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and value to that which is to be the medium of our internal commerce, and the support of the war.
Can we carry on the war much longer? Certainly not, unless some measures can be devised and speedily executed, to restore the credit of our Currency, restrain extortion, and punish forestallers.
Unless these can be effected, what funds can stand the present expenses of the army? And what officers can bear the weight of prices that every necessary article has got to?
A rat, in the shape of a horse, is not to be bought at this time, for less than two hundred pounds; nor a saddle, under thirty or forty; boots, twenty; and shoes and other articles, in like proportion. How is it possible, therefore, for officers to stand this, without an increase of pay? And how is it possible to advance their pay, when flour is selling, at different places, from five to fifteen pounds per hundred weight, hay from ten to thirty pounds per ton, and beef and other essentials, in this proportion?
It is well worthy the ambition of a patriot statesman, at this juncture, to endeavor to pacify party dif ferences, to give fresh vigor to the springs of Government, to inspire the people with confidence, and, above all, to restore the credit of our Currency.
USING THE SPONGE.
The sponge, which some gentlemen have talked of using, unless there be a discrimination and proper saving clauses provided, (and how far this is practicable I know not,) would be unjust and impolitic in the ex
Perhaps I do not understand what they mean, by Using the sponge." If it be, to sink the money in the hands of the holders of it, and at their loss, it cannot in my opinion stand justified upon any principles of common policy, common sense, or common honesty.
How far a man, who has possessed himself of twenty paper dollars, by means of one, or the value of one, in specie, has a just claim upon the public, for more than one of the latter, in redemption, and in that ratio according to the periods of depreciation, I leave to those who are better acquainted with the nature of the subject, and have more leisure than I have, to dis
CREDIT OF THE CURRENCY, TO BE RESTORED.
Every other effort is in vain, unless something can be done to restore its credit.
Congress, the States individually, and individuals of each State, should exert themselves to effect this great end. It is the only hope, the last resource, of
the enemy. Nothing but our want of public virtue can induce a continuance of the war.
Let them once see, that, as it is in our power, so it is our inclination and intention, to overcome this difficulty; and the idea of conquest, or hope of bringing us back to a state of dependence, will vanish like the morning dew. They can no more encounter this kind of opposition, than the hoar-frost can withstand the rays of the all-cheering sun. The liberty and safety of this country depend upon it. The way is plain ; the means are in our power. But it is virtue alone that can effect it.
To make and extort money, in every shape that can be devised, and at the same time to decry its value, seems to have become a mere business, and an epidemical disease, calling for the interposition of every good man and body of men.
GREAT DEPRECIATION OF THE CURRENCY.
The depreciation has got to so alarming a point, that a wagon-load of money will scarcely purchase a wagon-load of provisions.
THE STATE OF THE CURRENCY, THE NATION'S GREAT EVIL.
Nothing, I am convinced, but the depreciation of our currency, has fed the hopes of the enemy, and kept the British arms in America to this day. They do not scruple to declare this themselves; and add, that we shall be our own conquerors.
Cannot our common country, America, possess virtue enough to disappoint them? Is the paltry consideration of a little pelf to individuals, to be placed in competition with the essential rights and liberties of the present generation, and of millions yet unborn? Shall a few designing men, for their own aggrandizement, and to gratify their own avarice, overset the goodly fabric we have been rearing at the expense of so much time, blood, and treasure?
Shall we at last become the victims of our own lust of gain? Forbid it, Heaven! Forbid it, all and every State of the Union, by enacting and enforcing efficacious laws for checking the growth of these monstrous evils, and restoring matters, in some degree, to the state they were in at the commencement of the war!
SPECULATORS IN THE CURRENCY.
This tribe of black gentry work more effectually against us, than the enemy's arms.
They are a hundred times more dangerous to our liberties, and the great cause we are engaged in.
It is much to be lamented, that each State, long ere this, has not hunted them down, as pests to society, and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America.
I would to God, that some one of the most atrocious in each State, was hung upon a gallows, five times as high as the one prepared by Haman.
No punishment, in my opinion, is too great for the man who can build his greatness upon his country's ruin.
Let vigorous measures be adopted; not to limit the prices of articles, for this, I believe, is inconsistent with the very nature of things, and impracticable in itself; but to punish Speculators, Forestallers, and Extortioners, and, above all, to sink the money by heavy taxes, to promote public and private economy, and encourage manufactures.
Measures of this sort, gone heartily into by the several States, would strike at once at the root of all our evils, and give the coup de grace to the British hope of subjugating this continent, either by their arms or their arts. The former, they acknowledge, are unequal to the task; the latter, I am sure, will be so, if we are not lost to every thing that is good and virtuous.