Jefferson and Cleveland. — The First the Founder and the Other the Destroyer of Democracy — "Comparison is Impossible, but Contrast is Instructive." — Thomas Jefferson was the Great Defender of Human Liberty — He Entered Public Life Rich and Left it a Poor Man. — Cleveland Began His Public Life When Very Poor and Left the Presidency a Wealthy Man. — Some Interesting Chapters From the History of the United States and of the Democratic Party.
We have met to celebrate the birthday of the first President elected by the Democracy of America, and inasmuch as the last President elected by the Democracy is to be brought to our city to define national honor and give us instruction in morals, it has occurred to me that this fact taken in connection with the unhappy conditions of our country, as left by the last President, and as we find them to-day, makes it proper to say something about both of these men — the one the founder and the other the destroyer of the Democratic party — comparison is impossible, but contrast may be instructive, especially to the young men of the land.
While Virginia was yet a British colony a young man named Thomas Jefferson, who hailed from the landed gentry, was a member of the Legislature. He had been highly educated, was a student of all human affairs, and was a member of the bar. Although born an aristocrat he saw that all civilization rests on the hand that toils. He saw that all of the governments of the earth rested on restrictive policies which cowed the nobler instincts and higher activities of men.
He felt that if man were given his freedom he would work out a
784higher destiny. He saw that all men came into the world equal and that institutions which created inequality were a curse to the race, and he devoted his life toward securing equality for mankind, liberty and justice. The agitation in behalf of independence had begun. Nearly all the rich — the powerful — the fashionable and all that hang to these classes were tories who looked with contempt on those men who talked of liberty and independence; the latter were called a rabble of demagogues and agitators.
Jefferson did not do like some men who subsequently became distinguished; he did not allow others to do all of the earlier, unpopular and dangerous work of educating and formulating public sentiment but he became the guiding spirit of this movement.
He assisted in forming the celebrated committee of correspondence for disseminating intelligence among the colonies and bringing them into closer relationship. In 1774 he was elected a member of the Continental Congress and drew up the famous "summary view of the rights of British America," which, though rejected then as being too radical, was adopted by some colonies and was extensively published here and in England. He helped to draft every important document issued by the Congress, and especially the answers to the English government. And when the cause of independence had ripened, his brain conceived, his heart shaped, and his hand wrote the Declaration of American Independence; a document which has given immortality even to those who did nothing except sign their names to it — a document which was the greatest charter of human rights ever given to mankind.
The colony of Virginia had, in the meantime, adopted a new constitution, for which he had written the preamble, and in October, 1776, he resigned his seat in Congress and devoted himself to bringing about a radical revision of the laws of the colony. Virginia had an established church, and any man who did not adhere to it and attempted to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience was not only prosecuted but persecuted.
He secured the establishment of religious freedom in the colony. He secured the abolition of the feudal and aristocratic system of primogeniture and entail — that system under which the eldest son took all the land, which then meant nearly all the property — and he founder a free common school system which was subsequently copied in most
785of the States. For his course on each of these questions, he was angrily denounced by those who considered themselves the better classes, consisting of the rich, the influential and the powerful, as a demagogue, an agent of Satan, an enemy of Christian institutions and a dangerous man. But he never wavered, and succeeded in bringing the laws of his colony more nearly in line with the spirit of justice. He hoped that he had eradicated every fiber of ancient or future aristocracy.
He considered slavery a moral and political evil and said concerning it that he trembled for his country when he remembered that God was just.
After the Revolution, he founded the University of Virginia, which has given this country hosts of great men, and it is still one of our greatest institutions of learning. The services he rendered his colony alone entitle him to an enduring fame and the gratitude of mankind. He served two years as Governor of the colony, and then declined a re-election, and retired to private life, but re-entered Congress in 1783, and reported the treaty of peace with Great Britain acknowledging the independence which had been declared in '76. He next secured the establishment of the decimal system of coinage, abolishing the English system of pounds, shillings, etc.
Subsequently he was sent abroad to assist in negotiating treaties of commerce, and then was made resident minister to France, where he spent about four years. Here he published his famous "Notes on Virginia."
