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People's party paper. [volume] (Atlanta, Ga.) 1891-1898, September 30, 1892, Image 1

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People’s • Party Paper
The Most Orderly Meeting of the Series
is at Watson’s Home. Closes
the Joint Discussion.
[Reported Expressly for the People’s
Party Paper by J. L. Priscol, Law
and General Reporter, j
In striking contrast to the meeting
at Augusta, was the meeting at
Thomson. The former was disgrace
ful beyond the power of pen tongue
or pen to portray. The latter would
reflect credit on any community, by
the gentle courtesy and the high
minded, chivalrous hospitality of the
people of McDuffie county. The
former was the home of Major
Black; the latter was the home of
Hon. Thomas E. Watson.
In striking contrast was the re
spect shown the two contestants by
tbeir neighbors. Mr. Watson’s
friends and neighbors showed the
most respectful attention to Major
Black, even when they could not in
dorse his views. Mr. Black’s friends
and neighbors did not show respect
even to himself in the city of
In striking contrast was the en
thusiasm shown for a true, honest
patriot, by patriots, to the brutal
hoodlumistic spirit betrayed by the
claquers of corrupt political rings
and railroad monopolists toward the
accredited champion of these or
ganized wrongs.
In striking contrast, too, is this
report, giving the words of both
speakers fully and fairly, to the
garbled libels and forgeries of the
partisan press of Georgia. Major
Black, as I have been informed, has
been written to the effect that if he
had any fault to find with this
series of reports, to make it known
and it would be corrected. He has
indorsed them by his silence.
I left Augusta on the midnight
train in order to be on the ground in
time to survey the skirmish lines and
draw conclusions. Starting out for
a stroll the next morning, I found
the streets lined with sturdy farmers,
with lire in their eyes and the name
of Watson on their lips. I found,
too, that many houses were decorated
with Hags, half black and half blue.
A farmer remarked, “Why, Watson
has already beaten them black and
The meeting was field in a beauti
ful grove southwest of the city, and
probably live thousand people were
present; Mr. Black having about
1,500 and Mr. Watson 8,500.
During the early part of the
morning there were scarcely any
Black men present, as they were
waiting for the Augusta train with
the crowd of trained yawpers. The
first thing that attracted my atten
tion from the stand was a band
wagon from Lincoln county, with
the words “People’s Party” on one
side and “forty acres and a mule”
(with the mule hitched to a plow) on
the other.
When your reporter reached the
stand he was received with cheers,
for which he modestly blushed and
returned thanks in a few able-bodied
The next thing that attracted my
attention was a beautiful banner
about 28x40. It was made of white
satin with a good picture of Mr.
Watson on the upper left hand cor
ner and embroidered with lilies and
marguerites. It had a gold fringe
and silver tassels with the words,
“The People’s Friend” inscribed di
agonally across the face of the ban
ner. The staff was surmounted with
a golden eagle. This did great
credit to the taste, skill and gener
osity of the fair donors. It was the
gift of McDuffie’s lovely daughters.
Miss Lulu Pearce advanced to the
stand bearing another banner about
20x30 of white Chinese silk with a
fine picture of Mr. Watson near the
top and in the centre. A laurel
wreath encircled the picture while
underneath were inscribed the words,
“The Champion of our- Rights.”
The bottom was trimmed with
golden fringe, and it was a fitting
“KiczpAjierl Ryy to -A.ll Special to
companion for the other beautiful
gift. In presenting it Miss Pearce'
said :
“Mr. Watsm, your friends, deeply
appreciating the work you have done
for them and their cause, desire to
express their gratitude by some
kindly token. They desire not only
to express their great regard for you
in championing their cause but to as
sure you of their determination to
stand by you to the last. (Generous
applause.) Accept this (handing it
to him), therefore, with our bless
ing.” (Long continued applause.)
Mr. Watson. Ladies of Lincoln
county, it moves my heart with pro
found gratitude to see that my efforts
in your behalf has been appreciated
and that the sanctity of bur cause
has brought into unison so many
brave men and pure women. (Ap
plause.) No matter what our op
ponents may think, my friends are
magnanimous to say that I have been
faithful and true to them.
