Monday, December 05, 2005

Radical Deficiency of the Existing Circulating Medium, 1857

William B. Greene's 1857 Radical Deficiency of the Existing Circulating Medium, and the Advantages of a Mutual Currency is now online in the Libertarian Labyrinth. This is the text issued during the Panic of 1857—at a time when the Greenes were actually living in France, but visiting Boston from time to time—combining elements from the 1849 Equality and the 1850 Mutual Banking, both of which have recently been added to the online version of the Blazing Star Library.

I've also posted a fairly rough beginning to the promised Combined Edition of Mutual Banking and Equality. So far, this incorporates all of the text from the works of 1949, 1850 and 1857, with parallel presentations of sections which appeared in both the earlier works and the 1857 book. (If you still need a scorecard, check the latest version of the bibliographical essay.) I've got a lot of copy-editing, format-fixing, collating and marking-up to do to get these really up to snuff. Tonight, I should get a chance to start highlighting important edits, additions and deletions in the combined text. Printer-friendly pages, pages with the original pagination intact, a master table of contexts and—at long last!—an index, will all follow, as will—eventually—pages comparing passages drawn from the works of William Beck, Edward Kellogg and Proudhon with the originals.

I keep being surprised by the differences between the various editions. It only recently struck me that the most common modern edition totally lacks the petitions to the Massachusetts General Court for a "General Mutual Banking Law." Between them, the 1850 and 1857 texts include four different versions! With those now online in parallel in the Combined Edition, we can begin to address the nuts-and-bolts aspects of Greene's proposals a little more closely and clearly. It also appears that some of the more specific materials relating to the 1740 Massachusetts Land Bank may be accessible-and useful. Some quick research last night suggests that Greene may have modeled at least one of the petitions in part on details drawn directly from that colonial experiment.

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