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Full text of "Massachusetts, and how she is governed : address of His Excellency Alexander H. Rice, delivered at the ratification meeting in Faneuil Hall, Thursday, Oct. 10"

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Fellow-citizens, felloto- Republicans, honest men of all parties and 
of all opinions, assembled here, — We have gathered hi this venera- 
ble hall, consecrated to patriotic and sacred associations and mem- 
ories, to pass together in evening in considering some of those 
important questions which affect the character and welfare of the 
nation at large, the peace and happiness of our own homes, the 
prosperity of our industries, and the renown of this gi-and old 
Commonwealth which we so fervently love. (Applause.) It is 
something of a heritage to be an American citizen. One feels it 
to be so when he stands within the precincts of Faneuil Hall, and 
opens his mind and his heart to the associations of this place. It 
is also a lofty privilege to be a citizen of Massachusetts. 


We remember that it was Massachusetts who first received upon 
her A-irgin soil the Puritan and the Pilgrim, who established here 
the principles which underlie all American civilization, and out of 
w^hich has grown much of the fame, of the happiness, and of the 
prosperity, which we of New England claim. We feel it farther to 
be a privilege to be a citizen of Massachusetts, as we take in here 


•And elsewhere the iiispiratiou ■which comes out of her devdioping 
history. Ever since the dawn of civil society here, her record has 
beeu a proud and honorable one, gratifying to her own people, the 
pride of the couutr}", and, to a greater or less degree, the admu'a- 
lion of mankind. Why, what have we on our light hand and on 
our left hand, in these war-ploughed summits, but the memorials of 
ilie patriotism, the valor, and the heroism of the men who followed 
u few generations after the founders? And what are the gory 
}iUiins and valleys that lie behind us but so many impeiishable 
altars from which arise the ins})iratiou of sacred memories, the 
incense of patriotism to the God of piety, of patriotism, and of 
justice? (Applause.) So too, fellow-citizens, not only in war 
but in peace, not onl}- in martial but in social and in civil achieve- 
ments, have wc much in our history* to be proud of. Those men 
who laid the foundations of societ}' here began an imperishable 
structm-e. They appreciated full}' the inestimable and the indis- 
pensable value of learning and of Aiitue as the foundation of any 
civil organization that they might erect upon them. And what 
have we in Massachusetts as the result? 


Let us see what sort of a Commonwealth this is that wc live in. 
Do you not know that provision has been made here for the edu- 
cation of every child in the State, irrespective of rank, birth, or of 
condition, and that we have to-day, as the fruitage from the seeds 
Ihatwere earl}- planted, more than three hundred thousand children 
in our 5,700 public schools? We have schools above those thus 
enumerated. All the towns, as you remember, of a large number 
of inliabitants, maintain liigh schools. Above them we have the 
normal schools, including the Normal Ail School, which has espe- 
cial reference to the industry of our people. "Wc have our seven 
colleges and universities, with theh' schools of law, of medicine, 
of thcolog}' ; our schools of science, our schools of technology. 
Then also we have throughout the length and breadth of the Com- 
monwealth, wherever people are gathered, the churches, with their 


Pl)ires pointing lieavenwaid, signif3"ing to all who are with us, and 
all Avlio come to us, that ours is a Christian civilization ; and that 
we thus still combine Christianit}' and learning together, and so 
maintain them as the only sure safeguards of the civil and social 
order which has been planted here, and which we are desirous and 
determined to maintain. Then also we have in this Massachusetts, 
institutions great in variet}', for the destitute and afflicted, not 
only in the towns, but we have also institutions supported at the 
public expense on the part of the State, representing every sort of 
need that humanit}- in its varied forms requires. We have hospitals 
for the sick and the insane, we have almshouses for the poor, we 
have prisons for the criminals, and then we have beneficent insti- 
tutions of every sort, kind, and variety' ; so that there shall be no 
fraction of humanity, however forlorn or desperate, that is inca- 
pable of taking care of itself, that shall not be suitably provided 
for at the public cost. Then we have, over and above all these 
eleemosynary and reformatory institutions, more than 450 public 
libraries, 127 of which alone have nearl}^ a million volumes. 150 
of these libraries are free, and are so many peoples' universities 
for adult and juvenile self-educators ; notable among them is the 
magnificent free librarj' of this city, with its attractive reading- 
rooms, 350,000 volumes, and annual circulation of 1,400,000 
among our resident population. 

