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History of the Republican party (Volume 1) online

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the declaration of President Hayes that the reform in the civil ser-
vice shall be thorough, radical, and complete, and to that end de-
mands the co-operation of the Legislative with the Executive Depart-
ments of the Government."

It was late on Saturday when the preliminary work of the Con-
vention was finished, but it was determined, after a recess, to de-
vote Saturday evening to the presentation of Presidential candidates.
Ten minutes were allowed for nominating speeches, and five minutes
for the orator seconding each nomination. The candidates were put
in nomination by a call of the States, but it was not until Michigan
was reached that the first name was brought forward. It was pro-
posed by James F. Joy, and was the name of James G. Elaine. The
speech caused a shade of disappointment to pass over the Conven-
tion, because it lacked the oratorical brilliancy with which Colonel
Ingersoll had put Mr. Elaine in nomination four years before. When
Minnesota was called, E. F. Drake presented the name of William
W T indom. The next nomination was that of General Grant by Ros-
coe Conkling. " The need of the hour," Mr. Conkling said, " is a
candidate who can carry doubtful States, North and South, and be-
lieving that he, more surely than any other, can carry New York
against any opponent, and can carry not only the North, but several



THE GARFIELD AND ARTHUR CAMPAIGN. 385

States of the South, New York is for Ulysses S. Grant. He alone of
living Republicans has carried New York as a Presidential candidate.
Once he carried it even according to a Democratic count, and twice
he carried it by the people's votes, and he is stronger now the lie-
publican party, with its standard in his hand, is stronger now
than in 1868 or 1872. Never defeated in war or in peace, his name is
the most illustrious borne by any living man. His services attest his
greatness, and the country knows them by heart. Standing on the
highest eminence of human destination, and having filled all lands
with his renown, modest, simple, and self-poised, he has not seen
only the titled, but the poor and the lowly, in the uttermost ends of
the earth, rise and uncover before him. He has studied the needs
and defects of many systems of government, and he has come back a
better American than ever, with a wealth of knowledge and experi-
ence added to the hard common sense which so conspicuously dis-
tinguished him in all the fierce light that beat upon him throughout
the most eventful, trying, and perilous sixteen years of the nation's
history. Never having had ' a policy ' to enforce against the will of
the people, he never betrayed a cause or a friend, and the people will
never betray or desert him. Villified and reviled, ruthlessly aspersed
by numberless persons, not in other lands, but in his own, the as-
saults upon him have strengthened and seasoned his hold on the pub-
lic heart. Never elated by success, never depressed by adversity, he
has ever, in peace as in war, shown the very genius of common sense.
The terms he prescribed for Lee's surrender foreshadowed the wisest
principles and prophecies of true reconstruction." In conclusion he
said that the Convention was master of a supreme opportunity. It
could make the next President, and also make sure of his peaceful in-
auguration. It could break that power which mildews the South.
It could make the Republican army march to certain victory with its
greatest marshal at its head. When Mr. Conkling's speech was
ended the Grant men in the Convention and in the galleries indulged
in an outbreak of enthusiasm that was uncontrollable. The galler-
ies made the building shake. On the floor the delegates, collecting
the flags that marked the places of the different delegations, marched
along the aisles, cheering and shouting. This uproar lasted fully
twenty minutes, before Mr. Bradley, of Kentucky, who seconded
Grant's nomination, was allowed to speak.

When General Garfield rose to nominate John Sherman, he spoke
of the feeling that had just swayed the vast assemblage in a tone of
gentle deprecation and deep solicitude. " No emotion touches my
heart more quickly," he said, " than a sentiment in honor of a great
and noble character. But as I sat on these seats and witnessed these



