Bryan-Thurston First 1894 Debate (Omaha World Herald)

This article from the October 18, 1894 edition of the Omaha World Herald summarizes the first debate between Republican candidate John M. Thurston and Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan during the 1894 Nebraska Senate campaign. The article also presents each man's speech, in full, as well as their rebuttal statements.

LINCOLN, Neb., Oct. 17.–There was one subject which absorbed all others today in Lincoln, the Bryan-Thurston debate. All Lincoln and half the state were in spirit with the audience which gathered in the Mercantile hall on the fair grounds to see and hear, and the interest among the unfortunate ones who were left without tickets and who stayed down town was not lessened because they were not there in person.

All roads led to the fair grounds and all eyes were turned in that direction, even though the owners of the eyes could not take the road. Old-time politicians, who have passed the stage of enthusiasm which is natural to young and ardent partisans, were discussing all the morning the effect upon the politics of the state which the Bryan-Thurston debate would have. Those old men who had heard the speeches of Douglas and Lincoln, when those two giants of the old time went before the people of Illinois, compared the white heat of interest then with that which has been manifested by the people of Nebraska, even before the speakers in the present contest have appeared before an audience. Then, as now, these old war horses say, the two champions represented the principles of the two parties which hare striving for the ascendency.

Early morning trains from distant quarters of the state unloaded hundreds of visitors, who were joined during the day by other hundreds, until it was estimated at noon that there were four or five thousand men from outside the city who had come to hear the speeches.

The men who had the task of distributing the tickets were the most popular citizens of the state last night and early this morning. That their popularity waned as the day grew was no fault of theirs, but simply because the number of tickets which represented the available space in the building where the speaking was held were to the number who wanted to get in as 1 to 16. The man who had a ticket issued either by the democratic or republican committee was the object of the envious regard of his less fortunate fellow citizen.

The street railroad company and the Burlington put all of their available rolling stock to work soon after noon to get the waiting thousands to the grounds. By 1 o'clock the Mercantile building was comfortably filled, and still hundreds of ticket holders were coming.

Before the time for the speaking to begin, 2 o'clock, there was a compact mass of men and women wedged in from the speaker's stand to the extreme ends of the building. The arrangement of the stand was as good as could be made in the building. Mercantile hall is one of the largest buildings in the group on the state fair grounds. It is in the shape of a cross, with arms of equal length. The stand was so placed at the angle made by two of the arms that everyone in the building could have a good view of all of it. The acoustic qualities of the house were found to be much better than was expected.

The republican champion was the first to appear upon the stand. He was escorted to appear upon the stand. He was escorted by C.H. Morrill, chairman of the republican state central committee, and his friends in the big building seemed to fill every nook and corner and each seemed to have a voice that was pitched to a peculiarly enthusiastic key. A moment afterward W. J. Bryan appeared at the entrance behind the temporary platform and the applause became a perfect cyclone of cheers, shouts and cries of the name of the democratic favorite which made the building quiver.

The speakers were accompanied by C. J. Smyth, chairman of the democratic state central committee; W. H. Thompson of Grand Island and Chairman Maule of the Lancaster county republican committee.

The wives of the speakers were invited to seats on the platform and when Mrs. Bryan, led by Chairman Smyth, appeared the crowd broke into a fresh tumult of applause.

Smyth introduced Bryan in a half dozen words. Maule, when it came time to perform a like service for Thurston, went into a speech eulogistic of his principal, but the audience would not have it and shouted him down.

When the speaking closed with the twenty minutes, rejoinder allowed to Mr. Bryan there was enacted a scene that has seldom been paralleled in any gathering. Hundreds pressed forward and insisted on grasping his hand and other hundreds crowded after until it seemed that three-fourths f the immense throng were determined to offer their congratulations by this method.

Republican Confession.

Tonight in the hotel lobbies and other places where men congregate, the subject of conversation is the debate of the day. The partisans of each party contend for the positions taken by their champion, and assert that their positions were well maintained. There is a large element that is not partisan, and these, although the individuals lean toward republicanism, are free to admit that the principles advocated by W. k. Bryan were presented in such a manner that conviction must follow after hearing. The democrats and those who agree with the congressman from this district are more than satisfied since they have seen their political beliefs presented side by side with the acknowledged best presentation that the republicans can furnish for theirs.

Lincoln, although a republican city, has a warm admiration for Mr. Bryan, and more than an ordinary anxiety was felt today by his friends for the result of the forensic encounter wit the foremost republican in the west. To say that they are satisfied is not to properly describe the feeling which they have tonight. They are jubilant over the result and their warrant for this feeling, if any is needed, is found in the candid admission of the republicans that Thurston was out matched. When this is said by a republican in Nebraska the only inference to be drawn is that it must be true, and there are numbers of republicans who are saying this tonight.

Many Bogus Tickets.

Evidence of sharp work on the part of someone was brought to light tonight when the tickets which were taken at the door were turned in to the committees. When the arrangements for the debate were made, James O'Shee, on the part of the Bryan men, and Ed R. Sizer on the part of the Thurston men, were designated to distribute the tickets. An equal number was distributed to each party, and the agreement was that these tickets should be marked that there could be no spurious ones passed on the doorkeepers. This was done by each of the distributors putting on the tickets given out by himself his signature with a rubber stamp. It was found that during the afternoon several hundred ticket holders came to the doors after the house was full. How this could happen when care had been taken to limit the tickets to the capacity of the building was for a while a mystery. It was found on investigation that there were about 3,000 spurious tickets n the hands of the doorkeepers, and these tickets were made to so closely resemble the republican tickets that a casual glance would not detect the fraud. They had the facsimile signature of Sizer and were on paper that was a shade darker than the genuine Sizer ticket.

Mr. O'Shee says that he does not believe that Sizer was a party to the cheat, but that his name was forged by those who had an interest to serve. Mr. Sizer says that he was careful to put his rubber stamp under lock and key and is certain that the stamp was duplicated. However it may be, thousands gained admission to the exclusion of genuine ticket holders.


Recognizes in Mr. Thurston a Candidate for United States Senator.

W. J. Bryan said: Ladies and Gentlemen and Fellow Citizens: It is difficult enough to be heard in so large an audience, even if everyone keeps perfectly quiet. This is not a gladiatorial combat, in which victory perches upon the standard of him who combines the most strength and skill but it is rather a chariot race in which the contestants are drawn by forces greater than themselves.

The candidates who are before you are the representatives of certain principles, and they must rise and fall as those principles are either accepted or rejected. I say that those who are before you are candidates because we stand in the same position, the only difference being that while both of us are willing to serve the people as United States senator, one is named by a convention and the other belongs to a party which has made no open choice.

Mr. Thurston said in his first letter, in reply to an invitation to debate, that if he should receive an office, it would have to be as the free and voluntary act of the republican party. I want to assure you, my friends, that I expect no office except at the voluntary hands of those who have the office to give. I know of no other way of getting it. When my friend was a candidate two years ago before the legislature, when the republicans did not have a majority in the legislature, his friends were anxious to secure for him votes from democrats or populists, as well as those from republicans, and if the next legislature has no republican majority, I imagine that my friend will not scrutinize too closely the political complexion of those members of the legislature who are willing to give their votes for him. I think that he, like myself, will receive the votes of the legislators who are willing to vote for us, asking no questions, except that they desire the one or the other to serve them as their public servant. We stand before you, then, as two men, willing to be employed, and you, the sovereign people, are to determine whether you desire us or not.

Two of a Kind.

A public servant is a hired man. He is employed at a fixed salary to do certain work and you have not to consider his anxiety to be your servant, or his ambition to be elected, but you have simply to consider your own interests, and whether you can protect your rights and advance your interests by employing the one or the other. Therefore, we are before you virtually in the same position, and we come to tell you what we believe in order that you may better know whether he or I can serve you best. You employ men in public service not to think for you; you think for yourselves. You employ them to act for you, and these parties dictate their platform in order that you may know how a man will act when elected, and you choose your men because of those things to which he is pledged when he becomes your servant, and the first thing that we have to determine is, what are the issues before the people and upon which side of these issues do the parities range themselves.

Platforms Compared.

The democratic platform adopted at Omaha on the 26th day of last month is before you. I stand upon it and I indorse every doctrine of that platform, and if I am elected it shall be my duty to carry out that platform to the best of my ability.

The republican convention met on the 22d, I believe it was, of last August, and that convention adopted a platform. Whether that platform will be the chart by which my friend will be guided if elected, we will learn when he comes to speak. In his letter he said that he would not revise the platform of his party to gratify his personal ambition. At that convention you will remember that my friend made a speech in which he said if he were asked to write the platform of his party, he would write a certain platform, and he gave a very different platform from the one which the party did write; by which platform he will be governed remains for us to see. We can tell after he has committed himself on these questions upon which one he stands.