Then also we have 22,000 manufacturing establishments in 
Massachusetts, employing more than 8280,000,000 capital ; and the 
value of our productive industr}', independent of our farms, is 
more than $525,000,000 annually ; and including the products 
of our farms, the combined labor of our people, the sum value of 
the productive industry of this Commonwealth of 1, GOO, 000 peo- 
ple, amounts to nearly the round sum of $600,000,000 per annum, 
or equal uearl}- to $2,000,000 for each working-day in the year. 
More than tliis, who does not know that Massachusetts has been 
nuidc illustrious also by the splendid examples of genius and 
atttiinment in other and the higher pursuits of life ; in the earl}- 
and daring and successful commerce which carried the flag, ex- 
tended the enterprise, and spread the fame of her "merchant- 


princes" to the utmost seas? "What skill have her people shown 
in invention, and in the amplification of facilities for multiplying 
the forms of cmplo^-ment ! How long and brilliant the catalogue 
of statesmen and philanthropists ; of divines eminent in origi- 
nality, piety, and learning ; of scholars profound in all ])ranches of 
human knowledge ; of poets, philosopliers, physicians, advocates, 
jurists, novelists, historians, and ornaments of every department 
of classical and polite literature ! 


My fellow-citizens, I say that you cannot find an area of 7,800 
square miles on the face of the earth, that is peopled by a popula- 
tion that enjoys larger civil, social, and domestic comfort and happi- 
ness, and, on the whole, prosperit}', than is enjoyed b}^ the people 
of this ancient and well-endowed Commonwealth. (Applause.) 
No matter who it is that carps at Massachusetts, no matter who it 
is that talks about her industry declining, about her honors wan- 
ing, or about her prosperity failing, about her manhood degenerat- 
ing, or her standard of progress lowering in the sky one foot : it is 
a falsehood. (Applause.) The State never had more solid pros- 
perity than it has to-da}' ; it was never more inspired by lofty and 
reputable ambitions and aspirations than it is to-day. It never had 
a keener sense of public honor than it has to-day ; and it never had a 
bolder, braver, more virtuous, more industrious, more prosperous 
population, a population equal to any emergency and prepared on 
ever}' occasion, public or private, to maintain the honor of the Com- 
monwealth and the safety and welfare of its people. (Applause.) 
But, fellow-citizens, there are those who challenge Massachusetts on 
these points, — who would have us believe that she is a misgoverned 
State, that she has been running to waste, that she has been 
lading out, and who tell us that her prosperity is gone. I think 
any man who assails the people of Massachusetts, any man who 
impugns the government of Massachusetts, any man who would 
stain in the estimation of the country the fail- fame ajid renown of 
the State of Massachusetts, ought to be one, to say th« least, 


who is enclovved with more than common intellectual gifts, and more 
than common moral virtues. (Applause.) Least of all should it be 
an}' man, whoever he is or whatever his vocation or his name may 
be, who seeks to defame his State, who seeks to belittle its people, 
who seeks to slander its government, who, in one word, seeks to 
pull down the character and fame of Massachusetts, to a lower 
level, in order to make himself of passing respectability. (Great 
applause and cheers.) I think I know the character of Massa- 
chusetts men and women better than to suppose for a moment that 
they propose to surrender the honor of their State, the custody of 
its institutions, or the conducting of its government, at the com- 
mand of an}' such individual or class of individuals, be they many 
or be they few. 

This is the kind . of Commonwealth that we inhabit, if I under- 
stand it aright ; and its preservation is what we are contending for 
in this campaign. 


Now, then, fellow-citizens, I want j-ou to bear with me while I 
sa}' a Uttle about State matters. Ver}^ likely 3"ou expect me to 
occup}' a portion of this evening in talking about them. 

I shall try to avoid egotism as far as I can. I shall try to avoid 
dealing with any man or an}' body of men unjustly ; but I am 
going, if it be possible for me to do it, to vindicate the adminis- 
tration of the government of this State during the last three years, 
and for the last twenty years. (Great applause.) There never 
was a baser slander, there never was a blacker falsehood told, than 
that the government of this Commonwealth, in the last three 
years, or in the last twenty-five years, has not been honorable and 
honest and humane. (Applause.) It is said that the debt of the 
State has been increased. Well, so it has. I desire to cover up 
nothing, and I shall shield nobody if I know it ; but I want the 
truth, and the whole truth, to be known. (Applause.) 

So far as I am concerned, and those associated with me, I am 
prepared here and now and everywhere to stand by your verdict, 


