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[Title Page Image]
ROOMS DEMOCRATIC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE,
RALEIGH, N. C., August 13, 1898.
The condition of public affairs that confronts us calls for the most strenuous efforts on the part of all patriotic North Carolinians to restore good government to our beloved State; and it is hoped that this book will be found of value in presenting the issues of the campaign to the people.
F. M. SIMMONS,
JOHN W. THOMPSON,
Under the American system of government the people and the people alone are the sovereigns. They are the final arbiters and judges of all public questions. This sovereignty of the people was first proclaimed to the world as the basic principle of human government on the 4th of July, 1776, by the American colonies, and upon it was constructed our American system of government.
Thomas Jefferson, the great author of this new system of government, seeing the necessity for some proper method by and through which the people could assert and make effective this sovereignty, organized the Demorcratic Party, laying its foundations by the side of the foundations of the Government itself; and upon this foundation he proceeded to build up a political organization in which all men who really believed in the rule and equality of the people could take part and work together for the upbuilding and perpetuation of a government by the people, of the people, and for the people.
Men may cry out against government by party; but the fact remains that it is the only means yet devised by which the people can effectively work together in the enforcement of their sovereign will. It is but natural that in a Government like ours, in which every man is a sovereign, different men should have different opinions as to certain questions of governmental policy. It was so in the very beginning of our national existence, is so to-day, and has been all along throughout our wonderful history. Jefferson recognized this, and when he organized the Democratic Party, he sought to unite with him, in that great work, only those, who like himself, believed in the equality and sovereignty of the people,
and who favored making them strong and powerful and independent. The Democratic Party therefore soon became the party of the people, clinging to the American system of government, teaching the individuality, equality and sovereignty of all men, guarding and protecting the rights and opportunities of all, and seeking, by every proper means, to build up a great and powerful people.
It is no wonder that a party thus organized should have a life coequal with the Government itself. Other parties have risen, flourished, failed, passed away and been forgotten; but the Democratic Party organized in the first days of the Republic, has survived them all, and is to-day still the great party of the people. As we study its wonderful history we find that the most splendid achievements of the American people have been accomplished when it was in power or as a direct result of forces put in motion by it.
There is above all others one great lesson in the life of this party that every student of history should learn and that every Democrat should know. It is this. That the Democratic people, having been taught the equality of all men, will stand no bossism. They will choose and follow their leaders as long as their leaders consult them and lead where they wish to go; but when those chosen as leaders assume the role of dictators or bosses they will repudiate them, even though by doing so their party goes out of power. We had a remarkable instance of this from 1892 to 1896. The Democratic Party came into power in 1892 with a majority and a unanimity almost without precedent in the history of our country. Some of Mr. Cleveland's Mugwump admirers set agoing the heresy that he was greater than his party and that it was for him to dictate the policy of his party and for all others to support that policy whether they liked it or not. Unfortunately for Mr. Cleveland and his party, he undertook to play the role suggested by his Mugwump admirers. As a consequence, he and the Democratic people soon came to the parting of the ways. He did not deign to consult their wishes; but, relying on the immense power lodged in him, he undertook to command their obedience, and to force them to adopt his policy regardless of their views as to their interest or the interest of their country. Mr. Cleveland had his followers, and the people had their leaders. The conflict between him and the Democratic people split in twain the party that had elevated him to office, and in 1894 the American people recorded their judgment against him, and in 1896 the Democratic people sent their delegations to Chicago
and by an overwhelming majority, repudiated him and his policy.
As much as the loss of power by the Democratic people in Nation and in State may be regretted, the loss will not be without its compensation should those who are to be appointed to leadership in the party thereby take warning and fully understand that if they wish to remain leaders and grow in favor they must keep close to the people and learn to know and do their will. The old theory of government--that which prevailed in the world prior to 1776 and which prevails in much of it still--was that all sovereignty resides in the monarch, and that the people are only subjects. The American theory, the Jefferson theory, the Democratic theory, is that all sovereignty resides in the people, and that all office holders, the highest as well as the lowest, are their servants. The Democratic people have no toleration for the old theory, and they will have no trifling with the new. They have emphasized this fact in recent years in a manner and by examples that should never be forgotten.
The Democratic people in the exercise of their sovereign power, having chosen for their leaders, in Nation and in States, men who are in touch with them and who recognize the right of the people to declare their own policy, cordially invite all men who believe in these policies to unite with them in putting their principles into practice. The tremendous popular vote given in 1896 to their great national leader, William J. Bryan, encourages the Democratic people to believe that the party and principles of Jefferson are soon again to command the approval and endorsement of the American people. All men who believe in the equality of the people, in the equality of opportunity, in the equality of gold and silver, in the equality of burdens of taxation, according to each man's ability to bear these burdens, should unite with this party to make this truly a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
In our State the men who have been chosen by the Democratic people as their leaders, or as their candidates, or who may hereafter be chosen, are so chosen because they are in touch with the people and are steadfast believers in the principles of Democracy as taught by Jefferson and promulgated by Bryan. Our party makes leaders and candidates out of lawyers, doctors, farmers, mechanics, laborers, or men of any other honorable vocations. The Democratic people believe in fitness of head, fitness of heart and fitness in character for the work their leaders or candidates are expected
to do, without regard to their vocations in life; and they cannot be driven from their cordial support of these leaders by the senseless cry that they are lawyers or men of any other profession. Our people remember with pride that Jefferson and Jackson and Tilden and Hendricks and Bryan and Bragg and Merrimon and Scales and Fowle and Smith and Vance, and thousands of others who have ever stood for the rights of the people, for Democratic doctrines, for good government, and who reflected honor upon their party and shed glory upon their country, were lawyers. We therefore assert and believe that no man who loves his State and wants to see good government restored to her people will be deterred from uniting with the Democratic Party by the low and contemptible appeal that the Democratic people have sometimes chosen lawyers and other professional men for their leaders. Many men who believed in the principles of the Democratic Party and had ever been warm and earnest supporters of its principles, in 1892, 1893 and 1894 became so dissatisfied with Clevelandism that they withdrew from the party, hoping to obtain desired reforms and relief through the instrumentality of another organization. The conditions which caused them to separate themselves from their old party friends have passed away, and there now remains no reason why they should not return and again unite with their old comrades under the banner of Jefferson, Vance and Bryan in their fight for good government. These old comrades have invited their separated brethren to return, and they stand ready to receive them with open arms and with a hearty welcome. Many have returned, we are glad to say, and many others are returning; but there are others who are either slow or timid in starting back home. We suggest that our Democratic people seek out their estranged brethren and by kind words and earnest appeal bring them back into the only party that is able to give to the whole people of the State clean, honest, economical, and good government.
On the first day of July, 1868, the Republican Party took complete control of North Carolina. It had the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Departments of the Government, and nearly all the counties and towns were likewise under its control. No party ever had a better opportunity to serve a people and win their gratitude, but no party ever treated a people worse. It found a people poor and struggling amid the ruins of a desolating war. They needed good laws, the party gave them bad. They needed peace and rest, the party gave them violence and disorder. They needed low taxes, the party made them high. They needed a reduction of the State debt, the party increased it three-fold. They needed encouragement, the party gave them the bitter dregs of disappointment. They needed protection, the party gave them a reign of lawlessness. They needed economy, the party gave them reckless extravagance. They needed honesty in government, the party gave them an era of corruption. They needed patriots for legislators, the party gave them knaves. They needed additional school-houses for their children, the party closed most of those in existence. They needed teachers for their children, the party misused the school fund. Under the guise of building railroads, the party issued millions of State bonds and then stole the bonds. Under the guise of suppressing disorder, the party declared war and undertook, in a time of peace, to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and try men by military court-martial. The credit of the State had hitherto been good; this party destroyed it. The bonds of the State once at par were hawked about in the markets at a few cents on the dollar. County scrip issued for county purposes were, like the State bonds, almost worthless. The Legislature became a stench in the nostrils of decent men. Gloom settled over the State and the people, sore and oppressed, turned to the Democratic Party for deliverance.
On the 28th of March, 1870, the few Democratic members of the Legislature issued an address to the people, and the campaign for the deliverance of the State began. As a part of the history of the times and because many of the utterances therein are applicable to present conditions, the address is here published in full. There are many passages in that
address that might be written of these times and be addressed to the present generation. That address was published twenty-eight years ago, and as we read it and look back upon those days it hardly seems possible that the people could ever, under any circumstances risk the Republican Party again to make or execute laws for them. Yet we find twenty-eight years after that address was issued, this same party in power under the leadership of one who was then one of its high priests, and we find the record it is now making but a little less disreputable than it was twenty-eight years ago. We also find the people again turning to the same Democratic Party for deliverance; and some who planned and fought the campaign of 1870 are spared to take part in this second deliverance from Republican legislation. The address of 1870 is as follows:
To the People of North Carolina--
"We, the undersigned conservative members of the General Assembly upon the eve of our return to you, beg leave to suggest a few matters for your consideration, believing, as we do, that they bear directly upon the welfare of the State. We have a great struggle before us in the approaching August election. A struggle with a foe before whose massed columns our banner has twice gone down. What disasters to the State have followed these defeats, we will not stop to recount here; the story is too familiar to you. We but desire to advise you to that course which seems best to us, for ridding our State forever from the calamitous rule of the Radical Party. This Radical Party in the General Assembly have been at last though reluctantly forced, by the potent voice of public opinion, to grant what the State Constitution rightly construed, already secured to you: A popular election on the first Thursday of August next. Esteeming the free exercise of the ballot, as they do, one of the most sacred rights of free men, all of our people, without regard to party, condition, or color, will receive the announcement with pleasure. The right of the people to rigidly scrutinize the acts of their representatives, and to correct the abuses of power by the peaceful remedy of the ballot-box, is one which freemen should never indifferently exercise or tamely surrender. The election in August next, although confined to the choice of the members of Congress,
members of the next General Assembly, the various county officers and an Attorney-General, is one of sufficient importance to call out every voter, and to actively enlist the energies and time of every lover of the State.
"The dominant party are organizing thoroughly for the approaching campaign, and you imperil every important interest of the State if you flatter yourselves with the hope that they will give up the government without a desperate struggle. We feel confident that an equally zealous and determined effort on the part of the conservative people of the State will insure them a thrice glorious victory in August next. But to achieve it they must be united and thoroughly harmonious. In the presence of a determined enemy we cannot afford to divide among ourselves. The past glories of defeats of old political organizations should be among things of the past. In the battle we are about to join against Radicalism, reckless extravagance, corruption, swindling, imbecility, and partisan tyranny, why should we stop to inquire whether our leaders were in the past, Whigs, Democrats, Unionists or Secessionists, so they but lead us to victory and save us from a defeat, the result of which would be nothing less than absolute ruin to the State? That man who now attempts to exhume the buried past, to revive the prejudices born of issues long since dead, and which ought to be forgotten, will intentionally or unintentionally contribute to the strength of our common enemy. Let the bickerings of the past be hushed; let us rise above the dwarfed idea that would lead us to inquire what a man's politics were in the past; let us but ask, is he an opponent of Radicalism, is he honest, is he competent? Upon this broad and elevated platform you can invite the good of all parties and races to join you against that party, which has levied and collected taxes without stint with one hand, and scattered them with wild extravagance with the other. That has introduced into our Hall of Legislation, corruption, hitherto unheard of there; that has elevated to positions of trust and profit, men wholly unworthy of confidence; that has altered and confused our laws until the administration of justice has become costly, and its attainment uncertain; that has sought to subordinate the civil administration to military power by proclamation of martial law and petitions to Congress for the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus; that has more than doubled the current expenses of the State government; that has enormously increased the State debt; that has cast a foul blot upon her hitherto fair escutcheon,
and, that for want of statesmanship and for utter disregard of the necessities of the people, is without a parallel in the history of this or any other State. With such a cause as ours against such a party, the united ranks of conservatism must prevail.
In the last contest in this State the principal issue was upon the question of colored suffrage and the civil rights of the colored race. That matter has been decided upon a solemn appeal, by the people of the United States. The guarantee of their rights has now become a part of the Constitution. To that Constitution we have ever been willing to defer, to the laws made in pursuance of it, we yield, and ever have yielded a ready obedience.
"The reconstruction acts of Congress, with the civil and political rights they confer on the colored race, we regard as a finality, we accept them in good faith. We are one of the States of the Union. Let us seek to forget the bitterness of the past, to build up the places made waste by the unfortunate war, and to promote the harmony and prosperity of all sections of our great country.
"The colored man now enjoys the same political and civil rights as the white man. We accept his status as fixed by the Constitution of this State and the United States in good faith. We regard it as a final settlement of the question. It now becomes our duty as good citizens to elevate him morally and intellectually.
"The Chief Magistrate of this State, the head and front of Radicalism, has seen fit to declare one of our counties in a state of insurrection, and to call upon Congress to suspend the writ of habeas corpus throughout the State. We declare there is no sufficient cause for this extraordinary action of Governor Holden. There is and has been no armed resistance, no uprising of the people, no outbreaks to disturb or hinder the administration of the civil law. We assert that there is not a county in the State in which any sheriff or other peace officer may not go unattended, and with perfect safety, and execute any process upon any citizen of the State. It is true that murders and other outrages have been committed, but they have not been confined to any particular locality or to any political party, and when Governor Holden represents to the President that these acts are evidences of disloyalty, he is guilty of a wilful libel upon the people, whose rights he has sworn to protect. When he seeks to convince the Federal authorities that these violations of the law receive aid, countenance, or encouragement from the
Conservative Party of the State, he knows that his allegations are unfounded, and that he perpetrates a great wickedness purely in the interest of a political party. He hopes by magnifying these outrages, by giving them the appearance of disloyalty on the part of the people, to procure the aid of the Federal troops in overawing them in the next election. And he further hopes to wreak vengeance upon his political opponents through the agency of courts-martial, hedged in by bayonets. Surely there never was so base a betrayal of a people by their Chief Executive officer. We denounce crime wherever and by whomsoever committed, be the perpetrators white or black, Loyal Leagers or Ku Klux, if such organizations exist; and we here declare them enemies of society and wicked ministers to that spirit of lawlessness and contempt of the forms of law from which our unhappy country has suffered so much, under Radical rule. Secret political organizations are productive only of evil, let them, at once, be disbanded and let men succeed at elections upon their merits and not by a terroism exercised by their oath-bound confederates. That man who upon his own impulse or in obedience to the mandates of others, seeks to punish crime without due course of law, himself becomes a criminal. If crimes are to be punished, if wrongs are to be avenged, the court-house shall be the place and daylight the time. It has ever been the boast of our people, even in our country's darkest hour, that they appeal for protection only to the guarantees of the Constitution and to the forms of the civil law. It was reserved for the Radical Party, in violation of the great principles of civil liberty, to drag men and women from their doors, try, convict, and punish them without the due course of the law. Emulate not their wickedness. Our hope for the security of our life, liberty, and prosperity is in a strict obedience to the law. The peace, harmony and good of society require that every man should feel secure in these inalienable rights. Let the power of public opinion, more potent than an army of bayonets, be brought to bear in unmistakable terms to put down those who would recklessly disturb the peace of society. When this is done there will remain no pretext for that abandoned wickedness which would make the crimes of a few men a pretext for depriving the whole people of a whole State of the protection of the writ of habeas corpus.
"In order to make success doubly sure organization is absolutely necessary. * * *
"In the selection of a candidate let eligible men be selected,
let self be lost sight of, let the good of the State be your aim and success your battle cry. Let all the elements opposed to Radicalism be organized into one solid irresistible column. Let the Grand Army that is to overthrow Radicalism unfurl its banner; let the camp fires be lighted; let every discordant feeling be hushed, and with serried ranks, shoulder to shoulder, let us march with a triumphant tread to a glorious victory.
"Signed March 26th, 1870.
"Thomas J. Jarvis, of Tyrrell; H. C. Jones, of Mecklenburg; C. T. Murphy, of Sampson; F. N. Strudwick, of Orange; W. H. Malone, of Caldwell; Plato Durham, of Cleveland; J. A. Moore, of Alamance; R. P. Matheson, of Alexander; John L. Smith, of Alleghany; J. H. Davis, of Carteret; Philip Hodnett, of Caswell; Joshua Barnes, of Wilson; J. Scott, of Onslow; J. W. Graham, of Orange; C. Melchor, of Cabarrus; A. M. Robbins, of Rowan; J. M. McLaughlin, of Iredell; L. A. Mason, of Gaston; R. S. Beal, of Caldwell; W. L. Love, of Jackson; B. P. High, of Columbus; W. T. Ferebee, of Camden; T. C. Humpries, of Currituck; J. A. Kelly, of Davie; J. C. McMillan, of Duplin; W. E. Armstrong, of Duplin; John Gatling, of Gates; B. C. Williams, of Harnett; W. P. Welch, of Haywood; Tilman Farrow, of Hyde; T. A. Nicholson, of Iredell; G. F. Dardson, of Iredell; E. M. Painter, of Jackson; J. L. Robinson, of Macon; R. D. Whitley, of Mecklenburg; W. W. Grier, of Mecklenburg; W. W. Bodie, of Nash; Frank Thompson, of Onslow; T. M. Argo, of Orange; J. Hawkins, of Rowan; J. M. Shaver, of Rowan; J. C. Williams, of Sampson; J. W. Clayton, of Transylvania; D. E. Smith, of Wayne; David Proffitt, of Yancey; J. O. Hicks, of Clay."
The election in 1870 for members of the General Assembly was hotly contested by the Republican and Democratic parties. The Republican Party made a supreme effort to retain control of the law-making branch of the government. The Democrats made the fight against the Republicans, then as now, on their bad, extravagant, disgraceful record, and they carried both houses by large majorities. It is true there was no Populist Party then to help the Republicans. Many men who are now acting with the Populist Party were then found in the Democratic ranks manfully struggling to rescue the State from the Republican Party. As the campaign progresses in this second great battle for the rescue of the law-making branch of the government and these men learn more of the evils of Republican rule, it is hoped they will again be found doing battle for Good Government and White Supremacy.
So, in 1870, the Democratic Party obtained control of the legislative branch of the government and held it continuously till 1894--a period of twenty-four years. During these twenty-four years the Democratic Party and the Democratic Party alone was responsible for the legislation of the State. The challenge is made to the most malignant enemy of this party to institute the most rigid, searching investigation into the record of that party during all these long years, and it is boldly asserted that he will be unable to find a single scandal, or a single act of dishonesty or extravagance.
When this party came into power in the Legislature it proceeded to repeal bad laws and to enact in their stead good ones; to reduce taxes and expenditures; to economize in every possible way; to restore law and order; to provide for better schools, and to do all things within the power of the legislative branch of the government for the protection and betterment of the people.
The executive department of the government, however, remained in the hands of the Republican Party till 1876, when it was secured to the Democrats under the leadership of the immortal Vance. This department of the government was held by the Democrats from the first of January, 1877, to the first of January, 1897--a period of twenty years. So the Democrats held both the legislative and executive departments
of the government at the same time for a period of eighteen years, to-wit, from January 1, 1877, to January 1, 1895. We find then that the law-making and the law-executing power of the government passed into the hands of the Democrats the first of the year 1877. From that time to the first of January, 1895, the Democrats should and must be justly held responsible for what took place in the State so far as these things were effected by the making or the executing of the laws of the State.
While it is true that the legislative department of the government had, in 1877, been in the hands of the Democrats for six years, it is also true that under the then existing Constitution, as construed by the Supreme Court, the Executive had the appointment of the Board of the Penal and Charitable Institutions and the works of Internal Departments, in which the State had an interest. Thus it happened that while much had been done in the way of repealing bad Republican laws and replacing them with good ones, of improvement in the school system and in the management of the State institutions, and of reducing taxes and expenditures, the most splendid achievements of the party were not accomplished until after the executive department had also passed into the hands of the Democrats. The record shows that these eighteen years of complete Democratic Rule in North Carolina were eighteen years of law and order, of progress and development, of peace and prosperity, of protection to life, liberty and property, of economy in public expenditures and fidelity in public life, of educational growth and intellectual developent, of good will and kind relations between the two races and of higher aspirations among all classes of our people. To that admirable record the Democrats of the State point with great pride and unbounded satisfaction, and by it they are always willing to be judged.
Let us notice briefly some of the things done by this party and which enter into this record:
Before the war several millions of bonds had been issued by the State to aid in the construction of railroads, the State taking for these bonds either stock in or mortgages upon the property of the corporations thus aided. With the close of the war the people were too impoverished to pay the interest on these bonds and the securities taken, with two or three exceptions, were valueless. The aggregate of the State debt, principal and interest, was on the first of July, 1868, when
the Republicans took charge of the State, about $15,000,000. Instead of attempting to make some adjustment of this honest debt the Republicans set about creating a new debt, when the people were too poor to pay the old; and under the guise of building new roads, the Republican Legislature authorized the issuing of millions upon millions of bonds and provided for the levying and collecting a tax to pay the interest on them; so that the old and new debt of the State, principal and interest, amounted to about $42,000,000, when the responsibility of dealing with it was cast upon the Democratic Party. This immense debt hung like a mighty incubus upon the energies of the State, blocking the way to progress and always threatening the people with increased and burdensome taxation. The Democratic Party set itself to the work of adjusting this debt. It first separated the honest debt of the State, for which the State had received some value, from the fraudulent debt, created by the Republican Party, and for which the State had received no value. This fraudulent Republican debt the Democratic Legislature repudiated, and to make sure that no subsequent Republican Legislature should ever have it in its power to recognize its fraudulent offspring or attempt to levy a tax for its payment, the Legislature proposed and the people ratified an amendment to the State Constitution by which all future, General Assemblies were forbidden to assume or pay or authorize the collection of any tax to pay, either directly or indirectly, expressed or implied, any debt or bond incurred or issued under authority of the Convention of 1868, or the Legislature of 1868-69-70, unless the proposition be first submitted to the people.
Having thus disposed of the fraudulent Republican debt, the Democratic Legislature then proposed to the holders of the evidences of the State's honest debt such terms as seemed just to the creditors and to the people; and in 1879 laws were passed to carry out this compromise. There were two of these acts--one to compromise, commute and settle the State debt, other than that part created in aid of the North Carolina Railroad; and the other to compromise and adjust what was known as the construction bonds, issued in aid of this road. In the settlement of the bonds, included in the terms of the first of these acts, the State agreed to issue new four per cent bonds at the rates named in the act; and the present State Treasurer, on page 7 of his report, dated December 20, 1896, tells us, "It would require $255,070 more of four per cent bonds to take up the remainder of the bonds
outstanding, making the whole possible debt $3,615,770, bearing four per cent interest." So when the last of these old bonds are surrendered, the whole debt for which the people are to be taxed can only be $3,615,770 at four per cent interest.
Now as to the other of these acts, to-wit, the one to compromise and adjust the debt created in aid of the construction of the North Carolina Railroad, known as the Construction Bonds. To fully understand the difficulties that stood in the way of, and the importance of the work done by the Democrats to save the State's interest in the North Carolina Railroad, it is necessary to know something of its history. The acts under which these Construction Bonds were issued provided that the earnings of the road should be pledged for the payment of the interest on these bonds, and the stock of the State itself was pledged for the payment of the principal of the bonds.
Near the close of the Republican Legislature of 1868-69, after an era of pillage and plunder, a bill was introduced in the House by a Republican from Person County to provide for the exchange of this stock for any indebtedness of the State. "Any indebtedness" included the then worthless special tax bonds, so that "there were millions in it"; but owing to the watchfulness of the few Democrats and honest Republicans in the House, this bill failed to pass, and this effort to gobble up the North Carolina Railroad came to naught.
Under the provisions of the acts pledging the dividends of the North Carolina Railroad and the State's stock therein for the payment of the interest and principal of the State bonds, Swasey, one of the holders of those bonds, had instituted a suit in the Federal Court to subject the dividends coming to the State to the payment of the interest and to sell the State's stock to pay the principal of these bonds. This suit was pending in 1877, when the Democrats came into power; and in 1879, when the act was passed looking to saving this stock, the time was near at hand when its sale was to be pressed in the Swasey suit. The stock at that time was away below par, so that a sale of it would have been a great sacrifice and would have left a large unpaid debt against the State. The Democrats, however, had faith in the future
value of this stock, and determined to save it to the State if possible. Notwithstanding the difficulties that stood in the way, they succeeded in adjusting and in renewing this debt upon advantageous terms to the State, and in having the Swasey suit dismissed. Under this adjustment a sufficiency of the dividends coming to the State on her stock is to be applied to the payment of the interest on this part of the State debt.
On page 7 of the report of Treasurer Worth, of date December 20, 1896, he says: "The six per cent Construction Bonds, upon which interest is paid out of the dividends from the 30,000 shares of stock owned by the State in the North Carolina Railroad Company, amount to $2,720,000." So we have the State under Democratic management receiving seven per cent net dividends on $3,000,000 of stock and paying six per cent on $2,720,000 of bonds, thus saving to the State annually from that source $46,800.
The stock of the State in this company is now worth 137 to 140, with a constant upward tendency. Only a few days ago as high as 152½ was asked for it. This stock is worth $1,500,000 more than it was in 1877, when the Democrats came into power and took charge of this property. The six per cent State bonds are worth on the markets 130. The four per cent bonds are worth 104.
The practical difference then between the Republican and Democratic parties in dealing with the State's indebtedness and the State's credit may be briefly stated thus:
The Republican Party in two years ran up the debt of the State from less than $15,000,000 to a sum that amounted in 1877 to over $40,000,000.
The Democratic Party during its administration reduced the debt, and the debt to pay the interest of which the people are taxed is now less than $3,616,000.
The Republican Party destroyed the credit of the State. The Democratic Party restored it, and by wise management has so preserved the State's interest in the North Carolina Railroad Company that the State is now receiving $46,000 a year from this source, over and above paying the interest on her bonds. Is it possible for a contrast to be greater?
Railroads and lines of transportation are not only a great public convenience, but in this age they are a public necessity.
They are great developers of a State's resources, and when properly managed, they are promoters of the progress and growth and wealth of communities and individuals. The Republicans, under the plea of building railroads for the convenience of the people, issued, as we have already seen, millions upon millions of dollars of State bonds. But did they build the roads? No. They printed the bonds, sold them, pocketed the money, divided the plunder and did not build a mile of road anywhere in the State! When the Democrats came into power in 1877 they found the State but little better provided with railroad and transportation facilities than it was at the close of the war. The Democratic Party addressed itself to this great need of many sections of the State, and by open, honest, straightforward work, and by dealing honestly and fairly with investors and capitalists, they started anew railway building, and railway construction went forward at a rapid rate. In some instances the State, as in the case of the Western North Carolina Railroad and the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad, had a direct hand in the work; while in other instances it was the work of individual enterprise alone; but it was all attributable to the just laws and good government of the Democratic Party, without which these new roads would never have been built in North Carolina. Branch lines of railroad and turnpikes were also constructed at places where they were much needed. Encouragement and protection were held out and given to all engaged or wishing to engage in this work. And let it be borne in mind, that whatever the State put into any of these works of internal improvements, after they had passed under the control of the Democratic Party, was in the end returned to the State, with probably the exception of the costs of the convict labor on a few neighborhood turnpike and branch lines of railroads, amounting in the aggregate to only a few thousand dollars. So that all this railroad development during the eighteen years of Democratic government cost the taxpayer practically nothing. What did this railroad construction amount to in the eighteen years, from January 1, 1877, to January 1, 1895?
On January 1, 1877, there were 1,341 miles of railroad in the State.
On the 1st of January, 1895, there were 3,400 miles of railroad.
There were then constructed in the State during these eighteen years of Democratic administration 2,059 miles of railroad, about six hundred miles more than was built in the balance of the history of the State.
But little railroad property was returned for State taxation on the 1st of January, 1877. The value of all the franchises, as we get it from the office of the Railroad Commission, was then $859,021, and the tax thereon paid into the State Treasury was only $1,179.
The value of the railroad property as returned for taxation January 1, 1895, was $24,501,899, and the tax thereon paid into the State Treasury was $61,254. The State, county and municipal tax on this railroad property amounted in 1895 to about $240,000. Observe the large increase!
In January, 1877, when the Democrats came into power, there were forty-two counties in the State without railroad facilities. In January, 1895, when the Democrats went out of power, there were but thirteen counties without these facilities. These facts need no comment. They tell their own tale and speak in thunder tones of the glorious era of Democratic rule.
Simultaneous with this great railroad development there was also an era of general material developmet without its parallel in the history of the State. Factories and mills and shops sprung up and multiplied as never before. Capital by the hundreds, thousands and millions came into the State seeking employment and ready to enter into and contribute its part to this general growth and development. But one may ask, what had the Democratic Party to do with all this? We answer, much. It was the guarantee of good government which the Democratic Party was furnishing that induced this development and investment of capital. Money will not go and capital will not seek a permanent home where good government does not exist. When the candid, impartial historian comes to write the history of this State, he will be obliged to say that no State ever had a better government than did North Carolina during these eighteen years of Democratic rule, and that no long settled section of this Union ever made greater progress and growth and development in the same length of time.
The Constitution, as amended by the Convention of 1875, commanded "The General Assembly to establish a Department of Agriculture, Immigration and Statistics." The Democratic Legislature of 1877 proceeded to establish and organize such a department. Men of scientific attainments
and practical wisdom were called to lay out its work and administer its affairs. The farmers needed just the kind of information and help that this department was able to give. It soon became one of the important factors in the development of the resources of the State. Besides its special work to promote agriculture and protect the farmers, it collected and published information about the State that created a feeling of surprise and pride among our own people, and attracted the attention of the outside world. The collections and exhibits made by it at Atlanta, Boston and elsewhere were revelations to people at home and abroad. It found the Geologist and the State Museum in the cock loft of a store on Fayetteville street. It purchased for the State a valuable piece of property adjacent to the Capitol Square and erected thereon the finest museum, and placed therein the finest collection to be found anywhere in the South. It led to the establishment of the Agricultural and Mechanical College. It has given our own people a better knowledge, a higher idea of their own State, and has given them a greater faith in her future greatness. It has done much to make our people understand and realize the superior advantages of our own State, and to make others acquainted with our resources and to bringing desirable people into the State. Its utility and value cannot be estimated if properly administered. And yet what has Republican-Populist fusion done with it? To what base uses have they put this Farmer's Department? They have put John R. Smith in charge of it, and have made of it a sort of manure heap for the hungry, cast-off pie hunters. John R. Smith, a Commissioner of Agriculture, and in charge of a Department of Agriculture. What a travesty! After he had tried his hand at running the Penitentiary and had gotten its affairs in a tangle and had demonstrated his unfitness to be in charge of the convicts of the State, he is taken by this trading office arrangement of Rep.-Pop. fusion and put to running a department for the farmers. What an outrage upon the farmers! But he is one of the pets of his Excellency and he helped manipulate the Republican Convention and fix up fusion, and so he must be taken care of, no matter how much the public service suffers. Others of like faith and order had to be provided for, and when places were short new ones had to be created. Thus this most useful department has been made the dumping ground of the pie-hunting brigade.
Christianity and civilization demand that the unfortunate men, women and children shall be provided for at the expense of the State or the communities in which they live. North Carolina was one of the first of the States to respond to this appeal in the erection of an asylum for her insane and a school for the education of her deaf, dumb and blind children. The wrecked fortunes and desolated homes caused by the war multiplied the number of white insane persons, who were obliged to rely upon State institutions for treatment. The insane, deaf, dumb and blind of the colored race had hitherto been provided for by their owners. After the freedom of the slaves these also became a charge upon the State. The asylums for the treatment and care of the insane, the deaf, the dumb and the blind were therefore wholly inadequate for the demands upon them. During the two years of Republican rule that party had splendid opportunity to do something for these unfortunate people. The rate of taxation was high, bonds were issued by the millions, the unfortunates were incarcerated in jails or confined at home. The afflicted appealed for help, but no help came. The insane were left to their fate, and the deaf, dumb and blind children, white and black, were left to get on in the world as best they could. The Republican Party cannot excuse itself for the want to money, as the reports for those two years show that the receipts and expenditures ran up into the millions.
When the Democratic Party came into power it addressed itself to this work of humanity, and by rigid economy in all public matters it provided asylums for the insane of both races, and schools for the deaf, dumb and blind of both races, without increasing taxation. Go to Raleigh; see the large and improved insane asylum for the whites; go to Goldsboro and see the insane asylum for the blacks; go to Morganton and see that splendid asylum there for the whites; and at Morganton and Raleigh, see the asylums provided for the deaf, dumb and blind of both races, and learn something of Democratic humanity and Democratic management. These fine institutions stand as monuments to Democratic wisdom, humanity and integrity; and the Auditor's reports show that the expenses of the State government under Democratic rule during the years these great improvements were being made, and these grand buildings were being erected, were much less than they are now under Republican rule when there is nothing of the kind going on.
The Democratic Party not only provided asylums for these unfortunate people, but secured for them the best possible treatment and care within its power. It persistently refused to carry politics into these institutions. It refused to make the unfortunate inmates of these institutions feel the shifting fortunes of politics. It required competent, faithful service, but did not inquire into the politics of the person who rendered it. It found a Republican in charge of the Insane Asylum at Raleigh, but a Democratic Legislature and a Democratic Governor refused to remove him. When the new institutions were opened, the best medical skill was sought after to take charge of these institutions, and years of experience have shown that no mistake was made in the men selected. Yet when a Republican Governor and a Fusion Legislature came into power they determined to remove these faithful, competent men, and made strenuous efforts to do it. Nothing but the stupidity of the men who drew the act and the manhood of the Supreme Court saved the unfortunate inmates of these institutions from the curse of being the victims of an incompetent administration, carried away by the lust for spoils. One would have supposed that the helpless condition of these unfortunate people would have appealed to the Governor and to the Legislature to be let alone and left to the care of the faithful and experienced men in charge of them; but not so. Pie and position were the only bonds of union between gold-bug Republican and silver Populist, and pie they must have, even if those upon whom the hand of affliction had been laid did suffer. If the administration of a Republican Governor and Fusion Legislature had done no other wrong to the people of the State, this attempt to invade these institutions should forever damn them.
The University of North Carolina was one of the honored and renowned institutions of learning in this great country of ours. At it Presidents and Cabinet officers, foreign ministers, statesmen, judges, generals, preachers, lawyers, doctors, merchants, mechanics, farmers and business men of every vocation had been educated. The Republicans, during their two years of power years ago, closed this time-honored institution and converted the halls of learning into homes for bats and owls, and the campus, upon which the youth of the State had been wont to gather, into pastures for cattle. The Democratic Party re-opened and re-established this institution
and again started it on its high mission of fitting and preparing our young men for their duties in life.
As wicked and injurious as it was to close up the University, it was not to be compared to the wrong done the poor children of the State in closing up the public schools; for the parents of the young men could send their sons elsewhere, but the only hope of the poor children was in the common schools; and when these were closed, the children were left to grow up in ignorance. The record of the Republican Party, during its ten years of power in North Carolina, was the most shameful ever made by any party in any civilized country. Here is its record in reference to education: During the fiscal year ending September 30, 1869, there was spent out of the educational fund $167,158. Not a dollar of this was spent in teaching the poor children of the State, white or black. What then was done with it? The Republican Legislature took $158,000 of this amount and divided it up among themselves to pay their per diem at seven dollars per day. Three thousand dollars was used to pay the "University professors," so called, who had no boys to teach and who did nothing but draw their salary. The balance of the $167,000 was charged up to expense account.
For the fiscal year ending September 30, 1870, this is the record:
|Amount invested in special tax bonds||$150,000.00|
|Poll tax returned||415.15|
|Paid to teachers of schools||38,981.86|
|Loaned to University||10,000.00|
|Loaned to Deaf and Dumb Asylum||2,000.00|
|Total used during year ending Sept. 30, 1870||$203,411.01|
|Add to this amount used year ending September 30, 1869||167,158.18|
|And we have total amount of school fund used during the two years of Republican rule,||$370,559.19|
Of this amount, $370,559.19, only the sum of $38,981.86 was used for school purposes, the balance was misapplied, wasted, purloined, lost! Shameful record!
Now let us turn to the record of the Democratic Party, the only party that ever has given or indeed can give the people of the State good schools and good government.
The Democratic Party believes in education. Jefferson, its great founder, taught that for a people to be strong and powerful and truly sovereign, they must be intelligent; and to be intelligent, they must have schools. Hence he set himself to work to establish universities, colleges, high schools and common schools. No service he ever rendered his country has been worth more to the generations that have come after him than the example he set his countrymen in the cause of education.
The Democratic Party, upon its advent to power in this State, addressed itself to the great work of providing schools for the training, preparation and education of the children. It re-opened, re-established, and supported the University. The career of the institution under Democratic rule has been useful, progressive and noble. It has been brought in touch with the people and its field of usefulness enlarged. It is in full accord and sympathy with all other educational institutions, and is a co-worker in an enlarged life and usefulness of the common schools. Instead of being, as it was under Radical regime, "a closed incident," it is now the pride of our State.
Appreciating the importance of having trained teachers for the common schools, the Democratic Party established normal schools at various points in the State for the training of these teachers. It began, as we now remember, with the Normal School at the University for the white teachers, and the State Normal School at Fayetteville for the colored teachers. These were followed by others at different points in the State for each race, and these, in turn, were followed by Teachers' Institutes in most or all the counties of the State. These efforts at training men and women to teach and to work resulted in establishing the State Normal and Industrial School for young ladies at Greensboro, the Agricultural and Mechanical College for young men, and the Colored Normal and Industrial School at Greensboro for the colored race.
The fund for the support of the common schools was increased as rapidly as the condition of the people and their ability to pay taxes would allow, and every dollar collected for schools was expended for schools. Steadily the system of common schools was improved, better teachers provided for them, longer terms taught, and attendance of children increased. In most of the larger cities and towns graded schools were established as part of the common school system.
In brief, an impetus was given to the cause of education
under Democratic rule, that made itself felt in every section, in every section, in every school, and among all classes in the State, and every college in the State has felt the good effects of our efforts to promote the cause of education. As a result, the liberality of generous friends has been stirred by the zealous activity of our efforts to advance education, and increasing numbers of students are attracted to the colleges to profit by the splendid endowments that have aided in making these colleges so useful to the people of the State.
