Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana on September 1, 1896 · Page 7
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September 1, 1896

Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana · Page 7

Logansport, Indiana
Issue Date:
Tuesday, September 1, 1896
Page 7
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A REVIEW OF PROCESSES BY WHICH RELATIVE VALUES ARE ESTABLISHED FOR COMMERCIAL USES, A Plain Statement of Facts Concerning "the Money of the Constitution," by Hon. Addison C. Harris of Indianapolis. , Upoii the establishment of any government one of its first duties is to pro- Vide standards for the measurement of things. So, immediately upon tho organization of tho state of Indiana, the legislature in 1818 passed alaw requiring tho commissioners of every connty to pro- euro standards of measure forlength, viz: one measure of one foot; also one measure of three foet, or 80 inches, or ouo yard; also a half bushel measure, which shall contain 1.0751-5 solid inches; also one gallon measure, which shall contain 281 solid inches: also one set of -weights, commonly culled avoirdupois weights. These standards are kept by the county auditor, and any question arising as to the correctness of any measure of length, weight, bushel, gallon or other measure is tested by the county standard. So a brass troy pound weight procured by tho United States minister in London in 1827 for tho use of the mints and kept at the mint in Philadelphia, is declared by congress to "bo tho standard troy pound of tho mint of the United States conformably to which tho coinage thereof shall be regulated." If tho lav/ establishes a standard which in time proves to bo erroneous, tho government should change it. Thus, in Indiana, as the product of wheat and other 'articles greatly increased in amount, it was found inconvenient to do the business by the half bushel. Indeed, it would bo impossible to measure ! all our wheat into and out of a railroad • train or grain elevator in this manner. . And so in 1852 the legislature provided a more exact and convenient standard than the half bushel measure, and basing the law upon the common experience of farmers and grain buyers, tho ibnshel of wheat was made thereafter to : be measured by GO pounds avoirdupois. So,.also, corn, potatoes and many other articles were by'the same law measured by so niany pounds. Experience soon showed that tho standard fixed for some thinfts was too high and so the law was correct. For example: In 1803 tho legislature declared that 70 pounds of home mined coal should make a bushel, while it required 80 pounds if mined ^outside the state. Of course such a standard was soon found to lead to confusion, and in 1885 the law was changed malting 80 pounds of coal, wherever mined, a bushel. Theso standards of measure have been iettledand fixed by tho common experience of our .people. .A pound measure of the bushel "is more correct than a hoop measure filled from two qualities of wheat, or with large and then with small apples, potatoes-or the like. " Does anyone wish to go back to the old standard of hoop, measure and buy and sell com-, pats and Bother articles of produce by measuring in a half bushel? •Without more, "then,.by, the law of this' state, we' hava.established (1) the measure of "length (the yard): (2) the : measure" of capacity (the bushel, gallon, etc.); (8) the'measure of weight (pound, ton, 'etc.) r : - Standnril of Value. In order to have honest and correct business, there muat.be another stand- ard.of measurement;—that is, of ; value. This is commonly, called money. . Upon the establishment of the United States the''standards-of weight, length and'capacity were uniform throughout the States: : Not so' as to money. The Spanish coined silver-dollar was in general use. The director of the mint in his report lor 1805. at page. 17, says .at that time "the Spanish dollar equalled flve shill : ings in 'Georgia, eight shillings in. North Carolina and New York, six shillings in .Virginia, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, seven shillings six pence in Maryland, Delaware,-Pennsylvania aiid New .Jersey." Besides this, the coins of many other nations were in circulation in thie country. •' < ' Before the adoption of our present constitution the congress felt the necessity of a uniform standard of value, and on July 0, 1785, enacted as follows: "Resolved, That the money unit of the United States of American be one dollar. "Resolved, That the American coins be of copper of which 200 shall pass for one pound. . ••Resolved, That tho several _pieces •hallincrease in a decimal ratio." But the congress did'not then undertake to say how much metaLshould be put in a.dollar. .. -.