« AnteriorContinuar »
THIRD TRIP COMMENCES.
One of our party succeeded in capturing a pickpocket at one of the stations along the line. We were so annoyed by the presence of the light-fingered gentry that during the latter part of the campaign the National Committee supplied our train with a special detective who, within a month caused the arrest of more than forty professionals.
At St. Louis our party was met by a reception committee, among whom I recognized Col. Charles H. Jones, whose paper, the PostDispatch, did such excellent service, both prior to the convention and during the campaign, Col. Nicholas Bell, and Hon. George W. Allen. There were three meetings in St. Louis that evening, the first was held at Concordia Park, where, at the close of the speech, a silver horseshoe was presented by representatives of the Horseshoers' Association. In expressing my appreciation of the gift, I promised that, if elected, I would hang it above one of the doors of the White House, and added that I had so much faith in the merits of bimetallism that I believed that the people, when once more in the enjoyment of its blessing, would, paraphrasing the language of the poet, say to my
"And now, my friend, I give you timely warning,
The second meeting was held in the convention hall. A day or two before this meeting a number of the banks of St. Louis had joined in a public letter, announcing that they could not furnish gold to their customers, but expressing the belief that they would be able to do so within a few days after a "correct settlement" of the money question had been secured. I took occasion to refer to this notice, pointing out that, in speaking of a "correct settlement," the signers had indulged in the ambiguity usual among advocates of the gold standard, and suggesting that a money, which, like gold, disappeared as soon as any one attempted to discuss the financial question, could not be relied upon to furnish our only standard money.
The third meeting of the evening was held at Sportman's Park, where an immense crowd, one of the largest of the campaign, had assembled. The falling of the platform here prevented any extended. speech. Among other old acquaintances met at this meeting, I recall Hon. John J. O'Neill, a colleague in Congress. He is a good story teller, and gave me two new stories on this occasion. He said that some of the Democrats who left the party immediately after the Chicago convention were now coming back, and that they did not feel very kindly disposed toward the leaders who had induced them. to go out, and added that it reminded him of the experience of a
traveler on a steamboat. As the boat approached the shore, some one called out "Jump," and the hero of the story jumped, but found that instead of reaching the shore he alighted in mud and water up to his neck. With a look upon his face which gave emphasis to his words, he demanded to know the name of the man who said "Jump." He illustrated another feature of the campaign. He had recently met a Republican who gave as his reason for leaving the Republican party that too many corporation Democrats were going into it. Mr. O'Neill said it reminded him of an Irishman who was driving a mule. When the animal became unruly and got one of its hind feet over the dashboard, the occupant of the buggy remarked to the mule: "All right. You can get in here if you like, but if you are going to get in here, I'll get out."
Saturday was a long day and I was ready for a Sabbath's rest. After attending morning service with Hon. John I. Martin, I dined with some relatives and then remained at the Planters' until evening, when our party crossed the river and spent the night in the special car which was waiting to take us to Kentucky. The car was side-tracked near the river, and the night is remembered because of a very successful attack made upon our party by the mosquitoes. I was afterward relating my experience to Congressman John Allen, of Mississippi, who always has a story appropriate for the occasion, and he told me how an inhabitant of the swamps of the lower Mississippi used to protect himself from such annoyances. He said that by night the man was so drunk that he did not know that the mosquitoes were biting him, and that by morning the mosquitoes were so drunk that they did not care to bite any more.
IN THE SOUTH.
ONDAY was another busy day. Leaving East St. Louis early in the morning I spoke, among other places, at Belleville, Nashville, Mt. Vernon, McLeansboro and Carmi, all in Illinois, at Mt. Vernon and Evansville, in Indiana, and at Henderson, Owensboro, Hawesville and Louisville, in Kentucky. Hon. W. H. Cantrell, of Chicago, and Hon. A. G. Bentley, of Pike county, were in charge of the train through Illinois, while Hon. Urey Woodson, of Owensboro, Ky., National Committeeman, and Hon. H. A. Sommers, of Elizabethtown, Ky., chairman of the State committee, were in charge in Kentucky. The Evansville meeting was presided over by Hon. J. G. Shanklin, the veteran editor and silver advocate.
We entered the Southern States at Henderson, and were accorded a welcome which left nothing to be desired. In fact, the entire journey through Kentucky impressed me with the belief that the electoral vote of the State was safe beyond a peradventure. At Owensboro I met Hon. William T. Ellis, with whom I served in the House of Representatives, and others whose acquaintance I had formed when I visited Owensboro more than a year before.
