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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (June 14, 1901)
whether it should be allowed to acquire the stand
ing which it aspires to. "
"And now we ask the people of the United
States how they like the spectacle. Wo suspect
that if Andrew Jackson were alive and in tho pres
idential chair, the career of the City hank in tho
last few years would have been slightly different
from what it has been. If there was any public
rded for disciplining tho old United States bank,
we' suspect that tho City would bo a good institu
tion to keep a sharp eye on today. The govern
ment of the United States is still presumably run
ill the interests of the nearly eighty millions that
constitute our population, and it looks to us as if
this Standard Oil bank was not in any such meas
ure as regardful of the rights of the peopje as it
It ought not be necessary for tho Investor
to go further than its frank statement of the
"tremendous power" wielded by one banking
institution. But the American people have
not forgotten that this same "tremendous
power" was manifested prior to the campaign
of 1900 and fully exposed and explained in
that campaign; and yet the Investor had no
word of condemnation for the exercise of that
tremendous power; while the American people,
the majority at least, appear to have regarded
ipna lightly as did this New York publication. .
It is evident the Investor itself has been
doing a "little thinking;" and yet there is am
ple room for progress in this
Doing "a Utile respect on the Investor's part.
Thinking.' It" frankly admits that it
"might not view with disfavor
c assumption of dictatorial ppwer" by this,
bank, wore it reasonably sure that such would
be wielded in a manner .consonant with the
public good." And then the Investor points out
that its confidence that such power ' might be
wielded in a manner "consonant with tho, pub
lic good" was destroyed by tho "little exhi
bition of last, week, which "little exhibition"
resulted in disaster to the stock market. In
other words, the Investor knew that as a re
sult of the "assumption of dictatorial power,"
this one banking institution secured millions of
dollars of the public money without the
payment of one penny of interest, and
for its own exclusive use and benefit. The
Investor knew that this one banking institu
tion had, through the assumption of this "dic
tatorial power," obtained a dishonest advan
tage in the ousloms house affair. In spite of
that knowledge the Investor had no protest to
make, but, on the contrary, continued to de
fend and uphold the administration that had
permitted the assumption of that "dictatorial
power," and it was not until this "dictatorial
power" struck tho stock market that that New
York publication concluded that it was about
time to "view with disfavor" the assumption of
"dictatorial power" by a single business con
The Investor is entitled to credit for the
progress it has made. But as an intelligent
publication.it should know that the only pro
tection from those who would assume "dicta
torial power'' is to prevent and prohibit the
assumption of that power. As a publication
of much practical experience it should know
ere this that no legitimate interest in the
Fnited States is safe so loner as "fcrmrwin,,'a
0 -. vtvuu
power" is concentrated in the counting room
of a single bank, or for that matter, of a hun
It would seem, therefore, that the Nick
Biddlc incident is after all worthy of preserva
tion in the memory of Ameri
Another Jackson cans, and one might be justi
Greatly in fled in suspecting, from the
Demand. tone of the Investor, that a
repetition of the Nick Biddle
incident would not be disadvantageous to pub
It is difficult, however, to free 6ne's mind
from the suspicion that the Investor's criti
cisms are stirred by a zeal for the well being of
tho stock market. It is true that "as steadily
as man's march to the grave," the financial . in
stitutions of the country have been obtaining
"tremendous power" over the affairs of this
nation. Jackson's criticism of the United
States Bank was that it "had been actively en
gaged in attempting to influence the elections
of the public officers by means of its money,
and that it had placed its funds at the disposi
tion of its president to be employed in sustain"
ing the political power of the bank." He
charged that that bank had been "converted
into a permanent electioneering engine," and
he added that the question was distinctly pre
sented, "whether the people of the United
States areto govern through representatives
chosen by their unbiased suffrages, or whether
the jnonoy and power of a groat corporation,
arc to be Bccretly exerted to influence their
judgment and control their decisions."
