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26 page printout Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship. **** **** Contents of this file page INDIANAPOLIS SPEECH. 1 EIGHT TO SEVEN ADDRESS 13 **** **** This file, its printout, or copies of either are to be copied and given away, but NOT sold. Bank of Wisdom, Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 The Works of ROBERT G. INGERSOLL **** **** INDIANAPOLIS SPEECH. 1876. Delivered to the Veteran Soldiers of the Rebellion. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, FELLOW CITIZENS AND CITIZEN SOLDIERS: -- I am opposed to the Democratic party, and I will tell you why. Every State that seceded from the United States was a Democratic State. Every ordinance of secession that was drawn was drawn by a Democrat. Every man that endeavored to tear the old flag from the heaven that it enriches was a Democrat. Every man that tried to destroy this nation was a Democrat. Every enemy this great republic has had for twenty years has been a Democrat. Every man that shot Union soldiers was a Democrat. Every man that denied to the Union prisoners even the worm-eaten crust of famine, and when some poor, emaciated Union patriot, driven to insanity by famine, saw in an insane dream the face of his mother, and she beckoned him and he followed, hoping to press her lips once again against his fevered face, and when he stepped one step beyond the dead line the wretch that put the bullet through his loving throbbing heart was and is a Democrat. Every man that loved slavery better than liberty was a Democrat. The man that assassinated Abraham Lincoln was a Democrat. Every man that sympathized with the assassin -- every man glad that the noblest President ever elected was assassinated, was a Democrat. Every man that wanted the privilege of whipping another man to make him work for him for nothing and pay him with lashes on his naked back, was a Democrat. Every man that raised bloodhounds to pursue human beings was a Democrat. Every man that clutched from shrieking, shuddering, crouching mothers, babes from their breasts, and sold them into slavery, was a Democrat. Every man that impaired the credit of the United States, every man that swore we would never pay the bonds, every man that swore we would never redeem the greenbacks, every malinger of his country's credit, every calumniator of his country's honor, was a Democrat. Every man that resisted the draft, every man that hid in the bushes and shot at Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 1 INDIANAPOLIS SPEECH. Union men simply because they were endeavoring to enforce the laws of their country, was a Democrat. Every man that wept over the corpse of slavery was a Democrat. Every man that cursed Abraham Lincoln because he issued the Proclamation of Emancipation -- the grandest paper since the Declaration of Independence -- every one of them was a Democrat. Every man that denounced the soldiers that bared their breasts to the storms of shot and shell for the honor of America and for the sacred rights of man, was a Democrat. Every man that wanted an uprising in the North, that wanted to release the rebel prisoners that they might burn down the homes of Union soldiers above the heads of their wives and children, while the brave husbands, the heroic fathers, were front in the front fighting for the honor of the old flag, every one of them was a Democrat. I am not yet through yet. Every man that believed this glorious nation of ours is a confederacy, every man that believed the old banner carried by our fathers over the fields of the Revolution; the old flag carried by our fathers over the fields of 1812; the glorious old banner carried by our brothers over the plains of Mexico; the sacred banner carried by our brothers over the cruel fields of the South, simply stood for a contract, simply stood for an agreement, was a Democrat. Every man who believed that any State could go out of the Union at its pleasure, every man that believed the grand fabric of the American Government could be made to crumble instantly into dust at the touch of treason, was a Democrat. Every man that helped to burn orphan asylums in New York, was a Democrat; every man that tried to fire the city of New York, although he knew that thousands would perish, and knew that the great serpent of flame leaping from buildings would clutch children from their mothers' arms -- every wretch that did it was a Democrat. Recollect it! Every man that tried to spread smallpox and yellow fever in the North, as the instrumentalities of civilized war, was a Democrat. Soldiers, every scar you have on your heroic bodies was given you be a Democrat. Every scar, every arm that is lacking, every limb that is gone, is a souvenir of a Democrat. I want you to recollect it. Every man that was the enemy of human liberty in this country was a Democrat. Every man that wanted the fruit of all the heroism of all the ages to turn to ashes upon the lips -- every one was a Democrat. I am a Republican. I will tell you why: This is the only free Government in the world. The Republican party made it so. The Republican party took the chains from four millions of people. The Republican party, with the wand of progress, touched the auction- block and it became a school house, The Republican party put down the Rebellion, saved the nation, kept the old banner afloat in the air, and declared that slavery of every kind should be extirpated from the face of this continent. What more? I am a Republican because it is the only free party that ever existed. It is a party that has a platform as broad as humanity, a platform as broad as the human race, a party that says you shall have all the fruit of the labor of your hands, a party that says you may think for yourself, a party that says, no chains for the hands, no fetters for the soul. I am a Republican because the Republican party says this country is a Nation, and not a confederacy. I am here in Indiana to speak, and I have as good a right to speak here as though I had Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 2 INDIANAPOLIS SPEECH. been born on this stand -- not because the State flag of Indiana waves over me -- I would not know it if I should see it. You have the same right to speak in Illinois, not because the State flag of Illinois waves over you, but because that banner, rendered sacred by the blood od all heroes, waves over me. I am in favor of this being a Nation. Think of a man gratifying his entire ambition in the State of Rhode Island. We want this to be a Nation, and you cannot have a great, grand, splendid people without a great, grand, splendid country. The great plains the sublime mountains, the great rushing, roaring rivers, shores lashed by two oceans, and the grand anthem of Niagara, mingle and enter, into the character of every American citizen, and make him or tend to make him a great and grand character. I am for the Republican party because it says the Government has as much right, as much power, to protect its citizens at home as abroad. The Republican party does not say that you have to go away from home to get the protection of the Government. The Democratic party says the Government cannot march its troops into the South to protect the rights of the citizens. It is a lie. The Government claims the right, and it is conceded that the Government has the right, to go to your house, while you are sitting by your fireside with your wife and children about you and the old lady knitting, and the cat playing with the yarn, and everybody happy and serene -- the Government claims the right to go to your fireside and take you by force and put you into the army; take you down to the valley of the shadow of hell, by the ruddy, roaring guns, and make you fight for your flag. Now, that being so, when the war is over and your country is victorious, and you go back to your home, and a lot of Democrats want to trample upon your rights, I want to know if the Government that took you from your fireside and made you fight for it, I want to know if it is not bound to fight for you. The flag that will not protect its protectors is a dirty rag that contaminates the air in which it waves. The government that will not defend its defenders is a disgrace to the nations of the world. I am a Republican because the Republican party says, "We will protect the rights of American citizens at home, and if necessary we will march an army into any State to protect the rights of the humblest American citizen in that State." I am a Republican because that party allows me to be free -- allows me to do my own thinking in my own way. I am a Republican because it is a party grand enough and splendid enough and sublime enough to invite every human being in favor of liberty and progress to fight shoulder to shoulder for the advancement of mankind. It invites the Methodist, it invites the Catholic, it invites the Presbyterian and every kind of sectarian; it invites the Freethinker; it invites the infidel, provided he is in favor of giving to every other human being every chance and every right that he claims for himself. I am a Republican, I tell you. There is room in the Republican air for every wing; there is room on the Republican sea for every sail. Republicanism says to every man: "Let your soul be like an eagle; fly out in the great dome of thought, and question the stars for yourself." But the Democratic party says; "Be blind owls, sit on the dry limb of a dead tree, and hoot only when that party says hoot." In the Republican party there are no followers. We are all leaders. There is not a party chain. There is not a party lash. Any man that does not love this country, any man that does not love Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 3 INDIANAPOLIS SPEECH. liberty, any man that is not in favor of human progress, that is not in favor of giving to others all he claims for himself; we do not ask him to vote the Republican ticket. You can vote it if you please, and if there is any Democrat within hearing who expects to die before another election, we are willing that he should vote one Republican ticket, simply as a consolation upon his death-bed. What more? I am a Republican because that party believes in free labor. It believes that free labor will give us wealth. It believes in free thought, because it believes that free thought will give us truth. You do not know what a grand party you belong to. I never want any holier or grander title of nobility than that I belong to the Republican party, and have fought for the liberty of man. The Republican party, I say, believes in free labor. The Republican party also believes in slavery. What kind of slavery? In enslaving the forces of nature. We believe that free labor, that free thought, have enslaved the forces of nature, and made them work for man. We make the