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3liiietican fttate^men 


JAMES G. BLAINE, by Edward Stanwood. 
JOHN SHERMAN, by Thbodorb £. Burton. 

Each, with portrait, xamo, #1.25, 9ut. Postage la oenta. 


Boston and Nbw York , 




IK) HE E. B''UTO\' 





BY .\ 




^be iflitienflbe prejfjf Cambrtb^e 


Published December iqob 


I. Ancestry, Eablt Life, and Subround- 


II. SiAYEHT Agitation : Election to Con- 
gress .... 20 

in. A Member of thb House of Repre- 
sentatives 34 

IV. The Thirty-Sixth Congress .... 61 
V. Member of the Senate — The Civil 

War and its Problems 80 

VI. Taxation AND Loans — National Bank- 
ing System 116 

VII. The Reconstruction Period .... 142 
VIII. Financial Conditions after the Civil 

War — The Currency — Public Debt 172 
IX. Reduction of Taxation — Tariff — In- 
ternal Revenue 191 

X. National Debt — Refunding of Bonds 202 
XI. Final Accomplishment of Legislation 

for Resumption 226 

Xn. Secretary of the Treasury — Refund- 
ing — Silver Legislation — Resump- 
tion 252 

Xin. Return to the Senate — Three Times 
A Candidate for the Presidential 
Nomination 298 


XIV. Foreign Affaibs — Legisiation per- 
taining TO Interstate Commerce — 
Further Tariff Discussion . . . 826 
XV. In the Senate — Administration of 

President Harrison, 1869-1898 . . 858 
XVI. Senator during Cleveland's Second 

ADMiNierrRATioN, 1898-1897 ... 886 
XVn. Secretary of State — His Last Days . 409 

XVin. Summary and Conclusion 418 

Index 481 




John Sherman was bom at Lancaster, Fairfield 
County, Ohio, on the 10th day of May, 182S. He 
died at Washington, October 22, 1900, having 
reached the ripe age of seventy-seven years. His 
public career as a member of the House of Repre- 
sentatives and of the Senate, Secretary of the Treas- 
ury, and Secretary of State extended from March 
4, 1855, to April 27, 1898, a period of more than 
forty-three years. When he left the Senate in March, 
1897, his membership in that body, though not 
continuous, had been longer than that of any other 

His ancestry on both sides belonged to a pure 
English stock. Samuel Sherman, his paternal an- 
cestor of the sixth preceding generation, came from 
Essex County, England, in 1634, when sixteen 
years of age, and after a sojourn in Massachusetts, 
settled in Connecticut. His five intermediate an- 
cestors were bom in the western part of the latter 
state. The Sherman family of Essex County made 
important contributions to the citizenship of the 


New World. The descendants of Samuel Sherman, 
and of his cousin John, who migrated at the same 
time, include not only John Sherman, and his illus- 
trious brother William Tecumseh, but also Roger 
Sherman, George F. and Ebenezer R. Hoar, Wil- 
liam M. Evarts, and Chauncey M. Depew. 

The effect of heredity as a favoring influence in 
the lives of American statesmen is not clearly ap- 
parent. Neither inherited predilection for a public 
career nor the prestige of a family name has been 
a requisite for gaining exalted official station. Along 
with the unequaled possibilities which our country 
affords, there also exists the nearest approach to 
equality of opportunity, and the highest political 
rewards have been obtained by industry, ability, and 
the possession of popular qualities. While instances 
have not been lacking in which successive mem- 
bers of the same family have maintained a promi- 
nent position in public affairs for three, and even 
four, generations, many more have been at the fore- 
front who were the sons of ancestors who never 
held office. Among these may be counted Wash- 
ington and Madison, who were the sons of prosper- 
ous landed proprietors. The fathers of John Adams, 
Van Buren, and Polk were thrifty farmers. In con- 
trast with those mentioned, that unsurpassed quar- 
tet, Jackson, Clay, Lincoln, and Garfield, were the 
children of poverty. 

There is another list, however, quite as numerous 
which tends to show that an inherited bias for pub- 
lic service is not without advantage. It is made up 


of those whose fathers held office, but in a theatre 
of action very much limited in area, in many cases 
including only a township or a county, preferment 
having been given because of their sturdy common 
sense and unswerving integrity. Whatever inspira- 
tion descended to their sons, impelling them to par- 
ticipate in public affairs, was derived from such 
sources as the town meeting, the county court, 
the colonial or state legislature, or the command 
of the local militia. An unusual proportion of these 
ancestors held petty judicial positions, in which it 
was their duty to decide conflicting claims of their 
neighbors. In this list may be counted Jefferson, 
Marshall, Webster, Calhoun, Seward, and Blaine. 
With them may be classed Patrick Henry, whose 
father, notwithstanding unsustained accounts of 
his son's illiteracy, had enjoyed better educational 
advantages than the parents of any of the others 

The history of Mr. Sherman's lineage identifies 
him more nearly with the latter group and fur- 
nishes an argument in support of the importance 
of heredity. His paternal ancestors held office al- 
most continuously from the day when Samuel Sher- 
man landed in New England, and several of them 
for a very long time. Two of them were mem- 
bers of the Court of Assistants, or Upper House of 
Connecticut, a position the most honorable in the 
gift of the electors of the colony. After Samuel 
Sherman, four of the five intervening ancestors held 
similar positions, including those of judge of the 


county court, probate judge, and member of the 
legislature. The first ancestor bom in this countiy 
was speaker of the Lower House for two sessions; 
and it is an interesting coincidence that he held the 
position of associate county judge for forty-four 
years, a slightly longer period than that during which 
his illustrious descendant held office under the 
national government. Another, Daniel Sherman, 
who lived in the time of the Revolution, was for 
sixty-five semi-annual sessions the representative 
of his native town in the Greneral Assembly. Tay- 
lor and Charles Robert Sherman, grandfather and 
father, respectively, of John Sherman, were law- 
yers and held judicial and other offices. 

Mr. Sherman's father, Charles Robert, went forth 
from Connecticut to seek a home in Ohio in the 
year 1810. The so-called " Fire Lands," now com- 
prising the counties of Erie and Huron, would have 
seemed the natural location for him, because his 
father was the owner of a considerable tract of land 
in that locality, where a township had been named 
after him; also, the main stream of emigration from 
Connecticut lay toward the northern part of the 
state in the direction of the Western Reserve; but 
the fear of hostile Indians deterred him from going 
there, and he chose Lancaster for his home. He re- 
turned to Connecticut to bring with him his wife 
and an only son, then an infant, establishing him- 
self in Ohio in 1811. Lancaster was the seat of one 
of the most intelligent communities of the West, 
and became especially celebrated for the eminence 


of the lawyers who resided there. He acted suc- 
cessively as major in the militia, collector of internal 
revenue, and as one of the four judges of the Su- 
preme Court of Ohio. In this last position he seems 
to have maintained an excellent reputation for abil- 
ity and fairness; and as the court in those days 
traveled from county to county, he acquired a large 
acquaintance which in later years was of material 
benefit to his son. He was prematurely taken away 
by a sudden illness, June 24, 1829, when forty years 
of age. A widow and eleven children survived him, 
of whom two rose to eminence, — William Tecum- 
seh, and John, the eighth child, the subject of this 
sketch. The former was nine and the latter six years 
of age. A weighty responsibility was placed upon 
the widow, who seems to have been a woman of 
strong character, well educated, and possessed of 
great tact and resourcefulness. Her limited means 
made it desirable to separate her children, and 
William Tecumseh was adopted into the family of 
the Honorable Thomas Ewing, who, in the year 
1836, procured for him an appointment to West 

John Sherman studied at private schools for eight 
years, two years at Lancaster, then four years at 
Mount Vernon, and again two years at Lancaster. 
During the four years at Mount Vernon he was in 
the family of a cousin of his father. Although it was 
intended that he should take a college course at 
Kenyon College, and relatives of the family offered 
the necessary assistance, it appears that his own 


preference was to engage in active life, when only 
fourteen years of age. In later life he gave as his 
reason that his chief desire at the time was to help 
his mother. His education was of a routine char- 
acter, of the kind much in vogue at that time, though 
marked by thoroughness and rendered more help- 
ful by his aptness as a pupil. No one of his instruct- 
ors appears to have made any great impression 
upon him; certainly none exerted any guiding or 
inspiring influence akin to that of Dr. William 
Small upon Thomas Jefferson, or of Rev. Hugh 
Knox upon Hamilton. Unlike the placid and un- 
excitable John Sherman of mature years, the boy 
seems to have been of a rollicking and rather care- 
less disposition. He recounts his schoolboy fights, 
and tells of resisting a teacher at the academy at 
Lancaster who sought to punish him, an incident 
which led to his expulsion, though he was readmit- 
ted later. If the early days of the two brothers are 
to be contrasted, it would seem that the future gen- 
eral was a quiet and industrious student, resorting 
to hunting for his favorite amusement, while the 
future senator was especially fond of more sociable 
sports, and remembered in after life his pleasant 
associations with his schoolmates more vividly than 
the instruction of his teachers. In the course of his 
studies he learned little Latin and no Greek. At no 
time was the study of languages, ancient or modem, 
an agreeable task for him. The native bent of his 
mind was very manifestly toward mathematical 
und scientific studies. He mastered the former with 


ease; algebra, Euclid, and especially surveying, were 
his favorites. To the end of his life he kept near 
him a complete set of surveyor's instruments, and 
in hours of leisure it afforded him sincere delight 
to make plats of his landed properties. 

His first employment, when he was only fourteen 
years of age, was upon the construction by the State 
of Ohio of the Muskingum River Improvement, by 
means of which the river was to be made navigable 
from Zanesville to its mouth, at Marietta. His po- 
sition was that of junior rodman. After the measure- 
ment of levels and the making of computations were 
completed, he was given a minor place in the di- 
rection of the work. He showed such competency, 
however, that on the discharge of one of the super- 
intendents, his budding capacity was recognized 
by placing him, notwithstanding his tender years, 
in charge of the construction of a lock and dam. 

The termination of this employment was destined 
to make a profound impression upon him and 
to exercise a controlling influence upon his choice 
of a profession. The keen satisfaction which he 
found in pursuits of this nature, and the gratifica- 
tion derived from his rapid promotion, might have 
caused him to become a surveyor or contractor; 
but after two years his aspirations received a rude 
shock. The election of a Democratic governor 
of Ohio in 1838 was followed by the discharge, in 
June of the following year, of the chief super- 
intendent. A letter of confidence and good will 
addressed to him by young Sherman and other 


saboidiiiates led to their disduuge also. SSiennan's 
leanings toward the VFhig party, whicfa could hardly 
have been veiy well defined up to that time, were so 
strengthened that he became a strong partisan. The 
event also gave a new direction to his ambitions 
and caused him to decide to study law, a profession 
to which he was strongly predisposed because his 
father had been a lawyer, and Judge Faiker, the 
husband of an aunt, and his oldest brother, were 
members of the bar at Mansfield. 

His services on the public works of Ohio and his 
surroundings at that time could not faQ to give bent 
to his inclinations, even at the eaiiy age of sixteen. 
He was in the midst of a community eminently pro- 
gtessive, where evidences of growth and material 
prosperity were visibk on every side. Ohio en- 
joyed a marvelous increase of wealth and popula- 
tion in the decade beginning in 1831. During these 
ten years, its gain in population was greater than 
that of any otiier state of the Union, and greater also 
than that of any state or colony in any previous 
decade since the settlement of America. It was 
essentially an era of development, in which canals 
and better highways played an important part, nor 
was the awakening limited to portions of the state 
inmiediately affected by the construction of these 

All this tended to make of Sherman an early ex- 
ample of that type of the American citizen so com- 
mon in recent years; men intensely practical, who 
are absorbed in concrete problems of financial and 


commercial endeavor and possessed of the greatest 
ability in devising means to originate and maintain 
great business enterprises. When barely fifteen 
years of age he had purchased a quantity of salt 
and apples on the Muskingum with the thought of 
obtaining large profits by transporting them by barge 
to Cincinnati. The absence of the usual autunm 
rise, and an early freezing of the river, made the ven- 
ture a losing one, and gave his brother and other 
relatives opportunity for good-natured chaffing. 
At the same time they recognized that his plan was 
well devised. Even after his admission to the bar, 
his preferences were manifestly for a career in which 
he could share the advantages arising from the in- 
dustrial and commercial growth of the country. In 
1853, his brother, William Tecumseh, wrote him 
of a plan to resign his commission in the army and 
engage in banking business in San Francisco. In 
response, he wrote: "The spirit of the age is pro- 
gressive and commercial, and soldiers have not that 
opportunity for distinction which is the strongest 
inducement in favor of that profession. From your 
business habits and experience, you ought in a few 
years to acquire a fortune which will amply com- 
pensate you for the loss of the title of colonel." 

It was not merely by favorable surroundings in a 
material way that his early life was influenced. The 
State of Ohio was an excellent training-school for 
learning the duties of citizenship, and for education 
in the science of government. Much has been writ- 
ten of the prominence of the State of Ohio in na- 


tional affairs during the last half of the nineteenth 
century. It has been alleged that no territorial di- 
vision which includes so inconsiderable a share of 
the population of a great nation has contributed so 
large a quota of men who have attained leadership 
in civil and military affairs. Not infrequently this 
has been ascribed to chance, or facetiously explained 
as the result of superior qualifications in seeking 
official station. An examination of the history of 
the state will, however, disclose substantial grounds, 
if not for assuming the position of the leading com- 
monwealth, at least for making a most substantial 
contribution to the upbuilding of the nation. 

In many respects conditions in Ohio were not 
different from those in other states. The citizens 
of all alike displayed striking characteristics in the 
early days of the Republic. They enjoyed a con- 
sciousness of superiority, based upon victory in a 
long and unequal contest in which they had achieved 
independence and found themselves destined to 
be predominant in the western hemisphere. They 
displayed a boldness in initiative and a desire for 
the greatest possible freedom of action, tempered 
by the ingrained conservatism of the Anglo-Saxon 
race. The framers of American constitutions had 
read the writings of Montesquieu and the more 
radical utterances of Voltaire and Rousseau. Later, 
the people had before them the striking object-les- 
son afforded by the French Revolution. But as they 
pondered upon theory and history, they had a clear 
vision enabling them to avoid extravagances and 


to detennine the legitimate bound at which liberty 
of action should stop. The movement which created 
this nation was materially different from the French 
Revolution and a majority of similar uprisings. As 
distinguished from them, the American Revolu- 
tion was a successful attempt to establish the prin- 
ciples of freedom and equality, while the others were 
actuated by that bitterness against authority which 
is aroused by grievous oppression and wrong. While 
certain fundamentals were observed in all the states, 
there was an infinite variety of opinion concerning 
the relation of the state to the nation and of the 
state to the individual. Education, though by no 
means as conmion as in the last half of the nine- 
teenth century, was highly prized, and was suffi- 
ciently maintained to secure a very high average 
of general intelligence and to give excellent training 
to those who desired it. With improvements in 
means of transportation, all parts of the country 
alike were benefited, as these had a tendency to 
do away with any spirit of narrowness and to give 
a new impetus to progress. 

Ohio, however, had distinctive features of her 
own, first of which was the cosmopolitan quality 
of her citizenship. Physiologists and ethnologists 
alike have asserted that for the maintenance of 
the most vigorous physical and intellectual stock, 
a mingling of various peoples is necessary. If this 
assertion is true, Ohio certainly was destined to be 
the abode of a most vigorous people. To say that 
the Puritan and the Cavalier met upon the soil of 


Ohio does not adequately describe the mingling of 
forces which influenced her early settlement. Penn- 
sylvania made her contribution not merely from 
her population of Gerpian descent, but by a large 
representation of Quakers and Scotch-Irish as well. 
Virginians occupied large areas of territory around 
Chillicothe and elsewhere. New York gave many 
of her most energetic citizens. Connecticut and 
Massachusetts sent representatives of the best New 
England stock to the Western Reserve and to Mari- 
etta. New Jersey planted a settlement at Cincin- 
nati. Maryland furnished a migration which, in 
1850, the date of the first enumeration according 
to nativity, numbered a half more than the more 
influential contingent from Connecticut. North 
Carolina contributed her quota of Scotch-Irish. 
Kentucky sent many stalwart and adventurous 
settlers across the Ohio. A French settlement was 
established at Gallipolis. The Revolutionary sol- 
dier was still prominent when Mr. Sherman was 
bom, and before he had entered politics many im- 
migrants from Europe had located in Ohio, includ- 
ing a considerable contingent of German refugees 
of the later " forties " who came to be numbered 
among his most ardent political supporters. 

The local statutes and institutions of the con- 
tributing communities were carefully compared, 
and discriminating efforts were made to select the 
best from all. In such a state there was no place 
for provincialism or a one-sided development. 
There was a constant attrition of conflicting ideas. 


The visionary and the idealist were granted a most 
respectful hearing, but all theories were subjected 
to the test of practicability and the probability of 
substantial benefit from their acceptance. In other 
portions of the Union free discussion was a constant 
source of instruction, but nowhere were the springs 
from which to draw inspiration and direction so 
abundant or so varied. 

Some of the colonies were settled by migration 
from a single state or foreign country; others — 
where the settlement was derived from two or more 
sources — suffered from conflicts between inhar- 
monious elements. Ohio was settled in peace, and 
no commonwealth ever witnessed the mingling of 
so diverse and mutually helpful elements with less 

The state had other advantages which could not, 
fail to improve the quality of her citizenship. In 
distinction from other states and colonies, a con- 
stitution was provided before the beginnings of set- 
tlement in which were embodied the fundamental 
ideas upon which American institutions rest. While 
the Constitutional Convention was in session at 
Philadelphia, in 1787, another body assembled at 
New York, composed of men less known to fame, 
the last of the Continental Congresses, framed the 
Ordinance of 1787 for the government of the ter- 
ritory northwest of the Ohio. This Ordinance in- 
cluded two classes of provisions: one temporary, 
to terminate with the admission of the territory de- 
scribed; the other regarded as compacts which 


could be terminated only by the joint consent of 
the original states and the people of the states to be 
created from the new territory. The first class in- 
cluded regulations for the disposition of property, 
including the abolition of primogeniture, and for 
the establishment of a territorial government; the 
second included provisions preventing molestation 
of any person because of his mode of worship or re- 
ligious sentiments, establishing the writ of habeas 
corpus, also declaring the importance of religion, 
morality, and knowledge, and last of all, forbidding 
slavery. This exclusion of slavery was not merely 
of incalculable benefit to social and economic con- 
ditions in the new state, but it attracted from the 
whole country a class of citizens, who, in that early 
day, realized the evils which must arise from this 
unnatural institution. 

Under this Ordinance, or laws adopted in pur- 
suance of it, land titles were free from doubt or 
controversy, and a considerable quantity of land was 
reserved by the general government which was open 
to entry by any person who desired to settle in the 
new territory. 

The Indians were at first troublesome in some^ 
localities, and were victorious in several contests, 
but there was not the long harassment from that 
source which impeded the development of some of 
the older states. Conflicts with them arose to the 
dignity of battles and were few and decisive. The 
victories of the white man kept them in awe and 
treaties were made as the land was required for 



settlement. But if the adventurous character which 
comes from warfare was lacking it was not the less 
true that none but those of courage and endurance 
could bear up under the hardship of the journey 
from the older communities to the new state, and 
thus the early settlers were of a stalwart type, shrink- 
ing from no obstacles. To a peculiar degree they 
were persons not merely of resolution but of pa- 
triotism and excellent moral principles, who sought 
the new commonwealth with a view to bettering 
their condition and building up a state. A lady liv- 
ing until a few years ago remembered the departure 
of the Shermans from Norwalk, Connecticut, in 
1811, and recalled vividly that the day of their leave- 
taking was made the occasion for religious services 
held at the church from which Charles Robert Sher- 
man and his wife, with their infant child, commenced 
their journey on horseback. 

The public school system was organized early, 
and Ohio was the first state to receive a general 
endowment by land grants set apart for the pur- 
pose of education. From such a state it is natural 
that leaders should arise who would play a most 
important part in the nation's affairs. More notable 
still was the general quality of the population, which 
was characterized by a high standard of intelligence 
and of moral ideals. Manifestly generals cannot win 
battles without private soldiers behind them who 
are courageous and unflinching under the fire of 
the enemy, nor can statesmen mould a nation's 
decrees without an intelligent and high-minded 


electorate which will sustain or condemn them as 
they shall deserve. 

From the very beginning political parties in Ohio 
were often very evenly balanced, and thus no party 
could remain in control unless its principles and 
management of public affairs were such as to com- 
mend themselves to the voters of the state. In this 
regard there was a check upon political manipula- 
tion, which proved a salutary feature. 

In March, 1840, Mr. Sherman removed to Mans- 
field and commenced the study of law there. He 
was admitted to the bar of Ohio on May 10, 1844, 
his twenty-first birthday, and was engaged in the 
practice of law for ten years before entering poli- 
tics. Both as student and as lawyer he was char- 
acterized by intense application to his work, and by 
a control of his habits and impulses which almost 
amounted to asceticism. His acquaintances of that 
time especially recall his careful avoidance of all 
demoralizing and unprofitable associations. There 
are few men who have maintained, at least from so 
early an age, so intelligent or so well sustained ef- 
forts to gain all possible results commensurate with 
native qualifications. The question of the promi- 
nence which he might have assumed at the bar has 
been given little investigation, because a few years 
after his election to Congress his legal practice was 
practically abandoned and the questions with which 
he had to do in his public career were not so much 
legal or constitutional as financial and administra- 
tive. In his " Recollections'* he relates that imme- 


diately upon his admission he entered into partner- 
ship with his oldest brother; that even before he 
was admitted he drew the necessary pleadings in 
the oflBice, and was active in such petty litigation 
as was prosecuted before justices of the peace; and 
that inmiediately after his admission he took an 
active part in the trial of cases. In 1847, after three 
years, he says that he had accumulated property 
of a value of $10,000 and was a partner in a suc- 
cessful business establishment at Mansfield. It was 
rare in those days that members of the legal profes- 
sion achieved pecuniary success in a rural county, 
at least in so short a time; but in ten years he had 
acquired what at that time was regarded as a mod- 
est competence. He had shown that he possessed 
the qualifications of a strong man, so versatile and 
forceful in his make-up as to promise marked suc- 
cess in whatever career he might adopt. 

Throughout his life he was favored with the best 
of health. He was rarely detained from active duty 
by any form of indisposition. In physical stature 
he was six feet, two inches in height, and, though 
apparently slender, he was strong and muscular. 
When near to his seventy-seventh birthday, in tak- 
ing a wa;lk around the city of Washington with one 
of his former colleagues, who was one of the younger 
members of the Senate, he protracted it to such 
length as to prove wearisome to his companion. 

While at Washington he maintained a great deal 
of interest in his farming property near Mansfield, 
and, even when most absorbed in public business, 


gave directions relating to its management. An 
expression once used by him on a visit to Ohio, 
about ** coming to fix his fences " was much quoted 
as a euphemism for attention to political chances. 
He manifested great fondness for travel, and dur- 
ing his vacations visited almost all portions of the 
United States and also took several trips to Europe. 

At his death he left a fortune, amounting to some- 
what more than two million dollars. His accu- 
mulations were the result of careful and fortunate 
investments, the most profitable of which was the 
purchase of a large tract of land on the Heights in 
the suburbs of Washington, which he obtained with 
others while a member of President Hayes' cabinet. 

On Sherman's first settlement in Mansfield, his 
grandmother, the wife of Taylor Sherman, was liv- 
ing there. Later in 1844 his mother, who had until 
then Uved at Lancaster, also removed to Mansfield, 
where she made her home with her son John and 
her two youngest daughters until they were married. 
Both his grandmother and his mother exercised a 
very considerable influence upon him. The former 
died in 1848, the latter in 1852. 

On the 31st day of August, 1848, Mr. Sherman 
married Margaret Cecelia Stewart, the only child 
of Judge Stewart of Mansfield, who was actively 
engaged in the practice of law when Sherman set- 
tled there in 1840, and was afterward chosen, first 
by the legislature of Ohio, and later by popular elec- 
tion, a judge of the Court of Common Pleas. Dur- 
ing Mr. Sherman's early services at Washington, 


correspondence between him and Judge Stewart 
was quite voluminous, and he seems to have relied 
upon his father-in-law for counsel in the import- 
ant political movements of the time. The married 
life of Mr. and Mrs. Sherman was ideal. It con- 
tinued for over fifty years, she dying only a few 
months before him. She was a woman of singular 
poise and dignity, well educated, a valuable help- 
meet, rather averse to public life, and was no 
doubt sincere in saying that she did not desire 
her husband's election to the presidency. No 
children were bom of this marriage, but a daughter 
was adopted by them, upon whom they bestowed, 
and from whom they received, the affection and 
constant attention which should exist between 
parents and children. 

Mr. and Mrs. Sherman, after their marriage, 
lived for a time in a modest home at Mansfield, but 
later removed to a more commodious mansion lo- 
cated on a height commanding a beautiful view of 
Mansfield and the valleys in that locality. Almost 
every year he spent a considerable share of his time 
in this home. In 1864 he purchased a house in 
Washington and afterwards built forhimself a more 
spacious mansion beside it. In these he made his 
home when there. His domestic life, like that of 
many public men, was the sphere of his greatest 
happiness, notwithstanding the eh joyment which he 
derived from the achievements of his public career. 
He was a most affectionate son, a faithful husband, 
and a kind father. 



In the autumn of 1853 Mr. Sherman sought a 
larger field and arranged for the opening of a kw 
office at Ckveland, wherein two associates were 
located, with the expectation that he would join 
them in the following year. But the reopening 
of the slavery question exercised a decisive in- 
fluence upon his future, causing him to abandon 
his former plans and enter upon a public ca- 

Slavery as an institution in the United States was 
at the zenith of its power in the year 1853. The 
number of slaves and the product of their labor may 
have been greater in later years of the decade, but 
at no subsequent time was there the same absence 
of active opposition. The philanthropic hope which 
had been cherished at the time of the framing of the 
Constitution, that slavery would gradually disap- 
pear without legislative or political action, had been 
entirely abandoned. Slave labor had become very 
profitable and was closely interwoven with social 
and political conditions in the states of the far 
South. Not only were the earlier opinions dis- 
carded, but the enslavement of the blacks was 
• justified as beneficial to them as well as to their 


owners. Mr. Jefferson Davis found for it a justifi- 
cation in every book of the Bible» from Genesis to 

Conditions in 1853 were altogether favorable to 
the permanent continuance of the institution. Every 
effort was made to destroy further agitation upon 
the subject. Mr. Clay in January, 1851, had joined 
with forty-four senators and representatives in 
signing a manifesto declaring they would support 
no one for public office who sought to reopen the 
question. In 1852 the two contending parties, the 
Whigs and the Democrats, had each unequivocally 
declared in their party platforms in favor of ac- 
quiescence in the compromises of 1850, and had 
specifically approved the Fugitive Slave Law. A 
most influential contingent in the presidential elec- 
tion of that year was made up of those who desired 
to put an end to the disturbing discussions which 
had prevailed. In a country in which commercial 
prosperity is eagerly sought, and where men are 
occupied with business pursuits, there is always a 
lai^ conservative element which is seriously alarmed 
at the disquieting strife of bitter political contests. 
The weight of its influence was brought to bear 
against further controversy over the slavery ques- 
tion. The abolitionist and the outspoken anti- 
slavery man were regarded as disturbers who should 
be suppressed. Multitudes voted for Pierce because 
they thought the Democratic party could be more 
safely trusted for the maintenance of tranquillity, 
•and he was elected by an overwhelming majority. 


only four states giving their votes to his opponent, 
Greneral Scott. 

There was one principle, however, to which the 
anti-slavery radicals and conservatives alike still 
strongly adhered, and that was the absolute ob- 
servance of the compromise of 1820, under which 
provision was made for the admission of Missouri 
as a slave state with a prohibition of slavery in all 
the remainder of the Liouisiana Purchase north of 
latitude 36® 30'. While they conceded that slavery 
in the respective states was absolutely under state 
control, and the federal government had no right 
to interfere there, — they maintained that Congress 
did have authority to introduce or exclude it in the 
territories, and such authority had been recognized 
in the Act of 1820. This Act, passed after a stormy 
discussion, had been acquiesced in as a finality by 
all parties for more than thirty years. Stephen A. 
Douglas in a speech at Springfield, Illinois, in 1849, 
had referred to the compromise of 1820 as having 
**an origin akin to the Constitution," and as having 
become ** canonized in the hearts of the American 
people as a sacred thing which no ruthless hand 
would ever be reckless enough to disturb." It only 
required an interference with this commonly ac- 
cepted understanding to arouse again the slumber- 
ing opposition to slavery. 

The developments of the twelve years from 1853 
until the final adoption of the Thirteenth Amend- 
ment, abolishing slavery, show that no great wrong 
can be so strongly intrenched as to prevent its over- 


throw. The successive events which led to the ex- 
tinction of slaveiy followed each other in a mannei 
as orderly, and yet as striking, as the unfolding of 
the plot of an absorbing drama. Nevertheless, the 
early destruction of this institution, apparently so 
impregnably grounded, can be ascribed not so much 
to the zeal of its opponents as to the undue sensi- 
tiveness and apprehension, the mistakes, and the 
exorbitant demands of its supporters. In 1853 it 
was difficult to convince the pro-slavery element in 
the Southern States that the citizens of the North 
were not eagerly interested in the abolition of 
slavery. Even so early as 1836 Calhoun had said 
that Webster would in time yield to influences 
which would make of him an abolitionist. No doubt 
he was correct in forecasting a probable awakening 
of public opinion which in time would render the 
abolition sentiment all-powerful, but Webster lived 
sixteen years after this prediction, and by no means 
became an abolitionist. General W. T. Sherman, 
who prior to the Civil War was superintendent of 
an educational institution in Liouisiana, wrote to 
his brother that it was impossible to make the peo- 
ple of Louisiana believe that all Republicans were 
not abolitionists. 

This misapprehension of Northern sentiment had 
created a settled conviction among slaveholders 
that if the people of the Northern States gained pre- 
ponderance in the government they would destroy 
their property in slaves. As against such a result 
they favored disunion, and had reached the con- 


elusion that they must either resort to separation 
from the central government, or gain a sufficient 
number of slave states to protect and maintain their 
favorite institution. 

On the other hand, it must be conceded that they 
were not without grievances and certainly not with- 
out grounds of apprehension. Their wealth was 
derived from agricultural products which must for 
the most part be sold abroad, yet the supplies which 
they required in exchange were subjected to tariff 
duties, which, as was maintained, materially in- 
creased their cost. The compromisers had sought 
to preserve a balance in the number of free and 
slave states admitted to the Union. This unwritten 
law had been carefully observed for many years, 
slave commonwealths usually having a slight ad- 
vantage, which was, however, not so much in- 
creased by the acquisitions from Mexico as had been 
anticipated. Although Texas would surely afford 
a great field for the exploitation of the slave regime, 
and there was a provision in the resolution of an- 
nexation allowing a division which should create 
four additional states, it was not probable that this 
provision would ever be acted upon, and the other 
territory acquired from Mexico had proved a dis- 
appointment. California, three eighths of which 
was south of 36° 30', the division-line prescribed 
for slavery in the Louisiana Purchase, had already 
been admitted as a free state, and there was little 
hope of slavery expansion in New Mexico or Utah. 
The chief danger of a loss of power to maintain 


slavery arose from the very large territory north of 
36^ 30' which in a short time would be settled and 
must afford a considerable number of states which, 
if organized as free commonwealths, would give 
preponderating influence to states where slavery 
did not exist. 

The Southern planters had come to feel that for 
economic as well as for political reasons there must 
be an extension of the territory in which slavery was 
allowed. The annoyance to them from the escape 
of fugitives to the free states was a constant source 
of irritation, although it appears to have been less 
at this time than in previous years. From a survey 
of the whole situation, however, they insisted iipon 
increasing the amount of slave territory. 

Three distinct views of the right to adopt or ex- 
clude slavery in territory not yet admitted as states 
were entertained at this time. The first was that 
adopted by the Republican party, that Congress 
had full power to stipulate whether slavery should 
exist there and might make slavery or freedom a 
condition when the territory was admitted. This 
view had been maintained and apparently prevailed 
in 1820. The second was that the residents of a ter- 
ritory might determine this question, and when 
their determination was made, admission as a state 
should follow with a recognition of the choice made 
by the inhabitants. This right to decide the ques- 
tion was styled ** Squatter Sovereignty." In support 
of this position Mr. Alexander H. Stephens in advo- 
cating the Kansas-Nebraska Bill in 1854 said: 


"Do you consider it democratic to exercise the high 
prerogative of stifling the voice of the adventurous pioneer 
and restricting his su£Frage in a matter concerning his own 
interest, happiness, and government, which he is much 
more capable of deciding than you are ? As for myself and 
the friends of the Nebraska Bill, we think that our fellow 
citizens who go to the frontier, penetrate the wilderness, 
cut down the forests, till the soil, erect schoolhouses and 
churches, extend civilization, and lay the foundation of 
future States and Empires do not lose by their change 
of place, in hope of bettering their condition, either their 
capacity for self-government or their just rights to exer- 
cise it conformably to the Constitution of the United 
States. . . . That is a matter that we believe the people 
there can determine for themselves better than we can 
for them. We do not ask you to force Southern institutions 
or our form of civil polity upon them, but to let free emi- 
grants to our vast public domain, in every part and par- 
cel of it, settle this question for themselves, with all" the 
experience, intelligence, virtue, and patriotism they may 
carry with them." 

The third view was that entertained by Mr. Davis 
and by a majority of those who supported Breck- 
inridge and Lane in the campaign of 1860, viz.: 
that a territory could not decide the question, but 
that it remained for the state, after its admission, to 
determine whether slavery should exist or not, free 
from any restriction or promise made at the time 
of its admission. 

No time seemed so favorable for the extension 
of slavery as that succeeding the election of Presi- 
dent Pierce. He was pliant to the wishes of its sup- 
porters. There was an overwhelming Democratic 


majority in both branches of Congress. The excite- 
ment over the Fugitive Slave Law, while still con- 
tinning and causing occasional outbreaks, had 
greatly diminished since the first cases under the 
act, and was more and more confined to particular 
localities. The leaders of the slave power were con- 
fident that their better organization and more per- 
fect unity would give them a great advantage in 
any contest which might occur. 

It should be stated that the oflFensive legislation 
of 1854, and the years preceding, had not been in- 
itiated by those most interested in the continuance 
of slavery. The Border States, with the somewhat 
reluctant acquiescence of the far South, had de- 
manded the Fugitive Slave Law. Mr. Jefferson 
Davis, then Secretary of. War, gave his support to 
the Kansas-Nebraska Bill under protest, and at a 
later time referred to the doctrine of squatter sov- 
ereignty as a theory founded on transparent falla- 
cies and leading to paradoxical conclusions. The 
legislation of 1854 was first proposed by Mr. Stephen 
A. Douglas with a view to the development of new 
fields for slavery, and to establish what he regarded 
as a proper rule for a decision of the question of 
its existence. His leadership secured, in May, 1854, 
the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, by which 
the compromi^ of 1820, fixing 36° 30' as the bound- 
ary-line between free and slave territory, in states 
thereafter to be admitted, was nullified, and, in its 
place, the rule was established that the decision 
as to the existence of slavery should, in each terri- 


toiy, be left to the inhabitants. Under this Act 
slavery had eveiytiiing to gain and nothing to lose. 
It was the hope of its advocates that states might 
be admitted with slavery from portions of the pub- 
lic domain from which at that time it was regarded 
as excluded. They were willing to take their chances 
of obtaining a majority in the territories where local 
sovereignty was to be recognized. The result was 
a violent reaction in the North. The feeling which 
had been dormant was again aroused and acquired 
a strength far greater than that which was aroused 
by the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act. As a re- 
sult, in the elections in the autumn of 1854 a Demo- 
cratic majority in the House of Representatives 
was changed to a minority. 

In a government by the people there is no force 
more potent than the inevitable reaction against the 
party in power, which must maintain a definite, af- 
firmative policy against all opposing views. Again, 
every political party is made up of men representing 
various shades of opinion. There will certainly be 
two divisions, the more radical and the more con- 
servative. One or the other will be dissatisfied with 
the policies of the party it has supported. Those 
who have no well-defined political affiliations will 
be displeased because they believe their opinions 
or interests have been neglected. An army of voters 
will rally to the party banner before election, which 
will surely disband when its members come to see 
the difference between expectation and realization. 
The disappointed office-seeker increases the pre- 


vailing discontent. To all these influences must be 
added an indefinable desire for a change, the source 
and operation of which defy analysis. The reaction 
is less when an administration is succeeded by one 
of the same political complexion, because the dis- 
appointment arising from unrealized hopes will not 
then be so great. This tendency is forcibly illus- 
trated in the election of members of the House of 
Representatives, the body in closest touch with the 
people. In every administration, beginning with 
that of Andrew Jackson, to the present time, the 
dominant poUtical party at the presidential election 
has, in the succeeding mid-presidential election, 
shown a falling-oif in the proportion of members 
elected. This falling-off has been especially notable 
when the preceding majority has been greatest, or 
when the victory of the presidential year has been 
accepted as a mandate to enact extreme or unex- 
pected legislation. This was well illustrated in the 
elections of 1854 after 1852, of 1874 after 1872, of 
1890 after 1888, and of 1894 after 1892. 

In an important sense the unprecedented victory 
of 1852 sealed the doom of slavery. Its advocates 
were intoxicated with triumph. They interpreted 
a vote of confidence, given when there was really 
no other party to which the people could go, as 
a license to place the radicals in the saddle. The 
wisest statesmanship was required to prevent such 
unwise action as would be the sure precursor of 
overthrow. Such statesmanship was lacking and 
political sagacity was lost. The opposition to the 


Kansas-Nebraska Act in the North and West was 
deep and enduring. Complaint over the Fugitive 
Slave Law and the other objectionable measures of 
1850 was ephemeral in comparison. It is difficult 
to understand how a man of the keen foresight of 
Stephen A. Douglas could be misled into the belief 
that such a measure would be popular, or even be 
tolerated, in the North. 

Sherman was nominated for Congress less than 
two months after the passage of the Kansas-Ne- 
braska Bill. No more fortunate time could have 
been selected for beginning a public career. The 
popular mind was aroused; a great moral question 
determined the issue. Perhaps the patriotic and 
intelligent citizen is more needed in public life at 
a time when no great burning question occupies 
the popular thought; but in 1854 the occasion was 
favorable, not only for those who aspired to give 
patriotic service to the country, but also for the 
opportunist. The Whigs were discredited and de- 
moralized. The Free-Soilers, although they had a 
clear vision of the trend of events, were considered 
as factional and without prospect of affording a way 
out of the troubled situation. Former issues with 
which Whig leaders had been identified were sub- 
ordinated or else appeared in a new form. Sherman 
was practically a new man in politics, so that in 
addition to advantages based upon his youth and 
ability he was free from the record of failures 
and mistakes for which the Whig party was held 


Up to this time he had taken no inconsiderable 
interest in political contests. In speaking of his 
early party affiliations, he says: **I shouted for 
Harrison in the campaign of 1840. In 1842 I was 
enthusiastic for * Tom Corwin, the wagon boy/ the 
Whig candidate for Governor of Ohio." It seems 
he took but little part in the campaign of 1844, al- 
though in the absence of the speaker who had been 
assigned, he addressed a political audience for the 
first time. In 1848, as well as in 1852, he was a dele- 
gate to the National Whig convention, and at the 
former was chosen secretary. In 1852 he was an 
ardent supporter of Scott as against Webster, who 
received the vote of New England, and as against 
Fillmore, who received the support of the Southern 
Whigs. His views during these years, as stated by 
himself, were strongly in favor of a protective tariff 
and in opposition to the attitude of the Democratic 
party, which was becoming more and more com- 
mitted to the extension of slavery. He had heartily 
supported the compromise measures of 1850, prob- 
ably with the disposition of all conservative mem- 
bers of the Whig party, who were anxious above 
all things to avoid sectional strife and put an end 
to the agitation of the slavery question. Neverthe- 
less, he does not seem to have been imbued with 
any strong desire to enter the political arena. The 
chief objection to him both at the nominating con- 
vention in July, 1854, and in the campaign which 
followed was that he was not sufficiently radical 
in his opposition to slavery. 


The canvass between nomination and election- 
day in this as well as in the three succeeding cam- 
paigns in which he was elected to the House of 
Representatives, was conducted by addressing 
meetings in public halls, schoolhouses, and, in the 
first campaign especially, in churches, which were 
freely opened for advocates of the anti-Nebraska 
cause. The candidate drove from town to town in 
a buggy. It is probable that at no time in the his- 
tory of popular elections has there been a greater 
freedom from corrupt influences or the use of money 
than in the years 1854 and 1856. Mr. Sherman 
•related that on one occasion he received word from 
the chairman of the political committee in one of 
the counties of his district to the effect that they 
were very much in need of money with which to 
conduct the campaign, and that the lack of it was 
emphasized by the loss of the activity of the leading 
county candidate, who was unable to take a promi- 
nent part in the contest by reason of sickness in his 
family. In response to an inquiry from him about 
the amount required and the use to which it would 
be applied, a reply was soon received that the cam- 
paign could be successfully prosecuted if a dona- 
tion of twenty-five dollars was given, which was 
needed to hire conveyances to bring voters to the 
polls. He said this was the first and only time he 
was asked for a political contribution during his 
service in the House of Representatives. He was 
elected by a majority of 2823 in a congressional 
district which for some years preceding had elected 


a Democrat. In the following year he? was chosen 
chairman of the first State Republican Convention 
held in Ohio. On this occasion freedom from the 
entanglements which belonged to members of the 
old parties was urged in his favor. Salmon P. Chase 
was nominated for governor and elected in the fol- 
lowing autumn. From this time until Chase's death 
in 1873, although he and Sherman differed on many 
questions of public policy, the relations between 
them were of a very cordial nature. So late as 1868 
Sherman preferred Chase as the Republican can- 
didate for the presidency. 



The House of Representatives of the Thirty-fourth 
Congress was made up of groups. No political or- 
ganization commanded a majority. One hundred 
and eight members were classed as Republicans, 
eighty-three as Democrats, and forty-three as Amer- 
icans. Changing conditions arose from the gradual 
disintegration of the old Whig party, and the form- 
ation of the Republican, or anti-Nebraska, as well 
as the American, or Know-Nothing, party, which 
latter for seven or eight years attracted a consider- 
able following. In the re-alignment of parties the 
Whigs had not yet settled upon their political as- 
sociations. Presumably those in the North event- 
ually joined the Republican party, and those in 
the far South the Democratic party. In the inter- 
vening country, and particularly in the States of 
Tennessee and Kentucky, a considerable number, 
after first acting with the American organization, 
adhered to the so-called Constitutional Union 
party, which nominated Bell and Everett in 1860. 
In 1856 tlie Whigs went through the form of holding 
a national convention, and of framing a platform, 
yet they could do no better than to ratify the nominees 
of the American party, although on vital questions 
their platforms were widely diflperent. 


A majority of the House of Representatives in 
the Thirty-fourth 0)ngress were regarded as op- 
posed to the administration of President Pierce, 
but there was not that coherence in the opposition 
which would make it possible to act in harmony 
upon any affirmative policy. The existence of groups 
made itself manifest at the very beginning, in the 
failure to elect a Speaker. The House met Decem- 
ber 3, 1855, but although there was no adjournment 
for the usual hoUday recess, a Speaker was not se- 
lected until February 2, 1856. The anti-Nebraska 
forces, or a majority of them, at first supported 
Lewis D. Campbell of Ohio, and the Democrats, 
William A. Richardson of Illinois. A great variety 
of methods for breaking the deadlock were pro- 
posed, such as voting by ballot; that each party 
should select a Speaker pro tempore, to preside 
alternately; that no motion to adjourn should be 
in order until a choice had been made. The tedious 
hours of delay were interspersed with propositions 
of a humorous nature, such as that no member be 
allowed to indulge in the use of meat, drink, fire, or 
other refreshments, gaslight and water only ex- 
cepted, until an election should be effected. At 
another time in the midst of a parliamentary tangle, 
Mr. Schuyler Colfax proposed, as a substitute for 
a series of grandiloquent resolutions, a declaration 
that the House would heartily approve of the an- 
nexation of that part of Oregon which was sur- 
rendered to Great Britain by the administration 
of James K. Polk. A proposition, first made on 


December 10, 1855, was finally agreed upon Feb- 
ruary 2, 1856, viz. : that if after the roll had been 
called three times there should be no election, it 
should again be called, and the member receiving 
the largest number of votes be declared Speaker. 
On the day of the adoption of this plan N. P. Banks, 
who, although classed as an American, was sup- 
ported by the anti-Nebraskan element, was chosen. 
While the House was thus without a head, of 
course no business was transacted. On the 22d of 
December, a limit of ten minutes was placed upon 
speeches. There was a snappy and at times able 
debate, in which, to an unusual degree, new men 
were heard, of whom there was an exceptionally 
large proportion. The candidates for Speaker were 
called upon to answer questions relating to their 
records and intentions, which, for directness, and 
it may be said for impertinence, would have been 
appropriate to be asked by a police-court lawyer. 
A custom was tolerated, almost fatal to orderly 
procedure, of allowing members to address the 
House during a roll-call, on the calling of their 
names. Partisanship was very manifest, but for the 
most part it was tempered with good-nature and 
a spirit of fairness. After a choice had been made 
under the plurality rule, it was moved that the vote 
be regarded as a mere declaratory resolution, not 
binding until confirmed by a majority vote of the 
House; but one of the most pronounced opponents 
of Mr. Banks resisted this motion, stating that 
before the adoption of the proposition, which he 


had opposed, he was an elector, but now he was 
a judge. 

The failure to elect a Speaker until after long 
delay forecast the diflSculty of enacting any legis- 
lation contested by either of the two leading parties. 
Even if a measure had passed the House in line 
with the sentiments of the anti-Nebraska members, 
it would have failed in the Senate, where there was 
still a very considerable Democratic majority. The 
most which could be done was to prevent oflFensive 
action by the administration. There is always a 
handicap which rests upon coordinate legislative 
bodies when not in political harmony. One may 
pass a measure more extreme than the sentiments 
of a majority of its members really approve, know- 
ing it will fail in the other body, but hoping to reach 
some compromise or gain political advantage thereby ; 
or it will proceed in a halting, doubtful manner, 
adopting a mild measure in the hope that, notwith- 
standing its opposition, the other House may con- 
cur. In either case there will not be that carefully 
prepared legislation which would be framed in case 
there were a prospect of success in accord with the 
sentiments which a majority of the members would 

Mr. Sherman took an active part in the proceed- 
ings. On the 19th of December, sixteen days after 
the beginning of the session, he appeared as an 
interlocutor of one of the candidates for Speaker, 
and made clear by questions his unalterable op- 
position to the further extension of slavery. On the 


16th of January, 1856, he stated his position very 
clearly in these words: 

"I am no Abolitionist in the sense in which the term is 
used; I have always been a conservative Whig. I was 
willing to stand by the compromises of 1820 and 1850; 
but when our Whig brethren of the South allow this ad- 
ministration to lead them ofiP from their principles, when 
they abandon the position which Henry Clay would have 
taken, forget his name and achievements and decline any 
longer to carry his banner — they lose all their claims 
on me. And I say now, that until this wrong is righted, 
until Kansas is admitted as a free state, I cannot act in 
party association with them. Whenever that question is 
settled rightly I will have no disposition to disturb the 
harmony which ought to exist between the North and 
South. I do not propose to continue agitation; I only 
appear here to demand justice — to demand compliance 
with compromises fully agreed upon and declared by 
law. I ask no more, and I will submit to no less." 

Questions relating to Kansas were uppermost 
in the public mind. The strongest argument made 
for the Kansas-Nebraska Bill had been that the 
principle of popular sovereignty would be recog- 
nized by its passage, and that to leave the decision 
relating to slavery within the States of Kansas and 
Nebraska to a vote of the inhabitants themselves, 
was most in accordance with the fundamental ideas 
upon which our government rests. Between the 
passage of this Bill in 1854, and the meeting of 
the Thirty-fourth Congress in 1855, it had become 
evident that the principle of local control in Kansas 
had been utterly disregarded. An influx of men from 


IVfissouri had prevented the free and untmmmeled 
exercise of the elective franchise by the inhabitants 
of Kansas. The pro-slavery adherents in Missouri 
were intensely interested in the decision whether 
the new commonwealth should be a free state. A 
representative convention^ held at Lexington, Mis- 
souri, in July, 1855, had declared that the enforce- 
ment of the restriction of slavery in the settlement 
of Kansas was virtually the abolition of slavery in 
Missouri. This declaration was, no doubt, the con- 
viction which was general in the latter state. 

An era of disorder and bloodshed arose in Kansas, 
the like of which had never been known in any 
community in the country since the beginning of 
the Republic. In these contests, while neither side 
was free from blame, it was manifest that attempts 
were made to rule Kansas by force from outside, 
and especially by those who lived across the Mis- 
souri border. On the 19th of IVIarch, 1856, a reso- 
lution was passed by the House of Representatives 
that a committee, to be composed of three mem- 
bers, should investigate conditions in iCansas and 
report the evidence to the House. Mr. Howard of 
Michigan and Mr. Sherman were selected as the 
Republican members of this committee, and Mr. 
Oliver of Missouri, a Democrat, as the minority 
member. The investigation continued two months 
or more, most of which time was spent in the lo- 
caUties where the disturbances complained of had 
occurred. The members of the committee saw 
marching bands of armed men entering the tern- 


toiy from Missouri, and many other indications of 
the lawless proceedings which were prevalent. At 
times they were in actual danger; nevertheless they 
were able to take a large amount of testimony, in 
which they were aided by representatives of all 
parties. On the completion of the trip Mr. Howard, 
the senior Republican member, was in ill health, 
and so it fell to Mr. Sherman to draw the report. 
The testimony taken filled nearly twelve hundred 
pages, more than half of which related to elections 
in the territory. 

Two elections had been held under proclama- 
tions of the Governor, A. H. Reeder, appointed by 
President Pierce. One of these elections, on Novem- 
ber 29, 1854, was for the selection of a delegate to 
Congress; the other, on March 30, 1855, was called 
to elect members for a territorial legislature. These 
two elections were characterized by unheard-of 
force and fraud, most of the voters coming in armed 
companies from Missouri. J. W.* Whitfield, pro- 
slavery, received four fifths of the votes cast for 
delegate to Congress, and pro-slavery members 
were elected to the territorial legislature in every 
district but one. The Free-State settlers held dele- 
gate conventions at Big Springs and Topeka, 
respectively, the former of which designated the 
second Tuesday of October for electing a delegate 
to Congress, and the latter, the same day, for choos- 
ing members of a constitutional convention. Gov- 
ernor Reeder, who had been removed by President 
Pierce for noncompliance with the wishes of the 


pro-slaveiy party, was elected delegate, and the 
members elected to the constitutional convention 
framed a Free-State constitution under which the 
admission of Kansas as a state was asked. 

The elections held by the pro-slavery party were 
conducted under the semblance of legal authority, 
but in a palpably illegal manner; those held by the 
Free-State party entirely lacked legal authority, but 
those selected were the choice of an undoubted 
majority of the settlers of the territory. 

The majority report, written by Mr. Sherman, 
and occupying soine sixty-seven pages, though 
largely made up of a summary of the evidence re- 
lating to election frauds in the terrifory, contains 
a succinct history of the settlement of the territory, 
and the reign of bloodshed and violence which had 
prevailed. This report concluded with a brief and 
very temperate summary, which was, in substance, 
to the effect that each election in the territory held 
under the organic or alleged territorial law had been 
carried by organized invasion from the State of 
Missouri; that the alleged territorial legislature 
was an illegally constituted body, and that their 
enactments were therefore null and void; that the 
alleged laws had not as a general thing been used 
to protect persons and property and to punish wrong, 
but for unlawful purposes; that the election under 
which the sitting delegate, Whitfield, a Democrat, 
held his seat, was not held in pursuance of any valid 
law; that the election also of the contesting dele- 
gate, Beeder, was not held in pursuance of law» 


though he received a greater number of votes of 
resident citizens than Whitfield; that under exist- 
ing conditions a fair election could not be held with- 
out a new census, a stringent and well-guarded 
election law, the selection of impartial judges, and 
the presence of United States troops; that the va- 
rious elections held by the people of the territoiy 
as a preliminary step to the formation of a state 
government had been as regular as the disturbed 
conditions of the territory would allow; and that 
the constitution framed by the convention held in 
pursuance thereof embodied the will of a majority 
of the people. Tliis report was presented to the 
House of Representatives on the 1st of July, 1856, 
and was read on that day. It created a profound 
impression. One hundred thousand copies of the 
majority and minority reports were ordered to be 
printed and were circulated during the presidential 
campaign, when political discussion was already 
at fever heat. The majority report was extensively 
distributed as a campaign document. 

On the 31st of July Mr. Sherman made some 
remarks on the Kansas contested election case, 
favoring the unseating of Mr. Whitfield, the ac- 
credited delegate from the territory, in which he 
dwelt at length, and with marked ability, upon the 
conditions in Kansas. In making his closing appeal 
he referred to the possibility of civil war, and said : 
**The worst evil that could befall our country is 
civil war; but the outrages in Kansas cannot be 
continued much longer without producing it." The 


House decided that Whitfield was not entitled to a 
seat, but also refused to seat Reeder. 

The pro-slavery legislature of Kansas had met 
and enacted some most remarkable laws relating 
to slavery. On the 28th of July Sherman intro- 
duced an amendment to the Army Appropriation 
Bill to the eflpect that no part of the military force 
of the United States should be employed in aid of 
the enforcement of the enactments of the alleged 
legislative assembly until G>ngress should decide 
whether it was, or was not, a valid legislative 
assembly; and further, that it should be the duty 
of the President to use the military forces in said 
territory to preserve peace, suppress insurrection, 
repel invasion, etc. ; further, that the President be 
required to disarm the present organized militia of 
the Territory of Kansas, and to prevent armed men 
from going into said territory. This amendment 
was adopted, though by a very close vote. The 
Senate struck it out, but the House insisted, and an 
adjournment of the session was had on the 18th of 
August without agreement. The President imme- 
diately reconvened Congress in extra session, and in 
his message urged the abandonment of the amend- 
ment. At this special session the House proposed 
a substitute modifying the original amendment, 
and providing that no part of the military force of 
the United States should be employed in aid of the 
enforcement of any enactment theretofore passed 
by the bodies claiming to be the territorial legis- 
lature of Kansas. The Senate stubbornly resisted. 


and at last the House yielded in its contention by 
a vote of 101 to 98. 

Sherman's achievements in the first session of 
the Thirty-fourth Congress gave an assured be- 
ginning for a great political career. He acquired 
an almost unequaled prominence, for a new mem- 
ber, and showed the development of those qualities 
which were the basis of his future advancement. 
He excelled in concise logical statement and was 
a master of excellent diction. He also showed a 
clear judgment in interpreting the significance of 
events, and boldness in initiative when new meas- 
ures were required to meet existing conditions. The 
amendment of the Army Bill restricting the employ- 
ment of federal troops in Kansas was his concep- 
tion, and among all the leaders of the movement 
against slavery there was no one who grasped the 
situation more thoroughly than he, or who was a 
better master of practical plans for the furtherance 
of the objects to be gained. 

Buchanan was elected President in November, 
1856, and, with him, a Democratic majority in the 
House of Representatives. There was also a Demo- 
cratic majority in the Senate, though somewhat 
diminished. Early in the campaign indications 
pointed to victory for Fremont, Buchanan's Re- 
publican opponent, who received a most enthusi- 
astic support, including that of many who had there- 
tofore taken no active interest in politics, but who 
were aroused by what they regarded as the moral 
issues involved in the contest. As the campaign 


progressed, however, a variety of circumstances 
diminished the chances of the Republican candi- 
date. Among them was a growing conviction of his 
personal unfitness for the exalted position of chief 
magistrate, a conviction which was certainly sup- 
ported by his later career as general in the Union 
army. The constantly recurring fear of disunion 
caused conservatives to consider the prospect of his 
election with apprehension. Another fact which 
diminished his chances was a change in Kansas 
which made conditions there more tolerable and 
less oflFensive to the voters of the country. Governor 
Shannon, the successor of Reeder, who had proved 
extremely pliant to pro-slavery interests, was com- 
pelled to resign, in the month of August. He was 
succeeded by Governor Geary, a man of excellent 
character, who was disposed to manage with abso- 
lute fairness. For a few weeks preceding the elec- 
tion, disorder in Kansas had very much decreased, 
and excesses on the part of the Free-State men were 
not lacking. The Free-State cause suffered from the 
course of erratic or unduly radical leaders, such as 
James H. Lane and John Brown. 

Buchanan was advocated because he was trusted 
as a statesman and a man of large experience in 
public Ufe. No one had been elected President, up 
to that time, who had a more varied preparation 
for the position. He had been a member of the 
House of Representatives for ten years and of the 
Senate for an equal period; for four years he had 
been Secretary of State, and had also held the po- 


sitions of Minister to Russia and to Great Britain. 
In the length of his services under the national gov- 
ernment, he surpassed the record of any of his 
predecessors who had been candidates for the presi- 
dency. In addition, for nearly three years he had 
been occupying the dignified position of Minister 
to Great Britain, and had thus been removed from 
the hurly-burly of politics, which in time of bitter 
partisanship is prone to diminish the respect en- 
tertained for a public man; while at the same time 
his absence had relieved him from the necessity 
of coDunitting himself upon some troublesome 
questions in which the public were interested. It 
was nevertheless believed that he would be entirely 
fair to Kansas. In Pennsylvania, where the political 
battle was hottest and state pride was aroused, 
banners were carried at Democratic mass meetings 
on which was inscribed: ''Buchanan, Breckinridge, 
and Free Kansas." 

The last session of the Tliirty-fourth Congress 
met in December, 1856, under circumstances more 
hopeful for the anti-slavery cause than the first. 
Notwithstanding the defeat of Fremont, the new 
party had made a surprising showing of strength. 
The three governors who had been sent to Kansas, 
with the possible exception of Shannon, had be- 
come either converts to the Free-State cause, or 
else unwilling instruments for the execution of the 
plans of the administration. Many Northern emi- 
grants were ready to enter the territory in the fol- 
lowing spring. A considerable share of the more 


judicious and moderate of the pro-slavery leaders 
had come to concede that Kansas would enter the 
Union with a free constitution. Some bent all their 
energies toward making it a free state, with Demo- 
cratic majorities. 

President Pierce, on the other hand, showed 
himself one of the irreconcilables. His annual mes- 
sage was more radical in its pro-slavery utterances 
than any message ever transmitted by a chief magis- 
trate to Congress. He accused the Republican 
party of seeking to dismember the country. A bit- 
ter debate upon this message followed in Congress. 
Sherman addressed the House on the 8th of De- 
cember. He took up the arguments and statements 
of the President — especially those to the effect that 
the Republican party was seeking to abolish slavery 
in the states where it then existed — and answered 
them with great skill and vigor. He accused the 
President of going beyond his constitutional duty, 
devoting " one half of his message to an arraign- 
ment of a great and growing party which the errors 
of his administration have caUed into being/* and 
said: **This course, ... if followed by his suc- 
cessors, will convert a document heretofore looked 
for by all our people as an impartial state paper into 
a mere partisan manifesto." In contradicting the 
allegation of the President that sectional prejudice 
eaUed the Republican party into being, he ascribed 
the origin of the existing agitation to the Kansas- 
Nebraska Act repealing the Missouri Compromise, 
and added : " Sir, the very existence of the Repub- 


Bean party, which the President so much deplores, 
is one of the effects of this measure. If it forebodes 
all the evils he predicts, remember that he rubbed 
the magic lamp which called it into being." He 
expressly opposed any interference by the Northern 
people with slavery in the slave states, and declared : 
** If I had my voice, I would not have one single 
political Abolitionist in the Northern States." 

While this speech was free from the gross and 
undignified abuse which characterized much of the 
political discussion of that time, it was a scathing 
criticism of the President. In closing, he said : **The 
President, having committed his last great political 
blunder, now, like a criminal, — I use the term in 
no oflFensive sense, — seeks to defend himself after 
he has been condemned. I hope he may live to a 
hale old age, and have time to reflect that in poli- 
tics, as well as in morals, honesty is the best policy." 
In after years he expressed some compunctions 
upon the temper of his remarks, but they were quite 
in keeping with the bitter partisan feeling which 
prevailed in and out of Q)ngress. Other Repub- 
licans made speeches at that memorable time, but 
it must be conceded that, for a comprehensive state- 
ment of the position of his party, and as a reply to 
the arguments of President Pierce and his party 
associates, Sherman's speech was surpassed by 

Prior to the meeting of the Thirty-fifth Congress in 
December, 1857, important events had intervened. 
The inaugural address of President Buchanan was 


disappointing to the opponents of slavery. His 
reference to an expected decision of the Supreme 
G>urt was regarded as ominous. Two days later, 
on March 6, 1857, the Dred Scott decision, sup- 
ported by a majority of the court, and most elab- 
orately explained in the opinion of Chief Justice 
Taney, was rendered. Of the points decided in this, 
which has been styled the most famous of all Amer- 
ican decisions, only two are necessary to be men- 
tioned: first, that a negro was not and could not be 
a citizen; second, that the Missouri Compromise 
Act was not warranted by the Constitution because 
property of every description was protected by that 
instrument, and, as the Constitution recognized 
property in slaves, and gave to Congress no greater 
or other power over slave property than over any 
other, that the right of the master to his property 
in a slave was as vaUd in Kansas, or in any of the 
territories, as in a slave state. Justice Curtis, in an 
able dissenting opinion, pointed out that nothing 
further was before the court after deciding that 
Dred Scott was not a citizen, and hence it had no 
jurisdiction to pass upon the validity of the Missouri 
Compromise. A few brief sentences would have 
disposed of the case, but apparently the members 
of the court favoring the decision, with the best of 
intentions, concluded to express opinions which, in 
their judgment, would have the far-reaching result 
of settling the slavery question. Futile efforts for 
the cessation of the agitation had been put forth by 
leading public men. Clay died in the pleasing hope 


that the compromises of 1850 had accomplished 
a permanent settlement; Webster lost the support 
of lifelong friends by his advocacy of legislation 
which he hoped would destroy sectional irritation. 
It was evidently the thought of Chief Justice Taney, 
and his associates who joined with him in the ma- 
jority opinion, that now, after the legislative and 
executive branches had failed, all that was needed 
for the permanent acquiescence of all parties was 
the awe-inspiring declaration of the Supreme G)urt. 
In December, 1856, in response to a question 
whether, if the Supreme G>urt should decide that 
the G>nstitution carried slavery into the territories, 
he would acquiesce, even Sherman had said: '*I 
answer, yes." But the opposition to slavery was so 
aroused that it would not stop with disapproval of 
the action of the legislative and executive branches. 
It even treated the judiciary with despite, and re- 
garded this opinion as but another indication of the 
hold which had been gained by a nefarious insti- 

The decision afforded the strongest possible 
reason why the all-pervading influence of slavery 
should be checked. If it should be accepted, the 
question of the status of Kansas would assume 
a new and unfavorable stage. The first defense 
against slavery there was based upon the Missouri 
Compromise, forbidding slavery north of 36° SO'. 
This defense was overthrown by the Kansas- 
Nebraska Bill, by which the decision was to be 
left to the people of the territory. After dis- 


turbances amounting to civil war, it was manifest 
that the preference of the people was for a free 
state; but when victory was clearly within their 
grasp their triumph was to be nullified by a decision 
which protected slave property within their bor- 
ders, and made compromises of former years and 
popular sovereignty alike nugatory. The only hope 
for Kansas was to throw off the limitations which 
pertained to a territorial status, and assume the 
position of a sovereign state. Recognizing that state- 
hood must soon be granted, eveiy effort was made 
by the pro-slavery element to secure its admission 
with a slave constitution. - 

Succeeding events in Kansas may be briefly sum- 
marized. Delegates to a constitutional convention 
were elected in June, 1857, the Free-State party 
abstaining from voting. In October, at Lecompton, 
the delegates framed a constitution maintaining the 
inviolable right of the owner of a slave to such 
slave and "its increase." Although in the plan for 
the submission of the constitution the question of 
slavery or no slavery was submitted, there was no 
opportunity to vote upon the constitution as a 
whole, which in the provision referred to permitted 
the continuance of the institution. This form of 
submission was denounced by Senator Douglas as a 
mockery and an insult; also as a trick and a fraud 
upon the rights of the people. He parted company 
with the President on this issue. Governor Walker, 
who had been appointed Governor of Kansas by 
President Buchanan, violently opposed the pro- 


posed action, saying : ^ I consider such a submission 
of the question a vile fraud, a base counterfeit and 
a wretched device to prevent the people voting even 
on the slavery question. ... I will denounce it, 
no matter whether the administration sustains it 
or not." 

This constitution with slavery was adopted at an 
election in December, 1857, at which the Free-State 
men again abstained from voting. In the territo- 
rial legislature, however, the Free-State men had 
a majority, and an election was ordered for Janu- 
ary 4, 1858, at which the constitution itself was to 
be voted upon. This* vote was overwhelmingly 
against the Lecompton Constitution; nevertheless. 
President Buchanan recommended to Congress the 
admission of Kansas under it. A bill introduced 
in pursuance of his recommendation passed the 
Senate, March 23, 1858, by a vote of 33 to 25. The 
House refused to pass the bill, and demanded that 
the constitution should again be submitted to the 
people. A compromise was agreed upon, under 
which a vote upon the acceptance of grants of land 
from the federal government was to be had. If 
the vote was favorable to acceptance, it was to be 
regarded as an expression of a desire for admis- 
sion under the Lecompton Constitution. If it was 
adverse, the constitution was to be regarded as 
rejected and admission decUned. On the 2d of 
August, 1858, the proposition was rejected by a vote 
of 11,300 out of a total of 13,088. With this deci- 
sive vote the desperate efforts to make Kansas a 


slave state ceased. Statehood was inevitable, and 
that with a free constitution. Its consummation was, 
however, postponed until after the election of Presi- 
dent Lincoln, when the act of admission was passed. 
At the first session of the Thirty-fifth Congress 
Sherman continued to take a prominent part in the 
debates on Kansas, his most important contribu- 
tion being made in January, 1858. He presented a 
resolution, unanimously passed by the legislature of 
Ohio, requesting him to vote against the admission 
of Kansas under the Lecompton Constitution or 
any other constitution which had not been approved 
by a vote of the people. He paid much attention to 
frauds in the elections of October and December, 
1857, for election of territorial delegates and rati- 
fication of the Lecompton Constitution respectively, 
pointing out that from a village of six houses 1628 
votes were returned. The names of the alleged 
voters had been copied in alphabetical order from 
a Cincinnati directory, and included the name of 
Salmon P. Chase, then Governor of Ohio. From 
an Indian reservation, where there were fourteen 
voters, 1200 votes were returned. He said that 
impetuous violence might succeed for a time but 
would leave nothing but bitterness, and closed by 
saying: **Let us not war with each other; but with 
the grasp of fellowship and friendship, regarding 
to the full each other's rights, and kind to each 
other's faults, let us go«hand in hand in securing to 
every portion of our people their constitutional 


During this G>ngresS) Mr. Sherman was a mem^ 
ber of the Committee on Naval Affairs. Two ques- 
tions were referred to this committee which gave 
free scope to his abilities. The first was in relation 
to the arrest of Greneral William Walker, by Com- 
modore Hiram Paulding, in Nicaragua. Walker was 
a persistent, adventurous filibuster. His violations 
of the laws of neutrality were allowed to pass with 
impunity, partly because the country admired his 
reckless daring, but more because his efforts were 
directed to an enlargement of territory for the ex* 
ploitation of slavery. He had gained a foothold in 
Nicaragua, and reestablished slavery, which had 
been abolished thirty-two years before, but after* 
wards he was driven out by a combination of the 
Central American states. While he received sup- 
port from some portions of the South it was alleged 
that he was intriguing to gain the cooperation of 
England. In 1857 he planned an expedition to 
Nicaragua against which a letter of warning was 
issued by Lewis Cass, Secretary of State. Com- 
mander Chatard, a naval officer, was suspended 
for failure to arrest Walker before landing. Later 
Commodore Paulding, with a naval force, arrived 
at San Juan, in Nicaragua, an^sted Walker, with 
his followers, and brought them to the United States. 

Notwithstanding the circular letter, and the sus- 
pension of Commander Chatard, Paulding's course 
was not approved by the administration. President 
Buchanan, in a message, expressly stated: ** Com- 
modore Paulding has, in my opinion, committed 


a grave error.'* It was maintained that he had no 
right to make an arrest on foreign soil. A majority 
of the Committee on Naval Affairs joined in a re- 
port to the same effect. This report called atten- 
tion to the object of the statute under which the 
arrest was made, viz.: "for the purpose of pre- 
venting the carrying on of any such expedition or 
enterprise," that is, filibustering enterprise, * • from 
the territories or jurisdiction of the United States, 
..." and alleged that this restricted the right of 
arrest, or detention, to the high seas, saying the 
phrase "carrying on any such expedition or enters 
prise " carried with it the idea of motion or progres- 
sion. They further said : " We shall not here take 
the time to inquire into the merits of Walker. If he 
had violated our laws in fitting out an expedition 
against Nicaragua, as doubtless he had, opportuni- 
ties had been afforded for holding him to account, 
but those opportunities had been lost. ... He had 
escaped the avenger and, so far as we were con- 
cerned, had gotten into sanctuary." 

These distinctions were commonly regarded as too 
refined for practical application, and as prompted 
by secret sympathy for Walker's expedition. Mr. 
Sherman, in preparing the minority report, main- 
tained that the duty to arrest applied after a land- 
ing as well as before, and, at all events, that any 
objection on the part of Nicaragua arising from the 
landing on foreign soil was removed by the action 
of that government in returning thanks to the United 
States for the act of Commodore Paulding. No 


action was taken by either House upon the reports, 
although divers resolutions were presented, vary- 
ing from censure of O)mmodore Paulding to the 
granting of a medal. 

The other question considered by the naval 
committee was in the session of the following win- 
ter, when a res6lution was introduced by Mr. Sher- 
man for the investigation of the conduct of certain 
officials of the Navy Department, especially in the 
Brooklyn Navy Yard. It was claimed that in the se- 
lecting of purchasing agents and the awarding of 
contracts the law had been violated, to the detri- 
ment of the service, as well as for the purpose of 
influencing pending elections; also that in the dis- 
tribution of patronage, by allotting it to members 
of Congress, discipline was destroyed and the pub- 
lic service injured. A mass of testimony was taken 
and men of all parties were compelled to admit that 
glaring abuses existed, and subordinate officers 
were inefficient; but the majority maintained that 
nothing had been shown which should impugn the 
integrity of the Secretary of the Navy, and pre- 
sented resolutions, the first of which is character- 
istic of the apologetic course pursued by political 
parties when seeking to extenuate admitted abuses. 
It is in the following language : 

"Resolved, That the testimony taken in this investiga- 
tion proves the existence of glaring abuses in the Brook- 
lyn Navy Yard, and such as require the interposition of 
legislative reform, but it is due to justice to declare that 
these abuses have been slowly and gradually growing up 


during a long course of years, and that no particular ad- 
ministration should bear the entire blame therefor." 

The minority report, prepared by Mr. Sherman, 
recommended resolutions censuring the President 
and the Secretary of the Navy, stating, among other 
things, that the Secretary of the Navy had, with 
the sanction of the President, abused his discre- 
tionary power. It condemned the distribution of 
patronage in the navy yard among members of 
Congress, and the action of the President and the 
Secretary of the Navy in considering the party re- 
lations of bidders, and in having regard for the ef- 
fect of a^^arding contracts upon pending elections. 
Although no action was taken on these recommen- 
dations of censure during the Thirty-fifth Congress, 
yet in the succeeding Congress the resolutions of 
the minority were adopted in the House by a vote 
of nearly two to one, a large number of Democrats 
voting for each, and resolutions calling for investi- 
gation of the conduct of the President were also 

An interesting phase of this controversy was the 
action of the President. He responded with a vig- 
orous protest, in which he complained that the 
resolutions for investigation deprived him of the 
constitutional guards for his protection which he 
possessed in common witli every other citizen of the 
United States. Also, that his constitutional inde- 
pendence as a coordinate branch of the government 
was thereby assailed. He attacked those who had 


offered the resolutions, and in a message to the House 
under date of June 22, 1860, he says : " The House, 
on a recent occasion, have [has] attempted to de- 
grade the President by adopting the resolution of 
Mr. John Sherman." It must be admitted that 
these resolutions were very unusual. It was also 
very unusual for the President to send such an 
answer. The mention by the President of members 
of the House or Senate by name is almost without 
precedent in communications from the Executive. 
This investigation led to radical reforms in the 
management of navy yards, and displays one of Mr. 
Sherman's most striking qualifications throughout 
his public career, namely, his keen insight for ad- 
ministrative management of different departments 
of the government. 

, On the 27th day of May, 1858, Mr. Sherman 
spoke on national expenditures, giving attention in 
detail to the condition of the finances, and attack- 
ing divers abuses which then existed. This was his 
first elaborate treatment of subjects which were 
destined in later years to absorb his time. He 
pointed out cases wherein the departments assumed 
the power to transfer appropriations, made for a 
specific purpose, to objects differing from those for 
which they had been made; also another abuse in 
the making of contracts in advance of appropria- 
tions. His argument was intensely partisan, and 
based upon the idea that no reforms were possible 
except with a House of Representatives in opposi- 
tion to the administration. He asserted that four 


years of modem Democratic administration cost 
more than twenty-six years in the earlier and purer 
days of the Republic. He gave warning of the dan- 
ger of misceUaneous items, and showed that thirty- 
ei^t pages of the estimates for the session were 
devoted to items of this nature, amounting .to 
$18,946,189, and said: ''In this vast mausoleum 
are buried your secret contracts, your jobs, your cus- 
tom-houses, your marine hospitals, your post-office 
deficiency and post-offices, your coast-survey, your 
court-houses, — and a vast catalogue of jobs to 
partisan favorites." He pleaded for a return to the 
old principle of the House originating and control- 
ling supply bills, and thus holding the Executive 
and Senate in check, and added that control over 
the public purse was "the pearl beyond price with- 
out which constitutional liberty in England would 
long since have fallen under the despotism of the 

The abuses of which he complained were only 
partially corrected at the time. Indeed, with the 
lavish expenditures during and after the Civil War, 
they were greatly aggravated. In May, 1870, in the 
Senate, Sherman said the Admiral of the Navy had 
embarked upon a plan for building a navy in reli- 
ance upon the unexpended balances accumulating 
from appropriations under various heads during 
and since the war. This plan was found to be for- 
bidden by a brief provision in an appropriation bill 
of February 12, 1868, restricting appropriations 
solely to the objects for which they were made. In 


1870 a further act was passed, restricting the ex- 
penditure of annual appropriations to the payment 
of expenses, or the fulfillment of contracts properly 
incurred or made during the year for which they 
were intended. In 1874 another statute was passed 
making the law stiU more stringent. Under this 
legislation, unexpended balances on appropria- 
tions, amounting to $174,000,000, were retained in 
the Treasury; $36,000,000 belonging to a single 

This speech attracted wide attention, and not only 
received respectful consideration from political 
opponents as well as friends, but was published in 
full in many of the journals of the day. 

