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Hon. THOMAS C. Plati. Born in Owego, N. Y., July 15, 1833; studied at Yale College; became President of Tioga, N. Y., National Bank, and engaged in lumber business in Michigan; elected to Congress, as a Republican, 1872–74; elected to U. S. Senate, January 18, 1881 ; resigned with Roscoe Conkling, May, 1881 ; defeated for re-election; Secretary and Director of U. S. Express Co., 1879; President of same since 1880; Commissioner of Quarantine, N. Y., 1880-1888; member of Republican National Conventions, 1876-80–84-88-92; President of Southern Central R. R. since 1888; conspicuous in Republican National Convention of 1892 as leader of Blaine forces; an acute and natural party leader in New York.
that “a frown on his face is as unusual an occurrence as a snow storm in July." No man, no matter what his condition in life, is more easily approached, and the millionaire and the laboring man receive the same courteous hearing when they call at his office on public or private business. Added to this he has a certain dignity of countenance and bearing which adds to rather than detracts from the charm of his good-natured smile. His socia! life in Paterson is quiet and without pomp, though both le and his charming wife are leaders among the social set.
By reason of his successes in behalf of his party in the State of New Jersey, and at the bar and in business fields, aud by virtue of his high standing and large acquaintance with national leaders, it could hardly be otherwise than that his name should, at an early day, become conspicuous in connection with the Vice Presidency. Wherever it was broached in this connection it was received with favor, and without question as to availability, should the nomination fall to the East. No man had accomplished more for the party, and on the very field where achieve. ment counted for most. No man could bring to the high position a longer and stronger list of personal, mental, moral and political essentials. He stood forth as the unanimous choice of his state delegation, and that was a pleasing augury of his success, considering other political circumstances.
In the national convention at St. Louis, his name, high character, prečminent ability, political devotion, and local. ity, all pointed to him as a logical running mate with the Olio statesman who was to become the lead of the Republican ticket. Sentiment in his favor crystallized with every hour of the Convention, and when the time came for nominations for Vice President, he was an easy leader of the field.
His name was placed in nomination by his friend, Judge J. Franklin Fort, whose language must be here reproduced in order to complete a chapter in the life of our subject.
“Mr. President and gentleman of the convention : I rise to present to this convention the claims of New Jersey tu the Vice Presidency.
“We come because we feel that we can for the first time in our history bring to you a promise that our electoral vote will be cast for your nominees. If you comply with our request this promise will surely be redeemed.
“For forty years, through the blackness of darkness of a universally triumphant Democracy, the Republicans of New Jersey have maintained their organization and fought as valiantly as if the outcome were to be assured victory. Only twice through all this long period has the sun shone in upon us. Yet, through all these weary years, we have, like “ Goldsmith's Captive," felt that
“Hope like the gleaming tapers' light,
Adorns and cheers our way;
Emits a brighter ray." “The fulfillment of this hope came in 1894. In that year, for the first time since the Republican party came into ex. istence, we sent to Congress a solid delegation of eight Republicans, and elected a Republican to the United States Senate. We followed this in 1895 by electing a Republican Governor by a majority of 28,000. And in this year of grace we expect to give the Republican electors a majority of not less than 20,000.
"I come to you, then, to-day, in behalf of a new New Jersey, a politically redeemed and regenerated State. Old things have passed away, and behold; all things have become new. It is many long years since New Jersey has received recognition by a national convention.
“When Henry Clay stood for protection in 1844, New Jersey furnished Theodore Frelinghuysen as his associate. The issue then was the restoration of the tariff, and was more nearly like that of to-day than at any other period which I can recall in the nation's political history. In 1856, when the freedom of man brought the Republican party into existence and the great “Pathfinder" was called to lead, New Jersey furnished for that unequal con: test William L. Dayton as the Vice Presidential candidate. Since then counting for nothing, we have asked for nothing. During this period Maine has had a candidate for President and a Vice President; Massachusetts a Vice President; New York, four Vice Presidents, one of whom became President for almost a full term ; Indiana, a President, a candidate for President and a Vice President, Illinois a President twice and a Vice Presidential candidate; Oliio two Presidents, and now a candidate for the third time ; Tennessee a Vice President, who became Presi. dent for almost a full term.
“We believe that the Vice Presidency of 1896 should be given to New Jersey. We have reasons for our opinion. We have ten electoral votes. We have carried the State in the elections of 1893, '94 and! '95. We hope and believe we can keep the State in the Republican column, for all time. By your action to-day you can greatly aid us. Do you believe you could accord the Vice Presidency to a state more justly entitled to a recognition or one which it would be of more public advantage to hold in the Republican ranks?
“ If the party in any State is deserving of approval for the sacrifice of its members to maintain its organization, then the Republicans of New Jersey, in this, the hour of their ascendency, after long years of bitter defeat, feel that they cannot come to this convention in vain.