While we're passing 1815, around the time of Waterloo, a little diversion to a tiny island for an interesting tale we chanced upon, that would seem to all be true, with a couple of passing qualifications.
Browsing around, we alighted on an interesting page, and among other pieces, read a piece about Guernsey.
Without any idea of where the account of this actual exchange came from - and we gave up trying to find a primary source and decided it didn't matter (but certainly the general story was retold by Gerry McGeer, who we'll come to later), we wanted to include the whole thing as it illustrates well a simple elemental truth that people are trying to express about what money is. This is how this site tells the story:
“In 1815 on the Island of Guernsey, poverty existed for want of employment. People were moving away. The sea-wall was crumbling. Roads were rutted and narrow. The public market was in the need of repair. The Government coffers were empty. A committee was struck to look into the problem. They finally went to the Governor, "We need a new market, but we have no money to build it." The intelligent Governor, Daniel Delise Brock" solved the problem by asking four simple questions.
1. "With what material are you going to build the market?"
Answer: "With stone and wood."
2. "Do you have it on the Island?"
Answer: "Yes certainly, and in plenty."
3. "Do you have the workers?"
Answer: "Yes plenty, but it is the money that is lacking."
4. "Could not your Parliament print and issue the money?"
WOW! What a new idea!
The Guernsey Island Government began to issue "state currency." The work was done. Everyone on the island was employed. And, the people prospered. Guernsey Islanders today, still enjoy a high standard of living as a result of the policy that began in 1817. EU & OECD are pressuring the Islanders to conform to the current global usurious banker policies.”
Later in the century, a big bank moved onto the island and began to bully the islanders with their flash currency, but Guernsey saw them off. There are many other more formal sources of verification for the story, but this is a nice account of the history here, in a paper from the Economic Reform Club from 1958.