old attraction of gravitation work for us; we make the lightning do our errands we make steam hammer and fashion what we need. The forces of nature are the slaves of the Republican party. They have no backs to be whipped, they have no hearts to be torn -- no hearts to be broken; they cannot be separated from their wives; they cannot be dragged from the bosoms husbands; they work night and day and never tire. You cannot whip them, you cannot starve them, and a Democrat even can be trusted with one of them. I tell you I am a Republican. I believe, as I told you, that free labor will give us these slaves. Free labor will produce all these things, and everything you have to-day has been produced by free labor, nothing by slave labor. Slavery never invented but one machine, and that was a threshing machine in the shape of a whip. Free labor has invented all the machines. We want to come down to the philosophy of things. things. The problem of free labor, when a man works for the wife he loves, when he works for the little children he adores -- the problem is to do the most work in the shortest space of time. The problem of slavery is to do the least work in the longest space of time. That is the difference. Free labor, love, affection -- they have invented everything of use in this world. I am a Republican. I tell you, my friends, this world is getting better every day, and the Democratic party is getting smaller every day. See the advancement we have made in a few years, see what we have done. We have covered this nation with wealth, with glory and with liberty. This is the first free Government in the world. The Republican party is the first party that was not founded on some compromise with the devil. It is the first party of pure, square, honest principle; the first one. And we have the first free country that ever existed. And right here I want to thank every soldier that fought to make it free, every one living and dead. I thank you again in and again. You made the first free Government in the world, and we must not forget the dead heroes. If they were here they would vote the Republican ticket, every one of them. I tell you we must not forget them. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 4 INDIANAPOLIS SPEECH. NOTE: (The following part of this speech was to become known as "A Vision of War" and became the most famous of all written Memorials to the Civil War.) The past rises before me like a dream. Again we are in the great struggle for national life. We hear the sounds of preparation -- the music of boisterous drums -- the silver voices of heroic bugles. We see thousands of assemblages, and hear the appeals of orators. We see the pale cheek, of women and the flushed faces of men; and in those assemblages we see all the dead whose dust we have covered with flowers. We lose sight of them no more. We are with them when they enlist in the great army of freedom. We see them part with those they love. Some are walking for the last time in quiet, woody places, with the maidens they adore. We hear the whisperings and the sweet vows of eternal love as they lingeringly part forever. Others are bending over cradles, kissing babes that are asleep. Some are receiving the blessings of old men. Some are parting with mothers who hold them and press them to their hearts again and again, and say nothing. Kisses and tears, tears and kisses -- divine mingling of agony and love! And some are talking with wives, and endeavoring with brave words, spoken in the old tones, to drive from their hearts the awful fear. We see them part. We see the wife standing in the door with the babe in her arms -- standing in the sunlight sobbing. At the turn of the road a hand waves -- she answers by holding high in her loving arms the child. He is gone, and forever. We see them all as they march proudly away under the flaunting flags, keeping time to the grand, wild music of war -- marching down the streets of the great cities -- through the towns and across the prairies -- down to the fields of glory, to do and to die for the eternal right. We go with them, one and all. We are by their side on all the gory fields -- in all the hospitals of pain -- on all the weary marches. We stand guard with them in the wild storm and under the quiet stars. We are with them in ravines running with blood -- in the furrows of old fields. We are with them between contending hosts, unable to move, wild with thirst, the life ebbing slowly away among the withered leaves. We see them pierced by balls and torn with shells. in the trenches, by forts, and in the whirlwind of the where men become iron with nerves of steel. We are with them in the prisons of hatred and famine; but human speech can never tell what they endured. We are at home when the news comes that they are dead. We see the maiden in the shadow of her first sorrow. We see the silvered head of the old man bowed with the last grief. The past rises before us, and we see four millions of human beings governed by the lash -- we see them bound hand and foot -- we hear the strokes of cruel whips -- we see the hounds tracking women through tangled swamps. We see babes sold from the breasts of mothers. Cruelty unspeakable! Out-rage infinite! Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 5 INDIANAPOLIS SPEECH. Four million bodies in chains -- four million souls in fetters. All the sacred relations of wife, mother, father and child trampled beneath the brutal feet of might. And all this was done under our own beautiful banner of the free. The past rises before us. We hear the roar and shriek of the bursting shell. The broken fetters fall. These heroes died. We look. Instead of slaves we see men and women and children. The wand of progress touches the auction-block, the slave-pen, the whipping- post, an we see homes and firesides and schoolhouses and books, and where all was want and crime and cruelty and fear, we see the faces of the free. These heroes are dead. They died for liberty -- they died for us. They are at rest. They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless Palace of Rest. Earth may run red with other wars -- they are at peace. In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death. I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead: cheers for the living; tears for the dead. NOTE: (end of 'A Vision of War.') Now, my friends, I have given you a few reasons why I am a Republican. I have given you a few reasons why I am not a Democrat. Let me say another thing. The Democratic party opposed every forward movement of the army of the Republic, every one. Do not be fooled. Imagine the meanest resolution that you can think of -- that is the resolution the Democratic party passed. Imagine the meanest thing you can think of -- that is what they did; and I want you to recollect that the Democratic party did these devilish things when the fate of this nation was trembling in the balance of war. I want you to recollect another thing; when they tell you about hard times, that the Democratic party made the hard times; that every dollar we owe to-day was made by the Southern and Northern Democracy. When we commenced to put down the Rebellion we had to borrow money, and the Democratic party went into the markets of the world and impaired the credit of the United States. They slandered, they lied, they maligned the credit of the United States, and to such an extent did they do this, that at one time during the war paper was only worth about thirty-four cents on the dollar. Gold went up to $2.90. What did that mean? It meant that greenbacks were worth thirty-four cents on the dollar. What became of the other sixty-six cents? They were laid out of the greenback, they were slandered out of the greenback, they were maligned out of the greenback, they were calumniated out of the greenback, by the Democratic party of the North. Two-thirds of the debt, two-thirds of the burden now upon the shoulders of American industry, were placed there by the slanders of the Democratic party of the North, and the other third by the Democratic party of the South. And when you pay your taxes keep an account and charge two-thirds to the Northern Democracy and one-third to the Southern Democracy, and whenever you have to earn Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 6 INDIANAPOLIS SPEECH. the money to pay the taxes, when you have to blister your hands to earn that money, pull off the blisters, and under each one, as the foundation, you will find a Democratic lie. Recollect that the Democratic party did all the things of which I have told you, when the fate of our nation was submitted to the arbitrament of the sword. Recollect that the Democratic party did these things when your brothers, your fathers, and your chivalric sons were fighting, bleeding, suffering, and dying upon the battle-fields of the South; when shot and shell were crashing through their sacred flesh. Recollect that this Democratic party was false to the Union when your husbands, your fathers, and your brothers, and your chivalric sons were lying in the hospitals of pain, dreaming broken dreams of home, and seeing fever pictures of the ones they loved; recollect that the Democratic party was false to the nation when your husbands, your fathers, and your brothers were lying alone upon the field of battle at night the life-blood slowly oozing from the mangled and pallid lips of death; recollect that the Democratic party was false to your country when your husbands, your brothers, your fathers, your sons were lying in the prison pens of the South, with no covering but the clouds, with no bed but the frozen earth, with no food except such as worms had refused to eat, and with no friends except Insanity and Death. Recollect it, and spurn that party forever. I have sometimes wished that there were words of pure hatred out of which I might construct sentences like snakes; out of which I might construct sentences that had fanged mouths, and that had forked tongues; out of which I might construct sentences that would writhe and hiss; and then I could give my opinion of the Northern allies of the Southern rebels during the great struggle for the preservation of the country. There are three questions now submitted to the American people. The first is, Shall the people that served this country rule it? Shall the men who saved the old flag hold it? Shall the men who saved the ship of State sail it, or shall the rebels walk her quarter-deck, give the orders and sink it? That is the question. Shall a solid South, a united South, united by assassination and murder, a South solidified by the shot-gun; shall a united South, with the aid of a divided North, shall they control this great and splendid country? We are right back where we were in 1861. This is simply a prolongation of the war. This is the war of the idea, the other was the war of the musket. The other was the war of cannon, this is the war of thought; and we have beat them in this war of thought, recollect that. The question is, Shall the men who endeavored to destroy this country rule it? Shall the men that said, This is not a Nation, have charge of the Nation? The next question is, Shall we pay our debts? We had to borrow some money to pay for shot and shell to shoot Democrats with. We found that we could get along with a few less Democrats, but not with any less country, and so we borrowed the money, and the question now is, will we pay it? And which party is the more apt to pay it, the Republican party that made the debt -- the party that swore it was constitutional, or the party that said it was unconstitutional? Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 7 INDIANAPOLIS SPEECH. Every time a Democrat sees a greenback, it says to him, "I vanquished you." Every time a Republican sees a greenback, it says, "You and I put down the Rebellion and saved the country." Now, my friends, you have heard a great deal about finance. Nearly everybody that talks about it gets as dry -- as dry as if they had been in the final home of the Democratic party for forty years. I now give you my ideas about finance. In the first place the Government does not support the people, the people support the Government. The Government is a perpetual pauper. It passes round the hat, and solicits contributions; but then you must remember that the Government has a musket behind the hat. The Government produces nothing. It does not plow the land, it does not sow corn, it does not grow trees. The Government is a perpetual consumer. We support the Government. Now, the idea that the Government can make money for you and me to live on -- why, it is the same as though my hired man should issue certificates of my indebtedness to him for me to live on. people tell me that the Government can impress its sovereignty on a piece of paper, and that is money. Well, if it is, what's the use of wasting it making one dollar bills? It takes no more ink and no paper -- why not make one thousand dollar bills? Why not make a hundred million dollar bills I be and all be billionaires? If the Government can make money, what on earth does it collect taxes from you and me for? Why does it not make what money it wants, take the taxes out, and give the balance to us? Mr. Greenbacker, suppose the Government issued a billion dollars to-morrow, how would you get any of it? [A voice, "Steal it."] I was not speaking to the Democrats. You would not get any of it unless you had something to exchange for it. The Government would not go around and give you your average. You have to have some corn, or wheat, or pork to give for it. How do you get your money? By work from Where from? You have to dig it out of the ground. That is where it comes from. Men have always had a kind of hope that something could be made out of nothing. The old alchemists sought, with dim eyes for something that could change the baser metals to gold. With tottering steps, they searched for the spring of Eternal Youth. Holding in trembling hands retort and crucible, they dreamed of the Elixir of Life. The baser metals are not gold. No human ear has ever heard the silver gurgle of the spring of Immortal Youth. The wrinkles upon the brow of Age are still waiting for the Elixir of Life. Inspired by the same idea, mechanics have endeavored, by curious combinations of levers and inclined planes, of wheels and cranks and shifting weights, to produce perpetual motion; but the wheels and levers wait for force. And, in the financial world, there are thousands now trying to find some way for promises to take the place of performance; for some way to make the word dollar as good as the dollar itself; for some way to make the promise to pay a dollar take the dollar's place. This financial alchemy, this pecuniary perpetual motion, this fountain of eternal wealth, are the same old Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 8 INDIANAPOLIS SPEECH. failures with new names. Something cannot be made out of nothing. Nothing is a poor capital to carry on business with, and makes a very unsatisfactory balance at your bankers. Let me tell you another thing. The Democrats seem to think that you can fail to keep a promise so long that it is as good as though you had kept it. They say you can stamp the sovereignty of the Government upon paper. I saw not long ago a piece of gold bearing the stamp of the Roman Empire. That Empire is dust, and over it has been thrown the mantle of oblivion, but that piece of gold is as good as though Julius Caesar were still riding at the head of the Roman Legions. Was it his sovereignty that made it valuable? Suppose he had put it upon a piece of paper -- it would have been of no more value than a Democratic promise . Another thing, my friends: this debt will be paid; you need not worry about that. The Democrats ought to pay it. They lost the suit, and they ought to pay the costs. But we in our patriotism are willing to pay our share. Every man that has a bond, every man that has a greenback dollar has a mortgage upon the best continent of land on earth. Every one has a mortgage on the honor of the Republican party, and it is on record. Every spear of grass; every beard head of golden wheat that grows upon this continent is a guarantee that the debt will be paid; every field of bannered corn in the great, glorious West is a guarantee that the debt will be paid; every particle of coal laid away by that old miser the sun, millions of years ago, is a guarantee that every dollar will be paid; all the iron ore, all the gold and silver under the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas, waiting for the miners pick to give back the flash of the sun, every ounce is a guarantee that this debt will be paid; and all the cattle on the prairies, pastures and plains which adorn our broad land are guarantees that this debt will be paid; every pine standing in the somber forests of the North, waiting for the woodman's axe, is a guarantee that this debt will be paid; every locomotive with its muscles of iron and breath flame, and all the boys and girls bending over their books at school, every dimpled babe in the cradle, every honest man, every noble woman, and every man that votes the Republican ticket is a guarantee that the debt will be paid -- these, all these, each and all are guarantees that every promise of the United States will be sacredly fulfilled. What is the next question? The next question is, will we protect the Union men in the South? I tell you the white Union men have suffered enough. It is a crime in the Southern States to be a Republican. It is a crime in every Southern State to love this country, to believe in the sacred rights of men. The colored people have suffered enough. For than two hundred years they have suffered the fabled torments of the damned; for more than two hundred years they worked and toiled without reward, bending, in the burning sun, their bleeding backs; for more than two hundred years, babes were torn from the breasts of mothers, Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 9 INDIANAPOLIS SPEECH. wives from husbands, and every human tie broken by the cruel hand of greed; for more than two hundred years pursued by hounds, beaten with clubs, burned with fire, bound with chains; two hundred years of toil, of agony, of tears; two hundred years of hope deferred; two hundred years of gloom and shadow and darkness and blackness; two hundred years of supplication, of entreaty; two hundred years of infinite outrage, without a moment of revenge. The colored people have suffered enough. They were and are our friends. They are the friends of this country, and, cost what it may, they must be protected. There was not during the whole Rebellion a single negro that was not our friend. We are willing to be reconciled to our Southern brethren when they will treat our friends as men. When they will be just to the friends of this country; when they are in favor of allowing every American citizen to have his rights -- then we are their friends. We are willing to trust them with the Nation when they are the friends of the Nation. We are willing to trust them with liberty when they believe in liberty. We are willing to trust them with the black man when they cease riding in the darkness of night (those masked wretches,) to the hut of the freedman, and notwithstanding the prayers and supplications of his family, shoot him down; when they cease to consider the massacre of Hamburg as a Democratic triumph, then, I say, we will be their friends, and not before. Now, my friends, thousands of the Southern people and thousands of the Northern Democrats are afraid that the negroes are going to pass them in the race of life. And, Mr. Democrat, he will do it unless you attend to your business. The simple fact that you are white cannot save you always. You have to be industrious, honest, to cultivate a sense of justice. If you do not the colored race will pass you, as sure as you live. I am for giving every man a chance. Anybody that can pass me is welcome. I believe, my friends, that the intellectual domain of the future, as the land used to be in the State of Illinois, is open to preemption. The fellow that gets a fact first, that is his; that gets an idea first, that is his. Every round in the ladder of fame, from the one that touches the ground to the last one that leans against the shining summit of human ambition, belongs to the foot that gets upon it first. Mr. Democrat, (I point down because they are nearly all on the first round of the ladder) if you can not climb, stand to one side and let the deserving negro pass. I must tell you one thing. I have told it so much, and you have all heard it fifty times, but I am going to tell it again because I like it. Suppose there was a great horse race here to-day, free to every horse in the world, and to all the mules, and all the scrubs, and all the donkeys. At the tap of the drum they come to the line and the judges say "it is a go." Let me ask you, what does the blooded horse, rushing ahead, with nostrils distended, drinking in the breath of Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 10 INDIANAPOLIS SPEECH. his won swiftness, with his mane flying like a banner of victory, with his veins standing out all over him, as if a network of life bad been cast upon him -- with his thin neck, his high withers, his tremulous flanks -- what does he care how many mules and donkeys run on that track? But the Democratic scrub with his chuckle-head and lop-ears, with his tail full of cockle-burrs, jumping high and short, and digging in the ground when he feels the breath of the coming mule on his cockle-burr tail, he is the chap that jumps the track and says, "I am down on mule equality." I stood, a