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IJTOUUST fIOTOEE WfITSOH. p
Tho"mas"E. Watson, the Populist nora
• inee far -tbot vice presidency, is another
instance of the young man in politics.
He is not yet forty years of age, hav
ing been born in Columbia county, Ga.,
Srk-l>t. 5, 1556. He received a common
school education and was then sent to
' Mercer university, Macon, Ga. At the
. end of his sophomore year he left col
lege, probably because of lack of funds,
and for two years engaged in school
i teaching- Afterward he read law in
the office of Judge W. R. McLaws, of
Augusta, Ha., and was admitted to the
bar, coaumancing the practice of the
profession in November, 1876.
In 1878 he was married to Miss
Georgia Durham, and several children
wore the result of the union.
Mr. Watson's political career com
menoed in 1882, when he was elected to
the Georgia legislature on the Demo
cratic ticket. In 1883 he again took a
prominent part in politics as a Cleve
land presidential elector for the state at
He*Nvas elcted to the Fifty-second
congress as a Democrat, receiving 5,456
v ' -■ |p u-inst 597 votes cast for An
thony E. Williams, the Republican
rtminee: He served only one term in
congress, being succeeded by James C.
C. Black, who was elected as a Demo
crat. -Watson having identified himself
with the people's party. He also ran
r,- a Populist for the Fifty-fourth con
»;r ss. lut was again defeated by Mr.
The various controversies and foren
sic wars that were waged by Watson
and -"Black In the course of their cam
paign form an interesting page in
Georgia politics. Both of these con
testants for congressional honors are
hot-blooded and bellicose, and both are
possessed by that variously defined
quality supposed to be essential to a
fight — "nerve."
A newspaper account of one of the
ir.any Watson-Black encounters so fully
Pfts forth the politics and character
of Tom Watson, as he is familiarly
called, that the Insertion of it here is
not inappropriate. The article was a
bit of correspondence, dated at Craw
ford svill*, Ga., Sept. 3, 1892. Here it is:
The joint debate between Tom Wat-
Bon and Maj. Black, the candidates for
coner^ss from the Tenth Georgia dis
trict, opened here today. People came
from all sections of the state. Special
trains were run. Farmers drove to
town from fifty miles around, some of
them making a three days' journey to
The debate was held under the great
CiJ<* in the yard of Liberty hall, the
home of the late Alexander H.
Stephens. A stand had been erected
under the spreading boughs of one of
the largest trees, and a crowd of 10,000
enthusiastic Democrats and third par
tyites crowded around.
I ITS CAMPAIGN METHODS.
Mr. Watson opened the debate and
fpoke for an hour. He pitched into
the Democratic and Republican parties
and their candidates, declared that the
Democrats had tried to disgrace Alex
ander Stephens, as they were trying
to disgrace him, and eulogized himself.
Watson attempted several dramatic
effects, at one time saying that he
•would talk if he was killed for it, and
at another denouncing as a "reckless
and Infamous liar" any one who de-
m S — *^-*^ w^i^o-*^- ><*<_*<*<j<_*<_kKn
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clared that he leaned toward Harrison.
He bounded over the platform,
swung his arms and exclaimed:
"I have stood this abuse as long as
I am going to, and my friends have
stood it as long as they are going to.
We have been called the rag, tag and
bobtail long enough. Here, where I
am exposed to every man who chooses
to make me his target, I, who have
been denounced as a traitor, a Judas
Iscariot — I say the man who says ~I
have betrayed anybody is a willful and
As he said this the high stand, which
had become crowded, gave way In the
rear, throwing a score of people to the
ground, but the front, on which the
speaker stood, remained intact.
The crowd had become very noisy,
and soon many of them crowded upon
what remained of the platform. With
a great crash it gave way and precip
itated everybody on it to the ground,
six feet below, amid the broken planks.
No one was injured, and Watson, who
is agile as a cat, lit upon his feet.
Quickly he pulled a table from the
wreck, jumped upon it and cried out:
"This was an old, weak Democratic
platform, but I will now speak to you
from a People's party platform, and it
will stand like a stone wall." '
Then he went on intimating that un
less he had followers at all the ballot
boxes in November the Democrats
might attempt to count him out.
Maj. Black spoke for an hour and a
half. Mr. Watson, he said, had ar
raigned the Democratic party. He
would defend the party by impeaching
the witness. "I would not," said he,
"consider myself honest to denounce a
party whose commission I hold in my
Then turning and pointing his finger
in Watson's face he said:
"Whatever crime or iniquity the
Democratic party is responsible for you
were a part of it.
