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The great West. [volume] (St. Paul, Minn.) 1889-18??, September 30, 1892, Image 13

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F/om the Great West.
I was present at the democratic
state convention held Aug. 3*in Min
neapolis, and the following reflections
occurred to me:
We congratulate Mr. James J.
ITiTI, president of the Great Northern
railway, on the fact that he has got
both the republican and democratic
tickets just to suit him. He has just
put up Knute Nelson at the head of
the republican tivket and Daniel W.
Lawler at the head of the democratic
ticket. Mr. Lawler is an unknown
young lawyer of St. Paul, a member
of the court house ring, corporation
council of the city of St. Paul, and
sou of the celebrated John D. Law
ler, late of Prairie du Chien, Wie.. a
famous railroad lobbyist and stock
holder in the great Milwaukee aud
St. Paul Railroad company—tbe
democratic candidate having inher
ited his railroad stock and affilia
tions. John D. Lawler was for years
the agent employed by the M & St.
P. company to look af er legislation
in different states. When the people
of the territory of Dakota, for in
stance, desired to reduce rates of
transportation on the railroads of
that region Mr. Lawler was the man
who appeared on the scene to dine
and wine the legislature and prevent
tlie passage of the bill, and it is
needless to soy he succeeded in doing
so. It was these well known facts in
the history of the father that doubb
-1» ss recommended tbe son to the
friendship and support of Mr. James
J. Hill; for that gentleman desired us
to fix things so that no mutter
whether the republicans or democrats
won the railroad corporations would
be in no danger. But Mr. Hill, and
bis right bower, Mr. Michael Doran,
have not the slightest idea that by
any freak of fortune Mr. Law er
should wiu. He is almost unkuown
to the voters of the state; he has
never held any legislative office or
any position higher than that of cor
poration attorney; and the demo
cratic leaders well knew that his nom
ination would precipitate the public
school tight into the canvass, and
that he would not poll one-half its
ucual democratic vote; they knew all
this and intended it, and the object
is to drive these disgruntled demo
crats in the towns and cities over to
the support of Knute Nelson, and
therefore the St. Paul Globe repeats,
every day, that Nelson voted for the
Mills bill and is really a low-tariff
man. At the same time while they
are driving the American democrats
of the citi/s into the republican camp
they will make religious appeals to
the Irish farmers to stand by Lawler
and not vote the peoples party
ticket, to which they are flocking in
great numbers. It is a veiy pretty
game, -very-eun aipgly setup, -but it
will not work. The democrats will
“get onto it’ and t jluse to be turned
over to the plutoc ycy. It amus
ing to see the Pie /er Prcsc ,ng
Lawler, and the .iobe proving that
Knute Nelson represents democratic
principles! In its issue of the 4th of
August the Pioneer Press said:
“While we cannot wish to Mr. Law
ler the success that he has earned
and won in other walks of life, and
must symathize with him in the fate
to which he is dt stined, it is a pleas
ure to offer to him congratulation
upon an honor so distinguished as
the leadership thus conferred.’'
And one can see the grin of the
devils as the young man walks to as
sured destruction, breaking through
the polite congratulations. Tbe Pio
neer Press concludes its article thus:
“It is not a Domination that means
victory, or even the hope of victory,
but it is so far the superior to the
average practice and selection of the
democracy as to give rise to hope
that the party is not yet beyond pos
sibility of regeneration. The demo
crats of Minnesota must now look to
the youthful Daniel as their prophet,
while the republicans get the lions’
den ready for him by next November
with lions that will bite.”
And that there should not be any
question as to Hill’s control of the
democratic state convention, the
Pioneer Press, of the same date, in
its report of the proceedings of the
democratic convention said:
“The democratic state convention
held yesterday was a miracle. There
was a visible result and no apparent
cause. A ticket, of a kind, was nom
inated. after a fashion. Tliere prob
ably has never been a similar gather
ing held in this state which was so
loosely conducted, on the surface,and
at which the wire pulling was more
cleverly conducted.'”
