The farmers' alliance. (Lincoln, Nebraska) 1889-1892, January 28, 1892, Image 2

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Liaeola, jTebraika, January 12th to 15th,
Tuesday mornlrf session. Called to
rder at 10 3Q by President Power.
Opening prajer byC. A. Bradley, of
Vhelps county.
The president then introduced Mayor
Weir, who welcomed the Alliance to the
dry in the following address:
Mb President and Gentlemen.' I
have made toe atateroent a number of
tinea, bat yet it will bear repetition,
whloh it That there ia no duty which
devolves upon me aa Mayer of the city
sore pleasant to perform than to wel
come to our city the various business,
coda, benevolent, and political organi
sations which have honored us with
their presence during the past year;
and this occasion is no exception to the
rale, for when I look into the faces of
och an intelligsnt body of men as gath
ered here this morning I feel that your
coming can only be of service to the
my ana an aavamago vo una com
asnalty. . I waa surprised to learn when the
cemmittee called upon ma and asked
me to appear here on behalf of tho city
of Lin coin, that there was a feeling in
this organization of prejudice against
the city as tho place in which to hold
poor innual sessions, because of some
neglect or inattention in the past,
of wbioh I know nothing, and the first
thing I want to do, is to assure you
that so far as I am concerned, while I
am Mayor of the city, no respectable
organisation of any kind of character
whatsoever shall Knock at our gates
without finding the latch tring hanging
yard outside and the heartiest ar il
nest cordial welcome awaiting them
oa the inside, and I trust that tois noble
organization, representing as it does,
she honest and intelligent yeomanry of
the state of Nebraska, will during my
term of oflioe at least lay aside any
pre-existing prejudices against this fair
city and come here at any and all times
seared of every courtesy and attention
that I can bestow. I can pledge you
this not only myself but for every o ni
cer of tho city administration. The
best we have in the house is yours from
parlor to pantry come whenever you
choose come in any number you choose
come with your uncles, your cousins
sd your aunts.
Young men bring your sisters, or if
ytn have no sisters of your own bring
someone else's sister, and all will meet a
generous and hearty welcome.
lam proud of our beautiful city.
Proud of her public and private enter
prise her colleges and publio institu
tions and business development her
private residences and splendid hotels,
cod more than all of her. publio spirited
nd intelligent people, and certainly no
city in the state is better able to re
ceive and care for any organization
within the borders of the state.
We have the publio hails and Opera
Houses suffloieut to aooommodate the
largest of state gatherings, and our
hotels and restaurants and lodging
houses are more than sufficient, so
with the honest feeling of kindness and
courtesy on the part of the present ad
ministration, if you do not come It will
m your own lauit. :
I I am glad to have yon come, not only
because 1 believe we can accommodate
yon and make your stay with us pleasant
and profitable, but also for a personal
reason. I am pleased to meet and be
come acquainted with the men of all
classes, who are interested in the or
ganizations designed for the betterment
,f their own condition and the condi
tion of those about them. Henoe I wel
come with feelings of sincere pleasure,
such organizations as the Odd Fellows,
Knights of Pythias. Woman's Christian
Association, the Medical Societies and
even the Undertaker's Convention, for
ooaeror later we all fall into their
hands. If there is an organization de
signed to benefit the masses ot the peo
ple especially outside the cities in our
state it is this '.Farmers AUianoe" as
represented in this couvention here to
4ay. I do not propose to' take up (for It
would not be proper that I should do so)
the questions at issue between your
selves and the political parties of the
state, nor to defend you from any
charges made against you, for while
you have , doubtless made mistakes,
who has notf They say that even Mo
ses made mistakes, and ia consequence
failed to get into the promised land.
Let ns hope your mistakes will not re
sult In a like lamentable condition.
I was surprised, when preparing the
cubic -t matter of this brief address, to
Warn bat the "Alliance" was a non
partisan Institution, and while more or
leas ot a political sentiment and influ
enoa attached to it, as must necessarily
adhere to all strong organizations like
this one, yef, its work and development
was based on educational and social
interests, rather than political dogmas.
Education in the lines of political econ
omy if you please, but educational just
the same, and certainly no instruction
ts more needed or desirable for the mas
ses of the people than instruction on
the great questions that are vital to our
Tory existence as a Nation. No true
"'American" can look with any but feel
logs of alarm on the dense Ignorance of
so many of our voters on the ques
tions and interests which lie at the very
heart of our National life. So I say
"God speed" to the organization, what
ever may be its name or character
whieh has for Its objects the ' enlighten
ment of its members and the people on
these great questions of political eoon
, cmy,
Lincoln is interested In, and is the
friend of every part and section of this
great state, what is the state's inter
est Is Linooln's interest. Whatever
benefits Lincoln, benefits the state, and
whatever advances the state's Interests
This city Is pemUarly the creature of
the state, for thestate made it bv wt nf
Its Legislature, and hence in a peculiar
sense it oeiongs to ine state, ao that la
eomiBg to Lincoln the people are sim
ply coming to their own, to the crea
tors of their own hands.
