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People's party paper. [volume] (Atlanta, Ga.) 1891-1898, September 16, 1892, Image 1

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People’s Party Paper
VOLUME 1.
THE JOINT DEBATE.
THE MEETING AT SPARTA RE
PORTED IN FULL.
A Large Audience, Much Better Order,
and a Field Day for the
People’s Candidate.
[Reported expressly for the People’s
Party Paper by* J. L. Driscol.]
In presenting this, the second in the
series of joint discussions between
Messrs. Watson and Black, I wish to
reiterate in substance what I said in
my introduction to the first joint de
bate : That the reporter, proper, is
simply an instrument to register the
words of others, and never the satel
lite of this or the apostle of that candi
date. The man who would, at the be
hest of another, be guilty of misrep
resenting either of the disputants
would be guilty of the crime of
moral forgery and libel; the man
who would allow himself to be so
warped by partisan prejudice as to
see majorities where minorities exist,
to see an unanswerable argument
where course brutality or silly soph
istry is apparent to the intelligent
mind, has a soul so small that it
could dance a hornpipe on the point
of a cambric needle and have ample
room to cut pigeon wings. These
reflections were suggested by the re
ports which I have read from time
to time in the papers of the State of
this same contest.
Let me not bo misunderatood. I
have my own views and give vent to
them freely, fearlessly, in these mtro
ductories and upon all other occa
sions, but when I sit down to take
the words of the two distinguished
disputants, then I belong neither to
“the House of York, nor to the
House of Lancaster.” If any reader
should desire to know the merits of
the arguments let him read the re
port and judge for himself. Aly per
sonal regard for Major Black is as
high as my admiration for Air. Wat*
son; but neither personal regard,
admiration, nor my own views on
economic questions has a feather’s
weight in these reports. 1 give the
speakers’ words.
1 arrived in Sparta at 4 o’clock on
the morning of the debate, and
snatched a couple of hours’ sleep at
that “celebrated hotel,” made famous
by being made the medium of con
spiracy and scurrillity without a
parallel to besmirch the good name
of Thomas E. Watson.
The reader remembers the diffi
culty I experienced in reaching the
stand at Crawfordsville; on this oc
casion I was among the first upon
the ground.
SCENE OF THE CONTEST.
The stand upon which I seated
myself was substantially built, about
fourteen by thirty feet in area, and
covered overhead; this was very ac
ceptable, because it insured the
speakers, reporters and the imme
diate friends of the contestants
against the rays of the burning sun or
broken bones. Looking to my‘rear
I beheld about fifty feet off a cotton
factory, the fence inclosing the same
about twelve feet from the stand;
a rope fastened to two trees at
either side of the platform in the
rear almost against the fence ex
tended around about four feet in
front of the stage, and outside of
this rope another rope fenced off a
space about forty by sixty feet
where seats were provided for the
ladies. Facing to the front from
the platform, and casting your eyes
to the right and left, you behold an
unbrageous grove of stately trees;
and to the front a grass-covered
avenue with rows of cottages on
either side, for the operatives I pre
sume, while a row of stately wild
locusts line either side, suggesting
an arch in tho future when years
give greater reach to their project
ing boughs. Looking up this avenue
about an eighth of a mile is seen
where the main street crosses and
this thoroughfare ends.
As I already stated, I was among
the first on the ground and had
ample opportunity to take mental
notes. At 9:80 o’clock there were
some twenty-five ladies seated in the
roped area, probably as many men
“JECcqvieil to All Special Privileges to None*.”
scattered around the grounds, ana
your correspondent on the stand “a
takin’ notes.” The people began to
arrive, and by 10 o’clock probably
one thousand were on the ground,
three-fourths of whom were Black’s
followers. Air. W. C. D. Lundy
made is way to the stand and handed
your correspondent a beautiful box
of cut flowers for Air. Watson, with
the following note attached:
Hon. Thomas E. Watson—Please ac
cept this very small token in honor of
the noble cause you are so gallantly de
fending ; and may God lead and guide
you safely.
“I know that the Lord will maintain
the cause of the afflicted and the right
of the poor.”
