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THE PRESIDENTIAL CONTEST OF 1896.
Proceedings of the great national con-, those platforms, the speeches which placed ventions of 1896 have become a part of the them before the people as candidates for their political history of the United States. What- votes, and sketches of their lives and careers ever may be written of them in the time to form no uninteresting theme. come can never deal so clearly and with such In addition there will be found in the folaccuracy of detail as the record which the lowing pages the votes by .states on platcolumns of the Eagle daily set before its forms and candidates, forming a valuable readers.
table of reference. Supplemental to this will The value of such an historic record may be found the story of the action taken by the be but little appreciated by those even great- silver delegates on leaving the Republican ly interested in the events which pass to convention and the farewell address of Senamake it. Preservation of present events, in tor Teller; the speech which above all else any form of sequence, is but rare and yet the led to the nomination of William Jennings value of such a work becomes apparent within Bryan at Chicago and other details of the the month and grows to large proportions conventions which go to make a complete with advancing time.
history of their work. It is the purpose here to place in straightfor- The Republican national convention met ward and succinct form the story of the at St. Louis on Tuesday, June 16. The national conventions as the happenings of each Democratic national convention opened in were published in the Eagle as they ran. The Chicago on Tuesday, July 7, and the Popuplatforms of the parties, the candidates for list convention opened in St. Louis on TuesPresident and vice president nominated on'day, July 22.
In the Republican convention the silver is- years of study and by years of thought. In sue made its appearance very early in the my judgment the American people in the session on the discussion of the financial whole line of their history have never been
called upon to settle a question of greater piank in the proposed platform. It was up- importance to them than this. on this issue that Senator Teller and those “The great contest, in which many of you delegates holding his views upon the silver participated, of whether we should have two question decided to leave the convention flags or one, was not more important to the
American people than the question of a should the gold plank be adopted. Senator
proper solution of what shall be the money Teller was aware of the attitude of the con- system of this land. vention on the financial issue before the vote “I have said enough to show that I think was taken, and it was in protesting against that this is not a question of policy, but a the adoption of t'hat issue that he made the question of principle. It is not a mere idle
thing, but one on which hangs the happiness, following address, not more in protest than the prosperity, the morality and the independfarewels:
ence of American labor and American proSenator Teller's Speech.
ducers. (Applause.) Confronted for the first
time in the history of this glorious party of “Gentlemen of the convention-I will not ours-confronted, I say, for the first timeattempt to inflict upon you a discussion of with a danger of a financial system that, in the great financial question which is dividing my judgment, will be destructive of all the the people, not only of this country, but of great interests of this land, we are called the world. The few moments allotted to me upon to give to this provision of our platform by the convention will not enable me to more our adhesion or rejection. than state, in the briefest manner, our objec- "Mr. President, I do not desire to say untions to the financial plank proposed for our kind or unfriendly things and I will touch consideration. I am a practical man and I in a moment and only a moment upon why recognize the conditions existing in this con- I object to this provision of this patform. vention, foreshadowed as they were by the The Republican party has never been the action of the committee selected by the Re- | party of a single standard. (Applause.) It publicans essembled from different states. was a bimetallic party in its origin and all its
“This plank or the proposition was presented history. In 1888 it declared for bimetallism. to the whole committee and by it rejected. In 1892 it declared for bimetallism. In 1896 Loyalty to my own opinion and consideration it declared for a single gold standard. In of the great interest that is felt in this coun- 1888 we carried the state that I here repretry, compels me in the face of unusual diffi- sent for the Republican nominee. We carculties to present this for our consideration, ried it on a bimetallic platform. We carried not with that bounding hope nor with that it with a majority that equaled, considering courage that I have presented in other bodies our vote, any state in the Union. (Applause.) with greater measure of success than I can It has been a Republican state from the hour hope for here.
of its admission. It has kept in the senate “The great and supreme importance of this Republican senators and in the house Requestion is alone my excuse for the few words publican members. that I shall say to you. In conjunction with "Mr. President, I promised you that I would this subject in a public capacity I have dealt not discuss the silver question, and I will not, for twenty years. I represent a state that except to say that this platform is such a disproduces silver, but I want to say to you heretinct departure from everything heretofore and now that my advocacy is not in the slight-adopted by the party that it challenges our est degree influenced by that fact. (Applause Republican name to accept it. The platform and a voice, “Good.”)
