The Texas Miner, Volume 1, Number 8, March 10, 1894 Page: 4
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THE TEXAS MINER
Samuel Benner of Dundas, Vinton county, Ohio, known as
"Vinton County's Prophet," looks with dismay upon the future,
and predicts disaster. In a letter to the Vinton County Repub-
lican on January x he says:
It is somewhat against the desires of the writer to predict ca-
lamity in the future business of this country; yet, however, I
yield to the urgent demand from business men for my views.
We are now in the down cycles in trade and prices.
In the forecast for 1892 it was remarked that general business
would languish and low prices would prevail for the next six
After such disasters as have occurred in 1893 the inquiry is a
most anxious one: What is the business outlook for 1894 ? My
prediction is that hard times, poor trade, continued lower prices
and general stagnation in our industries, will prevail all over this
country throughout this year.
There will be a new and extraordinary business situation—a
combination of adverse legislative enactments never before ex-
perienced in this country.
The repeal of the silver purchasing law leaves us squarely on
the deadly gold basis.
There is no doubt of the Wilson tariff bill passing Congress
and becoming a law, with some unimportant changes.
Gold basis with low tariff will be something new in trade con-
dition, and its effects will be to paralyze the whole country. It
will mean the lowest depths of depression in all our industries.
Speculative booms in business are out of the question no
use to look for them. The discarding of the silver dollar as a
money unit has killed all speculation. The price of silver bullion
will eventually decline in the world's market, dragging down
wheat, wool, cotton and all agricultural products.
It will be some satisfaction in these troublesome times to
know that the greenback will save us from so great a calamity as
the bursting of the Jackson paper money in 1837.
The hard times following that disaster spread a pall of bank-
ruptcy over the whole land. Taxes could not be paid and the
greater Dart of the debts were settled by bankruptcy.
Greenbacks were our mainstay in the long down sweep of
prices after the panic of 1873, after the Baring panic of 1890,
and also after the late panic of 1893. We can rely on it after
the coming commercial panic, which is certain to follow the
adoption of low tariff.
No political party should ever be voted into power that would
advocate the retirement of greenback.
Now, at this time, we have no fears in regard to the sound-
ness of our paper money; }et, we are in a deplorable financial
The demonetization of silver in 1873 continues to hang over
the business outlook as a dark and threaten.ng cloud.
This stealthy act was a crime against God and man. It was
an unpardonable sin, and no atonement can ever be made for it;
it has occasioned more loss to the agricultural, mining and in-
dustrial interests of this country than the costs of all the wars
that have ever been waged on this continent; it has occasioned
more grief, sorrow and gloom than all other crimes; it has been
the real cause of declining prices in lands, grain, wool, cotton,
iron and all else, to lower figures than ever known; it is the
main reason why that stagnation prevails in our industries to-day;
it is the monster that has thrown an army of laborers out of em-
ployment—filled our cities with starving men—because there is
no work for them to do.
It is evident that the money problem is predominent for de-
pression in our business affairs, and it is a sad and doleful com-
mentary upon this free and enlightened country—rich in all the
bounties of nature, inexhaustible mines of coal, iron, gold and
silver, boundless agricultural resourcess—that such disasters in
business should have occurred as described, and all this under
a high protective tariff.
If, with all that has happened in the past, when in possession
of so favorable agricultural, manufacturing and mining advanta-
ges, with protection, what is to be expected as a result of the
adoption of a free-trade and ad valorem low duty tariff, at this
time, with silver demonetized ?
The low duty tariffs have been shameful failures in this coun-
try. Whenever we have had a low tariff, the general gov-
ernment became involved in debt, manufactures were crippled,
the people were impoverished, and labor was thrown out of
A low duty tariff will cause decling prices for labor and its
productions, resulting in a lessened ability to pay debts. The
gold we have will soon fly off to Europe to pay for goods we
should manufacture ourselves.
When we had the low tariff in 1833, so empty was the treas-
ury that the president could not draw his salary. The tariff was
reduced in 1857. In the following year there was a deficiency
in the revenue, and the government was compelled to borrow
$20 000 000.
The low tariff era from 1857 to 1861 was a dismal period in
tariff history. The industries of this country were prostrated;
the people were poor and in debt. These four years of low
tariff bankrupted more iron furnaces and factories, caused more
failures in business and reduced the laboring man to greater
hardships and privations than ever before known.
With low tariff, on a gold basis, we can look forward to noth-
ing else but an adjustment of prices to the low plane of foreign
countries. The labor of this country will be forced down to the
impoverished condition of labor in Europe.
What else can be expected but continued embarrassed busi-
ness, bankrupt manufacturers, unemployed labor and ruined
We sound the note of warning. Hard times are coming, the
sting of which will come to every man's home.
Birth is taxed, marriage is taxed, death is taxed. Commodo-
ties are taxed, manufactures are taxed; trades are taxed, houses
are taxed, incomes are taxed. We are taxed for our butler, if
we are prosperous enough to keep one. We are taxed for our
footman groom or gardener. The carriage we keep is taxed,
the omnibus we take is taxed, the cab we hire is taxed, the rail-
way train we travel by is taxed. The house dog is taxed, and
so also the heraldic device on our note paper.
Everything we drink is taxed—beer, spirits, wine, tea, coffee
-—and even for the water we drink there is the water rate.
Light is taxed through the medium of the gas rate. The land
we walk upon is taxed, the tobacco we smoke is taxed, and the
gold or silver jewelry we wear, the eau de Cologne perfuming
our handkerchief, the figs we eat on Palm Sunday, the Christmas
plum pudding—these are all taxed. Even our anti-billious pills
are not free.
All these, and they are but a few of the taxes that exist, are
mostly imperial taxfes for the purposes of government—some of
them, however, are assigned to the conntv councils. There are
also local rates, which are but local taxes, for the poor, county
council, police, voting lists, street lighting, paving, watering,
etc., sewers, school board and vestry. Householders, lodgers,
married and single, men, women and children are all taxed in
some form or other, for taxtion is devised to reach every one.
The late Lord Sheerbrooke (Robt. Lowell), when chancellor
of the exchequer, calculated that one-ninth of our income is
taken from for imperial taxation—but the proportion is more
now, and is growing. Local taxation is not much less.—[Tem-
HE HAD THE BAIT-BOX.
In the days of Cleveland's first administration Mr. Eustis, then
in the Senate from Louisiana, used to tell a droll story to illus-
trate his idea of why Democratic Senators should and would
stand by the only Grover.
Mr. Eustis' little story, whice went the rounds of many ban-
quet tables at the capital, was a fish story. It was located on
one of the bayous of the Pelican state.
It told how two men went out fishing, and one fell overboard.
The other man, in desperate haste, jumped in to rescue him. It
took ten minutes of hard, exciting work to bring his companion
out of the water and land him, for purposes of resuscitation, on
the bank of the bayou.
Spectators on the land had watched the heroic rescue with in-
tense interest, and, as the half-drowned man was being rubbed
back to consciousness, one of them spoke up and said to the
gallant saver of life: "You must think a heap of your friend to
take such big risks to save him; you must be very devoted to
"No," said the rescuer, "I'm not so very fond of him—but.
dang it all, he had the bait-box in his pocket."
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McAdams, Walter B. The Texas Miner, Volume 1, Number 8, March 10, 1894, newspaper, January 27, 1894; Thurber, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth200455/m1/4/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Tarleton State University.