Page images

themselves as carefully as the powers delegated by them to the states and to the federal government. It disapproves of the resort to unconstitutional laws for the purpose of removing evils, by interference with rights not surrendered by the people to either the state or national government. 17. It is the duty of the general government to adopt such measures as may tend to encourage and restore American commerce and ship-building.

18. We believe that the modest patriotism, the earnest purpose, the sound judgment, the practical wisdom, the incorruptible integrity, and the illustrious services of Ulysses S. Grant have commended him to the heart of the American people; and with him at our head, we start to-day upon a new march to victory.

19. Henry Wilson, nominated for the Vice-Presidency, known to the whole land from the early days of the great struggle for liberty as an indefatigable laborer in all campaigns, an incorruptible legislator and representative man of American institutions, is worthy to associate with our great leader and share the honors which we pledge our best efforts to bestow upon


[blocks in formation]

Resolved, That we proclaim to the world that principle is to be preferred to power; that the Democratic party is held together by the cohesion of time-honored principles, which they will never surrender in exchange for all the offices which Presi dents can confer. The pangs of the mi norities are doubtless excruciating; but we welcome an eternal minority, under the banner inscribed with our principles, rather than an almighty and everlasting, majority, purchased by their abandonment.

Resolved, That, having been betrayed at Baltimore into a false creed and a false leadership by the convention, we repudiate both, and appeal to the people to approvę our platform, and to rally to the polls and support the true platform and the candidates who embody it.

Resolved, That all governmental powers, whether state or federal, are trust powers coming from the people of each state, and that they are limited to the written letter of the constitution and the laws passed in pursuance of it; which powers must be exercised in the utmost good faith, the constitution itself stating in what manner they may be altered and amended.

Resolved, That the interests of labor and capital should not be permitted to conflict, but should be harmonized by judicious legislation. While such a conflict continues, labor, which is the parent of wealth, is entitled to paramount consideration.

1875.—The American National Platform, Adopted in Mass Meeting, Pillsburg, June 9. We hold:

1. That ours is a Christian and not a heathen nation, and that the God of the Christian Scriptures is the author of civil


2. That God requires and man needs a Sabbath.

3. That the prohibition of the importation, manufacture, and sale of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, is the true policy on the temperance question.

4. The charters of all secret lodges granted by our federal and state legisla tures should be withdrawn, and their oaths prohibited by law.

5. That the civil equality secured to all American citizens by articles 13th, 14th, and 15th of our amended constitution should be preserved inviolate.

6. That arbitration of differences with nations is the most direct and sure method of securing and perpetuating a permanent peace.

7. That to cultivate the intellect without improving the morals of men is to make mere adepts and experts: therefore, the Bible should be associated with books of science and literature in all our educational institutions.

8. That land and other monopolies should be discountenanced.

9. That the government should furnish the people with an ample and sound currency and a return to specie payment, as soon as practicable.

10. That maintenance of the public credit, protection to all loyal citizens, and justice to Indians are essential to the honor and safety of our nation.

11. And, finally, we demand for the American people the abolition of electoral colleges, and a direct vote for President and Vice-President of the United States.

[Their candidates were James B. Walker, | Wheaton, Illinois, for President; and Donald Kirkpatrick, Syracuse, New York, for Vice-President.]

Eighth. The free use of the Bible, not as a ground of religious creeds, but as a text-book of the purest morality, the best liberty, and the noblest literature in our public schools, that our children may grow up in its light, and that its spirit and principles may pervade our nation.

1876.-Prohibition Reform Platform, Cleveland, Ohio, May 17.

The Prohibition Reform party of the United States, organized in the name of the people, to revive, enforce, and perpet-trol uate in the government the doctrines of the Declaration of Independence, submit, in this centennial year of the republic, for the suffrages of all good citizens, the following platform of national reforms and measures:

Tenth. The introduction into all treaties hereafter negotiated with foreign governFirst. The legal prohibition in the Dis-ments of a provision for the amicable settrict of Columbia, the territories, and in tlement of international difficulties by every other place subject to the laws of arbitration. Congress, of the importation, exportation, Eleventh. The abolition of all barbarmanufacture, and traffic of all alcoholic ous modes and instruments of punishment; beverages, as high crimes against society; the recognition of the laws of God and an amendment of the national constitu- the claims of humanity in the discipline tion, to render these prohibitory measures of jails and prisons, and of that higher universal and permanent; and the adop- and wiser civilization worthy of our age tion of treaty stipulations with foreign and nation, which regards the reform of powers, to prevent the importation and criminals as a means for the prevention of exportation of all alcoholic beverages.


