J. Frank (James Frank) Hanly.

Speeches of the Flying squadron online

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eignty, I am greater than you are." And then we said to
it, "If you are as bad as that, if you will not respect the
expressed sovereignty of the people of township or city,
we will increase the area of the unit of decision and we
will give the people of whole counties the right to vote
upon your exclusion," and we did. We did it here in
Indiana. We gave the people that right, and in seventy out
of the ninety-two counties in the State, by an aggregate
majority of more than seventy-five thousand, the people
prohibited the traffic! (Applause.)

But what answer did it make to that? We had put
behind the people and their decision the governmental ma-
chinery of the country but what answer did it make?
The same old answer. It had no more respect for the ex-
pressed sovereignty of the people of a county than it had
had for that of the people of a township or city, and from
the twenty-two counties outside the seventy dry counties
in this State, it shipped its accursed product into the seventy
dry counties, breaking down the will and defying the ex-
pressed sovereignty of the people of such counties. Then
in sixteen States of the Union the people said to it, "If you
are as bad as that, if you will not obey any statute, if you
will not give heed to the expressed sovereignty of the
people of a township, or city, or county, then by State en-
actment, by amendment of State Constitutions, by the ex-
ercise of the highest sovereignty of which we are capable,



we will exclude you from our State," and in sixteen States
such enactments were passed, or such amendments
adopted, and the traffic in such States made unlawful.

But what answer did it then make? The precise answer
it made before. It had no more respect for the expressed
sovereignty of these sixteen great Commonwealths than it
had for the expressed sovereignty of a township or city
ward. It went just beyond the borders of the State pro-
hibiting it, just across the line, and there, hiding under a
clause in the Federal Constitution the Interstate Com-
merce clause it shipped its product into the dry State,
breaking down the sovereignty of the State, trampling
upon its laws, defying its authority and its power. And
then in these sixteen States the people said to the Federal
Congress, "We have inhibited the liquor traffic in sixteen
States of the Union by the highest act of sovereignty of
which we are capable; we have put back of our decision
the sovereign authority and power of these Common-
wealths ; but the liquor traffic, hiding under a clause in the
Federal Constitution, breaks down our sovereignty, and
tramples upon the expressed will of our people, and we
want you, Mr. Congress, to enact a law that will give the
sovereignty of the States power over an interstate ship-
ment of liquor the moment it crosses the State line." Con-
gress answered by passing such a law, but William Howard
Taft, as President of the United States, vetoed it. Holding
your commission, speaking for you, he vetoed it, and why ?
Because, "it was an unwarranted and an unconstitutional
delegation of Federal power to the States."

And here I spit him like a fly to the wall like a fly to
the wall despite his three hundred pounds of avoirdupois.
If you doubt it, watch him and see him wriggle. As a
lawyer, speaking in the city of Boston, he declares the pro-
hibition of the liquor traffic to be a thing for the sover-
eignty of the several States. As President of the United



States, acting under the solemnity of his oath of office,
over his official signature, he declares that such an exten-
sion of authority over the liquor traffic to the States would
be an "unwarranted and an unconstitutional delegation of
Federal power." My friends, the riding, at the same time,
of two horses going in opposite directions, has always
seemed to me to be a hazardous performance, and in this
instance it seems so clearly dangerous, that I decline to
follow my ill-fated friend. (Applause.)

So much for his dictum that this is a domestic and not a
Federal question. But before I leave it, I want anothei
word. Take the State of Indiana. If we were to prohibit
this traffic in this State (which, God helping us, we'll do
in the near future), (applause) do you know what would
happen? From the State of Kentucky, from Ohio and
from Illinois, hiding under this provision of the Federal
Constitution the Interstate Commerce clause this hate-
ful traffic would ship its product into the Commonwealth,
and the sovereignty of the State could not successfully pre-
vent it. It would lack the power as Maine lacks it, as
Kansas lacks it. But even so, State prohibition is infinitely
better than license. Better per se, and better, infinitely
better, as another great step toward the ultimate goal
the National prohibition of the whole traffic.

