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People's party paper. [volume] (Atlanta, Ga.) 1891-1898, October 07, 1892, Image 1

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Peoples Party Paper
A Wet Day, A Large Assemblage, and
au Effort to Howl Down by
Imported Shouters.
[Reported expressly for the People’s
Party Paper by J. L. Driscol.]
The reader is already familiar
with the discussions in the Tenth
congressional district. We now
come to the outlying campaign.
Mr. Watson announced his inten
tion of going into each of the con
gressional districts at the close of
the five joint debates with Major
Black, ending at Thomson, Septem
ber 15. Mr. Livingston was the
first and, up to the present time, the
only gentleman who has taken up
his gauge of battle. In doing that
he proved himself to be not as smart
a man as Judge Maddox, who, to
use the words of a countryman on
the train coming from Cedartown
the day that the Judge refused to
meet Mr. Watson, who said : “Judge
Maddox is a durned sight smarter
than I thought he was; he was too
smart to meet Watson.”
The Georgia Bailroad made a
special rate for this discussion, as it
had been doing all through the Tenth
district for the benefit of Major
Black. The Democratic campaign
committee, it is reliably reported,
paid the fares of the crowds trans
ported from point to point to claque
for Black. The same committee
also furnished the baggage car bar
room attachment ■when going into
the dry counties. My attention was
called to three truck loads of liquid
refreshments deposited in the bag
» gr.e car f' 1 * th j howlers by Mr.
Chapman, a member of Black’s own
church, the night that I was leaving
Augusta for Thomson to report the
last joint debate in the Tenth dis
Two special train loads came into
Conyers to listen to this joint dis
cussion—one from the Augusta eud
of the line, the other from Atlanta.
It cau be safely said that a large ma
jority of these were of the organized
persuasion. Hard times and the ab
sence of a corruption fund, coupled
with the fact that the reformers
would not indulge in the methods of
the corruptionists, kept the honest
people from taking advantage of tf[e
low fares, and the result was that
the Democrats had probably six
sevenths of the transported crowd,
which tilled about seventeen cars.
Reformers could not if they would,
and would not if they could, indulge
in such shady practices.
The elements bade fair to inter
fere with the proceedings of the day.
Murky clouds overspread the
heavens, and ere the train passed
Decatur rain was pouring down co
piously. On reaching Conyers the
Hood-gates were closed, but threat
ening clouds frowned upon the
assembled hosts. If either combat
ant saw any evil portent in this, he
could comfort himself with the re
flection :
“Why, what is that to me more than
to Richmond ? for the self same heaven
that frowns on me looks sadly on him.”
The people were assembled in
great numbers 'when the train ar
rived, considering the weather, and
the pedal extremities of pedestrians
were badly bedraggled.
A conference was held between
the disputants and a disposition was
shown to declare the meeting off.
Then it was proposed to speak from
the balcony of the hotel, but quickly
abandoned. It was next determined
to proceed to the grove and take a
vote of the crowd and let that de
termine what should be done.
Upon reaching the stand it was
found to be a very frail little affair.
It had no seats, except rough boards
nailed around the edges doing the
double duty of a railing and benches.
A rough roof covered it and the
water was seeping through in a man
ner not calculated to produce com
fort or good temper. No chairs
were provided for the speakers or
reporters, neither were there tables.
By dint of great persuasion, however,
one little stand was procured for the
speakers to lay their papers upon
"Equal Rights to JXII Special Privileges to None.”
and four or five chairs. I succeeded
in getting a seat on the edge of the
platform and my knee answered for
a desk. Take it all in all, I never
reported under such difficulties. At
Sparta I was more crowded, but
then I had a table.
Just before the speaking com
menced a beautiful floral banner,
with the words, “All honor to Thom
as E. Watson, the people’s choice,”
worked across its face, was presented
to that gentleman. The following
note accompanied it :
“Honorable Thomas E. Watson:
We respectfully ask you to accept this
floral tribute as a slight token of our
appreciation of yemr noble work for the
people's cause. With many wishes for
your success and happiness, we are your
sincere friends, Mrs Dr. Griffin,
Mrs. Thaden.