nnd lliat of tlio people of Massachusetts, upon the government of 
tlic Coinmomvcnlth. (Applause.) In 1861, in the beginning of 
tlml year, tb • debt of the State was a httle less than 87,000,000, 
— $G, 700,000. And it grew through subsequent j'ears, so that 
on tlic first day of January, 1876, it amounted to $33,866,000. 
"\\'cll, tliat is a very large increase. It covers a period of fifteen 
years. Now, there are some things in this world that are of more 
"N jtlue than uione}'. Libcrtj' is worth more than money, the main- 
tenance of law is worth more than monc}', the public honor and 
the j)ublic faith are worth more than money. Fidelity to one's 
countr}' in the hour of that countr3''s danger is worth more than 
money. (Ai)plause.) Massachusetts gave of her proudest and 
best, — the blood of her sons, and the labor of her daughters, 
took desolation into her famiUcs ; and she gave §16,500,000, of 
this very increase of the public debt for these objects, and for the 
l)rcscrvation of the Union. That was the testimony- of her ai)pre- 
tiation of the value of the libert}' and safety of this country, and 
her interest in having them sustained. (Applause.) Is there a 
man, is there a woman, in this assembly, or in this Commonwealth, 
Avho would sell the golden histor3' of Massachusetts for sixteen mil- 
lions of dollars? her war history? Wlij', fellow-citizens, do you not 
know how soon her sons started when the call came for troops? 
Scarcoh" a day i)assed before there was a regiment in arms in 
front of the State House, equipped and read}' for war. They 
went instantly, and thus excited the admiration of ever}' State 
through which the}' passed.; they shed their blood on the way for 
the defence of the capital of the nation ; and they were followed 
by thousands and tens of thousands of their comrades. On 
e\ cry battle-field, wherever the conflict was fiercest, there were the 
sons of Massachusetts, vindicating the principles of their fathers ; 
there they were oflTering their lives in devotion to the liberties of 
their country. So they went, so they fought, and so they per- 
ished by tens of thousands ; but they left a line of historic glor}', 
which all the carpers, all the cowards, all the rebels, and all the 
falsifiers on earth, can never obliterate to the end of time. (Great 
n])l)Iau8C.) While the brothers, the sous, and the fathers were in 


the field, bearing arms and putting their bodies between tlicir 
country and the guns of the enemy, the people of IMassachusetts 
at home were pouj-ing out their money liberally and freely in all 
work for the army. The}' were willing to be taxed to maintain the 
honor of the State, and the support of the sons who were on the 
battle-fields fighting for the honor and the institutions of the land. 
In this war sixteen millions of 3-onr public debt was made, now 
reduced to eleven miUions of dollars. (Applause.) If anybodj 
wants to take that back, I will be ashamed of him forever as a 
Massachusetts man. (Applause.) 


Well, we are not in perpetual war, thank Heaven, in this country. 
We live in a most remarkalile age. It is an age of development ; 
it is an age of progress, the world over ; it is an age which puts the 
fire of life into American enterprise, a determination not to be out- 
done, either in the field or in peaceable pursuits of commercial 
times. There was a great work commenced a quarter of a century 
ago in this State of Massachusetts, — a work which has become 
widcl}' known. To some it has an unsavory- mention ; but, after all, 
it is one of the grandest and one of the nol)lest achievements that 
was ever accomplished b}' the engineering skill of this or of any 
other country. I mean the Iloosac Tunnel. The Hoosac Tunnel 
has cost $17,000,000. There it stands. Nobody has ever brought 
any charge against the constructors or managers of that work, that 
it was not properly and ftiithfuU}' done, or that monc}' which has 
been j'car after yeav appropriated for carr^-ing on that work lias 
been diverted to private advantage or improper purposes. It is a 
magnificent monument, costly though it be, of the enterprise and 
audacious daring of this people. There was the great and growing 
West, with its teeming acres, raising grain and food enough to 
feed almost the whole civilized world. Ever}^ thing indicated 
that there would be gi'cater and greater prcssiu-c to the Atlantic 
seaboard, of the products of these States rushing to the markets 
pf New England and Europe. Competition was strong between 


all the Atlantic cities for the business of these great Western 
States. The genius of Massachusetts, and the enterprise of the 
business men of Massachusetts and of this cit}' of Boston, con- 
ceived the idea of making a parallel railroad to the Hudson 
River, expecting thcreb}* that a larger amount of this export 
business might be brought to the city of Boston, and that we 
might have an additional line of communication with the great 
grain States of the "West. The tunnel, as I said, cost 817,000,- 
000. Well, they built a bridge over the Mississippi River at St. 
Louis, which cost §13,000,000, On the other continent they ran a 
tunnel through Mont Cenis, which cost 612,500,000 in gold ; and 
there is another tunnel in progress, if it is not completed, at St. 
Gothard, which has cost a like sum in gold to build, at the lower 
price of European labor : so 3"0u see, fellow-citizens, that, great as 
this undertaking was, it has had its following among other enter- 
prising people in our own and in foreign lands. What is the 
result? We have the tunnel built. I am not prepared to sa}' that 
I would undertake it, if it had not been undertaken at all, even in 
the hght of to-da}" ; but I will saj' this : that, if we sink the 
monc}' that has been invested in it as an investment, we ought, in- 
stead of crying over and lamenting what has been done, to set our- 
selves vigorous]}' at work to get out of the tunnel in commercial 
value what we have sunk as an investment. 

