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(title page) Comments by the State Democratic Committee on the Hand Book Issued by the Peoples [sic] Party State Executive Committee. A Discussion of the Contents of This Book, Showing That It Is Not Issued in the Interest of the Populist Party. It Does Not Contain Any Platform of the Populist Party, Nor Does It Discuss or Advocate Any of Its Well-Known Principles
N.C. State Democratic Executive Committee
Call number Cp329.1 N87d2 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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The Democratic campaign for the restoration and maintainance of WHITE SUPREMACY in North Carolina has been in full progress since the first of August. The campaign Hand Book setting forth the line of attack was issued about the middle of August. The Democratic press of the State, in full accord with the plan of campaign, has been making it hot for the Republican party. Press, speakers and hand-Book alike have shown that the Republican party by its very composition is DOMINATED BY THE NEGRO and of necessity has adopted the policy of giving the negroes the local offices in communities where they are found in large numbers. No Republican so far as we are advised, has dared to dispute these propositions, for the simple reason they cannot be disputed. It is therefore against the Republican party that the Democratic party is waging this warfare and making this fight for white supremacy.
It had never occurred to us to charge the Populist PARTY with being in favor of placing negroes over white men. The Populist Party is made up exclusively of white men, and we have never charged, and we do not believe, that the rank and file of that party favors negro supremacy.
On the contrary, our appeal has been, is now and will be to the day of election, to those very men to join with us to undo the wrong done by the Republican party in placing negroes over white men, and to assist us in protecting their white brothers and friends against a repetition of this wrong.
We cannot therefore express our surprise at the course pursued by the executive committee of the Populist Party in thrusting itself forward as the apologist, if not the advocate, of negro supremacy. No Republican has dared to join issue with the Democratic party on this question or to gainsay any statement made by the Democratic party in reference thereto. That task, strange to say, seems to have fallen to the Populist branch of the fusion arrangement. We suppose, however, that the Republican leaders, knowing by years of bitter experience how hopeless the task, were only too glad to cast the dirty work upon their unnatural but well-paid allies.
When one reads this remarkable book and studies the impotent and futile efforts to show that the Democratic party looks with complacency upon negro rule, it must become apparent that its author had made up his mind to part company with the truth and he hoped to palm off on his followers a falsehood so palpable that the most ignorant negro in the state would laugh at it. Of all the 120,000 negro voters in the State there is not one so ignorant that he does not know that the Republican party favors negroes holding office and that the Democratic party opposes it. Of all the white Republicans in the State not one will undertake to dispute these propositions. It requires the cheek and the depravity of the fellow who wrote that part of the Populist Hand Book to write and publish so palpable a falsehood as that the Democratic party favors negro office-holding. The rank and file of the Populist party well know what party in this State favors white supremacy and the exclusion of the negro from office, and all over the State they are allying themselves with the Democratic party in this fight, in which the question of negro or white supremacy has forced itself to the front as the great overshadowing issue.
It is well known that Cyrus Thompson, the chairman of the executive committee, and Hal W. Ayer, the secretary, are both holding important and lucrative offices which they obtained by inducing the Populists to fuse with the negroes in 1896, and that their only hope of retaining these offices is by keeping up this fusion. Hence when they see the rank and file of their party leaving them and going over to the true representative white man's party, they see the time coming when they will have to give up these places which they obtained by a trade with the negroes,
and they become wrathy and undertake to persuade these returning Populists that the Democratic party favors negroes holding office. What an absurdity! To do this they tell of a few isolated cases in a few counties where a few negroes for certain reasons held office for a short while after the Democrats came into power. Let us briefly review the facts which are well known to any man who knows anything of the history of his State for the last thirty years.
In 1868 the right to vote and to hold office in North Carolina was given to the negro by the Republican party and soon the negro became an extensive office-holder in the eastern counties. The Republican party then as now was largely made up of negroes. Then as now the white Republican leaders did not dare to put a negro on their State ticket and they adopted the policy, then as now, of giving him the local offices in counties and towns where the negroes were found in large numbers. Under this policy the counties and towns of the east were turned over to the negroes and many of them were pillaged and plundered until the white people and tax-payers in those communities determined to make an appeal to their white brethren in the West for relief. It was in consequence of this condition of things in the east that the Democratic Legislature of 1874-'5, harkening to this appeal, passed an act calling a convention of the people to amend the Constitution so as to give the white people of the East relief from negro domination. That convention met in the fall of 1875 and made certain amendments to the Constitution which would enable the Legislature to provide certain measures of relief. The Democrats voted in that convention solidly for these measures of relief, and the Republicans solidly against them. In the great campaign of 1876 these proposed measures of relief had to be voted on by the people and they constituted the line of battle in that memorable campaign. Vance led the white men of the State in favor of their adoption by the people. His opponent, Judge Settle, led the Republicans cohorts against their adoption. A large majority of the people stood with Vance for the relief of the east, and those proposed amendments became a part of the Constitution. In passing from the elective to the appointive system of choosing the justices of the peace, a few negro magistrates (not a half a dozen in all) were allowed to remain in office in three or four counties; but this was for a single time only and was never repeated. This occurred in 1877 and never after that was a negro appointed or chosen a justice of the peace by any Democratic constituency.
The new system of county government established by the Legislature of 1877 was a blessing to the people of the east. Under this system the tax-payers and white men took charge of the county government, and such a thing as a negro justice of the peace was absolutely unheard of in the State until the Republican party again came into power in 1895. But it must be remembered that this new system of county government did not absolutely exclude the negro from office; for most of the county officers, to wit: the clerk, the sheriff, the register of deeds, the coroner, the surveyor and the constable were still elected by the people.
It may be that in a few counties like Warren and Halifax, where the negroes largely exceed the whites, that some terms were made with the better class of negroes to protect the people in their county affairs against the bad and vicious element; but if such was the case, it was the Republican party that had forced these alternatives on the white people of those counties.
And what has been done in Warren is much perverted in the Hand-Book. The Hand-Book says negro deputy sheriffs were appointed by Democratic sheriffs. That is denied both as to Chatham and Warren, and other statements as to Warren denied.
The Republican party never ceased its warfare upon the system of county government which excluded the negro from the offices of county commissioners and justices of the peace and which had brought untold blessings to the white people of the east. In every campaign the Republicans made the abolition of this system a part of their creed and openly waged war upon it. Democrats defended this system and always won in the fight till the Populists united with the Republicans in '94.
When the Republican Fusion Legislature of 1895 convened, this system, which the Democrats had established and maintained for the protection of the white people, was abolished and the election of justices of the peace and county commissioners was given both to the people. At once history began to repeat itself. The local offices were turned over to the negroes, and where it could not be done otherwise, town charters were changed so as to make
it certain. In the short time since the Republicans again came into power, wonderful progress has been made in fixing the well known Republican policy of giving the local offices to the negroes in the counties and towns of the east. In four counties alone 114 negro magistrates have been. chosen and cities and towns have been turned over to this irresponsible population, and there is now in North Carolina something near 1,000 negro office-holders.
And again as in the days prior to '76 the eastern people are appealing to their brethren of other sections for relief. It is therefore absolutely certain that it is the Republican party itself which has brought the negro question acutely to the front.
The Republican leaders, as we understand it, do not seek to cover up or dodge the issue. They rely upon the negro for their support and they stand by him and their policy of giving him the local offices. It is their fight, but they publish no hand book. It is against this policy of the Republican party that the Democratic party is making its fight, and it is this policy which the Republican party is defending with a devotion worthy of a better cause.
The negro knows he must look to the Republican party, and the Republican party alone, to get office, and hence he is solid for his party. The white Republican leader knows he must look to the negro for office and he stands manfully by the negro and his domination over the white man. There is not a negro fool enough to think or a white Republican leader mean enough to charge that the negro can get office in the Democratic party.
Notwitstanding all these facts which must be known to them, Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer have the hardihood to suggest in their hand book that the Democratic party is not sincere in the fight it is making for white supremacy in North Carolina. But then these men must do something to show their appreciation for past favors and their desire for a continuance of the same. They now hold lucrative offices by the grace of the negroes and their white leaders, and they desire to continue in these offices. They must stand in with the negroes and their white leaders and at the same time keep the rank and file of the Populists in line ready to march ever to join the negroes, or they fear that they will lose their fat jobs. They well know that if the rank and file of the Populists shall ever becore fully informed as to the true conditions existing in the eastern counties and of the real purpose of the Populist leaders to fuse them with negroes, that these good men will turn their backs upon such false leaders and spit upon and dispise them. Hence they have written a book to be distributed among their followers, full of falsehood and misrepresentation, in the vain hope of keeping them in line till such time as they may be again needed to be traded off. As full of falsehood and fabrication as the book may be, there is one picture in it that is true to life. It is probably the most remarkable picture of oneself over written. We transcribe this pen picture of themselves from page 9 of their own book. It is in these words: "An organized liar will not stop lying simply because it cannot find something to lie about. It will invent something." Not one of the great masters ever produced upon canvass a more perfect likeness than these two men have made of themselves in these remarkable words.
The keynote of "The People's Party Hand Book" is an appeal to prejudices rather than a discussion of principles. It is on a low plane. One finds in it no ennobling thought. One looks throughout its pages in vain for a single elevating sentiment. It appears from the first to be something of a fraud--for while purporting to be a Populist Hand Book, it is reality issued in the interest of the Republican, Goldbug party. We find no chapter in it devoted to the Reforms which the Populist party has advocated. We see not a word in advocacy of silver; none in advocacy of cutting down fees and salaries: none in advocacy of any Populist measure. It is Republican in its tendencies throughout. But then the Populist leaders now in control of that party have allied themselves so thoroughly with black Republicanism and gold-bugism that nothing else could be expected from them. They have not even stopped at the half-way house, and this book is evidence that they rely on carrying their Populist friends clean over into the ranks of black Republicanism.
