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James K. Jones, The Plumed 
Knight of Arkansas 


Author of 
" A Life of Mr. Garland of Arkansas' 





Copyright 1913. By 

All Rights Reserved. 

©CI.A*3513 I 

To My Wife and Infant Son 
This Volume Is Lovingly Inscribed. 


Late Photo of the Plumed Knight Frontispiece 

Photo of the Author Opposite page 14 

Boyhood Home of Senator Jones " " 64 

Old Arkansas State Capitol, Little Rock » " 130 

United States Capitol, Washington, D. C. " " 246 



Dedication 5 

Prefatory 9 

Chapter I.— Ancestry, Boyhood and Training of 

James K. Jones 15 

Chapter 11.— The War and After— Life on a Farm. . 32 
Chapter III. — Political Beginnings — State Senatorial 

Activities 49 

Chapter IV. — Congressional Campaigns 69 

Chapter V.— Contests for the Senatorial Toga 85 

Chapter VI. — The Plain and Simple Record 105 

Chapter VII.— Big Battles for Tariff Reform— Part 

One 119 

Chapter VIIL— Big Battles for Tariff Reform— Part 

Two 133 

Chapter IX.— Big Battles for Tariff Reform— Part 

Three 151 

Chapter X. — Big Battles for Tariff Reform — Part 

Four 169 

Chapter XL— The Fight for Silver 186 

Chapter XII. — The Fight for Silver — The Democratic 

National Chairmanship 200 

Chapter XIII. — The Indians and Homestead Lands . 225 

Chapter XIV.— Mr. Jones and State's Rights 237 

Chapter XV. — The Problem of the Southern Negro, 

and National Aid to Education 243 

Chapter XVI. — Various and Sundry — Part One .... 252 
Chapter XVII. — Various and Sundry — Part Two . . . 265 
Chapter XVIII. — After the Senate — The Lawyer and 

His Last Days 277 

Chapter XIX.— The Man Behind the Gun 286 

Appendix 321 


Biography is not very popular nowadays. Its de- 
crease in favor has been coincident with the increase of 
fiction and other works of lighter character. One of the 
greatest books in existence is "Plutarch's Lives," but it was 
published when the minds of the nations were anxious to 
seize upon any story which told of military triumph. 
Most of Plutarch's heroes illustrate the characteristics 
of physical valor and persistency in courses leading to 
success upon the held. I am not unaware that the writ- 
ten history of a man whose life reveals few efforts save 
those of an intellectual kind, is even now seldom perused 
with that enthusiasm which is usually stimulated by the 
story of a chieftain. The achievements of the great in- 
telligencies of the age are too infrequently regarded with 
that degree of scrutiny which should be indulged in before 
the public makes up its mind upon what it so pleases to 
think, upon hasty conclusion, is a true estimate of the 

Biography does not consist in fulsome praise or need- 
less panegyric. If the hero of the sketch needs this, it is 
positive evidence that his acts are not worthy the care and 
labor entailed in preserving what little he has actually 
accomplished. The work of the biographer is rather to 
tell, in as interesting way as possible, and always ac- 
curately, the story of the subject's life and work, that they, 
thus faithfully revealed and stripped of eulogy, may stand 
forever as his most fitting monument. 

It is the aim of this volume to set forth the character 
of a great man as revealed in public deed and utterance, 



and in private life. The Commonwealth of Arkansas is 
proud to boast of the two brilliant pioneer statesmen, 
AskJey and {Sevier, by whom her name was first glorified 
in the {Senate of the United (States, and whose careers 
shed a luster upon her annals that grows brighter with 
the increase of the years. (She glories in Albert Pike, who 
was perhaps more of a literary scholar and more nearly 
developed into that polished and finished state which the 
literati only reveal, than the subject of this work. In the 
estimate of many A. H. Garlaud takes first place among 
the lawyer-statesmen in her galaxy of the great. But no 
man who has yet represented the State is considered to 
have been more typically Arkansan than James K. Jones. 
The book intends to show that the life here pictured, the 
character here studied, is typical of the Southwest of to- 
day. The life of James K. Jones is a veritable voice cry- 
ing out of this rough land, inviting development. 

Great in the lists of political leadership, possessing 
a powerful influence nationally as well as within his own 
State, Mr. Jones was with it all a man of irreproachable 
character in private life. Considered from every angle, 
measured up one side and down the other, the subject of 
this biography is about the biggest and best who has yet 
hailed from Arkansas. The closest scrutiny of his life, 
as 1 have been able to make it, has but revealed new traits 
of virtue and manliness. 

Like Launcelot brave, like Galahad clean, — 
he at once commands the wonder and praise of all who 
study him. He is like the Greek Socrates, unconquered 
in defeat, in sorrow undismayed, and ever working on 


without rest for the success of the cause in which he has 
buried himself. He is like the Koman Kegulus, unwilling 
to compromise with the enemy of predatory influence for 
the sake of a national campaign fund and political aid 
which will ensure success for the party, the cause and 
himself. He is like William the Silent, a man of small 
words and large work ; like Plato, with a philosophical 
turn which is able to see the logic of a situation and profit 
by it, ahead of time; and like Marcus Aurelius, of great 
character and commanding personal virtue. More than 
all, he is like Washington, standing 

Four-square to all the winds that blow; — 
great in every trial, capable in every difficulty, and of 
marked efliciency in every task he is called upon to under- 
take Whether he be endowed with the gift of prophecy 
which to so remarkable a degree the Father of his Country 
possessed, only time can reveal. 

I have called Mr. Jones "the Plumed Knight of Ark- 
ansas," using the two words with which Kobert Ingersoll 
characterized Mr. Blaine, not so much for any great simi- 
larity in personality, character or career detected be- 
tween the two statesmen, as because he was in truth a 
knight on all occasions and under all conditions, the like 
of whom has not hailed from our State, before him nor 
since. Like the Plumed Prince Henry of Navarre, his 
banner — not his, but his party's — was ever in the fore- 
front of the line, commanding. And I have thought it 
fitting to so designate him in the title of this volume. 

The detailed treatment of Mr. Jones's activities has 
necessitated the recitation of facts connected with the dif- 



ferent phases of both state and national history in which 
he was so conspicuous a figure. For instance, in the 
chapter on "Political Beginnings — State Senatorial Ac- 
tivities," that the reader may the better appreciate his 
efforts in connection with it, a brief history of the Brooks- 
Baxter War is given. Likewise, in the chapters which 
treat of his tariff and money labors, outlines of the gov- 
ernment's experience in dealing with these great prob- 
lems are made. Something, too, is told of the history of 
reconstruction in south Arkansas. Let it be understood, 
however, that this intends to be no history, except inci- 
dentally; it is primarily the study of a great character in 
our state and national life. 

The reader will find that copious notes are given and 
many references cited, which for the most part are to 
authorities for my statements or to comments which I 
make myself. In many places I throw words into italics, 
for emphasis. My plan has been to cite authorities for 
all quotations made, and for many statements not quoted. 
A few excerpts, however, have been taken from clippings, 
which may be taken as quasi-authentic, the names and 
dates of publication of which I am unable to furnish. 
But no such quotations are made as are not in harmony 
with the facts revealed by those sources which are abso- 
lutely authoritative. 

I may assign as a special reason for quoting freely 
that, it being impossible to give any of his great speeches 
in their entirety within the narrow compass of a volume 
like this, the reader may, nevertheless, while studying 



character from spoken words, be also not unappreciative 
of his style of writing and speaking. 

I am indebted to many sources for data and informa- 
tion. The greater portion of his record in the American 
Congress was obtained by a careful and laborious, but 
pleasant search through scores of volumes of government 
publications which record the activities of public officials 
through the long term in which Mr. Jones served his 
country as Congressman and Senator. 

I must make my special acknowledgements to the 
widow of the late Senator, and to his son, James K. Jones, 
for giving, from the storehouse of years of family contact 
and most intimate of all associations, invaluable data, for 
scrap-Ixtok. clippings and letters, and finally for revising 
and correcting the manuscript; to Mrs. Jennie Grow, a 
sister, for clippings and letters; to Mrs. J. H. Johnson, a 
sister-in-law, for letters and valuable information; and to 
General B. W. Green, perhaps the closest personal, and 
surely the first political, friend of the Senator, for facts 
obtained in the many interviews which he generously 
granted me. 

I likewise tender my thanks to ex-Governor Dan W. 
.J<m;cs, who was a boyhood friend and later a law partner, 
for t lie information given from personal reminiscence; 
and to the late E. L. Givens, of Batesville, for data on the 
Senator's home life. 

I here acknowledge, too, the assistance of Messrs. W. 
J Bryan, W. H. (Coin) Harvey, United States Senator 
Robert L. Owen, of Oklahoma, and Dr. J. R. McDaniel, 



of Nashville, Tenn., for their gracious testimonials bear- 
ing on certain phases of Mr. Jones's public career. 

I have conducted an extensive correspondence; and 
many friends of the Senator have written little items of 
interest which are herein embodied. Many published 
works have been drawn from for information, also, among 
them Tarbell's "The Tariff in Our Time," many histories 
of the United States, Shinn's ''History of Arkansas," 
Hempstead , s"History of Arkansas," Reynolds's "Makers 
of Arkansas History," Harrell's "Brooks-Baxter War," 
and some articles in the publications of the Arkansas His- 
torical Association. 

To each and all I hereby tender my sincerest thanks. 
The work has taxed time, patience and labor ; but I trust 
the result, since it is the tribute of a grateful and patri- 
otic heart, will not prove unsatisfactory to the many 
friends and admirers, the country over, of the "plumed 


Marion, Arkansas, 
January, 1913. 




Carlyle the master penman said that the world's 
history is but the biography of a few great men; and 
other thinkers of distinction have agreed with him. To 
the student of history the most interesting way to learn 
the French Revolution is to watch closely, study per- 
sonally and follow individually the Little Corsican who 
was the central figure in its dark arena. Perhaps the 
most accurate conclusions as to the early educational ad- 
vancement of Athens are to be drawn from scrutinizing 
the teachings and works of Homer, Herodotus, and the 
other mighties of its history. The Protestant Reforma- 
tion stands out in history inseparably linked with the 
names of Calvin. Zwingli. Luther and the others, names 
which are synonymous with every word in our language 
that stands for religious toleration, self-reliance and free- 
dom of belief. Jesus Christ is the embodiment to us of 
unselfish service, of mercy made practical — nay, of the 
historical growth itself of the early church in the West. 
We cannot think of the American Revolution without 
there flashing up before us the stately and magnificent 
personage, Washington, nor of the Civil War without 
seeing Lee and Lincoln, Grant and Jackson, Sherman and 
Sidney Johnston. 

Neither can we Arkansans recall to mind the chief 
incidents in the development of our Commonwealth, the 



historical strides progressward by which the State's name 
lias been and is being cleared of the stigma of derision 
and the slurs of cheap insinuation, without associating 
with those movements such names as Ashley, Cockrill, 
Sevier, Woodruff, Garland, Pike, Conway, Rector, Jones 
and Berry. 

Arkansas is a frontier state — or, rather, it was. Its 
early citizenship comprised people from Tennessee, Geor- 
gia. .Mississippi. Kentucky, Florida, Virginia, and the 
Carolinas. A few came from the North, but very few. 
Only at a very late day have Northern men and Northern 
capital come into our Commonwealth to develop and im- 
prove. The early westward pioneer movement, compris- 
ing the hordes of home-seekers that poured through the 
great Cumberland Gap of the Alleghenies and followed the 
basins of the rivers as they sloped gently to the Missis- 
sippi, was temporarily stopped when it reached the great 
Father of Waters. Tt was not until sixty to seventy-five 
years later, when the population began to be congested in 
the new territory around the banks of the Tennessee and 
the Cumberland, that the room-hunters crossed over and 
took up their abode in Arkansas. Thousands did not 
stay; Uiev did not come to stay. Some came to escape 
punishment for crimes committed — though the picture 
of this has been entirely too highly colored by the sensa- 
tion-mongers — others merely for adventure and for for- 
tune. Rut many families came to settle. Some of these 
were influential in the communities whence they came. 
Thousands were homesteaders — there was of course much 
government land. To be sure, the swampy delta country 
just west of the Mississippi River did not present the 

./. I MES K.JO X ES \ / ' WBERRY 

most pleasing prospect nor offer the most alluring invi- 
tation to the new-comers. But they came, nevertheless, 
and many stayed. 

And so it happens that nearly every great man who 
has hailed from Arkansas was born in some other Com- 
monwealth. Ashley, influenced by his good friend, Wil- 
liam Russell, came to the State as a young man, as did 
Sevier and others, and later became one of our most stal- 
wart and prominent pillars of presentation to the other 
states upon the floor of the United States Senate. Tike 
was another New Englander who drifted South, fell in 
love with Arkansas and stayed, becoming in after years 
one of her proudest boasts. A threatened family disgrace 
brought the father of Augustus Hill Garland, when the 
latter was about one year of age, from Tipton County, 
Tennessee, to Hempstead County, Arkansas. (1) The 
work of Gns Garland is a matter of public property, the 
delight of every patriotic American citizen. 

Tlie location of one's birth makes very little differ- 
ence, anyway. Alexander Hamilton first saw the light of 
day on an obscure island in the West Indies, and became 
the brightest star in the immediate post-Revolutionary 
constellation of our national history. Lincoln, first open- 
ing eyes upon the roof of a small hut in Kentucky, is today 
the pride of the whole world. Washington does not be- 
long to Virginia any more than to Arkansas, though Vir- 
ginians claim he does. The lowly Nazarene, born in an 
insignificant hovel of a stable, radiated from His mighty 
personality a light that has shown "far and far" into the 

(1) For full account, see "Life of Garland," page 4. 


J. 1 M E8 K. JO \ i:s NEWBERRY 

islands of the sounding sea, and made radiant the shores 
of every land. "Fair fortune smiled not on his humble 
birth'' ; but what did that have to do with the future 
civilizing and Christianizing of the races, the process of 
which he himself initiated? 

James Kimbrough Jones was not born on Arkansas 
soil. No, the proud State of Mississippi claims the dis- 
tinction of having first rocked the infant form of Arkan- 
sas' widest known political chieftain upon her breast. 
On Mississippi soil, by the decision of fate, he was born; 
but that is about all. In fact, the locality of his birth 
was a matter of accident. His mother simply happened 
to be visiting relatives at Love, in Marshall County, that 
State, and on the visit she prematurely gave birth to a 
boy — and that is how it happened. They lived in Tennes- 
see at that time, and really Tennessee is the State which 
ought to have the claim of his birthplace. 

In 1848, when the boy was but nine years old, the 
father, like many other men from the states east of the 
Mississippi River, decided to go west. Unlike thousands 
of others who came to this State merely for adventure, 
he came to settle permanently, and live the balance of his 
days upon the bosom of the new country. Here the fer- 
tile, virgin land was cheaper than that east of the river, 
and money, none too plentiful — though he was a w 7 ell-to- 
do farmer, even then — would go further. He had a par- 
ticular fondness for the possession of land, and it was 
said by friends that Nat Jones would never be satisfied 
as long as anybody owned land adjoining his. There 
was no probable disgrace attached to his remaining in 


Tennessee, the fear of which, some years before, beset 
Rufe Garland, the father of Arkansas' famous jurist above 
mentioned, the said Knfns having, in a drunken brawl, 
slashed a friend with a pocket knife, which incident be- 
came the prompting- motive that caused him to sell out 
and move to Arkansas. No, Nat Jones brought his brood 
to the new State that he might find a better investment 
for his hard-earned funds on the sunset side of the mighty 
Mississippi stream. 

We might pause here to relate briefly a little cir- 
cumstance — a coincidence — of unusual interest. Coming 
to Arkansas Nat -Tones entered much lands, chiefly, at 
first, in Pulaski County, now the richest in the State, and 
in Which Little Kock is situated. It so happened, in 1894 
or 5 that James K. Jones, then United States Senator, 
purchased some land in this County, and looking back 
into the record of transfers for the verification of his 
title, found that the identical piece of land had formerly 
been owned by his father. 

Now, this Nat Jones was a smart man and a good 
manager. He was of a quiet, intellectual disposition. 
Being a man of fine judgment and fine business qualities, 
he soon acquired considerable possessions, and became, 
to use the common expression, "well-fixed." He was a 
self-made man, with some education, though lacking the 
extensive finish of the large school. 

But more of him later. 

James K. Jones has been dead but half a decade. 
His widow and some of his childern and kin still live; 
but it seems impossible now to find very much informa- 



tion, either of the family before him, or of his own very 
early boyhood. It is strange that this is the case. I have 
searched carefully through the scrap-book kept by his 
widow, have conducted an extensive correspondence with 
many of his closest friends, and talked with others ; and 
beyond a letter which he himself wrote to a cousin, dated 
February 21, 1897, I find but very few sources of any in- 
formation whatever along the lines of his ancestry. "I 
am ashamed to say,'' he wrote, "that I know little of our 
family. I have somewhere a sketch of it written by Pa, 
but have not been able to find it for years. Neither have 
T been able to find any trace of it." But the tempting let- 
ter leads us further: "I have also a family tree of my 
mother's family, but can't find that. It goes back to the 
landing in Virginia, before North Carolina had a citizen.'' 
Alas, thai this is not permitted to be recorded upon the 
pages of this biography! 

But this is not so hard to understand when we 
reflect that one of Mr. Jones's prominent characteris- 
tics was liis utter disgust and loathing of that kind 
of people who boast of their ancestry. Though he 
was "ashamed to say" that he did not know more of his 
people, he thought that a man's family amounted to but 
very little, anyway — often nothing. He believed in indi- 
vidual character, integrity and energy. On one occasion 
Napoleon was standing in the presence of a group of his 
generals who were vieing with each other in citing the 
longesl list of names of distinction connected with their 
respective ancestries. When it came the little conquer- 
or's time to recite the greatness of his forebears, he sim- 


ply said : "Gentlemen, I am the founder of my own 
house!" I think this was pretty nearly the sentiment of 
James K. Jones. I find no instance where he refers to 
the greatness of his people before him; and there were 
some great ones among them. 

The family originally came from Wales. The grand- 
father of Senator Jones, Matthew Jones, was a patri- 
otic citizen of the Tar Heel State, and one of its best 
men. He was born August 29, 1768, and served his 
country courageously in the War for Independence. 
Whether he took any part in the struggle of 1812-1815, I 
do not know. He was married January 31, 1797, to Sarah 
Kimbrough. The "Kimbrough" was preserved as the 
middle name of our subject, being transmitted to him 
from an uncle, his father's brother. The pioneer, 
Matthew Jones, came West in the great influx which just 
after the Revolution poured through the Cumberland Gap 
and down the winding valleys of the mountain streams 
into Tennessee and Kentucky. But we know nothing 
further of him. Let us suppose, justly as we may, that 
he was one of the bravest of the brave, the hardiest of the 
hardy, and successfully withstood the dangers of field and 
stream and Indians, establishing a homestead and partici- 
pating in the building of this mighty western civilization, 
whose pure, new democracy first empowered and revealed 
itself before the world in the Presidency of Andrew Jack- 
son — which triumph this grandfather of our hero lived to 
see. He died November 9, 1843. Living through the most 
important period of our history, he saw the infant Repub- 
lic successful in the storm of war, and the imminent peril 



which beset the young commonwealths as they undertook 
the settlement and management of the great untram- 
melled West. 

He saw and took part in that wonderful develop- 
ment. He saw the democracy of the West come into 
power; and he lived long enough to scent the fume and 
smoke of that other master struggle which was the culmi- 
nation of a eentury-old quarrel over State's rights and 
the black man, and in which struggle his posterity was to 
take a noble part. 

It was in 1827 when this Matthew Jones moved to 
West Tennessee, and he lived the remainder of his days 
(»n a farm nine miles from Bolivar, in Hardeman County. 
There were several children in the family: Mary, born 
in 1797, Kimbrough in 1803, Anne in 1805, Dan in 1808, 
six month's before the mother's death, and Nat, the father 
of James K. Jones, and the second child, May 22, 1800. 
Nat was named for a brother of Matthew Jones. 

On this farm lived for a number of years the father 
and mother of the future United States Senator. In 
183(5, the year, it so happened, of the admission to state- 
hood of the Commonwealth his son was to serve so loyally, 
Nat Jones was married to Miss Caroline Jane Jones, 
daughter of Edmund Jones, a Methodist minister of 
Madison Comity, Tennessee. She was very prominently 
connected; being related to such families as the O'Neals, 
of Alabama. A woman of tine mind and superior qualifi- 
cations, it was said of her by one who knew her closely, 
thai she was "the very smartest woman" he had ever 
known. She was born January 31, 1814, and died in 1845. 


She and Nat Jones were not related, though bearing the 
same name. James K. Jones was born of this happy 
union, September 29, 1839, in Marshall County, Missis- 
sippi, under the circumstances named above. He was a 
boy of six years when his mother died and his father re- 
moved to Arkansas. 

The one great memory which Mr. Jones treasured up 
in the store-room of his mind, even until death, was the 
character of his mother. Her gentle presence accom- 
panied him through all his arduous and admirable career. 
Her mystic touch, the touch of spirit, ever inspired him 
to success. Only a few years before his death, while one 
of the most distinguished members of the world's highest 
law-making body, and an old man, writing of that mother, 
he said : "I was a little over six years old when my 
mother died; and how vividly I remember the whole 
scene, even to the words of old Brother Pierce's (1) 
prayer: '() God, the cup of our sorrow is full, heaped up, 
shaken together and running over.' How can it have 
been so many long weary years? Our paths (2) di- 
verged then — they are converging now, and will, ere long, 
bo one again." And then he goes on to say, speaking of 
that mother's care and love : ''Although Pa was one of the 
best, if not the very best man I ever knew, and although 
he was a model father, tender, cautious, careful and 
anxious, still I believe the greatest calamity that ever 
befell me was the loss of my mother, then. I believe 
that the moulding part of a boy's life and character is 

(1) I do not know who he was. I suppose he was the 
preacher who conducted the funeral services. 

(2) His, and his mother's. 



the period between two and twelve years old, and the 
mother is the guide and model by which God intends to 
shape his life and his work, ,even after he is dead. For 
fifty years I have not seen her grave, although God knows 
1 have longed to a thousand times." How may we better 
judge than by this of the boy's love for his mother while 
she lived? And what more assurance can we have than 
this that, like Robert E. Lee, the cardinal tenet of his 
young life was faithfulness to her? 

And to his father, too, he showed not only respect, 
but implicit confidence and even reverence. The father 
died in 1882, in Hempstead County, Arkansas, whither 
he had removed a few years before from Dallas County, 
lie had been an invalid for some time. The Little Kock 
Democrat, in brief announcement of his death, spoke of 
him as a "most worthy and useful citizen, honored and 
beloved by his neighbors." The thought of leaving a son 
!<■ honor his name and to transmit the family's sterling 
qualities to still another generation must have soothed 
the last lingering moments of this venerated and beloved 
sire ! Happy fortune, that permitted him to see that son a 
leader of the greatest political party of the State, and 
one of the State's two greatest men! In the letter quoted 
from above Mr. Jones spoke of his father as "one of the 
best, if not the very best man I ever saw." In the same 
strain he continued: "I do want to come home and 
rest. I long to go to Pa's grave and stay around it for a 
week, and live again the days of my boyhood, and recall 
the thousands of things that come trooping through my 
memory when I go to old scenes." 


But back to those very boyhood days themselves. 
With his two boys, Nat Kimbrougk and James Kiinbrough, 
seven and nine years old, he cast his fortunes in the new 
State in 1848, moving to Dallas Comity, in what is now a 
part of Clark County, and settling upon a large planta- 
tion. Here he engaged in the mercantile business also, 
leaving James, in whom he placed from the very earliest 
time the highest coniidence, in charge of the farm. 

The younger son, Nat, died very suddenly, and being 
a strong, healthy, rollicking boy, was greatly mourned 
by father and brother, and the shock to the nervous boy, 
James, caused his father great uneasiness. He soon 
brought to his help, however, the second wife, who was 
.Miss Lucy Norment, when James was twelve years old. 
This marriage was very fortunate for the son, for the step- 
mother was a finely educated woman, always affectionate 
and interested in him; and her deeply pious, moral char- 
acter led his thoughts into channels whose virtuous ef- 
fect followed him through life. 

To this second marriage came two daughters, and the 
father and son rejoiced to have the companionship of the 
two girls. But alas! soon after the birth of the second 
daughter the step-mother died, and their hopes were 
blasted, for the two girls were taken to be reared by Kim- 
brough Jones, Nat Jones's brother, and thus James was 
again left alone with his father. He was then about 
fourteen years of age, and he was sent to the neighbor- 
hood school at Cachemasso, now Dalark, in the vicinity 
of which the Jones plantation was situated. This asso- 
ciation with children was helpful to him, and especially 



in drawing him out of himself. Having been much alone 
with his father, he was prematurely developed in mind and 
disposition. His father was a remarkably taciturn, 
thoughtful, studious man, and seldom had entered into 
the sports and pleasures so necessary and helpful to the 
moral, natural development of the young son. He was, 
however, very proud of him, and was always quiet in the 
pleasure it gave him w T hen the teachers praised the won- 
derful advancement the son made. The boy had a high 
and ungovernable temper, which often gave the father 
much concern. Once he was actually taken out of school 
because he would not apologize for some little misde- 

In his congressional autobiography Mr. Jones states 
that he "received a classical education." But this he got 
outside the walls of any great school. He had not the 
educational advantages which Garland, his great compeer, 
received. He never attended any great college, most of 
his training being in the private and district schools. 

At Tulip, Dallas County, adjoining Clark County, 
where Nat Jones lived, was a settlement of as fine people 
as ever immigrated to the new State from Virginia, North 
Carolina and Tennessee. They were people of wealth, 
education, refinement and morality; and here they had 
established male and female schools which were not sur- 
passed anywhere in the South. To the male school at 
Tulip young Jones, now about sixteen years old, was sent. 
This school had as its Principal W. D. Leiper, a college 
graduate and a Pennsylvanian, who was ably assisted, 
thoroughly appreciated and most successful. I may add, 


he left the school to join the Confederate army and went 
through the entire War a gallant, brave soldier, becoming 
Major of his regiment. He is still living. 

A certain person, who knew him more closely than 
anyone else at the time he was growing into manhood, 
told me that James K. Jones had, even in his 'teens, a 
most brilliant and susceptible mind, and that teachers and 
pupils alike realized this fact. He possessed a special 
fondness for Latin and Mathematics. As we come to 
study his public record we shall see how he put this 
mathematical mind to extensive service in the welfare of 
his country, in the work of the tariff and financial legis- 
lation. We shall see that he had a remarkable fondness 
for the most minute details of the silver problem and the 
schedules of the revenue measures. 

In this little town of Tulip, noted for its moral at- 
mosphere, were churches of different denominations, with 
good pastors. In almost every home there was an altar, 
where night and morning the family and servants were 
assembled to render praise and homage to the God of their 
fathers and their God. The Sunday Schools were well 
attended and the lessons were made most interesting to 
the young. In the Methodist church a fine class was 
taught by Miss Kate Somervell, and young Jones was one 
of the class. The teacher, full of enthusiasm and well 
versed in Biblical lore, infused into her pupils a love for 
the study of the Scriptures and the research necessary to 
obtain a knowledge of the origin and history of the Book. 
James K. Jones here, as in the other schools, was an apt 
pupil, and later on in his life he often said that he learned 


more Bible history in this very class than all the rest of 
his life. It may be remarked that both his first and sec- 
ond wife were his class-mates in this {Sunday School, and 
his second wife was the sister of the teacher. She and 
the young Jones were counted among the best and most 
studious pupils, and though she was often his equal in 
recitations, the teacher always gave him the highest mark 
because he showed more thought and preparation. 

Beyond the close-at-hand schools, as said, Mr. Jones 
had few opportunities for an education. Indeed, part of 
almost every school year he was compelled, on account 
of poor health, to drop out. In such periods his father 
would usually employ private tutors for him. Compara- 
tively close at hand lived men who for the most part 
practically without charge, knowing the wonderful ca- 
pacity of the lad, became his private teachers and 
grounded him well in the arts, and later in the law. 

Among these worthies must be mentioned Judge 
Hawes H. Coleman, for many years a prominent lawyer 
of Clark County, and who later enjoyed the reputation 
of being one of the strongest legists of the State. Before 
coming to Arkansas, though originally from Virginia, he 
had resided for some time in Mississippi, and while there 
had ventured into the political field. I am informed 
that he was a candidate for Congress against the Honor- 
able Jefferson Davis the first time that gentleman was a 
candidate for the office. They had a lively campaign, 
with the result Mr. Davis's election. 

Moving to Arkansas, the Judge had settled upon a 
large plantation not far from the Jones place, and prac- 


Used law all over the State. He was an educated gentle- 
man, a close student and fond of literature and the clas- 
sics. He took a very great interest in Jim Jones and in- 
sisted that he continue his studies. He became the lat- 
ter's private tutor, Jones actually moving to Judge Cole- 
man's home and occupying to himself an ''office" in the 
yard near the family residence, and taking up the life of 
a sure enough student. 

it was during the early days of this study that there 
began to develop a spirit of careful, laborious and dili- 
gent painstaking which we see manifest in all his public 
work, marking him among all his fellow-legislators as 
one of the great students of the United States Senate. 
Endowed with a retentive mind, he remembered nearly 
everything he read, storing the good and useful away in 
his big head. Judge Coleman himself remarked to his 
friend, Judge Snmervell, the father of the girl Jim Jones 
afterwards married, that the boy was positively the 
brightest and most apt he had ever known; that no in- 
tellectual labor appalled him. And this, too, when Jim 
was not yet out of his 'teens! 

Judge Coleman became so interested in Jones that 
the second year he opened Iris house, enlarged for the pur- 
pose, for older boys and girls, and employed an exper- 
ienced lady teacher. Miss Anna E. Webb, to assist him. 
This school was very select and continued until inter- 
rupted by the War. 

The gaunt, pale and slender boy rather early decided 
that he would make the law his profession. And though the 
War was soon to come along and divert his efforts from 



the immediate full prosecution of his legal study, causing 
a break which continued for several years after the strug- 
gle itself had ended, yet he did not lose the consuming 
desire to be a lawyer and public man, and throughout the 
War and reconstruction period his ambition's fire con- 
tinued to blaze with undiminished heat. 

As is natural with boys of very studious nature, Jim 
Jones loved the company of older people rather than the 
companionship of those nearer his age. Whenever there 
were older folks around, and especially when they were 
engaged in conversation of a serious nature, he would sit 
and listen to them, rather than engage in the frolics of 
the boys and girls. 

So far as physical height is concerned, James K. 
Jones reached the fulfillment of the country boy's ambi- 
tion of six feet before he was of age. Reared on the farm, 
and in what was for most people a healthy section of com* 
try, virile, very energetic, and as the fact was, of ravenous 
appetite, he ought to have sprung into the very picture of 
health. But he didn't. Though he grew up like a sap- 
ling, he was from early boyhood frail and delicate. He 
had little strength and endurance at physical labor. His 
gray eyes, piercing and bright as they were, and full of 
kindness, were set far baek in their sockets and under- 
lined with dark streaks. The sallow complexion, the high 
cheek bones, the scarcity of flesh upon his face, combined 
to give him the unmistakable appearance of a con- 
sumptive. One of his boyhood friends told me, as he used 
repeatedly to tell Mr. Jones, that he didn't believe he 



would ever reach the age of twenty -five years. At twenty- 
one he weighed about a hundred and ten pounds. 

Notwithstanding the physical frailty, those honest 
gray eyes of his were bright and speaking. They told of 
the keenest sympathy with all that was right and true. 
I imagine the eyes, though of different color, were, in their 
burning intelligence and unmistakable love of mankind, 
like those of Alexander Stephens. In the cut of his feat- 
ures, style of manners and characteristics he appeared as 
a youth an admirable admixture of the Southerner and 
Westerner. In his sympathies and inclinations he was 
of course Southern to the core; but the West developed 
in him a disposition of sturdiness which was, and is, not 
so marked a characteristic of the Southerner as of the 

Fortunately, the man was built on a large frame. He 
was later to develop into a robust and healthy physique. 
This frame was the outline upon which was to be rounded 
out a physique that was to stand a multitude of hard 
and rigorous tests of strength, in the strain and wear in- 
cident to the great labors for the country's weal. 




"I was a private soldier in the iate unpleasantness' 
on the losing- side.'' These are the words with which 
Senator Jones many years later told the story of his army 
life in the Congressional autobiography which every 
representative is asked to write when he goes to Congress. 
While some of the soldiers tell at length of their bravery 
in that struggle, and scatter copies of their self-laudation 
throughout the length and breadth of the States which 
honor them, and by this and works of like character per- 
petuate themselves in power, the ''plumed knight," in 
speaking of his service, used the simple words above 

Mr. Jones, in fact, being characteristically neither 
self -praising nor verbose, cared least of all to say any- 
thing which might be calculated to arouse a sectional feel- 
ing among those who read what he had to say. Friends 
who knew him closest tell me that he, so far from boasting 
of his record in the Confederate service, even refused many 
limes to speak of it on occasions where it might be of 
profit to him. He was not even a Confederate Reunion en- 
thusiast, because he believed that often through these meet- 
ings bitter animosities and rabid hate are revived. How- 
ever he never found fault with those who did love to come 
together and renew their old ties of friendship, which ''like 

(1) The reader will find some very valuable information 
on the Jones war record from a letter to the writer from J. R 
McDaniel, of Nashville. Tennessee, which is set down, in part, in 
the Appendix to this volume. 


hoops of steel" bound man to man in the fierce conflict of 
the sixties. He simply deprecated the fact that along 
with all this good was necessarily mixed the evil of per- 
petuated sectionalism; and since he had "buried the 
hatchet" upon the surrender at Appomattox, he could not 
conscientiously grow enthusiastic over them. 

When the War came on Jim Jones, a young man of 
twenty-two, was engaged in a mercantile business at 
Arkadeiphia, his father having a partnership with Mr. 
Joe Thomas. From all accounts they enjoyed an ever- 
increasing trade, and were going nicely along the road to 
business prosperity. Jones was a hustling young fellow, 
able to stir up trade where others could not; — and com- 
petition was keen at Arkadeiphia, even in those times. 
After the labors of the day were ended, he would pore 
over his law books until far into the wee hours, by the 
light of a dim oil lamp. 1 have said that he was a boy of 
slender and delicate constitution. He took poor care of 
himself during those days. When a problem presented 
itself to Jim Jones, that problem had to be solved, despite 
the cost in physical labor and endurance. When he set 
his head to do a task, his efforts did not relax until that 
task was accomplished. 

It was not his plan to stay in the mercantile business 
many years. But the firm, as indicated, was making 
some money and there was no reason for his quitting 
soon. The fact, too. that he did most of the purchasing 
lor the concern assured him occasional trips to the cities 
of the North from which, only, the best goods could be 
had in those days. These outings were at once instruct- 

./ I l//;,s' K. J0NE8 NEWBERRY 

ive aud physically beneficial to him; and he enjoyed them 
to the full. But he did not like the confinement of the 
work behind the counter; and what is more, he was pre- 
paring himself for the law and public service, and wished 
as soon as possible to get into the active practice of his 
chosen work. 

Unhappily the cruel War cut short his plans. The 
State suddenly became wild with enthusiasm for the new 
Confederacy, and almost every male of acceptable age and 
good physique hastened to enlist for service. The volun- 
teers should not have included James K. Jones, however, 
because he was in no condition to undergo the hardships 
of the field. His friends looked for him to die at any time 
as it was. without his adding any further and more se- 
vere labors. He himself, I think, entertained litle hope 
of ever being strong. At this time he was simply a 
shadow, and probably did not weigh more than a hundred 
pounds, though over six feet tall! 

When he expressed his determination to go to the 
front, his father and others tried to prevail upon him to 
stay at home. And it is a tribute to the downright man- 
liness, as well as the patriotic love for a fight when prin- 
ciple and the interests of State are at issue, that he posi- 
tively refused to listen to the entreaties of loved ones and 
friends to remain there, or to go west in the effort to build 
up his poor constitution. A company of raw and un- 
trained volunteers was organized in May, 1861, at Prince- 
ton, not tar from his home, in Dallas County. This he 
joined, enlisting as a private. Tt was a cavalry company, 
was called Company "A," and was attached to Bourland's 


battalion. The company was commanded by Captain 
Holmes, and the battalion, subsequently commanded by 
Colonel F. G. Earl, and still later by Colonel A. W. Hob- 
son, of Camden, became known as the famous Third Ark- 
ansas Cavalry. It was joined to General Hardee's com- 

The battalion first came to Little Rock, and a lit tie 
later inarched to Pocahontas. They engaged in sonic 
skirmishing in North Arkansas and South Missouri, and 
finally went to Greenville, Missouri. It was at Poca- 
hontas that the young Jones was first made to realize 
that he con Id not stand the hard life of a soldier. He 
was taken seriously ill with pneumonia, and his friends 
feared for the worst. Many years afterwards he used 
to tell how one of the army surgeons left him in charge 
of an old woman who lived out in the country near there. 
The physician gave instruction that Mr. Jones should 
have no food except a little chicken broth. When he be- 
gan to convalesce he got ravenously hungry, and longed 
for more substantial food. He refused to take the cus- 
tomary meal of broth one day, and the lady left the room, 
seemingly indignant. He called her back, however, de- 
ciding that it was to be chicken broth or nothing at all. 
To his surprise she now refused even this, stating that 
she would give him only a small bowl of chicken water. 
When he reached out to take this, she withdrew it, and 
compelled him, for his contrariness, to go until the next 
meal without any sustenance whatever. 

She conquered him all right: but the next morning 
he got up and dressed, saddled his horse and left the 


./ I !//>' A. JO \ ES NEWBERRY 

place. (He said he had heard the Yankees were coming, 
anyway, and did not wish to be taken prisoner by them.) 
From there he came home as fast as he could travel. 
Let it be understood here that he came with the full con- 
scut of the army authorities. In fact, he carried through- 
out the struggle a physician's certificate of inability be- 
cause of supposed "phtisis pulmonalis," which would have 
excused him from service at the very beginning, or at any 
subsequent time during the War. "It did not take a 
surgeon's certificate, however," states one of his fellows, 
still living, "to attest his condition; for he was tall and 
thin and almost a shadow." 

When he had partially recovered at his home, his 
father finally prevailed upon him, after much effort, to 
make a western trip. Taking wagon and team, a tent 
and complete camping outfit, along with pleuty of read- 
ing matter and other things which would tend to make 
the journey pleasant, the young man went to Laredo, 
Texas, where lie slaved for two or three weeks. From 
there he went to other places along the coast, camping all 
the time and living the out-of-doors life without having 
to stand the hardships of the army service. 

He returned home, apparently much improved from the 
trip. Almost immediately he joined again the Third 
Arkansas Cavalry, his old battalion. This time he saw 
service in Mississippi and Tennessee. He participated in 
some of the larger battles there, and among them the en- 
gagement at Corinth, Mississippi. Here, relates one who 
served with him, he was slightly wounded. This state- 
ment is denied by others. I know that he was sick at the 


time, and hardly able to do anything. He became so fee- 
ble in a few days that the army physician who attended 
him thought he would die. He was therefore again 
paroled, and was taken and placed upon a boat bound for 
Pine Bluff, Arkansas. When he reached that city he 
was in a delirious condition, and remained so for days and 
days, at the home of one of his father's friends. Under 
ihe kindly ministrations of this good family, his health 
began to improve once more, and it wasn't long before lie 
was able to sit in a carriage and be taken home again. 
On the way from Pine Bluff to Dalark an accident hap- 
pened which came near cutting short both his career as a 
soldier and his chance for future usefulness. The driver, 
coming to a swollen stream, hesitated about crossing. 
When he did finally try to ford it the horses became 
frightened, the vehicle floated down the stream, and it was 
only with great difficulty that Mr. Jones was saved from 
drowning. He was rescued, however, and brought home. 
The rest and quiet of home life again wrought im- 
provement ; and this time he stayed several months. It 
was on this trip that on January 1G, 18G3, he was mar- 
ried to Miss Sue Bust Eaton, one of the most prominent 
and popular of the Dallas County belles, and especially 
noted for her remarkable beauty. She was a college bred 
young lady, having been educated at the Greensboro 
i North Carolina) Female College, just before the War. 
One of her young men friends, who was also a confidante 
of Mr. Jones, tells me that she wrote a beautifully sym- 
metrical hand; and T mention this here simply to stress 
the fact that she was very accomplished and refined, be- 



cause this symmetry was so characteristic of the chirog- 
raphy of the educated ladies of the time. Besides being- 
possessed of beauty and education, she was a woman of 
great amiability and lovely disposition. Early left an 
orphan, she lived much of her life in the home of Judge 
Somervell, a first cousin of her father, James Eaton; and 
here she became the constant companion and classmate 
of her cousin, Hue Somervell, afterwards the wife of Mr. 

In a few months Mr. Jones thought himself well 
enough to enlist again and go into the active service. 
The Confederacy came to be more and more in need of 
men; and he decided that, health or no health, he would 
do the best he could, down to the end. Hearing that a 
company was to be organized at Arkadelphia, he went 
there with the intention of joining it. 

I must mention here, by way of parenthesis, that by 
this time debts were piling up against the dry goods firm 
of Thomas and Jones. Northern creditors were demand- 
ing their money for goods purchased just before and dur- 
ing the early years of the War. Under an act of the Con- 
federate Congress, Mr. Jones and Mr. Thomas paid off, in 
Confederate money, all of the outstanding claims against 
them. They were resolved to settle as best they could, 
even with Yankee creditors! 

Reuben C. Reed's Company ''A" was organized in the 
late summer or early fall. Mr. Jones was elected first 
sergeant of this company, and so, in reality, though it was 
not yet a part of the forces of the Confederacy, he had 
already risen above the rank of private. For being ser- 


geant he never, of course, took any credit or glory to him 
self. This company, like others that were being formed 
at the time, was composed mostly of young men and boys, 
and very old men, who had not before been called upon 
for service. Most of the able-bodied and stalwart men 
had gone to the front at the outset ; but their ranks had 
been terribly thinned, and to fill the gaps youth and age 
were "prescribed.-' ''We were organized and mustered into 
service by one 'Colonel Trader','' says a member of the 
batallion of which Captain Reed's company became a part, 
"who was appointed by Governor Flanagin for the pur- 
pose, and went into winter quarters at Columbus, Ark- 
ansas, in December, 1863." 

Now, in January, 1864, the Governor gave orders that 
a Lieutenant Colonel be chosen to lead the battalion into 
active service. A member of Company "B" informs me 
that Mr. Jones was favorably spoken of for this place, 
though he did not offer himself as a candidate for it. Cap- 
tain Allen T. Pettus, of Company "C," was chosen to take 
charge of the battalion. 

About this time the Federal army under General 
Steel was raiding in south and east Arkansas, wrecking 
and plundering as they went from place to place. The 
battalion in which Mr. Jones served was thereupon joined 
to General Cabell's brigade. The young knight did gal- 
lant and patriotic service at Marks Mill, Prairie de Ann, 
and Poison Springs, in South Arkansas. "I was in every 
fight on Steel's raid," says one who was a messmate of Mr, 
Jones from the time of the organization of the battalion to 
the surrender, "and I saw Jim in every one, always at his 



post.* 1 It was in the struggle at Marks Hill that Lieuten- 
ant Colonel Pettus fell mortally wounded. Lieutenant 
Gilliam, of Company "C," also fell in the heat of that fight, 
with bullet-pierced breast. At that moment (1) Mr. 
Jones, always at the very thickest of the fighting, was so 
close to Leiutenant Gilliam that he caught the latter as 
he fell, and helped to carry him t from the field. Jones 
came away with clothes blood-spattered. 

A regiment was finally, in the latter part of 1864, re- 
formed out of Mr. Jones's and other companies, and turned 
over to the exclusive service of the Confederacy. He had by 
this time become very popular among the soldiers for his 
perseverence in the fighting despite his physical condi- 
tion, and was put forward by his friends for the position 
of Colonel, at the re-organization, and until his death he 
was familiarly spoken of as ''Colonel'' Jones. He was 
perhaps more frequently addressed as "Colonel" than as 
Senator. He w T as defeated by only one vote by Robert C. 
Newton. The regiment, known as the Tenth Arkansas 
Mounted Volunteers, though often called the Robert C. 
Newton Regiment, performed difficult and invaluable ser- 
vice in Arkansas from that time until the end of the War. 
Part of this time was spent in scouting between Dardan- 
elle and Fort Smith. Mr. Jones was made Purchasing 
Auciit of the Commissary Department, and served as such 
until the surrender. 

"The late lamented Jas. K. Jones," said another of 
his company to me, "was at all times ready and willing 

(1) The command had been forced to dismount and fight 
on foot. 


to perform any duties wheii called upon. He was highly 
esteemed throughout the couiinaud, aud would have heeu 
made au official of high rank if his health had not given 

It is out of place, in a work of this kind, to burden 
the tale with too many minor details, or relate too many 
incidents in which the subject figured. The reader will 
pardon one story, however, told me by a war companion of 
Mr. Jones, that illustrates so well the spirit of grati- 
tude for favors done him, which characteristic throughout 
his long life we shall tind so prominent in his make-up. 
In one of the fiercest of the tights in which he took part, 
he became so weak and worn out and sick as to be almost 
beyond the point of going farther. Exhausted and fam- 
ished, he finally lay down and began to call feebly for a 
stimulant. Lieutenant William Harris, of one of the 
other companies, himself wounded and lying close by, 
heard Mr. Jones's call for water, and crawling over to 
where he was, gave him his canteen. The liquid revived 
the sick man, and he managed to continue in the fight. 
Thirty years later Mr. Jones, the most distinguished 
representative of Arkansas in the councils of the nation, 
learned that Lieutenant Harris was stricken down with 
an incurable disease. Knowing his financial condition, 
he promptly sent him a check for one hundred dollars, to 
alleviate the burdens with which he knew Mr. Harris 
must be beset. 

Having made it a practice of his life never to try to 
remember a personal injury — and there were many in- 
juries done him in the course of his eventful service — 



James K. Jones at the same time strove to let 110 personal 
favor go unrecompensed at his hands. 


The break-up came in May, 1805, and Mr. Jones re- 
turned to his paternal home in Dallas County. He was 
now the proud lather of a daughter. The next year an- 
other girl was born to them; but his happiness was soon 
blasted by the loss of his wife. 

Needless to say, he was still in wretched health. 
His condition had improved little if any, and he had suf- 
fered from the hardships of the camp. No one believed 
that he would live much longer, though he had now passed 
his quarter-century mark. 

It will be remembered that just before the War broke 
out his father had put him in control of a mercantile busi- 
ness at Arkadelphia, with Mr. Thomas. He had not liked 
the indoor conhnement of this work, though it was no 
worse, if indeed as bad, upon his constitution as the life 
in the field which followed it. Now the War left its 
withering blight upon the mercantile as well as all other 
interests at the South. Just previous to the breaking 
out of the struggle he had gone to New York to buy goods, 
and he had, as stated, legally under a statute passed by the 
Confederate Congress, paid every cent of the debt he 
owed the New York concerns. But Confederate money 
had depreciated rapidly, and was now worth nothing. 
He was therefore called upon by the Northern houses to 
pay in good legal tender. He was compelled to go into 
bankruptcy. For this he was, many years later, accused 
of being a poor business manager, and therefore unworthy 


a seat in the United States Senate! Think of it: A 
young merchant, along with thousands of others all over 
the desolate, poverty-stricken South, the victim of a 
dearth that swept the section, leaving disaster and squalor 
in its wake, honestly going into bankruptcy when he saw 
he could not meet the obligations of the business, and de- 
clared unworthy and a bad business manager! Few busi- 
ness men, relatively, survived the ruin of that War : the 
wrecked concerns all over the South attested the fact. 
And it is more than many would have done, that later 
he paid again every cent of the indebtedness to the cred- 
itors of the firm, bearing the whole burden himself, his 
partner having died ! 

After the War Mr. Jones lived at the family home- 
stead in Dallas County until September, 1867. The out- 
come of a business deal was the hammer of fortune whose 
stroke sent him to Hempstead, which to the day of his 
death he claimed as his home county. His father during 
the War had sold one of his plantations on the Ouachita 
Kiver to Mr. Gus Johnson, of Washington, Arkansas. 
For the payment of the price asked Mr. Johnson had mort- 
gaged his own plantation in his home county. After the 
War he was a ruined man and unable to pay the debt. The 
farm went, under the mortgage, to the senior Jones. 

Now a year after his first wife, Sue Eaton Jones, had 
died, James K. married again, this time Miss Sue, the 
brilliant and accomplished daughter of Judge Somervell, 
of Dallas County. This was a most fortunate match in- 
deed, as Mr. Jones afterward many times declared he 
could never have made the successful record he did make, 



without her ceaseless assistance, care and inspiration. 
She was the link of value that fitted so well into his life- 
chain, making it strong for all the conflicts and prob- 
lems with which he was to deal. 

He married Miss Somervell in June, 1866. The 
farm in Hempstead being large and rich in soil possibili- 
ties, it struck the father as a happy thought that James 
and his young bride should go and live upon and develop 
it, at the same time obtaining the physical benefits which 
would come from a change of water and climate. This 
proved for the frail young man a positive blessing. 
Moving there in September of the next year, it wasn't long 
before he began to build up a little. The pure lime-water, 
together with the 'out-of-doors life he led while managing 
and working on the farm, began to evince themselves in 
brawn and tan. That he did not take on flesh as he later 
did when he came to Little Rock in 1873, is due, I think, 
to the fact that he simply worked too hard developing 
the farm. When anything was to be done, he would 
not stop until the task was finished, even though the labor 
involved physical exhaustion. 

It was on this farm that Mr. Jones had his first ex- 
perience with freed negroes. He had been accustomed 
to slaves whom he could drive at will, "saying to one, 'Go,' 
and he goeth, and to another, 'Come,' and he cometh." 
After the War the situation was materially changed. 
With the ballot, and in many cases with the balance of 
political power, in his hands, the negro was by no means 
an easy creature to get work out of and to control. In 
the successful management of this farm for six years, 


working many negroes and dealing with them all per- 
sonally, overseeing the whole business of the plantation, 
he showed exceedingly well that admirable knack of "get- 
ting along" with anybody, which afterwards easily ob- 
tained, where the good intentions and earnest efforts of 
others failed, concessions from the leaders of the political 
party in power. 

The first year after the War was a specially hard 
one. The treaty of peace had been made in April, 1865, 
but the crops, where there were hands left on the farms 
to make them, were already planted. Cotton and corn 
were up and had to be worked. The whites were of course 
dependent on their freedmen staying with them if they 
were to have any crop returns. So, through the Federals 
who stepped in and got control of the situation, they made 
contracts w T ith the negroes for their services until the first 
of the next year. In return for their labor they agreed 
to feed, clothe and care for them just about as they had 
formerly done. The negroes only consented to this be- 
cause they themselves were still dependent upon their old 
masters, having made no arrangements for change, and 
not knowing whither they would go, or what they would 
do. The Federals really kept order in Hempstead County, 
for a few months, seeing to it that the contracts of the 
black men were carried out. 

The emancipation day for the negroes in the farming 
sections of the South, especially in Hempstead County, 
Arkansas, where the plantation of James K. Jones was 
located, was January 1, 1866. It was then that they 
were first let loose to the world as free men to go and to 



do as they pleased. "Well do I remember," says one who 
lived there at the time, and who knows, "the hurry and 
bluster, the moving out and in, the happiness that was de- 
picted on every negro's countenance; for was he not now 
his own man, and was he not acting on his own responsi- 
bility for the first time?" 

Now the setting free of the negro was not the real 
cause of reconstruction horrors. The negro had always 
been, and was at that time, perfectly willing to go on and 
live upon the very best terms with his white superiors. 
But when the carpet-bagger stepped in, with malicious in- 
tent against the better class of Southern white men, and 
made him the tool of his own damnable criminality and 
treachery by manipulating for him the ballot placed in his 
hands by act of government, the trouble, dire and decade- 
long, came on. Reconstruction came to Hempstead 
County in 1867,and with it the radical element of Repub- 
licanism, and bought for a song of flattery his new-given 
influence, making him believe it to be for his own best 
interests. The black man enjoyed his privileges, but he 
has paid dearly for them, in misery, despair and cease- 
less bloodshed. 

Dr. T. J. Draper, now of Texarkana, Arkansas, 
writes me a very humorous but characteristic story which 
I think it worth while to relate here. His father's plan- 
tation was situated just across Plum Creek from Mr. 
Jones's. The latter hired many of his former slaves after 
they were freed from their contracts in 1866. Mr. Draper 
states that in the spring of that year his father took him 
over to Mr. Jones's place. The young farmer was that 



morning busily engaged in fixing a fence that had been 
washed away the night before by a spring flood. The 
rails of the "previous" fence were scattered far and near 
down the bottom, and were all covered with Plum Creek 
mud. "There is only one kind of Plum Creek mud," says 
Dr. Draper, "and though it has various degrees of ten- 
acity, being sticky, stickier and stickiest, it is also slip- 
pery in the super-superlative degree when it is fresh and 

soft I have seen a good team of mules stall in it wheu 

the mud was not over hoof deep and the wagon was not 

Mr. Jones and about a dozen negroes, so the story 
goes, were at work trying to "reconstruct" the fence when 
the Drapers came along. "Jones was literally covered 
with the mud from the crown of his head to the sole of his 
feet. He was barefooted, with his trousers rolled above 
his knees." 

The story gives us a fine illustration of Mr. Jones's 
ability to make the most of a situation, no matter how 
gloomy. He appreciated and made the most of the fact 
that the stubborn and egotistical freedmah could no 
longer be commanded to go and do a piece of work, but 
must be led to it by the white man himself. Jones was 
willing to go right in and do any kind of rough work with 

But there was a happier side to his life on the farm 
than association with biggoted negroes in building rail fen- 
ces in a muddy bottom. T do not know but that those were 
really about as happy days as the great Arkansan ever spent. 
1 will give you a day's schedule of work, in crop-making 


./ I l//;.s A. JONES NEWBERRY 

time. Rising with the sun, he eats a hasty breakfast, and 
is off for the field. With plow, hoe or rake, he works there 
until the dinner horn announces to his faithful mare that 
''taking out'' time has come. He springs astride the ani- 
mal and comes in to the house, where, inside, the wife of 
his young manhood is preparing the noonday repast. 
While he waits for the final call, to come in and eat, he 
sits down, after he has "washed up," under a great tree 
in the yard, and eagerly begins to read a law book which 
he happens to have on hand. After dinner and a romp 
with the two children, he hastens back to the shade and 
spends the remainder of the hour there. When the la- 
bors of the afternoon are over — and they only close with 
sundown — he enjoys the family comradeship, reads some 
more, and retires, to sleep the honest sleep that knows no 
fitful restlessness. If he is not contented, he is at least 

It was here at "Sunshine" (1) there began that 
family congeniality and happiness, and that home love, 
which lasted through all the years of Mr. Jones's busy and 
eventful life. Mrs. Jones herself told me that those days 
at "Sunshine," when she was doingallthehousework which 
farm life necessitates, including cooking, washing, milk- 
ing the cows, making clothes for and rearing the children 
in these hard times of reconstruction in Hempstead 
County, were "the happiest days of all her life!" 

