The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, April 01, 1914, Page 12, Image 12

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The Commoner
VOL. 14, NO. 4
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The Bryan Birthday Dinner
The annual Bryan birthday dinner, under the
(inspires of tlio Lincoln Bryan club, was held at
Lincoln, March 10. Following are extracts from
the report of tho Lincoln (Neb.) Journal:
"Six hundred or more Nebraskans sat around
really bountiful banquet tables last night in
celebration of tho birthday of tho common
wealth's groatest citizen, the sixth event of its
kind under tho auspices of tho Lincoln Bryan
club, and tho fifty-fourth birthday to which tho
guest of honor is willing to acknowledge.
"It was a non-partisan celebration, with ad
miring republicans and progressives very much
in tho minority. Tho greater number of tho
banqueters were Lincoln citizens, but the per
centage of faithful and enthusiastic democrats
from distant parts of tho state was marked.
There were men who have been seen in every
such celebration since it became an annual
"Tho guest of honor was not present, the first
time in tho history of tho annual celebrations
that ho has been unable to appear in answer to
tho summons. Tho audience may, in conse
quence, have been somewhat smaller. On some
occasions the Lincoln auditorium has been un
comfortably filled. Last night there was just
about elbow room.
"Tho Bryan club officers, unable to coax tho
loader from his secretary's desk, did the next
best thing, and persuaded democratic orators of
national repute to journey half way across tho
continent to pay eloquent tribute to the demo
cratic president of tho United States, and the
cabinet member from Nebraska who made him
"Senator J. T. Robinson, governor of Arkansas,
just before ho was given the right to wear a
senator's toga, a sturdy supporter of the admin
istration, came with a defense of the Mexican
policy of President Wilson and Secretary Bryan,
his chosen subject being, "Watchful Waiting."
Governor James M. Cox of Ohio, fresh from a
series of triumphs as executive of a great state,
brought a messago of unstinted praise of Bryan
and Wilson and-to explain tho progressive pace
of his state. His toast was, 'Progress in Gov
ernment.' Joseph W. Folk, terror of boodlers in
St. Louis, then governor of Missouri, and now
counsel for the interstate com nerco commission,
came to sum up for Nebraska the achievements
of tho administration and, to outline under the
title, 'The New Democracy,' what is yet to be
"More distinctly than ever before at Bryan
birthday banquets the ladios of Nebraska played
a 'part, Possibly one banqueter out of five was
jv lady. They have sat in tho gallery on other
occasions of the kind. This year an effort was
made to get tho ladies to attend on equal terms
with the wielders of the ballot. They answered
readily and in force.
'.'Each speaker took occasion to mention tho
presence of tho ladies. Governor Morehead re
called their participation from the galleries on
former occasions, and was glad to see them
'feeding with the brutes on tho main floor this
time. Senator Robinson congratulated them and
praised them without stint. Governor Cox gave
tho women of America credit for pushing
through congress child labor regulation laws.
"The chief speaker of tho evening, Former
Governor Folk of Missouri, too, noticed the
sprinkling of women in the audience, and re
membering Governor Morehead's remarks about
former attendance in galleries only, said that
their presence was evidence of tho advance in
political thought in the nation. His reference to
tho subject was marked by a quietness in tho
audience that was not noticed at any othor
time, one of those infrequent perfect quiet mo
ments that sometimes sweeps over a great
audience at a critical point in a speech.
"Mr. Folk reviewed the old theory of the
rights of women, and the laws on statute books
of some states even within a generation re
marked upon the fact that in nine states women
are 'actually' permitted to vote, and continued:
n beliove the right to vote should be based on
intelligence and not on sex. With that as the
standard the franchise would be transferred in
many families I have known. If women arS
human as they claim to be, if they are people
as they are supposed to be, wo can not deny
President Lincoln Bryan Club and Toast-
master Mr. E. F. Snavely, Lincoln
Invocation Rev. 11. H. Harmon, Lincoln
"Flag Without a Stain"
Adelphian Quartet, Nebraska
"A Democrat"
. .Governor John H. Morehead, Nebraska
"Watchful Waiting'-'
. . Senator Joseph T. Robinson, Arkansas
"Progress in Government"
Governor James M. Cox, Ohio
"The New Democracy"
Hon. Joseph W. Folk, Missouri
them the right to vote. I am not among those
who fer- to see the extension of the franchise to
the other sex or their influence in politics.'
"Mr. Bryan did the next best thing to being
present., He sent a message of greeting which
was read just before the close of the program.
"Tho managers of arrangements found room
enough on the stage to seat the guests there in
an unusual manner. Tables were in form of a
triangle, the base to the front for the speakers
of the evening. Lesser lights grouped them
selves along the sides. At the chief table were
the four speakers, E. F. Snavely, toastmaster
and president of the club, and Rev. H. H. Har
mon. "Music was furnished by the Adelphian male
quartet. These men back in 1892 were students
at Doane college. They sang in Mr. Bryan's
early campaigns. They are now scattered over
the state but came together especially for the
occasion. In one of their numbers a pretty
effect was secured by a young lady, Miss Tinkle
paugh of Lincoln, draped in the national colors,
who stepped in front of the singers and held
aloft the stars and stripes.
"This birthday banquet was different than
any of the others in one very conspicuous mat
ter other than the absence of the guest of honor.
Tho toastlist was purposely kept smaller than
customary, and the speeches were shorter.