It was born in the travail of the
states' Legislative body and suckled at
the public breast in early infancy, but
Eke all healthy children it has outgrown
Us need of nurses and is able to rustle
tor itself and is getting along pretty
well now thank you, and is able to open
Its house for the old folks when they
esse in on s visit.
We hope to make this state, (the par
eat of "Lincoln") proud ether off
spring. We arciproud of our parentage
fed believe that the admiration should
M mutual. - -
I trust your deliberations will be
pleasant and profitable, and that what
Over the work may be before you, it
shall be accomplished to the satisfac
tion of all.
. , Whatever I as the executive of the
Uy can do for your comfort or conven
Icaos will be gladly done, and I trust
fee. will set fall to call upon me or any
of the officers ef the city for aey service
you snay seed.
V Bus you are nere i mtu im iw vo
show ymi any department of the city.
Our system of Waux Works is inter
esting and wortby or investigation w
tooee wno in ouierciues are couwm-
plating putting ia a system of water
service. 1 be water prooiem is uie
great problem of all large cities today,
especially M it relates to Municipal or
private control. Our schools and insti
tutions of learning are wortby of atten
tion. Our Polioe and Fire Dept. is open
to inspection and criticism if you like,
and in fact anything of interest to you is
at your service.
I do not teel tnat 1 can in mis oppor
tunity Dass without some referenoe to
this organization and its power and in
fluences as I see them. As a general
statement any organisation or combi
nation of men united for the accom
plishment of a purpose, possesses power
limited only bv their numbers and the
purposes for which tbey are combined.
1 bis is true whether their objects ana
desires be good or bad, yet 1 believe
that it Is r.n invariable rule, that com
binations for evil or unwise purposes,
and especially if against the Interests of
the masses, or If designed for the bene
lit of a class of citizens and not the com
mon good, generally develops such op
oosition as renders their defeat more
certain than if no combination had ever
been formed, and I believe, therefore,
that it is all important to the permanecy
and influence of this organization, that
its plans and purposes bhonia do wise,
consistent ana conservative.
The first impulse which the known
possession of power gives, is toward its
despotlo and tyrannical exercise. When
the masses rise from under the hosl of
an oppressor, they overwhelm both the
good and the bad in the first wild exu
berance of their new found liberty.
Thus organizations when tbey are suc
cessfully formed and find themselves in
r j . i i .
possewiua oi new tuu uumcu powers,
are apt to forget the rights and interests
of others, and they think only ot se
curing to themselves, privileges, inter
ests and emoluments, which in their
estimation, they have already been too
long deprived of by the general wllL
I! the "Alliance" in my- judgment nas
made any serious mistakes in the past,
it has been in the evident determina
tion to make too sudden and radical
changes in the existing order of politi
cal all airs, without knowing definitely
and satisfactorily, what could take the
place of the interests set aside. '
And further. m Ibo development ot
new leadership in these great move
ments, the camp followers and political
foragors of all the old organizations and
political parties, aro so apt to fling
themselves into tho breach and claim
leadership because of their ostracism
elsewhere, that great caution is nec
essary not U be misled by the black
sheep of other folds. In no element
does success or failure more surely de
velop itself, than in the leadership ot
suoh great movements as this.
Demagogues and political tricksters
will surety bring wreck and ruin. A
wise aud conservative leadership, with
definite plans and purposes for the
genera) good, will certainly bring suc
cess and perpetuate your organiza
Perhaps this advice may be considered
obtrusive, but the committee said to
make such remarks as I pleased and
my interest in and regard for your or
ganization leads me to wish for it only
the oest ana to nope to see it properly
managed. Seek only the common good.
Eradicate all known evils. Educate the
maeses in a knowledge of the principles
upon which our "American" institutions
are founded. Drive from power all
known corrupt officials, who are pros
tituting their position and influence for
personal advantage, and purify the po
litical atmost'here of the country from
the foul stenohes of "Boodlerism" and
corruption, and your organization and
all like it will oome as a benediction to
our beloved country.
Senator W. A. Povnter. of Boone Co..
responded in behalf ot the State Alli
ance, and spoke as follows:
. In behalf of eur order I wish to offer
our thanks to his honor, Mayor Wolr,
for his generous words ot weloonie to
this beautiful oity, and the good wishes
jpst expressed. Hhaspleasod some to
cull us in derision the mud sills of so
ciety, and though tho name has been
givea wilh anything than by the way
of compliment we accept the appella
tion. We are at the foundation of all
the prosperity in our country. No
more can the superstructure of national
prosperity stand without the solid
foundation of a prosperous agricultural
people, than can the great bridges bear
ing the Immense train loads of com
merce except thoy rest upon a solid
foundation. In short, the mud-sills
must be solid, sound and abb to bear
the strain put upon them. Ours Is a
great agricultural people. We are the
read producers of the world. -Not
alono are the minds of our own 64,000,
000 people turned upon the success of
our farmers, but towards us are turned
many eyes from accross the seas, and
the productiveness of our farms and
the energy of our farmers are looked to
for food supplies. Agricultural de
pression in this country means general
business stagnation. Prosperous and
profitable farming means increased
activity in every branch of commerce.
