Page images

Resolved, That the shameful disregard of the administration to its duty in respect to our fellow-citizens who now are, and long have been, prisoners of war, in a suffering condition, deserves the severest reprobation, on the score alike of public policy and common humanity.

Resolved, That the sympathy of the Democratic party is heartily and earnestly extended to the soldiers of our army and the sailors of our navy, who are and have been in the field and on sea under the flag of their country; and, in the event of our attaining power, they will receive all the care and protection, regard and kindness, that the brave soldiers of the Republic have so nobly earned.

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small]



HE nomination of Mr. Blaine was not an accident, nor was it due to a systematic organization of political force. Indeed, the friends of other candidates were more active than were the friends of Mr. Blaine.

Opposing candidates were presented in each of six States, New These York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Connecticut, and Vermont. candidates were not only strong within the States where they resided, respectively, but they commanded confidence, and were entitled to support in all parts of the Union.

In several of those States delegates were elected who were friendly to Mr. Blaine, and he was the second choice of a majority of those who preferred other candidates.

Hence, at Chicago, the fact was disclosed at an early stage of the Convention that it was impossible to unite the delegates who prefered other candidates upon any one of the candidates named. This circumstance was not due to any want of confidence in or respect for those candidates, but to the fact that Mr. Blaine was the second choice of many whose first preference was for other persons. It is thus apparent that Mr. Blaine's nomination was acceptable to a large majority of the Convention.

Mr. Blaine's popularity in the country is not due to a sudden and unreasoning impluse on the part of the people. The period of its growth extends over many years, and the events of those years demonstrate the depth and strength of the public feeling. He was the leading candidate in the Convention of 1876; he was a formidable candidate in the Convention of 1880; and he is the successful candidate of the Republican party in 1884. Neither his candidacy nor his nomination can be treated as a surprise.

Nor can it be assumed with any degree of justice that his nomination is due to the machinations of leaders. A candidacy might be

advanced, and a nomination even might be secured by the organized efforts of friends, but such agencies are quite inadequate to give to a man a continuing and increasing support in three successive presidential contests. And especially must this be true when the candidate is without office, without patronage, and destitute of all extraneous means of advancing himself in the public esteem.

Therefore his standing among the people is not due to agencies or to extraneous influences, but to the presence of personal qualities constantly and through many years exhibited. In the elements and characteristics of leadership in public, political affairs, he has not been surpassed by any one in America and equaled only by Mr. Clay. In Mr. Blaine are combined, as was the case also in Mr. Clay, the power of controlling deliberative assemblies by the exhibition of courage, tact, and skill in debate, with personal qualities which inspire confidence and promote lasting attachments in those persons to whom a leader is known only by a casual introduction or temporary acquaintance.

By the possession and exhibition of this combination of rare qualities, Mr. Blaine rose rapidly to the position of a leader in the House of Representatives, while at the same time he gained the confidence and enlisted the support of the majority of those in the country who agreed with him in political opinions.

It is a significant fact that Mr. Blaine's strongholds in the country are in the States and districts where the Republican party can command majorities. This fact precludes the suggestion or the thought that the nomination of Mr. Blaine was due to the schemes of partiIt was in fact due to the opinion of the Republican masses that he was the fittest man in the party for the post of leader in a great national contest.


His nomination was an act of submission to the will of the majority and as the will of the majority it is entitled to respect.

The rule of the minority in parties can only end in the overthrow of Free States. If parties are ruled by minorities, then, as a consequence, the States themselves will be ruled by minorities. Dissatisfied minorities are justifiable when they change their party allegiance; but unsatisfied minorities are not to be justified in demanding the submission of the majority to their will, and when such demands are made a wise majority will decline to accede to them and at the hazard of whatever consequences may follow. It was only that, that the South demanded as the price of peace.

« PreviousContinue »