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and cordially welcome the cooperation of all patriotic citizens, without regard to previous political affiliations.
Mr. Greeley's Acceptance.
New York, May 20, 1872. Gentlemen: I have chosen not to acknowledge your letter of the 3d instant until 1 could learn how the work of your convention was received in all parts of our great country, and judge whether that work was approved and ratified by the mass of our fellow-citizens. Their response has from day to day reached me through telegrams, letters, and the comments of journalists independent of official patronage and indifferent to the smiles or frowns of power. The number and character of these unconstrained, unpurchased, unsolicited utterances satisfy me that the movement which found expression at Cincinnati has received the stamp of public approval, and been hailed by a majority of our countrymen as the harbinger of a better day for the Republic.
I do not misinterpret this approval as especially complimentary to myself, nor even to the chivalrous and justly esteemed gentleman with whose name I thank your convention for associating mine. I receive and welcome it as a spontaneous and deserved tribute to that admirable platform of principles wherein your convention so tersely, so lucidly, so forcibly, set forth the convictions which impelled and the purposes which guided its course—a platform which, casting behind it the wreck and rubbish of worn-out contentions and by-gone feuds, embodies in fit and few words the needs and aspirations of to-day. Though thousands stand ready to condemn your every act, hardly a syllable of criticism or cavil has been aimed at your platform, of which the substance may be fairly epitomized as follows:
I. All the political rights and franchises which have been acquired through our late bloody convulsion must and shall be guarantied, maintained, enjoyed, respected evermore.
II. All the political rights and franchises which have been lost through that convulsion should and must be promptly restored and reestablished, so that there shall be henceforth no proscribed class and no disfranchised caste within the limits of our Union, whose longestranged people shall reunite and fraternize upon the broad basis of universal amnesty with impartial suffrage.
III. That, subject to our solemn constitutional obligation to maintain the equal rights of all citizens, our policy should aim at local self government, and not at centralization; that the civil authority should be supreme over the military; that the writ of habeas corpus should be jealously upheld as the safeguard of personal freedom; that the individual citizen should enjoy the largest liberty consistent with public order; and that there shall be no Federal subversion of the internal polity of the several States and municipalities, but that each shall be left free to enforce the rights
and promote the well-being of its inhabitants by such means as the judgment of its own people shall prescribe.
IV. There shall be a real and not merely a simulated reform in the civil service of the Republic; to which end it is indispensable that the chief dispenser of its vast official patronage shall be shielded from the main temptation to use his power selfishly by a rule inexorably forbidding and precluding his reelection.
V. That the raising of revenue, whether by tariff or otherwise, shall be recognized and treated as the people's immediate business, to be shaped and directed by them through their Representatives in Congress, whose action thereon the President must neither overrule by his veto, attempt to dictate, nor presume to punish, by bestowing office only on those who agree with him or withdrawing it from those who do not.
VI. That the public lands must be sacredly reserved for occupation and acquisition by cultivators, and not recklessly squandered on the projectors of railroads for which our people have no present need, and the premature construction of which is annually plunging us into deeper and deeper abysses of foreign indebtedness.
VII. That the achievement of these grand purposes of universal beneficence is expected and sought at the hands of all who approve them, irrespective of past affiliations.
VIII. That the public faith must at all hazards be maintained, and the national credit preserved.
IX. That the patriotic devotedness and inestimable services of our fellow-citizens, who, as soldiers or sailors, upheld the flag and maintained the unity of the Republic, shall ever be gratefully remembered and honorably requited.
These propositions, so ably and forcibly presented in the platform of your convention, have already fixed the attention and commanded the assent of a large majority of our countrymen, who joyfully adopt them, as I do, as the bases of a true, beneficent, national reconstruction—of a new departure from jealousies, strifes, and hates, which have no longer adequate motive or even plausible pretext, into an atmosphere of peace, fraternity, and mutual good-will. In vain do the drill-sergeants of decaying organizations flourish menacingly their truncheons and angrily insist that the files shall be closed and straightened; in vain do the whippers-in of parties, once vital because rooted in the vital needs of the hour, protest against straying and bolting, denounce men nowise their inferiors as traitors and renegades, and threaten them with infamy and ruin. I am confident that the American people have already made your cause their own, fully resolved that their brave hearts and strong arms shall bear it on to triumph. In this faith, and with the distinct understanding that if elected I shall be the President not of a party, but of the whole people, I accept your nomination, in the confident trust that the masses of our countrymen, North
and South, are eager to clasp hands across | the bloody chasm which has too long divided them, forgetting that they have been enemies in the joyful consciousness that they are and must henceforth remain brethren. Yours, gratefully, Horace Greeley.
