"Let no One Call God His Father Who is not willing to call the most menial Toiler his Brother."
Education increases demand for better food, better clothing and better homes. A just system of Political Economy taught the people, reduction of interest on money so that the income of capital shall not exceed the income of labor, and the advantages of labor saving machinery secured to all by healthy legislation, will afford the supply.
J. H. RANDALL, Labor Reform Lecturer, has for some time been in our city. His logic, arguments, matter and manner were convincing, his eloqence inspiring, and frequently elicited the most hearty applause. -- [Dispatch Pittsburgh, Pa.
J. H. RANDALL, has lectured with great success in this city; his closing address was characterised by one of our most scholarly citizens as the best ever given in Canton. -- [Stark County Democrat, Canton, Ohio.
J. H. RANDALL lectured before the Typographical Union. His style is nervous, manner forcible, his argument full of pith and power. He is all business; it did not take him long to elicit the profoundest attention, as he unfolded in his masterly manner to the workingman his plan of getting them out of the woods of poverty and dependence. His hearers were drawn to him like nails to a magnet, -- [Evening News, Detroit, Mich.
The able Lecturer, J. H. RANDALL, has completed a course of lectures in our town which were well attended by our best citizens. The lecture we heard on the "Ideal and Practical Religion of Manhood," the soundest and ablest sermon we ever listened to. -- [Weekly Times, Seymour, Ind.
RANDALL interests his hearers, whether they believe his theories or not. -- [State Journal, Columbus, Ohio.
He is an earnest worker and has the welfare of his kind upper most. Workingmen, keep his voice in use. -- [Labor Tribune, Pittsburgh, Pa.
To the Workingmen and Business Men of America.
Your interests are identical and you are asked to read the Political Lessons carefully, think of them, and then act in accordance with your highest convictions of right and duty.
The writer and compiler of these Lessons has been in constant contact with the workingmen of America for several years, and these lessons he believes will meet a want that is felt, and should sufficient encouragement be received from those who appreciate them he pledges himself at no distant day to prepare a series of Lessons that shall cover in a condensed form the general and particular principles of old and modern political economy and finance, with valuable statistics in brief, coupled with practical suggestions for the instruction and improvement of the toiling millions. The fallacies of political economy and specie basis must be exposed. When we know the truth and then wont act for the preservation of our freedom we deserve serfdom and slavery.
All communications and orders should be addressed,
J. H. RANDALL, Clyde, O.
Single Copies 15 cents, $8 50 per 100; $4 50 per 50.
Lesson Number 1.
What is the object of Government?
It is established ostensibly to protect the people, but most governments, and particularly the United States Government for the past sixteen years has legislated to rob them.
What is the difference between a republic and a monarchy?
So far as the masses are concerned it is merely nominal. Both use the same financial and commercial customs: they play the same tunes, consisting of the Gold Bug's grand waltz, demonetize silver, specie basis dirge, non-taxed bond requiem, greenback cremation jubilee, all of them funeral hymns for the burial of enterprise, labor's opportunities, and the poor man's hope.
These tunes have been set to every organ of civilization regardless of the increased ability to produce, and the increasing demands of an educated humanity, requiring better facilities for distribution, that the best fruits of life, association may be enjoyed. The only difference is in monarchies the performer is born to his position, while in republics organ-grinders are chosen periodically, but both play the same tunes.
It is a fact that gold, silver, specie basis, and untaxed bonds, are the corner-stones on which rest the aristocracies of the old world, and are the shackles on the hands and the mill-stones around the neck of labor in all nations, and as long as the music is limited to the same old tunes it matters not whether the crank is turned by a king or a president.
How many parties are there in the United States at the present time?
Two. The Republican and the National Labor and Greenback party.
Why don't you recognize the Democratic party?
Because as a party it has had no positive doctrine of its own for sixteen years. Its press and platforms in the East are entirely the opposite of other sections of the country. In their last National Convention they denounced the restoration of the greenback, and opposed the further use of silver as money, and they generally believe in continuing the bonded debt of the nation at its present volume as a source of permanent investment for men to draw interest from the toiling millions without rendering them an equivalent.
What is a Republican?
He is a sort of political bologna -- made up of the scraps of defunct organizations. He is willing to sacrifice all his wife's relations to perpetuate the party that freed four million negroes, then robbed them of the nation's currency and forced them into idleness, making the commercial ruin of the whole country worse than the war desolation of the South, by destroying
4the people's money and making them pay the bondholders interest for the privilege of thus being robbed. His creed is to the victor belongs the spoils, and to-day he is generally spoiling.
What is a Democrat?
He is a relict of the stone age, and there is very few of him that wishes to be identified. He is a Democrat because he is, and you can't make nothing else out of him. He will support any man, vote any measure, or swallow any dose labelled Democracy. His creed is, party first, heaven afterward.
What is a National Labor and Greenback party man?
He places principle above partisanship, and does not believe it necessary to perpetuate a bondholding aristocracy. He believes in establishing an American system of finance, such as will secure to labor a just share of the products of industry, and protect the non-capital holding laborer from being robbed through corporation credit devices, such as checks, orders, and a system of money that robs labor through high interest on the one hand, and compels him to suffer loss by discount on the other. He also believes in the preservation of a republican form of government, and in such legislation as will secure justice to all classes.
How long will the Republican party last?
