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in the momentous conflict just when it should be stretched forth to steady the ark of our covenant. We would prove to the world that we are devoid of capacity to grasp great opportunities, and lacking in strength to grapple with prodigious emergencies. The people have a gallant champion in the field, who is leading a revolt against the plutocracy of Christendom. Every oppressor, every plutocrat, in two hemispheres has turned his guns upon him. The subsidized organs have openly proclaimed that he must be crushed by any means and at whatever cost. The confederated monopolies have laid aside their parties and their politics and are marching in hot haste against him. Let us signal to him to hold the fort-that we are comingand then hasten to his relief. Gentlemen, I want to say to you in all earnestness, that, assailed as is this gallant knight by the sleuth hounds of the money power of the world, you may deliberate here as long as you please, but you cannot prevent the people from rushing to the support of their recognized defender and leader. If you will not say the word, they will break over all restraints and go themselves, leaders or no leaders, and may God bless them for so doing.

Therefore, in obedience to my highest conception of duty, with the solemn conviction that I am right, I place in nomination for the presidency of the United States a distinguished gentleman, who, let it be remembered, has already been three times endorsed by the Populist party of his own State-once for Representative in Congress; once for United States Senator, and only last week for the Presidency. I name that matchless champion of the people, that intrepid foe of corporate greed, that splendid young statesman-William J. Bryan, of Nebraska.

The nomination was seconded by Gen. Field of Virginia, Hons. W. H. Claggett of Idaho, H. E. Taubeneck of Illinois, Jerry Simpson of Kansas, Ignatius Donnelly of Minnesota, and T. V. Cator of California, Judges J. K. Hines of Georgia, W. L. Green of Nebraska, and A. J. Plowman of South Dakota, Mrs. Mary E. Lease of Kansas, and Messrs. Cobb of Alabama, Brown of Massachusetts, Greece of Michigan, Smith of Montana, Kitchin of North Carolina, Matthews of New York, Sites of Ohio, McDowell of Tennessee, Beverly of Virginia, McGuire of Washington, Brown of Wyoming, Crosby of Missouri, Kent of District of Columbia, and others whose names I have not been able to ascertain.

The name of Col. S. F. Norton, of Illinois, was presented to the convention by Henry G. Call, of New York, and the nomination was seconded by James H. Davis, of Texas, and a delegate from West Virginia. The ballot resulted in 1042 for me and 340 for Mr. Norton.

I may add here that Mr. Norton during the campaign gave active support to the fusion electors and spoke in several States.

The Triple Demand
for

Financial Independence

1.

We demand the free and unlimited coinage of both silver and gold at the present legal ratio of 16 to 1,

without wait

the and

ing for of any

ather nation.

or

Consent

Democratic Platform,
Adopted July 9th 1896.

11.

We demand the immediate return to the constitutional standard of gold and cilver, by the restoration by this government, independent by of any foreign power, of the unrestricted coinage of goed the stand and

and silver os

16 to 1,

the ratio of money, at and upon terms of exact equality, ad they wisted prior to 1873. National Silver Party Platform, Adopted July 24th, 1896,

111

The free and

un

We demand restricted coinage of silver and gold at the presuit legal ratio of 16 to 1, withanx waiting for the consent of foreign nations.

Peoples Party Platform,
Adopted July 24th, 1896.

CHAPTER XVI.

THE TRIPLE DEMAND.

HAVE called special attention to the platforms which demanded the opening of the mints of the United States to the free and unlimited coinage of silver at 16 to 1, without waiting for the aid or consent of any other nation, because they mark an epoch in the fight for the restoration of bimetallism.

As soon as the fact of the demonetization of silver by this country was discovered, agitation for the restoration of bimetallism began, and for years no political party had the temerity to adopt a platform defending the favoritism shown to gold by the act of 1873, but the financiers, by keeping control of at least one branch of the Government, were

able to prevent the enactment of any free coinage legislation. Fighting all the time under cover, they compelled the bimetallists to compromise on the Bland-Allison act in 1878, and then began to scheme for the repeal of that act. In 1884, the Democrats in National Convention said: "We believe in honest money, the gold and silver coinage of the Constitution, and a circulating medium convertible into such money without loss;" but Mr. Cleveland, after his election and before the beginning of his administration, expressed a desire for the suspension of the Bland-Allison act, and prophesied financial catastrophe unless this was done. The silver sentiment was strong enough, however, to prevent the carrying out of the President's recommendation. In 1888, the Democrats reiterated their declaration of 1884, while the Republicans denounced the Democratic administration for its effort to demonetize silver. The money question did not, however, enter prominently into either the campaign of 1884 or the campaign of 1888.

By 1890, the Senate, which in 1878 was opposed to free silver, had become its champion, while the House by this time contained a majority against the white metal. The Sherman act was the result of another compromise. It was voted for by many advocates of free coinage who believed that it would create a demand for all the surplus silver, and thus restore the bullion price to $1.29 per ounce. The immediate effect was to raise silver to about $1.20 an ounce, but as soon as it became apparent that the law did not absorb all the silver upon the market, the price of silver bullion began to decline.

By 1892, the silver Republicans had commenced to assert themselves, and they succeeded in securing in the Minneapolis platform a sentence declaring that "the American people, from tradition and interest, favor bimetallism." In the Democratic party, also, the silver sentiment was growing, but the friends of Mr. Cleveland, controlling the convention by a large majority, succeeded in evading an express declaration in favor of free coinage. The platform read:

We hold to the use of both gold and silver as the standard money of the country, and to the coinage of both gold and silver without discrimination against either metal or charge for coinage.

There were qualifying words, which in the East were construed to support the gold standard, while the words above quoted were emphasized in the West and South. Subsequent events, in my judgment, justify the conclusion that Mr. Cleveland was, before his election, personally committed to unconditional repeal, although a reasonable con

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