Page images
PDF
EPUB

“'The result is starvation.'
With a ready answer, McKinley replied:
“ ‘Like the people everywhere, are you ready to vote?'

"From the benches immediately in front, one of the charcoal delegation responded: 'Vote for you;' and another supplemented with, ‘Vote for you for the next presidency.

"Soon after the democratic element was heard from. The governor said: “They said we had a splendid prosperity under President Cleveland in his first administration; so we had.' 'Hear, hear,' mingled with cheers, rose loudly from the Old Guard.

“And do you know why?'
“No,' from a voice in the gallery.

'Because all Cleveland did was to execute the republican laws already in existence.'

"And the republicans cheered.

“ 'War and treason,' resumed McKinley, ‘are the words of President Cleveland. He is a peace man in war; a war man in peace.'

“Great laughter followed this declaration. Under cover of it, Governor McKinley asked Mr. Ferris the time. Cries immediately arose, 'Go on, go on.' 'We can wait till tomorrow morning to hear that.'

“'Why is it,' asked the orator a moment later; 'why is it that amid all the resources of the land we are suffering?

“(A voice, ‘Why is it?')

“ 'I can answer in a word. The democrats are running the government, and nothing else is running. Every industry is practically stopped ; no man can calculate the loss to the people of this country in investment, property, wages. We have been at school. It has been a universal, a sort of compulsory education, from the benefits of which none have been excluded. (Laughter and applause.) While the tuition has been free, the ultimate cost has been very great. (Laughter.) We have been blessed with experience if we haven't been blessed with anything else.' (Laughter and prolonged applause.)

“Then followed the most dramatic scene of the evening. Mr. McKinley had hitherto confined himself to an analysis in general terms of issues affecting all sections of the country alike. Said the orator: 'What party has taken from you the protection that the Republicans gave?'

“ 'The Democrats,' cried an excited voice. 'D-n them.'

“ 'When we framed the law of 1890,' declared the governor, 'we undertook to frame a bill based on the principles of protection. We permitted everything to come in free which we could not or did not produce.'

“ 'Enough of that,' cried a voice. 'Give us the Force bill.'

[graphic]

sident.

Om the office of chief execuurned to his home at Canton, gn of 1894 had brought him filled them with confidence in :itioned everywhere throughout est home at Canton was filled li politicians who were planning

i presidential timber in the counthe enthusiasm among the people eed, of Maine, ex-speaker of the men in the party, not only because toriety acquired in his contest to the house, was a candidate. Wiltor from Iowa, and a man of wide Tollowing, and there were still those

old Roman from Ohio, be given a York, vice-president under Harrison, 1, were also in the lists. ere unusual. Not only was the tariff

but the democrats and a portion of ed with the “silver craze” advocated arties in the west. The doctrine that (I that more money meant higher prices dely. Before any effort was made by his teaching, it had been spread all means of books and pample The

silver coined, and their iver as freely as it did 11s one, and caught they

[graphic]

story, and many measure that

those upon whom the burden! v had been before the people,

“A good many people were anxious to hear McKinley on that subject, and for a moment absolute silence reigned. A committeeman whispered to him: 'He calls for something about the Force bill.'

“ 'I cannot be diverted from this discussion,' said Mr. McKinley, looking around and speaking in his loudest voice. “If any proper question be put to me I will endeavor to reply as best I can. (Wild applause.) I believe in the purest and fairest debate on all public questions, and in my public life or my private record I have nothing to conceal.'

“And that appeal, so eloquent, so ingenious, captured his hearers, and the last great burst of applause followed. When the cheers ceased to ring, Mr. McKinley, turning first to one side and then to the other, so as to address comprehensively the entire assembly, delivered the eloquent peroration which, expressing the determination of the party to discharge by Louisiana its duties no less sacredly than by Ohio, closed his great effort.”

« PreviousContinue »