“Then hear Thou in Heaven their
prayer anc their supplication, and main
tain their cause.” Ladies of Greene.
Sept. 6, 1892.
At 10 : 02 a brass band came down
the avenue to the tap of the drum,
with followers enough to swell the
crowd to probably twelve hundred,
Air. Black’s majority of three to one
still being maintained.
At 10:13 a long, loud shout rent
the air to my right and front, in the
dn-ection of the depot, which sug
gested the thought from Scott—
“ Dinna ye hear the slogan?
’Tis Douglas (Watson) and his men!”
At 10 : 20, looking down the ave
nue to the main cross street, I beheld
the street begin to fill from curb to
curb, and the shouts that rent the
air as the head of the column ap
proached suggested another thought
from Ireland’s noble poet:
“ Leave pomps to those that need ’em;
Adorn but man with freedom;
And proud he braves
The gaudiest slaves,
Who crawl where monarchs lead ’em.”
Ere the preceding thoughts found
a lodgment in my mind, Air. Watson
appeared upon the stand, shook
hands with Afajor Black and your
reporter, bowed right and left to the
audience and took his seat amid a
storm of applause.
ESTIMATE OF THE CROWD.
There were probably from twelve
to fifteen hundred on the grounds
before the arrival of Air. Watson and
his supporters, who awaited him at
the depot and on the streets. Os
these, twelve to fifteen hundred,
probably three - fourths, were Air.
Black's adherents. From twenty
ve to twenty-eight hundred fol
lowed Air. Watson to the rendesvous,
and immediately in the rear came the
Black contingent (no pun intended,
I mean Air. Black’s contingent)
from Augusta and other points.
Some of the mouth-pieces of mo
nopoly claimed a large majority for
Air. Black; some more modest
acknowledged that Air. Watson had
a numerical majority; and others,
with becoming decency, made no
estimate whatever. I make the esti
mate at 4,500 present, all told, of
which 3,000 were for Air. Watson
and 1,500 for Alajor Black, or two to
one in Air. Watson’s favor.
A BRIEF RETROSPECT
I found the followers of Air. Black
mad to the point of brutality; the ’
support of Air. Watson enthusiastic
to the verge of lunacy; the keeper of
a public bostlery, forgetting the re
lation 4 between landlord and guest,
bearing himself in a manner that
would disgrace a Hotentot; neither
gray heirs nor gentlemanly de
meanor, in three other instances, a
protection from insult.
It is to be hoped that the landlord,
when the heat of political excitement
wears oif, will remember that the
relation of guest is a sacred one; that
the man who stands at least as high
in the social scale as he, behaves
himself like a gentleman, and pays
his way, -is entitled to courteous
treatment. It is to be hoped, also,
that the men who grossly insulted
your correspondent, and the corres
pondent whom I venture to say even
Alajor Black will acknowledge sent
fuller and fairer reports of these de
bates than any on the ground, will
be ashamed of their conduct.
I do not mean to apply these re
marks to the people of Sparta, in
general; I know in the words of an
other, that you cannot indict an en
tire coinunity, but I do say that
the bearing of a portion of the
people of Sparta would disgrace a
community of barbarians.
JUST BEFORE THE BATTLE.
As Air. Watson and his men were
comming down the avenue, Mr. S.
W. D. Roberts approached your cor
respondent and inquired how many
personal friends Air. Watson desired
on the stand; it was arranged, he
said, that each should have an equal
number. I could not give him the
desired information, but hazarded
the opinion that Alessrs. Branch,
AlcGregor and Ellington would be
‘ TLANTA, GA., FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER. 16, 1892.
on hand. This prediction was veri
fied.
The committees in charge of the
arrangements, it must be said to
their credit, used their best endea
vors, and with tolerable success, to
preserve order and insure both gen
tlemen fair play.'
THE BATTLE.
“He practiced every pass and ward
To cut, to feint, to thrust, to guard:
While less expert, though stronger far,
The Gael maintained unequal war.”