386 HISTORY OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

demonstrations, it seemed to me you were a human ocean in a tem-
pest. I have seen the sea lashed into a fury and tossed into a spray,
and its grandeur moves the soul of the dullest man. But I remember
that it is not the billows, but the calm level of the sea, from which all
heights and depths are measured. Gentlemen of the Convention,
your present temper may not mark the healthful pulse of our people.
When our enthusiasm has passed, when the emotions of this hour
have subsided, we shall find the calm level of public opinion below
the storm, from which the thoughts of a mighty people are to be
measured, and by which their final action will be determined. Not
here, in this brilliant circle, where fifteen thousand men and women
are assembled, is the destiny of the Republic to be decreed; not here,
where I see the enthusiastic faces of seven hundred and fifty-six dele-
gates waiting to cast their votes into the urn and determine the
choice of their party; but by four million Republican firesides, where
the thoughtful fathers, with wives and children about them, with the
calm thoughts inspired by love of home and love of country, with the
history of the past, the hopes of the future, and the knowledge of the
great men who have adorned and blessed our nation in days gone by
there God prepares the verdict that shall determine the wisdom of
our work to-night." General Garfield's speech was courteous, con-
ciliatory, and prudent, and it would have made votes for his can-
didate if speeches ever made votes. The claims of John Sherman
could not have been better presented, but many of the delegates and
many persons in the gallery felt that if Ohio had offered Garfield in-
stead she would have had a better chance to win.

After the nomination of Sherman only two names remained to be
presented, those of George F. Edmunds, of Vermont, and Elilm B.
Washburne, of Illinois. The former was proposed by Mr. Billings and
the latter by Mr. Cassidy, of Wisconsin. It was within a few minutes
of midnight when the Convention adjourned. A Sunday of excite-
ment and suspense followed, but when the sun rose in a clear sky on
Monday morning it was found that much of the boisterous element
had been eliminated from the throng in the streets. In Exposition
Hall, when the Convention met, there was still much of the eager
expectation of the previous Wednesday, with little of the wild en-
thusiasm of Saturday. Chairman Hoar came in ahead of time and
looked as serene as the morning, cooled by the breezes from the lake.
As soon as the tall form and silvered locks of Roscoe Conkling were
seen, a mighty shout was raised, that was even heartier and longer
than the demonstration of Saturday. More spontaneous and not less
hearty was the welcome that was accorded to Garfield. Few of the
delegates showed in their faces the calm defiance of Conkling, or the



THE GARFIELD AND ARTHUR CAMPAIGN. 387

dark and lowering determination of Logan. There was a spirit of
unrest among Mr. Elaine's friends that showed their alternations of
hope and fear. Before the balloting the chair announced that no de-
bate or changing of votes would be permitted, and then the voting-
began that was not to be conclusive until the next day. In all thirty-
six ballots were cast, as follows:

Windom. Garfield.

10

10 1

10 1

10 1

10 1

10 2

10 2

10 1

10 2

10 1

10 2

10 1

10 1





Grant.


Blaine


Sherman.


Washburne. .


Edmu


1


304


284


93


30


34


2


305


282


94


31


32


3


305


282


93


31


32


4


305


281


95


31


32


5


305


281


95


31


32


6


305


280


95


31


32


7


305


281


94


31


32


8


306


284


91


32


31


9


308


282


90


32


31


10 .


305


282


92


33


31


11


305


281


93


32


31


12


304


283


92


33


31


13


305


285


89


33


31


14


305


285


89


35


31


15


309


281


88


36


31


16


306


283


88


36


31


17


303


284


90


36


31


18


305


283


91


35


31


19


305


279


96


32


31


20


308


276


93


35


31


21


305


276


96


35


31


22


305


275


97


35


31


23


304


275


97


36


31


24


305


279


93


35


31


25


302


281


94


35


31


26


303


280


93


36


31


27


306


277


93


36


31


28


307


279


91


35


31


29


305


278


116


35


12


30


306


279


120


33


11


31


308


276


118


37


11


32


309


270


117


44


11


33


309


276


110


44


11


34


312


275


107


30


11


35


313


257


99


23


11


36..


