The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, August 16, 1901, Page 3, Image 3

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The Commoner.
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century and indeed at tlio end of every year,
and at no timo in the history of our country wag
it more important that such things as Webster
sought to impress upon the people in this ad
drees should bo impressed upon the people of
the present generation.
This speech of Webster's was delivered in
commemoration of the first settlement of New
England. Webster began by speaking lightly
of that regard for ancestry "which nourishes
only a weak pride," but he referred to that
"moral and philosophical respect for our an
cestors which elevates the character and im
proves the heart," and he said that next to the
sense of religious duty and moral feeling ho
hardly knew "what should bear with stronger
obligation on a liberal and enlightened mind
than the consciousness of alliance with excel
lence which has departed; and a consciousness,
too, that in its acts and conduct, and even in
its sentiments and. thoughts it may be actively
operating on the happiness of those who come
after it."
It will bo well for the people of today to
ponder upon Webster's appeal that we give
duo consideration and respect not only to the
individuality of our ancestors, but also to the
lessons and the principles which they sought
to impress upon posterity.
Listen to Webster:
"Poetry is found to have few stronger concep
tions, by which it would affect "or overwhelm the
mind than those in which it presents the moving
and speaking immage of the, departed, dead thp
senses of the .living This belongs to pqetryonly
because it is Congenial to our nature. Poetry is,
1ji this respect, but the hand-maid of true phil
osophy and morality; it deals with us as human
jbeings, naturally reverencing those whose visible
connection with this state of existence is sev
eredi and who may yet exercise we .know not
What sympathy with ourselves; and when it car
ries us forward also, and shows us the long
continued result of all the good we do, in the
prosperity of those who follow us, till it bears
us from ourselves, and absorbs us in an intense
interest for what shall happen to the generations
after us it speaks only in the . language of our
nature, and affects us with sentiments which be
long to us as human beings.
"Standing in this relation to our ancestors,
and our posterity, we are' assembled on thjs me
morable spot, to perform the duties which that
relation and the present occasion impose upon' us.
iWe have come to this Eock, to record here our
homage for our Pilgrim Fathers; our sympathy
in their HufL'erings; our gratitude for their labors;
our admiration of their virtues; our veneration
for their piety; and our attachment to those prin
ciples of civil and religious liberty which they en
countered the dangers of the ocean, the storms
of heaven, the violence of savages, disease, exile,
and famine, to enjoy and establish.. And we
should leave here also, for the generations which
are rising up rapidly to fill our places, some propf
that we have endeavored to transmit the great in
heritance unimpaired; that in our estimate of
public principles and private virtue, in our Vener
ation of religion and piety, in our devotion to
religious and civil liberty, in our regard to what
ever advances human knowledge or -improves hap
piness, we are not . altogether unworthy of our
"The hours of this day are rapidly flying, and
this occasion will soon be past. Neither we nor
our children can expect to behold its return. They
are in the distant regions of futurity; they exist
only in the all-creating power of God, who shall
stand hero a hundred years hence, to trace through
us, their descent from the Pilgrims, -and to survey,
as wo have now surveyed, the progress of their
country during the lapse of a century. We would
anticipate their concurrence with us in our senti
ments of deep regard for our common ancestors.
Wo would anticipate and partake the pleasure with
which they will then recount the steps of New
England's advancement. On the morning of that
day, although it will not disturb us in our re
pose, the voice of acclamation and gratitude, com
mencing on the Rock of Plymouth, shall bo trans
mitted through millions of the sons of the Pil
grims, till it lose itself in the murmurs of t.ho
Pacific seas.
"We would leave for the consideration of theso
who shall then occupy our places some proof that
wo hold the blessings transmitted from our fathers
in just estimation; some proof of our attachment"
to the cause of good government and of civil and
religious liberty; some proof of a aincore and ard
ent desire to promoto everything which may en
large the understandings and improve the hearts
of men. And when, from the long distance of a
hundred years, they shall look back upon us, they
shall know at least that wo possessed affections,
which, running backward and warming with grati
tude for what our ancestors have done for Bur
happiness, run forward also to our posterity, and
meet them with cordial salutation, ere yet-they'
have arrived on the shore of being," . i
When, from the. long distance-of a hundred
years wo nor lookback upon the men of 'Web-
ster's time," do we ribV in fact' know that they
did possess affectionsy which, running back
ward and warming with gratitude for what
their ancestors did for their happiness, ran for
ward also to their posterity? .
