Newspaper Page Text
THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE: WASHINGTON, D. C, FEBRUARY 25, 1882.
The National Tribune
PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY.
TO CARE FOR HIM WHO HAS BORNE THE BATTLE, AND FOR HIS
IDOW AND ORPHANS." ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
ONE COPY, ONE YEAR
FIVE COPIES "
Terms to Subscribers, Payable in Advance:
ONE COPY THREE MONTHS - - - - . - 50
ONE COPY SIX MONTHS ----- 75
TEN COPIES, (with extra copy to getter-up sf club,) 12.5C
A SPECIMEN NUMBER of our faper sent free on request.
TERMS FOR ADVERTISING furnished upon application.
TO SUBSCRIBERS. When changing your
ADDRESS PLEASE GIVE FORMER AS WELL AS PRESENT
ADDRESS, WITH COUNTY AND STATE.
2TAKE NOTICE. In sending money for sub
scriptions BY MAIL, NEVER INCLOSE THE CURRENCY
EXCEPT IN A REGISTERED LETTER. A POSTAL MONEY
ORDER OR A DRAFT ON NEW YORK IS THE BEST FORM
OF REMITTANCE. LOSSES BY MAIL WILL BE MOST
SURELY AVOIDED IF THESE DIRECTIONS ARE FOL
LOWED. s-no responsibility is assumed for subscrip
tions paid to agents, which must be at the risk
of the subscriber.
-Communications, subscriptions, and letters
upon all business matters relating to the
NATIONAL TRIBUNE, must be addressed to
THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE,
Washington, D. C.
jshe cM&Hmml $
The validity of the public debt o the United States,
authorized by laa, including debts incurred for payment of
pensions and eounties for fcervicrs in suppressing insurrec
tion or rebellion, shall not be oucstioned." sec. 4, art.
XIV, Constitution of the United States.
WASHINGTON, D. C, FEBRUARY 25, 1882.
Now is the time to subscribe to The Nation
al Tbibune. Subscribers who receive extra
copies should see that they go into the families
of our ex-soldiers, whose interests it has so stead
fastly advocated. The name of every veteran in
the United States ought to be on our rolls. Let
no veteran escape!
Doubtless it has' not escaped the cunning
brain of Mr. Beck that the longer the time con
sumed in settling the pending pension claims
the more money the Government will save. If
he can only prolong the process a few more
years, the claimants may all die off! "What an
admirahle idea for the frugal Kentucky statesman!
The Boston Herald suggests that the names of
applicants for pensions be publicly posted in the
neighborhood where they reside, in order to pre
vent fraud ! The insult conveyed by this sug
gestion is none the less offensive because it is
covert "Why not go a step further and compel
every pensioner to wear a placard containing the
inscription : " Public Pensioner No. ."
Commissioner Dudley has shown administra
tive ability of the highest character in his con
duct of the Pension Bureau, but it is a physical
impossibility to settle two hundred thousand
claims in one, two, or three years, unless Congress
in a magnificent burst of generosity authorizes
him to employ another office boy, which is about
all the extra help Congress seems to think he
"When in the course of human events, to quote
a convenient phrase from the Constitution
Congress awakes to the necessity of increasing
the clerical force in the Pension Office, it may
possibly not take from two to three years for a
claim to reach the examiners, as is the case at
present. Wonder how a congressman would
like to wait two or three years for his salary!
One might suppose from the comments of such
reckless journals as the New York Herald that it
was a piece of impudence on the part of a soldier
who had managed to support himself ever since
the war, although entitled to a pension, to ask
the Government to take care of him when no
longer able to earn his own living!
On the theory that the country is not likely
ever again to be involved in war, perhaps it would
be a smart stroke of business on the part of the
Government to repudiate its contract with the
soldiers of the late war, and shut the doors of the
Treasury in tiheir faces, but will anybody guar
antee that it will never again have need of vol
Commissioner Dudley has effected many im
portant reforms in the Pension Bureau, but there
is a limit to his powers. He can't crowd any
more hours into a day, or enable one clerk to do
the work of a hundred. It is impossible to ex
pediate the settlement of claims until Congress
authorizes an increase in his force.
The anxiety which some of our legislators
manifest to forget all about the war and the sol
dier, is not so singular when we remember that
the smaller the expenditures of the Government
for pension account, the better will be their
chaucc3 of inducing Congress to spend the sur
plus in the Treasury on their own private jobs.
Subscribe to The National Tribune, the
soldier's advocate and friend.