(1) The name Mr. Jones gave to the new house he built on 
this farm. 




James K. Jones as a young man was not much of 
what would be called a political being, using the term 
'political" in its common acceptation. He was not a fel- 
low to make friends rapidly, although full of fun and to 
a degree approachable. One had to know Jim Jones the 
young lawyer to appreciate and love him. He gave the 
si ranger a sh'gbt impression of being cold and distant. 

I do not know the exact reason for this. It could 
have been the result of one or more of two or three natural 
causes. It could, for instance, have been a matter of 
heredity. I have no record of whether his father was an 
exceptionally good mixer or not. t do not think, however, 
that he was such, though he was well liked and highly 
esteemed wherever he lived. So it may be that Jim Jones 
came by his seeming coldness "honestly." 

T rather think, however, that the real cause of this 
apparent distant disposition was his early bad health. 
The reader will recall that as a boy he had been gaunt and 
sallow instead of robust and fat, as we should like to have 
him; hollow-cheeked and dark of skin, instead of full 
and rosy faced. He had even been theatened with tuber- 
culosis, and had been excused from service for a great 
part of the War period. He was at this time recovering 
his health, to be sure. The lime-water of Hempstead 
County was working the medicinal wonder with him, 
bringing to him a vigor which he had never before pos- 



sessed; and he was now building upon the tall frame a 
constitution which, toughened by many a fight with the 
elements and with environment, was to stand him in 
such faithful stead throughout his career of public service. 
But even at this time, though now a good many years be- 
yond his majority, he could not take a prize as an athlete. 

And so, he had to cultivate those mixing qualities 
which later worked to such advantage for him. 

We have seen that after the War Mr. Jones had set 
tied down to farming, and to deeper and more comprehen- 
sive study of the branches of the law. We have noted 
(hat he spent his spare time in trying to satisfy his inor- 
dinate desire to master the principles of the profession 
which he had chosen. In those days farming and the law 
went well in hand. However, not being particularly fond 
of managing negroes under the new regime, he decided 
that he would get ready to apply for admission to prac- 
tice. So he went to Dan W. Jones, his boyhood friend, 
himself destined to take his place of prominence in the 
annals of our history, and asked that he coach him for 
the tests. It was in Dan Jones's office that the young 
farmer put the finishing touches of study preparatory to 
his entrance upon the arena of his work. Being almost 
of the same age, James K. and Dan W. had been fast 
freinds from boyhood. Though of the same name, they 
were related by no other ties than those of a friendly com- 
radeship, which had begun when they were both in knee 
breeches. The distance between the home of Nat Jones, 
in Dallas County, and Alex W. Littlejohn, an uncle of 
Dan Jones, was only four or five miles; and it was while 


visiting this uncle thai lie was taken over to the neigh- 
bor's home, and met the future United States Senator. 
The friendship formed had ripened and increased with 
l lie years. The War had come on, and they had been 
separated. They came together again, in the happy asso- 
ciation at the bar of Washington. James K. filed bis 
petition for examination, and after a three hours' rigid 
and thorough test in open court he was granted license. 
He immediately entered into work, forming an equal part- 
nership with his former boyhood comrade. 

This partnership was formed in 1872. It was des- 
tined, however, soon to be terminated, as Dan Jones was 
the next year elected to the Prosecuting Attorneyship of 
that district. Mr. Jones then formed a partnership with 
Robert A. Oarrigan. a former partner of Dan Jones. But 
our subject, too, was soon to enter the political field — a 
Held thai was to lead him from the active practice and 
keep him from it practically all the time until his public 
career was ended. It was only a few months until his 
services were in demand for beating and driving from that 
section forever the influence and power of the Republican 

Now it is impossible to fully understand the situa- 
tion when Mi-. Jones was first elected to the State Senate 
in isTJ without briefly reviewing the history of the time in 
Hempstead County. The reconstruction period had been 
unusually hard in that section of the State, owing chiefly 
to the fact thai there were so many negroes there. Every 
Southerner knows of the terrors and gloom of that awful 
period of carpet bag and negro rule in the South. This 



horror was doubled a hundred times in places where so 
large a percentage of the population were negroes. 

The novelists have ably drawn the story of the dan- 
gers to home and family of the negro's new-given freedom. 
No white man now dared to go away, as a few years before 
all had done, and leave his place in the charge of the black 
men who worked upon it. Mrs. Jones told me that the 
only time she was ever mad with her husband was on one 
occasion, at the incipiency of the Brooks-Baxter Contest, 
when, being in town one day. Mr. Jones was suddenly 
called to Little Rock, and being too rushed to come out to 
the house before train time, he had gone away, leaving her 
on the farm alone with her two little ones. Frightened 
half to death, without protection, negroes all around, and 
a fearful storm raging, she waited sleeplessly her hus- 
band's return until far into the night, thinking perhaps he 
had been waylaid by some of the black brutes. Suddenly, 
having dropped off into a fitful sleep, she was awakened 
by the sound of some one calling her from the yard, and 
looking out she saw a great, flaring light. Thinking the 
negroes had set fire to the house, she crept, horrified, to 
the window. Fortunately, it was a friend with a torch 
who had come to tell her of her husband's hasty departure. 
Though Mr. Jones had instructed the friend to go to the 
house before dark and stay there for the night, yet Mrs. 
•Jones says she could scarcely forgive him for being even 
the irresponsible cause of her fright that night. 

Dangerous to family and home, the negroes of the 
reconstruction period were also dangerous factors in the 
politics of the South. To this day, almost, as Senator 


Jones many years later pointed out upon the Senate 
floor, the negroes allow themselves to be duped by some of 
the wiley and unscrupulous champions of the Republican 
party. The black man is very kindly disposed when act- 
ing upon his own initiative, but at all times he is a child 
in the hands of the while man whom he thinks his friend, 
and is often easily led astray. Extremely subject to flat- 
tery, the promise of "forty acres and a mule" kept him 
for decades voting the Republican ticket. 

At no place was the negro better managed by these 
scalawags than in Hempstead and Nevada Counties, Ark- 
ansas, liy 187o the evils of the period had been some- 
what palliated, but the power of the Republicans having 
been practically undisputed for almost a decade, was still 
patent. The time had come, however, when, as some of 
the leading Democrats thought, the carpet-baggers could 
be driven from that section. 

When the day came for the Convention to meet at 
Washington to nominate a candidate for the State Senate, 
Mr. Jones was still living on his farm six miles from 
town. I have no positive proof that he tried to win 
this nomination, and 1 possess some good evidence that 
he had not dreamed of winning it. I know that the 
Convention decided to nominate no one at all as the 
Democratic candidate, it being the opinion of the ma- 
jority that no one could whip the Republican nomi- 
nee, Mr. Calhoun Williamson. So the delegates had ad- 
journed without taking any action, leaving the matter, 
under the statute law, to the County Executive Commit- 
tee to do as they thought best about it. 



One of this Committee still lives, (1) and he is my au- 
thority for the facts herein staled. This small Executive 
Committee met a few days after the doubting Convention 
had adjourned, in the rear of Hart's Drug Store, at Wash- 
ington. They lamented that no candidate had been put 
out against the carpet-baggers, and determined them- 
selves to select a nominee. For this honor only two men 
were considered, as the merits of possible candidates were 
discussed: Mr. Jones, who had the reputation of being 
unafraid of the leaders of the dominant party, and Hon- 
orable Elmore Mitchell, an older and more widely known 
man than Mr. -lones. It so happened that Mr. Green was 
the youngesl committeeman present; and because of this 
lad the members agreed he should cast the first vote. Not 
hesitating in the least Mr. Green cast his ballot for James 
K. Jones; and the latter was by a majority and almost 
unanimously declared the nominee of the Democratic 
party, although it was a question with them whether he 
would consent to make the race. And that youngest 
committeeman, now an old man, will tell you how proud 
he is of the fact that he cast the vote that started James 
K. Jones upon the road of his splendid and eventful politi- 
cal career. It is an honor of which he may be justly 

Mr. Green went out to Mr. Jones's farm to notify him 
officially of the new honor and responsibility. The latter 
expressed the greatest surprise that the duty had been 
placed upon him of waging a battle which he knew would 
lest every fibre of bravery in his make-up, and charge him 

(1) General R. W. Green, now Adjutant General, Ark- 
ansas National Guard. 


with the success or failure of the party at the polls. 
"Whatever could have persuaded you to choose me?" he 
asked. Quickly came the humorous reply from Mr. Green : 
••Because you look like the devil, and we knew you 
could scare the scalawags if anybody could!" Per- 
haps his statement was true; for Mr. Jones at that time, 
in addition to being gaunt and tall, wore a black, grizzly 
beard, and this, with the deep-set, gray dashing eyes and 
high cheek bones, did, 1 expect, give him a very formid- 
able appearance. "All right, then," came the decision 
of .James K. Jones to B. W. Green, after standing there, 
meditatively, for several moments, "if you think best, 
I'm your man, and I will light your battle!" 

Mr. Jones sprang into prominence by the vigorous 
campaign he waged against the opposition; for he ac- 
cepted the nomination in good faith, and went to work in 
dead earnest. Some of his friends believed his nomina- 
tion a joke, and told him he could never win: he answered 
that they would see when the votes were counted. 

The Republicans had demanded that the citizens 
pay a fee or tax for the privilege of voting. When they 
complied, Republicans and Democrats alike, they were 
listed as voters of the district, and given certificates of 
full citizenship. The bosses pretended to keep an accur- 
ate record. But they knew, from counting them all, that 
the Democrats had the majority. So that whenever elec- 
tion time came some of the qualified Democratic voters 
were invariably met with the statement that they were 
not registered. They produced their certificates, signed 
by the Republican Committee, to no avail ; their names 



had been deliberately scratched from the books, and they 
were turned away from the polls. 

There was no remedy for this evil so good as intimi- 
dation; and I think that General Green's opinion that 
Mr. Jones "looked like the devil" must have been signifi- 
cant. He was not only the very picture of boldness and 
defiance, but had a heart that did not quake at any dan 
ger. That same nature that Judge Coleman years before 
had spoken of as being unappalled by any intellectual 
task, had now combined an unconquerable will power- 
wit h a most splendid physical courage. 

Against the charge of fraud and previous corrup- 
tion which he hurled at the Republicans, Calhoun Wil- 
liamson asked him : "What are you going to do about it?" 
Quick as a Hash came the retort: "I will fill the peniten- 
tiary with scalawags and carpet-baggers if you scratch 
off any more names from the register! You fellows, 
with the negroes, have ruled this State long enough." 
Williamson was a bright and prominent man. He had 
been a Democrat before the War, as had his people before 
him. But he had killed a fellow, and had turned Repub- 
lican to save his neck. He was now popular, however, and 
a good debater; and every one realized that if Mr. Jones 
beat him, it would only be after a hard race. 

Mr. Jones developed, however, into a wonderful cam- 
paigner. One of the humorous stories which he told from 
the stamp, while intending to represent the relation be- 
tween himself and his opponent, is interesting because it 
reveals pretty well the inborn characteristics of persist- 
ency and pluck which he possessed. A fellow was going 


along 1 he country road, says the tale, when he came upon a 
man who was climbing one tree after another as hard as 
he could go. lie seemed to be alter something. When 
asked what he was doing he replied that he was "trying to 
catch that woodpecker yonder." "Why, you cannot do 
that," replied the onlooker. "Possibly not," came the re- 
ply, itut I can worry him like h — 1 !" Mr. Jones intended 
to at least worry Calhoun Williamson: the latter was to 
have no easy victory, if he won at all. 

Mr. Jones was possessed of a wonderful persuasive 
power, too, in individual campaigning. A man who was 
there and one who knows told me that Jones would talk to 
a citizen in such a manner that the fellow would go away 
believing that it would simply be a disgrace to the State 
in vote against him. The misrule of the Republicans in 
the South was a good thing to harp on; and he made the 
most of it. 

To the utter astonishment of some, and the surprise 
of many, the contest resulted in the election of James K. 
Jones to the Senate of Arkansas. His career was begun. 
His tirst political campaign had terminated successfuly. 
He had made a good start; and that counts for much. 
From that time on, though he continued to practice his 
profession when not engaged in legislative work, he was 
almost constantly in the public arena and figuring in the 
limelight of public scrutiny and criticism, up until a few 
years before his death. And he only failed of success in 
political battle twice in his career: once, in his first cam- 
paign for Congress, against W. F. Slemmons ; and the 



next and last time by J. P. Clarke for the United States 
Senate, when he retired to the shades of private life. 


The election took place in the fall of 1873. Mr. 
Brooks had appointed thirty or forty of the legislators 
elected the year before — and who were Republicans — to 
certain offices which he had the power to fill, with his 
henchmen. This called for elections in the counties where 
the representatives had been thus "promoted," for the pur- 
pose of choosing successors. One of these fortunate leg- 
islators had been the Senator from Hempstead and ad- 
joining Counties, Mr. John Brooker; and it was to take 
his place that Mr. Jones was elected. 

Jt is now necessary to go back and state briefly from 
the beginning the facts connected with the fierce domes- 
tic trouble known in our State history as the Brooks- 
Baxter War, that tore the people of Little Rock and the 
State into hostile factions, each set on winning the con- 
trol of the State government, even at the cost of life. 

Most of the Union or anti-secession men in Arkansas 
had been Whigs before the War. After the struggle was 
ever they helped wonderfully in the reorganization of the 
Slate and the expulsion of the carpet-baggers from power. 
One of these men, Elisha Baxter, was contesting the gov- 
ernorship with Mr. Brooks when Mr. Jones came to Little 
Rock for the first time in official capacity. Baxter was a 
North Carolinian, who had refused to take either side dur- 
ing the Civil War. Because he had refused to ally him- 
self with one camp or the other he had been compelled to 
go North. During the conflict he had been captured by 



the Confederates in Missouri, and sent to Little Rock as 
a prisoner. He was to be placed on trial for his life on 
the charge of treason; but being an bouest man and know- 
ing that be had committed no crime he had escaped and 
raised a Union regiment, stationing himself at Bates- 
ville, Arkansas. During the reconstruction period he had 
been prominent in the service of his state. In 18(54 he had 
taken his place upon the Supreme Bench, and had, later, 
been the choice of tbe people at the polls for United 
States Senator; but like the other representatives from 
the South at that time, he had been refused his seat. 

In 187:j he was inaugurated Governor, having been 
chosen to that office over Joseph Brooks, above men- 
tioned. The latter, a brilliant speaker and capable man, 
was from Ohio, and had come South during the War as 
the Chaplain of a negro regiment. He had supported 
the carpet-bag government, but later opposed it. The 
carpet-bag wing of the Republican party supported Bax- 
ter in the race, while the "native" wing favored Brooks. 
Most of the Democrats helped Brooks, because he turned 
against the carpet-baggers. Mr. Brooks claimed that he 
w as the choice of the people, and after a few weeks man- 
aged to get an order from the circuit court to oust Gov- 
ernor Baxter by force. This he proceeded to do, using 
the military force at his command, which was composed 
largely of negroes. Baxter, rejected and unable to get 
control of the State House again, retired that night to St. 
•Johns Military College for protection. The President of 
the school told his charges of the insult to Governor 
Baxter, and asked how many of them would stand by 



him. Not one failed to respond. They guarded him that 
night, and soon afterwards General Newton, having mag- 
nanimously offered his services, took charge of the forces 
which had gathered to champion the cause of Baxter, and 
headquarters were moved to the old Anthony House, a 
hotel close by. 

In the meantime the sentiment of the Democrats had 
changed from Brooks to Baxter. They found that the 
new Governor was honest and capable, and meant to do 
I he square thing even by those who had helped the cause 
of his opponent. He had begun to appoint Democrats to 
places of trust, and had opposed the passage of bills by 
I he legislature which he deemed injurious to the people at 
huge. On the other hand, the Kepublican leaders who 
had supported him, when they found that they couldn't 
make a tool of him, deserted him and went over to Brooks. 
Thus the sympathies of the two sets of adherents were 
exactly reversed. 

For more than a month each side watched every move 
of the other. The most intense excitement prevailed. 
Two armies of considerable size faced each other, and 
each dared the other to make a move. A third force was 
sent by the United States Government to see that no fight 
look place between the two. This meant that the Federal 
troops stood between Baxter and the re-entrance to the 
State House, for the fear that his attempt to regain posses- 
sion would precipitate an open war. Skirmishing was 
indulged in several times, some blood was shed, and a few 
were killed in the streets. The situation grew desperate. 

Rut Mr. Baxter, as also Mr. Brooks, had been in com- 


munication with President Grant. Both urged their 
claims and asked for a settlement of the difficulty by the 
legislature which would have to be called in extraordi- 
nary session for the purpose. Brooks was unwilling, how- 
ever, to let the newly chosen members, whom he knew 
were his bitter opponents, take part in that settlement, 
but wished the old legislature, which had sat previous to 
the trouble, and which he knew would declare him Gov- 
ernor, to have charge. Baxter, however, took the stand 
that it was the present and not a past assembly that 
should decide the matter. 

Presently ill Governor Baxter received a wire from 
President Grant ordering that the legislature be convened 
in extraordinary s"ssion for the purpose of determining 
the rightful incumbent of the gubernatorial chair; and 
Mr. Baxter issued the call. The Brooks men waited, 
watched, and refused to have anything to do with the 
session, and it was left almost entirely to the new-made 
representatives to go ahead. Now these gentlemen were 
confronted with the fact that they had no credentials. 
They could not take part in any legislative work without 
their certificates of election. The Secretary of State's 
office was in the hands of the Brooks men, and the official 
returns couldn't be had. Fortunately, however. Secretary 
of State Johnsou had previously appointed Augustus H. 
Garland, sometime United St.-iies Senator, and Federal 
Attorney General, as his deputy; and it was Garland who 
certified to the returns and swore in the new members, 
thus authorizing them to go ahead with business. They 

(1) May 13. 



accordingly, with a few out of the previous assembly who 
were persuaded to come over, met withiu the Baxter 
lines, in the Ditter Block, Little Rock. To their chagrin, 
they found that they did not have a quorum, aud could 
therefore transact no business. 

It is here that 1 must tell of an action of Senator 
Jones which 1 think is the equal of any he performed 
while a member of that body. Senator McCabe, of Clark 
County, and a friend of Mr. Jones in former days, was a 
Brooks man. and had stubbornly refused to come to this 
extraordinary session which he saw was to be dominated 
by the Baxter element. But a few men thought that 
McCabe was simply "on the fence" in the matter, and be- 
lieved that he could be converted. Among them was Mr. 
Jones; and the latter went to him. and sat up practically 
the whole night long trying the persuasive power on him 
to get him to come into the Baxter fold. McCabe agreed. 
after the most persistent pleading on the part of Mr. 
Jones, and then only upon the condition that (Jrant be 
written to and asked to recognize Baxer before the legis- 
lature passed a resolution to that effect. Another Sena- 
tor. Mr. Dunagin, also came in the next day, and the 
quorum was made. 1 do not know what influence brought 
him in. But it was generally conceded, says one of the 
Assembly who still lives, that the young senator from 
Hempstead was the force which brought about the quorum 
necessary to start the legislative restoration of the State 
of Arkansas to the Democratic party and a sensible ad- 
ministration of affairs. 

The Assembly accordingly passed a resolution the 


nexl morning (1) declaring Mr. Baxter Governor, and 
another stating "thai the President of the United States 
be requested to put the legislature in possession of tin- 
legislative halls, and thai the public properly on the State 
House square be placed under the supervision and control 
of this body." Finally, it provided unanimously for the 
calling of a State Constitutional Convention. These 
things were done in the twinkling of an eye, and before 
the Brooks-ites could interfere. Grant sent the order on 
ihe fifteenth demanding that all hostilities cease, that "all 
turbulent and disorderly persons disperse and return 
peaceably to their respective abodes," and that Baxter be 
recognized as Governor and go into the State House as 
such. Articles of truce were drawn up between the con- 
tending forces, and under the w T hite flag the Brooks men 
left the city. In a day or so all were gone, and the usual 
quiet was restored, to the relief of everybody. The State 
militia did remain at the capitol until the Constitu- 
tional Convention met, to prevent any disorder that might 
arise. "By this war," says Barrel (2). "the people of Ark- 
ansas were relieved from the imposition of a cancerous 
oligarchy of amateurs in political economy, if not merely 
criminal wreckers and plunderers by design or intent." 

At this, the tirsl session in which Mr. Jones rendered 
service in the lawmaking body of his Stale, he was made a 
member of the committees on Finance, Printing and 
Claims. His ability was recognized from the very first. 

(1) May 14. 

(2) Data is taken from HarreFs "Brooks and Baxter 



After railing the Constitutional Convention to meet July 
1 I, the body adjourned, May 28. 

The Convention which met thai summer of 1874 
adopted the Constitution under which the Slate is gov- 
erned today. The political power of the carpet-baggers 
was crushed for all time, and since then the Democrats 
have remained in possession of the reigns of government. 
Augustus II. Garland, above mentioned, one of the leaders 
in tin 1 movement and later one of the chief representa- 
tives of his State in The councils of the Nation, was elected 
the first governor under it: and .lames H. Berry, then 
Speaker of the lower House, was second. I do not think 
that this regeneration would have come so easily — it 
would have come one way or another — had it not been for 
the diplomacy of James K. Jones in winning McCabe over 
lo the cause. It is not without the range of probability 
that the strain of the riot would have continued for 
months, and Republican rule for years, had it not been 
for this <<>ii/> <V <>t<tt. At any rate, this act of Mr. Jones 
illustrates well what we shall find to be a very prominent 
trait or characteristic of "the plumed knight." We shall 
see him using it in bigger battles as we span the years of 
his career with these pages. 

The first session of the legislature under the new 
constitution assembled November lb, 1X74. Bradley 
Bunch was elected President of the Senate. Governor 
Baxter sent a farewell message to the Assembly stating 
that he had the greatest confidence in his successor. He 
refused, for the sake of harmony, to be a candidate to 
succeed himself. 


At the opening session Mr. Jones was accorded a 
place upon the committee on Elections, Public Build- 
ings. Expenditures ill. State Lands, and Engrossed 
Rills. Later he was placed on that which is considered 
the most important of them all. next to the Finance Com- 
mittee, the Committee on the Judiciary. From these com- 
mittees he made several important reports. The esteem in 
which he was held at il) is time is attested by the fact that 
ht was called on several occasions to the President's chair, 
and once or twice presided at joint sessions of the two 

This was a protracted session, continuing through the 
winter and adjourning March 5, 1875. The Assembly 
entered with zest upon the labor of placing the State upon 
a sound financial basis. Mr. Bunch, in his farewell speech, 
just before the Senate closed its work, expressed his hope 
for a continuation of the prosperity which it had been 
their good fortune to initiate: "God speed von. Senators, 
to your homes and firesides, and when we meet again may 
our political sun he even wanner and more radiant than 
that which so kindly smiles upon us today." 

An adjourned session met, pursuant to a joint reso- 
lion of the Houses ( "_' i . on the following November 1, and 
lasted until December in. 

In all the deliberations, in the passage of every im- 
portant bill, and in all the transactions of the upper 
branch of that trusted body, Mr. -lones held a position of 

iti II'' was Chairman of this Committee. 
i 2 i Number 31. 



conceded prominence. "Mr. Jones was regarded as a 
leader from the time lie came to the Senate," said one of 
his fellow-Senators in that history-making body, to me. 
"He was then looked upon as ;i man of remarkable execu- 
tive ability. He was direct and forceful in anything he 
undertook. He always drove direct to what he was after, 
and usually succeeded in the undertaking. And," he 
added, "a sense of right and obligation always predomi- 
nated in his character.'' I am sure that this latter sen- 
tence of his fellow-Senator's opinion amounted to more 
than all else with those who were to place him so high in 
the lists of public activities. 

Mr. -Jones was re-elected without difficulty to the 
session which met January 8, 1877. When the or- 
ganization of the Senate began, his name was presented 
for President of that body, against the former popular 
incumbent, Mr. Bunch. Mr. Jones received sixteen votes, 
againsl twelve for Bunch. "It was a kind of contest," 
one of the Senators, still living, told me, "between the 
younger element of the Senate and the older." Mr. Bunch 
had for two years been the presiding officer. Widely 
known, he was one of the most popular men in the whole 
Assembly. Noted for his practical common sense, like 
Mr. Jones well up in parliamentary tactics, and the soul 
of honor, at the same time I think he had held his place 
not without the aid of his ability to mix well — a quality 
which Mr. Jones possessed to a less degree. The two gen- 
tlemen were the best of friends. This was a great victory 
lor Mr. Jones, as it was considered that no man had ever 
done more as a presiding officer of that body than Mr. 



Hunch. Mrs. Jones told me that at Washington iliis wns 
considered a wonderful victory, and that she in fact did 
not believe she "•enjoyed any of the later and bilker tri- 
umphs quite so much as this defeat of Bradley Bunch." 
"Mr. -Jones made a splendid presiding officer,* a man who 
knows told me, "and his decisions were marked by great 
dignity and absolute fairness. On the whole, he w;is ;i 
man of more ability than Mr. Bunch." And the Gazette, 
speaking generally of the legislature's heads, said i 1 | : 
• The legislature completed its organization with less 
wrangling and in belter spirits than is usual in such 
bodies. The officers elected to preside are men of exper- 
ience in legislative business and more than ordinary abil- 
ity. . . . On the whole, from the character of the present 
legislature we look for improvement in our laws." 

An examination of the journals of the Senate for 
these years (2) does reveal an improvement in those laws. 
1 1 is unnecessary here to go deeply into the deliberations 
of that body. Suffice it to say that the work of con- 
structive statesmanship which marked so plainly the As- 
sembly of 1S74 was continued by that body over I lie upper 
branch of which -lames K. Jones presided in 1877. 

In appreciation of his services Secretary Frolich pre- 
sented Mr. -Tones with a handsome, gold-headed ebony 
cane. "The good-looking President deserves the compli- 
ment.'" said one of the papers, "and we hope it may be 
many decades yet ere his straight form and firm step shall 
need it as a support." 

(1) Tssne of January 11. 

(2) Tn the original: They were not printed ;it all, un- 
fortunately, tlie Democrats from the very first practising the 
strictest economy. 



Thus far successful in the political field, Mr. Jones 
was, iu the next venture, in 1878, to meet the first defeat 
of liis long career. When his next loss came time had 
already swung the curtains of the twentieth century, he 
was an old man, and forces were marshalled against 
him over which no man could have come to victory. His 
Stale Senatorial activities ended in a blaze of glory. 



By this time (1) Mr. Jones was recognized as one of 
the leaders of the Democracy of Arkansas. He had proven 
his ability as ;i campaigner against the carpet-baggers in 
a hard senatorial district. He had taken his place among 
the most distinguished in the State's upper law-making 
body. Finally, he had been made President of that body, 
and had revealed an unexpected strength and ability as a 
presiding officer. 

He was a young man. comparatively, full of vigor, 
possessed of a wonderful capacity for work, far above the 
average in intellectual gills, and ambitious to progress. 
There was really no good reason why he should not have 
announced for Congress against Colonel Slemmons when 
he did. He could have gone back to the Senate again, 
undoubtedly, had he chosen to make that race. But this 
was unnecessary. There were no great issues before the 
State at the time; no great problems demanding extraor- 
dinary labor oi- ability tor their solution. On the other 
hand, the councils of the Nation were in the sorest need 
of new blood and new life. 

So he sought the Congressional nomination in 1878 — 
and lost. The time was not yet ripe to beat Colonel 
Slemmons. While the latter had not accomplished any- 
thing of great notice or prominence in the American 
Congress, yet he was recognized as a sturdy, hardworking 
and fearless man; and the people of the district thought 
best to give him another term. He made the promise, 

(1) 1878. 



which he faithfully kept, that if elected to this, his third 
term, he would uot again be a candidate. 

Wheu the result of the primary was kuown Mr. 
Jones immediately cast his hat into the ring for Colonel 
Slemmons in the general election, and went so far as 
to make a thorough stump canvass of the district in his 
behalf. This revealed a trait of his character which had 
not, for lack of opportunity, been prominently shown be- 
fore. Beaten for the nomination, he showed himself pa- 
triotic and unselfish enough to do what not one man in 
ten would have done under similar circumstances. This 
made Mr. Jones tremendously popular. Practically every 
paper in the district, Democratic and Republican alike, 
came out in open commendation of this generous cam- 
paign. The Southern Standard of Arkadelphia, one of 
the oldest papers of the State, said: "Honorable James 
K. Jones, of Hempstead County, although defeated in the 
nominating congressional convention, is doing all in his 
power to elect Colonel Slemmons. The whole conduct 
of Colonel Jones is worthy of all praise; and the citizens 
of his district will not fail to remember him in the future. 
He will certainly be rewarded." And one of the great 
State papers (1), commenting on this editorial, said ap- 
provingly: "Yes, sir, the Democracy of the second dis- 
trict know the worth of such talented, fearless, energetic 
and unselfish men as Jas. K. Jones. And they appreciate 
them. Every day Colonel Jones is putting in his strong- 
est efforts for Colonel Slemmons. not only in private but 

(1) The Arkansas Democrat. 

JAMES A. JONES new in: inn 

in public. We regard him as the rising man of Arkansas, 
and predict for him a brilliant career of usefulness to his 
Si ale and houor to himself."' 

The result was that Colonel Sleminous was elected 
over the combination of Republicans, Scalawags and 
Greenbackers, by a good majority. Mr. Jones had lost, 
temporarily, the prize he coveted; but his unseltish con- 
duct of the campaign in Colonel Sleininons's behalf won 
thousands of friends to his standard for future victories. 
During the following two years of Colonel Slemmons's 
term he was busy at Washington and at the other 
courts of the State practising his profession. He was a 
popular and successful advocate at the bar, a lawyer of 
recognized ability, and his public career attracted hun- 
dreds of clients to him. And what is more, 1 find no 
record of his having placed, as many lawyers do, after 
they have obtained a wider recognition and reputation at 
the bar, near-prohibitive fees upon his legal services. 

In 1880 Mr. Jones decided again to offer his name to 
the public for Congress; and this time he was chosen over 
his opponent, Colonel Ben W.Johnson, by a good majority. 
This nomination, however, only meant his success at the 
general election provided every Democrat came to the 
polls armed with a Jones ballot — a thing which was by no 
means assured, notwithstanding the candidate's popu- 
larity. The insane Greenback heresy, at the time sweep- 
ing the country, found thousands of adherents in Arkansas. 
This party was the outgrowth of the strained financial 
conditions which resulted from the stringency and panic 
of 187:5. Great misery had been caused among the work- 



ing classes, more than ever widening the gap between 
capital and labor, between tlie privileged rich and the 
struggling poor, between monopoly and want. Along 
with the demands of labor, through the labor congresses 
held in many of the larger cities over the country, came 
the plea for the direct issue of money by the government 
instead of by the banks. The sentiment grew so rapidly 
that in 1876 a Greenback-Labor party was formed, one 
of whose demands was that the government suppress the 
bank issues of currency, and make its own unlimited is- 
sues of greenback legal tender for the payment of all 
debts. Cooper, presidential candidate, only polled 82,011(1 
votes; but in the following congressional election (1) the 
party registered over a million adherents. 

Everyone familiar with the period will recall the 
fiercely torn, radical public sentiment at the election of 
Hayes over Tilden, which lasted through the administra- 
tion of President Hayes. The hitter's seeming aloofness, 
and his failure to conciliate the hostile factors of his 
party, together with the prejudice against him of the 
former Tilden adherents, made his denomination impossi- 
ble, and Garfield was put up against Hancock, the candi- 
date of the Democrats. 

So the year, 1880, when Mr. Jones for the second time 
offered himself for Congress, was one of great importance, 
nationally speaking. It was a presidential as well as a 
congressional year. The Greenbackers had no less promi- 
nent a leader, in this State, than the brilliant Colonel K. 

(1) 1878. 


K. Garland, of Prescott, brother of Augustus Hill Gar- 
laud and candidate two years previous, with a creditable 
showing, for Governor. A resident of the second dis- 
triet, he canvassed against Mr. Jones on the Greenback 
ticket. Now the Republicans, broadly speaking, advo- 
cated reform of the national bank itself, though they 
favored the maintenance of that institution, while both 
i lie Greeubackers and Democrats believed that the issue 
of money should be assumed by the government, and 
differed only on the proposition of what the uew currency 
should be. For the most part the Democrats advocated 
the coinage of the while metal with gold, and the Green- 
hackers believed that the government greenbacks should 
till up the gap. When Colonel (Jarland was put forward, 
it was confidently hoped by his friends that, though not 
a Republican, he could command sufficient strength 1 , with 
Republican assistance, to assure his election. These 
friends seemed to have been promised this help, aud not 
until late in the canvass did any other candidate appear 
in the tield. But, as stated, it was a presidential year, 
and one likely to bring out a tremendous vote. So the 
Republican managers began to figure on probabilities, and 
it occurred to them that a straight-out Republican might 
win the election. They did not by any means want Gar- 
land if a good Republican could be chosen. A few of the 
leaders met and placed upon the ticket the name of Hon- 
orable John Atlas Williams, of Pine Bluff, a prominent 
and able federal judge. Judge Williams issued an ad- 
dress, calling upon all Republicans to yield him their sup- 



port. The Greenbackers were told to go ahead and sup- 
port their little man, if they .so desired, and elect him if 
they could. The face of the canvass changed. If Williams 
had not been put in the held, it would likely have been a 
close race between Jones and Garland, for the latter as 
well as the former was tremendously popular in the dis- 
trict, personally. However, when Williams entered, all 
knew that Garland had no chance, as he could then com- 
mand no Republican support. The party which he repre- 
sented held the balance of power, though, and it then be- 
came a problem of whom they would support if they did 
not stick to him. 

On one side stood James K. Jones, the staunch ad- 
vocate of Democracy and the peoples' rights. Since the 
election of A. H. Garland, under the constitution of 
1S74, the Democrats had continued in power, and the sec- 
ond district was at this time the only really doubtful sec- 
tion of the State. It remained with Mr. Jones whether 
the Republicans should again wrest the reigns of power. 

The papers of the State reflect pretty well the anti- 
Republican sentiments of the time, and the fear of the 
probable consequences attendant upon Republican success. 
"If Williams should get to Congress/' said one, "it would 
be another foothold for the radicals in Arkansas. ... and 
it would doubtless prove to be a sick and sore day to the 
good poeple of the State.*' Another sheet made bold to 
say: "It would be a shameful surrender of Arkansas and 
Democratic manhood to turn down Colonel Jones for a 
radical who would care no more for its interests and 
people than the representative of Passamaquoddy Bay 


in the State of Maine." Still another, speaking of the 
course the Greenbackers should pursue, said: "By aid- 
ing to elect Judge Williams you would increase, in the 
State and Congress, the strength of a political party 
whose oppression and corrupt rule they assisted in over- 
throwing in 1874." 

The Greenbackers realized that the Democrats came 
far nearer to voicing their own beliefs on the money prob- 
lem than did the Republicans. The whole national bank 
system had been one of the principal boasts of Republi- 
canism for many years. On the other hand, as one of the 
Greenback enthusiasts remarked in a country paper, 
••.Mr. .Jones is stoutly and uncompromisingly opposed to all 
the ideas of Williams and the Republican party. They 
I 1 i are the friends of the protective system and adherents 
of the gold standard of money. Jones contends for the 
remonetization of silver and for a sound paper currency . . 
. . thus creating a larger volume of money. Now friends." 
he concluded, "which one of these men should we. as lib- 
erty loving citizens, vote for? Animal instinct (2), to say 
nothing of discerning judgment, prompts us to answer, 
•Jones, first, last and all the time!'" 

But more than all else, the Greenbackers realized that 
Mr. Jones and the Democratic party stood for progress, 
while Williams and the Republicans stood for radicalism ; 
and they dreaded a return of the Republican rule far more 
than they could possibly fear the Democrats on the money 
question. .Judge Williams was a member of that party 
whose career, during the dark days of reconstruction, 

(1) The Republicans. 

(2) The italics are mine. 



could not. -even after the lapse of years, be recalled with- 
out evoking exclamations of horror." In Congress, as 
one of the editors thought, he would probably have "co- 
operated with the ultra-element of the Republican party, 
whose iron hand was not taken from the throats of the 
people of Arkansas until the oppressed masses, organized 
and acting as Democrats, and led by such men as Colonel 
.Jones, hurled its representatives from place and power." 

Needless to say that, under the influence of conditions 
such as these, most of the const iinents of Garland threw 
i heir influence to Mr. Jones. The contest was the warm- 
est ever known in that district and Jones won, by a fair 
majority. ••Sincerely do we compliment the district," 
said the editor of the Texarkana Democrat, "upon the 
election of its ablest man to Congress. In deeds as in 
name he will make a representative of the people, by the 
people and for the people." 

In the chapter on "The Plain and Simple Record" 
1 give a resume which includes the important works of 
.Mr. Jones, in Congress and in Senate. Other chapters 
aim to treat, in exhaustive detail, his relation to the great 
questions of the day. It is therefore not necessary here 
to say more than that his first two years of service in the 
lower House proved satisfactory to a large majority of 
his constituents. Though absent much of the time on 
account of sickness, he never failed to lift his voice, where 
opportunity afforded, in behalf of his people. That voice 
was heard from the very beginning of his career, and that 
influence felt, in full sympathy with every measure in- 
tended to alleviate poor conditions and give protection 


to the rights of the people. "A pure, upright, conscien- 
tious and able representative," said Colonel A. S. Morgan, 
speaking through (lie columns of an 101 Dorado paper, 
"the peer of any member of his age in Congress, whose 
possibilities to serve you faithfully and well will be lim- 
ited only by his opportunities, James Iv. -Tones will be 
true to you to I lie end.*' Tin 1 Texarkana News expected 
to be '•called upon soon to advocate his election to the 
United Slates Senate," and continued by characterizing 
him as possessing "the aggressive energy, the purity of 
character, the knightly manners, the political learning 
and the mental industry which ace the requisites and the 
guarantees of success in politics." 

.Mr. Jones had taken liis place positively and promi- 
nently as an exponent of those great tenets which are 
the foundation of the Democratic party. Representing 
Arkansas, he was nevertheless distinguished and lauded, 
even at this early time, as being identified with measures 
for the betterment of the whole South and West. But he 
had more than this to bring before the people in advocacy 
of his re-election : from the very jaws of defeat, when the 
opposing forces had combined two years before to over- 
throw the Democratic party, and when the cry of Repub- 
lican success had already gone forth through the Stale, 
he had carried the party of his district through to a 
glorious victory in thai presidential year of 1880! 

Nominated unanimously by that party, he had this 
time two contesting rivals from the ranks of the Republi- 
cans: this time again Judge Williams of Fine Bluff, who 
had been put out by a little contingent of office-holders, 



"a small junta of dissatisfied men," at Camden; and Rob- 
ert (J. Samuels, a negro, who, as Mr. Jones said, "was out 
on his own hook." '"This places the Republicans in an 
awkward situation," he said to the voters, "and the best 
thing you can do is to come on and vote for me and make 
the thing unanimous." Samuels of course had no chance 
of election; and yet he was likely to take a good many 
votes away from Williams. The latter was personally of 
good reputation and notable ability. But he had been in 
the past closely identified with the party by some of whose 
representatives the South had been robbed, oppressed and 
impoverished to the point of suffering want. He had been, 
and was. a "shining light" of that party. 

Coming before his constituents upon the claims above 
set forth, Mr. Jones looked over the personal attacks 
which were made upon him by some narrow-minded ene- 
mies, who fancied they had been and were being hurt by 
him, with but a passing allusion. Such a mode of war- 
fare as they employed, he believed, was not used by decent 
and respectable people, and he was perfectly willing to 
have all such attacks dealt with by the people of his dis- 
trict. I do not think that -Judge Williams took any stock 
in these slanderous personal attacks. Nor, as intimated 
above, do I find any objection to him, personally. He 
simply stood for principles which the people realized 
would be ruinous to all progress if again engrafted upon 
the South. Colonel Morgan, concluding his appeal to the 
voters of Union County, placed the two men before the 
public gaze in the following splendid language: "And 
now, fellow-citizens of Union County, — for it is to you 


that we appeal, of whatever political creed or faith, who 
desire to substitute responsibility, honesty and integrity. . 
.. for usurpation, corruption and every form of irrespon- 
sible rule, look on this picture and then on that. 'Tis 
Hyperion to a Satyr. "Tis peace, stability and safety to a 
very Pandora's box of ills again to be emptied on your 
devoted heads. Look on this picture and on that, and 
rally promptly around the banner upon whose folds is 
inscribed, "Liberty from Radical Domination and misrule 
for yourselves, and safely for your rights!'" 

The Greenbackers came out almost solidly for the 
Democratic candidate, acting under such appeals as con- 
tained in the following question and answer: "Green- 
back friends, which one of these men shall we vote for? 
We think we see the old love-light of patriotic democracy 
again mantling your checks, and hear your voices shout- 
ing. 'We will vote for Jones, first, last, and all the time!" : 

To show the exci lenient over the result, and because 
it will spice the record which I am setting down here with 
a trifle of humor, I quote a little poem written by a young 
lady, just after the election. Mr. Fred T. Dean, at the 
time the editor of the Hope Radical, while in a neighbor- 
ing town met this young woman, and the conversation 
shifted to the congressional contest then being waged so 
fiercely. In his enthusiasm for Williams, he offered to 
wager a new hat thai Jones would meet with defeat. 
She. herself a pretty good politician, as it turned out, 
took him up. Shortly after the defeat of Williams she 
sent him the following: 



"During fair week you did bet 

That William* would in Congress get; 

I said, with democratic heat. 

Surely ./ones would take that seat. 

You said Jones wouldn't, 
I said he would; 

You said -Tones couldn't. 
I said he could. 

Then you, with vim boiling over, 

Bet me there a cranium-cover. 

Jones is happy — verbum sat : 

So send me an order for that hat." 
The young lady won the wager: for. though every ar- 
tifice was used to defeat Mr. -tones; though the slander 
mill was in full operation, and contumely and low caul 
ran riot in the radical Republican press of the district, 
yel the hard work of .Mr. -Jones and thousands of other 
patriotic Democrats saved the day for the party. Some of 
the leaders urged that the majority for Jones he made 
large, that the Republicans would have no opportunity to 
contest the result. Pleas were made for Democratic bug- 
gies to convey the farmers to the polls. .Many Jones 
clubs were formed and no stone was left unturned by the 
Democratic enthusiasts. The result was a still greater 
victory than before, for -Tones, "the tried and true." 

The House to which the tall Congressman from Ark- 
ansas returned in 1883 was Democratic, and thus he had 
a greater opportunity for exercising his abilities in behalf 
of his constituents than before. He took a commanding 
position upon several of the important House committees, 



chief of which was the great Committee on Ways and 
Means. His influence was the result, I think, at this 
special time, of his conservative good sense, there being 
much fear and danger that the "Democratic fools" would 
get possession of things and create, by their radicalism, a 
reaction in favor of (he Republicans in 1884. His career, 
as above stated, is elaborated in other chapters. Suffice 
it to say here that he continued to be reckoned as one of 
the l>i <i men of his party in the lower law-making branch of 
that high tribunal. That he was by far the ablest repre- 
sentative from Arkansas in that body at that time, there 
can be no doubt. "There is -,\ general and growing belief," 
said no less prominent a paper than the Arkansas Demo- 
crat, "not only among Democrats but among Republicans 
and Independents as well, that his place cannot be filled; 
and there are few. if any, in the district, who can bring 
to bear so much of strong common sense, thorough in- 
formation on public affairs, and deep devotion to the pub- 
lic weal, as are combined in the person of James K. Jones." 
And the Democrat editor closed his article by predicting 
for him "a long and brilliani career." The Camden Bea- 
con believed thai "'the district doesn't contain an abler or 
more worthy man to succeed -lames K. Jones than Jones 
himself": and after reviewing his prominent connection 
with the great tariff and other debates in Congress, con- 
cluded with the words: "Again we say. let James K. 
Jones be his own successor." 

Acting under the encouragement of such friendly ar- 
ticles as these, and proud of the record he had thus far 
made. Mr. Jones a third time announced himself as a can- 


didate for Congress. His territory was now, under the 
new apportionment, the third district. This time he was 
bitterly opposed by Elmore Mitchell, whose people before 
him had been good Democrats, and who had himself been 
until recently an apparently strong adherent of that party. 
He had. in the two previous congressional campaigns, 
made ineffectual canvasses for the Democratic nomination 
against Mr. Jones. His efforts to dislodge the young 
knight proving unavailing, he had turned to the Repub- 
cans in the hope of beating him with their aid. The 
Republican leaders, though they feared since the second 
trouncing of Judge Williams that they could not oust Mr. 
Jones, nevertheless welcomed a former Democrat to their 
ranks, and zealously supported him as their candidate. 
This C. Elmore Mitchell was a son of one of the most 
distinguished and admirable anti-bellnm citizens of south 
Arkansas, Dr. Charles I>. Mitchell, former United States 
Senator, of whom a friend said that he was a "rare combi- 
nation of a medical sawbones and orator." I cannot re- 
frain from giving the reader some of the impressions, as 
recorded in a letter to the Gazette, received by an auditor 
of Mr. Mitchell's speech, delivered in tin' joint debate at 
Arkadelphia. This auditor was no less a person than 
Judge Hawes H. Coleman, under whom Mr. Jones had 
studied as a young man. The judge in this article told 
with what delight he had learned that Messrs. Jones and 
Mitchelll were to speak, and bow lie had hurried to the 
Clark County Seat that lie mighl listen to the boy whom 
he had taught, and greel him as ••the father of the good 
knight of Ivanhoe should have greeted him on his return 



from the Holy Land." And he would for the first time 
hear in public speech The son of tbat distinguished Chas. 
B. Mitchell, ('ailed, however, to attend the funeral of a 
friend, .Judge Coleman related that he had got to the 
Court House too late to bear the speech of Mr. Jones. 
Elmore Mitchell was to furnish him with sufficient food 
lor disgusl to do him the balance of his days. "As I en- 
tered the Court House," went the letter, "his (1) loud 
voire betokened his interest in his subject. And what was 
that subject? It was himself. Yes! himself was the 
subject of his story. . . What I heard of that speech was 
concentrated egotism, unrelieved by interludes, which he 
meant to be attacks on somebody he called ' Jones'. .. He 
bawled, he screamed, he vociferated, he bellowed and he 
stormed, as if a hurricane were blowing and the world 
would perish if the people did not bow at his bidding, 
and be instructed of him how to vote.'' Tt was the can- 
did judgment of the speaker, thought this auditor, that 
it would require a thousand Calhouns and a thousand 
Websters welded together to make one Elmore Mitchell, 
"it is difficult to resist the temptation to say that if he 
had lived in the days of paganism he would have claimed 
the dominion of the skies, and have driven down old 
Jupiter from his throne . . . . " 

I think that Mr. Jones or any other courteous 
speaker would never have been so undignified as to refer 
fb an honorable opponent for the high position of United 
States Congressman, as did Mr. Elmore Mitchell in sarcas- 
tically alluding to him as Jones.' Tf he ever did do such I 

(1) Mitchell's. 



can find no record of it. True chivalry frowned upon such 
discourtesy in public debate. When we take into consid- 
eration this bombastic egotism of bis opponent, the becom- 
ing modesty of James K. Jones stands in beautiful and 
restful contrast. Tbe oft-repeated "I's" and "me's," the 
loudness, and unchivalric conduct of Mitchell must have 
made him a revolting spectacle, indeed. "I have listened 
to discussions in many states for sixty years," concluded 
.Judge Coleman, "yet in all that time I have not beard so 
much and so disgusting profanity, irreverence and im- 
politeness in public debate, as were crowded into tbat 
speech yesterday — irreverence toward God, and insulting 
disrespect to all who believe in God." 

It was only to be expected that Mr. Jones would be 
overwhelmingly voted back to a third term in that great 
tribunal, to whose dignity he had added new weight, and 
to whose broad democracy he had given a new luster, by 
his zealous devotion to the interests of the people, his 
lofty courage and his unimpeachable integrity. 




Mr. Jones was not to enter upon the services of his 
third term in the lower House of the American Congress 
before a grateful people, acting through their state legis- 
lature, were to say to him: "Thou hast been faithful 
over a few things: we will make you ruler over many." 
Ever watchful of his brilliant achievements, and well 
aware of his extraordinary abilities, his south Arkansas 
friends in the legislature came thirty strong to stand 
invincibly for his promotion to the United States Senate, 
to fill the place soon to be made vacant by the Honorable 
J. D. Walker, of Fayetteville. 

Briefly stated, the whole situation at this time was as 
follows: While it was certain that there would be 
one vacancy, everybody thought that in a short time 
there would be two. Cleveland had just been elected 
President for the first time, and it was rumored that Au- 
gustus H. Garland, then in the United States Senate, 
would be asked to take a cabinet portfolio. These rumors 
were so strong as to be generally believed, in Arkansas 
at least. Expecting this promotion, the legislators were 
really looking about for two men of senatorial caliber. 
And so it happened a month later that they were called 
upon to fill Garland's place, and ex-Governor Berry, one 
of the candidates against Mr. Jones, was chosen. He and 
Mr. Jones were to serve for eighteen years together in that 
high law-making assembly. 

But the candidates were not openly after Mr. Gar- 



land's place at this lime, because his promotion was at 
least attended with uncertainty. Repeatedly the Gazette 
empasized editorially, before the balloting for a succes- 
sor to Mr. Walker began, thai none of them were seeking 
Mr. Garland's place, for the reason stated. 

This first race for the United States Senate between 
Mr. Jones and his opponents was one of the friendliest 
and most honorable political contests in the history of 
our State. From the first it was conducted upon the high- 
est principles and each candidate bore himself with 
knightly grace and dignity. There was no trickery, no 
fraud, no bribery of influence or votes. There was not 
the least evidence of feeling between them or their friends. 
The leading candidates. .Jones, Berry and Dunn, were the 
very highest type of men, each possessing a character 
above reproach. General Berry had served one term as 
Governor of the State, his administration being uoted for 
its honesty and sound common sense. Poindexter Dunn 
was rounding out a decade of admirable service in the 
lower House of Congress. Each contestant had a record 
of which he might feel proud, and each, as every one well 
knew, would make a safe man for the Senate, and would 
add luster to the State. 

The first ballot was taken with the two Houses sit- 
ting separately in their respective halls. As the roll was 
called the first to mention the name of Senator Jones was 
a Mr. Gardner, in the Senate. No one in the alphabetical 
list above the G's had voted for him. Mr. Gardner rose 
and said, in answer to his name: "Mr. President, I cast 
my vote for United States Senator for Honorable James 


K. .Jones." A burst of enthusiastic but brief applause 
came from the south-State delegation which bad come 
pledged to "'die fighting" for him. Senator- Thompson, 
about the fifth Jones man, added in ore life to the occa- 
sion when he arose and said, in calling the name of his 
choice: " ...He is a young man, in the prime of his 
vigor. He has broad and liberal views, an unstained 
character, and is a Democrat with no guile. He is 
schooled in legislative work, and trained in the affairs of 
statesmanship. . . I will not attempt a eulogy of his char- 
acter; it would be like gilding refined gold!" 

In the House Colonel McMillan, of Clark Comity, 
himself later a candidate for Congress, nominated Mr. 
Jones, basing the hitter's claim to the senator-ship upon 
his record and what his comrades at Washington thought 
of him. He concluded, happily: "While he loves his 
birth-place as a mother, he loves Arkansas as he would 
his wife." 

In the Senate the vote stood, on the first ballot: Dunn 
10, Berry 9, and Jones 7; in the House, Dunn 31, Jones 
25, and Berry 24. Mr. Jones continued the third man in 
1 lie race until the nineteenth ballot showed Dunn's total 
to be 42, Jones's 40 and Berry's 39. The contest contin- 
ued until January 31, and thirty ballots had been taken. 
Here occurred a most admirable act upon the part of 
Governor Berry. Believing that there was no longer any 
hope of his election, as he stated in his letter to the joint 
assembly, "and that the contest should be terminated," 
which could only be accomplished by the withdrawal of 
one of the candidates, "ami believing that the greatest 



obligation is upon him receiving the least number of 
votes," lie wrote to Mr. J. H. Harrod, who had placed his 
name before them, asking that it be withdrawn, and the 
deadlock broken. 

Now while Mr. Dunn had led on every ballot up to 
the twenty-fifth, vet when Governor Berry withdrew Mr. 
Jones was immediately chosen by a big majority. Of 
Mr. Kerry's thirty-nine adherents, Dunn was the second 
choice of only eight. The thirty-first ballot gave Jones 
seventy-two votes and Dunn forty-nine. 

As the roll was called it was seen that many had 
really possessed strong inclinations toward Mr. Jones, 
and had voted for Mr. Berry not only because he was a 
tearless and able man. but because they were from north 
Arkansas. .Mr. Berry's section, and of course could not 
vote against him while he remained in the contest. His 
name withdrawn, however, they could show their appre- 
ciation of Mr. Jones in a helpful and telling way. As 
they rose to answer to their names, they gave various 
reasons for casting their votes for him. Many brief 
tributes were paid; but Mr. Baker, a tall and uncouth 
mountaineer from Benton, Governor Berry's own county, 
took the house down with singing and his humorous allu- 
sions to his meeting with Mrs. Jones. I set down an ac- 
count of it. briefly, for what it is worth. In my conclud- 
ing chapters more is told about the helpful influence of 
this admirable lady, who throughout her married life was 
a helpmate in deed as well as in name. Mr. Baker related 
that since his candidate had withdrawn he had sized up 
the remaining aspirants. He had admired the fine head 



of Mr. Dunn. "But," he said (1), "I'll tell you what did 
the work for me. 1 met Mrs. .Jones, the wife of the Hon- 
orable .lames K. Jones, and that settled it. ... 1 met her 
and went and railed on her — yes. I did. I didn't hardly 
know what to do, but .she sat by the piano and I asked 
her to play a little tune on it for me — asked her if she 
could play My old Cabin Home.' She said she would if 
I would sing- a verse of it. and I said I'd try. She touched 
up the piano, hit the very key-note of the piece — the tune 
1 know and love best on earth. . . The place was full of 
women. . they crowded around, and right there I stood 
and sung the verse." (Jreeted by cries of "Sing, sing it 
now," he agreed to do so. And, interrupted with the 
cheers of the densely packed throng, the uncouth legisla- 
tor sang a verse and the chorus of that old song. When 
the applause had subsided he continued: "When Mrs. 
Jones stopped playing I seized her baud and said : 'Madam, 
I am in love with you !' i '2 i Yes, I told her that T had fal- 
len in love with her, and she said she wished 1 would fall 
in love with her husband, as well.. . . Now 1 am a rough old 
man," he concluded, "but ladies have great attractions for 
the old mountaineer boomers." And acting upon Mis. 
•Jones's wish that he might be pleased with her husband, 
Mr. leaker told how he had looked him over, admired his 
large head and deep-set eyes, which lie said had a "thinking 
look in them," and had decided to cast his ballot for James 
K. Jones. 