Atlanta, Sept. 19.”
This presented a rare combination
of refined taste and artistic skill on
the part of the fair donors. Never
have I seen anything to equal it, and
it was doubtless becomingly appre
ciated by the honored recipient. At
a little distance it had all the ap
pcarance of the richest banner, the
colors were beautifully blended, and
the lettering skillfully executed.
Other rare collections of flowers
were sent to the stand, but I regret
that in the hurly burly I failed to
get the names of the fair ladies who
presented them, and consequently
cannot give the credit due.
From the stand, looking on the
animated countenances of the surg
ing mass of humanity, you would not
think that so much cold water had
been on the meeting.
Looking at the contestants, and
gauging them by my knowledge of
their forensic powers, I could only,
mentally, say, here is a contest be
tween a hoe and a rapier; a ra
pier, too, of the finest temper and
keenest edge—Mr. Livingston, as the
reader already surmises, repiesent
ing the hoe.
called to order.
Col. W. L. Peek advanced and
said: Gentlemen, please come to
order. ’ It has been decided to de
termine by vote, whether this meet
ing shall go on or be called off for a
future time. If we start this thing
we must stay till the close regardless
of the elements. If we start this
thing you must give a flair and im
partial hearing.
Now gentlemen, all of you who
are in favor of calling this meeting
off will stay, aye?
A storm of nos greeted the speak
er’s proposition, and the champions
stripped for the fray.
Ladies and Gentlemen: You know
how extremely difficult it will be for
us to speak here to-day unless
you keep perfect order. The
crowd had not accommodated
themselves to the situation, and
there was a great deal of confusion
lasting for severav minutes during
which time the speaker desisted.
There was’ considerable disputation
also, those behind insisting on those
in front sitting down, ihat they
could have a better chance to see
and hear.]
Mr. Livingston. Now stop that
talking and give us time for this de
bate, for it will rain like blazes this
afternoon. (To a man in the crowd.)
Shut your mouth ! or I’ll go down
there and make you. Be quiet, you
with the straw hat. (Laughter.)
Mr. Watson. Now gentlemen, if
we are to be heard at all, you must
cease your conversation in the au
dience. We are here exposed to the
dripping from the platform, and we
cannot be heard unless you keep
quiet. No one who has not tried it
knows the difficulty of speaking
when it is moist and every circum
stance operating against the
I desire to say this to you. lam
just from the Tenth District, where
they have concentrated all the power
of men and money against us. I
met your enemies, and I am glad to
say to you to-day that the woods are
on fire and the wind is in our favor.
(Cheering.) And so far as in
me lies, 1 expect to kindle the signal
lights from every hill top in Georgia.
(Renewed cheering.) Be quiet, boys.
Do not start that, for if you do, the
other side will do the same, and
there will he endless confusion.
Talking, argument is what -we want
to-day. I can do that better than
you can, and Mr. Livingston can
talk for his side better than his
friends can.
Now I am not here to cater to any
one’s aoppetite for sensation. lam
not here to make myself a spectacle
foi’Eanybody who wants to see a mere
cat fight between Mr. Livingston and
myself. In my eyes the issues at
stake are vastly more important than
he or I. If he is a bad man you
know it better than I can tell you.
If I am a bad man you know it bet
ter than he can tell you. Our pub
lic walks have been so conspicuous
that you all have your minds made
up as to the manner of men we are
I am here to talk upon public issues.
