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104 & 106 Fork 111 Aveni 1 

Copyright, 1892, by 

All rights reserved. 



With Mr. Cleveland's consent, I have gathered into this 
volume a representative collection of the speeches, public 

papers, and letters of a man who has been for many years tin- 
most prominent figure in his country. It gives, 1 think, undei 
a fair classification, his opinion on all the topics upon which 
he has spoken. 1 am sure that, by means of it, the reader 
will be able to form a complete estimate of his charactet 
as it is shown in his public utterances. 

The matter has been classified under twenty -five chapter 
headings. No reader, however critical, can know better 
than myself how difficult it is to make such a classifica 
tion strictly accurate; but, when it is considered that Mr. 
Cleveland has freely expressed his opinions, during the pasl 
ten years, upon every topic that interested his neighbors 01 
his countrymen, and in every form common to public discus- 
sion, the result will, I am inclined to believe, be fairly satis- 
fa< tory. 

An attempt has been made, in the index, to indicate every 
thing so plainly that no reader can have trouble in tracing what 
Mi. Cleveland has said upon any topic. Everything on the 
tariff question could not be placed in the chapter entitled " Tax- 
ation and Revenue." In his first message to the Common 
Council of Buffalo, and in speeches and letters accepting 
nominations, there are paragraphs giving his idea of the 


principles of taxation, which must be sought in them. The 
same is true of pensions, labor, and other questions. It is 
believed, however, that a clew to all these will be supplied by 
this completeness of the index. 

The selections have been arranged under each chapter head- 
ing in chronological order. This, I am confident, will com- 
mend itself to readers, most of whom will, naturally, be 
attracted first to some particular part of the work, in the 
expectation of finding at once what may have been said upon a 
question in which they themselves are most interested. Under 
the plan adopted this will be easy. 

Parts of messages have been separated and classified under 
their appropriate headings. Those familiar with the annual 
messages of an Executive know them to be composed of para- 
graphs treating of various questions. Such a document is 
subjected to no wrench when it is separated, and the various 
sections are incorporated under their proper headings. 
Except in two or three instances, each is complete, and when 
purely formal or local matter has been omitted, the fact is in- 
dicated in the usual way. Every speech is published in full. 

The earlier speeches and letters have presented some 
difficulties. Most of them have been collected from the 
newspapers in which they were originally published ; some 
after transmission by telegraph. I have had, however, some 
advantages in collating such documents and letters. As 
neither Mr. Cleveland nor anyone for him had had an oppor- 
tunity to see them or correct errors in copying or titans- 
mission, when first published, he kindly consented to go 
over them with me, in order to correct misprints and 
to suggesl the proper reading in a document which has 
puzzled by a text hopelessly mixed by some printer. I have 

also compared the documents, as carefully as possible, with 
official copies, and have been enabled, by these precautions, 
to correct a good many errors. In some cases I have done 
this by reference to manuscript documents in my possession. 
Most of the later speeches have presented no serious diffi- 
culty, because the proofs were carefully read when they were 
first published. 

. before Mr. Cleveland's retirement from the Presidency, 
neither he nor anybody for him had kept his speeches 
with anything like system. I have found it necessary to make 
a careful search in order to discover some of the earlier 
speeches, some of which I found, upon inquiry, Mr. Cleveland 
himself had forgotten. Since March, 18S9, I have carefully 
preserved copies of speeches and letters with the purpose, 
now carried out, of issuing them in book form. 

So, if there are faults in editing or arrangement, they are 
mine. Mr. Cleveland has done no more than 1 have said. 
He merely gave me absolute authority to make the collection 
in such way as I chose, and I have done the best I could 
in both gathering and arranging it in such a way as to make 
it effective to students of our political history. 

G. F. 1' 


The present generation of readers, studious of the history 
of our earlier days, and curious as to the lives and ideas of 
the men who made that history, has demanded new and < om 
plete collections of the works of the fathers of the republic. 
Two new editions of the writings of Washington compete 
for favor ; and when, in 18S5, a change in party supremacy 
brought to the Presidency the representative of opinions long 
excluded from our national policy, an increased demand 
at once arose for the works of Thomas Jefferson. When the 
agitation of a great fiscal problem was begun in earnest in 
1887, the advocates of the protective policy could find nothing 
better to illustrate their theories than by a recurrence to 
the report on Manufactures made by Alexander Hamilton, 
while Secretary of the Treasury in the administration of our 
first President. Interest in the opinions of men in our later 
history has also been revived until the works even of those 
within very recent times — always less accurately known than 
those more remote — have been added to the list. This im- 
pulse has adorned our political literature with many studies oi 
great value to the future historian, and has enabled tin- 
reader of to-day to estimate, with some approach to accuracy, 
the character and achievements of the leaders of thought and 
action who have preceded him in the arena of politics. 

No apology, then, is necessary for bringing together the 


writings and speeches of a man who, during the past ten 
years, has so profoundly influenced the thought and action of 
his countrymen, and who has held, with the highest accept- 
ance, the greatest official place in the gift of his fellow-men. 
Nor can it be deemed inappropriate if such a work is accom- 
panied by a modest attempt to analyze in some degree the 
character of the man, as shown by his public utterances, or to 
measure the elements that gave him, within so brief a time, a 
unique position in the affections of his countrymen, and made 
him a power in a great nation. 

In the rise and development of our public men, the legis- 
lative body has been so conspicuous in their training that 
it might not unfairly be termed the fitting school for the 
Presidency. Of the twenty-three men who have filled that 
august place, all but four saw service — most of them compara- 
tively early in life — in Continental Congresses, in Constitu- 
tional Conventions, in one or the other House of Congress, or 
in State Legislatures. Many of them were conspicuous figures 
in such bodies, and the result in some instances was that their 
aspirations were early directed toward the lofty place which 
they were finally called to fill. 

Some were thus brought prominently before their country- 
men, in important positions, during a long term of years. 
Thus, Washington did not reach the Presidency until fourteen 
years after he had become the most conspicuous soldier of the 
New World ; nor Jefferson until a quarter of a century after 
he had made his name immortal by writing the Declaration of 
Independence. It was not. until twenty-one years after he did 
his great work of collaboration in the writing of the " Federal- 
ist" thai Madison became President. John Ouincy Adams 
did notable diplomatic work thirty-one years prior to his elec- 


tion as President ; and his rival and successor, Jackson, did not 
finally reach the goal of his ambition until thirty-two j 

after he had entered public life, as the first representative of 
the then new State of Tennessee, in the lower house of 
Congress. In later times, James Buchanan's legislative career 
in Pennsylvania began forty-three years before his inaugura- 
tion as President, while the like service of Abraham Lincoln, 
in Illinois, preceded his culminating success by twenty- 
seven years. 

Without multiplying examples, it is plain that the public 
man who reaches this high office after such training must, of 
necessity, leave behind him, upon his retirement, a great body 
of writings and speeches. The genius of our institutions both 
permits and makes necessary the expression of opinion, by a 
public man, on a great variety of topics. It is only natural, 
however, that many of the early speeches of men thus trained 
should have little enduring value. In the inception of such 
service, entered upon in comparative youth and before the 
character is fully formed, speeches are made upon nearly every 
measure that may be introduced. These may contribute 
something to an intelligent understanding of an issue at the 
time, or even to its settlement ; but amid our rapidly changing 
political conditions, interest in both the speech and the ques- 
tion is soon lost. In most cases such oratorical efforts remain 
little more than temporary contributions to an issue restricted 
to a neighborhood or a State. 

Grover Cleveland had none of this training in politics and 
oratory. Until his inauguration as Mayor of Buffalo, in 
January, 1882, his experience and discipline were entirely pro- 
fessional. While an assistant to the District Attorney of Erie 
County, New York — his first independent position as a 


lawyer — he was constantly engaged in the work belonging 
to a prosecuting officer. His speeches then had the same 
characteristics that have distinguished his public utterances 
since he came into political prominence. They were short, 
concise, carefully prepared, and never labored or showy either 
in matter or in delivery. His manner of speaking was 
earnest, well adapted, then as now, to both subject and 
audience. His cases were submitted with clear and direct 
statements of the law and the facts, and his arguments were 
made with such care that neither judge, jury, nor culprit had 
reason to complain of being bored with the loose, rambling 
legal talks so often indulged in by prosecuting officials. 

From 1S66 to 1882 — with the exception of the years be- 
tween 187 1 and 1874 — he was engaged in the active and un- 
remitting practice of his profession. He had for his associates 
the best lawyers of the large city in which he lived, and as he 
was brought into contact, before the Courts, with the recog- 
nized leaders of his profession, he met his growing responsi- 
bilities with confidence and success. He proved himself 
equal to each new duty. He was actively engaged in politics 
only so far as an interest in local affairs or in the struggles of 
his party were involved. He seldom made a political speech, 
but his increasing professional labors kept him in constant 
training as a speaker, and he easily met the demands of his 
new position in this respect as in all others. He took part in 
memorial meetings held for the purpose of paying the last trib- 
ute of respect to members of his profession, and the earliest 
speech in this volume is that on the character of Oscar Folsom, 
his former partner and dearest friend, in July, 1875. He 
made others of the same kind, and achieved such success that 
he was called upon to bear his part on these occasions at his 


old home even after his election to the Governorship of his 
State. His judgment ol men was shown to be just and ihs. 
< riminating, and Ins habit ol careful preparation stood him in 
good stead. Another pari of his training and practice thai 

contributed much to Ins skill in saying clearly what he had 
in mind, was Ins work in drawing indictments and other law 
papers. To a natural facility for expression, he thus added 
a most exacting training. 

It was not, then, a man untrained to clear and accurate state- 
ment, or unused to effective and eloquent speech, that as- 
tonished his neighbors and the people — always ready towel 
come the advent of a man with ideas and character — 
by those vigorous messages which soon commanded attention 
from the people of a great State. As the result of this fitnes-, 
for important place, Mr. Cleveland had an advantage 
never before enjoyed by a public man. Almost from the be- 
ginning of his career — it was only a year after these earliest 
messages until he had become Governor of the great State of 
New York — he was able to make his appeal to the waiting 
people of a nation, on all the great problems in which they were 

In spite of the demonstrated possession of effective oratorical 
powers, Mr. Cleveland made but few speeches before his in- 
auguration as President. Into these he condensed much 
thought and food for thought. They were prepared with care, 
as neither then nor since has he permitted even the most 
acting public duties to make him careless either as to thought 
or form. He knew what he wanted to say, or studied until he 
found out, and then showed that he could say it to advan- 
tage. His speeches were quotable. They were filled with 
epigrams and pithy sentences, easy of recollection for reader 


or hearer, and as they were short, everyone interested in the 
question was sure to read and to recommend them to his associ- 
ates. His manner of delivery was earnest, and he early learned 
the art of putting himself into sympathetic relations with his 
audience. He did not speak until he felt that he had 
something his countrymen needed to be told, and was 
early recognized as a man who did not make speeches merely 
for the sake of talking, or with the purpose of attracting 
attention to himself. He showed a willingness to discuss 
the various and varied problems of our social and political 
life, without pushing himself forward or shirking the expres- 
sion of opinion. 

One of Mr. Cleveland's claims to distinction lies in the 
fact that he was the first President to take the country en- 
tirely away from the prejudices and traditions of the Civil 
War, while still preserving the great moral lessons that made 
it so real as an influence on national life and character. It 
was his good fortune to restore perfect confidence between the 
elements of a people long widely sundered. This had been 
talked about by every President and public man for a full 
score of years ; but his predecessors could not escape from 
their environment, or fully recognize the fact that old things 
had passed away and that all things were become new. The 
war left many problems, some of them more serious than a 
civilized nation had ever before known. But struggle or dream 
as he might, during the long period under discussion, no Pres- 
ident could get away from prejudice and partisanship. The 
one great overmastering issue had been settled by the stern 
arbitrament of war. When it no longer remained as a 
reality it was still left to do duty as a tradition. Giant abuses 
had followed Us sett lenient and in order to correct them the 


courage <>f the soldier must give way to thai civi< courage 
so rare among men, and so valuable i<> a people. This could not 
be found at once, and yet no perfect readjustment was possible 
until it was found, and the man representing it was installed 
in a commanding place. 

Mr. Cleveland was elected President, and as the result of 
his wisdom, prudence, and foresight the war bet ame merely an 
episode in our country's history. It was a glorious memory ; 
not a living issue about which patties must divide or men 
quarrel. The "conseious nationality," for which Lowell 
had longed, had come at last. The last canvass had been 
conducted on the ideas of twenty years before ; we now found 
a man whose patriotic aspirations were not bounded by the 
next election. Our national horizon was enlarged, and with 
this wiiler view, new thoughts and sentiments were aroused. 
The past was now so secure that both duty and necessity 
compelled a great people to look to the future with ear- 
nestness and hope. Coming thus into the new conditions which 
he did so much to create, there is nowhere in Mr. Cleveland's 
utterances any regret that the past had left problems for him 
and his generation to solve. He turns always with confidence 
and hope to the new duties that lie before his country or 
confront its leaders and people. 

When courage, tempered by conscience, were combined with 
the power inhering in a great office, the value of the resulting 
service was simply incalculable. Mr. Cleveland has always 
impressed his countrymen with his belief that, however 
bad the conditions or the men they had produced, the virtue 
and intelligence of his countrymen were potent to save 
from the gravest perils. Vet he is not one of those who. call- 
ing themselves optimists, affect to believe that things will come 


right without an effort to make them so, and as he has al- 
ways emphasized the doctrine that the individual must work 
and struggle with temptation and danger in order that he may 
find or create opportunity, so to him the nation, the State, 
or the community, is only an aggregation of units, and cannot 
escape, without effort, the consequences of weakness, selfish- 
ness, or wrongdoing. 

He never looks upon a temporary abuse as a necessary 
effect or fixture of government by the people. So, always 
and everywhere, he emphasizes the necessity for patriotic 
effort. His exhortation to care and watchfulness shows how 
deeply seated is the sentiment of faith in the right. With him 
appeal lies to the good sense, the ingrained probity, the moral 
purposes of his fellow-men. He insists everywhere that if 
these are good in private life, and if the individual finds them 
desirable and necessary, it is still more important that the 
same principles shall animate the mass when it takes the form 
of organized society. His speeches and letters show not the 
least sign of demagogy. He no more appeals to the base pas- 
sions of men when they are associated, than he would if they 
could be resolved into their original units. 

I lis countrymen already know Mr. Cleveland as a man of 
tender heart, kindly toward his neighbors and the world, con- 
siderate of the interests of all, and indifferent to nothing 
human. They will find in his writings and speeches, here 
massed together, new and emphatic evidence of this sentiment, 
lie is interested in political problems because;, in his view, 
their discussion and right settlement will promote the happi- 
ness of his fellow-men. He insisted upon the honest and 
decent conduct of the affairs of a city, because he believed 
that the health, prosperity, and happiness of its people would 


be promoted, and lie has shown that he believes the welfare 
of the people of a State or a great nation should be the in I 
i oncern of the men chosen to direct its destinies. 

He emphasizes, at all times, the duty of economy and thrift, 
both publio and private, because of his conviction that a plain 
and prosperous people must be a contented and a happy one ; 
and insists, with " even more emphasis, that fine houses, 
great fortunes, and material prosperity should be only means to 
an end, and that end the greatest good of all. He saves the 
taxpayers' money from misappropriation, when convinced thai 
its expenditure is wrong or that it is about to be devoted to 
useless or questionable purposes. He refuses to permit the be 
Stowal of a pension upon an unworthy claimant, because it 
would do violence to the sentiment of honesty that animates 
him. While his kindness of heart is everywhere apparent, in 
act as well as in speech, he does not permit himself to do an a< I 
of charity with money derived from taxation, when placed at 
his disposal by reason of his official position, even though it 
might commend itself as worthy if appeal were made to him 
as an individual. 

So, while he is the most practical of men, he is mad' 
because every action is dictated by honor and duty. This 
faculty has enabled him to appeal to his countrymen in his 
individual right. With exalted conceptions of the dignity of 
a great office, and the ability and courage to fix the very 
highest standard in act, as well as in theory, his country- 
men have given him the perfect confidence that comes to few 
public men — a confidence that never comes to the servant ol 
the people unless he is at the same time a high type of man, 
morally as well as intellectually. 

A man of this kind deals only with the serious concerns <>f 


life. He does not take a light view uf them. Though his 
sense of humor is keen, and he can hold unworthy men or 
groveling ideas up to ridicule in the most effective way, he 
could not make a joke on any question that had a moral issue in 
it, or on the character of George Washington. It is an inter- 
esting fact that such serious discussion should be welcomed 
from a man of elevated character with a great official dignity 
behind it. The number of public men who can command 
the attention of their countrymen upon the most important 
business problems is not large, and much of Mr. Cleveland's 
unquestioned popularity arises from the fact that he is the one 
President, since the war period, who has gained the unreserved 
confidence of his countrymen on great fiscal questions. 
Whatever men may think of his party affiliations or his views 
of public policy, there is agreement in the judgment that he 
will conduct the financial affairs of the nation with unques- 
tioned safety. The secret of all this lies in the fact that he 
applies to every question as it affects the public the well- 
grounded moral principles which, according to his view, ought 
to govern men in their individual relations. 

It has been fortunate for Mr. Cleveland and his countrymen 
that he was a man of mature years and thought before he 
began to speak, and that, f#om the beginning of his public 
career, he has never spoken at random. He did not have to 
conduct any oratorical experiments at the expense of his 
hearers in order to make his art useful. He was forty-four 
years old when, in those remarkable messages to the Common 
Council of Buffalo, he began a public career which, in a little 
more than three years, led him to the White House. He had 
learned to write anil speak well while he was engaged 
ii!' ii I stly in the practice of his profession. But he 

TNTRODl I /7(>.Y. xvii 

had something infinitely better and more effective than a gift 
for saying things plainly and well. He had somethingto say. 
He had gone in and oui before his neighbors, studying their 
nerds and forming an opinion about the best way to correci 
the evils that he saw about him. With this knowledge of the 
existence of abuses, and his habit of carefully studying every 
question as it came before him, he had no difficulty in mastering 
it in all its bearings and in suggesting a remedy. 

Ills speeches and public papers are not mere pointers on the 
political we.n her vane, or the exposition of somel hing thai has 
already become popular. He deems it his duty to din, | 
attention to wrongs, anil when he finds a great one he attacks it 
with the same intelligence and energy that he shows when deal- 
ing with tht! many smaller ones included in it. I ledoes not seek 
to alarm or to punish only petty offenders who are weak, in 
order to impress the public, while big and strong ones art- 
left to escape. He shirks nothing. He will veto, ruthlessly, 
an ordinance awarding a city contract to a political and per- 
sonal friend, when he knows that the bid is too high, or that 
bad methods have been employed to secure it. lie cannot be 
induced to sign a bill for the reason that a political friend may 
think it useful to his own party. If his power is enlarged, he 
considers that his responsibility is increased in even a greater 
ratio. While he may condemn the cowardice that unnecessarily 
puts responsibility upon him, he does not shirk it and make 
excuse because a legislative body has dealt unfairly with him 
and the public interests. He applies to each case the test of 
morality as well as that of good sense, and emphasizes his 
belief that principle, as well as policy, is involved in every 
measure brought to him for action, and in every cause upon 
which he may be called to express an opinion. 

xvm introduction: 

His utterances have a consistency seldom found in those 
of public men who have come to high places. This does 
not arise from an obstinate attachment to opinions simply 
because he has formed or expressed them. As he seeks 
to measure every question by its moral bearings, and has 
done so all his life, he is not forced to argue himself into 
the conclusion that the thing that was right when 
applied to the business management of his city, can be wrong 
because the affairs or the business of the United States are 
involved. He will not do a thing, or refuse to do it, in order 
to impress the public. So far as official action or the expres- 
sion of opinion on any public question is concerned, his own 
candidacy for an office, or the seeking of support, is not in 
his thought. If votes come to him or his party because he has 
donean honest ora courageous thing, he welcomes them ; but if 
he is expected to win them by either doing a wrong or winking 
at it, he will not so much as consider it, and that would be a 
bold man who would dare propose it ; nor does he have to con- 
vince himself in order to carry out such a policy in a respon- 
sible place, or to avow his sympathy with a good cause. If the 
existence of an abuse is admitted, and measures are concerted 
to attack it, his countrymen are never left long in doubt about 
his attitude toward it, nor do they ask themselves whether he 
will have the courage to avow his convictions. 

This is well shown by his position upon some of the im- 
portant questions he has been called upon to deal with 
in executive place. As Mayor, Governor, and President, he 
has insisted that the abuse of the taxing power was the most 
serious known to government. In his speech, accepting the 
nomination of Mayor of Buffalo, he expressed the opinion 
that " much can be done to relieve our citizens from their 


present load of taxation," and he insisted that " a more i 
oiis scrutiny of all public expenditures will result in a great 
saving to the community." The message of 1887 is no more 
than this. There is a change of scene, the magnitude of 
the evils involved is greater, but the principle is the same. 
This insistence that none but necessary taxes shall be levied 
and that the resulting revenues must be expended with 
economy, runs like a thread through everything thai he has 
said, and has been a guiding principle in all that In- has done ; 
ami yet there is nowhere a suggestion <>l" niggardliness, or "i a 
desire or willingness to put up with bad work in order thai a 
few dollars may be saved. 

When, in [882, he became a candidate for Governor, Ins 
attachmenl to the principle of a reformed civil service was as 
warm, his understanding of it as correct, and his arguments 
for it as strong as they are in his latest message, speech, 
or letter. He avowed his attachment to the doctrines of the 
Pendleton bill while it was pending and showed thai he knew 
what it meant then as well as he did after In- had applied its 
principles in a practical way, and had proved himself the 
best and most effective friend that genuine civil service reform 
ever had. 

When an agitation looking to the reform of defective 
election laws was entered upon, he avowed his sympathy with 
it at the first opportunity, and that, too, when he was only 
a private citizen and had no responsibilities either to be 
shirked or assumed. He saw clearly that while abuses of the 
election laws were not causes, they were at least the most 
serious of the effects produced by a bad system* 

* The franchise is not debauched in the i nt • iresl of good laws and honest 
government. It is by those who have special interests to subserve al the 


For many years, the free coinage of silver has been one of 
the most serious of our unsettled problems. The question had 
been juggled with so much, so many compromises and sub- 
terfuges had been resorted to that the public mind and con- 
science were much confused. To Mr. Cleveland it has always 
been plain. Its dangers were just as clear to his mind when 
he was first called upon to express his opinion upon it as they 
were in February, 1891, when he wrote a brief letter which revo- 
lutionized public sentiment and made impossible the adop- 
tion of such a policy by his party or Congress. In doing this 
he saw clearly what the interests of the masses of his country- 
men demanded, and he fearlessly took his place on their side. 

He has the knack of making new arguments as they are 
needed. He does not use all his ammunition at once. If there 
is to be only a skirmish, he knows that a musket may be as 
useful as a howitzer, so he saves something for another skir- 
mish or the general engagement that is certain to follow. The 
gr< atest parliamentary orator of the last century had for a col- 
league a man whose only speech was " I say ditto to Mr. 
Burke." Mr. Cleveland does not resort to this even with him- 
self. He is not content to repeat, year after year, the same 
recommendations on a given question. He brings to its dis- 
cussion new resources. He became interested in the Indian 
problem, ami set forth his opinions in his first message as 
President, with force and intelligence. In each succeeding 
message, special or annual, he treated it always from a different 
point of view. He had studied its new phases, in the mean- 

people's expense, and not by those whose interests are in common with the 
masses, that tin- ballot is corrupted. There are no rich and powerful cor- 
porations interested in buying " floaters" or coercing employees to vote for 

-nil iii. I tariff laws. — Interview in tin- Nashville American, 

Februarj 11, 1890 


time, with the same care that he had taken wlulc it was new and 
strange. When all his opinions on such a question are gathered 

together, they acquire almost as much a connected form as 
if, after a careful study, he had written an essay upon it. 

An advantage of classification according to subjects chron- 
ologically is that it shows no posing while in one office for 
another of higher dignity. Close attention to the duty in hand, 
a careful study of existing conditions and surroundings, the 
waiting not for the morrow — all these are manifest, whether 
tin- office be Mayor, Governor, or President. In each, the 
same principles govern his action and his sayings ; but there 
is nothing in his record while Major, or in his utterances while 
holding that office, to show that its incumbent was looking for 
higher honors ; or in his policy or speeches, while Governor, 
to indicate that he thought the Presidency might be within 
his reach. In each, he attempts for himself to do his 
duty, and his exhortation toothers is to watchfulness, econ- 
omy, and strict attention to the work in hand of public ser- 
vice. One of the great men of history was wont to say that 
"No one rises so high as he who knows not whither he is 
going "; and its truth is certainly shown by the career of the 
man who became President of the United States, without look- 
ing for it or any of the places supposed to lead to it. 

His speeches are all brief. He seizes upon the idea or 
point of first importance or of practical value, ami presents it 
with skill and emphasis. Hi' does not attempt to explain all 
the steps he has taken to reach a given conclusion. As he 
does not speak until he feels certain of his opinion upon i 
question, so, when he announces his conclusion, it has in it a 
positiveness akin to dogmatism. He does not permit official 
position, or the dignity of an office he has held, to tie his 


tongue. Dealing, as he does, with principles and policies, 
rather than with individuals, his wonted plainness of speech 
is not affected by such an artificial dignity. 

He puts himself directly in touch with the people, with no 
reference to anyplace he may have held, and is so accustomed 
to study the interest of the masses of his fellow-countrymen 
rather than the desires of a class, that he has no reason for 
concealment or evasion. He speaks to them in plain, simple 
language, with never an attempt to " divide a hair 'twixt south 
and southwest side." He goes straight to his point. If he 
believes that some newspapers " violate every instinct of 
American manliness, and in ghoulish glee desecrate every 
sacred relation of private life," he. says so, and he says it to 
the assembled representatives of the oldest and most dignified 
educational institution in his country. If he wishes to rebuke 
insolent partisanship, he does it by vetoing a measure favored 
by his party in his own city, and insists upon it in language 
that nobody can misunderstand or misinterpret. At the time 
that he defeated this bad purpose, he declared : " I believe in 
an open and sturdy partisanship ; but parties were made for 
the people, and I am unwilling, knowingly, to give my assent 
to measures purely partisan, which will sacrifice or endanger 
their interests."* In this case, the just precept accompanied 
the saving action, and as showing his consistency he epito- 
mized this opinion many years later, by declaring, in an 
interview, that " party honesty is party expediency." 

Two chapters of this book are given up to his advice to 
members of his own party; but there is nowhere a line, the 
motive of which is partisan and nothing more. In every 
speech or Utter to a Democratic meeting or club will be 

* Message vetoing the amendments to t he Buffalo charter, April 9, 1883. 

INTROi xxiii 

found the expression of the loftiesl patriotism. He I" l 
in Ins party, but insists that it shall be true to its ideas and 
principles; ihui ii shall reach the people of the country 
through their conscience, and that it shall have the impulses 
and purposes i>t patriotism, not the hope springs from 
selfishness in the individual or the mass, or the ambition thai 
is aroused only by the love of power. In point of fact, he 
docs not lower his standard when he addresses a meeting of 
Ins party friends, recognizing thai if one half of his fellow- 
countrymen make a public policy, it OUghl to he one that pro- 
motes the interests of allot them. Nothing ignoble is 
gested or even left to inference ; there is nowhere a hinl that 
questionable means might be employed by a candidate, in order 
to insure success, or by a party in order that it may secure 
or maintain supremacy. 

Mr. ( 'level a nd's writings and speeches have- little of the per- 
sonal or autobiographic element, lie seldom draws directly 
upon Ins own career or public service for an illustration. He 
does not say : " 1 did So and so at such and siieh a tune." 
And yet his opinions are, in large degree, the result of his 
own experience, hew of them have come from inheritance 
or from a merely scholastic stud) 7 of a question. They re- 
flect his early surroundings, or come from his close relations 
with, and intimate knowledge of, men. Ilis life has been one 
of intelligent effort and great success ; so, if he seeks to en- 
force upon his countrymen the value of hard work, he hut 
cons anew the lesson of his own life. lie insists upon the 
most Scrupulous regard (aV public honesty, because he believes 

this to be as plainly his duty as it is to pay his debts 01 to tell 
the truth, lb- appreciates Washington's tenderness for his 
mother because In- himself showed the same filial love and 

x x i v IN TROD UC TION. 

devotion, and looked to his widowed mother for guidance and 
comfort during more than a quarter of a century after he had 
left his home. He sympathizes the more keenly with charities 
and the poor, because his early experiences made him 
acquainted with the hardships of plain people in all the rela- 
tions of life. 

It is not necessary, in considering Mr. Cleveland's style, to 
seek a model for it. He is simply an example of a man who 
uses speech to express his thoughts, having no sympathy 
with Voltaire's definition, which reverses this process. He fits 
manner to matter with ease, and expresses his ideas with no 
less of grace than of force ; but he never strives for effect 
or show. Some of his messages to Congress have a beauty 
and fineness of expression that make them rare and notable of 
their kind. Many of his speeches appeal to the educated, 
by the felicity of their expression, quite as distinctly as they 
do to the plain people of the land by their manly vigor 
and unquestioned good sense. At times, his utterance is 
Hebraic in its plainness of speech, as it is in the loftiness of 
thought and motive. Whether in commendation of the right, or 
in condemnation of the wrong, his meaning is as clear as sun- 
shine, and no man, however plain, can have excuse for mis- 
understanding a single word ; and none, however refined, 
can, with the least reason, charge him with making appeal 
to groveling tastes, or with seeking to promote personal 
ambitions or interests. 

In spite of the growing influence of the press, of which 
we hear so much these days, or, it may be, because of 
it, there has never been a time when the written or spoken 
words of the man fitted to lead had so much influence 
upon the formation of individual opinion, or upon that peculiar 


product called public sentiment. Whatever the man ol 
orous mind and personality and rugged honesty may say, 
the people ol this and every other free country arc waiting 
to hear it as they never waited before. 

In spite of the development of localism, there is an almost 
universal desire to hear something from the men who have 
risen so far superior to its trammels that they can be trusted 
to consider the good of all rather than the desires of the few. 
During recent years none has won this public confidence in so 
high a degree as the man whose thoughts, on a great variety 
of questions, are here brought together in collected form. 
Some of this may come because he has Idled acceptably 
an exalted office; but most of it arises from the fait that 
he has held the strong and sensible opinions that gave new 
dignity and importance to a place with great power and 
opportunities and that he has always expressed them with 
freedom and emphasis. 

This is well shown by the position he has held as the 
apostle of a great idea since his retirement from the Presi- 
dency. Not only has he remained the first citizen of his 
country, but he has kept this place because he had gained 
and never abused the confidence of his countrymen. Behind 
all that he has said were the great, sturdy character, the 
trained intelligence, and the tender heart of a man who had 
risen superior to personal ambitions or comfort, one who had 
demonstrated, during all his public career, whether in or out 
of place, his devotion to the true interests of the people, and 
his indifference to praise or blame when advocacy of their in- 
terests demanded the telling of the whole truth. His country- 
men have rewarded this unselfishness with the mosl devoted 
attention. In the remotest parts of the Union, that he has 


done so much to render more perfect, his words have been 
read with the same attention they commanded from those who 
listened to them in a banqueting hall or in a political meeting. 

Such a position is not the result of accident or merely a 
tribute to an office from which its holder has retired, or to 
which he may even be called again. It is due to the fact 
that, though a people may wait long for a man of power, it 
knows him when he comes, and gives him the recognition lie 
deserves. Such a man has a double claim to favor, that for 
things said as well as for things done. In the one case it 
makes Grover Cleveland the recognized friend of every good 
cause, whether he is able to promote it with official power 
or not ; in the other, it makes him, in public station, the 
active promoter of the doctrines to which he may have 
given his adhesion as a citizen. 

The works of such a man, still living among his country- 
men and potent in every good cause, may well challenge 
attention and command study. 

George F. Parker. 

New York, June 25, 1892. 



Preface, iii 


I. Speeches and Letters Accepting Nomination . i 

II. [naugurai Message vnd Speeches, . 28 

III. Civil Service Reform, . . . . 38 

I\'. Taxation and Revenub 62 

V. Centennial and Anniversary Celebrations, 107 

VI. To Farmers' Organizations, . . . 133 

VII. To Commercial and Business Association iii 

VI IF. To Religious and Charitable Organizations, . 178 

IX. Addresses Before Professional Bodies, 

X. On Educational vnd Patriotic Questions, . 215 

XI. To Political Clubs and Organizations, . 242 
XII. Speeches in Political Canvasses 296 

XIII. On Some Social and Economic Questions, *». 

XIV. The Character of George Washington, -r 
XV. The Coinage of Silver, ..... 

XVI. On Pensions and ro Soldiers' Organizations,— 375 

XVII. The Indian Problem \o$ 

XVIII. The Public Domain, .... .424 

XIX. Some Notable Vetoes,.""! . . 4;; 

XX. Characteristic Messages, |6a 

XXI. Estimates of Public Men, .... )-•■ 

XXII. The Maintenance Of Nationai Honor, . it 

XXIII. Miscellaneous Recommendatio . 51a 

XXIV. Thanksgiving Proclamations 

XXV. Letters and Speeches 01 \ Personai Nature, . 







Speech before City Convention, Buffalo, October 25, 1881. 

Gentlemen of the Convention: 

I am informed that you have bestowed upon me the nomi- 
nation for the office of Mayor. It certainly is a great honor 
to be thought fit to be the chief officer of a great and prosper- 
ous city like ours, having such important and varied interests. 
I hoped that your choice might fall upon some other and more 
worthy member of the city Democracy, for personal and private 
considerations have made the question of acceptance on my 
part a difficult one. But because I am a Democrat, and 
because I think no one has a right, at this time of all others, 
to consult his own inclinations as against the call of his party 
and fellow-citizens, and hoping that I may be of use to you in 
your efforts to inaugurate a better rule in municipal affair . I 
accept the nomination tendered me. 

I believe that much can be done to relieve our citizens from 
their present load of taxation, and that a more rigid scrutiny 
of all public expenditures will result in a great saving to the 


community. I also believe that some extravagance in our city 
government may be corrected without injury to the public 

There is, or there should be, no reason why the affairs of our 
city should not be managed with the same care and the same 
economy as private interests. And when we consider that 
public officials are the trustees of the people, and hold their 
places and exercise their powers for the benefit of the people, 
there should be no higher inducement to a faithful and honest 
discharge of public duty. 

These are very old truths; but I cannot forbear to speak in 
this strain to-day, because I believe the time has come when 
the people loudly demand that these principles shall be, sin- 
cerely and without mental reservation, adopted as a rule of 
conduct. And I am assured that the result of the campaign 
upon which we enter to-day will demonstrate that the citizens 
of Buffalo will not tolerate the man or the party that has been 
unfaithful to public trusts. 

I say these things to a convention of Democrats, because I 
know that the grand old party is honest, and they cannot be 
unwelcome to you. 

Let us, then, in all sincerity, promise the people an 
improvement in our municipal affairs; and if the opportunity 
is offered us, as it surely will be, let us faithfully keep that 
promise. By this means, and by this means alone, can our 
success rest upon a firm foundation and our party ascendency 
be permanently assured. Our opponents will wage a bitter 
and determined warfare, but with united and hearty effort we 
shall achieve a victory for our entire ticket. 

And at this day, and with my record before you, I trust it 
is unnecessary for me to pledge to you my most earnest 
endeavors to bring about this result; and, if elected to the 
position for which you have nominated me, I shall do my 
whole duty to the party, but none the less, I hope, to the citi- 
zens of Buffalo. 



Letter Accepting Nomination fot Governor. 

Buffai o, \. Y., ( >■ tober 7, 1882. 
Dear Sir: [ beg to acknowledge the receipl of your letter 
informing me of my nomination for Governor by the Demo- 
:ratic State Convention, lately held al the city of S) rax use. 

I accept the nomination thus tendered tome, and trust that, 
while I am gratefully sensible of the honor conferred, I 
also properly impressed with the responsibilities which it invites. 

The platform of principles adopted by the convention m* 
with my hearty approval. The doctrines therein enunciated 
are so distinctly and explicitly stated that their amplification 
seems scarcely necessary. If elected to the office for which I 
have been nominated, I shall endeavor to impress them upon 
my administration and make them the policy of the State. 

Our citizens for the most part attach themselves to one or 
the other of the great political parties; and, under ordinary 
circumstances, they support the nominees of the party to which 
they profess fealty. 

It is quite apparent that under such circumstances the pri- 
mary election or caucus should be surrounded by such safe- 
guards as will secure absolutely free and uncontrolled action. 
Here the people themselves are supposed to speak; here they 
put their hands to the machinery of government, and in this 
place should be found the manifestations of the popular will. 

When by fraud, intimidation, or any other questionable 
practice the voice of the people is here smothered, a direct 
blow is aimed at a most precious right, and one which the law 
should be swift to protect. 

If the primary election is uncontaminated and fairly con- 
ducted, those there chosen to represent the people will go forth 
with the impress of the people's will upon them, and the 
benefits and purposes of a truly representative government will 
be attained. 

Public officers are the servants and agents of the peopl 


execute laws which the people have made, and within the 
limits of a constitution which they have established. 

Hence the interference of officials of any degree,, and 
whether State or Federal, for the purpose of thwarting or con- 
trolling the popular wish, should not be tolerated. 

Subordinates in public place should be selected and retained 
for their efficiency, and not because they may be used to 
accomplish partisan ends. The people have a right to 
demand, here, as in cases of private employment, that their 
money be paid to those who will render the best service in 
return, and that the appointment to, and tenure of, such places 
should depend upon ability and merit. If the clerks and 
assistants in public departments were paid the same compen- 
sation and required to do the same amount of work as those 
employed in prudently conducted private establishments, the 
anxiety to hold these public places would be much diminished, 
and, it seems to me, the cause of civil service reform materi- 
ally aided. 

The system of levying assessments, for partisan purposes, on 
those holding office or place, cannot be too strongly con- 
demned. Through the thin disguise of voluntary contribu- 
tions, this is seen to be naked extortion, reducing the compen- 
sation which should be honestly earned and swelling a fund 
used to debauch the people and defeat the popular will. 

I am unalterably opposed to the interference by the Legis- 
lature with the government of municipalities. I believe in the 
intelligence of the people when left to an honest freedom in 
their choice, and that when the citizens of any section of the 
State have determined upon the details of a local government, 
they should be left in the undisturbed enjoyment of the same. 
The doctrine of home rule, as I understand it, lies at the 
foundation of republican institutions, and cannot be too 
strongly insisted upon. 

Corporations are created by the law for certain defined pur- 
poses, and are restricted in their operations by specific limita- 
tions. Acting within their legitimate sphere they should be 


protected; but when by combination, or by thi of 

unwarranted power, the) oppress the people, the same author- 
it)- which created should restrain them and protei t the rights 
of the citizen. The law lately passed for the pui 
adjusting the relations between thi rporations 

should be executed in good faith, with an honesl design to 
effectuate its objects and with a due regard tor the int< • 

The laboring classes constitute the main pail of our popula- 
tion. They should be protected in their efforts peaceably to 
assert their rights when endangered by aggregated capital, and 
all statutes on this subject should recognize the care of the 
State for honest toil, and be framed with a view oi improving 
the condition of the workingman. 

We have so lately had a demonstration of the value of our 
citizen soldiery in time of peril, that it seems to me no argu- 
ment is necessary to prove that it should be maintained in a 
state of efficiency, so that its usefulness shall not be impaired. 

Certain amendments to the constitution of our State, involv- 
ing the management of our canals, are to be passed upon at 
the coming election. This subject affects divers interests, and, 
of course, gives rise to opposite opinions. It is in the hands of 
the sovereign people for final settlement; and as the question 
is thus removed from State legislation, any statement of my 
opinion in regard to it, at this time, would, I think, be out of 
place. I am confident that the people will intelligently exam- 
ine the merits of the subject, and determine where the pre- 
ponderance of interest lies. 

The expenditure of money to influence the action of tin- 
people at the polls, or to secure legislation, is calculated to 
excite the gravest concern. When this pernicious agency is 
successfully employed, a representative form of government 
becomes a sham, and laws passed under its baleful influence 
cease to protect, but are made the means by which the rights 
of the people are sacrificed and the public treasury despoiled. 
It is useless and foolish to shut our eyes to the fa< t that this 


evil exists among us, and the party which leads in an honest 
effort to return to better and purer methods will receive the 
confidence of our citizens and secure their support. It is 
willful blindness not to see that the people care but little for 
part\- obligations when they are invoked, to countenance and 
sustain fraudulent and corrupt practices. And it is well, fo~ 
our country and for the purification of politics, that the people 
at times fully roused to danger, remind their leaders that party 
methods should be something more than a means used to 
answer the purposes of those who profit by political occupation. 
The importance of wise statesmanship in the management of 
public affairs cannot, I think, be overestimated. I am con- 
vim ed, however, that the perplexities and the mystery often 
surrounding the administration of State concerns grow, in a 
great measure, out of an attempt to serve partisan ends rather 
than the welfare of the citizen. 

We may, I think, reduce to quite simple elements the duty 
which public servants owe, by constantly bearing in mind that 
they are put in place to protect the rights of the people, to 
answer their needs as they arise, and to expend, for their 
benefit, the money drawn from them by taxation. 

I am profoundly conscious that the management of the 
divers interests of a great State is not an easy matter, but I 
believe, if undertaken in the proper spirit, all its real difficul- 
ties will yield to watchfulness and care. 

Yours respectfully, 

Grover Cleveland. 


Serenade Speech in Albany, July 10, 1884. 


I cannot but be gratified with this kindly greeting. I find 
that I am fast reaching the point where I shall count the 
people of Albany not merely as fellow-citizens, but as towns- 
men and neighbors. 


On this occasion, I am, oi course, aware that you pay do 
compliment to a citizen, and present no personal tribute, bul 

that yon have come to demonstrate your loyalty and devotion 
to a cause in which you arc heartily enlisted. 

The American people are about to exer< ise, in its higl 
sense, their power of right and sovereignty. They are to call 
in review before them their public: servants and the representa- 
tives of political parties, and demand of them an account ol 
their stewardship. 

Parties may be so long in power, and may become SO arro- 
gant and careless of the interests of the people, as to grow 
heedless of their responsibility to their masters. But the time 
comes, as certainly as death, when the people weigh them in 
the balance. 

The issues to be adjudicated by the nation's great assize are 
made up and are about to be submitted. 

We believe that the people are not receiving at the hands of 
the party which, for nearly twenty-four years, has directed the 
affairs of the nation, the full benefits to which they are entitled 
— of a pure, just, and economical rule — and we believe that the 
ascendency of genuine Democratic principles will insure a 
better government, and greater happiness and prosperity to all 
the people. 

To reach the sober thought of the nation, and to dislodge 
an enemy intrenched behind spoils and patronage, involve a 
struggle, which, if we under-estimate, we invite defeat. 1 am 
profoundly impressed with the responsibility of the pari 
assigned to me in this contest. My heart, I know, is in the 
cause, and I pledge you that no effort of mine shall be wanting 
to secure the victory which I believe to be within the achieve- 
ment of the Democratic hosts. 

Let us, then, enter upon the campaign, now fairly opened, 
each one appreciating well the part he has to perform, ready, 
with solid front, to do battle for better government, confi- 
dently, courageously, always honorably, and with a linn reliance 
upon the intelligence and patriotism of the American people. 



Response to Official Notification at Albany, July 29, 1884. 

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Committee: 

Your formal announcement does not, of course, convey to 
me the first information of the result of the convention, lately 
held by the Democracy of the nation. And yet when, as I 
listen to your message, I see about me representatives from all 
parts of the land, of the great party which, claiming to be the 
party of the people, asks them to intrust to it the administra- 
tion of their government, and when I consider, under the 
influence of the stern reality which present surroundings 
create, that I have been chosen to represent the plans, pur- 
poses, and the policy of the Democratic party, I am pro- 
foundly impressed by the solemnity of the occasion and by the 
responsibility of my position. 

Though I gratefully appreciate it, I do not at this moment 
congratulate myself upon the distinguished honor which has 
been conferred upon me, because my mind is full of an anx- 
ious desire to perform well the part which has been assigned 
to me. Nor do I at this moment forget that the rights and 
interests of more than fifty millions of my fellow-citizens are 
involved in our efforts to gain Democratic supremacy. This 
reflection presents to my mind the consideration which, more 
than all others, gives to the action of my party, in convention 
assembled, its most sober and serious aspect. 

The party and its representatives which ask to be intrusted, 
at the hands of the people, with the keeping of all that con- 
cerns their welfare and their safety, should only ask it with 
the full appreciation of the trust, and with a firm resolve to 
administer itfaithfully and well. I am a Democrat — because I 
believe that this truth lies at the foundation of true Democ- 
racy. I have kept the faith — because I believe, if rightly and 
fairly administered and applied, Democratic doctrines and 
measures will insure the happiness, contentment, and pros- 
perity of the people. 


If, in the contest upon which we now enter, we steadta tly 
hold to the underlying principles of our party <reed, and at all 
times keep in view the people's good, we shall be stTl 
because we are true to ourselves, and because the plain and 
independent voters of the land will seek, by their suffrages, to 
compass their release from party tyranny where there should 
be submission to the popular will, and their protection from 
party corruption where there should be devotion to the peo- 
ple's interests. 

These thoughts lend a consecration to our cause; and \\ e 
forth, not merely to gain a partisan advantage, but pledged to 
give to those who trust us the utmost benefit of a pure and 
honest administration of national affairs. No higher purpose 
or motive can stimulate us to supreme effort, or urge us to 
continuous and earnest labor and effective party organization. 
Let us not fail in this, and we may confidently hope to reap 
the full reward of patriotic services well performed. 

I have thus called to mind some simple truths; and, trite 
though they are, it seems to me we do well to dwell upon 
them at this time. 

I shall soon, I hope, signify in the usual manner my accept- 
ance of the nomination which has been tendered to me. In the 
meantime, I gladly greet you all as co-workers in a noble cause. 

Letter Accepting Nomination for President. 

Albany, N. Y., August 18, 1884. 

I have received your communication, dated July 28, 1SS4, 
informing me of my nomination to the office <>t President 
of the United States by the National Democratic Conven- 
tion, lately assembled at Chicago. I accept the nomin- 
ation with a grateful appreciation of the supreme honor con- 
ferred and a solemn sense of the responsibility which, in its 


acceptance, I assume. I have carefully considered the plat- 
form adopted by the convention and cordially approve the 
same. So plain a statement of Democratic faith, and the 
principles upon which that party appeals to the suffrages of the 
people, needs no supplement or explanation. 

It should be remembered that the office of President is 
essentially executive in its nature. The laws enacted by the 
legislative branch of the government, the Chief Executive is 
bound faithfully to enforce. And when the wisdom of the 
political party, which selects one of its members as a nominee 
for that office, has outlined its policy and declared its princi- 
ples, it seems to me that nothing in the character of the office 
or the necessities of the case requires more, from the candidate 
accepting such nomination, than the suggestion of certain well- 
known truths, so absolutely vital to the safety and welfare of 
the nation that they cannot be too often recalled or too seri- 
ously enforced. 

We proudly call ours a government by the people. It is not 
such when a class is tolerated which arrogates to itself the 
management of public affairs, seeking to control the people, 
instead of representing them. Parties are the necessary out- 
growths of our institutions; but a government is not by the 
people when one party fastens its control upon the country and 
perpetuates its power by cajoling and betraying the people 
instead of serving them. A government is not by the people 
when a result which should represent the intelligent will of free 
and thinking men is or can be determined by the shameless 
corruption of their suffrages. 

When an election to office shall be the selection by the voters 
of one of their number to assume for a time a public trust, 
instead of his dedication to the profession of politics ; when 
the holders of the ballot, quickened by a sense of duty, shall 
avenge truth betrayed and pledges broken, and when the suf- 
frage shall be altogether free and uncorrupted, the full realiza- 
tion of a government by the people will be at hand. And of 
the means to this end not one would, in my judgment, be more 


effective than an amendment to the Constitution disqualifying 
the President from re-election. When we < onsider the patron- 
age of <this great office, the allurements of power, the tempta- 
tions to retain public place once gained, and, more than all, 
the availability a party finds in an incumbent whom a horde 
of office-holders, with a zeal born of benefits re< eived and fo 
tered by the hope of favors yet tojeome, stand ready to aid 
with money and trained political, service, we recognize in the 
eligibility of the President for re-election a most serious danger 
to that calm, deliberate, and intelligent political action which 
must characterize a government by the people. 

A true American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor 
and the fact that honor lies in honest toil. Contented labor 
is an element of national prosperity. Ability to work consti- 
tutes the capital and the wage of labor the income of a vast 
number of our population, and this interest should be jealously 
protected. Our workingmen are not asking unreasonable 
indulgence, but, as intelligent and manly citizens, they seek the 
same consideration which those demand who have other inter- 
ests at stake. They should receive their full share of the care 
and attention of those who make and execute the laws, to the 
end that the wants and needs of the employers and employed 
shall alike be subserved and the prosperity of the country, the 
common heritage of both, be advanced. As related to this 
subject, while we should not discourage the immigration of 
those who come to acknowledge allegiance to our government 
and add to our citizen population, yet, as a means of protection 
to our workingmen, a different rule should prevail concerning 
those who, if they come or are brought to our land, do not 
intend to become Americans, but will injuriously compete with 
those justly entitled to our field of labor. 

In a letter accepting the nomination to the office of Gov- 
ernor, nearly two years ago, I made the following statement, 
to which I have steadily adhered: 

The laboring classes constitute the main part of our population. They 
should be protected in their efforts peaceably to assert their rights when 


endangered by aggregated capital, and all statutes on this subject should 
recognize the care of the State for honest toil, and be framed with a view 
of imprcving the condition of the workingman. 

A proper regard for the welfare of the workingmen being 
inseparably connected with the integrity of our institutions, 
none of our citizens are more interested than they in guarding 
against any corrupting influences which seek to pervert the 
beneficent purposes of our government, and none should be 
more watchful of the artful machinations of those who allure 
them to self-inflicted injury. 

In a free country the curtailment of the absolute rights of 
the individual should only be such as is essential to the peace 
and good order of the community. The limit between the 
proper subjects of governmental control and those which can be 
more fittingly left to the moral sense and self-imposed restraint 
of the citizen should be carefully kept in view. Thus laws 
unnecessarily interfering with the habits and customs of our 
people which are not offensive to the moral sentiments of the 
civilized world, and which are consistent with good citizenship 
and the public welfare, are unwise and vexatious. 

The commerce of a nation, to a great extent, determines its 
supremacy. Cheap and easy transportation should therefore 
be liberally fostered. Within the limits of the Constitution, 
the general government should so improve and protect its 
natural water-ways as will enable the producers of the country 
to reach a profitable market. 

The people pay the wages of the public employees, and they 
are entitled to the fair and honest work which the money thus 
paid should command. It is the duty of those intrusted with 
the management of their affairs to see that such public service 
is forthcoming. The selection and retention of subordinates 
in government employment should depend upon their ascer- 
tained fitness and the value of their work, and they should be 
neither expected nor allowed to do questionable party service. 
The interests of the people will be better protected; the esti- 
mate of public labor and duty will be immensely improved; 


public employment will be open to all who can demonstrate 

their fitness to enter it; the unseemly scramble for pla< e under 
government, with the consequent importunity which embil 
official life, will cease, and the public departments will not be 
filled with those who conceive it to be their first duty to aid 
the party to which they owe their places, instead oi rendering 
patient and honest return to the people. 

I believe that the public temper is such that the voters ol 
the land are prepared to support the party which gives the In i 
promise <>f administering the government in the honest, simple, 
and plain manner which is consistent with its character and 
purposes. They have learned that mystery and concealment 
in the management of their affairs (over tricks and betrayal. 
The statesmanship they require consists in honesty and frugal- 
it}', a prompt response to the needs of the people as they arise, 
^and a vigilant protection of all their varied interests. If I 
should be called to the Chief Magistracy of the nation by the 
suffrages of my fellow-citizens, I will assume the duties of that 
high office with a solemn determination to dedicate every effort 
to the country's good, and with an humble reliance upon the 
favor and support of the Supreme Being, who, I believe, will 
always bless honest human endeavor in the conscientious dis- 
charge of public duty. 

Grover Cleveland. 


Speech to the Committee on A r otification, June 26, 1888. 

Mr. Collins and Gentlemen of the Committee: 

I cannot but be profoundly impressed when I see about me 
the messengers of the national Democracy, bearing its sum- 
mons to duty. The political party to which I owe allegiance 
both honors and commands me. It places in my hand the 
proud standard and bids me bear it high at the front in a battle 
which it wages bravely, because conscious of right; confidently, 


because its trust is in the people, and soberly, because it com- 
prehends the obligations which success imposes. 

The message which you bring awakens within me the liveli- 
est sense of personal gratitude and satisfaction, and the honor 
which you tender me is, in itself, so great that there might well 
be no room for any other sentiment. And yet I cannot rid 
myself of grave and serious thoughts when I remember that 
party supremacy is not alone involved in the conflict which 
presses upon us, but that we struggle to secure and save the 
cherished institutions, the welfare, and happiness of a nation 
of freemen. 

Familiarity with the great office which I hold has but added 
to my apprehension of its sacred character and the consecra- 
tion demanded of him who assumes its immense responsibili- 
ties. It is the repository of the people's will and power. 
Within its vision should be the protection and welfare of the 
humblest citizen, and with quick ear it should catch from the 
remotest corner of the land the plea of the people for justice 
and for right. For the sake of the people he who holds this 
office of theirs should resist every encroachment upon its legiti- 
mate functions, and, for the sake of the integrity and usefulness 
of the office, it should be kept near to the people and be 
administered in full sympathy with their wants and needs. 

This occasion reminds me most vividly of the scene when, 
four years ago, I received a message from my party similar to 
that which you now deliver. With all that has passed since 
that day, I can truly say that the feeling of awe with which I 
heard the summons then is intensified many fold when it is 
repeated now. Four years ago I knew that our chief execu- 
tive office, if not carefully guarded, might drift, little by little, 
away from the people, to whom it belonged, and become a 
perversion of all that it ought to be; but I did not know how 
much its moorings had already been loosened. 

I knew four years ago how well devised were the principles 
of true Democracy for the successful operation of a govern- 
ment by the people and for the people; but I did not know 


how absolutely necessary their application then was tor tin- 
restoration to the people of their safety and prosperity. I 
knew then that abuses and extravagances had crept into the 
management of public affairs; but 1 did not know their numer- 
ous forms, nor the tenacity of their grasp. I knew then some- 
thing of the bitterness of partisan obstruction; but I did not 
know how bitter, how reckless, and how shameless it could be. 
I knew, too, that the American people were patriotic and just; 
but I did not know how grandly they loved their country, oor 
how noble and generous they were. 

I shall not dwell upon the acts and the policy of the Admin- 
istration now drawing to its close. Its record is open to every 
citizen of the land. And yet, I will not be denied the privilege 
of asserting, at this time, that in the exercise of the functions of 
the high trust confided to me I have yielded obedience only to 
the Constitution and the solemn obligation of my oath of office. 
I have done those things which, in the light of the understand- 
ing God has given me, seemed most conducive to the welfare 
of my countrymen and the promotion of good government. 1 
would not, if I could, for myself nor for you, avoid a single 
consequence of a fair interpretation of my course. 

It but remains for me to say to you, and through you to the 
Democracy of the Nation, that I accept the nomination with 
which they have honored me, and that I will, in due time, sig- 
nify such acceptance in the usual formal manner. 


Letter Accepting Renomination. 

Washington, September 8, 1888. 
Hon. Patrick A. Collins and Others, Committee, etc.: 

Gentlemen: In addressing to you my formal acceptance of 
the nomination to the Presidency of the United States, my 
thoughts persistently dwell upon the impressive relation of such 
action to the American people, whose confidence is thus 


invited, and to the political party to which I belong, just enter- 
ing upon a contest for continued supremacy. 

The world does not afford a spectacle more sublime than is 
furnished when millions of free and intelligent American citi- 
zens select their Chief Magistrate, and bid one of their number 
to find the highest earthly honor and the full measure of public 
duty in ready submission to their will. 

It follows that a candidate for this high office can never for- 
get that, when the turmoil and the strife which attend the 
selection of its incumbent shall be heard no more, there must 
be, in the quiet calm which follows, a complete and solemn 
self-consecration by the people's chosen President of every 
faculty and endeavor to the service of a confiding and generous 
nation of freemen. 

These thoughts are intensified by the light of my experience 
in the Presidential office, which has soberly impressed me with 
the severe responsibilities it imposes, while it has quickened 
my love for American institutions and taught me the priceless 
value of the trust of my countrymen. 

It is of the highest importance that those who administer our 
government should jealously protect and maintain the rights of 
American citizens at home and abroad, and should strive to 
achieve for our country her proper place among the nations of 
the earth ; but there is no people whose home interests are so 
great, and whose numerous objects of domestic concern deserve 
so much watchfulness and care. 

Among these are the regulation of a sound financial system 
suited to our needs, thus securing an efficient agency of 
national wealth and general prosperity; the construction and 
equipment of means of defense, to insure our national safety 
and maintain the honor beneath which such national safety 
reposes ; the protection of our national domain, still stretching 
beyond the needs of a century's expansion, and its preserva- 
tion for the settler and the pioneer of our marvelous growth; a 
sensible and sincere recognition of the value of American 
labor, leading to the scrupulous care and just appreciation of 


the interests of our workingmen; the limitation and c he< k i n ■_; 
of such monopolistic tendencies and schemes ;^ interfere with 
the advantages and benefits which the people may rightly 
claim; a generous regard and care for our surviving sold 

and sailors and for the widows and orphans of such ;h have 
died, to the end that, while the appreciation of their sen ic es 
and sacrifices is quickened, the application of their pension fund 
to improper cases may be prevented; protection agaiiw 1 
servile immigration, which injuriously competes with our labor- 
ing men in the field of toil, and adds to our population an ele- 
ment ignorant of our institutions and laws, impossible 
assimilation with our people, and dangerous to our peace and 
welfare; a strict and steadfast adherence to the principles of 
Civil Service Reform and a thorough execution of the laws 
passed for their enforcement, thus permitting to our people the 
advantages of business methods in the operation of their gov- 
ernment; the guaranty to our colored citizens of all their 
rights of citizenship, and their just recognition and encourage- 
ment in all things pertaining to that relation; a firm, patient, 
and humane Indian policy, so that in peaceful relations with 
the government the civilization of the Indian may be pro- 
moted, with resulting quiet and safety to the settlers on our 
frontiers; and the curtailment of public expense by the intro- 
duction of economical methods in every department of the 

The pledges contained in the platform adopted by the late 
convention of the National Democracy lead to the advance- 
ment of these objects and insure good government — the aspira- 
tion of every true American citizen, and the motive for every 
patriotic action and effort. In the consciousness that much 
has been done in the direction of good government by the 
present administration, and submitting its record to the fair 
inspection of my countrymen, I indorse the platform thus pre- 
sented, with the determination that, if I am again called to the 
Chief Magistracy, there shall be a continuance of devoted 
endeavor to advance the interests of the entire country. 


Our scale of Federal taxation and its consequences largely 
engross, at this time, the attention of our citizens, and the peo- 
ple are soberly considering the necessity of measures of relief. 
Our government is the creation of the people, established to' 
carry out their designs and accomplish their good. It was 
founded on justice, and was made for a free, intelligent, and 
virtuous people. It is only useful when within their control, 
and only serves them well when regulated and guided by their 
constant touch. It is a free government, because it guarantees 
to every American citizen the unrestricted personal use and 
enjoyment of all the reward of his toil and of all his income, 
except what may be his fair contribution to necessary public 
expense. Therefore, it is not only the right, but the duty, of 
a free people, in the enforcement of this guaranty, to insist 
that such expense should be strictly limited to the actual pub- 
lic needs. It seems perfectly clear that when the government, 
this instrumentality created and maintained by the people to- 
do their bidding, turns upon them, and, through an utter per- 
version of its powers, extorts from their labor and capital trib- 
ute largely in excess of public necessities, the creature has 
rebelled against the creator and the masters are robbed by 
their servants. 

The cost of the government must continue to be met by 
tariff duties collected at our custom houses upon imported 
goods, and by internal revenue taxes assessed upon spirituous 
and malt liquors, tobacco, and oleomargarine. 

I suppose it is needless to explain that all these duties and 
assessments are added to the price of the articles upon which 
they are levied, and thus become a tax upon all those who buy 
these articles for use and consumption. I suppose, too, it is 
well understood that the effect of this tariff taxation is not 
limited to the consumers of imported articles, but that the 
duties imposed upon such articles permit a corresponding 
increase in price to be laid upon domestic productions of the 
same kind; which increase, paid by all our people as consum- 
ers of home productions and entering every American home, 


constitutes a form of taxation as certain and as inevitable 
though the amount was annually paid into the hand "I the tax 

These results are inseparable from the plan we have adopt d 
for the collection of our revenue by tariff duties. The) 
not mentioned to discredit the system, but D) wa) "I pi 
i the statement that every million of dollars colle< icd at our 
ustom houses for duties upon imported articles and paid into 
the public treasury, represents many millions more whi< h, 
though never reaching the national treasury, are paid by our 
citizens as the increased cost of domestic productions resulting 
from our tariff laws. 

In these circumstances, and in view of this necessai 
of the operation of our plan for raising revenue, the absolute 
duty of limiting the rate of tariff charges to the necessities of 
a frugal and economical administration of the government 
seems to be perfectly plain. The continuance, upon the pretext 
of meeting public expenditures, of such a scale of tariff taxa- 
tion as draws from the substance of the people a sum largely in 
excess of public needs, is surely something which, under a gov- 
ernment based upon justice, and which finds its strength and 
usefulness in the faith and trust of the people, ought not to be 

"While the heaviest burdens incident to the necessities of the 
government are uncomplainingly borne, light burdens become 
grievous and intolerable when not justified by such necessities. 

Unnecessary taxation is unjust taxation. 

And yet this is our condition. We are annually collecting 
at our custom houses, and by means of our internal revenue 
taxation, many millions in excess of all legitimate public need-. 
As a consequence, there now remains in the national treasury 
a surplus of more than one hundred and thirty millions of 

No better evidence could be furnished that the people are 
exorbitantly taxed. The extent of the superfluous burden 
indicated by this surplus will be better appreciated when it is 


suggested that such surplus alone represents taxation aggre- 
gating more than one hundred and eight thousand dollars in a 
county containing fifty thousand inhabitants. 

Taxation has always been the feature of organized govern- 
ment the hardest to reconcile with the people's ideas of free- 
dom and happiness. When presented in a direct form, nothing 
will arouse popular discontent more quickly and profoundly 
than unjust and unnecessary taxation. Our farmers, me- 
chanics, laborers, and all our citizens, closely scan the slightest 
increase in the taxes assessed upon their lands and other prop- 
erty, and demand good reason for such increase. And yet 
they seem to be expected, in some quarters, to regard the 
unnecessary volume of insidious and indirect taxation visited 
upon them by our present rate of tariff duties with indifference, 
if not with favor. 

The surplus revenue now remaining in the treasury not only 
furnishes conclusive proof of unjust taxation, but its existence 
constitutes a separate and independent menace to the prosper- 
ity of the people. 

This vast accumulation of idle funds represents that much 
money drawn from the circulating medium of the country 
which is needed in the channels of trade and business. 

It is a great mistake to suppose that the consequences which 
follow the continual withdrawal and hoarding by the govern- 
ment of the currency of the people are not of immediate 
importance to the mass of our citizens, and only concern 
those engaged in large financial transactions. 

In the restless enterprise and activity which free and ready 
money among the people produces is found that opportunity 
for labor and employment, and that impetus to business and 
production, which bring in their train prosperity to our citi- 
zens in every station and vocation. New ventures, new 
investments in business and manufacture, the construction of 
new and important works, and the enlargement of enterprises 
already established, depend largely upon obtaining money upon 
easy terms with fair security; and all these things are stimu- 


lated by an abundant volume of circulating medium. Even 
the harvested grain of the tanner remains without a market, 
unless money is forthcoming tor its movement and transporta- 
tion to the seaboard. 

The first result of a scarcity of money among the people is 
the exaction of severe terms for its use. [ncreasing distl 
and timidity are followed by a refusal to loan or ad\ ance on any 
terms. Investors refuse all risks ami de< line all se< urities, and 
in a general fright the money still in the hands of the people is 
persistently hoarded. It is quite apparent that when this 
fectly natural, if not inevitable, stage is reached, depression in 
all business and enterprise will, as a necessary consequence, 
lessen the opportunity for work and employment, and reduce 
salaries ami the wages of labor. 

Instead, then, of being exempt from the influence and effe< t 
of an immense surplus lying idle in the national treasury, our 
wage-earners, and others who rely upon their labor for sup] 
are most of all directly concerned in the situation. Oil 
seeing the approach of danger, may provide against it, but it 
will find those depending upon their daily toil for bread unpre- 
pared, helpless, and defenseless. Such a state of affairs i 
not present a case of idleness resulting from disputes between 
the laboring man and his employer, but it produces an abso- 
lute and enforced stoppage of employment and w. 

In reviewing the bad effects of this accumulated surplus and 
the scale of tariff rates by winch it is produced, we must not 
overlook the tendency toward gross and scandalous public 
extravagance which a congested treasury induces, nor the fact 
that we are maintaining without excuse, in a time of profound 
peace, substantially the rates of tariff duties imposed in time 
of war, when the necessities of the government justified the 
imposition of the weightiest burdens upon the people. 

Divers plans have been suggested for the return of this 
accumulated surplus to the people and the channels of trade. 
Some of these devices are at variance with all rules of _ 
finance; some are delusive, some are absurd, and some betray, 


by their reckless extravagance, the demoralizing influence of a 
great surplus of public money upon the judgments of indi- 

While such efforts should be made as are consistent with 
public duty, and sanctioned by sound judgment, to avoid dan- 
ger by the useful disposition of the surplus now remaining in 
the treasury, it is evident that, if its distribution were accom- 
plished, another accumulation would soon take its place if the 
constant flow of redundant income was not checked at its 
source by a reform in our present tariff laws. 

We do not propose to deal with these conditions by merely 
attempting to satisfy the people of the truth of abstract theories, 
nor by alone urging their assent to political doctrine. 
We present to them the propositions that they are unjustly 
treated in the extent of present Federal taxation, that, as a 
result, a condition of extreme danger exists, and that it is for 
them to demand a remedy and that defense and safety prom- 
ised in the guarantees of their free government. 

We believe that the same means which are adapted to relieve 
the treasury of its present surplus and prevent its recurrence, 
should cheapen to our people the cost of supplying their daily 
wants. Both of these objects we seek in part to gain by reduc- 
ing the present tariff rates upon the necessaries of life. 

We fully appreciate the importance to the country of our 
domestic industrial enterprises. In the rectification of existing 
wrongs their maintenance and prosperity should be carefully 
and in a friendly spirit considered. Even such reliance upon 
present revenue arrangements as has been invited or encour- 
aged should be fairly and justly regarded. Abrupt and radical 
changes which might endanger such enterprises, and injuriously 
affect the interests of labor dependent upon their success and 
continuance, are not contemplated or intended. 

But we know the cost of our domestic manufactured products 
is increased, and their price to the consumer enhanced, by the 
duty imposed upon the raw material used in their manufac- 
ture. We know that this increased cost prevents the sale of 


our productions at foreign markets in competition with those 
countries which have the advantage of free raw material. We 

know that, confined to a home market, our manufacturing oper- 
ations are curtailed, their demand for labor irregular, and the 

rate of wages paid uncertain. 

We propose, therefore, to stimulate our domestic industrial 
enterprises by freeing from duty the imported raw materials 
which, by the employmenl of labor, are used in our home man- 
ufactures, thus extending the markets for their sale and per- 
mitting an increased and steady production with the allowam e 
of abundant profits. 

True to the undeviating course of the Democratic party, we 
will not neglect the interests of labor and our workingmen. In 
all efforts to remedy existing evils, we will furnish no excuse 
for the loss of employment or the reduction of the wage of 
honest toil. On the contrary, we propose, in any adjustment 
of our revenue laws, to concede such encouragement and advan- 
tage to the employers of domestic labor as will easily compen- 
sate for any difference that may exist between the standard of 
wages which should be paid to our laboring men and the rate 
allowed in other countries. We propose, too, by extend- 
ing the markets for our manufacturers to promote tic- 
steady employment of labor, while by cheapening the cost of 
the necessaries of life we increase the purchasing power of 
the workingman's wages and add to the comforts of his 

And before passing from this phase of the question I am 
constrained to express the opinion that, while the interests of 
labor should be always sedulously regarded in any modification 
of our tariff laws, an additional and more direct and efficient 
protection to these interests would be afforded by the restric- 
tion and prohibition of the immigration cr importation of 
laborers from other countries, who swarm upon our sh 
having no purpose or intent of becoming our fellow-citizei 
acquiring any permanent interest in our country, hut who 
crowd every field of employment with unintelligent labor at 


wages which ought not to satisfy those who make claim to 
American citizenship. 

The platform adopted by the late National Convention of 
our party contains the following declaration: "Judged by 
Democratic principles, the interests of the people are betrayed 
when by unnecessary taxation trusts and combinations are per- 
mitted and fostered which, while unduly enriching the few that 
combine, rob the body of our citizens by depriving them as 
purchasers of the benefits of natural competition." 

Such combinations have always been condemned by the 
Democratic party. The declaration of its National Conven- 
tion is sincerely made, and no member of our party will be 
found excusing the existence or belittling the pernicious results 
of these devices to wrong the people. Under various names they 
have been punished by the common law for hundreds of years ; 
and they have lost none of their hateful features because they 
have assumed the name of trusts, instead of conspiracies. 

We believe that these trusts are the natural offspring of a 
market artificially restricted; that an inordinately high tariff, 
besides furnishing the temptation for their existence, enlarges 
the limit within which they may operate against the people, 
and thus increases the extent of their power for wrong-do- 

With an unalterable hatred of all such schemes, we count the 
checking of their baleful operations among the good results 
promised by revenue reform. 

While we cannot avoid partisan misrepresentation, our posi- 
tion upon the question of revenue reform should be so plainly 
stated as to admit of no misunderstanding. 

We have entered upon no crusade of free trade. The reform 
we seek to inaugurate is predicated upon the utmost care for 
established industries and enterprises, a jealous regard for the 
interests of American labor, and a sincere desire to relieve the 
country from the injustice and danger which threaten evil to 
all the people of the land. 

We are dealing with no imaginary danger. Its existence 


has been repeatedly confessed by all political parties, and 
pledges of a remedy have been made on all sides. 

Yet, when in the legislative body, where under the Consti- 
tution all remedial measures applicable to this subject must 
originate, the Democratic majority were attempting, with 
extreme moderation, to redeem the pledge common t<> both 
parties, they were met by determined opposition and obstrui - 
tion; and the minority, refusing to co-operate in the House of 
Representatives, or propose another remedy, have reunited the 
redemption of their party pledge to the doubtful power of the 

The people will hardly be deceived by their abandonment 
of the field of legislative action to meet in political convention 
and flippantly declare in their party platform that our conserv- 
ative and careful effort to relieve the situation is destructive 
to the American system of protection. Nor will the people be 
misled by the appeal to prejudice contained in the absurd 
allegation that we serve the interests of Europe, while they will 
support the interests of America. 

They propose in their platform thus to support the interests 
of our country by removing the internal revenue tax from 
tobacco ami from spirits used in the arts and for mechanical 
purposes. They declare also that there should be such a 
revision of our tariff laws as shall tend to check the importation 
of such articles as are produced here. Thus, in proposing to 
increase the duties upon such articles to nearly or quite a pro- 
hibitory point, they confess themselves willing to travel back- 
ward in the road of civilization, and to deprive our people of 
the markets for their goods which can only be gained ami 
kept by the semblance, at least, of an interchange of business, 
while they abandon our consumers to the unrestrained oppres- 
sion of the domestic trusts and combinations which are in the 
same platform perfunctorily condemned. 

They propose further to release entirely from import duties 
all articles of foreign production (except luxuries) the like oi 
which cannot be produced in this country! The plain people 


of the land and the poor, who, scarcely use articles of any 
description produced exclusively abroad and not already free, 
will find it difficult to discover where their interests are 
regarded in this proposition. They need in their homes 
cheaper domestic necessaries; and this seems to be entirely 
unprovided for in this proposed scheme to serve the country. 

Small compensation for this neglected need is found in the 
further purpose here announced and covered by the declara- 
tion, that if, after the changes already mentioned, there still 
remains a larger revenue than is requisite for the wants of the 
government, the entire internal taxation should be repealed, 
"rather than surrender any part of our protective system." 

Our people ask relief from the undue and unnecessary bur- 
den of tariff taxation now resting upon them. They are 
offered instead — free tobacco and free whisky. 

They ask for bread and they are given a stone. 

The implication contained in this party declaration, that 
desperate measures are justified or necessary to save from 
destruction or surrender what is termed our protective system, 
should confuse no one. The existence of such a system is 
entirely consistent with the regulation of the extent to which 
it should be applied and the correction of its abuses. 

Of course, in a country as great as ours, with such a wonder- 
ful variety of interests, often leading in entirely different direc- 
tions, it is difficult, if not impossible, to settle upon a perfect 
tariff plan. But in accomplishing the reform we have entere,<i 
upon, the necessity of which is so obvious, I believe we should 
not be content with a reduction of revenue involving the pro- 
hibition of importations and the removal of the internal tax 
upon whisky. It can be better and more safely done within 
the lines of granting actual relief to the people in their means 
of living, and at the same time giving an impetus to out- 
domestic enterprises and furthering our National welfare. 

If misrepresentations of our purposes and motives are to gain 
credence and defeat our present effort in this direction, there 
seems to be no reason why every endeavor in the future to 

accomplish revenue reform should Dot be hkew ise atta< Iced and 

with like result. And yel DO thoughtful man can tail to see in 
the continuance of the present burdens of the people, and the 
abstraction by the govemmenl of the < urreix \ o! the country, 

inevitable distress and disaster. All danger will be averted by 
timely action. The difficulty of applying the remedy will 

never be less, and the blame should not be laid at the door of 
the Democratic party if it is applied too late. 

With firm faith in the intelligence and patriotism of our 
countrymen, and relying upon the conviction that misrepre- 
sentation will not influence them, prejudice will not cloud their 
understanding and that menace will not intimidate them, let 
us urge the people's interest, and public duly, for the vindica- 
tion of our attempt to inaugurate a righteous and benefit enl 

Gr<)\ I l: Cl I \ I LAND. 



As Mayor of Buffalo, January 2, 1882. 

To the Honorable the Common Council: 

In presenting to you ray first official communication, I am 
by no means unmindful of the fact that I address a body, many 
of the members of which have had large experience in munici- 
pal affairs ; and which is directly charged, more than any 
other instrumentality, with the management of the government 
of the city and the protection of the interests of all the people 
within its limits. This condition of things creates grave 
responsibilities, which, 1 have no doubt, you fully appreciate. 
It may not be amiss, however, to remind you that our fellow- 
citizens, just at this time, are particularly watchful of those in 
whose hands they have placed the administration of the city 
government, and demand of them the most watchful care and 
conscientious economy. 

We hold the money of the people in our hands to be used for 
their purposes and to further their interests as members of the 
municipality; and it is quite apparent that when any part of 
the funds which the taxpayers have thus intrusted to us is 
diverted to other purposes, or when, by design or neglect, we 
allow a greater sum to be applied to any municipal purpose 
than is necessary, we have, to that extent, violated our duty. 
There surely is no difference in his duties and obligations, 
whether a person is intrusted with the money of one man or 
many. And yet it sometimes appears as though the office- 
holder assumes that a different rule of fidelity prevails between 


him and the taxpayers than that which should regulate bis i on- 
duct when, as an individual, he holds the moncj of his 

It seems to me that a successful and faithful administration 
of the government of our city may be accomplished, by bear- 
ing in mind that we are the trustees and agents of our fellow- 
citizens, holding their funds in sacred trust, to be expended for 
their benefit; that we should at all times he prepared to render 
an honest account to them touching the manner of its expen- 
diture, and that the affairs of the city should be conducted, as 
far as possible, upon the same principles as a good business 
man manages his private concerns. 

I am fully persuaded that in the performance of your duties 
these rules will be observed. And I, perhaps, should not do 
less than to assure your honorable body that, so far as it is in 
my power, I shall be glad to co-operate with you in securing 
the faithful performance of official duty in every department 
of the city government. 

It seems to me that the duties which should be performed by 
this officer [the City Auditor] have been entirely misappre- 
hended. I understand that it has been supposed that he does 
nil that is required of him when he tests the correctness of the 
extensions and footings of an account presented to him, copies 
the same in a book and audits the same as charged, if the 
extensions and footings are found correct. This work is cer- 
tainly not difficult, and might well be done by a lad but slightly 
acquainted with figures. The charter requires that this officer 
"shall examine and report upon all unliquidated claims against 
the city, before the same shall be audited by the common 
council." Is it not very plain that the examination of a claim 
means something more than the footing of the account by 
which that claim is represented? And is it not equally plain 
that the report provided for includes more than the approval 
of all accounts which, on their face, appear correct ? There is 
no question but that he should inquire into the merits of the 


claims presented to him; and he should be fitted to do so by a 
familiarity with the value of the articles and services embodied 
in the accounts. In this way he may protect the interests of 
the city; Otherwise his services are worse than useless, so far 
as his action is relied upon. 

I am utterly unable to discover any valid reason why the 
city offices should be closed and the employees released from 
their duties at the early hour in the day which seems now to be 
regarded as the limit of a day's work. I am sure no man 
would think an active private business was well attended to if 
he and all his employees ceased work at four o'clock in the 
afternoon. The salaries paid by the city to its officers and 
their employees entitle it to a fair day's work. Besides, these 
offices are for the transaction of public business; and the con- 
venience of all our citizens should be consulted in respect to 
the time during which they should remain open. 

I suggest the passage of an ordinance, prescribing such hours 
for the opening and closing of the city offices as shall subserve 
the public convenience. 

It would be very desirable if some means could be devised 
to stop the practice, so prevalent among our city employees, of 
selling or assigning in advance their claims against the city for 
services to be rendered. The ruinous discounts charged and 
allowed greatly diminish the reward of their labors; in many 
cases habits of improvidence and carelessness are engendered, 
and in all cases this hawking and trafficking in claims against 
the city presents a humiliating spectacle. 

In conclusion, I desire to disclaim any dictation as to the 
performance of your duties. I recognize fully the fact that 
with you rests the responsibility of all legislation which touches 
the prosperity of the city and the correction of abuses. I do 
not arrogate to myself any great familiarity with municipal 
affairs, nor any superior knowledge of the city's needs. I 
speak to you not only as the chief executive officer of the city, 
but as a citizen proud of its progress and commanding posi- 


ti m. In this spirit the suggestions herein contained are made. 

It" you deem them worthy of consideration, I shall still be 
anxious to aid the adoption and enforcement of any measures 
which you may inaugurate looking to the advancement of the 
interests of the city and the welfare of its inhabitants. 

Address as Governor, at Albany, January 1, 1S83. 

( lovi kxor Cornell : 

1 am profoundly grateful for your pleasant words and kind 
wishes for my success. You speak in full view of labors that 
are past and duty well performed, and no doubt you gener- 
ously suppose what you have safely encountered and over- 
come, another may not fear to meet. 

But I cannot be unmindful of the difficulties that beset the 
path upon which I enter, and I shall be quite content if, when 
the end is reached, I may, "like you, look back upon an official 
career honorable to myself and useful to the people of the 

I cannot forbear at this time also to express my appreciation 
of the hearty kindness and consideration with which you have, 
at other times, sought to make easier my performance of official 


You have assembled to-day to witness the retirement of an 
officer, tried and trusted, from the highest place in the State, 
and the assumption of its duties by one yet to be tried. This 
ceremony, simple and unostentatious, as becomes the spirit 1 t 
our institutions, is yet of vast importance to you and all the 
people of this great Commonwealth. The interests now trans- 
ferred to new hands are yours; and the duties here newly 
assumed should be performed for your benefit and your good. 
This you have the right to demand and enforce by the means 


placed in your hands, which you well know how to use; and if 
the public servant should always know that he is jealously 
watched by the people, he surely would be none the less faith- 
ful to his trust. 

This vigilance on the part of the citizen, and an active inter- 
est and participation in political concerns, are the safeguards 
of his rights; but sluggish indifference to political privileges 
invites the machinations of those who wait to betray the peo- 
ple's trust. Thus, when the conduct of public affairs receives 
your attention, you not only perform your duty as citizens, 
but protect your own best interests. While this is true, and 
while those whom you put in place should be held to strict 
account, their opportunity for usefulness should not be 
impaired, nor their efforts for good thwarted, by unfounded 
and querulous complaint and cavil. 

Let us together, but in our different places, take part in the 
regulation and administration of the government of our State, 
and thus become, not only the keepers of our own interests, 
but contributors to the progress and prosperity which will 
await us. 

I enter upon the discharge of the duties of the office to 
which my fellow-citizens have called me with a profound sense 
of responsibility; but my hope is in the guidance of a kind 
Providence, which I believe will aid an honest design; and the 
forbearance of a just people, which, I trust, will recognize a 
patriotic endeavor. 


Address as President, at Washington, March 4, 1S85. 

Fellow-Citizens : 

In the presence of this vast assemblage of my countrymen I 
am about to supplement and seal, by the oath which I shall 
take, the manifestation of the will of a great and free people. 
In the exercise of their power and right of self-government 
they have committed to one of their fellow-citizens a supreme 


and sacred trust; and he here consecrates himself to their 

This impressive ceremony adds little to the solemn sense of 
responsibility with which 1 contemplate the duty I owe to all 
the people of the land. Nothing can relieve me from anxiety 
lest by any act of mine their interests may suffer, and nothing 
is needed to strengthen m_\- resolution to engage ever j faculty 
and effort in the promotion of their welfare. 

Amid the din of parly strife the people's choice was made; 
but its attendant circumstances have demonstrated anew the 
strength and safety of a government by the people. In each 
succeeding year it more clearly appears that otii' demo< ratic 
principle needs no apology, and that in its fearless and faithful 
application is to be found the surest guaranty of good govern- 

But the best results in the operation of a government wherein 
every citizen has a. share, largely depend upon a proper limita- 
tion of purely partisan zeal and effort, and a < orrect apprecia- 
tion of the time when the heat of the partisan should be 
merged in the patriotism of the citizen. 

To-day the executive branch of the government is trans- 
ferred to new keeping. But this is still the government of all 
the people, and it should be none the less an object of their 
affectionate solicitude. At this hour the animosities of politi- 
cal strife, the bitterness of partisan defeat, and the exultation 
of partisan triumph should be supplanted by an ungrudging 
acquiescence in the popular will, and a sober, conscientious 
concern for the general weal. Moreover, if, from this hour, 
we cheerfully and honestly abandon all sectional prejudice and 
distrust, and determine, with manly confidence in one another, 
to work out harmoniously the achievements of our national 
destiny, we shall deserve to realize all the benefits which our 
happy form of government can bestow. 

On this auspicious occasion we may well renew the pledge 
of our devotion to the Constitution, which, launched by the 
founders of the republic and consecrated by their prayers and 


patriotic devotion, has for almost a century borne the hopes 
and the aspirations of a great people through prosperity and 
peace, and through the shock of foreign conflicts and the perils 
of domestic strife and vicissitudes. 

By the Father of his Country our Constitution was com- 
mended for adoption as "the result of a spirit of amity and 
mutual concession." In that same spirit it should be admin- 
istered, in order to promote the lasting welfare of the country, 
and to secure the full measure of its priceless benefits to us 
and to those who will succeed to the blessings of our national 
life. The large variety of diverse and competing interests 
subject to Federal control, persistently seeking the recognition 
of their claims, need give us no fear that "the greatest good to 
the greatest number" will fail to be accomplished, if, in the halls 
of national legislation, that spirit of amity and mutual conces- 
sion shall prevail in which the Constitution had its birth. If 
this involves the surrender or postponement of private inter- 
ests and the abandonment of local advantages, compensation 
will be found in the assurance that the common interest is 
subserved and the general welfare advanced. 

In the discharge of my official duty I shall endeavor to be 
guided by a just and unrestrained construction of the Consti- 
tution, a careful observance of the distinction between the 
powers granted to the Federal government and those reserved 
to the State or to the people, and by a cautious appreciation of 
those functions which, by the Constitution and laws, have been 
especially assigned to the executive branch of the government. 

But he who takes the oath to-day to preserve, protect, and 
defend the Constitution of the United States only assumes the 
solemn obligation which every patriotic citizen, on the farm, in 
the workshop, in the busy marts of trade, and everywhere 
should share with him. The Constitution which prescribes his 
oath, my countrymen, is yours; the government you have 
chosen him to administer for a time is yours; the suffrage 
which executes the will of freemen is yours; the laws and the 
entire scheme of our civil rule, from the town meeting to the 


State capitals and the national capital, are yours. Your every 
voter as surely as your Chief M under the same high 

sanction, though in a differenl sphere, exert isi < a public trust. 
Nor is this all. Every citizen owes to the country a vigilant 
watch and i lose scrutiny of its public servants, and .1 fair and 
reasonable estimate of their fidelity and usefulness. Thus is 
the people's will impressed upon the whole framework of our 
civil polity — municipal, State, and Federal; and this is the 
price of our liberty and the inspiration of our faith in the 

It is the duty of those serving the people in public pla< ■ 
closely to limit public expenditures to the actual needs of the 
government economically administered, because this bound 
the right of the government to exa< t tribute from the earning 
of labor or the property of the citizen, and because publi< 
extravagance begets extravagance among the people. We 
should never be ashamed of the simplicity and prudential 
economies which are best suited to the operation of a republi- 
can form of government and mosl compatible with the mission 
of the American people. Those who are selected for a limited 
time to manage public affairs are still of the people, and may 
do much by their example to encourage, consistently with tin- 
dignity of their official functions, that plain way of life which 
among their fellow-citizens aids integrity and promotes thrift 
and prosperity. 

The genius of our institutions, the needs of our people in 
their home life, and the attention which is demanded tor the 
settlement and development of the resour< es of our vasl terri- 
tory, dictate the scrupulous avoidance of any departure from 
that foreign policy commended by the history, the tradition-,, 
and the prosperity of our republic. It is the policy of inde- 
pendence, favored by our position and defended by our known 
love of justice and by our power. It is the policy of peace 
suitable to our interests. It is the policy of neutrality, reject- 
ing any share in foreign broils and ambitions upon other con- 
tinents, and repelling their intrusion here. It is the polii 


Monroe and of Washington and Jefferson : "Peace, commerce, 
and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliance 
with none." 

A due regard for the interests and prosperity of all the peo- 
ple demands that our finances shall be established upon such 
a sound and sensible basis as shall secure the safety and confi- 
dence of business interests and make the wage of labor sure 
and steady; and that our system of revenue shall be so adjusted 
as to relieve the people of unnecessary taxation, having a due 
regard to the interests of capital invested and workingmen 
employed in American industries, and preventing the accumu- 
lation of a surplus in the treasury to tempt extravagance and 

Care for the property of the nation, and for the needs of 
future settlers, requires that the public domain should be pro- 
tected from purloining schemes and unlawful occupation. 

The conscience of the people demands that the Indians 
within our boundaries shall be fairly and honestly treated as 
wards of the government, and their education and civilization 
promoted, with a view to their ultimate citizenship; and that 
polygamy in the Territories, destructive of the family relation 
and offensive to the moral sense of the civilized world, shall be 

The laws should be rigidly enforced which prohibit the 
immigration of a servile class to compete with American labor, 
with no intention of acquiring citizenship, and bringing with 
them and retaining habits and customs repugnant to our civili- 

The people demand reform in the administration of the 
government and the application of business principles to 
public affairs. As a means to this end civil service reform 
should be in good faith enforced. Our citizens have the right 
to protection from the incompetency of public employees who 
hold their places solely as the reward of partisan service, and 
from the corrupting influence of those who promise and the 
vicious methods of those who expect such rewards. And those 


who worthily seek public employment have the right to i 
that merit and competency shall be re< ognized instead of i 
subserviency or the surrender of honest political belief. 

In the administration of a government pledged to do equal 
and exact justice to all men, there should be no pretext for 
anxiety touching the protection of the freedrai n in their rights, 
or their security in the enjoyment of their privileges under the 
Constitution and its amendments. All discussion as to their 
fitness for the place accorded to them as American citizens is 
idle and unprofitable, except as it suggests the necessity for 
their improvement. The fact that they are citizens entitles them 
to all the rights due to that relation, and charges them with all 
its duties, obligations, and responsibilities. 

These topics, and the constant and ever-varying wants of 
an active and enterprising population, may well receive the 
attention and the patriotic endeavor of all who make and exe- 
cute the Federal law. Our duties are practical, and call for 
industrious application, an intelligent perception of the claims 
of public office, and, above all, a firm determination, by united 
action, to secure to all the people of the land the full benefits of 
the best form of government ever vouchsafed to man. And lei 
us not trust to human effort alone; but, humbly acknowledging 
the power and goodness of Almighty Clod, who presides over 
the destiny of nations, and who has at all times been revealed 
in our country's history, let us invoke his aid and his bless 
ing upon our labors. 



To the New York Civil Service Reform Association. 

Mayor's Office, 
Buffalo, N. Y., October 28, 1882. 

In answer to your letter of inquiry, dated October 20, 1882, 
in relation to civil service reform, I beg to refer you to my 
recent letter accepting the nomination for Governor, in which 
many of the matters referred to in your letter are touched 
upon, and I assure you that the sentiments therein expressed 
are sincerely and honestly entertained, and are stated without 
any mental reservation. 

I have no hesitation in saying that I fully approve of the 
principles embodied in the Pendleton bill relating to this sub- 
ject, and that I should be glad to aid in any practical legislation 
which would give them a place in the management of the affairs 
of the State and of municipalities, so far as they can be mad 
applicable thereto. I believe that the interests of the peoph 
demand that a reform in the national and State administrative 
service should speedily become an accomplished fact, and that 
l he public should receive honest and faithful service at the 
hands of well-fitted and competent servants. AN "hen contests 
between parties are waged for the purpose of securing places 
for professional politicians, of high or low degree, whose only 
recommendation for appointment is their supposed ability to 
do partisan service, the people are apt to be defrauded by the 
displacement of tried and faithful servants, well able to per- 
form the duties for which they are paid with the people's money, 


and the substitution of those who air unfit and incompetent. 
In this way, the interests of the party ma) be subserved, hut 
the interests of the people are neglected and betrayed. 

This pernicious system gives rise to an office-holding < I 
who in their partisan zeal, based upon the hope of personal 
advantage, arrogate to themselves an undue and mis< hievous 
interference with the will of the people in political action; this 
breeds the use of dishonest and reprehensible methods, which 
frequently result in the servants of the people dictating to their 
masters. If places in the public service are worth seeking, the) 
should be the reward of merit and well-doing, and the oppor- 
tunity to secure them on that basis should be open to all. 
Those holding these places should be assured that their 
tenure depends upon efficiency and fidelity to their trusts, and 
they should not be allowed to use them for partisan purpo 
The money they earn they should receive and be allowed to re- 
tain, and no part of it should be exacted from them by way of 
political assessments. 

It seems to me that very much or all of what we desire in the 
direction of civil service reform is included in the doctrine that 
the concerns of the State and nation should be conducted on 
business principles, and as nearly as possible in the same man- 
ner that a prudent citizen conducts his private affairs. If this 
principle is kept constantly in mind I believe the details oi a 
1 : 1 . 1 1 1 by which its adoption may be secured will, without much 
difficulty, be suggested. You refer especially to misman 
ment in schools, asylums, and institutions of charity and :or- 
rection, and to the difficulty of securing the construction of an 
additional aqueduct in the city of New York. Without being 
fully acquainted in detail with the evils and obstacles sur- 
rounding these subjects, I believe they may be remedied and 
removed by a due regard to the dictates of humanity and de- 
cency and the application of the principles to which I have 

Yours very respectfull) , 

Grover ( 'i i \ i i w 1'. 



From Message to the New York Legislature, January, 1883. 

It is submitted that the appointment of subordinates in the 
several State departments, and their tenure of office or employ- 
ment, should be based upon fitness and efficiency, and that 
this principle should be embodied in legislative enactment, to 
the end that the policy of the State may conform to the reason- 
able public demand on that subject. 


The Second Message to the New York Legislature, Jan., 1884. 

New York, then, leads in the inauguration of a comprehen- 
sive State system of civil service. The principle of selecting 
the subordinate employees of the State on the ground of capac- 
ity and fitness, ascertained according to fixed and impartial 
rules, without regard to political predilections and with reason- 
able assurance of retention and promotion in case of meritori- 
ous service, is now the established policy of the State. The 
children of our citizens are educated and trained in schools 
maintained at common expense, and the people, as a whole, 
have a right to demand the selection for the public service of 
those whose natural aptitudes have been improved by the edu- 
cational facilities furnished by the State. The application to 
the public service of the same rule which prevails in ordinary 
business, of employing those whose knowledge and training 
best fit them for the duties at hand, without regard to other 
considerations, must elevate and improve the civil service and 
eradicate from it many evils from which it has long suffered. 
Not the least gratifying of the results which this system promises 
to accomplish is relief to public men from the annoyance of 
importunity in the strife for appointments to subordinate 

67/ 7/. SERVICE REFORM. 41 


Letter /■ New York Civil Service Reform Association. 

Alb \\\, 0< tuber _\|, 1 884. 
Hon. George William Curtis: 

Dear Sir: While my letter of acceptance, in that pari 
devoted to civil service reform, has verbal reference to sub- 
ordinates in public affairs, 1 am of the opinion that there are 
other officials of a non-political character, to whose retention 
in place during the term for which thej were appointed the 
same considerations should apply. I am, of course, a Demo- 
crat, attached to the principles of that party, and if elected I 
desire to remain true to that organization. But I do not think 
partisan zeal should, lead to "arbitrary dismissal for party or 
political reasons" of officials of the class above referred to, 
who have attended strictly to their public duty, and have not 
engaged in party service, and who have not allowed themselves 
to be used as partisan instruments, or made themselves obnox- 
ious to the people they should serve, by the use of their offices 
to secure party ends. 

Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 


Letter to the National Civil Service Reform League. 

Albany, December 25, 1884. 
Hon. George William Curtis, President, etc.: 

Dear Sir: Your communication dated December 20, 
addressed to me on behalf of the National Civil Service Reform 
League, has been received. 

That a practical reform in the civil service is demanded is 
abundantly established by the fact that a statute, referred to in 
your communication, to secure such a result, has been passed 
in Congress with the assent of both political parties; and by 
the further fact that a sentiment is generally prevalent among 


patriotic people calling for the fair and honest enforcement of 
the law which has been thus enacted. I regard myself as pledged 
to this, because my conception of true Democratic faith and 
public duty requires that this, and all other statutes, should be 
in good faith and without evasion enforced, and because, in 
many utterances made prior to my election as President, 
approved by the party to which I belong and which I have no 
disposition to disclaim, I have in effect promised the people 
that this should be done. 

I am not unmindful of the fact to which you refer, that 
many of our citizens fear that the recent party change in the 
National Executive may demonstrate that the abuses which 
have grown up in the civil service are ineradicable. I know 
that they are deeply rooted, and that the spoils system has 
been supposed to be intimately related to success in the main- 
tenance of party organization; and I am not sure that all those 
who profess to be the friends of this reform will stand firmly 
among its advocates, when they find it obstructing their way 
to patronage and place. 

But, fully appreciating the trust committed to my charge, no 
such consideration shall cause a relaxation on my part of an 
earnest effort to enforce this law. 

There is a class of government positions which are not within 
the letter of the civil service statute, but which are so discon- 
nected with the policy of an administration that the remova 1 
therefrom of present incumbents, in my opinion, should not b 
made during the terms for which they were appointed, solely 
on partisan grounds and for the purpose of putting in their 
places those who are in political accord with the appointing 

But many, now holding such positions, have forfeited all just 
claim to retention, because they have used their places for 
party purposes, in disregard of their duty to the people, and 
because, instead of being decent public servants, they have 
proved themselves offensive partisans, and unscrupulous 
manipulators of local party management. 


The lessons of the past should be unlearned, and such offi- 
cials, as well as their successors, should be taught that 
efficiency, fitness, and devotion to public duty are the condi- 
tions of their continuance in public place, and that the quiet 
and unobtrusive exercise of individual rights is the reasonable 
measure of their party service. 