Cries of, Yes, yes I God bless you.
Mr. Watson. I say to you now,
as 1 said two years ago, I shall bring
back this banner, which I carry
away, just as pure and undefiled as I
receive it from your hands.
A voice. Tom, we know that.
Bless your soul! I low we know it.
Mr. Watson. Though it may be
stained with the smoke, and defaced
with the scars of battle; yet, it will
be because you told me to carry it
where the tight was thickest and
the danger greatest. (Great ap
plause.) I have only this to say
further, in accepting this beautiful
banner, I take it with a deep sense
of consecration, just as these ladies
have given it into my hands. In
the same spirit with they have given
it I receive it; and say here and now,
in this my home; among these my
neighbors, under the skies that
sheltered my infancy; under the
skies that sheltered my budding
hopes; under the skies that sheltered
my matured manhood: under the
skies that will shelter my old age;
under the skies that will curtain my
grave, that so long as I live, this
work shall be as sacred to me as
ever was the work of the holiest
crusader in following the cross of
his Savior. (Tremendous applause.)
AVe knew that when this work com
menced, it would not end in a day.
We knew it meant labor; we knew
it meant sorrow; we knew it meant
struggle. But, fellow citizens, we
thought it it was a struggle like that
of bygone years when our forefath
ers wrung from the hands of the
plutocrats of the old world, the
privileges which we have been en
joying so long. And while they
they knew it meant sorrow, they
knew it would end in gladness; while
they knew it meant struggle, they
knew it would end in victory; while
they knew it meant strife, they, knew
it would end in the blessings of
golden winged peace. (Great ap
Thank God that you have re-ap
plied yourselves to the perpetuity of
those principles, which the fathers
consecrated with their blood, and
the beloved mothers sanctified with
their tears. By the blessing of God,
I will re apply myself as your lead
er, in this cause; and I say in conclu
sion God bless the banner, and God
consecrate the people.”
Mr. Watson sat down amid the
most enthusiastic applause. Having
a brief respite, I cast my eyes
around and found the speaker be
“By fetters, forged in the green sunny
As though he were captive to the king
of flowers.”
I can only give the names of the
charming donors as far as I could
get them, and beg pardon of any
whom I may have unfortunately
missed: Mi.s Alma Worrell, Miss
Lizzie Toole, Mrs. R. E. Neal, Mrs.
B. Al. Gross; (with this was the fol
lowing inscription: “Shell the moss
backs, the people are with you.)
From the ladies of Cobbham and
viciinity, Mrs. Wesley Young, Miss
A ade Jones, Miss Eva Puckett,
Astor, Clayton county; Miss Birta
Inglett, Mrs. B. M. Rose, Mrs. Oscar
Lee, Mrs. George Irving, Mrs. Yulee
Young, Little Miss Nellie Headley,
Miss Pheeny Morris, Mrs. Julian
Boyd, Mrs. John T. West, Mrs. T.
B. West, Miss F. West, Master Ed
ward West and Mrs. Preston Liz
enby. I deeply regret that so many
cards were misplaced, and I am thus
unable to pay the compliment of en
rolling all the names.
The chairman, Mr. Morgan Nor
ris, introduced Mr. Watson as fol
I ellow citizens, I bespeak on vour
part, a quiet and careful attention.
It affords me great pleasure to intro
duce to you now, as the representa
tive of the People’s party, the Hon.
Thomas E. Watson.
Mr. Watson was received with re
newed and prolonged cheering.
Now fellow citizens, I want to see
how much you respect me to-day. I
am at home, Air. Black is here as
our visitor. He is an honorable
gentleman, he is the nominee of a
great party, and I trust you will
treat him with respect in both char
A voice. We will do that, Air.
Air. Watson. Now my friend,
let me do the talking. I want you
all to show me the highest compli
ment to-day that you can possibly
pay me.
A voice. We will do it.
