Robinson Crusoe’S Money; Or, The Remarkable Financial Fortunes And Misfortunes Of A Remote Island Community
Robinson Crusoe’s Money; Or, the Remarkable Financial Fortunes and Misfortunes of a Remote Island Community by David A. Wells, Late U. S. Special Commissioner of Revenue; with Illustrations by Thomas NastCopyright 1876The origin of this little book is as follows: Some [many years] months ago, the expediency was suggested to the author, by certain prominent friends of hard money in this country, of...
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This is written by a gentleman who had been the U. S. Special Commissioner of Revenue. Not sure why he picked the title, as the book by Defoe was published in 1719, a century and a half earlier.The book addresses an island with people, and how they ...
for popular reading--and possibly for political campaign purposes--a little tract, or essay, in which the elementary principles underlying the important subjects of money and currency should be presented and illustrated from the simplest A B C stand-point. That such a work was desirable, and that none of the very great number of speeches and essays already published on these topics in all respects answered the existing requirement, was admitted; but how to invest subjects, so often discussed, and so commonly regarded as dry and abstract, with sufficient new interest to render them at once attractive and intelligible to those whose tastes disincline them to close reasoning and investigation, was a matter not easy to determine.At last the old idea--recognized in fables, allegories, and parables--of making a story the medium for communicating instruction, suggested itself; and, in accordance with the suggestion, a remote island community has been imagined, in which, starting from conditions but one remove from barbarism, but gradually rising to a high degree of civilization, the progress, the use, and the abuse of the instrumentalities and mechanism of exchange--through barter, money, and currency--have been traced consecutively; and the effect of the application of not a few of the most popular fiscal recommendations and theories of the day practically worked out and recorded. And, in carrying out this scheme, the reader will not fail to perceive, by reference to the marginal notes accompanying the text, that hardly an absurdity in reference to exchange, money, or currency can be imagined, which somewhere and at some time has not had its exact counterpart in actual history or experience.If any apology for the objects designed or the course pursued is needed, the author thinks he finds it in the precedent established by the illustrious Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., who, in the introduction to his “Tales of a Traveler,” thus happily sets forth the special advantage which accrues from the proper employment of a story as a means of communicating information. “I am not,” he says, “for those barefaced tales which carry their moral on their surface, staring one in the face; on the contrary, I have often hid my moral from sight, and disguised it as much as possible by sweets and spices; so that while the simple reader is listening with open mouth to a ghost or love story, he may have a bolus of sound morality popped down his throat, and be never the wiser for the fraud.”Whether in “Robinson Crusoe’s Money” the author shall succeed in inducing his fellow-countrymen--to whom the ordinary currency medicine is becoming distasteful--to swallow without wry faces the same dose sugar-coated, remains to be determined.Norwich, Conn., January, 1876.CONTENTSPreface.Chapter 1. The Three Great Bags of Money.Chapter 2. A New Social Order of Things.Chapter 3. The Period of Barter.Chapter 4. How They Invented Money.Chapter 5. How the People on the Island and Elsewhere Learned Wisdom.Chapter 6. Gold, and How They Came to Use It.Chapter 7. How the Islanders Determined to be an Honest and Free People.Chapter 8. How the People on the Island Came to Use Currency in the Place of Money.Chapter 9. War with the Cannibals, and What Came of It.Chapter 10. After the War.Chapter 11. The New Millennium.Chapter 12. Getting Sober.