The record of the party in reference to education, like its record in other things, is a noble one, and stands out in bold contrast to that made by the Republican Party, and should satisfy all reasonable men that the vital interest of the people is safest in Democratic hands.
We do not assert that the Republican Party, since its return to power, has not done better for the schools than it did when in power before, but we do assert that in the administration of the school law of 1897, it has struck a serious blow at the popularity and efficiency of the common schools in many counties by placing negroes on the committees to supervise and run the white schools.
The Democratic Party in its last Convention has declared that, if returned to power, it will by appropriate legislation make it impossible for a negro to be put upon a white school committee. Now let it be well understood that the party does not mean to take any back steps in the cause of education; but it does propose to obey the spirit as well as the letter of the Constitution. When the people ratified that instrument, in 1876, they decreed that the white and colored schools should forever be kept separate, and that is just what the Democratic Party proposes to do. It will, if restored to power, do just as it did before, seek to improve the common schools, to give them longer terms, and to make them more useful and more efficient; but it provided schools for the whites and schools for the blacks, totally separate and distinct from each other. It will give to each race, and to the schools of each race all that properly belongs to them, without any unjust discrimination, but it will put white men in charge of white schools and colored men in charge of colored schools.
During this Democratic period a convenient and commodious residence for the Governor was built and the Supreme Court and State Libraries were taken out of the cramped-up
rooms in the Capitol and placed in the new Supreme Court building on the same square with the Agricultural building, where the Court is now held and the libraries are open to the public in a splendid building that is a credit to the State.
When the Republicans undertook the location of the Penitentiary they set agoing a public scandal that forced a change of the location from Lockville to Raleigh. Those familiar with those times will recall the scandals attending the attempted purchase of a site at Lockville, and how the contracts were repudiated. Those scandals were still fresh in the public mind when the Democrats gained control of the Legislature and became responsible for the legislation affecting the management of the Penitentiary. It was during the Democratic administration of the Penitentiary that the great buildings of that institution were constructed, and finally completed, and it was also under this Democratic administration that the expenditures for the support of the Penitentiary gradually grew less and less every year till the institution finally became self-supporting in 1896, the last year in which it was under the control of Democratic officials.
Government has its burdens as well as its blessings. Its burdens are the necessary taxes for its support. Its blessings are good laws, properly administered; peace, good order and protection. The Democratic Party ever seeks to make the burdens of government as light and its blessings as great as possible, and to call upon all species of property and upon all classes of people to share in both without discrimination as to any. When in power it imposed the same burdens upon all according to their ability to bear them, and required a strict compliance with the law on the part of all. Hence, when it appeared that there were certain railroad properties in the State which bore no part of these burdens and that some corporations were in some instances not obeying the law, and were misusing the powers given them by the State, the Democratic Legislature established a Railroad Commission, to take charge of these matters, to place all railroad property on the tax list, and to compel all corporations to do justice to their patrons and the public generally. Some of the roads resisted the efforts of the Board to put their property on the tax list for taxation like other property, claiming they were exempt by their original charters; but the Democratic
Board, in pursuance of the policy that all property should be taxed alike, pressed these corporations in Court and out of it till they succeeded in placing all property on the tax list, thus adding millions of dollars to the taxable property of the State. The Board also fixed a passenger and freight rate, which was considered at the time fair and equitable to both the corporations and the people. Complaints were speedily adjusted; and so long as the Board remained under the exclusive control of the Democratic Party, it was absolutely free from scandal or suspicion.
The Republican-Populist Fusion Legislature of 1895 took Thomas W. Mason off the Board and put S. O. Wilson on it in his place. The Legislature of 1897, which was also a Republican-Populist Fusion Legislature, took E. C. Beddingfield off and put on Dr. D. H. Abbott. Both got on the Board by a trade between Republicans and Populists. When great and important offices like that of Railroad Commissioners, are filled by trades and dickers between two political parties, having nothing in common except a desire for office, it is hardly to be expected that fitness will cut any figure in the trade--the fellow who has the most to trade with will get the place--and there need be no wonder when scandals, betrayals of public trusts, incompetency, mark the career of men chosen by such methods.
When the Commission was created, the men selected were not only honorable, able, fit men, but they were selected in the usual way and were responsible to the party that selected them and to the people of the State.
The recent Democratic State Convention spoke out on this question with no uncertain sound. It said: "We favor the extension of the powers of the Railroad Commission and a closer scrutiny into their affairs, in order to ascertain, establish and maintain such rates as shall be fair and just to the people and to the transportation and transmission corporations." This is the pledge of the party, and it will be faithfully kept. The Democratic Party stands pledged to do justice to all classes of people and to all classes of property. It will take no part in oppressing either. So, if the party shall be restored to power, property and people of every kind and class may expect laws that shall be equal and just to all and that will require a like obedience from all.
It was during these years of Democratic administration that the Soldiers' Home was established and provisions
made for the poor and needy Confederate soldiers. The State also made liberal appropriations to the Oxford Orphan Asylum for the white children and likewise to the one for the colored children.
No one can deny that all these things which we have enumerated, as well as other excellent things we have omitted to mention, were done during the Democratic administration. Every candid man must admit it was a great work, and that it was in addition to the ordinary administration of the State government. As such work usually costs considerable, the question naturally arises, what did it cost the people? Was their government during those years of activity and improvement costly? Let us turn to the record for the information. State Auditor Ayer, in his report for 1897, prints a statement showing the receipts and disbursements of the government, each year, from 1868 to 1897, both inclusive. That statement is as follows:
|Year.||PUBLIC FUND.||EDUCATIONAL FUND.||Total Receipts.||Total Disbursements.|
An examination of this official statement will show that the years in which this great development, growth and improvement was going on were among the years that made the smallest drafts upon the State Treasury. This fact will still further appear by the following statement, showing the rate of taxation each year on each one hundred dollars worth of property from 1874 to 1894:
No matter whether we look to the statement of the expenses of the State government year by year, or to rate of tax levied and collected, the fact appears beyond all controversy that by rigid economy at every point the Democrats were able to make all the improvements and do all the things hereinbefore enumerated without adding a dollar to the burdens of the people.
A stranger might well ask the question, why was it that the Republican Party, with its millions at its command, did not build a single mile of railroad or do anything else in the way of improvement, while the Democrats with a low rate of taxation and small expenditures could do so much? The facts are herein given. The reader may make his own answer.
It is a well-known fact that the taxes levied on the people for the support of the county, city and town governments far exceed those levied for the support of the State government. It is also a fact that the administration of these governments come in close touch with the people. Hence it is just as much the duty of the party in power to provide-good government for the people in county, city and town as it is in the State; and any party which by positive enactments or by neglect subjects the people of a county, city or town to misrule, to plunder and humiliation, is unworthy of the confidence and support of honest men.
When the Democratic Party came into power it found that in many of the counties and towns of the East heavy taxes had been levied and collected, and the money had been stolen or squandered. The Republican Party then, as now, was weighed down by the negro, and to appease him, counties and towns, then as now, were turned over to him to pillage and plunder. In many counties and towns in the East the county scrip was hawked about, and was really worth but little more than the worthless Republican State bonds. The credit of the counties and towns, like the credit of the State, was destroyed. Negro magistrates and negro officials then, as now, went through the farce of administering the law. We have no purpose to go into the details of some of the harrowing scenes of those bitter days, and we only refer to the condition of the counties and towns of the East under Republican rule for the purpose of comparing it with Democratic rule and to appeal to the good white men all over the State to restore Democratic government to those counties and towns before their inhabitants shall again be subjected to similar conditions.
The Democratic Party addressed itself to the work of bringing order out of chaos in those communities. Ignorant, vicious, worthless officials were replaced by competent white men; the levying and collecting of the taxes were closely scrutinized; rigid economy was practiced; honesty prevailed in every department; expenses were decreased, and all laws were faithfully and impartially administered. They found many counties and towns heavily involved in debt and without
any credit, notwithstanding the rate of taxation was very high. The Democratic Boards of Commissioners commenced paying off this indebtedness and at the same time reducing taxation, and long before the change of parties, in 1895, the indebtedness had been paid off and taxation reduced to the lowest possible limit. As great and marked as was the change in public affairs in the State administration, it was not so marked and visible as was the change in the counties and towns of the East. In place of the dangers to life and the oppression to property which prevailed under Republican rule, people and property of all classes were absolutely secure under Democratic rule. The reasons for this were very plain and simple. Under Republican rule many of these counties and towns were under the dominion of ignorant negroes and vicious white men, who were dependent upon the negroes for the places they held. Under-Democratic rule these same counties and towns were under the control of honest, capable white men. The lawless element among the negroes and the whites also knew that honest, faithful, capable men were in charge of the local offices and there was a marked difference in their behavior. With this honest, faithful execution of the law came a feeling of security to life and to property, which did not and cannot exist under Republican rule. The blacks, as well as the whites, were vastly better off, and it is a crime against the negro as well as an outrage upon the white men to again turn those counties and towns over to Republican rule, for Republican rule in the East means negro rule; and negro rule is a curse to both races.
In several places in this book we have spoken of the importance of good government. It is one of those things that it is difficult to describe in words or to measure by any other standard. Its presence blesses, protects, fosters, encourages, helps everything that is good and noble and beneficial in a community, while its absence breeds disorder, oppression, fear, depression, degeneracy and like evils. The world is full of instances which illustrate every phase of this vastly important, many-sided question. The people of many a county and town in Eastern North Carolina can tell in plain and pathetic story of the curse of bad government and of the blessings of good government. There is hardly a country in the world with a history where the reader in search of the truth would not be startled and surprised to find how good or bad government, as the case may be, touched and influenced the energies and industries of the people and the destiny of the country. We need refer to but one example. That of itself will tell a story and carry a conviction beyond anything we can say. It is
Why is it that war is now going on between the United States and Spain? Why is it that our young men are called away from their homes and are sent to Cuba to encounter the dangers of battle and of camp? Why is it that our country is spending millions upon millions to make war on Spain? Why is that our people are called upon to pay increased taxes to carry on this war? Put the answers to these questions in language any one may please, clothe them in the most beautiful verbiage or in the finest diction, make them short or long, they will come back in the last analysis to the plain, simple answer, "Bad government in Cuba." Indeed, the House, the Senate, the Congress, the President, the Government, all declared at the very outset that the United States was going to war with Spain to establish and maintain good government in Cuba. Had there been good government in Cuba, the mother, the sister of Bagley, the widow of Shipp, the relatives and friends of these heroes, would not have been called upon to give up their best beloved.
Had there been good government in Cuba, there had been no mourning in the thousands of darkened homes all over this land. Had there been no bad government in Cuba there had been no occasion to send the Maine to Havana, and that magnificent ship had not been blown up and her gallant crew had not been murdered. Had there been no bad government in Cuba there had been no war and no war taxes to be paid. Who shall ever hereafter talk flippantly about good government, or fail to anathematize and curse bad government and its promoters? Let him who does be anathema maran-atha.
We refer to these things to emphasize the importance of good government, and to arouse the people of North Carolina to activity and zeal in securing and maintaining its blessings for all sections of their State, while it may be done by the peaceful means of the ballot-box. We appeal to the fathers and mothers who have sent their boys to Cuba to fight and to die for good government for the Cubans, not to forget their white brethren and sisters who are living under bad government in certain cities and towns and counties of our own beloved North Carolina. A simple ballot cast on the day of election for Democracy will lift from them the curse that now rests upon them and will again bring sunshine and peace and security to their homes.
But some of our Populist and Republican friends may say it is their desire to vote for good government. If so, we reply, their vote should be with the Democratic Party, for that is the only party that has given or can give good government in this State.
The Populist Party cannot do it, because it has not the votes. In 1892 their candidate received about 47,000 votes, and in 1896 he received about 32,000.
The Republican Party has the negro on its hands, and it has to pay some respect to his wishes. The negro makes up about four-fifths of the Republican Party in this State, and he must be consulted and appeased. A party thus constituted cannot give good government to the people. To hold the negro solid the party must give him the local offices in the counties and towns where he is numerous. If the party gives him these local offices, then bad government must follow.
The Democratic Party, then, is the only party that can bestow this blessed boon of good government on the people in State, county and town. That it can do it and has done it have been abundantly shown elsewhere in this book.
In discussing this subject we frankly admit that there are many honest, good men in the Republican Party who would, if they could, make it useful to the State and all her interests, both general and local. If they could fix its policies, determine its actions, and name its candidates, the party would be free from the scandals and bad record which have marked its existence in North Carolina. But, unfortunately for the State, these good men have but little influence in the councils of that party. It is a high estimate to say that the Republican Party is 150,000 strong in this State. A fair division of this number of the two races which compose this party will be, whites 30,000, blacks 120,000. So the blacks outnumber the whites in this party by four to one. The black man then is by far the dominating race in this party. It therefore follows that the black man's wishes must be consulted, and the white man who pleases him best will be in the lead. This is true not only in theory, but in practice. Go to a Republican convention in the counties where a majority of the Republicans are black, and you will see the worst element of the white Republicans mixing with the blacks and controlling these conventions. The more decent white Republicans hold themselves aloof and look on with disgust. The men who can best control and manipulate the negroes are most in evidence at these conventions, while the better class of Republicans are conspicuous by their absence. One of the results of this condition of things is that it often happens that bad or incompetent white men are chosen by the negroes to fill the local offices in county and town. This is another phase of negro rule that afflicts the people of the east.
Another result of these conditions in the Republican Party is that it also often happens that unscrupulous negro and white politicians go to and control the State conventions of that party. This was the case in 1896, if O. H. Dockery and his friends are to be believed, for it was openly charged by him that he was cheated and swindled out of the nomination by Russell and the Grants and Smiths and Jim Young, who, it is alleged, did Russell's dirty work.
The great political questions which divide men into parties, cut a small figure in the make up of the vote of this party.
The 120,000 negro votes can be cast about as well on one side as on the other side of any of these questions by those who manipulate this vote. The gold standard, high taxes and monopoly make no impression upon this vote. Call anything "Republican" and it is all right with the ordinary colored voter, no matter how injuriously it may affect him or his community.
White men who took an active part in manipulating and controlling this vote have been known to admit they were in it for the bread they got out of it, and not a few of its leaders are men who were disappointed in their search for bread and place in the Democratic Party. No matter how bitter a man may have been toward the Republicans, or how much abuse he may have heaped upon the negro and his white ally, he is made a hero of by these people as soon as he calls himself a Republican, and he is at once given a high seat in their synagogue. No matter how often he may have been rejected by the Democratic Party as unfit for the position to which he aspired, the high places are open to him in the Republican Party.
It is simply impossible that a party thus constituted can give to the State, the county and the town the security and blessings of good government. This is not only true in theory, but it has been demonstrated to be true in practice. This party has twice tried its hand at government in North Carolina. Elsewhere in this book we have given an account of the crimes, scandals and corruptions which characterized its first effort, and of the scandals and incompetency which mark its second effort, and we refer the reader to those articles.
In the beginning of this article we frankly admitted that there were good men in the Republican Party, but that they were powerless to control its administration of public affairs. This appeal for good government is to them. It is useless to appeal to the negro or to those who manipulate or control his vote. The good men in that party must see that they are powerless in that party to restore to the people good government, and we appeal to them to cast their votes this year with the Democratic Party, it having been abundantly demonstrated that the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party alone, can give to the people good government in State, city, county and town.
The population of North Carolina is divided into two races--the white and black. About two-thirds of the entire population are white, and about one-third is black. The most of the negro population reside in a few counties in the middle part of the State and chiefly in the eastern counties. In some of these counties the negro race largely exceeds the white race. Of all the votes polled in any general election in the State, fully one-third is cast by the negroes, and in some of the eastern counties the negroes have a majority. It is possible, upon a full vote, to poll 360,000 votes. It is certain, therefore, that there is at least 120,000 negro voters in the State; and it is rare that one of them fails to vote. It is, therefore, manifest that the negro must enter as a factor into any plan, scheme or purpose for the administration of the public affairs of the State. It is likewise equally manifest that it is a matter of public interest to inquire into the attitude of the Democratic Party towards the negro. Is it one of hostility, or one of genuine interest in his real welfare?
The first public utterance of the Democratic Party in reference to the negro, after the State was admitted into the Union under the Reconstruction Acts, is to be found in the Address of the Democratic Members of the Legislature, dated March 26, 1870, and published elsewhere in this book. From it we make a single extract, as follows: "The colored man now enjoys the same political and civil rights as the white man. We accept his status as fixed by the Constitution of this State and the United States in good faith. We regard it as a final settlement of the question. It now becomes our duty, as good citizens, to elevate him morally and intellectually." This duty the party has honestly and faithfully performed. No well-informed, truthful man, black or white, can deny that the negro owes about all he has, in the way of public school facilities, to the Democratic Party; and no one knows better than the negro himself to whom and to what class of people he goes for help in his church work and in his various enterprises for the intellectual and moral elevation of his race. Without going into details it may be truthfully said the Democratic Party has burdened its own people with taxes for the benefit of the negro race. So it
may be positively asserted that the attitude of the Democratic Party is not one of hostility to the negro. It may also be asserted with equal positiveness that the party has done all in its power, with the means at its command, to make the negro a good citizen and to protect him in all his rights. Under the benign rule of the Democratic Party during the long period it held unbroken power in North Carolina, the negro race enjoyed peace and quiet, and had the full protection of the laws, and the conditions were such that the negro made rapid improvement and realized to the utmost the blessings of good government. But there is one thing the Democratic Party never has done and never will do--and that is to set the negro up
It is no fault of the negro that he is here, and he is not to be punished for being here; but this is a white man's country and white men must control and govern it. They must govern it not only because they are white men, but because they can do it better than the negro. The negro has, whenever tried, demonstrated his unfitness and inability to rule. It is better for the negro, as well as for the white man, that the white man should make and administer the laws. It is a mercy to the negro himself to save him from his own ruin. It has been in the past, and is to-day, the special mission of the Democratic Party to rescue the white people of the east from the curse of negro domination.
But say the white Republican and Populist leaders who have profited by the negro vote, "there is no danger of negro domination in North Carolina." At present, we admit, there is no danger of negro domination throughout the entire State, for notwithstanding that in a State election the negro casts about 120,000 votes and the white Republicans about 30,000 votes, the Republican Party does not dare to put a negro on their State ticket, because they know the white Republicans of the west would not vote the ticket. The Republican leaders rely upon the white Republicans of the west to vote to put the negro over the white men and women of the east, but not over themselves. Four out of every five of the votes cast for a Republican State ticket are cast by the negro, and yet the leaders do not dare to put a negro on the State ticket for the white men of the west to vote for. Senator Pritchard appoints, or consents to the appointment of NEGRO POSTMASTERS in the east, but he does not dare to do it in the west. It is not because
there are no negroes there, for there are some there and they are just as capable as the negroes of the east. He does not appoint them in the west, because he well knows there would be a rebellion among his Republican followers.
We do these western white men the justice to say that we do not believe they would vote for the negro domination in the east if they really knew what they are doing. They came to the rescue of their white brethren of the east in 1876, and we believe they will do it again when they learn the facts. They have heard their Republican and Populist leaders say there is no danger of negro domination, and they have believed them and hence have continued to follow them. But white men of the west, before you follow them longer, come to the east and see for yourselves.
It is useless for your leaders to tell the people of Greenville that there is no danger of negro domination, for it is there already. You had just as well tell the American soldier who has been pierced through and through by Spanish bullets that there is no danger in war, as to tell the people of Greenville that there is no danger of negro domination. They had just as well tell the fever stricken patient who lies parched with thirst and dying with the black vomit that there is no danger of yellow fever. They see it, know it, and feel it every day of their lives, and have done so since May, 1897.
It is useless to tell the people of Wilmington that there is no danger of negro domination, when they see the negro policemen every day parading the streets in uniform and swinging the "billy," ready to let it fall upon the head of white and black alike.
It is useless to tell the people of Newbern and the people of Craven County that there is no danger of negro rule, when they have seen a negro magistrate issue his warrant for the arrest of a white woman, put it in the hands of a negro constable, have her arrested and brought before him, and then when her attorneys asked to have her case sent for trial before some other Justice of the Peace, sent it before another negro magistrate, with a negro lawyer there to prosecute her. All this they have seen, and may see again any day.
It is useless to tell the white people of Wilson and of Goldsboro that there is no danger of negro rule, when they remember how they had to send delegation after delegation to Raleigh to the Legislature of 1897 to beg and plead with Republican and Populist members of the Legislature not to
put these well-governed towns under negro domination. They know they barely escaped then, and it is useless to tell them there is no danger in the future.
The truth is, there is always danger when the Republican Party is in power. This party turned the counties and towns of the east over to the negroes when it was in power before, and it is doing it again. Not daring to put a negro on the State ticket, it must give him the local offices of the east as his reward and his part of the spoils of political victory.
Nor is this the only danger that now threatens us. It is a well-known fact that South Carolina and other Southern States, in defense of good government in those States, have made negro rule in those States impossible. In the States to the north of us it cannot be, for the negro is too few in number. It may now be stated as a fact that North Carolina, under Republican rule, is the only State in the Union where negro domination is possible. Who can say, if Republican rule is to go on in this State, that we are not to have an influx of negroes from other States, drawn here by that condition, and that communities that are now exempt from the dangers of negro rule may not soon be subjected to it? The remedy for the danger is a restoration of the Democratic Party to power; for while it will do absolute justice to the negro, it will not make a ruler out of him.
There is another fact which can be verified by the common observation and experience of any ordinary man in the east where the negro predominates, and that is that he is a very different man when the Democrats are in power in the State than when the Republicans are in power. When the Democrats are in power he well understands that the administration of the law is in the hands of a party that did not come into power by his help and that the law will be executed faithfully and impartially, and he knows and keeps his proper place. But when the Republican Party is in power he well understands that he placed it there, and he feels that he can do about as he pleases. This difference is manifest to any one who lives in the sections where the negroes are numerous, and it is strikingly so in the towns and villages of the east.
In view of these facts, may we not appeal to the rank and file of the Populist and Republican parties to come to the rescue of their white brethren in the east and to ward off the danger which now threatens the peace of society and the sanctity of home life?
We know it is useless to appeal to the white men who hold office by the grace and favor of the negro, but may we not appeal to the manhood, the Anglo-Saxon blood, of the white men all over the State who have not trafficked and traded for office with the negro, to unite with the white man's party to uphold white supremacy and to preserve Anglo-Saxon civilization throughout North Carolina? Let there be no black spot within our borders that is a disgrace to the manhood of white men.
The Republican party uses the negro for all he is worth for election purposes, and in pursuance of this general purpose it sets him up to rule over white men. The fact that he is unfit for the position to which he aspires makes no difference. He must have enough of the local pie to appease his hunger, or else those who manipulate his vote may have trouble. But some western Republican may say, is it really true that the negro is unfit for government? Hear what D. L. Russell, though made Governor by them, says about them. In a letter written in 1888 to J. C. L. Harris, declining to be a candidate for Supreme Court Judge, he tells Mr. Harris that he is going up North to make some speeches, and he tells him something that he will be compelled to say to the people way up there. We make just a single extract from this remarkable letter. Hear it; says Mr. Russell:
"Fourth, while I shall say much on the line above indicated, I would also be compelled to tell the truth on our own party in the South. For instance, I would rise to remark that while as a rule the South does not treat the colored people with the liberality and justice which they receive in the North, there is yet defense for the deep and dire determination of the Southern white men to never submit to negro rule. The negroes of the South are largely savages. We, with Northern aid and sanction, kidnapped them, enslaved them, and by most monstrous wrong degraded them so that they are no more fit to govern than are their brethren in African swamps, or so many Mongolians dumped down from Asia."
Notwithstanding Mr. Russell says the negroes are savages, and no more fit to govern than are their brethren in the jungles of Africa, as Governor he appoints them to office and aids in various ways to place them in positions to rule over white men. In the counties and towns of the east there are hundreds of these people in office ruling over white men. They are found in the post-offices, in the town offices, in the magistrate's office, in the constable's office, in the school committeeman's office, and sundry other positions
where they rule over white men. They were placed in these positions by the Republican Party.
We do not agree with Mr. Russell when he calls these people savages. They are not savages. They are civilized beings, made so in the providence of God by being brought into contact with the Anglo-Saxon race. They are vastly superior to their brethren in African swamps, and we trust that many of them may be made instruments in reclaiming their brethren. But we do agree with Mr. Russell when he says they are unfit to govern. The difference between him and us is that he says they are unfit to govern but he puts them at it, while we say they are unfit for it and we do not put them at it.
Instead of making rulers of them, as the Republicans do, the Democratic Party seeks to make better citizens of them. We build school-houses for them, train and employ teachers for them, encourage them to acquire homes, and teach them by precept and example to become better citizens.
The fusion between the Populists and the Republicans was very unnatural. There were no principles in common. There were really no common objects of interest to the people in view. And, as might have been expected, this unnatural alliance has been productive of much evil. Elsewhere we have dwelt upon the injury it has done by lowering the standard of political morality, in prostituting suffrage, and leading free-silver Populists to vote for gold-bug Republicans. There was another consequence. The negroes constituted the large mass of the Republican Party, and the black cohorts were faithful to the fusion. Common decency required that these faithful allies of the Populists who had co-operated with them in obtaining control of the Legislature, should receive their share of the spoils. The alliance had not been made in order to subserve any public interest, but only to secure spoils; and the negroes were entitled to their share. They could not be given offices that brought them in contact with the white voters of the west. That was out of the question, for the western whites would not stand that; and so their share of the spoils was laid aside for them in eastern localities. The eastern towns were to be given up to them to be subject to their misrule, to be objects of their prey, and to be looted by them. The city and town charters were "reformed" by the "reformers" of the reform Legislature, so as to put the negroes on top. Who did this thing? Why the Populists in the Legislature. The Republicans were not able to do it alone--but the Populists helped them and the charters were accordingly "reformed" so that the negroes might be in the saddle and have their hands in the town treasuries.
Jim Young prepared the Raleigh charter, but he counted wrong, and the whites outvoted him, and that city was saved from his clutches.
The bill concerning the town of Greenville was passed by the first Fusion Legislature. It is worthy of more than passing mention. The town of Greenville contains a majority of white voters, and naturally was under Democratic administration,
and had been without any scandals. The assessed value of property is about three-quarters of a million dollars.
In order to favor the ngroes, the Fusion Legislature of 1895 threw overboard the white government of that town and divided the town into four new wards. By a careful gerrymander, two of these wards having a very odd shape were made to contain negro majorities; while the whites are greatly in the majority in the other two wards. So far, that was a simple gerrymander in the interest of the negroes and against the whites. But the Fusion Legislature did not stop there. It went further, and conferred on the negro wards the right to elect two aldermen for each of them, while the white wards were allowed to elect only one alderman apiece. So in order to give the negroes, who were in the minority, control of Greenville, the Populists and Republicans in the Fusion Legislature of 1895, gave to a small negro ward two aldermen, while it gave to each of the larger white wards but one alderman. In that case a negro voter was computed as being twice as good as the white voter!! A negro voter was given twice the political power, twice the power in government, that the white voter has. What decent white man will defend that action of the Fusion Legislature?
Under this Fusion charter, at the town election, May, 1897, the two negro wards elected four negro aldermen, and the white people elected two white aldermen. To be sure the four negroes on the Board outvoted the two whites; and they elected as officers of Greenville a white Radical Mayor; a white Radical Chief of Police; a negro Clerk, a negro day policeman and a negro night policeman. The entire law-making power is necessarily invested in these four negro councilmen. The nine governing officers of the town, to wit, these four concilmen, Mayor, Chief of Police, two policemen, and Clerk, who make the laws and enforce them in the town, lay the taxes and spend them, pay no taxes to speak of. As a matter of curiosity, we give the figures for the year from May, 1897, to May, 1898:
One negro councilman paid taxes on property, 63 cents.
Another negro councilman paid taxes, 84 cents.
The two others paid nothing.
Altogether the law-making power that levies the taxes and spends them pays $1.47.
The Radical Mayor paid on property, 43 cents.
The Chief of Police paid 30 cents.
One negro policeman paid nothing.
The negro Clerk paid nothing.
These eight officers, therefore, paid an aggregate of $2.20 in taxes on property.
The other negro policeman paid $5.75.
Leaving out the two Democratic councilmen, the officers of the town pay $7.95 into the town treasury. They collected revenues in 1897, $5,500, and they paid themselves out of that $2,800.
Now it is not always the case that men who pay no taxes are improper characters; but in September, 1897, the Mayor and Chief of Police of Greenville, being indicted for gambling, came into Court and admitted their guilt; and thereafter, in May, 1898, they were re-elected to their respective offices.
When the next Fusion Legislature of 1897 met, some of the Fusionists, not content with the injury and humiliation inflicted upon the town by its Fusion predecessor, sought to still further injure and humiliate it. A bill was introduced in the House of Representatives taking from the people of Greenville the right to elect councilmen at all, and substituting a Police Board of three members, named in the bill, who were to govern the people of the town. Of the three persons named, one was an aged, infirm Democrat; another was a Radical named Cheek, who was a bar-keeper and a man of unsavory reputation; and the third was a negro who has often had long drunken spells. This bill also gave this Board power to appoint all officers and employees for the town, and to fill all vacancies in its own body.
It was proposed to turn over the town to this Board, giving them the right to appoint all officers, to make all town laws, to levy all taxes and spend them, and to contract debts and to issue bonds. This abominable bill actually passed the House; but Senator Moye prevented its passing the Senate.
It must always be remembered that a majority of the people living in the town of Greenville are white people, and the white population is one of the very best in the State; and under its former white government there never were any scandals in its administration, and no race troubles. Everything was properly done in the town until the Populists and Republicans made a negro there twice as good as a white man; but since that time the condition of affairs has grown constantly worse, the laws not being properly administered, until now disorderly people being unrestrained, the liquor shops sell right along on Sundays and general lawlessness and disorder prevail.
Indeed, white men and white women, in a spirit of forbearance and with the resolute purpose of avoiding any race collision, frequently leave the sidewalks and walk in the middle of the street to avoid the disorderly negroes, who carry things with a high hand in that unfortunate town.
Such is the result of giving the negroes in their wards the right to elect two councilmen, while a larger number of whites is allowed only one councilman in their wards. This state of local government is one of the effects of Fusion.
No town was too important to be turned over to the negroes by the Fusionists. The charters of Wilmington and of Newbern were amended, and the people were allowed to elect only one alderman for each ward, while the Governor was given the power to appoint another alderman for each ward. The effect was to turn those people over to the tender mercies of Dan. Russell. And now when you go to Wilmington and Newbern you see negro policemen and negro officers as thick as blackbirds.
In order to accomplish these purposes, attention is called to the fact that the Governor of the State is given the power to appoint an alderman for each and every ward in these two cities. This is a direct blow at the theory of self-government. And it was done by Populists and Republicans in the Fusion Legislature in the interest of the negro, while loudly proclaiming themselves in favor of government by the people; and boasting of their purpose to maintain self-government in North Carolina. Why are not the people of Wilmington and Newbern competent to elect their aldermen? and why should Dan. Russell be made Ruler over the people of those cities? If he can appoint aldermen, why not all the officers? Is this consistent with our form of government?
In like manner, Goldsboro and Wilson and Fayetteville and other towns were threatened to be put under the dominion of the negroes. The evil was so much dreaded that the white people in these towns had delegations in Raleigh, watching and waiting at great expense and with great anxiety to ward off the blow that would have been so fraught with evil and injury to these communities. Fortunately, these particular places escaped for that time. But the danger hangs as a menace over them. Another Fusion
Legislature, another alliance between the Republicans and Populists, and these towns will probably be given up to the negroes like Greenville, and Wilmington, and Newbern, and other towns have been.
The Radicals cannot accomplish this wicked purpose by themselves. They must have the help of the Populists to do it. But the Populists have aided them in such matters before, and the Radicals count on their aid in the future.
Gradually, step by step, the negroes have been given dominion over many of our towns, and unless the white people unite to stop it, they will obtain control over every town in the State. And there are some who have aided in these things under the banner of reform! What a terrible mistake they have made! Let the people at the polls pass on the question whether they endorse the course of the Fusion Legislature in regard to Greenville, Wilmington and Newbern.
For some years prior to 1892 there had been unrest among the farmers of North Carolina. Low prices of agricultural products made their labor unremunerative, and a feeling of discontent pervaded the State. Speakers then went among the people and persuaded them that the cause of their troubles was bad government. They led many to believe that the State Legislature was extravagant, and that public money was being spent recklessly without regard for the interest of the people. Eventually, in 1892, a new political party was started which claimed that both the old parties were rotten. Many of the principles, objects and purposes advocated by this new party were the same as those advocated by the Democratic Party, while none of the reforms it proposed were advocated by the Republican Party. Indeed, we might say the new party sought the same objects that the Democratic Party did, but proposed new and novel measures and plans to reach those objects. The greatest anxiety was felt to give the agricultural people financial relief, and the new party declared that relief could be obtained only by the SUB-TREASURY BILL. At first they made the sub treasury bill the chief test of correct principles; but after a while they dropped that, so that the difference between them and the Democrats became still less. In the meantime they became stronger advocates of silver and more pronounced against the Republican gold standard, and so their difference from the Republican Party became still more positive and pronounced.
The leaders of the new party, however, were looking out for spoils and office, and when the election of 1894 was coming on, they thought they could make profit for themselves by making a deal with the Republicans. And notwithstanding these two parties had no political principles in common, the desire for spoils and the hope for personal advantage brought the leaders of these parties together and they succeeded in persuading the voters of their parties to elect a Fusion Legislature. It was a very unnatural combination. Gold-bug Republicans and free-silver Populists were fused into a very odd mixture. High-tariff Republicans and low-tariff Populists worked together in the same
harness. The trusts and combines that flourish at the expense of the masses were on top, and the Populist leaders were silent. Certainly it was a very singular spectacle here in honest old North Carolina. There was only one bond of union, and that was to get offices for certain persons.
As a matter of fact, ever since the Democrats had come into power in 1870, the Legislature had been very economical, and the expenses of carrying on the State government had been kept on a reasonable basis. The Legislature had been liberal in providing for the insane and the deaf, dumb and blind; and had made large provision for the public schools; but it had tried to make the Penitentiary self-supporting, and had cut down salaries and fees and had kept them down to a reasonable basis.
The Populist and Republican candidates, however, denounced the Democrats for alleged extravagance and promised the people to reduce expenses, and the people were expecting some reforms at their hands.
Now let us see how these expectations were realized.
The Legislature offered to let the public printing to the lowest bidder. Edwards & Broughton made a bid. Stewart Bros., of Winston, also made a bid. A committee of printers composed of J. C. Birdsong, who was Examiner of State Printing on the part of the State; J. H. Alford, who was foreman of the Biblical Recorder; and John Nichols, the former Republican Member of Congress, after a careful examination, reported that the bid of Edwards & Broughton was $581.88 lower than that made by the Stewarts; and yet the contract was given to the Stewarts.
To be sure there was a job in that against the interests of the people, and the job, as usual, ended in a scandal. The Stewarts had much of the State work done at Richmond, out of the State, thus depriving our printers of their work. And more than that, when the contract for two years work had expired, the State Treasurer claimed that the Stewart Bros. had drawn out $10,000 more than they were entitled to, and the State has brought suit to recover $10,000 from them as having been improperly paid to the public printers. The case has not yet been finally closed. The Stewarts claim that under their contract they were entitled to all they got. Now, either the contract was a very bad and extravagant contract, or the State Treasury has been relieved of funds unlawfully. Any way you take it, the people have suffered.
As showing the same reckless expenditure of public money to aid persons, favored by the leaders, the figures of the State Auditor's books show that $14,032 more was paid out for the two Fusion Legislatures of 1895 and 1897 than for the two Democratic Legislatures immediately preceding. Just think how that money was scattered around, without any necessity whatever. And then recall the promises of these people "to stop all Democratic extravagance."
The Democrats for twenty odd years had been liberal in dealing with the charitable institutions. The Populist speakers and Republican speakers during the campaign made a great noise against the Democrats for their alleged reckless indifference to the people in the expenditure of public money, and promised great reforms. Now what did these Fusionists do themselves? They increased the appropriations for the insane asylums $29,529.41. They increased the appropriations for the deaf and dumb and blind and orphans $34,850, and for educational institutions $10,500, and for the penitentiary, $49,158.71.
Now, anybody can draw their own conclusions from these facts. Either the Democrats had been too economical in providing for these institutions, or the Fusionists were themselves extravagant. If the Democrats had been too economical, then campaign charges of Democratic extravagance were unfounded, and the Fusionists' orators deceived and misled the people by misrepresentations.
On the other hand, if the Democrats had been extravagant, why it stands to reason that these people were still more extravagant and broke their promises to the people to reform abuses. In our opinion the Democrats were not extravagant, but were wise and prudent, making ample provisions for these objects, but not providing so much money as to lead the officers into unnecessary expenditures and extravagance.
When we recollect that this Fusion Legislature was elected to "reform" things in the State, and to reduce salaries to a level with gold standard prices, we will be surprised to learn:
The two oxen yoked together to pull the people out of the
mire were unnatural associates. When they came to elect officers for the people, silver Populists voted for gold-bug Republicans; low-tariff Populists voted for high-tariff Republicans, and Anglo-Saxon Populists voted for negro Republicans right straight along, just as if that was the right thing for them to do.
Now, there is something to admire in consistency; and something to despise in political degradation. And everybody knows that the reason why the anti-trust, free-silver Populists voted for the gold-bug Republicans who sustain the trusts and combines was the bargain, in which the consideration was offices for certain men. Money and pay for certain men were at the bottom of the whole business. The interests of the people were not considered. So it turned out that Pritchard was elected Senator and Butler was elected Senator. Their principles were exactly opposite. When Butler votes to carry into effect the principles and purposes of the Populist Party, Pritchard votes against him and kills his vote. Now, is it the manly thing for men, simply to get money and office for themselves, to elect persons to office who vote against the principles of those who elect them? After all it was a money consideration that led these Populists to elect Republicans to office. Many honorable men would have put aside the temptation, and would not have tarnished the fair fame of the North Carolina Legislature by such a bargain and sale of their votes.
