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Walter Q. Gresham

Walter Q. Gresham image
Parent Issue
Day
31
Month
May
Year
1895
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

In the death of Secretary Gresham the nation suffers a great loss. The larger part of his notable life was spent in rhe service of his country and in conspicuous places His blameless private life, his manly attributes, his rugged honesty, dauntless courage and his conscientious discharge of every public duty won for him the confidence and adniiration of his countrynien. He v, as a fine type of the composite American resulting from the fusión of the Norseman, the Saxon, the Dane and the Euglishinan, aud his life typifies the "American ide.i. " Born of pioneer parents and in humble circumstances, he by his own energy and ability aided by our favoring institutions, raisedhimself to prominence and became a most useful and valuable man for his country. His advantages in early life were such as were furnished by the comrnon schools of the period, supplimented with a year in college. He chose the law for his profession and was rapidly rising into prominence when President Lincoln's cali for volunteers summoned him to the field of battle. As a soldier the self-reliance and sturdiness of character developed by his surroundings in early life, stood him in good stead, and he becaine as popular as he was brave and was soon wearing the stars of a brigadier general. General Grant, who seldom erred in his judgment of men whom he had know on the field of battle, on coming into the presidency, remembered him and elevated him to the United States district bench for Indiana. He wore the ermine as nnsullied as he had the blue and with eveu more niarked ability. Not a decisión of his was ever reversed during the twelve years he was on the district bench. His cali to serve in the cabinet of President Arthur first as postrnaster general and then as secetary oí ti" e treasury was wholly ungonght and unexpected. Iu these positious, however, he developed sach Lndiisry and grasp of the duties and problems pertaining to these cabinet; positions that he added nrtich to the p of his narne. Later, on the crcuit benen of the seventh cicnit hís impartía] adjninistration of justice won f or him still bigher latiréis. In 1888 he was a formidable candidate for the presidency, bnt in 1892 when extreme protection was made the cardinal principie of his party platform, he declined to f ollow and gave his support to Cleveland. When Cleveland made up his cabinet Gresharn was offered the portifolio of state which he at first is said to have positively declined and only accepted finally when snch an appeal was made to him as no m-n has the right to resist. The criticism of Gresham for this act by his foriner party associates was violent and fnrious and continned to the very hour of his death. He won the iniplicit confidence of his new chief in the handling of his new dïities,[hovever, as he had done of PresidentíArthur and the great commander during the civil war. In this position he was confronted with difficulties unparralled in the history of the state department, at least siuce the ■war. Yet his record has probably been rarely eqnalled and never excellad. It is perhaps too early to judge of his labors and accoruplishments liere inipartially. ïhat he should have made ïnistakes is but human, but that a man oí his rugged traits and high character, heroic service as a vohmteer soldier, stainless record as a United States administrator of justice, this American of Americans, shonld be accnsed of being nn-Amerioan in his conduct of the foreign affairs of the government, shows the leugth to which partisanship is sometimes carried and what it costs a man to stand firmly for his convictoins sometimes, especially, when in doing so he is called to break with party associates of long standing. History, however, vrill do him justice and we doubt not will write his name high up among the foreign ministers of the republic. According to statistics collected by the Railroad Gazette orders have been given for 22,029 freight cars this year, though only 17,000 were built in the entire twelve months of 1 894. This f act, joined to the general improveinent in the iron business, is an vmmistakable indication of oontinued increase in business activity. All production in I ern times'dependson iron as all distributiondoes ou railroads. When the iroii business and railroad freighting become active together no one can donbt the meaning of it. But the symptoms of increasug business activity are so numerous now that newspaper readers are constantly confrouted with them eveu in republican newsp'apers'wbich have been willing to demónstrate the irretrievable ruin of the country. In a single day we have reports of the resumption of fnll time in the operation of the Eiie's great works ac Susqnehanna; of a 10 percent, increase in the wages of 6,000 men made volun tarily by the Chicago Steel and Wire Company; of the resumption of the Shenandoah City Colliery with a thousand men ; of a restoration of wages ty the Balitan Woolen Mills, which are now running all night to flll orders ; of an increase of 10 per cent, in the wages paid by the Davey Trunk Board Factory and of a restoration of wages by the Oaks Woolen Mills from the 1 per cent, cut made last summer. When the newspapers abound in such news as this it is clear that good times i are past the stage of prophecy. They are no longer coming. They are here -New York World. When congress adjourned on the 4th of lastMarch the solid republican legislature of Michigan with pharisaical spirit, passed unseemly and undignified resolutions condemning that body for its shortcomings and sang with great gusto "Thank God f rom Whom All Blessiugs Flow". More recent history has fnrnished conclusive proof that it was a "pot andkettle" case. The legislature which started out with a loud proclamation of its own virtues, has proven to be one of the worst, if not the worst, in the history of the state. It was a [machine legislature throughout, and run in the interest of corporate wealth. It deprived the metropolis of the right of home rule, struek down the provsion of 'law forbidding the employmeiit of ohildren of compnlsory school age in factories and struck a blow to the educational interests of the state by refusing the University the means to make needed improvements, but at the same time by its extravagances in other directions it increased state taxation beyond all previous records. In fact whatever it may have done in the interest of ;he people may be regarded as a lapse from what was intended. The best that can be said of it is that it has run its course and is now but an unsavory memory. The principie which has always controiled in the establishment of a coiuage ratio between gold and silver is their relative values in the rnarket. This ratio has been changed many times, as the value of one or the other metáis changed, but these changes have always been based upon the intrinsic value of the two as determined by their purchasing power over commodities. But now a new doctrine is in jected into the problem. lts adherents insist that the old irle;', is all wrong and that all that is necessary to make 16 pounds of silver worth one pouud of gold is for the government to declare that such is the fact by putting its stamp on the silver. The experience of the centuries is a better and safer guide however. If the government stamp has any power to make 16 pounds of silver equal in value to one pound of gold then it has power likewise to make ten pounds or five pound of silver equal to one pound of gold. In accordance with the well known law by which a cheapur inoney always drives out the dearer, Secretary Carlisle shows how free coinage of silver at the 16 to 1 ratio would not for some time at least add to our volume of money. The $625,000,000 of gold which we now hold would leave the country or at least go out of circulation. To make good this contraction would require fifteen years even though our mints coined nothing else but; silver. Secretary Gresham died a poor man. Ir is said that his greatest concern during his last hours was over the flnancial straits in which his wife wonld be left. That a man with the opportunities he has liad during his public career to aceumulate wealth should die poor is a tribute to his honesty. Notwithstanding the frequent statnments from those "near to ex-President Harrison" that he is not a candidate for the nomination next year, he is fiitting about the country "humping" himself to get that self same nomination. The Ohio republican state convention at Zanesville Wednesday nominatert Asa S. Bushnell, of Springfield, for goveraor. His nomination is a victory for the Foraker faction.

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Subjects
Ann Arbor Argus
Old News