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nominating address was made by Martin I. Townsend, of New York,
but the speech of the evening for President Arthur was made by Con-
gressman Bingham. The audience, the occasion, the enthusiasm with
which the air was tingling, and which at every sentence kindled into
cheers, all invited him to give his best in voice and speech and man-



ner. Three Southern speeches followed: Winston, of North Caro-
lina, florid and loud; Lynch, of Mississippi, plain and direct; Pinch-
back, of Louisiana, adroit and clear. It only remained to put two
more candidates in nomination John Sherman, of Ohio, and Senator
Edmunds, of Vermont. The principal speech for Sherman was made
by Judge Foraker, and Edmunds was nominated by ex-Governor
Long, of Massachusetts, the nomination being seconded by George
William Curtis.

All that was to follow was to put the strength of the candidates
to the test of a vote, and to give the successful competitor a running
mate, but this must be the work of another day. Altogether there
were four ballots on June 6, as follows:





James G. Blaine, Maine..









George F Edmunds, Vermont





John A. Logan, Illinois





John Sherman, Ohio




Joseph R. Hawley, Connecticut. . *





Robert T. Lincoln, Illinois





William T. Sherman, Missouri




On the first ballot the votes of all the States and Territories were
divided, except those of California, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Nevada,
Oregon, West Virginia, Arizona, Dakota, and Washington, which
went to Blaine; Georgia, Idaho, New Mexico, and Wyoming, which
went to Arthur, and Khode Island and Vermont, which went to Ed-
munds. The divided vote from the South was, Alabama: Arthur
17, Blaine 1, Logan 1; Arkansas: Blaine 8, Arthur 4, Edmunds 2;
Florida: Arthur 7, Blaine 1; Kentucky: Arthur 16, Blaine 51, Logan
2i, Lincoln 1; Louisiana: Arthur 10, Logan 2, Blaine 3; Mississippi:
Arthur 17, Blaine 1; Missouri: Arthur 10, Logan 10, Edmunds 6,
Blaine 5; North Carolina: Arthur 19, Blaine 2, Logan 1; South Caro-
lina: Arthur 17, Blaine 1; Tennessee: Arthur 16, Blaine 7, Logan 1;
Texas: Blaine 13, Arthur 11, Logan 2; and Virginia: Arthur 21, Blaine
2, Logan 1. The divided New England States were, Massachusetts:
Edmunds 25, Arthur 2, Blaine 1, and New Hampshire: Edmunds 4,
Arthur 4. New York voted: Arthur 31, Blaine 28, Edmunds 12, and
Pennsylvania: Blaine 47, Arthur 11, Edmunds 1, Logan 1. General
Logan was unable to hold his own State, Illinois, intact, the vote be-
ing: Logan 40, Blaine 3, Arthur 1, and Blaine captured 21 of the Ohio


votes, leaving only 25 for John Sherman. In the West and North-
west the divided States other than those already mentioned were,
Indiana: Elaine 18, Arthur 9, Sherman 2, Edmunds 1; Kansas: Elaine
12, Arthur 4, Logan 1, Hawley 1; Michigan: Elaine 15, Edmunds 7,
Arthur 2; Minnesota: Elaine 7, Edmunds 6, Arthur 1; Nebraska:
Elaine 10, Arthur 6, Edmunds 6. On the second ballot Elaine's gains
were scattered between nine States, and comprised 3 votes from Ar-
kansas, 2 each from Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, and Ohio, and 1
each from Alabama, Kansas, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. On the
third ballot Elaine's most significant gains were 5 votes from Mis-
souri, 3 each from Michigan and Pennsylvania, and 2 each from
Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, and Virginia. Arthur had lost two
votes on the second, and two more on the third ballot. On the last
ballot Elaine received intact the votes of Indiana, Kansas, Michigan,
Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, in addition to the solid
votes cast for him on previous ballots. Illinois gave him 34 of
Logan's votes, but his gain in Massachusetts was only 2 votes, while
Arthur gained 4. From the beginning Elaine's nomination was a
foregone conclusion, but Arthur's strength at the finish was a splen-
did testimonial to the efficiency and success of his administration.