That assembly met with a flourish of trumpets to reform abuses in North Carolina; and it ended in bringing this discredit and odium on the good name of our State.
There is something to admire in an honorable, upright walk in life; there is something to reprobate in public conduct that saps political virtue and prostitutes public office and brings men into disrepute and disgraces the State.
All these fruits of Fusion have had a tremendous influence on the moral tone of the people of the State. We see men devoid of character in high public places. We see men trading public offices like they would trade any merchantable commodities. Offices are getting to be considered as the subject of barter and sale. Political consistency is at a discount. Political leaders talk all the time about "fusing" and "co-operating" without caring whether the objects and purposes and principles of their party are strengthened, advanced and promoted. Their political integrity is lost sight of. The virtue of the people is not borne in mind by these self-seeking
aspirants for place who have floated on top during all this agitation. Public thought is directed into other channels. We believe the time has come to uncover this political wickedness, and to appeal to the people to rebuke those who act as if the people have no fixed political faith, no political integrity, no honor. Let honest old North Carolina return to her honorable traditions, and free herself from this disgrace.
The year 1896 was a presidential year, and State officers also were to be chosen.
The Populists having abandoned the sub-treasury bill were now strong advocates of silver, and when their National Convention met, it endorsed William J. Bryan, the Democratic nominee for President. After this splendid manifestation of a purpose by the National Populist Convention to strain every nerve to gain relief for the people by securing the triumph of free silver, it was hoped that the Populists of North Carolina would act in harmony with that spirit and have no political affiliations whatever with the enemies of free silver. But that hope proved delusive. The Populists arranged with the Democrats to give the electoral vote of the State to their common nominee for the Presidency; but after that they made an unnatural combination with the Republicans, by which gold-bugs instead of silver candidates were elected to half the State offices, to the Legislature and to Congress.
The Legislature did just as the first Fusion Legislature had done: it divided the places between the free silver men and the gold-bug men, just as if there was no difference between them.
But when the election of United States Senator came on, Senator Butler flew the track. Since his election as Senator he had had Pritchard killing his vote in the Senate, and for one reason or another, he determined to oppose Pritchard's re-election. He tried to organize his party friends in the Legislature to vote for only a free silver man; but he did not succeed. On former occasions he had led them to vote for gold-bugs right straight along, and now when he tried to keep them from voting for this particular gold-bug, about one-half of them laughed at him, and said in substance that he had trained them in the way of voting for gold-bugs and they would now keep on the same road, and we suspect they found it easier to do this, as Pritchard promised them offices under the Republican administration if they voted for him.
Here are the names of the Populist members who voted for Pritchard against Dr. Cy. Thompson, the Populist nominee for United States Senator:
Barker, Senator from Lincoln; Cannon, Senator from Brunswick; Early, Senator from Burke; Newsome, Senator from Hertford; Odom, Senator from Anson; Parker, Senator from Randolph; Wakefield, Senator from Caldwell; Abernathy, member from Lincoln; Babbitt, member from Pamlico; Brown, member from Jones; Bryan, member from Chatham; Harris, member from Hyde; Hodges, member from Beaufort; Parker, member from Perquimans; Rountree, member from Gates; White, member from Randolph; Scarborough, member from Caswell.
And by their votes, Dr. Cy. Thompson, a free silver, anti-trust Populist, was defeated and a gold-bug Republican was chosen to represent the good people of North Carolina in the United States Senate for six years! Everybody knows that the voice of our people is not on that line.
Leave out the 125,000 negroes, who have no sufficient information or intellectual capacity to comprehend the vital issue in the people's struggle against trusts and combines, and there remains only a handful of men who are content to have the people oppressed by a combine of associated wealth; and there are still fewer white men who believe that the gold-standard, with its accompaniment of low wages and low prices for the products of industry, is not hurtful to the masses; indeed, it is chiefly those who have fixed salaries and whose bonds bring in every year a fixed amount, who find it to their individual interest to reduce wages and prices, as their coupons in that case go further, and they can lay up more out of their income after paying their living expenses. It is these few that Pritchard represents in the Senate, regardless of the voice and wishes and judgment of the multitude of his white fellow-citizens, who have the intellectual capacity to understand the question. But for years to come Senator Pritchard will stand in the Senate and vote diametrically opposite to the judgment of the great majority of the white men of North Carolina. And he was put there and given the opportunity of doing that thing by these seventeen Populist members of the Legislature. It is but just to these men, whose action has been such a stab at the vitals of our people, to bear in mind that they had been trained in that practice by Senator Butler on former occasions. He and other Populist leaders had previously urged them, and had taught them to vote for gold-bugs; and when this supreme
and important occasion came, they only pursued their old course. It had gotten to be a sort of habit with them.
It is true that on this occasion Senator Butler sought to persuade them not to vote for a gold-bug, but they would not listen to him. He had the Populist caucus to meet, and it nominated Dr. Thompson, but the seventeen bolted and clove to the gold-bug to represent the people in the Senate instead of electing Dr. Cy. Thompson.
How momentous a thing this was, to bolt the caucus, needs some explanation. Firm caucus rule had been the stern and inflexible practice of these leaders for some years. Even before the formation of the Populist Party, when these men were Democrats, and when that wing of the Democratic Party dominated the Legislature, as it did for some six years before the Third Party was formed, they were accustomed to have a legislative committee that dictated their course, and they plumbed the track without hesitation or question. And since the formation of the Populist Party, king caucus had indeed been their truly and only king. The caucus governed their every action. They responded to the dictates of the caucus like clockwork. When the pendulum swung, the clock ticked right along.
But when the Populist caucus of the last Legislature met, a new element was present. It was understood that Pritchard had offered places to enough Populists to secure his election if they voted for him. And these leaders wanted these places, and were going to earn them. When the Populist caucus met, Senator Utley, of Wake, offered the following resolution:
"Resolved, by the People's Party members of the General Assembly in caucus assembled, That we abide by the decision of the majority in all our deliberations."
Ordinarily no objection would have been heard to that resolution; but on this occasion such action would have prevented any Populists from voting for Pritchard, so forthwith there was a split, and seventeen Populists walked out and took up their stand with the gold-bugs.
These men, who had been so used to submit to caucus rule, bolted! Bolted a free silver caucus that nominated one of their highest and brainiest Populist leaders, and went over to the gold-bug camp! No wonder Butler fumed! No wonder he sweated, and grew hot under the collar. But he had taught these men to vote for gold-bugs, and they were now doing what he had persuaded them to do on former occasions, and perhaps his realization of the utter political wickedness
and stupidity of that former practice caused him still greater irritation.
He prepared some resolutions, that were adopted by the Populist caucus, from which the following extracts are made:
"The election of Mr. Pritchard, the candidate of Hanna, Sherman and Wall Street to represent the silver sentiment of North Carolina in the United States Senate discovers a startling crisis in the history of the People's Party. He could not have been elected by Republican votes. He was elected by those who call themselves Populists, and at a time when they could as easily have elected a Populist." These resolutions then go on to say that "Before 9 o'clock this morning their agents, including pie-counter Republicans and bolting Populists were approaching members of the People's Party caucus and every visiting Populist in Raleigh who favored the election of the People's Party nominee for United States Senator by seductive pleas of persuasion and subtle sophistry and by direct propositions and overtures, coupled with considerations."
"As the livery of heaven is stolen to serve the Devil in, so every crime committed against the integrity of the People's Party and its essential principles will be attempted in the name of 'co-operation.' Already the Populist supporters of Hanna's man begin to call themselves 'co-operative Populists.' when in truth they are nothing but Republicans, while attempting to better serve the purposes of the Republican Party by masquerading as Populists."
But Butler's wrath was in vain. The consciences of these men, their moral integrity had already been sapped by their previous votes for gold-bugs, and it is hard to see that they had any political consistency or political integrity to hold them to a strict adherence to the principles they advocated. They had already been debauched; their political manhood was gone. And so it will ever be under similar conditions. The Populist leaders have done a world of moral harm here in North Carolina in debauching the moral rectitude of the Populist people by inducing them to vote for and with gold-bugs, whose principles they abhor.
The people cannot be debauched politically without being defiled morally. It is absolute rectitude in thought and in action that makes the honorable man. A dishonored conscience in one action never purifies itself. The stain remains; one cannot touch pitch without being defiled.
And so these leaders who have induced the Populist people by one persuasive argument or another to vote for men
who do not represent their principles, have lowered the standard of moral and political purity among the people, and have done injury to them. One of the results has already been witnessed in the election of Pritchard, the gold-bug, as United States Senator, thus giving a vote from North Carolina against the relief which the people desire; other such results are sure to follow, while still another is to be beheld in the abominable State administration which has disgraced the State and brought odium on our good name.
Indeed, it is to be observed that notwithstanding the traitorous conduct of these Populists, notwithstanding their betrayal of the Populist Party, notwithstanding their defection from Populist principles and their election of a gold-bug Republican to kill Butler's vote in the Senate for six years, and notwithstanding the denunciation which the Populist caucus used in regard to them, yet, when the Populist conference met to determine when to call their State Convention, these men were on hand, and a resolution was adopted to the effect that any one who hereafter made any question about the caucus bolters should be viewed with suspicion. And when the Populist State Convention met in Raleigh on the 17th of May, these men all put in their appearance as if nothing had happened. Each and every one of them had been given an office by McKinley, just as if they were faithful Republicans of the gold-bug stripe, but they found time to leave their official duties and lay aside their Republican honors and come once more to a Populist Convention, where they were embraced with open arms. But watch them! When the election comes off, they will be found again voting with gold-bugs and electing gold-bugs--and all in the name of free silver! What hypocrites! What traitors to the silver cause!
For twenty years and more the best and truest men in the State told the people that if the Republicans were reinstated in power it would mean a return of the old days of 1868-69, when the knavish "carpet-baggers," venal "scalawags," and ignorant negroes stole everything they could put their hands on, and mortgaged the future of the State in the sum of about thirty million. dollars. And not only so, but they also made the atmosphere redolent with their putrid scandals, and were a stench in the nostrils of decent men.
But a generation grew up that did not heed the lessons of the past. The Republican leaders and their allies said, "It may be true that bad men in our party stole, in 1868-69, but that was in an era of corruption that always follows in the wake of war. We are not responsible for those scandals committed mainly by men who are now dead or fugitives from justice. New men have come to the front. Entrust us with power and we will give clean and good government, and redeem our party from the stigma of the past."
These fair promises were accepted by enough voters to give the Republican Party control of the legislative, judicial and executive departments of government in North Carolina.
What has been the result? The inauguration of Republican rule was the beginning of an era of scandals. Not a month has passed when the people have not been nauseated with some horrible and disgraceful scandal with which some public official has been connected. Some of these scandals have been printed in the public press. Some of them are so vile that they have not been printed in any newspaper and cannot be even alluded to here. But the people have felt the contamination and learned sufficient of the details to make them for the first time since 1870, hang their heads in shame for the good name of their commonwealth. It is not proposed to touch upon the scandals of the poorhouse management which, in more than one county, has converted homes for the unfortunate poor into a Tewksbury almshouse; to tell of the ill-treatment of prisoners in the jurisdiction of public officials; to relate the progress toward full social equality, which has been accelerated by the conduct of men elected to office; to furnish the details of petty and scandal-breeding
crimes that are known in most counties where the white man's party has been displaced by the new rule of Fusionists; or to collect the alarming numbers of outrages and crimes that have made the women of the Stae afraid to travel the public roads alone. To do so would be to enter upon a catalogue of crimes that are without number. The limits of this volume and the inclinations of its compilers alike forbid an exhaustive review of the scandals which have characterized the State, county and municipal administrations. It would, however, be wrong to the voters of te State to omit to call attention to a few of the more flagrant scandals, which ought to convince the most skeptic that in the South government by the Republican Party and its allies is inseparable from scandal. "You cannot gather grapes from thorns nor figs from thistles." Three grave, disgusting and revolting scandals stand out like high summits in a range of mountains of revolting and low crimes that are typical of Southern Republicanism. These three scandals are selected from others because in each instance the officials charged with crime were removed from office by their Republican superiors who had put them in positions of trust. Those many cases which have been concealed, condoned or smothered, or which have not been followed by official action, are passed over here.
Shortly after the adjournment of the Legislature in 1897, Governor Russell caused Robert Hancock to be made President of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad. Hancock had carried Craven County for Russell in the Republican State Convention after a contest in which the supporters of Dockery declared that Craven was stolen from them when the great majority of Republicans in the county were opposed to Russell. During the Legislature, Hancock was a faithful agent of the Governor, and carried through a bill which enabled the Governor to make him President of the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad. As a reward for his devotion, Governor Russell made Hancock President of that road. He soon removed most of the Democratic officials, filling their places with new appointees, and at least one of the new appointees was removed for shortage in his account before Christmas. On January 11th the papers published that the mother of Miss Annie May Abbott had brought suit against Hancock for $10,000 for the seduction of her daughter, who is a neice of Hancock's wife. On the next day it
was published that the suit had been withdrawn by the mother of Miss Abbott, at the urgent solicitation of members of the family in order to avoid the scandals that would follow a public trial. No withdrawal of the original charge was made. On the 15th of January the papers printed that the church to which Hancock belonged had expelled him from membership because of the charges preferred by Miss Annie May Abbott. The withdrawal of the suit by her mother did not affect Miss Abbott, who in an interview on February 3d, reiterated her charges against Hancock, stating the particulars of the forcible means employed by Hancock to accomplish her ruin. Her mother learned of the relations between Hancock and her daughter from a threatening letter written by Hancock. In it Hancock threatened that unless Miss Abbott returned to his house, he would have Mrs. Abbott's nephew discharged from the railroad shops and her daughter, Miss Gertrude, dismissed as a teacher from the public schools. Miss Abbott refused to return to Hancock's house, and the nephew was discharged from the railroad shops and Miss Gertrude was dismissed from the school.
On the same date Miss Gertrude Abbott, in an interview, stated that in the fall of 1897 Hancock took her to Washington to see her father, who is an inmate of St. Elizabeth's Home for the Insane. She says that he made improper proposals to her, with his pistol near at hand, and that she saved her honor only by scratching his face, grabbing the pistol and threatening to kill him.
On the 17th day of February the Governor addressed the following letter to Mr. Hancock:
"Raleigh, N. C., February 17.
"Mr. Robert Hancock, Newbern, N. C.
"Dear Sir: You are hereby notified that at a meeting of the Board of Internal Improvements, consisting of the Governor, Hon. C. A. Cook, of Warren, and the Hon. J. C. L. Harris, of Wake, this day held, you were removed as a member of the Board of Directors on the part of the State in and for the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad Company--this order to take effect on and after the 22d day of February, 1898.
"DANIEL L. RUSSELL, President.
"J. E. ALEXANDER,
"Secretary Board of Internal Improvements."
On the same day the Governor addressed a letter to the Board of Directors of the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad, advising them of this action and suggesting that the Directors pass an order "dismissing him as President by virtue of powers granted your Board by section 4 of the 2d article of the by-laws of your company." In compliance with the suggestion of the Governor, the Board of Directors of the road at their meeting in Newbern, held on the 22d day of February, passed a resolution ousting Hancock, he protesting all the while that ther action was illegal.
It must be borne in mind that with all these matters no Democrat had any connection. The Governor and all the members of the Board of Internal Improvements, D. L. Russell, J. C. L. Harris and Charles A. Cook, are partisan Republicans, and all the Directors on the part of the State (two-thirds majority of the whole), of the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad are either Republicans straight or Republican-Populists. The Abbott family is a Republican family. There has been no suggestion from any quarter that Hancock was removed for any charges except those preferred by Mrs. Abbott and her two daughters. It is a Republican scandal, begun by Republicans, aired by Republicans, and terminated by Republicans. Hancock was on trial upon charges brought by relatives of his wife, belonging to a strong Republican family; he was tried by Directors and Boards composed of a two-thirds majority of Republicans and their allies, and by them convicted and dismissed in public disgrace. But, as in the case of John R. Smith, this removal from one office under charges of grave immorality, did not cause Hancock to lose caste with his party or disqualify him from leadership in his party. Turned out, dishonored by the State Republican administration, the Republican Federal administration took him up and virtually gave him two offices in place of the one from which he was dismissed. In deference to public sentiment and because it was feared the Governor's action might prevent Hancock's confirmation, the President appointed Hancock's young son Postmaster at Newbern, and Hancock himself was installed as money-order clerk.
It is Republican logic that because John R. Smith was unfit to run the Penitentiary and was "totally irresponsible," to quote Governor Russell, he ought to be promoted to the position of Commissioner of Agriculture. It is Republican logic that because Hancock was kicked out in disgrace by the Republican State administration, he is thereby fitted,
qualified and prepared to hold a position of trust under the Republican Federal administration. To such depths have we fallen!
After removing Hancock, a controversy arose about his successor. The Governor promised the Dukes to appoint one Hewitt, who had been for years the keeper of their swell club, known as Carteret Lodge. When the utter unfitness of Hewitt was demonstrated, so that the Governor could not with even a show of decency appoint him, Hewitt was appointed, though utterly inexperienced in the work, which involves the safety of every passenger who travels on the road, Road Master of the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad; and to satisfy Hewitt and his sponsor, the salary of that position was raised from seventy to one hundred dollars per month.
At the last session of the Legislature an act was passed transferring the criminal insane of the State from the Insane Asylum to the Penitentiary. Soon thereafter apartments were fitted up in the Penitentiary building at Raleigh, and Dr. Kirby H. Smith, son of John R. Smith, Superintendent of the Penitentiary, was given charge of that department. Nothing was heard from it until September 17, 1897, when Dr. Kirby Smith suddenly left Raleigh for New York City. There were rumors that he had been forced to resign on account of intimacy with female patients in the criminal insane department. Investigation established the truth of this charge, not only upon the evidence of the women and a woman convict acting as attendant, but also upon the testimony of Mr. Benton Williams, the trusted and capable attendant in charge, whose character is as good as any man's in North Carolina. The details of the shocking crime, as published in the papers, created a profound sensation throughout the State. The people are ready to make allowances for the ordinary mistakes of public officials, but there is one crime in a physician in a public institution for which there is no forgiveness, and that crime was committed by the son of the Republican Superintendent of the Penitentiary. On the 22d of September, five days after the publication of this debauchery of demented women, the Directors of the Penitentiary held a session. Instead of taking prompt action, Chairman Dockery said, on the night of September 21: "If Dr. Smith's resignation is in this morning, it will be accepted and there will be no investigation of the charges made
against him. If it is not in, the charges will be publicly investigated. I have been assured that it will be before the Board to-day." It is thus seen that it was the purpose of the Board to let the matter pass in the hope that the public would not fully know of the disgrace. But "whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad." On the very day when Chairman Dockery was getting ready to accept the resignation and thus smother the whole affair, John R. Smith abused Mr. Williams for making truthful statements and threatened to have him dismissed before night. This compelled a change in the programme, for when the Board met it was confronted by a letter from Mr. Williams, resigning his position and requesting a full investigation. The Board was baffled in its desire to avoid an investigation, and it was ordered to be made at the regular October meeting. At that meeting, after an examination, the Board of Directors declared that Dr. Smith had been guilty of indiscretion and gross immorality in his relations with the insane female patients placed under his care.
No Democrat had anything to do with the conviction of Dr. Smith. The Republicans and their allies are the men who found Dr. Kirby Smith guilty. It is true that they tried to avoid an investigation, but when public opinion demanded it, they had to give a verdict of "guilty" against one of their own employees.
Shortly after the adjournment of the Legislature, Rev. Thomas W. Babb was selected by Superintendent Smith as chaplain of the Penitentiary at a salary of sixty dollars per month, and he went to the Halifax farms to begin his duty as spiritual guide of the convicts. The appointment was not given out to the public and it would not probably have been known that the appointment had been made but for the following protest to the appointment entered by Mr. E. T. Clark, a Director of the Penitentiary, and the Populist State Senator from Halifax County:
"I respectfully protest against the appointment of Rev. T. W. Babb as chaplain to the State farms in Halifax and Northampton. If a chaplain is needed at all, one ought to be chosen who is above reproach. I append as a part of this protest the following article from the Biblical Recorder of 26th of February, 1886":
"The article is as follows:
"The ministers of the Chowan Association met at the earnest solicitation of Rev. T. W. Babb, in Edenton, N. C., February 18, to investigate the many charges against him detrimental to his Christian character. After a full, free and fair investigation of the charges, it was decided by the entire convention to lean to the side of mercy. They endeavored to use the mildest words possible to express the truth brought out in the trial. The following is what was found to be true in the investigation:
"(1) Rev. T. W. Babb drinks habitually, and sometimes with public drinkers. (Sustained unanimously.)
"(2) On one occasion, at least, he drank a cup of Communion wine at the close of the service.
"(3) He has occasionally ordered drinks from bars, and drank with others who ordered them, and frequently had his bottle filled at bars. (Sustained unanimously.)
"(4) He had sometimes drinks at public bars. (Sustained unanimously.)
"(5) He has been perceptibly under the influence of liquor. (Sustained unanimously.)
"The charge that his financial record is unjustifiable. The following under this charge was found to be true:
"(1) Culpable indifference to his financial obligations. (Sustained unanimously.)
"(2) Persistent refusal to pay his debts. (Sustained unanimously.)
"(3) He collected money to build a belfry for Plymouth church, and refused to pay it over to the church. He also collected money for Sunday School supplies for Trawick Church Sunday School, for which he has never accounted. (Sustained unanimously.)
"Repeated falsehoods. (Sustained unanimously.)
"The charge of suspicious relations with women. The following was found to be true:
"(1) Sensual conversation. (Insufficiently attested.)
"(2) Questionable attention to a young lady, which tended to injure her reputation. (Sustained unanimously.)
"(3) Actual adultery.
"Resolved, That the council decline to vote on this charge, on the ground that the accusers withhold their names from the accused.
"Rev. T. W. Babb's general influence. The following was unanimously adopted:
"While Rev. T. W. Babb has many warm admirers, we find that his general reputation for piety is not good.
"Resolved, That in view of the facts sustained in this investigation, we unanimously request Rev. T. W. Babb to retire from the ministry.
"(Signed) REV. R. R. OVERBY, D.D.,
J. F. TUTTLE,
C. A. G. THOMAS,
R. T. VANN,
W. P. JORDAN,
C. P. BOGART,
P. S. C. DAVIS,
, W. B. WAFF,
J. D. BOND,
A. W. BURFOOT.
"After the council had taken action, Rev. B. B. Williams, who was present during the trial, was asked: 'What do you think of our action?' He replied, 'You could not do less with the facts before you.' He said: 'There was more leaning to the side of mercy than anything I have ever seen. Say this for me.'
"The Secretary was instructed to forward a statement of the proceedings of the council to the Recorder and ask for its publication.
"A. W. BURFOOT, Secretary."Hertford, February 20, 1890."
The force of this protest, based upon the finding of honorable Baptist divines, respected and loved throughout the whole State, was such that the Penitentiary Directors did not dare continue Dr. Babb as chaplain. Was he dismissed in disgrace? Was he told that no man of his character could hold a place of public trust in North Carolina? Not much.
He was treated as John R. Smith and Robert Hancock-- swapped into a place where, while the salary was less, the perquisites were more. He was transferred to the position of steward of the Halifax farm.
And now we will let Dr. Babb tell all about it himself. The following is clipped from the News & Observer of January 16, 1898. Dr. Babb was then in Raleigh. No denial ever was made by him or any other man of the correctness of the interview. The facts stated are without doubt entirely true. It will be borne in mind that the facts detailed, as in the other cases hereinbefore given, reach the public entirely through official sources.
"Several days ago came news of the dismissal of Capt. Hughes, supervisor of the Halifax State farm. At the same fell swoop the heads of the Rev. Dr. Babb, steward, and Dr. Coster, physician, went off. They were notified that their services were no longer needed by a letter from Superintendent Mewborne. As soon as the Directors meet--next Wednesday--E. R. Harden, the overseer, will also walk the plank.
"Incompetence is charged against the whole gang. Then, besides, it is said they couldn't get along well together; and now each one is making charges against the other.
"Dr. Babb has been here ever since his discharge, and I had a long talk with him yesterday, and he told me some things that are not calculated to add much balm to Capt. Hughes' wounds or increase Harden's chances before the Board next Wednesday.
"The Doctor came here to see the Governor about his discharge and find out, if possible, the reasons therefor. He will remain until he gets a whack also at the Directors.
" 'Then, besides,' he added, 'I wanted to sorter get civilized. I've been in that stockade on the farm ever since December 1--a month and twelve days. I've been as closely confined as a prisoner, and not a paper could I see. Peter Hughes wouldn't allow a News & Observer on the place. It made me a barbarian, all for twenty-five dollars a month, and I came here to get civilized. I felt on that farm as if I was forty miles from anywhere, and the same distance from anywhere else.'
" 'Why were you discharged, Doctor?'
" 'The Governor told me he turned me off because I did not agree with him on the railroad question.'
" 'What was the matter with old man Peter Hughes--was he a railroad lease man, too?'
" 'Well, I don't think he knew or cared anything about the railroad, one way or the other. The trouble was incompetence, lack of discipline and fondness for the women.'
" 'What women?'
" 'The negro female convicts--he had several on the farm. These wenches were very familiar with the old man and worse with Harden. I've seen them slap Hughes on the shoulder, and one on each side walk with him to the field. You know he has only one arm; the negro woman on that side would hold to that arm and the one on the other side to his coat sleeve. Then there were many other indiscretions of all sorts, talking, smiling, joking and the like. Then the old man took his favorite woman, Alix Morgan, out of the stockade and had a room in his own house fitted up for her.
" 'Report said that there was something wrong going on between them, I don't know whether this was true or not. Probably not, for Hughes is at heart a good man, though totally incompetent. He had no discipline, whatever.
"Why, when I got there I found that he not only had this woman sleeping outside of the stockade, but another convict, A. L. Ripey, from Alamance, Hughes' county, was living in a house outside and keeping a double-barrel gun to protect himself.
"The Cherokee Indian, a ten-year man, was going about the woods wherever he liked, with a gun, hunting squirrels and coons.
"The manager at the cotton-gin had been discharged, to save expenses, and a negro convict put in his place. This man weighed cotton and managed the gin and enjoyed all sorts of liberties. There was nothing to prevent his getting all the whiskey or anything else he wanted for himself and his fellow-convicts.
"There was absolutely no discipline on the farm.
"Then Capt. Hughes had some little irregularities in his financial affairs. I don't believe there was any dishonesty about it, but simply incompetence.
"One morning he ordered me to let out eighteen convicts --I've got their names here in my pocket--at five o'clock in the morning, in charge of his little thirteen-year-old son. I refused to do it. That was the first serious conflict of authority between us. I told him he would wake up some
morning and find about forty-nine of his fifty-nine men gone and the other ten going. He replied that he wouldn't be afraid to take the whole gang and go a-'possum hunting with them, and he wouldn't lose a man."
"Did Hughes drink?"
"I think not, though he acted at all times like a drunken man. But I have seen Harden drunk."
"Was Harden pretty familiar with the women, too?"
"Oh, yes, worse than Hughes. I had to call him down several times for talking to them. One morning a convict reported seeing him climb down from the room of Alix Morgan in Hughes' house. For this Harden whipped the man most unmercifully. I saw it. As the man was putting his clothes back on he told Harden that he had whipped him, but that didn't change facts; that he did see him (Harden) climb down from that window and he (Harden) knew it.
"One night Harden bought a steak--of course that is an extra dish. He took half of it and gave the balance to the waiter, telling him to take it to Nancy Carter, a negro convict. I refused to allow it, and Harden got very mad."
"What is Harden's position?"
"He is overseer. He was steward until I went there."
"How about Dr. Costen?"
"He's a fine fellow, a gentleman. He's from Gates County. He was turned off at the same time I was."
"It is learned from another source that the Morgan woman is the same one Dr. John B. Person (he was physician at the Caledonia farm under this administration) got into trouble about for intimacy with negro female convicts. Further, it is said that Hughes spent much of his time cockfighting. It is well known that he frequently engaged in this sport while a resident of Alamance, and it seems that he has kept it up.
"A former employee on the farm also says that Hughes told him and another man that he (Hughes) was once indicted for passing counterfeit money and it cost him four hundred and seventy-five dollars to get out of it, by compromise."
In the first years after the Penitentiary system was established, the number of convicts was relatively small; but as time passed the criminals confined within the stockade of the State's Prison at Raleigh increased, and the cost of maintaining them became correspondingly heavy. From the beginning these convicts had been employed in erecting the Penitentiary building, and as soon as the buildings were sufficiently completed the Democratic administration began to try and make the Penitentiary self-supporting and to utilize the labor of the convicts for the benefit of the State. The great work of completing the Western North Carolina Railroad across the mountains was largely performed by convict labor. We see to-day the benefits reaped by the State from that herculean work. Asheville has developed from a cross-roads village into a splendid city. Asheville lists in taxable property over four millions of dollars! Buncombe County now lists for taxation $9,381,000, and pays into the State Treasury for general purposes $24,217.90, which is quite as much as all the counties west of the mountains paid for general purposes before that railroad was built. The wisdom of this Democratic employment of the convict force is indeed illustrated by the rapid and wonderful improvement and development of that beautiful and fertile and healthful section of the State. It has given life and prosperity to many counties that were formally cut off from the markets of the world, and has started their inhabitants on the highroad of improvement and progress.
We append a table showing that the taxable property of these western counties, as the direct result of this railroad, has increased since it was built about three times.
|Value, 1881.||Value, 1895.|
Here is fourteen million of dollars added to the taxable property of the State by this development.
The convicts were likewise employed in the construction of other roads with equally beneficial local effects, while their earnings in some measure relieved the taxpayers of their maintenance. When these great works of internal improvements were completed and no longer afforded employment for the convicts, efforts were made in other directions to make the Penitentiary self-supporting. It was difficult to find suitable work for the negro prisoners inside the walls, as they had no skill and were mere laborers. And, besides, there was an objection to bringing their labor into competition with the products of free labor. Finally, it was deemed best to rent farms and put them to raising their own provisions and raising enough of some money crops to pay for their clothing, the expense of guarding and conducting their operations. When this policy was begun, the expense of putting the farms in good order was heavy, and although the burden of maintaining the convict force was greatly lightened, yet some appropriations had to be made to meet the deficit.
But steadily, year by year, under the wise and excellent management of those entrusted with the direction of the Penitentiary, the burden on the public treasury was diminished, until during the year 1896, the last year of Democratic administration, the Penitentiary became self-sustaining.
State Treasurer W. H. Worth, in his report for that year, said: "In 1895 the State paid out for the Penitentiary $30,000 appropriation and $14,158.71 of its indebtedness. In 1896 only $5,000 has been used of the State's funds, over and above the earnings of the convicts, and had it not been for the heavy loss by the overflow in 1896 there would have been very little assistance needed from the State for 1897 and 1898. I now suppose it will not take more than $20,000 annually to meet expenses. I think the management has been very good."
His testimony of the efficiency of the management is gratifying, for he belongs to another political party and his words are not the mere and formal commendation of a party friend.
Now, Mr. Worth, making his report on December 20, 1896, for the law requires him as State Treasurer to close his books on December 1st, and to report for the twelve months running from November 30 to November 30, reported that up
to that time the Penitentiary had drawn out of the Public Treasury $5,000.
But the Penitentiary books under the law close one month later, their year running from January 1 to January 1. And on December 31, 1896, there was in the hands of Mr. Worth, as Treasurer of the Penitentiary, $5,831, the net earnings of that year, all debts and accounts having been fully paid off. And so, during the year 1896, the Penitentiary made eight hundred and thirty-one dollars more than its expenditures amounted to.
That is a good showing of Democratic management. We would like to see the present administration do as well. But we do not expect any such result. The Democratic administration was free from scandals. Its operations were always open to the public. Its books could always be inspected. Its reports were duly made and the facts verified by the books. There were no concealments.
The same cannot be said of the present administration. Before the new administration had been in control nine months, there were rumors of peculations and thefts and scandalous proceedings. These rumors eventually took substantial form. John R. Smith, the Superintendent, was transferred to the Agricultural Department, and it was noised abroad the Governor, Hon. Daniel L. Russell, gave as the reason for making the transfer that there was so much peculation and thieving at the Penitentiary that he wanted to get Smith away and into a place where he could not make way with any more of the public property. It was publicly stated that this was Governor Russell's reason for making the swap between Mewborne and Smith.
Some days ago, when this book was about to be prepared, it was designed to refer to these matters, but the Democratic State Committee wanted to have the facts before saying anything on the subject. Chairman Simmons therefore asked for information.
Under the act for the government of the Penitentiary, passed March 3, 1897, the provisions in many respects being similar to the law in force before then, it is made the duty of the Board of Directors to hold regular meetings on the third Wednesday "in January, March, July, September and November, and at their regular meetings they shall receive the bi-monthly report of the Superintendent showing, under oath, an itemized account of his receipts from all sources, and his disbursements of every kind during the two months preceding and after examining said account by items
and compare the disbursements with the original voucher of payment filed in the office of State Treasurer, they shall, if it appears correct in all particulars, approve the same."
Under section 6 the Board is directed to appoint a clerk to keep the books and to prepare all the statistical tables and documents required.
Under section 5, it is also made the duty of the Superintendent to state and render to the Board of Directors at the end of each fiscal year a general account between the State and the institution for such year, etc., etc.
Section 9 reads: "That the fiscal year of the institution shall end on the 31st day of December of each and every year, whereupon the Superintendent shall take and file, under oath, an inventory of all property of every kind on hand and credit in his general annual account between the State and the institution for such year, and the Board of Directors shall make an annual report to the Governor, showing the financial condition of the institution by the inventory and accounts of the Superintendent, and also the condition and residence of the convicts. The annual report shall also contain the prices paid for the principal supplies and received for the principal products each month, and a classification of the persons on the pay-roll, with the rate of wages paid to each. From the whole number printed for distribution, two hundred copies of such annual report shall be preserved for use of the General Assembly."
From this it appears that the Superintendent was to make a sworn report of his accounts every two months; that he was to make an annual report and account to the Board; that he was to file a sworn inventory at the end of the year; and the Board is to examine his accounts item by item and at the end of the year make a report to the Governor, which is to be printed.
Not wishing to do anyone an injustice, and desiring to have every statement founded on indisputable evidence, application was made to the Superintendent of the Penitentiary, and Mr. Claudius Dockery, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Penitentiary, for information for the year 1897, and for a part of 1898, that under the law is required to be contained in the official reports. It turned out that no such report was published for the year 1897; that no annual report had been made by the Board to the Governor for 1897, and no annual inventory had been taken and filed for the year 1897. Still, it would have been easy for the Superintendent to furnish the information desired, but instead
of complying with a reasonable request, the request was denied. The correspondence has been published.
This denial of information, coupled with the removal of Superintendent Smith and with the reasons given by Governor Russell for his transfer to the Agricultural Department and with the fact that the reports, accounts and sworn inventory required by the law were not filed at the regular time, constrain us to believe that there is something rotten in Denmark. Honest men who have dealt honestly with public affairs not only do not object to showing their hands, but when there is any question made about their conduct, they are glad to prove to the public the honesty of their dealings by giving all the information they can. And when the air is full of rumors of maladministration and rascality, and public officials close their books and deny information, the inference is irresistible that they are trying to conceal their misdeeds and cloak up their rascality. The information about public matters is not withheld from the public without some great reason and pressing necessity. While we are unable to prove the details of the thefts and of the misappropriation of the State's property because we are denied the full information, enough appears to justify the public in believing that there has been not mere maladministration, but a decided absence of honesty. To what extent the Penitentiary has been pillaged we cannot know until the details are laid bare; and until we can get a look at the books, we can only feel that another miserable disgrace has befallen the State, and that the Radical crowd of 1898 are about the same as the Radical crowd of 1868, and only need an opportunity to show that the leopard has not changed its spots.
The people have a right to know all about the management of the Penitentiary; but they cannot find it out until they put their public affairs into the hands of men who will fearlessly unearth the frauds and throw light on the hidden secrets of Penitentiary management. To that end a great effort should be made by all honest men. They should come together to protect themselves from those who are despoiling the public treasury; and they should elect to office only those who will do their full duty to the public in this matter.
In McNeill v. McDuffie, 119--336, it was held that Monday was not Monday when it was inconvenient.
Chapter 86, Acts 1895, provides for a Superior Court to be held in Cumberland County "on the sixth Monday after the first Monday in March, to continue for two weeks." Chapter 281, passed at the same session, provides that a term of the Superior Court shall be held in Richmond County "on the sixth Monday after the first Monday in March." Both counties are in the same Judicial District, and it would seem that the conflict was such that one court could not be held; but not so, for the Supreme Court comes to the relief of the incompetent Fusionists and holds that the judge can hold one court awhile and then hold the other awhile; making the judge an oscillating one rather than a rotating one.
By Acts 1895, Chapter 201, the Legislature attempted to authorize the county of Craven to levy a tax in excess of the Constitutional limit, for the special purpose of maintaining the public ferries, etc., etc., of said county, and for meeting other current expenses of the county. In Williams v. Commissioners, 119--520, the Court held that the latter clause invalidated the whole Act, and thus defeated the purpose of the Republicans to steal the funds of the county under that flexible clause. The plaintiff in the action was the member of the House from Craven at that session, and had the Act passed. His purpose was defeated, and Williams went away sorrowful.
In State v. Brown, 119--789, the fraudulent "Assignment Act", put through the session of 1895, again bobs up. Brown was indicted for fraudulently permitting, as Enrolling Clerk, the enrollment of that bill, which, by the admission of all, never passed the Legislature at all. He was "pulled out of the hole" by the Supreme Court, after having been convicted by a jury of Wake County Fusionists. Clothed with his honorable (?) discharge, he is now hungrily asserting his fitness for another Fusion job! He has shown himself worthy and qualified.