- • . . On Aug.'8, 1780, .congress furtnerre- •olved that' the dollar should contain 875.04' grain* of pure silver. „, Al£0. ''that two pounds, and a quarter avoirdupois; weight of copper shall constitute 100 cents." . '".'.,. They also provided for gold coinage.; As yet the'government had no mint-, At the instance of .Washington,'a constitutional convention met which framed our present constitution which : weutintO' force on'March. <t, 1789.,; .,..,, > .,, ;::'.;.':, The continental money of the.United States had become, entirely worthless,. and- the'Tlttie : specie-in circulation'was. largely the'worh'out and refuse coinage of various countries: -The •convention felt -it-was .-necessary. to:'provide-flrst ; a uniform. standard of value lor the, Cation,' and to secure this; second, to/pro- • hiblt the states from making different standards of value. This principle is expressed in two provisions of tue constitution: (1) "Congress shall have power to coin money and regulate tho value thereof," (2) "No state shall make anything but gold and silver com a tender in payment of debts." There is no provision in the constitution making silver the standard of value, or authorizing congress to make a standard of value more out of silver than out of gold or any other metal. Tho first coins minted were of copper. Nickel is used. Bronze coins have been used. For 15 years the greenback was the standard of value. It is well not to forget these things, for thereby many have come to boloivo that tho constitution requires congress to use both gold and silver in making national coins. And others in ignorance assort that tho constitution .makes tho silver dollar alone tho standard of value. When the constitution went into effect we had no mint. Washington being unanimously chosen president, selected Hamilton as tho secretary of tho treasury, and congress soon called upon him fov a report concerning n mint and money. This he mudc to tho house of representatives on the 28th of January. 1791. As to the pieces to be coined, he said: "Tho following, it is conceived, will be sufficient in tho commencement; ouo gold pieco equal in woiglit^und value to 10 units or dollars. One gold piece equal to the tenth part of the former and which shall be a unit or dollar. One silver piece which shall also be a nnit or dollar; one silver piece which shall bo in weight and value a tenth part of the silver unit or dollar; one copper pieco which shall be of tho value of one-hundredth part of a dollar;: one other copper pieco which shall be half of tho value of the former." It will be noticed that he recommended the minting of both a gold dollar and a silver dolliir, and he goes on ' to say that, according to his best judgment at that time, the relative values throughout the world of gold and silver metal, pound for pound', was as 15 to 1, and recommended substantially that tho weight of the metals pure should bo upon tho same ratio. As both gold and silver in the pure state ore soft, it hus always been found necessary to put copper or some other alloy in the metals to render thorn hnrd and fit for uso as coins. Congress took the matter np and on the 2nd of April, 1792, passed our first minting act. One.sectiou declares: "And be it further enacted that the proportional value of. gold to silver in all coins which shall by law be current as money within the United States, shall bo as 15 to 1. according to quantity in weight of pure gold'or'pure silver; that is to say, every 15 pounds weight of pure silver shall bo of equal value in all payments with o,no pound weight of pure gold, and so in proportion as to any greater or lessor quantities of the respective metals." The act also provided-f or the coinage of gold,and silver pieces.. The dollar piece in silver was reduced from the first resolution' of congress, which fixed it at 875.64 grains to 871^ grains; and tho gold dollar piece was raised from 246.863 grains to 347>g grains. Thus, congress for six years and more was trying to .ascertain what was the relative value.of the two metals. Of course they knew, as everybody knows, that a part of the gold and silver mined is not coined, but is applied to other uses; and. so its yalue.in the market depends, like any other commodity, upon the supply and demand. . ' Hamilton anticipated that in time it was likely to happen that the value of the metals would change, and with almost prophetic words in his report ho said: ' • -, ' ... "As long as gold, either from its in trinsic superiority as a