Before we accomplish its complete and final overthrow
we will have to go higher than State action ; we will have
to follow it to its lair; go where it is. And when we find
its lair, we will find it in, and protected by, the Federal
Constitution. And before we can reach it we will have to
amend the Federal Constitution and strip the traffic of its
protection. The amendment of the Federal Constitution is
a Federal question. We cannot amend the Federal Constitution
without Federal action. By hiding under, and taking refuge
in, this clause in the Federal Constitution, and by declaring
a delegation of power over interstate shipments of liquor



to the States, to be an unwarranted and unconstitutional
delegation of Federal power to the States, the liquor
traffic and William Howard Taft have made the prohibition
of the traffic a Federal question and a National issue, and
it will remain a Federal question and a National issue,
knocking at the door of Congress until that door opens and
an affirmative answer is made. It will remain a Federal
question and a National issue, knocking at the door of the
White House at Washington, until some new Abraham
Lincoln, keeping step with the progress of the race, and
catching a vision of a saloonless land, a sober people, and
a stainless flag, shall issue a new emancipation proclama-
tion. (Applause.)

It will remain a Federal question and a National issue,
dissolving parties if need be, and from their disintegrating
fragments creating a new party, one which will dare to
do right by standing four square on this matter. Do not
misunderstand me; do not go away and say the mission
of the Flying Squadron is to create a new political party,
for if you do, you will be stating something that is not
true. The mission of the Flying Squadron is to correct the
fallacies of such men as William Howard Taft ; its mission
is to stir the heart of the Nation; to educate the public
mind; to crystallize public sentiment; to give an edge of
steel to the will and purpose of our countrymen, knowing
well that if we can do that, if public opinion can be crys-
tallized and made virile, it will find a way to express itself
through one of the constituted parties, or it will create a
new instrument through which it can express itself. (Ap-

Another reason given on the floor of the House, and
reiterated by the former President, was one that I blush
to name; one that if the sovereignty of the American
people had ever rested for a single hour in my poor per-
sonality, I would have suffered my right arm to be torn



from its socket and my tongue to be ripped from its roots
before I would have confessed it. What is this reason?
Hear it, and if you be men with red blood in you, you will
resent it ! Here it is : It would be a futile thing to submit
and adopt an amendment to the Federal Constitution end-
ing the liquor traffic in America, because it could not be
enforced if adopted. Think of it! Think of it! I want
it to soak in. Do you know what it is? It is a con-
fession from the lips of a former President of the United
States, a confession that constitutional, representative gov-
ernment has failed in this Republic ! Think of it ! I weigh
my words, I know their meaning. I am not given to loose-
ness of speech either in public or in private. I am willing
to stand for any utterances I make, and I say to you in all
candor, that the statement made is a confession from the
lips of a former President of the United States, a man who,
for four years, had vested in his personality the sover-
eignty of this Nation, a confession that constitutional
representative government has failed in this Republic!
And if you will hear me I will convince you that it is all I
have said of it.

The essence, the soul of American liberty, lies in the
right of the American people to choose for themselves poli-
cies of state and to have their choice effectuated when
made. In this is the soul, the essence of American liberty.
Outside of it there is only despotism or anarchy. If an
amendment to the Federal Constitution, made in the or-
derly, thoughtful, deliberate, slow process provided by that
instrument for its amendment; if an amendment repre-
senting the settled, purposeful, abiding conviction of the
American people, cannot be enforced if adopted, then we
have lost our right to choose policies of government, for
what boots our right to amend the charter of our liberties
if we are powerless to enforce the amendment when made?
And that, my friends, raises an issue in this Nation pro-



founder than the liquor question, an issue as profound
and deep as freedom itself, and that issue is raised in every
township made dry, it is raised in every county, it is
raised in every State, it is raised in every city. If you
doubt it, go read the story of Terre Haute. That issue is
a challenge to the American people, a challenge to their
right to govern themselves and to administer their own
government. The right to govern ourselves ! Have you
forgotten what that right cost ? If you have, go read again
the luminous story of the resplendent years out there ! Go
number again the dead who died to establish that right in
this new world. Go weigh the service ; go count the tears
and measure the shed blood out of which that right sprung.

