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Helena weekly herald. [volume] (Helena, Mont.) 1867-1900, September 04, 1884, Image 2

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Indians whose Extermination is Threat
ened by Starvation.
An Investigation and Report by the
Governor's Agent.
His Excellency, Gov. Crosby, Helena, 31. T.:
Sir—F ollowing your instructions to
visit and report on the condition of the
Piegan Indians at the Blackfeet Agency,
I left Helena July l!ltb. arriving at the
Agency August 3d. Through the courtesy
of the agent, Major Allen, and his clerk,
Mr. Graham, I was given every oppor
tunity to learn the present situation of the
Indians, both by personal observation and
reference to the Agency records.
The barren character of the country to
which these Indians are confined and its
total unfitness to support human life,
though well known, can only be appre
ciated by one who has seen it. There is
no game of any kind in this section, and
no return c an be relied on from the soil,
even wheu intelligently worked by prac
tical farmers, owing to the early frosts and
want of water. The Piegans are wholly
dependant for every mouthful of food upon
the government rations. Hut that the De
partment does not appreciate this iact can |
lie seen indirectly by their wretched ap
pearance, and directly by an analysis of
the Agency books, showing the supplies .
issued to each individual per week since i
January 1st, 1884.
In few words, the men and women have ;
received an average of a trifle over two j
pounds of beef and two pounds of flour j
per week, and their children, of whatever
age, one-half of this amount. During the
winter, those who were strong enough
scoured the neighboring ranges and |
brought in quantities of the cattle that !
had died from exposure aud disease. But
with the approach of warmer weather the
cattle ceased to die and the meat they had
secured became too putrid for use.
At this time Major Allen superceded
Young, the former agent, and describes the
situation of the Indians as very desperate.
There being no beef, he was compelled to
cut out pieces from a lot of spoiled bacon
that had been rejected by the Inspector,
which, with some flour fortunately pur
chased through Governor Crosby, alone
enabled him to make an issue. Upon an
other occasion the necessity of skipping an
issue was again averteded by General
Brooke, commanding at Fort Shaw, who i
sent his wagons to meet the slow con
tractor's teams and transferring the flour
on the road, hurried it on to the Agency.
Some of the flour I examined aud found
of the most inferior quality. It would have
been rejected by the inspector ; out as there
was not another pound on hand, it had to
be received and issued at once.
The following letter from the Indian
Bureau shows that the present fiscal year
is likely to see the Piegans enduring the
same sufferings as the last :
July 14,1884.
Ii. A. Allen .-—The following supplies
have been purchased for use of your Agen
cy for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1885,
viz :
... 10,000 fr>8.
Baking Powder..................
.................. 600 "
................ 3.000 "
................. 5,000 "
pi OMr
......300,000 "
Hanl Bread .....................
........ sjooo "
.................. 1 , 1*00 "
O Ai* .............................
......... 10.0(1(1 "
............. 2,000 "
................. 10.000 "
.. 1,000 "
................. 100 '•
In purchasing the above supplies, the ap
propriation has been exhausted, reserving
only sufficient lor purchase of annuity
goods, pay of employes and incidental ex
penses. You are directed to divide the
above by 52 weeks—issuing l-52d part only
per week.
Under no circumstances will you be al
lowed to incur any deficiency.
(Signed.) PRICE, Com'r.
Of the above supplies, the beef, beans
and flour only are issued to the mass of In
dians. I he other articles are for the Agen
cy employes in such quantities as they
may choose to purchase, and for the infirm
and Indian police who receive an extra is
sue on every Wednesday.
Assuming the number of Indians, there
fore, to be 2,000, it is expected that they
shall individually live for the coming
twelve months on less than two pounds of
beef and three pounds of flour per week.
Following his specific instructions, as
given above, the Agent is now issuing the
above quantities every Saturday.
This lasts for two days barely ; the rest
of the week the people live on wild berries
aud air until Friday evening, when they
again flock to the stockade and receive the
entrails of the l>eeves butchered for the
uext day s issue.
Every part of this refuse is eagerly
sought and eaten except the paunch and
gall, which are given to their dogs.
There were about sixty lodges around or
near the Agency at the time of my arrival,
including those of the principal chiefs, the
rest of the tribe having scattered to vari
ous points in search of berries.