So it is, the tunnel is accomplished ; and there it stands, in its 
magnificent grandeur, an eternal monument of the courage, the 
skill, and the commercial enterprise of our people. It is a per- 
fect piece of work. It will not need reconstruction. It is built 
for all time. Like all other works of human hands, it will un- 
doubted!" need repairs ; but the investment is substantially' ended. 
Trains oi :ars are to-day, and every da}' and every night, running 
baek and lorth in increasing numbers, bearing increasing volumes 
of trade to this State, thereb}' giving value to the harbor improve- 
ments upon which the State and the city have expended so large a 
sum of monc}', and inviting to this port, as possessing attractive 
and perhaps superior advantages to the steamship Unes of Europe 
which ai-e seeking for American business. The volume of busi- 


ness over the tunnel is increasing fort}'^ or fifty per cent per an- 
num. I expect the tunnel will in time develop a line of cities and 
towns along the borders of its connections from Boston to the Hud- 
son line, in number, size, and thriftiness commensurate with those 
along the line of the Boston and Albany Eailroad, and that without 
injury to the latter' s business. At the time the tunnel was under- 
taken, if I remember rightl}-, we had but one steamship in a fort- 
night, or ten daj-s, between Boston and Liverpool. Now, if I 
mistake not, Mr. Collector, we have six or seven steamers per 
week, — one a da}', — and the number increasing, for which thanks 
are largely due to that liberal and well-managed road, the Boston 
and Albany. There is ever}^ indication, fellow- citizens, that this is 
to become one of the largest exporting places on the Atlantic sea- 
board ; and one of the contributors to this now increasing prosper- 
ity is to be the much-maligned Hoosac Tunnel. 

Let me sa}^ that this is the one unimproved trunk line that is 
open to new connection between the Atlantic States and the great 
West. There is ever}' indication, at tliis moment while I am talk- 
ing, that this line wiU be extended into the valley of the Mohawk 
River, and bring us into direct communication with the Erie Canal 
and its vast business, until in course of time other communications 
will very likely be built across the State of New York, giving 
Boston a new line, a direct and special communication between 
our own harbor and the great grain-growing States of the "West. 
So much for the Hoosac Tunnel. 

The entire railroad debt to-day is represented by the round sum 
of $17,000,000, a portion of the cost of the tunnel having been 


And let me say, that, besides the war and the railroad d^bts, 
there are but $4,700,000 of the State debt to be accounted for. 
That money, like the rest, has been expended in the j'ears past ; 
and I speak with entire freedom, because none of these works 
have been undertaken since I held any office whatever under the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It has been my duty and my 


privilege to carr}' out to the best of m}- abilit}', with the best 
regard to the public treasur}', with the best regard to honest ad- 
ministration, with the best regard to ever}' man's doing his dutj* in 
his place, — it has been m}' duty to sec that this mone}', appropri- 
ated for works undertaken, has l)een properl}' expended and honest- 
ly disbursed, and that the work has been Aiirl}- and faithfully 
done. Now, then, the balance of this monej' has been expended 
parti}' in building a new asylum for the insane, at Danvers. That, 
also, is under criticism. The Danvers Lunatic Hospital has cost 
in round numbers about Si, 500, 000. That is a very large sum of 
money. I am not prepared to say that I think it expedient to 
spend that large sum of money in the erection of a hospital to 
accommodate the number of patients yrhich that institution will 
accormnodate ; but let me remind you of this one thing, that, after 
you have expended all the criticism that can be made upon that 
building, it still stands here on the soil of Massachusetts, one of 
its representative institutions, the grandest structure of its kind in 
the world provided for any such purpose. There has not been a 
dollar of money that has been misappropriated, or that has gone 
into the pockets of any individual, or into the hands of any clique 
or ring of speculators or fraudulent association. The money has 
been appropriated by the Legislatures in consecutive years, under- 
standing what they were doing. The money thus appropriated 
has been honestly and legitimately expended. The plans of this 
building took the first prize at the Philadelphia "World's Exposi- 
tion, leading all other competition throughout the world, as being 
the best for a lunatic-hospital in any country whatsoever. And so 
it stands to-day. Great as it is, costly as it is, still it is a monu- 
ment of the munificence of the people of Massachusetts, an evi- 
dence of the outpouring of their generosity and of their humanity 
toward the most forlorn, the most desolate, and the most pitiable 
cf any class of human beings. In the reclassification of inmates 
in our hospitals, the highest class and wealthy lunatics, now in pri- 
\ate hospitals, will no doubt seek Danvers, and relieve the State of 
much of the cost of its administration. What has been said of that 
may be said in a like degree of the new lunatic-hospital at "NVorces- 


