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to the Ltuising Journal, we maintained the pusition that "gold and silver coiu is the uioney of the Constitution," and that greenbacka are in 110 constitutional sense iuoiioy. In defense of our position we quoted tho following parugraph trom a decisión of t)io Supremo Court of the United States : "It is clear that these notes are obligutions of the United States. Their iiiunu Import obligatiun, aud every one oí them bearu on iU tuce a promise to pay a certani sum. The dollar note is a promise to pay a dollar, and tho dollar inteuüed is the coin dollar ot' the United States ; a certain weight aud fineuess of gold or silver. These notes are obligations. They bind the nutioual ttiith. 'lhey are, therefore, atrictly securities." Keturning to the discuasion the Journal says : The Aryus is not ingenuous, This quotation is not froin the decisión in the legal tender case, but is from a decisión irr 7tn Wallace, made in 1SGS, aud which is wholly overruled and overthrown as law by the subsequont decisión of the legal tender case in 12th Wallace, made, by a f uil benen. And, itfter quoting from 12th Wallace, as follows : "We leave the Aryus to extricate itself from its predicatnent of haviug quoted a reversed and nulhfied decisión as law, to iniike it appear that the dollar called for by the greenback is a coiu dollar of a certuin weight and fineness of gold and silver, w hun the Suprome Court has subsequently decided that the "dollar ïutmded" is that which the law recognizes as a dollar wheu the paymeut is to be made. When a man in a desperate pinch is couipelled to quote a repealed statute to sustain a legal argument, his whole fahric comes turnbling about hls ears." Now, we beg leave to assure our friend of the Journal that the Argus finds itself in no such predicament as it imagines. The decisión in Tth Wallace, from which we quoted, has neoer been reversed, and the l'Jth Wallace decison did uot assume to reverse it. It was held by the decisión in 7th Wallace that greenbacks were " proraises to pay," were " strictly securities," wore not money, and were not taxable as money. And nowhere in the land to-day, in no State, eounty, or city, do the assessing offioera list and tax groonbacks in the hands of private citizen or Corporation. The decisión in 12th Wallace overruled or reversed tho decisión in llepburn vs. Orüwold (8 Wall., 603), but did ot disturb the decisión in Bank vs. Supervisors, 7th Wallace. Is n't the Journal in that unfortunate " predicament " rather than the Arqus ? The Journal also finds fault with us for not quoting the following paragraph from the 12th Wallace decisión, a paragraph "immediately following" the paragraph we did quote, which refused to "assert that Congress can inake anything which has no valué money : " "What we do assert is that Congress bas power to enact that the goveruraeut's promise to pay money shall be, for the timo being, equivalent in value to the representativo of valué deterrained by the coiuuge acta, or to múltiples thereof. It ia hardly correct to speak ot of a Standard of value. The constitution does not speak of it. It contemplates a standard for that which has gravity or extensión, but value is an ideal thiug. The coinage acts tix its unit as a dollar ; but the gold or silver thing we cali a dollar is, in no sense, a standard of a dollar. It is a representativa of it." Passing by the utterly nonsensical proposition of Justice Strong that "it is hardly correct to speak of a standard of value," and that the "gold or silver thing we cali a, dollar is, in no sense, a standard of a dollar," but only "a representativo of it," - a proposition contradicted by the whole legislation of Congress from the formatiou of the Government, - was the Journal exactly " ingenuous" in omitting this Rentenee found in the game paragraph from which the above quotation is made : "It is, then, a mistake to regard the legal tender acts as either fíxing a standard ot vatue or regulating money values, or muking that money which has no intriusic value," (the green back). And yet Justice Strong and the Court, in the face of such disclaimer, held greenbacks a legal tender. With such an 'eminent example of self-stultification perhaps the Journal is justified in holding a paper promise to pay a dollar, a thing of no intrinsic value, as much "money of the Constitution" as the gold and silver coin Congress is authorized to coin and regúlate tho value of. We muy be peiinitted to quote, both for the benefit of our Journal friend and our readers, from the concurring opinión of Justice Bradley. Holding it to be the prerogative of evory government to "anticípate its resources by the issue of exchequer bilis, bilis of credit, bonds, stock, or a banking apparatus," he says : "It is not an attempt to coin mouey out of a valueless material, like the coinage of leather or ivory or kowrie shells. It is a pledge of the national credit. It is a promise by the government to pay dollars, it is not au attempt to make dollars. The standard oí value is uot chauged. [Justice Strong recognized no Standard of value]. The government simply demauds that its credit shall be accepted aud received by public and private creditors during the pending exigeucy." And again : " No one supposes that these government certiticates are never to be paid - that the day of specie paymeuta is never to return. And it matter not in whnt form they are issued. The principio is the samo. Iustead of certificares they may be treasury notes, or paper of any other form. And their payment may not be made directly in coiu, but they may be first convertible iuto government bonds, or other government socurities. Through whatever they pass, their ultímate destiuy is to be paid." The destiny of 'money of the Constitution" to be "paid in coin" or convertible into bonds. Queer money that ! But it was tho best Justices Strong and Bradley, two Justices foisted into the Supremo Court for a purpose, - to reverse a decisión concurred in by every Democratie Jadge on the Supreme bencb, and help a llepublican Congress, a Bepublicau administration, and the Republican party out of the tinancial pit, - could say for it. We can see how Republicans can defend such legislation and such decisions, or even aBk for more, an unliaiitod and irredeeinablo issue of greenbacks, but how any Deinoerat can cali tin-m "monoy of tho Constitution," or soek to perpetúate their existence, or increase their volume is beyond our comprohension.


Old News
Michigan Argus