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Democratic State Convention

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The DetUooratic Stato Conventiou met at the Opera House, Lansitig, June 10, at 12 o'clock noon, and was called to order by Don M. Dickinson, chairruan of the State Central Committee, on whose noinination Hon. Foster Pratt, of Kalauiazoo, was made temporary chairman. In taking the chuir Dr. L'ratt addressed the convention aa follows: Gentlemen of the Convention. -I tliank you for the honor conferred by calling me to reside over your preliminary deliberations. Before proceeding to the transaction of the mportant business you have met to o, you will expect me to outline the salient features of the political situation and the duties devolved by it on vis as a Democratie party. Kesides the debt and the financia! disturbances, partly the necessary and partly the unnecessary consequences of our late civil war, that great strife, as managed by the party in power became the occasion and was seized by its party leaders as their opportunity to gratify unholy amhitions and corrupt desires. Thirteen years liave now elapsed since the close of that war. They have been marked, aye blasted, by a political and financia] corruption unparalleled in the history of our government. A recital of the details of this (lisgraceful history is not now needed. It is enough to say of it that political corruption culminated nearly two years ago in the supreme, and unfortunately successful, effort by which the will of a great nation was defeated in its choice of a ruler, and universal suffrage was made a mockery, if not a delusion. The plotters and agents in this great crime, occupying the higheJt official positions in our land, have sought to deter the people's representatives from the investigation and exposure of their infamous political crimes. They have sought, by the charge of revolution and of civil disturbance, which they claim would result from the invalidation of the Presidential title, to frighten us from an investigation and exposure of the iniquity which caused an Ilegitímate President to be born in our land. These trembling leaders - trembling lest their political adultery be tully exposed - seem tohave been oblirious of the fact that the political life of the bastard is sacred and safe, even though his adulterOHs parents be punished for their violalion of political decency and good morals. Uut crime even in this world often brings its own punisliment, and it gratifies our sense of political justice to know that to the leaders in this scheme of political outrage their unlawful President, like the money said by ancient fable to reward a service to the l'rince of Darkness, had turned in their hands to dust and ashes. No lears are provoked from honest eyes, by the knowledge that the "stalwarts" in this political harshness have been repudiated and driven out of existence into the political cold, by their illegitimate progeny. Nor is this the only gratifying result. This President. thus born out of political wedlock has been compelled by his very position to seek to propitiate the good will of decent peo. pie by doing decent things. His disreputable political parents sought to maintain their power and gratify their lust for plunder by perpetuating disorder and mUrule in Southern States. Compelled, like all other ruléis tainted by great political disgrace, to propili ate the moral sense of a nation, and to secure, by doing some unexpected good thing, some small degree of toleration for himself, this suireptitious President has permitted these very Southern States to resume their rights and to restore order to their distracted peopie. And thus, by the operations of the great law of nature, vice often acts to punish the wicked and reacts to benefit the good. But, gentlemen, it is not always thus ; if it were there would be no need of political parties; the Democratie party would have nothing to do. Debt, an enormous debt - partly a legitímate consequence of the war and largely the unexampled work of extravagance and corruption of the party in power - is upon us to be dealt with by the people as a practical question. And one of our main purposes here to-day is to declare our mode, and if possible the best mode of dealing with thts debt and its terrible consequences to the American people. The Democratie party - the oldest of all our parties - longer in power than any other political party under our government, more successful than any other party in shaping its financia! policy - this party, I say, has a his tory which, on such occasions, we do well to study and to heed. One of its time-honored maxims declares that that only can be money which has an intrinsic value, equal and equivalent to the value of which (by its several denominations) it is made the meas ure. These properties are found more conspicuously than in anything else in gold and silver, which is the money of the ages, -and the money of the world. Currency is a convenience if rightly understood and used, but it is also a curse if it be elevated above its true nature and be made to serve other than its proper functions. Currency is not money. All currrency is a promise to pay money, and it is dangerous to all people and to all interests where its circulation and use rests on anght else than the fact that it may be con vertible into money at the will of the holder. From tlie history and experience of the Democratie party we also derive an important lesson - a lesson we do well to heed in our present emergencies - and that is, that the political power of our government must not be permitted to control in any way or in any degree the issue of currency, except by general laws, and in no case must it be allowed by direct action to expand or contract its volume. A careful observance of these general principies and the details thát naturally and logically How therefrom will prove a blessing to the people of this country; and their announcement by us as a rule and guide for Democrats is but a reaffirmation by us of a policy always found to be safe, and one under which the country has always prospcred. How, and how soon we can, under existing circumstances, best return to the financia! ways of our political fathers is a question of policy abottt which there may, and perhaps must be, some difference of opinión, but such difterences can be easily harmonized, and without any sacrilice of principies or selfrespect. As we are aboul to commit anew our political ship to the waves of turmoil and of passion, permit me to remind you that it is safer to sail in a strong ship, with sound planks, even on a stormy sea, than in a leaky craft on a smooth ocean. The political horizon of the American people is not a pleasant one. Our sky is darkened by the clouds of extravagance and corruption. Rings organized to plunder us ; corrupt officials in power to abuse their trusts ; political and moral demoralization ramifies everywhere, and a people, in debt and burdened by taxation, much of it unjust and unequal and unwecessary, groan beneath their load and pray for relief. We feel these evils personally, and therefore we do and must sympathies in these sufierings, and we will be tolerant and patiënt with even the unwise though honest elïorts a suffering and desper atf people honestly make for their relief. To show this effort may be wisely and elïectively made is your duty ; and it is also your duty to select for us good, wise anti pure leaders, who shall guide us once more into the quiei and pure anti prosperous ways of our fathers. L. D. Sale, of Wayim, was choHen tenijmrary secrutary. The followiug oommittees wure tbeu ordered and nppointud, each Cougressionul district tiaming its mem linie : On Credentials - 1. JumeH D. Weir, Wayne. 2. John L. Burleigh, WtiHlittnaw. 3. J. W. Fletcher, Calhoun. 1. A. J. Shakespeare, Kalamuzoo. 5. M. D. Howard, Ottawa, ü. Wm. P. Neabitt, Oakland. 7. Kobert Willis, Sanilac. 8. A. W. McU.inald, Buy. i). lJeter White, Marquetto. On Permanent Organization and Order of Business - 1. Eugene Robinson, Wayne. 2. Geo. (J. Munro, Hillsdale. 3. Dwight F. (iillett, Jackson. 4. K. ü. Briggs, Van Buren. L. ü. P. l'illsbury, Muskegou. C. Deunis Shields, Livingston. 7. John Al. Wattles, Lapeer. 5. M. Hyder, Montctthii. 9. J. JLi. Curley, Marquett.


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