Those same charges may with equal truth
be applied to the national banking institutions
of today. Whatever may be the differences be
tween those banking institutions on stock mar
ket days, when one institution is pulling against
another whatever may be the differences be
tween these institutions when they engage in a
contest for business advantage there is one
time when they are thoroughly united there is
one proposition when there is not the slightest
division among them. The time is a national
political campaign; the proposition is that this
is and must be a government of the banks, for
the banks and by the banks.
There is a place in our commercial system
for legitimate banking. And itis a place which
may be occupied with honor
and profit to the carefully
conduotcd financial institution.
But there is no place, properly
speaking, in our system of gov
ernment, for a bank . or a coterie of Janks as:
gumihg the "dictatorial powers" which Jackson
crushed the "dictatorial powers" which these
institutions began to assume in our politics in
1.896 and have continued to assume since Jftat
ycar i.. .
The combined banks of the country, operate
ing under the advantages of what the Investor
calls "organized wealth," have shown that they
have the power to make and unmake members
of congress, United States senators, governors
of states, and even the president of the United
States. These wore powers which Andrew
Jackson said were altogether too great to bo
possessed by any one interest. And the coup,
ageous emphasis which Old Hickory put into
his " By the Eternal " placed the very check
upon tho money power of that day that should,
be placed upon, the money power of the pros-,
The Creed of the Flag.
A reader of The Commoner has asked for;
the publication of a poem written, by Dr..
Howard S. Taylor, of Chicago, and read at the
Jackson. Day Banquet given by the Bryan
League of Chicago, in 1890. It is a literary
gem and presents a patriotio sentiment espec
ially appropriate for consideration at this time.
In beautiful language it emphasizes the fact
that the flag is sacred, not because of its color,,
or because the material of which it is made,
but because of the spirit which it has repre
sented. The decision of the Supreme Court, if
upheld by the people, will rob the flag of its.
peculiar excellence and make it represent the
same brutal and barbarous doctrine for which
the flags of European empires stand.
"Who will haul down the flag?"
'Who will haul down the flag?" quoth he;
And no man an answer gave.
But who will haul up the flag, ask we,
Where the flag ought never wave?
Over an arrogant mission of spoil
That takes, as a matter of course;
A subject race and a conquered soil
And a government based on force! .
Answer us! answer us! true nd fair,
Who will haul up Old Glory there?
"Who will haul down the flag?" quoth he; '
Nay, think how it first went up .
When War astride of the land and sea
Poured wrath from his brimming cup;
When brave men died and left in bequest
One pledge for the great and the small,
Not stars for a few and stripes for the rest,
But the flag of our country for all!
Answer us, truly and plainly, we pray:
Was that not its meaning in Washington's day
From "Washington's day to Jackson's time,
From Yorktown to New Orleans,
Did any man follow that flag sublime
And doubt what the symbol means?
Free self-ruled States, each one as a star
Fixed fast in a field of blue.
Fenced in by the blood-red stripes of war
To preserve them for me and you!
Answer us, now do you dare to drag
,The old faith out of our fathers' flag?
"Who will haul down the flag?" quoth he;
Why, no hand of flesh and bone
Can lower that flag, on land or sea,
Till the faith of the flag is gone!
Till a few shall rule and cunningly keep
The bunting to garnish their greed;
Till dollars are dear and humanity cheap
By the force of a tory creed!
Then will it fall! but answer us, clear,
Do you fancy that hour is drawing near?
Did our Liberty "Bell ring in vain?
Was our Declaration a lie?
Must we turn to the Old World, again,
With the penitent prodigal's cry?
Must we arm us and march in the van - -
Of Europe's barbaric, parade
And boom out a gunpowder gospel to man '
To open a pathway for trade?
Shall we strut thro' the world and bluster
With the dollar-mark stamped on the brave
Nay, haul up the flag raise it high
Not yet is its spirit spent!
Let it Sine to the wind and tm alrv . :
The truth that it always meant! ''
Let it sing of the birthright of man
Of progress that never can lag;
Let it sing that trade may gowhere t can, t
But liberty follows the flag!
Yea, haul up Old Glory but, comrades, take heed
That no man part the old flag from the creedl,
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