The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, June 09, 1911, Page 6, Image 6

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The Commoner.
Governor Woodrow Wilson in Lincoln
. Governor Woodrow Wilson, of New Jersey,
visited Lincoln, Neb., on his way oast. Tho
Lincoln, (Nob.) Journal gives tho following re
port of tho governor's reception:
Dr. Woodrow Wilson, tho scholar-governor of
Now Jersey and potential candidate for tho
presidency of tho United Statos, received an
especially enthusiastic welcome from tho pooplo
of Lincoln. Ho como rb tho guest of a
non-political organization, tho Lincoln Com
mercial club. Ho rocolvod marked attention
from all classes of citizens regardless of politics.
Ho visited tho university and was greeted by
a groat crowd of students as ono who speaks
tho language of their tribe. In tho afternoon
a public reception was hold in his honor at tho
Lincoln hotel and in tho evening ho addressed
tho largest gathering over assembled for tho
annual banquot of tho Commercial club. From
tho time ho arrived from tho north at 3:15 in
tho afternoon until ho loft for tho cast at 11
o'clock in tho ovening, ho was tho recipient of
ovory possiblo attention without tho least politi
cal bias. At tho samo timo everybody looked
upon him as a presidential possibility, and that
fact crept -out Continually in tho conversation
of those who greeted him and In tho speeches of
introduction at tho formal dinner in tho evening.
Bocouso of tho delay east of Omaha which
prevented tho distinguished guest from making
connections with tho train that arrives in Lin
coln before noon, Governor Wilson was unable
to reach the city until 3:15 in tho afternoon. A
committee of tho Commercial club, consisting
of W. A. Selleck, C. W. Bryan, and President
George J. Woods met him at Ashland and .
oBcorted him to tho city. At tho Burlington
depot tho party was met by the recoption com
mittee of tho club with several automobiles
and taken directly to tho Lincoln hotel.
Among those who acted on this informal re
ception committee wore: J. E. Miller, P. L.
Hall, Judge Lincoln Frost, R. M, Joyce, John
Dorgan, Chancellor Samuel Avery and F. M. Hall.
iGovornor Wilson wont at oncd to his room
but soon reappeared and hold an informal re
ception in the lobby of the hotel. Perhaps a
hundred men were there to shako hands with
him. The reception committee saw to it that
he was kept busy responding to introductions.
W; Hi Thompson, democratic candidate for the
United States senate at the same time that it
is rumored Governor Wilson will bo the demo
cratic candidate for prosidont and A. E. Cady,
formerly republican candidate for governor in
tliiB state, were in the city on other business.
Both chatted with the executive of New Jersey.
The talk was kept pretty well away from tho
discussion now going on concerning democratic
presidential timber.
"I have been in tho West many times," said
tho governor while shaking, hands right and
loft, "but have never boen in Lincoln before.
Nice city this. I have boen in Omaha several
times, and do not count the west at all a
stranger to me. Tomorrow I go direct to North
Carolina to fill a long-standing engagement for
a commencement address."
. Governor Wilson smilingly refused to discuss
the political situation as regarding tho presi
dential possiblitles. To members of the recep
tion committee who mot him part way to Oma
ha he talked freely of political conditions. Ho
declared himself surprised and delighted with
the manifstations everywhere of the progres
sive sentiment in the west, and presaged that
it means much in' the future policy of the nation.
Governor Wllpon on this extensive trip is
accompanied by only two friends, neither of
thorn in any off Jial capacity. Frank Parker
Stockbridge of Now York, a journalistic friend
of the governor, is accompanying him as a volun
teer and looking after his wants as a sort of
private secretary. At the same time Mr. Stock
bridge is securing material for magazine stories,
he doing that class of work almost entirely at
this timo. Tho governor's other companion is
McKeo Barclay, cartoonist on tho Baltimore Sun,
who is not only doing cartoon work on subjects
ho secures from the trip but is writing special
articles for his newspaper.