The speech of Mr. Baker added fuel to the Jones 

(1) Issue of CJazette. January 31, 1885. 

(2) This statement was greeted by a thunder of applause. 



flame of enthusiasm. One representative after another 
arose in his place and said that not having had any sec- 
ond choice he would cast his vote for Jones, and the com- 
pletion of the thirty-first roll call showed the result staled 

As Mr. Jones himself entered the chamber a great 
hurst of applause greeted him, and he of course had to 
make a speech. After he had sounded a note of apprecia- 
tion of his worthy opponents, he pledged his love and 
loyalty to the State he was so proud to represent in the 
higher branch of Congress. A speech from Poindexter 
Dunn, praising Mr. Jones, and assuring the State that a 
wise choice had been made, elicited great applause. 
Governor Berry was called for, but it was answered that 
he had left for home the day before. The crowd dispersed, 
and Mr. Jones held a reception at which hundreds of ad- 
mirers expressed their compliments and best wishes for 
success in his new field of labor. 

The papers of the State immediately began to sing 
the praises of the Senator-elect. His record up to that 
time came more prominently than ever into the public 
view. The Gazette editor briefly stated: "A gallant 
soldier during the late War; a conspicuous member of 
the General Assembly and President of the Senate; a 
representative in Congress for two terms and elected for a 
third term, his career so familiarized the people with his 
record and his character as a public man as well as a pri- 
vate citizen, as to single him out for higher honors." And 
the paper added: ''That career illustrates the reward of 
ability, integrity, manliness, devotion to public interests 



and fidelity to friends." "He is a big-brained, big-hearted 
man, true to principle, I rue to his people, well informed 
on all the great questions of the day and a strong man in 
Congress," said the Arkansas Democrat. "A statesman 

;iik1 a patriot,'' commented the Hot Springs News, 

"an untiring worker and an ambitious student, the soul of 
honor and the epitome of manhood; quiet and able in de- 
hate, he will soon take rank with the ablest and most 
influential members of the Senate ill. The News regards 
him today as the brightest and most promising man in 
the State." 

Papers outside of the State took notice of his election. 
The Chicago Tribune contained an article reviewing his 
record and emphasizing his fitness for the place. On the 
Ways and Means Committee in the House, to which 
Speaker Carlisle had appointed him. he had been "one of 
the most studious members" and ••second to none in point 
of influence." And it added: "He is better fitted for the 
calmer atmosphere of the Senate than the turbulent at- 
mosphere of the House." 

But perhaps the best and briefest summary of his 
record and ability appeared in the paper published in his 
home town, the Washington (2>, Press: "A broad-gauged 
man in all respects; a man of the highest moral character, 
whose life is without reproach or stain of any sort (3), 
a man of indefatigable energy and iron will; a hard stu- 
dent and a tireless worker; able and experienced, tried 
and found true; wanting in no respect (41, ever watchful 

(1) Time and hard work were to fulfill this prediction. 
i L' l Arkansas. 

(3) Of how many of our public officials, when they have 
served as long as he had then, can we say as much? 

(4) Italics mine again. 



of his peoples' interests, and prompt to respond to all 
their claims upon him " 

Mr. and Mrs. Jones received numbers of telegrams 
from people at home and "abroad," complimentary in 
nature. Among them I find messages from United States 
Senator J. D. Walker, whose place he was to take, and 
Congressman C. R. Breckinridge. From Arkadelphia, 
where Senator Jones had studied and engaged in the mer- 
cantile business before the War, came the telegram: 
''Everybody at your old home sends congratulations"; 
from his then present home, Washington, Arkansas: 
"Washington congratulates you en masse"; from friends 

at Fort Smith : " May you live a thousand years"; 

and from the friend who had cast the first political vote 
for his nomination to the State Senate twelve years be- 
fore, General B. W. Green: "Praise God from whom all 
blessings flow !" 

When the first burst of applause over the happy ter- 
mination of the deadlock had subsided at Washington, 
Arkansas, preparations were made to give him a fitting 
reception on his return from Little Rock. A delegation 
went to Hope to meet him, and the crowd that gathered 
about him there showed the greatest enthusiasm. A 
throng surrounded him that night after supper at Wash- 
ington, and speeches were called for. Judge A. B. Wil- 
liams ( 1 ) spoke the sentiments of the crowd, and voiced 
the confidence of the Senator's home people with the con- 
clusion : "And now again, 'without regard to race, color 
or previous condition of servitude,' we one and all con- 

(1) Not Johu Atlas Williams, the Republican, mind you. 


gratulate you and cry, 'All hail, Senator Jones! Senator 
Jones, all hail!'" 

I have made all these ([notations not for the purpose 
of extravagant praise or fulsome tribute. I have set down 
excerpts from a few estimates given by his fellows that 
the reader may appreciate the well-nigh universal esteem 
in which Mr. -Jones was held at this time. The scarcity 
of prominent men from Arkansas, so held in the public 
eye today, makes us appreciate all the more this "plumed 
knight." There was really ho reason why he should not 
make a record that would adorn the place he was to fill. 
In addition to possessing the reputation which he had al- 
ready made for ability, energy, study and incorruptible 
character, he was now just entering his prime of life. 
Only forty-five years of age. he was full of health, activity 
and physical vigor — a human dynamo, with all his powers 
aimed toward the accomplishment of the greatest good for 
his home people, the nation and humanity. 

It is a noticeable fact that Mr. Jones was at the time 
the only private ex-Confederate soldier in the whole Con- 
gress. The South has since the War had plenty of Majors 
and Colonels to send there, but few privates. Tt is partly 
at least, from the fact that he was a private soldier in that 
conflict that "Private" John Allen, of Mississippi, has 
attracted such notice. Mr. Coke, at that time Senator 
from Texas, had been a private at the beginning of the 
War, but had risen to the rank of Captain before it closed. 

Mr. Jones's record in the T nited States Senate, what 
he accomplished while there, how he ranked among the 
ablest of that great body, are things developed at greater 



length in other pages of this biography. He was elected 
to a second term of six years without serious opposition. 
Mr. Fishback at first had appeared as a candidate before 
the legislature, but soon withdrew for the sake of harmony 
in the ranks of the party. In the House Judge Trieber, 
Republican, was put forward, receiving twelve votes. Mr. 
Barker received four votes, the labor representation in 
both Houses. Mr. Jones did not even get to come to Little 
Rock this time. The necessities of the hour were so great 
;ii the nation's capitol that lie was compelled to remain 
ai liis post. Always true to his trust, he was unwilling, 
owing to the great demand for his services there, to neg- 
lect his duty, even if it should — though there was little 
probability of it then — cost him his place. Speaking gen- 
erally of his fidelity to trust, Mr. Wimberly, of Hemp- 
stead, said of him: "In every hour of our need, when 
called to our service he has been found faithful to his trust 
and efficient in the discharge of his duty. No taller cham- 
pion has arisen to do battle in behalf of the people. 

On every question affecting their interest for good or for 
evil, he is vigilant and active. So conspicuous is his 

ability that his fame has become national On every 

great question of the day he stands in the lists as the 

peoples' knight, and wields a mace his foemen fear 

With but a backward glance of appeal to you. Senator 
Jones stands today shoulder to shoulder with a gallant 
little band of patriots fighting for the liberties of his 
country." Mi-. Morgan, of Union, in a ringing speech, 
plead that they "'elect him so unanimously that even the 
suspicion of division or discord in the Democratic party 



will find lodgement in no human heart." 

His friends and admirers gladly rewarded him with 
a second term of six years by a unanimous vote. 

The third time he appeared in the lists as a candidate 
for the senatorial toga. Governor James P. Clarke came 
out against him. This was just after Mr. Jones had put 
through his admirable tariff compromise known as the 
Jones-Gorman Bill, which was the Wilson measure in 
amended form. Mr. Jones was at that time the recog- 
nized leader of the Democracy in the United States Sen 
ate. It would be extremely difficult to heat him; bu1 
Governor Clarke entered upon the contest with zest. In 
some of the counties where pre-election primaries were 
being held, chief and first of which was Sebastian, con- 
sidered a Clarke stronghold, the two gentlemen entered 
upon a joint canvass ami debate. The friends of Clarke 
claimed this county for him by a vote of at least two to 
one. It had never been enthusiastic Jones territory. The 
contest was conducted upon the very highest plane. Said 
the Gazette in an editorial of February 7 (1), just 
before this contest closed : "The Senatorial contest is be- 
ing conducted in such a dignified manner as to elicit the 
respect of the citizens of Arkansas. Neither can- 
didate hits the other below the belt Senator Jones 

courted the criticism of his opponent . . . . Tt is one of the 
most interesting contests ever made in Arkansas — a con- 
test between two political Titans." 

Governor Clarke's principal charge against Mr. Jones 

was that he was a compromiser, and not a — as he called 

(1) 1S96. 



it — "straight-forward Democrat," which meant nothing 
more nor less than that he was a conservative (1) and not 
a radical (2) reformer. 

When the Sebastian votes were counted it was found 
that Mr. Jones was considerably in the lend. He also 
carried several others of the up-State counties in which 
primaries were held. On March eighteenth Governor 
Clarke withdrew from the contest, leaving the field open 
for Mr. Jones, who was chosen without further opposition 
for the third time to the United States Senate. 

It was in the fourth contest that "the plumed knight" 
mel the first successful opposition since his race for Con- 
gress against Colonel Slemmons in 1878. This defeat 
came in 1!M)2, when upon his record he announced for a 
fourth term in the Senate. It will be remembered (3) 
that he had Avon honor and distinction attained by few in 
the annals both of that high tribunal and of the political 
organizations of the nation. He had proved himself so 
indispensible in a fight as to be picked for the leadership 
of the hosts of silver in two campaigns (4) — the fact that 
those fights had been lost was charged against him. The 
fact that the Democratic candidate had not won out was 
thrown in his teeth as a stigma of individual incompetency. 
He had directed the tariff tight through to a successful 
compromise, placing many commodities of common con- 
sumption hitherto taxed upon the free list, and lowered 

CI) Which meant ••successful." fit that time. 

(2) Which could have meant nothing other than ••unsuc- 

(3) After reading the chapters that treat of his record 

(4) The record of that management, in 1&96 and 1900, is 
given in the second chapter on "The Fight for Silver." 



the duties upon scores of others: the fact that Hiis compro- 
mise had been repealed in 1S!»T by the Dingley measure 

\\as likewise laid ;ii his door as a personal rebuke. Be- 
cause he was no radical reformer it was charged that he 
was no reformer at all. 

Other charges, personal in (heir nature, were heaped 
upon those honest bu1 mistaken accusations stated. 

Another successful politician of the State, running 
for re-electiou to his own office, threw himself into the 
senatorial race in behalf of his friend against Senator 
Jones. And "the Plumed Knight of Arkansas." honored 
by his Commonwealth often and long, who had in return 
"placed a crown of glory upon the brow of that State*' 
whose brilliance time could net efface, who had grown 
gray in the faithful and arduous service of that Stale. 
was now to go down in the gloom of defeat. 

I said that charges personal and vitriolic were pre 
ferred against him in this race. Ex-Governor Clarke again 
opposed him, and this time not to withdraw before the 
contest should he finished. But Mr. Clarke, so far as I 
can find, was not the instigator of those charges, and their 
injustice was not a thing for which he was primarily to 
blame. I have already told upon what high plane the 
Former debate between .Mr. Clarke and Senator -Tones was 
conducted. Generally speaking, the attacks upon Air. 
• Jones's public record the charge that he had not been a 
true advocate of U-i'i' silver, low tariff and the peoples' 
rights, were made by Governor Clarke. To these criti- 
cisms Senator Jones wished his record to speak for itself; 
and since \ have set ii down, faithfully as 1 could. 



since it speaks in trumpet tones that he was tried at 
every turn and everywhere proved true, I think that if 
consulted he would desire no explanation from me. Be- 
sides, it would be like trying to purify already refined 
metal; for this record itself is the loftiest encomium that 
could be recited now. Against the charge that he was 
not a true free silverite let it simply be remembered that 
Mr. Jones in behalf of the Memphis free silver movement, 
whose work he had thoroughly organized, came to Chicago 
and demanded that a free silver champion be chosen as 
Temporary Chairman of the great Convention; that Sena- 
tor Daniel, of Virginia, was given this place on his ac- 
count ; that he headed the committees on Kesolutions and 
on Platforms; that he was the moving spirit of the whole 
Convention; that no single move was made by auyoue in 
that mighty gathering without his consent; that he gave, 
from his own time, the opportunity of his life to the 
greatest free silver champion the world has ever known; 
that it was he of whom Mr. Bryan said, referring to his 
silver activities : "1 knew that his whole heart was in the 
work"; that throughout the stress of two national cam- 
paigns he guided the destinies of the white metal fear- 
lessly and with glory to the party and to himself. Let 
these things be recalled, and no sane and fair-minded 
reader will ever charge "the Plumed Knight of Arkansas'' 
with having been a gold-bug in his sympathies! 

Let it be said, in answer to the charge that he was not 
a tariff-for-revenue-only enthusiast, thai his management 
of the compromise of the Wilson Gorman or Jones-Gorman 
Bill through an uncertain Senate in 1893, while the best 


example on record in this country of successful tact, and 

an everlasting tribute t<> liis own genius for diplomacy, 
was also the most democratic measure thai could have 
been steered to success at that time, and that it was un- 
dertaken by him in order that some if not all of the har- 
dens under which the masses groaned might he removed. 
Let this be remembered, and then present the insinuation 
of "stand -patism" to the mind of reason! An enlighi 
ened public opinion will rather give "glory, land and 
honor" to this lover of humanity, this unsurrendering 
champion of the public weal! 

With reference to the personal charges, T am sure that 
if Mr. Jones were consulted in the matter he would coun- 
sel that the cheap demagoguery which was the source of 
these base insinuations be considered by an unprejudiced 
public as their best answer. Nevertheless. T think it fit 
that T take up the chief ones which compassed his defeat, 
and tell with candor the facts connected with each, that 
there may he no longer, if there still remain, the least feel- 
ing against him in the heart of any fellow-citizen, and 
that the fair-minded out-Slate public who read these pages 
may understand, as they always do when apprised of such, 
the cheap politics to be seen in every allegation. 

In the first place it was declared that Mr. Jones was 
asking for glory for having been a brave Confederate sol- 
dier in the late War, upon a record of actual ser- 
vice extending a little over a month. .Mr. Jones never in 
his life, so far as I can find, made reference to his own 
bravery. His modesty strictly forbade the least affecta- 
tion. If he had been a full general T think he would not 



have boasted of the fact. But when in joint debate at 
New Lewisville, Arkansas, ibis accusation was made, old 
Captain Ed Alexander, who served in the same regimenl 
with Mr. Jones and therefore knew It is record for courage 
and faithfulness to duty, and who was in the crowd, arose 
and told the people the truth about it — how Mr. Jones 
would have been excused from service at the very begin- 
ning of the War if he had desired it, on account of his poor 
health ; how he had chosen to go ahead and stand the 
rough life of the army as long as he could, and had been 
compelled to drop out after a brief period of service, car- 
rying a doctor's certificate with him all the time: how he 
had recuperated and gone back, how he stood so highly in 
the estimation of his fellow-soldiers, as attested by the 
close race he had made for Colonel of his regiment, etc, 
etc. A full account of his war activities has been given 
in the chapter, "The. War and After — Life on a Farm.'" 

Again, it was told on the stump that Mr. Jones had 
bankrupted just after the War, and was therefore such a 
poor business manager as to be certainly unworthy of tak- 
ing charge of the business of the public in the United 
Sl;ites Senate. Yes, he had taken advantage of the bank- 
ruptcy law, in 1868. When the War broke out, as we have 
seen, he was carrying on a mercantile business with Mr. 
Thomas at Arkadelphia. The firm being in debt to New- 
York wholesale establishments when the War broke out, it 
paidevery dollar of the debt to its creditors in Confederate 
money, under a law passed by the Confederate Congress. 
When the War was over, as everyone knows, the whole 
South, and not merely the firm of Thomas and Jones, was 


bankrupt. Scarcely anyone iiad money or goods left. 
Money for the same debt which had been paid in Confed- 
erate money was now demanded in the "'coin of the realm." 
Mr. Jones was ihen compelled to declare the firm in a 
si ale of bankruptcy, his partner being dead and the whole 
responsibility of the old business devolving upon him. 
This he did, in order to gain time to get on his feet again. 
Is this alone not enough defense? Then let it be added 
that his father, who lived in Dallas County on a rich plan- 
tation, got together some cotton which he had saved 
through the War. Owing to the shortage of the cotton 
crop lor the four hard years, the selling price of the greal 
staple was almost fabulous just after the struggle, 
.lames K. Jones procured some of this cotton, and /><ii<l 
every cent of the indebtedness of the old firm! To say 
thai he was an incapable business manager because he 
bankrupted at this time in our history is to cast the 
stigma of incompetency upon forty-five out of every fifty 
merchants of the Old South. And what a brand upon the 
business responsibility of those grand old men! 

Finally, it was stated that Mr. Jones was a close 
friend to many rich people in the North; that he was a 
stockholder in the American Cotton Company, of New 
Jersey, and for these reasons was not in fall sympathy 
with the cause of the people. And all upon no juster war- 
rant than the following facts: An old fellow named 
Graves, from Drew County, Arkansas, and somewhat of 
an inventor, but at the same time out of funds, carried to 
Mr. -Tones a simple device for compressing cotton in round 
bales which could be rolled about much more easily than 



the cumbersome square bales. Mr. Jones at the time had 
no idea of later becoming interested in the invention, but 
repeatedly let the old fellow, as he often let others, have 
money to get the machine, as the latter said, "perfected." 
He expected and believed that every cent would be re- 
turned. Graves was also obtaining money from Mr. 
Thomas Lanagin, of Fort Smith, who was employed in 
one of the departments at Washington. Finally, Mr. 
Jones found that he and Mr. Lanagin had let the thing 
rock along until together they had let Graves have almost 
a thousand dollars. When they called upon the inventor 
to settle up, the latter, while he did manage to get to- 
gether a little cash, could only agree to give each a third 
interest in the thing and let them take charge of it. Mr. 
.Jones sent the device to his old friend. General B. W. 
Green, at Little Rock, and fold him to go ahead and get 
the necessary machinery to display the benefits of it to 
the public. Mr Green did so. Messrs. Jones and Lanagin 
putting up the money. Finally, Mr. Jones sent an expert 
to take charge of the machinery, and this mechanic, after 
finding that it worked well, took it to Argenta to show and 
sell it. For some reason, however, it failed to reap the ex- 
pected results, and Mr. Jones went to New York to try to 
get some company to take it over. He and Lanagin had 
by this time put several thousand dollars into it, and they 
naturally wished to make it a snccesss. He finally 
arranged with a business acquaintance there to turn it 
over just as it stood, upon the condition that he form a 
corporation in which Mr. Jones and Mr. Lannagin should 
each have some common stock, and in addition should 


recieve cash to an amount about equal to their outlay — 
part of which, by the way, had been borrowed money. 
The corporation formed began to make the machines, and 
rented them in different localities over the South to 
public ginners. In order to sell them readily they 
would buy the seed cotton from the farmer for the ma- 
chine and when it was ginned and baled agree to sell it 
again for the farmers in the round bale. This having 
to sell the cotton for the farmers as well as ginning it for 
them, caused the thing to collapse; for when they had 
bought up many thousands of bales the price of cotton sud- 
denly fell ! 

The above are the facts concerning Mr. Jones's con- 
nection with the alleged trust, the American Cotton Round 
Hale Company, which he quoted W. J. Bryan and others 
as saying was in no sense a trust, but a company organ- 
ized to sell a patented machine. He did no more than 
own common stock in it, and lost even this when the com- 
pany went to the wall. 

Looked at in the light of sound reason, sound judg- 
ment and plain common sense, the charges, to use the Ian 
guage of one of the country papers of the State (1), "don't 
even make good nonsense." I feel that no words of an 
unbiased public, when they have read the account herein 
set down, can possibly do the accusations better "justice" 
than these. 

But, notwithstanding the absurdity of the charges 

made against Senator Jones, they nevertheless conspired 

with other things to compass his defeat at the polls. The 

(1) The Center Point. Arkansas, Pivss. 



Gazette, able and accurate suinmarizer, in an editorial 
with the heading, 'How It Happened," added the other 
causes <>l' liis defeat : "The hard hitters were in the field 
againsl Senator Jones. The young, vigorous democracy 
ol Arkansas were arrayed against him. Two or three old 
friends; who had been close 1 to him from their boyhood 
days, brought to bear every influence at their command to 

compass his defeat Judge Kavanaugh's management 

of Clarke's campaign was superb and faultless." 

For several days utter the campaign closed the result 
*vas somewhat in doubt, and the Jones headquarters in 
Little Rock were kept open. His friends gathered about 
him like soldiers around a defeated but unconquerable 
chieftain. lie had been in the public eye so long, he had 
w«ui so many triumphs for Arkansas, he had held so high 
a place in the esteem of the nation, that these men believed 
defeat impossible. Alas, they did not reck the uncertain- 
ties of the public fortune- wheel, nor consider the fatality 
of political chicanery! Without excitement and without 
bitterness or hate, the now aged Senator, covered in ;ill the 
glory and dignity that a long career of distinguished ser- 
vice could afford, retired to a held of work less subject to 
the criticism of disgruntled and unscrupulous politicians, 
and far more pleasant and profitable to himself. 





There arc several reasons why men's records in the 
American Congress are investigated with frequency and 
scrutiny. One of the usual causes of the search is the 
anxiety of political opponents to unearth scandal, which 
occasionally results in finding some flagranl violation of 
the peoples' trust by continuous ahsence or failure to vote 
on important measures. The investigator then proceeds 
lo use the 'absent treatment" in his public debates. This 
kind of search often stretches the facts beyond the truth, 
by reason of the anxiety that prompts it. Of the soberer, 
saner kind is the research of the biographer. While it is 
not the mission of the latter to tell everything, he has. 
necessarily, to relate the matters of greatest importance, 

He must satisfy the reader, however, that his sub- 
ject is worthy of treatment because of the ability revealed 
in his public acts. A United States Senator must be in 
his place regularly, unless absent with a good excuse. He 
is the peoples' servant and directly responsible to them, 
lie is just as bound to be in his place as is a school boy. 
Now there are three reasons for a public servant missing 
the roll call at his place of service: sickness, committee 
work and business of the most urgent nature. For causes 
outside of these. I think the public are reluctant to ex- 
cuse him of the charge of negligence in looking after their 

But a servant must not only be faithful in his attend- 



ance and regular in his answers to roll calls on all im- 
portant measures: he must be actively and aggressively 
useful. He must, to till the requirements of almost any 
constituency, be instrumental, by speeches and in other 
ways, in securing wise and beneficial legislation, primarily 
for that constituency to which he owes his position of 
trust, and secondarily for the general welfare. If he 
fails to do this — and the record always tells a true story 
on him, even though he does often stuff it with copies of 
his finely-wrought utterances — his position is subject to 
the likelihood, at least, of forfeiture. 

Our government, because of its numerical bigness, is 
conducted on the representative principle, and being thus 
managed it directly, in theory, if not in fact, reflects the 
wishes of the masses. If any individual in its representa- 
tion fails to do his share in actually reflecting this senti- 
ment, it is the province of his part of that public to recall 
him; for his title is in reality a misnomer. If a repre- 
sentative does continuously fulfill the trust reposed in 
him, the only powers which can recall him to private life 
are money, demagoguery and the too-long-term fear. 

To give a digest of all the work of Mr. Jones in Con- 
gress and the Senate would take np practically the space 
of a whole volume in itself. My attempt is simply to 
show his attitude and efforts in regard to the most im- 
portant questions which came up for consideration, dis- 
cussion and solution during his term of office in those 
bodies. A man could scarcely hold a place in the high 
tribunal of the United States Congress for twenty-two 
years — longer than anyone who ever represented the Com- 



nion wealth of Arkansas in thai body, and longer than the 
terms of nine tenths of all the men who ever go from all 
i he slates — without accomplishing something of worth, 
even with a negative, unaggressive and passive ability 
and right conduct. But no ordinary character ever occu- 
pied that place so long, and perhaps never will. The 
record clearly indicates that Mr. .Jones was not only 
aggressive and active and virile in his efforts at the high 
est and most righteous legislation for his State and for 
his country, hot that few of the membership during his 
tenure there, or in the whole history of that body, were 
more potent, influential and productive of results. 

It is the common opinion of those who know that a 
man can in the lower House of Congress accomplish but 
little in the short period of four years. While the prece- 
dent that keeps the month of the United States Senator 
closed practically the whole first session of his term is not 
so strong with reference to House members, yet the House 
is not the place for new and inexperienced heads to come 
and on first attendance flaunt their colors or show their 
oratorical skill too blatantly. Of course, the longer a 
representative remains at his post, the more influence he 
obtains, and consequently the more legislation he can be 
instrumental in assuring, both for his own section and the 
country. Add to the fact of the brief period that Mi'. 
Jones was allowed to keep his seat in that body before the 
people of the State called him up to •'higher things," the 
fact that for a good portion of the time he was sick, and 
consequently unable to attend the sessions, and yon will 
understand why upon the statute books there is no 



number of constructive laws due to his efforts there. 
Sometime after the convening of the first session of the 
forty-seventh Congress (1) I find that he was granted 
leave of absence on account of sickness. The leave was 
for an indefinite period; and 1 do not find further record 
of his presence during that session. Notwithstanding 
that, he held membership on the two very important com- 
mittees on the Militia and on the Revision of the Laws 
(2). And later lie was given a plaee on the still more im- 
portant standing Committee on Indian Affairs (3). An- 
other chapter relates his work in this important field. He 
was back at the second session of this Congress, but on 
January fourth <4i was again given indefinite leave — this 
lime on account of urgent and pressing business. He 
had really been able to do but little beyond presenting 
some petitions, some of which were granted, and chief of 
which, perhaps, was one from citizens of Clark County, 
Arkansas, for a survey of the Arkansas River. 

At the next Congress- — the forty-eighth, first session 
— he was again, on May twenty-seventh (5), excused 
from attendance because of sickness, and was kept away 
practically all the session, as also from the second ses- 
sion, which convened in December of the same year. Rut 
the fact is especially noticeable that he invariably asked 
for leave of absence when lie was to be away from his post 
of duty, that the Chair, the membership of that body, and 
the country, might know why. Unlike some of the coun- 

(1) p. 5667. 

(2) 47 Cong.. 1 Sess., p. 238. 

(3) Tbirt, p. 816. 

(4) 1883. 

(5) 1884. 



ivy's representatives, who spend their time in New York 
ami the cities, or in the corriders and lobby-rooms of the 
hotels and elsewhere, lie was scrupulous always to tell 
just why he was away. 



The opening of the forty-ninth Congress found Mr. 
Jones in the United States Senate. He had now reached 
the acme of his political ambition ; and who shall say thai 
he did not now come with a determination to accomplish 
much for liis Commonwealth, and reveal the limil 
of liis strength in his strong work for the constructive 
legislation by which lie wished the country to he ruled? 

He was appointed on the select committee to investi- 
gate the work of the Executive Departments, and on sev- 
eral dili'erent hills he was appointed conferee (1). It is 
not in keeping with the dignity of the senatorial toga for a 
new wearer of that mantle to display liis talents too early 
• in the floor, nor is he given the opportunity to do so in 
the committee rooms until he has held his seat success- 
fully in quiet for some time, lint oftentimes from the 
very first such men are appointed conferees on important 
hills, along with others of longer experience and service. 
Where ;i hill having passed one House has passed the other 
House of Congress with amendments, the hill is sent hack 
to the House of origin I'm- action of that House upon 
amendments, ami if those amendments he not agreed to, 
then a conference is requested between the two Houses 
for the purpose of coming to an agreement and (usually 
(1) 4!) Cong., 2 Sess.. p. 2663, also Index p. 104. 



three) members oi* each House are designated as managers 
on I lie pari of that House, the t\v<» sets of managers acting 
as a conference committee to agree upon the differences 
of the two Houses. After an agreement is reached the 
conference report is signed by all of the members and this 
report is then submitted to each House for the purpose of 

When the committee appointments were read out at 
the opening of the first session of the fiftieth Congress 
f 1 ), in addition to being appointed conferee on twelve dif- 
ferent bills, lie was given a place on the standing com- 
mittees on Agriculture and Forestry, on Claims, on In- 
dian Affairs and on Patents; and was appointed, along 
with Senator Hoar, of Massachusetts, as a visitor to in- 
sped the government Military Acadamy at West Point. 
At the second session he was given two additional com- 
mit teee positions, on the committees on Enrolled Bills 
and on Immigration. 1 find that the discussion of the 
tariff covers most of the pages which record the doings 
of this session. Mr. Jones attended constantly, most 
actively participating in the discussions, and repeatedly 
holding the floor for several minutes, though at no time 
making any very lengthy speech. His tariff record is pre- 
sented in chapters devoted to that subject. 

Mr. Jones was (lie author of two bills of much inter 
est and benefit to portions of his constituency and of real 
good to the section through which the streams coursed 
their way. One of them i 2 1 authorized the construction 
of a free bridge across the Arkansas River connecting the 

(J) 5n Cong., 1 Sess.. p. 16. also Tndex p. 419. 
(2) S. B. 2926. 


two cities. Little Rock and Argenta. For many years 
the problem of transportation between these (owns, one 
the capital of the State and the oilier a city of ten thous- 
and people and an important industrial center, had been 
a most serious one. And the bridge which was finally 
built, as a result of the efforts of Senator Jones, Con- 
gressman Terry and others, was hailed with delight. It 
has been of untold benefit, and a source of constant grat- 
ification to the people of the two cities. The men who 
procured the legislation which authorized its construc- 
tion deserve the thankful praise of the entire Common- 
wealth for the act. The other bill (Ll was of similar na- 
ture, authorizing the building of a bridge across the Ark- 
ansas River at Pine Bluff, Arkansas. These bills passed 
both Houses of the Congress, were approved and signed, 
receiving the sanction of the President of the United 

In the second session of the same Congress, Mr. Jones 
introduced another bill ( '2 1 alike successful of passage, 
authorizing the building of a bridge across the same river 
at Van Buren, Arkansas. 

At the fifty-second Congress he was continued on the 
committees of which he had been a member in the previous 
session, and was, in addition, appointed to the commit- 
tees on Interstate Commerce and the Reclamation of Arid 
Lands. He was the author of a bill which decided that a 
United States Military Post be established near Little 

Tt was in the second session of the fifty-third Con- 

(1) S. B. 2960. 

(2) S. B. 5072. 



gress that Senator .Jones probably performed his most 
significant and important senatorial service to the great 
political party to which he belonged, and to the people. 
It was this year (1893) that the famous Wilson Tariff 
bill was passed. This was the first low tariff measure since 
the Civil War, and the work of Senator Jones, who was 
by this time the unquestioned leader of the Democratic 
party — which had just elected Cleveland for the second 
time- — in the upper branch of Congress, consisted pri- 
marily in making this revenue tariff bill "palatable" to a 
near-Republican Senate after it had passed the House. 
This he did by preparing amendments to the bill as it came 
from the House. The Jones-Gorman Kill amended the 
Wilson Hill in six hundred, thirty-eight instances. He 
entered into the heat of the debate, showing the most 
skillful tact and diplomacy, as well as a profound knowl- 
edge of the subject-matter with which the tariff has to 
do. The record of this famous bill i 1 i is as follows: It 
came to the Senate, as indicated, as a House measure. 
When the Senate passed it, in amended form, it was re- 
ferred back to the House Committee on Ways and Means. 
was reported to the House by that Committee and debated, 
the House refusing to concur in the amendments of the 
Senate. A conference was appointed, which also made an 
unsatisfactory report. A second conference was then ap- 
pointed, which was soon discharged, like its predecessor, 
and that body, receding from its disagreement, passed the 
bill in its new form, as it had come from the Senate. It 
was examined and signed, and became law without the 

(1) H. R. 4*64. 


approval-signature of (he President, it having been pre- 
sented to him on the fifteenth <>f the month i 1 I, ;in<l nol 
having been returned by him, as is required, to the branch 
in which the measure originated within the time prescribed 
by the Constitution, it perforce becoming a law anyway, on 
August 29, 1894. James K. Jones was verily the second 
Henry (May in the United States Senate, and this is per 
haps the greatest single piece of work he ever did. 


In addition to being appointed to the same commit- 
tees as before. ;H the opening of the first session of the 
fifty-fourth Congress, .Mr. .Jones was assigned to work not 
only in the group of men who at each session audit and 
control the contingent expenses of that body, and the 
special committees on the establishment of the University 
of the United States and on Corporations Organized in 
l lie District of Colombia; but he was also made a member 
of the standing < Jommittee on Finance. This was undoubt- 
edly the most Important committee <>f the Senate, and Mr. 
Jones's appointment came in recognition of his greai 
abilities in such matters, as revealed chiefly in connection 
with tariff labors. 

There were three sessions of the fifty-third Congress. 
The first of these was another tariff session: and it result- 
ed in the passage of a measure known as the Dingley Bill. 
In the debates Mr. Jones took a most interesting and 
active part, both in discussion and in management. He 
was not. as in the previous session, in charge of the bill, 
for it was a Republican or high tariff measure. He fought 
(1) August. 



its passage with till his might, presenting many off-setting 
amendments; but he and his colleagues were unsuccessful 
in blocking it. 

At the second session he was appointed to member- 
ship in the additional committee to attend the Omaha Ex- 
position, and was made Chairman of the Committee on 
Private Land Claims, but was excused from service on 
this and on the Committee on Corporations Organized in 
the District of Columbia. At this session he introduced 
a bill (li authorizing the Campbell-Lynd Bridge Company 
to construct a bridge across the Arkansas River at or near 
Webber Falls, Indian Territory. The bill passed both 
Houses and became law. In this session, too, he pre- 
sented another brief measure (2), authorizing the Choc- 
taw and-Memphis Railroad Company to construct bridges 
over the Arkansas River and other navigable streams in 
the State. This likewise became law. Another bill (3) 
to the same effect gave permission to the St. Louis, Siloani 
and Southern Railway Company, of Missouri and Arkan- 
sas, to bridge White River, it too becoming law. 

A bill (4) presented by the Senator, providing for the 
making of rolls of citizenship of the five tribes in the In- 
dian Territory, and a very important measure, was re- 
ferred to the Committee on Indian Affairs, but got no 

To the Senator's already long list of committee mem- 
berships was added, at the first session of the fifty-sixth 

( 1 ) S. B. 4452 

(2) S. B. 4891. 

(3) S. B. 5126. 

(4) S. B. 3432. 



Congress, another in that on Relations with Canada. 
However, so far as the rec.ord shows, there was little work 
required of this coirimittee a1 this time, as there was do 
serious problem involving the relations between llie two 

Mr. Jones introduced a most important measure (1) 
at this session, which because of lack of time, failed to be 
debated and disposed of. 11 was calculated to "prevent 
and punish blacklisting by railroad companies, sleeping 
car companies, express companies, steamboat companies, 
telegraph and telephone companies engaged in interstate 
commerce," and providing "a civil remedy in damages for 
blacklisting." The bill was referred to the Committee 
on Education and Labor, but got no further. 

Another of his important bills was one (2) "author- 
izing and directing the Secretary of the Interior to exam 
ine certain classes of persons who owned and occupied 
buildings on the Hot Springs Mountain Reservation," at 
Hot Springs, Arkansas, which had been condemned by 
the Hot Springs Commission and afterwards burned. 
Several individuals had sustained losses by the seemingly 
wanton disregard of private rights. The bill provided 
thai a reasonable valuation be made of the property de- 
stroyed, and that payment be made to those individual 
for it. ft was referred to the Committee on Public Lands, 
reported back in an amended form and passed the Senate. 
Tt was then referred to the House Committee on Claims, 
reported back, and the Congress adjourned before it had 
gone further. 

(1) S. B. 4^0. 

(2) S. R. 9S2. 



At the second session, Senator Jones was, in addition 
to being placed upon the special Committee on the Inaug- 
uration of the President-elect of the United States, ap- 
pointed conferee on nine important bills. It was at this 
time that he introduced two bills of local interest, both 
of which only got to certain committees to which they 
were referred. One of these (1) provided for the purchase 
of a site and the erection of a public building thereon at 
Batesville, Arkansas. This bill passed the Senate, but 
in the House got no further than the Committee on Public 
Buildings and Grounds. The other measure (2) pro- 
vided for a United States jail at Little Rock. It was re- 
ferred to the same committee of the Senate, but was never 
reported back. 

The fifty-seventh was the last of the Congresses of 
which Senator Jones was a member. He was honored 
by being placed upon the special committee which was 
made up of the most influential and best known men in 
that body, to "consider and report by what token of re- 
spect and affection it may be proper for the Congress of 
the United States to express the deep sensibility of the 
nation of the tragic death of the late President McKin- 
ley." The other members were Senators Foraker, Fair- 
banks, Kean, Aldrich, Nelson, Perkins. Morgan, Cock- 
rell and McEnery. 

In this last Congress he introduced several bills of 
more or less importance. They were as follows : 

A bill (3) providing for the purchase of a site and 

(1) S.-B. 5376. 

(2) S. B. 5391. 

(3) S. B. 309. 



the building thereon of a public structure at Batesville, 
Arkansas. It got no further than the Committee on Pub- 
lic Buildings and Grounds. 

A bill (1) compelling the recording of deeds and in- 
struments of writing in the Indian Territory. It was 
passed by the Senate, but got no further than the House 
Committee on Indian Affairs. 

A bill (2 i allowing the Memphis, Helena and Louis- 
iana Railway Company to construct and maintain bridges 
across the Arkansas and White Rivers in the State of 

Let it be remembered that during the closing years 
of his senatorial career, from the time Senator Gorman 
went out of the Senate, Senator Jones held the chairman- 
ship of the so-called Minority Conference in that body. 
This carried with it the position of floor leader. This 
Minority Conference is classed as one of the standing 
committees of the Senate, but in reality it is simply the 
organization of The minority party, this minority being 
furnished with a committee room and a clerk and the 
chairman ranking as the floor leader of the minority. 
This is a position which is much sought on account of the 
fact that it carries the leadership, and after Senator Gor- 
man went out of the Senate and up to the time Senator 
Jones retired from the Senate, he was chairman of this 
Minority Conference. When Senator Jones went out of 
the Senate, Senator Gorman came in again and was 
elected chairman of this committee as Senator Jones's suc- 
cessor. The position, until recently, was held by Senator 

(1) S. R. 5678. 

(2) S. B. 1838 and 1839. 



Martin, of Virginia. 

As stated above, only a few of the committees, confer- 
ences and managements of bills with which Mr. Jones 
was connected are cited here. Even from this meager ac- 
count something of the wide influence which the Senator 
possessed, and the deference and respect which were at 
all times shown him in the highest parliamentary body in 
the world, may be understood. 




There is no problem in the calendar of legislative dis- 
putes that has excited more wide-spread discussion, more 
bitter dissension, and hatreds more intense, than the 
question of whether I lie country's policy of internal taxa- 
tion should be one of high protection, or one simply calcu- 
lated to provide a sufficient revenue for the support of the 
national government. This has, almost since the founda- 
tion of the government, been known as the tariff question. 
II was the plea of Hamilton, concededly the most bril- 
liant mind of the Revolutionary era, that a duty should be 
levied upon foreign imported manufactured goods, pri- 
marily that the expense of the national treasury might be 
paid. The firsl tariff tax was accordingly laid, approxi- 
mating an ad valorem of five per rent. This was gradu- 
ally increased, until the period when Henry Clay began to 
dominate the legislative affairs of the country. The first 
really "protective" tariff was laid in 1816. The duties 
were around 20 per cent. 

The protective feature was new, and found its first 
great advocate in the young Iventuckian. His plea in its 
behalf was a patriotic one. The government's obligations 
were fairly met, and the great debt of the Revolution was 
being rapidly liquidated, when the Second War for Inde- 
pendence came on, and again the vaults were drained, 
and the country came to the very verge of bankruptcy. 
What more plausible thing could have been advocated 



than that the young and struggling industries here, which 
sprang up immediately after the war had ended success- 
fully for the United States, he given the benefit of national 
protection against the great and powerful competitors of 
oilier lands? What argument could bave been better cal- 
culated to stir the pride of country, especially just after 
two successful struggles had been waged with the might- 
iesl known power upon earth, than civic federal protec- 
tion to the infant heralds of the unparalleled advance 
upon which the young Republic was about to enter? 
Help these young fellows until they are big enough to de- 
fend themselves against the tyranny of foreign competi- 
tors, in comparison with which they are as the merest 
pygmies. When they are large the protection may be re- 
moved, and open competition between the marts of the 
world for the trade of the American consumer, will ensue. 
And the cause of high protection could have had no 
si longer advocate than the silver-throated orator of the 
young West. 

Successively the rates were raised, depending upon 
the popularity of the arguments in its behalf, in 1824, and 
1828. The culmination of the alleged outrage occurred 
in 1828, when so high were the duties levied, especially 
upon the most common articles of necessity and every day 
use, that a mighty wave of protest arose throughout the 
land that the new tariff was ••abominable." In response 
to this feeling, the advocates of protection in Congress, 
who had been influenced by the interests which were no 
longer "infants." but full-grown institutions nourishing 
upon (lie ability of foreigners to compete with them over 


the great wall, realizing that they had gone further than 
public sentiment would allow, slightly reduced the rates 
in L832. Bui this was not enough. A sovereign State 
proceeded to nullify the act, and danger of secession from 
the union was imminent, even at this early date. The 
young master of the lower House, who had already shown 
his greatest trait in compromising the Missouri difficulty, 
heroically threw into the breach his admirable bill of 
1838, calculated to gradually reduce the duties for nine 
years until they were again approximately twenty per 

By this time the protectionists had shifted their ar- 
gument from the plea in behalf of infant industries to an 
appeal to the patriotism of the people by urging that they 
rally to the standard of the "home industries." This 
gathered thousands of supporters so that again and again 
the friends of the protection measure had succeeded in 
passing their bills, until the tariff of abominations had 
been reached. They had, however, gone too far, making 
the duties unbearable and detestable. It had taken the 
highest effort of the most skilled and influential legisla- 
tor of (he half-century to adjust and compromise the 
battling forces. 

The next great tariff measure was one for revenue 
purely. The free list was extended, articles of ordinary 
use and common consumption were averaged at some- 
thing like thirty per cent, and the rates on luxuries were 
increased from forty to one hundred per cent. The new 
democracy of the West, with aid from the South, had suc- 
cessfully checked the movement which they believed cal- 



culated to enrich the few at the expense of the masses who 
labored in the fields and produced the vast raw materials 
which clothed and fed the world, and who were practi- 
cally unprotected by the old measures. 

The rates levied by the act of 1846 proved simply 
large enough to tempt the manufacturing interests of Eu- 
rope into our markets, and so much did the revenues in- 
crease that the government had far more funds than were 
necessary to pay the expenses. Accordingly, another act 
was passed in 1857 which again lowered the rates to a 
uniform basis — this time, of twenty per cent. This was 
opposed by no political party. It had not yet become a 
line of cleavage between the two great political factious. 
There were other issues brewing, of still greater moment. 

Kates were raised, as a part of the general financial 
legislation, to meet the unexpected and exorbitant ex- 
penses of the War, in 1861. This was proper, of course, 
hi L864 they were put up still higher, being raised from 
thirty-seven to forty-seven per cent of the value of all 
imported goods. 

But the unjustifiable part of the tariff legislation of 
this government came alter the War had ended, after the 
country had set tied again to peaceful pursuits, and had 
entered upon a period of undreamed-of progress along all 
lines. Except in one instance — and that I shall later on 
discuss at length — the tariff has not been touched in this 
country, since the great fratricidal strife, but that it might 
be raised instead of lowered. There is no doubt that the 
high tariff on foreign imported goods stimulated home 
manufacturers to a great degree, and the necessity of in- 

JAMES K. JO* ES \i:\\ i: i: li i; \ 

creased revenue made it entirely within the bounds of jus 
tice that this be done. But these new rates were gener- 
ally looked upon, even by the manufacturers themselves, 
as only temporary. When, after the War, urgent efforts 
were made to reduce the rates, these manufacturers and 
their friends, strongly protesting, won their legislation, 
until the crisis of 1S7:> gave excuse for the restoration of 
what few exorbitant duties, like those on tea, colfee, and 
other things not produced in this country, had been re- 
moved. This came in 1875. It is the foundation upon 
which our tariff system has since rested. 

High protection then began to rock along with little 
effective opposition, the rates becoming higher instead of 
lower, upon one pretext or another. But after the crisis 
of 1ST:! had passed away, and the country had settled 
down again, investments became more frequent and specu- 
lation came again to be indulged in without hesitancy, 
trade assumed its old proportions and even increased, and 
the national treasury was tilled again to overflowing. 
With this progress there came again, "with its old insist- 
ence.'" the demand for revision downward. It was in 
the decade following 1873 thai for the first time the tariff 
became the all-absorbing topic of discussion and contest 
between the two great political parties of the country. 
Upon this question the rank and tile of these parties had 
not been clearly divided, though for campaign purposes, 
and theoretically at least, the Republicans had favored. 
and the Democrats had opposed it. Tn 1882 there was a 
general and wide-spread demand from members of both 
parties that the rates be lowered. These rates still stood. 



mind you, practically upon the old war basis. There was 
a conviction '"abroad in the land" that the protective 
system, hitherto tolerated by the people, should not be- 
come the tixed revenue policy of the country. 

Responding to this general discontent, Congress au- 
thorized the appointment of a non-partisan tariff commis- 
sion, composed of nine outsiders, to investigate the whole 
schedule of rates then being charged upon articles which, 
but for the tariff wall, would be subject to competition 
in the open markets of the world. An Arkansan, by the 
way, was conspicuous in securing the appointment of this 
commission — Augustus H. Garland, then a United States 
Senator. The commission did its work with the highest 
efficiency, and at the end of its investigation urged Con- 
gress to reduce the duties by from twenty to twenty-five 
per cent. But that high law-making body, despite the 
protest of the true patriots from both the Democratic 
and Republican parties, influenced by the appeals and 
power of the protected interests, listening to the siren 
voice which always in the interest of predatory wealth 
traduces and repudiates the sovereign power and will of 
the people, passed a haphazard measure which really 
amounted to a revision upward again, instead of down- 
ward. This nefarious law went upon the statute books as 
a Republican measure, and for the first time, in 1884, the 
sole issue of any importance between the parties was the 
tariff. The result was an overwhelming victory for the 

In the great debates which for weeks occupied the at- 
tention and efforts of the ablest advocates both for and 



against protection, two eminent Arkansans took a very 
leading part. One of these men had jnst begun a most 
interesting career of service in the lower House, and the 
other was at this time admittedly the learned lawyer of 
the United States Senate. Arkansas had not been so ably 
represented in the national legislature since the palmy 
days of Ashley and Sevier. These two commissioners of 
the trust and favor of the Commonwealth of Arkansas 
were A. H. Garland and the brilliant and versatile James 
K. Jones. With all his might, in the staid and dignified 
upper body, Garland, who only a year later was to be 
taken out and given a place of national distinction in the 
cabinet of Grover Cleveland, was urging the repeal of the 
treacherous protective duties. In the lower House no 
man stood more unyieldingly than Mr. Jones for the prin- 
ciple of revision downward, upon the basis of tariff for 
revenue only, with incidental protection. 

Since coining to the American Congress, in 1880, the 
giant of the Arkansas pines had risen rapidly to a place 
of prominence and unchallenged leadership in that lower 
body. The first Congress in which he served (1) was Re- 
publican. This, added to the fact that he was a new man, 
made it a certainty that he would receive an unimportant 
and obscure assignment on the committees. Rut he 
fought the battles of the Democracy, undiscouraged and 
unafraid, through what of this, his first session, his health 
permitted him to attend, to the very best of his strength 
and knowledge. 

The election spoken of above came in 1884, when he 

(1) The forty-seventh. 



had served his first term, and a little more, and the forty- 
eighth Congress was predominantly Democratic. In the 
race for the nomination for Speaker of the House, in the 
very beginning of that Congress, Mr. -Jones became promi- 
nent as a supporter of one of the contestants. The two 
candidates for lliis place were Randall and Carlisle. The 
former was an old Democratic leader, from Pennsylvania, 
and of protectionist feelings. Be was elected from a pro- 
tection district, on the understood condition that he would 
si a ml for the principle. John G. Carlisle was a strong 
adherent of the principle of tariff for revenue only. 

In the contest for Speaker a grave question was at 
stake. It was whether the Democrats should open the 
tariff question. The Republicans had broken faith upon 
it, and Carlisle argued that it was the duty of the Demo- 
crats of the country's legislature to place upon the stat- 
ute books the reforms for which the party had stood. 
Randall thought that the Democrats should adopt the 
policy of "hands off," an( l that the matter should be left 
to the Republicans for solution. He was willing to do al- 
most anything in order that the tariff question might not 
be brought to an issue. Thus we see it was more than a 
contest merely between men for leadership. "To an out- 
sider it seems now." says Ida M. Tarbell ill, "as if the 
natural thing would have been for Randall to go over to 
the Republicans at this juncture: but he believed, hon- 
estly no doubt, that he could force the Democrats back 
from the position they had taken, that he could, in fact, 

protectionize the Democratic party." 

(1) "The Tariff in Our Time," p. 134. 


But lie was fighting againsl odds bigger thai] he real- 
ized. Carlisle was one of the strongesi men at thai time 

in the lower House, where lie had sat since 1S77. or 
lesser service than his opponent, he was nevertheless of 
larger caliber, his ability resting chiefly in liis clearness 
of statements, his gravity and candor in argument, and 
his freedom from the trickery and deceits of partisan poli- 

We have seen how the tariff had been the great issue 
in the election. There was nothing else for the Demo- 
cratic House to do except to elect Carlisle its Speaker; 
and this it did. James K. Jones was one of Carlisle's 
chief advisors and counsellors, and was instrumental in 
obtaining a good majority of the representatives for him. 
As a kind of reward, and recognizing the great ability of 
the leader from Arkansas, the new Speaker placed 
him upon the most important of all the House commit- 
tees, that on Ways and Means. This is an honor very 
seldom given to a representative just entering upon his 
second term in that body. The functions and duties of 
membership in this committee require the profoundest 
knowledge of all the leading questions, and especially of 
issues like the tariff. Long experience, too, is generally a 
requisite. Jones had the knowledge, bnl not the exper- 
ience, of long service. However, Carlisle trusted him, 
and, as we shall see, with the best of judgment. 

The chairman of the greal Ways and Means Commit- 
tee was Wm. K. Morrison of Illinois, a man of great ex- 
perience. He had been the first, alter the war. to place 
before Congress a Democratic tariff bill. That was in 



1875. This bill had been "speedily dropped" because the 
opposition to it was too strong at that time. When Rari- 
dall had succeeded Kern as Speaker in 1876, he proceeded 
to drop Morrison from the committee. Bu1 the latter 
had been restored in 1879. 

Morrison's second measure for reform was presented 
in 1883. It was entitled "a bill to reduce import duties 
and war taxes." It was defeated by a vote of 1.")!) to 155, 
though the Democrats had at that time a majority of 
eighty in the House. This shows the influence upon some 
of the Democratic representatives who should have en- 
acted reform, of the minions of wool, sugar, iron and 

Mr. Jones took a prominent part in drawing up the 
measure which was presented in 1884. and was strong in 
his advocacy of low duties. If was at this session that 
the first of his series of admirable speeches on the subject 
was made, and it carried him with remarkable rapidity to 
a place of leadership in the party he represented. "The 
people of the United States," he said 1 1 ) , "have been taxed 
not in proportion to their respective abilities, but really 
in proportion to their respective necessities." 

In his concise review of the record of high protection 
during the War period and following, he showed a won- 
derful knowledge and ability in tariff matters. He went 
straight at the heart of the problem, "ft is better to pre- 
sent first the simple question." he argued, "without side 
issues: Shall the country, twenty years after the close 
of the War, have a moderate reduction of war taxes? 

(1) 48 Cong.. 1 Sess., pp. 3032 f. 


This is the question presented by this bill we answer 

when we cast our votes upon it We are collecting 

annually from eighty-six to one hundred million dollars 
more than the government needs." It had been esti- 
mated that the amount collected was from seven hun- 
dred, fifty to eight hundred million dollars per year. This 
was taken from the American people, the consumers, and 
went to the manufacturers, the producers. One estimate 
gave the amount as high as six hundred million. 

At no time in all his speeches, as the battle became 
more and more heated, did Mr. Jones show more clearly 
the wrong of the protective system than when he spoke 
the following words (1) : "To men who understand what 
human nature is, it is perfectly apparent that the object 
of imposing a protective duty upon any article is to com- 
pel the American consumer of it to pay a higher price 
for it than he would have to pay if there were no protec- 
tion." And then, with all the vitriolic denunciation of 
his spirit, he hurled at the protection champions the fol- 
lowing denunciation: "Those who divided among them- 
selves the raiment of the Savior of mankind had just as 
legal and valid a right to their plunder as have the parties 
10 this iniquitous scheme to a vested right to go on with 
this plundering!" 

Especially was he bitter, too, in battling down the 
argument of those who said that protection shielded the 
American laborer from the pauper labor of Europe. He 
said: "The real interest of those protected in labor (2) 
are two-fold. One is to employ it at the lowest market 

(1) pp. 3035f. 