Second. The abolition of class legislation, and of special privileges in the government, and the adoption of equal suffrage and eligibility to office, without distinction of race, religious creed, property, or sex.

Third. The appropriation of the public lands, in limited quantities, to actual settlers only; the reduction of the rates of inland and ocean postage; of telegraphic communication; of railroad and water transportation and travel, to the lowest practical point, by force of laws, wisely and justly framed, with reference, not only to the interest of capital employed, but to the higher claims of the general good.

Fourth. The suppression, by laws, of lotteries and gambling in gold, stocks, produce, and every form of money and property, and the penal inhibition of the use of the public mails for advertising schemes of gambling and lotteries.

Ninth. The separation of the government in all its departments and institutions, including the public schools and all funds for their maintenance, from the conof every religious sect or other association, and the protection alike of all sects by equal laws, with entire freedom of religious faith and worship.

Twelfth. The abolition of executive and legislative patronage, and the election of President, Vice-President, United States Senators, and of all civil officers, so far as practicable, by the direct vote of the people.

Thirteenth. The practice of a friendly and liberal policy to immigrants from all nations, the guaranty to them of ample protection, and of equal rights and privileges.

Fourteenth. The separation of the money of government from all banking institutions. The national government, only, should exercise the high prerogative of issuing paper money, and that should be subject to prompt redemption on demand, in gold and silver, the only equal standards of value recognized by the civilized world.

Fifteenth. The reduction of the salaries of public officers in a just ratio with the decline of wages and market prices; the abolition of sinecures, unnecessary offices, and official fees and perquisites; the prac tice of strict economy in government ex penses; and a free and thorough investigation into any and all alleged abuses of public trusts.

Fifth. The abolition of those foul enormities, polygamy and the social evil; and the protection of purity, peace, and happiness of homes, by ample and efficient legislation.

Sixth. The national observance of the Christian Sabbath, established by laws prohibiting ordinary labor and business in all departments of public service and private employment (works of necessity,

charity, and religion excepted) on that day. 1876.-Independent (Greenback) Platform,

Indianapolis, Ind., May 17.

Seventh. The establishment, by mandatory provisions in national and state constitutions, and by all necessary legislation, of a system of free public schools for the universal and forced education of all the youth of the land.

The Independent party is called into existence by the necessities of the people, whose industries are prostrated, whoss labor is deprived of its just reward by

1876.—Republican Platform,
Cincinnati, Ohio, June 14,

ruinous policy which the Republican and Democratic parties refuse to change; and, in view of the failure of these parties to When, in the economy of Providence, furnish relief to the depressed industries this land was to be purged of human of the country, thereby disappointing the slavery, and when the strength of the govjust hopes and expectations of the suffer-ernment of the people, by the people, and ing people, we delare our principles, and for the people, was to be demonstrated, the invite all independent and patriotic men Republican party came into power. Its to join our ranks in this movement for fi- deeds have passed into history, and we nancial reform and industrial emancipation. look back to them with pride. Incited by their memories to high aims for the good of our country and mankind, and looking to the future with unfaltering courage, hope, and purpose, we, the representatives of the party, in national convention assembled, nake the following declaration of principles:

First. We demand the immediate and unconditional repeal of the specie resumption act of January 14, 1875, and the rescue of our industries from ruin and disaster resulting from its enforcement; and we call upon all patriotic men to organize in every congressional district of the country, with a view of electing representatives to Congress who will carry out the wishes of the people in this regard and stop the present suicidal and destructive policy of

1. The United States of America is a nation, not a league. By the combined workings of the national and state governments, under their respective constitutions, the rights of every citizen are secured, at home and abroad, and the common welfare promoted.


Second. We believe that a United States note, issued directly by the government, and convertible, on demand, into United States obligations, bearing a rate of interest not exceeding one cent a day on each one hundred dollars, and exchangeable for United States notes at par, will afford the best circulating medium ever devised. Such United States notes should be full legal tenders for all purposes, except for the payment of such obligations as are, by existing contracts, especially made paya-tainment of these ends governments have ble in coin; and we hold that it is the been instituted among men, deriving their duty of the government to provide such a just powers from the consent of the gov circulating medium, and insist, in the erned." Until these truths are cheerfully language of Thomas Jefferson, that "bank obeyed, or, if need be, vigorously enforced, paper must be suppressed, and the circu- the work of the Republican party is unlation restored to the nation, to whom it finished. belongs."

2. The Republican party has preserved these governments to the hundredth anniversary of the nation's birth, and they are now embodiments of the great truths spoken at its cradle-"That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that for the at

Third. It is the paramount duty of the government, in all its legislation, to keep in view the full development of all legitimate business, agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and commercial.

