More Money and Less Misery!
GEO. O JONES.
TO MY CONSTITUENTS, the true, intelligent National Greenbackers of New York:
In answer to numerous inquiries as to what honest Greenbackers should do at this election, I submit this reply:
Gen. Butler never accepted the nomination of our Party. He never refers to its name or principles in his speeches. He openly declares himself to be the founder and candidate of the "People's Party," a party which never yet held a National Convention, or nominated a candidate for the office for which he solicits votes. By ignoring the money question he proves himself an enemy to all industrial interests, a silent friend of Government Bond and National Bank Monopolies, and clearly manifests his purpose, as their servant, to use and then destroy the National Greenback Party, which represents the grandest principles ever yet advocated by man.
Gen. Butler solicited and received one quarter of the votes in the National Greenback Labor Convention, held at Chicago in 1880, and then gave his time, money and services to elect the candidate of another party. He sought and obtained the Greenback nomination in 1881 to strengthen his candidacy in the then coming Democratic Convention and now seeks to defeat his successful rival by giving indirect support to the Republican candidate.
He brought humiliation and disgrace on all respectable and self-respecting Greenbackers by withholding, for over two months, his intentions regarding the action of the Indianapolis Convention.
On August 7th, he issued a brief telegram announcing his intention to accept the Greenback nomination, when, for the sake
2of the party they loved, nearly all Greenbackers consented to give him their support.
Immediately on the publication of his telegram I wrote hundreds of letters to friends who, like myself, had opposed Gen. Butler's nomination and urged them to stand by him to save our party organization. I told them that our principles were Heaven-born and that Gen. Butler might be God's chosen instrument to hasten the destruction of the old parties. Disregarding Gen. Butler's numerous and uncalled for insults to me I wrote informing him what I had done. An answer soon came to hand from which the following extracts are taken: --
"BOSTON, August, 20, 1881.
I am inclined to think that we have misunderstood each other, I am certain that you have misunderstood me, and your letter shows I must have misunderstood you."
His letter then proceeds to give in detail the reports which reached him regarding my course in the Indianapolis Convention, every one of which were false as he would have known had he carefully read its proceedings. After stating that these reports were the cause of his action towards me, his letter concluded with the following paragraphs: --
"The declarations of your letter convinced me that I have been mistaken, and I hasten, at the earliest day when I have a moment's leisure, to set that right which I have aided in putting wrong, so that I hope all contention will cease between us. It will on my part, and I will endeavor, if you desire it, to take an early opportunity in a proper manner, to testify my respect for your course, which you seem to have taken at a sacrifice of some personal feeling, for the good of the cause.
"Renewing my assurances of hope or future friendship.
"I am, very truly yours,
"BENJ. F. BUTLER"
"GEO. O JONES, ESQ.,
New York City"
On the following day, Aug. 21st, Gen. Butler arrived in New York, when I called on him to pay my respects, but, during our entire interview he failed to answer any questions I asked him regarding our Party or its principles. His mind, at that time, seemed all absorbed in a desire to force Mr. Cleveland from the head of the Democratic ticket, and to have some other man put in his place. He said if that could be done, "I do not see what I have to do, but take my yacht, and go and enjoy myself." I said to myself in God's name: what does this man care for our Party, or what kind of Greenbackers has he associated with that he dares speak thus in my presence? But for the sake of our Party kept silent.
The next time Gen. Butler visited this city I was told by one of his managers that he would see me if I desired. I replied that if Gen. Butler wished to see me, I would call on him with pleasure, otherwise I would not occupy his time.
Our next meeting was Sept. 15th when the interview published in my circular dated Oct. 2, is given as follows:
"During an interview with Gen. Butler on Sept. 15th I frankly told him that I would have nothing whatever to do with the so-called People's Party, that I would not distribute a document bearing that name, and that I wanted to know whether he intended to support Mr. Fowler, (a disappointed Democratic politician he had selected to manage his canvass in this State) in his efforts to create a People's Party here or to stand by the organizations which had
3nominated him. Gen. Butler's reply was that Mr. Fowler was carrying out his views, but, if I would move my books, etc., to his (Fowler's) headquarters I could have all the documents and material needed to carry on this canvass. I replied that I was the trusted officer of a party of over eight years existence, a party based on principles as dear to me as my life and that I would not consent to have its records fall into the hands of such a man as Mr. Fowler, who knows nothing and cares nothing for such principles or the party representing them, that my self-respect would not allow me to become a clerk to such a man nor permit him to dictate my intercourse with the Greenbackers in this State, and that I would see him in "Hades" before I would submit to such personal indignity. Gen. Butler then repeated his intention to stand by Mr. Fowler and the People's Party, to which I replied, "then I will stand by the National Greenback Party and it shall not die while I live." Gen. Butler then said, "All right, go ahead, but I think you will soon find yourself in a little party of one, composed of yourself."