Shortly after 4 o'clock Governor Wilson was
again taken in tow by Commercial club mem
bers and taken first to tho university campus
where he viewed the annual competitive drill
exercises then in progress. From there after a
a very short stop he was whirled to the state
house. Governor Aldrich was not in tho city,
-he having gone away to makeff commencement
address, but several state officers had lingered
in tho governor's reception room in hope of
seeing tho distinguished guest. A call was made
on ex-Chancellor E. Benjamin Andrews, now
ill in a local hospital. Tho chancellor and tho
governor were old friends, both being college
professors at tho same time, tho ono as presi
dent of Brown university, tho othor as profes
sor of history at Princeton from which position
ho stopped to tho presidency of the institution
and from that to tho governorship of his state.
Mr. Andrews telephoned to C. W. Bryan that
ho would bo delighted to meet his friend but
considered It something of a hardship on the
latter. Governor Wilson considered this tho
most important stop on his brief trip around
the city. Fairview and tho aviation grounds at
tho state fair grounds, were also on the trip.
W. J. Bryan was not in tho city.
At tho state university Governor Wilson's
automobile was driven into tho center of a
hollow square, tho various cadet companies and
500 spectators ranging themselves on the four
sides. Tho crowd then surged in about the
automobile, the students cheering lustily for tho
former Princeton president. As Governor Wil
son rose after an introduction by Chancellor
Avery, tho familiar college yell, "What's the
matter with Woodrow Wilson? he's all right,"
delayed his opening remarks.
"You aro very kind," remarked the recipient
of the attention. "But you are taking a great
deal for granted when you say that I am all
right. In viewing you it occurs to me that I am
not accustomed to seeing my students in uni
form. I know, however, that you are a uniform
lot and I know something of what is beneath
tho uniforms at any rate.
"I realize that you are interested in me be
cause of my position in politics. Tho college
man who has the temerity to break into politics
is naturally a curiosity. However, I did not
go into politics; I waB pulled in. For twenty
years I had been preaching the doctrine that
every man owed it to his country to -take part
to his full ability, in affairs of government. Con
sequently, when they camo to me I had to take
my medicine. It waB a case of put up or shut
up Being naturally a talkative individual, I
shut up.
"I know that you are not here to hear a
speech, but rather merely to see a human
curiosity. Therefore, I thank you."
Tho third annual banquet of the Commercial
club waB held at half past six o'clock at the
Lincoln hotel. An effort to make it a formal
affair was defeated by the extreme heat which
caused more than ono half of the members to
appear in the coolest neglige costumes they
could find. Three hundred and twenty-five men
gathered in the foyer of the hotel, and after a
brief period of presentation to the guest of
honor filed into tho banquet hall and took pos
session of five tables stretched along the length
of the room. To facilitate serving so great a
crowd the food was placed on the tables as far
as possible and the waiters had nothing to do
but replenish dishes and serve two or three
During the dinner the orchestra added to the
jollity by furnishing special music and singing
a song in which Governor Wilson figured in a
way not at all to his disadvantage. The boosters
who had gathered some songs on their recent
trade trip also rose now and then to help
matters along, and were encored until their
repertory gave out.
Georgo Woods, president of the club, who,
with Governor Wilson, Chancellor Avery, Mayor
Armstrong, Victor Rosewater and members of
tho local reception committee, occupied the table
of honor on tho stage, began tho formal pro
ceedings by welcoming Governor Wilson and re
ferring to him as ono of the half dozen men
from whom tho people of tho United States will
choose their next president. Three of these
men, ho said, were either visiting in Lincoln, or
lived here permanently. Governor Wilson was
one of these and Mr. Bryan was the other two.
After a short story, a few more brief remarks
and a telegram from W. J. Bryan, Mr. Woods in
troduced Mayor Armstrong, who was received
with a round of rousing and prolonged cheors.
Mayor Armstrong's voice was not strong
enough to fill the largo banquet chamber easily.