(2) i. e., the manufacturers. 



rates, due regard being had to efficiency. And the other 
is to secure votes by inducing the laborers to believe that 
in some way they are interested in those indirect gains. 
The latter is the reason for the promises always made by 

our protectionists to protect our labor against the 

pauper labor of Europe. It is absolutely false. 
"Hateful to me as are the gates of hell 
Is he who. holding one thing in his heart, 
Utters another.' 
"Real, intelligent protection," he concluded, "con- 
sists in effecting the highest possible intelligence in all 
our people, in cultivating independence and individuality 
all over the country, and by every means possible facili- 
fating the acquisition of rapid, cheap and safe transporta- 
tion of all machinery, supplies and appliances of every na- 
ture to the mills with the fewest possible delays and at a 
minimum cost, instead of, as now delaying and ren- 
dering more costly to all our people all these things." 

It was by this speech that Mr. Jones came at ouce to 
he recognized as an authority on the subject of the tariff, 
and hailed in the ranks of the anti-protectionists as one 
of their strongest representatives. Thousands of copies 
of his able exposition were printed and distributed all over 
the nation. The call for copies was almost unprecedented 
since the days of the great triumvirate of American ora- 
tory. A Washington correspondent to one of the larger 
dailies, said: "Mr. Jones's effort today was not only a 
source of great gratification to his Arkansas friends, but 
it was highly complimented by all who heard it. It is 
one of the chief topics of conversation this evening among 



members grouped about the hotels. While the friends of 
the bill are lavish in their praise of his effort, his enemies 

and political adversaries are outspoken of the 

merits of his speech, and say that it is the ablesl argu- 
ment that has been made so far on that side of the ques- 

This correspondent then went on to say, speaking 
from the point of view of a denizen of the capitol — one 
who watches representatives and studies their respective 
abilities: "Mr. Jones is not only an ornament to his 
State, but is a credit to the country, and we have fre- 
quently heard it said here that if the next legislature of 
Arkansas (1) sees proper to make any change as to the 
United States 'Senators, they would certainly do a sensi- 
ble thing in sending Mr. -Jones here as the colleague of 
A. H. Garland." How closely that Arkansas legislature 
followed, the next year, this wise suggestion, we have ob- 
served in another chapter. 

One of the papers published in Mr. Jones's congres- 
sional district (2) had this to say of his speech upon the 
Morrison Bill: "The discussion of the Morrison Rill goes 
on apace, and some very able speeches have already been 
made that give an impetus to the discussion far beyond 
any other measure that has received the attention of 
('(ingress this session. The speech made on the sixteenth 
by Hon. James K. Jones, from our second district, is pro- 
nounced by both the friends and foes of tariff reform as 
the ablest argument presented in defense of the measure." 

(1) This was just the year liefnre Mr. Jones was sent to 
the U. S. Senate for the first time. 

(2) The second congressional district of Arkansas. 



The paper, too, went 011 in a complimentary tone: 
"The second congressional district, and the whole State, 
are to be congratulated that the services of such men are 
to be secured to represent them in the councils of the Na- 
tion. The State has a right to feel a just pride in the 
ability with which she is now represented in Congress." 

Still another paper, the Camden Beacon, speaking of 

the man and his speech, said: " We want to say 

now that the district doesn't contain an abler or more 
worthy man to succeed James K. Jones than James K. 
Jones himself. He has proven himself to be among the 
ablest men in Congress, and is not only a monument to 
our State, but is a credit to our country. His recent ef- 
forts on the tariff bill proved him to be among the ablest 
debaters of the House, and it is not only a source of grati- 
fication to his Arkansas friends, but has elicited merited 
compliments from all who heard him. Even his political 
enemies and the adversaries of the bill were outspoken 
in talking of the merits of his speech, putting it as the 
ablest argument yet made on that side of the question. 
Again we say. let James K. Jones be his own successor!" 

This was Mr. Jones's first and last great speech upon 
the tariff question in the lower House. His first great 
battle for tariff reform ended in defeat for the cause, the 
bill being voted down by Kandall Democrats and Eepubli- 
cans. It was a personal victory for him, nevertheless. 
It was distinctly a Jones, not a revenue tariff, triumph. 



As the time for the National Democratic Convention 
approached, the country realized that the breach between 
the two factions of the party was widening instead of 
healing, and that a great fight was about to take place 
over this problem of tariff reform. "This fight," says 
Tarbell, "was one of the most stubborn and prolonged in 
the history of conventions.'' The result was a compro- 
mise between the opposing elements, a plank pledging the 
party to "correct the irregularities of the tariff and to 
reduce the surplus so as to relieve the tax-payers without 
injuring the laborers or the great productive interests of 
the country." 

It was on this kind of a tariff plank that Grover 
Cleveland was first elected President of the United States 
over Jas. G. Blaine. The tariff issue thereby went into 
Cleveland's hands. He was not to be found advocating 
any radical measure at the beginning of a first term of 
office, for he knew that the Carlisle-Randall breach had 
not been healed in the House, that the party which had 
united to choose him was nevertheless divided in that 
legislative hall. Though his first message showed that 
his sympathies were with the former in that struggle, he 
was nevertheless cautious, "1 think," he said, "the re- 
duction should be made in the revenue derived from a 
tax upon the imported necessities of life. The question of 
free trade is not involved, nor is there any occasion for 



the discussion of the wisdom or- experience of a protective 
system." He assured the protected manufacturers that 
their interests would not be impaired. 

Mr. Morrison again introduced the bill for revision 
downward, this time with a less radical lowering of the 
rates; but it was again defeated at the hands of the Ee- 
publicans and liandall Democrats. The next year of his 
term, Cleveland sent a second message, this time more 
urgent than the first, and Morrison tried to get his bill 
considered, but again it was voted down. Congress ad- 
journed, March, 1887, having done nothing in the matter; 
and the country's interests were sacrificed to the fear of 
partisan advantage, while poor Cleveland was sacrificed 
upon the altar of derisive charges of inability to meet the 
crying need of the hour. 

The surplus in the treasury increased. The unneces- 
sary taxation of high protection was the obvious cause. 
The task, said Cleveland, was not one of devising ways to 
spend its surplus, but of decreasing it by striking out the 
cause. He devoted his whole third message to the sub- 
ject. He stated that the farmer got no benefits from pro- 
tection, that on the other hand the manufacturers alone 
were benefitted, until they became trusts. This was in 
1887. His great phrase, since quoted so often it has be- 
come famous, was used in this message: "It is a condi- 
tion which confronts us — not a theory." He urged that 
Congress enter upon its debates of this condition in a 
spirit above all partisan feeling, to "consider it in the 
light of that regard for patriotic duty which should char- 
acterize the actions of those intrusted with the weal of a 



confiding people." The necessity oi' action was plainly 
put up to Congress — they must do something to relieve 
the situation. The President had done his full duty, and 
he awaited the result. 

This result was all that could be wished — for him. 
He was praised throughout the country for his courage. 
He was even compared to Abraham Lincoln. Sentiment 
on the tariff began to crystaiize, even in Congress. Kan- 
dall's day was past. The Kepublicans determined that the 
"reforming" must be done by the friends and not the ene- 
mies of protection. Alas, that Morrison was defeated for 
re-election to Congress in 1SSG! The Republican plan was 
temporarily thwarted. R. Q. Mills, of Texas, an avowed 
free-trader, was placed at the head of the Ways and 
Means Committee in the House, and of course drew the 
bill that was presented. After a month's debate it was 
passed by a vote of 102 to 114. 

In the meantime James K. Jones had been sent to 
the Senate, succeeding the Hon. J. D. Walker. A full 
account of his election is given in a former chapter of 
this volume. He was by this time (1), excepting possi- 
bly A. H. Garland, the most prominent man in the State 
he represented : certainly he was the most distinguished 
representative from Arkansas in Congress. Garland was 
at this time in the Cabinet. 

The tariff bill, when it reached the Senate, was placed 
in charge of a subcommittee, of which Allison, of Iowa, 
who had stood for a reduction of the war duties as cir- 
cumstances might permit, was chairman. After em- 
it) 1888. 



ploying a tariff expert, Colonel Tichner, to draw up a meas- 
ure embodying his idea of protection, a bill which at al- 
most every vital point was m contrast to the Mills Bill, 
he submitted it to the Senate for debate. 

Even at this early time in his service, it is perhaps 
safe to say that, with the possible exceptions of Allison 
and Aldrich, no man in the upper chamber of Congress 
wielded a more potent influence than Mr. Jones. Like the 
rest of the Democrats at the time, his chief argument 
against the substitute or amended bill was that it pro- 
vided for a tariff that was an unjust tax working injury 
to the people. "Any tax," he said (1), "if unfairly or 
improperly levied and collected, is an injury to the public, 
to the State, and of the very gravest character, amounting 
to a crime." The supreme injustice lay in the fact that 
high protection rates, while laid, though indirectly, upon 
the consumer, were collected by the manufacturers. 
"When the government, not needing the revenue," he said, 
"deliberately levies a tax upon an article so high as to 
prevent importation, so as to defeat the collection of any 
revenue, to increase the cost to the consumer, and to raise 
the prices received by the manufacturers, then, while the 
pretense is that the object is to raise revenue for the gov- 
ernment, the real purpose is to lay a tax upon all consum- 
ers to be collected by the manufacturers." 

fn reply to the argument of Mr. Jones and other 
Democrats that the tariff simply meant that the citizen 
consumer was compelled to pay, say, five dollars a pair 
for shoes while without the tariff he would only have to 

(1) 50 Cong., 1 Sess., pp. 8720f. 


pay three, the Republicans cried out that without the 
tariff the shoes could ueither be bought for five nor three 
dollars, because then the citizen would have no money 
to buy anything, since he would have no work. This was 
nothing more nor less than the old argument that protec- 
tion protects American labor by assuring high wages. 

The Democratic members from the South were told 
that the new era which had followed the Civil War was one 
when all men, freedmen and formerly free, black and 
white, were now ottered a wider opportunity than before. 
Strongly disgusted with this slur upon the slave system 
of the Old South, Mr. Jones replied: 

"We have been told in glittering generalities about 
the brotherhood of man,' the 'dignity of labor,' and the 
great importance of the American workingman. Any 
amount of eloquence, pathos and gush has been expended 
upon him here and elsewhere, and in many instances with 
The fervor and spirit of him who thanks God that he is 
not as other men. Those of us who come here from the 
South have been tormented with the fact that slavery 
once existed in our section of the Union " 

"Mr. President, the wrongs of African slavery have 
been often and pathetically told; the marring effect of 
that great curse upon the prosperity of our great country 
has been argued with great force; the inhumanity of the 

system has stirred the deepest feelings at the North ; 

but the time never was when any slave-holder would have 
insulted a slave by considering him for one moment worth 
only the miserable, paltry sum of .$675.66! This is the 
amount calculated that the manufacturers put upon free 



labor, whose grinding extortions render insignificant 

the barbarity of the Egyptians, who 'made the children 
of Israel to serve with vigor, and made their lives bitter 
with hard bondage/ which called down upon that wicked 
and selhsh people the vengeance of an offended God." 

A little further on he said, again referring to the cost 
of slaves : "I have often been told that slave labor could 
not compete with free labor, and have heard that the 
reason for it was that it cost too much. I had always 
supposed that this cost of slave labor came from the 
wastefulnesss and bad management and want of thrift 
which 1 have been told characterized slave-holders. But 
I never for an instant, until I made this calculation, sup- 
posed that it was because a slave had a greater cash value 
than an American freeman. I had always supposed that 
the same man was worth twice as much to society and to 
his employers as a free man, as he was to his master 
as a slave; and never till these figures removed the scales 
from my eyes did I know that a freeman, intelligent, in- 
dustrious, skilled and educated, was worth less in money 
than an unlettered, untutored slave. But thus it is wrir- 
ten by the hard taskmasters of our American cottou 

Perhaps more forceful with certain elements than 
the sarcastic words just quoted was his proof, by argu- 
ment and accurate citation, that "no higher wages are 
paid in protected than in unprotected countries," all 
things considered. 

But above all the arguments made on either side of 
the question, Mr. Jones believed the tariff problem a mat- 



ter which the country itself, and not the Congress, should 
act ermine and decide. No expression of the man, in all 
his public debates and private letters that I have read, 
more strongly emphasizes his confidence in his judgment 
of the people than the following: "The plain, practical 
common sense of the masses must at last determine this 
great problem, aud we had best consider the lights in 

which it may appear to them Our people are slow 

to make important changes in matters of public policy. 

This conservation is perhaps more strongly marked 

in our race than in any other on the face of the earth." 

He believed, niorover, that the protectionist sympa- 
thizers in the country a1 huge were vastly in the minority, 
that the real sentiment of the country was against any 
tariff which stood for higher rates than simply enough to 
furnish revenue to the government. He said: "Despots 
and tyrants in past ages were able to maintain their con- 
trol over their people only by divisions among them, 
fomented by the hireling minions of power. The hydra- 
h< aded monster which is now absorbing the entire wealth 
of the nation must, if it retains its grasp upon the coun- 
try, resort to these tactics. It is clearly in the minority; 
force will nol serve its purposes now; fraud and decep- 
iioii, and the corrupting power of money, are the only 
means by which it can hope to control the majority." 

Senator Jones spoke for a little over an hour. I give 
here in simple outline ;i few of the other arguments than 
.hose quoted from above, which he made in this speech, 
following his own resolution that the President's mes- 
sage, which had come the previous December, be referred 



to the Committee on Finance. 

Our fabric, he argued, was protected by the bill 
against the foreign fabric, while there was no protection 
to our labor against foreign labor. The share of 
capital had been unduly great, and that of labor unduly 
small. Money had been regarded as of more value, rela- 
tively, than men. If the manufacturer, he stated, sold 
ten times as much of the article protected as was im- 
ported, the result was that he, in his increased prices, 
collected ten times the tax that the government collected. 
The proper purpose of taxation is to raise money for pub- 
lic uses, and excludes any idea of private benefit or gain. 
"Xo beneficent exemption," he said, "in favor of the 
family and the home find their place upon the national 
statute books, but on the contrary, as if the home and 
family were institutions to be taxed out of existence, the 
burdens of taxation are nicely arranged and adroitly 
adjusted to bear directly upon them, and with a weight 

increasing as the scale of poverty increases It is a 

tax upon consumption, a tax upon liberty, a tax upon 
poverty, but not a tax upon property." 

This was the first great speech that Mr. Jones made 
in the United States Senate. It was practically his 
maiden effort ; and it immediately placed him in the front 
rank of that body. He delivered it on the nineteenth of 
September (1), and a few days afterward it was discussed 
in all the leading Washington and New York papers, and 
by practically all the leading news-sheets in Arkansas. 
The Washington Herald, at the nation's capital, said (1) : 

(1) 1SSS. 

(2) Sept. 30, 1888. 


'There has been so much talk upon the tariff question 

this session in both Houses of Congress that it has been 
deemed almost an impossibility that anything new or in- 
teresting could be said about it so late in the session. 
But the speech of Hon. Jas. K. Jones, of Arkansas, lasl 
week, has demonstrated that this impression was not cor- 
rect. What Senator Jones had to say was so strong and 
fresh a presentation of the Democrats 1 side of the tariff 
matter 'hat it was not only considered as perhaps the 
ablest speech that has been made in the Senate from the 
Democratic point of view, but has received the compli- 
ments of even the Republicans for the logical man- 

nei in which he presented the case. There was only 

a fair, clear, common sense explanation of the prominent 
features of the question, and the reasons for the high 
reputation which this gentleman established while a mem- 
Ivr of the Ways and Means Committee of the House for 
accuracy, strong statements of party questions, in which 
the people want, not Avords, but reasons and information 
on what has come to be the leading issue in American 
politics. Senator Jones has thus honored in the highest 
the party as well as the constituency which has placed 
him where he is." 

Said the Arkansas Gazette, editorially (1) '"This 
speech places him, almost at a single bound, in the front 
rank of sensational debate. Tt was not a mere tariff 
speech, on a subject become hackneyed from universal 
discussion. Tt was an argument, rather, in favor of a 
return to constitutional taxation, a fair re-adjustment 

(1) Sunday. Sept. 30. 1888. 



of public burdens, aud au equitable distribution of legis- 
lative conditions, that commends itself at once to the 
common sense and common honesty of the American pub- 
lic." It went on to add: "Senator Jones's speech met 
with an enthusiastic reception, and is being scattered in 
profusion throughout the United States as a valuable con- 
tribution to the Democratic national campaign." On 
another page of the same issue is to be found a full synop- 
sis of the speech. 

A Washington correspondent, in a letter to the Ark- 
ansas Democrat, gave a very true-to-life description <>f 
the effect the spppch made upon the Senators. He wrote 
(1) : "Our senior senator. James K. Jones, delivered 
the plainest and most effective speech upon the tariff that 
has jet been made. This is the verdict of our people here 
generally, and many kind words have been uttered for 
Arkansas upon the strength of his speech. As Sena- 
tor Jones concluded his remarks the Democrats in the 
chamber one and all gatlmrpd around his desk and fairly 

showered him with praises complimenting him upon 

his diligence and enersrv in hunting; and grouping together 
the facts and figures in such convincing shape in his able 
and well-timed speech. Senator Opovctp. of Mississippi, 
putting both hands on his shoulders and with cheer and 
earnestness in his countenance, said: 'Jones, vou made 
a clear shot.' Coke, of T^xas. shook his hand cordially 
and said: 'The "Republicans cannot meet it.' Tall, of 
Florida, congratulated him lustily savin"-. 'The best ar- 
gument for tariff reform yet made.' Zeb Vance, of North 

(1) Sept. 21. 1888. 


Carolina, shook Jones's arm nearly out of joint in his 
glee over the 'masterly effort,' as he termed it. making 
.(ones blush (1). Turpie, of Indiana, wants everybody 

to read it They all agreed it was the finest, most 

practical and lucid argument yet made, and had a regular 
love feast over it around Senator Jones's desk. 1 1 was a 
regular ovation, and advanced Arkansas largely in pub- 
lic estimation at the capital.'" 

Said the Fort Smith Daily Times (2): "The Ark 
ansas Senator has become a conspicuous figure in na- 
tional politics." 

The Texarkana News had this comment, which was 
clipped and sent to Mrs. Jones, with a nice congratulatory 
note, by a friend: "The speech, though learned in 
thought, is so happily presented as to be within the com- 
prehension of every laboring man." 

The plain manner of delivery, the simple diction, the 
pure logic, were noted by the Fort Smith Elevator (3 i :"I1 
contained no spreadeagleism. nothing calculated to mys- 
tify or deceive the reader, but throughout was plain and 
easily understood, although as forceful as the English 
language could make it." 

Later, the Democrat, of Little Rock, said editorially 
(J) : "No Senator has exhibited a greater familiarity 
with all the details of the great question, nor has anyone 
shown himself better prepared or more fully equipped 
for the running debates with the Republican leaders 

(1) The natural and innate modesty of Mr. Jones is spoken 
of elsewhere. 

(2) Sept. 28, 1888. 

(3) Oct. 12, 18S8. 

(4) Jan. 18, 1889. 



which have occurred within the last few weeks." 

But now back to the Allison Bill, itself. While the 
debate was raging the parties were getting ready to nomi- 
nate their candidates for the presidency. The Democrats 
placed Cleveland on their ticket, and stood out openly 
and boldly for a revenue tariff. The Kepublicans, with 
Harrison, won a majority in the electoral college, though 
the popular vote showed that Cleveland had a hundred 
thousand more supporters than had his opponent. 
Unfortunately, the tariff was "swamped'' by other issues. 
as it had so often been before. The Democratic split in 
New York, chiefly over Cleveland's distribution of the 
Civil Service offices, gave the New York electors to the 
Republicans. As soon as Congress met in December fl), 
the Allison Bill was taken up again, and finally, on June 
22, passed as an amendment to the Mills measure. 
It was then returned to the House and never appeared 
again under its original name. 

The Republicans took their victory as an approval of 
their tariff position, the one hundred thousand Demo- 
cratic majority to the contrary notwithstanding, and 
openly set about to raise the duties then existant. The 
McKinley Bill (2) passed the House on May 21. The 
Senate Committee on Finance added hundreds of amend- 
ments to it, and the solons engaged for two months in de- 
bate. It was not passed in that body until September 
10, when it was referred to a conference committee of 
both Houses. To this committee's report both branches 
of the Congress agreed, and the President signed the bill. 

(1) 1890. 

(2) McKinley was the new Chairman of the Ways and 
Means Committee. 



Lt became law October 1, 1800. On nearly every single 
protected article the duties were raised, while several im- 
portant raw products, chief of which was sugar, were 
placed upon the free list. Nothing could have been more 
strictly protective. It was a "complete victory," says 
Tarbell "for that group of prohibitionists who had been 
struggling for twenty-five years to force the Republican 
party to break the pledges repeatedly given during and 
after the War to lower the customs as rapidly as the 
financial condition of the country would permit, to repudi- 
ate its long accepted moderate interpretation of the doc- 
trine, and to substitute for it the doctrine that the wealth 
of this country had been produced by protection, and thai 
its stability depended upon protection being accepted as 
a permanent national economic policy." 

The McKinley measure was not passed without a 
mighty protest from Democratic Senators. One of the 
chief of these opponents was of course James K. Jones. 
His series of speeches in the debate over this bill are no 
less important nor able than the great speeches analyzed 
above. I do not suppose that Mr. Jones doubted for a 
moment that the iniquitous bill would pass; but he, like 
others, realized that the passage of it would compel the 
Republicans to face the people at the next election, after 
having taxed their necessities of life from one hundred to 
two hundred per cent. This "Hell Gate," as Col. Mills 
had called it in the House, would be difficult indeed for 
the crude craft of protectionism to pass in safety. "The 
least said about a bad cause," said Mr. Jones (1), ''the best 
for such a cause." He was not surprised, therefore, that 

(1) 51 Cong.. 1 Sess., pp. 7841f. 



the Republicans wished to hurry it through without giving 
the Democrats time to "air out" all the provisions of it. 

••Hut," he said, "on this side we shall endeavor to preserve 
the right of free speech in the Senate of the United States 
in the discussion of important measures. The tactics of 
silence on their part will not prevent the dis- 
cussion of the iniquities of the measure here nor in the 
country. If they entertain such hope, they may as well 
abandon it now and cast about for excuses and apologies 
for this niosi unreasonable of all tariff bills; for,though 
they may sit silent in their seats here, and remain in 
session until they break down physically, there is a tri- 
bunal before which they will be compelled to speak. The 
people, their masters, will yet have a report." 

And he was hopeful that the people would decide for 
the interests of the consumer, whom the bill so exorbi- 
tantly taxed : "The darkest hour is said to be just before 
the dawn, and I sincerely hope that the present gloom 
and apparent hopelessness portends speedy relief. T be- 
lieve it does. The Creator has so organized human nature 
thai the success of a scoundrel may often be the means of 

liis detection and punishment there is not longer 

any doubt that the people are awakened to an understand- 
ing of tin 1 fact that their oppression grows more and more 
heavy as protection increases." 

If the above paragraph sounds like a campaign speech 
for the cause of democracy, it is because the Democrats 
could do nothing else than make them. They knew they 
could not prevent the passage of the bill; but they could 
show, as strongly as human language could signify, just 


where they stood upon the subject. And they could warn 
the country and the world that the Democracy in the 
American Congress was unalterably and to the last op- 
posed to its passage. The world expected the bill to pass, 
too, and was preparing itself accordingly. "The likeli- 
hood of passsing the bill is now arousing a spirit of re- 
taliation in all European countries. England. Germany 
and France are all looking about for the means of cut- 
ting themselves off from us commercially." 

What made the position of the Republicans all the 
more revolting, thought Mr. Jones, was that they were 
advocating protection on the grounds of highest patriot- 
ism, and were championing the cause of the American 
laboring man. "Samuel Johnson once said that 'patriot- 
ism is the last refuge of a scoundrel ; and when we con- 
sider the scheme of the protected plunderers of the people 
to perpetuate their robberies, and see them even now and 
here planning to increase the burdens that have well-nigh 
destroyed the agricultural interests of the country, and 

hear from them the deliberate defense of all this 

in the name of patriotism, we are compelled to admit the 
wisdom of the old philosopher." 

The reference was a humorous one, and yet we cannot 
fail to see the force of the thrust, when he informs the 
Senate that ''nobody has the temerity now to deny the 
poverty and wretchedness among tin 1 farmers and laborers, 
nor the wealth and prosperity of the protected classes. . . . 

Under the dangerous tariff the wealth of the land 

since 1860 has accumulated in the hands of a few — 250,- 
000, or one out of every 60." 

The Democrats had a record, muddled but little by 



other issues, of urging the reduction of taxes, while the 
Kepublicans in power had set about doing the same thing, 
as they said, not by lowering but by raising the rates, 
and by a most wasteful appropriation and misuse of the 
public funds. There was, and could be, he thought, but 
one purpose in increasing the national expenditures, and 
that was to make a necessity for keeping up taxation. 
And they "demand that they shall be upheld and pro- 
tected in robbing the public by compelling the people to 
pay them more for goods than they are worth for the pur- 
pose of keeping alive establishments which sacrificed the 
government in its hour of need, and have robbed the coun- 
try and people ever since." 

In the same speech he quoted, as expressing well his 
sentiments on this point, an eminent divine, addressing a 
society of one of the greatest colleges of Massachusetts 
(1) : "Never was there a Phariseeisni of philanthropy in 
which persona] aggrandizement was more impudently 
paraded in the garment of grateful patriotism than our 
halls of Congress have lately presented T have noth- 
ing to say of those who have devised the infamy and bap- 
tised it with the name of civic gratitude; for the man- 
hood which it is destined to corrupt and degrade, no hon- 
orable man can feel, T think, any other than the most pro- 
found sympathy." 

The Republicans continually referred to Alexander 
Hamilton as the first advocate and champion of their 
cause. Mr. Jones believed that there was nothing in the 
writings and speeches of that great father and founder of 

(1) A State whose representatives had always stood for 



cur national system of nuance, and especially in his great- 
est documents, the"reports on manufactures,'' which would 
"justify or even excuse the present unjust system of tax- 
ing agriculture to render all branches of manufacturing 

proti table He never lent the power of his groat 

uame to the mum tenance of a system such as we have now. 

He never bad any dream of the extent to which th's 

system should be carried, as he clearly intended only a 
moderate aud reasonable protection, to be continued on'y 
so long as manufactures were in their infancy." 

But the s (longest sentences of which I find any rec- 
ord, uttered by Mr. Jones in the tariff debates here, came 
in answer to the much-induiged-in and seemingly plausi- 
ble piay-to-the-galleries argument of the republicans that 
the cause of the under man, the citizen who toils for wages, 
is furthered by protection. This excited his supreme dis- 
gust. "1 have been nauseated before now," he said, "by 
hypocritical pretenses that the object of protection was 
to insure high wages to American labor, when everybody 

with sense enough to be outside of an asylum knows 

that there is no tariff on foreign labor, but that it comes 

to this country and enters freely into competition 

with the American workingman, until the foreigners .... 
. . . have in thousands of instances absolutely driven our 
people out of mills and shops." And then, rising into 
what I imagine was a kind of near-rage, he cried : "To 
protect these people against the pauper labor of Europe 

we impose taxes upon coal ! What a mockery ! 

That a free, intelligent people have submitted to such a 
system of outrage is almost incomprehensible, and yet so 
it is, and so many hundreds of millions of dollars annu- 



ally taken from the laboring classes, the masses, the pro- 
ducers, and turned over to favored individuals, until the 
hardships of the oppressed classes, like Abel's blood, cry 
to God from the ground; and He said: 'Vengeance is 
mine ; I will repay.' " 

Mr. Jones said that the only interpretation of the Re- 
publicans* argument about the protection of our labor 
which could be considered by any body in their favor was 
that they were really paying some fancy salaries to a few 
of their bosses and hirelings. "'I do not suppose," he 
said, 'that there are many members of even the majority 
here who are going to undertake to defend a high protect- 
ive tariff on the ground that they were paying high sal- 
aries to a lot of monumental pets and kinfolk of the stock- 
holders around these manufacturing establishments. 
What you pay for clerks or what you pay for the monu- 
mental gentlemen who wear diamond breast-pins and kid 
gloves and plug hats, drive around in fancy carriages and 
occasionally look down upon what the laborers are doing, 
cannot be put down to labor." Of course not, in all 
reason. Rather Mr. Jones believed that the alleged dream 
of the protectionists, their hope for a guarded labor in 
lli is country, the honoring of the under man, and all that, 
"must come, if it ever comes at all, upon the cardinal 
American idea of absolute equality. The interests of 
I he great masses of the people," he concluded, "lie in 
The direction of fair dealing, and a free intercourse with 
men." On the other hand, and directly opposed to thi^. 
great doctrine, "the interests of the protectionists lie in 
exclusion, repression and retrogression." 



liul the biggest tariff baUie wiLii which James K. 
Jones \va.s prominently connected is yet to be recorded 
here, it was not expected, even by the Republicans them- 
selves, mat tne Mcivinley Bill would be acceptable to the 
country, Euihllinent of the prophecy of Col. Mills and 
Senator Jones about the "Heil Gate" oi popular decision 
was leared so greatly by leaders like John Sherinan and 
J as. G. liiaine that they were trying to prepare for it by 
iniluencing the passage of palliatives. {Sherman hurried 
through his measure wmch cailed trusts a crime, while 
iiiaine endeavored to get free trade between the United 
Siates and the other western hemisphere countries. "But 
the storm," says Tarbeil (1), "was on the party almost as 
the measure went through, in the Congress which passed 
the McKinley Bill, the Republicans and Democrats stood 
lob to loll, in the House of Representatives, elected a 
little over a month after the McKinley Bill, the propor- 
tion was 88 to 2ob : they had lost 78 votes At the 

heart of the Democratic victory was the inspiration of a 
great cause." 

Mills having been returned to Congress in December, 
1801, it was reasonable to expect his election to the 
Speakership. But because he refused to promise some 
twenty-five men assignments on committees in the event 
of his success, he lost — by one vote — to Speaker Crisp. 
Springer, one of his opponents, w as made Chairman of the 

(1) "The Tariff in our Times," p. 210. 



Ways and Means Committee, and though he ottered the 
place of second importance on this committee to Mr. Mills, 
the latter declined to accept it. 

Anyway, the Democrats of the House could not hope 
to pass through Congress the bill they wished; for such a 
measure would have to pass a Republican Senate and a 
Republican President. Indications pointed to a Demo- 
cratic election the next year, however, and so they de- 
cided they would try to satisfy the popular demand by 
passing a few correctives of especially odious portions, 
for educational — and no doubt for campaign — purposes. 

But in spite of the pending Democratic victory, Demo- 
cratic legislators began to falter by the way, wondering 
just what kind of tariff measure the people were really 
expecting of them. And it took the sharp whip of Henry 
Watterson to drive the party into line at the Cincin- 
nati Convention of 1892. A tariff-for-revenue-only plank 
was inserted prominently into the platform, and Cleve- 
land was again the candidate. The result of that election 
is well known to everyone. Never before had the tariff 
been so clearly the sole issue in any national contest. 

Now Cleveland had, as the reader may already have 
inferred, some very peculiar views upon the principle of 
protection, which did not tally well with the feelings of 
some very important men within his party. "Though we 
oppose the theory," he said, in accepting the nomination, 
"that tariff laws may be passed having for their object 
the granting of discriminating and unfair governmental 
aid to private ventures, we wage no exterminating war 
against any American interests. We believe a readjust- 



uueut can be accomplished, in accordance with the princi- 
ples which we proiess, without disaster or demolition." 

xie Looi nis place in the vv hite House March 4, 1895. 
Lnionunaieiy, perliaps, the machinery of government was 
not to ue turned, at the immediate present, to the tariff; 
for the silver question was more pressing at the time, 
and, too, tUe country was thrown into a panic just after 
the new President took his seat. The Kepublicans un- 
justly but naturally claimed that this depression of all 
uusiness and this scare was caused by the fear of the im- 
minent tariil revision at the hands of the party newly 
risen to power, when, as a matter of fact, it came nearer 
to being a result of the McKinley high protection measure 
of two years before. In reality, as Mr. Jones explained, 
it was the result of one of those general, world-wide dis- 
turbances which periodically sw T eep over the globe. 

The regular session of Congress (1) opened in De- 
cember. This time the Chairman of the great Committee 
on Ways and Means was J. L. Wilson, of West Virginia, 
who, like Lodge of Massachusetts, was a "scholar in poli- 
tics," having served as college president and in other po- 
sitions of literary activity. He introduced his safe, sane, 
practical bill in December. Duties were taken from 
agricultural implements, cotton bagging, salt, and a few 
other necessaries. Wool, coal, iron ore, hemp and tlax 
were placed upon the free list. He incurred the criticism 
of Mills, Waltham and many others of prominence in the 
party, that he did not go far enough. Mills called it 
"only a Sabbath day's journey on the way to reform," 

(1) 53 Cong., 1 Sess. 



and wished that strong drink and tobacco might bear the 
vvhoie brunt of the tax. Others still more strenuously 
objected to the income tax provision of the bill, which 
provided for a tax on all incomes over f 4,000. This should 
neither be credited nor charged, however, to Mr. Wilson, 
as he opposed it until the majority of the committee of 
which he was chairman added it to the measure, and then 
he zealously championed the whole bill. 

The entire measure passed the House February 1, 
1804, and was immediately given over to the Senate. And 
here begins the story of James K. Jones's greatest single 
piece of legislative work. Briefly stated, the situation 
in the Senate when the Wilson Bill came to it was this. 
There were in that body 38 llepublicans, 44 Democrats, 
and 4 Populists. The latter voted with the Democrats 
on the tariff. Five disgruntled and dissatisfied Demo- 
crats taken from the 44 and voting against the bill would 
prevent its passage by a majority of one; provided, of 
course, the republicans voted solidly against it, which 
was to be expected. What further added to the uncer- 
tainty of passage was the fact that a number of the East- 
ern Democrats would not support the Wilson Bill or any 
oilier measure approaching its schedules. Already the 
distinguished David B. Hill, of New York, had given em- 
phatic notice that he would under no circumstances vote 
for any measure including an income tax. Others were 
almost as outspoken. So the demands of Democratic, 
semi-protection Senators for changes in the bill necessary 
for their support, were the obstacles in the way of the 
passage of the Wilson Bill through the Senate. Surely 



now the hour of crisis for the Democratic party was at 
hand. Would they unite upon some compromise satis- 
factory to all senators, or would they split, and lose the 
psychic moment of opportunity for carrying out the 
pledges of the party? The nation looked with the most 
intense interest upon the movement of every Senator. 

It was under these circumstances that James K. 
•Jones took the helm. Mr. .Jones first carried a copy of 
the bill to each belligerent Senator and patiently went 
over with him every schedule of the measure, page by page, 
item by item, ascertaining the greatest concessions each 
man in The Senate would make in the rates proposed, 
in order to solidify the strength of the party on a final 
vote. He was made chairman of the sub-committee which 
was to take charge of the measure. With him cooper- 
ated in this masterful, strategic work, Senator Vest, of 
.Missouri, and Colonel Mills, of Texas (1). When the task 
proved far greater even than was anticipated, Senators 
Vest and Mills, declining to agree to the concessions of 
the belligerents, refused to go further in any effort to 
gel the bill through. When, after three weeks of hard and 
incessant labor, the bill was referred to the Democratic 
caucus, a mighty and obstinate resistance set up against 
it. The leaders of this opposition were Bryce, of 
Ohio, and Gorman, of Maryland. They confronted the 
caucus with a solidly organized group of those dissatisfied 
Senators, consisting of Senators Hill. Murphy, Smith, 
Blanchard, Caff rev and others, and demanded changes 
which Senator Jones knew would have to be granted in 
(1) Mills had, the full before, been sent to the Senate. 



older to save the measure. He knew that this would be 
me case oeloie i±e caiieu the caucus ; ior, as 1 have said, 
iie nau gone 10 each one anil iiad found out the best that 
ne vvouiU do m the way of supporting tne measure in con- 
sideration oi cnanges which he desired. Only Mr. Hill, 
ol JNew iork, remained away from this caucus, and to the 
last he refused to be a party to the passage oi' the bill. 
Senator Jones then laid before the caucus the material 
he nau gathered from interviews with opposing Senators, 
showing what concessions would have to be made to se- 
cure tne support of the belligerents. There was one, and 
oniy one, plain question to be decided by the caucus, he 
said; and that question was simply, "Would they (lj 
ma^e tiie concessions and pass the bill, or refuse them and 
let it fail?" Having the matter thus placed squarely 
before them, without a dissenting voice they voted that 
the amendments be made, that passage might be assured. 
Let me state here, that though before this caucus, as was 
said, there had been wrangling in the ranks of the party 
represented there, after it there was perfect unity and 
harmony between the members, as they stood to a man 
(2) in the most heroic tight yet made in the interests of 
the people. In this tight, as we shall see, the senior Sena- 
tor from Arkansas was ever, like the Plumed Prince 
Henry of Navarre, in the forefront of the battle line, lead- 
ing the "hosts."* In all the amendments proposed 
there was not a single break in the party vote. In the 
caucus 1 think they had not only agreed to certain stipu- 

(1) The majority of the Democrats who favored the bill 
as it came from the House. 

(12) Save, of course, Senator Hill. 


lated "concessions," as the compromise amendments were 
called, but they had agreed to accept the dictates of the 
able leadership in which they placed the utmost trust, 
and had the most implicit and unalloyed faith. 

Now on the whole these modifications or concessions 
were in the nature of higher duties than those provided 
for by the Wilson Bill, in the line of protection to local 
interests. Thus, for instance, as a concession to the Lou- 
isiana Senators, sugar, both raw and refined, instead of 
being left upon the free list, as was provided by the bill, 
was at the instigation of Senator Mills (1), made to pay 
an average duty of one and one-fifth cents for raw, and 
one-eighth cent more for refined. This was done over the 
protest of both Jones and Vest, who for several days held 
out for free sugar, but at last yielded for the sake of 

Ajjain. as a concession to West Virginia, Maryland, 
and other- states interested in it. coal was to be taxed at 
forty cents a ton. Iron ore, too, was taken from the free 
list, and given the same rate. A three-fourths-of-eent-a 
pound duty was placed on lead and silver ores, to satisfy 
the Western senators. Other articles taken from the free 
list were : apples, beef, mutton, pork, dates, palms, and 

On the other hand, some important additions were 
made to the free list, and reductions were made in the 
rates of others. The contest over the duty on wool per- 
haps caused the greatest dissension. This was the big- 
gest industry that did not ^et what it wanted. The 
National Association of Wool Manufacturers clamored 

(1) Tn the sub-committee. 



that the rate of the McKinley Bill be left on. But they 
had not a single friend in the Senate strong enough to 
obtain for them what they wished. That is the reason 
why the wool schedule was about the sole one whose duty 
was not dictated by some one powerful enough to make 
it satisfactory to the industry concerned. The sub-com- 
mittee made the duty on woolens thirty instead of thirty- 
five per cent. 

These were about the only changes, except that later 
on the duties on collars and cutis were raised from forty- 
five to fifty-live per cent, and on linen shirts from 
thirty-five to fifty per cent. Then, too, a clause was 
inserted which did away with all the existing reciprocity 
treaties of the McKinley law. 

The two per cent tax upon all incomes over $4,000 was 
allowed to remain, with but slight modification. 

The great debate on the bill and amendments began 
about the first of April. It was opened by Senator Vor- 
hees, of Indiana, though Mr. Jones was in general charge 
of the bill. Quay and other Republican Senators fili- 
bustered, the former delivering a speech that, with in- 
numerable intermissions, continued from April fourteenth 
to June sixteenth. The speech covers thirty-five pages of 
the Congressional Record. He succeeded in getting many 
further considerations, most of them small, to be sure, 
but important, nevertheless. For three months the wran- 
gle went on. Many speeches of length and importance 
were made, among the most important by Allison. Mills, 
Lodge, Hale, Peffer, Mitchell, Morril, Turpie, and Gal- 
linger. Senator Jones made no single long speech. His 


duties this time were those of tactful management an<l 
diplomacy, and being ever watchful, ever on the alerl for 
any probable hitch or check. Three weeks were spcnl 
in the general discussion, and then the measure w;is taken 
up and threshed out item by item, paragraph by para- 
graph. It was evident to everyone that an out-and-out 
compromise measure, as the Allison Bill had been, must 
be made. Seeing the crisis, Mr. Jones conferred with 
John G. Carlisle, the Secretary of the Treasury, who sub 
mitted the whole situation to President Cleveland. The 
latter wrote Mr. Jones a letter strongly urging that under 
till conditions he be certain to get some sort of tariff bill 
through the Senate. He therefore presented what has 
been called the Bryce-Gorman or Jones-Gorman compro- 
mise. This was May eighth. It consisted of four 
hundred amendments to th" Wilson Bill, and the number 
was afterwards increased to six hundred thirty-five. 
These amendments were in every material instance sub- 
mitted by Mr. Carlisle to the President, who in turn 
agreed that if nothing better could be done the bill should 
be thus amended in accordance with the agreements made 
with the recalcitrant Senators. The measure now per- 
force approached the McKinley Bill, already a law. And 
for this the Democrats who had it in charge and who were 
responsible for its final passage have been unjustly ac- 
cused of having played into the hands of the Republicans. 
This charge is untrue as it is grave. As Mr. Jones said, 
they had either to pass an amended and compromise 
measure, or else acknowledge to a failure to pass any sort 
of Democratic bill at all. it was, in short, the best the 



Democrats could do, at this time and under the circum- 
stances which I have set forth. 

So the Wilson Bill passed the Senate in a mutilated 
form, under the wise management of James K. Jones. It 
was then returned to the House Committee, which re- 
fused to accept the amendments. A conference was held, 
but no good came of that. In the debate which followed 
in the House Mr. Wilson read a long letter from President 
Cleveland to Mr. Catchings, of Mississippi which "voiced 
his (1) pain and disgust at the outcome of the long 
fight and counselled resistance to the miserable com- 
promises which filled the bill." Tt might be stated here 
that it was the general impression that in this denuncia- 
tion he intended to include "the plumed knight." As I 
have said, however, none of the material amendments pro- 
posed in the Senate to the Wilson Bill were agreed to by 
Senator Jones until submitted to the Secretary of the 
Treasury for the consideration of the President, and these 
amendments were agreed to as being the best that conld 
be done under the circumstances, according to Mr. Cleve- 
land's advice and request. This letter elicited a storm 
of protest against the President by the Democrats in the 
Senate who had stood so loyally together for what they 
believed the only result at all consistent with Democratic 
principles, which could succeed. 

In this fight on Cleveland, Mr. Jones joined, though 
somewhat reluctantly. He feared dissensions and a 
breach in the ranks of the Democratic party, which might 
cause its failure at the polls. He knew, however, that 

(1) Cleveland's. 


Mr. Cleveland had urged that a bill of some sort be passed, 
and that he had told the Democratic Senators to go ahead 
and do the best they could. The letter to Mr. Catchings 
made the Senators furious, and they stubbornly refused 
to recede one particle from the amendments they had 
made. Finally, the House gave in, and on May thirteenth 
passed the amended measure by a vote of 182 to 106. Mr. 
Wilson was of course greatly disappointed, but he himself 
believed that the bill was far superior to that of which 
McKinley had been the author. It became a law without 
his signature, August 27, 1894. 

After the reading of the Catchings letter Mr. Jones 
went to the White House while Mr. Cleveland was Presi- 
dent but one time, and then he went at the written request 
of the President. Several months after the Wilson Bill 
had become a law, Mr. Cleveland sent a note to Mr. Jones's 
residence requesting that he come to the White House 
that evening. At the time stated, the Senator presented 
himself and Mr. Cleveland in the privacy of his office said 
he was very much disturbed to know that Senator Jones 
thought he (the President) had intended to include him 
in the category of traitors as denounced in the Catchings 
letter. The Senator informed the President at that time 
that not only he but his friends and the public at 
large were of the same opinion and that, knowing his 
efforts had met the private approval of the President, he 
resented such double dealing. Mr. Cleveland assured 
Senator -lones that he had no intention of reflecting upon 
him in the slightest degree, and stated that he wished him 
to know that fact; but Mr. Cleveland had never the moral 



courage to publicly make the statement he called Mr. 
J ones to his office to make to him privately. 

Surely it is not too much to say that it was chiefly 
due to the untiring energy aud conscientious efforts, 
added to the compromising aud conciliating, Henry Clay 
manner of Senator Jones, that the Wilson Bill ever passed 
the devious ways of senatorial dispute, and was placed 
upon the statute books as the first Democratic tariff law 
since 1857. 

Even David Hill, who consistently refused through- 
out the proceedings and debates upon the bill to have any- 
thing to <lo with it, said of Mr. -Jones, even before the lat- 
ter's work was finished and the bill passed: "During all 
the tariff debates, during all the preparation of this bill, 
that Senator lias exhibited most wonderful patience and 
sagacity. He has treated every citizen and every Senator 
with the greatest respect. No matter how this debate 
may terminate, no matter whether the bill passes or not, 
I say that the Senator from Arkansas — and in paying 
this compliment I do not discriminate against auyone else 
— has won the esteem and respect of his countrymen 
everywhere." And the Boston Herald, upon whose edi- 
loiial page this tribute of Senator Hill's was printed, 
added the comment: "That is as handsome as it is de- 

A prominent Eastern newspaper correspondent met 
the Washington representative of the Arkansas Democrat 
in one of the hotels of the capital some months after the 
debate had ended. He accosted him about as follows 
(1) : "Arkansas must be a great state in every way. Last 

(1) Arkansas Democrat. December 17, 1895. 


year while the great tariff fight was on I came in 

contact daily with your Senator Jones, and I'll tell you 
he's about the best informed man on the tariff in the 
United States, and I don't except McKinley or Morrison. 
Why, he knows tariff schedules like a school-boy knows his 
alphabet. And the way he handled the bill in committee 
stamped him as a big man. If it had not been for Jones's 
good work with Gorman, Bryce, Smith and Murphy, they 
never would have voted for such a bill as was finally 
passed. Jones got concessions from them that no other 
member of the Senate could have obtained, and but for 
him no tariff law would have been enacted at all." 

This was true, for Jones had gone to them separately, 
as has been seen above. Men like Senators Harris and 
Vorhees had absolutely despaired of bringing these men 
to support any tariff revision downward to anything like 
a revenue basis. "'But," said the reporter, "Jones was 
persistent in securing their votes, without which no bill 
could be passed ; and finally he succeeded." It was a 
vexatious duty, requiring diplomacy and patience, but 
Jones never gave up, and the greater part of the honor 
for the repeal of the McKinley law justly belongs to "the 
Plumed Knight of Arkansas." But for his vast fund of 
tact and patience the promise of the Democratic party 
to the people, which had been reiterated in every platform 
since 1876, would not have been redeemed. "Yes, sir," the 
correspondent concluded, bringing down his fist emphati- 
cally upon the table where he sat, "Jones is a big man, 
and Arkansas should be proud of him!" 

An incident occurred, in the heat of the debate, which 



at once authoritatively voices the confidence of the Senate 
in the man, and moistens the dry discussion with the 
shower of honest compliment. They were discussing the 
duty on marble, and it had been insinuated that Senator 
Harris, of Tennessee, had been looking too closely after 
the interests of his State in his championing of the duty 
on this product. Harris was one of the right-hand men 
of Senator Jones in charge of the bill on the Senate floor. 
Jones immediately cleared the mind of the Senate of any 
such suspicion against Harris by a remarkable argument 
which consisted chiefly in an astounding array of figures 
relative to that commodity, when Senator Hoar, the 
"'grand old man" of Massachusetts, arose and said that 
it was a remarkable thing to him that Senator Jones 
should be able to remember, without written copies of 
them, the duties on the different commodities in such 
amazing detail. And concluding his expression, he said 
ill: "In regard to my honorable friend from Arkansas, 
I have been frequently astonished. 

'That one small head could hold in all he knew.' " 
But of all the tributes spoken or written of Senator 
Jones's ability as shown in this great conflict, I believe 
that none is at once so true, so authentic, and so to the 
point, as that of D. F. Murphy, Official Reporter of the 
United States Senate, who witnessed every scene and 
heard every word of the debate upon this and all the other 
issues of the time. When in a later campaign a political 
opponent was charging that Mr. Jones was an incompe- 
tent chief, a failure in managing Democratic measures, 
with especial emphasis upon his work in handling the 

(l) p. 5932. 


Wilsou Bill, Mr. Murphy's letter to Senator Jones, writ- 
ten several years before, was published in refutation. It 
so clearly shows his idea of the statesmanship and wis- 
dom and tact of the subject of this biography, that I feel 
it wise to quote it here in full : 


August 9, 1894. 
Hon. Jas. K. Jones, U. S. Senate, 

Dear Senator : — For more than a month past I have 
felt like writing to you to express my sentiments as to 
your conduct on the revenue bill of the present session 
during its tedious progress through the Senate — senti- 
ments which 1 have expressed in conversation to several. 
But the condition of my health was such that until re- 
cently I was not able to do any writing except of a mere 
formal character. Now that I am improving I take ad- 
vantage of the removal of some restrictions by my physi- 
cians to address you a few words, which I hope will not 
offend that modest reserve which is so marked an attribute 
of your character.. . (1) 1 have been for nearly forty- 
seven years connected with the reporting of the Senate, 
and for more than a quarter of a century of that time 
have been at the head of the reporting service, so that 1 
have had some opportunity of observation. I can truth- 
fully say that, during all that period, / have never seen 
a finer display of those qualities which fit a leader for the 
successful guidance of a great measure through the shoals 
and quicksands of legislation, than has been exhibited by 
you at the session of Congress soon to close. The man- 

(1) Italics are mine. 



agenient of any important bill in a body like the Senate, 
is a very arduous, complicated and difficult task, and this 
is especially so in the case of a revenue bill affecting the 
various industries of the country and practically every 
man, woman and child within its borders. 

In 1850 I saw Henry Clay, who had returned to the 
scene of his former greatness only to secure the settlement 
of the slavery question, report from his famous committee 
of thirteen an omnibus compromise bill, which was to heal 
the "live gaping wounds'* in the body politic, so eloquently 
depicted by him. I saw him for months pressing his pet 
measure and urging its passage by the Senate by argu- 
ment, appeal and entreaty, but all to no effect. His 
omnibus bill was dashed to pieces on the hard rocks of 
legislation. Then I saw Senator Pierce, of Maryland, 
with remarkable skill and tact, pick up the "dejecta 
membra," and secure the passage, as separate bills, with 
.slight modifications, of that series of measures which 
Mr. Clay had vainly attempted to pass as one combined 

Subsequently, I saw Senator Hunter, of Virginia, 
lead the majority of the Senate to many brilliant financial 
victories, notably in the coinage act of 1853, and the tar- 
iff act of 1857. 

During the Civil War, the era of restitution and the 
period immediately following, I saw Fessenden, Sherman 
and Edmunds lead triumphantly their followers to many 
a legislative victory. But then they always had a large, 
and sometimes overwhelming, majority to back them. 

I saw the tariff legislation of 1883 and 1890, con- 


ducted to a successful issue under the wise and able lead- 
ership of Morril, Allison, Sherman and Aldrich. 

.But none of these statesmen were environed by such 
difficulties as confronted you. You had a bare majority 
at your back, and it was a delicate tasK to keep it intact 
from all the open and covert attacks of the enemy. That 
you were able to preserve your column unbroken till the 
goal was reached by the passage of the bill, is creditable 
to your genius aud skill. During the three months when 
the bill was under consideration by the (Senate, you never 
once lost your temper, and never spoke an unnecessary 
word. You were ready to explain where explanation was 
really needed; but no talk or provocation could induce 
you to consume time uselessly. 

You have my unbounded admiration for the remarka- 
ble judgment and skill you displayed in the parliamen- 
tary managemeut of this great measure. 

I do not feel like closing without a reference to some 
of the prominent men who have preceded you in the repre- 
sentation of Arkansas in the Senate. (Here he praises, 
briefly, Seveir, Sebastian, and Garland). 

To be the tit successor of such great men is of itself 
uo small distinction; but you have achieved eminence in 
a path which was not open to any of them. While Ark- 
ansas has in the Senate such men as yourself and your 
present able, honest and efficient colleague (Senator Jas. 
H. Berry), she need fear no comparison with any of her 
sisters in the bright constellation of our indivisible and 
perpetual Union. 

Yours sincerely, 




It was this bill which Senator Jones with such ad- 
mirable skill steered through the Senate of the United 
States, of which Colonel Mills said, while the measure 
was waiting for the President's signature: "It is the 
most remarkable measure that has ever found its way 
upon the statute books of any country. It is a phenome- 
non in political science." Discussing it further, he stated 
that perhaps it would not exactly suit as many as one 
thousand people in the whole United States. But, he said, 
it had been a choice between it and the McKinley Bill. 

"We all voted for it," he said. "We passed it We 

all found ourselves 'between the devil and the deep blue 
sea,' and we went to the sea rather than see the country 
go to the devil. We have no apologies to make for it. 
It was the best we could do under the circumstances. . ." 


And Colonel Mills voiced the feeling of Senator Jones 
when he said further: "We do not all accept this as a 
final settlement of the question of tariff reform. We have 
climbed to the outpost that defended the citadel of the 
enemy, and we intend to push the contest until we camp 
within the gates of the city and sweep the streets of that 
enemy and take everything from him." 

(1) The italics are mine. 



But the Wilson Bill when passed was far from being 
satisfactory to the people; and the election which took 
place two months after its passage returned a large ma- 
jority of Republicans to Congress. In fact, the dissatis- 
faction with the Wilson Bill was just as great, if the Re- 
publican majority returned is any criterion by which we 
may judge, as it had been in 1892 with the McKinley Bill. 
The new House contained 246 Republicans, 104 Democrats 
and 7 Populists, and 35 of the Republicans came from the 
South. One great cause of this change was, of course, 
the new tariff measure; but it cannot be said that there 
was nothing else, in fact, some doubt that the tariff was 
the chief issue in the campaign. I am rather inclined to 
believe that the defeat of the Democrats was due to the 
injecting of the free silver question so prominently into 
the campaign, and to other things as well, which I will 
mention presently. Many of the elections to Congress 
were not influenced by the tariff measure. 

In 1894, when these elections took place, it was ex- 
tremely uncertain which party, as a national organization, 
would champion the new cause of free silver. Several 
Republican State Conventions declared for it, while the 
Cleveland, or dominant, faction of the Democratic party, 
was bitterly opposed to it. The Westerners, Democrats 
and Republicans alike, wanted it, to satisfy their silver- 
poor constituents. 