One feature of his character at this time is especially noticeable, i. e., he was always a Democrat. In recent years we have sent men abroad who knelt before and tried to ape the aristocracy, some of them even denouncing the country which had given them a commission, but in every line of Jefferson's utterances during that time, in all of his letters, there was that bold expression of his opinion, that aristocracy and absolutism were a curse to the world, and that the hopes of humanity lay in a broad and free democracy.
He was still abroad when our federal Constitution was adopted. He expressed his hearty approval of most of it, but felt alarmed over the provision which created the federal judiciary. Here was a branch of government that was unrepublican and undemocratic, that rested upon an aristocratic, or rather a monarchic basis. The judges, who would have all the prejudices and weaknesses of other men, were not to be selected by the people, they were to hold office for life and would not understand the needs or the wrongs of the people, but
786would be influenced by class interests, with which they came more constantly in contact. He urged with great earnestness that such a tribunal would go on extending its jurisdiction by day and by night until it should absorb the whole field and become the tomb of liberty. I am sorry to say, my friends, that it has already been demonstrate that these forebodings were prophecies.
After the Constitution was adopted and Washington was elected President, it became necessary to have the young republic establish as friendly relations as possible with the different governments of the earth. As we were then weak and unknown and as our government was considered but an experiment, and was sneered at by the influential classes of the world, it was a most delicate and difficult task to secure for us even respectable treatment from foreign governments. Mr. Jefferson returned from Europe and President Washington appointed him to the office of Secretary of State, the one which at that time was the most difficult to be filled. Hamilton was also in Washington's cabinet and except as to bimetallism stood for exactly the opposite of all of those principles, convictions and theories of government which were represented by Jefferson. Hamilton was Secretary of the Treasury and made an able and exhaustive report on the financial question. He submitted a copy of it to Mr. Jefferson, and in referring to that feature of it relating to the two metals, said: "To annul the use of either of the metals as money is to abridge the quantity of the circulating medium and is liable to all the objections which arise from a comparison of the benefits of a full with the evils of a scanty circulation." In answering this letter Mr. Jefferson wrote to Hamilton as follows: "I concur with you that the unit must stand on both metals."
Jefferson was opposed to the funding and other financial schemes of Mr. Hamilton because they would load the country with unnecessary burdens and appeared to be in the interest of stock jobbers and speculators. He abhorred a bank of issue as being destructive of the welfare of the country and especially did he oppose the creation of a United States bank. In a letter to Adams, in 1814, he said: "I have never been an enemy of banks, not of those discounting for cash, but of those foisting their own paper into circulation. My zeal against those institutions was so warm and open at the establishment of the bank of the United States that I was derided as a maniac by the tribe of bank-mongers who were seeking to filch from the public their swindling
787and barren gains. The evils they have engendered are now upon us and the question is how we are to get out of them."
At this time the American people became divided into two parties; called Federalists were headed by Hamilton and were strongly in favor of American independence, but did not comprehend or understand democratic government, or democratic principles. They believed in following the example of European governments; they believed in the government by wealth tinctured by corruption and with them the Revolution simply meant the overthrow of the foreign aristocracy and ruling force and the substitution of a home aristocracy and ruling force, and they had the impudence to denounce Jefferson as a demagogue. They believed in having government control nearly all of the affairs of the citizens. Under their theory the citizen existed by permission of the government. The other party consisted of the Democrats, then called Republicans, headed by Jefferson, and believed in a system of government that should interfere as little as possible with the affairs of the private individual; they believed that all power rested in the people, that instead of the people existing by permission of the government, the government was the creation and the agent of the people. They were bitterly opposed to anything like a ruling aristocracy, or governing class. They believed that mankind were capable of self-government and that the highest development of man could only be attained in free institutions. When Washington retired from the presidency, he was succeeded by John Adams, a Federalist of the narrowest type. During his administration the principles of the Federalistic party began to take form. The whole tendency was against the masses of the people and in favor of the central power. The infamous alien and sedition laws were passed during this administration. Frightful strides were made towards strangling the spirit of democratic institutions and establishing in their stead the aristocratic principle. Had this policy become permanent, the whole career of the new republic would have been different, the oppressed and the liberty-loving of all lands would never have sought our shores.