Mr. Watson. lam glad to have
these flowers; I am glad to have
these banners ; but the highest com
pliment you can pay me to-day is to
take my advice and be respectful
during the speaking. Ido not mean
by that that you should not cheer
the speakers. Ido not mean by that
that you should not indulge in decor
ous enthusiasm, but I do ask you not
to interrupt Air. Black by any un
seemly conduct. I want McDuffie
county to show that she is worthy
of entertaining this magnificent
crowd by showing respect to this
magnificent gentleman. Now, every
man who will promise me to take
my advise and allow Air. Black to
have a respectful hearing; every
man who will promise not to inter
rupt him by any unseemly conduct;
every man, woman and child who
will promise me to be quiet and
decorous, will please hold up their
right hand.
[lt is safe to say that the hand of
every People’s party man and wo
man was held up.]
Now, remember that you have
given me your solemn promise not
to interrupt Alajor Black. Bear in
mind that no matter what the provo
cation may be, you will bear it for
my sake. Now, remember that your
pi omise is at stake; remember that
your honor is at stake.
Voices. We will do it, sure, Tom.
Air. Watson. Remember that my
promise is, at stake, for T bavjlkffyen
my assurance for you.
Another voice. Thank you for the
suggestion. We will keep it.
Air. Watson (holding up the Brad
well circular). Have any of you
colored or white men seen this?
Cries of “ I have ; I have; I have.”
Air. Watson. Well, you have a
Governor—a man who is running for
governor again—and what did he say
about that circular down at Wash
ington? He said that Watson had
defeated in congress a claim of Charles
Brad well, which all the Georgia con
gressmen said was a just claim. This
same colored man, Bradwell, was
present and confirmed the claim.
That is, Governor Northen, at home
and down in Wilkes county, said that
therefore I ought to be defeated be
cause I had done a worthy colored
man a grievous wrong. He took the
colored man along to prove it. Now,
this says that Bradley says that L. F.
Livingston, a good Democrat now,
introduced a bill to pay this claim.
That it would have passed but for
Watson. He says that both the
Georgia Senators, Gordon and Col
quitt, and all the Georgia delegation
thought it was a just claim. He
says that Air. Watson, by calling the
regular order and putting that obsta
cle in the way, defeated the claim.
Now, that is a serious charge. If
that is true, it condemns me; if not
true, it condemns the authors of the
charge. If Governor Northen comes
into this district and makes a charge
that is false, you will go away with a
great contempt for the Governor,
will you not? You cannot indorse
Voices. No! No !
Air. Watson. You cannot ratify
slander? *
Voices. Certainly not; we know
you, Tom.
Air. Watson. You cannot ap
prove such unjust methods ? (Cheer
ing.) Now, it is true that General
Gordon favored the bill. Why do I
say that ? Because he introduced
the bill in the Senate for its payment.
It is true that Livingston approved
the bill. Why do I say that ? Be
cause he introduced the bill in the
House for its payment. Now, if
they did that knowing that it was an
unjust claim; if they did that know
ing that it had already been paid,
they were deliberately attempting to
rob the tax-payers of the State of
Georgia, were they not ?
Voices. Yes, yes; certainly.
Air. Watson. Now, If I can show
you that, where is Governor Nor
then ?
Voices. In the soup.
Mr. Watson. If I can show you
that it has been paid, and that the
colored man gave his receipt in full,
where is Air. Livingston ?
A voice. He doesn’t know where
he is at.
Air. Watson. If that has been
paid, where is every other member
of the Georgia delegations.
Voices. Hurrah for Black; hur
rah for the traitpr; hurrah for Airs.
Lease and Jerr( Simpson.
Air. Black. Keep silence, my
friends. Do not interrupt.
Air. Watson. Oh, let them howl
a little, Alajor; it hurts. (Laughter
and applause.)
Air. Black. I appeal to you as
Air. Watson has appealed to his
friends, and I say this, if you have
any respect for me, give him a re
spectful hearing. I have an hour
and a half to reply, and it is your
duty to keep quiet and not interrupt
him. Now let us have an onen, fair,
candid discussion of the issues of the
(At this point the train bearing the
organized gang of Hancock heelers
had been in a few minutes and the
head of the column made its appear
ance with the usual accompanying
Alt. Watson. Now, my friends,
let us be quiet and I will go right on.
Several voices. ’Rah for Black !
Tell us about the Corbin bank Tom!
