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"cheap" Or "fiat Monet."

"cheap" Or "fiat Monet." image
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Au Hlstorlcal Parallel. Believers in tlio "cheap" or "fiat money" sehemcR of Ben Butler, Biick Pomeroy & Co. -will find the following ohapter from that reliable history of New York, by "Diedrieh Knickerbockfer," most excellent and refreshing veuding: "Xext to his projects for the suppression of poverty may bc classed thosc of William the Testy for inoreasing the, wealth of New Amsterdam. Solomon, of whose character for wisdom the little Governor was somewhat cmulous, had made gold and silver a.s plenty as the in the streets of Jerusalem. "William Kieft could not pretend to vie with him as to the precious metáis, but he determined, as an equivalent, to flood the streets of New Amsterdam with Indian money. This was nothing more nor less thaii strings of beads wrought out of clam.s, perh inklos and other shcll-fish, and called seawant or wampum. These had formed a nativo curreney among the simple savages, ■vb.o were content to take tlieni of the Dutchmen in exchange for peltries. In an unlucky moment William the Teaty, seeing this money of easy production, conceived the project of making it the current coin of the provinee. It is truo it had an intrinsie value among the Indiana, who used it to ornament their robes and moccasins, but among the honest burghers it had no more intrinsic value than thosc rags whieh foi-m the paper currency of modern days. This consideration, howcver, had no weight with 'William Kieft'. He began by paying all the servants of the comp;iny, and al] debts of goverument, in strings of wampum. He sent emissaries to swecp the shore of Long island, wbich was the Ophir of this modern Solomon, anti abounded in slieli üsh. These wen transported in loads to New Amsterdam, coined into Indian money, and launched into eireulation. And now, for a time, affairs went on swimmingly ; money beeamc as plentiful as in tlic modem days of jiaper curreney, and to uso the popular phrase, ' a wonderful impulse waa given to public prospwrity.' Yankee traders jjounnl into the provinee, buying evei-ything they could lay theii hunds on, and paying worthj Dütonmen tlieir own pnce in Indiai nidiiey. Tl' (he latter, however, attempted to pay the Yankees in the same coin for their finware ahd wooden bowls, tht easo was iltered; nothing would do lut Dutoh guilders mid sueh lil;e 'inetiillu currency.' Wlmt wpa worse, the Yankees introduced au infei-ior kind o: vani)uia made of oyster shells, witl whicli tliey doluged the provmee, curry ing oft' iii exchangc all the sil ver anc' gok!, the Dutch hesrisgjB, and Dutcl cheeses ; tlms easrly dia tlic knowuig mei of the East manifest their skill iu bar gaining the New Amsterdaniers out o the oyster, and leaving them the shell It was a long time before AVilliain the Testy was made sensible how completely his grand project of finance was turnee' against hiin by liis Eastern neighbors nor would he probably have ever founc it out, had hot tidings been brough hiin tliat the Yankees had made a de scent upon Long island, and had es tnblished a kind of mirit at Oyster bay where they were coining np all the oyster bank. Now this was niaking vital attack upon the provinee in ; doublé sense, financia! and gastronom ical. Ever since the Council dinner o Oloffe, tlie dreamer, at the founding o New Amsterdam, at which banquet the oyster figured so eonspicuously, this di vine sheU-fish has been held in a kinc' of superstitious reverence at the Man hattoes ; as witness the templos eroctec to it in every street and lane anc filley. In faet, it is the standard luxurj of the place, as is the terrainn at Phila delphia, the soit orab at Baltimore, 01 'tíü eanvas-baok at "Washington. Th seizure of Oyster bay, therefore, was an outrage not meroly on the pockets, bu the larders, of the New Amsterdamers the whole community was aroosed, anc an oyster crusade was immediatcly sei on foot agaiust the Yankees. Everj stout trenchennan hastened to the standard ; nay, sorae of the corpulent burgomasters and sehepens joined the expedifcion au a eorps de reserve, only to be called into iiction when the sacking commeneed. "The conduct of the expedition was intrusted to a valiant Dutchman, who for size and weight might havematelioi" with Oolbrand, the Danish champion slain by Guy of Warwiek. He was famous throtighout the provinee for strength of arm and skill at quarterstaff, and henee was named Stoffel Brinkerhoff, or, rather, Brinkerhoofd ; that is to say, Stoffel the head-breakor. This sturdy comniander, who was a man ol few words but vigorous deeds, led his troops resolutely on through Nineveh and Babylou, and Jericho, and Patehhog, and othev Long island towns, without encountering any difficulty of note , though it is said that some of the bnrgomasters gave out at Hardxcramble hil] and Hungry hollow, and that others lost lieavt and turned back at Puss-panick. Witli the rest he made good his mareh until he arrived in the neighborhood oi Oyster bay. Here he was encountered by a host of Yankee wm-riors headed by Preserved Fish, and Habakkuk Nntter, and Return Strong, and Temibbabei Fisk, and Deterndned Oock at the sound of whose ïiiiiiics Stoffel Brinlferhoff verily In licvcil the whole Parliament of f raisè God Barebones had been let loose upon him. He soon found, however, that they were merely the ' se - lectment ' of tho settlement, armed with no weapojD but the tongue, and disposed only to meet him on the field of argument. Stoflel had but one mode of arguing; that was with tho cudgel; but lii' nsed it with such eftect that he routed his uitagonisfs, hrokc uj) the settlement, and would have driven the iiilialiitiints into the sen if they had not managed to escape across the sound to the mainland by tho Devil's steppiügstones, which remain to this day monuments of this great Dutch victory over the Yaukeos. "Stoffel Brinkerhoff made great spoil of oysters and clams, coineci and uucoined, and then set out on his return ti tlic Manhuttoes. A grand triumih, altor the marnier of the ancients, was prepared for him by William the Testy. He entered New Amsterdam ns a coilqueror, mounted upon a Narraganset pacer. Fire-died codfish on polos, staudurds taken from the enemy, were born before him, and an immense store of oysters and clams. WeatheraBeld (inions and Yankee notions formeel the spolia optima; while scmiüI coiners of oyster-shells wero led captivo to grace the hero's triumph. The procession was aceonipanied by a full band of boys and negroes performing on the popular instruments of rattlebones and elam-shells, while Antony Aran Corlear sounded his trumpet frpm the ramparts. A great banquet was served np in the stadthouse from the clams and oysters taken from tlic rnt'my ; while the Governor sent the shells privately to tlie mint and liad them coined into Indian money, with which he paid nis troops. It is moreover said that the Governor, calling to mind the practice among the ancients to honor their victorious General with public statues, passed a niagnanimous decree, by vhioh every tavern-keeper w:is jiormitted to paint the hcad of Stoffel Brinterhoff ujmn his sigii."


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Michigan Argus