When I have been attacked I have
defended myself. If lam attacked
to-day I will defend myself. Ido
not go out of the way to start up
personal collisions. I meet them if
they are forced upon me. lam do
ing my best to bring these issues to
the comprehension of all, believing
that m this contest our welfare is
wrapped up for the next twenty five
A political party is what? An
organization framed by certain men
in order to perpetuate certain prin
ciples. That is what a political
party ought to be. A joining to
gether of hearts and of hands of
those who have agreed upon a cer
tain line of policy, and wish to see
that line of policy enacted into
statute law. Why, my fellow citi
zens, the idea has got abroed that
there never was a breaking away
from old parties before. The idea
is sought to be created that a new
party is an abnormal growth as
strange and as venomous as a centi
pede. As a matter of fact, there is
not a generation passes that a party
does not break down and a new one
spring up in its place. The old
party of Thomas Jefferson was not
the Democratic party —not known
by that name. He called his party
the Republican party, and organized
it against the principles of Alex
ander Hamilton. It was the same
in Andrew Jackson’s time; the party
that he founded was a revolt against
the concentration of wealth and
class rule. Now you see, therefore,
that new parties are no new things.
They are the natural progress of
ideas in the revivifying of old ideas
that have been prostituted from their
original purposes. So much byway
of preface.
I am here to-day to argue the de
mands of the People’s party., and its
principles, as against the Democratic
party and its principles. That is
the line of argument that I have
adopted everywhere. A plain discus
sion of whether or not modern Dem
ocracy is best calculated to advance
your interests, or whether or not the
People’s party represents your best
hope of escape from the abuses of
which you complain.
Who framed these People’s party
principles? Who framed these de
mands? Why, fellow citizens, it is
the work of your own hands. They
seek to show that we are inconsistent
because eight or ten years ago we
did not support James B. Weaver
instead of the Democratic party of
the South. Why did you not do so?
His at that time was not the banner
of the South. The South was sus
picious of everything that did not
emanate from the South. The Pat
rons of Husbandry, and the Farmers’
Alliance and the Knights of Labor
went abroad talking these great
principles. With a view to what?
Was it with a view of letting them
die at the behest of party tyranny?
Did you learn that there were great
wrongs for the purpose of righting
wrongs or not?
Voices: We did, we did. Hur
rah for Watson. (Cheering.)
Mr. Watson: Did you expect to
find out that the men who had a mo
nopoly of the money of the countiy,
given to them by the government,
had superior rights to you, and then
fold your hands and submit to the
wrong ? Did you expect to be in
doctrinated with the idea that the
income tax was a proper thing to be
enacted into statutory law? That
those few people who owned half the
wealth of the United States should
pay half the tax, and that they pay
nothing to-day, although their im
mense fortunes were made off the
favoritism of this system ? Did you
expect to find that these principles
were right and then abandon them
in favor of the wrong ? In other
words, did you expect to find the
ground, to plow deep and cross plow
it until it was a mellow bed ready
for the reception of the crop ? e Did
you expect to sow and cultivate it,
and then at the eleventh hour, when
the crop was ripe and ready for the
sickle, to let it die in the field ?
Voices: No! no! no! (Great
Mr. Watson: Now, is not that a
fair preface of the situation ? (Re
newed cheering.)
You all know what a race I am
making in the tenth district. There
are a great many men who honestly
think I am wrong and a great many
who honestly think I am right.
(At this point a crowd that came
m on the train from the direction of
Augusta, came down hooting and
yelling. The well known Augusta
growl and Hancock howl rent the
air. The same familiar white plugs
and impudent leers appeared upon
the scene, and Atlantans proved to
be apt scholars, as was witnessed on.
the night of the 22d and the morning
and evening of the 23d.)
Mr. Watson: (Turning to the re
porters of the ring press.) It ought
in justice to truth, go to' the public
that this same crowd followed me
from point to point in the tenth dis
trict to disturb my meetings,
[Note. —Some of the same re
porters, the next day, deliberately
stated that there was only one man
from Augusta, and none from Han
cock. Others saw fit to ignore it
altogether. It seems to be a mixed
conspiracy of a misrepresentation and
Mr. Livingston: I want to ask
my fnends not to disturb this meet
(The dampness of the weather and
the absence of tne floor to pound
upon, discouraged the crowd, and
they desisted after they howled about
five minutes.)
