that a currency "based" on any "security" other than its inherent function and non-discountableness would rob those who used it.
If the whole community co-operate in its issue and use, and "fix" no limit to its quantity or use, such currency would be perfect as to all qualities, and rob none; and such money is "full legal tender" under any name you choose to label it.
As I have taught this doctrine for more than ten years, I hope you will give a corner to this brief "brick" in Liberty.
E. H. Benton.
Wells Mills (Geere), Neb., July, 1884.
I have given Mr. Benton his "corner," and I think he will have difficulty in getting out of it. Let me suppose a case for him. A is a farmer, and owns a farm worth five thousand dollars. B keeps a bank of issue, and is known far and wide as a cautious and honest business man. C, D, E, etc., down to Z are each engaged in some one of the various pursuits of civilized life. A needs ready money. He mortgages his farm to B, and receives in return B's notes, in various denominations, to the amount of five thousand dollars, for which B charges A this transaction's just proportion of the expenses of running the bank, which would be a little less than one-half of one per cent. With these notes A buys various products which he needs of C, D, E, etc., down to Z, who in turn with the same notes buy products of each other, and in course of time come back to A with them to buy his farm produce. A, thus regaining possession of B's notes, returns them to B, who then cancels his mortgage on A's farm. All these parties, from A to Z, have been using for the performance of innumerable, transactions B's notes based on A's farm,—that is, a currency based on some security "other than its inherent function and non-discountableness." They were able to perform them only because they all knew that the notes were thus secured. A knew it because he gave the mortgage; B knew it because he took the mortgage; C, D, E, etc., down to Z knew it because they knew that B never issued notes unless they were secured in this or some similar way. Now, Liberty is ready to see, as Mr. Benton says it ought to see, that any or all of these parties have been robbed by the use of this money when Mr. Benton shall demonstrate it by valid fact and argument. Until then he must stay in his corner.
A word as to the phrase "legal tender." That only is legal tender which the government prescribes as valid for the discharge of debt. Any currency not so prescribed is not legal tender, no matter how universal its use or how unlimited its issue, and to label it so is a confusion of terms.
Another word as to the term "Greenbacker." He is a