From all these I heard the same story of
suffering, and the repeated complaint that
they were hungry and their children dy
It needs no medical eye to see that their
physical condition is that of a slowly starv
ing people. While all are very gaunt and
thin, on the young the starvation has told
plainly; all of them are painfully and
some shockingly emaciated.
Scrofula prevails to a great extent among
them, aggravated by want of nourishment,
and an unusually large number seem to be
suffering from consumption. In fact their
systems are so impoverished that very
slight hurts develope into serious compli
From the Post physician very little in
formation could be derived, as apparently
no effort has been made to overcome the
superstitious reluctance of the Indians to
submit to medical treatment : and unless
the sick place themselves formally under
the physician's charge, it is assumed that
they are well and happy.
Of the births and deaths also nothing
is known, and the Department is to-day
totally ignorant of the number of Indians
it pretends to care for and feed.
On August 5,1882, the heads of families,
representing 3,195 souls, received rations.
On August-, 1883, the number present
■ is represented as 3,144, while on the cor
responding day of 1884 the number issued
to, according to the Agency rolls, was 2,281.
In reality their number probably does not
exceed 2,000 at the present day, and the
deaths are estimated by employes at the
Agency as averaging one per day. They
still prefer to dispose of their bodies by
tying them in trees or placing them on
the surface of the ground on high places,
and the hills aud ridges around the Agency
are dotted with these ghostly objects. It
is supposed that about one-hall ol the
deaths are indirectly recorded at the
Agency, through the applications for boxes
in which to place the corpses. In May the
. carpenter made sixteen rough coffins for
this purpose, two of which contained two
bodies; and once he made six in one day.
Of these not one was over 25 years of age.
Upon questioning the following Indians in
turn they reported as follows:
White Calf says out of his family of fifteen,,
four died last year.
Running Crane says out of his family of four
teen, six died last year.
Little Bull says out of his family of nine, sue
died last year.
Skunk Cap says out of his family of ten, three
died last year.
Big Plume says out of his family of fifteen,
three died hist year.
Shorty says out of his family of ten, two died
last year.
Bear Chief says out of his family of eight, one
died last year.
White Call', who is the principal Chief,
also said, "He was grieved to see his peo
ple suffering and wanted to know why
they cannot get more food.' 1 He says,
"The Indians on the Canadian Territory
receive seeds and enough rations to live on
and he wants to be treated as they are."
The Agent informs me that they are
willing aud even anxious to work and that
fifty offer themselves where ten are called
for. But while there are many ways in
which he could usefully employ them he
is unable to do so, as they must be paid in
rations and he has none to spare.
Outside of the Agency Farm there are
not ten acres under cultivation on this
reservation, and even if the soil were
capable of being successfully tilled, which
it is not, the Indians know nothing about
farming or planting. As an example :
One patch of ground was seen where they
had cut the soil with an axe and scratched
up the dirt with their fingers in order to
plant some potatoes. Nor are their ponies
strong enough to break the sod. What
small quantities of grain and potatoes were
furnished them for seed they immediately
The Agency farmer, in addition to his
fields, has special duties around the stockade
to perform, and it is impossible for him to
give to the Indians the constant and per
sonal direction they require. His help is
also second rate and lacking in energy aud
interest, owing to the small wages allowed.
Under the systematic management of
Major Allen, the Agent, and the intelligent
assistance of the clerk, Mr. Graham, every
thing is in excellent condition and prop
erly cared for, while good order and dis
cipline prevail. In the present condition of
the Indians, the difficulties aud responsi
bilities of the Agent's position are very
great, aud he informs me, "No money
would induce me to live over the last 3
He confidently expects, however, that
when the true state of affairs is known, a
more adequate supply of food will be al
lowed. His untiring activity and evident
sincerity and sympathy appear to have
gained him the confidence of the Iudians.
With no game to hunt and a helpless
ignorance of gardening, while the chance
to work is denied them, it is not surprising
that a marked spirit of dejection and list
lessness prevails among these Indians.
Everything about them indicates their
They have not a fur or even skins for
moccasins, and there is nothing in their
lodges except the individuals themselves.
