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VOL. XVIII.- No. 3.
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THERE have been seasons of great party enthusiasm, support that the politicians were carried away by the when, on one side or the other, some citizen was put for current, and placed him on the ticket as the candidate. ward by the popular voice, with such hearty assurance of | Then the country was roused by political meetings,
processions, banners and songs, in hall, log-cabin or wigwam. The caricaturist plied his task to turn the enthusiasm into ridicule, as the step from the sublime to the ridiculous is but a short one. The elections in the days of Jackson, Harrison, Taylor, and Lincoln, were of this exciting character, and so frequently has this been the case that the calmer portion of the community, especially the sober business men, who never wish the quiet ways of commerce disturbed, looked with fear and anxiety to the Presidential-election year. New enterprises were deferred, the buildings projected remained on paper on the architects' plans ; publishers shook their heads at authors' tempting manuscripts. The excitement attending a Presidential election often extended over the greater part of the year, and created some stagnation; but while business was proverbially dull, money flowed freely, drained from officeholders and wealthy sympathizers with the cause. The canvass of 1884 presents a very different spectacle. No man in either of the great parties seemed to be so clearly indicated by popular will as to be regarded as the candidate of the people, and in the uncertainty prevailing in regard to the expediency of putting forward one in preference to another, each party deferred the time of holding its convention. The earlier months of the year accordingly passed in uneventful quiet ; trade and industry pursued their usual course, undisturbed by the appeals of noisy politicians, such as too frequently draw away the worker from his legitimate avocations. The lines separating the two great parties, the Republican and Democratic, were no longer sharply drawn. There is no longer any great national question separating them; neither party was willing to take sides either for Free Trade or for Protection, which is really the only question in which there is great division of opinion, and a different policy advocated. Both parties would rather trifle with the subject than meet it boldly. In both parties, too, there is strong discontent against party rule, and in both, differences are bitter and violent. The question with the conventions was to present candidates who would unite the conflicting elements and draw out the great impulsive body of voters, the men who take no active part in politics, who often do not vote at all, but whose votes, decided upon at a late day, often turn the scale, and defeat all calculations. When, in June, the delegates of the Republican party from every State and Territory met in the Exposition Building at Chicago, the four strong candidates before the body were soon recognized in Arthur, Blaine, Logan and Edmunds. Mr. Arthur had filled the Presidential chair in a manner to command general respect. He was personally popular, and would undoubtedly draw much of the independent vote. It was soon evident, however, that he had not a majority, and was not even the leading candidate. When the Convention was called to order, by Chairman Henderson, to proceed to the all-important balloting, the votes showed that James G. Blaine, of Maine, led all other names. He received on the first ballot 334 votes, Arthur, 278 ; Edmunds, 93; Logan, 634. On the second ballot Blaine's vote rose to 349, on the third to 375, exceeding that for Arthur by one more than a hundred. Minor candidates were then dropped, and their adherents cast their votes for Blaine, who received 544 votes. The result was welcomed with the utmost enthusiasm. Senator John A. Logan, of Illinois, was then nominated by acclamation for the office of Vice-President. President Arthur at once telegraphed his congratula
tions to the successful candidate, and promised his support. James Gillespie Blaine thus presented by the Republican party to the American people as its candidate for the Presidency, is of the old Irish Presbyterian stock of Pennsylvania; he was born in Union Township, Washington County, where his ancestors were pioneers. The stone house where his grandfather, Colonel Ephraim Blaine, of Pennsylvania, lived, still stands, as well as the church where he worshiped. Colonel Blaine served during the war; and, during the terrible Winter at Valley Forge, as Commissary, labored with all zeal and no little ability to obtain supplies for the starving army. His son married a Miss Gillespie, a Catholic lady, and late in life embraced her faith, and lies beside her under the shadow of the more modern Catholic Church. James G. Blaine, adhering to the faith of his family, entered Washington College at the age of thirteen, and was soon prominent as a scholar, a leader in athletic sports, popular with his classmates, and