Newspaper Page Text
GIVES fflS PBOOFS.
Son. T. E. Watson Makes Reply to
Hon. Grover Cleveland.
3?AKES OUT A VERY CLEAR CASE.
Bars He Made His Charges on
Statements Made in a Book
Written by Fred Douglass
Nine Years Ago.
Representative Bartlett, of Georgia,
lias received the following letter from
Grover Cleveland, blistering Thomas
E. Watson for his charges concerning
Cleveland's attitude on the negro ques
Princeton, March 4,1904.
To Hon. Chas. L. Bartlett, Washing
; ton, D. C.
My Dear Mr. Bartlett?I have re
ceived a number of inquiries similar
to yours touching my invitation of
Fred Douglas to.a wedding reception
? and signing, while governor of New
. York, of a bill providing for mixed
schools. I do not suppose that Mr.
Thomas E. Watson believed, or had
any reason to believe, either of the
' allegations when he made them. At
any rate, they are both utterly and
absolutely false. I cannot afford to
devote a great deal of time to deny
ing such foolish tales. I shall, there
fore, attempt to coffer every phase of
the subject now for all. It so hap
pens that I have never in my official
positions, either when sleeping or
waking, alive or dead, on my head or
on my heels, dined, lunched or supped
or invited to a wedding reception any
colored man, woman or child. If,
however, I had desired to do any of
these things, neither the fear of Mr.
Watson or any one else would have
prevented me. When I was governor
of New York a movement was made
in the legislature to abolish seperate
colored schools in New York city. I
opposed this measure and it failed. I
do not find that I interposed a veto
and I have forgotten the course the
matter took, but I know that what
ever I did was in favor of maintain
ing separate colored schools instead of
having them mixed.
Yours very truly,
(Signed) ' Grover Cleveland.
watson in reply.
The following letter from H^n.
Thos, E. Watson in reply to the above
is hot stuff and will be read with in
Thomson, Ga., April 5.
To the Editor of the Augusta Chroni
Sib: In your issue of yesterday you
publish a letter written by iMr. Cleve
land to my friend Hon. Chanes Bart
This letter is dated March 4th.
Just why it was kept from the press
for an entire month, is not stated.
Mr. Cleveland says that he does not
suppose that I believed, or had any
reason to believe, that my charges
were true when they were made.
The intimation that I would wilful
ly charge upon him things which I
knew* to be false, does both himself
and me an injustice.
To publicly make against a man so
prominent as Mr.? Cleveland serious
accusations which were known to be
untrue, could only be the act of a
knave who was at the same time a
fool. A slanderer who is simply a
knave may whisper falsehoods which
he knows to be falsehoods; but such
slanders are never published over the
signature of the man who makes
them, unless the author is a fool as
well as a knave.
When Grover Cleveland assumes
that I'am either a knave or a fool he
will find no respectable man who
knows me to agree with him. The
gentleman to whom he addressed his
letter would tell.him quickly enough
that any such construction put upon
my act, or any such imputation cast
upon my character, would be repudi
ated by both the Democratic senators
from Georgia^and by at least a ma
jority of the Democratic delegation
from this state to the lower house.
People of the state in which my life
has been passed do not endorse my
politics, but they do not doubt the
honesty of my convictions nor the
purity of my character; and Mr. Cleve
land will not strengthen himself in
this state by reflecting upon either.
Now let us see what Mr. Cleveland's
letter amounts to, as a reply to my
I beg to remind your readers that
the issue arose out of the controversy
which raged around the Booker Wash-1
A Republican member of congress,
to offset Mr. Roosevelt's treatment of
Booker, had alleged that Mr. Cleve
land dined C. H. j. Taylor at the
white house. Mr. Cleveland denied
the statement; and his card, when
published, was headlined in such a
way as to carry the impression.that he
had never practiced social equality at
the white house.
In an article which was published
in the Atlanta News, I pointed out
that Mr. Cleveland had confined his
denial to the negro Taylor, and that
the head lines went further than the
letter?as is often the case.
Furthermore, I added that Mr.