It will last as long as it can find anything to steal, and when its supplies are cut off it will resolve itself into its original element. It is now the national buzzard, fattening on the carcasses robbed and murdered by the enforcement
5of John Sherman's hell-born, happiness-annihilating, financial bondocratic, poor-house filling, resumption policy.
How long will the Democratic party last?
It will last forever. It is dead now, but don't know it. It will not gain the ascendency again. It hasn't got life enough to take a seat when it has been offered it.
How long will the National Labor and Greenback party man last?
Until the demands of the party in the interest of the whole country and civilization are complied with.
How can labor be protected by the Government?
Daniel Webster said: "That labor might be protected power was given to Congress over the currency and over the money system of the United States." We hold that a just system of finance would be one kind of money for all, and this it is the prerogative of law to create.
What is money?
It is a function of law, not a thing. An invention to facilitate distribution that human happiness may be increased in the ratio that civilization advances. It is an arbitrary standard by which values are measured, and valuable only as far as it represents a purchasing power of material values. When a man is paid his wages in money he has not received an equivalent for his services, but only something that will enable him to get what he desires. Money is not wealth, nor even its equivalent. It bears the same relation to wealth that the circus ticket does to the show, it "admits the bearer."
The ticket is not the performance, nor anything like it, but both legally entitle the holder to receive the value expressed on their face.
What is honest money?
National credit coined into convenient denominations, represented on paper, and made a full legal tender, is the only honest money that can be created, for it will compel honesty. It will always pay dollar for dollar, no more, no less. It will always purchase the full amount of its legal debt paying capacity.
Are not gold and silver honest money?
Gold and silver, and paper promises to pay them as money are notorious robbers, there is not an honest feature about them.
Suppose gold at par to-day, you buy a thousand bushels of wheat to be paid in gold ninety days hence at one dollar a bushel. In the interim gold has advanced twenty-five cents on the dollar, not an unusual occurrence. Each gold dollar now is worth twenty-five cents more than it was at the time of the purchase, but you are compelled to pay the number of dollars regardless of their value; hence your debt has actually increased twenty-five cents on the dollar, and you are robbed of that amount.
Should not money possess intrinsic value?
Certainly not. The intrinsic idea value of money was the idea of crude barbarism, it grew out of the barter system of exchange. We destroy the money function the moment we claim intrinsic value, just as a showman would be liable to destroy his business, if the tickets
7he sold contained each, the value of their price in gold.
Why do certain men insist on limiting the money function to gold and silver alone?
Because the oligarchies of the Old World got possession of the most of these metals, and have sought to demonetize silver, so that gold alone should be the standard, they propose to demonetize everything else, and compel the masses to use their credit devices so they can monopolize the world's medium of exchange, and regulate by their arbitrary will the wages of labor, and the prices of products and property. The object is to impoverish the people, deprive them of independence, and keep them in subjection that the few might reap in taxes, tithes, rent and interest, all the proceeds of labor, save a bare subsistence, that from the ranks of poverty armies and navies might be recruited to defend the thrones and principalities of the robbers. With a flat money all men would be fairly waged that were willing to work, each man would receive the full fruits of his toil, the resources of aristocracy would be cut off, and they, like other folks, would be compelled to "root, hog or die." Now they advocate burn up the Greenback, contract the currency, issue bonds, and reconstruct the poverty-promoting and slave-breeding hard-money basis.
What is a National bond?
It is an invention of the devil, imparted to the labor-robbers in all governments, a sort of financial trap set by the rich to catch the wealth earned by the laboring poor.
What is interest or usury?
It is a system cursed by God and the Scriptures, and despised by all honest men of pagan and Christian nations, and was denounced by all Christendom until the fifteenth century, when England, the red-robed harlot and nation robber, instituted and legalized it to enable the profligate to rob the industrious. It is the toll collected at the tread-mill of labor to pay the rich for grinding the poor. Usury was instituted as the basis and chief resource of an idle aristocracy; to give it the semblance of justice, it was protected by forms of law secured by the ruling class.
By what right do these institutions exist?
In monarchial governments they are permitted by the right of might, in the United States by the stupidity and idolatry of the victims.
What do you mean by idolatry?
We mean that the majority of people are so wedded to the traditions of the past, and worship with such idolatrous devotion at the shrine of "established usage," that like the Hindoo, they would rather be crushed beneath the wheels of the juggernaut of their fathers than to ride in the chariot of civilization.
Lesson Number II.
What is the debt of the civilized nations, and of what does it consist?
According to Fawcett, it is $32,650,000,000, consisting of National bonds, $23,400,000,000; railroad bonds, $5,000,000,000; State and municipal bonds, $4,250,000,000. On the $23,400,000,000 capital invested it pays no taxes, but absorbs from the product of labor annually
9interest to the amount of sixteen hundred millions of dollars. Its annual income being fixed by so many dollars, its policy is to have money scarce all over the world, so that each year's income will command the largest possible proportion of the world's annual income. It ignores the right of the law-making power to use its own credit, and provide the people with a legal tender.
What is the bonded debt of the United States?
January, 1877, it was $1,690,431,250.; January, 1878, $1,726,933,850, an increase of $36,512,600 during one year. During the time they increased the debt in 1877, they destroyed currency and greenbacks, non-interest bearing money, to the amount of $24,760,868. They increased the burdens of the people and reduced the means of payment.
What was the bonded debt in 1865, and what is it now?
In 1865 it was $1,163,799,611.89, and according to the latest reports, it is now $1,794,769,611.89, or 631,000,000 more than it was then.
