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Wood County reporter. [volume] (Grand Rapids [i.e. Wisconsin Rapids], Wis.) 1857-1923, September 09, 1880, The Republican - Supplement, Image 4

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For President,
or ohio.
For Vice President,
James A. Garfield.
James Abraham Garfield was born
on November 19, 1831, in the township
of Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio,
about fifteen miles southeast of Cleve
land. He comes of plain New England
country stock. His father, Abraham
Garfield, was a farmer in very moderate
circumstances, who died in 1833, leaving
a family of four children, of whom
James was the youngest. His mother,
a woman of unusual strength of char
acter, is still living. By her exertions
she managed to keep the family to
gether until the boys were old enough
to earn their own living. The land in
Orange is poor, and the little Garfield
farm afforded only a scanty subsistence
to the family. James got a few months
cf district school tuition winters, and
the rest of the year worked upon the
farm cr hejied in a carpenter’s shop.
He had an absorbing ambition to get a
good education, which at an early age
gave his character its bent, and shaped
his future course in life. The Ohio and
Erie Canal ran not far from his mothers
house, and, finding that the men em
ployed upon it got better wages than
he could earn at the carpenter’s bench,
he hired out as a driver when he was
seventeen years old. and soon rose to
the position of boatman. Hard work
and exposure brought on a fever in the
Fall of 1818, which lasted three months
and put an end to a scheme for shipping
as a sailor on tbs lakes.
In the Spring of 1849, the boy’s mother
gave him a few dollars which she had
saved for the purpose by pinching econ
omy, and told him he could now realize
his ambition of learning something more
than the district school could teach. He
went to Geauga Academy, an obscure
institution in a country village not far
from Orange, and being too poor to pay
the $1.50 a week, which was the price
asked for board, he took a few cooking
utensils and a stock of provisions, and,
hiring a room in an old unpainted farm
house, boarded himself. From the day
he left home for the Academy he never
had a dollar which he did not earn.
He soon found employment with the
carpenters of the village, and by work
ing mornings and evenings and Satur
days he earned enough to pay his way.
The Summer vacation enabled him to
save something toward the Fall term,
and in the ensuing Winter he taught a
district school. Thus he kept on for
several years, teaching in the Winter,
working at the bench in Summers, and
attending the Academy during the Fall
and Spring terms. He was a tall, mus
cular. fair-haired country lad in those
days, looking a good deal like a German
in spite of his pure Yankee blood.
Healthy in mind and body, genial in
temperament, a good wrestler and ball
player as well as a good student, he was
a great favorite with his comrades and
When he was twenty-three years old,
he felt that he had got all the education
out of the country academy which it
was capable of giving, and resolved to
go to college, tie was confident that
he could enter the junior class, and so
have only two years to complete the
college course, and he calculated that
he had saved by his teaching and car
penter work about Dalf enough money
to pay his expenses. How to get the
rest of the sum needed was a problem.
A kind-hearted gentle nan, many years
his senior, who has ever since been one
of his closest friends, loaned him the
amount. So scrupulous was the young
man about the payment of the debt
that he got his life Insured and placed
the policy in his creditor’s hands. “If
I live,” he said, “ I shall pay you, and
if I die you will sufier no loss.” The
debt was repaid soon after he gradu
ated. He went to Williams College in
the Fall of 1854, and, as he had antici
pated, passed the examination for the
junior class. Two years later he grad
uated, and bore off the metaphysical
honor. His classmates remember well
his prodigious industry as a student,
his physical activity in the college
games, and his cordial, hearty social
While at the Geauga Academy Gar
field joined the Disciples’ Church, a
new sect which had spread with remark
able rapidity in Ohio under the iufiu
ence of the preaching of Alexander
Campbell. It has often been said that
Garfield was at one time a minister.
This is not true. The story had a
foundation, however, in the fact that he
used to speak in the churches of the
denomination. The Disciples at that
time had no regular paid ministry.