But the people of the young republic had not thrown off a British yoke simply to wear a more odious home yoke, and in 1800 they rallied under the leadership of Jefferson and overthrew the odious administration of Adams and the unrepublican policy of the Federalists. Jefferson was elected President and the objectionable legislation
788of the prior administration was wiped out at once, the whole policy the government was reversed, the face of the nation was turned toward the morning. Liberty and progress, humanity and justice became the watch-words and they brought to us the best muscle and brain the world. The spirit of man, being thus unchained and encouraged in its aspirations and efforts, leaped forward and gave the republic a career that was without a parallel in all history. Jefferson's far-seeing eye perceived the advantages of extending our domain, and under what was known as the Louisiana purchase we acquired that vast territoriy lying west of the Mississippi and stretching from New Orleans northwest to the Pacific ocean. This was fiercely opposed by the Federalists. But it at once changed our character. Instead of being a republic on the Atlantic coast of North America, we became the great American Republic. It was during the eight years of Jefferson's administration that the foundations of our greatness were laid and that our destiny was shaped. The great mass of men who do the world's work, who love freedom and hate oppression, who love justice and despise hypocrisy, had been cemented together. The great Democratic party was founded. That party guided the republic for twenty-four years, Jefferson being succeeded by Madison and he being followed by Monroe. The Monroe doctrine that we hear so much of in recent years was first officially promulgated to the world by President Monroe, who was a pupil and disciple of Jefferson.
My friends, find a principle of government that has helped to make us distinctive and great and you will find it was of democratic and Jeffersonian parentage. Glancing at this quarter of a century during which the breath of Jefferson was animating the nation, we find that none of these great men indulged in political huckstering or trading. They stood for definite principles and resolutely carried them out. Office came to them incidentally, there was no deception of constituents, no false promises made before election and broken afterwards, no efforts to mislead and no betrayal. Jefferson entered public life wealthy, and served his country faithfully. He retired from the presidency poor and died in poverty. In the light of more recent events I am impelled to declare, "Thank God this great man retired from office poor." There was nothing to sully his character, nothing to dim the luster of his star.
We now turn to a darker picture. In 1863, Mr. C. C. Torrance was the Democratic district attorney of Buffalo, N. Y. A young man came to him and asked to be appointed assistant, pleading that he was much in need. After hearing his appeal, Mr. C. C. Torrance appointed him assistant state's attorney. Toward the end of the term Mr. C. C. Torrance was a candidate for re-election and asked to be renominated by the Democratic convention, when he found to his astonishment that the young man whom he had befriended had undermined him and managed to get the nomination himself. The name of the young man was Grover Cleveland. This was his first effort in politics and he here gave the world a key to his character, he here exhibited those traits which he, in later years, showed in dealing with the Democratic party. But the people of that county refused their sanction, and as a result Horace Boies, who was then a Republican, and later became Governor of Iowa, was elected state's attorney. Years after the time came to nominate a sheriff. The prospects of the Democrats being poor, there were no aspirants. Ordinarily lawyers take pride in their profession and even if poor would regard it as an insult to be asked to act as sheriff, honorable as the office may be for a layman, but Grover Cleveland came forward and asked the nomination, and, in the ebb and flow of politics, he was elected. The personal conduct of men is frequently referred to as furnishing a key to their public career — by showing their nature and mental qualities. The course of Mr. Cleveland through a number of years at this period furnishes such a key, but we pass it by.
He was next elected Mayor of Buffalo and he had not long been in office until it became apparent that the corporations were carrying away everything but the city hall; that the corporations were on horseback and did not even take the trouble to dismount when entering the Mayor's office. In the meantime the common council had passed some ordinances relating to street cleaning. The corporations that were influential with the Mayor had no interest in these ordinances. The Mayor vetoed them and charged in effect that the men who supported these ordinances were scoundrels. These messages attracted attention. There were at that time, as there are now, certain papers in New York and elsewhere that called themselves reform papers. These reform papers loudly praised the Mayor's veto. A systematic effort was made to hold the Mayor up to the country as a great
790patriot. The country did not know that these so-called reform papers were mostly owned, and are entirely controlled, by corporation and syndicate influence, influences that despise little thieves but watch their opportunity to filch millions from the public.