3. The permanent pacification of the southern section of the Union, and the complete protection of all its citizens in the free enjoyment of all their rights, is a duty to which the Republican party stands sacredly pledged. The power to provide for the enforcement of the principles embodied in the recent constitutional amendments is vested, by those amendments, in the Congress of the United States; and we declare

Fourth. We most earnestly protest against any further issue of gold bonds for sale in foreign markets, by which we would be made, for a long period, "hewers

of wood and drawers of water" to for-it to be the solemn obligation of the legiseigners, especially as the American people lative and executive departments of the would gladly and promptly take at par all government to put into immediate and bonds the government may need to sell, vigorous exercise all their constitutional provided they are made payable at the op- powers for removing any just causes of tion of the holder, and bearing interest at discontent on the part of any class, and 3.65 per cent. per annum or even a lower for securing to every American citizen complete liberty and exact equality in the exercise of all civil, political, and public rights. To this end we imperatively de


Fifth. We further protest against the sale of government bonds for the purpose of purchasing silver to be used as a sub-mand a Congress and a Chief Executive stitute for our more convenient and less whose courage and fidelity to these duties fluctuating fractional currency, which, al-shall not falter until these results are though well calculated to enrich owners of placed beyond dispute or recall. silver mines, yet in operation it will still further oppress, in taxation, an already overburdened people.

4. In the first act of Congress signed by President Grant, the national government assumed to remove any doubt of its pur

pose to discharge all just obligations to the absence of power in the states for that the public creditors, and "solemnly pledged purpose.

its faith to make provision at the earliest 11. It is the immediate duty of Conpracticable period for the redemption of gress to fully investigate the effect of the the United States notes in coin.” Com-immigration and importation of Mongomercial prosperity, public morals, and na- lians upon the moral and material intional credit demand that this promise beterests of the country. fulfilled by a continuous and steady progress to specie payment.

12. The Republican party recognizes, with approval, the substantial advances recently made towards the establishment of equal rights for women by the many important amendments effected by Republican legislatures in the laws which concern the personal and property relations of wives, mothers, and widows, and by the appointment and election of women to the superintendence of education, charities, and other public trusts. The honest de

5. Under the constitution, the President and heads of departments are to make nominations for office, the Senate is to advise and consent to appointments, and the House of Representatives is to accuse and prosecute faithless officers. The best interest of the public service demand that these distinctions be respected; that Senators and Representatives who may be judges and accusers should not dictate ap-mands of this class of citizens for addipointments to office. The invariable rule tional rights, privileges, and immunities, in appointments should have reference to should be treated with respectful considerthe honesty, fidelity, and capacity of the ation. appointees, giving to the party in power those places where harmony and vigor of administration require its policy to be represented, but perinitting all others to be filled by persons selected with sole reference to the efficiency of the public service, and the right of all citizens to share in the honor of rendering faithful service to the

13. The constitution confers upon Congress sovereign power over the territories of the United States for their government; and in the exercise of this power it is the right and duty of Congress to prohibit and extirpate, in the territories, that relic of barbarism-polygamy; and we demand such legislation as shall secure this end and the supremacy of American institutions in all the territories.


14. The pledges which the nation has given to her soldiers and sailors must be fulfilled, and a grateful people will always hold those who imperiled their lives for the country's preservation in the kindest


6. We rejoice in the quickened conscience of the people concerning political affairs, and will hold all public officers to a rigid responsibility, and engage that the prosecution and punishment of all who betray official trusts shall be swift, thorough, and unsparing.

15. We sincerely deprecate all sectional 7. The public school system of the several feeling and tendencies. We, therefore, states is the bulwark of the American Re-note with deep solicitude that the Demopublic; and, with a view to its security cratic party counts, as its chief hope of and permanence, we recommend an amendsuccess, upon the electoral vote of a united ment to the constitution of the United south, secured through the efforts of those States, forbidding the application of any who were recently arrayed against the napublic funds or property for the benefit of tion; and we invoke the earnest attention any schools or institutions under sectarian of the country to the grave truth that a success thus achieved would reopen sectional strife, and imperil national honor and human rights.

16. We charge the Democratic party with being the same in character and spirit as when it sympathized with treason; with making its control of the House of Representatives the triumph and opportunity of the nation's recent foes; with reasserting and applauding, in the national capital, the sentiments of unrepentant rebellion; with sending Union soldiers to the rear, and promoting Confederate soldiers to the


8. The revenue necessary for current expenditures, and the obligations of the public debt, must be largely derived from duties upon importations, which, so far as possible, should be adjusted to promote the interests of American labor and advance the prosperity of the whole country.

