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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 12, 1912)
JANUARY 12, 1112
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Jackson Day Banquet at Washington
Tho Jackson Day banquet, held at Washing
ton on tho evening of January 8 th, was largely
Mr. Bryan's speech will be printed in full
In a later issue of Tho Commoner.
Following are extracts from the Associated
Washington, Jan. 8. Democratic-leaders of
the coilntry, at the Jackson day dinner here
tonight, urged their, followers to stop fighting
each other and assail the common enemy, the
republican party, with a united front. Governor
Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey, Speaker Champ
Clark, William J. Bryan, William Bandolph
Hearst, Joseph W. Folk and other democratic
chieftains who have differed in the past joined
In an unanimous plea for harmony in 1912
and predicted that political victory would
It was a tumultuous dinner, in which pros
pective candidates for the presidential nomina
tion shared the honors of the occasion. Gover
nor Wilson, who spoke earnestly on the issues
of the day was given a tremendous ovation.
When he said it was the duty of the democrats
In consideration of the trust problem "to pit the
heads that we see and see that our shallales
are of good hickory," the banqueters almost
raised the roof.
When William Randolph Hearst declared he
would use every "source and resource" in his
power to bring about a democratic victory and
characterized Theodore Roosevelt as a "harle
quin of politics," there was another explosive
When Champ Clark, the speaker of the house,
called attention to the harmonious action of
the democratic majority in the lower house of
congress and the results they had accomplished
and set it up as an example for the party to
follow, the climax of the democratic optimism
of the occasion was reached.
Mr. Bryan, who followed many other speakers,
predicted a revolution of political action at the
polls in November and appealed without any
suggestion as to ,whp should- be the- standard
bearer, for a united democracy. He was -given
an ovation that rivaled those of his campaigns
for the presidency.
No party dissension, no sectional prejudice
as to where the coming convention should be
held, no partiality as to the nominee for presi
dent marked the Jackson day banquet at the
Raleigh hotel, attended by nearly a thousand
leading democrats from all sections of the
Harmony brooded over the banquet board,
around which were, seated delegates to the
national democratic committee meeting, who
only three hours before were involved in bitter
After the band had played "America,"
"Yankee Doodle" and "Dixie," and other pa
triotic tunes and the photographer from an over
head balcony had shouted: "Look pleasant,
please," the array of democratic leaders facing
the lens from the toastmaster's table, aroused
tumultuous cheers from the assemblage.
Senator O'Gorman of New York, the toast
master had at his right Champ Clark of Mis
souri, speaker of the house, one of Missouri's
aspirants for the presidential nomination. To
the right of Mr. Clark was Alton B. Parker of
New York, defeated candidate for the democracy
in 1904. Beside Mr. Parker sat Senator John
W. Kern of Indiana, former candidate for vice
president, who appeared as the champion of
Governor Thomas R. Marshall tho Hooslor
aspirant for the highest honor of the coming
To the left of the toastmaster sat Norman E.
Mack, chairman of the democratic national com
mittee, and at his left was Mr. Bryan. Between
Mr. Bryan and Governor Woodrow Wilson of
New Jersey, who also seeks the presidential
nomination, sat Senator Newlands of Nevada.
At Governor Wilson's left was Joseph W. Folk,
,who received the indorsement of his state com-
mittee for presidential honors. Next was Sena
tor Pomerene of Ohio, who appeared as the
representative of Governor Harmon.
First of the distinguised guests to enter the
banquet hall was Speaker Clark, who was
Roundly cheered. Governor Wilson appeared a
tew minutes later and received a rousing wel
come. Mr. Bryan's entrance was signalized by
loud cheers, and he bowed smilingly to th
throng of banqueters as he passed down the
aisle to the toastmaster's table, shaking hands
Irlth his fellow democrats. Mr. Bryan and
Speaker Clark exchanged cordial greetings, but
it was noticeable throughout tho room that tho
Nebraskan was anxious to confer with Governor
Wilson, whom ho joined as soon as he and con
cluded a short talk with the. speaker. Governor
Wilson and Mr. Bryan talked for several minutes.
Former Governor Folk was the last of tho presi
dential possibilities to enter the banquet hall.
Though ho passed Speaker Clark's chair there
was no sign of recognition from either of Mis
souri's distinguished sons. Mr. Folk, however,
engaged Mr. Bryan in earnest conversation.
Tho dinner over, tho program of toasts was
inaugurated with the address of welcome from
Edwin A. Newman, chairman of the district
committee, who was followed by Senator O'Gor
man, the toastmaster.
"The country is looking hopefully to the
democratic party for relief from the manifold
ills that afflict it," said Senator O'Gorman, "and
a great triumph awaits us, a great opportunity
for patriotic service and public usefulness is
before us, if we but keep our ranks unbroken
and, adhere to the teachings of tho man wo
honor here tonight."
Representative James T. Lloyd, chairman of
the democratic congressional committee, pre
sented a glowing prospect for tho party's suc
cess in the coming campaign, and Alton B.
Parker discussed briefly "some conditions of
success." Mr. Parker saw a bright future for
the party, but sounded a note of warning.
William Randolph Hearst, another of the
orators of the occasion delayed by tho storm,
arrived late at the feast. Mr. Hearst reached
the banquet hall just before the speaking began
and was ushered to a seat at the speaker's table
beside Senator Johnson of Maine. He was
greeted with the same enthusiasm that attended
the entrance of the other honored guests of the
The democrats lingered long at the feast be
fore the flood of oratory predicting the revolu
tion of party control of the country's affairs be
gan. During the festivities a demonstration was .
given ' Henry "Gassaway" Davis, veteran West,
Virginian, former senator and candidate for
the vice presidency in 1904. Mr. Davis was
cheered for several minutes when he was
escorted to the toastmaster's table.
