« PreviousContinue »
and therefore I think the question of their opinion and of their condition must be taken into account on this subject. I do not intend, as I have said, to discuss what the present place of woman is and what the future of woman is to be, but if you will allow me I will read you what I think is some very good philosophy, couched in glorious poetry, on that subject, and which, although I do not agree with all it says, I think tells as much on the problem which the honorable gentleman has submitted to us as has been told in any time past in so
short a space :
“ The woman's cause is man's: they rise or sink
Together, dwarfed or Godlike, bond or free;
Yes; may these things be! But I believe that the philoso phy which is indicated in those verses is a philosophy which requires deep study before you can decide that these things are to be by the honorable gentleman's proposal to confer the rights of voting upon spinsters and widows, and to leave out those to whom these verses are addressed the married women.
Now, as I have said, the only safe process in this matter is discussion-gradual discussion, thorough discussion; and the result of that discussion may be—indeed probably will be, for we have to look far off-a diversity of opinion in the different Provinces. The Honorable Secretary of State to-day frankly admitted that on this branch of the Bill there are two opinions. There is the hostile opinion in the Province of Quebec; there is perhaps a favorable opinion in some of the other Provinces; I
I argue for leaving each Province to settle its own franchise. If you do not want woman franchise in the Province of Quebec, you are free not to have it; but leave the people to decide whether they shall have it or not. Woman franchise may be popular in the Province of Ontario; let the Province of Ontario pass a law to give women the franchise; that does not hurt Quebec, but give Ontario that which best suits her. And so with reference to the Provinces. No stronger argument for the adaptability and convenience of an independent franchise for each Province can be found than that provision of the bill, and the statement of the Secretary of State with reference to the woman franchise.
ING A LLS
OHN JAMES INGALLS, an American politician and congressman, was
born at Middleton, Massachusetts, December 29, 1833, and was educated at Williams College. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1857, and the next year removed to Atchison, Kansas, which continued thereafter to be his home. He was a member of the Wyandotte Convention of 1850, and entered the Kansas Senate in 1862. In the same year he was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for the lieutenant-governorship of Kanhas, as also two years later. He was for some years editor of the “ Atchison Champion," before his ele tion to the United States Senate, where he took his seat in 1873. He served continuously in the Senate until his retirement from political life in 1891, and since that period engaged in Journalism and lecturing. He was an able and eloquent debater, having at all times the courage of his convictions. He died August 16, 1900.
ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION
SPEECH IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, JANUARY 14, 1891
R. PRESIDENT,—Two portentous perils threaten
the safety if they do not endanger the existence of
the republic. The first of these is ignorant, debased, degraded, spurious, and sophisticated suffrage; suffrage contaminated by the feculent sewage of decaying nations; suffrage intimidated and suppressed in the South; suffrage impure and corrupt, apathetic and indifferent, in the great cities of the North, so that it is doubtful whether there has been for half a century a presidential election in this country that expressed the deliberate and intelligent judgment of the whole body of the American people.
In a newspaper interview a few months ago, in which I commented upon these conditions and alluded to the efforts of the bacilli doctors of politics, the bacteriologists of our sys
tem, who endeavor to cure the ills under which we suffer by their hypodermic injections of the lymph of independent nonpartisanship and the Brown-Séquard elixir of civil-service reform, I said that “the purification of politics ” by such methods as these was an “iridescent dream.” Remembering the cipher dispatches of 1877 and the attempted purchase of the electoral votes of many southern States in that campaign, the forgery of the Morey letter in 1880, by which Garfield lost the votes of three States in the North, and the characterization and portraiture of Blaine and Cleveland and Harrison by their political adversaries, I added that “the Golden Rule and the Decalogue had no place in American political campaigns."
It seems superfluous to explain, Mr. President, that in those utterances I was not inculcating a doctrine, but describing a condition. My statement was a statement of facts as I understood them, and not the announcement of an article of faith. But many reverend and eminent divines, many disinterested editors, many ingenuous orators, perverted those utterances into the personal advocacy of impurity in politics.
I do not complain, Mr. President. It was, as the world goes, legitimate political warfare; but it was an illustration of the truth that there ought to be purification in our politics, and that the Golden Rule and the Decalogue ought to have a place in political campaigns. “Do unto others as ye would that others should do unto you ” is the supreme injunction, obligatory upon all. “If thine enemy smite thee upon one cheek turn to him the other” is a sublime and lofty precept. But I take this occasion to observe that until it is more generally regarded than it has been or appears likely to be in the immediate future, if my political enemy smites me upon ano
cheek, instead of turning to him the other I shall smite him under the butt end of his left ear if I can. If this be political immorality, I am to be included among the unregenerated.
The election bill that was under consideration a few days ago is intended to deal with one part of the great evil to which I have alluded, but it is an imperfect, a partial, and an incomplete remedy. Violence is bad; but fraud is no better; and it is more dangerous because it is more insidious.
Burke said in one of those immortal orations that emptied the House of Commons, but which will be read with admiration so long as the English tongue shall endure, that when the laws of Great Britain were not strong enough to protect the humblest Hindoo upon the shores of the Ganges the nobleman was not safe in his castle upon the banks of the Thames. Sir, that lofty sentence is pregnant with admonition for us. There can be no repose, there can be no stable and permanent peace in this country under this government until it is just as safe for the black Republican to vote in Mississippi as it is for the white Democrat to vote in Kansas.
The other evil, Mr. President, the second to which I adverted as threatening the safety if it does not endanger the existence of the republic, is the tyranny of combined, concentrated, centralized, and incorporated capital. And the people are considering this great problem now. The conscience of the nation is shocked at the injustice of modern society. The moral sentiment of mankind has been aroused at the unequal distribution of wealth, at the unequal diffusion of the burdens, the benefits, and the privileges of society.
At the beginning of our second century the American people have become profoundly conscious that the ballot is not the panacea for all the evils that afflict humanity; that