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People's party paper. [volume] (Atlanta, Ga.) 1891-1898, September 09, 1892, Image 1

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People’? Party Paper
A Vast Throng Listen to the Discus
sion—A Full Report of what
was Said.
[Reported expressly for the People’s
Party Paper by J. L. Driscol, Law
and General Reporter.]
The province of the Reporter is to
record the words of others, and,
when the occasion requires it, to
truthfully describe the surroundings.
No man who would keep his soul
unspotted from the blackest of infa
mies would be tiie instrument of
knowingly misrepresenting a speaker.
A speaker may be misrepresented in
many ways. By putting words into
his mouth which he never uttered—
words calculated to subject him to
odium or ridicule; that is nothing
less than forgery and libel. Taking
from his words clauses or sentences
which serve to modify a proposition,
and which, without such modifica
tion, would be repugnant to common
sense and detestable to himself. A
speaker may also be misrepresented
by throwing around him such cir
cumstances as will give the reader
a false impression of the spirit in
which a sentiment is presented, or
giving the reader a false idea of the
These reflections are suggested by
the published reports which have
come under my observation of the
contest now going on in the tenth
congressional district.
I Lave my prejudices like other
men—nay, I will admit that my
prejudices are stronger than of the
average man—but I will state right
here that I expect to meet b :>th Mr.
Watson and his distinguidied com
petitor, Major Black, during this
campaign, and if either should chal
lenge the accuracy, the fairness and
the fullness of this, or any future re
ports, aside from estimates—which
are mere matters of opinion—l will
be the most surprised man in Geor
The people want the truth, and I
will use my best efforts to give
them the truth—not only the truth
but the whole truth.
I left Atlanta on the six o’clock
train that was to have reached Craw
fordsville at 9:35, and did not reach
there until nearly 11. Many were
disappointed and others were mad at
the delay; but on the other hand, it
was freely discussed in my presence
that Watson was to speak first, and
they could stand to miss his speech.
I wonder if there was any precon
certed scheme on the part of the
papers publishing the false schedule
and the railroad authorities to keep
the thousand outsiders from hearing
both sides ? The conductor told me,
positively, that there was no schedule
whatever for that train. It simply
meant, “Leave Atlanta at 6 o’clock
and get to Crawfordsville when you
Upon reaching Crawfordsville the
crowd took up the line of march for
Liberty Hall, situated in a beautiful
grove, and hallowed by the memory
of Georgia’s great and good son.
Your reporter easily distanced the
procession, and arriving upon the
ground found the people for about
sixty yards from the speaker’s stand,
in every direction, packed like sar
dines in a box. I must get on that
stand, but how? Here I brought a
little strategy into play, which I
shall insist was pardonable under the
circumstances. While it was a pro
miscuous crowd, yet the Watson
men and the Black men were in
groups here and there. It did not
require very deep penetration to
distinguish one group from the
other, so when I approached a knot
of Black’s admirers I would say,
in a very positive tone, “Gentlemen,
I must get through here; it is of the
utmost importance that I see Major
Black.” When, on the other hand,
I reached a group of Mr. Matson’s
admirers the same appeal was made,
substituting Mr. jWatson’s name.
What seemed a hopeless task w’as
accomplished in less time than I
take to write this paragraph, and I
was on the stand before the head of
to Special Privilege® to None.”
the procession reached the outer
edge of the crowd.
Mr. Watson was speaking when I
reached the stand, but the fresh ar
rivals caused him to suspend his re
marks, and gave me a chance to re
gain some spent breath, for which I
was thankful
This is a question on which fair
minds might differ. One newspaper
passed it over in silence, wisely ab
staining from making a bold asser
tion, which, perhaps, he could not
reconcile to his conscience. The
representative of another paper said,
“That Democracy had*a majority of
the crowd, no one doubted, but the
Third party men claimed to have a
large majority of the Taliferro
How did that scribe know that no
one doubted it. I hazard the opin
ion that at least three thousand men,
who were present on the occasion,
not only doubt it, but absolutely state
the converse of that proposition.