I desire to take up some of the questions which are at issue before us and discuss them this afternoon. I shall not this afternoon discuss the tariff question; I shall leave that until tomorrow night, when we meet in Omaha, but there are some important questions upon which the parties are now at issue, if you take platforms, because there are some important questions upon which the republican platform does not speak, and one of the things which we desire in this debate is to find out whether the republican candidate is to be silent upon every question upon which the republican platform is silent, or whether we can learn from his position on those questions which are the real issues between the parties.

Income Tax.

The first question to which I invite your attention is the income tax. The democratic platform adopted at Omaha declares in favor of the income tax as a prominent part of our fiscal system. It was a part of the Wilson bill as it passed the house, and a part of the present tariff law as it passed the senate. It is limited to five years in duration and, unless some affirmative action is taken at the end of five years, the tax will cease by limitation of the law. I believe in an income tax, and, if elected, it shall stay upon the statute books just as long as I can help it to stay there. [Applause.]

I regard it as just in principle, and as wise in policy, and I ask my opponent to tell you why the republican party would neither commend it nor condemn it in its platform. If the tax is just, the republican party ought to be great enough to commend it. If it is unjust, it ought to be courageous enough to condemn it.

You who are citizens of Nebraska are interested in knowing how your public servant will act upon it, for, if that tax is taken off, it must be put somewhere else. If it is taken off from the fortunes of the rich it must be put upon the backs of the poor. We content that even now, with the small part to be collected from incomes, the federal revenues are paid too much by those who can least afford to pay it, and those who deserve to pay more have been able to avoid their share of federal taxation. The income tax is just in principle because it seeks to fit the burdens to the backs of the people. It seeks to make men pay in proportion to the protection which they enjoy at the hands of the government. How is it now? Why, with the income tax collecting one-tenth, and not more than that of our federal revenues, we will still collect about nine-tenths of our taxes from import duties and internal revenue taxes, approximately one-half from each. Who pays those taxes?

Who Pays the Tax?

The internal revenue taxes are collected upon liquor and tobacco, and men pay them, not in proportion to their income, but in proportion to the liquor and tobacco which they use. Men do not use those things in proport on to their income, and therefore they do not contribute through those means to the support of the government in proportion to their income. A person with an income or $100,000 does not use one hundred times as much liquor and tobacco as the man with an income of one hundred dollars. A man with an income of a million dollars does not use ten times as much as a man with an income of $100,000 Men do not pay in proportion to their income, but when these taxes are collected they are collected from the men of smaller incomes in larger proportion.

How is it upon import duties? They are collected upon what we eat and wear and use. Not only are they collected upon those things which we import, but also to a still greater extent in amount upon those things which we produce at home and consume at home. Do men wear clothing or eat food or use the articles taxed in proportion to their incomes? You recognize that that is not the case. A man with an income of $100,000 does not spend 100 times as much for food as a man with an income of $1,000, nor does he spend 100 times as much for clothing. Therefore we realize when we collect our taxes through import duties we make the man with the small income pay a larger per cent of his income to support the government than the man with a large income.

The Exemption Clause.

We have left an exemption of all incomes under $4,000. Why? Because those with small incomes pay more than their share through the other avenues of taxation. We do not deem it just that they pay the same proportion of this additional one-tenth, therefore the small incomes were exempt, and we said to those with large incomes, who pay less than their share, "we will tax you until those who have large incomes are brought up to a point near the same proportion as those with small incomes." There ought to be an exemption in any income tax law. We do not believe that even with this one-tenth collected from incomes over $4,000 that we now bring those with the large incomes up to their share, but I shall favor increasing the per cent we collect from income taxes rather than decreasing it for the purpose of restoring equality in the treatment of the people. [Applause.]

Take in Corporations.

But only about one-half of the income tax is collected from individual incomes; the other half is collected from the net incomes of corporations. Now, my friends, do you realize that the corporation pays no tax to support the federal government? The corporation does not use liquor or tobacco. It has no small vices. It does not wear clothing or eat food, and yet you know that much of the expenses of the federal government is incurred by corporations. The chairman of the committee on judiciary stated just before the adjournment of congress that two-thirds of the business of the courts was corporation business, and that that amount of business was so swelling the work of the court that they were asking for additional judges. Is it not fair, my friends, that these corporations which call upon the general government to protect them through the courts and by the strong arm of the law should pay their share of the expenses of the government whose protection they ask? Do you realize, too, that a great many corporations enjoy special franchises, corporations like street railway companies, which have the right of way in the city, corporations like gas companies, like railroad companies, which have the right of eminent domain and who have, to a large extent, a monopoly of the business within their territory? All corporations have this advantage, that the stockholder can limit his liability, while individuals in an enterprise must back their enterprise with all the property they have. We believe it is only fair that we collect from these people 2 per cent of the net earnings, which simply means after all the tax expenses are taken out, that the corporation shall turn over 2 per cent of that which is really net earnings to the support of the federal government. In this way we are enabled to reach many in foreign lands who have investments in this country, and but for this tax would escape any contributions to the expenses of the federal government. A person in a foreign land invests his money in a corporation here, and we say by this law that those who do it shall stand upon the same footing with our citizens and shall contribute from their net income to the support of the government.

You must sit in judgment upon this question. If you believe that the income tax is just. If you believe that it ought to continue a part of our fiscal system, then you can ask yourselves, my friends, why it is that the republican party does not say in its platform whether it favors it or not, and does not commit to its support or to its opposition those who are its candidates.

Pacific Railroad Lines.

There is another question to which I invite your attention, and it is a question upon which the republican party has not spoken in its platform. That is the foreclosure of the liens against the Pacific railroad companies. This is a question in which our people are interested, and I am susprised that the republican party did dot see fit in its state platform to express itself upon a question of such vital importance, a question which is immediately before us for settlement.

I need hardly recall to your memories the history of those railroads. The government started out to aid in the building of a line from the Missouri river to the Pacific ocean, and it dealt liberally with the people who were going to manage the enterprise. It gave the land and it gave its credit, and it made certain conditions which the companies agreed to comply with. One of the conditions was that the capital stock of the companies should be paid up in full, and the companies should pay back to the general government a certain part of their receipts, or certain sums until the entire amount should be paid back to the government. What has been done?

Corporation Steal.

I think I can state, without fear of contradiction, that there has been no honest endeavor on the part of those corporations to comply with their contract with the government. They did not pay in their capital stock. They did not turn back to the government all that they should have done, but while they owed the government, the stockholders voted to themselves dividends and paid money to themselves and let the government's debt accumulate. I have a statement which I obtained Monday from the secretary of the treasury, Scott White, in which he said the amount due from the Pacific railways, principal and interest, January 1, 1885, is $108,050,000; January 1, 1890, $123,540,000; October 1, 1894, $139,621,000. They owe more today, by about $30,000,000, than they did in 1885, and yet from the time the roads began they have paid the time the roads began they have paid out to themselves $63,00,000 in dividends, and they come now confessing that they cannot pay the amount they owe the government.

Governor Pattison of Pennsylvania was a minority member of the commission which investigated these roads and reported in 1886. Mr. Pattison says, in concluding his report, at present prices of railroad construction it is evident that the government cannot recover within $108,000,000 of the present value of its indebtedness owing to it by the bonded debt, hence, any extension of the time for payment would be useless and expose to further risk of depreciation the present inadequate security for the debt.

Pattison recommended Foreclosure.

Mr. Pattison recommended the foreclosure of these liens. The democratic convention held in Omaha in 1889 recommended in its platform a foreclosure of these liens. The democratic platform adopted at Omaha the other day recommended an immediate foreclosure of these items as son as they were due. I believe in the foreclosure, and if I am your senator from this state, elected by the next legislature, there will be no extension of the indebtedness or liens upon any one of these roads, so far as I can prevent it, and I shall do all I can to secure the foreclosure on the first hour of the first day when the loans become due. [Loud applause.]

Mr. Pattison says in his report that had these roads dealt fairly with the government they might have today owned railroads to the value of $124,000,000 at an expense to themselves of only $35,000,000. They could have owned them free from debt and paid back to the government all the government now holds a claim for an reduced the rates of transportation $140,000,000 besides.

Bonded for Three Times Its Cost.

Those roads were stocked and bonded for about three times what it cost to build them, and they have been trying to collect transportation rates which will pay interest and dividends upon three times what the roads are worth. If you foreclose the roads, if you bring them down to an actual basis of present valuation, rates can be fixed upon that, and the people can save the expenses of freight upon fictitious capital. Mr. Pattison says in that report that to extend the loans on the Union Pacific alone would mean a payment of $4,000,000 a year by the people along the line in excess of the amount that is needed to be paid if the road was capitalized at its actual value. Four million dollars a year for fifty years means $200,000,000–$200,000,000 to be drawn from the people along the line and paid to the holders of watered stock, stockholders who have lost no opportunity to defraud the government and oppress the people through whose land they run.

