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strenuous effort failed, through the ineradicable objection of our people to a third term President, yet Conkling's address will live among the telling examples of American oratory. We append its most striking portions.]
When asked whence comes our candidate, we say, from Appomattox. Obeying instructions I should never dare to disregard; expressing, also, my own firm conviction ; I rise in behalf of the State of New York to propose a nomination with which the country and the Republican party can grandly win. The election before us will be the Austerlitz of American politics. It will decide whether for years to come the country will be “Republican or Cossack.” The need of the hour is a candidate who can carry the doubtful States, North and South ; and, believing that he more surely than any other can carry New York against any opponent, and carry not only the North, but several States of the South, New York is for Ulysses S. Grant. He alone of living Republicans has carried New York as a presidential candidate. Once he carried it even according to a Democratic count, and twice he carried it by the people's vote, and he is stronger now. The Republican party with its standard in his hand is stronger now than in 1868 or 1872. Never defeated in war or in peace, his name is the most illustrious borne by any living man; his services attest his greatness, and the country knows them by heart. His fame was born not alone of things written and said, but of the arduous greatness of things done; and dangers and emergencies will search in vain in the future, as they have searched in vain in the past, for any other on whom the nation leans with such confidence and trust. Standing on the highest eminence of human distinction, and having filled all lands with his renown ; modest, firm, simple, and self-poised ; he has seen not only the titled but the poor and the lowly in the utmost ends of the world rise and uncover before him. He has studied the needs and defects of many systems of government, and he comes back a better American than ever, with a wealth and knowledge and experience added to the hard common sense which so conspicuously distinguished him in all the fierce light that beat upon him throughout the most eventful, trying, and perilous sixteen years of the nation's history.
Never having had “a policy to enforce against the will of the people,” he never betrayed a cause or a friend, and the people will never betray or desert him. Vilified and reviled, truthlessly aspersed by numberless presses, not in other lands, but in his own, the assaults upon him have strengthened and seasoned his hold upon the public heart. The ammunition of calumny has all been exploded ; the powder has all been burned ; its force is spent; and General Grant's name will glitter as a bright and imperishable star in the diadem of the Republic when those
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who have tried to tarnish it will have moldered in forgotten graves and their memories and epitaphs have vanished utterly. . . . . There is no field of human activity, responsibility, or reason in which rational beings object to Grant, because he has been weighed in the balance and not found wanting, and because he has had unequalled experience, making him exceptionally competent and fit. From the man who shoes your horse to the lawyer who pleads your case, the officer who manages your railway, the doctor into whose hands you give your life, or the minister who seeks to save your soul, whom now do you reject because you have tried him and by his works have known him 2 What makes the presidential office an exception to all things else in the common sense to be applied to selecting its incumbent? Who dares to put fetters on the free choice and judgment, which is the birthright of the American people? Can it be said that Grant used official power to perpetuate his plan 2 He has no place. No official power has been used for him. Without patronage or power, without telegraph wires running from his house to the convention, without electioneering contrivances, without effort on his part, his name is on his country's lips, and he is struck at by the whole Democratic Party because his nomination will be the death blow to Democratic success. He is struck at by others who find offense and disqualification in the very service he has rendered and the very experience he has gained. Show me a better man. Name one and I am answered ; but do not point, as a disqualification, to the very facts which make this man fit beyond all others. Let not experience disqualify or excellence impeach him. There is no third term in the case, and the pretense will die with the political dog-days which engendered it. Nobody is really worried about a third term except those hopelessly longing for a first term and the dupes they have made. Without bureaus, committees, officials or emissaries to manufacture sentiment in his favor, without intrigue or effort on his part, Grant is the candidate whose supporters have never threatened to bolt. As they say, he is a Republican who never wavers. He and his friends stood by the creed and the candidates of the Republican Party, holding the right of a majority as the very essence of their faith, and meaning to uphold that faith against the common enemy and the charlatans and the guerrillas who from time to time deploy between the lines and forage on one side or the other.
SAMUEL S. COX (1824-1889)
S AMUEL SULLIVAN COX, popularly known as “Sunset Cox,”
was a man of duplex mind, being at once instinct with the spirit of fun and capable of the deepest intensity of utterance and feeling. Those from whose lips wit flows easily, in whose thoughts humor shines like winter sunbeams, are apt to find it difficult to win a reputation for gravity and earnestness, yet Cox, while he could at will send ripples of laughter through an audience, could, when occasion demanded, be as elevated in tone as any of his fellow-Congressmen. He was able, alike as a speaker and a writer. His Congressional career is depicted in his “Eight Years in Congress,” and his varied travels in “The Buckeye Abroad,”“Search for Winter Sunbeams,” and various other works. Through most of these tales of travel a vein of genial humor runs.
