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other public bonds or securities, the payment of which must be made by taxes levied and collected.
Seventh-Such banks could draw exchange on each other without the transfer of funds, the treasury at Washington serving as a clearing-house for them.
Eighth-The circulation of such banks, in sums of two dollars and upwards, should be paper, furnished by the general government, after the style of the greenback, except that it should be receivable for all debts, public and private, including duties, and should bear the vignette of the donor. The gold originally donated should be kept in the vaults at Washington, except as it might be used by the department as provided by law, in redeeming bills. The bills might read: "The First National State Bank of Colorado," "The Second, etc., etc.," as the case might be.
Ninth-Such banks could receive deposits and pay interest thereon, but the interest should be confined to the actual net earning capacity of the deposit, which should be ascertained semi-annually or quarterly, and so much on the dollar paid for each dollar of deposits that remained in the bank for thirty days or more. All interest not collected within two years after due, might be converted into the funds of the bank.
Let us suppose such a bank started in Colorado, upon a donation of one million capital. (In the last twenty years I have known of at least $20,000,000 being donated in this state to schools, homes, etc., every dollar of which, I believe, would have gone into such banks, even if the party desired to use the annual payments to endow other institutions.)
running the bank, and $10,000, the one per cent. to be repaid to the donor; this makes $35,000, and leaves $215,000 as dividends, or interest, on the $6,000,000, or a little more than three and one-half per cent. on the dollar to depositors. This is a higher rate than most of the government bonds carry, and the security is equally as good.
It is sufficient to say, however, as shown above, it is all that the deposits justly earn, and that is all that any bank should or can properly pay.
At the end of the first year, there is added to the bank's capital its pro rata share of the interest, $35,000, and so its capital goes on compounding from year to year.
There could never be any runs or other financial distress of such banks. So long as the state and the national governments stand, the depositor is absolutely safe.
Whenever the securities are in the first instance negotiated by the state, county, etc., directly to such a bank, such state, county or city should be stopped from setting up as a defense any illegality or informality in the issue of such bonds, or the contracting of the indebtedness. The state being bound to make good, by general taxation if necessary, any such loss, it is as broad as it is long, and certainly more just, to prohibit such defenses. In Colorado (and in all states), where people are paying interest on public indebtedness, the people paying such interest would get it back by the interest made on their deposits.
I submit to your good judgment, that there is no "Mississippi Bubble" scheme here proposed. It must be admitted that you and your department are more capable of looking after the financial interests of the people than any other agency that could be employed. No risk or speculative venture is recommended. General and commercial banking is avoided. The people at large are given absolute security for their small individual deposits, and the government would be drawing to itself the control of the money of the land.
If the act should directly provide that the government, in case of necessity, might by pro rata levies on such banks, draw into its own treasury funds even to the extent of their capitalization, eventually returning the same without interest, it could not be objectionable either to the donors or the people, and would certainly very much strengthen the money power of the general government.
I also pray you to consider the trust feature here suggested. It is one of the strong points of the proposed measure. May we not even claim that it would meet with the general approval of moneyed men? Take, for instance, a man who, either in the trades or at his bank-desk, has passed near a lifetime, and by his good business ability accumulated a fortune of $20,000,000. He desires to so dispose of it as to secure the very best results for his family. Suppose he should leave the half of it directly to his heirs and donate the other half on the plan here suggested, to the national government to start ten banks of $1,000,000 each. The $10,000,000 given to his heirs must run the chance of unwise investment and business contingencies, and besides pay taxes at from two to four per cent. per annum. That which is given to the government is in the hands of a trustee that cannot fail in doing its duty. The fund can suffer no loss. It is given under a law that shields it from being taken from the donor, or his heirs, by legal process. Being shielded from taxes of from two to four per cent. per annum, it is the same as if the government was paying the donor that amount for its use. The income from it will be steadily $100,000 per annum for one hundred years, at the end of which time it would all be returned to the donor and his heirs.
Now, if we look upon it solely as an investment, what better could he do? Where can he place his money at as high a rate of interest for such a length of time? Where can he find such absolute security? Not only would such a law appeal strongly to the donor who gives
simply for the good he is doing thereby, but it would have a decisive influence with the prudent investor, who wished to look well to the future.
There is another matter, which, while not controlling, is still worthy of mention. We erect statues of bronze and marble to our military heroes and our great statesmen. It is but fitting that the great financiers and men of money who do their whole duty and more than their duty to the people, should be properly remembered.
To be able to reach national fame only through politics or military deeds, is too restricted a field. There should be another way by which both men and women may be able to build lasting monuments to their own memory. It is for this reason that I suggest that the bills issued by each of these banks should bear the vignette of the donor of the fund, and thus perpetuate his or her memory in the hearts of a thankful people.
That a Carnegie, or such an excellent woman as Miss Helen Gould, should thus live through long centuries after they have been laid to rest, and even after statues of marble shall have crumbled, is not an unpleasant thought. Who should object that the bright, new, crisp bills, that shall be used a thousand years hence in paying the laborers of the land, should carry the features of a Carnegie, or a Miss Gould, as well as those of Washington, Lincoln or Grant? I would also suggest that the very act of capital thus reaching out to help labor, would do much to bring about that perfect harmony between the two that we all desire.