metal, from its greater rarity, or from the prejudices of mankind retains so considerable a preeminence : in value over silver us it has hith«to : had, an active consequence of this seems to 'bo that its condition will bo more- stationary. , The revolutions, therefore, whigh may take place in the comparative value, of gold and silver will be changes in the state .of tho latter rather than of the former." As said, at that time Hamilton and congress ; thought that one pound of gold was equal to 15 pounds of silver. In timo this 'came 'to be incorrect. So, in 1834, congress, believing that one pound of gold would buy 18 pounds of silver, changed the quantity of gold in tho gold coin accordingly, making the ratio 10 to 1 (exactly 1'to 15.088.) , The weight of copper in tho coins has been changed timo .and time again, and in 1853 the weight of-silver in a half dollar and other smaller pieces was also changed'to keep, the small coins in the country. And in 1873 the amount, of silver in a dollar was raised, making the trade dollar. .'.--,.. •! It is thus seen, first, that the constitution does not make silver the standard of value. • Second;^ the constitution does not declare what .quantity of .metal, of gold or. silyer, ..shall -;make ,-a .dollar. Third/that the congress of .-the. United States from time to, time .has ..changed the amount of "silver,;.gold 'and copper required' to' bei'putin'the various ^coins. i .;••••: . : The iulTer DoiinTi ;' ..' .' If, two! yardsticks of ''different length* 'were in'use throughout the'oonntry and it- should-bev.fonnd :that -forr'a long .period rofjttane one-was used, a; very jjreat many times more than the other, it would be ea§7 to iar PT which yard itick tho business of 'the country had >een done. ' • By the same token, if it be a fact that the silver dollar has never been in genera] circulation among the people as a measure of value, itvwould seem to.fol- ow that its iiouuse would show it had lot been tho real business standard. What aro tho facts?' During the 14 years next following tho establishment of tho mint there, was coined in all of single silver dollar pieced only 1,483,457. Thou Thomas Jefferson, as president, through Madison, his secretary of state, stopped their coinage by the following letter: DEPARTMENT OF STATE, May 1, 1508. SIR—In consequence of a representation k 'rom the director of the bank of the United States that considerable purchases have been miido of dollars coined lit the mint for the purpose of exporting them, and as it is probable further purchases and exports will be made, the president .directs that all the silver to be coined at the mint shall be of small denomination, so that the value of the largest pieces shall not exceed half a dollar. JAMES MADISO::. To Robert Patterson, Esq., Director of the Mint. This stopped the coinage of silver dollars, and not a single silver dollar was coined from thence until 1840, except 1,000 silver dollars in 183G and 300 m 1839. (Mint Report 1895 p. 286.) After the discovery of gold in California, by the act of March 3, 1849, gold dollar pieces were coined, so that up to 1800 there had been coined at the mint 17,140,888 gold one dollar pieces; whereas, from the foundation of the mint up to that same date, there had boon coined only 4,144,070 silver dollar pieces. As said above, the coinage laws were changed in 1853, so as to provide for loss silver in the fractional silver pieces. But tho coinage of the silver dollar was not destroyed. The mint report shows that for tho seven years, from 1853 to 18CO, only 1,587,070 silver dollar pieces were coined, whereas during the same timo there was coined in gold hi all $185,508,- 57G. It is apparent, therefore, that up to the time of the war gold and not silver was chieflj tho money metal doing tho business o^tho country and was practically the standard of value. Does the reader, if of adult age in 1860, remember of over having seen an American silver dollar before the war? The mint report shows that from the foundation of the government up to 1873 there had been coined of silver dollars only $8,081,288; -whereas the gold coinage aggregated $6i6,835,627. So. that excludiug\the fractional silver currency from tho ^beginning of the government until 187), substantially $75 were coined in gold tc every one dollar silver pieco at the mini If anyone asks how i\ is that our silver fractional money,'\^iich carry less than their equal portion \f pure silver in a standard dollar, aro takei and received at full value, the answer ii found in the act of congress which declares: "Bo it enacted that the hjlder of any of the silver