Got. Brown's Acceptance.
Executive Office, Jefferson City, May 31, 1872. Gentlemen: Your letter advising me of the action of the Liberal Republican convention at Cincinnati has been received, and I return through you my acknowledgment of the honor which has been conferred upon me. I accept the nomination as a candidate for Vice President, and indorse most cordially the resolutions setting forth the principles on which this appeal is made to the whole people of the United States.
A century is closing upon our experience of republican government, and while that lapse of time has witnessed great expansion of our free institutions, yet it has not been without illustration also of grave dangers to the stability of such system. Of those successfully encountered it is needless to speak; of those which remain to menace us the most threatening are provided against, as I firmly believe, in the wise and pacific measures proposed by your platform.
It has come to be the practice of those elevated to positions of national authority to regard the public service not as a public trust, but only as means to retain power. This results in substituting a mere party organization for the Government itself, constitutes a control amenable to no laws or moralities, impairs all independent thought, enables the few to rule the many, and makes personal alle giance the road to favor. It requires little forecast to perceive that this will wreck our liberties unless there be interposed a timely reform of administration, from its highest to its lowest station, which shall not only forbid those abuses but likewise take away the incentive to their practice. Wearied with contentions that are carried on in avarice of spoils, the country demands repose, resents the effort of officials to dragoon it again into partisan hostilities, and will zealously sustain any movement promising a sure deliverance.
Of the perils which have been connected with the war it is safe to say that only those are now to be feared which come of an abuse of victory into permanent estrangement. The Union is fortified by more power than ever before, and it remains as an imperative duty to cement our nationality by a perfect reconciliation. At the North a widespread sympathy is aroused in behalf of those States of the South which long after the termination of resistance to rightful Federal authority are still plundered under the guise of loyalty, and tyrannized over in the name of freedom. Along with this feeling is present, too, the recognition that in complete amnesty alone can be found hope of any return to constitutional government as of old, or any development of a more
enduring unity and broader national life in the future. Amnesty, however, to be efficacious must be real, not nominal; genuine, not evasive. It must carry along with it equal rights as well as equal protection to all; for removal of disabilities as to some, with enforcement as to others, leaves room for suspicion that pardon is measured by political gain. Especially will such proffered clemency be futile in presence of renewed attempt at prolonging a suspension of the habeas corpus, in persistent resort to martial rather than civil law, in upholding those agencies used to alienate races where concord is most essential, and in preparing another elaborate campaign on a basis of dead issues and arbitrary interventions. All will rightly credit such conduct as but a mockery of amnesty, and demand an Administration which can give better warrant of honesty in the great work of reconstruction and reform.
In the array of sectional interests a republic so widespread as ours is never entirely safe from serious conflicts. These become still more dangerous when complicated with questions of taxation where unequal burdens are believed to be imposed on one part at the expense of another part. It was a bold as well as admirable policy, in the interest of present as well as future tranquillity, to withdraw the decision of industrial and revenue matters from the virtual arbitration of an Electoral College, chosen with a single animating purpose of party ascendency, and refer them for a more direct popular expression to each congressional district. Instead of being muzzled by some evasive declaration, the country is thereby invited to its frankest utterance, and sections which would revolt at being denied a voice, out of deference to other success, would be content to acquiesce in a general judgment honestly elicited. If local government be, as it undoubtedly is, the most vital principle of our institutions, much advance will be made toward reestablishing it by enabling the people to pass upon questions so nearly affecting their well-being dispassionately, through their local representation. The precipitancy which would force a controlling declaration on tax or tariff through a presidential candidacy is only a disguised form of centralization involving hazardous reaches of executive influence. Conclusions willbemuch more impartially determined, and with less disturbance to trade and finance, by appealing to the most truthful and diversified local expression. Industrial issues can be thus likewise emancipated from the power of great monopolies, each canvass made to determine its own specific instruction, and each Representative held to fidelity toward his immediate constituents.