How much interest has the United States paid since 1861?
$1,977,357,454.66. All this has gone to pay, not the debt of the war, but interest on the bonds.
But was it not necessary to borrow money to carry on the war, and don't the bonds on which this vast amount of interest has been paid exist in consequence of that borrowing?
No, sir. Every debt of the Government, every munition of war, every army and navy
10expense, was paid for directly by new greenbacks. Duties were payable in coin, so that it might be in demand, and consequently it ran up in 1864 to $2.85. Then the money kings accumulated hundreds of millions of greenbacks at forty and sixty cents on the dollar, and converted them into 5-20 bonds at par, which had been authorized in the Act of Congress for this especial purpose. It is a mistaken idea that the bonds were authorized for the purpose of borrowing money. They were authorized to absorb the money after it had been depreciated, and not to aid the government in prosecuting the war.
Was it not necessary to contract the currency and was not the increase of prices and wages in the early part of the war due wholly to inflation?
No, sir. Every dollar of this bonded indebtedness circulated at some time in the form of non-interest bearing money in the hands of the people, which they earned out of the Treasury, and which was taxed out of their hands and converted into untaxed bonds, and absorbed by those who toil not, neither did they fight. It is an error to suppose that the rise of wages and prices are attributable wholly, or in any very large measure to the greenback circulation. Could we have had coin by borrowing or otherwise fast enough for the disbursements of the war, almost, if not entirely, the same effect on prices would have been experienced. Fortunate contractors would have been enriched; this would have stimulated lavish expenditures, and so inflated prices. The withdrawal from mechanical
11and agricultural occupations of hundreds of thousands of our best, strongest and most active workers, in obedience to their country's summons to the field, would, under any system of currency, have increased the price of labor and labor's products.
What is national honor?
It is a royal title, which robbers confer and fools accept in payment for labor and its products. Fawcett says: "It is a trick of capital in all countries to persuade the people that their honor is at stake in the payment of war debts at the highest valuation the avarice of the holders may set on them." National honor is to a nation what the kink in a pig's tail is to the pig, more ornamental than useful.
Give an illustration.
Our country sold nearly two thousand million dollars of its coin interest-bearing bonds, and received in payment half cash and half national honor. It then burned up the cash, and has since, and for the last twelve years, invested every dollar of the country's surplus products in national honor in the shape of interest.
Did not the Government agree, when it issued greenbacks, to redeem them with bonds?
It did -- under the same circumstances that any unarmed man under cover of the highway man's pistol would agree to deliver up his estate if his life is spared. The nation's defenders, the soldiers and sailors, and the great mass of the people, for whom the greenbacks were created to pay, did not demand it, were not parties to the agreement, and have been robbed, impoverished and bankrupted by its execution,
12and are not bound, even in honor, to carry it out.
How do we keep up national honor?
By taxing our consumers, and trying our level best to see how many bankruptcies and tramps we can make every year. We have improved on it every year, for in 1867 we only had 530 failures, and tramps were seldom heard of, but in 1877, with ten years' practice, we produced upwards of 10,000 failures, and upwards of 3,000,000 tramps, and men waged so poorly as to make them the natural enemies of society.
What is a breach of public faith?
Men, as voters, asserting the rights of their manhood, and refusing to be delivered after having been sold.
What do you think of the silver bill?
It is the great guillotine that, politically speaking, is destined to behead the two old parties. It proves our assertion that money is created by law. The trade dollar weighs 420 grains of standard coin silver, and is worth only 97 cents. The Mexican dollar weighs 416 grains, and is worth but 93 cents; the dads' dollar weighs but 412 1/2 grains, and is worth 100 cents -- is a dollar in law, a dollar because the law says it is a dollar, and a legal tender. If the law designates and adds three or seven cents purchasing power, or debt paying capacity to any stamped commodity, it is a logical conclusion that it can represent value, and declare a full legal tender by law 100 cents purchasing power, or debt paying capacity, just as easy as it can three or seven cents.
What do you mean by a privileged class?
Bondholders, those who, to the number of less than 500,000, boast of their income from their untaxed bonds, which they hold over us to the amount of more than $2,000,000,000, and which take upwards of $100,000,000 worth of the products of labor annually to pay interest. Government has also given special advantages to individuals and corporations in the way of donating ownership in the public lands, it having given away 294,758 square miles in this manner, thus robbing the many of the means of life, and making them the victims of the few.
What is the value of the United States?
According to the last census it was $30,000,000,000. If labor was occupied and justly waged, and temperate as it ought to be, that would be $3,750 to every family of five persons in our population of 40,000,000; but as it is now, with opportunities in favor of the rich and against the poor, it is breeding paupers.
How many millionaires and how many paupers would it make?
Thirty thousand millionaires, and estimating our population at 40,000,000, it would leave us 39,970,000 persons who would be utterly destitute.
Is there any prospect of such a state of things?
If we look at facts, to a certain extent, there is. For instance, in 1860 the Vanderbilt estate was worth not more than $10,000,000, now it is estimated at $75,000,000. In 1860 the Astor estate was estimated at $20,000,000, now it is $120,000,0000. A.T. Stewart was worth, 1860, $12,000,000, and the estate is now
14worth about $65,000,000. Eighteen men residing on Fifth Avenue, New York, control an aggregate of over $260,000,000. It is a law of nature that the organized forms and forces of nature and society absorb and appropriate the unorganized forms and forces. As the country grows old wealth accumulates in fewer and fewer hands, -- the rich grow richer, the poor grow poorer, actual ownership decreases, and through the laws that organized capital establishes to protect and secure every advantage to its fixed income, it is utterly impossible for the wage man to secure either an income or even the ownership of a home, as he is at the mercy of the income classes.