The same report says further on
they did have a majority of the
Why this slur on the farmers?
Why couple them with the negroes?
A gentleman who was a representa
tive of the legislature, from one of
the counties in the Tenth District)
told your correspondent that the
Democrats of Augusta were going to
pay up the taxes of over three thous
and negroes and vote them against
Watson; and still these newspaper
men talk about the farmers and ne
groes being for Watson. The far
mers of Georgia will remember that
in November; the colored men will
not forget it, they will remember
the insulting assertion that they are
to be bought by men who are forg
ing shackles for them to vote against
the man who is working with heart
and brain, with bravery and determ
ination unparalleled to break their
if we concede that estimate to be
the truth—that every syllable vas
the exact truth—why did he not go
further and tell all the truth ? Why
did he not tell that over one thous
and men, and the noisiest portion,
were from outside of the district?
A long train from Atlanta; another
from Athens. “Oh, but,” some say,
“there were only from twenty to
twenty-live from Atlanta.” True;
but why stop at that simple truth ?
Why not go on and tell that that
same train was filled from the sta
tions between Atlanta and Union
Point before the edge of the Tenth
district was reached ? Why not tell
that every man that came in from
Athens and along that road was from
outside Mr. "Watson’s bailiwick?
It was because the truth would
hurt; but the four thousand present
who are of the people, for the peo
ple, and by the people, know these
facts; the two thousand five hun
dred or three thousand people who
sneeze when the plutocrats take
snuff, know it; and tens of thousands
of people who read these lines will
know it by heart ere the ides of
When I reached the stand Mr.
Watson was speaking, and had been
for about a half an hour. The tar
diness of the train prevented me
from getting Mr. Watson’s opening
remarks, which I deeply regret.
Below I give a synopsis of his
speech, prior to my arrival, from the
Augusta Chronicle, changing the
text from the third person to the
first. I present it without either
challenging or indorsing the report;
and I will add byway of an addenda
that I believe it to be as full as a
long-hand writer or an inexperienced
stenographer could get it:
mr. Watson’s speech.
Horace Holden, Esq., wss chair
man of the meeting.
Mr. Watson, who came in on the
fast train, was first to arrive at the
speaker’s stand, and as he came in
view, accompanied by Major -Mc-
Gregor and President Ellington, he
was greeted with cheers by his fol
lawers, who crowded around the
Major Black came a few minutes
later, and a great cheer went up as
he mounted the stand and shook
hands with Mr. Watson. “Hurrah
for Black I” “Hurrah for Watson!”
Chairman Holden at last secured
order, and urged good behavior and
respectful attention on the part of
the audience. He said, under the
terms of the agreement, Mr. Watson
would begin, and speak one hour,
Major Black would follow for an
hour and a half, and Mr. Watson
would conclude in fifteen minutes.
He then introduced Mr. Watson,
who was greeted with cheers.
Mr. Watson began by reading the
concluding paragraph from an edi
torial in the Augusta Chronicle, as
“And if on the other hand the man
who raises tys hand against the prospeiity
o1 his own people, and would scatter the
ashes of desolation over the hearthstones
of his ne ghbors, is ever confronted by
the consciousness that he stands before
his fellow-citizens a political pariah and
social Ishmael: te, then Mr. Watson's
conscience will be his enemy and scourge
“We commend to Major Black the
“ ‘Who saves his country, saves ail
things, and all tilings saved will bless
“While Mr. Watson may be chastened
by the reflection that —
“ ‘Who lets his country die, lets all
things die, and all things dying curse
This is in keeping with the intoler
ant and proscriptive spirit of this
paper. But who was anther of
those words? Benjamin H. Hill,
who said if he was ever a democrat,
he didn’t go to be. (Cheers.) He
was first a Whig, then a Know-
Nothing, and when he died was al
most an Independent. I repel the
charge that I am either a political
pariah or social Ishmaelite.