Although the settlers near the reserva
tion have the proverbial dislike of all
frontiersmen to the Indians, without ex
ception they praise aud wonder at their
forbearance under such hardships, while
they denounce the Department which has
so unsufficiently provided for them, that
an outbreak on their part would be excusa
It is said the Indians have deliberated
in their councils whether it would not be
better for them to take the field and be
killed rather than to die by degrees of
starvation. But, although at one time the
most dreaded of all the Indians of the
Northwest, the backbone of this tribe was
undoubtedly broken at the time of their
defeat by Baker on the Marias river, when
one-half of their entire nation was wiped
out. Ever since their fear of the soldiers
has completely paralyzed them, and it is
not likely that they are capable of any
united action in their present demoralized
state of mind.
There is, however, nothing in their
manner to indicate any soeh purpose.
They are very desirous th t some of
their chiefs shonld be allowea to go to
Washington to represent their hardships to
the Great Father, but their application to
that effect has just been refused on the
score that there was no money disposable
to pay the^expenses of the trip.
In some Eastern papers of recent date
the suffering and starvation of the Piegans
have been questioned. This is doubtless
due in a measure to some very unfortunate
and misleading statements that have gone
forth. For example: In his annual re
port to the Department, Young, the former
agent, states that the Indians are culti
vating 800 acres of land and are in a fair
way to become self-supporting. As stated
above, they are not working ten acres, and
there is no evidence to show that they ever
did any more.
In the New York Sun of August lGth it
was also stated that Agent Allen had in
formed the Department that he had suffi
cient supplies on hand for present wants.
Whila there is undoubtedly enough in the
warehouse to issue in the proportion
ordered by the Department, as shown in
the letter above, no one realizes more
fully than the agent himself the inad
equacy of these two pounds of beef and
three pounds of flour per week to sustain
life healthfully ; and no one is more
anxiously desirous and hopeful than he
that additional provision will speedily be
To give the situation in a few words:
That there is no game on this reservation
admits of no doubt.
Personal observation shows that the
country is not fft for agricultural purposes,
and that the Indians have neither the
necessary knowledge or implements for
The figures given above show that for
the past six months they have received
only one-quarter rations, and that if the
present intention of the Department is
carried out they will receive about the
same during the present year.
The mortality among them has been
ten times as great as it should in the ab
sence of any contagious disease. Their
1 vital forces are so Weakened by the famine
1 of the last two or three years that the
! winter now approaching will find them
! quite unable to endure its severity, and
still more dreadful suffering and death
^ will occur unless they are better supplied.
The Piegans are slowly starving to
j death, but in order to convince the De
partment that an unnatural and inhuman
state of things exists it would seem neces
sary that these Indians should either
break out in open revolt or all die at once.
I have the honor to Ire,
Your obedient servant,
Helena, Montana, August 20, 1884.
The great social question that is dis
turbing the female mind just now is
whether a lady should r&ognize a gentle
man while he is having his shoes blackened
on a street corner. A gentleman standing
on one foot while a tattered urchin wab
bles the other around on a box is an awk
ward looking spectacle, aud a lady should
not be blamed for declining to recognize
him. The truth is the street is no place
for the making up of any part of one's
toilet. A lady is perfectly justified by all
rules of etiquette in refusing to recognize
any man who does not keep his brogans in
proper condition, whether on the street or
in the social circle.
From all parts of the Territory comes
the cheeiing news from the Montana pio
neers, "We will be in Helena on the 10th
of September and want to meet all of our
old-time friends." Come on, old boys and
girls, the people of Helena will give you a
hearty welcome. You shall have the free
dom of the city to do as you please, pro
vided you don't violate certain ordinances,
and the people in general will do every
thing they can to make your stay agreeable
and pleasant. The rising generation are
anxious to see the men w T ho long years ago
first carried the standard of civilization in
the mighty West and opened up the way
for future progress. Come one and all of
ye old-timers.
To assail a man's character by an insult
ing slur is cowardly and mean. It is much
more manly to come out openly and above
board and express your belief than to go
around the bush and express it by insinu
ations. The bold, outspoken man can
always be found and his position under
stood, but the insinuating man can never
be found, and his insinuating words are
susceptible of almost any construction. As
a general rule the man who is too coward
ly to come to the front and stand by his
utterances hides himself behind the door
of insinuation, ready to run at the first
sound of approaching footsteps. Praise or
derision from the lips or pen by insinu
ation are futile and recoil on their author
sooner or later, to his own discomfiture.
