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The free and unlimited coinage of silver is the sole remedy by which to check the wrongs of today-to undo the ruin of the past.
And for our inspiration we have the justice of our cause, and those cherished principles of Jefferson and Jackson which shall be our guide on our return to power:
Equal and exact justice to all men.
Absolute acquiescence in decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics. The honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith. Profoundly sensible of the high honor of the nomination you tender, Truly yours,
Mr. Sewall accompanied me on my trip through New England, speaking briefly at the meeting on Boston Common and at a few other places. While not much accustomed to public speaking, he always expressed himself forcibly and in well chosen language.
He fully approved of the division of the electors with the Populists and throughout the campaign gave to the Democratic committee the benefit of his long experience in politics.
THIRD TRIP COMMENCES.
FTER three days' sojourn at home, the long trip of the campaign was begun. Mrs. Bryan did not accompany me this time, but met me about a month later at St. Paul. I had found her a great aid in my travels because she could assist in meeting the reception committees, and thus give me more rest between stations. And then, too, she was able to insist upon more reasonable hours and greater freedom from interruption than I was able to do. At this time, however, the children were entering school for the fall and she remained to see them through the first few weeks of the term.
I found the Bryan Home Guards in uniform ready to accompany me to the train on Friday night, and a number of citizens assembled at the depot. In reply to a call for a speech, I told them that I was leaving Nebraska because I felt sure of that State, and was going into a part of the country where work was more needed.
The labors of a public speaker are often enlivened by witty remarks from persons in the audience. These interjections sometimes embarrass and sometimes aid the speaker. I remember that on this occasion when I declared that the silver cause was growing and that each day found more bimetallists than there were the day before, some one in the crowd promptly shouted, "Hurrah for tomorrow!"-a sentiment which seemed to find a response in every heart.
The people had gathered at stations along the way, and I noticed that in my own district nearly all of them addressed me as "Billy," a name seldom applied to me until after I entered politics and then, at first, by the Republicans. Sometimes for sake of euphony an "O” was attached to my surname.
The largest audience was assembled at Nebraska City, the home of Hon. J. Sterling Morton, Secretary of Agriculture, where the train stopped for a few moments.
I found that the newspaper men always counseled retirement at an early hour, though I sometimes suspected that their interest in my health was somewhat sharpened by the fact that they had to send their dispatches after I went to bed. While I desired to accommodate them, my good intentions were sometimes thwarted by the presence of
an enthusiastic crowd, which insisted on some word of greeting. After all had turned in for the night the glare of torch-lights and a shout, increasing as we approached and dying out as we departed, notified us of gatherings along the line even where the train did not stop. On this trip we were awakened at Auburn, the county seat of Nemaha, always a faithful supporter in my Congressional contests, by a few hundred silverites who insisted on shaking hands through the window.
We arrived at Kansas City on Saturday morning and were met by Governor Stone, Hon. Lon V. Stevens, Democratic candidate for Governor, Hon. Sam B. Cook, chairman of the State committee, Hon. John I. Martin, of St. Louis, sergeant-at-arms of the Democratic National Convention, Col. M. C. Wetmore, of St. Louis, Chief-ofPolice Irwin, of Kansas City, and others.
Before leaving the car I spoke to the laboring men who were on their way to the packing houses, and took occasion to comment upon Mr. McKinley's remark that the mills rather than the mints should be opened. The following is an extract:
Kansas City Speech.
Some of our opponents tell us that we should open the mills instead of the mints. That reminds me of the man who said that his horse would go well enough if he could only get the wagon started. It is, so to speak, putting the cart before the horse. Of what use are mills unless the people can buy what the mills produce? And how can the mills be operated so long as those who produce the wealth of the country, particularly the farmers, are not able to make enough out of their products to pay taxes and interest? There is no more effective way to destroy the market for the products of the mills than to lower the price of the farmer's crops. You gentlemen who live in this city, surrounded by an agricultural country, know that there is no way of bringing prosperity to Kansas City until you first bring prosperity to those toilers upon whose welfare Kansas City rests. It does not require financiers, nor does it require railroad attorneys, to tell you where your prosperity lies; nor can these men prevent your exercising the right of sovereign voters.
I met a railroad man yesterday who told me that while he did not agree with me on the silver question, he thought an issue had been raised which was greater than the silver question, namely, whether he lived in a republic where a man had a right to vote as he pleased, or whether his vote was the property of somebody else to be used as somebody else pleased.
After breakfast the party took a tally-ho coach and attended a meeting held at the intersection of two of the principal streets.
From Kansas City we proceeded to St. Louis, stopping at Carrollton, Brunswick, Moberly, Centralia, Mexico and other places.
A congenial spirit, Hon. Champ Clark, ex-Congressman and Congressman-elect from the Bowling Green district, met us en route.
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.