But for the all-absorbing slavery contest, it is 
probable that Mr. Sherman would have given his 
most earnest attention to problems of administra- 
tion and finance. On several occasions he apolo- 
gizes for a continuance of the discussion upon 
Kansas, by stating that he had hoped the time of 
the House could be given to the financial manage- 
ment of the country, but he felt compelled, by the 
conditions existing, to speak upon the contest there. 



On the Sth of December, 1859, the Thirty-sixth 
Congress met with 109 Republicans, 101 Democrats, 
and 27 Americans. A speakership contest similar 
to that of 1855-56 was anticipated. In the former 
instance, a choice was made by the adoption of the 
plurality rule, but at this time party feeling was 
much more bitter, and it was not believed that a 
majority would agree upon such a settlement. Mr. 
Sherman and Mr. Galusha A. Grow were the Re- 
publican candidates for the speakership. It was 
agreed that no caucus should be held, but that the 
one receiving the larger number of votes on the first 
ballot should have the united support of the Re- 
pubUcan party. On the first ballot Mr. Sherman 
received the larger number. The vote as between 
Mr. Sherman and Mr. Grow, when viewed from 
the standpoint of Mr. Sherman's future affiliations 
with his fellow members, presented several anom- 
alies. Mr. Morrill of Vermont, with whom he 
was more closely associated than with any one else 
in his legislative career; Mr. Schuyler 0)lfax, who 
was then, and later, a close personal friend; Mr. 
William Windom of Minnesota, who was strongly 
urged by Sherman for Secretary of the Treasury in 


President Harrison's cabinet in 1889, — all pre- 
ferred Mr. Grow, and cast their votes for him, while 
Roscoe Conkling, with whom Sherman was to have 
serious collisions, voted for him. Of the eleven mem- 
bers from Massachusetts, ten, including Charles 
Francis Adams, Henry L. Dawes, and Anson Bur- 
lingame, voted for Sherman. Francis E. Spinner, 
of the well-known signature, and Reuben E. Fen- 
ton, afterwards Governor of New York, E. B. 
Washbume, and Owen Lovejoy, of Illinois, voted 
for Grow. Mr. Sherman's name was placed in 
nomination by Thomas Corwin. Immediately after 
the first vote, Mr. Clark of Missouri introduced a 
resolution which created a most bitter controversy. 
It was to the effect that no member of the House 
who had indorsed the work of Hinton R. Helper, 
entitled "TThe Impending Crisis of the South; How 
to Meet It, " was fit to be Speaker of the House. It 
appeared that both Mr. Sherman and Mr. Grow 
had signed a paper indorsing this book, though 
both seem to have signed without any examination 
of its contents, or any comprehension of the storm 
which would be raised by it. 

The failure of Mr. Sherman to obtain the speak- 
ership has been commonly ascribed to this indorse- 
ment. This remarkable volume was written by 
Helper in North Carolina, when only twenty-seven 
years of age, and was first published in the year 
1857. It was a protest against slavery from the 
standpoint of a white man, who attacked it, — not 
because of sympathy for the slave, but from a con- 


viction that the institution was demoralizing, and 
closed the gates of opportunity to the non-slave- 
owning whites of the South. In the preface he states, 
with a well-understood reference to Mrs. Stowe's 
"Uncle Tom's Cabin," that women might paint in 
fiction the evils of slavery, but it remained for men 
to give the facts. It included numerous tables in 
which comparisons were made between the North- 
em and the Southern States. The author points 
out that while the average value of lands in New 
York was $36.97 per acre, the average value in 
North Carolina was only $3.06, and maintained 
that it would be far better for the slaveholders them- 
selves to lose the value of their slaves, and thereby 
obtain an enormous increase in the value of their 
lands. His generalizations were very bold, and his 
inferences from figures would not all of them bear 
analysis. He not only made comparisons based 
upon the greater wealth of the North, but made 
unfavorable contrasts of the mental standing of the 
inhabitants of the two sections, asserting that the 
South had no literary or scientific men to compare 
with those of the North. 

The book cteated a profound sensation. It was 
proscribed in the South, but was found in every 
bookstall in the North. To the reader of to-day it 
would seem that its author was a bitter partisan of 
the Republican party, although he disclaimed any 
partisanship. In speaking of Buchanan and Fre- 
mont, he refers to the former as "the timid Sage 
of Wheatland," and to the latter as "the dauntless 


Finder of Empire." The slaveholders were termed 
the "" lords of the lash,*' and no effort was spared to 
cause them to be regarded as an offensive and pro- 
scribed class. To them, this production was even 
more execrable than "Uncle Tom's Cabin." 

Ineffectual balloting for Speaker continued for 
eight weeks, during which time it was plainly appar- 
ent that the plurality rule, which had been adopted 
four years earlier, would not be agreed upon by the 
House. The time was largely occupied by debates 
of the most bitter nature, in which the Southern 
members took the leading part. Mr. L. Q. C. 
Lamar, and others, uttered threats of secession, of 
a bolder and more emphatic nature than had been 
heard before. In referring to the selection of a 
Speaker, one member expressed the hope that the 
House would be saved from " the burning, withering, 
blistering curse and shame which would result from 
the putting in that chair the gentleman from Ohio.** 
On the 1st of February, 1860, after the withdrawal 
of Sherman from the contest, William Pennington, 
ex-Governor of the State of New Jersey, a man 
who had not previously served in the House, was 
elected Speaker. Mr. Sherman used to relate with 
satisfaction, the surprise which was manifested 
because Mr. Pennington filed a list of his commit- 
tees, in which excellent selections were made, only 
a few days after the election, and explained it in this 
manner: Pennington came to him and asked his 
assistance, stating that he was new in his acquaint- 
ance with the House, and could not judge of the 


capabilities of the members. Sheiman responded 
by showing him a proposed assignment of members 
on conmiittees which he had prepared while the 
balloting was in progress, anticipating that he might 
be elected. Mr. Pennington immediately adopted 
it with very slight changes, placing Mr. Sherman at 
the head of the Committee on Ways and Means. 
The business of the session had been very much 
retarded by the long struggle over the speakership, 
but after that was settled it was conducted in a 
manner which strikingly contrasted with the boister- 
ous and violent discussions of the first two months. 
Mr. Sherman's attention was given, for the most 
part, to the appropriation bills. Mr. Morrill, his 
colleague on the Committee on Ways and Means, 
prepared the tariff bill which afterwards bore the 
name of its author, and which passed the House 
May 10, 1860, but did not pass the Senate until the 
following winter. 

The Republican party, although in the minority 
in both Houses, secured the adoption of two meas- 
ures in the session of 1860-61 which were entirely 
in accordance with Republican policies. The one 
was that for the admission of Kansas, the other the 
Morrill Tariff Act. But for the withdrawal of 
the senators of the seceding states, these measures 
probably could not have been passed. The Morrill 
Tariff Act deserves especial attention, because it 
was the first legislation upon tariff which was placed 
upon the statute-book by the Republican party. 
It was by no means so distinctively a protective 


measure as later tariff acts. It contained but few 
of the essential features which were afterwards 
adopted as part of the Republican policy of pro- 

There was no uniform tendency in the tariff leg- 
islation of the country prior to the Morrill Tariff 
Act, either in the rate of duties or the object for 
which they were imposed. While several tariff bills 
had been drawn professedly for revenue only, at 
no time had the policy of fostering domestic manu- 
tures been entirely disregarded. The preamble to 
the first tariff act, passed July 4, 1789, reads: 
** Whereas, It is necessary for the support of gov- 
ernment, for the discharge of the debts of the United 
States, and the encouragement and protection of 
manufactures, that duties be laid on goods, wares, 
and merchandise imported." In the debate upon 
it, Mr. Hartley of Pennsylvania said: "I think it 
both politic and just that the fostering hand of 
the general government should extend to all those 
manufactures that will tend to national utility." 
Under it specific duties were levied on certain 
articles, and ad valorem duties, varying from five to 
fifteen per cent., on others. 

During the next twenty years there was a con- 
siderable increase in rates, and a more minute 
classification, such as would naturally arise from 
a more perfect knowledge of the articles imported, 
and their different qualities. The increase in rates 
seems rather to have been caused by the need of 
additional revenue than from any desire to aid 


domestic industry. The Embargo Proclamation of 
President JeflFerson in 1807, followed by the Non- 
Intercourse Act of 1809, paralyzed foreign trade 
and necessitated a domestic supply for many arti- 
cles which theretofore had been imported. The 
War of 1812 increased this necessity, and, as a re- 
sult, domestic manufactures largely increased. On 
the other hand, after the Peace of 1815, importa- 
tions of manufactured articles were greatly multi- 
plied, especially from Great Britain. TTiis was 
succeeded by industrial and commercial depression 
of a veiy serious nature. All these circumstances 
strengthened the movement for protective duties, 
and each succeeding tariff act, until and including 
that of 1828, made substantial increases in rates. 
This Act marks the maximum of average duties 
prior to the Civil War. It was styled by its enemies 
**The Tariff of Abominations.'^ 

In 1833, after a threat of nullification in South 
Carolina, another bill was passed as a compromise, 
the aim of which was a gradual reduction of ad 
valorem duties — which at that time averaged 
thirty-three and eight tenths per cent. — to twenty 
per cent, by July 1, 1842. The final reduction was 
in force only two months, from July 1 to Septem- 
ber 1, 1842, when another bill raising duties went 
into effect, which, like the Act of 1828, was distinct- 
ively a protective measure. From the Act of 1842 
until the Morrill Tariff Act all legislation tended 
toward a material decrease in duties. The Act of 
1846 levied ad valorem duties exclusively, and made 


veiy material reductions. The Act of 1857 still fur- 
ther reduced duties. 

The principal argument for the Morrill TariflF 
Act was the need not of protection, but of revenue. 
Mr. Sherman, after he became Chairman of the 
Committee on Ways and Means, pointed out the 
rapidly growing deficit in public revenues, and 
advocated a tariff bill which should be sufficient 
to pay the deficit accruing since the passage of the 
Tariff Act of March 3, 1857, and supply a sufficient 
revenue for the future. In some remarks made on 
May 7, 1860, he said : ** This deficit is not merely 
temporary, but it is permanent. . . . We must 
either diminish the expenses, increase the public 
debt, or increase the revenue." He showed that 
under the operation of the tariff of 1857 the deficit 
in three years had amounted to over $52,000,000. 
He said that the public lands could not be relied 
on as a source of revenue, and advocated a sys- 
tem of preemption laws, or a homestead biU. He 
advocated the imposition of specific duties in 
place of ad valorem so far as practicable, and stated 
that this change was in accordance with the views 
and wishes of the President, though not favored 
by the Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Cobb. In his 
remarks on the subject he seems by no means to 
have overlooked the policy of fostering home manu- 
factures. He says : " There is another reason why 
I desire to have this bill pass, and that is because 
it is framed upon the idea that it is the duty of the 
government, in imposing taxes, to do as little injury 


to the industry of the country as possible; that they 
are to be levied so as to extend a reasonable protec- 
tion to all branches of American industry." 

That protection was not considered to be the ob- 
ject of the measure is shown by the remarks of Mr. 
Morrill. In presenting the Bill he said : " The prin- 
ciples upon which the present tariff bill are [is] 
founded do not necessarily raise the question of 
protection per se. Our manufacturers have made 
such advance that a revenue tariff with proper dis- 
criminations will be found, in most instances, aU 
that may be required for a fair share of prosperity." 
And at another time he said: "The highest duties 
in the biU are proposed for the purpose of revenue. 
The manufacturers might get along with lower 
duties, but we require the revenue." 

Mr. Sherman stated in a discussion with his col- 
league, Mr. Stanton, " When Mr. Stanton says that 
the manufacturers are urging and pressing this bill, 
he says what he must certainly know is not correct. 
. . . The manufacturers have asked over and over 
again that they should be let alone. The tariff of 
1857 is the manufacturers' bill, but the present bill 
is more beneficial to the agricultural interest than 
the tariff of 1857." He then points out how much 
more favorable it is to the domestic growers of wool. 

The average rates in the Morrill Tariff Bill were 
materially less than in several of the tariff acts which 
had preceded it, and, upon a majority of items, less 
than in the Bill of 1842. The general range of ad 
valorem duties was from ten to thirty per cent. 


An especial feature of the Bill, and one in line 
with later Republican policies, was the adoption of 
specific duties so far as possible. The duties in the 
two preceding tariff acts had been exclusively ad 
valorem. In acts prior to 1846, specific and ad va- 
lorem duties alike appear in each measure. Occa- 
sionally it was provided, in the case of ad valorem 
duties, that the value of the imported articles should 
not be regarded as less than a certain sum. Duties 
so imposed were styled minimum duties. In other 
cases it was provided that a specific duty should 
not be less than a certain per cent, ad valorem. Some- 
what later, compound duties, or those which com- 
bined the specific and ad valorem, were brought 
into use, but these were employed only to a limited 
extent in the Morrill Tariff Act, and were made ap- 
plicable to the most expensive brands of cigars, iron 
and steel wire, woolen goods, and ready-made cloth- 
ing. The avowed object in the case of woolens was 
to furnish a compensatory duty for the benefit of 
the manufactured domestic product, so as to make 
allowance for the duty on raw wool. 

As a revenue-producing measure this Act proved 
a failure, largely because of the troubled condition 
of affairs incident upon secession. As a part of the 
fiscal history of the country it is of minor importance, 
because it remained in effect unchanged only from 
April 1 to August 5, 1861, the date of the passage 
of the first revenue act of the war period. There 
is no indication that in the framing of this measure 
the possibilities of war were taken into account, in 


the kast degree. Several omtioning influences le- 
quiiedTeiy material increases in the later acts, chief 
among which were the necessity for greater reirenue 
created by the existence of civil war, and the es- 
tablishment of the internal revenue system, which 
greatly added to the cost of many domestic articles 
and made compensatory duties necessaiy. On the 
final passage of the BiU in the House, May 10, 18G0, 
Mr. Sherman took chaige. Several objectionable 
amendments had been adopted, but by his skiUful 
pariiamentaiy management it was restored to a 
form practically identical with that in which it was 
introduced by Mr. Morrill. In later years Mr. Sher- 
man said of this measure: **I have participated in 
framing many tariff bills, but have never succeeded 
in securing one that I entirely approved. The Mor- 
rill Tariff Bill came nearer than any other to meet- 
ing the double requirement of providing ample 
revenue for th^ support of the government, and of 
rendering the proper protection to home indus- 
tries." Had peace continued it would no doubt have 
satisfied existing conditions. 

His views with reference to tariff at that time and 
later were well defined. He regarded an ideal sys- 
tem as requiring that discussions upon the subject 
be removed from partisan politics, and favored the 
appointment of a representative non-partisan com- 
mission upon whose recommendations Congress 
should act. He realized the impossibility of fram- 
ing a perfect tariff law when the representatives 
of so many sections and interests have a voice in 


enacting it, and thus the decision whether an ar- 
ticle shall be subject to duty is. determined, or at 
any rate vitally influenced, by comproniise rather 
than by an unbiased judgment. He opposed dis- 
criminating duties, and gave only reluctant support 
to propositions for reciprocity. He favored the mul- 
tiplication of ports of entry, both on the borders 
and at the more important points in the interior, 
maintaining that the convenience of the importer 
should be subserved, and that he should be enabled 
to receive an imported article at no great distance 
from his home. In his judgment the object to be 
gained thereby outweighed the disadvantages of 
increased expense of collection and the danger of 
fraud and inequality in appraisement. 

He became a stalwart protectionist, though not 
an extremist in this regard, favoring specific rather 
than ad valorem duties. It is especially to be noted 
that he was at all times strongly opposed to the 
admission of competing raw materials free of duty, 
and regarded the continuance of protection for this 
class of imports as absolutely essential. Every leg- 
islator must be more or less influenced by his en- 
vironment and by his constituency. In the first Con- 
gress of which Sherman was a member, he took a 
stand for tariff on wool, which was a leading product 
of his state. In all his subsequent service in Con- 
gress he was urged by the advocates of duties on 
wool to maintain the same position. It is evident 
that if this species of raw material is to be protected, 
other varieties must logically receive the same con- 


sideration.^ He favored a classification of imports 
into schedules, so that rates of duty on items of one 
or more schedules could be advanced or lowered, 
to meet changing requirements of the revenue, with- 
out disturbing the general scheme of taxation. 

Events which threatened the overthrow of the 
slave power followed each other in quick succession 
in the spring and summer of 1860. The nomination 
of Abraham Lincoln for the presidency was received 
with great enthusiasm. The Democratic National 
Convention was unable to agree upon a candidate, 
and the result was a disruption fatal to success at 
the election. The existence of a third organization 
known as the Constitutional Union party, which 
sought in its platform to ignore the question of 
slavery, was sure to draw a larger vote from 
Democrats than from Republicans. Under these 
circumstances the Republicans entered the cam- 
paign of 1860 with confidence. 

The leading political events which had strength- 
ened the anti-slavery movement were the Fugitive 
Slave Law of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 
1854, and the violent e£Forts after this Act to make 
of Kansas a slave state. In addition, public opinion 
was kept aroused by a variety of minor events, each 
of which for a brief time caused an excitement equal 
to, or even greater than, that occasioned by the pas- 
sage of laws or by public policies which displayed 
the evils of slavery. Among these may be counted 
Mrs. H. B. Stowe's work entitled "Uncle Tom's 
^ See pages 346, 347, infra. 


Cabin." Mr. Khodes, the historian, says that of 
the literary forces which aided in bringing about the 
immense revolution in public sentiment between 
1852 and 1860, we may affirm with confidence that 
by far the most weighty was the influence spread 
abroad by this book. It was first published as a se- 
rial in the " National Era," an anti-slavery publica- 
tion at Washington, and appeared in book form in 
March, 1852. Three hundred thousand copies were 
sold within a year. With this work of fiction may 
be counted Helper's book, already referred to, which 
was destined to increase the indignation against 
slaveiy. Another influence in this direction was the 
series of debates between Lincoln and Douglas, in 
the summer and autumn of 1858. Mrs. Stowe's 
novel appealed powerfully to the emotional and 
moral nature. The debates between Lincoln and 
Douglas contained the clearest expositions of the 
essential principles of the two parties which, up to 
that time, had been made. 

The growing feeling, which was increasing in 
tension, was greatly intensified in the following year 
by a futile attempt on the part of John Brown to 
excite an insurrection of negroes in Virginia. Brown 
was a fanatic, intensely religious, fit to live only. in 
a time when the sword is the implement which 
moves men and shapes the destiny of nations. Bred 
in an atmosphere of conflict, he was not fitted for 
an orderly, modem community. At the same time 
his sincerity and courage were admitted, and his 
resolution upon the scaffold awakened a degree 


of admiration even among those who abhorred 
his actions. Politicians of the time engaged in per- 
plexing conjectures as to which party would be most 
injured by his actions. Excitement and bitterness 
on both sides were certainly increased by this law- 
less raid, while at the same time the people of the 
country were brought face to face with the serious- 
ness of the problems which were demanding solu- 
tion. Those who loved law and order were appalled 
by such an audacious and criminal outbreak. Those 
most bitterly opposed to slavery looked upon the 
attempt as a new illustration of the horrors of the 
system at which it was directed. 

Mr. Sherman took a more prominent part in this 
campaign of 1860 than in any preceding one. Fart 
of his time was spent in the doubtful States of Penn- 
sylvania, Indiana, New Jersey, and Delaware. In 
order to gain the sup{X)rt of Douglas Democrats, 
he argued that the choice of candidates lay between 
Lincoln and Breckinridge, and that the real issues 
were the questions of union or disunion, free or 
slave institutions. In a speech delivered at Phil- 
adelphia, which was widely circulated, he empha- 
sized the fact that Lincoln was the only candidate 
who could secure a majority in the Electoral Col- 
lege, and, if he failed of election, the choice must 
be made by the House of Representatives, in which 
case the vote of the smallest state would have equal 
weight with that of the largest. 

His work during the session of 1860-61, after the 
election of Lincoln; was divided between the ap- 


propriation bills of which he took charge as Chair- 
man of the Committee on Ways and Means, and 
ineflfectual efforts to promote a compromise which 
should prevent disunion. He was more unyielding 
than many of his associates in the matter of conces- 
sions to the South. He had come to recognize that 
the conflict was an irrepressible one, and felt sure 
that no amicable adjustment could be reached. He 
especially favored measures which would detach the 
Border States from those of the far South, believing 
that in this manner secession could be nipped in 
the bud or rendered futile. Nevertheless he voted 
for a constitutional amendment, offered as a com- 
promise, which apparently abandoned the cause 
for which the more radical anti-slavery advocates 
had been contending for many years. This amend- 
ment provided: *'No amendment shall be made 
to the constitution which will authorize or give to 
Congress the power to abolish, or interfere, within 
any state, with the domestic institutions thereof, 
including that of persons held to labor or service by 
the laws of said state." It was recommended by a 
committee of thirty-three members from the House, 
and passed there by a vote of one hundred and 
thirty-three to sixty-five, and in the Senate by ex- 
actly two thirds, or twenty-four to twelve. Efforts 
for compromise were made by a committee of thir- 
teen from the Senate, and by a peace congress 
made up of commissioners assembled under ap- 
pointment by the governors of twenty-one states, 
but all failed, and state after -state seceded, until. 


when President Lincoln was inaugurated, on March 
4, 1861, seven states denied the authority of the 
federal government, and others sympathized with 
them in the stand they had taken. President Buch- 
anan had disclaimed, in his message, the right of 
the central government to coerce a state, and then 
in a hesitating manner sought to maintain national 
authority. The North was waiting for the admin- 
istration of the newly elected President with the 
thought that when he should take the reins, some- 
thing decisive, or at least definite, would occur. 

Mr. Chase, who had been elected to the Senate 
from Ohio for the six years beginning March 4, 
1861, was selected by President Lincoln as Secre- 
tary of the Treasury. Consequently he resigned his 
senatorship and after indecisive balloting for a 
couple of weeks in the Ohio legislature, Mr. Sher- 
man was elected in his place. At first Sherman did 
not exert himself in the senatorial contest. It was 
his thought that he had reasonable assurance of ob- 
taining the position of Speaker of the House, which 
in view of the unusual circumstances of. his failure 
to be chosen in the preceding Congress would be 
regarded as a most gratifying triumph. Neverthe- 
less his correspondence of that time shows that his 
preference was to enter the Senate. Mr. Sherman's 
service of six years in the House of Representatives 
terminated with his election to the Senate. 

The advancement of a member of a legislative 
body must depend upon a variety of qualities, and, 
in a measure, upon circumstances beyond his con- 


trol. Some at the very beginning win prominence 
and speedily gain a leading position: others, attract- 
ing the same attention at first, do not acquire in- 
creased reputation, because their gifts are super- 
ficial or their judgment is faulty. This is especially 
true of those who rely upon oratorical talent merely. 
With others still, qualities of leadership are slow 
to develop, and it is only after years that the 
beginner, who at first was lost in the complicated 
shuffle, is accorded the respect which his abilities 
deserve. Influence in such a body must depend 
largely upon the confidence which is given to the 
member in question. This confidence can only be 
gained by thorough acquaintance with him, by 
knowledge that his powers are symmetrically de- 
veloped and that his vision is not clouded by pre- 
judice or passion. Time is required to tell of the 
reliability of his judgment, because the future must 
verify the prognostications he has made, and, in a 
great degree, his efficiency as a legislator is ascer- 
tained by his capacity correctly to foresee the future 
bearing and result of the measures which he ad- 
vocates. In a time of partisan excitement, when 
calmness is not the demand of the hour, an undue 
prominence is often given to those who are most 
radical. Fierce denunciation is accepted as a sub- 
stitute for ability and good judgment. 

Mr. Sherman not only gained prominence at the 
very outset, but increased in reputation as his quali- 
ties became known. In the very first month of his 
membership in Congress, when a motion to adjourn 


for the holidays was made, he suggested that it was 
the first duty of the House to select a Speaker, and 
opposed the adjournment. His view was accepted 
and the House continued balloting. In the next 
session his answer to the message of President 
Kerce, already referred to, was regarded as one 
of the ablest presentations of BepubUcan principles. 
Within four years after taking his first oath as a 
member he was the candidate of his party for 
Speaker. His speeches in the House, for fire and elo- 
quence, compare favorably with those which he later 
delivered in the Senate. His native disposition was 
conservative, but his course was characterized by 
strenuous partisanship and readiness to sustain such 
radical views as belonged to a stormy time. His 
progress wds steady, though at no time character- 
ized by meteoric flights. He certainly gained a po- 
sition which could only be occupied by one pos- 
sessed of striking ability and solid judgment. 


The administration of President Lincoln was con- 
fronted with problems as serious as any ever en- 
countered by a nation in time of trial. They were 
political, military, and financial. A vital feature of 
the political situation was the advent to power of a 
party organization made up of incongruous ele- 
ments, whose success resulted from a combination 
of those opposed to existing policies and methods. 
The Republican party, though representing one of 
the most vigorous of political uprisings, had gained 
its strength with the people and its success at the 
polls largely by the support of those who were actu- 
ated by ethical principles. When intrusted with 
the administration of .affairs its leaders realized the 
difficulty of maintaining an affirmative policy which 
would, at the same time, deserve the approval of 
those who had identified themselves with it on high 
moral grounds, and command the united support 
of the people. 

Among the most earnest supporters of President 
Lincoln had been the opponents of the Fugitive 
Slave Law, yet at the beginning of his inaugural ad- 
dress, he referred to the clause in the Constitution 


relating to the restoration of fugitives, and said that 
all members of Congress had sworn to support the 
whole Constitution. Mr. Trumbull of Illinois had 
said, in a discussion with Jefferson Davis, that the 
Fugitive Slave Law would probably be enforced 
with greater certainty under the administration of 
Mr. Lincoln than under the administration of either 
Buchanan or Pierce. Mr. Seward, while advocating 
a modification of that portion of the law which 
obliged private persons to assist in its execution, 
nevertheless maintained the validity and propriety 
of its general provisions. Mr. Lincoln had declared 
that the country could not endure half slave and 
half free, and that the agitation on the subject of 
slavery would not cease until the people could rest 
in the belief that it was in course of ultimate ex- 
tinction, but he quoted, in his inaugural, from one of 
his speeches in which he had said : " I have no pur- 
pose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the insti- 
tution of slavery in the states where it exists. I be- 
lieve I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no 
inclination to do so." One of the fundamental ideas 
of the Republican party had been that slavery must 
be excluded from the territories by national legis- 
lation, but, after the election of President Lincoln, 
Colorado, Nevada, and Dakota were granted tem- 
porary governments, by the aid of Republican votes, 
with no provision for exclusion. Among the mem- 
bers of political organizations at the North, there 
were many who sustained President Lincoln be- 
cause they loved the Union, but who would not for 


a moment have advocated the use of force with the 
thought that it was intended to destroy slavery. 

In the management of the diflScuIt problems of 
the time, President Lincoln displayed transcendent 
qualifications in adapting measures to existing con- 
ditions, giving the utmost consideration to public 
opinion, yet leading the people with such dexterity 
as to avoid disastrous opposition, while at the same 
time securing the adoption of the policies in which 
he believed. 

It may be regarded as a fact of history that, but 
for the firing on Sumter in April, 1861, the states 
which remained true to the Union would not have 
been aroused to use coercion. Except for the dis- 
graceful defeat at Bull Run, in July of the same year, 
the magnitude of .the undertaking would not have 
been realized, and adequate preparation for prose- 
cuting the war would not have been sustained. 
Still further, the disastrous Peninsular campaign of 
1862 paved the way for the Emancipation Pro- 
clamation, promulgated in September of that year, 
and the further steps for the abolition of slavery. 

Military problems were no less difficult and found 
few or none competent to solve them. Within four 
years after the firing upon Sumter, two million men 
were enlisted; a computation has. been made that 
this number constituted a larger proportion of the 
male population of the loyal states than enUsted in 
the Revolutionary War. The great lesson to be 
derived from the conflict between the South and the 
federal government is the impossibility of prose- 


cuting war in the most effective manner by a nation 
of civilians. There was no considerable number of 
regular soldiers, and the volunteers and militia, 
though imbued with a patriotism and an individual 
courage never surpassed by any soldiers in the field, 
proved that time and training are required to secure 
a thoroughly effective army. Sanitary arrangements 
which are so important in war were crude and 
entirely insufficient to make provision for so large 
a force. In addition, those who were enlisted for the 
service desired to keep in touch with home. Fur- 
loughs were frequent, and at all times the percent- 
age of absentees was very large. In the recruiting 
of troops, and the execution of the draft, it was 
constantly necessary to take into account political 
considerations. Governors of states and prominent 
politicians frequently sent word to President Lin- 
coln that unless the draft should be postponed or 
modified, important elections would be lost. The 
severe punishments for desertion and other mib'tary 
offenses, which are so necessary in maintaining 
discipline, were looked upon with great disfavor 
by the public, and were reluctantly approved by 
President Lincoln. 

There was a great demand for the appointment 
of men as generals who had not received military 
training. At the same time it must be said that by 
no means all of the men educated for war, who were 
selected to lead the armies, showed themselves mas- 
ters of the situation. The two great successes of 
the year 1862 were the capture of Forts Henry and 


Donelson and the expedition to the mouth of the 
Mississippi, which resulted in the capture of New 
Orleans. But permission to Grant to attack Fort 
Henry, in February, had been refused by Halleck 
in the preceding month. He advised postponing 
an advance in that direction until April, and sought 
to make it a condition of offensive operations that 
before Grant advanced he should receive heavy re- 
inforcements from the Army of the Potomac. After 
the capture of Fort Henry, Grant was ordered to 
devote himself to fortifying that place rather than 
to a march on Donelson. Fortunately the order was 
not received until after Donelson was captured. 
McClellan did all in his power to prevent the expe- 
dition to New Orleans. The popular ideal as to the 
merits of generals was often misleading. It was re- 
quired that they be affable, confidential with news- 
gatherers, and ready to conform themselves to all 
the standards of civil life. The bombastic addresses 
of McClellan to his troops, based upon trivial 
achievements, gave him undeserved standing as a 
military commander. 

The part of Senator Sherman in the political 
and military phases of the contest was an active and 
important one, though much less prominent than 
his connection with the financial management. In 
political policy he was conservative, and not among 
the first to advocate the abolition of slavery. To 
use his own language, in 1863 : " I opposed arbitrary 
arrests, general confiscation, the destruction of state 
lines, and other extreme measures." In the conduct 


of the war he criticised President Uncohi quite 
severely for lack of vigor and for seeming irresolu- 
tion. He early realized the gravity of the contest. 
On the day of the falling of Sumter he wrote to his 
brother: "I look for preliminary defeats, for the 
^bels have arms, organization, unity, — but this 
advantage will not last long. . . . For me, I am 
for a war that will either establish or overthrow the 
government, and will purify the atmosphere of po- 
litical life. We need such a war and we have it now." 
On the 1st of May, 1861, he wrote from Philadel- 
phia to his wife : '" I assure you this is to be no holi- 
day war. Many battles will be fought and many 
lives lost, but I am satisfied our countiy will pass 
through the ordeal with increased strength and 

His opinions upon military problems were very 
much influenced, though not controlled, by his 
brother, who also was one of the first to recognize 
the seriousness of the situation. General Sherman's 
letters and utterances at the time are full of fault- 
finding and unduly pessimistic. In every case he 
felt sure that military operations would fail, and 
this gloomy forecast of results continued until after 
the capture of Vicksburg in July, 1863, when he 
began to be more hopeful. 

Recruiting stopped in April, 1862, because san- 
guine hopes were entertained of the speedy close 
of the war by the use of the forces already in the 
field. It was necessary to resume soon after, how- 
ever, first by a caU for three hundred thousand men. 


and then by a call for three hundred thousand more. 
Sherman advocated universal conscription if neces- 
sary. He opposed the payment of large bounties, 
and frequently used the term "the physical power 
of the government, " which he said he would bring 
to bear with all its force, meaning thereby all avails 
able men who could bear arms. His brother, as well 
as General Grant, called attention to the doubtful 
policy of consolidating depleted regiments, and im- 
passionedly wrote Senator Sherman to know if the 
provision in the Bill of March, 1863, authorizing 
that method, could not be repealed. He also op- 
posed the grant of numerous furloughs, and was 
especially displeased by the presence of newspaper 
men at the front, who, in their anxiety to convey 
news, published much that was of value to the 

An examination of the debates in the Senate 
makes it appear very clearly that Sherman yielded 
gracefully to the administration, often abandoning 
his own judgment on executive recommendations 
because of his appreciation of the dreadful emer- 
gency, and his reluctance to do anything which 
might in any way embarrass the prosecution of the 
war by those in control. He wrote to his brother: 
"I cannot respect some of the constituted authori- 
ties, yet I will cordially support and aid them wliile 
they are authorized to administer the government." 

The activities of Mr. Sherman at the beginning 
of the war did not differ from those of other public 
men. All took an absorbing interest in the conflict, 


such as they had never t)efore taken in the country's 
welfare. Some made stirring speeches for the Union, 
advocating enlistment as soldiers. Others went to 
the front, sometimes carrying, as did General Lo- 
gan, a musket like a private soldier. The methods 
employed may have been directed by impulses which 
were crude, but all were actuated by the same con- 
suming spirit of patriotism. In company with the 
first two Ohio regiments which were enlisted, Sher- 
man proceeded to the front, and served as a volun- 
teer aide to General Patterson, remaining with him 
until it was necessary to go to Washington to attend 
the special session of G>ngress beginning on the 
4th of July, 1861. So absorbing was his interest 
in military operations that at this time he seriously 
contemplated resigning his seat in the Senate to 
accept a commission in the army. After the ad- 
journment of the special session he undertook the 
enlistment of a body of soldiers known as the " Sher- 
man Brigade," consisting of two regiments of in- 
fantry, with a battery of artillery and a squadron 
of cavalry. To the organization of this brigade at 
Mansfield, he gave most of his time during the 
autumn of 1861, spending much of it in and about 
camp with the men. By strenuous eflFort he secured 
as field officers of the two regiments, Regular Army 
officers, two of whom were graduates of West Point. 
The brigade performed most honorable service. 

The third problem of the administration was 
to make financial provision to carry on the great 
struggle. A certain degree of glamour attaches to 


the enlistment of armies for the field; there were 
political leaders of experience and ability; but the 
provision of ways and means to sustain all the va- 
ried expenses of the war afforded the greatest diffi- 
culty. The financial policy of Congress and of the 
Treasury Department has been very much criti- 
cised. It is asserted that the war might have been 
prosecuted to a successful termination without the 
suspension of specie payments. No doubt blunders 
were made in the conclusions reached relating to 
currency and taxation. This was inevitable when 
untried men were grappling with unheard-of diffi- 
culties. The military administration seemed like a 
succession of experiments. One general succeeded 
another in the field, and it was not until the war had 
been in progress for two years that commanders 
were selected who rendered satisfactory service 
when placed in control. The same was true with the 
financial management, but we must judge of the 
wisdom or unwisdom of the time, not alone from 
retrospect, but by placing ourselves as much as 
possible in touch with conditions as they then ex- 

Until 1861 the fiscal operations of the federal 
government had been very much limited. The 
controversy over the relation between the central 
government and the states not only pertained to 
the separate rights of the states, but affected as well 
the expenditures of the central government atid 
the scope of its activities. The almost uniform 
tendency was toward restriction. Expenditures for 


the army and the navy had been largely determined 
by the political views of the party in power. The 
amounts expended for the navy were considerable 
under John Adams, but were very much dimin- 
ished under Jefferson, and though increased dur- 
ing the War of 1812, the total expenditures for this 
branch of the service did not in any one year equal 
$10,000,000 until 1853.* Expenditures upon the 
army were very considerably larger, because of the 
necessary provision for armies in the field. These 
expenditures, however, except those growing out 
of the War of 1812, the Indian wars from 1836 to 
1838, and the Mexican War, at no time, before 
1851, equaled $10,000,000, reaching a war maxi- 
mum in 1847 of less than $36,000,000. The prior 
annual expenditures of the United States attained 
the highest figures in 1858, when they amounted 
to $74,185,270.39.' In 1860 these expenditures had 
fallen to a sum slightly in excess of $63,000,000. 
In the year 1861, when some expenditures were 
made on account of the Civil War, they amounted 
only to $66,546,644.89. Even these small annual 
expenditures were more than the revenues, which, 
in 1858, fell short by $27,000,000, and in 1860 by 
$7,000,000, while in 1861, during which year busi- 

* Here and elsewhere in this book, when expenditures or 
revenue for any year are mentioned, the fiscal year is intended, 
which after 1842 ended June 30. In all other cases the refer- 
ence is to calendar years. 

' These figures are accepted from the Anmud Circular of the 
Division of Bookkeeping and Warrants of the Treasury Depart- 
ment. They include interest and premiums on loans. 


ness experienced the shock caused by the with- 
drawal of certain of the Southern States and the dis- 
turbed conditions incident thereto, the revenue fell 
short of the expenditures by $25,000,000. We have 
thus a comparatively small annual expenditure, 
which, nevertheless, was in excess of the country's 
income. A season of war succeeded in which the 
total expenditure in the very first fiscal year, that of 
1862, was more than seven times as great as in either 
of the two preceding wars, exceeding $474,000,000. 
The staggering effect of so great a multiplication 
of demands upon the Treasury, requiring provision 
for more than $400,000,000 in excess of the usual 
expenditures, is almost beyond comprehension. 

This made it necessary to raise a very large sum 
either by increased taxation or by borrowing. Small 
amounts had with difficulty been borrowed in De- 
cember, 1860, at 12 per cent, interest, and, at the 
beginning of the following year, 6 per cent, bonds 
were sold at the rate of 89.1. 

It would be difficult to find a civilized nation 
which in a single year was confronted by financial 
difficulties so overwhelming. As against the seven- 
fold increase in the expenditures of the United 
States in a single year, 1862, the total expenditure . 
of Great Britain during the war with France, which 
began in 1793, gradually increased by 1797 to 
nearly 3^ times as much as in 1792. The increase 
in the first year of that war was less than one sixth, 
and not more than might have occurred on a peace 
footing. After 1797 there was a gradual decrease, 


caused then, as later, by intervals of peace, and the 
figures of that year were not again reached until 
1802, and then again not until 1806, from which 
time there was a progressive increase until 1815, 
when, in the twenty-third year after the beginning 
of the contest, the total expenditure was about 6^ 
times as much as in 1792.^ Yet in 1865, after four 
years of war, the expenditures in the United States 
were more than twenty times as great as in 1860. 

The problem was how to provide for these enor- 
mous disbursements. The Morrill Tariff Bill proved 
disappointing. No measure for taxation could 
be framed which within the short space of a year 
could supply more than a fraction of the increased 
demands. Our fiscal system was absolutely lacking 
in flexibility. There was no such measure as the 
income tax, the rates of which can be raised or 
lowered in accordance with the needs of the time. 
In fact no emergency had existed which required 
anything of the kind. Resort must be made to loans. 
President Lincoln, in his message to the special 
session of Congress, July 4, 1861, recommended that 
at least $400,000,000 be placed in the control of the 

Mr. Chase, in his very comprehensive report at 
the beginning of this special session, estimated that 
$320,000,000 would be required for the expenses 
of the ensuing year, and advised that $80,000,000, 
the amount of expenses other than for war, be raised 

* See ParltamentaTy Accounts and Papers, PMic Income and 
Expendttures (1868-69), vol. xxxv, pp. 433, 441. 


by taxation, and the balance by loans. In the same 
report he expressed a belief that the great body of 
the citizens of the states then involved in the calami- 
ties of insurrection, as he tenned it, would ere long 
become satisfied and return; but later, in his report 
of 1863, he regrets this inadequate conception of 
the severity of the conflict. Of the $80,000,000 
he estimated that $60,000,000 would be raised 
from customs duties and other existing sources of 
revenue, and recommended the collection of the 
remainder by a direct tax, to be divided among the 
several states in proportion to their population, or 
by internal revenue tax<es. He dwelt upon the dif- 
ferent modes of raising revenue such as duties on 
imports, direct taxes, and internal duties or excises 
and suggested numerous sources of taxation in one 
or another of the above categories, which might be 
adopted. This report, more than any other docu- 
ment, furnished the baisis for fiscal legislation 
throughout the war; but Mr. Chase's estimates, 
and his hopeful forecast of an early termination of 
the war, were accepted by the leaders in Congress 
as a reason for bringing forward no considerable 
revenue legislation at that time. Mr. Stevens, at 
the special session in 1861, announced that the Com- 
mittee on Ways and Means, after full and mature 
deliberation, had determined not to enter upon a 
revision of the tariflF. Some new duties were, how- 
ever, created, and others raised. Mr. Chase's recom- 
mendation for raising $20,000,000 by a direct tax 
was adopted and an act for an income tax was 


passed, but the latter was not made payable until 
June 30, 1862, and even in 1863 less than $3,000,- 
000 was realized from it. With the next meeting of 
Congress the seriousness of the situation was more 
thoroughly realized, and on the 21st of January, 
1862, upon the recommendation of the Conmiittee 
on Ways and Means, the House directed the 
preparation of a bill adequate to produce a reve- 
nue of $150,000,000 per year. 

Nothing is more evident than that at this time 
there was no adequate conception of the magnitude 
of the struggle which had begun. The lack of ap- 
preciation of the condition of affairs was manifest 
in all kinds of legislation, and is, to one who famil- 
iarizes himself with the prevalent opinions of the 
time, the most striking feature of the situation. 
President Lincoln in his special session message 
said: "It is now recommended that you give the 
legal means for making this contest a short and 
a decisive one." 

The total increase of the taxes collected in the 
year 1862, as compared with the preceding year, 
barely exceeded $10,000,000, and the total amount 
of revenue for the year did not reach $52,000,000. 
Authority was granted July 17, 1861, to borrow 
$250,000,000 in bonds and Treasury notes. The 
banks of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia 
arranged to lend $150,000,000 to the Treasury 
upon the purchase of bonds. In making these loans 
they were influenced in a large degree by patriotic 
motives, as the credit of the government at this 


time was very poor. At first these loans were more 
readily made because of the stagnation in business, 
which made deposits large and curtailed the ordi- 
nary lines of business in discounting, or otherwise, 
in which they were usually engaged. It was the 
remark of one banker that they had been doing 
business with the commercial community, and were 
now transacting business with the government. 

The advances to the Treasury upon the bonds, 
amounting to $150,000,000, were, in the first in- 
stance, promptly made. Although there began to 
be a decrease in the deposits and specie held by the 
banks, they readily complied with their promises, 
and in one instance even desired to anticipate the 
time within which payments were to be made. An 
unfavorable ruling, however, was made by Secre- 
tary Chase which diminished their ability to make 
pajmients. Under the Subtreasury Law the Secre- 
tary of the Treasury was forbidden to receive the 
bills of state banks, or to deposit elsewhere than 
in the subtreasuries. A statute was passed at the 
special session, which was intended to give the 
Secretary authority to draw checks upon the banks 
which had made subscriptions, in payment of ob- 
ligations to contractors and others. Secretary Chase 
declined to do this. Had he done so, all the various 
machinery of clearing-houses, under which payments 
from debtor to creditor can be settled by transfers 
of deposits in banks, would have come into play 
and very much relieved the demand upon the cur- 
rency of the country. 


The career of Mr. Chase as Secretary of the 
Treasury has been justly commended for the high 
standard of honor which he always maintained, and 
for his stalwart patriotism. Such was the respect 
for his character and ability that he was able to 
make negotiations and accomplish results in which 
a man less trusted would have failed. It may, 
however, be questioned whether he had sufficient 
familiarity with the practical details of finance to 
give him the highest qualifications for the manage- 
ment of the Treasury. He was prone to demand 
observance of certain general principles and rules, 
and to dismiss at once, without consideration, modi- 
fications such as would have been suited to the 
emergencies of the time. Before accepting the po- 
sition he had expressed great hesitancy about his 
fitness for it; his previous experience, though quali- 
fying him to solve great problems of statesmanship 
and administration, had given no training for the 
position to which he was called. 

Nothing could more forcibly display the dis- 
couraging situation, when the legal-tender proposi- 
tion was presented at the session of 1861-62, than 
a comparison of Secretary Chase's reports of July 
4, 1861, at the beginning of the special session, and 
December 9, 1861, at the regular session. In July 
he estimated the revenue from existing sources for 
the ensuing year at $60,000,000; in December he 
was compelled to diminish this by $25,000,000, or 
to $35,000,000. In July his estimate of the expend- 
itures for the fiscal year 1862, including interest and 


payments on maturing Treasury notes, was $818,- 
000,000; but in December it was $543,000,000, an 
increase of $225,000,000, which, coupled with the 
error of $25,000,000 in his forecast of the revenue, 
showed a difference in his estimates, in the short 
space of a little more than five months, of $250,- 
000,000. Secretary Chase had also, under authority 
granted at the special session, issued demand Treas- 
ury notes which, to a limited extent, had taken the 
place of currency, but had greatly added to the 
embarrassment of the banks, which were reluctant 
to receive these notes as deposits, because they were 
not legal tender, and thus not immediately available 
for the payment of obligations, and yet desired to 
receive them so as not to embarrass the government. 
To all these disadvantages was added the tension 
with Great Britain, arising out of the seizure of the 
two Southern envoys from the steamer Trent and 
the ultimatum that the two envoys should be re- 
turned within seven days or the British Minister 
would withdraw, — a demand which threatened 
immediate war. 

The combination of all these circumstances 
created a panic. Money did not readily flow to 
the banks for deposit, and lenders, especially the 
customers of the banks, were reluctant to invest 
in government bonds. There were other cogent rea- 
sons which added to the argument for legal tender. 
On the 30th of December, 1861, the banks of New 
York suspended specie pajmients on their notes. 
This action was quickly followed by a similar sus- 


pension by the banks of Boston and Philadelphia. 
The total amount of paper currency in the Northern 
States, issued by solvent hanks, was estimated at 
$150,000,000. The loans made by the Treasury 
Department between July 1 and December 9, 1861, 
were $197,000,000, or more than the aggregate 
of paper currency, and an additional issue of 
$75,000,000 of bonds was in contemplation. 

It was under these circumstances that the ques- 
tion arose of issuing government notes, not redeem- 
able in coin, but with legal tender quality. The bill 
for this purpose was introduced in the House of 
Representatives by Mr. E. G. Spaulding, a member 
of the Committee on Ways and Means, on the 30th 
of December, 186 1 . This bill authorized the issuance 
of $50,000,000 of Treasury notes, on the faith of the 
United States, payable on demand, without specify- 
ing any place of payment. They were to be in de- 
nominations of not less than five dollars each, and 
were to be receivable for all debts and demands due 
to the United States, and for all salaries, dues, debts 
and demands owing by the United States, and were 
also to be a legal tender in payment of all debts, 
public and private, within the United States, etc. 
As finally passed, the bill contained a provision 
authorizing holders of the notes to deposit them as 
a loan to the government not to exceed $25,000,000. 
Deposits were to draw interest at five per cent, if 
retained not less than thirty days. These deposits 
assumed importance because of their influence in 
determining the volume of greenbacks issued. 


time was very poor. At first these loans ^^^.^^^^^ 
readily made because of the stagnation > ^^ ^^. 
which made deposits large and curtai ^^^^jg^, 
nary Unes of business in discounting, o ^^ ^^ ^^ 
in which they were usually engaged. ^^.^ 

remark of one banker that they had D ^^^^^^ 
business with the commercial ^^"^"'"""J^njent. 
now transacting business with the gove ^^^^^3, 
The advances to the Treasury "P°° ^^t in- 
amounting to $150,000,000, were, in ^ ^^ 
stance, promptly made. Al^^^J^V* j^ held by the 
be a decrease in the deposits and ^f~ . ^^ises, 

bankM, they readily complied with tn^^.^»:^^ ^^6 
and in one instance even ilesireil '^^^ ^^^^ ^^ 
time within which payments were o^^ ^^^ ^^^ 
unfavorable ruling, however, was ^„v 

tarv Chase which dirainished tmi ^^^^ gec 

tary Chase which dimmi.hed their ^^^ g^^^e- 

p^ynients. Under the Subtteasu^ ^^^ ^^^,^e ^.e 
^ ^ - ^ ^Pg^ forbidden i" ^ t\,an 

tary of the Treas 

bills of state 

in the subtre 

special aes 




from deb 
of deposit 



mending its adoption. The Secretary then strongly 
advised the issuance of national bank notes. This 
plan was embodied in a lengthy bill prepared for 
presentation to Congress, but it was immediately 
manifest that the opposition was so formidable that 
no such measure could be adopted for months to 
come. So far as meeting present needs was con- 
cerned, the plan was impracticable because even if 
this new system should be established, a long in- 
terval would ensue before the banks could oigan- 
ize and aid the government in the manner contem- 
plated by the Secretary. 

The bill for the issuance of legal tenders, which 
had been introduced by Mr. Spaulding on Decem- 
ber 30, 1861, was reported by him on the 7th of 
January, 1862. The amount of currency to be 
issued was increased from $50,000,000, as specified 
in the original bill as introduced, to $100,000,000. 
There was a wide difference of opinion in regard to 
it. It has often been stated that the discussion in 
Congress showed great ignorance of the problems 
of banking and currency; but an examination of 
the debates at that time disproves these statements. 
It is true that some arguments were made which 
were fanciful, and others were ingenious rather than 
sound, but the dangers arising from the issuance 
of paper money by the government were clearly 
pointed out. Many warning voices were raised 
against the proposed form of currency. Mr. Pendle- 
ton and others argued against the measure on con- 
stitutional grounds. Mr. Morrill opposed the bill, 


but especially insisted that the amount of the issue 
should be limited. He said: ''I would as soon pio- 
vide Chinese wooden guns for the anny as paper 
money alone for the army." When the biD was 
urged as a necessity he was over-sanguine about 
the early termination of the war and said: "The 
ice that chokes the Mississippi is not more sure 
to melt and disappear with the approaching vernal 
season than are the rebellious armies upon its banks, 
when our western army shall break from its moor- 
ings and rush with the current to the gulf." He 
termed the bill ** a measure not blessed by one sound 
precedent and damned by all." 

Mr. Alley of Massachusetts supported the bill, but 
said : ** Beneficent as this measure is as one of relief, 
nothing could induce me to give it sanction but 
uncontrollable necessity." And further: ** If you do 
not adopt this measure, you will see the country 
flooded with irredeemable bank currency, a great 
deal of which will be found, as after the War of 
1812, utterly worthless." 

Mr. Horton of Ohio opposed the bill and pro- 
phesied : '' If this bill passes, as I hope and pray it 
will not, this will be a point from which we shall 
date a new financial system in the United States." 

Mr. Roscoe Conkling said: "The Treasury will 
control and decide the war, not the war the Treas- 
ury. . . . Armies and navies may perish, and a 
public credit well preserved can replace them; but 
if the public credit perishes, the army and navy can 
only increase the disaster and deepen the dishonor." 


He opposed the proposition to make paper a legal 
tender on the ground that the Constitution author- 
ized no proceeding of the kind. He argued also 
against what he termed the " moral imperfections " 
of the bill. ** It will proclaim," he said, ** throughout 
the country a saturnalia for fraud; a carnival for 
rogues. . . . Every debtor of a fiduciary character, 
who has received from others money, hard money 
worth a hundred cents on the dollar, will forever 
release himself from liability by buying up for that 
knavish purpose, at its depreciated value, the 
spurious currency which we shall have put afloat. 
Everybody will do it except those who are more 
honest than the American Congress advises them 
to be." Several spoke in opposition to the legal- 
tender phase of the bill, to which there seemed to be 
much more objection than to the other provisions 
of the measure. Mr. Thaddeus Stevens said: 
"This bill is a measure of necessity, not of choice." 
It must be borne in mind in considering condi- 
tions at the time that the banks and financial inter- 
ests of the country were not accustomed to respond 
to great demands for loans. The financing of great 
enterprises, which has become so familiar in later 
days, was entirely unknown. Such undertakings 
as were then conducted were, in comparison, on a 
very limited scale. Reference has frequently been 
made to the great wealth of the country, which, in 
1860, was estimated at over sixteen billions; but 
means to make this vast aggregate of property avail- 
able for the preservation of the country were woe- 


fully lacking. Mr. Sumner said in the Senate: 
*' Whatever may be the national resources^ they 
are not now within reach except by summary pro- 
cess." There was a notable absence of that ** dis- 
posable capital" which Mr. Bagehot terms the 
characteristic feature of the London money market. 
On previous occasions when large amounts were 
required, resort was had to the money-lenders of 
Europe. At this stage of the Civil War, however, 
this resource was almost entirely wanting. The 
bonds of the Confederate States were in some 
quarters thought to be a better investment than 
those of the Union. The London " Economist *' in 
August, 1861, in speaking of the funds required 
by the Northern States, said: ''Europe won't lend 
them : America cannot." The motive at home for 
loaning to the government was largely one of patri- 
otism, and bonds were taken with a feeling of un- 
certainty as to whether they would ever be paid. 

While the Legal Tender Act was pending it was 
much discussed in financial circles. Delegations 
came to Washington from New York and other 
cities to oppose it. Several alternatives were pro- 
posed. The one most prominently advocated was 
the sale of bonds, which would necessarily be dis- 
posed of at a discount whether paid for in gold or in 
the depreciated bank currency which was in circula- 
tion. The borrowing capacity of the nation under 
the existing currency system had already been 
strained to the utmost by the issuance of nearly 
$200,000,000 of bonds and Treasuiy notes during 


the five months prior to the Secretary's report in the 
preceding December. The requirements of the 
succeeding twelve months were sure to be at least 
$500,000,000 in excess of revenue. 

As regards the proceeds of bonds, after only 
$200,000,000 of United States securities had been 
issued, those drawing six per cent, were selling 
for 87i in January, 1862, and five per cents at 78, 
a discount greater on the former than that upon the 
greenback until July, 1862, and greater on the latter 
than upon greenbacks until the end of September, 
when $300,000,000 had been authorized, and the 
disastrous Peninsular campaign had exerted its full 
effect upon the finances of the country. Previous 
experience did not afford encouragement to those 
who in 1862 contemplated relying upon the issuance 
of bonds alone. Mr. McDuffie, in a report from the 
Committee on Ways and Means of the House of 
Representatives, April 13, 1830, states, that during 
the War of 1812 the government borrowed $80,000- 
000 for which $68,000,000 was received in the cur- 
rency of the time, which was worth in coin only 
$34,000,000, or 42 J per cent, on the par value of the 
loans. Yet the disproportion in that period between 
expenses and income, and between the cost during 
war and that in the preceding years of peace, was 
far less than in 1862. 

The plan of the associated banks and members of 
boards of trade contained six propositions, involving 
the issuance of two-year Treasury notes and twenty- 
year bonds, with no limitation upon the price at 


which they were to be sold ; also a suspension of the 
Subtreasury Act so as to allow the deposit of moneys 
in the banks. The first proposition was to the effect 
that $1^5,000,000 should be raised by taxation other 
than from customs. This method of raising revenue 
was- no doubt to be commended, but the likelihood 
of its success may be judged from the fact that in 
1864, two years later, after all the intervening rev- 
enue legislation, only $110,000,000 was raised by in- 
ternal revenue and direct taxes, and in the combined 
years, 1862 and 1863, the revenue was less than 
$50,000,000 from sources other than customs. The 
last of the six propositions authorized the Secretary 
of the Treasury to make temporary loans upon the 
security of funded stock, or long-time bonds, with 
power to hypothecate such stock, and if such loans 
were not paid at maturity, the lender could sell the 
stock for the best price that could be obtained. 
This last proposition met with almost universal dis- 
approval, and justly so. In time of stress it would have 
placed the government at the mercy of the wealthy 
money-lenders of the country. Bonds hypothecated 
would have been exposed to the danger of sale at 
a ruinous sacrifice, and national credit would have 
rested upon a most unstable foundation. The 
bankers who made these propositions were dis- 
trusted. Many believed that the plan to loan upon 
bonds which the lender might sell out as collateral 
indicated that they desired a method which would 
give hopeful promise of profitable transactions in 
which they might bear an important part. A sus- 


pidon rested upon them that, such was their view- 
point of the relation between the interests of the 
public and their own, although they were no doubt 
endowed with wisdom and actuated by patriot- 
ism, they nevertheless, unconsciously to them- 
selves perhaps, had formulated a scheme which, 
while intended to help the government, incidentally 
would help themselves also. A revulsion followed, 
favorable to the Legal Tender Act. It was thought 
that if this was the best plan the bankers had to 
offer, it was better to pass the bill. The Chambers 
of Commerce of New York, Philadelphia, and 
Boston passed resolutions advocating its passage, 
and their opinion was concurred in by many, if not 
a majority, of the leading bankers of the country. 
It had been reported that Secretary Chase opposed 
making the notes legal tender, and no doubt he 
contemplated so radical a step with great reluc- 
tance, but he gave his acquiescence. In a letter, 
January 29, 1862, to the Committee on Ways and 
Means, he said: "It is, however, at present im- 
possible, in consequence of the large expenditures 
entailed by the war, and the suspension of the 
banks, to procure sufficient coin for disbursements, 
and it has therefore become indispensably neces- 
sary that we should resort to the issue of United 
States notes." In the same letter he approves the 
legal-tender clause. In a letter of the 3d of Febru- 
ary, 1862, he wrote: "It is true that I came with 
reluctance to the conclusion that the legal-tender 
clause is a necessity, but I came to it decidedly 


and I support it earnestly. I do not hesitate when 
I have made up my mind, however much regret 
I may feel over the necessity of the conclusion to 
which I come." In the same letter he said: ''Im- 
mediate action is of great importance. The Treas- 
ury is nearly empty. . . . You will see the neces- 
sity of urging the bill through without more delay." 
February 5, he wrote a brief note, stating: **It 
is very important the bill should go through to- 
day, and through the Senate this week. The pub- 
lic exigencies do not admit of delay." 

Several important additions were made to the 
bill before it passed the House. There was an 
authorization for five hundred millions of twenty- 
year six per cent, gold bonds, redeemable after 
five years, familiarly known as the "five-twenties." 
The amount of legal-tender notes was increased 
from one hundred to one hundred and fifty milr 
lions of dollars, with the provision, however, that 
fifty millions should take the place of demand 
Treasury notes issued by the Act of July 17, 1861, 
which latter were to be retired as rapidly as prac- 

The measure was taken up in the Senate on the 
12th day of February, 1862. The greatest differ- 
ence of opinion there, as in the House, was upon 
the question of making the notes legal tender. 

Mr. Sherman made the leading speech in favor 
of this bill, on the 13th of February. Although he 
was with one exception the youngest member of 
the Senate, his record as Chairman of the G>m- 


mittee on Ways and Means of the House of Re- 
presentatives, in the previous G>ngress, gave him 
such standing that he had been selected as the third 
member of the important G>mmittee on Finance 
of the Senate, of which Senator Fessenden was 
chairman. It is to be noted that he based the 
argument for its passage upon the pressing necessi- 
ties of the time. That he was unmindful of the 
dangers which lurked in the measure cannot be 
asserted by any one who reads his remarks. He 
pointed out that $100,000,000 was then due and 
payable, and especially that there were arrears 
in the obligations to the soldiers, contractors, and 
officials; that the aggregate capital of the banks 
of the three principal cities of the United States 
was but $105,000,000, and they had already taken 
more than their capital in the bonds of the United 
States; that the needed sum which was to be 
raised by taxation could not be obtained for six 
months at least; that over $300,000,000 had to be 
paid out before the following July, with but small 
revenue; that the reason why the bonds could not 
be sold, even at sixty cents on the dollar, was 
not because financiers did not consider them good, 
but because there was no money with which to 
buy them. 

The very strongest argument for the issuance of 
the greenbacks was the lack of a reliable and uni- 
form circulating medium. Gold was at a pre- 
mium and had disappeared from circulation. All 
the inconveniences attaching to the state bank 


circulation were emphasized by the existing con- 
ditions. The banks had suspended specie pay- 
ments, and their bills were utterly unsuited to meet 
the emergency. Their solvency and methods were 
of such a varying quality, and it was so difficult 
to ascertain their exact standing, that the people 
distrusted them. 

To the argument that the Subtreasury Law 
should be repealed, and paper money received by 
the government, he answered that a worse evil 
would arise from that course because the banks 
would have every inducement to inflate; even at 
that time they did not pretend to pay specie, and 
it would not be long before there would be all the 
evils of an irredeemable currency of the worst 
character, and in the most dangerous form. In 
supporting the pending measure, he said: "I dis- 
like to vote for it. I prefer gold to* paper money. 
But there is no other resort. We must have money 
or a fractured government." He called attention to 
the precedent created by the issuance of bills to 
be used as currency during the wars of 1812 and 
with Mexico, and at the recent session of Congress. 

In analyzing the argument of Senator CoUamer 
— who maintained that notes might be issued, 
but that they should not be made legal tender — 
he said: "Our creditor must take them, but we 
must not make his creditor take them, — the loss 
must fall entirely upon our creditor. . . . But I 
ask, is not his proposition manifestly unjust? 
He will compel our immediate creditor to take the 


note or get nothing. . . . Shall we inflict a loss 
only on those who trust and labor for the govern- 
ment, and relieve the selfish, avaricious, idle, un- 
patriotic citizen who will neither fight for, lend to, 
nor aid the government ? '* Toward the end of his 
remarks he said: ^ After all, Mr. President, this 
is a mere temporary expedient. It is manifest that 
we must rely upon some other source of obtain- 
ing money. We dare not repeat this experiment 
a second time. If we do, we enter on the same 
course that was followed in the French Revolu- 
tion, and also by our American ancestors.'* In 
the same line with his opinions expressed at other 
times upon the vigorous prosecution of the war, 
he alleged that the only true way was first to as- 
certain how much money we could afford to ex- 
pend in the prosecution of the war, and then col- 
lect one half by taxation and the other half by loans, 
anticipating the taxation by an issue of demand 
notes. He does not seem to have been altogether 
confident of the constitutionality of the issue, for 
he said: ''Our arguments must be submitted 
finally to the arbitration of the courts of the United 

Two important changes were made by the Senate 
in which the House at a later time concurred. One 
compelled the payment in coin of customs duties, 
which was to be applied in payment of interest 
upon bonds and notes, and in part to the reduc- 
tion of the public debt; the other authorized the 
Secretary of the Treasury to dispose of bonds at 


market value for coin or Treasuiy notes. The 
bill became a law February 25, 1862. 

At no time during the Civil War was it more 
difficult to meet the obligations of the government. 
Not only was the Treasury nearly empty, but there 
was no adequate circulating medium, and military 
operations were impeded by a lack of money. This 
Act, under which legal-tender notes were issued 
in the following month, created, however, a de- 
cided change in conditions. It is manifest that the 
legal-tender measure would not have been passed 
except for the almost bankrupt condition of the 
Treasury and the exigencies of the time. The most 
severe criticism which can be made upon the fiscal 
management of the first year of the war is that 
earlier steps were not taken to provide increased 
revenue by taxation. 

Much stress has been laid upon the argument 
that the absence of activity in business, which 
would have resulted from compelling all payments 
to be made in gold, would have added greatly to 
the political difficulties of the administration. It 
has also been alleged that the exactions of the war 
became so severe, and the burdens of taxation 
weighed so heavily upon the country, that but for 
the circulation of the legal-tender notes the strug* 
gle might have been hopeless. There can be no 
doubt that the more buoyant business conditions, 
caused by the issuance of legal-tender notes, aided 
in the prosecution of the war. The measure, how- 
ever, does not rest for its justification upon any 


such foundation as this, but rather upon the sub- 
stantial basis of necessity. 

It would have been fortunate if the resort to 
paper money could have ceased with this first pro- 
vision for $150,000,000; but in a very short time 
the desire was manifest for further issues. In this 
disposition to continue a perilous experiment lies 
one of the chief evils of irredeemable paper cur- 
rency. While the first Legal-Tender Act was under 
discussion, Mr. Morrill had prophesied that, within 
sixty days, at least twice the amount of notes at 
first proposed would be required. His prophecy 
was not literally fulfilled, but as this method of 
meeting obligations seemed so satisfactory, resort 
was again made to it to meet the increasing de- 
mands upon the national credit. The receipts 
from increased taxation were altogether disap- 
pointing, and at the same time the expenditures 
of the government were increasing beyond all es- 
timates. On the 7th of June, 1862, Mr. Chase 
requested a further issue of $150,000,000 of legal- 
tender notes, of which, it was suggested, a part 
should be of denominations of less than five dollars. 
This latter recommendation was based upon the 
demand for currency of small denominations which 
in normal conditions had been supplied by sub- 
sidiary silver. It was also recommended that $50,- 
000,000 of this issue be reserved to meet payments 
upon notes deposited at the Treasury as a loan, 
the limit of which was increased to $100,000,000. 
A considerable amount of currency had been lent 


to the government under this provision. The sec- 
ond issue was received in a manner very different 
from the first. By many it was thought that as the 
undesirable step had already been taken a further 
issue would not aggravate the evil. Some who had 
voted against taking the first step acquiesced in 
the second. It is a notable fact, however, that sev- 
eral, among whom was Senator Sherman, who 
voted reluctantly for the first measure, because 
of the unusual exigency, opposed the second. But 
the bill passed and became a law on July 11, 1862. 
Later provisions for greenbacks were made by 
a joint resolution of January 17, 1863, authorizing 
$100,000,000 more, and by the Act of March 3, 
1863, authorizing an additional $50,000,000, or 
$150,000,000 including the $100,000,000 described 
in the resolution. On the passage of the resolu- 
tion of January 17, 1863, President Lincoln, 
while giving his approval, added a minute in which 
he said: "I thiiJc it my duty to express my sin- 
cere regret that it has been found necessary to 
authorize so large an additional issue of United 
States notes when this circulation, and that of the 
suspended banks together, have become already 
so redundant as to increase prices beyond real values, 
thereby augmenting the cost of living to the in- 
jury of labor, and the cost of supplies to the injury 
of the whole country." He also recommended "a 
reasonable taxation of bank circulation" to pre- 
vent deterioration of the currency, and advised the 
formation of national banking associations, to be 


organized under a general Act of Congress as sug- 
gested in his message at the beginning of the ses- 

Prior to the resolution of January 17, 1863, there 
had been grave complaint that soldiers in the field 
did not receive their pay, and at the time of the 
Act of March 3, numerous claims against the gov- 
ernment were in arrear. 

The aggregate amount of greenbacks author- 
ized by the three acts and the resolution men- 
tioned was $450,000,000, of which the sum of 
$50,000,000 was to be held in reserve to meet the 
deposits to which reference has been made. The 
Revenue Act of June 30, 1864, forbade addi- 
tional issues. The maximum amount outstand- 
ing at any time was $449,338,902, on the 3d of 
January, 1864. Additional provisions were made 
to supply the absence of subsidiary silver on the 
17th of July, 1862. Postage stamps were made a 
legal tender for dues to the United States of less 
than five dollars, and on the same date with the 
granting of authority for the last issue of legal 
tenders, — March 3, 1863, — a fractional currency 
in denominations of fifty cents or less was pro- 
vided, the amount of which, including postage and 
revenue stamps employed as currency, should not 
exceed ^50,000,000. The desire for further issues 
of irredeemable paper was diminished by a not- 
able increase of revenue which became manifest 
in the autumn of 1863, and by the readier sale of 


The total expenditures of the government from 
the beginning, in 1789, until June 30, 1861, had 
been slightly less than $1,800,000,000. In the four 
succeeding years of civil war this total of seventy- 
two years was almost doubled, the aggregate ex- 
penditure from June 30, 1861, to June 30, 1865, 
reaching the enormous total of $3,350,090,808. 
According to an official statement prepared when 
Mr. Sherman was Secretary of the Treasury and 
published in 1880, the total expenses during the 
Civil War, and resulting therefrom, that is, in the 
years from 1861 to 1879, aggregated $6,189,929,908. 
In this vast sum must be included very nearly 
$1,750,000,000 for interest on the public debt, the 
largest item; slightly in excess of $1,000,000,000 
for the pay of the soldiers; $400,000,000 for pen- 
sions, and nearly an equal amount for the subsist- 
ence of the army; $345,000,000 for clothing, and 
$336,000,000 for transportation. The expenses in 
the four years reached their maximum in 1865, 
rapidly increasing until that year. Singularly 
enough, the year ending June 30, 1861, did not 
show any marked increase in the demands on the 
Treasury. As regards disbursements it is rather to 
be ranked with the preceding years of peace than 
the four succeeding years of war. 

The influence of Mr. Sherman was at all times 
on the side of economy, though his efforts were ren- 
dered almost powerless in the overwhelming press 
of the time. At an early date he proposed a com- 
mission to investigate the salaries of the employees 


of the diflFerent departments. Work upon this, 
however, was practically abandoned because the 
increased cost of living made it evident that no 
substantial reduction could be made. 



The colossal expenditures of the Civil War period 
were met by taxation, and by loans. With loans 
should be included the irredeemable paper money 
which was issued, and with taxation, certain minor 
and incidental sources of revenue, such as the pro- 
ceeds of confiscated property, and the sale of pub- 
lic lands. 

Revenue was mostly derived from customs du- 
ties and internal revenue. In the beginning it was 
stated that the people were prajdng to be taxed. 
Before the close of the contest it might have been 
said with equal accuracy that rewards were offered 
for the suggestion of anything to be taxed which 
had not already been discovered and tried. Until 
July 1, 1862, the receipts from customs furnished 
practically all the revenue of the government, less 
than 6 per cent, being collected from all other sources 
in the years 1861 and 1862. In 1863, however, a 
radical change commenced, approximately one third 
being derived from internal taxes. In 1864 more 
was derived from internal taxes than from customs; 
and in 1865, 1866, and 1867, these taxes furnished 
considerably more than half the total revenue. 


The proportion of revenue to expenses gradu- 
ally increased also. In 1862 the amount realized 
from all forms of taxation was less than one ninth 
of the total expenses of the year, but in 1865, al- 
though expenditures had increased by more than 
$800,000,000 over 1862, the revenue was more 
than one fourth. By this time the capacity of the 
people to endure taxation had been tried, and, as 
a result, the income of the government, as counted 
in the depreciated currency of the time, in three 
years had increased more than sixfold; in the 
following year of 1866 it had increased to more 
than tenfold, — which, even after taking into ac- 
count the premium on gold, was a gain unpre- 
cedented in the fiscal history of nations, and a proof 
alike of the unlimited resources of the country and 
of the patriotism of the people, who were willing 
to submit to such a multiplication of their bur- 

The course of tariff legislation during the con- 
flict is marked by several well-defined, though not 
harmonious, tendencies: first, an effort to derive 
the greatest possible revenue from duties in order 
to meet the increased demands upon the Treasury; 
second, a desire to do away with imports in the 
greatest possible degree, because they caused large 
exportations of gold, which were thought to threaten 
the financial strength, and even the very life, of 
the government, so that some even avowed a de- 
sire to fix the rates so as to exclude importations 
entirely; third, the adjustment of tariff schedules 


so as to benefit domestic industry. It does not ap* 
pear that in the first year or two of the Civil War 
those whose business interests would be favorably 
affected by increasing duties made especial effort 
for higher tariff schedules; but at a later time they 
became active and endeavored to shape legisla- 
tion so as to add to their profits. Still another 
object of tariff legislation was to offset the specific 
and ad valorem internal revenue taxes which were 
levied upon a number of articles, and necessarily 
increased their cost. 

In the confusing mass of tariff legislation which 
was adopted during the Civil War, two or three 
measures stand out prominently. The first legis- 
lation became effective August 5, 1861. It in- 
creased the duty on sugar, salt, spices, drugs, and 
other articles, and established duties on tea and 
coffee. Further duties on tea, coffee, and sugar 
were levied early in the following session by the 
Act of December 24, 1861. The first great Tariff 
Act of the Civil War became a law July 14, 186£. 
Its object, as stated by those who presented it 
in the House, was primarily to increase duties to 
such an extent as might be necessary to offset the 
internal taxes adopted during the same month. 
This measure carried a substantial increase in 
duties. In most cases in which the alleged reason 
was to meet internal revenue taxes, the additions 
were more than ample. No further important 
increase was made until April 29, 1864, when by 
a joint resolution, expressed in a few brief lines, all 


duties except those on printing-paper for books 
and newspapers, were increased by fifty per cent. 
This resolution, which at first was to be enforced 
for only sixty days, was afterwards extended to 
July 1, 1864. On the day preceding the expira- 
tion of the extension, the Tariff Act of June 30, 
1864, a comprehensive measure, became a law. 
The Act of 1862 was entitled ** An Act increasing 
temporarily the duties on imports, etc." The Act 
of 1864 contained no such limitation, although 
Mr. Morrill, in presenting it, said: "This is in- 
tended as a war measure, a temporary measure." 
It was framed with a view to afford ample pro- 
tection to domestic industries. It was prohibitive 
in many of its schedules, and carried other rates, 
imposed for the purpose of revenue, to the high- 
est possible figures. Under the Act of 1862 the 
average rate on dutiable commodities had been 
87.2 %; under the Act of 1864 it became 47.06 %. 
The latter Act assumes especial importance be- 
cause, as regards foreign products which compete 
with domestic, it continued, though with consid- 
erable alterations both in the raising and lower- 
ing of duties, as the basic tariff law of the United 
States for nearly twenty years. If any tendency 
is to be detected in the various subsequent acts 
within that period it is in the direction of increase. 
It would be impossible in a brief compass to 
give all the various kinds of internal revenue taxes 
imposed during the Civil War period; or to set 
forth any well-defined principles which prevailed 


in their adoption. The first measure levying these 
taxes was coupled with the Tariff Act of August 
5, 1861. It imposed a direct tax of $20,000,000 
upon the states of the Union including those then 
in insurrection, also an income tax of 3 % on in- 
comes in excess of $800. Internal or excise duties 
had been strongly advocated by Hamilton, and 
notwithstanding turbulent opposition, and a large 
percentage of cost for collection, they were re- 
sorted to with fairly favorable results for a period 
of ten years prior to Mr. Jefferson's administra- 
tion. But on the advent of Mr. Jefferson and his 
party in 1801, all these taxes were repealed. The 
committee having the bill of repeal in charge re- 
ferred to the system as an iniquitous one. Internal 
taxes were again imposed, for about four years, 
during and after the War of 1812, but were re^- 
pealed when the immediate pressure of additional 
expenses was removed. Even under the overwhelm- 
ing pressure for increased revenue during the war, 
the Union leaders in Congress hesitated to restore 
this method of taxation because they feared that 
the visit of a new tax-gatherer would render it ob- 
noxious, and that the collection would be attended 
by serious embarrassment because of popular 
opposition and difficulties in administration. 