Perhaps the very strongest reason for the overthrow 
of the Democrats in the national legislature was the panic 



of lS9o, and the months of hard times which had followed 
it. The Democrats could not have been the cause of this 
panic, because it was upon the country before they came 
into power. It was more nearly the result of the Mc- 
Kinley Bill. That measure was the revenue "law of the 
land'' from 1890 to 1894. Many products had fallen off 
in price during those years, and had revived again in 1894. 
This tendency was shown in most of the articles on which 
the McKinley Bill had placed prohibitory duties, such as 
wool, pig iron and steel rails. Take the latter commodity, 
for instance. The McKinley Bill placed a prohibitory 
duty of $13.14 per ton upon it, and the first year it fell 
in price to $29.91, and later even lower than that. The 
Wilson Bill reduced the rates to $7.84 per ton, and the 
price rose again. It was the same with woolen goods, 
and other commodities of large consumption. 

But there is no question about the failure of the 
Wilson Bill to produce the revenue expected of it. It will 
be remembered that imported raw sugar was to be taxed 
under the new law. To prevent the immediate effect 
of this upon them, the sugar refiners had bought up large 
quantities, enough to do for months ahead, before the bill 
went into effect. The government was thus deprived of 
much revenue from the tax which would have been paid 
upon the raw sugar which they needed, had they not done 
this. This is but one instance of how the government was 
realty robbed of revenue. Cleveland's first year (1) saw 
an increase of $70,000,000 in the national debt which he 
inherited from Harrison and the McKinley Bill. 

Then, too, the income tax, which was a part of the 
(1) Second term, of course. 


new bill and upon which the Democrats counted for an 
enormous revenue, was declared unconstitutional by the 
supreme court. 

The Republicans in the House naturally took their 
recent election to mean that they should go ahead and 
enact another protective tariff. Dingley, an old and ex- 
perienced statistician who had held many important 
state offices, including that of Governor of his Common- 
wealth, reported the new measure as Chairman of the 
\\ ays and Means Committee, in December, 1895, a few days 
alter Congress assembled. It passed the House without 
delay. But, to show how strongly free silver had become 
an issue by this time, the Senate Finance Committee, of 
which Mr. Jones was a member, refused to even report the 
tariff bill, and recommended that the necessary revenue be 
raised by the free coinage of silver, instead of by the 
higher duties of a new tariff. 

As the time came on for another presidential election, 
it became more and more evident that the tariff would be 
given a secondary place. Nevertheless, the Republicans 
were anxious to make it prominent and to place McKinley, 
the author of the former high protection bill, upon the 
ticket as their candidate. This they succeeded in doing, 
and their platform declared for protective revision, and 
against free silver. On the other hand, the silver issue 
was so prominently championed in the great Democratic 
Convention, which met shortly afterwards, that many of 
the Silver Republicans went over to them. Such leaders 
as McKinley and Lodge, half bimetallists as they were, 
were forced to take sides against it, because the Denio- 



crats were for it. The extraordinarily prominent part 
whieli Mr. Jones took in this campaign is told in another 

Be that as it may, McKinley, upon his election, did 
not go to talking at once of sound money or the gold 
standard. He went back to his old hobby for which he 
had such a righteous zeai — the raising of revenue by high 
protection. So the efforts of the new Dingley measure 
were toward replacing the Wilson ad valorem duties with 
specific rates, though Mr. JDingley stated that his effort 
was to keep those rates nearer to the duties of the Wilson 
Bill than those of the McKinley measure. A few rates 
were even higher, however, than had been assigned even 
by the McKinley Bill. Wool, lumber, cotton bagging, salt 
and other commodities which the W T ilson Bill had placed 
upon the free list, were now to be taxed. 

The bill (1) as passed by the House came to the Sen- 
ate proper from its Finance Committee for debate, with 
amendments. Of this committee at this time Nelson 
Aldrich was chairman. As stated above, Mr. Jones was 
perhaps the most prominent Democrat on this committee, 
and perhaps of the whole party, except Mr. Bryan. Cer- 
tainly no Senator was more widely known, not merely as 
a wise political manager, but as a statistician who knew 
tariff schedules thoroughly, and as a statesman of right- 
eous views. 

There were many provisions in the Dingley Bill as it 
came to the Senate Finance Committee, to which he ob- 
jected, and throughout the debate he threw the weight of 
his mighty influence against them. Not that he thought 

(1) H. B. 379. 


himself able to block its passage, for he believed that: its 
success was assured by the Republican majority in that 
body; and it is in the earnestness, diligence and effort 
with which he proceeded, after the taxing labors of the 
national campaign of 1896 and in the most exhausted 
physical condition, to fight in a losing cause with even 
perhaps a more zealous effort than that with which he had 
fought in the winning cause of the Wilson measure, that I 
think we see the real greatness of the man. I know of no 
other instance which better shows his righteous attitude 
and statesmanlike view toward public measures, nor his 
faithfulness to his constituents and the people at large, 
than this masterful struggle when he knew there was so 
little hope for success. It sometimes takes little else than 
a knowledge of the subject to lead a host to victory: it 
takes a dauntless heart and a courage unspeakable to 
fight for the right against overwhelming odds, especially 
at the expense of health and at the risk of life. He re- 
minds me of Clay, though not as old as Clay at the time 
Clay came back, or Calhoun, though not so bitter as he, 
coming back to the Senate to fight the peoples' battles 
when the odds seemed to be against him. Calhoun lost, 
and Clay only won a temporary victory. Jones lost this 
time, but that reflects no weakness. The world is in the 
habit of judging exclusively by apparent success. A man 
who was in the Senate at the time of this debate, and 
heard every bit of it. and took part in it himself, told me 
that Jones's struggle against the enactment of the Ding- 
Icy measure was not only a masterly stroke of ability, but 
one of the few mightiest evidences he ever saw, during 



eighteen years of service in that body, of holy zeal for 
the interests of the common people of this country. In 
what striking contrast appears the lazy attitude, the 
dwaudling away of time for which the people pay, the 
reckless indifference of some of our legislators of the pres- 
ent day, toward questions of the supremest moment to the 
teeming masses ! 

And now let us examine some phases of that titanic 
struggle in which Mr. .Jones fought a losing cause, for the 
people of Arkansas and the Union. Among other things, 
the bill as it came to the Senate provided for a twenty 
per cent ad valorem upon raw cotton. It was a play to 
the Southern cotton growers, the farmers, that the higher 
rate might later be imposed upon the manufactured pro- 
duct of the staple. Mr. Jones, from the riches of exnc r- 
ience, hurled his words of bitterest opposition against 
the duties levied for such unholy purposes, and voiced bis 
belief that the masses would reject it (1) : "Mr. Presi- 
dent, I am a cotton grower . I have lived all my life on a 
cotton farm, and if any man living has a deep sympathy 
with the struggling thousands engaged in this business, 
I have. But I have too high an opinion of these people to 
fear that they can be injured by this movement (to win 
their support of a high duty on the manufactured 

product) These people cannot be caught with thai 

sort of stuff. The cotton growers of the South have as 
much sense as that class of people anywhere else in this 
country, or anywhere else in the world. They will see 
through this pretense. . .They will see through all this 

(1) Mr. Jones's speeches against the different schedules of 
the Dingley measure may be found, 55 Cong., 1 Sess., pp. 1260f. 


stuff about increasing the price of cotton as clearly as 
anybody else. They will uot be deceived or mislead by 

an argument so palpably thin and fallacious as this 

1 1 is this sort of fraud that 1 utterly abominate." 

To the duty upon salt also Mr. Jones was vigorously 
opposed. He believed he saw in that, too, an effort to 
impose upon the people, this time upon those of his sec- 
tion especially, and this time without even the strong pre- 
tense of benefit which characterized the dealings of the 
bill with cotton. "The effect of the adoption of this 
paragraph," he said, "will be simply to increase the cost 
of salt consumed by the Southern people. It will not 
affect the North because the manufacturers of salt in that 
section of the country absolutely control the market now. 

It is simply compelling the people who are already 

having a hard enough time in the Southern States to pay 
; u increased price for salt that this duty was placed upon 
it." Here we see him, in the very midst of a great and 
heated tariff debate, step forward prominently as a sec- 
tionalist. He has guided the destinies of a nation-wide 
and powerful political party through the storm of defeat; 
he has steered through to success a tariff measure calcu- 
lated to remedy many of the ills under which the people 
everywhere had been so unjustly oppressed — but he is 
the Southerner still. He even goes further: "There 
seems to be a desire to levy a species of blackmail on those 
who eat their bread in the sweat of their faces all the 

dnvs of their lives in the Southern States " And 

against the injustice of such a desire we find "the Plumed 
Knight of Arkansas" 1 hurling the strength of whatever op- 
position he could muster. 



The debate on the wool schedule lasted for several 
days. Senator Jones constantly engaged in the discus- 
sions, though he never spoke for any great length of time, 
nor made any pretentious orations. He rather watched 
every opportunity for piecemeal argument upon the dif- 
ferent provisions of the bill, schedule by schedule. He 
was ever ready at repartee, and perhaps even more than, 
in the Wilson Bill his arguments showed the intimate 
knowledge which, even to the minor and more unimport- 
ant schedules, characterized his dealing with the subject. 
His familiarity with the views of the world's greatest 
economists upon the subject is likewise shown. 

But though his utterances are filled with statistics 
and figures bearing always directly upon the point at is- 
sue and the schedule under fire of debate, and wandered 
little from fact presentation, yet he frequently would in- 
ject into these brief paragraphs of his such pertinent 
questions of justice and right as these: ''Upon what 
ground?" "What semblance of right is there?" ''What 

As a concession to the National Wool Growers Asso- 
ciation, whose representatives — from the West — were 
wool enthusiasts, as well as free silverites, the duties on 
wool were raised through fear that otherwise they would 
rally an opposition strong enough to defeat the whole 
measure when the final vote came. The duties were raised 
to exactly what they had been in the McKinley Bill, on 
clothing and combing wool, and even higher on cheaper 
wool. Mr. Jones showed that if this product were placed 



upon the free list and the duty on woolens reduced, there 
would be an annual saving to the government of $170,000- 

Another necessity upon which a tax was laid, and 
that a specific duty, too, was sugar. Mr. Jones believed in 
the righteousness of a low ad valorem upon these necessi- 
ties of life. He believed with the whole passion of his 
soul that it meant nothing less than the laying of a tax 
upon the home itself when the common commodities which 
make the home happy and successful were so exorbitantly 
high-priced, while the rich manufacturer or refiner reveled 
in all the splendor of finery and plenty. Especially was 
it improper, he thought, that in a government like ours, 
claiming to be a true democracy, the homes of the plain 
people should be thus taxed. "We exempt churches and 
schools from taxation," he exclaimed (1), ''and I believe 
that where there is a sufficient accumulation of surplus 
and hoarded wealth to justify it, the homes of the people 
and all things that go to make up a home, should be ex- 
empted from the exactions of the tax-gatherer." 

As he made this utterance there seemed to fire up in 
his breast a patriotic ember, and a sentimental chord was 
touched. He launched into a paragraph of praise of the 
American home, from which I quote here, not so much 
to show this trait of character called love of home, as to 
illustrate his occasional departure from the dry farts 
with which he elucidated any subject under discus- 
sion : "The home is the nursery of manhood, virtue and 
patriotism It is the very foundation of the Republic, 

(1) pp. 1635f 



and ought not to be taxed, directly or indirectly 1 

believe the time has come when the people of this country 

should insist that manhood and home, like churches 

and schools, should go untaxed." 

The Republicans, he said, not only practically pro- 
hibited many of the necessaries of daily existence, bur 
adopted the lixed policy of "putting the highest taxes upon 
the lowest class of goods, and placing the lowest duties 
on the highest class." The purpose of the whole system, 
he declared, was to levy blackmail on the poor (l).It was 
to ••lighten the burdens of those who are most able to pay, 
and to increase the burdens of those who are least able 
to pay." It was in the very nature of the case, he thought, 
that "a protective tariff, to be of any benefit whatever, 
must necessarily and essentially be unfair. "It must be 
for certain people and against the interests of the masses." 
And above any other reason in the list of anti-protection 
arguments, he hated the protective tariff because he did 
not "believe that there is a power vested constitutionally 
in Congress or anywhere else to levy a tax upon the peo 
pic of this country for protective purposes alone." 

James K. -Tones was a party man, but he did not be- 
lieve in the tyranny of party rule. When the Senate 
conference had met to discuss the different portions of the 
hill, and to tell the House conferees the ideas of the Sen- 
ate. Mr. Jones claimed that they did not really report the 
opinion of the majority of the Senators; for, while the 
Republicans had a majority at the time, their interests 
were divided between the tariff and free silver, some fa- 

(1) p. 1831. 


voring the latter even though they stood unalterably for 
high tariff. But it was hope against hope. "We were 
charged by the Senate to stand there," he said, "and rep- 
resent its ideas. We asked for an opportunity to do so. 
and were refused. We were told that it would be of no 
use; that whatever argument we might make, it would 
change nobody's opinion. And I presented the question 
myself, 'But suppose we convince your judgment?' And 
I was answered by the gentleman who looks into my face 
now (1) that it would make no difference, the vote would 
be the same." And then comes another outburst of pas- 
sionate expression of deep feeling, to break the probable 
monotony of fact array: "I hope and pray the Almighty 
that the American People will see to it that Senators 

assembling hereafter will pay sufficient regard to 

the law of the land, that when they send a bill to confer- 
ence it will be considered by the whole conference." 

Again, and emphasizing that trait in Mr. Jones's 
make-up which sought in the impartial search for truth 
to place principle above all party connections and influ- 
ences, he shouts out, so that we can almost hear him as 
we read the printed page of the record (2) : "No man 
lias a right to allow his party prejudice to lead him aside 
from the fearless pursuit of the truth. Tt is a sacred duty, 
binding upon the conscience of every man who loves his 
fellowmen, to omit no effort to understand the cause 
of this wide-spread distress, and to remove it if within 
his power." The secret of this removal, the "great and 
crying need of the hour, is to relieve the masses from the 

(1) Mr. Aldrich, I think. 

(2) p. 2827. 



burdens under which they struggle." 

But he was willing to go even further; and notwith- 
standing the little hope which he held for victory in this 
special instance of the struggle, to say, boldly : "The ques- 
tiou of our fitness to govern ourselves is ou trial at this 
time. I believe that human liberty is involved in the 
success of failure of this struggle." 

But despite the earnestness with which Mr. Jones 
fought against the robbery of high protection, he was 
not a free trader, as we may already have concluded. Nor 
did he think the evils of the system could be eradicated 
at a single stroke. '"While I am unalterably opposed to 
a protective traiff," he said, "I do not believe in revolu- 
tion. These old moss-grown injustices ought to be re- 
moved, but they must be removed one by one. You can- 
not take down a brick wall with safety by beginning at 
the bottom. Von must take bricks off at the top." By 
this gradual elimination of the evil I think he meant the 
removal, in nearly all instances, of the duties on the raw 
materials first, and "then we must lower the duties ou 
manufactured products step by step, degree by degree," 
until " the whole of the system" is "taken away." It was 
this conservatism that eased his conscience where it 
pricked the consciences of the more radical, in supporting 
the unsatisfactory Wilson Bill, and in securing its passage 
in an uncertain Senate. 

He was not even radical enough to advocate the pro- 
hibition of protective rates upon luxuries, the articles 
which only the rich may enjoy. "I believe in taxing ar- 
ticles of luxury, but not in imposing such a rate as 



will absolutely defeat taxation altogether. I do not be- 
lieve even in putting a tax on luxuries so high that none 
of them would come into the country, and the revenue 
that ought to come from it be absolutely destroyed .... I 
look upon that sort of tax as robbery pure and simple 
(1)." The above paragraph was delivered in the debate 
on The duty proposed for Onyx. 

Amid the popular clamor for the destruction of the 
trusts Mr. Jones was brave enough not to lift his voice 
against the dealing out of perfect justice to them by the 
United States Government. "I have no disposition to 
strike down any interest," he said, in the debate upon the 
sugar schedule, "not even one with the name of sugar 
trust". And this is more than many (Senators, both then 
and now, would say openly and in the face of opposition 
to these powerful organizations, even if they felt it. 

The bill passed as a measure of high protection, in 
spite of the strong opposition of Jones and other able 
chiefs. "There was a general feeling among those who had 
made it, and in the Administration itself, that du- 
ties were too high and would have to come down." What 
would have been the result had the public mind not been 
divided with the free silver question, which was by no 
means buried, as some seemed to think, by the Republican 
victory of 1896, no one can tell with accuracy. Probably 
the opposition occasioned by the results of the Dingley 
Hill would have been as effective in repealing it, as it 
had been in repealing the Wilson measure. And silver, 
in its turn, was replaced in importance by a War with 

(l) p. 1876. 



{Spain, and amid the intense popular excitement the peo- 
ple forgot the greatest civil issue. And the Dingley tar- 
iff, temporarily unnoticed, stayed with us — until it was 
displaced by a measure still worse. 

The three months' conflict with Spain didn't check the 
rising prices of all commodities. The world seemed to be 
in a state of prosperity, and with or without a tariff the 
prosperity could not pass us by. Immigration increased 
with the advent of manufacturing. Wealth was evidenced 
everywhere; but the Dingley tariff did not cause it, and 
no economist will tell you it did. "A wave of prosperity- 
was sweeping around the globe, just as a wave of depres- 
sion had done from 1891 to 1897 The Dingley Bill 

could neither retard nor accelerate this. The bill did, it 
is true, by bringing immigrants into this country by the 
wholesale, add from a quarter to a half million consumers 
annually to our markets; but they with low standards 
of living, transient and uncertain, brought their destruct- 
ive inlluences upon our civilization. 

But the hard times which Mr. Jones predicted from 
the measure came at last, for, with his industries pro- 
tected from all competition, the manufacturer, banishing 
from himself whatever "jot or tittle" of feeling he may 
have had for the laborer and consumer before, and follow- 
ing the narrow economic theory that prosperity means a 
small production with exorbitant prices upon the product, 
soon came upon the shoals toward which he had been 
directed by the bill at first. The poverty-stricken mil- 
lions, with empty dinner-pails, demanded recognition at 
his hands, the burden of the increased prices became 



graver and heavier to bear, and the narrow policy of ex- 
clusion became narrower. 

When war was declared against Spain, as said above, 
the popular discontent became hushed, temporarily, in the 
common patriotism aroused. It was proposed that $300,- 
000,000 above the running expenses of the government be 
raised and appropriated as a war tax. Mr. Jones vigor- 
ously opposed the levying of such an enormous and un- 
necessary amount, when "the War may not last anything 

like a year " and when the President could convene 

Congress whenever it should become necessary to raise 
more. Furthermore, he believed that whatever amount 
should be raised should come not from a consumptive tax 
upon common commodities, but from a levy upon wealth 
and property. "A tax on incomes would be the best 
method." And then he added, "I believe that every dollar 
of the tax levied for municipal, state or national purposes, 
ought to be paid by the profits of business (1)." 

"But how much do you think would be a fair appor- 
tionment ?" asked Senator Aldrich. 

"One hundred, fifty million would be amply suffi- 
cient," replied Mr. Jones. This was just half of the 
amount proposed. 

But a larger sum was apportioned, to be sure, and 
the Dingley tariff had to raise it. As it did so it became 
more and more unendurable to the masses. Not that it 
was the only cause of the burden, but it was a "real cause,'' 
mind you, and in the case of certain essential common 
articles, almost the only cause (2)." 

(1) 55 Cong., 2 Sess.. p. 4962. 

(2) Tarbell, p. 262. 



The practices of some of the protected industries were 
indeed exasperating. While they sent the prices of arti- 
cles sold at home up to the very top of the protection wall, 
they sold the same articles abroad at from ten to seventy 
per cent lower than they were sold at home, thus entering 
freely into competition with the manufacturers of foreign 
lands who had no protection to help them out, much to 
the delight, of course, of the foreign consumers; while 
the poor and benighted American consumers were utterly 
at the whim and caprice of the "interests." It was the 
realization of what the trusts would do under such an 
act that Mr. Jones had, in the procedure of the debate 
on the Dingley Act, called it a "monstrous bill." 

Would that other distinguished politicians had not 
been so reluctant to touch the tariff as they were in the 
years following the enactment of the bill ! Would that 
some successful knight, like the brilliant and tactful 
Koosevelt, had thrown the force of his powers and energy 
with Jones against the evil of high protection. Nay, 
would that Jones had been restored to power, that he 
might have lifted again his mighty voice in protest 
against the further betrayal of the people into the hands 
of the moneyed interests ! 

Anyway, the protest from the masses was so strong 
that the Eepublicans, in order to win the election of 1908, 
had to promise a downward revision from the rates of the 
Dingley measure — a promise which they consistently ig- 
nored after the election had resulted in their favor, by 
passing a still more odious act, the Payne-Aldrich Bill. 



The time for reckoning is at hand; and I think the 
voice of James K. Jones can still be heard ringing down 
the corriders of the national capital : "Senators from Ark- 
ansas, Senators from every State in the Union, America 
expects every man of you to do his duty !" 




It will not be out of place, in treating Mr. Jones's 
great light for the free and unlimited coinage of silver, 
to give the reader at the outset a brief history of the gov- 
ernment's relation to that metal, up to the time the con- 
test in which he played so conspicuous a part was waged. 
With this iu mind, I believe one may the more ably esti- 
mate the efforts which he put forth in its behalf. 

From the beginning of our government until far into 
the -third quarter of the nineteenth century, very little 
silver, comparatively, was coined into money in this coun- 
try. The reason for this is simply that the business of the 
country was not large enough to call for a greater supply 
of money than gold could furnish. True, the government 
did stand ready, before 1834, to take silver bullion (1) at 
its mints at the established ratio of 15 ounces of silver to 
oue of gold, and after that date accepted it at the ratio 
of sixteen to one. But the metal was so scarce that 
those who owned the bullion could sell it at a higher price 
to silversmiths, jewelers and artisans than they could get 
from the government for money coinage purposes. They 
naturally disposed of it where they could get the most for 
it. During the decade just after the close of the Civil 
War there was almost no silver at all coined into money; 
and in 1873 Congress, recognizing the natural scarcity of 
the metal, quietly passed a measure stopping the coinage 
of silver dollars. 

Whether it might be called the irony of fate, or a 
(1) i. e., unrefined silver. 


mighty stroke of the hammer of fortune, just at the mo- 
nient when this was done enormous new deposits of silver 
were discovered in some of our western states, the price 
of silver bullion immediately fell, and it seemed as plenti- 
ful as most anything else. The miners no longer had such 
a lucrative trade with the jewelers, aud they began to 
clamor that the government again pay the old rate for 
their metal. Joined by the Westerners everywhere, who 
were dependent upon eastern gold, an almost national 
cry went up that the old law in force before 1873 be again 

In 1878, responding to this demand, Representative 
Bland, of Missouri (1), and Senator Allison, of Iowa, 
placed a bill before Congress providing that the govern- 
ment purchase not less than two nor more than four mil- 
lion dollars worth of bullion every month. Although 
President Hayes vetoed the bill, it commanded the neces- 
sary two thirds vote and was passed over his signature. 

But the price of silver continued to fall anyway, be- 
cause of the enormous output from the mints; and the 
Westerners demanded still larger purchases by the govern- 

In 1890, when the famous McKinley tariff bill was 
up for debate, about fifteen or twenty Senators made an 
unmistakable demand that silver, too, being an Ameican 
product, be protected. And so in order to obtain 
their votes and insure the passage of the McKinley Act, 
the Senate machine agreed to furnish this protection by 
passing the Sherman Silver Act, which directed that the 

(1) To whom Mr. Jones paid a remarkable tribute, quoted 
on another page. 



government purchase four and one half million dollars 
worth ol bunion annually, and issue certificates to the 
en Lire Amount of the purchased silver, it was a plain 
bribe of the silver Senators, and the Cleveland adminis- 
tration reaped the full results of the measure. 

As a result of such measures, chief of which was of 
course the high tariff, the voters of the country, in the 
elections of 18U2, overwhelmingly denounced the repub- 
licans, returning only 8S of them to Congress, as com- 
pared with 235 Democrats. 

The demonetization of silver in 1873 was undoubtedly 
the consumation of a deliberately planned and persist- 
ently pursued wish to place the control of all paper money 
in this country in the hands of the national banks, while 
the government was to be restricted to the use of gold 
alone as. a money metal. "The national banks," said 
Senator Jones (1), "have always been the greatest ene- 
mies of silver, and they and their allies have kept up a 
relentless war upon silver money." 

Xuw the bill providing for the re-chartering of the 
national banks had come up in the forty-seventh Con- 
gress, which assembled in 1882. The Democrats, with the 
western miners, wishing to insure a market for their 
silver and desiring that the government purchase all the 
bullion that was brought and offered for sale, naturally 
opposed the recharter measure, because the banks, situ- 
ated in the East and controlled by eastern interests, de- 
sired gold as the only standard that they might fill out 
the needed currency amounts with their own notes. Con- 

(1) 52 Cong., 1 Sess., pp. 5174f. 


sequently, this bill was pased without the aid of Demo- 
cratic votes. 

Now in proof of the statements just made, let us 
consider a part of the measure passed just four years be- 
fore. The Bland-Allison Act, as stated before, had 
contained a provision that upon the deposit of silver coin 
the government officials should issue silver certificates, 
dollar for dollar. This paper money had been very popu- 
lar. Great quantities of it were put in circulation, and 
it came to be in such demand that the holders of gold 
coin were willing to pay vast sums of it to get their silver 
certificates, dollar for dollar, in return. But the Presi- 
dent, the Secretary of the Treasury, and other officials 
were constantly calling attention to the fact that silver 
was not worth as much as gold, that the silver dollar was 
only worth about eighty-eight cents on the dollar. Now 
bear in mind that in 1888, just two years before the re- 
charter of the banks, the Secretary of the Treasury had 
issued an order directly that upon the deposit of gold coin 
a silver certificate should be issued for it, dollar for dollar. 
Later, said Mr. Jones, the Treasurer and officials tried to 
get those who held gold coin to cling to it rather than to 
let it go for the silver certificates. He called for an ex- 
planation of this reversal which had suddenly decreased 
the great exchange. He received none. 

While the great Columbian Exposition was in pro- 
gress at Chicago, showing to the world the prosperous 
state which the country was supposed to be enjoying, 
suddenly, in 1893. a most severe panic fell like a terrible 
pall over the land. In the midst of the business prosper- 



ity which followed as a consequence of the increase of 
money assured by the Sherman Act, there arose a doubt 
in the centers of commerce about the value of the new 
money. Many feared that the government, if called upon, 
would not be able to redeem all the silver certificates 
which it was issuing every time it coined silver, dollar for 
dollar, with gold. The value of silver immediately fell to 
sixty-nine cents on the dollar, and the people, scared, be- 
gan to exchange what certificates they held for gold. 
Banks failed and factories closed, throwing thousands 
out of employment. 

President Cleveland, unlike the congressional major- 
ity of the representatives of the party which had elected 
him, believed that the panic was the result of the Sherman 
Act. It was for the repeal of this act that he called the 
first session of the fifty-third Congress. 

Itwas a bitter battle between the gold of the East and 
the silver of the West. There had never been so much 
money in the whole history of the government, but money 
could not be borrowed on gold security in one section, nor 
on silver security in the other. The stampede was the 
result of a distrust. It was a war to the knife, and Con- 
gress was called to do something in the nature of relief. 

In the debates on this important measure. Senator 
Jones took a leading part. His explanation of the situ- 
ation is not surpassed by any in its clearness, soundness 
and common sense. He pointed out that the panic was 
temporary and would pass away quickly. But he stated 
at the same time that there was a stringency that would 
abide. This was the result of conditions that had been 



iii operation for years, and would be permanent until the 
••wisest statesmanship and highest ability shall be di- 
rected to its solution." 

He argued that the "stringency" was the natural re- 
sult of our whole financial system. "The difficulty of our 

situation," he said, "has been augmented by our 

financial legislation — our tariff laws — which have oper- 
ated to produce an unjust distribution of wealth and 

intensifies the evils that have resulted from a contraction 
of the currency." There is no doubt that the legislation 
upon these subjects, chief of which was of course the 
tariff, instead of encouraging business to remain in 
its natural and normal condition, had scared some and 
unbalanced others, had "made the few immensely rich, 
and condemned the millions to poverty." The rich wished 
more unholy legislation to further their unholy interesls, 
and in order to compel this they had withheld their mil- 
lions from circulation, and thereby created a panic. A 
few men controlling the large proportion of the money 
in a country can do this, and often have done it. With 
their exorbitant wealth in 1898 they had "made a play- 
thing of the nation's interest," and it "remains to be 
seen," said Senator Jones, "whether the representatives 
of the sixty million people will submit to their insolent 

A general decline of prices coming from an insufficient 
volume of money to do the business of a country, if al- 
lowed to continue for a number of years, necessarily re- 
sults at length in the stagnation of all business. When 
money is plentiful business is active and prices are high, 



and when money is scarce business is stagnant and prices 
low. High prices simply mean cheap money, and low 
prices is "another form for saying that money is high." 
Constantly falling prices make men suspicious of all 
enterprises, make hitherto flourishing concerns unremun- 
erative. "A man will neither invest his money himself 
nor lend it to his friend to invest," said Senator Jones, 
"unless he feels morally certain that the thing will pay. 
AVithdrawal of money means discouragement, and the 
shunning of all new enterprises." What is more, fall- 
ing prices tend to rob labor of its employment and destroy 
the sale of it, thus creating an unending warfare between 
labor and capital. 

The friends of silver took the view that the panic 
was due to the fact that gold was too scarce to be the 
sole standard of money, that the government's credit and 
standing were strong enough to make a silver dollar ev- 
ery bit as good as a gold one. Since there was such an 
unmistakable need of more money, they advocated the 
free and unlimited coinage of silver at the ratio of six 
teen to one. This was prompted by an undeniable de- 
sire to affect the best good for the country. The motives 
of the monometallists, on the other hand, thought Mr. 
Jones, "were and have always been bad. They cannot 
be otherwise, in fact. The only purpose of the attack 
upon the free coinage of silver is to drive the metal out of 
use as a coin, thus lessening the world's supply of specie 
and widening the demand for the other metal — gold — and 
this decreases the price of commodities." 

It was argued that the reason that money was con- 



tiimally held back was that men feared that under the 
Sherman Law, then operating, the government could not 
meet its obligations and make good its promises in the 
payment of its notes. But Mr. Jones showed that this 
could not be the reason for the depression, because there 
had been no run on the government for the payment, and 
''there certainly would have been," he said, "had there 
been any fear of this kind." There was no fear of the 
silver coins of the country, because there had been 
1500,000,000 of silver coin hoarded away, and it was just 
as hard to borrow this as to borrow gold. 

The bill under discussion in this Congress, known 
as the Wilson Act, provided for the practical repeal of the 
Sherman measure, at least, as Mr. Jones said, of "the only 
redeemable feature of it,"viz., the provision for the govern- 
ment purchase of silver bullion. Now while the Sherman 
Act appeared to be merely an increase of the provisions of 
the Bland-Allison measure, since it provided for the forced 
purchase of four million instead of two million dollars 
worth of silver bullion, in reality it stopper! the coinage 
of silver, because the government simply stored it away, 
issuing silver certificates for it, since its price was too 
low for coinage purposes. As the price of silver had con- 
tinued to fall the government saw its accumulated stock 
constantly sinking in value. The evil of the Sherman Law, 
as Mr. Jones viewed it, was not that it provided for the 
purchase of silver, but that it had stopped the coinage of 

The great reason, however, why he believed that silver 
ought to be coined to increase the money in the country, 



was that such a policy would raise the price of all com- 
modities. Supply and demand regulate prices: this is a 
common economic law, admittted by everyone. And 
money, the medium in terms of which all things are ex- 
changed, is itself no more exempt from the law than is 
anything which is an article of traffic among men. 
"The contemplation of the misery, ruin, and desolation 
which must follow in the train of this perpetual fall of 
prices is appalling," he said. "In all ages periods of long- 
continued falling prices have been periods of stagnation in 
business, want, and increasing poverty. They have been 
periods of depression of human ambition and effort, of 
degradation of political, financial and moral retrogression. 
They have been periods fruitful of unrest, social disturb- 
ances and revolution; for mankind, having ever exper- 
ienced the sense of freedom and independence, the eleva- 
tion of high ambition resulting from prosperous times, 
are not willing to be forced to a condition of practical 
serfdom." And for one he would not take a hand in try- 
ing to bring humanity to such a state. "I will never be 
a party to taking the bread from the mouth of honest la- 
bor to swell the fortunes of parasites." 

The slogan used by those who wished to see silver 
crushed for all time as a coin metal, was the cry for what 
they were pleased to call an "honest dollar." Their great 
argument for the demonetization had been that the bullion 
value contained in a coined dollar was less than the coin 
value, and that therefore it was unfit for money. It was 
this that made them say it was dishonest, and it origi- 
nated their cry for an honest dollar. Mr. Jones wanted 


an honest dollar, all right, but he differed with them about 
the "dishonesty" of the silver dollar. "I heartily join," 

he said, ''in the demand for an honest dollar a dollar 

that is steady in value: a dollar which honestly keeps a 
record of its obligations over long periods of time, a dollar 
which does not rob the creditor, but returns to him at the 
end of the contract all he parted with at the beginning. . . 
.... Gold alone, without silver, does not furnish such a 
dollar. A dollar which even our creditors confess is enor- 
mously increasing the burdens of our debts and for which 
we are to receive no consideration whatever, is not an 
honest dollar, but is a cheat and a fraud!" 

Later, he asked : "Tried by the scientific tests (ex- 
actness, inflexibility, stability, accuracy) was there 

ever a money standard of value so bad as gold? And does 
it approach silver in point of goodness, in point of hon- 
esty, in point of integrity and steadfastness? It certainly 
does not. How far this single standard falls below the 
double standard of both gold and silver!" 

The bill easily passed the House, which was domi- 
nantly Eepublican and influenced by the East. It was re- 
ferred to the Senate Committee on Finance, of which Mr. 
Jones was a prominent member, was reported back, and 
debated. It only passed after a fierce opposition, by a 
vote of 43 to 32, was approver! by the President, who op- 
posed the unlimited coinage of silver, and became law. 
Many amendments were offered to defeat its vicious 
purposes (as they saw it) by eminent Senators, and among 
them Senator Jones. 

The free coinage sentiment in the Senate was the chief 



cause of its unfavorable attitude at this time. Senators 
Jones and Vest were particularly disposed just theu to 
obstruct currency legislation which did not provide for 
free coinage. On January 23 (1) Mr. Jones introduced 
a hill providing for the issue of $500,000,000 in gold bonds 
redeemable in twenty and payable in thirty years; allow- 
ing flic national hanks to issue hills to the par value of 
the United States bonds which they held, putting out of 
circulation greenbacks and Sherman notes of denomina- 
tions below twenty dollars, issuing silver certificates of 
denominations in their places, and, most important of all, 
providing for the coinage of all American silver brought 
to the mints into standard silver dollars. He vehemently 
declared in debate that he could not. under any circum- 
stances, vote for nn issue of bonds unless the bill carried 
with it a clause assuring a "sensible, manly and substan- 
1ial recognition of silver." The bill was referred to the 
Finance Committee, and on February 12 it was reported 
back favorably by a committee vote of f> to 5. On the eigh- 
teenth the Senate voted by .'*><> to 27 to take the bill up for 
debate. Rut on the twentieth the Jones Bill was post- 
poned, because of the statement from Mr. Jones himself, 
as follows: "Developments have shown that while the 
friends of this measure have a majority in this body, it is 
impossible to pass this bill at this late day without in- 
curring a grave danger to the appropriation bills, and an 
extra sesion. Under these considerations the friends of 
the silver measure have authorized me to say that they 
will not proceed further at this session." 

The division over silver in the Senate, and in the 
(1) 1895. 



House, was not along party lines, as is clearly shown by 
the vote on the consideration of Mr. Jones's bill just re- 
ferred to. Ten Republicans and four Populists voted 
with sixteen Democrats in favor of it, while twelve Demo- 
crats voted with fifteen Republicans against it. 

And this division in the Senate was reflected pretty 
well iii the parties themselves. "'Both of the great politi- 
cal parties,'' said Mr. Jones, "have again and again de- 
clared themselves in favor of bimetallism. No national 
convention of any party has ever declared itself in favor of 
a single standard, either of gold or silver, and no conven- 
t ion, in my opinion, ever will." At the opening of the year 
IS1XJ it was certain that one of the parties would declare 
for free silver, but nobody knew which one it would be, for 
both were full of its champions and friends. We shall 
look at this again presently, as we come to inquire more 
fully into the great contest of 1896. 

It would seem that the advocates of the single gold 
standard regarded the issues of bonds as a panacea for 
every ill, and a cure for all financial disturbances and 
diseases. "No matter what financial difficulty is to be 
met," said Mr. Jones (1), "an issue of bonds is at once 
promptly proposed. Those who think as 1 do, on the other 

hand, look upon this as an unauthorized evil An 

issue of bonds is doubtless a boon to that small class of 
persons who have large incomes which they have not the 
knowledge, courage or industry to use profitably, who long 
for investments upon which they may demand interest 
without any greater labor than clipping coupons; but to 
no other class is an issue of bonds desirable." 
(1) 54 Cong., 1 Sess., pp. 4557f. 



Those wiiu liad reaped tiie benefits of the steady in- 
crease in tiie volume oi money Iroiii 18Ui) to 1810, because 
of its failure to increase rapidly in volume as commerce 
Uau demanded, nau, notwithstanding the advantages 
which vvouid come to them troin tuis lessening supply of 
money in proportion to the traue, done all they could to 
reap the beneht as it was. "These usurers,' 1 said Mr. 
Jones (1), "Knew tnai God nad given to mankind plenty 
of metal to defeat their purposes, if completely ana rightly 
used. Their only chance was to create and maintain au 
artificial scarcity of money.' 1 This they had done in 1873. 
fciuce then tue value of money, decreasing not absolutely, 
not in itself, but in proportion to the increasing business 
in which money must take a part, had of course increased 
the value of money, and "by this hidden and covert means 
confiscation of the property of the masses for the beneht 
of those individuals has been accomplished." 

Mr. Jones thought that the issue of bonds would be 
unuecesary if silver should be coined freely at the ratio 
of "sixteen to one." "1 believe," said he, 'that the un- 
limited coinage of silver would, by reviving commerce, 
increase our revenue and do away absolutely with any 
pretense of a necessity to issue bonds, and that under 
that bill such a revival in business would take place that 
no issue of bonds could be claimed to be necessary." 

In support of the contention that 1 am setting forth 
from his great speech, Mr. Jones quoted widely from the 
world's best authorities on the subject. His great famil- 
iarity with the leading economists, teachers and legisla- 
tors of this and other countries, as revealed by his mas- 
CD 54 Cong., 1 Sesa., pp. 557f. 


teily presentation of the arguments in behalf of bimetall- 
ism, is but another proof of the breadth and scope of the 
culture and learning of the man. 

Concluding the speech, he expressed a willingness and 
an anxiety that the people at large should decide the mat- 
ter, and his deference to their decree, which it was becom- 
ing more and more clear would be the chief result of the 
approaching election. "To say that they (the people) are 
incapable of deciding any question they are interested 
in," he said, " is to declare their incapability of self- 
government. . . . The friends of bimetallism are ready and 
anxious that the people settle this question." 






►Senator uones's wish that the mutter of silver coinage 
be put directly before the people tor their decision was 
soon to be realized. As the time caine on for the elections 
tne tree silver sentiment grew apace, the cause finding its 
thousands of enthusiusts in the runks of the Hemocruts 
and liepublicans alite. Hundreds of local and state or- 
ganizations were proposed, and many ettected. it was 
thought Uiat a silver party would be formed from the 
auherents out of the ranks of the two old parties. In 
iS\)o a ten days' Congress of the advocates of silver met 
m Vv ashington ana issued an address to the American peo- 
ple, urging tnis. ft was declared that there had not been 
a Congress for twenty years which, except for the influ- 
ence of executive patronage and the fear of an executive 
veto, would not have voted to open the mints again to 
silver on the same terms as gold. The name suggested 
lor the new organization was the American Bimetallic 
Party. This address, however, was not signed by Senator 
Jones, nor any other Democrat of great national influence. 
The leaders of the party did not wish to sacrifice it, but 
rather to bring it to adopt the white metal. 

Two months later a convention was held by mono- 
metallists at Memphis, Tennessee, in the interests of what 
the delegates pleased to term "sound money." This meet- 
ing was nothing more nor less than a protest against the 
free silver movement. Mr. Carlisle, then Secretary of 


State and former Speaker, made a notable address. The 
organization was attended by many prominent men the 
country over. 

Immediately after the "sound money convention," a 
national convention was called, this to meet at Memphis, 
also. A large number of delegates from many states met 
there, June twelfth and thirteenth (1). Many of the 
niitsi prominent men in the Union were present, and 
among them the two Arkansas Senators, Messrs. Jones 
and Berry. Men were there who wished to break away 
from the old party and to form a new one with the great 
silver issue as the platform, and nominate a standard- 
bearer then and there. The cooler heads, however, such 
as Jones, and Harris , of Tennessee, prevailed and the 
breach was not effected. Senator Jones was made the 
chairman of a committee which was to advance the cause 
of silver among the Democratic delegates who should as- 
semble the next year in the regular Democratic conven- 
tion. To him fell the important task of working up the 
silver sentiment into organized form, and it was the re- 
sult of his labor that the champions of the white metal 
found themselves in the majority when that wonderful 
convention did assemble. 

Let it be remembered that at this time the prospects 
for an international agreement were extremely gloomy; 
that the proposal of the United States Senate for a great 
international meeting had met with little encouragement 
and favor among the nations abroad; that Germany and 
England were both very dubious; and that all the old 
countries, naturally slow and conservative, were espec- 

(1) 1895. 



ially afraid of any change in the money standard. It be- 
came more and more evident that if either of the great 
parties came out for silver it would mean the advocacy 
of independent action, provided — which would likely be 
the case — international agreement was impossible. The 
uncertainty as to which party would take this step was 
ended, however, so far as the Republicans were concerned, 
when their great convention assembled in 1896. At that 
time William McKinley was a strong, if not indeed the 
very strongest, man in that party. A Civil War veteran, 
he had served his country well in Congress for fourteen 
years, and had been twice Governor of his State (1). But 
the power he had shown as a party leader had been in 
connection with the tariff, and not silver. The platform 
upon which he was nominated, therefore, declared for 
protection, reciprocity and the gold standard. In an 
attempt, however, to keep Republicans from deserting the 
ranks, the platform pledged the party to work for an in- 
ternational agreement in favor of bimetallism. But the 
effort was unavailing. Several silver delegates from Ne- 
vada, Washington, Utah, Idaho, South Dakota and Wy- 
oming, including four United States Senators and two 
Congressmen, bolted the convention under Senator Teller, 
of Colorado, a veteran of Republicanism, who had seen 
and taken part in the organization of the party, and had 
"voted for every one of its candidates from Fremont to 
Harrison (2)." 

As tbe Democratic state conventions were held in 
the different commonwealths, it was seen that there would 

(1) Ohio. 

(2) Muzzy's American History, p. 570, n. 2. 



iikely be many "favorite sous" placed iu nomination for 
President at Chicago iu July, Bland, of Missouri, author 
of ihe Silver Act of 1878, was perhaps most prominently 
mentioned ; aud other Southern States possessed cham- 
pions of ability and distinction. Strange to say, the boom 
for Senator Jones did not start in Arkansas. Eastern 
newspapers began to show their advocacy of "the plumed 
knight" on account of the leadership he had for years 
evinced in the Senate. All knew that while a silver 
enthusiast, he was by no meaus one of the most radical, 
and that if the choice of the Democracy for President he 
would have strong support in the East. They knew, fur- 
thermore, that on account of his personal popularity 
among the Republicans he would have thousands of ad- 
herents among the dissatisfied elements of that party. 
Then, too, many thought that the time had come when the 
President should hail once more from the South. 

From the Arkansas Democrat Bureau at Washington 
came an enthusiastic report of the Jones sentiment at the 
national capital: "It is not giving away any secret 
to state that a large element of the silver Demo- 
crats warmly favor the nomination of Senator James K. 
Jones at the hands of the convention. His selection is 
common gossip in the hotels aud chambers of the capitol 
building, and only Senator Jones's wishes in the matter 
have prevented the flame from spreading to the outside 
world." Prominent eastern Democrats, it stated, ardent 
free silver advocates, and including no less commanding a 
personage than Arthur Sew T all, national committeeman 
from Maine, and others from Massachusetts, Counecticut, 
Vermont and New Hamshire, favored him. 



When McKinley was nominated by the -Republicans, 
Llie number oiJones enthusiasts increased; for it had been 
niainiy through the iniiuence and efforts of Senator Jones 
that the McKinley protective tariff measure had been re- 
pealed by the Wilson law, and the leaders believed that 
me oiu enemies should ue pitted against each other in this 
great battle. Furthermore, they "pooh-poohed'' the as- 
sertion that his being a (Southerner and an ex-Confederate 
soldier would, as he thought, injure his candidacy. "He 
would be especially strong in New England and New 
York," they said, "and would sweep the South and West." 

The Gazette quoted an editorial from the Hot Springs 
News bearing a strong endorsement of Mr. Jones, and 
added (±) : "(Senator Jones is the equal of any of the emi- 
nent men whose names have been mentioned in connection 
with the Ueniocratic nomination for President." And 
irom this time on until the assembling of the Arkansas 
•State Convention {'2) the Gazette repeatedly urged the ad- 
visabiiity of Arkansas' putting up her favorite son, as other 
Southern States were doing. Mr. Bland sent a special 
.L-quest by telegram that his own name not be presented 
io the convention against that of his good friend, Mr. 

But it was of course improbable that the National 
Convention would nominate him if the delegates from his 
own State did not propose his name at Chicago. When 
the State Convention met in Little Kock the launching of 
his name seemed to be the absorbing theme. And it was 
in this convention, 1 think, that there came to Mr. Jones 

( 1 ) I ssue of June 13, 1896. 

(2) June 18. 


the supreme test of that unselfishness which was the car- 
dinal tenet of his character. From the first the enemies 
of the Senator tried to keep from their fellow statesman 
this signal honor. An effort was made almost at the 
verv opening to storm the convention for Bland. A large 
portrait of the Missourian was brought into view. Bui 
l lie proposition overwhelmingly failed, amid the greatest 
confusion ; and some of Mr. Jones's narrow-minded per- 
sonal enemies were thus repudiated. 

Standing there, however, amid the approving shouts 
of the friendly majority in that body, the tall chieftain 
who had for so long honored Arkansas, who deserved, if 
anybody ever did, this compliment at their hands, was 
broad, brave and liberal enough to urge them not to 
place his name in nomination. It is always interesting 
to study a man at his supreme hour, his test-moment. 
Many there be, of public prominence, who refuse to 
hear the siren voice of political preferment up to a 
certain stage, when the allurement becomes irresistable ; 
but I claim it takes a James K. Jones to stand up boldly 
and turn down an endorsement which would probably 
mean a nomination for the Presidency of the United 
States! Robert E. Lee was not more unselfish nor pa- 
triotic when he refused to "take up arms against his na- 
tive State," than Senator Jones when for the sake of what 
he deemed a better chance of party victory and the 
triumph of the cause in the advocacy of which he had 
rendered up his best gifts, he sacrificed his highest per- 
sonal ambition! 

Notwithstanding Mr. Jones's belief that the delegates 



should go uninstructed as to who should carry the 
standard of the party, that they might stand united only 
on the great issue at stake, that the Chicago Convention 
might declare for the double standard by a good majori- 
ty ; yet, when he refused to be considered the choice of 
the Democracy of his State, the delegates in the conven- 
tion were influenced by a small majority to instruct for 
Mr. Bland. 

As the time for the great Chicago assembly approach- 
ed it was felt that a perfect organization of the silver 
forces had been effected. Mr. Jones would win on the 
morrow. The next morning the Gazette head-line read : 
METALLIC FORCES. It was found that Mr. Jones and 
his Memphis committee had won their fight, and numbered 
a little more than two thirds of the delegates assembled 
He demanded that a free silver advocate be made the 
temporary chairman of the convention, that the cause 
misht have a fair chance. This was done. Senator 
Daniel, of Virginia, being given the place. Mr. Jones 
himself, being the recognized leader of the organization 
which had won the victory, was very properly given the 
Chairmanship of the Committee on Platforms and Reso 1 !!- 
tions. He did not write the platform adopted at Chicago, 
but he revised its composition. I think that the most of 
it was penned by Hon. Charles H. Jones, then Editor of 
the Saint Louis Post Dispatch. T know that the money 
plank in the platform was in substance the same as that 
written by William Jennings Bryan, the Nebraska mem- 


ber of the Platforms Committee. On account of the fact 
that the delegation from that State had been shut out of 
the Convention and had to contest their places before they 
were seated, Bryan did not get to participate in the com- 
mittee's deliberations until practically all of the platform 
had been adopted by it. And the committee did not then 
know — a fact that everybody afterwards learned — that it 
was the pen of the young Westerner which traced the 
money plank in Jones's platform. 

As soon as this work was completed in committee 
it became a problem as to who should lead in the advocacy 
of its adoption by the convention. It was the third day, 
little had been done, and the strain by this time was get- 
ting somewhat dangerous. No one except Tillman, of 
South Carolina, had asked for time to discuses the new plat- 
form. Shortly after the Committee had reached the Con- 
vention Hall, Senator Jones sent for Mr. Bryan and 
asked him to conduct the discussion. It was out of Mr. 
Jones's time that Bryan set the convention afire with 
the memorable "'cross of gold'' speech which heralded him 
to the world as the foremost orator of the continent, and 
which will stand for all time as his greatest effort. It 
was partially at least the result of this passionate out- 
burst of the "boy orator of the Platte," that the majority 
report of the Committee on Platforms, embodying the free 
silver plank, was adopted. The vote was taken immedi- 
ately after he had set the convention wild and the thun- 
der of applause had subsided. Six votes more than the 
necessary two thirds were cast in its favor, the register 
standing 528 to 301. As a consequence of this speech 



Bryan was nominated on the fifth ballot to champion the 
cause of silver in the contest for the Presidency. 

That night Senator Jones was closeted with the nomi- 
nee for hours, discussing the running mate problem. 
Here again, I am sure that if Mr. Jones had insisted on, 
or even permitted it, he would have been the recipient of 
personal honor. His own consent was all that would have 
been necessary to insure his nomination for the vice- 
presidency, the team-mate of William Jennings Bryan. 
But again he buried himself in the "cause," and said: 
"Let it be some other." 

On the eleventh the National Committee met, Bryan 
and Sewall both being present, aud Senator Jones was 
unanimously chosen Chairman of that team to conduct 
the campaign. Bryan would listen to nothing else than 
the appointment to this position of the friend who had 
given him the opportunity of his life. "While the main 
reason for this," said Mr. Bryan (1), "was that the Sena- 
tor had been the head of the organization which had won 
the convention, and was therefore the logical man to lead 
the fight during the campaign, T had a personal reason in 
addition, namely, that it gratified my own desire to show 
my appreciation of the favor he had done me in giving me 
an opportunity to defend the platform before the conven- 

In other connections I have emphasized Mr. Jones's 
special ability, out of his many excellent gifts, to manage 
and control people at critical times. The best evidence 
of this, so far cited, was his tactful and splendid control 

(1) Appendix, Bryan on Senator Jones, p. 


of the Democrats in the United States Senate when the 
Wilson Bill was up in 18 ( J3. It was a still bigger job, 
however, to manage six hundred rampant free silver dele- 
gates on the floor of the Chicago Convention, especially 
when nearly all of them seemed constantly clamoring 
for a chance to speak. The chairman of that gathering 
and the whole retinue of silver delegates, from Altgeld, 
who himself loved so well to dictate, down to the timid 
and modest representative who was then attending his 
first national convention, alike were the servants of James 
K. Jones. He managed them with ease, because the silver 
men had been imbued with the idea that the "cause" was 
paramount to any individual ambition to be noticed or to 
shine. Jones was the embodiment of the "cause," and 
the silverites had the most implicit faith in him. At 
times, nevertheless, dozens of delegates were on the floor, 
seeking recognition from the Chair, who would look from 
one to the other, hesitating as to which he should recog- 
nize. Thereupon the huge bulk of Senator Jones would 
rise in the aisle to the right of the stage, where he sat at 
the head of the Arkansas delegation beside the venerable 
SenatorBerry,shove back the hard bottom chair in which 
he had been sitting, make a speaking trumpet of his hands, 
and turn loose his great voice in two words : "Mr. Chair- 
man!" The clamor would subside at once. The Chair 
would then turn to the right as if moved by the touch of 
an electric button, and say: "Senator Jones, of Arkan- 
sas." The latter would then speak a few easy, simple 
words, and sit down. There was no need of harshness: 



quiet words would do just as well, or better. The greal 
chieftain, ever sitting silently there, saying little, hearing 
everything, seemingly reticent, if not embarrassed, was a 
study. "There Jones of Arkansas sits," said a corres- 
pondent, "during the floods of oratory and through the 
long, tedious roll calls, and seems to dream with head 
thrown back against the standard pole of his State, and 
eyes half closed, vest open and loose, soft .shirt bosom 
catching every breeze that sweeps through the great hall. 
As the roll call ends, or as the convention pauses to take 
up a new detail of business, -Jones rises in the aisle. He 
sees everybody in the hall. He is on guard until all dan- 
ger of any foolish procedure in the silver ranks, or crafty 
move by the gold-bugs, has passed. Then he sits down. 
The big leaders of the State delegations crowd around 
him. Governor Stone, of Missouri, Governor Altgeld, 
of Illinois. Senator Turpie, of Indiana. Senator White, of 
California, Governor McLaurin and Senator Money, of 
Mississippi, all wish to know the next step in the program. 
Jones, of Arkansas, tells them." 

Once during the coarse of debate Senator Tillman, 
the South Carolina "pitchfork," took the stand and voiced 
his exultation that the silver problem was a sectional one. 
An uproar followed and Tillman's voice was drowned. 
Immediately. Mr. Jones was on his feet, easily obtained 
the attention of I lie convention, and in a few well chosen 
words repudiated the idea that there was any sectional- 
ism in the issue, slating that the canso of the white metal 
was "as broad as the land." It was not only not sec- 
tional, it was not even national; it was international. 


The confusion was hushed, and quiet order again pre- 

On another occasion lie adjourned the session merely 
by saying: "After the adjournment the Committee on 
Resolutions will meet at the Palmer House." The silver- 
ites heard Jones say "adjourn," and Ihat ended every- 
thing. They put on their hats and left the hall. Again, 
after he had read the platform and Bryan had electrified 
the convention by his oratory in its behalf, someone mov- 
ing to ballot before the air could cool, Mr. Jones moved to 
adjourn, and the adjournment was accomplished without 
even the formality of a vote. 