Let us see what they say of the white men of the State. While the Republican party has about 30,000 white men and 120,000 black men in it, and the Populist party has about 32,000 white men in it, about 148,000 white men compose the Democratic party. Now which
of these parties is most largely interested in having good government in North Carolina--in having an economical, honest, clean and efficient administration of public affairs? Which has the most property, pays the most taxes and otherwise is the most interested in the State?
Certainly, the 148,000 white men. And from 1877 to 1895 this party was in absolute power in the State, and no State in the Union had a more economical, honest and clean administration than North Carolina during that long period. The Populist leaders never claimed anything to the contrary. Polk and Butler and Skinner all commended the State government as late as 1892.
And yet this Hand Book, being a Republican document, much more than a Populist Hand Book, speaks of these 148,000 white men--the Democratic party--"as seeking a few years more of license to plunder the State in such a manner as the figures presented in this pamphlets show that they have heretofore plundered and robbed and looted it."
Now what a charge to bring against the 148,000 white men who form the Democratic party in North Carolina, that their object is to plunder the State--which virtually is themselves! to plunder and rob and loot their own treasury! Remember the negroes, who form the bulk of the opposition pay no taxes to speak of--and so the whites of North Carolina are banded together to rob themselves! Does not that declaration discredit the entire production?
Again, this Republican-Populist Hand Book says: "In nearly every Southern State except North Carolina the negro is disfranchised, with the result that racial antagonisms cannot he aroused because of the absence of a basis on which to proceed. The same power that disfranchised the negro in these Southern States has been wielded by the Democratic party in North Carolina for twenty years and yet no advantage whatever has been taken of that power."
As a matter of fact there are some fifteen Southern States, and in only one of them, Mississippi, was any effort made to restrict negro suffrage during the 20 years the Democrats had power in North Carolina.
But that discrepancy between fact and statement ought not to be mentioned. It is so slight, in comparison with others; such a slight falling off from the truth--; and the authors of the Hand Book told the truth when they said that notwithstanding the Democrats had power in North Carolina, they had not sought to disfranchise the negro. We can forgive them much for a single truth. But what do Dr. Thompson and Mr. Hal Ayer mean by that charge? Do they mean to complain about the fact? Why did they not propose it? Why have they not proposed it in the Populist party? Or do they propose it now? Do they favor disfranchising the negroes in North Carolina? That would be rather a mean thing for them to do; because it is by the negro votes that they have their offices. And as they could not be elected to any office in North Carolina except by negro votes, we are not inclined to think that they do favor disfranchising the negro voters.
And yet when they speak of the Democrats "being too weak and cowardly to stand up as men and enact laws disfranchising the negro vote, which laws would have been constitutional," we can not help supposing that manly men like Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer have stood up, year by year, and have been counted all the time as being in favor of disfranchising the negroes here in North Carolina. But if they did they took very good care not to let their negro friends and allies who honored them with their votes at the last election know about it. That felly Manly at Wilmington and his friends would not have voted for Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer had he known that they favored disfranchising the negroes.
We have said that much can be forgiven the authors of this Hand-Book for the single truth which they state that the Democrats, although they had power for 20 years, never once sought to disfranchise the negro. The Republican leaders have not been equally truthful in regard to this matter. Beginning in 1868 they have told the negroes in every campaign that if the Democrats were successful they would disfranchise the negroes. Well, for twenty years the Democrats were successful, and never have they made a single movement to disfranchise the negro. And here in this Hand-Book, issued by Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer (although doubtless paid for in part with Republican money), the truth crops out. We are obliged to them for this single truth! As a matter of fact, the right of suffrage to whites and blacks alike is given by the Constitution; and the Constitution cannot be altered except by amending the Constitution by a vote of the people; and no
amendment to the Constitution can even be submitted to the people until it has passed the Legislature by a very large majority, a two-thirds vote. So even if the Democrats favored disfranchising anybody, white or black, they could not do so. It is forbidden by the Constitution and no such effort could succeed. But they have no such purpose. The record shows they have had no such purpose in the past and gives ample assurance that they have no such purpose for the future.
Still hitting around in the dark, the Hand Book a little further along has a labored argument to prove that the Democrats have appointed more negroes to office than the Republicans have! And right here we repeat that quotation from page 9 of that Hand-Book: "An organized liar will not stop lying simply because it cannot find something to lie about. It will invent something."
The intelligent reader will probably make his own application without the need of any suggestion from us.
There is another remark that evident tickled the fancy of the authors of this remarkable production so much that they had to repeat it twice in the same chapter. Here it is: "That in nearly all cases in which a negro has made assumptions, either politically or socially, in such a way as to be offensive to the Caucasian race, it has been at the instigation of some low, venal, vile wretch, acting as the tool of the Democratic party wire-pullers." Dr. Thompson or Mr. Ayer, one or both, was so much in love with that sentence that it was repeated twice in the same chapter. Verily they have gotten pretty far over into the camp of the Black Republicans. What do the honest Populists of the State think of that? The negroes of North Carolina are generally very well behaved. Most of them show credit to their raising. They see that the white people are kindly, and they themselves are kindly in turn. But some are bad, disreputable, bad in their manners, bad in their conduct. But Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer publish it to the world that in nearly all such cases the Democratic party has instigated them to be offensive. We think the intelligent reader will peruse once more that elegant sentence that "An organized liar will not stop lying simply because it cannot find something to lie about. It will invent something."
A negro editor at Wilmington named Manly, who has cut some figure as a Republican politician in that city, having published in his newspaper a shocking article, this Hand Book says of him: "This negro makes no sort of pretense of belonging to the People's party. He is officially repudiated and condemned by the Republican party; and the UNAVOIDABLE conclusion is that he is a tool and scapegoat of the Democratic machine."
Why, goodness, Dr. Thompson, what do you and Mr. Ayer mean by casting off one of your supporters. Did not this man vote for you and with you? Is he not one of your allies? Wherein is he not quite your party equal in your new alliance? He is one of you! You birds have flocked together.
And with what semblance of logic can you say--"and the unavoidable conclusion is that he is a tool of the Democratic machine," because being your political bed-fellow, he does something you do not approve? You shall not escape being pilloried in connection with this infamy by audaciously attempting the role of that "organized" being you have by a stroke of genius created. Mark the prediction--you both will sit with Manly in some political gathering of piebalds.
As illogical as this "unavoidable conclusion" will strike any man of ordinary intelligence, it is on a par with much of the other reasoning of the Hand Book. Indeed the book is much alike throughout--sometimes rather more illogical than at other times, but always illogical! and very frequently reminding the reader of that "organized" being whose fame it perpetuates.
For instance it was reported that Manly received an anonymous note warning him that he must leave Wilmington in twenty-four hours, and here is the way the Hand Book narrates that incident: "Another low, vile Democratic machine tool wrote an anonymous note to the negro stating that he must leave the town in twenty-four hours, or caused a spreading of the report that such a note had been written."
Now, why should the writer of that note be stigmatized as "low and vile?" Because he wrote an anonymous note. No, as unmanly as that was, that was not the reason for this strong language. No. It was a mere senseless effort to strike at those who condemn Manly, and to hit at the Democratic party--at the 148,000 white men in the State, who did not, as Manly did, vote for Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer for their present places, forgetting that the honest Populists are quite as indignant as the Democrats are at Manly's sentiments. While not displaying any sympathy
with Manly in this matter, the authors of this book still try to vent spleen at others who manifested anger at his atrocious utterances.
Do the honest Populists of North Carolina propose to give countenance to a hand book that speaks for them on such lines, or will they repudiate it and its authors? How defiled with Republican pitch, have these office-holders become, feeding on their fine salaries, and brought in daily contact with Republican politicians who train them to their own uses and purposes! The principles and purposes of the Populist party have long since been forgotten by them; all that is remembered is our salaries provided us by the favor of the negro voters of the State.
And is it not surpassingly strange that this Hand-Book says nothing of John T. Howe, the travelling agent of Manly's paper, Howe being the Radical Republican Representative from New Hanover county in the last Legislature and his Republicanism having been recently recognized and rewarded by Collector Duncan, who appointed him storekeeper and gauger? Is he not one of their brother fusion office holders, although a member of the negro press?
Parties are interesting to the people because of what they propose, and hand books generally indicate the reasons and arguments for these proposed measures. But as we have elsewhere said there is no discussion of principles in this book; there are no measures proposed; there are no arguments to show that any political course of action is better than another; there is not a single appeal to the voters to do anything to promote the public welfare, or to reform evils, or to advocate measures that would redound to the happiness, prosperity or glory of the people. On such matters this book is as silent as the carcas of a dead dog.
Indeed, being a Republican-Populist production it could advocate no principle or measures, because whatever it might say in favor of Populist principles or measures would antagonize the Republicans, and whatever it may say of Republican purposes would be out of place in an alleged Populist hand book. Hence its silence on all such matters.
Not the advocate of any political measure, nor of anything that would benefit the people or State, its sole aim is to belittle the Democratic party. This it thinks can safely be done without giving offense to either Republican or Populist. In trying to do this, it seeks to show that the Democrats oppose negro rule merely to get a chance to plunder the State. And in order to show that the Democrats have plundered the State, it criticises and comments on various items of expenditure during the past twenty years, without any particular regard to reason, sense or justice. It twists and distorts facts and withholds information in order to make the people believe that some transaction that was an entirely proper one, was a mean fraud. And although most of these transactions are of very small consequence and the charges of the Hand Book are absolutely frivolous, not worthy of serious consideration, yet we have felt inclined to notice them. And on the whole we may say it is a grand testimonial to the integrity and high conduct of the Democratic party that during its twenty years of service no greater or heavier charges can be brought against it than the little pin darts contained in this book; frivolous in their nature, and beneath the consideration of the people in a great campaign for white supremacy.
