SPEECHES and PAPERS
JOHN 1 \ ALTGELD.
1. Speech at Unveiling of Soldiers' Monument at
2. Speech at the University of Illinois.
3. Interview on Officeholders.
4. Speech to Laborers in Chicago.
5. The Debut of Illinois.
6. Columbus Club Speech.
7. Address to the Trustees of the State Charitable
S. Speech at the Unveiling of the Statue of Gen. Shields.
SPHINGFIELD : Illinois Stats Register Print.
SPEECH AT UNVEILING OF SOLDIERS'
| Delivered at Jersey oilte, May 30th, 189V.)
Ludies and Gentlemen :
1 see here people from all walks in life; from all professions, pursuits and avocations; old, middle-aged and young. You have left your farms, your stores and your shops and have gathered here, on this beautiful day, and at this charming spot, and there is something in your countenances that tells me that you are not here simply on a holiday excursion. You are here for a higher, a greater purpose; you have come to commemorate a great event; you have come to cover the last resting places of heroes with tributes of your love; you have come to shed a tear over the remains of some one who was dear to you. But that is not all; you have still a higher purpose; you have come to unveil to the world, and to give to mankind, and to the future, this monument, which is an evidence of your patriotism and an evidence of your valor in the past. You have not erected this monument because of the beauty of its form, nor to decorate the landscape. It is to you not a dumb, inanimate, speechless stone; you expect it to talk to the ages to come, and to tell a story that will be brilliant when you and I are gone. Monuments are the mile-stones erected along the pathway of time. They mark the spot or they tell the hour where or when humanity halted; where or wheu mankind struggled; where or when heroes died. They mark the point where a new era begins; like the hammers in the horologe of time they announce to the universe the beginning of a new day.
What, then, is the story which this monument is to tell? A third of a century ago there were heard the rumblings of war; a great nation stood, with pale face, on the brink of destruction; there was hanging in the balance the question whether mankind was capable of self-government; whether the great American experiment had been a failure; whether the people of the earth, who had been looking hither with high hopes for the future, should sink into disappointment and despair. There was hanging in the balance the question, whether, after all, there are a few people, with 110 superior virtue or talents, who by reason of the accident of birth, or of other accidental advantages, hold a divine commission to govern their fellows and to eat the bread that others toil for; it was the question whether government of the people, for them and by them, should perish from the face of the earth. Never before in the history of the world was so momentous, so far-reaching a question at stake, or a question fraught with such mighty consequences to humanity. Then there came from amoug your midst, from your fields and stores and shops, young men, middle-aged men, even old men; the sons of widows; the heads of families, the patriarchs of communities, and they
offered themselves upon the altar of their country. They came by the thousand and the tens of thousands. They were free men, coming from the homes of free men, and coming to the rescue of a free government. Tliey saw before them the spectre of disease, of privation and of suffering; they read the inscription of death in the skies, but with heads erect and unfaltering feet they stepped to the music of war. It was not ignorance, nor the hardihood of folly, that stimulated them. They had intelligently counted the cost. They gave all they had and faced death. They went to the South, and this monument tells the story that hundreds and thousands of them never returned. They are buried in the fields, the swamps, the forests, and the dark ravines, of what was then the enemy's country. "Nothing care they for friend or foeman; for band of man or kiss of woman; they dream of battle fields no more; of days of danger and of nights of waking."
While that fearful struggle was in progress, when from day to day the intelligence reached the poor man's hut or the rich man's house in your midst, that a son, or a husband, or a father had laid / down his arm6 forever and would return no more,
how many there were who cried out in the anguish of their souls, "All my heart is buried with thee; all my thoughts go onward with thee." I cannot picture that great struggle. The Nation was in the field; it would not fly; it could not yield; its armies stretched across a continent, from the salt waters of the Atlantic to the borders of Mexico. The nations of the earth were watching this great
spectacle; it was to be a turning paint in the history of government, in the history of civilization, in the progress of humanity, and the heroes who gave up their lives there are beyond and above the reach of our praise and of our admiration. This monument does not mark the place of their burial. All the world is their sepulcher, and their epitaphs are not chiseled upon stone, but they are engraved upon the hearts of mankind. Wherever language is spoken, wherever there is knowledge of noble deeds, there they are held in remembrance."' What we say and do will be forgotten by the morrow; what they did will be sung through the ages. We stand over their graves and we say to them, the blessings of the world shall follow you; and do they hear us? Is there intelligence that can reach them and give them our good morning? Thousands of years ago, when the Greeks buried their heroes they looked into their graves and asked in grief and anguish, " Ts there no work, nor thought, nor wisdom, nor breathing of the soul in the silence of the grave? Will there be no rolling of chariots nor voice of fame heard in that dark abode? Wrapt in pale Elysian mists, will you waste on forever?" Our age gives us hope. We hear the rustling of a wing; we feel a breath from the other shore; we do not know when, but are sure we shall meet over there.
But if this monument is not to add to the glory of the dead, what is it to teach the living? Greater things than language can tell—language can reach the ear, this monument reaches the soul; language may stir to temporary action, this monument to
everlasting resolve. We can learn, first, that the shackles were struck from four millions of human beings who had been children of sorrow and vie-tims of the lash for many dark centuries. They were set out into the sunlight of freedom. Where, in all the glories of the past, is there such a page? And let me say a word here about these newly emancipated and enfranchised children of the South. T know it is claimed that the experiment of giving them freedom ami the ballot is a failure, but they have not yet had a trial. We have no right yet to sit in judgment; we have no right yet to so much as make an inquiry. Wait until the third generation has grown to manhood. Ask yourself then, first: What you have done to help these victims of ignorance and of oppression to a higher manhood and a better citizenship? When the white man shall have demonstrated that he has done his full duty, and given them a fair chance, then lie may proceed to inquire how the Negro is getting along; and he should then inquire cautiously, for, if you subject the Caucasian race to the treatment these people have received, reduce them to the condition of helplessness to which they have been > reduced, and then give them the treatment that
they are now getting, and your proud Caucasian race will require, not thirty years, but five times thirty years, before it can make any satisfactory showing. Meantime, let me say, the colored race is doing even better than could have been expected. It is doing the work of the South; it is slowly imbibing the intelligence of the ago, and what is now called a vexed question there will in time settle itself.