Bank bills are the only proper medium of exchange. It is a well-known historical fact that newly-coined gold pieces will, in twenty years' ordinary use, fall far short in weight. Thus value has departed that can never be recovered. For this reason in your department, you neither receive nor pay out large amounts according to its stamped value, but by actual weight. We say, therefore, that gold should be kept locked in the vaults
at Washington, and be allowed to send its servant and representative-paperto do its work in the busy world.
While the man that loses paper money by fire or flood, may (not always) lose as much in value to him as if it had been gold, still in such case the world has not lost the gold. In such case the world has only lost so much paper. The saving
EDWIN MARKHAM: THE POET-PROPHET OF
AN EDITORIAL SKETCH.
By B. O. FLOWER.
to the government in the loss or destruc-
T. B. STUART.
to the canons of art and are rich in
SOME time since, after works of our but they ring true at every point; they
sketch of the life great poet of democracy, Edwin Markham, we received a personal letter from one of England's gifted writers, the author of two fine critical works and a valued contributor to the great English reviews. In this letter our correspondent, in referring to this sketch, thus graphically characterized the poet:
"You have succeeded in understanding and depicting the ambient air, as the French would say, in the life of the greatest poet in America and the greatest poet of democracy in the world; and you have done this by calling particular attention to the art displayed in Mr. Markham's Now Democracy and Art have not previously been found in such close unison. Whitman, in spite of his natural charm, vigor and originality, was never an artist in the academic sense, and for this reason many critics do not enjoy reading him. For the first time in the history of America we have a poet who brings us a chiseled and statuesque art, right out of the soil."
We fully agree with this critic, that Mr. Markham is democracy's greatest living poet. His stately lines not only conform
are instinct with the virility of democracy; they are vibrant with the spirit of justice and fraternity; they represent all that is best, truest and finest in the new social awakening which is battling against the rising tide of reaction, imperialism and class-rule based on privileged interest and acquired wealth.
Mr. Markham was born in Oregon when the West was young to the AngloSaxon world and when sturdy determination was companioned by buoyant hope; held glorious pictures woven in ambition's when rugged, sane and hardy youth beloom while gazing into the blazing logs in the great open fires.
His early education in home and school in literature and to him was given that laid the foundation for a love for the best passionate desire to learn the written word that comes to the hungry intellect of a child reared far from the maddening distractions and moral enervation of the city. He felt the mystic power and spell of nature known only to the children of imagination; and happily for him in early boyhood circumstances necessitated
his having to herd cattle alone in the sublime valleys of the Sierra Nevada. Here during the slow-moving hours he perused the stately verse of Homer and Milton. Here also he enjoyed Byron's burning lines and vivid imaginative pictures which served to quicken his intellect and enable him to come in close rapport with nature and feel companionship in her solitude. Here great dreams began to form in his plastic mind, while God drew near to him as in the earlier days on Sinai and the mountains of Galilee He had drawn nigh unto the mighty statesman of Israel and the sublime Prophet of perfected humanity. Here, environed by the august sentinels of time, the mighty, spire-like peaks and frowning heights, scarred, riven and torn in nature's labor-pains when continents were born, the youth received his most vital education. He was in fact in nature's university, with the Infinite for his master and in touch with the sublime thought of the immortal poets of the ages. Later in well-known educational institutions of the Pacific Coast he received the intellectual training which the cultured acquire within modern college halls, and subsequently he became a leading educator in California, while all the time the songs of the human, the "chants democratic," were germinating in the imagination of this child of genius and freedom who on the ample breast of rugged nature had drawn deeply from the fountain of inspiration.
From the hour of the publication of "The Man With the Hoe" Mr. Markham's position was assured in literature. Men and women of imagination and heart discerned at once the presence of a new and a great poet of democracy, he for whom we had waited since the day Whitman's voice grew silent and Lowell passed under the spell of reaction. Some there were, it is true, who shook their heads and cynically predicted that though this was indeed a great poem, no other work would come that could compare with it. But as if in answer to the carping, the poet gave us "The Sower," followed by
"Lincoln," that superb pen-picture of the greatest statesman of the republic since the days of Thomas Jefferson. Never has the apostle of justice and union been so grandly outlined as in these stately lines:*
"When the Norn-Mother saw the Whirlwind Hour,
"The color of the ground was in him, the red earth;
"And so he came.
"He held his place
Held the long purpose like a growing tree-
"The Man With the Hoe," "The Sower," "The Leader of the People," and "Lincoln " "Lincoln" are typical examples of the distinctly great and stately creative verse of Mr. Markham in which the poet leads the reader out upon the promontories of thought and stimulates the imagination to its profoundest depths. They are indeed spire-like peaks in a range of lofty mountains where many summits rise amid valleys carpeted with nature's glory, where sublimity and beauty go hand in hand.
*Lincoln and Other Poems. By Edwin Markham. New York: McClure, Phillips & Company.