’Rah for Black! ’Rah for Cleve
land !
Alajor Black seemed in the act of
interposing when Air. Watson, waving
his hand, said: I will handle them,
Alajor. Now, my friends, I just
want to show you what kind of a
law was passed in reference to this
colored man’s claim. -Listen:
[Private No, 745.]
An Act for the relief Chas. L. Bradwell.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House
of Representatives of the United States
of America in Congress assembled, That
the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he
is hereby authorized and directed to pay
to Charles L Bradwell, late of the coun
ty of Chatham and State of Georgia,
and now a resident of the county of
Bartow, in said State, the sum of one
thousand five hundred and thirty-two
dollars, the value of cotton belonging to
said Bradwell and delivered by him to
the Federal authorities in the winter of
eighteen hundred and sixty-five under
orders issued by General W. T. Sherman;
and the amount of money necessary to
pay said claim is hereby appropriated
out of any money in the Treasury not
otherwise appropriated, said sum to be
Approved Sept. 24, 1888.
A voice. They had that at Craw
fordsville; I guess they have had
enough of that, Tom.
(At this point a banneY-bearer to
the right and front of the stand
kept waving’ the banner in r way to
attract the crowd, and vr a manner
evidently annoying to the speaker.)
Air. Watson. Stop moving that
Banner-mover. This is a Black
banner, and I will go where I please
with it, and do what I please with it.
Air. Watson. Y r ou can move it
where you please, but get it there
and do not wave it in a manner that
is annoying, please.
Storm of voices from the delega
tion. Give it to ’im boys; ’rah for
Black ; traitor.
Air. Black. Aly friends, no more
of that, please; if you have any re
spect for me, no more of that.
Air. Watson. Aly friends, there is
one banner that has not come in yet.
That is the one with the pictures of
Stephens and Black on it. I hope
that banner will be brought in—the
banner with the pictures of a great
man and a big man. (Laughter and
A voice. Ido not think they will
bring it in. They had enough of
that at Crawfordsville. (Renewed
Mr. AYatson. Now, about this
claim of which I have just read.
Four years ago (The speaker
casting his eyes in the direction of a
countryman climbing a tree.) Let
us wait until that gentleman reaches
his limb. (Laughter.)
A voice. That is a Watson squir
rel. (Renewed laughter.)
Mr. Watson. Yes, and he can
outclimb any other kind of squirrel,
too. (Increased laughter.)
Now, to return to this bill for the
relief of the colored man. Your
business is transacted by trustees
into whose hands you put it. Your
tax money is expended by these men,
and as your representatives, ought
they not to be careful in the spend
ing of the money? (Voices. Yes,
yes.) Now I want to say to you
white friends, I want to say to you
black friends, that if that bill was
paid, and the record shows it was
was paid, according to Governor
Northen’s statement, I was the only
representative from Georgia who
voted to prevent the looting of the
treasury to the extent of that claim
which was already paid. What
would you have done?
A voice. What you did. (Long
continued applause.)
Air. AVatson. Now listen. When
this bill was called, we were calling
for the sub- treasury bill in the
House. That was something that
would benefit every man in this
broad land, white and biack alike,
and because I was trying to get a
law passed that would benefit all the
tax payers, this colored man, Brad
well, and Governor Northen are go
ing around the country denouncing
me. Denouncing me for what? Be
cause I would not let them loot the
treasury while suffering your interests
to lie dormant. (Long continued ap
plause.) Because I did not permit
this claim to be paid a second time,
as shown in this bill just read.
“Said sum;to be in full settlement and
payment of said claim.” (Great
cheering and cries from the colored.
Bless the Lord, Air. AYatson, we
know’d it was a lie.) Does not that
show you how carelessly your busi
ness is enacted when Gen. John B.
Gordon introduces a bill for the set
tlement of a claim a second time?
Voices. Yes yes, yes. Hurrah
for AYatson! (A commotion in the
rear of the platform among the rail
road hoodlums—the transported
Mr. AYatson. It seems to be ut
terly impossible to get those Black
banners where they can be quiet.