Here was a man who could feed platitudes to the public and plunder to the syndicates. The latter decided to make as much out of him as possible. They secured his nomination by the Democratic convention for Governor of New York. It happened to be a year when one wing of the Republican party determined to punish another wing. By this means Judge Folger, the Republican candidate, was defeated by an unprecedented majority and the ex-mayor of Buffalo was made Governor. Here the corporations became still more aggressive; they assumed absolute control. The records show that every measure in their interest, of which there were many, had the prompt support and approval of the Governor, while every measure which they did not favor and every measure framed in the interest of the men who toiled with their hands, of which there were a number, was promptly vetoed. Monopoly guarded both the front and the rear entrances of the executive mansion, while the toiler was not permitted to even look at the gates that led to the executive grounds. But the managers who profited by this condition of affairs determined to operate on a larger scale. The control of the federal government promised millions where the control of the State government meant but thousands.
In 1884 the national Democratic convention was held at Chicago and there came from the East some gentlemen representing those trusts and corporations that had the New York Governor in training. Mr. Manning represented the bankers of Wall Street. Mr. Whitney represented, not only the great Standard Oil Trust, but a combination of trusts and syndicates. These men, by appealing to similar interests elsewhere, succeeded in forcing the nomination of the New York Governor for President. Men who did not belong to these interests declared that the Governor was not a Democrat and that it would ultimately destroy the party to take him up, but they were overruled. The nomination was made and sufficient funds were raised among the parties interested to secure his election. No sooner was he inaugurated than certain characteristics became painfully prominent. He knew nothing about the affairs of the government or the conditions of the country. He looked upon trusts and syndicates as the
791embodiment of righteousness and regarded all men who did not belong these concerns as being unworthy of consideration. He showed a liking for the dilettante. It became a mugwump administration, which took for its guidance the swamp lights of Hamiltonism. The Democrats of the land who adhered to the doctrines of Jefferson became sick at heart and retired, and the administration became contemptible.
The National Democratic Convention of 1888 was held at St. Louis and men shrugged their shoulders when they saw Mr. Whitney, who still represented the Standard Oil Trust and a combination of syndicates accompanied and assisted by other representatives of concentrated wealth, go to St. Louis and again override the democratic spirit of the country and again force the nomination of Grover Cleveland upon the Democratic party. The election came. The honest Democracy remained in its tents and the mugwump administration ended. During the four years which followed, the iniquities of the McKinley law had disgusted the American people. Then the Eastern manipulators of politics again saw their opportunity.
In 1892 the national Democratic convention was held in Chicago and good men sighed for their country when they, for the third time, saw Mr. Whitney, still the representative of the Standard Oil Trust and of other syndicates and corporations, assisted by other men representing similar interests, coming on to the ground, overriding the honest sentiment of the Democratic party, and for the third time forcing the nomination of their protege upon the Democratic party. During the campaign the candidate gave assurances to various prominent Democrats that if again elected he would be a Democrat and would give the country a Democratic administration. Relying on these assurances, many Democrats gave him their support who otherwise would not have. The election which followed was a protest by the country against McKinleyism. The Democratic ticket triumphed, as a result of this protest. When the inauguration was over, the syndicates stepped into the open and proceeded to claim their own. They determined to reap a harvest while their sun was shining. At the elections the country had expressed itself clearly and explicitly upon the subject of tariff reform, but they felt no interest in this. As a preliminary step to subsequent bond operations, they demanded the more complete establishment of the gold standard and the final overthrow of silver, knowing that this would force the government
792along a line that would enrich the speculator. The Democratic party which had just elected the President was opposed to this policy. All of its conventions had emphatically declared against a gold standard and in favor of the re-establishment of silver. The same was in fact true of the declarations of the Republican party. The masses the American people were opposed to the demands of the money power, but they were entitled to no consideration, and the new President, instead of carrying out the policy upon which the country had spoken, instead of proceeding at once to carry out reforms which the Democratic convention that nominated him had promised the country, simply listened to those people in whose wagon he had ridden from Buffalo to Albany and from Albany to Washington. He immediately convened Congress in special session, he entirely ignored the reforms to which he was pledged and he demanded of Congress legislation that should administer the final death blow to the silver cause, that should still further enhance the purchasing power and influence of gold, further reduce the price of commodities and of labor, and paralyze industry. At that time the government was annually issuing about fifty million dollars of silver certificates based upon silver bullion in the treasury.