Two theories with reference to these taxes were 
advanced, one, that they should be levied on the 
greatest number of articles, so as, it was argued, to 
diffuse the burden among the people; the other, 
that only a very small number of articles should be 


taxed. The former view was maintained by Mr. 
Morrill in the House. The other plan was favored 
by Mr. Sherman in the Senate. On presenting the 
first general bill in the House in March, 1862, Mr. 
Morrill said: 

"... We have all the world before us where to choose. 
In doing this we have to be just. If it would not do to 
quarter the immense Army of the Potomac on the District 
of Columbia alone, no more would it do to press any 
single interest with the entire burden that now weighs 
down upon the Treasury. The weight must be distributed 
equally, ... in a just proportion to the means and fa- 
cility of payment. ... A heavy duty upon some articles 
would banish them from use, while upon others it would 
merely stimulate greater activity and industry to obtain 
them. A tax dependent upon the habits or vices of men 
is the most reliable of all taxes, as it takes centuries to 
change or eradicate one or the other. The orbit of the • 
United States and the States must be different and not 
conflicting. . . . Seeking to avoid all extremes, the com- 
mittee have thought best to propose duties upon a large 
number of objects, rather than confine them to a narrow 
field; ... to set out on a moderate scale, . . . rather 
than attempt to make any one product the victim from 
which to torture magnificent bounties." 

When the bill had passed the House and was 
pending in the Senate, Mr. Sherman argued that a 
great many classes in the different license schedules 
ought to be stricken out, and said : "" This bill, if it 
was reduced to a few simple propositions, would be 
an excellent tax bill." For illustration, he called 
attention to the provision for taxing employments, 
which he thought had been extended further than it 


ought to be, and added: '^You tax almost eveiy 
kind of employment from a juggler up to a lawyer, 
if there is any graduation between them; some 
people think there is not. I think it is an invidious 
kind of tax, and I am opposed to the great body of 
it." In his general contention it is now very gen- 
erally agreed that he was right. The tendency of the 
most progressive nations after a trial of the system 
of internal taxes has been to diminish to a minimum 
the number of objects on which these charges are 

At one time Sherman took a very radical stand 
on this point and also advocated a great increase 
in taxation. While conceding that the House mea- 
sure, which it was estimated would yield $250,000,- 
000 per annum, must be followed, he said: "I 
believe that an income tax of ten per cent, on all 
incomes above the mere product of a man's daily 
toil; a tax of twenty-five or even fifty per cent, on 
manufactures fairly collected; a large tax on those 
articles of luxury consumed by the rich; and then 
a tax on common carriers, who are but the freight 
agents of this country, would yield more than twice 
as much, with far less trouble and expense in collec- 
tion. We could then dispense with all the insignifi- 
cant and trifling taxes with which the bill abounds." 
He added that he felt more alarm at the condition 
of the currency than at the system of taxation, and 
suggested that the greatest benefit which could be 
gained was by reducing the currency to a stable 
basis, so that every note would be the representative. 


or nearly the representative, of gold and silver. He 
pointed out that, in the struggle with Napoleon, 
England for years collected sixty per cent, of her 
war expenditures by taxation, raising the income 
tax to fifteen per cent. 

In this legislation Sherman yielded his own 
preferences. The action of the Senate, especially 
in the later years of the war, was dominated by the 
prevalent rush to provide immediate means for the 
prosecution of the war. As an illustration it may 
be said that the important Tariff Act of 1864 passed 
the House after three days' discussion, and in the 
Senate was passed on the day following that on 
which it was taken up. Mr. Sherman also frequently 
took the stand that the House had the framing of 
revenue legislation, and that unless some excep- 
tional objection existed, its judgment should pre- 

The first comprehensive Internal Revenue Act 
became a law July 1, 1862, after three months' delay 
in committee room and in the House and Senate. 
It included a tax upon malt and distilled liquors, 
license taxes upon various professions or occupa- 
tions, taxes upon manufactures and specific pro- 
ducts of use or luxury, also upon the gross receipts 
of divers corporations, including transportation 
companies, and upon the dividends of banks and 
other financial institutions. The exemption in the 
income tax was reduced from eight hundred to six 
hundred dollars, and numerous stamp duties were 


The greatest diflBculty did not arise from tlie 
discontent of the people, — which had been very 
much feared, — but from faulty administration 
and from frauds. It was necessary to build up the 
system anew without any precedent except those 
which were very remote. The first year's revenue 
was extremely disappointing. As against an esti- 
mate of $100,000,000 by Congress, and $85,000,000 
by Mr. Chase, the actual amount realized was only 
$37,000,000. But in the following year, under 
more perfect administration, the receipts began 
to equal the expectation of those who had recom- 
mended the law. The rates were very greatly 
increased, and new items included by later statutes, 
notably those of June 30, 1864, and March 3, 
1865. By the close of the war the system of internal 
taxes included a greater variety of objects, and 
brought a larger number of people into immediate 
contact with the national system of taxation than 
under any previous plan for raising revenue. In 
speaking of its effect, an Austrian writer (von Hock) 
has said: 

"The citizen of the Union paid a tax every hour of the 
day, either directly or indirectly, for each act of his life; 
for his movable and immovable property; for his income 
as well as his expenditure; for his business as well as his 
pleasure. Stamps were affixed to the smallest agreement, 
and the most insignificant bill of exchange bore a tax 
ranging in amount from that on a small receipt to one of 
twenty dollars." * 

1 Quoted by Frederic C. Howe, Taxation in the United States 
VKider the Internal Revenue System, p. 65. 


Repairs on buildings were taxed. The householder 
could not improve his dwelling without paying a 
fine for the privilege of doing so. Every successive 
process of manufacture was taxed, as well as al- 
most every operation of business or conmierce. 
The simplest transfer of title to property could 
not occur except the state laid its hands upon the 
transaction and levied a fee. 

Notwithstanding the adoption, in the beginning, 
of principles of taxation which were manifestly 
erroneous, and in spite of many deficiencies in 
administration, the system of internal revenue tax- 
ation deserves to rank, with the establishment of 
the national banks, as one of the two great fiscal 
measures of the Civil War which were destined 
to endure. From the great mass of articles a few 
were selected as proper objects for the imposition 
of permanent taxation. Experience taught the 
best methods of organizing and managing the 
machinery of assessment and collection. The pro- 
portion of cost to collection is now materially less 
for internal taxes than for duties on imports, and 
it is probable that the share of government rev- 
enue to be derived from this source in the future 
will increase. 

Of the more than $3,000,000,000, required for 
the expenses of the four years from 1861 to 1865, 
a portion in excess of three fourths, or to speak 
exactly, 77.£4 %, was supplied by loans. As already 
stated, the prospect for borrowing at the end of 
President Buchanan's administration was most 


unfavorable.* In fact there had been difficulty in j 

disposing of bonds at all. 

Under Secretary Chase, an attempt was made 
to observe several well-defined rules in securing ; 

loans. He was especially insistent in seeking to I 

make them redeemable after a short period because, 
as he stated, with the increasing supply of gold, it 
was almost inevitable that rates of interest would 
fall, hence it was desirable that a way be left open 
to substitute, at an early date, bonds drawing a 
lower rate of interest for pending loans. He termed 
this '* controllability." In his report, in 1863, the 
following were stated as the objects steadily kept 
in view: first, moderate interest; second, general 
distribution; third, future controllability, — the 
feature above described; fourth, incidental utility. 
The average rate of interest on the whole debt, 
including non-interest-bearing notes, had declined 
from 4.36 % on the 1st day of July, 186£, to 
3.95 % on the 1st day of October, 1863. With the 
increase in the issue of bonds this average rate 
became higher. The second object was the dis- 
tribution of the debt among the greatest number 
of holders. Every effort was made to this end. 
The first plan for distribution involved the em- 
ployment of a large number of agents in many 
places, all of whom were to act under the direct 
control of the Treasury Department. This ar- 
rangement was found to be inadequate, and the 
Secretary employed as a general agent. Jay Cooke, 
^ See page 90. 


who organized agencies in all portions of the coun- 
try, and through sub-agents disposed in a com- 
paratively short time of nearly four hundred mil- 
lions of five-twenty bonds. The Secretary in com- 
menting says: **The history of the world may be 
searched in vain for a parallel case of popular 
financial support to a national government." 'The 
fourth object, incidental utiUty, was sought to be 
derived from the acceptance of deposits at an in- 
terest not exceeding 5 %. The amount of these de- 
posits, as already mentioned, was at first limited to 
$25,000,000, afterwards to $50,000,000 and then to 
$100,000,000. To secure their payment a reserve of 
$50,000,000 of United States notes was maintained. 
The loans or obligations incurred by the gov- 
ernment during the Civil War may be roughly di- 
vided into three classes: first, long-period loans, 
including the twenty-year bonds drawing 6 %, 
issued under legislation of July and August, 1861 ; 
the five-twenties, payable in twenty years, but re- 
deemable after five years; the ten-forties, provided 
for by legislation enacted March 3, 1863, and June 
30, 1864, payable in forty years, and redeemable 
in ten years. Second, short-time loans ; some of 
these were issued at a high rate of interest, espe- 
cially in the early years of the war when the credit 
of the government was poor; among these may 
be included the seven-thirties, payable in not to 
exceed three years, the rate of interest on which 
was fixed at 7.3% because, at this rate, one penny a 
day accrued on a fifty-dollar bond; Treasury notes 


running a minimum of sixty days and a maximum 
of three years ; temporary loans at 4, 5, or 6 per cent. , 
redeemable after ten days' notice; certificates of 
indebtedness to creditors who elected to receive 
them, payable on or before a year after date; notes 
running one and two years at 5 %. Third, notes 
which bore no interest, available for use as cur- 
rency, some not having legal-tender qualities, and 
others, like the greenbacks, endowed with that 
capacity. Demand notes, authorized early in the 
war, were not legal tender, but were receivable 
for customs as well as for all other public dues. 
Some were in circulation until March, 1864, and 
by reason of their availability for the payment of 
duties, they commanded a premium nearly as high 
as that upon gold. 

Not only were the bonds and securities hetero- 
geneous in character, but it was a feature of many 
of the short-time bonds that they might be ex- 
changed for those running a longer period. At the 
close of the war there were thirty-two varieties of 
outstanding obligations. 

The bonds issued after gold had disappeared 
from circulation did not, prior to the ten-forties of 
March 3, 1863, contain a promise that the principal 
should be paid in coin, although it was expressly 
agreed that the interest on the five-twenties should 
be so paid. 

The national debt, on the 1st of July, 1861, was 

$90,580,873.72.^ It did not reach its maximum 

^ Figures giving the amount of the public debt are taken from 
the Treasury Finance Report of 1897. 


at the date of the virtual close of the war, in April, 
1865, but, by reason of the liquidation and pay- 
ment of numerous outstanding claims, it was 
greatest on August SI, 1865, when it amounted 
to $2,844,649,626. Between the time of Lee's 
surrender, in April, 1865, and the date of this maxi- 
mum amount, the debt increased at the rate of 
nearly $3,000,000 a day. 

The Secretary of the Treasury had shown sur- 
prising timidity in recommending increased taxa- 
tion. In his report, in December, 1861 , he said : ** It 
will be seen at a glance that the amount to be de- 
rived from taxation forms but a small portion of 
the sums required for the expenses of the war. For 
the rest, the reliance must be placed on loans." 
In his report of December, 1862, he repeated: "But 
the chief reliance, and the safest, must be upon 
loans." He explained these recommendations in 
his report of 1863, in these words: "Hitherto the 
expenses of the war have been defrayed by loans 
to an extent which nothing but the expectation 
of its speedy termination could fully warrant." 
In this respect the views of Mr. Sherman were 
exactly the opposite. He favored the largest pos- 
sible revenue from taxation. The two consulted 
frequently, and in many instances Mr. Chase de- 
pended upon Mr. Sherman to secure in the Senate 
the passage of measures which he desired to have 
adopted; but, as regards methods of providing 
means to prosecute the contest to a successful ter- 
mination, they were widely at variance. 


Throughout the war it was possible for the 
Secretary to exercise very potent influence on finan- 
cial conditions by his selection of means to meet 
current demands. If he relied upon long-time bonds 
for funds, the tendency was for gold to fall. If he 
issued greenbacks, gold rose in price, because with 
every additional issue of irredeemable paper cur- 
rency, or its greater use in payments from the 
Treasury, paper money was depreciated in value. 
The Secretary has been very much criticised for 
his attempt to float a five per cent, bond under the 
Act of March 3, 1864. A desire to lower the rate 
of interest was certainly praiseworthy, but it is 
charged that when these bonds did not readily sell, 
the Secretary sought to force their acceptance by 
glutting the money market. The sale of five-twen- 
ties at six per cent, had been ample to satisfy the 
demands on the Treasury, but bonds at a lower 
rate were disposed of with diflSculty. When Secre- 
tary Fessenden took charge of the Department, July 
1, 1864, he reversed the policy of his predecessor, 
and returned to the sale of six per cent, bonds. 

The premium on gold varied under the influ- 
ence of a multitude of circumstances, chief among 
which was the success or failure of the govern- 
ment in its military operations. With the defeat 
or victory of armies in the field, gold rose or fell. 
In the same category may be classed the indorse- 
ment or defeat of the administration at elections; 
also our foreign relations, which caused distrust 
when there were threats of intervention, or com- 


plications such as arose after the seizure of the 
Trent. Other very important factors were the 
amount of legal-tender notes, as determined by 
legislation, and the policy of the Treasury De- 
partment in the meeting of obligations. The is- 
sues of state banks, which increased very con- 
siderably during a portion of the Civil War, added 
to the paper-money inflation, and exercised a veiy 
considerable influence upon the premium on gold. 
Another potent influence lay in the operations of 
the gold market. It is probable there has never 
been an instance in which the opportunities for 
profit by mere speculative manipulation have been 
so great as in the case of the purchase and sale 
of gold during the Civil War. A maximum price 
was reached in Wall Street, July 1, 1864, just after 
the resignation of Secretary Chase, an event which 
was seized upon as an excuse to advance the pre- 
mium to a figure far in excess of that for which 
any substantial reason existed. This was followed 
in the same month, when Early was threatening 
Washington, by a still higher price, 285, the highest 
quoted. In view of the very considerable decrease 
of the premium during the successful military 
operations in the autumn of 1864 and the winter 
of 1864-65, it was anticipated by many that it 
would entirely disappear with the close of the war. 
The legislation establishing the national bank- 
ing system was one of the most important events 
during the Civil War. Unlike the legal-tender acts 
it was anticipated at the time that the laws estab- 


lishing the national banks would be permanent 
Notwithstanding the absorbing attention required 
for affairs purely military, Congress and the Ex- 
ecutive Department gave heed to a subject which 
ordinarily would only be considered in a time of 
peace. Such a measure would have been impos- 
sible in the preceding years. The opposition to 
centralization had been so strong that a system 
under which the banks of the country, or the lead- 
ing banks, were to obtain federal charters and be 
placed under the supervision of federal officials 
located at Washington, would have been defeated. 
This is particularly true when we consider that 
the leaders of the Democratic party retained a 
vivid recollection of the strenuous contest be- 
tween Jackson and the United States Bank. While 
there was a very marked distinction between one 
central banking institution, such as Jackson op- 
posed, and a multitude of banks scattered over 
the different states, under regulations by which 
five persons or more could associate themselves, 
and, on complying with certain conditions, obtain 
a charter, yet in the popular mind the very con- 
siderable difference between the two would not 
have been recognized. 

A number of conditions favored the establish- 
ment of national banks, chief among which were 
the objections to the note circulation of existing 
banking corporations. The bitter experiences of 
the people, in frequent losses from failure of local 
corporations, had created a strong impression. It 


was estimated that five per cent, of the bills in cir- 
culation proved worthless each year. In addition 
to this there were manifold difficulties arising 
from the necessity of exchanging bills of banks 
which were widely separated. A very serious diffi- 
culty also arose from the frequent counterfeits^ 
rendering it necessary that an expert should pass 
upon a package of bills, and in many instances 
even the most practiced cashier could not be sure 
whether a note was genuine. In some remarks 
made by Senator Sherman he gave the number 
of banks issuing notes in 1862 as fifteen hundred^ 
while the number whose notes were not counter- 
feited was only two hundred and fifty-three. Of 
the various kinds of imitations, alterations, and 
counterfeits there were more than six thousand. 
The inefficiency of the old system was universally 
recognized. Under a Democratic administration. 
Secretary Guthrie, in 1855, had said that if the 
states continued the chartering of banks, with 
authority to issue and circulate notes as money, 
and failed to apply any adequate remedy. Con- 
gress might be justified in the exercise of the power 
to levy an excise upon the notes and thus render 
the authority to issue and circulate them value- 
less. Secretary Chase in his report of July 4, 1861, 
recommended a tax upon state bank circulation, 
and in his report of December, 1861, he fully com- 
mitted himself to the establishment of national 
banks. The measure prepared in pursuance of 
his recommendation was at first treated as too 


important for early consideration, and afterward 
received with pronounced disfavor. Mr. Stevens 
filed an unfavorable report. It is not difficult to 
realize the opposition of existing banks to such a 
revolutionary measure. Such opposition under 
ordinary circumstances could not have been over- 

Mr. Sherman became convinced, as he says, 
long before he entered Congress, that the whole 
system of state banks, however carefully guarded, 
was both unconstitutional and inexpedient, and 
ought to be overthrown. He especially distinguished 
between the ordinary powers of banking and the 
issue of bills, and dwelt upon the number of great 
banking institutions which did not issue them. 
In the discussion of the Revenue Act of July, 1862, 
he had proposed an amendment imposing a tax 
of two per cent, on the annual circulation of state 
banks. He said the right of the banks to issue 
bills was worth $9,000,000 per annum, and was 
about the only franchise or property right not taxed. 
The amendment was defeated by a vote of twenty- 
seven to ten. In July, 1862, a second bill for a na- 
tional banking system was framed and introduced. 
It was prepared by Secretary Chase with the aid 
of Messrs. Spaulding and Hooper of the House 
and of Mr. Sherman, but the opposition seemed 
to grow stronger. In December, 1862, Secretary 
Chase renewed his recommendation and appealed 
to Mr. Sherman to remodel the bill and take charge 
of it in the Senate. In a letter to his wife, after 


the debate on the bill in the Senate, Shennan 

"Chase appealed to me throu^ Cooke to remodel the 
bill to satisfy my views and take charge of it in the Senate. 
The appeal was of such a character that I could not 
resist, although I foresaw the difficulties and danger of 
defeat. When I made the speech on taxation of state 
bank bills, I had not determined what to do, but carefully 
avoided any reference to the National Bank Bill. That 
speech brought me into correspondence with bankers and 
others, and while giving me some reputation, compelled 
me to study the preference between government and bank 
currency and led me to the conviction that it was a public 
duty to risk a defeat on the Bank Bill. I thoroughly con- 
vinced myself, if I could not convince others, that it was 
indispensable to create a demand for our bonds, and the 
best way was to make them the basis of a banking system. 
When you reflect upon the magnitude of interests in- 
volved you will be impressed what a task this was. Not 
a step could be taken without a contest with local banks 
of great power and extensive ramifications. However, I 
carefully examined Chase's bill, made several important 
alterations and restrictions and introduced it. . . . Dur- 
ing the struggle I was very anxious, and scarcely slept, and 
now feel all the lassitude consequent on a long mental 

It is to be noted that after several failures in 
the House, the Bill which became a law was first 
introduced and passed in the Senate. It was not 
presented for consideration until it was reported by 
Mr. Sherman on the 2d of February, 1863. In his 
argument sustaining the measure he stated briefly, 
yet comprehensively, the principal Arguments for 
the new system. He said : " We are about to choose 


between a pennanent system designed to estab* 
lish a uniform currency . . . and a system of 
paper money without limit as to amount except 
for the growing necessities of war." He enumer- 
ated the benefits which the United States would 
obtain from the system; namely, that there would 
be a market furnished for the bonds; that it would 
furnish a medium by which the state bank paper 
might be gradually absorbed — not by any harsh 
measures; that it would furnish a convenient 
agency for the collection of taxes; that it would 
make a community of interest between the stock- 
holders and the banks, the people and the gov- 
ernment. He continued: "At present there is a 
great diversity of interests. The local banks have 
one interest, and the government has another. . . . 
The similarity of notes all over the United States 
will give them a wider circulation; . . . banks 
would be guarded against all frauds and altera- 
tions [that is, in their notes]; . . . they are made, 
by this law, depositories of the public money; . . . 
These notes are to be receivable for taxes due to 
the United States." It was evident from the discus- 
sion at the time that in adopting the national bank 
system it was understood that a means would be 
established by which the sole paper currency of 
the country should be provided in the future. . In- 
deed, Mr. Sherman says, in the speech just quoted, 
that at the close of the war the legal tenders would 
be banished. 

In his remarks on February 10th he ascribed 


supreme urgency to the measure, saying: "The 
establishment of a national currency, and of this 
system as the best that has yet been devised, ap- 
pears to me all important. It is more important 
than the winning of a battle. . . . Sir, we cannot 
maintain our nationality unless we establish a 
sound and stable financial system, and, as the basis 
of it, we must have a uniform national currency." 

Minute provisions were made for safeguards, 
both for the protection of the government and of 
depositors. The noteholders were to be secured 
by a deposit of bonds, which should be in excess 
of the issues of the bank in the proportion of 100 
to 90, and deposited with the National Treasury 
at Washington. Two objects assumed greatest 
prominence, — to provide a market for government 
bonds and to secure a uniform and stable currency. 
It is difficult to state which of the two secured for 
the measure the greatest support. 

The Act became a law on the 25th of February, 
1863. As originally passed it consisted of sixty- 
five sections. The early results did not equal ex- 
pectations. The amount of bonds taken by banks 
as late as November 25, 1864, was only $81,961,000. 
It had been expected that numerous state banks 
would change their organization and take out 
national charters, and that a considerable num- 
ber of new national banks would be organized. 
In the first seven months, to October 1, 1863, only 
sixty-six banks were organized, a considerable 
share of which were in the states of the middle west. 


Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. In the older states 
there was already a sufficient note circulation of 
banks already organized. Hie Act was» in form, 
repealed, and its provisions greatly modified by 
another measure passed June 3, 1864. This made 
divers changes, most of which were in the direc- 
tion of giving greater stability. A more prompt 
payment of subscriptions by shareholders was re- 
quired, and the amount of the initial payment was 
increased. The Act of 1863 made no provision 
for redemption of circulation except at the bank- 
ing offices of the issuing banks; the supplemental or 
repealing Act compelled redemption at some bank 
in one of the principal cities. Coupon bonds were 
sufficient as security for circulation, under the Act 
of 1863, but registered bonds were required by the 
Act of 1864. The Act of February 25, 1863, provided 
a tax by the government on circulation only. An- 
other Act, passed six days later, changed the basis 
of assessment, granting exemptions which were espe- 
cially helpful to banks of smaller capital. This pro- 
vided a substantially lower tax on circulation. The 
second Act also imposed taxation on the average 
amount of deposits in excess of average circulation. 
The Act of 1864 decreased the rate of taxation upon 
circulation, doubled that upon deposits, but again 
materially changed the basis of assessment and im- 
posed a tax upon the average capital stock beyond 
the amount invested in United States bonds, at the 
same time authorizing the states to levy taxes upon 
bank shares and their real estate. 


The opposition of the state banks, which had 
been very pronounced at the beginning, gradu- 
ally diminished. The objections which were sug- 
gested at furst to a change from state to national 
charteis were found to be mostly groundless. 
These were summarized by Mr. McCulloch, then 
Comptroller of the Currency, as follows: (1) The 
apprehension that the national system might prove 
to be a repetition of the free bank system of 
the West, which had been a disreputable failure; 
(i) the opinion that, in becoming national banks, 
and issuing notes secured by government bonds, their 
interests would be so identified with the interests 
of the government, their credit so dependent upon, 
so interwoven with, the public credit, that they 
would be ruined if the integrity of the Union should 
not be preserved; (3) the danger of hostile legis- 
lation by Congress, or the annoyance to which they 
might be exposed by congressional interference 
with their business, for partisan purposes; (4) the 
requirement that in order to become national banks 
they must relinquish the names to which they had 
become attached, And be known by numerals. 
This requirement was modified so that the desig- 
nation by numerals was unnecessary. 

At the time when the National Banking Act 
was passed, nearly $170,000,000 of notes of state 
banks were in circulation in the loyal states. The 
securities pledged for the notes and available for 
their payment were alleged to be of a value prob- 
ably not more than one fourth the par value of 


outstanding bills. So long as this large circulation 
was outstanding, inflation could not be prevented, 
nor could the public be protected from frequent 
losses by the failure of banking institutions to pay 
their notes. The growth of the national banks 
was slow so long as state banks retained the privi- 
lege of note-issue. The Revenue Act of March 3, 
1865, imposed a tax of ten per cent, per annum 
on state bank notes, after July 1, 1866. Under this 
tax their circulation soon disappeared. 

After recovery from the shock of the battles of 
the Wilderness and Cold Harbor, and from the 
environment of the National Capital by General 
Early, in July, 1864, the tide began to turn. Gen- 
eral Sherman captured Atlanta and commenced 
his famous march to the sea. From this time an 
assurance that the result of the war would be suc- 
cessful was cherished by the people. The false 
hopes which had been entertained after earlier 
victories made the growth of confidence slow, but, 
in the autumn and early winter, the end seemed to 
be plainly in view. A main cause of the defeat of 
the South was the exhaustion .of her material re- 
sources, which were not sufficient in quantity or 
quality for the maintenance of so gigantic a strug- 
gle. The blockade, which was maintained with 
increasing efficiency, destroyed hope of outside 
supplies, and, however eflfective her army might be 
as an army, it could not keep the field in the face 
of the disadvantages resulting from scarcity of 
food and the equipment for war. In the North, 


Chase had said that the danger-line was approach- 
ing with the increase of the public debt. He doubted 
whether the contest could be continued after 
$8,000,000,000 of obligations had been incurred. 
There was, however, an abundance available of 
all that the armies required, and a disposition 
which, although somewhat changeable in its mani- 
festations, was determined to restore the Union at 
any cost. The surrender of Lee and the assassi- 
nation of Lincoln followed closely, in April, 1865. 
The one indicated the fall of the rebellion, the 
other was the crowning tragedy of the great con- 



It was unfortunate that the bloody years of the 
Civil War should be followed by the stormy period 
of reconstruction. This period does not present 
a picture pleasant to contemplate. It was char- 
acterized by angry clashes between the executive 
and legislative departments, which rendered a 
dispassionate and just solution of the pending 
problems impossible. In this contest Senator Sher- 
man probably found more that was distasteful 
than in any portion of his political career. He was 
by nature conservative, but was also a very strong 
party man, and above all things reluctant to break 
from those who had been his associates in the po- 
litical and financial measures of the great strug- 
gle. It was impossible, after the bitter contest in 
which success had been achieved with so much 
difficulty, to take a moderate view of the situa- 
tion. The returning soldiers in each of the two 
sections dominated public opinion. Neither could 
so soon forget. 

Questions relating to reconstruction had already 
arisen during the administration of President Lin- 
coln, and, but for his overshadowing influence, would 
have caused a serious split at that time. They 


were sure to arise again as soon as the immediate 
problems of the war no longer occupied exclusive 
attention. In order to act harmoniously with Con- 
gress it was necessary that the Executive should 
be possessed of consummate tact. This quality 
Mr. Johnson altogether lacked. Few Presidents 
have left a more pronounced impression upon the 
course of political events than President Johnson. 
He will be remembered, however, not, as most of 
the rest, for the policies which were adopted as 
the result of presidential leadership, but because 
of the opposition and irritation awakened by his 
peculiar personality. 

He was a most remarkable man. Of lowly an- 
cestry and very limited educational opportunities, 
by force of pluck and ability he had become a 
Representative in Congress, twice Grovemor of 
Tennessee, and a Senator of the United States. 
From the very first he was conspicuous for his ob- 
stinate adherence to the opinions which he enter- 
tained. So early as the administration of President 
Polk, a public man was asked whether Andrew 
Johnson was the same as Cave Johnson, Postmaster 
General. The reply was, " Oh no! there is no cave 
in him." He was subject to decided limitations. 
His career in Tennessee had been a stormy one, in 
which joint discussions, bitter personal encounters, 
and close victories had been his lot. The applause 
of the populace was as the breath of his nostrils, and 
his chief delight was in political or personal contro- 
versy. A person who had risen from such surround- 


ings could hardly be expected to occupy the presi- 
dential chair without undue elation, nor to be able 
to maintain tolerance toward his opponents. No 
one can deny his patriotism, nor his devotion to 
the Union, a devotion which had continued in the 
midst of the greatest obstacles and amid surround- 
ings which made his situation almost intolerable 
in the dangers and conflicts which it aroused. He 
transmitted to Q)ngpess some of the ablest state 
papers which are to be found among the messages 
and papers of the Presidents. While in the pre- 
paration of many of these he no doubt called upon 
others, in and out of the cabinet, for aid, he was 
at least judicious in his selections.^ On the other 
hand, his public utterances were characterized 
by a bitterness and an absolute lack of dignity 
altogether below the standard observed by any 
other person who had occupied the presidential 

Mr. Johnson was repellent because of his un- 
attractive personal traits and his colossal ego- 
tism. Barely three hours after President Lincoln 
had breathed his last, the oath was administered 
to him in the presence of a considerable number 
of distinguished men. Notwithstanding the ap- 
palling calamity, the thought of which filled all 
minds, he did not mention President Lincoln's 
name or achievements, but spoke at some length 

^ It appears that his first message, transmitted to Congress 
in December, 1865, was written by George Bancroft, the historian. 
The original is in the Library of Congress. 


of his own past record, indicating the probable 
course which he would pursue, and giving assur^ 
ance that he might be trusted in the presidential 
office. It was maintained by President Johnson 
and his supporters that his plan of reconstruction 
was identical with that of Resident Lincoln, and 
derived from it. If the people had been convinced 
of this, it would no doubt have brought to him 
a large popular support, but he always termed his 
plan " My Policy," and made no reference to Presi- 
dent Lincoln as its author. 

The hostility of those who had been ardent sup- 
porters of the Union would not have been so fiercely 
aroused had it not been that Johnson was so open 
to the accusation of glaring inconsistency, if not 
of insincerity. He had been the most vociferous 
of all in his denunciation of rebels, and had used 
the most drastic language in describing the pun- 
ishment which should be visited upon them. These 
expressions were not merely employed in the heat 
of election campaigns, but were continued after 
he became vice-president, and even after he as- 
sumed the presidential office. The prevalent feel- 
ing was one of apprehension that he would be too 
severe. After his repeated denunciations he began 
most unexpectedly and without any warning to 
take measures which showed an absolute aban- 
donment of his former position. Only twelve days 
before he became President he had said: "When 
you ask me what I would do " (i. e., to those en- 
gaged in the rebellion), "my reply is, I would arrest 


them, I would try them, I would convict them, 
and I would hang them." His opinion then was 
that ''treason must be made odious, and traitors 
must be punished and impoverished, their social 
power broken." Even so late as April 25, 1865, 
with presidential responsibilities upon him, he de- 
clared, in response to an inquiry about Jefferson 
Davis: ''The time has come when traitors must 
be taught they are criminals. The country has 
clearly made up its mind on that point, and it 
can find no more earnest agent of its will than 

In strange contrast with these vehement senti- 
ments are the utterances of President Johnson 
made only a few months later. In an address to 
delegates from nine Southern States, September 
11, 1865, he makes no mention of "treason" or 
"traitors," and assures these representatives of the 
South that " there is no disposition on the part of 
the government to deal harshly with the Southern 
people." At a banquet in his honor, in New York, 
August 29, 1866, the same people of whom, six- 
teen months before, he had said that they "must 
be punished and impoverished, their social power 
broken," he would not now have "come back into 
this Union a degraded and debased people," but, 
rather, he wished them "to come back with all 
their manhood," and said that ''then they would 
be fit, and not otherwise, to be a part of these 
United States." 

It is impossible to tell just what influence caused 


him to change his mind. Mr. Blaine, who reviews 
the subject with very considerable care, and from 
the standpoint of a contemporaiy, regards the in- 
fluence of Mr. Seward as the determining factor. 
He states that when Seward arose from what was 
expected to be his death-bed, he advocated pacific 
measures toward the South, and President John- 
son was convinced by his ailments, though his 
personal relations with him had not been of the 
most friendly nature. This view, while plausible, 
has not been generally accepted. It seems more 
probable that a sense of the gravity of the prob- 
lem and of the unparalleled responsibility of his 
position caused him to reconsider the opinions 
which he had expressed upon the hustings. 

The change in the policies which he advocated 
was undoubtedly very much more readily made 
by reason of his earlier views and affiliations. 
Though none had been more pronounced in his 
declarations of allegiance to the Union, he had 
little else in common with the party which elected 
him. He had been a Democrat of the strictest 
school; he had opposed tariff as robbery; he had 
resisted every movement for internal improve- 
ments; he had little sympathy with the movement 
for the abolition of slaverjs except as a punish- 
ment to rebels in arms. It was but natural that 
when the conflict was over there should be a re- 
turn to many of his own old ideas, and with each 
successive development of opposition to his course, 
his obstinacy a^d contentious disposition caused 


him to become more and more radical in his de- 
parture from his former opinions. 

Three general theories were propounded upon 
the subject of reconstruction. One may be called 
that of the indestructible states, under which it 
was maintained that no state could be out of the 
Union. Thus, if there had been rebellion within 
its borders, even though it was promoted and led 
by the Governor and all its officers, it was a re- 
bellion against that state quite as much as against 
the federal Union; and as a result, when the 
federal authority should be restored the state re- 
turned to its position in the Union. A second and 
opposing theory was, that by rebellion the so-called 
states entirely lost their rights as such, and were in 
the same relation to the loyal portion of the coun- 
try as territories, or even as newly acquired pro- 
vinces. Under this view, it was not necessary, on 
their readmission to the Union, to follow state lines 
or pay any respect to the former organizations 
which had existed. A third was to the effect that 
by rebellion the states were disorganized, losing 
their former status, and that it remained for Con- 
gress, and for Congress alone, to determine their 
position, to prescribe temporary governments for 
them, and to reinstate them in the Union at such 
time as seemed best. As expressed in a congres^ 
sional report, the Constitution does not act upon 
states, as such, but upon the people. 

Upon a decision as to which was the correct 
opinion depended the vital question whether the 


lestoration of the states was for the executive 
or for the legislative branch of the government. 
President Johnson advocated the first, and Con- 
gress, after much delay and discussion, in which 
the second theory had strenuous and able advo- 
cates, substantially adopted the third. All opin- 
ions were still further complicated by the problem 
of what to do with the freedmen. 

No extra session was called, and the work of 
organizing state governments in the South re- 
mained entirely with the Executive until the meet- 
ing of Congress in December, 1865. President 
Johnson, on the 29th of May, issued a proclama- 
tion of amnesty and pardon to those who had been 
engaged in the rebellion, referring to two procla- 
mations of similar tenor by President Lincoln 
and requiring a prescribed oath to support the 
Constitution and the Union. There were numer- 
ous exclusions from its provisions for amnesty, in 
which were embraced civil, diplomatic, or military 
oflScers of the "pretended Confederate Govern- 
ment," above the rank of colonel in the army or 
lieutenant in the navy, as well as officers of any 
grade who had been educated at West Point or 
the Naval Academy; all those who had held the 
pretended office of governor of any state in insur- 
rection; those who had left seats in Congress, or 
judicial stations under the United States, to aid 
in the rebellion; those who had resigned or ten- 
dered resignations in the army or na^7 to evade 
duty in resisting it; those who had engaged in any 


way in treating persons found in the United States 
service otherwise than lawfully as prisoners of 
war; those who had been engaged in destroying 
commerce of the United States upon the high seas 
or the lakes and rivers between the United States 
and Canada, or in making raids from Canada into 
the United States; those who had been absent 
from the United States for the purpose of aiding 
the rebellion, or who had left their homes within 
its jurisdiction and passed beyond the federal 
military lines into the pretended Confederate States 
for the same purpose; those who at the time of 
seeking the benefits of the proclamation were 
prisoners of war, or were under civil or militaiy 
arrest; those who had voluntarily participated in 
any way in the rebellion and who were the owners 
of taxable property to the value of more than twenty 
thousand dollars; ^ and, finally, those who had 
taken the oath of amnesty under President Lin- 
coln's proclamation, or an oath of allegiance, and 
had not kept and maintained the same inviolate. 
It will be noted that these exceptions, constitut- 
ing fourteen classes, excluded from restoration to 
citizenship nearly all the men who had taken a 
prominent part in the rebellion; but there was a 
provision in the proclamation which allowed spe- 
cial application to be made to the President for 
pardon by any person belonging to the excepted 
classes. Thus the leading men of the South could 

^ This class was not excluded from amnesty by President 
Lincoln, in his proclamation. 


be pardoned by an act of executive clemency, 
whik the rank and file were amnestied in a body. 
The records of the State Department show that 
nearly fourteen thousand were pardoned by the 
Executive in nine months. The method of apply- 
ing to take the oath, and of administering it, was 
prescribed by the Secretary of State and was very 
simple. Any commissioned officer, civil, military, 
or naval, of the United States, and any officer, civil 
or military, of a loyal state or territory, was de- 
clared competent to administer this oath, a copy 
of which should be given to the person taking it, 
and another copy sent to the State Department 
at Washington. 

Another proclamation was issued on the same 
day, appointing a provisional governor for North 
Carolina. This governor was authorized and 
directed to have an election held for choosing dele- 
gates to a constitutional convention, to be held 
with a view to the reconstruction of the state and 
its restoration to its constitutional relations with 
the United States. All citizens were qualified to 
vote who could vote under the constitution and 
laws in force immediately before May 20, 1861, 
the date when North Carolina passed an ordinance 
of secession, and who had taken the oath prescribed 
in the proclamation of amnesty. This proclama- 
tion diflFered from those issued by Mr. Lincoln on 
the 8th of December, 1863, and March 26, 1864, 
in one important particular. Mr. Lincoln had 
specified ten per cent, of the old electorate as a 


sufficient number to form a state goverament: 
Mr. Johnson laid clown no rule as to the numer- 
ical proportion which the modified electorate should 
bear to the old, but he left to the convention of the 
State of North Carolina, which was to be assem- 
bled, or to the legislature which might follow, the 
power to prescribe the qualifications of electors and 
the eligibility of persons to hold office; adding, 
significantly, **a power the people of the several 
states composing the federal Union have rightfully 
exercised from the origin of the government to the 
present time." 

After the proclamation pertaining to North 
Carolina, similar proclamations were issued by 
the President relating to Mississippi, Georgia, 
Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, and Florida, for 
each of which states provisional governors were 
appointed. The existing state government in Vir- 
ginia was recognized. Mr. Johnson also recog- 
nized Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee as re- 
constructed states under acts and proclamations 
of Mr. Lincoln. The other seven states, except 
Texas, took prompt action under Mr. Johnson's 
proclamations, and held conventions. In tliat state 
the war was considered to be still in existence, and 
the final conclusion of the contest there was not 
declared until August 20, 1866. Proclamations 
were also issued commanding the raising of the 
blockade and the restoration of commerce with 
the states which had been in rebellion. The state 
governments thus created, with the exception of 


Mississippi, which rejected it, ratified the Thirteenth 
Amendment, abolishing slaveiy, though the ratifi- 
cation in Florida was not accomplished until 
December 28, 1865. 

It does not seem that before the meeting of Con- 
gress any general opposition had been aroused 
against the plan proposed by President Johnson 
for the reconstruction of the Southern States. 
Popular attention was laigely occupied with the 
results obtained by the war, such as the permanency 
of the Union, and the final and absolute libera- 
tion of the slaves. 

With the meeting of Congress in December, 
1865, Senators and Representatives from the 
Southern States in process of reconstruction pre- 
sented themselves for admission. Admission was 
peremptorily denied, and a joint Committee on 
Reconstruction consisting of fifteen members, nine 
from the House and six from the Senate, was pro- 
vided for at the very beginning of Congress. This 
committee was to inquire into the condition of the 
states, and to report, by bill or otherwise, whether 
they were entitled to representation. It was also 
provided that no member should be received until 
this committee should report. The House denied 
the privilege of the floor to the members who pre- 
sented themselves. 

A great deal of distrust had been created by the 
passage of so-called Vagrancy Acts in the Southern 
States, which were considered to be aimed at the 
freedmen, and, it was claimed, made possible the 


continuance of slavery in a modified form. In one 
state the court was to apprentice minors whose 
parents did not have the means of support, and if 
said minor were the child of a freedman, the former 
owner of said minor should have the preference. 
In other states it was provided that every adult 
freedman should furnish himself or herself with 
a comfortable home and visible means of support 
within twenty days, and failing to do so was to be 
immediately arrested and hired out by public ad- 
vertisement to the highest bidder for the remainder 
of the year. In one state the failure to pay a poll- 
tax of three dollars was to be followed by a similar 
procedure, thus virtually resulting in the sale of a 
human being for taxes. There could be no ques- 
tion as to the intent of these provisions. They 
pointed to a continuance of former conditions in 
an even more objectionable form. These facts 
caused those who had advocated the abolition of 
slavery to think that the South would not accept 
the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thir- 
teenth Amendment in good faith. 

The joint committee of fifteen appointed by 
Congress, of which Senator Fessenden was chair- 
man, made a report in which especial attention 
was given to the bitterness of the antagonism 
which survived in the South. It said : " The Southern 
press, with few exceptions, abounds with weekly 
and daily abuse of the institutions and people 
of the loyal states; defends the men who led, and 
the principles which incited, the rebellion; de- 


nounces and reviles Southern men who adhered to 
the Union; and strives constantly and unscrupu- 
lously, by every means in its power, to keep alive 
the fire and hate and discord between the sections." 

It was shown that Confederate officers had ap- 
peared in the different conventions wearing the 
uniform which they had worn in the field. There 
can be no doubt that the President's course 
emboldened many who had resisted the national 
authority to maintain an irreconcilable attitude, 
not accepting the results of the war. 

Mr. Sherman was on friendly terms with Presi- 
dent Johnson. For two years they sat side by side 
in the Senate, and in the presidential contest of 
1864 they were in company in the campaign in 
Indiana and other states. For a time it was hoped 
that he might bring about a reconciliation between 
President Johnson and the more radical Repub- 
lican leaders in Congress. His first prominent 
utterance in regard to the policy of President John- 
son was made in February, 1866. In this he called 
attention to the similarity of the reconstruction 
policy of President Johnson to that of President 
Lincoln. He mentioned that all the members of 
Lincoln's Cabinet had acquiesced in the measures 
which Johnson had adopted. In answer to the 
argument that the Southern States had not pro- 
vided for suffrage for the freedmen, he said that, 
as regards the Northern States, in some the right 
of suffrage had not been given at all, while in 
others it had only been given occasionally. When 


Senator Guthrie said that he had great confidence 
in the President, Senator Sherman added, "So 
have I." There was evidently at this time no 
irreparable breach with the President, and leading 
Republicans had not abandoned hope that he might 
still act in harmony with the Republican majority 
in Congress- On the 22d of February, 1866, 
however, the President made one of his turbulent 
harangues, in which he said: "I have opposed the 
Davises, the Toombses, the Slidells, and a long 
list of others. Now when I turn around, and at 
^e other end of the line find men, I care not by 
what names you call them, who still stand opposed 
to the restoration to the Union of these states, I am 
free to say that I am still in the field." When 
called upon to name who they were, he said : " You 
ask me who they are. I say Thaddeus Stevens of 
Pennsylvania is one; I say Mr. Sumner of the 
Senate is another; and Wendell Phillips is another." 
These remarks operated as a firebrand. The Pre- 
sident not only embittered the radical leaders men- 
tioned, and their friends and supporters, but caused 
the more conservative elements to distrust him. 

From this time on, a policy of moderation to- 
wards the South was considered out of the ques- 
tion. The most radical measures received the most 
enthusiastic support. The presidential veto, which 
in ordinary times would have been received with 
respect, and its arguments weighed, was absolutely 
ignored. It was a source of gratification to pass 
a bill against the President's objections. Some of 


his messages, refusing assent to measures passed 
by Congress, were able documents, couched in tem- 
perate language, and clearly setting forth consti- 
tutional objections, and probable ill results which 
would follow from the legislation proposed; but 
the feeling against him was so strong that he no 
longer commanded respect. 

The first session of the Thirty-ninth Congress did 
not result in the final enactment of any important 
legislation relating to reconstruction, though divers 
declaratory resolutions were passed, outlim'ng clearly 
the policy which Congress favored. Also, the 
Fourteenth Amendment was submitted, June 16, 
1866. The Committee on Reconstruction made 
majority and minority reports. 

The opinion of the majority with reference to 
the status of the seceding states was expressed in 
the following language : 

"It is more than idle, it is a mockery, to contend that 
a people who have thrown off their allegiance, destroyed 
the local government which bound their states to the 
Union as members thereof, defied its authority, refused 
to execute its laws, and abrogated every provision which 
gave them political rights withia the Union, still retain, 
through all, the perfect and entire right to resume, at their 
own will and pleasure, all the privileges within the Union, 
and especially to participate in its government, and to 
control the conduct of its affairs. To admit such a prin- 
ciple for one moment would be to declare that treason 
is always master and loyalty a blunder. Such a principle 
is void by its very nature and essence, because incon- 
sistent with the theory of government, and fatal to its very 


Mr. Sherman gradually aligned himself — 
though not with the more radical element in his 
party — with those who strenuously opposed the 
President. On the 17th of March, 1866, he had 
expressed the hope that President Johnson would 
approve the Civil Rights Bill, the aim of which 
was to protect the colored population of the South- 
em States in their civil rights. This statute in the 
first section declared all persons bom in the United 
States, and not subject to any foreign power (ex- 
cluding Indians not taxed), to be citizens of the 
United States; and gave to all the same right to 
make and enforce contracts, and the same rights 
in regard to property; also to all persons the full 
and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for 
the security of person and property. The statutes 
passed by some of the Southern States in the 
preceding year had created palpable discrimination 
in the rights of the two races. Crimes of violence 
against persons were declared to be offenses when 
committed against whites, but no provision for 
punishment was made when the same offense was 
committed against blacks. President Johnson, 
however, objected because the first section, desig- 
nating who should be regarded as citizens, com- 
prehended Chinese as well as those of African 
blood. In an enumeration of rights in the same 
section he thought he saw a prohibition of state 
statutes against intermarriage between the two 
races. He gave at great length, though with less 
of ability than in most of his veto messages, his 


objections to the law. Mr. Sherman joined with 
others in passing it over his veto. 

When the course of the President in the dispensa- 
tion of patronage was criticised, and legislation was 
proposed to curtail his powers, Sherman took 
radical ground against him. In some remarks on 
the Tenure of Office Bill, on the 10th of January, 
1867, he desired an amendment in the form of a 
penalty clause, and mentioned several cases in 
which the President had utterly disregarded the 
law in keeping rejected appointees in office. A little 
later he criticised the President's method of making 
selections, and said that he had no unkind feelings 
toward him, but that the latter had no right to turn 
men out of office because of political divisions aris- 
ing during the course of his administration. On the 
18th of February, 1867, he said that the whole 
revenue service had been upturned to reward par- 
tisans and betray a party. 

At other times, however, Sherman's native con- 
servatism asserted itself. On the Idth of February, 
1867, he said he was willing to enfranchise the 
negroes, but would not disfranchise the whites. . 
Replying to Senator Sumner he said: 

"If we exclude from voting the rebels of the South, who 
compose nearly all the former voting population, what 
becomes of the republican doctrine that all governments 
must be founded on the consent of the governed ? I invoke 
constitutional liberty against such a proposition. Beware, 
sir, lest in guarding against rebels you destroy the founda- 
tion of republican institutions. I like rebels no better 


than the Senator from Massachusetts; but, sir, I will not 
supersede one form of oligarchy in which the blacks were 
slaves, by another in which the whites are disfranchised 
outcasts. Let us introduce no such horrid deformity into 
the American Union. Our path has been toward enfran- 
chisement and liberty. Let us not turn backward in our 
course, but after providing all necessary safeguards for 
white and black, let us reconstruct society in the rebel 
states upon the broad basis of universal suffrage." 

On March 11, 1867, he said that the proposition 
then was to reconstruct that civil government w^hich 
had been overthrown by rebellion on the basis of 
universal suflFrage, and added : " A year ago I was 
not in favor of extending enforced negro suffrage 
upon the Southern States." In May of the following 
year, in speaking of the Fourteenth Amendment, he 
said: "I have always thought that was the best, 
safest, and surest basis of reconstruction, and had 
it not been for the evil genius of Andrew Johnson, 
I think this question would have been settled long 
ago on the basis of the Fourteenth Amendment to 
the Constitution." 

In the session beginning December 3, 1866, 
Congress took up the whole subject of reconstruc- 
tion and passed a variety of measures. The first 
was one repealing the authority granted to the 
President to pardon those who had participated in 
the rebellion. Another, relating to the territories, 
was significant in regard to negro suffrage. It pro- 
vided that there should be no denial of the elective 
franchise there, on account of race, color, or previous 
condition of servitude. A proposition was made for 


the impeachment of the President, which was not 
finally acted upon. 

At the close of the session, March 2, 1867, the 
Act which embodied the congressional theory of 
reconstruction was passed over the veto of the 
President. By its terms, the ten states which had 
been in rebellion, and had not regained their posi- 
tion in the Union,^ were divided into five military 
districts, in which the military power was to be 
supreme, although no sentence aflFecting the life or 
liberty of any person was to be executed unless 
approved by the officer in command of the district, 
and no sentence of death without the approval of 
the President. Provision was made for the forma- 
tion of a constitution in each of the ten states, by 
a convention of delegates, to be elected by the male 
citizens of each state, twenty-one years of age and 
upward, of whatever race, color, or previous con- 
dition. The admission of each state under such 
constitution as might be adopted was conditioned 
upon the insertion of a provision therein that the 
elective franchise should be enjoyed by all persons 
who were qualified to vote for delegates. This was 
intended to include the negro. Another condition 
was that each state should agree to the amendment 
to the Constitution proposed by the Thirty-ninth 
Congress, known as Article or Amendment 14. A 
final section declared all governments to be provi- 
sional until the readmission of the respective states 
under the provisions of the Act. 
* Tennessee was recognized as fully restored to the Union. 


This Act, in substantially the form in which it 
became a law, was prepared by Mr. Sherman and 
introduced by him as an amendment to a House 
Bill, framed by Mr. Thaddeus Stevens. It was 
milder in several particulars than the Stevens Bill. 
The President, instead of General Grant, General 
of the Army, was to appoint the commanders of 
the five military districts, and had to approve any 
military sentence imposing the death penalty. In 
explaining it, Mr. Sherman said that it was founded 
upon the proclamation of the President made after 
the assassination of President Lincoln, in which 
he declared that the rebellion had overthrown all 
civil governments in the insurrectionary states, and 
had sought by executive mandate to create govern- 
ments therein. In analyzing the bill he contended 
that existing laws authorized most of the regula- 
tions provided in the act. Military districts could 
already be formed, and it was the duty of the Prcr 
sident to assign military officers to such districts. 
The third section authorized a military tribunal in 
a state which had been in insurrection. He main- 
tained that this was in accordance with authority 
which the Supreme Court had recently recognized. 
The fourth section required all sentences of military 
tribunals to be sent for review to the commanding 
officer. A proviso was added to the substitute as 
prepared by Sherman, to the eflFect that a sentence 
of death should not be enforced until it was sub- 
mitted to, and approved by, the President. This 
proviso he regarded as unnecessary. The fifth sec- 


tion demanded, he said, that the Southern States 
extend to all their male citizens, without distinc- 
tion of race or color, the elective franchise, and 
provided a way in which they might reorganize 
loyal state gcfvemments. 

In this instance, as in others during the ensuing 
quarter of a century, Mr. Sherman showed his 
singular ability in framing a measure upon which 
discordant elements of his party could agree. Not 
all of the laws which bear his name met wiih his 
own hearty approval. He supported the Resump- 
tion Act of 1875 as the best obtainable. The 
Silver Purchase Act of 1890 was presented by him 
very reluctantly. A supplemental Act was passed 
providing the machinery for the registration of 
voters, and for the manner of holding elections, as 
well as the procedure in the framing and adoption 
of the proposed constitutions. This Act provided 
for military control of elections. It did not become 
a law until the special session of the Fortieth Con- 
gress, begun in March, 1867. The Reconstruction 
Acts were executed in the five military districts. 
There was as much leniency as was consistent with 
the letter of the law, but opposition was awakened 
at every turn. If there had been reactionary and 
unjust measures by the conventions held under the 
proclamations of President Johnson, those held 
under the Reconstruction Acts were also criticised 
for incompetency and extravagances of the gravest 
nature. The supplemental Act had provided that 
a convention should be held only when a majority 


of the registered electors voted on the question, and 
the majority of those voting voted in the affirmative. 
In five of the ten states in which reconstruction was 
attempted the colored voters had a majority. So 
strong was the feeling in Congress that when the 
legislation already adopted failed to meet the case, 
supplemental acts were passed. It was intended to 
secure the supremacy of the Republican party in 
the states which had been in insurrection, and then 
their admission at the eariiest practicable date. 

A Tenure of Office Act had been passed March 2, 
1867, the object of which was to prevent the Presi- 
dent from using the power of his office to sustain 
himself or the policies recommended by him. An 
alleged violation of this Act by the President in the 
removal of Secretary of War Stanton, and the desig- 
nation of Greneral Ix)renzo Thomas in his place, led 
to articles of impeachment in the early part of the 
year 1868. It was on the ground of the designation 
of Greneral Thomas especially that Mr. Sherman 
voted for impeachment. He filed a memorandum 
at the time of the trial, setting forth his views quite 
completely, in which he argues at considerable 
length that the Act referred to prohibited temporary 
appointments, and that the President had violated 
the law. In this memorandum he makes the follow- 
ing reference to the general attitude of the President: 

"The great offense of the President consists in his 
opposition, and thus far successful opposition, to the 
constitutional amendment proposed by the Thirty-ninth 
Congress, which, approved by nearly all the loyal states, 


would, if adopted, have restored the rebel states, and thus 
have strengthened and restored the Union convulsed by 
civil war. Using the sca£Poldings of civil governments 
formed by him in those states without authority of law, 
he has defeated this amendment; has prolonged civil 
strife; postponed reconstruction and reunion; and 
aroused again the spirit of rebellion overcome and sub- 
dued by war. He alone, of all the citizens of the United 
States, by the wise provisions of the Constitution, is not 
to have a voice in adopting amendments to the Constitu- 
tion; and yet he, by the exercise of a baleful influence and 
unauthorized power, has defeated an amendment de- 
manded by the result of the war. He has obstructed, as 
far as he could, all the efforts of Congress to restore law 
and civil government to the rebel states. He has aban- 
doned the party which trusted him with power, and the 
principles so often avowed by him which induced their 

A trial was had, but on May 16, 1868, the requisite 
two thirtis was lacking by the close vote of thirty- 
five to nineteen. The Fourteenth Amendment 
was, however, ratified by a sufficient number of 
states, and the proclamation, or final certificate, 
of its adoption was issued by Mr. Seward, Secre- 
retary of State, on the 20th of July, 1868. A con- 
current resolution was passed by Congress on the 
following day, declaring it to be a part of the Con- 
stitution of the United States. It is difficult to 
summarize in small compass the provisions of this 
important amendment. The primary object sought 
was to protect the freedman in the enjoyment of 
his rights, thus making permanent one of the prin- 
cipal results of the war. The Thirteenth Amend- 


ment abolished slavery. The Fifteenth enfran- 
chised the negro. The Fourteenth was, in a de- 
gree, an intermediate step between the two, though 
affecting other vital questions besides the status 
of the colored race. 

The Fifteenth Amendment was a measure de- 
cided upon, not so much because of a desire for 
the political equality of the colored race, although 
that was a potent factor in influencing the opin- 
ions of many, as to insure their protection and with 
a view to preventing the supremacy of the element 
which had been in rebellion, and securing, and mak- 
ing permanent. Republican control in the states of 
the South. The final vote upon its submission was 
had in the Senate on the 26th of February, 1869, 
on which day the conference report between the 
two Houses, which had been concurred in by the 
House on the preceding day, was adopted. The 
proclamation of President Grant, with the certi- 
ficate of Mr. Fish, Secretary of State, declaring 
its adoption, was made on the 30th of March, 1870. 

At the date of the presidential election, in No- 
vember, 1868, seven Southern States out of ten had 
so far complied with the reconstruction measures 
that Acts had been passed for their restoration to 
the Union, though the vote of Georgia for the 
presidency was virtually Tejected, and representa- 
tion in Congress was denied her, first in the 
Senate and then in the House. 

By March 30, 1870, Acts were passed admit- 
ting the other three states to representation in Con- 


gress, Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas. In each 
of these Acts it was recited in the preamble that 
the legislature had ratified the Fourteenth and 
Fifteenth Amendments. Two forms of oath were 
prescribed to be taken by the members of the 
legislature or state officers. The first was for 
those outside of the classes excepted in the several 
presidential proclamations. The second was based 
upon the claim that an Act of Congress had re- 
moved the disabilities of the others. In this man- 
ner especial care was taken to ignore a general 
proclamation of amnesty, issued by President John- 
son, on Christmas Day of 1868. 

On May 31, 1870, an Act was passed for the en- 
forcement of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amend- 
ments. It provided not only penalties against state 
officers for the violation of these amendments, but 
severe penalties against any one within the states 
who should undertake by unlawful means to deprive 
any other person of his right to qualify to vote 
at any election. This was called the Enforcement 

On the 20th of April, 1871, the Ku-Klux Act was 
passed, which sought to legislate for the preserva- 
tion of civil and political rights within the states, 
and for punishment of the infraction of the same 
by individuals. At divers times after the establish- 
ment of the state government to succeed military 
control, soldiers were sent into the reconstructed 
states at the request of the governors or other 


The civil regime which followed military rule 
in six of the states, in 1868, and in the remaining 
four in 1870, w^as much more demoralizing than 
the military rule which had preceded, although 
in form it was more in accordance with the prin- 
ciples of republican government. The rankest 
corruption was rife in the reconstructed govern- 
ments. Greorgia promptly broke away from the 
so-called "carpet-bag" rule at the election in De- 
cember, 1870. In the years from 1874 to 1876 
others of the reconstructed states succeeded in 
overthrowing the existing regime, and by 1877 the 
Solid South was under white Democratic govern- 

Thirty years after the close of the Civil War, 
when asperities were softened, and he had re- 
flected upon the events of the reconstruction era, 
Mr. Sherman said in his " Recollections": 

"It became imperative, during the long period before 
the meeting of Congress, that President Johnson should, 
in the absence of legislation, formulate some plan for the 
reconstruction of these states. He did adopt substan- 
tially the plan proposed and' acted upon by Mr. Lin- 
coln. After this long lapse of time I am convinced 
that Mr. Johnson's scheme of reorganization was wise and 
judicious. It was unfortunate that it had not the sanction 
of Congress, and that events soon brought the President 
and Congress into hostility. ... In the absence of law 
both Lincoln and Johnson did substantially right when 
they adopted a plan of their own, and endeavored to 
carry it into execution. ... I believe that all the acts 
and proclamations of President Johnson before the meet- 
ing of Congress were wise and expedient, and that there 


would have been no difficulty between Congress and the 
President but for his personal conduct, and especially 
his treatment of Congress and leading Congressmen.*' 

As explaining the time when he l)egan to act 
with the radical members of his party, he says, in 
speaking of the vote gn the Civil Rights Bill : " From 
this time forth I heartily joined with my political 
associates in the measures adopted to secure a 
loyal reorganization of the Southern States. I was 
largely influenced by the harsh treatment of the 
freedmen in the South, under acts adopted by the 
reconstructed legislatures. The outrages of the 
Ku-Klux Klans seemed to me to be so atrocious 
and wicked that the men who committed them 
were not only unworthy to govern, but unfit to 

In some remarks in the Senate, upon the Blair 
Bill for government aid to education, on the 13th 
of March, 1890, he expressed himself even more 
definitely, especially upon the enfranchisement of 
the colored race and the disposition of citizens of 
the Northern States toward the South at the close 
of the wair. 

These remarks were elicited by attacks upon 
the Republican party and the accusation of North- 
ern unfriendliness to the South. He said: 

"When the Civil War closed there was a feeling uni- 
versal in the Northern States that the best way to solve the 
difficulty was to restore to the people of the Southern 
States their state governments with all the original powers 
attached thereto, with only such limitations and qualifica« 


tions as would enable the people of the United States to 
secure the results of the w^r. . . . There was at that 
time no feeling of hostility against the people of the 
South. ... At that time it was not contemplated to arm 
the negro with suffrage. . . . You may go back to the 
records and you will see . . . that the laws passed by the 
various Southern States, when they first assumed to act, 
after the dose of hostilities, were so cruel, so wrong in our 
view of the rights of the colored people of the South, so 
unjust in our view of the rights of the white Republicans 
of the South, . . . that those laws burned like coals of 
fire in the Northern heart. . . . The belief grew stronger 
and stronger that the people who had waged war to break 
up the Union intended to overthrow the results of the war, 
and to deprive those who were made free by the policy 
of that war of all the rights of citizenship. That was the 
feeling. It was a feeling in which I participated. ... It 
was not until the people of the North felt that there was 
no way whatever left to protect the acknowledged rights 
of the colored men of the South except to arm them with 
suffrage, that we approached the question, and we did 
so with great difficulty and with much delay. . . . But, 
Sir, when the time came that we saw there was no other 
protection for the people of the Southern States, and 
especially for those who had been emancipated, ... we 
reluctantly, slowly, deliberately adopted that remedy, and 
the only remedy fit for the case. There was no feehng of 
passion about it. There was no feeling of hatred about it. 
... It was adopted in the form of a constitutional 
amendment, and voted for by such men as I have named, 
— Fessenden and Trumbull, and Doolittle and Mr. Cox. 
... It was adopted by them as the last resort. . . . Mr. 
President, this is all that I need to say. If there is any- 
thing wrong in the situation of the Southern affairs, in 
every case they have brought it upon themelves. When 
the Senator from Mississippi yesterday spoke of the feel- 
ing of hate that exists in the Northern States he described 


what is only to be seen in his own imagination. ... If 
there are any ills in the South they have been brought 
upon them by themselves. ... If they complain of the 
Fifteenth Amendment . . . they compelled us to pass it, 
in the judgment of the most conservative men of the 
Northern States, not of the extreme men; not of Mr. 
Sumner, or a few others who might be picked out, but 
the conservative classes of the Northern States including 
as I believe a great mass ci the Democrats of the North 
who felt that there was no other way. ... It is true it 
has not turned out as we expected, because no man then 
dreamed that such measures would be resorted to as have 
been resorted to, in order to deprive the negro of his rights. 
No man then dreamed of Ku-Klux Klans and of the savage 
machinery by which this exclusion has been perfected." 

When asked by Senator Butler of South Carolina 
whether in his judgment as a statesman and as a 
citizen, he did not think that the conduct of Andrew 
Johnson, when he was President of the United 
States, had as much to do with the condition of 
things in the South as the conduct of the Southern 
people themselves, he said: 

"I say that Andrew Johnson is more responsible for 
the evils that have been brought upon this country by the 
treatment of the negroes than anybody else. He was 
elected by the Republicans as a part of the generous 
treatment they have always extended to the people of the 
South. They took Johnson, in 1864, and put him on the 
ticket. They took him as a Southern Democrat, and when 
he came into power he deserved the Republican party; 
he turned his back upon that party, and joined the 
Democrats of the South in this system of measures that 
I have complained of, and our fight was against Johnson 
as well as against the extreme men of the South." 



The distinctive features of the financial and com- 
mercial situation at the close of the war were the 
inflation of prices and the existence of an era of 
speculation in which money was plentiful and 
profits were large. Industry and enterprise had 
received a great stimulus from the herculean efforts 
made to subdue the rebellion, and there had fol- 
lowed an unprecedented degree of energy in the 
development of the country. There was every indi- 
cation that this development would continue, and 
become a permanent feature. 

Numerous plans were advocated for the resump- 
tion of specie payments. On the 17th of May, 1866, 
Chief Justice Chase had written to Horace Greeley: 
"The way to resumption is to resume." This 
catchy phrase was taken up by Mr. Greeley and 
others, who advocated an immediate return to specie 
payments without any change in the volume of 
outstanding notes or accumulation of a gold reserve; 
indeed, without any legislative action, relying en- 
tirely upon the action of the Executive Department 
of the government with the ordinary means at 


Some believed in the absolute retirement of the 
greenbacks. They advised destroying them when- 
ever received at the Treasury, and, if they did not 
come in with sufficient rapidity, exchanging bonds 
for them. 

Secretary McCuUoch, who had been placed at 
the head of the Treasury Department on the second 
inauguration of Lincoln, believed in their gradual 
withdrawal, regarding them as an emergency cir- 
culation. It had been the general impression that 
the greenbacks would be retired soon after the close 
of hostilities, but in what way, or exactly how soon, 
had been considered only vaguely. Others favored 
the accumulation of a gold reserve, which at that 
time, with the balance of trade against us, and the 
gold supply almost exhausted, was a task of no 
little difficulty, although it is to be observed that 
this was an essential feature of the plan finally 

Another class, among whom may be included 
Senator Sherman, did not favor immediate inter- 
ference with the greenbacks. They thought a policy 
of "let alone" to be best; that the problem of re- 
sumption was primarily a commercial one and need 
not depend upon legislation, at least not until later. 
They believed that with the growth of the country 
and the increasing demands for currency, outstand- 
ing issues of greenbacks would be required as part 
of the necessary volume of money. In the South 
there was no money in circulation. This void must 
be filled. The fall in the gold premium from the 


maximum of July, 1864, until the successful termi- 
nation of the contest had been so rapid that it seemed 
reasonable to expect the premium would entirely 

The insistent arguments against contraction did 
not begin to be advanced until a considerable time 
after the close of the war. It is evident that if early 
resumption was to be accomplished, this was the 
occasion. The prices of gold had been subjected to 
extreme fluctuations; the business community had 
become accustomed to the conduct of enterprises 
when the gold market showed violent changes in 
values from day to day. Then, too, with an abun- 
dance of circulating medium, and with an unusual 
share of the production of the country required for 
supplies for the prosecution of the war, payments 
had been prompt and a smaller share of business 
than usual had been conducted upon credit, so that 
no great mass of debts had been contracted by 
individuals, though the obligations of the govern- 
ment were very laige. 

Secretary McCuUoch took strong ground in favor 
of the retirement of the legal tenders. In an address 
at his home in Fort Wayne, in the month of October, 
1865, he said: "If Congress shall early in the ap- 
proaching session authorize the funding of the legal 
tenders, and the work of reduction is commenced 
and carried on resolutely, but carefully and pru- 
dently, we shall reach it " (i. e. the solid ground of 
specie payments), " probably without serious embar- 
rassment to legitimate business; if not, we shall have 


a brief period of hollow and seductive prosperity 
resulting in widespread bankruptcy and disaster." 

Mr. Sherman's plan of resumption was altogether 
a diflferent one. The object to which he attached the 
greatest importance was the funding of the im- 
mense national debt at lower rates of interest. To 
accomplish this he regarded it as essential that an 
abundant supply of legal tenders should be con- 
tinued in circulation, and be made by law readily 
exchangeable for bonds drawing a low rate of inter- 
est, of which, in order to make them more accept- 
able, principal and interest should be made payable 
in gold. With such a currency he was sure the bonds 
and short-time obligations would be rapidly con- 
verted. At the same time he was reaching a conclu- 
sion to which he later adhered, that it was best to 
retain the greenbacks as a leading part of the per- 
manent monetary supply. 

He came to believe that the people of the United 
States should have* the benefit of these notes as a 
loan without interest. Another argument with him 
was the desirability of having some form of paper 
currency legal tender, a quality which could not be 
given to national bank notes. He was no doubt 
very much influenced by the business prosperity 
which existed after the issuance of the greenbacks. 
In his letters during the war, beginning in 1862, he 
had frequently shown his gratification at the sur- 
prising degree of commercial activity. 

In commenting upon Mr. McCuUoch's opinions 
he says: 


"At this time there was a wide difference of opinion 
between Secretary McCuUoch and myself as to the finan- 
cial policy of the government in respect to the public debt 
and the currency. He was in favor of a rapid contraction 
of the currency by funding it into interest-bearing bonds. 
I was in favor of maintaining in circulation the then 
existing volume of currency as an aid to the funding of all 
forms di interest-bearing securities into bonds redeemable 
within a brief period, at the pleasure of the United States, 
and bearing as low a rate of interest as possible. Both of 
us were in favor of specie payments, he by contraction, 
and I by the gradual cidvancement of the credit and value 
of our currency to the specie standard. With him specie 
payment was the primary object. With me it was a 
secondary object, to follow the advancing credit of the 
government. Each of us was in favor of Uie payment of 
tiie interest of bonds in coin. ... A large proportion 
of national securities were payable in lawful money or 
United States notes. He, by contraction, would have 
made this payment more difficulty while I, by retaining 
the notes in existence, would induce the holders of cur- 
rency certificates to convert them into coin obligations 
bearing a lower rate of interest." . 

The rapidly maturing claims against the gov- 
ernment were taken up for the most part by the 
issue of "seven-thirty" bonds, $830,000,000 of 
which were outstanding October 1, 1865, a volume 
exceeding that of any prior bond issue. The pub- 
lic debt statement on June 30, 1865, showed the 
usual variety of outstanding securities; the de- 
mand Treasury notes and temporary loans were, 
however, rapidly diminishing in amount. After 
the public debt reached its maximum, on the 31st 
of August, 1865, radical changes occurred. Bonds 


were issued, not to meet expenses, but to fund out- 
standing obligations. Expenses no longer exceeded 
receipts, but receipts were greatly in excess of ex- 
penditures. The problem of the time was how to 
meet these changed conditions, to provide a proper 
currency, and to adopt a policy with reference to the 
public debt which should, at the same time, secure 
the best results to the government and relieve the 
people of burdens of taxation unduly severe. 

Secretary McCulloch's report, in December, 1865, 
in line with remarks already quoted, strongly 
favored the withdrawal of the greenbacks, main- 
taining that the existing Legal-Tender Acts were war 
measures. He took up the different objections to 
reduction of the currency — that it would operate 
injuriously by reducing prices; that it would re- 
duce the public revenue; and that it would en- 
danger the public credit by preventing funding. 

He said : 

"The people are now comparatively free from debt. 
. . . So far as individual indebtedness is regarded, it may 
be remarked that the people of the United States, if not as 
free from debt as they were six months ago, are much less 
in debt than they have been in previous years, and alto- 
gether less than they will be when the inevitable day of 
payment comes around, if the volume of paper money is 
not curtailed. . . . Business is not in a healthy condition; 
it is speculative, feverish, uncertain. Every day that con- 
traction is deferred increases the difficulty of preventing 
a financial collapse. Prices and credits will not remain as 
they are. The tide will either recede or advance, and it 
will not recede without the exercise of the controlling 
power of Congress." 


He recommended that the compound-inteiest 
notes should cease to be a legal tender from the 
day of their maturity, and that he be authorized 
to sell bonds bearing interest at a rate not ex- 
ceeding six per cent., for the purpose of retiring 
these as well as United States notes. He esti- 
mated that it would not be necessaiy to retire 
more than a hundred millions, or, at most, two 
hundred millions, of the legal-tender notes, besides 
the compound-interest notes, before the desired 
result, parity of notes with specie, would be ob- 
tained. He also recommended that two hundred 
million dollars be applied annually towards the 
principal and interest of the public debt. 

The recommendations of Secretary McCulfoch 
were received with great favor in the House, where 
a resolution concurring in his views passed, almost 
unanimously, December 18, 1865. A bill was in- 
troduced authorizing him to sell any of the bonds 
authorized by the Act of March 3, 1865, for the 
purpose of retiring Treasury notes, as well as other 
obligations of the government. This was, how- 
ever, materially amended so as to provide that ten 
millions might be retired within six months, and 
thereafter not more than four millions in any one 

Mr. Sherman's objections to this measure were 
those already mentioned, and, besides, that it gave 
to an executive officer a power which should be 
exercised by Congress, viz.: to determine the ex- 
tent to which the volume of currency should be 


reduced; also, that it enabled him to retire United 
States notes at a rapid rate, and increased the 
bonded indebtedness of the country; further, that, 
by converting into coin liabilities the compound- 
interest notes and Treasury notes bearing seven 
and three tenths per cent, interest, and expressly 
payable in currency, it would greatly add to the 
burden of the debt. The amount of these liabiUties 
was then one billion. 

This Bill, however, became a law on the 12th 
day of April, 1866, as an amendment to the Act of 
March 3, 1865. 

On the 30th of June, 1865, the quantity of paper 
currency in circulation was greater than at any 
date during the war, and more than three times 
as great as in 1860. Under the tax which had been 
imposed upon state bank notes to take effect July 
1, 1866, they were rapidly disappearing. The vac- 
uum caused by their withdrawal, however, was 
destined to be more than filled by the issuance 
of national bank notes. Before as well as after 
the passage of the Act of April 12, 1866, there 
was a decrease in outstanding greenbacks, so that 
by July 1, 1867, the quantity had been reduced to 
$319,000,000. Notwithstanding this reduction in 
the circulation of the greenbacks and a reduction 
in ensuing years until 1868, the premium on gold 
in May, 1865, showed a lower average for that 
month than the average for any one of the four 
years succeeding June 30, 1865. 

It is evident that the triumphant ending of 


the war exerted an influence in diminishing the 
premium on gold which could hardly be perma- 
nent. In the month of May, 1865, the average value 
of a greenback dollar was 73.7. So late as the month 
of September, 1869, it was less valuable. Whether 
this premium would have disappeared, if contrac- 
tion had been continued, it is impossible to state, 
but it is difficult to overrate the derangement of 
business conditions caused by a departure from 
gold and silver as the standards of value. During 
these four years also the balance of trade was against 
us, especially in 1869, and the exports of gold ex- 
ceeded the whole product of our own mines. It 
was even true that in the years 1866 and 1868 the 
net exports of gold, as determined by the differ- 
ence between exports and imports, exceeded the 
domestic product. Unfavorable crops, and ex- 
penses in excess of estimates, in 1867, also exerted 
an unfavorable influence. 

The Secretary renewed his recommendations for 
contraction of the currency, in December, 1866, 
and again later, but in the mean time popular sen- 
timent was crystallizing in opposition to further 

A study of conditions during the Civil War, and 
after its close, goes far to explain why the senti- 
ment against contraction was so strong. Discus- 
sions relating to currency and legal tender were 
of course influenced by the financial conditions 
of the time. Prices were high in 1865; great in- 
vestments were made in numerous enterprises at 


the existing high prices; agricultural areas of the 
West were rapidly developed, and the production 
of cereals vastly increased. With the returning 
soldiers of the disbanding armies, and increased 
immigration from abroad, new fields were settled. 
The change of so great a multitude of soldiers 
from consumers to producers, changed the re- 
lation between demand and supply in many classes 
of products. Railways were buUt, so that in eight 
years, iProm 1865 to 1873, the total mileage in the 
country was doubled. Just as military operations 
had been conducted on a tremendous scale, and 
with a boldness never before thought of in this 
country, so, now, industrial and commercial under- 
takings were promoted with the same boldness 
and energy. The crucial fact was that many of 
these enterprises were undertaken on long-time 
credits, a thing almost unknown during the war. 
As a result the great body of those who were 
interested in the new era of development were 
greatly disturbed by any fall in prices, and traced 
its cause to a diminished premium on gold and 
the consequent increased value of the circulating 
medium in which debts must be paid. 