Cleveland had practiced social equali
ty in three particulars:
1. In appointing a negro to be min
ister to one of the South American re
2. By signing the bill for mixed
schools in New York.
3. By inviting Fred Douglass and
wife to his wedding reception at the
Upon what grounds were these
Necessarily, they were based upon
current and contemporaneous news
paper reports which were not con
tradicted. How else is a citizen to
have knowledge of public affairs? The
newspapers are the source of our in
formation; and if a public man allows
the newspapers to make gneral and
repeated statements about his con
duct, he must expect such statements
to be credited, unless denied.
How do I know that Mr. Roosevelt
dined Booker Washington? I was not
there. I did not see it. I have not
spoken to any one who did see it. But
the newspapers made the charge, and
it was not denied?hence I believe it.
How do I know that Grover Cleve
land made a private and almost
secret sale of United States bonds to j
J. Pierpont Morgan, and by this
private deal made it possible for the
varaclous Wall street financiers to
pocket about ten million dollars of
the money of the tax-payers of this
I was not there; yet I know it hap
pened, because 'the newspapers made
such a row about it tbat Cleveland
was afraid to sell any more bonds that
In like manner, I believed he signed
the bill for mixed schools in New York
because it was so charged in the news
papers, and he never denied it at the
As to the White House reception,
I had precisely the same grounds for
belief that the public bad in the case
of Booker Washington. It was so
charged; and no denial was made.
' It has not only been charged in
newspapers, but appeared in book
The book to which I refer is "The,
Lifeand Times ofFrederick Douglass."'
The author was Douglass himself. In
this book Douglass glorifies Mr.
Cleveland for the reason that Cleve
land treated him and "Mrs. Douglass"
as social equals.
This book was published in 1895
near where Mr. Cleveland lives, and
nobody has challenged its statements
so far as I know.
Douglass was an ardent admirer of
Mr. Cleveland. The Democratic presi
dent bad, for a considerable time, al
lowed the Republican negro to con
tinue to hold one of the fattest offices
in Woshington City. But it was not
for this that Douglass'loved Cleve
What won the heart of the negro
was the fact i;hat at a critical time
when both whites and blacks were
condemning Douglass for his marriage
with a white woman, Mr. Cleveland
was brave enough to defy public
opinion and to extend social recogni
tion, to the negro and bis white wife.
Some extracts from the Douglass
book were published last Saturday in
the Atlanta News, but as Mr. Cleve
land's letter was written a month ago,
it becomes necessary for me to go over
he same ground a second time.
Douglass says that his1 'false friends"
both colors were loading him with
proaches because he had recently
arried a white woman.
"Popular prejudice" among the
oiacks as well as the whites had been
aroused by this act of miscegenation.
But Fred eays that Mr. Cleveland,
in spite of all the clamor/about the
white wife, singled him, out for
What these attentions were he, pro
ceeds to state.
He says that Mr. Cleveland never
failed to invite him and his wife to all
of the grand receptions; and Douglass
;ays that "myself and my wife never
failed to attend them."
At these receptions Douglass states
that Mr. Cleveland showed to himself
and "Mrs. Douglass" a bearing "not
less cordial and courteous than that
extended to the other ladies and
Douglass call this conduct of Mr.
Cleveland a "manly defiance by a
Democratic president of the malignant
and time-houored prejudice."
What was the malignant prejudice
which Mr. Cleveland was defying in
so manly a manner?
Obviously, undeniably, Douglass
meant to give Mr. Cleveland praise
for defying popular prejudice or the
subject of social equality. What else
was Cleveland's "manly defiance"
Again, to show more clearly how
Douglass understood the true meaning
of Mr. Cleveland's conduct, the negro
goes on to say that tbe cordial and
courteous treatment accorded him and
"Mrs. Douglass" by Mr. and Mrs.
Cleveland was extended while he was
"surrounded by distinguished men
and women from all parts of the coun
try, and by diplomatic representatives
from all parts of the world, and under
the gaze of the late slaveholders."