Twice defeated for the nomination, once in 1876 by the opposition
of New England, Ohio, and the South, and again in 1880 by the deter-
mined movement in behalf of General Grant for a third term, James
G. Elaine was at. last the choice of the Republican party for President
of the United States. While the balloting was in progress Mr. Elaine
was swinging in a hammock under a spreading apple tree at his Au-
gusta home. A group of ladies surrounded him. " I did not expect a
definite result so soon," he said, when the news of the final ballot was
received. A few minutes later the old cannon on the wharf at Hallo-
well, said to have been used on the " Boxer " in her fight with the
" Enterprise," boomed the first gun for Elaine in the State of Maine
after his nomination. Then the church bells in Augusta began to
ring, and this was followed by the shrieks of steam whistles from the
factories and the steamers on the river. Hallowell and Gardiner,
two and six miles away, joined in the noisy demonstration. The lawn
of the Elaine mansion was soon filled by a throng of the candidate's ju-
bilant townsmen, and in the evening there was a procession and a
speech by Mr. Elaine from his own doorway. " My friends and my
neighbors." he said, " I thank you most sincerely for the honor of this
call. There is no spot in the world where good news comes to me so
gratefully as here at my own home, among the people with whom I
have been on terms of friendship and intimacy for more than thirty
years people whom I know and who know me. Thanking you again
for the heartiness of the compliment, I bid you good-night."



After Mr. Elaine's nomination the Convention adjourned until
evening, and it was while the people of Augusta were listening to the
brief speech from the doorway that General John A. Logan was nom-
inated for Vice-President. An attempt was made to make the nomi-
nation by acclamation, but it was abandoned. Recourse was then had
to a call of the States, General Logan receiving 779 votes, to 6 for
Walter Q. Gresham, of Indiana, and 1 for J. B. Foraker, of Ohio.
These seven votes withheld from Logan were all from New York. Lo-
gan was popular with the masses, and especially with the veterans of
the civil war. He had, however, the reputation of being a chronic
growler. " Morton will come to me with two requests," President

Grant once said, compar-
ing Senator Morton, of
Indiana, with General
Logan. " If I grant one
of them he will go away
boasting of his influence
with the administration.
Logan will co-me with
thirteen requests. If I
grant twelve of them he
will go away swearing his
wishes are never complied
with." As one of the
champions of Grant's
nomination in 1880, his
candidature added
strength to the ticket, but
it was a ticket that, for
the first time in the his-
tory of the Republican party after 1860, was" foredoomed to defeat.
The Democratic National Convention met in the Exposition build-
ing in Chicago on July 8. The Convention was called to order by
William H. Barnum, of Connecticut, the Chairman of the National
Committee, and Richard B. Hubbard, of Texas, was made temporary
President. As soon as the temporary organization was effected the
Tammany members of the New York delegation made an attempt to
break down the unit rule, as had been done in the Republican National
Convention four years before. Grover Cleveland's course as Gov-
ernor was highly displeasing to Tammany, and that powerful organi-
zation was bitterly opposed to his nomination. The New York Con-
vention, while not instructing the delegation to support Cleveland, di-
rected it to vote as a unit. Unless this rule was abrogated Tammanv



would be powerless to resist Ms nomination. The attempt failed.
On the second day of the Convention William F. Vilas, of Wiscon-
sin, was made its permanent President. Without waiting for the re-
port of the Committee on Resolutions, it was determined to proceed
with a call of the States for the nomination of candidates for Presi-
dent of the United States, and the names of Allen G. Thurman, of
Ohio; Thomas F. Bayard, of Delaware; Joseph E. McDonald, of In-
diana; John G. Carlisle, of Kentucky; Samuel J. Randall,, of Penn-
sylvania, and Grover Cleveland, of New York, were formally pre-
sented. The nominating speeches consumed the rest of the day,
and the morning session of the third day. At the evening session the
Platform was reported, and adopted, after which the first ballot
was taken, w r ith the following result: Cleveland, 392; Bayard, 170;
Thurman, 88; Randall, 78; McDonald, 56; Carlisle, 27; Flower, 4;
Hoadly, 3; Hendricks, 1; Tilden, 1. Necessary to a choice under the
two-thirds rule, 547. An adjournment was then ordered by a very
close vote. When the Convention again met on Friday morning the.
Indiana delegation withdrew the name of Mr. McDonald with the
avowed purpose of substituting Thomas A. Hendricks. This was
done with the hope of stampeding the Convention for Hendricks, but
as the voting proceeded it became apparent that Cleveland's nomina-
tion could not be prevented. The result of the second ballot was de-
clared as follows: Cleveland, 683; Bayard, 81i; Hendricks, 45^; Thur-
man, 4; Randall, 4; McDonald, 4. At the evening session Thomas A.
Hendricks was nominated for Vice-President by acclamation. Thus
was completed the first successful Democratic ticket since 1856.

