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Let us not continue this conjurer's art, by which sixty cents shall discharge a debt of one hundred cents. I do not want industry, everywhere, to be thus crippled and wounded, and its wounds plastered over with legally authorized lies.
An Extract from General Garfield's speech upon the suspension and resumption of Specie Payments, before the Honest Money League of Chicago, January 2, 1879, was printed as follows:
Successful Resumption will greatly aid in bringing into the murky sky of our politics, what the signal service people call “clearing weather.” It puts an end to a score of controversies which have long vexed the public mind, and wrought mischief to business. It ends the angry contention over the difference between the money of the bond-holder and the money of the plow-holder. It relieves enterprising Congressmen of the necessity of introducing twenty-five or thirty bills a session to furnish the people with cheap money, to prevent gold-gambling, and to make custom duties payable in greenbacks. It will dismiss to the limbo of things forgotten, such Utopian schemes as a currency based upon the magic circle of interconvertibility of two different forms of irredeemable paper, and the schemes of a currency, “ based on the public faith,” and secured by “ all the resources of the nation,” in general, but upon no particular part of them. We shall still hear echoes of the old conflict, such as “the barbarism and cowardice of gold and silver,"' and the virtues of “fiat money;" but the theories which gave them birth will linger among us like belated ghosts, and soon find rest in the political grave of dead issues. All these will take their places in history alongside of the resolution of Varsittart, in 1811, that “ British paper had not fallen, but gold
had risen in value, and the declaration of Castlereagh, in the House of Commons, that “the money standard is a sense of value in reference to currency as compared with commodities,” and the opinion of another member, who declared that the standard is neither gold nor silver, but something set up in the imagination to be regulated by public opinion.”
When we have fully awakened from these vague dreams, public opinion will resume its old channels, and the wisdom and experience of the fathers of our constitution will again be acknowledged and followed.
We shall agree, as our fathers did, that the yardstick shall have length, the pound must have weight and the dollar must have value in itself, and that neither length, nor weight, nor value can be created by the fiat of law. Congress, relieved of the arduous task of regulating and managing all the business of our people, will address itself to the humbler but more important work of preserving the public peace, and managing wisely the revenues and expenditures of the government. Industry will no longer wait for the legislature to discover easy roads to sudden wealth, but will begin again to rely upon labor and frugality, as the only certain road to riches. Prosperity, which has long been waiting, is now ready to come. If we do not rudely repulse her, she will soon revisit our people, and will stay until another periodical craze shall drive her away.
HIS PRESENT POSITION.
ELECTION AS SENATOR. -A SCHOLAR. — AN ORATOR. — A POOR MAN. - WINS THE RESPECT OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. - SPEECH BEFORE
THE OHIO LEGISLATURE. - THE CHICAGO CONVENTION.- GENERAL GARFIELD'S SPEECH. — HIS NOMINATION. – HIS LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE. — CONCLUSION.
This volume appears at a time when the subject of this biography is most prominently before the American people, as a candidate for the office of President of the nation. It is but a few months since he was elected to the United States Senate by the unanimous vote of his party in the Ohio legislature. Thus, while he has not seen active service in the Senate, he has been promoted in the political ranks, step by step, until now the highest office is also offered.
Coming thus to the close of this book, it is fitting that a view should here be taken of his present social and political position. As a scholar, he holds a high rank in our nation, and his talents as a thinker, writer and orator, have long been recognized by our greatest philosophers, teachers, and essayists.
He is a poor man, and never was in affluent cir