Now, if there ever was anything
clear in a book it is clear that in this
book Fred Douglass meant to give
Mr. Cleveland credit and praise for
defying malignant prejudice on the
social equality question, and for
treating himself and "Mrs. Doug
lass" as social equals in the presence
of the representatives of the white
race throughout the world.
What made this "manly defiance of
malignant prejudice" the more exqui
sitely gratifying to the negro whs
that it was done "under the gaze of
the late slave-owners." In other
words, Fred says, in effect, that
Southern ladies and gentlemen were
present and were compelled to witness
in silence the social triumph of him
self and "Mrs. Douglass."
Oh, how full the cup of Fred's joy
must have been! And what a sly
gleam of victorious insolence there
must have been in the negro's eyes as
he looked at the late "slave-owners" to
whom Mr. Cleveland was giving his
That spirit is shown in his book,
and I have no doubt it was shown on
his countenance in those blissful
hours when he and "Mrs. Douglass"
were being treated just as "the other
gentlemen and ladies" were treated in
the white house.
Heaping up his gratitude and his
praise, the negro goes on to say (page
648) that tbe Democrats of the South
fiercely and bitterly reproached Mr.
Cleveland for his social recognition of
Douglass and wife, but that he (Cleve
land) "never faltered or flinched," and
"continued to invite Mrs. Douglass
and myself and "often wrote the in
vitations with his own hand."
Then, to show conclusively what
Douglass understood by Cleveland's
conduct, he adds:
"Among my friends in Europe a fact
like this will excite no comment.
There color does not decide the civil
aud social position of a man."
Now I|ask all impartial, intelligent
men if these extracts from Douglass'
book do not prove that he undertood
Grover Cleveland to have defied she
malignant prejudice of Southern
Democrats by treating him and his
white wife as social equals?
If it does not mean that, what in
the name of common sense does it
Douglass alludes to the newspaper
criticisms which were leveled at Cleve
land because of that very thing.
Did not Cleveland see them? If he
did not, where were his eyes? If he
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did see them, why did not he deny
Douglass was alive then. Proofs
were easily accessible then. The I
Southern negro was still a political j
power, then. The ballot which ought
never have been promiscuously given
to him, had not been taken from him,
Why, oh why, did not Mr. Cleve
land say then that never on his head
or his heels had he extended to any
negro that boon of "social equality"
which such negroes as Fred Douglass
crave and which is denied them by a
"malignant and time-honored preju
Some rather peculiar pictures pass
through my mind as I try to fancy
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what Mr. Cleveland means by stand
ing on his head, but, as the preachers
say. "I must not dwell."
The point is this: Did Feed Doug*
lass tell lies on Cleveland in that book?
He had no motive for doing so.
He evidently did not intend to do so?
fie, a negro Republican, was praising
a white Democrat for conduct which
the black man considered heroic. He
did not mean to injure Cleveland or to
misrepresent him. He was eulogizing |
that gentleman; he was showering!
praise upon him; he was throwing bou
quets at him; he was singlinp, him out
as the brave, manly Democrat who
defined the Southern race prejudice,1
and who gave to him, the negro, the
same treatment which was accorded
him in Europe "where color does not
decide the social position of a man." j
For nine years this book has been j
in circulation. For nine years Cleve
land has been enjoying the credit for
all the good things his negro admirer
said of him. Doubtless there are thou
sands of people who have thrilled with
admiration as they read of the manner
in which Mr. Cleveland defied the ma
lignant race prejudice of the South,
wrote invitations with his own hand
to "Mr. and Mrs. Douglass," accorded
them the treatment due in one's house
to all ladies and gentlemen, and bold
ly conformed to that European stand
ard which disregards color in fixing
And now after nine years?after
Douglass has died, and after the
Southern negro has been disfranchis
ed, cometh the said Grover Clceland
and declares that he is not the hero
Fred Douglass said he was.
