Money Speculators 100 Times More Dangerous to Our Liberties Than Enemy's Arms - George Washington, 1779Submitted by We the People on Fri, 03/30/2012 - 08:31
Commander-in-Chief, George Washington to Edmund Pendleton
West-Point, 1 November, 1779
But I am under no apprehension of a capital injury from any other source, than that of the continual depreciation of our Continental money. This indeed is truly alarming, and of so serious a nature, that every other effort is in vain, unless something can be done to restore its credit.
Congress, the States individually, and individuals of each State, should exert themselves to effect this great end. It is the only hope, the last resource of the enemy; and nothing but our want of public virtue can induce a continuance of the war. Let them once see, that, as it is in our power, so it is our inclination and intention, to overcome this difficulty, and the idea of conquest, or hope of bringing us back to a state of dependence, will vanish like the morning dew. They can no more encounter this kind of opposition, than the hoar-frost can withstand the rays of an all-chearing sun. The liberty and safety of this country depend upon it.
The way is plain, the means are in our power. But it is virtue alone that can effect it. For, without this, heavy taxes frequently collected (the only radical cure), and loans, are not to be obtained. Where this has been the policy, (in Connecticut for instance,) the prices of every article have fallen, and the money consequently is in demand; but in the other States you can scarce get a single thing for it; and yet it is withheld from the public by speculators, while every thing that can be useful to the public is engrossed by this tribe of black gentry, who work more effectually against us than the enemy's arms; and are a hundd. times more dangerous to our liberties and the great cause we are engaged in.
With much truth and regard, I am.
The writings of George Washington,
Volume 3; Volumes 1779-1780, p. 100-101
by George Washington