"Watson," said he, "calls himself a
Democrat — a Jeffersonian Democrat.
You represent a policy that is totally
at war with everything that Jefferson
has ever said."
As the audience grew boisterous Maj.
Black urged it to keep quiet.
"I am not going into any theatrical
performance," he said. "Nobody is go
ing to kill anybody. If I thought any
body was going to shoot at me, I
would not be up here. I think my
friend Watson knew he was safe, else
he would not have done the theatrical
act. But in November somebody is
going to get killed politically."
Talking to the third party men, Maj
.tour years ago your leader went
out of the district with the flag of De
mocracy. Where is it now? I call
upon him — we want our flag. -What
have you done with it?"
A Voice— Mrs. Lease took it from
"I tell you what he did with it. He
should have held it aloft In the face of
the enemy. Instead of planting it on
the battlements of the enemy, he laid
it down, trampled it under foot and
came back with the sword of the ene
my crimson to the hilt with the blood
of the party that had made him. He
not only turned his back upon the
party, but he denounced it.
"Even the dead haven't been spared.
He has gone Into the grave of Samuel
J. Tilden and declared that he obtained
his wealth by piratical methods and did
not have sense enough to write his own
At this moment some one cried, "Oh
Watson has been bribed to do this!"
Watson heard the cry, jumped to his
THE SAINT PAUI# GLOBE, SUNDAY, AUGUST 2, 1896.
feet and made for his accuser through
the crowd. Had it not been for his
friends, who held him and hustled the
other fellow out of the crowd, there
would have been a fight which would
have resulted In a general riot for the
crowd was aroused to an intense pitch
Mr. Watson's career in congress was
hardly less stormy than were the peri
ods of his previous and subsequent
candidacy, the difference being that
the conflicts were largely of his own
creation and the greatest volume of
belligerency emanated from himself.
Some of the tirades against fellow
members of the house were particular
ly violent, and one charge againßt con
gressmen in general, contained In a
campaign pamphlet written by Mr.
Watson, aroused such general indig
nation that the expulsion of the
Georgia member was said to have
been seriously considered.
HIS CHARGES AGAINST MEM
BERS OF CONGRESS.
It was Watson who gave currency
to the phrase "Where am I at?" he
having attributed it to Congressman
Cobb, of Alabama, who, he alleged,
used the expression while under the
influence of liquor and while address
ing the chair on the floor of the house.
The congressional investigation which
followed the charge and the result
showing that the representative from
Alabama did sip stimulants during a
speech are well remembered by those
who watch the process of events at
In a stump speech made during his
canvass in 1892 Mr. Watson made the
following reference to these proceed
"Now let's go to this drunkenness.
While I was there and these absentees
were away, why I wrote a book. I in
tended that book to hurt, and it has
hurt. I intended to expose what I saw
going on there detrimental to the best
interests of the people. The man who
sees legislative abuses growing up un
der his eyes and does not denounce
them to the people is not true to the
best interests of the people. Here is
the paragraph that made the lion
" 'The congress now sitting is one il
lustration pledged to reform. They
have not reformed. I have shown you
why they did not dispute it. Pledged
to economy, they have not economized.
No man will deny it. Pledged to legis
late, they have not legislated. And no
one denies it. Absenteeism was never
so pronounced. Drunken members
have reeled about the house a disgrace
for the republic Drunken speakers —
speakers on the floor— in the midst of
maudlin ramblings, have been heard
to inquire, "Mr. Speaker, where was
I at?" ' "
He then referred to the testimony
taken before the investigating commit
tee and concluded with:
"And now what does this evidence
show? It shows that a man made a
speech on the floor of the house who
was drunk. First. I charge a case of
drunkenness during the debate on the
river and harbor bill; another time,
when the pension bill was up, and an
other time when a drunken man was
trying to have a dialogue with another
fellow who was drunk and his own
question kicked him over to the floor.
If that is not the truth, I am the black
est tongued liar that ever spoke."
This sort of invective seems to be a
favorite form of speech with Mr. "Wat
son, and he employs it with great ef
fect, for he Is a really brilliant man
and an orator of first-class ability.
Mr. Watson is essentially a fighter in
a physical as well as a moral sense,
and any one who watches his flashing
eye and the emotions depicted in his
thin, determined face knows well he
will "back up" what he says.