Another set of facts made its impression. Not 
only was there a tendency towards lower values in 
the prevalent currency, with every decrease of the 
premium on gold, but after 1866 the general trend 
of prices, as expressed in gold, was decidedly 
downward; and this was true not alone in the 
United States but throughout the world. That 


year marked the end of a brief cycle of rising prices, 
which was succeeded by a period of falling prices 
reaching a minimum in 1869. The unfavorable 
effect of this decrease in prices was nowhere more 
keenly felt than among the farmers of the United 
States. Not only was the relation of demand and 
supply very much influenced by increased areas 
of cultivation here, but competing fields were ap- 
pearing in other parts of the world. The valley 
of the Danube was developed, and navigation was 
made possible at its mouth; Roumania and India 
increased their export of wheat for the European 
market; and, in the new world, Canada began to 
send grains to Europe on a large scale. 

Considerations of political expediency began to 
exert a potent influence. After the war and the 
flurry occasioned by reconstruction had passed, 
the strongest factor in the success or failure of a 
political party on election day was the business con- 
dition of the country, or the apparent condition. 
The moral and sentimental issues which on the 
questions of slavery and Union swayed the popular 
heart were lacking. A more commercial era gave 
greater weight to commercial considerations. When 
prices were favorable and business active the 
party in control could expect a further lease of 
power, but if a crisis should occur and business 
depression rest upon the land, the party out of 
power found, in these facts, its strongest and most 
successful claim for obtaining control. 

In the later years of the war business was pros- 


perous. After its close there was no longer the 
feverish activity which had prevailed while mil- 
lions were expended every week for military sup- 
plies, and when every one seemed to be enjoying 
unheard-of prosperity. But it was desired that the 
opportunities for profit should continue, and any 
step which placed a check upon the existing order 
was opposed. 

In every case of great development of wealth, 
when large fortunes are made, there is at the same 
time an army of speculators made up of men who 
seek fortunes from a rise in prices. In times of 
activity they succeed. Among them are many of 
the most acute minds, men who realize that legis- 
lation is a powerful auxiliary in helping them on. 
They exert an influence out of proportion to their 
numbers. Such men opposed contraction because 
it meant lower prices. Again there was a multitude 
of producers accustomed to high prices who joined 
in opposing the withdrawal of the greenbacks. Also, 
the people generally had come to like this form 
of currency. They were so superior to the bills 
issued by state banks before the war that they 
were reluctant to part with them. 

An Act was introduced, late in 1867, suspending 
the authority to retire greenbacks. It passed the 
House by the decisive vote of 127 yeas to 32 nays. 
It was strongly supported by Mr. Sherman in the 
Senate. The reasons which he gave in its favor were : 

"First, it will satisfy the public mind that no further 
contraction will be made when industry is in a measure 


paralyzed. We hear the complaint from all parts of the 
country, from all branches of industry, from every state 
in the Union that industry for some reason is paralyzed 
and that trade and enterprise are not so well rewarded as 
they were. . . . One hundred and forty million dollars 
have been withdrawn out of seven hundred and thirty- 
seven million dollars in less than two years. There is no 
example, that I know of, of such rapid contraction. . . . 
Second, this Bill will restore to the legislature their power 
over the currency, a power too important to be delegated 
to any single officer of the government. . . . Third, this 
will strongly impress upon Congress the imperative duty 
of acting wisely upon financial measures, for the respon- 
sibility will then rest entirely upon Congress, and will not 
be shared with them by the Secretary of the Treasury. 
Fourth, it will encourage business men to continue old 
and embark in new enterprises, when they are assured 
that no change will be made in the measure of value 
without the open and deliberate consent of their repre- 

In his computation of the amount of contraction 
he evidently \neluded interest-bearing Treasury 
notes, which, to an extent, circulated as money or 
were used as a reserve by banks. Senator Sumner, 
in advocating the Bill, placed the contraction at 
$160,000,000. Mr. Sherman said that the question 
was only preliminary to others of far greater im- 
portance which involved, " first, the existence of the 
banking system of the United States; second, the 
time and manner of resuming specie payments; 
third, the mode of redeeming the debt of the United 
States, and the kind of money in which it may be 
redeemed; and, in this connection, the taxes, if any. 


that may be levied upon the public creditors; 
fourth, such a reduction of our expenditures and 
taxes as will relieve our constituents, as far as prac- 
ticable, from the burdens resulting from the recent 
war." After a lengthy debate the Bill passed the 
Senate by a vote of 33 to 4, becoming a law Febru- 
ary 4, 1868. 

Next came the famous "Act to Strengthen the 
Public Credit," passed March 18, 1869, which in 
unequivocal language pledged the faith of the 
United States to the payment in coin, or its equi- 
valent, of all obligations of the United States, ex- 
cept where otherwise expressly provided. This was 
a declaration of triumph over the result of the elec- 
tions of 1868, in which the two parties had taken 
diametrically opposite grounds — the Democratic 
party favoring the payment of bonds in paper 
money, and the Republican party insisting upon 
ultimate payment in gold. There was no further 
legislation relating to currency until the Act of 
July 12, 1870, which authorized an addition of 
$54,000,000 of national bank notes to the $300,- 
000,000 already authorized. 

Legislation was attempted by the passage of a bill, 
in April, 1874, for the permanent increase of the 
greenback currency to $400,000,000. An important 
question had arisen relating to the authority of the 
Secretary of the Treasury to reissue notes which had 
been redeemed and lodged in the Treasury. At the 
date of the passage of the Act of 1868, forbidding 
further reduction, the amount outstanding was 


$356,000,000; but there was an additional $44,000,- 
000 redeemed and in the Treasury, which made the 
total $400,000,000, the limit placed by the Act of 
1864. It is to be noted that while the nominal limit 
in the Act of 1864 was $450,000,000, the actual 
limit was $400,000,000, $50,000,000 being issued 
for redemption of currency deposits. In times of 
stress Secretaries of the Treasury issued a part of this 
$44,000,000 to relieve the situation. This was done 
twice while Secretary Boutwell was in charge of the 
Treasury. Secretary Richardson, after the crisis of 
1873, made further issues from the legal tenders, 
so that the total amount of reissues aggregated 
$26,000,000. This Bill of April, 1874, would have 
ratified Secretary Richardson's action, and author- 
ized a still further issue of $18,000,000. President 
Grant vetoed it. In the following June, however, 
an Act was passed relating to the amount of na- 
tional bank notes, in which a section was inserted, 
as a compromise, providing that the amount of 
United States notes should not exceed the sum of 
$382,000,000, which was to be counted as a part of 
the public debt, and no part should be held or used 
as a reserve. This section, by necessary implication, 
fixed the amount at $382,000,000, the amount then 
outstanding, which included the $26,000,000 issued 
by Secretary Richardson. In the following January, 
1875, the Act was passed for the resumption of 
specie payments. This repealed all limitations upon 
the aggregate amount of national bank notes to be 
issued, and provided that whenever circulating 


notes were issued by them. United States notes were 
to be diminished by four fifths of the amount of 
national bank notes issued until the aggregate was 
reduced to $300,000,000. It was thus a feature of 
the plan for resumption to increase national bank 
notes and diminish greenbacks. This Act provided 
for the resumption of specie payments, January 1, 
1879. The legislation relating to resumption will be 
considered in a chapter upon that subject. 

While these successive changes with reference to 
the greenbacks were in progress, conditions were 
very much modified by the issuance of other forms 
of currency and by the premium on .gold. Com- 
pound-interest notes were virtually out of circulation 
by 1869. National bank notes, except in the years 
1869 and 1870, in which there was a slight decrease, 
steadily increased until 1875, at which time the 
total in circulation was $340,000,000. Fractional 
currency in circulation also increased from the date 
of its first issue in 1863, when it amounted to 
$15,800,000, until 1874, when it was $38,000,000. 
The tendency of the total circulation was irregular. 
In 1866, 1867, and 1869 there was a decrease partly 
due in the first two years to the policy of contraction 
inaugurated by Secretary McCulloch; from 1869 
up to 1875 there was an annual increase. 

The question of the validity or the constitution- 
ality of the Acts authorizing the issue of legal-tender 
notes was under consideration by the courts in the 
later sixties. During the war it had been held by 
state courts, with substantial unanimity, that the 


Acts were valid. Several significant decisions, how- 
ever, were rendered by the Supreme Court of the 
United States, which pointed in the opposite direc- 
tion, one to the effect that the notes were not legal 
tender for state taxes; another that they were 
exempt from taxation because they were obligations 
or securities of the government; also, as was very 
clear, that they were not legal tender in payment of 
contracts specifically calling for payment in specie. 
It was at last decided, in February, 1870, in the case 
of Hepburn vs. Griswold, that, in the case of a debt 
incurred and maturing before the passage of the 
Act, greenbacks did not constitute a valid payment. 
The decision was given by a divided court, four to 
three, and the opinion was rendered by Chief Jus- 
tice Chase, who had been Secretary of the Treasury 
when the Legal-Tender Acts were passed. A second 
case was taken to the Supreme Court, then differ- 
ently constituted, and a decision rendered thereon, in 
May, 1871. The prior holding was reversed, and it 
was decided that the legal-tender notes constituted 
a valid payment, not only for debts incurred after 
the passage of the Legal-Tender Act or Acts, but for 
those incurred before. Both in the argument and in 
the decision, the exigency of the occasion when they 
were issued received prominent attention. 

A statute, passed on the 31st of May, 1878, forbade 
the Secretary of the Treasury, or other officer under 
him, to cancel or retire any more of tlie United States 
legal-tender notes; it also provided that when any of 
the notes might be redeemed, or be received into the 


Treasury under any law, from any source whatever, 
they should be "reissued and paid out again and 
kept in circulation." This statute was clearly in- 
tended to give the right to pay out notes redeemed 
by the Treasury. It was an assertion of the power 
to issue legal-tender notes in time of peace, when 
theretofore the Acts which had been passed had 
been explained as an exercise of the war power. 
Thus the question was clearly raised whether the 
right of Congress to authorize .legal-tender notes was 
limited in its exercise to the emergencies of war. 
On this subject the Supreme Court decided, with 
only one dissenting voice, that such power existed. 
Justice Gray, in rendering the decision upon this 
point in the case of Juilliard vs. Greenman, on 
the 3d of March, 1884, placed great reliance upon 
the principles enunciated in the decision of Chief 
Justice Marshall in McCulloch vs. Maryland. In 
stating the matter in controversy, he said: **The 
single question, therefore, to be considered ... is 
whether notes of the United States, issued in time 
of war, under Acts of Congress declaring them to be 
a legal tender in payment of private debts, and 
afterwards, in time of peace, redeemed and paid in 
gold coin at the Treasury, and then reissued under 
the Act of 1878, can, under the Constitution of the 
United States, be a legal tender in payment of such 

Justice Gray gives a broad scope to the powers of 
the government. After quoting the powers enumer- 
ated by Chief Justice Marshall, he says: "A Con- 


stitution establishing a frame of government, de- 
claring fundamental principles and creating a 
national sovereignty, and intended to endure for 
ages, and to be adapted to the various crises of 
human affairs, is not to be interpreted with the 
strictness of a private contract." 

He relied on the section giving Congress power 
''to make all laws which shall be necessary and 
proper for carrying into execution the foregoing 
powers," and says: "The words 'necessary and 
proper' are not limited to such measures as are 
absolutely and indispensably necessary, . . . but 
they include all appropriate means which are con- 
ducive or adapted to the end to be accomplished." 

With this decision the controversy upon the 
legality of the greenbacks was set at rest, and the 
total amount then in existence, $346,681,016, has 
continued from 1878 to the present time as the 
quantity outstanding. 



At the close of the war confijicting opinions were 
advanced with reference to pajdng the debt incurred. 
Some favored the continuance of the scale of tax- 
ation which had been adopted during the contest 
until the whole indebtedness should be paid off. 
A more conservative view prevailed, however, be- 
cause it was realized that a continuance of war- 
time taxation would hamper the development of 
the country, and impose too heavy a burden on the 
people. Early steps were taken to reduce taxes. 
The measures for their discontinuance were char- 
acterized by something of the same haste and lack 
of system as marked those which imposed them. 

In legislation relating to the tariff, for years 
succeeding the war, the protectionist sentiment pre- 
vailed. Although ostensibly changes had been made 
in the schedules, to make tariff rates conform to 
internal revenue taxes, this principle was usually 
applied in such manner as to increase the protec- 
tion afforded by duties. Absorbing attention was 
at first given to questions of reconstruction, and 
the truth was illustrated that the wisest and most 
judicious attention is given to great problems of 


legislation only when they are regarded as of para- 
mount importance. 

Tlie first Tariff Act passed after the war, that of 
May 16, 1866, imposing a duty of twenty per cent. 
ad valorem on live animals, — horses, mules, cattle, 
etc-, was a concession to the agricultural interests. 
The next Act, that of July 28, 1866, showed pro- 
tectionist leanings, in that, in computations of the 
dutiable value of merchandise subject to ad valorem 
duties, it was enacted there should be added the cost 
of .transportation from the place of export to tlie 
United States. 

The next measure, that of March 2, 1867, caused 
a considerable increase in the duties upon wool, 
with compensating duties on woolen goods. In 
adjusting the rates as between the two it was com- 
puted that one pound of woolen goods should re- 
present four pounds of raw wool. This Act changed 
the classification and very considerably increased 
the rates. Prior tariffs had levied a duty according 
to the value per pound, without subdivision or refer- 
ence to the purpose to which it was to be applied. 
The Act of March 2, 1867, made a division into 
clothing, combing, and carpet wools, respectively, 
and subdivided the different varieties; the first two 
into those worth more or less than thirty-two cents 
per pound, and the last into those worth more or 
less than twelve cents per pound. 

While the wool duties in the Act of 1867 were 
established at a rate very materially in advance of 
those which had existed under the Act of 1864, 


several reasons for this action were given which 
appealed very strongly to Congress. The demand 
for woolen goods had been very much diminished 
by the disbandment of the anny, and it is said that 
a still further diminution had resulted from the sale 
by the government of great quantities of garments 
which had been purchased, but were not required 
because of the termination of the war. The wool- 
growers and the wool manufacturers held several 
conferences and agreed upon recommendations 
which were in substance accepted by Congress. 
A commission of three members, which had been 
appointed under the Act of March 3, 1865, and 
of which Mr. David A. Wells was chairman, con- 
sidered these recommendations. Notwithstanding 
that at this time Mr. Wells was advocating sweeping 
reductions in tariff schedules, he united with the 
other two members in favoring these rates upon 
wool and woolens. 

A sentiment for tariff reduction gained consider- 
able strength about the year 1870, and resulted in 
the lowering of some protective duties and the re- 
moval of a considerable number of revenue duties. 
Again, in 1872, considerable additions were made 
to the free list, and a horizontal reduction of ten 
per cent, was made on a variety of articles. In 1870 
the duties on tea and coffee, and kindred non- 
competing products, were materially reduced, and 
two years later, in 1872, those on tea and coffee 
were entirely removed. 

In the discussions which led to tlie reductions 


in protective duties a division by geographical lines 
began to manifest itself. There was a strong senti- 
ment for revision in the agricultural regions of the 
Western States, where the only interest which 
strongly asserted itself for tariff was that of the 
wool-growers. Mr. William B. Allison, afterwards 
a Senator of the United States, took an active part 
in advocating a decrease of duties, and referred to 
the declarations made by the leading supporters of 
tariff bills passed during and since the war, that 
they were designed only as temporary measures. 
He said : ** But I may be asked how this reduction 
shall be made. I think it should be made upon all , 
leading articles, or nearly all. ... I shall move 
that the pending bill be recommitted to the Com- 
mittee on Ways and Means, with instructions to 
report a reduction upon existing rates of duty 
equivalent to twenty per cent. . . ." 

Mr. Sherman, in the Senate, favored the reduc- 
tion, and said, in speaking of the manufacturers: 
** I believe it is for their interest to have this re- 
duction of ten per cent, made because their interest 
is so connected with the general interest of the sub- 
ject-matter, with the maintenance of the protective 
system, that I believe it would be a misfortune to 
them if this concession to the consumers of the 
country should now be refused. ... I say again, 
. . . that in my deliberate judgment, it is better 
for the protected industries in this country that this 
slight modification of duties should be made rather 
than to invite a contest which will endanger the 
whole system." 


There were further manifestations of a sentiment 
for reduction during the campaign of 1872, but 
after the election the conviction prevailed that this 
sentiment was on the wane. The increase of importa- 
tions caused increased exportations of gold, and, 
as in war time, this fact created an argument for 
higher duties. The lessened revenue which resulted 
from the crisis of 1873, and the general depression 
of industry, also afforded arguments for a restora- 
tion of the duties lowered in 1872. As a result, a bill 
was introduced which became a law on the 3d of 
March, 1875, repealing the ten per cent, reduction. 

Prom this time until March 3, 1883, there was 
no material change in tariff schedules. In 1876 
an act was passed to carry into effect a conven- 
tion made with the Hawaiian Islands, providing 
that sugar and other products of those islands 
should be entered free of duty, and in 1879, quinine 
was placed on the free list. 

Internal revenue taxation reached its maximum 
in the year 1866, when the total amount collected 
amounted to $309,000,000, the largest amount 
realized in a single year until that time from any 
one general source of taxation in this or any coun- 
try. It was generally realized that such heavy taxes 
were inconsistent with the commercial growth and 
prosperity of the country, and the disposition to 
make a rapid reduction of the public debt yielded 
to a desire to lighten the burdens of the people. 
It was also realized that the system was incongru- 
ous and unnecessarily complex and burdensome. 


The Revenue Commission appointed mider the 
Act of March 3, 1865, reported in Januaiy, 1866, 
criticising the system then in vogue for its diffuse- 
ness and for the burdens which it imposed upon 
industry. It recommended the speedy reduction 
or abolition of taxes which in the judgment of the 
commission tended to check development, and the 
retention of those which in their ojMnion feO chiefly 
on realized wealth, such as the income and inherit- 
ance taxes. It advised the concentration of the 
taxes on a few commodities; and favored the reor- 
ganization of the system which, if properly organ- 
ized and administered, would, in their judgment, 
on the basis of existing rates, yield $500,000,000 
per annum. These recommendations relating to 
administration and to reductions, though not imme- 
diately accepted, were, for the most part, adopted 
in the three succeeding years. 

The law of July 13, 1866, repealed the taxes on 
coal and pig-iron, and lowered the rates on manu- 
factures as well as on the gross receipts of corpora- 
tions. In the following year, on the 2d of March, 
the rate of taxation on cotton was lowered, while 
the taxes on a considerable number of manufac- 
tured products were repealed. There was another 
change in the income tax, in that incomes up to 
$1000 were declared exempt. A year later, on the 
3d of February, 1868, the tax on cotton was removed,* 
and on the 31st of March of the same year a sweep- 
ing repeal was made of taxes upon goods, wares and 
manufactures. Those, however, on gas, illuminating 


oils, tobacco, liquors, and banks, as well as those col- 
lected by stamps, were retained. There was a third 
act in the same year, which changed the duty on 
distilled spirits from two dollars a gallon to fifty 
cents. A striking illustration of the danger from 
fraud and dishonesty in collecting a tax which is 
placed at a high figure, was afforded by the result of 
this reduction. TTie income realized in 1868 under 
the tax of two dollars a gallon was only $18,655,000, 
while in the following year the amount under the 
lower tax of fifty cents was $45,000,000, and in 
1870 it attained the figure of $55,000,000. 

The machinery of assessment and collection 
was so improved that there was far less evasion 
and fraud. In one tax, however, this improve- 
ment was not manifest. This was the income tax, 
which, in the later years in which it was in force, 
did not by any means afford the amount of revenue 
which was anticipated, a result due in a measure 
to the frequent changes in the minimum amount 
and in the rates, but probably more to systematic 

The amount of revenue from internal revenue 
taxation was determined by three factors: the rate 
of tax, the' prosperity of the country, and the de- 
gree of thoroughness in the administration of the 
laws. Generally speaking, the increase resulting 
from prosperity, or the business activity of the 
country, surpassed expectations. For example, it 
was anticipated that the repeals and reductions 
of the Act of 1866 would cause a reduction of 


(65,000,000, but the actual reduction was only about 
$43,000,000. This influence of business prosper- 
ity continued until the year 1873, and was espe- 
cially marked in the four years beginning in 1869. 

In 1870 another sweeping reduction was made, 
leaving a revenue system, the principal items of 
which continued until 1883. The income tax, 
though repealed by this Act, was to continue in 
force until 1872. The tax on spirits was raised 
from fifty to seventy cents on the 6th day of June, 
1872, to ninety cents on the 3d of March, 1875, and 
to $1.10 on the 28th of August, 1894. 

The income derived from internal revenue, from 
1870 to 1883, corresponded closely to business con- 
ditions, falling to a minimum of $102,000,000 in 
1874, and rising to $146,000,000 in 1882. The 
revenue from this source, save in the most un- 
prosperous years, almost invariably exceeded the 

In almost every year Senator Sherman, who had 
become Chairman of the Committee on Finance 
of the Senate in 1867, made elaborate statements 
upon the financial condition of the country. The 
material given in these speeches affords a financial 
history of the period. He kept in dose touch with 
all questions relating to revenue, expenditures, 
and the public debt. There were some opinions 
which he reiterated on numerous occasions. One 
was that it was desirable to pay off the public 
debt in about thirty years. He was in favor of such 
a policy as would diminish foreign importations. 


and stated, April 9, 1866: ''I hope that the duties 
received from imported goods will be diminished by 
a diminution of importations." He was never over- 
sanguine in his estimates of revenue. He estimated 
the amount for the year 1866 at $500,000,000 
and that for 1867 at $400,000,000. The former 
estimate was surpassed by $58,000,000 and the 
latter by $90,000,000. So great a variety of cir- 
cumstances influenced the amount of collections 
that all prognostications during this period were 
notably incorrect. On one form of taxation he 
took a pronounced stand, the income tax, which 
he heartily favored at that time. In some remarks, 
on May ^, 1870, he sustained this method of 
taxation and reviewed at great length the experience 
of Great Britain in the imposition of such taxes, 
in 1797, and their repeal in 1816 and 1817; he 
quoted extensively from Mr. Pitt, and from Sir 
Robert Peel on the occasion when the tax was re- 
stored in 1842; also from the remarks of Mr. 
Gladstone, in 1853. He read at a very consider- 
able length from different writers on political 
economy who had sustained the tax, such as Mill, 
Walker, and Perry. He opposed increasing the 
exemption from $1000 to $1500. It was stated that 
at that time two hundred and seventy thousand 
people paid the tax, and the proposed exemption 
would relieve one hundred thousand from payment. 
In speeches made in January, 1871, he set forth 
his views again quite elaborately. In a discus- 
sion of this subject, he said: ^The income tax 


is now only levied upon those whose good fortune 
it is to enjoy large property, or whose salaries or 
profits lift them far above the pressing wants that 
rest upon the great mass of our people." At that 
time the tax was two and one half per cent, on 
gross incomes over $2000. He said: "It is the 
only tax levied by the United States that falls 
upon property, or office, or on brains that yield 
property, and in this respect is distinguished from 
other taxes levied by the United States, all of which 
are upon consumption — the consumption of the 
rich and the poor, the old and the young." He 
added: "If I consulted my own interest ... I 
would yield to the impulsive feeling of the Senator 
from Massachusetts (Mr. Sumner) who, when the 
subject was mentioned, on Friday, demanded that 
the income tax be repealed that night before we 
went home. I would no longer contend with per- 
sonal friends who regard this tax as odious and 
oppressive; but my own conviction is so clear that 
its repeal now is wrong, both in policy and jus- 
tice, that it becomes my imperative duty to state 
the facts and reasons fully and clearly upon which 
this opinion is founded." In comparing it with 
other taxes, he said : " There is no aigument of 
injustice or hardship that can be mentioned against 
the income tax to be compared to the tax upon 
tea, coffee, and sugar." He alleged that the in- 
come tax, while it applied to only about sixty thou- 
sand people, rested upon those who did not pay 
their proper share of other taxes. 


Regarding the constitutionality of the Act, he 
maintained that the tax had been levied by the 
United States since 1863, and that no court, so far 
as he knew, had pronounced the law unconstitu- 
tional, $150,000,000 having already been collected 
under it. 


From the date of the maximum public debt, August 
31, 1865, there was a succession of years in which 
a substantial reduction was made. Receipts laigely 
exceeded expenditures until the year 1874, at which 
time the full force of diminished taxation made 
itself felt, and the industrial depression added to 
the diflSculty. The total amount of reduction ac- 
complished by June 30, 1872, was $600,000,000. 
yfhile the public debt reached its maximum in 
1865, the greatest expenditure for interest was in 
the year 1867. In that year it amounted to over 
$143,000,000, a sum equal to more than twice the 
total expenditures of the government in the year 
1861. Equally striking is a comparison of the 
amount of interest paid out with other expenses 
of the government in this time of laige expendi- 
tures and heavy debt. After deducting the cost 
of the military establishment, which continued at 
a very considerable figure until 1870, expenses for 
interest comprised more than one half of all the 
other expenses of the government, from 1866 to 
1870, inclusive. Only a comparatively small frac- 
tion of the debt at this time ran for any consider- 
able number of years. 


At an early date, a variety of funding measures 
were proposed. The first was introduced by Mr. 
Sherman in the Senate, in April, 1866, proposing 
a five per cent, bond redeemable after ten years, to 
be issued in exchange for any of the outstanding 
obligations of the United States. He advocated 
this measure but it failed of passage, and 6 % bonds 
were for the most part employed for refunding. 

Under statutes previously enacted, giving most 
ample powers to the Secretary of the Treasury, 
changes in the form of indebtedness were rapidly 
made by Secretary McCuUoch. The first of these 
was the substitution of permanent loans for short- 
time Treasury notes and bonds. The funding into 
securities having not less than five years to run 
was practically complete by 1869, and by far the 
larger share drew interest at 6 % in gold. 

A second funding bill was introduced in De- 
cember, 1867, which provided for a domestic loan 
at 5 %, and a foreign loan at 4J%. This was 
passed near the end of the session, but, not being 
approved by President Johnson, failed to become 
a law, for, although on political questions a two- 
thirds vote could readily be mustered against the 
President, the same was not true of financial ques- 
tions. Nothing further was seriously attempted 
while Johnson was President. 

The important Act of this period was that of 
July 14, 1870. As introduced by Mr. Sherman 
in the Senate, it made provision for three classes 
of bonds, each amounting to $400,000,000. The 


first was to be redeemable in ten years, with inter- 
est at 5%; the second in fifteen years, at 4 J % ; 
and the third in twenty years, at 4 %. In present- 
ing the bill Mr. Sherman reviewed the financial 
legislation of the Civil War and defended the Legal- 
Tender Act of February 25, 1862. He also ex- 
pressed gratification because of the adoption, under 
the Senate amendments, of the pro^Tsion in that 
Act for the payment of interest in coin, and all 
duties on imports in the same manner. He said: 
"We provided for gold interest and gold revenue 
to avoid the extreme inflations of an irredeemable 
currency. We wished to rest our paper fabric on 
A coin basis and to keep constantly in view ultimate 
specie payments. I believe that but for that por- 
vision in the Loan Act of February 25, 1862, in 
1864 our financial system would have been utterly 
overthrown. There was nothing to anchor it to 
the earth except the collection of duties in coin, 
and the payment of the interest on our bonds in 
coin.'' In this speech, as on numerous other occa- 
sions, he expresses the desirability of retiring the 
legal tenders. In defending the legal-tender measure 
he said: "But it must be remembered that this 
clause (that is, the legal-tender clause) was justi- 
fied only by the exigencies of war. It was not in- 
tended as a measure of peace. The legal tenders 
were only the instruments of battle; they were 
musketry and cannon; and when peace came they 
should have been rapidly retired." 
Some funding measure was urgent, because. 


during the current year, over $1,100,000,000 of 
the public debt became redeemable, and it was 
desired, if possible, to substitute for outstanding 
securities bonds drawing a lower rate of interest. 

In advocating twenty years as a maximum time 
within which the bonds should be redeemable, 
and forty years as the maximum period in which 
they should become payable, Mr. Sherman main- 
tained that, unlike the policy of Great Britain, 
this had been the plan pursued in the United States, 
beginning with the financial projects of Hamilton. 
The policy adopted here looked always to the pay- 
ment of the principal of the debt within the life 
of the generation that created it. He said : ** This 
is the established policy of our country, and I trust 
it will never be departed from." He clearly fore- 
saw that if a long-time bond should be issued it 
would be necessary, in redeeming it, to pay a pre- 
mium, and cited the loans of 1842, 1847, 1848, 
and 1850, the latter called the Texas Indemnity 
Bonds. On these securities premiums ranging 
from fourteen and one half to twenty per cent, 
had been paid, although many of the bonds were 
sold originally at a figure below par. "We have 
always paid our debts, " he said, " before we agreed 
to pay them. ... It is important to us to reserve 
the right to redeem these bonds within a limited 
period of time, so that we may not in the future 
be compelled to pay high rates of premium." 

As a part of the plan national banks were to 
be compelled to surrender their .holdings of bonds 


and accept, in exchange, bonds provided by the 
Bill, not more than one third of which should be 
of the 5 % or 4J % varieties. This provision was 
very strongly opposed by the national banks. In 
this connection Sherman said : " I do not see how 
we can go before the people of the United States 
and ask them to lend us gold at par for our bonds 
when we refuse to require agencies of our own 
creation to take them.** He abandoned this pro- 
vision very reluctantly, and only because, as he 
said: "In order to secure a funding bill, we have 
been compelled to abandon all provisions in re- 
gard to the national banks." 

In the further consideration of the bill in the 
House a failure to realize the prospective fall in 
rates of interest proved expensive to the Treas- 
ury. The decided opinion in that body was to the 
eflFect tliat money could not be borrowed by the 
government at so low a rate of interest as 4 %, 
unless for a long period. The House, after consid- 
erable delay, passed a bill authorizing the issuance 
of $1,000,000,000 of bonds redeemable after thirty 
years at 4 % interest. An apparently hopeless dead- 
lock arose between the two Houses. After the fail- 
ure of many attempts at agreement a compromise 
was made under which $200,000,000 of bonds at 
5 % were authorized, redeemable after ten years; 
$300,000,000 4 J % bonds, after fifteen years; and 
$1,000,000,000 4 % bonds, after thirty years. 

This resulted in a decided change in the policy 
of borrowing. Theretofore, no bonds had been 


issued for meeting the expenses of the Civil War 
which could not be paid in ten years, or less. In 
the following winter a change was made by which 
the quantity of 5 per cent, ten-year bonds which were 
authorized, was increased from $200,000,000 to 
$500,000,000, but with the provision that the total 
amount to be issued should not exceed that in the 
original bill — $1,500,000,000. 

In view of the high rates of interest which pre- 
vailed during the season of great business activ- 
ity in succeeding years, the bonds drawing the 
lower rate of interest were not sold. The whole 
authorized issue of $500,000,000 was disposed of 
prior to August 24, 1876; after which time 4 J % 
bonds were sold until June, 1877, by which time 
$200,000,000 had been disposed of. At that time 
Mr. Sherman had become Secretary of the Treas- 
ury, and revoked the negotiations for the sale of 
4^ % bonds, and began to dispose of those draw- 
mg only 4 %. 

This legislation was extremely unfortunate for 
the government. In the years from 1887 to 1891 
there was abundant revenue available for reduc- 
tion of the public debt, but no obligations of the 
government were available for redemption. It 
became necessary to purchase those bonds which 
were not payable until the expiration of thirty 
years. In all, more than $50,000,000 of premiums 
were paid, the rate of premium in some instances 
reaching as high a figure as 29 %. 

A controversy arose during this period about 


the manner of payment of bonds of the United 
States — whether it was obligatory that they should 
be paid in coin, or whether full compliance with 
the contract w^s had when they were paid in cur- 
rency. The Legal-Tender Decisions had not yet 
been rendered, but all calculations were made 
upon the assumption that the Legal-Tender Act 
would be declared valid. Prom the standpoint of 
the letter of the contract the preponderance of the 
argument would seem to have been in favor of 
the right to pay the principal of the bonds in green- 

The fundamental Act was that of February 25, 
1862, in which provision was made for the issuance 
of legal tenders, and in which it was said: "Such 
notes . . .shall be receivable in payment of all 
taxes, internal duties, excises, debts and demands 
of every kind due to the United States, except 
duties on imports, and of all claims and demands 
against the United States of every kind whatso- 
ever, except for interest upon bonds and notes, 
which shall be paid in coin . . ." 

The Act of July 11, 1862, contains the same 
phraseology as that of February 25, except that 
in place of the words " bonds and notes," in refer- 
ring to interest, there appear the words '* bonds, 
notes, and certificates of debt or deposit." It is im- 
portant to note that the holders of these notes might 
exchange them for bonds, a privilege which at first 
was not limited in time, though later limited until 
July 1, 1863; also that this privilege was made a 


part in each of the earlier acts of the section au- 
thorizing the issuance of legal tenders. It was further 
provided that such United States notes should " be 
received the same as coin, at their par value, in 
payment for any loans that may be hereafter sold 
or negotiated by the Secretary of the Treasury." 
Similar language was adopted in the Act of March 
3, 1863, the last of the Acts authorizing the original 
issuance of legal tender notes. 

Other statutes relating to bonds were passed on 
March 3, 1863, in another section of the Act last 
referred to, and on March 3, 1864, providing for 
the issue of the so-called ten-forty bonds and their 
payment in coin. This last fact does not seem, 
however, to aflford an argument in favor of the 
payment of bonds in coin, but rather the contrary, 
except so far as these particular bonds were con- 

The facts alleged in favor of payment in gold 
were the issuance of circulars by the agents hav- 
ing the sale of bonds in charge, stating that the 
principal would be paid in gold; and statements 
made in the discussion in Congress at the time 
that such was the intention of the government. 
On this subject Greneral Garfield had said, at the 
close of the war, that according to his recollection 
every one took it for granted during the discussion 
that payment would be made in gold; and Secre- 
tary Chase maintained in statements made while 
he was Secretary of the Treasury that such was 
the intention. Mr. Thaddeus Stevens had said. 


while the bonds were under discussion : " Widows 
and orphans are interested, and in tears lest their 
estates should be badly invested. I pity no one 
who has money invested in United States bonds, 
payable in gold in twenty years, with interest semi- 

In strict construction, these facts would not 
control the plain letter of the contract, which was 
outlined in legislation on the subject, but other 
considerations sufficient to outweigh any form of 
technical argument should enter into the decision 
of so important a matter. In the first place, no 
government of advanced position could afford to 
allow the permanent debasement of its monetary 
standard, or suffer it to fall below that of other com- 
mercial nations of the same rank. Credit is a quality 
of a nation as well as of an individual, and even 
from the most selfish standpoint it would not be 
desirable to tolerate other than the highest standard. 
Then, too, it was all the while anticipated that the 
abandonment of the gold basis was but a temporary 
aberration from a normal currency. It was ex- 
pected that in a short time specie payments would 
be resumed. 

So far as precedents derived from the action of 
the Treasury are concerned there is but one incident 
which affords any light. Certain bonds were issued 
in the year 1842, amounting to nearly $3,000,000. 
These fell due on the 1st of January, 1863. The 
question arose whether they should be paid in cur- 
rency or in coin, there being no specification in the 


contract. An opposition member of Congress pre- 
sented a resolution adopted December 16, 1862, 
asking the Secretary to report how he proposed to 
pay. January 5, 1863, an answer was given, stating 
that he had already paid in coin. The answer gives 
a list of the names of all the holders of the bonds, 
and the Secretary says: 

"My judgment was determined in favor of pa3mient 
in coin not merely by the weighty considerations growing 
out of its beneficial influences on public credit, but by the 
circumstance that I found myself able to obtain the needed 
specie at a cost so small that payment in coin was, in fact, 
a less inconvenience to the Treasury, and a less inter- 
ference with pa3mients to and for the army and navy 
thau pa3mient in notes would have been. The whole 
amount of coin required was advanced by moneyed insti- 
tutions, most of which, it is believed, had no interest in 
the loan, nor any interest in the transaction except what 
arises from the general support of the public credit." 

He subjoined a letter signed by twenty presidents 
and vice-presidents of financial institutions in New 
York, stating that it would be injurious to the credit 
of the United States if the bonds were not promptly 
paid in coin, and that the failure to do so would 
deteriorate the value of all government stocks to an 
extent far exceeding the whole sum in question. 
They also stated that it was the only loan maturing 
for nearly two years to come. 

Mr. Sherman has been very much criticised* for 
his utterances upon this question. Some apologists 
have sought to explain his attitude by showing that 
he maintained the right to pay five-twenty bonds 


in legal tenders only under certain conditions. He 
himself would not have made such a defense, and 
his position on the subject was entirely clear. His 
object can be very readily gathered from the de- 
bates which occurred in the five years succeeding 
the war. He was all the while seeking to reduce the 
rate of interest on public securities, and to allow a 
ready interchange of legal tenders for bonds. In 
this way he anticipated that rates of interest would 
be lowered and that the greenbacks would approach 
equality with coin. What he actually said on the 
subject is found in a report to the Senate, and in 
speeches there, made respectively on December 17, 
1867, and February 27, 1868. In the report he 
reviewed the arguments for and against the obliga- 
tion to pay in coin, and cited the legislation above 
referred to, and added: "The law does not ex- 
pressly provide that the principal is payable in 
coin, but does provide that the 'interest shall be 
paid in coin,' thus raising the implication that the 
principal may not be. To meet this implication it is 
shown that by the established policy of the govern- 
ment the principal of the public debt has always 
been paid in coin, without any stipulation to that 
effect." He quotes from a letter of Secretary Chase, 
written in May, 1864, in which he said, of the five- 
twenties and the twenty-year sixes : " These bonds, 
therefore, according to the usage of the government, 
are payable in coin." 

He opposed the passage of a resolution declaring 
that the bonds should be redeemable in gold, saying 


that instead of settling the question it would surely 
create divisions and parties and that the resolution 
when passed would be subject to agitation and re- 
peal. He took the lead in the committee in proposing 
the substitution of new bonds which by their terms 
were clearly made payable in gold. Still further in- 
sisting upon the right to pay in legal tenders he said : 
"To give more than is stipulated to the public 
creditor is to do injustice to the taxpayer; to give 
less is to violate the public faith." 

He called attention to the gold value of the money 
in which the bonds were purchased, and showed 
that in 1863 they were sold at an average price of 
seventy-four cents in gold. At the same time, as 
a matter of justice to the bondholders, he distinctly 
opposed the further issuance of legal-tender notes 
beyond the amount then authorized by law; at 
least, until . they were convertible into gold and 
silver. He said: " Our duty is to elevate the green- 
back, the standard of national credit, to the stand- 
ard of gold, the money of the world." 

At this time it would seem that he still adhered 
to the opinion that the greenback should be with- 
drawn, for he said: "Your committee are of the 
opinion that the time is not distant when it will 
become the duty of Congress to repeal so much 
of existing laws as makes the United States notes 
a legal tender in payment of debts either public or 

On the 27th of February, 1868, he again discussed 
the subject of the obligations of the government, 


and maintained the right to pay the principal in 
paper money where an express provision to the con- 
trary was lacking. The committee proposed giving 
to the holders of the five-twenty bonds the option, 
until the following 1st of November, of making an 
exchange by which the holders of the public securi- 
ties could receive a bond at a lower rate of interest. 
It was conceded that they would continue to draw 
six per cent, interest in gold if the exchange was not 
made, leaving the question with reference to the 
principal to be decided at a later time. After refer- 
ence to the course adopted in England, in 1822, and 
to the action of Alexander Hamilton, in modifying 
the terms of loans issued by our government, Sher- 
man referred to this oflfer to substitute otlier bonds, 
and said in distinct language : " If the offer is re- 
jected I will not hesitate to vote to redeem maturing 
bonds in the currency in existence when they were 
issued, and with which they were purchased, care- 
fully complying, however, with all the provisions of 
law as to the mode of pa3anent, and as to the amount 
of currency outstanding." 

It will be noticed that his expressions on this sub- 
ject were conditional, but his utterances furnished 
a basis for many arguments of the Greenback party 
in succeeding years. 

In the following year, near the close of President 
Johnson's administration, he said : " I declare now 
to you that my construction of the law under which 
these five-twenties, and under which the greenbacks 
were issued, still remains unchanged; but I do assert^ 


as a question of public policy, that it is wise now for 
us to declare, in the language of this bill, that the 
bonds and greenbacks alike shall be paid in gold as 
rapidly as we can do so." 

In his "Recollections" he frankly expresses his 
change of opinion on this subject. He says: *' I do 
not approve all I said in that speech of February 27, 
1868. ... It has been frequently quoted as being 
inconsistent with my opinions and action at a later 
period. It is more important to be right than to 
be consistent. I then proposed to use the doubt 
expressed by many people, as to the right of the 
government to redeem the five-twenty bonds in the 
legal-tender money in circulation when the bonds 
were sold, as an inducement to the holders of bonds 
to convert them into securities bearing a less rate 
of interest, but specifically payable in coin. Upon 
this policy I changed my opinion. I became con- 
vinced that it was neither right nor expedient to pay 
these bonds in money less valuable than coin, that 
the government ought not to take advantage of its 
neglect to resume specie payments, after the war was 
over, by refusing the payment of the bonds with 
coin. I acted on this conviction when, years after- 
wards, the Resumption Act was adopted, and the 
beneficial results from this action fully justified my 
change of opinion." 

Another question arose at this time which awak- 
ened much discussion, — that relating to the taxa- 
tion of government bonds. As a business proposi- 
tion it would seem plain that whatever amount is 


paid by the holder of bonds for taxes would inevita- 
bly be added to the rate of interest. As levies for 
local taxation were very different in different por- 
tions of the country, in some places the payment 
made by the taxpayer on bonds, if taxed, would pro- 
hibit him from purchasing them, while the foreigner, 
or the resident of a locality less taxed, would realize 
a much larger income from them. Mr. Sherman 
opposed propositions for allowing the states to tax 
the bonds. True, at one time he joined with the 
rest of the Finance Committee of the Senate in 
recommending the reservation of a specific portion 
as the equivalent of taxation on the entire debt ne- 
gotiated, with a view to distributing it among the 
states according to their population. This proposi- 
tion does not seem to have been carefully matured, 
and it was abandoned. 

In 1868 the question again arose. The popular 
prejudice against bondholders was so strong that 
any proposal for a tax on their holdings was re- 
ceived with a great deal of favor. On this occasion 
Sherman said : " No government that I have been 
able to find ever allowed its bonds or securities to be 
taxed. The United States never did. In the ab- 
sence of stipulations to the contrary the courts have 
always held that no state or subordinate authority 
could tax the national securities. . . . The effect 
in time of war would be disastrous." 

He opposed taxation on the bonds by the general 
government as being a direct tax and in violation 
of the Constitution, unless apportioned among the 


states according to population, while conceding 
that the interest on them was subject to the income 
tax. On another occasion he said: "The exemp- 
tion of public securities is not the result of any Act 
of Congress. It grows out of the provision of the 
Constitution of the United States which secures to 
Congress the power to borrow money, and out of the 
supreme nature of that power which cannot be 
affected or limited by the act of any state or local 
government. ... If a state may tax a security 
of the United States, it may entirely defeat a power 
essential to the existence of the government." 

President Johnson, in his last annual message 
(filed contemporaneously with the report of Secre- 
tary McCuUoch, in which the latter strongly advo- 
cated the payment of bonds in gold, and laid great 
stress upon the importance of public credit), while 
judiciously advising against extravagance, made 
a most remarkable recommendation to Congress. 
He called attention to the great increase in public 
expenditures, alleging that while the population be- 
tween 1791 and 1869 had increased 868%, expend- 
itures had increased 8618%, and that the increase 
between the census years 1860 and 1869 showed an 
even larger disproportion, or only 21% as against 
489 %. He added: "These startling facts clearly 
illustrate the necessity of retrenchment in all 
branches of the public service. Abuses which were 
tolerated during the war for the preservation of the 
nation will not be endured by the people now that 
profound peace prevails." 


He then made a bald recommendation for re- 
pudiation. The Secretary of the Treasury had 
recommended five per cent, as the rate of interest 
upon which refunding bonds should be issued, 
while some had regarded three per cent, as suffi- 
cient. President Johnson came to the conclusion 
that by compulsory action interest might, in effect, 
be abolished. He said: "The general impressioii 
as to the exorbitancy of the existing rate of interest 
has led to an inquiry in the public mind respecting 
the consideration which the government has actually 
received for its bonds, and the conclusion is becom- 
ing prevalent that the amount which it obtained 
was in real money 300 or 400% less than the obliga- 
tions which it issued in return." In making this 
statement he made a palpable error not only in re- 
gard to the obligations of a contract, but also in 
mathematics. 100% would equal the total par 
value of the securities, and a reduction to that extent 
would cancel them. But President Johnson, in his 
extraordinary statement, went further and said that 
the amount paid for the bonds was 300 or 400 % 
less than their par value. He then added a recom- 
mendation that as the securities drew 6 % in gold, 
equal to 9 % in currency, the 6 % paid by the gov- 
ernment should be applied to the reduction of the 
principal in semi-annual installments, which, he 
said, in sixteen years and eight months would 
liquidate the entire interest-bearing national debt. 

This portion of his message was not taken seri- 
ously. Indeed, the majority in Congress had ceased 


to pay any attention to the President's recommenda- 
tions, and it may even be a question whether his 
action did not strengthen the disposition to pay the 
principal of the bonds in gold. 

Both Senate and House promptly condenmed 
President Johnson's utterances. The Senate 
passed this resolution : ** That the Senate, properly 
cherishing and upholding the good faith and honor 
of the nation, do hereby utterly disapprove of and 
condemn the sentiments and proposition contained 
in so much of the late annual message of the Presi- 
dent of the United States as reads as follows." 
Then follows his recommendation for repudiation 
above given. This passed by a vote of 43 to 6, and 
a similar resolution in the House by 155 to 6. In 
fact, the Fourteenth Amendment contained a 
clause which settled all controversy on the subject. 
It included the following distinct declaration: 
"The validity of the public debt of the United 
States, authorized by law, including debts incurred 
for payment of pensions and bounties for services 
in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be 

Party lines had not been drawn upon the ques- 
tion. A resolution was introduced by Mr. Samuel 
J. Randall of Pennsylvania, a Democrat, and 
passed on the 5th of December, 1865, with but one 
dissenting vote. It declared that the public debt 
created during the late rebellion was contracted 
on the faith and honor of the nation; that it was 
sacred and inviolate and must and ought to be paid, 
principal and interest; that any attempt to repudi- 


ate or in any manner to impair or scale the said debt 
should be universally discountenanced and promptly 
rejected by Congress if proposed. 

Not all the time of Congress, in the years imme- 
diately succeeding the war, was given to reconstruc- 
tion, nor yet to fiscal questions, such as currency, 
repeal of internal revenue taxes, or refunding of 
bonds. A bankruptcy law was passed in 1867, the 
third since the formation of the government. A bill 
supplemental to the Homestead Act of 1862, was 
passed in 1866. It restricted each entry to eighty 
acres, and gave the right to enter upon government 
lands in the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisi- 
ana, Arkansas, and Florida, with the express pro- 
vision that the exercise of this right should be with- 
out distinction of race or color. The first of the 
general acts limiting hours of labor was passed in 
1868. ^ It enacted that eight hours should constitute 
a day's work for all laborers, workmen, or mechan- 
ics, then or thereafter employed, by or on behalf 
of the United States. Mr. Sherman moved to add 
as a proviso: *' Unless otherwise provided by law, 
the rate of wages paid by the United States shall 
be the current rate for the same labor, for the same 
time, at the place of employment." This proviso 
failed of adoption. 

Numerous statutes granting lands to railways and 

^ On the 31st of March, 1840, President Van Buren, with the 
avowed object of establishing a uniform rule, issued an Execu- 
tive Order prescribing ten hours for laborers or mechanics in 
the employ of the government. 


to states for internal improvements were passed. 
A Department of Education was established. An 
appropriation of $100,000 for the erection of a 
building for the Commissioner of Agriculture was 
strongly supported by Mr. Sherman, and became 
a law, although Senator Fessenden opposed it, and 
said the appropriation was a committal to large 
undertakings and the beginning of a very con- 
siderable expense to the government. 

It is instructive to note the tendency during this 
period to increase the civil expenses of the gov- 
ernment, a tendency apparent not only during and 
after the gigantic Civil War, but in minor conflicts, 
such as the War of 1812, and the contest with Spain. 
The increase begins during the war, and gathers 
even greater volume after. It would seem that the 
necessity for larger expenditures for military pur- 
poses would create quite the opposite tendency 
in civil affairs, as the need of economy is empha- 
sized by the great demands for the maintenance 
of the army and navy. As a rule, quite the con- 
trary is the case. The reasons for such increase 
are not difficult to explain. It is impossible to 
maintain a large scale of expenditure in any one 
department, however essential to the nation's life, 
without demands for lavish expenditures in others, 
whether pertaining to the military or the civil side 
of the government. The cost of living, and of 
the different branches of the public service, is in- 
creased by the war. The cost of supplies, the 
amounts paid on contracts and salaries, all in- 


crease. In addition to this the larger taxation 
and consequent revenue, and the placing of loans, 
reveal the resources from which greater disburse- 
ments can be made. Claims, which for a long time 
have been postponed, are brought to the front. 
Improvements and recommendations, disregarded 
prior to the war, are pressed upon the attention 
of G)ngress, and, as a result, extravagance is 
created all along the line. This was strikingly 
manifest after the Civil War. Expenses of the 
civil and miscellaneous list, which had reached 
$23,797,000 in 1859, attained to $56,474,000 in 
1869. The amount expended for the support of 
the Indians, which had been $3,490,000 in 1859, 
reached $7,042,000 in 1869. 

In the presidential campaign of 1868 Mr. Sher- 
man favored the nomination of Chase by the Re- 
publicans. He, as well as his brother, doubted 
whether Grant would add to his reputation by 
assuming the office of President, although con- 
ceding the nomination was his if he desired it. 
His relations with Grant, although friendly, were 
at no time, while he was President, of the closest 
character. When Grant was severely criticised 
after the battle of Shiloh, Sherman vigorously de- 
fended him in the Senate. A man of large experi- 
ence in the legislative or executive department is 
prone to regard a candidate for the presidency, 
whose main qualification is military service, with 
a degree of distrust or even of dislike. President 
Grant brought to the office less experience in civil 


life than any of his predecessors, with the possi- 
ble exception of President Taylor, of whom as a 
candidate for the presidency Webster had spoken 
in terms of unkindness, if not of disrespect. 

President Grant was at first inclined to side with 
that element of the Republican party which was 
most liberal to the South, and urged Congress to 
take measures for the restoration of Virginia and 
other states to the Union; but toward the con- 
clusion of his first term, he became thoroughly 
identified with the radicals. He associated less 
with prominent senators and representatives than 
was expected, and apparently relied for advice 
upon a small number, among whom were Conk- 
ling, Logan, and a few others, the influence of 
Conkling being especially potent with him. Dur- 
ing his first administration he alienated quite a 
number of the leading men of his party, partly from 
personal considerations. Senator Sherman gave 
him cordial support for his second election in 1872. 

Sherman's relations with other Presidents after 
President Grant, with the exception of Hayes, were 
not of the most cordial nature, though with Gar- 
field, and at first with McKinley, they were very 
friendly. As regards Arthur, there was a pro- 
nounced repulsion, due to the fact that, at his 
instance, Arthur had been removed from the posi- 
tion of collector of the port at New York. There 
was little between them during that administra- 
tion beyond the compulsory formalities of social 
and official life. 


Several distinctive characteristics are manifest 
in Sherman's legislative career during this period. 
He was wont to regard a policy once adopted by 
Congress as a settled fact, not to be interfered 
with, somewhat akin to the decision of a court. 
As an illustration, he was absolutely opposed to 
the Funding Act of 1870, because of the long-time 
period, thirty years, provided for most of the bonds. 
Yet during nearly seven years' service in the Sen- 
ate, before he became Secretary of the Treasury 
in President Hayes' cabinet, he did not attempt 
to change this provision, nor yet by any recom- 
mendation while Secretary of the Treasury. When 
it was evident that the action of the House would 
not be in accordance with that taken by the Senate, 
he in some instances showed a similar disposition 
by reluctantly giving his support to measures 
adopted, stating frankly to the Senate that he did 
not approve the action of the other body on sche- 
dules of tariff or internal revenue, but that the 
constitutional right belonged to the House in the 
first instance, to determine these questions, virtu- 
ally taking the stand that it was useless to seek to 
modify its action. 

In his desire for the prompt disposal of fiscal 
measures presented by him as Chairman of the 
Senate Finance Committee, he often insisted upon 
postponement of other legislation, and sometimes 
incurred the obloquy of his colleagues by opposing 
policies to which, except for his assertion of the 
prerogatives of his committee, he would not have 


objected. In his anxiety to obtain early action on 
bills presented by him he sometimes argued against 
other propositions with impatience and even with 

He desired to have all legislation of practical 
value, and his opposition to any mere theoretical 
declaration was repeatedly shown. When a con- 
current resolution to prohibit the admission of 
senators and representatives from states lately 
in rebellion was brought forward by Mr. Fessen- 
den» he opposed its consideration, stating that each 
House must pass upon the qualification of its 
members, and there was no practical benefit to 
be gained from passing such a resolution. In re- 
ferring to Senator Fessenden's remarks he said: 
"The Senator says that no question can be so im- 
portant as this. Sir, in my judgment no question 
can be very important which can lead to no prac- 
tical results. The true test of the importance of 
every measure is, wnat good will result from it." 
It was also a fixed idea in his political creed that 
it was useless to stand in the way of an overwhelm- 
ing public opinion or try to pass or enforce a meas- 
ure which public sentiment did not sustain. 



After the Act of 1868, suspending further con- 
traction of legal tenders, it was useless to attempt 
to secure resumption by that method. Any pro- 
position looking to a diminished volume of green- 
backs would have been promptly defeated by 
Congress, and even more emphatically rejected 
by the people. For some years after 1866 a popu- 
lar vote would not have sustained either the with- 
drawal of the greenbacks or the issuance of bonds 
to provide gold for the purpose of resuming specie 
payments. The desire for a large amount of 
paper currency was so deeply seated that the final 
successful outcome was only* gained when the 
leaders of the Republican party realized, not only 
the propriety, but also the absolute necessity for 

So late as the 24th of January, 1870, Mr. Sher- 
man, in speaking of a proposition to withdraw 
United States notes, said: "This proposition, even 
if it should receive the assent of the Senate, would 
probably not receive that of the House. The green- 
backs are a great favorite of the people. They 
were the agency and means by which our coun- 
try was carried through the war. They are a con- 


venient form of currency. . . . Even if our rea- 
son should convince us that it is wiser and better 
to withdraw them in order to give place to national 
bank notes, and gold and silver coin, the opin- 
ions of our constituents would prevent us from 
doing it. This feeling is the great obstacle to 
specie payments." Nevertheless, in the same 
speech he expressed what was doubtless his own 
opinion at that time, as follows : 

"Other nations as well as our own have often tried the 
experiment of maintaining a circulating note issued by the 
government, and they have uniformly found it to fail. 
It is impossible to give a currency issued by a government 
the flexibility necessary to meet the movement of the ex- 
changes; and therefore experience has shown that a note 
issued by a government, and maintained upon the guar- 
antee of the government alone, does not form a good 
circulating medium, except during a suspension of specie 
payments. It must have a flexibility which will enable it to 
be increased in certain periods of the year, and to flow 
back again into the vaults of the banks at others. I am 
convinced, although it is unnecessary to discuss that point 
here, that in time it will be wise to retire our United States 
notes, and all forms of government circulation, and de- 
pend upon notes issued by private corporations, amply 
secured beyond perad venture, so that in no case can the 
noteholder lose, and to subject the banks to regulations 
applicable to all parts of the country, making them free, 
so that the business of banking will be like the business 
of manufacturing, blacksmithing, or any other ordinary 
occupation or business of life, governed only by general 

President Johnson, in his message of 1867, ex- 
pressed the predominant opinion that resump- 


tion was desirable, but that it was not worth while 
to make sacrifices to secure it, by saying that it 
was the duty of the government, as early as might 
be consistrtit with the principles of sound political 
economy, to make the greenbacks and the bills 
of national banks equivalent to specie. But, he 
added: "A reduction of our paper circulating 
medium need not necessarily follow." 

The hardship which would fall upon the debtor 
was forcibly expressed, in some remarks made by 
Mr. Sherman, in the Senate, in January, 1869. He 

"But the distress caused by an appreciation of the cur- 
rency falls mainly on the debtor. ... It [specie pay- 
ment] means the payment of $135 where he has agreed 
to pay $100, or, which is the same thing, the payment 
of $100 where he has agreed to pay $74. Where he 
has purchased property and paid for one fourth of it, it 
means the loss of the amount paid; it means the addition 
of one fourth to all currency debts in the United States. 
A measure to require a debtor now to pay his debt in gold, 
or currency equivalent to gold, requires him to pay one 
hundred and thirty-five bushels of wheat when he agreed 
to pay one hundred; and if this appreciation is extended 
through a period of three years, it requires him to pay 
an interest of 12 % in addition to the rate he has agreed 
to pay. When we consider the enormous indebtedness of 
a new country like ours, where capital is scarce and where 
credit has been substituted for capital, it presents a diffi- 
culty that may well cause us to pause. We may see that 
the chasm must be crossed, but it will make us wary of 
our footsteps. Good faith and public policy demand that 
we appreciate our currency to gold; but in the process 
we must be careful that bankruptcy, distress, and want 


do not result. The debtors of this country include the 
active, enterprising, energetic men in all the various em- 
ployments of life. It is a serious proposition to change 
their contracts so as in effect to require them to pay one 
third more than they agreed to pay. They have not 
paused in their business to study questions of political 
economy. They have based their operations upon this 
money which has been declared to be lawful money. 
Its relative value may be changed, but a reasonable 
opportunity should be given them to change their con- 
tracts so as to adapt them to the new standards of value. " 

Funding the debt was still with him the object of 
supreme importance. Until the very date of the Re- 
sumption Act, in January, 1875, he favored resump- 
tion by making the legal-tender notes exchangeable 
for bonds, and even in his remarks presenting that 
measure he said that his personal judgment was in 
favor of such a course. 

In a discussion in March, 1870, some opposition 
developed to allowing the greenbacks to be ex- 
changed for four per cent, bonds. On this subject 
he said: 

"It is idle to talk about specie payments either now or 
in the future, when you refuse to give for the greenbacks 
an obh'gation of the government bearing 4% interest in 
gold. Sir, this measure, as far as this point is concerned, 
is a weak one. The noteholder ought to have more privi- 
leges than are conferred by this bill; but the fear of con- 
traction, of a disturbance of the business relations of the 
country, as an effect of a sudden return to specie pay- 
ments, must be guarded against, as we have endeavored 
to do. . . . The vote of the Senate on this question will 
have far more effect upon the resumption of specie pay- 


ments than any vote that has been taken at the present 
session. If we now again dissever the connection between 
the note and the bond we allow the note to float on the 
market, a mere toy for speculators, to be raised or lowered 
at their pleasure. But if we now tie it to our public credit, 
tie it to the market value of the bonds, we shall have 
anchored it to a sure foundation, where it may rest in the 
hands of the people, to be floated into the Treasury in 
payment of bonds until all that are left — and nearly all 
will be left — will be paid in gold and silver coin when 
we resume specie payments." 

For a time he did not favor the plan of fixing a 
specific day for resumption. When such a proposi- 
tion was made by Senator Morton, in January, 
1869, he argued: "Would not the effect of his 
measure be that the government would hoard the 
gold and the people the greenbacks, and thus make 
the contraction he fears? What more profitable 
investment could any man make than to take this 
dollar, now having a purchasing power of seventy- 
four cents in gold, and lock it in his safe with a cer- 
tainty that in two years it must be worth one dollar 
in gold, an annual advance of seventeen and a half 
per cent. ... All the historical precedents show 
that fixing the day for resumption inevitably leads 
to a contraction of the currency by the banks, so 
that when the day comes the scarcity of currency 
shall prevent a demand for coin." This objection 
to the accumulation of a redemption fund was very 
generally made, and the plan was rejected as im- 
practicable by many of the most steadfast and intel- 
ligent opponents of paper money. 


With the election of General Grant, in Novem- 
ber, 1868, on a platform denouncing repudiation, 
followed by the passage of the Public Credit Act 
of March 18, 1869, the prospects of resumption 
revived a little. President Grant, in his inaugural 
address, in March, 1869, and in his message of the 
following December, strongly advocated it. In his 
inaugural he said in referring to the debt: "The 
payment of this, principal and interest, as well 
as the return to a specie basis as soon as it can be 
accomplished without material detriment to the 
debtor class, or to the country at lai^, must be 
provided for." In his message he said : "Among the 
evils growing out of the rebellion, and not yet re- 
ferred to, is that of an irredeemable currency. It is 
an evil which I hope will receive your most earnest 
attention." He added, however: "Immediate 
resumption, if practicable, would not be desirable. 
It would compel the debtor class to pay, beyond 
their contracts, the premium on gold at the date of 
their purchase, and would bring bankruptcy and 
ruin to thousands." 

On February 21, 1870, the House passed a re- 
solution that the business interests of the country 
required an increase in the volume of circulating 
currency, and advocated an increase of at least 
$50,000,000. The Senate three days later passed a 
resolution that "to add to the present irredeemable 
paper currency of the country would be to render 
more difficult and remote the resumption of specie 
payments; to encourage and foster a spirit of 


speculation; to aggravate the evils produced by 
frequent and sudden fluctuations of values; to de- 
preciate the credit of the nation, and to check the 
healthful tendency of legitimate business to settle 
down upon a safe and permanent basis; and there- 
fore, in the opinion of the Senate, the existing 
volume of such currency ought not to be increased." 

It must be said that while Mr. Sherman had not 
supported any project which would cause a rapid 
withdrawal of the greenbacks, he, at all times, 
stood equally firm against any further debasement 
of the currency by an additional issue, and against 
any plan which did not contemplate their final 
equality with gold; but it was not until the month 
of January, 1873, that he took a decisive stand for 
resumption and insisted upon immediate practical 
steps for its accomplishment. 

In a report made on the 14th of January, 1873, 
he expressed the views of the Committee on Finance 
of the Senate, and his own, upon the subject of the 
reissue of greenbacks. Mr. Richardson, Assistant 
Secretary of the Treasury, in the absence, but with 
the later approval, of Secretary Boutwell, had 
reissued some $5,000,000 of legal tenders over and 
above the amount outstanding when the Act of 
February 4, 1868, became a law. In addition, there 
had been issued a million and a half to replace the 
amount burned at the time of the Chicago fire. 
This issue, however, was based upon the destruc- 
tion of the notes, while that of the $5,000,000 was 
in view of a supposed public emergency. With 


substantial unanimity the committee condemned 
this course, and denied the right of the Secretary 
of the Treasury to exercise such a power. In his 
report, Mr. Sherman says: "A power over the 
currency so wide-reaching as the power to issue 
$44,000,000 of new legal-tender notes (the differ- 
ence between the amount fixed in the Act of 1868 
and the amount originally authorized) is one that 
ought not to rest upon implication." 

Two days later, on the 16th of January, 1873, 
he made the first of a series of speeches in which he 
emphasized the supreme importance of a return to 
specie payments. From this time on he became the 
most influential and foremost champion of resump- 
tion. Whatever hesitancy there may have been in 
his utterances theretofore, there was no uncertainty 
in his remarks on this occasion, nor at any time 
thereafter, until resumption was triumphantly ac- 
complished. He asserted that the restoration of our 
currency to a specie standard was an object of 
primary importance. He argued for it on the 
ground of public faith. "Every United States 
note," he said, "is a dishonored obligation, a 
promise to pay, but with no pa3rment or provision 
for payment. . . . Tested by the rules of law be- 
tween individuals it would be enforced by sale on 
execution, and by process of compulsory bank- 
ruptcy. Yet it is the promise of the United States. 
Surely the dishonor of this broken promise can 
have no longer an excuse in the necessity of war. 
... It is now four years since we solemnly pledged 


the natioiial faitb to redeem tliem in coin at the 
earliest practicabk period. . . . To delay longer 
is to tamper with the public honor and familiarize 
our people with an open, palpable, long<<x>ntinaed 
breach of the public faith/' He added: "But 
specie payment is not only required by public faith; 
it is now demanded by public policy; — or, to use 
a narrower phrase, it is wise political economy. 
Experience has established that every nation using 
a depreciated currency loses in exchanges with a 
nation having a better currency. . . . Again, it is 
impossible to give to a depreciated currency the 
quHlity of flexibility. ... All the existing laws 
authorizing United States notes and bank notes are 
based upon the theory of specie pa}rments. . . . 
If, then, public faith, public policy, and the spirit of 
our laws demand that our currency be restored to 
the specie standard, it would seem that the only 
remaining inquiry should be, what is the best way 
to resume ? " 

In meeting the objections that specie pa}rments 
would add largely to the burden of debt he said: 
"The effect of any measure upon the interests of 
active business men should be carefully studied, 
but individual hardship is not sufficient reason 
for a violation of public faith or a disregard of the 
general interests or policy of the whole country." 

He maintained that the eflFect of a specie stand- 
ard in producing a contraction of the currency was 
greatly exaggerated, and said: "A contraction of 
the currency is not necessarily a result of specie 


pajonents, though it would undoubtedly produce 
them. It is the most direct road to specie pay- 
ments, and, if the paper money in circulation is in 
excess of the wants of the community, it is the only 

As on previous occasions, the two different meth- 
ods of securing and sustaining resumption were 
referred to, — the maintenance in the Treasury 
of a large reserve in coin, and the authority of the 
Secretary of the Treasury to sell bonds for coin. 
To these he added a third, which he favored : i. e., 
to authorize an alternative redemption either in coin 
or bonds. He reconmiended a measure to the effect 
that on the 1st of January, 1874, the United States 
would redeem its notes either in coin or with bonds 
of convenient denominations, bearing 5 % inter- 
est in coin. It was expected that in case the Sec- 
retary of the Treasury was not able to pay out 
coin for the redemption of the notes, the attrac- 
tion of a bond, payable in gold, would cause such 
a contraction of the currency that resumption 
would result from the diminished amount in cir- 
culation. No action was taken upon this recom- 
mendation. The House of Representatives was 
unfriendly and the Senate not altogether cordial 
in its support. It, however, indicated progress on 
the road towards resumption. 

In the following September occurred the crisis 
of 1873, to be followed by a season of severe dis- 
tress, continuing, with greater or less intensity, for 
nearly six years. This disturbance in financial 


conditions was, in many respects, the most severe, 
and, in nearly aU respects, the most thoroughly 
characteristic, of the recurring periods of panic 
and depression which must occur in any progress- 
ive community. The starting-point of the difficulty 
was the great progress made in the increase of 
equipment for production. This resulted in over- 
action and speculation, and in the multiplication 
of improvident and unwise investments. A serious 
crash resulted. Of course prices and wages fell, 
and the hopes of the speculator were rudely shat- 
tered. If it was difficult to secure resumption 
before this decided check in the onward march 
of prosperity, it was fourfold more difficult there- 

Business interests had come to rely upon the 
Treasury and upon Congress for the creation of 
conditions which would make their investments 
profitable, and thus, in great degree, had neglected 
the more safe and certain way of individual wis- 
dom and economy in the adjustment of expenses 
and the making of investments. Whenever there 
was a stringency it had become the custom to rely 
upon the purchase of outstanding bonds, or, in- 
deed, upon the issuance of greenbacks which, ac- 
cording to the opinion of the Senate Committee, 
there was no right to issue. The demand for aid 
from the Treasury was almost overwhelming in 
the autumn of 1873. The Secretary purchased 
$13,000,000 of bonds, and also issued greenbacks 
which had been withdrawn, so that by Januaiy, 



1874, $26,000,000 of the $44,000,000 which had 
been retired during the incumbency of Secretary 
McCuUoch were again in circulation. 

The apparent obstacles in the way of resump- 
tion were never greater. Under the stimulus of 
extensive railway building, and other enterprises 
looking to the development of the coui^try, very 
large purchases had been made abroad, especially 
during the preceding five years. The average 
excess of imports over exports during this period, 
including shipments of specie, had been more 
than $40,000,000 per year. In addition to this very 
considerable drain upon our resources, merely to 
pay balances in trade, very large amounts were 
paid for the annually increasing interest charges 
upon indebtedness, public and private, held abroad, 
the principal of which by this time was estimated 
at $1,500,000,000. There is still further to be taken 
into account the large amount paid to foreigners 
for the carrying trade. 

One result of the unfavorable balance of ex- 
change was the continued premium on gold, which, 
even after the Resumption Act of 1875, rose in value. 
For the six years from 1871 to 1876, inclusive, 
the price continued stubbornly at almost the same 
figure, the average annual valuation for the period 
not varying more than 2.8 per cent. ; the lowest 
average, that for 1872, being 111.8, and the highest, 
that for 1873, being 114.6. It is not difficult to 
ascertain the cause of this. Other nations were 
seeking to increase their gold supply, some as the 


result of the adoption of a gold standard where 
a silver or bimetallic standard had existed before. 
There was a falling-off in the world's product as 
compared with the two decades ending in 1860 and 
1870, and in the scramble to increase gold reserves 
a country having an unfavorable balance of trade, 
and a currency made up of irredeemable paper, 
was subjected to inevitable disadvantages. Yet the 
popular sentiment, which had already crystallized 
in opposition to contraction, was strengthened by 
the untoward trend of events. On the meeting of 
Congress many propositions were embodied in bills 
and resolutions, nearly all of which looked toward 
a further inflation of the currency. 

But for the courage of Senator Sherman, and 
other men who saw that the difliculty did not arise 
from scarcity of the currency, and that the indus- 
trial depression had been caused rather by the 
redundancy than by the scarcity of our monetary 
supply, serious blunders would have been made, 
and the unfortunate financial and commercial 
situation would have been very seriously aggra- 
vated. Notwithstanding the great number of bills 
which were pending, looking toward increase of 
the currency, a majority of the Senate Finance 
Committee, through Mr. Sherman, presented a re- 
solution, in the month of December, 1873, in these 
words: "Resolved, that it is the duty of Congress 
during its present session, to adopt definite measures 
to redeem the pledge made in the Act, approved 
March 18, 1869, entitled *An Act to strengthen 


the Public Credit/ . . . and the Committee on 
Finance is directed to report to the Senate, at 
as early a day as practicable, such measures as 
will not only redeem this pledge of the public 
faith, but will also furnish a currency of uniform 
value, always redeemable in gold or its equivalent, 
etc." A member of the committee oflFered a minor- 
ity report recommending a substitute, directing the 
committee to report to the Senate "such meas- 
ures as will restore commercial confidence and 
give stability and elasticity to the circulating me- 
dium ... by providing for an increase of cur- 
rency of $100,000,000, including the $44,000,000 
reserved, etc." 

After these reports Mr. Sherman made a speech, 
on the 16th of January, 1874, which was one of his 
greatest eflForts. Its tone was one of fault-finding 
with the Senate because of its omission to com- 
ply with the pledge of 1869. He never before had 
so assumed to be the mentor of his fellow sena- 
tors. He complained of the reissue of greenbacks 
by the Treasury Department, and said that when 
the Act of March 18, 1869, was passed no one 
dreamed that there existed a power to reissue the 
$44,000,000 in the Treasury. He combated the 
argument for waiting until more prosperous times, 
and in the strongest language called attention to the 
delinquency of the Senate in failing to take action 
looking towards resumption. He said, with irony : 
"We are all for specie payments sometime, maybe. 
We are not in favor of it in times of plenty. We are 


not in favor of it in times of great prosperity. 
We are not in favor of it in view of the panic. When 
shall we be in favor of it ? That is the question 
that senators ought to be prepared to answer 
to the business men of this country." He again 
repeated his views expressed during preceding 
Congresses, asserting that we should have made 
the greenbacks exchangeable for bonds, and the 
Refunding Bill should have been passed. '' If,*' 
he said, "in the first session of Congress during 
Andrew Johnson's administration we liad passed 
a Funding Bill authorizing any holder of any form 
of government security to convert it into a five per 
cent, bond, all the evils that have flowed out of 
our disordered currency would have passed away; 
the questions that afterward were raised to endan- 
ger the public credit never would have arisen ; all 
this long agony of endeavoring to do what we have 
promised to do, and never performing it, would 
have been avoided." 

His remarks were in much the same line as on 
the same day, January 16, of the previous year. 
He expressed even less hopefulness of success ex- 
cept by his favorite plan, of making the legal tenders 
exchangeable for bonds, and, even more clearly, 
the difficulty of acting counter to public opinion. 
In referring to the plan for the retirement of United 
States notes, he said: "In the first place, this plan, 
while it operates, does so with such severity as, 
in a popular government like ours, to cause its 
suspension and repeal. Undoubtedly the most 


certain way to reach specie payments is by retiring 
the notes that are dishonored, paying them oS and 
taking them out of circulation. But the trouble 
is, the process of contraction is itself so severe 
upon the ordinary current business of the country 
that the people will not stand it; and in this coun- 
try the people rule." On the same subject he said: 
"Mr. President, there are some objections, of a 
popular character, made to specie payments which 
I think I ought to answer. In a popular govern- 
ment like ours even an unfounded fear ought not 
to go unheeded. Warnings are uttered; a great 
alarm is raised about every measure that tends to- 
ward specie payments." 

In answering the ai^ument that more money was 
needed he replied: "They say: *We want more 
money.' Well, in the sense in which money means 
capital, I think we all want more money. In the 
sense in which money is used as a mere medium of 
exchange, to measure value, to pass from hand to 
hand, to facilitate commercial transactions, the only 
test and measure of the amount necessary is the 
amount which can be maintained at the specie 
standard; no other." Speaking of the public faith 
he said: 

"Senators, we have now arrived at a stage of our his- 
tory, where, if we will obey the law and keep the public 
faith, we shall surely come to that safety and prosperity 
which rest upon the universal standard of value, — when 
industry will be rewarded, and not cheated by the de- 
preciation of paper money. If, on the other hand, you 


will enter again into a depreciation of your paper money, 
adopting the cry of expansion, 'more money/ you will 
siuely travel a road that many nations have traveled be- 
fore, and which leads to bankruptcy and repudiation. 
. . . But there is one other reason why all these schemes 
for more paper money ought not even to be debated here. 
An increase of paper money beyond $400,000,000 would 
be a clear and palpable violation of the public faith. 
... I again appeal to the Senate to now firmly take its 
stand against any inflation of paper money, under any 
circumstances, under any provocation, or on any plea. 
. . . Sir, I have been many years here and in the other 
House, through long and troublesome controversies, dur- 
ing peace and war, and I for one desire to see the work of 
our generation crowned by the greatest of civic triumphs, 
the fulfillment of every promise, and to behold the nation 
free from all dishonor, its promises good, its credit un- 
tarnished, its wealth and power increasing and expand- 
ing. •• 

The history of the resolution referred to, offered 
in December, 1873, shows how extremely difiicult 
it was to enact judicious financial legislation at that 
time. It was introduced as a direction to report a 
bill which would hasten specie payments. A measure 
passed both Houses in a form to postpone them 
indefinitely. The Finance Committee of the Senate 
waited until March 23, 1874, before reporting, 
and then presented a measure which legalized the 
reissue of $26,000,000 of greenbacks, with a view to 
making the total amount $382,000,000. In the dis- 
cussion which followed, radical amendments were 
offered, and some were passed, among which was 
one enlarging the maximum amount by $18,000,- 


000 to $400,000,000. In its final shape it also 
authorized additional national bank notes to the 
amount of $46,000,000. It was clearly an inflation 
measure. When it came to a final vote, Mr. Sher- 
man voted in the negative. It was taken up soon 
after in the House of Representatives, and, after 
a brief debate, was passed. It was evident that 
the prevalent ^sentiment there was for additional 
currency, to which object all other features of the 
existing fiscal system were made subordinate. 
Fortunately, President Grant vetoed this measure, 
on the 22d of April, 1874. He called attention to 
previous utterances in his annual message of De- 
cember, 1869, and to Acts of Congress, which were 
inconsistent with such a policy as that embodied in 
the bill. 

