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adjutant general of Tennessee--and I give you for your consideration the name of Harvey H. Hannah for commander in chief. [Applause.]
Commander in Chief HERRICK. The adjutant general will proceed ivith the roll call of States.
Adjutant General MURPHY. Arizona.
Comrade Charles F. McCARTHY (Massachusetts). Comrade Commander in Chief; my comrades; at this point in the deliberations of this convention we come to the election of the commander in chief for the ensuing year. During our deliberations here there are many matters of great importance which shall come before us, but to me the paramount thing, the thing that much be the highest and the greatest and the most important in the minds and the hearts of every veteran in this encampment is the choosing of the leader who is going in the next 12 months to conduct this organization to its place in the sun; who is going to wring from a reluctant Government at Washington legislative justice and equity for the Spanish-American War veteran. ]Applause. That, to me, comrades, is the all-important question here to-day. We sit here living, breathing, embodiment and expressions of a generation of American fighting men who have written on the pages of history the ultimate strike for humanity. Remember after 400 years of struggle what we represent. We represent here to-day the generation which met the issue, and met it gladly and freely and voluntarily.
Massachusetts comes here to-day with its delegation of 138 comrades from the old Bay State to respectfully place before you
for your consideration a comrade who we believe has been raised up almost miraculously to lead us just at this time, the most crucial time in all the history of the Spanish-American War veterans.
We come here from Massachusetts which, since the Civil War, has spent $135,000,000 on veterans of all wars.
We come here to you as a united delegation, as a unit, as one voice crying out,“ Give us this man, because we believe in him and because we believe he is the man for the occasion."
We have no selfish motive. This man does not need the job. This man holds the highest and the grandest office in the State of Massachusetts. The Governor, you ask? No. The lieutenant-governor? No. None of those, but the greatest office that can be held by any man in any Commonwealth, the office of administering and assisting the veterans of every war as the commissioner of State aid and pensions.
My comrades, there is one test and only one which should be considered here to-day. There is no time for sentiment. Personalities can not enter here, because the issues here are too great and too high and too great and too noble to consider personalities and sentiment.
As one draws aside the curtain of time which conceals the past and gazes back for a while over the troubled centuries which have intervened since Bethlehem, the day of the nativity of our Lord, he must be impressed with the fact that the only constant, unyielding, and uncompromising force for good through it all has been that divine
inspiration which prompts men to offer their lives on the alter of the country in the cause of humanity, and every man who was born of woman who has responded to that call in all the centuries has been made higher and nobler by the sincerity of his response to that call.
Twenty-seven years ago, my comrades, there was a young lad, a red-blooded American, who served on Sampson's fleet.
He was a gob, a gob before they knew what the word meant, and he served through that great struggle which was a link in that great struggle of the centuries for the liberation of humanity.
In the fifteenth century, Philip the Second of Spain, was the greatest and most powerful monarch in the world. His possessions reached far out into every country and land and his administration of power was reft with tyranny, with oppression, with slaughter, with rape, with every kind of evil that could be perpetrated on hu
, manity, and for his reward he received the reward of all tyrants, and, one by one, began to lose his power, and he went down to disaster in Holland, in France, and in all the Old World, and his possessions were stripped from him in the great and glorious struggle for the liberation of mankind, and we unborn for centuries were selected by God as his representatives of the great nation to go forth in ninety-eight and finish the work.
Oh, my comrades, let me think of what we did. When we realize the heritage which has come down to us our breasts will swell with pride and should we not take unto ourselves now some serious thoughts about the future and what we are living for?
My comrades, I yield to no man in my love of my comrades; I yield to no man'in my efforts, but with all the strength of my being I will advance the interests and the welfare of my comrades and, comrades, with that thought and that feeling alone I come here today to ask you to consider this young boy of Sampson's fleet of 27 years ago who comes to you now after 27 fruitful years of faithful service as a man and a citizen.
He took up the duties of civil life which included the taking unto himself of a wife from the fair State of Illinois and, after these years of wedded happiness, he has the most prized of all possessions, à loving wife and a beautiful family. He has never been in politics in his life but he has held, as I have said, and does hold now, the highest office in the gift of the people of my Commonwealth. He has been appointed successively commissioner of State aid and pensions by every governor, Republican and Democrat, who has presided in our Commonwealth for the past 15 years, including Calvin Coolidge. [Applause.]
My comrades, I want to most forcibly impress upon you that no sentiment is intended here. My only thought here is to try to bring to you a realization of what our work is and of what is before us.
We have got to demand and we have got to obtain a living pension for our comrades.
We have got to demand and we have got to obtain the hospitalization to which we are due.
We have been discriminated against grossly; we have been discriminated against, there is no question about it, and the people in Washington have got to come and give us ours because the people of this country say it belongs to us.
So, with one minute remaining, I leave this thought with you: We believe that in this man we are presenting to you to-day we have the man who can obtain these things for our comrades and their dependents which they need so sorely. So with every particle of power, sincerity, and earnestness in my being, I come to you and recommend that splendid, able, clean-minded and honest-hearted man, that true and devoted and loyal comrade, that sterling 100 per cent pure and unadulterated American, Comrade Richard R. Flynn, of Massachusetts. [Applause.]
Commander in Chief HERRICK. The adjutant general will proceed with the roll call.
Adjutant General MURPHY. Arkansas.
Comrade HOFFMAN (Arkansas). We throw our lot with Comrade Flynn of Massachusetts. [Applause.]
Adjutant General MURPHY. California. Comrade ROBERTS (California). California passes. Adjutant General MURPHY. Colorado and Wyoming. Comrade SHACKELFORD (Colorado and Wyoming). Colorado and Wyoming yields to Ohio.
