Westrup is first mentioned in the pages of Liberty on July, 17, 1886. In the "On Picket Duty" column, Tucker writes:
There are some interesting details here, not the least of which is that The Financial Problem is not Westrup's earliest publication. Some additional OCLC digging clarifies things a bit. One of the records notes that the pamphlet was: "Originally published as pamphlet, 1879, under title: The abolition of interest, a simple problem." OCLC lists no 1879 publication of The Abolition of Interest, but does list an 1897 edition, 18 pages long. It seems unlikely that Westrup, having revised the work, and enlarged it to 30 pages, would have reprinted this version six years after the publication of the 1891 3rd edition (again, under the title The Financial Problem) and two years after publishing his magnum opus. It seems most likely that the 1897 date is a typo.
Alfred B. Westrup, of Dallas, Texas, has issued a second and revised edition of a pamphlet published by him several years ago. Its new title is "The Financial Problem: or, the Principles of Monetary Science." The views are practiacally the same as those set forth by Colonel Greene in his "Mutual Banking," but Mr. Westrup has formualted them a little differently. He realizes the superlative importance of the money question, and has gone to the bottom of it. Any one may secure this pamphlet by forwarding twenty-five cents to Mr. Westrup, his address being simply "Dallas, Texas." The Galveston "News," which advocates with marvellous clearness and ability the financial system proposed by Greene and Westrup, makes a rather trivial criticism upon Mr. Westrup's statement that "interest upon money loaned on good security is irrational," seeming to suppose that he applies the adjective "irrational" to the conduct of borrowers and lenders under present financial conditions. Mr. Westrup's meaning clearly is that interest upon money loaned on good security stamps as irrational the monetary system which makes it possible.
Tucker next notes (July 7, 1888, "On Picket Duty") that:
A. B. Westrup's lecture on "The National Banking System," begun in this issue, was given in Chicago, in reply to Banker Lyman B. Gage's defense of that system at one of the "Economic Conferences" held in that city, and made a marked impression.Westrup's lecture, which was reprinted several times in pamphlet form (see my original bibliography), was also the basis of the pamphlet Citizens' Money (1890, 1891). Liberty ran it in two parts (July 7 and 21) in 1888.
The original occasion for the lecture was the "Economic Conferences between Business Men and Working Men," held in Chicago, and covered in some depth by The Open Court. The August 1888 Unitarian Review listed the following topics announced for presentation:
- The Aims of the Knights of Labor, George A. Schilling.
- Banking and the Social System, Lyman J. Gage.
- The Labor Question from the Stand-point of the Socialist, J. Morgan.
- Is the Board of Trade Hostile to the Interests of the Community? Charles L. Hutchinson.
- A View from the Labor Sanctum, Jos. R. Buchanan.
- Socialism as a Remedy, Franklin MacVeagh.
- An American Trade Unionist's View of the Social Question, A. C. Cameron.
Meanwhile, back in Liberty, J. Wm. Llloyd mentions Westrup's lecture (Sept. 15, 1888), and Westrup published a letter, "What Mutual Banking Would Do," in the same issue, reponding to J. Herbert Foster. This short exchange marked Westrup's entry into the controversies of Liberty's letters pages, where he would be a major player in the "standard of value controversy," starting in 1891. Out of those debates would develop the more mature form of his mutual currency theory, which is presented in full in The New Philosophy of Money. That volume resembles Tucker's Instead of a Book and Greene's Fragments, consisting of collected controversies, previously published material, and new writings, but it is arguably much more coherent than the other works. I'll be posting on online edition of that soon, but as a sort of taster, I'm posting Plenty of Money, the introductory text which Westrup and his wife prepared in 1899. Once I get a chance to collate the items reprinted in The New Philosophy of Money against the original letters and essays, I'll start collecting the otherwise uncollected bits.