Is there any sence in splitting hairs
about wedding receptions, and other
social receptions, or other social-equal
ity practices? None whatever. The
question at issue is: Did Mr. Cleveland
invite and receive Douglass and wife
upon terras of social equality? That
is the pith and marrow of the dispute,
j If it be true, as Douglass says, that
I Mr. Cleveland often wrote the invita
I tlons with his own hand, and that he
treated the negro and wife at all the
I white house receptions as social
I equals, defying the predjudice and the
criticism of the Southern accuracy of
j my statement stands proved without
! reference to any particular reception.
If Mr. Cleveland will condescend to
read pages (346, 647 and 648 of the
j bouk relerre? to, and will then specify
'to what extent the author lied, he
will clear up the atmosphere consider
Poor old Fred! What a lesson* is
here, my brethren. In his day and
time, Fred Douglass was a power in
the laud. White politicians courted
his support. The highest leaders in
the land made much of him. President
Grant petted him; Garfield petted
him; Ilarriaon petted him; and Cleve
land?but that's another story.
Poor old Fred! lie is dead now,
Pretty much everybody who wants to
kick him can come up and doit. Once
upon a time his voice, along the line
of battle, "were worth a thousand
men." In those days, he was a "dis
tinguished colored gentleman and
statesman." How have the mighty
slipped down hill! At present, he seems
to be nothing more than "a d?d nig
ger," who never was invited anywhere
by anybody, whether on their heels or
on their heads, drunk or sober; and if
ever he got into the white house at all
he just "butted in."
Old Fred will turn over in his
grave when he learns that the great
Democratic president whcm he so
much lauded for his maniy defiance of
malignant prejudice has caught "the
damned nigger" fever, and shows a
rising pulse every time we take his
I will make further investigation
about the New York school law; but
if, in the meanwhile, Mr. Cleveland
has anything to say about appointing
that negro as minister to the white
republic in South America, he might
write Charley Barlett another "head
or heels" letter, while we wait.
Tnos E. Watson.
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THE SUMMER SCHOOL.
Active Preparations are Being Made
for Its Opening.
State Superintendent of Education
Martin is busy just now in preparing
for the state summer school, which
convenes in Kock Hill on- June 29th.
The following letter was sent out
To Superintendents and Teachers:
We are preparing for a much larger
state summer school than we had last
year. To start with, the legislature
made a special appropriation for this
purpose and we are organizing an
unusually strong faculty. We are
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child study, history and civics, city
and country school problems, nature
study and bird life, geography and
geography making, grammar, litera
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domestic science, drawing, arithmetic,
algebra and geometry, manual train
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intermediate methods, lectures on
other school subjects of general inter
More than three-fourths of the in
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just as soon as all the acceptances
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will be announced. It is necessary
only to say that the faculty will be an
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will be delivered to the whole school.
Winthrop college offers most excel
lent advantages for a summer school.
A low rate for board will be secured
and President Johnson and his staff
will do everything possible for the
comfort and convenience of those in
The State Teachers' association will
hold Its annual meeting at Winthrop
duriDg the Summer school. The dates
and program will soon be announced
by President Edmunds of Sumter.
I have applied for low rates on the
railroads and think we shall get rate
of one fare for the round trip. I hope
you will extend this notice and use
your influence to secure a large at
tendance at the State Summer school
and also at the State Teachers' asso
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contribute largely to the advance
ment of the educational interests of
0. B. Martin,
State Superintendent Education.
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give every accommodation consistent
with sound banking. We want your
account. Call on us or write.
Notice to Creditors.
ALL PERSONS HOLDING
j. V claims against the estate of Thos.
E. Dukes, deceased, will present the
same properly proved, on or liefore
the twenty-seventh day of March..
1904. or be debarred payment , and all.
persons indebted to said estate will
make payment on or before said date .
to the undersigned, or Raysor & Sum
mers, Attorneys, Orangeburg, S. C.
T. WlIETSELL DUKKS,
Eugene S. Dukes,
Qualified Executors of will of Thomas
E. Dukes, deceased. 3-2-4
Cor. Church and St. Paul Sts.
ORANGEB?RG, S. C.
Concentrated heat means cool cook
ing. You get this with a Wickless '
Blue Flame Oil Stove. J. W. Smoak..