little while ago, in the city of Paris, where stood the Bastille, where now stands the Column of July, surmounted by a figure of liberty. In its right hand is a broken chain, in its left hand a banner; upon its glorious forehead the glittering and shining star of progress -- and as I looked upon it I said Such is the Republican party of my country." The other day going along the road I came to a place where the road had been changed, but the guide-board did not know it. It had stood there for twenty years pointing deliberately and solemnly in the direction of a desolate field; nobody ever went that way, but the guide-board thought the next man would. Thousands passed, but nobody heeded the hand on the guide-post, and through sunshine and storm it pointed diligently into the old field and swore to it the road went that way; and I said to myself: Such is the Democratic party of the United States." The other day I came to a river where there had been a mill; a part of it was there still. An old sign said: "Cash for wheat." The old waterwheel was broken; it had been warped by the sun, cracked and split by many winds and storms. There had not been a grain of wheat ground there for twenty years. The door was gone, nobody had built a new dam, the mill was not worth a dam; and I said to myself: "Such, is the Democratic party." I saw a little while ago a place on the road where there had once been an hotel. But the hotel, and barn had burned down and there was nothing standing but two desolate chimneys, up the flues of which the fires of hospitality had not roared for thirty years. The fence was gone, and the post-holes even were obliterated, but in the road there was an old sign upon which were these words: "Entertainment for man and beast." The old sign swung and creeked in the winter wind, the snow fell upon it, the sleet clung to it, and in the summer the birds sang and twittered and made love upon it. Nobody ever stopped there, but the sign swore to it, the sign certified to it! "Entertainment for man and beast," and I said to myself: "Such is the Democratic party of the United States," and I further said, "one chimney ought to be called Tilden and the other Hendricks." Now, my friends, I want you to vote the Republican ticket. I want you to swear you will not vote for a man who opposed putting down the Rebellion. I want you to swear that you will not vote for a man opposed to the Proclamation of Emancipation. I want you to swear that you will not vote for a man opposed to the utter abolition of slavery. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 11 INDIANAPOLIS SPEECH. I want you to swear that you will not vote for a man who called the soldiers in the field, Lincoln hirelings. I want you to swear that you will not vote for a man who denounced Lincoln as a tyrant. I want you to swear that you will not vote for any enemy of human progress. Go and talk to every Democrat that you can see; get him by the coat collar, talk to him, and hold him like Coleridge's Ancient Mariner, with your glittering eye; hold him, tell him all the mean things his party ever did; tell him kindly; tell him in a Christian spirit, as I do, but tell him. Recollect, there never was a more important election than the one you are going to hold in Indiana. I tell you we must stand by the country. It is a glorious country. It permits you and me to be free. It is the only country in the world where labor is respected. Let us support it. It is the only country in the world where the useful man is the only aristocrat. The man that works for a dollar a day, goes home at night to his little ones, takes his little boy on his knee, and he thinks that boy can achieve anything that the sons of the wealthy man can achieve. The free schools are open to him; he may be the richest, the greatest, and the grandest, and that thought sweetens every drop of sweat that rolls down the honest face of toil. Vote to save that country. My friends, this country is getting better every day. Samuel J. Tilden says we are a nation of thieves and rascals. If that is so he ought to be the President. But I denounce him as a calumniator of my country; a malinger of this nation. It is not so. This country is covered with asylums for the aged, the helpless, the insane, the orphans and wounded soldiers. Thieves and rascals do not build such things. In the cities of the Atlantic coast this summer, they built floating hospitals, great ships, and took the little children from the sub-cellars and narrow, dirty streets of New York City, where the Democratic party is the strongest -- took these poor waifs and put them in these great hospitals out at sea, and let the breezes of ocean kiss the roses of health back to their pallid cheeks. Rascals and thieves do not so. When Chicago burn railroads were blocked with the charity of the American people. Thieves and rascals do not so. I am a Republican. The world is getting better. Husbands are treating their wives better than they used to; wives are treating their husbands better. Children are better treated than they used to be; the old whips and clubs are out of the schools, and they are governing children by love and by sense. The world is getting better; it is getting better in Maine, in Vermont. It is getting better in every State of the North, and I tell you we are going to elect Hayes and Wheeler and the world will then be better still. I have a dream that this world is growing better and better every day and every year; that there is more charity, more justice, more love every day. I have a dream that prisons will not always curse the land; that the shadow of the gallows will not always fall upon the earth; that the withered hand of want will not always be stretched out for charity; that finally wisdom will sit in the legislatures, justice in the courts, charity will occupy all the pulpits, and that finally the world will be governed by justice and charity, and by the splendid light of liberty. That is my dream, and if it does not come true, it shall not be my fault. I am going to do my level best to give others the same chance I ask for myself. Free thought will give us truth; Free labor will give us wealth. **** **** Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 12 EIGHT TO SEVEN ADDRESS 1877 I HAVE sometimes wondered whether our country was to be forever governed by parties full of hatred, full of malice, full of slander. I have sometimes wondered whether or not in the future there would not be discovered such a science as the science of government. I do not know what you think, but what little I do know, and what little experience has been mine, is, I must admit, against it. We have passed through the most remarkable campaign of our history -- a campaign remarkable in every respect. It was bitter, passionate, relentless and desperate, and I admit, for one, that I added to its bitterness and relentlessness. I told, and frankly told, my real, honest opinion of the Democratic party of the North. I told, and cheerfully told, my opinion of the Democratic party of the South. And I have nothing to take back. But, to show you that my heart is not altogether wicked, I am willing to forgive and do forgive with all my heart, every person and every party that I ever said anything against. I believe that the campaign of 1876 was the turning-point, the midnight in the history of the American Republic. I believe, and firmly believe, that if the Democratic party had swept into power, it would have been the end of progress, and the end of what I consider human liberty, beneath our flag. I felt so, and I went into the campaign simply because the rights of American citizens in at least sixteen States of the Union were trampled under foot. I did what little I could. I am glad I did it. We had, as I say, a wonderful campaign, and each party said and did about all that could be said and done. Everybody attended to politics. Business was suspended. Everything was given over to processions and torches, and flags and transparencies; and resolutions and conventions and speeches and songs. Old arguments were revamped. Old stories were pressed into service. The old story of the Rebellion was told again and again. The memories of the war were revived. The North was arrayed against the South as though upon the field of battle. Party cries were heard on every hand. Each party leaped like a tiger upon the reputation of the other, and tore with tooth and claw, with might and main, to the very end of the campaign. I felt that it was necessary to arouse the North. I felt that it was necessary to tell again the story of the Rebellion, from Bull Run to Appomattox. I felt that it was necessary to describe what the Southern people were doing with Union men, and with colored men; and I felt it necessary so to describe it that, the people of the North could hear the whips, and could hear the drops of blood as they fell upon the withered leaves. I did all I could to arouse the people of the North. I did all I could to prevent the Democratic party from getting into power. The first morning after the election, the Democracy had a banquet of joy, but all through the feast they saw sitting at the head of the table the dim outline of the skeleton of defeat. And, when the tide turned, Republicans rejoiced with a face ready at any moment to express the profoundest grief. Then came despatches and rumors, and estimated majorities, and vague talk about Returning Boards, and intimidating voters, and stuffed ballot boxes, and fraudulent returns, and bribed clerks, Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 13 EIGHT TO SEVEN ADDRESS and injunctions, and contempts of courts, and telegrams in cipher, and outrages, and octoroon balls in which reverend Senators were whirled in love's voluptuous waltz. Everybody discussed the qualifications of Electors and the value of Governors' certificates, and how to get behind returns, and how to buy an Elector, and who had the right to count; and persons expecting offices of trust, honor and profit began to threaten war and extermination, calls were made for a hundred thousand men, and there were no end of meetings, and resolutions and denunciations, and the downfall of the country was prophesied; and yet, notwithstanding all this, the name of the person who really was elected remained unknown. The last scene of this strange, eventful history, so far as the election by the people was concerned, was Cronin. I see him now as he leaves the land "where rolls" the Oregon and hears no sound save his own dashings. Cronin, the last surviving veteran of the grand army of "honesty and reform." Cronin, a quorum of one. Cronin, who elected the two others by a plurality of his own vote. I see him now, armed with Hoadley's opinion and Grover's certificate, trudging wearily and drearily over the wide and wasted deserts of the West, with a