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In 1878 Mr. Carlisle said:
Mankind will be fortunate indeed if the annual production of gold and silver coin shall keep pace with the annual increase of population and industry.
I repeat this assertion. All of the gold and silver annually available for coinage, when converted into coin at the present ratio, will not, in my judgment, more than supply our monetary needs.
In supporting the act of 1890, known as the Sherman act, Senator Sherman, on June 5 of that year, said:
Under the law of February, 1878, the purchase of $2,000,000 worth of silver bullion a month has by coinage produced annually an average of nearly $3,000,000 per month for a period of twelve years, but this amount, in view of the retirement of the bank notes, will not increase our currency in proportion to our increasing population. If our present currency is estimated at $1,400,000,000, and our population is increasing at the ratio of 3 per cent. per annum, it would require $42,000,000 increased circulation each year to keep pace with the increase of population; but, as the increase of population is accompanied by a still greater ratio of increase of wealth and business. it was thought that an immediate increase of circulation might be obtained by larger purchases of silver bullion to an amount sufficient to make good the retirement of bank notes and keep pace with the growth of population. Assuming that $54,000,000 a year of additional currency is needed upon this basis, that amount is provided for in this bill by the issue of Treasury notes in exchange for bullion at the market price. If the United States then needed more than forty-two millions annually to keep pace with population and business, it now, with a larger population, needs a still greater annual addition; and the United States is only one nation among many. Our opponents make no adequate provision for the increasing monetary needs of the world.
In the second place, a change in the ratio is not necessary. Hostile legislation has decreased the demand for silver and lowered its price when measured by gold, while this same hostile legislation, by increasing the demand for gold, has raised the value of gold when measured by other forms of property.
We are told that the restoration of bimetallism would be a hardship upon those who have entered into contracts payable in gold coin, but this is a mistake. It will be easier to obtain the gold with which to meet a gold contract, when most of the people can use silver, than it is now when everyone is trying to secure gold.
The Chicago platform expressly declares in favor of such legislation as may be necessary to prevent, for the future, the demonetization of any kind of legal-tender money by private contract. Such contracts are objected to on the ground that they are against public policy. No one questions the right of legislatures to fix the rate of interest which can be collected by law; there is far more reason for preventing private individuals from setting aside legaltender law. The money which is by law made a legal tender, must, in the course of ordinary business, be accepted by ninety-nine out of every hundred persons. Why should the one-hundredth man be permitted to exempt himself from the general rule? Special contracts have a tendency to increase the demand for a particular kind of money, and thus force it to a premium. Have not the people a right to say that a comparatively few individuals shall not be permitted to derange the financial system of the nation in order to collect a premium in case they succeed in forcing one kind of money to a premium?
There is another argument to which I ask your attention. Some of the more zealous opponents of free coinage point to the fact that thirteen months must elapse between the election and the first regular session of the next Congress, and assert that during that time, in case people declare themselves in favor of free coinage, all loans will be withdrawn and all mortgages foreclosed. If these are merely prophecies indulged in by those who have forgotten the provision of the Constitution, it will be sufficient to remind them that the President is empowered to convene Congress in extraordinary session whenever the public good requires such action. If, in November, the people by their ballots declare themselves in favor of the immediate restoration of bimetallism, the system can be inaugurated within a few months.
If, however, the assertion that loans will be withdrawn and mortgages foreclosed is made to prevent such political action as the people may believe to be necessary for the preservation of their rights, then a new and vital issue is raised. Whenever it is necessary for the people as a whole to obtain consent from the owners of money and the changers of money before they can legislate upon financial questions, we shall have passed from a democracy to a plutocracy. But that time has not yet arrived. Threats and intimidation will be of no avail. The people who, in 1776, rejected the doctrine that kings rule by right divine, will not, in this generation, subscribe to the doctrine that money is omnipo
In conclusion, permit me to say a word in regard to international bimetallism. We are not opposed to an international agreement looking to the restoration of bimetallism throughout the world. The advocates of free coinage have on all occasions shown their willingness to co-operate with other nations in the reinstatement of silver, but they are not willing to await the pleasure of other governments when immediate relief is needed by the people of the United States, and they further believe that independent action offers better assurance of international bimetallism than servile dependence upon foreign aid. For more than twenty years we have invited the assistance of European nations, but all progress in the direction of international bimetallism has been blocked by the opposition of those who derive a pecuniary benefit from the appreciation of gold. How long must we wait for bimetallism to be brought to us by those who profit by monometallism? If the double standard will bring benefits to our people, who will deny them the right to enjoy those benefits? If our opponents would admit the right, the ability and the duty of our people to act for themselves on all public questions without the assistance and regardless of the wishes of other nations, and then propose the remedial legislation which they consider sufficient, we could meet them in the field of honorable debate; but, when they assert that this nation is helpless to protect the rights of its own citizens, we challenge them to submit the issue to a people whose patriotism has never been appealed to in vain.
We shall not offend other nations when we declare the right of the American people to govern themselves, and, without let or hindrance from without, decide upon every question presented for their consideration. In taking this position, we simply maintain the dignity of seventy million citizens who are second to none in their capacity for self-government.
The gold standard has compelled the American people to pay an ever
increasing tribute to the creditor nations of the world-a tribute which no one dares to defend. I assert that national honor requires the United States to secure justice for all its citizens as well as do justice to all its creditors. For a people like ours, blest with natural resources of surpassing richness, to proclaim themselves impotent to frame a financial system suited to their own needs is humiliating beyond the power of language to describe. We cannot enforce respect for our foreign policy so long as we confess ourselves unable to frame our own financial policy.