I am within a few days of my 36th
year, and if any man has ever found
me out to be a scoundrel I do not
know it. I went to the legislature
and think I served with some dis
tinction, and if I was ever charged
with unfaithfulness I do not know it.
When an elector, I denounced the
financial ills which I now denounce.
So bold was I in my denunciations
that a pistol was drawn on me in the
Louisville fair grounds.
(At this juncture the Georgia rail
road train was heard coming, with
the brass band playing Dixie, and
the speaker decided to wait until he
could be heard.)
He continued by saying that no
where did he feel more perfectly at
home than in the yard of Liberty
Hall; and paid a high tribute to the
Grand Old Commoner. Mr. Steph
ens wrote that he would stand for
Congress regardless of the Augusta
thimble-riggers. (Cheers.) Let no
man think that I am discouraged by
showing me the picture of that grand
old independent. I thank you for
showing me his picture. It strength
ens my arm and inspires my soul.
I do not doubt that the Master will
furnish me strength as long as he
has work for me to do. Any man
who thinks he can browbeat the ban
ner-bearer of the People’s party is
mistaken. Tho corporations and
their attorneys cannot bring enough
of their followers from Atlanta and
Augusta to beat me down.
Every fair-minded man knows that
I was elected on the Ocala platform.
Who says that I promised to go
into any caucus? On the other
hand, this St. Louis platform con
tained a distinct enunciation that
these principles would be sustained
independent of any and every cau
cus. The choice came between party
and principle, and I did not hesitate
to stand by principle and let the
party go. They told you to make
your fight inside the party lines;
that they would have the majority
m the Fifty-second Congress and,
they said, “we will get you the relief
you demand.” Have they kept that
promise? [Cries of, “No! No!]
They told us that they would
liberalize the platform. Every
little county democracy adopted the
most of your demands; almost every
State democracy; the democracies
of Kentucky, South Carolina and
Florida adopted your demands. But
all this v. as before the democratic
national convention, and they did it
with the hope that your demands
would be recognized in the national
convention. Why am I publicly
blamed ? for I said, “I will wrap the
Ocala platform around my body; I
will take that platform and call upon
the people, and I will ppen it and
make a distinct fight. If I am a
traitor, every one of you who have
left the democratic party are also
traitors. You may indict one man,
but you cannot indict a whole peo
[From this on is Mr. Watson’s
speech as he delivered it.—J. L. Dris
Mr. Watson. They have denounced
me for voting for the slavery bill.
I shall say no more about* that until
Mr. Black answers my speech upon
that subject at Sparta. I shall con
sider it answered until he reiterates
it, or refutes what I have already
A voice. He cannot answer it.
Mr. Watson. They stated that I
did wrong in voting against Anthony
Wilson. That statement I answer-
ed, and Anthony Wilson answered,
and I shall make no further reply
until they make it again. They
said that I was wrong about this
personal difficulty; I shall not notice
it further until he dignifies it by his
silence. They said that speaking at
Sandersville last week, I used an ex
pression so disgusting that no man
would let it cross his lips. I tell
you, gentlemen, the man that—(the
uproar was so great at this point
that I could not hear the conclusion
of the sentence’.) In that Sanders
ville speech, I alluded to the fact
that while I stood for principle, Mr.
Black stood for party; that his posi
tion, reduced to its true anaylsis,
sanctified error if that error had on
its side the advantage of being an
old error—that it should not be cor
rected because it was venerable. I
made the point that on that line
Luther never would have started the
reformation or John Wesley never
would have started the Methodist
church because the errors they were
designed to correct were even wore
venerable than the old gray haired
warty nosed Democratic party (An
indescribable scene of confusion oc
curred at this point. Cries and jeers
and huwls of rage and wild exulta
tion, shaking of fists at the speaker
by some and cries of encouragement
from others made a picture impossi
ble to present by the pen of the
writer or the pencil of the artist.)