If 1 were addressing none but party friends, I should deem 
it entirely proper to remind them that, though the coming 
administration is to be Democratic, a due regard for the peo- 
ple's interest does not permit faithful party work to be always 
rewarded by appointment to office; and to say to them that 
while Democrats may expect all proper consideration, selections 
for office not embraced within the civil service rules will be 
based upon sufficient inquiry as to fitness, instituted by those 
charged with that duty, rather than upon persistent importu- 
nity or self-solicited recommendations on behalf of candidates 
for appointment. 

Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 

Accepting Letter of Resignation of Dortnan B. Eaton. ., 

Executiyi M WSION, 

Washington, September n, 1885. 
My Dear Sir: 

I am in receipt of your letter tendering your resignation as a 
member of the Board of Civil Service Commissioners. I can- 
not refrain from expressing my sincere regret that you have 
determined to withdraw from a position in the public service 
where your intelligent performance of duty has been of ines- 
timable value to the country. The friends of civil service 
reform, and all those who desire good government, fully appre- 
ciate your devotion to the cause in which you early enlisted, 
and they have seen with satisfaction that your zeal and faith 


have not led you to suppose that the reform in which you were 
engaged is unsuited to the rules which ordinarily govern prog- 
ress in human affairs, or that it should at once reach perfection 
and universal acceptance. You have been willing patiently to 
accept good results as they, step by step, could be gained, 
holding every advance with unyielding steadfastness. 

The success which, thus far, has attended the work of civil 
service reform is largely due to the fact that its practical 
friends have proceeded upon the theory that real and healthy 
progress can only be made as such of the people who cherish 

. . ... M 

pernicious political ideas, long fostered and encouraged by 
vicious partisanship, are persuaded that the change contem- 
plated by the reform offers substantial improvement and bene- 
fits. A reasonable toleration for old prejudices, a graceful 
recognition of every aid, a sensible utilization of every instru- 
mentality that promises assistance, and a constant effort to 
demonstrate the advantages of the new order of things are the 
means by which this reform movement will, in the future, be 
further advanced, the opposition of incorrigible spoilsmen 
rendered ineffectual, and the cause placed upon a. sure founda- 
tion. Of course, there should be no surrender of principle 
nor backward step, and all laws for the enforcement of the 
reform should be rigidly executed ; but the benefits which its 
principles promise will not be fully realized unless the acquies- 
ence of the people is added to the stern assertion of a doctrine 
and the vigorous execution of the laws. 

It is a source of congratulation that there are so many 
friends of civil service reform marshaled on the practical side 
of the question, and that the number is not greater of those 
who profess friendliness for the cause, and yet mischievously, 
and with supercilious self-righteousness, discredit every effort 
not in exact accord with their attenuated ideas, decry with 
( arping criticism the labor of those actually in the field of 
reform, and, ignoring the conditions which bound and qualify 
every struggle for a radical improvement in the affairs of gov- 
ernment, demand complete and immediate perfection. 


The reference in your letter to the attitude of the members 

of my cabinet toward the merit system established by the I Lvil 
sen ice law, besides being entirely ( orrei t, exhibits an apprei i.i- 
tion of honest endeavor in the direction of reform, and a disposi- 
tion to do justice to proved sincerity, which is most gratifying. 
If such treatment of those upon w hom the dut) rests i if adminis- 
tering the government a< i ording to reform met In ids was the uni- 
versal rule, and if the embarrassments and perplexities attending 
such an administration were faiilv regarded by all those profess- 
ing to be friendly to such methods, the avowed enemies of 
the cause would be afforded less encouragement. 

I believe in civil service reform and its application in the 
most practicable form attainable, among other reasons, because 
it opens the door for the rich and the poor alike to a participa- 
tion in public place holding. And I hope the time is at hand 
when all our people will see the- advantage of a reliance for 
such an opportunity upon merit and fitness instead of upon 
the caprice or selfish interest of those who impudently stand 
between the people and the machinery of their government. 
In the one case, a reasonable intelligence, and the education 
which is freely furnished or forced upon the youth of our land, 
are the credentials to office; in the other, the way is found 
in favor, secured by a parti< ipation in partisan work often 
unfitting a person morally, if not mentally and physically, for 
the responsibilities and duties of public employment. 

You will agree with me, I think, that the support which has 
been given to the present administration in its efforts to pre- 
serve and advance this reform, by a party restored to power 
after an exclusion for many years from participation in the 
places attached to the public service; confronted with a new- 
system precluding the redistribution of such places in its inter- 
est; called upon to surrender advantages which a perverted 
partisanship had taught the American people belonged to suc- 
cess, and perturbed with the suspicions, always raised in such 
an emergency, that their rights in the conduct of this reform 
had not been scrupulously regarded, should receive due 


acknowledgment, and should confirm our belief that there is 
a sentiment among the people better than a desire to hold office, 
and a patriotic impulse upon which may safely rest the integ- 
rity of our institutions and the strength and perpetuity of our 

I have determined to request you to retain your present 
position until the ist day of November next, at which time 
your resignation may become operative. I desire to express 
my entire confidence in your attachment to the cause of civil 
service reform and your ability to render it efficient aid, and I 
indulge the hope and expectation that, notwithstanding the 
acceptance of your resignation, your interest in the object for 
which you have labored so assiduously will continue beyond 
the official term which you surrender. 

Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 


From the First Annual Message to Congress, December, 1885. 

I am inclined to think that there is no sentiment more gen- 
eral in the minds of the people of our country than a conviction 
of the correctness of the principle upon which the law enforc- 
ing civil service reform is based. In its present condition the 
law regulates only a part of the subordinate public positions 
throughout the country. It applies the test of fitness to appli- 
cants for these places by means of a competitive examination, 
and gives large discretion to the commissioners as to the char- 
acter of the examination and many other matters connected 
with its execution. Thus, the rules and regulations adopted by 
the commission have much to do with the practical usefulness 
of the statute and with the results of its application. 

The people may well trust the commission to execute the 
law with perfect fairness and with as little irritation as is pos- 
sible. But, of course, no relaxation of the principle which 


underlies it, and no weakening of the safeguards whi< h sur- 
round it, can be expected. Experience in its administration 
will probably suggesl amendment of the methods of its exe< u- 
tion, but I venture to hope that we shall never again be 
remitted to the system which distributes public position-, purely 
as rewards for partisan service. Doubts may well be enter- 
tained whether our government could survive the strain of a 
i ontinuance of this system, which, upon every change of admin- 
istration, inspires an immense army of claimants for offi< e to la\ 
siege to the patronage of government, engrossing the time ol 
public officers with their importunities, spreading abroad the 
contagion of their disappointment, and filling the air with the 
tumult of their discontent. 

The allurements of an immense number of offices and places, 
exhibited to the voters of the land, and the promise of their 
bestowal in recognition of partisan activity, debauch the suf- 
frage and rob political action of its thoughtful and deliberative 
character. The evil would increase with the multiplication 
of offices consequent upon our extension, and the mania for 
office-holding, growing from its indulgence, would pervade our 
population so generally that patriotic purpose, the support of 
principle, the desire for the public good and solicitude for the 
nation's welfare would be nearly banished from the activity of 
our party contests and cause them to degenerate into ignoble, 
selfish, and disgraceful struggles for the possession of office and 
public place. 

Civil service reform enforced by law came none too soon to 
check the progress of demoralization. One of its effects, not 
enough regarded, is the freedom it brings to the political action 
of those conservative and sober men who, in fear of the confu- 
sion and risk attending an arbitrary and sudden change in all 
the public offices with a change of party rule, cast their ballots 
against such a chance. 

Parties seem to be necessary, and will long continue to exist; 
nor can it be how denied that there are legitimate advantages, 
not disconnected with office-holding, which follow party 


supremacy. While partisanship continues bitter and pro- 
nounced, and supplies so much of motive to sentiment and 
action, it is not fair to hold public officials, in charge of impor- 
tant trusts, responsible for the best results in the performance 
of their duties, and yet insist that they shall rely, in confiden- 
tial and important places, upon the work of those not only 
opposed to them in political affiliation, but so steeped in parti- 
san prejudice and rancor that they have no loyalty to their 
chiefs and no desire for their success. Civil service reform 
does not exact this, nor does it require that those in subor- 
dinate positions who fail in yielding their best service, or who 
are incompetent, should be retained simply because they are in 
place. The whining of a clerk discharged for indolence or 
incompetency, who, though he gained his place by the worst 
possible operation of the spoils system, suddenly discovers that 
he is entitled to protection under the sanction of civil service 
reform, represents an idea no less absurd than the clamor of 
the applicant who claims the vacant position as his compensa- 
tion for the most questionable party work. 

The civil service law does not prevent the discharge of the 
indolent or incompetent clerk, but it does prevent supplying 
his place with the unfit party worker. Thus, in both these 
phases, is seen benefit to the public service. And the people 
who desire good government, having secured this statute, will 
not relinquish its benefits without protest. Nor are they 
unmindful of the fact that its full advantages can only be 
gained through the complete good faith of those having its 
execution in charge. And this they will insist upon. 


Message on the Report of the Commission, March 26, 1886. 

I transmit herewith the Report of the Civil Service Commis- 
sion for the year ended on the 16th day of January last. 

The exhibit thus made of the operations of the commission, 


and the account thus presented ol the results follov 
execution of the civil service law, cannot fail to demonstrate 

its usefulness ami strengthen the conviction that this scheme 
for a reform in the methods of administering the government 

is no longer an experiment. 

Wherever th ; s reform has gained a foothold, it has steadilj 
advanced in the esteem of those charged with public adminis- 
trative duties, while the people who desire good government 
have constantly been confirmed in their high estimate of its 
value and efficiency. 

With the benefits it has already secured to the public service 
plainly apparent, and with its promise of increased usefulness 
easily appreciated, this cause is commended to the liberal (are 
and jealous protection of the Congress. 


Order to Heads of Departments. 

Executive Mansion, 
July 14, 18S6. 

I deem this a proper time especially to warn all subordinates 
in the several Departments, and all office-holders under the 
general government, against the use of their official positions 
in attempts to control political movements in their localities. 

Office-holders are the agents of the people, not their masters. 
Not only are their time and labor due to the government, but 
they should scrupulously avoid, in their political action as well 
as in the discharge of their official duty, offending, by a dis- 
play of obtrusive partisanship, their neighbors who have rela- 
tions with them as public officials. 

They should also constantly remember that their party 
friends, from whom they have received preferment, have not 
invested them with the power of arbitrarily managing their 
political affairs. They have no right as office-holders to dic- 
tate the political action ot their party associates, or to throttle 


freedom of action within party lines, by methods and practices 
which pervert every useful and justifiable purpose of party 

The influence of Federal office-holders should not be felt in 
the manipulation of political primary meetings and nominating 
conventions. The use, by these officials, of their positions to 
compass their selection as delegates to political conventions is 
indecent and unfair; and proper regard for the proprieties and 
requirements of official place will also prevent their assuming 
the active conduct of political campaigns. 

Individual interest and activity in political affairs are by no 
means condemned. Office-holders are neither disfranchised 
nor forbidden the exercise of political privileges; but then- 
privileges are not enlarged nor is their duty to party increased 
to pernicious activity by office-holding. 

A just discrimination in this regard, between the things a 
citizen may properly do and the purposes for which a public 
office should not be used, is easy in the light of a correct 
appreciation of the relation between the people and those 
intrusted with official place, and a consideration of the neces- 
sity under our form of government of political action free from 
official coercion. 

Grover Cleveland. 


Reasons for the Removal of William A. Stone. 

Executive Mansion, 

November 23, 1886. 
Hon. A. H. Garland, Attorney-General: 

Dear Sir: I have read the letter of the iSth instant written 
to you by William A. Stone, lately suspended from office as 
district attorney for the western district of Pennsylvania, and 
the subject matter to which it refers has received my careful 

I shall not impute to the writer any mischievous motive in 


his plainly erroneous assumption that his case and thai of 
M. E. Benton, recently suspended and reinstated, rest upon 
the same state of facts, but prefer to regard Ins letter as con- 
taining the best statement possible upon the question oi his 

You remember, of course, that soon after the present admin- 
istration was installed — and 1 think nearly a year and a half 
ago — 1 considered with you certain charges which had been 
preferred against Mr. Stone as a Federal official. You remem- 
ber, too, that the action we then contemplated was withheld b) 
reason of the excuses and explanations of his friends. These 
excuses and explanations induced me to believe that Mr. 
Stone's retention would insure a faithful performance of official 
duty, and that whatever offensive partisanship he had deemed 
justifiable in other circumstances, he would, during his con- 
tinuance in office, at his request, under an administration 
opposed to him in political creed and policy, content himself 
with a quiet and unobtrusive enjoyment of his political privi- 
leges. I certainly supposed that his sense of propriety would 
cause him to refrain from pursuing such a partisan com 
would wantonly offend and irritate the friends of the adminis- 
tration who insisted that he should not be retained in office, 
either because of his personal merit or in adherence to the 
methods which for a long time had prevailed in the distribu- 
tion of Federal offices. 

In the light of a better system, and without considering his 
political affiliations, Mr. Stone, when permitted to remain in 
office, became a part of the business organization of the pres- 
ent administration — bound by every obligation of honor to 
assist within his sphere in its successful operation. This obli- 
gation involved not only the proper performance of official duty, 
but a certain good faith and fidelity, which, while not exacting 
the least sacrifice of political principle, forbade active parti< i- 
pation in purely partisan demonstrations of a pronounced type, 
undertaken for the purpose of advancing partisan interests, 
and conducted upon the avowed theory that the administi 


of the government was not entitled to the confidence and 
respect of the people. 

There is no dispute whatever concerning the fact that Mr. 
Stone did join others who were campaigning the State of Penn- 
sylvania in opposition to the administration. It appears, too, 
that he was active and prominent, with noisy enthusiasm, in 
attendance upon at least two large public meetings ; that the 
speeches at such meetings were largely devoted to abuse and 
misrepresentation of the administration ; that he approved all 
this and actually addressed the meetings himself in somewhat 
the same strain ; that he attended such meetings away from 
his home for the purpose of making such addresses; and that 
he was advertised as one of the speakers at each of said 

I shall accept as true the statement of Mr. Stone that the 
time spent by him in thus demonstrating his willingness to 
hold a profitable office, at the hands of an administration which 
he endeavored to discredit with the people, and which had 
kindly overlooked his previous offenses, did not result in the 
neglect of ordinary official duty. But his conduct has brought 
to light such an unfriendliness toward the administration which 
he pretends to serve and of which he is nominally a part, and 
such a consequent lack of loyal interest in its success, that the 
safest and surest guarantee of his faithful service is, in my 
opinion, entirely wanting. His course, in itself such as should 
not have been entered upon while maintaining official relations 
to the administration,- also renews and revives, with unmistak- 
able interpretation of their character and intent, the charges of 
offensive partisanship heretofore made afid up to this time held 
in abeyance. 

Mr. Stone and others of like disposition are not to suppose 
that party lines are so far obliterated that the administration of 
ilu government is to be trusted, in places high or low, to those 
who aggressively and constantly endeavor, unfairly, to destroy 
the confidence of the people in the party responsible for such 
administration. While vicious partisan methods should not 


.be allowed for partisan purposes to degrade or injure the pub- 
lic service, it is my belief thai nothing tends so much to dis 
credit our efforts, in the interest of su< h sen i< e, to treal fairly 
and generously the official incumbenc) of political opponents, 
as conduct such as is here disclosed. 

The people of this country certainly do nol require the 1" si 
results of administrative endeavor to be reached with such 
ageni ies as these. 

Upon a full consideration of all 1 have before me, 1 am con- 
Strained to decline the application of Mr. Stone for his rein- 

1 inclose his letter with this, and desire you to acquaint him 
\\ ith my decision. 

Yours truly, 

Grovj r Cleveland. 


From Second Annual Message, Decern r. 6, i 

The continued operation of the law relating to our civil 
service has added the most convincing proofs of its necessity 
ami usefulness. It is a fact worthy of note, that every public 
officer who has a just idea of his dut) to the people testifies to 
the value of this reform. Its stanchest friends are found 
among those who understand it best, and its warmest support- 
ers are those who are restrained and protected by its require- 

The meaning of such restraint and protection is not appre- 
ciated by those who want places under the government, 
regardless of merit and efficiency, nor by those who insist that 
the selection for such places should rest upon a proper creden- 
tial showing active partisan work. They mean to public offi- 
cers, if not their lives, the only opportunity afforded them to 
attend to public business, and they mean to the good people 
of the country the better performance of the work of their 


It is exceedingly strange that the scope and nature of this 
reform are so little understood, and that so many things not 
included within its plan are called by its name. When cavil 
yields more fully to examination, the system will have large 
additions to the number of its friends. 

Our civil service reform may be imperfect in some of its 
details; it may be misunderstood and opposed; it may not 
always be faithfully applied; its designs may sometimes mis- 
carry through mistake or willful intent; it may sometimes 
tremble under the assaults of its enemies, or languish under the 
misguided zeal of impracticable friends; but if the people of 
this country ever submit to the banishment of its underlying 
principle from the operation of their government, they will 
abandon the surest guarantee of the safety and success of 
American institutions. 

I invoke for this reform the cheerful and ungrudging support 
of the Congress. 


Order for Uniform Classification in the Departments. 

To the United States Civil Service Commission: 

Gentlemen: I desire to make a suggestion regarding Sub- 
di\ision C, General Rule 3, of the amended Civil Service Rules 
promulgated February 2, 1888. It provides for the promotion 
of an employee, in a Department, who is below or outside of the 
classified service, to a place within said classified service in the 
same Department upon the request of the appointing officer, 
upon tlic recommendation of the commission and the approval 
of the President, after a non-competitive examination, in case 
such person lias served continuously for two years in the place 
Mom which it is proposed to promote him, and "because of 
his faithfulness and efficiency in the position occupied by him," 
and "because of his qualifications for the place to which the 
appointing officer desires his promotion." 


It has occurred tome that this provision musl be executed 
with caution, to avoid the applit ation of il to « ases nol intended 

and the undue relaxation of the general purposes and r< 
tions oi the civil service law. 

Non competitive examinations are the exceptions to the plan 
of the Act. ami the rules permitting the same should I"- strictly 
construed. The cases arising under the exception, above 
recited, should be very tew, and when presented they should 
precisely meet all the requirements specified, and should be 
supported by facts which will develop the basis and reaso 
the application of the appointing officer, and which will i 
mend them to the judgment of the commission and the Presi- 
dent. The sole purpose of the provision is to benefit the pub- 
lic serviie, and it should never be permitted to operate as an 
evasion of the main feature of the law, which is competitive 

As these cases will first be presented to the commission for 
recommendation, I have to request that you will formulate a 
plan by which their merits can be tested. This will naturally 
involve a statement of all the facts deemed accessary for the 
determination of such applications, including the kind of work 
which has been done by the person proposed for promotion, 
and the considerations upon which the allegations of the faith- 
fulness, efficiency, and qualifications mentioned in the rule are 

What has already been written naturally suggests another 
very important subject, to which I will invite your atten- 

The desirability of the rule which I have commented upon 
would be nearly, if not entirely, removed, and other difficulties 
which now embarrass the execution of the civil service law 
would be obviated, if there was a belter and uniform classifica- 
tion of the employees in the different Departments. The 
importance of this is entirely obvious. The present imperfect 
classifications, hastily made, apparently with but little care for 
uniformity, and promulgated after the last Presidential election 


and prior to the installation of the present administration, 
should not have been permitted to continue to this time. 

It appears that in the War Department the employees were 
divided on the 19th day of November, 1884, into eight classes 
and sub-classes, embracing those earning annual salaries from 
$900 to $2000. 

The Navy Department was classified November 22, 1884, 
and its employees were divided into seven classes and sub- 
classes, embracing those who received annual salaries from 
$720 to $1800. 

In the Interior Department the classification was made on 
the 6th day of December, 1884. It consists of eight classes 
and sub-classes, and embraces employees receiving annual 
salaries from $720 to $2000. 

On the 2d day of January, 18S5, a classification of the 
employees in the Treasury Department was made, consisting of 
six classes and sub-classes; including those earning annual sal- 
aries from $900 to $iSoo. 

In the Post Office Department the employees were classi- 
fied on February 6, 1885, into nine classes and sub-classes, 
embracing persons earning annual salaries from $720 to 

On the 12th of December, 1884, the Bureau of Agriculture 
was classified in a manner different from all the other Depart- 
ments and presenting features peculiar to itself. 

It seems that the only classification in the Department of 
State and the Department of Justice is that provided for by 
section 163 of the Revised Statutes, which directs that the 
employees in the several Departments shall be divided into four 
classes. It appears that no more definite classification has 
been made in these Departments. 

I wish the commission would revise these classifications and 
submit to me a plan which will, as far as possible, make them 
uniform, and which will especially remedy the present condi- 
tion which permits persons to enter a grade in the service ih 
one Department without any examination, which in another 


Departmenl can only be entered alter passing such examina- 
tion. This, I think, should be done h\ extending the hunts 
of the classified service rather than by contracting them. 

Groveb Clevi land. 

Executive Mansion, 
March 21, 1SS8. 


Message Transmitting Report of t/ie Civil Serviee Commission. 

To the Congress of the United States: 

Pursuant to the second section of Chapter XXVI] of the 
laws of 1883, entitled "An Act to regulate and improve the 
civil service of the United States," I herewith transmit the 
fourth report of the United States Civil Service Commission, 
covering the period between the 16th day of January, 1886, 
and the 1st day of July, 1887. 

While this report has especial reference to the operations of 
the commission during the period above mentioned, it contains, 
with its accompanying appendices, much valuable information 
concerning the inception of civil service reform and its growth 
and progress, which cannot fad to be interesting and instructive 
to all who desire improvement in administrative methods. 

During the time covered by the report fifteen thousand 
eight hundred and fifty-two persons were examined for admis- 
sion in the classified civil service of the government in all its 
branches; of whom ten thousand seven hundred and forty-six 
passed the examination, and five thousand one hundred and 
six failed. Of those who passed the examination, two thou- 
sand nine hundred and twenty-seven were applicants for admis- 
sion to the departmental service at Washington, twenty-five 
hundred and forty-seven were examined for admission to the 
customs service, and five thousand two hundred and twenty- 
two for admission to the postal service. During the same 
period five hundred and forty-seven appointments were made 
from the eligible list to the departmental service, six hundred 


and forty-one to the customs service, and three thousand two 
hundred and fifty-four to the postal service. 

Concerning separations from the classified service, the 
report only informs us of such as have occurred among 
employees in the public service who had been appointed from 
eligible lists under civil service rules. When these rules took 
effect they did not apply to the persons then in the service, 
comprising a full complement of employees who obtained their 
positions independently of the new law. The commission 
has no record of the separations in this numerous class ; and 
the discrepancy apparent in the report between the number of 
appointments made in the respective branches of the service 
from the lists of the commission, and the small number of 
separations mentioned, is, to a great extent, accounted for by 
vacancies — of which no report was made to the commission — 
occurring among those who held their places without examina- 
tion and certification, which vacancies were filled by appoint- 
ment from the eligible lists. 

In the departmental service there occurred between the 16th 
day of January, 1886, and the 30th day of June, 1887, among 
the employees appointed from the eligible lists under civil serv- 
ice rules, seventeen removals, thirty-six resignations, and five 
deaths. This does not include fourteen separations in the 
grade of special pension examiners, four by removal, five by 
resignation, and five by death. 

In the classified customs and postal service the number of 
separations among those who received absolute appointments 
under civil service rules is given for the period between the 

I si day of January, t886, and the 30th day of June, 1887. 

I I appears that such separations in the customs service for the 
time mentioned embraced twenty-one removals, five deaths, 
and eighteen resignations, and in the postal service two hun- 
dred and fifty-six removals, twenty-three deaths, and four 
hundred and sixty-nine resignations. 

More than a year has passed since the expiration of the 


period covered by the report of the commission. Within the 
time which has thus elapsed many important changes have 
taken place in furtherance of a reform in our civil service. 
The rules and regulations governing the execution of the law 
upon the subject have been completely remodeled, in su< h 
manner as to render the enforcement of the statute more 
effective and greatly increase its usefulness. 

Among other things the scope of the examinations prescribed 
for those who seek to enter the classified service has been 
better defined and made more practical, the number of names 
to be certified from the eligible lists to the appointing officers 
from which a selection is made has been reduced from four to 
three, the maximum limitation of the age of persons seeking 
entrance to the classified service to forty-five years has been 
changed, and reasonable provision has been made for the 
transfer of employees from one Department to another in proper 
cases. A plan has also been devised providing for the exam- 
ination of applicants for promotion in the service, which, when 
in full operation, will eliminate all chance of favoritism in the 
advancement of employees, by making promotion a reward of 
merit and faithful discharge of duty. 

Until within a few weeks there was no uniform classifi- 
cation of employees in the different executive Departments 
of the government. As a result of this condition, in some 
of the Departments positions could be obtained without civil 
service examination, because they were not within the class- 
ification of such Department, while in other Departments an 
examination and certification were necessary to obtain pos- 
itions of the same grade, because such positions were 
embraced in the classifications applicable to those Depart- 

The exemption of laborers, watchmen, and messengers 
from examination and classification gave <>pp irtunity, in the ab- 
sence of any rule guarding again. t it, for the employment, 
free from civil sen ice restrictions, of persons under these 


designations who were immediately detailed to do clerical 

All this has been obviated by the application to all the 
Departments of an extended and uniform classification, embrac- 
ing grades of employees not theretofore included, and by the 
adoption of a rule prohibiting the detail of laborers, watch- 
men, or messengers to clerical duty. 

The path of civil service reform has not at all times been 
pleasant or easy. The scope and purpose of the reform have 
been much misapprehended; and this has not only given rise 
to strong opposition, but has led to its invocation by its friends 
to compass objects not in the least related to it. Thus parti- 
sans of the patronage system have naturally condemned it. 
Those who do not understand its meaning either mistrust it, 
or, when disappointed because in its present stage it is not 
applied to every real or imaginary ill, accuse those charged 
with its enforcement with faithlessness to civil service reform. 
Its importance has frequently been underestimated ; and the 
support of good men has thus been lost by their lack of inter- 
est in its success. Besides all these difficulties, those respon- 
sible for the administration of the government in its executive 
branches have been, and still are, often annoyed and irritated 
by the disloyalty to the service and the insolence of employees 
who remain in place as the beneficiaries and the relics and 
reminders of the vicious system of appointment which civil 
service reform was intended to displace. 

And yet these are but the incidents of an advance move- 
ment, which is radical and far-reaching. The people are, not- 
withstanding, to be congratulated upon the progress which has 
been made, and upon the firm, practical, and sensible founda- 
tion upon which this reform now rests. 

With a continuation of the intelligent fidelity which has 
hitherto characterized the work of the commission; with a 
continuation and increase of the favor and liberality which 
have lately been evinced by the Congress in the proper equip- 
ment of the commission for its work; with a firm but conserv- 


ative and reasonable support of the reform by all its frii 
and with the disappearam e of opposition which must inevitably 
follow its better understanding, the exe< ution of the i ivilservr 

ice law cannot fail ultimately to answer the hopes in which 
it had its origin. 

Grovef Cleve] \\n. 
Executive Mansion, 
Washington, July 23, 1888. 



First Message to the New York Legislature, January 2, 1883. 

The power of the State to exact from the citizen a part of 
his earnings and income for the suppoit of the government, it 
is obvious, should be exercised with absolute fairness and jus- 
tice. When it is not so exercised, the people are oppressed. 
This furnishes the highest and the best reason why laws should 
be enacted and executed which will subject all property — as all 
alike need the protection of the State — to an equal share in the 
burdens of taxation, by means of which the government is 
maintained. And yet it is notoriously true that personal prop- 
erty, not less remunerative than land and real estate, escapes to 
a very great extent the payment of its fair proportion of the 
expense incident to its protection and preservation under the 
law. The people should always be able to recognize, with the 
pride and satisfaction which are the strength of our institutions, 
in the conduct of the State, the source of undiscriminating 
justice, which can give no pretext for discontent. 

Let us enter upon the discharge of our duties, fully appre- 
ciating our relations to the people, and determined to serve 
them faithfully and well. This involves a jealous watch of the 
public funds, and a refusal to sanction their appropriation ex- 
cept for public needs. To this end all unnecessary offices 
should be abolished, and all employment of doubtful benefit 
discontinued. If to this we add the enactment of such wise 
and well-considered laws as will meet the varied wants of our 



fellow-citizens and increase their prosperity, we shall merit and 
receive the approval of those whose representatives we are, 
and, with the consciousness of duty well performed, shall leave 
our impress for good on the legislation of the State. 


Interview in the New York Herald, December 10, 1883. 

If Congress, at its present session, shall fail to reduce the 
revenues, now admitted to be larger than necessary, I have no 
doubt that the question will become an important issue in the 
Presidential election of next year, and that the election of 
Mr. Carlisle to the Speakership will tend to commit the Demo- 
cratic party to advocate such a revision of the revenue laws as 
will secure a reduction of excessive revenue, by removing or 
lessening such duties as increase the cost of the necessaries of 
life rather than those which enhance the price of luxuries. 


Second Message to the Nejv York Legislature \ January 1, 1S84. 

The subject of taxation still remains a vexed question ; and 
the injustice and discrimination apparent in our laws on this 
subject, as well as the methods of their execution, call loudly 
for relief. There is no object so worthy of the care and at- 
tention of the Legislature as this. Strict economy in the man- 
agement of State affairs by their agents should furnish the 
people a good government at the least possible cost. This is 
common honesty. But, to see to it that this cost is fairly and 
justly distributed, and the burden equally borne by those who 
have no peaceful redress if the State is unjust, is the best at- 
tribute of sovereignty and the highest duty to the citizen. 
The recognition of this duty characterizes a beneficent gov- 


ernment ; but its repudiation marks the oppression of tyran- 
nical power. The taxpayer need not wait till his burden is 
greater than he can bear, for just cause of complaint. How- 
ever small his tax, he may reasonably protest if it represents 
more than his share of the public burden, and the State neg- 
lects all efforts to apply a remedy. 

The tendency of our prosperity is in the direction of the ac- 
cumulation of immense fortunes, largely invested in personal 
property ; and yet its aggregate valuation, as fixed for the 
purpose of taxation, is constantly decreased, while that of real 
estate is increased. For the year 1882, the valuation of per- 
sonal property subject to taxation was determined at $351,021,- 
189, and real estate at $2,432,661,379. In 1883 the assessed 
valuation of personal property was fixed at $315,039,085, and 
real estate $2,557,2 18,240. 

The present law permits, in the case of personal property, the 
indebtedness of its possessor to be deducted from its value, 
and allows no such deduction in favor of real estate, though it 
be represented by a mortgage which is a specific lien upon 
such real estate. Personal property, in need more than any 
other of the protection of the government, when discovered, 
escapes taxation to the extent of its owner's indebtedness, 
though such indebtedness is based upon the ordinary credit in 
the transaction of business, or is fictitious, and manufactured 
for the temporary purpose of evading taxation. But real 
property, the existence of which cannot be concealed, is, in 
contemplation of the law, taxed according to its full valuation, 
thoughjhe incumbrance upon it easily divests the owner of his 
title, though the interest and perhaps part of the principal 
must, as well as the tax, annually be met, and though, if sold, 
the amount due upon this lien must always be deducted from 
any sum agreed upon as the price of the land. 

This statement does not necessarily lead to a deduction of 
the amount of any incumbrance upon real estate from its valu- 
ation for the purpose of taxation ; but it does suggest that 
both real and personal property should be placed upon the 

TAX I TIO \ ! VD RE /•/• VUE. 65 

same footing, by abolishing, in all cases, any deduction for 
debts. This amendment, with sunn- others regulating the 
manner in which local assessors should perform their duties, 

would do much toward ridding our present system of its im- 

[f measures more radical in their nature, having for their 
object the exaction of taxes which arc justly due, should be 
deemed wise, 1 hope their passage will not be prevented under 
the specious pretext that the means proposed are inquisitorial 
and contrary tcfthe spirit of our institutions. The object is to 
preserve the honor of the State in its dealings with the citizen, 
to prevent the rich, by shirking taxation, from adding to the 
burdens of the poor, and to relieve the landholder from unjust 
discrimination. The spirit of our institutions dictates that this 
endeavor should be pursued, in a manner free from all dema- 
gogism, but with the determination to use every necessary 
means to accomplish the result. 

The State of New York largely represents within her borders 
the development of every interest which makes a nation great. 
Proud of her place as leader in the community of States, she 
fully appreciates her immediate relations to the prosperity of 
the country ; and, justly realizing the responsibility of her 
position, she recognizes, in her policy and her laws, as of first 
importance, the. freedom of commerce from all unnecessary 
restrictions. Her citizens have assumed the burden of main- 
taining, at their own cost and free to commerce, the waterway 
which they have built, and through which the products of the 
great West are transported to the seaboard. At the suggestion 
of danger she hastens to save her northern forests, and thus 
preserve to commerce her canals and vesseldaden rivers. The 
State has become responsible for a bureau of immigration, 
which cares for those who seek our shores from other lands, 
adding to the nation's population and hastening to the develop- 
ment of its vast domain ; while at the country's gateway a quar- 
antine, established by the State, protects the nation's health. 


Surely this great commonwealth, committed fully to the 
interests of commerce and all that adds to the country's pros- 
perity, may well inquire how her efforts and sacrifices have 
been answered ; and she, of all the States, may urge that the 
interests thus by her protected, should, by the greater govern- 
ment administered for all, be fostered for the benefit of the 
American people. 

Fifty years ago a most distinguished foreigner, who visited 
this country and studied its condition and prospects, wrote : 

When I contemplate the ardor with which the Americans prosecute com- 
merce, the advantages which aid them, and the success of their undertakings, 
I cannot help believing that they will one day become the first maritime 
power of the globe. They are bound to rule the seas, as the Romans were 
to conquer the world. . . . The Americans themselves now transport 
to their own shores nine-tenths of the European produce which they consume, 
and they also bring three-fourths of the exports of the New World to the 
European consumer. The ships of the United States fill the docks of Havre 
and Liverpool, while the number of English and Erench vessels which are to 
be seen at New York is comparatively small. 

We turn to the actual results reached since these words were 
written, with disappointment. 

In 1840 American vessels carried eighty-two and nine-tenths 
per cent, of all our exports and imports; in 1850, seventy-two 
and live-tenths; in i860, sixty-six and live-tenths; in 1870, 
thirty-live and six-tenths ; in 1880, seventeen and four-tenths; 
in 1882, fifteen and five-tenths. 

The citizen of New York, looking beyond his State and all 
her efforts in the interest of commerce and national growth, 
will naturally inquire concerning the causes of this decadence 
of American shipping. 

While he sternly demands of his own government the exact 
limitation of taxation by the needs of the State, he will chal- 
lenge the policy that accumulates millions of useless and un- 
necessary surplus in the national treasury, which has been not 
less a tax because it was indirectly and surely added to the 
cosl of the people's life. 

TAXA TIO \ I VD RE VENl r E. <>7 

Lei us anticipate a time when care for the people's needs, as 
they actually arise, and the application of remedies, as wrongs 
appear, shall lead in the conduct of national affairs ; and let 
us undertake the business of legislation with the full determi- 
nation that these principles shall guide us in the performance 
of Our duties as guardians of the interests of the state. 

From the First Annual Message to Congress, December, 1885. 

The fact that our revenues are in excess of the actual needs 
of an economical administration of the government justifies a 
reduction in the amount exacted from the people for its 
support. Our government is hut the means, established by 
the will of a free people, by which certain principles are ap- 
plied which they have; adopted for their benefit and protec- 
tion ; and it is never better administered, and its true spirit is 
never better observed, than when the people's taxation for its 
support is scrupulously limited to the actual necessity of ex- 
penditure, and distributed according to a just and equitable 

The proposition with which we have to deal is the reduc- 
tion of the revenue received by the government, and indirectly 
paid by the people from customs duties. The question of free 
trade is not involved, nor is there now any occasion for the 
general discussion of the wisdom or expediency of a protec- 
tive system. 

Justice and fairness dictate that, in any modification of our 
present laws relating to revenue, the industries and interests 
which have been encouraged by such laws, and in which our 
citizens have large investments, should not be ruthlessly in- 
jured or destroyed. We should also deal with the suoject in 
such manner as to protect the interests of American labor, 
which is the capital of our workingmen ; its stability and 


proper remuneration furnish the most justifiable pretext for a 
protective policy. 

Within these limitations a certain reduction should be made 
in our customs revenue. The amount of such reduction hav- 
ing been determined, the inquiry follows — where can it best 
be remitted, and what articles can best be released from duty 
in the interest of our citizens ? 

I think the reduction should be made in the revenue de- 
rived from a tax upon the imported necessaries of life. We 
thus directly lessen the cost of living in every family of the 
land, and release to the people in every humble home a larger 
measure of the rewards of frugal industry. 

From the Second Annual Message to Congress, December, 1886. 

The income of the government, by its increased volume and 
through economies in its collection, is now more than ever in 
excess of public necessities. The application of the surplus to 
the payment of such portion of the public debt as is now at 
our option subject to extinguishment, if continued at the rate 
which has lately prevailed, would retire that class of indebted- 
ness within less than one year from this date. Thus a con- 
tinuation of our present revenue system would soon result in 
the receipt of an annual income much greater than necessary 
to meet government expenses, with no indebtedness upon 
which it could be applied. We should then be confronted 
with a vast quantity of money, the circulating medium of the 
people, hoarded in the treasury when it should be in their 
hands, or we should be drawn into wasteful public extravagance 
with all the corrupting national demoralization which follows 
in its train. 

But 1t is not the simple existence of this surplus, and its 
threatened attendant evils, which furnish the strongest argu- 
ment against our present scale of Federal taxation. Its 

TAXA TIO V I Y/> RE I I \ l '/•'. 69 

worst phase is th< exaction of such a surplus through a per- 
version of the relations between the people ami their govern- 
ment, ami a dangerous departure from the rules which limit 
the right of Federal taxation. 

The indirect manner in which these exactions are made 
has a tendency to conceal their true character and their ex- 
tent. Hut we' have arrived at a stage of superfluous revenue 
which has amused the people to a realization <>i" the tact that 
the amount raised, professedly for the support of the govern 
ment, is paid by them as absolutely, if added to the priced 
the things which supply their daily wants, as if it was paid at 
fixed periods into the hand of the tax-gatherer. 

Those who toil for daily wages are beginning to understand 
that capital, though sometimes vaunting its importance and 
clamoring for the protection and favor of the government, is 
dull and sluggish, till, touched by the magical hand of labor, 
it springs into activity, furnishing an occasion for Federal 
taxation aud gaining the value which enables it to bear its 
burden. And the laboring man is thoughtfully inquiring 
whether, in these circumstances and considering the tribute- 
he constantly pays into the public treasury as he supplies 
his daily wants, he receives his fair share of advantage. 

There is also a suspicion abroad that the surplus of our 
revenues indicates abnormal and exceptional business profits, 
which, under the system which produces such surplus, inert 
without corresponding benefit to the people at large, the vast 
accumulations of a few among our citizens whose fortunes, 
rivaling the wealth of the most favored in anti-democratic 
nations, are not the natural growth of a steady, plain, and in- 
dustrious republic. 

Our farmers, too, and those engaged directly and indirectly 
in supplying the products of agriculture, see that, day by day, 
and as often as the daily wants of their households recur, 
they are forced to pay excessive and needless taxation, while 
their products struggle in foreign markets with the competi- 
tion of nations which, by allowing a freer exchange ol pro- 


ductions than we permit, enable their people to sell for prices 
which distress the American farmer. A sentiment prevails 
that the leading-strings, useful to a nation in its infancy, 
may well be, to a great extent, discarded in the present stage 
of American ingenuity, courage, and fearless self-reliance. 
And, for the privilege of indulging this sentiment with true 
American enthusiasm, our citizens are quite willing to forego 
an idle surplus in the public treasury. 

And all the people know that the average rate of Federal 
taxation upon imports is, to-day, in time of peace, but little 
less, while, upon some articles of necessary consumption, it is 
actually more, than was imposed by the grievous burden 
willingly borne at a time when the government needed mil- 
lions to maintain by war the safety and integrity of the 

It has been the policy of the government to collect the 
principal part of its revenues by a tax upon imports, and no 
change in this policy is desirable. But the present condition 
of affairs constrains our people to demand that, by a revision 
of our revenue laws, the receipts of the government shall be 
reduced to the necessary expense of its economical adminis- 
tration ; and this demand should be recognized and obeyed 
by the people's representatives in the legislative branch of the 

in readjusting the burdens of Federal taxation, a sound 
publii policy requires thai such of our citizens as have built 
up large and important industries under present conditions 
should nol be suddenly, and to their injury, deprived of ad- 
vantages to which they have adapted their business ; but, if 
the public good requires it, they should be content with such 
consideration as shall deal fairly and cautiously with their 
interests, while the just demand of the people for relief from 
needless taxation is honestly answered. 

A reasonable and timely submission to such a demand 
should certainly be possible without disastrous shock to any 
interest; and a cheerful concession sometimes averts abrupt 


and heedless action, often the outgrowth of impatience and 

delayed justice. 

lHie regard should also be accorded, in any proposed read- 
justment, to the interests of American labor SO far as they ire 
involved. We congratulate ourselves that there is among us 
no laboring class, fixed within unyielding bounds and doomed, 
under all conditions, to the inexorable fate of daily toil. We 
recognize in labor a chief factor in the wealth of the repub- 
lic ; and we treat those who have it in their keeping as citizens 
entitled to the most careful regard and thoughtful attention. 
This regard and attention should be awarded them, not only 
because labor is the capital of our workingmen, justly entitled 
to its share of government favor, but for the further and not 
less important reason that the laboring man, surrounded by 
his family in his humble home, as a consumer, is vitally in- 
terested in all that cheapens the cost of living and enables 
him to bring within his domestic circle additional comforts 
and advantages. 

This relation of the workingman to the revenue laws of the 
country, and the manner in which it palpably influences the 
question of wages, should not be forgotten in the justifiable 
prominence given to the proper maintenance of the supply 
and protection of well-paid labor. And these considerations 
suggesi such .in arrangemenl of government revenues as shall 
reduce the expense of living, while it does not curtail the 
opportunity for work nor reduce the compensation of Ameri- 
can labor, and injuriously affeel its condition and the dignified 
place it holds in the estimation of our people. 

But our farmers and agriculturists — those who from the 
soil produce the things consumed by all— are, perhaps, more 
directly and plainly concerned than any other of our citizens 
in a just and careful system of Federal taxation. Those 
actually engaged in, and more remotely connected with this 
kind of work, number nearly one-half of our population. 
None labor harder or more continuously than they. No 
enactments 'limit their hours of toil, and no interposition of ; he 


government enhances to any great extent the value of their 
products. And yet, for many of tha necessaries and comforts 
of life, which the most scrupulous economy enables them to 
bring- into their homes, and for their implements of husbandry, 
they are obliged to pay a price largely increased by an un- 
natural profit which, by the action of the government, is given 
to the more favored manufacturer. 

] recommend that, keeping in view all these considerations, 
the increasing and unnecessary surplus of national income 
annually accumulating be released to the people, by an 
amendment to our revenue laws which shall cheapen the price 
of the necessaries of life, and give freer entrance to such im- 
ported materials as, by American labor, may be manufactured 
into marketable commodities. 

Nothing can be accomplished, however, in the direction of 
this much needed reform, unless the subject is approached in 
a patriotic spirit of devotion to the interests of the entire 
country and with a willingness to yield something for the 
public good. 

Third Annual Message to Congress. 

To t!!e Congress of the United States : 

You are confronted at the threshold of your legislative duties 
with a condition of the national finances which imperatively 
demands immediate and careful consideration. 

The amount of money annually exacted, through the oper- 
ation of present laws, from the industries and necessities of 
the people, largely exceeds the sum necessary to meet the ex- 
penses of the government. 

When we consider that the theory of our institutions guar- 
antees to every citizen the full enjoyment of all the fruits of his 
industry aiul enterprise, with only such deduction as may be 
his share toward t he careful and economical maintenance of 


the government which protects him, it is plain that the exact ion 

of more than this is indefensible extortion, and a culpabli 
trayai of American fairness and justice. This wrong, inflicted 
upon those who hear the burden of national taxation, like 
other wrongs multiplies a brood of evil consequences. The 
public treasury," which should only exist as a i onduil COnve) . 
ing the pei iple's tribute to its legitimate objects of expenditure, 
becomes a hoarding-place for money needlessly withdrawn 
from trade and the people's use, thus crippling our national 
energies, suspending our country's development, preventing 
investment in productive enterprise, threatening financial dis- 
turb. nice, and inviting schemes of public plunder. 

This condition of our treasury is not altogether new ; and 
it has more than once of late been submitted to the people's 
representatives in the < longress, who alone can apply a remedy. 
And yet the situation still continues, with aggravated inci- 
dents, more than ever presaging financial convulsion and 
wide-spread disaster. 

It will not do to neglect this situation because its dangers 
are not now palpably imminent and apparent. They exist 
none the less certainly, and await the unforeseen and unex- 
pected occasion when suddenly they will be precipitated upon 

On the 30th day of June, 1885, the excess of revenues over 
public expenditures, after complying with the annual require- 
ment of the Sinking-Fund Act, was $17,859,735.84; during tin- 
year ended June 30, 18S6, such excess amounted to $49,- 
405,545.20 ; and during the year ended June 30, 18S7, it 
reached the sum of $55,567,849.54. 

The annual contributions to the sinking fund during the 
three years above specified, amounting in the aggregate to 
$138,058,320.94, and deducted from the surplus as stated, 
were made by calling in for that purpose outstanding three 
per cent, bonds of the government. During the six months 
prior to June 30, 1887, the surplus revenue had grown so large 
by repeated accumulations, and it was feared the withdrawal 


of this great sum of money needed by the people would so 
affect the business of the country, that the sum of $79,864,100 
of such surplus was applied to the payment of the principal 
and interest of the three per cent, bonds still outstanding, and 
which were then payable at the option of the government. 
The precarious condition of financial affairs among the people 
still needing relief, immediately after the 30th day of June, 
1S87, the remainder of the three per cent, bonds then out- 
standing, amounting with principal and interest to the sum of 
$18,877,500, were called in and applied to the sinking-fund 
contribution for the current fiscal year. Notwithstanding 
these operations of the Treasury Department representations 
of distress in business circles not only continued but increased, 
and absolute peril seemed at hand. In these circumstances 
the contribution to the sinking fund for the current fiscal year 
was at once completed by the expenditure of $27,684,283.55 
in the purchase of government bonds not yet due, bearing four 
and four and one half percent, interest, the premium paid there- 
on averaging about twenty-four per cent, for the former and 
eight percent, for the latter. In addition to this the interest 
accruing during the current year upon the outstanding bonded 
indebtedness of the government was to some extent antici- 
pated, and banks selected as depositories of public money 
were permitted somewhat to increase their deposits. 

While the expedients thus employed to release to the people 
the money lying idle in the treasury served to avert imme- 
diate danger, our surplus revenues have continued to accu- 
mulate, the excess for the present year amounting on the first 
of December to $55,258,701.19, and estimated to reach the 
sum of $113,000,000 on the 30th of June next, at which date 
it is expected that this sum, added to prior accumulations, will 
swell the surplus in the treasury to $140,000,000. 

There seems to be no assurance that, with such a withdrawal 
from use of the people's circulating medium, our business 
community may not in the near future be subjected to the 
same distress which was quite lately produced from the same 


cause. And while the functions of our national treasury 
should be few and simple, and while its best condition would 
be reached, I believe, by its entire disconnection with private 
business interests, yet when, by a perversion of its purposes, it 
idly holds money uselessly subtracted from the channels of 
trade, there seems to be reason for the claim that some legit- 
imate means should be devised by the government to re I 
in an emergency, without waste or extravagance, such mone\ 
to its place among the people. 

If such an emergency arises there now exists no clear and 
undoubted executive power of relief. Heretofore the re- 
demption of three per cent, bonds, which were payable at the 
Option of the government, has afforded a means for the dis- 
bursement of the excess of our revenues; but these bonds 
have all been retired, and there are no bonds outstanding the 
payment of which we have the right to insist upon. The con- 
tribution to the sinking fund, which furnishes the occasion for 
expenditure in the purchase of bonds, has been already made 
for the current year, so that there is no outlet in that direc- 

In the present state of legislation the only pretense of any 
existing executive power to restore, at this time, any pari of 
our surplus revenues to the people by its expenditure, consists 
in the supposition that the Secretary of the Treasury may enter 
the market and purchase the bonds of the government not yet 
due, at a rate of premium to be agreed upon. The only pro- 
vision of law from* which such a power could be derived is 
found in an appropriation bill passed a number of years ago ; 
and it is subject to the suspicion that it was intended as tem- 
porary and limiting in its application, instead of conferring a 
continuing discretion and authority. No condition ought to 
exist which would justify the grant of power to a single 
official, upon his judgment of its necessity, to withhold from or 
release to the business of the people, in an unusual manner, 
money held in the treasury, and thus affect, at his will, the 
financial condition of the country ; and it u is deemed wise to 


lodge in the Secretary of the Treasury the authority in the 
present juncture to purchase bonds, it should be plainly 
vested, and provided, as far as possible, with such checks and 
limitations as will define this official's right and discretion, 
and at the same time relieve him from undue responsibility. 

In considering the question of purchasing bonds as a means 
of restoring to circulation the surplus money accumulating in 
the treasury, it should be borne in mind that premiums must, 
of course, be paid upon such purchase, that there may be a 
large part of these bonds held as investments which cannot be 
purchased at any price, and that combinations among holders 
who are willing to sell may unreasonably enhance the cost of 
such bonds to the government. 

It has been suggested that the present bonded debt might 
be refunded at a less rate of interest, and the difference be- 
tween the old and new security paid in cash, thus finding use 
for the surplus in the treasury. The success of this plan, it 
is apparent, must depend upon the volition of the holders of 
the present bonds ; and it is not entirely certain that the in- 
ducement which must be offered them would result in more 
financial benefit to the government than the purchase of bonds, 
while the latter proposition would reduce the principal of the 
debt by actual payment, instead of extending it. 

The proposition to deposit the money held by the govern- 
ment in banks throughout the country, for use by the people, 
is, it seems to me, exceedingly objectionable in principle, as 
establishing too close a relationship between the operations of 
the government treasury and the business of the country, and 
too extensive a commingling of their money, thus fostering an 
unnatural reliance in private business upon public funds. If 
this scheme should be adopted it should only be done as a 
temporary expedient to meet an urgent necessity. Legislative 
and executive effort should generally be in the opposite direc- 
tion, and should have a tendency to divorce, as much and as 
fast as can safely be done, the Treasury Department from pri- 
vate enterprise. 


Of course, it is not expected that unnecessary and extrav- 
agant appropriations will be made for the purpose ol avoiding 
the accumulation of an excess of revenue. Such expenditi 
besides the demoralization of all just conceptions of public 
duty which it entails, stimulates a habit of reckless improvi- 
dence not in the least consistent with the mission of our peo- 
ple or the high and benefi< ent purposes of our government. 

I have deemed it my duty thus to bring to the knowledge ol 
my countrymen, as well as to the attention of their representa- 
tives charged with the responsibility of legislative relief, the 
gravity of our financial situation. The failure of the Congi 
heretofore to provide against the dangers which it was quite 
evident the very nature of the difficulty must necessarily pro- 
duce, caused a condition of financial distress and apprehen- 
sion since your last adjournment which taxed to the utmost 
all the authority and expedients within executive control ; and 
these appear now to be exhausted. Tf disaster results from 
the continued inaction of 'Congress, the responsibility must 
rest where it belongs. 

Though the situation, thus far considered, is fraught with 
danger which should be fully realized, and though it presents 
features of wrong to the people as well as peril to the-country, 
it is but a result growing out of a perfectly palpable and ap- 
parent cause, constantly reproducing the same alarming cir- 
cumstances — a congested national treasury and a depleted 
monetary condition in the business of the country. It need 
hardly be stated that while the present situation demands a 
remedy, we can only be saved from a like predicament in the 
future by the removal of its cause. ■ 

Our scheme of taxation, by means of which this needless 
surplus is taken from the people and put into the public treas- 
ury, consists of a tariff or duty levied upon importations from 
abroad, and internal revenue taxes levied upon the consump- 
tion of tobacco and spirituous and malt liquors. It must be 
conceded that none of the things subjected to internal revenue 
taxation are, strictly speaking, necessaries ; there appears to 


be no just complaint of this taxation by the consumers of these 
articles, and there seems to be nothing so well able to bear the 
burden without hardship to any portion of the people. 

But our present tariff laws, the vicious, inequitable, and 
illogical source of unnecessary taxation, ought to be at once 
revised and amended. These laws, as their primary and plain 
effect, raise the price to consumers of all articles imported and 
subject to duty, by precisely the sum paid for such duties. 
Thus the amount of the duty measures the tax paid by those 
who purchase for use these imported articles. Many of these 
things, however, are raised or manufactured in our own coun- 
try, and the duties now levied upon foreign goods and pro- 
ducts are called protection to these home manufactures, be- 
cause they render it possible for those of our people who are 
manufacturers to make these taxed articles and sell them for a 
price equal to that demanded for the imported goods that 
have paid customs duty. So it happens that while compara- 
tively a few use the imported articles, millions of our people, 
who never use and never saw any of the foreign products, pur- 
chase and use things of the same kind made in this country, 
and pay therefor nearly or quite the same enhanced price 
which the duty adds to the imported articles. Those who buy 
imports pay the duty charged thereon into the public treas- 
ury, but the great majority of our citizens, who buy domestic 
articles of the same class, pay a sum at least approximately 
equal to this duty to the home manufacturer. This reference 
to the operation of our tariff laws is not made by way of in- 
struction, but in order that we may be constantly reminded of 
the manner in which thdy impose a burden upon those who 
consume domestic products as well as those who consume im- 
ported articles, and thus create a tax upon our people. 

It is not proposed to relieve the country entirely of this tax- 
ation. It must be extensively continued as the source of the 
government's income ; and in a readjustment of our tariff 
the interests of American labor engaged in manufacture 
should be carefully considered, as well as the preservation of 

TAX A TIO V I Y/> RE l '/■ VI '/■ . 79 

on i manufacturers. It may be called protection, or by any 
other name, but relief from the hardships and dangers of our 
present tariff laws should be devised with especial precaution 
against imperiling the existence of our manufacturing inter 

ests. But this existence should not mean a condition which, 
without regard to the public welfare or a national exigency, 
must always insure the realization of immense profits instead 
of moderately profitable returns. As the volume and diver- 
sity of our national activities increase, new recruits are added 
to those who desire a continuation of the advantages whi( h 
they conceive the present system of tariff taxation din 
affords them. So stubbornly have all efforts to reform the 
present condition been resisted by those of our fellow-citizens 
thus engaged, that they can hardly complain of the suspicion, 
entertained to a certain extent, that there exists an organized 
combination, all along the line, to maintain their advantage. 

We are in the midst of centennial celebrations, and with be- 
coming pride we rejoice in American skill and ingenuity, in 
American energy and enterprise, and in the wonderful natural 
advantages and resources developed by a century's national 
growth. Yet, when an attempt is made to justify a scheme 
which permits a tax to be laid upon every consumer in the 
land for the benefit of our manufacturers, quite beyond a rea- 
sonable demand for governmental regard, it suits the purposes 
of advocacy to call our manufactures infant industries, still 
needing the highest and greatest degree of favor and foster- 
ing care that can be wrung from Federal legislation. 

It is also said that the increase in the price of domestic 
manufactures resulting from the present tariff is necessary in 
order that higher wages may be paid to our workingmen, em- 
ployed in manufactories, than are paid *for what is called the 
pauper labor of Europe. All will acknowledge the force of 
an argument which involves the welfare and liberal compensa- 
tion of our laboring people. Our labor is honorable in the 
eyes of every American citizen ; and as it lies at the founda- 
tion of our development and progress, it is entitled, without 


affectation or hypocrisy, to the utmost regard. The standard 
of our laborers' life should not be measured by that of any 
other country less favored, and they are entitled to their full 
share of all our advantages. 

By the last census it is made to appear that of the 17,392,099 
of our population engaged in all kinds of industries, 7,670,493 
are employed in agriculture, 4,074,238 in professional and 
personal service — 2,934,876 of whom are domestic servants and 
laborers — while 1,810,256 are employed in trade and transpor- 
tation, and 3,837,1 12 are classed as employed in manufacturing 
and mining. 

For present purposes, however, the last number given should 
be considerably reduced. Without attempting to enumerate 
all, it will be conceded that there should be deducted from 
those whom it includes 375,143 carpenters and joiners, 285,401 
milliners, dressmakers, and seamstresses, 172,726 blacksmiths, 
133,756 tailors and tailoresses, 102,473 masons, 76,241 butchers, 
41,309 bakers, 22,083 plasterers, and 4891 engaged in manu- 
facturing agricultural implements, amounting in the aggregate 
to 1,214,023, leaving 2,623,089 persons employed in such man- 
ufacturing industries as are claimed to be benefited by a high 

To these the appeal is made to save their employment and 
maintain their wages by resisting a change. There should be 
no disposition to answer such suggestions by the allegation 
that they are in a minority among those who labor, and there- 
fore should forego an advantage, in the interest of low prices 
for the majority ; their compensation, as it may be affected by 
the operation of tariff laws, should at all times be scrupulously 
kept in view ; and yet, with slight reflection, they will not over- 
look the fact that they are consumers with the rest ; that they, 
too, have their own wants and those of their families to supply 
from their earnings, and that the price of the necessaries of 
life, as well as the amount of their wages, will regulate the 
measure of their welfare and comfort. 

But the reduction of taxation demanded should be so 

TAX A TION \ \ D Rl I / NUE I 

measured .is not to necessitate or justify either the loss ol em- 
ployment by the workingman or the lessening of his wages ; 
and the profits still remaining to the manufacturer, aftei a 
necessary readjustment, should furnish no excuse for the sacri- 
fice of the interests of his employees, either in their opportunity 
to work, or in the diminution of their compensation. Nor i an 
the worker in manufactures fail to understand thai while a 
high tariff is claimed to be necessary to allow the payment of 
remunerative wages, it certainly results in a very large increase 
in the price of nearly all sorts of manufactures, which, in 
almost countless forms, he needs for the use of himsell and 
his family. lie receives at the desk of his employer his 
wages, and, perhaps before he reaches his home, is obliged, in 
a purchase for family use of an article which embraces his own 
labor, to return, in the payment of the increase in price which 
the tariff permits, the hard-earned compensation of many days 
of toil. 

The farmer and agriculturist, who manufactures nothing, 
hut who pays the increased price which the tariff imposes 
upon every agricultural implement, upon all he wears and upon 
all he uses and owns, except the increase of his flocks and 
herds and such things as his husbandry produces from the 
soil, is invited to aid in maintaining the present situation ; and 
he is told that a high itoity on imported wool is necessary for 
the benefit of those who have sheep to shear, in order that the 
price of their wool may be increased. They, of course, are not 
reminded that the farmer who has no sheep is by this scheme 
obliged, in his purchases of clothing ami woolen goods, to pay 
a tribute to his fellow-farmer as well as to the manufacturer 
and merchant ; nor is any mention made of the fact that the 
sheep-owners themselves and their households must 'wear 
clothing and use other articles manufactured from the won! 
they sell at tariff prices, and thus, as consumers, must return 
their share of this increased price to the tradesman. 

1 think it maybe fairly assumed that a large proportion of 
the sheep owned by the farmers throughout the country are 


found in small flocks numbering from twenty-five to fifty. 
The duty on the grade of imported wool which these sheep 
v'udd is ten cents each pound, if of the value of thirty cents or 
less, and twelve cents if of the value of more than thirty cents. 
If the liberal estimate of six pounds be allowed for each fleece, 
the duty thereon would be sixty or seventy-two cents, and 
this may be taken as the utmost enhancement of its price to 
the farmer by reason of this duty. Eighteen dollars would 
Miiis represent the increased price of the wool from twenty-five 
sheep and thirty-six dollars that from the wool of fifty sheep ; 
and, at present values, this addition would amount to about 
one-third of its price. If, upon its sale, the farmer receives 
this or a less tariff profit, the wool leaves his hands charged 
with precisely that sum, which, in all its changes, will adhere to 
it until it reaches the consumer. When manufactured into 
cloth and other goods and material for use, its cost is not only 
increased to the extent of the farmer's tariff profit, but a 
further sum has been added for the benefit of the manufacturer 
under the operation of other tariff laws. In the meantime the 
day arrives when the farmer finds it necessary to purchase 
woolen goods and material to clothe himself and family for the 
winter. When he faces the tradesman for that purpose he 
discovers that he is obliged not only to return, in the way of 
increased prices, his tariff profit on the vfool he sold, and which 
i inn perhaps lies before him in manufactured form, but that 
ie must add a considerable sum thereto to meet a further in- 
ise in cost caused by a tariff duty on the manufacture. 
Thus, in the end, he is aroused to the fact that he has paid upon 
a moderate purchase, as a result of the tariff scheme, which, 
when lie sold his wool, seemed so profitable, an increase in 
price more than sufficient to sweep away all the tariff profit he 
fed upon the wool he produced and sold. 
When the number of farmers engaged in wool-raising is com- 
pared with all the farmers in the country, and the small pro- 
portion they bear to our population is considered ; when it is 
made apparent, that, in the case of a large part of those who 


own sheep, the benefit ol the presenl tarifl on wool is illu 
and above all, when it musl be conceded thai the in< rea 
the cost of living caused by such tarifl becom< i .1 burden upon 
those with moderate means and the poor, the employed and 
unemployed, the sick and well, and the young and old, and 
that it constitutes a tax which, with relentless grasp, is fast- 
ened upon the clothing of every man, woman, and child in the 
land, reasons are suggested why the removal or reduction ol 
this duty should be included in a revision of our tariff laws. 

[n speaking of the increased cost to the consumer of oui 
home manufactures, resulting from a duty laid upon imported 
articles of the same description, the fact is not overlooked 
that competition among our domestic producers sometimi 3 
lias the effect of keeping the price of their products below the 
highest limit allowed by such duty. But it is notorious that 
this competition is too often strangled by combinations quite 
prevalent at tins time, and frequently called trusts, which have 
for their object the regulation of the supply and price of com- 
modities made and sold by members of t he combination. The 
people can hardly hope for any consideration in the operation 
of these selfish schemes. 

If, however, in the absence of such combination, a healthy 
and free competition reduces the [nice of any particular duti- 
able article of home production below the limit which it might 
otherwise reach under our tariff laws, and if, with such reduced 
price, its manufacture continues to thrive, it is entirely evident 
that one thing has been discovered which should be carefully 
scrutinized in an effort to reduce taxation. 

The necessity of combination to maintain the price ol any 
commodity to the tariff point furnishes proof that someone is 
willing to accept lower prices for such commodity, and that 
such prices are remunerative; and lower prices produced by 
competition prove the same thjng. Thus, where either ol 
these conditions exists, a case would seem to be presented for 
an easy reduction of taxation. 

The considerations which have been presented tou 


our tariff laws are intended only to enforce an earnest recom- 
mendation that the surplus revenues of the government be 
prevented by the reduction of our customs duties; and, at the 
same time, to emphasize a suggestion that, in accomplishing 
this purpose, we may discharge a double duty to our people 
by granting to them a measure of relief from tariff taxation in 
quarters where it is most needed and from sources where it 
can be most fairly and justly accorded. 

Nor can the presentation made of such considerations be, 
with any degree of fairness, regarded as evidence of unfriend- 
liness toward our manufacturing interests, or of any lack of 
appreciation of their value and importance. 

These interests constitute a leading and most substantial 
element of our national greatness, and furnish the proud proof 
of our country's progress. But if, in the emergency that 
presses upon us, our manufacturers are asked to surrender 
something for the public good and to avert disaster, their pa- 
triotism, as well as a grateful recognition of advantages already 
afforded, should lead them to willing co-operation. No de- 
mand is made that they shall forego all the benefits of govern- 
mental regard ; but they cannot fail to be admonished of their 
duty, as well as their enlightened self-interest and safety, when 
they are reminded of the fact that financial panic and collapse, 
to which the present condition tends, afford no greater shelter 
or protection to our manufactures than to our other important 
enterprises. Opportunity for safe, careful, and deliberate re- 
form is now offered, and none of us should be unmindful of 
a time when an abused and irritated people, heedless of those 
who have resisted timely and reasonable relief, may insist upon 
a radical and sweeping rectification of their wrongs. 

The difficulty attending a wise and fair revision of our tariff 
laws is not underestimated. It will require on the part of the 
Congress great labor and care, and especially a broad and 
national contemplation of the subject, and a patriotic disregard 
of such local and selfish claims as arc unreasonable and reck- 
less of the welfare of the entire country. 


Under our present laws more than four thousand articles 

are subject to duty. Many of these do not in any way com 
pete with our own manufactures and many are hardly worth 
attention as subjects of revenue. A considerable red net ion can 
be made in the aggregate by adding them to the free list. 
The taxation of luxuries presents no features ofhardship ; but 
the necessaries of life, used and consumed by all the people, 
the duty upon which adds to the cost of living in every home, 
should be greatly cheapened. 

The radical reduction of the duties imposed upon raw 
material used in manufactures, or its free importation, is, of 
course, an important factor in any effort to reduce the prices 
of these necessaries ; it would not only relieve them from the 
increased cost caused by the tariff on such material, but the 
manufactured product being thus cheapened, that part of the 
tariff now laid upon such product, as a compensation to our 
manufacturers for the present price of raw material, could be 
accordingly modified. Such reduction, or free importation, 
would serve besides largely to reduce the revenue. It is not 
apparent how such a change can have any injurious effect upon 
our manufacturers. On the contrary, it would appear to give 
them a better chance in foreign markets with the manufacturers 
of other countries, who cheapen their wares by free material. 
Thus our people might have the opportunity of extending then- 
sales beyond the limit:; of home consumption — saving them 
from tin; depression, interruption in business, and loss 
caused by a glutted domestic market, and affording their em- 
ployees more certain and steady labor, with its resulting quiet 
and contentment. 

The question thus imperativelv presented for solution should 
be approached in a spirit higher than partisanship, and con- 
sidered in the light of that regard for patriotic duty which 
should characterize the act ion of t hose intrusted with the weal 
of a confiding people, hut the obligation to declared party 
policy and principle is not wanting to urge prompt and effe 
action. Both of the great political parties now represented in the 


government have, by repeated and authoritative declarations, 
condemned the condition of our laws which permits the collec- 
tion from the people of unnecessary revenue, and have in the 
most solemn manner promised its correction ; and neither as 
citizens nor partisans are our countrymen in a mood to con- 
done the deliberate violation of these pledges. 

Our progress toward a wise conclusion will not be improved 
by dwelling upon the theories of protection and free trade. 
This savors too much of bandying epithets. It is a condition 
which confronts us— not a theory. Relief from this condition 
may involve a slight reduction of the advantages which we 
award our home productions, but the entire withdrawal of such 
advantages should not be contemplated. The question of 
free trade is absolutely irrelevant ; and the persistent claim 
made in certain epiarters that all efforts to relieve the people 
from unjust and unnecessary taxation are schemes of so-called 
free-traders is mischievous, and far removed from any con- 
sideration for the public good. 

The simple and plain duty which we owe the people is to 
reduce the taxation to the necessary expenses of an economical 
operation of the government, and to restore to the business 
of the country the money which we hold in the treasury 
through the perversion of governmental powers. These things 
can and should be done with safety to all our industries, with- 
out danger to the opportunity for remunerative labor which 
our workingmen need, and with benefit to them and all our 
people, by cheapening their means of subsistence and 
increasing the measure of their comforts. 

The Constitution provides that the President " shall, from 
time to time, give to the Congress information of the state of the 
Union." li has been the custom of the Executive, in com- 
pliance witli this provision, to exhibit annually to the ( 'ongrcss, 
at the opening of its session, tin; general condition of the 
country, ami to detail, with some particularity, the operations 
of the different Executive Departments. It would be especially 


agreeable to follow this course at the present time, and to call 
attention to the valuable accomplishments of these Depart- 
ments during the last fiscal year. But I am so much im- 
pressed with the paramount importance of the subject to whi< h 
this communication lias thus far been devoted that I shall 
forego the addition of any other topic, and shall only urge 
upon your immediate consideration the " state of the Union," as 
shown in the present condition of our treasury and our gen- 
eral fiscal situation, upon which every element of our safety 
ami prosperity depends. 

The reports of the heads of Departments, which will be 
submitted, contain full and explicit information touching the 
transaction of the business intrusted to them, and smh rec- 
ommend, it ions relating to legislation in the public interest as they 
deem advisable. I ask for these reports and recommendations 
t he deliberate examination and action of the legislative branch 
of the government. 

There are other subjects not embraced in the departmental 
reports demanding legislative consideration and whi< h I should 
be glad to submit. Some of them, however, have been ear- 
nestly presented in previous messages ; and as to them, 1 beg 
leave to repeat prior recommendations. 

As the law makes no provision for any report from the 
Department of State, a brief history of the transactions,,! 
that important Department, together with other matters which 
it may hereafter lie deemed essential to commend to the 
attention of the Congress, may furnish the occasion for a 
future communication. 

Grover Cleveland. 

Exe< I IIVI M \N 5ION, 

Washington, December 6, 1SS7. 



Letter to Tammany Hall Celebration. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, June ,29, 1888. 
To James A. Flack, Grand Sachem: 

Dear Sir : I regret that I am obliged to decline the cour- 
teous invitation which I have received to attend the celebration 
by the Tammany Society of the birthday of our republic on 
the 4th day of July next. The zeal and enthusiasm with 
which your society celebrates this day afford proof of its stead- 
fast patriotism as well as its care for all that pertains to the 
advantage and prosperity of the people. 

I cannot doubt that the renewal of a " love and devotion to 
a pure Jeffersonian Democratic form of government," which 
you contemplate, will suggest the inquiry whether the people 
are receiving all the benefits which are due them under such a 
form of government. These benefits are not fully enjoyed 
when our citizens are unnecessarily burdened, and their earn- 
ings and incomes are uselessly diminished under the pretext 
of governmental support. 

Our government belongs to the people. They have decreed 
its purpose ; and it is their clear right to demand that its cost 
shall be limited by frugality, and that its burden of expense 
shall be carefully limited by its actual needs. And yet a use- 
less and dangerous surplus in the national treasury tells no 
other tale but extortion on the part of the government, and a 
perversion of the people's intention. In the midst of our im- 
petuous enterprise and blind confidence in our destiny, it is 
time to pause and study our condition. It is no sooner appre- 
ciated than the conviction must follow that the tribute exacted 
from the people should be diminished. 

The theories which cloud the subject, misleading honest 
men, and the appeals to selfish interests which deceive the un- 
derstanding, make the reform, which should be easy, a difficult 
task. Although those who propose a remedy for present evils 

TAXA r/( ' \ AND REVENUE. 89 

have always been the friends of American labor, and though 
they declare their purpose to further its interests in all their 
efforts, yet those who oppose reform attempt to disturb our 
workingmen by the cry that their wages and their employment 
are threatened. 

They advocate a system which benefits certain classes of 
our citizens at the expense of every householder in the land 
a system which breeds discontent, because it permits the du- 
plication of wealth without corresponding additional re< 
pense to labor, which prevents the opportunity to work by 
stifling production and limiting the area of our markets, and 
which enhances the cost of living beyond the laborer's hard- 
earned wages. 

The attempt is made to divert the attention of the people 
from the evils of such a scheme of taxation, by branding those 
who seek to correct these evils as free-traders, and enemies of 
our workingmen and our industrial enterprises. This is so far 
from the truth that there should be no chance for such decep- 
t ion to succeed. 

It behooves the American people, while they rejoice in the 
anniversary of the day when their free government was de- 
clared, also to reason together and determine that they will 
not be deprived of the blessings and the benefits which their 
government should afford. 

V 011 is very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 


From the Fourth Annual Message to Congress, December, [888. 

As you assemble for the discharge of the duties you have 
assumed as the representatives of a \vrr and generous people, 
your meeting is marked by an interesting ami impressive inci- 
dent. With the expiration of the present session of the Con- 


gress the first century of our constitutional existence as a na- 
tion will be completed. 

Our survival for one hundred years is not sufficient to as- 
sure us that we no longer have dangers to fear in the main- 
tenance, with all its promised blessings, of a government 
founded upon the freedom of the people. The time rather 
admonishes us soberly to inquire whether in the past we have 
always closely kept in the course of safety, and whether we 
have before us a way, plain and clear, which leads to happiness 
and perpetuity. 

When the experiment of our government was undertaken, 
the chart adopted for our guidance was the Constitution. 
Departure from the lines there laid down is failure. It is only 
by a strict adherence to the directions they indicate, and by re- 
straint within the limitations they fix, that we can furnish 
proof to the world of the fitness of the American people for 

The equal and exact justice of which we boast, as the under- 
lying principle of our institutions, should not be confined to the 
relations of our citizens to each other. The government 
itself is under bond to the American people that, in the exer- 
cise of its functions and powers, it will deal with the body of 
our citizens in a manner scrupulously honest and fair, and ab- 
solutely just. It has agreed that American citizenship shall be 
the only credential necessary to justify the claim of equality 
before the law, and that no condition in life shall give rise to 
discrimination in the treatment of the people by their govern- 

The citizen of our republic in its early days rigidly insisted 
upon full compliance with the letter of this bond, and saw 
stretching out before him a clear field for individual endeavor. 
His tribute to the support of his government was measured 
by the cost of its economical maintenance, and he was secure 
in the enjoyment of the remaining recompense of his steady 
and contented toil. In those days the frugality of the people 
was stamped upon their government , and was enforced by the 


free, thoughtful, and intelligent suffrage of the citizen. Com- 
binations, monopolies, and aggregations of capital were either 
avoided or sternly regulated and restrained. The pomp and 
glitter of governments less free offered no temptation and 
presented no delusion to the plain people, who, side by side, in 
friendly competition, wrought for the ennoblement and dignity 
of man, for the solution of the problem of free government, 
and tor the achievement of the grand destiny awaiting the land 
which ( iod had given them. 

A century has passed. Our cities are the abiding-places of 
wealth and luxury; our manufactories yield fortunes never 
dreamed of by the fathers of the republic ; our business men 
are madly striving in the race for riches, and immense aggre- 
gations of capital outrun the imagination in the magnitude ol 
their undertakings. 

We view with pride and satisfaction this bright picture of 
our country's growth and prosperity, while only a closer .scru- 
tiny develops a somber shading. Upon more careful inspection 
we find the wealth and luAiry of our cities mingled with 
poverty and wretchedness and unremuneral ive toil. A crowded 
and constantly increasing urban population suggests the im- 
p< iverishment of rural sect ions, and discontent with agricultural 
pursuits. The farmer's ^son, not satisfied with his father's 
simple and laborious life, joins the eager chase for easily 
.i. quired wealth. 

We discover that the fortunes realized by our manufacturers 
are no longer solely the reward of sturdy industry and en- 
lightened foresight, but that they result from the discrimi- 
nating favor of the government, and are largely built upon 
undue exactions front the masses of our people. The gulf 
between employers and tin; employed is constantly widening, 
and classes are rapidly forming, one comprising the very rich 
and powerful, while in another are f id the toiling poor. 

As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we dis- 
cover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, 
while tic citizen is struggling far in the rear, or is trampled to 


death beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be 
carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of 
the people, are fast becoming the people's masters. 

Still, congratulating ourselves upon the wealth and prosperity 
i if our country, and complacently contemplating every incident 
of change inseparable from these conditions, it is our duty as 
patriotic citizens to inquire, at the present stage of our progress, 
how the bond of the government, made with the people, has 
been kept and performed. 

Instead of limiting .the tribute drawn from our citizens to 
the necessitiesof its economical administration, the government 
persists in exacting, from the substance of the people, millions, 
which, unapplied and useless, lie dormant in its treasury. 
This flagrant injustice, and this breach of faith and obligation, 
add to extortion the danger attending the diversion of trie-cur- 
rency of the country from the legitimate channels of business. 

Under the same laws by which these results are produced, 
the government permits many millions more to be added to the 
cost of the living of our people, and to be taken from our con- 
sumers, which unreasonably swell the profits of a small, but 
powerful minority. 

'The people must still be taxed for the support of the gov- 
ernment under the operation of tariff laws. But, to the extent 
that the mass of our citizens are inordinately burdened beyond 
any useful public purpose and for the benefit of a favored few, 
the government, under pretext of an exercise of its taxing 
power, enters gratuitously into partnership with these favorites, 
to their advantage: and to the injury of a vast majority of our 

This is not equality before the law. 

The existing situation is injurious to the health of our entire 
body politic. It. stifles, in those lor whose benefit it is per- 
mitted, all patriotic love of country, and substitutes in its place 
selfish greed and grasping avarice. Devotion to American cit- 
i i nship for its own sake and for what it should accomplish as 
a motive I r nation's advancement and the happiness of all 

/■ IX I r/OA l\ /> RE I / . 

Din people, is displaced by the assumption that th< in nt, 

instead of being the embodiment ol equality, i i but an instru- 
mentality through which especial and individual advantages are 
to be gained. 

The arrogance of tins assumption is unconi ealed. 1 1 app< ai i 
in the sordid disregard of all but personal interests, in the n 
fusal to abate for the benefit ol others one iota of selfish ad 
vantage, and in combinations to perpetuate such advantages 
through efforts to control legislation and influent e improperlj 
i he sufl i ages of the people. 

The grievances of those not included within the circle of 
these beneficiaries, when fully realized, will surely arouse 
irritation ami discontent^COur farmers, long-suffering and 
patient, struggling in the race of life with the hardest and most 
unremitting toil, will not fail to see, in spite of misrepresenta- 
tions and misleading fallacies, that they are obliged to accepl 
such prices for theii products as are fixed in foreign markets, 
where they compete with the farmers of the world ; that their 
lands are declining in value while their debts increase; and 
that, without eon i pen satiny favor, they are forced by the action 
of the government to pay, for the benefit of others, such en 
hanced prices for the things they need that the scant}- returns 
of their labor fail to furnish their support, or leave no margin 
for accumulation. 

Our workingmen, enfranchised from all delusions and no 
longer frightened by the cry that their wages are endangered 
by a just revision of our tariff laws, will reasonably demand 
through such revision Steadier employment, cheaper means ol 
living in their homes, freedom for themselves and their children 
from the doom of perpetual servitude, and an open door to 
their advancement beyond the limits of a laboring class. ( oth- 
ers of our citizens whose comforts and expenditures are meas- 
ured by moderate salaries and fixed incomes, will insist upon 
the fairness and justice of cheapening the cost of necessaries 
for themselves and their families. 

When to the selfishness of the beneficiaries of unjust dis- 


crimination under our laws there shall be added the discontent 
of those who suffer from such discrimination, we will realize 
the fact that the beneficent purposes of our government, de- 
pendent upon the patriotism and contentment of our people, 
are endangered. 

Communism is a hateful thing, and a menace to peace and 
organized government. But the communism of combined 
wealth and capital, the outgrowth of overweening cupidity 
and selfishness, which insidiously undermines the justice and 
integrity of free institutions is not less dangerous than the 
communism of oppressed poverty and toil which, exasperated 
by injustice and discontent, attacks with wild disorder the 
citadel of rule. 

He mocks the people who proposes that the government 
shall protect the rich and that they in turn will care for the 
laboring poor. Any intermediary between the people and 
their government, or the least delegation of the care and pro- 
tection the government owes to the humblest citizen in the 
land, makes the boast of free institutions a glittering delusion 
and the pretended boon of American citizenship a shameless 

A just and sensible revision of our tariff laws should lie 
made for the relief of those of our countrymen who suffer 
under presenl conditions. Such a revision should receive the 
support of ad who love that justice and equality due to Amer- 
ican citizenship; of all who realize that in this justice and 
equality our government finds its strength and its power to 
protect the citizen and his property ; of all who believe that 
the contented competence and comfort of many accord better 
with the spirit of our institutions than colossal fortunes un- 
fairly gathered in the hands of a few ; of all who appreciate 
that the forbearance and fraternity among our people, which 
recognize the value of every American interest, are the surest 
guarantee of our national progress, and of all who desire to see 
the products of American skill and ingenuity in every market of 
the world with a resulting restoration of American commerce. 

/t\ i no x .1 vd />•/ I 95 

'I'hi' necessity ol the reduction of our revenue is so apparent 
as to be generally conceded. But the means by which this 
end shall be accomplished, and the sum of direct benefit which 
shall result to our citizens, present a i ontroversy of the utmost 
importance. There should be no scheme accepted as satisfac- 
tory by which the burdens of the people are only apparently 
removed. Extravagant appropriations of public money, with 
all their demoralizing consequences, should not be tolerated, 
either as a means of relieving the treasury of its present sur- 
plus or as furnishing pretexts for resisting a proper reduction 
in tariff rates. Existing evils and injustice should be honestly 
recognized, boldly met, and effectively remedied. There 
should be no cessation of the struggle until a plan is perfected, 
fair and conservative toward existing industries, but which 
will reduce the cost to consumers of the necessaries of life, 
while it provides for our manufacturers the advantagi 
freer raw materials and permits no injury to the interests of 
American labor. 

The cause for which the battle is waged is comprised within 
lines clearly and distinctly defined. It should never be com- 
promised. It is the people's cause. 

It cannot he denied that the selfish and private interests, 
which are so persistently heard when efforts are made to deal 
in a just and comprehensive manner with our tariff laws, are 
related to, if they are not responsible for, the sentiment largely 
prevailing among the people that the general government is 
the fountain of individual and private aid ; that it may be ex- 
pected to relieve with paternal care the distress of citizens 
and communities, and that from the fullness of its treasury it 
should, upon the slightest possible pretext of promoting the 
general good, apply public funds to the benefit of localities 
and individuals. Nor can it be denied that there is a growing 
assumption that, as against the government and in favor of 
private claims and interests, the usual rules and limitations of 
business principles and just dealing should be waived. 

These ideas have been, unhappily, much encouraged by 


legislative acquiescence. Relief from contracts made with the 
government is Loo easily accorded in favor of the citizen ; the 
failure to support claims against the government by proof is 
often supplied by no better consideration than the wealth of 
the government and the poverty of the claimant ; gratuities 
in the form of pensions are granted upon no other real ground 
than the needy condition of the applicant, or for reasons less 
valid ; and large sums are expended, for public buildings and 
other improvements, upon representations scarcely claimed to 
be related to public needs and necessities. 

The extent to which the consideration of such matters sub- 
ordinates and postpones action upon subjects of great public 
importance, but involving no special, private, or partisan 
interest, should arrest attention ami lead to reformation. 

A lew of the numerous illustrations of this condition may be 

The crowded condition of the calendar of the Supreme 
Court, and the delay to suitors and denial of justice resulting 
therefrom, have been strongly urged upon the attention of the 
Congress, with a plan for the relief of the situation approved 
by those well able to judge of its merits. While this subject 
remains without effective consideration, many laws have been 
passed providing for the holding of terms of inferior court at 
places to suit the convenience of localities, or to lay the foun- 
dation of an application for the erection of a new public 

Repeated recommendations have been submitted for the 
amendment and change of the laws relating to our public 
lands, so that their spoliation and diversion to other uses than 
as homes for honest settlers might be prevented. While a 
measure to meet this conceded necessity of reform remains 
awaiting the action of the Congress, many claims to the pub- 
lic lands and applications for their donation, in favor of States 
and individuals, have been allowed. 

A plan in aid of Indian management, recommended by 
those well informed as containing valuable features in further- 


ance of the solution of the Indian problem, has thus far failed 
n( legislative sanction, while grants of doubtful expediency to 

railroad corporations, permitting them to pass through Indian 
reservations, have greatly multiplied. 

The propriety and necessity of the erection of one or more 
prisons for the confinement of United States convicts, and a 
post-office building in the national capital, are not disputed. 
But these needs yet remain unanswered, while scores of pub- 
lic buildings have been erected where their necessity for 
public purposes is not apparent. 

A revision of our pension laws could easily be made, which 
would rest upon just principles and provide for every worthy 
applicant. But, while our general pension laws remain con- 
fused and imperfect, hundreds of private pension laws are 
annually passed which are the sources of unjust discrimination 
and popular demoralization. 

Appropriation bills for the support of the government are 
defaced by items and provisions to meet private ends, and it 
is freely asserted by responsible and experienced parties that 
a bill appropriating money for public internal improvement 
would fail to meet with favor unless it contained items more 
for local and private advantage than for public benefit. 

These statements can be much emphasized by an ascer- 
tainment of the proportion of Federal legislation which either 
bears upon its face its private character or which, upon exam- 
ination, develops such a motive power. 

And yet the people wait, and expect from their chosen repre- 
sentatives such patriotic action as will advance the welfrre of 
the entire country ; and this expectation can only be answered 
by the performance of public duty with unselfish purpose. 
Our mission among the nations of the earth, and our sue 
in accomplishing the work God has given the American people 
to do, require of those intrusted with the making and execu- 
tion of our laws perfect devotion, above all other things, to the 
public good. 

This devotion will lead us to resist strongly all impatience 


of constitutional limitations of Federal power, and to check per- 
sistently the increasing tendency to extend the scope of Fed- 
eral legislation into the domain of State ami local jurisdiction, 
upon the plea of subserving the public welfare. The preser- 
vation of the partitions between proper subjects of Federal 
and local < are and regulation is of such importance under 
the Constitution, which is the law of our very existence, that 
no consideration of expediency or sentiment should tempt us 
to enter upon doubtful ground. We have undertaken to dis- 
cover and proclaim the richest blessings of a free government, 
with the Constitution as our guide. Let us follow the way it 
points out. It will not mislead us. And surely no one who 
has taken upon himself the solemn obligation to support and 
preserve the Constitution can find justification or solace for 
disloyalty in the excuse that he wandered and disobeyed in 
search of a better way to reach the -public welfare than the 
Constitution offers. 

What has been said is deemed not inappropriate at a time 
when, from a century's height, we view the way already trod 
by the American people, and attempt to discover their future 

The seventh President of the United States — the soldier and 
statesman, and at all times the firm and brave friend of the 
people — in vindication of his course as the protector of popular 
rights, ami the champion of true American citizenship, declared: 

The ambition which leads me on is an anxious desire and a fixed deter- 
mination to restore to the people, unimpaired, the sacred trust they have 
confided to my charge ; to heal the wounds of the Constitution and to pre- 
serve it from further violation ; to persuade my countrymen, so far as I may, 
that it is not in a splendid government supported by powerful monopolies 
and aristocratical establishments that they will find happiness, or their liber- 
ties protection, but in a plain system, void of pomp — protecting all and grant- 
ing favors to none — dispensing its blessings like the dews of heaven, un- 
seen and unfelt save in the freshness and beauty they contribute to pro- 
duce. It is such a government that the genius of our people requires — such 
an cine only under which our States may remain, for ages to come, united, 
prospen his, and free. 


To the Massachusetts Tariff Reform League. 


Washington, December 24, 1888. 
Messrs. Sherman, Hoar, \m> Others, Committee: 

Gen 1 1 1 men : I am exceedingly sorry that 1 cannot be pres- 
ent at the dinner ol the Massachusetts Turin Reform League 

on the 28th instant. This is not merely a formal and common 

expression of regret ; it truly indicates how much 1 should en- 
joy meeting the members of your league, and how glad I 
should be to express in person my appreciation of their im- 
portant services in a cause to which 1 am earnestly attached, 
and to acknowledge at the same time their frequent and en- 
couraging manifestations of personal friendliness. 1 know, 
too, that it would be profitable and advantageous to be, even 
for a brief period, within the inspiring influence of the atmos- 
phere surrounding patriotic and unselfish men, banded together 
in the interests of their fellow-countrymen, and devoted to the 
work of tariff reform. 

This reform appears to me to be as far-reaching in its pur- 
poses as the destiny of our country, ami as broad in its benefi- 
cence as the welfare of our entire people. It is because the 
efforts of its advocates are not discredited by any sordid mo- 
tives that they are able boldly and confidently to attack the 
strongholds of selfishness and greed. Our institutions were 
constructed in purity of purpose and love for humanity. Their 
operation is adjusted to the touch of national virtue and 
patriotism, and their results, under such guidance, must be the 
prosperity and happiness of our people ; and so long as the 
advocates of tariff reform appreciate the sentiments in which 
our institutions had their origin, so long as they apprehend 
the sources which alone can guide their operations, so loi . 
they, in a spirit of true patriotism, are consecrated to the serv- 
ice of their country, temporary defeat brings no discern 
meut. It but proves the stubbornness of the forces of com- 


bined selfishness, and discloses how far the people have been 
led astray and how great is the necessity of redoubled efforts 
in their behalf. To lose faith in the intelligence of the people 
is a surrender and an abandonment of the struggle. To arouse 
their intelligence, and free it from darkness and delusion, gives 
assurance of speedy and complete victory. 

In the track of reform are often found the dead hopes of 
pioneers and the despair of those who fall in the march. But 
there will be neither despair nor dead hopes in the path of 
tariff reform ; nor shall its pioneers fail to reach the heights. 
Holding fast their faith, and rejecting every alluring overture 
and every deceptive compromise which would betray their 
sacred trust, they themselves shall regain and restore the 
patrimony of their countrymen, freed from the trespass of 
grasping encroachment and safely secured by the genius of 
American justice and equality. 

Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 


To tlie Indiana Tariff Reform League. 

New York, February 15, 1890. 
Edgar A. Brown, Esq., President. 

My Dear Sir: Though my letters to Democratic and 
tariff reform assemblages have lately been very frequent, I 
cannot deny your request to say a word of encouragement to 
the tariff reformers who will meet at the first annual conven- 
tion of the Indiana Tariff Reform League on the 4th of 

I am very much pleased with the plan upon which your 
league seems to be organized. It conveys a suggestion of 
practical work in the field of information and enlightenment. 
This, if persistently carried out, cannot fail of success. Of 
course, we do not approach the American people, assuming 

/•/ \ / TION AND REVl VUE. 101 

that they are ignorant or unpatriotic. But we know that 
they are busy people and apt to neglect the study of 
public questions. En the engrossment of their daily avoca- 
tions, they are too ready to rely upon the judgment and 
avowed principles of the party with which they have affiliated 
as guides to their political actions. In this way they have be- 
come slow to examine for themselves the questions of tariff re- 
form, [f, in the lights of reasonable and simple arguments 
and of such object-lessons as are being constantly placed be- 
fore them, our people can be induced to investigate the sub- 
jects, there need be no fear as to their conclusion. 

The 1 )emocratic party — as the party of the people, opposed to 
selfish schemes, which ignore the public good, and pledged to the 
interests of all their countrymen instead of furtherance of the in- 
terests of the few who seek to pervert governmental powers for 
their enrichment — was never nearer to its fundamental princi- 
ples than it was in its contests for tariff reform. 

It certainly adds to the satisfaction with which we labor in 
this cause to be assured that in our efforts we not only serve 
our party, but all the people of the land. 

Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 


To llw Tariff Reform Club, Hagerstoivn, Md. 

New York, April 29, 1890. 
Henry Kyd Douglass, Esq. 

My Dear Sir : I thank you for your invitation to attend 
the meeting on the 2d day of May which inaugurates a tariff 
reform club at Ilagerstown. I am sorry that I cannot be with 
y<>u on this interesting occasion, which is to give birth to 
another of those agencies whose mission it is to rouse to 
practical thought and activity. Those who propose to juggle 
with the question of tariff reform will never again find their in- 


tended dupes asleep and uninformed. The people shall know the 
merits of this question, and shall know, too, that its fair and 
honest adjustment greatly concerns them. 

With such a mission, and in the enforcement of such a prin- 
ciple, it is a glorious thing to be a true Democrat in these days. 
The zeal and enthusiasm which at this time prevail in our 
party demonstrate that Democracy is never in a more con- 
genial element than when it battles for a principle which in- 
volves the real welfare and prosperity of the people. I hope 
that your meeting will be a great success, and that your Tariff 
Reform Club will never falter in usefulness and efficiency. 

Yours very truly, 

Gkover Cleveland. 


To the Kensington Reform Club, PJiiladcIpJiia. 

New York, May 9, 1890. 
F. A. Herwig, President. 

My Dear Sir : I desire through you to thank the Kensing- 
ton Reform Club, formerly known as the Workingmen's Tariff 
Reform Association, for the courteous invitation I have received 
to attend a mass meeting on the evening of the 3d of June. 

The terms in which the invitation is expressed convince me 
that the question of tariff reform is receiving the attention it 
deserves from those most vitally interested in its just and 
fair solution. I know that, with the feeling now abroad in our 
hind and with the intense existence and activity of such clubs 
as yours, the claim, presumptuously made, that the people at the 
last election finally passed upon the subject of tariff adjust- 
ment will be emphatically denied ; that our workingmeti and 
our farmers will continue to agitate this and all other questions 
involving their welfare with increased zeal, and in the light of 
increased knowledge and experience, until they arc determined 
finally and in accordance with the American sentiment of fair 


I use n<> idle form of words when I say thai I regrel my en- 
gagements and professional occupations will not permit me to 
meet the members of your club on the occasion of their mass 
meeting. Hoping that those who are fortunate enough to 
participate will find it to their profit, and thai the meeting 
will in all respects he a greal suci ess, 

i am, yours very t 1 uly, 

( rRO\ 1 R l'i 1 VELAND. 


To the President of the Custom Cutters National Convention. 

New York, January 20, 1891. 
G. II. Huntoon, Esq. 

Dear Sir : I thank you for sending me your address made 
at the convention of the Custom Foremen Tailors' Associa- 
tion, and I have; read the same with interest. 

The question of tariff reform directly affects all the people of 
the land in a substantial way, and they ought to be interested 
in its discussion. I am afraid that a great many of our fellow- 
citizens are too apt to regard this as a political question, intri- 
cate and complex, affecting them in a remote way, and one 
which may well enough be left for politicians to wrangle over. 
This induces a neglect of the subject on the part of a greal 
number of our people and a willingness to follow blindly the 
party to which they happen to belong in their action upon it. 

It is a good sign to see practical men, such as belong to 
your association, discussing the question lor themselves. It 
this is done intelligently, and with sincere intent to secure Un- 
truth, tariff reformers, I think, have no need to fear the result 

of such discussions. 

Very truly \ ours, 

C.ko\ er Cleveland. 



To the Tariff Reform Club, Montclair, N. J. 

New York, February 3, 1891. 
Alexander D. Noyes, Esq. 

Dear Sir : I have received the invitation you sent me to 
attend a dinner given by the Tariff Reform Club of Montclair, 
N. J., on the 6th instant, and I regret that my engagements 
are such that I cannot accept the same. 

Jt gives me great pleasure to note the growth of Democratic 
sentiments and strength in my native county, and to know 
that the cause of tariff reform has commended itself to the 
voters of the Sixth Congressional District. These circum- 
stances furnish exceptional persuasion to an invitation to meet 
those who, by organized effort, are pushing on the good work 
in the county where I was born. 

Nothing can excuse the Democratic party if, at this time, it 
permits the neglect or subordination of the question of tariff 
reform. In the first place, the principle involved is plainly 
and unalterably right. This, of itself, should be sufficient 
reason for constant activity in its behalf. Secondly, we have 
aroused a spirit of inquiry among our countrymen which it is 
our duty to satisfy ; and finally, there may be added to these 
considerations the promise of success held out to the party 
which honestly perseveres in the propagandism of sound and 
true political principles. 

Yours very truly, 

(1 rover Cleveland. 


To tlic Indiana Tariff Reform League, March, 1891. 

You will not, I hope, think it amiss if I suggest the neces- 
sity of pushing, with more vigor than ever, the doctrine of your 
organization. I believe that the theories and practices which 
tariff reform antagonizes are responsible for many, if not all, 

T IX I riO \ \ND h't VEA 105 

of the evils which afflict our people. It there is a scarcity oi 
the circulating medium, is not the experiment worth tryin 
a remedy, of leaving in the hands of the people, ami for their 
use, the money which is needlessly taken from them under the 
pretext of necessary taxation ? If the fanner's lot is a hard 
one, in his discouraging struggle for better rewards of his toil, 
are the prices of his products to be improved by the policy 
which hampers trade in his best markets and invites the com- 
petition of dangerous rivals ? 

Whether other means of relief may appear necessary to re- 
lieve present hardships, 1 believe the principle of tariff reform 
promises a most important aid in their rectification, and that 
the continued and earnest advocacy of this principle is essen- 
tial to the lightening of the burdens of our countrymen. 

Hoping that your organization may continue to be one of 
great usefulness and encouragement. 

1 am, yours very respectfully, 

Grovek Cleveland. 


To the Young Men's Democratic Club, Canton, O. 