That interview opened my eyes to the true situation and proved the hollow pretense and hypocracy of personal friendship expressed in Butler's letter of Aug. 20. From that hour I felt that my official connection with Gen. Butler's canvass must cease or else I must betray the trust an honest constituency had placed in my hands. I then, for the first time, fully realized that the National Greenback Party and its principles were to be lost sight of during this canvass through falling into the hands of a man whose treacherous nature, always caused him to betray every Party that had ever trusted him, and prove false to every principle he ever advocated, from his slave hunting resolutions of 1852 to Greenbackism in 1884.
A man whose name will hereafter make that of Benedict Arnold respectable when compared with Benjamin F. Butler.
Gen. Butler said more than any other man in the North to encourage the South to secede, and then became its bitterest enemy, to save his own neck from the halter. He turned the Capitol of the Nation, which should be the Temple of Liberty, into a prison to force witnesses to give testimony which would impeach President Johnson, as honest a man as ever held that office. He voted for more jobs than any other member of Congress while he held a seat in that body. He voted for and accepted back pay against all decency and precedent.
The New York Sun is now the most influential newspaper supporting Gen. Butler for President. In its issue of June 26th, 1873, it describes him as follows:
"Hated by some, contemned by many, and distrusted by all, this bad man with his crooked ways, foul methods, distorted mind and wicked heart, glories in these moral deformities, flaunts them constantly before the public eye and traffics in them as political merchandise. The notoriety which decency shrinks from as a degradation he seeks at any sacrifice. He treats the reproach which follows such exhibitions as so much capital added to the stock of ill-fame that had already made his name odiously conspicuous in and out of Congress. Rejoicing in his own shame and coining money from open venality, discarding any pretence of principle, bound by no ties of honor, scoffing at religion, making politics a trade, despotic when clothed with authority, cowardly by nature, mercenary from habit and destitute of one ennobling quality for manly attributes to lift him above these wretched characteristics, he is to-day the leading candidate for the highest honor in enlightened and moral Massachusetts."
No honest man can vote for such a person as that article describes nor such a traitor as Butler has proved to our party. I cannot, nor will not vote for him, I am too good a National
4to vote for the candidate of either of the old sectional parties, and too good a Greenbacker to do anything to perpetuate their existence.
Twenty-three years of Republican rule has piled up mountains of debts, created and perpetuated Bank, Bond, Railroad, Land, and other monopolies and with an overflowing Treasury at its command it has failed to provide American Citizens with sufficient money to transact their business, until, European capital now puts its own price on every pound of American produce and determines the value of every hour of American labor. That party is responsible for the universal bankruptcy caused by contracting the currency before 1873, and for bringing down to present prices, grain, manufactured goods, and days' wages, so that to-day American Farmers, Mechanics, Manufacturers and Merchants are threatened with universal ruin and enforced idleness.
No party can make things worse than they now are, and it is unfortunate for the people that the Democratic Party gives small promise of improvement.
Temperance is a good cause, and I am told that Mr. St. John is a good man, but neither temperance or any other reform can be made permanent while money remains the master and not the servant of man, nor can there be any genuine civilization or true religion in this world until just laws make money enough to handle the necessaries and comforts of life which God and labor provide in abundance for all.
Gen. Butler's letter "to his constituents" advised fusion with minorities in order to obtain votes in the Electoral College, yet like Jumping Jack in the box, he spends his time in a palace car talking to people in States where no such votes can be had.
If Gen. Butler is a "mental wreck," as some people think, even his many past wrongs should not prevent sympathy for his affliction, but if he is governed by selfishness, avarice or treason all the curses David invoked on his enemies should follow him to the end of time.
No honest, intelligent Greenbacker can consistently vote for Gen. Butler, or aid in building up the so-called "People's Party," and then, without sacrilege, proclaim himself a National Greenbacker.
Under these circumstances I offer no advice to others. Every true Greenbacker should consult his own conscience and act according to its dictates. Mine tells me not to vote for any candidate for President at this election, and I shall not.
Three or four good and true Greenbackers have been nominated for Congress in this State. If I lived in their districts I would work and vote for them, and I sincerely hope they will be elected.
Yours very truly,
STURTEVANT HOUSE, New York City,
Oct. 29, 1884.