They supported traveling elders, but
the congregations had no pastors, and
were usually addressed by someone
among the members who had a natural
talent for pulpit oratory. Garfield’s
purpose was to be a lawyer, and he had
not swerved from it at the time he used
to talk of religion and a future life to
the little congregations in the Disciples’
meeting-houses in Northern Ohio.
In the County of Portage, not far
from where Garfield lived, the Disciples
had a struggling college, called Hiram
Eclectic Institute, which undertook to
furnish education and religious training
at the lowest possible price. It was
natural that the young, talented Disciple,
who had just been graduated with dis
tinction in an Eastern college, should be
attracted to this school. He became
professor of Latin and Greek, and the
next year, when he was only twenty-six
vears'old. he was made president of the
institute. There probably never was a
vounger college president. He carried
into his new position the remarkable
energy and vigor and good sen*e x which
are the mainsprings of his character.
He soon doubled the attendance at the
school, raised its standard of scholar
ship, strengthened its faculty, and in
spired everybody connected with it with
something of his own zeal and enthu
siasm. At the same time he studied law
and was an omnivorous reader of general
His place in life seemed now won, and
he married the object of his youthful
love —Lucretia Rudolph, a farmer's
daughter, who had been hia fellow-stu
dent at the academy. Miss Rudolph
was a refined, intelligent, affectionate
girl, who shared his thirst for knowl
edge and his ambition for culture, and
had, at the same time, the domestic
tastes and talents which fitted her
equally to preside over the home of the
poor college professor and that of the
famous statesman. Much of Garfield’s
subsequent success in life may be attrib
uted to his fortunate marriage. His
wife has grown with his growth, and has
been, during all his career, the appre
ciative companion of his studies, the
loving mother of his children, the grace
ful, hospitable hostess of his friends and
guests, and the wise and faithful help
meet in the trials, vicissitudes and suc
cesses of his busy life.
In 1859 Garfield was elected to the
Senate of Ohio from the Counties of
Portage and Summit He had taken
part in the political campaigns of 1857
and 1858, and had become pretty well
known as a vigorous, logical stump
orator. He did not think a few weeks
in the Winter at Columbus would break
in seriously upon his college work, to
which he was devoted. It is probable,
however, that he already felt the
promptings of political ambition, which
he did not even acknowledge to him
self. His most intimate friend in the
Senate was J. D. Cox, who afterward
became a Major-General and Governor
of the State. Daring the session of
1860-’6l Garfield was characteristically
active and vigorous in aiding to prepare
the State to stand by the General Gov
ernment in opposition to the rising
storm of rebellion. When the storm
burst he determined to drop everything
ana enter the army. A company was
raised at Hiram composed exclusively
of the students of his c filege, and was
attached to the 42d Ohio Infantry. At
that time the Ohio Regiments when
organized elected their field officers by
ballot. Garfield was chosen Colonel,
and the regiment took the field in East
ern Kentucky in December, 1861.
Colonel Garfield was assigned to the
command of the 18th Brigade, and was
ordered by General BueJl to drive
Humphrey Marshall out of the Sandy
Valley. Thus a citizen soldier who had
never seen a battle was entrusted with
the serious task of defeating a force
outnumbering his by nearly two to one,
and commanded by a man who had led
the famous charge of the Kentucky
Vohmteers at Buena Vista. By a forced
night march he reached Marshall’s
position near Prestonburg at daybreak;
fell upon him with impetuosity, and
after a sharp tight forced him to burn
his baggage and retreat into Virginia.
The Rebels left a small force in Pound
Gap, which they fortified and held as a
point of observation. On the 14th of
March Colonel Garfield started with
500 infantry and 200 cavalry to dislodge
this force. A severe march of ten days
brought his men to the gap. He sent
his cavalry along the main road to at
tract the enemy’s attention while he
scrambled over the rocks and through
the woods with his infantry, and
reached the outskirts of the Rebel
camp unobserved. A few volleys scat
tered them in full retreat.
These operations cleared Eastern
Kentucky and stopped the flank move
ment which w’as disturbing Buell’s plan.