These are the most prominent features of that general concert of action which proposes to replace the present Administration by one more in sympathy with the aspirations of the masses of our countrymen. Of course such concert cannot be attained by thrusting every minor or past difference into the foreground, and it will be forthe people, therefore, to determine whether these objects are of such mag
nitude and present urgency as to justify them in deferring other adjustments until the country shall be first restored to a free suffrage, uninfluenced by official dictation, and ours becomes in fact a free republic, released from apprehension of a central domination.
Without referring in detail to the various other propositions embraced in the resolutions of the convention, but seeing how they all contemplate a restoration of power to the people, peace to the nation, purity to the Government; that they condemn the attempt to establish an ascendency of military over civil rule, and affirm with explicitness the maintenance of equal freedom to all citizens, irrespective of race, previous condition, or pending disabilities, I have only to pledge again my sincere cooperation.
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, yours,
B. Gratz Brown.
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONTENTION.
Baltimore, July 9-10, 1873.
For President, Horace Greeley, of New York; Vice President, Benjamin Gratz Brown, of Missouri.
Mr. Greeley was nominated on the first ballot, receiving 686 votes, the remainder being: for James A. Bayard, of Delaware, 15; Jeremiah S. Black, of Pennsylvania, 21; William S. Groesbeck, of Ohio, 2; blank, 8.
Mr. Brown was nominated on the first ballot, which stood: Benjamin Gratz Brown, 713; John W. Stevenson, of Kentucky, 6; blank, 13.
We, the Democratic electors of the United States in convention assembled, do present the following principles, already adopted at Cincinnati, as essential to just government:
1. We recognize the equality of all men before the law, and hold that it is the duty of Government in its dealings with the people to mete out equal and exact justice to all, of whatever, nativity, race, color, or persuasion, religious or political.
2. We pledge ourselves to maintain the union of these States, emancipation, and enfranchisement, and to oppose any reopeningof the questions settled by the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments to the Constitution.
3. We demand the immediate and absolute removal of all disabilities imposed on account of the rebellion, which was finally subdued seven years ago, believing that universal amnesty will result in complete pacification in all sections of the country.
4. Local self-government, with impartial suffrage, will guard the rights of all citizens more securely than any centralized power. The public welfare requires the supremacy of the civil over the military authority, and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus. We demand for the individual the largest liberty consistent with public order; for the State self-government, and
for the nation a return to the methods of peace and the constitutional limitations of power.
5. The civil service of the Government has become a mere instrument of partisan tyranny and personal ambition and an object of selfish greed. It is a scandal and reproach upon free institutions and breeds a demoralization dangerous to the perpetuity of republican government. We therefore regard a thorough reform of the civil service as one of the most pressing necessities of the hour ; that honesty, capacity, and fidelity constitute the only valid claim to public employment; that the offices of the Government cease to be a matter of arbitrary favoritism and patronage, and that public station become again a post of honor. To this end it is imperatively required that no President shall be a candidate for reelection.
6. We demand a system of Federal taxation which shall not unnecessarily interfere with the industry of the people, and which shall provide the means necessary to pay the expenses of the Government,economically administered, the pensions, the interest on the public debt, and a moderate reduction annually of the principal thereof; and recognizing that there are in our midst honest but irreconcilable differences of opinion with regard to the respective systems of protection and free trade, we remit the discussion of the subject to the people in their congressional districts, and to the decision of the Congress thereon, wholly free from executive interference or dictation.
7. The public credit must be sacredly maintained, and we denounce repudiation in every form and guise.
8. A speedy return to specie payment is demanded alike by the highest considerations of commercial morality and honest government.
9. We remember with gratitude the heroism and sacrifices of the soldiers and sailors of the Republic, and no act of ours shall ever detract from their justly earned fame for the full reward of their patriotism.
10. We are opposed to all further grants of lands to railroads or other corporations. The public domain should be held sacred to actual settlers.
11. We hold that it is the duty of the Government in its intercourse with foreign nations to cultivate the friendships of peace, by treating with all on fair and equal terms, regarding it alike dishonorable either to demand what is not right or to submit to what is wrong.
12. For the promotion and success of these vital principles, and the support of the candidates nominated by this convention, we invite and cordially welcome the cooperation of all patriotic citizens, without regard to previous political affiliations.
NATIONAL LABOR REFORM CONVENTION.
Columbus, February 31-32, 1873.
For President, David Davis, of Illinois; Vice President, Joel Parker, of New Jersey.
