Friday, March 27, 2009

There is no "Panic" here, Wall Street is not America, and the People Are With the President 1895

The people in the country at large are not likely to be affected by the lamentations of Wall street or to recognize in a panic on the stock market any real disaster to our domestic industries. The country will not be frightened into submission to England's arrogant pretensions because a few speculators are forced to the wall by a flurry in gambling circles. If foreigners choose to get alarmed over the situation, and to send their stocks and bonds to New York for sale at a loss, that is no concern of the American people. The fact does not mean that the railroads, mines, and manufactories upon which these stocks and bonds are based have lost their earning powers, and that is the only question with which we need concern ourselves. The whole aim and purpose of this unloading of American securities by foreign holders is to frighten or disuade us from the course we have marked out for ourselves.

The President has touched a patriotic chord, and the American people have responded with instant and harmonious enthusiasm. The whole Nation is behind him. What is needed, and what the president, no doubt, wants, is a retirement of the Treasury demand notes and the substitution for them of a currency equal in volume and in value, but divested of that prerogative which at present constitutes our greatest peril and embarrassment. This is not beyond the reach of immediate achievement.

Unquestionably some legislation of this kind is imperative. Unquestionably it is the solemn duty of Congress to address itself to that task in a spirit of patriotic statesmenship. It is evident that Europe is now endeavoring to divert the United States from its present purpose, and that Europe has her allies in all the great American markets. The usurer and the money changer know neither creed nor nationality. At all times and in all places either is a man without a country, who knows only the god of avarice. It behooves us, therefore, as a people, to protect ourselves, to place our Treasury beyond the reach of any foe, to erect financial bulwarks against which neither the avowed foe nor the disguised traitor may prevail. This we can do. This the President asks us to do.

Source of information was transcribed verbatim from the New York Times December 24, 1895

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