There is not the shadow of a doubt that James K. 
Jones was the leader in that great assemblage — so far, in- 
deed, as such a body of free and independent Americans 
< ;m lie led. "He was the master spirit of the convention. 

His superb leadership Avas recognized by everybody 

the directing genius of the silver forces in everything — 
and not a mistake was made (1)." 

The best thing here revealed, however, in the make-up 
of Mr. Jones — and T wish to emphasize this — was not the 
masterful way in which he managed the convention, but 
rather the unselfish spirit Avhich marked his every act. 
Above all things he desired the success of the cause in the 
interests of which he had zealously labored. Tt was his 
motto that the ambitions of no man should stand in the 
way of its triumph. "No crown could tempt him." went 
on the Gazette, "to swerve from what he considered to be 
the general good; and therein James K. Jones showed his 
(1) Gazette editorial, July 14. 



greatness. Arkansas has a right to feel proud of him. 
His faithfulness to his party and to his country will in 
time receive recognition in higher honors than have yet 
been bestowed upon him (1)." 

In the choice of Mr. Jones as Chairman of the Na- 
tional Committee, the party was given the benefit of all 
the Senator's splendid talents as a political diplomat. In 
selecting him. said one of the papers of the State (2), they 
"simply wanted the biggest, brainiest and best Democrat 
in the United States in this position ; and that being the 
case, whom else could they have chosen?" The selection 
elicited comment from the leading papers of the country, 
and brought him more prominently than ever into the 
public eye. The four men most talked about in the United 
States at the time were Bryan and McKinley, Mark Hanna 
and James K. Jones. Their names were to be found in 
almost every newspaper column in the country ; their pic- 
tures abounded in the magazines; they were heralded far 
and wide "in lithograph, cartoon and song," and by every 
other means of communication. 

The National Chairmanship of either of the great 
political parties in this country is a position the perform- 
ance of whose duties demands versatile talents. The man 
who fills this responsible place must be at once a judicious 
and provident political organizer, a master of tactics, a 
wise and statesmanlike manager of measures and of men. 
He must have a cool head: under no conditions must he 
allow himself to become rattled. It devolves upon him 

(1) No doubt of it: if Bryan had been elected in 1S96, 
Mr. Jones would in all probability have been given the leading 
place in the Cabinet. 

(2) Cross Country Citizen. 



to raise the funds necessary to conduct the campaign, 
organize the machinery of election, speak for the party of 
current issues, and stand general sponsor to the party 
and the candidates. (Said Charles Daniel, critic and lit- 
erary sharp, contrasting Hanna and Jones: "1 have seen 
both the Chairmen at work in their headquarters here (1). 

Both are easily approached, pleasant and hospitable 

There is no formal ceremony at their doors." But, "the 
methods of the two men are as widely different as day and 
night. Mark Hanna represents the element of force: 
James K. Jones is the personification of peace. Hanna 
controls by sheer power: Jones directs his men by love. 
Hanna is firni, blunt, rough-shod : Jones is courtly, gentle 
and pleasant. Hanna stands for iron rule, while Jones 

would rule by the consent of his associates Hanna 

wants votes for McKinley, no matter how he gets them: 
Jones seeks to win the nation for Bryan by appeal to 

reason Hanna is working for the purpose of electing 

a President, that he and his friends may enjoy power and 
favor. Jones is laboring in what he considers the cause 
of the people." 

The fight of 1890 was an unequal one. Notwithstand- 
ing the whirlwind campaign of Bryan in behalf of silver 
and the consequent aggravation of the popular sentiment 
in its favor; notwithstanding the Democrats were mar- 
shalled by the best brain the party or country could pro- 
duce, yet Hanna and the Republican machine had behind 
them the unlimited wealth of the moneyed classes of the 
nation. They were backed by the government itself, be- 

(1) Chicago. They were just across the street from each 



cause their party was in power. The men under their 
Chairman worked hard because they knew they would be 
well paid for their services. Mr. Jones, on the other hand, 
presided over an empty treasury. His party was poverty 
stricken. He represented the common people. What as- 
sistance he received came from those who labored for love. 
His forces were marshalled under the hag of patriotism 
and not patronage; of poverty and not power. "On one 
side the people are poor," said Mr. Jones himself, "dis- 
organized, and occupied with the struggle for a living; 
hence we cannot, if we would, 'fight the devil with fire,' 
but must rely upon the patriotism and manhood of the 
masses.'' He hurried to register his faith in those masses, 
however: "The American people cannot be bullied, 
bought or hoodwinked." 

One of the difficult problems whose solution depended 
largely upon Mr. Jones, was the conciliating and winning 
over of the Populists. The latter had met in convention 
at Chicago shortly after the Democratic assembly had 
adjourned, and while they had nominated Bryan as their 
candidate for the Presidency, had placed their own leader, 
Thomas E. Watson, of Georgia, on the ticket with him. 
The serious proposition of obtaining Populist electors 
had to be handled carefully. Concessions had to be made 
to their leaders. And Mr. Jones arranged with Marion 
Butler, of North Carolina, the Populist National Chair- 
man, for the support of the Populists in the Tar Heel 
State, whose electors were divided between Democrats, 
Populists and Republicans. Unless he could get Mr. But- 
ler to agree to unite with the Democrats in North Caro- 


Una, the Republicans would likely gain the State. Butler 
consented only upon condition thai Mr. Jones would take 
out two Democratic electors in Arkansas, and put two 
Populists in their places. This was the only chance to 
win North Carolina, and Mr. Jones agreed to do it. This 
incident simply shows that the fearless knight possessed 
a patriotism which reached beyond the confines of his own 
Slate; that he was willing to pawu his personal popularity 
to the extent that another State might be brought "within 
the pale." 

Notwithstanding all was being done that could be 
done, both by the committee and the candidates, to make 
the people realize the stupendous magnitude of the issue 
to be decided by them at the polls, "I believe the magni- 
tude of the struggle is not appreciated by most of the 
people," wrote Senator Jones to his old friend, Colonel 
Slemmons. "It involves the welhbeing of civilized men 
everywhere." He was nevertheless able to telegraph J. 
N. Smithee, editor of the Gazette, on the eve of the elec- 
tion, "The campaign is closed, and victory has been won if 
the Republicans are not able to defraud us in the election. 
1 have an abiding faith in the intelligence and courage of 
the people of this country." At midnight of election day 
(1 ) he was able to say : "Mr. Bryan is certainly elected" ; 
and it was only after several days that he conceded the 
success of Major McKinley. 

From his heart Mr. Jones believed that the defeat of 
the Democrats was brought about "by every kind of co- 
ercion and intimidation on (he part of the money power, 
(1) November 1. 



including threats of lock-outs and dismissals and impend- 
ing starvation; by the employment of by far the largest 
campaign fund ever raised in this country, and by the 
subornation of a large portion of the American Press." 
Defeated but unsurrendering, he was able to conclude: 
•'The Democratic party, aided by its present allies, will 
still uplift the bimetallic standard, and bear it on to vic- 
tory We shall not abandon our tight for silver, which 

is a just cause, and one that is bound to triumph." 

The strain of the great campaign over, and its ar- 
duous and taxing labors ended, Mr. Jones returned to 
Arkansas to take a short rest. At Hope, his then home, 
he was accorded a great reception by his neighbors. A 
mighty outpouring greeted the returning chief as hv. 
alighted from his train, a crowd such as a decade before 
had received him as he returned to rest after the sensa- 
tional deadlock in the Arkansas legislature had resulted 
in his election to the United States Senate. The same 
loyal people of Hempstead County, strong in their appre- 
ciation of his worth, greeted their hero with unbounded 
enthusiasm, alike in victory and defeat. In a beautiful 
carriage decorated with white chrysanthemums and drawn 
by white steeds, he was taken to the home of his daughter, 
after he had made a short speech of thanks. And his 
home paper thus fittingly summed up his conduct of the 
great battle: "He never made a mistake nor spoke an 
imprudent word during the exciting campaign!" 


It must be kept constantly before the reader that the 
point of difference between the Democrats and Republi- 


cans iii the contest which we have just studied, was not 
bimetallism itself, but rather the method of procuring it. 
'1 regard the recent election/' said Mr. Jones on the Sen- 
ate tioor, when Congress assembled in December (1), "as 
an almost unanimous declaration in favor of bimetall- 
ism." And later he said (2) : "I believe the time was 
never in the history of this country when the convictions 
of the great body of the American people were so firmly 
fixed as they are now that we must have the free and un- 
limited coinage of silver so as to increase the volume of cir- 
culating money and to bring the value of the dollar to 
what it was justly and equitably worth in 1873." 

So strong was the silver sentiment among the people 
at large, he thought, that, "if every leading man in the 
United States were to turn his back upon it, I tell you the 
people would not stop .... and" — referring to the charge 
that some of the champions were retracting — "the men who 
are laying the flattering unction to their souls that they 
are abandoning the fight may as well make up their 
minds now that they are going to wake up and find them- 
selves mistaken, as they did when they predicted that we 
had gone to pieces in 1896." 

I said that the "bone of contention" between the 

parties had been the method of obtaining what the great 

majority in both of them doubtless desired. Let it be 

borne in mind that the llepublicans had declared for an 

"international agreement" on bimetallism, while the 

Democrats had urged independent action on the part of 

the United States. The contest of 189G therefore settled 

(1)1896. 54 Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 1299f. 
(2) 55 Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 1132f. 



nothing permanently; and it was a matter still open for 
discussion, debate, and, if possible, decision. In the 
metropolitan press, upon the hustings and on the floor 
of Congress there continued much agitation of the prob- 
lem. The position of Mr. Jones continued to be one of 
favoring first of all international agreement, and, if that 
failed, initiative action for silver on the part of the Am- 
erican government. "I was one of those who believed," 
lie said (1), "that it was impossible to get the great nations 
of the earth to agree upon bimetallism for the present, 
and believing that the best interests of the people of the 
United States would be subserved by independent action 
if we could not procure concurrent action, I have favored 
such independent action on the part of this government." 
Turning to the future, however, he continued: "I believe 
the greatest question now challenging the attention of 
the civilized world will have been settled and settled suc- 
cessfully if we can bring about an international agree- 
ment, fheartsof peace will develop as they have never done 
before and mankind will enter upon a period of advance- 
ment and progress the like of which has never been be- 

Mr. Jones had hopes of such an agreement. He did 
not know that it would come within the decade; but of 
its ultimate coming, or at least an international re-ad- 
justment of the world's financial system, he had little 
doubt. But he did not think such re-adjustment entirely 
dependent upon international assent or concurrence; for 
he felt that if America took the lead the other nations 
would follow. "If the other countries will not join us in 
(1) 54 Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 1299f. 



this great movement in the interest of humanity, it is our 
duty to undertake it alone. When the right is clear, ob- 
stacles should not be allowed to deter us from doing our 

duty 1 am an American, proud of my country, aud 

I believe that we are more capable of taking care of our- 
selves and controlling the rest of the world than any other 
nation on earth." 

Mr. . I ones was ready and willing at all times to 
answer, and from his place in the Senate repeatedly in- 
vited, the criticisms of the Kepublicaus and the public at 
large, of his management of the Bryan campaign of 1890. 
"I have no objection," he said (1), in answer to an insin- 
uation of a Kepublicau who mentioned it in the course of 
debate, "to having an investigation of what was done in 
the progress of that campaign. I am ready anywhere, 
before any committee which can be constituted by this or 
any other bod}', to give a complete and exact account of 
every cent that came into the treasury of the Democratic 
party — the amount of it, and where it went, showing ex- 
actly what was done with it." 


So much for the prominent part which James K. 
Jones performed for the American Democracy in the mem- 
orable struggle of 1896 and for post-campaigu discussions. 
During the presidential term which ended in 1900, the 
issues became more complex, so that the next campaign 
was to be necessarily different from the former one. A 
war had been fought with Spain, leaving the United 
States in control of the Eastern Archaepelago, with 

(1) 55 Cong,, 2 Sess., p. 473 of Appendix. 



millions of souls as our charge and millions of acres of 
laud tlie trust property of the government; and anti- 
imperialism took its place alongside the other issues to 
be decided. The Republican policy of management was 
to be approved or rejected. The whole business of Phil- 
ippine control was disgusting, even to those who believed 
that it had to be done with ail the unrelenting firmness 
displayed by the American soldiery on the Islands. And 
the anti-imperialists taunted the administration with 
having changed the original conflict, which was begun as 
a noble warfare for the liberation of the Cuban, into a 
"diabolical campaign for the enslavement of the Filipino." 

Meantime the silver issue had not changed in the 
slightest detail or part, and the stringency caused by a 
continuation of the single standard continued. The Dem- 
ocrats had not been solidly for silver, and the "gold-bugs" 
had put out a separate ticket. The great party was split 
into two irreconcilable camps. Nevertheless the country 
realized that the election of McKinley upon the "business 
platform" of Mark Hanna, fastened still more strongly 
upon our country a tyranny of trusts, the enormity of 
whose outrages the people are only today realizing, and 
today taking courage to attack. 

The campaign of 1896 had attracted sufficient atten- 
tion to gold that the output of that metal had increased 
in amazing measure. The trouble had been that the 
small amount of standard money had resulted in low 
prices, laborers had been turned out of work by the thous- 
ands, and a consequent business depression and discour- 
agement had followed. But when the Democrats had 



focused the searchlight of rigid investigation upon the 
system, the world responded with an unprecedented vol- 
ume of gold, and rising prices and a temporary prosperity 
came in the years just following 1896. Responding to the 
demand for currency reform, the Republican Senate in 
1897 enacted a new currency law, the general effect of 
which was to place within the national banks the practi- 
cal control of the circulation, which created a great na- 
tional debt, delegating to private interests the authority 
to supplement all deficiencies in the circulating medium 
by the issuance of a paper currency whose volume they 
should regulate, and the people be taxed to support. 

Against this iniquitous scheme, Democracy lifted its 
protest again in 1900. Money was not made the "para- 
mount issue" this time as before, for the reason that "the 
burning issue of imperialism growing out of the Spanish 
War involves the very existence of the Republic and the 
destruction of our free institutions (1)." And yet the 
platform this time reiterated the demand of 1896 for an 
"American financial system made by the American peo- 
ple for themselves, which shall restore and maintain a 
bimetallic price level, and as a part of such system the im- 
mediate restoration of the free and unlimited coinage of 
silver and gold at the legal ratio of sixteen to one, without 
waiting for the aid or consent of any other nation." 

Mr. Bryan was the almost unanimous choice of the 
Kansas City Convention for the standard bearer of the 
party. And he could find no man who he thought would 
with greater ability and better hopes of success manage 

(1) Platform of the Democratic party, 1900. 



his campaign, than James K. Jones. It was to "the 
Plumed Knight of Arkansas" that he turned again for 
leadership. The man who went through the trials of the 
remarkable battle of 1896 was chosen, "with propriety 
and manifest wisdom," to lead the hosts of silver and the 
principle of anti-imperialism. 

Mr. Jones, worn out and on the very verge of physi- 
cal collapse, had gone abroad the previous year, and had 
spent some months wandering liesurely about the con- 
tinent, resting and building up. From this trip he had 
come back with renewed vigor and activity, ready for the 
arduous duties of the campaign. He brought to this 
noble work the ability and strength which comes only 
from experience. Now advanced in age. ripe in the knowl- 
edge of the science of political management, he was able 
to bring still greater powers to bear for the success of the 
party than before. 

But it was the same old story of a lack of funds, a 
sole dependence upon patriotism and the betrayal of the 
people by the trusts. Jones and Bryan lost again : no 
man or group of men could have possibly won at this time. 
The result was accepted as the verdict of the people upon 
the single issue of imperialism, namely, that the situa- 
tion in the Philippines should be accepted as the "manifest 
destiny" of the United States — a bitter fruit of war. 
The money question was placed in a back-ground from 
which it has not, to the present day, emerged. 

Summing up, let me say that there began, under the 
able leadership of Jones, Bryan, Altgeld, and others, a 
study of the great problem of finance in this country that 


will not end until the problem is settled in the interest 
of fairness to all men. The common people today are 
discussing the question as never before in the history of 
our country. It is the most complex and vexing subject 
with which the statesmanship of America must deal. 
Upon it depend, about it revolve, all the oilier problems 
affecting the happiness and well-being of mankind. In 
every routes! since 181)0 the money question has been 
contused with or submerged by other issues, and has 
therefore never come squarely before the people for their 
determination at the polls. But the masses are thinking; 
and its ultimate solution is perhaps at no distant day. 

To use language of "Coin" Harvey (1), the campaigns 
of 1896 and 1000 land especially the former), "when 
Senator Jones was at the head of the organized forces of 
the Democratic party, began a study of the money ques- 
tion which will continue until the problem is solved, or 
until the world sinks into another dark age." 

I cannot conclude this chapter without quoting the 
brief but tender tribute paid to Mr. Jones by Mr. O. O. 
Stealey, Washington correspondent for the Louisville 
Courier- Journal, "Marse Henry's" famous sheet, partly be- 
cause it applies especially to his personal conduct as 
campaign manager, and partly because it evinces the 
party's confidence in the character of the man: "A bet- 
ter Democrat or man more devoted to his party and its 
principles never lived than James Kimbrough Jones. To 
the harsh criticism of his 'rainbow chasing,' and the many 
keen, unkind jibes and thrusts of the opposition press for 
his management of the two Bryan campaigns, he made ab- 



solutely no reply. They may have hurt the old man, but 
in the knowledge that he had done his duty as a man, a 
patriot and a Democrat, he let them rail and snarl." 




A man could scarcely have been a member of the Sen- 
ate of the United States from 1885 to 1003 and really have 
done his full duty without voicing at some length his 
views upon the problem of the Indian. Its importance 
comes not only from the fact that it comprised all the 
questions relative to the treatment and development of a 
race of people on this continent, but also because out of it 
and dependent upon the outcome was the matter of the 
increase of government lands, and thus, indirectly, the 
people who live upon these lands, the homesteaders. It 
is the opinion of many statesmen that the Indians have 
been grossly mistreated at the hands of the United States 
government, while others think that their management 
has been one of consideration, care and diligence. The 
fact that for many years Senator Jones was on the very 
important Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and for 
some time perhaps the most influential member, lends 
great significance to the views he expressed upon the Sen- 
ate floor and in committee conferences. According to my 
estimate of his work in this direction, he shows as clearly 
here as anywhere else that with him characteristically 
comprehensive, all-sided view which can come only from 
broad and unbiased statesmanship. I shall in this treat- 
ment, as in the preceding chapters, feel at liberty to quote 
freely from his public utterances from time to time, that 
an estimate may be clearly drawn by the reader. 

Since the days of Columbus, Father Marquette, Joliet 



and others of Ilia! time, few men have had, the high mo- 
tive of Christianizing and educating the red men on this 
continent; and it is only the legislation of recent years 
in that direction thai can be characterized by much more 
than an underlying greed to get the lands which belonged 
to them, and sell them out to whomsoever would pay the 
highest price. 

Mr. Jones objected very strenuously to the what he 
called exorbitant appropriations for the education of the 
Indians, notwithstanding the fact that he was one of the 
strongest friends the red men had in Congress. He 
showed that a great number of unnecessary teachers and 
working forces were employed, in proportion to the num- 
ber of pupils enrolled in many of the schools for Indians. 
Referring to the education of the Indians in a general 
way. he said (1) : "I do not believe that you can ever 
make any civilazation that is not based primarily on the 
Christian religion. I do not believe that any teaching 
you can undertake to give the Indian child in school is 
going to do him any good unless you teach him some re- 
spect for the religion that the Bible teaches and we 

ought not to allow any mere feeling of partisan bias or 
sectional prejudice to influence us to legislate against 
any one denomination simply because it has shown a 
disposition to go further and spend more money and labor 
and exercise more thought and more diligence in the de- 
velopment of this great work than another denomination." 
Aside from its bearing directly upon the subject under 
discussion, let me say that T have found nowhere among 

(1) 51 Cong., 1 Sess.. pp, Tfiof— bill H. R. 10726. 


the public utterances of Senator Jones sentences that to 
my mind more clear]}' mark the stainless character and 
Christian statesmanship of the man, and his anxiety to 
reflect it in the practical legislation with the making of 
which he had to do, than those just quoted. Here again, 
too, we see the breadth of the man. As on other occa- 
sions, with reference to political matters, like the dis- 
tinguished Arkansas Senator before him, Augustus H. 
Garland, who had stood up and called upon his fellows 
to come out above prejudice and bias, and vote upon the 
higher plane of justice and the right, we find Mr. Jones 
pleading for the removal of the gangreen of greedy preju- 
dice which existed among the denominations represented 
on the Senate floor. 

But further: "It seems to me that when the govern- 
ment in defraying the entire expenses of Indian education 
in the government schools, which the Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs has estimated at one hundred and seventy- 
five dollars a year on an average, the children who are 

Catholic in their tendencies, or Methodist or Presbv- 

tcriau should attend their denominational schools. 

and it is nothing but fair that the government bear so 
much of their expenses as amounts to that average of one 
hundred and seventy-five dollars a year. That is carry- 
ing out i he constitutional doctrine that there shall be no 
interference with the rights of religious belief in this conn 

Aside from its duty to foot the bill for the red man's 
education, and permit him to exercise his judgment in 
the matter of religion, the government had certain other 



duties to perform, and other responsibilities to bear, in 
fulfillment of a standing contract. It was on a resolu- 
tion (1) introduced by Mr. Vest, of Missouri, authorizing 
the appointment of a commission to treat with the civilized 
tribes of the Indian territory with a view to making agree- 
ments to induce them to take homesteads in severalty, 
that Senator Jones explained briefly the situation at the 
time among the American Indians. In sternly opposing 
the bill, he clearly showed the duties of the government 
toward these people. Under all the treaties made from 
1830 to the time of the proposal of the resolution, he said, 
those tribes were guaranteed the right to maintain their 
governments as they had them. And their rights had to 
be first disposed of before the federal government could 
extend any sort of sovereignty, territorial or state, over 
them. Any attempt to arbitrarily extend authority over 
them would be clearly in violation of the treaties. He de- 
clared that there was no inducement which Congress 
could possibly offer them to make them abandon their 
tribal organization, unless it were willing to give them 
something which they would regard as compensation for 
what they were compelled to give up. "If this proposition 
of the Senator from Missouri," he went on. "were carried 
out and the Indians were authorized to take their lands in 
severalty, there would be no inducement on the face of 
the earth that we could present to the Indians which 
would lead them to give up their tribal organizations and 
become citizens of the United States." 

The treatment of individual Indians in some cases by 
(1) Senate Resolution 117, 52 Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 97f. 



ineinoers oi tiie government council appointed iu watch 
anu keep constant survenunce over tneni, make up a hor- 
iioie cnapier in tne History ui our government's uununis- 
uanon 01 us internal an airs, ine inistiea Linen is oi Uiese 
ignorant people on tne pari oi me council's unscrupulous 
iiieinotisnip, amount m some cases lo Homing sHort oi 
outrages, iu tile ueuaie over me inuian appropriation 
bin [l) oi turee years later, we una Mr. Jones speaking 
mtnn, inougn nut long at any time, in benalt oi tne rigiits 
01 tuese suameiuiiy ueceived people. Once during the de- 
tune tne scene became rather dramatic, fcsome years 
ago ne nau, ne saiu, been at the capital oi the Cherokee 
nation, anu Unerokees not a stone's throw iroin where 
tne council was sitting had told him that they were abso- 
lutely without Homes and that they had been unable, des- 
pite tne most earnest eiiorts, to get a fair division oi the 
ianu. then he said : "i have in my pocket now a letter 
ii-oni an inuian stating that in an eiiort he made a short 
time ago to provide a home for a younger member of his 
iainiiy, alter a fence had been placed around a piece of 
land, the fence was torn down in the night by the emis- 
saries of a man "who is now sitting in the galleries of the 
Senate (2), who is listening to this debate, and who has 
been making arguments in private conversation with sen- 
ators to show that there should be no change in the status 
of things existing down there." 

It was beyond question true that men who were In- 
dians by blood, and about whose right to land there could 
have been no dispute, were refused rights on the tribal 

(1) H. R. 6249, 54 Cong., 1 Sess., pp. 3712 f. 

(2) Italics are miue. 



role simply because they had no money to pay corrupt and 
vicious counsellors for corrupt and vicious votes. The 
tacts connected with the treatment of those men during 
those years, are so notorious that no one will now deny 
them. The members of the councils of overseers would 
usually pay no more attention to the complaints of these 
poor men than if their importunities were the braying of 
hungry mules or the bleating of unprotected sheep (1). 

"1 have heard members of the council openly laugh 
about it in the hotels at the capital of the nation," he 
said. "They do not make any secret of it. It is the most 
corrupt pretense of a government that exists on the face 
of the earth." 

When these men brought their complaints into the 
United States Senate, thinking surely to get some relief 
here, stating that they had been robbed of their patri- 
mony, and showing that they were entitled to some land 
and a place to live in .... "we invoke technicalities," he 
said, "and say we will not give them what the treaties re- 
quire that we shall give them." He even went so far as 
to say that if the matter of the unjust treatment was to 
be continually dismissed on the ground of technicalities, 
he thought the Committee on Indian Affairs ought at least 
to be discharged from all responsibility of the shameful 

( 1 ) Let it be understood that the writer here refers not 
so much to the United States Commission to the Five Civilized 
Tribes, of which two prominent Arkansans. Captain MeKennon 
and Honorable Clifton Breckenridge, were at different times mem- 
bers, as to those dunning to he tribal authorities and arbitrarily 
preparing rolls to suit themselves. It is not true, of course, that 
men were excluded from the United States government rolls be- 
cause of their lack of money. There were no corrupt influences 
controlling the men who constituted the United States Commis- 
sion having charge of the preparation of the official rolls. 



evil. "1 am heartsick/' he said, " and disgusted with the 
efforts that have been made here and with the defeats 
that have been met." 

In the matter of courts among the Indians, too, Mr. 
-Jones had some very pronounced views. He was un- 
willing, despite the high character and good intentions of 
thousands of red men, to allow them to hold their own 
courts, lie favored the establishment of such tribunals 
as that at Fort Smith, Arkansas, a border town, to 
which were brought criminals from the territory to be 
tried, and where, before white magistrates, American citi- 
zens, they were given fair trials and wholesome justice. 
"I have been opposed," said he, "to allowing courts situ- 
ated in the Indian territory to have jurisdiction over all 
classes of crime, because the Endian courts are known to 
have fallen far short of the enforcement and administra- 
tion of justice. Crimes have been committed there be- 
tween Indians where the farce of a trial has been gone 
through with and bad men discharged without punish- 
ment at all when they have been guilty of the grossest 
crimes and these in great numbers." At least those, he 
thought, who had committed the most serious crimes 
should be brought away from the scene of their wrongs 
and to some such court as that at Fort Smith, w r here, 
with judge and jury uninfluenced by the power of the 
wrong-doers, a lair trial, an impartial judgment and a just 
punishment could be given. 

Of Mr. .lones's belief in the uprightness of many of 
the Indians, personally, and above all in their just rights 
to manage their own affairs according to the provisions 



of the treaties, we can now have no doubt. "There are 
many upright, law-abiding men in that country, and they 
are there by the thousands — men whose characters will 
not sutler by comparison with any here or elsewhere." 

But the up-shot of the whole discussion was, so far 
as this biography is concerned, the concluding statement 
that came in the plain and unmistakable words that ex- 
pressed his desire tor the red brothers to the West : "I for 
one hope to see the time come speedily when that Indian 
country will come into the Union as a State, or become 
a territory under the laws of the United States, just as in 
any other section of this country." 

No, the color line with (Senator Jones was neither 
taut nor strong enough to keep without the pale of the 
equal protection of the laws of the land even these untu- 
tored but honest red men. 


As intimated above, for the reason that much of the 
lauds owned by the fndians have been taken and sold 
for nomina! sums to homesteaders, and for the natural 
1 elation of the two subjects, I have thought best to treat 
them in conjunction. Mr. Jones did not favor the officials 
of the United States government cheating and defrauding 
the Indians out of the possession of the lands they once 
owned; but, on the other hand, as will be shown by re- 
citing parts of his utterances on the subject, he refused 
to give his sanction to the government's fancy prices for 
these lands. The Indians, he said, in many cases had a 
mere right of possession and did not own the land at all. 
They had simply been placed there for the purpose of oc- 


cupying the territories; and the large boundaries which 
had been granted in establishing their reservations from 
the tirst had been, as a rule, for the purpose of giving 
them hunting grounds. "We ought to pay a reasonable 
price ior extinguishing their right of occupancy in the 
land they do not use and never would use, and it 
ought to be paid with some degree of discretion and com- 
mon sense The time has come when Congress ought 

to put a stop to paying fancy prices, for any lands." 

in this view he was eminently correct. The Indians 
he had spoken of paid not one cent of taxes on the lands 
which had been given them as happy hunting grounds. 
Soine of them, greedy fellows, had simply staid on 
the land, and when the official came to buy it up that 
the government might dispose of it under better cir- 
cumstances and to purposes more beneficial, they sim- 
ply put their own prices upon it, and refused to take less. 
This was as unfair as the treatment accorded the 
Indians by the overseeing council told of above. The 
government ought, in cases of this kind, simply to take 
the lands and pay the Indians a fair and reasonable price 
for them. 

It is from this idea of the unfairness of some of the 
Indians who controlled extremely large quantities of land 
that we go into the subject of homesteaders. Kelative to 
these large holdings, on the part of homesteaders as well 
as Indians, Mr. Jones had some very strong beliefs. In 
the first place, he did not think that any lands belonging 
to the United States government ought to "lie out," but 
that all of them should be disposed of to citizens who 



wished to go to them and cultivate them and get a new 
start in life. "I do not believe that any law was ever 
passed by Congress (1)," he said, "which was wiser or 
more beneficent than the homestead law. 1 believe the 
public domain ought to be devoted to making homesteads 
in the country, and I do not care whether the land comes 
from an Indian reservation or anywhere else When- 
ever any land comes into the public domain it ought to be 
opened for settlement and used for that purpose wherever 
i( is possible to make homes of it." 

But now, more especially as to the size of the hoine- 
stead holdings from the government (2) : "I am opposed 
to putting a law in force to allow people to take a hun- 
dred and sixty acres of this irrigated land." While he 
was in favor of allowing the American people to locate 
upon all this western territory for homesteads, he was 
opposed to allowing any single entry to be larger than 
eighty acres. A few days later he said (3) : "The duty 
of this government is to make as many homesteads as 
possible. W T e want as many independent families, as 
many independent heads of families with wives and chil- 
dren, or separate homesteads owned in fee simple, as it is 
possible to have." 

It was in this connection that the Senator voiced his 
fear of the ultimate result of the large ownership of lands 
in general, and showed indirectly his view of the princi- 
ple of the income tax: "So far as I am concerned, 1 
would be glad to see adopted by the states and by the gov- 

(1) 57 Cong.. 1 Sess.. pp. 4916-4917. 

(2) Ibid. pp. 72820f. 

(3) Ibid, p. 8323. 



eminent some means of breaking up this system of owning 
lands in large quantities, somewhat on the principle of 
levying (axes upon incomes — for somewhere some old 
philosopher said (hat land is life.' In this country, I 
believe, if we are to preserve its form of government, it is 
lo rest upon the virtue of our people who live upon the 
homesteads of the country. And we ought, here and in 
eur state legislatures, to pass such laws as might be pro- 
ductive in making as many homes as possible and hav- 
ing as lew huge holders of land as is possible to bring 

Then again, in relation to this subject, Mr. Jones 
bciicved that there were certain obligations which the 
government, as well as the individual homesteader, must 
discharge. There was an implied contract on both sides. 
While it was the duty of the individual citizen to live 
upon and cultivate the land parted with to him by the 
government, the latter was "duty bound" to see that the 
settler was getting what he supposed he was getting from 
the government. "If the government sells more desert 
land sections," he said, '•than there is water to sup- 
ply them, somebody has been wronged by the government 
of the United States. It has no right to sell any indi- 
vidual land where the possibility of getting water is 
known not to exist. It therefore seems to me, that when 
the conditions are well known and well understood, it is 
the plain and simple duty of the government, before it 
parts with another acre of this land, to ascertain how 
much water there is in each irrigation drainage district 



that can be applied for reclamation uses to the benefit 
of the land." 

1 believe that his concluding words spoken in this 
connection in the first session of the fifty-first Congress 
perhaps more strongly than any of his other speeches in 
this connection, express his high regard for the home- 
steader : "I am as much interested in the building up of 
that magnificent country as anybody living outside of it. 
i have no pecuniary interest in it and never expect to 
have; but the time will never come while my heart beats 
that I shall not be proud to see the happiness and pros- 
perity and success of the people of the West — my own na- 
tion, my own people, blood of my blood, who are making 
homes in a country that has been heretofore a desert; 
who are making gardens where there has been heretofore 
nothing on the face of the earth to sustain man or beast." 

In the light of such sentences as these, there could 
be no question about the intensity of his interest in this 
subject, nor of the broad humanitarianism and statesman- 
ship of the man. 



Although the subject matter of this chapter is some- 
what the same as that of the following one, it so clearly 
shows the views of Senator Jones on another very im- 
portant principle that I deem it best to treat it separ- 

It is the opinion of statesmen and the sentiment of 
the people universally in this country, that the arbitra- 
ment of arms in sixty-one to sixty-five settled, once for all, 
the up-to- that-time much discussed and vexing problem 
of State's rights. This, plainly stated, was nothing more 
nor less than the claim, advanced usually by Southerners, 
that the States of the Union, in the last analysis, were 
more powerful — not physically, but legally under the 
constitution — than the national government which was 
a product, as they claimed, made by these States' taking 
out from their plumage, so to speak, of sovereignty, cer- 
tain "sovereign" feathers which went into the make-up of 
that "cushion of agreement" which was calculated to 
''deaden the pain" of the arrows of civil strife and foreign 
hostility. These sovereign States never dreamed but that 
they were keeping to themselves the residue of sover- 
eignty and power. And it took the new spirit of the great 
westward migrating movement, the reiterated decisions of 
the United States supreme court, and, withal, a growing 
national sentiment of feeling that the most powerful thing 
upon the continent was the central government with head- 
quarters at Washington; — it took all these things, and 
more to convince these States of the error of their w r ay. 



If took a fight more bitter than that waged upon the Sen- 
ate Moor by the clashing of logic of such men as Calhoun, 
Webster, Sumner, Davis, Toombs and Hayne. 

State's rights is a dead claim since the war. And 
yet there is scarcely a Southern statesman nowadays, who 
is not jealous and tenacious of the rights of the Common- 
wealth from which he comes. In one form or another, 
though now, thanks to the the breadth and statesmanship 
of our present day Congressmen, usually only in a very 
modified form, about minor things, and with radicalism 
suppressed, the problem comes up, the discussions leading 
us to believe that while the States fear and respect their 
created product, they resist any encroachment upon the 
domain of their authority as they see that authority. 

One of the occasions upon which the subject of this 
biography asserted himself rather strongly as a "State's 
man," was in the matter of United States inspection of 
the election returns in the States. It was during 
the second session of the fifty-first Congress that a 
bill i 1 i was introduced . (<> "amend and supplement 
the election laws of the Knifed States," etc., by plac- 
ing the control of the elections in the hands of the federal 

The beliefs of Senator Jones are very plainly shown in 
the strong phrases he used in debating the bill (2) : "The 
attempt to deprive the people of the control of their own 
elections and to place them under the control of officers of 
the federal government is a startling proposition, and one 
that men should carefully weigh and consider. It pro-. 

(1) H. R. 11045. 

(2) 51 Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 407 f. 



ceeds upon the idea thai the people cannot be trusted. . . . 
Principles antagonistic to all the principles of freedom 
and utterly subversive of all ideas of local self-government, 
swarm through this bill from beginning to end. ... I have 
read stories of the spies organized by the minions of des- 
potic power, how they watch the people and other spies 
watch them. Siberia is full today of human beings who 
are the victims of the malignity of those unscrupulous 
creatures. Such methods belong not to our people nor 
to our civilization. They should find no place among the 
(fee. manly, open, self-respecting population of this coun- 
try The people are declared by this bill to be un- 
worthy of trust; but, wonder of wonders! this immacu- 
late set of supervisors (contemplated herein) who are no 
more worthy of trust than the people, are. by the terms 
of the same bill, held to be worthy of it!' 1 

Mr. Jones declared the bill to be the materialization 
of a spirit which wished nothing less than the ''highway 
robbery "of the people of the States of an inalienable right. 
Perhaps no sentence of the somewhat lengthy vitriolic 
denunciation which he made, of the attempt to get control 
of these elections, more fully shows the intensity of his 
loathing for it, and his hostility to such measures as this 
bill, than the following : 'The people of the States of this 
T T nion are not ready to bow so humbly to this spirit of 
centralization as the bill assumes, but they will resent 
with an ardor worthy of their lineage, this last and ex 
tremest effort to rob them of their liberties." 

Tt was perhaps the same spirit which caused Mr. 
•Tones to attack the makers of a charge, which at the time 



was being discussed, relating to the alleged suppression of 
the negro vote in the South by the whites. The discussion 
came up over an editorial which had appeared in the 
"Anglo-Saxon Churchman" (1), charging the Southern 
white politicians in general and those of Arkansas 
in particular, with seeking to rob the negro citizens 
of their votes and influence, and which deplored 
the fact that the best men would not stoop to besmirch 
themselves by trying to clean up the dirt and abolish the 
outrage. It was a rather warm editorial, and Senator 
Hoar, of Massachusetts, was discussing it at the time. 
As a rule Mr. .Tones paid little or no attention to the 
attacks of Northern fanatics, a few of whom occasionally 
drifted into the United States Senate ; but when as broad- 
gauged a man as Senator Hoar, his close friend and ally 
ir many senatorial battles, became stirred up over the 
matter, it excited him to words of very caustic correction 
of such cheap agitation, and of candid explanation to 
such broader minds as Senator Hoar. 

Referring, in the first place, to the editor of the sheet 
above mentioned, a Mr. Carnahan, he said : "He has 
spent so much time in his study, so much of his time in 
reading, in considering mere theories, and so little in 
actual contact with the people, that he is not an authority 
on these questions he is simply mislead ; he is de- 
ceived ; he is mistaken ; he has not been long enough upon 
the ground and sufficiently in contact with the people to 
understand the facts of the case." 

(The same thing might fittingly be said of the vast 
(1) Vol. 7. No. 7. Little Rock. Arkansas. Jan., 1891. 


majority of insinuations of like character which have in 
the last forty of fifty years been hurled at the Anglo- 
Saxon rulers of the Southland. It may be stated with 
truth, that the majority of Northern people, and states- 
men with them, have for several decades been utterly in- 
tolerant of the few rabidly radical and irrational cranks 
who have insisted that their negro brethern at the South 
have been wantonly and with amazing atrocity mislead 
and scared.) 

"I state here today/' he went on (1), "and state de- 
liberately, that T believe the elections in the State of 
Arkansasarejustasfreefromfraudand intimidation — aye, 
they are more so — as they are in the great Commonwealth 
represented by the Senator from Massachusetts (2)." 

Against the injustice of such fanatic criticism no ar- 
gument is ever quite so pertinent and telling as that 
drawn from practical experience. Tt was this that Sena- 
tor Jones was in so many cases able to use against his op- 
ponents in debate; and it was this that he brought to bear 
at this time: "I live in a negro community; T live in a 
township and in a town surrounded by great masses of 
negroes, and I assert what I positively know, that there 
is no attempt to deny to those people the right to exercise 
their rights as they choose. What we object to in that 
country, is the want of moral cliaracier amongst the ne- 
groes They are used for the purpose of accomplish- 
ing the selfish ends of these scheming conspirators, both 
republicans and Democrats, who use the negro vote in 
almost every election in some localities of the South, to 

(1) 51 Cong.. 2 Sess.. DP- 1400f. 

(2) Senator Hoar. 




the moral hurt of the black race and the lowering of 
Southern white manhood in the eves of the world." 

Mr. Jones's attitude toward the negro and his idea 
of the real meaning of conditions in the South are more 
fully told in the next chapter. Suffice it to say here that 
lie believed the negro problem of the South would never 
be solved by criticism from his Northern brothers on the 
Senate floor. It was a matter for the SouthernStates, 
and not the National Congress, to supervise, regulate and 




Tn the preceding chapter I essayed to show Mr. 
Jones's feelings in the matter of the interference of gov- 
ernment officials in the elections held in the States, and 
his resentment of the misstatements of the misinformed 
about the Southern negro. I have reserved for separate, 
though brief, treatment, the Senator's views upon the 
Sonth's negro problem, the work of regeneration which 
the States proposed to do and in fact were doing, and that 
most necessary development which would come, not, as 
he thought, from government aid. but from the moral 
stimulus which the black man could get most easily at 
home and from the men who were his truest friends by 
reason of the fact that they best understood him and his 

The expressions about to be discussed as voicing the 
the opinion of the Senator, came in the debate in the 
forty-eighth Congress, at the first session, over the 
bill (1) providing for federal aid to common schools, 
and in a later session, over another measure of a like na- 
ture. As to the constitutionality of such a measure, 
which other gentlemen denied. Mr. Jones had not the 
slightest doubt. He believed the things provided by the 
bill unquestionably legitimate under the constitution. 
To show this he quoted the opinions of snch men as Jeffer- 
son. Marshall. Calhoun and others. Perhaps Ihe exact 
view of Senator Jones upon this point may be best shown 

(1) S. B. 396. 



in the very apt quotation from 1 lie first great apostle of 
democracy in tins country (1) : "We should in every ques- 
tion of construction carry ourselves hack to the time when 
the constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit mani- 
fested and the debates, and instead of trying what mean- 
ing we may squeeze out of the text or invent against it, 
conform to the probable one in which it was passed." 
.Judging by this standard. Mr. Jones thought there could 
be no question that the bill was proper under the consti- 
tution. The "fathers" would never have objected to the 
national "protector and defender" which they created aid- 
ing and fostering the education of the masses under its 
dominion and control. 

As to the matter of constitutionality, then, Mr. Jones 
had no objection to any bill for government aid to schools 
in this country. The government had before, in fact, 
made appropriations no more in violation of that instru- 
ment than the bill then under debate: "For many years 
the government has been appropriating lands for the aid 
of schools, and about one hundred million acres of public 
domain have, T believe, been so appropriated." Mr. Jones 
thought that the government has power to appropriate 
money to aid the State in the internal affairs affecting the 
general, though not the local, welfare. Let it be under- 
stood, however, that although he thought the government 
could legally give this aid and the States could legally re- 
ceive it, he did not think the government could claim any 
right or control whatever in the affairs so aided, but that 
this should, as before the aid came, remain in the control 
of the States. 

(1) 4S Cong.. 1 Sess., App. p. 332S. 


Nor should it be concluded that the States should, 
just because they could do so, call upon the national gov- 
ernment, every time a petty need came up. This, he 
thought, would destroy to a certain extent the individu- 
ality, identity and independence of the State indulging in 
it too frequently. A few years after, in the Senate, he 
expressed himself rather forcibly on this point (1 ) : "The 
people everywhere are manifesting a desire to have almost 
everything placed under the control of the federal officials. 
The rights and powers of the States are disregarded and 
the people seem to be utterly careless of this radical 
change. A calamity by Hood or fire or drought can 
scarcely overtake any locality but somebody is at once 
proposing some sort of action by the federal government 
for the relief of the sufferers." 

Mr. Jones pictured the need of his section for the 
educational advantages by which the North, after the war, 
had pushed forward by leaps and bounds, and because of 
the lack of which the South's progress had been relatively 
slow. He told the Senate of the efforts his people were 
putting forth for the education of all classes and all 
colors: '"Our people are today taxing themselves higher 
for education than are the the citizens of any part of this 
great country- The percentage of total taxes in the 
United States going to the support of schools is stated 
at 22.6. In the New England States it is 20.2: in the 
Middle States 19.5 ; in the Western States 26.6, while in 
Arkansas it is 30.3, and in Tennessee it is 33.2. Yet," 
said he, ''the amount of school resources per capita in 

(1) 51 Coug., 1 Sess., p. 2079. 



New England is nearly twenty dollars, while in the South 
it is less rhan three dollars." 

And yet he thought that not in aiding common schools 
and the cause of education alone was to be effected the 
real solution of the South's problem (1) : ''Here it has 
been the habit to consider the common schools, education, 
intelligence, as the real basis of the wonderful growth, 
prosperity and progress of the country, and to consider 
the common school system, especially of the Northern 
Slates, as their crowning glory. Whether in our enthusi- 
asm we have not been somewhat forgetful of a great truth 
to which Charles Sumner gave utterance in the following 
words : — 

The grandeur of man is in moral elevation, enlight- 
ened and decorated by the intellect of man,' 
I shall not now attempt to discuss further than to say 
that 1 fear the greater influence has been obscured by the 

By saying this he did not mean to disparage the cause 
of education and book learning in his section. He sim- 
ply said that the uplift of the Southern child, especially 
of the negro child, would not come by that alone; that 
there must needs be the moral stimulus which would come 
form the careful, sympathetic handling of the negro by 
those who knew and understood him. Nor did he mean 
to say that under no conditions the South should ask for 
government aid; for, concluding his first speech in the 
forty-eighth Congress, he said: "I believe that slavery 
is but half abolished, emancipation is but half completed, 
while millions of persons with votes in their hands are 

(1) 51 Cong., 1 Sess., pp. 2078f. 




left without education; aud an enlightened policy on the 
part of the government of the United (States toward the 
►Slates in this emergency will, 1 am sure, be productive of 
immeasurable beneht; that one day of such sowing will 
produce a thousand years of reaping." And f hnd noth- 
ing in any of his speeches in either House of Congress 
wnich convinces me that this "enlightened policy" was 
one of "hands off," or that absolutely excluded national 
aid to education in a material way. There were times 
w hen it was expedient to give the aid, he thought. It was 
purely a matter of expediency and not of principle. 

it is impossible for any statesman today to ably dis- 
cuss the history of the problem of education in the (South 
without speaking of that period immediately following 
the Civil War. (Such discussions do not necessarily de- 
note radicalism nor sectional bitterness, but usually de- 
note a comprehensive view which all men must take of the 
situation as a whole. Practically all development at this 
section began after the Civil War; and the rapid strides 
made, even since Senator Jones's death, in 19U8, are un- 
paralleled. (Speaking of the gloom and despond into 
which the (South was plunged in the period of reconstruc- 
tion, he said: "There was hope in education. The edu- 
cation of books and school houses might be a help to that 
broader and higher education to think correctly, to value 
the rights and privileges of an American citizen, not for 
low, mean, sordid purposes, but for the honorab'e 
privilege of raising the respect of mankind and exercis- 
ing the rights, as well as cheerfully assuming the burdens, 
of American citizenship. The unaided efforts of the white 



and colored people of the South have accomplished much 

in this direction Schools and school houses will 

help to solve the race problem, but they are not, and can- 
not be, the most powerful agency. There must be a moral 
uplifting (1) of the negro before he can be materially 
advanced from his present position, — and to do this he 
must have peace." 

If there was one thing more than all others, which 
^enaior Jones emphasized, in this discussion and in all 
others, it was his utter contempt for anyone who tries to 
.stir up sectional ill-feeling to the real hurt of the people 
of his State or section. 1 do not know that I have ever 
read stronger or more vitriolic words than his. As he 
went on with the discussion of the real needs of the South 
in (he work of regeneration and negro development, his 
feelings seemed, as they so seldom did, to get the better 
of him (2) : "A very serious drawback with which we of 
the South have had to deal in building up schools has been 
the great debt which was by the most unblushing frauds 
fostered upon the shcool districts all over the country by 
the so-called carpet-bag governments. This debt has 
stood like a lion in the path of progress." 

Again : "The brood of vipers which were nurtured 
in the South under reconstruction laws, who were locally 
known as carpet-baggers, in the hey-day of their power 
deceived the North and robbed the South in a way that 
challenges credulity." 

Thousands of these carpet-baggers had made their 
living by the precarious method of controlling the votes 

(1) Italics are mine. 

(2) 51 Cong., 2 Sess., p. 209, etc. 



of the negroes, through the offices they held by appoint- 
ment from the federal government. It seems unbelieve- 
able that twenty years ago, and even to some extent today, 
the great body of the colored people, while living on the 
most quiet and submissive terms with their w T hite friends 
and neighbors, alongside of whom they perform their daily 
toil, have almost unexceptionally voted on the opposite 
side from their white friends, for the sole and simple 
reason that their grandfathers were taught to do so by 
these carpet-baggers. "Immediately after the war closed 
the newly acquired freedom came at the same time that 
the carpet-baggers did, and the average negro was easily 
made to believe that the one was responsible for the 

Senator -lones hurled sentences of the most powerful 
invective into the teeth of those men who sought to revive 
the buried prejudices of the war and reconstruction per- 
iod : "To stir up old animosities is always an easy thing 
to do. To respond heartily to unjust attacks is always a 
temptation; but I know full well that the purpose of this 
inilaniatorv style of speaking is to arouse sectional feeling 
— to exasperate the North and help those whose trade it 
is to live on their country's misfortunes, who ride to place 
and power upon the bitter sectional animosities that the 
good men of both sections deplore The greatest hum- 
bug of the time is all this 'sound and fury' about the 
negro question. It took the intermeddling of officious 
people from the outside to excite their apprehensions and 
to open a field for their political quackery." 

And then, as he became calm again toward the close 



oi his speech, his words gave cue impression of passionate 
appeal to aii seccious to let tiie South alone; and here 
it is that we see again the statesman without preju- 
uice, me man who, because oi mat same experience spoken 
oi beiore, knew and understood his subject, pleading lor 
his people, "Prejudice," he said, "can be met in out one 

waj' it may be lived down. A long course oi gooa 

conuuct, upright business nieUiods — industry, manliness, 
soberness and seii-respect, will in tUe course oi time wear 
it away. Schools and school training alone win noi 
teach the evil. There must oe a broader education, it 

i>- not in the power oi the government to give tnis 

.Education, alter all, is not merely wuat is learned in 
schools and books. The education which makes charac- 
ter on the whole is taught by the mothers in me cease u ss 
administrations iroin inlancy up to maturity. . . .hhevated 
morals, coupled with intelligence, are to be the sheet-an- 
chor of this government. Advancement cannot come 

except by cultivating both virtue and intelligence All 

the (South wants, all it needs, is to be left alone with its 
struggle. If the white men of the South prosper, the 
colored men must, and vice versa. Let the South wrestle 
with the spirit of darkness until the break of day, and the 
solution will come in the blessing of posterity, aud it will 
come in peace." 

And all this from an unprejudiced man, who knew 
whereof he spoke : "I am not speaking in temper nor in 
partisan zeal, but as an American citizen — as one who 
loves his country and earnestly hopes for its highest and 
greatest good. And I am trying to call the attention of 


thinking men to a .sober consideration of the truth as it 

exists I grew up to manhood on a plantation, have 

lived among the colored people all my life; and no man 
living feels more than I do a sincere desire for their pros- 
perity, success and happiness." 

The daily contact from earliest childhood with mem- 
bers of the black race on large plantations in Dallas and 
Hempstead Counties, Arkansas, had created for him, as 
ii always does, a bond of love and sympathy for this 
uneducated black folk whose better understandings were 
implanting a respect, amounting to an absolute trust, in 
hearts of happiest comradeship. 




A pension is a money remuneration for service. This 
service is usually performed in times of war, although 
mere are pensions granted to some who have served tlieir 
country well in the peaceiui pursuits of teaching in 
eleemosynary institutions and corrective and charity 
schools, lor preaching, and for other things. The grant- 
ing of a pension simply means mat those who have been 
thus served., tought for, taught or preached to, agree, out 
of a spirit of gratitude, that the lighter, teacher or 
preacher, or what-not, ueserves at their hands some physi- 
cai and tangible evidence of their feeling of gratitude, 
To iliis end they give them, by public vote, or local, com- 
munity pledge or petition, money, medals, loving cups, 
crosses of honor, ribbons, and sometimes the LL. D. de- 

it's a hue sentiment that prompts the giving of such 
rewards. In the granting of war pensions it comprises 
two things : a gratitude that wishes to bestow honor, and 
a sense of the lilness oi things, that desires, in a business 
way, to keep physically alive these old veterans to the last 
possible day, by the purchase for them of sustaining food 
aud clothing. A failure to do either, sometimes indulged 
in, may remind the reader of the legend of the greedy man, 
who, haviug enjoyed for a long number of years the faith- 
ful service of a horse which he possessed, turned him out 
to live upon the stubble in the cold of winter. But the 


voice of justice rang out in the tones of the old town "bell 
of justice," the rope of which had been mended with some 
strands of grass. Seeing' the grass, the hungry animal 
nibbled at it, and thus unwittingly pulling it, rang out 
the tocsin of an unjust treatment. The crowds gathered 
and sanctioned the judgment pronounced by their king 
that the owner must feed and care for the horse for the 
balance of his days. To the spirit of that decree may be 
likened that which fills our modern legislator when he 
lifts his voice in behalf of the crippled and worn-out sol- 
diery of his country. There is in it a feeling of obliga- 
tion, and this, mingled with his sense of homage which 
he pays indirectly to the country through honoring the 
men who in the past have upheld the country's honor, pro- 
duces the legislation desired. 

"But the righteousness of the sentiment has been taken 
advantage of, by those who have constituents whose votes 
depend upon their securing a pension for alleged past 
services which, in reality, as the statesman often knows 
full well, were never rendered. In this country, the pen- 
sion system has. in fact, come to be thought of as a "grab," 
which means nothing more nor less than a graft, and is 
one of the three or four greatest national bug-bears. Tt 
is a vampire of the hugest and vilest sort. All that a 
representative, either state or national, has to do in order 
to conciliate the old soldiers in his district, is simply to 
vote in favor of an increase of pensions. Tn fact, an open 
candidate for the presidential nomination, who occupied a 
prominent place in our national House of "Representatives, 
once voted for such a measure, thereby greatly enhancing 



his chances for the influence of the old soldier class in his 
contest for the nomination. 

Notwithstanding the abuse of the pension system, 
with which Senator -tones was perfectly acquainted, and 
which he genuinely deplored, he was nevertheless a 
staunch advocate of the principle, and frequently aided 
in the passage of measures for raising the amounts paid 
to these gray-haired and grizzly patriots. While a mem- 
ber of the lower House (1), he strongly advocated the 
most liberal attitude on the part of the government to- 
ward these men, consistent with a wise and careful finan- 
cial policy. The debate was on the passage of a bill (2) 
"granting pensions to the soldiers and sailors of the Mexi- 
can War." 