Another bill, originating in the House, provided 
for free banking. Mr. Sherman's committee in the 
Senate amended this, obligating the Treasury to 
redeem legal tenders in gold, or five per cent, bonds, 
on and after January 1, 1877. On discussion in 
the Senate, however, all provisions for the redemp- 
tion of United States notes were stricken out. On 
its final passage, the bill contained no reference to 
redemption; but fixed the aggregate of United 
States notes at $382,000,000, and provision was 
made for free banking. 

The severe depression of business continued in 
December, 1874, when Congress met. But an un- 
expected event had occurred which impressed upon 
the Republican leaders the imperative necessity of 


giving attention to specie payments, — namely, the 
election, in the preceding autunm, of a Democratic 
majority in the House of Representatives. On the 
foUowing 4th of March, the Republicans, for the 
first time in fourteen years, would be in the minority 
in the lower branch of Congress. After much vacil- 
lation and great difference of opinion, the mouth- 
pieces of business interests of the country had 
reached the conviction that the only proper method 
by which to restore and maintain wholesome condi- 
tions was the restoration of specie payments. As 
formerly, the Senate took the initiative and a com- 
mittee was appointed to formulate a Resumption 
BiU, with Mr. Sherman as chairman, with whom 
were associated Messrs. Allison, BoutweU, Conk- 
ling, Edmunds, Ferry, Frelinghuysen, Howe, Lo- 
gan, Morton, and Sargent. In this committee an 
apparently hopeless difference of opinion developed 
at the very outset. Every plan for resumption was 
represented. There were those who favored the 
absolute withdrawal of the greenbacks. Some be- 
lieved in a policy of drifting. On the other hand, 
others were advocates of inflation. There was, how- 
ever, a disposition on the part of all to agree upon 
something, with the realization that after the follow- 
ing 4th of March no measure put forward by the 
Republican party could have any prospect of suc- 
cess. An agreement was also aided by the fact that 
some of the senators who had favored inflation had 
done so out of deference to their constituents, while 
really believing that resumption was highly desirable. 


It was the short session, and the committee of 
Republican senators, realizing that time was press- 
ing, acted with a degree of promptness very strik- 
ingly in contrast with their previous policy of delay. 
No two adhered to the same plan of procedure, but 
never did the ability to gain results by concession 
— a qualification which Mr. Sherman preeminently 
possessed — appear more prominently than at this 
time. A measure was at last agreed on, although 
there was a distinct understanding that in one most 
vital particular, viz., the reissue of the retired green- 
backs, the bill should not be regarded as a com- 
mittal. By the first section, silver coins were sub- 
stituted for the outstanding fractional currency. 
To this there was no objection, because every one 
was disgusted with the " shinplasters," as the frac- 
tional currency was called, and the change to bright 
coins was an agreeable one. The second section, as 
a concession to the gold-mining states, repealed the 
mint-charge of one fifth of one per cent, for con- 
verting gold bullion into coin, and made its coinage 
free. All restrictions upon the circulation of national 
banking associations were repealed. The limit, first 
placed at $300,000,000, and afterwards at $354,- 
000,000, was removed; also the limit of $1,000,000 
for one bank. It was provided that the amount 
of greenbacks, then $382,000,000, should be ulti- 
mately reduced to $300,000,000, the reduction keep- 
ing pace with the increase of national bank notes. 
For every $100 of national bank notes issued, $80 
of greenbacks should be redeemed, until the amount 


should be reduced to $300,000,000. The reason for 
fixing the figure at $80 was that the statutes relating 
to the banks required the maintenance in reserve 
of at least 25 per cent, in certain large cities, and 
15 per cent, elsewhere, of the amount of its cir- 
culating notes. As an average of 20 per cent, would 
thus be required for reserves by the banks in 
their vaults, $80,000,000 of greenbacks would have 
an efficiency as a circulating medium equal to 
$100,000,000 of national bank notes. 

The date for resumption was fixed for January 1, 
1879, approximately four years. No option to the 
Treasury to pay in United States bonds, as in previ- 
ous bills, was included in this measure. Coin, not 
gold, was the term used for the money of redemp- 
tion, and in order to provide for the execution of the 
law, the Secretary of the Treasury was authorized 
to use any surplus revenues in the Treasury, not 
otherwise appropriated, and to sell at not less than 
par, in coin, either of the descriptions of bonds pro- 
vided for in the Funding Act of July 14, 1870, viz. : 
5% bonds running ten years, 4J% bonds running 
fifteen years, and 4% bonds running thirty years. 
It was held, in the future administration of the law, 
that the authority granted by the Resumption Act 
to issue these bonds was entirely without restriction 
as to the amount which might be issued, and in this 
respect it diflFered from the Funding Act referred 

The Bill was reported to the Senate by Mr. 
Sherman on the 21st of December, 1874, and con- 


sidered on the following day. Mr. Sherman only 
briefly explained its provisions at first, but later 
occupied a considerable time in answering questions 
and objections. On the subject of the reissue of 
greenbacks paid into the Treasury he said : 

"At any rate the question is not material until the 
whole amount of $82,000,000 is reduced. ... I say 
frankly that we do not propose to decide that question in 
this bill. . . . The process (i. e., of reduction) must go 
on pari passu until the amount of legal-tender notes is 
reduced to $300,000,000. Before that time will probably 
arrive, in the course of human affairs, at least one or two 
Congresses will have met and disappeared, and we may 
leave to the future these questions that tend to divide us 
and distract us, rather than imdertake to thrust them 
into this bill, and thus divide us and prevent us from 
doing something in the direction at which we aim. . . . 
In supporting a bill of this kind I do not meet all possible 
questions that may arise in its construction, and no 
human mind could do it. I know this, and upon this rock 
I stand : that this bill has provisions in it which tend to 
accomplish the purpose which I have so diligently sought, 
and I will not seek to obstruct its passage or defeat it by 
thrusting into it doubtful questions of law or public 
policy which may tend to defeat it. I take this bill, not as 
the bill that I should propose myself, a bill which itself 
surrenders many of my convictions as to the means to be 
ei&ployed to accomplish the particular purpose designed, 
but I take it because I see that every provision in it tends 
to the object sought." 

Senator Schurz, one of the strongest friends of 
resumption, declared his intention to vote for it, 
because it contained a' pledge to bind all its sup- 
porters as to their future action, but not because 


he believed that with its present machineiy it 
would assure the desired resulL 

The vote in the Senate was practically on parly 
lines. After some amendments had been voted 
down, the Bill was passed by 32 to 14, no Demo- 
crat voting for it, and two Republicans, Spiague 
and Tipton, voting against it. 

So absorbingly interested was Senator Sherman 
in this measure, and so anxious to have the Bill 
absolutely effective and its phraseology such as 
to require no further amendment, that he after- 
wards said, in speaking of it: "We were careful 
to select phraseology so comprehensive that aU 
the resources and credit of the government were 
pledged to redeem the notes of the United States, 
as fully and completely as our Revolutionary 
fathers pledged to each other their lives, their for- 
tunes, and their sacred honor in support of the 
Declaration of American Independence." 

The measure passed the House, practically with- 
out debate, on the 7th of January, 1875, by a vote 
of 136 to 98, and received the approval of Presi- 
dent Grant, January 14. It would be difficult to 
find a more striking illustration of party unanimity 
and strength than the passage of this measilre. 
For years Congress had been considering the sub- 
ject. Irreconcilable differences of opinion had de- 
veloped, and either no effective legislation had been 
enacted, or legislation which might better have 
been omitted. Now, after the sting of defeat in 
the preceding election, in an unprecedentedly short 


time, a bill was placed on the statute-books which 
at last declared for specie payment at a specified 
time, and under a definite plan. 

Popular government in the United States has 
been characterized by a number of compromises 
which have settled troublesome questions or averted 
inunediate difficulties. But it is no exaggeration to 
say that among all compromises, whether political 
or financial, none embodied so many discordant 
opinions or gave heed to so many conflicting 
interests as the Resumption Act. In response to 
a demand for a contraction of legal tenders a pro- 
vision was made for their reduction, while those 
who desired an increase of currency were gratified 
by the removal of limitations upon the circula- 
tion of the national banks. As regards a reserve 
to redeem the notes, the Secretary of the Treas- 
ury was authorized to use surplus revenues from 
time to time, and to sell bonds; but, on the other 
hand, no provision was made for a permanent 
specie reserve, an essential requirement, action upon 
which was not taken for a quarter of a cen- 
tury. A specific date was fixed for resumption, 
but those who had believed that the problem was 
a commercial one and would adjust itself in time, 
as well as those who demanded that the approach 
to specie payment should be gradual, in order 
that the debtor might not suffer, were gratified by 
the fixing of a date four years hence. Those who 
opposed resumption could hope for repeal dur- 
ing this interval. The measure was not less signi- 


ficant in regard to subjects upon which it was silent 
than in relation to those which were definitely 
treated. The future controversy over the greater 
use of silver could already be anticipated by care- 
ful observers, but coin only, not gold, was speci- 
fied in the law. The much-debated question of 
the right to reissue greenbacks lodged in the 
Treasury received no answer in the Bill, and it 
was the agreement of those who had framed it that 
no unnecessary reference should be made to this 
very important feature in any plan of resumption. 

It should be borne in mind that the provisions 
of the law had to be enforced without further aid 
from Congress. At no time between January 7, 
1875, and January 1, 1879, the date for the resump- 
tion of specie payments, was there a majority friendly 
to the Act in both Houses of Congress.- On one 
occasion, as will be pointed out, a Bill for its re- 
peal passed the House. An unfriendly sentiment 
very soon developed against it, proceeding not 
merely from inflationists, but from some hard- 
money men. The criticisms made upon the meas- 
ure by.the friends of resumption were that the date 
fixed was too remote, that the Bill was a political 
trick, passed with a full realization that before 
the 1st of January, 1879, another Congress could 
repeal or nullify it in some way. Another objection 
was that the means provided in the way of bor- 
rowing and accumulation of the revenue would 
prove inadequate, that more gold would be re- 
quired than could possibly be secured. Others 


complained that the authorization of an increase 
in the circulation of the national banks was grant- 
ing to those institutions control of the currency 
and an undue degree of favor. Some of the strong- 
est advocates of resumption maintained that the 
bill was essentially defective because there was no 
provision for the cancellation of legal tenders, 
when redeemed. 

• In response to all these arguments, it is suffi- 
cient to answer that the purpose of the Bill was re- 
sumption, and that the means adopted were the best 
which could be obtained from a Congress, which, 
if not hostile, was absolutely lacking in cordiality 
for the measure. A majority of the members were 
more friendly to legislation which would make 
some form of money more plentiful than they were 
to that which involved those sacrifices essential 
to secure specie payment. Then, too, the result 
justified the means employed, for it proved a mag- 
nificent success. 



The contest for resumption was by no tineai^ 
ended. The first prominent echo of the contro- 
versy was in the Ohio campaign of 1875, where 
the issues were clearly defined between resump- 
tion and payment of bonds in gold on the one side, 
and the indefinite continuance of the greenback 
and its unlimited use for the payment of debts, on 
the other. For a state campaign, it attracted al- 
most unequaled attention. The Democratic plat- 
form declared that the policy adopted had already 
brought disaster to the business of the country 
and threatened general bankruptcy. It demanded 
that this policy be abandoned and attacked the 
national banks as a dangerous monopoly. There 
was an unprecedented vote, more than sixty thou- 
sand greater than at the preceding presidential 
election. Governor Hayes, the Republican can- 
didate, was elected by a plurality barely in excess 
of five thousand. 

Mr. Sherman took a very active part in this 
canvass, and both he and Governor Hayes main- 
tained a bold stand for sound money. He con- 
tinued his advocacy of a specie standard in the 


Senate, especially on the occasion of the presenta- 
tion of the resolutions of the New York Cham 
ber of Commerce in favor of resumption, on the 
6th of March, 1876. 

The triumph of Mr. Hayes in the gubernatorial 
contest in Ohio caused him to be prominently 
named for the presidency in 1876, though in the 
National Republican Convention of that year his 
support at the beginning was not large outside of 
his own state. The feeling against Mr. Blaine, — 
who was far in the lead in the convention, — on 
the part of Mr. Conkling and others, together with 
the importance of the electoral vote of Ohio and 
the close vote in the state at the preceding election, 
furnished potent reasons, however, for the nomina- 
tion of Mr. Hayes, and on the seventh ballot he 
was chosen. In the ensuing contest for election 
Mr. Sherman again took part with more activity 
than ever before, partly because of his friendliness 
for Mr. Hayes, whom he had supported in the 
convention, and partly because the issues of the 
campaign had to do with questions in which he 
had taken a leading part. 

The Democratic National Convention declared 
against the Resumption Act. The platform said: 
"We denounce the financial imbecility and im- 
morality of that party which, during eleven years 
of peace, has made no advance towards resump- 
tion, no preparation for resumption, but, instead, 
has obstructed resumption by wasting our resources 
and exhausting all our surplus income; and, while 


annually professing to intend a speedy return to 
specie payments, has annually enacted fresh hin- 
drances thereto. As such hindrance we denounce 
the Resumption Clause of the Act of 1875, and 
we here demand its repeal." 

Mr. Sherman took a very strong partisan stand 
in this campaign, even more pronounced than in 
the days of reconstruction. In a speech at Marietta, 
Ohio, on the 12th of August, 1876, he said : 

"The real question is, shall the Democratic party he 
restored to power again, not with new principles and 
leaders, but the Democratic party composed of the same 
elements as before the war? Sixteen years have passed 
away, and yet that party in soul, purpose, and policy is 
the same as when at the close of Buchanan's term it left 
the coimtry crumbling into anarchy. . . . What will be 
the result of the restoration of the Democratic party to 
power? The first result will be a severe check to the 
growth of the Union sentiment — love of the Union. . . . 
If they succeed they will have accomplished by a restora- 
tion what they sought to accomplish by a revolution. 
How will it read in history if it is recorded that the Ameri- 
can people took up arms and overcame the Democratic 
party in order to save their Union, and, when it was saved, 
restored the same party and the same men to power 

Such a restoration he compared to that of Charles 
the Second. He laid much stress upon the pres- 
entation of claims against the government by those 
who had been engaged in the late rebellion, and 
cited two bills, introduced in the House of Re- 
presentatives, as showing the danger which would 
result if Tilden should be elected and the Demo- 


crats come into power. He called attention to the 
danger to the colored race in the South; to the 
election frauds in New York; the barbarities of 
the Ku-Klux and the White League; and the in- 
consistency of the Democratic party as to the Re- 
sumption Act. 

In speaking of the administration of General 
Grant he said: 

"Conscious that their only hope lay in blackening the 
character and conduct of General Grant and his ap- 
pointees, the Democratic majority organized the whole 
House into committees of investigation. They have ex- 
plored every department, bureau, and office of the govern- 
ment. They have called as witnesses penitentiary con- 
victs and the insane from the hospital. They have seized 
telegrams by the wholesale, and examined private books 
and papers. They have sought to disclose Cabinet secrets, 
which have alwa}^ been held inviolable. They have em- 
ployed detectives to watch accused persons. They have 
examined, in secret, witnesses without number to sustain 
certain secret accusations, and have given the accused no 
benefit of cross-examination, no opportunity to face their 
accusers, no specification of the charges against them, 
and what is the result of it all ? . . . They denounced the 
Credit Mobilier and found that their candidate for Presi- 
dent was its confidential lawyer." 

The result of the election was in doubt four 
months and caused great excitement in the country 
and a practical suspension of all public and private 
enterprise. President Grant, in view of the accusa- 
tions of fraud, requested a committee of Repub- 
licans to go to New Orleans to witness the canvass- 
ing of the vote of Louisiana. Mr. Sherman was 


asked to be one of the committee. He promptly 
complied with the request, in November, 1876, and 
spent a considerable amount of time in the state. 
A similar delegation went at the invitation of the 
National Democratic Committee. On the request 
of the Board of Retuming-officers of Louisiana, 
ten gentlemen, five from each party, were chosen 
to witness the count. Mr. Sherman was one of this 
committee of ten. He was at all times confident that 
such an amount of fraud had been perpetrated that 
the vote of numerous parishes should be thrown out, 
and believed that the action of the Board of Retum- 
ing-officers, in giving certificates of election to the 
Republican electors, was fair and honest. 

It was evident that there would be trouble in the 
counting of the electoral vote. Mr. Hayes and 
others maintained that the Vice-President alone 
had the authority to decide what votes should be 
counted. In order to obtain a prompt settlement of 
disputed questions, of a nature to command the 
confidence of the people, a bill creating an Electoral 
Commission of fifteen membere was introduced 
in the Senate by Mr. Edmunds of Vermont. Very 
prominent Republicans opposed it, among whom 
were Mr. Morton and Mr. Blaine, the latter point- 
ing out the danger of leaving to one person, the non- 
partisan member of the commission, the right to 
determine how the vote of a state should be counted, 
and thus decide who should be President. Mr. 
Sherman thought it was extra-constitutional, as did 
many others, and did not vote for it. The bill be- 


came a law. The result is so generally known that 
it is not necessary to detail it here. 

In Februaiy, 1877, after the decision of the 
Electoral Commission, President Hayes strongly 
urged Mr. Sherman to become Secretary of the 
Treasury. Mr. Sherman, after he became assured 
that the legislature at Columbus would elect a 
Republican in his place in the Senate, accepted 
the proffered position. 

The two great tasks before him, as Secretary of 
the Treasury, were resumption and the refunding 
of the public debt. For the administrative manage- 
ment of the Treasury he possessed exceptional 
qualifications; also, he found the Treasury, as a 
department, in excellent working order. Most of 
the subordinates who had served under preceding 
administrations were retained. They were men 
<rf large experience, who labored together har- 
moniously and eflSciently. During the first few 
months of his service as Secretary of the Treasury 
three important steps were taken, — the beginning 
of practical preparation for resumption; the re- 
funding of bonds at lower rates of interest; and 
the inauguration of measures for the sale of bonds 
directly to the people, with a view to avoiding the 
usual method of dealing with syndicates. 

When he became Secretary of the Treasury, in 
March, 1877, a contract was in force, made on the 
S4th of August preceding, providing for the sale of 
$300,000,000 of four and one half per cent, bonds 
payable after fifteen years. Secretary Lot M. 


Morrill had made this contract with a syndicate of 
bankers representing American and foreign inter- 
ests. It was anticipated that the larger share of the 
bonds to be sold mider the contract would be taken 
in Europe. There was an absolute agreement to 
dispose of $40,000,000 merely, but with an option 
to take the remaining $260,000,000. The com- 
mission to be paid was one half of one per cent. 
Five-twenty bonds as well as coin might be received 
in payment of subscriptions for these bonds. It was 
contemplated that all the proceeds should be applied 
in payment of outstanding indebtedness, and no part 
for the accumulation of a fund for resumption. 
Barely a month after the beginning of the Hayes 
administration, on the 6th of April, 1877, Mr. 
Sherman notified a representative of the syndicate 
that he desired to dispose of four per cent, bonds 
rather than those drawing four and one half per 
cent. Accordingly several changes were made and 
a new contract entered into on the 0th of the follow- 
ing June. First : the total sale of the four and one 
half per cent, bonds was reduced from $300,000,000 
to $200,000,000. The object in withholding $100,- 
000,000 from sale was to be ready for all contin- 
gencies. In case there should be difficulty in accom- 
plishing resumption, a balance of $100,000,000 of 
bonds drawing four and one half per cent., the 
higher rate of interest, would be available for sale 
to secure a sufficient quantity of gold for resump- 
tion. Second: agreement was made for the sale 
of $25,000,000 of four per cents, with the option 


to the syndicate to take the unissued balance of the 
four per cents at the same rate of commission, one 
half of one per cent. Of this $25,000,000, not to 
exceed $5,000,000 should be sold for resumption 
purposes. Third : the syndicate agreed for a period 
of thirty days to offer the four per cent, bonds to 
the people of the United States. The object in 
compelling the syndicate to offer bonds to the public 
was twofold: first, to widen the market for the 
bonds; and, second, to educate the people to pur- 
chase them more directly from the government, so 
that bonds could be sold without the intervention 
of a syndicate. 

The syndicate, on the 14th of June, gave notice 
of the proposed sale to the people, by general adver- 
tisement, and as a result, within thirty days $67,- 
600,000 of the four per cent, bonds were taken in 
the United States, as against $10,200,000 in Europe. 
Since the 1st of March there had also been a sale 
of $135,000,000 of the four and one half per cents. 
By appl}dng the proceeds to the redemption of six 
per cent, bonds the aggregate annual reduction of 
interest by these sales, between March 1 and July 
16, 1877, was $3,581,000. The sale of bonds for 
refunding did not amount to any considerable sum 
in the latter portion of the year 1877. The con- 
tinuance of the silver agitation, the presentation of 
bills to repeal the Resumption Act, — one of which 
passed the House, — and especially the railway 
riots, in July and August, which assumed a serious- 
ness never before equaled in labor disturbances 


in the country, — all tended to cause distrust at 
home and abroad, and after September sales were 
practically suspended. 

Mr. Shennan was asked, in June, 1877, for assur- 
ance that the bonds would be paid in gold, since 
payment in silver was feared. The members of the 
syndicate urged Mr. Sherman to make a public 
declaration to that effect. He, at first, in a letter 
addressed to Mr. Belmont on the 16th of June, 
declined to do this, stating that "'nothing would so 
tend to disturb this result " — that is, the rightful 
settlement of the question — "as unauthorized 
'theses,' or dogma, by an executive officer upon 
a question purely legislative or judicial." In the 
same letter, however, he expressed his opinion that 
the bonds would be paid, principal and interest, 
in gold coin, and, in a letter three days later, ad- 
dressed to Mr. Francis O. French of New York, 
he wrote: 

"Under laws now in force there is no coin issued or 
issuable in which the principal of the four per cent, bonds 
is redeemable, or the interest payable, except the gold 
coins of the United States of the standard value fixed by 
laws in force on the 14th of July, 1870, when the bonds 
were authorized. The government exacts , in exchange for 
these bonds, payment at par in such gold coin, and it is not 
to be anticipated that any future legislation ci Congress, 
or any action of any department of the government, would 
sanction or tolerate the redemption of the principal of 
these bonds, or the payment of the interest thereon, in 
coin of less value than the coin authorized by law at 
the time of the issue of the bonds. . . . The essential 
element of good faith in preserving the equality in value 


between the coinage in which the government receives, 
and that in whidi it pays these bonds, will be sacredly 
observed by the government and the people of the United 
States, whatever may be the system of coinage which the 
general policy of the nation may at any time adopt." 

When Congress met on October 15, 1877, — 
having been called together because of the failure 
to make appropriations for the support of the army 
at the preceding regular session, — it was evident 
that most of the members were much more inter- 
ested in the money question than in the mainten- 
ance of the army, and that a considerable majority 
in both Houses were opposed to the financial policy 
of the administration. Four bills were introduced 
in the Senate and fourteen in the House for the 
lepeal of the Resumption Act. 

On the 5th of November a bill, introduced in 
the House by Mr. Bland of Missouri, providing 
for the free coinage of silver dollars of 412^ grains, 
— that is, at a ratio to gold of 16 to 1, — and re- 
storing their legal-tender character, was taken up, 
on a motion to suspend the rules, and was passed 
by the overwhelming vote of 163 to 34. TTie infla- 
tion movement at this time was very strong. The 
silver agitation was largely a manifestation of the 
demand for more money, reinforced by the potent 
silver-mining interests of the country, and furnished 
with arguments by the prior use of silver concur- 
rently with gold and the uniform use of the word 
" coin " in laws relating to the obligations of the gov- 
ernment. Also the passage of the Demonetization 


Act of 1873, without any considerable discussion, 
was made a basis for the accusation that it was 
surreptitiously passed. 

Among members of prominence who voted for the 
Bland Bill were numbered such men as John G. 
Carlisle and Hilary A. Herbert, afterwards members 
of President Cleveland's Cabinet; J. G. Cannon, 
later Speaker of the House of Representatives; 
J. D. Cox, who had been Secretary of the Interior 
in Grant's Cabinet; S. S. Cox, a stalwart opponent 
of paper money inflation, in 1862; and William 
McKinley, afterwards President of the United 
States. Among those voting in the negative were 
Messrs. Beed and Frye of Maine, Blair of New 
Hampshire, Republicans; and Alexander H. Ste- 
phens of Georgia, A. S. Hewitt and Fernando Wood 
of New York, Democrats. General Garfield, after- 
wards President, and Eugene Hale of Maine were 
absent when the vote was taken, but were opposed 
to the proposed legislation. 

An examination of contemporaneous facts often 
proves that opinions entertained in past years, 
which, when viewed in the light of subsequent 
events, or upon more careful consideration, are 
regarded as delusions, were not entirely baseless. 
An argument for the more extended use of silver 
was found at that time in its employment by France 
for three quarters of a century, on a ratio to gold of 
15j to 1, and its use with gold in many of the more 
advanced nations. There was also a strong ail- 
ment based upon conditions relating to the pro- 


duction of gold and silver. After the year 1870 
the world's annual production of gold very mater- 
ially declined, and did not reach that of 1870 and 
prior years until 1891. In the United States the 
average figures for twenty years, until and including 
1870, were not again reached until 1896. Leading 
geologists urged that the gold-fields in which placer 
mining had been in vogue were becoming exhausted, 
and that in the future the annual accretion to the 
existing supply would be greatly diminished. This 
view seems to have been accepted by many intelli- 
gent students of the subject during the period of 
diminished production after 1870. 

In the great advance of conunerce and industry 
in the first half of the nineteenth century, the pro- 
duction of precious metals did not keep pace 
with the increasing demands for metallic money. 
Later the discovery of gold in California in 1847, 
and in Australia in 1851, exercised a marked in- 
fluence upon prices and caused the more extensive 
use of that metal as money. It was maintained that 
since 1870 the scarcity of gold had created a con- 
dition similar to that prior to 1851, when, as it was 
alleged, the scant supply of both metals had in- 
juriously affected prices and hampered industry. 
The rehabilitation of silver, it was argued, would 
remedy this. 

Whatever the argument for bimetallism might be, 
however, the arguments against it were gaining 
ground and seemed sure of ultimate acceptance. 
These were that bimetallism, as a principle, was 


impracticable, because under modem commercial 
conditions, with readier means of transportation 
and with markets in which variations in the relative 
value of the two metals would be emphasized upon 
the slightest difference in quotations, the metal 
overvalued in coinage would be used for money, to 
the exclusion of the other. Thus it was impossible 
to join the two metals tc^ther and give to each 
absolutely free coinage. Then, too, conmierce had 
come to demand in aU its transactions the simplest 
and most convenient instruments; and in a com- 
parison of the relative merits of gold and silver, gold, 
by reason of its superior lightness, was sure to be 
preferred. Moreover, substitutes for metallic or 
other forms of money were annually assuming a 
prominence unknown in previous years. 

The downward tendency of prices did not cease 
until 1879, and so strong was the sentiment for silver 
coinage that President Hayes, in his message of 
1877, had recommended '"the renewal of the silver 
dollar as an element in our specie currency, endowed 
by legislation with the quality of legal tender to 
a greater or less extent." At the same time he 
insisted upon payment of the public debt in gold, 
and said : '" It is lar better to pay these b(Hids in that 
coin [gold] than to seem to take advantage of the 
unforeseen fall in silver bullion to pay in a new issue 
of silver coin thus made so much less valuable." 

In his first annual report in December, 1877, 
Secretary Sherman discussed the silver question 
at some length, and advocated the use oi silver as 


convenient and desirable, but only in case that it 
should be kept on a par with gold. He said : "' With 
such legislative provision as will maintain its cur- 
rent value at par with gold its issue is respectfully 
recommended." He reviewed the changes in legis- 
lation relating to the ratio <rf silver to gold, — first 
15 to 1; then, in 1837, 16 to 1; then, in 1853, the 
coinage of fractional silver at the mint at a ratio of 
14.8 to 1. 

The average intrinsic value of the gold and 
alver in a dollar in the year 1877 was in the pro- 
portion of 100 to 92, and silver was worth less at 
the close of the year. It was the favorite aigument 
of those who advocated the remonetization of silver 
that unlimited free coinage would speedily obliter- 
ate the difference in the market value of the metal 
in the two dollars. Sherman expressed himself 
strongly against this prevalent opinion of the so- 
called bimetallists, and said : "' £F the slight error 
in the ratio of 1792 prevented gold from entering 
into circulation for forty-five years, and the slight 
error in 1837 brought gold into circulation and 
banished silver until 1853, how much more cer- 
tainly win an error now of 9 % cause gold to be 
exported, and silver to become the sole standard 
<rf value ? Is it worth while to travel again the round 
of errors, when experience has demonstrated that 
both metals can only be maintained in circulation 
together by adhering to the policy of 1853?" He 
took up and answered the current arguments in 
favor of free silver, and gave, in substance, all the 


reasons employed in succeeding years in the debates J 

upon the subject. He referred to the provision of the | 

Act of February, 1862, by which customs duties were 
pledged in payment of the public debt, and to the 
uniform custom of collecting these in gold coin. 
Free coinage of silver would violate this pledge. 
In regard to an international convention he said: i 

" Even such a convention, while it might check the | 

fall of silver, could not prevent the operation of that ' 

higher law which places the market value of silver 
above human control." He concluded by saying: 
"Issued upon the conditions here stated, the Sec- 
retary is of the opinion that the silver dollar will 
be a great public advantage, but that if issued with- 
out limit, upon the demand of the owners of silver 
bullion, it will be a great public injury." He referred 
to his letters in June, assuring the payment of bonds 
in gold, and said : " The Secretary earnestly urges 
Congress to give its sanction to this assurance." 
The passage of the Bland-Allison Silver Bill, and 
the Matthews Resolution were the response. 

The passage of the Bland Bill in the House gave 
concrete basis for fears which had been entertained 
during preceding months of the year, and the sales 
of bonds either for refunding or resumption were 
brought to a rude stop. Outstanding four per cent, 
bonds dropped to 99, and even lower. 

Secretary Sherman used all possible influence 
with his late associates in the Senate to prevent this 
measure from passing that body. He at first ex- 
pressed absolute confidence that it would not pass 


there; then the hope that at least the coinage 
would be limited, and express provision be made 
that the public debt should be paid in gold, and that 
customs duties and interest on the public debt 
should be paid in that metal. The Senate, on con- 
sideration, very materially changed the bill. Senator 
Allison introduced the amendments and the meas- 
ure has since been known as the Bland-Allison Bill. 
These amendments took away the unlimited free 
coinage feature, which would have allowed the 
owner of bullion to bring his silver to the mint, and 
restricted coinage to bullion purchased by the 
govemmept, the quantity of which should be not 
less than $2,000,000 worth nor more than $4,000,000 
worth per month. The measure retained the ob- 
jectionable feature of the House Bill, in that silver 
was made legal tender for all debts and dues, public 
and private. All propositions to increase the quan- 
tity of silver in a dollar, so as to make it more nearly 
conform, in intrinsic value, to the gold dollar, were 
promptly voted down. There was the usual chimer- 
ical provision for an international conference to 
agree upon the ratio between gold and silver; also 
a provision for the issuance of certificates, in de- 
nominations of not less than ten dollars, to circulate 
as paper currency, upon a deposit of silver dollars 
in the Treasur}% 

Senator Stanley Matthews, Mr. Sherman's suc- 
cessor in the Senate, on the 6th of December, three 
days after the presentation of Sherman's report 
containing the request for legislative assurance that 


bonds would be paid in gold, introduced a resolution 
declaring that, under the Act of 1869, to Strengthen 
the Public Credit, silver, as well as gold, was in- 
cluded under the term ""coin," and that, at the 
option of the government, silver dollars containing 
412^ grains each, might be used as a legal tender 
in payment of the principal and interest of bonds, 
and that such payment was not in violation of the 
public faith, nor in derogation of the rights of the 
public creditor. Much surprise was expressed that 
Mr. Afatthews, who was supposed to be especially 
close to the President, and to the Secretary of the 
Treasury, should have introduced such a resolution; 
but he called attention to the passage by Uie legis- 
lature of the State of Ohio, at its previous session, 
of a resolution that "common honesty to the tax- 
payers, the letter and the spirit of the contract under 
which the great body of its indebtedness was 
assumed by the United States, and true financial 
wisdom, each and all demand the restoration of the 
silver dollar to its former rank as lawful money." 
This resolution had received but three negative ' 
votes in the Ohio House of Representatives, and but 
one in the Senate. 

Against the Matthews resolution it was contended 
that not more than eight million silver dollars had 
been coined, from the very foundation of the govern- 
ment; that most of the existing generation had 
never seen a silver dollar; that all obligations, pay- 
able in coin, had been met by payment in gold; 
also, that at the time when the resolution was pend- 


ing, there was no law providing for the coinage of 
silver dollars having legal*tender quality.^ Never- 
theless, cm the ^th of January, 1878, this concur- 
rent resolution passed the Senate by a vote of nearly 
two to one, and three days later passed the House 
by a vote of 189 to 79. 

The passage ot the Bland-Allison Silver Act of 
February 28, 1878, exercised a surprisingly insig- 
nificant effect upon financial conditions. The 
amount of silver coinage was limited. The profit 
from the difference between the bullion value of 
silver and the par value of the coinage accrued to 
the government. The enforcement of the law was 
in the hands of an administration which, it was 
confidently believed, would coin only the minimum 
amount prescribed by the Act. Then, too, the tide 
had turned, and imports of gold exceeded exports. 
The financial condition of the country was in many 
ways improving. There were at least hopeful in- 
dications of revival. The premium on gold was not 
appreciably affected; it did not rise one eiglith of 
one per cent, with the news of the passage of the 
bill over the presidential veto, and declined during 
the month succeeding. Resumption was too well 
under way, and the confidence of the people in 
Secretary Sherman and the administration too well 
established, to allow this bill to disturb their cal- 
culations. The Secretary himself did not fear the 

' The legal-tender quality of the trade dollars — for sums 
not in excess of five dollars — was taken away by the resolution 
of July 22, 1876. 


measure, and hardly agreed with the President 
in his veto message. One reason was that in his 
efforts in the Senate to obtain a modification of the 
Bland Bill, he had recognized the force of the silver 
sentiment and had been willing to make certain 

For some years other factors, which diminished 
the volume of other kinds of currency, prevented 
derangement from the execution of the Silver Coin- 
age Act. After the Resumption Act directing the 
retirement of United States notes to the extent of 
80 % of tlie national bank currency issued, there 
had been a considerable contraction of the currency. 
The high price of bonds caused many of the banks 
to withdraw the whole or a part of their circulation. 
When that Act was passed in January, 1875, 
$352,000,000 of national bank notes were in cir- 
culation. Three years later, in 1878, $74,000,000 
had been withdrawn and $43,000,000 of new notes 
had been issued, a net decrease of $31,000,000. 
Against these $43,000,000 of national bank notes 
issued, over $35,000,000 of greenbacks had been 
withdrawn under the Resumption Act. As a result 
there was a decrease of both these kinds of currency 
and a net contraction of considerably over $60,- 
000,000. This fact afforded a reason for fixing the 
amount of greenbacks at a higher figure than was 
contemplated by the Resumption Act. This was 
done by the Act of May 31, 1878, already men- 
tioned, which increased the limit of issues from 
$300,000,000, the amount to which reduction was 


to be made under the Resumption Act, to $346,- 

While the controversy over silver was pending, 
one of the bills to repeal the Resumption Act passed 
the House, November 23, 1877, by a vote of 133 to 
120. It was taken up in the Senate where a substi- 
tute was adopted, by the close vote of 30 to 29, pro- 
viding that after the passage of the pending bill 
United States notes should be received the same 
as coin in payment for four per cent, bonds, and on 
and after October 1, 1878, they should be receivable 
for duties on imports. This Bill was involved in 
a hopeless parliamentary tangle on its return to the 
House. After several ineffectual attempts it was 
finally brought up for consideration in February, 
1879, after resumption had become an established 
fact. The sound money sentiment was stronger 
then, and a motion by Mr. Garfield that the bill with 
the amendment be laid on the table was adopted by 
a vote of 141 to 110. 

In 1878 bonds were again disposed of on a large 
scale. Secretary Sherman had given notice to the 
S3mdicate that he would terminate its contract, from 
and after the 26th day of January, 1878, continuing 
such of its provisions merely as related to the sale of 
bonds in European markets. A notice to the public 
was then issued directly from the Treasury De- 
partment requesting subscriptions for the four per 
cent, bonds, redeemable July, 1907, and offering 
a commission of one quarter of one per cent, on 
subscriptions of $1000 and over. 


Especial attention was given to the accumulation 
of a stock of gold for resumption, and, to negotiate 
a sale of bonds for that purpose, Mr. Sherman went 
to New York in April, 1878. His first desire was to 
sell $50,000,000 of four per cents, but it became 
apparent they could not readily be disposed of. 
He then offered to die foreign sjmdicate four and 
one half percent, bcmds at 103. This they declined. 
After some bargaining the syndicate agreed to take 
these bonds at 101^, they to receive one half of one 
per cent, commission. The local banks offered to 
give par, but said that in their opinion an offer of 
101 ought to be accepted. All installments in pay* 
ment on these bonds were to be paid prior to the 
date for resumption, and were to be for resumption 
purposes only. In the following autumn, influenced 
partly by a favorable balance at trade, the subscrip- 
tion for the four per cent, bonds appreciably in- 
creased. The admission of the Assistant Treasurer 
of the United States as a member of the Clearing* 
House, so that only the actual balance of debits 
would have to be paid over, very materially assisted 
in resumption. This arrangement diminished 
greatly the strain upon the currency supply, and 
thus lessened the demand for gold. 

By the date of Mr. Sherman's repwt of Decem- 
ber, 1878, the quantity of bonds sold to accumulate 
gold for reserve was $95,500,000, of which $65,- 
000,000 were four and one half per cent, bonds, and 
$30,500,000 four per cent, bonds. The amount of 
coin available in tlie Treasury on the preceding 23d 


day of November w&s $141,888,100. At the date 
of this report slightly more than $100,000,000 of 
four per cent, bonds had been disposed of. 

It was the one absorbing desire of Mr. Sherman 
that resumption might be accomplished. To this 
end he had bent the best energies of his life. He 
wrote to an acquaintance in Ohio, who had ex- 
pressed alarm over the feelings of the people with 
reference to the financial situation : ** The question 
of resumption is higher than any party obligation." 
His efforts to this end aroused the most violent 
opposition, which was visited with especial virulence 
upon him, personally. The bitter feeling was illus- 
trated by his reception at Toledo, in his own state, 
in the autumn of 1878. He was announced to speak 
there and found the hall packed by an unfriendly 
audience. It is hardly to be wondered at that he 
was a partisan when such attacks could be made. 
The leading Democratic journal of the state, in de- 
scribing the meeting, used the following headlines: 
" Howled Down. John Sherman's Welcome Home. 
Turbulent and Riotous Demonstration at His Meet- 
ing in Toledo. Men Made Beggars by Him Refuse 
to listen to His Defence of the Process, and the 
Architect of National Ruin Receives a Slight Fore- 
taste of the Hereafter." Mr. Sherman had written 
out a carefully prepared speech, but, in view of the 
undue demonstrativeness of the crowd which was 
confronting him, he changed his plans entirely, 
indulging in the interlocutory method laigely, 
allowing those who were present to interrupt. The 


party committee were so pleased with this address 
that they chose to adopt it, rather than the written 
speech, and circulated it widely as a campaign 

Nor was the opposition manifested in a mere 
occasional outbreak. The strength of the sentiment 
for irredeemable paper currency was proved by the 
rise of the Greenback party, a political oiganiza- 
tion which relegated to the rear the accepted issues 
which were regarded as most important by the 
existing political parties, and ascribed supreme 
importance to the question of currency. This organ- 
ization had become prominent in the year 1876, 
at which time a national convention was held, a 
platform was framed, and candidates nominated 
for President and Vice-President, under the official 
designation of the Independent National party. Its 
platform alleged that the industries of the people 
were prostrated, and labor was deprived of its just 
reward by a ruinous policy which both parties re- 
fused to change. The convention demanded the 
immediate and unconditional repeal of the Resump- 
tion Act, and that a currency consisting entirely of 
United States notes should be issued directly by the 
government. These notes were to be convertible 
on demand into obligations bearing a rate of interest 
not exceeding 3.65%, which obligations on demand 
could in turn be exchanged for notes. They adopted 
as the party slogan a quotation from Jefferson that 
** bank paper must be suppressed and the circulation 
lestored to the nation to whom it belonged.'' Both 


they and many of the later advocates of free silver 
ridiculed the use of the term "intrinsic value,*' as 
applied to gold and silver money, and maintained 
that the sole ground for the acceptance and circula- 
tion of metallic or paper money alike was the stamp 
of the government. 

In the year 1876 this party cast 81,740 votes, 
having especial strength in the states of Illinois, 
Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Kansas. The name 
popularly given to it was at first the Greenback 
party, though later, under a combination with other 
elements maintaining its essential views, it was 
known as the Greenback Labor party. Its dis- 
tinctive principles were afterwards adopted, and its 
general ideas survived under the name of the Popu- 
list, or People's party. The maximum vote of the 
so-called Greenback party was obtained in the year 
1878, when, at the congressional elections, the 
organization obtained the support of more than a 
million voters and elected fourteen congressmen. 
With resumption its strength declined, and at a 
later time those who had been most active in its 
support identified themselves with the silver move- 
ment. Its fundamental ideas still retained a con- 
siderable hold upon the people. 

In 1892 the Populist party declaimed against the 
money power, dwelling upon the demonetization 
of silver as a vast conspiracy against mankind on 
the two continents, and added to the principles of 
the Greenback party government ownership and 
operation of railways, the telegraph, and the tele-* 


phone. It also opposed the so-called monopoliza* 
tion of land, and commended to thoughtful con- 
sideration the legislative system known as the 
"'initiative and referendum." In that year, for the 
first time since 1800, a third party assumed such 
prominence as to cany a state in the presidential 
contest. Mr. Weaver, their nominee, cairied the 
states of G>loTado, Idaho, Kansas, and Nevada, 
and received an electoral vote in each of the states 
of North Dakota and Oregon. In 1896 the prin- 
ciples of the Populist party were regarded as so 
nearly accepted by the Democratic organization 
that its vote was cast largely with the latter party, 
although the Populists held a separate convention, 
indorsing the nomination of the Democrats for the 
presidency, but making a separate nomination for 
Vice-President, Thomas E. Watson of Geoigia, who 
received twenty-seven electoral votes. 

It must be conceded that the accomplishment 
of resumption was aided by trade conditions and 
other circumstances of the weightiest importance. 
For a long time prior to 1876 there had been an 
unfavorable balance against the United States in 
exports and imports of merchandise, and in gold as 
well. Only three years showed a preponderance of 
exports of merchandise, and that of a comparatively 
small amount. In 1876, however, there was a change. 
The enforced economy which resulted from the 
commercial depression following the crisis of 1873, 
and, not less important, the increased equipment 
for production which was the result of the great 


progressive movement prior to that year, made 
greater exportations necessary, from the standpoint 
of the consumer, and easier from the standpoint of 
the producer. The settlement of the ad verse balance 
had been made partly by loans, and partly by ex- 
ports of gold, which had been very large since 1861. 
The unfavorable balance in the movement of gold 
continued until the year 1878, when a change 
occurred and the product of our mines was retained 
at home, together with a small balance imported 
from abroad. The favorable trade balance in mei^ 
chandise, which had reached nearly $80,000,000 
in 1876, exceeded $150,000,000 in 1877, $250,000- 
000 in 1878, and $260,000,000 in 1879, the first half 
of the last-named year, or until December 31, 1878, 
the day before that fixed for resumption, surpassing 
all previous favorable records. There were abound- 
ing crops at home and a failure over large areas 

All these circumstances were at work when, at the 
end of December, 1878, there was a readiness for 
resumption. The premium on gold had steadily 
declined during the year 1878, and, for some days 
prior to the end of the year, currency and gold were 
used together interchangeably. It would, however, 
be an error to ascribe the prosperity of this time 
entirely to favorable crops and natural conditions. 
The recuperative powers of the country were very 
much stimulated by the prospect of resumption, 
which gave a more wholesome direction to trade and 


Resumption day, which, by reason of the first day 
of the New Year being Sunday, was the 2d of Janu- 
ary, 1879, was viewed with a great deal of appre- 
hension. Over against confident hope there was a 
lingering fear that unforeseen obstacles might arise. 
It had been reported, and not denied, that a pro- 
minent bank president had said he would give 
$50,000 for the privilege of standing first in the line 
at the Subtreasuiy to present greenbacks. Rumors 
were current of a combination to exhaust the gold 
supply. There were disturbing visions of a long line 
in Wall Street ready to present their greenbacks 
in exchange for gold when the doors of the Sub- 
treasury should open with the promise of redemp- 
tion. When the day came, however. Wall Street and 
the financial district were adorned with bunting as 
if a great holiday were being celebrated, or some 
notable event had given ground for rejoicing. 
Occasional dispatches were received at the Treas- 
ury Department during the day to the effect that all 
was quiet in New York. These, while they gave 
some assurance, were not accepted as absolutely 
conclusive. But at the close of business hours the 
following dispatch was received: "$135,000 of 
notes presented forcoin : $400,000 of gold fornotes.'* 
This brief message brought to the national capital 
the glad news that resumption was a triumphant 
success, for on the decisive day, instead of notes being 
presented for gold, a greater quantity of gold, or 
rather of gold certificates, had been presented for 


Immediately after resumption a change occurred, 
not only in the condition of the Treasury but in the 
financial condition of the country, with which no 
other single event in our financial history can be 
compared. It was well described by the Secretary 
himself, in his report of December, 1879: **The 
specie standard thus happUy secured has given an 
impetus to all kinds of business. Many industries, 
greatly depressed since the panic of 1873, have re- 
vived, while increased activity has been shown in 
all branches of production, trade, and commerce. 
Every preparation for resumption was accompanied 
with increased business and confidence, and its 
consummation has been followed by a revival of 
productive industry unexampled in our previous 

A most gratifying incident, as a sequel to the 
resumption of specie payments, was the action of 
the Chamber of Conmierce of New York. Early 
in 1879 this institution, which had been founded 
before the Revolution, requested that Mr. Sherman 
sit for a portrait to be placed on the walls of its 
chamber. This very complimentary invitation was 
accepted, and the portrait was placed beside that 
of Alexander Hamilton, conferring an honor which 
has been bestowed upon no other of the financiers 
of the United States. The portrait was painted by 
Daniel Huntington, president of the Academy of 
Fine Arts. 

In presenting the letter requesting leave to hang 
the portrait in the chamber. Honorable William 


E. Dodge, in addressing Mr. Sherman, said : " You 
will henceforward be known as Secretary of the 
Treasury of the United States in the second great 
epoch of the nation's financial histoiy, as one of the 
founders of the National Banking Law, as 'restorer 
of the public credit,' and the successful funder of 
the national debt. It Ls the wish of the Chamber of 
Commerce of the State of New York, as whose re- 
presentative I appear before you, that your portrait 
shall be placed side by side with that of Alexander 
Hamilton, and be conmiemorative to succeeding 
generations of the momentous events in which you 
have taken so conspicuous a part. The earlier and 
the later period will thus be brought home to the eye 
and the mind of every beholder." 

In nothing were the changed conditions, after 
resumption, more manifest than in the placing of 
loans. Almost immediately a circular was issued 
by the Department offering a four per cent, loan, 
with a commission of from one eighth to one fourth 
of one percent., graded according to the amount 
subscribed. $60,000,000 were subscribed for in two 
weeks. Demands for bonds came from all portions 
of the country and from Europe. Congress was 
asked to repeal the requirement for ninety days' 
notice in calling bonds, but neglected to act. It was 
extremely inconvenient to wait for the prescribed 
limit of calls and keep money idle while interest was 
accruing, both on the old and the new bonds, or else 
depend upon future subscriptions. If the whole 
amount subscribed for new bonds had been de- 


posited in the Treasury, to await disbursement 
when the notices matured, there would have been 
a most disastrous stringency in the money market. 
This was guarded against by keeping the payments 
with depositaries until required for redemption of 
the called bonds. 

The rapidity of the calls was so unprecedented 
that complaints from the London bondholders 
reached the ear of our consul-general at London, 
and to his mind assumed such importance that he 
made a report to the Secretary of State, Mr. Evarts. 
The dissatisfaction there was coupled with a threat 
that they would demand payment of called bonds 
'm coin. The movement of merchandise was so 
strongly in favor of this country that such a demand 
would have caused little trouble. Then, too, four per 
cents, were sold in London in such quantity as to 
prevent embarrassment. Before all five-twenty bonds ' 
had been called in, a notice was given that when the 
balance, amounting to about $88,000,000, should be 
called for, the terms of sale of four per cent, bonds 
would be less favorable to the purchaser. The 
circular issued on March 4, 1879, concluded : " This 
notice is given so that all parties wishing to subscribe 
for consols, upon the terms stated in the circular and 
contract, may have an opportunity to do so until 
the five-twenty bonds are caDed." This, as it were, 
added fuel to the flames, and there was a still more 
rapid increase in subscriptions. $473,000,000 were 
sold by March 31. Terminable options to the 
Rothschilds and foreign bankers were closed. By 


the 4th of April all of the five-twenties had been 
called. On the last day of the subscription, under 
the notice of March 4, telegrams came in such 
number that it was necessary to make an apportion- 
ment among those who desired to purchase. 

But even this remarkable achievement was 
eclipsed after a notice had been given out that bonds 
would not be sold except at a premium. On the 16th 
of April an offer was made to dispose of $150,000,- 
000 of four per cents at one half of one per cent, 
above par. This was followed by a steady stream 
of telegrams from New York, on the following day, 
all desiring to share in the distribution. The final 
surprise came with a dispatch from the First Na- 
tional Bank of New York, requesting $190,000,000; 
$150,000,000 of four per cent, bonds, and $40,- 
000,000 of refunding certificates, which, in denom- 
inations of ten dollars, had been authorized at foiu: 
per cent. This amount as transmitted was so vast 
that it was at first thought to be an error in figures. 
Secretary Sherman, departing from the convention- 
alities of official correspondence, immediately sent 
the following telegram to the bank: "Your tele- 
gram covering one hundred and ninety million con- 
sols staggers me. . . . What is the matter? Are 
you all crazy ? " It was impossible to apportion to 
this or to other banks the total amount requested. 

When the news of this great rush of subscrip- 
tions reached London, Mr. Sherman's agent, IVfr. 
Conant, sent word that the day the buUetin was 
posted on the stbck exchange people were astounded 


at the operation. United States bonds rapidly ad- 
vanced in value. 

On the 18th of April a call was made for $160,- 
000,000 of ten-forty five per cent, bonds, being all 
of such bonds outstanding except such amount as 
would be covered by the proceeds of the ten dollar 
refunding certificates. Three days later the final 
call was made for outstanding redeemable bonds. 
The total amount refunded during the first two 
years and five months of Sherman's incumbency 
as Secretary of the Treasury was $845,343,950. The 
annual interest saved was $14,290,416.50. 

With the restoration of the gold standard applica- 
tions for bonds came from all parts of the civilized 
world. Nothing could more emphatically prove 
the importance of sound money. It would be hard 
to find a single event in finance which caused a 
greater difference in the credit and financial stand- 
ing of a country than the resumption of specie pay- 
ments in the United States in 1879. 

Notwithstanding the magnificent success of 
funding operations under Secretary Sherman later 
developments, which none could have foreseen, 
give some element of alloy to the satisfaction 
aroused by it, though nothing can detract from the 
magnitude of the achievement. The credit of the 
United States improved to such a degree that later it 
was an easy matter for the government to borrow 
at rapidly diminishing rates of interest, 3f , 3, 2^, 
and finally even at 2 per cent. This reduction was 
due to a multitude of causes. The availability of 


bonds as security for national bank notes will 
always create a lai^ demand for them. The general 
tendency, too, was towards lower interest rates on 
governmental obligations everywhere. Notwith- 
standing legislation on the 'silver question, and 
repeated agitation for legislation still more objec- 
tionable, the bonds of the United States were more 
eagerly taken than those of any other country. Our 
record in funding a staggering load of obligations, 
in reducing the aggregate of indebtedness with un- 
paralleled rapidity, and in restoring gold as the 
standard of value, made a most favorable impres- 
sion. The general condition of the country was 
prosperous, and marked by constant growth in the 
utilization of abounding resources. As a result 
obligations drawing five and six per cent., and 
maturing after the close of President Hayes' admin- 
istration, were continued by the holders, first at 3^ 
per cent., and later at 3 per cent. 

There was an abundant surplus applicable for 
pajring off these bonds. For eleven years, from 1879 
to 1890, there was an excess of revenue over expend- 
itures, unprecedented in the history of any nation. 
Presidents and Secretaries of the Treasury recom- 
mended a reduction of the revenue, but nothing ef- 
fective or far-reaching was done, and there remained 
each year a large amount applicable for the extinc- 
tion of the public debt. For seven years, or until 
1886, these bonds which had been extended, and 
were redeemable at the pleasure of the government, 
were sufficient to exhaust the amount available for 


reduction of the debt, but thereafter the earliest 
securities which would be redeemable were bonds 
drawing 4^ per cent., maturing in 1891, and those 
drawing 4 percent., maturing in 1907. By this time 
both these varieties of bonds were valued at a very 
considerable premium, those drawing 4j per cent, 
reaching the figure of 114, and those drawing 4 per 
cent., 129, in the year 1886. In the four years begin- 
ning with 1888 over $50,000,000 was paid in premi- 
ums by the government in the purchase of these 
bonds. If there had been recourse to the shorter 
term bonds, running ten years, and drawing 5 per 
cent., they could have been purchased on much 
more favorable terms. No one, however, could fore- 
see that such a stupendous advance would occur 
in the credit of the United States. Until resumption 
was an assured fact it was a task of very consider- 
able difficulty to sell four per cent, bonds. In a few 
years after resumption the oldest and wealthiest 
nations of Europe were unable to borrow money at 
so cheap a rate as this country. 

In accomplishing resumption the machinery 
devised had looked to securing equality between 
paper money and gold. The maintenance of this 
equality had been much less regarded, and, after 
the Silver Bill of 1878, Congress was unwilling to 
discontinue silver coinage. In his report of 1877 
Secretary Sherman had advised a reserve of $100,- 
000,000 in coin to be used only for the redemption 
of legal-tender notes. In case of depletion of this 
reserve notes redeemed were not to be reissued until 


it was restored. He had also advised fixing the 
maxiinum of legal-tender notes at $300,000,000. 
In his report of 1878, after the amount of green- 
backs had been fixed at $346,681,016, he again 
called attention to the necessity of a reserve, and 
stated that it had become necessary to increase 
the amount of coin in the Treasury to 40% of the 
outstanding legal tenders, or approximately $188,- 
000,000. In this report he asserted the right to sell 
bonds for maintenance of the parity between gold 
and paper, after, as well as before, resumption. 
This meth6d,as outlined by him, was resorted to in 
the second administration of President Cleveland. 
Sherman strongly recommended a limitation of 
$50,000,000 in the amount of silver dollars to be 
issued, unless their coinage ratio to gold should be 

In his report of 1879 a recommendation was 
again made by the Secretary to reduce the maximum 
of greenbacks to $800,000,000, and he also raised 
the question whether the legal-tender quality ought 
not to be taken from them. He called attention to 
their convenient use ; their prompt redemption when 
presented; and their general employment in busi- 
ness transactions, because of their receipt in pay- 
ment of customs and other obligations due to the 
government, and added : 

"While these conditions are maintained, the legal- 
tender clause gives no additional credit or sanction to the 
notes, but tends to impair confidence and to create fears 
of over-issue. It would seem, therefore, that now and 


during the maintenanoe of resumption, it is a useless and 
objectionable assertion of power which Congress might 
now repeal, on the ground of expediency alone. When it is 
considered that its constitutionality is seriously contested, 
and that from its nature it is subject to grave abuse, it 
would now appear to be wise to withdraw the exercise of 
such a power, leaving it in reserve to be again resorted to 
in such a period of war or grave emergency as existed in 

In making this recommendation he did not favor 
their withdrawal from circulation, but seems to 
have considered that the removal of the legal-tender 
quality would tend to prevent derangement of the 
currency in case over-issue should be advocated or 
provided for by Act of Congress. 

In this report he again recommended a reserve 
fund, saying: "To avoid all uncertainty it is re- 
spectfully recommended that by law the resumption 
fund be specifically defined and set apart for the re- 
demption of United States notes, and that the notes 
redeemed shall only be issued in exchange for, or 
purchase of, coin or bullion." His fear was that the 
gold in the Treasury might be used in the payment 
of current expenditures, and the ability promptly to 
redeem legal tenders might thereby be threatened, 
— a fear which was afterwards realized. By the 
date of his report, in December, 1880, gold coin was 
in general circulation, and he could say, in speaking 
of gold and United States notes: "A marked pre- 
ference is shown for notes, owing to their superior 
convenience in counting and carrying." There was 
at this time a balance of $141,000,000 in the Treas- 


ury which he regarded as available for redemption. 
Congress passed no act, at this time, providing for 
a separate gold reserve, though, strangely enough, 
in the year 1882, in an act for the extension of the 
corporate existence of national banking associations, 
a section was inserted relating to gold certificates, in 
which express language was used suspending their 
issue ** whenever the amount of gold coin and gold 
bullion in the Treasury, reserved for the redemption 
of United States notes, falls below $100,000,000." 
By implication this both recognized such a reserve 
and fixed its amount at $100,000,000. 

The quantity of gold in the Treasury continued 
to be ample, at one time exceeding $300,000,000, 
and no question could be raised as to its sufficiency 
until the winter of 1892-3. The difficulties of gold 
redemption at that time will be mentioned later, 
but in tracing the history of legislation it is well to 
state that, by the Currency Act of March 14, 1900, 
a division is made between the funds in the Treasury 
available for current expenses, and those for re- 
demption of Treasury notes. This reserve consists 
of $150,000,000 in gold, and must be restored to 
that amount by the sale of one year three per cent, 
bonds whenever it falls below $100,000,000. • 

In the management of the Treasury, as a de- 
partmental organization. Secretary Sherman showed 
a skill and ability not surpassed by any one who has 
ever held the office. He had characteristic methods. 
Whenever a plurality of questions was presented he 
gave concentrated attention to the one which was 


most important, disposing of that entirely before 
taking up any other subject, not allowing himself 
to be distracted. He gave his own immediate atten- 
tion only to as many questions as he could thoroughly 
consider and solve, leaving the rest to subordinates, 
whose capabilities he carefully measured, assigning 
to them exclusively the great mass of questions 
where matters of detail only were involverf. As 
in every well-regulated executive department, the 
necessity of prompt action upon pending problems 
was strenuously insisted upon. A notable feature 
of his management of tlie Treasury was the adop- 
tion more nearly of ordinary business methods in 
dealing with outside parties. Under the Bland- 
Allison Silver Act of February 28, 1878, it was antici- 
pated that the silver dollars would be coined at the 
San Francisco Mint, as that was near to the silver- 
mines, from which very large quantities of bullion 
were annually shipped to Europe to find a market. 
The holders of silver bullion combined, and refused 
to sell silver for a less price than the current quota- 
tions in London, plus the freight from London to 
San Francisco, which would mean a very consider- 
able sum. The Secretary immediately took steps 
to provide for the coinage of silver at the Philadel- 
phia Mint, where the freight from London would 
constitute a much smaller item of expense. This 
prompt action caused the owners of silver to recede 
from their position, and sell it at the London rate, 
with a very great saving to the government. 

In selling bonds negotiations were entered into 


with syndicates tf foreign and domestic bankers^ as 
well as national banks, with a view to obtaining the 
most favorable terms for the United States. Every 
effort was made to afford the government the benefit 
oS competition among capitalists and investors. 
Then, when the immediate exigency, provisi(»i for 
resumption, was pasted, with the double object of 
securing the best rates and diffusing the loans 
popular subscriptions were invited. The result of 
this comprehensive effort to secure subscriptions 
from all sources was veiy favorable to the Treasury. 
It effected a reduction of the commission paid on 
most of the bonds from one half to one fourth of 
one per cent., and gieatly increased the number 
of investors. 

At the very beginning of die Hayes administra- 
tion the management of the custom-houses of the 
country was called in question. That in New York 
City was the most severely criticised. There was 
a prevalent impression that the office had been 
managed too much along political lines, and with 
too little regard for the collection of revenue. The 
leading officials at that port were Chester A. Arthur, 
collector, afterwards President of the United States; 
A. B. Cornell, naval officer, later Governor of the 
State of New York; and George H. Sharpe, sur- 

It was a matter of commoti notoriety that, bepn- 
ning with Jackson's administration, this ofBce had 
been a source pf great political influence. Senator 
ConkUng, when a political opponent was about to 


be appointed collector, said that he could not look 
on with indiflFerence and see an unfriendly choice 
made, because that official had it in his power to 
defeat his election. 

On April 23, 1877, a commission was appointed 
by Mr. Sherman to examine and report. Its first 
report related to the degree in which appointments 
were made upon political considerations without 
due regard to efficiency. This led to President 
Hayes' famous letter of May 26, 1877, in which he 

"It is my wish that the collection of the revenues should 
be free from partisan control, and organized on a strictly 
business basis, with the same guarantees for efficiency 
and fidelity in the selection of the chief and subordinate 
officers that would be required by a prudent merchant. 
Party leaders should have no more influence in appoint- 
ments than other equally respectable citizens. No assess- 
ments for political purposes on officers or subordinates 
should be allowed. No useless officer or employee shoul i 
be retained. No officer should be required or permitted 
to take part in the management of political organizations, 
caucuses, conventions, or election campaigns. Their right 
to vote and to express their view on public questions, 
either orally or through the press, is not denied, provided 
it does not interfere with the discharge of their official 

Secfetary Shemutn directed that further examin- 
ation be made. In a second report, dated July 4, 
1877, specific charges were made against persons 
employed in the custom-house. The conclusion 
was reached that the three officers at the head had 
couae to assume that, as appointments were made 


upon personal and partisan recommendations, they 
were in a degree relieved from responsibility for the 
exercise of the appointive power, and even for the 
management of the office. Collector Arthur re- 
ferred to ten thousand applications which had been 
made for positions, and asserted that the persons 
reconmiending them should bear their share of the 
responsibility for the character of the whole force. 
The surveyor referred to a person holding a high 
official position who had recommended the ap- 
pointment of an officer, who, as- he knew, had been 
dropped three times for cause, and who, as was 
admitted, had been engaged in defrauding the 
government. The collector, in a statement before 
the commission, in enumerating complaints against 
subordinates, said: "Some are for inefficiency, 
some are for neglect of duty, some for inebriety, 
. . . some for want of integrity, and some for accept- 
ing bribes." 

In the first and later reports, the commission re- 
commended a reduction of twenty per cent, in the 
number of persons employed, and various measures 
of reform. In detailing the results of their investiga- 
tion they said : 

"It was estimated by chiefs of departments that men 
were sent to them without brains enough to do the work, 
and that some of those appointed to perform the delicate 
duties of the appraiser's office, requiring the special qual- 
ities of an expert, were better fitted to hoe and to plow. 
Some employees were incapacitated by age, some by igno- 
rance, some by carelessness and indifference ; and parties 
thus unfitted have been appointed, not to perform routine 


duties distinctly marked, but to exercise a discretion in 
questions demanding intelligence and integrity, and in- 
volving a large amount of revenue." 

The reports showed that there was ignorance 
and incapacity, a degree and extent of carelessness 
which should not be permitted to continue. Copies 
of the reports were sent to Collector Arthur, and in 
very guarded and friendly language Mr. Sherman 
directed him to act upon them. There was for 
a time no apparent objection to carrying out the 
recommendations on the part of the collector, or any 
of those associated with him. Finally a report was 
filed, on examining which the President announced 
his desire to make a change in the three leading 
offices of the New York custom-house. In reaching 
a decision in this historic controversy he does not 
seem to have been influenced by a disposition to fill 
the offices with his friends, or to favor any faction 
in his party. He regarded it as necessary that radical 
reforms should be made in the management of 
the custom-house, and did not believe the present 
officers would make them. He, as well as Secretary 
Sherman, was convinced that a question of the 
greatest importance was involved, relating to the 
extent to which public officers should be made 
agents for political purposes. The proposed action 
of the President was submitted to the cabinet and 
cordially approved by all the members. 

Mr. Sherman concluded it was better that 
Cornell, Arthur, and Sharpe should all give way 
to new men, stating that no personal attack upoa 


General Arthur was intended, and that he hoped 
he would be recognized in a most complimentaiy 
way. It seems that he was, in fact, oflfered the 
position of consul-general to Paris. In a letter 
to Assistant Secretary McCormick, of the Treasury 
Department, who was a friend of Arthur, as well as 
of Sherman, and was selected as an intermediary 
between them, Mr. Sherman wrote, in September, 
1877: ''I want to see Arthur, and have requested 
him to come here. You can say to him that, with the 
kindest feelings, and, as he will understand when he 
sees me, with a proper appreciation of his conduct 
during the examination by the commission, there 
should be no feeling about this in New York. At all 
events, what has been done is beyond recall." 

His opim'on of the merits of the case was very 
clearly set forth in an open letter to General Arthur, 
which was given to the press in February, 1879: 

"If to secure the removal of an officer it is necessary to 
establish the actual commission of a crime by proems de- 
manded in a court of justice, then it is clear that the case 
against Mr. Arthur is not made out, especially if his 
answer is held to be conclusive without reference to the 
proofs on the public records, and tendered to the com- 
mittee of the Senate. But if it is to be held that to procure 
the removal of Mr. Arthur it is sufficient to reasonably 
establish that gross abuses of administration have con- 
tinued and increased during his incumbency; that many 
persons have been regularly paid on his roll who rendered 
little or no service; that the expenses of his office have 
increased while collections have been diminishing; that 
bribes, or gratuities in the nature of bribes, have been 
leceived by his subordinates in several branches of the 


custom-house; that efforts to correct these abuses ha^e 
not met his support, and that he has not given to the 
duties of the office the requisite diligence and attention; 
then it is submitted that the case is made out." 

Mr. Sharpe» the surveyor, withdrew his applica- 
tion for leappQintmeaty and on the d4th of October, 
1877, the Resident sent to the Senate, at the special 
session, the nouiinations of successors to all three 
of the leading o£Bcials of the custom-house. Each 
of these nominations was rejected five days later. 
December 6« at the regular session, the nominations 
were repeated. Those for collector and naval 
ofBcer were again rejected; while Edwin A. Merritt 
was confirmed as surveyor, on the 16th ct December. 
It was the opinion of Mr. Sherman, and the friends 
of President Hayes, that the resistance to confirma- 
tion came from Mr. Conkling, and was prompted by 
regard for his personal prerogatives as Senator, and 
his opposition to the prindples of civil service. The 
objection on his part seems to have been even greater 
than that of the oflicials removed. 

Mr. Arthur remained in office until the 11th day 
of July, 1878, when commissions were given to 
Edwin A. Merritt as collector, and Silas W. Burt 
as naval officer. Mr. Sherman had definitely made 
up his mind that he would resign if these nomina- 
tions were not confirmed. When the Senate met, 
in the following December, he brought to bear upon 
senators the full force of his personal infiuence for 
confirmation, using arguments of political expedi- 
ency, as well Its the efficiency of the service, and 


seeking to show that if the restoration of Arthur 
should be insisted upon, the whole liberal element 
would turn against the Republican party. After 
a heated debate of more than seven hours, in which 
Conkling is said to have used the expression '^this 
man Hayes," as applied to the President, the nomi- 
nations were confirmed. 

Mr. Sherman has naturally been very much 
criticised for accepting an invitation in the follow- 
ing autumn from General Arthur, as chairman of 
the Republican State Committee, to take part in 
the New York campaign and advocate the election 
of Mr. Cornell, one of the officials removed, as 
governor. It was certainly an indication of his 
strong partisanship and of the intensity of political 
contests during that period. When his course was 
questioned he wrote : " We must carry New York 
next year (that is, 1880), or see all the results of 
the war overthrown, and the constitutional amend- 
ments absolutely nullified. We cannot do this if our 
friends defeat a Republican candidate for gov- 
ernor, fairly nominated, and against whom there 
are no substantial charges affecting his integrity." 

His personal opinion of Arthur does not seem 
to have been a favorable one. When he was nomi- 
nated for Vice-President, in 1880, Sherman wrote to 
a personal friend : " The nomination of Arthur is a 
ridiculous burlesque, and I am afraid was inspired 
by a desire to defeat the ticket. He never held an 
office except the one he was removed from. His 
nomination attaches to the ticket all the odium of 


machine politics, and will greatly endanger the 
success of Garfield. I cannot but wonder why a 
convention, even in the heat and hurry of closing 
scenes, could make such a blunder." 



The administration of President Hayes, with which 
Mr. Sherman was more closely identified than with 
any other administration, and in which he was most 
influential, brought no popularity to the incum- 
bent, but was well adapted to bring success to his 
party. Hayes had entered upon the duties of the 
office under a serious handicap, because his title had 
been called in question. At the outset he alienated 
miany men who were extremely influential in his 
party, and who under the presidency of General 
Grant had exercised an almost controlling influence. 
The Stalwart element of the party was offended be- 
cause it was alleged he had made an abject surren- 
der of the state governments in the South, and yet 
the Southern question had been settled in a manner 
which, while unsatisfactory to many, was recognized 
as the only way. Compulsion by the national ad- 
ministration in the affairs of states could not be 
exerted indefinitely over part of the country. 

Financial questions of the greatest difficulty arose. 
Labor riots of the most serious nature marked the 
first year of his administration. But resumption 
had been acccomplished. There was universal 


prosperity, and the numerous and influential con- 
servative element preferred a continuance in power 
of the party in control. A stem rebuke had been 
given to corrupt practices, and the misuse of patron- 
age for political advantage. It was conceded that 
great advancement had been made in the standard 
of eflSciency in the public service. Withal, there 
was a potent influence to decrease the bitterness of 
party feeling which had been so manifest for many 
years preceding, and to give to his administration 
the respect and support of a united country. In 
his inaugural address he had furnished the key-note 
of his policy in saying : " Let me assure my country- 
men of the Southern States that it is my earnest 
desire to regard and promote their truest interests, 
— the interests of the white and of the colored 
people, both and equally, — and to put forth my 
best efforts in behalf of a civil policy which will 
forever wipe out in our civil affairs the color-line 
and the distinction between North and South, to the 
end that we may have, not merely a united North 
or a united South, but a united country." 

President Hayes had announced, in the cam- 
paign of 1876, that he would not be a candidate for 
a second term. President Garfield was elected in 
1880 by a safe majority. For the first time since 
187S a Republican majority was chosen in the 
House of Representatives. The Senate had an equal 
number of Republicans and Democrats, with one 
so-called Independent, David Davis of Illinois, and 
one Readjuster, William Mahone of Virginia. 


Mr. Shennan was frequently named for contin- 
uance in the position of Secretary of the Treasury, 
and at one time it was anticipated that he would be 
invited to remain in President Garfield's Cabinet. 
This retention did not seem entirely agreeable to 
Mr. Blaine, who was to be Secreti^ry of State. It 
was urged as a substantial objection to Sherman's 
appointment that the continuance of but one mem- 
ber of the Cabinet of Mr. Hayes in that of his suc- 
cessor would be interpreted as a slight upon the rest, 
and would give offense, particularly since Sherman 
and Garfield were from the same state. Mr. Sher- 
man himself recognized the force of this objection. 
His correspondence at the time reveals that he pre- 
ferred the Senate in any event. Early in January, 
1881, he was unanimously renominated for that 
position by the caucus of Republican members 
of the Ohio Legislature, and his election followed 
a few days later. 

It must be admitted that his election to the Senate 
on this occasion was an indication of great good 
fortune. In 1877 he had resigned his position in 
that body to assume the duties of Secretary of the 
Treasury. The Legislature of Ohio which would 
have chosen his successor, had he continued in the 
Senate, was elected that same year and was more 
strongly Democratic than any legislature elected 
in that state since the formation of the Republican 
party. George H. Pendleton, a Democrat, was 
chosen Senator. Another Senator would be chosen 
by the legislature elected in 1879. By this time a 


very strong sentiment had crystallized in favor of 
Mr. Garfield for the position. It was demanded 
as a fitting tribute to his ability and public service, 
and as a recognition of the Western Reserve which 
had been giving large Republican majorities for 
many years. There was a Republican legislature, 
and Mr. Garfield was chosen senator in January, 
1880, for the term of six years beginning March 
4, 1881. But in the presidential convention at 
Chicago, in June, 1880, he was nominated for the 
presidency and elected in the following November. 
In the mean time a strong movement had been 
initiated in the state to send Governor Foster, or 
some Republican other than Mr. Sherman, to the 
Senate. His commanding position, however, and 
his great service to the state and to the country 
received such recognition that, after considerable 
discussion, all other persons whose names were 
mentioned for the senatorship were compelled to 
step aside, and he was elected with the cordial 
cooperation of all the other candidates. 

Mr. Sherman resigned his position as Secretary 
of the Treasury on the 3d of March, 1881, and 
assumed his duties in the Senate on the following 
day. This was the beginning of another period of 
service in the Senate of equal duration with that 
preceding his assumption of the position of Secre- 
tary of the Treasury, each continuing for sixteen 

The name of Mr. Sherman was presented to the 
Republican National Convention as a candidate 


for the presidency in each of the years 1880, 1884, 
and 1888. For a time his chances of success seemed 
very favorable in the j'ear 1880. There was a bitter 
contest between the supporters of Mr. Blaine and 
those of ex-President Grant. It was Mr. Sherman's 
opinion at first that Grant would be nominated. 
But as the time drew near he became convinced 
that such a nomination would be disastrous to the 
party, and, though personally friendly, he earnestly 
opposed his selecticm. The strength of his own 
chances lay in a probable deadlock between the 
supporters of Grant and Blaine. Those who favored 
Grant were in control of the National Committee, 
and thus of the preliminary organizati<m, but the 
claims of c<Mitesting delegates were so carefully 
weighed •and so well supported by friends of the 
opposing candidates that no advantage seems to 
have been derived from that fact. 