Until March 31st, 1 per year.
To Our Suhcrihers.
The National Tribune, during the brief
time that it has been published in its present
form, has met with such substantial support from
the public, and particularly the ex-soldiers and
sailors of the late war, whose interests it has so
fearlessly championed, that its facilities are no
longer equal to printing the heavy editions which
are required to supply the popular demand,
This, however, is naturally rather a source of
gratification than regret, and we have now the
pleasure of announcing that we have purchased,
at great expense, a new press, and within the
next week or ten days hope to have it set up
and in running order in the new building which
is now in course of erection for us on G street,
near the Treasury Department, where we have
purchased the necessary ground for that pur
pose. The press, which is a Scott Webb-perfecting
machine of latest pattern, such as the
great dailies of the country are printed on, will
have a capacity for printing ten thousand per
fect copies of The National Tribune per
hour, cutting, pasting, and folding them at the
same time by an automatic adjustment, and it
will be possible to print an edition of one hun
dred thousand with ease and dispatch. In under
taking this costly improvement the proprietor of
The National Tribune has been actuated by
the belief that this journal has a great work to
do for our ex-soldiers and sailors, and that they
will heartily sustain him in his enterprise.
Already it has done noble service in advocating
their interests, and its influence is recognized
alike in Congress and among the masses. Almost
alone and single-handed it has fought the battles
of our veterans and its voice has been heard
above all the clamors of their enemies. At a
time when the Metropolitan newspapers com
bined to force the repeal of the Pension Arrears
Act when even the Congressmen who voted for
that measure were wavering in their convic
tions The National Tribune took up the
gauge of battle which they threw down and con
fronted them with such a solid array of facts
and argument that they were forced to resort to
childish abuse and harmless threats to support
their position, and were powerless to affect public
opinion or influence congressional action. The
unanimity with which Senators of both political
parties have come out in favor of the Ingalls
resolution, declaring that the Pension Arrears
Act ought not to be repealed, is sufficient evidence
of the overwhelming defeat which the Metro
politan press sustained in the encounter. The
price of liberty, however, is eternal vigilance,
and without a fearless and able newspaper to
champion the cause of the soldier the latter's
rights may at any time be imperiled. It is to
his interest, therefore, to rally to the support of
The National Tribune, and the proprietor
appeals to his subscribers and readers to lend
their friendly aid in extending its circulation
and thereby increasing its usefulness. It is
edited in a spirit of broad, liberal patriotism,
caring nothing for partisan issues but everything
for the public welfare, and as a journal for the
family and the fireside, for the home circle, as
well as the " camp-fire," it is without a rival.
Send in your subscriptions and help us to swell
our roll to a full hundred thousand.
Increase the Force.
Congress should lose no time in authorizing
an increase of force in the Pension Office.
Simple justice to the two hundred odd thousand
claimants whose mouldy papers are on file in
the Bureau requires that this should be done.
Why should these claimants be compelled to
wait years for the pensions to which they are
entitled, when a few months would suffice to
clean the files if Congress were not too parsi
monious to authorize the employment of addi
It is notorious that the employees in this
branch of the civil service are forced to work
harder than in any other Department, and yet
are powerless to cope with the immense moun
tain of claims which confronts them. There is
no way of expediting their settlement except
by employing a sufficient number of clerks to
transact the business of the office.
Imagine what a clamor would be raised if
the Treasury Department was two or three
years behind in paying the interest on the public
debt; and yet the payment of interest to the
bondholders is of no greater importance in
equity than the settlement of the Govern
ment's obligations to the soldiers.
This necessity for an increased force in the
Pension Office has long been known. It was
brought to the attention of the last Congress
and was explained to the apparent satisfaction
of everybody ; yet Congress neglected to make
any provision for it, and Commissioner Dudley,
upon entering on his duties, was compelled to
discharge the extra force which his predecessor
had employed in anticipation of an appropria
tion being made to meet the cost.
The necessity has also been brought to the
notice of the present Congress, and it was stated
some time ago that the committee which had
the matter in charge had decided to report
favorably, but we have waited in vain for any
action in that direction. Why it is so long de
layed passes comprehension. Surely it cannot
be on the ground of economy, for it will cost
just as much barring what the Government
saves by the death of claimants in the interim
to settle the claims in three or four years as in
one. It is a simple mathematical calculation,
and the most ignorant Member can figure it out
for himself, that the cost of employing a certain
number of clerks three years or three times that
number of clerks for one year is precisely the
Have our Congressmen any idea of the im
mense amount of clerical labor that is involved
in settling a single pension, claim ? The numer
ous stages of consideration through which it
passes, the severe tests to which it is put, and the
length of time consumed under the most favor
able circumstances, befor.e a decision is reached ?
