previous next

The currency.

It is of the utmost consequence that Congress should do something upon this subject before adjourning. It ought not to be put off a day; but we very much fear if the subject were once introduced it would lead to an endless debate, in which some of the members would make at least one hundred speeches.--The majority, who are desirous of working, might, however, cut short debate by the ten minutes rule, and by the previous question after every man had spoken once. What we would propose is as follows:

‘ Let Congress make Treasury notes a legal tender.

Let all payments from the Government be made in Treasury notes.

Let these notes bear no interest, and be convertible into bonds bearing not more than six per cent, interest.

Let the bonds be payable at the will of the Government, but convertible into notes at the pleasure of the holder.

The Treasury note will then be the money of the country, and the value of the money will be regulated by the rate of interest; for, if money be worth less than six per cent. the notes will run into bonds, and if money be worth more than six per cent the bonds will run into notes.

This is the only way in which Congress can ‘"regulate the value"’ of money, for gold is as much an article of commerce as tobacco, and is liable or subject to like fluctuations in price.

The only use for money is to pay debts and purchase property. Such an issue of Treasury notes may be made of equal value to gold and silver.

For while the whole annual product of gold and silver is estimated at but $175,000,000 the exports of the South will be more than $400,000,000, and our imports should not be $200,000,000, leaving a balance of $200,000,000, which we may require to be paid in gold or Treasury notes. This will make a foreign demand for our bonds as a means of paying for our exports, which will enable us to reduce the interest on our public debt to the rate paid in Europe — say, three per cent.

But the extent to which the public credit, in the shape of Treasury notes, may be substituted for the credit currency heretofore used in the financial and commercial operations of the country, will enable us to convert the public debt into the means of individual and national prosperity.

Mr. Colwell, in his analysis of the payments made through the agency of the Banks of the United States in 1856, states that the sum thus paid was $85,000,000, and M. Chevalier, by reference to the returns of the Stamp Office, found that whilst the sum of Bank notes and specie used in England and Wales had in the ten years from 1846 to 1856 decreased nearly $8,000,000, the sum of credit currency, in the shape of bills of exchange, had increased at the rate of $90,000,000 per annum; there being in use at one time $900,000,000. Why should we make our Treasury notes payable in specie six months after peace? The face of the note is a fraudulent lie, which admits a necessity of resorting to such a subterfuge to give currency to that which otherwise would be valueless.

Why should we give our notes or our bonds, bearing eight per cent. interest, in exchange for Bank notes, bearing no interest?

Why should we pledge ourselves to pay that interest in specie to the Banks, which have themselves suspended payment of specie?

Why should we, by a forced loan, place $200,000,000 of our bonds, bearing six per cent., in the hands of an unwilling people, when all the demands upon the Treasury may be paid in notes without interest, and when the effect of the forced loan will be to create a monetary panic and greatly depreciate the value of our credit by the wildest inflation of the prices of all commodities?

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Colwell (1)
M. Chevalier (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1856 AD (2)
1846 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: