“Money, of itself, is of no consequence; only as we, by mutual agreement, annex to it a nominal value as the representation of property. Anything else might answer the same purpose equally with silver and gold should mankind only agree to consider it as such and carry that agreement into execution in their dealings with each other. We find this verified, in fact, by those bills of credit which are in circulation through the world. Those bills, simply, are good for nothing; but the moment mankind agree to put a value on them, as representing property, they become of as great consequence as silver and gold, and no one is injured by receiving a small insignificant piece of paper for an hundred bushels of wheat, when mankind stamp that value upon it, by agreeing to receive it for that amount. Therefore, we find the only thing necessary to make a matter valuable is to induce the world to deem it so; and let that esteem be raised by any means whatever, yet the value is the same, and no one becomes injured by receiving it at the valuation. Hence, we find the world putting an enormous value upon certain stones which intrinsically are of no use; as for instance, the diamond, the carbuncle, &c. These stones cannot be made use of in any pursuit of life. They will not serve for food, for raiment, or for any instrument of any kind whatever; therefore, of what real use can they be? Their scarcity and certain peculiarities, have induced mankind to esteem them, and this esteem stamps a value upon them so that they pass from one to another as the representation of property; hence, the holders of them always have a valuable possession, and probably always will have, which they at any time can exchange for property of more immediate consequence to their support. Had I the art of making diamonds, do you suppose I should transgress the laws of equity in putting that art into practice? Except I should fill the world with them so as to destroy their scarcity, and hence depreciate their value in the hands of others. To put this art into practice, so as to enrich myself and not destroy that due proportion between representative property and real property, is doing myself a favor and injuring none. Gold and silver are made use of for convenience, to transact our business of barter and exchange with each other as the representation of property, it being less cumbersome and more easy to communicate from one to another, than real property of any kind; hence, when there is due proportion of representative property, business can be transacted to the greatest advantage and with the greatest ease. And when the public experience a scarcity or redundancy, they of course suffer an inconveniency; therefore, that person who contributes his mite to keep the balance between those two species of property just poised is a blessing to himself and to the community of which he is a member. That an undue scarcity of cash now prevails is a truth too obvious for me to attempt to prove. Your own observation will convince you of it. Hence, whoever contributes, really to increase the quantity of cash, does not only himself, but likewise the community an essential benefit. And that this can be done in the pursuit which I have undertaken and without endangering the safety of anyone, I will convince you by ocular demonstration.”
He then presented me with a bag of dollars, which he said were made by Glazier Wheeler. I poured them all out; I examined them with care, as I then thought; I compared them with other dollars which were good. I could discover no difference.
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