Ballot for President, (informal.)—John W. Geary, 55; Horace F. Day, 59; David Davis,
42; Wendell Phillips, 13; John M. Palmer, 8; Joel Parker, 7. First, (formal)—David Davis, 88; Wendell Phillips, 52; John W. Geary, 45; Horace F. Day, 8; Joel Parker, 7; George W. Julian, 1. Second—Davis, 93; Day, 59; Phillips, 12; Gratz Brown, 14; Horace Greeley, 11; Parker, 7; Julian, 5. Third—The names of Phillips, Greeley, Julian, and Brown being withdrawn, Davis received the nomination.
We hold that all political power is inherent in the people, and free government founded on their authority and established for their benefit; that all citizens are equal in political rights, entitled to the largest religious and political liberty compatible with the good order of society, as also the use and enjoyment of the fruits of their labor and talents; and no manor set of men is entitled to exclusive separable endowments and privileges, or immunities from the Government, but in consideration of public services; and any laws destructive of these fundamental principles are without moral binding force, and should be repealed. And believing that all the evils resulting from unjust legislation now affecting the industrial classes can be removed by the adoption of the principle contained in the following declaration: Therefore,
Resolved, That it is the duty of the Government to establish-a just standard of distribution of capital and labor by providing a purely national circulating medium, based on the faith and resources of the nation, issued directly to the people without the intervention of any system of banking corporations, which money shall be legal tender in the payment of all debts, public and private, and interchangeable at the option of the holder for Government bonds bearing a rate of interest not to exceed 3-65 per cent., subject to future legislation by Congress.
2. That the national debt should be paid in good faith, according to the original contract, at the earliestoption of the Government, without mortgaging the property of the people or the future exigencies of labor to enrich a few capitalists at home and abroad.
3. That justice demands that the burdens of Government should be so adjusted as to bear equally on all classes, and that the exemption from taxation of Government bonds bearing extravagant rates of interest is a violation of all just principles of revenue laws.
4. That the public lands of the United States belong to the people and should not be sold to individuals norgranted to corporations, but should be held as a sacred trust for the benefit of the people, and should be granted to landless settlers only, in amounts not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres of land.
5. That Congress should modify the tariff so as to admit free such articles of common use as we can neither produce nor grow, and lay duties for revenue mainly upon articles of luxury and upon such articles of manufacture as will, we having the raw materials, assist in further developing the resources ofthe country.
6. That the presence in our country of Chinese laborers, imported by capitalists in large numbers for servile use, is an evil, entailing want and its attendant train of misery and crime on all classes of the American people, and should be prohibited by legislation.
7. That we ask for the enactment of a law by which all mechanics and day-laborers employed by or on behalf of the Government, whether directly or indirectly, through persons, firms, or corporations, contracting with the State, shall conform to the reduced standard of eight hours a day, recently adopted by Congress for national employes, and also for an amendment to the acts of incorporation for cities and towns by which all laborers and mechanics employed at their expense shall conform to the same number of hours.
8. That the enlightened spirit of the age demands the abolition of the system of contract labor in our prisons and other reformatory institutions.
9. That the protection of life, liberty, and property are the three cardinal principles of Government, and the first two are more sacred than the latter; therefore money needed for prosecuting wars should, as it is required; be assessed and collected from the wealthyof the country, and not entailed as a burden on posterity.
10. That it is the duty of the Government to exercise its power over railroads and telegraph corporations, that they shall not in any case be privileged to exact such rates of freight, transportation, or charges, by whatever name, as may bear unduly or unequally upon the producer or consumer.
11. That there should be such a reform in the civil service of the national Government as will remove it beyond all partisan influence, and place it in the charge and under the direction of intelligent and competent business men.
12. That as both history and experience teaches us that power ever seeks to perpetuate itself by every and all means, and that its prolonged possession in the hands of one person is always dangerous to the interests of a free people, and believing that the spirit of our organic laws and the stability and safety of our free institutions are best obeyed on the one hand,and secured on the other, by a regular constitutional change in the chief of the country at each election: therefore, we are in favor of limiting the occupancy of the presidential chair to one term.
13. That we are in favor of granting general amnesty and restoring the Union at, once on the basis of equality of rights and privileges to all, the impartial administration of justice being the only true bond of union to bind the States together and restore the Government of the people.
14. That we demand the subjection of the military to the civil authorities, and the confinement of its operations to national purposes alone.