Upon its reception at the Bureau the records are
first searched to see whether the claimant has
ever made a pension application ; it is then jack
eted, a number is given to it, and it is sent to the
file room to await its turn. At the present rate
of doing business, it would remain on file for two
or three years before it reached the examiners.
When it is taken up by them, nothing can be
done until the Adjutant-General's Office has fur
nished the soldier's military record, and the Surgeon-General's
Office has supplied his hospital
record if any can be found. Much time is nec
essarily consumed in this work, for it is as much
as one clerk in the Surgeon-General's Office can
do to hunt up three records per day. It is not
until this has been done that the examiners can
proceed with the case. They then notify the
1 j. i. .-tin -..
claimant's attorney tnat tney are ready to re
ceive evidence in support of his claim. If the
evidence is in proper form, they then order the
claimant before a surgeon to be examined, and if
the result of the examination is in accordance
with the evidence on file, they proceed to the
final consideration of the case. Supposing no
obstacle to arrise at any stage of action, the ap
plicant may secure his pension within six months
from the time his claim is taken up by the ex
aminers, but at any moment prior to its settle
ment it is liable to be laid aside or rejected for
informalities of one sort or another, insufficiency
of evidence, etc., etc. And yet the newspapers
prate about the laxity of the Pension Office reg
It is time that the friends of the soldier in
Congress took the bull by the horns and forced
that body to give proper consideration to the
needs of the Pension Office. It is a burning
shame that so many thousands of the country's
maimed and crippled veterans should be kept
waiting year after year for the pittance which
Congress long ago voted them for their support,
merely because the people's Representatives,
through indifference or neglect, fail to appropri
ate the money necessary for the proper conduct
of the Bureau. Let us pay our heroes what we
owe them while yet there is some life left in
their battle-scarred bodies !
Thirty-two 3Fore Congressmen.
The House of Representatives after many days
of hot debate has finally fixed the basis of repre
sentation at one congressman to every 151,912 of
population, which will increase the membership
of the next House from 293 to 325 a gain of
thirty-two. The change is not likely to work
any improvement in the material of which con
gressmen are composed the more's the pity
or to be productive of any important political
results. Still it is of some interest to note what
States will be affected by the new apportionment,
as shown by the following table :
California 4 ...
vi tOrl& .'
Illinois 19 ...
Iowa 9 ...
KansavS 3 ...
Kentucky 10 ...
.... 1 .
'"'. i !
.... i .
".'. 4 '.
.... 1 .
Massachusetts 11 12 1
Michigan 9 ....
Minnesota 3 ....
Mississippi 0 ....
Missouri 13 ....
Nebraska 1 ....
New Hampshire 3 ....
New York ,33 ....
North Carolina 8 ...
Ohio 20 ....
Pennsylvania 27 ....
South Carolina 5 ....
J LaUs!!! O
Vermont 3 ....
Virginia. 9 ....
West Virginia 3 ....
Wisconsin 8 ....
According. to the above table the only States
out of the twenty-five who3e representation will
suffer are the three New England States: Maine,
New Hampshire, and Vermont, which lose one rep
resentative apiece. Looking at the result from a
geographical standpoint it will be seen that the
Southern States will make a gain of fifteen and the
Northern of seventeen, and regarding it in a politi
cal light the Democrats supposing the States to
vote next November as they did in 1880 will in
crease their strength by seventeen members and
the .Republicans by fifteen only. It should be re
membered, however, that the local legislatures are
charged with the duty of fixing the bounds of
the legislative districts, and there is no telling
how much "gerrymandering" maybe done by
either party. Across the line in Maryland the
Democrats are considering the feasibility of al
tering the limits of the sixth district so as to
eliminate the Republican majority which it gives
at present, and similar schemes are doubtless on
foot in other States. Texas, it will be observed,
makes the greatest gain five representatives
and Kansas comes next with four new members.
Should Dakota be admitted to the Union, as now
seems probable, she will be entitled to but one
representative, although she will have the same
number of Senators as the most populous State.
Rapid as the flood of immigration into the great
Northwest has been, the growth of the South and
Southwest seems to nearly balance it.
Subscribe for The National Tribune.
Another Star for the Flag.
Westward the star of empire continues to take
its course, and here is that forest maiden, Dakota,
come up to take her place among her sister States.
