« PreviousContinue »
T. Bliss of Saginaw, who had the support of the party machine." The contest was a close one; but the fourth ballot stood: Pingree, 443 (or twenty-six more than enough to nominate); Bliss, 287; O'Donnell, 79; and Aitken, 17. The defeated candidates pledged support to the ticket. The platform contained the following significant passages:
"We accept and indorse the platform of the republican national convention of 1896 at St. Louis, and we call upon all loyal citizens of the republic to unite on its support.
We denounce the so-called democratic national platform recently adopted at Chicago for its insult to our courts and our judges; for its pandering to dis order and mob violence; for its sympathy with anarchism; for its proposal to repudiate public and private debts: for its intention to substitute silver monometallism in place of the wise and liberal policy and practice of the republican party, which has been and is the use of gold, silver, and paper as the currency of the nation. * * *
"We zealously emphasize our fealty to that distinguished American statesman. William McKinley, who best embodies those patriotic and progressive expressions of economic purposes-protection, reciprocity, and honest money.
Wyoming. The convention, August 13, adopted the following money plank:
"We favor the free nage of gold and silver into standard money as expressed in our former platforms, under such legislation as will guarantee that all our money shall remain on an equality.”
Democratic State Conventions.-After the action of the Chicago convention, a reversal of democratic attitude on the money question occurred in the following states which had previously declared positively against free silver in their democratic conventions:
Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
The democratic organization of Michigan had been swept into the silver column by action of the Chicago convention (p. 276). In Vermont, although a sound-money platform had been adopted, the democratic candidate for governor, Mr. Jackson, practically committed the state organization to free silver by announcing his acceptance of the Chicago platform. And in Delaware, the sound-money platform adopted in June was practically abrogated in August by the adop tion of one which, though it avoided in words all mention of the currency question, yet pledged electoral support to Bryan and Sewall. Maine.-Owing to the declination of E. P. Winslow to run as democratic candidate for governor on account of the divided sentiment of the state regarding silver, a second democratic convention was held August 6, when Melvin P. Frank of Portland, a free-silver man, was nominated, and the Chicago platform and ticket were indorsed. The sound-money democrats, led by W. H. Clifford, "bolted" from the convention, Mr. Clifford being subsequently nominated as soundmoney candidate for governor (see above p. 633).
Massachusetts.-A most remarkable incident occurred in connection with the democratic state convention held in Boston, September 26, to nominate candidates for governor and lieutenant-governor. After a rally on the afternoon of the day previous, at which Mr. Bryan had spoken, about 500 delegates, acting under the advice, it is said, of George Fred Williams, the free-silver leader of the state, remained in Music Hall anticipating a rumored attempt on the part of the gold members of the state committee to pack the convention. They re
fused admission to every one; and large number of them stayed throughout the night, provisions being handed in to them through a window of the ticket-office. The convention was called to order about 11 o'clock the next morning. It nominated Mr. Williams for governor, and C. T. Callahan for lieutenant-governor, indorsed the platform and nominees of the Chicago convention, demanded "the remonetization of silver," approved the enactment of an income-tax law, denounced the republican party as "the bulwark of monopoly," and declared that "government by injunction should not be tolerated." The convention also named a full ticket of Bryan-Sewall electors. The delegates who were excluded from Music Hall assembled in Faneuil Hall. After effecting a temporary organization, they passed a resolution indorsing Bryan and Sewall. When this action was taken, seventeen gold members of the state committee and a few delegates withdrew. Then the convention, having received notice of the proceedings of the delegates in Music Hall, unanimously in dorsed their action. Later, a meeting of the delegates of both conventions was called in Horticultural Hall, where their proceedings were ratified. The populists also held a convention in Boston on September 26. They in turn nominated Williams for governor and Archibald Dakin for lieutenant-governor. Fourteen presidential electors selected by the democrats in their conventions, were accepted in exchange for the one populist elector-at-large named by the Williams democrats. The bolting delegates from the Faneuil Hall meeting nominated a full state ticket headed by F. O. Prince of Boston, and Palmer-Buckner electors.
Populist State Conventions. We have already in this number referred to the domestic schism within the people's party due to the action of the Chicago convention in nominating Mr. Sewall for the vice-presidency, and the determination of Southern members of the party to insist on the support of Mr. Watson, a straight populist. One result of this schism is seen in the extent to which fusion has entered as a factor in the campaign (pp. 533, 538). A few further special incidents occurring in connection with state conventions of the people's party, are all that the space at our disposal will admit of record.
Georgia.-The convention at Augusta, August 6-7, was controlled by Thomas E. Watson, populist candidate for the vice-presidency. The nomination of S. A. Wright for governor, by acclamation, was a victory for the populist-prohibitionist fusionists. The "Middle-of the-Road" men, who opposed an extreme declaration in favor of pro hibition, and were also opposed to choosing a candidate outside the party, were defeated, the negro delegates voting solidly for Wright. The platform adopted by the convention declared for prohibition and indorsed the action of the St. Louis populist convention. No action was taken regarding the vice-presidential muddle. The convention authorized the state committee to negotiate with the democrats for a fusion on the electoral ticket, but only on condition of the withdrawal of Mr. Sewall.