Now that the city authorities are mov
ing in the matter of a city building to
house the city officials and the fire aparatus
in, would it not be a wise idea to consider
the feasibility of making the building
large enough for a market house, too?
There is nothing that is needed so much
as a central market, aud the only way to
get one is for the City Council to take the
matter in hand. The benefits to lie de
rived by the people at large from a city
market, where the prices would be uni
form and the meats, vegetables, etc., would
be fresh and pure, cannot be estimated.
In addition to this, the city would derive
a handsome revenue from the rental of
stalls, privileges, etc. It is to be hoped
that the City Counÿl will consider this
matter in the construction of tbe new city
A telegram, going the rounds of the
press, from Atlanta, Ga., says : "Justice
Brown to-day committed Mrs. Anna Jones
to prison for thirty days for whipping her
husband. Mr. Jones complained at the
breakfast table about the coffee, hence the
difficulty." This is pretty rough oo Mr.
Jones. The women of the South are be
ginning to assert their rights, and it is a
good sign of returning reason. In; some
parts of the country when the coffee don't
suit the old man he takes revenge «mb his
better half by throwing the hot stimulent
in her face, upsetting the stove, kicking
over the chairs, then goes down town, and
filling up to the chin with bad whiskey,
returns home and gives the old lady a
sound thrashing. It would be a good
thing for humanity if there were more
Mrs. Anna Jones.
Wanted, a town clock ! And who will
be the enterprising, go-ahead man to put
one up in a suitable locality ? It should
not be set up in an out-of-way place, but
the most prominent place in the city
should be selected for it, where its face
can be seen by all who look, and the
striking bell should be large enough to
send forth a sound that could be heard at
the depot. In addition to being a great
convenience in giving a uniform system of
time, it would have a tendency to make
some men who have "important business
engagements down town" to hurry home
and relieve the waiting and anxious wife
of fears that her dear husband has been
waylaid by a highwayman. The town
clock would be a reminder to him that
morning was dawning and he must speed
it homeward.
It is but a few days till the Territorial
Fair begins. Although former exhibitions
have been first-class, it is propo >ed to make
the coming one even larger and better in
every respect. The association has gained
an enviable reputation for paying it3 pre
miums promptly, furnishing superior at
tractions in each department, providing
first-class accommodations, and catering
successfully to public taste. This charac
ter the officers will be careful to maintain.
The grounds are not equaled for beauty
and convenience in the West, and the ob
ject that will be kept constantly in view is
to make the coming Fair an unqualified
success in every particular. To this end
the) attendance and hearty co-operation of
the people of Montana is earnestly desired.
The premiums are liberal and should call
forth an active competition. In addition
to the agricultural, mineral and mechanical
displays, the horse-racing feature of the
Fair will be the best ever held in the Terri
tory. The purses offered in this depart
ment range from $250 to $1,000, and the
best horses in the West are entered for
these races. Twenty new stables have
been built and we understand they are all
engaged. There will be a roll-call of the
people of the Territory on the first day of
the Fair and all absentees will be noted.
Remember the date, September 8, 9,10, 11,
12, 13.
In the Musselshell region when a man
takes a horse that don't belong to him and
flees to the mountains he is called a horse
thief, and if caught is duly executed by or
der of Judge Lynch's court. But in the
East such things are conducted on a differ
ent plane. For instance : You place your
hard earned dollars in a bank for safe keep
ing ; the president, cashier, or some of the
other bank officials, conceives the idea, like
all thieves do, that he will use the funds of
the bank for his own individual gain in an
outside speculation and loses all by bad in
vestments: the affair is immediately hurled
broadcast over the land as a little "irregu
larity," because the official happens to be
"highly connected aud moves in good so
ciety." Why not call such doings by their
right name. Webster defines a thief as
"one who steals," and if a man takes your
money without your consent or knowledge
is he not just as much of a thief as the
man who takes your horse without your
knowledge or consent? The poor devil
that steals a horse has no mercy shown
him, and every man's hand is raised against
him, and everybody shouts—"Away with
him to the most convenient tree." But the
"irregularities" of the bank official are apol
ogised for and the responsibility for his
thieving operations are shifted on to the
shoulders of some one else "less respect
able," aud the real thief permitted to go
free. There is no dift'ereuce.only in the name
yon call it, between a horse-thief and a
bank "irregularity" thief. A thief is a
thief the world over, and you can't cover
up his crime by calling it only a small "ir
regularity." The Musselshell cowboys
should go East and practically demonstrate
to the people the mode of procedure on "ir
regularities" practiced among the civilized
and enlightened races that inhabit the far
off West.
