Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 10 Num. 31

("Quid coniuratio est?")

                     DOLLARS AND LAWFUL MONEY

Excerpts from What Are We Using For Money? by Paul Bakewell

         "All  history  warns us against rash experiments
         which threaten violent  changes  in our monetary
         standard and  the  degradation  of our currency.
         The  past  is  full of lessons teaching not only
         the  economic  consequences   but  the  national
         immorality that follows in  the  train  of  such
         experiments."   --  Grover Cleveland, Message to
         Congress of December 2, 1895

We have no real dollars, no real money and no real monetary system in the United States. We have no Unit coin, such as our former gold dollar. We lack entirely the coined money which the Constitution contemplated and which was "lawful money."

The very word "Dollar" means a coin. The Joachimsthaler was the original German silver coin. The word was corrupted to the German "thaler" meaning a German silver coin, and the Spanish silver coin used at the time of the discovery of America was called the "dollar."

The first Coinage Act enacted in Congress in 1792 fixed the basic coin at 371.25 grains of pure silver or 416 grains of standard silver and called it the "dollar" or "Unit."

Because of its meaning, the word dollar is limited to a coin -- a piece of metal stamped by the government. The stamp of the government upon the particular coin was a guarantee that the value of the coin was equal to the value stamped upon its face.

From 1792 down to 1934 we had real money -- coin stamped by the government -- and the paper currency which was used was convertible into coin upon demand.

The phrase "lawful money" at common law meant coined money and nothing else. Our own courts had limited the phrase to coin. Years ago the Supreme Court decided that when a marshal had been ordered to collect a "certain sum in lawful money of the United States" he could collect only coined money of the United States, and could not accept depreciated paper currency. (Griffin & Irwin vs. Thompson, 2 Howard 244; McFarland vs. Gwin, 3 Howard 717.)

In 1868 the Supreme Court unanimously said that nothing other than coined money had been recognized by the legislation of the national government as lawful money. (Bank vs. Supervisors, 7 Wallace, p. 30.)

Until 1934 the promise on our paper currency to pay "dollars" in "lawful money" meant exactly what it said. Today we continue to use the words dollars and lawful money out of habit and custom, and overlook that we no longer have either dollars or lawful money.

Today [1952] the Federal Reserve Notes promise payment in dollars and state that they are redeemable in lawful money. [CN: No longer true nowadays.] But what do those words mean?

Mr. A.F. Davis sent a Federal Reserve Note for $10 to the Treasury Department and asked for $10 in lawful money. In reply the Treasury Department sent him two $5 United States Notes, which also promised payment in dollars. Mr. Davis then sent one of those $5 Notes to the Treasury Department and demanded $5. The Treasury Department returned that $5 note to Mr. Davis and wrote that the term "lawful money" no longer had its former special significance.

The people established our government to protect their life, liberty and property. How then may that government deprive the people who established it of their right to own real money? How could the government take gold from the people and then deprive those people of their property by debauching the currency?

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

(From July 1995 Conspiracy Nation Newsletter)

CONSPIRACY NATION: The way I understand it is, what's backing up the dollar right now is, basically, people's confidence in the government. And if people have no confidence -- because there's no gold backing it up! What's backing up the dollar?

SHERMAN SKOLNICK: There's nothing backing the dollar now. It's legal tender, without any backing.

       Views expressed do not necessarily  reflect  those
       of Conspiracy Nation, nor of its Editor in Chief.
        I encourage distribution of "Conspiracy Nation."

If you would like "Conspiracy Nation" sent to your e-mail address, send a message in the form "subscribe cn-l My Name" to (Note: that is "CN-L" not "CN-1")

For information on how to receive the improved Conspiracy Nation Newsletter, send an e-mail message to

Want to know more about Whitewater, Oklahoma City bombing, etc? (1) telnet (2) logon as "visitor" (3) go citcom

See also:

See also: ftp pub/users/bigred

Aperi os tuum muto, et causis omnium filiorum qui pertranseunt. Aperi os tuum, decerne quod justum est, et judica inopem et pauperem. -- Liber Proverbiorum XXXI: 8-9