306


42


3


5






1
1
1
1

2

2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
1

17

50

399



388 HISTORY OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

There were a few scattering votes besides those for Garfield dur-
ing the balloting, one for General Harrison, of Indiana, on the third
ballot; one for President Hayes on the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth
ballots; one for George W. McCrary, of Iowa, on the thirteenth bal-
lot; one for Edmund J. Davis, of Texas, on the seventeenth ballot,
and one for Governor Hartranft, of Pennsylvania, on the nineteenth,
twentieth, twenty-first, and twenty-second ballots. An examination
of the foregoing table will show that Grant's vote never rose above
313 nor fell below 303. Elaine's strength was increased only twice,
on the thirteenth and fourteenth ballots, and then only by a single
vote. The voting was almost without incident. On the first ballot
the vote of New York was cast 51 for Grant, 17 for Elaine, and 2 for
Sherman; Pennsylvania voted 32 for Grant, 23 for Elaine, and 3 for
Sherman. The first vote cast for General Garfield was by Mr. Grier,
of Pennsylvania. General Garfield took no heed of the votes given
him singly or in pairs, but when he received seventeen votes on the
thirty-fourth ballot he challenged the right of delegates to vote for
him without his consent, but was overruled by the chair. The next
ballot showed that a break was imminent, and then it came. On the
thirty-sixth and last ballot Connecticut led off with 11 votes for
Garfield. The storm, however, did not break until Illinois gave him
most of her Washburne vote, and General Harrison cast for him 29
of the 30 votes of Indiana. Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Minnesota, and Mississippi all followed with large addi-
tions to Garfield's strength. When Ohio was called there was some
delay, but the delegation finally came round with forty-three votes
for Garfield, the missing delegate being Garfield himself. General
Beaver announced the Pennsylvania vote as 37 for Grant and 21 for
Garfield. When Vermont added her 10 Edmunds votes, and Wis-
consin gave Garfield her 18, the work was complete. The
motion to make the nomination unanimous was made by Mr. Conk-
ling, and seconded by General Logan. " I wish you would say this is
no act of mine," General Garfield said to the correspondent of the
Cleveland Herald. " I wish you would say that I have done every-
thing and omitted nothing to secure Secretary Sherman's nomination.
I want it plainly understood that I have not sought this nomination,
and have protested against the use of my name. If Senator Hoar had
permitted I would have forbidden anybody to vote for me. But he
took me off my feet, before I had said what I intended. I am very
sorrj 7 it has occurred; but, if my position is fully explained, a nomina-
tion, coming unsought and unexpected like this, will be the crown-
ing gratification of my life."

After the nomination of Garfield the Convention took a recess for



THE GARFIELD AND ARTHUR CAMPAIGN.



389



consultation in regard to the candidate for the Vice-Presidency. It
was agreed by a majority of the delegates to concede the candidate
to Grant's friends, and Mr. Conkling named Chester A. Arthur, of
New York. There was only one ballot, the vote being: For Chester A.
Arthur, 468; Elihu B. Washburne, of Illinois, 199; Marshall Jewell, of
Connecticut, 43; Horace Maynard, of Tennessee, 30; Edmund J. Davis,
of Texas, 20; Blanche K. Bruce, of Mississippi, 8; James L. Alcorn, of
Mississippi, 4; Thomas Settle, of Florida, 2, and Stewart L. Woodford,
of New York, 1. The nomination was made unanimous, and the
Convention adjourned.

The nomination of General Garfield was not expected by the coun-
try, but it was accepted by the opponents of a third term for General
Grant as the best that could have
been made, when it was found
that Mr. Blaine could not be nom-
inated. Garfield had a brilliant
military history. He had the
prestige of a distinguished career
in Congress, and for ten years he
had ranked among the foremost
of the Republican leaders. He
was conspicuous for eloquence,
for wide knowledge of the legis-
lative and administrative history
and needs of the country, and
for his liberal and progressive
Republicanism. No candidate
that could have been named
at the time possessed so many
elements of popularity with the
people.

The selection of General Arthur as Garfield's associate on the
ticket was received in some quarters with dismay. He was regarded
by a large section of the party as unfitted by political instincts and
training for a place on the ticket. He had held only one political
position, that of Collector of the Port of New York, from which he
had been removed by Secretary Sherman. He had been connected
with Governor Morgan's administration during the war, serving with
ability and credit as Quartermaster-General of the State of New York.
He had been graduated at Union College, and held respectable rank
at the New York Bar. The only objection to his fitness was the fact
that he had been the active leader of the party in the politics of New
York City. This objection was too narrow to have weight in the
canvass, and the feeling of dissatisfaction soon passed away.




CHESTER A. ARTHUR.