The Eastern press are again agitating the
question of poisoning by canned goods, aud
are quoting freely from a paper recently
read before the Medico-Legal Society of
Brooklyn, by Dr. J. G. Johnson, w herein
the question of poisoning by the use of
canned goods was thoroughly discussed,and
it was also shown in a number of ascertain
ed cases where injury to health and danger
to life, and sometimes even death itself,
have resulted from the use of putrid sub
stances—not because of the canning alone,
but of the unfitness of the article as hu
man food before the process of canniug.
The learned Doctor, while admitting that
the preservation of food in hermetically
sealed cans has added much to the health
and comfort of the public, still asserts it is
no less certain that unscrupulous trades
men have dealt in damaged, unsound and
unwholesome canned food, and that seri
ous sickness has resulted therefrom. The
Doctor cites many interesting cases of his
owm experience of sickness produced by
canned goods—by the effects of the amal
gam used in hermetically sealing the cans
as of the impurity of the articles contain
ed therein. The poisoning of those who
had partaken was so uniform in its
symptoms and progress as to leave
no doubt of the J'cause. The
Doctor recommends simple means for the
discovery of fraud in canned food, and sug
gests that every cap should be examined
and if two holes be found in it that it
should be discarded ; that every article of
canned food that does not show the line
of rosin around the solder of the cap, the
same as is seen on the seam at the side of
the can, should be rejected; that every
can that does not exhibit the name of the
manufacturer or firm upon it, as well as
the town where manufactured, should be
rejected also. He also supplies further
means of detecting impurity. Press up
the bottom of the can ; if decomposition
is setting in the tin will rattle; if the
goods are sound it will be solid. Every
can that shows any rust around the cap on
the inside of the head of the can is dan
gerous to health, and should be avoided.
These directions are simple and easy to
understand by all consumers of canned
goods, and the good housewives of Mon
tana should be careful in their selection of
these goods and buy none but the best and
purest, even if you do pay a few cents
more on the can.
Let the World's Fair and Cotton Ex
position in New Orleans next winter not
be allowed to slip out of memory. If
Montana intends to save the place that has
been allotted to her, she must prepare to
fill and occupy it. It is in reality the
great fair of the Mississippi valley and the
Gulf of Mexico. Montana belongs to that
domain physically and historically and
should be fully and appropriately repre
Hendricks had very little to say in
his letter of acceptance and many
thought him wiser than his associates ■
and competitors in this respect. It
seems to have been an agreement be- j
tween Cleveland and Hendricks that
neither should say anything about finan
cial subjects in their letters, but that j
the latter should say what he might de
sire to his Indiana audiences. It is a ,
matter to be treated locally and with a ;
great deal of discretion beyond a doubt.
In his long campaign speech of Satur
day Mr. Hendricks doee not rise above
the trite aud demagogic appeal to the
people on the basis that they are op
pressed with war taxes to fill the pockets
of wealthy manufacturers. We call this
an appeal of a demagogue, because there
is no real truth or any good reason in
it. Perhaps we ought not to blame Mr.
Hendricks for using no better argument' .
for his case does not admit of it.
In the first place, our people are not
oppressed with taxation. Compared
with any other people on the face of the
earth, they are lightly taxed and abound
in prosperity. Only at certain periods
in their own history can they look for a
higher degree of prosperity, and that
has been more illusory than real.
It is not true that the people are still
burdened with war taxes, though the war
has been ended twenty years. There has
not been a year since the war closed but
that there has been a reduction of taxes.
