Receive an Enthusiastic Welcome
CANDIDATE SPEAKS ON PRESENT ISSUES
Decorated with cedar sprigs, silk flags and badges, 112 Vermonters marched with a band to the McKinley residence at 9 o’clock this morning. The delegation was applauded all along the line of march. When they arrived at the house Senator Proctor, Gov. Woodbury, Gov.-elect Grout, Congressman Powers, Lieut. Gov. Mansur and Lieut. Gov.-elect N. W. Fiske, with the speakers, went into the study to meet Maj. McKinley.
Olin Merrill gave an excellent address of introduction, presenting. George F. Childs, who acted as spokesman of the delegation. Mr. Merrill traced the movement for McKinley in Vermont from spring to the election, touched on the democratic defection, spoke of the difficulty of meeting the unexpected silver issue so quickly and finished with an eloquent reference to the manner in which the state met this crisis. He said, in part:—
The battle in our state was won because the freemen of Vermont, after a full hearing and consideration of both sides, rejected with unalterable determination the pernicious heresy of our opponents: In this action the republicans of Vermont were unanimous, and the sense of their individual duty in this great crisis brought them all to the polls. We also had the direct and active aid of a large number of patriotic democrats, who placed love of country above party. The 39,000 plurality was the largest plurality ever given any party within the history of our state, We congratulate our country on a result which must be a true Indication of the great victory to come in November.
Senator Proctor, Gov. Woodbury, Gov,-elect Grout, Congressman Powers and Lieut. Gov. Mansur were then introduced and all made short speeches on the lesson taught by the results of the Vermont election. Spokesman Childs said, in part:
We have journeyed from our homes In our beloved state to bring to you the greetings of her republican voters, because, although the issue upon which they were called upon to pass 10 days ago transcends all question of personality, yet the victory won for the cause of honest finance by them does in some measure partake of a personal character. As you were the first choice of a large majority of them, as you have been declared the first choice of all of them, we bring to you something more than tidings of a political triumph. And not alone are we permitted to speak in the name of the republicans of Vermont. We bring as well the cordial greetings of 5C00 freemen of the state who have followed loyally, unselfishly, manfully, proudly, the standard of the democratic party through more than a third of a century of uninterrupted defeat, 5000 honest, earnest, patriotic democrats of the dear old commonwealth united with nearly 50,000 of her republican children in declaring as between financial honor, the rule of law, the safety of republican institutions and repudiation, the dread and fear of revolution, that William McKinley of Ohio is their first choice for president. We are proud to place the tribute of Vermont upon the brow of honor, acknowledge a just pride in the overwhelming verdict of last week; we can, if must be, say for Vermont as Lowell said of her sister commonwealth of Massachusetts :—
“But of all deeds she does not brag
How she broke sword and fetter.
Fling up again the dear old nag,
She’ll do yet more and bette”
The Candidate’s Reply.
Maj. McKinley stepped forward at the conclusion of Col. Childs’ speech. He was greeted with a storm of cheers. Throughout his speech his hearers showed the greatest enthusiasm. Maj. McKinley said:
Mr. Chairman, Col. Childs and My Fellow Citizens—I give you welcome, generous welcome, from an overflowing heart of my state, to my city and my home. I would be unjust to my own feelings and unresponsive to the kind sentiments uttered by your spokesman if I permitted to pass unobserved the fact that in the preliminary contest for the nomination of president the state of Vermont gave to me her united vote. [Applause.]
The Green Mountain state is endeared to us all by tradition and history, in song and story; but above all in good work manifesting her results. Whether in the days of the revolution, when her hardy mountaineers repulsed the best soldiers of Europe; in the days of the rebellion, when her soldiers displayed the same resolute courage at Big Bethel, Crampton’s Gap, Savage Station or Gettysburg, or in the no less important and decisive conflicts in civil life, the people of Vermont have always been true to the best ideals and highest obligations of duty, and active, distinguished and useful in every great emergency.
No one will deny to them a glorious par in achieving the independence of the colonies; none will question that they did much to check the aggressions of human slavery, and in the final triumph of the nation in the hour of its greatest peril. [Applause.] Nor in our later trials will any one doubt that the example and voice of Vermont have always been most potential on the side of justice, honor and right. (Cheers.] Some of the newspapers have asked me to interpret the result of the election In Vermont in September, but it seems to me that they are their own best interpreters. [Laughter and applause.] They have simply declared what any student of our history must already have discovered, that your thoughtful and patriotic citizens are as true as ever; aye, truer than ever, to the tenets of good morals, good politics and good government. [Applause.] They have shown by their ballots, by a greater preponderance than ever, that they are more devoted to the honor of the government, to the maintenance of law and order and the restoration of that sound, wise and economic system which has always been our chief pride and source of strength than at any previous period of our eventful history. [Applause.]
The Value of Example.