That they might establish that right forever on this side
the sea, our fathers wrote and signed the indictment of a
king, when to write and sign and lose meant death in
hateful form.

To establish that right they assembled on the village
green at Lexington and disputed with the armed soldiery
of an English king, whether this new world should con-
tinue to be the plaything of kings and emperors and czars,
or should become the habitat of a great, free, purposeful

To establish that right, they froze at Valley Forge and
starved at Morristown. Froze and starved, but would
not yield!

To establish that right they stained with blood from
frozen feet the snow of the Jerseys in their retreat.

To establish that right they made red with the current
of their lives the trenches at Yorktown and crimson the
forest leaves at Saratoga.

To establish that right they ripped half a continent from
the body of the British Empire and brought back on the
bared points of their bloodwet swords their country's
independence !



To establish that right Washington left his home in Vir-
ginia; faced for seven years the perils of war, and bared
his bosom to the missiles of the battlefield; commanding for
seven years the little armies of the new-born Republic
without compensation, and in the end putting thirty-seven
thousands dollars of his own private fortune upon the altar.

To establish that right he carried in crucial moments in
his own great breast and unconquered soul, his country's
only hope.

To establish that right he denied a throne and refused
a crown, for once, when doubt rode on every wind,
and every passing hour was big with uncertainty and fear,
once, at least, Fate put within the reach of his sure
sword, and within the grasp of his strong hand, Fate put
a crown, Fate put a crown! He could have been a king!
He could have been a king, and the story of this Republic
never would have been written. He could have been a king,
but he would not, he would not. Where Cromwell stooped
and Caesar fell, Washington stood and walked erect ; stood
and walked erect. (Applause.) And now hear me, if he
could do that, if he could deny a throne and refuse a crown
that he might establish in this new world the right of this
people to choose for themselves policies of state and to
have their choice effectuated when made, what shall be
said of us, in this glad morning of this triumphant century,
what shall be said of us, heirs of all his great sword wrought
and established, inheritors of the splendid achievements of
the luminous years out there; what shall be said of us, if,
in the hour of our plentitude of power, we abdicate that
right, surrender it to the liquor traffic, and confess to the
world that we have reared here, under the flag his valor
called into this new sky reared a thing greater than the sov-
ereignty he won and bequeathed to us? Men and women
of Indiana, to me the thoi.^ht is impossible! At its mere



suggestion Washington's uncompensated sword ought to
leap again from its scabbard and beat and flay the cowards
who suggest it, as a hundred and thirty-eight years ago it
leaped from its scabbard at Kipp's Landing, and beat and
flayed the cowards who would not fight to establish that
right in this new world !

We cannot abdicate ; we cannot make the confession ; we
cannot surrender. No! No! We will accept the challenge;
accept it in the name of the martyred dead who died to
establish that right here ; accept it in the name of the heroic
living who mean to live and perpetuate that right here to
the latest generation! There is under God, or beneath the
stars, nothing greater than the expressed sovereignty of
this people. Not since the voice of Jehovah thundered
from the peaks of Sinai, has the world heard so potent a
voice as the voice of my country when expressed in orderly,
constitutional ways, and when she has so spoken, there is
beneath the stars no interest, however great, that may
dispute her sovereignty. No ! This land is ours, my friends,

"It is ours ; all ours !

Ours from the north lakes' crystal waves,
To the silvery southern foam ;
Ours by the changeless right of graves ;
Ours by the lives to come !

It is ours ; all ours !

Ours by the homes that deck the land,

Ours by the pathways trod;

Ours by the ages' stern demand,

Ours by the gift of God."

And being ours, we are resolved that we will administer
its government, and having resolved to administer its gov-
ernment, we intend to weave the death-robe, hew the death-



block, and lead to its execution anything that disputes with
us that right. (Applause.)