A contest arose over the so-caUed "\Jnit Rule." 
The friends of Grant, actuated in a measure by the 
situation in New York, where a minority of the 
delegates favored Blaine, desired a rule compelling 
each state to vote as a unit in accordance with the 
wish of the majority. This rule Mr. Sherman had 
strenuously opposed, and continued to oppose, until 
the time of the convention, even though it might 
cost him the nomination. The friends of Mr. Blaine 
also arrayed themselves against it. A report on the 
subject was presented by Mr. Garfield, opposing 
the unit rule. The latter's remarks on presenting 
this report gave him a very prominent position 


before the convention, as did also his further ap- 
pearance in opposition to a iiescdution of Senator 
Conkling's, proposing to exclude three del^ates 
for voting against a resolution expressing the sense 
of the convention that every member of it was bound 
in honor to support its nominee. Garfield's speech, 
nominating Sherman for the presidency, added 
greatly to the favorable impression which he had 
already made. On the first baUot Grant received 
804 votes, Blaine 284, and Sherman was third with 
93. A contest of unprecedented length ensued, in 
which many efforts were made to break the dead- 
lock. At one time Mr. Sherman's vote reached 120. 
On the sixth day, after thirty-five ineifectual ballots, 
Mr. Garfield was nominated, receiving nearly all 
the votes theretofore cast for Mr, Sherman and Mr. 
Blaine, as well as those for two or three minor 

Ten of the forty-four delegates from his own 
state, from the first, steadily refused to join with the 
rest in supporting Mr. Sherman. Their stubborn- 
ness, in his opinion, not only made his nomination 
impossible, but also prevented the remaining 
thirty-four delegates from voting for Mr. Blaine, 
whom Sherman and his friends very much pre- 
ferred to Grant as the nominee. Had these thirty- 
four turned to Blaine, his nomination would have 
been probable. This convention undoubtedly 
caused a great deal of disappointment and heart- 
burning on the part of Mr. Sherman. He often 
declared that he would have fared better had he 


made no effort for the nomination, and regretted 
that he did not maintain a waiting attitude. At 
first he had absolutely declined to be a candidate, 
stating, in response to letters of numerous friends, 
in 1878 and 1879, that a sufficient demand for him 
as a presidential candidate had not developed to 
justify his entering the contest. A suspicion was 
entertained by many that Mr. Garfield, who at- 
tended the convention under instructions to vote 
for Mr. Sherman and was himself nominated for 
President, and Grovemor Charles Foster of Ohio, 
who was also a leading Sherman supporter, did not 
give him cordial support. Sherman, after careful 
examination, clearly absolved Garfield. He was 
more doubtful in regard to Foster, with whom his 
relations had been extremely friendly. Whatever 
distrust, however, he may have entertained with 
reference to him was entirely removed and for 
many years they continued to be close friends. 

In 1884 his support was comparatively small, at 
no time reaching the full vote from his own state. 
Just as in 1880 he had been strongly opposed to 
Grant, so in 1884 he was equally opposed to Arthur. 

Four years later, in 1888, his candidacy assumed 
larger proportions than ever before, and for a time 
previous to the meeting of the convention at Chi- 
cago, it seemed as if he would be nominated. In the 
balloting he received twice as many votes as any 
of his competitors, on the first two ballots, and the 
largest vote for six ballots. An unusual number of 
favorite sons appeared in this contest, and scattered 


a vote of which otherwise he would no doubt have 
received a considerable share, although there was 
a disposition inimical to him in several large dele- 
gations, notably that of the State of New York. 
At this convention the delegation from Ohio was, 
for the first time, unanimous for him. There were, 
however, rumors of lack of cordiality on the part of 
some leading members of the delegation which did 
much to diminish support from other states. The 
nomination of Harrison was entirely satisfactory 
to him. On this occasion he was strongly opposed 
to the nomination of Mr. Blaine, to whose selection 
he had been reconciled in 1884. 

The quality of Sherman's support was much to 
his credit in each of the conventions named. Theo- 
dore Roosevelt, then a young man, for the first 
time a delegate to a National Convention, wrote 
him from New York, July 12, 1884: "I have only 
to regret that my efforts to transfer the various 
* d^rk horse ' and * favorite son ' votes to yourself 
were not successful; you would have received the 
most cordial and hearty support from all Republi- 
cans, and I should have been proud indeed could 
I have assisted in bringing about your nomination.'* 

After the convention of 1888, in response to a 
letter of congratulation sent by Sherman to Mr. 
Harrison, the latter wrote that he had been saying 
to those who had asked him whether he had heard 
from Sherman: 

''Have no concern about him. His congratulations 
and assurances of support will not be withheld, and they 


will not be leas siiioere than the earlier and more demon- 
strative expressions from other friends." . . . 

He added: 

" You will recaU our last conversation at Pittsbui^, in 
which I very sincerely assured you that, except for the 
situation in our state, my name would not be presented 
at Chicago in competition with yours. I have always said 
to all friends that your equipment for the presidency was 
so ample, and your services to the party so great, that I 
felt there was a sort of inappropriateness in passing you 
by for any of us. I absolutely forbade my friends making 
any attempts upon the Ohio delegation, and sent word 
to an old army comrade in the delegation that I hoped 
that he would stand by you to the end. I shall very much 
need your advice and assistance, for I am an inexperi- 
enced politician, as well as statesman." 

On reviewing, however, his own record and the 
political conditions of the time, it does not seem 
strange that Sherman did not obtain the nomina- 
tion on either occasion. His claims in 1880 were 
very strong because his name was more prpmi- 
nently associated than that of any other with the 
notable prosperity of that year; but his career, then 
and later, was not of that type which appeals most 
strongly to popular enthusiasm. He suffered es- 
peciaUy from the disadvantage of having taken a 
pronounced stand upon numerous questions about 
which the electorate were divided in their opinions. 
This disadvantage has proved fatal to the presiden- 
tial aspirations of several leading An^ricans. In 
addition to this handicap there was no great issue, 
suited to awaken general acclaim, in which he had 


borne the leading part. He had been engaged in 
managing the government finances. He had taken 
a prominent part in keeping down appropriations. 
While strong friends had been made by his achieve- 
ments in these directions enemies equally bitter had 
arisen. The issues which sway the multitude are 
those of a sentimental nature. Many of those most 
strongly allied to him were men who did not take 
any active part in politics. Those who met at presi* 
dential conventions, and discussed the question of 
availability, with a supreme desire for party success, 
conceded his fitness and his service to the party and 
the country, but thought him not sufilciently mag- 
netic to attract the masses. 

Ever since the Civil War the Republican party 
has shown a partiality for soldier candidates, for 
every one of its nominees for the presidency, with 
the exception of Mr. Blaine, had a military record. 
First there was Grant, the most commanding mili- 
tary figure of the Civil War. Next, Hayes was nom- 
inated, a brave and successful soldier, the colonel 
of a regiment which has the unexampled record 
of having furnished two Presidents of the United 
States as well as one Justice of the Supreme Court. 
Then there was Garfield. His military service, 
showing bravery in action and great readiness in 
acquiring the details of military science, was of the 
best, and would be much more commented upon 
had not his civil career eclipsed his military record. 
Then came Harrison, who had risen at a compara- 
tively early age to the position of brigadier-general. 


Last of the Army of the Union was McKinley, in 
whom recognition was given to a class who entered 
into the struggle when mere boys, and showed that 
youth was no barrier to the development of sol- 
dierly qualities. Still later the well-known service 
of Roosevelt in the Spanish-American War gave to 
him an added element of strength as a candidate, 
because the people recognized in him a proof that 
the martial spirit was not yet dead and that prowess 
in war meant courage and aggressiveness in peace. 
It has been frequently said that Mr. Sherman 
was an adroit politician, a word which, as com- 
monly used, is difficult to define. It is considered 
that one characteristic of the skillful politician is the 
ability to forecast the future by shrewdly interpret- 
ing the tendency of pending events, and to judge 
of the probable bearing upon public opinion of 
measures which are suggested. In this regard Mr. 
Sherman was certainly a very able politician. He 
had unusual astuteness in determining the reception 
which would be given to policies adopted. He was 
in no danger of pitfalls because of a failure to 
recognize the bearing of events of to-day upon the 
opinions of to-morrow. There is more than this, 
however, in the equipment of the most successful 
politician. He must be familiar with the machinery 
of party organization and the methods by which a 
guiding influence is impressed upon public opinion. 
He must be in touch with the men who are instru- 
ments, if not in controlling, at least in expressing, 
the wishes of the people. In this particular Sherman 


was entirely without aptitude. His thought was of 
principles and policies, rather than of men ; of the 
aggregate, made up of all the people, rather than of 
individuals. To him men who were intrusted with 
the administration of affairs were merely the agents 
of the people in great public movements. His lack 
of the faculty for remembering names and faces was 
also in a practical way a serious drawback. People 
thought him unappreciative and cold. The modem 
hustler so-called may be more drawn to a public 
man by one moment's personal recognition than 
by the history of a lifetime of statesmanlike achieve- 
ment; to him the substance of political action is the 
noise and hurrah of a campaign, and he cannot 
appreciate a man of grave mien, who busies himself 
with seemingly useless abstractions and studies of 
a kind to prevent him from displaying affability. 

The second period of sixteen years of Mr. Sher- 
man's service in the Senate was strongly in contrast 
with the first. It was an era of quietness and peace, 
as compared with the bustle and conflict of his 
earlier years. The bitter controversies of recon- 
struction were passed. Financial questions assumed 
a predominance. There was no lack of bitter party 
controversy, or even of sectional differences, but the 
tariff and other economic questions were coming 
to the forefront. During these sixteen years, in four 
only did one political party control the executive 
department as well as a majority in both Houses 
of Congress; from 1889 to 1891 the Republicans 
controlled the executive as well as the legislative 


branch, and from 1893 to 1895 the Democrats like- 
wise. Partisan legislation was for this reason, dur- 
ing most of the time, impossible, and even during 
these four years the party majorities were so narrow 
that no extreme measures could be adopted. The 
country was prosperous in the main until 1893, 
although for two or three years after 1882 unfavor- 
able conditions caused a decrease of general pros- 
perity, and alternations of activity and dullness were 
so frequent as to cause sharp distress. Whatever 
may have been true in regard to individual pros- 
perity for the first eight years and more after 
1881, the fiscal history of the government was a mar' 
vel. Instead of the question, how to raise revenue, 
the difficult problem was how to dispose of it. 

Mr. Sherman's position in the Senate was also 
a different one. During his incumbency in the 
Treasury he lost his priority on the Conmiittee 
on Finance. Mr. Morrill became chairman, with 
Sherman as the second member. This imposed 
upon him much less responsibility in the labor of 
framing and presenting measures. There was no 
decline, however, in his standing among his col- 
leagues. In the 49th Congress, from 1885 to 1887, 
he was chosen as president pro tempore of the 
Senate. He was now regarded with a most unusual 
degree of deference because of his knowledge and 
experience, and was considered as speaking with an 
authority on financial and many other questions 
such as had rarely belonged to any one in the history 
of the Senate. The untimely death of Garfield, in 


September, 1881, brought to the presidential chair 
a man with whom his relations were not friendly ; 
but some of his ablest efforts were in support of 
Arthur's administration. During these first eight 
years of his second period of service in the Senate 
it must be acknowledged that he did not accom- 
plish as much in constructive statesmanship as in 
other years of his career, although he was active, 
and in the prime of his intellectual ability. 

There was little currency legislation in the eight 
years from 1881 to 1889. 

^the charters of the national banks would have 
commenced to expire in 1882. A bill was introduced 
in the winter of 1881-2 providing for an extension 
of twenty years. This measure afforded opportunity 
to all opponents of the system to offer amendments 
restricting its powers or changing the form of organ- 
ization. The changes made, however, were not 
important, nor was the opposition so formidable 
as had been anticipated. 

It was provided that not more than $3,000,000 
worth of circulation could be withdrawn in any 
one month. At first this amount seemed to all 
a liberal margin, but after a few years nearly the 
maximum amount was withdrawn each month. 
The banks were to take as the security for their 
circulation three per cent, bonds in exchange for 
those bearing three and one half per cent. Silver 
certificates were made available for reserves, and 
national banks were forbidden to belong to a clear- 
ing-house where silver certificates were not taken 


in payment of balances. With these amendments the 
bill became a law in July, 1882. A few years later 
Senator Sherman advocated authorizing the banks 
to increase their issues of notes to one hundred per 
cent, of bonds held by them, instead of ninety per 
cent., but this change in the law was not accom- 
plished until March 14, 1900. 

With the increasing price of bonds the circulation 
of the national banks became unprofitable, and after 
reaching its maximum amount of $356,953,345 at 
the end of November, 1881, constantly, though 
irregularly, fell oflf until 1891, when it was less 
than half that amount, the bonds securing the 
notes having been sold. The decrease was especially 
laige after 1886. There was general acquiescence 
in the continuance of greenbacks, at the amount 
fixed by the Act of 1878. 

The agitation for the larger use of silver con- 
tinued, notwithstanding repeated adverse recom- 
mendations by Secretaries of the Treasury of both 
political parties, and requests that the coinage be 
suspended. Under the Bland-Allison Act, pro- 
viding for the coinage of not less than $2,000,000 
worth per month, the silver dollars accumulated 
much more rapidly than the withdrawal of na- 
tional bank notes, so that the increase in the amount 
of silver money in circulation, as represented by 
silver dollars and certificates, from March, 1881, 
when Secretary Sherman left the Treasury, to July, 
1890, when the Silver Purchase Iaw was passed, was 
close to $300,000,000. Much the larger portion was 


lepresented by certificates. The increase in the cir- 
culation of gold, including gold certificates, in the 
same time was over $220,000,000. The net increase 
in all forms of money was nearly $360,000,000. 
This would seem to have been ample to provide 
for the growing demands of business, especially 
when it is taken into account that substitutes for 
money were more and more coming into use. 

The diflBculty in obtaining a circulation for 
silver was sought to be remedied by legislation in 
two ways, — first by the provision of 1882, and 
again in 1886 and later years, providing an appro- 
priation for the transportation of silver coin, and 
authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to trans- 
port it free of charge when requested to do so, pro- 
vided an equal amount of coin or currency should 
be deposited by the applicant. Despite this effort, 
by the year 1890 the total amount of silver dollars 
in circulation among the people was less than 
$60,000,000. A second effort was made under the 
Act passed in 1886, providing for the issuance of 
silver certificates in denominations of one, two, and 
five dollars. Ten dollars had been the minimum 
denomination. In accordance with the policy pro- 
moted by this Act, the smaller legal-tender notes 
were retained in tne Treasury with a view to forcing 
silver, or silver certificates, into circulation. The 
great demand for smaller denominations of bills 
made this attempt notably successful. In the with- 
drawal of national bank notes from circulation, 
many bills of smaller denominations were included. 



Mr. Sherman, in his last reports as Secretary of 
the Treasuiy, had pointed out the serious danger 
from further coinage of silver dollars. The evib 
which he portrayed did not occur until later, by 
reason of the exceptional conditions refeired to, 
which at the time he could not have foreseen. It was 
also true that, in the great prosperity which f dlowed 
resumption, there was a much greater demand fo^ 
currency. This was especially true in the year 

From 1881 to 188d the reduction of the national 
debt proceeded with great rapidity. Only one law 
of special importance relating to loans was passed, 
and that was part of the National Banking Act of 
July, 1882, authorizing the issue of 3 % bonds in 
place of the bonds extended at 8j %, for which 
Secretary Windom had made provision without 
legislative authority. As an inducement to take 
these the Act provided that they should not be 
called for redemption so long as any bonds drawing 
a higher rate of interest were redeemable. This 
would retain them in the hands of investors until 
all the Si % bonds were called. It was not antici- 
pated at this time that the surplus revenue would 
be so large, or that these bonds would be called 
so rapidly. Mr. Sherman had introduced a bill pro- 
viding for $200,000,000 of 8 % bonds, redeemable 
after five years, with the thought of paying oflF the 
balance of those drawing 3j %. He said: **If we 
sell our three per cent, bonds at par, we do better 
than any country in the world has done." His 


remarks show how little the excellent credit of the 
country was realized. With no definite tertQi 8 % 
bonds to the amount of $280,000,000 were issued in 
place of three and one half per cents in less than ^ix 
months. Between 1881 and 1889 there was a reduc- 
tion in the public debt considerably in excess of 
$400,000,000. Bonds extended at 8^ % were all 
paid off. The three per cents were also paid, and 
the question had arisen of the policy of buying four 
per cents at the prevailing premium, which was 
25 % or more* 

The revenue during this period, so far as legisla- 
tion is concerned, was only affected by the Act of 
1883. In both sessions of the Forty-seventh Con- 
gress the questions of tariff and revenue aroused 
veiy considerable discussion. In the first session, 
beginning in December, 1881, Mr. Sherman urged 
a reduction of taxes, and a revision of tariff to meet 
changed conditions. He argued that an industrial 
revolution had occurred in the preceding twenty 
years, and, while many duties could be lowe];pd, 
that prices were low, and in some cases duties should 
be increased. He advocated the selection of a com- 
mission to report, and urged that the revision should 
be such as would reduce taxation. His course with 
reference to the pending bill. was consistent with 
his record at all times. He said : 

"The only pertinent question involved in this bill is 
whether it is best to organize a commission of experts, 
not members of Congress, to examine the whole subject 
and to report such facts and information to Congress as 


the commission can gather, or whether the propoi^ re- 
vision should be made directly, without the delay of a 
commission, by the aid of committees of Congress and the 
officers of the government familiar with the workings of 
the customs laws. It does seem to me that to decide this 
question, we need no long arguments about protection or 
free trade, watch-words of opposing schools of political 
economy, nor does it seem to me that the political bear- 
ings of the tariff question are involved when we all agree 
that the tariff ought to be revised, and are now only find- 
ing out the best way to get at it. . . . The only mitigation 
of my desire for a prompt revision of the tariff is the con- 
fidence I have that delay and discussion will make the 
sectional revolution more thorough and universal, and 
leave the tariff question a purely business, and not a polit- 
ical or sectional issue." 

The legislation which was enacted during this 
Congress was the result of a great deal of confusion, 
and of questionable parliamentary procedure. The 
first measure discussed in the Senate was one for 
the creation of a tariff commission. The first 
measure introduced in the House was one for 
the^ reduction of internal revenue taxation. This 
passed the House at the first session, but was not 
debated in the Senate, although it was reported 
with provisions for changes in the tariff duties on 
sugar, and an increase of the duties on certain 
forms of iron. In the mean time the bill for a tariff 
commission passed both Houses, and a commission 
of nine members had been appointed, the members 
of which were ordered to report, with printed 
copies of the testimony, not later than the first day 
of the following, or short session. The report of the 


commission favored lower duties, advising a reduc- 
tion averaging 25 %. 

Early in the second session, beginning in Decem- 
ber, 1882, the Senate took up the Internal Revenue 
Bill passed by the House in the preceding session, 
and concluded to add amendments revising the 
tariff. The Bill was discussed there at great length. 
A great contrariety of opinion appeared, there being 
few consistent advocates of a general policy of 
either high or low duties. At last a bill was passed 
which showed a tendency toward lower duties, 
some of those fixed in the bill being at a lower rate 
than those suggested by the commission. The 
protectionist sentiment in the House, where there 
had been much discussion on the subject, but no 
action had been taken, was much stronger than in 
the Senate. Acting upon the theory that the House 
must initiate revenue legislation, it had been the 
expectation that before any final measure should be 
adopted it should first be passed by the House, and 
then considered by the Senate, but the session was 
nearing its close, and, with a desire to pass some 
measure reducing taxation, every effort was made 
to accomplish something. It was arranged that the 
Senate Bill should be brought up in the House, and, 
without discussion, disagreed to, so that it might be 
considered in conference. This virtually left the 
framing of a revenue measure to a conference com- 
mittee, which reported an agreement only trv^o days 
before the close of the session. In the House the 
strongest protectionists voted against the measure 


a3 reported by the conference committee, among 
them Mr. McKinley of Ohio. This raised the duties 
on a number of articles above those ot the Senate 
Bill, and in some instances even above rates which 
the House had shown a willingness to accept. The 
duties on the more expensive grades of woolen 
goods were raised, though on the more common 
grades they were lowered. It must be said, how- 
ever, that the former were more largely imported. 
The duty on raw wool was slightly lowered. In this 
respect the wish of the woolen manufacturers was 
more favorably regarded than that of the wool- 
growers. The same general course was adopted 
with reference to cotton cloths. The ai^ument was 
made, in the case of both kinds of cloth, that the 
general consumer, the man of limited means, would 
obtain advantage from the Bill. The duty on iron 
ore was raised, while on pig-iron, steel rails, copper, 
nickel, and marble it was lowered. 

The Bill, as passed, abolished internal revenue 
taxes on many articles, and greatly reduced those on 
others, especially upon some forms of tobacco. Tariff 
duties were materially changed. Reductions were 
made on a larger number of items, but upon those 
of which the values of importations were largest the 
rates were retained or raised, so that as a result 
the average percentage collected on dutiable im- 
ports was, after a short interval, slightly increased. 
As a measure for the reduction of taxation or of the 
surplus, it was not successful. The income from 
customs and internal revenue, after touching a low- 


water mark in 1885, increased rapidly, resulting in 
a veiy laige surplus and creating further embar- 

The Tariff Act of 1883 exhibited to an exceptional 
extent the lack of any logical principle or uniform 
rules. Senator Sherman was wont to say afterwards 
that he regretted he had not defeated it. A change 
of his vote in the Senate would have prevented its 
passage, as it prevailed by a majority of only one; 
but he was of the opinion that if it had been defeated 
the questions involved would not have been settled 
for many years. It is evident that he voted for this 
Bill with great reluctance, and only because he re- 
garded the necessity for reducing taxes as urgent. 
In his judgment this Act laid the foundation for 
serious tariff complications. On the other hand 
divers forms of internal revenue taxation were abol- 
ished and the law was made to conform to the idea 
which he had upheld for many years, limiting these 
taxes practically to spirits and tobacco. The tax 
of one per cent, per annum on bank circulation was 
retained, while that on capital and deposits was 
repealed. The growth of the country, however, 
was such that even with the diminished number of 
objects of taxation receipts from internal revenue 
increased after a brief interval of two years. 

In this decade there was a notable increase in 
the consideration of the tariff as compared with 
purely financial questions. In the succeeding 
Congress, the second during Arthur's administra- 
tion, as well as in the two 0)ngresses under Cleve- 


land's administration, there were repeated discus- 
sions on the subject. Bills were introduced, but 
failed of passage in either House until, in 1888, 
the so-called Mills Bill, making extensive reductions 
in the tariff, passed the House, but failed in the 
Senate. Party lines, in the mean time, were drawn 
more strictly, and in 1888 the question of tariff 
was beyond doubt the paramount issue in the 
presidential campaign. 

O^ngress enacted many important laws between 
1881 and 1889 on subjects both political and non- 
political. Senator Sherman made a record on nearly 
all of these great questions, some of which are still 
burning issues before the people. While some of his 
utterances did not show mature consideration, he 
brought to bear upon all a high grade of statesman- 
ship and a wise forecast of the probable results of 
the measures which were pending. 

His colleague, Mr. Pendleton, in the winter of 
1882-3, presented a Civil Service Bill. Mr. Sherman 
took strong ground in favor of selections for minor 
offices by general laws, and by some mode of exam- 
ination. He opposed the customary interference 
by members of Congress, saying that it was " not 
only demoralizing, but humiliating," and referred 
to his record in voting, years before, for a law for- 
bidding, under severe penalties, any member of 
Congress applying to any department of the gov- 
ernment for an appointment. This Bill had been 
introduced by Mr. Trumbull, then a Senator from 
Illinois. During the discussion Mr. Sherman said: 


** I believe that members of Congress when they are 
compelled by public sentiment, or by the common 
custom of the country, or by the expectation of their 
constituents, to apply to the departments for minor 
offices, abandon the duties which are imposed upon 
them, and interfere with duties which are expressly 
imposed by the Constitution upon the heads of 
departments and the courts of law." While calling 
attention to the fact that senators were made by the 
Constitution a part of the appointing power, he 
added : " The evil of the civil service occurs in the 
filling of subordinate offices." He advocated guard- 
ing the power of removal, the abuse of which he said 
was that which ought to be most guarded against. 
He favored some limitation of the term of office, and 
tests of efficiency. He nevertheless opposed a law 
imposing a penalty on any clerk or employee of the 
government who made a voluntary contribution for 
political purposes, although favoring severe pen- 
alties for coercion. In speaking on this Bill Mr. 
Sherman took a strong stand in favor of an amend- 
ment introduced by Senator Blair of New Hamp- 
shire, providing that no person should be appointed 
who habitually used intoxicating liquors. 

The Civil Service Law passed by a decisive vote, 
only five voting against it in the Senate as against 
thirty-eight in its favor. It became a law on the 
16th of January, 1883. By this Act the Civil Service 
Commission was constituted. Specified classes of 
employees were to be designated for selection accord- 
ing to the law, and authority was given to each of 


the heads of departments, at the direction of the 
President, to revise or extend the classification. 
A period of probation was prescribed before any 
absolute appointment. Appointments were appor- 
tioned among the several states, examinations pro- 
vided, contributions for political purposes dis- 
countenanced, and their solicitation in any room 
or building occupied in the discharge of official 
duties, or their payment to any official in the service 
of the United States, or to any senator or congress- 
man, was prohibited. The recommendation of a 
senator or representative could not be considered 
except as to the character or residence of the appli- 

During the pendency of the Blair Educational 
Bill, proposing appropriations by the federal govern- 
ment for the aid of common schools, the amounts 
to be apportioned among the states according to 
the number of inhabitants of the age of ten years or 
over who could not write, Sherman at first violently 
opposed the proposition. In 1871, in a discussion on a 
bill adding to the number of clerks in the Bureau of 
Education, he had expressed himself against educa- 
tion at the expense of the national government, and 
had said : ** If the states are good for anything at all, 
if they are to have any powers whatever, they must 
have the charge and custody of the children, and the 
charge of the domestic relations of life." In changing 
his views upon the Blair Bill he was perhaps influ- 
enced by the development of illiteracy in the Southern 
States and the condition of the newly enfranchised 


colored voters. He gave his support to the measure, 
but insisted that illiteracy, which was to be made the 
basis in the distribution of the proposed appropria- 
tions, should be determined according to those of 
school age, and that the federal government should 
retain a general supervision over the expenditure, 
so as to see that the money was properly expended ; 
also that the appropriations should be for common 
schools only which were non-sectarian in character. 
This measure, which would have imposed so great 
a burden and so much responsibility upon the 
central government, passed the Senate by a vote of 
33 to 11, but was not even considered in the House. 
In April, 1882, he expressed his intention to vote 
for the repeal of section 1218 of the Revised Statutes 
which excluded persons who had been engaged in 
the rebellion from senang in the army. He also 
said that he would vote to repeal all provisions 
of law in regard to the Test Oath, and be liberal in 
the interpretation of the third clause of the Four- 
teenth Amendment. Nevertheless he said that he 
did this with the firm conviction that these acts when 
passed were all wise measures. He gave as the his- 
tory of the Test Oath that it was adopted in the midst 
of war with the intention of guarding the House and 
Senate from the admission of persons who would 
take the oath of office and then violate it, — which 
one man had done, on the Fourth of July, 1861, and 
then, within a month, engaged in armed rebellion. 
He said he saw no occasion for keeping the law on 
the statute-book, when it had served its purpose; 


and the same was true with regard to the law ex- 
cluding from the Army of the United States those 
who had participated in the rebellion. 

The most bitter political controversy in which he 
took part was that arising in Januaiy, 1884, when 
he proposed an investigation of election methods 
in the States of Virginia and Mississippi. His 
resolution for the investigation was adopted and he 
took a prominent part in the examination of wit- 
nesses. In the discussion of the subject he expressed 
decided views upon the right and obligation of the 
national government to interfere. He said: "The 
war emancipated and made citizens of five million 
people who had been slaves. This was a national 
act, and, whether wisely or imprudently done, it 
must be respected by the people of all the states." 
He contended that the fact that the elections were 
not national had no bearing upon the case, and that 
if the essential rights of citizenship were denied by 
any state the national government must exhaust 
every means in its power to safeguard those rights. 
He added: ** Protection at home in the secure 
enjoyment of the rights of person and property is 
the foundation of all human government, without 
which its forms are a mockery, and with which 
mere forms of government become a matter of 
indiflFerence. Protection goes with allegiance, and 
allegiance ceases to be a duty when protection is 

Another political controversy arose in the Senate, 
two years later, in regard to the election of his col- 


league, Henry B. Payne, as United States Senator 
from Ohio. A demand had been made that the 
Senate inquire into charges that Mr. Payne's elec- 
tion was fraudulent and was accomplished by 
bribery and corruption. Senator Sherman strongly 
favored an investigation, on the ground that it was 
demanded by the people of the state, Republicans 
as well as Democrats, and stated that such action 
had been taken by the Senate on the charge of a 
single newspaper, while in this case at least forty 
newspapers of the party to which Mr. Payne be- 
longed had insisted that the Senate consider the 
question of his election, and bring to bear its su- 
perior powers in obtaining testimony and conduct- 
ing a thorough examination. An animated dis- 
cussion occurred on this subject, but the Senate 
refused to act. 





On two important subjects relating to foreign 
affairs Sherman at first expressed opinions which 
he afterwards entirely changed. In one case the 
change was in response to the trend of public sen- 
timent as manifested in his lifetime; in the other 
it was in opposition to it. 

Early in 1882 Senator Miller of California re- 
ported a bill providing for the exclusion of Chinese 
laborers for twenty years, with severe provisions for 
enforcement of the law, including an elaborate 
system requiring personal registration and pass- 
ports. The demand for this legislation arose from 
the injurious competition created by the presence 
of laborers of the Mongolian race on the Pacific 
coast and elsewhere. The Burlingame Treaty, 
framed in 1868, contemplated free intercourse 
between China and the United States, and the un- 
trammeled movement of Chinese citizens hither. 
In one article it was provided : " The United States 
of America and the Emperor of China cordially 
recognize the inherent and inalienable right of man 
to change his home and allegiance, and also the 
mutual advantage of the free migration and emigra- 


tion of their citizens and subjects, respectively, from 
the one country to the other, for purposes of curi- 
osity, of trade, or as permanent residents." In 
another article appeared this provision : " Chinese 
subjects, visiting or residing in the United States, 
shall enjoy the same privileges, inmiunities, and ex- 
emptions in respect to travel or residence, as may 
there be enjoyed by the citizens or subjects of the 
most favored nation." It was, however, agreed that 
naturalization should not necessarily result, by the 
following paragraph: "But nothing herein con- 
tained shall be held to confer naturalization upon 
citizens of the United States in China, nor upon 
the subjects of China in the United States." On 
the other hand, it was provided that Chinese sub- 
jects should enjoy all the privileges of the public 
educational institutions under the control of the 
United States which were enjoyed by the citizens 
or subjects of the most favored nation. This treaty 
came to be regarded as an unfavorable one because 
of the unexpected influx of Chinese and the 
alleged unfavorable effect of their contact and 

Twelve years later, in 1880, another treaty with 
• China was concluded which provided for the ex- 
clusion of Chinese laborers, and contained a clause 
agreeing that the government of the United States, 
because the coming of Chinese laborers affected or 
threatened to affect the interests of that country, 
might regulate, limit, or suspend such coming or 
residence, but might not absolutely prohibit it. 


It was added: '"The limitation or suspension shall 
be reasonable, and shall apply only to Chinese who 
may go to the United States as laborers, other 
classes not being included in the limitations. 
Legislation taken in regard to Chinese laborers 
will be of such a character only as is necessary to 
enforce the regulation, limitation, or suspension of 
immigration, and immigrants shall not be subject 
to personal maltreatment or abuse." There were 
special articles exempting from the provisions of 
the treaty Chinese teachers, students, and merchants, 
with their household and body servants, and 
Chinese laborers then in the United States. 

Mr. Sherman opposed this Treaty of 1880 as well 
as the bill introduced by Senator Miller in 188£. 
He averred that the measure was a reversal of our 
traditional policy of welcome to all people, and of 
dependence for growth, in a large degree at least, 
upon foreign immigration; that its provisions were 
too severe and sweeping. He advocated the exercise 
of discrimination between different grades of labor 
and Chinese of different employments. He was 
opposed to so long a term of exclusion as twenty 
years, the time fixed in the bill, and stated that in 
the mean time the sentiment of the people might 
change, giving as an illustration the change of 
sentiment in California with reference to the ratifi- 
cation of the Hawaiian Treaty, which at first had 
been strongly favored there, but at that time was 
opposed. He expressed his willingness to vote for 
exclusion for a term of five years. 


President Arthur vetoed this bill, calling attention 
to the Burlingame Treaty, and the later treaty, 
drawn in 1880, and eflFective the following year. 
In his veto message he gave the history of the con- 
sultations between the representatives of the two 
countries when the latter treaty was made, and 
called attention to the serious consequences of 
repudiating treaty obligations, and the great advan- 
tages, present and prospective, which would accrue 
from trade with China, especially to San Francisco 
and the Pacific coast. He transmitted a memoran- 
dum of objections by the Chinese Minister, in which 
it was urged that the bill was not only in violation 
of the letter and spirit of the treaties, but was 
expressly contrary to the explanatory statements 
made by the American conmiissioners at the time 
the treaty was formed. Mr. Sherman voted to sus- 
tain the veto of President Arthur, and the bill did 
not receive the requisite two thirds. 

At the same session, another bill was framed, 
excluding Chinese laborers for ten years, and con- 
taining further provisions that no Chinese should 
be permitted to enter the United States without 
producing to the proper officer a prescribed certifi- 
cate. It forbade citizenship to the Chinese, and 
contained provisions for the execution of the law, 
which, though drastic, were surpassed by further 
legislation in 1884, 1888, and later years. Sherman 
voted against this bill also. It was passed, however, 
and approved by the President. 

In February, 1885, while taking strong ground 


in favor of the Alien Contract Labor Law, forbid- 
ding the entry of aliens under contract, Sherman 
discussed the Chinese Exclusion Acts, declaring they 
were not passed on the ground of race or color, but 
because the Chinese came here as mere serfs under 
a contract, to compete with our free laborers. The 
Alien Contract Labor Law, forbidding the importa- 
tion of men who came under a contract to labor 
in the United States, was, he said, similar in its 
purposes. It did not exclude people because of 
their race, but because they were under contract. 
Any class of people who were so low and so lacking 
in manhood as to barter away their freedom should 
not be permitted to be brought Jnto this country, to 
compete with our laborers who were struggling to 
elevate themselves in the arts of manhood. It was 
not a case of prohibiting the immigration of for- 
eigners, but the importation of "bought" men. 
In 1886 there was a demand for another law, and a 
supplementary act was reported by him, the object 
of which was to make the entry of Chinese still 
more difficult, and to punish fraud. This passed 
the Senate, without division, June 1, 1886, but was 
not reported in the House. In the discussion Mr. 
Sherman stated that he had not voted for the treaty 
of 1880, or the bill of 1882 upon the subject, but 
that he regarded the pending measure as merely 
supplementary to prior acts and necessary for their 
proper execution. He expressed an opinion, how- 
ever, in sympathy with legislation of this character, 
because Chinese citizenship was uncongenial and 


dangerous. He insisted that the citizens of any 
country had the right to exclude any people of any 
country whom they considered obnoxious to them 
or to their institutions. 

Another subject upon which he changed his 
views was in reference to the relations of the United 
States with Canada. At one time he favored political 
and commercial union. On further consideration 
he thought the acquisition of Canada not desirable, 
and, it may be added, he did not think it best to 
enlarge the borders of the United States in any 
direction. This later opinion was adopted and 
formulated by him some years before the so-called 
Anti-imperialistic movement of 1899, and he 
strenuously maintained it during the Spanish- 
American War and after. 

Mr. Sherman became a member of the Com- 
mittee on Foreign Relations of the Senate in De- 
cember, 1883, and its chairman in April, 1886. 
The work of this committee was never altogether 
in accordance with his tastes, and he accepted the 
chairmanship with some hesitancy. During the 
time when he was chairman, many important 
diplomatic questions arose in which he took a pro- 
minent part. 

A treaty with Great Britain was negotiated by 
the Executive Department, and sent to the Senate 
for ratification in February, 1888. It was intended 
to define the rights of American fishermen plying 
their vocation in Canadian waters, a question which 
had caused a great deal of irritation. This was 


rejected, August 21. 1888. The President at a later 
time sent to Congress a message asking for fuUer 
power to undertake retaliation in case severe 
measures should become necessary. A bill giving 
the President such power was introduced in the 
House, and passed, but the Senate took no action 
upon it, the majority there expressing the opinion 
that a retaliatory law passed in the preceding year, 
ci which the President had not taken advantage, 
gave him ample power in the premises. 

Mr. Sherman submitted a resolution for the in- 
vestigation of the relations of the United States 
and Canada with a view to establishing closer re- 
lations. On the 18th of September, 1888, in some 
remarks upon this resolution, he referred to the re- 
lations between the United States on the one hand, 
and Great Britain and Canada on the other, in 
a speech of very considerable length. He reviewed 
the various treaties in regard to fisheries, beginning 
with that framed in 1818. The first fault which 
Mr. Sherman found with President Qeveland's 
message was that while the rejected treaty referred 
only to the rights asserted on the northeastern 
coast of Canada, this message referred to subjects 
extending across the continent, affecting commer- 
cial relations with every state and territory on the 
northern boundary. He said the difficulties arising 
from existing differences would be much easier to 
solve if we could treat alone with Canada as an 
independent power, instead of through the sover- 
eign power, Great Britain. He made a very com- 


plete leA^iew of the whole controversy, and ended 
by dwelling on the desirability of the union of 
Canada with the United States. Towards the 
close he said that retaliation in the manner pro- 
posed by the President would be "neither 
manly, dignified, nor just;" that the only way 
to avoid future friction would be a commercial 
and political union between Canada and the United 
States. "True statesmanship," he said, "consists 
in an earnest effort by honest means to promote 
the public good. No greater good can be accom- 
plished than by a wise and peaceful policy to unite 
Canada and the United States under one common 
government, but carefully preserving to each state 
its local authority and autonomy. This controUing 
principle of blending local and national authority — 
many in one — was the discovery of our fathers, and 
has guided the American people thus far in safety 
and honor, and I believe can be, and ought to be, 
extended to the people of Canada. With a firm con- 
viction that this consummation, most devoutly to 
be wished, is within the womb of destiny, and be- 
lieving that it is our duty to hasten its coming, I am 
not willing, for one, to vote for any measure, not 
demanded by national honor, that will tend to 
postpone the good time coming when the American 
flag will be the signal and sign of the union of all 
the English-speaking people of the continent, from 
the Rio Grande to the Arctic Ocean." 

He expressed similar opinions in regard to uniting 
the two countries, in the Senate, March 12, 1889, 


saying that the word *' annex " was not very pleasant 
to either the United States or Canada, ""but," he 
said, "'the union of Canada and the United States, 
in my judgment, is just as sure to come, whatever 
committees you may have, and whoever may be 
senators here, as any future event that can happen." 
He added: "I certainly would not propose any 
measure that would either threaten, or coax, or beg, 
or ask, even, the people of Canada to join their for- 
tunes with ours. The time wiD come when by the 
growth of popular sentiment on both sides of the 
line it will be felt that it is necessary, for the safety of 
each and all, to prevent internal wars, and, if you 
please, continued discord; that it will be for the 
benefit of the people of these countries, speaking 
the same language, with like institutions, — as 
much alike as those of our several states, — to 
gradually melt into allegiance to one government, 
under the same common flag, and, I trust, with the 
hearty good will of the mother country of both." 

In the next decade, on further reflection, he re- 
garded it the best policy that Canada should con- 
stitute an independent republic, founded upon the 
model of the United States, with one central govern- 
ment, and provinces converted into states. The 
reason for this conclusion was that the United 
States already embraced so vast a country that any 
addition to the number of its states would tend to 
weaken the system, and the conversion of the pro- 
vinces in Canada into states of our Union would 
introduce a new element of discord. He thought 


that the condition of Canada constantly invited 
a breach of peace between the United States and 
Great Britain, but that with Canada governed by 
a Parliament, and by local assemblies of her own, 
no embarrassing differences would arise. 

In January, 1889, he spoke on matters relating to 
the Samoan Islands, and gave an extended history 
of the conflicts and disturbances which had oc- 
curred there. The discussion on this subject, and 
his participation in it, are espedaDy interesting 
because of its relations to future policies of the 
United States in regard to the islands of the Pacific 
Ocean, and as disclosing his views respecting the 
attitude of our own country toward weaker coun- 
tries in which opportunities exist for advancing our 
interests by intervention. He insisted on the right 
to have a harbor and a coaling-station at Pago Pago, 
and that it was universally recognized that the people 
of Samoa were unable to sustain a regular form of 
government. No thought of contest with Great 
Britain and Germany, which countries also had 
rights there, was to be tolerated for a minute. It 
would be a shame and disgrace for three Christian 
nations if they could not agree on some form of 
control for the islands and their respective rights 
in them. The right to a coaling-station was based 
on a treaty in the year 1878, and our occupation 
six years previous thereto. While insisting on our 
right to a harbor, it will be noticed that at no time 
did he advocate the permanent annexation of the 
islands, and the conference of 1889, at Berlin, recog- 


nized them as neutral territoiy, with an independent 
government. This arrangement continued until 
1898, when disturbances arose, and the islands were 
divided between the United States and Germany. 

As regards Mexico, he favored the most intimate 
commercial relations between that country and the 
United States, though at the same time expressing 
his opposition to discrimination in the rates of duty 
in favor of any nation. 

The agitation for railway rate regulation, under 
the constitutional power of Congress to control 
interstate commerce, was contemporaneous with 
the development of the West after the Civil War. 
The great increase in the production of grain and 
other agricultural products awakened attention to 
the rates of freight to be paid in reaching markets, 
and led to the so-called '' granger *" legislation. Laws 
were passed by state legislatures regulating railway 
rates and seeking to diminish charges. 

The first recognition in federal legislation of the 
right to control interstate commerce is found in an 
Act, introduced by Mr. Garfield, and passed June 
15, 1866, containing this preamble: "Whereas, 
the Constitution of the United States confers upon 
Congress in express terms the power to regulate 
commerce among the several states, etc." This Act 
provides that every railroad company is authorized 
to carry upon and over its road passengers, troops, 
government supplies, mails, freight, and property 
on their way from any state to another state, and to 
receive compensation therefor, and to connect with 


roads of other states so as to form continuous lines 
for the transportation of the same to the place of 
destination. It contains a proviso that no new road 
or connection can be built without authority from 
the state in which the railroad or connection is pro- 
jected. On June 9, 1868, a Committee of the House 
of Representatives which had been directed to report 
whether Congress had the right to regulate railway 
rates, and, if such right existed, to present a bill, 
reported that the right existed but that the members 
had not the necessary information upon which to 

Before any legislation was enacted by Congress, 
two Senate Committees made reports upon the sub- 
ject, reaching widely different conclusions. The 
first was appointed in December, 1872, in compli- 
ance with a recommendation of President Grant, 
in his message. Senator William Windom of Minne- 
sota was chairman, and Mr. Sherman was a member, 
of this committee. In April, 1874, the committee 
made a report in which different methods of regula- 
tion were considered and some of them pronounced 
impracticable. This report advised such indirect 
regulation and reduction of charges as would result 
from the establishment of one or more railway lines, 
to be owned or controlled by the government, and 
said: **This proposition proceeds upon the theory 
that, by reascm of stock inflation, extravagance, and 
dishonesty in construction and management, and 
combinations among existing companies, the present 
railroad service of the country imposes unnecessary 


burdens upon its commerce, and that one or more 
railroads, economically constructed and operated 
or controlled by the government, in the interest of 
the public, would regulate all the others on fair, 
business principles, remedy the abuses that now 
exist, check combinations, and thereby reduce the 
cost of transportation to reasonable rates." Much 
of the attention of the committee was given to numer- 
ous water-routes, the development of a majority of 
which, whether natural or artificial, has since come 
to be considered of doubtful utiUty, because of the 
disproportion between cost and the probable benefit 
to be derived from them. It will be noted that this 
report proceeded upon the theory that rates were 

A later report made by a Senate Committee, of 
which Senator CuUom was chairman, on the 18th of 
January, 1886, after "railroad rates had been very 
much diminished by reason of the natural outcome 
of competition, — a result made possible by the 
superior construction and increased business of the 
roads, — came to radically different conclusions; 
maintaining that the great evil to be corrected was 
unjust discrimination between persons, places, 
commodities, or particular descriptions of traflSc. 

The Committee made this statement in its re- 

"The policy which has been pursued has given us the 
most efficient railway service and the lowest rates known 
in the worid; but its recognized benefits have been at- 
tained at the cost of the most unwarranted discrimina- 


tions; and its effect has been to build up the strong at the 
expense of the weak; to give the large dealer an advan- 
tage over the small trader; to make capital count for 
more than individual credit and enterprise; to concen- 
trate business at great commercial centres; to necessitate 
combinations and aggregations of capital; to foster 
monopoly; to encourage the growth and extend the in- 
fluence of corporate power; and to throw the control of 
the commerce of the country more and more into the 
hands of the few." 

In the mean time numerous propositions for 
xegulation or for a report upon the powers of Con- 
gress had l)een presented in both Houses, but nearly 
all of them died in the committee room. It is sur- 
prising to observe how large a share of the resolu- 
tions introduced were mere directions for a report 
upon the constitutional right of Congress to regulate 
interstate railway traffic. This right was asserted 
in an act which became a law March 3, 1873, to 
prevent cruelty to animals in transit. The first 
general measure to pass either body was a bill intro- 
duced in the House by Mr. Greorge W. McCrary of 
Iowa, in 1874, to regulate commerce by railroad 
among the states, providing for a board of railroad 
commissioners of nine members, one from each of 
the judicial districts of the United States. This 
measure passed the House March 26, 1874, by 
the close vote of 121 to 115. It foreshadowed the 
bill creating the Interstate Commerce Commission, 
but did not receive attention in the Senate. In 
December, 1878, a bill framed by Mr. Reagan, of 
Texas, passed the House by a vote of 139 to 104. 


This contained no provision for any commission, 
but forbade discrimination between individuals, 
and required the posting of schedules showing 
classifications of freight, places to which commod- 
ities could be carried, and rates. No action was 
taken upon this in the Senate. In February, 1880, 
and December, 1881, other bills were introduced 
by Mr. Reagan, but failed of passage. 

In January, 1885, Mr. Reagan called up a bill, 
introduced by him, which forbade discrimination 
between individuals in freight rates charged by 
railroads or pipe-lines engaged in interstate traffic; 
demanded that the charges be reasonable; fixed 
three cents per mile as a maximum passenger rate; 
forbade discrimination in facilities afforded; re- 
quired equal promptness in handling for all 
shippers; prohibited rebates; absolutely forbade 
the charging or receiving greater compensation for 
a shorter haul than for a longer haul which included 
the shorter; required the posting of schedules, etc., 
and contained a section against pooling. An amend- 
ment providing for a body to be known as the 
Interstate Commerce Commission, and defining 
its powers, was voted down. The Bill passed the 
House January 8, 1885. 

The Reagan Bill in effect compelled a pro rata 
graduation of freight rates on railways engaged 
in interstate traffic in accordance with mileage, 
prescribing, for example, for a distance of one 
hundred miles one tenth the rate for one thousand 
miles, though making allowances for charges for 


loading and unloading. It also gave to the state 
courts jurisdiction in all questions relating to the 
enforcement of the law. When the Bill reached the 
Senate, Mr. Sherman, though favoring the general 
purpose of the measure, very strongly opposed 
these particular provisions. He also doubted the 
right of Congress to establish maximum and mini- 
mum freight rates, though inclined to believe that 
the general power of regulation existed. He espe- 
cially opposed the pro rata rule as applied to freight 
rates, and the allowing of state courts to enforce 
the law. He ridiculed this latter provision by asking 
if a Texas justice of the peace might pass on the 
construction of the law. A substitute bill, proposed 
by Senator Cullom, passed the Senate February 4, 
1885, but a disagreement between the two Houses 
prevented the adoption of the measure. 

In 1886, when the discussion was continued in 
the next Congress upon a Bill for the Regulation 
of Interstate Commerce, introduced by Senator 
Cullom, Mr. Sherman called attention to the intri- 
cate questions arising upon routes of transportation 
where there was competition between land and 
water, and explained the general details of the Bill. 
The discussion continued in April, 1886, when he 
pointed out the relation of the Bill to foreign com- 
merce, maintaining that lower freight rates should 
be fixed on commodities intended for export. The 
paramount desire was for legislation forbidding 
discrimination, although a lowering of rates in 
specific localities was still insisted upon. The dis- 


cussion upon the Bill, particularly in the Senate, 
makes it apparent that a decrease in the a^regate 
leceipts of the railroads of the country was not 
anticipated. Readjustment, to prevent discrimina- 
tion between persons or localities, was expected, 
rather than reduction. 

A vital diflFerence developed between the Senate 
and the House, they discussing distinct measures. 
The House favored a broad general provision that 
a higher rate should not be charged for a short haul 
than for a longer haul, on the same line, and includ- 
ing the short haul. It was argued in the Senate 
that the rates from terminal points, where water 
competition existed, might, by this provision, be 
rendered so high that railways could not compete 
with waterways, except by diminishing local rates 
to a figure which would be confiscatory. As a result 
the provision insisted upon by the Senate was that 
the charge for the shorter haul should not be greater 
than for the longer, '"under substantially similar 
circumstances and conditions," but gave the Com- 
mission the right to determine the different con- 
ditions under which exception could be made. The 
Senate Bill provided for a Commission of five mem- 
bers, and defined their powers. 

During the discussion of this subject Sherman 
opposed the section in the House Bill forbidding 
pooling, which finally was included in the Act. 
He argued that just as individuals have an un- 
deniable right to form partnerships on such bases 
as they may see fit, the right of railroads to join 


together should be allowed to them. He said there 
was no reason in refusing to permit them to make 
contracts with each other, in any form they might 
see fit, unless it involved a breach of public policy. 
All pools were not wrong. Great advantage in 
steadiness of business, and, upon the whole, in 
reduction of rates, had resulted from them. The 
Conunission should be given the power to discrim- 
inate between pools which were beneficial to the 
public and those which were detrimental. He 
opposed a provision making the maximum passen- 
ger charge three cents per mile, and pointed out 
the instances in which this would interfere with 
charters already granted by states. He declared 
for a court of nine judges, which would have the 
supervision of all questions relating to interstate 
traffic. The two measures were submitted to a 
conference in which, at that session, no agreement 
was reached. 

By the following winter of 1886-87 a decision 
of the Supreme Court had been rendered which 
emphasized the idea that state legislatures could 
not control traffic except that which was entirely 
inside a state. This made it the more important 
that national regulation should be established, 
and the conference committee, which had failed 
to agree at the previous session, agreed upon a Bill 
in substantially the form in which the measure 
had passed the Senate. Both Houses then adopted 
the conference report, and the BiU was approved 
by the President on the 4th of February, 1887. 


In December, 1887, President Cleveland sent 
to Congress his annual message, in which he de- 
parted from traditional forms and dwelt only upon 
the necessity of reducing the revenue. On the 4th 
of January, 1888, in a criticism of the President's 
message, Sherman made the most elaborate of his 
speeches on the tariflF. He criticised the Democratic 
House for its failure to propose any measure re- 
ducing taxes, and attacked the President because 
he did not apply the surplus revenue to the reduc- 
tion of the public debt. In July, 1886, he himself 
had already clearly set forth the danger of the 
accruing surplus revenue, and had promised 
that a majority of the Senate were ready to adopt 
any reasonable measure for the reduction of taxes. 
He attacked the House for . omitting beneficial 
appropriations, such as those for the return of the 
Civil War direct tax to such of the states as had paid 
it; for deficiencies which were admittedly due; 
for coast defense, and the upbuilding of the navy. 
He contended that had these appropriations been 
made, and had the Secretary of the Treasury em- 
ployed the residue for payment of the public debt, 
as was legal and proper, this condition, which the 
President thought so exceedingly alarming, would 
not exist. The public debt would have been greatly 
reduced, and there would be under way vast works 
for the public weal. 

One of his main criticisms of the President was 
that the real substance of his message was an 
attack on the protective system, rather than an 


attempt to relieve the burdens of the people by 
diminished taxation. He said that the existing 
conditions might not be the result of intention on 
the part of the executive oflScers, but their neglect 
of public duty was the fountain of their woes, and 
if evil came from this condition to the Republic 
the fault would be at their door. No artificial scare 
could be made to cover the faults and defects of 
the administration. If the danger was as great 
or as imminent as the President would have the 
people believe, why, to meet such an extraordinary 
danger, did he not exercise his constitutional right 
and convene Congress? But now that Congress 
had met in regular order, it could not be stampeded, 
by mere shoutings of danger, to reverse its entire 
policy of the last thirty years of protecting domestic 
industries against foreign competition. He further 
asserted that if the President merely desired to 
avoid surplus revenue there were three ways in 
which that could be done; reduce internal revenue 
taxation; put upon the free list such articles as 
could not be produced at home to advantage, or 
raise protective duties to the point of prohibition 
so as to cut down importations. 

On the effect of the tariff in certain lines of manu- 
facture he said that, under the beneficent influence 
of this protection, we had made marvelous strides 
and had brought within range of the most of the 
people, porcelains, table ware, ornaments, rich 
clothing, enamel work, beautiful furniture, and a 
thousand articles of taste and luxury, all the work 


of our own countrymen. To talk of reducing 
duties on these articles of luxuiy, made abroad, was 
to propose a shifting of the burdens of taxation 
from the shoulders of those able and willing to 
bear it to the masses of the people. If reduction of 
revenue was required, he was willing to cut the 
tariff tax on sugar in two, or he was willing that in- 
ternal revenue taxes on tobacco should be abolished. 
He clearly set forth his usual views in regard to 
the protection of so-called raw material, saying: 

"The principle of protection applies to all American 
labor alike. . . . No reason can be given why wool 
should be made free and woolen goods be protected. 
If we must have cheap wool, we must have cheap woolens, 
and if the labor of the farmer in producing the wool is not 
protected against undue competition with Australia or 
Buenos Ayres, then he who makes cloth of wool should 
not be protected against competition with the looms of 
Manchester or Leeds. If we have low duties on iron ore, 
we must have low duties on iron and steel in all its forms. 
The farmer in producing his crops performs as valuable 
labor as the artisan in the workshop, and the rights of 
every producer should have equal and just consideration 
without fear or favor." 

He asserted that fairness not only between the 
laborer and the employer, but also between the 
producer of raw material and of the finished pro- 
duct, required a duty on the former as well as on the 
latter, and expressed the opinion that in order to 
develop prosperous manufactures, it was necessary 
to have a large and permanently available stock 
of the basic products, to which he referred as 


**mi3called raw materials." Thus, he aigued, the 
pig-iron industry could not have been developed 
except for the duty on iron ore, and by the same 
rule the woolen industry could not have been estab- 
lished without the duty on wools. He especially 
attacked the President for advocating the removal 
of the wool tariff, and said the argument used by 
him that many farmers had no sheep, and so 
derived no benefit from the wool duty, was "the 
outgrowth of the narrowest sectionalism which 
sees no advantage in great objects of national 
desire." Under this principle, he added, the Central 
States would oppose coast defenses; the New 
England States, the improvement of the Mississippi ; 
the Quakers, all forms of military strength; and 
the childless, the public school system. 

On two later occasions he criticised the Mills 
Bill, and again set forth his views on the subject 
of tariff. He said the Bill represented the general 
sentiment of the Democratic party, and looked 
to tariff for revenue only, while the Senate Bill, 
which was framed as an amendment, provided for 
both revenue and protection. He called attention 
especially to the benefits derived by the South 
from the protective system, and said: '*The South 
is a part of our country, and will be forever, no 
doubt. Whatever else we may differ about, there 
is no doubt about the unity, power, and greatness 
of our country; and therefore I take as much pride 
in the prosperity of the South as I do in that of 
New England or Ohio, or the Northwest, with its 


marvelous prosperity/' He said he. would extend 
the protective policy, which had made the North, 
to the South; that the time was not far distant 
when different ideas would prevail there, and it 
would become rich in manufactures as well as in 
agriculture; that a diversification of industries was 
the hope of the South. 

He favored a duty on tin {date, and said that if 
such a duty had been imposed five years before 
it would already be an established industry. On 
the 29th of September, 1890, he expressed himself 
as follows upon the necessity of frequent alterations 
in tariff schedules: *'From the nature of a tariff 
law it is necessary that constant changes should 
be made, because, however perfect may be the 
form of a tariff law this year, in five years the change 
of production and manufacture, of consumption, 
the change of markets, demands a change of the 
tariff. Therefore it is that in most countries, even 
in those that are free, while the popular voice is 
heard in legislaticm, the necessary changes in tariff 
laws are made by executive authority." 

During this period Mr. Sherman was associated 
with several projects of a patriotic nature having 
to do with commemorating, by memorials at Wash- 
ington, the work of men who had an important 
part in the upbuilding of the nation. This was 
especially true of the Washington Monument. 
The building of this structure was at first under- 
taken by a private association, known as the Wash- 
ington Monument Society, which proposed to 


raise the necessaiy funds by voluntaiy subscrip- 
tions. In 1854, about one third of the Monu- 
ment had been constructed, when work was sus- 
pended, for want of means. On the one hundredth 
anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, 
July 4, 1876, Mr. Sherman wrote out a i^solu- 
tion recounting the obligations of the countiy to 
Washington, and proposing that Congress as- 
sume and direct the completion of the Monument 
and instruct the Conuiiittees on Appropriations 
to carry out this intention. This resolution was 
offered by him on the morning of July 5, 1876» 
and agreed to in the Senate unanimously. On the 
following day it was unanimously adopted in the 
House. The Monument was completed, and dedi- 
cated with impressive military and civic ceremonies, 
on the 22d of February, 1885. He was selected 
as chairman of the commission to arrange for the 
dedicatory services, and presided over the exercises 
at the base of the Monument. He also presided 
on the occasion of the ceremonies at the dedication 
of the statue of Chief Justice Marshall, on the birth- 
day of Mr. Sherman, in 1884. In December of the 
same year he proposed, as an amendment to an 
appropriation bill, the erection of a statue to the 
memoiy of General .Lafayette. This amendment, 
which was the initial step in securing the statue 
now located in Lafayette Square, was adopted. 

The political campaigns for eight years, from the 
inauguration of President Garfield to that of Presi- 
dent Harrison, were years of great political activity 


on the part of Sherman, especially in the State of 
Ohio. Each year he took a leading part in the 
contests in his native state, and was expected to 
make the key-note speech, — at least so far as 
national affairs were concerned. There was an 
active campaign in every year, except 1881, when 
the death of President Garfield, which occurred 
on September 19, practically precluded political 
discussion. It was thought, by men of both parties, 
that the bitter controversies which usually prevail 
in political contests would not harmonize with a 
proper respect for his memory. Democratic vic- 
tories occurred in Ohio, in 1882 and 1883. Local 
issues, especially the regulation and taxation of the 
liquor traffic, were very prominent in the years 
from 1881 to 1885. Sherman was very much criti- 
cised because the Tariff Bill of 1883 was regarded 
as diminishing the protection afforded to wool, a 
product in which Ohio then led all other states. 
In 1883, as on several preceding occasions, he was 
strongly urged to become a candidate for Governor 
of Ohio. So much had been done for him by the 
state that if the party convention had insisted upon 
naming him as a candidate he would have felt com- 
pelled to accede to its wishes, and it required the 
utmost effort on his part to prevent the nomination. 
The legislature which chose Mr. Sherman senator 
for the fifth time was elected in 1885. The contest 
at the polls resulted in an easy victory for the Re- 
publicans, and in his own party there was practi- 
cally no opposition to his return. 


In 1884 he took a prominent part in the national 
campaign in Massachusetts and New York, closing, 
in company with Mr. Blaine, at Brooklyn, a few 
days preceding the election. In 1885, after the 
election in Ohio, he spent some time in the Virginia 
campaign. In March, 1887, on his return from a 
visit to Florida and Alabama, he made an address 
in the hall of the house of representatives at Nash- 
ville, Tennessee, which attracted wide attention at 
the time. He was received there in a very friendly 
manner, and spoke especially of the interests of 
Tennessee in the policies advocated by the Re- 
publican party, because of their bearing on the 
material development of the state. This speech 
was said to be the first address on national politics 
ever made by a Republican of national reputation 
to a Southern audience. He laid special stress upon 
the former Whig tendencies of Kentucky and 
Tennessee, and their old leaders, Henry Clay and 
John Bell, and maintained that the Republican 
party was continuing the policies which had been 
advocated by them, both as regards protection and 
sound money, and that in those policies lay the 
future hope of the state. 

Beginning in 1887, his attention was taken up 
with his proposed presidential candidacy of the 
following year. At no time, however, does he seem 
to have given that all-absorbing attention to his 
candidacy which is usually characteristic of candi- 
dates supremely anxious for success. In all his 
aspirations he was guided by a feeling that all 


events were determined by currents of public 
opinion, which could not be controlled. This did 
not amount to an idea of fatalism, but he recognized 
that no man could be chosen except in response to 
the will of the peoj^. 


HARRISON, 1889 TO 1893 

DcjRiNG the administration of President Harrison 
the activities of Senator Sherman were associated 
with three very important legislative measures, — 
the Anti-Trust Law, the Silver-Purchase Law, and 
the McKinley TariflF Bill. The first two have been 
designated by his name, though, as regards the 
Silver-Purchase Law, it should be said that he 
always disclaimed responsibility for the measure, 
as it was merely a compromise which he prepared 
with a view to harmonizing the discordant views 
of members of his party. 

Anti-trust legislation was first enacted in 1890, by 
the Fifty-first Congress. Prior to that year several 
of the states had passed laws relating to trusts, 
but the evils sought to be corrected were found to 
be of such magnitude that national legislation 
was thought to be required. The problem did not 
receive any considerable attention in Congress until 
the Fiftieth Congress, from 1887 to 1889. During 
these two years a score of bills and resolutions 
were introduced to suppress, regulate, or investi- 
gate trusts. In pursuance of a House Resolution, 
a lengthy investigation was conducted by a com- 


mittee of that body, but no legislation was formu- 
lated or recommended, and, in a report after the 
election of 1888, the conmiittee said that the number 
of combinations and trusts formed and forming 
was very laige; but, owibg to differences of opinion 
between the members of the committee, they limited 
their report to submitting to the careful considera- 
tion of subsequent Congresses the facts shown by 
the testimony taken before the committee. 

The first bill in the Senate was introduced in 
May, 1888. It merely prohibited combinations for 
the control of patented articles. The next, intro- 
duced August 14, 1888, defined trusts, and pro- 
vided a severe punishment for persons connected 
with them. A trust was defined as a combination 
of capital or skill, by two or more persons: (1) to 
create or cany out restrictions on trade; (i) to 
limit, to reduce, or to increase the production or 
prices of merchandise or commodities; (3) to pre- 
vent competition in the manufacture, making, sale, 
or purchase of merchandise or commodities; (4) to 
create a monopoly. 

Mr. Sherman, on the 14th of August, 1888, intro- 
duced a brief measure, declaring all agreements, 
etc., between persons or corporations, with a view, 
or which tended, to prevent full and free competi- 
tion, or to advance the cost to the consumer, to be 
«piinst public policy, unlawful, and void; also 
penalties were provided, one of which was aimed 
at corporations, and prescribed a forfeiture of 
corporate franchises as a punishment. This Bill 


was reported in the following month by Mr. Sher- 
man, with two additional sections making penal- 
ties more specific. The first gave a civil remedy 
to the injured party. The second prescribed a 
criminal penalty, to the eflFect that persons entering 
into any such agreement should be guilty of a high 
misdemeanor, and, on conviction, should be subject 
to a fine or imprisonment, or both. This was further 
amended, and brought up for discussion in January, 

1889, when a lengthy debate occurred. An elab- 
orate speech was made by Mr. George of Missis- 
sippi, in February, 1889, maintaining that the Bill 
was unconstitutional. None of these bills passed 
either House during that Congress. 

On the 4th of December, 1889, Mr. Sherman 
introduced in the Senate, as the very first measure 
of that Congress, Bill No. 1, entitled "A Bill to 
declare unlawful, trusts and combinations in re- 
straint of trade and production." In its original 
form the first section was a declaration that all 
contracts made with a view, or which tended, to 
prevent full and free competition in commercial 
transactions, whether having to do with articles 
imported into the country or with those of domestic 
growth or production, were against public policy, 
unlawful, and void. The phraseology was identical 
with that of the amended bill reported in September, 
1888. The original bill was reported by Mr. Sher- 
man, from the Committee on Finance, January 14, 

1890, with amendments substituting the words, 
"with the intention" for "with a view or which 


tend, ** in describing the purpose or results of the 
acts forbidden, and granting a penalty to the in- 
jured party of twice the amount of the damages 
sustained. The words **for sale" were added in . 
describing articles transported from one state to 
another. In a substitute presented by Mr. Sherman 
in March, 1890, the word "intention" was stricken 
out and the former phraseology restored. The 
evident purpose of this was to avoid the difficulty 
of proving an intention on the part of a corporation. 
In this substitute draft, also, the arrangements, 
etc., declared unlawful were restricted to those 
** between two or more citizens, or corporations, 
or both, of different states, or ... of the United 
States and foreign states." 

It is to be noted that up to this time neither in 
Congress nor in the countiy at large had the opinion 
gained any appreciable support that these aggrega- 
tions of capital, familiarly known as trusts, were 
the result of a process of evolution. They were 
universally condemned as grasping monopolies, 
formed for the sole purpose of benefiting their 
projectors at the expense of the general public. 
Nor was any especial attention given to the ques- 
tion whether the common law, without the aid of 
statutes, afforded adequate remedies. It was gener- 
ally conceded to be desirable that a statute should 
be passed, if sanctioned by the Constitution. In 
the consideration of this measure, as well as of the 
Interstate Commerce Act, and other measures, 
such as a law requiring the introduction of auto- 



matic couplers upon railways, there was a degree 
of opposition proceeding from believers in states' 
rights. This was usually joined with declarations 
that the legislation in itself was salutary, but that 
it did not come within the scope of federal juris- 
diction. With each successive measure, this opposi- 
tion became less vigorous and more perfunctory. 

Mr. George, as in the previous Congress, made 
an argument attacking the Bill on the ground of 
unconstitutionality, stating that he did not believe 
he differed from Mr. Sherman himself, who had 
said, on August 14, 1888: "Whether such legis- 
lation can be ingrafted in our peculiar system by 
the national authority, there is some doubt. If it 
can be done at all, it must be done upon a tariff bill 
or revenue bill. I do not see in what other way it 
can be done." Mr. George continued: "The 
truth is, sir, the committee, by its methods, under- 
took to accomplish the impossible. They have 
undertaken to compound from reserved and 
granted powers a valid bill, and the result is the 
incongruities I have pointed out, that curious 
commingling of inconsistent and inefficient pro- 
visions which has produced this abortion. There 
is one power in the Constitution which would have 
been efficient if it had been resorted to. It is the 
power to levy taxes, duties, imposts, etc." He 
asserted that, as a practical fact, the difficulties in 
bringing suits for reparation of injuries suffered 
would be such that no suits would ever be insti- 
tuted; not one would ever be successful. He 


strongly reprobated, however, the evil at which the 
Bill was aimed. In support of the position that 
the Bill was unconstitutional, he averred that any 
statute passed must be the exercise of a power to 
regulate foreign or interstate commeree,and nothing 
else. "The Bill proceeds," he said "on the idea 
that as to inteistate commerce the jurisdiction of 
Congress extends to the regulation of the production 
and manufacture of articles taking place in a state, 
if only it be intended that, after such manufacture 
or production shall be complete, all, or a portion, 
of the articles shall become subjects of inteistate 
commerce, and shall, in fact, be transported as 
such." This he maintained was clearly not in ac- 
cordance with the law; that the only jurisdiction 
possessed by Congress was over actual commercial 
transactions between persons located in different 
states or engaged in trade with foreign countries. 

On the 21st of March, 1890, Mr. Sherman spoke 
at length on the Bill. The general substance of his 
argument was that similar legislation existed in 
the states of the Union, that each state could and 
did prevent and control combinations within its 
limits, but that the states were unable to deal with 
the larger combinations which created a greater 
evil and not only affected our commerce with 
foreign nations, but trade and transportation 
among the several states. The measure was not 
aimed at corporations. It did not seek to cripple 
combinations of capital and labor, the formation 
of partnerships or of corporations, but only to 


prevent and control such as were formed with 
a view to prevent competition, or for the restraint 
of trade, or to increase the profits of the producer 
at the cost of the consumer. He said : 

"But associated enterprise and capital are not satisfied 
with partnerships and corporations competing with each 
other, and have invented a new form of combination, 
commonly called trusts, that seeks to avoid competition 
by combining the controlling corporations, partnerships, 
and individuals engaged in the same business, and placing 
the power and property of the combination under the 
government of a few individuab, and often under the 
control of a single man called a trustee, a chairman, or a 
president. The sole object of such a combination is to 
make competition impossible. It can control the market, 
raise or lower prices, as will best promote its selfish inter- 
ests, reduce prices in a particular locality, and break down 
competition, and advance prices at will where competi- 
tion does not exist. Its governing motive is to increase the 
profits of the parties composing it. The law of selfishness, 
uncontrolled competition, compels it to disregard the 
interest of the consumer. It dictates terms to transporta- 
tion companies, it commands the price of labor without 
fear of strikes, for in its field it allows no competitors. 
Such a combination is far more dangerous than any here- 
tofore invented. ... If the concentred powers of this 
combination are intrusted to a single man, it is a kingly 
prerogative inconsistent with our form of government, 
and should be subject to the strong resistance of the state 
and national authorities. If an3rthing is wrong, this is 
wrong. If we will not endure a king as a political power 
we should not endure a king over the production, trans- 
portation, and sale of any of the necessaries of h'fe. If we 
would not submit to an emperor, we should not submit to 
an autocrat of trade, with power to prevent competition, 
and to fix the price of any commodity." 


He attacked the theory that such combinatioiis 
reduced prices to the consumer by better methods 
of production. All experience showed, he said, 
that this saving of cost went to the pockets of the 
producer. He believed that the Bill was authorized 
by the Constitution, partly on the ground of the 
jurisdiction given to federal courts in suits at law 
and in equity between citizens of different states, or 
in which the United States should be a party, but 
more upon the ground that the subject-matter of the 
measure was included in the jurisdiction granted 
by the Constitution to regulate commerce with 
foreign nations and between the states. 

The Bill was attacked by Senator Vest on the 
ground of unconstitutionality, and the charge was 
also emphatically made that the evils sought to be 
remedied were traceable to the tariff. He said: 
** One year ago the Senator from Ohio struck the 
key-note as to all these trusts and combinations in 
the United States. It was in the expression made 
in this chamber that whenever he was satisfied 
that any trust or combination was protected by 
a high tariff duty he would be in favor of reducing 
that duty." A considerable amount of political 
argument was thereafter interjected into the dis- 
cussion. Mr. Vest presented a list of some twenty 
combinations with the duties on the articles manu- 
factured or sold by each of them, all of which he 
alleged were creatures of the tariff. 

Senator Beagan, who had introduced another 
bill on the subject, said: '^I think the countiy is 


debtor to that distinguished senator (Mr. Sherman) 
for his efforts to furnish a remedy for a great and 
dangerous evil." 

Some views which would not now be accepted 
were expressed: — that transportation was not 
commerce at aU ; it was only a means of conducting 
commerce; that the states were the most compe- 
tent to control trusts, and to control them efficiently. 
Several senators thought all legislation useless on 
such a subject, and called attention to a statute 
passed in England in 1844, entitled ''An Act for 
abolishing the offenses of forestalling, regrating» 
and engrossing, and for repealing certain statutes 
passed in restraint of trade." It was alleged that 
this was the result of centuries of effort to control 
the natural courses of trade, and showed the use- 
lessness of such endeavors. 

A great variety of remedies were suggested at 
this and later times. Among them were proposi- 
tions declaring that a person or corporation violat- 
ing the provisions could not enforce a contract in 
an action at law; denying the use of the mails; 
imposing internal revenue taxes in addition to all 
other taxes then imposed; prohibiting trusts from 
engaging in interstate or foreign commerce; de- 
claring patents to be null and void when used or 
operated by a trust. The suspension of duties by 
order of the President, when satisfied that a trust 
had been formed, and that in consequence thereof 
there had been an enhancement in the price of that 
particular article, was one favorite remedy proposed 


during the discussion of this Bill, and repeatedly 
suggested thereafter. 

A motion was made that the Bill be referred to 
the Judiciary G>mmittee. This motion at first was 
lost. Numerous amendments were then adopted, 
excepting from the provisions of the Bill combina- 
tions between laborers made with a view to lessen- 
ing the number of hours of their labor or to increas- 
ing their wages; also combinations of persons en- 
gaged in horticulture or agriculture with a view to 
enhancing the price of their products. An amend- 
ment forbidding dealing in options and futures was 
inserted. By this time, the 27th of March, 1890, 
so many amendments had been placed upon the Bill 
as to render it incongruous and probably invalid. 
The motion was renewed that it be referred to the 
Committee on the Judiciary with the direction that 
they report within twenty days. Mr. Sherman him- 
self thought some of the amendments which had 
been adopted seriously injured the measure. 

The Bill was again reported to the Senate by 
Senator Edmunds of the Judiciary Committee, on 
the 2d of April, very much modified in form, and 
the title changed so as to read: ""A Bill to protect 
trade and commerce against unlawful restraints 
and monopolies." The first section declared illegal 
every contract in restraint of interstate or foreign 
commerce. The second prohibited every act in 
the way of monopolizing or attempting to mono- 
polize. The third related to the territories of the 
United States and the District of Columbia, and 


placed them on the same footing as states, in all 
cases. As regards these, there was no question of 
the power of Congress to act. A penalty was pro- 
vided of a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, 
or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both 
said punishments, in the discretion of the courts. 
Jurisdiction was given to the circuit courts of the 
United States. Property owned under any contract, 
or by any combination, or pursuant to any con- 
spiracy prohibited by the first section, when in the 
course of transportation, was to be forfeited to the 
United States; and persons injured by the acts 
forbidden could bring suit and recover threefold 

Mr. Sherman, soon after the presentation of the 
substitute, announced his intention to vote for the 
Bill, "not as being precisely what I want, but 
as the best under all the circumstances." It passed 
the Senate on the 8th of April, with only one nega- 
tive vote. 

The objects of the Bill, as stated in a favorable 
report by the Committee on the Judiciary of the 
House, on the 25th of April, 1890, were said to be 
to protect trade and commerce among the several 
states, or with foreign nations, against unlawful 
restraints and monopolies; also to afford like 
protection in the territories and the District of 
Columbia. The Committee added : ** It is proposed 
to accomplish the first object of the Bill by declaring 
every contract, combination in the form of trust 
or otherwise, or conspiracy in restraint of trade 


or commerce among the several states, or with for- 
eign nations, illegal, and by declaring every person 
who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or 
who combines or conspires with any other person 
or persons to monopolize, any part of the trade or 
commerce among the several states, or with foreign 
nations, guilty of a misdemeanor." 