It was that much addition to the currency of our country every year; while utterly inadequate, it still did something toward having the volume of money in our country, keep pace with the increasing population and the increasing business. To put an end to this, therefore, meant greater stringency and greater distress. The Wall street brokers, who handled, English capital, forced the Republican congressmen to support this measure. The majority of the Democratic congressmen hesitated to thus betray their constituents, but the administration was determined. As the Democratic congressmen were expected to secure more or less offices for their constituents, the administration took advantage of this fact. Although the President had talked loftily about civil service, there followed such a prostitution and such an abuse of the patronage of the American government as had never been seen at Washington from the time the capital was located in the valley of the Potomac. Congressmen were given to understand that the only way in which they could secure even a hearing in behalf of their constituents was to yield to the demands of the President. By this usurpation men were whipped into line against their convictions and the Wall street measure was forced through Congress against the
793protests of the honest Democrats all over the country. Instead of this measure giving the country relief, as was promised, it helped to futher paralyze the industries and business of the land. Soon there-after there was a vacancy on the Supreme bench. The President had some favorite whom he wished to place there, and he sent first the nomination of one, and when that was rejected, the nomination of another of his friends to the Senate for confirmation, and while each of these nominations were pending the papers were filled with accounts of cabinet ministers riding over the city of Washington at midnight, pleading with different Senators and offering anything in the shape of patronage if the latter would but vote for confirmation, but the Senate stood firm and another man had to be selected. At the next session of Congress a tariff bill was introduced. The President talked loftily against community of pelf, and then it developed that the administration through its treasury department had helped the great Sugar Trust get the law framed to suit itself. From that time on the honest Democrats of the land avoided the White House and looked with pain and sorrow upon the spectacle of a horde of trusts sleeping in the council chambers of the President, and dictating the policy of the American government.
In 1894 there occurred what was known as the great railroad strike. Its center seemed to be Chicago; reports of it were simply exaggeration and fabrication. After it was over a commission was appointed by the federal government to make an inquiry in regard to the cause and extent of the strike, the damage which had been done and when it was done. The records of the fire department show the exact dates on which any property was destroyed and the amount that was destroyed. The records of the police department also show the dates of disturbances, their locality and extent. We have now exact information upon all these questions, and this information shows that ten days prior to the rioting, prior to any disturbances, the corporations asked the President to send federal troops into Chicago and the President without any inquiry of the local authorities as to the conditions or whether they needed assistance, without any inquiry of the State authorities as to whether any assistance would be needed, and three days before there was any rioting, ordered United States troops into Chicago, and made them subject to military orders from Washington, and not to the civil authorities, federal or State, as required by law, thus establishing military government.
To guard the postoffice or subtreasury would have looked ridiculous, there being no unrest in that part of the city. It was in the railroad yards on the outskirts of the city where the trouble subsequently came. After the trouble began some of these federal troops were sent out to one of these railroad yards to quell a riot, but they soon retired. Thereafter they scarcely made another effort. They did not prevent the burning of a single car or the ditching of a single engine. The disturbance was quelled by the regular constitutional authorities. At the suggestion of the governor the mayor applied for assistance from the State, according to law, and within a few hours thereafter so large a force was put on the ground as to completely control the situation.
There had been many strikes in Chicago which were more formidable than this one promised to be, and the situation was controlled by the local authorities. But the great corporations of the country wanted a precedent set for having the federal government take them directly under its wings so that they would not, in any case, need to apply to any local government; in fact so that they could in every case not only ignore but even defy the local governments.
Under our Constitution federal supremacy and local self-government must go hand in hand. This principle forms the basis of our institutions. But the voice of the corporations was potent and although it was necessary to violate the Constitution and the law of the land, and although it was necessary to trample every principle of Jefferson in the mud, this illegal precedent was set by a President who had been elected by Democratic votes.
