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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 9, 1904)
WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER.
Lincoln, Nebraska, September 9, 1904. -
, Boer Address and Reply
During the St. Louis convention several of the
Boer generals and sdldlers called upon Mr. Bryan
at Nebraska headquarters and" presented an ad
dress. The address and reply will bo found below:
St. Louis, Mo., July 5, 1904. To the Honor
able William Jennings Bryan. Greeting from tho
Boer Nation. Esteemed and Honored Friend:
Having been - informed of your presence at St.
Louis, we deem it an opportune time to tender
you and the liberty-loving Americans who were
inspired by your eloquent pleading for oiir cause
during those dark days when we were struggling
for liberty, defending our country, homo and
hearth against an unjust attempt to exterminate
the Boer race, our most undying and fervent
Often when the odds against us seemed over
whelming, our ammunition, food and clothes ex
hausted, our women and children and thousands
of burghers captives in tho hands of the enemy,
a word of sympathy from America came as balm
to tho wound, and inspired us with new courage.
During the life and death struggle at the bat
tles of Colenso, Spionkop, Maggersfontein and
Diamond Hill, and many other engagements, the
"banner of liberty was kept waving, through the
Knowledge that fax away in the great republic of
the west, the home of Washington, Jeffersonriiin- ;
coin, and Byan, millions of American freemen
and women were fervently praying for our success
and aiding us financially.
Even though today we are exiles, and wan
derers in a strange land through the fate of cruel
war and overpowering numbers, the sweet mem
ory of your sincere and honest advocacy of the
burghers vibrates our heart chords with tho
During the campaign of 1900, when you were
the candidate of a great party, your advocacy
of the cause of the Boors was of immense advant
age to us" and a constant encouragement. Need
less to say, were the Boer nation privileged to
place you in the seat of Jefferson, our race would
be unanimous in doing so as an expression of our
The espousal of our cause by the leading jour
nalists of America demonstrated that the foreign,
greedy avarice which coveted and prompted the
destruction of the Free State and Transvaal re
publics was not approved by the liberty-loving
democracy of the United States, whose fire by
night and cloud by day is the Declaration of In
Many lion-hearted Englishmen voiced the sen
timent of their great countryman, Lord .Byron,
who said: 'Hereditary bondsmen know you not
who would be free themselves must strike tho
Hoping that you will accept this our humble
tribute, with heartfeft gratitude, we remain, sir,
B. J. VILJOEN, General late Boer Force3,
P. A. CRONJE, General late Boer Forces,
J. BOSHOEF, Commandant.
G. M. VAN DAM, Commandant Transvaal
' Police. ' .,4V-
T Tv lrT"T i linmmiinrlnTif ri
' G. MARE Commandant.
A. H. BLEKSLEY, Captain.
M. J. WOLMARANS, Lieut. Artillery. "
J. H. SMIT, Field Cornet.
. . . W. BOTHA, Field Cornet.
S. RAUBENHEIMER, Field Cornet.'
P. J. DuPLESSIS, Field Cornet.'
BEN COETZEE, Field Cornet.
L. BOSEL, Llout. of Police, Transvaal.
E. THIEDEMAN, Field Cornet.
F. FISHER, Field Cornet. " "'
R. D. YOUNG, Field Cornet.
B. P. MARAIS, Field Cornet.
G. MARE, Commandant.
And two hundred and forty-seven 'men," women
and children at present in St. Louis at the Louis
iana Exposition grounds.
MR. BRYAN'S REPLY.
General Viljoen, General Cronje and others:
I do not know in what words to thank you for
the honor you do me in presenting this address.
I most sincerely appreciate tho compliment. I did
on many occasions express' tho hope that you would
succeed in maintaining tho independence of tho
Boer republics; I did do all in my power to arouse
sympathy for your people in their wonderful strug
gle to retain self-government, but it was not be
cause of personal acquaintance with your people
or because of partiality for them as against others.
