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and we administered the force with an eye single to the welfare of the city. In doing this we encountered, as we had expected, the venomous opposition of all men whose interest it was that corruption should continue, or who were of such dull morality that they were not willing to see honesty triumph at the cost of strife.





FTER the publication of my article in the Sep

tember Review of Reviews on the Vice-Presidential candidates, I received the following very manly, and very courteous, letter from the Honorable Thomas Watson, then the candidate with Mr. Bryan on the Populist ticket for Vice-President. I publish it with his permission:


It pains me to be misunderstood by those whose good opinion I respect, and upon reading your trenchant article in the September number of the Review of Reviews the impulse was strong to write

to yoti.

When you take your stand for honester government and for juster laws in New York, as you have so courageously done, your motives must be the same as mine for you do not need the money your office gives you. I can understand, instinctively, what you feel what your motives are. You merely obey a law of your nature which puts you into mortal combat with what you think is wrong. You fight

* Review of Reviews, January, 1897.

because your own sense of self-respect and selfloyalty compels you to fight. Is not this so?

If in Georgia and throughout the South we have conditions as intolerable as those that surround you in New York, can you not realize why I make war

upon them?

Tammany itself has grown great because mistaken leaders of the Southern Democracy catered to its Kellys and Crokers and feared to defy them.

The first “roast" I ever got from the Democratic press of this State followed a speech I had made denouncing Tammany, and denouncing the craven leaders who obeyed Tammany.

It is astonishing how one honest man may honestly misjudge another.

My creed does not lead me to dislike the men who run a bank, a factory, a railroad, or a foundry. I do not hate a man for owning a bond, and having a bank account, or having cash loaned at interest.

Upon the other hand, I think each should make all the profit in business he fairly can; but I do believe that the banks should not exercise the sovereign power of issuing money, and I do believe that all special privileges granted, and all exemption from taxation, work infinite harm. I do believe that the wealth of the Republic is practically free from federal taxation, and that the burdens of government fall upon the shoulders of those least able to bear them.

If you could spend an evening with me among my books and amid my family, I feel quite sure you would not again class me with those who make war upon the “decencies and elegancies of civilized life.” And if you could attend one of my great political meetings in Georgia, and see the good men and good women who believe in Populism you would not continue to class them with those who vote for candidates upon the “no undershirt” platform.

In other words, if you understood me and mine your judgment of us would be different.

The "cracker” of the South is simply the man who did not buy slaves to do his work. He did it all himself-like a man. Some of our best generals in war, and magistrates in peace, have come from the "cracker” class. As a matter of fact, however, my own people, from my father back to Revolutionary times, were slave-owners and land-owners. In the first meeting held in Georgia to express sympathy with the Boston patriots my great-great-grandfather bore a prominent part, and in the first State Legisla

a ture ever convened in Georgia one of my ancestors was the representative of his county.

My grandfather was wealthy, and so was my father. My boyhood was spent in the idleness of a rich man's son. It was not until I was in my teens that misfortune overtook us, sent us homeless into the world, and deprived me of the thorough collegiate training my father intended for me.

At sixteen years of age I thus had to commence life moneyless, and the weary years I spent among the poor, the kindness I received in their homes, and the acquaintance I made with the hardship of their lives, gave me that profound sympathy for them which I yet retain—though I am no longer poor myself.

Pardon the liberty I take in intruding this letter upon you. I have followed your work in New York with admiring sympathy, and have frequently written of it in my paper. While hundreds of miles separate us, and our tasks and methods have been widely different, I must still believe that we have much in common, and that the ruling force which actuates us both is to challenge wrong and to fight the battles of good government.

Very respectfully yours,

(Signed) Thos. E. WATSON. THOMPSON, GA. August 30, 1896.

I intended to draw a very sharp line between Mr. Watson and many of those associated with him in the same movement; and certain of the sentences which he quotes as if they were meant to apply to him were, on the contrary, meant to apply generally to the agitators who proclaimed both him and Mr. Bryan as their champions, and especially to many of the men who were running on the Populist tickets in different States. To Mr. Watson's own sincerity and courage I thought I had paid full tribute, and if I failed in any way I wish to make good that failure. I was in Washington when Mr. Watson was in Congress, and I know how highly he was esteemed per

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