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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 20, 1901)
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Senator Heltfeld's Letter.
Washington, D. C, Nov. 22, 1901.
Hon. D. H. Andrews, Chairman Peo
ple's Party State Committee, Boise,
Idaho. Dear Sir: Having concluded,
after most thorough consideration, that
it is both wise and patriotic to an
nounce a change in my political af
filiations I deem it my duty to ap
prise you of this intention and to give
you my reasons for so doing.
When the people's party movement
was started in the early '90's I real
ized that the chief difference between
the aims and purposes of the two old
parties was in name more than in
principle, and that there was an actual
necessity, appealing powerfully to pa
triotism and good citizenship, for a
third party as a means of checking the
growth of plutocracy and preserving
that spirit of free government with
which the founders of the republic im
bued our institutions. It is useless for
me to go back and describe the growth
and enumerate the successes of the
people's party. It is sufficient to recall
the fact that in 189G we elected some
twenty-five members of the lower
house of congress, and that at the ex
tra session of 1897 the people's party
caucus in the senate had a membership
of eight. That this success, encour
aging as it was upon its face, wa3
brought about only by alliances with
other parties is made manifest aud
Bigniflcent by a bare analysis of the
vote. It is pertinent in this connec
tion to point out that this result was
attained by an alliance in the north
and west between populists and demo
crats and in the south between pop
ulists and republicans. Beginning with
that alliance the factors, sincerely de
voted to the country's highest inter
ests in the elements which then co
operated, have twice fought a national
battle under common leadership and
have been welded in fact, if not in
nam,e, into one grand organization.
!,. Now,. .Mr., Chairman, I will state my
reasons for this, to me, very important
step. When, in 1896, the democratic
party met in national convention a
great battle was fought. The question
was: Shall the party adhere to its
late policy of, compromise and make
shift declarations or shall it once
more become the party of Jeffejson
and Jackson, bold in its declarations
and fearless in its advocacy of "Equal
rights to all and special privileges to
none" whether it was to be the party
for the classes or for the masses?
We all know the outcome. Under
the leadership of W. J. Bryan the
masses won a decided moral victory.
The platform adopted was one satis
factory to both the people's and silver
However, in November of that year
the battle was lost at the polls by a
very narrow margin and the general
opinion was that, as a result, the dem
ocratic party would, in future, repu
diate its leader and its declaration.
This fear, and it alone; kept the or
ganization of the people's party alive.
Next came the campaign of 1900.
Contrary to the general belief Bryan
was again named as the standard
bearer of his party and the principles
so dear to him and his followers were
once more made the battle cry. The
result was another defeat at the polls,
but not because the American people
lacked faith in B'ryan or did not be
lieve the democratic platform was the
better, but because, times being com
paratively good, they concluded that
for. the present it was best to "let well
Every ohservant man who followed
the last two campaigns closely, will
concede that the enthusiasm for the
democratic nominee was something
5Dhis signaturo is on ovory box of tho genuine
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tho remedy thai cures a colli iu ouo day.
marvelous and that his defeat cannot
be attributed to either. lack of faith in
him or his views.
Consequently, since both the demo
cratic and people's parties are now
striving to accomplish the same pur
pose, I am unable to see why we
should keep up separate organizations
since by combining forces in name 'S
well as in fact we can better subserve
the interests of the great principles we
One other motive has actuated mo to
make this move, namely, tho desire
to bo better able to serve my state
The coming session of congress is
universally expected to be of unusual
importance. Questions not only af
fecting our own state, but the entire
west will confront us. The isthmian
canal, the opening of Columbia and
Snake rivers, the irrigation question,
the efforts of giant syndicates to con
trol tho public lands by leasing, and
tast, but not least, the fixed purpose of
'the trusts and combines, acting
through the republican organization,
not to re-enact the Chinese exclusion
law, which expires by limitation in
1902, are but a few of the great ques
tions of particular importance to tho
people of Idaho and the west that are
to be considered and that constrain
me to take this step. I know that I
can be more useful to my people as a
member of a great party, admitted to
its counsels and placed by its agency
upon important committees than I
can be if alono and with no affilia
tions. Now, Mr. .Chairman, I trust you will
give this your earnest consideration
and I believe you will see the wisdom
of my resolve. Furthermore, I re
quest that you call a meeting of the
state committee and I sincerely hope
when they are assembled these repre
sentatives will approve my action aa:l
with me join hands with the aggres
sive and dominant element of the
democratic party, preserving it from
all menace of reaction within and
aiding it to win a glorious victory for
liberty and free government. Yours
(Signed) HENRY HEITFELD.
The Devil, His Origin and Overthrow,
by Laurence W. Scott;- a pamphlet pub
lished by the Acme Publishing Co.,
Morgantown, "W. Va.
Good Gravy, the wit and humor of
Ezra Kendall; published by Helman,
Taylor & Co., Cleveland, 0.
New Zealand in a Nutshell, a Coun
try Without Strikes, Where Labor 13
Supreme; a pamphlet published by J.
A. Wayland, Girard, Kas.
A Financial Catechism and History
of the Financial Legislation in the
United States from 1862 to 189G; pub
lished by Vincent Publishing Co., 612
South 13th st., Omaha, Neb.
' The Court of Inquiry.
The court of inquiry made its re
port to the secretary of .the navy De
cember 13. The court's report on the"
whole is unfavorable to Admiral
Schley. The majority report to which
in its entirety Admirals Benham and
Ramsey agreed, is as follows:
Commodore Schley, in command o'
the flying squadron, should have
proceeded with utmost dispatch off
Cienfuegos, and should have main
tained a close blockade of that port.
He should have endeavored, on May
23, at Cienfuegos, to obtain informa
tion regarding the Spanish squatlron
by communicating with the Insurgents
at the place designated in the memor
andum delivered to him at 8:15 a. m.
of that date.
He should have proceeded from
Cienfuegos to Santiago de Cuba with
all dispatch, and should have dis
posed his vessels with a view of in
tercepting the enemy in any attempt
to pass the flying squadron.
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He should not have delayed the
squadron for the Eagle.
He should not have made the retro
grade turn westward with" his squad
ron. He should have promptly obeyed
the navy department's order of May
He should have endeavored to cap
ture or destroy the Spanish vessels at
anchor near the entrance of Santiago
harbor on May 29 and 30.
He did not do his utmost with the
force under his command to capture
or destroy the Colon and other ves
s'els of the enemy which he attacked
on May 31.
By commencing the engagement on
July 3 with the port battery and turn
ing the Brooklyn around with port
helm, Commodore Schley caused her
to lose distance and position with the
Spanish vessels especially with the
Viscaya and Colon. The turn of the
Brooklyn to starboard was made to
avoid getting her into dangerous prox
imity to the Spanish vessels. The
turn was made toward the Texas and
caused that vessel to stop and back her
engines to avoid possible collision.
Admiral Schley did Injustice to
Lieutenant Commander A. C. Hodgson
in publishing only a portion of the
correspondence which passed between
them. Commodore Schley's conduct tn.
connection with the events of the
Santiago campaign prior to June 8,
1898, was characterized by vacillation,
dllatoriness and lack of enterprise.
His ofllcial reports regarding the
coal supply and the coaling facilities
of the flying squadron were inaccur
ate and misleading. His cpnduct dur
ing the battle of July 3 was self-possessed,
and he encouraged, in his own
person, his subordinate ofllcers and
men to fight courageously.
Admiral Dewey submitted a mlnor
( Continued on page 11)
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