Well, what are you going to do about it?
We propose to issue a full legal tender paper money, and as it is at the option of the Government after a certain date to redeem any form of bond outstanding, whenever such date has been reached tender to the holders of said bonds the same amount and the same kind of money that they originally paid the Government for said bonds. Pass a law taxing all bonds after a certain date and stop paying interest; this will drive them in. If usury is to be tolerated in law, adjust it so that interest on idle money shall not be more than the income of capital in production, and furnishing occupation to labor. Then the 500,000 bondholders now sucking the vitality from all our industries will be driven into business, for none will want idle money in their vaults or stockings.
Isn't it the duty of the Government to provide a means of safe investment for capitalists?
Government should no more issue bonds to take money out of circulation, and pay interest on the same, than it should issue bonds for the tools of the farm, machine shop, blacksmith shop, or the capital invested in any other business in the form of tools and machinery, for money is the tools of trade, production and distribution.
But this will make bondholders squirm, -- what then?
Well, let them squirm. The soldiers gave a receipt in full for their wages, and under the law they enlisted they expected gold and silver, and when a new law was made, after they enlisted, that assumed the right to pay them in a kind of money depreciated by the very act that created it, they growled some, but Government said, "Let 'em growl and squirm;" so we say now of the bondholder.
How are you going to redeem your greenbacks, and how are you going to regulate the issue of them?
Each year as the revenue collector takes what is due the Government from the people to enable it to provide for the common welfare, each dollar will be redeemed. And each year's services will again be met by starting the same money from the Treasury again on the mission of exchange and distribution kept in repair and regulated in quantity, by a per capita estimate and the needs of commerce, just as the postage stamps issued are regulated by what are used. Every dollar out will be an evidence that Government has received one dollar's worth of service or material of some kind, and every
16dollar paid in will be an evidence that the subject has received one dollar's worth of welfare and protection from the Government.
Don't the Constitution prohibit the making of anything money except gold and silver?
It prohibits the States, but it confers this right upon Congress.
What effect would your system have upon the National Treasury?
It would save a vast amount of taxes now taken from the people to pay interest. Our bonded indebtedness would be rapidly absorbed by our business men, which would prevent the flow of our wealth to other countries in the shape of gold interest now drawn by foreign bondholders absorbing our wealth and impoverishing our nation, producing an amount of want and destitution never known before in our land.
Would this revive business and give occupation to the unemployed?
It would give manufacturers and tradesmen confidence in the stability of prices, stimulating production, demand would be created for labor. The laborer, being better paid, would again become a better consumer, and productions would find a ready market. New life and energy would be infused into all the avenues of trade and the work of civilization would revive and flourish.
Would greenbacks be good abroad?
If made a full legal tender, certainly; they would be just as good as the legal tenders of France, in New York their purchasing power is
17stable for all the products of the country that issued them.
Lesson Number III.
Who is responsible for the bankruptcies, idleness and lack of confidence in all enterprise at the present time?
The Republican party, that has controlled the legislation of the country for the last sixteen years.
What act do you claim as specially injurious?
The act which provided for the funding of the public debt into interest-bearing bonds, and the consequent contraction of the currency. When the war of the rebellion broke out the precious metals, of which as a nation we never could control an adequate quantity for our commercial business, were not equal to the emergency of war, and specie payments had to be abandoned as soon as the hour of trial came. Gold and silver, both intrinsic value money, slunk away into their holes, and pulled their holes in after them, as they always had done in time of war, while the legal tender greenback dollar, with no value but legal value, and the power of those who enforced the law to back it, went forth with the army, navy, the flag of the people, and staid through all the dark days of war, proving itself the, best money ever used on the soil of the American Republic.
What was the object of this act?
It was to prepare the way for giving into the hands of the money power the control of the currency, that had measurably passed under the issue of greenbacks into the hands of the
18people. Government, at the solicitation of bankers and brokers, was induced to issue bonds.
How were these bonds to be paid, in what kind of money?
Every Government bond, which was issued under the act of February 25th, 1862, that did not stipulate for payment in coin, was made payable by express words of law in legal tender notes. This was the law when all the 5-20 bonds, amounting to over $1,500,000,000, were purchased from the Government by the bondholders when the legal tender was quoted at forty to sixty per cent, below par in coin. Not a single word was then uttered, nor an intimation, that the principal of the bonds was payable in coin; not a platform of either political party in any State of the Union, in seven long years, made any such assertion. Mr. Stevens and Mr. Spaulding, members of the Ways and Means Committee, united in denouncing the Senate's amendment making the interest on these bonds payable in coin. They contended that it was an odious discrimination. But John Sherman advocated and procured the passage of the act of March, 1869, for the payment of all the bonds in coin, which he had declared in 1868 payable in currency, and by this act fastened an extortion of over $500,000,000 on the taxpayers of the country, as the speculative profits of the operation.
How did they make the bonds then out payable in coin, when the law expressly implied that they were to be paid in currency?