15. That we deem it expedient for Congress to supervise the patent laws, so as to give labor more fully the benefit of its own ideas and inventions.
16. That fitness, and not political or personal considerations, should be the only recommendation to public office, either appointive or elective, and any and all laws looking to the establishment of this principle are heartily approved.
Judge Davis's Response. Washington, February 22, 1872. E. M. Chamberlain, President of the National Labor Reform Convention: Sir: Be pleased to thank the convention for the unexpected honor which they have conferred upon me. The Chief Magistracy of the Republic should neither be sought nor declined by any American citizen.
Judge Davis's Declination.
Bloomington, June 24, 1872. Hon. E. M. Chamberlain, President of the Columbus Convention, Boston, Massachusetts:
Dear Sir: The national convention of Labor Reformers, on the 22d of February last, honored me with the nomination as their candidate for the Presidency. Having regarded that movement as the initiation of a policy and purpose to unite various political elements in compact opposition, I consented to the use of my name before the Cincinnati convention, where a distinguished citizen of New York was nominated. Under these circumstances 1 deem it proper to retire absolutely from the presidential contest, and thus leave the friends who were generous enough to offer their voluntary support free to obey their convictions of duty unfettered by any supposed obligation. Sympathizing earnestly with all just and proper measures by which the condition of labor may be elevated and improved, I am, with great respect, your fellow-citizen, David Davis.
Govern©!9 Fai°feeF9s Declination. Freehold, N. J., June 28, 1872. Edwin M. Chamberlain, President Columbus Convention, Boston, Massachusetts: Sir: Your letter, informing me that the convention of the Labor Reform party, which met at Columbus on the 22d day of February last, placed me in nomination for the office of Vice President of the--USited States, has been received. 1 feel honored by the preference thus expressed by the representatives of a large and ufluential body of my fellow-citizens. 1 am n favor of all legal and just measures that end to improve the condition of the workingnen. 1 have always been a member of the democratic party. For nearly thirty-five years i have shared its triumphs and defeats, adheriigto its fortunes because I considered its success essential to good government and to the elevation of the laboring classes. Having ;een placed in an important public position .i$ the nominee of that party, 1 am bound in uouor, as well as by inclination, to stand by
its organization and abide by the decision of its national convention. To be the candidate of one party while supporting the nominees of another, although the two may agree substantially in principle, would be inconsistent, and I therefore respectfully decline the nomination tendered me by the convention you represent. Joel Parker. The convention has been called to meet again July 30, 1872.
NATIONAL COLORED CONVENTION.
New Orleans, April 10-14, 1873. [Met under call of the '* s mthern States convention of colored men/' issued from Columbia, South Carolina, October 18, 1871.] The Platform.
Regretting the necessity which has called into existence a colored convention, and deeply sensible of the responsibilities which have been intrusted to our consideration, we hereby acknowledge our gratitude for past triumphs in behalf of equal rights, and respectfully submit our peculiar grievances to the immediate attention of the American people in the following platform and resolutions:
1. We thank God, the friends of universal liberty in this and other lands, the bravery of colored soldiers, and the loyalty of the colored people for our emancipation, our citizenship, and our enfranchisement.
2. Owing our political emancipation in this country to Republican legislation,to which all other parties and political shades of opinion were unjustly and bitterly opposed, we would be blind to our prospects and false to our best interests did we identify ourselves with any other organization 5 aud as all roads out of the Republican party lead into the Democratic camp, we pledge our unswerving devotion to support the nominees of the Philadelphia convention.
3. We sincerely and gratefully indorse the administration of President Q. S. Grant in maintaining our liberties, in protecting us in our privileges, in punishing our enemies 5 in the dawn of recognition of the claims of men without regard to color, by appointing us to important official positions at home and abroad; in the assurances that he has given to defend our rights, and that while we in our gratefulness acknowledge and appreciate his efforts in behalf of equal rights, we are not unmindful of his glory as a soldier and his exalted virtues as a statesman.
4. Our thanks are due and are hereby tendered to President Grant for overriding the precedents of prejudice in the better recognition of the services of men without regard to color in some parts of the country, and we earnestly pray that colored Republicans of States where there are no Federal positions given to colored men may no longerbe ignored, but that they maybe stimulated by some recognition of Federal patronage.
5. it would be an ingratitude, loathed by men and abhorred by God, did we not acknowledge our overwhelming indebtedness to the services