Is it possible that she has come of age so soon ?
It seems but yesterday that the lass was playing
hide and seek with her Indian play-fellows.
When the war broke out Dakota was a howl
ing wilderness. The census gave the Territory
but seven thousand souls all told, and the fur
therest outposts of civilization were many a hun
dred miles to the eastward. To-day, we are told,
she has a population of 150,000 souls, seven or
eight incorporated towns, five hundred school
houses, a proportionate number of churches,
twelve banks or more, and a debt of several hun
dred thousand dollars!
Has it ever occurred to anybody that always
in the van of that army of civilization which
at the close of the Rebellion set out to conquer
the Western wastes were our returned veterans?
Exchanging the rifle for the plow, they drove
their furrows straight into the heart of the wil
derness with that same courage, fortitude, and
resolution which they had displayed on so many
a Southern battle-field. Wherever they went
they sowed the blessed seed of patriotism, and
it took root with the wheat and the corn and
brought forth amazingly. Our subscription-list
tells where they have gone, and the character of
the men who represent these States in Congress
assures us that they have carried their principles
with them. You will look in vain through the
great Northwest for a State where the soldier
has not grafted on its politics the substantial
points of the war. So we are to have another
star to the flag thirty-nine blazing where once
shone but thirteeu yet not the last to be added
to the constellation that studs its azure field, if
the holy fire which burns in the breast of the
patriot shall but survive the gusts of partisan
hatred that threaten to extinguish it.
AVill it Pay?
The argument upon which the opponents of
pension legislation invariably fall back when
Jiard pressed, is simply that it will " cost too
much." They profess to think that it would be
an " outrage upon the taxpayers " to take from
the Treasury the millions which will be required,
under existing and prospective acts of Congress,
and blood and it will continue to pay as long
as the Republic endures, for the gratitude of a
nation is not only the just reward of valor in the
past, but the sure guarantee of fidelity in the
The Mormon Question.
The public meetings that are being held in all
the leading cities of the country in sympathy
with the Anti-Mormon movement are significant
of the temper of the people, and portend positive
action of some sort in the near future. Indeed
the Mormon question, after having served for
years as the football of our statesmen, seems to
have suddenly become one of the leading issues
of the day. It is the theme of daily discussion
in the press, it commands the eloquence of the
pulpit, and even Congress at last appears to be
awakening to its importance. It is a good sign,
but we venture the opinion that something more
than spasmodic oratory will be needed to compel
from Congress the legislation that is essential to
the extermination of polygamy in Utah and the
adjacent Territories. There never has been any
material difference in public opinion as to the
iniquity of the Mormon creed, and the desirabil
ity of blotting out this stain upon the fair name
of the Republic, &c, Sec. The trouble has always
been to find a peaceful, legal, and at the same time
effective way of doing it. No one has ser iously
advocated the suppression of Mormonism by force
of arms that would smack-too much of religious
persecution, and it might turn out, indeed, that
the blood of the martyrs would once more become
the seed of the chuich yet experience abund
antly shows that the legal remedies available are
wholly inadequate. How. then, is the evil to be
It has been suggested and the plan has been
strongly advocated that inasmuch as the prac
tical difficulty in the way of procuring convic
tions for polygamy by juries in Utah is the im
possibility of empaneling juries absolutely free
from Mormon influence, it would be well to blot
Utah out of the map and parcel it exit among the
neighboring States and Territories. That being
done, cases might be removed from Salt Lake
city, where a fair trial could not be had, to other
places where it would be possible to secure a
hearing before a jury untainted with Mormon fa
naticism, and in that way enforce the laws against
polygamy. This plan, however, is open to many
serious objections. In the first place the Mor-
to pay the Nation's pensioners. Some of them
do not even hesitate to call it a swindle, and a i mons are colonizing so rapidly as if in anticipa
few have ventured to stigmatize the pensioners J tion of some such roup d' etat that it is not at all
themselves as swindlers. We can afford to pass certain they would not be able to influence juries
that insult by. in Nevada and Colorado, Arizona and Wyoming,
This question of cost, however, is worth while : as well as Utah. In the second place, the Gentile
considering. Leaving sentiment out of the ques- , inhabitants of Utah are as . bitterly opposed to
tion altogether, let us look at this matter in the J the partition of the Territory as the Mormons
light of a pure business transaction. The prop- . themselves, and certainly they ought not to
ositon then resolves itself simply into this : Are j suffer for the latter's iniquities. A better
the taxpayers paying too dearly for the preser
vation of the Union ? Let us see first what they
have gained by its preservation. Here is one
standard to measure the gain by : In 1860 our
total exports and imports were but $762,288,550,
while in 1880 they were $1,580,472,093, or an in
crease of nearly one billion dollars! Had the
Government been overthrown, does anyone be
live that we should have had any surplus to send
Again : Confederate notes to-day are not worth
the paper they are printed on, while the green
back is worth its. face in gold. Snppose the
issue of the war had been the reverse of what it
was, how could the North have escaped bank
ruptcy? Compare the condition of the South
to-day with that of the North. Although more
than sixteen years have rolled away since the
surrender of Lee, it is still impoverished, and the
partial failure of its single staple is sufficient, as
we have lately seen, to paralyze its business, and
compel some of its leading mercantile houses to
close their doors. At the North, on the other
hand, everything prospers. Capital accumulates
so rapidly that it with difficulty finds investment,
except at the lowest rates of interest, and Europe
is sending us yearly half a million of immigrants
to build up our undeveloped territory in the
The Government shares the general prosperity.