And again the Pioneer Press makes
the significant statement:
“The d legates commenced to re
assemble at 3 o’clock, but it was
clearly apparent that there was some
hitch in the arrangements. Henne
piu’s 118 delegates were not in their
seats, and it was 3:30 before they
*d into the hall, looking very cross
nd sore. They had been trying to
. ork up a boom for E. T. Champlin,
jf Blue Earth, and the Doian men
had been doing their best to whip
them into line for Lawler , it being
conceded that Wilson’s candidature
*>*»d been abandoned. Hennepin was
greeted by cries of ‘Lawler! Lawler!’
m'/Tn the Ilamsey delegates, and this
did not improve their temper.”
Every well informed democrat in
Minnesota understands perfectly well
that Jim Hill’s hand was in that
convention and regulated its every
movement, except in the case of the
endorsement of Canty and Buek, the
peoples party nominees for justice of
the supreme court. Mr. Dor*n,~ the
st“ v ifporttAl, baligetfhis desk
a..w swore, by all the gods, that these
men should not be endorsed, but that
the subservient republican judges
should be re elected; but the personal
popularity of Judge Canty and
Daniel Buck was too much for even
his power. It was “on the slate” to
nominate the republican candidate,
Dickinson, in place of Buck, but this
was too much even for that servile
democratic convention, and Buek
was endorsed and the howling of the
railroad ring could be heard for half
a mile.
Wl I O UTC !■ O l/\f L I USL m. p° R YRARS the people of Minnesota have not had a free market. A man at Minneapolis is paid *O.OOO a year to fix, every day, the
V/l «i • 1 pr ce of the farmer s wheat From this man’s decision there is no appeal, for all competition is stumped out. The farmer has to take Just nhat is
. given him. or drive his load home aarain.
ESTABLISH FREE MARKETS. . alliance raised a fund of several hundred dollars to prosecute these robbers and their associates the railroad companies; but they then decided at
— ■ • L. Party ■ Convention, to use that fund in the present campaign, and Elect a Gorv.rnor. Lieut. Governor, and Attorney
poor farmers. Are you ready to help in this work? Do yon want to eeonre a Free Market? The Pioneer Press a T e?”* 7 °f f ro *®° wti on the name, and at the expense r.f the whole State, instead of a few
takea everyyear,rom z
Thirty tq .Thirty-three Cts. a Bushel, T "” iP ™ E r BBERY Sixteen Million Dollars a Year,
is Sixteen times more than all our state taxes and five million dollars more than all the tax’s of the people, state, school conus v i>itr »mi tn»n . .~. . , „
the first cost of the books for which our people have paid $250,000 during
the year was but $125,000, and that we should have saved, had they been
supplied to us at cost, an annual tax of $125,000.
“I apprehend theie is no good reason e to suppose that we shall receive
any better terms in the future than the past, without a radical change of
policy. The prices are irrevocably fixed by a convention of the craft, and it
matters not whether the publishers are few or many, the cost to the people
Is the same. ‘Where combination is possible, competition is impossible.’ ”
Governor Donnelly’s own experience confirmed these views of the Gov
ernor of the State. He knew that the evil complained of was a great one.
It was not ODly the increased price of the book, but many of the county
superintendents of schools were in the habit of combining with the publish
ers and receiving a large commission on all sales made in their county.
The result was that every few months the books were changed, and those
which the scholars had been using were thrown aside, and the parents bad
to buy complete sets of new ones. This became an onerous burden on the
poor, and as a result children were in many instances kept away from school
and grew up iu ignorance, because their parents were unable,” out of their
small earnings, to purchase the necessary text-books.
. With Mr. Donnelly, to hear of an abuse was to move for its correction,
and so he set to work to relieve his beloved popular education of this heavy
burden. He first proposed that the state should employ scholars to pre
pare arithmetics, grammars, etc., and set the boys in the Reform School to
learn printing and print them; and then furnish the books to the people
free or at cost. But to this scheme the friends of the Book Ring made a
hundred objections. It was impossible; men could not be found learned
enough to prepare a spelling-book, etc. The struggle lasted through two
or three years. Twice Mr Donnelly secured the passage of a bill through
the Senate, of which he was a member, only to have it defeated jn the
House. At last, 1877, a bookseller of St. Paul, Mr. D. D. Merrill, came for
ward and offered to furnish the necessary text-books for one-half the then
prices, to furnish equally good books of the same sizes and quality, if the
State would make a contract that he should have the furnishing of all
the books used in the state for fifteen years Such a law was passed, and
it stated, in the very law itself, that the book that had cost 20 cents should
be furnished by Mr. Merrill for 10 cents, tbe book that had cost 45 cents
should be had for 20 cents, the book that had cost 90 cents should be fur
nished for 40 cents, etc. And a contract was entered into with Mr. Merrill
that he should furnish his books at these prices for fifteen years The
School-book Riug of the United States had entered into a combination to
control the book trade of the whole country, and had given bonds to each
other not to cheapen prices; but the Minnesota legislature broke the back
of the ring, and the next year the prices of school books fell all over the
United States. The number of scholars entitled to apportionment in 1878
was 157,470; in 1890 the number was 221,186. If we will average this for
the fifteen years during which the law has stood, we wiil have 189,331
scholars per year. According to Governor Austin’s estimate, the book ring
took from the people each year $ i 25,000. If we will multiply this by 15,
for the fifteen years of the contract, then the saving to the State has” been
sl,B7s,ooo—that is to say, there are $1,875,000 left in the pockets of the
people of Minnesota that would not have been there but for the passage of
this act; and this on the basis of the number of scholars seventeen years
ago. But as the text-book act reduced the cost oi the books one-half, and
as there have been an average of 189,331 scholars during the life of the
contract, we have but to call the saving to each scholar SI.OO per year (a
very moderate estimate), and the text-book act has saved the people of
Minnesota the great sum of $2,839,965 in fifteen years. In other words,
the state is that much better off from Governor Donnelly having lived in it.
This is practical statemanship. But it was not accomplished except after
a dreadful fight. The Book Ring of the United States sent unscrupulous
agents,'with plenty ot money, to St. Paul, to kill the measure. The follow -
ing amusing story is told, as happening at one stage of the contest:
A necessary amendment to the act was pending in the House. The
Book Ring had bought just enough votes to kill the bill. To kill that
amendment was practically to kill the whole reform. Their representative
stood in the lobby checking off the names of members as they voted. Just
at this point a member who had not yet voted, and was about to vote
against the bill, turned to hiß neighbor, and said, in a whisper:
“How much did you get for your vote?”
“Twenty-five hundred dollars,” was the reply, also in a whisper.
“You did?” said the party. “Why, I only got $500.”
“Oh” said the other “there is no use of lying to me; you got $2,500. I
was in the headquarters of the Ring and saw the list of names, and
got $2,500 for you.”
“He did?” said the first member, thoroughly aroused. “Why, that
d d rascal has pocketed $2,000, and given me but SSOO. ril show tbe
ring that 1 can’t be bought in that wayl”
And when his name was called he voted for the bill and it was carried,
by one vote! Mr. Donnelly was in the hall of the House at the time, and
he saw, by the consternation of the Ring, that something unexpected had
happened; and so he got the clerk of the House to return the hill to the
Senate at once; and he had the Senate to act upon it at once, and he hur
ried it instantly to the Governor, who was ready to sign it. In a few min
utes the agent of the Ring had “fixed” things to the satisfaction of the in
dignant member; it was moved to reconsider the vote by which the bill
passed; and the House requested the Senate to return the bill; and the Sen
ate politely informed the House that the bill was in the hands of the Gov
ernor and refused to recall it. And so this man’s honest (!) indignation
had saved Minnesota $2,839,965.
Let us give something of the history of this Cheap School Book legis
Mr. Donnelly had been agitating the matter in his Anti-Monopolist
newspaper for years. On Jan. 14th, 1876, (p. 35) Senator Lienau intro
duced a resolution for the appointment of a special committee of five to en
quire into the expediency of printing and publishing school books bv the
state. Adopted. On Jan. 18th, 1876, (p. 44), the President of the Senate
appointed as such committee Messrs. Lienau, Wheelock, Conkey, Knute
Nelson and Donnelly. On Jan. 26th the Senate authorized the committee
to “employ an expert in the matter of computing and ascertaining the act
ual cost of printing and publishing” text books, the expense not to exceed
fifty dollars. The expert employed was David Ramaley. The committee
subsequently reported that the prices of school books “are more than
double what they should be;” and the whole committee, including Mr. Nel
son, signed that report. The plan was to hire scholars to prepare the
books, the state to print them, and sell them to the scholars, at one half
the current prices. An immense fight followed on this proposition.
The committee introduced a bill, S. F. 316, (p. 220), to carry out this
plan; and on Feb. 24, 1876, (page 205), the bill was passed by a vote of 30
yeas, and 5 nays, Mr. Donnelly voted yea, and Mr. Nelson was one of
the five nays! He had signed the report of the committee—then voted
against the bill. The bill was defeated in the House and so the reform fail
ed for that session.
In the next session, (1877), Mr. Lienau, as chairman of the committee,
introduced the same bill which had failed to pass in the previous session,
and it was referred to a select committee of which Mr. Donnelly was again
a member. The committee finally reported a bill, (S. F. 183), to give Mr.
D. D. Merrill, of St. Paul a contract for fifteen years, to furnish the schooi
books, at about half the previous prices. This bill passed the Senate Feb.
Bth, 1877, yeas 30, nays 8, and Mr. Nelson and Mr. Donnelly both
voted for it. It passed the House and became a law. But it subsequently
turned out that the State Superintendent of Public Instruction was op
posed to the law, and the school book ring were buying up county super
intendents and teachers and every body else that had influence to defeat
the law; and some amendments were necessary to make it effective. And
consequently, in the next session, (1878,) one of the biggest fights ever seen
in the state occurred in the effort to amend the bill to meet the objections
of its cunning enemies. Mr. Donnelly bore the brunt of the battle; one of
his speeches was printed in pamphlet form and had great circulation and
The record will show that although Mr. Nelson had voted in the last
session to pass the bill, he was, in 1878, opposed to perfecting it, so as to
make it effective. When it came up in the Senate, (p. 99), on Feb. 7th,
Senator Healey asked leave to propose an amendment which would
strengthen the bill and enable him, Mealey to vote for it. Mr. Nelson ob
jected; and to get around his objection Mr. Michael Doran moved that the
.bill be referred to Mr. Mealey for amendment, which was done. Mr. Don
nelly moved that Mr. Mealey’s amendment be adopted; carried, yeas 23,
K>, Me. Nelson, voted nay. The question (p. 100), then came on Mr!
Donnelly’s motion that the bill be read the 2d and 3d time and put upon
its final passage. The yeas were 23, the nays 14. Mr. Nelson again
voted No. Mr. Nelson in fact led the fight against the bill in the Senate.
Mr. Donnelly then moved that the Senate go into committee of the whole
on the bill, which motion prevailed. The committee reported in favor of
the passage of the bill. Mr. Nelson excepted to the report. The question
came shall the bill be engrossed for a third reading? Carriet* yeas 23,nays
16; Mr. Nelson voted no. The same day the bill passed the Senate; yeas
22 nays 16. And again Mr. Nelson voted no.
The bill went to the House, where as shown in the extract from Mr.
Donnelly’s Biography, given above, the School-Book-Ring of the United
States had their agents at work to kill the bill by bribery. Over #20,000.
it was claimed, were paid out, to defeat this great reform. One of th
“strikers” for the Ring got Hon. Charles C. Brandt, a member from Biov\u
defending bribery
county, a worthy German, into his room and paid him $50.00, as a bribe
uce to vote against an amendment necessary to make the act ol
• o P? ra * lve . Brandt took the money solely with the purpose of ex
posing the means by which the Ring were trying to accomplish their ends;
u walked straight to the House, rose in his place, at once, ami sent up tbe
money to the speaker and stated how he received it. The friends of the
•mg jumped upon” Mr. Brandt and denounced him savagely, and even
proposed to expel him from the House. The Ring had all the lawyers of
ie House on its side and it looked as if the poor German was about to
Oio badly. In this extremity Mr. Donnelly came to his defence with the
*?,P e could give him. W r e quote from the Senate Journal, (p. 225),
r eb. 20, 1878:
“Mr. Donnelly offered the following resolution:
>\ hereae. The Hon. Charles C. Brandt, a member of the House of Rep
resentatives from Brown county, ascertaining that corrupt means were be
ing used to control the action of the Legislature upon an important meas
ure now pending 1 , did, for the purpose of proving the existence of such cor
ruption and exposing the same, receive the sum of fifty dollars, given him
as a bribe, and did at once deliver the same to the House ami denounce the
sard corruption; and
Whereas, It is only by such radical and extreme measures that the ex
istence of bribery can at any time be ascertained and demonstrated, and
toe interests of the people protected from the insidious acts of those who
seek to control legislation by corrupt means for their own profit
Therefore be it resolved by the Senate (the House concurring) That the
thanks of this Legislature, and ot the people of this state, are due to the
Hon. Charles C. Brandt, for his bold, honest and resolute course iu expos
ing said bribery and corruption, at the cost to himself of abuse and mis
representation, and the life-long hostility of those whose criminal practices
he ha<l revealed.’
Mr. Nelson made the objection that the resolution was out of order, and
unparliamentary for the reason that it related to proceedings and the ac
tion of a member of the other House, and to which the attention of the
•senate had not been called by the House.
“1 he Chair decided that the point raised by Mr. Nelson was well
Now even if this point of order was well taken Mr. Nelson should not
have made it. To do so he arrested the expression of the Senate upon a
great, notorious crime, the crime of bribery, which was being discussed in
*ll the newspapers of the day. But the point of order was not well taken,
for the reason that the payment of the bribe was not in the House, but in
a hotel, and as Mr. Brandt took it and avowed at once his intention to
umke it public, he could at least have been praised for tnat’muchof his
conduct. Neither was his handing $50.00 to the speaker a legislative pro
ceeding; it was no part of any bill, resolution or vote. Cushing’s Manual
says, p 608, “This ruie. (that one House must not refer to proceedings in an
other), proceeds upon the understanding, and takes it for granted, that the
proceeding and debates of each house are known only to its own members,
and within its own walls; and that they cannot regularly be made known
but by itself, or taken notice of elsewhere except by its own consent. But
this understanding, though still true in a parlimentary sense, is at the
present day the merest fiction. The proceeding and 'debates of both
houses are published daily and read by all the members of both, and in
fact are well known to every body, who will take the trouble to become ac
quainted with them.”
If Mr. Nelson really thought that Mr. Brandt deserved praise and not
expulsion for his act, and had parliamentary scruples about referring to
what took place in the other House, could have moved to amend Mr. Don
nelly’s resolution by striking out the words “to the House;” and then it
would simply have commended Mr. Brandt for refusing to be bribed out
side the House.
The result erf- it-all was that poor Mr. Brandt was rui»e~-political! v, by
performing an honest act, and refusing to sell himself to the School Book
Why did not Mr. Nelson frame some resolution that would have helped
him out?
But after the bill came back from the House, after all this terrible as
sault. upon it by the corruptionists, with the huge lobby from all parts of
the United States, which every ofrt knew of, even then Mr. Nelson would
not vote for the final passage of the bill; (see p. 422, March 7, 1878); the
vote stood yeas 23, nays 12; and Mr. Nelson voted no. So that no part
of the credit of saving the people of the state about three millions of dol
lars, in fifteen years, can be claimed by the republican candidate for gover
nor, Hon. Knute Nelson.
It is true that there are some who to this day denounce that School
Book law. As Mr. Donnelly said at the time in the Anti Monopolist:
“And now the gentle book-agent counts out greenbacks in a corner,
and the enlightened legislator begins to nave doubts whether it is constitu
tional to force a poor man to take a school book for fifty cents, when bis
soul fairly languishes to pay $1.50 for it!”
There were sad times for farmers in those days when Mr. Nelson and
Mr. Donnelly were in the State Senate together. The grasshoppers had
fallen upon the people’s crops and devoured them; hail had in many in
stances leveled what the grasshoppers could not eat; and what both grass
hoppers and hail spared the Wheat Rings and the Railroads had stolen. A
great cry of distress went up from all parts of the State and especially the
western and southwestern counties; the Red River Valley was but littlt
settled then. Mr. Donnelly’s feelings were warmly enlisted and we read, on
page 83 of Senate Journal, Jan 29, 1875, the following:
“Mr. Donnelly offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That the committee on judiciary are hereby instructed to re
port a bill, to provide that in all cases where citizens of this state have been
actually unable to pay their taxes, through damage from grasshoppers,
or hailstorms, or failure of crops, or high rates of transportation, or low
prices of their production, or any other cause whatever, that all interest
fines and penalties be .remitted, and a reasonable time given wherein to pay
the principal sum of such taxes.
The roll being called, there were yeas 17, and nays 23, so the resolution
was lost.
Mr. Donnelly, voted aye; Mr. Knute Nelson voted nay.
It may be urged that this resolution was too sweeping; but it will be
noted that it did not propose to release the unpaid taxes, but onlv the “in
terest fines and penalties,” which amounted to nearly one-half of the ori
ginal taxes. And the next day the governor of the state sent in a message
to the Legislature, in which he showed that over #20,000 had been paid in
by counties and individuals to feed the starving people, of the western and
southwestern counties. The governor said in a message to the commission
ers of the several counties of the state:
“These people and the very existence of their property, and all their
beneficial relations to the state, have been imperilled by a succession of
calamities, which dictate now the stern alternative, either to aid these suf
ferers, or to permit them to abandon this country to the reclamation of the
wilderness, cancelling all of this value as absolutely as if it was burned up,
and to lose the far more important, the vital, human element of our pros
perity. * * * Whole communities have been reduced to a common des
titution. Actual want reigns supreme in many homes. We cannot afford
to let this country lapse into a wilderness.”
In the face of this condition the present peoples party candidate for
governor thought the prices, penalties, and interest should be remitted and
the settlers given additional time to pay their taxes where they had been
actually unable to do so. And the candidate of the republican party, for
governor, voted no; he wanted the tax-sharks to get their “shent per
shent.” He had no bowels of compassion for the very class of men who had
just elected him to the state senate. The United States government by act
of Congress, of Feb. 10th, 1875, ordered the officers of the army to dis
tribute free supplies of food am mg the starving, buv Knute Nelson want
ed the taxes paid up at once, fines, penalties and 36 per cent interest.
And yet the day before, Jan. 28th, 1875, (p. 77 of Journal), Mr. Knute
Nelson had voted for S. F. No. 71, introduced by the President of the
Sioux City R. R. Co., “to extend the time for the payment of taxes due the
state on gross earning of railroad companies! And the next day after he
had voted against giving the settlers any time on their taxes; he (p. 92),
voted against calling back S. F. No. 71, (which extended the railroads time
to pay taxes from the House so that it could be defeated. The vote stood
to bring back the bill 19 against 23; and the republican candidate for gov
ernor was one of those who voted againt calling it back!
Within the space of twenty-four hours the issue was squarely drawn by
these different votes; and Mr Nelson opposed giving the people the same
relief he was ready to give the railway corporations!
There was a great uproar over this unjust and cruel favoritism, and
the Senate was compelled by the force of public opinion to pass a bill giv
ing partial relief, as to the taxes due for one year and one year alone. It
was passed twelve days afterward by nearly an unanimous vote, Mr. Nel
son and Mr. Donnelly both votmg for it.
Mr. Donnelly’s zeal in behalf of the farmers who had suffered by the
grasshoppers showed itself in many ways.
national bounties fob the destruction of grasshoppers.
On January 11th, 1877, (p. 23 Journal):
“Mr. Donnelly introduced S. F. No. 22, a joint resolution requesting
the Senators and Representatives from Minnesota in the Congress of the
United Stntrs to secure, if possible, such legislation as will appropriate the
■•roceeds of the enles of the public land* in the several states afflicted with
grasshoppers to ihose states, to be use-kin the payment of bounties for the
' Sfiperf
fcp®rf*ot Page
destruction of sucli grasshoppe r.*. Which was read the first time and re
ferred to the committee on grasshopper relief. It subsequently passed both
the Senate and the House and became a law.
In 1870, Jan. 11th, (p. 20), Mu. Donnelly introduced and secured the
passage of a memorial to Congress, asking for a congressional bounty for
the destrucf ion of grasshoppers
On Wednesday, Jan. 3, 1877, (p. 7), Mr. Donnelly offered the following
resolution which was adopted:
“Resolved by the Senate (the House concurring) That a joint special
committee of two Houses be appointed, to consist of seven members of the
House, to whom shall be referred all bills and joint resolutions in reference
to the relief of the population of those parts of the state afflicted by grass
hoppers; and it shall be the duty of said committee to report to their re
spective bodies such remedial legislation as they may deem necessary.
In connection with the poverty and distress of the people, caused by the
grasshoppers, Mr. Donnelly, on Jan. 5, 1877 (p. 14 of Journal), offered the
following resolution which was adoped:
“Whereas, In consequence of the drought, and other causes, the people
6i our state are passing through a period of great financial depression;
And Whereas, It is unjust that the office holders who live upon the
taxes of the people,should fare better than the people themselves; therefore
Resolved, That the committee on retrenchment and reform is hereby
instructed to report a bill to reduce the salaries of all comity officers to a
rate not to exceed the average income of the taxpayers in their respective
counties, as nearly as the same can be ascertained.”
On Feb. 9th, 1877, (p. 185 <>f Journal), Mr. Donnelly offered the follow
ing resolution which was adopted:
“Whereas, a considerable part of the onerous burden of taxation now
resting upon the people of the state is due to the expense of holding pro
tracted terms of the district courts in the several counties of the state to
enforce the collection of petty claims or to adjust disputes where the
amount in controversy is oftentimes less than the expense imposed on the
taxpayers in trying the same; therefore,
Resolved, That the committee on the Judiciary is hereby instructed to
enquire into the expediency of amending the statutes of the state so as to
assess, in whole or in part, the expense of such litigation upon the party or
parties obtaining judgment therein, the same to follow the judgment; and
to report by bill or otherwise.”
This system has been adopted in part, by the law fixing a $3.00 jury
fee in each case. It should be extended still further. There is no reason
why peaceful and industrious men should be taxed to enforce tfie claims of
money-lenders, perhaps non-residents; or settle the disputes of litigations
and quarrelsome neighbors.
Another burden borne by the grain-raisers of Minnesota is that they
have no certainty if they deliver a given quantity of grain, to any wi re
houseman, for shipment, that they will ever get back the same amount.
They are completely at the mercy of the elevator men and railroads, a*
as Mr. Donnelly once said, “there had been enough money stolen fi
tiie farmers of the northwest, by this rascality alone, to pave hell v*
On Monday Feburary 28th, 187 G, (page 343 of Journal), we read:
“S. F. No. 131. A bill to regulate the inspection of grain and weights
and measures, and to establish a department of agriculture, railroads ,uui
forestry, was read the third time. On motion unanimous consent was
granted to Mr. White to make the following amendment, which was
Add at end of section twenty-five: ’‘Any wa.reho!we:aftr, wfp. r : -
any load or quantity of grain, and refuses to account for the actual weight
thereof, shall be subject to a fine of fifty dollars for each and every iffense
to be recovered by the party in interest before a justice of the p.-ace »» r ,.
vided that the party delivering and the party receiving wheat for storage
may agree upon such reasonable amount as ought to be deducted for shrink
age and cleanage.
The question being taken on the passage of the bill as amend* ..ana
the roll being called, there were yeas 24, and nays 8.”
Mr. Donnelly voted yea; Mr. Nelson dodged. He is recorded ns pres
ent and voting on other questions, on pages 342, on page 344, (th same
page), and on page 345; hut he could not vute on this very imp riant
question, in which all his farmer constituents were so deeply interest !.
One of the great questions of to-day is the silver question
Silver had been one of the money-metals of the world for thousands >v
years. In 1873,—0n February 12th,—the congress of the United States wa«
corrupted, by $500,000 sent over by the bank of England, in the hands .»
a banker, named Ernest Seyd, and induced to demonetize silver. Th e was
done so secretly that the president of the United States, Ulysses S. ( rent,
protested two years afterward that he did not know that anything of the
kind was in the bill when he signed it. When it was discovered* an uni s-rsal
outcry went up for the repeal of the bill demonetizing silver. At the pres
ent time both the republican and democratic parties are opposed to such
repeal, because the money-powers of the whole world demand that money
be rendere i more valuable, by reducing its amount; thereby reducing the
value of all kinds of property belonging to the people. And Hon Knutb
Nelson will either have to ignore the whole subject, in this campaign, or
defend Plutocracy’s scheme to impoverish the people, 1>3 T arguing that that
law of 1873, demonetizing silver was all right and should stand, and that,
silver must not be remonetized, and cannot be without ruin to the
Our readers will therefore be astonished to learn that,in 1878, fourteen
years ago, and five years after silver had been stricken down in Congress,
not only Hon. Kntte Nelson, and Hon. lunatics Donnelly, but all the
republican and democratic members of the state senate, (except one demo
crat and two republicans), voted in favor of the repeal of the net of con
gress of 1873, demonetizing silver.
Here is the record:—it will be found on page 8, of the Senate Journal of
1878 —Wednesday 7 , January 9th,1878:
“Mr. Donnelly offered the following resolution:
Resolved; by the Senate of the State of Minnesota, (the House of Represen
tatives concurring,) that our Senators in the congress of the United
States, are hereby instructed to support by their votes and influence, the
bill now pending in the United States Senate, known us the “Rland Silver
Rill;” and that they are requested to oppose all amendments to that bill,
which will prevent silver coin, of the standards used in 1870, becoming
again full legal tender for all debts public and private, in the United States.
Mr. Nelson gave notice of debate.
Mr. Nelson was opposed to this resolution, but the party leaders cau
cused together and agreed that they could not defend anything so outrag
eous as the demonetization of one of the money-metals named in the consti
tution of the nation; and when the resolution came up again, nine days
later, Jan. 17th, 1878, (page 20 of Journal), Senator Edgerton, republi
can, now a judge of the United Sta tes Court in South Dakota, appointed by
a republican president, offered a substitute for Mu. Donnelly's resolution.
Here is the record:
“Mr. Edgerton offered the following substitute for the resolution of
Mr. Donnelly:
‘Resolved, That our Senators in Congress be instructed, and our Rep
resentatives requested, to vote for a bill repealing the act of February 12,
1873, demonetizing silver.’
The question being or the adoption of the substitute submitted by Mr.
Edgerton, and the roll being called there were yeas 34, and nays 3, as fol
Those who voted in the affirmative were: Messrs. Ahrens, Armstrong,
Bailey, Clement, Clough, Deuel, Donnelly, Doran , Drew, Edgerton, Ed
wards, Finseth, Goodrich, Hall, Henry, Ilersey, Houlton, I.angdon,
Lienau, Macdonald , McHeuch, McNelly, Mealey, Morehouse, Morrison,
Nelson, Page, Pillabury , Rice, Shaleen, Swanstrom, Waite, Waldron and
Those who voted in the negative were: Mressrs. Gilfillan, C. D. Morton
and Remore.”
Senators Gilfillan and Remo"'' T'jr*.republicans, while Senator Morton
was a democrat. I thr
With what face can Mr. Nelson* cloth-clare against the full remonetiz
ation of silver, when, fourteesryears &s*'■ voted for the repeal of the act
of 1873? Does it not show that he is subordinating Ins honest judg
ment to the demands, of Wall Street? What has occurred since 187*8, to
change the merits of this controversy? Is not the popular demand and
necessity for the remonetization of silver greater in 1892, than it was in
1878? And if Mr. Nelson is ready to yield his conscience, for party success
to the Plutocrats, on the silver question, what assurance have the people
that he will not be the mere slaye of the corporations and money-power il
elected governor? Is it any worse to be the tool of Jim Hill than it is to
be slave of Jay Gould?
It will be noticed that besides Mi. Donnelly and Judge Macdonald oi
the peoples party—the following leading republicans, Clements banker ol
Faribault, Clough, the present republican candidate lor Lieutenant gover
nor Judge Edgerton, Finseth, now State Dairy Commissioner,*Col. Ed<
wards, a leading republican federal office-holder* Langdon of Minneapolis,
Gov. Pillabury, Gov. Rice, etc., voted to remonetize silver, while such prom<

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