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Interesting Coin Cartoon From 1896 Regarding Silver US Dollars

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 Posted 06/07/2021  11:07 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Nells250 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Just ran into this interesting LIFE magazine cover from 1896. Being new to coins, and finance-history being way out of my usual interest-groups, perhaps folks here can explain the meaning of this coin-cartoon?

https://ia600709.us.archive.org/10/...96-10-15.jpg

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 Posted 06/08/2021  12:13 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Slider23 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
William Jennings Bryan was the democratic party presidential candidate in 1896. The Nevada Comstock was producing more silver than the US or world could use that caused the price of silver to go down and the melt value of the silver dollar to decrease.
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 Posted 06/08/2021  12:19 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add smat45 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Doing a quick search I found that it was an election year with McKinley vs Bryan
Bryan---
"Silver, he said, was in ample supply and if coined into money would restore prosperity while undermining the illicit power of the money trust."

Cool read for history sake

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1896_...ial_election

Thanks for posting!

smat
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 Posted 06/08/2021  03:28 am  Show Profile   Check spruett001's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add spruett001 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting. Thanks for sharing!
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 Posted 06/08/2021  07:12 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thq to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
By the 1890's the Comstock was mined out. The bonanzas were gone by 1880. However, the bullion silver sat...and sat... There was no demand for it as money. Bryan wanted the government to flood the economy with it. Hence his Cross of Gold speech against the gold standard, which was restraining the free coinage of the bullion silver.

Eventually the bullion was coined, mostly into dollars. And these sat at Treasury. 270 million of them were melted and shipped to Great Britain and India in 1918. Peace dollars replaced them, and took their place in storage. Treasury slowly distributed them for the next 40 years.
"Two minutes ago I would have sold my chances for a tired dime." Fred Astaire
Edited by thq
06/08/2021 07:23 am
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 Posted 06/08/2021  08:35 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great history recap, thanks!
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 Posted 06/08/2021  11:33 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kbbpll to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Liberty with a crown of thorns? I don't get the symbolism there, but maybe I would if I lived during that time.
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 Posted 06/08/2021  1:20 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Conder101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's a commentary on what will happen if Bryan wins the election and gets his way with the free coinage of silver at 16 o 1. Finance will have the crown of thorns of silver forced upon her. You note the legend Silver dollar less 47 cents. This was because the metal in a silver dollar as compared to the metal in a gold dollar, was worth 47 cents less. So instead of getting a gold dollar worth a dollar, you would get a silver dollar with an intrinsic value of only 53 cents. The caption below about the size of life, the illustration size is probably that of what a silver dollar would have to be to contain one dollars worth of silver. Some pieces of Bryan Money distributed during the campain illustrated this as well. Such as these. The inner circle is the actual diameter of a silver dollar, 1.5 inches across.


Gary Schmidt
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 Posted 06/08/2021  5:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ballyhoo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for sharing that Conder! A visual always works best. It would be like carrying around one of those five ounce hockey pucks.
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Edited by Ballyhoo
06/08/2021 5:33 pm
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 Posted 06/08/2021  6:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
So basically he wanted to take us from the gold to a silver standard? Also, I am confused as to the term "free coinage".
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 Posted 06/08/2021  6:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NumisEd to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The Wizard of Oz tale is also related to this.
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 Posted 06/08/2021  7:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thq to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes. Bryan wanted us off the gold standard, replaced by the abundant supply of silver the government held. That didn't happen completely until the early 1970's. The sad thing is that when we went off the gold standard, the replacement was not silver but Federal Reserve notes backed only by full faith and credit in the government. Inflation dead ahead.

The direct cause of Bryan's populist appeal was the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890. The government's massive purchase of silver, coupled with a Treasury 16:1 exchange rate between the two metals, set off an exchange of silver coin for gold coin, driving the price of silver down from $1.16/oz in 1890 to $0.60 per oz. in 1894. The purchase act had to be suspended before Treasury ran out of gold.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherm...Purchase_Act

The suspension of the Sherman Act had the effect of nearly halting Morgan dollar coinage in 1893-1895, creating the scarce dates everyone is looking for.

"Two minutes ago I would have sold my chances for a tired dime." Fred Astaire
Edited by thq
06/08/2021 7:27 pm
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 Posted 06/08/2021  8:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add captainmandrake1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My favorite of the satirical Bryan bucks are the ones with this strange creature. (Oddly, I think they're aluminum!). The POP stands for the Populists who refused to crucify mankind on a cross of gold.

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 Posted 06/08/2021  8:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add captainmandrake1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Free coinage, I believe, is taking your silver to be minted into dollar coins. Much of the 19th century US history was a struggle between the big financial interests who wanted more control over the money supply and democratic forces who sought to put the power of money in people's hands, leading to all of those paper notes issued by local banks (wildcat banks, they were nicknamed) to finance land speculation. The people finally lost out in the late 19th century culminating with the creation of the Federal Reserve in the early 1900s...but the struggle goes on with the cryptocurrency!
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 Posted 06/09/2021  10:27 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The Wizard of Oz tale is also related to this.
Correlations to contemporary monetary policy were described in 1964, but many dispute that Baum made any deliberate attempt to evoke that imagery in his book. Like all art, deeper meaning is often left to the viewer to determine. That being said, the book can be used to form a decent analogy to explain the economic debates of the time.
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