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gested for the temporary chairmanship, but my name was ruled out when the National Committee recognized the gold delegates from our State, and permitted them to participate in the temporary organization. My name was again discussed in connection with the permanent chairmanship, but there being then some talk at that time of my possible nomination, some friends thought it might embarrass my candidacy and some opponents thought it might give me an advantage over other candidates, and so this honor passed me by. It was fortunate for me that I lost both these opportunities to address the convention.
Being in attendance upon the resolutions committee, I could not respond when speeches were called for during the temporary organization. Not being upon the sub-committee which drafted the platform, I was not expected to take part in the platform debate. I have already spoken of the unexpected invitation extended by Senator Jones. An opportunity to close such a debate had never come to me before, and I doubt if as good an opportunity had ever come to any other person during this generation. A large majority of the delegates were earnest advocates of free coinage at 16 to 1, the speeches of Senators Hill and Vilas and ex-Governor Russell had aroused much feeling, and our people were prepared to vigorously support an exponent of bimetallism.
I never addressed an audience which seemed to act in such perfect harmony; it reminded one of an immense chorus trained to sing in concert. The applause broke out simultaneously in all parts of the hall, and ended as simultaneously when the next sentence began. The intense interest depicted upon the faces before me presented a picture never to be forgotten.
I was not permitted to see the rival demonstrations which took place during the nominating speeches and balloting, but they surpassed in excitement anything before witnessed by those in attendance.
During the progress of the campaign, I was constantly gratified to note the splendid work done by the Populists and Silver Republicans. I speak of this especially, because it requires much more of moral courage to leave one's party to support a candidate connected with a different party, than it does to support a candidate bearing the same party name. Such men as Senators Teller, Dubois, Pettigrew, Cannon and Mantle, and ex-Congressman Towne, Hartman, Shafroth, Wilson -I merely mention the leaders, their followers were legion-were as active during the campaign as any of our Democrats. Among the Populists, in addition to members of the various committees, Senators
Allen, Butler, Kyle and Peffer, and Governor Holcomb, ex-Congress-
Among the Democrats I have felt that special mention should be made of the eastern brethren who, during the battle, stood in the most dangerous places, and since the election have had less of local victory to console them. Our political history does not record the names of more valiant fighters than the men who, like Mr. Sewall, ex-Congressman Williams, and Editor Troop, of New England; Senator Murphy, Chairman Danforth, Committeeman Campbell and Editor Mack, of New York; Committeeman Kerr and Chairman Garman, of Pennsylvania; Johnson Cornish, of New Jersey; Chairman Kenney, of Delaware; and Senator Gorman, of Maryland, and those associates of these three leaders, reorganized the Democratic party and, in spite of Republicans and bolters, organized a political body which grew in numbers and enthusiasm as the campaign progressed. The vote cast for silver in the States between the Alleghanies and the Missouri-the States which witnessed the fiercest contest-shows of prodigious work done by the leaders, new and old. This campaign demonstrated the ease with which leaders can be developed. The Democratic army lost many of its commanders of high rank, and yet a single campaign raised up such efficient officers that in most of the States the party polled a larger vote than ever before. Moral: It is easier for an army to select generals than for generals to raise an army. This campaign excited more interest among the women than campaigns usually do. This interest was not confined to the States where the right of suffrage has been extended to women, but was as noticeable in those States where the subject has not been agitated.
Unless I am mistaken, the deep awakening among the people during the campaign just closed will result in a more careful study of political questions by both men and women, and in a more rigid scrutiny of the conduct of public officials by those whom they serve. No matter what may be the ultimate outcome of the struggle over the financial question, better government will result from the political interest which has been aroused.
It may be said of the colored soldiers who fought with us, that they not only fought nobly, but that they were more numerous than in any previous contest. It may also be remarked that the colored men who left the Republican party in 1896, did so because of an in
telligent understanding of the money question. Conviction had followed investigation, and political independence followed conviction.
During the campaign I ran across various evidences of coercion, direct and indirect. One of the most common means of influencing voters was the advertising of orders placed with maufacturers, conditioned upon Republican success at the polls. The following is an illustration. Tuesday morning, November 3d, there appeared at the head of the last column of the first page of the Morning News, of Wilmington, Del.:
The Harlan and Hollingsworth Company, of this city, have received a contract for a boat costing $300,000. One clause in the contract provides that in the event of Bryan's election the contract shall be canceled. If the boat is built here $160,000 of its cost would be paid to Wilmington workmen for wages. The corporation wanting the boat feel that it would not be justified in having it constructed if Bryan should become President.
On another page of the paper was the following editorial, calling attention to the news item:
It is to be regretted that the contract made by the Harlan and Hollingsworth Company for the building of a vessel, work upon which would mean the payment of wages amounting to about $160,000 to Wilmington mechanics and laborers, should have a contingent provision. The contingency is that if Bryan should unfortunately be elected, the contract is to be canceled. Contracts of that character are not new, and several of them have been made within the last four or five weeks.
