Thursday, August 24, 2006

Alfred Benbow Westrup, "The Financial Problem"

Only one more of Alfred B. Westrup's major pamphlets to track down and scan—I think. . . The Financial Problem (3rd ed., 1891) is now available in pdf format. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this is a revised edition of Westrup's earliest (?) pamphlet, The Abolition of Interest a Simple Problem (1879).

So, why all the question marks, qualifications, and "i think..."s? The 1891 Citizen's Money includes, on the title page, this interesting line:

Author of the Principles of Monetary Science, Honorary Member of
the Sociedad Las Clases Productoras.

This probably refers to the 1886 edition of The Financial Problem, which has the phrase "the principles of monetary science" in its subtitle. But there may be a good deal about Alfred Westrup we don't yet know. Westrup's involvement with the Sociedad Las Clases Productoras is a mystery yet to be unravelled. An Alfred Westrup was involved in supplying telephone service to Mexico (roughly December, 1878), and an Alfred B. Westrup shows up in the records of the American and Foreign Christian Union. (Westrups show up as Southern Baptist missionaries in Mexico, and one was "killed by Indians" in that service.) Correspondence with an Alfred B. Westrup (almost certainly "ours") shows up in the Augustin Frédéric Adolphe Hamon Papers.

NOTE: Those attempting to follow Westrup's debates in Liberty via the APS online collection will find that at least one piece of the puzzle is missing. The APS collection is incomplete, and lacks the issue (v.6, iss. 1; Aug 18, 1888; #131 in the LMP microfilm edition) containing J. Herbert Foster's initial response to Westrup. The article is "Shall the Transfer Papers be Taxed?" and it includes a response by Tucker. I'll try to get the letter scanned and online.

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