Quaere: Why did Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer offer to fuse with the Democrats?
Under flaming head lines this book tells how the newspapers of North Carolina fattened at the public trough, literally swilled mash; and it turns out to be only this. When the natural oyster beds were laid off in the great sounds, it was necessary to give notice to the public where they were located, so that they could not be treated as "public land," open for entry as the whole body of the sound, not natural beds, was. In order to give this information to the public certain advertisements had to be made; and these advertisements were sent to the five papers that had the most circulation in those parts. What a shocking crime, on the part of the wicked Democrats to give this notice! ! It is not pretended that the papers got too much; their charges for advertising were very low for the work done. But this Hand Book charges that the press of the State fattened on a job! !
There is a chapter in this Hand Book containing the same statements and figures that Dr. Thompson used in his Clinton speech, relative to the office of Secretary of State, the falsity of many of which statements Capt Cooke has already so thoroughly exposed that
Dr. Thompson will probably wear a badge during the remainder of his life.
On page 33 is a statement of returns made of sales of Supreme court reports, in preparing which the compiler fell into error. From that statement it would appear that no sales were made in the years 1892 and 1894; and indeed Dr. Thompson in his speech at Clinton, which has been published in pamphlet and widely distributed, specifically asserts that no reports of sales were made for those years, and then declares that he knows some sales were made in those years. The statement made in the Hand Book, and by Dr. Thompson is as follows:
|Sales in 1890||$ 1,966.27|
|Sales in 1891||2,618.01|
|Sales in 1892||----|
|Sales in 1893||621.12|
|Sales in 1894||----|
|Sales in 1895||2,330.66|
The above is inaccurate.
The Auditor's report for 1893, at page 23, has this entry: "January, 1893. Received of Octavius Coke, Secretary of State, for sale of Supreme court reports for fourth quarter, 1892, $621.12."
So there were sales reported for 1892. And again the Auditor's report for 1895, page 23, has this entry: 1895, January 1. Received of Octavius Coke, Secretary of State, for sale of Supreme court reports to date, $1,188.69." And so those sales were "up to date"--necessarily including the whole time from the last settlement to date, embracing therefore the year 1893 as well as 1894; but not including 1895 at all.
From that date up to September 1, 1895, Col. Coke paid in $1,142 because of sales of Supreme court reports.
And so the record is for 1892, $621.12; for 1893 and 1894, $1,188.69, and for 1895 $1,142.
There are reasonable explanations why these returns are not so large as in the years immediately preceding and following. The number of lawyers who buy Supreme court reports is about 300. The sales for each new volume ought to bring in about $600. Some time before Col. Coke came in, the State had bought out Mr. Mason's large stock of reports, many of which were quoted from $7 to $10 a volume, and these were sold by Col. Saunders at $3.00 a volume. The lawyers quickly supplied themselves with what they wanted from that stock as far it went, and then the active demand for those books ceased. The demand for reports was after that largely limited to the current volume, until the "reprints" were offered. These reprints for the most part came on the market after 1895, and the sale of reports reached their high water mark in 1896 under Cooke's administration.
There is a further statement that can be made about Capt. Coke's sales of reports. He did not sell any from his office. By a contract, which was in existence when he came into office, a reputable bookseller in Raleigh had the actual handling and sale of the reports. Capt. Coke could only pay the money into the State Treasury after he received it from the bookseller; and we think it will appear that the bookseller got into financial trouble and Capt. Coke met delay in obtaining the cash from him, and therefore there was delay in making the payment for 1893 and 1894.
There is absolutely nothing in this business that reflects on the honesty of Capt. Coke, and those who impeach his honesty with mean insinuations merely take advantage of his being dead to assail him. But say the authors of this Hand Book, while the Democratic Legislatures appointed committees to examine the books of the Auditor's office and of the Treasurer's office, why did they never appoint a committee to examine the books of the Secretary's office? Well, we will answer by asking another. Why did not the Republican-Populist Legislature of 1895, when Coke was living, and the Legislature of 1897 appoint a committee to examine that office? It is the same reason in each case. It was not thought necessary. It was never proposed by anyone. Neither Saunders nor Coke, nor Cooke would ever have objected: but notwithstanding the Auditor's report presented to the Legislators, Republicans and Democrats alike, year by year, the sales, receipts and payments made by the Secretary, no one ever thought these reports made an examination necessary.
Why did Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer offer to fuse with the Democrats?
The Hand Book contains some statements from convicts to the effect that their treatment under Democratic rule was cruel and barbarous and brutal. We do not doubt that in every penitentiary some convicts can be found ready to give testimony against a former opposition administration to a new one, whose favor they might win by such a course. They become political allies as it were and could expect some particularly favorable treatment at the hands of their allies who make use of them for their political purposes.
Every two years a legislative committee composed of both Republicans and Democrats have the affairs of the
penitentiary under their consideration, and no scandals connected with the management of the penitentiary under Democratic rule have heretofore been brought to the attention of the Legislature or the people.
But since this Republican administration has come in, we have noticed a letter in the newspapers giving a statement of cruelty and brutality to one o fthe convicts under the new regime, and we also see a statement that one of the guards whipped a convict to death. It is stated that Governor Russell felt it proper to have a bench warrant issued for the arest of Jim Sears, the guard, who whipped a convict, Jim Lowe, on the Halifax farm, three times in one day, and whipped him so unmercifully that the convict died the next day, and the doctor reported to the authorities that he had been whipped to death. Thereupon Gov. Russell caused proceedings to be had for the arrest of the guard, but the fellow had run away.
The alleged Populist Hand Book tries to argue that "Jim Sears" was the same as "N. Sears" and that "N. Sears" was employed by the penitentiary authorities in 1896. And, says this illogical Hand Book, "this is conclusive evidence of the existence of brutal and barbarous deeds under that (Democratic) management!" But suppose Jim Sears was not "N. Sears!" Jim Sears, as brutal as he is, has a perfect right to his own identity. And as this murderous whipping was done under Republican-Populist management, how is it "conclusive evidence of brutal and barbarous deeds under Democratic management?" But that is the sort of stuff Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer print as coming from the Populist executive committee. How do the intelligent, honest Populists like it?
The Democrats have nothing to reproach themselves with in connection with the management of the penitentiary. They appointed men of high character to manage that institution; and men of known humanity were the superintendents; and the physician in charge is unusually esteemed in North Carolina as a Christian gentleman. And there was a regulation requiring two directors to visit every convict camp every month in the year to see for themselves that the convicts were properly treated.
We give a list of the Democratic officials to whom the care of this institution was committed. David M. Carter was the first president of the board of directors and Mr. Thos. H. Briggs was vice-president. C. G. Yates, G. W. Thompson and G. S. Cole were the other directors. Mr. W. J. Hicks was warden, D. C. Murray steward and Dr. William Little, physician. Subsequently E. R. Stamps, Henry R. Bryan, M. T. Leach, A. D. Brown, C. M. Cooke, J. W. Cooper, F. L. Reid, W. L. Steele, L. M. Scott, E. L. Vaughan, Leonard Henderson, W C. Fields, P. F. Faison, H. B. Adams, T. L. Emery, Lee S. Overman, A. B. Young, Frank Stronach W. J. White, B. W. Ballard, T. S. Dale, S. C. Rankin, R. H. Ricks, R. E. Rvburn and W. H. Smith became members of the board, either to fill vacancies or by original appointment.
Dr. G. W. McGee was physician from 1880 till recently. Mr. Hicks, whose humanity is so well known that recently he has been appointment superintendent of the Oxford Orphan Asylum, was in charge of the convicts as warden and as general supervisor during the Democratic control.
When a few years ago the office of superintendent was made Mr. A. Leazer was appointed to that place.
These gentlemen are men of high character and their names give every assurance that no brutality was allowed under their management. cipline might sometimes require severity, for it would be wonderful if among the convict force there were not some unruly men. It will be a long time before Hal Ayer and Dr. Thompson will be able to persuade the people of North Carolina that convicts were treated cruelly under these men.
We cannot help remarking that in this chapter on the penitentiary this alleged Populist Hand Book makes no reference whatever to the fact that Governor Russell had removed John R. Smith, the superintendent, on charges of stealing and squandering the State's property, and that this same alleged Hand Book is silent on the fact that information about the penitentiary was refused. What do the honest Populists of the State have to say about such a remarkable silence on the part of a Hand Book that is issued in their name? As a Republican document, such silence would be expected; but as a Populist hand-book such silence is extraordinary. Does it not show where Hal Aver and Dr. Thompson are trying to land the Populists of the State right into the bosom of the Republican party?
Why did Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer offer to fuse with the Democrats?
This very remarkable book contains a chapter on the penitentiary numbered chapter six, and in this they show their utter disregard of all idea of fair dealing
with the public and with public matters. They tell their readers that during the 20 years of Democratic rule large sums of money was appropriated for the penitentiary; but they fail to say that it was during that time that the great buildings were constructed and that the convicts were worked chiefly on works of internal improvements. Nor do they mention or controvert the fact that it was during Democratic administration that the policy of making the penitentiary self-sustaining was adopted and that after that a steady approach was made to it, till 1896--the last year of Democratic management--it was absolutely self-sustaining, only $5,000 having been drawn from the public treasury and that having been replaced before the end of the year.