Those who make use of this argument,
that because the war is over taxation
should cease, proceed on the false as
sumption that the war was paid for as it
went along. It was not paid for but in
small part, as any «"Mid knows, and the
enormous national debt of nearly three
billions represented this cost. This has
been the stock argument of Democrats
in and out of Congress, that the Repub
licans were still maintaining war taxes,
though the war was over long ago. Well,
till the war debt is paid there is reason
to maintain some part of the war tax.
This is such a simple matter of common
honesty and common sense that a child
can comprehend it.
Wh at is the use of appealing to the i
people as if they were knaves or fools, i
They know that the National debt exists ;
and that it was the result of the war and j
of Democrats, and they, know too j
that if we are to deserve to hold up j
our head as a Nation this debt must be
paid. They know further that if we i
should only just raise enough revenue to
pay current expenses, that the debt
would remain unpaid forever and our
credit as a Nation sink into contempt.
So long as we have our large National i
debt and apply all our revenue above !
current expenses to its reduction, we
cannot be said to have any surplus.
Hendricks like all other Democratic
speakers talks as if the Republicans were
guilty of collecting a hundred millions
a year more than was necessary and pil
ing it up in the Treesurv vaults without
any use.
Is there a person in this country so
stupidly ignorant who does not know
that just as fast as there is any accumu
lation in the Treasury to justify it, it is
scrupulously applied to pay the princi
pal ot our debt. In paying the debt a
jK*rmanent burden is removed. It re
moves a heavy war-tax—the payment of
interest on a portion of the war debt.
Driven from every covert of excuse,
these panderers to a debauched public
sentiment would try to convince the peo
ple that this debt should be left to a
future generation to pay ; that they have
done enough ; that another generation
will be better able and more willing to
pay. Such is a dishonorable aippeal.
Those who bore heavier burdens by far
than we are now doing, though we
pay $100,000,000 a year, have left us to
do our share, and shall we try to throw'
it all oft'on still another generation?
How do we know'but the next geneation
may have .heavier burdens than we do,
and at any rate, if they follow our un
worthy example, they would push the
load along to a still later generation. It
is child's play and virtual repudiation.
It is our duty to do more than merely to
pay interest on this debt. We should
pay a portion of the principal and get
rid of it entirely as soon as possible, so
that we may be able to apply our
strength to other matters that will need
our strength and money, too.
It is not true that gold and silver are
uselessly accumulating in our treasury
vaults. All the increase of precious
metals is represented by gold and silver
certificates, which are out serving the
purposes of commerce as much as the
gold aud silver could.
We do not believe the people of this
country are such fools or knaves as to be
influenced by appeals such as Hendricks
makes. _
Col. John S. Swan, of Charleston, West
Virginia, an ex-Confederate, who until now
proclaimed himself an unreconstructed
rebel, comes out in the Wheeling Intelli
gencer in a long letter addressed to " My
comrades and the young men of the
South," in which he declares his intention
to supoost Blaine and Logan, and gives his
reasons. Among them are the soundness
of the candidates on the tariff, the vacillat
ing policy of the Democrats on the ques
tion, and the refusal of Democratic con
gressmen to support tl e Republican ap
propriation bill to increase the navy.
The Cincinnati Enquirer is pretty good
Democratic authority. Its estimate of the
Cleveland letter is worth contrasting with
that of the local party print :
"To tell the frozen truth, the letter of
acceptance written by Governor Cleveland
is a disappointment, because better things
were expected of him. It is not viewed
by Democrats as a document calculated to
inspire those who need comforting."
If Hendricks was a demagogue iu
what he said about surplus revenue, op
pressive taxation and idle hoards in the
treasury, he is all that and a hypocrite
besides in what he says about the navy.
He must presume immensely upon the
ignorance of his hearers if he supposes
they were not intelligent aud interested
observers of the debates and votes at the
last session of Congress.
Then, as now, they threw contempt
and ridicule upon our navy. Then they
were asked to vote monev to build a
better one and they refused. Then, if
they had been sincere, they had an
opportunity to have voted money in any
amount aud under any restrictions to
build such a navy as would have been a
credit and defence to the country, and
they did nothing more than now, but to
shed crocodile tears. They found fault
with everything proposed by others aud
utterly neglected to propose anything
better. They spent more time over
whitewashing Fitz John Porter
than would have sufficed to have per
fected the bill for the rehabilitation of
our navy. The Republicans begged and
implored the Democratic majority of the
House to do something for the defence
of our extensive commerce and exposed
seaboad, and what answer did they get ?