Past Commander in Chief ALCORN (Ohio). Comrade commander in chief and comrades. You who know me, know that I am not an orator. You can appreciate the difficulty, therefore, of my situation here, succeeding as I do, such distinguished orators as those who have addressed you. Some people look upon an orator, though, as would the Irishman who defined an "anthem." One Irishman said to another, "Pat, what is an anthem?” And Pat says, "Mike, an anthem is something like this: Suppose you wanted me to hand you that pick. If you wanted the pick you would say "Give me that pick. But if you wanted to say it as an anthem you would say it like this: 'Oh Pat, oh Pat, oh oh, oh Pat, hand me, hand me, oh Pat hand me, oh Pat hand me, oh Pat, oh Pat, oh Pat, hand me, hand me that pick, that pick. Oh Pat, hand me that pick.
Comrades, I am not going to use words and words only about my candidate. What I am going to say will not be in the words of an anthem, but in the simple words of "Hand me that pick.”
That grand old man, our poet, Oliver Wendell Holmes, was a graduate of Harvard College. At a reunion of his class 30 years after graduation, he addressed to the class a little poem, entitled “ "The Boys.” In it he addressed those old men as boys and the first few lines of his poem ran:
Has there any old fellow got mixed with the boys?
Where the snowflakes fall thickest, there's nothing can freeze! Comrades, we are assembled here to-day, 27 years after our signing the muster roll, as he did the college roll. We are boys again to-day as we were when we were down in Florida 27 years ago.
Governor Brandon has spoken beautifully and eloquently of the Southland and desires your support because his candidate is from the South.
Now, I do not come from the North nor from the South, from the East nor from the West, but I come from one of the States of the Union.
My candidate comes from one of the States of the Union. The war that our organization represents did more than anything else ever has done or ever can do to wipe out that term “North or South.” We have more than one candidate. There are candidates from other States. We are distributed all over this country and we have no sectional feeling.
So, comrades, in representing and speaking for my candidate, I will say that he comes from one of the greatest States in the Union. You know when you elected me commander in chief of the organization, you paid me all the honor you can pay me. You must know, therefore, that I have no selfish motive in presenting anyone for your consideration nor have I any ulterior motive in doing it. Keeping in mind that I have had the highest office within your gift and wishing always to retain your confidence, I speak only for what I believe is for the best interest of the organization. Comrades, I want you to believe
say that that comes from the bottom of my heart. What I tell you is from the heart, and when I tell you that the man for whom I speak has served with me and under me and has done what he could to put over legislation beneficial to our comrades and their dependents, I mean it. But comrades, there were influences at work which he nor the best man that could possibly be named could not overcome. I believe, however, that the situation in which that candidate is placed now, with an administration such as we have and with the personal contact he has with political leaders, that if we are ever going to have equal consideration—and as volunteers of the greatest and most historical army in the world we are entitled to that—my candidate can do more than any other man that I know of to put that thing over.
Now, comrades, Ohio, according to all the rules of the game, as you know, is not entitled to the office of commander in chief this year. That is, looking at it from an individual or geographical standpoint. Ohio from a geographical standpoint or from a personal standpoint is not entitled to the office of the commander in chief, because it was only two years ago
selected a commander in chief from Ohio. I speak for my candidate because I believe, as I said before, that he is the man best qualified for the position, because of the conditions that exist to-day in politics, to put this question over. Regardless of the fact whether he comes from Ohio or from some other State I think that we should have the interest of the organization at heart and not personal favors and elevations. Every one of you should see to it that the man who can do the most good for you as an organization should go in as commander in chief.
Now, comrades, the man for whom I speak is of as humble origin as any man in this room. He was the son of a coal miner and a coal miner himself, but by reason of his great ability he has risen high in the financial and business world. He has shown by his ability that he is able to manage great organizations. Let me tell you-not that I want to spread it around—but sort of confidentially, that he has just disposed of large interests to another corporation which relieves him next month from great business cares and makes him practically a retired man. It will be his great pleasure in the coming year to act as your commander in chief and devote his whole time to the organization.
Now, comrades, from a military standpoint I want you to consider Carmi Thompson. He went out with his National Guard. He got his promotion. He came back as captain, continued in the guard and now has the title of colonel. He has been with our organization almost ever since it was organized.
So, comrades, I present for your consideration, and I hope for the good of the organization, that you will give Col. Carmi A. Thompson not only your support but your vote for commander in chief. [Applause.]
Commander in Chief HERRICK. The adjutant general will proceed with the roll call.
Adjutant General MURPHY. Connecticut. (Connecticut made no response.)
Adjutant General MURPHY. District of Columbia.
Comrade BELKNAP (District of Columbia). District of Columbia passes.
Adjutant General MURPHY. Florida.
Comrade MITNICK (Maryland). We have no candidate. I should like to say I am sure I voice the sentiment here, therefore I am sure I shall cast my vote for the candidate from Tennessee.
Adjutant General Murphy. Massachusetts has been yielded to. Michigan.
Comrade FLANAGAN (Massachusetts). We have a candidate.
Commander in Chief HERRICK. The Chair will recognize Past Commander in Chief Entenza.
Past Commander in Chief ENTENZA (Michigan). Comrade commander in chief, I am from Michigan, California, and Florida. I belong to all the States of this great country. I want a point of information. We are not arising to nominate a separate candidate for the office of commander in chief, but we wish to second. I want to know whether a second would be in order?
Commander in Chief HERRICK. Comrade Dineen, can you help us on that? I believe every department is permitted to express its choice and unless overruled I will rule he has a right to second.