ter. A million of dollars has been expended at Concord for the 
new State Prison. Well, we have had a fire and an escape from the 
State Prison since it was built. I do not know that I should advo- 
cate the location of a State Prison at Concord ; I do not know 
that I would adopt the plan of the State Prison that was built in 
Concord : but understand this, fellow-citizens, that all these public 
works were authorized and ordered bj^ successive Legislatures of 
Massachusetts, — by Legislatures chosen out of the people of Mas- 
sachusetts, and representing the average intenigenco of the popula- 
tion of Massachusetts, and what, in their estimation, they can afford 
to do, and representing also what they desire to do ; and I am not 
here to call in question the wisdom of the Legislature, much less 
the wishes of the people of this grand old Commonwealth. (Ap- 
plause.) Now, then, so far as the State Prison is concerned, I 
have Aisited the institution, within the past ten daj's, in company 
with a distinguished foreign ambassador who is spending a few 
weeks in Boston, representing one of the most intelligent and 
numerous of the nations of the earth, and one which, during the 
last quarter of a century, has made as much progress in civilization 
and humanity as an}- nation whatsoever. He expressed his wonder 
and surprise at the building and the methods of administration. 
He said to me, "Where are the garrison? where are the soldiers 
that keep this place and prison in order? " I said to him, " Even 
our prisoners do not want to be subject to a garrison in time of 
peace : the}' are well-behaved prisoners." — " Well," he said, " in 
all m}' travel over the world, and in my observation of public 
institutions in an}- countr}-, this is the finest prison and the best- 
administered that my eyes have ever rested upon." Fellow- 
citizens, that is the testimony of a distinguished foreigner in 
regard to that new and costly State Prison. Then the same dis- 
tinguished gentleman went to the Woman's Prison at Sherborn, in 
the immediate vicinity of South Framingham, which has cost about 
8300,000 ; and I wish ever}' man and ever}- woman in this assem- 
bl}' might go to the Woman's Prison, and sec for themselves what 
this last step forward in the civilization of INIassachusetts is. That 
institution was the outcome of an advance in humane thought. It 


was believed that the time had come when women might be sepa- 
rated from men in penal institutions, when we might la^- bj' the 
rigors of chastisement and punishment, and when attention might 
be given more especially to the reformation of this class of women 
prisoners. And it was the thought of many, also, that the prison 
might be ofl3cered in part, possibl}' wholly, b}' persons of their 
own sex. So it devolved upon the present administration, to 
determine the question whether it ought to be officered by women 
entirely', or parti}'' by men and partly by women. It devolved 
largely upon me, among other great and novel cares, to determine 
that question. After thinking the matter over, carefully consider- 
ing the resources of this da}- in efficient women, — women who 
have the boldness and the courage to undertake, and have the piety 
and fidelit^'to achieve, — I believed the time had come when it was 
justifiable, nay, when it was demanded, that the experiment should 
be tried of appointing every officer of the prison, from high to low, 
from the ranks of women. And now we have the onl}' State Prison 
in the world, so far as I know, that is officered entirel}'' b}'^ women. 
There is not a man in the prison from one end of it to the other. 
(Applause.) And if j'ou want to know how the experiment suc- 
ceeds, go up there, and sec nearh' five hundred criminals, some of 
them the ver}* worst characters that we have ever had in our houses 
of correction or in our prisons, and behold them in a state of per- 
fect subordination, officered and controlled aud directed entirely by 
three or four noble women and their assistants. The same distin- 
guished gentleman said to me, as he was walking through the 
prison, " AVhere is the force, where is the power, that controls and 
orders and governs this great and novel institution? I see no 
f<jrce ; I not only see no garrison, but I see no police. I see no 
men; and, suppose a difficult}' arises, how is it to be overcome? 
"What is the secret that has already overcome it, and that keeps 
this prison in a state of subordination?" I said to him, "Sir, 
not only is this prison new in its organization, not only is it sub- 
stantiallj new in its ideal, but the controlling influence within it is 
new as a supreme power in a prison ; and it is the potential quali- 
ty of love which controls the prison as it does all human hearts ; 


it is the po-wcr of love exhibited on the part of the ofl3cers of 
the prison, that wins the admiration and affection and obedience 
even of the dull-minded and cold-hearted criminals that are 
within its walls." (Applause.) It is worth something, fellow- 
citizens, to have ascertained and demonstrated the fact that there 
is a susceptibility in human hearts, no matter how degraded they 
are, which cannot resist the perpetual outpouring of the law of 
love into them. It must respond, and we have shown in the 
Woman's Prison that it does respond. The prison cost $300,000 
to erect it; and perhaps it may be of $3,000,000 value to the 
people of Massachusetts, and as an example of humanity to all 
manldnd . (Applause . ) 