July 14th, 1870, they passed another bill for
19the re-funding of the National debt, as that was the only way to secure any benefit out of the act of March, 1869, to the holders of the original 5-20 bonds, it being supplemental to the act of March, 1869, and a clincher in the interest of the bondholder. This refunding act provided for the issue of new coin bonds to the amount of $1,500,000,000, with an agreement for coin payment written on their face, and then further provides that these new coin bonds shall be substituted for the original 5-20 bonds dollar for dollar, one in exchange for the other.
But didn't they reduce the rate of interest?
The reduction of the rate of interest was merely nominal; $200,000,000 of these new bonds were to bear 5 per cent; $300,000,000 to bear 4 1/2 per cent., and $1,000,000,000 to bear 4 per cent. A reduction of the rate of interest was the excuse made for re-funding the first 5-20 bonds, which bore 6 per cent., but a moment's calculation will show the amount thus saved trifling in comparison with the enormous loss. It is not to be supposed for a minute that holders of six per cent, interest bearing bonds would surrender them voluntarily in exchange for bonds of a less rate of interest, unless they knew that they were getting bonds or a higher value.
They were sharp and greedy. What else did they do?
On the 12th of February, 1873, without any preliminary discussion as to their intention, they demonetised the silver dollar by dropping it from the coinage and obligating the Government to pay its bonded debt in gold. In a little
20book put out by Fisk & Hatch, "For Information to Investors," are these words on pages 32 and 33: "Although there was no obligation expressed, either in the bonds themselves or in the acts under which they were issued, as to the kind of dollars in which they should be paid, and although United States notes were a legal tender for all debts, public and private, except duties on imports and interest on the public debt, the duty and propriety of their being paid in gold as the only just fulfillment of the implied obligation, and the only mode consistent with national honor, this has given to the bonds of the United States a credit more universal than those of any government on earth." And it is no wonder, for no case of legislatively robbing the people parallel to this is known in the history of civilization.
Who own the United States?
The people, of course.
Who owns the people?
What will be the portion of the bondholders if they don't stop their unjust demands?
Hell and damnation.
But Beecher says there is no hell?
Then the voting million's against the bond-holding thousands will get up one for a short time for their especial benefit.
What do you know about the National banking system?
It is the most complete scheme ever devised for making the labor of the country pay enormous tribute to wealth for the sake of securing a circulating medium. It stands between the
21Government and the people, and is enormously paid for doing what the Government ought directly to do for the people. October 1, 1867, there were 2,080 National banks, and they owned in even numbers $336,000,000 of Government bonds as the basis of a bank note circulation of $391,000,000, the interest paid by the people to secure said currency amounted to $16,000,000 per annum.
Give an estimate of the profits of any National bank.
Mr. Wm. H. English, for fourteen years president of the First National Bank of Indianapolis, Ind., upon turning over the business to his successor, and retiring last year, said: "I congratulate the officers and stockholders of our enterprise. The bank has been in operation fourteen years under my control, with a capital stock of $500,000. In the meantime it has voluntarily returned $500,000 of capital stock back to its stockholders, besides paying them in dividends $1,196,250, part of which was in gold; and I now turn it over to you with a capital unimpaired and $327,000 of the undivided earnings on hand. To this may be added the premiums of United States bonds at present prices, amounting to $36,000, besides quite a large amount for lost or destroyed bills." According to this authority it will be seen that the bank realized a profit of nearly $2,000,000 on an investment of $500,000 in fourteen years.
Who are communists, and why?
These National banks. Because the enormous wealth this bank alluded to accumulated in so short a time, was absorbed from the industrial
22classes without rendering them an equivalent.
What is the penalty for stealing?
If you steal a shilling, the workhouse for three months; if a million of dollars, exoneration and a good chance to do it again.
What is the difference between a greenback and a National bank note?
The greenback is furnished direct to the people. For National bank notes the people pay interest on the bonds pledged to secure, them, and they pay interest on the note also. While the Greenback is comparatively of no expense to the people, the National bank note costs an average of fifteen per cent, interest per annum, all of which goes into the coffers of banks.
Should the Government issue a large volume of legal tender notes in time of war, how are we to get rid of the excess except we retire it in exchange for bonds?
The expense of getting rid of the excess without a bond would be much less than with it, for we still have to get rid of the bonds. The bonds we have issued in the last twelve years to absorb legal tenders have cost us in gold more than the entire value of the greenbacks destroyed, and the debt is not paid yet. We might better have contributed pro rata and yielded up the excess at once, than to have taxed out of us four times the amount in interest, and be compelled at last to pay the whole amount in the more costly material of gold. But the golden calf was set up, and those who wanted to swindle the rest of us bowed down
23before it, and to make everybody else worship it they cast the greenback, which was represented as the devil, into the fiery furnace prepared by John Sherman, the Syndicate and their imps.
Why do you mix Sherman in it?
Because he said: "If the bondholder refuse to take the same kind of money with which he bought the bond he is an extortioner and a repudiator. There is no such burdensome loan negotiated by any civilized nation as our 5-20 bond, if it is to be paid in coin" Again, in a letter under date of March 30, 1868, he says: "I think the bondholder violates his promise when he refuses to take the same kind of money he paid for the bond. * * * He is an extortioner and a repudiator to demand money more valuable than he gave."
Who are the dangerous classes?
Corrupt men in places of honor and trust.
How many Democrats is there in this crowd to get away with?
Just seven to (eight) ate.
Who are Communists?
