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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 6, 1903)
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WILLIAH J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR,
Vol. 3. No. 42.
Lincoln, Nebraska, November 6, 1903.
Whole No. 146;.
Speaking of the tariff question, Mr. Roosevelt
said: "It is exceedingly undesirable that this
(the protective) system should ho destroyed or
that there should be violent and radical changes
therein. Our past experience shows that great
prosperity in this country has always come under
a protective -tariff."
Those who have read these remarks of Mr.
Roosevelt may be interested in reading something
Mr. Roosevelt wrote in his "Life of Thomas H.
Benton." On pages 66 and 67 of that book, it
will be fpund that Mr. Roosevelt wrote the fol
lowing: "The vote on the protective tariff law
of 1828 furnished another illustration of the sol
idarity of the west. New England had abandoned
her free trade position since 1824, and the north
west strongly for the new tariff; the southern
seacoast states, except Louisiana, opposed it bit
terly; and the bill was earned by the support of
the western states, both the free ad the slave.
This tariff bill was the first of the immediate irri
tating causes which induced South Carolina to go
Into the nullification movement. Benton's atti
tude on the measure was that of a good many
other men who, in their public capacities, are
obliged .to 'appear as protectionists, but who ck.
his franYnessTn stating their reasonsr-Heutterly
disbelieved iri and was opposed to the principle of
the bill, but as It had bid for and secured the in
terest of Missouri by a heavy duty on lead, he felt
himself forced to support it; and he so announced
his position. He simply went with his state,
precisely as did Webster, the latter, in following
Massachusetts' chapge of front and supporting the
tariff of 1828, turning a full and complete somer
sault. Neither. the one no- the other was to
blame. Free traders are apt to look at the tariff
from a sentimental standpoint; but it is in reality
purely a business matter, and should be decided
solely on grounds of expediency. Political econ
omists have pretty generally agreed that protec
tion is vicious in theory and harmful in practice;
but if the-majority of people in interest, wish it,
and it affects only themselves, there Is no earthly
reason why they should not be allowed to try
the experiment to their hearts' content. The trou
ble is that it rarely does affect only themselves;
and in 1828 the evil was peculiarly aggravated on
' account of the unequal way In which the pro
posed law would affect different sections. It pur
ported to benefit the rest of the country, but it
undoubtedly worked real injury to the planter
states, and there is small ground to wonder that
the irritation over it in the region so affecte'd
should have been intense."
Mr. Roosevelt seems to have "turned a full
'and complete somersault." As the author of the
"Life of Thomas H. Benton" he declared that
"political economists have pretty generally agreed
that protection is vicious in theory and harmful
in practice," but as president of the United States,
he insists that it is exceedingly undesirable that
the protective system be destroyed.
As the author of the "Life of Thomas H. Ben
ton," Mr. Roosevelt said that while in 1828 the
tariff "purported, to benefit the rest of the coun-,
try, it undoubtedly worked real injury to the
planter states and there is small ground for
wonder that the irritation over it in tho region so
affected should have been intense;" but as presi
dent Mr. Roosevelt declares that "our past ex
perience shows that groat prosperity in this coun
try has always come under a protective tariff."
BUT HE FORGOT MILES.
When an order was issued transferring Gen,
H. C. Corbin from tho W? department to the
command of the eastern division, Mr. Roosevelt
took occasion to pay a high tribute to Corbin.
Recently Captain R. B. Bradford, chief of tho
bureau of equipment of tho navy, gave up his
bureau position to go. on sea duty, and Mr. Roose
velt took occasion to ray Captain Bradford a
high and doubtless entirely deserved compliment
But when General Nelsc-i A. Miles retired
from the head of the army after forty years of
faithful service," he was permitted to go into pri
vate lifo without one word c commendation from
the president He was dismissed with a cold
blooded order Issued and signed by one of General
Miles' discredited subordinates. It is not surpris
ing that Mr. Roosevelt is being severely criticised,
even at this day for his evidently deliberate snub
to one of America's greatest soldiers. It is strange
nhMrrboTSftcW'so small a premium
upon tho intelligence of tho American people that,
after his friends had undertaken to explain the
Miles' snub on the ground that the customary or
der had been issued, the president goes out of his
way to pay a high tribute to two other officers
neither one of whom performed service at all to
be compared, with that rendered by General Miles.