This is an age of combination. What
the Individual Is unable to accomplish
alone, associated with his fellows be
comes an easy task. The small capital
driven to the wall by fierce competition
joined with innumerable other small
capitals denes all competition, Because
it can do away with it entirely, and
hold the public at its mercy, controlling
supplies, and compelling remuneration
according to its own 6tandar,d. In our
age private enterprise is oonsiacrea oi
littlo account unless backed by wealth
that should aggregate a great number of
individuals. The old laws governing
In the days of early political economy
are now obsolete. Supply and demaud
are alike controlled by vast combina
tions of capital. In all this combina
tion and agrlgatlon of wealth the single
Industry remaining dependent upon
single Individual enterprise is the one
which we have to-day represented. Ail
iL. U . ' Al !
uim guiuen stream i gram uuwiug
through the great arteries of commerce
filling the vast store-houses in our sea
board cities, flowing into the great
steamers plowing the billows of old
ocean, is the prodaot of the lone toller.
In days of lonely labor has all been pro
duced, and not until he found unusual
difficulty in making support for self and
those dependent uuon him did he beirln
to cast about him for the reasons for the
agricultural depression of which he
read in his weekly paper. And now for
a few years past the farmer, as he plows
me icig furrows, as be reaps the wav
ing grain, or gathers in the golden ears,
has been thinking' out this problem.
With the example sot him on every side
of combination, beholding their vast
success, what could you expect but that
ne too snouia aesire at least a closer re
lationship with those of his own class.
While, of course, a combination of their
cap-.tal under existing circumstances
would be impossible, alwtteriag of con
ditions could bo effected bv counsel and
co-operation. Our order is the offsprirg
oi too economic eonoiuons existing in
our country.
, Realizing that the prosperity of the
fansters Is the first necessity for the
prosperity of every other class ia our
country, they have sot about the task of
ringing about that prosperity so no
ticeably Isckiogfor the past decade. Our
order is not a band of Ishmaellius whose
hands are sirainat every man. neither
anarchists seeking the overthrow of
law and order. No class of citizens of
our country are more conservative, none
look with greater suspicion upon aay
radical change in our government than
our farmeis. None are more patriotic;
neither have any demonstrated that
love of country more clearly in time of
our country's need. Many a plow left
standing iu the furrow, many a farm
left no'illed, many a field left unreaped,
many a farmer soldier left en southern
plains, attests the loyalty of our farmer
Our order seeks not the overthrow of
government, but its prosperity, and
that it shall accomplish the end for
which all goversments are instituted
amongst men, the protection ot each
citizen alike. We seek to create a better
condition socially, morally and finan
cially. WVaim to educate the members
of our order ia such a way that they
they may have a better understanding
of their duties as citizens, and under
standing them, be enabled to discharge
them. We are asking no special favors
for our class, but are demanding a fair
held, and having that tbe farmers oi
America are able to take care of them
selves and tbe balance of mankind who
may be unfortunate.
Our order seeks to inculcate good
fellowship and brotherly love amongst
its members to the end that a higher
standard of moral obligation than mere
human greed may prevail, ine vivine
injunction, "Lock not every man on his
own things, but also upon the tmngs oi
others," belongs to the code of ethics
governing every true member of our
order. We are a political organization,
but In ne sense partisan. 1 be careful
study of the soieece of government is
the duty of every citizen of our republic
The Biultum In parvo ot our politics as
an order is ' Equality before the law."
The growth of our order has been
phenomenal. From end to end and
side to side of this great country our
principles have extended. Objects so
grand, principles so noble, and demands
so just as ours have found myriads of
supporters amongst those who were not
engaged ia agriculture. But for misun
derstanding of our claims and false rep
resentations of our oraer oy loose wnom
a personal interest makes enemies to
our cause, there is not a laborer of any
kind in this broad realm but would
join glad hands with us for the speedy
accomplishment of our purposes.
That we shall ultimately triumph and
agriculture occupy the possition in the
minds of the people, that its importance
in the prosperity of the nation demands,
there can be no reasonable doubt.
Uome was not built in a day. We, my
brothers, should never grow discouraged.
"Be not weary in well doing, for in due
time we shall reap if we faint not." It
is the constant dropping of the water
that wears away the stoue. Line upon
line, and precept upon precept, here a
little and there a little will ultimately
instruct all in the right way. Extend
our membership. Single individuals
caa do each a little. Added together
make a mighty whole. In numbers
there is strength. Push our doctrines.
Let the world know our position.
Good Henry IV. of France made It
the helgth of his ambition that every
farmer In his kingdom should have a
chicken In h's pot on Sunday. In this
glorious country, with no wars devasta
ting our rich fields, with climate the most
salubrious of any on the globe, a soil so
diversified as to produce everything for
man's comfort aud enjoyment, should
not the farmer here have every luxury
for himself and family and be enabled
to educate his children for any position
in lifef Ours the noble task of bringing
about such a state. With such a state
of sericulture! prosperity, every in
dustry ot our land would take o n new
The laboring man of whatever kind Is
deeply interested in thh prosperity, for
it creates for him oettjr employment at
moro remunerative pnees. ine ousi
ness man of whatever branch should
hope for and help along this prosperity,
for prosperity opens up new wants and
supplies the means for their gratifica
tion, buoh prosperity would give the
manufacturers more sure market for
his product. For some wise reason the
Creator has made us dependent in
greater or less degree upon each other.