Russell v. Ayer, 120--180, the Governor against the Auditor, furnishes a notable example of Fusion incompetency. The plain mandate of the Constitution is that the equation of taxation shall be preserved--i. e., that the tax on $300 worth of property shall always be the same as the poll tax. No clause in the Constitution is better known. It was inserted as a protection to property. But the Fusion Legislature of 1897 either did not know it, or undertook to overrule the Constitution, or they could not multiply correctly. Under the Revenue Act of 1897 the poll tax was fixed at $1.29, and the property tax at 46 cents on the $100; or three cents more than it should have been. The Supreme Court held the levy unconstitutional, and had to fall back on a former law.
Wood v. Bellamy, Lusk v. Sawyer, Person v. Southerland, 120--265, are the Insane Asylum cases. The Legislature of 1897 attempted, by circumlocution, to turn out the experienced officers of all the asylums, and put in their places new and untried men to look after the poor unfortunates who walk in the shadow of a vacant or disordered mind. In these cases, as in others, they "didn't know how to do it." Seemingly, their minds were disordered by an Allwise Providence to prevent this detestable crime.
The Supreme Court held all the Acts unconstitutional, and thus saved these poor creatures from the miserable fate the Fusion Legislature had prepared for them.
Carr v. Coke, 116--223--the fraudulent "Assignment Act." Governor Carr brought an action to prevent this Act, found among the ratified Acts (Acts 1895) from being incorporated in the printed laws of the State. It was admitted that it never passed the Legislature, but was fraudulently enrolled and was signed by the presiding officers of both houses. The Court held that the "judiciary was exhausted;" that there was no remedy, and that a paper writing which it was conceded had never been passed by the Legislature, was the law of the land! This is equivalent to holding that all that is necessary to enact laws for the government of the people are two presiding officers; and a later decision (Range Co. v. Carver, 118 N. C., 328) would seem to hold that even this is not essential.
Wyatt v. Manufacturing Co., 116 N. C., 223, on the same question is another monument to the rascality of the Legislature of 1895.
But the Court pulled this Legislature out of the hole it had put itself in, by declaring in Farthing v. Carrington,
116--315, that the Act did not apply to mortgages made to secure indebtedness created at the time it was made, and this "saved a part of the Legislative bacon." Read the Act carefully; and "mighty interestin' readin' " will also be found in those opinions above cited, especially the dissenting ones of Avery and Clark, Judges, at page 242.
Ewart v. Jones, 116--570, and Cooke (incipient Brigadier-General) v. Meares, 116--582, furnish first-rate evidence of the utter incompetency of the Fusionists to accomplish what it evidently desired. In both these cases an attempt was made by legerdemain to deprive Judges Jones and Meares of their offices, and to substitute Fusionists. In both cases the Judges, Ewart and Cooke, were elected before the offices were created. In the case of the former the point was not presented to the Court, and Ewart got his reward. In the case of the latter, Judge Meares retained his seat, and Cooke was left to ruminate on the incapacity of his co-fusionists and seek other "pie."
Stanford v. Ellington, 117--158 (State Librarian case), is another instance of a good (?) Fusionist losing a job because his "friends" didn't know how to elect him; a quorum was not present when he was voted on, and he was left high and dry by the Court.
The Penitentiary case being "on all fours" with Stanford's case, was not carried to the Supreme Court. The Superior Court of Wake County decided under the ruling in the above case against the Fusionists, and numbers of large slices of pie were lost to the hungry.
Bank v. Worth, 117--146, and Purnell v. Worth, 117--157, arose out of the "Arrington Investigating Committee." The Legislature of 1895 appointed a committee consisting of "Little Bill"y Bryan, of Chatham, so named because of his effort to slip through what he called a "little bill" to take away the appropriation of the University, "Phillips of Pitt," of whom his mother is reported to have said, when asked as to his reputation, "When he is not drunk he is preaching," and "Hoola Boom" Campbell, the lightning-chain young statesman from Hanging Dog--to investigate the Supreme Court and ascertain whether justice had been denied by it to Mrs. Pattie D. B. Arrington. This Committee met and organized with Judge Purnell as attorney, and a clerk, and proceeded to investigate, when a quorum, medium sober, could be secured. When pay for the members was demanded, Treasurer Worth declined to pay; and then suits were brought to compel payment. But, alas! "in the
midst of its youth and beauty," the Committee was knocked out by the Court--no pay, no investigate. The Committee "busted," and "further proceedings interested it no more."
The Court having decided that the Revenue Act of 1897 was a nullity, in Range Co. v. Carver, 118--328, it passed on the question whether the Revenue Act of 1895, Chapter 116, was a valid law.
It was shown that this most important bill had never been signed by the presiding officers of the two Houses of the General Assembly, or by either of them; but the Court held that signing was not necessary to the validity of the Act, saying in substance that "an Act of the Legislature is valid in this State if regularly passed in other respects, although its ratification is not attested by the signatures of the presiding officers." Thus, as to the Revenue Act of 1895 the Court had to help out the Legislature, and when that of 1897 was held unconstitutional, the Fusionists had to fall back on the unratified Act of 1895!
Since it is not necessary now for an Act to pass the two Houses of the Legislature (Carr v. Coke), nor to be signed by the presiding officers, why not let the Secretary of State publish every two years a volume of laws handed in to him by such persons as have a mind to?
State v. Satterfield, 121--559, is another issue of the "Assignment Act" fraud. Satterfield was indicated and convicted in Wake County by a jury of Fusionists for negligently permitting, as principal Clerk of the House, said bill to be enrolled (see the evidence in the case and Montgomery's dissenting opinion). The Supreme Court turned him loose, and the last act in that famous comedy was played.
State v. Bryant, 121--569, and State v. Jones, 121--616, are indictments under the Revenue and Machinery Acts of 1897 for failing to pay taxes. The Legislature and Fusionists proposed to make it a crime not to pay taxes by a certain day. The people, however, were relieved of the dire consequences of such legislation by the Supreme Court, which held that the Legislature did not mean what it said. So much for Fusion incompetency. Montgomery, J., in his opinion took occasion to allude to the incapacity of the Fusionists by saying, on p. 618, "One thing is certain, among many other things uncertain, in the Machinery Act," etc.
Waller v. Sykes, 120--231, and Lyon v. Commissioners, 120--238, arose under the "County Government Act." This act provided that in certain cases two additional commissioners
of a different political party from those elected, should be appointed by the Judge of the Superior Court. This provision was some protection to the negro-ridden eastern counties; but in these cases the law was nullified by the Court. The Legislature of 1897 promptly repealed the provision.
In State ex rel Holt v. Bristol, 122 N. C., arose the question as to whether the Governor could appoint directors of the School for the Deaf and Dumb when the Legislature had failed to elect. The law provides that the directors shall be elected by the Legislature to serve six years and until their successors shall be elected by the Legislature. The Legislature of 1897 failed to elect the successors of Holt and others whose terms expired, and Governor Russell, with his "graball" energy, attempted to appoint their successors. The Supreme Court held that he had no power, and that Holt and his associates held until their successors were duly elected by the Legislature.
The Legislature of 1897 attempted, in clear violation of the Constitution, to enlarge the jurisdiction of Judge Ewart, of the Western Criminal Circuit, by conferring upon him the powers of a Superior Court Judge.
In Rhyne v. Lipscomb, 122 N. C., the Supreme Court held that such legislation was unconstitutional, and all his acts and judgments were void, as coram non judice. It is difficult to estimate the cost, delay and trouble to litigants caused by this base legislation.
State v. Addington, 121--538 and 541, where the defendant escaped punishment because of a badly drawn Act; in re Reed, 119--641; Harkins v. Cathay, 119--649, and McDonald v. Morrow, 119--666, "Election Law Cases," may be read with profit.
In closing this chapter it may not be improper to call attention to the "Self Act," as showing the imbecility that characterized some of the Acts of 1895. It is Chapter 68, page 75, Acts of 1895, and is entitled: "An Act for the improvement of stock in the county of Chatham."
If anyone wishes to see in the statute book of the State a conglomeration of ridiculous nonsense he will find it in this Act of our Fusion Legislature. How any committee could have passed favorably on such a bill; how the Senate and the House could have voted for such a bill, is very extraordinary. But then it was a Fusion Legislature. And that accounts for it. The members were engaged in swapping and trading for offices and pie, and had no time to read over bills and see that the English language was not murdered by the member from Chatham.
In a former article we suggested and urged that all men who believe in old time Democratic doctrine and in the teachings of the Democratic fathers, should act and work together to put these teachings into active practical operation. We now propose to speak briefly of men and parties who hold totally different views being brought by the influence of public pie to work together in harmony with each other.
It needs no reference to platforms to establish the fact that the Republican Party was and is hostile to every distinctive feature of the Populist Party. It is a fact equally well known that when the Populist Party was organized its leaders and promoters declared that its mission in life was to correct the evils that had come upon the country through bad Republican legislation. And yet, in '94 and '96, we see these two parties working together in North Carolina when the only thing in common between them was a common desire among their leaders to share in the public plunder. The Populist Party declared for free silver and then aided in the election of gold standard men to the lower House of Congress and in the election of gold standard men to the Legislature, with a full knowledge that they would vote for a gold standard Republican to the United States Senate. The Republicans denounced the Republican National platforms and then aided in the election of men to office committed to the teachings of that platform. Principles for profession and pie for distribution seemed to be their motto. For four years most of the offices in the State have been filled by trades between these two parties. The people have had very little to do with the selection of their servants. A committee of a half a dozen men from each party have made the distribution among the two parties, and at times the trading and trafficking in offices have been sharp and brisk. Sometimes accounts have been taken and the aggregate of salaries in dollars and cents has been added up to see which party to the arrangement was getting the most plunder or the largest piece of pie. If complaint arose from either side after this accounting, another piece of pie was awarded to the complaining party to even up things. And thus it has
gone on from 1894 to 1898. No position was too great, too small or too sacred to be the subject of this trading and trafficking. The United States Senatorship, important State offices, positions in the State institutions, and in fact everything from a Senatorship down to a menial place was open to a trade. With some of the more hungry pie hunters the Home of the Insane was not too sacred for their cupidity nor was the cell of the convict too base for their lusts.
It was but natural that men who came into office by such means should feel but little responsibility to the people for the efficient and faithful discharge of the duties of the positions for which they had traded. They got their places by a trade through a committee and not by the will of the people of their party in conventions assembled; and having gotten their places through a trade they regarded them as their property.
In making these trades competency and fitness did not enter into the arrangement, but the fellow who had the biggest pull with his crowd generally got the biggest piece of pie without any regard to his qualifications. Hence we see Otho Wilson traded into the high and important position of Railroad Commissioner--a place he was about as little qualified to fill as John R. Smith was to be Superintendent of the Penitentiary.
Trading in office became so contagious that even the Governor of the State caught the disease, and when John R. Smith had fully demonstrated his utter unfitness for the position of Superintendent of the Penitentiary, Governor Russell traded him off with Mewborne for the position of Commissioner of Agriculture--a place he is as utterly unfit to fill as Otho Wilson was to be a Railroad Commissioner.
Not only have offices and places of high and low degree been traded and trafficked for but whole communities have been sacrificed and turned over to the negroes in order to consummate some deal or to complete some trade. The peace and good order of society, the best interest of a community, the protection to property, entered not into the consideration of the traders and traffickers in office. The hungry maw of some pie hunters had to be filled and everything else had to be sacrificed, if needs be, to accomplish that end.
Under such a practice as this in filling offices and in selecting men for positions, it is no wonder that incompetent men have been selected, that the tone and standard of the public service has been lowered and a condition of things brought about in the State the like of which has never before been
seen. It is charged daily and with truth that under this trading system between Republicans and Populists incompetent, unfit men have been entrusted with responsible public duties, that in many instances the public institutions have been grossly mismanaged, that scandals which shame the State have occurred, that communities have been subjected to a feeling of humiliation and insecurity, and that there has been a general letting down of the aspirations of the people.
The remedy for all this can be found in the Jeffersonian theory of government, to-wit, that the people are the masters, and that the office holders are the servants, and in the Democratic practice of selecting these servants, to-wit, for the Democratic people to meet in their primary meetings, county and State Convention and select their candidates, to be voted for at the polls by the people.
The Fusionists on the hustings made a great cry in favor of pure elections. But by their fruit, ye shall know them.
But few men in North Carolina stand as high as Needham B. Broughton. As a good citizen, a kind man, an honor to his race and people, he has hosts of friends all over the State. Against his inclinations, his friends and neighbors in Wake persuaded him to stand for the Legislature. He yielded to their solicitations. When the result of the election was announced, it was said that his competitor, Jim Young, a negro, had eighteen majority, but it was positively known that some mistakes had been made in the hurry of election night and that Broughton's vote was more than the election returns footed up. The ballots under the law had been carefully sealed up as they were counted and had been turned over to Dan H. Young, the Republican County Clerk, for safe keeping.
On Broughton's demand, in the presence of representatives of both sides, Clerk Dan H. Young opened the boxes and counted the ballots over again leisurely and correctly. Dan Young counted 4,719 votes for Broughton; there were besides two votes for Broughton at Franklin precinct that were not counted because those ballots contained also the names of the justices. And there were two other votes for Broughton at Apex precinct not counted because these ballots contained the names of the constable. There was a vote cast at Mark's Creek for N. B. Brot. That also ought to have been counted for him; and there was a vote cast at Holly Springs and three at Wakefield for him that were not counted. Adding these, and not counting any other votes claimed by him, he had 4,728 votes.
The Clerk found that James Young had 4,721 votes; but Broughton showed by evidence that five convicts had voted for Young, and that their votes ought not to be counted. That left Jim Young with only 4,716 votes. And yet the Fusionists, to a man, voted to seat Jim Young and not to let N. B. Broughton, who had the majority of the people on his side, have the seat as the representative of the people!
It was a clear case of stealing a seat in the Legislature for a negro man to represent a county in which the negro race is in the minority. But the negro, Jim Young, was a Fusionist,
and the Populists in the House voted to give him Broughton's seat just as they voted for gold-bugs on other occasions.
What a hollow pretense and mockery is the claim of the Fusionists that they propose to have pure elections! The idea that North Carolina is to look to the negroes and their white allies for pure elections is so absurd, that were it not so contemptible and disgusting, one might laugh at it; but it is too disgusting for that. Let the white men of North Carolina rebuke such a claim.
The election laws in force in North Carolina prior to the Legislature of 1895, although they have been much denounced in recent years, were essentially fair and impartial. They provided for representation at the polling places of both political parties then in existence. No one who was entitled to vote was denied by them the right to register and vote; but while they provided for the registration of honest voters of both races they also provided against fraudulent and dishonest registration. The condition of affairs in North Carolina made the latter provision particularly necessary. Shortly after the colored man was enfranchised he showed himself the willing tool of the heelers and manipulators of the Republican Party. They had not those qualities of easy identification which the white man possesses. They were of a roving disposition, moved from place to place, and could readily conceal their identity. For the same reason it was easy to import them from other communities and to register ex-convicts and boys under twenty-one years of age. These facts, which made it easy for them, with little danger of detection, to register and vote at several different places, were taken advantage of by the unscrupulous Republican white bosses; and repeating and fraudulent registration were so common, that it became necessary, in order to protect the white voters of the State against having their honest votes off-set by illegally and fraudulently registered negro votes, to provide rigid safeguards against this class of frauds. If, therefore, the Democratic registration laws required particularity in these respects, they were made so to suppress fraud and protect white suffrage. It is boldly asserted, despite Republican clamor to the contrary, that the white vote of North Carolina was entitled to this protection; and the fact that under the present election laws, framed without these necessary safeguards, not less than ten thousand negroes were fraudulently registered and voted in the general election of 1896, shows that these provisions of the Democratic laws were not only wise but necessary precautions, unless the honest vote of a white man in North Carolina is to be off-set by the vote of some negro, having under the laws and Constitution of the State no right to vote at all.
Elections ascertain the will of the people, and the will of the people is an end of the matter. But it must be an election by the lawful voters for it to be an election at all. An election carried by people not entitled to vote is a blow at the rights of the citizens who are entitled to vote, and is illegal and subversive of the Constitution. The Democrats made proper provision in the laws of the State to prevent those from voting who had no right to vote.
The Fusion Legislature of 1895 revised these Democratic laws and repealed every part of them which interposed the slightest obstacle to the registration of any one who desired to register, whether entitled to do so or not. It literally threw down the bars and allowed any one and every one who took the oath to register. Under this law no questions were permitted to be asked and no objection allowed to be made to the free registration of every one whose conscience would permit him to take the oath. If the Fusion Legislature had stopped here it would have been bad enough, but it did not stop here. Having removed every effective impediment to double, fraudulent and illegal registration, it adopted new and unheard of measures to deter and defeat all attempts to purge the registration books of illegal names.
The right to challenge was not, indeed, denied in terms, but a name once on the books was so safely guarded that the right to challenge was practically made of no effect. Let us see how this law proceeded to defeat the right to challenge.
Before that, in North Carolina when a man's right to vote was challenged, he was required to prove his right to vote, and failing in this his name was stricken from the registration books. This rule had always, before 1895, prevailed in North Carolina. The reason of it was that it was easier for the voter to prove his qualification than it was for the party challenging his vote to prove his disqualification. This rule is based upon a principle of evidence which is recognized in every Court, in every civilized country in the world. The Act of '95 reverses this well-established rule of evidence and requires the challenger to prove a negative, to-wit: the facts of the voter's disqualification. This was the first obstacle which the Legislature provided against purging the books of illegal registration. No one will say that fraudulent registration ought to be permitted, and no one will deny that it is the duty of every honest citizen to object to such registration, and that in so doing he is performing a high public duty and is entitled to the aid of the State in his effort to thus protect the integrity of the ballot. The Legislature of
'95 seems to have taken a different view of the matter, however. It threw obstacles in the way of challenging. It required notice to be served upon the party challenged, without making any provision for paying the expenses of the service, thus making it necessary that the party making the challenge should do so at his own expense. It required the challenger to prove affirmatively the disqualification, but made no provision for the payment of witnesses that might be summoned for that purpose, thereby requiring the challenger to secure the witnesses in the best way he could, at his own expense. It will readily be seen that under these conditions a fraudulent voter was in very little danger from a challenge. This was the second obstacle which the Legislature of '95 interposed against purging the registration books of illegally registered names. The third obstacle that was interposed was even more formidable than the other two. It was the character and composition of the tribunal, which was provided to try and determine the questions raised by the challenge. True, each of the three political parties were given representation upon that tribunal, but two of these parties were in close compact political affliliation. For all practical purposes they were but one party. All questions before this tribunal of three were determined by a majority vote. It was therefore apparent that the decision was left to a tribunal composed of two members on one side and one on the other--a strictly partisan tribunal to decide a purely political question. The result of this law, framed as we have seen in the interest of fraudulent registration and to protect that registration against every attempt to purge and correct it, as applied to the general election of '96, was just what might have been and was expected. Notwithstanding the obstacles interposed by these provisions for the protection of illegal registration, many challenges were made in that election, but everybody knows that, as a rule, especially in the eastern counties, without any reference to the testimony, these challenges were decided against the challenger and in favor of letting the name remain on the books. No amount of testimony showing disqualification was as a rule sufficient to satisfy these partisan Boards. There are instances, which have developed since the election, in many of the negro counties, where negro election officers have been shown to have persuaded negroes to register, knowing them to have been ex-convicts or under age, assuring them that their right to vote would be sustained by this Board, if questioned. The honest voters of North Carolina will say that
the law of '95, framed to secure and protect fraudulent registration and voting as above shown, was bad enough; but the amendments which were passed by the Legislature of '97 are even worse. Under these amendments, while anybody may register, as before, who is willing to take the oath, one wishing to challenge his right to register is required to state, upon oath, the specific cause or causes of challenge. He is required to cause to be served upon the party challenged a notice by an officer of the law and to pay that officer the sum of twenty-five cents for serving the notice. If the challenge is successful, the money thus paid for serving the notice is refunded, otherwise the challenger must lose it. Like the law of '95, it casts upon him the burden of showing the facts of disqualification, but makes no provision for paying him for the expense and trouble of securing the attendance of witnesses to prove these facts.
Here is the amendment. It is such a remarkable provision that the honest voters of North Carolina ought to see it. It's manifest purpose is to prevent and defeat challenges and thereby make it easy for bad and corrupt men to pad the books with fraudulent registration:
"Sec. 12. That any elector of the precinct may, on that day, object to the name of any person appearing in said book by stating upon affidavit the specific cause or causes of challenge. In case of such objection the register shall file the affidavit and enter upon the book opposite to the name of the person so objected to, the word 'challenged' and the reason of such challenge; and shall appoint the next Saturday at ten (10) o'clock at the polling places of said precinct where they, together with the said judges of election, shall hear and decide said objection, after having given due written notice to the voter so challenged, which notice shall state the cause of challenge and the time and place of trial; the notice to be served personally or left at place of residence: Provided, that before this shall be construed a legal challenge the challenger shall pay to the officer who is to serve the challenge the sum of twenty-five cents, the full fee now and hereby declared by law for the service of notice of challenge: Provided further, That for each challenge sustained the Board of County Commissioners shall refund to the challenger the amount so paid by him to the officer serving the notice; and if any person challenged or objected to shall be found not duly qualified, as provided in this chapter, the Precinct Board of Election shall erase his name from the book: Provided, That the entry of the name, age, residence
and date of registration of any person by the registrar, upon the registration book of a precinct, shall be presumptive evidence of the regularity of such registration, the truth of the facts stated, and the right of such person to register and to vote at such precinct. Any person shall have the right to cross-examine the challenged voter when the subject-matter is challenged."
Under the election law of 1895 the Democrats did have some voice in the selection of election officers and some representation upon the several election Boards, though it was always a minority representation; but the Legislature of 1897, by a combination between the Republicans and minority Populists, passed a law which deprived them of all representation on these Boards in the negro counties of the east. It placed the entire election machinery in the hands of the Clerk, Register of Deeds and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners. It was well known to the combination which passed this amendment to the law of 1895, that as a result of the election of 1896, all these offices in most of the negro counties were held either by Republicans or Populists, and that by co-operation between these parties the Democrats would have absolutely no voice in the selection of the election officers in such counties. The object of this combination in making this change in the law of 1895 is apparent. They wanted absolute control of the election Boards in the counties in which they expected large fraudulent negro registration. For the sake of securing the control of these Boards where they could be of most value to them, they were willing to risk giving the Democrats a control which they had not heretofore had in a few white counties in which the Democrats are in power. Under the election law of 1895, as we have said before, negro boys under twenty-one years of age, negroes imported from beyond the borders of the State, negro ex-convicts and negro repeaters were registered and voted galore. The doors of fraud were thrown wide open to these irresponsible and ignorant voters and no protection whatever was afforded to the honest voters of the State. The amendment of 1897 throws these doors still wider open and leaves to the white voters of North Carolina no protection against this fraudulent registration save what their courage and Anglo-Saxon manhood may give them. It must be manifest to every one that these laws of 1895 and 1897, passed in the name of fair and honest elections, were intended to give, what they did in '96 most effectually give --the negro an advantage over the white man, and to increase
and multiply his vote. But that is not all that the election laws of 1895 and 1897 were intended to do and have done in North Carolina. The Republicans, not satisfied with a law which enabled them to practice these frauds upon the honest suffrage of the State, passed another law, the manifest purpose of which is to vote the negro solidly for the official ticket of the Republican Party and to prevent the illiterate voter generally from expressing by his ballot his individual choice for candidates. Here is the amendment. It ought forever to damn the Republican Party and the minority Populists who passed it, with the illiterate voters of North Carolina:
"Sec. 18. In line eleven (11) strike out the words 'in each township a constable,' and in line thirteen (13), between the words 'ballot and all,' insert 'and in such township a constable and justice of the peace for said township shall be voted for on one other separate ballot, and be deposited in a separate box provided for and conducted in like manner with the boxes heretofore named.' Amended by adding at the end thereof: 'That upon the Chairman of the State Executive Committee of either political party adopting a device to be used the tickets for State officers, members of Congress, judges, solicitors or Presidential electors, and filing the same with the Secretary of State, together with a list of the names of the persons to be voted for on the ticket on which the device is to be used, or upon the Chairman of any County Executive Committee of either political party adopting a device to be used on the county ticket, and in like manner filing with the Clerk of the Superior Court of his county the same, together with a list of the names of the persons to be voted for on the ticket on which the device is to be used, it shall be unlawful for any person to print or have in his possession, with the device or the imitation of such device thereon, with the name or names other than those so filed printed thereon: Provided, nothing herein contained shall prevent the elector from erasing name and writing other names thereon. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined and imprisoned, at the discretion of the Court."
It will be seen that this amendment provides for what may be called an official ballot. Each party may file a list of the candidates of that party for the State officers with the Secretary of State, and a list of the candidates of that party for county offices with the Clerk of the Court, and designate
a device, to be printed upon the ticket with these names on it. This, then, becomes the official ballot of that party. This law makes it a misdemeanor for any one, not only to vote but to have in his possession, with this device upon it, a ticket with the name of any person printed upon it whose name has not been filed with the Clerk of the Court or Secretary of State, as the case may be, as a candidate of the party adopting that device.
It has been a right immemorially enjoyed by the free people of North Carolina to vote for whom they pleased, without regard to whether the party they voted for had been nominated by a partisan convention or committee.
The free men of North Carolina have heretofore not been required to take their ticket from anybody or from any party heeler. They could have their own ticket printed with the name of anybody on it for whom they chose to vote. They could vote all or a part of the ticket of any party, as their conscience and judgment dictated. If their party nominated a corrupt or incompetent man, they could erase his name and paste either in writing or printing, the name of whomsoever they saw fit. Now it is a crime to paste a printed slip with the name of a good man over the name of a corrupt man on the ticket issued as the official ticket of a partisan organization. The voter may, indeed, erase the name of a corrupt man and write the name of another, but he may not use, without committing a crime and losing his vote, a printed slip. What is the object of this provision of the present election law? Is it not to take from the voter his right to vote for whom he pleases, without regard to party or committee nominations? When the right to use a paster is denied and the right to write any name in place of one erased is given, is it not clear that it was the object of the Republican Party and their minority Populist allies to force the negro, who is an ignorant and unlettered voter and generally unable to write, to vote the Republican ticket without erasure or substitution? If that was not its object, what was? What is to be said of a party that in the name of fair elections put a provision in the election law for the purpose of forcing a vast ignorant vote, upon which it relies, to vote solidly whatever ticket it may see fit to present for their support? It is a clear and palpable attempt on the part of these conspirators to interfere with the free choice of the illiterate voters of the State, by making it difficult, and almost practically impossible, for them to exercise their wonted freedom in selecting the men for whom they wish to vote.
And the men who conceived and made this law are the very men who have for years been charging the whole Democratic Party with conducting and upholding fraudulent elections. This false charge has been reiterated by these men who made it for the purpose of using it as a cover to hide them from the sight of the people while they traded and trafficked in office, till it is about time their hypocrisy should be laid bare and this vile slander of a brave people be corrected. We boldly assert that elections in North Carolina in all her history have, as a rule, been as fair as in any other State in this Union; and for the verity of this statement we appeal to the honest white men of the State from seashore to mountains. We do not say that at some times and in some places irregularities and even frauds may not have been committed. In fact, we know that in some counties, under Republican methods, gross frauds and glaring irregularities were committed. It may likewise be true that in some sections, overrun by negroes, improper methods may here and there have been resorted to, under Democratic administrations, to secure the services of honest, capable white men instead of ignorant negroes or bad white men. But who created the conditions that have subjected the white men of these communities to this terrible ordeal of engaging in these methods to protect themselves, their wives and their children from the control and domination of the negroes? It was the Republican Party.
As much as any violation of law may be lamented and deplored, there are some things to which men of Anglo-Saxon manhood will not submit. The press and the pulpit may thunder against lynch law, and yet men will protect the sanctity of their homes and avenge outraged virtue. No law has ever been written and no law ever can be written, drastic enough to compel an Anglo-Saxon to consent to place his wife and children under the rule of the black man from Africa. If the Republican Party thinks it can break the Anglo-Saxon spirit of the white men of the east and make them bow their necks to the yoke of negro rule, they have mistaken the spirit of that race, which has ruled every country it ever occupied and has never been driven from any.
It is time that this abominable slander of the white people of North Carolina should cease. It originated in a vile purpose to array prejudice for political effect. It has been harped on and harped on until many persons, not knowing themselves of any election irregularities, believe that elsewhere in the State the elections have been carried by outrageous
frauds. These allegations are without foundation in fact. Our elections have been generally free from any taint. We appeal to the people of the several counties, and the several townships in the State, to say how it has been with them. As it has been with them, at their precincts, so has it been elsewhere throughout the length and breadth of North Carolina.
The Democrats of North Carolina, the white men of the State, do not practice carrying elections by fraud. Let our people rebuke this libel on our State.
The Democratic election laws have been framed to prevent fraudulent voting by men not entitled to vote. The Rep. Pop. Fusion Legislature have opened the doors wide to fraudulent registration. The Democratic Party, in its platform, pledges itself to pass a fair election law--fair to the legally qualified voters of the State. On that issue we ask the honest citizens of North Carolina to decide between us and the slanderers of our people.
We make room for some extracts from The Caucasian and The Progressive Farmer, showing how those Populists papers regarded some of the actions of the Fusion Legislature.
What we have said in this Hand Book is not so rough as what these Populist papers have said. We, however, do not mean to disparage their judgment in these particular matters:
"It is a fact that the Rothschilds-Morgan-Hanna syndicate heartily favor the re-election of Mr. Pritchard. Then he isn't a silver man.
"It is a fact that Senator Sherman, the king of the gold-bugs, favors the re-election of Mr. Pritchard. He can't possibly be a silver man.
"It is a fact that the Tribune, which says it is a gold-bug paper, favors the re-election of Mr. Pritchard. No silver about the man it favors.
"It is a fact that every gold-bug Republican in North Carolina favors Pritchard. It is also a fact that every gold-bug Democrat in the State prefers Pritchard, and some of them are secretly doing all they can to aid him. His silver professions are absurd, to say the least.
"Take the case, gentlemen of the jury."
Quoting the above, The Caucasian, January 21, 1897, says:
"To this may be added the following: Mr. Pritchard declared for gold all through the campaign and became a sudden convert to silver when he thought such a conversion would win him votes for the Senatorship.
"President-elect McKinley has written here urging the re-election of Mr. Pritchard, and especially requesting Representative Brower, an Independent Republican, to vote for him. Can McKinley be in favor of a silver man?
"Federal patronage is being offered to certain Populists to induce them to believe that Pritchard is a silver man. Cannot an honest man believe a fact without being 'hired' to believe it? And what sort of a spectacle does any one present who has to pay men to believe him?
"The election of Senator came up in the Legislature on the 19th. Pritchard lacked one vote of getting a majority of the Senate, though he had a majority of the members, hence a joint vote was taken on the 20th, in compliance with the rules. Eighty-eight Republicans voted for Pritchard; forty-two Populists and one Democrat voted for Dr. Cyrus Thompson, and thirty-three Democrats voted for Mr. Doughton, late Lieutenant-Governor.
"Thus the gold-bugs won their victory, and their methods were the most infamous ever known in the political history of the State. They could not win with their own forces, but went into the camp of a party which has been co-operating with them, believing it to be the best thing to do for the welfare of the State; and by schemes, which we hope will soon be fully exposed (if the investigating committee, already appointed, does its duty). Until that committee has a chance, we will not even publish any of the evidence.
"After the bolt from the caucus the regular Populists invited such of the bolting members as had pledged their vote to Pritchard back again. But they all refused, and on last Monday night the Populist caucus met and declared that none of them should ever be allowed in the caucus again, but proposed at the same time to carry out in good faith any previous agreements made with the Republicans according to the terms of co-operation, provided the Republicans deal with the Populists and not with the bolters and traitors."
"The investigating committee, referred to above, took testimony, but it was sometime after the election, and on March 2d Chairman Shulken made his report. To be sure there were evasions on the part of those who were involved in the arrangement to vote for Pritchard in consideration of getting certain offices for themselves. But Senator Utley swore as follows: "On Saturday night after the bolt in the Populist caucus, while the minority Populists were holding a meeting in the Branson House, one of its members said, 'There are two hundred good positions we can fill by voting for Jeter Pritchard, and we will vote for Jeter Pritchard and fill these positions.' At this time the minority Populists were discussing the advantages of voting for Pritchard for United States Senator and their opportunity in getting positions. One of the minority Populists said, just before breaking up
this meeting, 'If what we have done to-night is ever found out, we are ruined.' "--Editors Hand Book.)
" 'Be sure your sins will find you out' is an axiom which is as true and as certain as the law of cause and effect. When men violate a trust reposed in them, they are mean and disreputable. When they do it for personal gain they are low and contemptible, and retribution awaits them as certainly in the eternal future, and the day of reckoning is marked for them in the temporal future, just as sure as they and time last long enough to meet it.
"Such a crime has been committed here in Raleigh during the past few days. We believe there are some men who have not acted in good faith with their people. We believe that a strong clique of the Republican Party has resorted to methods of corruption to carry the election of United States Senator. We believe there are some men who have not heretofore been known as Republicans who have permitted themselves to be corrupted. Both the corruptors and the corrupted are equally corrupt, and just as sure as the sun shall continue to shine and the rain shall continue to fall on the just and the unjust, just so sure will a day of reckoning come."
Because of suggestions made to The Caucasian that "all the recent past ought to wiped out and forgotten," that paper said, Jan. 28: "No suggestion can come from any source that will persuade the Caucasian to keep silent, to hush, to let matters smooth over under such conditions as these. When Pritchard was elected U. S. Senator the wishes and trust of the people were betrayed. The people had repudiated McKinley in toto, and Pritchard stands for nothing but McKinleyism."
(And yet, when the Populist Conference was held and the Populist Convention met, the Bolting Populist supporters of Pritchard were received back with open arms.--Ed. Hand Book.)
The Asheville Reporter, Pritchard's mouthpiece, having said, "The time is drawing near for the final amalgamation."
"The next election is an off year. Co-operation, if we be
discreet now, will be natural and easy, and we can absorb all the Populists who are worth the having by 1900."
The Caucasian quotes this, and in its issue of Jan. 28 says: "Huh. 'Time is drawing near for the final amalgamation.' 'Can absorb all the Populists in 1900,' etc. Did you notice these two phrases in the above extract? In fact, have you read the extract carefully? Has somebody sold out? We are going to be swallowed whether we will be or not! Umph! Who is promising to grease our heads and heels so we can be swallowed easily?
"Just listen. Populists may use Republicans for the purpose of furthering the people's interests, as was done in the last campaign. And Republican bosses will lend themselves even for a good purpose when they are treated with a little pie, if they can get it no other way. Yes, Populists will use Republicans for that purpose, but by all the gods of the people's hopes, that is all the use a Populist has for Republicans. And as for the amalgamation business, we have to say in the language of the famous sage and poet, 'We will be -- if Populists and niggers can ever amalgamate in this State and country.' Do you hear?"
"The proposed amendments to the election law are not right. The plan to place the appointment of poll holders in the hands of their 'Supervisors,' who, in all probability, will be a Populist bolter, a gold-bug Republican and a gold-bug Democrat--three of a kind--taking the whole machinery out of the hands of the three parties, is an outrageous proceeding. The Payne election law, and the construction of it by the Democrat election tyrants was bad enough, but as compared to this new machine about to be thrust upon us, was a mild affair. By this new method the will of the people at the ballot-box would simply be the wishes of the three 'Supervisors.' The people of North Carolina are not ready for a yoke of that kind. The party, the combination of parties, that attempts to lasso the people of North Carolina in such a manner will find that it has undertaken too much.
"The scheme to take the government of towns and cities out of the hands of the citizens of said municipalities are second only to 'Supervisor' plans. The Governor of North Carolina should not have the power to dictate the municipal officers of any town or city. That power should be invested
in the citizens of said towns and cities. Neither should the Clerk of the Superior Court, or any other State or county affairs, have such power. It is contrary to the principles of a Republican form of government."
(The amendments to the election law and the amendments to the city charters denounced by the Progressive Farmer, were nevertheless adopted by the Fusion Legislature and are now the law of the land. And it is to be remembered that the Republicans have put in their platform that that outrageous election law is to be made a part of the Constitution of the State.--Editors Hand Book.)
"The prosperity wave is still blowing out of the Enrolling Clerk's office. When last heard from, that office was turning out prosperity at the rate of $50 per day. It was in cold cash, too; no confidence about that business. In short, the concern was costing the taxpayers of the State just $50 per day. Since the last writing Messrs. Reynolds and Mewborne were put in charge, increasing the cost from $50 to $55 per day.
"On Wednesday last the two negroes that Swanson refused were put on, increasing the cost to $65 per day. Then Speaker Hileman went into the Populist caucus and asked that two Populists be recommended, to offset the two Republican additions. The caucus promptly declined to do so, telling him that the office already had too many men in it.
"But this had no effect on the Republicans and ex-Populist Hileman, and Thursday Senator Smathers secured the appointment of James Blythe, a Cherokee Indian from Jackson County, to a clerical position. This runs the expenses up to $70 per day, and the end is not in sight. Thus the people's money is being divided out to pay political rewards. There is no help for it now. But the taxpayers of North Carolina will speak in thunder tones at the polls when there is another election. No party, no man, has ever been able to run rough-shod over the people of this State but a short while. 'There is retribution in history.' "
The following letter, written by Hon. F. M. Simmons, Chairman of the Democratic State Executive Committee, is in reply to an "open letter" signed by J. M. Mewborne, Superintendent of the Penitentiary, and published on the morning of July 27:
Raleigh, N. C., July 27, 1898.
J. M. Mewboorne, Supt. of Penitentiary, Raleigh, N. C.
Sir:--On the 14th day of July I addressed you a letter, hereto attached marked "A". On the 16th day of July I addressed you a letter, hereto attached marked "B." On the 20th day of July I addressed you a letter, hereto attached marked "C." On the 21st of July I addressed to Claudius Dockery, Esq., Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Penitentiary, a letter, hereto attached marked "D." On the 14th of July I addressed to John R. Smith, Esq., Commissioner of Agriculture, a letter, hereto attached marked "E." To the communications addressed to you I have received no answer, but there is published in to-day's Raleigh Post an open letter, dated July 25, addressed to me and signed by you. The public knows the contents of this letter, and it is not necessary I should reproduce it here.