They then go into a speculation about what may be the proceeds of the crop of 1898 and they GUESS from these assumed figures that the credit side of the account will be larger than the debit side. But all honest men who read this chapter should remember that in July we tried to get a look at the books and were refused, and to this day we assert that no such report has been made public for the year 1897 as is required by law. It is therefore impossible for us to go into the details of the mismanagement of this institution. We have reason to believe and we assert that the report for 1897 will show that the present management paid more than $9,000 that year in salaries and fees than did the Democrats for the year 1896. We humbly submit that as the management has steadily declined to make public a detailed report as required by law that the public should not accept the partial report made by Chairman Dockery and Superintendent Smith and the statement contained in the Thompson-Ayer publication as worth much. Let us have the official report detailed and made according to law and then we can see how the matter stands. We prefer to see the books.
"Do you see?'
This Hand Book has a chapter on the public printing, in which much is attempted to be made out of the fact that the contractors to do the public printing under Democratic rule made some money out of it. Why, bless us! that is why they took the contract. The law until 1897 fixed the prices which the State would pay for typesetting, binding and press work. These prices were not high. The Legislature made a contract with some one to have the public work done at these figures. The contractor could not do the work himself; he had to have it done by many printers; by many binders and pressman. It was not material to the State what printers, binders and pressmen the contractor employed, or whether he had the work done in one printing office or another so that it was well done. The contractor might have made more money by doing the work in his own office, or he might have made less. He took the contract to make some profit and he handled the work to the best advantage. The sole question that arises is, were the prices paid by the State too high? The prices paid by the State were not high, but reasonable.
The Hand Book gives the figures under Democratic rule as follows:
|From July, 1891, to July, 1892||$15,196.68|
|From July, 1892 to July, 1893||16,796.46|
|From July, 1893 to July, 1894||14,509.19|
|From July, 1894 to July, 1895||19,481.52|
And under Republican-Populist rule:
|From July, 1895, to July, 1896||$16,699.87|
|From July, 1896 to July, 1897||24,713.58|
Under Democratic rule the cost to the State for a period of two years was about $33,000 under Populist-Republican rule about $41,000. It suited the authors of this alleged Populist Hand Book to mix up these figures and to strike an average of them; but for our part we prefer keeping the Republican-Fusion figures separate from the Democratic figures.
In 1897 a change was made in the manner of having this public printing done, and this Hand Book states that it cost for the year July, 1897, to July, 1898, only $10,280. We don't know how that is. Those figures have not been printed in the Auditor's report as yet, and we do not accept them as correct. The authors of this Hand Book may have made a mistake. The public printing accounts are not always right. Treasurer Worth says that Stewart Bros., the Republican-Populist public printers, drew from the State ten thousand dollars more than they were entitled to; while on the other hand Stewart Bros. not only swear that it is not so, but claim that the State still owes them a large sum for printing. The question of which is right is now in court and we will have to wait until that suit is finished to know how it is. And in like manner, we cannot accept the mere say so of this Hand Book about the cost of public printing last year when the Auditor's report has not even been printed.
Indeed, if Treasurer Worth is right, then it would appear that there was much looseness in auditing and paying the accounts of the public printer
under the present administration, and as Mr. Hal Ayer is the chief compiler of this Hand Book, and also Auditor and we suppose had the auditing of Stewart's bills, we cannot trust his mere statements, for if might turn out that he is the very embodiment of that "organized" being of whom he speaks with such familiar knowledge. In passing, we might say that Mr. Hal Ayer's friend, Stewart Bros., not only did not do the work themselves, but sent a part of it to Richmond, Va., where it was done. And while we are on this subject, we may refresh Mr. Ayer's memory by adverting to a statement which Stewart Bros., published in the newspapers and Mr. Ayer has never denied in the papers, or anywhere else that we ever heard of. Stewart Bros. say that before taking away the public printing from them Mr. Ayer went up to Winston to see them, and said "If I let out this public printing at Raleigh, it will be worth $1,500 to me personally. Now, what have you got to say to that." And Stewart Bros, replied, "I have nothing to say to that." And so the public printing was let out at Raleigh.
Some comment has heretofore been made that the Populists have advocated reforms and have pledged themselves to cut down high salaries and curtail expenses; but that notwithstanding these Populist pledges, the Fusion administration had spent in the years 1895, 1896 and 1897, $380,000 more than the Democrats spent in the years 1892, 1893 and 1894. Indeed, the Populists in the platform adopted May 17, 1898, said: "In order to keep our public servants in thorough touch and sympathy with the oppressed masses and to check to some extent the scramble for office, we demand a reduction of salaries until such time as through an increase of the currency the price of property and products will justify the present rates."
Now what does this alleged Populist Hand Book have to say about this increase in expenditures of $380,000 in three years! We quote: "And yet when an anti-Democratic Legislature authorizes an increased expenditure of $380,000 for three years, these Democratic campaigners squall themselves hoarse, tear their hair, foam at the mouth, and would make the people believe that the State is being run into wreck and ruin." Now what a comment is this for an alleged Populist-Hand Book to make. How do the honest Populists admire that sort of language, in view of their platform declaration?
But then this matter of reducing fees and salaries and expenditures is a very sore and irritating subject to Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer. What do you suppose Dr. Thompson's compensation is? Six thousand dollars a year! Why it is the same as both the Governor and the Treasurer together get. Just think of it; one man in poor old North Carolina getting $6,000, year after year, as a public servant! and that, too, while the farmer is getting only 5 cents a pound for his cotton. And he is not worked hard either. He has plenty of spare time on his hands to prepare hands books and make speeches in the interest of the gold standard Republican party. No wonder he rides a high horse whenever the subject is mentioned of curtailing public expenses and cutting down salaries. And he, like Auditor Ayer who also has a fine salary, owes his salary to the negroes--to Manly of Wilmington and the other black Republicans. Hence all their strong language against the white men of the State who are opposed to negro rule--because as a part and parcel of negro rule Thompson and Ayer, no less than John R. Smith and Russel, enjoy their large salaries; and the poor people may suffer and be hanged!
DON'T YOU SEE!
Ayer, and Smith of penitentiary fame, and Thompson are quite opposed to giving practical effect to the demand of the Populist party for salary reduction, and when the fact is stated that under the last three years of fusion rule the expenditures were $380,000 more than ever before, they try to ridicule it by saying that Democratic campaigners squall themselves hoarse, tear their hair and foam at the mouth. And again we ask what do the honest Populists think of such an exhibition being displayed in the hand book issued in their name?
In this wonderful production prepared and published in the interest of the Republican party, but named by its authors "People's Party Hand Book," to give it a respectable reception by the Populist, Dr. Thompson and Auditor Ayer head their chapter fifteen "The Department of Agriculture;" and they seem to think they have utterly destroyed the Democratic party when they state that the Democratic administration
spent $67,470.79, while the Republican Fusion administration spent only $37,345.25. If they desired to be fair they would have stated that during the Democratic period selected by them large additions were made to the museum and other improvements were made that cost $17,000. That the book "North Carolina and its Resources," was printed that cost $5,000. That $6,000 had been lent to the Agricultural College in that year; that insurance for a period of three years and considerable repairs to the building, were paid for in that year; and that the $67,000 alleged to have been spent included about $13,000 in cash turned over to the present board. But this is another instance of the unfairness of this Book. Deduct these "extraordinary" items; or how stands the account?
But then it seems they either do not know or they do not care to consider the purpose for which this department was established. or its expenditures made. The farmers will understand that a considerable sum is collected each year from a tax on fertilizers to run this department. The great question in which the farmers are deeply concerned is HOW is this department run? How and for what purposes is this money spent? Is it spent in the interest of the farmers or in the interest of hangers on around the department? These are the great, the important questions; and as Dr. Thompson and Auditor Ayer have access to the books of the department they could have given the farmers this information if they would. But the book has not a word from them on that score. They only tell us that $37,345.25 was spent. They do not desire to tell us for what purpose. No, they do not tell us where a dollar of that money went.
On July 14th, 1898--two months ago--Mr. Simmons addressed a letter to John R. Smith, Commissioner of Agriculture, asking for this very information, and up to this day not a word has been heard from it. So it is impossible for the farmers to know how much of this money was spent in their interest and how much in some body else's.
It is rumored that large fees have been paid to lawyers. Whether this be true or not the farmer does not know.
The chapter is silent as to the name of the Commissioner of Agriculture and therein the compilers are sensible; for Governor Russell told Mr. Baily that the man who is now the Commissioner is a bad man. After he had demonstated his utter unfitness to manage the penitentiary he is transferred to this farmers department to manage that; and he is now going over the State holding farmers' institutes, which the farmers refuse to attend. What a farce. John R. Smith holding farmers' institutes! How much of this fund is wasted in this farce? Come now, Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer, the farmers would like to know. "Don't you see."
While access to the books has been denied us; we have some information as to certain matters that bear on these figures given by Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer.
First they say that the expenditures in the Agricultural Department from June 14, 1896, to June 14, 1897, under Democratic management was $67,470.79. The fiscal year of that department runs from November to November, and it might be that an undue proportion of the expenditures may have fallen within those parts of two fiscal years. But, however, that might be, in the year 1896, the Agricultural Department made a great many special expenditures. First they bought two city lots at a cost of $1,600; next theyerected an additional building that cost $10,000; then they put in a heating apparatus that cost $7,000; then they issued a book called North Carolina and its Resources at a cost of $5,000; then they lent to the A. and M. College to build the Horticultural building $5,000; and also $1,000 besides; then they insured the property for three years and also spent a considerable sum in repairs. That makes something more than $30,000 of expenditures that are not to be found in the accounts for the succeeding year. Then they turned over to the new board $13,000 in cash, and we have reason to believe that that item was added in by Mr. Ayer to get his footing of $67,000. Although of that we cannot be certain, as we have no access to the books.