The great wrong of human slavery was tolerated until
in its arrogance and power it began to dispute with
Abraham Lincoln the right of this people to govern them-
selves. But when it did that, a million men stepped to
Lincoln's side and with muskets in their hands shot slavery
to death, sending it to the sepulcher of the centuries to keep
company with the dead evils of other times.

And now the liquor traffic, grown powerful and arrogant,
disputes with us on the floor of the Congress at Washing-
ton ; and through the lips of a former President, in every
State and in every city, disputes with us our right to ad-
minister the government of our fathers, and, like our
fathers, we mean to meet it meet it, not with bullets, but
with ballots, for by the ballot we can end it and send it
into the sepulcher of the centuries to keep company forever
with its twin-sister and relic of barbarism, human slavery.

That I might have a man's part in preparing the heart
of my countrymen for the coming of the great issue, I
have conceived, with my associates, this great, Nation-
wide campaign, a campaign that includes every State in
the Union, every State capital, the National Capital at
Washington, every great educational center of the land
more than two hundred and fifty American cities. More
than a year ago, a year ago last November, I called as many
of these men and women as I could reach, these men and
women whom you have heard here in the past three days,
to meet me at the Neal House in Columbus, Ohio. There we
met in an upper room, a room which had been once occu-
pied by Lincoln, and there we knelt around a common
altar ! "What," you say, "An altar in an upper room in a
hotel!" Yes, my brother, please God, an altar anywhere
where a contrite soul bows in supplication to the Father.



And there in that upper room we dreamed and planned this
great campaign, covering every State in the Union, stretch-
ing over a period of nearly nine months, requiring the
service of more than twenty people, and costing in round
numbers more than two hundred thousand dollars. That
was the thing we dreamed; and we knew what it meant.
We knew some of us would put health upon its altar and
mayhap life itself. And we knew what it would cost in
money two hundred thousand dollars and we knew there
was not a penny in our treasury, or a dollar in sight. Again
I hear your inquiry an inquiry born of doubt: "Did you
plan and start upon a campaign like that without
money; and undertake to carry that many people for that
period of time, day and night, across the country, without
resources or financial backing?"

I answer, "Yes, I did! I did just that did it over the
protest of my friends, over the protest of my business asso-
ciates ; did it when men said it could not be done." But I
had something better than money. There are some things
in this old world worth more than money. What did I
have? I had faith in the great cause we were to advocate.
I knew that somehow God's unchanging purpose was en-
folded within it; that the destiny of the land I loved was
wrapped up in it. I had faith in the American people
faith in you, my friends. I believed in you. And I had
faith in the great, glad, triumphant fact, that God, our
Father, was not yet bankrupt. I knew we were poor; I
knew we were without material resources ; but I knew the
riches of the mines were His ! That the wealth of the valleys
and the prairies, of the cities, of the factories and the
cattle on a thousand hills, were His ! And I knew, yes, by the
blessed memories and the fulfilled promises of two thousand
transcendant years, I knew, if the thing we purposed was
really His business, we could depend upon Him to see His
business through !



And so, without money, and without financial resources
or backing, I called these men and women about me, put my
hand in my Father's hand, and started upon this unparal-
leled campaign. Now, after more than seven months of
travel, covering a continental trail sixty-five thousand miles
in length; after having held more than thirteen hundred
public meetings like unto this ; after having delivered more
than three thousand addresses ; after having filled two
hundred and ten days with high endeavor, we are here,
speaking to you tonight. The past is secure. We are con-
tent with it. But hear me ! We have something like thirty
days yet of this campaign, days that will take us into great
cities, many cities where it will cost fifteen hundred to two
thousand dollars for local expenses alone, and I am free
to confess that I cannot complete this campaign with the
money I have in hand unless you help me, and help me more
generously than you have yet helped. Now, do not misun-
derstand me. These meetings are as free to you as the air
you breathe. Your money cannot be used to pay the ex-
pense of this hall, or even for the lighting of it. All that
was provided for by funds contributed before we came to
Indiana. We were not invited to come to Indianapolis ; we
came without invitation; came without the welcome of
some people. But we came because we were on the busi-
ness of our King; believed we had a message from the
King for you, a message which we have tried tr> give to
you. You owe no member of the Flying Squadron any-
thing, you are under no obligations to me. On the con-
trary, I am under many to you. But while you owe me
nothing, and these men and women nothing, I carry on my
heart and in my soul across this Continent, the world's
greatest cause, your country's greatest cause, and I cannot
carry it to successful fruition without your help. If you
love the cause, if you believe in me, if you believe in these
men and women, and are willing to make us your ambassa-