Mr. Watson: When did this great
movement agree upon its fundament
al principles? When did this great
industrial movement pledge its faith
to that platform, and give to the
country its assurance that the peo
ple should be led forward on that
platform? Why, in St. Louis, in
1889. You remember perfectly well
what was agreed upon. Our friend
now says that if we had stood on the
Ocala platform we would be all
right. They are always in favor of
the things we do not do. They are
never satisfied with the things we
do. They despised the Ocala plat
form last year as much as they pre
tend to love it now, and the very pa
per in my district, the Augusta
Chronicle, which is so loud in this
cry, last year called it “the Ocala
fraud.” And yet, to-day, when our
party moves in the interest of the
people, the organized Democracy
would have you believe that if you
stood on the Ocala platform there
would be no contest between us and
the Tamany Hall Democracy. What
was the platform of 1889? Is there
a man here to-day who does not know
that it contained a railroad plank ?
Is there a man here who do es not
know that it contained a land plank ?
As a matter of fact, the Omaha plat
form is simply th c same as that which
I was crigmuliy Jpon. between
the Knights of Labor and the Far?
mer’s Alliance at St. Louis. Now,
what was that agreement at St. Lou
is? That those demands be made
superior to party management under
the party lash. That those demands
be made superior to party caucus.
To-day the complaint is, that having
agreed upon these things we ought
to submit them to party organiza
tion. That we ought to submit them
to party caucus.
[At this point a train slowed up in
front of the stand and kept up a con
tinuous whistle for several seconds.]
Mr. Watson. That is a very in
dustrious engineer.
A voice. He is a Democrat.
Mr. Watson. Now listen to this.
And it is further agreed that in order
to carry out these objects—
I am reading from the St. Louis
platform—what objects do you sup
pose are meant? Why, the objects
as enunciated in the declaration of
principles. (Continues reading) :
We will only support for office such
men as can be dependsd upon to enact
these principles into statute law unintlu
enbed by party caucus.
Then it goes on to mention the
demands, and among the demands
are the very demands which are so
much denounced, and especially de
nounced by the gentleman who is
running for Governor of the State,
and who asks the neighbors cf Col
onel Peek to vote against him in
Rockdale county.
Voices. Hurrah for Peek. Three
cheers for Peek. (They were given
with a will.)
Mr. Watson. Now let us see. In
1889 Colonel Peek and Colonel Nor
then both stood upon that platform
at St. Louis. Governor Northen was
a delegate with him from the State
of Georgia to that convention.
A voice. lam proud of him.
Mr. Watson. Yes; you are proud
of him, but would you not be prouder
of him if lie stood on that platform?
if he redeemed his pledges? He
owes his election to the fact that he
stood upon that platform.
Cries of, Hit him, Tom. Hit him
hard, he deserves it. (Cheering.)
Mr. Watsen. Why, when he en
tered the race for Governor two
years ago he spoke in the county of
McDuffie from the same stand with
me when I entered the race for Con
gress and he read every line of the
St. Louis platform, and what do you
think he said? “There is where I
stand.” I did the same thing and
said, “There is where I stand.”
There is where I stand to-day, but
where does Governor Northen stand?
(Loud and long continued laughter
and applause.) At that time there
was not a newspaper in the State
that was not combatting those prin
ciples. At that time Colonel Liv
ingston was supporting him for Gov
ernor. In that very campaign Liv
ingston swallowed the whole plat
form, sub-treasury and all, and never
winked an eye. [Laughter.) It was
at that time that Harry Brown wrote
that article iu the Alliance Farmer,
“It is Fixed.” It was at that time
that Colonel Peek, who was spoken
of for Congress, withdrew his oppo
sition to Northen and he went into
office on that platform. Ain’t that
the God’s truth ?
Voices all through the assembly.
Yes, yes ; that’s right. We know it,
Mr. Watson. (Cheering.)
Mr. Watson. Where is Peek, and
where is Northen? Mr. Peek’s
friends and neighbors are asked to
vote for Northen, in whose favor?
In favor of the man who wrote the
St. Lou[s platform and pledged his
faith to support it and now denounces
it as rank communism. The man
who is now the very tool of the
rings and newspapers who fought it.