No Show for Stockholders.

My friend, so far as I know, has only expressed himself on this question at one place. At Wayne, Neb., according to the report which I read in the Bee and Journal, he criticised my attitude in favoring the foreclosure and said, if the reports in the paper were true, that there were stockholders who would be willing to pay $1,000,000 to have the lien foreclosed. My friend, I want to ask you what interest a stockholder has in foreclosing the liens on these roads? Even though the purpose be to extinguish the government lien, the government lien comes before the stockholder and the government's interests cannot be wiped out until the stockholder has been wiped out too. I want to admit that it is my judgment that a foreclosure will not bring to the people of the United States any money from that road. I doubt if today it will sell for more than the first incumbrance.

Extension Means Heavier Burdens.

You have two things to consider. If you extend the lien for fifty years and the government gets its money, from whom does the government get it? I gets it from the people along the line of the load, and I want to invoke a legal principle, the correctness of which I think my friend will admit. If I appoint a man to collect a debt for me and he collects it and puts it in his own pocket and I collect it again, must I lose it because of the embezzlement of my agent? Whose agent is the Union Pacific? Whose agents are those other Pacific roads? They are the agents of the government. The representatives from all parts of the union have had a hand in the laws that regulated them. The general government has authorized the road to collect money from the people along the line and pay the indebtedness to the government. The roads have collected the money and put it down in their own pockets, and we deny the justice of the general government authorizing its agents to collect money a second time from the people who have already paid it. [Applause.]

If anybody must lose that money let it be lost by the general government, by whose negligence the money has been squandered. Let it not be again collected from the people who have paid it once. Paid it because the government authorized its collection, and paid it because they could not prevent it.

Will Never Pay Up.

My friends, I want to express it as my judgment that if you extend the loan for fifty years, at the end of that time the government will be no nearer paid than it is today. The statement which I read to you showed that the indebtedness is increasing. If it increases $30,000,000 in less than ten years, what will be the amount of indebtedness at the end of fifty years, if you extend the loan? If those stockholders have not paid the government when they could have paid it, why should you give them another fifty years in which to do as poorly as they have done in the past? If the government is going to lose, I want to make it a preferred creditor, as a man made one of this creditors a preferred creditor. He was about to fail in business and called his creditors together, and after a little banqueting, stated his condition and asked for an extension of another year.

One after another consented, and when they went out a very dear friend said, "I agreed to the extension, but you are not going to treat me as you do those others; you will make me a preferred creditor?" The debtor answered, "Yes, I will tell you now that you are not going to get anything, and these other fellows won't find it out for a year." [Applause and laughter.]

I want first, my friends to make the government a preferred creditor, and let it know right now that it is not going to get a cent if it is not going to, and not let it go on collection tolls for fifty years more. We better find it out now.

Paper Money.

I want to call your attention to another question, that of paper money. The republican party in its convention has not expressed itself. It is a question at issue, a question upon which every member of congress must act, and every senator who represents you in the upper house. Our platform has taken a position, and it has placed itself on record in favor of three separate propositions in connection with the money question.

I ask my opponent if he stands upon the republican platform and is silent upon this great subject, or whether he will venture to tell these people what he will do in case, by their suffrages, he is senator. The national banks are not only seeking to have more money issued on the bonds; not only seeking to extend it from 90 per cent to 100, but seek to reduce the taxes upon the circulation, and are also seeking to have other kinds of securities substituted for national bonds. My platform speaks on the subject and I indorse its every word upon this question. It says that the right to issue paper money is an attribute of sovereignty, and whatever paper we need ought to be issued by the federal government as the greenbacks were. [Applause.]

Corrupt Policy.

If I am your senator, so far as I can prevent it there will never be another dollar of paper money issued by a national bank, a state bank, or any private corporation whatever. There are two objections to the issuing of money by private corporations. In the first place you violate the principle that all men are created free and equal. Whether you have a state bank or a national bank, to give the issue of money to a bank is to confer a special privilege. At this time we say, if a man holds a bond he can draw interest upon it, but if a banker holds that bond, he can draw interest upon it, and use 90 per cent of the face besides. I deny the justice of that discrimination. I believe, my friends, that no government like ours can afford to say to one man, "You must eat your cake or keep it," and say to another, "You can both eat your cake and keep it." [Applause and laughter.]

There is a more serious objection, and that is the giving the volume of currency into the hands of private parties. The first principle of money is that the value of it depends upon the number of dollars, and if the number of dollars is made to depend upon the issue of private corporations, then you give into the hands of those who determine the value of property, measured by that money. Talk about trusts! There is no trust that compares in importance with the money trust; there is no trust whose influence for evil is so gigantic as a money trust. My friends, I pledge you to carry out the doctrines of that platform and not put the volume of currency into the hands of any private person or corporation, no matter what the name or designation. [Loud applause.]

Full Legal Tender.

Our platform goes further than that. The platform says we believe that all the money issued by the government, whether gold, silver or paper, should be made a legal tender for all debts, public or private.

I believe that the government has the power to give legal tender qualities to its money. The supreme court has so decided, and I do not believe that there ought to be one dollar of money in circulation which is not a full legal tender for all debts, public and private. [Applause.]

I do not believe the government should allow money to be put before the people which his not good, even if the people are willing to receive it.

The platform goes further and says that no person shall be permitted by contract to demonetize that money which the government makes good by law. I believe in it. I believe in prohibiting the demonetization by contract of the people's money. I believe that that money which the law makes good for ninety nine of the people must be good enough for the other one hundredth man. I believe that that money which the law makes for the common people ought to be good enough for the money loaner, I do not care where he lives. You allow men to make a contract for gold in the first place; if you make enough of those contracts, the increased demand will raise gold to a premium, and then you allow the man to take advantage of his own wrong and collect a dearer dollar than he loaned. More than that, one man makes a contract for gold, and to get the gold he must make contracts also for gold to secure himself, and thus one wrong compels, as it were, another wrong, and you never know where the thing is to end. If you say that no man shall contract for a particular kind of money, you stop the first man, and the other men are not required to protect themselves by making gold contracts.

Opposed to Contract Money.

Here are three separate propositions: One of the last bills called up and not acted upon was a bill to prevent the making of these special contracts. It will be up again. My platform says where we stand. That we are opposed to the issue of paper money by private corporations. We believe all money issued by the government should be made a full legal tender, and the right to demonetize by contract money, which the government makes by law, should be prohibited. I will ask my friend where he stands on this question. Will he supplement, or leave the people to guess what he will do when occasion arises for action? [Applause.]

It is a question upon which my friend and I differ. My platform says something, and he who runs may read it. It declares in words like these: "We favor the immediate restoration of the free and unlimited coinage of gold and silver at the ratio of 16 to 1, without waiting for the aid or consent of any other nation on earth." [Loud applause.] Here is the republican platform: The republican party of Nebraska has always been the consistent friend and aggressive champion of honest money, and it now takes another step backward. [Applause.]

Still we favor bimetallism and demand the use of both gold and silver as a standard and insist that the parity of the value of the two metals shall be maintained. One shall be as good as the other. [Applause]. Now, my friends, I want my opponent to tell you what that means. [Laughter.]

A voice: "He will do it."

My friends, you have confidence that he will do it. [Applause.]

A voice: "You bet he will."

Well, my friends, there is no one in this audience who will be more delighted than I will be to hear him tell what that means. [Applause.]

A voice: "You bet."

Platform of His Own.

In the platform which he said he would write for your party, if he were asked to write, he did not indorse that plank. [Laughter.]

He said he believed in the free coinage of the American products. My friends, no national republican party has declared for the free coinage of the American products. If he had wanted that platform to contain that declaration, there was a time to have secured it. If he had proposed an amendment in the convention then he could have found whether the republican party was in favor of it or not, and that would have been the time to have advocated the free coinage of American products. [Applause.] That platform has been construed by many people. That platform is not as favorable to silver as the national platform adopted at Minneapolis, and yet the man who stood upon the Minneapolis platform went down to congress and voted to repeal the Sherman law. They voted against the free coinage of silver at 16 to 1 or 17 to 1, or 18 to 1, or 19 to 1, or 20 to 1. You can find men standing on that platform which will construe it in a dozen different way, and we are anxious now to find out what is the orthodox construction to be placed upon that platform by its greatest exponent in the state of Nebraska. [Loud Applause.]