Ho complimented the guest of honor as a pro
gressive politician come out of the so-called con
servative east to talk to the progressive west.
The Commercial club, said ho, had been de
lighted ever since it became lenown that the
scholary believer in progressive thought had
agreed to . speak at the annual meeting. The
mayor gave way to Chancellor Avery, introduc
ing him to tho audience.
The chancellor remarked that as he had fol
lowed the tall figure of the mayor into tho
banqueting hall he had wondered if he should
address him as "your highness." Whether or
not he should be called "your serene highness"
would depend on the outcome of the next few
days in the city of Lincoln. This jocular re
mark brought instant response from tho
audience. Chancellor Avery paid a tribute to
the speaker. In eastern college circles in which
the Nebraska' educator had moved the president
of Princeton had been considered the greatest
of them all, and since he had become the gover
nor of New Jersey he had been known as ono
of the greatest governors of them all.
Governor Wilson, introduced by 'Chancellor
Avery in lieu of both the ex-chancellor friend
of the speaker and the absent governor of Ner
braska, was received with rounds of applause,
the audience rising to its feet to cheer.
After some pleasant introductory remarks and
a tribute to "the great Nebraskan, W. J. Bryan,"
in which the speaker stated the "sage of Fair
view" stands in a peculiar relation to democ
racy in that ho had been a leader of thought
in the days now past and gone when it took the
utmost courage in any man to keep the atten
tion of the people directed at the things that
required a remedy. He had played a dis
tinguished and valuable part, and now at last
tho nation had passed the period of-awakening
and was now awake.
Governor Wilson dwelt on the value of states'
rights as a method by which the reforms now
well under way can be carried through without
wido national disturbance. He pointed out
that each state represents within itself a peculiar
condition and a peculiar problem set to be
solved. Each state is grappling with its own
paramount issue, and when taken together as a
whole, the reform spreading gradually from
state to state and intermingling, the whole na
tion is leavened. The governor declared him
Belf a defender and a believer In states' rights,
but not the kind that had disrupted the nation
before the civil war. The states' rights he
advocated was a doctrine -without passion and
without prejudice. ; :'
As an illustration of what he meant by the
necessity of the states taking up reform each by
itself, he cited Nebraska anj. Kansas "that brace
of states in the middle west, the pace-makers for
the nation," who had led in reform experiments
that have now become settled policies in many
parts of the nation. In the east people had
shuddered at the mention of the "referendum"
and "recall." They declared that the doctrine
struck at tho fundamental theories on which
our government is constructed, that it changed
representative government into direct govern
ment, and no precedent of a long life for such
doctrines could be pointed to. The governor
himself, in his eastern college, was won to the
doctrines slowly. He used to prove to his
classes that the referendum and the initiative
would not work. The mischief of it was, said
he, that he could still prove it. But the prin
ciple does work. It has been tried. Theory had
been overthrown by practice.
In Nebraska tho reforms had begun by com
missions to correct the evils of corporate con
trol of power which the people had recklessly
given away years ago in order to tempt capital
away from the east and into western develop
ment. That was why, said he, that the central
west became a pioneer in reform. Its early
policy had made the evils to bo corrected more
glaring than those existing in the east.
In California' the people had grappled with the
Southern Pacific and taken back the control unto
themselves. In Massachusetts the mistakes of
' easy political life had been gradually corrected
until on' the statute books of that state are now
many of tho best laws to be found. A machine
still exists there clothed with the odor of re
spectability, but the people are awakening and
the delicate process of retirement is being prac
ticed. In Now Hampshire the people have taken
back the control which years ago they filtered
away. In New Jersey the troubles were too
many to bo told, but the people have awakened.
This is the state by state system of reform which
tho governor advocated, and through which he
expects to seo the nation soon on a different
basis, and the system which he now calls "states
.Governor Wilson discussed leglslativereform.
"Don't -blamo your legislators for what they
(Continued on Page 10.)
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