Philip Danforth Armour is a member of the Board of
Trade which controls the price of pork, bacon,
beef, wheat and grain.
Dealing in futures on the Board of
Trade is a system originated for the purpose of enabling those with immense
wealth to force stocks up or down without any regard to the actual value for
Through their control of the Boards of Trade
and their monopoly of the traffic in farming products they put down the price
of farming products until it was impossible for the farmers to pay off the
"A few men buy all the wheat of the
There is no competition; the railroads fix the price of
wheat and grains to suit themselves, and grind the farmer down into
They not only plunder
the farmer in the price, but they cheat in the measurement which fixes the
quality of the wheat.
Several years ago, #1 wheat was 90 cents a
bushel, #2 75 cents, and #3, 60 cents a bushel .
The wheat was so
graded by the buyers, that all wheat weighing 60 lbs. and over to the bushel
was rated #1 ; all wheat weighing 56 lbs. and over, #2; and all wheat weighing
52 lbs. and over #3.
If the wheat were measured in the good old
fashioned way in an honest half bushel
measure, most of the wheat would weigh 60 lbs. to the bushel, and be rated as
These monopolists cheat systematically in the measure.
use an oval gallon measure, easily battered, by accident, to diminish its
Into such a small measure the wheat will not pack close, when
poured very gently out of a pitcher into it.
They then weigh the gallon
and multiply by 8 to find the weight of a bushel.
By this system of
measurement little of the wheat rates as #1; and very much of it is rated as
In this way, when #1 wheat was selling at 90 cents a bushel, this
system of measuring caused much of it to be rated as #3, which brought only 60
cents a bushel .
When the wheat is sold out of the elevators, where it
was under pressure, all of it would weigh 60 lbs. to the bushel, and be sold as
#1!" - LB Woolfolk
The nightmarishly complex wheat genome finally yields to
1888 American wheat crop is fifty
million bushels short.
A syndicate of Cincinnati capitalists organize
capital of $12,000,000 to operate in the Chicago market.
capital enough to make their operations a sure success under the rules of the
Chicago Board of Trade, which only allows wheat to be sold as it is delivered
into the elevator.
The Chicago Board of Trade then rescinds the rule
which prohibited the sale of wheat except as delivered into the elevators and
allows it to be sold out of the rail cars.
The Chicago Board of Trade
sold the Cincinnati syndicate wheat at seventy cents a bushel, till
their $12,000,000 was gone.
Once the money was gone the price of wheat
went to sixty cents a bushel !
As the wheat crop was fifty
million bushels short and the supply was inadequate to meet the demand it was
expected that wheat would have gone up to at least one dollar a bushel !
"Boards of Trade are instruments controlled at will by the money
of supply and demand is wholly abrogated as the will of the money power has
become the sole regulator of prices.
The law of supply and
demand can only regulate prices when there is a
free market, and the free
competition of buyers and sellers operates to regulate prices.
no such competition now; the agents of the money power are the only buyers of
Boards of Trade are subdued by them, and answer to their
By the might of capital, they can regulate prices in any
Board of Trade.
The money power controls absolutely the Chicago Board
of Trade, and Chicago regulates the price of produce for the whole country in
utter disregard of the
law of supply and demand, and in utter
violation of all the economic laws that regulate prices." - L.B.
The high price of flour in comparison with wheat reveals agents
of the money power have a large number of flour mills in their possession.
occasional sharp falls in the flour market, crushing mill owners of small
capital, and the purchase of the flour mills in Minneapolis shows their desire
to crush all competitors and get possession of the entire
1890 "I traveled widely through
Missouri, and everywhere I found statements that two-thirds to three-fourths of
the farm are under mortgage!
In Iowa, the same state of fact exists.
In some counties of that state, where farm used to sell for twenty-five
dollars per acre, the farm were mortgaged for one-third of their value; and
after a number of farms were bought in
by the mortgagee for eight dollars an acre, the amount of the mortgage, all the
lands receded to that price.
In Kansas, a very large proportion of the
farms are mortgaged - a much larger
proportion than in Iowa or Missouri.
A banker said to me, "The money
line of these Land Loan Companies always has three points: the agent in the
West, who loans the money; the intermediary in the East, from whom he gets it;
but the third point in the line is always London.
There is where the
money comes from."
Thus, a little bank in Connecticut can loan millions
of dollars every year, when it is only making in its regular business some
twenty thousand dollars a year.
About two-thirds of the farm of the
states of Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa,
Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas were mortgaged by 1890 for one-third of their
value, on five years time." - LB Woolfolk
farmlands of the Great Plains pass into
the hands of the Money Power much as the lands of the Southern plantations had
passed into their hands in the years following the
1891 28% of all farms are rented by
By 1900 there are
4.5 million farm laborers.
"We are authorizing our loan officers
from the Western States to loan on properties, monies repayable by September
No fatal date is to exceed this date.
1st, 1894, we shall categorically refuse all loan renewals.
On that day,
we shall demand the repayment of our money, under penalty of
foreclosure on collaterals.
The mortgaged properties will become ours.
We'll thus be able to
acquire, at a price agreeable to us, two-thirds of the farms west of the
Mississippi and thousands more east of this great river.
We'll even be
able to possess ¾ of the western farms as well as all the money in the
The farmers will then become land tenants only, just like in
England." - confidential banker's leaflet 1891
The farmer is the man
The farmer is the
Lives on credit till the fall
interest rates so high
a wonder he don't die
mortgage man's the one that gets it all.
Populist Movement poem
"No Western farmer, at present prices of grain,
and beef, and other produce, can pay wages, pay taxes, and support his family
in comfort - much less pay off his mortgage.
Some of the newspapers are
already saying that the farm laborer of the Northwest must submit to a
reduction of wages.
that our farmers must lose their farm, and let us have the Tenant Farm System
that prevails in Europe.
Conversing with a banker in Kansas,
a very clever gentleman, I
spoke to him of the great evils that would follow the loss of the farm.
He laughed pleasantly, and said, "I think the farmers will have to lose
When the farms have been devoured, it will be an easy
matter to finish the merchants and grocers of the country towns." - L.B.
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