Then, how much wiser for every de
partment of our great commonwealth
to assist every other. When the pro
ducer becomes educated to understand
that union of effort lathe only sure road
to prosperity, tbe great battle Is more
than half won. The dawn of a better
day is dreaking. They are receiving
this education and already the in
dustrial classes are making themselves
a power. Soon with clear understand
ing, with fixed purpose and united ef
fort the objects of our order will be
acheved and undreamed of national
prosperity will result.
Recess taken until 1:30 o'clock.
Meeting formally opened by the Presi
Prayer by acting Chaplain C. S.
Bradley, of Nuckolls county.
The report of the committee on cre
dentials showed 671 Alliances represent
ed, ana over uu credentials were re
ceived by the Secretary where delegates
could not come on account of the severe
storm. Seventy-one counties were rep
resented. Moved and supported that all mem
bers ot the Alliance in good standing
who may present themselves, may, on
proper proof to door-keeper be admit
ted to all sessions of the Alliance but
not be allowed to vote.
Program of the day was then an
nounced by the President.
President Powers then delivered his
annual address.
Brothers and Friends: It is with
feelings ot pleasure and sincere grati
tude to God that I greet you to-day as a
State Alliance.
I congratulate for the continued and
increasing prosperity of our noble so
ciety. During the past year Providence has
smi.ed upon our farms and has given
us the rain from Heaven in due season,
which has been followed by tbe natural
results In a soil so fertile and a sunshine
so vivifying, a bountiful harvest In field
and garden.
Our members, Instead of being as
many were last year, depending oa as
sistance for the necessities ot life, have
taken their accustomed places as
almoners of God's bounties for the sup
port of the world. .
It is true our labors on the farm have
been especially arduous. The Provi
dential failure ot last year's crop made
the necessity for success this year the
more imperative The same causes.
which produced a vigorous growth of
grain, produced tne same enect on the
natural enemies of the farmer, the
weeds; and they must be subdued or
failure was certain. The going out ofj
many ot our workers during the previ
ous autumn, many of whom did not re
turn, rendered employed labor scarce,
so that seldom in the history ot man
kind has more labor been performed by
to few, as dnritg the past year by th J
fanners of Nebraska.
But while Divine Providence and tb
farmers have worked together for the
prosperity of our noble state, other in
fluences and efforts have been brought
to bear to make all this bountiful re
turn for the year's labors inure to the
prosperity and enrichment of foreign
and domestic capitalists and corpora
tions and a few unprincipled speculators
iu our midst. That they have to a great
extent succeeded is but too apparent ,
The reports of the immense business :
and profits of the railroad companies,
the large receipts of interest, and the
numerous foreclosures of mortgages by
the basks and loan ana trust companies
oa the one hand, stand right over
against general financial depression,
and numerous failures among our farm
ers and merchants; while the immense
foreign demand for farm produce, !
especially wheat, is in striking contrast
to tbe almost unorncedentea v low 1
prices of most of the farm products of
our farms.
It is becoming more and more ap
parent every year that the objects
whica the Alliance is intended to ac
complish are absolutely necessary to
preserve the business and interests of
the farmers of the state from complete
overthrow and raia.
Overtures were made to the officers
of tbe State Alliance during tbe past
summer looking to the co-operation ot
the farmers of this state with those of
the other wheat-producing states of the
country to withhold tbe crops from mar
ket until a fair price should be paid.
These propositions came in so un pro
pitious a time, when many of the state
were entirely helpless financially, that.
aside from the principle involved, which
it is charged, would seem to give count
enance to corporation trusts for the ex
aotlon of exorbitant prices, it was not
thought best to euter Into such combina
tion. But the indications now are that
self preservation will force us into suoh
a measure. I would, therefore, suggest
me propriety ot senaing a memorial to.
congress stating the facts in the case
and asking that' 'he commissioner of
agriculture bo instructed to consult with
actual farmers in the several wheat pro
ducing sections of the country to ascer
tain what would be a fair m niniom
price for the production of wheat, and
also for its transportation to actual on
sumers; and that a report of the same
be made to congress and to tbe publio
as a basis for such legislation by con
gress and tbe different state legislatures
as may be necessary for the protection of
farmers and the citizen consumers from
the extortion of corporate and Individual
speculators in this the "staff of life" of
the people.