Where is the man who can deny it?
Is not Colonel Peek standing on the
very platform made by Governor
Northen in 1889 ? After that came
the famous Ocala convention. When
was it held? After our election.
We were elected iu iTovember, 1890.
Now, listen. That St. Louis resolu
tion—that St. Louis platform formed
the nucleus. At the Ocala conven
tion I found the following: L. F.
Livingston offered a resolution in
dorsing the St. Louis platform, and
said, “I believe the people can stand
on this platform forever.” I believe
it now, as he said it then. At that
time Governor Northen re-echoed
the sentiment and we all felt that
the platform fashioned by their
hands was the thing that we should
stand on, was the thing that we
could fight for, was the thing that
we could die for if necessary. (Long
continued cheering, and a solitary
voice, Hurrah for Northen.) Fur
ther the Colonel said: “This plat
form is a declaration of our Supreme
Council.” What platform? The
St. Louis platform. That platform
had a sub-treasury plank. That
platform had a land plank. That
platform had a railroad plank. Every
bit of it, especially the land specula
tion business, was to be voted on
and addressed to the Knights of
Labor urging them to come to the
farmers, and Colonel Livingston
urged that as one of the things they
eould fg’ -namely, the speculative
land ownership feature. “This is a
declaration of our principles, and our
enemies are stumping the State de
claring that it has not the following
of the people.” Is anybody stump
ing the State saying that the Alli
ance cannot stand on these princi
ples? “Our enemies are stumping
the State and desire the platform
read and a vote taken on it by States
so that there will be no mistake as
to how we stand.” Stelle, of the
Farmer’s Benefit xYssociation, said:
“I wish to state that the Benefit As
sociation can stand squarely on the
St. Louis platform.” Now/ what
were these resolutions? First, as I
understand it by these minutes, they
were introduced by Colonel Living
Mr. Livingston. Mr. Watson, the
motion was on the Ocala platform.
A voice. No dodging, Colonel.
Mr. Watson. The platform to
which I was alluding was the much
despised Ocala platform, which now
I find no man in the Northen camp
so poor as to do it honor.
A voice. Be quiet, boys; listen;
it is St. Paul now.
Mr. Watson. Why, boys, they
have moved the Corbin bank up
here from Augusta. I thought they
had enough of that at Sparta. Such
despicable methods, boys, hurt your
Now, if the hoodlums will be
quiet a minute I will call your atten
tion to this resolution offered by Col.
Livingston :
Resolved, That this Rational conven
tion of Farmers’ Alliance and Industrial
Union do hereby most earnestly and em
phatically indorse the
A voice. Corbin bank.
Mr. Watson. Ain’t it funny how
they squeal when when I am getting
them where the wool is short. (To
Col. Livingston.) Your friend de
serves your thanks. (To the audi
dence.) This is a fair debate. There
is nothing personal about this. If
Col. Livingston can stand it you
ought to. This is a matter of pub
lic conduct, and it is a thing that we
ought to examine if my friend will
be quiet. I cannot go on if this
humming out there is not stopped.
A voice. You stay there, Tom,
until the sun goes down, and we will
be with you.
Demonstrations from the Augusta
and Hancock hoodlums, and a gen
tleman in the audience interposed,
whether with or without authority I
do not know, insisting on certain
persons sitting down.
Col. Livingston (addressing the
gentleman mentioned). Doctor An
derson, these men have nothing to
sit on. You sit down yourself.
Dr. Anderson. These men will sit
down on Livingston in November.
[Loud laughter.]
Col, Livingston. They will sit
down on more brains than in the
crowd, then. [This elicited no
laughter, because it hit friends as
well as enemies.]
At this Doint some of the ma-1
liciously mischievous in the crowt
began throwing the Augusta Chroni
cle around promiscuously in the
crowd, evidently with a view to dis
tract the attention of the auditors.
Air. AV atson. I hope that some
gentleman out there will prevent the
throwing of the Augusta Chronicle
around. They are doing that while
I am trying to speak, for a purpose.