little card marked "S.J.T. 15 G.P." Then came the great question of who shall count the electoral vote. The Vice-President being a Republican, it was generally contended, at least by me, that he had a right to count that vote. My doctrine was, if the Vice-President would count the vote right, he had the right to count it. The Vice-President not being a Democrat, the members of that party claimed that the House could prevent the Vice-President from counting it, and this was simply because the House was not Republican. Nearly all decided according to their politics. The Constitution is a little blind on this point, and where anything is blind I always see it my way. It was about this time that some of the Democrats began to talk about bringing one hundred thousand unarmed men to Washington to superintend the count. Others, however, got up a scheme to create a court in the United States where politics should have no earthly influence. Nothing could be easier, they thought, after we had gone through such a hot and exciting campaign, than to pick out men who have no prejudices whatever on the subject. Finally a bill was passed creating a tribunal to count the vote, if any, and hear testimony, if any, and declare what man had been elected President, if any. This tribunal consisted of fifteen men, ten being chosen on account of their politics -- five from the Senate and five from the House, -- and they chose four judges from purely geographical considerations. I was there, and I know exactly how it was. Those four men were picked with a map of the United States in front of the pickers. The Democrats chose Justice Field, not because he was a Democrat, but because he lived on the Pacific slope. They chose Justice Clifford, not because he was a Democrat, but because he lived on the Eastern slope; that was fair. Thereupon the Republicans chose Justice Strong, not because he was a Republican, but because he lived on the Eastern slope. You can see the point. The Republicans chose Justice Miller, not because he was a Republican, but because he represented the great West. They then allowed these four to select a fifth man. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 14 EIGHT TO SEVEN ADDRESS Well, it was impossible to select the fifth man from geographical considerations, you can see that yourselves. There was nothing left to choose between, you know, as far as geography was concerned. They then agreed that they would not take a Justice from any State in which the candidate for President lived. They left out Justice Hunt, from New York, and Justice Swayne, from Ohio. They knew of course that that would not influence them, but they did that simply -- well, they did not want them there; that was all, and it would be unhandy to pick one man out of four. So they left Swayne and Hunt out. And then they would pick one man as between Justice Bradley and Justice Davis. Just at that time the people of the State of Illinois happened to be out of a Senator, and Judge Davis was there and expressed a willingness to go to the Senate. And the people of the State of Illinois elected him, and therefore there was nobody to choose from except Justice. Bradley, and he was a Republican. Now, you know this runs in families. His record was good -- by marriage. He married a daughter of Chief Justice Hornblower, of New Jersey. Now, Hornblower was what you might call a partisan. Do you know they went to him -- it was in the old times, and he was a kind of Whig, -- they went to him with a petition, in the State of New Jersey, a petition addressed to the Legislature for the abolition of capital punishment, and Hornblower said, I'll be damned if I sign it while there is a Democrat in the State of New jersey." As a matter of fact, however, I believe that Justice Bradley and all the other Justices, and all other persons on that tribunal decided as they honestly thought was right. Judge Davis is as broad mentally as he is physically; he has an immensity of common sense, and as much judgment as any one man ever needs to use, and, in my judgment, he would have come to the same conclusion as Judge Bradley, precisely. These men were appointed -- it was a Democratic scheme, and I am glad they got it up -- and during that entire investigation, so much were the members of that party controlled by old associations and habits, and by partisan feeling that there was not a solitary one of the seven Democrats that ever once voted on the Republican side. And, as a necessity, the Republicans had to stand together. And so, notwithstanding the seven Democrats voted constantly together, the eight Republicans kept having a majority of one, until the last disputed State was given against the great party of "honesty and reform." And, finally, when they found they were defeated, they made up their minds to prevent the counting of the vote. They made up their minds to wear out the session and prevent the election of a President. Just at that point, for a wonder, (nothing ever astonished me more), the members from the South said: "We do not want any more war; we have had war enough and we say that a President shall be peacefully elected, and that he shall be peacefully inaugurated!" As soon as I heard that I felt under a little obligation to the Democracy of the South, and when they stood in the gap and prevented the Democracy of the North from plunging this Government into the hell of civil war, I felt like taking them by the hand and saying, "We have beaten the enemy once, let us keep on. Let us join hands." I felt like saying to the Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 15 EIGHT TO SEVEN ADDRESS Democracy of the South, "You never will have a day's prosperity in the South until you join the great, free, progressive party of the North -- never! And they never will. Now, I say, I felt as though I were under a certain obligation to these people. They prevented this thing, and they made it possible for the Vice-President to declare Rutherford B. Hayes President of the United States. Now, right here, I want you to observe that this shows the real defects in our system of government. In the first place, our Government is being governed by fraud. If the very fountain of power is poisoned by fraud, then the whole Government is impure. We must find out some way to prevent fraudulent voting in the United States or our Government is a failure. Great cities were the mothers of election frauds. They inaugurated violence and intimidation. They produced the repeaters and the false boxes. They invented fan-tail tickets and pasters, and gradually these delightful and patriotic arts and practices have spread over almost the entire country. Unless something is done to preserve the purity of the ballot- box our form of government must cease. The fountain of power is poisoned. The sovereignty of the people is stolen and destroyed. The Government becomes an organized fraud, and all respect will soon be lost for the laws and decisions of the courts. The legislators are elected in many instances by fraud. The judges are in many instances chosen by fraud. Every department of the Government becomes tainted and corrupt. It is no longer a Republic, unless something can be devised to ascertain with certainty the really honest will of the sovereign people. For the accomplishment of this object the good and patriotic men of all parties should most heartily unite. To cast an illegal vote should be considered by all as a crime. We must if possible get rid of the mob -- the vagrants, the vagabonds who have no home and who take no interest in the cities where they vote. We must get rid of the rich mob too; and by the rich mob I mean the men who buy up these vagabonds. Various States have passed laws for the registration of voters; but they all leave wide open all the doors of fraud. Men are allowed to vote if they have been for one year in the State, and thirty or sixty days in the ward or precinct; and when they have failed to have their names registered before the day of election, they can avoid the effect of this neglect by making a few affidavits, certified to by reputable householders. Of course all necessary affidavits are made, with hundreds and thousands to spare. My idea is that the period of registration, in the first place, is too short, and, in the second place, no way should be given by which they can vote unless they have been properly registered. affidavit or no affidavit. Every man, when he goes into a ward or precinct, should be registered. It should be his duty to see that he is registered. Officers should be kept for that purpose, and he should never be allowed to cast a vote until he has been registered at least one year. Sixty days, say, or thirty days -- sixty. would be better -- sixty days before the election the registry lists should be corrected, and every citizen should have the right to enter a complaint or objection as against any name found upon that list. Thirty days, or twenty days before the election, that list should be published and should be exposed in Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 16 EIGHT TO SEVEN ADDRESS several public places in each ward and each precinct, and upon the day of election no man should be allowed to vote whose name was not upon the registry list. Our wards and precincts should be made smaller, so that people can vote without violence, without wasting an entire day, so that the honest business man that wishes to cast his ballot for the Government of his choice can walk to the polls like a gentleman and deposit his vote and go about his affairs. Allow me to say that unless some such plan is adopted in the United States, there never will be another fair election in this country. During the last campaign all the arts and artifices of the city, all the arts and artifices of the lowest wards were spread over this entire country, and unless something is done to preserve the purity of the ballot-box, and guard the sovereign will of the people, we will cease to be a Republican Government. Another thing -- and I cannot say it too often -- fraud at the ballot-box undermines all respect in the minds of the people for the Government. When they are satisfied that the election is a fraud they despise the officers elected. When they are satisfied it is a fraud, they despise the law made by the legislators. When they are satisfied it is a fraud, they hold in utter contempt the decisions of our highest and most august tribunals. Another trouble in this country is that our terms of office are too short. Our elections are too frequent. They interfere with the business of our country. When elections are so frequent, men make a business of politics. If they fail to get 'One office they immediately run for another, and they keep running until the people elect them for the simple purpose of getting rid of the annoyance. Lengthen the