The ordinary expenditures of the Agricultural Department under Democratic rule ran between $24,000 and $26,000 a year; all other expenses were of an unusual nature; but were for the benefit of the department.
The pay of officials under Democratic rule was:
|2 Regular Inspectors||2,000.00|
Three special Inspectors were employed a part of the time at $75 a month.
The present administration pays for the same service (unless some of the
salaries have been recently raised, which has been alleged):
|2 regular Inspectors||2,000.00|
|An Assistant Curator||360.00|
|A Mailing Clerk||1,000.00|
Five Special Inspectors at $75 a month, a part of the time, amounting according to the Hand Book to $900 more than the Democrats paid; so that the same service costs now $2,800 more than when the Democrats ran the department.
Under Democratic rule $10,000 was allowed to the Experiment Station for analyzing. We learn that at the last meeting of the board this allowance was increased to $20,000. We have also heard that some of the salaries were increased.
The Hand-Book says that the Democrats collected between June 14, 1896, and June 14, 1897, $52,602.73, and the new administration from June 14, 1897, to June 1, 1898, collected $57,973.75.
Assuming that these figures are correct, the amount of taxes collected depends entirely on the amount of fertilizers sold in the State. The amount has been steadily increasing year by year; as the number of bags of stuff sold increases, the number of tags sold increases, and the amount of taxes realized also increases. There have been but few flagrant attempts to violate this law. The most flagrant, it is said, has been made by Mr. J. R. Chamberlain, now one of the Fusion officials, against whom several suits have been conducted by that able legal adviser of his Excellency Hon. J. C. L. Harris, whose expressions in regard to Mr. Chamberlain would be decidedly out of place in a Sunday School Book,
Now, taking the facts stated and the light thrown on the subject by them, will not the honest Populist ask how did the authors of this Hand-Book dare to trifle with them by withholding from them the items of disbursement herein specified; and by not calling attention to the fact that the amount collected depended entirely on the number of bags of fertilizers sold in the State in any given year?
Isn't the whole thing a trap to deceive the unwary?
Don't your see?
Why did Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer offer to fuse with the Democratic party?
This Hand-Book pretends to discuss the question as to how the receipts from taxes in 1897 came to be $33,000 more than in 1896. On page 60 it says: "There has been no increase of taxes," while on page 64, it says: "This is accounted for by the increase of license taxes, etc."
The inconsistency of statement is explained by the fact that the two statements were on different pages; and the authors of the Hand-Book forgot what they had written.
Capt Cooke's reply to Dr. Thompson rather settled that matter.
As we have pointed out elsewhere the Populist Party started out six years ago with a well defined political creed. Its leaders were bold and aggressive in their advocacy of this creed. As every article of this creed was hostile to Republican teaching these leaders were loud and long in their denunciation of the Republican party and all its teachings and practices. Now in the short space of six years we see these same leaders cease to advocate these principles, cease to say a word against Republican principles and openly advise the Populists to embrace these hated Republican principles by electing Republicans to office. Why? Because these leaders want Pie and they are willing to trade principle and people to get it.
"Do you see?"
Why did Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer offer to fuse with the Democratic party?
Messrs. Thompson and Ayer on page 9 of their book say, "An organized liar will not stop lying simply because it cannot find something to lie about. It will invent something." Whatever else they may have failed in, they have certainly succeeded in making good that declaration and they have done it by their own example. Starting with falsehoods of minor importance they descend by easy steps, in their downward course, till they invent a lie on page 87 that would put to shame the very boss of liars. They made such rapid progress, in practical demonstration of this organized being which they created, that on page 87 they speak of the negro editor Manly in Wilmington as a Democrat.
Why did Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer offer to fuse with the Democratic party?
The Populist Orators made the campaign of 1894 on the low price of farm
products and especially were they loud and long on five cent cotton. Now search this remarkable Book just issued by Thompson and Ayer, two of these Populist Orators, and see if you find one word about low price of farm products and five cent cotton. Not a word. Why? It cannot be said it is because farm products are not low, for cotton is the lowest it ever was at the opening of the cotton season. Then why is it they are silent on this question, the question of all others which interest those Populist farmers most? We answer, it is because they are in partnership with the party now in power. They have contracted with the Republican leaders, on a basis of a division of offices, to deliver the Populist vote to the Republican Party. It will therefore not do for them to call the attention of the Populist Farmer to the low price of farm products under Republican laws and administrations.
"Do you see."
Why did Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer offer to fuse with the Democratic party?
In their Hand-Book Messrs. Thompson and Ayer head their chapter two in these words: "Lawyers lived at the Treasury through when Democrats were in." They then give a list of amounts paid and to whom for attorneys' fees each year from January, 1877, to the end of the year 1896--a period of 20 years. We have not verified their figures, but will accept them as true. The aggregate for the 20 years is $45,000, or an average of $2,250 per year.
Now let it be remembered that when the Democrats came into power January, 1877, that there were a number of suits pending and soon instituted to establish the validity of the Special Tax Bond and to enforce their payment. All of this litigation grew out of the fraudulent and infamous Republican legislation of 68-69. There was also pending an indictment against Littlefield and others for the part he took in that infamous legislation. Counsel were employed to defend these suits and prosecute these indictments. Mr. T. P. Devereux was sent to Florida, where Littlefield was, as a special agent of this State, with a requisition from the Governor to bring him to this State for trial. He was arrested upon this requisition and discharged by the courts of Florida. Most of the attorneys' fees for the first years of the Democratic administration was to pay for the litigation growing out of Republican legislation. The Swasey suit to sell the State's interest in the N. C. R. R. for their bondholders was also pending, and this had to be defended or give up the State's interest in that road. There was also a suit in the Federal Court at Greensboro which involvel the right of the State to sell the Western North Carolina Railroad. It was impossible for the Attorney-General to attend to these suits and look after his other official duties. Deducting these necessary expenses, the balance of the items will be very small. This will fully appear by looking at the amounts paid some of the years of Democratic administration. One year it was as low as $450.
During the last several years of the Democratic administrations litigation was commenced and pressed with great vigor to compell all corporations in this State to put all their property on the tax list for taxation. Attorneys were employed to press this litigation in the State and Federal Courts. The efforts of the State were finally successful and millions of dollars worth of property was put upon the tax list which had never been there before. About this same time another suit was brought against the State to make the State liable for the Special Tax Bonds, which was finally determined in the United States Supreme Court in favor of the people. Most of the fees paid attorneys in the latter years of the Democratic administration were for these purposes. But as we have said the figures published in this Populist Hand-Book show that the annual average, including all these important matters above referred to, was only $2,250.
Now how is it with the Russell administration? We take the figures from the Auditor's report for 1897 and we find they add up $3,163.92. So, if Auditor Ayer is correct there was paid out to attorneys the first year of Governor Russell's administration $3,163.92--a sum much larger than the annual average paid under Democratic administration. But $7,500 of the $45,000 was refunded to the State Treasury by the railroads in a settlement, so that the actual amount paid by the State in the Democratic period of 25 years was only $28,000. Deducting this, and the average would be only $1,900--a sum much less than that paid by the Russell administration for the year 1897. We do not know what has been paid in 1898 and will not till the Auditor's report for this year is published.
This $3,163.92 does not include anything paid at the Agricultural Department. It is said large fees have been paid. In July we asked for an itemized statement of the expenditures of that
Department. But we have received no reply and we are therefore kept in the dark as to that. Nor does it include large sums pain by the North Carolina Railroad Company to attorneys. It must be remembered that three-fourths of every dollar paid by that company to attorney belong to the State. We get from the Treasurer's report of that company that the amounts paid to lawyers for several years were as follows:
|For the year beginning 1st July, 1894, and ending July 1, 1895||$ 134.45|
|For year July, '95, ending July, '96||1,075.33|
|For year July '96 to July '97||1,320.00|
|For year July '97 to July '98||7,320.74|
Now three-fourths of the amounts paid under the Russell administration of the N. C. Road belonged to the State. So we think that in view of the large amount paid out of the State Treasury to attorneys under the Russell administration and by the Treasurer of the N. C. R. R. under the Russell administration, and the unknown amount paid out by the Agricultural Department under the Russell administration, the members of the Russell administration are estopped from suggesting that the amounts paid by the Democratic administration during its years of heavy and important litigation were excessive.
But the meanness of this Hand-Book is illustrated by its saying the Democrats in 20 years paid $45,000 to lawyers without once saying what important suits were tried in these years. Suppose, for instance, the suits on the Special Tax Bonds had gone against us, what trouble we would have had. The fees under Democratic rule were moderate and were well earned.
Why did Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer offer to fuse with the Democratic party?
While there are many surprising things in this Hand-Book issued in the name of the Populists of the State, but really intended to serve the purposes of the Radicals with their 120,000 negroes at their back, there are some things rather more surprising than other things. All of its statements are not of the same grade. And, although this book pretends to be addressed to the Populists, some of its reasoning is really an insult to the intelligence of the men who compose the Populist party. Now, what asses must Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer believe the Populists to be when they undertake to stuff them with the nonsense that the Democratic party appoints negroes to office! We say that kind of talk is more surprising than many other false things contained in this Hand-Book, because it shows plainly that Dr. Thompson and Hal. Ayer think very meanly of the intelligence of the Populist people of the State. Evidently they think that the Populists will accept such a statement merely because it is made in "The Hand-Book."