New York, November 27, 1S91. 
Ch \s. K.RICHBAUM, ESQ., President, etc. 

Dear Sir : I regret that I am unable to attend the meeting 
to be held at Canton on the evening of the 3d of December, 
under the auspices of the Young Men's Democratic Club. 

The value and significance of this occasion, it seems to me, 
are found in the evidence it furnishes of a determination to 
push the issue of tariff reform in a practical and effective 
manner. It is the duty of the Democratic party to do this ; 
and expediency, as well as duty, forbids any backward step or 

No party can succeed which deliberately relinquishes a 
principle on the 1 ve of its vindication ; and no party ought to 


succeed, which, having led honest men to the examination of a 
question vital to their interest and welfare, abandons their 
guidance and leaves them in unhappy doubt and perplexity. 

The confidence born of mutual congratulation over partial 
success, and the assertion of the claims of any individual to 
pre-eminence or leadership, ought not to divert us from the duty 
we owe to the people. Our obligations, then, will not be dis- 
charged, until, in every hamlet and neighborhood throughout 
the land, our cause is so presented to our countrymen that 
they can no longer be deceived through blindness nor cor- 
rupted through indifference. 

Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 



At the Semi-Centennial of the City of Buffalo, July 3, 1SS2. 

Ladies and Gentlemen : 

I ought, perhaps, to be quite content on this occasion to as- 
sume the part of quiet gratification. But I cannot forbear ex- 
pressing my satisfaction at being allowed to participate in the 
exercises of the evening, and I feel that I must give token of 
the pleasure I experience in gazing with you upon the fair 
face of our Queen City at the age of fifty. I am proud, with 
you, in contrasting what seem to us the small things of fifty 
years ago, with the beauty, and the greatness, and the impor- 
tance of to-day. The achievements of the past are gained ; 
the prosperity of the present we hold with a firm hand ; and 
the promise of the future comes to us with no uncertain sound. 
It seems to me to-day that of all men the resident of Buffalo 
should be the proudest to name his home. 

In the history of a city, fifty years but marks the period of 
youth, when all is fresh and joyous. The face is fair, the step 
is light, and the burden of life is carried with a song ; the 
future, stretching far ahead, is full of bright anticipations, and 
the past, with whatever of si niggle and disappointment there 
may have been, seems short, and is half forgotten. In this 
heyday of our city's life, we do well to exchange our congrat- 
ulations, and to revel together in the assurances of the happy 
and prosperous future that awaits us. 

And yet 1 do not deem it wrong to remind myself and you 
that our city, great in its youth, did nol suddenly spring into 



existence clad in beauty and in strength. There were men 
fifty years ago, who laid its foundations broad and deep ; and 
who, with the care of jealous parents, tended it and watched 
its growth. Those early times were not without their trials 
and discouragements ; and we reap to-day the fruit of the 
labors and the perseverance of those pioneers. Those were 
the fathers of the city. Where are they ? Fifty years added 
to manhood fill the cup of human life. Most have gone to 
swell the census of Clod's city, which lies beyond the stream 
of fate. A few there are who listlessly linger upon the bank, 
and wait to cross, in the shade of trees they have planted with 
their own hands. Let us tenderly remember the dead to- 
night, and let us renew our love and veneration for those who 
are spared to speak to us of the scenes attending our city's 
birth and infancy. 

And in this, our day of pride and self-gratulation, there is, 
I think, one lesson at least which we may learn from the men 
who have come down to us from a former generation. 

In the day of the infancy of the city which they founded, 
and for many years afterward, the people loved their city so 
well that they would only trust the management of its affairs 
in the strongest and best of hands ; and no man in those days 
was so engrossed in his own business but he could find some 
time to devote to public concerns. Read the names of the 
men who held places in this municipality fifty years ago, and 
food for reflection will be found. Is it true that the city of 
to-day, with its large population and with its vast and varied 
interests, needs less and different care than it did fifty years 
ago ? 

We boast of our citizenship to-night. But this citizenship 
brings with it duties not unlike those we owe our neighbor 
and our God. There is no better time than this for self-exam- 
ination. He who deems himself too pure and holy to take 
part in the affairs of his city, will meet the fact that better 
men than he have thought it their duty to do so. He who 
cannot spare a moment, in his greed and selfishness, to de- 

/ \ VIVE A' .v. / A' ) ( V / A BRATIO 109 

vote to public concerns, will, perhaps, find a well-grounded 
fear that he may become the prey of public plunderers ; and 
he who indolently cares not who administers the government 
of his city, will find that he is living' falsely, and in the neg- 
lect of his highest duty. 

When our centennial shall be celebrated, what will be said 
of us ? 1 hope it may be said that we built and wrought 
well, and added much to the substantial prosperity of the 
city we had in charge, brick and mortar may make a large 
city, but the encouragement of those things which elevate 
and purify, the exaction of the highest standard of integrity 
in official place, and a constant, active interest on the part 
of the good people in municipal government, are needed to 
make a great city. 

Let it be said of us when only our names and memory 
are left, in the centennial time, that we faithfully administered 
the trust which we received from our fathers, and religiously 
performed our parts, in our day and generation, toward 
making our city not only prosperous, but truly great. 


Evacuation Day Celebration^ New York, November 26, 1883. 

Mr. President .\m> Gentlemen of the Chamber of 

( '1 IMMERCI : 

My theme is too great for me, and I shall not attempt to 
cover it. The few words 1 shall speak will be upon atopic 
which makes but one element in the supremacy of the State of 
New York, and I fear that 1 shall treat of that in a very prat - 
tical and perhaps uninteresting way. 

1 am free to confess that I am somewhat embarrassed to- 
night by my surroundings. Not only am I in the presence of 
a distinguished company, but I see about me what 1 suppose 
to be the guardians of the commerce of the State. This word 
" commerce " sounds very large to me ; because, whenever I 


have heard the greatness of a nation or a State spoken of, their 
commerce has been dwelt upon as a chief ingredient or factor 
in such greatness. Here is the gateway of the commerce of 
our State ; and while the uttermost corner of our domain has 
felt and still feels its healthful influence, the tribute it has paid 
in passing this point has erected one of the largest cities in 
the world, and created many colossal fortunes. I suppose, of 
course, 1 need not suggest that other cities and other States 
are quite willing to relieve the city and State of New York of 
a part or all of the commerce thus enjoyed ; and I doubt not 
the danger to be apprehended from any such competitors has 
received due care and attention. 

I have lately seen a statement, by which it appears that for 
the year ending August 31, 1882, there were shipped from 
New Orleans to fifteen foreign ports 2,744,581 bushels of 
wheat and 639,342 bushels of corn. This was transported in 
sixty-one steamers and two sailing vessels. But for the year 
ending August 31, 1883, there were shipped from the same 
city to twenty-nine foreign ports 5,529,847 bushels of wheat 
and 7,161,168 bushels of corn, and this was transported in 278 
steamers and twenty-four sailing vessels. We thus find an 
increase, during the year specified, as follows : Increase in 
wheat, 2,785,266 ; increase in corn, 6,521,826 ; increase in 
number of ports, 14 ; increase in number of vessels, 239. 

I expect there are other dangers to be apprehended from 
other quarters, which may threaten the perpetuity and volume 
of New York commerce. Is there care enough taken to have 
champions of this all-important interest in the halls of legisla- 
tion, and is it there distinctively enough represented ? Bear in 
mind that you may labor and toil, in the whirl and excitement 
of business, to build new warehouses, and add to the city's 
wealth and to your own, but that, while you thus build, igno- 
rant, negligent, or corrupt men among your lawmakers can 
easily and stealthily pull down. Political duty and selfish in- 
terests lead in the same direction, and a neglect of this duty 
will, I believe, bring a sure punishment. 

I venture the opinion that the commerce of your port should 


be free from the annoying burdens and taxation to which it is 
now subjected, and yel a law passed i>\ the lasl legislature, as 

a partial measure of relief, failed in its execution, for reasons, 
perhaps, in one sense commercial in their charat ter, but far 
removed from any relations to the commerce of the port. I 
hasten to disclaim any insinuation that there air legislators 
sent from here who are not faithful to this great interest ; but 
1 see no reason why they should not all be of that kind, nor 
why the commercial interests of this great city should not be 
more regarded in their .selection. 

The people of the State have lately taken it upon themselves 
to support the canals from funds raised by taxation, thus free- 
ing one branch of commerce from its burden. This means 
much to the farmer, who, by hours of toil, unknown to you, 
exacts from the soil barely sufficient to live and educate his 
children. He deems the advantage of a free canal to him in- 
direct and remote ; but this increased taxation he must meet. 
His land and farm buildings cannot be concealed ; and if, by 
chance, he is able to improve them, his betterments are within 
the gaze of the tax-gatherer, and bring a further increase of 
taxation. Are you sure that all the property of this great 
metropolis, where fortunes, which the farmer vainly works a 
lifetime to secure, are made and lost in a day, meets, with 
equal fairness, its share of taxation ? At any rate, cannot the 
city of New York afford to pay the expense necessary to the 
maintenance of its port — thus securing its commercial suprem- 
acy and controlling, free from State interference, this interest 
so directly important to you all. 

We are apt, on such a day as this, to recall with pride what 
has been done within a hundred years to make us great, and 
we are quite sure to appropriate a full share of all that has been 
done in our day and generation. It is well, too, that we should 
deserve the praise of those who shall follow us and speak of us 
a hundred years hence ; but let us see to it that in our love for 
our State, and in our recognition of every duty which bel 
to good citizenship, we are not behind those who lived a hun- 
dred years ago. 


At the Semi-Centennial of Rochester, N. Y., June 10, 1884. 

Having been in the service of the State for nearly eighteen 
months, I feel, like any other loyal and grateful servant, that 
no flight of oratory or grace of diction could, if they were within 
my reach, do justice to the greatness and the goodness of my 
master. I shall not attempt to do more than to recall some of 
the elements which make ours a great State, and to suggest 
the pride which we should feel as citizens of this common- 

The State of New York is not alone a vast area — though it 
includes within its borders more territory than seven of the 
original thirteen States combined, beautifully diversified with 
mountains and valleys, streams and lakes, forests and fields, 
and with farms where the wealth and variety of crops tell the 
story of fertility and adaptation to the most valuable products. 

The State is not alone a busy workshop, with its continuous 
hum of machinery and its army of artisans and workmen — 
though its manufactures exceed in worth, variety, and volume 
any other State or Territory, and though their value is 
more than the aggregate produced in ten of the original 

The State is not alone a pathway of commerce and a center 
of trade — though our waterways and railroads transport a 
nation's wealth, and though our metropolis rivals the money 
centers of the world, and is a distributing point for all 

The State is not alone an immense aggregation of people — 
though its population exceeds that of any sister State, amount- 
ing to more than one-tenth of all the States and Territories, 
and nearly exceeds that of eight of the original States. 

Nor do all these things combined make up the State that we 
delight to call our own. 

Our cities, busy, thrifty, and prosperous, are constantly in- 
creasing in population and wealth, and in the means to furnish 

A YY/I 'I: V.'.v. /AT c 'ELEBR. 1 '//< WS. I I , 

to their people all that pertains to refinement and civiliza- 

t iimi. 

Our villages, quiet, contented, and orderly, are everywhere ; 
and by their growth and enterprise give prool "f proper ami 
economical management. 

Our colleges and seminaries on every hill, and our common 
schools on every hand, arc evidences of the faith of the people 
in popular and thorough education. < )ur numerous charitable 
institutions enlist the care of the State for the unfortunate 
poor. Our churches, and the tolerant and almost universal 
observance of religious duties by every sect ami creed, teach 
obedience to the law and prepare our people for good citi- 
zenship. Our soldiery, well disciplined and equipped, stand 
ready to defend our homes, while they beget a martial spirit 
and patriotic sentiment. A wise and firm administration of 
the law by our courts gives no occasion for disorders ami out- 
breaks that arise from the miscarriage of justice. 

Surely we have enough to cause us to congratulate ourselves 
upon the claim we have to State citizenship. And yet I cannot 
forget how much the continuance of all that makes us proud 
to-day depends upon tin- watchfulness and independence of 
the people and their effective participation and interest in 
State affairs. With a bad government, not withstanding all our 
advantages, our State will not be great. Remember that the 
government of the State was made for the people, ami see to it 
that it be by the people. A sturdy independence and a deter- 
mination to hold the public servant to a strict accountability 
will teach him to keep well in view the line between the 
people's interests and narrow and selfish partisanship ; and I 
am sure that a man, after faithful service in official place, 
reaps no mean reward, if, at the end, he shall retire with the 
confidence and affection of a thoughtful and intelligent com- 
munity, still retaining the proud title of a citizen of the 
Empire State. 

H4 CL V /'A. WV7 // ./.\7> 


.7/ ///c Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of Harvard 
College^ November 9, 1SS6. 

Mr. President and Gentlemen : 

I find myself to-day in a company to which 1 am much 
unused, and when I see the alumni of the oldest college in the 
land surrounding in their right of sonship the maternal board 
at which I am but an invited guest, the reflection that for me 
there exists no alma mater gives rise to a feeling of regret, 
which is tempered only by the cordiality of your welcome and 
your reassuring kindness. 

If the fact is recalled that only twelve of my twenty-one pre- 
decessors in office had the advantage of a collegiate or uni- 
versity education, a proof is presented of the democratic sense 
of our people, rather than an argument against the supreme 
value of the best and most liberal education in high public 
positions. There certainly can be no sufficient reason for any 
space or distance between the walks of a most classical educa- 
tion and the way that leads to a political place. Any disin- 
clination on the part of the most learned and cultured of our 
citizens to mingle in public affairs, and the consequent aban- 
donment of political activity to those who have but little 
regard for student and scholar in politics, are not favorable 
conditions under a government such as ours, and if they have 
existed to a damaging extent, very recent events appear to 
indicate that the education and conservatism of the land are 
to be hereafter more plainly heard in the expression of the 
popular will. 

Surely the splendid destiny which awaits a patriotic effort 
in behalf of our country will be sooner reached if the best of 
our thinkers and educated men shall deem it a solemn duty 
of citizenship to engage actively and practically in political 
affairs, and if the force and power of their thought and learn- 
ing shall be willingly or unwillingly acknowledged in party 

/ \ 17 1 /US IRY CELEBRA TIONS 115 

If I am to speak of the President oi the I nited Stati \ I 
desire i" mention, as the most pleasant ami characteristic 
feature of our system "t government, the nearness ol 1 Ik- people 
to their President and other high officials. A close view 
afforded our citizens of the acts ami conduct of those to whom 
they have intrusted their interests, serves as a regulator ami 
check upon temptation and pressure in office, and is a constant 
reminder that diligence and faithfulness are the measure ol 
public duty ; and such a relation between President and people 
ought to leave but little room, in popular judgment and con- 
science, for unjust and false accusations and for malicious 
slanders invented for the purpose of undermining the people's 
trust and confidence in the administration of their govern- 

No public officer should desire to check the utmost freedom 
of criticism as to all official acts, but every right thinking man 
must concede that the President of the United States should 
not be put beyond the protection which American love of fair 
play and decency accords to every American citizen. This 
trait of our national character would not encourage, if their 
extent and tendency were fully appreciated, the silly, mean, 
and cowardly lies that every day are found in the columns of 
certain newspapers, which violate every instinct of American 
manliness, and in ghoulish glee desecrate every sacred relation 
of private life. 

'There is nothing in the highest office that the American 
people can confer which necessarily makes the President alto- 
gether selfish, scheming, and untrustworthy. On the contrary, 
the solemn duties which confront him tend to a sober sense of 
responsibility ; the trust of the American people and an appre- 
ciation of their mission among the nations of the earth should 
make him a patriotic man, and the tales of distress which reach 
him from the humble and lowly, and needy and afflicted in 
every corner of the land, cannot fail to quicken within him 
every kind impulse and tender sensibility. 

After all, it comes to this : The people of the United 51 


have one and all a sacred mission to perform, and your Presi- 
dent, not more surely than any other citizen who loves his 
country must assume part of the responsibility of the demon- 
stration to the world of the success of popular government. 
No man can hide his talent in a napkin, and escape the con- 
demnation which his slothfulness deserves, or evade the stern 
sentence which his faithlessness invites. 

Be assured, my friends, that the privilege of this day, so full 
of improvement, and the enjoyments of this hour, so full of 
pleasure and cheerful encouragements, will never be forgotten ; 
ami in parting with you now let me express my earnest hope 
that Harvard's alumni may always honor the venerable institu- 
tion which has honored them, and that no man who forgets 
and neglects his duty to American citizenship will find his 
alma mater here. 


At the Centennial of Clinton, N. V., July 13, 18S7. 

I am inclined to content myself on this occasion with an 
acknowledgment, on behalf of the people of the United States, 
of the compliment which you have paid to the office which 
represents their sovereignty. But such an acknowledgment 
suggests an idea which I cannot refrain from dwelling upon 
for a moment. 

That the office of President of the United States does repre- 
sent the sovereignty of sixty millions of free people, is, to my 
mind, a statement full of solemnity ; for this sovereignty I con- 
ceive to be the working out or enforcement of the divine right 
of man to govern himself and a manifestation of God's plan 
concerning the human race. 

Though the struggles of political parties to secure the in- 

i umbency of this office, and the questionable methods some- 

1 nes resorted to for its possession, may not be in keeping with 

idea, and though the deceit practiced to mislead the peo- 


pie in their choice, and its too frequent influence on their suf- 
frage may surprise' us, these things should never lead us astray 
in our estimate of this exalted position and its value and 

And though your fellow-eiti/.en who may be chosen to per- 
form tor a time the duties of this highest place should be badly 
selected, and though the best attainable results may not be 
readied by his administration, yet the exacting watchfulness 
of the people, freed from the disturbing turmoil of partisan 
excitement, ought to prevent mischance to the office which 
represents their sovereignty, and should reduce to a minimum 
the danger of harm to the State. 

I by no means underestimate the importance of the utmost 
care and circumspection in the selection of the incumbent. 
On the contrary, I believe there is no obligation of citizenship 
that demands more thought and conscientious deliberation than 
this. But I am speaking of the citizen's duty to the office and 
its selected incumbent. 

This duty is only performed when, in the interest of the en- 
tire people, the full exercise of the powers of the Chief Magis- 
tracy is insisted on, and when, for the people's safety, a due 
regard for the limitations placed upon the office is exacted. 
These things should be enforced by the manifestation of a calm 
and enlightened public opinion. But this should not be simu- 
lated by the mad clamor of disappointed interest, which, with- 
out regard for the general good, or allowance for the exercise 
of official judgment, would degrade the office by forcing 
Compliance with selfish demands. 

If your President should not be of the people and one of your 
fellow-citizens, he would be utterly unfit for the position, in- 
capable of understanding tin,' people's wants and careless of 
their desires. That he is one of the people implies that he is 
subject to human frailty and error. But he should be per- 
mitted to claim but little toleration for mist. ikes ; the gener- 
osity of his fellow-citizens should alone decree how far good 
intentions should excuse his shortcomings. 


Watch well, then, this high office, the most precious posses- 
sion of American citizenship. Demand for it the most com- 
plete devotion on the part of him to whose custody it may be 
intrusted, and protect it not less vigilantly against unworthy 
assaults from without. 

Thus will you perform a sacred duty to yourselves and to 
those who may follow you in the enjoyment of the freest 
institutions which Heaven has ever vouchsafed to man. . 


At the Constitution Centennial, Philadelphia, September 17, 1887. 

I deem it a very great honor and pleasure to participate in 
these impressive exercises. 

Every American citizen should on this centennial day re- 
joice in his citizenship. 

He will not find the cause of his rejoicing in the antiquity 
of his country, for among the nations of the earth his stands 
with the youngest. He will not find it in the glitter and the 
pomp that bedeck a monarch and dazzle abject and servile 
subjects, for in his country the people themselves are rulers. 
He will not find it in the story of bloody foreign conquests, 
for his government has been content to care for its own 
domain and people. 

He should rejoice because the work of framing our Con- 
stitution was completed one hundred years ago to-day, and 
also because, when completed, it established a free government. 
He should rejoice because this Constitution and government 
have survived so long, and also because they have survived so 
many blessings and have demonstrated so fully the strength 
and value of popular rule. He should rejoice in the wondrous 
growth and achievements of the past one hundred years, and 
also in the glorious promise of the Constitution through cen- 
turies to come 

We shall fail to be duly thankful for all that was done for 


us one hundred years ago, unless we realize the difficultii 
the work then in hand, and the dangers avoided in the ta 
forming "a more perfect union" between disjointed and in- 
harmonious States, with interests and opinions radically di- 
verse and stubbornly maintained. 

The perplexities of the convention which undertook the 
labor of preparing our Constitution arc apparent in these 
earnest words of one of the most illustrious of its members : 

The small progress we have made after four or five weeks of close attend 
ance and continued reasonings with each other, our different sentiments <>n 
almost every question— several of the last producing as many noes as yeas — 
is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the human under- 
standing. We, indeed, seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since 
we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient 
history for models of government, and examined the different forms of 
those republics which, having been formed with the seeds of their own dis- 
solution, now no longer exist. In this situation of this assembly, groping 
as it were in the dark to lind political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it 
when presented to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not heretofore 
once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Light to illuminate our 
understandings ? 

And this wise man, proposing to his fellows that the aid and 
blessing of God should be invoked in their extremity, de- 
clared : 

I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing 
proofs T see of the truth that Cod governs in the affairs of men. And if a 
sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable thai an 
empire can rise without his aid ? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred 
writings that " except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build 
it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring 
aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of 
B ibel. We shall be divided by our little partial, local interests, our projects 
will be confounded, ami we ourselves shall become a reproach and a by 
word down to future ages ; and, what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from 
this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human 
wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest . 

In the face of all discouragements, the fathers of the re- 
public labored on for four Ion-, weary months, in alternate 


hope and fear, but always with rugged resolve, never faltering 
in a sturdy, endeavor sanctified by a prophetic sense of the 
value to posterity of their success, and always with unflinch- 
ing faith in the principles which make the foundation of a 
government by the people. 

At last their task was done. It is related that upon the back 
of the chair occupied by Washington as the president of the 
Convention a sun was painted, and that as the delegates were 
signing the completed Constitution one of them said : " I have 
often and often, in the course of the session, and in the solici- 
tude of my hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at that sun 
behind the president without being able to tell whether it was 
rising or setting. But now at length I know that it is a rising 
and not a setting sun." 

We stand to-day on the spot where this rising sun emerged 
from political night and darkness ; and in its own bright 
meridian light we mark its glorious way. Clouds have some- 
times obscured its rays, and dreadful storms have made us fear ; 
but God has held it in its course, and through its life-giving 
warmth has performed his latest miracle in the creation of 
this wondrous land and people. 

As we look down the past century to the origin of our Con- 
stitution, as we contemplate its trials and its triumphs, as we 
realize how completely the principles upon which it is based 
have met every national peril and every national need, how 
devoutly should we confess, with Franklin, " God governs 
in the affairs of men ; " and how solemn should be the reflec- 
tion that to our hands is committed this ark of the people's 
covenant, and that ours is the duty to shield it from impious 
hands. We receive it sealed with the tests of a century. It 
has been found sufficient in the past ; and in all the future 
years it will be found sufficient, if the American people are 
true to their sacred trust. 

Another centennial day will come, and millions yet unborn 
will incpiire concerning our stewardship and the safety of their 
Constitution. God grant that they may find it unimpaired ; 


.uul as we rejoice in the patriotism and devotion of chose who 
lived a hundred years ago, so may others who follow us re- 
joice in our fidelity and in our jealous love for constitutional 



At the Dinner of the Historical and Scientific Societies of Phila- 
delphia, September 17, 1SS7. 

On such a day as this, and in the atmosphere that now 
surrounds him, 1 feel that the President of the United States 
should be thoughtfully modest and humble. The great office 
he occupies stands to-day in the presence of its maker ; and 
it is especially fitting for this servant of the people and crea- 
ture of the Constitution, amid the impressive scenes of this 
centennial occasion, by a rigid self-examination to be assured 
concerning his loyalty and obedience to the law of his exist- 
ence. He will find that the rules prescribed for his guidance 
require for the performance of his duty, not the intellect or 
attainments which would raise him far above the feeling and 
sentiment of the plain people of the land, but rather such a 
knowledge of their condition, and sympathy with their wants 
and needs as will bring him near to them. And though he 
may be almost appalled by the weight of his responsibility and 
the solemnity of his situation, he cannot fail to find comfort 
and encouragement in the success of the fathers of the Con- 
stitution, wrought from their simple, patriotic devotion to the 
rights and interests of the people. Surely he may hope that, 
11 reverently invoked, the spirit which gave the Constitution life, 
will be sufficient for its successful operation and the accomplish- 
ment of its beneficent purposes. 

Because they are brought nearest the events and scenes 
which, marked the birth of American institutions, the people 
of Philadelphia should, of all our citizens, be more imbued with 
the broadest patriotism. 'The first Continental Congress and 


the Constitutional Convention met here, and Philadelphia still 
has in her keeping Carpenter's Hall, Independence Hall and 
its bell, and the grave of Franklin. 

As I look about me and see here represented the societies 
that express so largely the culture of Philadelphia, its love of 
art, its devotion to science, its regard for the broadest knowl- 
edge, and its studious care for historical research — societies 
some of which antedate the Constitution — I feel that I am in 
notable company. To you is given the duty of preserving for 
your city, for all your fellow-countrymen, and for mankind, 
the traditions and the incidents related to the freest and best 
government ever vouchsafed to man. It is a sacred trust, 
and as time leads our government further and further from 
the date of its birth, may you solemnly remember that a nation 
exacts of you that these traditions and incidents shall never 
be tarnished nor neglected, but that, brightly burnished, they 
may always be held aloft, fastening the gaze of a patriotic 
people and keeping alive their love and reverence for the 


At the Washington Inauguration t 'entennial, New York, 
April 30, 1SS9. 

Wherever human government has been administered in 
tyranny, in despotism, or in oppression, there has been found, 
among the governed, yearning for a freer condition and the 
assertion of man's nobility. These are but the faltering steps 
of human nature in the direction of the freedom which is its 
birthright ; and they presage the struggle of men to become a 
free people, and thus reach the plane of their highest and best 
aspirations. In this relation, and in their cry for freedom, it 
may be truly said, the voice of the people is the voice of 

In sublime faith and rugged strength our fathers cried out 


to the world, •• We, the people of the United states, in order 
to form a mote perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic 
tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the 
general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves 
and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for 
the United States of America." 

Thus " our people," in a day, assumed a place among the 
nations of the earth. Their mission was to teai h the fitness oi 
man for self-government, and their destiny was to outstrip 
every other people in national achievement and material great- 

One hundred years have passed. We have announced 
and approved to the world our mission, and made our destiny 

( > ur churches, our schools and universities, and our benevo- 
lent institutions, which beautify every town and hamlet, and 
look out from every hillside, testify to the value our people 
place upon religious teaching, upon advanced education, and 
upon deeds of charity. That our people are still jealous of 
their individual rights and freedom is proved by the fact that 
no one in place or power has dared openly to assail them. 
The enthusiasm which marks the celebration of the centennial 
of the inauguration of their first Chief Magistrate shows the 
popular appreciation of the value of the office, which, in out- 
plan of government, stands above all others, for the sovereignty 
of the people, and is the repository of their trust. 

Surely such a people can be safely trusted with their free 
government; and there need be no fear that they have lost 
the qualities which fit them to be its custodians. If they 
should wander, they will return to duty in good time. If 
they should be misled, they will discover the true landmarks 
none too late for safety; and if they should even be corrupted 
they will speedily be found seeking with peace-offerings their 
country's holy altar. 

Let us, then, have an abiding faith in "our people." 
Let petulance and discontent with popular action disappear 


before the truth that in any and all circumstances, the will of 
the people, however it may be exercised, is the law of our 
national existence — the arbiter, absolute and unchangeable, by 
which we must abide. Other than existing situations and 
policies can only justify themselves when they may be reached 
by the spread of political intelligence and the revival of un- 
selfish and patriotic interest in public affairs. Ill-natured 
complaints of popular incompetency, and self-righteous asser- 
tions of superiority over the body of the people, are impotent 
and useless. 

But there is danger, I fear, that the scope of the words " our 
people " and all they import are not always fully apprehended. 
It is only natural that those in the various walks of life should 
see "our people " within the range of their own vision, and 
find just about them the interests most important and the most 
worthy the care of the government. The rich merchant or 
capitalist, in the center of wealth and enterprise, hardly has a 
glimpse of the country blacksmith at his forge or the farmer in 
his field; and these, in their turn, know but little of the laborers, 
who crowd our manufactories and inhabit their own world of 
toil, or of the thousands who labor in our mines. If represent- 
atives of every element of our population and industries 
should be gathered together, they would find but little of 
purely selfish and personal interest in common ; and upon a 
superficial glance but little would be seen to denote that only 
one people was represented. Yet, in the spirit of our institu- 
tions, all these, so separated in station and personal interest, 
are a common brotherhood and are " our people "; all of equal 
value before the law ; all having, by their suffrage, the same 
voice in governmental affairs ; all demanding with equal force 
protection and defense; and all, in their persons and property, 
equally entitled to their government's scrupulous care. 

A A \/l A'A'.s'. /AT t 'J: J. 1: BR. 17V0A 1 25 


On Taking the Chair at the Celebration of the Organization oj 
the Supreme Court, February 4, [890. 

Ladies and Gentlemen : 

We arc accustomed to express, on every lii occasion, our rev- 
erence for the virtue ami patriotism in which the foundations 
of our republic were laid, and to rejoice in the blessings vouch- 
safed to us under free institutions. Thus we have lately cele- 
brated, with becoming enthusiasm, the centennial of the 
completion of our Constitution and the inauguration of our 
first President. 

To-day we have assembled to commemorate an event con- 
nected with our beginning as a people, which, more than any 
Other, gave safety and the promise of perpetuity to the Ameri- 
can plan of government, and which, more than any other, hap- 
pily illustrated the wisdom and enlightened foresight of those 
who designed our national structure 1 . 

In the work of creating our nation, the elements of a free 
government were supplied by concessions of sovereign States, 
by surrender of accustomed rights, and by the inspiration of 
pure and disinterested patriotism. If, from these elements, 
there had not been evolved that feature in our Federal sys- 
tem which is our theme to-day, the structure might have been 
fair to look upon and might have presented a semblance of 
solidity and strength ; but it would have been only a sem- 
blance ; and the completed edifice would have had within its 
foundations the infirmity of decay and ruin. 

It must be admitted that it is hardly within the power of 
human language so to compass diverse interests and claims, 
within the lines of a written constitution, as to free it entirely 
from disputes of construction ; and certainly diverse constitu- 
tions were apt to lurk in the diction of a constitution declared 
by the president of the convention which formulated it, to be 
"the result of a spirit of amity and of that mutual deference 


and concession which the peculiarity of our political situation 
rendered indispensable." 

It is fairly plain and palpable, both from reason and a re- 
view of events in our history, that without an arbiter to deter- 
mine, finally and conclusively, the rights and duties embraced 
in the language of the Constitution, the union of States and the 
life of the American nation must have been precarious and 
disappointing. Indeed, there could hardly have been a well- 
grounded hope that they would long survive the interpreta- 
tion of the national compact by every party upon whom it 
rested, and the insistence of each, to the last extremity, upon 
such an interpretation as would secure coveted rights and 
benefits, and absolve from irksome duties and obligations. 

In the creation of the world, the earth was without form 
and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep, until 
God said : " Let there be light, and there was light." 

In the creation of our new nation, our free institutions 
were without the form and symmetry of strength, and the 
darkness of hopelessness brooded over the aspirations of our 
people, until a light in the temple of Justice and Law, gath- 
ered from the Divine fountain of light, illumined the work of 
the fathers of our republic. 

On this centennial day we will devoutly thank Heaven for 
the revelation, to those who formed our government, of this 
source of strength and light, and for the inspiration of dis- 
interested patriotism and consecrated devotion which estab- 
lished the tribunal which we to-day commemorate. 

Our fathers had sacrificed much to be free. Above all 
things they desired freedom to be absolutely secured to them- 
selves and their posterity. And yet, with all their enthusiasm 
for this sentiment, they were willing to refer to the tribunal 
which they devised all questions arising under their newly 
formed Constitution, affecting the freedom and the protection 
and safety of the citizen. Though bitter experience had 
taught them that the instrumentalities of government might 
trespass upon freedom, and though they had learned in a hard 

/ VNIVE/iSAR Y CELEBR I I'h < \ ■ i -'7 

school the cosl ol the struggle to wre \ liberty from the grasp 
of power, they refused, in the solemn work they had in hand, 
to take counsel of undue tear or distracting perturbation ; and 
they calmly and deliberately established, as a function ol their 
government, a cluck upon unauthorized freedom and a re- 
straint upon dangerous liberty. Their attachment and alle- 
giance to the sovereignty of their States were warm and 
unfaltering ; but these did not prevent them from contributing 
a fraction of that sovereignty to the creation of a Court which 
should guard and protect their new nation, and save and per- 
petuate a government which should, in all time to come, bless 
an independent people. 

1 deem myself highly honored by the part assigned to me 
in these commemorative exercises. As in eloquent and fitting 
terms we shall be led, by those chosen to address us, to the 
contemplation of the history of that august tribunal organized 
one hundred years ago ; as the lives and services of those who 
in the past have presided over its councils are rehearsed to us ; 
as our love and veneration for our fellow-countrymen who now 
fill its high and sacred places are quickened ; and as we are 
reminded of the manner in which our national Court has at 
all times illustrated the strength and beneficence of free in- 
stitutions, let us be glad in the possession of this rich heritage 
of American citizenship, and gratefully appreciate the wisdom 
and patriotism of those who gave to us the Supreme Court of 
the United States. 


At the Celebration of tlie Se ' mi-Centennial of tlie German Young 
Men's Association, Buffalo, .]fay n, 189 1. 

Mr. President and Ladies \\i» Gentlemen: 

I am glad to meet here to-night so many old friends and ac- 
quaintances, and to join them in the felicitations which have 
called us together. At this moment I recall with perfect vivid- 


ness another evening nearly eight years ago, when, in a beautiful 
building standing on this spot and then jnst completed, we 
inaugurated with songs and rejoicing a grand national Sanger- 
fest. That was a proud day for Buffalo, and a prouder one still 
for our German fellow-townsmen, who then welcomed as their 
guests a large and notable assemblage from many States, rep- 
resenting their national love of music ; and, at the same time, 
were permitted to exhibit to their visitors, as a monument 
of the enterprise and activity of the German Young Men's 
Association, the grand and imposing Music Hall in which their 
festival of song was held. 

The disaster which soon after overtook the association, involv- 
ing the destruction of their splendid building, brought no dis- 
couragement to the members of the organization. To-night we 
meet in another and more magnificent Music Hall, built upon 
the ashes of the first, to celebrate the close of fifty years in the 
life of an association that exhibits to every observer the cour- 
age and determination which inevitably lead to usefulness and 

I shall not assume such a familiarity with the career of 
the association as would enable me to present in detail the 
results of its past efforts. In any event it would ill become me 
to enter upon this field, in view of the fact that the able and 
honorable gentleman now at the head of the association was 
also its first president, and for fifty years lias watched its prog- 
ress and been devoted to its interests. Surely there has seldom 
been an organization which numbered among its members, at 
the end of half a century, so competent a chronicler of its his- 
tory and achievements. 

I understand that among the prominent purposes of 
the German Young Men's Association are the propagation 
and promotion of a knowledge of German literature and 
the cultivation and encouragement of the best elements of 
( l-erman character. 

So far as the first of these objects is concerned, I hope I may 
be permitted to say that, while the efforts of the association in 

/ \ \ IVERSAR Y CELEBRA //< WS i 20 

the direction mentioned are tnos! praiseworthy and patriotic, 
such an undertaking can by no means be monopolized by any 
association. The value and importance ol German literature 

arc too keenly appreciated to be neglected in any part of the 
world, where there are those who seek to know the past tri- 
umphs of science, poetry, music, and art, or where there arc 
those who strive to keep pace with their present development 
and progress. It is not too much to say that all nations which 

make claim to high civilization encourage the study of German 

literature, ami that the extent to which this study is pursued 
by a people furnishes a standard of their enlightenment. 

( )n behalf of the American people, I am inclined, also, to 
claim to-night that the German character which the association 
undertakes to cultivate is so interwoven with all the growth and 
progress of our country that we have a right to include it 
among the factors which make up a sturdy and thrifty Ameri- 
canism. With our early settlers came the Germans. They 
suited themselves to every condition of our new world. Many 
of them fought for American independence, and many, who in 
the trade of war came to fight against us, afterward settled 
on our soil, and contributed greatly to the hardihood and 
stubborn endurance which our young nation so much needed. 

As years were added to the new republic, the tide of German 
immigration increased in volume. Those who thus came to 
us brought with them a love of liberty which readily assimi- 
lated them to our institutions, and their natural love of order 
made them good citizens. By their love of music and social 
enjoyments they shed a bright light upon the solemn and con- 
stant routine of American work, while, at the same time, they 
abundantly proved that reasonable recreation was entirely 
consistent with wholesome and conservative accumulation. 
They were found in every part of our land. Among the pio- 
neers of the far West, they struggled against discouragements 
and hardships— counteracting privation by frugality, and never 
for a moment losing sight of the better day promised by the 
future to undaunted courage and persistent industry. In our 


cities and towns they were found in the front ranks of success- 
ful business and trade ; and by the choice of their fellow- 
citizens they held public positions of trust and influence. 
Everywhere they illustrated the value and the sure reward of 
economy and steady work. 

Thus, before the American nation had lived one hundred 
years, our German population had grown to millions, and 
constituted an important ingredient in the mass of American 
activity. Then there came a time when the government of the 
country of their adoption was assaulted by rebellious hands ; 
and then our German fellow-citizens had presented to them an 
opportunity to prove the depth and breadth of their attachment 
to the land in which they lived and wrought, and to exhibit how 
completely they had become patriotic American citizens. They 
allowed not a moment for uncertainty, but flocked by thousands 
to the standard of the Union and bravely devoted themselves 
to its defense. In every battle the German soldiers fought with 
courage and persistence, and died with fortitude. This common 
baptism of blood, and this partnership in peril, brought closer 
together every element of our people, and made them all — 
more than ever and in every sense — Americans. This leads 
me to say that any opposing claims to ownership in the valuable 
traits of German character admit of a fair compromise. No 
one will begrudge the satisfaction to be derived from analyzing 
these elements and establishing their German origin ; and all 
will concede that the more they are cultivated the more our 
country will gain. But when all this is done, let us call these 
traits, so far as they are here exhibited, American. They have 
been with us since our beginning ; they have influenced every 
day of our country's life ; they are among the traits which our 
government was formed to foster, and they are essential to our 
country's safety and prosperity. 

I hardly think there is any city in the land that should ap- 
preciate the value of German population better than Buffalo. 
On every side, within your limits, are seen the evidences of the 
thrift of your German fellow-townsmen and monuments of 


their industry and enterprise. No one can dispute their con- 
tribution to your immense municipal growth, and you do well 
to recognize it in the selection of those charged with the ad- 
ministration of your city government. Even now there stands 
at its head, performing his duties acceptably to the entire 
community, one who has won his way to the confidence of hi i 
fellow-citizens solely by the German-American traits of hon- 
esty, industry, and economy. I know that he will forgive nie 
for saying that when I knew him first, not many years ago, he 
was occupying an honorable, but very 1 nun hie position, and gave 
no symptom of his present prominence. 1 will not dispute the 
right of anyone to call him a German ; but 1 claim the satis- 
faction of also calling this old friend of mine a first-rate 

In the light of the suggestions 1 have made, it is a pleasant 
thing to learn the significant fact that the membership of the 
German Young Men's Association is quite largely made up of 
those who have no title to German parentage or origin. 

I cannot resist the temptation to introduce here the thought 
that no such association can exist and escape a responsibility 
to our peopleand ourgovernment. Wherever our countrymen 
are gathered together with the professed purpose of mutual 
improvement, or in furtherance 6f any useful object, they ought 
to do something for their country. Its welfare and progress 
depend so clearly upon what the people are taught and what 
i hey think that patriotism should pervade their every endeavor 
in the direction of mental or social improvement. Our gov- 
ernment was made by the people ; and by the people it must 
be constantly watched and maintained. Like every other 
mechanism it requires guidance and care. Without this, like 
many another mechanism, it will not only fail to do its work, but 
it may injure and wound those who stand idly near. We cannot 
afford, in the heedless race for wealth, nor in the absorbing 
struggle for the promotion of selfish ends, to neglect, for a day, 
our duty to ourgovernment. 

So, as the members of the German Young Men's Association 


contemplate the steadfast love of country which belongs to the 
German character, let them enforce the lesson that this senti- 
ment is absolutely essential to the strength and vigor of Amer- 
ican institutions. If they find that German industry and 
frugality lead to national happiness and comfort, let them 
insist that these characteristics be rooted in our soil ; and if 
they find that the justice and equality which our free institutions 
promise, and which the Germans love, are withheld from them 
and the American people, let them demand from the govern- 
ment which they support a scrupulous redemption of its 

As this association crosses the threshold which lies midway 
in the first century of its existence, its members may well recall 
with pride and congratulation what it has thus far done for 
the promotion of a knowledge of German literature and the 
cultivation of German character ; and, as they enter upon the 
second half century of organized effort, they should be more 
than ever determined to pursue these purposes, not only 
because they may thus keep alive a fond remembrance of the 
Fatherland, but because they may thus, in a higher, better 
spirit, aid in the cultivation of those sentiments which purify 
and strengthen a genuine and patriotic Americanism, 

Ki farmers' organizations. 


. // the Oswegatchie Fair, Ogdensburg, A'. )'.. October 5, 1883 

Ladies and Gentlemen : 

When 1 received the invitation of the president of this fair 
to be with yon to-day, 1 could hardly see my way to accept, 
because I find that the duties of the office to which I have been 
called are of such a nature that I can scarcely do all that crowds 
upon me, with quite constant attention. But the more I con- 
sidered the question of visit mil; you, the stronger the desire be- 
came to accept the invitation. I remembered that 1 had never 
been here but once, many years ago, and then for only a night. 
I wanted to know more of the largest county in the State. I 
wanted to see your thriving and pleasant city. I thought of the 
opportunity I should have of seeing something of the kind ami 
quality of your products ; and, more than all, I wanted to see, 
and become better acquainted with, the people here, who, from 
lack of familiarity, seemed so far away. And then, too, 1 re- 
flected that I was the servant of the people of the State ; and 
inasmuch as they could not all come to see how their servants 
are doing their duty, it is no more than right that these serv- 
ants should occasionally go to their masters and report — or 
at least answer to their names. Thus I am here ; but I 1 ame 
upon the express condition that I shall not make 1 speech. 
And the little talk I may have here with my friends of St. 
Lawrence County I do not regard as either a speech or an 

1 have not come to you with any pretense of spei ial knowl- 


edge of the things which are here the subject of interest. I 
.mi obliged to confess that I am not a farmer, and know but 
little about it. My experience of a few weeks on a farm, when 
a boy, resulted in but little addition to my knowledge of agri- 
culture, and I am sure was of but little benefit to the proprie- 
tor of the cornfield in which I worked. I suppose, too, you 
have, from time to time, heard enough of transparent flattery, 
having for its text the nobility of those who till the soil and 
the simplicity which characterizes the greatness of a farming 
community. 1 am glad to meet you as fellow-citizens, all 
engaged in one way or another in developing the resources of 
a great State, and maintaining and adding to its high suprem- 
acy, as well as increasing your own wealth and comfort. 
The farm, furnished with fine and weil-kept buildings, is not 
only a proof of its owner's thrift and competency, but that 
much has been added to the wealth of the State. 

Broad fields, well tilled, not only secure comfort and an 
income to the farmer, but build up the commerce of the State 
and easily supply the wants of the population. None of these 
things result except by labor. This is the magic wand whose 
touch creates wealth and a great State. So all of us who work 
are, in our several ways, engaged in building to a higher reach 
and nobler proportions the fabric of a proud commonwealth. 
Those who make and execute the laws, join with those who 
toil from day to day with their hands in their several occu- 
pations, ail alike engaged in building up and protecting the 

The institution of fairs such as this must, it seems to me, have 
a wholesome and beneficial effect. In add it ion to the competi- 
tion engendered, which spurs to more effect and better methods, 
the opportunity is afforded to profit by the experience of 
others. Tin; State has shown an appreciation of the value of 
experiment in agriculture, by establishing and maintaining, at 
considerable expense, a farm for the express purpose of devis- 
ing and proving the value of new plans and operations in 
farming. The results are freely offered to all ; and thus the 


farmer may gain a knowledge oi methods which will render his 
labor more profitable without the risk of loss in time whi< h he 
himself might spend in experiment. 1 have no doubt thai th< 
soil of the State of New York is tilled well and intelligently. 
Ami still [ suppose much of our farming might be improved 
by .1 closer regard to successful experiment, and by learning 
the lessons of approved science as applied to agriculture. I 
do nol fear, however, that the farmers of New York will stop 
short of the highest excellence. The people of this State arc 
not given to that. 

While E, in this manner, urge you to claim from the soil all 
it has to yield, by the aid of intelligent efforts in its cultivat ii in, 
I cannot refrain from remindingyou 1 hat, as citizens, you have 
something else to do. You have the responsibility of citizen- 
ship upon yon, and you should sec to it that you do your duty 
to the State, not only by increasing its wealth by the cultiva- 
tion and improvement of the- soil, but by an intelligent selec 
tion of those who shall act for you in the enactment and exe- 
cution of your laws. Weeds and thistles, if allowed in your 
fields, defeat your toil and efforts. So abuses in the adminis- 
tration of your government lead lo the dishonor of your Stale. 
choke and thwart the wishes d the people, and waste tin 11 

I have heard it said that a farm or business never does bel 
ter than when it is managed by its owner. So it is with youi 
government. It accomplishes its purposes ami operates well 
only when it is managed l>v the people and for the people. Ii 
Was designed and constructed to be used in just this \\.'\ 
None of you would attempt to turn the soil of a field without 
putting a strong hand on the plow. A plow was constructed 
to be thus operated, and it can do its work in no other way. 
The machinery of the government will not do its work unless 
the strong, steady hands of the people are put upon it. This 
is* not done when the people say that politics is a disgraceful 
game, and should be left untouched by those having private 
concerns and business winch engages their attention. This 


neglect serves to give over the most important interests to 
those who care but little for their protection, and who are will- 
ing to betray their trust for their own advantage. 

Manifestly, in this matter, the people can only act through 
agents of their selection. But that selection should be freely 
and intelligently made by the careful exercise of their suffrages- 
I have said this duty should not be neglected. A careless or 
mistaken performance may be as fatal as neglect. All cannot 
personally know the applicants for office ; but, by careful in- 
quiry, their characters for fair dealing and honesty, and the 
manner in which they have fulfilled the ordinary duties of life, 
may be discovered as well as the ability they have shown in 
the management of their own affairs. Do their neighbors and 
those who know them well trust them, and are they willing to 
put in their hands important interests? Are their personal 
habits and their personal and private relations good, and pure, 
and clean ? 

I believe that, in the selection of those who shall act for the 
people in the government, no better rule can be adopted than 
the one suggested by these inquiries. If they are answered 
satisfactorily, the people will probably conclude that they have 
found the men they wish to put in public places, even though 
they lack a knowledge of the arts and wiles which tricksters 
use to deceive and mislead. 

Be diligent, then, in your business, and willing and anxious 
to improve and expand it. This you owe to yourselves, to 
your families, and to the public. Be also diligent and careful 
in the performance of your political duty. This you owe none 
the less to yourselves and to the State. With every obligation 
thus discharged, your welfare and prosperity will be secured, 
and you may congratulate yourselves uoon the honorable part 
you bear in the support and maintenance of a free and benefi- 
cent government. 


At the State Fair at HI mini, September 8, i 

It affords me great pleasure to meet you here to-day, and 
to have an opportunity of inspecting the annual exhibition 
which illustrates the condition of the agriculture of our State. 
I regard these annual fairs as something- connected with the 
State government, because, to some extent, at least, they are 
fostered and aided by public funds, and I am sure that no 
good citizen is inclined to complain of the appropriation of a 
small part of the people's money to the encouragement of this 
important interest. 

The fact that this is done furnishes a distinct recognition by 
the State of the valuable relation which the farmers and its 
farms bear to the prosperity and welfare of the common- 
wealth. We boast of our manufactures, exceeding, as they 
largely do, those of any other State; but our supremacy is 
clearly shown when we recall the fact that, in addition to our 
lead in manufactures, the value of our farms and their products 
is second only among the States. 

There is a fixedness and reliability in agricultural pursuits 
which is not always found in other branches of human effort. 
The soil remains in its place, ready to be tilled ; and the 
farmer, with ruddy health and brawny arm, depends alone 
up. 'ii the work of his hands ami a kind Providence for a re- 
ward of his labor. Thus our farmers are the most independ- 
ent of our citizens. They produce, or have within their 
reach, all they need for their necessities and for their comfort. 
Their crops may be more abundant at one harvest than at an- 
other, and their products may command a higher price at one 
market time than another. These conditions may expand or 
contract their ability to indulge in luxuries or in expenditures 
not absolutely needful, but they should never be in want of 
the necessities or comforts of life. 

This is the sure result of patienl and well-regulated farm- 
ing. When the farmer fails and becomes bankrupt inhisbusi- 


ness, we may, I think, confidently look for shiftlessness ; or a 
too ambitious desire to own more land or stock than he can 
pay for ; or an intermeddling with matters that bear no relation 
to his farm ; or such mismanagement and ignorance as demon- 
strate that he has mistaken his vocation. Fortunes may be 
quickly amassed in speculation and lost in a day, leaving a bad 
example and, perhaps, demoralization and crime. The trades- 
man or the manufacturer, by the vicissitudes of trade, or 
through the allurements of the short road to wealth, may in a 
day be overcome and bring disaster and ruin upon hundreds 
of his neighbors. But in the industrious, intelligent, and con- 
tented farmer the State finds a safe and profitable citizen, 
always contributing to its wealth and prosperity. The real 
value of the farmer to the State and nation is not, however, 
fully appreciated until we consider that he feeds the millions 
of our people who are engaged in other pursuits, and that 
the product of his labor fills the avenues of our commerce 
and supplies an important factor in our financial relations 
with other nations. 

I have not come here to attempt to please you with cheap 
and fulsome praise, nor to magnify your worth and your im- 
portance ; but I have come as the Chief Executive of the 
State to acknowledge on its own behalf that our farmers yield 
a full return for the benefits they receive from the State gov- 
ernment. I have come to remind you of the importance of the 
interests which you have in charge, and to suggest that, not- 
withstanding the farmer's independence, he cannot and must 
not be unmindful of the value and importance to the interests 
he holds of a just and economical government. It is his right 
and his duty to demand that all unjust and inequitable burdens 
upon agriculture and its products, however caused, should be 
removed, and that, while the furtherance of the other interests 
of the State have due regard, this important one should not be 
neglected. Thus, by his labor as fanner and in the full per- 
formance of his duty as citizen, he will create and secure to 
himself his share of the result of his toil and save and guard 


for all the people a must, importanl element in the prosperity of 
the State. 


At {hi- Virginia State Fair, Richmond, October 12, 1886. 

Fellow-Citizens <>k Virgin] \ : 

While 1 thank you most sincerely for your kind reception 
and recognize in its heartiness the hospitality for which the 
people of Virginia have always been distinguished, I am fully 
aware that your demonstration of welcome is tendered not to 
an individual, but to an incumbent of an office which crowns 
the government of the United States. The State of Virginia, 
the Mother of Presidents, seven of whose sons have filled that 
high office, to-day greets a President who tor the first time 
meets Virginians upon Virginia soil. 

I congratulate myself that my first introduction to the peo- 
ple of Virginia occurs at a time when they are surrounded by 
the exhibits of the productiveness and prosperity of their 
State. Whatever there may be in honor in her history, and 
however much of pride there may be in her traditions, her 
true greatness is here exemplified. In our sisterhood of 
States the leading and most commanding place must be gained 
and kept by that commonwealth which, by the labor and in- 
telligence of her citizens, can produce the most of those things 
which meet the necessities and desires of mankind. 

But the full advantage of that which may be yielded to a 
State by the toil and ingenuity of her people is not measured 
alone by the money value of the products. The efforts ami 
the struggles of her farmers and her artisans not only create 
new values in the field of agriculture and in the arts and man- 
ufactures, but they, at the same time, produce rugged, self-re- 
liant, and independent men. and cultivate that product which, 
more than all others, ennobles a State — a patriotic, earnest 
American citizenship. 

This will flourish in every part of the American domain. 


Neither drought nor rain can injure it, for it takes root in true 
hearts, enriched by love of country. There are no new varie- 
ties in this production. It must be the same wherever seen, 
and its quality is neither sound nor genuine unless it grows to 
deck and beautify an entire and united nation, nor unless it 
supports and sustains the institutions and the government 
founded to protect American liberty and happiness. 

The present administration of the government is pledged to 
return for such husbandry not only promises, but actual 
tenders of fairness and justice, with equal protection and a 
full participation in national achievements. If, in the past, we 
have been estranged and the cultivation of American citizen- 
ship has been interrupted, your enthusiastic welcome of to-day 
demonstrates that there is an end to such estrangement, and 
that the time of suspicion and fear is succeeded by an era of 
faith and confidence. 

In such a kindly atmosphere and beneath such cheering 
skies I greet the people of Virginia as co-laborers in the field 
where grows the love of our united country. 

God grant that in the years to come Virginia — the Old 
Dominion, the Mother of Presidents, she who looked on the 
nation at its birth — may not only increase her trophies of 
growth in agriculture and manufactures, but that she may be 
among the first of all the States in the cultivation of true 
American citizenship. 


To the annual Grange Picnic of Pennsylvania. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 27, 1888. 
Dear Sir : 

I hope I need not assure you that I should very much enjoy 
meeting the large representation of fanners who will gather at 
Williams ('.rove tomorrow. I shall not plead confinement 


here by official business as my excuse for declining the cour- 
teous invitation 1 have received to be present at the picnic, 
but shall frankly say to you that the opportunity, long contem- 
plated, to enjoy two or three days of rest and recreation unex- 
pectedly presents itself in such a manner that, if I avail myself 
of it, 1 must, therefore, forego the pleasure of visiting \\ illiams 
('■rove. 1 am sure that L am not calculating too much upon 
the kindness and consideration of those managing the picnic 
when 1 believe they will be content with my non-uttciidauer, it 
1 .mi enabled thereby to improve the opportunity I am offered 
to enjoy a much needed rest and freedom from official care 

1 have heard of the character of your exhibition; and the large 
congregation of farmers and others interested in subjects re- 
lating to farming which are there brought together, the ex- 
hibits, the discussion, and the comparison of views which 
necessarily are the accompaniment of such a meeting, cannot 
fail to be of the utmost use to those directly interested; and 
what is useful to them is useful to all our people. 

The reflection is an interesting and consoling one I hat in 
the midst of political turmoil, in the feverish anxiety of the 
marts of trade, and in the rush and hurry of financial opera- 
tions, our agriculturists pursue the even tenor of their way at 
all times, furnishing the most stable support of our country's 
prosperity, and quietly supplying the most reliable source of 
our greatness and strength. When our farmers arc: prosperous 
and contented, the welfare and advancement of the nation arc- 

Hoping that the picnic of iSSS will exceed all prior ones in 
the enjoyments and benefits accorded to those in attendance, 
I am, 

Yours very truly, 




To a Steubenville (O.) Lodge of the Farmers' Alliance. 

New York, March 24, 1890. 
J. A. Hill, Esq., Corresponding Secretary, etc. 

Dear Sir : I have received your letter, accompanied by 
a copy of the declaration of principles of the Farmers' Al- 

I see nothing in this declaration that cannot be fully indorsed 
by any man who loves his country, who believes that the ob- 
ject of our government should be the freedom, prosperity, and 
happiness of all our people, and who believes that justice 
and fairness to all are necessary conditions to its useful ad- 

It has always seemed to me that the farmers of the country 
were especially interested in an equitable adjustment of our 
tariff system. The indifference they have shown to that ques- 
tion, and the ease with which they have been led away from 
a sober consideration of their needs and their rights as related 
to this subject, have excited my surprise. 

Struggle as they may, our farmers must continue to be 
purchasers and consumers of numberless things enhanced in 
cost by tariff regulations. Surely they have the right to insist 
that this cost shall not be increased for the purpose of collect- 
ing unnecessary revenue or to give undue advantage to domes- 
tic manufactures. The plea that our infant industries need 
the protection which thus impoverishes the farmer and con- 
sumer is, in view of our natural advantages and the skill and 
ingenuity of our people, a hollow pretext. 

Struggle as they may, our farmers cannot escape the condi- 
tions which fix the price of what they produce and sell, ac- 
cording to the rates which prevail in foreign markets flooded 
with the competition of countries enjoying freer exchange of 
trade than we. The plausible presentation of the blessings 
of a home market should not deceive our depressed and 
impoverished agriculturists. There is no home market for 


them winch does not take its instructions from the seaboard, 
ami the seaboard transmits the word of the foreign markets. 
Because my conviction thai there should be a modifica- 
tion of our tariff laws arose principally from an apprecia- 
tion of the wants of the vast army of consumers, compris- 
ing our tanners, our artisans, and our workingmen, and 
because their condition has led me to protest against present 
impositions, 1 am especially glad to see these sections of 
my fellow-countrymen arousing themselves to the impor- 
tance of tariff reform. 

Yours very truly, 




At the Commercial Exchange, Philadelphia, September 16, 1887. 

I am glad I have an opportunity to meet so large a repre- 
sentation of the business men of Philadelphia. It is well 
that we should not entirely forget, in the midst of our centen- 
nial jubilee, that the aim and purpose of good government 
tend, after all, to the advancement of the material interests of 
the people and the increase of their trade and commerce. The 
thought has sometimes occurred to me that, in the hurry and 
rush of business, there might well be infused a little more 
patriotism than we are wont to see, and a little more recogni- 
tion of the fact that a wholesome political sentiment is closely 
related not only to the general good, but to the general suc- 
cess of business. Of course, our citizens engaged in business 
are quick to seethe bearings of any policy which the govern- 
ment may adopt, as it affects their personal success and their __ 
accumulation. Put I would like to see that broad and patriotic 
sentiment among them which can see beyond their peculiar 
personal interests, and which can recognize that the advance- 
ment of the entire country is an object for which they may 
well strive, even sometimes to the diminution of their con- 
stantly increasing profits. 

Must we always look for the political opinions of our busi- 
ness men precisely where they suppose their immediate pe- 
cuniary advantage is found ? I know how vain it is to hope for 
the eradication of a selfish motive in all the affairs of life ; but 
I am reminded that we celebrate, to-day, the triumph of 



patriotism over selfishness. Will anyone say that the i on< 
sions of the Constitution were not well made, or thai we arc 
not to day m the full enjoyment of the blessings resulting 
from a due regard for all the conflicting interests represented 
by the different Stales which were united a hundred years 
ago ? 

I believe the complete benefits promised to the people by 
our form of government can only be secured by an exercise of 
the same spirit of toleration for each Other's rights .uid in- 
terests in which it had its birth. This spirit will prevail when 
the business men of the country cultivate political though! ; 
when they cease to eschew participation in political action; 
and when such thought and action are guided by better 
motives than purely selfish and exclusive benefit. 

1 am of the opinion that there is no place in the country 
where such a condition can be so properly and successfully 
maintained as here, among the enlightened and enterprising 
business men of Philadelphia. 


Before the Milwaukee Merchants 1 Association^ October 7, 1887. 

I feel like thanking you for remembering on this occasion 
the President of the United States ; for I am sure you but in- 
tend a respectful recognition of the dignity and importance of 
the high office I, for the time being, hold in trust for you and 
for the American people. 

It is a high office, because it represents the sovereignty of 
a free and mighty people. It is full of solemn responsibility 
and duty, because it embodies, in a greater degree than any 
other office on earth, the suffrage and the trust of such a 
people. As an American citizen, chosen from the mass of his 
fellow-countrymen to assume for a time this responsibility and 
this duty, 1 acknowledge with patriotic satisfaction your 
tribute to the office which belongs to us all. 


And because it belongs to all the people the obligation is 
manifest on their part to maintain a constant and continuous 
watchfulness and interest concerning its care and operation. 
Their duty is not entirely done when they have exercised their 
suffrage and indicated their choice of the incumbent. Nor is 
their duty performed by settling down to bitter, malignant, and 
senseless abuse of all that is done or attempted to be done by 
the incumbent selected. The acts of an administration should 
not be approved as a matter of course, and for no better 
reason than that it represents a political party ; but more un- 
patriotic than all others are those who, having neither party 
discontent nor fair ground of criticism to excuse or justify 
their conduct, rail because of personal disappointment ; who 
misrepresent for sensational purposes, and who profess to see 
swift destruction in the rejection of their plans for govern- 
mental management. 

After all, we need have no fear that the American people 
will permit this high office of President to suffer. There is a 
patriotic sentiment abroad which, in the midst of all party 
feeling and of party disappointment, will assert itself and will 
insist that the office which stands for the people's will shall, 
in all its vigor, minister to their prosperity and welfare. 


To the New York Chamber of Commerce. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 4, 1S87. 

Mkssrs. Henry Hentz, Charles Watrous, and others, 
Committee : 

Gentlemen : 1 have received your invitation to attend the 
annual banquet of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of 
New York on the evening of the 15th instant. It would cer- 
tainly give me great pleasure to be present on that occasion 


TO C0MMERC1 U I \ D BUS1 \ . JS tSSOC/A fOA l l, 

.Hid meel those who, to a great extent, have in charge the im- 
portant business interests represented in your association. I 
am sure, too, that 1 .should derive profit as well as pleasure 
from such a meeting. 

Those charged by the people with the management ol their 
government cannot fail to enhance their usefulness l>v a famil- 
iarity with business conditions and intimacy with business 
men, since good government has no more important mission 
than the stimulation and protection of the activities of the 

This relation between governments and business sugg< 
the thought that the members of such associations as yours 

owe to themselves and to all the people of the land a thought- 
ful discharge of their political obligations, guided by their 
practical knowledge of affairs, to the end that there may be 
impressed upon the administration of our government a busi- 
ness character and tendency free from the diversion of passion, 
and unmoved by sudden gusts of excitement. 

But the most wholesome purpose <>f their political action 
will not be accomplished by an insistence upon their exclusive 
claims and selfish benefits, regardless of the welfare of the 
people at large. Interdependence is so thoroughly an element 
in our national existence that a patriotic and generous heed to 
the general good sense will best subserve even- particular 

1 regret that my official duties and engagements prevent the 
acceptance of your courteous invitation, and, expressing the 
hope that the banquet may be a most enjoyable and interesting 
occasion to those present, 
1 am, 

Very truly yours, 

G rover Cleveland. 




Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen: 

When I see about me this gathering of business men and 
merchants, I find it impossible to rid myself of the impressive 
thought that here is represented that factor in civilized life 
which measures the progress of a people, which constitutes the 
chief care of every enlightened government, and which gives 
to a country the privilege of recognized membership in the 
community of nations. 

( )ur business men cannot, if they would, escape the responsi- 
bility which this condition 'casts upon them — a responsibility 
most exacting and invested with the seriousness which always 
results from a just apprehension of man's relation to his fellow- 
man and the obligation due from a citizen to his government. 
They can find no pretext for indifference in the self-complacent 
claim that under American institutions, as in other times and in 
foreign lands, business men and merchants have only gained a 
recognition of their importance and value as it has been forced 
from a government in which they had no representation and 
from rulers who looked upon their vocation with contempt. 
They cannot absolve themselves from loyal duty to a govern- 
ment which has, at all times, invited them to a high place in 
public counsels and which has always ungrudgingly conceded 
their indispensable value in the growth and progress of our 

These considerations plainly point out your responsibi .ity 
ami duty as members of the guild of business and as belonging 
to the fellowship of trade. 

But we cannot avoid other reflections leading in the same 
direction and related to you alone — the business men of Boston, 
rhe scene of your activity is tin- commercial center of a great 

: An address delivered at the banquet of the Merchants' Association of 
Boston, December 12, 1889. 


and ancient commonwealth, rich in patriotic traditions. It 
was upon the waters of your harbor that the first active and 
physical defiance and opposition were made to odious and un- 
fair imperial legislation affecting colonial trade; and the first 
battle by Americans for liberty of the person, and for freedom 
from unjust and oppressive restraint upon business, was fought 
within sight of your warehouses. 

You have, besides, inherited a trust which shades with sober 
sentiment your obligation to your country and your fellow- 
citizens. With the birth of American trade there arose on the 
spot merchants of strong sense and enlightened enterprise, chiefs 
among their fellows, independent and self-reliant, willing to 
chance their success upon their own effort and foresight, inflex- 
ibly honest and intensely jealous of their commercial honor. 
Upon your wharves and in your counting rooms they wrought 
out their well-earned fortunes. Their ships were found in 
every ocean-path, and they made their country known in the 
trade transactions of the world. Abroad they gained willing 
confidence and credit by their commercial integrity and pro- 
bity, and at home they were the pride of their countrymen. 

These were the old boston merchants. You, their business 
heirs and successors, will pardon me if I remind you to-night 
that the commanding influence of these men did not rest upon 
immense fortunes, made in a day ; but resulted from their well- 
known honor and scrupulous good faith, which led them to con- 
cede to all even the uttermost fraction of right. Nor did they 
forget their duties of citizenship. They jealously watchedthe 
operations of their government, and exacted from it only 
economy and honesty and a just measure of care and security for 
themselves and the interests they had in charge. 

The boston merchant of to-day has not less integrity and 
virtue than his predecessor ; but surely we are not called 
upon, by the fear of controversy, to i lose our eyes to the fact 
that his environment is vastly different. There is among our 
people less of meaning embodied in the sentiment that the 
government upon which we have Staked all our hopes and .is- 


15° 7 ( 'OMMl A't 7. 1 1. . WD B ( T SINESS A SSOC/A T/OATS. 

pirations, requires, for its successful maintenance, a patriotic re- 
gard for the aggregate of the happiness and prosperity of all 
our people and a willing consent to a fair distribution of the 
benefits of our free institutions. 

Equal rights and impartial justice are stipulations of the 
compact we have entered into with each other as American 
citizens ; and so nicely adjusted is this plan of our political 
association, that favoritism for the sole advantage of any sec- 
tion of our membership inevitably results in an encroachment 
upon the benefits justly due to others. But these things sit so 
lightly upon the consciences of many that a spirit of selfish- 
ness is abroad in the land, which has bred the habit of clamor- 
ous importunity for government aid in behalf of special inter- 
ests — imperfectly disguised under the cloak of solicitude for 
the public good. 

Can we see no contrast between the sturdy self-reliance of 
the Boston merchant in the days that are past, and the attitude 
you are invited to assume as dependents upon the favor of the 
government and beneficiaries under its taxing power ? Is there 
not a difference between the ideas that formerly prevailed con- 
cerning the just and wholesome relations which should exist 
between the government and the business of the country, ami 
the present tendency toward a government partnership in 
trade ? And was there a hint in former days that especial ad- 
vantages thus once secured, constituted a vested right which in 
no event should in the least be disturbed ? 

Political selfishness cheapens in the minds of the people 
their apprehension of the character and functions of the govern- 
ment ; it distorts every conception of the duty of good citizen- 
ship, and creates an atmosphere in which iniquitous, purposes 
and designs lose their odious features. It begins when a per- 
verted judgment is won to the theory that political action may 
be used solely for private gain and advantage, and when a ten- 
der conscience is quieted by the ingenious argument that such 
gain and advantage are identical with the public welfare. 
This stage having been reached, and self-interest being now 


fully aroused, agencies are used and prai tices permitted in the 
accomplishment of its purposes, which, seen in the pure light 
of disinterested patriotism, are viewed with fear and hatred. 
The independent thought, and free political preference 
those whom Fate lias made dependent upon daily toil for hard- 
earned bread, are strangled and destroyed by intimidation and 
the fear of loss of employment. Vile, unsavory forms rise to 
the surface of our agitated political waters, and gleefully an- 
ticipate, in the anxiety of selfish interest, their Opportunity to 
fatten upon corruption and debauched suffraj 

This train of though! leads us to consider the imminent dan- 
ger which threatens us from the intimidation and corruption of 
our voters. 

It is too late to temporize with these' evils, or to speak of them 
otherwise than in the plainest terms. We are Spared the labor 
of proving their existence, for all admit it. That they art; 
terribly on the increase all must concede. 

Manifestly, if the motives of all our citizens were unselfish 
and patriotic, ami if they sought in political action only their 
share of the advantage accruing from the advance of our coun- 
try at all points toward her grand destiny, there would be no 
place or occasion for the perversion of our suffrage. Thus 
the inauguration of the intimidation and corruption of our 
voters may be justly charged to selfish schemes seeking sua ess 
through political action. But these evils have been neglected 
by honest men, disgusted with all political endeavor ; they 
have been tolerated by respectable men who, in weakness of 
patriotic sentiment, have regarded them as only phases of 
shrewd political management, and they have been actually en- 
couraged by the honors which have, been bestowed upon those 
who boast of their use of such agencies in aid of party su- 

Many of us, therefore, may take to ourselves a share of blame, 
when we find confronting us these perils which threaten the 
existence of our free institutions, the preservation of our na- 
tional honor, and the perpetuity of our country. The condition 


annexed to the founding of our government upon the suffrage 
of the people was that the suffrage should be free and pure. 
We consented to abide by the honest preponderance of politi- 
cal opinion, but we did not consent that a free vote, expressing 
the intelligent and thoughtful sentiment of the voter, should 
be balanced by a vote of intimidation and fear, or by an un- 
clean, corrupt vote disgracefully bought and treacherously 

Let us look with a degree of pity and charity upon those who 
yield to fear and intimidation in the exercise of their right of 
suffrage. Though they ought not thus to yield, we cannot for- 
get that, as against their free ballot, they see in the scale their 
continued employment, the comforts of their homes, and the 
maintenance of their families. We need not stifle our scorn 
and contempt for the wretch who basely sells his vote, and 
who for a bribe betrays his trust of citizenship. And yet the 
thought will intrude itself that he but follows, in a low and 
vulgar fashion, the example of those who proceed upon the 
theory that political action may be turned to private gain. 

But whether we pity or whether we hate, our betrayal is none 
the less complete ; nor will either pity or hate restore our birth- 
right. But we know that when political selfishness is destroyed 
our dangers will disappear ; and though the way to its strong- 
hold may be long and weary, we will follow it — fighting as we 
go. There will be no surrender, nor will there be desertions 
from our ranks. Selfishness and corruption have not yet 
achieved a lasting triumph, and their bold defiance will but 
hasten the day of their destruction. 

As we struggle on, and confidently invite a direct conflict 
with these intrenched foes of our political safety, we have not 
failed to see another hope, which has manifested itself to all 
the honest people of the land. It teaches them that though 
they may not immediately destroy at their source the evils 
which afflict them, they may check their malign influence and 
guard themselves againsl their baneful results, it assures 
them, that, if political virtue and rectitude cannot at once be 


thoroughly restored to the republic, the activity of baser ele- 
ments may be discouraged. It inspires them with vigilant 
watchfulness and a determination to prevent as far as possible 

their treacherous betrayal by those who are false to their obli- 
gal ions of citizenship. 

This hope, risen like the Star in the East, lias fixed the gaze 
of our patriotic fellow-countrymen ; and everywhere — in our 
busy marts of trade and on our farms, in our cities and in our 
villages, in the dwellings of the rich and in the homes of the 
po<M-, in our universities ami in our workshops, in our bank- 
ing houses and in the ranks of inexorable toil— they greet 
with enthusiastic acclaim the advent of ballot reform. 

There are no leaders in this cause. Those who seem to 
lead the^Tiovement are but swept to the front by the surging 
force of patriotic sentiment. It rises far above partisanship ; 
and only the heedless, the sordid, and the depraved refuse to 
join in the crusade. 

This reform is predicated upon the cool deliberation of polit- 
ical selfishness in its endeavor to prostitute our suffrage to the 
purposes of private gain. It is rightly supposed that corrup- 
tion of the voter is entered upon with such business calculation 
that the corrupter will only pay a bribe when he has ocular 
proof that the suffrage he has bargained for is cast in his 
interest. So, too, it is reasonably expected that if the employee 
or laborer is at the time of casting his ballot removed from 
the immediate control of his employer, the futility of fear and 
intimidation will lead to their abandonment. 

The change demanded by this reform m the formalities sur- 
rounding the exercise of the privilege of suffrage has given 
rise to real or pretended solicitude for the rights of our voters ; 
and the fear has been expressed that inability on the part of 
electors to conform to the requirements of the proposed change 
might produce great inconvenience-, and in some cases result in 
disfranchisement. It has even been suggested that the inau- 
guration of the new plan might encroach upon constitutional 


It will not do to accuse of hostility to the reform all those 
who present these objections ; but it is not amiss to inspect 
their ranks for enemies in disguise. Though the emergency 
which is upon us is full of danger, and though we sadly need 
relief, all rights should be scrupulously preserved. But there 
should be no shuffling, and no frivolous objections should be 
tolerated. When a dwelling is in flames we use no set phrase 
of speech to warn its inmates, and no polite and courtly touch 
to effect their rescue. Experience has often demonstrated 
how quickly obstacles, which seemed plausible if not convinc- 
ing when urged against a measure of reform, are dissipated by 
the test of trial, and how readily a new order of things adjusts 
itself to successful use. 

I remember the inauguration of another reform ; and I have 
seen it grow and extend, until it has become firmly established 
in our laws and practice. It is to-day our greatest safeguard 
against the complete and disgraceful degradation of our public 
service. It had its enemies, and all of them are not yet silenced. 
Those openly and secretly unfriendly said in the beginning 
that the scheme was impracticable and unnecessary ; that it 
created an office-holding class ; that it established burdensome 
and delusive tests for entry in the public service which should 
be open to all ; that it put in the place of real merit and effi- 
ciency, scholastic acquirements ; that it limited the discretion 
of those charged with the selection of public employees, and 
that it was unconstitutional. But its victory came, — wrought 
by the force of enlightened public sentiment, — and upon its 
trial every objection which had been urged against it was com- 
pletely discredited. 

As it has been with civil service reform, so will it be with 
ballot reform, except that the coming victory will be more 
speedily achieved and. will be more complete. 

And as the grand old State of Massachusetts was foremost 
to adopt and demonstrate the practicability and usefulness of 
civil service reform, so has she been first to adopt a thorough 
scheme of ballot reform and to prove in practice its value and 


the invalidity of the objections made against it. We thank 
Massachusetts to night for all that she has done for these 
forms ; and we of New York hope that our Empire State will 
soon be keeping step with her sister States in the enforcement 
of an effective and honest measure of ballol reform. 

In conclusion let me say that good men have no cause for 
discouragement. Though there are dangers which threaten 
Our welfare and safety, the virtue and patriotism of the Ameri- 
can people are not lost, and we shall find them sufficient for 
us. If in too greal confidence they slumber, the) will not 
always sleep. Let them but be aroused from lethargy and in- 
difference by the consciousness of peril, and they will burst 
the bonds of political selfishness, revive their political freedom, 
and restore the purity of their suffrage. 

Thus will they discharge the sacred trust committed to their 
keeping ; thus will they still proudly present to the world proof 
of the value of free institutions ; thus will they demonstrate 
the strength and perpetuity of a government by the people ; 
thus will they establish American patriotism throughout the 
length and breadth of our land ; and thus will they preserve 
for themselves ami for posterity their God-given inheritance of 
freedom and justice and peace and happiness. 


At the New York Chamber of Commerce Banquet, November 

19, 1SS9. 

As I speak of the honorary members of the Chamber of 
Commerce, I shall, first of all, avail myself of the opportunity 
here afforded to express my thanks for the action of that body 
which placed my name upon its roll of honor. It is a source 
of great gratification to me to be thus related, though only nomi- 
nally, to the vast business interests which this organization 
has in its charge and keeping, and I think and trust that 1 


do not in the least underestimate the improvement and benefit 
which may result to me from such relationship. 

The business of a country is its life blood ; and all who are 
directly or indirectly connected with it, who are acquainted 
with its operations and are able to discern the manner in 
which it may be benefited or injured, and the causes which 
affect it, should be, for these reasons, better able to perform 
well their duties as citizens. 

Good government is the object of every patriotic aspiration 
of our people. But good government is so unlike a thing to 
be gained by dreaming of it, and is something so practical and 
palpable, that it is best judged by business tests ; and thus the 
condition of the business of a country is properly considered a 
reliable indicator of the nature of its government and the 
manner in which such government is administered. 

Of course, the conception of business here intended must 
not be confused with the selfish scurry and sordid clutching 
after wealth which we see about us every day — heedless of the 
rights of others and utterly regardless of any obligation to aid 
in the nation's growth and greatness. This is not the busi- 
ness of a country ; nor should the narrow and circumscribed 
success of such endeavor be recognized as evidence of a benefi- 
cent government or of wholesome laws. The active, strong 
impulse which, starting from important centers, steadily per- 
meates the entire land, giving to our tradesmen, everywhere, 
health) prosperity, to our toilers remunerative labor, and to 
our homes comfort and contentment, constitute phases of the 
business of our country which we love to recognize as proofs 
of the value of our free institutions and demonstrations of the 
benign operation of just legislation. But when these factors 
of general thrift and happiness are wanting, we may well fear 
I hat we ar-e not in the enjoyment of all the blessings of good 

Since business, properly defined, is thus closely related to 
government, it plainly follows that, if those intrusted with pub- 
lic affairs were more identified with men like those forming 

TO COM \h ,v« / // AND Bl S/A ES '57 

the active membership of this Chambei ol Commerce, and 
were bettei informed concerning the interests which su< h men 
represent, the country would be the gainer. I do not hesitate 
to say thai we should have more business men in our national 
legislature. If this should be conceded, and the question of 
reaching that result is presented, but two modes can be sug- 
gested either to make business men of those elected or 
i hoose business men in the first instance. The latter plan is 
manifestly the best, and, indeed, the only practical one. 

1 must confess that, fresh from public employment, as I look 
about me here, I feel like a good judge of valuable material, 
when he sees it in abundance unused and going to waste be- 
fore his eyes. It is well tor you to be conversant with markets, 
and you are obliged to study them. But it is undeniable that 
the laws of your country and their execution are SO related to 
markets that they, too, are worthy of your attention. I know 
that participation in the public service would involve an inter- 
ruption of your ordinary vocations, but is it not your duty to 
sull'er this for the .sake of the good you can accomplish ? Nor 
is the subject devoid of an inducement based upon self-interest, 
for you must agree with me that business men upon Congres- 
sional committees, or upon the floor of Congress, could accom- 
plish much more in the direction of their own protection than 
by periodically seeking admission to committee rooms, or 
awaiting the convenience of legislators who need their in- 

I cannot be mistaken when I say that some dangers which 
beset our political life might be avoided or safely met it" our 
business men would more actively share in public all airs, and 
that nothing would better befit the character and object of 
your organization than a practical movement in this direction. 

f hasten now to say that I have not forgotten the topic with 
which I started, f am embarrassed in treating of it because, 
in theory, the honorary members are those who have rendered 
useful public service. As the last and least of these members 
1 feel that I can do little more than acknowledge my grati- 


tude for the privilege of being counted with the grand men 
win isc names stand above me on the roll — the living and the 

There has been much discussion lately concerning the dis- 
position which should be made of our ex-Presidents, and many 
plans have been suggested for putting us out of the way. I 
am sure we are very sorry to make so much trouble, but I do 
hope that, whatever conclusion may be reached, the recom- 
mendation of a Kentucky newspaper editor, to take us out and 
shoot us, will not be adopted. Prior to the 4th day of last 
March I did not appreciate as well as I do now the objections 
to this proceeding, but I have had time to reflect upon the 
subject since and 1 find excellent reasons for opposing this 

If I should be allowed to express myself upon this question 
I would suggest that the best way to deal with your trouble- 
some ex-Presidents is to let them alone and give them the 
same chance to earn an honest living that other people have. 
And if for any reason you desire to honor them, it cannot be 
done better than by putting their names upon the roll of honor- 
ary membership of the New York Chamber of Commerce. 


// the Piano and Organ Manufacturers' Banquet, New York, 
. Ipril 24, 1890. 

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen : 

The words of the toast to which I am to respond may just 
at this time appear to have a somewhat threatening sound. 
In the midst of unusual thought and discussion among our 
fellow-citizens upon economic subjects, the phrase " our 
American industries " is very commonly used ; and the 
furtherance of these industries is claimed to be the patriotic 
purpose of those in both political parties who lead in such 
thought and discussion. 

TO < OM \f/ R[ I \ I I \ /> B( i 770 \ S 159 

Thus it happens that the announcement ol "Our American 
Industries," as a topic "I discourse, has almost come to be a 
signal for combat between those not at all loath to ilv at each 
other in wordy warfare over the subject of t.uiii reform. 
Bui ii there are any persons here who now feel an inclination 
in gird up their loins for the tray, I hasten to assure- them 
that, though 1 have been suspected of having some opinions 
on that question, 1 am sure that at this particular time the 
toast I have in charge is not loaded, and that there will be no 

And vet, while 1 think 1 can keep the peace- and mention 
my subject without any warlike sensation, 1 cannot avoid 
feeling the weight and impediment of another difficulty, which 
is calculated to appall and discourage me. This is the vast- 
ness of my subject. It embraces the toil of the pioneer in the 
far West, the most delicate operations of manufacture, the 
most pronounced triumphs of art, and the most startling re- 
sults of inventive genius. 

I low can 1 compass these things within the limits allotted to 
me on this occasion, and where shall I begin, as I stand 
before this assemblage of American citizens and am con- 
fronted with the ideas which "Our American Industries " sug- 
gests ? 

I can do little more than to speak of the present condition 
of these industries as indicating the greatest and swiftest 
national growth and advancement the world has ever seen. 
We have only one hundred years of history ; but in all that 
time American ingenuity and investigation have been active 
and restless. We have begrudged to Nature everything she 
seeks to hide, and have laid in wait to learn the secret of her 
processes. We have not believed that the greatest advance 
yet reached in mechanical skill and art has exhausted Ameri- 
can invention, and when other nations have started fust in 
any field of progress, we have resolutely given chase and 
struggled for the lead. 

We now invite the old nations of Europe to see our steam 


plows turning furrows in wheatfields as large as some of their 
principalities. We astonish them with the number and the 
length of our railroads, and the volume and speed of our 
transportation. With odds against us, for which American 
skill and industry are in no wise to blame, we force our prod- 
ucts and manufactures into their markets. Our Edison 
lighted the Eiffel Tower, and by his display of the wonders 
of electricity lent success to the American exhibits at the 
Paris Exposition. 

It appears that some of our industries suit the people of 
foreign lands so well that they desire to own them ; and daily 
we hear of English syndicates purchasing our manufacturing 
establishments. Our people seem to endure this raid upon them 
with wonderful complacency, though we cannot forget that, 
less than two years ago, they were very solemnly warned 
against the dangers and seductions of British gold. 

1 hope 1 am not too late in expressing my thanks for the 
privilege of meeting on this occasion an assemblage represent- 
ing one of our industries which, so far as I know, is not in- 
fected by the wholesale influence of British gold, and which 
embraces only such manufactures as are honestly and fairly 

This means a great deal ; ami 1 do not envy the American 
citizen who has no pride in what you have accomplished. 
Of course, we do not forget that many who have contributed 
to our glory in this direction bear names which betray their 
foreign lineage. But we claim them all as Americans ; and 
1 believe that you will, in the enthusiasm and vigor of true 
American sentiment and independence, stubbornly hold the 
place which has been won by you and others of your guild, 
under the banner of "A fair field and no favor." 

I have within the last few days received as a gift — perhaps 
suggested by my contemplated presem e here — a book entitled 
"A History of the American Pianoforte," which 1 shall read 
with much intrust. 

In glancing through it my eye fell upon a passage which 


arrested my attention, as furnishing a slight set-off against the 
indebtedness we owe to those of foreign birth among our 

piano and organ manufacturers. I know you will permit me 
to quote it, as evidence of the share our free institutions may 
claim in the success of your industry. The writer, claiming 
priority for the United States for sonic particular things done 
in the progress of piano manufacturing by two certain makers, 
who, though manufacturing in this country, were, as he says, 
"originally Britons, one English and the other evidently 
Scotch," clinches the argument in our favor, as follows : 

Notwithstanding this circumstance, America is entitled to the honor of 
the achievements pointed out, because it is a well demonstrated fact, 
although, perhaps, a subtlety, that the social and governmental institutions of 
this country, in so far as they promote mental freedom, have a Stimulating 
and immediate influence upon the inventive faculties of persons brought up 
in Europe and settling here. 

I cannot forbear, in conclusion, a reference to the manner 
in which your busy manufactories and the salesrooms of your 
wares are related to the love and joy and hopes and sadness 
and grief and the worship of God which sanctify the American 
family circle. 

In many a humble home throughout our land, the piano 
has gathered about it the most sacred and tender associations. 
For it, the daughters of the household longed by clay and 
prayed in dreams at night. For it fond parents saved and 
economized at every point and planned in loving secrecy. 
For it, a certain Christmas Day, on which the arrival of tin- 
piano gave a glad surprise, was marked as a red-letter day in 
the annals of the household. 

With its music and with simple song each daughter in her 
turn touched with love the heart of her future husband. 
With it, the sacred hymn and the family prayer are joined in 
chastened memory. With it, closed and silent, arc tenderly 
remembered the days of sickness, the time of death, and the 
funeral's solemn hush. 

When the family circle is broken and its members are scat- 


tered, happy is the son or daughter who can place among his 
or her household goods the old piano. 


. It the Chamber of Commerce Banquet, New York, November 

iS, 1S90. 

Mr. President and Gentlemen : 

This volunteer business I did not calculate upon, and I 
think it would best befit me now only to thank you for the 
kindness which you have extended to me. I do not believe it 
would be fair for me to disturb the contentment which ought to 
remain to you after the delicious dinner which you haveeaten; 
and I know that, after the oratory and the dinner speeches you 
have heard, it would ill become me to obtrude any random 
thoughts. I do not believe that when people are under the 
influence of sweet music, a boy around the edges ought to be 
shooting off a blunderbuss. 

I shall go home to-night with some confused ideas in my 
mind ; you are not to blame for them, but I suppose my con- 
dition and circumstances are to blame. We have heard about 
literature and business, about education and business, and 
about foreign commerce, and a good deal about reciprocity ; 
and that is where my trouble comes in. We have been told that 
it would be a grand thing to have reciprocity with Spanish-speak- 
ing people. Now, if it is good for Spanish-speaking people, 
how would it do with the people who speak our own language? 

We have heard that our breadstuffs go across the water, and 
that the people need them there. That means a market for 
them, doesn't it ? I had an idea that a bird in the hand is 
worth two in the bush, and that, perhaps, if you had a mar- 
ket, it might be'.'well to cultivate it, instead of trying to manu- 
facture another. 

We have heard that England and France have within a few 
days rushed to ■ rescue in a financial way, prompted thereto 


by the noble sentiment of reciprocity. If they arc so willing 
ami glad to extend to us the hand of reciprocity in financial mat- 
ters, how would it do to give them a chance in commercial and 

other matters ? 

Now, as 1 said, these difficulties of mine are entirely attrib- 
utable to my own neglected education, and incidentally and 
indirectly, I think they are attributable to the fact that I am 
only an honorary member of this institution, instead of being 
an active one. This being the case, I have not that intimate 
familiarity with the subject which would probably clear up my 

I have spoken of being an honorary member of this institu- 
tion ; and 1 have prized that distinction very highly, indeed, 
but never more so than to-night, because I see there may be 
at some time a possibility of my attending a banquet of the 
Chamber of Commerce, without being called upon for a speech; 
that I may come here and enjoy the good things which you 
set before me, without that gloomy foreboding which an undi- 
gested and indigestible speech brings over a man. I have 
almost accomplished it to-rtlght, and as progress is the order 
of the day, 1 have no doubt but that it will be finally arranged 
to my liking. 

To-night I find myself facing this audience under circum- 
stances which gave me no intimation that I was to make a 
speech. That was a mercy in itself, for I enjoyed my dinner 
before the collapse came. Therefore, as I speak of my asso- 
ciation with this Chamber of Commerce, though my relations 
are not so intimate as to understand all questions which are, 
perhaps, easy to you, and though 1 have not reached that 
Stage when I can confidently come here without being called 
upon to make a speech, I am glad to believe that the promise 
is favorable. 

I am very strongly tempted to say something in answer to 
some remarks which my friend Depew made, but everybody 
seems to have pitched on to him, and even Mr. Schurz, who 
promised to stand by him, did not do so at all ; and although 


he is well able to stand up against any number of us, I do not 
know that I ought to make any reference to some things which 
he has said ; and yet, when he spoke of the nomination my 
friend Springer made, I could not help but think that per- 
haps Springer had learned from him how to do it. Now, it 
was a very innocent thing that my friend Springer said. It 
amounted to nothing. But I can tell you a circumstance 
which involves in it modesty, accountability to the people of 
the country, and ambition, and, when I have done, I think you 
will agree with me, that perhaps Mr. Depew was more to 
blame before the eyes of the people than Mr. Springer was. 

The first time I ever saw Mr. Depew in a public place was 
in Albany. I was then Governor of the State, and we had a 
banquet in commemoration of a certain military company, or 
something of that kind, and I was invited and went. I was 
to make a speech. I prepared myself most elaborately, and 
did the very best I could. Now, mind you, at that time I was a 
quiet, unambitious man, quite content with the situation I oc- 
cupied, and happy with the delusion that I was doing some- 
thing for the good of the State. Mr. Depew arose — I shall re- 
peat only what he said — and congratulated those present that at 
last they had elected a Governor who could do that most diffi- 
cult of all things, make an after-dinner speech. That made 
me very happy indeed. He spoke of some other traits, 
and of some other things which were very complimentary, and 
he then said, " Gentlemen, I know of nothing more proper, I 
know of nothing more in keeping with the services of this 
gentleman than that the party with which he is affiliated 
should nominate him in the coming convention forthe highest 
office in the gift of the people." 

Now, the effect of that on a young man can be easily im- 
agined, if not described. And then he went on and said : 
" When that is done, the party with which I am proud to be 
affiliated, I hope, will nominate as his competitor that noble 
citizen, that grand man and statesman whose name I have no 
doubt rises to the lips of every man here present — though it 

does not tO mine." Well, I did not know what, to make of 

that then, nor why he did not mention the name of the citizen 

and statesman, but subsequent events have made me rat Imi 
suspicious that at that moment our friend was struck with a 
fit of extreme modesty. Doesn't that excuse Mr. Springer? 
1 think so. There was an administration of the federal Gov- 
ernment with which I was connected, and with which I hail 
something to do— at all events, 1 have been held to an account- 
ability for all its shortcomings — and 1 long ago made up my 
mind, that when the opportunity came that I could do it with- 
out injuring myself, I might, perhaps, have something to say 
about Mr. Depew's candidacy for the Presidency. Now, see 
the selfishness of this thing. See the mean political selfish- 
ness of that idea. Not so with Mr. I )epew. Why, within four 
weeks, I think, in his magnanimity, and in his generous heart, 
though at a festive board, where we are all apt to say kind and 
generous things, he said such complimentary things of me 
as visited upon him, 1 am informed, the condemnation of 
members of his party. Indeed, I hear that one enthusiastic 
adherent of his from the West, on account of those compli- 
mentary and courteous things, which he said regardless of 
Presidential consequences, while I was waiting for an oppor- 
tunity when I could say a kind thing of him, without hurting 
myself, wrote to him : " While you have been for years my 
ideal of a man that has Presidential timber in him, and while I 
have been strongly your advocate for that office, after seeing 
what you said of that miserable fellow Cleveland, I wouldn't 
vote for you for poundmaster." 

Now this carries with it an acknowledgment of the kindness 
and goodness of Mr. Depew, and also a confession of my own 
disposition, for 1 confess to you that the tune has not yet 
come when I have thought I could safely, and without harm 
to myself, launch out on that subject in regard to him ; but 1 
hope the time will come. 1 am watching for it. 

Now, gentlemen, there seems nothing left to me but to 
thank you again for your hearty recognition of me, ami to say 


of the Chamber of Commerce that I sincerely hope that it may 
long exist in the prosperity which has marked it for so many 
years, and that these banquets may constantly increase in 
pleasure to those who are fortunate enough to be their invited 


At the Jewelers' Association Annual Dinner, New York, 
November 21, 1890. 

Mr. President and Gentlemen : 

The sentiment assigned to me suggests a theme so vast and 
so animating that I am embarrassed in my attempt to deal 
with it. You surely will not expect me on this occasion to 
voice all the thoughts and feelings which the mention of " Our 
Country " inspires. If I should do this, I should merely tax 
your time and patience by the expression of reflections which 
spontaneously fill your minds. Besides, if I should launch 
upon this subject in true American style, I know I could not 
avoid the guilt of making a Fourth of July speech late in the 
month of November. 

I hasten to declare that I do not fight shy of my subject 
because 1 do not love it. On the contrary, I love it so well 
that 1 am anxious to observe all the proprieties related to it ; 
and I cannot rid myself of the idea that our American eagle 
soars higher and better in the warm days of July than in the 
cool atmosphere of the present season. 

And yet, I am far from believing that at any time and in any 
assemblage of Americans the sentiment " Our Country " is not 
a proper one to propose ; though I have sometimes thought 
that it speaks so eloquently for itself that it needs no inter- 
preter. There seems absolutely to be no necessity for arousing 
enthusiasm on this topic, and there is not the slightest danger 
that any of us will forget what we have accomplished as a 
nation or what we propose to accomplish, or that we will fix 


too narrow a limit upon the progress, development, and great- 
ness of our country. Sometimes those who, unfortunately, 

cannot claim this as their country accuse us of dwelling with 
some exaggeration upon these things, but every American is 
entirely certain that such imputations arise from ignorant 
our achievements or from envy and disappointed rivalry. At 

any rate, it is a habit to glorify our country, and we propose 
to continue it. We all do it without prompting, and we like- 
it. We tan stand any amount of it without disturbance, and 
whether others like it or not, we know, and we propose to de- 
clare on every occasion, that America is the finest and the 
best and the greatest country on the face of the globe. That 
proposition is not original with me, but has been a settled fact 
in the American mind for many years. 

Though this might be said to dispose of the subject by a 
short cut, and though I have declined to deal with it in all its 
aspects, the American disposition to glorify our country is 
strong with me ; and I am disinclined to abandon my allotted 
sentiment in a manner epiite so summary. If 1 am to retain 
it for a few moments, I know of no better way to deal with it 
than to divide it and consider one branch or part of my text, 
as is sometimes done with a long text in the pulpit. 1, there- 
fore, propose to say something about the word "our" as re- 
lated to the sentiment, "Our Country." 

This is " our " country, because the people have established 
it, because they rule it, because they have developed it, be- 
cause they have fought for it, and because: they love it. And 
still each generation of Americans holds it only in trust for 
those who shall come after them, and they are charged with 
the obligation to transmit it as strong a- it came to their hands. 
It is not ours to destroy, it is not ours to sell, and it is not 
ours to neglect and injure. It is ours as our families are ours, 
and as our churches and schools are ours — to protect and de- 
fend, to foster and improve. As its strength and it^ fitness to 
reacli its promised destiny depend upon its unity, one of our 
highest duties toward it is to cultivate ami encourage kindli- 


ness among our people, to the end that all may heartily co- 
operate in performing the terms of our trust. As it exists for 
us all, so all should be accorded an equal share in its benefits. 
It is so constructed that its work is badly done and its opera- 
tion perverted, when special and exclusive advantages are 
awarded to any particular class of our people. If we permit 
grasping selfishness to influence us in the care of our trust, 
we are untrue to our obligations and our covenants as 

Our country is " ours " for the purpose of securing through 
its means justice, happiness, and prosperity to all — not for the 
purpose of permitting the selfish and designing to be enriched 
at the expense of their confiding fellow-countrymen. It is our 
duty, then, to defend and protect our country, while it remains 
in our hands, from that selfishness which, if permitted, will 
surely undermine it, as clearly as it is our duty to defend it 
against armed enemies. 

Nor are we discharged from our obligations as trustees of 
our country if we merely preserve it in the same condition as 
when we received it. The march of progress and civilization 
throughout the world imposes on us the duty of improving the 
subject of our trust so that it may be transmitted to others in 
such an advanced condition of prosperity and growth as shall 
bear witness to our faithfulness and our devotion to its interests, 
lie who hid his talent in a napkin and added nothing to it was 
condemned as unfaithful, when called upon to give an account 
of his stewardship. 