390 HISTORY OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

On the day following the adjournment of the Republican National
Convention the Greenback party met at Chicago and nominated
James B. Weaver, of Iowa, for President, and B. J. Chambers, of
Texas, for Vice-President. The Prohibitionists nominated Neal Dow,
of Maine, and A. M. Thompson, of Ohio, for President and Vice-Presi-
dent at Cleveland on June 17, and finally came the Democratic Na-
tional Convention at Cincinnati, on the 22d. The nomination of Gen.
Winfield S. Hancock for President was made by changes after the
roll-call on the second ballot, the results of the balloting being as
follows:

Candidates. Ballots. After

1st. 2d. drug's

Winfield S. Hancock, Pennsylvania 171 320 705

Thomas F. Bayard, Delaware 153| 113 2

Henry F. Payne, Ohio 81

Allen G. Thurman, Ohio 68^ 50

Stephen J. Field, California 65 65^

William R. Morrison, Illinois 62

Thomas A. Hendricks, Indiana 50 31 30

Samuel J. Til den, New York 38 6 1

Horatio Seymour, New York 8

Samuel J. Randall, Pennsylvania 128-j

Scattering 31 22

William H. English, of Indiana, was nominated for Vice-President,
his only opponent being Richard M. Bishop, of Ohio, who was with-
drawn before the close of the ballot.

The Democratic platform of 1880 was in marked contrast with the
elaborate pronouncement of 187f. It contained a compact and
energetic denunciation of the " grand fraud of 1876-7," and declared
in favor of " honest money, consisting of gold and silver, and paper
convertible into coin on demand," and of " a tariff for revenue only."
It was upon this tariff plank that the canvass turned, and finally
ended in General Hancock's defeat. General Hancock's nomination
was received by the Democrats with a heartiness that amounted to
enthusiasm. As a soldier candidate his military record was without
a flaw. Brave, gallant, and patriotic, a soldier distinguished in the
Peninsula campaign, at Antietam, in the decisive action that marked
the bloody fighting on the third day at Gettysburg, and in General
Grant's final campaign from the Wilderness to Appomattox, and a
chivalrous gentleman, he was a worthy representative of that class
of War Democrats who never regarded the war as a failure, and
never faltered in their devotion to the Union by seeking an armistice



THE GARFIELD AND ARTHUR CAMPAIGN. 391

from the enemy. A graduate of West Point, and brevetted for gal-
lant conduct at Contreras and Cherubusco, in the Mexican war, he had
fulfilled, during the rebellion, all the promises of his military edu-
cation and all the expectations of his early career. He was the
strongest candidate who could have been nominated by the Demo-
crats, and during the early weeks of the canvass it looked as if his
election was a foregone conclusion.

The campaign of 1880 was one of extraordinary bitterness. Gen-
eral Garfleld was assailed even more savagely than was Fremont in
1856, or Grant in 1872. At one time the figures " 329 " were chalked
on the sidewalks, painted on dead walls, and printed in bold type in
Democratic newspapers everywhere. These figures were intended
to represent the number of dollars Garfield was alleged to have re-
ceived as a Credit Mobilier dividend. He was accused of complicity
with corrupt contracts as a member of Congress, and with impro-
prieties of many kinds and degrees. Finally the famous forged
" Morey Letter " was lithographed and printed, and scattered broad-
cast, especially in the Pacific States, to convey the impression that
Garfield was in favor of " Chinese cheap labor." Morey was a myth,
but Garfield's handwriting was imitated with such success that the
genuineness of the forgery was vouched for by Abram S. Hewitt and
Samuel J. Randall, among others. In California the forged letter
had the effect of giving the electoral vote of the State to General
Hancock, because it was impossible to disavow the forgery in time
to reach the voters.

At the outset the auspices were not favorable for Republican suc-
cess. In Maine the September election for Governor and members of
the Legislature was adverse, the Democrats electing their candidate
for Governor by the narrow margin of 164 votes. The discourage-
ment occasioned by the unexpected result in Maine was only momen-
tary, and was followed by special exertions to carry the two October
States, Ohio and Indiana. Mr. Conkling, who had been " sulking in
his tent," was induced to take the stump, and, in company with Gen-
eral Grant, made a campaigning tour in Ohio. The Camerons, father
and son, also made speeches in Ohio and Indiana. Both States were
carried by the Republicans, results that made the canvass more hope-
ful, but not entirely assured.