It was of much greater military im
portance than the number of troops in
it indicated. Garfield was rewarded for
his victory with the rank of Brigadier-
General, and was ordered to join Buell's
army which was then on its way to rein
force Grant at Pittsburg Landing. In
command of the Twentieth Brigade
he reached the battlefield in the second
day of the engagement. His brigade
next took part in the tedious siege of
Corinth. In August ill-health compelled
him to leave the field for a time and he
was made a member of the court-martial
for the trial of Fitz John Porter. In
January, 1863, he was made Chief of
Staff of the Army of the Cumberland,
and became the intimate friend and ad
viser of its commander, General Eose
cranz At the battle of Chickamauga
he wrote every order save one, submit
ting each to General Kosecranz for
approval or change. That one was the
fatal order to General Wood, which lost
the day. The words did not clearly
convey the meaning of the commanding
general. Wood misinterpreted them,
and the result was the opening of the
gap in the main lines through which
the Kebels poured, flanking and des
troying Eosecranz’s right wing. Gen
eral Garfield was made a Major-General
tor his conduct at Chickamauga.
In the Summer of 186*2, when every
body supposed the war was going to
end in a few months, a number of
officers who had gained distinction in
the field were taken up at home and
elected to Congress. Among them was
Geuerrl Garfield, who was nominated
by the Eepublicans of Joshua E. Gid
dings’ old district, while with his brig
ade in Kentucky. He had no knowl
edge of any such movement in his
behalf, and when he accepted the nom
ination he did so in the belief that the
Eebellion would be subdued before he
would be called upon to take his seat
in the House, in December. 1863. His
nomination was partly the result of his
military fame and partly of a desire on
the part of the friends of Giddings to
'efeat the man who had pushed him
out of Congress two years before.
Garfield’s popularity made him the
most available man in the district for
this purpose. He was elected by a
large majority. He continued his mili
rary service up to the day of the meet
ing of Congress. Even then, he seri
ously thought of resigning his position
as a R epresentative rather than his
ilajor-General’s commission, and would
have done so had there been any pros
pect of active service in the field dur
ing the Winter months. He has often
expressed regret that he did not fight
the war through. Had he done so, he
would, no doubt, hare ranked at its
close among the foremost of the victo
rious generals of the Republic.
He was appointed on the Military
Committee, under the chairmanship of
General Schenck, and was of great serv
ice in carrying through the measures
which recruited the armies during the
closing years of the war. At the same
time he began a course of severe study
of the subjects of finance and political
economy, going home every evening to
his modest lodgings in Thirteenth-st.,
with his arms full of books borrowed
from the Congressional Library. He
soon took rank in the House as a ready
and forcible debater, a hard worker, and
a diligent, practical legislator. His sup
erior knowledge used to offend some of
his less learned colleagues at first.
They thought him bookish and pedantic
until they found how solid and useful
was his store of knowledge, and how
pertinent to the business in hand were
the draf os he made upon it. His genial
personal ways soon made him many
warm friends in Congress. The men of
brains in both houses and in the De
partments were not long in discovering
that here was a fresh, strong intellectual
force that was destined to make its
mark upon the politics of the country.
They sought his acquaintance, and
before he had been long in Washington
he had the advantage of the best society
of the Capital.
In 1864 General Garfield was renom
inated without opposition and re-elect
ed by an increased majority. He served
on the Committee of Ways and Means,
which was very much in the line of his
tastes and studies. He favored a moder
ate protective tariff, and a steady reduc
tion of taxation and Government ex
penditures. In 1866 a few of his con
stituents l.ving in the Mahoning Talley,
an iron producing district, opposed his
re-nomination on the ground that he did
not favor as high a tariff on iron as they
wanted. The convention was over
whelmingly on his side, however, and in
after years he succeeded in convincing
his opponents that a moderate duty,
affording a sufficient margin for protec
tion, was better for their interests than
a high prohibitory rate. In his third
term he was Chairman of the Committee
on Military Affairs and had plenty of
work in remodeling the Regular Army
and looking after the demands of the
discharged soldiers for pay and bounty,
of wdiich many had been deprived by
the red-tape decisions of the Govern
ment accounting officers.