Let us, then, rejoice in the greatness of " Our Country"; 
but let us remember that it will be our blame if it is not made 
greater ; let us boast of the country which is ours, but let our 
boasting be tempered with the reflection that its possession is 
charged with a sacred trust ; let us constantly bear in mind 
that while it is ours to use patriotically and transmit to coming 
generations, our relation to it is made more serious by the 
fact that, in its broadest and most solemn meaning, our country 
is something which, as an example and interpreter of freedom, 


belongs to the world, and winch, in its blessed mission, be- 
longs to humanity. 

I X. 

At the Banquet of the National Association of Builders, 
New York, February 1:, 1891. 

M r. President \m> Gi ntli men : 

When American citizens arc gathered together on occasions 
like this, and the hour of feasting is supplemented by toast 
and sentiment, it is surely fitting that "Our Country" should 
be prominent among the topics proposed for thought and 
speech. Evidence is thus furnished of the ever present love 
and affection of our people for their country, prompting them, 
at all times and in all places, to yield to her ready recognition 
and homage. 

The conspicuous place which this sentiment occupies in 
American thought is the result of our relations to the land 
which we possess and to the government under which we live. 
Our vast domain belongs to our people. They have fought 
for it, and have labored hard for its'development and growth. 
Our government, too, was fashioned and established by and 
for our people, and is sustained and administered at their be- 
hest. Subjects of other lands, less free than ours, and those 
who owe obedience to governments further removed from 
popular control, may boast of their country, in a spirit o( natu- 
ral pride and patriotism and as sharers in its splendor and 
glory. They thus exhibit their submission and allegiance ami 
a habitual regard for constituted authority. Hut the enthusi- 
asm which warms our hearts at the mention of " Our Country" 
grows out of our sense of proprietary and individual right in 
American institutions, [t is mingled with no servile gratitude 
to any ruler for scant freedom generously conceded to us, nor 
with admiration of monarchical pomp and splendor. The 
words, "Our Country," suggesl to us 1 1 ■ * t only a broad domain 


which is ours, but also a government which is ours, based upon 
our will, protected and guarded by our love and affection, 
vouchsafing to us freedom limited only by our self-imposed 
restraints, and securing to us, as our right, absolute and impar- 
tial justice. 

When we consider the extensive growth of our country — 
its cities and villages, and all the physical features which con- 
tribute so much to give to it a foremost place in the civiliza- 
tion of the age — we are bound to acknowledge that the build- 
ers of our land have had much to do with securing for us the 
commanding position we hold among the nations of the earth. 
It may, indeed, be said that all the nations which have ever ex- 
isted, have, like us, been largely indebted, for the grandeur 
and magnificence of which they could boast, to those belong- 
ing to the vocation represented in this assembly. It will be 
impossible to find a complete description of any country, 
ancient or modern, which does not mention the size and char- 
acter of its buildings, and its public and private edifices. 

I do not intend- to do injustice, in the enthusiasm of this 
hour, to any of the trades and occupations which have con- 
tributed to make our country and other countries great. But 
truth and candor exact the confession that the chief among 
these occupations in all times past has been that of the builder. 
He began his work in the early days of created things, and 
has been abroad among the sons of men ever since. The 
builder's advent was signalized by a service to mankind of 
which not another craft can boast. No one has the hardihood 
to deny that the construction of the ark was the turning-point 
in the scheme for the perpetuation of the human race. The 
builder's work in that emergency saved mankind from a 
watery grave ; and if we suffer at the hands, of his successors 
in these modern times, we should allow his first job to plead 
loudly in his behalf. If in these days we are vexed by the 
failure of the builder to observe plans and specifications, let us 
bear in mind that in his first construction he, fortunately for 
us, followed them implicitly. The gopher wood was furnished, 


the ark was pitched within and without, it was btiilt three hun- 
dred Cubits long, fifty cubits broad, and thirty cubits high ; 
the window was put in, the door was placed in the side, and it 
hail a lower, second, and third story. It we are now and then 
prompted almost to profanity, because the builder has not 
completed our house within the time agreed, let us recall with. 
gratitude the fact that the ark was fully completed and fin 
ished in a good and workmanlike manner and actually occu- 
pied, seven days before the waters of the flood were upon the 
earth. If a feeling like paralysis steals over us when a long 
account for extra work is placed before our affrighted eyes, let 
us be reconciled to our fate by the thought that there was no 
charge for extra work in the construction of the ark, and that 
the human race was saved without that exasperating incident. 
We sometimes hear things which are calculated to convey 
the impression that there is an irrepressible conflict raging 
between our builders and the rest of our people. If any such 
thing exists, 1 desire to suggest, in behalf of the builders, that 
it may to a great extent arise from the uncertainty prevailing 
among employers concerning their wants and what they can 
afford to have. These are days when the free-born and am- 
bitious American citizen does not like to be outdone by his 
neighbor or anyone else. If, as a result of this, a man with 
fifty thousand dollars to spend for a home, is determined to 
have one as good and as extravagant as that of another man, 
who has twice the amount to invest for the same purpose, the 
builder certainly ought not to be blamed if he fails to perform 
that miracle. On the other hand, it has sometimes seemed to 
me that when an honest, confiding man applies to a builder 
for an estimate of the cost of a construction which he contem- 
plates, he ought to receive more definite and trustworthy fig- 
ures than those frequently submitted to him. lam inclined to 
think, however, that on the whole the relations of the builder with 
his fellow-men have been fairly amicable. If this were m 
and if disputes and misunderstandings were ordinary incidents 
of building contracts, it is quite apparent that the buildings 


which have been put up in our country would have caused 
enough of quarrels not only to endanger our social fabric, but 
to transfer much of the wealth now in the hands of the build- 
ers and their patrons to the pockets of the members of that 
peaceful and honest profession to which I have the honor to 
belong. This latter result would not be altogether mournful; 
the legal profession are so patriotic, and so easily satisfied, that 
I am quite certain they are contented with existing conditions. 
The National Association of Builders gives promise in its 
declared objects and purposes of much usefulness. It recog- 
nizes the fact that the relation its members bear to vast 
numbers of our wage-earners furnishes the opportunity for 
them to do an important and beneficent work in the way of 
reconciling differences between employers and employees and 
averting unprofitable and exasperating conflicts. All must 
commend the desire of the organization for the adoption of 
effective precautions against accident and injury to employees, 
and for some provision for such as are injured or incapaci- 
tated for work. And all our people ought especially to appre- 
ciate the efforts of your association to aid in the establishment 
of trade schools for the education and improvement of appren- 
tices. Of course, no one will deny that a workman in your 
vocation, who labors intelligently and with some knowledge of 
the underlying reason for his plan of work, does more and 
better service than one who pursues his round of daily toil, 
unthinkingly, and as a mere matter of routine or imitation. 
Herein is certainly a palpable advantage to the workman, to 
the builder, and to his patron. But the value of a trade school 
education is not thus limited. The apprentice not only 
becomes a better workman by means of the education and 
discipline of such a school, but that very process must also 
tend to make him a better citizen. While he learns the things 
which give him an understanding of his work and fit his mind 
and brain to guide his hand, he also stimulates his perception 
of that high service which his country claims of him as a 


For this service he and all of us have placed in our hands 
the suffrage of freemen. It is only faithfully used when its 
exercise represents a full consciousness of the responsibilities 

ami duties which its possession imposes, ami when it is guided 
and controlled by a pure conscience and by thoughtful, intel- 
ligent, and independent judgment. 

" Neither walls, theaters, porches, nor senseless equipage, 
make states ; but men who are able to rely upon themseh 

As a concluding thought, let me suggest, that though the 
builders of the United States may erect grand and beautiful 
edifices which shall be monuments of their skill and evidences 
of our nation's prosperity, their work is not well done nor 
their duty wholly performed unless, in pursuance of their con- 
tract of citizenship, they join with all their fellow-countrymen 
in building and finishing in beautiful proportions, the grand- 
est and most commanding of all earthly structures — "Our 


In- fore tlie Commercial Club, Providence, R. I., 
June 27, 1 89 1. 

Mr. President and Gentlemen : 

I suppose from the name of the organization which extends 
to us the hospitalities of this occasion, that its membership is 
mainly, at least, made up of those engaged in business enter- 
prises, and that its object is the discussion of topics related to 
the progress and development of such enterprises. 

I never attend a gathering of business men, and recall the 
restless activity which they represent, and the strain of brain 
which they willingly bear for the sake of profit and success, 
without wondering that they are content to be so thoroughly 
engrossed in the immediate details of their occupations, as 
often to lead to an habitual neglect of those affairs, which 
though outside of their counting houses, exchanges and man- 


ufactories, have an intimate relation to their prosperity. No 
one can be oblivious to the fact that matters of legislation, 
and the course of governmental policy, are so important to the 
business in which we engage that our individual efforts in its 
prosecution may be easily promoted or thwarted by the con- 
duct of those who make and execute our laws. Yet, in busi-~" 
ness circles we find but few men who are willing to forego 
their ordinary work to engage in the business of legislation. 
Indeed this unfortunate condition has reached such a pass that 
our business men think and often speak of politics as some- 
thing quite outside of their interest and duty, which, if not 
actually disreputable, may well be ieft to those who have a 
taste for it. 

I am by no means unmindful of the spasmodic interference 
of business interests in politics, spurred on by a selfish desire 
to be aided, especially and exclusively through legislative 
action. Such interference, 6ased upon such motives, is more 
blameworthy than inactivity, because it amounts to an attempt 
to pervert governmental functions — which is worse than a 
neglect of political responsibility. But I speak of a heedless- 
ness of the duty resting upon every one of us as American citi- 
zens, to participate thoughtfully and intelligently in the gen- 
eral conduct of the government which is ours, and which has 
been left to our management. 

I seek to remind you of the interest which you and all of us 
have as members of our American body politic, in wholesome 
general laws and honest administration. This interest is rep- 
resented by the share to which each of us is entitled, in the 
aggregate of advantage which such laws and such administra- 
tion secure. This interest and this duty are surely worth all 
the attention we can bestow upon them; and the penalty of 
their neglect we shall surely not escape. In order that the*"""] 
patriotism and intelligence of the country shall prevail in our 
legislation, the patriotic and intelligent men of the country 
must see" to it that they are properly represented in our 
national councils. t lf they fail in this they will be governed 


by those who simply make a trade of politics. If it is well 
that our legislation be influenced by the enlightened ami pra< - 

tical business sense of the people, our business men must see 
to it that those they trust are chosen as their lawmakers. If 
they are indifferent on the subject, the vast interests which so 
greatly concern them and all their fellow-citizens will be left 
at the mercy of those who neither understand them nor < are 
for them ; and 1 do not believe these dangers will be effectively 
averted until they are better understood by the people and 
more thoroughly resisted. 

It seems to me that private and special legislation, as it at 
present prevails, is an evil chargeable to a great extent to the 
listlessness ami carelessness of the people. 

There is a kind of legislation which, upon its face and con- 
cededly, is private and special, and which engrosses far too 
much of the time and attention of our lawmakers. The peo- 
ple have a right to claim from their representatives their best 
care and attention to the great subjects of legislation in which 
the entire country is interested. This is denied them if their 
representatives take their seats burdened with private bills, in 
which their immediate neighbors are exclusively interested, 
and which they feel they must be diligent in advancing, if they 
would secure their continuance in public life. They are thus 
led by the exigencies of their situation as they view it, not only 
to the support of private bills of questionable propriety, but to 
the neglect of a study and understanding of the important 
questions involved in general legislation. Nor does the per- 
nicious effect of such special and private legislation stop here. 
The importance of a successful championship of these private 
bills, measured by a standard which ought not for a moment 
to be recognized, seems so vital to those having them in charge 
that they are easily led to barter their votes for measures 
as bad as theirs or worst-, in order to secure the support of 
similarly situated colleagues. Thus is inaugurated a system 
called log-rolling, winch comes frightfully near actual legisla- 
tive corruption; and thus the people at large lose not only 


the attention to their affairs which is due to them, but are 
often no better than robbed of the money in the public 

1 have hardly done more than to present a very general out- 
line of some of the palpably bail accompaniments of legisla- 
tion, confessedly special and private. The details might easily 
be filled in, which would furnish proof of the elements of its 
mischievous character which I have pointed out. 

I have not, however, mentioned the aspect of special and 
private legislation which seems to me most pernicious. I refer 
to the habit which it engenders among our people of looking 
to the government for aid in the accomplishment of special and 
individual schemes, and the expectation which it creates and 
fosters, that legislation may be invoked for the securing of in- 
dividual advantages and unearned benefits. 

The relations of our countrymen toward their government 
should be founded upon their love for it as the fountainhead 
of their national life ; their faith in it as the power which pre- 
serves them a free people ; their reverence for it as the perfect 
work of the highest patriotism ; their confidence in its justice 
and equality, and their pride in its ownership and management. 
These should furnish at all times sufficient motive for a lively 
interest in public affairs, and should supply abundant incen- 
tive to popular watchfulness of legislative and executive 
methods. In the light of these considerations, no thoughtful 
American can shut his eyes to the truth, that when our people 
regard their government as the source of individual benefit and 
favoritism, and when their interest in it is measured by the ex- 
tent to which they hope to realize such benefit and favoritism, 
our popular government is in dangerous hands and its entire 
perversion is alarmingly imminent. 

These perils are not alone chargeable to legislation which is 
confessedly special and private. Measures of a general char- 
acter, and apparently proposed for the public good, frequently 
originate in selfish calculations, or so completely subserve in 
their details selfish plans, that they also tend toward the fatal 


point of sordidness among the people and unjust paternalism 
in the government. No matter what plausible pretexts may be 

advanced for such legislation, if it lias in it these elements, it 
ought to be condemned. Neither the cry ol protection to 

American interests, nor pretended solicitude for the public 
good, ought to succeed in concealing schemes to favor the few 
at the expense of the many ; nor should the importance to the 
country of legislative action upon any subject divert us from 
inquiry concerning the selfish motives and purposes which may 
be hidden behind the proposal of such legislation. 

It is quite time^that our business men, and all American citi- 
zens who love their country, bestir themselves for battle 
against the evil tendencies of private and special legislation, 
whatever guise it may assume. At this time no more impor- 
tant truth can be presented to the people than that they should 
support their government in love and patriotism, and remain 
unselfishly content with the blessings and advantages which 
our free institutions were established to bestow, with justice 
and equality, upon every citizen throughout the length and 
breadth of our land. 



At the Laying of tlic Corner Stone of the " Fiteh 
Institute" Buffalo, May 10, 1882. 

Mr. Fitch: 

It falls to my lot on this occasion to extend to yon, on 
behalf of the city of Buffalo, a hearty greeting and a cordial 
welcome. I am to attempt to express to you the sentiments 
of gratitude and appreciation which our citizens cherish toward 
you, their former fellow-citizen. 

I am sure I shall do no act during my official career, as 
Chief Executive of our beautiful and prosperous city, which 
more accords with my own feelings, or which will afford me so 
much pleasure. You, sir, have known and watched the 
growth and progress of our city since its day of small things; 
and in the full strength of your earlier years you were identi- 
fied with its important and successful enterprises. The way 
of the world, too, often is to forget and neglect the scene of a 
successful struggle with life; and those who amass wealth are 
too apt to enjoy the fruit, unmindful of the soil whereon it 

We joyfully and gratefully acknowledge to-day that human 
nature has a different phase. You left the activities of our 
city's business life, years ago, laden with the prizes earned and 
gathered by untiring industry, prudent management, and hon- 
orable dealing. But the occasion which we celebrate assures 
us that your heart has still been with us, and that, in the day 
oi '"dependent affluence, you have not been unmindful of the 



city win re you i onquered su< i ess. \ ou return to us to-daj 
bearing gifts to our people whit li will make them happier and 

The extenl and value of your princ< ly munifit en< e i i rtainly 
call for the warmest gratitude on the pari of all of us, inas- 
much as it adds so greatly to tlir beauty, advancement, and 
substantial prosperity <>t the city. but the objei t and purpo e 
oi your noble charity touch our hearts more deeply, and 
awaken i iur Ioa e and affection. 

Vim have given a fortune away, and have directed that it 
" he applied to die physical, moral, and intellei tual benefil of 
the worthy poor of Buffalo without distinction of creed oi 
sex." This comprises all the elements of the most Christian 
and disinterested benevolence. 

The poor are to he relieved. And not only their physical, 
hut their moral and intellectual wants are to he provided for. 
And all this is to he done for the worthy poor, because they are 
poor and worthy, and not because they profess any creed, or 
religious belief. A common humanity is the only necessary 
credential. This opens your charity to the family of man, ami 
stamps upon it the seal of genuine and pure philanthropy. 

You have not built for yourself a monument of brass, but 
have secured for yourself in the grateful hearts of thousands 
living, and those yet unborn, a more enduring monument than 
brass or marble. We feel that your greatest compensation 
to-day consists in your self-approval of a noble work well 
done, and that our words of thanks are cold and cheerless. 
And yet, on behalf of our citizens, and on behalf of the worthy 
poor of Buffalo, we thank you for all you have done for us. 

You witness on this occasion the beginning of the building 
which is to perpetuate your goodness. We pray Heaven that 
you may live long to witness its completion and continued use- 
fulness. And may your declining years be sustained and 
soothed bv the sweet solace of an approving conscience, and 
the benisons of thousands of the poor people who shall rise 
up and call you blessed. 


I have been directed by the Common Council to present to 
you resolutions expressing their sentiments toward you, and 
extending to you the freedom of the city. 


Message to the Buffalo Common Council, fune 5, 1882. 

My attention has been called, by a committee from the Soci- 
ety for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, to the number 
of small boys and girls found upon our streets at late hours in 
the night. 

I have reason to believe that many of these children are 
allowed, and some are obliged, by their parents, thus to remain 
in the streets for the ostensible purpose of earning money by 
selling newspapers or blacking boots. In truth, however, after 
a certain hour in the evening, the most, if not all the money 
they receive, they obtain by begging or by false pretenses. In 
the meantime they are subjected to the worst influences, lead- 
ing directly to profligacy, vagrancy, and crime. 

The importance of caring for children who are uncared for 
by their natural guardians, or who are unmindful of parental 
restraint, must be apparent to all. In the future, for good or 
evil, their influence will be felt in the community; and cer- 
tainly the attempt to prevent their swelling the criminal class 
is worth an effort. 

It seems to me that no pretext should be°permitted to excuse 
allowing young girls to be on the streets at improper hours, 
since the result must necessarily be their destruction. 

The disposition of the boy — child though he be — to aid in his 
own support or that of others, in an honest, decent way, ought 
not to be discouraged. But this does not call for his being in 
the street at late hours, to his infinite damage morally, mentally, 
and physically, and to the danger of society. 

I respectfully suggest that this subject be referred to the 
ommittee on ordinances and the attorney, and that a commit- 


tee from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children 
be invited to co-operate with them in an effort to frame an 
ordinance which will remedy tin- evil herein considered. 

Grover Clevi land, Mayor. 


At tlir Laying of the Corner Stone of the V. M. C. A. 
Building in Buffalo, September 7, 1882. 

Ladies vnd Gen i i.imi \ : 

I desire to express the sincere pleasure and gratification I 
experience in joining with you in the exercises of this after- 
noon. An event is here marked which I deem a most impor- 
tant one, and one well worthy of the attention of all good citi- 
zens. We, this day, bring into a prominent place an institution 
which, it seems to me, cannot fail to impress itself upon our 
future with the best results. 

Perhaps a majority of our citizens have heard of the Young 
Men's Christian Association; and perchance the name has 
suggested, in an indefinite way, certain efforts to do good and 
to aid generally in the spread of religious teaching. I venture 
to say, however, that a comparatively small part of our com- 
munity has really known the full extent of the work of this 
Association ; and many have thought of it as an institution well 
enough in its way — a proper enough outlet for a superabun- 
dance of religious enthusiasm — doing, of course, no harm, and 
perhaps very little good. Some have aided it by their contri- 
butions from a sense of Christian duty, but more have passed 
by on the other side. 

We have been too much in the habit of regarding institu- 
tions of this kind as entirely disconnected from any considera- 
tions of municipal growth or prosperity, and have too often 
considered splendid structures, active trade, increasing com- 
merce, and growing manufactures as the only things worthy of 
our care as public-spirited citizens A moment's reflection 


reminds us that this is wrong. The citizen is a better business 
man if lie is a Christian gentleman, and surely business is not 
the less prosperous and successful if conducted on Christian 
principles. This is an extremely practical, and perhaps not a 
very elevated, view to take of the purposes and benefits of the 
Young Men's Christian Association. But I assert that if it 
did no more than to impress some religious principles upon 
the business of our city, it would be worthy of generous sup- 
port. And when we consider the difference, as a member of 
the community, between the young man who, under the influ- 
ence of such an association, has learned his duty to his fellows 
and to the State, and that one who, subject to no moral 
restraint, yields to temptation and thus becomes vicious and 
criminal, the importance of an institution among us which 
leads our youth and young men in the way of morality and 
good citizenship must be freely admitted. 

I have thus only referred to this association as in some man- 
ner connected with our substantial prosperity. There is a 
higher theme connected with this subject which touches the 
welfare, temporal and spiritual, of the objects of its care. 
Upon this I will not dwell. I cannot, however, pass on with- 
out invoking the fullest measure of honor and consideration 
due to the self-sacrificing and disinterested efforts of the 
men — and women, too — who have labored amid trials and 
discouragements to plant this Association firmly upon sure 
foundation. We all hope and expect that our city has en- 
tered upon a course of unprecedented prosperity and growth, 
but to my mind not all the signs about us point more surely to 
real greatness than the event which we here celebrate. 

Good and pure government lies al the foundation of the 
wealth and progress of every community. 

As the Chief Executive of this proud city, I congratulate all 
my fellow-citizens thai to-day we lay the foundation stone of 
an edifice which shall be a beautiful adornment, and, what is 
more important, shall inclose within its walls such earnest 
Christian endeavors as must make easier all our efforts to 


administer, safe}) and honestly, a good muni< ipal government. 
I commend the Young Men's Christian Association i<> the 
cheerful and generous support of every citizen, and trust that 
long after the men who have wrought so well in establishing 
these foundations shall have surrendered lives well spent, this 
building shall stand a monument of well directed, pious labor, 
to shed its benign influence on generations yet to come. 


To the Cardinal Gibbons Reception Committer. 
Exect I W 1 M WSlnN, 

Washington, January 26, 1887. 
My Dear Sir: 

I have received from you, as one of the Committee of the 
Catholic Club of Philadelphia, an imitation to attend a ban- 
quet to be given by the club, on Tuesday evening, Feb- 
ruary S, in honor of His Eminence Cardinal Gibbons. The 
thoughtfulness which prompted this imitation is gratefully 
appreciated; and I regret that my public duties here will pre- 
vent its acceptance. I should be glad to join in the contem- 
plated expression of respect to be tendered to the distinguished 
head of the Catholic Church in the United Slates, whose per- 
sonal acquaintance I very much enjoy, and who is so worthily 
entitled to the esteem of all his fellow-citizens. 

I thank you for the admirable letter which accompanies my 
invitation, in which you announce as one of the doctrines of 
your club "that a good and exemplary Catholic must ex neces- 
sitate rei be a good and exemplary citizen," and that "the 
teachings of both human and Divine law thus merging in the 
one word, duty, form the only union of Chun h and State that 
a civil and religious government can re< ognize." 

I know you will permit me, as a Protestant, to supplement 
this noble sentiment by the expression of my conviction that 
the same influence and result follow a sincere and consistent 


devotion to the teachings of every religious creed which is 
based upon Divine sanction. 

A wholesome religious faith thus inures to the perpetuity, the 
safety and the prosperity of our Republic, by exacting the due 
observance of civil law, the preservation of public order, and a 
proper regard for the rights of all; and thus are its adherents 
better fitted for good citizenship and confirmed in a sure and 
steadfast patriotism. It seems to me, too, that the conception 
of duty to the State which is derived from religious precept 
involves a sense of personal responsibility, which is of the 
greatest value in the operation of the government by the peo- 
ple. It will be a fortunate day for our country when every 
citizen feels that he has an ever-present duty to perform to the 
State which he cannot escape from or neglect without being 
false to his religious as well as his civil allegiance. 

Wishing for your club the utmost success in its efforts to 
bring about this result, 

I am, 

Yours sincerely, 

(1 mover Cleveland. 


At tlie Laying of the V. M. C. A. Building Corner Stone, 
Kansas City, Mo., October 13, 18S7. 

In the busy activities of our daily life we are apt to neglect 
instrumentalities which are quietly, but effectually, doing most 
important service in molding our national character. Among 
these, and challenging but little notice compared with their 
valuable results, are the Young Men's Christian Associations 
scattered throughout our country. All will admit the supreme 
importance of that honesty and fixed principle which rest 
upon Christian motives and purposes, and all will acknowledge 
the sad and increasing temptations which beset our young men 
ind lure them to their destruction. 


To save these young men, oftentimes deprived oi the 
restraints of home, from degradation and nun, and to fit them 
for usefulness and honor, these associations have entered the 
field oi Christian effort and arc pushing their noble work. 
When it is considered thai the subje< ts of their efforts arc to 
be the active men for good or evil in the nexl generation, mere 
worldly prudence dictates thai these associations should ln- 
aidcd and encouraged. 

Their increase and flourishing condition refleel the highest 

honor upon the good men who have devoted themselves to this 
work, and demonstrate that the American people are not 
entirely lacking in appreciation of its value. Twent) years 
ago but one of these associations owned a building, and that 

was valued at onl\ §1 1,000. To-da\ more than one hundred 
such buildings, valued at more than ^5,000,000, beautify the 
different cities of our land and beckon our young men to lives 
of usefulness. 

I am especially pleased to be able to participate to-day in 
laying the corner stone of another of these edifices in this 
active and growing city; ami I trust that the encouragement 
given the Young Men's Christian Association located here may 
be commensurate with its assured usefulness, and in keeping 
with the generosity and intelligence which characterize the 
people of Kansas City. 

To the Evangelical Alliance ; Washington, December 9, 18S7. 

Mr. Presiden 1 : 

I am glad to meet so large a delegation from the Evangelical 
Alliance of the United States. I understand the purpose of 
this Alliance to be the application of Christian rules of con- 
duct to the problems and exigencies of social and political 

Such a movement cannot fail to produce the most valuable 


results. All must admit that the reception of the teachings of 
Christianity results in the purest patriotism, in the most 
scrupulous fidelity to public trust, and in the best type of citi- 
zenship. Those who manage the affairs of government are by 
this means reminded that the law of Cod demands that they 
should be courageously true to the interests of the people, and 
that the Ruler of the Universe will require of them a strict 
account of their stewardship. The people, too, are thus 
taught that their happiness and welfare will be best promoted 
by a conscientious regard for the interest of a common brother- 
hood, and that the success of a government by the people 
depends upon the morality, the justice, and the honesty of the 

1 am especially pleased to know that your efforts are not 
cramped and limited by denominational lines, and that your 
credentials are found in a broad Christian fellowship. Mani- 
festly, if you seek to teach your countrymen toleration you 
yourselves must be tolerant; if you would teach them liberality 
for the opinions of each other, you yourselves must be liberal; 
and if you would teach them unselfish patriotism, you yourselves 
must be unselfish and patriotic. There is enough of work in 
the field vou have entered to enlist the hearty co-operation of 
all who believe in the value and efficacy of Christian teaching 
and practice. 

Your noble mission, if undertaken in a broad and generous 
spirit, will surely arrest the attention and respectful considera- 
tion of your fellow-citizens; and your endeavors, consecrated 
by benevolence and patriotic love, must exert a powerful influ- 
ence in the enlightenment and improvement of our people, in 
illustrating the strength and stability of our institutions, and 
in advancing the prosperity and greatness of our beloved 


\ 11. 

Before the Northern and Southern Presbyterian Assem- 
blies at Philadelphia, May 23, [888. 

I am very much gratified bj the opportunity here afforded 
me to meet the representatives of the Presbyterian Church. 

Surely a man never should lose his interesl in the welfare ol 
the Church in which he was reared; and vet I will not find 
fault with any of you who deem it a sad confession made when 
1 acknowledge thai 1 musl recall the days now long past, to find 
m\ closest relation to the grand and noble denomination which 
you represent. I say this because those of us who inherit 
fealty to our Church, as 1 did, begin earl) to ham those things 
which make us Presbyterians all the days of our lives; and 
thus it is that the rigors of our earl) tea* hing, by which we are 
grounded in our lasting allegiance, are especially vivid, and 
perhaps the besl remembered. The attendance upon church 
service three timeseach Sunday, and upon Sabbath school dur- 
ing the noon intermission, may be irksome enough to a boy of 
ten or twelve years of age to be well fixed in his memory ; but I 
have never known a man who regretted these tilings in the years 
of his maturity. The Shorter Catechism, though thoroughly 
studied and learned, was not, perhaps, at the time perfectly 
understood, and yet, in the stern labors and duties of after lite, 
those are not apt to be the worst citizens who were early 
taught: "What is the chief end of man ?" 

Speaking of these things and in the presence of those here 
assembled, the most tender thoughts crowd upon my mind — all 
connected with Presbyterianism and its teachings. There are 
present with me now memories of a kind and affectionate 
father, consecrated to the cause, and called to his rest and his 
reward in the midday of his usefulness; a sacred recollection 
of the prayers and pious love of a sainted mother, and a family 
circle hallowed and sanctified by the spirit of Presbyterianism. 

I certainly cannot but express the wish and hope that the 
Presbyterian Chun h will always be at the front in every move- 


ment which promises the temporal as well as the spiritual 
advancement of mankind. In the turmoil and the bustle of 
everyday life few men are foolish enough to ignore the practi- 
cal value to our people and our country of the Church organi- 
zations established among us, and the advantage of Christian 
example and teachings. 

The field is vast, and the work sufficient to engage the efforts 
of every sect and denomination; but I am inclined to believe 
that the Church which is most tolerant and conservative, with- 
out loss of spiritual strength, will soonest find the way to the 
hearts and affections of the people. While we may be par- 
doned for insisting that our denomination is the best, we may, 
I think, safely concede much that is good to all other Churches 
that seek to make men better. 

I am here to greet the delegates of two General Assemblies 
of the Presbyterian Church. One is called "North" and the 
other "South." The subject is too deep and intricate for me; 
but I cannot help wondering why this should be. These 
words, so far as they denote separation and estrangement, 
should be obsolete. In the councils of the nation, and in the 
business of the country, they no longer mean reproach and 
antagonism. Even the soldiers who fought for the North and 
for the South are restored to fraternity and unity. This fra- 
ternity and unity are taught and enjoined by our Church. 
When shall she herself be united, with all the added strength 
and usefulness that harmony and union insure? 


7\> a Meeting for Promoting lite Free Library Movement, 
New York, March 6, 1890. 

Mr. Chairman and Ladies and Gentlemen: 

Tin- lew words I shall speak on this occasion, I intend rather 
as a pledge ol my adherence to the cause in which you are 
enlisted, than an attempt to say anything new or instructive. 


I gladly join, with the enthusiasm ol a new convert, in the 
felicitations of those who have done noble and effective work 
in the establishment and maintenam e in our city of .1 free 1 ir- 
culating HI nary ; and it semis to me they have abundanl cause 
for congratulation in a review of the good which lias already 
been accomplished through their efforts, and in the contempla- 
tion of the further usefulness which awaits their continued 

In everj enlightened country the value of popular edu< ation 
is fully recognized, nol onl) as a direct benefit to its re< ipi- 
ents, but as an clement of strength and safety in organized 
society. Considered in these aspects, it should nowhere be 
better appreciated than in this land of free institutions, conse- 
crated to the welfare and happiness of its citizens, and deriv- 
ing its sanction and its power from the people. Here the 
character of the people is inevitably impressed upon the gov- 
ernment, and here our public life can no more be higher and 
purer than the life of the people, than a stream can rise above 
its fountain or be purer than the spring in which it has its 

That we have not failed to realize these conditions is demon- 
strated by the establishment of free public schools on ever) 
side, where children are not only invited but often obliged to 
submit themselves to such instruction as will better their situ- 
ation in life and lit them to take part intelligently in the con- 
duct of the government. 

Thus in our schools the young are taught to read, and in 
this manner the seed is sown from which we expect a profitable 
return to the state, when its beneficiaries shall repay the edu- 
tional advances made to them by an intelligent and patriotic 
performance ^\ their social and political duties. 

And yet, if we are to create good citizenship, which is the 
object of popular education, and if we are to insure to the 
country the full benefit of public instruction, we can by no 
means consider the work as completely done in the school- 
room. While the young gathered there are fitting themselves 


to assume in the future their political obligations, there are 
others upon whom these obligations already rest, and who now 
have the welfare and safety of the country in their keeping. 
Our work is badly done if these are neglected. They have 
passed the school age, and have perhaps availed themselves of 
free instruction; but they, as well as those still in school, 
should, nevertheless, have within their reach the means of 
further mental improvement and the opportunity of gaining 
that additional knowledge and information which can only be 
secured by access to useful and instructive books. 

The husbandman who expects to gain a profitable return 
from his orchards not only carefully tends and cultivates the 
young trees in his nurseries as they grow to maturity, but he 
generously enriches and cares for those already in bearing and 
upon which he must rely for ripened fruit. 

Teaching the children of our land to read is but the first 
step in the scheme of creating good citizens by means of free 
instruction. We teach the young to read so that, both as 
children and as men and women, they may read. Our teaching 
must lead to the habit and the desire of reading, to be useful; 
and only as this result is reached, can the work in our free 
schools be logically supplemented and made valuable. 

Therefore, the same wise policy and intent which open the 
doors of our free schools to our young also suggest the com- 
pletion of the plan thus entered upon, by placing books in 
the hands of those who, in our schools, have been taught to 

A man or woman who never reads and is abandoned to 
unthinking torpor, or who allows the entire mental life to be 
bounded by the narrow lines of a daily recurring routine of 
effort for mere existence, cannot escape a condition of barren- 
ness of mind which not only causes the decay of individual 
contentment and happiness, but which fails to yield to the 
state its justly expected return of usefulness in valuable service 
and wholesome political action. , 

Another branch of this question should not be overlooked. 

\RITABLE ORG I \ // i TIO \ S. i 'y i 

It is not only of greal important e thai oui youth and our men 
.ind women should have the ability, the desire, and the oppor- 
tunity to read, but the kind of books they read is no 
important. Without guidance and without the invitation and 
encouragemenl to read publications which will improve as well 
as interest, there is danger that our people will have in their 
hands books whose influence and tendency are of a negative 
sort, it' not positively bad and mischievous. Like other good 
things, the ability and opportunity to read may be so used as 
to ■! t it thi M beneficent purposes. 

The boy who greedily devours the vicious tales of imaginary 
daring and blood-curdling adventure which in these days are 
far too accessible to the young, will have his brain filled with 
notion^ of life and standards of manliness which, if they do 
not make him a menace to peace and good order, w ill certainly 
not tend to make him a useful member of society. 

The man who devotes himself to the flash literature now 
much too common will, instead of increasing his value as a 
citizen, almost surely degenerate in his ideas of public duty 
and grow dull in his appreciation of the obligations he ones 
his country. 

In both these cases there will be a loss to the state. There 
is danger also that a positive and aggressive injury to the 
( ommunity will result; and such re iders will certainly suffer de- 
privation of the happiness and contentment which are the fruits 
of improving study and well-regulated thought. 

So, too, the young woman who seeks recreation and enter- 
tainment in reading silly and frivolous books, often of doubtful 
moral tendency, is herself in the way of becoming frivolous 
and silly, if not of weak morality. If she escapes this latter 
condition, she is almost certain to become utterly unfitted to 
bear patiently the burden of self-support, or to assume the 
sacred duties of wife and mother. 

Contemplating these truths, no one can doubt the importance 
of securing for those who read, as far as it is in our power, 
facilities for the study and reading of such books as will 


instruct and innocently entertain, and which will, at the same 
time, improve and correct the tastes and desires. 

There is another thought somewhat in advance of those 
already suggested, which should not pass unnoticed. 

As an outgrowth of the inventive and progressive spirit of 
our people, we have among us legions of men, and women too, 
who restlessly desire to increase their knowledge of the new 
forces and agencies, which, at this time, are being constantly 
dragged from their lurking-places and subjected to the use of 
man. These earnest inquirers should all be given a chance 
and have put within their reach such books as will guide and 
inspire their efforts. If, J)y this means, the country shall gain 
to itself a new inventor, or be the patron of endeavor which 
shall add new elements to the sum of human happiness and 
comfort, its intervention will be well repaid. 

These considerations, and the fact that many among us hav- 
ing the ability and inclination to read are unable to furnish 
themselves with profitable and wholesome books, amply justify 
the beneficent mission of our Free Circulating Library. Its 
plan and operation, so exactly adjusted to meet a situation 
which cannot safely be ignored and to wants which ought 
not to be neglected, establish its claim upon the encouragement 
and reasonable aid of the public authorities and commend it 
most fully to the support and generosity of private bene- 

The development which this good work has already reached 
in our city has exhibited the broad field yet remaining 
untouched, and the inadequacy of present operations. It has 
brought to view also instances of noble individual philanthropy 
and disinterested private effort and contribution. 

But it certainly seems that the time and money directed to 
this object are confined to a circle of persons far too narrow, 
aid that the public encouragement and aid have been greatly 
disproportioned to private endeavor. 

The ( itv i)| New York has never shown herself willing to be 
behind other cities in such work as is done by our Free C.'ircu- 


lating Library, and, while her people are much engrossed in 
business activity and enterprise, they have never yet turned 
away from a cause once demonstrated to them to be so worthy 
and useful .is this. 

The demonstration is at hand. Let it be pressed upon our 
fellow-citizens, and let them he shown the practical operation 
<>t the project you have in hand and the good it has accom- 
plished, ami the further good of which it is capable through 
their increased liberality, and it will be strange it they fail to 
respond generously to your appeal to put the city of New York 
in the front rank of the cities which have recognized the use- 
fulness of free circulating libraries. 


At the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Actors' Fund of 
America, fa unary 3, 1890. 

Mr. President, \\i> Ladies and Gentlemen: 

If my appearance here to-day serves no other purpose, I 
hope I may say, without offense to anyone, that it illustrates the 
progress of our time in toleration and liberality of sentiment. 

1 was reared and taught in the strictest school of Presby- 
terianism. I remember well the precious precepts and exam- 
ples of my early days, and 1 acknowdedge that to them I owe 
every faculty of usefulness I possess, and every, just apprehen- 
sion of the duties and obligations of life. But though still 
(dinging to these with unabated faith and steadfastness, I meet 
and congratulate you on this occasion, not only without the 
least vestige of moral compunction, but with great pleasure and 

It is not necessary to remind this audience that, whether 
right or wrong, such a condition could not always be antici- 
pated, for the time is within the remembrance of us all when, in 
many quarters of our country, very little good was acknowl- 
edged to exist in the dramatic profession. We are certain 


there has been a change in the relation your profession bears 
to the people at large; and, while much of this change is 
undoubtedly due to the growth of more liberal ideas, it will 
not do to overlook the fact that you yourselves have, by a con- 
st;! nt regard to the ethics of your calling, contributed perhaps 
in a greater degree to the breaking down of old prejudices and 
misconceptions. At all events, we, as laymen, know that we 
are freer from bigoted intolerance; and you, as members of the 
dramatic profession, must feel that you are greatly relieved 
from unjust suspicions. 

We all see less and less reason why our ministers should 
quote Shakspere from their pulpits and we be prohibited 
from seeing and hearing his works better interpreted on the 
stage. We see still less consistency in permitting the perusal 
of books of fiction, which only sometimes teach wholesome 
moral lessons, and at the same time prohibiting attendance 
upon the well-regulated and conventional play, where virtue 
is always triumphant and villainy is always circumvented. 

But while I can say that I am not at all perplexed at this 
moment by my Presbyterianism, I cannot claim that my posi- 
tion before such an audience as this is entirely free from 
embarrassment. I have been told by one of my best friends, 
and, at the same time, one of the best actors I ever saw, that 
at a play an audience of actors are critical, but kind and 
patient. This reflection is, of course, reassuring as far as it 
goes. But, sii^ce I agreed to meet you here to-day, it has 
often occurred to me that I had no guarantee of your kindness 
and patience except at a play; and that perhaps when you see 
your places on the stage occupied by those not of your broth- 
erhood, you may still be critical, but neither kind nor patient. 
In these circumstances, I may as well confess now and here, 
that, in strict accordance with the promptings of weak and 
unamiable human nature, I have stifled all misgivings as' to 
what I may inflict upon you — if 1 have not rid myself of anx- 
iety — by the reflection that, however much I may fall short of 
your approbation, 1 cannot possibly take of you excessive 


reprisals for the dreary speaking and a< ting thai have al timi s 
been inflicted upon me when some of your profession have 
been upon the stage and I in the audiem e. 

It is very doubtful whethei there is mu< h appropriateness in 
the ideas I have thus far presented, in the light of the fa< 1 that 
we have met to review the work of a noble charity; for, though 
this particular enterprise has its rise within the limits of the 
dramatic profession, surely, in the things which pertain to the 
relief of the sick and suffering, and to the aid and comfort o\ 
the unfortunate and afflicted, all who are charitably inclined 
belong to one fraternity. The sentiment of charity arouses all 
that is worth having in human nature, and in its work it weaves 
the bands which hold mankind in gentle kinship. 

I cannot refrain from speaking of one characteristic of the 
charity yon have in charge, which to me is especially gratify- 
ing. Necessarily, in the administration of many benevolent 
enterprises, the conditions of participation in their benefits are 
so exacting and the investigations practiced are so searching 
and unsparing, that humiliation and sadness often accompany 
relief. It is a most happy arrangement of the work of your 
organization that it is done directly, promptly, and without 
humiliating incidents; that your relief is extended to all in any 
way related to your profession, from the highest to the lowest 
grade: and that they require no other certificate thai, their 
needv condition. Thus there is given to your charitable 
efforts a sort of cordiality and heartiness which makes your 
assistance doubly welcome. 

I remember well how impressed I was by this feature of 
your charity, when, six or seven years ago, 1 first knew of the 
existence of your organization, and was urged, as Governor oi 
the State, to attend an entertainment to be given for its bene- 
fit; and how it determined me to set aside my objec tions and 
accept the imitation which was so cordially and persuasively 
presented. I have always felt grateful to those who tendered 
that invitation, not only for the enjoyment which the enter- 
tainment afforded, but also because I was thus introduced 


charity in which I have ever since taken a lively interest. You 
at that time placed my name upon your roll of honorary mem- 
bership, and I am very proud of it — all the more so because if 
not the first, it was among the first, there recorded. 

I feel, then, that 1 am nearly enough related to you and your 
active membership to join in your felicitations upon the good 
you have already accomplished and upon the promise of 
extended usefulness in the future. The record of charitable 
accomplishments which has been presented by your president 
must be full of satisfaction, and must, of necessity, bring home 
to you the feeling that you have been amply paid for all you 
have done for this beneficent organization, by the conscious- 
ness that you have in this way aided in alleviating the sorrow 
and the distress of your "forlorn and shipwrecked" brethren. 

The highest and best development of your charity, and the 
most important purpose of your Fund, will be reached when 
you are able to provide a home for those in your profession 
who, through age, sickness, or infirmity, are unfitted longer to 
work and struggle. It must be perfectly apparent that, in such 
a retreat, managed and superintended by those who, from pro- 
fessional experience and sympathy, are conversant with the 
history and peculiar needs of those whom it shelters, poverty 
would lose much of its humiliation, and disability need not 
rob the unfortunate of self-respect. I hope the day is not far 
distant when this important instrumentality will be added 
to your means of usefulness. 

You will not, I trust, deem it amiss if, in conclusion, I pre- 
sent a thought which is apt to be prominent in my mind on 
occasions like this. 

Considering, as I do, the dramatic profession as furnishing 
favorable conditions for the development of thoughtful men, I 
am not fully satisfied that its members appreciate, as soberly as 
they ought, their duty to our country. You must yourselves 
confess that the tendency of your occupation is somewhat in 
the direction of isolation, and a separation from familiar con- 
tact with the ordinary affairs of life. These lead not only to 


your being misunderstood by many of your fellow-citizens, bul 
to the loss of the advantage which your Intelligence might 
contribute to the common welfare. Vou are patriotic in senti- 
ment, bul you are too apt to think that you perform your full 
duty when you do well your professional work and when you 
keep the peace and obey the laws. Pardon me if I say to you 
thai all these things, and all your readily acknowledged char- 
itable undertakings, will not atone for a neglect to discharge 
your duty as it is related to the affairs of your country. This 
rnnient of ours is constructed upon the theory that every 
thoughtful, intelligent, and honest citizen will directly interest 
himself in its operation; and unless this is forthcoming, its 
best objects and purposes will not be accomplished. 

As the welfare of your country is dear to you, as you desire 
an honest and wise administration of your government, and as 
your interests and prosperity, in common with those of your 
fellow-citizens, are bound up in the maintenance of our free 
institutions, do not forget that these things can only he secured 
b) conscientious political thought and careful political action. 

/.' fore ///<• State Charities Aid Association, Xtw York, 
May i, 1 891. 

Mr. President, and Ladies and Gentlemen: 

When 1 consented to say a few words on this occasion, I 
knew that others would attend, and ably and thoroughly pre- 
sent the work and achievements of the State Charities Aid 
Association. This knowledge gave rise in my mind to consid- 
erable doubt and hesitation, because it seemed to me that in 
this condition of the matter, the little 1 could say must appear 
useless — if nothing worse. It occurred to me, however, in 
settling the question, that my parti< ipation in this meeting 
would probably benefit one person at least -and that was 
myself. It this suggests a motive for mj appearance, which 


seems to have a slight color of selfishness, I hasten to declare 
that I would be glad to share the good effects of the influence 
of this occasion with all my fellow-townsmen who might be 
inclined to place any value upon disinterested and well- 
directed charitable effort. 

There are benefits originating in charitable activity, which 
reach others besides those directly relieved. It is clear that 
those actually engaged in the ministrations of charity derive a 
benefit therefrom. Physical exercise and outdoor athletic 
recreation strengthen the muscles and invigorate the bodily 
powers. So charitable exercise and humane work strengthen 
the best tendencies of human nature and invigorate the moral 
health. These are the natural and expected rewards of actual 
participation in physical exercise and in the activity of charity. 
But the thought I have in my mind relates to certain benefits 
resulting from charitable efforts which may accrue to those 
who, simply as observers, are brought within its influence. 
Those who go out to witness the physical exercise of others, or 
to watch athletic sports, receive a benefit by breathing the 
fresh air, if in no other way. So, those who witness charitable 
exercise and humane work, and even those who only put them- 
selves in the way of hearing of the results of such exercise and 
work, cannot fail to derive benefit and advantage from the 
atmosphere surrounding them. They will be cured of much 
moral dyspepsia, they will be relieved of the atrophy of selfish- 
ness; they are apt to be better fitted for all the duties of life, 
while the flexibility and mobility of their inclinations toward 
charitable giving will, almost surely, be increased. 

It is well, therefore, to keep before those not actively 
enlisted in charity, the work that is being done by others — to 
the end, that, by a process of absorption or leavening, the 
charitable and kindly feeling which should characterize Ameri- 
1 an 1 ivilization may be quickened among our people. 

I hope 1 have not placed too much stress upon the value of 
the benevolent sentiment which may be cultivated by the con- 


tern plat ion of charitable work, l>y those who are siraph 
bystanders — even though they remain bystanders. I cannol 
help thinking, that, in a count!)' like ours, where so mu< It 
depends upon the virtue of individuals, the improvement of 
every impulse or inclination which makes men better and more 
unselfish, is most important to our citizenship. 

Besides, we do not expect that those who thus feel the influ 
ence which is spread abroad by the charitable activit) of othei 
will long remain mere bystanders. What they see and feel 
ought to lead to hearty co-operation — if not in time and effort, 
certainly in pecuniary assistance. 

We commemorate, to-night, the successes in humane work oi 
a volunteer association of men and women so organized that 
their labor and influence is found in every neighborhood of our 
State. Theirs is a labor of love and disinterested humanity. 
They ask no public appropriation of money, nor do they seek 
compensation for their services. What they have done for the 
dependent poor and unfortunate cannot be over-valued. The 
part they have taken in rescuing the State from the disgrai e of 
its neglect of the pauper insane, and their instrumentalit) in 
placing these afflicted ones within the reach of proper care and 
treatment, are sufficient to entitle these earnest workers to the 
gratitude of every good citizen. If there is difficulty in obtain- 
ing the small amount of money — beyond their own contribu- 
tions — which is necessary to continue the work of their organi- 
zation, it must be that its mission is not understood or thai the 
bystanders, of whom I have spoken, either do not comprehend 
the necessities of the situation, or are resisting the beneficent 
influences of the association's existence ami labors. 

I have left to others the agreeable task <>i recounting, in 
detail, the direct benefits to the poor, the wretched, and the 
unfortunate, which have been wrought by the assoi iation. 1 
have spoken of the improvement which the influent e ami 
example of its members should make in the char.u t « t of our 
people. I desire now to suggest a way by whit h the work of 

200 TO RELIC, 10 US AND 

the association may be made useful to our State charitable 
institutions themselves, altogether aside from the correction of 
any wrongs and abuses in their management. 

We all know that there is among our people a readiness to 
suspect the existence of neglect and cruelty in the conduct of 
these institutions. This is evidenced by the unquestioning 
credence which is accorded to the most sensational reports 
concerning the ill-treatment of the paupers in our poorhouses, 
of the insane in our asylums, and of the sick in our hospitals. 
We all know, too, that, though these reports are sometimes 
unfounded and often grossly exaggerated, no amount of official 
denial, and frequently no exoneration through official investi- 
gation, can reassure the public, or shake the belief easily rooted 
in the minds of compassionate citizens, that terrible outrages 
are committed behind the doors which only open to official 
bidding. It is hardly necessary to suggest that these appre- 
hensions and convictions have their rise in sentiments of 
humanity and pity, coupled with what is construed to be a 
desire for the concealment of the actual situation. 

It is perfectly plain that such a want of confidence on the 
part of the people, in the proper management of our public 
charitable institutions, must remove the chief supports of their 
usefulness and prevent their fulfillment of the purposes of their 
maintenance. The avoidance of such conditions can in no 
way lie better secured, nor can a surer safeguard against such 
groundless and sensational accusations be provided, than by 
the frequent visitation and inspection of these institutions by 
prudent, intelligent, and sensible men and women in their 
localities, respected and trusted by the entire community, and 
volunteering in the service. The further removed they are 
from official limitations and regulation, the more implicit faith 
and confidence will their neighbors and fellow-citizens place 
in their reports and representations. It would be exceedingly 
difficult for unfounded accusations and tales of horror to gain 
a foothold against the testimony of such disinterested and 
unpaid visitors, and the quiet existence of conditions, which, it 


known, tnighl justif) accusation and suspicion, would be 
impossible under their watchful visitations. 

1 do not overlook the fact that such visitation and inspe< tion 
might be regarded, with some reason, as an interference with 

necessary official management and administration and tnighl 
thus cause irritation and trouble. !'>ut the danger o| su< h 
consequences 1 am sure could be avoided l>\ i are in the sele< - 
tion of the visitors and by the employment of only those ol 
good judgment and conservative disposition, [ndeed, visitors 
ol that kind must, of necessity, be selected, if any -nod purpose 
is to be accomplished through their efforts. At any rate, I 
believe the wholesome checks to the improper treatment of the 
unfortunate wards of the State and the protection ol our char- 
itable institutions against unjust attack, which volunteer visita- 
tion and inspection would secure, much more than counter- 
balance the risk of any objectionable results. 

Besides, in considering this plan of charitable work, we 
have something more reliable and satisfactory to guide us than 
mere theory and presumption. for ten years the members and 
agents of the State Charities Aid Association have been per- 
mitted by law to visit and inspect the county, city, and town 
poorhouses and almshouses within the State. The far-reaching 
good which has resulted from these limited ministrations of 
the Association can hardly be estimated; and 1 have nevei 
heard of any instance where harm has resulted. 

With su< h a demonstration before us, and thus having rea- 
son and experience to support us, we are abundantly justified 
in asking that tin' Association's right of visitation and inspec- 
tion be extended, so that it shall apply to all the asylums and 
other charitable institutions which are under State man 

In conclusion, T desire to congratulate the members of tin- 
Charities Aid Association on the grand results of their labors, 
and to acknowledge the beneficence and usefulness of their 
undertaking I believe the encouragement of such endeavors 
as theirs is a dutj devolving upon every citizen ol the State. 


Their mission should be better understood and our people 
should be constantly reminded that charity not only aids and 
relieves the poor and distressed, but that, by its influence and 
inspiration, it improves and broadens the best elements of 
American citizenship. 




Memorial Tribute to Oscar Folsom, before the Erie County Bar 
Association Meetings July 26, 1 S75. 

It has been said, " Light sorrows s[)eak, great grief is 
dumb," and the application of this would enforce my silence 
on this occasion. But I cannot go so far, nor let the hour 
pass without adding a tribute of respect and love for my de- 
parted friend. He was my friend in the most sacred and 
complete sense of the term. I have walked with him, talked 
with him, ate with him, and slept with him — was he not my 
friend ? 

I must not, dare not, recall the memories of our long and 
loving friendship. And let not my brethren think it amiss if 
1 force back the thoughts which come crowding to my mind. 
I shall speak coldly of my friend ; but the most sacred tribute 
of a sad heart, believe me, is unspoken. 

In the course of a life not entirely devoid of startling inci- 
dents, I can truly say I never was so shocked and overwhelmed 
as when 1 heard, on Friday night, of the death of Oscar Fol- 
som. I had an engagement with him that evening, and was 
momentarily expecting him when I received the intelligence 
of his injury ; and before I reached the scene of the accident 
I was abruptly told of his death ; I shall not attempt to de- 
scribe my emotions. Death seemed so foreign to this man, 
and the exuberance of his life was so marked and prominent, 
that the idea of his dying, or his death, seemed to me incon- 
gruous and out of place. And before I saw him dead I found 



myself reflecting, " How strange he would look, dying or 

I had seen him in every other part of the drama of life but 
this, and for this he seemed unfitted. 

His remarkable social qualities won for him the admiration 
of all with whom he came in contact, while his great, kind 
heart caused all to love him who knew him well. He was 
remarkably true in his friendships, and having really made a 
friend he " grappled him with hooks of steel." Open and 
frank himself, he opposed deceit and indirection. His remark- 
able humor never had intentional sting ; and though impulsive 
and quick, he was always just. In the practice of his profes- 
sion and in the solution of legal questions he saw which was 
right and just, and then expected to find the law leading him 
directly there. 

It is not strange to find joined to a jovial disposition a kind 
and generous heart ; but he had, besides these, a broad and 
correct judgment and a wonderful knowledge of men and 
affairs; and the instances are numerous in my experience 
when his strong common sense has aided me easily through 
difficulties. Such was my friend. 

The sadness of his taking off has no alleviation. I shall not 
dwell upon the harrowing circumstances. On Friday after- 
noon Oscar Folsom, in the midday of life, was cherishing 
bright anticipations for the future. Among them, he had 
planned a home in an adjoining town, where he calculated 
upon much retirement and quiet. He had already partially 
perfected his arrangements, which were soon to be fully con- 
summated. Within forty-eight hours he reached the town of 
his anticipated residence. But God had intervened. The 
hands of loving friends bore him to a home, but not the home 
he had himself provided. He found peace in the home that 
God provides for the sons of men, and quiet — ah ! such quiet — 
in the grave. 1 know how fleeting and how soon forgotten 
are the lessons taught by such calamities. " The gay will 
laugh, the solemn brow of care plod on, and each one as before 


pursue his favorite phantom." But it seems to mi th it li 
long years will intervene before pleasanl m< morii \ ol his life 
will be unmingled with the sad admonitions furnished by the 
deal li of ( >scar Folsom. 

Let us cherish him in loving remembrance, and heed well 
the lessons of his death; and let <>ur tenderesl sympathy 
extend to a childless father, a widowed wife, and fatherless 


When presiding over the New York State Bar Association^ 

Albany, January 8, 1884. 

Gentlemen ob the Association : 

At a late hour I was solicited to preside at your meeting. 
I should certainly have felt that 1 must decline, but for two 
considerations. I was assured that no address would be ex- 
pected of me, and that even a little speech, on assuming the 
chair, might be dispensed with. This disposed of one objection 
to my consent. 

The other consideration sprang up in my mind when I reflected 
that there would be here an assemblage of my professional 
brethren, and the impulse was irresistible to be among them for 
a time, though necessarily brief, and to feel about me t he at mos- 
phere from which, for a twelve-month, I have been excluded. I 
beg to assure you, gentlemen, that in the ( rowd of official duties 
which for the past year have surrounded me, 1 have never lost 
sight of the guild to which I am proud to belong, nor have I 
lost any of the love and care for the noble profession 1 have 
chosen. On the contrary, as I have seen the controlling 
part which the lawyers of the State assume in the enacting 
of her laws, and in all other works that pertain to her progress 
and her welfare, I have appreciated more than ever the value 
and usefulness of the legal profession. And, when I have 
seen how generally my professional brethren have been faith- 
ful to their public trusts, my pride has constantly increased. 


And yet from the outside world I come within the grateful 
circle of professional life to say to you that much is to be 
done before the bar of this State will, in all its parts, be what 
we all could wish. We hold honorable places, but we hold 
places of power — if well used, to protect and save our fellows; 
if prostituted and badly used, to betray and destroy. It seems 
to me that a profession so high and noble in all the purposes 
of its existence should be only high and noble in all its results. 
But we know it is not so. There is not a member of the bar 
in this assemblage who has not shuddered when he thought of 
the wicked things he had the power to do safely ; and he has 
shuddered again when he recalled those, whom he was obliged 
to call professional brothers, who needed but the motive to do 
these very things. 

An association like this, to be really useful, must be some- 
thing more than a society devoted to the laudation of the 
profession. It should have duties to perform, earnest in their 
nature, and not the less boldly met because they are disagree- 
able. Those who steal our livery to aid them in the com- 
mission of crime should be detected and exposed ; and this 
association, or branches of it, should have watchmen on the 
walls to protect the honor and fair fame of the bar of the 

Your words are fair, when, in your constitution, you declare 
the objects of this association to be " to elevate the standard of 
integrity, honor, and courtesy in the legal profession " ; and I 
have no doubt you have done much in that direction ; but I 
hope I may be pardoned for reminding you here that frequently, 
to insure health and vigor, the bad, diseased limbs of the tree 
must be lopped off. 

My thought has carried me further than I intended. Be 
assured I have spoken in no censorious spirit. I congratulate 
the State Bar Association on all it has done, and for one am de- 
termined to aid its work as well during my temporary profes- 
sional exile as when 1 shall, again gladly mingle in the con- 
tests of the bar. 



At the Laying of the Corner Stone of the New Academy of 
Medicine, .\V,v York, October 2, 1889. 

The congratulation and the satisfaction which attend this 
hour especially belong to the members of the Academy of 
Medicine. This is as it should be, for the exercises of to-day 
signalize an achievement wrought by their activity and energy, 
and give proof of their devotion and attachment to their 
chosen profession. To the members of this organization the 
corner stone which we now lay is an honor, for it is a monu- 
ment which marks an important advance in the attainment of 
the purpose of the Academy, as declared in its constitution : 
"the promotion of the science and art of medicine." 

In these extensive foundations is also found proof of the 
progressive ideas of these earnest men and their constantly 
enlarging estimate of what is necessary to meet the purposes to 
which their energy is directed. I have lately seen a pamphlet 
containing the constitution and by-laws of the Academy, with 
a prefatory note published only three years ago. In this note 
it is declared that, from the inception of the Academy, one of 
its chief objects has been the procurement of a building or 
hall where its meetings might be held, where a library and 
museum could be garnered, and where the profession could 
meet on common ground. The statement is added with much 
apparent satisfaction that the efforts put forth in this direction 
have culminated in the purchase of a commodious building 
centrally situated, thus " providing a library, hall, and au- 
dience room, which will, for some time, answer the Academy's 
wants and those of the profession." It is already found that 
the commodious building which, three years ago, was deemed 
sufficient headquarters for the usefulness of the Academy, is 
too small and cramped to answer the beneficent purposes of 
the organization, and the erection of a structure three or four 
times as large has been entered upon. It is thus evident that 
the members of the Academy of Medicine, not forgetting the 


mission they have undertaken to promote the science and art 
of medicine, and, seeing broader avenues leading to this ob- 
ject, have promptly, and with an energy which never fails, 
begun their preparations for wider activity and more impor- 
tant results. 

1 have spoken of the mission of the Academy. The nobility 
and sacred character of this mission have been often dwelt upon. 
It is an old story, but it will never lose its interest while 
humanity is touched with human woe ; while self-sacrifice 
receives the homage of Christian hearts ; while the sufferings 
and sorrows of our fellow-men start the tear of pity ; nor while 
their alleviation brings comfort and satisfaction to the soul of 

These reflections easily and naturally lead to the thought 
that the members of the Academy of Medicine are not entitled 
to the absolute monopoly of congratulation to-day. All your 
fellow-citizens may well claim a share, not only because they 
are interested in the promotion of the science and art ef 
medicine, by reason of their liability to accident and disease, 
but because such advance in any profession, as is here demon- 
strated, adds to the glory and renown of our common country. 
1 am here to claim for the laymen among your fellow-citizens 
a part of the pride which grows out of the progress and 
achievement of our medical profession. I base this claim 
upon the fact that, in this favored land of ours, all interests are 
so interwoven and all activities lead, or should lead, so 
directly to the accomplishment of our common national des- 
tiny that none of us can be indifferent to an important 
advance among us in any science or industry. 

I am sure that you are not inclined to ignore the aid you 
have received, in the project you have undertaken, from the 
laymen among your fellows. Nor can you forget that underlying 
all that you have done and all that you have received are our 
free American institutions, which encourage and give scope to 
every worthy effort, and which offer fitting rewards for intelli- 
gent and well-directed labor in every condition of life. 


You will not, therefore, I trust, deem ii impertinent if I re- 
mind you thai none of ns is absolved from the duty of aiding 
in the maintenance in complete integrity of these Tree institu- 
tions, ami that this requires the thoughtful care and attention 
of every citizen. You d<> much for your country when yon 
raise the standard and enlarge the usefulness of your profes- 
sion ; but you do not accomplish all you can, nor do you 
discharge your full duty of citizenship, unless you also attempt 
to better the condition of public affairs and give to political 
topics and movements the benefit of your trained thought and 
well-informed judgment. In this way you assist in making 
safe and sure the foundations upon which must rest the 
success and value of all your professional efforts and accom- 

I hope, when we shall celebrate here the discovery of our 
country, that we may point out on this spot, in your completed 
building, a splendid monument of the progress of our medical 
education, a monument which shall not only prove to the 
stranger that our physicians are proud of their profession, but 
one which shall also be a reminder that those who govern 
within its walls do not forget, in their devotion to the science 
and art of medicine, their other duties of citizenship. 


Before flic Medical Alumni Association of New York City, 
February 15, 1890. 

Mr President and Gentlemen : 

I feel that 1 ought, first of all, to acknowledge the courtesy 
which affords me the opportunity of pleasantly meeting this 
evening so many of the medical fraternity. I hasten to follow 
this by the expression of my thanks for the permission to say 
the few words which I suppose are expected of me thus early 
in the speech-making stage of this entertainment. 1 recognize 
in this favor the utmost kindness, based, 1 have no doubt, upon. 


your knowledge of physical and mental conditions. You evi- 
dently know as well as I do that of all congested, distended 
and flatulent conditions, the worst and most painful arise from 
the combination of a stomach full of good things to eat and 
drink, held in uncomfortable solution by an undigested 

I interpret my invitation to be here to-night as a recogni- 
tion of the relationship which exists between the professions of 
medicine and law. At any rate I am quite proud in the as- 
sumption that I am entitled, in a fashion, to represent the law 
side of this professional reunion. 

There are many things which we have in common, and many 
points where we diverge in our professional ways. We, with 
the clergy, enjoy the distinction of belonging to the learned 
professions. This has a pleasant sound and conveys to us an 
idea calculated to inspire the greatest self-satisfaction and to 
fill us with a feeling of arrogant superiority. These sentiments 
are, however, at once much tempered, or are destroyed, by the 
reflection that we are all obliged to recognize as professional 
brethren those who demonstrate by their conduct that mere 
membership in our brotherhoods will not, of itself, raise us 
above the ordinary scale of morality, or exalt us above the 
plane of everyday human nature. Neither you nor 1 can deny 
that both of our professions have at this moment representa- 
tives not engaged in active practice, but resting in retirement 
and seclusion within the walls of certain penal institutions 
scattered throughout the land. And 1 will concede, if you will, 
that there are others now at large, in both professions, who are 
entitled to the same retirement and seclusion. 

Perhaps, in passing, I might also say with bated breath that 
it is sometimes broadly hinted that even the clergy occasion- 
ally do things which better befit the unregenerate. 

I do not indulge in these reflections for the sake of saying 
unpleasant things, but rather to suggest humility and modesty, 
and to introduce the declaration that I am prepared now and 
here to disavow with you the claim of any special goodness or 


greatness for our profession, except such .is grows out ol ai 
sympathy with everything which helps and benefits our fellow- 
men, and except such as result from a const ientious and In tm -si 
discharge of professional duty. 

We occupy common ground in the similarity of the treat- 
ment we receive at the hands of the outside world, and in the 
opportunity we have to make things even with those who de- 
spitefully use us. 

I have no doubt that it is very funny for people to ure 
doctors as playing into the hands of undertakers, and to rep 
resent lawyers as being on such good terms with the evil one 
as to preclude the least chance oi their salvation. Those who 
indulge in this sort of merriment are well people and peo- 
ple who have no law suits on hand. They grow very serious 
when their time comes and they grow sick or are caught in the 
meshes of the law. Then they are very respectful and very 
appreciative of our skill and learning. If sick they would fain 
have the doctor by their side day and night ; and if they are 
troubled with a law suit they sit like Mordecai at the lawyer's 
gate and are unwilling that he should attend to any business 
but theirs. They are ready to lay their fortunes at our feet 
and to give and promise all things if they can but recover their 
health or win their suit. These are the days in which the 
lawyer, if he is wise, will suggest to his clients the payment of 
a round retainer or a fee in advance. I mention this as indi- 
cating a difference at this time in our situations in favor of the 
lawyer which gives him a slight advantage over his medical 

When tlu: patient recovers, or the client has succeeded in his 
suit, the old hardihood and impenitence return. The patient 
insists that his strong constitution carried him through, and 
the client declares that he always knew there was nothing in 
the case of his adversary. They haggle over our bills ami 
wonder how we can charge so much for so little work. 

But sometimes the life or the law suit cannot be saved. \n 
such a case we must not overlook a difference in our situations, 


with features in favor of the doctor. The defeated client is 
left in a vigorous and active condition, not only in the complete 
enjoyment of his ancient privilege of swearing at the Court, 
but also with full capacity to swear at his lawyer. The de- 
feated patient, on the contrary, is very quiet indeed and can 
only swear at his doctor if he has left his profanity in a phono- 
graph to be ground out by his executor. 

A point of resemblance between us is found in the fact that 
in neither profession do we manage well in treating our own 
cases. 1 )octors solemnly advise their patients that it is danger- 
ous to eat this or drink that, or do many other things which 
make existence pleasant ; and after marking out a course for 
their poor patients which, if followed, robs life of all which 
makes it worth living, they hasten away to tempt instant death, 
according to their own teachings, by filling themselves with all 
the good things and indulgence within the reach of their de- 
sires. So the lawyer, safe and wise when he counsels others, 
deals so poorly with his own legal affairs as to have originated 
the saying that a lawyer who tries his own case has a fool for 
a client ; and it seems almost impossible for a lawyer to draw 
his own will in such manner as not to yield a passage through 
it for a coach and four. 

Another point of resemblance between the two professions 
consists in the disposition of the members of both to quarrel 
with each other. I am bound to say, however, that a differ- 
ence is to be noted in this matter in favor of the amiability of 
the Bar. Our quarrels are mostly of the Pickwickian sort and 
strictly in the line of business. They keep us in fighting trim 
and serve a very good purpose in impressing our clients with 
our zeal and devotion to their interest. Our asseveration of 
the rectitude and justice of their side of the cause in hand, and 
our demonstration of contempt and indignation for the base- 
less pretenses of their antagonist and for that prostitution of 
professional effort which advocates such pretenses, is a part of 
our trade. At the same time 1 suppose OUT clients would suspect 
us of bad faith and disloyalty if they knew how temporary and 


free from bitterness our quarrels are. Of course, I personally 
know but little of the quarrels of doctors, except that they are 
constant and well sustained. I am not to be blamed, however, il 
I share in the common belief of those outside of the profession, 
thai you are very belligerent and quarrel a great deal for the 
sake of quarreling. You seem to quarrel in squads, in 
tions, in schools and in colleges. You certainly have not, as 
we have, the excuse that your warfare phases and exhilarates 
your patients; for neither they nor anyone else know what 
you are quarreling about. 

It is extremely pleasant to turn from these things to the ac- 
knowledgment of certain obligations we, as lawyers, often owe 
to the medical fraternity. When, burdened with a troublesome 
case, we feel that the facts are against us ; when we languish in 
the chill darkness of adverse legal principles ; and when dis- 
couragement broods over our efforts, if we can bring from afar 
and inject into our cause some question of medical science, 
our drooping law suit immediately becomes animated and in- 
teresting, for we know that whatever our theory may be con- 
cerning this medical question, we shall find generous and con- 
siderate doctors who will support it. Of course fully as many 
will dispute and denounce it ; but with a jury in the box who 
have not the slightest idea of what the doctors are talking 
about, neither litigant need feel discouraged. 

You are not, I trust, unprepared for the distinct expression in 
conclusion, that nothing is more noble or useful than worthy 
membership in our professions. In both are found that culture 
and enlightened education which make them learned profes- 
sions; ami in botli are found that dignity, integrity, and devotion 
which entitle them to be called honorable professions. Our 
membership should lead us to acknowledge the responsibili- 
ties to our fellow-men, which our situations impose, and our ob- 
ligation to our country, which we cannot innocently evade. 
May I not suggest that our entire duty is not done if we never 
look beyond our professional routine, and if we limit our en- 
deavor to strictly professional labor? If our positions give us 


influence, that influence should be exerted in every direction 
for the good of our fellow-countrymen. There are also mala- 
dies and evils afflicting the body politic which require remedies 
and corrections ; and there are suits to be tried before the 
tribunal of public opinion in which the anxious suitors are a 
free, generous, and confiding people. 



At St. Stephen's J I all, Buffalo, December 5, [881. 

Ladies and Gen i i i men : 

1 Di.siRK to acknowledge the honor you have conferred upon 
me by this call to the chair. My greatest regret is thai I 
know so little of the conditions that have given birth to the 
Land League. 1 know, in a general way, that it is designed to 
secure to Ireland those just and natural rights to which Irish- 
men are entitled. I understand, also, that these art: to be ob- 
tained by peaceful measures and without doing violence to 
any just law of the land. This should meet with the support 
and countenance of every man who enjoys the privilege of 
American citizenship and lives under American laws. ()ui 
sympathy is drawn out by a bond of common manhood. W e 
are here to-night to welcome an apostle of this cause, one who 
can, from personal experience, recount the scenes of that 
troubled isle ; who can tell us the risks that are taken and the 
pains that are suffered by those who lead the van in this great 
movement. I congratulate you upon having Father Sheehy 
with you, and 1 will not delay the pleasure of his presentation 
to you. 

At St. fames' Hall, Buffalo, at ,1 Mass Meeting to Protest 
Against the Treatment of American Citizens Imprisoned 

Abroad, April 9. i*SSj. 

Fellow-Citizens : 

This is the formal mode of address on occasions of this 
kind, but I think we seldom realize fully its meaning, or how 
valuable a thing it is to be a citizen. 


From the earliest civilization, to be a citizen has been to be 
a free man, endowed with certain privileges and advantages, 
and entitled to the full protection of the state. The defense 
and protection of the personal rights of its citizens have always 
been the paramount and most important duties of a free, en- 
lightened government. 

And perhaps no government has this sacred trust more in its 
keeping than this— the best and freest of them all ; for here 
the people who are to be protected are the source of those 
powers which they delegate upon the express compact that 
the citizen shall be protected. For this purpose we choose 
those who, for the time being, shall manage the machinery 
which we have set up for our defense and safety. 

And this protection adheres to us in all lands and places as 
an incident of citizenship. Let but the weight of a sacri- 
legious hand be put upon this sacred thing, and a great, strong 
government springs to its feet to avenge the wrong. Thus it 
is that a native-born American citizen enjoys his birthright. 
But when, in the westward march of empire, this nation was 
founded and took root, we beckoned to the Old World, and 
invited hither its immigration, and provided a mode by which 
those who sought a home among us might become our fellow- 
citizens. They came by thousands and hundreds of thousands; 
they came and 

Hewed the dark old woods away, 
And gave the virgin fields to day ; 

they came with strong sinews and brawny arms to aid in the 
growth and progress of a new country ; they came and upon 
our altars laid their fealty and submission ; they came to our 
temples of justice, and under the solemnity of an oath re- 
nounced all allegiance to every other state, potentate, and 
sovereignty, and surrendered to us all the duty pertaining to 
such allegiance. We have accepted their fealty and invited 
them to surrender the protection of their native land. 

And what should be given them in return? Manifestly, 

A \ V» /' / TRIOTIC Q( VS. 217 

good faith and ever] dictate of honor demand that we 
them the same liberty and protection here and elsewhere 
which we vouchsafe to our native-born citizens. And that 
tins has been accorded to them is the crowning glorj ol 
American inst i t u t ions. 

It needed not the statute, which is now the law of the land, 
declaring that, " all naturalized citizens while in foreign lands 
are entitled to and shall receive from this government the 
same protect inn of persons and property which is accorded to 
native-born citizens," to voice the policy of our nation. 

In all lands where the semblance of liberty is preserved, the 
right of a person arrested to a speedy accusation and trial is, 
or ought to be, a fundamental law, as it is a rule of civilization. 

At any rate, we hold it to be so, and this is one of the rights 
which we undertake to guarantee to any native-born or natur- 
alized citizen of ours, whether he be imprisoned by older of 
the Czar of Russia or under the pretext of a law administered 
for the benefit of the landed aristocracy of England 

We do not claim to make laws for other countries, but we 
do insist that, whatever those laws may be, they shall, in the 
interests of human freedom and the rights of mankind, so far 
as they involve the liberty of our citizens, be speedily admin- 
istered. We have a right to say, and do say, that mere sus- 
picion, without examination or trial, is not sufficient to justify 
the long imprisonment of a citizen of America. Other nations 
may permit their citizens to be thus imprisoned. Ours will 
not. And this, in effect, has been solemnly declared by 

We have met here to-night to consider this subject, and to 
inquire into the cause and the reasons and the justice of the 
imprisonment of certain of our fellow-citizens now held in 
British prisons without the semblance of a trial or legal exam- 
ination. Our law declares that the government shall act in 
such cases. But the people are the creators of the government. 

The undaunted apostle of the Christian religion, imprisoned 
and persecuted, appealing, centuries ago, to the Roman law 


and the rights of Roman citizenship, boldly demanded : " Is 
it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and un- 
condemned ? " 

\ . 

At the Albany High School, June 12, 1883. 

I accepted the invitation of your principal to visit your 
school this morning with pleasure, because I expected to see 
much that would gratify and interest me. In this I have not 
been disappointed ; but I must confess that if I had known 
that my visit here involved my attempting to address you, I 
should have hesitated, and quite likely have declined the in- 

I hasten to assure you now that there is not the slightest 
danger of my inflicting a speech upon you, and that I shall do 
but little more than express my pleasure in the proof I have of 
the excellence of the methods and management of the school, 
and of the opportunities which those who attend have within 
their reach of obtaining a superior education. 

I never visit a school in these days without contrasting the 
advantages of the scholar of to-day with those of a time not 
many years in the past. Within my remembrance, even, the 
education which is freely offered to you was only secured by 
those whose parents were able to send them to academies and 
colleges. And thus, when you entered this school, very many 
of you began where your parents left off. 

The theory of the State, in furnishing more and better schools 
for the children, is that it tends to fit them to perform better 
their duties as citizens, and that an educated man or woman is 
apt to be more useful as a member of the community. 

This leads to the thought that those who avail themselves of 
the means thus tendered them are in duty bound to make such 
use of their advantages as that the State shall receive, in return, 
the educated and intelligent citizens and members of the com- 


muuity, which it has the right to expect from its schools. You 
who will soon be the men of the day, should consider that yon 
have assumed an obligation to fit yourselves by the education, 
which you may, if you will, receive in this school, for the 
proper performance of any duty of citizenship, and to fill any 
public station to which you may be called. And it seems to 
me to be none the less important that those who an' to be the 
wives and mothers should be educated, refined, and intelligent. 
To tell the truth, I should be afraid to trust the men, educated 
though they should be, if they were not surrounded by pure 
and true womanhood. Thus it TSHhat you all, now and here, 
from the oldest to the youngest, owe a duty to the SUte whic h 
can only be answered by diligent study and the greatest possi- 
ble improvement. It is too often the case that in all walks 
and places the disposition is to render the least possible return 
to the State for the favors which she bestows. 

If the consideration which I have mentioned fails to impress 
you, let me remind you of what you have often heard, that you 
owe it to yourselves, and the important part of yourselves, to 
seize, while you may, the opportunities to improve your minds 
and store in them, for your own future use and advantage, 
the learning and knowledge now fairly within your reach. 

None of you desires or expects to be less intelligent or edu- 
cated than your fellows. But, unless the notions of scholars 
have changed, there may be those among you who think that 
in some; way or manner, after the school day is over, there will 
be an opportunity to regain any ground now lost, and to com- 
plete an education without a present devotion to school 
requirements. 1 am sure this is a mistake. A moment's 
reflection ought to convince all of you that when you have 
once entered upon the stern, uncompromising, and unrelenting 
duties of mature life, there will be no time for study. You 
will have a contest then forced upon you which will strain 
every nerve and engross every faculty. A good education, if 
you have it, will aid you, but if you are without it you cannot 
stop to acquire it. When you leave the school you are well 


equipped for the van in the army of life, or you are doomed to 
be a laggard, aimlessly and listlessly following in the rear. 

Perhaps a reference to truths so trite is useless here. I hope 
it is. But I have not been able to forego the chance to assure 
those who are hard at work that they will surely see their 
compensation, and those, if any such there are, who find school 
duties irksome, and neglect or slightingly perform them, that 
they are trifling with serious things and treading on dangerous 


At the Annual Saengerfest in Buffalo, July 16, 1883. 

1 have come to join my fellow-townsmen and their visitors 
in the exercises which inaugurate a festival of music and of 
song, and a season of social enjoyments. 

It may be safely said, I think, that no one who has called 
this his home, who has enjoyed a residence in this beauti- 
ful city, and has learned the kindness of its people, ever 
forgets these things, or fails to experience a satisfaction in 
whatever adds to the prestige of the city and the pride and 
enjoyment of its inhabitants. 

And thus it is that I am here to-night, at my home, claiming, 
as an old citizen of Buffalo, my full share of the pleasure 
which Buffalonians appropriate to themselves on this occasion. 

I am glad that our State has within its borders a city con- 
taining sufficient German enterprise, and enough of the Ger- 
man love of music, to secure to itself the honor and distinction 
of being selected as the place where this national festival is 

I desire to feel free, to-night, from official responsibilities 
and restraint, and, as a private citizen, to join in welcoming 
our guests to my home; but 1 will not forbear, as the Executive 
of the great State of New York, and on behalf of all its people, 


to extend to those Inn- assembled from othei Slates a heart) 
o rcct ino . 

\i tins moment the reflection is uppermost in m\ mind that 
we owe much to the German elemenl among our people. 
Their thrift ami industry have added immensely to our growth 
and prosperity. The sad and solemn victims of American 
overwork may learn of them that labor may be well done and 
at the same time that recreation and social enjoyment have their 
place in a busy life. They have also brought to us their music 
and their SOng, which have done much to elevate, [■eline, ami 
improve, and to demonstrate that nature's language is as sweet 
a- when the morning stars sang together. 

I am inclined to think that a music-loving people are not 
apt to be a bad people ; and it may well be hoped that occa- 
sions like this will lend to make the love and cultivation of 
music more universal in our land. 

"We hear, sometimes, of the assimilation of the people of 
different nationalities, who have made their home niton Amer- 
ican soil. As this process goes on, let the German's love of 
music be carefully included, to the ciul that the best elements 
of human nature may be improved and cultivated, and Amer- 
ican life be made more joyous and happy. 

I must not detain you longer ; better things await you. 

To the stranger guest, I pledge a cordial hospitality at the 
hands of the Germans of Buffalo. I know the warmth of 
heart and the kindliness of disposition of those having you in 
charge, and no other guarantee is needed. 

To my fellow townsmen, who have labored thus far so faith- 
fully in preparation fortius occasion, I cannot forbear saying 
that your most difficult and delicate work will not be done until 
your guests depart declaring the twenty-third the most suc- 
cessful and enjoyable Saengerfest upon the list, and confessing 
that the most cordial and hospitable entertainers are the Cer- 
mans of Buffalo. 


Accepting the Bartholdi Statue, October 28, 1886. 

The people of the United States accept with gratitude from 
their brethren of the French Republic the grand and com- 
pleted work of art we here inaugurate. 

This token of the affection and consideration of the people 
of France demonstrates the kinship of republics, and conveys 
to us the assurance that in our efforts to commend to man- 
kind the excellence of a government resting upon popular 
will, we still have beyond the American continent a' steadfast 

We are not here to-day to bow before the representation of 
a fierce and warlike god, filled with wrath and vengeance, but 
we joyously contemplate instead our own deity keeping watch 
and ward before the open gates of America, and greater than 
all that have been celebrated in ancient song. Instead of 
grasping in her hand thunderbolts of terror and of death, she 
holds aloft the light which illumines the way to man's enfran- 

We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home ; 
nor shall her chosen altar be neglected. Willing votaries will 
constantly keep alive its fires, and these shall gleam upon the 
shores of our sister republic in the east. Reflected thence and 
joined with answering rays, a stream of light shall pierce the 
darkness of ignorance and man's oppression, until Liberty 
enlightens the world. 


At the Unveiling of the Garfield Statue, Washington, 
May 12, 1S87. 
Fellow-Citizens : 

In performance of the duty assigned to me on this occasion, 
I hereby accept, on behalf of the people of the United States, 
this completed and beautiful statue. 


Amid the interchange of fraternal greetings between the 

survivors of the Army of the Cumberland and their former 
foes upon the battlefield, and while the Union General and 
the people's President awaited burial, the common grief of 
these magnanimous soldiers and mourning citizens found ex- 
pression in the determination to erect this tribute to American 
greatness ; and thus, to-day, in its symmetry and beauty, it 
presents a sign of animosities forgotten, an emblem of a 
brotherhood redeemed, and a token of a nation restored. 

Monuments and statues multiply throughout the land, fit- 
tingly illustrative of the love and affection of our grateful 
people and commemorating brave and patriotic sacrifices in 
war, fame in peaceful pursuits, or honor in public station. 

But from this day forth there shall stand at our seat of 
government this statue of a distinguished citizen who, in his 
life and services, combined all these things and more, which 
challenge admiration in American character — loving tender- 
ness in every domestic relation, bravery on the field of battle, 
fame and distinction in our halls of legislation, and the highest 
honor and dignity in the Chief Magistracy of the nation. 

This stately effigy shall not fail to teach every beholder that 
the source of American greatness is confined to no condition, 
nor dependent alone for its growth and development upon 
favorable surroundings. The genius of our national life 
beckons to usefulness and honor those in every sphere, and 
offers the highest preferment to manly ambition and sturdy 
honest effort, chastened and consecrated by patriotic hopes and 
aspirations. As long as this statue stands, let it be proudly 
remembered that to every American citizen the way is open 
to fame and station, until he 

Moving up from high to higher, 
Becomes on Fortune's crowning slope 
The pillar of a people's hope, 
The center of a World's desire. 

Nor can we forget that it also teaches our people a sad and 
distressing lesson ; and the thoughtful citizen who views its 


fair proportions cannot fail to recall the tragedy of a death 
which brought grief and mourning to every household in the 
land. But, while American citizenship stands aghast and 
all righted that murder and assassination should lurk in the 
midst of a free people and strike down the head of their 
government, a fearless search and the discovery of the origin 
and hiding place of these hateful and unnatural things should 
be followed by a solemn resolve to purge forever from our 
political methods and from the operation of our government, 
the perversions and misconceptions which gave birth to pas- 
sionate and bloody thoughts. 

If, from this hour, our admiration for the bravery and nobil- 
ity of American manhood, and our faith in the possibilities and 
opportunities of American citizenship be renewed; if our ap- 
preciation of the blessing of a restored Union and love for our 
government be strengthened, and if our watchfulness against 
the dangers of a mad chase after partisan spoils be quickened, 
the dedication of this statue to the people of the United States 
will not be in vain. 


At the Banquet of tlie Hibernian Society, Philadelphia, 
September 17, 1887. 

T should hardly think my participation in the centennial 
celebration was satisfactory if I had not the opportunity of 
meeting the representative of the society which, through its 
antiquity and associations, bears close relations on the events 
of the time we commemorate. That you celebrate this occa- 
sion is a reminder of the fact that in the troublous and 
perilous days of our country those whose names stood upon 
your roll of membership fought for the cause of free govern- 
ment and for the homes which they had found upon our soil. 

No society or corporation, I am sure, has in its charter, or 
in its traditions ami history, a better or more valuable eertifi- 


cate of its patriotic worth and character than you have, ami 
which is found in the words of Washington, who, in 1782, de- 
clared of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, of which this asso 
ciation is the successor, that it "has always been noted for the 
firm adherence of its members to the glorious cause in which 
we are engaged." These are priceless words, and they render 
most fitting the part which the members of the Hibernian So- 
ciety are to-day assuming. 

1 noticed upon a letter which I have received from your 
secretary that one object of your society is stated to be "for 
the relief of emigrants from Ireland," and this leads me to 
reflect how nearly allied love of country is to a kindly human- 
ity, and how naturally such a benevolent purpose of this soci- 
ety, as the assistance and relief of your stranger and needy 
emigrants, follows the patriotism in which it had its origin. 

Long may the Hibernian Society live and prosper, and long 
may its benevolent and humane work be prosecuted. And 
when another centennial of the Constitution is celebrated, may 
those who shall then form its membership be as fully inspired 
with the patriotism of its history and traditions, and as ready 
to join in the general felicitation, as the men 1 see about me 


At tin- Fellowcraft Club, New York, May 14, 1889. 

Mr. President and Gentlemen: 

I think I should be glad to depart to-night from what I sup- 
pose to be the custom here, and say a few words to you with 
out the least reference to the occupations in which 1 under 
stand the members of this club are principally engaged, and 
without speaking of the newspapers and those who make and 
manage them. But I do not see how 1 am to accomplish these 
things, because, in the first place, the atmosphere is against me, 
and in the second place, the newspaper press and whal it ■' 


are so interwoven with our life that they can hardly be elimi- 
nated from the discussion of any subject. 

I want to speak of American citizenship ; and I am prompted 
at the outset to say that I cannot see why, among those who 
have to do with the newspaper press, all tilings that pertain to 
good citizenship should not have the highest place ; and 
that 1 never could discover why those connected with news- 
papers should not be judged by the same rules as are applied 
to the rest of us, nor why they are not charged with cer- 
tainly as serious duties and responsibilities as other citizens. 
1 protest against the theory, which appears to have gained 
some headway in certain quarters, that they are a little outside 
of the mass of ordinary citizens ; and in their defense and vin- 
dication, 1 deny the proposition that they deliberately acknowl- 
edge fealty and devotion to their newspapers first and to their 
country afterward. Of course, if crowded, I should be 
obliged to confess that, in my opinion, there are exceptions, and 
that, occasionally, there are found among the editors and man- 
agers of newspapers, as everywhere else, those whose personal 
resentments, or extreme and misguided partisanship, lead them 
to pitiable conclusions ; but against these I put the great 
number who, day by day, labor to make our country better and 
our people more thoughtful and intelligent. 

The warmth of my desire to see good American citizenship 
more prevalent, and the value of it better appreciated by our 
people, arises in a great degree, I suppose, from my recent ex- 
perience in discharging the duties of an office which afforded 
an opportunity of observing the motive power and strength of 
selfish interests in governmental affairs ; and in comparison, 
how weak, if judged by their accomplishments, are disinter- 
ested love of country and dutiful solicitude for the public 
goi id. 

Ours is not a government which operates well by its own 
momentum. It is so constructed that it will only yield its best 
results when it feels the constant pressure of the hands of the 
people. This condition suggests the importance of patriotism 


and devotion to the general and public welfare in all brant hi s 
of the government. 1 >ul this is impossible if the representa- 
tives <>l the people in the State or nation look no tiighei than 
the promotion of personal benefit, or the local interests ol 
their immediate constituents, or the accomplishment oi some 
purpose in aid of their own retention in place. The man who 
enters upon a legislative career, having charged himself espe- 
cially hi exclusively with the passage of measures in which he 
or his personal supporters are alone interested, <>r with the 
success of some private enterprise, is apt to be false to him 
and untrue to his trust. His mind is preoccupied to such an 
extent, and his selfish purposes assume such large proportions 
in his sight, that a scheme for a new public; building tor his 
town or district, or for a bridge across a river, or for the right 
of way for a railroad, or for the allowance ol" a claim against 
the government, crowds out all consideration on his part ol 
great and broad general subjects. Thus he furnishes no in- 
telligent aid in legislation for the public good, and it is for- 
tunate for the people if he does not deliver questionable votes 
in exchange for like favors in behalf of his pet scheme or 

I do not indulge in the statement of an imaginary case. 
And what I have thus presented is but an illustration of the 
perversions that are creeping into every branch of our public 
service. Thoughtful men will not deny that danger lurks in 
the growing tendency of to-day to regard public office as 
something which may be sought and administered for private 
ends, instead of being received and held as a public trust. 

Now I plead for the cultivation of a sentiment among the 
people which will condemn this conduct and those ideas, and 
which will impress upon those who act for and represent us in 
every official capacity the truth that their duty is only per- 
formed by activity for the public good and by the utmost care 
that the spirit of our institutions suffers no impairment. 

\s a stream will not rise above its source, so it is manifest 
that, to reach this better condition, selfishness and listless 

2 28 ON ED Ut '. I 7 1( hVAL 

among the people themselves must give way to a sincere and 
earnest desire for the preservation and increase of that senti- 
ment of true American citizenship which recognizes in the 
advancement of the entire country something more to be 
desired than the direct and immediate attainment of purely 
private ends. 

Here is a field in which all can labor and find plenty to do. 
Those active in the work will have their love of country 
enlivened, and they will not fail to receive encouraging re- 
sponse to their efforts. 

It will be a mistake for us to relax effort because we cannot 
reach the highest point of useful activity, or because we may 
not be able to deal directly with evils in the highest places. 
A good beginning is made when communities and individuals 
are led to appreciate properly the value of public spirit and 
unselfishness in matters connected with their home affairs and 
with the interest of their neighborhoods. The men who have 
learned the lesson of good citizenship, as related to the con- 
cerns of the school district, the village, or the city, will soon 
strive effectively to impress that lesson upon those who have 
to do with the concerns of the State and of the nation. 

I am sure that we can none of us confidently say that even 
here, in this grand and busy city, there is no room for an 
increase of public spirit, or that too much attention is paid to 
the cultivation of American citizenship. I do not mean to say 
that we are behind in these things, but intend merely to inti- 
mate that we should as far excel in this direction as we do in 
every other. 

Nor is there the least danger that we shall have among us 
too many reminders that our city is something more than a 
swift-running mill which grinds the grists of fortune, and that 
we have in our history and traditions things well worthy of 
commemoration in palpable and lasting form. Thus the proj- 
e< t now on foot to build in an appropriate location a per- 
manent and beautiful arch, to replace a temporary one which 
added SO much to our splendid Centennial display, should not 


be allowed to miscarry. Such a structure will lead the minds 
of our citizens away from sordid things, and will suggest to 
them not only the impressive thoughts connected with our 
first President's inauguration, but will constantly remind them 
how grandly the event was celebrated in this city one hundred 
wars afterward. By such means is public spirit fostered, and 
the way opened for a wider prevalence of good citizenship in 
iis highest ami broadest sense. 

I ,e1 us, on the threshold of a new century, charged as we are 
with the maintenance, in our day and generation, of the integ- 
rity of our government, pledge ourselves to labor, each in his 
own sphere, for the revival of pure and simple p. it riot ism and 
for the increase of that unselfish love of our entire country in 
which our safety lies. 

And now I cannot refrain from suggesting as a closing 
thought that the responsibility of men like those who consti- 
tute the membership of this club, in every part and every 
phase .1 movement in the direction of public spirit and good 
citizenship, is made apparent when it is conceded that no 
agency can accomplish more in the cause than a free, coura- 
geous, and patriotic press. 

At the Cornell Alumni Society Meeting, December 21, 1889. 

Mr. Presidi nt \xd Gentlemen : 

1 am confident that however well a man may think lie has 
computed the factors which fix his status among his fellows. 
and however closely he may have inventoried his social assets 
and the claims he may hold to dignity and consideration, an 
item is quite likely now and then to escape his scrutiny. As 
a result he is liable to awaken some morning and find himself, 
if not famous, at least entitled to some distinction or consider- 
ation which had not before entered into his calculation. 

If 1 am not the inventor of this weighty proposition I may 


safely claim to be a striking and convincing illustration of its 

When a committee having the arrangements for this occasion 
in charge came to me with an invitation to be present, I listened 
to their proposition with that placid fortitude which one 
acquires in encounters with those anxious to demonstrate 
their unselfish patriotism by accepting office in the Federal 
service. I confess that the impressive representation made by 
the committee of the importance of the occasion, which in these 
days I hear so often, had little or no effect upon me, and that 
the thought I was giving to the subject was solely directed to 
determining the manner in which I might most courteously 
announce my declination. At this juncture one of my visitors 
mentioned the fact that I had been the only Governor of the 
State of New York, who, during his incumbency, had attended 
a meeting of the Trustees of Cornell University as ex officio 
a member of that body. 

This was an entirely unexpected announcement. I need 
hardly say that conditions changed in an instant, when I under- 
stood that 1 had done an important thing, entirely proper 
and creditable, which my gubernatorial predecessors had not 
done. Somewhat puffed up by this newly found superiority, 
and by the additional importance which I imagined it gave 
me, I was ready to acknowledge the character of the obligation 
which was imposed by my relations thus established to an im- 
portant institution of learning, and the duty I owed to those 
who ate and drank in its honor. 

So I came here to insist upon a proper recognition of my 
kinship to you all, and, 1 fear, with some idea of exploiting, in 
rather a patronizing way, my importance in that relationship. 

But 1 am entirely cured of all this ; for when I see here the 
alumni of Cornell and others connected with her, and when I 
recall the pride which the people of New York have in her 
success and achievements, and when I remember the interest 
and inspiration aroused by my visit to 1km - home more than six 
years ago, I am quite willing to rest the satisfaction I exper- 


ience from the privilege of being with you to-night, upon 
the interest which every citizen of our country and our State 

ought to feel in an institution which has done so much, and 
which promises so much for the instruction and improvement 
of the people of the nation and the State. 

As 1 speak of the nation in its relation to your university, 
1 at once encounter a thing which seems not only to undi 
the establishment of the institution, but which presents a featui 
full of gratification and congratulation. In the grant of aid 
made by the general government, which did so much toward 
the founding of the university, I find it provided thai t he institu- 
tions which sought the benefit of its benefaction must " teach 
such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the 
mechanic arts, in order to promote the liberal and practical 
education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and 
professions in life." 

When we consider the relations of the State to the university, 
we find the charter giving her a corporate existence upon the 
same condition contained in the Federal grant. We find, too, 
that the State guided in her direction the benefits of that 
grant, and at the same time permitted her to extend, to addi- 
tional branches of science and learning, her plan of instruction. 
Nor should we overlook the fact that in her charter the State re- 
quired her several departments of study to be open to applicants 
for admission at the lowest rate of expense consistent with 
her welfare and efficiency, and without distinction as to rank, 
class, previous occupation, or locality. 

