Miller, Henry G. CHAPTERS ON SILVER
Chicago: Coin Publishing Company, 1894. Original gray printed wrappers; 110, 2pp. (ads for Coin’s Financial Series). Very good; lightly soiled wrappers, light damage to front cover corners, and browned throughout. This is Coin’s Financial School’s position on silver. Coin’s started as an 1894 pamphlet written by William Hope Harvey (1851–1936) advocating a return to bimetallism (both gold and silver as legal tender). The argument is that the demonetization of silver caused by the Coinage Act of 1873 led to the Panic of 1893. Coin’s supported the Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan (1860–1925) in the presidential campaign of 1896, where the question of “what” our currency should be was a major point of contention (See Item D13 of this List for the Republican side). This book published a series of popular Chicago Times articles on silver, making the case for “free silver”. It analyzes current and historic ratios of gold to silver along with an overview of the international historical use of silver as money. From Page 24: “It is an honest dollar when it has at the end of a given period the same value or purchasing power that it had at the beginning… it is because this object can be better accomplished by the use of the two metals, gold and silver, in the currency than by the use of one alone that we ask for the restoration of silver to its ancient position as a money metal.” The issue of bimetallism was highly controversial through the late 19th century. At the time, the bimetallists were solidly Democrat and the gold folks Republicans. The question of the “proper” ratio of gold to silver is still debated today and this book is a good resource for those interested in that discussion.
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