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May 28, 1887]
rhe Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
IQl Broadway, 3Sr. IT.
Our Telepbone Call ia
ONE YEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
M^Y 28, 1887.
Business has a hopeful appearance ail over the country. Every¬
one seems to have all he or she can do ; indeed the only trouble is
the natural desire of the working people to increase their compen¬
sation now that their labor is in demand. Capitalists are eager to
enter into new enterprises or extend old ones. Indeed the danger
now seems to be that we are, as a nation, discounting the future,
and in all probability are "biting off more than we can chew."
We are building more railroads and houses than ever before in the
history of tlie country, and in this and other ways are turning our
floating into fixed capital. Europe is helping us in these new enter¬
prises, and is taking our bonds to au unlimited extent. This is
shown by the exchanges. The balance of trade is heavily against
us, and if there was no bond selling we would be shipping gold at
the rate of from five to. ten million a week. Everything will be
lively so long as this supply of capital is coming to us trom abroad.
But capital isn't currency. The one may be compared with the
clothing that we wear permanently, the other the food on whieh
we live daily. There is a hundred million of greenbacks locked up
in the Treasury. The tendency will be from this time forth to
accumulate cash in the government vaults. Currency is in
demand from every quarter because of the more active business
which is being done compared with former years. Our population
is increasing very rapidly, and in no nation in the world is there
such a demand for money with which to transact daily business.
Counting all our gold, silver and paper money—that stored in the
Treasury and in banks as well as what is circulating among the
people—we have less than twenty-eight dollars per capita, while
France has fifty-seven dollars per capita. We shall want more
currency in the near future, and the time has come when we should
get the full benefit of the silver coinage law. Under that enact¬
ment the Treasury authorities can coin 4,000,000 silver dollars a
month. So far they have only coined the minimum amount
required by the law, $2,000,000 a month. But the farming popu¬
lation and trade of the country requires a much larger volume of
currency. The proposal to deal in certificates of silver bullion in
the Stock Exchange may create an interest which wiil favor
raising the price of that white metal. We now mine more silver
than we use, and hence are constantly exporting it to other
Our production of silver is about $52,000,000 per annum. If
we use $48,000,000 in the coinage it would keep our silver at
home, and would help strengthen the price all over the world.
This would greatly benefit^our agricultural interests, and would
permanently raise the price of grain and cotton in the markets
of the world. There would be no inflation in the addition of
silver dollars, for the new certificates are needed now in the
channels of trade. There never can be any infiation due to an
excess of the precious metals. It is irredeemable paper money
which is dangerous—never gold or silver. By all means let us
have an agitation for a full coinage of silver dollars. It would
save us from an extra session during the coming fall. We can¬
not increase the number of greenbacks under the law, while the
national bank bills are doomed. There is no likelihood of any
American Congress within the next generation passing any law
authorizing private corporations to furnish the community with
currency. The only relief we can have is utilizing our silver
resources, more especially by putting the silver coinage law into
Certain of the city journals have pointed out the additions of
our currency due to emigration. Of course, foreigners will bring
more or less coin, which is sent to the mint in time for recoinage;
but it cannot be said that this adds to the available currency supply,
for the reason that their currency wants in a new country must
be kept in mind. They must buy and sell if they are to live, and
undoubtedly they keep employed all the money they bring with
For several weeks past quite an active demand for cheap lots
within the city limits as well as in the suburbs has made its
appearance. These dealings have not assumed the proportions
such as those in the Western and Southern cities, but it is very
cle,i,r that there is a growing desire on the part of our working peo¬
ple for homes of their own; hence tbe avidity with which lots
were taken up in the annexed district within the past few weeks.
From the plans filed at the Building Bureau it is very clear
there is no abatement of the building movement. There is very
lively buying and building along the line of the Suburban Rapid
Transit road in the 23d Ward. Most of the new plans for buildings
are for homes for what might be called the lower middle-class, and
tenement houses of the somewhat better sort. It looks as though
the fall of this year will see a great deal of pr.operty change hands,
while there will undoubtedly be a much better sale of new houses
than has been the case recently.
Combinations seem to be the order of the day. When the work¬
ingmen formed their unions the employers did not like them.
Quite recently the employers themselves have combined to protect
their own interests, and the members of the trades unions are
anything but satisfied therewith. The shoe manufacturers here
in the East, and the bosses of the Duilding trade of the West are
having a trial of strength with the organized working people. A
solution of the labor problem is in sight when both sides are organ¬
ized, but not before. It looks as though the trouble in the building
trade out West will soon be compromised. Had not the employers
formed a union of their own they would have been at the mercy
of the organized workingmen. But at last accounts it looked like
a drawn battle. The employing silversmiths here at the East have
been able to keep up a long contest with their journeymen simply
by being organized. The great shoe firms have also had more or
less success in fighting their men.
And now it is reported there is to be a grand " combine " of the
cattle interests in the Northwest. The owners of the great cattle
ranges are about to " pool their issues," and act as one body in
buying and selling their cattle and in controlling their herds.
This tendency to co-operation is showing itself in all the great
industries of the country. We doubt if these vast monopolies are
in the end hurtful to the community. They effect great economies
in the conduct of business, and at first, at least, they cannot afford
to charge extortionate prices. The community can deal with a
large corporation much better than it can with irresponsible private
owners. The Standard Oil Company has undoubtedly injured and
even ruined its competitors in business. But all who use their
refined oils are sure of a pure article at the very cheapest price.
The great packing houses of Chicago are a benefit both to the
cattle grower and the consumer of meats. As the world grows
older it seems likely that vast corporations will do more and more
of its work.
Mayor Hewitt is quite right in objecting to the practice of sand¬
ing the tracks of the street car companies. It is simply a means
of dirtying the streets and of rendering the city unwholesome.
There are too many particles of dust and iron held, as it were, in
solution by the air of our leading streets. In addition to what
rises from the ground there is a constant downpour of iron particles
from the elevated roads. Not only is the health m jured by the
inhalation of these particles into the lungs, but the sight is often
impaired. Mayor Hewitt hit the nail on the head when he told
the representatives of the horse-car roads that the stocks of the
companies represented five times the actual cost of the roads, yet
nine-tenths of them paid enormous dividends on the watered
securities. They ought to keep the streets clean instead of making
If the court permits the Third Avenue Company will change its
horses for a cable. This will be a decided public improvement, for
the time will thereby be shortened between Harlem and the City
Hall, and the new cars will be an improvement on those now in
use. Indeed, all our horse cars should be replaced by cables run by
steam. What a pity the cable company was not permitted to get
possession of all the tracks, in which case there would have been a
system of transfer tickets by which any part of the city could be
reached for five cents. Then the cable company offered to pay 3
per cent, of the gross receipts into the city treasury. The horse
car companies, backed up by the city press, have successfully
opposed this very desirable change. Doubtless the several compa¬
nies will in time adopt the cable system, but the passengers will
have no transfer tickets, nor will the city benefit by the 3 per cent,
tax. But then the average reader is so easily fooled when the
newspapers cry ** monopoly " and "job," in fighting a great public
The crop situation is getting interesting. Prices on the Stock
Exchange are due very largely to the reports from the fields of
grain and cotton. A good crop leads to bull campaigns, and a crop
failure to a marking down of quotations. The reports this year are