The foregoing description of a
physical combat accurately portrays
the wordy war on this occasion, by
substituting repartee and rhetoric for
sword and shield, placing Air. Wat
son in Fitz janes’ shoes —ivlr. Black
in those of Roderick Dhu. The
physiques of the contestants, too,
would suggest the comparison, Air.
Watson being lithe, keen, and in
cisive; Air. Black, heavy, overconfi
dent, and boastful. Air. Watson
finding the weak spots in his anta
gonist’s armour and pinking them
unmercifully; Air. Black, dealing
sledge-hammer blows thatjwere neat
ly parried or fell short of the
mark.
PRELIMINARIES OF THE BATTLE.
Air. Baxter, Chairman of the
Young Aden’s Democratic Club, ad
vanced and said;
“Fellow citizens: The speaking is
about to commence, and I want to
say a few words. I ask you to give
me your attention, and I wish to say
that I know I voice the wishes and
sentiments of both speakers in all
that I shall say to you.
By an agreement entered into be
tween Mr. Fleming, in behalf of Air.
Black and Mr. Gross, in behalf of
Air. Watson, it was made the duty
of the Chairman of the Executive
Committee of the Democratic party
and the Chairman of the People’s
party of Hancock county, to select
some person to preside on this oc
casion. lam the one they have se
lected. Aly duties are, first, to in
troduce the speaker without com
ment, and, second, to keep the time,
and the time lost by interruptions,
not to be counted against the speak
ers; and third, to preserve order.
“Now, fellow citizens, this last
duty, you know I cannot perform
without your cordial support, and I
ask you to give it. Let us have a
quiet debate. We are not here for
noise. We are here to listen to a
good intelligent discussion of the
day.
A voice. That is right.
Mr. Baxter. Major Black is to
open the discussioni in a speech of
one hour, to be followed by Mr.
Watson in a speech of one hour and
thirty minutes, Alajor Black then
to conclude in fifteen minutes.
Now, fellow citizens, listen to them
attentively; avoid all unseemly noise
that will disturb the speakers, and
give to each that respectful consider
ation they have a right to expect at
your hands.
I now introduce Hon. J. C. C.
Black, of Richmond County*
MAJOR BLACK’S OPENING.
“Ladies and fellow citizens: No
one who has never had the experi
ence knows what a trial it is to under
take to address a large assembly like
this. It will be utterly impossible
for me to proceed with what I have
to say, with satisfaction to myself, or
profit to you, unless the most perfect
quiet is preserved. I wish to join
most heartily, in the suggestion that
has been made by the chairman who
has been chosen by the respec
tive friends of the parties, that you
will give your respectful attention.
I wish particularly to ask my
friends, to give Air. Watson respect
ful attention.
A voice. That is right. (Cheers,
and clapping of hands.)
Major Black. I wish not only to
ask, but to urge, that he be not inter
rupted in bis speech. If you have
any applause for mo, make it while I
am speaking; do not reserve it until
he speaks; if you have any questions
to ask, ask them of me. (Applause.)
Whether wise or unwise, I have
been selected as the standard bearer
of the Democratic party; I must do
the talking on this occasion, and if
all these friends were turned loose,
there would be a perfect bedlam.
Voices. That is so; be orderly.
Air. Black. I know it is impos
sible to suppress all enthusiasm, but
Ido say this, that you good people
of Hancock County do owe it to Mr.
Watson, owe it to me, owe it to your
selves, that he should have a fair,
attentive hearing.
Voices. Yes! Yes! That is right;
and, hurrah for Black! hurrah for the
Kentucky gentleman,—hurrah for
our Tom, etc. (Great cheering.)
Air. Black. No man ought to be
condemned unheard he comes before
you as a public officer; he comes
before you soliciting your suffrages;
discard prejudices, therefore, and
give him the same respectful attention
that you give to me. I trust that
no friend of mine, during his hour
and a half’s speech,|will give|him one
moment’s interruption. (Great ap
plause.)