In spite of the heavy interest-charge which the
Treasury is compelled to meet, the cost of the
various Departments yes, and its expenditures
in the shape of pensions it has an annual sur
plus of $150,000,000.
Now, such was the patriotic feeling of the
Northern people at the outbreak of the war,
that had the question been put to them in cold
blood : " Will it pay to pledge the revenues of
the Government for half a century for the pay
ment of pensions to the surviving soldiers of the
war, as wrell as the widows and orphans of those
who may fall in battle, and without regard to
whether they come back uninjured or dis
abled," we venture to say that they would
have enthusiastically answered " Yes." Yet, at
that time, no one could foresee the splendid
future that was in store for the Republic. No
imagination, however brilliant, could conceive
of the great blessings that were to grow out of
that bitter struggle.
Will it pay? The Nation answered that
question more than twenty years ago, when it
accepted the wager of battle, and offered up its
own flesh and blood on the altar of patriotism.
It is too late to raise the issue now, when all
physical traces of the struggle have passed away
and even the graves of our heroes can no longer
be distinguished by the swelling sod.
Will it pay? It has paid doubly in money
remedy, it seems to us, is that contemplated
in the Edmunds bill just passed by the Sen
ate, which proposes, as a first step towards
the enforcement of the law. that the Terri-
torial government of Utah shall be vested
in a Commission to be chosen by the President
and endowed with the power to draw juries,,
from which all polygamists or those who believe
in the sanctity of polygamous marriages, are to be
rigorously excluded. It may be said, perhaps,
that even this provision will not prove effective,,
since a Morman would not hesitate to commit per
jury where the safety of his church was involved,,
and might therefore surreptitiously get a place on
a jury after all ; but considering the opportunities
for effective challenging which would still be leftr
it must be admitted that the odds would be as
heavy against the Mormons as they now are in
The passage by the Senate, on the 16th inst.r
of Senator Edmunds' anti-polygamy bill, the
chief features of which were described in our
last issue, is the first decisive step that either
House of Congress has yet taken towards the sup
pression of the Mormon monster, and should it
eventually become a law, its practical workings
will be watched with curious interest. During
the debate which preceded action in the Senate
the bill was passed- by viva voce vote some seri
ous objections were raised to it, not because of
any want of sympathy with its objects, but on
account of the doubts which some of the Sen
ators entertained as to its effectiveness. The
mort novel objection which was brought for
ward was that urged by Mr. Pendleton, of Ohio,
who opposed the exclusion from the jury box of
known polygamists in trials for polygamy, and
declared that in this the bill discriminated
against a man faithful to several wives, and in
favor of one holding adulterous relations re
gardless of the well-attested fact that polyga
mists look upon the institution of polygamy as
more sacred than the law, and, therefore, uni
formly refuse to convict for that offense. Imag
ine the prosecution in the Guiteau case permit
ting a man who believed that murder was not a
crime to sit on the jury which was to try him
for the assassination of President Garfield ! It
may be that the Edmunds bill will fail to ac
complish its purpose through some unforseen
difficulty in the way of its enforcement, but the
fact that it disbars the polygamist from jury
service, from exercising the right of suffrage, and
from holding office, is, in our judgment, a great
merit, rather than defect. If polygamy is only
a religious institution peculiar to the Mormon
church, then, of course, the bill is an instrument
of cruel persecution; but if. as a good many peo
ple seem to thiEk and as the laws of the country
declare, it is a crime, it is high time that those