Now we don't have the same contemptible opinion of the Populists people as the authors of this Hand-Book manifest. However we may have differed with them in opinion as to men and measures, we know that they are men of fair intelligence and of honest purposes. And if they have been induced to vote with the negro crowd in the past, while we may deplore the consequences to the people of the Eastern part of the State, we know they have the manhood to try and remedy the ills. which afflict the State.
But what does this Hand-Book take the Populists people for when it tries to make out that the Democrats are the people who put negroes in office? The object is plain enough. It is to try and make the Populists believe that there is no difference between the black Republican party and the Democratic party on the subject of putting negroes in office. Now, why does this Hand-Book teach that false doctrine? It being understood that some of the Populists are disgusted with the stealings of John R. Smith, with the mal-administration of affairs, and with the spectacle of negroes carrying things with a high hand in the Eastern section, and in consequence are joining the white man's party, Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer think to stop that movement. They say to the Populists we are co-operating with the Republicans, and while it is true they put negroes in office, yet you need not on that account go over and help the Democrats, for they too put negroes in office. They are just as much a negro party as the Republicans. Now that is the substance of what these men say in their Hand-Book. That is what they want the Populists to believe. We say that is an insult to the intelligence of the Populists people. The falsehood is too plain to deceive any one. But they seek to prove it! How? By publishing that the Democrats put negroes on the School Committees--yes, on the School Committees in negro School Districts! They well know that no Democratic Board ever put a negro on a school committee for any white school, although they did sometimes put a negro on a scool committee for negro schools. The Democrats have no
hatred of negroes and treat them fairly. They have given the negro race adequate and fit schools: and they have provided for negro teachers of these schools: and they have sometimes put a negro on the committee to supervise these schools.
And so, also, they have thought it proper that in the appointment of Directors of the Colored Insane Asylum, the negroes should have some representation, and so occasionally we believe some negro has been appointed a Director of the negro Asylum near Goldsboro to look after his own race.
But no negro has ever been appointed by a Democratic administration a Director in any other State institution.
Yet, on page 86 of the Hand Book, Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer publish that when Gov. Russell appoints a negro on the Board of Directors who manage the WHITE Institution for the D. D. and Blind, the Democrats make a grand whooping "cry of Nigger." The above is their language. It seems to indicate that they disapproved of "the grand whooping cry of "Nigger" which the Democrats made when Jim Young was appionted. Do the Populists sympathize with them in that disapproval? Or is not the whole thing an insult to the intelligence of the Populist people of the State.
Why did Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer offer to fuse with the Democrats?
There are some half truths that reflect upon the men who tell them quite as much as whole falsehoods. Of this kind are those statements in the Hand-Book, (that falsely purports to be a Populist Hand-Book but which is really a Republican-White-Washing Document) which purports to give the Democratic record in regard to Democrats appointing negroes on school committees. Until the last unfortunate school law was put on the statute book there were separate districts for negro schools and for white schools. The policy of the Democratic party has always been to appiont white committeemen and white teachers for the white children, and negro committeemen and negro teachers for the negro children. The honest Populists in the country know that. Yet this Hand-Book charges the Democrats with appointing negro committeemen for schools, without once saving that all such appointments were made for negro schools, but trying to create the impression that those negroes were appointed over white schools. Now is not that a very mean half-way truth? Is it not just as bad as a direct, out-and-out falsehood? Is it not, indeed, a meaner falsehood than a plain open downright one?
Well, as we have said, the last Legislature put a very improper school law on the statute book. It put all the schools in any one township under a single committee. After that there were no separate negro committees for negro schools. Now what else did this unfortunate law say; why it provided for five committeemen, but directed that no more than three of them should belong to the same political party. The policy of that law was to require a mixing of the races to govern the schools; its policy was to amalgamate the old committees, the white committees and the black committees into a single township committee; and under that law negro committeemen were put on the only school committee that there was in any township. This doubtless is the reason why so many negroes have been appointed during the past year by the county authorities in the negro counties on school committees, but it is to be remembered that county authorities in those counties are not now Democratic. This law providing for an amalgamated school committee was an adroit Republican measure, doubtless intended to further and advance the Republican policy of boosting up the negroes and extending their sphere of local action. Here a little and there a little, the negro under Republican auspices is to be shoved forward, and this law in this respect was to accomplish something in that direction.
It is to be noted that this Republican White-Washing Hand-Book has not a word to say about that law. It does not demand its repeal. It does not say a word about it. The Democrats have announced that if ever they get a chance they will undo that piece of legislation and will put things back as they were--negro committemen and negro teachers for negro schools; white committeemen and white teachers for white girls and boys.
Now we ask the Honest White men of the State, what their preference is; and will they not give the Democrats a chance to undo this legislation?
Why did Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer offer to fuse with the Democrats?
While this Hand-Book says that the Democrats, during their twenty years of power in North Carolina, never offered to disfranchise the negroes, the Republicans not only charge the Democrats with having that purpose, but go
one step further and charge the Democrats with having the purpose of disfranchising the poorer class of white people also.
This charge is like the Republican charge made regularly in every campaign that we would, if successful in that campaign, certainly disfranchise the negro. As the one has been proved false with the utmost regularity, so the other is equally false. The reliance of the Democratic party for success is on the votes of the poorer classes of white men.
It is for their welfare that the Demiocratic party has labored during all these years. It has taxed the rich to establish and maintain public schools for the poor; it has taxed the rich to establish and maintain charitable institutions, where the poor afflicted could be accommodated. The rich did not need those public institutions, for they can send their afflicted to private institutions in other States. In every step of its career, the Democratic party has been the friend of the poor man and it has waged its fiercest battles in his interests. The Democratic first proposed to abolish all property qualifications for voting and for office-holding. It was defeated at the polls on that measure. But it did not stop for that. It picked its flint and tried again, and was successful.
It is the poor man's party. Ninetenths of its members are poor men. How utterly absurd then is that false charge that the Republicans are trumping up to deceive the unwary. In order to give some color to it, they quote something from a Yankee newspaper, whose owners and editors are, we have always understood Republicans, that General W. R. Cox, who lives in Washington, told a reporter if the Democrats succeeded, they would disfranchise the ignorant negro. But General Cox publishes over his name a declaration that he never said that, and never said anything like it. For he well knew that even if the Democrats should succeed and should have control of the Legislature, they still would be powerless to disfranchise anybody. The Constitution forbids it.
The Constitution gives the right of suffrage to all male persons over 21 years, not disqualified for crime; and the Legislature cannot add or take away a letter from that. That can only be done by the people themselves and the Democrats will never submit to the people any proposition to take from a man his right to vote. No Democrat has ever proposed such a thing. The charge is only intended to mislead, to deceive and to make political capital. It is entirely false. There is not a Democratic convention that would not spit upon the man who might make such a proposition. There is not a Democratic candidate for office who would not pledge himself most solemnly against it. There is not a man who has any respect for his word who would make such a charge. It is, we learn, made by some Radicals; but our people know the character of these men. They have no self-respect, and nobody else respects them. They are not entitled to the respect of people because they do not respect themselves. It is wonderful how low-down some people can get to be in political matters; with what unblushing effrontery they can invent falsehoods, until they become like the "organized" being referred to in the Populist Hand-Book. In political campaigns, the people should be asked to discuss real men and real measures, and the real principles of parties: falsehoods and mis-representations should not be tolerated. This charge against the Democratic party that it proposes to disfranchise the poor white men of the State or the illiterate white men, is a falsehood out of the whole cloth, and we denounce it as a falsehood invented to deceive voters.
This party was organized in this State in 1892. The people who joined it felt they had a grievance which neither of the old parties would heed and a remedy which neither of them would try. In their conventions they boldly proclaimed to the world their principles and then went forth with enthusiasm to advocate or defend them. Forty-seven thousand men enlisted under its banner and cast their votes for its candidates the first year of its existence. Its principles were ably presented and discussed by its candidates upon the hustings and around the fireside.
It has only been six years since these principles, so much discussed then, were pressed upon the attention of the people. Now how is? The Executive Committee of this party has just issued a political Hand-Book in the name of the Peoples Party and no where in that Book is there a word about the principles of that party. They have all been cast aside and if the title page of that remarkable production was torn off, no one would ever suppose that it had emanated from or been issued by the Populist Party. In fact it is not a Populist publication. Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer take advantage of their position as Chairman and Secretary of the Executive Committee of that party to issue this publication in the name of that party. It is an
insult to all honest Populists who are in that party from principle for there is not a word in advocacy of
Or the Free and Unlimited Coinage of Silver.
Or the abolition of National Banks.
Or the issue of Treasury notes in place of National Bank notes or interest-bearing bonds.
There is not a word of protest in this most remarkable Book against
Or High Tariff Taxes under which Trusts flourish.
Or National Banks and their increasing power.
Or the Single Gold Standard.
Or any other Republican doctrine or practice. They do not even so much as publish the Populist platform. Why all these omissions? It must be manifest that it is because they have themselves abandoned all Populist Principles for official Pie and that they are preparing to deliver their party over to their ally, the Republican party, whose principles are the very antipodes of every principle of the Populist Party. Will they be able to deliver the rank and file of their party? We believe not.
There is another remarkable thing about this performance. The Republicans issue no Hand-Book. By an arrangement with Holton and Hyams the Chairman and Secretary of the Republican Executive Committee, Thompson and Ayer, the Chairman and Secretary of the Populist Committee, send out a Book from their headquarters which is essentially a Republican document but which is labeled on the outside, "Peoples Party Hand-Book." This book which contains nothing of Populism except the name on the back of it is to be sent to the Populists of the State in the hope of fooling them and keeping them in line to be delivered over on the day of election to the Republican Party. The Republican chairman, he lay low, the Populist chairman, he make a Republican Hand-Book and call it Populist.