To my mind these things mean a great deal. They mean 
that both the nation ami the State deemed the instruction of the 
people in agriculture and the mechanical arts as a fit subject 
for governmental care. This seems natural enough when we 
consider the broad area of our country, with its variety of 
soil and climate, waiting the magic transformation of agricul- 
ture, and when we remember that the American people sur- 
pass all others in ingenuity and mechanical faculty. They 
mean, too, the recognition of the tut that the good of the 


nation and the State is subserved by the education of all the 
people without distinction of rank or class, thus keeping in 
view the principle, upon which our institutions rest, that the 
people are the rulers of the land, and that their intelligence 
and education are the surest safeguards of our perpetuity, 
our prosperity, and our progress. They mean, also, that our 
nation and our State have made an offer of educational 
facilities and have exacted from their beneficiaries a compen- 
sating return of good citizenship. 

These thoughts immediately suggest that those who close 
with this offer and accept its benefits incur an obligation to 
the nation and State which cannot be avoided or compromised. 
It is an obligation to realize thoughtfully and carefully the 
trust they hold as citizens, to interest themselves in public- 
questions and to discharge their political duties with a patriotic 
intent and purpose of securing and protecting the welfare of 
their entire country. No man has a right to be heedless and 
listless under the responsibility he bears as an American 
citizen. An educated man has certainly no excuse for indiffer- 
ence ; and most of all, the man is derelict to his obligation 
who calls your university his Alma Mater and yet fails to dis- 
charge his full duty of citizenship. His graduation is proof 
that he has worthily earned the honors which your university 
can bestow ; but, wherever he may go and whatever may be 
his way of life, his diploma is evidence that he owes service 
t<> the nation. 

Of this service he should at all times be proud. He is every- 
where, if he is true to his duty, in the ranks of those who are 
engaged in the noble work of aiding to reach its grand and 
ultimate destiny, the best and freest nation the world has 
ever seen. If he retains his allegiance to the Empire State of 
New York, his pride should be enhanced; because, if he is 
faithful to his pledge, he is striving to advance the interest of 
the greatest commonwealth which the government of the 
United States numbers among its jewels. 

Thus in the nation and in the State he wears the badge of 


his obligation to good citizenship placed upon him within the 

walls of Cornell University. Happy and dutiful are her 
graduates, if, for the welfare of their country, for the honor oi 
their university, and for the vindication of their own rei titude 
.ind good faith they respond patriotically to this obligation. 

Concerning the debt of affection due from you to the uni- 
versity herself, 1 hardly need saw in this company, thai all the 
alumni of Cornell, wherever in this broad land they may be, 
should love and revere their Alma Mater, beneath whose 
sheltering roof they have been fitted for usefulness and 
well equipped for the conflict of life. 'Their loyalty to her 
should never fail, and when the student life of their sons makes 
their fathers' names again familiar in the old university and 
upon her rolls, the sons should come to her halls laden with 
a father's devotion to her welfare, and they should be spurred 
to their best endeavor by a father's appreciation of her bene- 
fit s and advantages. 

Let me, in closing, leave the alumni of Cornell University 
the thought that they cannot honor their Alma Mater more, 
nor illustrate her value and usefulness better, than by keep- 
ing alive and active at all times a sober apprehension of the 
duty they owe to " the Nation, the State, and the University." 


. // ./ Meeting 1o Demand New Legislation Concerning the 
Adirondack Park, New York, January 24, [891. 

Mr. President, and Ladies \m> Gentlemen : 

I rise to say a word in support of the resolutions that have 
been read. I have come here to be instructed as to the pro- 
gress that has been made in a cause to which a few years ago, 
as Governor of your State, I gave considerable attention, and 
to testify to my continued interest in forest preservation. 
When, as Governor, this subject was brought to my mind, I 
gave it careful study, and I was thoroughly satisfied that the 


destruction of t lie Adirondack forests was jeopardizing our 
rivers as means of transportation, and that their preservation 
was essential to the health and comfort of future generations. 

It is a most important matter, worthy the attention of all. 
Therefore it was that I recommended to the legislators of 
the State the passage of measures calculated to prohibit the 
further sale of forest lands in the possession of the State, and 
that such lands as we had, together with such as should come 
into our hands for the non-payment of taxes, should be pre- 
served for a park. Something of that sort was done or at- 
tempted through an act providing for a forest commission, 
but the necessary amount of public feeling could not then be 
aroused to accomplish much. 

I have listened with a great deal of interest to the sugges- 
tions which have been made here. To my conservative mind 
many of them seem radical. I have had the same advan- 
tages of observation as some of the previous speakers. I 
am an Adirondacker. I go to the Adirondacks every year. 
I have seen the great waste places and the desolation of 
which you have heard ; but, ladies and gentlemen, I have 
been on the edge of another great waste, on the margin of 
another great wilderness. I refer to the Capitol at Albany. 
Now, make no mistake : if you wish to preserve your forests 
from waste, there must be considerable cultivation done up 

But, after all, there is no reason for discouragement. A 
little reminiscence of a previous struggle like this will teach 
you that. There was a suggestion made when I was in 
Albany that an effort should be made to have a reservation at 
Niagara Falls for the purpose of preserving the great natural 
beauty of the place. I must confess that that project seemed 
to me a rather discouraging one to attempt. I was full of 
sympathy, but not full of hope. Its warmest supporters 
hardly dared to predict that their hopes would be realized, 
yet they were realized, and I will tell you how. 

If we had then gone to the Legislature with a bill asking 


for so much money to buy so much Kind around the Falls, we 
certainly would have tailed. We might have gone there and 
pleaded that we only wanted Si, 500, 000 until we were black 
in tlie face, and we would have been answered every time that 
the $1,500,000 we asked for was only an entering wedge. 
Our opponents would have pointed to the Capitol Building at 
Albany and shaken their heads. 

What did we do? We gol the Legislature to pass a law 
authorizing .\\\ appraisal of the lands we wanted to preserve. 
As good luck would have it, the appraisal amounted to 
just about the amount we said the lands would cost. We had 
continued to win supporters for our project. We then asked 
the State to buy the lands, and, to her credit be it said, she 
did so. 

Our success then was largely due to an argument we may 
use here. We wanted to awaken the people's pride. I used 
to say to people that Niagara Falls was a great natural 
wonder by which we were known throughout the world. 
When you go to Europe, you are asked about Niagara Falls. 
I have never been to Europe, but J take that for granted for 
the sake of argument. When we told people that they began 
to take a sort of personal pride in Niagara. So we must make 
them feel that they have a personal interest in the splendid 
Adirondack region, which will make them demand its preser- 
vation. 1 would propose that we have a committee of 128 
able-bodied citizens, each of whom shall go to Albany, take 
a legislator by the ear, and show him the great import of the 
work for which we ask his support. 

The trouble is that the waste of our means of transporta- 
tion is too remote to affect them. They will shrug their 
shoulders and say that the Hudson River will continue to 
flow as long as they live, and future generations — well, per- 
haps future generations can get along without rivers. Tell 
them that the work is essential to the preservation of health, 
ami they will answer you that they are heall hy enough. These 
arguments arc weak to us. but to a member of the Legislature, 


when linked with the question of expense, they become 

We must take up the great task before us by easy stages. 
Let us begin on what we already have. Let us demand that 
the State shall preserve the great amount of Adirondack 
lands it now owns. That will not antagonize anybody. Let 
us demand that railroads shall not go in there on public lands 
except 111)011 the consent of the State and the Forest Com- 
mission. That is but right and cannot antagonize anybody. 
We must not ask that somebody be given a license to go into 
the Adirondack region and blow up all the destructive dams, 
but we can with reason ask the State to see that no dam shall 
exist which is an injury to public lands and public forests. 

Let us begin at once to protect what we have. That will 
demonstrate to the people the value of our work. Having 
done that, 1 believe that securing new lands and finally get- 
ting such a great State Park as we need will be an easy 
matter. Rome was not built in a day. A great Adirondack 
Park cannot be acquired by a single act. 

I believe that we must have the co-operation of those who 
now own Adirondack lands. This is especially true of the 
clubs which have purchased preserves there for sporting pur- 
poses. Their desire to preserve the natural beauty of the 
region is as strong as ours is. If we could get these clubs to 
hold lands adjoining State lands, doing more or less exchang- 
ing for State lands, the region under preservation would be so 
much larger. I believe that it would be perfectly feasible to 
frame a law, agreeable to these clubs, that would give the 
State a right to protect, not a title to, private preserves ad- 
joining a park. 

Don't, then, let us shock our lawmakers, economical at least 
on matters of this kind, by asking for too much at once. 
Don't let us oppose any association, society, or individual that 
is working on the same line as we arc. We need all the help 
we can get. Let us get to work to do something now, for, 
although it may be but an inch of the mile we ultimately 


want, we must remembei thai .1 little done now is worth a 
great deal in the future. I move the adoption <>f t lie resolu- 
tion as offered. 


. // the Annual Banquet of the New England Society <>j 
Brooklyn, December -1,1 89 1 . 

Mr. President and Gentlemen : 

As this is the first time 1 have attended a dinner given by a 
New England Society, I beg to express the gratification it 

affords me to enter upon my new experience in the City of 
Brooklyn and among those whom I have always regarded as 
especially my friends. 

You are by 110 means to suppose that my failure heretofore 
to be present on occasions like this is accounted for by any 
doubt 1 have had as to my qualifications for admission. From 
the time the first immigrant of my name landed in Massachu- 
setts, down to the day of my advent, all the Clevelands front 
whom I claim descent were born in New England. The fa< I 
that I first saw the light in the State of New Jersey I have 
never regarded as working a forfeiture of any right 1 may 
have derived from my New England lineage, nor as making 
me an intruder or merely tolerated guest in an assemblage of 
this kind. 1 resent, of course, with becoming spirit, the impu- 
tation that my birth in New Jersey constitutes me a foreigner 
and an alien ; and I have never been able to see any humor 
in the suggestion that my native State is not within the Union. 
To my mind the regularity with which she votes the Demo- 
cratic ticket entitles her to a high rank among the States that 
are really useful. At any rate, I shall always insist that New 
Jersey is a good State to be born in. and I point to the fact that, 
after an absence of more than fifty years, 1 have returned to 
find a temporary home within her limits as fully demon- 
strating that my very early love for her is noj extinguished. 


Assuming that you agree with me that my birlh in New 
Jersey has not stamped me with indelible ineligibility, and an- 
ticipating your demand for affirmative support of my qualifi- 
cation to mingle with those who celebrate Forefathers' Da) 
and sing the praises of the men who first settled in New 
England, 1 can do no better than to rest my case upon the 
statement that Bean Hill, in the town of Norwich and State of 
Connecticut, was the birthplace of my father. I hope that in 
making this statement 1 shall not remind you of the man who 
loudly boasted of his patriotic sacrifice in defense of his coun- 
try on the ground that he had permitted his wife's relatives to 
join the army. At any rate, it seems to me that the claim I 
make is entirely valid, with no embarrassment connected with 
it, except the admission by inference that for some purposes 
and on some occasions a father's birthplace may be of more 
value to a man than his own. I have nothing further to urge 
on the subject of my eligibility except to mention, as some- 
thing which should be credited to me upon my own account, 
the fact that 1 have lately demonstrated my preference for 
New England and my love for that section of our country 
where my ancestors lived and died, by establishing a summer 
home in the State of Massachusetts. 

I think all of us are old enough to remember the prophetic 
words put opposite certain dates in the old almanacs, " About 
these days look out for snow." If almanacs were now made 
u p as they used to be, it would not be amiss to set opposite the 
latter days of December, " About these days look out for glori- 
fication of the Pilgrims." This would be notice to those con- 
sulting the almanac that a time was foretold when the people 
of the country would be reminded that there were Pilgrims 
who came to New England, and there set in motion the forces 
which created our wondrous nation. 

No one will deny that the Pilgrims to New England were 
well worthy of all that is done or can be done to keep them in 
remembrance, but we cannot recall their history, and what 
they did and established, and what they taught, without also 


recalling thai there have been Pilgrims from New England 
who, finding their way to every part <>f the land, have tak< n 
with them those habits, opinions, and sentiments which, having 
an early origin in American soil, should be best suited to 
American life everywhere, and should be the best guaran 
in every situation, of the preservation, in their integrity and 
purity, of American institutions. 

We have heard much of abandoned lands in New England. 
If farms have been abandoned there, we know that larger and 
more productive farms have been developed in newer States 
by the Pilgrimsfrom New England. If the population of New 
England has suffered a drain, we shall find that the vigorous 
activity lost to her has built up new cities and towns on dis- 
tant and unbroken soil and impressed upon these new crea- 
tions the truest and best features of American civilization. 

While all will admit the debt our great country owes to New 
England influences, and while none of us should be unmindful 
of the benefits to be reasonably expected from the maintenance 
and spread of these influences, a thought is suggested which 
has further relation to the mission and duty of the Pilgrims 
from New England and their descendants, wherever they may 
be scattered throughout the land. If they are at all true to 
their teachings and their traditions, they will naturally illus- 
trate, in a practical way, the value of education and moral sen- 
timent in the foundations of social life and the value of indus- 
try and economy as conditions of thrift and contentment, 
but these Pilgrims and their descendants and all those who, 
with sincere enthusiasm, celebrate Forefathers' Day, will fail 
in the discharge of their highest duty if, yielding to the 
temptation of any un-American tendency, they neglect to 
teach persistently that in the early days there was, and that 
there still ought to be, such a thing as true and distinctive 
Americanism, or if they neglect to give it just interpretation. 

This certainly does not mean that a spirit of narrowness or 
proscription should be encouraged, nor that there should be 
created or kept alive a fear concerning such additions to our- 


population from other lauds as promise assimilation with our 
conditions and co-operation in our aims and purposes. It 
does, however, mean the insistence that every transfer of alle- 
giance from another government to our own, should signify 
the taking on at the same time of an aggressive and affirmative 
devotion to the spirit of American institutions. It means that 
with us, a love of our government for its own sake and for 
what it is, is an essential factor of citizenship, and that it is 
only made full and complete by the adoption of the ideas and 
habits of thought which underlie our plan of popular rule. It 
means that one fills a place in our citizenship unworthily who 
regards it solely as a vantage ground where he may fill his purse 
and better his condition. It means that our government is 
not suited to a selfish, sordid people, and that in their hands it 
is not safe. 

This is a time when there is pressing need for the earnest 
enforcement of these truths ; and occasions like this cannot 
be better improved than by leading us to such self-examination 
and self-correction as shall fit us to illustrate and teach the 
lessons of true Americanism. When we here recall the land- 
ing of the Pilgrims, let us remember that they not only sought 
" Freedom to worship God," but they also sought to establish 
the freedom and liberty of manhood. When we dwell upon 
their stern and sturdy traits, let us remember that these 
nurtured the spirit which achieved American independence, 
and that in such soil alone can its fruits ripen to bless our 
people. When we contemplate how completely conscience 
guided their lives and conduct, let us resolve that conscience 
shall find a place in every phase of our citizenship ; and when 
we learn of their solicitude and care for their new-found home, 
let us acknowledge that unselfish love of country can alone 
show us the path of political duty. 

With such preparation as this — leaving no place for the 
ignoble thought that our government can, without perversion, 
hold out unequal rewards and encourage selfish beings — we 

I \ /' PA TRIOTh ' QL 'ESTIOA S. 2 | > 

shall teach that this heritage of ours has been confided from 
generation to generation id the patriotic keeping and loving 

Care of true Americanism, ami that, this alone can preserve it ; 
to shelter a lice ami happy people — protecting all, defending 
all, and blessing all. 



At the Manila Man Club, December 5, 1882. 

It is not without considerable embarrassment that I attempt 
to say a few words in response to those so well spoken, and to 
express my thanks for the kindness and good will of which 
this occasion is an evidence. This scene and these surround- 
ings are new and strange to me, and, notwithstanding all that 
is calculated to reassure and comfort me in the kindness of 
your welcome, when I am reminded of the circumstances 
which give rise to this reunion, a sense of grave responsi- 
bility weighs upon me ami tempers every other sentiment. 

We stand to-night in the full glare of a grand ami brilliant 
manifestation of popular will, and in the light of it how vain 
ami small appear the tricks of politicians and the movements 
of party machinery. He must be blind who cannot see that 
the people well understand their power ami are determined to 
use it when their rights and interests are threatened. There 
should be no skepticism to-night as to the strength and per- 
petuity of our popular government. Partisan leaders have 
learned, too, that the people will not unwittingly and blindly 
follow, and that something more than unmeaning devotion to 
party is necessary to secure their allegiance. 

1 am quite certain, too, that the late demonstration did not 
spring from any pre-existing love for the party which was 
called to power, nor did the people place the affairs of state in 
our hands to he by them forgotten. They voted for them 
selves and in their own interests. If we retain their confidence 


we must deserve it, and we may be sure they will call on u i to 
give an accounl of oui stewardship. We shall utterly fail to 
read aright the signs of the times if we arc nol fully convinced 
that parties are but the instruments through which the people 
work their will, and that when the}- become less or mor< 

de desert or destroy them. The vanquished have lately 
learned these things, and the victors will act wisely if they 
profit by the lesson. 

1 have read ami heard mm h of late touching the great re- 
sponsibility which has been cast upon me, and it is certainly 
predicated upon the fact that my majority was so large as to 
indicate that many, nol m< mbers of the pari)' to which I am 
proud to belong, supported me. God knows how fully 1 ap- 
preciate the responsibility of the high office to which I have 
been called, and how much I sometimes fear that I shall not 
bear the burden well. It has seemed to me, however, thai the 
citizen who has been chosen by his fellows to discharge public 
duties owe-, no |e>s nor more to them, whether he was el, i t< d 
by a small or a large majority. In either event, he owes to 
the people who have honored him his best endeavor to protect 
their rights and further their interests. 

Hut if it is merely intended to remind me that, as a member 
ol a parly, attached to its principles, and anxious for its 
continued supremacy, my conduct should be such as to give 
hope and confidence to those who are surely with us, I have 
to say that this responsibility should be shared by all the 
members of the party. An administration is only successful, 
in a partisan sense, when it appears to be the outgrowth and 
result of part)' principles and methods. You who lead and 
others who follow, should all strive to commend to the people 
in this, the time of our opportunity, not an administration 
alone, but a party which shall appear adequate to their wants 
ami useful to their purposes. 

ldie time honored doctrines of the Democratic party are 
dear to me. If honestly applied in their purity 1 know the 
iff airs of the government would be fittingly and honestlv id 


ministered, and J believe that all the wants of the people 
would be met. They have survived all < hanges, and good and 
patriotic men have clung to them, through all disasters, as the 
hope of political salvation. Let us hold them as a sacred 
trust, and let us not forget that an intelligent, reading, and 
thinking people will look to the party which they put in power 
to supply all their various needs and wants. And the party 
which keeps pace with the development and progress of the 
time, which keeps in sight its landmarks and yet observes 
those things which are in advance, and which will continue 
true to the people as well as to its traditions, will be the dom- 
inant party of the future. 

In conclusion, may 1 bespeak for myself your kind support 
and consideration ? My only aspiration is to perform, faith- 
fully, the duties of the office to which the people of my State 
have called me, and I hope and trust that proud endeavor will 
light the way to a successful administration. 


\t a Reception Given by the Democratic Club, New York, 

April 27, 1S89. 

Mr. President : 

Many incidents of my short residence in this good city have 
served to fill my cup of gratitude, and to arouse my appre- 
ciation of the kindness and consideration of those with whom 
I have made my home. The hospitality of the citizens of New 
York, for which they have long been distinguished, has out- 
done itself in my welcome. The members of my profession 
have, upon my return to its activities, received me with fra- 
ternal greetings, and personal friends have not permitted me 
to fee! like a stranger in a strange city. 

Vnd yet I can truly say to-night that none of these things 


will be more vividly and gratefully remembered than the op- 
portunity afforded me by this occasion to greet the political 
friends 1 sec about me. While I believe that no man is more 

susceptible than I to every personal kindness, and wink- I am 
sure that no one values more his personal friendships, it should 
not be regarded as strange when 1 say that these are not more 
cherished than my loyally and attachment to Democratic faith 
and my obligation to the cardinal principles of its party or- 

I have been honored by my party far beyond my deserts ; 
indeed, no man can deserve its highest honors. After six 
years of public service, I return to you, my party friends. 
Six years have I stood as your representative in the State and 
nation, and now 1 return again to the ranks, more convinced 
than ever that the cause of true Democracy is the cause of the 
people- their safeguard and their hope. 

1 come to you with no excuses or apologies, and with no 
confession of disloyalty. It is not given to man to nuct the 
various and conflicting views of party duty and policy which 
prevail within an organization where individual opinion is so 
freely tolerated as in the Democratic party. Because these 
views are various and conflicting some of them must be wrong, 
but when they are honestly held and advocated they should 
provoke no bitterness or condemnation. But when they are 
proclaimed merely as a cover and pretext for personal resent- 
ment and disappointment, they should be met by the exposure 
and contempt which they deserve. 

If one charged with party representation, with sincere design 
and purpose keeps the party faith, that should be a fulfillment 
of his party obligation. 

No man can lay down the trust which he has held in behalf 
of a generous and confiding people, and feel that at all times 
he has met, in the best possible way, the requirements of his 
trust ; but he is not derelict in duty if he has conscientiously 
devoted his effort and his judgment to the people's service. 

1 have deliberately placed in close connection loyalty to 


Democratic principles and devotion to the people's interest, 
for, in my view, they belong together and should mean the 
same thing. 

But, in this day of party feeling and attachment, it is well for 
us to pause and recall the fact that the only justification for 
l he existence of any party is the claim that, in profession and 
intent, its objects and its purposes are the promotion of the 
public good ami the advancement and the welfare ami pros- 
perity of the entire country. There never was a party plat- 
form or declaration of principles that did not profess these 
things and make them the foundation of party creed, and any 
body of men that should associate themselves together pro- 
claiming openly that their purpose was supremacy in the gov- 
ernment with the sole intent of distributing offices and the 
spoils of victory among their associates, would be treated 
with ridicule and scorn. Thus we are brought face to face 
with the proposition that parties no more than individuals 
should be untruthful or dishonest. 

» >f course in the supremacy of party there are advantages 
to ils members — and this is not amiss, but when high party 
aims and professions are lost sight of and abandoned, and 
the interests of office holding and personal pelf are all that 
remain to inspire party activity, not only is the support ex- 
pected from patriotic people forfeited, but the elements of 
cohesion and of effective and lasting political strength are 
gone. The honest differences of opinion which must always 
exist upon questions of principle and of public policv, should 
In- sufficient occasion for the existence of parties, and should 
point to the field of their usefulness The study of these 
questions cannot fail to result in more valuable citizenship 
and more intelligent and better equipped partisans. 

When we seek for the cause of the perpetuity of the Demo 
cratic party and its survival through ever)- crisis and emer 
gency. and in the face of all opposition, we find it in the fact 
thai its cornerstone is laid in devotion to the rights of the 
people and in its sympathy with ;ill things that tend to the 


advancement ol their welfare and happiness. Though heresy 
may sometimes have crept into its organization, and though 
party conduct may at times have been influenced by the shifti- 
ness which is the habitual device of its opponents, there has 
always remained deeply imbedded in its nature and character 
that spirit of true Americanism and that love of popular rights 
which has made it indestructible in disaster and defeat, and 
has constituted it a boon to the country in its hour of triumph 
and supremacy. 

The great founder of our party, as he consecrated himself 
by a solemn oath to the faithful performance of the duties "t 
the Presidential office, and as he pledged himself to the preser- 
vation, protection, and defense of the Constitution, after pre- 
senting to his assembled countrymen the causes of congratu- 
lation, found in the condition of our country and the character 
of our people, impressively added : " With all these blessings, 
what more is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous 
people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens: a wise and 
frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one 
another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own 
pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from 
the mouth of Labor the bread it has earned. 'This is the sum 
of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle 
of our felicities." 

In the lexicon of true Democracy these words are not obso- 
lete, but they still furnish the inspiration for our efforts and an 
interpretation of our political faith. 

Happilythe party creed which we profess is not within such 
narrow lines .is that obedience does not permit us to move 
abreast with the advanced thought of the country and to meet 
and test every question and apply a principle to every situa- 

True Democracy, stanch in its adhesion to fundamental 
doctrine, is at. the same time, in a proper sense, progressive. 
It recognizes Our growth and our expansion, and the birth ol 
new thought and sentiment. It will judge them all by safe 


standards, and in every phase of national development it will 
be prepared to meet as they arise every need of the people 
and every popular want. True Democracy honestly advocates 
national brotherhood, to the end that all our countrymen may 
aid in the achievement of the grand destiny which awaits us as 
a nation ; and it condemns the pretext of liberality and har- 
mony which, when partisan advantage is to be gained, gives 
way for inflammatory appeals to sectional hate and passion. 
It insists upon that equality before the law which concedes 
the care and protection of the government to simple manhood 
and citizenship. It does not favor the multiplication of offices 
and salaries merely to make partisans, nor use the promise 
and bestowal of place for the purpose of stifling the press and 
bribing the people. It seeks to lighten the burdens of life in 
every home and to take from the citizen for the cost of gov- 
ernment the lowest possible tribute. 

We know that we have espoused the cause of right and 
justice. We know that we have not permitted duty to coun- 
try to wait upon expediency. We know that we have not 
trafficked our principles for success. We know that we have 
not deceived the people with false promises and pretenses. 
And we know that we have not corrupted or betrayed the 
poor with the money of the rich. 

Who shall say that these things promise no reward and that 
triumph shall not follow the enlightened judgment and the 
sober second thought of our countrymen ? There are to-day 
no weak, weary, and despondent members of the true Democ- 
racy, and there should be none. Thoughtful attention to 
political topics is thoroughly aroused. Events day by day are 
leading men to review the reasons for their party affiliations 
and the supporters of the principles we profess are constantly 
recruited by intelligent, young, and sturdy adherents. 

Let us deserve their confidence, and, shunning all ignoble 
practices, let us remain steadfast to Democratic faith and to 
the cause of our country. If we are true and loyal to these, 

to political clubhand organizations, hq 

the day of our triumph will surely and quickly come, and our 
victory shall be fairly, nobly won, through the invincible 
spirit of true Democracy. 


At the Thurman Birthday Banquet, Columbus, O., November 

13, 1890. 

Mr. President and Gentlemen: 

I follow the promptings of a heart full of devotion and 
veneration, as 1 tender from the Democracy of the great State 
of New York her tribute of affection for the man whom we 
honor to-night. I am commissioned to claim for my State her 
ftil I share of the glory which has been shed upon the American 
name and character by one whose career ami example cannot 
be pre-empted, and whose renown cannot be limited in owner- 
ship to the neighbors and friends of any locality. We contest 
every exclusive pretension to his fame and greatness, because 
he is a neighbor to all the people of the land ; because he is 
the friend of all who love their country ; because his career 
splendidly illustrates the best and strongest elements of our 
national character; and because his example belongs to all 
his countrymen. 

It is fitting that those who have faith in our destiny as a 
nation, who believe that there are noble tilings which belong 
distinctively to our character as a people, and who prize at its 
true worth pure American citizenship, should gather here to- 
night. It is given us to contemplate the highest statesman- 
ship, the most unyielding and disinterested devotion to the 
interests of the people, and the most valuable achievements 
in the cause of our country's welfare, all of which have been 
stimulated and accomplished through the influence and im- 
pulse of true, unperverted, sturdy Americanism. We rejoice 
in the example afforded on this occasion of genuine American 


citizenship, revealed to us as a safe and infallible interpreter 
of duty in all the emergencies of a long and honorable public 
career, and as an unfailing guide to usefulness and fame. 

In this presence and in the atmosphere of these reflections, 
we should not miss the lesson they commend to us, nor fail to 
renew our appreciation of the value of this citizenship, and 
revive our apprehension of the sentiments and conditions in 
which it has its rise and growth. 

And first of all we should be profoundly grateful that the 
elements which make up the strength and vigor of American 
citizenship are so naturally related to our situation and are so 
simple. The intrigues of monarchy which taint the individual 
character of the subject ; the splendor which dazzles the pop- 
ular eye and distracts the attention from abuses and stifles 
discontent ; the schemes of conquest and selfish aggrandize- 
ment which make a selfish people, have no legitimate place in 
our national life. Here the plain people of the land are the 
rulers. Their investiture of power is only accompanied with 
the conditions that they should love their country, that they 
should jealously guard and protect its interests and fair fame, 
and that all the intelligence with which they are endowed 
should be devoted to an understanding of its needs and the 
promotion of its welfare. 

These are the elements of American citizenship, and these 
are the conditions upon which our free institutions were in- 
trusted to our people, in full reliance, at the beginning and for 
all time to come, upon American manhood, consecrated by the 
highest and purest patriotism. 

A country, broad and new, to be subdued to the purposes of 
man's existence, and promising vast and independent re- 
sources, and a people intelligently understanding the value of 
a free nation and holding fast to an intense affection for its 
history and its heroes, have had much to do with molding 
our American character and giving it hardihood and vigor. 
I'm it should never be forgotten that the influence which, 
more than all other things, has made our people safe deposi- 


tories of governmental power, and which has furnished 
surest guarantee of the strength and perpetuity of the re- 
public, has its source m the American home. Here our patri- 
otism is bom and entwines itself with the growth of filial love, 
and here our children are taught the story of our freedom and 
independence. But above ail, here in the bracing and whole- 
some atmosphere of uncomplaining frugality and economy, 
the m. 'lit. tl and moral attributes of our people have been firmly 
knit ami invigorated. Never could it be said of any country 
so truly as of ours, that the permanency of its institutions 
depends upon its homes. 

1 have spoken of frugality ami economy as important factors 
in American life. I find no fault with the accumulation of 
wealth, and am glad to see energy and enterprise receive their 
fair reward. but I believe that our government, in its natural 
integrity, is exactly suited to a frugal ami economical people; 
and I believe it is safest in the hands of those who have been 
made strong and self-reliant in their citizenship, by self-denial 
and by the surroundings of an enforced economy. Thrift and 
careful watchfulness of expenditure among the people tend to 
secure a thrifty government; and cheap and careful living on 
the part of individuals ought to enforce economy in the public 

When, therefore, men in high places of trust, charged with 
the responsibility of making and executing our laws, not only 
condemn but flippantly deride cheapness and economy within 
the homes of our people, and when the expenditures of the 
ernment are reckless and wasteful, we may be sure that 
something is wrong with us, and that a condition exists which 
calls for a vigorous and resentful defense of Americanism, by 
every man worthy to be called an American citizen. 

Upon the question of cheapness ami economy, whether it 
relates to individuals or to the operations of the government, 
the Democratic [tarty, true to its meed and its traditions, will 
unalterably remain attached to our plain and frugal people, 
They are espe< ially entitled to the watchful care and pn 


tion 'of their government ; and when they are borne down with 
burdens greater than they can bear, and are made the objects 
of scorn by hard taskmasters, we will not leave their side. As 
the great German Reformer, insisting upon his religious con- 
victions, in the presence of his accusers, exclaimed, " I can 
do nought else. Here I stand. God help me," so, however 
much others may mock and deride cheapness and the poor 
and frugal men and women of our land, we will stand forth in 
defense of their simple Americanism, defiantly proclaiming, 
" We can do nought else. Here we stand." 

Thus, when the question is raised whether our people shall 
have the necessaries of life at a cheaper rate, we are not 
ashamed to confess ourselves " in full sympathy with the de- 
mand for cheaper coats " ; and we are not disturbed by the 
hint that this seems " necessarily to involve a cheaper man or 
woman under the coats." 

When the promoter of a party measure which invades every 
home in the land with higher prices, declares that " cheap 
and nasty go together, and this whole system of cheap things 
is a badge of poverty ; for cheap merchandize means cheap 
men, and cheap men mean a cheap country," we indignantly 
repudiate such an interpretation of American sentiment. 

Ami when another one, high in party councils, who has be- 
come notorious as the advocate of a contrivance to perpetuate 
partisan supremacy by outrageous interference witli the suf- 
frage, announces that the "cry for cheapness is un-American," 
we scornfully reply that his speech does not indicate the slight- 
est conception of true Americanism. 

1 will not refer to other utterances of like import from simi- 
lar sources. I content myself with recalling the most promi- 
nent and significant. The wonder is that these things were ad- 
dressed by Americans to Americans. 

What was the occasion of these condemnations of cheapness, 
and what had honest American men and women done, or what 
were they likely to do, that they should be threatened with the 
epithets "(heap," " nasty," and " un-American?" 

TO /'('/ //'/' '.// CI UBS l \ D 0J?< 

[I is hard to speak patiently as we answer these questions. 
St< p by step .1 vast number of our people had been led on, fol- 
lowing blindly in the path of party. They had been Tilled 
with hate and se< tional prejudice ; the) had been < ajoled with 
misrepresentations and false promises; they had been 
rupted with money and by appeals to their selfishness. All 
these things led up to their final betrayal to satisfy the de- 
mands of those who had supplied the fund for their corrup- 
t ion. 

This betrayal was palpable ; and it was impossible to deny 
or conceal the fact that the pretended relief tendered to the 
people in fulfilment of a promise to lighten the burden of then- 
life, made by the party intrusted with the government, was 
but a scheme to pay the debt incurred by the purchase of party 
success, while it further increased the impoverishment of the 

The people were at last aroused and demanded an explana- 
tion. They had been taught for one hundred years that 
in the distribution of benefits their government should be ad- 
ministered with equality and justice. They had learned that 
wealth was not indispensable to respectability and that it did 
not entitle its possessors to especial governmental favors. 
Humble men with scanty incomes had been encouraged, by the 
influence and the spirit of our institutions, to practice economy 
and frugality to the end that they might enjoy to the utmost 
the reward of their toil. The influence of the American home 
was still about them. In their simplicity they knew nothing of 
a new dispensation which made cheapness disreputable, and 
they still loved the cheap coats of Lincoln and Garfield, and 
hundreds of their countrymen whom they held in veneration. 
And thus these unsophisticated Americans, unconscious of 
their wrong-doing, demanded the redemption of party pledges 
and clamored for cheapness, in order that they might provide 
the necessaries and comforts of life for themselves and their 
families at the lowest possible cost. 

The leaders of the party, which was caught in the act of 


robbery and which was arraigned by the people for a violation 
of its trust, were forced by their sad predicament to a desperate 
expedient. To attempt to reverse the current of true Ameri- 
canism and discredit the most honorable sentiments belonging 
to American manhood, were the disgraceful tasks of those who 
insulted our people by the announcement of the doctrine that to 
desire cheapness was to love mistiness, and to practice economy 
and frugality was un-American. 

Thus we do plainly see that when the path pointed out by 
patriotism and American citizenship is forsaken by a party in 
power for schemes of selfishness and for unscrupulous con- 
spiracies for partisan success, its course inevitably leads to un- 
just favoritism, neglect of the interest of the masses, entire 
perversion of the mission of republican institutions, and, in 
some form, to the most impudent and outrageous insult to true 
American sentiment. 

It cannot be denied that political events in the past have 
gone far toward encouraging arrogant party assumption. 
Every thoughtful and patriotic man has at times been dis- 
appointed and depressed by the apparent indifference and de- 
moralization of the people. 

But such reflections have no place in the felicitations of to- 
night. This is a time when faith in our countrymen should be 
fully re-established. The noise of a recent political revolution 
is still heard throughout the land ; the people have just de- 
monstrated that there is a point, beyond which they cannot be 
led by blind partisanship, and that they are quite competent to 
examine and correctly decide political questions concerning 
their rights and their welfare. They have unmercifully re- 
sented every attack upon true American manhood, and have 
taught party leaders that, though slow to anger, they take terri- 
ble revenges when betrayed. They permit us to forgive 
our honored guest for all the cheap coats he has ever 
worn, for they have declared them to be in fashion. They 
have also decreed that the Decalogue has a place in our 
politics, for they enforced the command, " Thou shalt not 


steal," and rendered an emphatic verdict against those who 
have borne false witness. 

Nothing could so well accompany the honors we pay our 
distinguished guest as the celebration on his birthday of the 
victory which has just been achieved in vindication of Ann ii 
can citizenship — for in him we honor the man who lias best 
illustrated true American manhood. Our rejoicing and his 
are increased, as we also celebrate to-night the triumph of a 
Democratic principle for which he fought and fell but two 
short years ago ; and to complete our joy and his, we are per- 
mitted to indulge in true Democratic enthusiasm over the 
steadfastness and devotion to its creed exhibited by our party, 
which, knowing no discouragement, has fought to victory in the 
people's cause. 

Who can now doubt our countrymen's appreciation of that 
trait, so well illustrated in the character of Allen (\. Thurman, 
which prompted him throughout his long career, at all times and 
in all circumstances, and without regard to personal conse- 
quences, to do the tilings which his conscience and judgment 
approved, and which seemed to him to be in the interests of his 
country and in accordance with the Democratic faith ? Who 
can now doubt that conscience and courage point out the way 
to public duty ? 

If we entertain more solemn thoughts on this occasion, let 
them be concerning the responsibility which awaits us as our 
fellow-countrymen place in our keeping their hopes ami their 
trust. We shall fail in our obligation to them if we Stifle con- 
science and duty by ignoble partisanship ; but we shall meet 
every patriotic expectation if, in all we do, we follow the guid- 
ance of true and honest Democracy, illumined by the light of 
genuine American citizenship. 




Mr. President and Gentlemen. : 

1 suppose I have a correct understanding of what is meant 
by "The Campaign of Education." Assuming this to be so, I 
desire, before going further, to acknowledge the valiant services 
in this campaign of the organization whose invitation brings 
us together to-night. I may be permitted, I hope, to make 
this acknowledgment as a citizen interested in all that prom- 
ises the increased prosperity of the country ; and I shall also 
venture to do so as a Democrat who recognizes, in the princi- 
ple for which the campaign has thus far proceeded, a cardinal 
and vital doctrine of Democratic creed. If I thus acknowl- 
edge the useful services, in a Democratic cause, of any who 
have not claimed long affiliation with my party, I feel that my 
Democratic allegiance is strong enough to survive such an in- 
dulgence in fairness and decency. I am, too, at all times will- 
ing that the Democratic party should be enlarged ; and, as 
tending in that direction, I am willing to accept and acknowl- 
edge in good faith honest help from any quarter when a strug- 
gle is pending for the supremacy of Democratic principles. 
Indeed, I have an idea that, in the campaign of education, it 
was deemed important to appeal to the reason and judgment 
of the American people, to the end that the Democratic party 
should be reinforced as well as that the activity and zeal of 
those already in our ranks should be stimulated. If this be 
treason in the sight of those who, clothed in Democratic uniform, 
would be glad to stand at the entrance of our camp and drive 
back recruits, I cannot help it. I have come here to-night, 
among other things, to rejoice in the numerous accessions we 
have received in aid of Democratic endeavor and to give credit 
wherever it is due for the work of conversion. 

* In response to the Toast, " The Campaign of Education ; its result 
is a signal tribute to the judgment of the American people," delivered at the 
Reform ( lull Dinner, \nv Voik, iHreniber -•j. iH<jo. 


The grand and ultimate object of the campaign ol educa- 
tion was the promotion of the welfare of the country and the 

relief of the people from unjust burdens. In aid of this pur- 
pose and, of course, subordinate and accessory to its accom- 
plishment, it became necessary, first of all, to amuse the Demo- 
cratic organization to an apprehension of the fact that the 
campaign involved a Democratic principle, in the advocacy of 
which the party should be active and aggressive. 

Let it be here confessed that we, as a party, had, in these 
latter days, been tempted by the successes our opponents had 
-amed solely by temporary shifts and by appeals to prejudii 1 
and selfish interests, into paths which avoided too much the 
honest Insistence upon definite and clearly defined principle 
and fundamental Democratic doctrine. To be sure, some 
earnest men in the party could but ill conceal their dissatisfac- 
tion with the manner in which cardinal principles were rele- 
gated to the rear and expediency substituted as the hope of 
success ; but the timid, the heedless, and those who, though 
nominally belonging to the organization, were not of the faith, 
constantly rendered ineffective all attempts to restore the party 
to the firm and solid ground of Democratic creed. 

If these things are confessed, let it also be conceded that 
when the time came and the cries of a suffering people were 
heard, and when, for their relief, a genuine Democratic remedy 
was proposed, the party easily recognized its duty and gave 
proof of its unconquerable Dehiocratic instincts. As soon as 
the campaign of education was inaugurated, the party was 
quickly marshaled as of the olden time, aggressive, coura- 
geous, devoted to its cause and heedless of discouragement or 
defeat. Day by day, and hour by hour, expediency and time- 
serving were thrown to the winds. Traitors were silenced, 
camp-followers fell away or joined the scurvy band of floaters, 
while the sturdy Democratic host confidently pressed on, bear- 
ing aloft the banner of tariff reform. If any have wondered 
in the past at the tenacity and indestructibility of our party, 
their wonder should cease when, in the light of the last three 


years, it is seen how gloriously it springs to the front at the 
call of duty to the people, and In obedience to the summons 
of party loyalty and obligation. 

Thus the education of the campaign meant, as related to 
the Democracy, its awakening in response to the signal for its 
return to the propagandism of Democratic doctrine. 

The thoroughly aroused enthusiasm and determination of 
the party, and its allied thousands of good and earnest men, 
drawn from the non-partisan intelligence and honesty of the 
land, saw no obstacle too formidable for attack and no end 
which was not within their reach. In a sublime confidence, 
almost amounting to audacity, they were willing to attempt 
the education of those high in the counsels of the Republican 
party, and those who formulated that party's policy, so far as 
such a thing existed. 

I am afraid, however, that if this task may be considered a 
step in the campaign of education, the word education, as ap- 
plied to those who were to be affected, must be construed as 
meaning the instillation of such fear and terror in the minds of 
unregenerate men as leads them to flee from the wrath to come. 

But even in this unpromising field we are able to report 
progress. No one who remembers the hilarity with which the 
leaders of the Republican party greeted the message of tariff 
reform, and the confidence with which they prepared to meet 
and crush the issue presented, can fail to see how useful a les- 
son has been taught them in our campaign of education. 

Within twenty-four hours after the submission to Congress 
of the question of tariff reform, sundry Senators and Repre- 
sentatives belonging to the Republican party were reported to 
have ventilated their partisan exultation jauntily in the public 

If it be true that a Senator from Nebraska said, " It is a big 
card for the Republicans," this big card cannot appear remark- 
ably useful to him now, for his State to-day contains a big 
curiosity in the shape of a Democratic Governor-elect. 

If the junior Senator from New York declared that his party 


would carry this State by the largest majority evei known il 
they could be given the platform proposed, the reply will come 
when, in a few days, a 1 democratic colleague is placed by his side. 

It a Senator from Manic declared," It is a good enough 
platform for the Republicans — we want nothing better," how 
is it that he is now so diligently endeavoring to find out the 
meaning of the word Reciprocity? 

[f a New Hampshire Senator believed that "the Republi- 
cans want nothing better with which to sweep the country," 
the trouble his State is giving him to-day must lead him to 
suspect there is a mistake somewhere. 

tf a Senator from Wisconsin gleefully said he was glad to 
see US '" show our hand " he cannot fail to be convinced, when 
he soon gives place to a real good, sound Democrat, that there 
was, after all, more in the hand than he cared to see. 

If the present Speaker of the House sarcastically said, " It 
only shows what fools all the other Presidents have been," he 
may well be excused, since he lias lately SO thoroughly learned, 
that, in the sight of the people, infallibility is not an attribute- 
always to be found in the Speaker's chair. 

If the Representative name is- associated 
witii a bill which has given his party considerable trouble of 
late, said, " If the I )emocratic party had hired IWirchard to write 
a stump speech it could not have suited us better," it must be- 
that circumstances leading to his approaching retirement from 
public life have suggested a modification t<\ his judgment, and 
caused him to suspect that Mr. Burchard has at least one formid- 
able competitor. 

As our campaign has proceeded, other unusual symptoms 
have been apparent among those prominent in directing the 
Opposition. Some of them have become insubordinate and 
discontented, and at times actually disobedient to party orders. 
Some have left the ship. One shrewd and weather-wise navi- 
gator has clambered off, ami, in a frail bark, with the wool 
"Reciprocity" painted on its stem, was last seen hovering 
near, prepared to climb aboard again, or sail away, as wind 


and wave would appear to make most safe. At the present 
stage of the campaign the unwieldy party hulk of Bourbon 
Republicanism is still afloat, but damaged and badly leaking. 
On board, some are still working at the pumps against the 
awful odds of opening seams ; many, mutinous and discon- 
tented, short of provisions and of grog, are loudly and angrily 
disputing as to whether bad seamanship or overloading is the 
cause of their wretched plight, while accusations of guilty re- 
sponsibility are heard on every side. If, from this turbulence, 
there shall emerge any who, actually pricked in conscience, 
desire a better life, they will be gladly welcomed. I cannot, 
however, keep out of my mind the story of the pious deacon 
who, having, in his efforts to convert a bad sinner, become so 
excited by his incorrigibility that he gave him a thorough 
drubbing, afterward explained and justified his course by de- 
claring that he believed he had " walloped saving grace into 
an impenitent soul." 

Of course, we do not overlook the fact that before their pres- 
ent predicament was reached, and in their first battle with us, 
the enemy gained a victory over tariff reform. This is con- 
fessed ; and we may here only refer to the methods by which 
that victory was gained for the purpose of saying that we 
thoroughly understand them, and that if the beneficiaries of 
those methods are satisfied with the condition they have 
wrought, we also are not without compensation. That we 
have cause for satisfaction, even in the remembrance of tem- 
porary defeat, is evidenced by the fact that among those who 
ought to rejoice in success there is quite a general sentiment 
that "the least said of it the better." 

I have spoken of the campaign of education as it has af- 
fected the two great party organizations. It remains to men- 
tion another and a more important and gratifying feature of 
its progress. I refer to the manner in which access has been 
gained to the plain people of the land, and the submission to 
their reason and judgment of the objects and purposes for 
which the campaign was undertaken. 


The Democratic party is willing to trust the ordinary intel- 
ligence of our people for an understanding of its principles. 

It docs not scat itself above the common feelings and sympa- 
thies of humanity, and in an arrogant assumption of superior 
learning formulate political doctrines suited only to those 
favored with advanced educational opportunities. It recog- 
nized the fact at the outset of the campaign of education 
that it was not the ignorance of the people whi< h had led 
them to submit to the evils of bad government, but that it 
was partly owing to the busy activity of their occupations, and 
the consequent neglect of political subjects, and partly to the 
rigidity of their party ties and their unquestioning confidence 
in party leadership. Having once settled upon their political 
affiliations, they have been wont to turn from a watchfulness 
of public affairs to the daily routine of their labor with much 
virtuous satisfaction in the reflection that they were not 

Therefore the labor of their education in the campaign has 
consisted in persuading them to hear us ; to examine the 
theories in party organizations and the ends to which they 
lead; to recall the promises of political leadership and the 
manner in which such promises have been redeemed; ami to 
counsel with us as to the means by which their condition could 
be improved. 

Never was more intelligent, honest, and effective effort made 
in a noble cause than thai made by the Democratic party and 
its allies in tins work. Our fellow-countrymen were ap- 
proached, noi by fabricated extracts from English journals 
and a lying demagogic cry of British gold ; not by fraudulent 
pictures of the ruin of American industries if the justice of 
governmental favoritism was questioned; not by a false pre- 
sentation of the impoverishment and distress of our laboring 
men which would follow their independent political thoughtand 
action; not by a disgraceful proposition for the purchase ot 
their suffrages ; and not by the cruel intimidation, by selfish 
employers, of those dependent on them for the wages of their toil 


W'c have been content to rely upon the intelligence and 
thoughtfulness of the people for the success of our cause. 
We have solicited the most thorough examination of its 
merits. For the purpose of such examination we have put 
before the people plain and honest exposition of the justice 
and beneficence of our principle. This has been done by 
the systematic and industrious distribution of tariff reform 
literature, by the effective and conscientious arguments of a 
well-informed and unsubsidized press, and by an extensive 
discussion on the platform of the question involved. 

These are the weapons we have used in our campaign of 
education. It is a cause of congratulation to-night that our 
work has been done in a manner so decent, and in its best 
sense so purely American. 

Need I speak of the results of our labors ? This happy 
assemblage, called together " To celebrate the victories 
achieved in the cause of tariff reform," tells the story of our 

We will rejoice to-night, not only in our success and the 
manner of its achievement, but as American citizens we will 
especially rejoice in the proof which our victory affords of the 
intelligence, the integrity, and the patriotism of our fellow- 
countrymen. We have again learned that, when roused to 
thought and action, they can be trusted to determine rightly 
any questions involving their interests and the welfare of their 

Let us not fail to realize the fact that our work is not done. 
Our enemies are still alive, and have grown desperate. Human 
selfishness is not easily overcome, and the hope of private gain 
at the expense of the masses of our people is not yet aban- 
doned. It would be shameful, and a pitiable disgrace, if by 
over-confidence we should lose the ground we have gained, 
or if we should fail to push further our advantage. The 
result of our labor thus far is, indeed, " a signal tribute to the 
judgment of the American people." In full faith in this judg- 
ment our work should continue upon the lines thus far followed 


until the enemies of tarifl reform arc driven from their last 
intrenchment As the people have trusted us, let us, above all 
things, be true to them. Let the light <>f cur campaign be 
carried into every part of the land where it has nol been seen ; 
and where it has been kindled let it be kept brightly burning, 

still showing the way to better days for the people, and dis> 

closing the plans of insidious foes. 

In the years to come,, when we look back with patriotic 
satisfaction upon our participation in the glorious Struggle for 
tariff reform and recall its happy termination, it will delight 
us to remember every incident of discouragement as well as 
of triumph in the people's cause. Then, whin we are asked 
to speak of our proudest political endeavor, and to give tin- 
best illustrations of American intelligence, and to pay the 
highest tribute to the judgment of t he American people, we will 
rehearse the history and the grand result of "the campaign 
of education." 


the principles of trim'. democracy.* 
Mr. President and Gentlemen : 

As I rise to respond to the sentiment which has been assigned 
tome, I cannot avoid the impression made upon my mind by 
the announcement of the words "True Democracy." 1 believe 
them to mean a sober conviction or conclusion touching politi- 
cal topics, which, formulated into a political belief or creed, 
inspires a patriotic performance of the duties of citizenship. I 
am satisfied that the principles of this belief or (reed are such 
as underlie our free institutions, and that they may be urged 
upon our fellow-countrymen, because, in their purity and integ- 

*A speech in response to the toast: "The Principles of True Democ 
racy : They are Enduring because They are Right, and Invincible !<■ 
They are Just," at the banquet of tin- Voung Men's Democratic Associa- 
tion, Philadelphia, January S, 1891. 


rity, they accord with the attachment of our people for their 
government and their country. A creed based upon such 
principles is by no means discredited because illusions and 
perversions temporarily prevent their popular acceptance, any 
more than it can be irretrievably shipwrecked by mistakes made 
in its name or by its prostitution to ignoble purposes. When 
illusions are dispelled, when misconceptions are rectified, and 
when those who guide are consecrated to truth and duty, the 
ark of the people's safety will still be discerned in the keeping 
of those who hold fast to the principles of true democracy. 

These principles are not uncertain nor doubtful. The illus- 
trious founder of our party has plainly announced them. 
They have been reasserted and followed by a long line of great 
political leaders, and they are quite familiar. They comprise: 
Equal and exact justice to all men; peace, commerce, and 
honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliance with 
none; the support of the State governments in all their rights; 
the preservation of the general government in its whole con- 
stitutional vigor; a jealous care of the right of election by the 
people; absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority; 
the supremacy of the civil over the military authority; econ- 
omy in the public expenses; the honest payment of our debts 
and sacred preservation of the public faith; the encouragement 
of agriculture, and commerce as its handmaid, and freedom of 
religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of the person. 

The great President and intrepid Democratic leader whom 
we especially honor to-night, who never relaxed his strict 
adherence to the Democratic faith nor faltered in his defense 
of the rights of the people against all comers, found his inspi- 
ration and guidance in these principles. On entering upon 
the Presidency he declared his loyalty to them; in his long and 
useful incumbency of that great office he gloriously illustrated 
their value and sufficiency; and his obedience to the doctrines 
of true Democracy, at all times dining his public career, per- 
mitted him on his retirement to find satisfaction in the declara- 
tion: ''At the moment when 1 surrender my last public trust, 1 


leave this greal people prosperous and happy and in the full 
enjoyment of liberty and peace, and honored and respei ted by 
every nation of the world. " 

Parties have come and parties have gone. Even dow the 
leaders of the party which faces in opposition the Demo 
cratic host, listen for the footsteps of that death whi< h destroys 
parties false to their trust. 

Touched by thine 
The extortioner's hard hand foregoes the gold 
Wrung from the o'erworn poor. 

Thou, too, dost purge from earth its horrible 
And old idolatries ; from the proud fanes, 
Bach to his grave, their priests go out, till none 
Is left to teach their worship. 

But there has never been a time, from Jefferson's day to the 
present hour, when our party did not exist, active and aggres- 
sive and prepared for heroic conflict. Not all who have fol- 
lowed the banner have hern able by a long train of (lose 
reasoning to demonstrate, as an abstraction, why Democratic 
principles are best suited to their wants and the country's 
good; but they have known and felt that as their government 
was established for the people, the principles and the men 
nearest to the people and standing for them could be the safest 
trusted. Jackson has been in their eyes the incarnation of the 
things which Jefferson declared, [f they did not understand 
all that Jefferson wrote, they saw and knew what Jackson die). 
Those who insisted upon voting for [ackson after his death 
felt sure that, whether their candidate was alive or dead, they 
ware voting the ticket of true Democracy. The devoted 
political adherent of Jackson who, after his death, became 
involved in a dispute as to whether his hero had gone to 
Heaven or not, was prompted bj Democratic instinct when he 
disposed of the question by declaring, "I tell you, sir. that if 
Andrew Jackson has made up his mind to go to Heaven you 
may depend upon it lie'-, there." The single Democratic votei 


in more than one town who, year after year, deposited his single 
Democratic ballot undismayed by the number of his misguided 
opponents, thus discharged his political duty with the utmost 
pride and satisfaction in his Jacksonian Democracy. 

Democratic steadfastness and enthusiasm, and the satisfaction 
arising from our party history and traditions, certainly ought 
not to be discouraged. But it is hardly safe for ns because we 
profess the true faith, and can boast of distinguished political 
ancestry, to rely upon these tilings as guarantees of our present 
usefulness as a party organization, or to regard their glorifica- 
tion as surely making the way easy to the accomplishment of 
ourpolitical mission. 

The Democratic party, by an intelligent study of existing 
conditions, should be prepared to meet all the wants of the 
people as they arise, and to furnish a remedy for every threat- 
ening evil. We may well be proud of our party membership; 
but we cannot escape the duty which such membership imposes 
upon us, to urge constantly upon our fellow-citizens of this 
day and generation the sufficiency of the principles of true 
Democracy for the protection of their rights and the promotion 
of their welfare and happiness, in all their present diverse con- 
ditions and surroundings. 

There should, of course, be no suggestion that a departure 
from the time-honored principles of our party is necessary to 
the attainment of these objects. On the contrary, we should 
constantly congratulate ourselves that our party creed is broad 
enough to meet any emergency that can arise in the life of a 
free nation. 

Thus, when we see the functions of government used to 
enrich a favored tew at the expense of the many, and see also 
its inevitable result in the pinching privation of the poor and 
the profuse extravagance of the rich; and when we see in 
operation an unjust tariff which banishes from many humble 
homes ili>- comforts of life, in order that, in the palaces of 
wealth, luxury may more abound, we turn to our creed and 
find that it enjoins "equal and exact justice to all men." 


Thru, if we are well grounded in our political faith, we will not 
be deceived, nor will we permit others to be dei eived, by any 
plausible pretexl or smooth sophistry excusing the situation. 
For our answer to them all, we will point to the words whi< h 
condemn such inequality and injustice, as we prepare foi the 
encounter with wrong, armed with the weapons of true 
1 >emoi ra< \ 

When we see Our tanners in distress, and know that they are 
not paying the penalty of slothfulness and mismanagement, 
when we see their long hours of toil so poorly requited that the 
money-lender eats oul their substance, while lor everything 
they need they pay a tribute to the favorites of govern 
mental care, we know that all this is far removed from the 
"encouragement of agriculture" which our creed commands. 
We will not violate our political duty by forgetting how well 
entitled our farmers are to our best efforts for their restoration 
io tin- independence of a former time and to the rewards ot 
better daj s. 

When we set' the extravagance of public expenditure fast 
reaching the point of reckless waste, and the undeserved dis- 
tribution of public money debauching its recipients, and by 
pernicious example threatening the destruction ot' thi' love of 
frugality among our people, we will remember that "economy 
in the public expense" is an important article in the true 
I > - 1 1 1 « ii ratic faith. 

When we see our political adversaries bent upon the passage 
ot a Federal law, with the scarcely denied purpose of perpetua- 
ting partisan supremacy, which invades the States with election 
machinery designed to promote Federal interference with the 
rights of the people in the localities concerned, discrediting 
their honesty and fairness, and justly arousing their jealous) ot 
centralized power, we will stubbornly resist such a dangerous 
and revolutionary scheme, in obedience to our pledge tor "the 
support of the State governments in all their rights." 

Under ahti-Demo< ratic encouragement we have seen a con- 
stantly increasing selfishness attach to our political affairs. A 


departure from the sound and safe theory that the people 
should support the government for the sake of the benefits 
resulting to all, has bred a sentiment manifesting itself with 
astounding boldness, that the government may be enlisted in 
the furtherance and advantage of private interests, through 
their willing agents in public place. Such an abandonment of 
the idea of patriotic political action on the part of these inter- 
ests, has naturally led to an estimate of the people's franchise 
so degrading that it has been openly and palpably debauched 
for the promotion of selfish schemes. Money is invested in 
the purchase of votes with the deliberate calculation that it 
will yield a profitable return in results advantageous to the 
investor. Another crime akin to this in motive and design is 
the intimidation by employers of the voters dependent upon 
them for work and bread. 

Nothing could be more hateful to true and genuine Democ- 
racy than such offenses against our free institutions. In several 
of the States the honest sentiment of the party has asserted itself, 
in the support of every plan proposed for the rectification of 
this terrible wrong. To fail in such support would be to violate 
that principle in the creed of true Democracy which com- 
mands " a jealous care of the right of election by the people," 
for certainly no one can claim that suffrages purchased or cast 
under the stress of threat or intimidation represent the right 
of election by the people. 

Since a free and unpolluted ballot must be conceded as 
absolutely essential l<> the maintenance of our free institutions, 
1 may perhaps be permitted to express the hope that the State 
pi Pennsylvania will not long remain behind her sister States 
in adopting an effective plan to protect her people's suffrage. 
In any event the Democracy of the State can find no justifica- 
tion in party principle, nor in party traditions, nor in a just 
apprehension of Democratic duty, for a failure earnestly to 
support and aTlvocate ballol reform. 

I have thus far attempted to state some of the principles of 
true Demo< racy, and their application to present conditions. 


Their enduring character and their constant influence upon 
those who profess our faith have also been suggested. It I 

were now asked why they have so endured and why thej have 
been invincible, I should reply in the words .a the sentiment 
to winch 1 respond: "They are enduring because thej are 
right, and invincible because they are just." 

I believe that among our people the ideas whi< h endure, and 
which inspire warm atta< hment and devotion, are those having 
some elements which appeal to the moral sense. When men 
are satisfied that a principle is morally right, they become its 
adherents for all time. There is sometimes a discouraging 
distance between what our fellow-countrymen believe and what 
they do, in such a case; hut then- action in accordance with 
their belief may always be confidently expected in good tunc. 
\ government for the people and by the people is everlastingly 
right. As surely as this is true so surely is it true that party 
principles which advocate the absolute equalit) <>i A.meri< in 
manhood, and an equal participation by all the people m the 
management of their government, and in the benefit and pro 
tection which it affords, are also right. Here is common 
ground where the best educated thoughl and reason may nieel 
the most impulsive and instinctive Americanism. It is right 
that every man should enjoy the result of his labor to the fullest 
extent consistent with his membership in civilized community. 
It is iighl that our government should be but the instrument 
of the people's will, and that its cost should be limited within 
the lines of strict economy. It is right that the influence oi 
the government should be known in every humble home as the 
guardian of frugal comfort and content, and a defense against 
unjust exactions, and the unearned tribute' persistently coveted 
by the selfish and designing. It is right that efficiency and 
honest)' in public service should not be sacrificed to partisan 
greed; and it is right that the suffrage of our people should 
be pure and free. 

The belief in these propositions, as moral truths, is nearly 
universal among our countrymen. We are mistaken it we 


suppose the time is distant when the clouds of selfishness and 
perversion will be dispelled and their conscientious belief will 
become the chief motive force in the political action of the 

I understand all these truths to be included in the principles 
of true Democracy. If we have not at all times trusted as 
implicitly as we ought to the love our people have for the 
right, in political action, or if we have not always relied 
sufficiently upon the sturdy advocacy of the best tilings which 
belong to our party faith, these have been temporary aberra- 
tions which have furnished their inevitable warning. 

We are permitted to contemplate to-night the latest demon- 
stration of the people's appreciation of the right, and of the 
acceptance they accord to Democratic doctrine when honestly 
presented. In the campaign which has just closed with such 
glorious results, while party managers were anticipating the 
issue in the light of the continued illusion of the people, the 
people themselves and for themselves were considering the 
question of right and justice. They have spoken, and the 
Democracy of the land rejoice. 

In the signs of the times and in the result of their late State 
campaign, the Democracy of Pennsylvania must find hope and 
inspiration. Nowhere has the sensitiveness of the people, on 
questions involving right and wrong, been better illustrated than 
here. At the head of your State government there will soon 
stand a disciple of true Democracy, elected by voters who 
would have the right and not the wrong when their consciences 
were touched. Though there have existed here conditions and 
influences not altogether favorable to an unselfish apprehen- 
sion of the moral attributes of political doctrine, I believe that 
if these features of' the principles of true Democracy are per- 
sistently advocated, the time will speedily come when, as in a 
day, the patriotic hearts of the people of your great Common- 
wealth will be stirred to the support oi our cause. 

It remains to say that, in the midst of our rejoi< ing and in 
the time of party hope and expectation, we should remember 


thai the wa) of righl and justice should be followed asamattei 
of duty .mil regardless of immediate success. M>ove all I ! 
lei us not for a moment forgel tli.n grave responsibilities await 
the party which the people trusl ; and lei us look t * » r guidani e 

to the principles of true Democracy, which ".ire enduring 
because they are right, and invincible because they are just." 

At the Democratic Club, New York, April [3, [891. 

Mr. President and Gentlemen: 

I desire, first of all, to express my thanks to the promoters of 
this occasion, for the pleasure which a place in this goodly 
company affords me, and to congratulate the Democratic Club 
upon the indication of prosperity and enterprise supplied by its 
ownership of this beautiful and commodious house. The 
maintenance of such a center for the cultivation and dissem- 
ination of true Democratic principles, together with the activity 
and earnestness of members of the club, furnish the most 
gratifying evidence that those who abide here fully realize tin- 
value and importance of unremitting political endeavor and 
thorough organization in behalf of true Democracy, 

It seems to me that the atmosphere which pervades this 
place is ill-suited to selfish and ignoble designs; and 1 feel at 
this moment that 1 am surrounded by influences which invite 
patriotic partisanship and disinterested devotion to party prin- 
ciples. This sensation is most agreeable- for I am glad to be 
called a partisan if my partisanship is patriotic. It a partisan 
is correctly defined as "one who is violently and passionately 
devoted to a party or interest," I must plead guilty to the 
charge of being a Democratic partisan, so long as the Democ- 
racy is true to its creed and traditions, and so long as condi- 
tions exist which, to my understanding, make adherence to its 
doctrines synonymous with patriotism. 


It is a glorious thing to belong to a party which lias a history 
beginning with the first years of our government, and full of 
achievements interwoven with all that has made our country 
great and kept our people free. It is an inspiring thing to 
know that by virtue of our party membership we are associated 
with those who resist the attempt of arrogant political power 
to interfere with the independence and integrity of popular 
suffrage, who are determined to relieve our countrymen from 
unjust and unnecessary burdens, who are intent upon checking 
extravagance in public expenditures, and who test party pur- 
poses by their usefulness in promoting the interests and welfare 
of all the people of the land. 

These considerations furnish to those who love their country 
the highest and best incentives to constant and faithful effort 
in the cause of true Democracy. 

We are reminded on this occasion that we not only have a 
proud history and glorious traditions, but that our party had an 
illustrious founder, whose services and teachings have done as 
much to justify and make successful our government by the 
people and for the people, as any American who ever lived. A 
claim to such political ancestry is, of itself, sufficient to lend 
honor and pride to membership in a party which preserves in 
their vigor and purity the principles of that Democracy which 
was established by Thomas Jefferson. 

These principles were not invented for the purpose of gain- 
ing popular assent for a day, nor only because they were useful 
in the early time of the Republic. They were not announced 
lor the purpose of serving personal ambitions, nor merely for 
ilic purpose of catching the suffrages of the people. They 
were laid as deep and broad as the truths upon which the 
fabric of our government rested. In the spirit of prophecy, 
they were formulated and declared, not only as suited to the 
experiments of a new government, but as sufficient in every 
struggle and ever) emergency which should beset popular rule, 
in all times to come and in all stages of our country's growth 
and development. 


The political revolution whit h ac< ompanied the birth "i "Mr 
partj was imt accomplished while the principles <>i Demo< 
wrn- kept laid away ina napkin, nor was the unanimity <>t 
their first acceptam e secured by the senseless and noisy shout- 
ing ol partisan bigotry and the refusal to receive converts to 
the faith. No man believed more implicitly in the political 
instruction of the people than the great founder of our party ; 
and the fust triumph of Democratic principles, under his lead- 
ership, was distinctly the result of a campaign of education. 
So, too, in the light of our last great victory, no man who 
desires Democratic success will deny the supreme importance 
oi a most thorough and systematic presentation to our fellow- 
citizens of the reasons which support the avowed and accepted 
purposes oi our party. Those who now sneer at efforts in that 
direction are our enemies — whether they confront ns as con- 
less, d opponents, or whether they are traitors skulking within 
our camp. 

It seems to me that this is peculiarly a time when the Demo- 
cratic party should lie mindful o\ its relations to the country, 
of its responsibilities as the guardian of sacred principles, and 
of its duty to a confiding people. In the rejoicing which 
success permits, let us remember that tin- mission of our party 
is continued warfare. We cannot accomplish what we promise 
to the people if we allow ourselves to he diverted from the 
perils which are still in our way. Blindness to danger, and 
neglect of party organization and discipline, are invitations to 
defeat. We cannot win permanent and substantial success by 
putting aside principle and grasping after temporary expedi- 
ents. We shall court disaster if we relax industry in com- 
mending to the intelligence of our countrymen the creed which 
we profess; and we tempt humiliating failure and disgrace 
when we encourage or tolerate those who, claiming fellowship 
with us, needlessly and often from the worst of motives, seek 
to stir up strife and sow discoid in the councils of our 

As we celebrate to-night the birthday of the father of 


Democracy, let us reinforce our Democratic zeal and enthusi- 
asm and renew our faith and trust in the aroused intelligence 
of our countrymen. Let the reflections prompted by the 
surroundings of this occasion, confirm us in the assurance that 
we shall patriotically discharge our political duty and well 
maintain our party loyalty, if in all we do as Democrats we 
bravely and consistently hold fast to the truths which illumine 
the path laid out by our great guide and leader. 


Before the "Cleveland Deinocracy" at Buffalo, N. Y., 
May 12, 1 89 1. 

Mr. President and Gentlemen: 

As I stand for the first time face to face with the Cleveland 
Democracy, I experience mingled emotions of responsibility 
and pride. My sense of responsibility arises from my relation 
to your organization as its godfather, and my pride from the 
noble manner in which you have borne my name. 1 acknowl- 
edge your right to require of me at this time an account of the 
manner in which I have kept the political faith to which you 
are devoted. This right grows out of the fact that the word 
"Democracy," as it stands in the name of your organiza- 
tion, means so much and is so worthy of your care, that 
its significance should not be in the least clouded by any 
prefix which is not in keeping with Democratic aims and pur- 

pi ises. 

In giving an account of my political behavior, I can only 
oiler a record of political conduct familiar to all my country- 
men, and supplement this record by the declaration that I have 
done the best I could to deserve the confidence in me which 
you have so gracefully manifested. For the character of the 
record thus presented, you yourselves are answerable with me 
— for it has been made under the influence and encouragement 


of the sentiments and doctrines which the Cleveland Democ- 
!.u i have cultivated and enfon cd. When we started togethei 
in political life and responsibility, your accepted creed taughl 
thai politics was something more than adroit jugglery; thai 
there was still su< h a thing as official duty, and that it meant 
obligation to the people ; thai the prim iples of our governmenl 
were worthy of conscientious study ; and thai the doctrines ol 
true Democracy, honestly and bravely enforced, promised the 
greatest good to all our countrymen, and exacted, through the 
length and breadth of our land, impartial governmental care 
and indiscriminating justice. 

You were not contenl to allow these truths to remain with 
you as mere idle beliefs. They supplied constanl and aggress- 
ive motives for your political activity and were your inspira- 
tion as you went forth to do battle in the Democratic cause, 
resting your hope of triumph upon an unwavering faith in the 
thoughtful and well-informed intelligence of the American 

Thus you were found doing valiant service in the campaign 
of education. As the smoke of the last stubbornly fought 
battle cleared away, no soldiers on the held were found sur- 
rounded by more trophies of victory than the forces of the 
Cleveland Democracy. 

Surely your rewards are most abundant. You have not 
only aided in the advancement of the Democratic standard, 
but you have also contributed your full share in demonstrating 
that the people can be trusted when aroused to thoughtfulness 
and duty. 

When I suggest to vou that much sturdy fighting still awaits 
all those eidisted in the Democratic ranks, 1 feel that 1 am 
speaking to veterans who have no fear of hard campaigning. 
We may be sure that unless we continue active, watchful war- 
fare, we shall lose what we have gained in the people's cause. 
Insidious s< hemes are started on ever) side to allure them to 
their undoing. Awakened to a sense of wrong and injustice, 
promises of redress and benefit are held up to their sight, "like 


Dead Sea fruits, that tempt the eye but turn to ashes on the 
lips." The selfish and designing will not forego the struggle, 
but will constantly seek to regain their vantage ground through 
tempting fallacies and plausible pretexts of friendliness. 

1 believe the most threatening figure which to-day stands in 
the way of the safety of our government and the happiness of 
our people, is reckless and wicked extravagance in our public 
expenditures. It is the most fatal of all the deadly brood born 
of governmental perversion. It hides beneath its wings the 
betrayal of the people's trust, and holds powerless in its fas- 
cinating glance the people's will and conscience. It brazenly 
exhibits to-day a Billion Dollar Congress. But lately, a large 
surplus remained in the people's public treasury after meeting 
all expenditures, then by no means economical. This condition 
was presented to the American people as positive proof that 
their burden of taxation was unjust because unnecessary; and 
yet, while the popular protest is still heard, the harpy of Public 
Extravagance devours the surplus and impudently calls upon 
its staggering victims to bring still larger supplies within the 
reach of its insatiate appetite. A few short years ago a pen- 
sion roll amounting to fifty-three millions of dollars was will- 
ingly maintained by our patriotic citizens. To-day, Public 
Extravagance decrees that three times that sum shall be drawn 
from the people, upon the pretext that its expenditure repre- 
sents the popular love of the soldier. Not many years ago a 
river and harbor bill, appropriating eleven millions of dollar:;, 
gave rise to a loud popular protest. Now, Public Extrava- 
gance commands an appropriation of twenty-two millions for 
the same purposes, and the people are silent. To-day, millions 
are paid for barefaced subsidy; and this is approved or con- 
doned at the behest of Public Extravagance, and thus a new 
marauder is turned loose, which, in company with its vicious 
tariff partner, bears pilfered benefit to the households of 
favored selfish interests. 

We need not prolong the details. Turn where we will, we 
gee tin: advance of this devouring and destructive creature. 


Our Democratic faith tea< hes us thai the useless exa< tion of 
money from the people, upon the false pretexl oi publu n< 
sity, is the worst of all governmental perversions, and involves 
the greatest of all dangers to our guarantees of justice and 
equity. We need not unlearn this lesson to apprehend the fa< t 
that behind the fact that such exaction, and as its source ol 
existence, is found Public Extravagance. The ax will not be 
laid al the rool of the unwholesome tariff tree, with its vi< ions 
inequality and injustice, until we reach and destroy its parenl 

and support. 

lint the growth of Public Extravagance in these latter da) , 
and its unconcealed and dreadful manifestations, force ns to 
the • ontemplation of other crimes, of which it is undoubted!) 
guilty, besides unjust exactions from the people. 

Our government is so ordained that its lifeblood flows from 
the virtue and patriotism of our people, and its health and 
strength depend upon the integrity and faithfulness of their 
public servants. If these are destroyed, our government, if it 
endures, will endure only in name, failing to bless those for 
whom it was created, and failing in its mission as an example to 

Public Extravagance, in its relation to inequitable tariff laws, 
not only lays an unjust tribute upon the people, but is respon- 
sible for unfair advantages bestowed upon special and favored 
interests as the price of partisan support. Thus the exert ise 
of the popular will, for the benefit of the country at large, is 
replaced by sordid and selfish motives directed to personal 
advantage, while the encouragement of such motives, in public 
place for party ends, deadens the official conscience. 

Public Extravagance direct l\ distributes gifts and gratuities 
among the people, whose toleration of waste is thus secured, or 
whose past part) servicesare thus compensated, or who are thus 
bribed to future party support. This makes the continuance 
ot partisan power a Stronger motive among public servants 
than the faithful discharge of the people's trust, and sows the 
seeds ot conl ij ious corruption in the bod) politic. 


But to my mind, the saddest and most frightful result of 
Public Extravagance is seen in the readiness of the masses of 
our people, who are not dishonest, but only heedless, to accus- 
tom themselves to that dereliction in public place which it 
involves. Evidence is thus furnished that our countrymen are 
in danger of losing the scrupulous insistence upon the faithful 
discharge of duty on the part of their public servants, the 
regard for economy and frugality which belongs to sturdy 
Americanism, the independence which relies upon personal 
endeavor, and the love of an honest and well-regulated gov- 
ernment, all of which lie at the foundation of our free institu- 

Have I overstated the evils and dangers with which the 
tremendous growth of Public Extravagance threatens us? 
Every man who loves his country well enough to pause and 
think of these things must know that I have not. 

Pet us, then, as we push on in our campaign of education, 
especially impress upon our countrymen the lesson which 
teaches that Public Extravagance is a deadly, dangerous thing, 
that frugality and economy are honorable, that the virtue and 
watchfulness of the people are the surest safeguards against 
abuses in their government, and that those who profess to 
serve their fellow-citizens in public place must be faithful to 
their trust. 


Before the Business Mens Democratic Association, New York, 
January 8, 1892. 

Mr. President and Gentlemen: 

No one can question the propriety of the celebration of this 
day by the organization whose imitation has called us together. 
Its right to celebrate on this occasion results from the fact that 
it is an organization attached to the doctrines of true Democ- 
racy, having a membership composed of business men, who, 


in a disinterested way, devote themselves to honest party work, 
ami who labor for the growth and spread of the political prin- 
ciples which they profess. 

This anniversary has not gained its place asa festival daj in 
the calendar of Democracy by chance or through unmeaning 
caprice; nor is it observed by the Democrats part) merel) 
because a battle was fought on the 8th da) of January, 
many years ago, at New Orleans. That battle in itsell had no 
immediate political significance, and, considered solelj as a 
mili tarj achievement in comparison with many other battles 
fought by Americans both before and since, it need nol be 
regarded as an event demanding especial i ommemoration. 

The Democratic zest and enthusiasm of our celebration of 
the day grow out of the fact that the battle of New Orleans 
was won under the generalship of Andrew Ja< kson. So. while 
the successful general in that battle is nol forgotten to-night, 
Democrats, wherever they are assembled throughout our land 
to i elebrate the da) , are honoring the hero w ho \\ on the battles 
of Democracy, and are commemorating the political coi i 
and steadfastness whi< h were his prominenl characterise s. 

It is well that there are o< i asions like this where ue may 
manifest that love and affection for Andrew Jackson which 
have a place in every Democratic heart. It is needless to 
attempt an explanation of this love and affection. They are 
Democratic instincts. So strong is our conviction that Jack- 
son's I lemoi rac \ derived its strength and vigor from the Si 
fast courage, the honesty of purpose and the sturdy persisted y 
which characterized the man, thai we willingl) profess the 
belief that these same conditions are essential to the usefulness 
and success of the Democratic party in these latter days. 
Thus, wherever party prin< iple or polic) may lead us, we have 
constantly before us an unquestioned example ol the spirit in 
whi< h our work should be undertaken. 

It may nol be unprofitable for us, at this time, to re. all some 
incidents in the career of Andrew Jackson, and note their 
bearing upon the position of our parly in its presenl relal 


to the people. We may thus discover an incentive for the 
cultivation and preservation of that Jacksonian spirit which 
ought to belong to Democratic effort. 

When General Jackson was sent with troops to protect our 
border against disturbers of the peace whose retreat was in the 
Spanish province of Florida, he notified our government that 
if it was signified to him that the possession of the Floridas 
would be desirable to the United States, it should be forthwith 
accomplished. He only believed he had the assent of his 
government, but in that belief, and because his word had been 
given, he never rested until his military occupation of the 
territory was complete. 

The Democratic party has lately declared to the people that 
if it was trusted and invested with power, their burdens of 
taxation should be lightened, and that a better and more just 
distribution of benefits should be assured to them. There is 
no doubt concerning our commission from the people to do 
this work, and there is no doubt that we have received their 
trust and confidence on the faith of our promises. In these 
circumstances, there is no sign of Jacksonian determination and 
persistency in faltering or hesitating in the cause we have 
undertaken. If we accepted the trust and confidence of the 
people with any other design than to respond fully to them, we 
have been dishonored from the beginning. If we accepted 
them in good faith, disgrace and humiliation await us if we 
relax our efforts before the promised end is reached. 

At New Orleans General Jackson attacked the enemy as 
soon as they landed, and fought against their making the least 
advance. It never occurred to him that by yielding to them 
a foot of ground, or giving them a moment's rest, his oppor- 
tunity to defeat them would be promoted. 

We, who are proud to call ourselves Jacksonian Democrats, 
have boldly and aggressively attacked a political heresy op- 
posed to the best interests of the people and defended by an 
arrogant and unscrupulous party. The fight is still on. Who 
has the hardihood to sav that we can lav claim to the least 


Jacksonian spirit if in the struggle we turn our ba< ks to the 
enemy, or lower in the least our colors? 

President Jackson believed the United States Bank was an 
institution dangerous to the liberties and prosperity of the 
people. ( 'in e com in< ed of this, his determination to destroj 
it closely followed. Heearl) began the attack, utterly regard- 
less of anj considerations of political expediency or personal 
advancement except as they grew oul of his faith in the people, 
and giving no place in his calculations for any estimate of the 
difficulty of the undertaking. From the time the first blow 
was struck until the contesl ended in Ins complete triumph, he 
allowed nothing to divert him from his purpose, and permitted 
no other issue to divide his energ) or to be substituted for that 
on which he was intent. 

The Democratic party of to-day, which conjures with the 
name of Jackson, has also attacked a monstrous e\ il, intrenched 
behind a perversion of governmental power and guarded 1>\ it-- 
selfish beneficiaries. On behalf of those among our people 
long neglected, we have insisted on tariff reform and an aban- 
donment of unjust favoritism. We have thus adopted an issue 
great enough to deserve the undivided efforts of our party, 
involving considerations which, we profess to believe, he at the 
foundation of the justice and fairness of popular rule. 

If we are to act upon our declared belief in the power of that 
Jacksonian spirit which was the inspiration of our party in the 
days of our great leader, we shall be steadfast to the issue we 
have raised until it is settled and rightly settled. The stead- 
fastness we need will not permit a premature and distracting 
scan h for other and perplexing questions, nor will it allow us 
to he tempted or driven by the enemy into new and tangled 

We have given pledges to the people, and they have trusted 
us. Unless we have outgrown the Democratic spirit of Jack- 
son's time, our duty is plain. Our promise was not merely to 
labor in the people's cause until we should tire of the effort, or 
should discover a way which seemed to promise ea-iei ami 


quicker party ascendency. The service we undertook was not 
to advise those waiting for better days that their cause was 
hopeless, nor under any pretext to suggest a cessation of effort. 
Our engagement was to labor incessantly, bravely, and stub- 
bornly, seeing nothing and considering nothing but ultimate 
success. These pledges and promises should be faithfully and 
honestly kept. Party faithlessness is party dishonor. 

Nor is the sacredness of our pledges, and the party dishonor 
that would follow their violation, all we have to consider. 
We cannot trifle with our obligations to the people without 
exposure and disaster. We ourselves have aroused a spirit of 
jealous inquiry and discrimination touching political conduct 
which cannot be blinded ; and the people will visit with quick 
revenge the party which betrays them. 

1 hope, then, I may venture to claim in this assemblage that, 
even if there had been but slight encouragement for the cause 
we have espoused, there would still be no justification for 
timidity and faint-heartedness. But with the success we have 
already achieved, amounting to a political revolution, it seems 
to me that it would be the height of folly, considered purely as 
a question of party management, to relax in the least our 
determination and persistency. If we suspect, anywhere in 
our counsels, compromising hesitation or a disposition to divert 
the unity of party efforts, let us be watchful. The least retreat 
bodes disaster; cowardice is often called conservatism, and an 
army scattered into sections invites defeat. 

We have preached the doctrine that honesty and sincerity 
should be exacted from political parties. Let us not fall under 
the condemnation which awaits on shifty schemes and insin- 
cere professions. 

I believe our countrymen are prepared to act on principle, 
and in no mood for political maneuvering. They will not 
waste time in studying conundrums, guessing riddles, or trying 
to interpret doubtful phrases. They demand a plain and 
simple statement of political purpose. 

Above all things, political finesse should not lead us to for- 


gel th.ii, .u the end of our plans, we must meet face t< 
the polls the voters of the land, with ballots in their hat 
demanding as a condition of their support ol our part) fidelity 
and undivided devotion to the cause in which we have enlisted 


It', inspired by the true Jacksonian spirit, we hold to the 
doctrine that patty honesty is party duty and part) courage is 
party expediency, we shall win a .sure and lasting sue 
through the deserved support of a discriminating, intelligent, 
and thoughtful people. 


To a Political Rally, in Columbus, O. 

Km i UTIVE M wsion, 
Ai.i: \\\ , September 24, [884. 
\l\ Dear Sir: 

I very much regrel thai the pressure of official duties will 
prevent my joining you at the meeting to be held in Columbus 
on the 25th inst. 1 hope the meeting will be a complete 
success, and that it will be the means of increasing the enthu- 
siasm already aroused for the cause of good government. 

I believe that the voters pf the country are fully alive to the 
necessity of installing an administration ol public affairs which 
shall lie truly their own, not only because it is the result of 
their choice, but because its selected instrumentalities are 
directly from the bod) of the people and impressed with the 
people's thoughts and sentiments. They are tired. I think, of 
a rule so long continued that it has bred and fostered a < lass 
standing between them and their political action, and whose 
interest in affairs ends with partisan zeal and the advancement 
of personal ad\ anta 

Let me remind the people thai if the) seek to make their 
public servants feel their direcl responsibility to them, and l>e 

careful of their interests, their objects will not be 1 

plished by Mind adherence to the party which has grown arro 


gant with long-continued power. Let me impress upon the 

people that the issue involved in the pending canvass is the 

establishment of a pure and honest administration of their 

government. Let me show them the way to this and warn 

them against any cunningly designed effort to lead them into 

other paths of irrelevant discussion. 

With these considerations before them, and with an earnest 

presentation of our claims to the confidence of the people 

and of their responsibility, we need not fear the result of their 

intelligent action. 

Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 
Allen G. Tuurman, 

Columbus, O. 


To the " Cleveland Democracy" Buffalo, N. Y. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, September 30, 1S85. 
My Dear Sir: 

Please accept my thanks for the pamphlet you sent me 
containing papers read before the Cleveland Democracy 
of Buffalo. The collection gives excellent proof of the 
amount and value of the work already done by the organ- 
ization. I know of nothing which could better engage the 
endeavor of such an association than its declared objects — "to 
foster and disseminate Democratic principles" and "to pro- 
mote and secure the political education and Democratic 
fellowship of its members." 

A marked improvement in our polities must follow, I think, 
a better understanding of the reasons for the existence of 
parties, and a clearer apprehension of their relations to the 
welfare of the country and the prosperity of our people. 
Membership in a partv might well rest less upon a blind, 
unrefle< ting enthusiasm for a certain continued partisan com- 


panionship and the hope oi personal reward and advanl 
and more upon a deliberate attachmenl to well-defined and 
understood party principles. And this better condition is to 
be realized largely as the result of su< h work as the Cleveland 
I >emocra< \ has undertaken. 

Tlu' Democratic cause need have no fear of the most com 
plete discussion of its principles; and the histor) oi it 
leaders and their achievements < annol fail to inspire the mem- 
bers of the party with pride and veneration. It is well in 
these latter days to turn back often and read ol the faith whi< h 
the founders of our party had in the people — how exactly they 
apprehended their needs and with what lofty aims and purposes 
they sought the public good. 

The object of your organization should arouse the zeal and 
continuous efforl of every member; and its usefulness should 
insure its encouragement and prosperity. 

Y< nirs sincerel) , 

Herbert I' Bissell, Esq., President. 

To the President of the National Association of ( 'tubs. 

Executia i Mansion, 

Washington, September 14, 1888. 
Chauncev !•'. Black, President, etc. 

My Dkar Sik : The papers which you kindly sent for my 
perusal, touching the scope, method, and purpose of the Asso- 
ciation of Democratic Clubs, have strengthened my belief in 
the extreme importance of such organizations as have been 
thus associated. 

The struggle upon which we have entered is In behalf of 
the people — the plain people of the land — and they must be 
reached. We do not proceed upon the theory that they are 
to be led by others who may or may not be in sympathy with 


their interests. We have undertaken to teach the voters as 
free, independent citizens, intelligent enough to insist upon 
their rights, interested enough to insist upon being treated 
justly, and patriotic enough to desire their country's welfare. 

Thus this campaign is one of information and organization. 
Every citizen should be regarded as a thoughtful, responsible 
voter, and he should be furnished the means of examining the 
issues involved in the pending canvass for himself. 

1 am convinced that no agency is so effective to this end as 
the clubs which have been formed, permeating all parts of the 
country and making their influence felt in every neighborhood. 
By a systematic effort they make the objects of the Demo- 
cratic party understood, by the fair and calm discussion of the 
Democratic position in this contest, among those with whom 
their members daily come in contact ; and by preventing a 
neglect of the duty of suffrage on election day, these clubs 
will become, in my opinion, the most important instrumentality 
yet devised for promoting the success of our party. 

Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 


To the Democratic Societies of Pennsylvania. 

New York, October n, 1S89. 
My Dear Sir: 

I am sorry that I shall not be able to be in Philadelphia at 
the General Assembly of the Democratic Societies of Penn- 
sylvania on the 15th inst., and cannot, therefore, attend the 
meeting which will follow that assembly. 

My estimate of the value of these Democratic Societies as 
agencies tor the instruction of the people upon political topics 
and for the accomplishment of legitimate political work is well 
known, and tlicie never was a time when, in the interests of good 
government and national prosperity, they were more needed. 

The condition of political affairs is such that the attention of 


all true Democrats should be direi ted to the i nfon ■ tin nl ol 
the distinctive principles of the part) ; and in my opinion this 
is no time for the search after makeshifts and temporary 

We, as a party, are fairly enlisted in the cause of the people, 
and patriotism, duty, and party success require thai we should 
be constant and steadfast. All personal and selfish aims 

should be subordinated. 

I confidently expect that in the work we have in hand our 
Democratic societies will exhibit an efficiency which will be 
gratefully acknowledged by all who have at heart the welfari 
and prosperity of the American people. 

Yours very sincerely, 



To the New York Convention of Democratic Clubs. 

New York, October 21, 1889. 
Dear Sir: 

1 am in receipt of your invitation to attend the Convention 
of New York State Democrats Clubs to be held at the Hoff- 
man House on the 22(1 inst. 

I am glad that you were considerate enough of my situation 
and feelings to give me an opportunity to infer from your note 
that my failure to accept your invitation would neither cause 
great disappointment nor be construed as indicating any lack 
of interest in the work which the clubs represented in the 
league have undertaken. 

These organizations had their origin in the heal and a< ti\it\ 
u\ a Presidential election, which furnishes plenty of that enthu- 
siasm upon which politic, il organizations easily subsist. While 
they are certainly very useful at such a time, it must he ion- 
ceded that the noise and excitement of a campaign are not 
conducive to the accomplishmettl of missionary work or the 
effective dissemination of political truth. This most important 


work can belter be done in more quiet surroundings, though 

usually it is not then so easy to maintain political associations. 

It has been too often the case, if it may not be said to be 
the rule, that political clubs, whatever their declarations of 
perpetuity may have been, have only lived during the cam- 
paign in which they had their birth, and only performed tem- 
porary campaign work. 1 am very much pleased to learn that 
the League of New York Democratic Clubs intends to make 
the organizations of which it is composed permanent agencies 
for spreading and illustrating the doctrines of the Democratic 
party at all times and in all circumstances. 

In making this effort the league is to be congratulated upon 
the fact that the principles of Democracy occupy at this time 
a larger place than they lately have in the consideration of the 
party. The study and propagation of these principles afford 
strong inducements to associated effort, and, what is better, 
these efforts are invested with a value and importance as great 
as the prosperity of our land, and as broad in their beneficence 
as the welfare of all our people. 

1 look to the ascendency of the principles upon which true 
Democracy rests, which will be greatly aided by the activity of 
leagues such as yours to secure us from wasting extravagance, 
from demagogic pretense, from sectional bitterness, and from the 
widespread corruption of our suffrage. Could labor and effort 
have greater or higher incentives than the accomplishment of 
these results ? Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland, 


To tin- Democracy of Kings County, N. Y. 

45 William Street, 
New York, October 30, 1S89. 
Dear Sir : 

1 have received your invitation, tendered on behalf 
of the Democratic organization of Kings County, to at- 


tend and address a mass meeting of the Democracy ol the 
county on the evening of Friday, the 1st day of Novem- 

You are cpiite right in suggesting that I am too well ac- 
quainted wiili the Democracy of Kings County to make ne< 
essary any assurance of the sincerity and earnestness ol tins 
invitation ; and 1 confess that it is difficult for me to decline 
the courtesy or disappoint the wishes of sueh kind party 

1 cannot, however, quite satisfy myself that I ought, by ac- 
cepting your invitation, to depart from the course which 1 
have followed in all similar eases. 

I know how ably the Speakers who address the meeting 
will present the topics which are prominent in the canvass, 
and how well the ekiitns of our candidates to public confidence 
will be advocated. 

The thought which is uppermost in my mind leads me to 
suggest that this is a time for the Democrats of our State to 
guard against the indifference and lack of activity which are 
apt to result from the reaction of a recent Presidential cam- 
paign, and which, also, too often exist when the grade and 
character of the offices to be filled are not such as inspire the 
greatest party enthusiasm. 

We should constantly bear in mind that every election in- 
volving Democratic principles is important to our party, and 
that indifference should not be permitted to invite defeat when 
fit and worthy men and true Democrats are presented as can- 
didates for public office. 

In the pending campaign, though the canvass has to do 
with State policy and State offices, it cannot be denied that 
it is also related in an important way to fundamental party 
principles ; and it should be our pleasure, as it is our duty, 
to give active and earnest support to the worthy and honest 
men, and the tried and true members of the Democratic party 
who are our candidates. 

1 hope that your mass meeting may be the means of arous- 


ing that Democratic activity, watchfulness, and enthusiasm 
which will insure Democratic success. 

Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 
John P. Adams, Esq., President, etc. 


To the Young Mens Democratic Club at Canton, O. 

New York, November 22, 1889. 
Dear Sir: 

I am pleased with the invitation you extend to Mrs. Cleve- 
land and myself to be present at the anniversary meeting of 
the Young Men's Democratic Club on the 5th day of Decem- 
ber. If the exercises you contemplate and outline in your 
letter are carried out, all who attend them are certainly 
promised a rare exposition of sound doctrine from the eloquent 
and able speakers you have secured. I am sorry that, owing 
to other engagements, we must be among the absent ones. 

The spirit and tone of your letter, so far as it relates to the 
purposes of your club, are very gratifying. The constantly 
growing interest manifested by our young men in the princi- 
ples of the Democratic parly constitute, in my opinion, the 
most reliable hope of their ascendency. If, at any time in the 
past, it has with any truth been said that our party did not 
invite to its standard the enterprising and thoughtful young 
men of the country, to-day such an allegation shall be disputed. 

And these men, keenly alive to their country's welfare, 
quick to discover the needs of the present, and ready, in the 
freedom of untrammeled thought, to follow in the pathway of 
good citizenship, can be safely trusted with political responsi- 
bilities. Hoping your meeting will be very successful, I am 
Yours truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 


To the Tammany Society's Fourth of July Celebrations. 

1 . 

Marion, Mass., June 30, 1X90. 
De \k Sir: 

My absence from the city of New Vork, and plans which 
1 have already made, prevenl my acceptance ol the court 
invitation which I have received to attend the celebration 
by the Tammany Society of the one hundred and fourteenth 
anniversary of American independence. 

The celebration contemplated by your ancienl and time- 
honored organization will, it seems to me, fall short in the 
impressiveness due to the occasion if it does not persistently 
present and emphasize the idea that the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence was the protest of honest and sturdy men againsl the 
wrongs and oppressions of misgovemment. The reasons and 
justification for their revolt are exhibited in their recital of a 
long list of grievous instances of maladministration. They 
complained that their interests had been so neglected, and their 
rights as lawful subjects so violated, under British rule, that 
they were absolved from further fealty. 

Our fathers, in establishing a new government upon the will 
of the people and consecrated to their care and just protection, 
could not prescribe limitations which would deny to political 
parties its conduct and administration. The opportunities 
and the temptations, thus necessarily presented to partisanship, 
have brought us to a time when party control is far too arro- 
gant and bitter, and when, in public place, the true intei 
of the country are too lightly considered. 

In this predicament, those who love their country may well 
remember, with comfort and satisfaction, on Independence Day, 
that the disposition of the American people to revolt against 
maladministration still remains to them, and is the bad-.' of 
their freedom and independence, as well as their sec un'ty for 
continued prosperity and happiness. 


They will not revolt against their plan of government, for 
its protection and preservation supply every inspiration of true 
Americanism. But because they are free and independent 
American citizens, they will, as long as their love and venera- 
tion for their government shall last, revolt against the domina- 
tion of any political party which, intrusted with power, sordidly 
seeks only its continuance, and which, faithlessly violating its 
plain and simple duty to the people, insults them with profes- 
sions of disinterested solicitude while it eats out their substance. 

And yet, with all this, we should not in blind security deny 
the existence of danger. The masses of our countrymen are 
brave and therefore generous;, they are strong and therefore 
confident, and they are honest ami therefore unsuspecting. 
Our peril lies in the ease with which they may be deluded and 
cajoled by those who would traffic with their interests. 

No occasion is more opportune than the celebration of the 
one hundred and fourteenth anniversary of American inde- 
pendence to warn the American people of the present necessity 
on their part of a vigilant watchfulness of their rights and a 
jealous exaction of honest and unselfish performance of public 
duty. Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 
Abram B. TAprEN, Grand Sachem. 

Buzzard's Bay, Mass , July i, 1S9T. 
Dear Sir: 

1 am unable to accept your courteous invitation to be pres- 
ent at the celebration, by the Tammany Society, of the one 
hundred and fifteenth anniversary of American independence. 

I should be glad to participate in the celebration which your 
society contemplates, and I hope the design of its promoters 
to make the occasion one "of exceptional significance and 
extended effects," will be fully realized. 

Our American holiday cannot be appropriately celebrated 
without recalling the immense cost and the transcendent value 


of our national independence, and awakening and reserving in 

our hearts that spirit ol patriotism which is the foundation ol 
our independen( e and the securit) ol our life as a cation. 

Every American citizen should, on thai day, consecrate 
himself anew to an unqualified allegiance to his government, 
and should soberly realize that do social <>r political relation in 
life can he worthily maintained unless it embraces an unselfish 
lo\ e of country. 

Your time-honored association justly claims a proud histor] 
of devotion to a political part\- which has always insisted upon 
the integrity of our free institutions, and which has at all times 
professed to champion the rights of the people. I am, there- 
fore, certain that the Tammany Society, in its celebration of 
Independence Day, will not fail to emphasize the truth that 
political organizations can only he valuable, and part)- efforts 
can only promise success, when the} have for their purpose and 
inspiration the broadest and purest patriotism. 
Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 

Thomas F. Gilroy, Grand Sachem. 

