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The Liberals

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ín the Independent Reform conference, recewüy in seatñon in New York, the following addross waa received with great applauee, and vithout diBcuöeion, unanimously adöpted : 'i'o ïlie Ambtln Acople í Fkllow-citizenr : A conference of citizens aaeuiblcd in New York, inoerely desiring to bctvo the bciit interests oí the Ainericm people, bcg leave to BUbinit to your candid consideratiou the following appeal : A national elcctlou is approaching undcr circumstanccs of peculiar eignifleance, Nsver befofo in our hiatury hits the public miad been sb prbfouhdly agiiated by abprehensidnB of dangers irisiug froni UiÖ prevalence oí corrupt tendencies and prácticos in our pollticaJ life, and never has tnere been greater reasou for it. We will ntft display hero in .detail the diBtrcBBing catiilbsjüe of discloBuren which for severiil yerirshtive followcd one anothor in rapid anesRioh, and bc cru to havo left scarccly a single sphero of our political lifö untouchod. Tñe records of courfa, of Stato Legisl atures, and of the natíonal Congroas peak with terrible plainnefia, and Btill they aro addíng to tho scandalouB exhibition. THEN AND NOW. While such a Btato of thinge wotild, nnder any circUmatahccs, appear humt deplorable, it is ie-culiarly so at the present moinent. Wö are about to celébrate the one-hundredth birthday of our national existfcnce. We have intitèd the nalions of the earth on this groat Unnivershry to vinit or j land. and to witness the evidence of our material progrese, as well as tho workiug and effecte of that republican Governnient which a century ago our fathers foundcd. The inoBt inspiring memories of our past hiatory are risiug tip oefore ua in a new glow oi' lifo, forcing upon us a comparison of what this Rcpublii; was once, what it was intendod to bc, aad what it is now ; and upon this wc bavo challengud tho judgmont of civiüzed mankind, con joint ly with our own. There is mueh of which every American citicn has reason to bo proud - an onergy and thrift, a power of thougüt and action, a progressive spirit which, iü magniiicence of results, have outetripped all precedent and antieipation. A hiatory aboundiDg in illustrations of heroic patriotiam, fortitude, and wiadom, a greater f recdom f rom foreign wars and revoluti mary chauges of Govnrnment than most otherñatious can boaet of, our Bepublic, tmt a century old, and -lust issucd fi'i'Ui tUe only grtiat civil-coufllct wo have had to deplore, ao strong in resources and organiimtion that it stands in the foremost rauk of tho grtat powtrs of tho earth ; and yet, with all these splfindid resulta on record, itcannotbe donied that, at no period during the century now behind us, have the American peopld been loss eitlsfied with tbemBelves. That centenniftl auniversafy of the Declaratlon of Independencö, bciog in Bö niitny íflspects to all Americana a day of sincerest pride and rejoioing, is feit to bc iii othör respects not without Beli-repröach and humiliation. Of this, tilo corrnption reveaied ín our political life la the cause. To the honor of the American people, be it said, overy patriotic citizen fecls the burning shame of the Bpectacle preeented in the centennial year- there the mementoes and monuments of the virtues of the past, and Irerc tho shocking evidencea of the ticii.i i :il:tt fin and corruption of the pres ent; tbere thoglowing eulogies pronounced on the wiBdoni and pUrity of the fntheröj and hcro inTiiOcting contrast the verdict of courts and reoofrds of leglAtive bodiep, illuntrating thepolitical morale of to-day, and this beforo all mankind soleninly suramoned as a witness to tho exhibition and a gutst to tho feast. Never was there cause for kcener mortifleation, and kflfcnly does it etriko oyery patriotic heart, THE ftEMÍÜDir. How can we avert such uangers and wipe ofif such fihame ? By proving that, although the Government machinerj' hae becoiue corrupt, tho preat body of the people are sound and strong at Üie oorö; and that they are honestly