As the efficiency and usefulness of our
Alliance depends primarily on the wis
dom and intelligence of its members I
would respectfully recommend that pro
vision be made for a more- systematic
and energetic carrying out of the educa
tional features of our society. To this
end I would recommend that the num
ber ef assistant state lecturers be in
creased to five; and that the executive
committee divide the state between
them as shall seem to them from time
totimo'the most convenient tor suc
cessfully and efficiently instructing and
encouraging the Alliances of the state. I
would aiso recommend that tbe state
lecturer and assistants, together with
the other officers of. the State Alliance
bold a conference at the beginning of
each quarter of the year to compare
their experiences and to secure, so far
as possible, uniformity of the aims and
woiw ot the Alliances throughout the
state. This plan, I think, preferable to
the formation ot district Alliances,
which has developed a tendency to
array the different districts in the state
agaiuf.t each other, and, in one instance
at least, has endangered the stability of
of the State Alliance,
I fear that there is not enouzh energy
displayed in organizing new Alliances,
ana iu convincing outside farmers of
the truth of our principles and their
duty to unite with us in maintaining
them and in building up our organiza
Tho work , of organizing is not well
dono in any neighborhood so long as
one honest and intelligent farmer, or
farmer's wife, son or daughter, remains
out of the Alliance fold.
There seems to be a disposition in
some ot our subordinate Alliances to
turn their meetings Into mere literary
entertainments or debates, with no
other object in view but to attain a
faculty in expression of ideas, and read
iness wielding arguments. This is well
as far as it goes. But where the subjects
discussed are vital to the welfare of our
whole people, and the earnest aim is to
arrive at the truth in regard to such
subjects, uumlxod with prejudice or
error, it ts thus, and thus only, that the
Alliance can carry out the education
it was designed to accomplish.
A demaud is made by some members
of the Alliance of this and other states
for a more elaborate and complicated
secret work, so that the time of our
meetings may be mostly occupied with
mysterious forms and ceremonies Now,
while 1 do not Ignore the attraction
which secrecy has for the human minds
and while such a waste of time might
do for the pampered sons and daughter,
of luxury and wealth, the members of
tbe Alliance have no time to waste. It
is wel and necessary to so conduct our
meetings as to -awaken and sustain an
abidlag interest in our m Jtubers. But
it should rather be reached by such ex
ercises as will rail out and make per
manent no ilest powers of the mind,
and the best impulses of our natures;
in earnestly seeking to know the truth
in regard to every question which ef
fects t he welfare of the farmers and
laborers, and especially those questions
which affect the interests of the whole
people; and In patiently seeking to
know our duties as members ot f amiles,
as workers, and as citizens of our state
and nation ;and then we should devise the
best methods to perform all these duties.
Tho aim should be In the Alliance to
supply all tLe deficiencies in our educa
tion which are not provided for outside
of the Alliance, are which are beyond the
reach of tbe farmers and laborers and
their families.
Especial attention, I think, should be
given to prepare the membership for
intelligent and right political aotlon,
both as respects the great social ques
tions which agitate the publio mind and
occupy its attention, and also tne ar
rangement of the business by law, so
far as may properly be done, so that
those who work shall own the product
of their labor and those who earn shall
enjoy their reward.
The enemies of our principles and or
ganization, though not one whit abated
in their opposition, have lately been
rapidly changing their methods of at
tack and their alleged grounds for con
tention, although composed of the same
material viz: all , the combinations for
concentrating the wealth produced by
the workers of the country into the
hands of a few schemers and speculators,
including the most of those who are
known as Capitalists in this country
and backed by mny in Europe; but all
these oepending for thoir active opposi
tion on all the talent and shrewdness
among the people which money can buy
or patronage ana inuuonoe can control,
including to some 'extent the state and
general government.
In the early history ot our Alliance
our numerous resolutions were met by
good natured ridicule and our petitions
with "advice to be content with our in
evitable lot. Bat when it became man
liest in 19M that our resolutions wera
bringing forth fruit in political action,
and our petitions were changing to de
mands backed by ballots; when they'
saw the majority of the people were be
ginning to recognize tbe truth of our
principle and to make our cause their
own; then a change was inaugurated.
Sophistry has taken tbe place of ridicule
and patronizing advice has given place
to fierce calumny and detraction. All
the shrewd talent they can control is
employed to diligently examine our
armor ot truth to see if some flaw or
fracture cannot be- detected, or some
point where the joints do not perfectly
Those principles which from their
nature are easily understood and which,
mainly through tbe influence of the Al
liance, have been adopted by a m tjority
of the people, have been openly accepted
by our plutocratic foes, as the Australian
ballot system, or opposed only by secret
bribery and corrupt political manuever
ng, as ia the control of tbe railroads
tnd the suppression of trusts by law
But the right of the workers (who
ompose probably at least nine-tenths
f the people of our country) to their
proportional share in the composition
ind control of our government, and the
lutyof our government to furnish a
medium for the exchange of property for
ur people, whose government it is; aud
o see to It that such - a medium, or
noney, be seenred to the people for the
purposes for which it is created and ne
other; against these all the batteries of
the enemies of the Alliance are directed,
''very mystery which sophistry could
i. 'ent has been thrown around them,
ant' every political prejudice which
par 'tan influence could create has
beet arranged aginst them. Against
thest they have massed all their forces
and concentrated their attacks, Nor is
this to be wondered at. Grant to tbe
milliouairs capitalists and their servile
tools the contrel of the peoples' gov
ernment and the first possession of the
;peoples',money, and all the opposition
to the other forms of oppression will be
but as the squirming of the worm on
the fisherman's hook, or the buzzing of
the fly in the Spider's web.