\\ If. 
To the Yoiuig Men's Democratic Association, Canton, O. 

New York, November .75, 1890. 

I thank you for the invitation I have just received to meet 
with the members of the Young Men's Democratic Club at 
Canton to rejoice over the late Democratic victory. I am 
son'}' to say that it will be impossible for me to be piocnt on 
the occasion you contemplate, but f hope that it will be full of 
enthusiasm and congratulation. 

And yet may 1 not suggesl one sober thought which should 
1 on ,t.i nt I \ be in our minds? < >ur late su< cess is, of course, the 
triumph of Democratic principles, but that success was made 

possible by the CO-operation of man}" who are not to be (on- 


sidered as irrevocably and under all circumstances members of 
our party. They trusted us and allied themselves with us in 
the late struggle because they saw that those with whom they 
had acted politically were heedless of the interests of the coun- 
try and untrue to the people. 

We have still to convince them that Democracy means some- 
thing more than mere management for party success and a 
partisan distribution of benefits after success. This can only 
be done by insisting that in the conduct of our party, principles 
touching the public welfare shall be placed above spoils, and 
this is the sentiment of the masses of the Democratic party to- 
day. They are disinterested and patriotic, and they should not 
be misrepresented by the tricks of those who would not scruple 
to use the party name for selfish purposes. 

I do not say that there is danger of this; but I am convinced 
that our duty to those who have trusted us consists in pushing 
on, continually and vigorously, the principles in the advocacy 
of which we have triumphed, and thus superseding all that is 
ignoble and unworthy. In this way we shall place our party 
on solid ground and confirm the people in the hope that we 
strive for their welfare, and, following this course, we shall 
deserve and achieve further success. 

Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 


To the Cleveland Club, . Itlanta, Ga. 

New York., February 29, 1892. 
My Dear Sir: 

1 will not attempt to conceal the gratification afforded me by 
the message you transmit from the Cleveland Club of Atlanta. 
I have received so many manifestations of friendliness from 
the people of Atlanta that I cherish toward them the warmest 
gratitude and liveliest affection. 

I cannot say that I am certain I deserve all the laudation 
contained in the resolutions of your club. I can say, however. 


thai I find a sense of great satisfaction in the reflection thai I 
have been permitted to aid somewhat in restoring to the people, 
in a large section of our country, their standing and position in 
our common American citizenship, not nominally and barrenly, 
but substantially and potentionally. 

For whatever I have done in this dire< tion I have abundanl 
reward in the prosperity of your people, which doubles our 
national prosperity; in the cheerful co-operation ol your peo 
pie, which insures a lasting national brotherhood; and in the 
appreciation by your people of all thai lias been done in their 

After all, I look upon these beneficent accomplishments as 
resulting from the appreciation of true Demo< ratic doctrines, 
and I believe that one who in public place submits himself to 
their guidance will find it easy to do justice and to subserve 
the interests of all his fellow-countrymen. 

Yours very truly, 

Gro\ er Cleveland. 



Serenade Speech from Balcony of Buffalo Democratic Club upon 
his Nomination for Governor, September 22, 1882. 

My Friends : 

1 am sure there will be nothing for me to do in the cam- 
paign upon which we have just entered that will so appeal to 
my feelings, and about which I will have to take so much 
care, as in addressing you this evening. I must be careful 
what 1 say, or the recollections of the past and the apprecia- 
tion of your esteem will quite overcome me. 

I can but remember to-night the time when I came among 
you, friendless, unknown, and poor. I can but remember 
how, step by step, by the encouragement of my good fellow- 
citizens, I have gone on to receive more of their appreciation 
than is my due, until I have been honored with more distinc- 
tion, perhaps, than I deserve. The position of Mayor of this 
great and proud city ought to be enough to satisfy the most 
ambitious. The position of Mayor, backed and supported as 
it is by every good citizen, I am sure, should satisfy any man, 
and it would seem almost grasping to wish for a higher honor. 
The promise of the future that is before me is somewhat 
saddened and dimmed by the reflection that, if carried out, 
I should have to leave my good friends of Buffalo to enter 
upon another sphere of activity. 

Bear in mind, gentlemen, that whatever may come in the 
future, the people of Buffalo anil all their kindnesses to me 
will ever have the warmest place in a grateful heart. 


SP£Et 7/A.v /.V P0L1 /'/< Al CANVA SSES. 

The event of to-day is an event which appeals to the local 
pride of us all, and I should be too vain to live with — too 
vain to be of airy comfort to my friends — if I did not fully 
appreciate the fact that this splendid ovation is not altogether 
on account of personal preference. You are here to support 
a cause — a great cause, and while you may fully appreciate 
that a fellow-citizen is to bear aloft the banner ol Democracy 
in this campaign, you are to remember that he is the standard- 
bearer in a cause that is dear to the people and in which all 
their interests are involved. You are to support it because 
you struggle for principles the ascendency of which will bring 
happiness, peace, and prosperity to the people. 

It is fitting that the campaign should begin here at these 
club rooms, where, perhaps, more than in any other place, my 
candidacy was started and has been fostered. I wish that 
those valiant old soldiers — call them old men and old boys, if 
you will — were here to-night to enjoy with us the fruit of our 

Here we begin ! Let us not believe that because local 
pride and preference urge us on and the prospect looks 
bright — let us not think that the battle is to be won without a 
great struggle. On the one side we are to fight in the interest 
of the people against a power upheld by a National Adminis- 
tration, and it will take the strongest effort to shake oil" its 
vise like grip. 

Remember that all the means and money at the command 
of the Administration are to be put into play against us. 

Remember that New York is the battle ground of 1884. 

Do not be cajoled into the belief that because we are confi- 
dent here — because my neighbors are enthusiastic in my 
support — that this is going to win the day. Remember that 
this is a large St ate and one which is regarded as the key to 
an important position. 

Off then with our coats! We must labor as we never did 
before, and not for personal preferences but for the great 
cause; in which we are enlist,,] 


Serenade Speech at Albany, October 12, 1883. 

Fellow-Citizens : 

I am very much gratified by this remembrance of me in 
the middle of the rejoicing which to-night gladdens the 
hearts of the members of the party to which I am glad to 
belong. I do not for a moment attribute this demonstra- 
tion and the compliment of the serenade to any other cause 
than the inclination of my party friends, at ruich a time as this, 
to congratulate each other on this occasion. Official place and 
public position may be laid aside, for a moment, while, as 
fellow-members of a party which has achieved a victory, we 
mingle our joy and exultation. We celebrate tonight a 
victory in a most important field, and a victory which gives us 
an earnest of a much greater yet 10 come. We look with 
pride and joy to the achievement of our brethren in a sister 
State, and yield to them all the praise and admiration which 
their gallantry and courage claim. 

The first battle in the great campaign of 1884 has been 
fought and won. Ohio in the van calls on us to follow. 
What shall the answer be ? The Democracy of New York 
sends back the ringing assurance that we are on the way, and 
in a few short days will be at her side, bearing glorious 
trophies. This is not an idle boast, full of temporary en- 
thusiasm, nor the voice of blind partisan zeal. We shall 
succeed because we deserve success, because the people are 
just, and because we bear high aloft the banner of their rights. 
We know full well the need of watchfulness and effort, and we 
shall not fail to appreciate that neglect and slothfulness are a 
bet rayal of our trust. 

I congratulate most sincerely every true Democrat in the 
State of New York that the cause in which he is enlisted is so 
worthy of his best efforts, and that the candidates chosen to 
lead in the contest so well represent his cause. The conven- 
tion which selected, for the Democratic party, the men now 

SPEEt 111', .v l.Y /'«>// Tit " / / CANVA SSES. ?99 

presented to the people of the State for their suffrages had be- 
fore it other men, any of whom the party would have delighted 

to honor ; but a choice was to be made, and that it was well 
and fairly made I fully believe. The charge or insinuation in 
any quarter that tin- choice was influenced improperly, or de- 
termined otherwise than by the judgment of those upon whom 
tli.- responsibility was cast, will not deceive ami may be safelj 
left to the intelligence of the people of the stale. 

For myself, 1 shall claim the privilege of aiding in the cause. 
This cannot be done by fault-finding ami cavil. I know I can 
aid by performing the duties of my public trust for the benefit 
of the people, for I am sure that the party which docs not keep 
near to them, ami the party representatives who are not care- 
ful of their interests, they will repudiate. We seek to put the 
affairs of the State in the hands of men having the full confi- 
denceof the party. We seek to put in higher places those who 
have shown fidelity to every private and public trust. We 
present to the people of the State candidates all of whom 
come accredited with the confidence and affection of their 
neighbors, which are the best credentials. Their ability to 
perform the duties of the offices is unquestioned, ami, fresh 
from the people, they understand and will care for their 

Believing these things, 1 am enlisted in their success, and 1 
hope that, through the hearty efforts of their party friends and 
by the intelligent action of the voters of the State, I may wel- 
come them to share in the administration of our State govern- 


. U Newark, N. /., October 26, 1884. 

I am here to visit the county and State where i was born, in 
response to the invitation of many political friend'- and a 
number of those who, as neighbors, remember my family, if 


not me. I do not wish to attempt any false pretense by 
declaring that ever since the day when, a very small boy, I left 
the State, I have languished in an enforced absence and longed 
to tread again its soil ; and yet I may say, without affectation, 
that, though the way of life has led me far from the place of 
my birth, the names of Caldwell and Newark and the memories 
connected with these places are as fresh as ever. I have never 
been disloyal to my native State, but have ever kept a place 
warm in my heart for the love I cherish for my birthplace. 
I hope, then, that 1 shall not be regarded as a recreant son, 
but that I may, without challenge, lay claim to my place as a 
born Jerseyman. 

If you will grant me this 1 shall not be too modest to assume 
to share the pride which you all must feel in the position the 
State of New Jersey and the county of Essex hold in the coun- 
try to-day. The history of the State dates beyond the time 
when our Union was formed. Its farm-lands exceed in aver- 
age value per acre those of any other State, and it easily leads 
all the States in a number of important industries. When we 
consider the city of Newark, we find a municipality ranking as 
the fourteenth in point of population among the cities of the 
land. It leads every other city in three important industries; 
it is second in another, and third in stil! another. 

Of course, all these industries necessitate the existence of a 
large laboring population. This force, in my opinion, is a 
further clement of strength and greatness in the State ; no 
p. nt of the community should be more interested in a wise and 
just administration of their government, none should be better 
informed as to their needs and rights, and none' should 
guard more vigilantly against the smooth pretenses of false 

In common with other citizens they should desire an honest 
and economical administration of public affairs. It is quite 
plain, too, t hat the people have a right to demand that no more 
money shall be taken from them, directly or indirectly, for 
public use, than is necessary for this purpose. Indeed, the 


right of the government to exact tribute from the citizen is 
limited to its actual necessities, and every cent taken from the 
people beyond thai required for their protection by the govei n- 
ment is no better than robbery. We surely must condemn, 
then, a system which takes from the pockets ol the people 
millions of dollars not needed for the support of the govern- 
ment, and which tends to the inauguration of corrupt schemes 
md ext ravagant expenditures. 

The Democratic party has declared that all taxation shall be 
limited by the requirements of an economical government. 
This is plain and direct, and it distinctly recognized the value 
of labor, and its right to governmental care, when it declared 
that the necessary reduction in taxation, and the limitation 
thereof to the country's needs, should be (lie. ted without 
depriving American labor of the ability to compete success- 
fully with foreign labor ami without injuring the interests ol 
our laboring population. At this time, when the suffrages of 
the laboring men are so industriously sought, they should, by 
careful inquiry, discover the party pledged to the protection of 
their interests, and which recognizes in their labor something 
most valuable to the prosperity of the country and primarily 
entitled to its care and protection. An intelligent examination 
will lead them to the exercise of their privileges as citizens in 
furtherance of their interests and the welfare of the country. 
An unthinking performance of their duty at the ballot-box 
will result in their injury and betrayal. 

No party and no candidate can have cause to complain of 
the free and intelligent expression of the people's will. This 
expression will be free when uninfluenced by appeals to preju- 
dice, or the senseless cry of danger selfishly raised by a party 
that seeks the retention of power and patronage; and it will be 
intelligent when based upon calm deliberation and a full ap- 
preciation of the duty of good citizenship. In a government 
of the people no party gains to itself all the patriotism which 
the country contains. The perpetuity of our institutions and 
the public welfare surely do not depend upon unchanging party 


ascendency, but upon a simple businesslike administration of 
the affairs of government and the appreciation by public officers 
that they are the people's servants, not their masters. 


At Bridgeport, Conn., October 30, 1884. 

1 cannot forbear, at such a time as this, to express the pleas- 
ure I experience in the sincere and heartfelt welcome that the 
people of New Haven, Bridgeport, and the State of Connecti- 
cut have accorded me. If this welcome was a tribute to me as 
an individual, I could only express my gratitude ; but when I 
find I represent an idea that is the same with you as with me, 
it is with a sense of responsibility that I stand before you. 

The world has not produced so grand a spectacle as a nation 
of freemen determining its own cause. In that position you 
stand to-night. At such a time a leader stands in a solemn 
position, and the plaudits of his hearers can only serve to in- 
crease the feeling of responsibility — that is, if he is a man true 
to his country and to the best interests of her people — which 
pervades the contest. 

Survey the field of the coining contest. See the forces 
drawn up in array against you from a party strong in numbers, 
flanked by a vast army of office-holders, long in power, rich in 
resources, both of money and influence, but corrupt to the 
inc. To-day, they seek to control the religious element of 
your country ; to-morrow, they will endeavor to gain the in- 
terest of your millionaire magnates for the purpose of raising 
money to carry on their campaign. 

There should be no mistake about this contest. It is an 
attempt to break down the barrier between the people of the 
United States and those that rule them. The people are 
bound down by a class of office- holders whose business it is to 
make money out of their positions. If you are to go on for- 
ever choosing your rulers from this class, what will be the 


ci ul ? This is a question every our ol you can answer for him- 
self. Because it is the party of the people thousands are 
flocking to our standard, for they love their fellow-counl rymen 

and their country more than they do their party. 

Let us feel that the people arc the rulers of the nation, and 
not the office-holders, whose sole ambition and purpose is pri- 
vate gain. Let us also feel that if the people give us the 

power of government we hold from the people a sacred 

V. • 

As Chairman of the Democratic Ratification Meeting j n 
the Cooper Union, New York, October 9, 1891. 

My Fellow-Citizens : 

1 acknowledge with much satisfaction the compliment paid 
me by my selection as your presiding officer to-night. I am 
glad to meet an assemblage of my fellow-townsmen on an 
occasion when their thoughts turn to the political situation 
which confronts them and at a time when their duty as 
citizens, as well as members of a grand political organiza- 
tion, should be subject to their serious consideration. 

Jf I may be indulged a few moments I shall occupy 
that much of your time in presenting some suggestions touch- 
ing the condition and responsibilities of the Democracy to 
the people of the country, and the obligations and duty at 
this particular time of the Democracy of our State. 

The Democratic party has been at all times, by profession 
and by tradition, the party of the people. I say by pro- 
fession and tradition, but I by no means intend to hint, in 
the use of this expression, that, in its conduct and action, it 
has failed to justify its profession or been recreant to its 
traditions. It must, however, be admitted that we have had 
our seasons of revival, when the consciousness of whal true 
Democracy really means has been especially awakened, and 


when we have been unusually aroused to a lively apprecia- 
tion of the aggressiveness and activity which conscience 
exacts of those who profess the Democratic faith, and who are 
thus enlisted in the people's cause. 

We contemplate to-night such a revival and the stupen- 
dous results which have thus far attended it. In view of 
these things we cannot be honest and sincere and fail to 
see that a stern and inexorable duty is now at our door. 

We saw the money of the people unnecessarily extorted 
from them under the guise of taxation. 

We saw that this was the result of a scheme perpetuated 
for the purpose of exacting tribute from the poor for the 
benefit of the rich. 

We saw, growing out of this scheme, the wholesale de- 
bauchery and corruption of the people whom it impoverished. 

We saw a party, which advocated and defended this wrong, 
gaining and holding power in the government by the shame- 
less appeal to selfishness which it invited. 

We saw the people actually burnishing the bonds of mis- 
representation and misconception which held them, and we 
saw sordidness and the perversion of all that constitutes good 
citizenship on every hand, and sturdy Americanism in jeopardy. 

We saw a party planning to retain partisan ascendency by 
throttling and destroying the freedom and integrity of the 
suffrage through the most radical and reckless legislation. 

We saw waste and extravagance raiding the public treasury, 
and justified in official places, while economy in government 
expenditures was ridiculed by those who held in trust the 
people's money. 

We saw the national assemblage of the people's representa- 
tives transformed to the mere semblance of a legislative assem- 
bly, by the brute force of a violently-created majority and by 
unprecedented arbitrary rulings, while it was jeeringly declared, 
by those who usurped its functions, to be no longer a delibera- 
tive body. 

Then it was that the Democratic party, standing forth to do 


determined battle against these abuses, which threatened the 
welfare and happiness of the people, called upon them to trust 
it, and promised them t hat the warfare should be relentless and 

As results of the struggle then entered upon, never lias the 
resistless force of the awakened thought of our countrymen 
been more completely demonstrated, and never has the irre- 
sistible strength of the principles of Democracy been more 
fully exemplified. From the West and from the East came 
tidings of victory. In the popular branch of the next Congress 
the party which lately impudently arrogated to itself the dom- 
ination of that body, will fill hardly more than one-fourth of 
its seats. Democratic Governors occupy the enemy's strong- 
holds in Iowa, Massachusetts, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan. 
In Pennsylvania, the election of a Democratic Governor pre- 
sented conclusive proof of Republican corruption exposed and 
Republican dishonesty detected. 

but with all these results of a just and fearless Democratic 
policy, our work is not yet completely done ; and I want to 
suggest to you that any relaxation of effort within the lines 
established by the National Democracy will be a violation of 
the pledges we gave the people when we invited their co- 
operation and undertook their cause. — - 

I do not forget that we are gathered together to ratify State 
nominations, and that we are immediately concerned with a 
State campaign. It seems to me, however, that, while national 
questions of the greatest import are yet unsettled, and when 
we are on the eve of a national campaign in which they must 
be again pressed upon the attention of the voters of the 
country, the Democracy of the great State of New York 
cannot and will not entirely ignore them. If we fail to retain 
ascendency in the Empire State, no matter upon what issue it 
is lost, and no matter how much our opponents may seek to 
avoid great and important topics, it will be claimed as the 
verdict of our people against the principles and platform of 
the National Democracy. 


It is evident that if our opponents are permitted tc 
choose the line of battle they will avoid all national issues. 
Thus far this is plainly their policy. There is nothing strange 
in this, for they may well calculate that, whatever may be their 
fate in other fields, they have been decisively beaten in the 
discussion of national questions. It can hardly be expected 
that they will come to the field of Waterloo again, unless forced 
to do so. 

•1 am very far from having any fear of the result of a full f 
discussion of the subjects which pertain to State affairs. We : 
have an abundance of reasons to furnish why on these issues 
alone we should be further trusted with the State government; 
but it does not follow that it is wise to regard matters of national 
concern as entirely foreign to the pending canvass, and espe- 
cially to follow the enemy in their lead entirely away from the 
issues they most fear and which they have the best of reasons 
to dread. This very fear and dread give in this particular 
case strength and pertinency to the doctrine that a party should 
at all times and in all places be made to feel the consequences 
of their misdeeds as long as they have remaining any power 
lor harm and as long as they justify and defend their wrong- ' 

Those who act with us merely because they approve the 
present position of the National Democracy and the reforms we 
have undertaken, and who oppose in national affairs Republi- 
can policy and methods, and who still think the State cam- ■ 
paign we have in hand has no relation to the principles and 
policy which they approve, are in danger of falling into a , 
grave error. Our opponents in the pending canvass, though 
now striving hard to hide their identity in a cloud of dust 
raised by their iteration of irrelevant things, constitute a large 
factor in the party which, still far from harmless, seeks to per- 
petuate all the wrongs and abuses of Republican rule in 
national affairs. Though they may strive to appear tame and 
tractable in a State campaign, they but dissemble to gain a 
new opportunity for harm. 


[n the present condition of affairs il is nol to be supposed 
that any consistent and thoughtful member of the Democratic 
organization can fail to sec ii his duty to engage enthusiastic 
ally and zealously in the support of the ticket and platform 
which represent our party in this campaign. They are 
abundantly worthy and deserving of support on their own 
merits and for their own sake. We seek to place at the head 
of our State government a man of affairs, who, in a long busi- 
ness career, has earned the good opinion and respect of all his 
fellows, whose honesty and trustworthiness have never been 
impeached, and who, I am sure, will administer the great office, 
to which he will be called, independently, fearlessly, and for 
the good of all the people of the State. We seek further to 
secure the Empire State in her Democratic steadfastness, and 
we seek to win a victory which shall redeem the pledges we 
have made to regard constantly the interests of the people of 
the land, and which shall give hope and confidence to the 
National Democracy in the struggles yet to come. 

With these incentives ami with these purposes in view, I 
cannot believe that any Democrat can be guilty of lukewarm- 
ness or slothfulness. 

With a party united and zealous; with no avoidance of any 
legitimate issue ; with a refusal to be diverted from the consid- 
eration of great national and State questions to the discussion 
of misleading things; anil, with such a presentation of the issues 
involved as will prove our faith in the intelligence of the peo- 
ple of the State, the result cannot be doubtful. 


At tlic Brooklyn Ratification Meetings October 
14, 1S91. 
My Fellow-Citizens: 

It does not need the cordial welcome you give me to-night 
to convince me that I am among friends. The good will and 
attachment of the people and the Democracy of Kings County 


have been in times past repeatedly manifested toward me and 
are remembered with constant gratitude. There was, therefore, 
a potent and palpable reason why 1 should not decline an invi- 
tation to be with you to-night. 

Another reason not less strong why I am here is found in 
the fact that this is a gathering of my political friends in the 
interest of the Democratic cause and in token of their hearty 
support of Democratic principles and candidates. In such an 
assemblage I always feel at home. 

My extreme interest in the State campaign now pending 
arises from a conception of its importance, which I do not 
believe is at all exaggerated. The fact that it immediately 
precedes a national campaign in which the vote of New York 
may be a controlling factor, is, of itself, sufficient to enlist the 
activity of every man entitled to claim a place in Democratic 
councils. Besides this, the failure on the part of the Democ- 
racy of the State to emphasize further its support of the reforms 
to which the National Democracy is pledged, we must all con- 
fess would be a party humiliation. 

There are, however, reasons beyond these, which are close 
at home and have relation to State interests, quite sufficient 
to arouse supreme Democratic efforts. There are dangers 
clearly imminent, and schemes almost unconcealed, which affect 
our State and which can only be avoided and defeated by the 
strong and determined protest of the united Democracy of 
New York. 

The party we oppose, resting upon no fundamental princi- 
ples, sustaining a precarious existence upon distorted senti- \ 
ment, and depending for success upon the varying currents of 
selfish interests and popular misconception, cannot endure the 
sight of a community which is inclined to withstand its blan- 
dishments and which refuses to be led away by its misrepresen- 
tations. Thus, in its national management and methods it 
boldly s.^ks to thwart the intention of voters, if they are Dem- 
ocratic, and to stifle the voice of the people, if they speak in 
Democratic tones, I am sure it is not necessary to remind 


you in pi'ool "i this of the latest efforl of our opponents at 
Washington in this direction, nor to speak of the Democratic 
congratulation which spread throughout the land when, by the 
defeat of the Force Bill, our boasted American freedom of 
suffrage was saved and constitutional rights preserved through 
the combined efforts of a Democratic Senatorial minority 
splendidly led and grandly sustained. 

Is there a Democrat— nay, is there any man — so dull as to 
suppose that the Republican party in this State is not of the 
Same disposition as the part}' in the nation ? Do not the atti- 
tude and conduct of its representatives from this State in 
national affairs abundantly prove that the party in New York , 
can be implicitly trusted to aid any scheme of this sort that 
promises partisan advantage ?.Jlf further proof is desired that 
New York Republicans are thoroughly imbued with the pro- 
clivities that characterize the party in national affairs, it is 
readily found. Under the positive requirements of our State 
Constitution an enumeration of the inhabitants of the State 
should have been made in 1885, and the Senatorial and Assem- 
bly districts newly adjusted in accordance with such an enu- 
meration. This has not yet been done, though our opponents 
have had a majority in both branches of the legislature ever 
since that year, except that in the last session a Democratic 
majority appeared in the assembly. A Republican reason for the 
neglect of a plain duty in the matter of this enumeration is found 
in the fact that, under such a new arrangement, localities which 
have increased in population and at the same time in Demo- 
cratic voters, would be entitled to a larger representation in the 
legislature thai: they now have, while the existing adjustment is 
a very comfortable one from a Republican standpoint. In the 
present condition, it is calculated that a Democratic majority in 
the State must reach at least 50,000 in order to give us a major- , 
ity in the assembly. In 1885 we elected our State ticket by more 
than 1 1,000 majority, and yet but 50 Democratic members of 
assembly were elected, while the defeated party elected 78. 
In 1886 our majority was nearly 8000, but only 54 Democratic 


assemblymen were elected, to 74 Republicans. In 1887 a 
Democratic majority on our State ticket of more than 17,000 
yielded only 56 Democratic assemblymen to 72 Republican. 
In 1888, though the State ticket was carried by a majority not 
much less, we had but 49 assemblymen to 79 for the defeated 
opposition. In 18S9 with a majority of over 20,000 on our 
State ticket we elected but 57 assemblymen, while the defeated 
party secured 71. In 1890 we carried the State on the con- 
gressional vote by more than 75,000 majority, and yet elected 
but 68 members of assembly to 60 elected by the party so 
largely in the minority. 

Whatever may be said about the quarrels between a Dem- 
ocratic Governor and a Republican Legislature over the man- 
ner in which a new enumeration should be made, there is no 
difficulty in finding enough, in Republican disposition and 
practices, to justify the suspicion that any pretext was wel- 
come, to the representatives of that party in the State, that 
would serve to perpetuate the present condition. There is no 
reason to hope for a better and more just representation of 
the political sentiments of the people of the State except 
through a complete dislodgment of those who have long 
profited by this injustice. Its continuance is directly involved 
in the present campaign, for not only a Governor, but a new 
senate and assembly are to be elected. No election will soon 
occur that will afford so good an opportunity to secure to our 
party the share in State legislation to which it is entitled, nor 
will the Democratic party soon have so good a chance to rec- 
tify a political wrong. 

By way of further suggesting the importance of this cam- 
paign, 1 ask you not to forget that a new apportionment of 
representatives in Congress is to be made on the basis of the 
census just completed, and that it may devolve upon the next 
legislature to readjust the congressional districts of the State. 
Previous to 1883 these districts were so arranged that, though 
in 1SS0 our opponents carried the State by only about twenty- 
one thousand, they secured twenty congressman to thirteen 


elected by the Democrats, while in 1882, though the Dem 
ocratic candidate for Governor had a majority of more than 
one hundred and ninety thousand, there were elected but 
twenty-one Democratic congressmen, one being a citizen ol 
Brooklyn, elected at large, while the party in the minority 
elected thirteen representatives. 'The change of congres- 
sional districts made in [883, by a Democratic legislature and 
approved by a Democratic Governor, may well be referred to 
as an illustration of Democratic fairness. In the election ol 
1884, the first held under the new arrangement, our national 
ticket carried the State by a small majority, but the congres- 
sional delegation was equally divided between the parties. 
In both the elections of t886 and [888, though the Dem- 
ocratic State ticket was elected by moderate majorities, 
our opponents elected nineteen congressmen, while only 
fifteen were secured by the party having a majority of votes 
in the State. It required a Democratic majority in the State 
of 75,000 to secure at the last election only three congressmen 
above the number elected by our opponents under the former 
adjustment, when their State ticket had not much more than 
one-fourth of that majority. 

I am far from complaining of the present congressional ad- 
justment. On the contrary, I am glad that my party was 
more than just and fair when it had the opportunity. but I 
want to put the inquiry whether, judging from the past con- 
duct of our opponents in such matters, and from what seems 
to be their natural disposition, there is the least chance of their 
dealing fairly by the Democracy of the State if they have the 
control of the next arrangement of congressional districts. 

I purposely refrain from detaining yon with the presenta- 
tion of other considerations which impress me with the im- 
portance at this time of Democratic activity, but 1 cannot 
avoid recalling the fact that 1 am in an atmosphere where the 
doctrine of home rule has especially flourished, and among .1 
community where this Democratic doctrine has been un- 
usually exemplified. Let me remind yon that no Democratic 

%ii srhJ.Ciil-.s m POLITICAL CANVASSES. 

locality can exist without attracting' to it the wistful gaze of 
those who find an adherence to the doctrine of home rule and 
an attachment to the Democratic faith, obstacles to the polit- 
ical advantage they seek to gain without scruple as to their 
method of procedure. 

1 need not say that the safety of Democracy, in the State 
and here at your home, is only to be preserved by Democratic 
steadfastness. I do not forget how often and how effectively 
you have displayed that steadfastness in the past, nor do I 
forget your service to the State when you contributed to 
places of trust in its government and administration the intel- 
ligence, fidelity, and ability of your fellow-townsman who 
soon retires from the chief magistracy of your city ; and 1 will 
stifle my complaint that, in selecting his successor, you have re- 
called a recent and most valuable contribution to the cause of 
Democracy in national councils. 

In your relation to the pending canvass, every Democrat 
who loves his country and his party must acknowledge the 
important service rendered by representatives of Kings 
County in aiding the formulation of a declaration of financial 
principles in the platform which the Democracy presents to 
the voters of the State, which leaves no room to doubt our in- 
sistance upon sound and honest money for all the people. 

\\\ conclusion, let me assure you that I have absolute con- 
fidence, based upon what you are and what you have done in 
the past, that in the campaign upon which we have entered, 
the Democrats of Kings County will more than ever exhibit 
their devotion to the Democratic cause. 


Before the Business MerCs Democratic Association in Madison 
Square Garden, New York, October 27, 1891. 

Fellow-Citizens : 

1 am glad to have the opportunity to be present on this 
occasion, even though 1 am able to do but little more than 

s/'/j < i/is i.\ POLITICAL <■ ixr issi-s. (13 

speak a word of greeting to the representatives of our busi 
interests who arc here assembled. 

¥bu have heard much, and have doubtless reflected much, 
concerning the important results which depend upon the 1 

ical action of the people of our State at the coming election, 
and 1 am glad to believe that the business nun of the city of 
New York understand that this political campaign is not only 
important to them in common with all their fellow-citizens, 

but that there are features in it which cspceialU concern 


It must be confessed that both here and in other parts of 
tin- country, those engaged in business pursuits have kept too 
much aloof from public affairs ami have too generally acted 
upon the theory that neither their duty as citizens nor their 
personal interests required of them any habitual participation 
in political movements. This indifference and inactivity have 
resulted in a loss to our public service. 1 am firmly of the 
belief that, if a few business men could be substituted for pro- 
fessional men in official places, the people would positively 
gain by the exchange. And it is strange to me that our 
business men have not been quicker to see that their neglect 
of political duty is a constant danger to their personal and 
especial interests. They may labor and plan, in their counting 
houses or in their Exchanges, but, in the meantime, laws may 
be passed bv those ignorant of their business bearings, which, 
in their operation, will counteract all this labor and defeat all 
this planning. 

1 have expressed the belief that the business men of our 
city an- aroused to the fact that there are questions involved 
in the campaign in this State which concern them and their 
welfare in an unusual way. This is indicated by awakened 
interest on every side and by this immense demonstration. 
And it is difficult to see how it could be otherwise. 

The city of New York as the center of all that makes ours 
the Empire State, and as the great heart from which life-giving 
currents (low to all parts of the country, cannot be indifferent 


to the questions, both State and national, which have relation 
to the State campaign now nearly closed. 

Much has been said about the topics which should be dis- 
cussed in the prosecution of this campaign. It has been 
contended that the canvass should be confined to State issues, 
and it has been claimed that national issues should be most 
prominently considered. I conceive the truth to be that both 
are proper subjects of discussion at this time ; and, in the 
presence of this assemblage, called together to consider the 
business features of the contest, I am impressed with the fact 
that the best test to employ, by way of discovering the legiti- 
macy of any topic in the pending campaign, is to inquire 
whether it is connected with the good of the country and with 
the business of the city and State, and whether it will be at all 
influenced by the results of the canvass. 

Can anyone doubt that the political verdict which the 
people of New York will give in November next, will affect her 
position in the general national engagement which will take 
place one year hence ? In this view, the proper adjustment of 
the tariff, which concerns so materially not only all our people, 
but the commerce and the business of our city, should be 
discussed. This, and the question of sound currency, cannot 
be separated from the business interests of our State ; and 
they should be put before our people now for the purpose of 
inviting their thought and settling their opinions. 

Applying this same test, it is entirely plain that an econom- 
ical administration of State affairs and the numerous other 
subjects having reference to a just, honest, and beneficent 
State government are, in a business sense, important and 

On all these questions the New York Democracy is right ; 
and we are willing and anxious to discuss them in any place 
and at any time. 

But our opponents, apparently seeking to avoid the dis- 
cussion of subjects legitimate to the canvass and affecting the 
business of our city and State, and exhibiting such weakness 

srri < 'HES JX /'( '/ / //< ' / / CANl 'ASSES. 

and fear as certainly ought not to escape noti< e, are shrieking 
throughout the State the demerits and dangerous proclivities 
of a certain political organization whose members support the 
principles and candidates of the Democratic party. It would 
be quite easy to show that, even if all they allege against this 
organization were true, the perils our opponents present to the 
people are baseless and absurd. But it. seems to me the argu- 
ment of such a question belittles an important situation. _ 

Every man knows, or ought to satisfy himself whether the 
principles and policy presented to the people by the Demo- 
cratic party are such as he approves. If they are, certainly 
his duty as a citizen obliges him to indorse them. Every 
man ought to satisfy himself whether the candidates of t he 
I >emocratic party are men of such character and ability that he is 
willing to trust them in the administration of his State govern- 
ment. If he believes they are, he should not withhold his 
support from them upon any frivolous and irrelevant pretext. - "' 

The exen ise of the right of suffrage is a serious business; 
and a man's vote ought to express his opinion on the questions 
at issue. This it utterly fails to do if the voter listens to the 
ravings of our opponents, and allows his vote merely to record 
the extent to which he has yielded to the misleading and 
Cunningly devised appeals to his prejudices, made in behalf of a 
desperate and discredited minority. Such a vote does not 
influence, in the least, the real settlement of any of the weighty 
matters of policy and principle upon which the people arc 
called to pronounce judgment. 

If enough such votes should be given to cause a false ver- 
dict in the State, those who should contribute to that result, 
and thus become disloyal to their beliefs, would find every- 
thing but satisfaction in their self-reproach, and in their s< 
of degradation which would follow the unconcealed contempt 
of those partisans who had duped them forthe purpose of thus 
gaining a party advantage not otherwise possible. 

In conclusion, I desire to disclaim any fear that the business 
men (>t New York can be thus deluded. They will not only 


apprehend the questions at issue, and see their duty and 
interest, in soberly passing' upon them without prejudice or 
passion, but they will also appreciate the fact that the ticket 
they are asked by the Democratic party to support expressly 
recognizes them. It is headed by a man of business, who is 
certainly entitled to their confidence, and who is so creditable 
as their representative, that I believe his business character 
has escaped attack during a campaign in which every attack 
having any pretext whatever has been made. T will not espe- 
cially refer by name to the remainder of our candidates — some 
of whom are my old and near friends — because I think I ought 
not to detain you longer than to say that they are all entirely 
worthy of support, and that by the triumphant election of 
every one of them the verdict of the people of the State ought 
to be recorded in favor of good government and the advance- 
ment of business interests. 


/;/ T rem out Temple, Boston, Oetober 31, 1S91. 

My Ff.llow-Citizens : 

I should be quite uncomfortable at this moment if I sup- 
posed you regarded me as a stranger in your State, and only 
concerned as a Democratic spectator of the political campaign 
which stirs the people of this commonwealth. I hope it is not 
necessary to remind you that, by virtue of a sort of initiation 
which I have recently undergone, I have a right to claim a 
modified membership in the citizenship of Massachusetts ; 
and though I am obliged to confess a limitation in the extent 
of this citizenship I am somewhat compensated by what seems 
to me to be its quality. So far as I have a residence among 
you, it is the place where, amid quiet and peaceful surround- 
ings, i enjoy that home life 1 so much love, where relaxation 
from labor and from care restores health and vigor, and where 
recreation, in pleasing variety, teaches me the lesson thai man's 


duty and mission are not only to do the work which lu^ 
tions to Ins feliow-men impose upon him, bul toappn - 
things which the goodnessol God supplies in nature for man's 
delight. \\ hile, therefore, no i onditions i ould cause the least 
abatement in the pride I feel as a fully qualified < itizen of the 
great State oi New York, I cannot be insensible to the fact 

that my relationship to Massachusetts nects your State 

with the elements in my life which are full of delightful senti- 
ment and with those enjoyments which enlarge and cultivate 
the heart and soul. 

1 have spent to-day at my Massachusetts home, and meet 
yon here pursuant to a promise that, on my way out of the 
State, I would look in on this assemblage of those who are 
enlisted in a grand and noble cause. 

It is but natural that my errand to your State, and the in- 
spection of that part of its soil of which 1 am the self-satisfied 
owner, should arouse all the Massachusetts feeling to which 
this ownership entitles me, and should intensity that int< 
in the political behavior of the State which rightfully belongs 
to my semi-citizenship. 

My relations to you are, perhaps, too new-fledged to shield 
me from an accusation of affectation if I should dwell, with the 
rapture others might more properly exhibit, upon the history, 
traditions, and achievements of Massachusetts. I am sure, 
however, that 1 may, with perfect propriety, remind you that 
the people of Massachusetts have in their keeping certain 
precious things which they hold in trust for all their country- 
men. Thej can no more appropriate Plymouth Rock and 
bunker Hill than they can confine within the limits of their 
State the deeds, the example, and the fame of the men whom 
Massachusetts contributed to the public service of the Nation 
in the days when giants lived. 

The influence of your State upon the politics of the country 
iias by no means been limited to the actual share she and her 
representative men have taken in governmental management. 
Her stake in the creation and the development of our country 


took form in its embryonic days ; and this has given rise from 
the beginning to the interested discussion among her people 
of every public question, while the education and general in- 
formation of her population have made such discussion intel- 
ligent and forceful. Her schools and her institutions of learn- 
ing have sent to all parts of the land young and thoughtful 
men, imbued with sentiments and opinions not learned in their 
books. When her feeling has been most aroused she has 
challenged the respect of the country because, though uncom- 
promising, she has been habitually just, and, though radical, 
she has been always great. 

1 cannot help recalling at this moment that you gave to the 
Senate of the United States the man who is remembered by 
all his countrymen as the best modern embodiment of Ameri- 
can greatness ; that Webster, though he loved freedom and 
hated slavery, never consented to the infringement of constitu- 
tional rights, even for the sake of freedom ; that, though his 
love for Massachusetts was his consuming sentiment, he 
emphatically declared that in the discharge of public duty he 
would neither regard her especial interests nor her desires as 
against his conception of the general interests of the country, 
and that his patriotism and his love for the Union were so 
great that he constantly sought to check the first sign of 
estrangement among our people. 

1 recall the love of Massachusetts for the memory of Sum- 
ner — the great Senator who unhesitatingly braved Executive 
displeasure and party ostracism in loyaltyto his sense of right; 
who surprised and alienated a sentiment, born of patriotic 
warmth, by advocating the obliteration of the reminders of the 
triumphs of American soldiers over American soldiers ; and 
who, throughout a long public career, illustrated his belief that 
politics is but the application of moral [Manciple to public 
all airs. 

I f, from t he contemplation of these lofty precedents, you turn 
to the ma unci' in which the sentiment and feeling of Massachus- 
etts have of late been represented in both houses of Congress, 


and if you thus find an unpleasing contrast, it is foi you to 
whether you are satisfied ; but, if this feeling and sentiment, 
genuine and unperverted, ought to bear the fruits ol 1 on< ilia- 
tion and trust among our countrymen, the avoidance of un- 
necessary irritation, and the abandonment of schemes which 
promise no better result than party supremacy through foi 
and unnatural suffrage, there certainly seems to be ground for 
apprehension that there has lately been something awry in 
your Federal representation. At any rate, it seems to me that 
the people themselves, in the State of Massachusetts, are con- 
stantly giving proof that they are reach' and willing, obedient 
to a generous instinct and for the good of the entire country, 
to aid in building up American fraternity based upon mutual 
faith ami confidence, and in restoring and reviving that unity 
and heartiness of ami and purpose upon which alone our na- 
tional hope can securely rest. 

We have fallen upon a time when especial interest is aroused 
among our people in subjects which seem to be vital to the 
welfare of the country. Our consumers, those of moderate 
means and the poor of the land, are too much neglected in our 
national policy; their life is made too hard for them, and too 
much favor is shown to pampered manufactures and rich 
monopolies. A condition of restlessness and irritation has 
grown up throughout the country, born of prevailing inequality 
and unfairness, which threatens an attack upon sound currency, 
and which awakens the fear and anxious solicitude of thought- 
ful and patriotic men ; economy in public expenditure has 
almost become a byword and jest; and partisanship in power 
executes its will by methods unprecedented and ruthless. 

I have believed that the Democratic party was right in its 
position on all these subjects ; and 1 am willing to 
my belief is confirmed by the verdict of the people of Mas- 
sachusetts. When I seethe old Commonwealth break away 
from party trammels in aid of right and honesty, when I sec a 
majority of her last elected representatives in Congress chosen 
to enforce the principles we profess, anil when 1 see her put at 


the head of her State government one of her young sons, who 
stands for these principles in the truest, cleanest, and most 
vigorous way, I am prepared to see, following the lead of Mas- 
sachusetts, such a revival of moral sentiment in politics as will 
insure the general acceptance, by our countrymen, of the truths 
we preach. 

Any man who fails to appreciate the immense motive power 
of the conscience of Massachusetts has viewed to little purpose 
the movements which have made their impress on our coun- 
try's history, and which have led our national destiny. On 
the splendid roster of those here enlisted in our cause, and 
among the thousands recorded there who have seen beyond 
party lines the morals of political questions, are found the 
names of Adams and Everett and Andrew and Quincy and 
Garrison and Higginson and Pierce and Eliot and Hoar and 
Codman and Williams — giving proof that the people's cause 
has touched the conscience of Massachusetts. 

The hearts of patriotic men in many States are warmed with 
gratitude for the strong and able young men your Common- 
wealth has contributed to our public life in this time of her 

Again, their eyes are turned to Massachusetts. Young and 
vigorous Americanism has watched with pride and enthusiasm 
its best representative at the head of your State government, 
and those who love true Democracy have rejoiced far and wide 
that one who embodies their principles so truly, and exemplifies 
them so wisely, has borne himself so nobly. They look to the 
people of Massachusetts to recognize the faithful services of 
their young Governor and the manner in which he has upheld 
the dignity and honor of their State before their countrymen 
everywhere. They look to you, by his election and by the 
election of all the good men and true who, with him, bear the 
standard of your State Democracy, to demonstrate your stead- 
fastness in the Democratic cause. They look to you to give 
to the national Democracy and the cause of the people, which 


it lias in charge, the powerful aid of the still awakened con- 
science of Massachusetts. 

Democrats of Massachusetts— men ol Massachusetts — 
which shall your response be ? 

In the Opna House at Providence, R. /.. April 2, 1X92. 

M v Fellow-Ch i/i 

1 have found it impossible to decline the invitation you sent 
me to meet here to-day the Democrac) oi Rhode Island. I 
have come to look in the [aces of the men who have been given 
the place of honor in the advance of the vast army which 
moves toward the decisive battlefield of next November. I 
have not come to point the way to consolation 111 case of yOUl 
defeat, but 1 have come to share the enthusiasm which pre- 
sages victory. I have not come to condole with yon upon the 
difficulties which confront yon, but to suggest that they will 
only add to the glory of your triumph. I have come to remind 
you that the intrenchments of spoils and patronage cannot 
avail against the valor and determination of right ; that cor- 
ruption and bribery cannot smother and destroy the aroused 
conscience of our countrymen, and that splendid achievements 
await those who bravely, honestly, and stubbornly fight in the 
people's cause. 

Let us not for a moment miss the inspiration of t! 
words, " The People's Cause." They signify the defense 
of the rights of every man, rich or poor, in every corner 
of our land, who, by virtue of simple American manhood, 
lays claim to the promises of our free government, and 
they mean the promotion of the welfare and happiness of the 
humblest American citizen who confidingly invokes the pro- 
tection of just and equal laws. 

The covenant of our Democratic faith, as I understand it. 


exacts constant effort in this cause, and its betrayal I conceive 
to be a crime against the creed of true Democracy. 

The struggle in which you are engaged arrests the attention 
of your party brethren in every State ; and they pause in their 
preparation for the general engagement, near at hand, in which 
all will be in the field, and look toward Rhode Island with 
hope and trust. They read the legends on your banners and 
they hear your rallying cries, and know that your fight is in 
the people's cause. 

If you should be defeated there will be no discouragement 
in this vast waiting army ; but you will earn their plaudits and 
cover yourselves with glory by winning success. 

Large and bright upon your banners are blazoned the words 
" Tariff Reform " — the shibboleth of true Democracy and the 
test of loyalty to the people's cause. 

Those who oppose tariff reform delude themselves if they sup- 
pose that it rests wholly upon appeals to selfish considerations 
and the promise of advantage, right or wrong ; or that our only 
hope of winning depends upon arousing animosity between 
different interests among our people. While we do not pro- 
pose that those whose welfare we champion shall be blind to 
the advantages accruing to them from our plan of tariff reform, 
and while we are determined that these advantages shall not 
be surrendered to the blandishments of greed and avarice, we 
still claim nothing that has not underlying it moral sentiment 
and considerations of equity and good conscience. 

Because our case rests upon such foundations, sordidncss 
and selfishness cannot destroy it. The fight for justice and 
right is a clean and comforting one ; and because the Ameri- 
can people love justice and right, ours must be a winning 

"The government of the Union is a government of the 
people ; it emanates from them ; its powers are granted by 
them, and arc to be exercised directly on them and for their 

This is not the language of a political platform. It is a 


<!(■< laration of the highest court in the land, whose mandates 
all must obey, and whose definitions all partisans musl 

In the light of this exposition of the duty the government 
owes i" the people, the Democratic party claims thai when, 
through Federal taxation, burdens arc laid upon the daily life 
of the people, not necessary for the government's economical 
administration, and intended, whatever be the pretext, to emu h 
a few at the expense of the many, the governmental compact 
is violated. 

A distinguished Justice of the Supreme Court, with no 
Democratic affiliations, but loved and respected when living 
by every American, and since his death universally lamented, 
has characterized such a proceeding as " none the less a rob- 
bery because it is done under the forms of law and is called 

Let us then appreciate the fact that we not only stand upon 
sure and safe ground when we appeal to honesty and morality 
in our championship of the interests of the masses of our 
people as they are related to tariff taxation, but that our mis- 
sion is invested with the highest patriotism when we attempt 
to preserve from perversion, distortion, and decay the justice, 
equality, and moral integrity which are the constituent ele- 
ments of our scheme of popular government. 

Those who believe in tariff reform, for the substantial good 
it will bring to the multitude who are neglected when selfish 
greed is in the ascendency ; those who believe that the legiti- 
mate motive of our government is to do equal ami exact justice 
to all our people, and grant especial privileges to none ; those 
who believe that a nation, boasting that its foundation is in 
honesty and conscience, cannot afford to discard moral senti- 
ment; and those who would save our institutions from the un- 
dermining decay of sordidness and selfishness, can hardly 
excuse themselves if they fail to join us in the crusade we have 
undertaken. Certainly our sincerity cannot be questioned. 
In the beginning of the struggle we were not only bitterly op- 
posed by a great party of avowed enemies, but were embar 


rassed by those in our own ranks who had become infected 
with the unwholesome atmosphere our enemies had created. 
We hesitated not a moment boldly to encounter both. We 
unified our party, not by any surrender to the half-hearted 
among our members, but by an honest appeal to Democratic 
sentiment and conscience. We have never lowered our stand- 
ard. It surely was not policy nor expediency that induced us 
defiantly to carry the banner of tariff reform as we went forth 
to meet a well-organized and desperately determined army in 
the disastrous field of 1888. A time-serving or expediency- 
hunting party would hardly have been found, the day after 
such a crushing defeat, undismayed, defiant, and determined ; 
still shouting the old war cry, and anxious to encounter again 
in the people's cause our exultant enemy. We had not long 
to wait. At the Waterloo of 1S90, tariff reform had its vindi- 
cation, and principle and steadfast devotion to American fair- 
ness and good faith gloriously triumphed over plausible shifti- 
ness and attempted popular deception. 

The Democratic party still champions the cause which de- 
feat could not induce it to surrender, which no success, short 
of complete accomplishment, can tempt it to neglect. Its posi- 
tion has been from the first frankly and fairly stated, and no 
one can honestly be misled concerning it. We invite the 
strictest scrutiny of our conduct in dealing with this subject, 
and we insist that our cause has been open, fair, and consist- 
ent. I believe this is not now soberly denied in any quar- 

Our opponents, too, have a record on this question. Those 
who still adhere to the doctrine that an important function of 
the government is especially to aid them in their business ; 
those who only see in the consumers of our land forced con- 
tributors to artificial benefits permitted by governmental 
favoritism ; those who see in our workingmen only the tools 
with which their shops and manufactories are to be supplied 
at the cheapest possible cost, and those who believe there is no 
moral question involved in the tariff taxation of the people, are 


probably familiar with this record and abundantly satisfied 

with it. 

It may, however, be profitably reviewed by those who be- 
lieve that integrity and good faith have to do with govern- 
mental operations, and who honestly confess that present tariff 
burdens are not justly and fairly distributed. Such a review 
may also be of interest to those who believe that our con- 
sumers are entitled to be treated justly and honestly by the 
government, and that the workingman should be allowed to 
feel in his humble home, as he supplies his family's daily needs, 
that his earnings are not unjustly extorted from him for the 
benefit of the favored beneficiaries of unfair tariff laws. 

This, then, is the record : When we began the contest for 
tariff reform it was said by our Republican opponents, in the 
face of our avowals and acts, that we were determined on free 
trade. A long advance was made, in their insincerity and im- 
pudence, when they accused us of acting- in the interests of 
foreigners, and when they more than hinted that we had been 
bought with British gold. Those who distrusted the effective- 
ness of these senseless appeals insulted the intelligence of our 
people by claiming that an increase in the cost of articles to 
the consumer caused by the tariff was not a tax paid by him, 
but that it was paid by foreigners who sent their goods to our 
markets. Sectional prejudice was invoked in the most out- 
rageous manner, and the people of the North were asked to 
condemn the measure of tariff reform proposed by us be* 
members of Congress from the South had supported it. 

These are fair samples of the arguments submitted to the 
American people in the Presidential campaign of [888. 

It will be observed that the purpose of these amazing deliver- 
ances was to defeat entirely any reform in the tariff — -though 
it had been enacted at a time when the expense of a tre- 
mendous war justified the exaction of tribute from the people 
which in time of peace became a grievous burden ; though it 
had congested the Federal Treasury with a worse than useless 
surplus, inviting reckless public waste and extravagance; and 


though, in many of its features, the only purpose of its con- 
tinuation was the bargaining it permitted for party sup- 

There were those, however, in the ranks of our opponents 
who recognized the fact that we had so aroused popular atten- 
tion to the evils and injustice of such a tariff that it might not 
be safe to rely for success upon a bald opposition to its reform. 
These were the grave and sedate Republican statesmen who 
declared that they never, never, could consent to subserve the 
interests of England at the expense of their own country, as 
the wicked Democrats proposed to do, and that they felt con- 
strained to insist upon a tariff, protective to the point of pro- 
hibition, because they devotedly loved our workingmen and 
were determined that their employment should be constant 
and that their wages should never sink to the disgusting level 
of the pauper labor of Europe, but that, in view of the fact 
that the war in which the tariff then existing originated had 
been closed for more than twenty years, and in view of the 
further fact that the public Treasury was overburdened, they 
were willing to l'eadjust the tariff, if it could only be done by 
its friends instead of " rebel Brigadiers." 

I will not refer to all the means by which our opponents 
succeeded in that contest. Suffice it to say, they gained com- 
plete possession of the government in every branch, and the 
tariff was reformed by its alleged friends. All must admit, 
however, that either this was not done by the people's friends, 
or that the effort in their behalf sadly miscarried or was un- 
gratefully remembered ; for a few weeks thereafter, a relega- 
tion to private life among those occupying seats in Congress 
who had been active in reforming the tariff occurred, which 
amounted to a political revolution. These victims claimed 
that our voters failed to indorse their reform of the tariff be- 
cause they did not understand it. It is quite probable, how- 
ever, that if they did not understand it they felt it, and that, 
because it made them uncomfortable, they emphatically said 
such a reform was not what they wanted. At any rate, the 


consumer has found life harder since this reform than b< I 
and if there is a workingman anywhere who has had his 
wages increased by virtue of its operation he has not yet made 
himself known. Plenty of mills and factories have been closed, 
thousands of men have tints lost employment, and we daily 
hear of reduced wages ; but the benefits promised from this 
reform, and its advantage to the people, who really need relief, 
are not apparent. The provision it contains permitting reci- 
procity of trade in certain cases, depending on the art ion of 
the President, is an admission, as far as it goes, against the 
theory upon which this reform is predicated, and it lamely 
limps in the direction of freer commercial exchanges. If 
" hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue," reciprocity may 
be called the homage prohibitory protection pays to genuine 
tariff reform. 

The demand in your platform for free raw materials ought, 
it seems to me, to be warmly seconded by the citizens of your 
State. The advantages to the people of Rhode Island of such 
a policy do not seem to be questionable, and I am not here to 
discuss them in detail ; but all 1 have said, touching the con- 
duct and record of the Democratic party and its opponents in 
regard to tariff legislation, is in support of the proposition that 
all who desire the special relief referred to in your platform, 
or any other improvement in our tariff laws in the general 
interest of the people, must look to the Democratic party for 
it. The manufacturer who sees in free raw materials a re- 
duced cost of his products, resulting in an increased consump- 
tion and an extension of his markets, and a constant activity 
and return for his invested capital, can hardly trust the party 
which first resisted any reform in the tariff, then juggled with 
it, and at last flatly refused him the relief he still needs. The 
workingman who has been deceived by the promise of higher 
wages and better employment, and who now constantly tears 
the closing of manufactories and the loss of work, ought cer- 
tainly to be no longer cajoled by a party whose performance 
has so clearly given the lie to its professions. The consumer 


who has trusted to a reformation of the tariff by its friends, 
now that he feels the increased burden of taxation in his home, 
ought to look in another direction for relief. 

If the Democratic party does not give to the State of Rhode 
Island, during the present session of Congress, the free raw 
materials she needs, it will be because a Republican Senate or 
Executive thwarts its design. At any rate, nothing shall 
divert us from our purpose to reform the tariff in this regard, 
as well as many others, be the time of its accomplishment 
near or remote. 

It doubtless would please our adversaries if we could be 
allured from our watch and guard over the cause of tariff re- 
form to certain other objects, thus forfeiting the people's trust 
and confidence. The national Democracy will hardly gratify 
this wish and turn its back upon the people's cause, to wander 
after false and unsteady lights in the wilderness of doubt and 

Our opponents must, in the coming national canvass, settle 
accounts with us on the issue of tariff reform. It will not do 
for them to say to us that this is an old and determined con- 
tention. The Ten Commandments are thousands of years old ; 
but they and the doctrine of tariff reform will be taught and 
preached until mankind and the Republican party shall heed 
the injunction, "Thou shalt not steal." 

As I leave you, let me say to you that your cause deserves 
success; and let me express the hope that the close of your 
canvass will bring you no regrets on account of activity relaxed 
or opportunities lost. Demonstrate to your people the merits 
of your cause, and trust them. Above all things, banish every 
personal feeling of discontent, and let every personal considera- 
tion be merged in a determination, pervading your ranks every- 
where, to win a victory. With a cause so just, and with activity, 
vigilance, harmony, and determination on the part of Rhode 
island's stanch Democracy, 1 believe you will not fail. 





(From the First Message to the New York Legislature, January. 1SS4.) 

The action of the Hoard of Railroad Commissioners in re- 
quiring; the filing of quarterly reports by the railroad companies, 
exhibiting their financial condition, is a most important step 
in advance, and should be abundantly sustained. It would, 
in my opinion, be a most valuable protection to the people if 
other huge corporations were obliged to report to some depart- 
ment their transactions and financial condition. 

The State creates these corporations upon the theory that 
some proper thing of benefit can be better done by them 
than by private enterprise, and that the aggregation of 
the funds of many individuals may be thus profitably 
cmploved. They are launched upon the public with the 
seal of the State, in some sense, upon them. They are 
permitted to represent the advantages they possess and the 
wealth sure to follow from admission to membership. In one 
hand is held a charter from the State, and in the other is 
held their preferred stock. 

It is a fact, singular, though well-established, that people 
will pay their money for stock in a corporation engaged in en- 
terprises in which they would refuse to invest if in private hands. 

It is a grave question whether the formation of these artifi- 
cial bodies ought not to be cheeked, or better regulated, and 
in some way supervised. 

3 2 q 


At any rate, they should always be kept well in hand, and 
the funds of its citizens should be protected by the State which 
has invited their investment. While the stockholders are 
the owners of the corporate property, notoriously they are 
oftentimes completely in the power of the directors and mana- 
gers who acquire a majority of the stock and by this means 
perpetuate their control, using the corporate property and 
franchises for their benefit and profit, regardless of the in- 
terests and rights of the minority of stockholders. Immense 
salaries are paid to officers ; transactions are consummated by 
which the directors make money, while the rank and file among 
the stockholders lose it ; the honest investor waits for divi- 
dends and the directors grow rich. It is suspected, too, that 
large sums are spent under various disguises in efforts to 
influence legislation. 

It is not consistent to claim that the citizen must protect him- 
self by refusing to purchase stock. The law constantly recog- 
nizes the fact that people should be defended from false 
representations and from their own folly and cupidity. It 
punishes obtaining goods by false pretenses, gambling, and 

It is a hollow mockery to direct the owner of a small amount 
of stock in one of these institutions to the courts. Under exist- 
ing statutes, the law's delay, perplexity and uncertainty lead 
but to despair. 

The State should either refuse to allow these corporations 
to exist under its authority or patronage, or acknowledging 
their paternity and its responsibility, should provide a simple, 
easy way for its people whose money is invested, and the 
public generally, to discover how the funds of these institu- 
tions are spent, and how their affairs are conducted. It should, 
at the same time, provide a way by which the squandering or 
misuse of corporate funds would be made good to the parties 
injured thereby. 

This might well be accomplished by requiring corporations 
to file reports frequently, made out with the utmost detail, and 


which would not allow lobby expenses to be hidden undei the 
pretext of legal services and counsel fees, accompanied by 
vouchers and sworn to by the officers making them, showing 
particularly the debts, liabilities, expenditures, and property 
of the corporation. Let this report be delivered to some 
appropriate department or officer, who shall audit and examine 

the same ; provide that a false oath to such account shall be 
perjury and make the directors liable to refund to the injured 
stockholders any expenditure which shall be determined im- 
proper by the auditing authority. 

Such requirements might not be favorable to stock specula- 
tion, but they would protect the innocent investors ; they 
might make the management of corporations more troublesome, 
but this ought not to be considered when the protection of 
the people is the matter in hand. It would prevent corporate 
efforts to influence legislation ; the honestly conducted and 
strong corporations would have nothing to fear ; the badly 
managed and weak ought to be exposed. 



(From the Second Message to the New York Legislature, January, 1884.) 

Another evil which has a most pernicious influence in 
legislation is the introduction and consideration of bills, 
purely local in their character, affecting only special interests, 
which ought not upon any pretext to be permitted to en- 
cumber the statutes of the State. Every consideration 
of expediency, as well as the language and evident intent 
of the* Constitution, dictate the exclusion of such matters 
from legislative consideration. The powers of boards of 
Supervisors and other local authorities have been enlarged, 
for the express purpose of permitting them to deal intelligently 


and properly with such subjects. But, notwithstanding this, 
bills are introduced authorizing the building and repairing of 
bridges and highways, the erection of engine houses and 
soldiers' monuments, the establishment of libraries, the regu- 
lation or purchase of cemeteries, and other things of a like 

In many cases no better excuse exists for the presentation 
of such bills than the dignity and force which are supposed to 
be gained for their objects by legal enactment, the saving of 
expense and trouble to those interested in their purposes, and 
the local notoriety and popularity sought by the legislators 
having them in charge. Their consideration retards the 
business of the session and occupies time which should be 
devoted to better purposes. And this is not the worst result 
that may follow in their train. Such measures, there are 
grounds to suspect, are frequently made the means of secur- 
ing, by a promise of aid in their passage, the votes of those 
who introduce them, in favor of other and more vicious legis- 



To the Senate and House of Representatives: 

The Constitution imposes upon the President the duty of 
recommending to the consideration of Congress from time to 
time such measures as he shall judge necessary and expe- 

I am so deeply impressed with the importance of imme- 
diately and thoughtfully meeting the problem which recent 
events and a present condition have thrust upon us, involving 
the settlement by arbitration of disputes arising between our 
laboring men and their employers, that I am constrained to 
recommend to Congress legislation upon this serious and 
pressing subject. 


Under our form of government, the value ol labor as an 
element of national prosperity should be distinct)] re< ognized, 
and the welfare of the laboring man should be regarded as 
especially entitled to legislative cue. In a country which 
offers u> all its citizens the highest attainment of social and 
political distinction, its workingmen cannot justly or safely be 
considered as irrevocably consigned to the limits of a class 
A\\d entitled to no attention and allowed no protest against 

The laboring- man, bearing in his hand an indispensable con- 
tribution to our growth and progress, may well insist, with 
manly courage and as a right, upon the same recognition from 
those who make our laws as is accorded to any other citizen 
having a valuable interest in charge ; and his reasonable de- 
mands should be met in such a spirit of appreciation and fair- 
ness as to induce a contented and patriotic co-operation in the 
achievement of a grand national destiny. 

While the real interests of labor are not promoted by a 
resort to threats and violent manifestations, and while those 
who, under the pretext of an advocacy of the claims of labor, 
wantonly attack the rights of capital, ami for selfish purposes 
or the love of disorder sow seeds of violence and discontent, 
should neither be encouraged nor conciliated, all legislation 
on the subject should be calmly and deliberately undertaken, 
with no purpose of satisfying unreasonable demands or gaming 
partisan advantage. 

The present condition of the relations between labor and 
capital is far from satisfactory. The discontent of the em- 
ployed is due, in a large degree, to the grasping and heed- 
less exactions of employers, and tin: alleged discrimination in 
favor of capital as an object of governmental attention. It 
must also be conceded that the laboring men are not always 
careful to avoid causeless and unjustifiable disturbance. 

Though the importance of a better accord between these 
interests is apparent, it must be borne in mind that any effort 
in that direction, by the Federal government, must be greatly 


limited by constitutional restrictions. There are many griev- 
ances which legislation by Congress cannot redress, and many 
conditions which cannot by such means be reformed. 

I am satisfied, however, that something may be done under 
Federal authority to prevent the disturbances which so often 
arise from disputes between employers and the employed, and 
which at times seriously threaten the business interests of the 
country ; and in my opinion the proper theory upon which to 
proceed is that of voluntary arbitration as the means of set- 
tling these difficulties. 

But I suggest that instead of arbitrators chosen in the heat 
of conflicting claims, and after each dispute shall arise, for the 
purpose of determining the same, there be created a Commis- 
sion of Labor, consisting of three members, who shall be reg- 
ular officers of the government, charged among other duties 
with the consideration and settlement, when possible, of all 
controversies between labor and capital. 

A commission thus organized would have the advantage of 
being a stable body, and its members, as they gained expe- 
rience, would constantly improve in their ability to deal intel- 
ligently and usefully with the questions which might be sub- 
mitted to them. If arbitrators are chosen for temporary 
service as each case of dispute arises, experience and famil- 
iarity with much that is involved in the question will be lack- 
ing, extreme partisanship and bias will be the qualifications 
sought on either side, and frequent complaints of unfairness 
and partiality will be inevitable. The imposition upon a 
Federal court of a duty so foreign to the judicial function as 
the selection of an arbitrator in such cases, is at least of 
doubtful propriety. 

The establishment by Federal authority of such a bureau 
would be a just and sensible recognition of the value of labor, 
and of its right to be represented in the departments of the 
government. So far as its conciliatory offices shall have rela- 
tion to disturbance which interfered with transit and com- 
merce between the States, its existence would be justified, 


under the provision of the Constitution which gives to Con- 
gress the power " to regulate co mmerce with foreign nations 
and among tn <-' several States." And in the frequent disputes 

between the laboring men and their employers of less extent, 
and the consequences of which are confined within State limits 
and threaten domestic violence, the interposition of such a 
commission might be tendered upon the application ol the 
legislature or executive of a State, under the constitutional 
provision which requires the general government to " pro- 
tect" each of the States "against domestic violence." 

If such a commission were fairly organized, the risk of a 
loss of popular support and sympathy, resulting from a refusal 
to submit to so peaceful an instrumentality, would constrain 
both parties to such disputes to invoke its interference and 
abide by its decisions. There would also be good reason to 
hope that the very existence of such an agency would invite 
application to it for advice and counsel, frequently resulting 
in the avoidance of contention and misunderstanding. 

If the usefulness of such a commission is doubted because 
it might lack power to enforce its decisions, much encourage- 
ment is derived from the conceded good that has been accom- 
plished by the railroad commissions which have been organized 
in many of the States, which, having little more than advisory 
power, have exerted a most salutary influence in the settlement 
of disputes between conflicting interests. 

In July, 1XX4, by a law of Congress, a Bureau of Labor was 
established and placed in charge of a Commissioner of Labor, 
who is required to "collect information upon the subject of 
labor, its relations to capital, the hours of labor and the earn- 
ings of laboring men and women, and the means of promoting 
their material, social, intellectual, and moral prosperity." 

The commission which I suggest could easily be engrafted 
upon the bureau thus already organized, by the addition of 
two more commissioners and by supplementing the duties now 
imposed upon it by such other powers and functions as would 
permit the commissioners to act as arbitrators, when necess 


between labor and capital, under such limitations and upon 
such occasions as should be deemed proper and useful. 

Tower should also be distinctly conferred upon this bureau 
to investigate the causes of all disputes as they occur, whether 
submitted for arbitration or not, so that information may 
always be at hand to aid legislation on the subject when 
necessary and desirable. 

Grover Cleveland. 

Exkcutivk Mansion, 
April 22, 1886. 

(From the Second Annual Message to Congress, December, 1886.) 

The relations of labor to capital and of laboring men to their 
employers are of the utmost concern to every patriotic citizen. 
When these are strained and distorted, unjustifiable claims are 
apt to be insisted upon by both interests, and in the contro- 
versy which results the welfare of all and the prosperity of 
the country are jeopardized. Any intervention of the general 
government, within the limits of its constitutional authority, to 
avert such a condition should be willingly accorded. 

In a special message transmitted to the Congress at its last 
session 1 suggested the enlargement of our present Labor 
Bureau and adding to its present functions the power of arbi- 
tration in cases where differences arise between employer and 
employed. When these differences reach such a stage as to 
result in the interruption of commerce between the States, the 
application of this remedy by the general government might 
be regarded as entirely within its constitutional powers. And 
I think we might reasonably hope that such arbitrators, if 
carefully selected, and if entitled to the confidence of the 
parties to be affected, would be voluntarily called to the settle- 
ment of controversies of less extent and not necessarily within 
the domain of Federal regulation. 


I am (if the opinion that this suggestion is worthy the 

attention of the Congress. 

But, after all has been done by the passage of laws, either 
Federal or State, to relieve a situation full of solicitude, much 
more remains to be accomplished by the reinstatement and 
cultivation of a true American sentiment which fe"c6gnlzes the 
equality of American citizenship. This, in the light of our 
traditions and in loyalty to the spirit of our institutions, would 
teach that a hearty co-operation on the part of all interests is 
the surest path to national greatness and the happiness of all 
our people, that capital should, in recognition of the brother- 
hood of our citizenship and in a spirit of American fairness, 
generously accord to labor its just compensation and consid- 
eration, and that contented labor is capital's best protection 
and faithful ally. It would teach, too, that the diverse situa- 
tions of our people are inseparable from our civilization, that 
every citizen should, in his sphere, be a contributor to the 
general good, that capital does not necessarily tend to the 
oppression of labor, and that violent disturbances and disor- 
ders alienate from their promoters true American sympathy 
and kindly feeling. 



Executive Mansion, 
Albany, February 4, 1885. 
My Dear Young Friend : 

I cannot attempt to answer all the letters addressed to me by 
those, both old and young, who ask for places. But, if you are 
the boy I think you are, your letter is based upon a claim to 
help your mother and others who are partly dependent upon 
your exertions. I judge from what you write that you now 
have a situation in a reputable business house. I cannot urge 
you too strongly to give up all idea of employment in a public 


office, and to determine to win advancement and promotion 
where you are. 

There are no persons so forlorn and so much to be pitied as 
those who have learned, in early life, to look to public posi- 
tions for a livelihood. It unfits a man or boy for any other 
business, and is apt to make a kind of respectable vagrant of 
him. If you do well in other occupations, and thus become 
valuable to the people, they will find you out when they want 
a good man for public service. 

You may be sure that I am, as you say, the friend of every 
boy willing to help himself; but my experience teaches me that 
I cannot do you a better service than to advise you not to join 
the great army of office-seekers. 

I never sought an office of any kind in my life ; and, if you 
live and follow my advice, I am certain that you will thank 
me for it some day. 

Yours truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 



(First Annual Message to Congress, December 8, 1885.) 

In the Territory of Utah the law of the United States 
passed for the suppression of polygamy has been energetically 
ami faithfully executed during the past year, with measurably 
good results. A number of convictions have been secured for 
unlawful cohabitation, and in some cases pleas of guilty have 
been entered and a slight punishment imposed, upon a promise 
by the accused that they would not again offend against the 
law, nor advise, counsel, aid, or abet, in any way, its violation 
by others. 

The Utah commissioners express the opinion, based upon 
such information as they are able to obtain, that but few polyg- 
amous marriages have taken place in the Territory during the 


last year. They further report that while there cannot be 
found upon the registration lists ol voters the name ol a man 
actually guilty of polygamy, and while none of that class is 
holding office, yet at the last election in the Territory, all the 
officers elected, except in one county, were men who, though 
not actually living in the practice of polygamy, subscribe to 
the doctrine of polygamous marriages asa divme revelation and 
a law unto all, higher and more binding upon the < oiisciem e 
than any human law, local or national. Thus is the strange 
spectacle presented of a community protected by a republican 
form of government, to which they all owe allegiance, sustain- 
in- by their suffrages a principle and a belief which set .it 
naught that obligation of absolute obedience to the law of the 
land which lies at the foundation of republican institutions. 

The strength, the perpetuity, and the destiny of the nation 
rest upon our homes, established by the law of God, guarded 
by parental care, regulated by parental authority, and sancti- 
fied by parental love. These are not the homes of polygamy. 

The mothers of our land, who rule the nation as they mold 
the characters and guide the actions of their sons, live accord- 
ing to God's holy ordinances, and each, secure and happy in 
the exclusive love of the father of her children, sheds the warm 
light of true womanhood, unperverted and unpolluted, upon 
all within her pure and wholesome family circle. These are not 
the cheerless, crushed, and unwomanly mothers of polygamy. 

The fathers of our families are the best citizens of tin 
republic. Wife and children are the sources of patriotism, 
and conjugal and parental affection beget devotion to the 
country. '1 he man who, undefiled with plural marriage, is 
surrounded in his single home with his wife and children, has 
a stake in the country which inspires him with respect for its 
laws and courage for its defense. These are not the fathers 
of polygamous families. 

There is no feature of this practice, or the system which 
sanctions it, which is not opposed to all thai is of value in our 


There should be no relaxation in the firm but just execution 
of the law now in operation, and I should be glad to approve 
such further discreet legislation as will rid the country of this 
blot upon its fair fame. 

Since the people upholding polygamy in our Territories are 
re-enforced by immigration from other lands, I recommend 
that a law be passed to prevent the importation of Mormons 
into the country. 



(From the First Annual Message, December, 1S85.) 
On taking office, I withdrew for re-examination the treaties 
signed with Spain and Santo Domingo, then pending before the 
Senate. The result has been to satisfy me of the inexpediency 
of entering into engagements of this character not covering the 
entire traffic. 

These treaties contemplated the surrender by the United 
States of large revenues for inadequate considerations. Upon 
sugar alone duties were surrendered to an amount far exceed- 
ing all the advantages offered in exchange. Even were it in- 
tended to relieve our consumers, it was evident that, so long 
as the exemption but partially covered our importation, such 
relief would be illusory. To relinquish a revenue so essential 
seemed highly improvident at a time when new and large 
drains upon the Treasury were contemplated. Moreover, em- 
barrassing questions would have arisen under the favored-nation 
clauses of treaties with other nations. 

As a further objection, it is evident that tariff regulation by 
treaty diminishes that independent control over its own rev- 
enues which is essential for the safety and welfare of any gov- 
ernment. Emergency calling for an increase of taxation may 
at any time arise, and no engagement with a foreign power 
should exist to hamper the action of the government. 



(From the First Annual Message to Congress, December, 1885.) 

An international copyright conference was held at Heme in 
September, on the invitation of the Swiss Government. The 
envoy of the United States attended as a delegate, but re- 
trained from committing this government to the results, even 
by signing the recommendatory protocol adopted. The inter- 
esting and important subject of international copyright has 
been before you for several years. Action is certainly desir- 
able to effect the object in view. And while there may be 
question as to the relative advantage of treating it by legislation 
or by specific treaty, the matured views of the Berne confer- 
ence cannot fail to aid your consideration of the subject. 

Past Congresses have had under consideration the advis- 
ability of abolishing the discrimination made by the tariff laws 
in favor of the works of American artists. The odium of the 
policy which subjects to a high rate of duty the paintings of 
foreign artist., and exempts the productions of American ar- 
tists residing abroad, and who receive gratuitously advantages 
and instruction, is visited upon our citizens engaged in art cul- 
ture in Europe, and has caused them, with practical unanimity, 
to favor the abolition of such an ungracious distinction ; and in 
their interest, and for other obvious reasons, 1 strongly re< om- 
mend it. 


(From the Second Annual Message to Congress, December, 18S6.) 

The drift of sentiment in civilized communities toward lull 
recognition of the rights of property in the creations ot the 
human intellect has brought about the adoption, by many im- 
portant nations, of an international Copyright Convention, 
which was signed at Berne on the 18th of September, 1885. 


Inasmuch as the Constitution gives to Congress the power 
" to promote the progress of science and useful arts by secur- 
ing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive 
right to their respective writings and discoveries," this govern- 
ment did not feel warranted in becoming a signatory, pending 
the action of Congress upon measures of international copy- 
right now before it ; but the right of adhesion to the Berne 
Convention hereafter has been reserved. I trust the subject 
will receive at your hands the attention it deserves, and that 
the just claims of authors, so urgently pressed, will be duly 

Representations continue to be made to me of the injurious 
effect upon American artists studying abroad and having free 
access to the art collections of foreign countries, of maintain- 
ing a discriminating duty against the introduction of the works 
of their brother* artists of other countries ; and I am induced 
to repeat my recommendation for the abolition of that tax. 


(To the American Copyright League.) 

New York, December 6, 1889. 
My Dear Mr. Johnson : 

I hope that I need not assure you how much I regret my 
inability to be with you and other friends and advocates of 
international copyright in this hour. It seems to me very 
strange that a movement having so much to recommend it to 
the favor of just and honest men should languish in the hands 
of our lawmakers. 

It is not pleasant to have forced upon one the reflection 
thai perhaps the fact that it is simply just and fair is to its 
presenl disadvantage. And yet I believe, and I know you and 
the others engaged in the cause believe, that ultimately and 
with continued effort the friends of this reform will see their 
hopes realized. Then it will be great satisfaction to know 


and feel thai success was achieved bj force ol fairness,* justice, 

and morality. ¥ours very truly. 

Groves Cle\ bland. 

Mi;. R. U. JOHNSON, Secretary. 


(Interview in the New York Commercial Advertiser, September 19, 1 

I am very much pleased, as every other true Democrat 
should be, both with the utterances of their conventions in 
Ohio and New Jersey, on national questions, and with the 

nominees. The platforms and the candidates stand for sturdy 
Democracy and for honest, wholesome tariff reform ; and they 
indicate that the Democratic part} - is in no mood for time- 
serving, hand-to-mouth evasion. 

The Democracy, believing in certain principles and satisfied 
that the triumph of these principles involves the prosperity and 
well-being of the people, boldly announce them in full reliance 
on the sober thought and the intelligence of our countrymen. 
Here is found the very essence of Democratic faith. This 
undaunted courage, not born of expediency, and this devotion 
to the people's cause, manifested not only in the action of 
party organizations in certain Stales, but in Democratic utter- 
ances all over the land, are sufficient to make us all proud of 
our party. 

Nor do we fight a losing battle, with onl\ the COnsciousi 
of being right as our consolation in defeat. It seems to me 
that there never has been such an advance in any political 
question as there has lately been in favor of t.irifl reform. \ 
fair examination of the subject by the people is bearing fruit 
and gives assurance thai its triumph is at hand. So, if am 
those counted as Democrats, there are found timid souls, not 
well-grounded in the faith, who long for the fleshpots <^ 
vacillating shilts aid evasions, the answer to their fears should 
be : " Party honesty is party expediency." 




(Interview in the Nashville American, February i, 1890.) 
Honest government would profit by ballot reform, and so 
would every worthy cause which depends upon honest and not 
upon corrupt methods for success. 

The franchise is not debauched in the interest of good laws 
and honest government. It is by those who have special 
interests to subserve at the people's expense, and not by those 
whose interests are in common with the masses, that the ballot 
is corrupted. There are no rich and powerful corporations 
interested in buying " floaters " or coercing employees to vote 
for a reformation of our tariff laws. 

The powers of corruption are employed upon the other side, 
and tariff reform, as all other reforms, must depend upon the 
unbought suffrage of the people. If the people are capable 
of self-government, and are to remain so, there cannot be too 
many safeguards about the expression of their will. 



816 Madison Avenue, 
New York, January 14, 1891. 
Isaiah T. Montgomery, Esq. 

Mr. Henry F. Downing has put in my hands your letter to 
him in relation to the school for the instruction of colored 
children at your home. The condition you describe has ar- 
rested my attention, and the projects you have in hand for 
the improvement of your people interest me so much that 1 
feel like aiding you, though it be but to a slight extent. 

1 have an idea that opportunities for education and practical 
information among the colored population are most necessary 
to the proper solution of the race question in the South. At 


any rate, it seems to me to be of the utmost importance. If 
our colored boys are to exercise in their mature years the right 
of citizenship, they should be fitted to perform their duties 
intelligently and thoroughly. I hope that, in the school you 
seek to establish, the course of teaching will be directed to 
this end. 

Inclosed please find my check for $25, which I contribute 
with hearty wishes for the success of your patriotic and praise- 
worthy undertaking. 

Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 



(Interview in Daily Continent, New York, April 12, 1891.) 

1 believe a large majority of reporters are decenl and 
honorable men, who would prefer to do clean and respectable 
work. Of course there are some among them who are men- 
tally and morally cracked, and who never ought to be trusted 
to report for the public anything they claim to have seen or 
heartl. Eliminate these, and I do not think any of the re- 
mainder would deliberately indulge in downright barefaced 
falsehood ; but there is something connected with their work 
that they appear to think is necessary to its complete finish, 
which, for want of a better word, may be called embellishing. 
This proceeds so far, sometimes, that, almost unknown to him- 
self, the reporter falls into mischievous and exasperating false- 
hood — sometimes lacking the intent to annoy and injure and 
sometimes not. There ought to be much less of this. The 
reporter who sends in these extravagant embellishments can 
never know when they may constitute the most outrageous in- 
jury to the feelings of the innocent and defenseless. 

But, as a general rule, the responsibility for all that is objec- 


tionable in the reportorial occupation should be laid at the 
doors of the managers and owners of newspapers. If they 
wanted fair and truthful reports, they would be furnished 
them with more alacrity than they are now supplied with the 
trash so often demanded as a test of the reporter's skill and 

Good, clean journalism and a proper sense of newspaper re- 
sponsibility, prevailing at headquarters, would soon weed out 
the bad among reporters, and would so raise the standard of 
the duties of those remaining that they would not only be 
gladly welcomed by all who have information interesting to 
the public to impart, but would be received, without the sus- 
picion of intrusion, at any place where legitimate news could 
be collected. 



Upper Saranac Lake, 
August 23, 1884. 
To the Editors of "The Critic": 

Your note suggesting a contribution tothe Holmes number 
of The Critic has just been forwarded to me. Though I am 
not able to send you a word in time for its insertion in the 
forthcoming number, and though I should almost fear to place 
anything I might write in a collection which I know will be so 
rich in precious tributes, yet I cannot refrain from the expres- 
sion of my hearty appreciation and admiration of your under- 

Not only the works of such a man as Dr. Holmes, but his 
life and years, belong to the country which they enrich and 
make more illustrious. God is good in that he has spared 
him thus long to his fellow-Americans ; but in a totally un- 
thinking and instinctive way, and as if our friend himself 
willed his stay with us, we find ourselves cherishing a sense of 


gratitude to him for continuing to shed so kindly and benign 
an influence upon our Nation's life. 

The seventy-fifth birthday anniversary, which the Holmes 
number of The Critic commemorates, should be the occasion 
of hearty congratulation, not only to the man who has been 
Spared so long, but to every American citizen. 

Groveu Cleveland. 


T * 


Mr. President and Gentlemen : 

It is sometimes said of us that we have too few holidays, 
and this perhaps is true. We do not boast the antiquity nor 
the long history which accumulates numerous days of national 
civic observance; and the rush and activity of our people's life 
art- not favorable to that conservative and deliberate sentiment 
which creates and establishes holidays. So far as such days 
might commemorate the existence or achievements of some 
conspicuous personage, their infrequency may be largely 
attributed to our democratic spirit and the presumption arising 
from our institutions. In this land of ours — owned, pos- 
sessed, and governed by the people — we, in theory at least, 
demand and expect that every man will, in his sphere, be a 
patriot, and that every faculty of greatness and usefulness with 
which he is endowed will be devoted to his country and his 
fellow-men. We have had no dearth of distinguished men, and 
no better heroism has anywhere been seen than here. But 
they belong so naturally to us, that we usually deem them 
sufficiently noticed and commemorated when the} are acknowl- 
edged as contributions to the common fund of our national 
pride and glory. 

Thus it happens that in this country but two birthdays are 
publicly celebrated. We reverently speak of one as the day 
when the Redeemer of Mankind appeared among men. On 

* An address, before the Southern Society of New York, on Washington's 
birthday, February 22, iSoo, in response to the toast "The Birthday of 
George Washington." 



the other the man was bom whose mission it was to redeem the 
American people from bondage and dependent e and to display 
to the world the possibility of popular sell government. 

It would be strange, indeed, if this day should ever be neg- 
lected by our fellow-countrymen. It would be like a nation', 
blotting out the history which cements its governmental edifi< e, 
o] expunging its traditions from which flow that patriots love 
and devotion of its people which are the best guarantei 
peaceful rule and popular contentment. 

We certainlj need at least one day which shall recall to out- 
minds the truth that the price of our country was unselfish 
labor and sacrifice, that men fought and suffered that we might 
be free, and that love and American brotherhood are necessary 
elements to the full and continued enjoyment of Amerii j\\ 
freedom, prosperity, and happiness. 

We are apt to forget these things in our engrossment with 
the activities which attend the development of our country and 
in the impetuous race after wealth which has become a charac- 
teristic of our people. There is danger that we may ^row- 
heedless of the fact that our institutions are a precious legacy 
which, for their own sake, should be jealousl) watched and 
guarded, and there is danger that this condition may induce 
selfishness and sordidness, followed by the idea that patriotism 
and morality have no place in statecraft, and that a political 
career may be entered upon like any other trade for private 
profit and advantage 

This is a frightful departure from the doctrines upon which 
our institutions rest, and surely it is the extreme of folly to 
hope that our scheme of government will effecl its purpose 
and intent when every condition of its birth and life is 

Poinl to your immense fortunes, if you will; point to your 
national growth and prosperity; boast of the day of practical 
politics, and discard as obsolete all sentiment and all cone ep- 
tion of morality and patriotism in public life, hut do not for a 
moment delude yourselves into the belief that you are uavi- 


gating in the safe course marked out by those who launched 
and blessed the Shi]) of State. 

Is Washington accused even in these days of being a senti- 
mentalist ? Listen to the admonition he addressed "as an old 
and affectionate friend" to his fellow-countrymen, whom he 
loved so well and for whom he had labored so long, as he 
retired from their service: 

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, 
religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man 
claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars 
of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. 
The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and cherish 

And all is summed up and applied directly to our situation 
when he adds: 

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of 
popular government. 

When did we outgrow these sentiments? When did we 
advance so far in knowledge above our fathers as safely to cast 
aside these beliefs? Let us be sober and thoughtful, and if we 
find that these things have lost their hold on our minds and 
hearts, let us take soundings, for the rocks are near. 

We need in our public and private life such pure and 
chastened sentiments as result from the sincere and heartfelt 
observance of days like this, and we need such quickening of 
our patriotism as the sedate contemplation of the life and char- 
acter of Washington creates. 

Most of all, because it includes all, we need a better appre- 
ciation of Hue American citizenship. I do not mean by this, 
that thoughtless pride of country which is everywhere assumed 
sometimes without sincerity, nor the sordid attachment born 
of benefits received or favors expected, but that deep and sen- 
timental love for our citizenship which Hows from the con- 
sciousness that the blessing of Heaven was invoked at its birth; 
that it was nurtured in the faith of God; and that it grew 


strong in the self-denying patriotism oi our fathers and in their 
love of mankind. 

Such an apprehension of American citizenship will coi 
crate us all to the disinterested service of our country and 
unite us to drive from the temple of our liberties th< money 

< hangers and they who buy and sell. 

Washington was the most thorough American that ever lived. 
1 1 is sword was drawn to carve out American citizenship, and 
his every act and public service was directed to its establish- 
ment. IK contemptuously spurned the oiler of kingly power, 
and never faltered in his hope to make most honorable the 
man who could justly call himself an American. 

In the most solemn manner he warned his countrymen 
against any attack upon the unity of the government, and 
called upon them to frown indignant!) upon any attempt to 
alienate any portion of the country from the rest, or to enfeeble 
the sacred ties that linked together the various parts. 

His admonition reached the climax of its power and force 
when he said: 

Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a rij;ht 
to concentrate your affections. The name of " American," which belongs 
to you in your national capacity, must always exalt t he just pride of patriot- 
ism more than any appellation derived from any local discriminations. 

In an evil hour, and amid rage and resentment, the warning 

< i Washington was disregarded and the unity of our govern- 
ment was attacked. In blood and devastation it was saved, 
and the name of "American," which belonged to all of us, was 
rescued. From the gloom of desolation and estrangement all 
our countrymen were drawn again to their place's 1>v the mystic 
bond of American citizenship which, for all time to come, shall 
hold and ennoble them as hearty co-workers in accomplishing 
the national destiny which to the day of his death inspired the 
faith and hope of Washington. 

As we commemorate his birth to-night, we will invoke his 
precious influence and renew our patriotic and disinterested 
love of country. Let us thank God that lie has lived, and 


that he has given to us the highest and best example of Ameri- 
can citizenship. And let us especially be grateful that we have 
this sacred memory, which spanning time, vicissitude, and 
unhappy alienation, calls us together in sincere fellowship and 
brotherly love on "The birthday of George Washington." 



Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

Among the few holidays which the rush and hurry of Ameri- 
can life concede to us, surely no one of a secular character is 
so suggestive and impressive as the day we celebrate on this 
occasion. We not only commemorate the birth of the greatest 
American who ever lived, but we recall, as inseparably con- 
nected with his career, all the events and incidents which led 
up to the establishment of free institutions in this land of ours, 
and culminated in the erection of our wondrous nation. 

The University of Michigan, therefore, most appropriately 
honors herself and does a fitting public service by especially 
providing for such an observance of the day as is calculated 
to turn to the contemplation of patriotic duty the thoughts of 
the young men whom she is soon to send out to take places in 
the ranks of American citizenship. 

1 hope it may not be out of place for me to express the 
-ratification it affords me as a member of the legal profession, 
to know that the conduct of these exercises has been com- 
mitted to the classes of the Law Department of the University. 
There seems to me to be a propriety in this, for I have always 
thought the influences surrounding the practice and study of 
the law should especially induce a patriotic feeling. The 
business of the profession is related to the enforcement and 
operation of the laws which govern our people; and its mem- 

* An address before the students of the University of Michigan, at Ann 
Arbor, February 22, i8q2. 


bers, more often than those engaged in other oc< upations, are 
called to a participation in making those laws. Beside:,, they 
are constantly brought to the study ol the fundamental law ol 
the land, and a familiarity with its history. Such study and 
familiarity should be sufficient of themselves to in< rease a 
man's love of country: and they certainly cannot fail to arouse 
his veneration for the men who laid the foundations ol our 
nation sure and steadfast in a written constitution, which has 
been declared, by the greatest living English statesman, to be 
"the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by 
the brain and purpose of man." 

Washington had more to do with the formation of the con- 
stitution than our enthusiasm tor other phases of the great 
work he did for his country usually makes prominent. lie 
fought the battles which cleared the way for it. He best knew 
the need of consolidating under one government the colonies 
he had made free, and he best knew that without this consoli- 
dation, a wasting war, the long and severe privations and 
sufferings his countrymen had undergone and his own devoted 
labor in the cause of freedom, were practically in vain. The 
beginning of anything like a public sentiment looking to the 
formation of our nation is traceable to his efforts. Tin- 
circular letter he sent to the governors of the States, as early 
is the close of the War of the Revolution, contained the germ of 
the constitution; and all this was recognized by his unanimous 
choice to preside over the convention that framed it. His 
spirit was in and through it all. 

But whatever may be said of the argument presented in 
support of the propriety of giving the law classes the manage- 
ment of this celebration, it is entirely clear that the University 
herself furnishes to all her students a most useful lesson when, 
by decreeing the observance of this day, she recognizes the 
fact that the knowledge of books she imparts is not a complete 
fulfillment of her duty, and concedes that the education with 
which she so well equips her graduates for individual success 
in life and for business and professional usefulness, may profit- 


ably be supplemented by the stimulation of their patriotism, 
and by the direction of their thoughts to subjects relating to 
their country's welfare. I do not know how generally such an 
observance of Washington's birthday, as has been here estab- 
lished, prevails in our other universities and colleges; but I 
am convinced that any institution of learning in our land which 
neglects to provide for the instructive and improving observance 
of this day within its walls, falls short of its attainable measure 
of usefulness and omits a just and valuable contribution to the 
general good. There is great need of educated men in our 
public life, but it is the need of educated men with patriotism. 
The college graduate may be, and frequently is, more unpatri- 
otic and less useful in public affairs than the man who, with 
limited education, has spent the years when opinions are 
formed in improving contact with the world instead of being 
within college walls and confined to the study of books. If it 
be true, as is often claimed, that the scholar in politics is gener- 
ally a failure, it may well be due to the fact that, during his 
formative period when lasting impressions are easily received, 
his intellect alone has been cultivated at the expense of whole- 
some and well-regulated sentiment. 

I speak to-day in advocacy of this sentiment. If it is not 
found in extreme and exclusive mental culture, neither is it 
found in the busy marts of trade, nor in the confusion of bar- 
gaining, nor in the mad rush after wealth. Its home is in the 
soul and memory of man. It has to do with the moral sense. 
It reverences traditions, it loves ideas, it cherishes the names 
and the deeds of heroes, and it worships at the shrine of patri- 
otism. I plead for it because there is a sentiment, which in 
some features is distinctively American, that we should never 
allow to languish. 

When we are told that we are a practical and common sense 
people, we are apt to receive the statement with approval and 
applause. We are proud of its truth and naturally proud 
because its truth is attributable to the hard work we have had 
to do ever since our birth as a nation, and because of the stern 


labor we still see in our way before we rea< h our determined 
destiny. There is cause to suspect, however, thai another and 
less creditable reason for our gratification arises from a feeling 
that there is something heroically American in treating with 
indifference or derision all those things which, in our view, do 
not directly and palpably pertain to what we call, with much 
satisfaction, practical affairs, but which, if we were entirel) 
frank, we should confess might be < ailed money-getting am. 
the betterment of individual condition. Growing oul of this 
feeling, an increasing disposition is discernible among our 
people, which begrudges to sentiment any time or attention 
that might be given to business and which is apt to crowd out 
of mind any thought not directly related to selfish plans and 

A little reflection ought to convince us that this may be car- 
ried much too far. It is a mistake to regard sentiment as 
merely something which, if indulged, has a tendency to tempt 
to idle and useless contemplation or retrospection, thus weak- 
ening in a people the sturdiness of necessary endeavor and 
diluting the capacity for national achievement. 

The elements which make up the sentiment of a people 
should not be counted as amiable weaknesses because they arc- 
not at all times noisy and turbulent. The gentleness and 
loveliness of woman do not cause us to forget that she can 
inspire man to deeds of greatness and heroism; that as wife 
she often makes man's career noble and grand, and that as 
mother she builds and fashions in her son the strong pillars of 
a State. So the sentiment of a people which, in peace and 
contentment, decks with flowers the temple ol their rule, may, 
in rage and fury, thunder at its foundations. Sentiment is the 
cement which keeps in place the granite blocks of govern- 
mental power, or the destructive agency whose explosion heaps 
in ruins their scattered fragments. The monarch who cares 
only for his sovereignty and safety, leads his subjects to fbrget- 
fulness of oppression by a pretense of love for their traditions; 
and the ruler who plans encroachments upon the liberties of 


his people, shrewdly proceeds under the apparent sanction of 
their sentiment. Appeals to sentiment have led nations to 
bloody wars which have destroyed dynasties and changed the 
lines of imperial territory. Such an appeal summoned our 
fathers to the battlefields where American independence was 
won', and such an appeal has scattered soldiers' graves all over 
our land, which mutely give evidence of the power of our gov- 
ernment and the perpetuity of our free institutions. 

I have thus far spoken of a people's sentiment as something 
which may exist and be effective under any form of govern- 
ment, and in any national condition. But the thought natur- 
ally follows, that, if this sentiment may be so potent in coun- 
tries ruled by a power originating outside of popular will, how- 
vital must its existence and regulation be among our country- 
men, who rule themselves and make and administer their own 
laws. In lands less free than ours, the control of the governed 
may be more easily maintained if those who are set over them 
see fit to make concession to their sentiment; yet, with or 
without such concession, the strong hand of force may still 
support the power to govern. But sentiment is the very life 
blood of our nation. Our government was conceived amid 
the thunders that echoed "All men are created equal," and 
it was brought forth while free men shouted "We, the people 
of the United States." The sentiment of our fathers, made 
up of their patriotic intentions, their sincere beliefs, their 
homely impulses and their noble aspirations, entered into the 
government they established; and, unless it is constantly sup- 
ported and guarded by a sentiment as pure as theirs, our 
scheme of popular rule will fail. Another and a different plan 
may take its place; but this which we hold in sacred trust, as 
it originated in patriotism, is only fitted for patriotic and 
honest uses and purposes, and ran only be administered in its 
integrity and intended beneficence, by honest and patriotic 
men. It can no more be saved nor faithfully conducted by a 
selfish, dishonest, and corrupt people, than a stream can rise 
above its soun e or be better and purer than its fountain head. 


