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distress are neither patriotic nor brave. You and I know that hunger and distress will destroy patriotism and love of country. If you have love of country, patriotic fervor and independence, you must have your citizens comfortably fed and comfortably clothed. That is what made me a Republican in 1853; that is what made me a Republican during all these years-because I believed that the Republican party stood for the great masses of men; that its legislation was intended to lift up and elevate and hold up and sustain the unfortunate and the distressed, and give all American citizens equal opportunities before the law. I do not believe that these blessings can be had with the gold standard.
You may doubt my judgment, and many of you will. But, shall I doubt it? I must act upon my judgment and not upon yours. I must answer to my conscience and not to my neighbors'. I must do my duty as it is presented to me and not as presented to you. I say to you now, that I may hasten my remarks, that with the solemn conviction upon me that this gold plank means ultimate disaster and distress to my fellow man, I cannot subscribe to it, and if it is adopted I must, as an honest man, sever my connection with the political organization that makes that one of the main articles of its faith.
I repeat here what I said yesterday in the committee on resolutions—I would not, upon my own judgment alone, carefully as I have attempted to prepare it, dare to take this step. My friends, I am sustained in my views of the danger that is coming to us and coming to the world by the adoption of the gold standard by the intelligence of the entire world. They may say that the silver question is a craze. Let me tell you that the best thought of Europe, the best thought of the world, is with the advocates of bimetallism. All the great political teachers of Europe, with the exception of five or six, are the pronounced advocates of bimetallism-unrestricted and unrestrained bimetallism. All of the great teachers of political economy in the European colleges, without exception, favor bimetallism.
My own judgment, based, as I have said to you, on careful preparation and careful study for twenty years, bears me out and puts me in accord with them, and I would be recreant to my trust, given to me by the people of my State, if I failed to protest here, and if I failed when the Republican party makes this one of the tenets of its faith, to sever my connection from that party.
Mr. President, I ask your kind permission to say a few things personal to myself, and when I have said them, having told you what my conscience demands that I should do, I will leave this question for your consideration.
Do you suppose that myself and my associates who act with me and take the same view of this question that I do-do you suppose that we can take this step without distress? Do you suppose that we could take it for any personal advantage or any honor that could be conferred upon us? We say it is a question of duty. You may nominate in this convention any man you choose; if you will put him on the right kind of a platform I will vote for him. You may use any methods to nominate him that you think proper; I will defer to your judgment and support him, if the platform is a right one. But when you ask me here, now, to surrender to you my principles, as an honest man I cannot do that. I realize what it will cost us. I realize the gibes and sneers and the contumely that will be heaped upon us. But, my fellow citizens,
I have been through this before, before the political party to which you belong
had a being. I have advocated a cause more unpopular than the silver cause. I have stood for the doctrine of free men, free homes and free speech. I am used to detraction; I am used to abuse and I have had it heaped upon me without stint.
When the Republican party was organized I was there. It has never had a national candidate since it was organized that my voice has not been raised in his support. It has never had a great principle enunciated in its platform that has not had my approbation, until now. With its distinguished leaders, its distinguished men of forty years, I have been in close communion and close friendship. I have shared in its honors and in its few defeats and disasters. Do you think that we can sever our connection with a party like this unless it be as matter of duty-a duty not to our respective States only, but a duty to all people of this great land?
Mr. President, there are few men in the Republican party who have been honored more than I have by the people of the State in which they live. There are few men in this convention or anywhere else who have been longer connected with this organization than I have been. There are few men in it who have been more active, and none in it, no, not one, who have been more attached to the great principles of this party than I have been; and I cannot go out of it without heart burnings and a feeling that no man can appreciate who has not endured it. And yet I cannot, before my country and my God, agree to that provision that shall put upon this country a gold standard, and I will not.
And I do not care what may be the result. If it takes me out of political life, I will go out with a feeling that at least I maintained my consistency and my manhood, and that my conscience is clear and that my country will have no right to find fault with me.