deteimined to reform the abuaeaof our political life, and to overthrow at any cost the agencies of evil that stand in tho way. Only Huch an effort, well-direoted and Bternly persevcred in until succesa is a&sured, wül savo the good name of the nation, prevent tho pre valling dieease íroni becoming fatal, and restore to its old Btrengtb. and faith of our own jjeople in their institutiona. At the iuipcndiiig ntttioüal eloetioii vftvloüs iluestions of great importance will be submitted to our judgment. The BeMJeiucnt of the civil war as conetitutioually ñxed must be conscientiously maintained, and at the aamo time the Government atrengthened in the general conndence by the strict obaervance of confititutional principies, and tho old brotherhood of the peoplo revi ved by a policy of mutual jtisUce and conciliation. Our solemn and often-repeated plodge. faithfully to discharge all national oWHgations, iuiiat be fulñlled, not only by the payment of the principal and interebt of our bouded debt, when due, but also the removal, not later than the time providcd-by exiating law, of tho cause of our redundant lrredeemable paper currency, which not only impedes the return of true prospcrity, but has also Iargely contributed to the öxieting demoi-alization. WHAT IS WANTKI). Theee are grave questione, and there are more we might touch, were it our purposo to lay down a complete political platform ; but grave as thcy ar, still, in our present situution, we must, as American ciLizens, recognize it as our most pressing duty th re-establish the moral character of our Government, and to elévate the tone of our political life. Houest government is the ürat condition of enduring national prosperity, power, and freedom. Without the elementary virtues of political, as well as social life, decay will outstrip our progres. Our discubHions and struggles about other great questioua and principies will appear like a mockery and farce if we pormit our public concerns to drift into that ruinous anarchy which corruption must neecssarily bring in iU train, bccause it destroys the confidence of people in their self-government, the greatest calamity that can befall a republic. It is a aiinpZe question of life or death. A corrupt monarchy may laat by the mie of force. A CORRUPT ItEPUBLIO CANNOT ENDURE. It is useless to console ourseives with tho idea that the corruption amoug 8 imtst be ascribed solely to the immedíato effects of tho Civil War, and will, without au efl"ort at reform, soon pass away. There is another cause which is not transí tory, but threatens to become permanent. It is the Bystem which has made the offices of the Government tho mere sport of party victory ; the systcm which distribuios the places of trust and respon sibil ity as the reward of party service and the bounty of íavoritism ; the syfatem which appeals to the mean impulses of selfishness aud greed as a controlling motive of politlcal action ; the sy&tcm which degrades the civil service to ttte level of a mere party agency, and treating the officer as the hired servant of tho party and ta chili liim for party support, stimulates corruption, and places it undcr party protection ; the system which briugH the orgtiuization of the parties under thñ control of the most sclflshly interested, and thcrefore mo&t actirc, cleinent,--the place-holders aud the place-hxintcrs, - thup tendiug to organizo a standing arniy of political rnorcenaries, to bc paid out of the Treasury of the Government, who, by organized action, endeavor to subjugate tho will of the people to their ends, through the cultivation of a tyraunioal pari y spirit. THE Bl'OILS BYSTEM. Every student of our politicai history knows that since the spoils system was inaugurated corruption has steadily grown from year to year, and so long as this eyetcm lasts, with all its aeductions aud demoraJizing tendonciee, corruption will continuo to grow in extent and -power, f or patriotism and true merit wül more and niore be crowded out of political Ufe by unscrupulous selfishness. The war has only gíven a sudden stunuluR to this tendency, but without