contains some platitudes about international "I contend for it because I believe that conferences. It provides that we will mainthere can be no sound financial system in tain the gold standard in this country until any country in the world that does not rec- the principal nations of the world shall agree ognize this principle. I contend for it be- that we may do otherwise. This is the first cause since 1873, when it was ruthlessly gathering of Republicans since this party stricken from our statutes, there has been was organized that has declared the inability a continued depreciation of all products of the American people to control their own human labor and human energy. I contend affairs. All the silver delegates arose in a body for it because in this year of 1896 the Ameri- at this and howled their approval of the sentican people are in greater distress than they ment.) ever were in their history. I contend for “To my horror this declaration from the it because this is, in my judgment, the great great political party of Abraham Lincoln and weight, the great incubus that has weighed U. S. Grant! Do you believe that the American down enterprises and destroyed prices in people are too weak to actually maintain a this favored land of ours. I contend for it financial system commensurate with the busibecause I believe the progress of my coun- ness of the country on their own fruition. try is dependent on it. I contend for it be- Gentlemen of the convention, you will have no cause I believe that the civilization of the bi-metallic agreement with all the great comworld is to be determined by the rightful mercial nations of the world, and it cannot be or the wrongful solution of this financial obtained. Sothis is a declaration, that the gold
standard is to be put upon this country and “I am tolerant of those who differ with me. kept here for all time. Do you believe that I act from my own judgment, enlightened as Great Britain, that commercial nation of the best I have been able to enlighten it by my world, our powerful competitor in commerce
and trade, will ever agree to open her mints | binding on my conscience. I believe the adoption to the coinage of silver? Or that we shall open of the gold standard will produce hardships ours? We are the great debtor nation of the and increase distress and that no legislation world. Great Britain is the great creditor. We touching the tariff can remove the difficulties pay for every millions and hundreds of mill
that now, all admit, prevail in this land. I tons of dollars as income on her investment in believe that the whole welfare of my race is this country and on her loans. The gold stand-dependent upon a rightful solution of this ard, in my judgment, lowers prices and de- question; that the morality, the civilization; creases values. And she buys of us millions ray, the very religion of my country is at and millions more than she sells us. She buys stake in this contest. I know, and you know, upon a gold standard, a lowering and depre- that men in distress are neither patriotic nor ciating standard. How long do you think it brave. You and I know that hunger and will be before she will agree to a system of distress will destroy patriotism and love of values that raises the price of the farm pro- country.” duct or the products of our mines in this “To have love of country, patriotic fervor country? It is a solemn declaration that the and independence, you must have your citiRepublican party intends to maintain low zens comfortably fed
and comfortably prices and stagnated business for all time to clothed. That is what made me a Repubcome. (Cheers from the silver states.)
lican; that is what has made me Re“There is a beautiful provison in the plat- publican during all these years, because I form about the tariff. I subscribe to that. believed that the Republican party was made (Applause and cheers from all over the house.) for the good of men; that its legislation was I believe in a protective tariff. (More ap- intended to lift up and elevate and hold up plause.) I have advocated it for forty years and sustain the distressed and give every (applause), but it is my solemn conviction that citizen opportunities before the law. (APa protective tariff cannot be maintained upon plause.) I do not believe that it can be a gold standard. (Applause and cheers from bad with the gold standard. You may doubt the silver people.) The tariff of protection my argument and many of you will, but principles is for the raising of prices of human shall I doubt it? I must act upon my judgtoil, it is for the good of the producers, for ment and not upon yours. I must answer to their labors. The gold standard, on the con- my conscience and not my neighbors'. I trary, everywhere that it is enforced, is much must do my duty as it is presented to me for the purpose of reducing values.
and not as presented to you. I say to you “Now gentlemen of the convention, I am now
that with the solemn conviction upon going to make this simple objection as to the me that this gold plank means ultimate disprotective system-that it is in danger and laster and distress to my followers, I cannot will call your attention to the other fact and subscribe to it, ana if adopted, I must, as an then I leave it to your judgment whether this honest man, sever my connection with the platform shall be adopted or rejected. Under political organization which makes the gold existing conditions we undoubtedly have the standard one of the main articles of its gold standard. I do not deny that I have principles. (Applause.) I repeat here what sought for twenty years to change it to the said yesterday in the committee, I would bi-metallic system. I have believed and yet not, upon my judgment alone, carefully as I believe that when the Almighty created these have attempted to prepare it, dare to take metals he intended that the worid should use this step alone. them for what they were created. (Applause “My friends, I am sustained in my view of from silver men.) And when he blessed this the danger that is coming to us and coming land with more gold and more silver than any to the world by the adoption of the gold other country he meant that we should use standard, by the intelligence of the world. them for the purposes for which they were in- They may say that the silver question is dead. tended, to wit: The use of the people as stand. Let me tell you that the best part of the ard money. We to-day reverse the positions of world is with the advocates of bimetallism. our country and declare we will use only one. All the great political teachers of Europe, If the American people are in favor of that, with the exception of five cr six, are the I have nothing to say. I must submit to the pronounced advocates of bimetallism-unremajority vote and the majority voice in this strained bimetallism. All the great teachers country of ours. I do not believe this party of political ecomony in the European colleges of ours, if it could be polled, is in favor of without exception are in favor of bimetallism. the gold standard. I helieve that 50 per cent. My own judgment, based, as I have said to of the people are in favor of bimetallism of you, on careful preparation and careful study the old fashioned system that existed in this for twenty years, bears me out and puts me country up tn 1873.
in accord with them, and I would be recreant “Mr. President and gentlemen of the conven- to my trust if I failed to protest here, and if tion, I promised that I would take but a few I failed when the Republican party makes minutes, and I believe I am allowed only a this one rf the tenets of its faith. to sever my few in which can rapidly address you. But connection with that party. (Applause and I want to say a few things that may seem tn cries of 'No.') you to be personal and that they ought not Mr. President. I ask your kind permission to be introduced in an audience like this. I to say a few things personal to myself, and must beg your indulgence if I seem to tran- when I have said them, having told you what scend the proprieties of this occasion, if I my conscience demands that I should do, I shall say something personal of myself. will leave this questinn for y-ur consideration.