We believe in the treatment of gold and silver exactly alike. We believe that when a man takes his silver to the mint he should have it coined and hauled back to him just as the man who takes his gold to the mint. We believe in the unlimited coinage of silver because we have the unlimited coinage of gold. Whenever they bring gold to the mint the director does not ask, "Where did you get this gold?" You can bring it from Australia, you can bring it from Colorado, you can bring it from Mexico, or wherever it comes from. It is coined on the same terms and they ask no questions. We ask that you do with silver just the same. If you believe in the equal treatment of gold and silver you must give the unlimited coinage to silver as you give it to gold.

No Fear of Foreign Silver.

Some have said if we have the unlimited coinage of silver we will be flooded with silver from other countries. If that argument is made this afternoon I would like to have a bill of particulars for it, so we will know where the silver is to come from. [Loud applause.] The silver of France—she has more than we have—is coined at a ratio of 15 to 1. French silver would have to add 3 cents to the dollar in order to make it worth as much as it is worth in America. It cannot come from France. It cannot come from nations are using silver, because they are giving it a higher value than wea re giving it here. Mexico is the only country that has any considerable quantity of silver which would come here. Her ratio is less favorable to silver than ours.

My friends, it has been said by some that if we had the free and unlimited coinage of silver that some men abroad would buy up silver cheap and come over here and have it coined at double its value and make enormous profits. When a man brings silver from abroad it is coined and handed back to him. If he gets rid of his silver it must be by contract with somebody that is willing to take it. He can give us the silver and go home if he wishes to; nobody will object to that. If he wants to give us a silver dollar for a gold dollar he give us a silver dollar for a gold dollar he must find somebody that is willing to give his gold dollar for the silver dollar. He cannot compel the giving or exchange of a gold dollar for some other dollar. If he want sto buy goods, he can only buy with his silver dollar from those who are willing to accept his silver for the goods. You can trust to the intelligence of the American people not to allow the cheap dollar to be palmed off on us. If you are afraid some man will bring a cheap dollar here and put it off on you, then you better have a conservator appointed, because we are liable to the same thing at home. If you think a man can buy our silver at 63 cents an ounce and come here and get it coined and sell if for $1.99, try the same plan at home. Go around among your neighbors and buy what they have to sell at a cheap price, and sell at a dear price, and get rich on the difference. It is an easy thing to do, but you might find somebody that would not let his property go at half price, and yet that selfishness on the part of the people has stood in the way of more fortunes than any other one thing. [Applause and laughter.]

Nothing to Be Feared.

Whenever a man can come from England and have a silver dollar coined at $1.29 an ounce that silver will be worth $1.29 an ounce wherever you find it, less the cost of getting it here, so there is not the danger to be feared from that. England is a credit nation, and if there is any danger the danger is, if the dollar was cheap, we might pay our debts with it and England might suffer. There is far more danger of England's suffering from a cheap dollar than of our suffering.

We do not believe that any body will suffer. We believe that the restoration of the gold and silver coinage of the constitution, the free coinage of the constitution, the free and unlimited coinage at the ratio of 16 to 1, will not make a cheap dollar, but that this nation, the greatest nation of all the nations on the earth, is able to open its mints and invite the gold and silver from all the nations of the earth, and maintain the parity of 16 to 1, as France has maintained it at 155½ to 1 for seventy years, and she is not as great a nation as we are. [Loud applause.]

As to Thurston on Ratio.

Now a word as to the ratio. Those who favor the free coinage of the American product to not tell us at what ratio they would coin it, and yet the ratio is the first subject that greets the man who attempts to legislate on this question. You cannot make a law for the coining of the American product until you have determined at what ratio you will coin that gold and silver. If my friend takes the position in favor of the free coinage of the American product, then I ask him to tell us at what ratio he is willing to coin even the American product. If he says 16 to 1, then I say to him that the argument that some of his friends have been making, that if we do that we give a bonus to the mine owner, I say to him that the argument is as valid against the free coinage of the American product at 16 to 1 as it is against the unlimited coinage at 16 to 1. Therefore, those who favor the coinage at 16 to 1 must not argue against the mine owner's profit. Do you realize that free coinage cannot bring back to the mine owner a single cent more than demonetization took away from him? [Applause.] If the free coinage of silver brings to the mine owner a profit, it is a proof conclusive that demonetization during all those years has deprived him of it, is it unjust to him that you take away the law that has blighted his prosperity? We believe that as silver gone down, so have the prices of staples with which we compete with India. We believe that the farmer has lost $5 by the fall in silver for every dollar lost by the mine owner. We believe that the restoration of free coinage of silver at 16 to 1 will bring back to the farmer $5 of benefit where it brings back the mine owner $1. And yet you cannot bring back to the mine owner a single dollar that you took away from him. If you are going to change the ratio, at what do you fix the ratio, and do you realize what it means to change the ratio? The mine owners of silver may be willing to change the ratio and accept any ratio which will enable them to produce their silver at a profit. [Applause.]

How the Farmers Profit.

A voice: "Tell us how the farmers profit."

The farmers profit in two ways: In the first place, by the demonetization of silver we have brought a demand upon those commodities which has raised the price of gold and increased the amount of the debt which he owes, and the restoration of silver will bring into use both the gold and silver and lessen the stain upon gold and stop the appreciation of money to the benefit of the farmer and every debtor like him. [Applause.]

The farmer has sold his wheat and cotton in competition with silver producing countries. Mr. Rusk in his agricultural report of 1890, page 8, I think it is, points to the fact that because f the Sherman law the value of silver rose to $1.20, and no one remembers of the farmer's wheat raising with the price of silver, and he points out the reason fr it, and you will find as silver went down wheat went down and cotton went down, and wheat reached the lowest point known in the history of the United States at a time when silver was the lowest it had been known. [Applause.]

Effect of a Change of Ratio.

I wish to call to your attention to the effect of a change of ratio. If you change the ratio the bullion ratio is something like 1 to 32. If you attempt to draw the line one-half way between and make the ratio 1 to 25, it means that your silver dollar, if you increase it, must be one-half larger than it is now. And if the nations of the world agree with a change of ratio, it means that four billions of silver in the old world must be coined over into dollars half as large again. It means a decrease in the number of dollars of one billion and one-third. It means a decrease of one-sixth of the metallic money of the world, and n increase of the debts of the world of a billion of dollars, and a decrease in the value of property of many billions of dollars more.

Repeal Law Destroying Parity.

A change in the ratio is a serious matter, and there is no occasion for bringing such disaster upon the human race until at least you have made an effort to restore the parity at the old ratio by repealing the laws that destroyed the parity. [Applause.] But that is not the worst. If we could do this at once and let the people readjust their affairs to the new condition we might go on, but when you change the ratio, then you must rely upon the silver that comes from the mines and coin it into dollars one-half as large again. If we have $150,000,000 available for coinage at this time, under the new ratio it would only make $100,000,000, for today the gold and silver which can be coined annually is none too great to keep pace with the progress of the world and with the demand for money. When you have decreased the amount $50,000,000, you have made the supply too small and doom your people to an appreciating standard. I ask, my friends, whether you can afford to change the ratio and bring these great consequences upon the human race. Any yet, that is what we are asked to do by those who talk about the change of ratio, or as if the ratio was a matter of indifference. Ah, my friends, that question is not confined to the American product. It is not confined to the United Stated; this money question is a question which reaches out and touches every human being from the time he leaves the cradle until he enters the grave. It is a question as broad as humanity, and upon its just solution rides the hopes and interests of the human race, and to talk of changing the ratio and coining simply the American product is to touch but a border of the garment. It is to but enter upon a small part of this enormous question which must confront the people until it is settled and settled right.

Effect on Appreciating Standard.

My friends, I have not thought it worth while to call your attention to the evil effects of an appreciating standard. I know of no man, a candidate for office in this western country, who advocates a gold standard. Why, sir, a gold standard, a universal gold standard, joined in by the world, would bring more of misfortune, more of misery to the human race than the mind can imagine or tongue can tell. Carlisle, in 1878, speaking on this subject, said that the conspiracy to destroy by legislation one-half of the world's metallic money was the most gigantic crime of this or any other age. He said also that the consummation of the scheme would entail more of misery upon the human race than all the wars, pestilences and famines that the world had ever seen. I believe that that is the truth. I do not believe that he exaggerated the fact. Who is going to bring the restoration of bimetallism?

Sixteen to One or Nothing.

I call your attention to the fact that there is not a prominent advocate of bimetallism in the United States today that is advocating it at any other ratio that 16 to 1. If you want the restoration of silver you have to get it through the people who believe in 16 to 1. [Loud applause.]

We have tried those who believe in other ratios, but they are not constructive, but destructive. We must restore it ourselves if it is restored. We cannot wait for any other nation on earth to help the American people to help themselves. [Loud applause.]