They are toppling over. The Steph
ens banner has disappeared entirely,
and the other one is lying prone in
the dust. (Laughter.) Yonder
comes another one with funeral co.
ors on it. (Renewed laughter.) How
instinctively their judgment yields
to the inevitable, for if there is any
thing known to this country, it is
that the Black campaign is a funeral
procession. (Side splitting laugh
ter.) They decorated their houses
with black flags, this morning but, lo!
they are coming now in Black
shrouds. (Laughter of every con
ceivable sort, the spontaneous and
the suppressed, the guffaw and the
giggle, the horse laugh and the dry
laugh. The organized Democrats
had a monopoly of the latter.) The
great trouble with the Democrats is,
that this is a campaign of education.
They mean all right, but they don’t
know how. There are many Demo
crats on account of the accident of
birth; there are a few Democrats on
account of conviction—but the great
er part are such on account of non
Voices. They will learn if they
attend these meetings.
Air. AYatson. (A Black banner is
advanced near the stand.) Th s
banner is rushed in just like the
Stephens banner was rushed in at
Crawfordsville, with a brass band, as
is often done in a joint debate for
the purpose of disturbing the speaker.
But the trouble with these gentle
men is that they never do get there
at the right time. (Laughter.) They
never get there until our standards
are planted and the victory won.
(Renewed laughter.] At Crawfords
ville they rushed that banner for
ward for the first time. That was
the speech in which my friend so
strongly denounced me for leaving
the Democratic party. Well, when
I left the Democratic party I was
ready to give good reasons for so
doing. At Sparta I chased him
down. I was glad to get him on a
distinctive Jeffersonian principle. I
showed Jefferson as authority.
AYhat do you think he said when I
showed him that Jefferson had de
nounced State banks? That Jeffer
son said they could only be failures ?
that the government should issue its
own money ? that fiat money, if you
please, was good money? Now
what do you suppose he said to that ?
AVhy, he said, “I cannot be bound
by everything that Jefferson said
sixty or seventy years ago.” [Ap
plause.] If we should dig Jefferson
up and set him to talking again, he
might still say the same thing. But
really, if they claim to be for Jeffer
son and confine themselves to Jeffer
son of to-day, ignoring sixty or sev
enty years ago, how can we bring
anything to bind him ? for Jefferson
has been dead sixty or seventy years.
[Laughter.] Now, this campaign is
bitter, principally on account of your
non-information, my Democratic
friends. There is many a man here
so warped by the coiled snake of
hatred which encircles his heart that
he is incapable of receiving informa
Aly distinguished friend at Craw
fordsville said that my course in
leaving the Democratic party was
without a parallel in political history.
The trouble with him is that he does
not know anything about political
history. [Laughter.] The ignor
ance of the witness destroys the
force of his testimony, as I will show
you. [lncreased laughter.] I wish
they had that Stephens banner here
to-day, it would serve so good a pur
pose to point a moral. Not that I
would seek to justify myself for do
ing anything just because Air.
Stephens did it, no more than I
would want to be bound by anything
because any other man did it. Let
every man stand or fall by his own
record, but I say this, they are in a
pretty fix to quote Alexander 11.
Stephens and place his picture side
by side with Air. Black's. Oh, my
countrymen, think of these two pic
tures. One saying, “Look how great
I am,” and the other saying, “Look
how big I am.”
[At this point there was a tre
mendous outburst of applause from
the people, and the first disposition
on the part of the organized to cre
ate confusion, but they were in such
a hopeless minority, and the remem
brance of Alonday night’s proceed
ings was so fresh in the memory of
all, that they could see the people
w ere not in the mood to be trifled
Air. YYatson. Not only that, but
he tried to shelter himself behind
Stephens. How ? In Sparta when
I reminded the people that Mr. Black
had voted for the Bullock bonds in
the face of the fact that the Legisla
ture of 1876 said they were void; in
the face of the fact that the people
of Georgia, in adopting the consti
tution in 1877, decided that they
were fraudulent; yet, when I
touched him under the short ribs,
the only thing that he could do was
to catch onto Mr. Stephen’s coat
tail and say, “Pull me out, Ctesar, or
I perish.”
Cries of Hit him again, Tommy.
(Great laughter.) Another voice.