The campaign that ensued was one of extraordinary bitterness.
Mr. Blaine was assailed as a corrupt politician, and Mr. Cleveland
was accused of the paternity of an illegitimate child, which it was as-
serted he had failed to support. Cleveland met the accusations af-
fecting him with the blunt adjuration to his friends, " Tell the
truth." This phrase, ooldly enough, became a Democratic battlecry
of the canvass, and was regarded as " in striking contrast with the at-
titude of his opponent on questions deeply affecting his personal in-
tegrity." Its singular effrontery was looked upon by his supporters
as a proof of manliness and merit. " There was no whining about his
private business," said Harper's Weekly, " no seizing of letters, and
after a menacing pressure of public opinion, a theatrical reading of
such parts as he chose, and with his own comments; there was no des-
perate equivocation and attempted concealment. ' Tell the truth '
was the only reply a reply which showed a man honorably unwilling
to receive any public trust under false pretenses."

Mr. Elaine's letter of acceptance was a comprehensive and states-


manlike discussion of public questions and the public interests, but
the attention of the voters was diverted from the consideration of
questions affecting our foreign and domestic commerce, the tariff and
the currency, to the issues suited to a campaign of scandal. Mr.
Cleveland made a few speeches, but they attracted little attention,
and during the greater part of the campaign he remained quietly at
Albany performing his duties as Governor of New York. He made
a visit to his former home, Buffalo, where he was received with some
show of enthusiasm, and he addressed a " business meeting " in New
York City, and spoke at Newark, N. J., and Bridgeport, Conn. Mr.
Blaine made a more extended campaign tour and was received by vast
outpourings of the people. The difference in the reception of the
two men was to Democratic writers a sign of culpability in Blaine, of
Roman virtue in Cleveland. " In contrast with his campaign and his
personal conduct," says one of Mr. Cleveland's biographers, " was the
wild pageantry with which Blaine was conducted over the country,
culminating in a series of ovations, dinners, and receptions in New
York City. One of these, a select assemblage of millionaires to do
honor to the Republican candidate, created a strong feeling that his
election was chiefly desired by the plutocrats and monopolists; at an-
other a misfit preacher named Burchard dropped an ill-timed remark,
aspersing the Democracy as the party of ' Rum, Romanism, and Re-
bellion,' and to these two incidents many of Mr. Elaine's admirers lay
the accountability for the slender adverse plurality which lost to him
New York and the Presidency."

The cause of Mr. Elaine's defeat lay deeper than the inapt speech
of the " misfit preacher named Burchard," or the dinners attended
by a few men who had more money than the average man thinks any
man ought to have. The campaign of 1884 was the beginning of a
long epoch of discontent, in which eminent public service and a con-
spicuous public career were elements of weakness rather than of
strength. Mr. Blaine had made many enemies, who rejected him as
unworthy of their support because he had been a successful politi-
cian. Among those who had been prominent Republicans who turned
against him were George William Curtis and the Rev. Henry Ward
Beecher, of New York; Carl Schurz, Secretary of the Interior under
President Hayes; Colonel Charles R. Codman, Colonel Thomas Went-
worth Higginson, Henry L. Pierce, and the Rev. James Freeman
Clarke, of Massachusetts; ex-Senator Wadleigh, of New Hampshire;
and ex-Governors Chamberlain, of South Carolina; Blair, of Michigan,
and Pound, of Wisconsin. These and others like them were the original
" Mugwumps," exerting a powerful influence against the party they
had long served. Their influence alone was sufficient to account for


Mr. Elaine's defeat by the slender adverse plurality that lost him
New York and the Presidency.