During his term the sad cry of starving and bleeding Cuba was heard by the world. All she asked was recognition which would give her belligerent rights and enable her to buy in our markets. She would fight her own battles and needed no intervention. This nation spoke in tones of thunder that the Spanish assassin must not be helped by us and that Cuba must be recognized. Congress promptly passed such a resolution. Had this been acted on there would to-day be no Cuban question, for once able to buy supplies in our market on the same footing with Spain, the brave Cubans would long ago have driven every Spaniard off of the island. But then, as now, the voice of the money changer silenced the voice of statesmanship — of common sense and of justice. The President sneered at the people and
795ignored a co-ordinate branch of the government, and the great navy of this proud and free republic was made to perform the service of a policeman for the convenience of Spain. Thank God the time is at hand which will end Spanish barbarities on American soil.
But while the corporations were in full control of the White House, they had not yet reaped their great harvest. To make vast fortunes by the turn of the hand it was necessary to have the government issue bonds. This was the purpose they had in mind when they got the administration to convene Congress in special session and administer the death blow to silver. They understood their business perfectly. They knew that the administration would now be obliged to issue bonds, and during the four years constituting the last administration Mr. Cleveland issued two hundred and seventy millions of bonds, and according to the statement he sent to Congress this was not to meet the expense of the government, but simply to maintain the gold standard. Reflect a moment: In times of profound peace, when, according to his statement, there was ample money to defray the expenses of the government, the burdens of the American people were increased two hundred and seventy millions, simply to satisfy the moneyed power and maintain a system which is paralyzing our nation. Debts have ultimately to be paid with the things that are made in the shop, or raised in the field, they have to be paid ultimately with human labor; speculators pay none of them. This debt means that the toilers of America must give that much more sweat, that much more blood, that much more toil for which neither they nor their children will ever receive one penny's worth of benefit. Altogether the bond speculators are said to have made between thirty and forty millions of dollars, clear profit, out of these bond transactions. You remember the bonds were sold in batches at different times, and in one instance, when a batch of about seventy millions were to be sold, they were not advertised, they were not offered to the highest bidder, they were not put upon the market, but Mr. Cleveland secretly sent for his former law partner and this man made a secret arrangement with a man who represented a syndicate of bankers. By this arrangement this batch of bonds was sold to this syndicate for nearly ten million dollars below their value. Glance at this transaction a moment. The head of the mighty American republic sent for a confidential friend and through this confidential friend secretly sells the United States bonds to another man with whom they had occupied confidential relations, and sells them at a price which causes the
796government to lose in the neighborhood of ten millions of dollars. I will say to you that if the mayor of Chicago were guilty of such a transaction, he would be indicted by the grand jury and sent to the penitentiary of Joliet inside of a fortnight.
On another occasion when he was about to sell bonds, he sent a message to Congress, asking permission to issue gold bonds, stating that he could sell those for a specific sum in excess of what they would bring if issued under the law as it then stood, that is the law under which practically all of the government bonds had been issued and under which law the bonds were payable at the option of the government in silver, but Congress refused to allow him to execute a gold contract. Thereupon he issued the bonds and sold them in the market for a specific sum less than he claimed he could have gotten had they been payable in gold. But now he is to be brought to the West by men who pay not a dollar of the national debt, to tell the toilers of the land, who do pay these debts, that if they do not pay these same bonds in gold that then they are scoundrels.
While all these transactions were going on the country heard, with a blush of shame, the reports that some of the Wall street stock speculators were carrying the President of the United States on their books, apparently as a silent partner, in some of their transactions, one speculator frequently boasting that he had set aside certain blocks of stock in pending schemes for his friend, Grover. Time passed, and as his administration began to draw toward a close and its real character began to be understood by the public, and the disgust and condemnation of the American people was everywhere heard, the country was startled with a proclamation issued by the President, threatening war with England. It came so unexpectedly that people could not understand it. There had for twenty-five years been pending a dispute between England and Venezuela in regard to the boundary line between the territory of the two countries. There was nothing new in the situation. It had been, and was still, the subject of correspondence between those two governments, but the President, without ascertaining the facts in the case, issued his proclamation promulgating the Monroe doctrine. Our people believed in the Monroe doctrine and were at first pleased to hear it referred to, but when the astonishment subsided, they began to ask what it was all about, then the absurdity of the whole performance, the French opera-like statesmanship
797of it all became apparent, the President not knowing what the facts were did not know whether the Monroe doctrine was involved. Congress let him down easy by providing for the appointment of a commission, to find out whether there were any facts in the entire which were of interest to us. That commission was appointed, it has not yet reported and it is doubtful whether it ever will, and the entire episode is almost forgotten.