Now, then, fellow-citizens, I have accounted to j'ou for the 
increase of the funded debt of the State. We have no debt 
unfunded ; and all this debt is provided for by sinking-funds suffi- 
cient to pay it at maturity. Now let me saj' one word more. 
I began at the first da}' of Januar}', 18G1. I gave you the public 
debt on that daj' as $G, 700, 000 in round numbers. And I ended 
on the first day of Januar}', 1876, when I went to the State House, 
and it became m}' business, more especially, to know what the 
amount of the public debt was ; and I found it to be, as I said, 
$33,880,000. You sent me up there, as j'ou told me in the plat- 
form of the convention that nominated me, and in the outspoken 
voice of the people during the campaign, to make a vigorous and 
fearless and honest administration ; and when I was inaugurated I 
held up m}' hand, and took an oath in the presence of the Legisla- 
ture of IMassachusetts and of the people, so many of them as were 
there assembled, and in the presence of Almight}' God, that with 
his help I would carry out the obligation which I then assumed, 
and which corresponded with the charge and with the expectation 
of the people. Now, fellow-citizens, from that da}- to this there 
has'not been a year in which the public debt of this State has not 
been reduced ; it has been so reduced every year. (Applause.) It 


will bo reduced in the sum of $150,000 this year from the cost of 
the ordinary expenses of last 3-ear ; and tlie total reduction in the 
ordinary expenses, that is, our housekeeping expense as we may 
term it, at the State House, during three years to tlic end of this 
year, will be nearly $400,000, saved in the three years. And in 
what arc termed the exceptional expenses there has been a reduc- 
tion of about SOoO,000 more, making a total reduction of 81 ,334,000 
in the expenses of this Commonwealth during the last three years. 
No new enterprise involving the expenditure of money or the erec- 
tion of new and costly buildings, no great railroad appropria- 
tion or other outla3s, have been authorized ; but there has been a 
constant and a large reduction in the public expenses, which, so 
far as I can see, may be maintained indefinitely in the future. 


So much for the extravagance of the Administration. Fellow- 
citizens, I cannot descend here to discuss and answer some small 
and flimsy chargos that have been made upon the Administration 
of the State elsewhere. (Applause.) If, when we are looking at 
the Administration of a great and grand Commonwealth, which is 
the pride of our own people, and deservedly to a greater or less 
extent the admiration of the sister States of this Union and of 
the people on the other side of the water, — if we are obliged to 
stop and discuss questions about combs and hair-brushes and jack- 
knives, why, it seems to me that I ought to have an audience of 
much loss intelligence than the one before me. (Applause.) I 
will not even venture upon the caustic and witty suggestion that 
has been made, that in order to save the combs and the hair-brushes 
you had better send all bald-headed men up to the State House. 
(Laughter.) Now let me dispose of all that class of expenses in a 
few words. It is customary in all States and in all countries, so far 
as I know, when any administration comes in, that its members 
shall be furnished with those proper and necessary things for the 
good ordering of tlie premises which they occupy. I was furnished 
with a carpeted room, I was furnished with a chair, I was furnished 


with a desk, I was furnished with paper, and I was furnished v.itli 
pens. 1 beUeve I was furnished with a jack-knife ; but 1 don't 
know, for the one whicli I carry in my pocket I bouglit and paid 
for man}' j-ears ago. I do not know whether I was furnished with 
a comb and brush, or not. Perliaps I am sometimes too careless 
in the use of those instrumentahties for the decoration and beau- 
tifying of one's person ; but still I think it is a ver}' proper thing 
that the State House, as well as the Capitol at Washington, should 
follow the coimnon example, and furnish whatever is proper and 


Now, then, the only other thing that 1 need to touch upon in 
this connection, I belie^•e, is the statement that the President of 
the United States came here, and was respectably and honorably 
entertained. Well, I want to know if Massachusetts has sunk 
down to that low level where she would desire to have the Presi- 
dent of the United States, of any party, I don't care what party it 
is, received and entertained in a manner unbecoming his position? 
whether j-ou would like to ha\'e him received in a horse-car, and 
taken b}- the lightest and cheapest conxeyance to Ms hotel, and 
there entertained in the most economical and stinted manner possi- 
ble ? (A voice, " Never ! ") No, sir, you are right. (Applause.) 
The people of Massachusetts want to receive the chief magistrate 
of this great nation in a manner commensurate with the dignit}' of 
the highest officer of this government. (Applause.) Massachu- 
setts always has received the President of the United States in 
that manner whenever he has come here, whatcAcr his party, or of 
whatever name, or from whatever State he may have come ; and I 
believe she always will continue to do so. I am quite sure she 
will while the spirit pervades the minds of her people, that glows 
in the hearts and brains of the present generation. 