A voice. We have too many cam
paign lies in the Fifth now? The
Atlanta papers can furnish enough to
make the people sick. [Laughter.]
One of the newspaper men on the
stand. There ain’t anybody throw
ing our papers.
Mr. Watson (pointing at the thing).
See that man right there throwing
papers ? Ido not care for it, but it is
done for the purpose of disturbing
the meeting.
Col. Livingston (addressing the
thing in a severe tone). Young
man, if you are my friend, stop!
Mr. Watson is entitled to speak. We
have not come here to-day to quar
rel. A ou have not come here to play
the fool. If you have, you will lind
yourself mistaken. Behave like a
gentleman, and I will stand by you.
Air. W atson. Now let me try to
go ahead. This is the third time
that I tried to read these resolu
tions. (Reads.)
Resolved, First. That this national
convention of Farmers’ Alliance and
Industrial Union do hereby most
earnestly and emphatically indorse
What ? The St. Louis platform
adopted last September.
And we personally demand that all
superior bodies connected with this or
ganization shall not only align them
selves therewith and co-operate with
this national organization, but sustain
the same.
Georgia voted yes, and it was
adopted. What was the second ?
That any national officer or organiza
tion, either State or national, that shall
not conform fully with the foregoing
resolution shall be suspended by the
national president; and we furthermore
advise our people
Listen to this now, and apply it to
Northen and Peek.
Furthermore, we advise our people not
to vote for any candidate for a place in
our national congress who does not
pledge himself or themselves to the St.
Louis platform,
Voices from the Augusta c'rowd.
’Rah for El<*ok; hah for Black ; fol
lowed by considerable confusion.
The rain, however, deadened the
sound and dampened their ardor. In
a hall, it would probably equal the
disgraceful scenes in, Augusta or
Air. Watson. Now, ain’t it a pit
iful illustration of the Democrats
losing themselves, even when they
are sober, and having to inquire
where they are at? (Laughter.)
Why, even Air. Black, the peerless
candidate, lost himself in Crawfords
ville the other day, and inquired
where he was at. (Renewed laugh
ter.) *Mr. Black, too, denounced
Alliance methods while seeking Alli
ance votes. He denounced the Alli
ance yard stick. He denounced the
Alliance in taking any political ac
A Voice : That’s so. Hurrah for
the Alliance and Tom Watson.
(Long continued cheering.)
Air. Watson. Ain’t it strange that
in the face of this Alliance votes
should be asked for him either by
himself, or by Governor Northen
who wrote it, and to which he
pledged his honor and owes his elec
tion ?
A voice: Good-bye, Jimmie Black.
Air. Watson. Now, every one of
you know that to-day, Governor
Northen denounces the very plat
form that he helped to make. Yet,
instead of saying, “let us stand by
these men who are standing by this
platform, trying to break your fet
ters,” he says, “vote for the men who
despise that platform.”
A voice : What about the pension
plank ?
Air. Watson. I have no doubt but
you are very anxious to get me away
from your Governor, sonny; but you
are like the transient who was pass
ing through a town, and he
asked, “where are you from?”
he answered, “I am from every
but and I will be from
quick.” (Laughter.) Yoa are A;?
anything but this, and you will be
away from this very quick. (Re
newed laughter.)
It was at this point that the ban
ner of flowers, to which allusion was
made in the introductory, was pre
sented, and Air. Watson paused to
receive it. The audience cheered
lustily when it was presented.
Air. Watson. If there is anything
that touches my heart witn infinite
gratitude, it is that I have received
in this fight so many splendid testi
monials from the fair-fingered wo
men of this land. (Cheers.) They
may haul their barroom around in
the Augusta cars and violate the laws
of the county. (Renewed cheering.)
They may carry their bands of howl
ers to disturb my meetings, but
thank God, the heart of the people
is with us in this fight. (Tumultu.
ous applause.)
Now, in that very connection, let
me tell you what Governor Narthen

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