with all the collegians. He was neat in person, frank, generous, sympathetic, ready in debate, and constantly selected as umpire. After being graduated in 1847, he became professor at Blue Licks Springs, Kentucky, in a Western military institute established there. After a few years spent here, he returned to his own State and began the study of the law. On his marriage with Miss Stanwood, a lady whose acquaintance he had formed in Kentucky, he was persuaded by her to make Maine, her native State, his home. In 1853 he took up his residence in Augusta, and has dwelt there constantly since. He soon was proprietor and editor of the Kennebec Journal, an organ of the Whig party, and acquired great political influence, which he increased while editor of the Portland Daily Adrertiser. He was active in organizing the Republican party in Maine, and in 1858 was elected to the Lower House of the Legislature, where he, after two years, presided as Speaker; fitting himself by parliamentary knowledge and discipline for a higher senate. In 1862 the Kennebec district chose Mr. Blaine as its Representative in Congress. He was there recognized as an able and industrious man, and was very soon placed on the Post Office and Military Committees, and on the Committees on Appropriations and on Rules. When he spoke, he handled his subject with such ability and such evidence of close and careful study, that he was heard with attention, and his speeches were often scattered broadcast over the country. To his constituents his course was so thoroughly ac. ceptable that he was constantly elected by them as long as he continued to be a candidate. He rose so rapidly in favor in the House of Representatives that he was by large majorities chosen Speaker of the Forty-first, Fortysecond and Forty-third Congresses. “In that position his quickness of perception, decision of manner, thorough knowledge of parliamentary law and usages, and impartial and judicial mind, added to his clear voice and impressive presence, made him a truly great presiding officer.” When the Democratic majority in the House in 1874 placed the Speakership in its hands, Mr. Blaine became the bold, brilliant, versatile leader of the opposition on the floor. A vacancy in the Senate arose in 1876, when Senator Morrill, of Maine, accepted the Portfolio of the Treasury. To fill the vacancy in the Senate of the United States, the Governor of Maine selected Mr. Blaine for the unexpired term. In the United States Senate, Mr. Blaine sustained the reputation he had won in the more popular chamber, and the Legislature of Maine chose him at the next opportunity to continue to represent the State in the Upper House at Washington. He has ever favored a clear, decisive policy. His voice was raised in favor of restricting Chinese emigration, against the Electoral Commission Bill, a sorry compromise, utterly distasteful to such a mind; and against the coinage of any dollar but an honest silver one. Strong in debate, strong in popular appeal, an active worker, in cabinet and the field, with voice and pen, Mr. Blaine has been for many years one of the most promiment men of his party, a strong man with strong friends and bitter opponents. In the Presidental canvass of 1876 his name was one of the most prominent before the Republican Convention, and he obtained 351 votes, lacking only 27 to secure the nomination. Four years later, in the Chicago Convention, he received 284 votes on the first ballot, and retained his strength during many succeeding trials. When the election of General Garfield was assured, the President-elect invited Mr. Biaine to Washington, and made him the unexpected offer of the State Department under the new administration. Ambitious though he was, Mr. Blaine hesitated to accept the high position till he felt assured that it would be well regarded, and give strength to the new management of affairs, so imperatively demanded, by the country. In the short administration of President Garfield, before he was stricken down by the assassin's bullet, Mr. Secretary Blaine had initiated a strong foreign policy for our Government, seeking to keep in American hands the control of the Interoceanic Ship Canal at Panama, and to create a union among the Spanish-American States, that would, under the influence of the United States, check civil and inter-state wars, and open the way for a new era of progress for those republics, which, since they threw off the Spanish yoke, have rarely enjoyed a five years' epoch of peace. His policy alarmed many, who beheld in it only certain war with England, and endless complications with our Latin neighbors. It arrayed the timid against him, and at the present time imbues many minds with the idea that he is an unsafe man to be intrusted with the country's destinies. During the prolonged sufferings of President Garfield, the management of public affairs was virtually in the hands of the Secretary of State. On the accession of Mr. Arthur, Mr. Blaine remained for a time in the State Department, but as their views of public policy by no means coincided, Mr. Blaine retired. His leisure has been devoted to the preparation of a work giving the political history of the country during the last quarter of a century. In his letter accepting the nomination Mr. Blaine says, in regard to the tariff:
“Revenue laws are, in their very nature, subject to frequent revision, in order that they may be adapted to changes and modiflcations of trade. The Republican party is not contending for the permanency of any particular statute. The issue between the two parties does not have reference to a specific law. It is far broader and far deeper. It involves a principle of wide application and beneficent influence against a theory which we believe to be unsound in conception and inevitably hurtful in practice. In the many tariff revisions which have been necessary for the past twentythree years, or which may hereafter become necessary, the Republican party has maintained, and will maintain, the policy of protection to American industry, while our opponents insist upon a revision, which practically destroys that policy. The issue is thus distinct, well defined, and unavoidable. The pending election may determine the fate of protection for a generation. The overthrow of the policy means a large and permanent reduction in the wages
of the American laborer, besides involving the loss of vast amounts of American capital invested in manufacturing enterprises. The value of the present revenue system to the people of the United States is not a matter of theory, and I shall submit no argument to sustain it.” On the topic of our intercourse with other nations he says: “Our foreign relations favor our domestic development. We are at peace with the world—at peace upon a sound basis, with no unsettled questions of sufficient magnitude to embarrass or distract us. Happily removed by our geographical position from participation or interest in those questions of dynasty or boundary which so frequently disturb the peace of Europe, we are left to cultivate friendly relations with all, and are free from possible entanglements in the quarrels of any. The United States has no cause and no desire to engage in conflict with any power on earth, and we may rest in assured confidence that no power desires to attack the United States. “With the nations of the Western Hemisphere we should cultivate closer relations, and for our common prosperity and advancement we should invite them all to join with us in an agreement that, for the future, all international troubles in North or South America shall be adjusted by impartial arbitration, and not by arms. This project was part of the fixed policy of President Garfield's administration, and it should, in my judgment, be renewed. Our foreign policy should be an American policy in its broadest and most comprehensive sense—a policy of peace, of friendship, of commercial enlargement. “The name of American, which belongs to us in our national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism. Citizenship of the republic must be the panoply and safeguard of him who wears it. The American citizen, rich or poor, native or naturalized, white or colored, must everywhere walk secure in his personal and civil rights. The republic should never accept a lesser duty, it can never assume a nobler one, than the protection of the humblest man who owes it loyalty—protection at home, and protection which shall follow him abroad into whatever land he may go upon a lawful errand.”
His views on the Mormon question are decided :
“Religious liberty is the right of every citizen of the republic. Congress is forbidden by the Constitution to make any law “respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” For a century, under this guarantee, Protestant and Catholic, Jew and Gentile, have worshiped God according to the dictates of conscience. But religious liberty must not be perverted to the justification of offenses against the law. A religious sect, strongly intrenched in one of the Territories of the Union, and spreading rapidly into four other Territories, claims the right to destroy the great safeguard and muniment of social order, and to practice as a religious privilege that which is a crime punished with severe penalty in every State of the Union. The sacredness and unity of the family must be preserved as the foundation of all civil government, as the source of orderly administration, as the surest guarantee of moral purity.
“The claim of the Mormons that they are divinely authorized to practice polygamy should no more be admitted than the claim of certain heathen tribes, if they should come among us, to continue the right of human sacrifice. Ths law does not interfere with what a man believes; it takes cognizance only of what he does. As citizens, the Mormons are entitled to the same civil rights as others, and to these they must be confined. Polygamy can never receive national sanction or toleration by admitting the community that upholds it as a State in the Union. Like others, the Mormons must learn that the liberty of the individual ceases where the rights of society begin.”