Oh, don’t; that would be cruel.
(Renewed laughter.)
Mr. Watson. Now, if Mr. Black
escapes from the consequences of
that vote it is because—l say, if he
escapes condemnation for that vote
it is because Alex. Stephens’ decla
rations, on the equity side of the
question, bear him through the
storm and strife of battle. [Tre
mendous applause.] Now, for that
reason I think that Alexander IL
Stephens’ political course ought to
be good medicine for him when he
speaks about my course being with
out a parallel. Now listen how the
proofs on him being a back number
in political history. (Reads.)
December Ist, 1849. —House met at 13
m ; 221 members only being present, and
balloted four times for Speaker without
electing. The vote stood: For Cobb,
103 ; Winthrop, 96 ; Wilmot, 81; Gen
try, 6 ; several scattering.
Now, who was one of the men
who voted for Gentry and against
Mr. Cobb? Alexander H. Stephens.
Why did he vote against him ? Be
cause he was a Democrat and
Stephens was a Whig. (Turning to
the Constitution and Chronicle re
porters.) Now, Ido beg our friends,
the reporters, to catch the statements
as I make them. Don’t misquote
Many voices. They won’t do it.
Don’t you know them ? We do.
Mr. Watson. Do not say that,
my friends. They will do it. That
is discourteous. Now, my friends,
that was December 1, 1849. Let us
turn to the very next thing that oc
curs in the life of Alexander H.
Stephens, by his life-long friend,
Dick Johnson. The Constitutional
Ur ion party was formed on nhe plat
form of the Georgia resolutions m 3
1850. Mr. Howell Cobb was elected
governor by a heavy majority. Ste
phens was elected to the House, and
went on to Washington in Decem
ber. Do you catch the point ?
Stephens and Cobb appeared in
Dscember, 1849. Cobb was one of
the candidates, and yet he supported
Gentry. Mr. Johnson had drawn
up a set of resolutions to form a new
party called the Constitutional Union
party, and Mr. Cobb and Mr. Toombs
were standing on the platform of
that new party. Here are the facts
out of Mr. Stephens’ own life
The debate on the territorial bill, and
the distribution of votes both for and
against it among the Democrats and
Whigs, showed clearly that old party
lines were loosening, and that the time
for recognization of parties had come,
Mr. Clay and other leaders on both sides
had signed and published a paper drawn
up by Mr. Stephens, declaring their in
tention of supporting no candidate for
office who would not support the princi
ples now established.”
Now, does not this look like it
furnished a parallel where Mr. Black
said there was no parellel?
Cries of. Yes, yes. We see the
point. Good-bye Jimmie. [Pro
longed laughter.]
Mr. Watson. Now how do you
think that medicine will set on Mr.
Black’s stomach? Renewed laugh
ter. Here was the Georgia platform,
and the party upholding that plat
form known as the Constitutional
Union party. Who was the author
of these resolutions? Why, Alex<
under 11. Stephens. Who was the
man who wrote these resolutions
and carried them with him outside
of the party that*done h>m the honor
of sending him to Congress? Alex
ander H. Stephens. Who was the
man who, while he was still in Con
gress, elected as a representative of
the Whig party, drew up a platform
and he, himself, became the leader
to fight the old party bosses? Alex
ander H. Stephens. Why did he do
that? Because the Whigs had es
tablished rings and cliques, and left
the principles of the party. Who is
the big man whose picture is placed
beside this great man,denouncing me
for doing the same thing Mr. Steph
dns did?
A voice. The peerless gentleman.
Major Black. [Derisive "and long
continued laughter.]
Mr. Watson. What next? [Reads.]
The Constitutional Union movement
of 1850, of which he had been leader,
lasted but two years, and in 1853 the
Whigs and Democrats relapsed into their
clu antagonism. Mr. Jenkins, however,
came foiward as the candidate of his
party, and Mr. Stephens, Mr, Toombs
and others tried to keep up the organiza
What organization? The organ
ized new party that Mr. Stephens
had formed to fight the Whigs aftei
the Whigs had put him in Congress,
If it is treachery in me to leave the
Democratic party, because it had a
violated every principle, what was it*

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