dors to the great cities of the East, then loose your purse-
strings. There are men here tonight who could give one
hundred dollars to this cause if they would. We had one
man like that in Muncie the other night. Surely there is a
man in Indianapolis who, for love of this cause, will put
one hundred dollars upon this altar. There ought to be
women here who could put fifty dollars upon it. In Muncie
there were two of them ! Others could give twenty-five
dollars, many others ; still others could give, twenty dollars,
fifteen dollars, ten dollars, and any of you could give five
dollars. And no man or woman ought to leave this hall
until he puts upon this altar at least one dollar in cash or
pledge. Now, I know what some of you are saying. Some
of you are saying, "Why, Governor, I gave yesterday," or
"I gave the day before," or "I gave this afternoon ; surely
you do not mean that I shall give again." Yes, I do. And
hear me! We gave yesterday, we gave the day before; we
have given two hundred and fifteen days and nights, and,
God helping us, we will give tomorrow, give every day.
We mean to bear this great cause on the wings of song
and prayer, and of consecrated high endeavor, so near the
gates of the Eternal City, that God will smile upon it in rec-
ognition and crown it with victory ! I know this will take
sacrifice, but hear me, there is no atonement for human
sin save in sacrifice. Had the great Nazarene never walked
beneath the olive trees ; had He never wept and knelt in
Gethsemane ; had His great heart never been broken by the
weight of the world's woe ; had He never hung in the agony
of crucifixion on Calvary's cross-crowned crest ; had a God
not been crucified, there would have been no atonement
for your sins and mine. Through His death we live.
Through His sacrifice we find salvation.

For two hundred years, Colonies and Nation, we have
sinned in the protection we have given this traffic. Shall



we now refuse to make the sacrifice necessary to drive it
out? Let us put our answer upon this altar here tonight.

I cannot close without expressing my grateful apprecia-
tion of the interest you have shown in this great series of
meetings ; it means that we are at death-grips with this
question, and I am grateful for it all.

And now I want to present to you Mr. Oliver Wayne
Stewart, of Chicago. God bless him! I wish you knew
him as I do, knew him for what he is worth. There came
a time in this campaign when my body broke, when I could
not whip it into action, when I fell of sheer physical exhaus-
tion, in the presence of the people as I tried to speak to
them, and it was Oliver Wayne Stewart who gathered me
in arms as tender as woman's, and cared for me, doing
my work and his, until I was able to take the field again.
May God bless his message to you tonight !



From an address delivered at the Chautauqua Assembly at
Champaign, 111., August 20, 1906, in answer to an address of Mr.
Jerome, in which he insisted upon two codes of laws touching
public morals, one strict enough to satisfy the moral yearnings
of rural communities, and the other liberal enough to satisfy the
desire for license on the part of city populations.

IF the object of District Attorney Jerome was notoriety
only, his western speech-making tour was a success.
That he obtained, wide-spread and abundant. But if
his purpose was to teach, to instruct, or to serve the peo-
ple, his trip was a failure. His ideals were too low and his
teachings too impracticable, too unwise and too dangerous
to be helpful. His message was well calculated to do harm.
Fortunately the time was inopportune for the preaching of

Online LibraryJ. Frank (James Frank) HanlySpeeches of the Flying squadron → online text (page 5 of 27)