It was in connection with that point
that I made that statement, and as I
hope to live in this world, and as I
hope for salvation in the next, do
most positively assert here in the
presence of this vast assemblage,
that ‘ I did not use the nauseous
phrase quoted in the Augusta Chroni
cle. (Facing Mr . Barrett, of the
Constitution) I might have been
misunderstood, I hope I was, I hope
no man would so willfully and ma
liciously distort my language, hope
that no man would be so lost.
Mr. Barrett. I reported it, and I
understood you to say that but I
might have misunderstood you.
Mr. Black; I accept your disclai
Mr. Watson. Mr. Barrett says
that he so understood me, but that
he might have bosn mistaken. lam
glad he made chat acknowledgement.
That annoyed me more than any
thing in this campaign. Whatever
may be said of me by my most bit
ter enemy, I think I know how to
respect a lady, and if I am to be de
feated, I want still to have my char
acter left as a man as a gentleman!
—[Many voices. You never can be
defeated, we are with you.]
I must hurry on, iny friends, you
know that the confusion and the
wind make it exceedingly difficult
for me to address you, theieiore, I
hope you will* give me your atten
tion. I can take care of these other
little fellows. (Indicating a point
where a babel of voices kept up a
The speech I made at Thomson
on my return home, has been de
nounced from one end of this state
to the other. Why? Because it
hurt. I meant it to hurt, and it got
there. (Great cheering and a voice:
You bet it hurt! Hurt then again,
Tom, and laughter.) They tell you
that that speech has been picked to
pieces, and that it has been shown
that every statesment in it is false.
Cries of: “It is false,” and counter
cries of: “It’s the truth that hurts
’em, Tom. Hurt ’em some more.”
Now, if that be true, so great a
man as Mr. Black can surely expose
those lies. I here deliberately re
state every assertion made in my
Thomson speech, and I defy Mr.
Black to controvert them. (Great
Now, just one thing more. The
Augusta Chronicle had an article on
its first page, August 26, headed
“Watson’s Work,” wherein was de
tailed the insult of a colored man to
a white lady in Sparta. (A voice:
“That’s what we want to hear
Fellow-citizens, that card went on
to state I believe it was the one
signed by Mr. Bennett that that
lady told me in her heat of passion,
consequent on that insult, that she
did not want me in her hotel again,
or any of my gang. (Voices, “That
is right; hurrah for the Augusta
Chrrnisle ; hurrah for Watson,” and
general confusion, with a seemingly
settled purpose to prevent an expia
Mr. Watson. I am going to have
all my time, and the time consumed
in these interruptions will not be
counted against me. (To his friends.)
Let them alone, boys; I’ll fix them.
If that lady was insulted on ac
count of me being a guest at her
house, she ought to have told me so,
and no man would have been
quicker, had I been in fault, to bow
my head in humble submission to
the just rebuke ; but she did not tell
me a word of any such thing. (Great
cheering, and cries of “No! No!
Tom; we never believed that lie*!”)
A voice. “Mrs. Roberts would not
have told a lie.” (Very noisy de
monstrations near the stand, as if to
drown the voices of Mr. Watson’s
Mr. Watson. No man shall pro
voke me into the attitude of having
an issue with a lady; but, at the
same time, what is dearer to me than
life itself is at stake—my honor is at
stake; the peace and comfort of my
household are at stake; my party —
the party of the people—-is at stake,
and I shall fight for my honor, fight
for the peace and happiness of my
family, fight for my party with all
the resources the good God has
placed at my command ! (Tremen
dous cheering, and counter cheering.)
Now listen to me. Listen to me
one moment. 1 went to that hotel
in company with my friends, Major
McGregor, Hon. H. C. Ellington,
president of the State Alliance; Mr.
and Mrs. Oscar Lee, and various
other friends whose names no not
recur to me at this moment. I ar
rived at about half past eight and
stayed in that hotel until about two
o’clock in the afternoon, except the
time I was on my feet before the peo
ple jn front of the court - house.