Indiana had followed the example of Pennsylvania, and ceased to
be an October State, but in Ohio the October elections for State of-
ficers were carried by the Republicans. This was considered a fair
promise of Mr. Elaine's election in November, but it was in reality
the Prohibition vote in the close States that decided the result. The
Prohibitionists had become the Prohibition-Home-Protection party,
and nominated John P. St. John, of Kansas, for President, and Will-
iam Daniel, of Maryland, for Vice-President. The Platform declared
in favor of administrative reform, the abolition of all sinecures and
useless offices, and election by the people instead of appointment by
the President. This afforded an excuse for many dissatisfied Re-
publicans to vote for St. John, and while General Butler's candida-
ture was prejudicial to both the old parties, the Prohibition vote was
almost wholly Republican. St. John's vote deprived Mr. Elaine of the
Electoral votes of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, and with
Butler's Republican support of Indiana also. The vote of Cleveland
and Hendricks in the Electoral College was 219 to 182 for Elaine and
Logan. It will thus be seen that the result in New York was decisive,
Mr. Cleveland receiving the 36 Electoral votes of the State on a
plurality of only 1,149, while falling 40,811 below a majority, St.
John's vote being 25,016, and Butler's 16,944.

" The managers of the defeated party," says one of Mr. Cleveland's
biographers, " in their intense disappointment, vented their rage
partly upon the Prohibitionists, and to some degree upon the luck-
less speech of Rev. Dr. Burchard; their deepest resentment, however,
was exhibited against the so-called * Mugwumps,' for whom no terms
of reproach were deemed too violent. The Independent Republicans,
who had vainly protested against Elaine's nomination, and had con-
tributed to his defeat at the polls, received the abuse now heaped
upon them with great complacency, and hopefully looked to the new
administration for their vindication."

For the first time in nearly a quarter of a century the Republican
party was defeated in a Presidential election. For the first time in
nearly a quarter of a century a Democratic President had been chosen.
It was not so much a Democratic triumph as the victory of Repub-
lican discontent over the candidates of the Republican party. The
Mugwumps were not slow to claim the achievement as theirs, and they
were loud in proclaiming that the victory should be interpreted as
the triumph of the better elements of all parties. It was indeed the
victory of discontent, and as such defeat was to be followed almost
inevitably by reaction and recovery.



An Inexperienced Executive The Cabinet The Forty-ninth Con-
gress President Cleveland's Vetoes Interstate Commerce
Commission The White House Wedding An Accomplished
" Master of Ceremonies " Fiftieth Congress Tariff Revision-
President Cleveland's Tariff Message Effect of the Message
The Mills Tariff Bill Protection or Free Trade Becomes the
Dominating Issue.

ROVER CLEVELAND entered upon the Presidency, March
4, 1885, with less acquaintance with men and affairs than
any of his predecessors. James K. Polk had served in
Congress and had been Speaker of the House of Represen-
tatives. Zachary Taylor had been in the military service, and con-
sequently in affiliation with civil administration all his life. Frank-
lin Pierce had been both a Representative and a Senator in Congress.
Abraham Lincoln was a recognized leader in the great movement
that had made him the first Republican President of the United
States. But Mr. Cleveland had risen, in the brief period of three
years, from the Mayoralty of a small inland city, through the Govern-
orship of New York, to the highest office in the gift of the American
people. He was entirely without experience in Federal administra-
tion. He knew personally almost none of the public men with whom
he would be required to deal. Even his Cabinet must be composed of
men most of whom he had never met. In the selection of his official
advisers the President-elect followed the traditions of his predeces-
sors. The State Department was given to his most powerful com-
petitor for the nomination at Chicago Thomas F. Bayard, of Dela-
ware. At the head of the Treasury he placed Daniel Manning, the
editor of the Argus at Albany, his chief political sponsor. Another
New Yorker, then not widely known, William C. Whitney, was made
Secretary of the Navy. Even less known than the two New York
Cabinet selections was the new Secretary of War, William C. Endi-
cott, of Massachusetts. William F. Vilas, w r ho had presided over the
Chicago Convention, was made Postmaster-General. The remaining


places went to the u Solid South," L. Q. C. Lamar, of Mississippi, being
made Secretary of the Interior, and Augustus H. Garland, of Arkan-
sas, Attorney-General. It was not a strong Cabinet, either intellect-
ually or politically, but it was received with as much satisfaction as
Avould have been accorded to a stronger aggregation of Democratic

During the first year of his administration President Cleveland was
subjected to considerable criticism in his own party for his alleged
rigid adherence to the reform in the Civil Service. He did not make
removals fast enough to suit many of his supporters, who were eager
for the offices, while there was indignation among Republicans at
the energy with which the " ax " was wielded, especially in the
Postmaster-General's Department. So marked was this feeling that
early in the first session of the 49th Congress the Senate,
under the lead of Mr. Edmunds, of Vermont, set up the claim, hither-
to never advanced, that that body was entitled to the " papers " upon
which removals and appointments had been made. The President
refused to comply with this request, holding that such documents
affected considerations private to himself. Later the Senate re-
ceded from its position by confirming the men appointed to the of-
fices in question.