I appeal to the patriotism of those before me, to the patriotism of the people of Nebraska, and I ask them if they admit the condition, if they admit the necessity for the remedy, will they not admit that we must act alone? The worst that can come from acting alone is infinitely better than the best that can come from waiting, and I appeal to you to give adherence to the platform adopted at Omaha and declare with us that we are in favor of the immediate restoration of the free and unlimited coinage of gold and silver at the present ratio of 16 to 1, without waiting for the aid or consent of any other nation on earth. [Loud and vociferous applause.]


Says He is Debating Party Issues, Not Claims for Office.

Mr. Thurston said: My fellow Citizens: I am compelled to ask your indulgence because of the condition of my voice, but I assure you that it has republican qualities and will grow better, like the campaign, as we proceed. [Applause.] I am here by invitation to engage in a joint debate of the abuses between the republican and democratic parties, and I do not propose to be switched off from that purpose into a discussion of the personal candidacy of men for office. [Applause.]

Neither the soft-shelled democrats nor the hard-shell populist will have anything to do with the selection of the next United States senator from Nebraska. The next senator from the state of Nebraska will be selected in the councils of the republican majority in our next legislature. [Applause.]

I care not what his name may be. We have a score of men in the republican party of Nebraska able to represent republicanism and our commonwealth in the senate of the United States. [Applause.] As for me, I have no wish, I have no hope, I have no ambition which is not first, last and all the time for the republican party and its eternal principles. [Applause.]

As for me, I would rather go down into the bottomless ocean of irretrievable disaster with the flag of my party's principles nailed to the mast than to ride into the harbor of political safety under the banner of expediency or upon the platform of any demagogue. [Applause.]

My fellow citizens, there is a difference in this country upon the question of platforms. The people of the United States expect the republican party in power to stand by the platform it enunciates, and to crystallize into the legislation of the country its principles that its platform announces. Every platform of the republican party in this union, when the republican party has come into power, has been written by the pen of American statesmanship into the constitutional amendments and statutes of our country. Nobody in the Untied States ever expects that any other platform is made for any other purpose than to get office upon. [Applause and laughter.]

Increase the Labor's Wages.

I am asking by my distinguished friend to state what will be the position of the republican party upon the matter of the income tax. The people of this country are no longer interested in the incomes of the rich people of this country; they are interested today in finding some way in God's name to get incomes for the poor people. [Loud applause.] The prosperity of our people does not rest upon the extraction of a mere pittance from the income of rich men or millionaires. It depends upon the addition to the income of the great laboring masses of the United States. [Loud applause.]

The republican party when it comes into power again proposes to devote its energies first of all to uncovering places and opening doors so that the working people of the United States may once more have opportunities to earn incomes for themselves, and then there will be no more trouble about an income tax in the Untied States. [Applause.]

The democratic party once made it necessary for the people of this country to pass an income tax in order to raise enough revenue to put down the great war of the rebellion. [Loud applause.]

The republican party when it comes into power again proposes to devote its energies first of all to uncovering places and opening doors so that the working people of the United Sates may once more have opportunities to earn incomes for themselves, and then there will be no more trouble about an income tax in the United States. [Applause.]

The democratic party once made it necessary for the people of this country to pass an income tax in order to raise enough revenue to put down the great war of the rebellion. [Loud applause.]

The republican party who stood for that tax were assaulted from one end of our country to the other by the democratic party, who claimed that it was an unjustifiable tax and that the republican party had no right to impose it. Today David B. Hill, the greatest democrat in the United States denounces the income tax as bitterly as any man, and with his eloquence, advocates its maintenance. It is a little singular, my countrymen, but within eighteen months after the democratic party got in power it was compelled to levy an income tax to carry on this government. [Laughter.]

Protection Hobby.

Speaking for the republican party, so far as I understand its views, that party proposes to first levy a tariff in the United States for the protection of the laboring masses of our country, and in order that American employment may be reserved for the people of the United States. [Applause.]

So far in the history of the legislation of this country, that kind of a tariff law has been sufficient with the inspiring genius of its effect upon American development to take care of the revenues of our government without going into the petty business of levying tribute into upon the incomes of the American people. [Loud Laughter.]

The income tax is all right enough in itself, if we cannot get revenue for our people in any better way, but the fact of it is that a legislative act in the United States which will bring employment to the people of our country will make an income tax absolutely unimportant to the people of this country. [Applause.]

Self-Made Man.

My countrymen, my friend upon the other side has challenged me to a discussion of the matter of the foreclosure of the mortgages upon the Pacific railways. He has not done that here in so many words by asserting my employment for the Union Pacific Railway company, but he has wherever else he has spoken to the people of this state. It matters not to me how often that charge is made before the people of the state of Nebraska. I came across the Missouri river twenty-five years ago. I landed here without an acquaintance or a friend. I have built myself up in this great commonwealth by my own unaided efforts and I am proud to declare it as a fact, that seventeen years after I landed in this state an unknown boy I was selected without any solicitation on my part to stand at the head of the law department of the greatest railway system of the civilized world. [Applause.]

But, my countrymen, I am still prouder of another fact. One year ago the Union Pacific system passed by order of the circuit court of the United States into the charge of five receivers. Three out of the five of those men were prominent democrats of the Untied States. They were selected by the attorney general of this administration, after consultation with Mr. Cleveland, and I am proud of the fact that, after they assumed charge of this great trust, these three democrats having the control of that broad of receivers solicited me by unanimous wish to remain their counsel and as the counsel of the circuit court of the United States. [Applause.]

Let me meet this matter here, for I cannot be present at every stump where it is placed before the people For one year past I have neither professionally nor in any other manner represented a single railway corporation of the earth, a bondholder, a stockholder or any other interest therein.

A voice: "Or no newspaper."

No, gentlemen, I am not here to refer to the occupation of any other man. [Applause.]

His Richest Legacy.

I have further to say, that when I am dead and gone I wish to leave it as the richest legacy I can possibly leave to my boy, when he reaches manhood's estate, that his father, in all his professional life, whether he stood for human life, for human liberty, or for property or corporation, performed his whole duty to every client he ever had, without regard to whether his so doing made him popular or the reverse. [Applause.]

Let the people of this great commonwealth ever ask me to represent them in an offcial place, and I can simply say to them that I will bring to their service the same character of loyalty and devotion that I have always given to every client whose cause I undertook. [Loud applause.]

Many great men in this country have considered the problem of the mortgage of the Union Pacific railroad. My friend, Mr. Bryan, read to you from the minority report of Mr. Pattison that a foreclosure of the mortgage on the Union Pacific Railroad company would not bring to the government of the United States a single dollar, and my friend, Mr. Bryan, admits here today that the first mortgage that stands against that property, if it is to be foreclosed, will take the property and wipe out the government debt. His proposition simply is that this government of ours shall cancel its debts as against the Pacific railway companies and relive them from the burden of further obligation to the government. I say here, that if any representative of any Pacific road had dared to take that position he would have been assaulted by the entire press and the entire people of the United States of America. [Applause.]

Reverts to Cleveland on Foreclosure.

Mr. Grover Cleveland, who was president of this country when the Pattison report was made, your chief standing as the representative of your party, declared in a special message to congress in favor of the passage of some law that would secure the claim of the United States against these roads. The present attorney general of your party has made the same recommendation. The commissioner of railways of the present administration has made the same recommendation, and both democratic committees of both the senate and house of representatives have declared in favor of legislation that would gather together the assets of the Pacific roads and out of them in some practical way save to the people of this country at least a portion of them money owed. I therefore take it for granted that William J. Bryan stands alone upon the proposition of cancelling the Pacific railroad debts, and in opposition to his party in this country, and that he would have no voice in the passage of such a measure if his party remains in power. [Applause.]

Speaking for myself alone, and standing here as I have already declared not representing $1 of the stock, bonds or the interest of the Pacific railroad companies, without any possible interest in the solution of this debt problem, I declare that if I should ever stand to represent this people in the congress of the United States, I should endeavor to secure the payment of indebtedness and every dollar that has been unlawfully or wrongfully taken from the people of the United States. [Applause.]

Answers the Paper Money Question.

My countrymen, the honorable gentleman has challenged me to a discussion of the question of the paper money of the United States. He has said to you that he stands opposed to permitting any individual or any bank, either by national or state legislation, to issue any money that shall pass as such, and yet, the last democratic convention, which I understand speaks for both hardshell and softshell democracy . [applause and laughter]. declared in favor of the repeal of the 10 per cent tax on state bank circulation, and by that declaration and the speeches of the men who stood for that declaration, declared for the right to give by state legislation to the bankers, to the officers or to the state bank organizations, the right to issue the old red dog, wildcat money of the ancient democracy [Loud applause and laughter.] Once more I have to say that my friend stands against the record and declaration of the democratic party of this country on that proposition, and I think he better get off from that platform anyhow. He has already turned it half way over. [Loud applause.]

Every Dollar as Good as Every Other.