terms, purify the ballot, and the present scramble for office will become contests for principles. A man who cannot get a living -- unless he has been disabled in the service of his country or from some other cause -- without holding office, is not fit for an office. A professional office-seeker is one of the meanest, and lowest, and basest of human beings -- a little higher than the lower animals and a little lower than man. He has no earthly or heavenly independence; not a particle; not a particle. A successful office-seeker is like the center of the earth; he weighs nothing himself, and draws all things towards the office he wants. He has not even a temper. You cannot insult him. Shut the door in his face, and, so far as he is concerned, it is left wide open, and you are standing on the threshold with a smile, extending the hand of welcome. He crawls and cringes and flatters and lies and swaggers and brags and tells of the influence he has in the ward he lives in. We cannot too often repeat that splendid saying, The office should seek the man, not man the office." If you will lengthen the term of office it will be so long between meals that he will have to do something else or starve. Adopt the system of registration, as I have suggested; have small and convenient election districts, so that, as I said before, the honest, law-abiding, and peaceable citizen can attend the polls; so that he will not be compelled to risk his life to deposit his ballot that will be stolen or thrown out, or forced to keep the company of ballots caused by fraudulent violence. Lengthen the term of office, drive the professional hunter and seeker of office from the field, and you will go far Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 17 EIGHT TO SEVEN ADDRESS toward strengthening and vivifying and preserving the fabric of the Constitution. That is the kind of civil service reform l am in favor of, and as I am on that subject, I will say a word about it. There is but one vital question -- but one question of real importance -- in fact I might say in the whole world, and that is the great question of Civil Service Reform. There may be some others indirectly affecting the human race, and in which some people take a languid kind of interest, but the only question worth discussing and comprehending in all its phases is the one I have mentioned. This great question is in its infancy still. The doctrine as yet has been applied only to politics. [Colonel Ingersoll here reads a letter he has written:] My DEAR SIR: -- In the olden times, during the purer days of the Republic, the motto was, To the victors belong the spoils." The great object of civil service reform is to reverse this motto. Our people are thoroughly disgusted with machine politics, and demand politics without any machine. In every precinct and ward there are persons going about lauding one party and crying down the other. They make it their business to attend to the affairs of the Nation. They call conventions, pass resolutions; they put notices in papers of the times and places of meetings; they select candidates for office, and then insist upon having them elected; they distribute papers and political documents; they crowd the mails with newspapers, platforms, resolutions, facts and figures, and with everything calculated to help their party and hurt the other. In short, they are the disturbers of the public peace. They keep the community in a perpetual excitement. In the last campaign, wherever they were was turmoil. They fired cannon, carried flags, torches and transparencies; they subsidized brass bands, and shouted and hurrahed as though the world had gone insane. They were induced to do these things by the hope of success and office. Take away this hope and there will be peace once more. This thing is unendurable. The staid, the quiet and respectable people, the moderate and conservative men who always have an idea of joining the other side just to show their candor, are heartily tired of the entire performance. These gentlemen demand a rest. They are not adventurers; they have incomes; they belong to families; they have monograms and liveries. They have succeeded, and they want quiet. Growth makes a noise; development, as they call it, is nothing but disturbance. We want stability, we want political petrifaction, and we therefore demand that these meetings shall be dismissed, that these processions shall halt, that these flags shall be furled. But these things never will be stopped until we stop paying men with office for making these disturbances. You know that it has been the habit for men elected to bestow political favors upon the men who elected them. This is a crying shame. It is a kind of bribery and corruption. Men should not work with the expectation of reward and success. The frightful consequences of rewarding one's friends cannot be contemplated by a true patriot without a shudder. Exactly the opposite course is demanded by the great principle of civil service reform. There is no patriotism in working for place, for power and success. The true lover of his Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 18 EIGHT TO SEVEN ADDRESS country is stimulated to action by the hope of defeat, and the prospect of office for his opponent. To such an extent has the pernicious system of rewarding friends for political services gone in this country, that until very lately it was difficult for a member of the defeated party to obtain a respectable office. The result of all this is, that the country is divided, that these divisions are kept alive by these speakers, writers and convention callers. The great mission of civil service reform is not to do away with parties, but with conflicting opinion, by taking from all politicians the hope of reward. There is no other hope for peace. What do the people know about the wants of the nation? There are in every community a few quiet and respectable men, who know all about the wants of the people -- gentlemen who have retired from business, who take no part in discussion and who are therefore free from prejudice. Let these men attend to our politics. They will not call conventions, except in the parlors of hotels. They will not put out our eyes with flaring torches. They will not deafen us with speeches. They will carry on a campaign without producing opposition. They will have elections but no contests. All the offices will be given to the defeated party. This of itself will insure tranquillity at the polls. No one will be deprived of the privilege of casting a ballot. When campaigns are conducted in this manner a gentleman can engage in politics with a feeling that he is protected by the great principle of civil service reform. But just so long as men persist in rewarding their friends, as they call them, just so long will our country be cursed with political parties. Nothing can be better calculated to preserve the peace than the great principle of rewarding those who have confidence enough in our institutions to keep silent while peace will sit with folded wings upon the moss-covered political stump of a ruder age. I am satisfied that to civil service reform the Republican party is indebted for the last great victory. Upon this question the enthusiasm of the people was simply unbounded. In the harvest field, the shop, the counting-room, in the church, in the saloon, in the palace and in the hut, nothing was heard and nothing discussed except the great principle of civil service reform. Among the most touching incidents of the campaign was to see a few old soldiers, sacred with scars, sit down, and while battles and hair-breadth escapes, and prisons of want, were utterly forgotten, discuss with tremulous lips and tearful eyes the great question of civil service reform. During the great political contest I addressed several quite large and intelligent audiences, and no one who did not has or can have the slightest idea of the hold that civil service reform had upon the very souls of our people. Upon all other subjects the indifference was marked. I dwelt upon the glittering achievements of my party, but they were indifferent. I pictured outrages perpetrated upon our citizens, but they did not care. All this went idly by, but when I touched upon civil service reform, old men, gray-haired and strong, broke down utterly -- tears fell like rain. The faces of women grew ashen with the intensity of anguish, and even little children sobbed as though their hearts would break. To one who has witnessed these affecting scenes, civil service reform Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 19 EIGHT TO SEVEN ADDRESS is almost a sacred thing. Even the speeches delivered upon this subject in German affected to tears thousands of persons wholly unacquainted with that language. In some instances those who did not understand a word were affected even more than those who did. Surely there must be something in the subject itself, apart from the words used to explain it; that can under such circumstances lead captive the hearts of men. During the entire campaign the cry of civil service reform was heard from one end of our land to the other. The sailor nailed those words to the mast. The miner repeated them between the strokes of the pick. Mothers explained them to their children. Emigrants painted them upon their wagons. They were mingled with the reaper's song and the shout of the pioneer. Adopt this great principle and we can have quiet and lady- like campaigns, a few articles in monthly magazines, a leader or two in the "Nation," in the pictorial papers wood-cuts of the residences of the respective candidates and now and then a letter from an old Whig would constitute all the aggressive agencies of the contest. I am satisfied that this great principle secured us our victories in Florida and Louisiana, and its effect on the High Joint Commission was greater than is generally supposed. It was this that finally decided the action of the returning boards. Cronin is the only man upon whom this great principle was an utter failure. Let it be understood that friends are not to be rewarded. Let it be settled that political services are a barrier to political preferment, and my word for it, machine politics will never be heard of again. Yours truly, ________ I do not believe in carrying civil service reform to the extent that you will not allow an officer to resign. I do not believe that that principle should be insisted upon to that degree that there would only be two ways left to get out of office -- death or suicide. I believe, other things being equal, any party having any office within its gift will give that office to the man that really believes in the principles of that party, and who has worked to give those principles ultimate victory. That is human nature. The man that plows, the man that sows, and the man that cultivates, ought