The Democrats expected to make the campaign turn on the " grand
fraud of 1876-7," as the question that " precedes and dwarfs every
other," but the people were indifferent to this " fraud issue," while
the Republicans succeeded in concentrating the interest of the coun-
try on a Protective Tariff, which was menaced by the tariff -for-rev-
enue-only plank of the Democratic platform. It was unquestionably



392 HISTORY OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

the introduction of this issue into the canvass that saved Garfield
and Arthur from defeat.

General Garfield had a small plurality of the popular vote over
General Hancock; but Garfleld and Arthur carried twenty States,
with 214 electoral votes, while Hancock and English carried nineteen
States with 155 electoral votes. Hancock had the vote of the " Solid
South," and Garfield carried all the other States, except New Jersey,
Nevada, and five of the six votes of California.

The electoral count was under the rule adopted in February, 1881,
but was entirely devoid of incident



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY OF THE EPOCH.

REPUBLICAN PLATFORM OF 1876.

When, in the economy of Providence, this land was to be purged of
human slavery, and when the strength of the government of the peo-
ple, by the people, and for the people, was to be demonstrated, the
Republican party came into power. Its deeds have passed into his-
tory, and we look back to them with pride. Incited by their mem-
ories to high aims for the good of our country and mankind, and look-
ing to the future with unfaltering courage, hope, and purpose, we,
the representatives of the party, in National Convention assembled,
make the following declaration of principles:

1. The United States of America is a nation, not a league. By the
combined workings of the National and State Governments, under
their respective constitutions, the rights of every citizen are secured,
at home and abroad, and the common welfare promoted.

2. The Republican party has preserved these governments to the
hundredth anniversary of the nation's birth, and they are now em-
bodiments of the great truths spoken at its cradle " That all men are
created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness; that for the attainment of these ends governments have
been instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the con-
sent of the governed." Until these truths are cheerfully obeyed, or,
if need be, vigorously enforced, the work of the Republican party is
unfinished.

3. The permanent pacification of the southern section of the Union,
and the complete protection of all its citizens in the free enjoyment
of all their rights, is a duty to which the Republican party stands
sacredly pledged. The power to provide for the enforcement of the
principles embodied in the recent constitutional amendments is
vested, by those amendments, in the Congress of the United States;
and we declare it to be the solemn obligation of the legislative and
executive departments of the government to put into immediate and
vigorous exercise all their constitutional powers for removing any
just causes of discontent on the part of any class, and for securing to
every American citizen complete liberty and exact equality in the
exercise of all civil, political, and public rights. To this end we im-
peratively demand a Congress and a Chief Executive whose courage
and fidelity to these duties shall not falter until these results are
placed beyond dispute or recall.

4. In the first act of Congress signed by President Grant, the Na-



394 HISTORY OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

tional Government assumed to remove any doubt of its purpose to dis-
charge all just obligations to the public creditors, and " solemnly
pledged its faith to make provision at the earliest practicable period
for the redemption of the United States notes in coin." Commercial
prosperity, public morals, and national credit demand that this
promise be fulfilled by a continuous and steady progress to specie pay-
ment.

5. Under the constitution, the President and heads of departments
are to make nominations for office, the Senate is to advise and consent
to appointments, and the House of Representatives is to accuse and
prosecute faithless officers. The best interests of the public service
demand that these distinctions be respected; that Senators and Rep-
resentatives who may be judges and accusers should not dictate ap-
pointments to office. The invariable rule in appointments should
have reference to the honesty, fidelity, and capacity of the appointees,
giving to the party in power those places where harmony and vigor
of administration require its policy to be represented, but permitting
all others to be filled by persons selected with sole reference to the
efficiency of the public service, and the right of all citizens to share
in the honor of rendering faithful service to the country.

C. We rejoice in the quickened conscience of the people concerning
political affairs, and will hold all public officers to a rigid responsibil-
ity, and engage that the prosecution and punishment of all who be-
tray official trusts shall be swift, thorough, and unsparing.

7. The public school system of the several States is the bulwark of
the American Republic, and, with a view to its security and perma-
nence, we recommend an amendment to the Constitution of the United
States, forbidding the application of any public funds or property for
the benefit of any schools or institutions under sectarian control.

8. The revenue necessary for current expenditures, and the obliga-



Online LibraryGeorge Oberkirsh SeilhamerHistory of the Republican party (Volume 1) → online text (page 42 of 61)