Where on former occasions of the same kind
the audience has remained from 7 o'clock in the
evening until 2 o'clock the next morning, last
night's celebration terminated shortly alter 10
o'clock. Warned by former sad experiences of
toastmasters whom the audience did not want
to listen to in long introductions, Mr. Snavely
was pointed and brief. He spoke but very brief
ly in the first instance and with even more
brevity in introducing the speakers.
"Former Governor Folk was the chief speaker
of the evening. His effort was more extended
than any of the others. Governor Morehead
contended himself with a short manuscript
picturing the greatness of Nebraska and of her
foremost citizen. This address he read. Gover
nor Cox was the most eloquent of the four, and
nfwa brrded U th,e hu,morous more than the
others. Mr. Folk spoke with a husky accent, but
his voice penetrated to every part of the hall.
He plead the cause of new democracy using the
fme ItZJ'l T'ty significanc. ut at the same
time giving a large measure of credit to the
democratic party for the advancement of the
principles which he set forth as signs of the
progress of the new order of things It 1 t
Plea for religion in politics, for lXstyVPub
lie and corporate life such as society demands
of the individual. It was a picture of the old
order of things, such as he met and routed n
St. Louis with the new order as exempted
iSfti'SSoiT inistratIon and In the " s
'dotfSfl th vferf
busy earning it that they had no time to collect
Other men In this country have made fifty mi
w8'1? ,they have been so sy collecting it
w u.,o luiguuBii to earn it.
Mr. Bryan, unable to be present at ih w
quet sent the following telegram whicTx was"
read by Toastmaster Snavely
Washington, D. C, Mar. 16, 1914 Mr F n
Snavely, President Lincoln Bryan Club. My
Dear Mr. Snavely: I regret exceedingly that
official duties prevent my attendance March 19
upon the dinner with which niy Nebraska friends
are accustomed to celebrate the anniversary of
my birth. Those dinners have always been very
happy occasions to me, and the opportunity
which they afford for renewing acquaintance
with a multitude of loyal co-laborers is increas
ingly appreciated.
Please present to those assembled a loving
greeting from Mrs. Bryan and myself. On the
last anniversary we exulted over the great vic
tory our party had won throughout the nation,
and yet our joy was restrained by a sense of re
sponsibility for the proper use bf the authority
conferred. Today we look over a year rich in
achievements. President Wilson. has more than
realized our highest hopes by the splendid record
he has made. Under his wise and courageous
leadership the party has already rendered signal
service to the country and strengthened its claim
upon public confidence. We recall the past twelve
months with satisfaction and view the future
with assurance.
If I may be pardoned for referring to the part
with which the president has honored me, I am
glad to report progress. It has been my privi
lege to sign the document -which concluded the
twenty years contest for the popular election of
senators and added to the constitution the
amendment making this change. The signing
of treaties is the most pleasant of my tasks. No
peace plan has ever before received such im
mediate and wide-spread approval as that which
was last year offered to all the nations. The
governments which have already accepted the
principle represent more than three-fourths of
the population of the world. Thirteen treaties
have been signed, four more have t)een author
ized and some eight governments are now con
sidering the details. It seems probable that
within one year from the day when the peace
proposal was authorized by the president fully
one-half the people of the globe will be linked
to us by treaties which will provide for a year's
investigation before war can be declared by
either of the contracting parties.
But I can not in the brief space of a letter set
forth all the reforms accomplished by this ad
ministration, and the presence of your distin
guished guests makes it unnecessary1 to do so.
Governor Folk, Governor Cox, Senator Robinson
and Governor Morehead are able to tell you
what has been done thus far and to interpret the
party's pledges as applied to the future. Gov
ernor Folk has for years been a leader among
the progressive democrats of the nation; Gover
nor Cox, although in executive office but little
more than a year, has already earned a place in
the front ranks of reformers, and Senator Robin
son is a pillar of strength to our party in that
body. You are familiar with the good record
made by your own governor. I am grateful to
these gentlemen for attending the dinner and
envy you the opportunity you have of hearing
In view of the triumph of the principles and
policies for which the democracy of Nebraska
has contended for so many years I beg to offer,
as my contribution to your intellectual feast, a
very appropriate sentiment expressed in most
felicitous language by James Russel Lowell:
"Get but the truth once uttered, and it is like
a star new born, that drops into its place, and
which, once circling in its placid round, not all
the tumult of the earth can shake."
Very truly yours,
Tn the beginning Mr. E. F. Snavely, the toast
master, said:
"On behalf of the Lincoln Bryan club, I desire
to thank the members of the club and the mem
bers of committees for the assistance in carry
mi?, ,uTtheara for this occasion.
3ui i f th5. fll!st ime the ladies have been in
vited to sit at the banquet board and we are
SKIS n. g,ratlfied at their presence here to
n!5 1 V i18Ais a,n informal meeting of neighbors
o i?f eds t0 do honor to a fellow citizen and
w! i i0f service- For six years we have cele
S?i 1 1 l8 annversary and though we cannot
?ww?i! If t0?igIlt we can feel assured
An i H"B celebrat1ion is no less pleasing to him.
And we can on this occasion take note of what
JS,?nn i ?-worers have "accomplished in
SS5nnatl0?- For tllis lB a year of dem-
nvS ,v Ayear ago we celebrated victory.
ifyJ? celebrate more we celebrate achieve
ment. A year ago we were glad that the peopl
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