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Defaming The Government

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Secretary Sherman was deüvered of a remarkable speech af Portland last week. It was the first of a series 61 public appearances the Secretary is announeed to make this fall, in what he frankly confesses in his eft'ort to secure the llepublican iioraination for the Presidency next year. These facts invest his last week's utterance with additional interest. What had this astute political manager, the leading pohtician in the Republican party today, to say to the country for hiruself and those whom he representa? lie hadasplendid opportunity to explain and defend the position and policy of the Adniinistration of which he is one of the most influential ofticers. And certainly no Administration since that of John Adams has needed explanation or defense so much as the present one It is easy to think how Hamilton, or Gallatin. or Marcy, or Webster, or Sumner, or any other of the long line of eminent statesmen who have shed lustre on our national history, would have made such an occasion memorable by the utterance of carefully considered statements oí important facts and comprriieiisive veu.-a f public policy and duty. But such a thought shrivels Mr. Sherman's initial pffort into a mere political harrangue, and stamps him as art adroit and unscrupulous demagogue. It would beeasy to controvertid most every position taken by Mr. Shernian in nis long harangue, but it would require more time and space than we can command; and ffuch an exhaustive review would do little good. Ile is too adroit and nimble a declaimer to stay answered. The chiet' point that he tried to make last night was that the financial policy of the Republican party bas been the salvation ol' the country. That pirty has pursued a steady, uniform, system;iticcourse in dealing with the national linances and credit, al ways headed towards themain enance of the national honor and the payment of the national debt. Under its wise conduct resumption has become an established faet, and the process of refunding bas encouragingly begun. But from first to last the Republicans have been opposed in their wise measures by Democratie politicians and theorists and schemers, who have advocated repudiation, and are as hostile to the Government to-day as when in arms against it fifteen years ago. And these men are now trying to mine and sap and overthrow the magnifleent system of the national credit which the Republicans have built up. This is the substance. It would be easy to confuse the government with figures and statistics, and in this respect he has been brilliantlyj and bewilderingly successful. It is the easiest thing in the world to make a parade of statistical tables and make a lot of extemporized figures which hearers cannot carry in their heads nor anal y ze, take the place and do the business of f acts and argument But it is a cheap and contemptible trick, to which none but a demagogue would resort.' Ia Ibis claim founded on f act ? Every one at all conversant with our recent history knows that it is not valid. The Republicana at the beginning of the war had no fmancial policy. They resorted to expedienta. The Legaltender act, which was brought forward in 1862, was denounced by Judge Collamer as unconstitutional, by Fessenden as "a confession of bankruptcy," and by Morrill, of Vermont as "a measure unblessed by one sound precedent and damned by all." John Sherman advocated the measure, and did not object to the repeal of the clause which granted the holders of legal-render notes the privilege of funding them in 0 per cent. United States bonds, though it was an impolitic repudiatiation of a contract. In 1863 he was so infatuated with the greenback theory that he wanted to drive all bank notes out of circulation by a tax ui 2 per cent. Then he thought State bank issues unconstitutional, ;md demanded a curreney "stamped with tne national credit and power" - in other words, "flat money." After seeing the legal tenders go down to 74 cents, he began to think favorubly of the national banking seheme. It would be interesting to follow the history of Mr. Sherman's fmancial educatiou at the narional expense. He entered Congress knowing nothing on the subject He has advocated a number of theories and bppn on 'different sides of almost every financial scheme. He bas jumped all over and around the silver question, irom favoring its demonetization in 1873 to favorlng its re monetization as subsidian' coin in 1876, and favoring its complete restoration in 1877. He was one of the promoters of inflation in 1868, and sanctioned the illegal reissue of legal tenders by Itichardson after the panic in 1873, and was swift to adopt the compromiso measure of 1874 by which resumption was pushed forward to 1879. And in all these somersaults he represented the shifting and shuffling policy, and the tentativo and experimental course of the Republican party, whose work culminatedin the disastrous crash of 1873. So much for the first part of Sreretary Sherman's claim. The Democratie party has been the opposition party for nearly twenty years. It has rendered an important service by acting as a perpetual check and criticism on the dominant majority. It has steadily f ought for three things : (1) The Constitution as it was bequeathed to the country by its framers, and as it has been interpreted andexpoundedby the courts; (2) the national honor and credit; (3) the interest, rights, and welfare of the whole body of the people as distinguished from capitalista and corporations. The Democrats had a niajoritv in the House in the Fortyfourth Congress and the Forty-fifth, and an extra session of the Forty-sixtli Congress has just closed. The House iinniediately set to work to reduce the ïïiww$ . &f .Me . jtlavgüiojiePü. ij-om 1878. And during this very period, while according to Shermau these rebels in disguise were doing their utmost to undermine and overturn the Government, the public credit rose, business ircproved, confldence returned, resuinption was accomplished, and a great part of the public debt was refunded at i}4 per cent. While he and his Republican friends were charging the "Confedérate brigadiers" in Congress with attempting to overthrow the Government, bank syndicatea in the city were clamoring for Government securities at four per cent. So much for John Sherman's perversions. What must he think of the intelligence of the American people to utter such transparent trumpery? If what he says is trae now, and the majority in Congress are bent on the debtruction of the Government, what are our national securities worth? Yet here is the Secretary of the Treasury holding these securities at the lughest rate, and declaring that the most important branch of the Government is plotting for its overthrow! The people who listen to him may not have the facts and figures at hand to confute his specious pleadings, but they must have the common sense to aee that he ia a standing contradiction to himself, aud that it is a bad bivd that soils her own


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