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT
[Mr. Cox's masterpiece of oratory was given in the peroration of a speech delivered before the House on the 3rd of July, 1879. The subject of it is plainly enough indicated in its language. It dealt with the aftermath of the exciting period of Reconstruction, that era of “test oaths and other reminiscences of our sad and bloody strife,” inciters to bitter passions, which the speaker so eloquently contrasts with the spirit of the teachings of Christ.]
I hope it may not be presuming to say, Mr. Speaker, that I have been something of a traveler, and have been upon many mountains of our star. I would that my observations had been better utilized for duty. I have been upon the Atlas, whose giant shoulders were fabled to uphold the globe. I have learned from there, that even to Northern Africa the Goths brought their fueros or bills of right, with their arms, from the cold forests of the North to the sunny plains and rugged mountains of that old granary of the Roman world. I have been amid the Alps, where the spirit of Tell
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and liberty is always tempered with mercy, and whose mountains are a monument through a thousand of years of Republican generosity. I have been among the Sierras of Spain, where the patriot Riego—whose hymn is the Marseillaise of the Peninsula—was hunted after he had saved constitutional liberty and favored amnesty to all,—the noblest example of patriotism since the days of Brutus. From the seven hills of Rome, down through the corridors of time, comes the story which Cicero relates from Thucydides; that a brazen monument was erected by the Thebans to celebrate their victory over the Lacedaemonians, but it was regarded as a memento of civil discord, and the trophy was abolished, because it was not fitting that any record ahould remain of the conflict between Greek and Greek. From the same throne of ancient power come the words which command only commemoration of foreign conquests and not of domestic calamities; and that Rome, with her imperial grace, believed that it was wisest to erect a bridge of gold, that civil insurgents should pass back to their allegiance. From the Acropolis at Athens, there is the story of the herald at the Olympic games, who announced the clemency of Rome to the conquered, who had long been subjected to the privations and calamities imposed by the conqueror. The historian says that the Greeks, when the herald announced such unexpected deliverance, wept for joy at the grace which had been bestowed. All these are but subordinate lights around the central light, which came from the mountain whence the great sermon was spoken. Its name is unknown ; its locality has no geography. All we know is that it was “set apart.” The mountains of our Scriptures are full of inspiration for our so Their teachings may well be carried into our political ethics. But it was not from Ararat, which lifted its head first above the flood and received the dove with its olive branch ; not from Sinai, which looks proudly upon three nations and almost three countries and overlooks our kind with its great moral code; not from Horeb, where Jehovah with his fearful hand covered his face that man might not look upon his brightness; not from Tabor, where the great transformation was enacted; not from Pisgah, where Moses made his farewell to the people he had delivered and led so long; not from Carmel, where the prayer of Elijah was answered in fire; not from Lebanon, whose cedars were the beauty of earth ; not from the Mount of Olives, which saw the agony of the Saviour; not from Calvary, at whose great tragedy nature shuddered and the heavens were covered with gloom ; not from one or all of these secular or sacred mountains that our best teaching for duty comes. It comes
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from that nameless mountain, set apart, because from it emanated the great and benignant truths of Him who spake as never man spake. Hereis-the-subtime teaching: “Ye have heard in the aforetime, that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you. “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” The spirit of this teaching has no hospitality for test oaths, and asks no compensation for grace. Along with this teaching and to the same good are the teachings of history, patriotism, chivalry, and even economic selfishness. Yet these teachers are often blind guides to duty. They are but mole-hills compared with the lofty mountain whose spiritual grandeur brings peace, order and civilization When these principles obtain in our hearts, then our legislation will conform to them. When they do obtain their hold in these halls, there will arise a brilliant day-star for America. When they do obtain recognition, we may hail a new advent of that Prince of Peace, whose other advent was chanted by the angelic choir' In conclusion, sir, let me say that, in comparison with this celestial code, by which we should live and die, how little seem all the contests here about armies, appropriations, riders and coercion, which so exasperate and threaten | Let our legislation be inspired by the lofty thought from that Judean mountain, and God will care for us. In our imperfections here as legislators let us look aloft, and then His greatness will flow around our incompleteness, and round our restlessness, His rest l’’ Then, measures which make for forgiveness, tranquillity and love, like the abolition of hateful oaths and other reminders of our sad and bloody strife, will rise in supernal dignity above the party passions of the day; and that party which vindicates right against might, freedom against force, popular will against Federal power, rest against unrest, and God's goodness and mercy around and above all, in that sign, conquer. To those in our midst who have the spirit of violence, hate, and unforgiveness, and who delight in pains, penalties, test oaths, bayonets and force, and who would not replace these instruments of turbulence with love, gentleness and forgiveness, my only curse upon such is, that God Almighty, in His abundant and infinite mercy, may forgive them, for “they know not what they do.” o