"I have formed my convictions on this Do you suppose that myself and my associgreat question after twenty years of study. ates who act with me and take the same view after twenty years of careful thought and rf this question that I do-do you suppose careful reading. I have been trained in a that we can take this step without distress? school that it seems to me ought to fit me Do you suppose that we could take it for any fairly well for reaching just conclusions from personal advantage or any honor that could established facts. I have formed my conclu- be conferred upon us? We say it is a quessions to such an extent that it has becomo ' tion of duty. You may nominate in this con
24 30 6
8 12 24 6 6 6 6 6
and 11012 nays.
vention any man you choose if you nominate
Vote. Yeas. Nays. the right kind of platform I will vote for Tennessee
Texas him. You may take any methods to nominate Uian him that you think proper. I will defer to Vermont
8 your judgment and support him if the plat
Washington form is a right one; but when you ask me to
West Virginia surrender to you my principles, as an honest Wisconsin man, I cannot do that. I realize what it will Wyoming
Arizona cost. I realize the gibes and sneers and the
New Mexico contumely that will be heaped upon it; but, Oklahoma my fellow citizens, I have been through this Indian Territory before-before the political party to which District of Columbia.
Alaska you belong had a being. I have advocated a cause more unpopular than the silver cause. Total
923 81212 110142 I have
The total vote was 923; divided, 81212 yeas; free homes and free speech, I do rot care what may be the result. If it takes me out of political life, I will go out
Senator Teller and his fellow members then with a feeling that manhood and my con
retired from the convention, which promptly science is clear and that my country will proceeded to adopt the platform as follows: have no right to find fault with me. (Cheers.) “I beg your pardon for saying things so
The Republican Platform. personal, but yet if a personal act that to
The Republicans of the United States, assome implies perfidy and dishonor, is about to sembled by their representatives in national be taken, I think it but just to myself, and convention, appealing for the popular and hismy associates, that I should proclaim to you torical justification of their claims to the that we may take this step not in anger, not in matchless achievements of thirty years of Repique, not because we dislike the nominee publican rule, earnestly and confidently adprospectively or otherwise, but because our dress themselves to the awakened intelliconscience requires, as honest men, that we gences, experience and conscience of their should make this sacrifice, for sacrifice we feel countrymen in the following declaration of that it is.
facts and principles: “Thanking you, gentlemen, for your kind
For the first time since the civil war the attention, retiring from you as i do per- American people have witnessed the calamhaps never again to have the opportunity of ad- itous consequences of a full and unrestricted
of the government. It dressing a Republican convention, I cannot Democratic control do it without saying that, after all, I have has been a record of unparallel incapacity, in my heart a hope-nay I have an expecta
dishonor and disaster. In administrative tion—that if you should be foolish enough to management it has ruthlessly sacrified indisadopt this platform, better counsel will pre- pensible revenue, entailed an unceasing defvail and ultimately on a true Republican icit, eked out ordinary current expenses with platform, sustaining Republican principles, I borrowed money, piled up the public debt hy shall have the inestimable privilege of again $262,000,000 in time of peace, forced an adaddressing you."
verse balance of trade, kept a perpetual
menace hanging over the redemption fund. The Financial Plank.
pawned American credit to alien syndicates It was decided that a separate vote should cessful Republican rule.
and reversed all measures and results of suc
In the broad effect be taken on the financial plank, to which the of its policy it has precipitated panic, silvermen had objected. The vote was as blighted industry and trade with prolonged follows:
depression, closed factories, reduced wnrk State.
Vote. Yeas. Nays. and wages, halted enterprise and crippled Alabama
19 3 American production while stimulating forArkansas
eign production for the American market. California
8 Every consideration of public safety and inConnecticut
dividual interest demands that the governDelaware
ment shall be rescued from the hands of those Florida
who have shown themselves incapable to conGeorgia Idaho
duct it without disaster at home and disIllinois
2 honor abroad, and shall be restored in the Indiana
party which for thirty years administered it Iowa
5 with unequaled success and prosperity, and in Kentucky
this connection we heartily indorse the wisLouisiana
dom, patriotism and success of the adminisMaine
tration of President Harrison.
THE TARIFF PLANK.
We renew and emphasize our allegiance to Mississippi
the policy of protection as the bulwark of Missouri
American industrial independence and the Montana
foundation of American development and Nebraska
prosperity. This true American policy taxes New Hampshire
foreign products and encourages home indusNew Jersey
try; it puts the burden of revenue on forNew York
eign goods; it secures the American market North Carolina..
712 1412 North Dakota
for the American producer; it upholds the Ohio
American standard of wages for the American Oregon
workingman; it puts the factory by the side Pennsylvania
of the farm and makes the American farmer Rhode Island
8 South Carolina
less dependent on foreign demand and price; South Dakota
it diffuses general thrift and founds the
.26 16 12 16 .30 28 18 18