Teras. At the convention held in Galveston, August 6, the prevailing sentiment was "No Watson, then no Bryan; " or, in other words, it favored non-support of Mr. Bryan unless Mr. Sewall should
withdraw from the ticket in favor of Mr. Watson. A motion was unanimously adopted to copyright the platform-to prevent, as the mover explained, the democratic party from stealing it.
New York. The revolt of the democrats of the Empire state against the platform and nominations of the democratic national convention at Chicago, was prompt and strong. Within forty-eight hours many of that party's most respected leaders declared their refusal to follow that convention into its alliance with the populist party, and their purpose to vote against its candidates. By the beginning of July it was evident that a considerable section of the party would take this course; and throughout the quarter the movement increased-the ground usually taken being, not that of conversion to republicanism, but of protest against what was deemed democratic betrayal. The purpose was announced to be to defeat the democratic nominees in whatever way might seem practicable. Very many, taking the surest way, announced their intention to vote for McKinley, and for republican candidates for congress. For a while there was hope in some minds that the democratic convention of the state might refuse assent to the proceedings at Chicago, and might put forth a state and congressional ticket representative of the older democratic faith. The organizing of a contesting democratic party was therefore delayed, awaiting the state convention, awaiting also the expected organization of a national party of contesting democrats. Thus the democratic party in this state, which the elections of the last two years had shown to have a greatly reduced strength, found itself, when entering a new campaign, hopelessly split, while the section that was liable to drift into republicanism lay helplessly inactive. The republicans, meanwhile, filled with cheer, were everywhere pushing their national canvass with enthusiasm and rising hope.
The Republican State Convention. This body met August 25, in Saratoga-the second gathering of the party this year (p. 150).
Its platform, readily adopted, was a clear echo of republican principles as set forth at St. Louis, and an enthusiastic ratification of the nomination of McKinley and Hobart. It denounced the democratic proposal of free silver coinage at the ratio of 16 to 1; and charged on the democratic party the responsibility for the business depression out of which, it claimed, the agitation for this unjust coinage had sprung-declaring that the interruption of business, the lack of profitable employment for the people, and the failure of the federal revenue, while in some measure due to other causes, "had its origin in a tariff act which converted a monthly surplus of revenue into a monthly deficit, and exposed domestic production to unjust
competition." It warmly commended Governor Morton's administration; and praised the record of the republican legislature, noting especially its enactment of the Raines liquor law, its favoring of highway and road improvement, and its action in reference to the Greater New York.
The nominations for governor and lieutenant-governor had been looked forward to with some anxiety. Mr. McKinley's great strength in New York as a presidential candidate was not fully appreciated in Angust; and there was fear in some quarters lest the "machine"-some of whose elements had at first openly favored another presidential candidate-might use its undeniable strength in forcing the nomination for governor of some known adherent of its own faction, thus both failing to kindle a universal republican enthusiasm and repelling many hopeful democratic converts from both the state and national tickets. Thomas C. Platt, who was said to be considering the acceptance of the nomination for himself, and who could. doubtless have had it,
HON. FRANK S. BLACK,
REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF
is understood to have brought his usual sagacity to bear on the situation, and to have finally advised, in view of all the liabilities and interests involved, against the nomination of himself or any of the two or three other gentlemen likely to be identified in the public mind with the "machine.
When the convention assembled, Frank S. Black of Troy, representative in congress from the 19th district, was chosen temporary chairman, and delivered an impressive address. Three ballots were taken without effecting a nomination for governor, fourteen candidates being voted for, of whom eight received votes exceeding fifty. On the fourth ballot, the vote was: Black, 675; Aldridge,
77; Fish, 6; and Mr. Black was nominated. For lieutenant-governor, Timothy L. Woodruff of Brooklyn, was nominated; for judge of the court of appeals, Irving G. Vann of Syracuse.
The nomination of Mr. Black, a man of known independence and conscientiousness, relieved all republican anxiety as to factional disturbance, and brought the party into union for the campaign. The other nominations also found universal favor with republicans.
BLACK, FRANK S., was born March 8, 1853, in Limington, York county (in Speaker Reed's district), Maine, one of eleven children of Jacob Black, a respected farmer. His parents were poor, and he worked on the farm in summer, attending school in winter. His spare time he gave to reading and study. Against many obstacles he pursued his purpose of gaining an education. After a short period at Lebanon Academy in York county, he taught school and worked on a farm, so earning money to enter Dartmouth College in 1871 at the age of eighteen. Deficient in his preparation, and being compelled to earn his living by teaching school and working on a farm in each of his four college years, his course was one of great labor and self-denial. Yet, he was graduated with honor, was editor of the college magazine, and a prize-speaker twice.
After a few months as a reporter on a paper in Troy, N. Y., he began study in a law office in that city, and was admitted to the bar in 1879. He soon gained a lucrative practice. He was active as a speaker in the republican campaigns of 1888 and 1892. After declining various nominations for county offices, he was elected to congress in 1894. In his practice he had made it a rule to refuse criminal cases; but the murder of Robert Ross, a republican watcher in Troy, on election day in 1894 (Vol. 4, p. 157), called forth his powers in a new direction, as a prosecutor, and brought him into public notice. He had previously begun and led the seemingly hopeless fight against the "Troy ring" that had for years controlled elections in His fearthe county by systematic fraud and organized violence.