National banking associations, railroad and telegraph corporations, gold brokers and boards of trade. These are close and secretive Communists, and are all the time planning so as to gather all the wealth and control it.
Who are the ignorant?
Men who do not know the importance of the money question nor how much it has to do with the general welfare.
What is a legitimate strike?
Poor men who work all the time and don't
24get enough wages to get decent food for their families and themselves asking for more.
What is an illegitimate strike?
If you hold a high official position with a large corps of laborers under you, telling them the times are hard, and reduce their wages while you raise your own.
Who are the biggest strikers you ever heard about?
U. S. Grant, his Cabinet, the Senate, Congress, and the bondholders, who struck for the salary grab law, and the credit strengthening act by which they swindled the people out of over $750,000,000.
Don't you think the hard times are caused by over-production?
No, sir. An over-production of the necessaries of life is impossible. J. S. Mill says: "Are we to suppose that the laboring classes have their wants perfectly satisfied and go on laboring from mere force of habit? Until this is the case, -- until they reach that point of satiety, there will be no lack of demand for the product of capital, however rapidly it may accumulate; since if there is nothing else for it to do it can always find employment in producing the necessaries of life. Increased accumulation and increased production might continue until every laborer had every indulgence of wealth consistent with continuing to work, and when they had no further desire for necessaries and luxuries they would take the benefit of any further advance of wages by diminishing their work. The theory of over-production implies an absurdity."
E. Peshine Smith says: "The proposition that any good thing has ever been produced in excess of the wants of humanity will not bear a moment's examination; nor is there the slightest reason to apprehend that any such event is likely to occur. The true remedy for what is called over-production in any article is an increased production of other things." However, we have over-produced lying, robbing, and tyranical legislators, that teach the masses the doctrine of over-production in order to cover their own stealing and fraud.
What is the truth to-day?
The truth is that if all business men engaged in trade and manufacturing had to settle up their affairs, ninety per cent, of them would be bankrupt.
What would be a legitimate form of prayer for the authors of our bad legislation?
Oh, Lord! if there is any, save our souls -- if we have any.
Lesson Number IV.
What is a tramp?
It is a human being who contributes nothing for the support of the government, and who lives on the labor of others instead of his own.
What is a bondholder?
He is the same as the tramp in all respects, but far more expensive. He contributes not one cent for the support of the government, and sponges from the labor of others not only his subsistence, but large fortunes every year.
Who made the bondholder?
The old specie basis banks and Congress made him on shares.
Who made the tramp?
He is the chips left after the bondholder was made. To make a successful bondholder somebody had to be left out in the cold, and the lot fell on the tramp; that is why he exists.
Why are tramps a necessary result of the bondholder?
Because it takes all the surplus products of the country to pay the bondholders interest, and leaves nothing for manufacturing purposes or public improvements; hence mechanics and laborers find shop-doors closed against them, and, presto change, they find themselves tramps without knowing the cause.
Why don't they go to work?
Those who have work for them have no money to hire them. Those who have money prefer to put it into bonds, and will not take the risk of an investment in labor on account of falling prices and shrinking values.
What is the cause of falling prices and shrinking values?
It lies in the past and prospective reduction of the quantity of full legal tender money. It was reduced at the instigation of the bondholders.
Have you any historic evidence?
Yes. At the Christian era the metallic money of the Roman empire amounted to $1,800,000,000. By the end of the fifteenth century it had shrank to less than $2,000,000. During this period the most extraordinary and baleful change took place. Commerce, art,
27wealth and freedom disappeared. The people were reduced by poverty and misery to the most degraded condition of slavery and serfdom. The crumbling of the institutions of civilization kept even step with the shrinkage in the volume of money and the falling of prices, and no improvement came until paper substitutes for money were invented. It needed the heroic treatment of rising prices to enable society to unite its shattered forces.
What are the bonds of iniquity?
The 5-20 bonds that were created as an interest bearing substitute for legal tender paper money, non-interest bearing, that was burned up, and then by the credit strengthening act, made payable in gold.
What is an interconvertible bond?
It is a sort of legal tender half-way house -- a kind of political-financial purgatory, where crude greenbackers are confined a short time to ripen before they can enter the full legal tender absolute money paradise. It is said by its friends to be a regulator -- that it will absorb the surplus, and at the same time they allow the Government to put it in circulation as fast as it is absorbed -- illustration: To remove the excess of water from a boat, set a pump at work; then bore a hole below the water line that will let in the water as fast as the pump removes it. A capital invention.
What is the difference between the belief of National bankers and the greenbacker?
One believes in contracting the currency, reducing wages, shrinking the value of property, and in increasing the interest on money. The
28greenbacker believes in burning the bonds, issuing no more bonds of any kind, increasing to a certain amount per capita the currency, thus increasing wages, give steadiness to the value of property, and lower the rate of interest on money.
What does 5-20 and 7-30 mean as applied to bonds?
They mean that the working classes, upon whose welfare and comfort the stability of society rest, shall get up and go to work at 5 o'clock and twenty minutes in the morning, and work until 7 o'clock and thirty minutes at night, and at wages barely sufficient to keep them in working order, as so many cattle, that all their surplus earnings may be used to pay the bondholders interest. And the 10-40's mean that the bondholder may lay in bed until 10 o'clock and forty minutes in the morning, and do what he pleases.
What is the difference between a National bank president and an over-loaded gun?
One goes off and busts, the other busts and goes off afterwards.