Prudence and wisdom dictate that we
should be well prepared for these new
modes of attack. Wo must see to it
that every principle is well fortified by
argument, and that every plan of prac
tical application be wisely constructed
and prudently and persistently carried
Our membership seems to be nearly
unanimous In regard to the general
principle ot the government issue of
money directly to the people and for
their benefit. But when the means by
which this shall be practically carried
out come te be considered there is still
some difference of opicion.
Some still claim there is no practical
way but that which is known as the sub
treasury plan. Others say that plan is
impracticable in the northern states,
and the land security plan is tbe only
one which will admit of universal ap
plication. Others again object to both
these plans, and claim that some form
of postal savings banks with powers ex
tended to loaning government money
to the people is the most practicable
1 confess that at one time I viewed
with alarm these differences of opinion.
Bat the spirit which is manifested in
our Alliances to discuss and examine
each of these, and other plans which
have been suggested, in a spirit of ean
dor and f airiiets. has led to such a modi
fication and bleiding ot the different
plans that there is no doubt that a com
plete agreement will soon be arrived at.
Tbe advocates of the subtreasury plan
arc becoming convinced that it would
be of but little benefit to the conductors
of what is called mixed farming which
prevails to so large an extent in the
northern states; while the advocates of
the land loan plan begin to realize that
the land is so nearly absorbed by the
plutocracy that it Sione would not be
sufficient to distribute the money so
widely as it is needed. It now seems
evident that a combination of these two
kinds of security with some system of
government banks including the essen
tial features of the postal savings banks
.plan may be so arranged as to oblviate
every objection, and be acceptable to
all. Tho objection urged by some that
the issue of money oa such security
would be unsafe, falls to the ground
when we consider that those two forms
of security iucludo all the permanent
security the people can give, and that
.tbe soourity is from the people to their
government and not from the govern
ment to the people, or to the world.
They forget that any limited socutity
on the part of the government, aside
from the merchantable value of the ma
terial of which the money is manufac
tured only eetracts from that complete
security which an unqualified issue of
money involves; and tnat the cheaper
tho material, provided it is such as ex
perience has proved to be suitable and
convenient for circulation, the greater
financial advantage to the whole people.
A secret and untrammcled ballot is
now insisted on by all our Alliances, and
accepted as law by the people of the
state; and so vital is tt to the liberties of
the people that it cannot be too carefully
guarded, or too completely carried out.
And any defects which experience
should discover, in the present law
snouia be promptly remedied.
Government ownership of the whole
railroad system of the country is also
generally accepted by our Alliances as
the only way to settle the difficulties
which always have existed between the
railroad companies and the people,
especially the producers of the country.
The only question now to be determin
ed Is, how to bring this about and still
respects the equal rights of all.
The security by law to each honest
and Industrious family sufficient land
for a home and for , cultivation if re
quired and the assurance of perpetual
possession of the same, is recognized,
not only by our Alliances, but by all in
telligent patriots, as being absolutely
necessary for the stability and perpet
uity of our government. The necessity
for education in a free republic is al
most universally recognized. Yet de
prive an intelligent and educated man
or woman of the influence, restraists
and responsibilities incident to the own
ership and occupancy of a home, and
they become fitted for tramps and an
archists, and their education but rend
ers them the more dangerous to the
welfare of society and the supremacy of
Tho principle of laying the heaviest
burden of taxation for the support of
our government on those who are finan
cially best able to bear it is now, I be
lieve, accepted by all our people as tbe
true theory and system for creating the
publio revenues.
When all these principles which I
have mentioned are fully developed and
agreed upon by the .Alliances and other
industrial organizations in this state, if
they prudently exert tbe influence and
power which they possess, they will be
speedily endorsed by a majority of our
whole people.
But it is for the continued possession
ct the political power of the state and
county that every energy is directed,
and every dollar si aked by our determ
ined foes. Sometimes it is proclaimed
that all the demands ot the Alliance
(modified somewhat by the superior
wisdonand experience of the pluto
cracy) will be granted to the farmers, if
the Alliance will only keep cut of poli
tics. Our members are appealed to in
dividually and collectively by every
consideration which caa be brought to
bear to prevent their political co-operation.
They say it stultifies the non
partisan character of our constitution.
That it endangers the supremacy of tbe
republican party, which has done so
much for the cause of liberty; and on
the other hand, that it will be equally de
structive to the democratic party, whose
very same indicates the rights of the'
people, and whose long connection with
the history of our country should en
title it to respect and support. Thus
they appeal to all the partisan prejudice
which iseupposed to linger in the hearts
of our members. They have uaed all
their iafluence, backed by promises of
political preferment and support, and
In many instances, no doubt, by finan
cial inducements, to create divisions in
our Alliances and discord in our coun
cils, sometimes by inducing our secret
enemies to join our order and act the
part of spies and traitors, and some
times by corrupting those who are not
well grounded in the principles of
honesty and truth. -
But in spite of all these machinations
thuir combined effort on our member
ship has been so slight that the few that
have been effected by them have had no
influence, except ;to call forth the con
tempt and pity of their fellow mem
bers. Jur Alliance now stands throughout the
?tate a solid bulwark against the peo
les oppressors, and their determined
and unanimous voice promises speedy
political death to every tool of the plu
tocracy in our stale.