A little after noon to-day, I received through the mails a letter signed by Mr. Dockery, dated July 25, and hereto attached marked "F." I have received no answer whatever to the letter addressed to Mr. Smith.
It is well known in North Carolina that we have just entered upon a campaign in which the management of our State affairs by the present administration will be largely discussed, and that the question will be presented to the people to be decided at the election in November, whether they will continue the control of the present Fusion government in North Carolina. Under these circumstances I deemed it due to the voters of the State to whose interest, judgment and patriotism the party of which I am chairman proposes to appeal, that they should be put in possession of the full facts concerning the management of their affairs by
the present State government, to the end that they may wisely and fairly decide whether the interest and honor of the State required that their public affairs hereafter be conducted by a different political party.
In order that this work in which the people are so much interested should be thoroughly and fairly executed, I secured the services of Hon. T. J. Jarvis, former Governor and United States Senator, and of Captain S. A. Ashe, long a leading journalist of this State and a man of high character, to prepare a hand book giving an accurate statement of all the facts concerning these matters.
Early after Governor Russell was inducted into office he appointed John R. Smith Superintendent of the Penitentiary, and you Commissioner of Agriculture. Soon thereafter rumors of mismanagement and misappropriation of the property of the Penitentiary under Mr. Smith's management became rife throughout the State.
It was stated in the public press and from mouth to mouth that the Governor had determined to remove Mr. Smith from the office of Superintendent because of incompetency, mismanagement and corruption.
Sometime last winter the public was startled by the information that for the reasons above stated the Governor, acting through the Board of Directors, had removed Mr. Smith as Superintendent and caused him to be put in charge of the Agricultural Department, thus transferring a man found unfit by reason of moral and mental delinquencies to manage the convicts, to the control of that institution which most closely touches the interests of the predominant element of the poplation, the farmer. It was also stated in the newspapers, and not denied, that the Governor had stated to a member of the Board of Directors of Agriculture, in a personal inteview with him, as a reason of the removal of Smith from the position of Superintendent of the Penitentiary, that under him the Penitentiary management was not only squandering but actually stealing the property of the State. It was likewise charged that this director stated in a meeting of the Board of Agriculture that the Governor had stated to him as his reason for transferring Mr. Smith from the Penitentiary to the Agricultural Department that under his management of the Penitentiary the property of the State was being squandered and stolen.
The law requires the Superintendent of the Penitentiary, annually on the 31st of December of each year, to file under oath an inventory of the assets of that institution, and requires the Board of Directors to make an annual report of the affairs of the Penitentiary to the Governor.
It was ascertained, upon inquiry, that no report or inventory for the year 1897, such as the law requires should be made, was accessible to the public. In view of these facts, and the summary removal of Mr. Smith under the imputations aforesaid, I thought, and still think, that the public would be interested in knowing, and had the right to know, the facts concerning the management of this institution during that year, of which no report could be obtained.
Therefore, as it was intended that the hand book which Governor Jarvis and Captain Ashe were preparing should discuss these matters, as well as the facts connected with the management of the Penitentiary by yourself, in the interest of fairness in giving the people information upon these subjects, these distinguished and honorable gentlemen did not wish to act upon rumors and newspaper statements, and requested me to address the communications hereto attached, asking for the information and facts therein requested, as a basis of their discussion of these subjects.
I did not think for a minute that the information asked would not be promptly given, and in a way that gentlemen usually conduct their correspondence.
It was not thought by them, or myself, that if the information was given it would show a state of affairs to the advantage of the present administration; but no State officer had ever before concealed from the public the reports and records of his office, because they might militate against the party to which he belonged, and it was therefore believed you would, as a matter of duty and decency, supply the information.
It has generally been supposed that every taxpayer of the State has a right to see the records of all public offices, and to ask and receive, without being insulted, information concerning the management by the officer of his office.
As a representative of a great party which polled in the last election 145,000 votes, constituting two-thirds of the taxpayers of the State, I did not think it would be impudence or effrontery to ask you in their name, and as their representative, for this information.
It has been an old-time tradition in North Carolina that public officers are public servants. I did not know that since the advent of you and Governor Russell the time-honored rule had been reversed, and the people had become the servants of the office-holders.
I was old-fogyish enough to suppose that in your official capacity you were the servant of the people, and that both
law and custom forbade you from hiding and concealing from the public your official acts, and those of your immediate predecessor.
Shortly after my several letters were sent and delivered, the Board of Directors of the Penitentiary met in Raleigh, and I am informed that at their several sessions hotly debated whether I should be given the information asked. A member who insisted that, as a citizen and taxpayer, I was entitled to the information, was, so I am told, fiercely reproached by you. Having failed to reach any agreement on this all-important question in open meeting, your Board did what was never before done in North Carolina, to-wit: Convened in what you were pleased to call executive session, for the purpose of further considering this subject. When the Board rose from this secret meeting, I am informed that newspaper reporters and inquirers were told that the meeting was an executive session, and its proceedings, therefore, secret. I do not know, and the people do not know what transpired in this secret meeting; but I am reliably informed that after the meeting Mr. Dockery, the Chairman, said the Board would have preferred I had not asked for the informtion, but I would get an answer which would make me sorry that I had requested it.
I presume that the Board decided in this secret meeting that your party could not afford to let the people know the real facts concerning the management of the Penitentiary by the present administration, and it was determined to try and befog the issue, and that as a result you refused the information requested, and instead of the courteous reply which I reasonably expected, you decided upon the infamous and slanderous personal attack upon me, which this morning was published in the Raleigh Post.
Your party shall not, by this low and dirty device, befog the issue or escape exposure.
I shall continue to use every avenue open to me to lay bare before the people of North Carolina the facts concerning the disreputable management of the Penitentiary, and all other departments of the State government, by the present discredited and disgraceful administration.
It will be observed, by reference to the section of the law quoted in my letter to Mr. Dockery, that two things are required. One, an inventory to be made by the Superintendent, under oath, and the other a report by the Board itself. It will appear from my letter to Mr. Dockery that I asked for both a copy of the report and a copy of the inventory. I especially requested a copy of the report, because it is much more comprehensive.
Mr. Dockery, in his letter to me, only promises a copy of the inventory, which he speaks of as the report of the Superintendent.
It is apparent from Mr. Dockery's letter that he is himself doubtful whether I will ever get this report or inventory, for he only says he believes it will be in the hands of the Governor in a short while. He does not say that he knows it will be in the hands of the Governor at all.
It will be remembered that the law requires that this sworn inventory must be filed on December 31st.
It is said, and generally accepted, that the Governor wrote or dictated your cowardly assault upon me and the Democratic Party. Certain it is, it was sent out directly from the Executive office, and is in the coarse and vulgar style that characterizes all that emanates from him. Every line in it shows that it came from a vicious mind. There is not a statement in it, personal to myself, or about my course in politics, which in any way reflects upon my personal integrity or the integrity of any political methods with which I have heretofore been connected, that is not a wilful and premeditated lie, without any foundation in fact, and made by you and your abettors for the purpose of raising a fog behind which you hope to retreat from the position in which you have placed yourself before the public, by declining to come to an account with the people for the manner in which the affairs of the Penitentiary have been mismanaged since the 1st of January, 1897; and they are indisputable evidence of your irritation at me for preferring the simple request. I denounce the statements made in your letter, personal to myself, as emanations of a vile heart, devoid of any restraint of conscience, and as the impotent vaporings of a miserable liar.
There has grown up in North Carolina during the last few years a horde of which you are one, who seek, by detraction and defamation of their betters, to deceive and mislead the people, and gain for themselves positions which they are notoriously unfit to hold.
The time has come when these miserable slanderers and hypocrites will not only be exposed, but fittingly denounced and pilloried before an outraged public.
F. M. SIIMMONS.
Raleigh, N. C., July 14, 1898.
Hon. J. M. Mewboorne, Superintendent of the Penitentiary, Raleigh, N. C.
Dear Sir:--I have the honor to request that you cause to
be furnished me at the earliest practicable day the following information concerning the administration of the affairs of the Penitentiary:
1. A list of all the officers and employees of the Penitentiary, giving the name of each, the date of his election or appointment, the designation and place of his appointment, the date of the creation of such office or place, the character and nature of his services, and his monthly compensation.
2. An itemized statement of the receipts and disbursements of the year beginning June 30th, 1897, and ending June 30th, 1898, showing the sources of the receipts and the purposes of the disbursements.
Thanking you in advance for a prompt reply, giving the desired information,
I am, very truly yours,
F. M. SIMMONS, Chairman.
Raleigh, N. C., July 16, 1898.
Hon. J. M. Mewboorne, Superintendent Penitentiary, Raleigh, N. C.
Dear Sir:--In addition to the information requested a few days ago, I beg that you will cause to be furnished me, at the earliest practicable day, this additional information:
A statement showing the number of farms, plantations, lots or plots of land now under lease or contract of any kind to or with the Penitentiary, no matter whether such contract or lease is in the name of the State or of the Board of Directors of the Penitentiary. I wish such statement to give approximately the number of acres of each farm, plantation, lot or plot of land, where located, the use to which it is being put, the date of such lease or contract, and the amount paid for each in fee or by the year, as the case may be, under lease or contract. I have the honor to be,
Yours very truly,
F. M. SIMMONS, Chairman.
Raleigh, N. C., July 20, 1898.
Hon. J. M. Mewboorne, Superintendent Penitentiary.
Dear Sir:--It has been charged that a part of the cotton crop of 1897, belonging to the Penitentiary, was sold for prices below the market value, and not wishing to do any one injustice, I beg that you will furnish me with the following information:
A statement showing to whom, in what quantities, at what time and at what price, the cotton, corn and wheat crops of 1897 were sold.
It being rumored that there is a large number of outstanding unpaid accounts or claims against the Penitentiary, I beg that you will also give me a statement showing the outstanding unpaid claims up to June 30, 1898, showing when and for what contracted, to whom due, and reason why they are unpaid.
This information is in addition to that heretofore requested.
F. M. SIMMONS, Chairman.
Raleigh, N. C., July 21, 1898.
Hon. Claudius Dockery, Chairman Board of Directors of the Penitentiary.
Dear Sir:--Section 9, of the Act of 1897, entitled "An Act for the government of the Penitentiary," and being Chapter 299 of the Laws of 1897, reads as follows:
"Section 9. That the fiscal year of the institution shall end on the thirty-first day of December of each and every year, whereupon the Superintendent shall take and file, under oath, an inventory of all property of every kind on hand and credited to his general annual account between the State and the Penitentiary for such year, and the Board of Directors shall make an annual report to the Govrnor, showing the financial condition of the institution by the inventory and accounts of the Superintendent, and also the condition and residence of the convicts. The annual report shall also contain the prices paid for the principal supplies and received for the principal products each month, and also classification of persons on the pay roll, with the rate of wages paid to each. From the whole number printed for distribution, two hundred copies of such annual report shall be preserved for use of the General Assembly."
Assuming, as a matter of course, that your Board has complied with such a plain provision of law, and that the report required by this section has long since been made and printed, I beg that you will do me the favor to send me a copy by the bearer of this note.
I also beg that you will, at the earliest practicable moment, cause a copy of the inventory required by the first part of the section to be made and forwarded to me.
I have the honor to be,
Very truly yours,
F. M. SIMMONS, Chairman.
Raleigh, N. C., July 14, 1898.
Hon. John R. Smith, Commissioner of Agriculture, Raleigh, N. C.
Dear Sir:--I beg that you will cause to be furnished to me at the earliest practicable day the following information concerning the administration of the Department of Agriculture:
A list of all the officers and employees of the Department, giving the name of each, the date of his election or appointment, the designation and place of his employment, the date of the creation of such office or place, the character and nature of his services, and his monthly compensation.
Also the amount of the gross receipts of the Department for the year beginning June 30, 1897, and ending June 30, 1898, together with a detailed statement showing the disbursements for the same period of time, and the purposes for which the expenditures were made.
Thanking you in advance for a prompt reply, giving the desired information, I am,
Very truly yours,
F. M. SIMMONS, Chairman.
Rockingham, N. C., July 26, 1898.
Dear Sir:--Your favor was handed me in Raleigh, in which you ask for a copy of the report of the Superintendent of the State's prison for the year 1897. This report has been made to the Board, and I believe will be in the hands of the Governor in a very short while. I would respectfully suggest that, when this is the case, you can secure a copy at the Executive Office. If a copy is sent me here, I will gladly forward it to you. If not, I will be glad to serve you when I return to Raleigh again.
Very truly yours,
(Signed) CLAUDIUS DOCKERY.
Elsewhere in this volume we have published the letters of the Chairman of this Committee to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Penitentiary, the Superintendent of that institution, and to the Commissioner of Agriculture, asking, in a respectful manner, for certain information about the management of the Penitentiary and the Agricultural Department. We were innocent enough to suppose that these were public institutions, supported by the tax-payers of the State, and that the persons in charge of them had no secrets to keep from the public. We were, therefore, shocked at the course pursued by the persons to whom these courteous, respectful notes were addressed. No answer has been received to any but one of these notes, and that one is from the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Penitentiary. His reply has the merit of being courteous, but it gives no information whatever concerning the matters inquired about. The other notes remain unanswered up to this date.
There has been published in the press of the State, over the name of the Superintendent of the Penitentiary, what purports to be an open letter to the Chairman of this Committee, in which the Superintendent declines in the coarsest and most offensive manner to give the required information. So the books are closed to the public, so far as we are informed; and have been since they passed into the hands of the present administration, for they have utterly failed and neglected to give to the public the information which they are commanded by the law to do. The appeal from the refusal of these people to open the books is to the public whose servants they are. It is to be regretted that the Governor of the State, who appointed these men to office, has not seen fit to intefere and compel them to open their books and let the public know what has been going on. But could we reasonably expect him to pursue this honorable, proper course after the manner in which he dealt with one of his appointees? Upon the authority of the statement the Governor made to Mr. Bailey, we say he caught John R. Smith, the man he made Superintendent of the Penitentiary, in petty peculation and dark and devious ways in his management of that institution. What was the Governor's plain
duty? Manifestly to have Smith's conduct investigated, and if found guilty to have him either sent to private life or to punishment, as the facts in the case might require. Did he do anything of the kind? No! On the contrary, he promoted him to an equally responsible and still more honorable position. He took him from the work of superintending the work of the convicts and put him in a place requiring special qualifications in administering the affairs of a department specially designed to aid the farmer in his high and noble vocation. Had he designed to show his utter contempt for the farmers and for their calling, it seems to us that he could not have selected a more striking way of doing it. But be that as it may, he has done nothing to unearth and lay bare before the public the peculations which he declared were going on. On the contrary, it is alleged (and we believe truthfully) that he aided his present Superintendent of the Penitentiary in the preparation of his coarse, low, dirty, open letter to the Chairman of this State Committee, refusing to give the required information which might lead to the discovery and publication of the facts concerning the management of the Penitentiary under his administration. Thus we have the Governor of the State, its chief executive officer, standing in front of these closed books, aiding and protecting his appointees in their refusal to give to the public pertinent information concerning their management of the institution in which the taxpayers of the State are vitally interested. Search the records of the State from Governor Caswell to Governor Carr, both inclusive, and no instance can be found where the Governor has ever before been guilty of encouraging his appointee in returning a coarse, brutal answer to a courteous, respectful request for information. It was reserved for the evil days of Republican-Populist fusion, when there has been a terrible letting down of the higher ideals of official station, to produce a man who could so far forget the common decencies of life and the proprieties of the high office of Governor.
With the Governor standing by his subordinates in concealing their official misconduct, we may have but little hope of getting at the truth so long as the books remain in their keeping. It may be that under the continued lash of the newspaper press, enforced by the lash of public opinion, they may be driven into making some sort of a statement before the campaign is over; but we humbly submit that it will be done, if done at all, under circumstances which discredit it from beginning to end. Can anyone suppose, if
there had been nothing to conceal, there would have been any concealment? Does anyone doubt if the books had been all right, and these books were faithful records of the facts, that these officials would have been only too glad to have the opportunity to open them to the public and bid all men, great and small, good and bad, to examine them? Had the books and the management of these institutions been all right, does anyone doubt that this blustering, malignant Governor would have paraded them before the public to his own credit and to the discomfiture of his enemies? The fact that he stands by his subordinates in their refusal to give the required information creates a suspicion that when he said there was peculation and fraud going on at the Penitentiary, he told the truth. No amount of swaggering and vituperation will silence this suspicion, and the more he swears and the madder he gets with those who started the inquiry, the stronger will this suspicion grow. Nor will any doctored statements, or whitewashed reports hereafter made meet the public demand. Nothing but a look into the books by a faithful, competent legislative committee will satisfy the public demand. We, therefore, take our appeal from the secret conclave of the Russell-Mewborne Star Chamber Court, denying our motion for information, to the sovereign people of North Carolina, at whose command these books must and shall be opened.
And here again history is repeating itself. The Republican administration of 1868-9 filled the air with the stench of corruption. Rumors of evil deeds of high and low degree were floating on every breeze. The people determined to have the books opened and to have these matters investigated. They sent a Democratic Legislature to the Capitol to do this work. The Shipp Fraud Commission followed; and in that volume may be read the dark deeds of many a disgraced man.
The Republican Party is again in power, and the air is again full of rumors, and the Penitentiary management again emits disagreeable odors. The men in charge of this institution, with the full knowledge and approval of the Governor, decline to give us certain information by which we could investigate these rumors or locate these foul odors. From this arbitrary, unprecedented, suspicious ruling, we appeal to the people. The issue is made up: "Shall we See the Books?"
Raleigh, N. C., May 25, 1898.
Hon. Clement Manly, Chairman Democratic State Executive Committee.
Dear Sir:--We, the Conference Committee elected by the State Convention of the People's Party, which assembled in this city on the 17th inst., have the honor herewith to present a copy of a series of resolutions adopted by the said Convention, which resolution, together with this letter, we request you, as Chairman, to present to the Democratic State Convention, which is to assemble in this city on Thursday, May 26, 1898, for such consideration and action as the judgment of your Convention may determine.
This Committee was elected by the People's Party State Convention under the fifth resolution of the series here presented.
If your Convention shall declare its endorsement of the principles and purposes set forth in these resolutions, and favor a co-operation with the People's Party in the coming campaign to carry the same into effect, your Convention is requested to name a committee to confer with us as to the details of the co-operation.
We are now present in this city, with headquarters at room No. 19, Park Hotel, where we will await the action of your Convention upon this transaction. We have the honor to be,
CYRUS THOMPSON, Chmn.,
JAMES B. LLOYD,
MORRISON H. CALDWELL,
J. B. SCHULKEN,
Z. T. GARRETT,
E. A. MOYE,
Hal W. Ayer, a member of the Conference Committee, was out of the State when the letter was transmitted, and did not sign it, though he approved it.
"Whereas, The People's Party was organized to remove the causes that produce hard times in the midst of plenty by overthrowing the domination of the gold ring and its allied trusts and monopolies, and by restoring our government to the great fundamental principles of good government as advocated by Jefferson, Jackson and Lincoln; and
"Whereas, To-day the rank and file of all parties (including a large majority of the voters of the United States) unequivocally agree with us on the great fundamental questions involved and the results for which we have constantly striven; and
"Whereas, The only difference between this great majority of patriotic voters is as to questions of detail and method; now, therefore,
"Resolved 1st. That we most earnestly endorse the address recently issued by the National Chairman of the People's Party, and also the open letter of Hon. W. J. Bryan to the New York Journal urging an honorable and harmonious co-operation of all who oppose the domination of gold and monopoly, and who favor the overthrow of the National Bank and railroad influence in controlling legislation.
"Resolved 2d. That in the coming State election, we invite the patriotic co-operation of any party or faction of a party who favors the above general principles and who will co-operate with us to secure the following results, viz:
"(1.) To elect nine free silver and anti-monopoly Congressmen.
"(2.) To elect SIX judges of ability and high character and free from partisan bias.
"(3.) To elect twelve solicitors, fearless and impartial.
"(4.) To elect an anti-monopoly Legislature pledged to the following, viz:
"(A.) A Legislature opposed to the demonetization of silver by private contract, and which will enact legislation to put a stop to the giving and taking of gold notes and mortgages.
"(B.) A Legislature opposed to government by injunction, which will enact sufficient legislation, including a license law similar to the Wisconsin statute, to effectually prevent the removal to Federal Courts of all causes which should be tried in our State Courts.
"(C.) A Legislature opposed to the ninety-nine year lease of the North Carolina Railroad, and which will use all lawful and legitimate means to set the same aside.
"(D.) A Legislature opposed to free passes, and which will make the present law prohibiting the giving of free passes apply equally to those receiving the same.
"(E.) A Legislature in favor of a free ballot and a fair count, and which will enact legislation guaranteeing to each political party the right of being represented on all election boards by representatives of its own selection.
"(F.) A Legislature in favor of a system of local self-government, and which will enact under proper safeguards sufficient legislation to guarantee to the counties the right to elect local officials.
"(G.) A Legislature in favor of a reduction of freight, passenger and express rates, and of telegraph and telephone tariffs to the gold standard level; that will endorse the action of Commissioner Pearson in taking a stand for such reduction, and which will favor upholding the Railroad Commission law, making the same effective according to all of its intents and purposes, and which will enact legislation providing for the election of Railroad Commissioners by the people.
"(5) Resolved, That this Convention elect a Conference Committee, which shall be authorized to confer with any party or faction of a party, that declares its endorsement of the above principles and purposes, and that favors co-operation with the People's Party, to carry the same into effect upon such basis as will maintain intact the integrity of the People's Party, and as will preserve to it not less than its present representation in both State and National affairs."
The following was the reply received:
"The Committee on Platform and Resolutions, by direction of the Convention, having had under consideration the proposition for fusion made by a committee of the Populist Party, recommend that this Convention adopt the following resolutions in respect thereto:
"Resolved 1. That the proposition for fusion submitted by the Populist committee, be, and the same is hereby, respectfully declined.
2. That the Democratic State Executive Committee be, and the same is hereby instructed to entertain no further proposition for fusion."
Soon after the adjournment of the Convention to which this proposition was submitted, it was charged by the Populist organs that the Convention had been captured by gold-bugs
and railroad lawyers. The only suggestion of a reason for this charge was the rejection of the proposition to fuse. Since then Populist leaders and Populist papers have repeated this charge until possibly some of their hearers or readers may believe it. The lie often out-travels the truth, and it is well in this case that this one is so clumsy that it is easily overtaken and exposed.
It cannot be denied by any one who has any regard for the truth that, if any one ran the Convention it was the Committee on Platform and Resolutions. This committee was composed of Mr. Jarvis, of the First District; Mr. Kitchen, of the Second District; Mr. Duffey, of the Third District; Mr. Daniels, of the Fourth District; Mr. Kitchin, of the Fifth District; Mr. Lockhart, of the Sixth District; Mr. Overman, of the Seventh District; Mr. Doughton, of the Eighth District, and Mr. Martin, of the Ninth District. It may be stated with absolute positiveness that not one of these gentlemen is a gold standard man, or an attorney of a railroad. Not one of them was in favor of accepting the proposition of the Populists on the terms proposed by them. Not one of them voted against the report made to the Convention. Not a single vote was cast in the Convention against the report of the Committee.
In view of these facts it seems impossible for a man who has any regard for the truth ever hereafter to repeat this charge and keep company with his self respect.
The Convention, in its wisdom, declined the proposition. Since then it has been asserted that in doing so the Convention went counter to the wishes and advice of Mr. Bryan and Mr. Jones. This charge is also easily disposed of. Neither Mr. Bryan nor Mr. Jones ever recommended or advised the acceptance of this proposition. It is not supposed or suggested that either one of them ever saw it. What they recommended was that the silver, anti-monopoly forces get together. Now let us see if this is such a proposition. Does it ask for the appointment of a conference committee to consider the means by which the followers of Bryan and the enemies of monopoly and of the gold standard can be got together? No, it does nothing of the kind. It refers to these matters and proceeds to lay down a platform on State matter, coupled with a resolution that it must be distinctly understood that only such co-operation could be agreed upon, even upon that platform, "as will preserve to it (the Populist Party) not less than its present representation in both State and National affairs."
The communication of the Populist committee required the Democratic Convention to accept all this as a condition precedent to even the appointment of a committee of conference! A close study of this propostion will develop the fact that it concerns itself much more about a trade between two parties on State matters for offices, than it does about a union of these parties on national questions! There is one view that must impress even the casual reader. That is, that the Populist committee, in effect, said to the Convention, "If, in addition to the National questions upon which we agree, you will adopt our positions on State matters, as outlined by our Convention, and will concede to the Populists all the offices they now hold, both State and National, then 'your Convention is requested to name a committee to confer with us as to the details of the co-operation.' " What co-operation? Not "the co-operation" suggested by Mr. Bryan and Mr. Jones, but the co-operation outlined by the Populist State Convention, which contains matters never heard of by either of those gentlemen.
There is another feature of this proposition which must attract the attention of the casual reader. It is this. The Populist Party had "co-operated" with the Gold-standard Monopolist Republicans in 1894 and in 1896; and by means of this co-operation it had not only aided in the election of a lot of Gold-bug Monopolist Republicans, but a great number of Populists had secured office by the help of these Gold-standard Monopolist Republicans. In the Populist proposition they propose to repudiate the men that helped them to get the offices, but to hold on to the offices. They come to the Democrats and say, "If you will let us keep the offices these Gold-standard Monopolist Republicans gave us, we invite you to join us in arranging a plan for their destruction."
Because we respectfully declined their proposition, and invited all men who favor the free and unlimited coinage of gold and silver, white supremacy and good government, to unite with us, they have denounced us as hypocrites. Well, we shall watch these gentlemen closely as the campaign progresses, to see how many of these saintly men who now call us hypocrites, are caught before its close co-operating with these same detestable Republicans.
A correspondent asks our opinion in answer to the inquiry, "Will the Populists and Republicans fuse in North Carolina this year?"
They will not.
It may be that the Republican office-holders and negroes may arrange a trade for offices with Populist office-holders and expect the voters to carry out their trade. In fact, arrangements have already been perfected for such trafficking in some counties and in some districts, but no Populist committee and no Populist office-holders have authority to trade the party off, now that the Republican Party has adopted a platform re-affirming allegiance to the gold standard and ignoring all the State issues the endorsement of which the Populist State Convention made a condition precedent to co-operation with any other party. And if any committee or office-holders effect a trade with the Republicans it will be in direct violation of the resolutions adopted by the State Convention of the Populist Party in Raleigh on the 17th day of May, 1898. The resolutions, first adopted by a two-thirds vote and then by acclamation, are as follows:
(The Preamble and Resolutions having been printed on pages 110, 111, of this book, are not repeated here.)
"Resolved, That this Convention elect a Conference Committee, which shall be authorized to confer with any party or faction of a party, that declares its endorsement of the above principles and purposes, and that favors co-operation with the People's Party, to carry the same into effect upon such basis as will maintain intact the integrity of the People's Party, and as will preserve to it not less than its present representation in both State and national affairs."
Later, to-wit, on the 25th day of May, a committee composed of Cyrus Thompson, James B. Lloyd, Morrison H. Caldwell, J. B. Schulken, Z. T. Garrett and E. A. Moye, addressed a letter to the Chairman of the Democratic State Executive Committee, enclosing the above resolutions, and requested that they be presented to the Democratic State Convention, which met May 26. In the letter to Mr. Manly the Populist Committee said:
"If your Convention shall declare its endorsement of the principles and purposes set forth in these resolutions, and favor a co-operation with the People's Party in the coming campaign to carry the same into effect, your Convention is requested to name a committee to confer with us as to the details of the co-operation."
The effect of the resolutions adopted was to exclude, as declared by the Populist Committee, any co-operation unless the Convention should "declare its endorsement of the principles and purposes set forth in these resolutions," i. e., the resolutions printed above. The Democratic Convention declined the proposition for co-operation.
Nearly two months have intervened. The Republicans were served with notice that the Populist Party would not co-operate with any party that did not endorse the legislation and the aims set forth in the resolutions adopted by the Populist State Convention on May 17. What action did the Republican State Convention take with reference to those measures, the endorsement of which was declared by the Populists to be a condition precedent to co-operation? They repudiated and spat upon all three of the "whereas" clauses, and repudiated all the resolutions that they did not ignore.
Let us note the differences between the Republican and Populist State platforms, in the light of the utterances of the Republican State Convention that the Republicans and Populists are agreed as to State issues though "representing conflicting financial views," and also the Democratic attitude:
1. The Populist platform declares the People's Party was organized "to remove causes that produce hard times in the midst of plenty by overthrowing the domination of the gold ring and its allied trusts and monopolies." The Democratic platform and the Populist platform are in accord on this plank. The Republican "renews its allegiance to the St. Louis platform," which declared, "We are therefore opposed to the free coinage of silver except by international agreement with the leading commercial nations of the world, which we pledge ourselves to promote, and until such agreement can be obtained the existing gold standard must be preserved." It "points with pride" to the policy of more firmly committing the country to the gold standard, and hails "the return of prosperity."
2. The Populists declared, "We most earnestly endorse the address recently issued by the National Chairman of the People's Party (denouncing Republican and gold Democratic
policies) and the open letter of Hon. W. J. Bryan in the New York Journal urging an honorable and harmonious co-operation of all who oppose the domination of gold and monopoly," etc. The Democrats and Populists are agreed as to the end in view, differing only in the best policy to secure it. The Republicans endorse the Dingley and the war tariff bill, the four hundred million dollar bond issue, and the subserviency of the administration to syndicates, and oppose everything favored by Bryan and Butler in their letter and address.
3. The Populists declare that they are in favor of co-operation to elect nine silver and anti-monopoly Congressmen. The Democrats will name nine men who will exactly fill this bill. The Republicans have already nominated three gold and monopoly tools for Congress, and will nominate others when their Conventions are held.
4. The Populists declare for the election of "six judges of ability and high character, and free from partisan bias." The Democrats have nominated six able jurists who come up to this requirement. The Republicans "invest the State Executive Commitee with plenary power to deal with the nominations of candidates for the offices of Superior Court Judge and Solicitor." They will name more drunkards and clowns to disgrace the bench, as they did under a like resolution in 1894.
5. The Populists say they want "twelve solicitors, fearless and impartial." The Democrats are nominating men of that stamp in the twelve districts. The Republicans have already named several of the calibre and character of Claudius Melnotte Bernard, whose own party makes sport of his incapacity and unworthiness.
6. The Populists declare "for a Legislature opposed to the demonetization of silver by private contract, and which will enact legislation to put a stop to the giving and taking of gold notes and mortgages." The Democrats voted solidly for such a measure in the last Legislature. The Republicans, in State and Nation, are in favor of gold contracts, gold notes and mortgages, and everywhere denounce this plank as "dishonest and anarchistic."
7. The Populists want to elect "a Legislature opposed to government by injunction, which will enact sufficient legislation, including a license law similar to the Wisconsin statute, to effectually prevent the removal to Federal Courts of all cases which should be tried in our State Courts." The Democrats re-affirmed the vigorous declaration against government by injunction contained in the Chicago platform,
and also declared in their State platform adopted in May: "We oppose the removal by corporations of suits or cases from our State to the Federal Courts, and favor legislation to prevent it." The Republican platform is silent. It was Republican judges and Republican policies that brought goverment by iujunction into being, and the Republican Party everywhere stands sponsor for this "new and highly dangerous form of oppression by which Federal judges, in contempt of the laws of the State, and rights of citizens, become at once legislators, judges and executioners."
8. The Populists demand "a Legislature opposed to the ninety-nine year lease of the North Carolina Railroad, and which will use all lawful and legitimate means to set the same aside." Before the Democratic State Convention met the Republican Governor had traded off the right of appeal, the "lawful and legitimate means to set the same aside." The Republicans are silent, but their party is almost solid in favor of letting the lease stand. In their platform they virtually endorse it, because they call Jeter C. Pritchard "the acknowledged Republican leader of the Republican Party in North Carolina," and everybody knows that Pritchard always sneezes when the political manager of the Southern Railway takes snuff. This is more than equivalent to an endorsement of the lease.
9. The Populists declare in favor of "a Legislature in favor of a free ballot and a fair count, and which will enact legislation guaranteeing to each political party the right of being represented on all election boards by representatives of its own selection." The Democratic declaration is essentially the same, differing only in the details, for the State platform said, "We favor fair and just election laws." The Republicans, in their platform, make this declaration: "We favor an amendment to the State Constitution embodying the provisions of our present election law which will guarantee to every citizen of the State the right to cast one free ballot and have that ballot counted as cast." Elsewhere in the platform this sentence occurs: "We believe that the men who broke the chains of Democracy in 1894, and who restored to the people the right of local self-government and of honest elections, will stand together in the coming contest for the preservation of those rights which assure to our beloved State in fact as well as in name a truly Republican form of government." The only basis of fusion offered to the Populists by the Republicans is contained in the above two extracts in the platform. In 1895, when the Populists
and Republicans first controlled the Legislature, an election law in many particulars like that demanded by the Populist State Convention was enacted. At the session of 1897, after the Republicans and Pritchard Populists obtained full control of the Legislature, the Republicans drafted an election law which gave to that party such control of the election machinery as would have forever made a fair election impossible in North Carolina. It was drawn to give Harry Skinner and Jeter Pritchard power to carry the elections in North Carolina, no matter how the voters might deposit their ballots. It was the most infamous and transparently dishonest election law that ever crossed the threshold of an American Legislature, giving as it did two-thirds of the election machinery at every precinct to Republicans. It would be the law of the State to-day if the Democrats and Silver Populists had not joined forces to expose its villainous features. They could not enact such a law as both parties now demand in their platforms. The present election law, which the Republicans threaten to embody in the Constitution, is a miserable makeshift, and the Democratic and Populist parties are both committed to its repeal. And yet, in the face of the Populist platform pledged to repeal the law, the Republicans offer fusion to the Populist Party on the basis of "embodying the provisions of our present election law in the State Constitution." That is the very thing the Populists have declared they do not want. The present election law gives to the Clerk of the Court, the Register of Deeds, and the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of each county, the right to appoint election officers, thus denying to "each political party the right of being represented on all election boards by representatives of its own selection"--the very thing that the Populists insist upon as essential to any co-operation, and to insure fair elections. If they could agree upon other measures, the threat of the Republicans "to embody the present election law in the Constitution," would make it impossible for the Populists to co-operate with the Republicans.
10. The Populists want a "Legislature in favor of a system of local self-government, and which will enact under proper safeguards sufficient legislation to guarantee to the counties the right to elect local officials." The Democrats declared, "We denounce all enactments of the last two Legislatures by which cities and towns in the State have been turned over to negro domination, and we pledge ourselves to enact such laws as will give security and protection to the
property and people of every town and community in the State." The Republicans favor "the preservation of the right of local self-government," which means that they favor corrupt and incompetent negro rule in eastern towns, cities and counties. The Republicans invite the co-operation of the Populists on the assumption that the Populists want to continue the present system that is working evil to the white people. As a matter of fact, in their platform the Populists declare for such a change in the present system as will put "proper safeguards" around the local government--the very thing that the Democrats stand for, though the parties might disagree as to details. The Legislature of 1895 did put some "safeguards" around negro government, but the Republicans, when they got control of the last Legislature, repealed them all. Nothing in the statutes now stands between the eastern taxpayers and the voracious negro office-holders. The Populists declare in favor of "proper safeguards." The Republicans declare for the present system, and yet ask the Populists to unite with them and repudiate the very thing that the Populist platform pledges the party to give.
11. The Populists want "a Legislature in favor of a reduction of freight, passenger and express rates, and of telegraph and telephone tariffs to the gold standard level; that will endorse the action of Commissioner Pearson in taking a stand for such reduction, and which will favor upholding the Railroad Commission law, making the same effective according to all of its intents and purposes, and which will enact legislation providing for the election of Railroad Commissioners by the people." The Democratic platform contained two planks covering the above. (1.) "We favor the extension of the powers of the Railroad Commission, and closer scrutiny into their affairs in order to ascertain, establish and maintain such rates as shall be fair and just to the people and to the transportation and transmission corporations;" (2.) "We favor the election of United States Senators and Railroad Commissioners by the people." The Republican platform upon this live question contains nothing at all. Why? Because the Republican Party's representatives on the Commission, one Republican and one assistant Republican, represent the Republican policy of accepting the dictation of the corporations. They dare not declare in favor of doing justice between the people and the roads, or of letting the people elect Railroad Commissioners, because their bosses and owners will not permit them to do so.
Is it not clear, therefore, that no Populists can act with the Republicans this year without repudiating their platform in every plank, State and National? As far as the Pritchard traitors are concerned, we make no reference to them. They are already Republicans in everything but name, but those Populists who believe in the principles and policies of their party cannot be led into co-operation with the Republican Party again. If the machine attempts such a dishonorable and dishonoring dicker for offices, the honest men who believe in the principles enunciated by the Populist Party will no more ratify such unholy agreement than they would commit perjury. They have resolved to vote for the legislation demanded in their platform. They cannot in this year of grace, 1898, with the Republican utterances and legislation staring them in the face, have any more alliance with the Republican Party than a Christian minister can co-operate with the priests of Buddha.
But it may be argued that the failure of the Democrats to accept the proposition for co-operation has given so much offense to the Populists that they can be induced to fuse with the Republican Party out of spite. There is no doubt that there was much of this feeling last month. Some of it still remains. Those office-holders who think the Populist Party was organized to give them an office are busily engaged in trying to fan that spark of resentment into a flame. They are actuated by the same spirit that moved the silversmiths to stir up the people of Ephesus to cry out, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians." Just as these silversmiths had their wealth by making images of Diana, so the office-holders have their wealth by selling out party principles to get Republican votes. Unless they can stir up the people, their occupation is gone. They may be depended upon, certainly most of them, to use their own Republican money to create and keep up an uproar for their individual pocket-books. If the election had taken place last month, they might have gone in on the wave of resentment, which is now ebbing upon thoughtful consideration.