"Why, we are afraid if we vote money
to build somebody will steal some of it,
or the men employed about the navy
yards may possibly vote the Republican
ticket." And when the Secretary and
the Republican majority saw that the
Democrats thought more of a few votes
than they did of the navy and the coun
try, they ottered to insert in the bill
that not one of the new ships should be
built at a navy yard, but be let on con
tract to the lowest responsible bidder. But
this would not satisfy them. They
were somehow afraid that John Roach
might get a contract and might possibly
thereafter subscribe to the Republican
campaign fund. Even Cox, represent
ing such a constituency as New York
City, whose prosperity depends on com
merce, and whose wealth lies exposed to
capture and destruction by any one of a
halt dozen second rate powers, could not
rise above his party. He had nothing to
say but to lament the decline of the
navy, criticise the proposals of the ad
ministration and of the Republican
members, but would not propose any- j
thing himself.
What need is there of wasting breath
iu telling about the decline and insig
nificance of our navy ? Everybody
knows enough of this. Why not tell
something that the Democrats have done
or attempted to do to repair the neglect,
to remedy the defect ?
We all know that naval architecture
has changed completely within the period
since the close of the war, and if we had
a thousand first-class wooden ships of
war they would be worth comparatively
pithing. Every' nation that had wooden
war ships suffered the same relative loss
that we did, England most of all.
It is hard to say whether it would have
been wiser to have disbanded our navy,
laid up our ships to rot and saved the
money spent in repairing them, as to
have done as we have. If it was a prac
tical question at all, it would be a diffi
cult one.
Very fortunately we have not needed
a navy very much. We look back now
over the past twenty years and think
how much better it would have been to
saved the hundred
and !
millions that our
navy !
cost, just as a man
w ho j
has been paying insurance for twenty
years and has suffered no loss from fire
might perhaps mourn that he had not
saved his money.
Our navy has meanwhile doue us some
service, perhaps many times what it has
cost. We do not know what would
have happened if we had been without
any navy.
The living question is, Shall we have
a navy? one that will enable us to com
mand peace, one that will serve as a sure
wall of defence for the growth of our
commerce and that would prove the pre
vailing motive for all the weaker powers
on this continent to seek commercial
alliance with us? Anyone who really
desires to see our country the i>oesessor
of such a navy will not be long or much
in doubt as to which party
can best be entrusted with the duty of
its construction. The last act of the
Democratic party was to scatter our
navy all over the world, so that it might
not be available to defeat the schemes of
the Confederates. And since that the
party has done nothing for the navy but
whine and shed crocodile tears.
The glory and success of our navy is
not in accord with the principles and
spirit of the Democratic party. It is
national, but the object cf Democratic
solicitude is the State and not the
Nation. The army, thy navy, and the
national bank system, and everything
else distinctly national, have been ob
jects of Democratic aversion on prin
The Democracy is not a national party,
because at heart it is as much in favor of
States rights as ever and believes that the
State and not the Nation is the chief unit
in our system. Again, after rummaging
all its old bureaus, it can find no principles
----------------uuu uu pwuupica ,
of national importance and application to J
parade before the public but honesty and
reform. The fact is that the only princi
ples of modern Democracy were formulated
when the Southern slave-holders were in
authority and there has been no revised
edition suited to a free country and an age
of progress.
The Democratic candidate was ex
tricated from the North Woods on Satur
day and freighted down to Albany. A
band of music treated him to a serenade.
There are now two months till elec
tion, and the campaign is just fairly
opening. It is opening, however, i n ;i
way that promises to make it the hottest
campaign since war times. The elec
tions so far indicate very little. TL,
Democracy carry Arkansas by their
usual majorities in their usual style, and
Vermont rounds up its usual Republi
can majority. There is no indication
yet of a general land slide in either
The whole disposition of the Demo
crats and disaffected Republicans is to
make the voters believe that no vital
principles and policies are at stake, and
that it is merely a personal contest be
tween two men. We utterly repudiate
such a view of the contest. 11 is the
most degrading feature of our great
National contest and is utterly
unworthy ot intelligent men. R
is just as much and distinctly
a contest between policies irreconcilable
and treason wide in spirit and tenden
cies as ever was wpged in this or anv
other country. It involves the domes
tic and external policy of the country.