"Do you see."
Thompson and Ayer in their Hand-Book seek to establish two propositions and to persuade the Populists they are true. What are they?
1st. That the negro who so outrageously slandered the white women in the country homes is a Democrat.
2. That the Democratic party favors negroes holding office and that it is not the white man's party.
They have in their Hand-Book asserted both to be true. Is there an hones Populist in the State who will believe either. We think not. If these two statements are false, the book is a vile slander upon 150,000 white men and should consign its authors to infamy and shame.
"Do you see."
Why did Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer offer to fuse with the Democrats?
When this important campaign began the Democrats published a Democratic Hand-Book and Democratic speakers took the stump. Dr. Thompson, a member of the present administration entered the arena and he and Mr. Hal Ayer, another one of the present administration, both elected by the votes of the Wilmington negro, Manly, and about 120,000 other negro voters, together got up an alleged Populist Hand-Book; but the Republicans, like Brer Rabbit, have laid low and said nothing. The Republicans have issued no Hand-Book. They have sent no speakers into the field, except perhaps the nominees for Congress in some districts. They make no defence of the administration. Never has there been any administration since 1868 that was such a stench in the nostrils of the people; never has there been such a spectacle as the John R. Smith episode from beginning to end; as the administration declining to open the books of the Penitentiary and of the Agricultural Department to inspection; as public officers closing their books and keeping their accounts secret; as the extravagance and prodigal use of public money to reward political favorites; jobs of one kind and jobs of another kind. The Republicans merely say nothing. They know that the administration cannot be defended before the people, and so they are quiet, expecting their 120,000 negroes to remain faithful and solid no matter what comes.
But the laboring oar is taken up by Dr. Thompson, and Hal. Ayer, and Ramsay, and Denmark, all pie-eaters. These have undertaken the task of rallying the Populists to defend the administration, to win the honest Populist people of the State over to sustain the corruptions and the jobbery that have turned the stomach of so many white men in the State. Do you see?
And so while Dr. Thompson is making speeches, these other members of the administration, for Ayer and Ramsay and Denmark all have good offices, are hard at work writing and distributing literature, provided we suppose out of the Republican campaign fund. Thus the only men sustaining,
before the public this wicked administration, are the office-holding Populists now in close alliance with the Republican.
The reason is plain to see. They are fishing for Populist votes. They are the stool pigeons to draw as many of the innocent birds as they can into the net of the wary hunter. But we believe the intelligent white men of the State will refuse to be led by such leaders, whose objects and purposes and whose hopes of reward are so plainly visible.
What was the proposition Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer made to the Democrats?
Was it not, fuse with us and keep us in office? And the Democrats said, No, we will not keep you in office!
"There may be white men here to-day--honest men, who believe they can remain with the Populist party and not wind up with the Republican party. My friends, if you are here, do not delude yourselves with that idea. Other men as honest, as sincere, as strong as you have tried that course and failed. I speak from a sad and bitter experience. In 1884 I voted with the Liberals in this State. I did not count on the certainty of drifting into the Republican party. Such an idea was repulsive to me. I would have resented such an imputation, and denounced it. But in June, 1890, I found myself seeking the nomination for Judge at the hands of that party in the Second district--a party composed of ninety per cent of negroes It was to them I was to look for the nomination. Every delegate in the convention was a black man. I was seeking their support. I understand that a letter written by me then is in use by some parties in this campaign. I have seen it. I do not deny writing such a letter. It may, and must be true, that I wrote such a letter, because I was seeking a nomination at the hands of the Republican party. No man, then or now, can gain any negro support without yielding to them. George H. White, a negro was then, as he is now, the leader of the Republican party in the district. He was solicitor. I wrote to him, and, I suppose, used language of flattery. In July, 1890, I was nominated for Judge. In August, 1890, feeling the humiliation of my position, as every white man in Eastern North Carolina must do who belongs to the party, and recognizing the loss in self-respect to myself, as the price of my Republicanism, and seeing every avenue to promotion in that party closed to every white man who did not bend to the negro, I declined the nomination and quit the party, as I advise every self-respecting white man belonging to it to do, as a duty he owes to himself and his race. From that hour I have labored to mend the wrong I did myself and my family and my race by that political connection. It was brief, but it was bitter. I beg you, my fellow citizens, not to go to the Republican party, because I was once in it."
Here Mr. Winston, addressing Prof. Philip E. Shaw, Populist-Republican candidate for Senator in the First district said:
"My friend, if you will hand me the copy of that letter, which you have, I will read it to the audience and then admit its genuineness or denounce it as a forgery."
Prof. Shaw hesitatingly asked Mr. Winston "what letter he was referring to." The answer came like a flash:
"The letter you now hold in your hand, the letter you boasted on the streets here last Saturday you would read and crush me with; the letter your negro masters in the Republican party have sent you here to-day to confront me with."
It was electrical. The crowd went wild. Old men and young cheered to the echo.
"What," said Mr. Winston, "is this Populist candidate for the State Senate doing with a letter written by me years ago which is the property of a negro politician? Where did he get it? Through what channel does it come to the public? Is the negro running the Populist party as well as the Republican party? By what means does such a letter, written under such circumstances, become the stock in trade of a man who says he is for white supremacy? What other instructions did the owner of the letter give to the men who make it public? I charge you, sir, with being the emissary of the negro in this matter, and demand that you read the letter to the people."
Prof. Shaw spoke for an hour and a quarter and did not read the letter or make any reference to the incident.
As if the problems, as now existing and to some extent regulated by law, in connection with the relationship of the white and negro races are not sufficient, we are to be confronted immediately by a crusade, no less significant than bold, inaugurated by a negro meeting at Rochester, New York, recently, to wipe out the laws in States now prohibiting inter-marriage between the whites and blacks. The time of the unveiling of the monument to the late Fred Douglass in the New York city was the occasion for the formation of a new negro organization in this country, one of the avowed objects of this organization is, to secure uniform marriage laws in all the States, and revision of the laws in the twenty four States where inter - marriage between white and blacks is not allowed.
Such social privileges have not heretofore been asked for or expected, if desired, by the negroes in this or other Southern States. They have contented themselves with seeking and holding offices when the Republican party was in power to insure this. The success of the combination in this State in 1894 and again in 1896 has evidently emboldened the race, specially those in this State led by Dancy and White. They are made to feel that, the white people being divided, their control in North Carolina is assured for the future, and Congressman White can boldly come forward in a State convention of his party, composed largely of whites, and proclaim: "I am not the only negro who holds office. There are others. There are plenty more being made to order to hold office. We do not hold as many as we will." And the negro Dancy neither hesitates or fears to advocate the inter-marriage of the races.
The Republican Hand-Book issued by the Populist Executive Committee has something to say about the Oyster Cost Cases from Carteret and Pamlico counties. The conduct of Treasurer Worth and Auditor Ayer with reference to these cases fully illustrates the devious methods of these two officials and their willingness to distort facts for the purpose of making a little cheap political capital. Let us review briefly the facts with reference to these cases.
It was the policy of the Legislature of 1887 to promote the cultivation of Oysters in our Eastern waters. In Carrying out that policy, that Legislature passed an Act opening all the waters of Eastern North Carolina, except Natural Oyster Beds, to entry and grant, as other public lands were opened to entry and grant. To do this they appointed what is known as the Shell Fish Commission and directed this commission to cause to be surveyed, and staked off all natural oyster beds, and provided that any lands covered by water in certain sounds and rivers in the eastern part of the State, and not included and embraced in the lands so surveyed and set apart as natural oyster beds, should be subject to entry. Under the direction of this Commission, the survey was made, and what they found to be natural oyster beds were staked off and report thereof duly filed. After this some 600 or more persons in Pamlico and 200 in Carteret county, and a few in Hyde county, laid entries upon lands other than those included in this report of the Commission as natural oyster beds. After these entries were made it was claimed by a large number of the people of these counties that some of these grants covered natural oyster beds, though not a part of the lands set apart by the report as natural oyster beds, and the Legislature of 1893 passed an Act, directing the Solicitor of these counties, upon the affidavit of five free-holders, that any one of these entries covered a natural oyster bed, to forthwith institute an action in the name of the State to set aside as void such entry. No fee whatever was provided for the Solicitors and none has ever been charged by them, but the terms of the Act were imperative and they felt bound under their oath of office to institute suits whereever the requisite affidavit was made.
Affidavits were filed in Pamlico county as required by the statute alleging that about 600 entries which had been made by citizens of that county covered natural oyster beds. Similar affidavits were made by citizens of Carteret and Hyde counties, and accordingly
actions were instituted to carry out the command of the Legislature as embodied in this Act.
The Grantees in these entries claimed that the Act of the Legislature of 1893 was not constitutional, as interfering with vested rights, and that the report of the Commission appointed under the Act of the Legislature of 1887 conclusively determined the question as to what constituted natural oyster beds, and under this contention a test case was made up for the Supreme Court. In that case the Supreme Court decided with the defendants, holding that the Act of the Legislature of 1893 was unconstitutional and that in law there were no natural oyster beds except those set apart by the Shell Fish Commission in their survey and report before mentioned. Of course this decision settled the question of the constitutionality of the Act, and the Solicitors in these counties, as was their duty, took a non-suit in each of these cases. In Pamlico county the costs, amounting to between three and four thousand dollars, was taxed against the county of Pamlico and judgment accordingly rendered against that county. The Commissioners of this county, having been allowed to make themselves parties to these suits, appealed from the judgment taxing the county with the cost, claiming that the county did not bring the suits and had no interest in them; that they were brought in the name of the State by direction of te Legislature, and if they had been successful the State would have reaped the benefit.
