John Steward of Jesus
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A Check for Jury Duty

October 26, 1981

(To the County Treasurer)

Thank you for extending until October 10, 1981, the time during which Northwestern State Bank could honor check #1648.

Unfortunately, the bank remained unable to pay me 27.20 dollars of gold or silver coin.

Enclosed is a copy of some of the references in law which lead me to believe that only gold and silver coins are money with which you can pay me as required by law. This remains my conviction. Please let me know if you are ever able to pay what you owe me in lawful money, a tangible substance, rather than offering me abstract, undefined, fictional legal-tender units.

Have you ever wondered what kind of wealth it is of which you are keeping records with all the numbers in the books in your office? Just what is the treasure for which you as treasurer are responsible? Do you ever control any material substance of value? Or do you merely participate in the passing of bills, notes, orders, checks, receipts, and other pieces of paper carrying interesting designs and words which refer to abstract, undefined units of something unspecified?

As I said in an earlier letter, I am willing to discuss this matter with you at any convenient time, if you are interested.

Meanwhile, records are accumulating which document this fascinating epoch of delusion. Not one of the hundreds of efforts to create artificial wealth in the form of paper money produced by legislative decree has ever been successful. The present experiment will be no exception. The only one who by decree can create something valuable out of nothing always has the last laugh. Historians should have lots of fun writing the record of his next great laugh, if they have the freedom to write.

(Enclosed references follow)


“...the terms ‘lawful money’ and ‘lawful money of the United States’ shall be construed to mean gold and silver coin of the United States.”
Title 12, Section 152, United States Code Service

“It is declared to be the policy of the United States to continue the use of both gold and silver as standard money, and to coin both gold and silver into money of equal intrinsic and exchangeable value....”
Title 31, Section 311, United States Code Annotated

“The dollar of gold...shall be the standard unit of value and all forms of money issued or coined by the United States shall be maintained at a parity of value with this standard....”
Title 31, Section 314, United States Code Annotated


“No state shall. . .make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.”
Article I, Section 10, Constitution of the United States

“The suspension of specie payments by banking institutions shall never he permitted or sanctioned.”
Article VIII, Section 11, Constitution of the State of Iowa