One of his most famous crusades was
made against the Pinkertons, and his
determination to continue his warfare
upon the huge detective agency was
one of the claims for re-election which
he put forward during his canvass In
He constantly arraigned the Pinker
tons as cutthroats and Irresponsible
blackguards. On one occasion he de
clared his belief that congress would
pass a law which would render the ob
noxious detectives outlaws.
"These Pinkertons," said he, "have
claimed that la one day they could turn
over to a big* corporation 35,000 men,
provided the place where they were to
be congregated was near any of the
large cities. My attention was first at
tracted to thiaigreat evil at the time of
the Missouri Pacific railroad strike.
During that period the Pinkertons ad
vertised for men, and in the advertise
ment it was stated that only men who
had courage and meant business need
apply. This is the only qualification
that the Pinkertons require from their
men. They do not care what their
character may be, and the chances are
they would prefer a lot of ruffians and
tough characters, many of them un
doubtedly being ex-convicts."
The eccentricities of Mr. Watson have
long been a subject of comment in the
South and at • Washington. It was to
him that bluff Tom Reed of Maine, ap
plied the uncomplimentary title "colt
of the wild ass," and in his own state
his oddities and his violence have caus
ed not only adverse criticism, but act
ual doubts as to his sanity.
On the 26th day of October, 1892, the
following telegram was sent out from
Atlanta and published far and wide
throughout the land:
"Is Tom Watson's mind weakening
under the strain and excitement of the
campaign ? That question is being asked
all over Georgia today. Recent develop
ments in the campaign in the Tenth
and Wlatson's wild utterances have
caused many men who are the little
congressman's friends to fear that
something is wrong with him. His wild
fake in summoning armed followers
from far and near to protect him and
his Republican henchman and follow
ing this his open efforts te induce his
followers to declare a boycott against
the merchants of his home town have
seemed to cap the climax. There are
grave fears that the campaign has been
too much for Watson.
"The papers of the state are full of
th4s inquiry. Watson's physical strength
has given way under the ordeal through
which he is passing, and his advice to"
his followers to shoot down the Demo
crats if there is any trouble and other
like talk is taken as evidence of mental
weakening as well."
That this report was ill founded, if
not, indeed, a gratuitous prevarication
on the part cf his enemies, is fully
proved by his subsequent success both
as a lawyer and as a farmer. Just what
effect his most recent political elevation
will have upon this remarkable man of
the big brain, the weak body and the
vehement spirit remains to be seen.
MILLION DOLLAR SMASH.
The Columbus Bnggfy Company Fail:-:
With Heavy Liabilities.
COLUMBUS, 0., Aug. I.— The Colum
bus Buggy company today made an
assignment to W. A. Miles and John M.
Thomas. Assets $800,000 to $1,000,000;
contingent liabilities large.
KANSAS CITY, Aug. I.— The branch
in this city of the Columbus Buggy
company was closed today on a tele
gram from the head house in Columbus,
and has been placed in the hands of
Paroline Peters, as mortgagee.
BRYAN IS SILENT.
Will Not Deny the Charge That He
Was Employed by Silver Kings.
LINCOLN,- Neb;, Aug. I.— When ask
ed today for a statement concerning
the reiterated charge of Senator Thurs
ton in recent spee.ches to the effect that
he was in the pay of the mine owners,
Mr. Bryan today declined to authorize
a denial, saying that the denial will be
made at the proper time, and that
denials of the statement have hereto
fore been made.
SIXTH AND WABASHA STREETS.
HIE M F — 181 IS ¥ rU^
?! Hyfcii During August we will not ilHft
1 BliE^i?~» GREATER REDUCTIONS jjjjjlbJL
r THOUSANDS OF PAIRS OF
I ...TAN SHOES AT LESS THAN COST
I 5gg::::,53.25 |srrii|
Ladie,' Tailor-made Tan Aft Qf| fc-^.k- W %*&*** Shoes and Aft |fl
half-price d&ItJU L^l. §X W £tfS2t I H
Misses' Fine Button and 0 I an\ f&L Men's, Fine Russia Calf Aft-.- (
I isss $ 1 .48 jßEsßte^- $2.75 )
I Men's Fine Tan Shoes, Half Price, 51. 49.
I If You Will Buy Shoes at ANY Price, this Sale Offers
Greater Bargains Than Have Ever Been Made at
I ANY Sale.