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appropriate to read Webster•s words of warning, as:
"I am certain" v of opinion that gold and silver, at rates fixed by Congress, constitute the legal standard of values in this country, and that neither Congress nor any State has authority to establish any other standard or to displace this standard." No man ever expressed his appreciation of the real use of credit more strongly than he . But Daniel Webster opposed legal-tender credit money.
We are soon to have a great celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the Capture of Louisbourg. As our Society of the Colonial Wars has done me the honor to appoint me on the Committee for the memorial, I call to mind, among other things, that this first great outside adventure of the American Colonies was the cause of our first large experiment in credit currency. It led Massachusetts to issue two and a half million pounds of credit money which soon fell to nine per cent, of its nominal value, and the State was only saved from financial ruin by the Massachusetts, the 11 Silver Colony." 193
English ransom of Louisbourg from the Colonies, and by the wisdom of Governor Hutchinson, who secured for his State, payment from England, mostly in silver dollars, so that Massachusetts became known as the "Silver Colony," while the neighboring Colonies kept their depreciated currency, and lost their trade, which was transferred to Massachusetts. Newport then rapidly declined in importance, while the supremacy of Salem and Boston was established.
If our people could only grasp the situation, they would see that we have the greatest opportunity ever offered to any country to control the finances of the world. It is not by locking up and permanently maintaining thirty per cent, of our pernicious greenbacks, to promote the issue of three times as large an amount of paper currency, the volume of which would be more than eight times as great as the gold on which it would be based finally. It is not thus that we can solve our currency question and the world's gold and silver question. But we can solve these problems by joint-metallism, a plan1 by which gold and silver together, at ratios always based on their relative market values, may be made the metallic basis of a sound,2 honest, self-regulating, and permanent currency, without frequent recoinings, and without danger of one metal driving out the other.
1 See page 121.
s Daniel Webster said in the Senate, March 18, 1854: "I hold the immediate convertibility of bank notes into specie to be an indispensable security to their retaining their value."