Don't the banks support the Government?
Yes, on the same plan that the hangman's rope supports the culprit whom it assists in choking out his life. So the banks clog enterprise when they control the currency, and choke both labor and government to gratify their love or gain.
Isn't this a free government?
That's what they say. But a large class of would-be aristocrats are aping the royalty customs of the Old World, We want Americans
29to divert themselves thoroughly of the finance, specie payment and non-taxed bond systems of Europe. And as the LAW IS KING here and rules by the divine right of all voters, who can, if they will, have a voice in the making of the same. We would have them free in fact as in name; as independent in their finance regulation and commercial transactions as they can be in the election of rulers. We want a system of our own, -- one that will give every man a right to what he produces and no more. The greatest good to the greatest numbers is our doctrine.
What is used as money more than anything else in the civilized nations?
According to Fawcett we have, all told, of gold $1,972,500,000; of silver $1,800,000,000; of paper $3,886,000,000; an excess of paper over gold and silver both of $113,500,000. Whatever is more used than anything else for a certain purpose may be regarded as the best fitted for that purpose by common consent, and according to these figures it is paper. Hence we want the Government should issue a full legal tender absolute money before the law, thus make our nation, through the just distribution of labor's products that must follow, the land of the free and home of the happy and the brave.
Lesson Number V.
Why were duties on imports and interest on the public debt made payable in gold alone?
So that bankers and brokers who dealt in gold could ran it up and command a high
30price for it. During the war they run it up to $1.85 1/2 over lawful money, while the volume of the currency and the price of domestic goods remained unchanged. The premium on gold that was first paid by the merchant, and by the people in the end was clear profit to the bullionists. Until 1864 no gold was required to pay interest on bonds by the Government, consequently this burden was unnecessary. Had the war terminated in 1863 there would have been no necessity for issuing any gold interest bonds. The total funded and unfunded debt then was only $783,804,252, consisting of legal tenders, 7-30 Treasury notes, certificates of indebtedness, all of which could have been called in or provided for by taxation in two years. But the gold dealers had their own way, and used their advantages accordingly.
Why did Government issue one, two and three year Treasury notes bearing interest?
It was at the suggestion of the bankers, so that as soon as the gold interest bearing bonds were issued they could advantageously be converted into money and then into bonds. With the gold and bonds both in their possession, the business of selling gold was very much simplified. Bankers and brokers sold their gold to the importer, who paid it to the Government on imports, and immediately the Government returned it to banker and broker to pay interest in bonds. It was not necessary to transfer the gold from the vaults of
31the banks, the whole business being adjusted by means of gold certificates and checks.
Is not gold the most stable in value of anything in the world?
No, sir. English law tried to give it a permanent and stable value, but was not successful. According to Doubleday, the law assumed to compel an ounce of pure gold to be worth Å3, 19s. 9d., but in 1810 an ounce of pure gold, by the same stamp counting measure of value under the law, bought and was received at Å4 5s., in 1812 Å5 8s., and on up in 1813 to Å5 10s., and then down in 1820 to Å3 17s., 10 1/2 d.; and this was not as compared with any paper money, but with itself in value at different periods of only a few mouths apart. This absolute measure fluctuates more than any other commodity; it cannot swallow so much of itself at one time as another; again, it will swallow itself and more in spite of the law to the contrary. Are we to suppose that the ounce weighed more, then less, changing the fixed law of gravitation during 1810 and 1812, or did the value of the gold, itself by law the arbitrary measure of value, change?
Ought not Greenbacks to be at par with gold?
The evidence is before us that gold is too variable as a standard and safe measure of value. We might as well take wheat and declare that sixty pounds should be a legal tender for one dollar; this would not prevent wheat from going up to $1.50 or $2.00 per bushel if
32the demand should require it. While gold, as a legal tender, could never go below the greenback, in consequence of its legal tender function, the greenback having no intrinsic value, could not rise to the gold altitude when increased demand should make 25.8 grains of that metal worth $1.50. We can no more confine 25.8 grains of gold down to $1.00 than we can confine wheat to $1.00 per bushel by declaring sixty pounds a legal tender for that sum.
The best recommendation that the greenback has is its non-fluctuating qualities, it can not go below nor above its legal tender debt-paying capacity. Therefore, to talk about paper money at par with gold is nonsense, and leads to confusion and doubt because a dollar possessing no value but its legal functions and specified debt-paying power, cannot, like 25.8 grains of gold, rise above its legal tender value.
Do you believe in resumption?
Yes; we ought to resume the use of our idle men immediately, so they can resume the consumption of three good, square meals a day, for themselves and their families, and be properly clothed and housed, and made to feel that it is a blessing instead of a curse to live.
What is resumption?
It is a legalized excuse for reducing wages, making tramps and paupers, filling the poor-houses and jails, forcing old and heretofore reliable
33business men into bankruptcy, reducing the value of real wealth to the measuring capacity of gold, and increasing the miserly worship for and purchasing power of gold.
What is the intent of the resumption law?
It provides that "on and after the first day of January, 1879, the Secretary of the Treasury shall redeem in coin the United States legal tender notes then outstanding, on presentation for redemption in sums of not less than fifty dollars." The intention is the destruction of the greenback. Once returned to the Treasury there is no authority for reissuing it, hence thereafter it is dead and cannot be used as money.
What effect will it have upon commercial and business interests if enforced?