I may mention a still more forcible means adopted by many employers. The workingmen were paid off Saturday night before election and notified that they might expect work Wednesday morning in case of Mr. McKinley's election, but that they need not return. if I was elected. Whether the employers themselves were actually afraid or whether they merely intended to frighten their employers, the plan worked admirably and exerted a most potent influence on election day. The coercion practiced by the large financiers upon the small ones, and by the small ones upon borrowers, was far reaching in its extent. November 6 the St. James Gazette, of London, England, in describing the American campaign, published the following letter, signed "Observer."
Coercion by Money Loaners.
To the Editor: Sir-Your comments upon the Presidential election are certainly timely. The success of Mr. Bryan on this occasion against such an enormous force would have been nothing short of a miracle. The true inward
ness of the cause of his defeat is the use of money to turn the farmer vote in the pivotal Central Western States. The Eastern insurance companies, who own the mortgages on the farms in Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and the neighboring States, and also who have agents in every hamlet almost, six weeks ago, fearing things were running in favor of Bryan, sent to these agents instructions to see personally every farmer and come to an understanding (written even) that if McKinley were elected they would grant five years' extension of the loan at a low rate of interest. The temptation to the tens of thousands of farmers was naturally too great for them to resist. It was a certainty, whereas relief through Bryan was comparatively remote. I have this fact from a relative in Iowa, who got the relief himself.
The loss of interest to the insurance companies will be great, but they expect to sell in London a mass of depreciated securities, with which they have been loaded up for years, on the boom which they now are looking for, and in that way to get even. They propose, that as London has benefited by the way they have squared the farmer vote, London shall pay for it, as the insurance agents out there jocosely remark.
If the gold standard continues, actual and painful experience will, in my judgment, at last convince the people that a government by banks, corporations and syndicates cannot guarantee permanent and general prosperity. The time will come when the convictions of the majority will be so deep that neither creditor nor employer can control the result of the election.
While there were a great many campaign songs, "Home, Sweet Home" seemed to be the most popular. This was rendered on many occasions, and often very beautifully.
It is impossible to approximate the number of poems written during the campaign, many of them of real merit. I recall one, of which I received the original manuscript at Pittsburg. It was written with a lead pencil upon scraps of paper and the author was a coal miner. It contained references to Biblical history, as well as classical allusions, and wove into verse the phraseology of the mine. I remember that in one stanza the necessity for two shafts in a mine was used to illustrate the advantages of two kinds of metal for money. The total number of miles traveled, as shown by the schedules, was about 18,000. I have no way of ascertaining the exact number of speeches made, but an estimate of 600 is not far from correct. It is difficult to make an estimate of the number of persons addressed. Mr. Rose, of the Associated Press, thought about 5,000,000 the total number in attendance at my meetings, while Mr. Oulahan, of the United Associated Presses, places the number at 4,800,000. This, of course, includes men, women and children.
After leaving home, on September 9th, when I started on my long trip, up to November 3d, I spent every day, excepting Sunday, in campaigning. So far as my physical comfort was concerned, the greatest anxiety was expressed as to the condition of my throat. tried a cold compress, and a hot compress, and a cold gargle and a hot gargle, and cough drops and cough cures and cough killers in endless variety and profusion, and, finally abandoning all remedies, found my voice in better condition during the latter days, without treatment, than it was earlier in the campaign.
I was most fatigued while in Chicago. In fact, when on Wednesday evening, October 28th, I returned after midnight to the Auditorium Annex, where we stopped during that visit to Chicago, I was so nearly exhausted that our start for the trip through the northern part of the State the next morning was delayed a couple of hours.
In all this travel there was but little delay and no accident of any consequence to any member of the party.
As we learn by experience, my experience may be of value to those who may hereafter be engaged in a similar campaign. I soon found that it was necessary to stand upon the rear platform of the last car in order to avoid danger to those who crowded about the train. I also found that it was much easier to speak from the platform of the car than to go to a stand, no matter how close. Much valuable time was wasted by going even a short distance, because in passing through a crowd it was always necessary to do more or less of handshaking, and this occupied time. Moreover, to push one's way through a dense crowd is more fatiguing than talking. Speaking from the car also avoided the falling of platforms, a form of danger which, all through the campaign, I feared more than I feared breaking down from overwork. A platform, strong enough ordinarily, was in danger of being overtaxed when the crowd centered at one place in an endeavor to shake hands with the candidate.
The ratio of 16 to I was scrupulously adhered to during the campaign, and illustrated with infinite variety. At one place our carriage was drawn by sixteen white horses and one yellow horse; at any number of places we were greeted by sixteen young ladies dressed in white and one dressed in yellow, or by sixteen young men dressed in white and one dressed in yellow. But the ratio was most frequently represented in flowers, sixteen white chrysanthemums and one yellow one being the favorite combination. I was the recipient