There was no extended discussion in the House. 
The provisions of the Bill were explained, and it was 
discussed and passed in a single day. Objections 
to the measure were based mostly upon the tariff 
question, or rather upon the theory that the only 
method to pursue was to reduce or abolish the 
tariff; yet all expressions were favorable to the gen- 
eral purpose involved. The House added amend- 
ments, modifications of which were proposed in the 
Senate, but after some delay both Houses agreed 
upon the Bill in the form in which it passed the 
Senate, and it became a law, July 2, 1890. 

An effort has not infrequently been made to 
belittle the part which Senator Sherman took in 
the passage of the Anti-Trust Law. The ground for 
this is that in the final form in which the Bill 
appeared and was enacted int9 law, it was drawn 
by others. But over against this stands the fact 
that he introduced the Bill and took the initiative 
in pressing legislation of this character upon the 
attention of Congress; that he formulated the 
general ideas and policies to be embodied into law, 
and that by his insistence, amounting to antago- 
nism of other measures, he secured the favorable 


attention of the Senate and the passage of the Bill. 
Whatever criticism nmy be visited upon this legis- 
lation, the Act is one of the most important results 
of his legislative career, and to him especially 
should be ascribed the praise or blame for its place 
on the statute-books of the United States. 

No subject in the twenty years from 1877 to 1897 
was more earnestly debated than the use to be 
made of silver as money. There were repeated 
demands by some for the unlimited coinage of the 
silver dollar. Others, less radical, were constantly 
saying: **We must do something for silver." In 
the whole history of legislation in the United States, 
no single industry or interest can be found for 
the benefit of which so much has been done, or 
for which such constant efforts have been made, 
as for that of silver-mining. The time had passed 
when this metal possessed the rank as money 
which it formerly held among the nations. At the 
time President Harrison was inaugurated it had 
been diminishing in value, with rare exceptions, 
for thirty years. Within twenty years not fewer 
than a dozen nations had taken steps looking to 
the adoption of a mono-metallic standard. Neither 
the Demonetization Act of 1873 nor the Bland- 
Allison Act of 1878 had exercised any considerable 
effect upon the price of silver. Three hundred and 
twenty million silver dollars had been coined by 
March 1, 1889, an amount closely approaching 
the outstanding amount of greenbacks. Less than 
sixty millions of these dollars were in circulation. 


The demand for further legislation was active 
at the beginning of the administration of President 
Harrison. In his report of December 2, 1889, Sec- 
retary Windom dwelt exhaustively on the subject 
of silver coinage. He reviewed and dismissed as ob- 
jectionable or impracticable several propositions, 
such as an international agreement; the continu- 
ance of the present policy of coining two million 
dollars worth of silver per month; an increase of 
the coinage to four million dollars per month; also 
free coinage; and recommended a plan to repeal 
the compulsory features of the Coinage Act then in 
force and to "issue Treasury notes against deposits 
of silver bullion at the market price of silver when 
deposited, payable on demand in such quantities of 
silver bullion as will equal in value, at the date of 
presentation, the number of dollars expressed on the 
face of the notes at the market price of silver, or in 
gold, at the option of the government; or in silver 
dollars at the option of the holder." This would 
accomplish three objects, suspend the coinage of the 
silver dollar, supersede it by a currency in which 
there would be equality between the quantity of silver 
purchased and the face value of the note issued, — 
at least at the time of purchase, — and provide an 
additional supply of money. On every one of these 
propositions there was a pronounced difference 
of opinion. The abandonment of the silver dollar 
was strenuously opposed, and without material 
concessions no such step could be taken. If the 
Bland-Allison Act of 1878 was to be suspended, 


it would be necessaiy to substitute some other use 
of the metal in its place. On the question whether 
the adoption of Secretaiy Windom's recommenda- 
tion would raise the price of silver, there was also 
difference of opinion. He was sure that it would. 
Past experience did not furnish ground for san- 
guine expectation, but it was maintained that the 
absorption by purchase in the manner suggested 
of an amount equal to the annual production of 
the United States would affect the price in a greater 
degree than any measure which had been tried. 
As regards the need of more money, there was 
nothing exceptional in the situation; in certain 
seasons of the year there was too much, and, in 
other seasons, there was confessedly not enough. 
The essential defect of our currency system, a lack 
of elasticity, though recognized in a degree, was 
partiaUy overlooked. 

The intrinsic value of the silver dollar had sur- 
passed that of the gold dollar in 1873. In the year 
1878, when the Bland-Allison Silver Act went into 
effect, it had fallen to 89.1. There was a consider- 
able fall the following year, but slight recoveries in 
1880 and 1884. The general tendency, though not 
absolutely invariable, was downward. In 1889 the 
value of a silver dollar, measured in gold, had fallen 
to 72.3. It was manifestly impossible, unless some 
heroic measure should be adopted, to maintain for 
any very considerable time the silver dollar along 
with gold, when the variance in their values was so 


There had been a decrease in certain forms of 
currency and this aioused the ciy for more money, 
which was stimulated by the fact that there was a 
slight decrease in the per capita circulation as com- 
pared with the preceding year. As against this fact 
Secretary Windom showed in his report that there 
had been a net increase in the circulation of money 
between March 1, 1878, and October 1, 1889, of 
nearly six hundred millions of dollars, a little over 
74 % in total quantity, and almost 32 % per capita. 
The very large surplus of revenue over expenditure 
and the reluctance of the administration to purchase 
bonds had caused unusual quantities of currency 
to accumulate in the Treasury. Again, the high 
price of bonds was causing the national bank notes 
to be withdrawn. That species of circulation had de- 
creased in the preceding year more than any other. 

The support of silver in Congress had been 
increased by the admission of four new states by 
the preceding Congress. In the Senate any propo- 
sition for its increased coinage was sure of a ma- 
jority. Of the eighty-four senators, the thirty-eight 
Democrats were nearly unanimous for the free and 
unlimited coinage of silver, and they were sup- 
ported by seventeen of the forty-six Republicans, 
some of whom were not especially friendly to tariff 
legislation, and insisted upon concessions to silver 
as an equivalent for their support of any measure 
of the former class. 

At the end of January, 1890, Senator Morrill 
introduced in the Senate, at the request of the Secre- 


tary of the Treasury, a Bill embodying the latter's 
plan, though with some modifications. It was soon 
afterwards reported from the Finance Committee 
in a form satisfactory to the advocates of silver in 
the Senate, who, although they desired free coinage, 
thought this the most favorable measure which 
could be obtained. The first section authorized 
the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase silver 
bullion of a value of $4,500,000 each month, and 
to issue in payment therefor Treasury notes receiv- 
able for customs and public dues. When so received 
they might be reissued. They were also to be 
redeemed, on demand, in lawful money of the 
United States. When redeemed they should be 
canceled, but enough silver was to be coined from 
the bullion purchased under the Act to equal the 
quantity of notes canceled. It is to be noted that 
this measure diflFered from Mr. Windom's plan in 
omitting the option of the Treasury to redeem in 
silver bullion, at the market price at the time of 
presentation. The Bland-Allison Act of 1878 was 
to be repealed or superseded by this measure. 

Mr. Sherman proposed an additional section, 
which was adopted, authorizing the transfer to the 
general funds of the Treasury, of greenbacks or 
legal-tender notes deposited for the redemption of 
the notes of national banks. The greenbacks, or 
legal tenders, deposited, were not, as formerly, to be 
retained as special deposits, but were to be placed 
with other moneys of the government in the Treas- 
ury. As a result a large amount of money was 


jdaced in circulation because, under the law as it 
had formerly existed, it was necessary to allow the 
money for redemption of national bank notes to 
remain in the Treasury as a special deposit, until, 
in the rather slow course of events, the notes were 

A long and desultory discussion occurred on the 
general subject of silver, in which the so-called 
" Crime of '73 " was much referred to. Following 
the usual course, the members of the Senate who 
favored silver, though at first satisfied with the 
pending measure, introduced one for free and 
unlimited coinage at the ratio of 16 to 1. In the 
whole period when this subject was under discus- 
sion, the advocates of silver in the Senate used 
every means known to parliamentary procedure 
to load down legislation, whatever its nature and 
whether acceptable to them or not, with free coin- 
age amendments. Propositions for the issuance of 
bonds, for salutary changes in the national bank- 
ing laws, for increased revenue, for tariff changes, 
were all amended by the addition of free silver 

Meanwhile, during the pendency of this measure 
in the Senate, the House, on June 7, 1890, passed a 
bill of the same general tenor, but differing in sev- 
eral essential particulars. The amount of silver to 
be purchased was the same, but the notes to be 
issued were full legal tender instead of being merely 
receivable for customs and public dues; and the 
Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to redeem 


them in coin or silver bullion at the current market 
rate. During the discussion on the House Bill, 
which after its passage was taken up by the Senate 
and considered instead of the measure pending 
there, a motion was made in the Senate, and carried 
by a vote of 43 to 24, for the substitution of the 
unlimited free coinage of silver for the proposed 
purchase of bullion. Other sections of the Bill 
were made to harmonize with the new provision, 
and the Bill was passed and returned to the House, 
which refused to concur, and a conference was 

On conference the so-called ''Sherman Silver 
Law" was agreed upon by the Republican con- 
ferees. Of this law Mr. Sherman said, in after 
years, "I took but little part in framing the legis- 
lation until the Bill got into conference. The situa- 
tion at that time was critical. A tai^ majority of 
the Senate favored free silver, and it was feared 
that the small majority against it in the other House 
might yield and agree to it. The silence of the 
President on the matter gave rise to an apprehen- 
sion that if a Free Coinage Bill should pass both 
Houses he would not feel at liberty to veto it. 
Some action had to be taken to prevent a return 
to free silver coinage, and the measure evolved was , 
the best obtainable. I voted for it, but the day it 
became a law I was ready to repeal it, if repeal 
could be had without substituting in its place abso- 
lute free coinage." In a conversation with several 
of the Republican conferees on the Bill, when the 


proposed law had been substantially agreed upon, 
he said: *'I ought not to be compelled to bring in 
such a Bill. My judgment is against it." There 
were several vital differences in the measure as 
framed by Mr. Sherman, when compared with the 
House Bill. The amount of silver bullion to be 
purchased was changed from $4,500,000 worth per 
month to 4,500,000 ounces. In view of the fall in 
the price of silver this greatly reduced the quantity 
to be purchased. The provision of the House Bill 
for the redemption of notes in bullion, especially 
favored by Secretary Windom, was stricken out, and 
in its place there was substituted a declaration that 
it was the purpose of the government to maintain 
the parity of the two metals. 

The amount to be purchased under the law 
would practically exhaust the total current produc- 
tion of the United States, and it was confidently 
maintained by its advocates that it would prevent 
depreciation, and even advance the market value 
of silver. It was even said that the law would cause 
such a rise in value that a lai^ profit would be 
obtained by the government, while, at the same 
time, silver would be recognized, the currency 
supply would be increased, and benefits would 
flow from every direction. 

The reasons given for consenting to this law 
by those who, with Senator Sherman, reluctantly 
favored it were: (1) that irreparable injury would 
soon result from the continuance of coinage under 
the Bland-Allison Silver Law; that something must 


be done to stop this coinage; and that the plan pro- 
posed would take into account the actual commer- 
cial value of silver, and would, in this respect, be 
a great improvement on the prior law; (2) that a 
Free Coinage Bill might pass both Houses, and, if it 
passed, the President might sign it, or, if not, at any 
rate it would be fatal to party success to compel 
him to veto it. Some who opposed the use of silver 
were reconciled to this measure because, they said, 
a trial of it would disclose the absurdity of further 
attempts to use silver as money and would make 
its abandonment possible. 

In the accounts of this legislation it appears to 
have been overlooked that on one occasion votes 
were taken in the House which seemed to show 
a majority for a Free Silver Law. On the 18th of 
June, 1890, the Silver Bill had been returned from 
the Senate with an amendment providing for free 
coinage, and, in accordance with the rules, as 
interpreted by Speaker Reed, it was to be referred, 
without mention or notice in the open House, to the 
Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures. 
To this action exception was taken by the advo- 
cates of free silver, and a resolution introduced, 
June 19, to the effect that the order of reference 
was incorrect, and without authority under the 
rules of the House, and directing that the reference 
be canceled. This contention, which was com- 
monly regarded as a test question upon free coin- 
age, was sustained, on numerous motions during 
two exciting days, by majorities of from one to 


seven. This would have left the Bill before the 
House, the decision of the Speaker having been 
overruled and the reference annulled. The situa- 
tion seemed serious on these two days, but on the 
following day several Democrats who* opposed the 
free coinage of silver, including Mr. Fitch of New 
York, and Mr. Buckalew of Pennsylvania, joined 
with the Republicans in voting to refer the Bill in 
accordance with the ruling of Speaker Reed. This 
episode, however, increased the apprehension that 
at some time, or under some circumstances, a 
Free Coinage Bill might pass the House as well 
as the Senate. 

In the final vote on the adoption of the conference 
report exact party lines were drawn in both Houses, 
not a single Republican voting against adopting the 
report, and not a single Democrat in its favor. 
There was again displayed, among men of widely 
differing ideas upon the question of coinage, the 
effect of party discipline, as in the passage of the 
Resumption Act of 1875. The measure, as finally 
agreed upon, became a law, July 14, 1890. The 
coinage into silver dollars of two million ounces a 
month from the four million, five hundred thousand 
ounces to be purchased, was to be continued until 
the 1st of July, 1891. 

While the reasons for the passage of this Act can 
be readily understood, it would be difiBcult to find» 
among measures relating to finance or currency, one 
which compares with this. It selected an article 
and issued notes upon it to serve as currency, which. 


except for minor coinage, had been rekgated to the 
position of merchandise by the most advanced na- 
tions of the earth, indeed by nearly all of those with 
which our exchanges and transactions were largest. 
It was not to be wondered at that in the succeeding 
autunm organizations were formed in several states 
which promised to create the nucleus of a political 
party, whose aim was to have the government 
establish a warehouse system in which farmers 
might deposit their 'grain, or other products, and 
receive in lieu thereof bills which were to answer as 

For a brief time the price of silver increased, 
more from the buoyancy of the speculative market, 
and the hope of those who expected favorable 
results from the law, than from any actual rise in 
value, although the increased purchase created a 
very large new demand. But in a few months 
prices again began to decline, showing that the 
prophecies of the advocates of the larger use of 
silver were ill-founded. 

Almost immediately after the passage of the 
Silver Purchase Law there was a discussion which 
proved that no permanent settlement had been 
reached. In the second session <rf the Fifty-first 
Congress the disposition of the advocates of silver in 
the Senate to prevent any financial legislation was 
continued. An attempt was made to combine in 
one bill several financial propositions, and a report 
was made by Mr. Sherman recommending the 
passage of such as were regarded most desirable. 


especiaDy one to provide against contraction of the 
currency. The usual course was pursued. A Free 
Silver Amendment was placed upon this Bill, and 
thus any financial legislation during this session was 

In the debate upon this measure, on the 13th of 
January, 1891, Mr. Sherman made the first of three 
lengthy speeches which stand out prominently 
among his utterances on the subject. The second 
was delivered on June 30, 1892, and the third 
on August 30, 1893. His utterances prior to the 
special session called by President Cleveland, in 
the summer of 1893, would fill several volumes. He 
avowed himself a bimetallist, but never to the 
point of advocating any measure which would cause 
the country to depart from a gold standard. Ses- 
sion by session he began to recognize and declare 
impracticable plans for the use of silver which had 
been recommended. He took a leading part in cur- 
rency discussion, not as a pronounced mono- 
metallist, but with the most steadfast regard for 
the country's credit and financial honor. With him, 
not bimetallism but a sound and stable currency 
was the chief object of desire. 

The McKinley Tariff Bill became a law on the 
1st of October, 1890. This famous measure, while 
radically protective in its provisions, was a logical 
and symmetrical embodiment of the policy of pro- 
tection to all American industries and products. 
The incongruities and inequalities which were in 
existence before its passage were in a large degree 


traceable to the fragmentary treatment of schedules 
and to the undue attention theretofore given to 
specific lines of industry. Mr. McKinley, in intro- 
ducing the measure, said that he interpreted the 
victory in the presidential election of 1888, and the 
Bepublican majority in the House and Senate, to 
mean that the votes of the people not only demanded 
a revision of the tariflF, but that such revision should 
be in line with, and in full recognition of, the prin- 
ciples and purposes of protection. After calling 
attention to a decrease of some ten millions of dol- 
lars of internal revenue taxes, resulting from the 
abolition or reduction of the tax on different forms 
of tobacco, he said: "The tariff part of the Bill 
contemplates and proposes a complete revision. It 
not only changes the rates of duty, but modifies 
the general provisions of the law relating to the 
collection of duties." 

This Bill was the first to contain a complete 
schedule of protective duties upon competing agri- 
cultural products, though omitting hides, an item 
made dutiable in the Dingley Bill which was to fol- 
low in 1897. The particular article on which duties 
were raised to a point suflBcent to create a new local 
industry was tin plate. This duty was bitterly 
opposed, and a proviso was added that it should 
be abrogated entirely unless a certain amount of 
domestic manufacture should result from the trial. 
The duty on sugar was abolished, thereby doing 
away with the source of a very large share of the 
revenue, but a bounty was to be paid upon the 


domestic product, for safeguarding home inteiests. 
Over $50,000,000 had been paid on sugar duties 
during the year 1889. By the removal of this duty 
an appeal was made to those who desired to lessen 
the burdens of taxation and to diminish the surplus 

The leading part in the management of the Bill 
in the Senate was taken by Senator Aldrich of 
Rhode Island, who, by his familiarity with mercan- 
tile and industrial topics, had assumed great pro- 
minence in tariff legislation. By this time he was 
conceded the most prominent position in this field 
by his colleagues. 

The measure was materially changed in the 
Senate, not only in numerous schedules, but by 
the addition of a provision for reciprocity, or recip- 
rocal trade, as it was termed. The third section, as 
passed by the Senate, was intended to secure recip- 
rocal trade with countries producing certain pro- 
ducts, especially those which were tropical or 
semi-tropical, by admitting them free. But it pro- 
vided that duties should be levied on such pro- 
ducts when imported from countries which imposed 
duties, or other exactions, upon the agricultural or 
other products of the United States which the 
President deemed reciprocally unequal and unrea- 
sonable. In that case the President would have the 
power, and it was made his duty, to suspend, by 
proclamation, the free introduction of specified 
imports from such countries. 

This measure was accompanied by a Customs 


Administrative Law, prepared in pursuance of sug- 
gestions made by the Treasury Department, and 
presented by Mr. McKinley. It became a law in 
June, 1890, and, although the second succeeding 
Congress made radical changes in the tariflF law, 
this measure was allowed to remain practically 

It was a frequent remark of Mr. McKinley that 
the real objection of those importers who had 
attacked him most bitterly for his part in tariff 
legislation was not because of the Tariff Bill which 
received his name, for they could adapt their prices 
to changing conditions created by increased duties, 
but because they were disjJeased at the Customs 
Administrative L#aw, which rendered impossible 
methods of importation under which an experi- 
enced importer was able to evade the intention of 
the law, and to manage his importations so as to 
bring in goods without subjecting himself to the full 
payment of duties prescribed. 

The general objects of the law were to secure the 
prompt decision of disputed questions, to correct 
ambiguities in the law, and to prevent fraud. At 
this time more than five thousand suits for return of 
duties paid were pencfing in the courts of the United 
States, involving claims for over $25,000,000. 
A board of appraisers was selected who should 
pass promptly upon valuations. Consular verifica- 
tion of invoices was required with the oath of the 
importer. Very material changes were made in 
regard to the exemption of coverings, for it was 


found that in some cases the coverings, which came 
in free of duty, wei^ more valuable than the package. 
Severe penalties were prescribed for under-valua- 
tion. In case of dissatisfaction with the decision 
of the collector as to the rate and amount of duty, 
notice must be given within ten days, when the 
matter would be taken up by the board of general 
appraisers, and from their decision an appeal must 
be taken within thirty days to the circuit court of 
the United States. Secretary Windom had pointed 
out the defects in the existing law, which were, like 
the defects in schedules demanding revision, largely 
the result of conflicting provisions and ambiguities. 
He stated that no adequate means were afforded 
by the laws for the punishment of fraud in the entry 
of merchandise. 

Senator Sherman took an active part in the dis- 
cussion of the McKinley Tariff Bill. He did not alto- 
gether favor the entire abolition of duties on sugar. 
He sustained the Bill as a whole very vigorously, 
and taunted the Democrats for dilatory methods 
which only postponed its inevitable passage. He 
did not, as a general policy, favor discriminations 
between different countries in the rates of duty, 
though conceding that in view of our nearness to 
Canada reciprocal trade with that country was 
profitable, and this was especially true when it 
appeared that our exports to that country far 
exceeded our imports. He favored mutual laws, 
as he termed them, to be adopted by both coun- 
tries, father than treaties with the South American 


states. He especially opposed the duty on coal, 
when imported from Canada, and recommended 
a commission to report the best method of securing 
reciprocal relations with that country. He said he 
had never voted for a reciprocity treaty, because 
he believed that the power to originate every bill 
in regard to tariflF duties lay in the House. As on 
all previous occasions, he favored a duty on raw 
materials. He expressed his willingness to see 
duties removed from all articles manufactured by 
trusts, and attacked the Sugar Trust. He said the 
refiners were not in good odor, and it would be 
well to have free trade in sugar of all grades in 
common use. He said that the Tariff of 1883 had 
many imperfections, and that the great error in it 
was in not making the report of the Tariff Commis- 
sion the basis of the Bill. He said there were three 
principles in the McKinley Bill, — protection to 
home products, free trade in things not produced 
here, and taxation of articles of luxury. 

As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign 
Relations, Sherman had an important part in the 
consideration of propositions for the construction 
of an Isthmian Canal. On the 10th of January, 
1891, a report was made by him, as Chairman of 
* the Committee, upon the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 
1850, and other questions relating to the enterprise. 
That portion relating to negotiations with Great 
Britain was prepared by Senator Edmunds; that 
upon the engineering phases of the project, the 
condition of the work, and its probable importance 


from a commercial and military standpoint, by 
Senator Morgan ( while that in regard to the finan- 
cial aspect of the subject, its cost and the aid that 
should be given by the United States, was prepared 
by Mr. Sherman. The report was unanimously 
made by a very able Committee, consisting of 
Messrs. Sherman, Edmunds, Frye, Evarts, Dolph, 
Morgan, Brown, Payne, and Eustis. 

Mr. Sherman had favored a treaty with Nicara- 
gua, submitted by President Arthur in 1884, which 
was afterwards withdrawn by President Cleveland, 
who alleged that the treaty created an entangling 
alliance, because the United States engaged to 
defend the territorial integrity of the states through 
which the canal would pass. Subsequently a private 
company had been organized known as the INIari- 
time Canal Company of Nicaragua, which proved 
unable to accomplish a work of so great magnitude. 
Mr. Sherman had foreseen from the start that such 
an undertaking could not be executed without the 
support and aid of the government. It was pro- 
posed in the Bill which was reported first by him, 
and later by Senator Morgan, that the United States 
should aid the canal company, although he pre- 
ferred the absolute purchase of its concessions and 
the execution of the work under the supervision of 
the Engineer Corps of the United States Army, in 
the same manner that river and harbor improve- 
ments are made in this country. The plan for 
construction by the government was afterwards 
adopted in 1902. 


The question of the choice of the route seems 
never to have been considered by him with any 
especial care. While he was a member of the 
Senate it was taken for granted that the Nicara- 
guan route would be chosen because the sentiment 
of the people favored a canal constructed and oper- 
ated by American citizens, or absolutely owned by 
the government. At that time the possibilities of 
such control and ownership did not exist in Panama. 

In the month of February, 1891, General William 
Tecumseh Sherman died at New York. It would 
be difficult, if not impossible, to find in the whole 
range of history two brothers of such equal and 
similar prominence, the one in civil, the other in 
military life. The affection between the two was 
always of the very strongest nature. Each profited 
by the assistance and counsel of the other. The 
letters passing between them throw a varied light 
upon the events of nearly forty years. 

Each was possessed of intellectual powers of the 
very highest order, endowed with an unusual 
ability to judge of men and events, facile in speech 
and with the pen. Each was exceptionally loyal 
to any cause to which he had given his adherence, 
and had the power of so shaping his actions and 
efforts as to accom^dish his ends. 

In personal traits, however, there was a wide 
variance between them. The Senator was impass- 
ive, viewing all events from the most practical and 
realistic standpoint. The General was emotional, 
sometimes impulsive, even to the point of rashness* 


The General was fond of meeting friends, and 
loved society and association with those who were 
possessed of jollity and good humor. The Senator, 
while not disliking such associations, was much 
more at home in the intellectual laboratoiy in which 
his work was performed. In the business affairs of 
life the Senator was careful, thrifty, and exceedingly 
successful. The General was profuse in his expense 
account, and though he enjoyed a brief training as 
a banker, with fair success, he was not a good 
financier. Though pursuing widely different paths, 
they were united in their aims and opinions, to an 
unusual degree. Although divided by a period of 
nine years in their deaths, their lives are always to 
be associated with the great epoch which is known 
as the last half of the nineteenth century. 

In 1881 and 1886 the position of Senator from 
Ohio had come to Mr. Sherman by the universal 
acquiescence of members of his own party in the 
state, but in January, 1892, there was a vigorous 
contest with ex-Governor Foraker, who had four 
times been the Republican candidate for governor, 
and who had filled that ofiBce for two terms. On 
the last day of December, 1891, Mr. Sherman went 
to Columbus to give personal attention to the con- 
test. He had, however, friends of prominence who 
directed the canvass. On the 6th of January, 1892, 
he was nominated for his sixth term in the Senate, 
by the Republican members of the legislature, by 
a vote of fifty-three to thirty-eight, and was elected 
soon after. 


The campaign of 1892 resulted in the election of 
Mr. Cleveland to the presidency, over Mr. Harri- 
son. It was Mr. Sherman's conviction that Harri- 
son could not be elected, and for this reason he 
advised the nomination of another man, preferably 
McKinley. He, however, gave Harrison hearty sup- 
port, speaking at Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, 
and Milwaukee, as well as frequently in his own 


ISTRAllON, 188S-1897. 

The immediate question which presented itself, 
after the inauguration of President Cleveland, was 
the condition of the currency as aflFected by the pur- 
chase of silver bullion. On the 14th of July, 189£, 
Mr. Sherman had introduced in Congress a Bill 
for the repeal of the section requiring the purchase 
of 4,500,000 ounces each month. It was not pressed 
at that or the following session, because it was evi- 
dent that the Senate favored the largest possible 
use of silver, and he feared that the House might 
maintain the same position. When attacked for 
his failure to bring this Bill to a vote he said that 
if the Democrats would furnish a contingent of ten 
senators in support of the repeal, it would pass the 
Senate within ten days. 

The principal subject of controversy between the 
two parties at the election of 1892 was that of the 
tariff. The Republican platform did not mention 
the Silver Purchase Law, either with approval or 
disapproval. It demanded the use of both gold and 
silver as standard money, but under conditions 
such that the dollars, whether of silver, gold, or 
paper, should at all times be equal. The Demo- 

SENATOR, 1893-1897 387 

cratic platform denounced the law as a cowardly 
makeshift which should make all of its supporters, 
as well as its author, anxious for its speedy repeal. 

In the mean time the silver bullion certificates, 
issued under the Law of 1890, began to drive other 
forms of currency out of circulation, and gold out 
of the country. The apprehension of a silver 
standard caused each mail boat to bring laige 
quantities of bonds from Europe to the United 
States, to be sold here. As a result there was in 
the year 1892-93 an excess of nearly $90,000,000 
of exports of gold over imports. Exports of agri- 
cultural products fell oflF very largely from the 
preceding year. Expenditures of the government 
in two years reached an aggregate of $728,000,000, 
and were crowding very close upon the total 
revenue. Public confidence, always somewhat 
disturbed by a change of administration, was 
especially apprehensive of the tariflF changes which 
would certainly occur in case the platform of the 
successful party should be carried into eflFect. 
It was under these circumstances that a financial 
crisis occurred, which in its severity and in its para- 
lyzing influence upon financial institutions has 
rarely been surpassed. The gold reserve neared 
the vanishing-point. 

In view of the situation. President Cleveland, 
June 30, 1893, issued a proclamation convening 
Congress in extraordinary session. This call made 
it evident that he desired the repeal of the so-called 
Sherman Silver Law, and his message to Congress 


of the 8th of August confirmed that opinion. He 
leferred to this Act of July 14, 1800, as **a truce 
after a long struggle between the advocates of free 
silver coinage and those intending to be more 

Mr. Sherman took an active part in favor of 
sustaining the recommendation of the President. 
He spoke, first, on the very day when the message 
was received, August 8, and on several other days 
of the month. Also, after the protracted debate in 
the Senate, he again took a leading part in Septem- 
ber and October. His speeches during this period 
were a forecast of the famous campaign of 1806, 
the final and decisive contest in which was settled 
the question whether gold or silver should be the 
monetary standard of the United States. 

His most stirring speech was on the 17th of 
October. The Bill had passed the House, after less 
than three weeks' discussion, by more than two to 
one. Then followed a succession of filibustering 
tactics in the Senate which threatened absolutely 
to prevent any action unless some disastrous con- 
cession should be made to the silver interests. It 
was at all times conceded that a majority favored a 
repeal, but the question could not be brought to a 
vote. On this occasion Mr. Sherman again assumed 
the position of Mentor of the Senate, speaking to 
Democrats in much the same manner as he had 
to Republicans twenty years before, when he was 
laboring for resumption. There was no longer the 
same physical vigor, but there was more of impress- 

SENATOR, 189^1897 389 

iveness and that authority which belongs to years 
of notable service. The scene was dramatic. 

There is a vivid account of his speech in the 
" Washington Post ** of the following day, written by 
Mr. 'H. S. Canfield, a brilliant newspaper writer, 
since deceased, which thus describes the event: 
''The climax of the remarkable day was now at 
hand. There is no man in the Senate for whom a 
deeper feeling of esteem is felt than John Sherman. 
He saw the Republican party bom, he has been its 
soldier as well as its sage, he has sat at the council 
table of Presidents. His hair is white and his 
muscles have no longer the elasticity of youth, 
but age has not dimmed the clearness of his intel- 
lectual vision, while it has added to the wisdom of 
his counsels. Upon Mr. Sherman, therefore, as he 
arose, every eye was turned. Personalities were 
forgotten, the bitterness of strife was laid aside. 
In a picture which must live in the memory of him 
who saw it, the spare and bowed form of Mr. 
Sherman was the central figure. There was not 
the slightest trace of feebleness in his impassioned 
tones. Except once or twice, as he hesitated a 
moment or two for a word to express his thought, 
there was not a reminder that the brain at seventy 
may be inert or the fire be dampened in the veins. 

" Mr. Sherman spoke, as he himself said, neither 
in reproach nor anger- It was the appealing tones 
that gave his speech its power — its convincing 
earnestness, its lack of rancor, its sober truth, that 
gave it weight. Suffice it to say that he predicted 


that the rules would have to be changed since they 
had been made the instrument of a revolutionary 
minority. Never before had he seen such obstruc- 
tion in the Senate, never before the Force Bill had 
he known of a measure which failed, after due de- 
liberation, to come to a vote. The Republicans had 
remained steadfast to the President, although under 
no obligation to him, and now the time had come 
when the Democrats must take the responsibility. 

" * They say they cannot agree. They must agree,* 
thundered Mr. Sherman, drawing himself to his 
full height, and pointing his quivering finger to the 
Democratic side, *or else surrender their political 

" Then Mr. Sherman pointed out the important 
legislation that was so sadly needed, not the least 
being some provision for the deficit of the govern- 
ment, which, he quoted Secretary Carlisle as saying, 
would be $50,000,000 this year. 'These things 
cannot be evaded,' he said, while the Senate lin- 
gered on his words. *We must decide this silver 
question one way or the other. If you,' he added, 
looking the Democrats in the face, * cannot do it, 
then retire from the Senate Chamber, and we will 
fix it on this side, and do the best we can with our 
silver friends who belong to us, who are blood of our 
blood and bone of our bone. But yours is the proper 
duty, and, therefore, I beg of you, not in reproach 
or anger, to perform it. You have the supreme 
honor of being able to settle this question now, and 
you ought to do it.' 

SENATOR, 189S-1897 891 

** Mr. Sherman ceased, but the thraU of his words 
remained long after his venerable form had dis- 
appeared. No Democrat answered him." 

Finally a vote was taken in the Senate on the 80th 
of October, and the Bill passed, by 43 to 32. The 
Senate had made slight changes but left the Bill 
in substantially its original form. It discontinued 
the purchase of silver bullion, though declaring 
it to be the policy of the United States to continue 
the use of both gold and silver as standard money; 
and also that the efforts of the government should 
be directed to the establishment of such a safe 
system of bimetallism as would maintain, at all 
times, the equal power of every dollar coined or 
issued by the United States. The Senate Amend- 
ments were concurred in by the House, and the 
Bill was approved by the President, November 1, 

In the efforts of the President and Secretary 
Carlisle to maintain the reserve for specie payments 
during the trying times of 1893-94-95, Mr. Sherman 
cordially cooperated to such an extent that each 
was accused by members of both parties of being 
too much under the influence of the other. He 
emphatically maintained that the Secretary of the 
Treasury had the power under the law to sell 
bonds to maintain the reserve, and that Secretary 
Carlisle did right in paying gold instead of silver 
for United States notes when presented. 

When the Wilson Tariff Bill was transmitted 
from the House to the Senate Sherman attacked 


it most vigorously. When it was presented to the 
Senate, with numerous amendments, he ridiculed 
the changes which had been made, stating that 
as it came iFrom the House it was an orderly and 
symmetrical Bill, embodying the principles of the 
Democratic platform of 1892, while the Senate 
Bill was a material departure from those principles. 
The House Bill paid especial regard to revenue 
and made raw material free. The Senate Bill, 
which was adopted, was strongly protective as 
regards certain industries, but without any ap- 
parent controlling principle. The House Bill 
abolished duties upon agricultural products. The 
Senate Bill restored them except upon wool. He 
criticised the measure as grossly sectional, and 
claimed that the minority of the Conmiittee on 
Finance was not given an opportunity to present any 
suggestions until a final decision had been reached 
by the majority. He again prophesied that the 
people of the South would change their views on 
the tariff, saying that slavery had been absolutely 
inconsistent with the development of manufactures, 
so that it was inevitable that the protective policy 
should, during the existence of that institution, 
be opposed in that section. Its manufactures had 
nearly quadrupled in thirty years. This develop- 
ment would result in a change in their tariff views. 
He was very much exercised over the abolition of 
the tariff on wool, and was willing to be satisfied 
with the ad valorem duty of thirty per cent, imposed 
by the Walker Tariff Act of 1846. Until and after 

SENATOR, 1893-1897 S9S 

the Bill became a law, Sherman continued his 
criticisms and prophesied its early repeal. 

At this time he opposed the Income Tax, though 
he did say that it was a fair and just method of 
raising revenue, that he had supported it in 1871, 
and would support it again if there were a necessity 
for it. He contended that this was a source of 
revenue which should be left to the states. He 
especially opposed fixing four thousand dollars 
as the minimum income which should be taxed, 
saying that was a form of socialism, and that one 
thousand dollars would be much more fair. 

At the same session in which the Wilson-Gorman 
TariflF Bill was passed, the question of the Hawaiian 
Islands was before Congress. Popular s}nnpathy 
was with those inhabitants who desired to dethrone 
the ruling Queen and become annexed to the United 
States. It was apparent that but for the action of 
President Cleveland annexation would have been 
accomplished. Mr. Sherman attacked the Presi- 
dent upon the ground that he had assumed powers 
which belonged only to Congress, and that he should 
have communicated his action to the legislative 
branch more fully. He even accused the President 
of lack of frankness, for his action in withholding 
information from Congress which should have 
been given. He denied the President's right to use 
military force to restore the Queen to power. 

He advocated the annexation of the islands, 
largely because of American interests there, and 
favored making them a part of the State of Cali- 


fomia, clearly outlining the views which he after- 
wards maintained. He said: — 

"But when the government d the United States under- 
takes to acquire property and govern it as a territory, 
it does what is not consistent with the ordinary machinery 
of the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution 
was not framed for dependencies; it was framed for 
states.^ I trust the time is not far distant when every 
portion of the territory of our country will be within the 
limits of a state. I should be very glad indeed to see Utah 
attached to Nevada, if the people of Nevada would con- 
sent. I should be glad to see New Mexico and Arizona 
united together. The Alaskan Territory ought to be 
attached either to Washington or Oregon, because in that 
way we could give to those people a local government, 
a county government; and a county is often as independ- 
ent of the state as the state is of the nation." 

In the election of 1894 the trend of popular 
favor towards the Republican party was very 
noticeable. An overwhelming Republican majority 
was elected to the House of Representatives, and 
a plurality in the Senate, though a Democrat still 
remained at the head of the Committee on Foreign 

The Congressional Session of 1894-95 was 
singularly lacking in action upon any important 
questions. The election of the preceding autumn 
had shown pronounced disapproval of the party 
in power. Then, too, the hopeless split in the 
Democratic party upon the money question, which 
first became evident during the pendency of the 
< See also quotation on page 415. 

SENATOR, 1893-1897 395 

Act for the repeal of the SUver Purchase Law, in 
1893, became more and more manifest with each 
session, and led to a partial re-alignment of parties 
in 1896. There was much desultory discussion but 
little affirmative action upon any subject. On the 
meeting of the Fifty-fourth Congress in the years 
1895-96, there was much of the same disposition to 
inaction, and, besides, little could be done, because, 
although there was an overwhelming Republican 
majority in the House of Representatives, there 
was only a plurality of that party in the Senate, 
with a laige preponderance of Free Silver Senators. 
All parties were playing a waiting game and looking 
forward to a decisive contest in the presidential 
election of 1896. 

The dispute between Great Britain and Venezu- 
ela over the boundary-line between British Guiana 
and the latter country, as well as the growing 
disturbance and anarchy in Cuba, caused very 
considerable excitement, and, in a measure, diverted 
attention from domestic affairs. President Cleve- 
land sent a message to Congress, in December, 1895, 
in which he gravely contemplated the possibility 
of war with Great Britain. Mr. Sherman did not 
oppose the President, or criticise his message, but 
he favored deliberation and the reference of a 
pending Bill to the Committee on Foreign Relations 
before any action should be taken. The Bill pro- 
posed an appropriation for the expenses of a com- 
mission to investigate and report on the true divi- 
sional-line between Venezuela and British Guiana. 


Sherman said: ''There is no huny about this mat- 
ter. The controversy between Venezuela and Great 
Britain will not be settled in a day, or in months. 
In my judgment it will be settled peaceably by 
the action of those two powers." He set forth the 
Monroe Doctrine in the following language : ** The 
assertion of our right to prevent European powers 
from seizing any part of the American continent, 
from treating America as an Africa, to be conquered 
and divided among the various nations of Europe, 
cannot be questioned." He did not seem to en- 
tertain advanced opinions upon the Doctrine, and 
appeared to regard our action toward Mexico as a 
violation of it. On the following day he said : **The 
Doctrine, though often stated since the time of Mr. 
Monroe, has never been applied specially in any 
particular case. We did not regard the Doctrine 
when we invaded Mexico. After Texas had been 
ceded to us we occupied great portions of Mexican 
territory, including California. We ought to have 
thought of it then. But still we have insisted upon 
our right to protect the American nations from 
European encroachment, and I believe in it as 
heartily as any." 

In the latter part of February, 1896, he spoke 
upon a resolution which, after quoting from the 
President's message a determination honestly to 
fulfill eveiy international obligation, declared that 
the good oflSces of the United States were recom- 
mended to the favorable consideration of the Span- 
ish government for the recognition of the independ- 

SENATOR, 189S-18d7 3S7 

ence of Cuba. He favored this resolution, and 
stated that he desired to share the responsibility 
for the consequences that might come from its 
adoption. He said: **My convictions are strong, 
made stronger eveiy day, that the condition of 
affairs in Cuba is such that the intervention of the 
United States must sooner or later be given, to put 
an end to crimes that are almost beyond descrip- 
tion." He called attention to his having intro- 
duced, in 1870, a resolution to the effect that the 
United States recognized the existence of a state of 
war between Spain and Cuba, and that the United 
States would observe strict neutrality between the 
belligerent parties. He stated that President Grant 
favored intervention, but was held back by the 
advice of his Secretary of State, Hamilton Fish. He 
made a very severe attack on Governor-General 
Weyler, and ended with the declaration: "Sir, 
whatever may be the result of the adoption of this 
measure, I desire to take my share of responsibility 
in connection with it, and with a confidence in the 
judgment of the Almighty Ruler of the universe, I 
believe it will be wise if we can assist, and all the 
other nations of America concur, in securing to the 
people of Cuba the same liberties we now enjoy." 
At the same time he made this distinct declaration 
against annexation: "Mark it, Mr. President, I 
am not in favor of the annexation of Cuba to the 
United States." 

Although no financial legislation of any im- 
portance was enacted during President Cleveland's 


second administFation after the Repeal Act of 1893, 
financial discussions continued without end. Sher- 
man stated the Republican position in some remarks, 
January 3, 1896, criticising the President and the 
Secretary of the Treasury. He attacked the admin- 
istration on the ground that the sole cause of the dif- 
ficulty was the lack of revenue, saying: **The only 
difficulty in the way of an easy maintenance of our 
noteis at par with coin is the fact that, during this 
administration, the revenues have not been suffi- 
cient to meet the expenditures authorized by Con- 
gress." He again insisted on the propriety of setting 
apart a specific gold reserve, for the maintenance of 
specie payments, or segregating this reserve fund 
from the general balance, and called attention to 
his recommendation* of such action while Secretary 
of the Treasury, on the 6th of December, 1980. 

Two bills had passed the House of Representa- 
tives, one providing for a horizontal increase in 
duties, the other for the issuance of a three per cent, 
gold bond to be disposed of instead of the much 
more unfavorable issues which could be sold for 
maintenance of the gold reserve. The pendency of 
measures intended to relieve the Tl^asury Depart- 
ment from serious embarrassment was taken advan- 
tage of by the advocates of free silver. They did not, 
in this case, merely amend the bills by an addition, 
or by striking out something, but, in the one provid- 
ing for an increase of duties, struck out all after the 
enacting clause, and substituted a provision f6r the 
unlimited free coinage of silver at the ratio of sixteen 

SENATOR, 18dS-1897 899 

to one. In the discussion of this measure, on Febru- 
ary 25, Sherman strongly supported the President, 
and declined to discuss the silver question, tri- 
umphantly calling attention to the immense major- 
ities which the opponents of silver had received at 
the preceding election, in the autumn of 1894. 

A startling proposition was discussed in the 
Senate in May, 1896, the purpose of which was to 
forbid the issuance of bonds for the maintenance of 
the reserve for specie payments. This would operate 
as a practical repeal of the Resumption Law. He 
spoke in the strongest terms against this measure, 
saying its passage would be a crime, but expressing 
his gratification that the House of Representatives 
would still stand on the right side, and the President 
would aid the House. He said: "'I denounce it as 
a repudiation. It is as bad as if we should pass 
an act that we will not pay the public debt. . . . 
It was supposed that this Senate would be the con- 
servative check upon a numerous and tempestuous 
body of Representatives, and prevent unwise and 
hasty legislation; and yet we here, the part of the 
government of the United States which it was 
thought could be most safely relied upon, violate 
the most sacred contracts made by the people of the 
United States." 

At the end of the year 1895 his book, in two large 
volumes, was published, entitled ** John Sherman's 
Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate, 
and Cabinet." In that year he spent the major 
part of the congressional vacation, between March 4 


and the session ttt the beginning of December, in 
the preparation of this work. It had been his first 
intention to publish a compilation of his speeches; 
later he thought of preparing a financial histoiy of 
the United States during the period of his public 
life, but afterwards he concluded to write a com- 
prehensive account of his life and times. The vol- 
umes were prepared with a degree of haste so great 
as to make it surprising that they are so free from 
inaccuracies as they are. They give a very clear 
portrayal of his life, his views upon public ques- 
tions, his associations, his triumphs, and his disap- 
pointments. He gives the frankest expression to his 
thoughts in regard to the men and events of his day, 
and, while guarded in speaking of those with whom 
he had come in collision, he, in occasional instances, 
visits unsparing censure upon some of his contempo- 

For some time prior to the National Republican 
Convention of 1896 he was eagerly interested in the 
nomination of Mr. McKinley for the presidency, 
and displayed his old-time political skill in promot- 
ing his chances. The campaign of 1896 was one of 
the most hotly contested, and yet one of the most 
satisfactory, in the histoiy of American politics. 
It was, in a preeminent sense, a campaign of educa- 
tion, and manifested the disposition of the voters 
in an election campaign to become absorbingly 
interested in one clearly defined issue, to which they 
attach supreme importance. At such a time the 
probabilities of a wise decision at the polls are 

SENATOR, 1898-1897 401 

greatly increased. After the elections of 1894, and 
indeed after those of 1893, it had been confidently 
expected that a Republican President would be 
chosen in 1896. Commercial and industrial condi- 
tions were veiy unfavorable. Agricultural interests 
also suffered very severely. All these facts gave 
popular force to the demand for a change. Gov- 
ernor McKinley was nominated in June, 1896, 
and Mr. Bryan in July. Up to this time it had 
been expected that the tariff and other questions, 
upon which party lines were drawn in 1892, would 
be the contested issues in the campaign, but the 
Democratic Convention, held at Chicago, dispelled 
this expectation. The convention repudiated Mr. 
Cleveland and his administration by refusing to 
pass a resolution of indorsement, and in its plat- 
form, and by the utterances of its candidate, pro- 
claimed free and unlimited coinage of silver at six- 
teen to one as the leading issue. This unexpected 
change of front greatly increased at first the chances 
of Democratic success. While the change was 
accepted by many as a virtual confession that the 
political policies which had dominated the Demo- 
cratic party for years preceding were of doubtful 
expediency, yet others believed that in the unlim- 
ited use of silver a remedy would be found for the 
low prices, lack of employment, and business stag- 
nation which existed. It was a frequent remark that 
anything would be better than the existing hard 
times, and we had best try free silver. Thus, the 
line of division between the two parties was very 


materially changed. If a vote had been taken in Au- 
gust or September of 1896, it is probable that Mr. 
Bryan would have been elected by a considerable 
majority, as his pleasing personality and aggressive 
methods of campaigning gave him great strength 
as a candidate; but in time the question of silver 
was more thoroughly understood. An unusual 
amount of financial literature, of a superficial but 
taking quality, had been in circulation for years, 
which gave the advocates of free coinage an advan- 
tage in the early part of the campaign, but the 
electorate pondered upon the question as never 
before on a financial subject. The hoax of the 
" Crime of '73 '* was exploded. The very novel cam- 
paign of Mr. Bryan lost a measure of its attractive- 
ness. In addition, there was some faint glimmering 
of improvement in industrial and commercial con- 
ditions, although the activity of business com- 
munities was largely suspended, and an eager 
interest in politics was taken by thousands of men 
who had given only passing notice to previous 
election campaigns. 

Governor McKinley showed remarkable poise, 
and, by his many utterances from the porch of his 
home at Canton, he contributed to the success of 
the campaign. His words were always calm and 
patriotic, but showed qualities of leadership and 
a dispassionate consideration of pending issues 
which greatly increased the confidence of the people. 
The fear that his absorbing interest in tariff had 
left him no time for profound consideration of other 

SENATOR, 189S-1897 408 

topics was dispelled by the clearness and courage 
of his utterances upon public questions. No candi- 
date with a long record of speeches upon policies 
in dispute had awakened less animosity by his 
views. The exemplary record of his domestic life 
and his attractive personal qualities drew many 
to him. The result was the election of Mr. 
McKinley, who received in the Northern States, 
east of Ohio, unprecedented Republican majorities. 
Senator Sherman took a less active part in this 
campaign than usual, rather by reason of the 
limitations of age than for lack of interest, he 
now being seventy-three years old. He spoke at 
the formal opening of the Ohio campaign, at Colum- 
bus, on the 15th of August, 1896. On this occasion 
he pursued the course of reading from manuscript, 
setting forth his views on silver at very considerable 
length, as well as touching upon the tariff and all 
great pending questions. There was little that 
was new in this address, although it showed all 
the forcefulness of statement which had character- 
ized his preceding years. Occasional failure of 
memory became apparent for the first time during 
this campaign. There was an absence of that 
accuracy in the marshaling of facts and figures 
which had characterized him in previous years. 
At the same time his mental grasp had not seriously 
slackened, and it is probable that if Mr. Sherman 
had remained in the Senate, where he was accus- 
tomed to the methods employed in the transaction 
of business, and where a certain consideration 


would have been shown for any infirmity due to 
advanced years, there would have been no serious 
handicap upon his usefulness until the end. 

It was the earnest desire of Mr. McKinley and 
of Mr. Hanna, the latter of whom had been 
among Mr. Sherman's strongest friends in all his 
political aspirations, and had been his manager 
at the Republican National Convention in 1888, 
that he should take the position of Secretary of 
State in the new Cabinet. He was extremely re- 
luctant to leave the Senate, but in accepting a posi- 
tion in the Cabinet he was influienced both by his 
desire to meet the wishes of his closest friends, and 
by a feeling that the preference 6f the President-elect 
should be respected. On the 15th of January, 1897, 
Mr. Sherman conferred with Mr. McKinley at 
Canton, and it was agreed that he should assume 
the position. 

His participation in legislation during the last 
session of the Fifty-fourth Congress was materially 
lessened by his contemplated membership in the 
Cabinet, which not only occupied his time, but 
imposed an especial responsibility and hampered 
his freedom. After the public announcement of 
his selection as Secretary of State, he avoided 
as far as possible participating in the debates 
in the Senate upon questions involving foreign 
relations. Ineffectual discussions occurred upon 
questions of revenue and of currency, but there 
was a disposition to postpone everything until 
the following administration. Two questions were 

SENATOR, 1893-1897 405 

discussed, however, of very considerable .import- 
ance, on which it was necessary for him to express 
an opinion. One was upon a proposed arbitra- 
tion treaty with Great Britain; the other upon 
the construction of the Nicaraguan Canal. 

The arbitration treaty had been the subject of 
correspondence in the spring of 1895, and was again 
considered at the time of the Venezuelan boundary 
dispute. Lord Salisbury, the English Prime Minis- 
ter, was not altogether friendly to a general arbi- 
tration treaty. He proposed excluding from the 
scope of propased arbitration disputes which in- 
volved national honor and integrity, suggesting 
practically the exceptions which have since been 
reserved in several arbitration treaties recently 
negotiated between different nations of Europe. 
By the terms of the treaty, which was signed and 
transmitted to the Senate on the 11th of January, 
1897, provision was made that pecuniary claims 
were to be decided by tribunals composed of three 
or five arbitrators, the number depending upon 
the amount of the claim; an equal number of 
arbitrators were to be jurists of repute, to be chosen 
by each of the contracting parties; the third or 
fifth was to be chosen by those so selected. The 
claims were to be decided by a majority. But con- 
troversies involving the determination of territorial 
claims were to be submitted to six persons holding 
judicial positions, three to be selected by each of 
the contending parties, and their decisions were 
not to be binding unless five of the six arbitrators 


should concur in the award, though there was to be 
no recourse to hostile measures until the mediation 
of one or more friendly powers had been invited. 

Some senators denied the validity of such a 
treaty on the ground that it would eliminate the 
action of the Senate in the ratification of agreements 
with foreign nations. Among several amendments 
proposed was one limiting the questions to be 
decided by arbitration to those submitted by a 
vote of the Senate. Objection was made to the 
appointment of judges as arbitrators, because they 
might have expressed judicial opinions on questions 
propounded to them. Another amendment was 
adopted in the Senate that any differences which, 
in the judgment of either party, materially affected 
its honor, or its domestic or foreign policy, should 
not be referred to arbitration. This left so wide 
a range of subjects outside the proposed submission 
that, in a time of great excitement such as might 
arise from a collision of interests, the good effects 
of any treaty would be practically nullified. In its 
original form the treaty had provided for the sub- 
mission of all controversies, but with a vital differ- 
ence in regard to the decision by the judges. In 
one case a majority might decide, and in the other 
it must be five to one. The vote for ratification was 
43 to 26, less than the requisite two thirds. 

A Bill was brought forward by Senator Morgan 
favoring a guarantee of bonds of the Maritime 
Canal Company of Nicaragua. Mr. Sherman took 
part in the discussion, saying: "I have always 


SENATOR, 1893-1897 407 

believed, and still believe, that the only way by 
which the Nicaraguan Canal could be built was 
by the action and credit and power of the govern- 
ment of the United States." He vigorously opposed 
the pending proposition, again referring to the 
treaty prepared during President Arthur's ad- 
ministration, twelve years before, and saying that 
if, instead of having been withdrawn by Cleveland, 
it had been ratified, the canal might already have 
been completed. It was stated during the discus- 
sion that about $4,500,000 had been expended by 
the company and that it was unable to borrow any 
more money. He expressed the opinion that the 
canal could never be built by a corporation, how- 
ever strong and powerful it might be, and called 
attention to the Suez, which was constructed by 
the contributions of the people of several nations, 
among them France and Great Britain. 

A closely related question, that of the binding 
effect of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, was discussed 
in the month of February, 1897. This treaty had 
usually been considered as an obstacle to under- 
taking the construction of the canal, without the 
consent or cooperation of Great Britain. A joint 
resolution was introduced by Senator Morgan, 
declaring this treaty, which was concluded on the 
19th of April, 1850, to be abrogated. Mr. Sherman 
objected to the consideration of this resolution and 
it was decided to take up the question in the privacy 
of an executive session, where, after debate, it was 
referred to the Conunittee on Foreign Relations. 


It is known, however, that Mr. Sherman opposed 
the declaration of abrogation. 

His very last utterance in the Senate, February 
26, 1897, was called out by a discussion in regard to 
one Julio Sanguily, a naturalized American citizen, 
who had been seized by the Spanish authorities at 
Havana and imprisoned. A resolution was offered 
demanding his immediate release, and suitable 
compensation. Such was the temper of the time 
that this was an extremely popular proposition, but 
it was within less than a week of the closing of the 
Fifty-fourth Congress, and it was earnestly desired 
that appropriation bills should be disposed of. 
Under these circumstances the accusation was 
made against Mr. Sherman that, in favoring the 
adoption of the resolution, he was obstructing the 
passage of appropriation bills. This he disclaimed, 
and in reply made the last utterance of his legis- 
lative career, saying: "I am opposed to wrong 
and violence and tyranny, wherever it is exercised, 
and, when it is inflicted upon a citizen of the United 
States, I will stand by him, if I am alone." 



The period of Mr. Sherman's service as Secretary 
of State, from March 5, 1897, to April 27, 1898, 
was an extremely important one in our diplomatic 

An important negotiation was that for the annex- 
ation of the Hawaiian Islands. In January, 1893, 
the monarchical government in these islands had 
been overthrown, and a provisional government 
established which sought annexation to the United 
States. President Cleveland, however, who was 
inaugurated on the 4th of March, thought there had 
been a violation of neutrality. He believed that 
the marines and sailors of the U. S. S. Boston had 
landed, not merely for the protection of American 
property and the prevention of incendiarism, but 
with a view to a change in the government. A 
treaty had been framed at Washington and sent 
to the Senate for ratification before the close of 
President Harrison's term. President Cleveland 
withdrew the treaty and made overtures for the 
restoration of the monarchy, but these were re- 
jected, and the provisional government remained 
in power. It was his declaration that the Queen sur- 
rendered, not to the provisional government, but to 


the United States; not absolutely and permanently, 
but temporarily and conditionally, until such time as 
the facts could be considered in the United States. 

In February, 1894, the House of Representatives 
approved the action of the President, declaring 
that annexation was uncalled for and inexpedient 
and <;ondemning the action of the Minister to 
Hawaii in directing the employment of United 
States naval forces. Contrary action was taken in 
the Senate, however, where a resolution against 
the policy of annexation was indefinitely postponed, 
and a resolution recognizing the right of the island- 
ers to establish their own form of government, and 
against allowing interference on the part of foreign 
countries, was adopted. 

A Republic with d form of government similar 
to ours was proclaimed on the fourth of July, 1894. 
This Republic was recognized by foreign powers. 
It steadfastly adhered to the policy of seeking 
annexation to the United States, although an oppo- 
sition party developed. In February, 1897, the 
attorney-general for the islands came to Washing- 
ton to open negotiations for a new treaty of annexa- 
tion, and on June 16, after the inauguration of 
President McKinley, Secretary Sherman signed 
such a treaty on behalf of the United States. Less 
than two thirds of the members of the Senate 
favored this treaty, and thus it was not ratified, 
but the islands were finally annexed to the United 
States by a joint resolution approved by the Presi- 
dent on July 7, 1898. 


There was the ever-present ground for contro- 
versy with Spain over conditions in Cuba. What- 
ever he may have said in the Senate, Mr. Sherman 
labored with earnestness, from the very beginning 
of his incumbency in the State Department, to 
establish conditions in Cuba which would secure 
the people of the island in their rights, and be satis- 
factory to the United States, without a collision 
with Spain. In this he cooperated witii President 
McKinley, and after he left the Cabinet he fre- 
quently expressed the opinion that if he could have 
continued those negotiations, war might have been 

While sympathy for Cuba had aroused in the 
United States the most bitter animosity against 
the Spanish government, it must be conceded that 
the situation of Spain was a most delicate one. 
That country had discovered the new world, and, 
as a result, had laid claim to a whole hemisphere, 
more than half of which it had possessed for three 
centuries; but now, of this vast colonial empire 
only two islands in the West Indies remained. The 
Ministry which would abandon these without a 
struggle would be hurled from power in disgrace. 
It was preeminently a case in which a stronger 
nation might well be considerate of a weaker. 
Yet every narrative of Spanish misrule or outrage 
in Cuba added fuel to the flame of indignation, 
and, besides, important interests of the United 
States were grievously injured by the intolerable 
conditions there. No subject was more discussed 


in G>ngress, nor was there greater interest In any 
topic among the public at large. Resolutions for 
recognition of belligerency were frequently intro- 
duced, also resolutions for intervention. In Sep- 
tember cS 1897 Minister Woodford notified the 
Spanish government that rec(^nition of Cuban 
belligerency was demanded in the United States. 
A measure of local government was given to Cuba 
by Spain, but the unrest and turmoil still continued. 
The concentration of inhabitants of the island in 
towns where they were unable to obtain suitable 
habitations, or the means of support, and were even 
in a starving condition, did much to arouse popular 
feeling in the United States. 

It is nevertheless possible that peace might have 
been obtained had it not been for the blowing-up 
of the United States Battleship Maine, in the 
harbor of Havana, on the 15th of Februaiy, 1898. 
On a subsequent investigation a report was made 
by naval officers of the United States that the ship 
was destroyed by a submarine mine which caused 
the partial explosion of two or more of the maga- 
zines. Though no evidence was obtained fixing 
the responsibility, and it is altogether improbable 
that any Spanish official of prominence directed 
the destruction of the ship, nevertheless, it was 
believed that the mine must have been located and 
fired by Spaniards, and that the act was prompted 
by ill will towards the government and people of the 
United States. 

In surveying the long months of tension arising 


from the feeling against Spain* it is easy to realiae 
how difficult it was, after this tragic denouement, 
to avoid war. Soon after, Congress voted $50,000,- 
000, to be used by the President under his abso- 
lute discretion for the national defense, but evi- 
dently with a view to preparing for war and waging 
it. On the 11th of April, 1898, the President noti- 
fied Congress that all his efforts to obtain satisfaction 
from Spain had failed. Congress passed, and the 
President on the 20th of April, 1898, approved, 
resolutions of intervention, declaring that Cuba 
should be independent, and directing the use of 
the military and naval forces of the United States 
to carry the resolutions into e£Pect. A formal de- 
claration of war soon followed, and, on the 23d 
of April, a call for one hundred and twenty-five 
thousand men. 

By this time the position of Secretary Sherman 
in the Cabinet had become unbearable. Mr. 
William R. Day, an intimate personal friend of 
President McKinley, since appointed to the Su- 
preme Court of the United States, had been chosen 
as Assistant Secretary of State, in May, 1897, and 
it soon became apparent that President McEIinley 
relied upon him for the management of affairs in 
the State Department. The unusual course was 
adopted of inviting an Assistant Secretary to attend 
the meetings of the Cabinet for the purpose of 
discussing the question which at that time was of 
the most absorbing interest to the whole nation. 
Mr. Sherman was not slow to observe this, and. 


in a measure, resented it. On the 25th of April, 
two days after the call for troops, he resigned his 
position as Secretary of State, and, on the 27th, 
vacated the office. 

His abandonment of the office was inevitable, 
on two grounds. In the first place his health had 
so failed that it was impossible for him to manage 
this great department, in this tiying emei^ncy, 
with sufficient vigor. He had become foi^tful, 
and in many important matters of detail his lack 
of memoiy threatened complications in relations 
with the ambassadors of other nations. So com- 
plete was his failure of memory that he sometimes 
failed to recognize old acquaintances. On one 
occasion two Senators, who had been his colleagues 
in the Senate, called upon him, presenting a citizen 
of their state for a diplomatic position. Secretary 
Sherman was very considerably interested, but in 
a brief time it appeared that he was addressing one 
of the two Senators who had been his colleagues 
as the applicant, showing an entire forgetfulness of 
a man with whom he had associated for two years 
in the Senate. 

A second reason was a difference of opinion as 
to the proper policy to adopt. Whatever he may 
have said in earlier years in the Senate, he was now 
unalterably of the opinion that it was not a desirable 
policy for the United States to annex outlying 
territory. In his " Recollections," written in 1895, he 
had said at the very close of the book : " The events 
pf the future are beyond the vision of mankind. 

fflS LAST DAYS 415 

but I hope that our people will be Content with 
internal growth, and avoid the complications of 
foreign acquisitions. Our family of states is al- 
ready large enough to create embarrassment in 
the Senate, and a republic should not hold de- 
pendent provinces or possessions. Every new 
acquisition will create embarrassments. Canada 
and Mexico, as independent republics, will be more 
valuable to the United States than if carved into 
additional states. The Union already embraces 
discordant elements enough without adding others. 
If my life is prolonged I will do all I can to add 
to the strength and prosperity of the United States, 
but nothing to extend its limits or to add new 
dangers by acquisition of foreign territory." In 
view of this declaration, naturally his every eflFort 
was exerted to avoid war with Spain, especially 
since such a war was at that time considered as 
a prelude to the annexation of Cuba. It cannot be 
denied, however, that he left the Cabinet with 
a degree of bitterness toward President McKinley, 
more by reason of his practical supersession than 
for any other reason; but also with a belief that 
he had been transferred to the Cabinet to make 
room for another in the Senate. 

The remaining years of his life were years of 
sadness. It is not diflScult to realize that a man 
who, for forty-three years, had been absorbingly 
occupied in public affairs, and had come to regard 
himself as identified with the government of the 
country, should feel entirely lost when outside of 


oflfonal gtation. HI health and weakness were 
creeping upon him, but his chief misfortune was 
his absence from the pursuits which had been his 
very life. It was believed that he cherished a bitter 
feeling because of his withdrawal from the Cabinet, 
and numerous interviews and utterances of his 
appeared, some of which were no doubt genuine, 
in which he attacked the policy of the administra- 
tion. At the request of the Anti-Imperialist League 
he furnished a clear and aigumentative statement 
against the annexation of the Philippines, which 
showed that, however lacking his faculties might 
be in some directions, he still retained remarkable 
vigor of thought and expression. The sadness of 
his situation was very much aggravated by the 
failure of his wife's health. She was stricken with 
paralysis in the autumn of the year 1898, not long 
after the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage, but 
lingered until the 5th of June, 1900. 

Mr. Sherman alternated between Mansfield and 
Washington. To place a quietus upon one of the 
rumors of his opposition to the Republican party, 
and numerous reports that he would take a part 
in Ohio politics against the President, he sent a 
letter, in which he strongly supported the Repub- 
lican candidate. Judge Nash, for governor, in the 
year 1899. 

In March of that year he took a trip to the West 
Indies, during which he was taken seriously iU at 
San Juan, Porto Rico, and later suffered a relapse. 
An untrue report of his death was sent to the United 


States. A government steamer was assigned for his 
use, which landed him at Fortress Monroe not long 

Several months after the death of Mrs. Sherman 
he returned to Washington, very much shattered, 
both in mind and body. In taking his last glimpse 
of Mansfield he seemed bewildered about the place 
to which he was going, and even asked : ** Where 
are they going to take me ? " 

Soon after his return it was evident that his life 
was fast ebbing away. He was confined to his bed, 
and was, for most of the time, unconscious. When 
some of his near relatives and friends had gathered 
in his house, in the last hours, he raised his head, 
and, seizing the hand of his adopted daughter, Mrs. 
McCallum, said: "There are some friends in the 
house, are there not ? " She responded in the affirm- 
ative. He then said: "You must show them 
hospitality." These were his last words, and on the 
following morning, Tuesday, October 22, 1900, he 
passed away. 

President McKinley issued a proclamation 
eulogizing his character and his * distinguished 
public services, and directing that the flags upon 
the public buildings at the capital be placed at 
half-mast, and that in like manner tribute be paid 
to his memory, for ten days, by the representatives 
of the United States in foreign countries. Com- 
memorative services were held at his residence in 
Washington, after which there were funeral serv- 
ices at Mansfield, at which place he was buried. 



The political and financial hirtoiy of the United 
States, from 1855 to 1898, the period of Mr. Slier- 
man's active participation in public life, is charac- 
terized by a record of events which in importance 
is not surpassed by that of any equal period in the 
lustoiy of any nation. In neariy all of these events 
he had part; in veiy many he was prominent, and 
in a considerable number he was the central figure. 
So closely was he associated with the stirring 
scenes and the remarkably progressive movements 
of this time that his biography is virtually a hist(»y 
of his country during these forty-three years. 

No man was more closely associated vrith the 
great material growth which was a leading feature 
of the last half -century. He was at the very fore- 
front in the financial and industrial achievements 
of his day. He reveled in trade and census statis- 
tics which showed the increasing prosperity of the 
country and promised for it an unchallenged 
supremacy. In his earlier years he had visited 
prairies and plains which were as unoccupied as 
mere desert wastes. It gave him supreme satis- 
faction to see them in later years, and to view the 


prosperous cities which had arisen under the magic 
touch of American enterprise. 

His part in public affairs commenced with the 
anti-slavery agitation. This was followed by the 
great excitement and strain of the Civil War, in 
which the public men of the United States were com- 
pelled to face problems rarely imposed upon states- 
men of any nation, and their capabilities tried to 
the utmost. Then followed the difficult period of 
political reconstruction and material reparation. 
Later still, came the financial and commercial 
revolution which was a distinguishing feature of 
the last thirty years of the nineteenth centuiy. 

Sherman was naturally conservative in his views 
upon public questions. At the very outset of his 
political career he was criticised by the radical 
anti-slaveiy advocates. He was not among the 
eariier advocates of emancipation during the Civil 
War. He was at first opposed to granting the right 
of suffrage to the colored race. Yet he became an 
intense partisan, and adhered to the measures and 
policies of his party with unswerving tenacity. 
He could not well have been anything else. Our 
judgment of men must be determined, not by any 
ideal standard, but by the epoch in which they 
live, and by their environment. 

He was first elected at a time when the moral 
sentiment of the country was intensely aroused. 
The very first session of his legislative career saw 
him in the midst of a reign of terror in Kansas, 
where an effort was made by brute force and by 


devious means to defeat the will of the citizens of 
a territory which was soon to become a great state. 
He was threatened with personal assault and vio- 
lence on the floor of the House, and had been com- 
pelled at one time to carry a weapon, in order that 
he might feel safe from the attack of a fellow mem- 
ber whose animosity against him was aroused 
solely by his political principles. He was defeated 
for Speaker when he felt himself most justly entitled 
to the position, and that by a species of opposition 
which left with him a legacy of bitterness, not 
merely political but personal as well. In the years 
following the Civil War it was believed for a long 
time that the restoration of the opposing party 
would mean the annulment of the results of the 
conflict. Contests were close. His prominence 
subjected him to accusations of official dishonesty. 
Political opponents thought there was no surer 
way to overthrow a contending candidate than by 
accusations of this kind. It is not probable that 
similar methods for securing political advantage 
will ever be entirely done away with in the Re- 
public, but it is to our credit that there has been 
great improvement, especially within the past 

The charge of inconsistency has been frequently 
made against him, a charge which is undoubtedly 
sustained by his numerous changes of opinion. 
His views upon the tariff are the most satisfactory 
to one who in a survey of his life is anxious to find 
a public man consistent in his ideas. On many 


other subjects he on various occasions advocated 
policies widely different. In taxation he favored 
an income tax, in the earlier seventies, and opposed 
it in 1894. As regards the greenbacks,he regarded 
them as a temporary measure when he first voted 
for them in 1862; later he said they would disappear 
with the end of the war; but at a subsequent time 
he came to believe in them as a permanent por- 
tion of our currency, and retained that belief until 
the end of his life. It is evident that he thought 
lightly of consistency, regarding it as a jewel pre- 
cious because of its rarity rather than for its intrinsic 
worth or its importance as a rule of conduct. 

His changes of attitude were not in all instances 
free from apparent regard for political expediency. 
At the same time they were too numerous, too 
frankly avowed, and so often divorced from con- 
siderations of personal advantage that no adequate 
explanation can be given except that they were due 
to a habit of his mind. He did not always change 
his tack with changes of the tide. He was constantly 
giving heed to the despotic power of public opinion, 
but his advocacy of policies was often most persist- 
ent, and, indeed, obstinate, in cases in which he 
incurred strong opposition and obloquy, by reason 
of the alteration of his views; or in which he was 
thoroughly aware that he was going counter to the 
opinions of a majority of his countrymen. His 
courage and his patriotism appear in the strongest 
light in numerous instances in which he was willing 
to appeal to the future and disregard the clamor 


of the passing moment. After his own state had 
voted by more than fifty thousand nm jority against 
negro suffrage, he courageously advocated the 
Fifteenth Amendment, although he had been loath 
to favor it at an earlier time. His arguments for 
sound money and for financial honor and credit 
were strongest and most earnest when the senti- 
ment in his state and in the country was manifest- 
ing itself most forcibly for inflation, or depreciation 
of the monetary standard. 

In many instances his changes of opinion would 
seem to be the result of inadvertence or foigetful- 
•ness. In a long career covering forty-three years, 
most of which was in a legislative body, where his 
utterances would fill a great many volumes, and 
during which his views were expressed on a greater 
variety of subjects than by almost any of our 
public men, it is not improbable that some expres- 
sions were hastily given, without reflection, or as 
soon forgotten as spoken. In 1888 he spoke in 
favor of erecting a public building in every town 
of four or five thousand inhabitants, and in 1892 
he said that it was not best to construct any such 
building in a town of less than ten thousand inhab- 
itants, because, in the smaller towns, it would be 
more profitable to rent than to build. There are 
very many instances, however, in which the differ- 
ence in his utterances cannot be ascribed to for- 
getfulness. When he was straining every effort to 
aid in the funding of the national indebtedness at a 
lowei rate of interest, he demanded that the national. 


banks should take, as a basis for their circulation, 
large amounts of bonds at the minimum rate of 
interest provided in a proposed issue, and that a 
law should be passed to that effect. Some years 
after, although fully aware of the line of argument 
which he had adopted at an eaiiier time, and con- 
fronted with his former words, he strenuously 
opposed the imposition of a similar requirement, 
saying that it was unjust to the banks, and a re- 
proach upon the credit of the government. 

At times his views were changed only when he 
became convinced that an overwhelming majority 
of his constituents had come to think differently 
from him. His life was contemporaneous with a 
transition period in the relation between the people 
and public men. The situation in which party 
followers waited for the views of their leaders, as 
in the days of Jackson, Clay, Calhoun, and Webster, 
gave place to one in which the individual citizen 
asserted himself more prominently. The initiative 
in great public movements, in a much greater 
degree, began with the people themselves. He at 
first opposed larger pensions for soldiers, but later 
yielded to the popular demand for them. Like 
many other public men who had gone through the 
stirring scenes of the war, he was unwilling to oppose 
the most generous provision for the volunteer 
soldiers who had answered the call to arms. 

His first impulses on almost every question were 
actuated in great degree by a desire for economy 
in the management of the public purse. This atti* 


tude he was unwilling to yield until he became 
convinced that general opinion was permanently 
fixed in favor of more generous expenditure. In 
some instances, such as in his occasional expressions 
of willingness to see the bonds, issued during the 
Civil War, paid in greenbacks, he was clearly 
actuated by a desire to obtain the most favorable 
bargain for the government possible, a disposition 
which was as constant with him as his desire to 
obtain favorable bargains in his private business 
transactions. He was exceedingly anxious to relieve 
the country as far as possible from the almost 
overwhelming load of debt which had been incurred 
in the Civil War. 

It has been said that Mr. Sherman was a cold 
man. This accusation is always made against those 
who do not love greetings in the market-place, or 
whose habits are those of men constantly and 
intensely devoted to their work. He was a model 
man in his family; an affectionate husband; kind 
and forbearing in all the relations of life. He was 
not only thoughtful, but affectionate, and at times 
jovial. When he went outside the circle of his 
immediate friends, however, he was in a degree 
reserved; not given at any time to enthusiastic 
praise; absolutely lacking in anything like gush 
or sudden impulse; but always dignified, appre- 
ciative of his friends, and, though remembering 
his foes, not vindictive. 

His public utterances have certain well-defined 
characteristics. They abound in facts and figures. 


He never aimed to be ornate. In his eariy career. 
Chase, on one occasion, had advised him to add 
something in the way of a peroration, but he con- 
cluded not to do so. Occasionally, however, as at 
the dedication of the Washington Monument, and 
at the later meeting of the Sons of the American 
Revolution, at the base of the Monument, on the 
Fourth of July, 1894, he expressed himself in flowery 
language, and with the usual elation over the 
triumphs of American institutions. He was master 
of a concise style. His sentences were at the same 
time readily understood — comparatively short, 
and especially striking in that they were compre- 
hensive and covered all the different phases of the 
subject in very brief compass. 

He had the power of intense concentration. 
When engaged in reading or writing he was ob- 
livious to his surroundings and hardly noticed the 
presence of any one. In preparing an elaborate 
address he usually drew first an outline in his own 
handwriting; then dictated something to be written 
out in a manner which would leave ample space 
for interlineation. To this first draft he added 
much, and then made material changes in the 
second draft before speaking. In a majority of 
cases, however, in which he addressed the Senate, 
his remarks were extemporaneous. He always 
understood where to find material in the way of 
information and statistics for his speeches, and 
rarely called upon others for references or any 
form of assistance. 