The Democratic Party stands for certain principles. The Populist Party shares with it in the advocacy of some of the fundamental issues before the people. There have been differences and friction between them which have prevented united action. Because of the failure to come together, is it defensible for either of them to join hands with the common enemy of both? Because Shafter and Garcia have not welded their soldiers into one army, is there any
reason why Garcia should join forces with Blanco, the common enemy of both? If he were to become irritated because Shafter had not seen his way clear to accept all his suggestions, would he not betray all the principles for which he stands, if he should seek a union with the Spanish troops who have murdered and starved his countrymen? He would be as justifiable in making such an alliance as the Populists would be to join forces with the Republicans because the two silver forces cannot march in the same mighty army.
The Populists who really believe in the principles represented by the shibboleth, "The White Man and the White Metal," will not vote at the bidding of any man or committee to continue negro and bad government in the State, and the gold standard in the Nation, not even if they do bear a feeling of resentment toward the Democratic State Convention. Let us suppose that a Methodist preacher were to say to a Baptist preacher, "We ought to come together and have only one church. Let us discard our churches and build one big church and worship together." If the Baptist should reply, "There are reasons why my congregation will not agree to this. We will each assail the devil from his own pulpit and in his own way"--if this were to offend the Methodist preacher, would he permit his resentment to go to the extreme of joining forces with Ingersol to tear down all Christian churches? The Populist who would join hands with the Republicans to permanently put the gold standard on himself and his country, and continue the present bad government in North Carolina, out of a spirit of resentment, would be guilty of pulling down the temple on himself and destroying himself and his children, as well as the Democrats. We do not believe, in the present condition of affairs, the Populists can be persuaded for any reason to thus destroy themselves and their neighbors to please a few tricky office holders.
Our homes are in jeopardy, our firesides are assailed. The white men of the State will be true to the admonition, "To your tents, Oh Israel."
It is common information that the Populist orators and leaders, in the first days of that party, declared that both of the old parties were corrupt, and that the mission of the Populist Party was to reform them. It worked industriously and independently along these lines in 1892, the first year of its existence. It denounced both the old parties as equally deserving of condemnation in National affairs, and presented to the country many novel and new theories of government to take the place of the old fossilized notions of Jefferson, Jackson, and the best thinkers of the country; but it frankly and kindly admitted that the State government was all right, and about as good as it could be made. The newspapers which supported this organization were formed into a separate association, and called themselves the "reformed press." Nothing discouraged by its small vote of 1892, it kept right on with its campaign of "reformation" in 1893, and up to the opening of the State campaign of 1894. In that campaign many of the new and novel ideas of reform which had hitherto been the slogan of that party dropped out of sight, one by one, and were forgotten. Still it declared itself to be the especially chosen champion of "reform." Under the pretext of working out these reforms, its leaders got into very close and confidential relations with the Republican Party, whose principles the Populist leaders had declared, in 1892, to be the very embodiment of all that was wicked, devilish and mean. While the leaders of the Populist and Republican Parties had, in 1892, been at daggers points, in the spring and summer of 1894, strange to say, a wonderful intimacy sprang up between them. They met in close and confidential conferences, and these meetings occurred so often that the followers of each grew suspicious and made enquiries of their respective leaders as to what it all meant. The Populist leaders informed their followers that they were hard at work on the Republicans to reform them, and that they were progressing finely. "Trust us," said these Populist leaders, "and we will reform that party." The Republican leaders smiled a smile, and when challenged by their followers said, "Trust us, and we will absorb the Populist Party." The Populist leaders still kept up their
cry of reform, and their confiding followers trusted them. The Republican leaders whispered to their followers that the process of absorption was going on, and that ere long the whole party would be "absorbed." The result of the election of 1894 could be interpreted either way. The Populist leaders could say to their followers, "Why, don't you see that we have got a reform Senator, so many reform members of the National House of Representatives, many members of the Legislature, a great many county officers and several judges?" "The work of reform is going on finely."
The Republican leaders could say, "Look at the progress absorption is making." "We have got a gold-standard Senator in place of Vance; we have beaten several silver Democrats for the House of Representatives with gold-bug Republicans; we have elected a great many members of the Legislature, among them a number of negroes; we replaced honest, capable Democratic county officials with black and white Republicans; and all this was done by Populist votes." The same intimate, confidential relations were kept up through 1895 and 1896, and the election of 1896 resulted as did that of 1894.
While the Populist leaders in 1896 kept on crying "Reform," the last of their new and novel ideas upon which they started out to work out that "reform" passed away, and the free and unlimited coinage of silver, an old Democratic creed, became their paramount issue. This, however, did not interfere with their intimate relations with Republicans who held diametrically opposite views.
This seemingly serio-comic contest between the Republican and Populist leaders has been going on four years, and the question whether the Populist Party will "reform" the Republican Party, or the Republican Party will "absorb" the Populist Party, still remains unsettled. Conditions, however, seem to have arisen which require an accounting on the part of their respective leaders. The Democratic press and the Democratic speakers have been giving the people information which has startled the Populists and aroused the consciences of good men of all parties. It be gins to look as if this very important contest between "reformation" and "absorption" was promoted by the leaders so they might use it as a means to an end, that end being the parcelling out of offices, and when there were not enough offices to go around, the making of others to order. The Populists all over the State are demanding of their leaders the evidences of any "reform" that has been
wrought in the Republican Party. This demand has attracted our attention, and we, too, have been hunting for the evidence, but we have hunted in vain. There is no evidence of reform in either declaration of principles or in their administration of public affairs in this State. They are more steadfast adherents to the gold standard, to high tariff taxes, and to monopoly, than ever. From the Penitentiary, the Agricultural Department, the counties and towns, and other departments turned over to the Republicans, come evidences of peculation or gross mismanagement that remind us of old Republican usages. About the only rumor of any "reform" we have heard of was in the case of His Excellency, the Governor. Rumor has it that, at the recent Republican State Convention, it had been whispered that the Governor had been contemplating "a reform movement," and that on this account, as well as others, there were serious objections to giving him the endorsement of the Convention. A conference of leading Republicans was had, and the Governor's special friend and general spokesman, the man of many offices, was present in that conference and spoke for His Excellency. It is said that he frankly admitted that some weeks before the Governor had been contemplating reforming himself in some respects, but that he had abandoned all such notions, and that thereafter he would be a stronger Republican than ever. Thereupon the Convention endorsed him. So it must be apparent to any Populist that the so-called effort at reform has been a failure, and that their leaders have been working this reform racket to lull them into a false security while the work of the absorption was going on.
Let us now look for a moment at the other side and see what progress absorption has made. It must be manifest to the Populist that many of their leaders are getting perilously near the stage of absolute absorption into the Republican Party. They hold on to the name of Populist, and that is about all that distinguishes them from the Republicans. They can be seen at the State Capital, at the court-houses, at their offices, at their homes, in close touch and conferences with the Republicans, and the lines of differences are growing so dim it is difficult to tell one from the other. Nothing is ever heard from them these days about the great Populist principles or the new and novel ideas that were to reform our system and bring plenty to our homes. Not a word is now heard from them against the Republican Party. When they open their mouths at all it is in denunciation of the
Democratic Party. When they send out literature among their readers it seems to be their sole purpose to poison the minds of their readers against the Democratic Party. "Hunt with the Republicans, eat with them, sleep with them, vote with them, and even be one of them, if you choose, but do not go near the Democrats or listen to one of them," say these late reformers. What does all this mean?
We repeat this question, and we put it to the rank and file of the Populist Party. What does all this mean? Why is it that some of your leaders will spend hours in consultation with a prominent negro politician and are not willing for you to go to hear a Democrat speak? Why is it they call upon you to vote for negroes who believe in nothing that you believe in, but warn you against hearing a Democrat talk, who advocates most of the things that you do believe in? Why is it they treat the negroes as saints, and denounce white men as hypocrites? Answer us these questions, ye honest Populist! Is it not because your leaders have been deceiving you? Is it not because when they were outwardly crying reform, they were inwardly arranging with the Republicans for you to be absorbed by that party? Can there any longer be any doubt of their deliberately planned purpose?
You have been warned time and again that many of your leaders were going into the Republican Party, and that they were planning and trading to deliver you to that party. Your leaders denounced it as a Democratic lie, and bade you pay no attention to it. Recent events confirm these warnings, and we are glad to see that you are in open rebellion against these traitorous leaders, and that you have determined to put an end to this process of absorption.
It cannot be claimed by the most ardent advocate of Republican-Populist-Fusion that in such fusion either party is promoting any distinct political principle held by either. We must therefore look for the aim or purpose of such fusion elsewhere. What, then, is it that induces two parties holding distinctively antagonistic views to work together in perfect accord and harmony with each other? The answer to this question, it seems to us, may be found in the record these fusionists have made. This record, formulated into a single sentence, would be about this: "The chief aim of fusion is to find places for the place hunters, and then the money to pay them; and when the old places are filled, to create others, and then increase the taxes or find new subjects of taxation in order to raise the necessary money to pay them."
It is a matter of common information, often published and never denied, that the Fusion Legislatures of 1895 and 1897 multiplied the number of pages, clerks and employees, till the number of employees in the Senate at the session of 1897 greatly exceeded the number of Senators in that body. There are fifty Senators, and the Auditor's report for 1897, on pages 122 to 132, show that there were ninety-one regular employees and twenty-four temporary ones. This accounts in a measure, no doubt, for the fact that the Legislatures of 1895 and 1897 (both Fusion Legislatures), cost $14,032.70 more than the Democratic Legislatures of 1891 and 1893.
Before the Fusion Legislature of 1895 met, New Hanover, Mecklenburg, Buncombe, and it may be one or two other counties having large cities, had a criminal Court, the expense of which, including the salaries of the Judge, was paid for by the county having the Court. Two Republican Fusionists had to be provided for, and to fill the aching void, two criminal circuits were created and counties placed in them in which the Superior Courts could not find enough to do to fill out half of the term. It is a notorious fact that Court business has fallen off very greatly in the State, and it has been suggested that the over-crowded dockets in the counties where the work has accumulated could have been provided for by giving more time of the Superior Court to
them and less to the counties where less would do the work. But such an arrangement as that would not have met the long-felt wants of these fusion gentlemen. Two criminal circuits had to be created, and it was done; and the Judge holding these Courts was authorized by a Fusion Legislature to order a Court held, upon the request of the Solicitor (another paid official), whenever he deemed it necessary; and for his services for holding such Court so ordered by him, he should receive one hundred dollars per week. The Judge holding these Courts therefore had it practically in his power to fix his own salary most anywhere between two thousand dollars and five thousand dollars a year. But then this was Republican-Populist reform.
Rumor has it that there has been considerable increase in the number of employees at the Penitentiary. In order to get at the facts the Chairman of this Committee, on July 14, 1898, addressed a polite note to the Superintendent of the Penitentiary, asking him, among other things, to furnish "a list of all officers and employees of the Penitentiary, giving the names of each, the date of his election or appointment; the designation and place of his appointment; the date of the creation of such office or place; the character of and nature of his services, and his monthly compensation."
This letter is published elsewhere in full. The law requires the Superintendent to keep such a list by months; so it would have been the work of an hour or so to have sent him a copy of this list, if he really keeps it. By comparing this list with that kept by Mr. Leazer, the former Superintendent, we could have ascertained with absolute certainty what truth there is in these rumors, and what increase, if any, has been in the number of employees. But the Superintendent declined to furnish the list, and in place of it he published a low, scurrilous, open letter. We are, therefore, unable to give the increase from official sources, but the following statement comes to us from a reliable source and, believing it to be accurate, we give it to the public.
"The Democratic administration had in its employ at the Penitentiary only so many men as by diligent attention to business could perform the needed service. The new powers, immediately upon assuming control, crowded by an eager horde, began to prepare at once to satisfy their clamorous demands for places. There were not enough to go around. They made others and filled them with their families and political heelers. A private secretary, never needed before, was installed at a good salary. A typewriter
soon followed, never employed before. An extra-door-keeper or two, an extra warden, an extra steward, an extra assistant bookkeeper, an extra supervisor for general control of far more competent men on the Roanoke farm, a more than useless place, at a good big salary by way of reward as surety on the bond of one of the officials; more men and increased salaries; and this included all the members of one official family, except two feeble females, and all the brothers of the Chief Executive, so far as known."
The same gentleman gives us another piece of information, which we also believe to be true, and we give it to the public in the very words and form in which it is given to us. Here it is:
"The Democratic administration left 199 bales of cotton at Wadesboro. This cotton was sold in March, 1897, by the new authorities. The following statement, capable of certain proof, exhibits the transaction:
|"Sold to Hardison & Company--|
|199 B. of C., 84,841 lbs., at 6.90,||$5,854.03|
|Less 3 light weight Bs., $ 3.00|
|Less weighing, 11.94||14.94|
|There was deposited in the treasury,||5,506.32|
|Not accounted for||$332.77"|
This is one of the numerous things we had in mind when we asked the Superintendent for information.
If a report is ever made, it is possible the Board may be able to clear up this transaction. Had the reports required by law been made, or had the information requested been given, the truth or falsity of this charge would have been established beyond the shadow of a doubt. Mr. Leazer, the former Superintendent, from whom we got the main facts, repeated the statement above in a speech at Newton on August 3; and, so far as we have seen, there has been no denial of it by any one.
When we commenced the preparation of this book the air was full of rumors about the increase of employees and the wasteful expenditures of the Agricultural Department. Not wishing to print anything in this book which is not founded
on indisputable evidence, the Chairman of this Committee addressed a letter to the Commissioner of Agriculture, in which he asked that official to give him a list of the officers and employees of the Department, and an itemized statement of the receipts and expenditures. No response whatever has been received to this polite letter, which is published elsewhere in this book; and being denied the information, we are not able to make a statement based on official sources. There are some things, however, which are of common knowledge and general repute, and these we are able to state.
It is a fact beyond all question that the Board or Boards which have this Department and the Agricultural and Mechanical College in charge, have been about doubled by Fusion laws. These Boards meet much more frequently than ever before. The compensation of the members makes the inducement for frequent meetings very tempting. They receive, we are told, $4 per day and actual traveling expenses, and $2 per day for hotel bills; and that the $4 and $2 per day count from the time the member leaves home till his return, and are not based on the days actually engaged in the sittings of the Board.
It comes to us, also, that two of the members of the Board hold lucrative positions under either the Board for the government of the College or the management of the Department, to-wit, Mr. King and Mr. Allen. We must admit it is a little unusual for a member of a Board to employ himself to work for the Board, but then these are the days of reform, and in the light of these reform days it may be all right. It is also said that a Mr. Chamberlain, who runs a fertilizer factory, sits as a member of the Board that has charge of the work of directing the analysis of his stuff; but then these are the reformers, and the reformers can do no wrong. It is further alleged that the negro politician, Jim Young, is the clerk or person that has charge of collecting the samples of fertilizers for analysis. But then this man is the pet of the Governor, being managing director of the white Blind Asylum, and the only negro colonel in the army, and it may be treason to His Excellency to suggest that his friend is not all right, now that he is a Fusionist Reformer, although some years ago he denounced this fellow as a scoundrel. Common report also has it that arrangements have been made to send out a fresh supply of employees to collect samples. Mr. Bailey's letter resigning his position as Director throws much light on these matters, and we here give it in full:
Raleigh, N. C., July 28, 1898.
To His Excellency, Gov. D. L. Russell, Raleigh, N. C.
Dear Sir:--I hereby resign my commission as a member of the Board of Agriculture of North Carolina.
It is due to you, our people and and myself that I make known my reasons for this action.
When you tendered me the position I accepted it against my personal desire and interest with the single motive of serving our Commonwealth. Experience has relentlessly impressed it upon me that this is impossible on the present Board under the present administration.
By your will Mr. John R. Smith was made Commissioner of Agriculture in my absence from this city. On my return I went to see you and inquired why you had done this; and you informed me that you had done it to get Mr. Smith out of the office of Superintendent of the State's prison, as under his administration of that office our State was suffering the disgrace of personal scandal and financial loss by corruption, and that you, having exerted yourself to the utmost and having failed to get him out of that office by direct measures, had resorted to the plan of exchanging the office of Commissioner for that of Superintendent, because in the Department of Agriculture there was little opportunity to do anything, good or evil.
I then inquired if you were under obligation to keep Mr. Smith in the office of Commissioner for the, full term; and if you would help me to have him removed at the next meeting of the Board. You declared that you were under no obligation whatever to Mr. Smith, and you gave me to believe that you would be glad to lend me your influence in opposition to him. With this understanding I kept silent, enduring the reproach of being a member of a Board which had become a party to a bargain whereby the Department of Agriculture was put into the hands of a man publicly charged with being unfit for the public trust of Superintendent of the State's prison, until the Board met in the month of June, 1898. Then I moved against Commissioner Smith. But I failed to realize the weight of your influence, with which I think I would have been easily successful in my effort to remove the reproach from the Department of Agriculture.
This is my first reason for resigning, and my conclusive reason for making this resignation public.
Again, I would not fail to mention that the disposition of some of the members of the Board to hold sessions of three or four days' duration--being paid by the day--several times a year to perform duties which would require scarcely four hours, has disgusted me time and again.
Finally, it is my opinion that the Department of Agriculture is the sheerest example that we have of paternalism run to seed. Paternalistic in conception, it has grown into an institution for the rewarding of political workers, with little purpose of public good.
I accepted the office with good will toward you, reasoning that without regard to prejudices, it was my duty to help you as the chief servant of our people. I have done the best I could, only to discover that my efforts are defeated. The best service I can now render all concerned is to resign and make known my reasons, the necessity for which I regret more than I would endeavor to have you believe.
J. W. BAILEY.
What a shame it is that a department of the State government specially designed for the benefit of the agricultural people of the State, and which might be so useful to them if properly managed, should be in the hands of such men! John R. -Smith, Commissioner of Agriculture! Great heavens! What an outrage upon an innocent and unoffending people! Will the farmers of North Carolina submit to it, or will they rise up in their power and indignation and drive into oblivion the men who perpetrated this outrage upon them?
Wherever the number of employees is not restricted by law, and Republican-Populist Fusion has charge of any interest belonging to the State, there seems to be an increase of persons employed or an increase of compensation or both. Since the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad passed under the control of the Republicans, there has been considerable increase in the number of persons employed. In some instances additional places have been made, and in others additional compensation has been given. The Road Master received, under Democratic administration, $70 per month; but recently a Republican who was a stranger to the work was appointed, and his compensation was raised to $100 per month. Two-thirds of the stock of this company belongs to the State so that the people of the State are deeply concerned in the management of this property. Its management does not appear to be on business principles.
We submit that these things herein stated lead to the conviction that the chief aim and end of fusion is to multiply places and provide good places for Fusion leaders. Are the honest Populists who left the old parties to secure reforms in government content to aid others who lead them in this wild race for spoils? Is the chief end and aim of political efforts merely to secure spoils for certain designing men?
In the great campaign of 1896 much was said about government by injunction. We have here in North Carolina an evil, which seems to be on the increase, of a like character, which may be justly termed "government by committees."
Prior to 1894 it had been the custom of all parties in North Carolina, so far as we are informed, to hold their Conventions--State, district and county--and nominate their candidates for the offices to be filled. Under such a custom the people composing these parties had some voice in the selection of their candidates. But a new and novel practice has grown up, which is now the rule with the Republican and Populist parties. Under this new practice the people are excluded from all participation in the selection of the candidates they are expected to vote for. The method of procedure seems to be this:
A committee of Republican bosses and a committee of Populist bosses get together and parcel the offices among their favorites, and then say to the rank and file of these parties, "These are your candidates and you must vote for them." Only a few days ago, we are told, a committee, with a prominent negro politician at its head, met a committee with a prominent Populist at its head, met and wrangled all day over the distribution of the county offices for one of the largest and best counties in the State, and for the Senator and Representatives of that county in the Legislature. Finally an agreement was reached between the negro and the Populist, which disposes of the county offices and the representation of the great county of Edgecombe in the Legislature; and this agreement provides for negroes for county officers and negroes for Representatives. In many other counties of the State we see the same thing going on. Committees meet and dispose of the offices, like dividing up so many hogs, sheep or cattle held in common. It seems as if office, instead of being a public trust, has come to be a private snap. The people are left in the dark, and really have nothing to do with choosing their public servants, except to obey the behests of their bosses! This government by committees is not confined to county affairs.
Candidates for State offices and for judges have been and are being designated in the same way. Hence we have government by committee in State and counties.
There are two reflections we wish to make on this method of choosing candidates and designating public officials. In the first place, it is the worst form of bossism. It makes the boss supreme and the people nothing. And who would have thought that men who talked as much about boss rule as the Populist leaders did in 1892, could ever have come to practice this worst form of bossism? The truth is, there never has been a party so completely the subject of boss rule as the Populist Party. The Populist State Convention met on the 17th of May, nearly three months ago at the time of this writing, and yet we doubt if there is a Populist in the State who knows who will be his candidate for judge in any district, unless it be the committee of bosses! And yet this committee of bosses contains some of the very men who lead away many a confiding Democrat from his party by falsely denouncing that party as the victim of boss rule!
The other reflection is that by this method of choosing candidates and public officials, it cannot be expected that fit and competent men will be chosen. The man who is the most subservient to the boss, or who stands in with the committee, will be chosen without regard to fitness. We appeal to the deliberate judgment of all men who are not crazed by the fascinations of office, or blinded with prejudice, to say if in practice the worst results have not been obtained by government by committee.
The old Democratic way is the best. In this good old way the people rule. They meet in their primaries, in their county, district and State conventions, in open daylight, in the presence of all who choose to attend, and name their candidates. No boss rule or government by committee here. It is the rule of the people. Nothing more, nothing less. And we invite all men who believe in the rule of the people, and who condemn boss rule and government by committee, to forsake the party that practices these monarchical methods and join our party, which is the only real representative party of the people now to be found in North Carolina.
It is unquestionably true that all property ought to be valued and assessed alike for taxation, and that any system of equalization which will produce this result is to be commended. But it is maintained that the system adopted and put in practice by the Fusion Legislature, instead of being a system of equalization, is one of oppression. What can Otho Wilson, in 1895, or Chairman Caldwell, in 1897, know about the true value of hogs, horses, sheep, cattle, and the like property in Wayne, Duplin, Sampson, or any other county in which they have never lived? A board of assessors, living in the neighborhood, well acquainted with the property to be assessed, and acting under oath, fixes a value to the property given in under oath; and yet under this Fusion law the Railroad Commissioners, sitting as a Board of Equalization, can change these assessments in any county in the State of their own sweet will, and without a particle of testimony before them that the property has not been fairly valued. Hence, we say it is a system of oppression, and not of equalization. The results of such a law is so well told in an article in the Goldsboro Argus that we will give it in full, and commend it to the careful attention of the taxpayers of the State. Here is the article:
"The Fusionists in North Carolina have been driven by their own extravagance to devise means for paying their reckless expenditures. A direct increase in taxation would call attention to their profligacy, and was, therefore, as far as possible to be avoided. Indirect methods were preferable. So, by the provisions of Chapter 510, Laws of 1897, the Railroad Commission was constituted a Board of Equalization, with the 'power to increase the total valuation of any class of property in any county,' with a like power to decrease, so as to equalize valuations in any county, and also with the power 'to add to or deduct from the aggregate valuation such a percentage of such aggregate valuation as may be necessary to establish uniformity and equality of valuations among the several counties in the State.' This power of increasing the value of property in the State is graciously limited so that it cannot exceed 6 per cent.
"We have before us, as we write, the order of this Board
of Equalization as it affects Wayne County. That order directs the Register of Deeds of this county to add to the value of each cow on the tax list in the county 15 per cent, to each hog 25 per cent, to each sheep 10 per cent. It will be observed that this arbitrary act and this wonderful order add alike to the valuation of those hogs, cattle and sheep, which the owners had already valued at their true value, as well as to the valuation of those which had been undervalued. This order finds, in effect, every man who gave in for taxation cattle, sheep and hogs, substantially guilty of perjury--every farmer in this county is found by this august Board to have undervalued, under oath, all of his stock, and the Register of Deeds is arbitrarily directed to increase the valuation--and this was done, and the farmer paid his tax without even knowing that it had been increased. The particular order now before us has a printed blank for adding to the valuation of bicycles, but the blank is not filled, and bicyclists may be understood to have been acquitted of perjury by the Board of Equalization. These orders changing valuations may be found in the offices of the various Registers of Deeds, and will be shown any one on application, if the Register is a Democrat, but if he is a Russellite he may inform you that you are a ballot thief and refuse you the information.
"Another scheme to increase the revenues, without letting too many people know it, will be found in Chapter 168, section 41, of the Laws of 1897. Under the provision of this Act, every administrator and every executor is required to pay into the office of the Clerk of the Superior Court, when the annual reports are filed, two-thirds of one per cent 'upon all legacies or inheritances devised or descended to persons in the direct lines, and one and one-half per cent upon all such legacies and inheritances devised or descending collaterally (except such as are for charitable uses).' Some of the States are resorting to an inheritance tax as a means of checking the accumulation of large fortunes; but in a poor State like North Carolina it has no proper place except in cases where the State, being heavily in debt, is compelled to resort to new methods of taxation. Contrast this tax with the tax on billiard tables, and one sees at a glance the unfitness of Republicanism to rule the State. Under the Democratic Revenue Act of 1893, billiard tables run in connection with bar-rooms were taxed $75, and the little estate which the small farmer left to his children descended to them free of tax; in 1895 the Fusion Legislature
reduced the tax on billiard tables to $50, but still left the little estate free; in 1897 the Legislature, which the Caucasian characterized at the time as 'a damnable disgrace to the State,' reduced the tax on billiard tables to $25, and levied a tax on small estates.
"The sheep, cattle and hogs of the farmer must be arbitrarily increased in valuation in the name of 'equality,' while the taxation on the down-trodden industry of running a billiard table in connection with a bar-room is reduced! The Fusion orator, when confronted with his promise to reduce taxation, points with pride to his only achievement in that direction and proudly boasts that he reduced taxation on billiard tables."
That public office is a public trust is an aphorism as old as popular government itself. In monarchies and aristocracies it may be different. Kings and lords may be irresponsible in their management of public affairs; but in this country, where the people are the sovereigns, the records of all public offices are open to the public. Even when North Carolina belonged to the Lords-Proprietors, those rulers always instructed their governors that all public records should be open to public inspection. It was about 1718 that Edward Moseley and Maurice Moore, believing that the papers in the office of Tobias Knight, the Secretary, would show dealings with the pirate Teach, old Black Beard, went into that office and locked the door and made search for the evidence. From that day until this year of grace no public officer in North Carolina ever declined to give information about the records of his office. It has been reserved for J. M. Mewborne to emulate the example of Tobias Knight in withholding evidence.
Knight's complicity with the pirates being discovered, he resigned his office and in a few months died--doubtless because of disgrace on being found out. Who can tell whether the men connected with the Penitentiary, and whose wrong-doings would be made evident by a truthful publication of Penitentiary matters, will have the grace to follow Tobias Knight's example even unto death? Will they have the decency of old Tobias Knight, who traded with Black Beard? We hardly think so. They will hope to escape punishment. They think the worst that may befall them is to be transferred to some other department of the State Government.
The law requires the Superintendent of the Penitentiary, on December 31st of every year, to file a sworn inventory of the property of that institution, and such an inventory had been regularly filed year by year. The law also requires the Board of Directors, at the same time, to make an annual report to the Governor, in which shall be set out the full details of the management; and these annual reports had been regularly made. But on December 31, 1897, the new Superintendent did not file his inventory; nor did the
Board make its annual report. In the absence of these reports, one seeking information that should be contained in them can only apply to the Penitentiary officers for facts shown by their records. Mr. Simmons, Chairman of the Democratic State Committee, in courteous letters, asked for such information. Instead of complying with his request, the Board and Superintendent Mewborne and Governor Russell appear to have determined that they would treat the Penitentiary affairs as their personal matters, and so they assailed him personally.
This is somewhat in line with what the people are thinking--that some of the Penitentiary property has been treated as if it were the private property of certain officers. The difference between "public" and "private" seems in some measure to have been ignored--not only in regard to the Penitentiary books, but also in regard to certain Penitentiary property. Even the Governor is credited with having said that the property there was being squandered and stolen. A notion seems to have been entertained that the Penitentiary was only a private snap. And so an application for information from the public records was sought to be turned into a private quarrel.
Of this proceeding the public will have its own judgment. People generally will doubtless regard the answer of the Penitentiary authorities to the application of Chairman Simmons as a confession of wrong-doing and an attempt to muddy the waters by a discharge of black, venomous gall, similar to the discharge of the cuttle fish. Certainly there is something very fishy about it. But sensible people know that if there were nothing to conceal there would be no effort made at concealment, and there would be no such malicious, viperous striking back, nor such venom displayed in answer to a courteous request for such information as the published reports of the Penitentiary authorities are required by law to contain.
Clearly, then, Superintendent Mewborne's reply amounts to this: The reports required by law have not been published because the facts, if made public would damage us. While it may be hurtful to us to refuse to give the information asked, it would probably hurt still more to let the full truth be known. We therefore prefer to confess to some wrong-doing by saying nothing as to those facts, and letting the public draw its own conclusions, rather than to lay bare the full measure of the iniquity.
Without doubt, under the circumstances, every intendment
is to be made against the Penitentiary management. Public officers who resort to such shifts are like Otho Wilson, and Dr. Moss, the Chairman of the Commissioners of Vance County, who, being indicted for bribery, came into court and entered the plea of "nolo contendere." And perhaps, after all, Mewborne is wise in making his implied confession; but we shall see what we shall see.
The public judgment is that Mewborne's letter was "a confession and avoidance;" but the Governor cannot avoid the issue by raising a personal quarrel.
Having printed some things in this Book about Robert Hancock, we give place to a letter written to the Governor of the State by Hancock, exposing the Governor's proposition that Hancock should make "a violent assault and battery on the person of Josephus Daniels." Such a proposition by the Governor of the State needs no comment.
His Excellency, Daniel L. Russell, Raleigh, N. C.:
Your letter of the 17th inst., notifying me of my attempted removal as a Director on the part of the State in the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad, was duly received, and in reply I deem it my duty to address to you this open letter, in order that the public may judge for themselves as to whether or not I was acting properly in what has been termed my "defiance of your Excellency." To-day you Board of Directors, acting under instructions from you, have removed me from my position as President of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad, and your victory is apparently complete. I have lost my position. I am, so far as it is in your power to place me so, at the mercy of my enemies, but your Excellency, through it all, I have preserved something that you, perhaps, can never feel--that is, self-respect. When you removed me as a Director, and caused your Board of Directors to deprive me of my position as President, upon charges made by my personal and political enemies, and of which there has been but a superficial and imperfect investigation, you well knew that a suit was pending against me, and that a judicial inquiry could alone determine my guilt or innocence, and being a lawyer of some reputation at the bar, you were fully aware that to prejudice a case was in the highest sense unjust. You had frequently and publicly declared your belief in my innocence of the charges as alleged. You stated to the seven Directors on the part of the State, when they were assembled in your presence at the Mansion on the night of February 4, 1898, that you did not believe me guilty, and after polling the Directors, you ascertained that they were unanimously of the same opinion. Since that time no additional charges have been made. There have been no new developments in the case, except that your Excellency has perhaps ascertained
that I am not as subservient to your wishes as you would have me to be.
During the session of the Legislature held in 1897, having great confidence in your good judgment, I was of some assistance to you in endeavoring to procure legislation you desired, and several times since my appointment as President of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad Company, I have followed your requests in the administration of the affairs of the Company, when my own judgment told me that the opposite course would be to the interest of the Company and the State.
This, together with the fact that I was dependent upon you for my position, doubtless led you into the error that no requirement of yours, however absurd or infamous, would be disobeyed by a man bowed down in sorrow, a victim of unrelenting political malignity, blackmailed by personal foes. You have been disappointed.
So long as your wishes could be obeyed without the sacrifice of my personal honor, I was your servant; but when you delivered your ultimatum on the 13th day of January, that I should make a violent assault and battery upon the person of Josephus Daniels, editor of the News and Observer, and retain my position, otherwise I should lose it, I felt that indeed you were trespassing upon sacred grounds.
I was compelled to decline to continue in a position purchased at so great a cost. I endeavored to move you to a sense of justice, because I was fully cognizant of the effect my removal would have upon the charges against me, but I have found that your selfishness has destroyed your sense of justice, and that gratitude is a sentiment unknown to you.
Subsequently I have received several messages from you indirectly urging this violation of law, in order, doubtless, that your private thirst for revenge might be satisfied, and each message contained an assurance that this act would be absolute guarantee of my retention in office; but, your Excellency, I decline to be your unscrupulous tool, and however great the cost, I am thankful that my manhoood repelled the temptation--even in my present unfortunate condition.
There is no one who knows me, your Excellency, who will doubt my personal courage. Among my own people, not one of my enemies will believe that I was ever afraid to vindicate my personal honor with any man; so a suggestion of cowardice will not help you.
In conclusion, I desire to say that in these charges I have used no names of third parties, because I do not desire to injure those who are my friends, while, at the same time, they have acted as messengers from you; but if you deny that you suggested the outrageous alternative published in this letter, I assure you that I have full and ample proof to substantiate my statement.
(Signed) ROBERT HANCOCK.
There is talk of an extra session of the Legislature. Please don't, Governor Russell. We can endure famine, pestilence, drouth, war, but don't inflict any prolonged agony on the State, such as extra session. If they don't do anything let 'em go home.
When the Democratic Party went out of power it was rare that a negro office-holder could be found in the State; and when one was found, it was in a position and under circumstances which did not make him obnoxious to the white people, and which did not create within him a desire to rule over and dominate the white man.
In the four years of Republican Fusion legislation, and in the year and a half of the Republican-Populist Fusion administration, wonderful strides have been made in conferring office upon the negro, and in setting him up to rule over white men.
Elsewhere in this Book we have told in detail how the town of Greenville was turned over to the negroes; and we have also spoken in a general way of the domination of the negro in Wilmington and Newbern, both of which cities are now under his control, or under the control of white men dominated by the negro.
To show the progress being made in establishing the negro as a ruler in various and sundry positions in the State, we give a list of offices held by him, selected from a few counties among the counties of the State as a sample, by way of illustration:
In Craven County there are 26 negro magistrates, 13 negro school committeemen, 4 negro Deputy Sheriffs, 1 County Commissioner, 1 jailor, 2 constables, 1 Register of Deeds, 2 Deputy Registers of Deeds, 1 Coroner. In the City of Newbern there are 5 negro policemen, 1 City Attorney, 3 City Councilmen, 1 cemetery sexton, besides the negro engineer and other negroes employed in the public buildings.
In Columbus County there are 17 negro school committeemen, 5 negro magistrates, and 2 negro postmasters.
In Hertford there are 6 negro magistrates, 1 constable, 10 negro school committeemen, 2 negro postmasters, and 1 negro on the Board of Education.
In Chowan there are 2 negro aldermen, 8 school committeemen, 1 County Commissioner, and 1 member of Board of Education.
In Pasquotank there are 3 negro magistrates, 1 policeman, and 5 school committeemen.
In Perquimans there are 6 negro magistrates, 10 school committeemen, 1 member Board of Education, 1 County Commissioner, and 1 town constable.
In Jones there are 3 negro magistrates, 12 negro school committeemen, in five townships there being two negroes on each committee.
In Hyde there are 8 negro school committeemen.
In Beaufort there is 1 negro school committeeman in each township.
In Caswell there are 7 negro magistrates, 1 negro school committeeman in each township, 1 negro Deputy Sheriff.
In Wayne there are 6 negro magistrates, 2 negro postmasters, 3 negro aldermen, 1 clerk in the Goldsboro post-office.
In Nash there are 3 negro magistrates, and 11 school committeemen.
In Carteret, 1 negro town commissioner.
In Edgecombe there are negro postmasters in the towns of Rocky Mount, Battleboro and Lawrence; there are 35 negro magistrates and 8 negro constables, besides a large number of negro school committeemen.
In Montgomery there are 4 negro school committeemen.
In Richmond there are 10 negro magistrates, 23 negro school committeemen, two negroes being on every school committee (except one, where there is a vacancy), 1 negro on the Board of Education, 1 Deputy Sheriff, and 3 negro road overseers.
From these sample counties, taken indiscriminately from the central and eastern sections, any one can see how the negro is progressing as a ruler of white men.
Elsewhere in this Book we have laid stress on the fact that under the Republican-Populist Fusion the share of the negro in the pie was the local offices. The above illustrations show how true this is. And in another place we have suggested that as the States to the south of us have put up a barrier against the negro, and the States to the north of us won't give him anything, North Carolina is the only State holding out to him the allurements of office, and thus invites him to come here and agitate for office; and, unless there is some change, if the negro progresses in office-holding in the future as in the last two or three years, it will not be long before he is in absolute control.
This progress has been made under Republican administration of affairs, with the aid of the Populists; and it is safe to conclude that if the Republican Party is continued in power, this progress of the negro as an office-holder will continue to go on.
The white people who have aided in bringing about these things were once much opposed to negro rule. But they have become familiar to it, and apparently do not object to it. And the longer they are familiar to it, the less they will object to it. They do not seem to object even now to negro school committeemen having supervision of white schools; in many cases there being two negroes to one white man over the schools where the sons and daughters of white men are taught. We do not see how any white man can approve of that. But by degrees the white men who have aided the Republicans in bringing all this to pass, have become habituated to it.
And in some counties we observe, as in Richmond, there are negro overseers of the public roads. The white men of those down-trodden communities being obliged to go out and work the public roads under negro overseers.
We cannot express our abhorrence of all these things. Will the white men give it their countenance? Under Democratic rule such things could never have come to pass, and it is only by putting the Democrats again in control that what has been done can be undone, and these outrages on the white school children and the white men of these counties be remedied.
The following letter to the editor of this paper was written by Mr. W. M. Saunders, a well-known and prominent citizen of Smithfield:
Mr. Josephus Daniels, editor News and Observer, Raleigh, N. C.
Dear Sir:--I have had some correspondence with Professor Ray, Superintendent of the Institution for the Blind, at Raleigh, North Carolina, relative to the education of my little daughter, who, unfortunately, is afflicted with bad eyesight. At one time I feared the condition of the child's eyes would force me to place her under the tuition of Mr. Ray, but fortunately the skillful treatment of my physicians, Drs. Lewis and Battle, has, I hope, relieved me of this melancholy necessity.
