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ADDRESS AT THE DEDICATION OF THE GRANT
NEW YORK CITY, APRIL 27, 1897 Follow Citizens :
GREAT life, dedicated to the welfare of the Nation, here finds its earthly coronation. Even if this day lacked the impressiveness of ceremony and was devoid of pageantry, it would still be memorable, because it is the anniversary of the birth of one of the most famous and best-beloved of American soldiers. Architecture has paid high tribute to the leaders of mankind, but never was a memorial more worthily bestowed or more gratefully accepted by a free people than the beautiful structure before which we are gathered. In marking the successful completion of this work, wu have as witnesses and participants representatives of all branches of our government, the resident officials of foreign nations, the governors of States, and the sovereign people from every section of our common country, who join in this august tribute to the soldier, patriot, and citizen. Almost twelve years have passed since the heroic vigil ended and the brave spirit of Ulysses S. Grant fearlessly took its flight. Lincoln and Stanton had preceded him, but of the mighty captains of the war Grant was the first to be called. Sherman and Sheridan survived him, but have since joined him on the other shore. The great heroes of the civil strife on land and sea are for the most part now no more. Thomas and Hancock, Logan and McPherson, Farragut, Dupont, and Porter, and a host of others, have passed forever from human sight. Those remaining grow dearer to us, and from them and the memory of those who have departed generations yet unborn will draw their inspiration and gather strength for patriotic purpose. A great life never dies. Great deeds are imperishable; great names immortal. General Grant's services and character will continue undiminished in influence and advance in the estimation of mankind so long as liberty remains the cornerstone of free government and integrity of life the guarantee of good citizenship. Faithful and fearless as a volunteer soldier, intrepid and invincible as Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the Union, calm and confident as President of a reunited and strengthened nation which his genius had been instrumental in achieving, he has our homage and that of the world; but brilliant as was his public character, we love him all the more for his home life and homely virtues. His individuality, his bearing and speech, his simple ways, had a flavor of rare and unique distinction, and his Americanism was so true and uncompromising that his name will stand for all time as the embodiment of liberty, loyalty, and national unity. Victorious in the work which under Divine Providence he was called upon to do; clothed with almost limitless power; he was yet one of the people—patient, patriotic, and just. Success did not disturb the even balance of his mind, while fame was powerless to swerve him from the path of duty. Great as he was in war, he loved peace, and told the world that honorable arbitration of differences was the best hope of civilization. With Washington and Lincoln, Grant has an exalted
place in history and the affections of the people. To-day his memory is held in equal esteem by those whom he led to victory and by those who accepted his generous terms of peace. The veteran leaders of the Blue and the Gray here meet, not only to honor the name of the departed Grant, but to testify to the living reality of a fraternal national spirit which has triumphed over the differences of the past and transcends the limitations of sectional lines. Its completion, which we pray God to speed, will be the nation's greatest glory. It is right, then, that General Grant should have a memorial commensurate with his greatness and that his last resting-place should be the city of his choice, to which he was so attached in life and of whose ties he was not forgetful even in death. Fitting, too, is it that the great soldier should sleep beside the noble river on whose banks he first learned the art of war and of which he became master and leader without a rival. But let us not forget the glorious distinction with which the metropolis among the fair sisterhood of American cities has honored his life and memory. With all that riches and sculpture can do to render the edifice worthy of the man, upon a site unsurpassed for magnificence, has this monument been reared by New York as a perpetual record of his illustrious deeds, in the certainty that as time passes around it will assemble with gratitude and reverence and veneration men of all climes, races, and nationalities. New York holds in its keeping the precious dust of the silent soldier; but his achievements—what he and his brave comrades wrought for mankind—are in the keeping of seventy millions of American citizens, who will guard the sacred heritage forever and for evermore.
William JENNINGS BRYAN was born in 1860 and received a good education. He represented a district of the State of Nebraska in Congress for a time, but made no great impression upon the public mind until he appeared as a delegate in the National Convention of the Democratic party held at Chicago in 1896, where he delivered the oration in favor of the free coinage of silver at the ratio of 16 to 1, which is known as “The Cross of Gold” speech, and which obtained for him the nomination to the Presidency. He secured from the people a larger number of votes than had ever been previously cast for any candidate, whether Democratic or Republican; nevertheless, he got only 176 electoral votes, and was beaten by William McKinley. After having served during the war with Spain as the Colonel of a Nebraska regiment, he was renominated for the Presidency in 1900 by the Democratic National Convention held in Kansas City, Mo., but again failed of election.
THE “CROSS OF GOLD”
Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Convention: WOULD be presumptuous, indeed, to present myself against the distinguished gentlemen to whom you have listened if this were a mere measuring of abilities; but this is not a contest between persons. The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error. I come to speak to you in defence of a cause as holy as the cause of liberty—the cause of humanity. When this debate is concluded, a motion will be made to lay upon the table the resolution offered in commendation of the Administration, and also the resolution offered in
condemnation of the Administration. We object to bringing
this question down to the level of persons. The individual is but an atom; he is born, he acts, he dies; but principles are eternal; and this has been a contest over a principle.
Never before in the history of this country has there been witnessed such a contest as that through which we have just passed. Never before in the history of American politics has a great issue been fought out as this issue has been, by the voters of a great party. On the fourth of March, 1895, a few Democrats, most of them members of Congress, issued an address to the Democrats of the nation, asserting that the money question was the paramount issue of the hour; declaring that a majority of the Democratic party had the right to control the action of the party on this paramount issue; and concluding with the request that the believers in the free coinage of silver in the Democratic party should organize, take charge of, and control the policy of the Democratic party. Three months later, at Memphis, an organization was perfected, and the silver Democrats went forth openly and courageously proclaiming their belief, and declaring that, if successful, they would crystallize into a platform the declaration which they had made. Then began the conflict. With a zeal approaching the zeal which inspired the Crusaders who followed Peter the Hermit, our silver Democrats went forth from victory unto victory until they are now assembled, not to discuss, not to debate, but to enter up the judgment already rendered by the plain people of this country. In this contest brother has been arrayed against brother, father against son. The warmest ties of love, acquaintance, and association have been disregarded; old leaders have been cast aside when they have refused to give expression to the sentiments of those whom they would lead, and new lead.