The Democratic party does not now and
never did regard the Nation as import
ant as the State and always subordinated
the National to State interests.
This radical difference of the two
parties is getting obscured in the ri>e of
so many new parties that are losing sight
of the main issue in the noise and dust
raised by so many' side shows.
There is nothing but encourage
ment to the Republicans in the
present outlook, and there U
certainly plenty to call on them to
strip off' their coats and go to work
with a vigor proportionate to the in
terests at stake.
The situation is one to put every Re
publican on his metal and nerve ; to
arouse him to grasp the significance of
the crisis and to put in his best efforts.
If the country is tired of paying its
National debt, tired of its credit and
prosperity, tired of its sound currency,
tired of building up home industries and
home markets, then it will put the De
mocracy back into power, but we do not
believe a majority of the people want
anything of the kind.
Tue campaign needs permanently to
be lifted up out of the narrow ruts of
j mere personalities into the main road
I and on the solid gronnd of National
principles. All past victories go for lit
tle unless the Republicans win the pri
ent one. The restoration of the Democ
racy would be retrogression in every re
spect. _
Mr. Hendricks' letter to a Dubuque
Democrat, published in yesterday's
Herald, together with comments of
eastern papers, has created a profound
sensation in Democratic circles. And
little wonder, for the reason that never
before in American politics has a candi
date for the Vice Presidency entered into
a public discussion of tbe propriety of
withdrawing the Presidential nominee
on the same ticket in the midst of a
campaign. Like thousands of other
Democrats of the better and more in
telligent class, the correspondent who
draws from Mr. Hendricks this remark
able utterance, evidently counselled the
withdrawal of Cleveland as the only
alternative possible to save the party
from defeat. Of course the Hoosier
candidate ostensibly deprecates the
carrying into effect of such an extra
ordinary proceeding, but the fact
of discussing it even negatively
and arguing that objections raised
against Cleveland should not count and
that scandals connected with his private
life should be considered without
weight, gives renewed impetus to the
widespread agitation and leads to the
inference that Heudricks himself would
not be unready for an emergency which
might change his position from the tail
end to the head of the ticket. Next to
the acknowledged first and great blunder
of the Democracy in seeking for a Presi
dential candidate without a record and
finding oue without a character, this
recent blunder of Hendricks may well
be assigned a first place. No one will
marvel that Democratic organs should
mistrust the expression attributed to
Hendricks and assert that the
letter was probably a forgery,
but the admission of its authorship came
quick from the writer, dispelling at once
whatever of hope was entertained ot its
having been an invention of the enemy.
There is no recourse that any one can
see but for the Democracy to make the
best of the predicament into which the
party has again been placed. It is idle
for Democrats to think of substituting
another candidate for Cleveland. T hey
are perforce compelled to stand by Mr.
Manning's nominee. The party conven
tion has willed it and in its decision Dem
ocrats must acquiesce. There is n°
alternative but to cheek it through with
the Buffalo bachelor to the end u. the
farce. ___
G. W. Curtis says that, "in the absent«
of any positive evidence to prove
it. the
Independents have still a reasonable * u s
picion that Mr. Blaine is dishonest, an( *
that therefore they cannot support him
Mr. Curtis, however, finds it possible t
, t : nie
J 8U PP ort Hendricks, of whom at on ^ ^
he not only had suspicion but P r0 °
enough to worse thiugs, and ot whom '
187G he said : "He (Hendricks) waa
inconsiderate ally ot the aggressio 1 - ,
slavery and the debauchery oi the na .
mind and conscience. He was a ft»
supporter of the degrading eIB j t0
effort to stifle freedom in Kansas an
apparently for the reason that he h' e Lj"
! a Western State and would be act . ••
I to ex rebels, copperheads and mt.a.
dishonor the nation's nanu
Since the war he has been known on y
n iipmneratic asnirant to the 1 re. 1 ■

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