My correspondence with Mr. Ray has led me to make some inquiry in reference to the management of this great institution, and to my utter astonishment and shame, I have been informed that the Chairman of the Board of Directors of this institution, in which are educated the blind white children of North Carolina, is James H. Young, a negro politician. I write to inquire of you if my information is correct, and if correct, to request you to state explicitly the duties and powers of this negro politician over these unfortunate white children.
WM. M. SAUNDERS.
Jim Young is not officially known as Chairman of the Board, but practically he is the chairman and the whole outfit. That place is filled by one Geo. L. Tonnoffski, a variegated politician, who has not failed in any instance to do what Jim Young wanted done. At one meeting of the Board, when things were not going exactly to his notion, Jim determined to break a quorum, and turning to Tonnoffski said to him, "Come on, George, let's go." And George meekly got up and followed his political boss. This incident illustrates Jim's control of the Chairman and his management
of the White Institution for the Blind and the Colored Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and Blind.
There is not an official in any of these institutions who does not know that Jim Young is the head of the directorate and that Tonnoffski (they call him Turn-off-sky in Wake County) is merely Jim's agent to do his bidding. In official circles, the name of Tonnoffski appears as Chairman; in the practical operations of the Board, Jim Young is as complete boss as Quay in Pennsylvania and Platt in New York are bosses of the Republican Party.
In the contest over the election of a Principal of the colored institution, the Governor showed that he wanted Jim Young to run the institution, for he named a Director of Young's choice in order to let Young elect a negro politician who has no fitness for the place over a negro who was highly recommended. Russell and Young were for the unfit negro politician in preference to the capable negro teacher. That is a sample of the policy that has been pursued. Negroes and defaulters have been placed in positions of trust that ought to be held by intelligent white men, and when positions for negroes were to be filled, no capable negro who had fitted himself had any chance against a political parson. That's the record that has been made.
Writing of the debasement of this institution by Jim Young and his automatons, this paper published the following article in September last:
"James Young (colored).
"R. C. Rivers.
"Has either one of these men ever done anything to show that they were qualified to have charge of the education of the blind children of both races, and the deaf and dumb children of the negro race?
"If you had to pick out four men to select instructors for the deaf, dumb and blind children of the State, and had the whole State to choose from, do you think it possible you would select either of these men?
"More than that: If, in addition to selecting teachers for these children to whom the State owes a special duty, the men chosen had the management of a large sum of your money, do you think, after looking over the three hundred thousand voters in North Carolina, you would select these four men?
"What have these men done in life to entitle them to be entrusted with such delicate responsibilities? Have they succeeded in doing anything in any line to show their fitness? Are their names connected with any deeds of charity, any missions of mercy, any business of such character as to fit them to be the stewards of a high trust?
"Those of them who are known at all, are known as ward politicians whose highest idea of public service is to get something out of it for themselves or their kin. The others are mere puppets, voting as Jim Young directs them to vote, either not knowing their duties or not caring to take the trouble to perform them.
"These four men's votes control the destiny of the State white Institution for the Blind and the colored Institution for the Deaf, and Dumb, and the Blind. There isn't a lady teacher in the Blind Institution who cannot be removed at their will. There isn't a dollar that is not to be spent as they decree.
"It is even worse than that: While it takes four votes to control the Board, one man--and he the negro politician, Jim Young--is its dictator as absolutely as Quay is the dictator of the Republican machine in Pennsylvania. He cracks the whip, and his three automatons make the motions as he directs.
"Here we have, in this year of grace 1897, in the city of Raleigh, a negro politician who is master not only of the three white men who do his bidding at the crack of his whip, but who directs the policy of the State's institution for the education of the deaf, dumb and blind.
"How do you like such white slavery to a negro master in Raleigh? Can you contemplate the picture without indignation, particularly when the institution is run extravagantly and in some instances by incompetent and unworthy men? If so, you are not the kind of Anglo-Saxon who has made the race illustrious throughout all the past.
"There are seven Directors of these two institutions--one for the white blind and one for the colored deaf, dumb and blind. The men who manage the negro institution manage the white one. The Superintendent of both is Prof. John E. Ray, a capable and experienced man, a native of Wake County, who has had large experience in Kentucky and Colorado. He has no power to elect any of his assistants, but must take such as Jim Young gives him. He takes them and does the best he can with them. His recommendations are heeded whenever no political advantage can be
made by ignoring them, and then they are ruthlessly ridden over or ignored.
"The public is familiar with the resignation of Professor Meserve. He is a Republican President of a negro college. He accepted a place on the Board to help keep it efficient. He was forced to resign because, as he said:
"'I cannot conscientiously, with self-respect and a conscientious desire to do my duty, remain in a position where I must share responsibility, when a majority of the Board has adopted a line of policy which, in my judgment as to how the institution should be managed, is positively detrimental to the highest good of both the institution and the State. . . . . . Individual efficiency and high moral character, rather than political "pull," can alone subserve the highest interests of the public service.'
"The Committee on Education of the Board is composed of Jim Young, Geo. Tonnoffski and Chas. McNamara. If this was not so serious, it would be the funniest joke perpetrated in this century.
"Mr. J. A. Briggs has been a member of the Board twelve years, and has done great service as Chairman of the Executive Committee. The gang now in charge turned him down to put George Tonnoffski in his place. The story of the difference in management could not be better told to those who know the two men!
"It is not our purpose to-day to review the June meeting, when Mr. W. H. Rand, a capable and efficient steward, was removed to make place for J. Rowan Rogers, who had defaulted as the Republican Sheriff of Wake County.
"The recent meeting of the Board either passed a resolution, or entered an order, or something like it, excusing Rev. Joseph Perry from teaching in the institution. The Reverend Joseph is the political parson recently elected Supervisor of the colored department over a competent colored man named Patillo. At the time of his election this paper said he was unfit for the place. Were we right? The action of the Board excusing him from teaching proves it.
"Let us see what Perry costs the State. He gets $60 a month and 'keep.' It is the same salary Professor Pegues received, but Professor Pegues had classes and taught the children.
"At the June meeting Mr. T. H. Tillinghast, a deaf and dumb man, with life-long experience in teaching the deaf and dumb, was dropped and a negro by the name of W. H. Caldwell was elected in his place. Every man who knew
anything about the institution, knew the loss of Mr. Tillinghast was serious. But the gang wanted a place for the negro Caldwell, and Mr. Tillinghast had to walk the plank. After Rev. Joseph Perry was elected, the Board saw that somebody just had to be elected who knew something about the business, and Mr. Tillinghast was re-elected to teach the classes formerly taught by the man who was Perry's predecessor. So Perry's election virtually costs the State $110 a month and 'keep.' This is characteristic of the management of the one man power.
"Jim Young is a hard negro to satisfy. He is not only Chief Fertilizer Inspector, having white men under him; Grand Mogul of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind Institution, having three white men who do his bidding; a leading candidate for postmaster; and general boss of his party in the Fourth District. He wanted more. And so he had his daughter elected teacher of music. She is said to be not over sixteen years old and without experience. However that may be, she was elected at a salary of $37.50 a month; her predecessor, who was a trained teacher, receiving $30 a month and board. She may be worth it. If so, the white ladies who teach in the white institution are greatly underpaid.
"What do the white music teachers receive? The following lady teachers and employees get less than Jim Young's daughter: Miss Maggie Brombly gets $20 a month; Miss Mary Shanks, $25 a month; Miss Fannie E. Floyd gets $20 a month; Miss Estelle Timberlake, $25 a month; Miss Laura Newsome, $27.50 a month; Miss E. S. Crow, $32.50 a month; Mrs. M. C. Brinson, $20 a month; Miss Tyrie Grubbs, $25 a month, and Miss Mary Davis, $25 a month.
"There are a number of instances which might be cited showing favoritism. Mrs. L. S. Harrison, a most competent lady who had been matron of the institution for many years, was dropped to make a place for S. Otho Wilson's candidate. Mrs. Meadows, who came from Granville County. Without experience or special fitness, the new appointee was paid the same salary given Mrs. Harrison, with particular fitness and long experience. But S. Otho's candidate, like Jim Young's daughter, must have the biggest pay.
"At the June meeting they abolished the broom and mattress shop at the white department; sent the machinery down to the colored department; and then, of course, dropped the two Andersons who were in charge of the work. It was not paying. Subsequently they found out that
Charles Anderson was a Republican, and re-established the department and put him in charge. This will necessitate purchase of additional new machinery.
"These are the more flagrant instances of partisanship, mismanagement and favoritism going to prove the unfitness of the men in charge.
"Of course this sort of management will prove costly to the State's taxpayers. The pay-roll already shows $1,136.70 more than last year. If managed as well as by the old Board, it should be $2,136.70 less than it is. Last year, after electing Mr. Ray as the head of the institution, Mr. Young was employed at a salary of $1,000 for a special purpose, and the Board would have saved that $1,000 this year. The new Board saved this $1,000, decreased the salary paid Mr. Blair's successor $400--effecting a saving in two positions of $1,400, and yet the pay-roll is already $1,136.70 more than last year.
"In view of the fact that Governor Russell has seen fit to turn the deaf, dumb and blind children over to the mercy of Jim Young, it may not be inappropriate to ask, Who is Jim Young, and what are his qualifications?
`It is perhaps best to let Governor Russell answer these questions, as he ought to know most about the man he selects to discharge the responsible duties of manager of a great State educational and charitable institution. The following letter explains itself:
" 'Wilmington, N. C., April 8, 1892.
" 'Mr. A. Brady, Charlotte, N. C.
"'Dear Sir:--I hear that you and Colonel Myers were named by the Jim Young-Lockey gang at Rockingham. The decent Republicans at this end regret that men of character like yourself and Colonel Myers should be yoked with a gang of scoundrels with whom not one single respectable man in this region will affiliate. Of course you may answer that they are just as good as such rascals as Gordon & Company. It seems that the rascals are on top at both ends.
" 'We have made up our minds not to be bound by hoodlums and thieves. I hope Colonel Myers will not permit himself to be humiliated and degraded by running on the same ticket with Lockey. Of course we would like to support him for anything he wants, but we can't stand the combination. We think the thing to do is to put decency in charge or break up the concern. I had supposed that Colonel Myers would be opposed to running any State ticket,
or any county ticket in the negro counties, except where respectable white men are in control.
" 'Yours truly,
D. L. RUSSELL.
" 'P. S.--Please show this to Colonel Myers. I should say that all the presumptions of title are in favor of Gordon. The negroes generally go with the rascals. It will take strong evidence to prove that Mecklenburg is an exception to the rule.' "
No wonder it was to the "utter astonishment and shame" that he found the only white school for the blind in the State under the control of an unfit negro politician. It is a fact that has brought "humiliation and shame" to every respectable man in the State, and a bitter and deep feeling of resentment to those parents whose unfortunate children are dependent upon the State's generous provision for their education. It is as much a regret to have to send a child to a school controlled by Jim Young, as if Wake Forest were to turn Dr. Skinner out as President of the Board of Trustees and make Rev. Joe Perry President, or for the Trustees of Trinity to turn out Mr. James H. Southgate and substitute John C. Dancy. Such actions are, of course, impossible, but they would be no greater insult to the parents whose sons are educated at those honored institutions than have been offered the parents of the blind children of the State. It is even a greater insult to them if Governor Russell's estimate of Jim Young is correct, for he said that "not one single respectable man" in the region about Wilmington would "affiliate" with Jim Young, who was declared to be a "rascal." If Colonel Myers would be "humiliated and degraded" by running with the Young-Lockey combination of "rascals," is it not more "humiliating and degrading" for the white blind children to have the only institution in the State at which they can be educated dominated and controlled by a negro politician, who is characterized as a "rascal with whom not one single respectable man will affiliate."
A good citizen of one of our western counties was one of the first to join Butler and his Populist Party. No one in his county became a more bitter partisan of that organization. He is an honest man, and believed that the new party, led by Senator Butler, would reform conditions and bring about prosperous times, as well as better government. He had been taught that the Democratic administration in the State was not only corrupt, but was designedly oppressive of the people, and responsible for the low prices of farm products. Thus misled, he united with the Butler party, and has since been one of its most uncompromising supporters.
That is, has been until very recently. He had occasion to visit Raleigh, and having a friend and neighbor who has a little unfortunate child at the Institution for the Blind in this city, he naturally felt an inclination to make inquiries concerning the child of his neighbor and friend. The horror and disgust that seized him upon ascertaining that one of the chief rulers of this institution, an institution sacred in the affections and sympathies of all the people, was the negro "Col." Jim Young, and that he was the appointee of Governor Russell, can better be imagined than described. He realized at once what Russellism means. Here was the innocent, unfortunate little child of his neighbor and friend, of his own race, in an institution the central figure of whose directory is a negro who, though appointed by the Governor, was but recently denounced by that same Governor as meriting the stripes and punishment of a Penitentiary convict. His indignation found vent in words that are more expressive than complimentary to Russell and his associates, and he goes home to not only tell his friends and neighbors of this crime against their race, perpetrated by their own party leaders, but to declare his purpose to do all in his power to rectify the wrong done his State and neighbors and friends partially by his vote. It is needless to say this gentleman will work and vote for the Democratic Party and white supremacy hereafter.
But, having his eyes opened as to the Jim Young influence in the management of this institution for white unfortunates, led him to make further inquiries, and he was shocked when he learned the true facts of the way white schools are dominated in eastern counties by offensive negro politicians of the Russell-Jim Young stripe. He had heard much of such things before, but had been told that such statements were Democratic lies, and having but few negroes in his section and not being brought in contact with actual facts before, had become indifferent at least to the charges. But when brought face to face with it, in the case of the tender little child of his neighbor and friend, and being given proof positive of the existence of similar offenses throughout eastern North Carolina, the good man's indignation and shame could not find suitable expression, save in the earnest declaration that, "God being my helper, I will do all I can to relieve my race from such degradation. I am a white man, and 'blood is thicker than water.' "
Let the truth of the real condition of affairs as brought about by the Russell combination be given to the people, and a white man's government for the good of all the people will surely be re-established in old North Carolina. The above is simply a sample of the indignation that will be felt all over the State.
In order to try to discredit some of our Democratic workers in the estimation of the friends of silver, some of the Populist papers are charging that these workers are not true silver men. An article in the Morning Post of August 7, 1898, so completely answers this false charge that we publish it in full:
"It has become the habit of late of the Progressive Farmer and Caucasian, and their crowd of the Russell and McKinley pie-eaters, to exercise censorship not only over the conduct, but the motives of North Carolinians, who refuse 'to play in their back-yard.' They assume to possess divine omniscience, and to be able to look into the hearts of men, and discover whether they are sincere in what they say and do. They make a great outcry for silver and against gold. They denounce everybody whom they wish to damn, regardless of all truth, as 'gold-bugs,' and claim that only the select few who submit to their dictatorship are really and sincerely friends of silver. These self-ordained high priests of silver are just now engaged in excommunicating from the fold of the white metal all those whose sense of honesty and decency will not permit them to march under the Russell and Pritchard banner, which they have so recently helped to carry to victory in this State and triumphantly hoisted over the Capitol. The Democratic State Executive Committee is composed of fifty-eight members; of these only one is an advocate of the gold standard. For this reason they denounce the other fifty-seven members of the Committee either as gold bugs outright, or under the control of the gold propaganda. In the late Democratic State Convention there were a few avowed advocates of gold, who, nevertheless, vote and act with the party because they believe in white supremacy, honest government and all other things favored by the party, except silver. For this reason these public censors denounce all the balance of this magnificent body of eight hundred North Carolinians as gold-bugs hypocritically masquerading in the livery of silver. There are in the Democratic Party of this State a few thousand avowed advocates of gold, who nevertheless
vote and act with the party because they believe in everything that party advocates, except silver. For this reason the one hundred and forty odd thousand North Carolinians who, in 1896, voted and worked for the Chicago platform, Mr. Bryan and free silver, are denounced by this crowd as gold-bugs hypocritically advocating free silver. The reason which these censors of the honest voters of the State assign for this alleged hypocrisy is truly amusing. It is this: That the Democrats are pretending to be for silver when really for gold, in order to deceive and mislead and by false pretense secure the vote of a few thousand voters whose suffrages this crowd claim the right to control and trade on to secure offices for themselves. They denounce as gold-bugs, without the slightest regard to their past record and position upon the financial question, every man appointed, nominated or elected by the Democratic Party to any position of trust or responsibility. Governor Jarvis has grown old in the service of the State; has enjoyed the respect and confidence of the people of the State as but few men have; has been heard upon every stump in the State in support of silver; as United States Senator worked and voted for silver; but because he was selected by the Chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee to assist in writing the record of the misdeeds of the present Fusion administration in this State, he is denounced by this crowd as a gold-bug and a hypocrite. Recently Mr. Simmons was elected Chairman of the State Executive Committee, and despite the fact that he is known to have begun the advocacy of silver, when he was a candidate for Congress, many years ago; despite the fact that before the Populist Party was born, he made free silver speeches at Alliance picnics, in his home county; despite the fact that in the campaign of 1894, at the risk of losing his position, he advocated free silver on the stump, in twenty counties in the State; despite the fact that in the Democratic Convention of 1896, he made a speech in favor of unlimited coinage, and declared that the two metals were found in the bowels of the earth, at about the ratio of 16 to 1; despite the fact that in the campaign which followed, he again, at the risk of losing his place, canvassed the State for free silver; despite the fact that in 1892, as the then Chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee, he advocated in the Clinton Congressional Convention, a more advanced declaration for silver than was then contained in the State and National platforms of his party, he is denounced by this crowd as a gold-bug and a hypocrite. How different things appear to
these censors of the honest voters of North Carolina when they turn their contorting search-light upon the hearts and minds of Republicans.
"In 1896 Oliver H. Dockery was a candidate for the nomination for Governor. He was loud and boisterous in his advocacy of the gold standard and attacked Russell, his opponent, upon the ground that he was not exactly straight for gold. Russell, however, tricked and cheated him out of the nomination. The tortuous course of Populism in this State under the leadership of this crowd made it convenient to have Colonel Dockery on the Populist State ticket, and despite his gold record he was placed there. It became necessary to satisfy the rank and file of the party, who were sincerely and honestly for silver, that Colonel Dockery was a bi-metallist. To most men, in view of the Colonel's record upon this question, this would have been regarded as a herculean, if not impossible, task. It was an easy undertaking, however, for this crowd. It was only necessary that Colonel Dockery should say a word for silver--just a word. The inducement offered him to say this word was an office. It is useless to say that the Colonel looked at his old idol, gold, and then at the office which was held before him as the price of betrayal--looked again and hesitated not--for, like Spencer Blackburn's drummer boy, he had never learned how to 'beat a retreat' from an office. The Colonel very readily agreed that he would hold his gold views in abeyance and with the adriotness for which he is famous, would dally with silver while he ran with all his might for the office. As usual, the Colonel was defeated, and having held his gold views in abeyance as long as was necessary to serve the purpose of Mr. Butler and his crowd of party manipulators, he returned again to the worship of the Golden Calf. No more was heard of the doughty Colonel until a few weeks ago, when the Republican Convention of the (Sixth) Congressional District met, adopted a gold platform and endorsed gold-bug McKinley, and nominated him and placed him on this platform for Congress. Everybody said at once this means three tickets in the Sixth District, for the Populists will not dare attempt to palm off this gold-bug as a silver man on their party. But everybody was mistaken. For some dark reason of Populist policy, notwithstading the Colonel was standing upon a gold-bug Republican platform, pledged to die by it, Mr. Butler commended his endorsement to his party, and this old gold-bug, to the disgust of honest men of all parties, is to be again paraded before Populist audiences in the Sixth District as a friend of silver.
"In 1896 Linney and Pearson were nominated in their respective districts on a gold-bug platform and freely declared their purpose to vote for a gold-bug President. But Populist policy required the endorsement of the gold-bugs; and in order to satisfy the consciences of the true silverites in their party, they extorted an equivocal declaration for silver from them, and then began to make the welkin of the Eighth and Ninth Districts ring with their praises as loyal champions of the White Metal. Both Linney and Pearson were elected with the aid of Populist votes, and for two years in Congress they did all they could to preserve the present gold standard. Now and then, for policy's sake, they dallied a bit with silver, always taking care to do nothing for it that might peradventure hurt gold. Everybody thought after this record in Congress the Populist leaders would not dare again to hold up these gold-bugs to the Populist voters of their Districts as friends of silver. But everybody was mistaken. They have both been nominated again, and despite their gold record, the Populists of their Districts will be asked to support them again in the name of bi-metalism.
In 1896 Jeter Pritchard, the acknowledged leader of the Republican Party in North Carolina, the boisterous advocate of McKinley, who so loved this great apostle of gold that he named his new-born babe after him; who is an admirer of Mark Hanna, and who telegraphed his congratulations to Hanna when he fixed the Ohio Legislature, was elected to the Senate by Populist votes under the pretense that notwithstanding his gold-bug associations, he was really for silver. In the Senate, when there was no chance to help silver, he professed readiness to help it. When there was a chance to help it, he flatly refused to help it. His record there was distinctly one of hostility to silver, yet he was re-elected by the help of seventeen Populist Representatives and Senators of what is known as the minority Populists in North Carolina, who, in the face of his gold record still insist that he is a friend of silver. Every one of these seventeen Populist Senators and Representatives who voted for Pritchard have received from him, or expect to receive an office, under gold-bug McKinley. Under ordinary circumstances, the acceptance by a silver man of a commission of a gold-bug President against whom he had voted, would at least create suspicion as to his sincerity, but not so with the Populist horde who hold Federal offices in the post-office, revenue and other departments of the National and State governments. A few
months ago a Populist conference was held in Raleigh. To this conference came Butler Populists and Skinner Populists: Populist postmasters and Populist revenue officers with commissions in their pockets from gold-bugs McKinley and Pritchard. Another election was about to be held, more offices were to be distributed, and the fierce war which had been waged between minority and majority Populists was forgotten. Butler Populists and Pritchard Populists and McKinley Populists came together in loving embrace and agreed that every act of treachery to silver should be condoned and pardoned, and that no Populist should hereafter be permitted to question the sincerity for silver of the gang who had elected Pritchard and attorned to McKinley and gold by accepting commissions in the post-office and revenue service, and the famous resolution declaring that any Populist who should thereafter question the sincerity of these Pritchardites by raising the "question of majority and minority Populists, should be viewed with suspicion," was unanimously passed.
Nothing a Democrat can do for silver proves to this crowd of self-constituted censors his sincerity for that metal; nothing that a Republican or Populist can do for gold discredits him with them as a friend of silver.
The people may be deceived by hypocrisy for a time, but not always. The people may be misled by falsehoods for a time, but not long. Truth is proverbially slow in overtaking falsehood, but it invariably catches it. Truth is frequently crushed to the earth, but it never fails to rise again. It does not require a prophet to foretell the fate of the men who have won high places in North Carolina by falsehood; by slander; by treachery; by hypocrisy.
The books and records of the various departments of this State have been in the possession of the enemies of the Democratic Party for more than eighteen months. These enemies have had time and opportunity to search them through and through. The only suggestion of any failure of duty on the part of any Democratic official comes from a newspaper against two brave and chivalrous men, who are now dead and cannot speak for themselves. But Hon. C. M. Cooke, late Secretary of State, has so completely and fully answered the insinuations of this paper, that we give his letter to the public. Neither he nor the letter needs any words of commendation, both speak for themselves, and no one can discredit either. The letter is as follows:
"Louisburg, N. C., August 8, 1898.
"My attention has been called to a publication made in the Progressive Farmer in its issue of April 19th last, comparing the present administration of the Secretary of State with the administrations of his predecessors, which does injustice to the latter. There have been other references to this subject by the same paper and by other papers in the State, and unjust deductions drawn from the estimates and figures given in the said article.
"The article referred to gives what is claimed to be a correct statement of the taxes from insurance companies collected and paid to the Treasurer by the present Secretary of State, from January, 1897, to April 1, 1898, and compares this statement with the amount reported collected and paid over by Secretary Cooke, from September 1, 1895, to January 1, 1897. To one unacquainted with the law, this comparison would seem fair. But to one familiar with the law, it would appear, as is the fact, that the period covered by the time selected from Dr. Thompson's administration is for the purpose of collecting the commission taxes on insurance, to which it refers, practically two years; while the period covered by the time selected from Secretary Cooke's administration, in respect to this same subject-matter, covers practically only one year.
"The law in respect to the commission taxes on insurance
companies is: 'That the commission tax of two per cent on the receipts of the insurance companies, is due and payable within fifty days after the reports of the companies are filed, and that such reports must be filed within thirty days after the first days of January and July, respectively. A much larger business is done by the insurance companies during the fall months, and the taxes on January reports are much larger than on the July reports. It will be seen that while there were sixteen months of the Cooke administration, it only embraced the times for the receiving of two semi-annual reports and two semi-annual taxes, namely, January, 1896, and July, 1896, while the fourteen and two-third months taken from Dr. Thompson's administration include the return periods of January, 1897; July, 1897, and January, 1898.
"There are two taxes on insurance companies. The one is the commission tax, referred to above, and the other the specific and license tax. The commission tax has been uniformly two per cent, but the law allowing a reduction of this tax to one per cent for investment of the companies' receipts in this State has not been uniform in respect to its requirements. For years this reduction was allowed on the investment of one-half of the premium receipts in this State, and a number of the insurance companies complied with this law and only paid one per cent taxes on their receipts. In 1895, during the last year of Secretary Coke's administration, the law was changed so as to require the investment in this State of one-fourth of the entire assets of the company to secure this reduction. None of the companies, except those chartered in North Carolina, availed themselves of this new law. This should be considered in favor of Colonel Coke and Colonel Saunders in considering the increase of the amount of taxes collected by the Cooke and Thompson administrations over theirs. The license tax has been several times changed. At the commencement of Col. Saunders' administration, in 1879, it was $100 on both fire and life insurance companies. It so continued until the act of the Legislature preceeding the adoption of The Code in 1883, when it was raised to $120, and it was so written in The Code. But in 1885, this license tax was reduced, both for fire and life insurance companies, to $50, and so continued to 1891, when it was again increased to $100. In 1895 the tax on fire insurance companies was left at $100, but was increased to $200 on life companies. In March, 1897, it was increased to $200 on fire companies and $250 on life companies. So it will be seen that during the last year of the Coke administration, and during the Cooke
administration, the license on fire insurance companies was twice what it was during six years of the Saunders administration, and the license on life insurance companies was four times as great as during the said six years, and twice as much as it was during Saunders' administration, from 1883, and all of the Coke administration, except the last year. Now, the tax during the Thompson administration has been twice as great on the fire insurance companies as it was during the Cooke administration and of the Coke administration, and the tax on life companies 150 per cent greater than in first three years of the Coke administration, and 25 per cent greater than in the last year of Coke administration and during the Cooke administration.
According to the reports made by Secretary Cooke to the last General Assembly, the amounts collected by his predecessor and himself and paid into the treasury on account of these insurance taxes for the two years preceding December 31, 1895, as follows:
|Insurance commission tax, 1895 (by Coke)||$35,652.45|
|License tax, 1895 (by Coke)||10,016.59|
|Insurance commission tax, '96 (by Coke)||$46,333.03|
|License tax, 1896 (by Cooke)||13,375.80|
|In addition to the above there was on deposit in the bank as part of the amount and turned over to Secretary Thompson||2,966.14|
"Dr. Thompson's books show that he collected during the first year of his administration, that is, up to January 1, 1898, as follows:
|For commission tax||$59,057.01|
|For license tax||25,963.62|
"So it will be seen that the collections in 1896 under the Cooke administration exceeded the collections of 1895, the last year of the Coke administration, by $17,005.45. The increase in 1896 over 1895 would be accounted for by the increase in the number of insurance companies and the extension
of the business. The increase of Secretary Thompson's administration for 1897 over 1896 would be accounted for by the increase on the amount of the license tax--because of the higher rate, this alone would amount to something over $10,000--and a slight increase in the number of companies, and the increase of the commission tax on account of extension of the business, which has been much. Those who have not investigated the development of the insurance business of North Carolina have no idea as to what extent and how rapidly it has continually grown in recent years. A reference to the annual statements of Secretary Cooke, made in 1896, and to that of Secretary Thompson, made in 1897, shows that in one year this increase amounted to over a quarter of a million dollars for sixteen life companies, and the increase in the commission tax thereon to more than five thousand dollars.
"The license year of insurance companies is from April to April. Some of the taxes aggregating over two thousand dollars, due for the year commencing first of April, 1896, and ending first of April, 1897, which were collectible under the Cooke administration, were collected by Secretary Thompson after he came into office. Some of these were from old companies which had been doing business in the State for some time, and who had made their regular reports, and their solvency approved, but the tax had not been paid, nor new licenses issued to the companies. The other companies were doing business without license and without the knowledge of the Secretary of State, who had no means of detecting them in so doing. When these companies filed reports at the beginning of 1897, these reports showed that they had been doing business in North Carolina in 1896; and Secretary Thompson, as was always the rule of the office, collected the full amount of taxes which they should have paid in 1896, before authorizing them to do business for 1897.
"It appears from the report of Capt. Coke that the collection, from the 1st of April, 1891, to April, 1895, amounted to $166,994.60, an average of $41,498.65. Now, the fact that the amounts collected per year by Secretary Coke were less than the amounts collected by Secretary Cooke and Secretary Thompson, ought not to be considered as any evidence of unfaithfulness on the part of Secretary Coke, for the reasons: that it is accounted for by the increase of the license tax and the large extension of the insurance. And this applies also to the collections made under Col. Saunders' administration. During the early years of his administration
the insurance business was insignificant as compared with what it is now; and during the last six years of his administration the license tax was only $50 a year for all companies, whereas during Secretary Thompson's administration it is $250 a year for life companies and $200 a year for fire companies. During these six years the annual amount of license tax could not have been more than about $5,000. A greater injustice could not be done to the memory of this brave and honorable man than to suggest this as ground for impeaching his character either for integrity or faithfulness.
"On the day of Dr. Thompson's qualification as Secretary of State I presented to him a balance-sheet, showing a balance on depositt to the credit of Secretary of State on all accounts of $9,766.64, which amount I immediately turned over to him. I at the same time tured over to him the books of the office, including two ledgers, which contained a full account of my administration of the office. I believe Dr. Thompson is an intelligent and efficient officer. As he did not call my attention to any error found in the office, I am obliged to conclude that he has given out no statement to any one which reflects in any way upon my administration of the office, and that he is in no way responsible for the publication referred to in the beginning of this communication.
C. M. COOKE."
The Republican Party stands for the single gold standard. The Democratic Party stands for the free and unlimited coinage of both gold and silver.
The Republican Party stands for a high tariff tax levied mainly on that class of articles consumed chiefly by the farmer and the laborer.
The Democratic Party stands for a low tariff tax on these articles.
The Republican Party stands for trusts and monopoly, and by its policies fosters the growth of these cormorants. The Democratic Party is the implacable enemy of these instruments of oppression. A triumph of its policies would utterly destroy them.
The Republican Party favors raising the money to meet the war expenditures by a high tariff tax on consumption, by a burdensome tax on business, and by issuing interest bearing bonds. The Democratic Party favors raising this money by a tax on accumulated wealth, by the coinage of the silver bullion now in the treasury, and by issuing treasury notes.
The Republican Party stands for gold, and interest bearing bonds and bank notes redeemable in gold alone--the money of the rich easily hoarded.
The Democratic Party stands for both gold and silver, and treasury notes redeemable in either, the money of both the rich and the poor, which cannot be hoarded.
The Republican Party in two years increased the bonded debt of the State millions upon millions of dollars, until this increase, principal and interest, amounted, January, 1877, when the real Democratic period began, to over $25,000,000.
The Democratic Party reduced this debt by submitting to the voters of the State a constitutional amendment, repudiating the fraudulent debt and by compromising the honest debt, so that the entire debt for which the people are taxed is only $3,615,000.
The Republican Party destroyed the credit of the State. The Democratic Party restored it.
The Republican Party overrun many of the counties with debt and destroyed their credit. The Democratic Party, by honest and economical management, paid off these debts and restored the credit of these counties, all the while reducing taxation.
The Republican Party misapplied and squandered the school fund and closed up the school-houses. The Democratic Party created another fund and opened the school-houses.
The Republican Party, in its two years and more of power, from July 1, 1868, to September 30, 1870 (the end of the fiscal year), used $370,569.19 of the school fund. Only $38,981.86 was used for the schools--the balance, to-wit, the sum of $331,587.33 was misapplied or wasted.
The Democratic Party did not waste or misapply a single dollar, but by increasing the fund as rapidly as the condition of the people would allow, it increased the expenditures for schools each year, commencing in the year 1877, with $289,213.32, and ending in the year 1896 with $817,562.31.
The Republican Party taxed the people in 1869 eighty cents on the one hundred dollars worth of property, and made no improvement whatever. The Democratic Party levied an average tax from 1877 to 1895 of twenty-three and one-half cents on the one hundred dollars worth of property; and with this small rate of taxation it made vast improvements.
The Republican Party filled many of the local offices with negroes and incompetent white men. The Democratic Party replaced those with fit and competent white men.
The Republican Party, through its Union Leagues and incompetent, lawless, corrupt officials, created and fostered a spirit of lawlessness that culminated in the Kirk war, the arrest and imprisonment of hundreds of innocent men, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, the exhaustion of the judiciary and the attempted trial of men charged with crime by military tribunals, in open violation of the Constitution and laws of the State. The Democratic Party, through its wise laws and impartial, faithful officials, restored and maintained law and order to every section of the State.
The Republican Party, by its ignorant, vicious officials demonstrated its utter inability to give security to life, liberty or property, and as a consequence fear seized upon the people and a reign of terror swept over the State. The Democratic
Party replaced these ignorant, venal officials with faithful, competent men, and demonstrated its ability and determination to give protection to life, liberty and property; then fear gave way to confidence, and anxiety to security.
The Republican Party dishonored and disgraced the State. The Democratic Party wiped away these stains and made her name and fame equal to that of any other State in the Union.
The Republican Party turned loose a lot of vampires on the State to suck her very life blood. The Democratic Party tore these vile creatures loose and sent them away into the darkness of eternal infamy.
In election after election the Republican Party, with its dark and damnable record, went down in defeat before the Democratic Party, with its pure and patriotic record.
In 1892 the Populist Party was organized for the avowed purpose of reforming the two old parties in National affairs. It wrote reform in it platforms, emblazoned it on its banners and engraved it upon its press. It put up its own candidates and fought its own battles for recognition in State and Nation. It inveighed against both the old parties in National affairs, but admitted that the Democratic record in State affairs was good. It failed to make a lodgment that gave promise of future success.
In the campaign of 1894 the momentous question of the future of North Carolina was involved--whether the State should be turned over to the party that had debauched and disgraced it or be kept in the hands of the party that had governed it wisely and well. Near fifty thousand voters had cast their ballots for the Populist Party in 1892, so that party held the balance of power between the two old parties, and could therefore determine the result of the election. It had the record of these two parties before it, and, strange to say, the leaders of this party of reform sat down and deliberately planned and traded and bargained with the Republican party in consideration of certain offices for themselves to turn the State over to the Republican Party disgraced as it is, with its dark and damnable record; and then, in '96, for like consideration, the same disgraceful trade was confirmed by this same party of reform.
We now resume the contrast and comparison:
|The Democratic Legislature of 1891 cost||$63,018.01|
|The Democratic Legislature of 1893 cost||65,976.78|
|These were the last two Democratic Legislatures. and they cost||128,994.79|
|The Rep.-Pop. Reform Legislature of 1895 cost,||$72,266.74|
|The Rep.-Pop. Reform Legislature of 1897 cost,||70,760.75|
|The two Rep.-Pop. Reform Legislatures cost,||143,027.49|
So the two Rep.-Pop. Reform Legislatures cost the taxpayers $14,032.70 more than the two preceding Democratic Legislatures.
Now, let us compare the costs of the State Government for the years 1891 and 1893, when Democratic Legislatures made the appropriations, with the cost for the years 1895 and 1897, when Rep.-Pop. Reform Legislatures made the appropriations:
|1891--cost of State Government||$1,179,794.88|
|1893--cost of State Government||1,319,648.10|
|Cost for 1891 and 1893 (Democratic years),||$2,499,444.95|
|1895--cost of State Government||1,349,335.65|
|1897--cost of State Government||1,364,048.29|
|Cost for 1895 and 1897 (Republican years),||2,713,383.94|
Deducting the costs of the two Democratic years from the two Republican years, and we have this result--the two Republican years cost the tax-payers $213,938.96 more than the two Democratic years.
We mention another item. It is not much, it is true, but it shows how reformers reform in little things. It was the custom for years and years to pay the Clerk of the Board of Directors of the Insane Asylum at Raleigh $100 per year for recording their proceedings. This is the most any Democratic Board ever thought of paying for that service. The Republican-Pupulist Fusion Board elected one of their number clerk, and pay him $300 a year to record their proceedings. The Fusion Board pays three times as much for the same service as the Democratic Board paid. But then they went for pie, and why should they not get as large a slice as
possible? If a small piece is good, a larger piece is better, seems to be their motto.
So it seems that as rank-set as the Populists started out as reformers, they have not been able to reform the Republicans.
These contrasts and comparisons might be carried further with interest and profit, but it is believed that enough has been said along this line to show any fair-minded white man the path of duty in the coming election, when it is certain that either the Democratic or Republican Party will be chosen to legislate for the State.
"We favor the enactment of such legislation as will encourage capital "to make investments within our State and we guarantee that the same "shall be protected."
Elsewhere in this book we have stated the record of the Democratic Party in reference to property and property rights. To that record we point with pride and challenge the most searching scrutiny. The more it is searched and read the stronger will become the confidence of all classes of our people in the wisdom and justice of the Democratic Party in its treatment of persons and property. It would seem that a party with such a record could stand upon it; and with confidence, can challenge the support of every citizen of the State who loves just and equitable laws for the encouragement of industries and the protection to property the well as the rights of persons. But there has grown up in the State such a feeling of insecurity, under the present administration, that the party thought it proper, in its recent State Convention, to re-state its position on this important question, and in pursuance of this purpose it passed the resolution which stands at the head of this article.