Id't what may be said" of the people of to
day? Do wo possess affections which, "run
ning backward and warming with gratitude for
what our ancestors -have done for our happi
ness, run forward also to our posterity and meet
them with cordial salutation ere yet they have
arrived on the shore of being?"
Origin of a Famous Phrase.
Mrs. Elizabeth A. Meriwether, mother of
the municipal ownership candidate for mayor
of St. Louis, recently wrote an article for the .
St. Louis Republic in which she traced Lin
coln's famous phrase, "A government of the
people, by the people and for the people,"
back to the Wickliffe Bible of 1324. It is in
teresting to know the origin of that particu
lar phraseology and space io gladly given to
the article.
The idea is an old one, for the doctrine
that the people are tho source of political
power and that governments should be ad
ministered by them and in their interests must
have been advocated for ages, even though not
clearly expressed. At this time when a con
trary doctrine is showing surprising strength
in the United States it is instructive to know
who first gave apt verbal expression to the
doctrine and still more important to know how
many still cherish and revere it as a self-evident
and eternal truth. Mrs. Meriwether says:
. In his Gettysburg speech, Mr. Lincoln gave
voice to the grand apothegm:
"This Is a government of the people, by the
people and for the people."
In tho February number Of Review of Re
views, Mr. George Parkor, lato consul at Birming
ham, wri(e3 that ho thinks ho has discovered the
author of that colebrated phrase. In a book pub
lished .in London, England, in 1705," Mr. Parker'
found theso words:
"Tho American government Is a government
of tho people and for tho people."
I beg leave to say to the consul at Birmingham
and to tho editor of the Roview of Reviews that
they will have to go further back than 1705 to find
the originator of that saying. In tho preface to
tho old Wickliffe Biblo, published in 1324, aro tho
"This Bible is for. the governmont of tho peo
ple, by tho people and for the people."
Since that Bible was published, a number of
persons in America have used tho phrase, and
some in Europe.
In 1830, as Mr. Laraon states, In Switzerland, a
speaker declared:
"All the governments of Switzerland (meaning
tho different cantons) must acknowledge that they
aro simply all the people, by all the people and for
all tho people."
'In 1850, in a public spccoli in Boston, Theodore
Parker defined democracy to be:
"A government of all the people, by all the pso
ple and for all the people."
It is said tho same words were used In a Mas
sachusetts convention by Judgo Joel Parker in
163. (See Lamon.)
.. When, standing as ho did on tho awful field
of Gettysburg, all around him tho bloody ghosts
of ,50,000 American men so fecontly slain, Mr. Lin
coln 'voiced those immortal words, they struck the
ear and the heart of the world as never before.
They seem to have slumbered through the years
from 1324 up to tho nineteenth century. Never
again will they slumber,
Words have souls; the soul of those words r
can never .again sleep. Even though this country
be made an empire, oven though despots Should
come to sit where once Washington and Jefferson
sat, still would those words live and breatho and
go down tho ages an inspiration, a prophecy
more: a tocsin in the hearts of men, calling them
to arms to fight again for the freedom which Is
their right.
Slavery in the Philippines.
Colonel J. "8. Morrison, Judgo Advocate U.
S. A., is well known in the west. Colonel
Morrison was a Missouri lawyer who, in 1893,
was appointed by President Cleveland to be a
clerjk in. thq judge advocate's office at Washing
ton. When a vacancy occurred in the office of
judge advocate, Morrison was appointed to tho
place with the rank of major. During tho
Philippine trouble he was assigned to duty in
the Philippine Islands, and recently was pro
moted to the rank of Colonel. The New York
World has discovered that more than one year
ago Colonel Morrison made a report to Wash
ington relative to the conditions of the slave
trade in the Philippines This report was sup
pressed and was not made public until the
World printed it in its issue of July 21. Col
onel Morrison's report deals in full with slavery
in the Philippines, and, according to the World,
bears every evidence of careful inquiry.
Here, are some of the most pertinent of tho
results of his observations:
"The slavery here has all of the essentials of
the negro slavery formerly existing in the United
States. - -
"For Instance, a person man, woman or child
will be captured in war or kidnapped (privately
and secretly or otherwise) in time of absolute
peace; or one person will owe another a debt
i. -