Mr. Blaine is now in his fifty-fifth year. Although above medium height, he is so compactly and powerfully built that he scarcely seems tall. His features are large and expressive; he is slightly bald, and his neatly trimmed beard is prematurely gray; his brows are lowering—his eyes keen. On the floor of Congress he manifested marvelous power and nerve. His voice is rich and melodious ; his delivery is fluent and vigorous ; his gestures are full of grace and force; his self-possession is never lost. He has appeared on the stump in almost every Northern State, and is an exceedingly popular and effective campaign orator. His faculties have a keen edge; his memory
Gen. John ably retent
A. Logan, the ive; and his
candidate for knowledge of
dent, is, in affairs has a
the highest broad range.
sense, a selfThis com
made man. prehensive
He was born kno w ledge,
near Murbroad rather
physboro, than deep, is
Jackson one of the
County, Ill., secrets of his
February pop u larity.
9th, 1826. His He knows
father was a men from
native of Ireone end of
land, and his the country
mother, of to the other,
Tennessee. and he knows
He enjoyed what they
slight educa. are thinking
tional advana bout. He
tages, his has kept CATHOLIC CHURCH AT BROWNSVILLE, WHERE BLAINE'S PARENTS LIE.
father afford. abreast with
ing most of the average thought of his time-not above it or be the boy's early instruction. His first public service was low it.
in the Mexican War. He enlisted as a private, became For twenty years Mr. Blaine has owned a valuable coal | lieutenant, served as adjutant of his regiment, the First tract of several hundred acres near Pittsburg. This Illinois Infantry, and came out as quartermaster. Upon yielded him a handsome income many years before he his return home he studied law, and in 1851 entered entered Congress, and the investment has been a profit- upon its practice. In the following year he was elected able one during his public life. His business affairs have to the Illinois Legislature, and subsequently served as been managed with prudence and shrewdness, and he prosecuting attorney for the Third Judicial District of now has a handsome fortune. His home in Augusta, | his State. near the State House, is a plain two-story house. Several Mr. Logan was at this time a Democrat, and was chosen institutions in the State have received benefactions from a Presidential Elector in the Buchanan campaign. Two him, and his charity and generosity are appreciated at years later he was sent to Congress, and was re-elected in home. In his own house he is a man of culture and re 1860. In that year he was an ardent advocate of Stephen finement, a genial host, a courteous gentleman. No man | A. Douglas, but when trouble was threatened in the in public life is more fortunate in his domestic relations. South he openly avowed his intention to see Mr. Lincoln He is the companion and confidant of every one of his six inaugurated if elected, even if he was obliged to shoulder children, and they fear him no more than they fear one of a musket and go to Washington. His military experi. their own number. Mrs. Blaine is the model wife and ence and patriotism sent the young Congressman into the mother, and more is due to her strong judgment, quick army soon after the outbreak of the Civil War. He was perception, and herois courage, than the world will ever at Washington, attending the special session of 1861, know.
when, early in the Summer, a Michigan regiment came The eldest son, Walter Blaine, is a graduate of Yale through on the way to the front. The ardent son of Illi. College and of the Law School of Columbia College. He nois enlisted in its ranks as a private, and participated in is a member of the Bar of several States, and has been the first battle of Bull Run. He was among the last to creditably engaged in public life in Washington. The I leave that field. He then hastened back to Illinois to second son, Emmons
raise a regiment of Blaine, is a graduate
his own. of Harvard College
Colonel Logan took and the Cambridge
the field with the Law School. The
Thirty - first Illinois third is James G.
Infantry, in SeptemBlaine, junior, a lad
ber, with McClerof fourteen. The
nand's brigade. He three daughters are
had a horse shot na med Alice, Mar
from under him at garet and Harriet.
the battle of BelThe eldest was mar
mont. He was enried more than a year
gaged at Fort Henry, ago to Brevet-colonel
and in leading the J. J. Coppinger, of
assault at Fort Donthe United States
elson he was badly Army. BLAINE'S NEWSPAPER OFFICE, AUGUSTA.
wounded. For gal