We hold that good government means protection to property, as well as to persons; and that there can be no good government without proper protection to life, to liberty, to property and to the pursuit of happiness. The fundamental law of the land declares these to be the prime objects of government; and any discrimination in favor of one of these objects and against another, or any warfare on one in favor of another, is a violation of this fundamental principle of government.
No State can be truly great that does not have an intelligent, honest, virtuous, independent, self-reliant population. It must also possess resources of wealth, in which the thrift, enterprise, industry and energy of the people may engage. Its laws and administration of justice must be such as to encourage the investment of capital and to guarantee its fair treatment. Intelligence and virtue and justice must preside in all its courts, and be the constant attendants of all its ministers.
North Carolina, in our opinion, possesses the people and
the resources to make her truly a great State, and it but needs the rule and voice and power of the virtuous, intelligent portion of its population and the investment of capital in her resources to give profitable employment to all her people, to place her in the front rank of the States of this Union. As we have elsewhere said in this book, the favorable and necessary conditions to investment, growth and development cannot exist under Republican rule in which the negro and the vicious elements predominate. The Democratic Party is therefore acting for the best interest of all the people when it seeks to regain power and to re-establish an administration which shall promote investments, encourage the starting up of new industries, thus affording larger opportunities to the laboring man and his family, and guarantee justice and protection to all classes of property. Its invitation to capital to seek investment, and its guarantee to protect it, are not meaningless words. It desires this investment to take place, because it is for the good of the laborer as well as of the investor. It pledges itself to protect these investments because justice and honor and the good of the State alike require it.
It is a significant fact, and one that should be constantly borne in mind, that under Democratic rule in this State there was never any conflict between labor and capital--both worked in harmony for the upbuilding of the State under just and equitable laws. Everything was done that could be done for the promotion, protection and elevation of the laborer. And just here we wish to bear testimony to the conservatism of the laborers of North Carolina. We have never known them to be unreasonable in their demands upon any of the departments of the government. All they have asked is to have laws which give them an even chance in the race of life, and which foster and guard and protect the fruits of their labor with the same jealous care that thay do the fruits of the investments of the capitalist. This is more noteworthy when it is remembered that the intelligent laborer, in shop and field, and the man of small means, form the bulk of the Democratic Party, and they can and do shape its destiny and control its action. The conservative force these classes of our people exert in their communities marks the party to which they belong as the best and safest for the State. They are the people, and it is their party.
If, at times in State and in Nation, large aggregations of wealth make unreasonable demands or undertake to exercise unlawful power, or to make oppressive rules and regulations,
it is no reason why a general warfare should be made on property. The proper thing to do is to deal with these instances with a strong hand, and to compel obedience to just and equitable laws, made for their suppression or supervision. To such a course as this the North Carolina Democracy stands pledged. The party has no prejudices, and it can have none against any class of property. Under Democratic policies every class of property must obey the laws and contribute its fair proportion to the support of the government, and then must receive, in return, like equitable treatment. Equal opportunities to all and special privileges to none is an axiom as true of property as of persons. When, therefore, our party invites capital to enter into the enterprises and industries of the State and guarantees to it protection, it re-affirms its long and honorable record, from 1876 to 1896.
It is common history that a new life, a new energy, a nobler impulse and a higher aspiration seized upon our people upon the accession to power of the Democratic Party after the dark night of Republican misrule. Under this new life, nobler impulse and higher aspirations, the State went bounding forward as never before. If it shall please the people to call this party back into power, after this second era of Republican misrule, we confidently believe that the industries, the enterprises and energies of the people will again receive and respond to the influences of these higher ideals, nobler life and loftier aspirations, and that the State will again bound forward in intellectual, moral and material development. We believe, from the great deep of our hearts, that the best interests of the State and all her people are wrapped up in the success of the Democratic Party. Becase we love our State and her people, and want to see her great and them prosperous and happy, we appeal to the capitalists, to the property-holder and laborer alike, to restore to power the only party which has shown its ability to lead the State and her people in the paths of progress, of peace and of prosperity.
The silver question is something more than a mere policy in regard to the circulating medium. As important as an abundant supply of money is to our people, the foundations of the silver question lie even deeper than that. It not only involves the volume of money, but the value of money; and since the value of all commodities and property is affected by the value of money, the silver question has a direct bearing on the value of property of every kind whatsoever. Its importance is thus seen at a single glance to be so high as to take it out of the category of merely partisan issues on which the voters divide to-day, but which are soon forgotten in the presence of some newer questions.
It has been the teaching of the best political economists, both in England and in this country, that the joint use of gold and silver at a fixed ratio gave a more stable standard of value than the use of either metal alone could give, and that by the adoption of the single gold standard, and the rejection of silver as a standard of value, money has appreciated, and all property values have correspondingly fallen.
Thirty years ago the prosperity of the people of Europe as well as of this country was at its highest tide. Aside from those communities where local influences caused an exceptional depression, the people of the civilized world generally were enjoying the most splendid prosperity recorded in the annals of history. It was in that era of wide-spread competency and general prosperity that without much, if any, consideration on the part of the masses, the fateful step was taken of making gold the single standard of value. The evils that necessarily attended the change were much mitigated by the action of various countries; and especially here in the United States was the baleful effect of this step mitigated by the passage of the Bland Act in 1877, and by various other acts subsequently thereto. But, nevertheless, this country, like all other countries, has greatly suffered in consequence.
Nothing could entirely arrest the development of this country, whose free institutions and fertile lands and wonderful opportunities attracted millions of foreigners to our thriving towns and Western territories. For years the wealth
created in the process of developing our resources lulled the people into a state of indifference as to the working of the new system. But the Democratic leaders at the South early saw the dangers and, raising their voices against the demonitization of silver, demanded its immediate restoration as a full money metal.
In particular were the Democrats of North Carolina emphatic and persistent in their declarations in favor of silver.
In every Convention of the party, since the earliest agitation of the silver question, they have declared in plain and explicit terms for the free and unlimited coinage of silver, and such was the position of the Democratic Party in North Carolina long prior to the agitation that led to the birth and formation of the Populist Party.
The record of our public men will be searched in vain to find a single utterance against the full remonitization of silver, until about the time of the panic of 1893. In that memorable year of panic and distress President Cleveland used all the powers of his high office to turn the Democratic Party away from its advocacy of silver, and a few of our public men and some of the business men of North Carolina followed his lead. But the Democratic Party in the State never wavered. It rejected the counsels of those who adopted the new ideas, and rallied closer and closer around the old banner of North Carolina Democracy.
At the opening of the succeeeding campaign, it sent a solid silver delegation to the National Democratic Convention, and its voice was for the nomination of that wonderful leader who electrified the continent with his earnest declaration, "You shall not press this crown of thorns upon the brow of labor nor crucify mankind upon a cross of gold." Soon afterward the Populist Party, which had formerly in this State insisted on the Sub-treasury Bill as the only practicable measure of financial relief, was also holding its National Convention, and was ardently supporting silver. These two organizations, having the same purpose in regard to silver, made common cause against the Republican Party, whose adherence to the gold standard was well understood. At the election of 1896 the Democrats in North Carolina had no candidate from Governor down to constable who was not for free silver; and every Democratic candidate for Congress was for free silver and a Bryan man.
In this year of grace, 1898, the same condition prevails. The Democratic nominees will all stand for the advocacy of the white metal.
In the election of 1896, however, the Populists, while supporting Bryan, voted for many gold-bugs--gold-bugs for Congress, gold-bugs for the Legislature, gold-bugs for county offices. And when the Legislature met in January, 1897, some of the very Populists who voted for Bryan and free silver, voted for Pritchard and the gold standard and sent a gold standard man to misrepresent this State whose voters had given Bryan and free silver a majority of twenty thousand over McKinley and the gold standard!
The course of the Populists in coalescing with the anti-silver Republicans is extraordinary and makes it questionable as to how earnest they are in their devotion to silver. They used to say that birds of a feather flock together; and never have we seen such an inconsistent association as the co-operation of silver men and gold-bugs.
In 1878, twenty years ago, Stanley Matthews introduced in the United States Senate a set of resolutions to the effect that the bonds and other debts of the United States were payable in coin," and therefore were payable in standard silver dollars. That resolution goes to the very root of the silver question.
Last winter Senator Teller introduced those resolutions over again, and they passed the Senate. But in the House only one Republican voted for them, while one hundred and eighty Republicans voted against them.
Now how can a silver Populist with any conscience at all vote to strengthen a party in Congress that is so pronounced against silver as all that? Only one for and one hundred and eighty against! The only Republican who voted for it was Linney, of this State, who was indoctrinated with silver doctrine when he formerly was a Democrat; but even he explained that he was not now in favor of free coinage.
Again, when Mr. Gage, the present Secretary of the Treasury under McKinley, was before the committee of the House explaining his views on currency, he started out by saying that the measure he proposed was intended by him to have the effect of strengthening the gold standard and to commit the country more thoroughly to it.
To strengthen the gold standard was his first aim; and President McKinley repeated the same declaration at the great banquet of the New York manufacturers a few days afterward. Indeed, the Republican Party at the North is almost unanimous on that line. What process of reasoning the Populists of North Carolina use to satisfy themselves with politically affiliating with these gold-bugs and strengthening them in Congress, we cannot understand. It passes all comprehension. They try to run with the hare and hold with the hounds, to be two very inconsistent things at one and the same time.
As earnest advocates of silver, as men who seek to promote the welfare of their country by securing silver legislation, as men zealously striving to lay broad the foundations of the people's prosperity and to obtain for ourselves and our posterity relief from the trusts and combines and the oppression of the gold standard, we protest that the Populists should not play hide and seek with this great question in such a puerile fashion; we protest that they should not claim to be silver men and then vote for gold-bug Republicans. They have a right to be one thing or another; but they have no right to wear the livery of heaven to serve the devil in.
The Democratic Party is no ephemeral, time-serving association, organized only for the spoils of office and playing for what is in sight. It is a grand organization, based on the enduring principles of popular government, and teaching the correct view of our duplex constitutional system. Its measures are moulded by the constantly varying conditions of the masses of our people and the changes that circumstances bring; but the underlying priniciples of its measures, the policy and purposes to be served, are ever the same. It is the party of men as distinguished from property; it is for the brotherhood of man rather than for the associated wealth of the country. It is for the happiness of the men and women of the country, in preference to gratifying the avarice of sordid greed.
In all its history, from Jefferson's day to the present, it has strenuously opposed the influences of aggregated capital, seeking to dominate the flesh and blood of our country. It has ever opposed trusts and combines. Jackson, conscious of its strength, moved forward as its leader in the great fight against the money power when he was President. Sustained by the Democracy, he overthrew the monster in his day.
The sectional tariff that the New England manufacturers had fastened on the country was opposed by the Democratic Party because it put the manufacturing communities into a trust that levied tribute under the forms of law upon the agricultural States.
Finally, the hold of the tariff combine was broken, and new tariff laws were made by the Democrats, which gave much prosperity to the country; and in the period of Democratic rule, just before the civil war, when the tariff was the lowest ever known in this country, the subject was eliminated from politics, and no political platforms contained any reference to it. The wisdom of the Democratic Party was at that period fully exemplified in the wonderful results of their tariff policy.
Since the war the Democrats have constantly urged correct principles of tariff reform; but the hold which tariff robbers got during the period of Republican rule proved too strong to be broken until during Cleveland's last administration. After that the Democratic Party, largely weakened by the defection of the Populists, lost their power, and the Republicans again came in and enacted the Dingley Bill into law. But the good seeds had been sown. The country had a brief taste of Democratic tariff, and during this year large and important meetings of manufacturers in New England have declared in favor of the underlying principles of the Democratic policy. Those principles are founded on common sense, common honesty, and true patriotism; and they will win.
It is most earnestly hoped that before this book is published the war with Spain will have closed with great honor to our country, whose glorious victories by sea and land have exalted the American name and illuminated the history of the world with the deeds of heroism performed by our brave sailors and soldiers in distant countries. Words are too cold to give full expression to our warm admiration for those who have startled the world by such a magnificent display of American skill and American valor. We glory in the annihilation of a Spanish fleet at far-off Manila; we glory in Schley's still greater victory, that makes July the 3d memorable in naval warfare; and we glory in those brilliant
achievements on land that forced the surrender of Santiago and of twenty-three thousand Spanish soldiers to our brave little army and that have given us a foothold in Porto Rico without much sacrifice. As North Carolinians we feel a particular pride in the daring and heroism of Hobson and Blue, whose kin live among us, and we mourn with the families of Bagley and Shipp, who fell as heroes fall, and whose memories will long be cherished by their sorrowing countrymen.
But as glorious as have been the results of the war, we believe that the prime object for which it was waged could have been obtained without the loss of life and the heavy burdens it has entailed. The war was undertaken to free Cuba from the vile government which was an offence against civilization. We believe that, had the Republican administration acted as vigorously a year ago as it has since hostilities began, the prime object would have been accomplished without the loss of a single life or the expenditure of any treasure. The blowing up of the Maine was a bold act of Spanish malignity that sought that devilish channel to manifest itself, because our Government dallied with the matter instead of boldly asserting itself at the right time.
But, however that may be, we give full credit to the Republican administration for the action it has taken since hostilities began. In the time of our country's need we have all been patriots. And we all stand together in demanding that the Spanish flag shall disappear forever from the islands to the south of us; and that Cuba shall be free and that Porto Rico shall be ceded to these United States.
And yet differences have arisen among us. We have differed with the Republicans as to how the expenses of the war should be borne.
The Republicans have thought it wise and proper to lay heavy taxes on the current business of the country in order to raise the necessary cash; and to issue bonds that bear interest and tend to make perpetual the heavy bonded debt of the country.
The Democrats, we say, differed with the Republicans as to that policy. The Democrats proposed to raise the necessary cash by coining the silver bullion piled up in the Treasury, and obtained by the government as "seignorage." This bullion belongs to the people of this Union, and the
Government is as free to coin it and use the money, when made, as if it were so much gold bullion bought and paid for and lying idle in the Treasury vaults.
The Democrats also proposed to issue as many greenbacks as might be necessary; and then they further proposed to lay necessary taxes, but not entirely on the business of the country, but to make the wealth of the country contribute its share and pay its part of the public burden.
In a word, the Democrats proposed that there should be a reasonable income tax; but to this the Republicans would not listen, and they had the majority.
So the income tax was rejected; the proposition to issue more greenbacks was rejected; the proposition to coin the silver bullion lying idle in the Treasury was rejected. And a thoroughly Republican measure was adopted laying heavier tariff taxes, and taxing many sorts of occupations, and taxing business--all of which taxes in the end are paid by the consumers--but letting incomes and wealth generally go scot free.
It is for the people to express their mind on this question. Which policy do they approve? If they approve the war taxes laid by the Republicans; if they think it best for these taxes to be laid; if they approve the issue of interest-bearing bonds and the other steps of the administration tending to strengthen the gold standard; let them vote to sustain that policy. But if they think it would have been better to have resorted to the means the Democrats proposed to carry on the war, let them vote with the Democrats.
The campaign of 1896 was waged on the money issue, involving a discussion of the quantity, kind and price of money, and the price of farm products. There was a general consensus in the demands of the people of North Carolina.
We demanded more money. We got more taxes.
We demanded cheaper money. We got cheaper farm products.
We demanded higher prices for our cotton. We got higher taxes on manufactured cotton goods.
We demanded higher prices for what we had to sell, and we got higher prices for what we had to buy.
We demanded more United States Treasury notes with which to do the business of the country, and we got more interest-bearing-bonds.
We demanded the free and unlimited coinage of silver as well as of gold. We got the gold standard more tightly fixed upon the country.
We demanded an income tax upon the accumulated wealth of the country, and we got a heavy tax on the business of the country.
We demanded that the fellow with his million of income should pay some tax, and we got a tax put upon ourselves when we give a check or a draft or note.
This is the way the Republican Party has treated our demands. The Populists united with the Democrats in making these demands. In fact, they were persistent in urging them. Will they now co-cperate with the Republican Party? Can they do it and live as a party? We shall see.
Assistant Secretary Howell, of the U. S. Treasury, made public, August 3d, some statements in regard to the receipts and disbursements of the United States Government for the year beginning July 1, 1897, and ending June 30, 1898. Leaving off the items concerning the Pacific Railroad, the receipts were $340,570,111; and the expenditures were $438,819,214, showing a deficit of $98,249,103. This large deficit is accounted for in part by the extraordinary demands on the Treasury to carry on the war. Mr. Howell thinks that a conservative estimate of the war expenditures during the months of March, April, May and June is $56,000,000. If we deduct that, the deficit would be $42,249,103. But then some "war taxes" came into the Treasury before June 30, 1898, and in view of those increased taxes there were great quantities of tobacco "tax-paid" in May and June, which otherwise would not have been "tax-paid" then. The Treasury doubtless received because of the war taxes $20,000,000. So we may compute that the Dingley tariff bill has failed to raise enough revenue by $62,000,000. As a revenue measure, the Dingley tariff bill has not been a success.
We, the Democrats of the United States, in National Convention assembled, do reaffirm our allegiance to the essential principles of justice and liberty upon which our institutions are founded, and which the Democratic Party has advocated from Jefferson's time to our own--freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of conscience, the preservation of personal rights, the equality of all citizens before the law and the faithful observance of Constitutional limitations.
During all these years the Democratic Party has resisted the tendency of selfish interests to the centralization of Governmental power, and steadfastly maintained the integrity of the dual system of government established by the founders of this Republic of republics. Under its guidance and teachings the great principle of local self-government has found its best expression in the maintenance of the rights of the States and in its assertion of the necessity of confining the general Government to the exercise of the powers granted by the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution of the United States guarantees to every citizen the rights of civil and religious liberty. The Democratic Party has always been the exponent of political liberty and religious freedom, and renews its obligations and reaffirms its devotion to these fundamental principles of the Constitution.
Recognizing that the money question is paramount to all others at this time, we invite attention to the fact that the Federal Constitution names silver and gold together as the money metals of the United States, and that the first coinage law passed by Congress under the Constitution made the silver dollar the monetary unit and admitted gold to a free coinage at a ratio based upon the silver dollar unit.
We declare that the Act of 1873, demonetizing silver without the knowledge or approval of the American people, has resulted in the appreciation of gold and a corresponding fall in the prices of commodities produced by the people; a
heavy increase in the burden of taxation and of all debts, public and private, the enrichment of the money-lending class at home and abroad, and the prostration of industry and impoverishment of the people.
We are unalterably opposed to monometalism, which has locked fast the prosperity of an industrial people in the paralysis of hard times. Gold monometalism is a British policy, and its adoption has brought other nations into financial servitude to London. It is not only un-American, but anti-American, and it can be fastened on the United States only by the stifling of that spirit and love of liberty which proclaimed our political independence in 1776 and won it in the War of the Revolution.
We demand the free and unlimited coinage of both silver and gold at the present legal ratio of 16 to 1, without waiting for the aid or consent of any other nation. We demand that the standard silver dollar shall be a full legal tender, equally with gold, for all debts, public and private, and we favor such legislation as will prevent for the future the demonetization of any kind of legal tender money by private contract.
We are opposed to the policy and practice of surrendering to the holders of the obligations of the United States the option reserved by law to the Government of redeeming such obligations in either silver coin or gold coin.
We are opposed to the issuing of interest-bearing bonds of the United States in time of peace, and condemn the trafficking with banking syndicates which, in exchange for bonds and at an enormous profit to themselves, supply the Federal Treasury with gold to maintain the policy of gold monometalism.
Congress alone has the power to coin and issue money, and President Jackson declared that this power could not be delegated to corporations or individuals. We, therefore, denounce the issuance of notes intended to circulate as money by National banks as in derogation of the Constitution; and we demand that all paper which is made a legal tender for public and private debts, or which is receivable for dues to the United States, shall be issued by the Government of the United States, and shall be redeemable in coin.
We hold that tariff duties should be levied for purposes of revenue, such duties to be so adjusted as to operate equally throughout the country and not discriminate between class
or section, and that taxation should be limited by the needs of the Government honestly and economically administered.
We denounce as disturbing to business the Republican threat to restore the McKinley law, which has been twice condemned by the people in National elections, and which, enacted under the false plea of protection to home industry, proved a prolific breeder of trusts and monopolies, enriched the few at the expense of the many, restricted trade and deprived the producers of the great American staples of access to their natural markets.
Until the money question is settled, we are opposed to any agitation for further changes in our tariff laws, except such as are necessary to meet the deficit in revenue caused by the adverse decision of the Supreme Court on the income tax. But for this decision by the Supreme Court there would be no deficit in the revenue under the law passed by a Democratic Congress, in strict pursuance of the uniform decisions of that Court for nearly one hundred years, that Court having in that decision sustained Constitutional objections to its enactment which had previously been overruled by the ablest judges who have ever sat on that bench.
We declare that it is the duty of Congress to use all the Constitutional power which remains after that decision, or which may come from its reversal by the Court as it may hereafter be constituted, so that the burdens of taxation may be equally and impartially laid, to the end that wealth may bear its due proportion of the expenses of the Government.
We hold that the most efficient way to protect American labor is to prevent the importation of foreign pauper labor to compete with it in the home market, and that the value of the home market to our American farmers and artisans is greatly reduced by a vicious monetary system which depresses the prices of their products below the cost of production, and thus deprives them of the means of purchasing the products of our home manufactories; and, as labor creates the wealth of the country, we demand the passage of such laws as may be necessary to protect it in all its rights.
We are in favor of the arbitration of differences between employers engaged in interstate commerce and their employees, and recommend such legislation as is necessary to carry out this principle.
The absorption of wealth by the few, the consolidation of our leading railroad systems, and the formation of trusts and pools, require a stricter control by the Federal Government of those arteries of commerce. We demand the enlargement of the powers of the Interstate Commerce Commission, and such restriction and guarantees in the control of railroads as will protect the people from robbery and oppression.
We denounce the profligate waste of the money wrung from the people by oppressive taxation and the lavish appropriations of recent Republican Congresses which have kept taxes high, while the labor that pays them is unemployed and the products of the people's toil are depressed in price till they no longer repay the cost of production. We demand a return to that simplicity and economy which befits a Democratic Government and a reduction in the number of useless offices, the salaries of which drain the substance of the people.
We denounce arbitrary interference by Federal authorities in local affairs as a violation of the Constitution of the United States and a crime against free institutions, and we especially object to government by injunction as a new and highly dangerous form of oppression by which Federal Judges, in contempt of the laws of the States and rights of the citizens, become at once legislators, judges and executioners; and we approve the bill passed at the last session of the United States Senate and now pending in the House of Representatives relative to contempts in Federal Courts and providing for trials by jury in certain cases of contempt.
No discrimination should be indulged by the Government of the United States in favor of any of its debtors. We approve of the refusal of the Fifty-third Congress to pass the Pacific Railroad Funding Bill, and denounce the effort of the present Republican Congress to enact a similar measure.
Recognizing the just claims of deserving Union soldiers, we heartily endorse the rule of the present Commissioner of
Pensions that no names shall be arbitrarily dropped from the pension roll, and the fact of enlistment and service should be deemed conclusive evidence against disease or disability before enlistment.
We favor the admission of the Territories of New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arizona into the Union as States, and we favor the early admission of all the Territories having the necessary population and resources to entitle them to statehood, and while they remain Territories we hold that the officials appointed to administer the government of any Territory, together with the District of Columbia and Alaska, should be bona fide residents of the Territory or District in which their duties are to be performed. The Democratic Party believes in home rule, and that all public lands of the United States should be appropriated to the establishment of free homes for American citizens. We recommend that the Territory of Alaska be granted a delegate in Congress, and that the general land and timber laws of the United States be extended to said Territory.
The Monroe doctrine, as originally declared, and as interpreted by succeeding Presidents, is a permanent part of the foreign policy of the United States and must at all times be maintained.
We extend our sympathy to the people of Cuba in their heroic struggle for liberty and independence.
We are opposed to life tenure in the public service. We favor appointments based upon merit, fixed terms of office, and such an administration of the Civil Service laws as will afford equal opportunities to all citizens of ascertained fitness.
We declare it to be the unwritten law of this Republic, established by custom and usage of one hundred years, and sanctioned by the examples of the greatest and wisest of those who founded and have maintained our Government, that no man should be eligible for a third term of the Presidential office.
The Federal Government should care for and improve the Mississippi River and other great waterways of the Republic, so as to secure for the interior States easy and cheap transportation to tide-water. When any waterway of the Republic is of sufficient importance to need aid of the Government, such aid should be extended upon a definite plan of continuous work until permanent improvement is secured.
Confiding in the justice of our cause and the necessity of its success at the polls, we submit the foregoing declaration of principles and purposes to the considerate judgment of the American people. We invite the support of all citizens who approve them and who desire to have them made effective through legislation for the relief of the people and the restoration of the country's prosperity.
The Democratic Party of North Carolina, in Convention assembled in Raleigh, N. C., on this day, May 26, 1898, do hereby approve, indorse and ratify, the last Democratic National and State platform, and pledge our earnest support to the principles therein expressed.
We denounce the Republican Party for the passage of the Dingley tariff bill, which has increased the burdens of taxation upon our consumers and given the trusts and monopolists greater power to rob the people.
Believing that under our present methods of Federal taxation that more than three-quarters of our National revenues are paid by people owning less than one-quarter of the property of the country, we protest against such inequality and injustice, and in order to remedy, to some extent, this great wrong, we favor an income tax, and favor all constitutional methods to sustain it.
We denounce the Republican Party for its defeat of the Teller resolutions declaring our National bonds payable in silver as well as in gold, and denounce it for its determined purpose of more thoroughly fastening the single gold standard upon our people, and for its avowed hostility to the free and unlimited coinage of silver, as well as gold, at the ratio of 16 to 1 into full legal tender money.
We denounce the Republican Party for its determination to issue bonds at this time, and we denounce the Republican war-tax bill which lately passed the House of Representatives as unjust, unequal in its burdens, unnecessary and vexatious, and we demand that the silver seigniorage be coined; that an income tax be levied, and that the Secretary of the Treasury be authorized to issue the necessary amount of full legal tender greenbacks, or United States Treasury notes in order to meet the expenses of the war with Spain and to supply the revenue deficit under the Dingley Bill.
While we deplore the war with Spain, we pledge our earnest support to the Government in all honorable ways to effect a speedy and successful conclusion of hostilities.
We favor a union of the silver forces of the country in the Congressional elections, and cordially invite all voters, without
regard to past political affiliations, to unite with us in support of our candidates for Congress who favor the free coinage of silver, thus giving practical force and effect to the recommendation of our Democratic National Chairman, Hon. James K. Jones, and to the Congressional committee.
That we admire and commend without stint the great and gallant fight made by Hon. William J. Bryan in the last National campaign for the success of our party and the principles of our platform.
We denounce the scandal, extravagance, incompetency and corruption of the present Republican State administration.
We denounce all enactments of the last two Legislatures by which cities and towns in the State have been turned over to negro domination, and we pledge ourselves to enact such laws as will give security and protection to the property and people of every town and community in the State.
We denounce the placing of negroes on committees to supervise white schools, and we pledge ourselves, if restored to power, to enact such legislation as will make this impossible.
We denounce all legislation enacted by the Legislatures of 1895 and 1897 for carrying out the base and partisan designs of the Republican Party.
We denounce the placing of ignorant, irresponsible and corrupt men in office.
We oppose the removal by corporations of suits or cases from our State to the Federal Courts, and favor legislation to prevent it.
We favor fair and just election laws.
We favor a government of the people, by the people and for the people--economy in expenditure, the abolition of unnecessary offices, decency in administration, constant improvement in our educational system, charity to the unfortunate, and rule by the white men of the State.
We favor the extension of the powers of the Railroad Commission, and closer scrutiny into their affairs in order to ascertain, establish and maintain such rates as shall be fair and just to the people and to the transportation and tranmission corporations.
We condemn free passes.
We favor the election of United States Senators and Railroad Commissioners by the people.
We favor the enactment of such legislation as will encourage capital to make investments within our State, and guarantee that the same shall be justly protected.
We call attention to the wise, economical, honest and honorable administration of the affairs of our State for twenty years prior to the present Republican administration, and promise the people a return of wise, honest, economical and honorable administration under Democratic success. We call upon every believer in honor, honesty and economy, upon every advocate of white supremacy, upon every advocate of equal and just taxation, upon every advocate of the income tax and opponent of plundering tariff taxation, upon every advocate of the restoration of silver and opponent of the single gold standard and the present issue of bonds, as threatened by the Republican Party, upon every opponent of government by injunction and advocate of the jurisdiction of State courts over cases arising in the State against corporations doing business therein, upon every lover of decency and good government and opponents of the present prevailing conditions, to unite with us in our contest with the Republican Party--the great enemy of our principles, and aid us in redeeming the Nation from the clutches of greed and injustice, and the State from the scandal and incompetence which now afflict it.
The People's Party of North Carolina, in Convention assembled at Raleigh, on the 17th day of May, 1898, affirms its unqualified allegiance to the principles of the party, and hereby approves the platform of the People's Party adopted at its National Convention held in the city of St. Louis, July 22, 1896.
We hereby reaffirm our fixed determination to support and maintain a free ballot and a fair count in all elections held in North Carolina. To this end we contend that it is of vital importance for each political party to have on all election boards, representatives of their own selection. We condemn the Republican Party and those who joined with it in the last Legislature to strike this just, essential and vital provision from the election law of 1895; and we pledge ourselves to use our best efforts in the next Legislature to re-enact this provision into law.
We are in favor of guaranteeing to the respective counties the right of local self-government by the election of their county commissioners and justices of the peace by the vote of the people, under proper safeguards, to guarantee the best possible government to each county; and we pledge the People's Party to the continued support and maintenance of that principle, and warn the voters of the danger of electing members of the General Assembly hostile thereto.
We believe that all money demands should be payable in the lawful money of the United States, without preference or discrimination, and therefore favor the passage by the General Assembly of a law to prohibit the taking or giving of gold notes, bonds and mortgages in this State, and to make all the money demands solvable in any kind of lawful money of the United States.
To avenge the Maine, to advance Republican institutions,
and in the interests of humanity, the brutal and treacherous Spaniard should be driven from the Western Hemisphere, and a Republican form of government established in the islands which she has misgoverned, robbed, persecuted and pillaged.
We condemn the present National administration for its efforts to fasten upon the people and future generations the burden of interest-bearing bonds, and for endorsing and carrying out the infamous bond and monopoly policy of the preceding administration of Grover Cleveland.
We commend the action of the Populists, Silver Republicans and Silver Democrats in Congress for their wise, brave and patriotic course in solidly co-operating to strike out the bond provision of the pending war revenue bill, and to substitute therefor an issue of greenbacks and the coinage of the silver seigniorage to carry on the war.
We pledge ourselves to maintain the six per cent interest law, enacted by the General Assembly of 1895.
The action of the People's Party members of the last two General Assemblies has demonstrated beyond question that the People's Party has been true to its antecedent platform declarations in favor of public education. We demand still further improving and broadening the public school system of the State as rapidly as a proper regard for the interests of the taxpayers and the resources of the State will permit. We also favor such revision of our present school system as may increase the efficiency of our public schools and insure the most competent and effective supervision.
Our judiciary should be kept above the plane of partisan politics. To this end we appeal to all good citizens to join us in our efforts to make a non-partisan judiciary an established and permanent feature of our State Government.
We favor the establishment of a State institution for the reformation of young criminals.
We call attention to the interference of railroad corporations in our politics as one of the greatest sources of corruption in our State and National governments. Free passes and other favoritisms and discriminations are among the most poisonous and effective weapons to corrupt politics and defeat the will of the people in Legislative halls. Therefore we favor a law not only forbidding the giving of free passes and other favoritisms and discriminations, but also forbidding any one except the actual employees of said corporations from receiving the same.
No State has a better railroad commission law than North Carolina; but the public has not received the benefit the law was designed to produce on account of the failure of our Railroad Commissioners to do their duty under the law. As one remedy for this evil we are in favor of the election of Railroad Commissioners by a direct vote of the people.
We favor a reduction of freight, express and passenger rates, telegraph and telephone tariffs to the same level to which the general range of prices of products has fallen under the gold standard. If the Railroad Commission continues to refuse to do its duty in this respect, we are in favor of such reduction being made directly by the next Legislature.
We condemn the lease of the North Carolina Railroad to the Southern Railway Company for ninety-nine years, not only as a bad business transaction in which the interest of the State amounting to the large sum of $3,000,000, invested in good paying property, yielding an income, was sacrificed; but we also, in most emphatic terms, condemn the hasty and secret manner in which it was done several years before the former thirty-year lease, by its terms, would have expired. We call the attention of the people of the State to the fact that the mysterious power of a strong railroad lobby prevented the last Legislature from enacting the necessary legislation to enable the State to make an investigation through the proper legal channels, of the transaction, which was so universally condemned by the press of the State and all classes of citizens when it first became known.
We therefore demand that the next General Assembly fully investigate this transaction, and to the end that the interests of the State may be fully protected as far as it can be done, such legislative action shall be taken as to counteract, as far as possible, this unwise and secret transaction.
The removal of cases from the State Courts to the Federal Courts for trial, and especially cases wherein the plaintiffs are poor persons and the defendants are rich foreign corporations, on application of defendants, is a growing evil in North Carolina, and in its practical operation frequently amounts to a denial of justice to poor suitors, and therefore should be condemned. We demand, therefore, that the next General Assembly shall pass such a general statute on this subject, including an alien law similar to the Wisconsin statute, so as to take from such corporations doing business in this State the privileges of carrying on business in North Carolina and withdrawing the protection of the State extended to their business, if they persist in escaping the jurisdiction of our Courts when actions are brought against them. We also recommend a constitutional prohibition of the purchase, lease or rental of parallel or competing railway lines.
We advocate such legislation as will insure a just listing and taxation of all evidences of debt, and make an equitable adjustment of the burden of taxation between the debtor and a creditor.
In order to keep our public servants in thorough touch and sympathy with the oppressed masses, and to check to some extent the scramble for office, we demand a reduction of salaries until such a time as through an increase of the currency the price of property and products will justify the present rates.
We favor the principle of direct legislation known as the Iniative and Referendum, in order to restore and preserve the rule of the people. It will not be opposed by any Democrat who endorses the declaration of Jefferson that the people are capable of self-government, nor will it be opposed by any Republican who holds to Lincoln's idea that this should be "a government of the people, by the people and for the people."
Resolutions adopted by the Republican State Convention, held in the city of Raleigh on the 20th day of July, 1898:
"The Republican Party of North Carolina, in Convention assembled, renews its allegiance to the principles and policies set forth in the National Republican platform, adopted in St. Louis in 1896; and we point with pride and enthusiasm to the triumphant vindication of those principles and policies under the wise and vigorous and splendid administration of William McKinley.
"We condemn the unjust, partisan and hypocritical civil service methods of Grover Cleveland; and we insist that the Civil Service Act of 1883, and the rules made in pursuance of the same, should be changed so as to conform to the laws of common sense and common justice.
"We are justly proud of the distinguished record and splendid services of the acknowledged leader of the Republican Party in North Carolina, the Honorable Jeter C. Pritchard.
"We have remarked with unfeigned satisfaction the ability and industry which he has brought to the solution of great National questions and the painstaking devotion and loyalty with which he has attended to the wants of even the humblest of his constituents; no problem has been too great for his intelligent consideration, and no demand too trifling for his patient and courteous attention; elected to the Senate by votes representing conflicting financial views, he has so acted as to command the respect of all honorable men--never faltering in his devotion to the interests of the Republican Party, and at the same time meeting all reasonable expectations of his Populist supporters.
"The Hon. A. E. Holton is entitled to the lasting gratitude of the Republicans of the State for the able, firm, and the successful manner in which he has discharged the difficult and delicate duties of State Chairman.
"We extend our cordial thanks to W. S. Hyams, Esq., for his faithful, laborious and effective work as Secretary of the State Committee.
"We hereby commend the administration of the State, because (first) the finances have been wisely, economically and honestly administered; (second) the laws have been ably, fairly and impartially administered, and the rights of life and property secured thereunder; (third) there are marked and gratifying signs of progress and development in all the material conditions of the State exhibiting the return of prosperity and the satisfaction of the people.
"We believe that the men who broke the chains of Democracy in 1894, and who restored to the people the right of local self-government and of honest elections, will stand together in the coming contest for the preservation of these rights, which assure to our beloved State in fact as well as in name a truly Republican form of government. The joint administration of local and county affairs by the Republican and Populist parties through their chosen representatives has met the expectation of the men who elected them, and the financial conduct of the affairs of the different counties east and west, has been honest and circumspect, as well as economical, and deserves our highest praise.
"We favor the amendment to the State Constitution embodying the provisions of our present election law, which will guarantee to every citizen of the State the right to cast one free ballot and to have that ballot counted as cast.
"We invest our State Executive Committee with plenary power to deal with the nominations of candidates for the offices of Superior Court Judge and Solicitors in the several Judicial Districts of the State.
"We endorse the Dingley tariff bill, and also the Republican tariff measures made necessary by the enormous expenditures incident to the war; while the Democratic administration sold bonds in secret in time of peace to foreign syndicates, the present Republican administration has required the banks and syndicates to stand back until the common people could have all the bonds which they were able and willing to pay for; and we point with pride to the fact that our bonds are worth 20 per cent more in time of war than they were worth in time of Democracy, and that the common people of the country have displayed their confidence in the Government by subscribing three times over the amount called for by the administration.
"We favor a vigorous prosecution of this war to a triumphant conclusion, and we pledge to the administration of William McKinley our heartiest support in every measure calculated to strengthen our arms and to provide all necessaries and comforts for our heroic sailors and soldiers; we rejoice in the unbroken series of victories which have crowned our arms on land and sea, and we rejoice most heartily in the signal triumph won by this administration in the hearts and in the confidence of a re-united people. We send good cheer and greetings to our sailor and soldier boys wherever located, carrying 'Old Glory' to victory on every land and on every sea."