The effect will be to concentrate the ownership of our national wealth in the hands of a few persons, mostly in the great commercial centers. To prove this we cite you to the following facts that were brought to light by the Committee on Banking and Currency of the 45th Congress:
|New York has forty-seven National banks with an aggregate capital of||$57,400,000|
|They have in their vaults, in coin,||17,267,420|
|In legal tenders, available for resumption,||83,075,298|
|Their entire issue, all told, is||$15,395,3572|
January next they can redeem every dollar of their circulation in greenbacks and have legal tenders enough to command all the coin
34there may be on hand at the Treasurer's office. On the other hand, there are 1,845 country National banks, and
|They have an aggregate circulation of||$216,473,128|
|To redeem with they have, in coin,||4,155,630|
|Legal tender notes||30,329,358|
Thus, while the New York banks have about nine dollars available to redeem every dollar of their circulation, the 1,845 country banks have only one dollar available to redeem six dollars of their circulation. The inevitable result of the enforcement of the Resumption law must be the destruction of the larger portion of the country banks, and, as a consequence, the business men who depend upon them for accommodation, making more idlers and disorder than we now have.
What immediate effect would the repeal of the resumption act have?
It would prevent the further sale of interest bearing bonds that is now kept up to make provision for resumption, by reducing the volume of greenbacks and increasing the coin reserve; contraction being stopped, confidence would be restored and business take a new start in all directions.
Are National banks obligated to redeem any notes, except their own issue?
They are not. They are fully preparing for this by retaining all the greenbacks and gold they can get.
Is not the destruction of the greenback left to the discretion of Secretary Sherman?
Not at all. The Treasurer of the United States at the end of each month, on the report of the Comptroller of the Currency, that such an amount of National bank notes has been issued, retires and redeems from his currency reserves eighty per cent of greenbacks, and this must be done every month until the present $345,000,000 of greenbacks are reduced to $300,000,000. Hence the work of contraction, reducing the volume of legal tender money, in going on according to the letter of the law.
What proof have you of this?
The Treasurer's statement on January 1, 1877; the bond debt was $1,690,421,250; on January 1, 1878, this debt was $1,726,933,850, an increase of $36,712,600, and during the same time they destroyed of legal tenders and fractional currency $24,760,868, thus increasing the burdens of the best and most patient people on God's earth, and at the same time reducing the means of payment, their circulating medium.
What amount of bonds was sold from 1862 to 1868?
The amount was $2,049,973,700; The amount realized by the Government for them in gold was $1,468,424.229; amount of profit realized by the Syndicate and bondholders, $581,549,471.
Were the people informed of this?
No, sir. Secretary Chase maintained that it was better to disguise the actual discount on the bonds than to expose the frightful loss.
Do any of the bondholders seem to realize the frightful robbery of the people that is going on under this system?
Yes, indeed, many of them. Thurlow Weed has stated that he is a bondholder in a small way, and he said: "It is quite convenient, after receiving from General Hillhouse, the sub-treasury interested in gold, to cross Wall street, and receive from Colgate & Co. the premium in greenbacks. But I never pocket these premiums without remembering that my gain is another's loss. The reflection that gold premiums are squeezed drop by drop from the sweat of labor is anything but pleasant. The sooner we get back to a financial condition that will afford general relief, the better it will be for all concerned."
What class of men was in the Forty-third Congress, that passed the Resumption act?
There were 379 members, and 189 of them were stockholders in National banks and bondholders. Their bonds yielded them a fixed income, and they favored the Resumption law because it would enhance the purchasing power of their income.
What is patriotism?
If you are a poor man it is shouldering your rifle, leaving your family, and giving
37your life, if it is required of you, to sustain your country's flag, and laws. If you are a rich man, it is lending the Government money at from 15 to 36 per cent. interest, and taking a mortgage upon the whole country, and securing the enslavement of as many generations as possible to simply pay your interest.
What must everybody do from now on?
Rally into the lines of the National Greenback and Labor Party, and prepare by the use of the ballot to bounce Sherman, who informed the people of the ruin of the industries that would take place under enforced resumption.
Now there's nothing else to do.
Truth in Essence.
Cheap labor impoverishes the community and the State. A laborer fairly waged is contented -- poorly waged, he soon becomes society's enemy. The poor man waged so he can be well fed, clothed and housed, has a hope of ease in the future; crush that hope, and from that hour property and the property owner are not secure.
The "Irrepressible Conflict" now is between labor and capital. The National Greenback and Labor Party says: "They must be friends, we cannot afford to have them enemies."
As a nation we have mastered the work of production and the accumulation of wealth,
38and now we, must seek such statesmanship as will conduct future legislation from the point aiming at distributive facilities commensurate with and equal to our increased ability to produce, that all may realize the benefit of labor-saving machinery. Labor-saving inventions, if they mean anything, they mean less hours work for the toiling millions, and more mental culture, that the human being may appreciate the divine impulses that course through all when not overworked in the "struggle for existence." If our statesmen in office cannot solve the problem of protecting the weak from the strong, the poor laboring victim from the robbing usurer, and secure a better system of distribution than we now have, then farewell to freedom and education; for to educate a people and then fasten on them laws that plunge them into poverty, is a crime.
The National Labor Reform and Greenback Party is the party of the people; to discuss these questions, and win intelligent men into line, that the strength of a progressive humanity may be used at the ballot-box for a victory and triumph of the people, for the people, and by the people, in the interest of our flag and the republic.