Large rainy day parade in NYC 117 years ago — McKinley Commemorative Gold Dollar Coin

Today, the McKinley Commemorative Gold Dollar Coin remembers the businessmen and tradesmen marching for “sound money” on Saturday, November 3, 1900, just prior to the presidential election.

Several industrial periodicals of that time printed information about the parade.

From The Commercial and Financial Chronicle of November 3, 1900:


Commercial Epitome. Friday Night, Nov. 2, 1900.

In a few instances, based on their confidence in the success of the “sound money” candidates at the Presidential election on Tuesday, merchants have shown a disposition to place orders for supplies in anticipation of a revival of trade activity following the election.

Generally, however, holiday dullness has been experienced.

Attention has been centered largely on the business men’s “sound money” parade on Saturday and the coming Presidential election.


From Bradstreet’s Journal, November 3, 1900:


What may be regarded as an appeal to the country in behalf of the gold standard was adopted by the New York Chamber of Commerce in a resolution passed at its regular monthly meeting on Thursday.

Recalling its attitude prior to the election of four years ago, the Chamber calls attention to the fact that, while the cause of sound money has been strengthened in the mean time, the issue is again pending in the election about to take place.

Realizing the sensitive nature of credit, and feeling that the gold standard is the only one upon which permanent prosperity can rest, the Chamber declares its belief that the time has again come for commercial bodies and all men, whether engaged in farming, manufactures or trade, to unite in removing from political agitation once and for ever the question of the standard of value upon which all the business of the country is transacted.

This is a question which, the Chamber says, has risen beyond all parties, and now involves the honor of the nation and the integrity of the individual.

An illustration of the interest felt by the business men of the metropolis in this question, which is for them at least the “paramount issue” in the campaign, will be afforded by a mammoth sound money parade in the city today, in which men in every department of business will participate to show their interest in a stable monetary standard, and their confidence in the outcome of the election to be decided on Tuesday.


From the Public Opinion of November 8, 1900:


President McKinley sent the following letter to the managers of the Sound Money parade which took place in New York Saturday:

Public duty will not permit me to accept the invitation to review the parade on November 3 of the organizations composing the Business Men’s Republican sound money association.

I recall the inspiring demonstration of four years ago and rejoice that now, as then, with undiminished ranks, citizens of all parties are in line for national honor, public law, sound currency and industrial prosperity, and, as in 1896, arrayed against those who are inciting class hatred and discontent among people of our happy country.

We know no class distinction in this fair land of ours.

The American people will permit no stain to be put upon the American name.

May those marching freemen and their patriotic allies throughout the country stamp out for all time in the republic the evils of repudiation and dishonor.

Saturday, November 3 —The Sound Money parade with 90,000 men in line took place in New York; a Bryan parade lasting four hours took place in Chicago…. The party officials issued their final “claims,” each side being convinced of certain victory….


From the Metal Worker periodical, various dates, October and November 1900:


The active spirits in the stove trade in the vicinity of Beekman and Water streets, New York,. have again shown their interest in the affairs of the nation by reviving the Furnace, Range and Stove Manufacturers’ Sound Money League.

The first evidence of their work is a handsome large flag stretched across Water street, between Beekman and Fulton streets, in connection with a McKinley and Roosevelt banner.

It is suspended from the buildings of Graff & Co. and the Boynton Furnace Company.

The league is preparing to put a large body of men in the Business Men’s Sound Money Parade up Broadway on November 3.


It is very evident that the Furnace, Range and Stove manufacturers stand where they did in 1896 on the money question.

The Furnace, Range and Stove Manufacturers’ Sound Money League of New York City, organized in 1896 for participation in the Sound Money Parade at that time, has been revived, and the enrollment includes about all the Stove men downtown.

The matter was taken up this year in time to secure a band to head their detachment in the parade on November 3.


It is now expected that 500 Stove men will participate in the parade on November 3.


The hardware and metal trades will furnish a division in the Business Men’s Sound Money Parade, Saturday, November 3, under the marshalship of Alfred D. Clinch.

An executive committee, of which George H. Sargent of Sargent & Co. is chairman, consists of leading members of a number of the important houses in the trade, Wm. H. Cole. of Tower & Lyon being secretary, and Wm. H. Donaldson of Russell & Erwin Mfg. Company treasurer.

A circular making the announcement has been issued, requesting notification to the secretary of how many persons in each house will turn out, together with some reference to the necessary expense for the proper equipment of the division.


All arrangements have been perfected by the Furnace, Range and Stove Manufacturers‘ Sound Money League of New York to participate in the business men’s parade on November 3.

About noon on November 3 the stove men will form on Water street into 30 companies of 17 men each, including the captain. They will be headed by Holden’s band of Jersey City, and the handsome silk banner belonging to the league.

The men will be provided with handsome silk flags and badges. Yellow silk guidon flags bearing the imprint “Stove and Furnace Trade” have been provided for each company, and each man will have a boutonniere of carnations.

There is a movement to make November 3 a holiday among the stove trade in New York City.


The final marching orders have been issued to the Furnace, Range and Store Manufacturers’ Sound Money League, which will participate in the Business Men’s Parade up Broadway, New York, today. The badges, flags, &c., will be distributed in the offices of the members this morning.

The league will form with the head of the column on Water street, north of Fulton street, under the banner, at 12.30 p.m., and will move promptly at 12.45 p.m. to the place of assembly, at Broadway and Liberty street. The league will march in Division No. 27 with the machinery and metal men, and will move into the main column at 2.45 p.m.


The manufacturers and dealers in plumbers’ supplies have formed a campaign club, which will participate in the Sound Money Parade in New York City on November 3.


From The New York Produce Review and American Creamery, November 7, 1900:


There probably never was so much political talk on the floor as during the past week.

Up to Saturday members vied with each other in getting up companies of 16 men each to go out in the Sound Money Parade, and the turn out, in spite of the stormy weather, was a credit to the institution, and it told of the staunch and sturdy character of the business men.

Party lines were obliterated, and it is doubtful that the members of the Exchange ever stood shoulder to shoulder more thoroughly than on the question of the nation’s finances.


From the Electrical Review, from October and November 1900:


From present indications the electrical trades division of the great sound money parade to be held in New York city on Saturday, November 3, will be one of the features of that gigantic celebration and will reflect the highest credit upon the various gentlemen who have given their time and energy to the cause.

It is believed that the organization will turn out a larger number of men than any other of the trades divisions.

To date over 3,000 men have been enlisted as marchers, these representing the various larger industrial establishments connected with the electrical trades in New York city, while there are yet many to hear from and it is thought that this number will be largely exceeded by the day of the parade.


An Echo of the Sound Money Parade.

“In the sound money parade which took place on a recent Saturday, in New York, the Electrical Industries Association was largely represented,” says the London, England, Electrical Engineer.

“It is difficult in this country, where we do not have to elect the supreme head of the state every four years, to understand the excitement which such an election causes.

“Thus, while we can quite see that large interests are at stake, it is not clear how these interests are served by some 100,000 men marching in procession through the heavy rain in order to show on which side their sympathies are.

“We gather from a short notice of this parade in one of our electrical contemporaries that from 3,000 to 5,000 electrical marchers were expected to be present.”


The McKinley Commemorative Gold Dollar Coin shows with an image of the president between two flags, one illustrates “sound money,” circa 1900.

McKinley Commemorative Gold Dollar Coin