The value of your example is certainly greater than ever in the past, as the issues on which your victory was won are the same as those which now engage the attention of the entire country. The free silver orators and organs of Vermont illy concealed, if they did not positively assert, what is being proclaimed everywhere, that their solicitude is the relief of debtors, no matter at what sacrifice of the plainest precepts of good morals. In no case and at no point do they propose a system to pay our national and private obligations on the plain, old-fashioned principles of good faith and honesty which have always heretofore distinguished the American people. [Applause.] Practically admitting that the effect of the free, unlimited and independent coinage of silver would be an immense loss to the savings and resources of our people and that its adoption would reduce the plane of their social and industrial condition, they yet seriously propose that we shall risk this hazardous experiment.
For Humanity and Morality.
Vermont has said in tones that cannot be misunderstood that she will have nothing to do with fatal experiment. [Applause and cries of “Good, Good!”] Indeed, they are urging us to attempt by legislation to flake 50 cents’ worth of silver pass current as a legal tender 100-cent dollar, good for all public and private obligations. The mere statement of the proposition ought to lead to its instant rejection. We cannot by law make every man honest, but we certainly will never make a law encouraging them to be dishonest. [AppIause.] To me the question of free trade is a question of humanity, the voice or labor pleading for its own, and the question of free silver is a question of public morality, honor and good faith, and its success would be a blot on our hitherto spotless national credit. [Applause and cries of “good!”] Obscure the real issues, and it frequently resolve itself into that. But will it prevail? No. I answer forever, No. [Cheers.] The American people as a nation, like those of the state of Vermont, are entirely above so unworthy an imputation. [Applause.]
The People Will Not Falter.
A people that could as a weak and struggling confederacy of less than five million inhabitants emerge from an eight years’ war of blight and destruction and proceed immediately to gather up and pay off its enormous revolutionary debt, including the independent debt of all the states aggregating $135,000,000 or $27 per capita at the time of its assumption, will not falter at the present temptation. [Cheers and cries of “‘that’s good, good.”] A people who could tax themselves most heavily to equip and maintain the armies and navies of the ‘Union and continue the most extensive and expensive war in history will not turn their backs upon the soldiers that war, nor sea to pay their pensions in dollars worth only half their face value. [Great cheering and cries of “Good!”] A people who emerged from that war with an interest bearing debt of $2,382,000,000, or $70 per capita for our entire population in 1865 will not, after having honestly paid three-fourths of that great debt, ever seek directly or indirectly to repudiate one dollar of it or cheapen the coin of payment. [Applause and cries of “Good, major.”]
I say that we who proceeded in good faith to pay off that debt with such unparalleled rapidity that it was estimated in 1888 up to that time there had been paid $123 for every minute of every day of every year from 1865 to 1888, w:II not now palter, bargain or scheme to defraud any creditor of the government, whoever or wherever he may be. [Tremendous applause and cries of “Good! Hurrah for McKinley !”] A people who had the satisfaction of seeing that debt reduced to $585,000,000 on March 3, 1893, at the close of the splendid administration of President Harrison [applause] will readily and quickly meet both the remainder of the old debt and all that hat, been made since [laughter], and pay it off, principle and interest, in the best money in the world, and recognized by the civilized nations to be the best at the time of payment [loud applause] just as President Jackson paid off the last of the revolutionary debt 6O years or more after the first of it had been contracted. This, my fellow-citizens of Vermont, is the faith that the election in your state inspires me, but that is not all.
To Restore Protection.
In that verdict I see the unalterable determination of the people of the United States, for whom she had the honor first to speak, to restore the protective tariff system once, more to our statute books. [Great cheering.] Vermont is an agricultural state, but her keen, sagacious and honest armors know full well the value of protection and its twin sister reciprocity. [Applause and cries of “That’s right !”] They have profited by the experience. They have examined both their stock books and they had plenty of time to do it [laughter] in the last three years, and have learned that their products have been worth less than for any time for a long series of years. The farmers of this country want a protective tally [applause and cries of “That’s right; they do”], and they mean to have it. [Great cheering.]
So, too, will our farmers everywhere decide. They are naturally conservative and their unerring common sense and common honesty will lead them quickly to detect the fallacies of free silver, just as too have I learned the falsity of the fallacies of free trade. [Applause.]
The delegation, with McKinley in the center, was then photographed in front of his house. The St. Albans Glee club made, a great hit with its song, “We Want You McKinley.” Senator Proctor then introduced each delegate to McKinley.
Canton made a great demonstration and the pilgrims were royally entertained by Cleveland republicans last night and saw that magnificent fireworks on the naval centennial.
The Vermont delegation traveled on a special train of five cars. The engine bore the national colors and the Inscription “Ohio to Vermont, 39,000.” Among the Inscriptions on the cars were: “We are coming, Father William, 40 000 strong,” and “Put Vermont to the front and keep the lines well closed.”
One of the events of the visit was the presentation to Maj. McKinley by F. M. Deal of St. Albans, who has the largest creamery in the world, bas relief portraits of himself and Hobart artistically done in butter. On another piece of butter was a baby in bas relief with “Products of Vermont” underneath Ohio papers say the Vermonter’s reception was exceptionally lively and enthusiastic.