The 49th Congress, like its predecessor, was Republican in the
Senate and Democratic in the House of Representatives. The new
Republican Senators were Leland Stanford, of California; Henry W.
Blair, of New Hampshire; William M. Evarts, of New York, and John
C. Spooner, of Wisconsin. The Democrats new to the Senate were
James F. Berry and James K. Jones, of Arkansas; George Hearst, of
California; George Gray, of Delaware; Joseph C. S. Blackburn, of
Kentucky; Edward C. Walthall, of Mississippi; Henry B. Payne, of
Ohio, and W. C. Whitthorne, of Tennessee. Gray succeeded Secre-
tary of State Bayard, Walthall Secretary of the Interior Lamar, and
Berry Attorney-General Garland. Mr. Carlisle was again elected
Speaker of the House, the Democrats having a membership of 184
to 139 Republicans. The Greenback-Labor party had only two Rep-
resentatives. Among the Republican additions to the House were
Joseph McKenna, of California; Jacob H. Gallinger, of New Hamp-
shire; James Buchanan, of New Jersey; Ira Davenport, of New York;
Benjamin Butterworth, of Ohio; and John A. Hiestand and Edwin
S. Osborne, of Pennsylvania. Kentucky sent one new Republican
member, William H. Wadsworth; Missouri two, William Warner and
William H. Wade, and Tennessee one, Zachary Taylor. It was a busi-
ness Congress, but succeeded in accomplishing little practical legisla-
tion. In history the 49th Congress is remarkable only for the num-



ber of its measures vetoed by the President. The whole account
stands thus:







Approved by the President




Failed of approval







Became laws without approval




Unsigned at time of adjournment (" pocketed ")







A majority of these comprised private pension bills, of which the
summarv is as follows:




Bills passed




Bills approved . .




Failed of approval




Became laws without approval by lapse of time








Unsigned at time of adjournment ("pocketed") ......







During the second session of the 49th Congress a bill was
passed creating an Interstate Commerce Commission, and granting
it certain powers to prohibit discrimination in rates of carrying of
passengers and freight. The bill was signed by the President, and a
Commission appointed for the purpose of carrying its provisions into
effect. Of this Commission Thomas M. Cooley, of Michigan, one of
the ablest jurists in the country, was elected Chairman. The law was
accepted by the people and the railroads with good results.

It is pleasant to turn from the public to the domestic features of
the President's life. " Up to this time Mr. Cleveland," says one of his
many biographers, " was a bachelor; only one other President of the
United States had been in the enjoyment of single blessedness when
he entered the White House, James Buchanan, the immediate prede-
cessor of Abraham Lincoln. But Mr. Cleveland was about to join his


fortunes with one of the sweetest young ladies America has ever
produced. A good judge of men, the President proved by his choice
to be an equally good judge of women. Miss Frances Folsom, the
daughter of the President's old law partner, Oscar Folsom (who un-
fortunately was killed in a runaway accident in 1875), was the
young lady whom the President was about to honor with his hand,
his heart being already in her possession. Frances, or " Frank " Fol-
som, as she was called, was born in Buffalo, N. Y., July 21, 18G4. She
was well educated and, by foreign travel, had acquired such grace and
self-possession as is rarely seen in so young a person. She was mar-
ried in the White House to President Cleveland, June 2, 1886. The
ceremony took place in the east parlor, and a large number of influ-
ential persons were present, besides members of the President's fam-
ily. After the marriage ceremony had been performed by Rev. Dr.
Sunderland, Mr. Dan Lamont, who was master of ceremonies, invited
the guests, in the President's name, to a sumptuous collation, after
which Mr. and Mrs. Cleveland went to Deer Park, Maryland, from
June 3 to June 8, when they returned to the White House. Thurs-
day, June 15, they held their first State reception, and Mrs. Cleveland
surprised every one by her grace and beauty. An older lady, ac-
customed to State functions for years, could not have surpassed this
young American woman in well-bred ease and grace. The members

Online LibraryGeorge Oberkirsh SeilhamerHistory of the Republican party (Volume 1) → online text (page 48 of 61)