Item description: Newspaper editorial, “Speculating,” from the 29 July 1862 issue of the Wilmington (N.C.) Daily Journal.
Item citation: “Speculating,” The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N.C.), 29 July 1862. North Carolina Collection call number: C071 Z. Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Speculating. — Next to the war, the most fertile topic of conversation is speculation and extortion. The fact is that the price of every necessary of life appeals so feelingly to the people that none can help taking notice of it. The price of meat, flour, corn, and all other things is startling in the extreme.
We know that is fashionable to attribute all the ills under which we labor to the operations of speculators and monopolists, but we think it only fair to say that the disposition to speculate and monopolize is not confined to the professional trader, but is found to exist pretty strongly with the farmers and others, who hold back for fabulous prices with just as much determination to have them as the most odious “speculator” could display. Is it not, unfortunately so, that millers and others seeking corn or wheat are unable to get it even to carry on their operations for the local supply, while it is known that there is an abundance of it if it was not kept back? Farmers don’t know what to ask. They don’t like to sell, thinking that by holding on they will get still higher rates, although those ruling now are high enough in all conscience — too high to permit people of limited means to get along at all.
The very demon of high prices seems to have got in to everybody, and the only fear with any one having anything to sell is lest he should fail to ask high enough.
Let things get out freely into market. Don’t hoard up and hold back things in the eating line. And finally let us all remove the beam out of our own eyes before we fall foul of the mote in our neighbor’s eye.