to be the man that reaps. But we have in this country a multitude of little places, a multitude of clerkships in Washington; and the question is whether on the incoming of a new administration, these men shall all be turned out. In the first place, they are on starvation salaries, just barely enough to keep soul and body together, and respectability on the outside; and if there is a young man in this audience, I beg of him: Never accept a clerkship from this Government. Do not live on a little salary; do not let your mind be narrowed; do not sell all the splendid possibilities of the future; do not learn to cringe and fawn and crawl. I would rather have forty acres of land, with a log cabin on it and the woman I love in the cabin -- with a little grassy winding path leading down to the spring where the water gurgles from the lips of earth whispering day and night to the white pebbles a perpetual poem -- with holly-hocks growing at the corner Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 20 EIGHT TO SEVEN ADDRESS of the house, and morning-glories blooming over the low latched door -- with lattice work over the window so that the sunlight would fall checkered on the dimpled babe in the cradle, and birds -- like songs with wings hovering in the summer air -- than be the clerk of any government on earth, Now, I say, let us lengthen the term of office -- I do not care much how long -- send a man to Congress at least for five years. And it would be a great blessing if there were not half as many of them sent. We have too many legislators and too much legislation; too little about important matters, and too much about unimportant matters. Lengthen the term of, office so that the man can turn his attention to something else when he gets in besides looking after his re-election. There is another defect we must remedy in our Constitution, in my judgment, and that is as to the mode of electing a President. I believe it of the greatest importance that the Executive should be entirely independent of the legislative and judicial departments of the country. I do not believe that Congress should have the right to create a vacancy which it can fill. I do not believe that the Senate of the United States, or the lower house of Congress, by a simple objection, should have the right to deprive any State of its electoral vote. Our Constitution now provides that the electors chosen in each State shall meet in their respective States upon a certain day and there cast their votes for President and Vice-President of the United States. They shall properly certify to the votes which are cast, and shall transmit lists of them, together with the proper certificates, to the Vice-President of the United States. And it is then declared that upon a certain day in the presence of both houses of Congress, the Vice-President shall open the certificates and the votes shall then be counted. It does not exactly say who shall count these votes. It does not in so many words say the Vice- President shall do it, or may do it, or that both houses of Congress shall do it, or may do it, or that either house can prevent a count of the votes. It leaves us in the dark, and, to a certain degree, in blindness. I believe there is a way, and a very easy way, out of the entire trouble, and it is this I do not care whether the electors first meet in their respective States or not, but I want the Constitution so amended that the electors of all the States shall meet on a certain day in the city of Washington, and count the votes themselves; to allow that body to be the judge of who are electors, to allow it to choose a chairman, and to allow the person so chosen to declare who is the President, and who is the Vice-President of the United States. The Executive is then entirely free and independent of the legislative department of Government. The Executive is then entirely free from the judicial department, and I tell you, it is a public calamity to have the ermine of the Supreme Court of the United States touched or stained by a political suspicion. In my judgment, this country can never stand such a strain again as it has now. Now, my friends, all these questions are upon us and they have to be settled. We cannot go on as we have been going. We cannot afford to live as we have lived -- one section running against the other. We cannot go along that way. It must be settled, either peaceably or there must again be a resort to the boisterous sword of civil war. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 21 EIGHT TO SEVEN ADDRESS The people of the South must stop trampling on the rights of the colored men. It must not be a crime in any State of this Union to be a lover of this country. I have seen it stated in several papers lately that it is the duty of each State to protect its own citizens. Well, I know that. Suppose that the State does not do it; what then I say? Well, then, say these people, the Governor of the State has the right to call on the General Government for assistance. But suppose the Governor will not call for assistance, what then? Then, they tell us, the Legislature can do so by a joint resolution. But suppose the Legislature will not do it, what then? Then, say these people, it is a defect in the Constitution. In my judgment, that is the absurdist kind of secession. If the State of Illinois must protect me, if I have no right to call for the protection of the General Government, all I have to say is that my allegiance must belong to the Government that protects me. If Illinois protects me, and the General Government has not the power, then my first allegiance is due to Illinois; and should Illinois unsheathe the sword of civil war, I must stand by my State, if that doctrine is true. I say, my first allegiance is due to the General Government, and not to the State of Illinois, and if the State of Illinois goes out of the Union, I swear to you that I will not. What does the General Government propose to give me in exchange, for my allegiance? The General Government has a right to take my property. The General Government has a right to take my body in its necessary defence. What does that Government propose to give in exchange for that right? Protection, or else our Government is a fraud. Who has a right to call for the protection of the United States? I say,the citizen who needs it. Can our Government obtain information only through the official sources? Must our Government wait until the Government asks the proofs, while the State tramples upon the rights of the citizens? Must it wait until the Legislature calls for assistance to help it stop robbing and plundering citizens of the United States? Is that the doctrine and the idea of the Northern Democratic party? It is not mine. A Government that will not protect its citizens is a disgrace to humanity. A Government that waits until a Governor calls -- a Government that cannot hear the cry of the meanest citizen under its flag when his rights are being trampled upon, even by citizens of a Southern State -- has no right to exist. It is the duty of the American citizen to see to it that every State has a Government, not only republican in form, but it is the duty of the United States to see to it that life, liberty and property are protected in each State. If they are not protected, it is the duty of the United States to protect them, if it takes all her military force both upon land and upon the sea. The people whose Government cannot always hear the faintest wail of the meanest man beneath its flag have no right to call themselves a nation. The flag that will not protect its protectors and defend its defenders is a rag that is not worth the air in which it waves. How are we going to do it? Do it by kindness if you can; by conciliation if you can, but the Government is bound to try every way until it succeeds. Now, Rutherford B. Hayes was elected President. The Democracy will say, of course, that he never was elected, but that does not make any difference. He is President to-day, and all these things are about him to be settled. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 22 EIGHT TO SEVEN ADDRESS What shall we do? What can we do? There are two Governors in South Carolina and two Legislatures and not one cent of taxes has been collected by either. A dual government would seem to be the most economical in the world. Now, the question for us to decide, the question to be decided by this administration is, how are we to ascertain which is the legal Government of the State, and what department of the Government has a right to ascertain that fact? Must it be left to Congress? Has the Senate alone the right to determine it? Can it be left in any way to the Supreme Court, or shall the Executive decide it himself? I do not say that the Executive has the power to decide that question for himself. I do not say he has not, but I do not say he has. The question, so far as Louisiana and South Carolina are concerned -- that question is now in the Senate of the United States. Governor Kellogg is asking for admission as a Senator from the State of Louisiana, and the question is to be decided by the Senate first, whether he is entitled to his seat, and that question of course, rests upon the one fact -- was the Legislature that elected him the legal Legislature of the State of Louisiana? It seems to me that when that question is pending in the Senate of the United States, the President has not the right, or at least it would be improper for him to decide it on his own motion, and say this or that Government is the real and legal Government of the State of Louisiana. But some mode must be adopted, some way must be discovered to settle this question, and to settle it peacefully. We are an enlightened people. Force is the last thing that civilized men should resort to. As long as courts can be created, as long as courts of arbitration can be selected, as long as we can reason and think, and urge all the considerations of humanity upon each other, there should be no appeal to arms in the United States upon any question whatever. What should the President do? He could only spare twenty- five hundred men from the Indian war -- that is the same army that has so long been trampling on the rights of the South, the same army that the Democratic Congress wished to reduce, and that army of twenty-five hundred men is all he has to spare to protect American citizens in the Southern States. Is there any sentiment in the North that would uphold the Executive in calling for volunteers? Is there any sentiment here that would respond to a call for twenty, fifty, or a hundred thousand men? Is there any Congress to pass the necessary act to pay them if there was? And so the President of the United States appreciated the situation, and the people of the South came to him and said, "We have had war enough, we have