coins of the United States of smaller denominations chta $1, may, on presentation of tho same \ sums of $20 or any multiple thereof at\he office of the treasurer or any assistant treasurer of the United States, receiv\ there- for-lawful money of tho United Sites.'" But for this provision these Wall coins would pass at their actual mVket or metal value, like the Canadian qW tors and the Mexican dollars. V|. After the close of the rebellion tho adof tion of tho constitutional amendment! and the perpetuity of the Republic was! settled,'congress began to take steps to\ return to specie payment. The coinage ^ laws were found in very many acts scattered through .the. statutes of the United States. They wero codified and revised and passed as a new act Feb. 13, 1878. The provision touching, silver coin was as follows: , "The silver coins of tho United States 'shall be « trade dollar, o half dollar, a quarter dollar, a dime, and the weight of the trade. dollar shall be 420 grains troy." : . • ••-:• ' . It omitted the silver .dollar of 371}£ grains..., : ,. .-,, ..... •' ". • •.• •:. Two years afterward congress passed what is commonly known as the resumption act to.go into, effect on. Jan. 1, 1879. Everyone knows that one of the political parties of the time resisted the passage of. the act and in connection therewith demanded, the- recoihing of the silver dollar. And so, on Feb.-28, 1878, nearly a year before : resumption day, congress passed what is commonly known as the Bland bill, providing ill. effect that .the' secretary of the treasury.. should pur- chaso silver bullion at the market-price, not' loss than 12,000,000 worth per month nor more .than' $4,000,000, .worth per month, and' coin the same into silver dollar pieces. -.!'., . . It was known to everybody that the people would not take this into general circulation', and so it was provided in effect that the.holders of the dollars m'lght deposit thorn, with any treasurer or assistant treasurer of the United States and receive. a certificate for the number deposited. These are our silver certificates. If anyone believes that the silver dollar authorized' by this act is noc legal tender, ho is in error, because thefirst'Sectionlof the act declares that the .silver so bought ."shall be coined at the several mints of theUnited States(into) silver '. dollars of the .weight of 412>rf grains troy'of standard silver * * and shall be a legal tender .at their nominal value for' all debts 'and dues, public and private, except where other- wise'expressly stipulated in a contract." Under this act there was coined in the mint8.a76,205 1 ,72a sil.ver : dollar.pieces.' ; Atrtna/tune-.oi tne' passage':'of .tile- Bland law, the.,amonirt,!ofpBrey6ilver 'reqnired.itb.coin a silver., dollar could: be. ' bought;' in' the!, market,,for.-89 ,cents. ; Many b'elifjved. that the Blan,d law would, raise the.price. Four teen year&experience, proved'ttie' contrary'. Silyer continued to Mdown; A ana sd'Mr. -Bland'and, his; ' friends said'.if the 'government-;would• practically take..-allof:the:Aiherican prov- duct,,it would put. theories back.to par? Tlite .proposition took the shapejofcvrhat ! to commonly balled the Sherman law, nused on July 14, 1890. This aot re-. quired the secretary of the treasury to purchase 4,'500,00''i ounces at the market price monthly :mcl not coin the same, but issue treasury notes thereon, which notes themselves were made a legal tender in payments of all debts public and private, except; where otherwise agreed,' and for customs, taxes, and public dues. Under this act treasury notes wero issued to- the amount of flo5,930,9-10 on uncoined silver metal warehoused in tho treasury vaults. . Experience-, showed .that silver continued to go down. Tho average price for the quantity of silver making a silver dollar in 1890 was 81 cents; 1891, 78 cents; 1892,. 67 cents; 1893, 00 cents. During three years after the passage of the Sherman law, the country lost in gold by export $188,000,000, (See mint report page 181.) Every one ramcinbers the panic 'in June'of that year. On August 7, 1893, President Cleveland convened congress in spnciul session to consider the monetary condition of tho country. On Nov. 1, following, congress repealed so much of the Sherman law as required the government tobuy and warehouse silver and issue certificates, and enacted: "It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United'States to continue tho uso of both gold and silver us standard money and to cjiu both gold and silver into money of equal intrinsic and exchangeable value, such equality to bo secured through