It Is not difficult to understand the statement
made by one Washington correspondent, who said:
"Among old soldiers the language used in criti
cising Mr. Roosevelt is bitter. They regard the
Bradford incident as proof that it was personal
enmity alone that prevented tho president from
saying something commendatory to General Miles
when the latter gave up command of the "army
after forty-two years of honorable and distin
A quotation recently appeared in The Com
moner in which reference Was made to the "Syren"
as "the organ of tho steamship trust."
This was an injustice to the "Syren," which,
as a matter of fact, is a fearless and thorough
going anti-steamship trust organ and Is opposed
to every other kind of a trust
The Commoner regrets that an injustice was'
done the -"Syren" and takes this method of cor
recting the error.
Time Was Limited.
Tn sneaking of corruption in politics,
Cleveland could not, of coi'-se, go into dotal
but if time had permitted he might have explj
i. nnnninttTKnf nf Mr. van Alan in return re a
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fifty thousand-dollar campaign contribution. He
might also have mentioned the Havemeyer con
tribution to his campaign fund. :
THE BENNETT WILL
On another pago will be found a copy of Mr.
Bonnott's lottor to Mrs. Bennett, establishing ft
trust la favor of Mr. Bryan or suoh educational
or charitable Institutions as he should select, to
gether with a copy of Mr. Bennett's letter to Mr,
Bryan on the samo subject These lettcra
will be found following Mr. Bryan's argument
delivered before tho probate court of New Haven,
Conn., Monday evening, October 26. As he la
that argument could only deal vlth the fnctii as
they had been brought out in the evldenco, thla
additional statement is given to the renders of
Tho Comraonor in order that they may be able to
co.nsidor the case on Its merits and not ba com
pelled to rely on the misrepresentations of un
Mr. Phllo Laerman Bennett, of the New York
wholesale firm of Bennett, Sloan & Company,
lived at Now Haven, Conn., and was a democrat I
elector in tho presidential campaigns both of 1891
and 1900. Just before tho election of 1890 Mr.
Bennett wrote a letter (which Mr. Bryan did not
receive until after tho election) telling of his deep
Interest In tho campaign just drawing to a closo,
expressing gratitude to Mr. Bryan for his work
and saying that he desired to give him $3,000 in
caso-,of his defeat. Before answering Mr. Bryan
Inquired whether he was Interested In any silver
mines, and finding that "io was not, accepted the
sum, which was paid, $1,000 In 1897, $1,000 In 1898,
- and ?1,000 in 1899. In 1900 Mr. Bennett voluntar
ily gave ?800 moro, of which sum $300 wa:j given
at tho time of the drawing of tho will. After this
manifestation of friendly interest (begun when
his acquaintance with Mr. Lryan was so slight
that the latter could not have Identified him on
the street) they met and corresponded, and Mr.
Bennett proved himself to be in full sympathy
with the democratic platform of 1890 and with tho
efforts put forth by Mr. Bryan in defense of tho
principles set forth In that platform. The ac
quaintance ripened into a close personal as well
as political friendship, and Mr. Bennett always
met Mr. Bryan when the latter thereafter had oc
casion to visit New York. Their conversations
and letters covered a period of nearly seven years.
In April or May of 4900 Mr. Bennett made an ap
pointment to visit Lincoln Neb., and when he ar
' rived, produced a former will and certain memor
anda to be used in the drawing of a new will.
He desired to incorporate in this new will a be
quest of 50,000 to Mr. Bryan. The campaign of
1900 was just opening, and as it was certain that
Mr. Bryan would be renominated and, as he
thought that it was probable that he would be
elected, he told Mr. Bennett that he would not
need the money in case his candidacy was suc
cessful. The latter suggested that he would prob
ably need the money more if elected than Jf de
feated. He was informed that Mr. Bryan did
not desire to accumulate money beyond an amount
sufficient to protect himself against want In old
age and to protect his family in case of a break
down in his own health, and knowing that Mr.
Bryan would not accept the money unless at the
time of his (Mr. Bennett's death) he needed it, he
requested Mr. Bryan to distribute among educa
tional and charitable Institutions any part of. tht
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