August 30, 2002 A.D
215 YEARS AGO
[IN THE TRADITION OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS]
May 14, 1787 A.D., Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia, PA:
The convention was scheduled to begin, but a quorum was not present.
May 25, 1787 A.D., Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia, PA:
Now, with a quorum present, the Convention began.
May 29, 1787 A.D., Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia, PA:
Edmund Randolph, governor of Virginia, "then opened the main business."
"2. In Speaking of the defects of the confederation he professed a high respect for its authors, and considered them, as having done all that patriots could do, in the then infancy of the science, of constitutions, & of confederacies, when the inefficiency of requisitions was unknown--no commercial discord had risen among any states--no rebellion had appeared as in Mass.--foreign debts had not become urgent-- the havoc of paper money had not been foreseen--treaties had not been violated--and perhaps nothing better could be obtained from the jealousy of the states with regard to their sovereignty."
August 15, 1787 A.D., Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia, PA:
"Mr. Govr. Morris regretted that something like the proposed check could not be agreed to. He dwelt on the importance of public credit, and the difficulty of supporting it without some strong barrier against the instability of legislative Assemblies. He suggested the idea of requiring three fourths of each house to repeal laws where the President should not concur. He had no great reliance on the revisionary power as the Executive was now to be constituted [elected by Congress]. The legislature will contrive to soften the President. He recited the history of paper emissions, and the perseverance of the legislative assemblies in repeating them, with all of the distressing effects before their eyes. Were the National legislature formed, and a war was now to break out, this ruinous expedient would be again resorted to, if not guarded against. The requiring 3/4 to repeal would, though not a compleat remedy, prevent the hasty passage of laws, and the frequency of those repeals which destroy faith in the public, and which are among our greatest calamities."
"Mr. Govr. Morris moved to strike out 'and emit bills on the credit of the United States' If the United States had credit such bills would be unnecessary: if they had not, unjust & useless."
"Mr. Butler, 2ds. the motion."
"Mr. Madison, will it not be sufficient to prohibit the making them a tender? This will remove the temptation to emit them with unjust views. And promissory notes in that shape may in some emergencies be best."
"Mr. Govr. Morris. striking out the words will leave room for notes of a responsible minister which will do all the good without the mischief. The monied interest will oppose the plan of Government, if paper emissions be not prohibited."
"Mr. Ghorum was for striking out, without inserting any prohibition. if the words stand they may suggest and lead to the measure."
"Col. Mason had doubts on the subject. Congs. he thought would not have the power unless it were expressed. Though he had a mortal hatred to paper money, yet as he could not foresee all emergencies, he was unwilling to tie the hands of the Legislature. He observed that the late war could not have been carried on, had such a prohibition existed."
"Mr. Ghorum. The power as far as it will be necessary or safe, is involved in that of borrowing."
"Mr. Mercer was a friend to paper money, though in the present state & temper of America, he should neither propose nor approve of such a measure. He was consequently opposed to a prohibition of it altogether. It will stamp suspicion on the Government to deny it a discretion on this point. It was impolitic also to excite the opposition of all those who were friends to paper money. The people of property would be sure to be on the side of the plan, and it was impolitic to purchase their further attachment with the loss of the opposite class of Citizens."
"Mr. Ellsworth thought this a favorable moment to shut and bar the door against paper money. The mischiefs of the various experiments which had been made, were now fresh in the public mind and had excited the disgust of all the respectable part of America. By witholding the power from the new Governt. more friends of influence would be gained to it than by almost any thing else. Paper money can in no case be necessary. Give the Government credit, and other resources will offer. The power may do harm, never good."
"Mr. Randolph, notwithstanding his antipathy to paper money, could not agree to strike out the words, as he could not foresee all the occasions which might arise."
"Mr. Wilson. It will have a most salutary influence on the credit of the United States to remove the possibility of paper money. This expedient can never succeed whilst its mischiefs are remembered, and as long as it can be resorted to, it will be a bar to other resources."
"Mr. Butler. remarked that paper money was a legal tender in no Country in Europe. He was urgent for disarming the Government of such power."
"Mr. Mason was still adverse to tying the hands of the Legislature altogether. If there was no example in Europe as just remarked, it might be observed on the other side, that there was none in which the Government was restrained on this head."
"Mr. Read, thought the words, if not struck out, would be as alarming as the mark of the Beast in Revelations"
"Mr. Langdon had rather reject the whole plan than retain the three words '(and emit bills)'"
"On the motion for striking out N. H. ay. Mas. ay. Ct. ay. N. J. no. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. no. Va. ay.* N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. ay."
"The clause for borrowing money, agreed to nem. con." _______________________
"*This vote in the affirmative by Virga. was occasioned by the acquiescence of Mr. Madison who became satisfied that striking out the words would not disable the Govt. from the use of public notes as far as they could be safe & proper; & would only cut off the pretext for a paper currency, and particularly for making the bills a tender either for public or private debts."
August 28, 1787 A.D., Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia, PA:
Art: XII. being taken up. Mr. Wilson & Mr. Sherman moved to insert after the words coin money the words 'nor emit bills of credit, nor make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payments of debts' making these prohibitions absolute, instead of allowable(as in the XIII Art:) with the consent of the Legislature of the U.S.
Mr. GORHAM thought the purpose would be as well secured by the provision of art XIII which makes the consent of the Gen. Legislature necessary, and that in that mode, no opposition would be excited; whereas an absolute prohibition of paper money would rouse the most desperate opposition from its partizans.
Mr. SHERMAN thought this a favorable crisis for crushing paper money. If the consent of the Legislature could authorize emissions of it, the friends of paper money, would make every exertion to get into the Legislature in order to license it. The question being divided; on the 1st part "nor emit bills of credit" N. H. ay. Mas ay. Ct. ay. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. divd. Va. no. N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. ay.
The remaining part of Mr. Wilson's & Sherman's motion was agreed to nem: con:" (Emphasis Added.)
It is certain from the foregoing recitation, debates and votes, that the clear intent of those who brought about The Constitution of the United States of America was to preclude the possibility of paper money, though paper money had its advocates in the convention. Friends of paper money were soundly defeated in the votes that came after the debates. By these votes the door to paper money was shut and barred for the federal government, and paper money was crushed when the states were prohibited from issuing bills of credit. If America wants to be free, it will return to the sound gold and silver Coin of the Constitution.
August 30, 2002 A.D.
Lawrence Rey Topham, Chief Judge, CM
State of Utah