Mr. F. M. Simmons was employed by the county of Pamlico to argue this case in the Supreme Court. This was Mr. Simmons' first connection with these cases. He did argue the case for the county before the Supreme Court, and that court rendered judgment holding that the county was not liable for the costs, but strongly intimated that the State was liable. When this opinion of the court was certified back to the Superior Court of Pamlico, Mr. Simmons, together with other attornies, was employed by the officers to whom these costs were due, and upon their motion Judge W. S. O'B. Robinson; a Republican judge, rendered judgment against the State for the costs. In Carteret county, Judge Timberlake, a Populist judge, rendered judgment against the State for costs due officers in that county. An appeal from these judgments was taken, and a test case made up in Pamlico, and the Supreme Court in that case decided that the State was liable for the costs, saving that the State was as much bound to pay its honest debts as an individual.
Notwithstanding these several decisions against the State in the Superior and Supreme Courts, Treasurer Worth still denied the State's liability, and employed Maj. Guthrie to assist the Attorney General in a motion to rehear the case, and accordingly there was a rehearing. The Supreme Court at this rehearing again decided that the State was liable for these costs, but decided that several small items in the bill of costs were illegal, and directed the bill of costs to be retaxed. These items which the court said were illegal were such as the clerks all over the State up to that time had been charging. The bill of costs, however, was retaxed in accordance with the decision of the court and the State again appealed. Again the Supreme Court affirmed the liability of the State. Treasurer Worth still refusing to pay, a mandamus was issued and Judge Robinson decided that he must pay. From this decision an appeal was taken, and the Supreme Court again asserted that the liability the State for the costs, but said that the Legislature had made no special appropriation to pay this item of expense and that the claimants would have to wait until the Legislature convened and made an appropriation for that purpose. So that Treasurer Worth has not saved the State by all this litigation, for there is an absolute judgment against the State, rendered by its court of highest resort, for the amount of these costs, and of course the Legislature will promptly, acting upon the idea of the Supreme Court, that the State is as much liable for its honest debts as an individual, make the necessary appropriation.
Now, during all this litigation, when Treasurer Worth had an opportunity to have the question of fraud, if any in these cases investigated and determined by a jury, neither he nor the Solicitors representing him ever intimated that there was any fraud in these cases, and the only suggestion of fraud has come from Treasurer Worth and the Progressive Farmer in interviews and newspaper articles. Why did not they raise the question of fraud before the court and let the jury decide it? Editor Ramsey, of the Progressive Farmer, went so far as to charge some of the lawyers who appeared in these cases with being particeps criminis to the fraud which he and Treasurer Worth charged against their clients. For making this charge, Editor Ramsey was promptly arrested for criminal libel and bound over to the Superior court of Wayne county in the sum of $500, and when the grand jury found a true bill against him, he appeared before Judge Timberlake, a Populist Judge, and entered a retraxit and apologised.
For the same charge Treasurer Worth has been sued by the Clerk of the Superior court of Carteret county and also in Pamlico by the Clerk of the Superior court of that county, for slander and libel, and these actions are now pending againsct him.
But Auditor Ayer and The Progressive Farmer have recently had much to say about the amount of money paid lawyers by the State government while the Democrats were in power. Let us see how much the present fusion crowd have paid out to lawyers in these cases, involving altogether less than $5,000, and how many lawyers they have employed to assist in Solicitors and Attorney General in representing the State in these cases. Here is a list of the lawyers that they have employed to assist the Attorney General and Solicitors in these cases: W. A. Guthrie, W. H. Day, Jas. C. MacRae, J. C. L. Harris. W. D. McIver, Douglass & Simms. To Maj. Guthrie they paid $100 retainer: to Day & MacRae, $400; to J. C. L. Harris, $400. It is not known yet what they have paid Mr. McIver or Douglass and Simms, but as they have done as much work as any of the others who were employed, it is fair to assume that they have been paid in proportion. What service Mr. Harris has rendered the State in these cases for the $400 he has received, is not known. When the motion for mandamus was argued before Judge Robinson he was present for a short while, but said nothing and before the argument was closed left the court and went home. When the case was argued in the Supreme court be was in Washington city. So far as is known he has never opened his mouth in these cases, and yet he has received $400 it would appear, not for appearing in the case but for not appearing.
In October, 1897--last fall--Governor Russell made a deed and the privy examination was taken thereon, of a tract of 120 acres of land in Brunswick county, to Mr. H. U. Butters, the consideration being one thousand dollars.
Soon thereafter Governor Russell and his Superintendent of the Penitentiary, the only persons authorized by a law passed by the fusion legislature of 1897 to act, leased this same tract of land from Mr. Butters for the sum of FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER ANNUM.
Was this not a splendid trade on the part of Mr. Butters? To pay to Governor Russell $1,000 for a piece of land and turn right round and lease the same back to the Governor for the use of the State, for $500 per annum, one-half of the purchase money?
Several strange features are connected with this transaction. A deed for this land was executed in October, 1897, when the privy examination takes place.
The State leases it--through the same Governor, who was grantor in the sale--and proceeds to work it. The deed is delivered to the register of Brunswick county ON JULY 26TH, 1898, for registration, and is duly registered on that date, nine months after the privy examination, several months after the Governor leases the property, and A FEW DAYS AFTER MR. SIMMONS ADDRESSED MR. MEWBORNE ASKING FOR INFORMATION CONCERNING THE LANDS LEASED BY THE STATE, to which the Governor replied in the letter signed by Mewborne
The people have been looking and listening--looking carefully, week by week, over Populist papers--Caucasian, Progressive Farmer, Home Rule and others--for a denunciation of the McKinley-Russell administrations on account of FIVE CENT COTTON. They have listened for some of the fusion speakers to denounce the present gold-bug-plutocratic government in behalf of the poor farmers on account of five-cent cotton.
They have looked and listened in vain. Cotton is not only selling for five cents, the best grades, but the commoner grades are selling for two cents less per pound.
Twenty dollars per bale is the price the best cotton is selling for, and yet not one word of complaint from Thompson, or Ramsey, or Ayer, or The Progressive Farmer, or The Caucasian.
Why? do you ask?
Are not these patriots in "cohoot" with the McKinley-Russell administration? Are they not struggling to keep these in power, regardless of the poor farmer, or five cent cotton, or white supremacy, or honesty, or decency in government?
They may think the farmers are not thinking of these things; but we venture they will think of them when they go to sell their cotton. These gentry told the farmers that the Democrats caused the low price of cotton in 1896, and promised better if they were put in power. Cotton sold for more than six cents in 1896, and is selling for five cents and less in 1898. The farmer can't be fooled all the time.
As remarkable as are many things contained in this Hand-Book, that production is more remarkable for what it does not contain than what is found therein. One would naturally suppose that he would find in it the platform of the Populist party; the declarations of that party in favor of reforms, of economy, of cutting down salaries to a level with 5-cent cotton and other gold prices; the declarations in favor of the free and unlimited coinage of silver, and other such demands of the Populists people. But all that is left out.
Some one wrote a little book some time ago giving a fancy sketch of what people in the spirit world were saying to each other. He described how the Showman Barnum, who had the greatest show on earth, was quarrelling with old Noah for not saving in the ark some of those immense lizards and strangely made beasts whose bones are found covered with the washings of the flood, but none of which exist at this day.
Old Barnum was quarrelling with Noah for not saving some specimens which would have made such a great addition to his show. Noah answered meekly that he tried, but couldn't. But Barnum would take no excuse and was berrating Noah soundly, when Shem spoke up and said:
Mr. Barnum, you are wrong about that. We had some of those free-silveranians on board, but they were so irritating to the gold-buggarians, that we had to pitch them overboard.
And so Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer, who think they are running the ark of safety of the Populist party, finding that the free silver principles of the Populist party are irritating to the gold-bug Republicans up in the Capitol building, have thrown them overboard. They are nowhere to be found in the Populist Hand-Book. They are lost--strayed or stolen!!
Was there ever such a betrayal by men who assume to speak for an organization embracing in it 32,000 honest and intelligent North Carolina white men!
Said we not truly that this Hand-Book is a Republican white-washing concern?
But although Dr. Thompson and Hal. Ayer and their co-adjuters have not preserved any of the free silver principles in their Hand-Book, these principles are safely preserved by the Bryan Democrats, and under Democratic care they are growing and spreading like the green bay tree.
The news comes from every quarter that the Democrats are going to rout the Republicans in the elections and that the next House of Representatives will be Democratic and free silver will be on top again in the House of Representatives at Washington, this alleged Populist Hand-Book to the contrary notwithstanding.
In this State, the platform of "White men and white metal" finds a response in the hearts of the people and they will rally to it despite all the endeavors of those who have cast their political fortunes in unison with gold-buggism and monopoly.
Why did Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer offer to fuse with the Democrats?
Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer were in the committee that offered to fuse with the Democrats. The proposition was made. At that time the Democrats were fit people for them to fuse with. The record of the Democratic party was good enough for them to wish to co-operate with us.
But they added a condition. It was that the Democrats should keep in office the Populists office-holders. That meant we were to keep in office Mr. Hal. Ayer and Dr. Thompson and others.
Well, for one cause or another that offer was declined. Hence Dr. Thompson and Mr. Ayer have been making night hideous with their cries against the Democrats. Had we agreed to keep them in office, why in that case the Democrats would have been the loveliest fellows in the world. How they would have soft-soaped the white people of North Carolina. Words of praise would have fallen from their lips and they would have felt like they had "lasses running down their backs" as the good old song Dixie has it.
But now all see why they can find nothing good in the white man's party.
We are proud that they can find nothing to complain of that is not frivolous.
Let the intelligent people of the State decide.