Wednesday, February 10, 2010

As I’m sure most of you already know, today is the 119th anniversary of Grover Cleveland’s famous Silver Letter. Yes, it was on the tenth of February in 1891 that the former president penned these immortal words in a letter to a New York business group:

“If we have developed an unexpected capacity for the assimilation of a largely increased volume of [silver], and even if we have demonstrated the usefulness of such an increase, these conditions fall far short of insuring us against disaster, if in the present situation we enter upon the dangerous and reckless experiment of free, unlimited and independent silver coinage.”

Wow! I don’t know about you, but it still sends a shiver up my spine every time!

Seriously, though… The wording may be cumbersome, but the Silver Letter signaled Grover’s commitment to the gold standard, the most divisive issue of the day. It also signaled his return to politics. Although he had been voted out of office in 1888 (despite winning the popular vote), he would run again in 1892 – and win, of course.