He was not without literaiy tasle. In the mass 
of his correspondencey there may be found a letter 
expresmig regret because of his inability to attend 
the centennial celebration of the birthday of Thomas 
Moore. Of Moore and of the Irish peojde he wrote: 

''Death has made for him, as it often does for men of 
genius, a second fame more splendid than the renown of 
his lifetime. His various literary productions, the bright 
satire, the poetry on Oriental tli^mes, exquisite prose, 
romance like the 'Epicurean,' witty epistle, neat epigram, 
biography like that of Byron, the copious annals of his 
country — they all hold, and will continue to hold their 
honorable place in literature; but these are secondary to 
his matchless Irish melodies, interwoven by the poet witb 
the beautiful airs of his country. These songs can never 
be heard without enthusiasm. They have an ever-varying 
chaim, and, whether mournful or gay, they breathe the 
wild sweetness of the Irish harp, and all the hope and 
grief of Irish national life. The legend and landscape, the 
picturesque history, the poetic national traits, ibe ro- 
mance of the past, the courage, the chivalrous homage to 
beauty, the frolic levity, conviviality, joy, anguish, love 
of country, fiery sorrow under subjugation, the passion for 
national independence without which there is no great- 
ness in a poetry or a people — all that is most Irish is 
contained in these melodies. 

We are French when we read Victor Hugo; Walter 
Scott makes Scotchmen of us all, and we are made Irish- 
men by the magic of Moore's melodies. These songs have 
naturalized us. They have made the poetic vision of 
Ireland to fill every heart with sympathy and respect. 
Emmet has his wish, — in another, perhaps a better, 
sense than he meant, — his country takes her place high 
and abiding among the nations of the earth in the genius 
of her sons, among whom Thomas Moore wiU always 
hold a supreme place." 


There can be no more fitting eulogy upon him 
than that expressed by President Garfield, in 1880» 
in his speech at Chicago nominating Mr. Sherman 
for the presidency: 

" You ask for his monument. I point you to twenty-five 
years of national statutes. Not one great, beneficent law 
has been placed on our statute-books without his intelli- 
gent and powerful aid. He aided in fonnulating the laws 
to raise the great armies and navies which carried us 
through the war. His hand was seen in the workmanship 
of those statutes that restored and brou^t back ' the 
unity and married calm of the states.' His hand was in 
all that great legislation that created the war currency, 
and in the still greater work that redeemed the promises 
of the govenunent and made the currency equal to gold. 
When at last he passed from the halls of legislation into 
a high executive office, he displayed that experience, 
intelligence, fimmess, and poise of character which have 
carried us through a stormy period of three years, with 
one half the public press crying ' Crucify him,' and a 
hostile Congress seeking to prevent success. In all this 
he remained unmoved until victoiy crowned him. The 
great fiscal affairs of the nation, and the vast business 
interests of the country, he guarded and preserved while 
executing the law of resumption, and effected its object 
without a jar, and against the false prophecies of one 
half of the press and of all the Democratic party. He 
has shown himself able to meet with calmness the 
great emergencies of the government. For twenty-five 
years he has trodden the perilous heights of public 
duty, and against all the shafts of malice has borne his 
breast unharmed. He has stood in the blaze of 
' that fierce light that beats against the throne ;' but its 
fiercest ray has found no flaw in his armor, no stain 
upon his ^eld." 


One of the most discriminating tributes to his 
memory was that of his colleague, Senator Hoar: 

"It is rarely more than onoe or twice in a generation 
that a great figure passes from the earth who seems the 
very embodiment of the character and temper of his 
time. Such men are not always those who have held the 
highest places or been famous for great genius or even 
enjoyed great popularity. They rather are men who 
represent the limitations as well as the accomplishments 
of the people around them. They know what the people 
will bear. They utter the best thought which their countiy- 
men in their time are able to reach. They are by no means 
mere thermometers. They do not rise and fall with the 
temperature about them. But they are powerful and 
prevailing forces, with a sound judgment and practical 
common sense that understands just how high the people 
can be lifted, and where the man who is looking, not 
chiefly at the future, but largely to see what is the best 
thing that can be done in the present, should desist from 
unavailing effort. Such a man was John Sherman. . . . 

" He filled always the highest places. He sat at the seat 
of power. His countrymen always listened for his voice, 
and frequently listened for his voice more eagerly than 
for that of any other man. . . . The contest [i. e., for 
Speaker] left him the single preeminent figure in the 
House of Representatives — a preeminence which he 
maintained in his long service in the Senate, in the 
Treasury, and down to within a few years of his death. 

" He was a man of inflexible honesty, inflexible courage, 
inflexible love of country. He was never a man of great 
eloquence, or greatly marked by that indefinable quality 
called genius. But in him sound judgment and common 
sense, better than genius, better than eloquence, always 
prevailed, and sometimes seemed to rise to sublimity> 
which genius never attains. . . . 

*'Mr. Sherman's great fame, and the title to hiscoun- 


trymen's remembrance which will most distinguish him 
from other men of his time, will rest upon his service as a 
financier. He bowed a little to the popular storm in the 
time of fiat money. Perhaps if he had not bowed a little 
he would have been uprooted and the party which would 
have paid our national debt in fiat money would have 
succeeded. But ever since that time he has been an oak 
and not a willow. The resumption of specie payments 
and the establishment of the gold standard, the two great 
financial achievements of our time, are largely due to his 
powerful, persistent, and most effective advocacy." 

The fame of any great man is in a measure 
ephemeral. It is true that there was much that was 
prosaic in the life of Sherman, and that his best 
efforts were not connected with that glamour which 
gains the loudest applause; but in substantial 
influence upon those characteristic features which 
have made this country what it is, and in the un- 
recognized but permanent results of eflScient and 
patriotic service for its best interests, there are 
few for whom a more beneficial record can be 
claimed. He will stand in history as a character- 
istic American; as a man of untiring industry and 
absorbing ambition for the public good; and as 
the country shall more and more assume a leading 
position in all the elements which tend to give 
primacy in modem progress, his work will deserve 
and obtain increased appreciation. 


Abolitionism, Southern indiaerim- 
inate application of term, 23. 

Adams. C. F.. and J. S. (1860). 62. 

Agricultural products, protection, 
192,377. See aUo Wool 

Agriculture, Department of, J. 8. 
and Fessenden on, 221. 

Aldrich. N. W., and HcKinley 
Tari£F Bill, 378. 

Alien Contract Labor Law, J. S. on, 

Alley, J. B., on legal tender, 100. 

Allison. W. B., tarifif reform, 194; 
Senate committee on resump- 
tion, 244; amendments to Bland 
Silver BiU, 267. 

American Resolution, bans. 11. 

Amnesty, Johnson's proclamation, 
149; exceptions, 149; individual 
pardons, 160; administration, 
151; right taken from Johnson, 
160; J. S. on (1882). 323. 

Anti-slavery. See Slavery. 

Anti-Trust Law. See Trusts. 

Arbitration, British general treaty 
in Senate, 405, 406. 

Army, Appropriation Bill contest 
(1856). 43; expenditures before 
the war, 89; J. S. on repeal of 
ineligibility of ex-Oonfederates, 
323. See also Civil War. 

Arthur, C. A., and J. S.. 223, 311; 
collector at New York, charges 
against, 290-293; Hayes' letter 
on conduct of oflSoe, 291; re- 
moval, 293. 295; offered post 
of consul-geneial, 294; J. S. on 
removal, 294; Senate and re- 
moval, 295; J. 8. and New York 
campaign (1879). 296; J. S.'s 
personal ojHnion, 296; J. S. 
opposes renomination, 304; veto 
of Cihinese Exclusion Bill, 329; 
Nicaragua Canal Treaty, 382. 

Bancroft, George, and Johnson's 
message* 144. 

Bankruptcy, Act of 1867. 220. 

Banks. N. P., elected Speaker, 36. 

Banks, state, and first war bonds, 
93, 94; suspension of qiecie 
payments, 96; and Legal-Tender 
Act, 103-105; tax on circula- 
tion proposed, 112, 133, 134; 
notes unequal to war emergency, 
108, 132; counterfeit of notes, 
133; and national banks, 139; 
circulation (1863), 139; tax on 
notes, 140. See aleo National 

Bimetallism, J. S. on gold pay-* 
ment of bonds (1877), 260, 266; 
Bland's Free Silver Coinage Bill, 
261; members who voted for it, 
262; arguments for. 262. 263; 
arguments against, 263; Hayes' 
attitude (1877). 264; J. S.'s re- 
port on (1877), 264-266; fal- 
lacy of fixed ratio, 265; policy 
of intomational convention, 
260, 260; Bland Bill and bond 
sales, 266; J. S. works against 
Bland Bill. 266; its modifica- 
tion in Senate, 267; silver certi- 
ficates under Bland-Allison Law, 
267, 312. 313; Matthews' reso- 
lution on payment of bonds in 
silver. 267-269; effect of Bland- 
Allison Law. 269. 365; influence 
of diminished volume of paper 
money, 270, 314; and Popcdist 
party, 275; J. S. advises lim- 
itation in amount of silver dol- 
lars. 286; J. S and price of silver 
bullion. 289; silver certificates as 
bank reserve. 311; increase in 
silver coinage (1881-90), 312, 
365; i^ans to encourage circula- 
tion of nlver, 313; period of de- 
bate, 365; fail in price of silver, 
365. 367; Windom's report and 
recommendations (1889). 366; 
opposition to them, 366; and 
demand for more money, 368; 



oomplexion of OoncresB (1889), 
368; Morrill's Purohaae Bill, 
309; diwuasion in Senate, 370; 
efforts for unlimited coinage, 370, 
371.375.398: House Purchase 
Bill, 370; J. S. and conference 
bill, 371; bill as alternative to 
freeooinase, 371, 373; provisions 
of conference bill, 372; bill and 
further depreciation, 372, 375; 
conservatives* reasons for voting 
for bill, 372; passage of biU. 
374; continuation of coinage of 
dollars, 374; abnormality of 
Purchase Act. 374; J. S. on, 376; 
J. S.*B bill to stop purchase of 
silver, 386; as issue in 1802. 386; 
results of Silver Purchase Act, 
387; extra session and message 
on repeal of act, 387; House re> 
peal bill, 388; filibustering in 
Senate. 388; J. S. on repeal. 
38^301; provisions of repeal 
biU, 391; repeal enacted, 391; 
as issue in 1806, 401. 

Blaine, J. G., and presidential 
nomination, 253, 302, 303; and 
Electoral Commission, 256; and 
suggested retention of J. S. in 
cabinet. 300. 

Blair, H. W., and Bland Silver 
Bill, 262; on civil service and 
inebriety, 321 ; Educational 
Bill, 322. 

Bland, R. P., Silver Bill, 261-267; 
its effect, 266. 269, 365. 

Blockade, and defeat of the South. 
140; raised, 152. 

Bonds, national, issue of 1861, 93, 
94; exchange of greenbacks for, 
08, 100, 175. 212, 229,240; lack 
of disposable capital, 101-103, 
107; European distrust. 102; 
early discount, 103; sole reliance 
on, not advised, 103; plans as 
alternative of greenbacks. 103- 
105; pajrment of interest in 
coin pledged, 100, 204; Chase's 
policy, 126; system of floating, 
126; classes of war, 127; coin 
payments. 128, 185, 209. 211; 
Chase's Ave per cent, bond, 130: 
and national banks, 136, 137; 
refunding versus contraction of 
greenbacks, 175. 176, 178, 179; 

Public Credit Act, 185: J. S.*8 
funding measure (1868). 203; 
McCulloch's funding operations, 
203; veto of Funding Bill (1868), 
203; J. S.'s Refunding BiU (1870). 
203; his arguments. 204. 206; J. 
S. on length of time. 205; plan 
to compel national banks to 
refund bonds held. 205. 422; 
House changes in bill, 206; a 
compromise bill passes, 206; later 
change in Refunding Act, 207; 
effect of Act, 207; sale of refund- 
ing bonds, 207; effect of long- 
time bonds, 207; argument for 
payment in greenbacks, 207- 
209; arguments against, 209, 
210; precedent for coin pay- 
ment, 210, 211; attitude of 
J. S. on payment in green- 
backs. 211-215; state taxation, 
215; federal taxation. 216; 
Johnson recommends repudia- 
tion. 217-219; Congress con- 
demns it. 219; government 
purchases at time of panic. 236; 
J. S.'s policy as Secretary, 257; 
previous method of sale of re- 
funding, 257; his changes in 
it, 258. 271, 289; policy of popu- 
lar subscription, 259, 271; 
J. S. on pasrment in gold, 260. 
266; sales and Bland BiU, 266; 
Matthews' resolution on pay- 
ment in silver, 267-260; sale 
for specie reserve, 272, 398; 
demand for refunding, after 
resumption, 280-283; effect of 
ninety days' notice in calling. 
280; Tx)ndon and rapidity of 
calls, 281; final call of five- 
twenties, 282; sale of four per 
cents at a premium, 282; re- 
funding certificates, 282; call 
of ten-forties, 283; redeemable 
bonds aU refunded (1879), 283; 
amount refunded by J. S., 283; 
mistake in refunding policy, 
283-285; rapid reduction of 
interest rate, 283; redemption 
(1879-90), 284; government pur- 
chase at premium, 285; power 
to sell to maintain specie re- 
serve, 286. 391; sale of. to main- 
tain reserve, authorised, 288; 



iasueof three per cent., 314; pay- 
ment of three sod a half and 
three per cent., 315; J. S. on 
plan to forbid sale of, to main- 

I tain specie resenre (1806), 390. 
See aieo Debt. 

Boutwell. G. B.. inflation of green- 
backs, 186; Senate committee 
on resumption, 244. 

Brooklyn Navy Yard, congres- 
sional investigation (1858), 56. 

Brown, John, in Kansas, 45; char- 
acter, 74; effect of Harper's 
Ferry raid, 76. 

Bryan, W. J., campaign of 1806, 

Buchanan, James, elected Presi- 
dent, 44; preparation for the 
office, 45; prelection Kansas 
jyromises, 46; inaugural and 
slavery, 48; and Lecompton 
Constitution, 52; and Paulding- 
Walker affair, 54; Sherman's 
resolution censuring, 57; pro- 
test against it, 57; and seces- 
sion, 77. 

Buckalew, C. R., and Free Silver 
Bill. 374. 

Burlingame, Anson, and J. S. 
(1859), 62. 

Burlingame Treaty on Chinese 
immigration, 326. 

Burt, S. W., naval officer at New 
York, 295. 

Business, post-war prosperity, 
172; and reasons for contraction 
of greenbacks, 175, 177; un- 
favorable balance of trade, 180, 
273; prices and opposition to 
contraction, 180-184; panic of 
1873, 235; reliance on (Congress 
for aid, 236; continued de- 
pression, 243; revival. 269. 276; 
favorable balance of trade. 277; 
andreeumption.277, 279; Silver 
Purchase Act and panic of 1893, 
387. See aUo Interstate Com- 
, Trusts. 

Campbell, L. D., speakership 

contest (1855), 35. 
Canada, draft treaty on fisheries 

question (1888), 331; Cleveland's 

message on retaliation, 332; J. 

S.'s comment on it, 332; his ad- 

vocacy of annexation, 333; later 
reversal of opinion, 334; on re- 
ciprocity with, 380. 

Canfield, H. S., on J. S.'s speech 
on repeal of Silver Purchase Act, 

Cannon, J. O., and Bland Silver 
BiU, 262. 

Carlisle, J. O., and Bland Silver 
Bill, 262; efforts to maintain 
specie reserve (1893-95), 391. 

Cass, Lewis, and Walker's filibus- 
tering, 64. 

Certificates of indebtedness, 128. 

Chamber of (])ommerce of New 
York, portrait of J. S.. 279. 

CSiase. S. P., and J. S., 33; finan- 
cial recommendations (July, 
1861). 91; refusal to apply 
clearing-house methods, 94; as 
financial secretary, 95; report 
(Dec., 1861), 95; issue of de- 
nuuid notes, 96; and Legal- 
Tender Act, 98, 105; and na- 
tional banks, 99. 133-135; and 
further issues of greenbacks, 
111; rules in securing loans. 126; 
reluctance to advocate taxa- 
tion, 129; reliance on loans, 129; 
influence on financial condi- 
tions, 130; his five per cent, 
bond, 130; suggests tax on state 
bank notes, 133; on danger- 
line of debt. 141; coin payment 
of bonds. 209. 211. 

Chatard, Frederck, and William 
Walker, suspended, 54. 

Chinese exclusion. Bill of 1882, .326; 
Burlingame Treaty on immigra- 
tion, 326; Treaty of 1880 on 
exclusion, 327; J. S. on, 328- 
331; veto of bill, 329; second 
bill passed. 329. 

Ciitizensbip, characteristics of early 
American, 10; and Chinese, 327, » 

Civil Rights Act, provisions. 168; 
Johnson's objections, 158; passed 
over veto, 159. 

Civil service, abuse in Navy De- 
partment (1858), 56, 67; J. S. 
on Johnson's system, 159; re- 
moval of New York custom- 
house officials, 290-296; Hayes* 
letter on appointments, 291; 


J. 8. and nConn. 320; Pondletoii 
RHorm Law. 321. 

Civil War, politieal problems. 8(K 
82; lioooln's ■daptetion of 
iiHiawiifiH 111 iniMlMiniii ff?; mil- 
ttary problems. 82-M; inad- 
•quata prepaimtion. 82; interfei^ 
coee of poUtics. 83; ehamcter 
of ganenUs. 83. 88; J. 8. and 
politiosl and militaiy problems. 
84^86; his aistiva military inter- 
est. 86; Northern success as- 
sured. 140; cAuse of Southern 
defeat. 140. See aim Finances. 

Gbrk. J. B.. on J. 8. (1860). 82. 

Caay. Henry, and finality of Com- 
promise of 1850. 21. 

dayton-Bulwer Treaty, proposed 
abrogation. 407. 

Cleveland, Qrover. J. 8. on Cana- 
dian fisheries message. 332; 
tariff messsge. 344; J. 8. on it 
344-347; and Nicaragua Canal 
Treaty. 382; and repeal of Silver 
Purchase Act, 387; efforts to 
maintain specie payments, 301; 
and Hawau. 303. 400; and Vene- 
suela^uiana boundary. 305; 
and Cuba, 306. 

Coffee, tariff duties. 103. 

Colfax. Schuyler, in speakership 
contest (1865). 36; and J. S. 
(1860), 61. 

Collamsr. Jacob, on legal tender, 

Commerce. See Business, Finances. 
Interstate, Tariff. 

Compromise of 1860, finality. 21, 
27; Southern disbelief in North- 
em sincerity, 23; J. S.'b support, 

Congrees, ThirtV'foufih: complex- 
ion of House, 34; speakership 
contest, 36-37; partiaan legisla- 
tion impossible, 37; J. S. and 
slavery. 37; Kansas investiga- 
tion, 30-41; majority report, 
41; Kansas delegate, 42; Army 
Appropriation Bill, 43; Pierce's 
partisan message (1866). 47; J. 
8.'b speech on it. 47, 48. 

ThiHu-Hith: liccompton Con- 
stitution, 62; English Ck>mpro- 
mise, 62; Paulding-WaUcer af- 
fair. 54-66; investigation of 

Navy DepaHmeni, 56. 87; J. 8. 
<m abuse of national expendi- 
turas. 58-60. 

Tkiriy-mxai: House eensnro 
of Buchanan. 57; Buchanan's 
IKOtest. 57; complexion, 61; 
speakership contest. 61-64; Pen- 
nington's committee appoint- 
ments, 64; Morrill Tariff Act, 
65. 68-71; comfKomise efforts, 
76; proposed amendment guar- 
anteeing state slavery. 76. 

Thirty-eevenOi, Thifiy-eitfhih: 
qpecial session. Chase's rqwrt, 
02; financial legislation at spe- 
cial session. 02; revenue meas- 
ure of 1862. 03; bond issoe of 
1861. 03; second session. Chase's 
report. 05; Legal-Tender Act. 
07-111; further issues of green- 
backs. 111-113; tariff. 118; in- 
ternal revenue. 110, 123; nation- 
al banks. 133-138. 

Thirty^nirUh: Southern oon- 
gressmen refused admission, 153; 
joint committee on reconstruc- 
tion. 163: first report, 154; ef- 
fect of Johnson's February 22 
speech. 166; Fourteenth Amend- 
ment, 157; joint committee on 
status of seeeding states, 167; 
CHvil Rights Act. 168; Tenure of 
Office Act. 160. 164; negro suf- 
frage in territories. 160; Recon- 
struction Act. 161-163; Mo- 
CuUoch's report on contraction. 
177. 178; contraction author- 
ised. 178. 170; Wool Act. 102; 
internal revenue, 106; funding. 
203; Homestead Act, 220; in- 
terstate commerce, 336. 

Fortieth: impeachment of 
Johnson. 164, 165; suspension 
of contraction, 183-186; inter- 
nal revenue, 106; funding, 203; 
condemnation of repudiation, 
210; Eight-Hour Law. 220; re- 
port on regulation of railway 
rates. 337. 

Forty-iiret, Forty-eeeond: Pub- 
lic Oedit Act, 185; tariff. 103. 
104; internal revenue, 108; Re- 
funding Act, 203-207; attempt- 
ed inflation, 231; J. 8. on re- 
sumption, 233-236. 



Forty4hird: inflatioii bill ve- 
toed. 186. 242; oompromiae in- 
flation. 186. 243; resumption, 
186, 238, 243-249; tariff. 195; 
report and bill on interstate 
commerce, 337, 339. 

Forty-fifth: reissue of green- 
backs required, 188; attempt to 
repeal Resumption Act, 261, 
271; Bland-Allison Silver Bill, 
261-267; Matthews' resolution 
on payment of bonds in silver, 
267-269; Reagan's bill on inter- 
state conmieroe, 339. 

Forty-aeverUh: complexion, 
299; recharter of national banks, 
311; three per oent. bonds, 314; 
tariff and internal revenue, 315- 
319; civil service reform. 320- 
322; Blair Educational Bill. 322; 
Chinese exclusion, 326-329. 

Forty-eighfh, Forty-^inth: in- 
vestigation of Southern elections, 
324; Senate report on railway 
rates, 338; Reagan's bill on rail- 
ways, 340; Interstate Ck>mmerce 
Act, 341-343. 

Fiftieth: Canadian fisheries, 
331, 332; tariff message, 344; 
J. S. on it, 344-347; Mills Tariff 
Bill, 347; anti-trust bills and in- 
vestigation, 353-355. 

Fvfty-fir§t, FifttMeeond: Anti- 
Trust Act, 355-365; Silver Puiv 
chase Act, 366-375; McKinley 
Tariff Act, 376-381; Isthmian 
Canal. 381-383. 

Fifty-third: repeal of Silver 
Purchase Act. 387-391; Wilson- 
Gorman Tariff Bill. 391-393; Har- 
waii. 393. 394, 410; inaction of 
second session, 394. 

Fifty-fourth: inaction, 395; 
Venesuela boundary, 395; Cuba. 
396, 408; British Arbitration 
Treaty, 403, 406; Isthmian 
Canal, 406; Clayton-Bulwer 
Treaty, 407. 
Conkling. Roscoe. and J. S. (1859). 
62; on legal tender. 100; and 
Grant, 223; Senate committee 
on resumption, 244; and Blaine, 
253; and removal of New York 
custom-houae officers, 290, 295, 

Cooke, Jay, and war finaDees, 

Cornell, A. B., naval officer at New 
York, 290; charges against, 291- 
293; removal, 293; Senate and 
appointment of suooesaor. 295; 
J. S. assists in campaign of 1879, 

Corwin, Thomas, and J. S. (1859), 

Cox, J. D., and Bland Silver Bill, 

Cox, S. S.. and Bland Silver Bill, 

Cuba, J. S. on intervention (1896), 
396; and against annexation, 
397; case of Sanguily in Senate, 
408; administration's desire for 
peaceful settlement, 411; Spain's 
delicate position, 411; movement 
for recognition of belligerency, 
412; local autonomy. 412; con- 
centration of inhabitants, 412; 
blowing up of Mmne^ 412;^ ap- 
propriation for national defense, 
403; resolutions of intervention 
and war, 413. 

Cullom, S. M.. report on railroad 
discrimination, 338; Interstate 
Commerce Bill, 341. 

Chirrency. See Money, Paper 

Curtis, B. R.. dissent in Dred Scott 
decision, 49. 

Davis. David, position in Senate 
(1881). 299. 

Davis. Jefferson, and territorial 
slavery, 26; and Kansas-Ne- 
braska Act. 27. 

Dawes, H. L., and J. S. (1859), 

Day, W. R., practically super- 
siedes J. S. in cabinet, 413. 

Debt, national, proportion of war 
expenses paid by loans. 125; 
Chase's rules in securing loans, 
126; decline in average interest 
rate. 126; classes of war. 127 
128; in 1861. 128; maximum; 
129; or taxation. Chase and J. 8. 
on. 129; Chase on danger-line, 
141; Public Credit Act. 185; re- 
duction before 1872. 202; maxi- 
mum interest charge, 202; on 



pasnneot by generation ineur- 
ring, 205; Fourteenth Amend- 
ment on, 219; reduction (1881- 
89), 315. 5m aUo Bonds, Paper 

Democratie party, split (1894), 

. 994. <See otei Elections. 

Depew, C. M., Sherman ancestry, 2. 

Direct tax, recommended, 92; im- 
poeed, 92, 120; tax on federal 
bonds as, 216; J. S. advocates 
return. 344. 

Dodge, W. E., on J. S. and achieve- 
ment of resumption, 280. 

Douglas, 8. A., on sacredness of 
Missouri OcMnpromise, 22; Kan- 
sas-Nebraska Act, 27; action a 
mystery, 30; and Lecompton 
Ck>nstitution, 51; lAncoln de- 
bates as anti-slavery force, 74. 

Dred Scott decision, 49; effect on 
slavery agitation, M. 

Edmunds, Q. F.. Senate committee 
on resumption, 244; Electoral 
Commission, 256; Anti-Trust 
Bill, 362; report on Isthmian 
Ganal (1891), 381. 

Education, of J. S.. 5-7; early 
American attitude, 11; in Ohio, 
15; Blair Bill, 322. 

Elections, of 1856, 44-46; of 1860, 
73, 75; of 1868, 222; Ohio, of 
1875, 252; of 1876, nomination 
of Hayes, 253; financial issue. 
253; "bloody-shirt," 254; and 
Grant's administration, 255; con- 
test in Louisiana, 255; Electoral 
Oommission, 256; of 1880-88, 
J. S. and Republican nomina- 
tion, 301-306; of 1892, 385; is- 
sues. 386; Republican success in 
1894, 394; of 1896. campaign of 
education, 4O0, 402; issues, 401; 
Brytai as candidate, 402; Mc- 
Kinley as candidate, 402. 

Electoral O>mmi88ion of 1877, 256. 

English Gorapromise, 52. 

Excise duties. See Internal reve- 

Expenditures, J. S. on abuse of 
national (1858). 58; belated re- 
form, 59; amount and condi- 
tions of ante-war, 88; ratio be- 
fore and during the war, 90; 

Chase's estimate for 1882, 95; 

total war, items, 114; decrease 

in proportion to revenue, 117; 

proportion of war, paid by 

loans, 125; extravagance in civil. 

as result of war, 221. 
Evarts, W. M., Sherman ancestry, 

Ewing, Thomas, adopts W. T. 

Shennan, 5. 

Farragut, D. G., plan for irregular 
expenditures, 59. 

Ferry, T. W., Senate committee 
on resumption, 244. 

Fessenden, W. P., and issue of 
bonds, 131; chairman joint com- 
mittee on reconstruction, first 
report, 154; and Department of 
Agriculture. 221. 

Fifteenth Amendment, main pur- 
pose, 166; ratified, 166; rati- 
fication essential to reconstruc- 
tion, 167; l^slation to enforce, 
167; J. S. on necessity, 170, 422; 
J. S. on violation (1884). 324. 

Finances, charges against war, con- 
sidered, 88; previous limited 
operations of federal, 88; sud- 
denness and greatness of war 
problem, 90; inflexible system, 
91; Lincoln's recommendation 
(1861), 91; (Phase's report and 
plan (July, 1861), 91; inadequate 
conception of tadc.92,93; Chase 
and checks on subscribing banks, 
94; Chase as Secretary, 95; 
Chase's report (Dec., 1861), 95; 
and Trent affair, 96; panic, sus- 
pension of specie pasrments, 96; 
lack of floating capital, 101; Eu- 
ropean distrust, 102; hasty en- 
actments, 123; popular support. 
127; influence of Secretary's 
action, 130; post-war prosper- 
ity, 172; post-war problem, 177. 
184; panic of 1873. 235; panic 
of 1893. 387; services of J. S.. 
427, 429. See aleo Banks, Bi- 
metallism, Bonds, Debt, Ex- 
penditures, Gold, Internal Re- 
venue, Money, National Banks. 
Paper Money, Revenue, Re- 
sumption, Taxation, Tariff. 

Fisheries, controversy (1888), 331. 



Fitoh, A. P.. and Free Silver Bill. 

"Fix his fences," orisin, 18. 

Foraker, J. B., contest with J. S. 
for aenatorship, 384. 

Foreign relations, J. S. and, 331; 
his opposition to expansion, 335, 
394, 397, 414-416. See aleo Isth- 
mian, and countries by name. 

Foster, Charles, candidacy for Sen- 
ate. 301; and loyalty to J. 8.. 

Fourteenth Amendment, passes 
Congress, 157; Johnson and, 
160, 165; ratification essential 
to reconstruction, 161; ratified, 
165; purpose, 165; I^slation to 
enforce, 167; on federal debt,291. 

Fractional currency, paper, au- 
thorised, 113; amount (1874), 
187; redemption, 245. 

Freedmen. See Negroes. 

Frelinghuysen, F. T.. Senate com- 
mittee on resumption, 244. 

Fremont, J. C, campaign of 1856, 

French, F. O., J. S.'s letter to, on 
payment of bonds in gold, 260. 

Frye, W. P.. and Bland Silver Bill. 

Fugitive Slave I-aw. Northern 
acquiescence, 21, 27; and anti- 
davery movement, 73; divergent 
attitudes in the Republican par- 
ty, 80. 

Garfield, J. A., and coin pasrment 
of bonds, 209; and J. S., 223; 
and Bland Silver Bill, 262; and 
attempt to repeal Resumption 
Act, 271; elected President, 299; 
election to Senate, 301; and 
unit rule, 302; nominates J. S., 
303; nomination, 303; and loy- 
alty to J. S., 304; as soldier can- 
didate, 307; Interstate Com- 
merce Act (1866), 336; on J. S.'s 
career, 427. 

Geary, J. W., as Governor of Kan- 
sas, 45. 

George, J. Z., on anti-trust legisla- 
tion, 365, 357. 

Georgia, reconstruction denied to, 
166; redeemed from carpet-bag 
rule, 168. 

Gold, war premium, 130; premium 
and contraction of greenbacks, 
1 79 ; export and policy of resump- 
tion, 237; cause of continued pre- 
mium, 237; premium and Bland 
Iaw, 269; decline of premium. 
277; increase in circulation 
(1881-90), 313; export (1893), 
387. See aUo Bimetallism. 

Granger movement, 336. 

Grant, U. 8., veto of inflation bill, 
186, 243; and J. 8., 222, 223. 302; 
civil inexperience, 222; Southern 
poUcy, 223; congressional asso- 
ciates, 223 ; on resumption, 231; 
candidacy in 1880, 302, 303; as 
soldier candidate, 307. 

Gray, Horace, on power to issue 
legal-tender notes, 189. 190. 

Great Britain, growth of expend- 
itures during Napoleonic Wars, 
90; Venezuela-Guiana boundary, 
395; draft treaty on general ar- 
bitration, 405; proposed abrogar- 
tion of Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, 
407. See aleo Canada. 

Greenback party, principles, 274; 
strength, 275; successor, 275. 

Grow, G. A., speakership contest 
(1859), 61. 

Guthrie. James, on state bank 
notes, 133; and Johnson, 156. 

Hale, Eugene, and Bland Silver 
Bill, 262. 

Halleck, W. H., and first move- 
ments in the West, 84. 

Hanna. M. A., and J. S., 404, 415. 

Harper'^ Fen'y, John Brown's 
raid. 74. 

Harrison, Benjamin, J. S. and 
nomination, 305; on J. S.'s can- 
didacy. 305, 306; as soldier can- 
didate. 307; and free silver, 371 , 
373; J. 8. and renomination, 385. 

Hartley, Thomas, on protection, 

Hawaii, reciprocity convention, 
195; J. 8. on annexation, 393, 
394; Cleveland withdraws An- 
nexation Treaty, 409; action of 
Congress, 410; new treaty of 
annexation signed, 410; not 
ratified, 410; annexation by 
joint resolution, 410. 



Hayw, R. B., and J. 8., 223; gu- 
bernatorial oontest (1875), 252; 
nomination for President, 253; 
campaign, 253-255; oontested 
election, 255; on right to count 
electoral votes, 256; offers J. S. 
Treasury portfolio, 257; and 
bimetallism, 264; and New 
York custom-bouse officOTs, 291- 
296; letter on civil sonrioe, 291 ; 
character of administration, 298; 
as soldier candidate, 307. 

Helper, H. R., Impending CrtM 
and speakership contest (1859), 
62; character of book, 62; its 
effect, 63, 74. 

Hepburn va. Griswold, 188. 

Herbert, H. A., and Bland Silver 
Bill. 262. 

Hereditary influence in American 
statesmanship, 2. 

Hewitt. A. S.. and Bland Silver 
Bill, 262. 

Hoar, E. R., Sherman ancestry, 2. 

Hoar, G. F., Sherman ancestry, 2; 
eulogy on J. S., 428. 

Hock, Baron von, on American 
internal revenue tax, 124. 

Homestead, Supplemental Bill 
(1866), 220. 

Horton, V. B., on legal tender. 100. 

Howard, W. A., Kansas investiga- 
tion, 39. 

Howe. T. O., Senate committee on 
resumption, 244. 

Impeachment. See Johnson. 

Impending Crists. See Helper. 

Imperialism, opposition of J. S., 
335, 394, 397, 414-416. 

Income tax. imposed, 92, 120, 123; 
war revenue from, 93; changes 
in, 196; terminated, 198; J. S. 
on, 199-201, 393. 

Indians and Ohio, 14. 

Internal improvements, period in 
Ohio, 8. 

Internal revenue taxation, recom- 
mended, 92; first war. 120; 
earlier measures, 120; theories 
of imposition. 120; J. S.'s ad- 
vocacy of heavy tax on few 
articles, 121, 122; his theory 
upheld, 122; Act of 1862, 123; 
returns during war, 124; devd- 

opment of administration. 124, 
197; range of war imposition* 
124, 125; as a permanent sys- 
tem, 125; maximum, 195; policy 
of reduction, 195; report of Rev- 
enue Oommission, 196; adoption 
of its recommendations, 196; 
various acts reducing, 196-198; 
reduction in tax on spirits, effect, 
197; factors in revenue from, 197, 
198; increase in tax on spirits, 
198; J. S. on income tax, 199- 
201. 393; revision (1883). 317- 

Interstate commerce, beginning of 
agitation for regulation, 336; 
"Granger movement," 338; Act 
of 1866. 336; House committee 
on rate regulation (1868), 337; 
Senate report on r^ulation 
(1874), government lines recom- 
mended to reduce charges, 337; 
second report on regulation 
(1886), discrimination and re- 
sults, 338; right to r^:ulate. as- 
serted. 339; McCrary's bill for 
commissioners (1874), 339; Rea- 
gan's first bill (1878), 339; 
Reagan Bill of 1885. 340; pro- 
vision for commission, 340, 342; 
long and short haul rates, 341, 
342; state j urisdiction, 341 , 343; 
Cullom Bill, 341; paramount 
desire to preventdiscriminations, 
341; pooling, 342; maximum 
passenger .charge, 343; court 
proposed. 343; passage of bill, 
343; and anti-trust legislation, 
358. 360. 

Isthmian Canal, Senate report 
(1891). 381; draft treaty with 
Nicaragua. 382; J. S. on owner- 
ship, 382. 406; and route, 383; 
attempted abrogation of Clay- 
ton-Bulwer Treaty, 407. 

Johnson. Andrew, influence on re- 
construction contest, 143; char- 
acto", 143; state papers. 144; 
public utterances, 144; egotism, 
144; and Lincoln's reconstruc- 
tion policy, 145; first attitude 
on conquered South, 145; sud- 
den change of policy, 146; fac- 
tors influencing change, 146-148; 




reconstruction theory, 149; am- 
nesty proolamatioD, 140; ex- 
ceptions to it, 149; individual 
pardons, 150; provisional gov- 
ernment for North Carolina, 151; 
other acts of reconstruction, 
152; policy not opposed at 
first, 153; influence of policy 
on Southern attitude, 155; rela- 
tions with J. S., 155. 158, 159; 
February 22 speech, 156; ig- 
nored by Congress, 156; and 
Fourteenth Amendment, 160, 
165; deprived of amnesty power, 
160; impeachment proposed, 
161; impeachment, 164, 165; 
J. S.'s final commendation of 
policy, 168; J. S. on responsibil- 
ity for reconstruction evils, 171 ; 
funding veto, 203; recommends 
repudiation of fedo^ bonds, 
217-219; on resumption, 227. 
Juilliard va. Greenman, 189. 

Kansas, first territorial elections, 
38, 40; war, 39; congressional 
investigation committee, 39; 
Free-State elections, 40, 41; con- 
gressional report, 41; no dele- 
gate seated, 42; army appropri- 
ation amendment (1856), 43; 
better conditions, 45; Geary as 
Governor, 45; Buchanan's in«- 
election attitude, 46; ultimate 
Free-State success evident, 46; 
effect of Dred Scott decision on, 
50; Lecompton Constitution, 51; 
action of Congress, English Com- 
promise, 52; Compromise re- 
jected by Kansas, 52; admitted, 
53, 65; election frauds (1857), 
53; war and anti-slavery move- 
ment, 73. 

Kansas-Nebraska Act, 27; effect 
on North, 28-30. 

Ku-Klux Act. 167. 

Labor, federal Eight-Hour Law 
(1868). 220; J. S. on AUen Con- 
tract Law, 330. 

Lafayette, J. S. and statue of, 

Lamar, L. Q. C, disunion threats 
(1859), 64. 

Lancaster, Ohio, Shermans in, 4. 

Lane, J. H., in Kansas, 45. 

Lecompton Constitution, 51; ac- 
tion of Congress, 62; rciieoted, 

Legal tender. See Paper Money. 

liegal-Tender Cases, 188. 

Lincoln, Abraham, nomination, 
73; Douglas debates as anti- 
slavery force, 74; and Fugitive 
Slave Law, 80; and state slav- 
ery, 81; consummate leadership, 
82; J. S.'s attitude toward, 85; 
financial recommendation (1861), 
91. 93; and greenbacks, 112; 
and tax on bank circulation, 112; 
and reconstruction, 142, 151, 
152; amnesty proclamation, 

Loans. See Bonds, Debt, Paper 

Logan, J. A., enlistment, 87; and 
Grant as President, 223; Senate 
committee on resumption, 244. 

Louisiana, election of 1876, 255. 

Lovejoy. Owen, and J. S. (1859), 

McClellan, G. B.. as a general, 84. 

McCormick, R. C, and removal of 
Arthur, 294. 

McCrary, G. W., bill for railroad 
commissioners (1874), 339. 

McCulloch, Hugh, on state bank 
objections to national banks, 
139; on contraction of green- 
backs, 174, 177, 178; J. S.'s 
comment on policy of contrac- 
tion, 175, 176; funding opera- 
tions, 203. 

McKinley, William, and J. S., 223; 
and Bland Silver Bill, 262; as 
soldier candidate, 308; and Tariff 
of 1883, 318; Tariff Bill, 376; on 
opposition to it, 379; candidacy 
(1892). 385; J. S. and nomina- 
tion, 400; campaign, 402; of- 
fers State portfolio to J. S.. 404; 
and annexation of Hawaii, 410; 
and peaceful solution in Cuba, 
411; ignores J. S. as Secretary, 
413; J. S.'s resignation and feel- 
ing against, 414, 415; proclama- 
tion on death of J. S., 417. 

Mahone, William, position in Sen- 

. ate (1881), 299. 



Mansfield, Ohio, J. S.'s home in, 
16. 19. 

Manhall, John, J. S. and statue of, 

Maine, blowing up of. and war, 

Matthews, Stanley, resolution on 
paying bonds in siiver, 267-269. 

Merritt, E. A., surveyor at New 
York, 295; coUector. 295. 

Mexico. J. S. on relations. 336; on 
war with, and Monroe Doctrine, 

Miller. J. F., Chinese Exclusion 
Bill, 326-329. 

Missouri Compromise, sacredness, 
22; Douglas on this, 22; and 
national balance on slavery, 25; 
nullified, 27; declared uncon- 
stitutional. 49. 

Money, suspension of specie pay- 
ments. 96; increase in circula- 
tion, 313. 368; lack of elasticity 
neglected. 367. See aUio Bimet- 
allism, Gold, Paper Money. Re- 

Monroe Doctrine, J. 8. on, 396. 

Moore. Thomas, J. S. on, 426. 

Morgan. J. T., report on Isthmian 
Canal. 382; bills on aid for Nica- 
ragua Canal Company, 382. 406; 
and abrogation of Clayton- 
Bulwer Treaty, 407. 

Morrill, J. S., and J. S. (1859), 61; 
Tariff Bill, 65-71; on legal ten- 
der, 99, 111; policy of internal 
revenue impositions, 121; Sil- 
ver Purchase Bill, 369. 

Morrill, L. M., Secretary of the 
Treasury, sale of refunding 
bonds, 258. 

Morton, O. P., and resumption, 
230, 244; and Electoral Com- 
mission, 256. 

Muskingum Aiver Improvement, 

Nash, G. K., J. S. supports can- 
didacy, 416. 

Nashville, J. S.'s speech in, 351. 

National banks. Chase favors, 99, 
133; previous opposition, 132; 
conditions favoring establish- 
ment, 132; Stevens's unfavor- 
able report, 134; second bill 

fails, 134; J. S. takes charge of 
bill, 134; his arguments, 135- 
137; uigency. 137; safeguards, 
137; objects to be obtained by, 
137; bill enacted, 137; early 
results, 137; modifications in 
1864. 138; taxation on. 138; 
opposition of state banks, 139; 
increase in notes authorised, 
185; unlimited circulation au- 
thorised, 186; amount of circu- 
lation (1875), 187; low-interest 
bonds as security for circulation, 
205, 422; decrease in circula- 
tion, 270. 312. 366; Recharter 
Act, changes, 31 1 ; ratio of notes 
to security, 312; transfer of 
greenback reserve, 369. 

Navy, expenditures before the war, 

Navy Department, congressional 
investigation (1858), 56; J. S.'s 
minority report, 57; censure of 
Buchanan and Secretary, 57; 
Buchanan's protest, 57; re- 
forms, 58. 

Negroes, Southern legislation on 
freedmen. 153-155. 169. 170; 
Fourteenth Amendment. 157, 
160. 161, 165; Civil Rights Act, 
158; J. S. on suffrage, 159; 
Johnson's responsibility for suf- 
frage, 160; suffrage in territories, 
160; suffrage under Reconstruc- 
tion Acts. 161; Fifteenth Amend- 
ment, 166. 170; J. S. on depri- 
vation of suffrage (1884), 324. 

New York City, removal of custom 
house officials, 290-296. 

North Carolina. Johnson's recon- 
struction, 151. 

Northwest Odinance, value to 
Ohio, 13, 14. 

Ohio, internal improvements. 7. 8; 
prominence in national affairs, 
9; cosmopolitan quality of cit- 
isenship, 11; eclectic institu- 
tions, 12; value of Northwest Or- 
dinance to, 13, 14; and Indians, 
14; type of pioneers, 15; educa- 
tion, 15; quality of population, 
15; political balance. 16; cam- 
paign of 1875, 252; legislature 
on pasring bonds in silver, 268; 



J. S. and political campaigns 
(1881-1889), 340; and tariff on 
wool, 350. 
Oliver, Mordecai, Kansas investi- 
gation, 39. 

Panic, of 1873. 235; effect on policy 
of resumption, 236, 237; of 
1893, 387. 

Paper money. Treasury notes au- 
thorised (1861). 93; issue of de- 
mand notes, 96, 128; Legal- 
Tender Bill introduced, provi- 
sions, 97; deposit as loan, 97. 
111. 127; departures in bill, 98; 
exchange for bonds, 98. 100, 
175, 212. 229, 240; Chase's at- 
titude, 98, 105; House debate 
on bill. 99-101; need of floating 
capital, 101, 107; opposition of 
bankers, 102; bankers' alternate 
propositions, 103-105; revul- 
sion in favor of legal tender, 105; 
changes in House Bill, 10)6; J. 
S.'s argument, 106-109; argu- 
ment of necessity, 107, 110; in- 
adequacy of bank notes, 107, 
108; necessity of legal tender, 
108; as a temporary expedient, 
109, 136. 204, 421; constitution- 
ality, 109, 187; Senate changes 
in bill, 109; bill enacted. 110; ef- 
fect. 110; further issues of green- 
backs. Ill, 112; total issue. 113; 
fractional currency. 113; ob- 
jections to state bank notes, 
132; counterfeiting of them. 
133; J. S. on national bank 
notes. 136; amount of state 
bank notes (1863), 139; tax on 
state bank notes, 140; pian to 
retire greenbacks, 173; McChil- 
loch's plan of contraction. 174. 
177, 178; J. S.'s objections to it, 
175, 176, 178; contraction au- 
thorised, 178; funding of Treas- 
ury notes, 178; amount of con- 
traction, 179, 184; causes of op- 
position to further contraction, 
effect on prices, 180-183; popu- 
larity of greenbacks, 183, 226; 
contraction suspended, 183-185; 
power over currency, 184; in- 
crease of national bank notes 
authorized, 185; inflation of 

greenbacks by Treamiry. 185, 
232, 236; inflation bill vetoed, 
186, 242; compromise inflation 
bill. 186. 243; Resumption Act 
on greenbacks and national 
bank notes. 186; amount of na- 
tional bank notes (1875). 187; 
of fractional currency (1874), 
187; general increase in circuliU 
tion, 187; reissue of greenbacks 
ord^ed, 188, 270; constitution- 
ality of peace issues of green- 
backs, 189, 190; present amount 
of greenbacks, 190; argument 
for paying bonds in greenbacks, 
208; argument against it, 209, 
210; precedent against it, 210, 
211; J. S.'s attitude on this, 
211-215; J. S. on inflation, 
213, 232. 233, 241; resumption 
through contraction of, not 
possible, 226; House advocat«s 
inflation (1870), 231; Senate 
opposes, 231; redemption of 
fractional, 245; issue in Ohio 
campaign of 1875, 252; silver 
certificates under Bland-Allison 
Law, 267, 313; decrease in na- 
tional bank circulation, 270, 312, 
368; J. S. advises reduction of 
greenbacks and repeal of l^^al 
tender (1879>, 286; preferred to 
specie, 287; silver certificates as 
bank reserve, 311; circulation of 
silver certificates, 365; Wind- 
om's plan for silver certificates 
(1889), 366; in Morrill's Silver 
Purchase Bill, 369; transfer of 
greenback reserve, 369; in the 
House Silver Purchase Bill, 370; 
plan to base, on agricultural pro- 
ducts, 375; silver certificates 
tend to monopolize circulation, 
387. See also Resumption. 

Patterson, Robert, J. S. as aide to, 

Paulding, Hiram, arrests William 
Walker, 54; Buchanan censures, 
54; action of Congress, 55. 

Payne. H. B., charges against elec- 
tion to Senate. 325. 

Pendleton, G. H., and legal tender, 
99; elected to Senate, 300; Civil 
Service Bill, 320-322. 

Pennington, William, elected 



speaker. 04; J. 8. and oommit- 
tee appmntments 04. 

Pennono, J. 8. and, 423. 

Philippines, J. 8. oppoees annexa- 
tion. 416. 

Phillipe. Wendell, Johnaon'e de- 
nunciation. 160. 

Pieree. Franklin, eleetion and fin- 
ality of Compromise of 1850. 21; 
and slavocracy. 26; opposition 
House, 35; and Kansas. 40; and 
Army Appropriation Bill (1850). 
43; last annual message, 47; 
denunciation by J. 8.. 47, 48. 

Politics, hereditary influence on 
statesmanship. 2; partisan bal- 
ance in Ohio. 16; " fix his fences,*' 
18; national slavery balance, 24; 
basis of party vicissitudes. 28; 
conditions governing advance- 
ment of statesman, 77; develop- 
ment of popular initiative, 423. 
See aUo Elections, and parties 
by name. 

Popular sovereignty. ^See 8qaatter 

Populist party, principles, 275; 
career, 276. 

Public Credit Act. 185; Matthews' 
resolution on payments in silver, 

Public lands, entfy by negroes, 
220; grants to railways and 
states. 220. 

Railroads. See Interstate Com- 

Randall, 8. J., resolution on sacred- 
ness of federal debt, 210. 

Reagan, J. H., first bill against 
railroad discrimination (1878), 
339; Bill of 1885, 340; onJ.S.'s 
Anti-Trust Bill, 330. 

Reciprocity, J. S.'s attitude, 72, 
380; with Hawaii, 195; in Mo- 
Kinley Act, 378. 

Reconstruction, character of con- 
test, 142; Lincoln's beginnings, 
142; influence of Johnson's char- 
acter, 143-145; his original at- 
titude. 145; and sudden change. 
146; factors influencing John- 
son, 146-148; theories, 148; 
proclamation of amnesty, 149; 
exceptions, 149, 150; individ- 

ual pBfdons. 150; method of 
administering amnesty, 151; 
executive, in North Oartdlna, 
151; and elsewhere, 152; eon- 
ventions, 152; ratification of 
Thirteenth Amendment, 153; 
reconstructed oongreesmen re- 
fused seats. 153; joint commit- 
tee. 153; 8outhem legislation 
on freedmen. 153, 169, 170; re- 
port of joint committee, 154; 
effect of Johnson's policy on 
Southern attitude. 155; J. 8. and 
Johnson's policy. 155. 158, 168; 
Johnson's February 22 speech, 
156; it makes moderate policy 
impossible, 156; Johnson ig- 
nored. 156; joint committee on 
status of seceding states. 157; 
Civil Rights Act, 158; J. 8. on 
Southern suffrage, 159; Johnson 
and Fourteenth Amendment, 
160; President deprived of right 
to pardon, 160; Reconstruction 
Act. 161-163; Supplementary 
Act. 163; character of conven- 
tions under acts, 163; supple- 
mental acts to secure Republi- 
can supremacy. 164; completion, 
166; oath of reconstructed offi- 
cials, 167; Enforcement Act, 
167; Ku-Klux Act, 167; con- 
tinued presence of troops, 167; 
character of reconstructed gov- 
ernments, 168; restoration of 
home rule. 168; J. 8. on responsi- 
bility for congressional policy, 
169-171; Grant's attitude, 223; 
Hayes and the South, 298. 299. 

Reed. T. B., and Bland Silver Bill, 
262; and attempt to force pas- 
sage of Free Silver Bill, 373. 

Reeder, A. H.. as Governor of Kan- 
sas, 40; removed, 40; contest- 
ing delegate from Kansas, 41; 
not seated, 43. 

Refunding. See Bonds. 

Republican party, and Abolition' 
ists, 23; and territorial slavery, 
25; strength in campaign of 
1856, 46; incongruous elements 
on slavery questions, 80-82; 
Linoc^n's management, 82; sol- 
dier candidates, 307. See also 



Resumption , automatic plan. 172; 
plan to retire all greenbacks, 
173; gold reserve plan, 173, 235; 
as a commercial problem, 173; 
conditions favoring early, 174; 
McGulloeh's plan, 174; J. S.'s 
plan (1866), 175, 176. 229; by ex- 
changing greenbacks for bonds, 
175, 212, 22Q, 240; by contrac- 
tion no longer possible, 226; J. S. 
on necessity of, 227; Johnson 
on, 227; J. S. on effect on debtor 
class, 228. 234; J. S. on danger 
of fixing a day for, 230; Grant 
on, 231; J. S. champions, 233- 
235; and public faith, 233; and 
wise political economy, 234; 
and contraction, 234; plan to 
sell bonds for coin, 235; com- 
bined plan, 235; effect of panic, 
236, 237; effect of export of 
specie, 237; J. S.'s resolution 
and speech (1874), 238-242; un- 
popular, 241, 273; further futile 
attempt, 243; effect of defeat 
of Republicans (1874), 243, 248; 
Senate committee, 244; provis- 
ions of bill, 245; reissue of green- 
backs, 247. 250; Schurz on, 247; 
passage, 248; comprehensive 
phraseology of bill , 248; as a com- 
promise measure, 249; no specie 
reserve, 249; not on gold basis, 
250; opposition to the act, 250; 
act as an achievement, 251, 283; 
as issue in Ohio campaign of 1875, 
252; in national election of 
1876, 253; sale of bonds, for re- 
serve, 259, 266, 272; attempts 
to repeal law, 261, 271; and 
Treasiury's membership in Clear- 
ing House, 272; coin available for, 
272; and Greenback party, 274; 
interaction of financial revival, 
277, 279; accomplished, 278; 
credit to J. S., 279; J. S. on ne- 
cessity of specie reserve, 285, 
287, 398; right to sell bonds for 
reserve, 286, 391; implied recog- 
nition of reserve, 288; final l%i»- 
lative provision for reserve. 288; 
efforts to maintain (1893-95), 
378,391; J. S. on plan to forbid 
sale of bonds to maintain (1896), 

Revenue, deficit (1868HI1), 89; 
total (1862), 93; Chase's esti- 
mate (Dec. , 1861) , 95; total from 
internal (1862-64), 104; sources 
of war, 116; increase in propor- 
tion to expenses, 117; excess 
and payment of debt, 284; Cleve- 
land's message on need of reduc- 
ing, 344; J. S. on proper use of 
surplus, 344; deficit (1894-96), 
398. See aUo Debt, Taxation. 

Revenue (])ommission, report on in- 
ternal revenue, 196. 

Richardson, W. A., of Illinois, 
speakership contest (1855), 35. 

Richardson, W. A., of Massachu- 
setts, inflation of greenbacks, 186, 
232, 336. 

Roosevelt, Theodore, on J. S.'s 
candidacy (1884), 305; as sol- 
dier candidate, 308. 

Salisbury, Lord, and Arbitration 
Treaty, 405. 

Samoan Islands, J. S. on affairs 
(1889), 335; tripartite agree- 
ment, 335; division, 336. 

Sanguily, Julio, case in Senate, 

Sargent, A. A., Senate committee 
on resumption, 244. 

Schurz, Carl, and Resumption Bill, 

Secession, movement and attempt- 
ed compromise, 76; Buchanan 
on, 77. 

Seward, W. H., and enforcement 
of Fugitive Slave Law, 81; and 
Johnson's reconstruction policy, 
147; and amnesty, 151. 

Shannon, Wilson, as Governor of 
Kansas, 45. 

Sharpe, G. H., surveyor at New 
York, 290; charges against, 291- 
293; removed, 293, 295. 

Sherman, C. R., father of J. S., as 
office-holder, 4, 5; migration to 
Ohio, 4, 15; death, 5; family, 5. 

Sherman, Mrs. C. R., mother of 
J. S., character, 5, 18. 

Sherman, Daniel, as office-holder, 

Sherman, John, immigrant, de- 
scendants, 2. 

Sherman, John, birth and death, 1, 



417; length of public career, 
1; ancestry. 1, 2; oflSce-holding 
aoceetry, 3; father. 4; educa- 
tion. 5-7; first employment, 7; 
origin of partisanship, 8; studies 
law, 8, 16; first business ven- 
ture. 0; in Mansfield, 16. 19; 
property, 17, 18; marriage, 18; 
and father-in-law. 19; adopted 
daughter. 19; Washington home, 
19; plan to practice law in Cleve- 
land, 20; nominated for Con- 
gress (1854), 30; influences 
favoring political start, 30; pre- 
vious political interests, 31; con- 
sidered conservative on slavery, 
31; canvass, 32; elected, 32; and 
Chase, 33. 

Congmtman: slavery attitude 
(1855). 37; Kansas investiga- 
tion. 39; report, 40; and Kan- 
sas delegate. 42; amendment to 
Army Appropriation Bill (1856), 
43; early prominence, 44; de- 
nunciation of Pierce, 47, 48; and 
Dred Scott decision, 50; on Kan- 
sas election frauds (1857), 53; 
Committee on Naval Affairs, 54; 
minority report on Paulding- 
Walker affair, 55; investigation 
of Navy Department, 56; minor- 
ity report censuring Buchanan, 
57; Buchanan's protest against 
report, 57; resulting reforms, 
58; on abuse of national ex- 
penditures, 58-60; speakership 
contest (1850), 61-64; and Pen- 
nington's committee appoint- 
ments, 64; head of Committee 
on Ways and Means. 65; and 
Morrill Tariff Bill, 68. 69, 71; 
general tariff views, 71-73, 420; 
in campaign of 1860, 75; and 
compromise measures, 76; and 
proposed amendment guaran- 
teeing state slavery, 76; elected 
senator. 77; advance. 78. 

Senator, firat period: and poli- 
tical problems of Civil War, 84; 
and Lincoln, 85, 86; realises 
gravity of contest, 85; ^nd mili- 
tary problems, 85; military 
activity, 86; on Legal-Tender 
Act, 106-109; Committee on 
Finance, 107; and second issue 

of greenbacks, 112; and economy 
in war expenditures, 114; on 
imposition of internal revenue 
taxes, 121, 122;i>refer8 taxation 
to loans. 129; on state bank 
notes, 133, 134; drafts National 
Bank Bill, 134; takes charge of 
Bill, 134, 135; argument for it, 
135-137; and reconstruction 
contest, 142; first relations with 
Johnson, 15i5; becomes radical 
on reconstruction, 158, 159. 169; 
on Johnson and civil service, 
159; opposes disfranchisement of 
Southern whites, 159; on John- 
son and Fourteenth Amendment, 
160, 165; and Reconstruction 
Act, 162. 163; and impeachment 
of Johnson, 164; final commen- 
dation of Johnson's policy, 168; 
on conditions causing congres- 
sional reconstruction policy and 
Fifteenth Amendment, 169-171; 
on Johnson's responsibility, 171; 
plan of resumption (1866), ob- 
jection to contraction, 175. 176. 
178; on exchange of greenbacks 
for bonds. 175, 212. 229, 240; 
on suspending contraction, 183; 
on control over currency, 184; 
and reduction in tariff (1872), 
194; financial statements, 198; 
on diminishing imports, 198; 
conservative estimations of re- 
venue, 199; on income tax. 199, 
393; funding scheme (1866), 
203; on Refunding Bill of 1870, 
204-206; on pajrment of inter- 
est in coin, 204; on permanency 
of greenbacks, 204. 213. 217. 
421; on short-time bonds. 205; on 
low-interest bonds for national 
bank note security, 206. 422; 
and payment of bonds in green- 
backs, 211-215; and inflation, 
213. 232, 233, 241-243; and 
state taxation of federal bonds, 
216; and pay of laborers (1868), 
220; and Department of Ag- 
riculture, 221; relations with 
Grant, 222, 223; and with sub- 
sequent Presidents, 223, 311; on 
popularity of greenbacks, 226; 
on necessity of resumption. 227; 
on its effect on debtor class, 228, 



234; on fixed day for reflomption. 
230; first stand for resumption, 
232: advocacy of it (1873), 233- 
235; (1874), 238-242; commit- 
tee on resumption, 244r-246; re- 
ports the bill, 246; on reissue of 
greenbacks under the bill, 247; 
on phraseology of bill, 248; in 
Ohio campaign of 1875, 252; 
partisanship in campaign of 
1876, 254; on Democrats and 
Grant's administration, 255; 
"visiting statesman," 255; and 
return of Louisiana Board, 256; 
and Electoral Gommission, 256; 
report on railway rates (1874), 

/Secretory of (he TrtOBury: ten- 
der of portfolio, 257; tasks. 257; 
qualifications, 257; and sale of 
refunding bonds, policy of popu- 
lar subscriptions, 257-260, 271, 
289; on payment of bonds in 
gold, 260, 266; on silver ques- 
tion (1877), 264-266; and Bland 
Silver Bill, 266, 269; prepara- 
tion for resumption, 272; popu- 
lar opposition to resumption 
policy, 273; Toledo speech 
(1878), 273; accomplishment of 
resumption, 278-280; on its 
effect on business, 279; portrait 
for New York Chamber of Com- 
merce, 279; and refunding after 
resumption, 280-283; on neces- 
sity of specie reserve, 285, 287; 
on right to sell bonds to main- 
tain resove, 286, 391; advises 
limitation of amount of silver 
dollars and of greenbacks, 286; 
advises repeal of legal tender, 
286; management of Depart- 
ment, 290; and price of silver 
bullion, 289; and removal of New 
York custom-house officials, 290- 
296; in New York campaign of 
1879, 296; personal opinion of 
Arthur, 296; suggested retention 
of office under Garfield. 300: and 
Grant's third-term aspirations, 
302; candidacy for President 
(1880), 301-304; (1884), 304; 
(1888), 304-306; opposes Ar- 
thur's nomination, 304; and 
nominations of Harrison, 305, 

385; not proper preridential tim- 
ber, 306-309. 

Senaior, mooni period: deo- 
tion, 3(X). 301; good fortune in 
securing election, 300; length 
of second period, 301; character 
of it, 309; position, 310; Com- 
mittee on Finance, 310; presi- 
dent pro-4Bm., 310; tidvocates na- 
tional bank notes to full amount 
of security. 312; and authorisa- 
tion of three per cent, bonds, 
314; and revision of tariff (1882), 
315; and Tariff Bill of 1883, 319; 
and civil service reform. 320: 
and Blair Educational Bill, 322; 
on repeal of military ineligibility 
of ex-Oonfederates and test oath, 
323; investigation of Southern 
elections (1884), 324; on investi- 
gating Payne's election, 325; 
and Chinese exclusion, 328-331; 
on relations with Canada, 331' 
335.380; Committee on Foreign 
Relations, 331; on Samoan Is- 
lands, 335; anti-imperialist, 
335. 394, 397, 414-416; on re- 
lations with Mexico, 336; on 
regulation of interstate com- 
merce, long and short hauls, 341; 
stat« jurisdiction, 341; pooling, 
342; maximum passenger rate, 
343; advocates a court, 343; on 
CHeveland's tariff message, 344- 
347; on proper use of surplus, 
344; on advantages of protec- 
tion, 345; on duties on raw ma- 
terials. 346; and tariff on wool, 
347, 350, 392; on Mills Bill, 347; 
on South and protection, 347, 
392; on protection for tin plate, 
348; on necessity of frequent 
tariff changes, 348; and Washing- 
ton Monument, 349; and Mar- 
shall statue, 349; and Lafayette 
statue, 349; in Ohio campaigns 
(1881-89), 349; urged to run for 
Governor, 350; reelected Sena- 
tor, 350, 384; in campaign of 
1884, 351; in the South. 351; 
speech at Nashville, 361; and 
Silver Purchase Act, 353, 371- 
373; first anti-trust proposal. 
354; introduces Sherman Anti- 
Trust Bill, 355; changes in 'its 



ph m wotogy, 8g6; sisiimcDt f or 
it. 358^360; on ito constitution- 
ality. 360; on the renvideled 
biU. 363; oradit for the bill. 364; 
and transfer of reserve green- 
backs, 360; on bimetallism. 376; 
on MoKinley Bill. 380; on Isth- 
mian Gbnal. 381-383. 406-408; 
in campaign of 1802. 385; bill 
to repeal purchase of silver, 386; 
speech on repeal, 388-301; and 
elforU to maintain specie reserve 
(1803-06). 301; on Wilson-Gor- 
man Tariff Bill. 301-303; opposes 
income tax, 303; advocates an- 
nexation of Hawaii (1804). 303. 
304; on VenesuelarQuiana bound- 
ary controversy, 306; on Monroe 
Doctrine, 306; on intervention 
in Chiba, 306, 408; on financial 
oonditions (1806), 308; and ef- 
forts for free silver. 300; on plan 
to forbid sale of bonds to main- 
tain specie reserve, 300; Reeol- 
lectioru, 300; and campaign of 
1806. 4(X). 403; reluctant accept- 
ance of State portfolio, 404; last 
session of Senate, 404; on Brit- 
ish Qeneral Arbitration Treaty, 

Latt yean: term as Secretary 
of State, 400; signs Hawaiian 
Annexation Treaty, 410; and 
Chiba, 411; practical superses- 
sion as Secretary. 413; resigns, 
414; reasons for resignation, 
414-416; personal bitterness. 
41 5; effect of relegation to private 
life. 415; and death of wife, 416; 
continues a Republican, 416; 
illness in West Indies. 416; last 
days, 417; President's procla- 
mation on death, 417; burial, 
417: importance of career, 418; 
association with national mate- 
rial growth. 418; great questions 
of career, 410; Garfield on career. 
427; Hoar's eulogy, 428; as em- 
bodiment of character of his 
time. 428; fame. 428. 420. 

Traita: character in youth, 6; 
scientific bent, 6; practicality, 
8, 225; self-restraint, 16; as a 
lawyer, 16; versatility and force- 
tiilneaa, 17; married life. 10, 424; 

graq>, 44; admtniatimtiTB man- 
agement, 58; conservatism, 142, 
410; development of partisan- 
riiip, 142. 410; adverse to over- 
turning Uigislation , 224; assertion 
of pratigative, 224; and public 
opinion, 225, 423; pronounced 
stand on controversial questions. 
306; not associated with stirring 
issues, 306; as a practical poli- 
tician, 308; without magnetism, 
300; never absorbed by politics. 
351; and General Sherman, 383; 
impassive, 383; reserve, 384. 
424; private and public thrift, 
384. 423; failure of memory, 403, 
414; personal bitterness, 420; 
charges against, 420; inconsist- 
ency. 420-423; and political ex- 
pediency . 421 ; fofgetf ulness. 422; 
style, 425, 428; concentration, 
425; preparation of speeches, 
425; literary taste, 426. 

Sherman. Margaret C. (Stewart), 
wife of J. S., 18; character, 10; 
death. 416. 

Sherman, Roger, ancestry, 2. 

Sherman. Samuel, inmiigrant an- 
cestor of J. S., 1. 

Sherman, Taylor, grandfather of 
J. S.. as office-holder, 4. 

Sherman, Mrs. Taylor, lives with 
J. S., 18. 

Sherman, W. T., adopted by Sw- 
ing, 5; character in youth, 6; 
war pessimism, 85; on consoli- 
dating depleted regiments. 80; 
death, 383; character and J. S., 

Sherman Brigade, 87. 

Silver. See Bimetallism. 

Silver Purchase Act. iSes Bimetal- 

Slavery, value of exclusion to Ohio, 
14: senith of power, 20; posi- 
tive good. 20; finality of Com- 
promise of 1850. 21: sacredness 
of Missouri (Compromise, 22; 
Southern disbelief in Northern 
good faith in compromise, 23; 
apprehension of loss of political 
balance, 24; extension neces- 
sary to preservation. 25; views 
of right in territories. 25. 26; 
Pierce's pliancy, 26; confidence 



of iMders (1854). 27. 29; re- 
flponstbility for renewal of agi- 
tation. 27, 47; Kansas^Nebraska 
Act, 27; effect of it on North, 
28-30; Dred Scott decision, 49; 
effect of it on agitation, 50; and 
Walker's filibustering, 54; con- 
test absorbs public interest, 60; 
events strengthening move- 
ment against, 73; effect of John 
Brown's raid, 74; proposed 
amendment guaranteeing state, 
76; and elements of Republican 
party, 80-82; Thirteenth Amend- 
ment ratified by South, 153. See 
aUo Negroes. 

South, J. S. on, and protection, 
347, 392; J. S. in. 351. See 
alao Civil War, Negroes, Recon- 
struction, Slavery. 

Spain. See Cuba. 

Spaulding, E. G., Legal-Tender 
Bill, 97. 99. 

Speakership contests (1855), 35- 
37; (1859), 61-64. 

Specie reserve. See Resumption. 

Spinner, F. E.. and J. S. (1859). 62. 

Sprague, William, opposes Re- 
sumption Bill, 248. 

Squatter sovereignty, and terri- 
torial slavery, 25; Stephens on. 
25; in Kansas-Nebraska Act, 27; 
nullified in Kansas, 38; nulli- 
fied by Dred Scott decision, 49. 

States' rights and interstate com- 
merce and trust legislation, 357. 

Stephens, A. H., on squatter sov- 
ereignty, 25; and Bland Silver 
Bill, 262. 

Stevens, Thaddeus, and war fi- 
nances, 92; on l^al tender, 101 ; 
and National Bank Bill. 134; 
Johnson's denunciation. 1 56; 
and coin payment of bonds, 209. 

Stewart. Judge, father-in-law of 
J. S., 18; correspondence with 
J. S., 19. 

Stewart. Margaret C. iSee Sherman 

Stowe, Harriet B., Uncle Tom' a 
Cabin as anti-slavery force, 73. 

Subtreasury Act. plan to modify. 
104. 108. 

Suffrage, undo' Johnson's recon- 
struction policy, 151; J. S. on 

Southern reoo nstr uotioo, 150; 
Johnson reqmnsibility for n^ro, 
160; under Reconstruction Act. 
161; Fifteenth Amendment, 
166; J. S. on the Amendment, 
170; J. S. on nullification of 
negro (1884). 324. 

Sugar, free trade and bounty under 
McKinley Tariff Act, 377, 381. 

Sumner, Charles, on lack of dis- 
posable capital, 102; Johnson's 
denunciation, 156. 

Supreme Court, Dred Scott case, 
49; legal-tender decisions, 188- 
190; on state control of inter- 
state commerce. 343. 

Taney. R. B.. Dred Scott decision, 

Tariff, J. S.'s early advocacy of 
protection, 31; importance of 
Morrill Act. 65; review of earlier 
legislation. 66-68; Morrill Act a 
revenue measure rather than 
protective, 68. 69; average rates 
of Morrill Act, 69; specific and 
ad valorem duties. 70 ; minimum 
duties, 70; failure of Morrill Act 
as revenue measure, 70; passage 
of it, 71 ; J. S. on Morrill Act, 71 ; 
general views of J. S., 71-73,420; 
on raw material, 72; estimate 
of receipts (July, 1861), 92; in- 
crease (1861), 92; coin pasonent 
of duties. 109; tendencies of war 
legislation, 1 17; growth of desire 
for protection. 118; war acts. 
118; Act of 1864 as basic law. 
119; development of protection, 
191. 192; Wool Act of 1867. 192; 
concession to agricultural inter- 
ests, 192; addition of transpor- 
tation charge in ad valorem com- 
putations, 192; Wool Act of 
1867, 192; reform sentiment, 
reductions of 1870 and 1872, 
193; sectional differences, 194; 
J. S. and reduction (1872). 194; 
reform sentiment wanes. 195; 
increase (1875), 195; reciprocity 
with Hawaii, 195; J. S. and 
movement for revision (1881), 
315; commission. 316; report of 
oommitssion, 317; Senate Bill, 
317; Bill in House and confer- 



eno0, 317; pnmaions of Act of 
1883, 318; failure as a revenue 
reducer, 318; J. 8. and the Act. 
319; increased interest in, 319; 
various bills, 320; Cleveland's 
message, 344; J. 8. on it, 344- 
347; on results of protection, 
345; on duties on raw materials, 
346; on Mills Bill, 347; on South 
and protection, 347, 392; on 
protection for tin plate, 348; on 
need of frequent alterations, 
348: and truaU, 360, 361, 364; 
MoKinley Bill as logical meas- 
ure, 376; avowedly protective, 
377; special features of Bill, 377; 
in Senate, 378; and reciprocity, 
378; Customs Administration 
Law. 378-380; J. S. and McKin- 
ley BUI, 380; as issue in 1892, 
386; J. 8. on Wilson-Gorman 
Bill. 391-393; attempted hori- 
lontal increase (1896). 398. 

Taxation, Chase's plan (July. 
1861), 92; direct and income, 
imposed. 92; revenue from 
(1862), 93; plan as alternative 
of greenbacks, 104; reluctance 
to impose, 110. 129; growth of 
revenue from. 116, 117; of na- 
tional banks. 138; policy of re- 
duction. 191. 196; of federal 
bonds. 216-217. Sw alao In- 
ternal Revenue, Tariff. 

Tea. tariff duties. 193. 

Tenure of Office Act, J. S. on rea- 
son for, 169; and impeachment, 

Territories, views on slavery in, 25, 
26; Dred Scott decision on 
slavery, 49; negro suffrage, 160. 

Test oath. J. S. on repeal. 323. 

Texas and national slavery bal- 
ance. 24. 

Thirteenth Amendment. Southern 
ratification. 153. 

Thomas. Ix>ren20, appointmentand 
impeachment of Johnson. 164. 

Tin plate, J. S. on protection. 348; 
protection under McKinley Bill. 

Tipton. T. W.. opposes Resump- 
tion Bill. 248. 

Toucey, Isaac, Secretary of Navy. 
congressional investigation, 56; 

friiitewaahing naolution, 66; 
J. S.'8 resolution of censure. 

Transportation as commerce, 361. 
See aleo Interstate Commerce. 

Treasury notes. See Paper Money. 

TrerU affair and finances, 96. 

Trumbull, layman, on enforce- 
ment of Fugitive Slave Law, 81; 
civil service reform. 320. 

Trusts, state laws against, 353; 
first congressional interest, 353; 
House investigation (1888), 353; 
firet Senate Bill. 354; defined. 
354; J. S.'s firet bill (1888), 359; 
constitutionality of legislation, 
355, 357. 360; Sherman Anti- 
Trust Bill introduced, 356; orig- 
inal form, 355; amended phrase- 
ology on intention, 355; inter- 
state commerce aspect. 356, 358, 
360, 362; evolutionary origin of 
trusts not understood. 356; leg- 
islation and states' rights, 356; 
J. S.'s argument, 358-360; and 
competition. 359; and reduc- 
tion in prices. 360; and tariff, 
360. 361. 364; Reagan on. 360; 
obsolete views. 361; variety 
of remedies. 361; amendments 
to bill. 362; bill as remodeled by 
Judiciary Clommittee. 362; passes 
Senate. 363; objects of remod- 
eled bill and means to accom- 
plish them. 363; bill in House. 
364; final passage, 364; credit 
to J. S.. 364. 

Uncle Tom'e Cabin. See Stowe. 

Van Buren. Martin, order on hours 

of labor. 220. 
Venesuela-Guiana boundary que»- 

tion. 395. 
Vest. G. G.. on trusts and tariff, 


Walker. R. J., apd Lecompton 
Constitution. 51. 

Walker. William, filibustering ex- 
peditions. 54; congressional re- 
port on arrest by Paulding. 54- 

Washbume.E. B.. and J. S. (1859), 



Waahington Monument, beginning , 
348; J. S. and completion, 

Wells. D. A., and Wool Act of 
1807. 193. 

Whigs, new aflKliations of formo', 

Whitfield. J. W.. election as dele- 
gate from Kansas, 40, 41; un- 
seated. 42. 

Wilson-Gorman Tariff Bill. 391- 

Windom, William, and J. 8. 

(1850), 61; istae of three per 
cent, bonds, 314; report on rail- 
way rates (1874). 337; report 
on silver coinage, 366. 

Wood. Fernando, and Bland Sil- 
ver Bill. 262 

Woodford. S. L.. and Cuban bel- 
ligovncy, 412. 

Wool, J. 8. on tariff on, 72, 347; 
Tariff Act of 1867. 192; duties 
in Act of 1883, 318; interest of 
Ohio in. 350: free trade under 
Wilson Act. 392. 



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