George Bancroft knew the intent of the framers, expounders, and executors of the United States Constitution better, perhaps, than any of his contemporaries. Born in 1800, he had personally talked with James Madison, John Adams, and LaFayette; had known Andrew Jackson, and Polk, and every president since Monroe.
Too, he was well qualified to discuss our Constitution as it applied to foreign nations, having been Secretary of the Navy and founder of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Ambassador to The Court of St James's and Minister to Germany (Bancroft knew Lord Byron, Baron Rothschild, von Bismarck, and Goethe; Percy Bysshe Shelley dashed off flattering verse in his honor).
No American is a finer historian than Bancroft: although rarely seen in our educational system today, his life's work, the ten-volume HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FROM THE DISCOVERY OF THE CONTINENT, is still the most accurate of our national chronicles.
George Bancroft was 84 years old when the supreme Court, without having listened to any public argument on a case both sides of which were presented by one man, issued its opinion in Juilliard vs Greenman, saying:
"The power to make the notes of the government a legal tender in payment of private debts being one of the powers belonging to sovereignty in other civilized nations, and not expressly withheld from congress by the constitution; we are irresistibly impelled to the conclusion that the impressing upon the treasury notes of the United States the quality of being a legal tender in payment of private debts is an appropriate means, conducive and plainly adapted to the execution of the undoubted powers of congress."
Bancroft was shocked at what he called this "language of revolution." These men were not "expounding a Constitution," as Chief justice Marshall had described the Court's duty, they were legislating powers the Constitution was intended to prohibit! Greatly alarmed, Bancroft chose to dedicate his remaining years (he died at 91) to advising the Court and the world of its monumental error. Painstakingly, he assembled "facts which are beyond the reach of change," called upon "clouds of witnesses" to whom the Court "must feel willing to pay respect, if not deference," and put them all into a last great memorandum of law entitled A PLEA FOR THE CONSTITUTION, published by Harpers in 1886.
The only private citizen to have been accorded full floor privileges by the United States Senate by virtue of his name and not his office predicted that the Juilliard opinion, "if accepted as law," would be the end of both the Constitution and of "the honor and hope of republicanism throughout the world." His predictions have come true in the most horrifying ways. It is a fact that Juilliard provided the raw legal materials for a series of financial panics calculated to result in the establishment of the Federal Reserve System, whose owners are unknown and probably un-American; and that the Federal Reserve used legal tender promissory notes to attract the people's saved gold and silver which funded the machinery making possible the wholesale slaughter of the Bolshevik Revolution, World Wars I and II, Korea, Cuba, Viet Nam, and countless other genocidal adventures past and yet to come.
Bancroft's PLEA was treated by his publisher like an ugly duckling. It flopped. As one of his biographers politely wrote: "His protest attracted little serious attention."
We can speculate why.
While the Constitution declares nothing but gold and silver can be money, "legal tender" laws, such as the one found constitutional by the Juilliard Court, declare words and numbers on paper to be money, too. These laws enable the writers of these words and numbers to pay debts with their paper. Since this means that anyone permitted to write the words and numbers can acquire someone else's hard-won property with the mere stroke of a pen, comparisons of paper money to euphoric drugs are not exaggerations.
Overnight, a nobility arises, consisting of those privileged to write the words and numbers first-the bankers. The bankers in turn lavish unquestioned credit upon certain persons without whose help the whole nobility would collapse: the "opinion-makers," among whom today are the prominent newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, fictionists, columnists, broadcasters, politicians, entertainers, executives, merchants, religious figures, labor leaders, taste makers, lawyers, educators economists, industrialists and their advertising agents, and supreme Court justices (just to name a few) who make paper money seem desirable while blaming paper money's tragic side effects on other phenomena entirely. Maintaining what Bancroft termed the people's "honest illusions" about paper money and the law, the opinion makers keep us ignorant of the hard facts, and for this service they enjoy a comfortable line of paper money credit down at the bank even in hard times.
But the money high isn't limited to the privileged. Indeed, the under-privileged and middle class feel rich and commanding, too, when bank credit enables them to write words and numbers for goods that yesterday were only wished for. Embracing the "honest illusion" that little labor justly brings big reward, they do not see the dangers in collateralizing their borrowed words and numbers with real property until the day comes when the rising sea of bankers' generosity has so heightened prices that to repay the loan is now impossible. Thus begins the crunch.
The unprincipled victim of legal tender turns to crime in order to keep what he feels is his; the honorable victim, suffering immense emotional and physical pressure, humbly surrenders to the law of foreclosure. And the opinion makers, rather than holding up paper money as the cause of the honorable man's misery, point to Crime as a Growing Problem, calling for More Police and Larger Prisons.
The probable reason Bancroft's PLEA FOR THE CONSTITUTION went unheeded in its day is that it fell not so much on deaf ears as on drugged minds, minds hallucinating on generous doses of legal tender.
The errors in Juilliard, regardless of how little "serious attention" they drew, are still proved errors, flagrant errors guarded now by a new generation of opinion makers whose personal investment portfolios will surely reveal, as of old, that they are blessed with credit privileges from the money source. Our files bulge with letters from official attorneys and recent court opinions insisting that it is "well settled" that Congress has power to impress legal tender qualities on paper.
But the incontrovertible evidence in Bancroft's little book exposes a deliberate criminal trespass on our rights that spoils all aspects of human relationships down to this day, and soon not even the most compelling illusions of the opinion makers will have power to convince the people otherwise.
Juilliard is founded on fictions, fictions are unreal, and to nature, unreal substances are poisons to be systemically rejected if the organism is to live. It's not surprising, then, that a massive natural movement to purify our poisoned sense of the value of things has begun, so that our great societal organism can stay alive.
The pages of THE MAIN STREET JOURNAL document mounting numbers of the victims of paper money in all 50 states who are demanding that their state governments show authority for paying debts (and requiring payments of assessed taxes) in paper money when the Constitution mandates that "no State shall make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a tender in Payment of Debts."
A Federal Grand Jury in Salt Lake City in 1982 twice indicted the Federal Reserve system, but the opinion making beneficiaries of paper money-the United States Attorney and the District Judge quashed the indictment and covered over the whole experience with denials and "honest illusion."
Embattled farmers, businessmen, and laborers, discovering that their sinking fortunes are the fault not of themselves but of the legal-tender con, are beginning to sue banks for fraud, usury (any interest charged on money created out of nothing is pure usury), and breach of contract. Predictably, these perfectly real events are treated by the opinion-makers as though they're not happening.
Meanwhile, the violence in our entertainment escalates with the rising tide of blood in our homes and streets, and community leaders call for more police, more controls, more money. Workers cast into unemployment lines by a swerving standard of monetary value which a misinformed tribunal made "constitutional" a century ago, pray for another war to make them busy again, even if it means risking a son or a daughter, and ...
Because George Bancroft believed that all difficulties in the Union could be resolved by love, the great historian prayed that the supreme Court would read his PLEA and reverse itself. He also urged the people to take the knowledge contained in A PLEA FOR THE CONSTITUTION and ransom their minds from error, discern the truth, and not accept the Court's opinion as law.
A hundred years and a trillion broken dreams later, the people are just weary enough to listen to him.
-Frederick Tupper Saussy 1982