Again re-elected in 1868, General
Garfield was appointed chairman of
the Banking and Currency Committee,
and during the same Congress did most
of the hard work of the Committee on
the ninth census. His financial views,
always sound, and based upon the firm
foundation of honest money and un
sullied National honor, had now be
come strengthened by his studies and
investigations, and he was recognized
as the best authority in the Rouse on
the great subjects of the debt and the
currency. His record in the legislation
concerning these subjects is without a
flaw. No man in Congress made a more
consistent and unwavering fight against
the paper money delusions that flour
ished during the decade following the
war, and in favor of specie payments
and the strict fulfillment of the Nation’s
obligations to its creditors. His speech
es became the financial gospel of the
Republican party.
In 1871 General Garfield was made
Chairman of the Committee on Appro
priations, and held the post until the
Democrats got control of the House in
1875. In that important position he
largely reduced the expenditures of
the Government, and thoroughly re
formed the system of estimates and ap
propriations, providing for closer ac
countability on the part of those who
spend the public money, and a clear
knowledge on the part of those who
vote it of what it is used for.
"When James G, Blaine went to the
Senate, in 1877, .he mantle of Republi
can leadership in the House was by
common consent placed upon Garfield,
and he has worn it ever since. In Jan
uary last he was elected to the Senate,
to the seat which will be vacated by
Allen G. Thurman on the 4th of March,
1881. He received the unanimous vote
of the Republican caucus, an honor
never given to any other man of any
party in the State of Ohio.
Asa leader in the House, he is more
cautious and less dashing than Blaine,
and his judicial turn of mind makes
him too prone to look for two sides of
a question for him to be an efficient
partisan. When the issue fairly touches
Cis convictions, however, he becomes
thoroughly aroused and strikes tremen
dous blows. Blaine’s tactics were to
continually harrass the enemy by sharp
shooting surprises and picket firing.
Garfield waits for an opportunity to de
liver a pitched battle, and his general-
ship is shown to best advantage when
the fight is a fair one, and waged on
grounds where each party thinks itself
strongest. Then his solid shot of ar
gument are exceedingly effective. On
the stump Garfield is one of the very
best orators in the Republican party.
He has a good voice, an air of evident
sincerity, great clearness and vigor of
statement and a way of knitting his
arguments together so as to make a
speech deepen its impression on the
mind of the hearer until the climax
is reached.
With the single exception of 1867,
when he made a tour in Europe, he has
done hard work on the stump for the
Republican party in every campaign
since he entered Congress. For the
past ten years his services have been in
demand in all parts of the country.
He has usually reserved half his time
for the Ohio canvass, and given the
other half to other States. The Novem
ber election finds him worn and hag
gard with traveling and speaking in
the open air, but his robust constitu
tion always carries him through, and
after a few weeks’ rest on his farm ha
appears in Washington refreshed and
ready for the duties of the session.
Of his industry aud studious habits
a great deal might be said, but a single
illustration will suffice. Once during
the busiest part of a very busy session
at Washington, a friend found him in
his library behind a big barricade of
books. This was no unusual sight, but
when the visitor glanced at the volumes
he saw they were all different editions
of Horace, or books relating to that
poet. I find I am overworked and
need recreation,” said the General.
“Now, my theory is that the best way
to rest the mind is not to let it be idle,
but to put it at something quite outside
of the ordinary line of its employment.
So I am resting by learning all the
Congressional Library can show about
Horace, and the various editions and
translations of his poems.” General
Garfield never went through the lower
grades of law practice. After he made
his reputation in Congress he was occa
sionally associated with Jeremiah S.
Black, in important Supreme Court
cases, where his power of close, logical
argument made his aid of great value.
He has never sought law business and
has never accepted any which interfered
with his public duties.