But then it was stated that the governor and staff" made an 
expensive journey to the Hoosac Tunnel, and that cost mone}'. 
Well, that is a most beautiful and shining bubble. I hate to prick 
it, and have it vanish into thin air; but, fellow-citizens, the gov- 
ernor and staff" never went to the Hoosac Tunnel. (Applause and 
laughter.) I will tell 3'ou what did take place. You know that 
the Iloosac Tunnel and Troy and Greenfield Railroad are the 
property of the Commonwealth, and it is the duty of the governor 
and council to take charge of that great work. The}- have had the 
dut}' of supervising its construction ; and they have now the duty 
of supervising its condition, and doing for it ever}' thing that a 
board of directors does for any other railroad corporation. In the 
discharge of their public dut}- they did make an excursion to the 
Hoosac Tunnel, extending through several da3's, to see that it was 
in good and proper condition, — safe for preservation, safe for 
travel, — and they took some of their associates and friends with 
them. I believe that a distinguished gentleman of this Common- 
wealth says it cost some $1,400 to do it. Well, fellow-citizens, 
if our dut}' had required that we should have gone once a week, it 
might have cost $14,000, or $140,000 ; but it did not require it, 
and therefore we spent only the money necessar}' for the inspec- 
tion and supervision of that work and its connections. 


A single word more, and I am done. There is a good deal said 
about taxation ; and I am not going to discuss theories of taxation, 
for they would take a whole evening, and I see by the clock that 1 
have alread}' talked too long. The amount of property of this 
State that is taxable amounts to 31,GG8,000,000. The amount of 
the State tax in 1875 was §2,000,000, and the rate of the State 
tax was $1.10 on a thousand dollars. Your State tax has beeu re- 
duced in the last tkree years to §1,000,000, instead of §2,000,000 ; 


and the rate of taxation for State purposes to-day is 60 cents on the 
thousand, instead of Si. 10 three j-oars ago. Now, fellow-citizens, 
that is the whole sum and substance of j-our State taxation. Now, 
do not be mistaken, and do not let me deceive you. I do not mean 
to say that that is the whole amount of taxation to which the 
people are subjected. Taking the whole valuation of the State, 
the average of all the rates of taxation in the different towns is 
$12.50 on a thousand. Therefore, if jovl take out State tax, yo\x 
take out 60 cents from that $12.50, and leave $11.90 on a thou- 
sand, which is entirel}^ independent of the State expenses, and 
belongs to the expenses of the towns. Now, our taxes in Massa- 
chusetts are large, but the civilization which we maintain in 
Massachusetts is ver}^ high ; and if our people demand a certain 
amount of domestic comfort, if they demand a certain t3'pe of 
civil and social privileges, if they want such and such a kind of 
institutions, and they want to sustain such and such a measure 
of respectability and advancement, of course it must follow the 
same rule that obtains in families, that, the higher the gi'ade of 
living, the higher the cost, and the greater the burden. 

But, if you want to lessen your taxes, you are not going to do it 
by assailing or by changing the policy of j-our State ; for, I repeat, 
the amount of your State tax is but 60 cents a thousand, while the 
remainder, $11.90 on the thousand, belongs to 30ur town. We 
know how the towns and cities of the Commonwealth have been led 
into extravagant expenditures for town-halls and parks and a thou- 
sand other things. You know whether you can afford them or not. 
"We all thought we could ; because we supposed we were in the 
midst of a prosperous journe}-, and that the flush times were going 
to continue indefinitel}', and thus we could afford what in these 
stringent times we find we could not do. 

Let us look a little closer to this matter of State taxes. I have 
already said the total valuation of taxable property in the State is 
about $1,668,000,000 ; that the amount of the annual State tax is 
only 81,000,000, and the rate 60 cents on a thousand dollars. The 
Tax Commissioner estimates that the number of tax-paj'crs does 
not exceed 300,000 persons out of our 1,600,000 population ; and 


of these 300,000 persons, 125,000 \)!\\ u poll-t;".x or.l}' ; thus leaving 
175,000 persons wlio pay the entire i)roi)eity-tax of the Common- 
wealth. If a young man beginning life, or a laboring man or a 
widow, owns a homestead valued at $5,000, the State tax ujwn it 
is three dollars a year ; loss than one cent a da^- for all the rights 
and privileges which the State bestows upon us ! Does not this 
fact put a new light upon the subject? and ought it not to silence 
tlie senseless tirades about the extravagance of the State govern- 
ment, the burdens which it imposes l)y taxes upon the i)eople, and 
the necessity of a change and overthrow? 

I have endeavored, and those associated with me in the govern- 
ment have endeavored, to pursue an enlightened and economical 
policy ; to maintain and encourage u respectable and i)rogressi\e 
spirit and condition worthy of the character of the State, and suit- 
ed to the inleUigence and competence of its i)eoi)le, and consistent 
with their wishes ; and, at the same time, to cut off superfluous 
expenses and sinecures. I speak from observation when I say of 
the legislatures, that I believe they have been as pure, as free from 
rings, as free from jobs, as possible ; and that they have rei)re- 
sented the honest wislies of the people of Massachusetts, and have 
carried out tliose wishes with as great fidelity as tlie legislature of 
tliis or any other State ever did. I can sa}' of the judiciary of this 
Commonwealth, that it is learned, it is able, it is pure, it is incor- 
ruptible ; and the laws of the Connnonwealth, in all grades of our 
courts, ai-e administered with absolute justice and v/ith absolute 
im[)artiahty. 1 can say, — speaking not of myself, but of the 
other members of the executive department of this government, — 
lliat tliey are all able, honest, and faithful men. I speak of m}- 
own 2)crsonal knowledge. They are able and well fitted for their 
respective duties ; and tliey discharge those duties with a strict 
legard to honesty, econoni}', and the welfare and wishes of the 
peo])le of the Commonwealth. (Api)lause.) I do not l:iiow how 
you are to change materially the government of yor.i- Common- 
wealth ; how 30U are going to answer the cry thi.t \.c want a 
change, and get any substantial benefit ; certainly any tiubstan- 
tial improvement over the government that you have had in the 