It was .rather because I believe that a blow struck
for liberty anywhere strengthens liberty every
where, and that the defeat of any people's aspira
tions for self-government is felt by liberty-loving
people all over the world. .Your burghers were
fighting for all republics as well as for their own
and they made England's war of conquest so ex
pensive that all republics are now safer from at
tack from without. The bravery of your soldiers,
recalled the heroism of ancient times and your
war, unsuccessful though it was, has given to
history and to poetry names that 'will for cen
turies inspire tho patriotic to devotion and self
sacrifice. I am proud that my feeble. words were
heard by your people and grateful that you who
have attached your distinguished names to this
address have so generously expressed your com
mendation of my efforts in behalf of the Boers.
As a slight token of my appreciation of your kind
liness I shall be pleased to provide you, General
Viljoen, and you, General Cronje, platform seats in
the democratic national convention now in session
in this city, that-you may see the representatives
of a party, which, had it been successful in 1900,
would have thrown the moral influenpe of the na
tion on your side and thus assisted in the creation
of a public opinion helpful to your cause. I again
' thank you for this compliment it makes this day
a day that will always be a bright one in my
General Cronje, speaking through an inter
preter, thanked Mr. Bryan for his cordial reception
of himself and his comrades and Mr. Bryan added:
"The fact that you, General Cronje, exprcsa your
self in a language with which we In America are
not familiar proves that liberty has no chosen
tongue but emenating from tho heart finds utter
ance In every language and in every land."
Rudyard 'Kipling's latest poetic effusion rings
-. the changes on "Once on a time there was a man."
' .We recall that most fairy stories begin tfiat way.
Finding; Success in Failure
If thoso who bollevo as the oditor of The Com
moner docs had boon successful in nominating tut
ticket at St. Louis, It would have boon prober to
consider tho responsibilities of victory and to
counsel hat moderation that ought always to
temper success, but aa these wero not successful in
nominating tho ticket, It may be useful to point out
that even defeat and falluro can be turned to advan
taago. Wo are so short-sighted that evon the wisest
of us can not see very far ahead. Wq do what wo
think is right and labor for tho accomplishment
of ends which we bellevo to bo worthy, but wo often
find that other plans aro better than our own and
that a temporary defeat brings us ncaror to tho
sought-for end than a temporary victory would
havo done. At least, when wo have done our best
it is the part of wisdom to make tho mostout
of conditions that wo find, and begin our new
fight with the advantage of past experience.
William George Jordan, In a littlo book en
titled "Tho Majesty of Calmness," published by
Fleming H. Rovol Co., Now York, has a chapter
entitled "Failure as a Success," and it contains so
much of consolation and encouragement that it
is commended to those, who enter tho present cam
paign with less of enthusiasm than thoy hoped to
feel. Mr. Jordan says:
"It oftentimes requires heroic courage to face
fruitless effort, to' take Up tho broken strands of
a life-work, to look bravely toward tho future, and
proceed undaunted on our way. But wbat, to our
.eyes, may seem liopoless failure is oten but tho
dawning of a greater success. It may contain in
its debris the foundation material of a mighty
purpose, or the revelation of now and higher pos
sibilities. "Some years ago it was proposed to send loga
from Canada to New York, by a new method. The
ingenious plan of Mr. Jogglns was to bind great
logs together by cables and iron girders and to
tow the cargo as a raft. When the novel craft
neared New York and success seemed assured, ft
terrible storm arose. In the fury of the tempest,
the iron bands snapped like icicles and tho angry
waters scattered tho logs far and wide. The chief
of the hydrographic department at Washington
heard of the failure of the experiment, and at
once sent word to shipmasters the world over,
urging them to watch carefully for these logs
which he described; and to note the precise loca
tion of each in latitude and longitude and the
time the observation was made. Hundreds of cap
tains, sailing over the waters of the earth, noted
the logs, in "the Atlantic ocean, in the Mediter
ranean, in the south seas for into all waters did
these venturesome ones travel. Hundreds of re
ports wero made, covering a period of weeks and
months. These observations were then carefully
collated, systematized and tabulated, and dis
coveries wero made as to the course of oceajacur
rents that otherwise would have been impossible.
The loss of the Joggins raft was not a real failure,
for it led to one of the great discoveries in modern
-marine geography and navigation.
"In our superior knowledge we are disposed
to speak in a patronizing tone of the follies of
the alchemists of old. But their failure to trans
mute the baser metals into gold resulted in the
birth of chemistry. They did not succeed in what
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