I beg your pardon for saying things so personal, but yet if a personal act that to some implies perfidy and dishonor is about to be taken, I think it but just to myself and my associates that I should proclaim to you that we take this step, not in anger, not in pique, not because we dislike the nominee, prospectively or otherwise, but because our consciences require as honest men that we should make this sacrifice-for sacrifice we feel that it is.
Thank you, gentlemen, for your kind attention. Retiring from you as I do, perhaps, never again to have an opportunity of addressing a Republican convention, I cannot do so without saying that, after all, I have in my heart a hope-nay, I have an expectation-that better counsels will prevail, and that if you should be foolish enough to adopt this platform and force us to leave the Republican party, better counsels will prevail and, ultimately, on a true Republican platform, sustaining Republican principles, I may have the inestimable privilege of again addressing you.
The substitute was voted down by a vote of about ten to one, and the platform submitted by the majority of the committee was adopted by substantially the same vote.
As soon as the result was announced, Senator Teller and those who had acted with him left the convention hall, cheered by those in sympathy with them, and hissed by a few opponents.
Hon. William McKinley, Jr., of Ohio, was then nominated as the Republican candidate for the presidency, and Hon. Garrett A. Hobart, of New Jersey, for the vice-presidency.
I was an interested spectator at the convention. Occupying a chair in the space reserved for the press, I sent to the Omaha WorldHerald comments upon the important incidents of the convention. As soon as the platform was adopted, I wired the paper the following:
I suggest the following silver plank for the Chicago convention: We are unalterably opposed to the single gold standard and demand the immediate restoration of the free and unlimited coinage of gold and silver at the present legal ratio of 16 to 1, without waiting for the aid or consent of any other nation on earth. We believe that the standard silver dollar should be a full legal tender, equally with gold coin, for all debts, public and private, and we favor such legislation as is necessary to prevent the demonetization of any kind of legal tender money by private contract. We further insist that all Government coin obligations should be payable in either gold or silver, at the option of the Government.
This suggestion was published in the World-Herald at the time. Later, at the Chicago convention, I suggested that the words "for the future," be added in the sentence in regard to gold contracts in order to show that we did not mean to interfere with contracts already in existence.
THE SILVER REPUBLICANS.
'HE Silver Republicans met soon after leaving the convention hall and laid plans for future action. On the 19th of June an address, the writing of which devolved largely upon Senator Cannon, was issued, setting forth the reasons which led the Silver Republicans to leave their party. This address can hardly be surpassed in strength and terseness. It reads as follows:
Address of Silver Republicans.
Obeying the call of duty, and justified by the common citizenship of this Republic, we address this communication to the people and the forthcoming conventions of the United States. In doing so we claim no authority or right other than that which belongs to every man to express personal conviction; but we respectfully solicit the co-operation of all who believe that the time has come for a return to the simpler and more direct method of naming men for national service than has been obtained in recent years.
Political party organization is necessary because without it the individual voter is dumb; but the party is only the means, not the end; it is the voice and not the sense. As the world advances in this wonderful epoch of intellectual development and physical improvement there is a constant requirement for better things. The individual feels that requirement and heeds it, or he fails in life's endeavor. Parties must also obey the same law. It follows, therefore, that the moment a party shall choose to stand still or to retrogress it is no longer efficient to achieve the end to which the people are necessarily destined. There is no sanctity in mere party name; and the mark of decay is set on individual strength in a nation, when the absolute rule of political organization coerces men from the truth for the sake of expediency and establishes insincere submission to partisan rule for the sake of power.
Recognizing the value and the splendid achievements of political parties in this country, as elsewhere, we are yet constrained to believe that for more than twenty years no one of them has been entirely sufficient for the needs of the people. The great trend to better things, resting in the hearts and purposes of all men, has been stayed during the latter part of this generation by the failure of parties to express in their achievements the highest hope and aspiration of the mass of the people who constitute the parties. And there has been growing in this country-swelling with each recurrence of national election-a great mass of independent thinkers and voters, which, failing within itself to control, has gravitated between the two great parties. Since 1872 (excepting possibly the election of 1876) the pendulum has swung from side to side with each four years. In 1872 the Republican party elected