General Garfield is the possessor of
two homes, and his family migrates
twice a year. Some ten years ago, find
ing ho-* unsatisfactory life was in hotels
and boarding houses, he bought a lot of
ground on the corner of Thirteenth
and Ist Sts., in Washington, and with
money borrowed of a friend built a
plain, substantial three-story house. A
wing was extended afterward to make
room for the fast growing library. The
The money was repaid in time, and was
probably saved in great part from what
would otherwise have gone to landlords.
The children grew up in pleasant home
surroundings, and the house became a
centre of much simple and cordial hos
pitality. Five or six years ago the little
cottage at Hiram was sold, and for a
time the only residence the Garfields
had in his district was a Summer house
he built on Little Mountain, a bold
elevation in Lake County, which com
mands a view of thirty miles of rich
farming country stretched along the
shore of Lake Erie. Three years ago
he bought a farm in Mentor, in the
same county, lying on both sides of the
Lake Shore and Michigan Southern
Railroad. Here his family spend all
the time when he is free from his duties
in Washington. The original farm
house was a low, old-fashioned, story
and-a-half building, and its limited ac
commodations were supplemented by
numerous outbuildings, one of which
General Garfield uses for office and
library purposes. Last Spring he had
the house enlarged and remodeled, so
that it now has a handsome modern
look. The farm contains about 120
acres of excellent land in a high state
of cultivation, and the Congressman
finds a recreation, of which he never
tires, in directing the field work aud
making improvements in the buildings,
fences, and orchards. Cleveland is only
twenty-five miles away; there is a post
office and a railway station within half
a mile, and the pretty country town of
Painesville is but five miles distant.
One of the pleasures of Summer life
on the Garfield farm is a drive of two
miles through the woods to the lake
shore and a oath in the breakers.
Visitors who come unannounced often
find the General working in the hay
field with his boys, with his broad, gen
ial face sheltered from the sun under a
big chip hat and his trousers tucked in
a pair of cowhide boots. He is a
thorough countryman by instinct. The
smell of the good brown earth, the low
ing of cattle, the perfume of the new
cut grass, and all the sights and sounds
of farm life are dear to him from early
General Garfield has five children
living, and has lost two, who died in
infancy. The two older boys, Harvey
and James, are now at school in New
Hampshire. Mary, or Molly, as every
body calls her, is a handsome, rosy
cheeked girl of about twelve. The two
younger boys are named Irwin and
Abram. The General's mother is still
living and has long been a member of
his family. She is an intelligent, ener
getic old lady, with a clear head and a
strong will, who keeps well posted in
1 the news of the day, and is very proud
' of her son’s career, though more liberal
| of criticism than of praise.
General Garfield’s propertv may
amount to $20,000. It consists exclu
sively of his farm in Ohio, and his
house in Washington, and every dollar
of it has been earned by his own exer
tions. He has s ived a little every year
, from his salary, and this, with an occa
sional legal fee, has made up the bulk
of his estate. When he entered Con
gress he owned a little house in Hiram,
worth perhaps $1,500. His hospitable
habits have interfered somewhat with
his economies. It rarely happens that
the family are a week by themselves in
ashington or in Mentor. Guests are
always welcome, and are made to feel
at home by being taken into the daily
life of the family. The long table usu
ally reaches from one end of the din
ing room to the other, and there is a
chair and a plate for every chance
caller. General Garfield’s district is in
the extreme northeastern corner of
Ohio, and now embraces the counties
of Ashtabula, Trumbull, Geuga, Lake
and Mahoning. Kis old home, county
of Portage, was detached from it a year
ago. With the exception of the "coal
and iron regions in the extreme south
ern part, the district is purely a rural
one, and is inhabited by a population
of pure New England ancestry. It is
claimed that there is less illiteracy in
proportion to the population than in
any other district in the United States.
In person General Garfield is six feet
high, broad-shouldered and strongly
built. He has an unusually large head,
that seems to be three-fourths forehead,
light brown hair and beard, now touch
ed with gray; large, light blue eyes,
a prominent nose and full cheeks.
