-
sylvania established an office for the emission of paper
money by loans."

Adam Smith says: "The government of Pennsylvania
without amassing any treasure, invented a method of lend-
ing, not money indeed, but what is equivalent to money to
its subjects, by advancing to private people, at interest, and
upon land security, paper bills of credit, and transferable
from hand to hand like bank notes, and declared by an act
of assembly to be a legal tender in all payments. It raised
a moderate revenue toward defraying an annual expense of
$22,000. Pennsylvania was always moderate in her emis-
sions of paper money, which never sunk below the value
of coin."

Franklin states that, "The colony of Massachusetts
gave bills of credit, bearing interest, for which the people
loaned coin, and afterward passed the bills. He calls it con-
venient money, bearing interest while in the pocket, and
when passed the interest was calculated."

The citizens of Pittsburg, in 1847, or near tnat time,
built water-works ; the corporation got a note-plate and
printed money, which paid the workmen for their labor



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 189

and circulated as money. These notes were the same in
appearance as other bank notes; there was written on them,
" The city will receive this one dollar in payment for taxes."
If the water-works cost $100,000, and capitalists had built
them, they would have done it with credit paper money. For
the use of this capital the citizens would pay -$7,000 an-
nually, and pay it for generations till the principal was paid.
This $100,000 cost to print it $200, and why should the
citizens of this city pay annually $7,000? Are not 100,000
citizens as rich as 100 bankers, and can they not give se-
curity to their own money ? Why should these industrious
iron-workers be guilty of the absurd folly of keeping a par-
cel of fellows in idleness for supplying some paper money ?
These notes could be carried in to pay water-rents, and be
destroyed, or they can be re-issued to pay teachers or city
officers. In this way the city can have money.

In olden times cities and governments did more for the
people than is done now. Men are degenerating. The
city of Hamburg, to maintain its poor, opened a pawn-bro-
ker's shop and took goods as pledges. The city, in one year
made $160,000. The sale of unredeemed goods increased
this fund.

If we had such patriots as Franklin, men who loved the
country, who had some regard for the humble poor, and
who did not look on them as things to live on, such men
would give us a currency that would not fatten idlers to
riot on the labor of others. Why should not the cur-
rency pay the expenses as it has done ? Good men yet are
to be found ; they are modest, unassuming, and never seek
for office. There are many who would serve the State
with pride and fidelity as loan commissioners.

What a happiness it would be if the hard-working, wood-
chopping, land-clearing farmer could borrow money, on easy



190 THE LABORER;

terms. How he could furnish his farm ! There is an other
source of secure and profitable lending it is the towns that
want to make improvements, and can give the taxes as se-
curity. These two land and taxes a great State can loan
on with great safety.

The county of .Miami, State of Ohio, had, in 1854, made
improvements to the amount of $94,000. First, a union
school, at a cost of $13,000 ; then a poor-house, at the cost
of $20,000 ; then a jail, at the cost of $30,000 ; and then
another union school-house, at a cost of $33,000. These
improvements were made in the space of ten years, for
which the officers agreed to give as interest $9,400. This
interest would keep twenty men in idleness. If the State
had loaned its notes to this county it would have the in-
terest to pay its expenses. In 1857, tne authorities of the
town of Cohoes built water works at a cost of $60,000, for
the use of which they agreed to give annually $4,200, and
give it for twenty years, the length of time agreed on. In
this time the citizens of Cohoes will have paid $84,000, in
interest, which will make the water-works cost $144,000.
It would have been wise to let the State have this in-
terest on notes it could issue. It would be wiser still to
have built them a little every year.

In one year the United States had a surplus revenue. It



Online LibraryWilliam DealtryThe laborer; a remedy for his wrongs; or, A disquisition on the usages of society → online text (page 15 of 33)