None of us can be ignorant of the ideas whii h < onstitute the 

sentiment underlying our national structure. We know they 
are a reverent belief in God, a sincere recognition of the value 

and power of moral principle and those qualities of heart which 
make a noble manhood, devotion to unreserved patriotism, lo\ e 
tor man's equality, unquestioning trust in popular rule, the 
exaction of civic virtue and honesty, faith in the saving quality 
of universal education, protection of a free and unperverted 
expression of the popular will, and an insistence upon a 
strict accountability of public officers as servants of the 

These are the elements of American sentiment; and all 
these should be found deeply imbedded in the minds and 
hearts of our countrymen. When anyone of them is displaced, 
the time has come when a danger signal should be raised. 
Their lack among the people of other nations — however 
great and powerful they may be- — can afford us no comfort nor 
reassurance. We must work out our destiny unaided and 
alone in full view of the truth that nowhere, so directly and 
surely as here, does the destruction or degeneracy of the 
people's sentiment undermine the foundations of governmental 

Let us not for a moment suppose that we can outgrow our 
dependence upon this sentiment, nor that in any stage of 
national advance and development it will be less important. 
As the love of family and kindred remains to bless and 
strengthen a man in all the vicissitudes of his mature and busy 
lite, so must our American sentiment remain with us as a peo- 
ple— a sure hope and reliance in every phase of our country's 
growth. Nor will it suffice that the factors which compose 
this sentiment have a sluggish existence in our minds, as arti- 
cles of an idle faith which we are willing perfunctorily to 
profess. They must be cultivated as motive principles, stimu- 
lating us to effort in the cause of good government, and 
constantly warning us against the danger and dishonor of 
faithlessness to the sacred cause we have in charge and heed 


iessness of the blessings vouchsafed to us and future genera- 
tions, under our free institutions. 

These considerations emphasize the value which should be 
placed upon every opportunity afforded us for the contempla- 
tion of the pure lives and patriotic services of those who have 
been connected with the controlling incidents of our country's 
history. Such contemplation cannot fail to re-enforce and 
revive the sentiment absolutely essential to useful American 
citizenship, nor fail to arouse within us a determinaton that 
during our stewardship no harm shall come to the political 
gifts we hold in trust from the fathers of the Republic. 

It is because George Washington completely represented all 
the elements of American sentiment that every incident of his 
life, from his childhood to his death, is worth recalling — 
whether it impresses the young with the beauty and value of 
moral traits, or whether it exhibits to the wisest and oldest an 
example of sublime accomplishment and the highest possible 
public service. Even the anecdotes told of his boyhood have 
their value. I have no sympathy with those who, in these latter 
days, attempt to shake our faith in the authenticity of these 
stories, because they are not satisfied with the evidence in their 
support, or because they do not seem to accord with the con- 
duct of boys in this generation. It may well be, that the 
stories should stand and the boys of the present day be pitied. 

At any rate, these anecdotes have answered an important 
purpose; and in the present state of the proofs, they should, 
in my opinion, be believed. The cherry tree and hatchet 
in< idenl and its companion declaration that the Father of his 
Country never told a lie, have indelibly fixed upon the mind 
of many a boy the importance of truthfulness. Of all the 
I gends containing words of advice and encouragement which 
hung upon the walls of the little district schoolhouse where a 
large share of my education was gained, I remember but one, 
which was in these words: "George Washington had only a 
common school education." 

1 will not plead guilty to the charge of dwelling upon the 


little features of a great subject. 1 hope the day will never 
come when American boys cannol know of some trait or some 

condition in which they may feel thai they ought to 1"- or are 
like Washington. I am not afraid to assert that a multitude ol 
men can be found in every part of our land, respei ted for 
their probity and worth, and most useful to the country and to 
their fellow-men, who will confess their indebtedness to the 
Storj of Washington and hishatchcl; and man) a man has won 
his way to honor and fame, notwithstanding limited school 
advantages, because he found hope and incentive in the high 
mission Washington accomplished with only a common school 
education. These are not little and trivial things. They 
guide and influence the forces which make the charai ter and 
sentiment of a great people. 

I should be ashamed of my country, if, in further speaking 
of what Washington has done for the sentiment of his country- 
men, it was necessary to make any excuse for a referem e 
to his constant love and fond reverence, as boy and man, for 
his mother. This filial love is an attribute of American man- 
hood, a badge which invites our trust and confidence, and an 
indispensable element of American greatness. A man ma) 
compass important enterprises, he may become famous, he may 
win the applause of his fellows, he may even do public service 
and deserve a measure of popular approval, but he is not right 
at heart, andean never be truly great, if he forgets his mother. 

In the latest biography of Washington we find the follow- 
ing statement concerning his mother: "That she was al 
tionate and loving cannot be doubted, for she retained to the 
last a profound hold upon the reverential devotion of her son; 
and yet as he rose steadily to the pinnacle of human great n 
she could only say that 'George had been a good boy, and she 
was sure he would do his duty.' " 

I cannot believe that the American people will consider 
themselves called upon to share the deprecatory feeling of the 
biographer, when he writes that the mother of Washington 
could only say of her son that she believed he would be 


faithful to the highest earthly trusts, because he had been 
good ; nor that they will regard her words merely as an amiably 
tolerated expression of a fond mother. If they are true to 
American sentiment, they will recognize in this language the 
announcement of the important truth that, under our institu- 
tions and scheme of government, goodness, such as Washing- 
ton's, is the best guarantee for the faithful discharge of public 
duty. They will certainly do well for the country and for them- 
selves, if they adopt the standard the intuition of this noble 
woman suggests, as the measure of their trust and confidence. 
It means the exaction of moral principle and personal honor 
and honesty and goodness as indispensable credentials to politi- 
cal preferment. 

I have referred only incidentally to the immense influence 
and service of Washington in forming our Constitution. I 
shall not dwell upon his lofty patriotism, his skill and fortitude 
as the military commander who gained our independence, his 
inspired wisdom, patriotism, and statesmanship as first President 
of the republic, his constant love for his countrymen, and his 
solicitude for their welfare at all times. The story has been, 
often told, and is familiar to all. If I should repeat it, I 
should only seek to present further and probably unnecessary 
proof of the fact that Washington embodied in his character, 
and exemplified in his career, that American sentiment in 
which our government had its origin, and which I believe to be 
a condition necessary to our healthful national life. 

I have not assumed to instruct you. I have merely yielded 
to the influence of the occasion; and attempted to impress upon 
you the importance of cultivating and maintaining true Ameri- 
can sentiment, suggesting that, as it has been planted and rooted 
in the moral faculties of our countrymen, it can only flourish 
in their love of truth and honesty and virtue and goodness. I 
believe that God has so ordained it for the people he has 
selected for his special favor; and I know that the decrees of 
God are never obsolete. 

1 beg you, therefore, to take with you, when you go forth to 


assume the obligations of American 1 itizenship, as one of the 
best gifts of your Alma Mater, a strong and abiding faith in 
the value and potent j of a good cons* ience and a pure heart. 
Never yield one iota to those who teach that these are weak 
and childish things, not needed in the struggle of manhood 
with the stern realities of life. Interest yourselves in public 
affairs as a duty of citizenship; but do not surrender your faith 
to those who discredit and debase politics by scoffing at senti- 
ment and principle, and whose political activity consists in 
attempts to gain popular support by cunning devices and 
shrewd manipulation. You will find plenty of these who will 
smile at your profession of faith, and tell yon that truth and 
virtue and honesty and goodness were well enough in the old 
days when Washington lived, but are not suited to the present 
size and development of our country and the progress we have 
made in the art of political management. Be steadfast. The 
strong and sturdy oak still needs the support of its native 
earth, and, as it grows in size and spreading branches, its roots 
must strike deeper in the soil which warmed and feel its first 
tender sprout. You will be told that the people have no 
longer any desire for the things you profess. Be not deceived. 
The people are not dead but sleeping. They will awaken in 
good time, and scourge the money-cha*ngers from their sacred 

You may be chosen to public office. Do not shrink from it, 
for holding office is also a duty of citizenship. But do not 
leave your faith behind you. Every public office, small or 
great, is held in trust for your fellow-citizens. They differ in 
importance; in responsibilitv, and in the labor they impose; 
but the duties of none of them can be well performed if the 
mentorship of a good conscience ami pure heart be discarded. 
Of course, other equipment is ne< essary, but without this men- 
torship all else is insufficient. In times of gravest responsibil- 
ity it will solve your difficulties; in the most trying hour it will 
lead you out "t perplexities, and it will, at all times, deliver you 
from temptation. 


In conclusion, let me remind you that we may all properly 
learn the lesson appropriate to Washington's birthday, if we 
will; and that we shall fortify ourselves against the danger of 
falling short in the discharge of any duty pertaining to citizen- 
ship, if, being thoroughly imbued with true American sentiment 
and the moral ideas which support it, we are honestly true to 

To thine own self be true, 

And it must follow as the night the day : 

Thou can'st not then be false to any man. 



Albany, February 24, 1885. 
To the Hon. A. J. Warner and Others, Members of the 
Forty-eighth Congress: 

Gen i i.kmkn : 

The letter which I have had the honor to receive from 
you invites, and, indeed, obliges me to give expression to 
some grave public necessities, although in advance of the 
moment when they would become the objects of my official 
care and partial responsibility. Your solicitude that my judg- 
ment shall have been carefully and deliberately formed is 
entirely just, and I accept the suggestion in the same friendly 
spirit in which it has been made. It is also fully justified by 
the nature of the financial crisis, which, under the operation of 
the act of Congress of February 28, 1878, is now close at hand. 
By a compliance with the requirements of that law all the 
vaults of the Federal Treasury have been and are heaped full 
of silver coins, which are now worth less than 85 per cent, of 
the gold dollar prescribed as " the unit of value " in section 14 
of the act of February 12, 1873, and which, with the silver 
certificates representing such coin, are receivable for all pub- 
lic dues. Being thus receivable, while also constantly increas- 
ing in quantity at the rate of $28,000,000 a year, it has fol- 
lowed, of necessity, that the flow of gold into the Treasury 
has been steadily diminished. Silver and silver certificates 
have displaced and are now displacing gold, and the sum of gold 
in the Federal Treasury now available for the payment of the 
gold obligations of the United States, and for the redemption 



of the United States notes called " greenbacks," if not already 
encroached upon, is perilously near such encroachment. 

These are facts which, as they do not admit of difference of 
opinion, call for no argument. They have been forewarned 
to us in the official reports of every Secretary of the Treasury 
from 1878 till now. They are plainly affirmed in the last 
December report of the present Secretary of the Treasury to 
the Speaker of the present House of Representatives. They 
appear in the official documents of this Congress and in the 
records of the New York Clearing-house, of which the Treasury 
is a member, and through which the bulk of the receipts and 
payments of the Federal Government and of the country pass. 

These being the facts of our present condition, our danger, 
and our duty to avert that danger, would seem to be plain. I 
hope that you concur with me, and with the great majority of 
our fellow-citizens, in deeming it most desirable at the present 
juncture to maintain and continue in use the mass of our gold 
coin as well as the mass of silver already coined. This is pos- 
sible by a present suspension of the purchase and coinage of 
silver. I am not aware that by any other method it is possible. 
It is of momentous importance to prevent the two metals from 
parting company; to prevent the increasing displacement of 
gold by the increasing coinage of silver ; to prevent the dis- 
use of gold in the custom-houses of the United States in the 
daily business of the people ; to prevent the ultimate expulsion 
of gold by silver. 

Such a financial crisis as these events would certainly pre- 
cipitate, were it now to follow upon so long a period of com- 
mercial depression, would involve the people of every city and 
every State in the Union in a prolonged and disastrous trouble. 
The revival of business enterprise and prosperity, so ardently 
desired and apparently so near, would be hopelessly postponed. 
Gold would be withdrawn to its hoarding-places, and an un- 
pre< edented contraction in the actual volume of our currency 
would speedily take place. Saddest of all, in every workshop, 
mill, factory, store, and on every railroad and farm, the wages 


of labor, already depressed, would suffer still further depres- 
sion by a scaling down of the purchasing power of every so- 
called dollar paid into the hand of toil. From th< se impend- 
ing calamities it is surely a most patriotic and grateful duty of 

the representatives of the people to deliver them. 
1 am, gentlemen, with sincere respect, your fellow-citizen, 



From tin First Annual Message to Congress, December 8, 1SS5. 

The very limited amount of circulating notes issued by our 
nation. d banks compared with the amount the law permits 
them to issue, upon a deposit of bonds for their redemption. 
indicates that the volume of our circulating medium may be 
largely increased through this instrumentality. 

Nothing more important than the present condition of our 
currency and coinage can claim your attention. 

Since February, 1878, the government has, under the com- 
pulsory provisions of law, purchased silver bullion and coined 
the same at the rate of more than two millions of dollars every 
month. By this process, up to the present date, Ji5.759.431 
silver dollars have been coined. 

A reasonable appreciation of a delegation of power to tin- 
general government would limit its exercise, without express 
restrictive words, to the people's needs and the requirements 
of the public welfare. 

Upon this theory, the authority to " coin money " given to 
Congress by the Constitution, if it permits the purchase by the 
government of bullion for coinage in any event, does not justify 
such purchase and coinage to an extent beyond the amount 
needed for a sufficient circulating medium. 

The desire to utilize the silver product of the country should 
not lead to a misuse or the perversion of this power. 

The necessity for such an addition to the silver currency of 


the nation as is compelled by the silver coinage act, is nega- 
tived by the fact that up to the present time only about fifty 
millions of the silver dollars so coined have actually found 
their way into circulation, leaving more than one hundred and 
sixty-five millions in the possession of the government, the 
custody of which has entailed a considerable expense for the 
construction of vaults for its deposit. Against this latter 
amount there are outstanding silver certificates amounting to 
about ninety-three millions of dollars. 

Every month two millions of gold in the public Treasury 
are paid out for two millions or more of silver dollars, to be 
added to the idle mass already accumulated. 

If continued long enough, this operation will result in the 
substitution of silver for all the gold the government owns 
applicable to its general purposes. It will not do to rely upon 
the customs receipts of the government to make good this 
drain of gold, because — the silver thus coined having been 
made legal tender for all debts and dues, public and private, 
at times during the last six months fifty-eight per cent, of the 
receipts for duties has been in silver or silver certificates, while 
the average within that period has been twenty percent. The 
proportion of silver and its certificates received by the govern- 
ment will probably increase as time goes on, for the reason 
that, the nearer the period approaches when it will be obliged 
to offer silver in payment of its obligations, the greater 
inducement there will be to hoard gold against depreciation in 
the value of silver, or for the purpose of speculating. 

This hoarding of gold has already begun. 

When the time comes that gold has been withdrawn from 
circulation, then will be apparent the difference between the 
real value of the silver dollar and a dollar in gold, and the two 
coins will part company. Gold, still the standard of value, 
and necessary in our dealings with other countries, will be at a 
premium over silver ; banks, which have substituted gold for 
the deposits of their customers, may pay them with silver 
bought with such gold, thus making a handsome profit ; rich 


speculators will sell their hoarded gold to their neighbors who 
need it to liquidate their foreign debts, at a ruinous premium 

over silver, and the laboring men and u 1 imen of the land, mo I 
defenseless of all, will find that the dollar, received for the vi 
of their toil, has sadly shrunk in its purchasing power. It may 
be said that the latter result will be but temporary, and that 
ultimately the price of labor will be adjusted to the change ; 
hut even if this takes place the wage worker cannot possibly 
gain, but must inevitably lose, since the price he is compelled 
to pay for his living will not only be measured in a coin heavily 
depreciated, and fluctuating and uncertain in its value, but 
this uncertainty in the value of the purchasing medium will be 
made the pretext for an advance in prices beyond that justified 
by actual depreciation. 

The words uttered in 1834 by Daniel Webster, in the Senate 
of the United States, are true to-day : " The very man of all 
others who has the deepest interest in a sound currency, and 
who suffers most by mischievous legislation in money matters, 
is the man who earns his daily bread by his daily toil." 

The most distinguished advocate of bi-metallism, discussing 
our silver coinage, has lately written : " No American citi- 
zen's hand has yet felt the sensation of cheapness, either in 
receiving or expending the Silver Act dollars." 

And those who live by labor or legitimate trade never will 
feel that sensation of cheapness. However plenty silver dol- 
lars may become, they will not be distributed as gifts among 
the people ; and if the laboring man should receive four 
depreciated dollars where he now receives but two, he will pay 
in the depreciated coin more than double the price he now 
pays for all the necessaries and comforts of life. 

Those who do not fear any disastrous consequences arising 
from the continued compulsory coinage of silver as now 
directed by law, and who suppose that the addition to the cur- 
rency of the country intended as its result will be a public 
benefit, are reminded that history demonstrates that the point 
is easily reached in the attempt to float at the same time two 


sorts of money of different excellence, when the better will 
cease to be in general circulation. The hoarding of gold, 
which has already taken place, indicates that we shall not 
escape the usual experience in such cases. So, if this silver 
coinage be continued, we may reasonably expect that gold and 
its equivalent will abandon the field of circulation to silver 
alone. This, of course, must produce a severe contraction of 
our circulating medium, instead of adding to it. 

It will not be disputed that any attempt on the part of the 
government to cause the circulation of silver dollars worth 
eighty cents, side by side with gold dollars worth one hundred 
cents, even within the limit that legislation does not run 
counter to the laws of trade, to be successful must be seconded 
by the confidence of the people that both coins will retain the 
same purchasing power and be interchangeable at will. A 
special effort has been made by the Secretary of the Treasury 
to increase the amount of our silver coin in circulation ; but 
the fact that a large share of the limited amount thus put out 
has soon returned to the public treasury in payment of duties, 
leads to the belief that the people do not now desire to keep 
it in hand ; and this, with the evident disposition to hoard 
gold, gives rise to the suspicion that there already exists a lack 
of confidence among the people touching our financial proc- 
esses. There is certainly not enough silver now in circula- 
tion to cause uneasiness ; and the whole amount coined and 
now on hand might, after a time, be absorbed by the people 
without apprehension ; but it is the ceaseless stream that 
threatens to overflow the land which causes fear and uncer- 

What has been thus far submitted upon this subject relates 
almost entirely to considerations of a home nature, uncon- 
nected with the bearing which the policies of other nations 
have upon the question. But it is perfectly apparent that a 
line of action in regard to our currency cannot wisely be 
settled upon or persisted in, without considering the attitude, 
on the subject, of other countries with whom we maintain 


intercourse through commerce, trade, and travel. An 
acknowledgment of this fact is found in the Vet by virtue ol 
whieh our silver is < ompulsorily coined, it provides that " the 
President shall invite the governments of the countries com- 
posing the Latin Union, so called, and of such other European 
nations as he may deem advisable, to ji »in the l nited States in 
a conference to adopt a common ratio between gold and silver 
for the purpose of establishing internationally the use of 
bi-metallic money and securing fixity of relative value between 
these metals." 

This conference absolutely failed, and a similar fate has 
awaited all subsequent efforts in the same direction. And 
still we continue our coinage of silver at a ratio different from 
that of any other nation. The most vital part of the silver- 
coinage Act remains inoperative and unexecuted, and without 
an ally or friend, we battle upon the silver field in an illogical 
and losing contest. 

To give full effect to the design of Congress on this subjei I 
1 have made careful and earnest endeavor since the adjourn- 
ment of the last Congress. 

To this end 1 delegated a gentleman, well instructed in fiscal 
science, to proceed to the financial centers of Europe, and. in 
conjunction with our Ministers to England, France, and Ger- 
many, to obtain a full knowledge of the attitude and intent of 
those governments in respect of the establishment of such an 
international ratio as would procure free coinage of both met >ls 
at the mints of those countries and our own. By my direction 
our Consul General at Paris has given close attention to the 
proceedings of the congress of the Latin Union, in order to in- 
dicate our interest in its object and report its action. 

It may be said, in brief, as the result of these efforts, that the 
attitude of the leading powers remains substantially unchanged 
since the monetary conference of iSSr, nor is it to be ques- 
tioned that the views of these governments are, in each instance, 
supported by the weight of public opinion. 

The steps thus taken have therefore only more fully demon- 


strated theuselessness of further attempts, at present, to arrive 
at any agreement on the subject with other nations. 

In the meantime we are accumulating silver coin, based upon 
our own peculiar ratio, to such an extent, and assuming so 
heavy a burden to be provided for in any international negoti- 
ations, as will render us an undesirable party to any future 
monetary conference of nations. 

It is a significant fact that four of the five countries compos- 
ing the Latin Union, mentioned in our coinage Act, embarrassed 
with their silver currency, have just completed an agreement 
among themselves that no more silver shall be coined by their 
respective governments, and that such as has been already 
coined, and in circulation, shall be redeemed in gold by the 
country of its coinage. The resort to this expedient by these 
countries may well arrest the attention of those who suppose 
that we can succeed, without shock or injury, in the attempt to 
circulate, upon its merits, all the silver we may coin under the 
provisions of our silver coinage Act. 

The condition in which our Treasury may be placed by a per- 
sistence in our present course, is a matter of concern to every 
patriotic citizen who does not desire his government to pay in 
silver such of its obligations as should be paid in gold. Nor 
should our condition be such as to oblige us, in a prudent man- 
agement of our affairs, to discontinue the calling in and pay- 
ment of interest-bearing obligations, which we have the right 
now to discharge, and thus avoid the payment of further inter- 
est thereon. 

The so-called debtor class, for whose benefit the continued 
compulsory coinage of silver is insisted upon, are not dishonest 
because they are in debt ; and they should not be suspected of 
a desire to jeopardize the financial safety of the country, in 
order that they may cancel their present debts by paying the 
same in depreciated dollars. Nor should it be forgotten that 
it is not the rich nor the money-lender alone that must submit 
to such a readjustment enforced by the government and their 
debtors. The pittance of the widow and the orphan, and the 


income of helpless beneficiaries of all kinds, would be dis- 
astrously reduced. The depositors in savings banks and in other 
institutions which hold in trust the savings of the poor, when 

their little accumulations arc scaled down to meet the new order 
of things, would, in their distress, painfully realize the delusion 

of the promise made to them that plentiful money would im- 
prove their condition. 

We have now on hand all the silver dollars necessary to 
supply the present needs of the people and to satisfy those who 
from sentiment wish to see them in circulation ; and if their 
coinage is suspended they can be readily obtained by all who 
desire them. If the need of more is at any time apparent their 
coinage may be renewed. 

That disaster has not already overtaken us furnishes no proof 
that danger does not wait upon a continuation of the present 
silver coinage. We have been saved by the most careful man- 
agement and unusual expedients, by a combination of fortunate 
conditions, and by a confident expectation that the course of 
the government in regard to silver coinage would be speedily 
changed by the action of Congress. 

Prosperity hesitates upon the threshold because of the dan- 
gers and uncertainties surrounding this question. Capital 
timidly shrinks from trade, and investors are unwilling to take 
the chance of the questionable shape in which their money will 
be returned to them, while enterprise halts at a risk against 
which care and sagacious management do not protect. 

As a necessary consequence labor lacks employment, and 
suffering and distress are visited upon a portion of our fellow- 
citizens especially entitled to the careful consideration of those 
charged with the duties of legislation. No interest appeals t" 
us so strongly for a safe and stable currency as the vast army 
of the unemployed. 

I recommend the suspension of the compulsory coinage of 
silver dollars, directed by the law passed in February, 1878. 


From the Second Annual Message to Congress, December 6, 1SS6. 

During the fiscal year ended June 30, 1SS6, there were 
coined, under the compulsory silver-coinage Act of 1878, 29,- 
838,905 silver dollars, and the cost of the silver used in such 
coinage was $23,448,960.01. There had been coined up to the 
(lose of the previous fiscal year, under the provisions of the 
law, 203,882,554 silver dollars, and on the 1st day of December, 
1886, the total amount of such coinage was $247,131,549. 

The Director of the Mint reports that at the time of the pas- 
sage of the law of 1878 directing this coinage, the intrinsic 
value of the dollars thus coined was ninety-four and one-fourth 
cents each, and that on the 31st day of July, 1886, the price of 
silver reached the lowest stage ever known, so that the intrinsic 
or bullion price of our standard silver dollar at that date was 
less than seventy-two cents. The price of silver on the 30th 
day of November last was such as to make these dollars intrin- 
sically worth seventy-eight cents each. 

These differences in value of the coins represent the fluctua- 
tions in the price of silver, and they certainly do not indicate 
that compulsory coinage by the government enhances the 
price of that commodity or secures uniformity in its value. 

Every fair and legal effort has been made by the Treasury 
1 >epartment to distribute this currency among the people. The; 
withdrawal of the United States Treasury notes of small de- 
nominations, and the issuing of small silver certificates, have 
been resorted to in the endeavor to accomplish this result, in 
obedience to the will and sentiments of the representatives of 
the people in the Congress. On the 27th day of November, 
1886, the people held of these coins, or certificates representing 
them, the nominal sum of $166,873,041, and we still had 
$79,464,345 in the Treasury, as against about $142,894,055 in 
the hands of the people, and $72,865,376 remaining in the 
Treasury one year ago. The Director of the Mint again 
urges the necessity of more vault room for the purpose of 

7 HE COINAGE OF sit. I /•. R, 373 

storing these silver dollars, which are nol needed for circulation 
by the people. 

J have seen no reason to change the views expressed in my 
last annual message on the subject of this compulsory coin- 
age ; and 1 again urge its suspension on all the grounds con- 
tained in my former recommendation, re-enforced by thesig- 
niftcant increase of our gold exportations during the last year. 
as appears by the comparative statement herewith presented, 
and for the further reasons that the more this currency is dis- 
tributed among the people the greater heroines our duty to 
protect it from disaster ; that we now have abundance for all 
our needs ; and that there seems but little propriety in build- 
ing vaults to stoie such currency when the Only pretense for 
its coinage is the necessity of its use by the people as a circu- 
lating medium. 


From Foiti tit Annual Message to Congress, December 3, iSSS. 

At the close of the fiscal year ended June 30, 1887, there 
had been coined under the compulsory silver-coinage \ct $266,- 
988,2.80 in silver dollars, $55,504,310 of which were in the 
hands of the people. 

On the 30th day of June, 1888, there had been coined X299,- 
708,790; and of this $55,829,303 was in circulation in coin, 
and $200,387,376 in silver certificates, for the redemption of 
which silver dollars to that amount were held by the govern- 

On the 30th day of November, 1888, $31 2,570,990 had been 
coined, $60,970,990 of the silver dollars were actually in circu- 
lation, and $237,418,346 in certificates. 

The Secretary recommends the suspension of the further 
coinage of silver, and in such recommendation 1 earm 


Letter to the Reform Club Meeting, February 10, 1891. 

E. Ellery Anderson, Chairman : 

Dear Sir : I have this afternoon received your note inviting 
me to attend to-morrow evening the meeting called for the 
purpose of voicing the opposition of the business men of our 
city to " the free coinage of silver in the United States." 

I shall not be able to attend and address the meeting as you 
request, but I am glad tluit the business interests of New York 
are at last to be heard on this subject. It surely cannot be 
necessary for me to make a formal expression of my agree- 
ment with those who believe that the greatest peril would be 
invited by the adoption of the scheme, embraced in the meas- 
ure now pending in Congress, for the unlimited coinage of 
silver at our mints. 

If we have developed an unexpected capacity for the assimi- 
lation of a largely increased volume of this currency, and even 
if we have demonstrated the usefulness of such an increase, 
these conditions fall far short of insuring us against disaster 
if, in the present situation, we enter upon the dangerous and 
reckless experiment of free, unlimited, and independent silver 

Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 



At the G. A. R. Banquet, in Buffalo, July 4. 1N84. 

I am almost inclined to complain because the sentiment to 
which I am requested to respond is not one which permits me to 
speak at length of the city which, for more than twenty-nine 
years, has bee'n my home. You bid me speak of the State, 
while everything that surrounds me, and all that has been 
done to-day, remind me of other things. 1 cannot fail to re- 
member most vividly, to-night, that exactly two years ago I 
felt that much of the responsibility of a certain celebration 
rested on my shoulders. I suppose there were others who did 
more than I to make the occasion a success, but I know that 1 
considered myself an important factor, and that when, after 
weeks of planning and preparation., the day came ami finally 
passed, I felt as much relieved as if the greatest effort of my 
life had been a complete success. 

On that day we laid the corner stone of the monument 
which has to-day been unveiled in token of its completion. 
We celebrated, too, the semi-centennial of our city's life. I 
was proud then to be its chief executive, and everything con- 
nected with its interests and prosperity was dear to me. 'To- 
night 1 am still proud to be a citizen of Buffalo, and my fellow- 
townsmen cannot, if they will, prevent the affection I feel for 
my city and its people. But my theme is a broader one, and 
one that stirs the heart of every citizen of the State. 

The State of New York, in all that is great, is easily the 
leader of all the States. Its history is tilled with glorious 



deeds, and its life is bound up with all that makes the nation 
great. From the first of ttie nation's existence our State has 
been the constant and generous contributor to its life and 
growth and vigor. 

But to the exclusion of every other thought to-night, there is 
one passage in the history of the State that crowds upon my 

There came a time when discord reached the family circle 
of States, threatening the nation's life. Can we forget how 
wildly New York sprang forward to protect and preserve 
what she had done so much to create and build up. Four 
hundred and fifty thousand men left her borders to stay the 
tide of destruction. 

During the bloody affray which followed, nearly fourteen 
thousand and live hundred of her sons were killed in battle or 
died of wounds. Their bones lie in every State where the 
war for the Union was waged. Add to these nearly seven- 
teen thousand and five hundred of her soldiers, who, within 
that sad time, died of disease, and then contemplate the 
pledges of New York's devotion to a united country, and the 
proofs of her faith in the supreme destiny of the sisterhood of 

And there returned to her thousands of her sons who fought 
and came home laden with the honors of patriotism, many of 
whom still survive, and, like the minstrels of old, tell us of 
heroic deeds and battles won which saved the nation's 

When our monument, which should commemorate the suf- 
ferings and death of their comrades, was begun, the veterans 
of New York were here. To-day they come again and view 
complete its fair proportions, which in the years to come shall 
be a token that the patriotic dead are not forgotten. 

The State of New York is rich in her soldier dead, and she 
is rich in her veterans of the war. Those who still survive, 
and the members of the Grand Army of the Republic, hold in 
trust for the State the blessed memories which connect her 


with her dead ; and these memories we know will be kept 
alive ami green. 

Long may the State have her veterans oi tin- war; and long 
may she hold them in grateful and chastened remembrance. 
Ami as often as her greatness ami her grandeur arc told, let 
these be called tin' chief jewels in her crown, 


From ///<■ First Annual Message t<> Congress^ December, 1SS5. 

While there is no expenditure of the public funds which the 
people more cheerfully approve than that made in recognition 

of the services of our soldiers, living and dead, the sentiment 
underlying the subject should not be vitiated by the introduc- 
tion of any fraudulent practices. Therefore, it is fully as im- 
portant that the rolls should be cleansed of all those who by 
fraud have secured a place thereon, as that meritorious claims 
should be speedily examined and adjusted. The reforms in 
the methods of doing the business of this bureau which have 
lately been inaugurate , promise better results in both these 


From the Veto of the Andrew J. White Pension />'///, 
May 8, 1886. 

The policy of frequently reversing, by special enactment, 
the decisions of the bureau invested by law with the examina- 
tion of pension claims, fully equipped for such examination, 
and which ought not to be suspected of any lack of liberality 
to our veteran soldiers, is exceedingly questionable. It may 
well be doubted if a committee of Congress has a better op- 
portunity than such an agency to judge of the merits of I 
claims. If, however, there is any lack of power in the Pension 


Bureau for a full investigation it should be supplied ; if the 
system adopted is inadequate to do full justice to claimants, it 
should be corrected ; and if there is a want of sympathy and 
consideration for the defenders of our government the bureau 
should be reorganized. 

The disposition to concede the most generous treatment to 
the disabled, aged, and needy among our veterans ought not 
to be restrained ; and it must be admitted that, in some cases, 
justice and equity cannot be done nor the charitable tenden- 
cies of the government in favor of worthy objects of its care 
indulged under fixed rules. These conditions sometimes 
justify a resort to special legislation ; but I am convinced 
that the interposition by special enactment in the granting of 
pensions should be rare and exceptional. In the nature of 
things, if this is lightly done and upon slight occasion, an invi- 
tation is offered for the presentation of claims to Congress, 
which, upon their merits, could not survive the test of an ex- 
amination by the Pension Bureau, and whose only hope of 
success depends upon sympathy, often misdirected, instead of 
right and justice. The instrumentality organized by law for 
the determination of pension claims is thus often overruled 
and discredited, and there is danger that in the end popular 
prejudice will be created against those who are worthily en- 
titled to the bounty of the government. 

There have lately been presented to me on the same day, 
for approval, nearly two hundred and forty special bills grant- 
ing and increasing pensions, and restoring to the pension list 
the names of parties which for cause have been dropped. To 
aid Executive duty they were referred to the Pension Bureau 
for examination and report. After a delay absolutely neces- 
sary they have been returned to me within a few hours of the 
limit constitutionally permitted for Executive action. Two 
hundred and thirty-two of these bills are thus classified : 

Eighty-one cover cases in which favorable action by the 
Pension Bureau was denied by reason of the insufficiency of 
the testimony filed to prove the facts alleged. 

TO SOLDIERS ' ORG /.\ //./ TIOl/S, 379 

These bills I have approved on the assumption that the 
claims were meritorious, and that by the passage of the bills 
the government has waived full proof of the tacts. 

Twenty-six of the bills cover claims rejected by the Pension 

bureau, because the evidence produced tended to prove that 
the alleged disability existed before the claimant's enlistment ; 
twenty-one cover claims which have been denied by such 
bureau, because the evidence tended to show that the dis- 
ability, though contracted in the service, was not incurred in 
the line of duty ; thirty-three cover claims which have been 
denied, because the evidence tended to establish that the dis- 
ability originated after the soldier's discharge from the army ; 
forty-seven cover claims which have been denied, because the 
general pension laws contain no provisions under which they 
could be allowed ; and twenty-four of the claims have never 
been presented to the Pension Bureau. 


From the Message Vetoing the Elizabeth S. De K rafft 
Pension />'///, June 21,1 886. 

I am so thoroughly tired of disapproving gifts of public 
money to individuals who, in my view, have no right or claim 
to the same, notwithstanding apparent Congressional sanction, 
that I. interpose, with a feeling of relief, a veto in a case where 
I find it unnecessary to determine the merits of the application. 
In speaking of the promiscuous and ill-advised grants of pen- 
sions which have lately been presented to me for approval, 
I have spoken of their " apparent Congressional sanction " in 
recognition of the fact that a large proportion of these bills 
have never been submitted to a majority of either branch of 
Congress, but are the results of nominal sessions held for the 
express purpose of their consideration and attended by a 
small minority of the members of the respective houses of the 
legislative branch of government. 


Thus, in considering these bills, I have not felt that I was 
aided by the deliberate judgment of the Congress ; and when 
I have deemed it my duty to disapprove many of the bills 
presented, I have hardly regarded my action as a dissent from 
the conclusions of the people's representatives. 

I have not been insensible to the suggestions which should 
influence every citizen, either in private station or official place, 
to exhibit not only a just but a generous appreciation of the 
services of our country's defenders. In reviewing the pension 
legislation presented to me, many bills have been approved 
upon the theory that every doubt should be resolved in favor 
of the proposed beneficiary. I have not, however, been able 
to divest myself entirely of the idea that the public money 
appropriated for pensions is the soldiers' fund, which should 
be devoted to the indemnification of those who, in the defense 
of the Union and in the nation's service, have worthily suffered, 
and who, in the day of their dependence, resulting from such 
suffering, are entitled to the benefaction of their government. 
This reflection lends to the bestowal of pensions a kind of 
sacredness which invites the adoption of such principles and 
regulations as will exclude perversion as well as insure a lib- 
eral and generous application of grateful and benevolent designs. 
Heedlessness and a disregard of the principle which underlies 
the granting of pensions are unfair to the wounded, crippled 
soldier, who is honored in the just recognition of his govern- 
ment. Such a man should never find himself side by side on 
the pension-roll with those who have been tempted to attribute 
the natural ills to which humanity is heir to service in the 
army. Every relaxation of principle in the granting of pen- 
sions invites applications without merit, and encourages those 
who, for gain, urge honest men to become dishonest. Thus is 
the demoralizing lesson taught the people that, as against the 
public Treasury, the most questionable expedients are allow- 


From the Message Vetoing the Francis Deming Pension />'///, 
July 5, i \ 

None nf us is entitled t" en dit fur extreme tenderness and 

v onsid< ration toward those who fought their country's battles ; 

are sentiments common to all good citizens; they lead 

to the most benevolent care mi the part of the government 

and deeds of charity and mercy in private life. The blatant 
and noisy self-assertion of those who, from motives thai may 
well be suspected, declai'e themselves above all others I'm nds 
of the soldier, cannot discredit or belittle the calm, steady, 
and affectionate regard of a grateful nation. 

An appropriation has just been passed settingapart seventy- 
six millions of dollars of the public money for distribution as 
pensions, under laws liberally constructed, with a view of m 
ing every meritorious case ; more than a million of dollars 
was added to maintain the Pension Bureau, which is charged 
with the duty of a fair, just, and liberal apportionment of this 

Legislation has been at the present session of Congress per- 
fected, considerably increasing the rate of pension in certain 
Appropriations have also been made of large sums for 
the support of national homes where sick, disabled, or needy 
soldiers are cared for ; and within a few days a liberal sum 
has been appropriated for the enlargement and increased ac- 
commodation and convenience of these institutions. 

All this is no more than should be done. 

But with all this, and with the hundreds of special acts which 
have been passed, granting pensions in cases \. my 

part, I am willing to confess that sympathy rather than judg- 
ment has often led to the discovery of a relation between injury 
or death and military service, I am constrained by a sense of 
public duty to interpose against establishing a principle and 
setting a precedent which must result in unregulated, partial, 


and unjust gifts of public money under the pretext of indem- 
nifying those who suffered in their means of support as an 
incident of military service. 


From the Second Annual Message, December, 1886. 

The American people, with a patriotic and grateful regard 
for our ex-soldiers — too broad and too sacred to be monop- 
olized by any special advocates — are not only willing but 
anxious that equal and exact justice should be done to all 
honest claimants for pensions. In their sight the friendless 
and destitute soldier, dependent on public charity, if otherwise 
entitled, has precisely the same right to share in the provision 
made for those who fought their country's battles as those 
better able, through friends and influence, to push their claims. 
Every pension that is granted under our present plan upon 
any other grounds than actual service and injury or disease 
incurred in such service, and every instance of the many in 
which pensions are increased on other grounds than the merits 
of the claim, work an injustice to the brave and crippled, but 
poor and friendless soldier, who is entirely neglected or who 

must be content with the smallest sum allowed under general 


There arc far too many neighborhoods in which are found 
glaring cases of inequality of treatment in the matter of pen- 
sions ; and they are largely due to a yielding in the Pension 
Bureau to importunity on the part of those, other than the 
pensioner, who are especially interested, or they arise from 
special acts passed for the benefit of individuals. 

The men who fought side by side should stand side by side 
when they participate in a grateful nation's kind remembrance. 

Every consideration of fairness and justice to our ex- 
soldiers, and the protection of the patriotic instinct of our cit- 
izens from perversion and violation, point to the adoption of a 


pension system, broad and comprehensive enough to covei 

every contingency, and which shall make unnecessary an 

objectionable volume of special legislation. 

As long as we adhere to the principle of granting pensions 
for service, and disability as the result of the servi< e, the 
allowance of pensions should be restricted to cases presenting 
these features. 

Every patriotic heart responds to a tender consideration for 
those who, having served their country long and well, are re- 
duced to destitution and dependence, not as an incident of 
their service, but with advancing age or through sickness or 
misfortune. We are all tempted by the contemplation of such 
a condition to supply relief, and are often impatient of the 
limitations of public duty. Yielding to no one in the desire 
to indulge this feeling of consideration, I cannot rid in 
of the conviction that if these ex-soldiers are to be relieved, 
they and their cause are entitled to the benefit of an enact- 
ment, under which relief may be claimed as a right, and that 
such relief should be granted under the sanction of law, not 
in evasion of it ; nor should such worthy objects of care, all 
equally entitled, be remitted to the unequal operation of sym- 
pathy, or the tender mercies of social and political influence 
with their unjust discriminations. 

The discharged soldiers and sailors of the country are our 
fellow-citizens, and interested with us in the passage and faith- 
ful execution of wholesome laws. They cannot be swerved 
from their duty of citizenship by artful appeals to their spirit 
of brotherhood, born of common peril and suffering, nor will 
they exact, as a test of devotion to their welfare, a willingness 
to neglect public duty in their behalf. 

384 ON pensions and 


Veto of the Dependent Pension Bill. 

To the House of Representatives : 

1 herewith return without my approval House Bill No. 
10,457, entitled " An act for the relief of dependent parents 
and honorably discharged soldiers and sailors who are now 
disabled and dependent upon their own labor for support." 

This is the first general bill that has been sanctioned by the 
Congress, since the close of the late Civil War, permitting a 
pension to the soldiers and sailors who served in that war upon 
the ground of service and present disability alone, and in the 
entire absence of any injuries received by the casualties Or 
incidents of such service. 

While by almost constant legislation since the close of this 
war there has been compensation awarded for every possible 
injury received as a result of military service in the Union 
Army, and while a great number of laws passed for that pur- 
pose have been administered with great liberality, and have 
been supplemented by numerous private acts to reach special 
cases, there has not, until now, been an avowed departure 
from the principle, thus far adhered to respecting Union 
soldiers, that the bounty of the government, in the way of 
pensions, is generally bestowed, when granted, on those who, in 
their military service and in the line of military duty, have, to 
a greater or less extent, been disabled. 

But it is a mistake to suppose that service pensions, such 
.is are permitted by the second section of the bill under con- 
sideration, are new to our legislation. In 1S1S, thirty-five 
years after the close of the Revolutionary war, they were 
granted to the soldiers engaged in that struggle, conditional 
upon service until the end of the war, or for a term not less 
than nine months, and requiring every beneficiary under the 
act to be one " who is, or hereafter by reason of his reduced 
circumstances in life shall be, in need of assistance from his 
country for support," Another law of a like character was 


passed in [828, requiring service until the close ol the Rev- 
olutionary war; and still another, passed in 1832, provided 
for those persons not included in the previous statute, but who 
served two years at some time during the war, and giving a 
proportionate sum to those who had served not less than six 

A service pension law was passed for the benefit of the 
soldiers of 1 Si 2 in the year 1S71 — fifty. six years after the 
close of that war — which required only sixty days' servi 
and another was passed in 1878 — sixty-three years after the 
war — requiring only fourteen days' service. 

'The service pension bill passed at this session of Congress, 
thirty-nine years after the close of the Mexican war, for the 
benefit of the soldiers of that war, requires either some degree 
of disability or dependency, or that the claimant under its 
provisions should be sixty-two years of age ; and in either 
case that he should have served sixty days or been actually 
engaged in a battle. 

It will be seen that the bill of 1S1S and the Mexican pen- 
sion bill, being thus passed nearer the close of the wars in 
which their beneficiaries were engaged than the others — one 
thirty-five years and the other thirty-nine years after the ter- 
mination of such wars — embraced persons who were quite ad- 
vanced in age, assumed to be comparatively few in number, 
and whose circumstances, dependence, and disabilities were 
clearly defined and could be quite easily fixed. 

The other laws referred to appear to have been passed at a 
time so remote from the military service of the persons which 
they embraced, that their extreme age alone was deemed to 
supply a presumption of dependency and need. 

The number of enlistments in the Revolutionary war is 
stated to be 309,791, and in the war of 1S12, 576,622; but it 
is estimated that, on account of repeated re-enlistments, the 
number of individuals engaged in these wars did not exceed 
one-half of the number represented by these figures. In the 
war with Mexico the number of enlistments is reported to be 


112,230, which represents a greater proportion of individuals 
engaged than the reported enlistments in the two previous 

The number of pensions granted under all laws to soldiers 
of the Revolution is given at 62,069 5 t0 soldiers of the war of 
1812 and their widows, 60,178; and to soldiers of the Mexican 
war and their widows, up to June 30, 1885, 7619. The latter 
pensions were granted to the soldiers of a war involving much 
hardship, for disabilities incurred as a result of such service ; 
and it was not till within the last month that the few remain- 
ing survivors were awarded a service pension. 

The war of the rebellion terminated nearly twenty-two 
years ago ; the number of men furnished for its prosecution is 
stated to be 2,772,408. No corresponding number of statutes 
have ever been passed to cover every kind of injury or disa- 
bility incurred in the military service of any war. Under 
these statutes 561,576 pensions have been granted from the 
year i86t to June 30, 1886, and more than 2600 pensioners 
have been added to the rolls by private acts passed to meet 
cases, many of them of questionable merit, which the general 
laws did not cover. 

On the 1st day of July, 1886, 365,763 pensioners of all 
classes were upon the pension rolls, of whom 305,605 were 
survivors of the war of the rebellion, and their widows and 
dependents. For the year ending June 30, 1887, $75,000,000 
have been appropriated for the payment of pensions, and the 
amount expended for that purpose from 1861 to July 1, 1886, 
is $808,624,811.51. 

While annually paying out such a vast sum for pensions 
already granted, it is now proposed, by the bill under consider- 
ation, to award a service pension to the soldiers of all wars in 
which the United States has been engaged, including, of 
course, the war of the rebellion, and to pay those entitled to 
the benefits of the act the sum of twelve dollars per month. 

So far as it relates to the soldiers of the late Civil War, the 
bounty it affords them is given thirteen years earlier than it 


has been furnished to the soldiers of any other war, and before 
a large majority of its beneficiaries have advanced in 
beyond the strength and vigor of the prime of life. 

It exacts a military or naval service of only three months, 
without any requirement or actual engagement with an enemy 
in battle, and without a subjection to any of the actual dangers 
of war. 

The pension it awards is allowed to enlisted men who have 
not suffered the least injury, disability, loss, or damage of any 
kind, incurred in or in any degree referable to their military 
service, including those who never reached the front at all, 
and those discharged from rendezvous at the close of the war, 
if discharged three months after enlistment. Under the last 
call of the President for troops, in December, 1864, 11,303 
men were furnished who were thus discharged. 

'The section allowing this pension does, however, require, 
besides a service of three months and an honorable discharge, 
that those seeking the benefit of the act shall he such as "are 
now or may hereafter be suffering from mental or physical 
disability, not the result of their own vicious habits or gross 
carelessness, which incapacitates them for the performance of 
labor in such a degree as to render them unable to earn a 
support, and who are dependent upon their daily labor for 

It provides further that such persons shall, upon making 
proof of the fact, "be placed on the list of invalid pensioners 
of the United States, and be entitled to receive, for such total 
inability to procure their subsistence by daily labor, twelve 
dollars per month ; and such pension shall commence from the 
date of the filing of the application in the Pension Office, 
upon proof that the disability then existed, and continue 
during the existence of the same in the degree herein provided ; 
provided that persons who are now receiving pensions under ex- 
isting laws, or whose claims are pending in the Tension ( ' 
may, by application to the Commissioner of Pensions, in such 
form as he may prescribe, receive the benefit of this act." 


It is manifestly of the utmost importance that statutes 
which, like pension laws, should be liberally administered as 
measures of benevolence in behalf of worthy beneficiaries 
should admit of no uncertainty as to their general objects and 

Upon a careful consideration of the language of the section 
of this bill above given, it seems to me to be so uncertain and 
liable to such conflicting constructions, and to be subject to 
such unjust and mischievous application, as to furnish alone 
sufficient ground for disapproving the proposed legislation. 

Persons seeking to obtain the pension provided by this 
section must be now or hereafter : 

1. "Suffering from mental or physical disability." 

2. Such disability must not be " the result of their own 
vicious habits or gross carelessness." 

3. Such disability must be such as " incapacitates them for 
the performance of labor in such a degree as to render them 
unable to earn a support." 

4. They must be " dependent upon their daily labor for 

5. Upon proof of these conditions they shall " be placed on 
the lists of invalid pensioners of the United Slates, and be 
entitled to receive, for such total inability to procure their 
subsistence by daily labor, twelve dollars per month." 

It is not probable that the words last quoted, " such total 
inability to procure their subsistence by daily labor," at all 
qualify the conditions prescribed in the preceding language of 
the section. The " total inability " spoken of must be " such" 
inability — that is, the inability already described and con- 
stituted by the conditions already detailed in the previous 
parts of the section. 

It thus becomes important to consider the meaning and the 
scope of these last mentioned conditions. 

The mental and physical disability spoken of has a distinct 
meaning in the practice of the Tension Bureau, and includes 
every impairment of bodily or mental strength and vigor. For 


such disabilities there arc now pan! one hundred and thirty- 
one different rates of pension, ranging from Si to $100 per 

This disability must not be the result of the applicant's 
"vicious habits or gross carelessness." Practically, this divi 
sion is not important. The attempt of the government to 
escape the payment of a pension, on such a plea, would, of 
course, in a very large majority of instances, and regardless ol 
the merits of the case, prove a failure. There would be that 
Strange but nearly universal willingness to help the individual 
as between him ami the public Treasury which goes very far 
to insure a state of proof in favor of the claimant. 

The disability of applicants must be such as to " incapaci- 
tate them for the performance of labor in such a degree as to 
render them unable to earn a support." 

It will be observed that there is no limitation or definition 
of the incapacitating injury or ailment itself. It need only be 
such a degree of disability from any cause as renders the 
claimant unable to earn a support by labor. It seems to me 
that the " support " here mentioned as one which cannot be 
earned, is a complete and entire support, with no diminution 
on account of the least impairment of physical or mental con- 
dition. If it had been intended to embrace only those who 
by disease or injury were totally unable to labor, it would have 
been very easy to express that idea, instead of recognizing, as 
is done, a " degree " of such inability. 

What is a support? Who is to determine whether a man 
earns it, or has it, or has it not ? Is the government to enter 
the homes of claimants for pension, and after an examination 
of their surroundings and circumstances settle those questions? 
Shall the government say to one man that his manner of sub- 
sistence by his earnings is a support, and to another that the 
things his earnings furnish are not a support ? Any attempt, 
however honest, to administer this law in such a manner would 
necessarily produce more unfairness and unjust discrimination 
and give more scope for partisan partiality, and would result 


in more perversion of the government's benevolent intentions, 
than the execution of any statute ought to permit. 

If, in the effort to carry out the proposed law, the degree of 
disability, as related to earnings, be considered for the purpose 
of discovering if in any way it curtails the support which the 
applicant if entirely sound would earn, and to which he is en- 
titled, we enter the broad field long occupied by the Pension 
Bureau, and we recognize as the only difference between the 
proposed legislation and previous laws passed for the benefit 
of the surviving soldiers of the civil war, the incurrence in one 
case of disabilities in military service, and in the other disa- 
bilities existing, but in no way connected with or resulting 
from such service. 

It must be borne in mind that in no case is there any grad- 
ing of this proposed pension. Under the operation of the rule 
first suggested, if there is a lack in any degree, great or small, 
of the ability to earn such a support as the government deter- 
mines the claimant should have, and by the application of the 
rule secondly suggested, if there is a reduction in any degree 
of the support which he might earn if sound, he is entitled to 
a pension of $12. 

In the latter case, and under the proviso of the proposed 
bill, permitting persons now receiving pensions to be admitted 
to the benefits of the act, I do not see how those now on the 
pension roll for disabilities incurred in the service, and which 
diminish their earning capacity, can be denied the pension 
provided in this bill. 

Of course none will apply who are now receiving $12 or 
more per month. But on the 30th day of June, 1886, there 
were on the pension rolls 202,621 persons who were receiving 
fifty-eight different rates of pension from $1 to $11.75 P er 
month. Of these, 28,142 were- receiving $2 per month; 63,116, 
,$4 per month ; 37,254, $6 per month ; and 50,274, whose dis- 
abilities were rated as total, $8 per month. 

As to the meaning of the section of the bill under considera- 
tion there appeals to have been quite a difference of opinion 


among its advocates in the Congress. The chairman of the 
Committee on Pensions in the House of Representatives who 
reported the bill, declared that there was in it no provision for 
pensioning anyone who has a less disability than a total ina- 
bility to labor, and that it was a charity measure. The chair- 
man of the Committee on Pensions in the Senate, having 
charge of the bill in that body, dissented from the construc- 
tion of the bill announced in the House of Representatives 
and declared that it not only embraced all soldiers totally dis- 
abled, but in his judgment all who are disabled to any consid- 
erable extent; and such a construction was substantially given 
to the bill by another distinguished Senator who, as a former 
Secretary of the Interior, had imposed upon him the duty of 
executing pension laws and determining their intent and 

Another condition, required of claimants under this act, is 
that they shall be " dependent upon their daily labor for suit- 

This language, which may be said to assume that there 
exists within the reach of the persons mentioned " labor," or 
the ability in some degree to work, is more aptly used in a 
statute describing those not wholly deprived of this ability, 
than in one which deals with those utterly unable to work. 

1 am of the opinion that it may fairly be contended that 
under the provisions of this section any soldier, whose facul- 
ties of mind or body have become impaired by accident, dis- 
ease, or age, irrespective of his service in the army as a cause, 
and who, by his labor only, is left incapable of gaining the fair 
support he might with unimpaired powers have provided for 
himself, and who is not so well endowed with this world's 
goods as to live without work, may claim to participate in its 
bounty ; that it is not required that he should be without 
property, but only that labor should be necessary to his sup- 
port in some degree ; nor is it required that he should he now- 
receiving support from others. 

Believing this to be the proper interpretation of the bill. I 


cannot but remember that the soldiers of our Civil War, in their 
pay and bounty, received such compensation for military serv- 
ice as had never been received by soldiers before, since man- 
kind fust went to war ; that never before, on behalf of any 
soldiery, have so many and such generous laws been passed to 
relieve against the incidents of war ; that statutes have been 
passed giving them a preference in all public employments ; 
that the really needy and homeless Union soldiers of the 
rebellion have been, to a large extent, provided for at soldiers' 
homes, instituted and supported by the government, where 
they are maintained together, free from the sense of degrada- 
tion which attaches to the usual support of charity ; and that 
never before in the history of the country has it been proposed 
to render government aid toward the support of any of its 
soldiers based alone upon a military service so recent, and 
where age and circumstances appeared so little to demand 
such aid. 

Hitherto such relief has been granted to surviving soldiers 
few in number, venerable in age, after a long lapse of time 
since their military service, and as a parting benefaction 
tendered by a grateful people. 

I cannot believe that the vast peaceful army of Union 
soldiers, who, having contentedly resumed their places in the 
ordinary avocations of life, cherish as sacred the memory of 
patriotic service, or who, having been disabled by the casualties 
of war, justly regard the present pension-roll, on which appear 
their names, as a roll of honor, desire, at this time and in the 
present exigency, to be confounded with those who, through 
such a bill as this, are willing to be objects of simple charity 
and to gain a place upon the pension roll through alleged 

Recent personal observation and experience constrain me 
to refer to another result which will inevitably follow the 
passage of this bill. It is sad, but nevertheless true, that 
already in the matter of procuring pensions there exists a 
widespread disregard of truth and good faith, stimulated by 


those who as agents undertake to establish claims for pensions, 
heedlessly entered upon by tin. - expectant beneficiary, and 
encouraged or at least not condemned by those unwilling to 
obstruct a neighbor's plans. 

In the execution of this proposed law, under any interpreta- 
tion, a wide field of inquiry would be opened for the establish- 
ment of facts largely within the knowledge of the claimants 
alone ; and there can be no doubt that the race after the pen- 
sions offered by this bill would not only stimulate weakness 
and pretended incapacity for labor, but put a further premium 
on dishonesty and mendacity. 

The effect of new invitations to apply for pensions, or of 
new advantages added to causes for pensions already existing, 
is sometimes startling. 

Thus in March, 1879, large arrearages of pensions were 
allowed to be added to all claims filed prior to July 1, 1880. 
For the year from July 1, 1S79, to July 1, 1880, there wen- 
filed 110,673 claims, though in the year immediately previous 
there were but 36,832 filed, and in the year following but 


While cost should not be set against a patriotic duty or the 
recognition of a right, still, when a measure proposed is based 
upon generosity or motives of charity, it is not amiss to meditate 
somewhat upon the expense which it involves. Experience 
has demonstrated, I believe, that all estimates concerning the 
probable future cost of a pension list are uncertain and un- 
reliable, and always fall far below actual realization. 

The chairman of the House Committee on Pensions calcu- 
lates that the number of pensioners under this bill would be 
33,105. and the increased cost $4,767,120; this is upon the 
theory that only those wdio are entirely unable to work would 
be its beneficiaries. Such was the principle of the Revolu- 
tionary pension law of 1818, much more clearly stated, it 
seems to me, than in this bill. When the law of 1818 was up- 
on its passage in Congress the number of pensioners to be 
benefited thereby was thought to be 374 ; but the number of 


applicants under the act was 22,297, and the number of pen- 
sions actually allowed 20,485, costing, it is reported, for the 
first year, $1,847,900, instead of $40,000, the estimated expense 
for that period. 

A law was passed in 1853 for the benefit of the surviving 
widows of Revolutionary soldiers who were married after 
January 1, 1800. It was estimated that they numbered 300 at 
the time of the passage of the act ; but the number of pensions 
allowed was 3742, and the amount paid for such pensions, 
during the first year of the operation of the act, was $180,000 
instead of $24,000, as had been estimated. 

I have made no search for other illustrations, and the above, 
being at»hand, are given as tending to show that estimates can- 
not be relied upon in such cases. 

If none should be pensioned under this bill except those 
utterly unable to work, I am satisfied that the cost stated in 
the estimate referred to would be many times multiplied, and 
with a constant increase from year to year ; and if those 
partially unable to earn their support should be admitted to 
the privileges of this bill, the probable increase of expense 
would be almost appalling. 

I think it may be said that at the close of the War of the 
Rebellion, every Northern State and a great majority of North- 
ern counties and cities were burdened with taxation on 
account of the large bounties paid our soldiers ; and the 
bonded debt, thereby created, still constitutes a large item in 
the account of the tax-gatherer against the people. Federal 
taxation, no less borne by the people than that directly levied 
upon their property, is still maintained at the rate made nec- 
essary by the exigencies of war. If this bill should become a 
law, with its tremendous addition to our pension obligation, I 
am thoroughly convinced that further efforts to reduce the 
federal revenue and restore some part of it to our people, will 
and perhaps should be seriously questioned. 

It has constantly been a cause of pride and congratulation 


to the American citizen that his country is not put to the 
charge of maintaining a large standing army in time of peat i 
Yet we are now living under a war tax which has been tolerated 
in peaceful times to meetthe obligations incurred in war. But 

for years past, in all parts of the country, the demand for the 
reduction of the burdens of taxation upon our labor and pro- 
duction has increased in volume and urgency. 

I am not willing to approve a measure presenting the objec 
tions to which this bill is subject, and which, moreover, will 
have the effect of disappointing the expectation of the people 
an 1 their desire and hope for relief from war taxation in time 
of peace. 

In my last annual message the following language was 
used : 

Every patriotic heart responds to a tender consideration for those who, 
having served their country long and well, are reduced to destitution and 
dependence, not as an incident of their service, but with advancing age or 
through sickness or misfortune. We are all tempted by the contemplation of 
such a condition to supply relief, and are often impatient of the limitation of 
public duty. Yielding to no one in the desire to indulge this feeling of con- 
sideration, I cannot rid myself of the conviction that if these ex-soldiers are 
to be relieved, they and their cause are entitled to the benefit of an < n 
ment, under which relief may be claimed as a right, and that such relief 
should be granted under the sanction of law, not in evasion of it ; nor should 
such worthy objects of care, all equally entitled, be remitted to the urn 
operation of sympathy, or the tender mercies of social and political influent 
with their unjust discriminations. 

1 do not think that the objects, the conditions, and the 
limitations thus suggested are contained in the bill under 

I adhere to the sentiments thus heretofore expressed, but 
the evil threatened by this bill is, in my opinion, such that, 
charged with a great responsibility in behalf of the people, I 
cannot do otherwise than to bring to the consideration of this 
measure my best efforts of thought and judgment, and perform 


my constitutional duty in relation thereto, regardless of all 
consequences, except such as appear to me to be related to the 
best and highest interests of the country. 

Grover Cleveland. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February n, 18S7. 


From the Message Vetoing the Loren Burritt Pension Bill, 
February 21, 1887. 

This bill was reported upon adversely by the House Com- 
mittee on Pensions ; and they, while fully acknowledging the 
distressing circumstances surrounding the case, felt constrained 
to adverse action, on the ground, as stated in the language of 
their report, that " there are many cases just as helpless and 
requiring as much attention as this one, and were the relief 
asked for granted in this instance it might reasonably be 
looked for in all." 

No man can check, if he would, the feeling of sympathy and 
pity aroused by fhe contemplation of utter helplessness as the 
result of patriotic and faithful military service. But in the 
midst of all this, I cannot put out of mind the soldiers in this 
condition who were privates in the ranks, who sustained the 
utmost hardships of war, but who, because they were privates, 
and in the humble walks of life, are not so apt to share in 
special favors of Congressional action. 1 find no reason why 
this beneficiary should be singled out from his class, except it 
be that he was a lieutenant-colonel instead of a private. 

I am aware of a precedent for the legislation proposed, 
which is furnished by an enactment of the last session of Con- 
gress, to which I assented, as I think improvidently; but I am 
certain that exact equality and fairness in the treatment of our 
veterans is after all more just, beneficent, and useful than un- 
fair discrimination in favor of officers, or the special benefit, 
horn of sympathy, in individual cases. 



Letter to the Reunion of Union ami ex-Confederate Soldiers held 
at Gettysburg^ July 2, 1887. 

Execi rivE Mansion, 
Washington, I une 24, 18 

My Dear Sir : 

1 have received your invitation to attend, as a guest of the 
Philadelphia Brigade, a reunion of ex-Confederate soldiers ol 
l'ickctt's Division who survived their terrible charge al Get- 
tysburg, and those of the Union Army still living, by whom it 
was heroically resisted. 

The fraternal meeting of these soldiers upon the battlefield 
where twenty-four years ago, in deadly affray, they fiercely 
sought each other's lives, where they saw their comrades fall, 
and where all their thoughts were of vengeance and destruc- 
tion, will illustrate the generous impulse of brave men and 
their honest desire for peace and reconciliation. 

The friendly assault there to be made will be resistless, 
because inspired by American chivalry; and its results will be 
glorious, because conquered hearts will be its trophies of 
success. Thereafter this battlefield will be consecrated by a 
victory which shall presage the end of the bitterness of strife, 
the exposure of the insincerity which conceals hatred by pro- 
fessions of kindness, the condemnation of frenzied appeals to 
passion for unworthy purposes, and the beating down of all 
that stands in the way of the destiny of our united country. 

While those who fought, and who have so much to forgive, 
lead in the pleasant ways of peace, how wicked appear the 
traffic in sectional hate and the betrayal of patriotic senti- 
ment ! 

It surely cannot be wrong to desire the settled quiet which 
lights for our entire country the path to prosperity and great- 
ness; nor need the lessons of the war be forgotten and its 
results jeopardized in the wish for that genuine fraternity 
which insures national pride and glory, 


I should be very glad to accept your invitation and be with 
you at that interesting reunion, but other arrangements already 
made and my official duties here will prevent my doing so. 

Hoping that the occasion will be as successful and useful as 
its promoters can desire, 

I am, yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 
Mr. John \V. Frazier, Secretary, etc. 

Letter to the Mayor of St. Louis, Mo. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, July 4, 1S87. 
Hon. David R. Francis, Mayor and Chairman. 

My Dear Sir : When 1 received the extremely cordial and 
gratifying invitation from the citizens of St. Louis, tendered 
by a number of her representative men. to visit that city during 
the national encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic, 
I had been contemplating for some time the acceptance of an 
invitation from that organization to the same effect, and had 
considered the pleasure which it would afford me, if it should 
be possible, to meet not only members of the Grand Army, but 
the people of St. Louis, and other cities in the West, which the 
occasion woidd give me an opportunity to visit. The exac- 
tions of my public duties 1 felt to be so uncertain, however, 
that, when first confronted by the delegation of which you 
were the head, I expected to do no more at that time than to 
promise the consideration of the double invitation tendered 
me, and express the pleasure it would give me to accept the 
same thereafter, if possible. But the cordiality and sincerity 
of your presentation, reinforced by the heartiness of the good 
people who surrounded you,. so impressed me that I could not 
resist the feeling which prompted me to assure you on the 
spot that 1 would be with you and the Grand Army of the 


Republic at the time designated, it nothing happened in the 
meantime absolutely to prevent my leaving Washington. 

Immediately upon the public announcement of this conclu- 
sion, expressions emanating from certain important members 
of the Grand Army of the Republic, and increasing in volume 
and virulence, constrained me to review my acceptance of 
i hese invitations. 

The expressions referred to go to the extent of declaring 
thai I would be an unwelcome guest at the tune and place of 
the national encampment. This statement is based, as well as 
I i an judge, upon certain official acts of mine, involving im- 
portant public interests, done under the restraints and obliga- 
tions of my oath of office, which do not appear to accord with 
the wishes of some members of the Grand Army of the Re- 

1 refuse to believe that this organization, founded upon 
patriotic ideas, composed very largely of men entitled to lasting 
honor and consideration, and whose crowning glory it should 
be that they are American citizens as well as veteran soldiers, 
deems it a part of its mission to compass any object or pur- 
pose by attempting to intimidate the Executive or coerce those 
charged with making and executing the laws. And yet the 
expressions to which I have referred indicate such a preva- 
lence of unfriendly feeling and such a menace to an occasion 
which should be harmonious, peaceful, and cordial, that they 
cannot be ignored. 

1 beg you to understand that I am not conscious of any act 
of mine which should make me fear to meet the Grand Army 
of the Republic, or any other assemblage of my fellow-citizens. 
The account of my official stewardship is always ready for 
presentation to my countrymen. 

I should not be frank if I failed to confess, while disclaiming 
all resentment, that I have been hurt by the unworthy and 
wantor. attacks upon me growing out of this matter, and the 
reckless manner in which my actions and motives have been 
misrepresented both publicly and privately, for which, how- 


ever, the Grand Army of the Republic, as a body, is by no 
means responsible. 

The threats of personal violence and harm, in case I under- 
took the trip in question, which scores of misguided, unbal- 
anced men under the stimulation of excited feeling have made, 
are not even considered. 

Rather than abandon my visit to the West and disappoint 
your citizens, I might, if I alone were concerned, submit to 
the insults to which, it is quite openly asserted, I would be 
helplessly subjected if present at the encampment ; but 1 
should bear with me there the people's highest office, the 
dignity of which I must protect ; and I believe that neither 
the Grand Army of the Republic as an organization, nor any- 
thing like a majority of its members, would ever encourage 
any scandalous attacks upon it. 

If, however, among the membership of this body there are 
some, as certainly seems to be the case, determined to de- 
nounce me and my official acts at the national encampment, I 
believe they should be permitted to do so, unrestrained by my 
presence as a guest of their organization, or as a guest of the 
hospitable city in which their meeting is held. 

A number of Grand Army posts have signified their inten- 
tion, I am informed, to remain away from the encampment in 
case I visit the city at that time. Without considering the 
merits of such an excuse, I feel that I ought not to be the 
cause of such non-attendance. The time and place of the en- 
campment were fixed long before my invitations were received. 
Those desiring to participate in its proceedings should be first 
regarded, and nothing should be permitted to interfere with 
their intentions. 

Another consideration of more importance than all others 
remains to be noticed. The fact was referred to by you when 
you verbally presented the invitation of the citizens of St. 
Louis, that the coming encampment of the Grand Army of the 
Republic would be the first held in a Southern State. I sup- 
pose this fact was mentioned as a pleasing indication of the 



fraternal feeling fast gaining ground throughout the entire 
land and hailed by every patriotic citizen as an earnest that 
the Union has really and in fact been saved in sentiment and 
in spirit, with all the benefits it vouchsafes t<> a united people. 

1 cannot rid myself of the belief that the least discord on 
this propitious occasion might retard t he progress of the senti- 
ment of the common brotherhood which the Grand Army of 

the Republic has so good an opportunity to increase and 
foster. I certainly ought not to be the cause of such discord 
in any event or upon any pretext. 

It seems to me that you and the citizens of St. Louis are 
entitled to this unreserved statement of the conditions which 
have constrained me to forego my contemplated visit, and to 
withdraw my acceptance of your invitation. My present e in 
your city, at the time you have indicated, can be of but little 
moment compared with the importance of a cordial and har- 
monious entertainment of your other guests. 

I assure you that I abandon my plan without the least per- 
sonal feeling, except regret, constrained thereto by a sense of 
duty, actuated by a desire to save any embarrassment to the 
people of St. Louis or their expected guests, and with a 
heart full of grateful appreciation of the sincere and unaffected 
kindness of your citizens. 

Hoping the encampment may be an occasion of much use- 
fulness, and that its proceedings may illustrate the highest 
patriotism of American citizenship, 
I am, 

Yours very sincerely, 

Grover Cleveland. 


From the Message Vetoing the Mary Ann Dougherty Pension 
Bill, July 5, [888. 

I cannot spell out any principle upon which the bounty o\ 
the government is bestowed through the instrumentality 


the flood of private pension bills that reach me. The theory 
seems to have been adopted that no man who served in the 
army can be the subject of death or impaired health except 
they are chargeable to his service. Medical theories are set 
at naught and the most startling relation is claimed between 
alleged incidents of military service and disability or death. 
Fatal apoplexy is admitted as the result of quite insignificant 
wounds, heart disease is attributed to chronic diarrhea, con- 
sumption to hernia, and suicide is traced to army service in a 
wonderfully devious and curious way. 

Adjudications of the Pension Bureau are overruled in the 
most peremptory fashion by the special acts of Congress, since 
nearly all the beneficiaries named in these bills have unsuccess- 
fully applied to that Bureau for relief. 

This course of special legislation operates very unfairly. 

Those with certain influence or friends to push their claims 
procure pensions, and those who have neither friends nor in- 
fluence must be content with their fate under general laws. 
It operates unfairly by increasing, in numerous instances, the 
pensions of those already on the rolls, while many other more 
deserving cases, from the lack of fortunate advocacy, are 
obliged to be content with the sum provided by general laws. 

The apprehension may well be entertained that the freedom 
with which these private pension bills are passed furnishes an 
inducement to fraud and imposition, while it certainly teaches 
the vicious lesson to our people that the treasury of the Na- 
tional Government invites the approach of private need. 

None of us should be in the least wanting in regard for the 
veteran soldier, and 1 will yield to no man in a desire to see 
those who defended the government when it needed defenders 
liberally treated. Unfriendliness to our veterans is a charge 
easily and sometimes dishonestly made. 

I insist that the true soldier is a good citizen, and that he 
will be satisfied with generous, fair, and equal consideration 
for those who are worthily entitled to help. 

f have considered the pension list of the Republic a roll of 


honor, bearing names inscribed by national gratitude, and not 
l>v improvident and indiscriminate alms-giving. 

L have conceived the prevention of the complete discredit 
which must ensue from the unreasonable, unfair, and ret kless 
granting of pensions by special acts to be the best servici I 
can render our veterans. 

In the discharge of what has seemed to me my duty as related 
to legislation and in the interests of all the veterans of the 
Union Army, I have attempted to stem the tide of improvi- 
dent pension enactments, though 1 ('unless to a full share of 
responsibility for some of these laws that should u<>t have been 

1 am far from denying that there are cases of merit which 
cannot be reached except by special enactment ; but I do not 
believe there isa member of either House of Congress who will 
not admit that this kind of legislation has been carried too far. 

I have now before me more than one hundred special pen- 
sion bills which can hardly be examined within the time allowed 
for that purpose. 

My aim has been at all, in dealing with bills of this 
character, to give the applicant for a pension the benefit ol 
any doubt that might arise and which balanced the propriety 
of granting a pension, if there seemed any just foundation for 
the application ; but when it seemed entirely outside of every 
rule, in its nature or the proof supporting it, I have supposed 
I only did my duty in interposing an objection. 

It seems to me that it would be we'll if our general pension 
laws should be revised with a view of meeting every meritor- 
ious case that can arise. Our experience and knowledge ol 
any existing deficiencies ought to make the enactment of a 
complete pension code possible. In the absence of such a 
revision, and if pensions are to be granted upon equitable 
grounds and without regard to general laws, the present 
methods would be greatly improved by the establishment of 
some tribunal to examine the facts in every case and determine 
upon the merits of the application, 



From the Message Vetoing tlie Theresa Herbst Pension Bill, 
July 17, 188S. 

John Herbst, the husband of the beneficiary named in this 
bill, enlisted August 26, 1S62. He was wounded in the 
head at the battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863. He re- 
covered from this wound, and on the 19th day of August, 
1864, was captured by the enemy. After his capture he 
joined the Confederate forces, and in 1865 was captured by 
General Stoneman, while in arms against the United States 
Government. He was imprisoned and voluntarily made known 
the fact that he formerly belonged to the Union Army. Upon 
taking the oath of allegiance and explaining that he deserted 
to the enemy to escape the hardship and starvation of prison 
life, he was released and mustered out of the service on the 
nth day of October, 1865. 

He was regularly borne on the Confederate muster-rolls for 
probably nine or ten months. No record is furnished of the 
number of battles in which he fought against the soldiers of 
the Union, and we shall never know the death and the wounds 
which he inflicted upon his former comrades in arms. lie 
never applied for a pension, though it is claimed now that at 
the time of his discharge he was suffering from rheumatism 
and dropsy, and that he died in 1868 of heart disease. If such 
disabilities were incurred in military service they were likely 
the result of exposure in the Confederate Army ; hut it is not 
improbable that this soldier never asked a pension because he 
considered that the generosity of his government had been 
sufficiently taxed when the full forfeit of his desertion was not 

The greatest possible sympathy and consideration are due 
to those who bravely fought, and, being captured, as bravely 
languished in rebel prisons. But I will take no part in putting 
a name upon our pension-roll which represents a Union soldier 
found fighting against a cause he swore he would uphold; 


nor should it be for a momenl admitted that such desertion 

and treachery arc excused when tlu-y avoid the rigors of 
honorable capture and confinement. It would have been a 
sail condition of affairs if every captured Union soldier had 
deemed himself justified in fighting against his government 

rather than to undergo the privations of capture. 


From the Fourth Annual Message to Congress, 
December, 1S8S. 

I am thoroughly convinced that our general pension laws 
should be revised and adjusted to meet, as far as possible in 
the light of our experience, all meritorious cases. The fact 
that one hundred and two different rates of pensions are paid 
cannot, in my opinion, be made consistent with justice to the 
pensioners or to the government ; and the numerous private 
pension bills that are passed, predicated upon the imperfection 
of general laws, while they increase in many cases existing 
inequality and injustice, lend additional force to the recom- 
mendation for a revision of the general laws on this subject. 

The laxity of ideas prevailing among a large number of our 
people regarding pensions is becoming every day more marked. 
The principles upon which they should be granted are in 
danger of being altogether ignored, and already pensions are 
often claimed because the applicants are as much entitled as 
other successful applicants, rather than upon any disability 
reasonably attributable to military service. If the establish- 
ment of vicious precedents be continued, if the granting of 
pensions be not divorced from partisan and other unworthy 
and irrelevant considerations, and if the honorable nan 
veteran unfairly becomes by these means but another term 
for one who constantly clamors lor the aid of the ( rovernment, 
there is danger thai injury will bi to the fame and 


patriotism of many whom our citizens all delight to honor, 
and that a prejudice will be aroused unjust to meritorious 
applicants for pensions. 


To a Pennsylvania Grand Army Post. 

New York, October 24, 1889. 
E. W. Fosnot, Esq. 

Dear Sir : Applications such as you make in your letter of 
the 22d instant are so numerous that it is impossible to comply 
with them all. You ask that Mrs. Cleveland or I shall contribute 
something to be " voted off " at the coming fair to be held by 
Post 176, of the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of 
Pennsylvania, and you state that the purpose of the fair is to in- 
crease the charity fund of the Post. 

I do not know what your idea is as to the thing which we 
should send, and do not care to assume that anything which 
we might contribute to be *' voted off " would be of especial 
value to the cause for which the fair is to be held. But it is so 
refreshing, in these days when the good that is in the Grand 
Army of the Republic is often prostituted to the worst pur- 
poses, to know that at least one Post proposes, by its efforts, 
to increase its efficiency as a charitable institution, that I 
gladly send a small money contribution in aid of this object. 

No one can deny that the Grand Army of the Republic has 
been played upon by demagogues for partisan purposes, and 
has yielded to insidious blandishments to such an extent that 
it is regarded by many good citizens, whose patriotism and 
fairness cannot be questioned, as an organization which has 
wandered a long way from its avowed design. Whether this 
idea is absolutely correct or not, such a sentiment not only 
exists, but will grow and spread, unless within the organization, 


something is done to prove thai its objects arc not partisan, 
unjust and selfish. 

In this country, where the success (if our form of govern- 
ment depends upon the patriotism of all our people, the best 
soldier should be the best citizen. 

Yours very truly, 




From the First Annual Message to Congress, December, 1885. 

It is useless to dilate upon the wrongs of the Indians, and as 
useless to indulge in the heartless belief that, because their 
wrongs are revenged in their own atrocious manner, therefore 
they should be exterminated. They are within the care of our 
government, and their rights are, or should be, protected from 
invasion by the most solemn obligations. They are properly 
enough called the wards of the government; and it should be 
borne in mind that this guardianship involves, on our part, 
efforts for the improvement of their condition and the enforce- 
ment of their rights. There seems to be general concurrence 
in the proposition that the ultimate object of their treatment 
should be their civilization and citizenship. Fitted by these 
to keep pace in the march of progress with the advanced civil- 
ization about them, they will readily assimilate with the mass 
of our population, assuming the responsibilities and receiving 
the protection incident to this condition. The difficulty 
appears to be in the selection of the means to be at present 
employed toward the attainment of this result. 

Our Indian population, exclusive of that in Alaska, is 
reported as numbering 260,000, nearly all being located on 
lands set apart for their use and occupation, aggregating over 
1 }4, 000, 000 of acres. These lands are included in the boun- 
daries of 171 reservations of different dimensions, scattered in 
twenty-one States and Territories, presenting great variations 
in climate and in the kind and quality of their soils. Among 

77//: /v/>/ i.Y PROBLEM. 4°9 

tlir Indians upon these several reservations th the si 

marked differences in natural traits and disposition and in 
their progress toward civilization. While some arc lazy, 
vicious, and stupid, others are industrious, peaceful, and 
intelligent; while a portion of them are self-supporting and 
independent, and have so far advanced in civilization thai th.\ 
make their own laws, administered through offi< ers of their 
ow n choice, ami educate their ( hildren in schools of their own 
establishment and maintenance, others still retain, in squalor 
ami dependence, almost the savagery of their natural state. 

In dealing with this question the desires manifested bj the 
Indians shotild not be ignored. Here, again, we find a great 
diversity. With some the tribal relation is cherished with the 
utmost tenacity, while its hold upon others is considerably 
relaxed; the love of home is strong with all, and yet there are 
those whose attachment to a particular locality is by no means 
unyielding; the ownership of their lands in severalty is much 
desired by some, while by others, and sometimes among the 
most civilized, such a distribution would be bitterly opposed. 

The variation of their wants, growing out of and < onne< led 
with the chara< ter of their several locations, should be 
regarded. Some' are upon reservations most lit for grazing, 
but without llocks or herds; and some, on arable land, have 
no agricultural implements; while some of the reservations are 
double the size necessary to maintain the number of Indians 
now upon them; in a \cw cases, perhaps, they should la- 

Add to all this the difference in the administration of the 
agencies. While the same duties are devolved upon all, the 
disposition of the agents, and the manner of their contact u ith 
die Indians, have mm h to do w ith their condition and welfare. 
The agent who perfunctorily performs his duty and sloth) ullv 
neglects all opportunity to advance their moral and physical 
improvement, and fails to inspire them with a desire for better 
things, will accomplish nothing in the dire< tion of their < ivili- 
zation, while he who feel S the burden of an important trust, 


and has an interest in his work, will, by consistent example, 
firm, yet considerate treatment, and well-directed aid and 
encouragement, constantly lead those under his charge toward 
the light of their enfranchisement. 

The history of all the progress which has been made in the 
civilization of the Indian, I think will disclose the fact that the 
beginning has been religious teaching, followed by or accom- 
panying secular education. While the self-sacrificing and 
pious men and women who have aided in this good work, by 
their independent endeavor, have for their reward the benefi- 
cent results of their labor and the consciousness of Christian 
duty well performed, their valuable services should be fully 
acknowledged by all who, under the law, are charged with the 
control and management of our Indian wards. 

What has been said indicates that, in the present condition of 
the Indians, no attempt should be made to apply a fixed and 
unyielding plan of action to their varied and varying needs 
and circumstances. 

The Indian Bureau, burdened as it is with their general 
oversight and with the details of the establishment, can hardly 
possess itself of the minute phases of the particular cases need- 
ing treatment; and thus the propriety of creating an instru- 
mentality auxiliary to those already established for the care of 
the Indians suggests itself. 

I recommend the passage of a law authorizing the appoint- 
ment of six commissioners, three of whom shall be detailed 
from the Army, to be charged with the duty of a careful 
inspection from time to time of all the Indians upon our reser- 
vations or subject to the care and control of the government, 
with a view of discovering their exact condition and needs, 
and determining what steps shall be taken on behalf of the 
government to improve their situation in the direction of their 
self-support and complete civilization; that they ascertain from 
such inspection what, if any, of the reservations may be 
reduced in area, and in such cases what part, not needed for 
Indian occupation, may be purchased by the government from 

THE Ixni.l.X PROBLEM. I > ' 

the Indians, and disposed of for their benefit; what, it any, 
Indians may, with their consent, be removed to other reserva- 
tions, with a view <>t" their concentration and the sale <>n theii 
behalf of their abandoned reservations; what Indian lands now 
held in common should be allotted in severalty; in what man- 
ner and to whal extent the Indians upon the reservations can 
be placed under the protection of our law-, and subjected to 
their penalties; and which, if any, Indians should he invested 
with the righl of citizenship. The powers and functions of the 
commissioner.-, in regard to these subjects should lie clearly 
defined, though they should, in conjunction with tin- Secre- 
tary of the Interior, lie given all the authority to deal defi- 
nitely with the questions presented, deemed safe and consis- 

They should be also charged with the duty of ascertaining 
the Indians who might properly be furnished with implements 
of agriculture, and of what kind; in what cases the support of 
the government should be withdrawn; where the present plan 
of distributing Indian supplies should be changed; where 
schools may be established and where discontinued; the con- 
duct, methods, and fitness of agents in charge of reservations; 
the extent to which such reservations are occupied or intruded 
upon by unauthorized persons; and generally all matters re- 
lated to the welfare and improvement of the Indian. 

They should advise with the Secretary of the Interior con- 
cerning these matters of detail in management, and he should 
be given power to deal with them fully, if he is not now 
invested with such power. 

This plan contemplates the selection of persons for commis- 
sioners who are interested in tin- Indian question, and who 
have practical ideas upon the subject of their treatment. 

The expense of the Indian Bureau during the last fiscal year 
was more than $6,500,000. I believe much of this expendi- 
ture might besaved under the plan proposed; that uneconom- 
ical effects would be increased with its continuance; that the 
safety of our frontier settlers would be subserved under its 


operation, and that the nation would be saved through its 
results from the imputation of inhumanity, injustice, and mis- 

From the Second Annual Message ; December, 1886. 

r I die present system of agencies, while absolutely necessary 
and well adapted for the management of our Indian affairs and 
for the ends in view when it was adopted, is, in the present 
stage of Indian management, inadequate, standing alone, for 
the accomplishment of an object which has become pressing 
in its importance — the more rapid transition from tribal organ- 
izations to citizenship of such portions of the Indians as are 
capable of civilized life. 

When tlie existing system was adopted the Indian race was 
outside of the limits of organized States and Territories, and 
beyond the immediate reach and operation of civilization; and 
all efforts were mainly directed to the maintenance of friendly 
relations and the preservation of peace and quiet on the fron- 
tier. All this is now changed. There is no such thing as the 
Indian frontier. Civilization, with the busy hum of industry 
and the influences of Christianity, surrounds these people at 
every point. None of the tribes is outside of the bounds of 
organized government and society, except that the territorial 
system has not been extended over that portion of the country 
known as the Indian Territory. As a race the Indians are no 
longer hostile, hut may be considered as submissive to the con- 
trol of the government; few of them only are troublesome. 
Except the fragments of several bands, all are now gathered 
upon reservations. 

It is no longer possible for them to subsist by the chase and 
the spontaneous productions of the earth. With an abundance 
of land, if furnished with the means and implements for profit- 
able husbandry, their life of entire dependence upon govern- 


menl rations from day to day is no longei defensible. Theii 
inclination, long fostered by a defective system ol control, is 
to i ling i" the habil i and customs of their ancestors and strug- 
gle with persistence against the change of life which their 
altered circumstances press upon them. But barbarism and 
civilization cannot live together. It is impossible that such 
incongruous conditions should coexisl on the same soil. 

They are a portion of our people, are under the authorit) ol 
our government, and have a peculiar claim upon, and are 
entitled to, the fostering care and protection of the nation. 
The government cannot relieve itself of this responsibility until 
they are so far trained and civilized as to he able wholly to 
manage and care for themselves. The paths in which they 
should walk must be clearly marked out for them, and they 
must be led or guided until they are familiar with the way and 
competent to assume the duties and responsibilities of our citi- 

Progress in this great work will continue only at the present 
slow pace and at great expense, unless the system and methods 
of management are improved to meet the changed conditions 
and urgent demands of the service. 

The agents having general charge ami supervision in many 
i ases of more than 5000 Indians, s< attered over large reserva- 
tions., and burdened with the details of accountability for funds 
and supplies, have time to look after the industrial training and 
improvement "fa few Indians only; the man)- are neglected 
and remain idle and dependent — conditions not favorable for 
progress in civilization. 

The compensation allowed these agents and the conditions 
nt the service are not calculated to secure for the work men 
who are fitted by ability and skill to plan properly and direct 
intelligently the methods best adapted to produce the most 
speedy results and permanent benefits. Hence the necessity 
for a supplemental agency or system, directed to the end of pro- 
moting the genera 1 and mote rapid transition of the tribes from 
habits and customs of barbarism to the ways of civilization, 


With an anxious desire to devise some plan of operation by 
which to serine the welfare of the Indians, and to relieve the 
Treasury as far as possible from the support of an idle and 
dependent population, I recommended in my previous annual 
message the passage of a law authorizing the appointment of a 
commission, as an instrumentality auxiliary to those already 
established, for the care of the Indians. It was designed that 
this commission should be composed of six intelligent and 
capable persons — three to be detailed from the Army — having 
practical ideas upon the subject of the treatment of Indians, 
and interested in their welfare ; and that it should be charged, 
under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, with the 
management of such matters of detail as cannot, with the pres- 
ent organization, be properly and successfully conducted, and 
which present different phases, as the Indians themselves 
differ, in their progress, needs, disposition, and capacity for 
improvement or immediate self-support. 

By the aid of such a commission much unwise and useless 
expenditure of money, waste of materials, and unavailing 
effort might be avoided; and it is hoped that this, or some 
measure which the wisdom of Congress may better devise to 
supply the deficiency of the present system, may receive your 
consideration, and the appropriate legislation be provided. 

The time is ripe for the work of such an agency. There is 
less opposition to the education and training of the Indian 
youth, as shown by the increased attendance upon the schools, 
and there is a yielding tendency for the individual holding of 
lands. Development and advancement in these directions are 
essential, and should have every encouragement. As the rising 
generation are taught the language of civilization and trained 
in habits of industry, they should assume the duties, privileges, 
and responsibilities of citizenship. 

No obstacle should hinder the location and settlement of any 
Indian willing to take land in severalty; on the contrary, the 
inclination to do so should be stimulated at all times when 
proper and expedient. But there is no authority of law for 


making allotments on some of the r< iervations, and on ol 
the allotments provided for are so small that the Indi 
though ready and desiring to settle down, are not willing to 
accept such small areas when their reservations < ontain ample 
lands to afford them homesteads of suffi< ient size to meet their 
present and future needs. 

These inequalities of existing special laws and treaties should 
be corrected, and some general legislation on the sub 
should be provided, so that the more progressive members of 
the different tribes may be settled upon homesteads, and by 
their example lead others to follow, breaking away from tubal 
customs and substituting therefor the love of home, the inter- 
est of the family, and the rule of the State. 

The Indian character and nature are such that they are not 
easily led while brooding over unadjusted wrongs. This is 
especially so regarding their lands. Matters arising from the 
construction and operation of railroads across some of the 
reservations, and claims of title and right of occupancy set up 
by white persons to some of the best land within other reserva- 
tions, require legislation for their final adjustment. 

The settlement of these matters will remove many embar- 
rassments to progress in the work of leading the Indians to the 
adoption of our institutions and bringing them under the oper- 
ation, the influence, and the protection of the universal laws 
of our country. 


Text-books in Indian Schools. 

V. w i i 1 1\ 1 Mansion, 
Washington, March 29, 1888. 

Rev. [amis Morrow, I). 1).: 

My Dear Sir: I have received from you certain resolutions 
passed at the Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church held at Philadelphia on the 20th instant. 1 am not 
informed how to address a response to the officers of the 1 


ference who have signed these resolutions, and for that reason 
I transmit my reply to you. 

The action taken by this assemblage of Christian men has 
greatly surprised and disappointed me. They declare "that 
this conference earnestly protests against the recent action of 
the government excluding the use of native languages in the 
education of the Indians, and especially the exclusion of the 
Dakota Bible among those tribes where it was formerly used. 
That, while admitting that there are advantages in teaching 
English to the Indians, to compel them to receive all religious 
instruction in that language would practically hinder their re- 
ceiving it in the most effective way, as the line of power travels 
with the human heart, and the heart of the Indian is in his lan- 
guage. That it is in harmony with the genius of our country 
— a free church in a free state — that the operations of all 
missionary societies should be untrammeled by state inter- 

The rules of the Indian Bureau upon the subject referred 
to are as follows : 

First. No text-books in the vernacular will be allowed in 
any school where children are placed under contract or where 
the government contributes in any manner whatever to the 
support of the school. No oral instruction in the vernacular 
will be allowed at such schools. The entire curriculum must 
be in the English language. 

Second. The vernacular may be used in missionary schools 
only for oral instruction in morals and religion, where it is 
deemed to be an auxiliary to the English language in convey- 
ing such instruction ; and only native Indian teachers will be 
permitted to teach otherwise in any Indian vernacular; and 
these; native teachers will only be allowed so to teach in 
schools not supported in whole or in part by the government, 
and at remote points, where there are no government or con- 
tract schools where the English language is taught. These 
native teachers are only allowed to teach in the vernacular 
with a view of reaching those Indians who cannot have the 


advantages of instruction in English, and such instruction 
must give way to the English-teaching schools as soon as they 
are established where the [ndians can have access to them. 

Third. A limited theological class of Indian young men may 

be trained in the vernacular at any purely missionary school 

supported exclusively by missionary societies, the object 
being to prepare them for the ministry, whose subsequent 

work shall be confined to preaching, unless they are employed 
as teachers in remote settlements where English schools are 

Fourth. These rules are not intended to prevent the pos 
sion or use by any Indian of the bible published in the ver- 
nacular, but such possession or use shall not interfere with the 
teachers of the English language to the extent and in the manner 
herein before directed. 

The government seeks, in its management of the Indians, 
to civilize them, and to prepare them for that contact with the 
world which necessarily accompanies civilization. Manifestly, 
nothing is more important to the Indian, from this point of 
view, than a knowledge of the English language. All the 
efforts of those having the matter in charge tend to the 
ultimate mixture of the Indians with our other people, t li us 
making one community equal in all those things which pertain 
to American citizenship. 

But this ought not to be done while the Indians are entirely 
ignorant of the English language. It seems to me it would be 
a cruel mockery to send them out into the world without this 
shield from imposition and without this weapon to force their 
way to self-support and independence. 

Nothing can be more consistent, then, than to insist upon 
the teaching of English in our Indian schools. It will not do 
to permit these wards of the nation, in their preparation to 
become their own masters, to indulge in their barbarous lan- 
guage because it is easier for them or because it pleases them. 
The action of the conference, therefore, surprises me, if by it 
they mean to protest against such exclusion as is prescribed iu 


the order. It will be observed that "text-books in the vernac- 
ular" are what are prohibited, and "oral instruction"; the 
"entire curriculum" must be in English. These are the terms 
used to define the elements of an ordinary secular education 
and do not refer to religious or moral teaching. Secular 
teaching is the object of the ordinary government schools; but 
surely there can be no objection to reading a chapter in the 
Bible in English, or in Dakota if English could not be under- 
stood, at the daily opening of those schools, as is done in very 
many other well-regulated secular schools. It may be, too, 
that the use of words in the vernacular may be sometimes nec- 
essary to aid in communicating a knowledge of the English 
language ; but the use of the vernacular should not be encour- 
aged or continued beyond the limit of such necessity; and the 
"text-books," the "oral instruction" in a general sense, and 
the "curriculum" certainly should be in English. In mission- 
ary schools moral and religious instruction may be given in the 
vernacular as an auxiliary to English in conveying such 
instruction. Here, while the desirability of some instruction 
in morals and religion is recognized, the extreme value of 
learning the English language is not lost sight of. And the 
provision which follows, that only native teachers shall "other- 
wise" — that is, except for moral or religious instruction — 
teach the vernacular, and only- in remote places and until gov- 
ernment or contract schools are established, is in exact keeping 
with the purpose of the government to exclude the Indian 
languages from the schools so far as is consistent with a due 
regard for the continuance of moral and religious teaching in 
the missionary schools, and except in such cases as the exclu- 
sion would result in the entire neglect of secular for other 

Provision is made in the rules for the theological training of 
young men in missionary schools to fit them as Indian preach- 
ers, and the possession and use of the Bible, so far as they do 
not interfere with the secular English teaching insisted upon, 
are especially secured. 


I cannot believe that these rules ol the Indian Bureau win 
at hand when the resolutions before me were adopted. It 
they were I think they were strangely misunderstood, though 
the mild admission thai "there are advantages in teaching 

English to the Indians" indicates that there is a wide dill' i 

ence between those who appear cautiously to make such an 

admission and the many others interested in Indian impri 
inent who deem such teaching the paramount objei t ot imme- 
diate effort. 

'The rules referred to have been modified and changed in 
their phraseology, to meet the views of good men who seek to aid 

the government in its benevolent intentions, until it was sup- 
posed their meaning was quite plain and their purpose satis- 
factory. There need he no fear that in their execution they will 
at all interfere with the plans of those who sensibly desire the 
improvement and welfare of the Indians. At any rate, until 
it is demonstrated that these rides operate as impediments to 
Indian advancement they will be adhered to, while the govern- 
ment will continue to invoke the assistance of all Christian 
people and organizations in this very important and interesting 
part of labor intrusted to it. 

Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 


From the Fourth Annual Message, December, 1888. 

The condition of our Indian population continues to 
improve, and the proofs multiply that the transforming change, 
so much to be desired, which shall substitute for barbarism 
enlightenment and civilizing education, is in favorable pi 
ress. Our relations with these people during the year have 
been disturbed by no serious disorders, but rather marked by 
a better realization of their true interests, and increasing con- 
fidence and good-will. These conditions testily to the value 


of the higher tone of consideration and humanity which has 
governed the later methods of dealing with them, and com- 
mend its continued observance. 

Allotments in severalty have been made on some reserva- 
tions until all those entitled to land thereon have had their 
shares assigned, and the work is still continued. In directing 
the execution of this duty I have not aimed so much at rapid 
dispatch as to secure just and fair arrangements which shall 
best conduce to the objects of the law, by producing satisfac- 
tion with the results of the allotments made. No measure of 
general effect has ever been entered on from which more may 
be fairly hoped, if it shall be discreetly administered. It 
proffers opportunity and inducement to that independence of 
spirit and life which the Indian peculiarly needs, while at 
the same time the inalienability of title affords security against 
the risks his inexperience of affairs or weakness of character 
may expose him to in dealing with others. Whenever begun 
upon any reservation it should be made complete, so that all 
are brought to the same condition, and, as soon as possible, 
community in lands should cease by opening such as remain 
unallotted to settlement. Contact with the ways of industrious 
and successful farmers will, perhaps, add a healthy emulation 
which will both instruct and stimulate. 

But no agency for the amelioration of this people appears to 
me so promising as the extension, urged by the Secretary, of 
such complete facilities of education as shall, at the earliest 
possible day, embrace the teachable Indian youth, of both 
sexes, and retain them with a kindly and beneficent hold until 
their characters are formed and their faculties and dispositions 
trained to the sure pursuit of some form of useful industry. 
Capacity of the Indian no longer needs demonstration. It is 
established. It remains to make the most of it, and when 
that shall be done the curse will be lifted, the Indian race 
saved, and the sin of their oppression redeemed. The time ol 
its accomplishment depends upon the spirit and justice with 


which it shall be prosecuted. It cannot be too soon foi the 
Indian, nor for the interests and good name ol the nation. 