He dresses plainly, is fond of broad
brimmed slouch hats and stout boots,
eats heartily, cares nothing for luxuri
ous living, is a great reader of good
books on all subjects, is thoroughly
temperate in ail respects save in that of
brain-work, and is devoted to his wife
and children. Among men he is genial,
approachable, companionable and a
remarkably entertaining talker. His
mind is a vast storehouse of facts, rem
iniscences and anecdotes.
He is not what is called a practical
politician. He knows little of the
mac ainery of caucuses and conventions,
or of the methods of conducting close
campaigns. His constituents have
nine times nominated him without any
effort on his part, and have elected him
by majorities ranging from 6,000 to
11,000. Asa politician in the larger
and better sense of shaping the policy
of a great party, however, he has few
equals. To no man is the Kepublican
party more indebted for its successes
in recent years than to James A. Gar
A Good Time to Reflect.
New York Tribune.
In this warm weather, when business
is not pressing and political excitement
is not yet strongly felt, it is a good time
for practical men to think over the
bearings of the campaign calmly and
the probable effects of one result or the
other upon their personal interests. We
have not a very strong Government in
this Republic, but it is strong enough
for its measures and policy seriously to
affect business concerns. It levies taxes
and tariff duties which materially influ
ence the prices of many commodities.
It charters and controls a banking sys
tem which ramifies into almost every
village in the country. It issues a paper
currency which goes into the pocket of
every citizen. It owes a large debt, in
the faithful payment of which many
thousands of people are directly con
cerned and many hundreds of thous
ands indirectly. The administration of
this Government is by no means an affair
of theoretical politics. There is some
thing more involved than abstract ideas
of the distribution and limitations of
power. Anew Government policy may
involve the ruin of hundreds of pros
perous enterprises. It may even pro
duce a great financial panic and wide
spread commercial calamity, as did the
policy of Andrew Jackson toward the
Bank of the United States.
Every one knows just what to expect
if a Republican President is elected
next Fall. There will be no shock to
business. No experiments will be tried
with the currency. No crusade will be
made upon the banks. No schemes for
shirking the payment of the public
debt and interest will be entertained
for a moment at the White House or in
the Treasury. The burden of National
taxation will not be shifted from whis
ky and tobacco at the demand of the
South, and placed upon articles of ne
cessity made in the North. The safe
protective system under which Ameri
can manufactures have been established
and developed will not be broken down
at the bidding of the politicians from
the cotton-growing States. The ma
chinery of Government will continue
in the hands of experienced, efficient
men, who have established a claim to
the public confidence by years of hon
est, capable service.
But how wall it be if the Democratic
candidate is elected ? Of course the
policy of the Democratic party will be
carried out, for General Hancock is a
man without political ideas or experi
ence, who will be like clay in the hands
of the Democratic potter. There is
none of the stuff of “ Old Hickory” in
him; he wifi have no policy of his own.
The party, it must not be forgotten, is
ruled by the Congressional caucus, and
in this caucus the Southern members
are in a large majority. The course
•f the Democratic Administration, if
the people should elect Hancock
would, therefore, be shaped by the
Southern politicans. How would it af
fect business interests ? Protective dr
ties would be abolished at once ; this
much we know, because the Cincinnati
platform plainly says so. Many forms
of industrial enterprise would be de
stroyed, the capital embarked in them
wiped out, and ihe workmen they em
ploy set adrift. Others not wholly
ruined would be seriously crippled and
obliged to reduce their operations.
Our markets would be flooded with the
cheap goods of England, Belgium,
France, and Germany ; many thousands
of industrious mechanics and factory
operatives would have the alternative of
starving in the East or going to the
Western prairies, if they could, and
raising corn ; and hundreds of pros
perous towns md villages in X3w Eng
land, Xew lork, Xew Jersey, Pennsyl
vania and Ohio would be made desolate.
What would the Democratic Admin
istration do with the public debt?