My countrymen, let me state t you a great general truth of government, and I wish you to remember of me in those days to come when another great monument of American common sense is planted over the grave of the unlimited coiners, the same as one formerly planted over the grave of the greenback advocates of the Untied States [applause], and that great monumental proposition is this: The people of our government are not so much interested in the kind of money we have as they are interested in having every dollar of the country of a kind that will buy as much as every other dollar, and second, in having opportunities given to the American people to turn their labor and their muscle and their sweat into this good kind of dollars. [Loud applause.]

We have today in this country the best system of money and finance the world has ever known. Today our national banks have behind them only two 2 2/3or a 3 per cent bond to secure 90 per cent of their circulation, and against that they are compelled to pay 1 per cent of that interest back in the shape of a tax. By this method of our present national banking system, every dollar that is issued by a national bank in the United States, no matter how far or wide it may go, even to the uttermost ends of the earth, can stand beside any gold dollar on the surface of the globe without fear of depreciation or refusal of exchange. [Applause.]

Let the Banking System Stand.

I am of those, and let the gentleman make the most of it, who believe that the continuation of our present national system is a wise thing for the people of the United States to stand for. [Applause.]

I need only call your attention to the fact that in the past ten years our national banking circulation has materially decreased, which is a perfect answer to any charge that there is an under profit to the bankers of this country under the present system of issuing bank notes, for if there were today any unfair advantage or profit in that privilege the number of our national banks would be increasing instead of diminishing and their paper circulation would be added to rather than taken from.

My eloquent friend is truly great upon one proposition, and that is his advocacy of the free and unlimited coinage of silver. [Applause.]he is great upon that question because it requires greatness for a man to carry a people with him against settled common sense of centuries of human observation and experience. [Loud applause.]

A Stab at "Cyclone" Days

My friend Bryan is also the friend of the working people of the United States. He stands here today and tells them that the demonetization of silver has increased the vaine of the gold dollar of this country. I do not know yet how much he claims the value of that gold dollar has been increased, but one of his co-laborers in the Nebraska field of demo-pop-politics [applause] has stated how much he believes the gold dollar has appreciated in value. He has been called by their newspapers Cyclone Davis, and I understand he has been so truly called because he is warranted to destroy more prosperity in one speech than any cyclone nature ever organized or destruction could possibly do. [Loud and prolonged laughter.] He was also imported into this great, intelligent commonwealth of Nebraska from the state of Texas, the land of the tarantula and the cactus, the home of the cowboy and the paradise of the train robber. Why, in that state of Texas, they suckle their babies not at the breast of nature, but at the muzzle of a self-cocking revolver. [Loud laughter and applause.] Cyclone Davis says that the value of the gold dollar has been doubled by the demonetization of silver. [Applause.]

Is that right? [Voice, "Yes, sir."]

Was it a workingman who said it was right that the gold dollar has doubled in value? [Voices, "No, no."]

If it was, then the wages of that workingman have been doubled by the demonetization of silver. [Applause.]

If every day's labor in the United States since 1878 has been paid for with gold dollars, whether the man got his pay in a greenback, silver note or silver coin, it was gold to him, for he could change it for the yellow metal, cent for cent, at his nearest bank without any depreciation or discount. And if the proposition is to the working people of our country to cheapen the value of the dollar in which his wages are paid, then I tell him he had better get a guarantee that his wages will be doubled or he will be left on the transaction. [Applause.]

Was it a farmer who said the value of the gold dollar had been doubled by the demonetization of silver? Then I tell him that at the end of Ben Harrison's administration when he got 70 cents for his wheat in the state of Nebraska, that he actually got $1.40 a bushel if he was paid in the gold of the United States. [Applause.]

I do not wonder that they seek out some method of attempting to convince the farmers of this country that the depreciation in the price of wheat has come from some other reason than the success of the democratic party.

Everything Dropped With Wheat.

But the fact of it is, I have not time to go into an illustration of it here today. The fact of it is that these principles and this prospect of power which closed the doors of American labor cut down the price of American wheat, and you may take the crop reports of this country two weeks after, 1 per cent of American labor was wandering hopelessly in the land, the price of American wheat was also down 1 per cent, and side by side with the closing of the factory doors, with the loss of American improvement, with the withdrawal of American wages from American circulation, and of the addition of charitable people to the body politic of our country, with the addition of tables upon which good food was no longer spread, side by side with this attendant destruction of the labor interest of the United States, went down the price of everything the American farmer had to sell. [Applause.]

My countrymen, it was the demonetization of silver that struck down the price of American wheat. It was the withdrawal of the genius of the republican legislation from the administration of the affairs of our country. [Applause.]

My friend upon the other side only differs with the republican party on the silver question in one particular. The republican party stands for bimetallism in this country just as long and to the extreme point where every dollar can be made just as good and able to buy just as much as any other dollar in the United States [applause], while my friend stands for bimetallism, to the extreme limit of the coinage of all the silver of the world, without regard to whether it can be maintained at a parity with the other money of the United States.

His Idea of Money.

What is money? Money is a standard of value. I saw once a gold coin, dug from the catacombs of Rome, where it had lain buried beneath the accumulated dust of centuries. Upon it was the impress of Cæsar the Great. Since that coin lay there, Rome, that sat on her eternal hills and from her throne of duty ruled the world, had crumbled into ruins and decay. Her fleets, her conquering legions, her temples, her palaces and triumphant arches laid buried in the ruins of antiquity. Her power was gone, her nationality was vanished, her very language dead and unspoken of mankind, but that gold dollar, representative coin of a vanished government, with the impress of a dead Cæsar upon it, circulates in every market of the civilized world with the same power that it did when Rome was in her glory and her Cæsar crowned of men.

I went to that bank in the city of Lincoln and I bought these (holding up two silver coins) for 50 cents apiece. What are they? [A voice, Throw it over here.]

An Object Lesson.

No. You are an American and you would not have one of them. [Applause.] There is an eagle on that coin, but it is not the bird of freedom. There is an eagle on that coin, but it does not represent government or correct governmental principles or sound money ideas. It represents the government of Mexico, that coins silver dollars free and unlimited. [Applause.] In the United States the silver dollar has 412 grams of silver; in that dollar there are 417½ grams of silver, but I bought two of those dollars with one dollar of the United States money. Why did I do that? Because the republican party that in fourteen years of republican administration coined and circulated sixty times as many silver dollars as had been coined from the birth of Christ up to the demonetization of silver dollars, had made every one of those American silver dollars by practical action interchangeable in every American community with the gold dollars of the United States. [Applause.]

Just so long as our government will by proper and practical legislation coin and maintain its silver so that the workingman's dollar will have as many cents in it and buy as many pounds of flour as the rich man's dollar, just so long will the silver dollars of our country buy two of the dollars of the Republic of Mexico. What is the free and unlimited coinage of silver?

They propose that any man on earth who has a Mexican dollar can bring it across the line and exchange the stamp of his government for the stamp of ours and make it pass here for a dollar where it only brings 50 cents today.

Says Bryan's Rule Will Not Work.

But my brother Bryan says there is no danger in that, for he says this Mexican who brings his 50-cent dollar over the line and restamps it at our mint cannot pass it upon our people, for our people are not foots, yet he declares in favor of a law which will make that dollar, when it is restamped, a full legal tender for all debts, private and public, and thereby puts it beyond the power of any man in the United States to refuse to receive it in exchange for the products of the United States.

What will happen when the Mexican can bring that piece of silver over here and have it recoined without expense? Then, for fifty cents' worth of his silver he can take back one of our gold dollars. If you are to maintain the gold dollar as good, or the silver dollar as the gold dollar, if you do not propose to give us silver dollars in the United States that are as good as gold dollars then, for God's sake, let us stop the foreigner before he comes in here and makes the trade with us. [Loud laughter.]

My friend stands today the advocate and supporter f the Hon. James E. Boyd as congressman from Nebraska. Night before last Mr. Boyd made a speech in Omaha. The WORLD HERALD did not publish what he said on silver, but another paper did. [Laughter.]

Boyd's Silver Views.

Mr. Boyd expressed his views on the silver question at some length. As long, he said, as Grover Cleveland was president there was no hope of free coinage of silver at the ratio of 16 to 1. Personally he was directly interested in the extensive use of silver, as he was the owner of nine-tenths of a silver mine producing 3,000 per week, but he would not favor the injection of silver into the national currency to such an extent as to injure the credit of the nation. He said that he firmly believed that the enactment of the law for the free coinage of silver at a ratio of 16 to 1 would drive five hundred and fifty millions to six hundred and fifty millions of gold out of the country on a silver basis. He did not believe that the passage of such a law would restore to prosperity his country, and he cited the financial condition of Mexico as an example. [Applause.]