The average attendance of [ndian pupils on the schools 
increased by over goo during the year, and the total enrollmenl 
reached 15, -mj. The cost of maintenance was nol materially 
raised. The number of teachable Indian youth is now esti- 
mated at 40,000, or nearly three times the enrollmenl of the 
schools. It is believed that the obstacles in the \\a\ oi instttU I 
ing are all surmountable, and that the necessarj expenditure 

would he a measure ol economy. 

The Sioux tribes on tin 1 great reservation ol Dakota refused 
to assenl to the act passed by the Congress at its last session 
for opening a portion of their lands to settlement, notwith- 
standing modification of the terms was suggested which met 
most of their objections. Their demand is for immediate pay- 
ment of the full price of $1.25 per acre for the entire bod) ol 
land the occupancy of which they are asked to relinquish. 

The manner of submission insured their fair understanding 
of the law, and their action was undoubtedly as thoroughlj 
intelligent as their capacity admitted. It is at least gratifying 
that no reproach of overreaching can in any manner lie against 
the government, however advisable the favorable completion 
ol die negotiation may have been esteemed. 

I concur in the suggestions of the Se< retary regarding the 
Turtle Mountain Indians, the two reservations in California, 
and the Crees. They should, in my opinion, re< eive immedi ite 

The Apache Indians, whose; removal from their reservation 
in Arizona followed the capture of those of their number who 
engaged in a bloody and murderous raid during a pari of the 
years 1.SS5 and [886, are now held as prisoners of war at 
Mount Vernon barracks, in the Stale of Alabama. They 
numbered, on the 31st day of < October, the date of the last re- 
port, 83 men, 170 women, 70 boys, and 50 girls, in all 382 persons. 
The commanding officer states that they arc in good health 


and contented, and that they are kept employed as fully as is 
possible in the circumstances. The children, as they arrive 
at a suitable age, are sent to the Indian schools at Carlisle 
and Hampton. Last summer some charitable and kind peo- 
ple asked permission to send two teachers to these Indians, for 
the purpose of instructing the adults as well as such children 
as should be found there. Such permission was readily 
granted, accommodations were provided for the teachers, and 
some portions of the buildings at the barracks were made 
available for school purposes. The good work contemplated 
has been commenced, and the teachers engaged are paid by 
the ladies with whom the plan originated. 

I am not at all in sympathy with those benevolent but in- 
judicious people who are constantly insisting that these Indians 
should be returned to their reservation. Their removal was an 
absolute necessity if the lives and property of citizens upon 
the frontier are to be at all regarded by the government. 
Their continued restraint, at a distance from the scene of their 
repeated and cruel murders and outrages, is still necessary. It 
isamistaken philanthropy, every way injurious, which prompts 
the desire to see these savages returned to their old haunts. 
They are in their present location as the result of the best 
judgment of those having official responsibility in the matter, 
and who arc by no means lacking in kind consideration for 
the Indians. A number of these prisoners have forfeited their 
lives to outraged law and humanity. Experience has proved 
that they arc dangerous and cannot be trusted. This is true 
not only of those 1 who, on the warpath, have heretofore actually 
been guilty of atrocious murder, but of their kindred and 
friends, who, while they remained upon their reservation, fur- 
nished aid and comfort to those absent with bloody in- 
tent ? 

These prisoners should be treated kindly and kept in re- 
straint far from the locality of their former reservation ; they 
should be subjected to efforts calculated to lead to their im- 
provement and the softening of their savage and cruel instincts, 


but their return to their old home should be persistently 

The Secretary in his report gives a graphic history of these 
Indians, and recites with painful vividness their bloody d< 
and the unhappy failure of the governmenl to manage them 
by peaceful means. It will be amazing if a perusal of this 
history will allow the survival of a desire for the return of these 
prisoners to their reservation upon sentimental or any other 



From the First Annua/ Message, December, 1885. 

The public domain had its origin in cessions of land by the 
States to the general government. The first cession was 
made by the State of New York, and the largest, which in 
area exceeded all the others, by the State of Virginia. The 
territory, the proprietorship of which became thus vested in 
the general government, extended from the western line of 
Pennsylvania to the Mississippi River. These patriotic dona- 
tions of the States were encumbered with no condition, except 
that they should be held and used "for the common benefit of 
the United States." By purchase, with the common fund of 
all the people, additions were made to this domain until it 
extended to the northern line of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, 
and the Polar Sea. The original trust, "for the common 
benefit of the United States," attached to all. In the execu- 
tion of that trust the policy of many homes, rather than large 
estates, was adopted by the government. That these might be 
easily obtained, and be the abode of security and contentment, 
the laws for their acquisition were few, easily understood, and 
general in their character. But the pressure of local interests, 
combined with a speculative spirit, has in many instances 
procured the passage of laws which marred the harmony of 
the general plan, ami encumbered the system with a multitude 
of general and special enactments, which render the land laws 
complicated, subject the titles to uncertainty, and the purchas- 
ers often to oppression and wrong. Laws which were intended 


rill-: PUBLIC DOM u v 

for the "common benefit" have been perverted so thai I 
quantities of land are vesting in single ownerships. From the 
multitude and character of the laws, this consequent 
incapable of correi tion by mere administration. 

It is not for the "common benefit of the United Slates" that 
a large area of the public lands should be acquired, direct!) 
or through hand, in the hands of a single individual. The 
nation's strength is in the people. The nation's prosperity is 
in their prosperity. 'The nation's glory is in the equality ol 
her justice. The nation's perpetuity is in the patriotism of all 
her people. Hence, as far as practicable, the plan adopted in 
the disposal of the public lands should have in view the orig- 
inal policy, which encouraged many purchasers of these lands 
for homes and discouraged the massing of large areas. Exclu- 
sive of Alaska, about three-fifths of the national domain have 
been sold or subjected to contract or grant. Of the remaining 
two-fifths a considerable portion is either mountain or desert. 
A rapidly increasing population creates a growing demand for 
homes, and the accumulation of wealth inspires an eager com- 
petition to obtain the public land for speculative purposes. In 
the future this . collision of interests will be more marked than 
in the past, and the execution of the nation's trusl in behalf of 
our settlers will be more difficult. 


From the Second Annual Message, December, 1SS6. 

The recommendations of the Secretary of the Interior and 
the Commissioner of the General Land Office looking to the 
better prote< tion of public lands and of the public surveys, the 
preservation of national forests, the adjudication of grants to 
States and corporations and of private land claims, and the 
increased efficiency of the public-land service, are commended 
to the attention of Congress. To secure tin- widest distribu- 
tion of public lands in limited quantities among settlers foi 


residence and cultivation, and thus make the greatest number 
of individual homes, was the primary object of the public-land 
legislation in the early days of the republic. This system was 
a simple one. It commenced with an admirable scheme of 
public surveys, by which the humblest citizen could identify 
the tract upon which he wished to establish his home. The 
price of lands was placed within the reach of all the enterpris- 
ing, industrious, and honest pioneer citizens of the country. 
It was soon, however, found that the object of the laws was 
perverted, under the system of cash sales, from a distribution 
of land among the people to an accumulation of land capital 
by wealthy and speculative persons. To check this tendency 
a preference right of purchase was given to settlers on the land, 
a plan which culminated in the general Pre-emption Act of 1841. 

The foundation of this system was actual residence and 
cultivation. Twenty years later the homestead law was devised 
more surely to place actual homes in the possession of actual 
cultivators of the soil. The land was given without price, the 
sole conditions being residence, improvement, and cultivation. 
Other laws have followed, each designed to encourage the 
acquirement and use of land in limited individual quantities. 
But in later years these laws, through vicious administrative 
methods and under changed conditions of communication and 
transportation, have been so evaded and violated that their 
beneficent purpose is threatened with entire defeat. The 
methods of such evasions and violations are set forth in detail 
in the reports of the Secretary of the Interior and Commissioner 
of the General Land Office. The rapid appropriation of our 
public lands without bona fide settlement or cultivation, and 
not only without intention of residence, but for the purpose 
of their aggregation in large holdings, in many cases in the 
hinds of foreigners, invites the serious and immediate attention 
of Congress. 

The energies of the land department have been devoted, 
during tli. present administration, to remedy defects and cor- 
rect abuses in the public-land service. 'Idle results of these 


efforts are so largely in the nature ol reforms in the processes 
and methods of our land system as to prevent adequate esti- 
mate; but it appears, by a compilation from the reports of the 
Commissioner of the General band Office, thai the immediate 
effecl in leading cases, which have come to a final termination, 
has been the restoration to the mass of public lands of 
2,750,000 acres; thai 2,370,000 acres arc embraced in investi- 
gations now pending before the Departments or the 1 ourts, and 
that the action of Congress has been asked to effecl the res- 
toration of 2,7<)o,ooo acres additional; besides which four 
million acres have been withheld from reservation, and the 
rights of entry thereon maintained. 

I recommend the repeal of the Pre-emption and Timber- 
culture Acts, and that the homestead laws be so amended as 
better to secure compliance with their requirements of resi- 
dence, improvement, and cultivation for the period ol five years 
from dale of entry, without commutation or provision for 
speculative relinquishment. I also recommend the repeal of 
the desert-land laws unless it shall be the pleasure of the Con- 
gress so to amend these laws as to render them less liable to 
abuses. As the chief motive for an evasion of the laws, and 
the principal cause of their result in land accumulation instead 
of land distribution, is the facility with which transfers are 
made of the right intended to lie secured to settlers, it may bo 
deemed advisable to provide by legislation some guards and 
checks upon the alienation of homestead rights and lands cov- 
ered thereby until patents issue. 


The Rights of Settlers. 

Executive A I vnsion, 
Washington, If ('.. April 25, 1887. 
To tiii- Secretary of the Interior: 

Dear Sir: I have examined with much (are and interest 
the questions involved in the conflicting claims of Guilford 


Miller and the Northern Pacific Railroad Company to certain 
public land in Washington Territory. The legal aspects of 
the case have been examined and passed upon by several offi- 
cers of the government, who do not agree in their conclu- 

Miller claims to be a settler upon the land in question, 
whose possession dates from 1878. He alleges that he has 
made substantial improvements upon this land and cultivated 
the same, and it appears that he filed his claim to the same, 
under the homestead law, on the 29th day of December, 1884. 
The railroad company contends that this land is within the 
territory or area from which it was entitled to select such a 
quantity of public land as might be necessary to supply any 
deficiency that should be found to exist in the specific land 
mentioned in a grant by the government to said company in 
aid of the construction of its road, such deficiency being con- 
templated as likely to arise from the paramount right of private 
parties and settlers within the territory embracing said granted 
lands, and that the land in dispute was thus selected by the 
company on the 19th day of December, 1S83. 

A large tract, including this land, was withdrawn, by an 
order of tin- Interior Department, from sale and from pre- 
emption and homestead entry in 1872, in anticipation of tin- 
construction of said railroad and a deficiency in its granted 
lands. In 1XS0, upon the filing of a map of definite location 
(if the road, the land in controversy, and much more which 
had been SO withdrawn, was found to lie outside of the limits 
which included the granted land ; but its withdrawal and reser- 
vation from settlement and entry under our land laws was 
continued upon the theory that it was within the limits of 
indemnity lands which might be selected by the company, as 
provided in the law making the grant. 

The legal points in this controversy tinned upon the validity 
and effect of the withdrawal and reservation of this land and 
the continuance thereof. The Attorney-General is of the 
opinion that such withdrawal and reservation were at all times 

THE PUBl fC DOM //.v. |.-w 

effectual, and thai they operated to prevenl Millei from a< 
quiring any interest in or righl to the land ( laimed b) 

With tins interpretation ol the law and the former ordei 
.Mid action of the Interior Department, it will be seen that then 
effect has been the withdrawal and reservation since [8720! 
thousands, if not millions, of acres of these lands from the 
operation of the land laws of the United States, thus placing 
them beyond the reach of Our citizens desiring under such laws 
to settle and make homes upon the same, and that this has 
been done lor tin- benefil of- a railroad company having no 
fixed, certain, or definite interests in such lands. In this 
manner the beneficent policy and intention of the government 
in relation to the public domain have for all these years to that 
extent been thwarted. 

There seems to be no evidence presented showing how- 
much, if any, of this vast tract is necessary for the fulfillment 
of the grant to the railroad company, nor does there appear to 
be any limitation of the time within which this fact should be 
made known and the corporation obliged to make its selection. 
Altera lapse of fifteen years this large body of the public 
domain is still held in reserve, to die exclusion of settlers, for 
the convenience of a corporate beneficiary of the government, 
and awaiting its selection, though it is entirely certain that 
much of this reserved land can never be honestly claimed bj 
such corporation. 

Such a condition of the public lands should no longer con- 
tinue. So far as it is the result of executive rules and nieth 
ods, these should be abandoned, and so far as it is a conse 
quence of improvident laws, these should be repealed 01 

Our public domain is our national wraith, the earnest of our 
growth and the heritage of our people. It should promise 
limitless development and riches, relief to a crowding popula- 
tion, and homes to thrift and industry. 

These inestimable advantages should be jealousl) guarded, 


and a careful and enlightened policy on the part of the govern- 
ment should secure them to the people. 

In the case under consideration I assume that there is an 
abundance of land within the area which has been reserved for 
indemnity, in which no citizen or settler has a legal or equita- 
ble interest, for all purposes of such indemnification to this 
railroad company, if its grant has not already been satisfied. 
1 understand, too, that selections made by such corporation 
are not complete and effectual until the same have been 
approved by the Secretary of the Interior, or unless they are 
made, in the words of the statute, under his direction. 

You have thus far taken no action in this matter, and it 
seems to me that you are in a condition to deal with the sub- 
ject in such a manner as to protect this settler from hardship 
and loss. 

I transmit herewith the papers and documents relating to the 
case, which were submitted to me at my request. 

I suggest that you exercise the power and authority you have 
in the premises, upon equitable considerations, with every 
presumption and intendment in favor of the settler; and in 
case you find this corporation is entitled to select any more of 
these lands than it has already acquired, that you direct it to 
select, in lieu of the land upon which Mr. Miller has settled, 
other land within the limits of this indemnity reservation, upon 
which neither he nor any other citizen has in good faith settled 
or made improvements. 

I call your attention to sections 2450 and 2451 of the 
Revised Statutes of the United States, as pointing out a mode 
of procedure which may, perhaps, be resorted to, if necessary, 
for the purpose of reaching a just and equitable disposition of 
the case. 

The suggestions herein contained can, 1 believe, be adopted 
without disregarding or calling in question the opinion of the 
Attorney-General upon the purely legal propositions which were 
submitted to him. 

Yours very truly, 

Grover Cleveland. 

/'///'. PUBLIC DOMAIN. I ;i 

From the Fourth Annual Message, December y [888. 

I cannot too strenuously insist upon the important e oi 
proper measures to insure a right disposition of our publii 
lands, not only a.s a matter of present justice, but in forecast 
of the consequences to future generations. The broad rich 
aires of our agricultural plains have been long preserved D) 
nature to heroine her untrammeled gift to a people civilized 
and free, upon which should rest, in well-distributed owner- 
ship, the numerous homes of enlightened, equal, ami fratei 
nal citizens. They came to national possession with the 
warning example in our eyes of the entail of iniquities in 
landed proprietorship which other countries have permitted 
and still suffer. We have no excuse for the violation of prin- 
ciples, cogently taught by reason and example, nor for the 
allowance of pretexts which have sometimes exposed our lands 
to colossal greed. Laws which open a door to fraudulent 
acquisition, or administration which permits favor to rapacious 
seizure by a favored few of expanded areas that many should 
enjoy, are accessory to offenses against our national welfare 
and humanity, not to be too severely condemned or punished. 

It is gratifying to know that something has been done at last 
to redress the injuries to our people and check the perilous 
tendencj of the reckless waste of the national domain. That 
over eighty million acres have been arrested from illegal 
usurpation, improvident grants, and fraudulent entries and 
claims, to be taken for the homesteads of honest industry — 
although less than the greater areas thus unjustly lost — must 
afford a profound gratification to right-feeling citizens as it is a 
recompense for the labors and struggles of the recovery. < >ur 
dear experience ought sufficiently to urge the speedy enact- 
ment of measures of legislation which will confine the future- 
disposition of our remaining agricultural lands to the uses of 
actual husbandry and genuine homes. 

Nor should our vast tracts of so-called desert lands be 
yielded up to the monopoly oi tions or grasping indi- 


viduals, as appears to be much the tendency under the existing 
statute. These lands require but the supply of water to 
become fertile and productive. It is a problem of great 
moment how most wisely for the public good that factor shall 
be furnished. I cannot but think it perilous to suffer either 
these lands or the sources of their irrigation to fall into the 
hands of monopolies, which, by such means, may exercise lord- 
ship over the areas dependent on their treatment for pro- 
ductiveness. Already steps have been taken to secure accu- 
rate and scientific information of the conditions, which are the 
prime basis of intelligent action. Until this shall be gained, 
the course of wisdom appears clearly to lie in a suspension of 
further disposal, which only promises to create rights antago- 
nistic to the common interest. No harm can follow this 
cautionary conduct. The land will remain, and the public 
good presents no demand for hasty dispossession of national 
ownership and control. 




Of an Appropriation for Celebrating Decoration Day* 

Buffalo, May 8, 18S2. 
To the Common Council: 

A T the last session of your honorable body a resolution was 
adopted directing the city clerk to draw a warrant for five hun- 
dred dollars in the favor of the Firemen's benevolent Associa- 

This action is not only clearly unauthorized, but it is dis- 
tinctly prohibited by the following clause of the State Con- 
stitution : 

No county, city, town or village shall hereafter give any money or prop- 
erty, or loan its money or credit to, or in aid of any individual, association 
or corporation, or become directly or indirectly the owner of stock in or bonds 
of any association or corporation ; nor shall any such county, city, town, or 

* While the ordinance making this appropriation was still pending Mr. 
Cleveland wrote the following letter to the Chairman of the Committee hav- 
ing the matter in charge : 

BUJ v \i 0, May 7, 1882. 
John M. Farquhar, Esq. 

Dear SIR : I have tried very hard, but failed to find a way, consistently to 
approve the resolution of the«Common Council appropriating $500 for the 
observance of Decoration day. 

If my action has the effect of stopping the payment of this sum for the 
purpose, anil you attempt to raise the necessary sum by subscription, you 
may call on me for $50. 

Yours very truly, 

GROVI R »'l 1 V 1 1 AND 


village be allowed to incur any indebtedness, except for county, city, town, or 
village purposes. 

At the same meeting of your honorable body the following 
resolution was passed : 

That the City Clerk be and is hereby directed to draw a warrant on the 
Fourth of July Fund for five hundred dollars, to the order of J. S. Edwards, 
Chairman of the Decoration Day Committee of the Grand Army of the Repub- 
lic, for the purpose of defraying the expenses attending a proper observance 
of Decoration day. 

(X have taxed my ingenuity to discover a way consistently to 
approve of this resolution, but have been unable to do so. 

It seems to me that it is not only obnoxious to the provisions 
of the Constitution above quoted, but that it also violates that 
section of the charter of the city which makes it a misdemeanor 
to appropriate money raised for one purpose to any other ob- 
ject. Under this section I think money raised "for the cele- 
bration of the Fourth of July, and the reception of distinguished 
persons," cannot be devoted to the observance of Decoration 

1 deem the object of this appropriation a most worthy one. 
The efforts of our veteran soldiers to keep alive the memory of 
their fallen comrades certainly deserve the aid and encourage- 
ment of their fellow-citizens. We should all, 1 think, feel it a 
duty and a privilege to contribute to the funds necessary to 
carry out such a purpose. And I should be much disappointed 
if an appeal to our citizens for voluntary subscription for this 
patriotic object should be in vain. 

But the money so contributed should be a free gift of the 
citizens and taxpayers, and should not be extorted from them 
by taxation. This is so, because the purpose for which this 
money is asked does not involve their protection or interest as 
members of the community, and it may or may not be approved 
by them. 

The people are forced to pay taxes into the city treasury 
only upon the theory that such money shall be expended for 


public purposes, or purposes in which they all have a direct 
.iinl pra< t ical interest. 

The logic of this position leads directly to the conclusion 
that, if the people are forced to pay their money into the pub 
lie fm ul and it is spent by their servants and agents for purpo i 
in which the people as taxpayers have no interest, the exai tion 
of such taxes from them is oppressive and unjust. 
f\ cannot rid myself of the idea that this city government, in 
its relation to the taxpayers, is a business establishment, and 
that it is put into our hands to he conducted on business prin- 
ciples. J 

Tins theory does not admit of our donatingthe public funds 
in the manner contemplated by the action of your honorable 

1 deem it my duty, therefore, to return both the resolutions 
referred to without my approval. 

Grover Cleveland. 


Of a Street Cleaning Contract, as Mayor of Buffalo, 
June 26, 1882. 

To 1 in ( '< >mmon Council : 

1 return without my approval the resolution of your honor- 
able body, passed at its last meeting, awarding the contract 
for cleaning the paved streets and alleys of the city for the 
ensuing five years to George Talbot at his bid of four hundred 
and twenty-two thousand and live hundred dollars. 

The bid thus accepted by your honorable body is more than 
one hundred thousand dollars higher than that of another per- 
fectly responsible party for the same work ; and a worse ami 
more suspicious feature in this transaction is that the bid now 
accepted is fifty thousand dollars more than that made by 
Talbot himself within a very few weeks, openly and pub 
to your honorable body, for performing precisely the same 
services. This latter circumstance is to my mind the manifes- 


talion on the part of the contractor of a reliance upon the 
forbearance and generosity of your honorable body, which 
would be more creditable if it were less expensive to the tax- 

I am not aware that any excuse is offered for the acceptance 
of this proposal, thus increased, except the very flimsy one 
that the lower bidders cannot afford to do the work for the 
sums they name. 

This extreme tenderness and consideration for those who 
desire to contract with the city, and this touching and paternal 
solicitude lest they should be improvidently led into a bad 
bargain is, I am sure, an exception to general business rules, 
and seems to have no place in this selfish, sordid world, except 
as found in the administration of municipal affairs. 

The charter of your city requires that the Mayor, when he 
disapproves any resolution of your honorable body, shall return 
the same with his objections. 

This is a time for plain speech, anil my objection to the 
action of your honorable body now under consideration shall 
be plainly stated. 1 withhold my assent from the same, 
because I regard it as the culmination of a most barefaced, 
impudent, and shameless scheme to betray the interests of the 
people and worse than to squander the public money. 

I will not be misunderstood in this matter. There are 
those whose votes were given for this resolution whom 1 
cannot and will not suspect of a willful neglect of the interests 
they are sworn to protect; but it has been fully demon- 
strated that there are influences, both in and about your 
honorable body, which it behooves every honest man to 
watch and avoid with the greatest care. 

When cool judgment rules the hour, the people will, I hope 
and believe, have no reason to complain of the action of your 
honorable body. But clumsy appeals to prejudice or passion, 
insinuations, with a kind of a low, cheap cunning, as to the 
motives and purposes of others, and the mock heroism of brazen 
gffrontery, which openly declare that a wholesome public senti- 

SOME NOTABLE / / T01 ffl 

merit is to be set at naught, sometimes deceiveand lead honest 
men to aid in the consummation of schemes whi< h, il exposed, 
they would look upon with abhorrence. 

[f the scandal in connection with this street cleaning con 

tract, which lias so aroused our citizens, shall cause them to 
select and watch with more care those to whom they intrust 
their interests, and if it serves to i».ake all of us who are. 
charged with official duties more careful in their performance, 
it will not be an unmitigated evil. 

We are last gaining positions in the grades of public stew- 
ardships. There is no middle ground. 'Those who are not 
for the people either in or out of your honorable body are 
against them and should be treated accordingly. 

Grover Cleveland, 



Of a Bill for the Purchase of Land by the Supervisors of 
Chautauqua ( 'ouniy. 

Exe( uti\ e Chamber, 
Albany, February 1 2, 1SS3. 
To the Assembly : 

Assembly bill No. 88, entitled " An Act authorizing the 
Hoard of Supervisors of Chautauqua County to appropriate 
money for the purchase" of land upon which to erect a soldiers' 
and sailors' monument, is herewith returned without approval. 

It is not an agreeable duty to refuse to give sanction to the 
appropriation of money for such a worthy and patriotic object ; 
but I cannot forget that the money proposed to be appropri- 
ated is public money to be raised by taxation, and that all that 
justifies its exaction from the people is the necessity of its use 
for purposes connected with the safety and substantial welfare 
of the taxpayers. 

The application of this principle furnishes. 1 think, a suffi- 
cient reason why this bill should not be approved 


I am of the opinion, too, that the appropriation of this 
money by the Board of Supervisors would constitute the in- 
curring of an indebtedness by the county to be thereafter met 
by taxation. If this be true, the proposed legislation is for- 
bidden by section eleven of article eight of the Constitution, 
which provides that no county, city, town, or village shall be 
allowed to incur any indebtedness except for county, city, 
town, or village purposes. 

Before this prohibition became a part of the Constitution, a 
statute was passed permitting monuments to be erected to 
fallen soldiers at the expense of the inhabitants of the county 
within which they were located ; but the expenditure of money 
raised by taxation for such a purpose was only allowed when 
especially sanctioned by the vote of a majority of all the 
electors of the county. In the bill under consideration the 
taxpayers are not permitted to be heard on the subject. 

It is thus evident that the legislation proposed guards less 
the rights and interests of the people than the statute passed 
before the Constitutional amendment prohibited all enactments 
of this description. 

1 may, perhaps, be permitted to express the hope that a due 
regard to fundamental principles, and a strict adherence to the 
letter and spirit of the Constitution, which furnish the limit as 
well as the guide to legislation, will prevent the passage of 
bills of this nature in the future. 

Grover Cleveland. 

Of the Elevated Railroad Five Cent Fare Bill. 
Executive Chamber, 

Albany, March 2, 1883. 
To the Assembly : 

Assembly bill No. 58, entitled " An Act to regulate the fare 
to be charged and collected by persons or corporations operat- 
ing elevated railroads in the city of New York," is herewith 
returned without approval. 


This bill prohibits the collection or receipt of more than five 
cents fare on any elevated railroad in the city of New Yoik, 
for any distance between the Battery and Harlem River, and 
provides that, if any person or corporation operating such 

elevated railroads shall charge, demand, colled or receive any 
higher rate of fare, such person or corporation shall, in addi 
tion to all other penalties imposed by law, forfeit and pay to 
any person aggrieved fifty dollars for each offense, to l> 
covered by such person in any court of competent jurisdiction. 

The importance of this measure and the interest which it 
has excited have impressed me with my responsibility, and led 
me to examine, with as much care as has been possible, the 
considerations involved. 

I am convinced that in all cases the share which falls upon 
the Executive regarding the legislation of the State should be 
in no manner evaded, but fairly met by the expression of his 
carefully guarded and unbiased judgment. In this conclusion 
he may err, but, if he has fairly and honestly acted, he has per- 
formed his duty and given to the people of the State his best 

The elevated railroads in the city of New York are now 
operated by the Manhattan Railway Company, as the lessee of 
the New York Elevated Railway Company and the Metropolitan 
Elevated Railway Company. 

Of course, whatever rights the lessee companies have in re- 
lation to the running and operation of their respective roads 
passed to the Manhattan Company under its lease. 

The New York Elevated Railway Company is the successor 
of the West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway Company. 

The latter company was formed under and in pursuance of 
an act passed on the 20th day of April, 1866. 

The third section of that act provides that companies formed 
under its provisions "may fix and collect rates of fare on their 
respective roads, not exceeding five cents for each mile or any 
fraction of a mile for each passenger, and with right to a mini 
mum fare of ten cents. 


On the 22d day of April, 1867, an act was passed in relation 
to this corporation, which provides for the manner of construct- 
ing its road, the eighth section of which act reads as follows : 

The said company shall be authorized to demand and receive from each 
passenger within the limits of the city of New York rates of fare not exceed- 
ing, for any distance less than two miles, five cents ; for every mile or frac- 
tional part of a mile in addition thereto, one cent. Provided that when said 
railway is completed and in operation between Battery Place and the vicinity 
of Harlem River, the said company may, at its option, adopt a uniform rate not 
exceeding ten cents for all distances upon Manhattan Island, and may also 
collect said last named rate for a period of five years from and after the 
passage of this act. 

It was further provided by section 9 of this act that the 
said company should pay a sum not exceeding five per cent, of 
the net income of said railway from passenger traffic upon 
Manhattan Island, into the treasury of the city of New York, 
in such manner as the Legislature might thereafter direct, as a 
compensation for the use of the streets of the city. 

In 1868 a law was passed supplementary to the act last re- 
ferred to, by which the said company was authorized to adopt 
such form of motor as certain commissioners should, after due 
experiment, recommend or approve. 

Specific provision was made in the act to carry out section 9 
of the law of 1867, in relation to the payment of the five per 
cent, of the net income of the company into the treasury of the 

Section 3 of this act contains the following provision : 

It shall be the duty of the constructing company aforesaid, before opening 
its railway to public use, to file with the comptroller of the city of New York, 
in form to be approved by the mayor of the city of New York, its bond in the 
penal sum of $100,000, conditioned upon the true and faithful payment of the 
revenue in amount and manner specified in the preceding section ; and the 
payment thereof shall be the legal compensation in full for the use and occu- 
pancy of the streets by said railway as provided by law, and shall constitute an 
agreement in the nature of a contract between said city and constructing com- 
pany entitling the latter or its successors to the privileges and rates of fare 
heretofore or herein legalized, which shall not be changed without the mutual 


consenl of the patties thereto as aforesaid ; and the mayor on behalf of said 
iiiy may, in case "f default in payments as aforesaid, sue for and colled at 
law any arrearages in such payment, and the claims of the city, therefore, shall 
constitute a lien on the railway of said company, having priority overall 

The usi. 1 of what are called dummy engines was afterward 
authorized in the operation of said road by the commissioners 
above referred to. 

The New York Elevated Railroad Company was organized 
under the general railroad law passed in [850, and the laws 
amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto. 

Within a short time thereafter the last named company lie- 
came the purchaser, under a foreclosure and by other transfers 
of the railway and all the rights, privileges, easements and 
franchises of the West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway Com 
pany (the name of which had in the meantime been changed to 
the West Side Elevated Patented Railway Company of New 
York City). 

We have now reached a point where the New York Elevated 
Railway Company, one of the lessors of the Manhattan Rail- 
road Company, has succeeded to all the rights and prop- 
erty of the West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway Com- 

By a law passed on the 17th day of June, 1875 (the railway 
still being unfinished), it is declared that the New York Ele- 
vated Railroad Company having acquired, by purchase, under 
mortgage foreclosure and sale and other transfer, all the rights, 
[lowers, privileges, and franchises which were conferred upon 
the West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway Company by tin- 
acts above referred to, is " hereby confirmed in the possession 
and enjoyments of the said rights, powers, privileges, and fran- 
chises as fully and as large as they were so granted in and by 
the acts aforesaid to the said West Side and Yonkers Patent 
Railway Company. 

The Court of Appeals, speaking of this law, uses the follow- 
ing language : 


The effect of this act was to secure to the Elevated Railroad Company all 
the rights, privileges, and franchises of the West Side and Yonkers Patent 
Railway Company under the purchase by and transfer to it. 

By the sixth section of this act, it is provided that the New 
York Elevated Railroad Company might demand and receive, 
from each passenger on its railroad, not exceeding ten cents 
for any distance of five miles or less, and with the assent 
required by section 3 of the act of 1868, hereinbefore referred 
to, not exceeding two cents for each additional mile or frac- 
tional part thereof. 

Another act was passed in 1875, commonly called the Rapid 
Transit Act, which provided for the appointment of commis- 
sioners, who, among other tilings, were authorized to fix and 
determine the time within which roads subject to the pro- 
visions of the act should be completed, together with the max- 
imum rates to be paid for transportation and conveyance over 
said railways, and the hours during which special cars should 
be run at reduced rates of fare. 

Commissioners were duly appointed by the mayor of the 
city of New York, as provided by this act, who fixed and deter- 
mined the route of the road of the New York Elevated Rail- 
road Company, and prescribed with the utmost particularity 
the manner of its construction, and thereupon deliberately 
agreed with said company that it should charge as fare upon 
trains and cars other than what were called by the parties 
commission trains and cars, for all distances under five miles 
not to exceed ten cents, and not to exceed two cents for 
each mile or fraction of a mile over five miles, until the fare 
should amount to not exceeding fifteen cents for a through 
passenger from and between the Battery and intersection of 
Third avenue and One Hundred and Twenty-ninth street, and 
from and between the Battery and High Bridge not to exceed 
seventeen cents for a through passenger, and that for the entire 
distance from and between the Battery and Fifty-ninth street 
the fare should not exceed ten cents per passenger. 

It was further agreed, between t lie said company and the com- 


missions rs, that com mission trains should be run, during certain 
hours in the morning and evening, for tin- .i< i ommodation of 
the public and the laboring classes, upon which the fare- should 
not exceed five cents from and between the Battery and Fifty- 
ninth street, nor any greater sum for any distant e not exceed- 
ing five miles; that it should not exceed seven cents for a 
through passenger from and between the Battery, or any point 
south-thereof, and the I Iarlem River, and that such fire should 
not exceed eight cents on such commission cars and trains 
from and between the Battery and High Bridge. 

And it was further agreed by said company that when the 
net income of the road, after all expenditures, taxes, and 
charges are paid, should amount to a sum sufficient to pay 
exceeding ten per cent, per annum on the capital stock of the 
company, that in such case and within six months thereafter, 
and so long as said net earnings amount to a sum sufficient to 
pay more than ten per cent, as aforesaid, the said company 
would run commission trains on its road at all hours during 
which it should be operated, at the rates of fare last mentioned. 

Having thus completed an agreement with this company, the 
commissioners transmitted the same to the mayor of tin- City 
of New York, accompanied by a very congratulatory report of 
their proceedings, whereupon the mayor submitted tin- same 
to the Board of Aldermen, by whom it was approved. This 
was in the latter part of 1875. 

Since that time the New York Elevated Railroad Company 
upon the faith of the laws which have been recited, and its pro- 
ceedings with the commissioners, at a very large expense, has 
completed its road from the Battery to the Harlem River, a dis- 
tance of about ten miles. 

The bill before me provides that, notwithstanding all the 
statutes that have been passed and all that has been done there- 
under, passengers shall be carried the whole length of this 
road for five cents, a sum much less than is provided for in 
any of such statutes or stipulated in the pro< eedings of the 


I am of the opinion that, in the legislation and proceedings 
which I have detailed, and in the fact that pursuant thereto 
the road of the company was constructed and finished, there 
exists a contract in favor of this company, which is protected 
by that clause of the Constitution of the United States which 
prohibits the passage of a law by any State impairing the obli- 
gation of contracts. 

Hut let it be supposed that this is not so, and that neither of 
these lessor companies is, in any way, protected from inter- 
ference with their rates of fare, but that, on the contrary, they 
are subject to all the provisions of the general railroad act, 
under which they are both organized. 

Section 33 of that act reads as follows : 

The legislature may, when any such railroad shall be opened for use, 
from time to time alter or reduce the rate of freight, fare, or other profits 
upon said road ; but the same shall not, without the consent of the company, 
be so reduced as to produce with said profits less than ten per centum per 
annum on the capital actually expended ; nor unless on an examination of 
the amount received or expended, to be made by the State Engineer and 
Surveyor and the Comptroller, they shall ascertain that the net income de- 
rived by the company from all sources, for the year then last past, shall have 
exceeded an annual income of ten per cent, upon the capital of the corpora- 
tion actually expended. 

Even if the State has the power to reduce the fare on these 
roads, it has promised not to do so except under certain circum- 
stances and after a certain examination. 

I am not satisfied that these circumstances exist, and it is 
conceded that no such examination has been made. 

The constitutional objections which I have suggested to the 
bill under consideration are not, I think, removed by the claim 
that the proposed legislation is in the nature of an alteration of 
the charters of these companies, and that this is permitted by 
the State Constitution and by the provisions of some of the 
laws to which I have referred. 

F suppose that, while the charters of corporations may be 
altered or repealed, it must be done in subordination to the 

.sc.l/ A NOTABLE I /■ Ai'A.v. I | j 

Constitution of tin- United Slates, which is tin- upr< mi- law ol 
tin- land. This leads t<> the < on< lusion that tin- alteration <>i a 
charter cannot be made the pretext for tin passagi ol a law 

which impairs the obligation of a (initial t. 

If 1 am mistaken in supposing that there are legal objec- 
tions to this hill, there is another consideration which furnishes 
to my mind a sufficient reason why I should not give it my 

It seems to me thai to reduce these fares arbitrarily, at tins 
time and under existing circumstances, involves a breach ol 
faith on the part ot" the State, and a betrayal of confidence 
which the State has invited. 

The facl is notorious that, lor many years, rapid transit was 
the great need of the inhabitants of the city of New York, and 
was of direct importance to the citizens of the State. Projects 
which promised to answer the people's wants in this direction 
failed and were abandoned. The Legislature, appreciating the 
situation, willingly passed statute after statute calculated to 
aid and encourage a solution of the problem. Capital was 
timid, and hesitated to enter a new held full of risks and dan- 
gers. By the promise of liberal fares, as will be seen in all the 
acts passed on the subject, and through other concessions gladly 
made, capitalists were induced to invest their money in the en- 
terprise, and rapid transit but lately became an accomplished 
fact. But much of the risk, expense, and burden attending the 
maintenance of these roads are yet unknown and threatening. 
In the meantime, the people of the city of New York are re- 
ceiving the full benefit of their construction, a great cnhain e- 
ment of the value of the taxable property of the city has re- 
sulted, and, in addition to taxes, more than $i 20,000, being 
five per cent, in increase, pursuant to the law of 1S6S, has been 
paid by the companies into the city treasury, on the faith that 
the rate of fare agreed upon was secured to them. 1 am not 
aware that the corporations have, by any default, forfeited any 
of their rights ; and if they have, the remedy is at hand under 
existing laws. Their stock and their bonds are held by a I 


number of citizens, and the income of these roads depends en- 
tirely upon fares received from passengers. The reduction 
proposed is a large one, and it is claimed will permit no divi- 
dends to investors. This may not be true, but we should be 
satisfied it is not, before the proposed law takes effect. 

It is manifestly important that invested capital should be 
protected, and that its necessity and usefulness in the devel- 
opment of enterprises valuable to the people should be 
recognized by conservative conduct on the part of the State 

But we have especially in our keeping the honor and good 
faith of a great State, and we should see to it that no suspicion 
attaches, through any act of ours, to the fair fame of the common- 
wealth. The State should not only be strictly just, but scrupu- 
lously fair, and in its relations to the citizen every legal and 
moral obligation should be recognized. This can only be done 
by legislating without vindictiveness or prejudice, and with a 
firm determination to deal justly and fairly with those from 
whom we exact obedience. 

I am not unmindful of the fact that this bill originated in 
response to the demand of a large portion of the people of 
New York for cheaper rates of fare between their places of 
employment and their homes, and I realize fully the desirabil- 
ity of securing to them all the privileges possible, but the 
experience of other States teaches that we must keep within 
i he limits of law and good faith, lest in the end we bring 'upon 
the very people whom we seek to benefit and protect, a hard- 
ship which must surely follow when these limits are ignored. 

Grover Cleveland, 



Of the Amendments to the Chartet oj /•' 

ExECUTIVI I 'n \\ii:p.k, 

Albany, April g 
To the Assembly : 

Assembly bill No. 553, entitled " An Act to amend chapter 
five hundred and nineteen of the laws of eighteen hundred 
and seventy, entitled ' An Act to amend the charter of the 1 itj 
"t Buffalo,' passed April twenty-eight, eighteen hundred and 
seventy," is herewith returned without approval. 

The object of this bill is to reorganize entirely the fire de- 
partment of the city of Buffalo. 

The present department was established in 1880, under 
chapter 271 of the laws of that year, and its management and 
control are vested in three commissioners, who, pursuant to 
said law, were appointed by the mayor of the city. 

The gentlemen thus appointed are citizens of unquestioned 
probity, intelligence, and executive ability, and enjoy and de- 
serve the respect and confidence of all their fellow-townsmen. 

Having very recently had official relations with this depart- 
ment, I cannot but testify to its efficiency and good manage- 
ment, and the economy with which its affairs are conducted. 
And yet, before it has been three years in operation, it is pro- 
posed, bynhe bill under consideration, to uproot and sweep 
away the present administration of this important department, 
and venture upon another experiment. This new scheme pro- 
vides for the appointment, by the mayor, on the first Monday 
in May, 1883, of a chief of the fire department, one assistant 
chief, and two district chiefs ; the city is divided into two fire 
districts, and it is made the duty of the district chiefs to take 
the charge and management of all fires in their respective dis- 
tricts until the arrival of the chief or assistant chiefs. 

I can see no reason for dividing, by law, the city into fire 
districts, unless it be to make new places to be filled by the 
city executive. 


The provision that the district chief shall have charge and 
management of a fire in his district, until the arrival of his 
superior, gives excuse for the chief of another district, though 
first on the ground, to refrain from interference. 

A fire department should be organized with a view to prompt 
and effective action upon a sudden emergency. Every mem- 
ber of the department should be, at all times, ready for service, 
and there should be no mischief invited, by rules too inflexible, 
as to who should have charge and management in time of dan- 
ger to life and property. 

Although the mayor of the city, under the provisions of the 
bill, has the absolute power of appointment to these offices, he 
may, in case of vacancy by death, resignation, removal, or other- 
wise, make special appointments, until permanent appoint- 
ments are made. This was evidently copied from the charter 
of 1870, which allowed the mayor to appoint fire superintend- 
ents, by and with the advice and consent of the common coun- 
cil. It was intended to permit the filling of a vacancy by the 
mayor during the time which should elapse before a successor 
could be confirmed by the council. But in a case where no 
confirmation is necessary, such a provision is needless, incon- 
gruous, and mischievous. The mayor should be as well pre- 
pared to make a permanent appointment under this bill, in 
case of a vacancy, as a temporary one. This provision would 
seem to give him the power, by calling an appointment a tem- 
porary one, to retain the appointee as long as he sees fit, 
and, under the pretext of a permanent appointment, displace 
him by another without charges or an opportunity to be 

By section six of the bill an appeal is permitted from the 
decision of the mayor, upon the trial of any of these officers, to 
the Supreme Court of buffalo. There is no such court in 

lint waiving further criticism of details, my attention is 
directed to section twenty of the bill, which, to the promoters 
ot this measure, is undoubtedly its most important feature. 

.<' i/A NOTABLE VE TOES. 149 

li provides that immediately upon the appointment and quali 
fication ol the chief, the terms of the present commission! i i 
shall cease -111(1 determine, and that the terms of office of all 

the other officers, firemen, ami employees shall also ( ease and 
determine ten days thereafter. Great care is exercised to 
provide that the chiefs and all the firemen and employees, ap 
pointed under the new scheme, shall be discharged only foi 
cause, and after due hearing and an opportunity for defense ; 
but to those now in the service, numbering about two hundred 
drilled and experienced men, no such privileges are a< corded 

The purpose of the bill is too apparent to be mistaken. A 
tried, economical, and efficient administration of an important 
department in a large city is to be destroyed, upon partisan 
grounds or to satisfy personal animosities, in order that the 
places and patronage attached thereto may be used for party 

I believe in an open and sturdy partisanship, which secures 
the legitimate advantages of party supremacy ; but parties 
were made for the people, and 1 am unwilling, knowingly, to 
give my assent to measures purely partisan, which will sacrifice 
or endanger their interests. 

Grover Cleveland. 


Of the Texas Seed BUI. 


Washington, February 16, 1SS7. 
To the House of Representatives : 

I return without my approval House bill number ten thou- 
sand two hundred and three, entitled " An Act to enable the 
Commissioner of Agriculture to make a special distribution of 
seeds in drought-stricken counties of Texas, and making an 
appropriation therefor." 

It is represented that a long-continued and extensive ,|- 


has existed in certain portions of the State of Texas, resulting 
in a failure of crops and consequent distress and destitution. 

Though there has been some difference in statements con- 
cerning the extent of the people's needs in the localities thus 
affected, there seems to be no doubt that there has existed 
a condition calling for relief ; and 1 am willing to believe that, 
notwithstanding the aid already furnished, a donation of seed- 
grain to the farmers located in this region, to enable them to 
put in new crops, would serve to avert a continuance or return 
of an unfortunate blight. 

And yet I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan 
as proposed by this bill, to indulge a benevolent and chari- 
table sentiment through the appropriation of public funds for 
that purpose. 

I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Con- 
stitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the 
general government ought to be extended to the relief of in- 
dividual suffering which is in no manner properly related to 
the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disre- 
gard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I 
think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should 
be constantly enforced that, though the people support the 
government, the government should not support the people. 

The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always 
be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. 
This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. 
Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of pater- 
nal care on the part of the government and weakens the stur- 
diness of our national character, while it prevents the in- 
dulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and 
conduct which strengthen the bonds of a common brother- 

It is within my personal knowledge that individual aid has, to 
some extent, already been extended to the sufferers mentioned 
in this bill. The failure of the proposed appropriation of ten 
thousand dollars additional, to meet their remaining wants, will 


not necessarily result in continued distress ii the emergency is 
fully made known to the people of the country. 

It is lure suggested that the Commissionei of Agricultun i 
annually directed to expend ;i large sum of money for the pin 
chase, propagation, and distribution oi seeds and other things 
of this description, two-thirds of which are, upon th<- request 
of senators, representatives, and delegates in Congress, sup- 
plied to them tor distribution among their constituents. 

'The appropriation of the current year for tin's purpo 
one hundred thousand dollars, and it will probably be noli 
in the appropriation for the ensuing year. 1 understand thai 
a large quantity of grain is furnished for such distribution, 
and it is supposed that this free apportionment among theil 
neighbors is a privilege which may be waived by our senators 
and representatives. 

If sufficient of them should request the Commissioner of 
Agriculture to send their shares of the grain thus allowed them, 
to the suffering fanners of Texas, they might be enabled to 
sow their crops ; the constituents, for whom in theory this grain 
is intended, could well bear the temporary deprivation, and the 
donors would experience the satisfaction attending deeds of 

Grover Cleveland. 

Of the Direct Tax Bill. 

Executive M insk >n, 

W VSH1NG ii IN, March z. \ 

To the Senate : 

1 herewith return without approval Senate bill number one 
hundred and thirty-nine, entitled " An A< l to credit and pay 
to the several States and Territories and the District of Col- 
umbia all moneys collected under the direct tax levied by the 
Act of Congress approved August fifth, eighteen hundred and 


The object of this bill is quite clearly indicated in its title. 
Its provisions have been much discussed in both branches of 
Congress and have received emphatic legislative sanction. 1 
fully appreciate the interest which it has excited, and have 
by no means failed to recognize the persuasive presentation 
made in its favor. I know, too, that the interposition of Exec- 
utive disapproval in this case is likely to arouse irritation 
and cause complaint and earnest criticism. Since, however, 
my judgment will not permit me to assent to the legislation 
proposed, I can find no way of turning aside from what appears 
to be the plain course of official duty. 

On the 5th day of August, 1861, a Federal statute was passed 
entitled " An Act to provide increased revenue from imports, 
to pay interest on the public debt, and for other purposes." 

This law was passed at a time when immense sums of money 
were needed by the government for the prosecution of a war 
for the Union ; and the purpose of the law was to increase in 
almost every possible way the Federal revenues. The first 
seven sections of the statute were devoted to advancing very 
largely the rates of duties on imports ; and to supplement this 
the eighth section provided that a direct tax of twenty millions 
of dollars should be annually laid, and that certain amounts 
therein specified should be apportioned to the respective 
States. The remainder of the law, consisting of fifty sections, 
contained the most particular and detailed provisions for the 
collection of the tax through Federal machinery. 

It was declared, among other things, that the tax should be 
assessed and laid on all lands and lots of ground with their 
improvements and dwelling-houses ; that the annual amount 
of said taxes should be a lien upon all lands and real estate of 
the individuals assessed for the same, and that, in default of 
payment, the said taxes might be collected by distraint and sale 
of the goods, chattels, and effects of the delinquent persons. 

This tax was laid in execution of the power conferred upon 
the general government for that purpose by the Constitution. 
[1 was an exercise of the right of the government to tax its 

■ i//-: NOTABLE I / TOES. 

i in. ens. It dealt with individuals, and the strong arm ol I 
eral power was stretched out to exact from those who owed it 
support and allegiance their just share ol the sum it had de 
creed should be raised l>y direct taxation foi the general good. 
The lien created by this tax was upon the land and real estate 
ol the " individuals assessed for the same-," and for its < olle< tion 
the distraint and sale of personal property of the '" persons 
delinquent " wen- permitted. 

But, while the direct relationship and responsibility between 
the individuals taxed and the Federal gov ei nmenl were thus 
created by the exercise of the highest attribute of sovereignty, 
it was provided in the statute that any State or Territory and 
the District of Columbia might lawfully "assume, assess, 
collect, and [pay into the Treasury of the United States " its 
quota of said tax in its own way and manner, and by and 
through its own officers, assessors, and collectors ; and it was 
further provided that such States or Territories as should give 
notice of their intention to thus assume and pay, or to assess, 
collect, and pay, into the Treasury of the United States sin h 
direct tax, should be entitled, in lieu of the compensation, pay, 
per diem, and percentage in said act prescribed and allowed to 
ssors, assistant assessors, and collectors of the United 
States, to a deduction of fifteen per centum of the quota ol 
direct tax apportioned to such States or Territories and levied 
and collected through their officers. 

It was also provided by this law and another passed the 
next year that certain claims of the States and Territories 
against the United States might be applied in payment of such 
quotas. Whatever may be said as to the effect of these pro- 
visions of the law, it can hardly be claimed that, by virtue 
thereof or any proceedings under them, the apportioned 
quotas of this tax became debts against the several States and 
Territories, or that they were liable to the general government 
therefor, in every event, and as principal debtors bound by an 
enforceable obligation. 

In the forty-sixth section of the law it is provided that in 


case any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, after 
notice given of its intention to assume and pay, or to levy, 
collect and pay said direct tax apportioned to it, should fail 
to pay the amount of said direct tax, or any part thereof, it 
should be lawful for the Secretary of the Treasury to appoint 
United States officers as in the act provided, whose duty it 
should be to proceed forthwith to collect all or any part of 
said direct tax, " the same as though said State, Territory, or 
District had not given notice nor assumed to levy, collect, and 
pay said taxes or any part thereof." 

A majority of the States undertook the collection of their 
quotas and accounted for the amount thereof to the general 
government, by the payment of money or by setting off claims 
in their favor, against the tax. Fifteen per cent, of the amount 
of their respective quotas was retained as the allowance for 
collection and payment. In the Northern, or such as were then 
called the loyal States, nearly the entire quotas were collected 
and paid through the State agencies. The money necessary 
for this purpose was generally collected from the citizens of 
the States with their other taxes, and in whatever manner their 
quotas may have been cancelled, whether by the payment of 
money or setting off claims against the government, it is safe 
to say, as a general proposition, that the people of these States 
have individually been obliged to pay the assessments made 
upon them on account of this direct tax, and have intrusted it to 
their several States to be transmitted to the Federal Treasury. 

In the Southern States, then in insurrection, whatever 
was actually realized in money upon this tax was collected 
directly by Federal officers without the interposition of State 
machinery ; and a part of its quota has been credited to each 
of these States. 

The entire amount applied upon this tax, including the 
fifteen per cent, for collection, was credited to the several 
States and Territories upon the books of the Treasury, whether 
collected through their instrumentality or by Federal officers. 

The sum credited to all the States was $17,359,685.51, which 


includes more than two millions of dollars on account of the 
fifteen percent, allowed for collecting. Of the amount cred- 
ited, only about two millions and three hundred thousand 
dollars is credited to the insurrectionary States. The amount 
uncollected, of the twenty millions directed tobi raised by this 
tax, was $2,646,314.40, and nearly this entire sum remained 
due upon the quotas apportioned to these States. 

In this condition of affairs the bill under consideration 
directs the Secretary of the Treasury " to credit to ea< h State 
and Territory of the United States and the 1 )istrict of Columbia 
a sum equal to all collections, by set-off or otherwise, made 
from said States and Territories and the District of Columbia, 
or from any of the citizens or inhabitants thereol 01 other per- 
sons, under the act of Congress approved August fifth, eightei n 
hundred and sixty-one, and the amendatory acts thereto." 
An appropriation is also made of such a sum as may be neces- 
sary to reimburse each State, Territory, and the District of 
Columbia for all money found due to it under the provisions 
of the bill, and it is provided that all money, still due to the 
United States on said direct tax, shall be remitted and relin- 

The conceded effect of this bill is to take from the money 
now in the Treasury the sum of more than seventeen millions 
of dollars, or if the percentage allowed is not included, more 
than fifteen millions of dollars, and pay back to tin- respe< tive 
States ami Territories the sums tiny or their citizens paid mor< 
than twenty-five years ago upon a direct tax levied by tin- 
government of the United States lor its defense and safety. 

It is my belief that this appropriation of the public funds 1 
not within the constitutional power of the Congress. I nder 
the limited and delegated authority, conferred by the Constitu- 
tion upon the general government, the statement of tin- pur- 
poses lor which money may be lawfully raised, by taxation in 
any form, declares also the limit of the objects foi which it 
may be expended. 

All must agree that the direct tax was lawfully and COnstitU- 


tionally laid, and that it was rightfully and correctly collected. 
It cannot be claimed, therefore, nor is it pretended, that any 
debt arose against the government and in favor of any State or 
individual by the exaction of this tax. Surely, then, the ap- 
propriation directed by this bill cannot be justified as a pay- 
ment of a debt of the United States. 

The disbursement of this money clearly has no relation to 
the common defense. On the contrary, it is the repayment of 
money raised and long ago expended by the government to pro- 
vide for the common defense. 

The expenditure can not properly be advocated on the 
ground that the general welfare of the United States is thereby 
provided for or promoted. This " general welfare of the 
United States," as used in the Constitution, can only justify 
appropriations for national objects and for purposes which 
have to do with the prosperity, the growth, the honor, or the 
peace and dignity of the nation. 

A sheer, bald gratuity bestowed either upon States or indi- 
viduals, based upon no better reason than supports the gift 
proposed in this bill, has never been claimed to be a provision 
for the general welfare. More than fifty years ago a surplus of 
public money in the Treasury was distributed among the 
States ; but the unconstitutionality of such distribution, con- 
sidered as a gift of money, appears to have been conceded, for 
it was put into the State treasuries under the guise of a de- 
posit or loan, subject to the demand of the government. 

If it was proposed to raise by assessment upon the people the 
sum necessary to refund the money collected upon this direct 
tax, I am sure many who are now silent would insist upon the 
limitations of the Constitution in opposition to such a scheme. 
A large surplus in the Treasury is the parent of many ills, and 
among them is found a tendency to an extremely liberal, if not 
loose, construction of the Constitution. It also attracts the gaze 
of States and individuals with a kind of fascination, and gives 
rise to plans and pretensions that an uncongested Treasury 
never could excite. 


But, if the constitutional question involved in the i onsidera 
tion of this bill should be determined in it. favor, there are 
other objections remaining which prevent my assent to its pro- 
\ isions. 

There should be a certainty and stability about the enfon 
ment of taxation which should teach the citizen that the govern 
ment will only use the power to tax in cases where its necessity 
and justice are not doubtful, and which should also discourage 
the disturbing idea that the exercise of this power may be re- 
voked by reimbursement of taxes once collet ted. Any other 
theory cheapens and in a measure discredits a process which 
more than any other is a manifestation of sovereign author- 

A government is not only kind, but performs its highest duty, 
when it restores to the citizen taxes unlawfully collected or 
which have been erroneously or oppressively extorted l>\ its 
agents or officers ; but aside from these incidents, the people 
should not be familiarized with the spectacle of their govern- 
ment repenting the collection of taxes and restoring them. 

The direct tax levied in 1 86 1 is not even suspected of in- 
validity ; there never was a tax levied which was more needed, 
and its justice cannot be questioned. Why, then, should it be 
returned ? 

The fact that the entire tax was not paid furnishes no reason 
that would not apply to nearly every case where taxes are laid. 
There are always delinquents, and while the more thorough and 
complete collection of taxes is a troublesome problem of 
government, the failure to solve the problem has never been 
held to call for the return of taxes actually collected. 

The deficiency in the collection of this tax is found almost 
entirely in the insurrectionary States, while the quotas appor- 
tioned to the other States win-, as a general rule, fully paid ; 
and three-fourths or four-fifths of the money which it is pro- 
posed in this bill to return would he paid into the treasuries of 
the loyal States. But no valid reason for such payment is 
found in the fact that the government at fust could not, and 


afterward, for reasons probably perfectly valid, did not, enforce 
collection in the other States. 

There were many Federal taxes which were not paid by the 
people in the rebellious States ; and if the non-payment by 
them of this direct tax entitles the other States to a donation 
of the share of said taxes paid by their citizens, why should 
not the income tax and many other internal taxes paid entirely 
by the citizens of loyal States be also paid into the treasuries 
of these States ? Considerations which recognize sectional 
divisions, or the loyalty of the different States at the time this 
tax was laid, should not enter into the discussion of the merits 
of this measure. 

The loyal States should not be paid the large sums of money 
promised them by this bill because they were loyal and other 
States were not, nor should the States which rebelled against 
the government be paid the smaller sum promised them be- 
cause they were in rebellion and thus prevented the collection 
of their entire quotas, nor because this concession to them is 
necessary to justify the proposed larger gifts to the other 

The people of the loyal States paid this direct tax as they 
bore other burdens in support of the government ; and I be- 
lieve the tax-payers themselves are content. In the light of 
these considerations I am opposed to the payment of money 
from the Federal Treasury to enrich the treasuries of the States. 
Their funds should be furnished by their own citizens, and thus 
should be fostered the tax-payers' watchfulness of State ex- 
penditures and the tax-payers' jealous insistence upon the strict 
accountability of State officials. These elements of purity and 
strength in a State are not safely exchanged for the threatened 
demoralization and carelessness attending the custody and 
management of large gifts from the Federal Treasury. 

The baneful effect of a surplus, in the Treasury of the gen- 
eral government, is daily seen and felt. I do not think, how- 
ever, that this surplus should he reduced or its contagion spread 


throughout the States by methods such as are provided in this 

There is still another objection to the bill, arising from what 
seems to me its unfairness and unjust discrimination. 

In the ease of proposed legislation, of at least doubtful con- 
stitutionality and based upon no legal right, the equities \\ hi< li 
recommend it should always be definite and clear. 

The money appropriated by this bill is to he paid to the 
Governors of the respective States and Territories in which it 
was collected, whether the same was derived through said 
States and Territories or directly "from any of the citizens or 
inhabitants thereof or other persons"; and it is further pro 
vided that such sums as were collected in payment of this Fed- 
eral tax through the instrumentality of the State or Territorial 
officials, and accounted for to the general government by sin h 
States and Territories, are to be paid unconditionally to their 
Governors, while the same collected in payment of said tax by 
the United States, or, in other words, by the Federal ma- 
chinery created lor that purpose, are to he- held in trust by 
said States or Territories for the benefit of those paying the 

I am unable to understand how this discrimination in favor 
of those who have made payment of this tax directly to the 
officers of the Federal Government, and against those who 
made such payments through Slate or Territorial agencies, 
can In' defended upon, fair and equitable principles. It was 
the general government in every case which exacted this tax 
from its citizens and people in the different States ami Terri- 
tories ; and to provide for reimbursement to a part ol its 
citizens by the creation of a trust for their benefit, while the 
money exacted in payment of this tax from a far greater num- 
ber is paid unconditionally into the State and Territorial treas- 
uries, is an unjust and unfair proceeding, in whii h the gov- 
ernment should not be implicated. 

It will hardly do to say that the States and Territories who 


are the recipients of these large gifts may be trusted to do 
justice to its citizens who originally paid the money. This can- 
not be relied upon, nor should the government lose sight of 
the equality of which it boasts, and, having entered upon the 
plan of reimbursement, abandon to other agencies the duty 
of just distribution, and thus incur the risk of becoming ac- 
cessory to actual inequality and injustice. 

If, in defense of the plan proposed, it is claimed that exact 
equality cannot be reached in the premises, this may be readily 
conceded. The money raised by this direct tax was collected 
and expended twenty-seven years ago. Nearly a generation 
has passed away since that time. Even if distribution should 
be attempted by the States and Territories, as well as by the 
government, the taxpayers in many cases are neither alive 
nor represented, and in many other cases, if alive, they cannot 
be found. Fraudulent claims would often outrun honest ap- 
plications, and innumerable and bitter contests would arise be- 
tween claimants. 

Another difficulty in the way of doing perfect justice in the 
operation of this plan of reimbursement is found in the fact 
that the money to be appropriated therefor was contributed to 
the Federal Treasury for entirely different purposes, by a gen- 
eration many of whom were not born when the direct tax was 
levied and paid, who have no relation to said tax, and cannot 
share in its distribution. While they stand by and see the 
money they have been obliged to pay into the public Treasury, 
professedly to meet present necessities, expended to reimburse 
taxation long ago fairly, legally, and justly collected from 
others, they cannot fail to see the unfairness of the transaction. 

The existence of a surplus in the Treasury is no answer to 
these objections. It is still the people's money, and better use 
can be found for it than the distribution of it upon the plea of 
the reimbursement of ancient taxation. A more desirable plan 
to reduce and prevent the recurrence of a large surplus can 
easily be adopted- — one that, instead of creating injustice and in- 
equality, promotes justice and equality by leaving in the hands 

SO ME NOTABl /• Vt TOi I'" 

oi tin people and for their use the raone) nol ne< :di 'I by the 
government "topaythe debts and provide i"i the < <iinin<»n 
defense and general welfare of the United States." 

The difficulties in the way of making a jusi reimbui iemi nl 
of this dire< i tax, instead oi ex< using the imperft i tions ol the 
hill under consideration, furnish reasons why the scheme il 
proposes should not be entered upon. 

1 am constrained, upon the considerations herein pn sent) d, 
to withhold my assenl from the bill herewith returned, I" i 
I believe it to be without constitutional warrant, be< ause I am 
of the opinion that then- exist no adequate reasons eithei in 
right or equity for the return of the tax in said bill mentioned, 
and because I believe its execution would cause a< tual injus- 
tice and unfairness. 

Grover Cleveland. 



Concerning the Immigration Commissioner. 

Albany, May 4, 1SS3. 
To the Senate: 

I deem it my duty to remind you of the importance of giving 
effect to the law lately passed by the legislature "to amend 
the law relating to alien immigrants, and to secure an improved 
administration of alien immigration." 

This statute was the result of investigation which demon- 
strated that the present management of this very important 
department is a scandal and a reproach to civilization. The 
money of the State is apparently expended with no regard to 
economy, the most disgraceful dissensions prevail among those 
having the matter in charge, barefaced jobbery has been per- 
mitted, and the poor immigrant who looks to the institution for 
protection, finds that his helplessness and forlorn condition 
afford the readily seized opportunity for imposition and 

These facts lift the efforts to reform the management above 
partisan considerations, and make the cause one in which every 
right-minded man should be enlisted, and one in which those 
chosen to protect the rights and the honor of the people of the 
State should gladly co-operate. 

The law lately passed, it is admitted, seeks in a practical 
way to remedy the evils referred to. 

In the enforcement of this law, it became my duty to send 
to the Senate, for its confirmation, the name of a person who 



should a<i as commissioner, and who should have chai 
the import. mt ters provided Tor. 

This 1 have done. In the discharge oi this duty I was 
fortunate enough to be able to present the name ol .1 ■ itizi 11 ol 
the State, si conceded integrity, ability, and administrative 
capacity, who enjoys the respecl and 1 iteem oi ill who know 
him, and whose benevolent nature would insure the prote< tion 
and kind care oi the destitute and friendless strangers who 
should be |uit in his charge. 

But the unmistakable indications are that, in it 1 1 l< ising hoi 
the Senate will refuse to confirm his appointment, and thus 
continue the present scandal and abuses. 

Some of those now in charge ol this department and their 
hone fu iaries arc on the ground and about the halls oi legislation, 
seeking to retain their control and their abused advantages. 

The refusal to confirm the appointee is not based upon any 
allegation of unfitness, nor lias such a thing been suggested. 
It has its rise, as I understand the situation, com ededly and 
openly, in an overweening greed for the patronage which may 
attach to the place, and which will not be promised in advai 
and in questionable partisanship, which is insisted on, at the 
expense of important interests. 

There has not been a reason suggested why the name of the 
appointee should be withdrawn, and I should be unjust and 
derelict in my duty if I should pursue that course. The Sen 
ate is reminded, too, that the present situation ol affairs pre- 
cludes my submitting another name if I desired. 

I am profoundly sensible of the absolute power and right of 
the Senate in the premises, and do not seek to question it even 
in this case. Every member knows the motives for his con- 
duct, and must justify them to his constituents. 

The fact remains, however, that a captious opposition to the 
execution of the best remedial law of the present session of 
the legislature perpetuates the oppression of the immigrant and 
the practice of unblushing peculation. I have endeavored to 
co-operate with the Senate in supplementing the passage of the 


[aw, by putting the machinery in motion for its execution; and 
I may, perhaps, be allowed to express the hope that its opera- 
tion may not be defeated. If it is, the responsibility must rest 
where it belongs. 

Grover Cleveland. 


On Giving Reasons for Removals from Office. 

Exec u t i v e M ansion, 
Washington, March r, 1886. 
To the Senate: 

Ever since the beginning of the present session of the 
Senate, the different heads of the Departments attached to the 
executive branch of the government have been plied with various 
requests and demands from committees of the Senate, from 
members of such committees, and at last from the Senate itself, 
requiring the transmission of reason for the suspension of certain 
officials during the recess of that body, or for the papers touch- 
ing the conduct of such officials, or for all papers and documents 
relating to such suspensions, or for all documents and papers 
filed in such Departments in relation to the management and 
conduct of the offices held by such suspended officials. 

The different terms from time to time adopted in making 
these requests and demands, the order in which they succeeded 
each other, and the fact that when made by the Senate the 
resolution for that purpose was passed in executive session, 
have led to a presumption, the correctness of which will, I 
suppose, be candidly admitted, that, from first to last, the 
information thus sought and the papers thus demanded were 
desired for use by the Senate and its committees in consider- 
ing the propriety of the suspensions referred to. 

Though these suspensions are my executive acts, based upon 
considerations addressed to me alone, and for which I am 
wholly responsible, 1 have had no invitation from the Senate 
to state the position which I have felt constrained to assume 

CHAR XCTERISTIC '.)//■ l'- . 

in relation to the same, 01 to interprel foi mj iell i"\ a< i ind 
m< iin es in the premises. 

I n this condition ol affairs, I have forborne addn i ing the 
Senate upon the subject, lest I might be a< i used ol thru 
myself unbidden upon the attention <>! that body. 

But the report <>f the Committee on the Judiciary ol the 
Senate, lately presented and published, which censures the 
Attorney- General <>i' the United States for his refusal to trans- 
mit certain papers relating to a suspension from office, and 
which also, if I correctly interpret it, evinces a misapprehen- 
sion of tin- position of the Exe< utive upon the question ol su< li 
suspensions, will, I hope, justify this communication 

Tins report is predicated upon a resolution of the Senate 
directed to the Attorney-General and his reply to thi same. 
This resolution was adopted in executive session devoted 
entirely to business connected with the consideration of nom- 
inations for office. It required the Attorney- General "to trans- 
mil to the Senate i opics of all documents and papers that have 
been filed in the Department of Justice since the ist da) i i 
January, 1885, in relation to the management and conduct ol 
the office of distrii t attorney of the United States of the 
southern district of Alabama." 

The incumbent of this office on the ist il.w of January, 
1885, and until the 17th day of Jul) ensuing, was George M. 
Duskin, who, on the day last mentioned, was suspended I 
Executive order, and John I ). Burnett designated to perform 
the duties of said office. At the time of the passage of the 
resolution above referred to, the nomination of Burnett for 
said office was pending before the Senate, and all the papers 
relating to said nomination were before that body for its 
inspection and information. 

In reply to this resolution, the Attorney-General, after refer- 
ring to the fact that the papers relating to the nomination oi 
Burnett had already been sent to the Senate, stated that he 
was directed by the President to say that "the papers and 
documents which are mentioned in said resolution and still 

466 CHA RA C ' / 'EMS 7 7C Ml: SS I GES. 

remaining in the custody of this Department, having exclusive 
reference to the suspension by the President of George M. 
Duskin, the late incumbent of the office of district attorney for 
the southern district of Alabama, it is not considered that the 
public interests will be promoted by a compliance with said 
resolution and the transmission of the papers and documents 
therein mentioned to the Senate in executive session." 

Upon this resolution and the answer thereto the issue is thus 
stated by the Committee on the Judiciary at the outset of the 

The important question, then, is whether it is within the constitutional 
competence of either house of Congress to have access to the official papers 
and documents in the various public offices of the United States created by 
laws enacted by themselves. 

I do not suppose that "the public offices of the United 
States" are regulated or controlled in their relations to either 
house of Congress by the fact that they were "created by laws 
enacted by themselves." It must be that these instrumentali- 
ties were created for the benefit of the people and to answer 
the general purposes of government under the Constitution 
and the laws, and that they are unincumbered by any lien in 
favor of either branch of Congress growing out of their con- 
struction, and unembarrassed by any obligation to the Senate 
as the price of their creation. 

The complaint of the committee, that access to official 
papers in the public offices is denied the Senate, is met by the 
statement that at no time has it been the disposition or the 
intention of the President or any Department of the executive 
branch of the government to withhold from the Senate official 
documents or papers filed in any of the public offices. While 
it is by no means conceded that the Senate has the right, in any 
case, to review the act of the Executive in removing or sus- 
pending a public officer upon official documents or otherwise, 
it is considered that documents and papers of that nature 
should, because they are official, be freely transmitted to the 


Senate upon its demand, trusting the use ol the iami foi 
proper and legitimate purposes to the good faith ol thai bod) 
And though mi such paper or doi ument has been spccifu .ill\ 
demanded- in any of the numerous requests and demand mad< 
upon the Departments, yet, as often as they were found in the 
public offices, they have been furnished in answei to such 

The letter of the Attorney-General in response to th< resolu- 
tion of the Senate, in the parti< ular case mentioned in the 1 om- 
mittee's report, was written at my suggestion and by my dun 
tion. There had been do official papers or do< uments filed in 
this Department relating to the case, within the period specified 
in the resolution. The letter was intended, by its description 
of the papers and documents remaining in the custod) of the 
Department, to convey the idea that they were not official; 
and it was assumed that the resolution called for information, 
papers, and documents of the same < harai ter as were required 
by the requests and demands which preceded it. 

Everything that had been written or done on behalf of the 
Senate, from the beginning, pointed to all letters and papers of 
a private and unofficial nature as the objects of sear< h, it they 
were to be found in the Departments, and provided that they 
had been presented to the Executive with a view to their con- 
sideration upon the question of suspension from offi< 1 - 

Against the transmission of such papers and documents 
1 have interposed my advice and direction. This has not 
been done, as is suggested in the committee's report, upon the 
assumption on my part that the Attorney-General or any other 
head of a Department "is the senant of the President, and 
is to give or withhold copies of do< uments in his office accord- 
ing to the will of the Executive and nol otherwise," but 
because I regard the papers and documents withheld and 
addressed to me, or intended lor my use and action, purely 
unofficial and private, not infrequently confidential, and having 
reference to the performance of a duty exclusivelj mine. I 
consider them in no proper sense as upon the files ol the 


Department, but as deposited there for my convenience, 
remaining still completely under my control. 1 suppose if I 
desired to take them into my custody I might do so with entire 
propriety, and if I saw lit to destroy them no one could 

Even the committee in its report appears to concede that 
there may be, with the President or in the Departments, papers 
and documents which, on account of their unofficial character, 
are not subject to the inspection of the Congress. A reference 
in the report to instances where the House of Representatives 
ought not to succeed in a call for the production of papers is 
immediately followed by this statement: 

The committee feels authorized to state, after a somewhat careful re- 
search, that within the foregoing limits there is scarcely in the history of this 
government, until now, any instance of a refusal by a head of a Department, 
or even of the President himself, to communicate official facts and informa- 
tion as distinguished from private and unofficial papers, motions, views, 
reasons, and opinions, to either house of Congress when unconditionally de- 

To which of the classes thus recognized do the papers and 
documents belong that are now the objects of the Senate's 

They consist of letters and representations addressed to the 
Executive or intended for his inspection; they are voluntarily 
written and presented by private citizens who are not in the 
least instigated thereto by any official invitation or at all sub- 
ject to official control. While some of them are entitled to 
Executive consideration, many of them are so irrelevant, or in 
the light of other facts so worthless, that they have not been 
given the least weight in determining the question to which 
they are supposed to relate. 

Are all these, simply because they are preserved, to be con- 
sidered official documents and subject to the inspection of the 
Senate? If not, who is to determine which belong to this 
class? Are the motives and purposes of the Senate, as they 
,i d 'v by day developed, such as would be satisfied with my 


selection? Am I to submi! to theirs .it the risk ol bi 
charged with makings suspension from office upon evidence 
w hich was nol e\ en i onsidered? 

Arc these papers to be regarded official because they have 
nol only been presented bul preserved in the public offici f 

Their nature and character remain the same, whether they 
are kepi in the Executive Mansion or deposited in the Depart 
Hunts. There is no mysterious power of transmutation in 
departmental custody, nor is there magic in the undefined and 
sacred solemnit) oi Department files. If the presence ol 
these papers in the public offices is a stumbling-block in the 
w;n of the performance of senatorial duty, ii can be easily 

The papers and. documents which have been described derive 
no "I'tic ial < haracter from any constitutional, statutory, or othi i 
requirement making them necessar) to the performance of the 
otiK ial duty of the Executive. 

It will not be denied, I suppose, the President may 
suspend a public officer in the entire absence of an) papers or 
documents to aid his official judgment and discretion. And I 
am quite prepared to avow thai the cases are nol few in which 
suspensions from office have depended more upon oral repre- 
sentations made to Uie 1>\ I iti/ens of known good repute, and 

by members of the House of Representatives and Senators oi 
the United States, than upon any letters and documents pre- 
sented for my examination. I have not felt justified in sus- 
pecting the veracity, integrity, and patriotism of Senators, or 
ignoring their representations, because the) were not in party 
affiliation with the majority of their associates; and I recall a 
few suspensions which hear the approval of individual mem- 
bers identified politically with the m tjorit) m the Senate. 

While, therefore, 1 am constrained to den) the right "I the 
Senate to the papers and documents described, SO far a the 
right to the same is based upon the claim that the) are in any 
view of the subject official, I am also led unequivocall) \>> 
dispute the righto! the Senate, l>\ the aid ol an) documents 


whatever, or in any way save through the judicial process of 
trial on impeachment, to review or reverse the acts of the 
Executive in the suspension, during the recess of the Senate, 
ni Federal officials. 

1 believe the power to remove or suspend such officials is 
vested in the President alone by the Constitution, which in 
express terms provides that "the executive power shall be 
\rsted in a President of the United States of America," and 
that "he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed." 

The Senate belongs to the legislative branch of the govern- 
ment. When the Constitution, by express provision, super- 
added to its legislative duties the right to advise and consent to 
appointments to office and to sit as a court of impeachment, it 
conferred upon that body all the control and regulation of 
Executive action supposed to be necessary for the safety of the 
people; and this express and special grant of such extraor- 
dinary powers, not in any way related to or growing out of 
general senatorial duty, and in itself a departure from the gen- 
eral plan of our government, should be held, under a familiar 
maxim of construction, to exclude every other right of inter- 
ference with Executive functions. 

In the first Congress which assembled after the adoption of 
the Constitution, comprising many who aided in its prepara- 
tion, a legislative construction was given to that instrument in 
whi< h the independence of the Executive in the matter of 
removals from office was fully sustained. 

I think it will be found that in the subsequent discussions of 
this question there was generally, if not at all times, a proposi- 
tion pending in some way to curtail this power of the Presi- 
dent by legislation, which furnishes evidence that to limit such 
power it was supposed to be necessary to supplement the Con- 
stitution by such legislation. 

The first enactment of this description was passed under a 
stress of partisanship and political bitterness which culminated 
in the President's impeachment. 

This law provided that the Federal officers to which it 


applied could onl) be suspended during the recess ol th< Sen- 
ate when shown by evidence satisfai torj to the Pn sidenl to l>< 
guilty of misconduct in offi< e, or < rime, or when in< apable 01 
disqualified to perform their duties, and thai within twenty 
days after the nexl meeting of the Senate il hould be the duty 
of tin' President "to report to the Senate su< h suspension, with 
the evidence and reasons for his action in the case." 

This statute, passed in 1867, when Congress was ovei 
whelmingly and bitterly opposed politicallj to the President, 
may be regarded as an indication thai even then it was thought 
necessary by a Congress, determined upon the subjugation of 
the Executive to legislative will, to furni h itself a law foi that 
purpose, instead of attempting to reai h the obje< t intended by 
an invocation of any pretended constitutional right. 

The law which thus found its way to our statute book was 
plain in its terms, and its intent needed no avowal. Il valid* 
and now in operation, it would justify the presenl course ol 
the Senate and command the obedience of the Executive to 
its demands. It may, however, he remarked in passing, that, 
under this law, the President had the privilege of presenting to 
the body which assumed to review his executive acts his 
reasons therefor, instead of being excluded from explanation 
or judged by papers found in the Departments. 

Two years after the law of 1SO7 was passed, and within less 
than five weeks after the inauguration of a President in polit- 
ical accord with both branches of Congress, the sections ot the 
act regulating suspensions from office during the recess <>!' the 
Senate were entirely repealed and in their place were substi- 
tuted provisions which, instead of limiting the < auses of 
suspension to misconduct, crime, disability, or disqualification, 
expressly permitted such suspension by the President "in his 
discretion," and completely abandoned the requirement oblig- 
ing him to report to the Senate "the evidence .\\\<\ reasons" 
for his action. 

With these modifications, and with all branches of the gov- 
ernment in political harmony, ami in the absence of partisan 


incentive to captious obstruction, the law, as it was left by the 
amendment of 1869, was much less destructive of Executive 
discretion. And yet the great general and patriotic citizen 
who, on the 4th day of March, 1869, assumed the duties of 
Chief Executive, and for whose freer administration of his high 
office the most hateful restraints of the law of 1867 were, on 
the 5th day of April, 1869, removed, mindful of his obligation 
to defend and protect every prerogative of his great trust, and 
apprehensive of the injury threatened the public service in the 
continued operation of these statutes even in their modified 
form, in his first message to Congress advised their repeal and 
set forth tluir unconstitutional character and hurtful tendency 
in the following language: 

It may be well to mention here the embarrassment possible to arise 
from leaving on the statute books the so-called " tenure-of-office acts" and to 
recommend earnestly their total repeal. It could not have been the inten- 
tion of the framers of the Constitution, when providing that appointments 
made by the President should receive the consent of the Senate, that the 
latter should have the power to retain in office persons placed there by Fed- 
eral appointment against the will of the President. The law is inconsistent 
with a faithful and efficient administration of the government. What faith 
can an Executive put in officials forced upon him, and those, too, whom he 
has suspended for reason ? How will such officials be likely to serve an ad- 
ministration which they know does not trust them ? 

I am unable to state whether or not this recommendation for 
a repeal of these laws has been since repeated. If it has not, 
the reason can probably be found in the experience which 
demonstrated the fact that the necessities of the political situa- 
tion hut rarely developed their vicious character. 

And so it happens that, after an existence of nearly twenty 
years of almost innocuous desuetude, these laws are brought 
forth — apparently the repealed as well as the unrepealed — and 
put in the way of an Executive who is willing, if permitted, 
to attempt an improvement in the methods of administration. 

The constitutionality of these laws is by no means admitted, 
but why should the provisions of the repealed law, which 

characteristic messages. 17; 

required specific cause for suspension and .1 report to the Sen- 
ate of "evidence and reasons," be now, in effect, applied to 
the present Executive instead of the law, afterward passed, 
and unrepealed, which distinctl) permits suspensions by the 
President "in his discretion," and carefully < .1 n i t s the require- 
ment that "evidence and reasons for his actions in the case" 
shall be reported to the Senate? 

'The requests and demands which, by the score, have, foi 
nearly three months, been presented to the different Depart- 
ments of the government, whatever may be then form, have 
but one complexion. They assume the right oi the Sen. Me to 
sit in judgment upon the exercise of my exclusive discretion 
and executive function, for which 1 am solely responsible to 
the people from whom I have so lately received the sacred 
trust of office. My oath to support and defend the Constitu- 
tion, my duty to the people, who have chosen me to execute 
the powers of their great office and not to relinquish them, and 
my duty to the Chief Magistracy, which I must preserve unim- 
paired in all its dignity and vigor,* compel me to refuse com- 
pliance with these demands. 

To the end that the service may he improved, the Senate is 
united to the fullest scrutiny of the persons submitted to them 
for public office, in recognition of the ((institutional powei oi 
that body to advise and consent to their appointment. I shall 
continue, as 1 have thus fir done, to furnish, at the request "i 
the confirming body, all the information I possess touching the 
fitness of the nominees placed before them for their action, 
both when the)' are proposed to till vacancies and to take the 
place of suspended officials. Upon a refusal to confirm I 
shall not assume the right to ask the reasons foi the action of 
the Senate nor question its determination. I cannot think 
that anything more is required to set ure worthy incumbents in 
public office than a careful and independent discharge ol oui 
respective duties within their well-defined limits. 

Though the propriety of suspensions might he better assured 
if the action of the President was subjeel to review b) the 


Senate, yet if the Constitution and the laws have placed this 
responsibility upon the executive branch of the government, it 
should not be divided nor the discretion which it involves 

It has been claimed that the present Executive having 
pledged himself not to remove officials except for cause, the 
fact of their suspension implies such misconduct on the part ol 
a suspended official as injures his character and reputation, 
and therefore the Senate should review the case for his vindi- 

1 have said that certain officials should not, in my opinion, 
he removed during the continuance of the term for which they 
were appointed solely for the purpose of putting in their place 
those in political affiliation with the appointing power; and 
this declaration was immediately followed by a description of 
offensive partisanship which ought not to entitle those in whom 
it was exhibited to consideration. It is not apparent how an 
adherence to the course thus announced carries with it the 
consequences described. If in any degree the suggestion is 
worthy of consideration, it is to be hoped that there may be 
a defense against unjust suspension in the justice of the 

Every pledge which I have made, by which I have placed a 
limitation upon my exercise of executive power, has been faith- 
fully redeemed. Of course the pretense is not put forth that 
no mistakes have been committed; but not a suspension has 
been made except it appeared to my satisfaction that the pub- 
lic welfare would be improved thereby. Many applications for 
suspension have been denied, and the adherence to the rule 
laid down to govern my action as to such suspensions has 
< aused much irritation and impatience on the part of those 
who have insisted upon more changes in the offices. 

The pledges I have made were made to the people, and to 
them I am responsible for the manner in which they have been 
redeemed. 1 am not responsible to the Senate, and 1 am 

(7/ I A 1 XCTEKISTIC Ml ■".'. 475 

unwilling to submit tnj actions and official conduct to them 
for judgment. 

There are no grounds for an allegation that the fear ot being 
found false to im professions Influences rae in declining to 
submil to the demands of the Senate. I have not constant!) 
refused to suspend officials, and thus incurred the displ 
ure hi political friends, and yet willfully broken faith with the 
people for the sake of being false to them. 

Neither the discontent of party friends nor the allurements 
constantly offered of confirmations of appointees conditioned 
upon the avowal that suspensions have been made on party 
grounds alone, nor the threat proposed in the resolutions now 
before the Senate that no confirmation will be made unless 
the demands of that body be complied with, are sufficient to 
discourage or deter me from following in the way whi< li I am 
convinced leads to better government for the people. 

Gro\ i r ( 'i i \ I LAN n. 


Suggesting Certain Amendments /<> the Oleomargarine Act. 

EXE< l I l\ l M VNSION, 

•' • Washington, August 2, [886. 


I have this day approved a bill originating in the House oi 
Representatives, entitled, "An A< t defining butter, also impos 
ing a tax upon and regulating the manufacture, sale, im porta 
tion, and exportation of oleomargarine." 

This legislation has awakened much interest among the peo- 
ple of the country, and earnest argumenl has been addn 
to the Executive for the purpose of influencing his action 
thereupon. Many, in opposition, have urged its dangerous 
character as tending to break down the boundaries between 
the proper exercise of legislative poweT by Federal and State 
authority; many, in favor of the enactment, have represented 
that it promised greal advantages to 1 large portion of our 


population who sadly need relief; and those, on both sides of 
the question, whose advocacy or opposition is based upon no 
broader foundation than local or personal interest, have out- 
numbered all the others. 

This, upon its face and in its main features, is a revenue bill, 
and was first introduced in the House of Representatives, 
wherein the Constitution declares that all bills for raising 
revenue shall originate. 

The Constitution has invested Congress with a very wide 
legislative discretion both as to the necessity of taxation and 
the selection of the objects of its burdens. And though, if the 
(piestion was presented to me as an original proposition, I might 
doubt the present need of increased taxation, I deem it my 
duty in this instance to defer to the judgment of the legislative 
branch of the government, which has been so emphatically 
announced in both Houses of Congress upon the passage of 
this bill. 

Moreover, those who desire to see removed the weight of 
taxation, now pressing upon the people from other directions, 
may well be justified in the hope and expectation that the 
selection of an additional subject of internal taxation, so will 
able to bear it, will in consistency be followed by legislation 
relieving our citizens from other revenue burdens, rendered by 
the passage of this bill even more than heretofore unnecessary 
and needlessly oppressive. 

Tt has been urged as an objection to this measure that, while 
purporting to be legislation for revenue, its real purpose is to 
destroy, by the use of the taxing power, one industry of our 
people t<>r the protection and benefit of another. 

If entitled to indulge in such a suspicion, as a basis of 
official action in this case, and if entirely satisfied that the 
consequences indicated would ensue, 1 should doubtless feel 
constrained to interpose Executive dissent. 

Hut I do not feel called upon to interpret the motives of 
Congress otherwise than by the apparent character of the bill 
which has been presented lo me, and I am convinced that the 


taxes which il creates cannot possiblj destroy the open and 
legitimate manufa< ture and sale ol the thing upon whi< h il is 
levied. It this arti< le has the m< ril wh i< 1 1 1 1 ■ friend i laim foi 
it, and it" the people of the land, with lull knowledge ol its real 
( ici, desire to purchase and use It, the tax< s exa< ted by 
this bill will permit a fair profit to both manufacture] and 
dealer. It the existence of the commodity taxed, and the 
profits of its manufat ture and sale, depend upon disposing ol it 
to the people for something else which it deceitfully imil 
the entire enterprise is a hand and not an industry; and il it 
cannot endure the exhibition of its real charai ter whi< h will be 
effected by the inspection, supervision, and stamping which 
this bill directs, the soonei it is destroyed the better, in the 
interesl ol fair dealing. 

Such a result would not furnish the first instam e in the his- 
tory of legislation in which a revenue bill produced a benefit 
which was merely incidental to its main purpo 

There is certainly no industry better entitled to the inci- 
dental advantages which may follow this legislation than our 
farming and dairy interests; and to none of our people should 
they be less begrudged than our tanners and dairymen. The 
present depression of their occupations, the hard, steady, and 
often unremunerative toil which such occupations exact, and 
the burdens of taxation which our agriculturists necessarily 
bear, entitle them to every legitimate consideration. 

Nor should there-be opposition to the incidental effeel ol 
this legislation on the part of those who profess to be engaged 
honestly and fairly in the manufacture and sale of a wholesome 
and valuable article of food, which by its provisions may be 
subject to taxation. As long as their business is carried on 
under cover and by false pretenses, such men have bad com- 
panions in those whose manufactures, however vile and harm- 
ful, take their place without challenge with the better sort, in 
a common crusade of deceit against the public. But il this 
occupation and its methods are toned into the light, — and all 
these manufactures must thus either stand upon their mei 


fall— the good and bad must soon part company, and the fittest 
only will survive. 

Not the least important incident related to this legislation is 
the defense afforded to the consumer against the fraudulent 
substitution and sale of an imitation for a genuine article of 
food, of very general household use. Notwithstanding the 
immense quantity of the article described in this bill which is 
sold to the people for their consumption as food, and notwith- 
standing the claim made that its manufacture supplies a cheap 
substitute for butter, 1 venture to say that hardly a pound ever 
entered a poor man's house under its real name and in its true 

While, in its relation to an article of this description, there 
should be no governmental regulation of what the citizen shall 
eat, it is certainly not a cause of regret if, by legislation of this 
character, he is afforded a means by which he may better pro- 
tect himself against imposition in meeting the needs and wants 
of his daily life. 

Having entered upon this legislation, it is manifestly a duty 
to render it as effective as possible in the accomplishment of 
all the good which should legitimately follow in its train. 

This leads to the suggestion that the article proposed to be 
taxed, and the circumstances which subject it thereto, should be 
clearly and with great distinctness defined in the statute. It 
seems to me that this object has not been completely attained 
in the phraseology of the second section of the bill, and that 
question may well arise as to the precise condition the article 
to be taxed must assume in order to be regarded as "made in 
imitation or semblance of butter, or, when so made, calculated 
or intended to be sold as butter or for butter." 

The fourteenth and fifteenth sections of the bill in my opin- 
ion are in danger of being construed as an interference with 
the police power of the States. Not being entirely satisfied of 
the unconstitutionality of these provisions, and regarding them 
as not being so connected and interwoven with the other 
sections as, if found invalid, to vitiate the entire measure, I 

ril \RACTERIST1C I \r> 

have determined to commend them to the attention <>i th( 
House wuli a view to an immediate amendment ol the bill it it 
should be deemed necessary, and it it is pra< ticable al this late 
daj in the session of ( longress. 

The fact, too, that the bill dors nol take effe< t l>\ its terms 
until ninety days have elapsed after its approval, thus leaving 
it but one month in operation before the next session ol Con 
gress, when, if time dues not now permit, the safety and effi- 
• iency of the measure may be abundantly protei ted by remedial 
legislative action, and the desire to see realized the benefi< ial 
results which it is expected will immediate!) follow the inau- 
guration of this legislation have had their influence in determin- 
ing my official action. 

The considerations which have been referred to will, I 
hope, justify this communication and the suggestions whi< h it 

Grovi k Clevei and. 




(Letter to John P. Adams, Brooklyn, N. V., September 12, 1890.) 
It seems but a very short time ago that I participated in the 
laying of the cornerstone of the building now ready for occu- 
pancy, and I recognize in the vigor with which it has been 
pushed to completion the most gratifying evidence of the zeal 
and sturdiness of your Democratic organization. 

The Kings County Democracy should certainly be congrat- 
ulated upon the possession of such beautiful headquarters in 
a building whose name suggests the true Democratic faith. In 
the Thomas Jefferson there should be found no room for 
counsels in the least regardless of the value of pure and honest 
government, or lacking in sympathy with the highest and 
greatest good of the people. 

I feel that 1 can wish nothing better for your association 
than that their new home may be long continued to them, 
and that they may take with them there and always maintain 
those principles of Jeffersonian Democracy, as old as the 
Nation, which, if steadfastly upheld and honestly applied, are 
certain to insure the felicity and prosperity of our country. 


(Letter to William E. Burnett, Springfield, O., February 3, 1891.) 
The Democracy of Ohio is deserving of the utmost regard 
of its party friends everywhere on account of its stead- 



fastness to a party creed and loyalty. This reflection but adds 
to my perplexity, ;is I see insurmountable obstacles in the way 
of my meeting those who will gather at your contemplated 

These are days above all others in our generation when the 
memory of [efferson's patriotism, conservatism, wisdom, and 
devotion to everything American should be kept warm in the 
hearts and minds of his countrymen, and especially of his 
political followers. The contemplation of these things should 
serve to check every tendency to follow false and delusive 
lights, and to tread untried and unsafe paths. 

It is most fitting and useful, therefore, that your club, which 
hears the name of this illustrious man, should properly cele- 
brate every anniversary of his birth. 

(Letter to Dethlef C. Hansen, Tacoma, Wash., March 20, 1891.) 

It would afford me great satisfaction if I could at < ept your 
invitation to join the Democracy of the State of Washington 
in their celebration of the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, on 
the 13th day of April next. 

It seems to me that there never was a time in our history 
when the American people could with so much profit re< all 
the character and teachings of this illustrious man. The peril 
of our day lies in an inclination to disregard the virtue of patri- 
otism — absolutely necessary to the success of free institutions — 
and the acceptance of the vicious lessons of selfishness, and in 
an ignoble toleration of the idea that the operations of our 
government may be used as aids in the advancement of special 

Jefferson has warned us that these things are all opposed to 
the principles upon which our scheme of popular rule is 
founded. He has admonished us that the requisites of su< 
in the plan of government which we exhibit to the world are 


our united determination to reach the national destiny our in- 
stitutions promise, a patriotic, unselfish care of every interest 
affecting the general prosperity of our people, and the scrupu- 
lous cultivation and preservation of that genuine Americanism 
which is considerate of all our conditions, tolerant of all our 
varied interests, and free from unworthy suspicion or 

It follows that, if there are dangerous political tendencies 
abroad in the land, they should not be found among those who 
profess the faith of true Democracy. We, who acknowledge 
Jefferson as the founder of our party, should never for a mo- 
ment discredit the wisdom or devotion to principle of our 
great leader, who knew so well the essentials of our coun- 
try's perpetuation and welfare, nor should we ever doubt 
that lie has left to us a safe guide to the way of political 

(Letter to E. O. Graves, Seattle, Wash., April 2, 1891.) 
I very much regret that I am unable to accept the invitation 
thus courteously extended to me, for I believe that those who 
profess the political faith of Thomas Jefferson cannot too often 
contemplate his life and services, and all that he has done for 
our country and for the American name. 

Every Democrat should be proud to claim that the services 
he rendered in the cause of freedom and humanity were ren- 
dered under the sanction of Democratic principles. Nor should 
we forget that the honest and fearless application of these 
principles is of no less importance now than when our great 
leader announced them. 

The occasion which you contemplate should not, therefore, 
be allowed to pass without leaving, on the minds of those who 
participate, the conviction that, as followers of Thomas Jeffer- 
son, they assume a responsibility to their fellow-countrymen 


which exacts not only loyally to party organization, bul the 
intelligent and sturdy advocacy of Democratic doctrines in 

their purity and integrity. 

It these doctrines are fairly and frankly taught, we need 
have no apprehension that the absolute reliance upon the de- 
liberate thought of the American people, which Jefferson in- 
sisted upon, will disappoint us — either as members of the 
Democratic parly or as patriotic American citizens. 

(Letter to Iroquois Club, Chicago, March 25, iSijt.) 

1 am in receipt of the courteous invitation tendered me by 
the Iroquois Club, of Chicago, to attend its annual banquet in 
commemoration of the birthday of Thomas Jefferson on the 
2d day of April. The fact that 1 have been obliged to de- 
cline other invitations of the club to meet its members and 
guests on similar occasions causes me especially to regret that 
1 cannot accept this, but the work I have to do and the en- 
gagements I have made enforce another declination. 

A contemplatibn of Jefferson's life and services, and a review 
of his political expressions, cannot fail to be improving and 
profitable to the Democracy of the present day. If entered 
upon in a proper spirit, Jefferson's teachings ought to increase 
the tenacity of our hold upon the simple truths which made 
up his political faith, and should satisfy us with the standards 
of Democracy which he established. In these days, when the 
Democratic party is beset with temptation, and when on every 
side false lights are set up for its destruction, its safety will be 
found in steadfastly and trustingly following the way which 
principle points out and shunning the allurements of temporary 
expedients, and resisting the seductions of popular miscon- 




(Letter to Allen G. Thurman, January 4, 1S86.) 

I acknowledge with thanks the receipt of an invitation to he 
present at the annual reunion of the Jackson Club, of the city 
of Columbus, on the evening of the 8th inst. 

My official duties here will prevent my acceptance of the 
invitation so kindly tendered, and I beg to assure the Club 
that the objects and purposes of the reunion, which are 
expressed in the note of the committee, meet with my cordial 
and sincere approval. 

I should be most pleased to be one of those who, on that 
occasion, will congratulate the friends of good government on 
the success of the Democratic party, for I believe that the 
application of the true and pure principles of that political 
faith must result in the welfare of the country. 

It is also proposed, I learn, to consult together as to the 
manner in which the accomplishment of " the greatest good to 
our people " can best be aided and assisted. No higher or 
more sacred mission was ever intrusted to a party organization, 
and I am convinced that it will be honestly and faithfully per-