Honest differences of opinion have always existed, and ever will exist, as to the legislation best calculated to promote the public weal; but when it is seriously asserted that this nation must bow to the dictation of other nations and accept the policies which they insist upon, the right of self-government is assailed, and until that question is settled all other questions are insignificant.
Citizens of New York, I have traveled from the center of the continent to the seaboard that I might, in the very beginning of the campaign, bring you greeting from the people of the West and South and assure you that their desire is not to destroy but to build up. They invite you to accept the principles of a living faith rather than listen to those who preach the gospel of despair and advise endurance of the ills you have. The advocates of free coinage believe that, in striving to secure the immediate restoration of bimetallism, they are laboring in your behalf as well as in their own behalf. A few of your people may prosper under present conditions, but the permanent welfare of New York rests upon the producers of wealth. This great city is built upon the commerce of the nation and must suffer if that commerce is impaired. You cannot sell unless the people have money with which to buy, and they, cannot obtain the money with which to buy unless they are able to sell their products at remunerative prices. Production of wealth goes before the exchange of wealth; those who create must secure a profit before they have anything to share with others. You cannot afford to join the money changers in supporting a financial policy which, by destroying the purchasing power of the products of toil, must in the end discourage the creation of wealth.
I ask, I expect, your co-operation. It is true that a few of your financiers would fashion a new figure-a figure representing Columbia, her hands bound fast with fetters of gold and her face turned toward the East, appealing for assistance to those who live beyond the sea-but this figure can never express your idea of this nation. You will rather turn for inspiration to the heroic statue which guards the entrance to your city-a statue as patriotic in conception as it is colossal in proportions. It was the gracious gift of a sister republic and stands upon a pedestal which was built by the American people. That figure-Liberty enlightening the world-is emblematic of the mission of our nation among the nations of the earth. With a government which derives its powers from the consent of the governed, secures to all the people freedom of conscience, freedom of thought and freedom of speech, guarantees equal rights to all, and promises special privileges to none, the United States should be an example in all that is good, and the leading spirit in every movement which has for its object the uplifting of the human race.
As soon as I concluded, Mr. Sewall received his letter of notifica
tion, and replied in a brief speech which was well received. speech will appear in another chapter.
Mrs. Bryan and I were much amused the next morning by a newspaper article which attempted to describe her appearance during the delivery of the speech. It carried her through all the emotions, from ecstasy to despair. If the account had been founded upon fact it would have justified her in claiming pre-eminence among the artists in facial expression.
After the notification meeting we went to the balcony of the Bartholdi Hotel, where I spoke for a few moments to those who had been unable to gain entrance to Madison Square Garden. The following is an extract:
Some of your financiers have boasted that they favor gold, but you shall teach them that they must carry their ideas far enough to believe, not in gold, but in the golden rule. Our opponents have been threatening to organize a gold standard Democratic party, but be not afraid, you will search the pages of history in vain to find a battle ever won by an army of generals. They have not a private in their ranks. Now, my friends, I want you to set an example for your opponents which they have not set for you. They have said that they represented the respectable element of society. Teach them that a man's respectability cannot be proven by slandering every one who differs from him in opinion.
On the next day Mr. Sewall, Mrs. Bryan and I received callers at the Windsor Hotel. On Friday we took a run down to Coney Island and on our return overheard a fellow passenger on the boat very bitterly denouncing me. After he had exhausted language in expressing his contempt for me and my supporters he was introduced. Mrs. Bryan and I tried to assure him that no harm had been done by his candid expression of opinion, but he was so deeply mortified that he did not enjoy the remainder of the trip.
ON THE HUDSON.
ATURDAY morning we brought to a close our very pleasant
sojourn with Mr. St. John and his mother, and in company
with Mr. Sewall went up the Hudson to Irvington, to spend. the Sabbath with Mr. John Brisbane Walker. Mr. Walker's residence. is surrounded by splendid shade, and commands a beautiful view of the Hudson. Here for forty-eight hours we enjoyed a season of rest and recreation. During the afternoon Mr. Walker showed us through the building where his magazine, the Cosmopolitan, is published, and we had an opportunity to examine the publisher's art in its highest state of perfection.
Sunday morning General Samuel Thomas laid aside his aversion to silver, as well as his hostility to Democracy, and took us to his church, the First Presbyterian, where we listened to a sermon by the Rev. Dr. Ingham. In the afternoon, Mr. O. J. Smith, of the American Press Association, an old-time friend, called with his wife, and took us for a drive along the Hudson, through Sleepy Hollow, and to the grave of Washington Irving. This, our first view of Hudson river scenery, was much enjoyed. While at Mr. Walker's we made the acquaintance of Mr. W. R. Hearst, of the New York Journal, and Dr. Albert Shaw, of the Review of Reviews.
Although loth to leave so delightful a host and hostess, we were compelled to resume our journey Monday morning. Mr. Sewall went down to New York, and we accompanied him as far as Yonkers, where we boarded a Hudson river steamer. While waiting for the boat, some one asked for an autograph, and we had a chance to observe the effect of a precedent, for as soon as one request had been complied with another was made, until the entire time of waiting was occupied in the furnishing of autographs, and the work continued after the boat started until we were compelled to suspend it or miss the beauties of the ride. We were given a place in the pilot house, and had pointed out to us the various places of note along the river. West Point was especially interesting.
At Newburg a considerable crowd had gathered and a still larger one at Poughkeepsie, where we took the train for Barrytown. At the