Before proceeding with the dis
cussion, I shall answer a question
which he propounded to me at Craw
fordsville, and which in the confusion
and excitement of the hour I over
looked. I hold in my hand a com
munication. which he presented me
there, asking me if I would agree
with him that the People’s Party
should have a representative on the
board of managers at the approach
ing State Election, in every polling
place in this district, and if I would
co-operate with him in carrying it
into effect. I have this to say in re
sponse to that request: that he does
not more desire the right of
every legal qualified voter, to deposit
his ballot in the ballot-box and have
it fairly counted, than I. (Great
cheering.) And I say here now, in
this presence,—in this public pre
sence—and not only to my demo
cratic party friends in the county of
Hancock, but to my democratic
party friends in the Tenth Congress
ional District, that I think it right,
and just, and fair, and proper, that
bis party should be represented on
the board of managers in the coming
elections.
A voice. Hurrah for Black. [Great
cheering.]
Air. Black. So far as the State
election is concerned, that is includ
ed in this answer; it does not occur
to me that we are in a position to
take any active concern; but I say
this, that in every state election—in
every election of any sort—l believe
in the right of every American citizen
to deposit his ballot, and believe it
is the sworn duty of every manager
of election to fairly count that ballot.
Alany voices. That is right. (Great
cheering.)
A voice to the right of the stand;
Do you see the dodge, boys?
Air Black. (Ignoring the last voice,
if he heard it.) Now, having said
that much, I ask your patient atten
tion while I proceed to discuss some
of the public issues that are so in
tensely engaging the attention of
our people. You will at once realize
that in the space of an hour, it is im
possible for me to cover these issues,
or to cover every phase of half of
the issues; yet, I come to address
myself to your calm, intelligent reason,
and I will, in the short time allotted
to me, give you what I conceive to
u* an intelligent reason why this
people should not abandon a party
that has lived since this governnent
was founded, and will live as long as
the government itself exists. (Great
applause.)
Aly friends, in my Crawfordsville
speech—l thought I had the paper,
but I cannot at this moment lay my
hand upon it—
A voice. Watson can lay his hand
on it. (Cheering, evidently, for
both speakers.)
Air. Black. Aly' friends, in his
Crawfordsville speech, he gave certain
reasons why he cannot support Air.
Cleveland. These are his reasons:
Because he represents the policy of
contraction; because he represents the
policy of bounties to favored industries ;
because he represents friendship to na
tional banks; because he represents
favoritism to monopoly ; because he rep
resents opposition to the income tax, and
because he represents opposition to free
silver. That Islhe reason why we can
not stand by Mr. Cleveland.
There you have the reason, in his
own words, why he cannot stand by
him; yet, in 1888, my friends, with
a distinction that has rarely been
enjoyed by one so young, he went
before the people of Georgia as a
Democratic elector on the Demo
cratic ticket, and not only invited
but urged the people of Georgia to
support this same Grover Cleveland;
yet he says he cannot support Air.
Cleveland now for the reasons
enumerated. Where is a national
bank that was not in existence in
1888 ? Was not the country, to a
greater or less extent, cursed with
monopolies in 1888 ? Did not every
one of the reasons exist in 1888 that
exist to-day why we should cut loose
from our political moorings, why we
should throw aside the political senti
ments of our fathers ? Why should
we be reckless enough to vote with
him in following this will ’o the wisp
which promises everything and as
sures nothing? In 1888, as an elec
tor at large, he went before the peo
ple of Georgia with this Democratic
banner in his hand and told them
that Air. Cleveland was a grand man,
an eloquent man who had vetoed
pensions, and at the conclusion of
his address in the city of Savannah
he declared that his work was a la
bor of love. (Great applause.)
Now, friends, please keep quiet;
you will help me if you do, and I
know that you desire that.
I shall not consume any great
length of time in going over the
facts in detail that have made up the
political history of the State of
Georgia and the country since then.
The very man that offered the reso
lution to make his (Air. Watson’s)
nomination was a city man, not only
a city man but a city lawyer, my
distinguished friend, the Hon. Jo
seph B. Cumming of the city of
Richmond. He told the people
publicly and privately that he was a
Democrat. He stated that it was
not necessary for him to leave the
Democratia party in order to hold
fast to the principles of the Ocala
platform.