Three meetings were held at Louisville, the first one at Phoenix Hill Park, the second at the Haymarket, and the third in front of the Willard Hotel. The following extract is from the first speech:
As the regular nominee of the Democratic party I might appeal to you on the ground of the regularity of my nomination. I might call your attention to the fact that the Chicago convention was regularly called by the regular authority; that all over this Union Democrats assembled in the regular way to select their delegates to that convention. I might call your attention to the fact that no convention ever held in this country more accurately reflected the sentiment of the party which elected the delegates than did the Chicago convention. In no convention within this generation have the voters themselves taken so active and so influential a part as the voters of the Democratic party took in the Chicago convention. If you have regard for the will of the majority of the party, regularly expressed, then, my friends, I can appeal to you on the ground that I am the regular nominee of the Democratic party. But I shall appeal for your support on higher grounds than party regularity. I
expressly release, so far as I am concerned, from the support of the Chicago ticket every Democrat who believes that the success of that ticket will imperil the country. I shall ask no man to violate his judgment or be deaf to the voice of his conscience. I shall ask no one to place fealty to party above love of country. I would not do so myself; I shall ask no one to do what I would not be willing to do. I believe, my friends, that the Chicago platform resents the policies which will be best for the people of this country; I believe that these policies, crystallized into law, will bring blessings to the American people, and I call your attention to the fact that in this campaign the lines are drawn between Plutocracy and Democracy. In such a fight there is no middle ground; those who are not for us are against us. More than that, I beg you to remember that the ballot is not given to the individual as a matter of personal compliment. It is given to him as a sacred trust to be used as he thinks best, for the protection of himself, for the advancement of the welfare of his fellows, and for the good of his country; and no man has a right to throw that ballot away in time of danger. The Bible tells us of the man who hid his talents in the earth, and we read that he was condemned. Why? Because he neglected to improve his opportunities. I say to you, my friends, that in a campaign like this, where the syndicates, the trusts, and the "combinations of money grabbers in this country and Europe" are on one side, and the "struggling masses" on the other, no man has a right to throw away his ballot. If you think that the success of the Chicago ticket would be an injury to this country, you ought to vote the Republican ticket and save your country from distress. If you think that the election of the Republican ticket would be a bad thing for the country, then you ought to vote for the Chicago ticket and save your country from distress.
The Chicago platform does not present new doctrines; it presents to the American people the principles and policies which have received the support of the leaders of the Democratic party from the beginning down to this time. Now living Republicans seem to have more influence with some of our Democratic leaders than do the dead Democrats of the past.
Our platform declares against the issue of bonds in time of peace, and against trafficking with the syndicates, which, for the last few years, have been saving our country, at so much per save. Let me quote to you what a citizen of your own State once said upon this subject. Hon. John G. Carlisle, in 1878, used the words which I am about to read to you. He said:
"The struggle now going on cannot cease, and ought not to cease until all the industrial interests of this country are fully and finally emancipated from the heartless domination of syndicates, stock exchanges, and other great combinations of money grabbers in this country and Europe."
That, my friends, is the language used by Mr. Carlisle in 1878. I repeat that language now, and if I am wrong I have seven years to find out my mistake before I am as old as he was when he used the words. Has that heartless domination ceased? No. Instead of having ceased, it has grown more heartless every year. Have the industrial classes been fully and finally emancipated? No. In this campaign they intend to rivet permanently upon the industrial classes the shackles which they have been preparing for twenty years. This speech from which I read denounced the syndicates. The Democratic party
denounces those syndicates today, and I thank God that the party has driven out of its ranks the representatives of those syndicates. Mr. Carlisle's speech denounced the stock exchanges, and I rejoice that the stock exchanges are against us in the fight which we are making, because their opposition gives assurance that we are doing our duty to our country. That speech denounced the great combinations of money grabbers in this country and Europe. I denounce the Rothschild contract entered into by the present administration as the most infamous contract ever entered into by the United States with a private individual. I call it infamous, not so much because of the amount of money made by the syndicate, but because the Government in that contract bought the good will of two banking firms. Has it come to this, that seventy millions of people must purchase their right to exist from "the combinations of money grabbers in this country and Europe"?
Speaking of newspaper opposition, I said:
We do not have all the newspapers with us in this fight, but an editor only votes once, and I have known some editors who have had so little influence that they could not even control the one vote which the law gave them. We would be glad to have the newspapers with us, but while we would like to have the newspapers with us, we would far rather have the people with us at the polls than to have the support of all the newspapers. We would like to have the newspapers with us because we hate to have our people get mad every morning when they read them. I do not know of any one thing which causes so many people to forget their resolution not to swear again as the gold standard editorials which appear from day to day. Our opponents say that the advocates of free coinage do not think; that is too bad. I am sure that if the Creator had had the same opinion of the majority of the people that the average advocate of the gold standard has, He would not have wasted time giving brains to the people in general. He would have given a larger share to those who were predestined to write gold standard editorials, and then He would have given to all of the rest of the people backs strong enough to bear the increasing load which the gold standard editors would place upon them. They say that the advocates of free coinage do not think. I affirm that the advocates of free coinage are the only people who, in this campaign, apply natural laws to the money question and carry into the discussion of finance the same intelligence which is used in ordinary business. Our opponents refuse to apply the law of supply and demand to money. We affirm that a decrease in the number of dollars increases the purchasing power of the dollar. We affirm that the only way to stop the rise in the value of dollars is to make more dollars. Our opponents do not apply the law of supply and demand to silver. We assert that the opening of our mints to the free coinage of silver will create a new demand for silver, and that that new demand will raise the price. Our opponents dispute this, and, ignoring the effect of increased demand, talk about a fifty-three cent dollar, because the bullion in a dollar, when it cannot find its way to the mint, is worth less than the coinage price. We assert that when every man who holds silver bullion can find a place to coin that bullion into dollar at $1.29 an ounce, he will not sell the bullion to any one else for less than $1.29 an ounce. We believe that seventy millions of people are able to