Journal of Dr GFW
Wednesday through Sunday, 6 through 10 July, 1830
- Hits: 1726 1726
We, however, are not in some of constitutions yet as free as real republican principles would require in this state. For instance, property is made the intention of a man's capability to vote in certain cases. In consequence of this remnant of aristocracy many of our most industrious mechanics are deprived of the privilege of voting for senator. Now I look on this as an unjust usurpation of power and should not be tolerable; and it at once shows the step that would be taken if wealth alone should entitle a man to suffrage.
And there is now rising a party in this country and increasing every year whose object is to deprive the common man of the privilege he now enjoys. And that party are united with those aristocratic institutions, the banks, which in time will shake the foundation of this government, if not completely ruin it. These institutions, democratic in their nature because they have granted to them privileges by law which is denied to others, and those privileges imperceptibly draw the proceeds of the labor of the many to the possession of the few. And the laborer does not see that he is in any way affected by it because the nominal price of his labor probably increases.
He does not reflect that the real intrinsic value is the same and that the material he uses as money is depreciated in the exact ratio of the nominal increase of his wages. This spurious paper thus thrown into circulation becomes that by which we regulate the price of every commodity and it is loaned by those institutions and they draw two-thirds more interest on it than if it was gold and silver and the community have this interest to pay and enrich the stockholders for nought, for that which possesses no real value and costs those who issue it nothing and injures the community by the friction it causes every individual to encounter as a supposed reality.
Not only is it injurious and antidemocratic in this view, but these institutions have at their disposal the price of every man's labor and property. They can by their accommodations create a rise in the nominal value of property and then buy contraction or call in their debts, fraudently obtained, to a large extent. Property immediately falls and thousands venturing into the creation of laudable debts in consequence of the ease with which the spurious circulation can be obtained, are at once ruined, because property falls in proportion to the extent of the withdrawal of a redundant circulation. People soon become alarmed and every individual is anxious to secure his debts. Confidence is destroyed and distress prevails. Whoever will take the trouble at the present to view the situation of this country, see the increase of prices within eighteen months, and the near approach of the expiration of the charter of that monarch of aristocracy, the United States Bank, will be convinced that trouble in the money market to an unprecedented extent will occur soon after 1836 if that institution be rechartered, and God forbid it should be.