Voices. That’s so; and, “hurrah
for Alajor Black.”
Mr. Black. I admit here, as I did
at Crawfordsville, that he was
elected on a platform in favor of the
prevailing sentiments of the Demo
cratic party. I could read from his
record, in his own language, that it
was not at all necessary for him to
leave the Democratic party in order
to insist upon these demands; and
there are hundreds and thousands of
Alliancemen ail over the State of
Georgia to-day who are loyal to the
Ocala demands and loyal to the
Democratic party. Now, I do not
censure him for his fealty to the
Ocala demands; but what Ido
charge upon him, and challenge, is
his right to go into Congress with
the Democratic banner in his hands
and come back with that banner
trampled under his feet and the
sword of an enemy in his hand.
(Long continued cheering.)
Now, friends, just be quiet; if you
cannot be quiet, be as quiet as you
can. (Laughter.)
Aly friends, if I understood his po
sition, he says in 1888 it was “Hob
son’s choice;” he said that he had to
take Cleveland because he could not
do any better, and now he can do
better. No, how can he do better
than to take Grover Cleveland ?
Grover Cleveland, who stands to
day as the finest type of American
citizenship. (Great cheering, and
cries of “Hurrah for Watson?’) Yes,
the highest type of American citizen
ship; and so acknowledged by his
enemies in the Republican party.
Why cannot he support Grover
Cleveland, the man who furnished a
record as President of the United
Statea that for sterling honesty,
clearheadedness and fidelity to the
people of the Republic. Yes, an
administration that was not sur
passed by the administration of
Washington. (Great cheering.) Yet,
he says that he cannot give Cleve
land support, and where does he
look to find a man to take the place
of Grover Cleveland ? Why, he has
selected General John B. Weaver.
A voice. James 8., Major.
Air. Black. I beg pardon; James
B. Weaver.
He says we are not in a position
to criticise him for supporting Wea
ver because we supported Horace
Greeley in 1872. (Cheering from
both sides.)
A voice. He ought never to have
been born. (Whether he meant
Greeley or Weaver, your reporter
knoweth not.)
Let us see. You know that in
1872 we had scarcely gotten out of
the shadow of the war; but Horace
Greeley, although he had been noted
as a hater of the South; although
he had dipped his pen in gall in
scoring the people of the South;
yet, the day he dipped his pen in ink
and went on the security bond of
Jefferson Davis, he wiped all that
out. (Great cheering.)
Voices. Hurrah for Alajor Black!
Hurrah for General Weaver! Hur
rah for Watson! Hurrah for Horace
Greeley ! (Followed by considerable
confusion, but nothing to equal Craw
fordsville.)
Air. Black. He not only did that,
but he went before the country on a
platform that demanded amnesty for
all acts growing out of the war; that
demanded the restoration to their
rights under the constitution, enemy
to the South, as he had been. He
acted the part of a manly man—of
a true man—for no brave man will
strike a man when he is down.
Now, my friends, as we see Horace
Greeley going before the country,
putting himself before the country
with a spirit of true magnanimity,
offering amnesty, what was General
Weaver doing? We have it in his
own language, from his own pen,
written in cold blood, that they
ought to be a thousand miles in hell!
A voice. A million.
Air. Black. Yes, a million ; thank
you.
Then, again—l want you Third
party people to listen now—l never
have abused your leader; I never
have abused you; but he said in his
Crawfordsville speech that I did not
disclaim certain things. Now, I
never have abused either him or
you; but let me tell you that with
this record in my hand, sustaining
what I am about to say, I say here
that he has abused that trust re
posed in him, and held out hopes to
you that are a snare and a delusion.
He tells you that it is a new party.
I say that it is not a new party; it is
an old party. And I say, further
more, that Mr. Weaver and his col
leagues from the West have suc
ceeded at last in doing what the
Republican party could not succeed
in doing, that is, in coming here and
taking our Southern farmers by the
nose and leading them, if they fol
low, to their own destruction.
A voice. You must think we are
fools, (followed by derisive laughter
from Air. Watson’s friends and cheer
ing by Alajor Black’s.)