had trouble enough, our country languishes, we have no trade, our pockets are empty, something must be done for us, we are utterly and perfectly disgusted with the leadership of the Democratic party of the North. Now, will you let us be your friends?" And he had the sense to say, "Yes." The President took the right hand of the North, and put it into the right hand of the South and said "Let us be friends. We parted at the cannon's mouth; we were divided by the edge of the glittering sword; we must become acquainted again. We are equals. We are all fellow-citizens. In a Government of the people, by the people and for the people, there shall not be an outcast class, whether white or black. To this feast, every child of the Republic shall be invited and welcomed." It was a grand thing grandly done. If the President succeeds in his policy, it will be an immense compliment to his brain. if he fails, it will be an equal compliment to his heart. He has opened the Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 23 EIGHT TO SEVEN ADDRESS door; he has advanced; he has extended his hand, he has broken the silence of hatred with the words of welcome. Actuated by this broad and catholic spirit he has selected his constitutional advisors, and allow me to say right here, the President has the right to select his constitutional advisors to suit himself, and the idea of men endeavoring to force themselves or others into the cabinet of the President, against, as it were, his will, why I would as soon think of circulating a petition to compel some woman to marry me. He has gathered around him the men he considers the wisest and the best, and I say, let us give them a fair chance. I say, let us be honest with the President of the United States and his Cabinet, and give his policy a fair and honest chance. In order to show his good faith with the South he chose as a member of his Cabinet an ex-rebel from Tennessee. I confess, when I heard of it I did not like it. It did not seem to be exactly what I had been making all this fuss about. But I thought I would be honest about it, and I went and called on Mr. Key, and really he begins already to look a good deal like a Republican. A real honest looking man. And then I said to myself that he had not done much more harm than as though he had been a Democrat at the North during those four years, and had cursed and swore instead of fought about it. And so I told him "I am glad you are appointed" And I am. Give him a chance, and so far as the whole Cabinet is concerned -- I have not the time to go over them one by one now, it is perfectly satisfactory to me. The President made up his mind that to appoint that man would be to say to the South: "I do not look upon you as pariahs in this Government. I look upon you as fellow-citizens: I want you to wipe forever the color line, or the Union line, from the records of this Government on account of what has been done heretofore." What are you now? is the only question that should be asked. It was a strange thing for the President to appoint that man. It was an experiment. It is an experiment. It has not yet been decided, but I believe it will simply be a proof of the President's wisdom. I can stand that experiment taken in connection with the appointment of Frederick Douglass as Marshal of the District of Columbia. I was glad to see that man's appointment. He is a good, patient, stern man. He has been fighting for the liberty of his race, and at the same time for our liberty. This man has done something for the freedom of my race as well as his own. This is no time for war. War settles nothing except the mere question of strength. That is all war ever did settle. You cannot shoot ideas into a man with a musket, or with cannon into one of those old Bourbon Democrats of the North. You cannot let prejudices out of a man with a sword. This is the time for reason, for discussion, for compromise. This is the time to repair, to rebuild, to preserve. War destroys. Peace creates. War is decay and death. Peace is growth and life, -- sunlight and air. War kills men. Peace maintains them. Artillery does not reason; it asserts. A bayonet has point enough, but no logic. When the sword is drawn, reason remains in the scabbard. It is not enough to win upon the field of battle, you must be victor within the realm of thought. There must be peace between the North and South some time; not a conquered peace, but a peace that conquers. The question is, can you and I forget the past? Can we forget everything except the heroic sacrifices of the men who saved this Government? Can we say to the South, "Let us be brothers"? Can Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 24 EIGHT TO SEVEN ADDRESS we? I am willing to do it because, in the first place, it is right, and in the second place, it will pay if it can be carried out. We have fought and hated long enough. Our country is prostrate. Labor is in rags. Energy has empty hands. Industry has empty pockets. The wheels of the factory are still. In the safe of prudence money lies idle, locked by the key of fear. Confidence is what we need -- confidence in each other; confidence in our institutions; confidence in our form of government; in the great future; confidence in law, confidence in liberty, confidence in progress, and in the grand destiny of the Great Republic. Now, do not imagine that I think this policy will please every body. Of course there are men South and North who can never be conciliated. They are the Implacables in the South -- the Bourbons in the North. Nothing will ever satisfy them. The Implacables want to own negroes and whip them; the Bourbons never will be satisfied until they can help catch one. The Implacables with violent hands drive emigration from their shores. They are poisoning the springs and sources of prosperity. They dine on hatred and sup on regret. They mourn over the lost cause and partake of the communion of revenge. They strike down the liberties of their fellow-citizens and refuse to enjoy their own. They remember nothing but wrongs, and they forget nothing but benefits. Their bosoms are filled with the serpents of hate. No one can compromise with them. Nothing can change them. They must be left to the softening influence of time and death. The Bourbons are the allies of the Implacables. A Bourbon in the majority is an Implacable in the minority. An Implacable in the minority is a Bourbon. We, do not appeal to, but from these men. But there are in the South thousands of men who have accepted in good faith the results of the war; men who love and wish to preserve this nation, men tired of strife -- men longing for a real Union based upon mutual respect and confidence. These men are willing that the colored man shall be free -- willing that he shall vote, and vote for the Government of his choice -- willing that his children shall be educated -- willing that he shall have all the rights of an American citizen. These men are tired of the Implacables and disgusted with the Bourbons. These men wish to unite with the patriotic men of the North in the great work of reestablishing a government of law. For my part, call me of what party you please, I am willing to join hands with these men, without regard to race, color or previous condition. With a knowledge of our wants -- with a clear perception of our difficulties, Rutherford B. Hayes became President. Nations have been saved by the grandeur of one man. Above all things a President should be a patriot. Party at best is only a means -- the good of the, country, the happiness of the people, the only end. Now, I appeal to you Democrats here -- not a great many, I suppose -- do not oppose this policy because you think it is going to increase the Republican strength. If it strengthens the Government, no matter whether it is Republican or Democratic, it is for the common good. And you Republicans, you who have had all these feelings of Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 25 EIGHT TO SEVEN ADDRESS patriotism and glory, I ask you to wait and let this experiment be tried. Do not prophesy failure for it and then work to fulfill the prophecy. Give the President a chance. I tell you to-night that he is as good a Republican as there is in the United States; and I tell you that if this policy is not responded to by the South, Rutherford B. Hayes will change it, just as soon and as often as is necessary to accomplish the end. The President has offered the Southern people the olive branch of peace, and so far as I am concerned, I implore both the Southern people and the Northern people to accept it. I extend to you each and all the olive branch of peace. Fellow-citizens of the South, I beseech you to take it. By the memory of those who died for naught; by the charred remains of your remembered homes; by the ashes of your statesman dead; for the sake of your sons and your daughters and their fair children yet to be, I implore you to take it with loving and with loyal hands. It will cultivate your wasted fields. It will rebuild your towns and cities. It will fill your coffers with gold. It will educate your children. It will swell the sails of your commerce. It will cause the roses of joy to clamber and climb over the broken cannon of war. It will flood the cabins of the freedman with light, and clothe the weak in more than coat of mail, and wrap the poor and lowly in "measureless content." Take it. The North will forgive if the South will forget. Take it! The negro will wipe from the tablet of memory the strokes and scars of two hundred years, and blur with happy tears the record of his wrongs. Take it! It will unite our nation. It will make us brothers once again. Take it! And justice will sit in your courts under the outspread wings of Peace. Take it! And the brain and lips of the future will be free. Take it! It will bud and blossom in your hands and fill your land with fragrance and with joy. **** **** Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship. The Bank of Wisdom is a collection of the most thoughtful, scholarly and factual books. These computer books are reprints of suppressed books and will cover American and world history; the Biographies and writings of famous persons, and especially of our nations Founding Fathers. They will include philosophy and religion. all these subjects, and more, will be made available to the public in electronic form, easily copied and distributed, so that America can again become what its Founders intended -- The Free Market-Place of Ideas. The Bank of Wisdom is always looking for more of these old, hidden, suppressed and forgotten books that contain needed facts and information for today. If you have such books please contact us, we need to give them back to America. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 26


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