last twenty 3'ears, in the last ten 3'ears, yes, and — if you will ex- 
cuse me for sa;)'ing it — in the last three years. If you have a 
watch in your pocket that is running well, and keeping good time, 
that gets you to your railroad train at the right moment in the 
morning, and gets you to the bank and to yom- business at the 
right moment, so that you can save interest, and yet pa^' 3-our note 
in time, — if you have such a watch, and it does what ought to be 
expected of a watch, how sill}' it would be to say that you want to 
thi'ow it away, and get something else, just simply for the love of 
change ! No, fellow-citizens, such is not the pohcy of the people 
of Massachusetts. Our ci^il society dates back two hundred and 
fift}- years, in round numbers ; and it has been the policy of this 
people to profit by the experience of ever}' 3'car and every genera* 
tion ; and, casting away what has been found useless and bad, to 
treasm-e up all that is good ; and thus annually to add to the 
strength of our Commonwealth, to the happiness of its people. 


Now, I beUeve that a list of men have been nominated by the 
Republican party for the administration of this Government during 
the next year, who are unsurpassed in honesty, in abilit}', and in 
the confidence of the people. (Applause.) There is not a more 
conscientious, a more hard-working, upright, faithful man, that 
walks the soil of Massachusetts, than is Thomas Talbot, Avho was 
nominated for Governor. (Applause.) And I say to you here, 
fellow-citizens, and risk the prophec}', that the people of Massa- 
chusetts will not be cajoled, seduced, nor frightened into casting 
their votes for an}' other man for Go\ernor of this Commonwealth 
in the year 1879 but Thomas Talbot. (Applause.) If elected, 
he will add to the prosperit}', to the vigor, and to the honor of tliis 
Commonwealth, all that any man can contribute to tliose ends 
from the executive chair. I may spcalc in terms of correspond- 
ing eulogy of that talented young Rcpubhcan, John D. Long 
(applause) , who was nominated for tlie second position ; and who, 
by his own ability, learning, eloquence, good sense, and industry, 


at an earlier period of life than is common to men, has made a 
reputation for himself throughout the length and breadth of the 
Commonwealth of which an}' citizen may be justl}^ proud. So 
of the gentlemen who are nominated for the other offices in the 
Executive Department of the Commonwealth. The}' have been 
tried, with a single exception, and have not been found wanting ; 
and the gentleman whom 3'ou have nominated for Attorno^y-General 
of the Commonwealth is worthy of your hearty support and ut- 
most confidence as a law3'er of distinguished abiht}', and as a man 
of the highest and noblest type of character, — George Marston 
of New Bedford. 


Now, then, see to it, fellow-citizens, that the work of the cam- 
paign is carried forward vigorously, unfalteringly, honestly. Let 
it be seen b}' the people of Massachusetts, of all ranks, conditions, 
and parlies, that you believe in the principles that you profess ; 
that j'ou are bound to the policy that 3'ou advocate ; that 3-ou stand 
by the past, that 3'ou defend the State in the present, and that 
your hope and 3'our aspiration is unfaltering for the honor and the 
prosperity of Massachusetts in the future. Don't let down the 
standard, not an inch. Keep it where it has been. Let it be 
seen throughout the length and breadth of the land, and let who- 
ever looks upon it take notice, that the current of civilization, the 
current of learning, the current of honesty, of lofty principle and 
of vigorous manhood, the current of l)right and glorious example, 
is going out still from this State, and inftising itself into American 

Let it be seen that Massachusetts now, as in the past, is worthy 
of the admiration of her sister States, and their inspiration to 
follow us as we seek to follow them in ever3' thing in which they 
are wor'ih3' of imitation. Fellow-citizens, I thank you from my 
lieart for the kindl3'^ and respectful manner in which you have 
listened to mo. I thank 3-ou for all the favors and great courtesies, 
which I have received from you in public and in private life ; and 


in surrendering, as I shall at the close of this year, the high and 
responsible trusts which 30U have committed to me, it will be my 
life-long satisfaction if I feel that I can return the State to j'ou 
untarnished in its reputation, unhindered in its prosperit}-, undi- 
minished in its hopes of the future, (Applause and cheers.) 


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