9. We reaffirm our opposition to further grants of the public lands to corporations and monopolies, and demand that the national domain be devoted to free homes for the people.

10. It is the imperative duty of the gov-front; with deliberately proposing to repuernment so to modify existing treaties with diate the plighted faith of the government; European governments, that the same pro- with being equally false and imbecile upon tection shall be afforded to the adopted the overshadowing financial questions; American citizen that is given to the na- with thwarting the ends of justice by its tive-born; and that all necessary laws partisan mismanagement and obstruction should be passed to protect emigrants in of investigation; with proving itself

through the period of its ascendency in | Reform is necessary to rebuild and esthe lower house of Congress, utterly in-tablish in the hearts of the whole people competent to administer the government; the Union, eleven years ago happily resand we warn the country against trusting cued from the danger of a secession of a party thus alike unworthy, recreant, and states, but now to be saved from a corrupt incapable. centralism which, after inflicting upon tên states the rapacity of carpet-bag tyranny, has honey-combed the offices of the Federal government itself, with incapacity, waste, and fraud; infected states and municipalities with the contagion of misrule; and locked fast the prosperity of an industrious people in the paralysis of "hard times."

Reform is necessary to establish a sound currency, restore the public credit, and maintain the national honor.

We denounce the failure, for all these eleven years of peace, to make good the promise of the legal tender notes, which are a changing standard of value in the hands of the people, and the non-payment of which is a disregard of the plighted

faith of the nation.

17. The national administration merits commendation for its honorable work in the management of domestic and foreign affairs, and President Grant deserves the continued hearty gratitude of the American people for his patriotism and his eminent services in war and in peace.

18. We present, as our candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States, two distinguished statesmen, of eminent ability and character, and conspicuously fitted for those high offices, and we confidently appeal to the American people to intrust the administration of their public affairs to Rutherford B. Hayes and William A. Wheeler.

We denounce the improvidence which, in eleven years of peace, has taken from the people, in federal taxes, thirteen times the whole amount of the legal-tender notes, and squandered four times their sum in useless expense without accumulating any reserve for their redemption.

We denounce the financial imbecility and immorality of that party which, during eleven years of peace, has made no advance toward resumption, no preparation for resumption, but, instead, has obstructed

1876.-Democratic Platform.
St. Louis, Mo., June 27.

We, the delegates of the Democratic party of the United States, in national convention assembled, do hereby declare the administration of the Federal government to be in urgent need of immediate reform; do hereby enjoin upon the nominees of this convention, and of the Democratie party in each state, a zealous effort and cooperation to this end; and do hereby ap-resumption, by wasting our resources and peal to our fellow-citizens of every former exhausting all our surplus income; and, political connection to undertake, with us, while annually professing to intend a this first and most pressing patriotic duty. speedy return to specie payments, has annually enacted fresh hinderances thereto. As such hinderance we denounce the resumption clause of 1875, and we here demand its repeal.

For the Democracy of the whole country, we do here reaffirm our faith in the permanence of the Federal Union, our devotion to the constitution of the United States, with its amendments universally accepted as a final settlement of the controversies that engendered civil war, and do here record our steadfast confidence in the perpetuity of republican self-government.

We demand a judicious system of preparation, by public economies, by official retrenchments, and by wise finance, which shall enable the nation soon to assure the whole world of its perfect ability and of its perfect readiness to meet any of its pro

In absolute acquiescence in the will of the majority-the vital principle of repub-mises at the call of the creditor entitled to lics; in the supremacy of the civil over the payment. We believe such a system, well military authority; in the total separation devised, and, above all, intrusted to comof church and state, for the sake alike of petent hands for execution, creating, at no civil and religious freedom; in the equal-time, an artificial scarcity of currency, and ity of all citizens before just laws of their at no time alarming the public mind into own enactment; in the liberty of indi- a withdrawal of that vaster machinery of vidual conduct, unvexed by sumptuary credit by which ninety-five per cent. of all laws; in the faithful education of the ris- business transactions are performed. A ing generation, that they may preserve, system open, public, and inspiring general enjoy, and transmit these best conditions confidence, would, from the day of its of human happiness and hope-we behold adoption, bring healing on its wings to all the noblest products of a hundred years of our harassed industries set in motion the changeful history; but while upholding wheels of commerce, manufactures, and the the bond of our Union and great charter mechanic arts-restore employment to laof these our rights, it behooves a free peo-bor-and, renew, in all its natural sources, ple to practice also that eternal vigilance the prosperity of the people. which is the price of liberty.

Reform is necessary in the sum and

« PreviousContinue »