Our membership now fully under
stand that while the Alliance is not, and
cannot be, a political party, the inevita
ble tendency of the systematic educa
tion which is its chief object, is to bring
about united and effective political
action in support of the equal rights of
all tbe people.
The relation of the Alliance to the
other labor organizations of the state
is worthy of your attention. While I
Ido not for one moment think it practi
cable that the city and country organi
sations should be combined in one so
ciety, I do think that the brotherly
feeling which now exists between them
ehould be fostered and strengthened;
Temembering always that the true in
terests of the laborers in city and coun
try are identical But I can see no valid
reason why diff erent organizations of
farmers having in the main the same
objects and made up of those whose oc
cupations ae well as interests are iden
tical, should exist in the same locality.
I am aware that in our own state there,
is no other strictly farmers' organiza
tion but our own and the Grange, that
has developed any strength. But the
Signs of the time admonish us that none
of our energy should be wasted in the
jealous strivings of rival organizations
either in state or nation, and that every
effort should be made to bring about
that complete union of purpose and co
operation in action which is necessary
to defend and maintain our rights.
The prospects of our Alliance were
never before so bright as at present;
The lull iu organizing incident to the
arduous farm labor of the past season
has given place to a waking up through
out the state From every county comes
the shout, "We are coming determined
.to conquer," and all seem ready to build
up the wails of the Alliance right over
jagainst their own houses. It is yours to
'Derfect and nut into Dractice such niton
and plans as will make the combined
energies oi our aroused memocrsnip tne
mon eilectlve for the advancement of
righteousness and the maintenance of
the liberties of the people. To this end.
I trust, all your sessions will be direct
ed. To this end, I trust, that all avail
able funds of the Alliance, after dis
charging existing obligations, will be
expeuded. And I trust that any re-,
visicn of the constitution which may
have become necessary by the advance
in the history of our society from a state
of feeble growth to ono Of immense and
increasing power, may be promptly
made. Remember, it is one thing to
build up, and another to wisely sustain
aad permanently establish. Let these
aims characterize rll your deliberations
and I have no fear but tho result will be
a mighty increase of the strength and
efficiency of our order
There are some offices in our society
which are of such a character that the
experience gained by efficient service
cannot safely be dispensed with, and
wisdom would dictate that the incum
bent should be continued in office so
long as he remains faithful to his duties.
But there is nothing in the office of
President to interefere with a judicious
rotation of service. . If in carrying the
sword of office your President has for
gotten bow to perform the duties of a
soldier in tho ranks, it is time it was
For three years I have borne the office,
and in my imperfect way .performed the
duties of President of this Alliance. I
cannot express to you the gratitude I
feel for the considerate manner in which
you have treated my failings, and the
kindness and efficiency with which you
have sustained me in every effort for
building up our noble order. I am
proud of the wonderful success of our
united efforts. My deliberate judgment
is that you should choose another to the
office, and may your choice bo wisely
A glorious prospect spreads before us
in the future. God has gives us the
numbers and the ability and Ho will
give us the ultimate victory.
The other states are falling into line.
Our enemies show thoir fears by their;
frantic efforts and their pathetic ap-i
peals for protection from the wrath of
the people.
In God we trust; and through His
help we wiU triumph over every oppo
sition, until not only tbe rights of the
farmers, but those of the whole people
shall be vindicated and sustained; and
liberty be proclaimed throughout all
the land to all the inhabitants thereof.
On motion the address of President
Powers was referred to committe oa
resolutions to be hereafter appointed.
Report of Secretary-Treasurer was
then read.
To the President and Members of the
Farmers' Alliance :
Brethren: It has again become my
duty to submit an annual report ot the
progress of the State Alliance for the
year just dosed, so far as it has come
under the observation of the Seoretary,
together with the present condition of
Alliance work, so far as the facts re
lating thereto lie more especially with
in my knowledge.
The past year has boea one of import
ance in tbe history of our organization
in Nebraska. The Alliance growth in
the year preceding was very rapid, and
in some sections of the state the work
of organization was but imperfectly
done, so that tKe larger part of the labor
of the year had to be spent in strength
ening and building up tbe Alliances al
ready organized. The efforts in this
directioffbave resulted in great good,
and never before in its. history have the
principles of the Alliance held so large
a place in the hearts of its members, or
had in so large a measure their con
fidence and esteem, as at the present
time. The organization also occupies a
larger place in tbe respect of the jreneral
public, and its purposes and aspii aUuns
are accorded a larger measure of sym
pathy as they become better un
derstood. The people of th state re
cognize that the menjd life of the farm
er was never more active than bow,
that whatever may have been the case
in the past, he is bow reading and
thinking, and the study and rovestJ ga
llon of the great problems connected
with the wise administration of eouBo
mical government, has a larger place in
his mind than ever before. This thought
and study is developing a determination
that hereafter his interests and welfare
must be equally considered with those
of nis fellow citizens of all other classes.