The alleged occurrance never did
come to my notice; it never came to
the notice of any of my friends.
Mr. Oscar Lee and his wife were in
that hotel, and they say it never
came to their notice.
Voices. “We knew it was a lie!
Hurrah for Watson!”
Mr. Watson. Now listen and hear
the exact truth. As I said, the lady
never did give me any notice of this
occurrance; never gave any of my
friends notice. When I was leaving
that hotel, I went to her; she was
standing near the front door; and I
said, “Mrs. Roberts, what is my
bill?” She told off the items on her
fingers, and said, “Ten cents for a
cup of coffee, fifty cents for your
dinner and fifty cents for your
room.” I paid the bill—sl.lo —and
I will swear to God she did not say
one word to me about that alleged
Insult. (Great cheering, and many
voices, “We did not believe a word
of it ”) Why should I be held re
sponsible, even if she was insulted
by any of my friends, if I stood
ready to repudiate that insult? I
would do it if she had been insulted
by either white or black. Concede*
that she said it, and that it was
true—l ain’t denying that part of it,
I am only denying that she called it
to my attention as alleged in this
card. I say say that if any wo
man— any lady was insulted by
any of my friends, there would be
no man quicker to resent it than I.
(Long continued cheering.)
Let me go on. Why did not we
stand by Cleveland in this campaign ?
Because we have a better house to
go to than before; we have not got
the “Hobson’s choice” between
Cleveland and Harrison.
Voices out in the outskirts of the
crowd. “That’s what you are trying
to do; that’s the road to Harrison
followed by jeering and cries of
“Hurrah for Cleveland.”
Mr. Watson. There are some
words, there are some insults that
demand the knife as promptly, as
effectually as the most chronic
(Great confusion and noise which
drowned the concluding words of
the sentence.) I say here (springing
nimbly on the table in front of him)
that any man, or any set of men, no
matter where they come from, that
say s that the People’s party position,
or that says that my position leads
towards Harrison, utters what is a
reckiess and an infamous falsehood!
(The picture at this juncture defies
the power of pen or brush. The
speaker, thin, pale and resolute,
facing the vast multitude, with hands,
elevated and fire in his eyes; the
crowd nearly evenly divided;
vociferations of approval from the
larger half and howls of rage from
the smaller, were well calculated to
leave the impression on the timid
that pandemonium had come.)
I say this (shaking his finger me
nacingly at a croup of chronic dis
turbers), and I whirl it in your
cowardly teeth, that I have stood
this about as long as I am going tc
stand it (cries of “That’s right”); and
my friends have stood it as long as
they intend to land it! (Shouts of
approval.) The People’s party, the
honest y eomanry of Georgia, have
been called the rag-tag and bob-tail
by the unprincipled politicians, and
they have stood that about as long
as they are going to stand it! And
here, where I am exposed to every
man who chooses to make me a tar
get, I who have been charged with
showing the white feather, I who
have been denounced as a traitor in
Augusta, I who have been de
nounced as a Judas Iscariot, say
here, to your teeth, that any man or
set of men who says that I ever be
trayed any trust, or anybody who
says that I ever playedVtraitor to
anybody or to the people, is a wilful
and deliberate liar.
(A recurrence of the scene de
scribed above.)
Mr. Watson. (Getting down from
the tab.e.) Now, let me go on. We
cannot support Cleveland. Why ?
Because he represents the policy of
contraction; because he represents
the policy of bounties to favored in
dustries ; because he represents
friendship to national banks; be
cause he represents favoritism to
monopoly that now crushes the peo
ple; because he represents opposition
to the income tax; because he repre
sents opposition to free silver. That
is why we cannot stand by Cleveland
when we have a better house to get
in. (Cheers and counter cheers;
jeers and counter jeers, with a babel
of voices assenting and dissenting,
the people finally asserting them?