I suggest to the Hon. William J. Bryan that he challenge to the joint discussion of the silver question his nominee for congress from the state of Nebraska. [Applause.]

My brother Bryan says that Europe has been buying corn of India because she could buy there cheaper, for India had free coinage of silver. Does he want to put the United States and our American farmers at the mercy of the markets of England by putting them on the same silver basis that India was when England took advantage of her and bought her wheat for half price? [Laughter.]

Where Grain is Cheaper.

Take every country on this globe where free coinage of silver unlimited prevails today, and you will find that grain is cheaper; beef is cheaper; that labor is scarcer; that men are more poverty-stricken, and that manhood is at a greater depreciation than it is anywhere else. There are only two countries today that have absolutely free silver coinage, if I omit from the list some little foreign counties that cannot be counted since the world's civilization. China has a free and unlimited coinage of silver, and statistics show that every gold dollar has been gained from China, and she is left on her silver basis today. Mexico has the free coinage of silver, and you cannot find a gold dollar in the City of Mexico unless you give up two silver dollars to some money shark for it.

Let me give you one word of advice to remember in the days to come. Don't coin one dollar, don't issue one bill of any kind in the United States beyond the point where it can be put into the pockets of American labor with just as many cents in it as the dollar in the pocket of the millionaire.

The republican party is in favor of bimetallism as an American proposition, and from what we see around us we fear the unlimited coinage of silver would greatly injure our financial condition, and that if the great nation of the United States would give the stamp of its eagle and its goddess of liberty without expense to the silver bullion of the earth the mountains of all Christendom will be filled with the gold seekers, and new mines will be opened to such an extent as has never been dreamed of.

The mountains of Asia and Mexico have only been scratched for their silver deposits. Where one mine has already been opened there there are 10,000 silver mines waiting the discovery and development of men. The republican party says that this country is big enough, great enough, grand enough and patriotic enough to take care by adequate legislation for the coinage of its own silver and the protection of its own American mines.

We insist that such a policy in this country would irresistibly lead other nations of the world to follow our example, but as long as this government should open its mints free to the silver of the world other nations would have no incentive to declare for bimetallism or to enter into the silver coinage condition. Our proposition is, let the United States take care of the coinage of its home gold and silver, and let other nations take of themselves. We are not interested in their condition. [Applause.]

By Way of Suggestion.

My friends, if prosperity comes to us, the more dollars we can get into circulation and the more silver that can be coined, the better it is for us. I have a better proposition yet to make. Why do you go to all the trouble and expense of mining silver? Our mines are full of silver deposit; why not let our government appoint a scientific commission, measure up all the silver in the mountains in the United States, it is on deposit there, it belongs to the government, it is safer there than it is in the vaults, then issue as against the while job lot silver certificates [loud applause and laughter] payable on demand. [Applause.] Don't you see, my countrymen, how much better that would be for every man when he wanted a coin for his bill, he could go to the mountains and get it. We can't afford to exchange a dollar's worth of American wheat for 50 cents' worth of Mexican silver. The more trade you do in that way the more poverty-stricken our people will become.

We have to take care of American industries, and the mining with the rest; yet the republican party says that a man who works in a foreign mine and who lives in a foreign country; who has no right to ask the United States of America to increase the value of the product of his toil. This country is under the stars and stripes from sea to sea. Every laboring man in this union, whether in the shop, upon the farm or in the mine, should be protected from the competition of the pauper labor of the whole world outside. [Loud applause.]

Work, Not Free Silver Wanted.

The great trouble in this country today is not for lack of silver. It is not for lack of money. It is for a lack of the opportunity to do the work for the people of the United States. When once more the republican party comes into power, it will put money into circulation again, as it did in those grand years of republican prosperity. It won't do it by opening the mints of the United States to the silver bullion of the world, but it will do so by opening the doors of American employment to the muscle of the United States of America. [Applause.]

It is not necessary today that the eloquence of human voice should [pine] for the republican party. We have in our country to lay that greater eloquence of a fixed condition. We have the eloquence of smokeless chimneys and of silent spindles, of rotting water wheels and of idle men, of cheerless homes, of blackened hearthstones, of hungry women and of ragged children. [A voice: "And hungry coyotes."]

What Republicans Will Do.

The republican party proposed to put fires into the forges of American factories; to throw open the doors of American employment for American men; to put light into the cottages of the United States; to build fires on the hearthstones and put food in the mouths of American women and reclothe children of this country in the garments of civilization and strong, intelligent Americansim, and we are going to do it. [Applause.] Since the democratic party came into power the price of labor has come down; the price of wheat has gone down, the price of beef has gone down, business has gone down, [?] has gone down, and everything has gone down in the United States of America except republicanism, and that is on the boom the whole country over. [Applause and loud laughter.]

Oregon by the western sea has spoken, and Maine by the Atlantic shore, Pennsylvania and Vermont have [?] the reawakening of American common sense. I read in the WORLD-HERALD two weeks ago that the municipal elections had been held in Connecticut, and there was a landslide for the republican party. [Applause.]

Yes, my countrymen, there is a landslide for the republican party all over this union. You better get on top, my demo-pop-combine, or it will slide over you and you will stay under it. [Applause.]

The republican party proposes to [?] American institutions and American prosperity, to build up American conditions, to give labor to American people, to spread plenty upon American tables, and it proposes to do this through that genius of legislation, recreative in character, which the republican party alone has exhibited in the United States of America for the last half of a century.

Get into the American column, stand for the American flag, stand for everything that is for the advantage and development of this great country of ours from sea to sea. Let no man fear the issue, even in the state of Nebraska. Mark what I say, there was fusion in this state in September, but in Nouember there will be confusion to the men who had fusion in September. [Loud laughter.]

The column is forming for the American advance. In it comes the old republican party, tried and true, who loves its country and American institutions. Into this column will also gather this year those stalwart democrats who will not have their party traded off to satisfy the over-leaping ambition of any man in the United States. Side by side with them will also come that populist who has become satisfied after years of experiment that he cannot secure any better government in independent organization. This grand column for American and Americans will go marching on; on under the dearest flag that freeman ever bore; on in the companionship of the loyal, the true and the brave; on to the inspiring music of the union; on along the grand highway of a nation's glory to the future of a people's hope. [Long and prolonged applause.]


Mr. Bryan Answers the Arguments Made by the "Plumed Knight."

Hon. W.J. Bryan, in closing the debate, said: My friends, give me your attention. I wish to se the twenty minutes remaining to me, then you can use all the time you want to afterward.

My friend has told you of the number of democrats who are going to vote the republican ticket this year. Ah, my friends, don't you worry. Those democrats who have fought for tariff reform for thirty years are not going to desert it now. [Applause.] These men whose political convictions and opinions have been sufficient to bar them out of office and place in Nebraska for years are not going to kneel now to the people who have tortured them for thirty years without cause. [Laughter.]

My friend reminds me in what he has said, of the man who went into Delmonico's to sell some frogs' legs. He said to the man, "Do you buy frogs' legs?' The man said, "Yes, we do." He said, "Will you take what I have to sell?" He said, "Yes." The man says, "I will bring a good many."

The buyer said, "Bring all you want to."

The man says, "I may have a carload, or even two carloads." "Bring 'em along," said the buyer, "I'll take them." He went out the next day and came in with eight frog legs on a string and handed them in. "Where are the two carloads?" asked the buyer. "Well," said the man, "When I went through the swamp I heard what seemed thousands of frogs; I thought sure there were two carloads, but when I came to wade through the swamp all I could find was four." [Loud laughter and applause.]

My friends, who go through the republican swamp, and it will be a swamp you will have to go through if you go through republican ground, and when you hear them hollering, you think there are lots of them, but they bring eight frogs' legs in November to save their lives. [Loud laughter.]

My friend has said it would be better to ride into defeat on republican principles than to win by being a demagogue. Ah, if by that he means me, I assume whatever responsibility there is for it, but in these latter days he is a statesman whose ear is turned to catch the slightest pulsation of a pocket book [loud laughter], and he is a demagogue who dares to listen to the heart beat of humanity.

Admirer of Jefferson.

They called the first great democrat a demagogue when Thomas Jefferson, who wrote that all men are created free and equal; when he dared to follow the promptings of his heart to raise men above matter and humanity above property, they called him a demagogue. Today they call any man a demagogue who asserts that all men are created equal and special privileges should not be granted by law. I assume the responsibility, if they so desire. [Loud applause.]

My friend refers to the income tax and says that they needed it to put down the rebellion. Ah, that we might have a debate without hearing of the rebellion. My friend, it is the old argument that you have heard. There are two men talking and one says to the other, "If protection don't make good wages, you tell me why America, with protection pays better wages than England with free trade." A democrat says, "If protection does make good wages, you tell me why England with her free trade pays better wages than Germany with her protection?" The man worked on his coat until he pulled the buttons off, and finally blustered up and said, "Who put down the rebellion anyhow?" [Loud laughter.]