That the Alliance has bees the chief
cause of this spirit of investigation, ot
independence and tendency toward pro
gressive citizenship, admits of no ques
tion. The work oi organization has progres
sed steadily daring thtfyear. We have
organized fifteen new County Alliances,
aud bow have organizations in every
county in the state. Two hundred and
four new Alliances have been chartered
by the State Alliance and a good many
of tbe Alliances have been re-organized
that had not been reporting and were
suspended. The past season has been
one of nnnsnal stress of work on the
part of farmers in our s ate, and the ap
parent lack of interest in local Alliance
work was largely due to this cause, as
the recent reports from Alliances all
over the state indicate an increased
activity on the part of Ibe members that
promie great things for the future wel
fare of the Alliance in Nebraska.
While considering the growth and
dealing with the statistics of the Alli
ance, it would not be improper to state
tbat we have sustained losses the past
year, and indeed it would be strange
if in a movement like ours none should
fall by the wayside. A few charters
have been surrendered during the year,
in most cases, however, they have been
given up for the purpose of uniting the
strength of two or more Alliances, very
fow of them indication a total
loss of interest in . the Alliance
and its work. Over sixteen hund
red Alliances have reported dur
ing the year, and as the dues from
nearly a thousand Alliances have been
remitted dunng 1801, a large number of
western Alliances have neglected to
send iu their reports, so that we cannot
properly estimate or calculate our
actual strength, but it must exceed that
of last year by several thousand. .
I cannot pass the work of organiza
tion without referring to the labors of our
State President and Lecturer. During
the opening months of the year Presi
dent Powers was largely engaged in
work connected with the National Alli
ance, his first Important active work in
this state being in February, when a
number ef the northeastern counties
were visited and the foundation for
aggressive work in Dakota and adjoiir
ing counties was laid. About the mid
dle of April he began a tour of visita
tion and work that embraced nearly all
the counties in the southern and western
parts of the state, extending up to about
July 10th. Another trip ouuu pving the
months of September and October was
made by him in which he visited all the
northeastern counties and ethers along
the line of the U. P. westward, and on
this tour he put in fifty-two days active
work. During November and Decem
ber he has visited several counties and
every where with good results.
Our State Lecturer, Bro Hull, has
also done very efficient work in his ca
pacity during the year. During the
first six months of the year be was al
most constantly in the field, and the re
cords of his movements show that he
covered a large part of the state during
his term of office. Some counties were
visited at different times, owing to in
clement weather and other causes inter
fering with the success of his first meet
ings. Reports from all places visited
by him unite in commendation of his
laoors, and the wise counsels given
were well received by our members
The Assistant Lecturer, Bro. Pratt,
visited a number of the northern and
western counties also during the year.
Two principal tours were made by bim:
one from Clarks via Norfolk to Craw
ford over tbe line of the F. E, & M. V.
and returning by way of Box Butte
county over the B. & M., occupying
twenty -fonr days of actual work; the
other westward from Lexington, Daw
son county, by way of U. P. to the west
ern part of the state, then north and east
through Wheeler, Blaine, Loup and
Garfield counties. Itemized accounts
of these tours are on file in my office
and show a record of faithful work oa
behall of your state officers.
the distribution of printed matter.
The demand for printed matter ex
plaining the purposes of the Alliance
continued unabated throughout the
year. Two large editions of the amend
ed Constitution were distributed, also
an edition in German and one in the
Swede language. A large edition of
the proceedings of the last annual meet
ing were, also sent out together with
largo numbers of the proceedings of tho
National Alliance held at Omaha, and
other supplies nd printed-matter fur
nished inconsiderable quantity. The
proceedings of a meeting of the various
county liecturers of the state, held at
Hastings in July were also sent out.
Reasonable care was used in this distri
bution that no unnecessary waste might
occur, yet all requests so far as possible
were complied with.
educational work.
The educational work of the Alliance
has received during the past year
a great deal of attention. In addition
to the work of the State Lecturers the
County Lecturers have been urged to
adopt a systematic plan of work in the
discharge' of their duties. In order to
secure united and harmonious action
all over the state in this direction a
meeting of the various County Lectur
ers and officers was called to convene at
Hastings on August 19th. At this meet
ing about two hundred were present
ind the discussion of the Alliance and
its educational work was of vast benefit
to all wbo were present. A synopsis of
this meeting was printed and distributed
over the state as noted above.
The demand for papers and books on
matters of interest to our political and
economical welfare has largely increas
ed during the past year. Our members
show a disposition to support those pa
pers that fight their battles, that is very
encouraging, ana a uuuiuer oi local ana
i other papers have been established dur
ing the year and are now doing good
service in defending the rights of the
1 producers of our state and nation. Re
. form books have been purchased by Al
liances and members, and in many Al
liances circulating libraries have been
secured that will proye productive of
much good in enlisting the energies of
our people in the maintenance of those
rights so dear to the American heart.
I have in this report but briefly out
lines, me present condition of tne Am
j ance and its work in Nebraska. In the
1 past year we have had much to eaoour
age us. The organization is much more
' permanent in toe character of its mem
bers than a year ago. Its educational
system is improving In eulolency and
its social features are more and more
appreciated. It calls the attention of
i all to the farm and Its interests, and
I points to reforms that must be labored