THE MORMON CURRENCY.—The Mormons reached Salt Lake Valley in an utterly im-poverished condition. The cash capital of the entire community would not probably have exceeded $1,000. The California mi-gration furnished them a market for their surplus products; but, as they had but small use for money, they preferred taking of the miners instead something which they could either eat, drink, or wear, and not procura-ble at home. As they increased in num-bers and means, merchants established them-selves among them, thus enabling them to use their small stores of money in the pur-chase of needed supplies. Their great dis-tance from market, and the small proportion of their crops which would bear transporta-tion, have, however, at all times made mon-ey extremely scarce, and have led to the perpetration of a complicated and often amusing system of barter. Hundreds of farmers, living in reasonably comfortable circumstances, and having large families to clothe and educate, will not see a dollar in money for years. Such a farmer wishes to purchase a pair of shoes for his wife. He consults the shoemaker, who avers his wil-lingness to furnish the same for one load of of wood. He has no wood, but sells a calf for a quantity of adobes, the adobes for an order on the merchant payable in goods, and the order for the load of wood, and straightway the matron is shod. Seven watermelons purchase a ticket of ad-mission to the theatre. He pays for the tu-ition of his children seventy-five cabbages per quarter. The dressmaker receives for her services four squashes per day. He settles his Church dues in sorghum molas-ses. Two loads of pumpkins pay his annu-al subscription to the newspaper. He buys a "Treatise on Celestial Marriage" for a load of gravel, and a bottle of soothing-syr-up for the baby with a bushel of string-beans. In this primitive method, until the advent of the railroad, was nine-tenths of the business of the Territory conducted. And even now, in the more remote settle-ments, a majority of all transactions are of this character. The merchants, purchasing their goods in New York or San Francisco, must, of course, have money to pay for the same; but they sell their goods for cattle, flour, and dairy products, which are then marketed for cash in the adjoining mining Territories.—From "Salt Lake City" in OVERLAND MONTHLY for September.
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