The Old Print Shop

The Lightning Speed of Honesty.

  • ARTIST: Thomas Nast

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Harper's Weekly. November 24, 1877.

  • MEDIUM: Wood engraving,

    DATE: 1877.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 13 5/8 x 9 1/4" (34.6 x 23.5 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: Uncle Sam rides upon his faithful steed, the snail '45. Congress.' In his hand is a wad of cash. A series of papers entitled 'Army and Navy Pay Roll' is tucked under his arm. In his pocket are papers reading 'Resumption Act (of honesty)' and 'Gold $ for $.' <br><br> The Specie Resumption Act was passed in 1875 in an effort to reverse inflation caused by the creation of greenbacks (paper money) during the Civil War. Prior to the war the country's currency had run off the gold and silver model, and though silver was removed in 1873, much to the outcry of the people, many members of Congress wanted the country's currency to return entirely to coin. Congress was divided on the matter. Members who were pro-greenback fought for their increase in circulation, while those who were pro-specie did everything they could to reduce it. The battle ended with the Resumption Act, which called for the reduction of greenbacks and the Mint gathered enough gold to prepare for the exchange of paper for coin, which was scheduled to happen in 1878. It didn't go as planned. The people realized their paper money was worth just as much as the coin-based currency and the rush to exchange never occurred. Silver would be re-instituted into the specie-currency model that year. <br><br> On top of the political issues regarding currency was the Long Depression, which lasted from 1873 to 1879. Critics felt the Resumption Act hindered the country's recovery.


  • CONDITION: Good condition, minor discoloration and a couple of fox marks.