international agreement or by such safeguards of legislation as will insure the maintenance of tho parity in value of the coins of the two metals and the cqnal power of every dollar at all times in the markets and in the payment of debts." Parity means equality in value. The president and the secretary hold, as they are bound to hold under tho act, that they must keop the silver coins acd the certificates issued thereon and the gold coins and tho greenback paper money of equal value. Nobody wants silver. If any man wants silver all ho has to do is to pro sent his silver, certificates and net the coined dollars. The fact that this exchange is not raado is conclusive proof that the people do not want to use silver coins as tho business standard or yard stick of value. If we throw away the present stand ard of value, which has been in use con tiuuously during the greater part of this century (except during the war period), and take up the silver standard, what will bo the effect'' upon the country? (1) Gold will leave the country just as it did when we raade greenbacks the standard of value, (2) All of the paper money, viz: greenbacks; silver certificates, treasury notes, etc., will be redeemable in silver, and therefore of no more value than tho silver itself. This will be to.destroy one-half the value of our silver and piipfir money. In brief, about one-third of our money is in gold; one-third in paper and one- third in silver (aiid certificates there-.^\ "11 under the present policy as Rood as £01(1, the whole exceeding $1,500,000,000", If we overthrow tho present standard and adopt the silver yardstick of value, wa will drive all tho gold ($500,000,000) out of the country, thereby decreasing the- volume one-third, and reduce the power of that remaining in tho country one-half. Each man for himself best knows what tho effect of such a change in our money affairs would have upon his own business and the honor of our country. Every man in middle life or over recollects the time when we changed from tho greenback to the specie standard.. '.To now suddenly change the standard f business one-half in value and alter \nd overthrow our national policy \ould bring with it such confusion, de- teciatiou, and lack of money that its ciisequences can .only be described as availing. . : .' '.- . : .- • Thfttock assertion of the free coiners that tl prices'.of wheat and silyer began tOifuil in 1873,, the year of the "great «me," and have fallen continuously e\r since, is easy to answer. It is only. nWary^ to Bay that the statement ; is•'\true.'' The. martet. records show thatyheat dHd not begin to fall until 1883. \n 1882 it was several points higher thaiiY 1874, 1875 and' i876; and in 1881 it waWgher than it had been at any time dnriy tho previous 10 years, •with a singlCnxception, • But in the game period, Wii 0 .wheat was keeping its prioeand : mncntlyrising silverfell more than 13 \r cent. - It is absurd, therefore, to talkb ott t a connection between the two thgg_ . • The Indiana FaWg' association has EO.OOO members, c\ pr i s j n g 27,500 Re-. publicans, 20,500 DWrats, 1,000 Populists and 1,000 PnAjitioniets, and 42,250 of -thorn arego^ to vote for Me- Kinlcy and .sound m, ey This indicates a Republican gi O f .15,000 over the presidential, vote oW. .. - The. silver sentiment is swiftlUi sa ppo, a ri nKi " says the president of \ e association, ; 'and the Indiana fanL don't want any of your cheap moneV Mr. "William J. BryanV nvas i on o f the eneiny's .country" caA t o about as inglorious 'a tefmiimti6ny s ^Gcnex!il Lee's invasion of 'flic sat country S3 years ago. Bryan mot hisUtysbnrg in New* York; and Lee'met li ' '' " The -Republican party not 0 labor to 'have : steady . emplov\mt ftt good' wages; but it also wa wages ; to • be -paid in currency \ tne h'ighestvalue/.''-* •' ; '" ' ' ' : ; Ho^ 1 m'any.'Korkingmcn,.i ; 67 would prefer to .have their, come to them in the shape of 68j t dollars? All in favor of this propc will -siKnify by voting far free Ml? There is no dividing line. PLUG DONT FORGET for 5 cents you get almost as much "Battle Ax" as you do of ether brands for 10 cents. DON'T FORGET that "Battle Ax" is made of the best lea/ grown, and the quality cannot be improved. t DON'T FORGET, no matter how much you are charged for a small piece of other brands, the chew is no better than " Battle Ax. DON'T FORGET, " Economy is wealth, and you want all you can get for your money. Why pay 10 cents for other brands when you can get " Battle Ax" for 5.cents? BEST IN THE WORL-O For keeping th. System In a H«»lthy Condition. CURES H««<UO«I* CURES Conrtlp.tlon. Act. on