Why do we stand for Weaver and
the People’s party ? It is because he
represents the policy of expanding
the currency and giving the people
more money; it is because he repre
sents the policy of the free coinage
of silver; it is because he represents
the income tax idea; it is because he
represents the idea that this money,
monopoly, represented by the na
tional banks, shall die the death
which it so richly deserves. [Great
Why don’t we want to be drawn
imo a campaign simply and solely
for tariff reform ? Because they
will not tell us what they mean by
tariff reform. [Laughter and ap
plause.] It is because they violated
their pledges on free silver, and they
may do it on tariff reform. [Re
newed cheering and laughter.] It is
because the men who opposed the
Mills bill, alleging that it was a free
trade measure, are running the party
machinery; because they say that a
tariff of fifty-five cents is a curse and
a triff of forty-seven cents is a bles
sing. Why, my friends, it is only a
differ ence of seven cents on the
schedules. [Derisive laughter, and
a voice close by from a gentleman I
know to be for Mr. Black, “That’s a
fact.”] But, they introduced their
pop-gun tariff acts putting tin on the
free list, and bagging on the free
list, and cotton ties on the free list.
They never did intend that these
bills should become laws.
A voice. Why do you say that ?
Mr. Watson. "Why do 1 say that?
Because they made no
effort to bring them to a vote; be
cause these bills, if they become laws,
would reduce the revenue $158,000,-
000, and the moneyto come from
somewhere to make up the deficiency,
and they made no provision for that
deficiency. They are not taking in
any more money now than they are
paying out; there is almost a defi
ciency now, and where, I repeat is
the money to come from to meet the
current expenses if their little pop
gun bills should become laws? That
is why, and I repeat that they never
did intend they should pass. [Great
cheering on the one side, and more
respectful attention on the other,]
Where is it to come from, I repeat:
A voice. It has got to come from
Mr. Watson. Yes, it has got to
come from somewhere, but where?
They dare not pass an income tax.
Why? Because the great millionaires
will not allow them. [Great enthusi
asm.] If they were really in earnest
in their pretended course toward free
trade, why did not they offer some
method of replacing the falling off of
the revenue by the passage of the
revenue bills? The fact that they
have not done so shows that they aid
not intend to.
(Turning to Major Black.) Are
you a tree trader, Mr. Black ?
Mr. Black. (Soto voce.) I will
answer you at the proper time.
Mr. Watson. Major Black say a
he will answer me after awhile. W ell,
that is a mighty easy one.
Voices. Hurrah for Watson I Hur
rah for Black! Good-bye Jim! Good
bye Tom!
Mr. Watson. (Here a few words
passed between the can iidaies that
your reporter could not hear.) Mr.
Black says he is not a free trader;
therefore, I presume he would not go
in the direction of free trade. Now,
I want Mr. Black to tell me, in the
light of the democratic platform,
which we must accept as the authen
tic declaration of the democratic
party, where he is going to get the
money to run the government when
the tariff is reduced.
Cries of: “lie’ll answer so that you
won’t know where you’re at,” from
some, and counter cries of “ He can’t
answer jyou; he may do the way
the others did about free silver.”
Mr. Watson. There is one thing
I nearly forgot. (Holding up a pic
ture.) The Augusta fools got out
some pictures about the Peek slavery
bill. The Atlanta fools could not be
outdone, so they got out a bill about
Bradwell, and Governor Nor then is
carrying him about the Tenth Con
gressional District telling about this
claim. Now, I want to say this
A voice. Where is Anthony ?
Mr. Watson. Where is Anthony?
He is where the democrats are, in the
soup, I reckon. (Laughter.) Whether
Anthony is in the soup or not, there
is nojdmbt about the democrats being
there, because they tried their best
to get Anthony and could not do it.
A voice. We did not want him.
Mr. Watson. Then why did your
leaders try to get him ?

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