Norman B. Mack, chairman of the national
committee kindled a fiery outburst at the begin
ning of tho speaking program when he said:
"I think it is time we democrats stopped
fighting one another and began an unanimous
attack on the common enemy. The country is
ready to turn its affairs over to the democartic
party if we behave ourselves."
Governor Woodrow Wilson was cheered for
several minutes when he arose to speak. The
governor of New Jersey discussed the tariff and
other issues before the country, but his reference
to the currency question awakened the greatest
William Randolph Hearst, who was given a
rousing reception, expressed his faith in the
principles of democracy and said his only desire
was to lend his best efforts "to help true demo
crats control the party in the interest of true
"This coming election," said he, "and many
elections to follow, will be decided by the in
dependent, progressive voters of thiB country
and this great body of intelligent citizens will
realize that they can find the best expression
of their ideals in a democratic party which has
conscience and the courage to be truly demo
cratic. Assuredly these progressive citizens will
not follow Mr. Taft in tho republican party, for
Mr. Taft is either opposed to their ideas or else
indifferent to them, or else incapable ofcom
"Positively these progressives will not be able
to support Mr. La Follette in the republican
party, for Mr. La Follette belongs to the demo
cratic party and will never be nominated for
president by the republican party.
"Surely these genuine progressives will not
fall in behind Mr. Roosevelt, who, when presi
dent, sacrificed every progressive principle for
his own advantage and on every occasion has
betrayed the interests of the people."
"To support Roosevelt would make the whole
progressive movement ridiculous.
"The man is a very harlequin of politics,
capering forward and backward and sidewise
over every conflicting quarter of the political
stage, masked as to his real opinion and inten
tion, attired in the tinsel patchwork of opposing
principles, carrying not a big stick, but a slap
stick with which to make much nolso and do
no service, appoaring unexpectedly through
every trap door of opportunism and disappear
ing acrobatically through every open window
of timo-serving expediency.
"With RoOBOvelt as harlequin and Root as
Columbine, with Rockefeller as clown and Mor
gan likewise, tho whole progressive movement
would become a roaring Christmas pantotranB
raatlon scene, whore prosperity would again dis
solve into panic and whore Morgan and Rocke
feller revealed enthroned in Wall street, would
once moro save tho country in order to divide it
satisfactorily between themselves."
Judge Alton B. Parker, who preceded Gover
nor Wilson, was tho first speaker to mako direct
reference by name to formor President Roose
velt. He called tho assault on tho trusts "a
cheat and nasty fraud."
"The statement of Roosevelt that tho trust
law was impotent was untrue, and you lawyers
know it," he said. "1 charge now and when tho
opportunity is presented and I am asked for
facts and figures I will prove it, that all his
tirade against tho law, the courts and the statoa
was to attract attention away from tho truth
and that every bit of the responsibility for tho
conditions of today rests upon the republican
BRYAN IS LAST SPEAKER
Mr. Bryan, who came last on -the program
spoke on the subject, "The Passing Plutocracy."
Nothing that he said awoke so much applause
as his poetic peroration quoted from Byron.
This Is what Mr. Bryan quoted:
"The dead have been awakened shall I sleep?
The world's at war with tyrantB shall I crouch?
Tho harvest's ripe, and I pause to reap."
When Mr. Bryan had spoken these lines tho
banquet hall cheered with a deafening din.
Here and there above the noisy tumult could be
heard mingled cries of "Yes, stay asleep," and
"You are still a live one." Mr. Bryan continued
his quotation when tho tumult had subsided and
concluded with this:
"I slumber not tho thorn Is In my couch;
Each day a trumpet soundoth in my ear;
Its echo In my heart."
In referring to political affairs Mr. Bryan
characterized the movement for popular election
of senators as tho greatest national reform of
tho generation, and urged elimination of tho
partisan issue that has been Injected Into the
controversy, asserting that neither of the great
parties could hope to win a constitulonal vic
He Indorsed the direct primary and advocated
Its application to national elections in every
state in the union.
Speaking of the future of congress, Mr. Bryan
made a plea for the immediate declaration of
the nation's purpose in tho Philippine question,
adhering to tho democratic platform promise of
In" speaking of the approaching campaign as
ono giving promise of victory to the demo
cratic party, Mr. Bryan warned his hearers "that
at this time when the whole country is alivo
with progressive sentiment, it will bo criminal
folly for our party to falter in its onward
march, or to show cowardice in the fact of the
powerful enemy which Is drawn up in battle
"As much as we may be interested in the
tariff question' ho continued, "wo must not
ignore the menace of the trusts. The demo
cratic party must meet immediately and boldly
tho issue presented by the supreme court in the
Standard Oil and Tobacco decisions. The people
will not trust a party that lacks the cburage to
challenge every 'public foe."
Mr. Bryan, emphasizing his prediction of
democratic success as the early morning crept
upon the banquet scene reiterated his determi
nation not to be a candidate for the presidency.
"I have been unfortunate," he said, "in hav
ing been regarded by some as necessary to a
democratic presidential campaign, and I have
been accused of being over-ambitltous for the
"No friend of mine need be told that I am so
much moro interested in the things for which
wo are struggling than I am in office, that I shall
give moro valient service to he who bears the
standard of our party than I ever could render
Urging that the constitutional amendment
providing for popular election of United States
senators now in conference bo rid of partisan
consideration, Mr. Bryan said:
"I appeal to the democrats of the house of
representatives to show more interest in rescu
ing the senate from the control of corporation
than In a desire for partisan success."
fe ., CA
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