the war it would have grown up, aud will not cease to grow as long as the hotbed of corruption, the spoils ystein, laste. The skill in corrupt practices acquired by ouc generation of spoilgmen will only be improved upon by the nt.'xt. Tho result wo know. We have already reaped ïo great a harvest of disaster and shame that, we repeat, it has now become tho firet duty of the American people to ro-establish the moral character öf tho Government by thorough reform. HONBBXY THE WATCHWORI. What can we do toward tliis end in the impending national election ? In this respect, fellow-citízens, we consider it our duty to spcafc very plainiy. Neverwere the cause of good governiuent and the honor of tho American name moro immedíately deptíudent oü the charactcr, ability and reputatiou of the men to bo aelectcd for the highent oiïlces. In view of the gravo circuiustaaces at present surrounding us, we declare that the country cannot now afford to have auy man elf cted to the Presidoncy whose very name is not conclusivo evidence of the most uncompromising determination of the American people to niake this a puie Goverumeot once more. Onr duty in this respect is plain and imperative. TUo worn-out clap-trap of fair proiniacs in party platforms wiU not eatiNfy it ; neithor will these fine professions on the part of candidatos. Not mere words are needed, but acts ; not mere platforms but meu ; and we therefore declare and cali upon all good citizem to joiu us, that at the coming Presidential election we shall support 110 candidato who, in public position, over countenanced corrupt practtces or combinations, impeded thcir exposuro or punishmeut, or opnosed nccessary measures of reform. We shall support no candidato who, whllo possesBing oiücial influenco and power, has failed to uso hls opporttmiUos tn oxposing and corrcctiiitf abuses coming witlijn the reach of liis obaervytion, but for personal and party ends has pennittcd them to feater on ; for such men may bc countod on not to uncover and conub corruption, but for tho party sako merely to conceal it more. THOIIOUOH KKFOUM. We ehall support no candidato, however connpicuous his position or brllliant his ability, in whora the impulses of the party managers havo ehowu theinaelves predominan t over thoso of the reformer, for hc will bc ínclinoil to continue tbat fundamental almae- the employment of the Government service au a machinery for personal or party ends. We ahall nupport no candidato wlio, however favorably judged by hie nearest friends, ia not publicly fenowu to poaseBB those qualitics of miiid and character which the stern taak of genuine reform riquires, for tho American people cannot now alíord ío riak tho futuro of the republio Ln experi-, uitinta on niarely supposed virtue or runiored ability, to bc trmtcd on tho strength of private rccoinmendation. In one word, at present, no canttklato ahonld ba nold entitlcd to the support of patriotic citizens of whoni the question uaay fairly bo askcd, "Ishe really the man to carry tbrough a thonji'gh-goinfï reform of the Government? C'au hc with (Mtrtainty be depended upon to poasess tho moral courage and etxirdy reaolntion to Rrapple ith abuses which have acquired the slreuth of eatabliHhed cuBtom, anti to this end firiuly r6nJBi the pr6Mnie even of lus party friends?" Whenover tbere is room for such qxiestion, and doubt as to the anawer, the candidate should be cousidered unnt for Uub emergency. This íb no time for eo-callcd availability Kpringing froni distinction gainod on flclds of action foreigu to the dmiPH ot Government, nor for that far moro daugttrous sort of fcvallablllty which consifte in this - that tho candidato bo noither bo bad as to repel good citizens nor so good as to diseourago the bad ones. Pasnive in the highettt place has too ofteu been known tó permit the growth of activo vloe below. The nnm to be intrusted with tho Preeidency this year must have deserved not oiily the coundeuce of houcst inen, but ahio THE FEAB ASO nATUKD Of THK TniKVES, He wlio manageu to conciJiate the thieves cannot be the candidato. Every American