Though he believed in the humanitarian or sentiment 
argument for pensions, he did not favor the system chiefly 
for that reason, but rather because he deemed it the most 
expedient thing, and most in harmony with a wise and 
safe public policy. "I do not rest this — (his advocacy) — 
upon any mere sentiment of sympathy, humanity or grati- 
tude, though I believe these considerations are perhaps 
sufficient reasons for if I propose to place my ad- 
vocacy of liberal pension laws upon the higher ground of 
public policy. I insist that nothing will so foster and 
sirengthen the military spirit of any people as entire con- 
fidence on their part in the liberal care by the govern- 
ment of the old soldiers, when their power of caring for 
themselves has in a measure ceased, and when old age and 
its attendant evils have come upon them." 

(1) 48 Cone. 1 Sess., p. 22. 

(2) H. R. 5667. 



The armies which have fought the battles of the world 
have, as a rule, been composed of poor men. From the 
(lavs of the Egyptian bondage, when men were driven as 
slaves to work and fight, and of Rome just before its fall, 
when the patricians hired others to do their fighting for 
them, the world's greatest struggles have been waged by 
the countless poor. No revolution effected by rich men 
ever occurred in the world's swing of time. Even in our 
own country, though today perhaps the army is the most 
nearly democratic in all the world, the common people 
have been the successful soldiery in our great wars. "Our 
armies," said Mr. Jones, "are not generally made up of 

those who live in ease and splendor, but usually of 

that class in which determination, nerve and energy have 
been developed by conflicts in the stern struggles of life." 
And this was one of his arguments in favor of the pay- 
ment of pensions to these men. 

Another reason was. that the granting of pensions 
to Mexican War veterans was in no sense a local or sec- 
tional matter, but one of national application and signifi- 
cance. "It embraces in its beneficent provisions worthy 
men from all sections of our grand country." How strik- 
ingly this marks the unselfishness of the man T am dealing 
with in this biography when T say here that Senator .Tones 
fought all the way through the stern conflict of the Civil 
War as a loyal Confederate soldier, and that not one cent 
of government money has ever been given to a single 
"rebel" for his part in that fight. The fact that Southern 
men, ex-Confederate soldiers, have stood in many instan- 
ces upon the floor of Congress and the Senate, and 



strongly advocated the giving of pensions to others — even 
to those who fought against them in the same struggle — 
when they themselves, unrewarded, fought through the 
bitterest battles of modern times, is one of the most won- 
derful evidences of the magninimity and unselfishness of 
Southern manhood. 

Mr. Jones believed that granting these pensions was 
a sign and a security of the nation's prosperity. "I be- 
lieve this government will grow and prosper as long as 
this spirit is encouraged and kept alive, and whenever it is 
no longer a characteristic of our people, that then our 
government will be no more " 

Again : the government, be argued, was amply able 
to pay the soldiers. In fact, there was so much money in 
the national treasury as to give the lie to any excuse on 
the part of the government for not granting the pensions 
to those men in need. "A niggardly course in this mat- 
ter," he said, ''especially now when the national treasury 
is overflowing, will naturally excite the contempt of every 
man who ever bore a musket or ever felt a patriotic im- 

Mr. Jones then went on to show the good results of 
the Mexican War, and pointed the argument at those 
who opposed the keeping up of these old men who had 
won such glory and renown for their own country. He 
cited the annexation of the vast amount of territory which 
came as a result of the Mexican victory, and the master- 
ful exploitation of the material resources of the West, the 
building of railroads, the mining industries, and other ' 
phases of progress which had followed. This, coupled 



with the real obligation of the government to these fel- 
lows, and the fact that the treasury was overflowing with 
funds, were his chief arguments for granting pensions 
liberally. He closed with a somewhat vigorous presenta- 
tion of the old soldiers' insistent right to it: "They have 
lived long enough to see splendid cities grow up all over 
the land their valor won for you. They have seen untold 
wealth accumulate as the result of its occupation, and 
they ask through us now, while the country is rich, pros- 
perous and happy, that they in their declining years may 
have their hearts and homes cheered by the generosity of 
the government. When this is done, they and all the 
country will rise up and call you blessed." 

Twenty years ago there were vast stretches of prac- 
tically untrammelled lands in Arkansas belonging to the 
national government, and the inspection of this territory 
often caused much complaint on the part of the citizens 
against the federal officials. Nearly all of these lands 
were heavily timbered, and the special duty of the inspec- 
tors was to see that people living on strips of land adjoin- 
ing the national lands did not cut timber off the latter, 
haul it to the nearest mill, and sell it as their own. While 
the officials who watched the timbers in this State, as in 
all new country, had a difficult problem on their hands, 
and were often unjustly accused of being too severe in 
their dealings, yet they have sometimes been imprudent 
in their over-care in behalf of the government. A few 
have even been extremely dishonest. 



It would appear from messages and personal letters 
which Senator Jones received during the second session 
of the fifty-fifth Congress that the territory near Bates- 
ville, Arkansas, was afflicted with an official of this severe, 
unjust and dishonest type. His name was Schlierholz. 
Senator Jones had letters from the most responsible 
sources, one of whom was a former Congressman, that 
this inspector was arbitrarily seizing all lumber crafts 
coming down White River to Batesville, just as soon as 
I hey reached that town, compelling the owners to pay the 
expense of a trial and prove that their timber really 
belonged to them, causing much trouble among the 
mistreated timber traders who lived near the city. Schlier- 
holz was the agent of the General Land office, stationed at 
Batesville. He was, as said, watching for and seizing all 
timbers coming in, forcing whomever brought a raft-load 
fo account for his possession. This often entailed many 
days of waiting and loss of time, the man having to locate 
his witnesses and pay their expenses of transportation, 
and board while in town, taking them from their work, 
and all that. 

Timber shipping and sale was a business and means 
of Iivlihood for many of those people. They simply cut 
small quantities from off their holdings and brought them 
down White River on rafts, selling them for whatever they 
could get at Newport and Batesville. For many of them 
this was, in a certain season of the year, almost the only 
source of income. But this man, Schlierholz, seemed to 
consider himself placed there to seize all the timber, re- 
gardless of who the holder might be, and sell it for the 


government — or himself. He simply assumed that every 
farmer living on White River and shipping timber down 
it was a thief until he could prove himself innocent. 

This aroused the wrath of Senator Jones. "Mr. 
President," he exclaimed, after explaining the situation 
1o the Senators, "a man assuming to exercise powers un- 
der the General Land office, such as this man assumes, 
ought to be kicked out of the service (1) !" The Senator 
then read a letter telling how one poor fellow had gone 
down on his raft, carrying his provisions with him. (Some- 
times they came from considerable distances). When he 
arrived at Batesville, Schlierholz. without a particle of 
proof, seized his timber, tied it up, sent him back afoot, 
without money to pay his expenses, rejected his proof of 
ownership and good faith when presented to him. and 
sold his timber; and the poor man was compelled to wait 
indefinitely the action of the Federal Court in order to 
secure any of the money which his valuable cargo brought 
when sold by this "autocrat and satrap." 

He told of another man whom Schlierholz had "'held 
up." His whole winter's work, practically, was embodied 
in the cargo of his craft, which sold for two hundred, five 
dollars. The agent took forty-six out of this two hun- 
dred, five dollars for his own fees and charges, and after 
the poor fellow had paid the expenses of the witnesses 
who had come from forty to fifty miles to Ratesville. to 
testify to his innocence of the charge of theft, he had com- 
ing to him the miserable pittance of fifty dollars! 

Mr. Jones introduced a resolution asking what in- 

(1) 55 Cong., 2Sess.. pp. ">730f. 



st ructions were given this man to wantonly seize this tim- 
ber in such a wholesale and unfair way; and it was unani- 
mously agreed to. A few days later he presented a more 
definite and specific resolution to the effect that the con- 
duct of Schlierholz be investigated. After some debate 
this. too. was agreed upon and resulted in Schlierholz's 
removal from the service. 


Throughout the world's history governments of one 
kind and another have attempted to throttle free speech. 
From the time when the Catholic church ordered Luther's 
heretical writings burned and declared him excommuni- 
cated, and, backed by the Emperor, Charles the Fifth, 
outlawed him because he spoke a truth to agree with which 
would have been destructive to them; down to the Sedi- 
tion Act in the history of our own legislation, attempts 
have been made to hush the voices which have been raised 
iii detriment to the "powers that be. v Tn fact, free speech, 
one of the safe-guards of democracy, or people's rule, and 
the efforts to suppress it, have been the chief cause of the 
overthrow, at last, of almost every corrupt dynasty that 
the world has seen. Today, it is well-nigh universally 
recognized and accepted as an inalienable right of e\evy 
man. where civilization holds high dominion. 

Rut notwithstanding this fact, men have, in our own 
country, and in very recent years — in fact, they do today, 
little as we at first blush may be inclined to believe it — 
tried with all their might to choke back utterances derog- 
atory to their power. Yes, even in the American Con- 



gress, ltepublicans aud Democrats have done this very 
thing, in order to promote by legislation the success of 
their party measures. Public attention, when called to 
such attempts in this country, strongly opposes them, 
;ind if they continue in the face of that, their public offices 
are iu danger of being lost to them. 

It was to call the attention of the Senate and the 
country to what he deemed a flagrant and open attempt 
to abuse this right of free speech that, in the second ses- 
sion of the fifty- fifth Congress, Mr. Jones lifted his voice 
in all its strength of protest and appeal. The reader will 
pardon the derogatory reference to a political party still 
existant, for it is necessary to make it in order to bring 
clearly into view the attitude of marked defiance with 
which Mr. Jones opposed such efforts. His somewhat 
lengthy denunciation came in the debate on a bill "to 
promote the commerce and increase the the foreign trade 
of the United States," etc. He accused the Republican 
party of trying to put through the Senate bills with many 
different provisions or clauses, without giving the mem- 
bers time to debate them, thus throttling the right of free 
speech. He stated that he was willing to come at any 
reasonable hour, and and stay as late as was at all prac- 
ticable, or even till an unreasonoble time, for the purpose 
of taking up the different appropriation bills, and all other 
bills, picking I hem to pieces, debating them with leis- 
ure and deciding upon them with judgment. "We 
believe, on this side of the Senate chamber," he said, 
"thai it is our duly to stand up for our right of free 
speech, for our right to discuss important measures, for 



cur right to be heard as against bills that we believe to 
be iniquitous and outrageous." To obtain this, "we are 
willing to meet here at any hour in the morning." 

Speaking for himself, he said, further: "1 will not, 
so heip me high heaven, ever be a party, directly or indi- 
rectly, lo this effort to throttle free speech. And (speak- 
ing to l he Republican side of the chamber) we put you 

upon notice now that you must have a quorum 

present, and have it all the time, as we (the Democrats) 
do not propose to contribute in any way to bringing about 
what we believe to be an outrageous and tyrannical effort 
to suppress free speech by brute force!" 

As the Senator took his seat, there was considerable 
evidence of approval and applause manifested in the gal- 
leries, which was, as is the custom in the Senate, promptly 

Speaking on another occasion of the tenacity of the 
American people for the principle of free speech, he voiced 
an even stronger commendation of it: "It is well for us, 
individually as well as a nation, and for the future wel- 
fare of mankind, that this spirit of toleration, of freedom 
of thought and speech have so strong a hold as it has 
upon the great body of the American people; for this 
mutual regard for the honest convictions which charac- 
terize those who differ will always advance the cause of 
truth and honest investigation in any held of human 

The whole public record of Mr. Jones bears testimony 
to the belief thus so strongly expressed. In the search 
through the entire record of his achievements, in the tierce 


conflict of debates, in the tactful management of meas- 
ures and of men, aud everywhere, f hnd not the slight- 
est action on his part which would do aught but em- 
phasize the words just quoted. In this, as elsewhere, he 
•stood tour-square," welcoming as well as giving criti- 
cism and correction. 


in a speech delivered in the hftieth Congress, second 
session (1), Mr. Jones took occasion to attack those cor- 
porations in this country which by reason of the failure 
of government regulation have grown to the alarming pro- 
portions of the modern trusts. 1 have failed to see in 
cursory reading on the subject, and indeed in some in- 
tensive study of problems connected with monopolies, a 
better statement than that which from his speech at this 
time i quote here. He said : "The growth of these com- 
mercial monsters called trusts in the last few years, has 
become appalling. For a long while they were limited in 
numbers, and while even then they excited the detesta- 
tion of good men, they did not exist in such numbers 
and power as to cause apprehension for the public safety. 
Now, however, having been allowed to grow and fatten 
upon the public, theirs is an example of evil that has ex- 
cited the greed and conscienceless rapacity of commer- 
cial sharks, until they are to be found now in every 

branch of trade, preying upon every industry, and by 
their unholy combinations robbing their victims, the gen- 
eral public, in defiance of every principle of law and 
morals " 

(1) pp. 1457f. 



But criticism, however sharp and however just, of 
these evils, either by public utterance or published edi- 
torial, is not sufficient to eradicate them. Bitter abuse 
may serve as an excitant, but mere denunciation, while 
tending toward destruction of evil, is at least not in itself 
constructive for good. Senator Jones did not merely 
denounce the trusts, but did all in his power to crush 
them by righteous legislation. He believed this to be the 
true solution. "The iron hand of the law," said he, ''must 
be laid heavily upon this system, or our boasted liberty 
of the citizen is a myth." Going on further, he stated: 
■If the proceeds of the labor of our men and women are 
not to be their own, we have no liberty, and our govern- 
ment is a farce and a fraud." 

He closed by contrasting these robber barons with 
that great story-outlaw, Kobin Hood: "When Robin 
Hood undertook to rob his fellow-citizens, he took his life 
in his hands, and with at least some sort of courage bore 
the consequences of his crime. But these modern foot- 
pads have not the grace of his courage, but commit their 
robberies by stealth." 

The great constructive work of the man who uttered 
words like these against the abuses of these molochs of 
high finance, against the tariff which mothers them, and 
in behalf of oppressed humanity, gives emphasis to my 
belief that his designation of these corporate heads as 
"foot-pads" was in no wise merely the vial of vituperation 
nor the slander of hasty intemperance. 




1 know of 110 more clear, concise, comprehensive and 
correct statement in all literature of the dignity, worth 
and character of that common class of people called the 
farmers, than I find falling from the lips of Senator Jones; 
and J believe it wise to quote the statement here in its 
entirety, that ii may stand upon these pages as an ever- 
lasting tribute of respect to, and of pride in, the tillers of 
the soil, from whose ranks he himself sprang. "The 
farmers of this country,' 1 said he (1), "are an honorable 
class. They eat their bread in the sweat of their faces 
all the days of their lives. They furnish us nine-tenths of 
<il I our great exports. They supply the food for the mil- 
lions of this great continent. They supply cotton to 
clothe the world. In times of danger by millions they 
are ready to present their bosoms like a stone wall in 
opposition to any one. They are the foundation, support, 
defense and hope of the country. From their ranks comes 
almost every man who towers above his fellows. The 
President of thirty or forty years from now is somewhere 
on a farm. Your future statesmen and generals are now 
in that nursery of great men The hope of the coun- 
try is in the honesty, sincerity and good sense of the 
masses. All of them will not be led astray, and honesty 
and good government will prevail." 

I think we might search in vain for a better ex- 
pression of the supreme respect in which he held the class 
(1) 50 Cong., 1 Sess., pp. 8726f 



of men which has been designated by practically every 
leading statesman that the nation has produced as the 
very back-bone of the country's greatness. While it is a 
strong utterance, it cannot be said to be otherwise than 
«afe, sane, and true to the very letter. As to his prophecy 
relative to the future presidents, he simply based his pre- 
diction upon the facts of the past; and this, coupled with 
an understanding of the environment and conditions ex- 
istant when he spoke, forms the only possible basis for all 
estimates of this kind. Mr. Jones was reared a farmer 
boy himself, and out of the rich experience and observa- 
tion which were peculiarly his, he recited his judgment 
of those to whom the starched cuff and high collar are not 
the true badges of manhood or of merit. 


With all the ardor and passion of his soul Mr. Jones 
believed in the principle of the trial by jury. Men differ 
radicaly over propositions which some think invaluable 
in the regenerating of the country and the bringing to 
pass, ultimately, of the highest possible good; but over 
the inalienable rights which from the English Magna 
Charta have come down to us with intact acceptation, 
they seldom wrangle. They accept them without cavil or 
dispute. And there is no principle laid down in that 
great constitutional instrument of England which has 
been a greater safe-guard against tyranny and oppression 
throughout the centuries since its adoption, than the 
right which every man has, when accused of crime, to a 
lair and impartial trial at the hands of a jury of his peers. 


There were juries long before the Magna Charta; but the 
right had become corrupted aud lost through the selfish- 
ness and jealousy of kings; and it took the force of armed 
hosts to wrest from the cruel John his signature to a 
writ leu evidence of this right of men. Since that time it 
lias been unquestioned, both in England and America. It 
became engrafted in the great body of common law prin- 
ciples which we accepted, and that common law is only 
abrogated, in special instances, by the statute law T , as new 
conditions may necessitate. 

On page four hundred, nine of the records of the sec- 
ond session of the fifty-first Congress, I find some sen- 
tences from Senator Jones which very strongly speak 
his opinion of the principle, and the loyalty of partisans 
of every creed in this country (1) : "I do not care how 
ultra a man may be in his feelings, our people are Ameri- 
cans above Republicanism or Democracy, as mere party 
terms. I have seen gentlemen go what semeed to me to 
be unreasonable lengths to accomplish party ends, but 
i believe that there is scarcely a member of this body who 
would go to such an extent as to touch the absolute im- 
partiality of our juries to obtain any partisan advantage. 
That great right, the palladium and sheet-anchor of our 
system of government — aye, of our civilization — has been 
preserved pure and unsullied for centuries, sometimes 
through revolution and blood, and often in the midst of 
party passion and religious fanaticism; it has come down 
1o us unsullied from those who have gone before If 

(1) How strikingly similar t<> the words ofArkansas' great 
jurist. A. Ii. Garland, whose utterances upon this very subject may 
be found in the form of an appeal, in "A Life of A. H. Garland," 
pages 50-51. 



we could be so base as to abandon this great principle, the 
very stones of this eapitol would rise up in mutiny against 
our sacreligious act." 


{Shortly after Augustus H. Garland had been ap- 
pointed to the Attorney-Generalship of the United States 
by President Cleveland, the powerful Bell Telephone Com- 
pany, jealous of and wishing to crush the smaller Pan 
Hellenic Company, in which Mr. Garland and certain 
other distinguished public men, including the late {Sena- 
tor I sham G. Harris, of Tennessee, owned some shares of 
stock, brought charges against them. The Bell people ac- 
cused Mr. Garland of farming out the privileges of his 
office, and of ordering suits to be instituted for the pur- 
pose of clouding certain land titles to the advantage of 
the Company in which he owned stock ; the said suits set- 
ting aside certain patents by clouding the titles against 
innocent purchasers for many years, and being virtually, 
as they claimed, suits against the Bell Telephone people 
iliemselves. This incited their bitter hostility, and they 
brought their charge to defame the character of Mr. Gar- 
land. An investigation was held in Congress, in which 
the Attorney General and the others accused were com- 
pletely exonerated. 

In I lie Senate the charges against Mr. Garland were 
made chiefly by Senator Stewart of Nevada. When they 
were afterwards referred to by that gentleman, in the 
course of debate, during the early part of the first sex 
sion of the fiftieth Congress, Mr. Jones arose and, with 


earnest wish to sec liis friend cleared of charge for all 
lime, turning toward his accuser, said: "If this amend- 
ment had been made in any other place than the United 
States Senate, and by any other person than a Senator 
representing a sovereign State, I would, for one, have 
passed it by as utterly beneath the dignity of con- 
tempt. I should not have thought it necessary to open 
my mouth in defense of a man whose public career has 
been such as to command the respect of all who knew him. 
There is not a Senator here, and not an intelli- 
gent man outside this chamber, who does not know that 
the Attorney-General directed no suit against the Bell 

Telephone Company 1 care for the good name and 

reputation of a man whom T believe to be as spotless and 
as pure as any who ever lived on the face of the earth or 
ever served his country in this chamber.'' 

Tn my reading of the literature of praise and eulogy, 
1 have seldom found stronger words in commendation of 
the character of any man, than those of Senator Jones in 
speaking of the spotless record of Augustus Hill Garland, 
his friend. 


Outside the problems of the tariff and the trusts 1 
suppose that no question has elicited more public discus- 
sion during the decade beginning in 1898, than that with 
reference to the disposal of the Philippine Islands, which 
at the close of the War with Spain we took under our su- 
pervision and control. Their retention was the policy of 
the party in power, and since their purchase the govern- 
ment has kept them for the stated purpose of educating 



the natives up to the point where they will be able to take 
care of themselves. And this, in the face of a strong de- 
sire on their part for independence. 

Almost every Democrat in the United States Senate 
in 1898 favored granting these Filipinos their independ- 
ence. Although I have been able to find upon the record 
but few utterances from the lips of Senator Jones upon 
the question, yet 1 believe the following words, spoken 
against a resolution for their retention, will suffice to 
show how intense was his opposition to it (1) : "I be- 
lieve that the Philippine question is absolutely indefensi- 
ble from every point of view Tt is absolutely un- 
American and so completely violates every democratic 
idea of government which I have ever heard of, that 1 am 
willing to do anything reasonable to defeat this proposi- 

The fact that throughout the world there is such a 
sentiment against capital punishment, makes it interest- 
ing to know Senator Jones's attitude in the matter. The 
feeling against it is simply a kind of humanitarian belief 
in the literal interpretation of the Scriptural statement of 
the Almighty. "Vengeance is mine: I will repay'' ; and it 
is prompted by a fear that governments or punitive insti- 
tutions are wrong in taking life, since they cannot give 
life. The Lord giveth. the Lord taketh away, they say; 
and it is not within the province of any human power to 
take life. 

Senator Jones, while from the whole record of his 

(1) 56 Cong., 2 Sess., p. 3126. 


life he gives the lie 1<> the charge of inhumanitarianism 
and of disrespect of God, was heartily in favor of capital 
punishment. In Ihe second session of the fifty-second 
Congress he gives utterance to the following words, which 
I think reveal the attitude of the man upon this subject 
(1) : "I am glad that there are some courts in this coun- 
try which will execute men for murder. I am glad to see 
the lawless elements brought in for trial before a court 
somewhere where there is a liklihood that they will pay 
the penalty of their crime with their lives." 


Undoubtedly one of the wisest pieces of legislation 
enacted in the last quarter century is that creating the 
Interstate Commerce Commission. This Commission is for 
(he correcting of the evils connected with the railroads 
in this country. Next to the trusts, I doubt if any single 
industry or institution has been fruitful of more wrong 
than have our interstate highways. 

Mr. Jones believed that the creation of the Interstate 
Commerce Commission, whose duty it is to examine, with 
a view of correcting, ihe problems of rebating, discrimina- 
tion, exorbitant passenger and freight rates, and other 
evils connected with this important industry, was the very 
best thing that could have been done in the way of check- 
ing the flagrant abuses of which the companies had un- 
questionably been guilty. "Remember that for years," 
he said (2), "complaints came up from all quarters that 

(1) p. 99. 

(2) 50 Cong., 1 Sess.. p. S720. 



the railroad managers were guilty of great injustice to the 
masses of the people in the management of their roads . . . 
they were making and unmaking fortunes by their favor- 
itism were charging unreasonable rates for ser- 
vice, yet the people hesitated long. The matter 

was discussed in the newspapers, upon the hustings and 
in Congress; but at last, in God's own time, action came, 
and all the money, influence, employees and power of the 
railroads could not prevent the enactment of the Inter- 
state Commerce Law. That law has come to stay.'" 

Despite the frequency with which our attention has 
in recent years been called to the striking evil in connec- 
tion with Labor Union movements throughout the world, 
the principle which prompts the organization of working 
men for the purpose of securing a fair share of the pro- 
duct which the industry of their effort creates, is to be 
praised because of its inherent righteousness. Many piti- 
able tales have been given currency by books of worth 
and leading magazines in their discussions of the threats 
with which the ignorant and helpless laborer is often 
whipped into doing injustice, and the very end which the 
labor movement is calculated to obtain thus brought into 

Labor Unions are groups of men organized — some- 
times throughout a whole nation — for the purpose of ob- 
taining better conditions under which to work, such as 
higher wages, shorter hours, and the like. "Refusal to 
comply with such demands result in the strike, or lock- 
out, or what-not, on the part of laborers or employers, or 


both. These organizations go upon the simple principle, 
"in union there is strength," and make the saying practi- 
cable by obtaining unitedly what they would be powerless 
to secure individually. 

While for the wrong connected with such unions Mr. 
Jones had not the slightest patience, he nevertheless be- 
lieved with all his soul in the justice and expediency of 
the principle. He said on one occasion : "Labor is or- 
ganized in this country and, as I firmly believe, not 

to do any wrong to any man or interest, but for the pur- 
pose of enforcing their rights, and to secure for them- 
selves a fair share of the profits of the industries that 
they may make prosperous. In this struggle from my 

heart T wish them God-speed Tn their success the 

future freedom, happiness, and progress of mankind are 
assured; in their failure — but T will not consider that; for 
they will not fail." 

From reading the above, we can have not the faint- 
est shadow of a doubt of Mr. Jones's belief in the justice 
of organized labor, and of his faith in its sure solution of 
at least the most human phase of the case of capital 
versus labor. 


No statesman from Arkansas has held his place in the 
American Congress for any length of time during the last 
forty years who did not express himself on some matter 
connected with the United States Government Reserva- 
tion at Hot Springs. The very mention of the subject im- 
mediately popularizes this phase of Senator Jones's ac- 
tivities, because of the fact that millions know of the 



geographical spot about which the questions have arisen, 
aud even though they know nothing more about the State 
than a few of the obsolete and out of place charges, of the 
Arkansas Traveler variety, this reservation topic in itself 
furnishes food for interesting discussion. 

One of the most vexing of these problems — one which 
had especially puzzled Garland, for whom the county in 
in which Hot Springs is situated was named — arose in 
connection with the government's leasing of property on 
the reservation to individuals. These men were usually 
private citizens who ran institutions of a quasi-public na- 
ture, such as bath houses and hotels. Of course a situa- 
tion so favorable as this included the use of the water 
from the reservation. The government, in other words, 
hired individuals to do its work for it, until it had placed 
suitable houses of its own upon it, and when this had 
been done those individuals claimed a continuation of 
their rights under the provisions of what they deemed 
a perpetual lease of the property. So that the govern- 
ment in reality only held a partial control over the hot 
water, and certain individuals held the other part, reap- 
ing profits, accordingly. 

At this special time (1), it was proposed that while 
the individuals be compelled to stay off the reservation, 
they still be allowed to conduct hot water therefrom, thus 
continuing their business of profit and prosperity from 
government property. Mr. Jones was intensely opposed 
to this. ''There is no reservation unless you keep the hot 
water on it," he exclaimed. "If the government intended 

(1) 50 Cong., 1 Sess.. pp. 1769, 1771. 



t<; use the hot water in the interests of the general public, 

it ought to have done so at the public expense T can 

not understand the wrong in allowing the government to 
pay private people who have invested their money there. . " 

Referring to the measure authorizing that the water 
be carried off to favorite bath-houses in certain localities, 
he said: "That is opening a Pandora's box of evils that 
will only magnify the trouble which now exists, and will 
not be a relief." He believed that the government should 
assume entire and in no wise maintain partial, control 
over the hot water. 

The men who owned these bath houses on this public 
property which they had leased paid no taxes on them 
whatever. Neither did they pay tribute of any kind upon 
the water with which they were making their living, if 
not their fortune. Mr. Jones thought that no man should 
be thus allowed to reap the profits from the healing quali- 
ties of this wonderful water without paying taxes, either 
by leasing property on the reservation or by buying prop- 
erty close by and conducting water from it. He believed 
that no individual should have such rights, but "hat the 
life-giving and invigorating streams which continually gur- 
gle from that wonderful mountain should, under the con- 
trol of the government, flow forever for the nation's 


What many say is a part of the most advanced 
thought of recent years is to the effect that very much of 
the money spent on missionaries in foreign countries could 
be better and more effectively applied to conditions at 



home. Our present needs are complex, and our govern- 
ment is trying to meet these varying demands. But the 
planting of the Kingdom of Christ in the dark countries 
is, as yet, done from private and church purses. If this 
money were applied to the solution of the problems closer 
by, claim some, and government money spent for reclaim- 
ing the lost of foreign lands, the effect would be more 

Mr. Jones was a believer in foreign missions, but was 
a still stronger advocate of the cause of home missions. 
And he thought that many of the churches of the country, 
and especially of the South, were making a serious mis- 
take in spending vast sums on missionaries to foreign 
lands, while so many at home were suffering. "I wish to 
call attention," he said on one occasion (1), "to what 
seems to me to have been up to this time a great omission 
on the part of the Christian churches in the South. Whi'e 
they have been engaged in carrying the gospel to foreign 
lands, the finest field for missionary work has been lying 
at their very doors. Tt is a fine field because these people 
already have the foundation — a belief in Christ — and what 
they need now is help to attain a high moral plane." 

Belief in Christ is only the foundation, then, we may 
judge, upon which the superstructure of a righteous life 
may be built, and the flower of an upright and stainless 
character bloom and shed its fragrance for the general 
good. After our people are educated, mentally and mor- 
ally, up to a high degree of civilization and Christianity, 
then will the time have arrived to go forth and turn our 
efforts to the lost of other lands. 

(1) Cong., 1 Sess., p. 2081. 



In my mind's eye 1 see an old man, grown gray in an 
arduous and unbroken public service of more than a quar- 
ter century, tan and erect but visibly broken in lieaitii 
ana worn out in body, standing before a window of the 
capitoi building at u ashington, seemingly lost in thought. 
Another old man, a distinguished representative of an- 
otner great political party, but a great admirer and close 
personal friend, comes up behind the gentleman, slaps 
him generously on the back, and says: "'Penny for your 
thougnts, Jones!" 

"\\ ell, Senator," comes the slow reply, "I don't really 
suppose that tney are worth a penny. I was just wonder- 
ing wnat 1 am to do, after my recent defeat in Arkansas. 
l nave been out of the law so long that it will be hard to 
get back into the practice. And I have saved nothing 
ironi the salary I have received. 1 am bewildered and 
humiliated over the problem of supporting my family." 

Thus spoke, in substance, James K. Jones, ex-United 
(States Senator and widely known political chief, to 
George F. Hoar, of Massachusetts, his long-time friend. 
It was truly a thing to feel gloomy over; but Mr. Jones, 
while matters of this kind always weighed heavily upon 
him, was not by nature a gloomy man. He did not sit 
down to weep away the remaining years because he had 
not saved a fortune in the public service. When his term 
of office expired he decided to come again to Arkansas, 



and take up as best lie might the practice of his profes- 
sion in his home county. He intended to open his office 
at Hope. He went to Washington, the old county seat, 
and looked over the court docket to ascertain the volume 
oi business being done there. To his chagrin he found 
that there was too little of it at that time to justify an- 
other lawyer locating here. Furthermore, he had been 
away from Arkansas so long, and had been identified with 
the bar of the State so little during his life, that he did 
not feel that he could, at his advanced age, make a "go" of 
it. He bad now passed his three score mark, and was in 
no physical condition to stand the labors which would in- 
evitably be necessitated by the building up of a practice 
in Arkansas under the conditions named. 

On the the other hand, he was known and loved by 
everybody at the Nation's capital. One could but have 
his respect for Senator Jones increased when he saw with 
what consideration and courtesy the latter was treated by 
the employees, high and low, in all the great departments. 
His most influential friends were there, and he knew that 
they would help him when they could, ft was but nat- 
ural, under conditions like these, that he stay there in- 
stead of returning to Arkansas; and although permanent 
separation from bis State was like the "wormwood and 
the gall," it was a decision to which he was nevertheless 
compelled to come. 

Before he had fully determined, however, just where 
he should open his office, and indeed while he was on a 
visit to the home people in Hope, just after completing 
his last service in the Senate, there came a telegram: 


'teenator Junes, go to Washington and represent us 
in a certain case. n was irow a man whose interests 
in.- imu umuj limes laitniuny iookcu alter wiiiie a teena- 
101, anu lor wnow ne nau none many a ULLie personal 
lavor. me message seemeu like a Gousend. Air. Jones 
went iwineuiaiei.y to liie station and wired: "1 start to- 
mgnc lor \\ asnington. He aid the piece of work weii. 
iue gentleman Uimseil came on to tiie capitai in a few 
days to wind up tne matter and settie with Mr. Jones for 
me latter's services. When asked the amount of his fee, 
he was met with the reply : "Well, 1 never charged a 
cent for such services while a (Senator, and now thati am a 
private citizen and the work is of a legal nature, f don't 
know what would be the right amount. 5So just give me 
what you please." 

"No, f will do nothing of the sort," said the man. 
•• You must name your fee." 

-Then if you will not do that, f will simply charge 
you nothing at all, for 1 do not know what amount to 

The man turned to the desk where he sat, wrote a 
cheque for one thousand dollars, and, handing it over to 
Mr. Jones, asked if that were satisfactory. 

•Why it is four times what the work is worth," re- 
plied Mr. Jones. "Take part of it back." 

The man not only refused to do this, but turned 
around and wrote another cheque for a thousand dollars, 
and handing it over said : "Now take this as a retainer's 
fee. I will want you to look after our interests here from 
time to time." 



Here were two thousand dollars at the very jump. 
Air. uones saiu alter wards: "My career as a lawyer at 
tne Nation's capital was begun tueu aud there. " This was 
the nrst inoney ne had inaue alter he went out oi tne Sen- 
ate. And iroiu this his business expanded. 

Vv ith the money made in the law he easily supported 
liis ianniy, and invested most oi what was left in real es- 
tate. He bought up some property near Little Hock, 
whose value has now more than doubled the price he paid 
tor it. 

i think we may say that James K. Jones left his 
family in good financial condition. 1 do not know at 
what his estate was valued when he died: it makes little 
or no diherence, anyway, so far as our study of him is 
concerned. -But it is important that we note that, unlike 
the average man who spends his prime of life in the public 
service — from which none who are strictly honest ever 
come out the financial gainers — he was able to start out 
again, in a ditterent kind of business, at an advanced age ; 
and during a half decade of practice not only support a 
family in the best of fashion at the Nation's capital, where 
the cost of living is exceedingly high, but actually build a 
valuable estate ! i regard it as one of the best in all the 
list of good things that we can say of our subject, that 
when he had passed his three score years, after which he 
had himself often said, when younger, that a man ought 
to retire and rest, he was able thus to start into what was 
practically a new work to him, and do so well. And I 
make bold to say that it is a thing that not one man in 
fifty, similarly circumstanced, accomplishes! 


Air. Jones was regularly al his office during office 
hours. Business did not often take him away from the 
capital, most of his work, i think, being in the nature of 
investigation of matters in the departments and else- 
where, in Washington. His practice was all civil : he did 
not seek nor wish for any criminal business. It was his 
oft-asserted motto that "if you take care of your office the 
office will take care of you." To the end that the office 
and the work would take care of him and his family, he 
was always to be found at his place of business and ac- 
tive in the discharge of each day's duties. 

He took his son as a partner in the practice. It was 
the chief ambition of his later years, so Mrs. Jones told 
me, to arrange it so that that son, himself a good law T yer, 
would have a competent business. He considered the 
training of that son, and being able to guarantee to him 
a profitable business after he himself should be compelled 
to retire, as vastly better than a heritage of lands and 
goods. James K., Jr., had successfully practised in Ok- 
lahoma City before Senator Jones went out of the public 
service, but preferred to join his father at Washington 
City, to staying there. He now has a large and lucrative 

Notwithstanding he was away from Arkansas nearly 
nil the time during those last years, Mr. Jones never lost 
interest in the State's affairs. He was always concerned 
in the Commonwealth's industrial and political progress. 
He was, too, deeply interested in the preservation of its 
history. He was at one time President of the Arkansas 
Historical Association, an organization which since its 



incipiency in 1904 has done a wonderful work towards 
preserving tor ail time the (State's remarkable past. In a 
letter to Prof. J. H. Reynolds, under date of July 10, 1901, 
he said : "Certainly the people of our (State will not be 
behind in this work. 1 am ready to help, and others will 
be just as ready to help as you or 1 can be.'" And he 
"hastened" to "assure" him of his "hearty co-operation." 

What is more, Mr. Jones hoped some day to come 
back to Arkansas to live. While he kept until his death 
his citizenship in Hempstead County, he was not satisfied 
even to reside at Washington, and often expressed his de- 
sire to return to the (State which had so signally honored 
him, to spend his last days. He often did come on visits, 
making one or two trips every year. On these occasions 
he would invariably go around to see his old friends, bap- 
tizing himself again in their esteem and 'ove. 

It was on such a visit that he came in May, 1908. 
(Spending a few days at Washington and Hope, he went 
again to the paternal homestead in Dallas County. 
Never, it seemed, had friends been so glad to see him and 
never had he enjoyed their friendship more. When he 
reached Dalark, in Dallas County, he told the members 
of the family who were with him that he "would just walk 
out to the place by himself, "since he wished to "go through 
the old woods again." So, while the rest rode in a carriage 
to the old place, he took a short cut and went alone to his 
father's grave in the family burying ground. What 
thoughts out of the mighty past must have come to that 
great mind, what emotions must have swept over that 
heart, as the now venerable statesman and patriot stood 


there at the grave of his sire! At least one wish was 
gratified,even if he could not live here again where his 
youth was spent: he had paid the reverent tribute of a 
loving heart to the parent whom he had characterized as 
•'the very best man I ever knew." Alas, that he was not 
to be premitted, too, to stand at the grave of the mother 
he adored as a boy! 

When Mr. Jones came on to the house he complained 
of feeling sick and worn out. That night he came to 
Little Rock to spend two or three days among his friends 
and relatives, before returning to Washington. Just here 
let me make mention of what seems to me a striking and 
significant fact. It is said that often the souls of the 
great are visited by prophetic dreams of death and eter- 
nity, that they realize ahead of time the events of the 
future. I am sure — because it is the universal testimony 
of friends who talked with him then — that Mr. Jones felt 
this visit to be his last. Several times he expressed him- 
self to those closest to him, that he didn't feel it would 
be long before he would be called to go. Just before he 
left Little Rock for home, he wrote to his wife : "This is 
my last day here — until how long no mortal knows. If 
it is my last, it is all right and I do not complain. I 
have lived out almost the allotted time of man, and have 
about rounded up my life's work. The sun is approach- 
ing the west in plain view of all men — the night cometh." 

He so strongly felt the effects of the heat of that last 
walk to the homestead, that he remained in his room at 
the hotel most of the time. He was unable to go around 
and greet many of the friends he intended to see. He 



therefore took particular pains to see that they were told 
the reason why. "jSow be sure and tell Smith," he 
said just as he was leaving, "that I wanted so much to 
see him, but was too sick to hunt him up." This was the 
kind of urgent request he left for many; and this fact 
aione is enough to convince us that he had forebodings 
that the end was near, and that he would never again look 
into those loved faces. 

Reaching home on Friday, May 29, much fatigued, 
the family physician, Dr. Z. T. Towers, was summoned. 
Though dressed and walking about the room, the Sena- 
tor's heart action was so weak that he was ordered not to 
walk up and down the stairway, and consequently took 
his meals upstairs. All day Saturday he wrote let- 
ters and met friends who came on business and to 
make social calls. On Sunday morning his wife noticed 
that he had great difficulty in articulating, and 
she hurriedly called the physician again, and their son. 
The physician stated that the patient suffered with a 
slight stroke of paralysis. The Senator rallied somewhat 
by noon, and toward night expressed himself as being so 
grateful at being at home. About five-thirty, however, 
the great heart ceased to beat, and the pure spirit, freed 
from the cares of a worn-out physique, fled to the further 
shore of the Vast Unknown. 

The immediate cause of death was paralysis of the 
heart. Rut it was nothing more nor less than the same 
old trouble — a worn out constitution — that had com- 
pelled him in 1899 to go abroad and rest. The machinery 
of that frame, which people had thought many years be- 


fore could not run for any considerable length of time, 
had carried him to an honored and successful old age. 
It had been commanded constantly to do hard service; it 
had performed long and Avell its work; it could carry its 
burdens no longer. 

The funeral was held at the residence in Washington 
City, and the remains buried in Rock Creek Cemetery 
Thursday, June third. Rev. J. W. Duffey, of Harrison- 
burg, Virginia, officiated. The honorary pall-bearers 
were: Senator Robert L. Owen, of Oklahoma, Judge G. 
C. Howey. of the Court of Claims, J. H. McGowan, C. F. 
Norment, J. 8. Swormstedt, Colonel R. J. Bright and 
James D. Richardson. 

Hundreds of telegrams of condolence, and scores of 
floral tributes expressing love and sympathy, were re- 
ceived from all parts of the Union. 

Senator Jones was, and is, survived by his widow, 
one son, James K. Jones, and two daughters by his first 
wife: Mrs. Lenora Jones Carrigan, of Hope, Arkansas. 
and Miss Sue Jones, who lives with Mrs. Jones in Wash- 
ington. He was also the father of two other children, 
who preceded him to the grave: Mary Jones Plant, of 
Minneapolis, who died of heart failure while on a camp- 
ing trip with her husband; and Nathaniel Jones, who 
was killed in Washington, Arkansas. 

His half sister, Mrs. Jennie Grow, lives in Little 




A man's record of actual accomplishment counts for 
much, and the public has in the past almost universally 
judged by this alone. It is the verdict of history that he 
who has achieved much has been, regardless of his char- 
acter and private life, acclaimed worthy of luster and the 

The world is agreed upon at least three of its five 
greatest men. They are Alexander, Caesar and Napoleon. 
Likely as not Charlemagne would be given fourth place, 
if a straw ballot could be taken of those who are conver- 
sant with the accomplishments of the heroes of the past. 
The first three, the unquestioned trio, were as unscrupu- 
lous as circumstances and occasion demanded, and the 
fourth, the questionable, had an admixture of evil pretty 
prominently flowing in his veins. 

The world is perhaps now coming more and more to 
consider character, in its estimate of greatness; as, wit- 
ness the sentiment for Washington, for Lee, for Lincoln, 
as the fifth in the ranks of the great men. Nobody in an- 
cient times would have thought of Homer, Socrates, 
Pythagoras or Plato, as even approaching, in the matter 
of greatness, leaders like Achilles, Xerxes, Cyrus the 
Great, Nicias and Themistocles. But we are coming to 
recognize worth and merit of character as determinative 
of greatness. America looks upon Lee, for instance, not 
as a military leader, primarily, because as such he was a 
loser, while Grant, his inferior at many points, was a win- 
ner. It rather goes beyond this, and observes the man- 



lier traits of liis make-up: the admirable fortitude that 
bore him up in defeat, and turned disaster into glory; the 
far-sightedness that realized ahead of time the doom of 
the Confederacy ; the masterly courage that beat so in- 
sistently upon the closed door of victory when he knew 
there was and could be no admission ; the love for truth ; 
the fond clinging to the family tradition which while he 
was yet a hoy his father had sumned up as they walked to- 
gether along the winding banks of the Potomac, "Robert, 
the Lees never lie," — these make the conquered cheiftain 
loom large up on the horizon of modern public favor. 
True, it sees him through the maze of a mighty struggle a 
hero in the Virginia campaign, and admires his splendid 
skill, even in defeat; but I am sure it is a very hazy con- 
ception the public has of him as a military actor. They 
rather appreciate, North and South alike, the courage 
which it took to say, when offered the supreme command 
of an army which would inevitably march to victory and 
place him in the presidential chair, that which he knew 
would result in hurling him from the promising precipice 
of victory and a resplendent civil career, into the abyss of 
overwhelming defeat. 

Lincoln looms before us not as a chieftain, nor even 
as a practical business man who is able and resourceful 
in the face of problems which tax the highest ingenuity 
coupled with the finest courage; but rather as a sorrow- 
ing father of his people, like the Christ of Calvary, finds 
his supremest happiness in bearing upon his own shoul- 
ders the cares of men and women. 

There has been one man from Arkansas in the coun- 



cils of the Nation who may have been both more versati'e 
and widely known than James K. Jones, and another who 
perhaps bears the distinction in the public eye of having 
been greater, using the word in the narrowed sense of 
deeper, more able to see and grasp the occult and the ob- 
tuse. But in the galaxy of the great of Arkansas, no man 
in public life, past or present, bears a prouder title to an 
untarnished character and stainless private life than the 
subject of this work. 

It is a great deal in this age of commercialism and 
greed, to say of a man simply that he possesses the nega- 
tive characteristics of honesty and truthfulness. It is 
far more to be able to say of him that^ he is positively 
righteous. James K. Jones was not simply a good man, 
one "in whom we see not the slightest mean trait,"' — and 
I do not mean this in the sense that he was never at fault 
— but he was aggressive in his goodness. He was a friend 
to his friends and a friend to his enemies, in the truest 
sense of that word friend. No man ever applied to a pub- 
lic official for a position commanding pay for the mainte- 
nance of a livelihood, having a good and righteous claim 
to it, with better chance of obtaining a square deal, than 
to Senator Jones. Unlike the grizzly Sage of Tennessee, 
who ruthlessly removed worthy office-holders from their 
posts to give place to his unscrupulous henchmen, upon 
the hypothesis that "to the victor belong the spoils" ; he 
never committed a wrong to help a friend to a post, or to 
displace one not his friend from a position which was di- 
rectly or indirectly subject to his appointive power. On 
the other hand, one of his closest friends told me that he 


never asked Senator Jones for a single favor that he did 
not receive. I simply mean to say this of him, that his 
distribution of favors was governed solely by the right- 
eousness of the claim of the candidate for favor. 

And yet this was only a minor characteristic of Mr. 
Jones, and one which never demanded any real sacrifices 
on his part. These positions for distribution were sim- 
ply gifts to him, which he was permitted to pass on to 
his friends. I come now to a mark of character which 
affords a better avenue of insight into the internal make- 
up of the man, one that furnishes proof incontestable that 
where necessity and want cried out. he was ready to re- 
spond to the wants of his fellows by sacrifices personal 
and financial. Tt is a true test of the character of anv 
man that he be willing to divide his purse with his fel- 
lows unfortunate. It is much to say of a public servant 
that he stands in the public forum day after day. night 
after night, on the ragged edge of health and life itself — 
upon the rack, as it were — against the tyranny which 
threatens to throttle the progress of humanity and coerce 
the people into paths of poverty and squalor. Tt is a 
great thing to hurl one's self, at the disadvantage of pri- 
vate fortune and health, more often with the minority 
than with the winning side, against oppression and wrong, 
bolstered with power until it is formidable. During the 
months while the Wilson tariff measure was before the 
Congress in which he managed the Democratic forces, not 
a night passed that Senator Jones did not, at his home, at 
the expense of rest and sleep, receive and interview, cal- 
culate and figure with, far into the sleepJiours. represen- 



fives of interests from all over the laud who came to place 
their causes before him for legislative recommendation. 
His home hours were made to suffer, and his health ma 
terially impaired, that the great fight might be success- 
fully waged iu the interests of the public weal. Mrs. 
Jones said to him repeatedly, and believed in her heart, 
that had the contest raged for a month or so longer, his 
life would have had to be surrendered. It was more than 
patience and endurance could long withstand. After the 
controversy ended he was sick for months, and hope of his 
recovery from the strain almost abandoned. In the per- 
iod of convalescence he wandered over Europe in search 
of health and much improved his condition. "It seems 
to me," he wrote to a friend, "that I have not been so well 
in ten years. But," he added, "a machine that has been 
running for sixty years is necessarily wearing in some of 
the important parts, and cannot be as good as new." 

I say it is a tribute warranting the greatest pride, in 
this day, when public servants are so careless of their 
trusts, for one to have it said of him that he risked his 
very life in battle for the progress of mankind. But even 
this is not accorded the praise, in the Father's praising, 
which is given to him who divides the very salary he re- 
ceives for his services, and upon which he is veritably de- 
pendent, willingly giving part to those he finds in need. 
(And no people in the world are so frequently called upon 
for charity funds as United Stales Senators, i If any 
man in need who had done the best he could and had fal- 
len down, or any institution of charity, or any represen- 
tative of any interest which really needed financial help, 


ever received from James K. Jones a flat refusal of finan- 
cial aid, T am yet to learn of such ; and I have searched 
to find one! 

The daughter of a lady who was at the time in des- 
perate financial straights lay sick with the fever. Little 
hope of her recovery was entertained. As Mr. Jones left 
the capital of his State, himself sick and in search of 
health and vigor, he dropped by the house of that mother 
and said to her: "I know that you are proud, as T am, 
and do not like to take money without hope of early re- 
payment; but T want to leave this hundred dollars with 
Fannie, that while she is sick she may use it to buy flow. 
ers and refreshments. Take it as a favor from me. The 
money was received. Tt was kept. The girl died, and 
it paid her funeral expenses. I know that this is true, 
because T heard it from the lips of that grateful mother. 

Senator Jones had no patience with a man who had 
squandered his means, had let slip his opportunities, and 
had idled his manhood away, and who would then 
come and ask for aid. But no man lives today, and no 
man has lived, who could say of him that he had no sym- 
pathy with the failing man who had done the best he 
could. His mighty heart went out to him who had tried 
hard and had lost out. There are hundreds of cases on 
record today where he stooped down and "smoothed the 
ruffled sleeve of care," where fellows of merit and man- 
hood had received misfortunes and reverses and only 
needed to be put on their feet again to get another start. 
The same disereet distributor of political favors was the 
kind-hearted provider who arranged for the purchase, on 



borrowed money, of a home for a family of unfortunates 
who had done the best the}' could, and who were under 
the cloud of adversity. In the front yard of that very 
home today the visitor to Little Rock may see a spread- 
ing Crimson Rambler rose bush, now grown to full ma- 
turity and flowering each year, which Senator Jones 
brought to these friends, then a tiny sprout, with the re- 
mark : "I just thought you might like it." It was then 
the simple remembrance of a thoughtful friend: today it 
is the loving memorial of the knight that was! 

This simple kindliness which was so marked an at- 
tribute in his make-up was not the effervescence of super- 
fluous cordiality, but was deep and genuine enough to 
make him reach down into his pocket-book to help where 
help was needed: it was of sufficient intensity to make 
him borrow money for the purpose. This generosity 
reached even the beggar on the street. I have it from the 
very best authority that the waifs, the maimed, the halt 
and the newsboys on the streets of Washington City knew 
Senator Jones and followed him about, imposing upon 
the liberality of his great heart. I know that many times 
he gave the last cent of change in his pocket to some poor 
wretch who importuned him, and walked the full distance 
to his home, foregoing the pleasure of a car. A friend 
walking along Pennsylvania Avenue with him one day 
noticed that an unusual number of beggars approached 
him on his way to the capitol : and made the remark that 
some of those beggars might take advantage of his gen- 
erosity. "Doubtless they do," came the quiet response, 
"but I'd rather give twenty-five cents to an unworthy fel- 


low any time tiiaii to miss giving wiieii a man is really in 
need." Ami this ironi a man who knew that ins own 
nberanty was so proverbial tiiat tiie beggars at the capi- 
tal ui tiie Lnited folates actually lay in wait for hini, and 
imposed upon him oiten! 

Mr. J ones was polite without being eiieininate, and 
courteous always wnnout being superhuous in it. He 
was not in any sense oi the word a hail-fellow-well-met. 
VV iien a man approached him, unless he knew him well 
he was lnenuiy, but not easily drawn out. When he had 
listened to tiie man s presentation oi his cause he would 
without iear or favor tell him his own conception of the 
merits ol tne cause, and act accordingly. 

1 have mentioned that as a young man he gave the 
appearaneeof studious meditanveness, with a possible im- 
pression ol coldness, in the rub oi politics this had been 
partially polished away, but he never bubbled over with 
sentimental gush. In his wife he had a perfect counter- 
part through all the difficulties and sorrows and discour- 
agements that crowded about him in his public career 
and private life. Her jolly disposition acted always like 
a tonic oi' healthy inspiration, a pleasant tincture of 
stimulating medicine that brought wonderful cheer and 
radiance into his life, reacting upon the gloom and dark- 
ness of his studious and anxious and meditative disposi- 
tion. He was not a moody man, as Garland was, but he 
was not by nature as jolly as Depew, and not as polished 
and courtly in outward appearance as Blaine. His wife 
was the joy and polish of his life and character. 1 shall 
presently have more to say of this noble lady, and the 



family life of "the plumed knight." 

Keliecting the sunny disposition of that wife, he 
was always a man with a word of cheer where cheer 
was needed, f know a boy today — and there are many 
others besides — who will tell you that a word of en- 
couragement from James K. Jones, spoken to him in 
in that youthful period of wild skepticism and scur- 
rilous doubt, saved him to a sane view of life. "He 
told me i could succeed if i tried/' is what he will tell 

And this man was big enough to turn and speak a 
Kinu w old even 10 a servant in the home. A king in 
iLm presence oi political opposition, he could gra- 
ciously turn to cue coiored cook in the home of a friend 
anu ieii her in a most knightly manner how "f enjoyed 
lUe coinbread you made for uinner." He was a knigni 
j List as truly to tne honest negro woman who was do- 
ing ner duty by her children, earning their bread in the 
sweat oi ner brow, as to the hist iady of the land, who 
enjoyed the palatial comforts oi the stately White House. 

lew peopie, i make bold to say, occupying his high 
station in iiie, ever care to make the heart of the poor 
unfortunate swell with hope, and many who wish to 
do so cannot, for one reason or another. Mr. Jones 
both could and did. Without compromising in the 
least the dignity of his exaited post he could stoop 
down and cordially grasp the hand of the vagabond, 
the sutferer, the helpless, and start him on the road to 
i* new accomplishment and success. And never did he 
do this for persoual prestige or popularity with any 



inan or oass ox uicii. ^.\u man iias ever yet accused 
in in, uuu uo man aare accuse nun, ui deiuagoguery. 
And mis, coo, when in a political contest which iinaily 
proved his deieat and retirement from political life, 
there were arrayed against him in the most bitter an- 
tagonism the forces of cheap flattery and demagogic 

i have said that he was a modest man ; and mod- 
esty might have been mixed with homesty in his loath- 
ing of the tricks of the demagogue. I have no better 
illustration to furnish than the following story: Mrs. 
Jones was recently in Texarkana, and the friend whose 
guest she was took her into the beautiful new Metho- 
dist church there, to have her see it. One of the sev- 
eral stained giass windows Mrs. Jones admired very 
much, and, intending to have a memorial window to 
her husband placed in the representative M. E. Church, 
South, which it is hoped will soon be erected at Wash- 
ington. D. (J., she asked her hostess if she knew what 
that particular window cost. The reply was, "No, I do 
not, and 1 do not know who gave it to the church. I 
think it was some friend of the pastor, living in Ar- 
genta, but am not positive." On leaving the church 
they met the pastor, who took Mrs. Jones by the arm 
and led her back, saying: "I am going to tell you 
something that has never passed my lips before." Stop- 
ping with her at the very window she had so admired 
a few moments ago, he said : '"Your husband put that 
window there, and made me promise to tell no one. 
Since his death, however, I feel that the seal of silence 



should be removed, and .so I tell you, the first person 
next to myself to know of it.'' 