Air. Black. I did not say that you
were fools! I have never said that I
NUMBER 51
I have never intimated that! I have
treated you with perfect respect!
was addressing myself to your intel
ligence and reason, and
A voice. Go ahead, Mr. Black;
never mind him.
Air. Black. Now, here is that
record. If I understand the distin
guished gentleman, the claim is now
made that in 1888 there was no
choice between Air. Cleveland and
Air. Harrison, and that it was Hob
son’s choice.
A voice.. Well, ain’t that the way
it was ?
Air. Black. There was another
choice; there was another candi
date; there was another political
party; and you take the platform of
that party and the platform of this
and put them side by side, and you
will find thorn in substance and
essence, identical. The platform of
that party is the platform of the party
he is trying to lead yon into to-day.
(Great cheering and counter cheer
ing.) Going back of 1888, you had
a Greenback party with a financial
plank in that party almost the same
as this plank in your party: My dis
tinguished competitor has pro
nounced a glowing encomium on
that plank in yours. Again, in
1876, you had a party, and that par
ty, in its platform, said that labor
was deprived of its just reward by
the ruinous policy of the govern
ment. In 1880, you had the same
party platform, and that platform
not only adopted these other finan
cial schemes, but, so far as I am
able to gather, there appears what
seems to be a favorite idea with that
party, and that is, that every citizen
of sound mind and not a felon
should have the right of the ballot.
In other words, it was a plank in fa
vor of women’s suffrage. Now, that
platform you not only Lad with ail
these demands now put forth, but
also you had General Chambers, of
Texas, for vice-president. You s have
been told that your party was the
first that had the courage to nomi
nate a Northern general for presi
dent and a Southern general for
vice-president. Not so does the
record speak. As far back as 1880
you had the same platform and the
I same doctrine, essentially, and so
your party is not a new party. And
so the choice was not “Hobson’s
choice.” You had the same candi
date and the same platform. Why
did you not follow it then, if it is
worthy of your support now ?
Alany voices. Hurrah for Wat
son! Hurrah for Black! Hurrah
for our Tommy and hurra® for our-
Kentucky gentleman.
Air. Black. You had the same
platform, substantially, in 1884. It
dodged the question of the tariff it
favored an amendment to the Con
stitution in favor of suffrage regard
less of sex. In that convention, the
resolution in favor of gold and silver
was discarded too. Who was nomi
nated for presidend.
A voice. Weaver.
Air. Black. Who was nominated
for vice-president?
A voice. Butler.
(The speaker evidently overlooked
the mistake made by the gentlemen
who responded to the questions.
Butler was the presidential candi
date in 1884. Weaver did not run
that year. Reporter.)
Air. Black. What was the plat
form of the Labor Union party in
1888? It denounced both the old
parties, it declares opposition to land
monopoly by alien enemies; it de
mands forfeiture of unearned grants;
a graduated income tax; that money
should be issued directly to the
people; the establishment of postal
savings banks; declared that the
right to vote is inherent in citizen
ship irrespective of sex; the abolition
of usury, monopoly and trusts; and
denounced the Democratic and Re
publican parties alike for creating
and perpetuating these immense
evils. Here you had a party aa
late as 1888 that denounced th©
Democratic party equally with the
Republican party. Now, in the
face of these facts, my distinguished
friend, and his followers, followed
the old venerable time honored
party with Mr. Cleveland at its head
until you sent him to Confess. Un
til he carried your flag to victoqr
two years ago; and lak you, is it
asking him too much to require of
him an account of his stewardship?
To ask what has he done with that
flag? _
Voices. Yes, what have you
done with it?
Other voices. We sent him with
that flag to fight for us.
Air. Black. You cannot say that
you have just found out these things.
They are a part of the records of
the country. Can any intelligent
man with these facts before him as
sume that the people have just found
out the Democratic party is as criml
nal as the Republican? Why, these
same leaders have been telling you
the same thing for the past fifteen
years, and telling you mere distinct
ly in 1888 than in 1892, and yet
here my friend was followed that in*
corruptable leader, that great states
man, Grover Cleveland.

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