I was born in 1860; I was born too late to show my loyalty to my country and fellow men as well as any man who carried the musket from 1860 to 1864, and I will go as far today to bring freedom to the white slaves of the United States, or my friend, or the colored race as well.

My friend has said he is opposed to the income tax and that Mr. Hill was opposed to it. He was. He was opposed to it, so were our northeastern democrats and all the republicans but a few. But, my friends, when I come to vote on this question, David B. Hill doesn't cast my vote. [Applause.] I believe in the income tax because it is just, and if I am elected I will vote for it if every democrat east of the Mississippi votes against it, and all the republicans, too. [Applause.]

Cannot Serve Two Masters.

My friends, I have not referred to the employment of my friend by the Union Pacific except in this way: that on one or two occasions I asked why he did not discuss this subject. I said if any person in the state was acquainted with the records of these roads he ought to be; he ought to be able to tell us what ought to be done. Now, my friends, if he acts for the receivers now, and the receivers want to foreclose or extend the loans, it is a question upon which our people may differ. If he represents the receivers and they want an extension, and the people of Nebraska don't want it, I want to ask how he can serve two masters–represent those who want to foreclose and those who do not want to foreclose? [Applause.]

My friend has stated that he has never had a client complain of his service. I am glad to know of the honorable record which he has made, but he has never before tried to serve two clients on opposite sides of the same case, and he don't know how the shoe would fit in that case. [Applause.] He says they want to extend the loans. Of course they do, but my friends, the stockholders want t extend the loans because they want to get money from the running of that loan. We want to foreclose the liens and shut out the stockholders, and government too if necessary, and put that road upon an honest basis, and then let the freight rates be fixed to pay dividends on actual investment and not on watered stock. [Applause.] I do not have to ask Grover Cleveland what is right on such a subject as that [Applause.] I don't have to ask Attorney General Olney what is right on that subject. I don't have to ask those men who, as receivers, represent the stockholders. In fact, since I have served my people in congress, Cleveland never asded me what my people wanted, and I never have asked him how I should vote, and I never shall, if, by your suffrages, I am elected United States senator. [Applause.]

No Internal Policy for Him.

On the subject of the income tax my friend has stated his position; he tells you that he is opposed to it; on the subject of the foreclosure of those liens he tells you that he is opposed to foreclosure, and then goes on to the question of money. He says that my platform declares in favor of taking the tax off the state banks; he says, and there is one point in which I differ from him, "When his platform says anything he believes it because his platform says it." I never have believed a thing that I did not believe was true because any platform said it. [Applause.]

I repudiated that plank in the platform when I came before the people two years ago; I told them if I was elected I would vote against taking the tax off from the state banks and I did; I spoke against it because I did not believe in state banks, and it did not make me believe it to have the plank put in the democratic platform in favor of it.

He tells you he is in favor of national banks; if you believe that national bank currency is the best currency, then he can represent your ideas best, but when he tells you that the national bank currency is good I point him to the time during the war when the national bank note was worth one cent more than the greenback; you could not get gold for it then. [Applause.]

There is not much profit in holding an interest bond, and then having currency to the value of 90 per cent, but yet, it is nothing but a loan of that 90 per cent to one person, to the men who own the bank, and yet when our farmers ask for the sub-treasury plan, that the government loan them on their farm at 1 or 2 per cent, they call them anarchists; that is what they did. I denounce the sub-treasury because I did not believe it was just, and I dare any other man t denounce the sub-treasury scheme that advocates the national banking system. It is the same thing, except the sub-treasury would loan money on lands while the national bank loans on bonds. If I was to choose between the two, I would take the land instead of the bonds, but I do not want a loan on either one; I want the government to issue all the money we have and make every dollar a legal tender for all debts, public and private. [Applause.]

Silent on Legal Tender.

Friend did not tell you where he stood on the legal tender. I asked him to state whether he was in favor of gold contracts or allowing any man to contract on any specific kind of money, and he did not tell you where he stood on that. He had an opportunity, and he is too able a man to miss any opportunity of helping his cause. [Applause.] My friends, when he came to the silver question, I think I can call you to witness that his remarks at best were a little vague; that his position, to say the least, is a little uncertain on this subject; there was much eloquence, there was much emphasis, but there was not much declaration of what he believes. It made me think of a man out in a thunderstorm, and he was guiding his footsteps by the flashes of lightning. The lightning became less frequent, while the thunder became more frequent; he dropped down on his knees and cried, "Oh, Lord, if it is just the same to you give me a little more light and a little less noise." [Applause.]

My friends, do you know where any distinguished friend stands on the money question? [Voices, "No," "No."] Where are those republican friends who say they he would tell us what that platform mean? Where is the man who had so much confidence before talking? [Laughter.]

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing.

My friends, I want to call your attention to one very startling fact. My friend has pleaded for the laboring man against the free coinage of silver for fear it would hurt him; would you like to know what the laboring man himself would say? There is one client who is not satisfied with his attorney; when my friend pleads for the laboring man, a man as his representative, I want to tell him that the laboring man's voice does not sound like his voice; it is like the biblical story; it is the hand of Esau, but is the voice of Jacob. [Applause.]

Do you know what the laboring man said? The labor organizations of the United States have within a few months joined together in a petition to congress singed by the head of every labor organization in the United States; that petition says: "We demand the restoration of free coinage of silver at the ratio of 16 to 1/" [Applause.] I go to the client instead of the attorney; I take the opinion of the man instead of the opinion of him who would speak for him. My friend denies the appreciation of gold. I won't discuss that. You talk to any monometallist, and he is the most rabid man you will find. He will tell you that gold has appreciated. He simply differs as to the amount of appreciation.

Lesson for the Silver Slide.

He told you that he saw a coin taken from the catacombs; you could have taken the coin that was used in the days when the brethren of Joseph visited him in Egypt up to 1873 and that coin would pass good anywhere in the world. It was not until the republican party demonetized silver and started it on its downward course that you have to take gold as representative of the only true metal. [Applause.] For 400 years preceding the demonetization of silver the ratio never changed two points. From fourteen to sixteen embraced it all and in twenty years from that time we have the ratio falling because of hostile legislation.

Mexico Bears No Comparison.

I want to speak of another thing: the strongest point made by my opponent in his reference to silver was his Mexican money. He tells you that because Mexico cannot maintain her coinage, therefore, that we can't. Let every man in this audience who believes that Mexico is as great as the United States vote for my opponent, but let everyone who believes that this country is not Mexico, but that it is the grandest nation every placed upon God's footstool, let him have hope that this country can do what Mexico cannot do. You might as well say you cannot light a room with the flickering flame of a lighted candle, therefore you do not try an electric light, because Mexico cannot do it.

Ah, my friends, this nation can do what Mexico would not dream of doing. This government can do what Mexico would not dare attempt to do, and when it is done, you can bring a Mexican dollar over here and trade it for a gold dollar, for the value of the silver bullion will be so great that an American dollar will be equal with a gold dollar or a silver dollar, just as the silver dollar in the United States I exchanged for a gold dollar. My friends says he wants every dollar as good as gold. If he means a silver dollar is a promise to pay a gold dollar, he is not a bimetallist, he is a monometallist. The bimetallist puts them on the same footing, and starts them out in the race, the one is as much a legal tender as the other.

One minute more only to reply to the panygeric of the republican party. Yes, we have had Abraham Lincoln, and we are not objecting to the father, but Oh, save us from the children. Young men, you are not republicans today because Lincoln was a republican. You are republicans, if you are republicans, if you believe that that party will do the most good for your country. If you believe, my friends, that we who preach these doctrines are not afraid to speak out on every public question, if you believe that we represent those great principles of reform that can do you good cast your votes with us, even through you desert the old ship. [Applause.]

Program for This Evening.

The Bryan-Thurston debate will open this evening at 8 o'clock sharp at the Coliseum. Mr. Thurston will open in one hour; Mr. Bryan will answer in one hour and twenty minutes and Mr. Thurston will reply in twenty minutes.

All holders of red tickets will enter at the south entrance and all holders of blue tickets at the north entrance. The committee has reserved 1,500 chairs for ladies and their escorts. Everything in the power of the committee will be done to preserve these chairs for the purpose named.

The doors will be opened at 6 o'clock so that there may be no rush in getting in. The public in general is urgently requested to observe these rules that as much order as possible may be had.

The committee regrets that everybody cannot be accommodated, but they have done their best in procuring the largest hall obtainable. No distinction has been made in issuing tickets. First came was first served.

Chairman Democratic State Central Committee.


About this Document

  • Source: Omaha World-Herald
  • Citation: 1-3
  • Date: October 18, 1894