citizeu, whohas the future of the RopabllO and tlie national honor Bíncerely at linart, should olemiiJy rcsolve thnt tho uouutry must now have a l'rt-Hident whoo name is already a watohword of reform; whüe capacity and courage for the work aro mattere of record railicr thau of jiroiniBC ; who will rectoro tho eimpllcity, indopendouce, ard rectitude of the i-aily administriitioiiH, and whose lift1 will be a giiaranteo of his rt(ÏO'ity and litneps - a man at the mere bouiiíI of whose name, even, ihi moet diwheartened wilt take new onrage, and all mankind will say the AmcricauH are indeed in caruest to restore tlio bucient i)urity of their Government, THKliKFOUE, Fellow-oitizens, tho undereigued, in addressin ' yon, arp not auimatod by the ambition to form oï lead party. Most of na havo long been, and BtiU arej wurnily attached to thoir party associaties, tt wóujd be most gratifyipg to us to aee, by jmriy íl in, 'an(liMitis uit fonvanl whose character and record ai.. i 'mirfíijcut, which prcBont clrcumstancea rouiier liüperffUvo. .AVn carnefitly hopo and trust it will be so. AVo BXtXIJ gladly follow 8uch a lead, and roako overy effort ijl our powqr to render it euecessful. Jïut while wc aro reftdy to accept any and evcry good rosuit of Kart ajücl, we ttiTirm that thfl moral reform of óur publï' tiótQtTttë s infhütely superior in Imporlanco to the interen ui o' nny flolifcipal party. Glad to promote tbat reform throxigb wo ehall insint upon it at all events. Bhonld part? aotion fall, exporienco teachca ub that the habitual 8ubiai88ion of good citizens to choico of evila preaentod to them by party organizations is onc of the most prolific cauacs of corruption in our politica. Ï.'he ficco+nfe Vy ttio pcnrlfl of the argument that he party inay be bld ítníf atiU entitled to the Hupport of cood men, bccaiise tile otÜor jmHy In bíií! worse, vrül induce eah to ctfasider how bad it inöy tefèlbe. IÍ v.-ill strengthen in each the moet uñscrupulous eïi'.meuts; aiid sr.bieM the will of the peoplo to Iho subtlc tyrnny x oráritw.+iou winUled by thosc Tvho live by politics. Tb, broak that tyranny by a stern refusal to sub-; iüit to Qtich a choiee of ovilsistho flrst beginniní; 'i-fnrii: of.Oui poliÜcal Üffl, M'JthOUt tllis all other stepfi wil! pio-o wiftHÜtaf. Wè ph.ftll sincorely rejoico to eeo the necoBBii .. hxdowtlent actiou avoidod. We earnestly hope that the i to this end, being matln by the frionds of reform within party line, will be crowned with succesa, and that the just expectationB of tlie people inay not be doomed to disappointmfiit. Indeed we are conñdont that if all those of our feïlow-citizens who m their helafta Rproo with wbatwe have said, yrtll only tafee the coüfage openlí to tiroclaím theír oonVictiona and pnríKÍses, Bïlch a manifeñtnt'au akmf would xroduce an effect Bufllcicnt to Seijufe noifi uations and an clection inaugiifatin a better bïdef of thingfl; V1SAU APfSAI.. . We, therefore, ftppeal to a"U good oitizens who flnd their own sentiments eicfn essed Iri this ddrcap, be they inside or ouieide of party lines, to oi:ganire in their respective distnetB and communicat; with the executlve committeo axpointed at tbis meeting, bo that eincifmt co-operation may become possiblo. Let no effor) be Bpared in bringing thr influenoe of patriotic public opinión to bear upon thoso who. in the cuetomary way. are soon to nominato the party candidates ; and then, in any event, let na bo rearty to do what the beat interents of the tlepnblic demand, Our generation has to open the eeCond fcentury of our iiatlonal life, fts ihe fatnefs ppened fhc flrt. Theifa was the wofk of iudependence. Onrs is tílo work of reformation. 'Iho one is as vital now as the other waft theü. Now, as then, every true American must lidve the courage to do his duty. CAbl StiHUK, Missouri, Chairmau. Martin BhimmkR, MitsaaohnsettB. L. Iv. 8. YosTTin, Connecticnt. Varke Godwin, New York. John W. Hott, Wisconsin. Piiblished by order of the conference, Slgned by Theodoro D. WooJsey, President, üie Vice-presideuts aud Secrctariea.


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