But many people felt that the situation was too ridiculous and that there must have been some other and ulterior purpose in issuing the proclamation. These people studied the situation and ascertained that the proclamation which threatened war had had a tremendous effect upon the value of stocks in Wall street, and that about $100,000,000 changed hands in consequence of that proclamation. That amount of money being lost by the speculators on one side and made by the speculators on the other side, and so far as could be learned the stock brokers who had been the President's friends were not among the losers. The second purpose appeared to be this: The managers of the administration, seeing that the country was condemning its policy and seeing that their saturnalia of bond jobbing and money making by the aid of the federal administration must come to an end unless something was done, and knowing that the American people favored the Monroe doctrine, hit upon the brilliant idea of having the President issue this proclamation, believing that it would arouse the patriotism of the country, cause a movement among the people in his favor, so as to enable these managers to re-nominate him for the fourth time, and re-elect him for the third term. But the patience of the American people had run its limit and the scheme failed. The term drew to an end and Mr. Cleveland, who originally entered the White House poor, now retired the possessor of great wealth.
He had thrice been nominated and twice elected President by the great Democratic party of this country. He had spit upon every one of its tenets. He had trampled every one of its principles into the ground and he had succeeded in destroying its hopes. A year before his last term ended, when the Democrats began to cast about, they found that everything they held sacred had been turned over to the enemy, the country was weary and the situation was hopeless. Many stalwart Democrats doubted whether they could carry a single
798township in the United States. Hamiltonism had been put on horse back by the so-called Democratic President, and we were being cursed for it. In their despair the Democrats of America rose in their might and overthrew this false god with all of the money making priests who hung about his altars. Then they kindled new fires upon the altars of liberty, they raised again the banners of Jefferson, and they went forth and fought the greatest battle for justice and humanity ever fought on this continent, and to-day you see their tents all over this country. They are in the field, they are eager and anxious for the fray, they are determined to redeem this land and in this great fight we behold Grover Cleveland joining hands with Mark Hanna for the destruction of the party that made him. We see him joining hands with the forces of corruption and debauchery that are ruining our country, but the carousal of the stall-fed classes, the long night of dissipation is nearing an end. Day is dawning and the Democracy will soon enter upon the morning of a new and glorious career.
Glancing now at the administrations of Mr. Cleveland, we see the palsied hand of greed shaping the policy and marring the destiny of a great nation; we see golden gods, bonded altars, syndicate priests and interest bearing gospels; we see the dollar made the master and man made the slave; we see toil disheartened and humanity weary; we see hypocrisy enthroned and false pretenses sanctified; we see patriotism sold and find honor on the market; we see the people betrayed and Democracy crippled, and finally we see it all end amid the contempt of the honest and the curses of the poor. But when we turn to Jefferson we breathe a different atmosphere, we stand beneath a different sky and gaze on a different sun. Here are the altars of liberty — equality and justice — from which radiate those forces that encourage the toiler, that cheer the patriot, that ennoble a people and that build a State.
Here we see a man who courted not the rich, who served humanity, who faced obloquy, who stood for principle, who betrayed no constituency and who shirked no duty, and finally we see him loaded with benediction, his memory encircled with glory, and his name enshrined in immortality. Oh, my countrymen, comparison is impossible, but contrast is instructive. Since his day generations of public men equally learned, equally able and equally industrious, have lived and have gone, whose names are forgotten and whose ashes are lost.
They did nothing for humanity; they traded in influence, they juggled in politics and they lost a career.
Now, my friends, for nearly two thousand years the true disciples of Christ have gone to His altar to get a new inspiration — a stronger faith — a higher purpose and a loftier ideal, and they have come away with a firmer resolve to maintain His standard and to carry His gospel to the ends of the earth. So, after seeing the desolation wrought in our country by the precepts of Hamilton and the acts of Cleveland, we gather again at the altars of Jefferson to get a new inspiration, a stronger faith, a loftier purpose, and let us go away with a firmer reslove to maintain his standard and to carry the principles of Democracy, not only to the ends of the earth, but to the end of time.