Who can tell? We only know that the
Southern politicians who would control
its policy have repudiated the debts of
their own States, and have no reason
for treating differently the obligations
of the Xation contracted for suppress
ing their rebellion. What would it do
with the currency? Who can predict?
e know that every project for
inflation and repudiation broached
during the past fifteen years has been
tenr.erly coddled by the Democratic
party, .ud that every effort to elevate
the public credit and resume specie
payments found its chief obstacles
within the lines of that party. What
■would become of the banks, those con
servators of the credit and surplus
i s the business community?
Almost every Democratic leader west
of the Alleghanies and south of the
Potomac has taken ground in favor of
their destruction. They cannot be de
stroyed without breaking down the
whole system of commercial credits
which is the life-blood of all large
business operations; but a Democratic
Administration, ruled by Southern
would not stop on this ac
Why pursue the argument further?
Is it not plain to business men that
their interests would be seriously jeop
ardized if the Democrats got hold of
the Government? Some of them mav
think that the dogs in charge of the
sheepfold are not just what they ought
to be, but do they want on this account
to let in the ravenous Democratic
wolves ?
Not the Alan for Leader.
Chicago Times (Dera.) June 25.
Like the Chicago convention, the
i Cincinnati convention, in a sudden out
break ° f spontaneity, has taken itself
i and the country by surprise. The nom
ination of General Hancock was neither
expected nor intende.-l. Like the nomi
nation cf Garfield, it was made wijh
out premeditation or deliberation. Al
so like the nomination of Garfield, it
is perhaps a more commendable ou -
come than would have resulted from
deliberate party selection. It is, at all
events, a fortunate escape from Tilden
upon which the party is to be congrat
But it is not a nomination that can
be said to fulfill the party’s opportunity.
It never had a more favorable opportu
nity to bring to the front anew political
leader ; one who would give promise of
leading the party out of the old political
graveyard and onward to anew and
hopeful future of political activity.
General Hancock lias furnished no
evidence of good capacity fir political
leadership. As the Times said of him
yesterday, he is nothing but a soldier,
and not a very brilliant one at that.
Lducated for tiie profession of arms, li©
has always pursued that profession, and
rose by personal gallantry during the
civil war to the rank of a major general ;
though he never held an independent
command, and never gained a victory.
It was when commander of the military
district of New Orleans, in 1867, that
he chiefly gained public note by the
tenor of his military orders, declaring
that the true function of the military,
after armed rebellion had been put down!
was to uphold the civil power in the
normal exercise of its functions. This
he said would be the guiding principle
of his action j but he at the same time
announced that any forcible obstruction
of the laws would be “ instantly sup
pressed by arms.” These orders were
put forth with a good deal of declam
atory flourish about “free institutions
and “ the gre it principles of American
libertya style of superfluous magnilo
quence that greatly tickled the effusive
Southerners,and led them to regard Gen
eral Hancock as a “ Northern man with
Southern ideas.” Ever since, the South
ern politicians have been favorably in
clined toward him as a presidential
possibility—a circumstance not likely to
strengthen his candidacy at the North.
His rme was brought before the con
vention of 18# ; but the objection of
presenting a man who was nothing but
a soldier in opposition to one who,
though also nothing but a soldier, was a
more famous one,earned it to be received
with little favor. It was then believed
to be the hue policy of the tarty to
present an eminent civilian, of known
capacity for political leadership. The
foundation of that belkf was good in
1868, and is equally good now. If the
party at Cincinnati had fulfilled its op
portunity, it would have chosen for its
leader a statesman, not a mere soldier.
As regards the military record of the
two men, General Hancock and Mr. Gar
field may be regarded as standing on
the same platform. Their military rec
ords are perhaps equally good. But
while one stands on nothing but his*
military record, the other has gained
his widest repute as one of tie foremost
among the ablest of our living states
men. The nomination of a soloier with
a good war record, whose fidelity to the
National cause is unassailable, will go
far to suppress any " bloody-shirt ’’char
acter cf tfie canvass. The rejection of
Mr. Tilden takes the hypocritical “fraud
issue” out of the combat. What re
mains ? There remain the important
political questions that hare been raised
by the action, or attempted reaction.

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