The great Senator was so modest that he would 
not eveu speak of such a gift to his wife! And it re- 
mained for her, years after the geuerous Senator had 
passed iuio ihe Great Beyond, to learn of his benev- 
eence from a stranger! 

Cordial and pleasant with people everywhere, Mr. 
Jones never hunted up meu for the sake of meeting 
aud making an impression upon them — a failing 
lo which many of our public aspirants are heir. He was 
fine at remembering faces, but rather poor at recalling 
the names of people whom he had met casually. Often 
he was uikeu advantage of by former acquaintances 
who would ask him upon sudden meeting if he reinein- 
beied them. Perhaps recalling that he had seen a 
face before, he would answer the question in the affirm- 
ative. "Then, who am I?" would sometimes be the 
query. Naturally he would take offense at such treat- 
ment. This failure to call names readily would often 
embarrass Senator Jones when he came back to Ark 
ansas on visits. He would invariably, on such visits, 
if his health permitted, make a personal canvass of his 
old friends, and chat awhile with each of them. But 
sometimes he would prefer sitting around the house all 
the afternoon to going up town, for the simple fear that 
he would not be able to call the names of some who 
knew him and who would expect that he would remem- 
ber them and all the circumstances of their meeting. 
One great paper spoke of him as being "a man of 



modest means and modest habits of living a man 

of marked personal popularity, but not affecting 

the habits of the smart set. And Charles Daniel, 
writing for a noted daily, and contrasting him with the 
Republican National Campaign Manager, Mark Hanna, 
stated that, "affable, courtly and pleasant," (Senator 
Jones at the same time wished to rule by the consent of 
his associates, and not bluntly and by personal boss- 
ism. "He would take advantage of no one," said Mr. 
Daniel, "not even for the party's gain." It was this 
same element in his character that D. F. Murphy, whose 
letter is quoted on other pages of this volume, meant 
when he spoke of '"that modest reserve which is so 
marked an attribute of your character." 

Mr. Jones was an optimist. Optimism is "the gen- 
ial current of the soul." It is the radiant light and 
warmth of a wholesome nature. Pessimism is the with- 
ering blight that freezes up this genial current. Happy 
is the statesman who is an optimist. So many of our 
governors and representatives preach constantly that 
the country is going to the bow-wows. Mr. Jones was 
not blind to the mismanagement and corruption patent 
in the trusts; he was keenly sensitive to the wrongs 
and oppression under which humanity labors and suf- 
fers; he hated the means by which the few have become 
rich at the expense of the masses; he inveighed with all 
his strength against the powers which have stripped 
the poor of their wealth and turned it into the coffers 
of the unjust; — but he was an optimist, nevertheless. 
"1 believe that men grow better," he said on one occa- 



.sioii, "more benevolent, and more unselfish with the 
spread of intelligence and the advancement of civiliza- 
tion and enlightenment." On another occasion, speak- 
ing of our people and our country, he said : "We have 
a country marvelous in resources, blended with a salu- 
brious climate, and a people sprung from the progres- 
sive and adventursome elements in all nations, equalled 
in self -reliance, energy and determination by no people 
on earth." He lived to see the opening of the new cen- 
tury of prosperity, and died looking down its corri- 
dors, with a hopeful and confident belief in the future 
of regenerated wrongs, of ills cured, of burdens lifted — 
an age, in short, where every honest act should be re- 
warded by another one, and no gem of purity and good- 
ness should lose its rays beneath the uncovered tombs 
of extravagant waste or legislative favoritism. 

•lames K. Jones was proud that he hailed from 
Arkansas. It is much to say that before the Nation he 
proclaimed the glories of his Commonwealth, and there 
lived out the loyalty he so nobly declared. But I can 
say more of him: To the day of his death he kept his 
citizenship in Hempstead County, the place where he 
received his first political "boost" when the citizens of 
that section sent him to the State Senate back in the 
seventies. Jn Little Eock a very few days before his 
death, a Cazette correspondent, interviewing him upon 
important public questions, asked, incidentally, 
"whether he did not now reside in Washington, D. C. 
ilt," to which he Hashed back the immediate reply: 

(1) Fertinent question, because the charges of absenteeism 
had been partially responsible for his defeat in 1902. 



"No, sir, my home is, and has long been, at Hope, Ark- 
ansas!" This was no more an outburst of sentiment 
than the fond expression of any patriotic being when 
(lit' place of his home is asked for. Why he stayed at 
Washington at all, after he retired from public ser- 
vice, 1 have already told. But the frequent visiting 
returns to the scenes of his early young manhood, the 
renewal of the old friendships in the later years, the 
oft-asserted claim of Hempstead County as his home 
till death, convince me that he was altogether sincere in 
what he said on one occasion, long before (1) : "I am 
proud that I am a citizen of Arkansas. I am proud to 
be reckoned as one of her sons. I am proud of the fu- 
ture that spreads out before our Commonwealth. I am 
proud above all things of the distinguished men who 
adorn her history and whose names have become illus- 
trious." I wonder if he then dreamed of the fame- 
laurels which that State he loved so well was destined 
one day to place upon his brow. I wonder if he thought 
that he too might some time be numbered among those 
distinguished sons who "adorn her history." 

Listen further to the words of gratitude and pa- 
triotism, spoken to the citizens of his home town (2) : 
'•There is no place on earth so dear to me as my home, 
and no plaudits so grateful as those which come from 

my home friends and my neighbors For whatever 

of distinction I may win in life, I am indebted to yon. 
citizens of Washington and Hempstead County 

(1) Gazette, Feb. 1. 1888. 

(.2) From a speech to the Washington. Arkansas, crowd 
that greeted him upon his return from Little Rock after the tirst 
election to the U. S. Senate. 



Often have I wished in the past, as I know I shall wish 
in the future, to get away from the pomp and splendor 
of the Nation's capital to enjoy the grateful shade of 
that magnolia there (1), and the genial companionship 
of the faithful friends who surround me." 

And he did. Ofteu in the course of his senatorial 
career, he would write to some and remark to others 
of his closest friends, his anxiety to get back home 
and go over "the old scenes." No lines from human 
peu, nor sentences from human tongue, can fittingly 
portray the longing of a heart like that! And I cannot 
understand upon what other ground than for the pur- 
pose of appealing to the prejudices of the people, the 
charges were brought against "the Plumed Knight of 
Arkansas" in that last political tight, that he was un- 
patriotic, aloof from, and disinterested in, the progress 
aud welfare of the (State which he had served so long 
and well. Happy fortune, that permitted him, only a 
few days before his death, to go over those old scenes, 
look again upon the homesteads in Dallas and in Heinp- 
stead Counties, and stand with bowed, uncovered head, 
;ii his good father's grave! 

One of the secrets of Mr. Jones's success — as iudeed 
the reader will already have discerned — was his di- 
plomacy and tactf ulness in his association and inter- 
course with men. I do not not mean that he ever re- 
sorted, for the accomplishment of any end, to the meth- 
ods of the cheap politician. I have said he did not. 
Hut Mr. Jones was able where other men were not, to 

(1) Of particular interest because it is said to be the 
largest magnolia tree in the world. It is still standing. 



go to almost am r man, even of those who opposed him, 
and make him his strong and steadfast personal friend. 
He showed a skill in dealing with political enemies which 
I think has been revealed by scarcely any of our states- 
men. He frequently employed this to win appropria- 
tions for the people of his State. He would go to the 
Republican leaders, tell them of the needs of his people, 
convince them of the genuineness and righteousness of 
those needs, and prevail upon them to grant the money 
necessary to meet them. This method was a thousand 
times more effective than the silver speeches of the 
other well-inclined and patriotic representatives, whose 
eloquence reverberated from Washington back home! 
They got the glory that comes from being eloquent; Mr. 
Jones got the money for Arkansas! From all the in- 
formation T can gather — and T speak deliberately — T 
believe Senator Jones was as well, if not better, liked 
by the Republicans generally, as any other Democrat 
in Congress while he was there. He was universally 
respected, and almost universally loved. Tt is a trib- 
ute to his tact simply to say of him that he could ob- 
tain concessions from leaders of the majority like Al- 
drich. which other Democrats would not consider pos- 

Senator Jones was a chivalrous man. He was a 
Southerner, first of all. with every bit of the cordial 
frankness to men and the knightly courtesy to women 
that marked the Southerner of the "olden days." A 
story was told of him in one of the earlier campaigns, 
which I give here because it illustrates this trait so 



well. He owned a magnificent blooded horse of which 
he was exceedingly but justly proud. When a North- 
ern friend came down on one occasion to pay him a 
visit on his plantation, Mr. Jones bragged a good deal, 
so the story goes, about the qualities of this colt, and 
the next day took his friend for a cross country drive. 
They hadn't gone far when they overtook a slow-moving 
buggy occupied by two old women. Mr. Jones slack- 
ened his pace and pulled in behind them in a great cloud 
of dust. Here he remained, meekly following the buggy. 
The friend became impatient. ''Jones,'' he said pres- 
ently, "why don't you let your plug out and pass those 
women?" Mr. Jones, so the account goes, growled 
back almost savagely: "They are women, sir, and in 
the South we always take their dust." Evidently much 
put out, however, that he couldn't go ahead, he added : 
"But if they were not women I would show you there 
isn't a horse between here and Bolton Kange that can 
out-trot my colt." 

As I have intimated on other pages of this biogra- 
phy, Mr. Jones was not a verbose man. Throughout 
the course of his legislative career he was noted, 
like his distinguished compeer, Garland, as being a man 
of feAv words. And, like (rarland, he always made what 
he did say count for something. Tt was known that 
when he arose to address the Senate, both solons and 
spectators were to hear something worthy of the closest 
attention. He was never accused of being a florid ora- 
tor: he did not strive to obtain the reputation of being 
such. He was bold enough, on several occasions, to 


send copies of his speeches oil important subjects to 
constituents and to county and state newspapers; but 
only when lie deemed the matter upon which he talked 
of sufficient import to make it not only expedient but 
necessary that he do so. His modesty in this, as in all 
things, was of unquestioned genuineness. One editor 
said of him, speaking of his appearance on the Senate 
floor: "For a man honored as he is, he bears himself with 
extreme modesty." 

We have seen that bis direct and pointed style of 
speech was maintained through the trying, word-pro- 
voking ordeal of the national campaigns of which he 
was general manager for his party. T can find no words 
which will quite so well convey to the reader's mind 
this directness, positiveness and simplicity of speech of 
Mr. Jones, than the pen portrait set down by a certain ad- 
mirer. Tt is so accurate and direct itself that T quote it 

Some men use words as riflemen use bullets. They 
say but little. The few words go right to the mark. 
Thev let you talk and guide with your hands and face, 
and on and on, till what you say can be answered in 
a word or two. and then thev launch out a sentence, 
pierce the matter to the quick, and are done. Your 
conversation falls into their mind as a river into a deep 
eh asm and is lost to siffht from its depth and darkness. 
Thev will sometimes surprise von with a few words that 
so to the mark like a Qfun shot, and thev are silent a?ain 
as if thev were reloading. Such men are safe counsel- 
lors and true friends where they profess to be such. 



To them truth is more valuable thau gold, while pre- 
tention is too gaudy to deceive them. Words without 
point to them are like titles without merit, only betray- 
ing the weakness of the blinded dupes who are ever 
used as promoters of other men's schemes. 

The same simplicity that marked his style of public 
speaking we find evidenced in all the actions of his 
career. In running through a scrap-book I found a 
piece of doggerel, written in the attractive lingo of a 
campaign and pertaining to his activities in the first 
of those contests mentioned awhile ago. It empha- 
sizes the fact that our statesman, for all the dignity of 
of his lofty station, was just "plain Jones"; and is so 
good that I cannot forego the pleasure of placing it 
upon these pages: 
It was back in the days of '95, 
When silver and Popocrats didn't thrive, 
A bill came up in the Senate one day. 
And the Senators thought they'd have their way 
Spite of what Gorman and Wilson could say. 
Put a man from Arkansas — name was Jones, 

Just -Jones, 

Plain Jones, 
Spoilt the Senators' ^ame, and made no bones. 
And later on, in '96, 

When the East and the West got into a mix. 
And they met at Chicago to straighten it out. 
Jones was there, and he knew what he was about, 

Yes, Jones, 

Plain Jones, 



Not Boss, nor yet Dennis, but only just Jones. 
And the Populists they made a hullabaloo, 
Same as they generally allers do; 
And they pulled the harness their separate ways. 
But somehow when daylight let in on the maze, 
Bryan was thar, and thar he stays, 
And it looks to me like a case of Jones — 
Yes, Jones, 
Jim Jones, 
And you just keep your eye on this man Jones. 

Thus far I have given an estimate of Mr. Jones's 
character in both public and private life, my informa- 
tion being based upon contact with those who knew him 
best and watched him closest, and upon a, T hope, faith 
ful search through many written testimonials and trib- 
utes. I have said little about his life at home. T can 
never completely judge the character of any man, how- 
ever, until I have made a study of his conduct within 
the sacred portals of that sanctuary: for many a beast 
and tyrant in the home stalks forth in the mantle of 
courtesy and smooth fraud, and his real life is never 
known. T have been able to say a multitude of good 
things about the subject of our study without going 
behind the curtain for a scrutiny of his life with his 
family around the fireside. And T hesitate to draw 
that curtain, because I know T cannot tell you with suf- 
ficient descriptive power what you should have seen 
there revealed, if you should have gone behind it. Great 
in the halls of public legislation, magnificient in the clash 
of public debate, proud and unconquerable in the shock 



of political war, the humble simplicity of the man in- 
side the door of his home stands in delightful contrast. 
T never had the pleasure of setting foot inside that por- 
tal ; bnt the fact that many friends who did revel in the 
joy of that simple home, and, better, that some mem- 
bers of the family, who knew him best of all, still live. 
make it possible that we form an estimate of this as- 
pect of the great Arkansan's character, that no phase 
of his noble life go unappreciated . 

Prom the time the young bride and groom moved to 
Washington, Arkansas, to take charge of the newly ac- 
quired plantation which the senior Jones gave them, 
their home was a most happy one. T have already 
stated Mrs. Jones's belief that those days on the farm, 
when they were both doing the roughest kind of physi- 
cal work to keep the wolf from the door, were the very 
happiest of her life. 

A man of strict business habits and performing 
daily the most exacting tasks, James K. Jones made it 
a rule to forget all the cares and worries of the day, 
when at dusk he returned from the plow or office to an 
evening's rest. Only occasionally did he allow its peace 
to be broken by matters of business. T have mentioned 
that in times of special stress and strain connected with 
ltis management of measures in the Senate of the United 
States, he did permit his home hours to be infringed 
upon. These were, however, extreme cases; and his 
rule throughout his married life was to bury the crosses 
of the day and shut out all business matters when he 
entered the happy circle of his family. "His home," 


says one who knew him many years and often enjoyed 
its hospitality, "was his haven of refuge and escape from 
the struggles of his profession and the turmoil and 
strife of politics." 

From the time he was married down to the day of 
his death, Mr. Jones remained the constant courtier 
and ardent lover of his wife. She was his one great and 
constant delight; and he made it a habit to spend jusl 
as many hours of each day as was possible in her pres- 
ence. "It was a matter of common talk,'' says one who 
remembers the happy home at Washington, Arkansas, 
"how much Jones thought of his wife. It was their 
custom, after the day's work was over, to walk together 
in the gloaming." Their companionship was beautiful. 
When he was not at his office he was with his wife. Tt 
was either work or home with him, and he seldom did 
any loafing on the streets. When business hours were 
over he hastened to his family. 

This happy comradeship lasted throughout the al- 
most half-century period of their married life. At the 
Nation's capital, when public honors filled his time more 
than it had ever been filled before, and public dm its 
made more stern demands; when the management of 
bills, the holding of conferences, the reception of visit- 
ors who came to pay respects, the procuring of posi- 
tions and looking after the interests of friends kept him 
at his post, even there he managed to wedge in many 
hours for home, and his family remained his chief de- 
light. At this Washington home he enjoyed, for more 
than a quarter of a century, while attending faithfully 



to his work, the loves and losses, the cares and crosses 
the hope and happiness, of wife, son, daughters, daugh- 
ter-in-law, and grandchildren. From it several mem- 
bers of the family were carried on their final journey to 
''God's acre," and from it, at last, he himself was taken 
to his last earthly home. 

It is fitting here that T tell what must have been the 
chief reason why that home was such a happy one. In 
his admirable wife James K. Jones possessed not only a 
most faithful companion but a helpmeet in the truest 
sense. To him she was sweetheart, wife, companion, 
friend, and, withal, his life's inspiration to ambition, to 
daring exploit, and to constant labor. Coming from the 
finest stock — she was the daughter of Judge Willis Somer- 
ville, of Dallas County, whose ancestry numbered nota- 
ble and worthy Revolutionary heroes, he himself being one 
of the distinguished men of his section of the State — she 
combined the rarest hereditary gifts with the best quali- 
fications for home making that can come from the schools 
of refinement, grace and culture. Much to her credit, she 
turned those excellent traits into the channels of a most 
useful service and most wholesome personal influence. 
She had the good fortune early in life to be educated by 
a true father, who believed in giving his children the best 
advantages within his power. "Latin and Greek." said 
one writer, speaking of her equipment, "gave her strength 
and mental vision which became of untold service in later 
life, as she was called to be the silent aid of her distin- 
guished husband." 

Mrs. Jones put these gifts to the best practical service 



during the early lean years just after Mr. Jones had en- 
tered the practice oi law. Uy teaching a large music class of 
young iadies at Washington, Arkansas, she helped uia- 
iL-iuniy in keeping a tun cupboard. jL\o faithful wife ever 
uvea uUo was unwilling to uo wnatever siie might to Ueip 
ounu ine lanniy ioiiune. And f think no lady ever more 
wiiiingiy uiu wnuievei ner hanus lound to do to thus help 
ul'i nusoanu, inan uiu me wile of James K.. Jones. 

Aftiue Horn being ine helpmeet in tUe home, and the 
source ui ceaseless inspiration to him in all his labors, she 
was, anu is, a woman the cardinal tenet of whose life is 
service, i tnink a in tie birthday poem, written by her 
good friend, Airs, iiettie H. Littlepage, in 1880, so weil 
presents her true character, that 1 make excerpts from it 
here : 

The poor and needy always find 

In thee a faithful friend, and kind, 

Who hears no piteous tale unmoved, 

Nor unjust actions e'er approved, 

And whose kind heart and tender hand 

They always can, at will, command. 

If laid upon a weary bed, 

The sick soon learn to know thy tread, 

And with a grateful feeling turn 

To greet thee, — and if absent, yearn 

For thy soft touch to charm away 

The pain that claims them for its prey. 

A cultured and accomplished woman in every way, 
Mrs. Jones was especially entertaining at the piano, and 
this fact furnished endless pleasure in the home, both at 



Washington, Arkansas and Washington, D. C. The 
former place was, back in the seventies, the Athens of 
Arkansas, as well as one of the State's chief agricultural 
and business centers. It was the mother of great men, 
more of the Plate's distinguished sons having hailed from 
that than from any other town of its size within her bor- 
ders. What is more, it was a great social center in those 
days, young people often coming there from all parts of 
the Commonwealth to enjoy the hospitality of friends. 
And no home was more frequented by these than that of 
Mr. and Mrs. Jones. It was the meeting place of many 
a gay and happy crowd of the Washington youth, who 
found delight in the cordial entertainment accorded them 
there. As the young lawyer climbed upward on the 
rounds of the political ladder, leaders from all parts of 
i he State would come there to get advice and counsel for 
the conduct of their battles. 

After they removed to Washington, D. C, the Sena- 
tor's home became a social center for the many Arkansas 
people employed at the capital. And visitors to the city 
likewise made it their chief rendevouz, whether they came 
to stay a short time or for weeks. This continued the 
case, even after he went out of the public service and into 
the law and the recouping of his private fortune. It was 
a home never lacking in large hospitality. One gentle- 
man stated that if at any time any hint was conveyed by 
the wife that the walls of the "mansion" were getting a 
bit narrow for hospitality, the Senator would playfully 
retort, "Oh well, if we had twenty-one rooms they would 
never hold enough." 


Fond of his friends, Mr. Jones loved to nave thew 
about niiii constantly, lie was not mat kind of politician 
ma i iikes always lo see you on the street, and greets you 
with a smile and hearty hand-clasp, but never caves to 
utKe you wiih him into the sacred portals of his home. 
\\ ith him the latch-string was always on the outside to 
his friends; and Arkansas people, who many times were 
made welcome, no matter at what hour they called, be it 
before breakfast in the morning or at an unreasonab'e 
hour of the night, knew it, and today attest the fact. 

1 think Mr. Jones believed his wife the best political 
asset he possessed. She always accompanied him on his 
great campaigns, and always helped him in the attain- 
ment of (he goal he sought. 1 have already, on other 
pages, told how she won over representative Baker, of 
Benton County, Arkansas, to vote for her husband in the 
first con lest for United States Senator before the Arkan- 
sas legislature, and 1 think the incident well illustrates 
her influence in swelling his political fortunes. She did 
not think her duty done when she had made his home the 
happiest possible: she went with him to render him what 
service she might, into the forum of political battle. 

A man who loved to keep the family gathered about 
him, Mr. Jones was beloved almost to the point of being 
worshipped by every member of it, and by some of the 
kinsfolk outside of his own immediate family circle. The 
sweetest time of the day to them was when he was at 
home late in the afternoons and the evenings, when they 
would indulge in games, social amusements and loving 
conversation. And when business took him for a few 



days or weeks away from them, the da}" never got too 
crowded wiih business matters that he did not write to 
ins wife and children. When death invaded that circle, 
as it several times did, it seemed almost to break the old 
man's heart. But he would always choke back his feel- 
ings of sorrow at reversal, whether it were death or de- 
feat, with the expression that it was God's will, and that 
that must be acquiesced in without murmuring, whatever 
iis decrees might be. 

Even the servants were markedly fond of Mr. Jones, 
and sought every opportunity to do him little "extra 
turns."' On the other hand, he himself never let pass a 
chance to bestow little favors upon them. At Christmas 
time and on other occasions he would remember each one 
with some little gift. 

f could say much more of Senator Jones as a home 
man. Of deeply affectionate nature, and possessed of 
strong sentiment, he was eminently capable of making 
and of appreciating a happy home to the very fullest. 1 
conclude with one sentence, given me by Mrs. Jones her- 
self, now an old lady of three score years and more, whose 
hair is almost white, and who is willingly resigned to the 
fact that only a few more years at most separate her from 
the life-mate she loved so well. The sentence alone is 
better than pages of description in which 1 might strive 
to draw the picture of the great man in the home. It 
speaks volumes on the character of "the plumed knight" 1 
— nay, it alone would stand as an everlasting monument 
to the chivalry of this brilliant man, had I said not one 
word more of him than simply to quote it: "During all 



the forty-five years of our happy married life together, 
he never spoke a cross word to me, and was more courtly 
to me just before he died than he ever was in our youth!" 

Lastly, Mr. Jones was a religious man. In his youth, 
he was naturally inclined to be of a skeptical turn of 
mind. He lacked faith. His was a temper that loved to 
reason everything, — earthly problems, issues heavenly, 
God. Of course he ran iuto complexities whose myths 
be could nor solve, with all the efforts of his investigating 
nature. He was therefore inclined to questionings, mis- 
givings, and outright doubtings. With all this, how- 
ever, he did not denounce openly the faith which is es- 
sential to Christianity, but kept the even tenor of his 
search, striving ever to see the light. His was an open 
heart, always ready for and welcoming the truth. 

Finally, he found this truth for which he searched. 
On a trip to Texas when a young man of about 
twenty-three years, in quest of a health which few believed 
he could ever find, he found something far better than 
this physical development. On the trip he carried several 
books with him. and among them one treating of the evils 
of skepticism. It was while reading this book that for 
the hist time he saw the light of faith which spans the 
otherwise unbridgable chasm between the earthly and 
divine, between morality and Christianity, between doubt 
and assurance. It was by reading this volume that he 
was convinced of the error of unbelief; and ever after- 
wards skepticism was unknown to him. From that time 
on, down to the end, he kept faith with his Master. That 
searching nature now took on a new aspect : it changed 



to aii insatiable longing to know more and more of the 
great eternity in which he now so thoroughly believed. 
Only eight days before he died, he said to a friend, talking 
of the future life : "Td give worlds to know what's in the 
great Beyond." 

Though reverent and religious, he nevertheless did 
not give himself to the exclusive support of any dogma, 
creed or denomination. He was not orthodox. While at 
Washington he was most of the time a regular attendant 
at the Mount Vernon Methodist church, and aided in the 
support of its pastor. His generosity was known, how- 
ever, by ail churches, all over the land, irrespective of 
denomination. Often he and his wife would not attend 
the morning services at church, but instead would spend 
the forenoon in a long tramp across the Potomac and 
into the Virginia hills. He loved, after the taxing labors 
of the week, to be alone with his life-mate, in the silent 
and reverent worship of God through nature. So, so of- 
ten he would remark to her, "The groves were God's first 
temples."' This love of nature itself, I think, amounted 
almost to a worship with him. His joy at getting out 
amid the solitude of field and forest to commune with 
his Maker; his love of birds and helpless animals cap- 
tured from nature's haunts; his fondness for pets; his 
almost Wordsworthian appreciation and enjoyment of na- 
ture's wonders, — these things convince me that he loved to 
see God most of all in nature. If he preferred this to 
allying himself with any orthodox denomination, and con- 
scientiously refused to sanction any dogma, the reader- 
will not blame him for it. 


Mr. -Jones was not a tree thinker, however, using the 
term in its common acceptation: he was simply possessed 
of liberal views. Though attending the Methodist church 
customarily, he was broad enough ou one occasion, for in- 
stance, to go out of his way to commend the Catholics 
for their great work in reaching down and lifting up the 
underman. In advocating greater educational facilities 
for the negro of the South, he urged that Protestant de- 
nominations follow the example of their Catholic broth- 
ers, who, whenever they found the ignorant, the "un- 
washed," the lowest down in civilization, "lay the foun- 
dation there, do their hardest work there, and so found 
themselves in the very bed-rock of society." 

Senator Jones was well versed in Biblical history and 
literature. It is said by those who knew him closest that 
he possessed a remarkable knowledge of the contents of 
the great Book, and could quote, whenever occasion de- 
manded, most any passage which any one would start and 
could not finish. I am glad that I have found little of 
the tendency to use Bible quotations in his political and 
other speches ; for so many political demagogues nowa- 
days, purposely versed in Biblical lore, use their knowl- 
edge in base and fraudulent fashion to win influence tor 
Themselves. And the fact that references to the Bible were 
not used conspicuously in the utterances of Mr. Jones but 
strengthens the conviction that he possessed none of the 
tricks of the demagogue. 

There is perhaps no occasion when a man comes 
nearer to revealing his true self, his character, than when 
he stands at the grave of a friend. Here the tongue of 



calumny or cavil which he may have for other occasions 
is silenced; the unrighteous greed for gold is qualmed; 
the scales fail from eyes gaugreened by the unholy lust 
for gain, and here the iieart beats clear from nia'i- 
eious purposes. And if this be true of men whose nat- 
ural tendencies are bad, it is far more true when applied 
10 gentlemen of the highest reputation. I know of no bet- 
ter way of giving a real insight into the religious charac- 
ter, as well as of showing the eiegant style, the admirable 
diction, the masterj' of the richest gems of poetry, the 
depth of thought on such occasions, the literary ability, 
of ••the plumed knight," than to quote a few of his utter- 
ances in praise of his former fellow laborers in the na- 
tional legislature. On one occasion near the close of his 
public career, he said (1) : "The example of a good man 
lives after him, aud long after he ceases to take a part 
amongst his fellow-men, the good he did during his life 

will be effective and valuable to those who come 

after him." I make this quotation here simply to reveal 
the man in his own longing to do something himself which 
would benefit others after he had passed. The many 
hundreds now living, whom he touched as he went along 
life's pathway, speaking encouragement for today and for 
the hereafter, with common acclaim attest that his ambi- 
tion is fulfilled. 

Most of these speeches delivered over the dead were 
impromptu tributes, and were therefore rather the spon- 
ianeous outbursts of a trusting heart than the finely 
turned eulogies of a brilliant mind. When others of dis- 

(1) This speech may he found, 57 Cong., 2 Sess., p. 2191. 


tiuctioii had spoken at length to a quiet and mournful 
Senate upon the character of the deceased Senator Aus- 
t in F. Pike, of New Hampshire, it remained for Mr. Jones 
to rise and say, briefly but beautifully (1) : "Mr. Presi- 
dent, upon occasions like this, when 


Of the last bitter hour come like a blight, 

and sad images 

Of the stern agony and shrouded pall. 
And breathless darkness and the narrow home 
Make us to shudder and grow sick at heart, — 
all human ambition sinks into insignificance, the rival- 
ries and resentments of active life are forgotten, and our 
thoughts turn to the question of the patriarch, "If a man 
die. shall he live again?'" 

And now, listen, as the great Senator goes on to say: 
"The one characteristic that distinguishes man from the 
rest of the animate creation is our belief in and hope of 
immortality The ages have given no higher ex- 
pression of the hope of that hereafter which is hidden 
from us now by life, and no expression of a firmer trust 
in him who watches the sparrow's fall, than the trium- 
phant words 'I know that my Redeemer liveth.' '' 

Finally, he concludes; "If, in the Great Beyond, in 
that existence which T like to think of as the -sweet bye 
and bye,' the Eternal I Am shall judge us by our actions 

here Mr. Pike will have naught to fear." 

Where shall we ever find a stronger evidence of a 
man's great faith in the eternity of the Christian, than in 
such expressions as "our belief in the hope of immortal- 
CD 49 Cong., 2 Sess., p. 1814. 



ity" ; "'I know that my Kedeemer liveth'"; and "the ex- 
istence which I like to think of as the 'sweet bye and 
bye'?" If we are to find it anywhere, I submit that per- 
haps it may be in the following excerpt from a letter 
which he wrote to his wife, just three days before he went 
into that "existence" : "If this is my last day here it is 
all right and I do not complain. The sun is approaching 

the west in plain view the night coineth. I have 

tried to live for a clear sunset and a quiet night after I 
am gone — I can't do much more. God bless you and keep 
you in the hollow of his hand." 

Mr. Jones on another occasion in the Senate gave a 
striking and beautiful interpretation of death itself. In 
speaking of the death of Daniel Ermatrant, of Pennsyl- 
vania ,he said (1) : "No matter how frequently the grim 
monster may invade the circle of our friends, each suc- 
ceeding visit causes us a shock as if no such experience 

had ever come to us Frequent repetition accustoms 

us to most things, but not so with death We are 

never called to stand by the grave of a departed friend 
but it brings back with vigor and force the great question 
of the patriarch to which it is said the ages have brought 
no answer: 'If a man die, shall he live again'? 

And now hear his construction of the true answer 
to that query : "The development of science, the pro- 
gress of learning, the experience of mankind, have brought 
no answer to that great question. But it is well for hu- 
manity that b)i faith and inspiration a triumphant answer 
came from the same lips that propounded it, which ans- 
wer has needed no additional strength from science, his- 

(1) 56 Cong., 1 Sess., p. 6036. 


tori/ or experience to convince those who believe in the 
truth of the revelation — "For I know that my Redeemer 
liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the 

earth In my flesh shall I see God!' Nowhere within 

the bounds of human knowledge is there a more sublime 
truth, a grander hope, or higher inspiration 1 i, than this 
triumphant declaration by the man of God. It has com- 
forted the millions who have approached this great 
change, and it will shed light and happiness, comfort and 
consolation, to the hearts of millions yet to die." 

Some of the sweetest as well a smost convincing evi- 
dences of Senator Jones's trust and faith I find in pri- 
vate letters which he wrote to friends. A helper in every 
kind of personal need, a God-send in periods of financial 
embarrassment, a messenger of mercy on occasions de- 
manding physical assistance, he was most of all a friend 
in times of overwhelming sorrow. When the death angel 
entered the home. that great heart went out in a sympathy 
that was genuine. He well could sympathize, when so 
many sorrows had come into his own life. "My sympa- 
thy with you is deepened by my own sense of loss." he 
once said. "'God knows how my heart has bled— has been 
broken under misfortunes from which, old as 1 am, 1 can 
never recover. Yet," he added, "it has always been a 
comfort to know that He 'doeth all things well'— He can- 
not be mistaken." 

It seemed that he always had the right word of 
encouragement and hope, at the right time. "I feel that 
T have lost a friend .too," he wrote once to a friend who 
(1) These italics are all mine. 



had just lost his wife, "a loss that must coutiuue down to 
the end. But John," he continued, "soon or late this 
must come to every man on earth, and we all must accept 
our share of these sorrows. Those who remain are the 
sufferers, not those who go ; and God in His mercy can and 
will bring all these things around for our good." Many, 
many times, in letters to friends in distress, he would 
quote the words a preacher once spoke to him amid the 
sorrow of a great loss : "The God of all the earth is too 
wise to err and too good to do wrong." "This," he would 
say, "has comforted me through all the sorrows of the 
years. God will always do just what ought to be done." 
Mr. Jones's life was a God-planned and God-guided 
life. And no man more readily, once he saw the divine 
plan, gave himself up to the working of the Master 
through the instrument of his life, than did he. "I fully 
believe," he once said, "that there is a life work laid out 
for every man. . . . We do not ourselves know what is best 
for us or for others. It is our duty to face the front, to 
meet the obligations that devolve upon us ,to discharge 
them earnestly and faithfully." He universally advised 
young men who would come to him for counsel, that they 
obey unquestioningly the will of God, whatever that will 
might be, with reference to their own lives. James K.- 
Jones was as humble as a little child in the presence "f 
the divine will, and ever reverently put aside his own de- 
sires at the voice of God's commands. 






I am going to publish here a thing that Mr. Jones 
never showed to any living human being, with the excep- 
i ion of his wife, during all the years that spanned the long 
period between the day it was made and the day of his 
death. He was so modest that he did not even show it to 
his children, and it remained under lock and key, as it 
were, among his wife's valuables. It is herewith made 
public, with her consent. Surely the good Senator him- 
self will not now object to our giving forth to an appre- 
ciative public that which in life his modesty forbade him 
revealing to even the most intimate friends. Mr. Jones, 
it will be remembered, was engaged in the mercantile 
business at Arkadelphia when the War broke out. About 
a year before the struggle came on he had gone to New 
York to buy goods for the stock. It was these goods, by 
the way, whose purchase, on credit of course, afterwards 
caused him to go into bankruptcy, and for which he was 
not able to pay until after the contest had been ended and 
he had again gotten on his feet. While he was in the 
great metropolis he decided he would go to the celebrated 
L. N. Fowler, the greatest living phrenologist, and get a 
chart or characterization of himself, that he might bet- 
ter know how to improve upon the weaker traits in his 
make-up. This was July 14. 1860. I may say that I 
never saw this paper until I had completed the biogra- 
phy; and I could have known nothing of the contents of 
a thing whose very existence was unknown to me. The 



reader will have noticed from reading the study we have 
made of him, however, the prominent traits of the great 
man's character, and will know how well the celebrated 
doctor detected them, even when "the plumed knight" was 
just coming into his majority. 

The report follows: 

You have a sharp, wide-awake, intense, active organi- 
zation. If you were a business man, you would do more 
on flic same capital than most persons. You impress 
people with the idea that you have confidence in yourself 
and in your cause (1), and thereby beget confidence in 
other people. If you were a lawyer, which you ought to 
he rather than to follow any of the professions beside, you 
would impress the jury with the idea that your cause was 
right and you felt it and knew it. ft would be hard for 
you to undertake a cause that was not just, but if you 
were to make yourself believe that your cause was right 
you could impress others with the idea that it was, so 
far as manner and apparent sincerity are concerned, — in 
other words, you do heartily whatever you undertake. 
You have not that kind of slack, twisted modesty (2) that 
undermines your own cause lest you should offend any- 
body's pride by being bold and full of assurance; but you 
strike for the highest notch ,and, if you fall a peg or two, 
you hold on to what you get. 

You are spirited in resistence, bold in making at- 
tempts, and in accomplishing what you wish. You are 

ft) Yes. so strong was his confidence in the cause of silver 
that he had heen looked upon as the very embodiment of that 

(2) No one ever doubted the sincerity and genuineness of 
the Senator's modesty, or dared to call it "slack." The italics are 



prompt, ready-, earnest, iuil of zeal and elliciency. Iou 
belong Lo tne express train — the one that lias a clear track 
— anu wlien you blow your whistle you wish all the way 
trams lo switch oil ^ij. iou will make money, if you 
are properly trained m business {'1). lour neighbors oi' 
the same employment would look upon you with jealousy, 
uut those engaged in hardware, or grocers, etc., would 
iikc to see you prosperous, because you are a good neigh- 
bor ana warm irieud. li you were engaged in politics 
you wouid generally run ahead oi your ticket, iou Lave 
strong party feelings, uence you are a irieud to those for 
wnoin you vote ana to those with whom you work, and 
you expect friendship manifested tow aid yourself — hence, 
you would make a good party leader. 

You are known for your hrniness, will power, pride 
and enterprise- You might have more reverence, more 
faith, more prudence and circumspection, and be bene- 
litled by the increase. 

You have but little imitation — you care to imitate 
nobody, only prefer not to be especially odd and eccentric, 
but want elbow room, want to feel free, and don't like 
the fashions to confine you — You love liberty, and will be 
very careful to secure it — liberty of speech, elbow room 
in business, and chance for personal gratification and in- 
dependent action. 

Intellectually, you have that sharp, intense spirit 
which characterized .John C. Calhoun. You have some- 
thing of his temperament, giving you great individuality, 

(1) Not that all might look at him, but that he might 
better accomplish his purpose and task. 

(2) Which, it so happened, lie was, at the time. 



great positiveness, and a tendency to centralize everything 
that pertains to yourself in yourself. You do not lean 
on others, are no parasite, and dislike to owe anybody any 
favors, or money, for that matter. You like to feel that 
you have won your own success and stand on your own 
pins without support from anybody. You would do well 
as a merchant, quite as well as a manufacturer, or would 
succeed well in engineering or natural science; but you 
will never be satisfied till you have become a lawyer, a 
public man ( 1 ),or else a merchant in large and influential 

You cannot talk in so wordy a style as many, but 
you talk to tbe point, and that convincingly (2). You 
have a sharp, clear intellect; are a good judge of charac- 
ter, of properly, and of the ways and means to increase 
your power ,your health and reputation; are well adapted 
to govern other men, to be at the head of affairs and a 
leader, hence, would succeed well as a teacher. 

You are capable of ardent love and great fondness 
for children, pets and whatever is helpless and pretty. 
You should encourage a religious disposition (3) and a 
patient, calm state of the mind. 

(1) This ambition to be a lawyer and public man, fired 
from his boyhood study under Judge Coleman, detected at this time 
when he was only twenty-one. lasted, as we have seen, throughout 
his whole life. Italics are mine. 

(2) Note the tribute to this characteristic quoted on page- 

(3) We have already seen when the change from skepti- 
cism to reverence came. 




(Written expressly for this book.) 
1 became acquainted with (Senator James K. Jones, 
of Arkansas, wane a member oi Congress . My term be- 
gan on the iourth ol March, ibUi, and, as i was a young 
man, i was only casually acquainted with the members 
oi ihe (Senate until the light on tne silver question began. 
Even then 1 did not become intimately acquainted with 
many oi tneni until alter my term oi service expired on 
March i, 18i)o. in June oi that year a meeting was 
acid at Memphis, where a bimetallic league was formed 
lor the purpose oi organizing the bimetallic forces in the 
Democratic party witn a view to securing a platform 
ana a candidate favorable to bimetallism in iSilb. (Sena- 
tor -Jones was made chairman of the committee of hve 
appointed at Memphis to lead the bimetallic hght in the 
Democratic party, i attended the Memphis meeting 
and from tiiat time on was more or less intimately asso- 
ciated with (Senator Jones. When we reached Chicago 
we iotmd that we had won our hght and that we had a 
little more than two-thirds of the Convention. (Senator 
Jones, as leader of the organization which had made and 
won the light, was very properly selected as the Chair- 
man of the Committee on Kesolutions. i was the Ne- 
braska member of this committee, but my delegation hav- 
ing been shut out by the national committee, I could not 
participate in the deliberations of the resolution commit- 
tee until alter the Convention, acting upon a favorable 
report from the credentials committee, had seated my 



delegation. The piailorin was practically completed 
before 1 bad an opportunity to take part in the delibera- 
tions oi tne committee — only two or three planks, as I 
remember, and they not of great importance, were added 

About two weeks before the Convention f had called 
upon Hon. Charles H. Jones, then editor of the Post 
Dispatch of St. Louis, and found him preparing a plat- 
form for submission to the committee. He allowed me 
t( write the money plank in the platform, and when I 
entered the resolutions committee f found the platform as 
agreed upon by a majority of the committee contained 
the plank which i had written. I am not sure that the 
members of the committee knew who drafted that plank, 
but the phraseology adopted in Nebraska in 1894 had 
been taken up and endorsed by a great many of the States, 
so that ail the members of the committee were familiar 
with the language. 

As soon as the platform was completed the commit- 
tee adjourned to the convention hall and a few minutes 
afterwards Senator Jones sent a page for me. When I 
reached the Arkansas delegation he asked me if I would 
take charge of the debate. Nothing had been said to me 
about this before and his request came as a complete 
surprise. I accepted the invitation and asked him who 
had asked for time, and he replied that no one excepting 
Senator Tillman had expressed a desire to take part in 
the discussion. I then went over to see Senator Hill, 
and we agreed upon the time on each side, and I after- 
wards' arranged with Senator Tillman in regard to the 


order of our speeches. Alter the adjournment of the 
Convention 1 asked Senator Jones why he had given me 
the honor of controlling the time for our side. He re- 
plied that 1 had been active in the fight which led up to 
the control of the Convention, and that as 1 was out of the 
hall when a number of the prominent Democrats had 
spoken and had not had a (hance to address the Conven- 
tion, he thought that it was only fair that 1 should have 
a chance to speak in the presentation of the platform. I 
am sure that Senator Jones had no idea that the oppor- 
tunity he gave me would be of any personal advantage, 
and 1 may add that 1 had no thought of its bringing to 
me the advantage that it did. He was for Mr. Bland 
and was doubtless as much surprised as any ineniber of 
the Convention at the reception accorded my speech, and 
i was as much surprised as he was. 1 had thought be- 
fore the Convention that 1 might possibly be a compro- 
mise candidate, but it was the logic of the situation that 
ied me to believe so, not the hope of intluencing the Con- 
vention by any speech I might make. 

Alter 1 was nominated I weut before the committee 
;uiti npon m v own volition — I do not remember that the 
suggestion came from anybody — asked that Senator Jones 
be made the chairman of the committee. The main reason 
for this was thai the Senator had been the head of the 
organization through whose efforts we bad won the Con- 
vention, and was therefore the logical man to lead the 
light during the campaign. 1 bad a personal reason in 
addition, namely, thai if gratified my own desire to show 
my appreciation of the favor lie did me in giving me an 



opportunity to defend the platform before the Conven- 

i nave never regretted my part in his selection as 
chairman o± the national committee. He was the soul 
of lionoi- and 1 felt sure that he wouid do nothing to 
compromise me or to embarrass my administration if 1 
were elected; and i knew, too, that his whole heart was 
in the work ana that i would have the benefits of his 
ioug experience and i&rge acquaintance, i think he 
wouid liave been glad to retire in 1900, but I did not see 
anyone in whose wisdom and ability i had more confi- 
dence, and i urged dim to remain at the head of the com- 
mittee during the second campaign. 1 do not believe 
that we could have secured any other person who could 
have done better than he did. Looking back over the 
two campaigns, 1 am satisfied that he made the best pos- 
sible use of the means at our command, and I have never 
regretted the position of leadership accorded to him in 
the party organization during the contests in which he 
was chairman. 1 hold him in grateful remembrance and 
it was a delight to meet him and his family from time to 
time when 1 visited Washington. 

1 am glad to make this contribution to the pages of the 
book which will set forth his claims to the State's re- 
spect and consideration. He had a high conception of 
the official's duty to his constituents, and brought to the 
discharge of public duty ability, strict integrity, and a 
high order of moral courage. 




In the form oi' a letter to nie, under date of April 15, 
1912, Mr. Harvey pays The following tribute to Mr. Jones, 
aiid at the same time gives us some valuable informa- 
tion on the money problem, with the attempted solution 
of which, by the adoption of the double standard, Mr. 
Jones had much to do: 

Hear Sir: — 

.Replying to your letter relating to Senator 
James K. Jones, 1 knew him well when he was United 
States Senator and Chairman of the Heniocratic National 
Committee. He was Chairman of the National Commit- 
tee at the time Bryan was nominated and made the mem- 
orable campaign of 18 ( J0\ Senator Jones was loyal to 
Bryan and The platform adopted by the Heniocratic party 
on which Bryan ran. IT was he, AlTgelt and Stone, lead- 
ers of The National ConvenTion of 1890, ThaT saved the 
Democratic party from Hill and others who represented 
the money power. 

The problem of civilization will never be solved 'till 
the subject of money, the blood of civilization, is mastered 
by the people; and in the first campaign that ever brought 
the subject with engrossing attention to the people. Sen- 
ator Jones was Chairman of the Committee that directed 
our forces. 

We were defeated, politically, buT The agitation and 
advertisement I hat goM got caused thousands to go 1 -ok 
ing for gold in the n.oiintains aud placers of the world, 
who would not hnve lone so if it had remained a dormant 
subject. The result has been wonderful in relieving, 



temporarily, the financial situation. The world's annual 
production of gold is now more than three times as great 
as it was in 1896, only some sixteen years since, and is 
nearly double what both the gold and silver production 
was at that time. The campaign of 189b' was an epoch- 
making period, and the first step in what we will hope 
to be the solution of one of the most important questions 
thai must be settled right to save the civilization of the 
world. The small amount of primary money at that 
time had brought about very low prices, debts were con- 
fiscating the property of the people, business depression 
was general and armies of the unemployed were march- 
ing across the country as living petitions to Washington, 
praying relief from the stagnation that existed. 

Out of the struggle in which Bryan, Jones, Altgelt 
and others led, the world responded with an output, un- 
precedented in its history, of gold, the adopted primary 
money, and rising prices brought returning prosperity 
and temporary relief. 

i say relief because another phase of threatened evil 
out of an erroneous financial system will make useless 
the big output of gold and swamp the civilization of the 
world if not corrected. I refer to the usury system, prac- 
tically adopted by the people of the world in the last hun- 
dred years, and that has only become general in the last 
fifty years. It has created a monetary system that is 
drinking up the blood of civilization, concentrating it in 
the money centers, where it is financing combinations 
of interest and creating what is known as the industrial 
trusts. .Money is intended as a medium of exchange 


and any law or custom that diverts it from its civilizing 
function and holds it subject to a toll being paid thereon 
as a condition to its use as a medium of exchange, is erron- 
eous. It will grow like a snow ball, and if not over- 
thrown will destroy our civilization. 

Whether intended so or not, the campaign of 18DC>, 
when Senator Jones was at the head of the organized 
forces of the Democratic party, began the study of the 
money question, and it will continue until the problem is 
solved, or until the world sinks into another dark age. 

Hoping that you will find your task a pleasure in 
committing to history the deeds of Senator Jones, I am 
Yours very truly, 

(Signed) W. H. Harvey. 


It was not my purpose to publish letters which dealt 
with the general characteristics of Mr. Jones, of which 
I have received many, but only to give those estimating 
his efforts in connection with one of more of the great 
fights in which he engaged. But the brief letter from 
Senator Owen, of Oklahoma, is so to the point, and in a 
short space so well summarizes the character of the 
knight, that T think it well to quote it. Under date of 
June 24, 1912, he writes me: 
My dear Mr. Newberry : — 

I knew the Honorable James K. Jones, from Ark 
ansas, intimately well. He was a great and good man : a 
man of splendid intelligence; a fine judge of men, and a 
man of great industry; a man of great moral and mental 




He was a man of splendid physical and moral cour- 
age, and one of the splendid things about him was that 
he was always ready to defend an absent friend, without 
waiting to be requested to render this service. 

I was intimately associated with him and spent many 
a pleasant hour in his company. He was one of the most 
kindly and likeable men I ever knew. T used to take 
long walks with him, and exchanged personal confidences 
with him, and I felt the same affectionate regard for him 
as if he had been an elder brother. He was a man of 
great nobility of soul, and on the other side in the spir- 
itual world he is a Prince of the first magnitude. 

James K. Jones was true in every relation of life, 
as a father, husband, friend, party leader, citizen and 
soldier. I have great admiration for him, and will al- 
ways cherish his memory. 

Yours very truly, 

(Signed) Robert L. Owen. 


Dear Mr. Newberry : — 

I assure you I shall be glad to contribute any in- 
formation I can as to Senator Jones's war record, which 
I regret to say was so grossly misunderstood and mis- 
represented during his later campaigns. 

In the first place I will say that no truer or braver 
man lived in my opinion than James K. Jones 

On my return to Arkansas (1) in the fall of 1861 the 
excitement was great, and while I do not remember that 

(1) From Emory & Henry College, where Mr. McDaniel 
was educated. 



I had discussed political matters with Mr. Jones, like 
him I was not in favor of secession withoul some overl 
act on the part of Mr. Lincoln, but I do remember that a 
day or two after we heard of the fall of Fort Sumpter and 
realized that the War was begun, I was sitting in front of 
my father's store, when Mr. Jones came to me and in a 
very earnest manner told me that he was making np ;i 
company of infantry to go to the front. I was already 
a member of a volunteer company that had been organ 
ized, though not with reference to immediate war. and I 
told him that I was under obligations to that company. 
He, however, persevered in his efforts and soon had nearly 
enough men enlisted to make a company, which company 
was augmented by a part of a company already raised at 
Okolona. in that county. The company was temporarily 
organized by the election of James K. Jones as Captain. 
Captain C. S. Stark (of the Okolona contingent), and 
Colonel J. C. Munroe were also among the temporary 
officers. They soon inarched away from Arkadelphia to 
Little Bock, as fine a body of men as ever shouldered mus- 

This was the first company to be organized in Clark 
County for the War. 

Jones was a firm believer in military discipline, and 
enforced it fully. This would have been more acceptable 
to most of his company later when the real war was on. 
but most of the boys were of his own class and could not 
brook military discipline from one of thpir former in- 
timates and equals. So that when the company reached 
Little Eock and was sworn into real service, the next 



thing was to select their permanent officers. The result 
was that Mr. Jones was not elected Captain, but instead 
J. C. Munroe, and C. S. Stark, of the Okolona contingent, 
was chosen as a lieutenant. Stark was one of the most 
popular young men in the county , a farmer and an edu- 
cated and accomplished gentleman. 

Immediately following the circumstances above re- 
lated as his first experience in the War, I do not know 
what became of Mr. Jones, but have understood that he 
joined a cavalry company from Dallas County composed 
largely of his old friends and schoolmates, and they be- 
came part of the Third Arkansas Cavalry (1). I had 
gone to the War in the meantime with my company, the 
Clark County Light Artillery of Captain Roberts. "Rut 
certain it is that T saw Mr. Jones near Pocahontas, Ark- 
ansas, in the early fall of 1861 with Captain Holmes's 
Third Arkansas Cavalry, with a rifle and other accoutre- 
ments of a soldier. He looked pale and thin and told me 
he was not well and afraid he eor^d not stand the service. 
He was so thin and spare that the boys in his company 
gave him the nickname "Kamrod." 

I do not know how long Mr. Jones remained with 
this regiment, as T was on my way to Memphis with my 
company to join the Army of Tennessee and did not see 
him any more until after the War was over. Later, after 
the battle of Elkhorn, the Third Arkansas Cavalry was 
also transferred to the Army of Tennessee. 

A little while after this Mr. Jones joined Captain 
Reuben Reed's Companv. made up in Clark County, sev- 
eral members of which still survive 

(1) This is true. Cf. Chap. II. pp. 34-35. 


The fact that he went into the army again as soon 
as he felt able after each period of service is evidence 
sufficient that he was always ready and willing to go 
whenever he was able. 

I do not wish to reflect on anyone, now that it is past ; 
but T have felt all along that the Confederate Army 
missed the services of one who would have been one of 
its best and most distinguished officers when the origi- 
nal Clark County Company failed to elect Mr. Jones its 
permanent Captain. Promotion would have been sure 
for him and he was fitted for the duties of a high office, 
and would have been a valuable counsellor for his asso- 
ciates. I have no doubt that if he had been made an 
officer of rank he would have been able to remain in the 
service, the duties being less onerous, the fare better and 
the opportunity greater for taking care of one's health. . . . 
T do not think his rise would have stopped short of Major 

I am myself sure of his personal bravery, loyalty and 
patriotism. James K. Jones took the first company from 
Clark County to the Civil War, and when the Brooks- 
Baxter trouble came to a climax in 1874, Mr. Jones im- 
mediately carried some armed soldiers to the assistance 
of Governor Baxter, and became one of the strong factors 
in the War, where his ability and counsel were appreci- 
ated. His knowledge of what war was by previous ex- 
perience had not made him a coward. His going to Little 
Bock at that time with an armed force to join an unor- 
ganized resistance to what had become tyranny was a 
braver thing, if possible, than joining an ''army with ban- 



ners," as was the case in 1861 

This brings my remarks on Senator Jones to the 
point where his career is an open book to the people of 
Arkansas and the Nation. He was patriotic, zealous, 
honest and preeminent in every thing that goes to make 
the character of a great man and citizen. His knowl- 
edge and moral character made him a useful adviser and 
a safe guide for future generations. His equal is not 
often found, and his superior, never. 

Very sincerely and truly, 

(Signed) J. R. McDaniel. 


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