th« Uv.r «nd Kldn«y». Purlflw Blood, Dl«p«ls Cold* «nd, F*v«r», Boautlflei th« Complexion ti «nd R»f re»h!n« tn the T««t*. sou> *r * .Inly m«iJ»to« ehrHty-w. Uaotta 8t«T Book fi~ <« For Sale by B. F. KEBSL1NO. BROOKS ON BROOKS' COMET.' rue Champion DUcoTercr of ComeM D»- •crlbe. the Wonderful Multiple Comet. [COPYRIGHT, 1836.] , During the course of my astronomical Btudies I have discovered up to the pres- int time 20 comets, preeminent among- which is thut one known to ; the rcien- tificiworld as Brooks' periodical comet,- \vliich has. just, been ^observed on its' return toward tho sun. This comet is so called, from the fact that it was I who hod the good fortune to discover and locate the heavenly traveler. Acting- in my capacity, as director of the Smith observatory nt Geneva, New York, I was studying the heavens dur» ing the early morning' hours of July 6, : JSSD, when,1 ioticed what appeared, to be a new.star. A longer survey convinced roe thnt I had discovered a new comet, und lot once proceeded to locate it. It was in the constellation Cetus, on the end of the tail of Whole. Its exact astronomical position nt the time, of- discovery was right ascension 23 hours,] 44 minutes, 30 seconds. Declination; Bouth 9 degrees, 10 minutes. In. figure one I have shown the teJe-i ocopic field of stars in which the comet •was discovered. The comet was moving i at the time -of the discovery very, slow-. ]y in a northensterly direction. Ttiis a.p)mrent..slo\yncss -\yas due to the great distance' of the-comet from the earth, and it took over a*week for it to move, out of the telescopic field of discovery. When iirst discovert J it appeared very faint and indistinct, but become b-ight-' ev with eaoh succeeding day. Observation and computation of its orbit showed tbat^the. comet was one moving in an. ellipticalvfl' rb !.*' of a period of a little over seven years. It was in consequence aroost valuable scientific discovery, for it. added nnoth- known member to pur_ solar system, ..onejrespectj'al&o.cthis' Brooks' periodical comet statxls unique in the annals of astronomical research. This was that when seen through the mos: powerful telescopes of this country and Europe it showed four sir.aller comets traveled around os companion* to the larger one in its journey through space.' These lesser comets appeared to, 'travel as an advance guard, as itwe«. ahead of the big one. The one most remote was apparently leading and the; others following' in a. direct line and-nt-' regular intervals. It i» for the reason^ that thli- comet-has these lesser one* Bccompanyingi it thiat it is sometimes: called tiic Brooks' multiple comet. Ik, the cut the largest comet is the fii*t discovered by me and which beaT^rny, ntmie, while the ones preceding 5t arc: Its lesser companions. Another interesting fact in COHTWC-, tion witJ* the. comet is tha.t soon afl Its discovery in 1889, it was found computing backwards that; into GDI comet had previously b«en ;: moving 1 -i Ml orbit with a 30 year period, but th*tj • in 1SSC, or three years previous t« H»( discovery by me, it had passed eo clean. to the planet Jupiter, that the power-; ful attraction of ibis great planet JmSJ entirely changed its orbit from tte -3J>! year period, to ita present one of a litr tie over seven years period. At tiEj date referred to, 188G, the comet wns e» intermingled with thie Jupiter Ka.telli»| system, that it is believed that Jupiter'*: newly discovered fifth moon is but»' part of the Brooks comet, a fragment* captured,as it were from Oie comet byj the superior attraction of Jupiter. This comet was the 15th ' discovered by me and since then I have discovered five.more, and tliis record of 2f, comets vrhich I have di.sxovej-od is .un~; surpassed by any astronomer of "the; world'in ibis department of scientific research. When located this year by; 'the astronomers at Nice, the cc^uct was in right ascension 22 hours, 25 minutes.; 38 scccnds; declination stiutJi IS de-' grecs, 33 minutes, 5 seconds. ] Many of the other comets discovert^ by me"are, like tihis OTIC, of tJie h.ighesSi scientific iiiitcrc-st tind whenever visible add to our informal-ion regarding the soln.r system. 'WILLIAM R. BROOKS. o..-cf rjalf Are Farmer*. .Fifty-two-per cent, of the Unitefi {States' population are enfraged In farm- Imr. i/iSEASI-JS OP TJfJH applvin? Ch»jj]bc)-l:iin's Eye and Skic Ointment. Mnnv very l-.vi »..*< lir.vc Iwt cu:x-<I by efficient for.itchinp i:!j.r ;• »;ly for c "r? R'-IT'I s: ' l; ". Miunn, j>* •!•!:•?>,"• ; •' Forsulo lj- 'in^r!.;-- :.' f. Trym-. Catty -.-V ""

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