Second, this monument should Admonish us that those old heroes who were not slain iu battle, who have lived and returned to ns, are entitled to consideration; and where, by reason of any infirmity, either physical or mental, they cannot maintain the struggle in the fierce competition of the times, we should see to it that these heroes do not suffer for want of bread; that they do not languish in the aims-houses of the land, and are not buried in the potter's field. The government, which would have no existence but for what they did, owes them this.
The great struggle which this monument commemorates formed the beginning of a new era in •our country. Dormant energies seemed to be all at once let loose. In every field of knowledge, labor and achievement mankind entered upon a new career, which has given us a grandeur and a glory that surpasses the dreams of patriots and the speculation of philosophers. Look out upon our country to-day: From ocean to ocean, from the frozen North to the waters of the Gulf—one uation, one country, one people—intelligent, industrious, patriotic. School houses, like watch fires, in every neighborhood from Maine to California; colleges in almost every valley; great industrial establishments everywhere; the agencies of intelligence and for the elevation of man at work everywhere. Mankind never gazed upon such a scene before. A hundred minarets may call the Mussulman to prayer at noonday, but it is largely the worship of slaves. In our country every hamlet has its church, which appeals silently to the God of nations and draws to its altar the worship of intelligent free men.
Let your children visit this monument. Let them learn the story it tells. Let them learn lessons of patriotism. Let them here dedicate themselves to the service of humanitv and devote their lives to the glory of their country, and lot us, who are older, learn from it a serious lesson, for it tells us that we have a serious duty to perform, a great trust to * discharge; that this great country and this govern
ment., cemented by the blood of heroes, is committed to our care and that it depends upon us and what we do, as to whether it shall continue to be a beacon light to all the people of the earth; whether it shall go on in a career of grandeur, of prosperity and of happiness, or whether it shall go down in darkness and all the heroic deeds of the past shall be covered with gloom. And let us swoar over the graves of our dead, by the eternal Goddess of Liberty, by the God of Battles and the Ruler of Nations, that while we live the glory of our country shall remain unsullied.
ADDRESS TO THE GRADUATES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS.
[Delivered at Champaign, June 7, 1893. \ J
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The first question which will present itself for your solution when you leave these halls is what to do for a living; what course to pursue, and how to run a career. This is true, not only of the young men, but of the young women. No doubt the most felicitous condition possible for woman is to be happily married and to be the center of a refined household; the object of tender regard and love; surrounded with all the comforts of life; but this is an ideal condition, and the ideal is rarely found, .Thousands cannot marry for want of opportunity; millions do marry, and instead of being happy, they drag out a miserable, gloomy aud slavish existence. While no condition is so felicitous as that of being happily married, there is no one so much to be pitied, x
no one who will carry so many sorrows through life, as the woman who is absolutely dependent upon being married. The long wail of woman's misery, the great black cloud stretching back over her career to the dawn of history grew from the condition of absolute dependence in which she was kept by the strong hand of man. No matter how able her brain or how ingenious her fingers, she could
not go into the great fields of human activity and earn her bread; an unreasonable and inhuman custom forbade it, and when her frame was consumed with hunger and her soul was sinking into despair, she had either to eat the bread of charity, sell herself in the market place or lie down by the wayside to die, and she was moro than human if she did not do all three.
AN AGE OF RELIEF.
In one particular, at least, this age has stretched out its hand to her relief. It is knocking down the barriers reared by selfishness and superstition. It is bidding her throw aside the veil of slavery and helplessness. It is calling her to step out into the sunlight. It is permitting her to stand by the side of man in the industries. It is telling her to do anything that the great world may have to do. In this country, at least, all fields of human activity are open to her. Wherever brain thinks, hand shapes or will directs, there she may go; and she has already demonstrated her ability to stand alone everywhere. Let me say to you, young women, that nothing so surely commands homage as independence. Men do not care for what is forced upon them or is easily gotten. The things near enough to be admired, yet difficult of access, are the ones struggled for. Be independent and the world will come to you.
" But," says an objector, " the world now pays homage to woman. Why change this glorious condition?" Ah, if it only were so! The world pays homage to the few who possess the graces, but, I
beg you, do riot insiilt the intelligence of the millions of unfortunates who are being crushed because they are weak; who are faint with hunger and cold; who toil long hours and earn only a pittance; the millions for whom every day brings new humiliations, new sorrows and new sufferings. Do not insult these by telling them that the world pays them homage. One of the most remarkable women of the >
age. and holding high social position, in a recent address, that has the imprint of genius on every line, said on this subject: "Sentimentalists should have reduced their theories to set terms and applied them. They have had ample opportunity and time to provide means by which helpless women could be cherished, protected and removed from storms and stress of life. Women could have asked nothing better. We have no respect for a theory which touches only the favored few who do not need this protection, and leaves unaided the great mass it has assisted to push into the mire. Babble it not, therefore, until it can be uttered, not only in polite drawing rooms, but also in factories and work-shops, without a blush of shame for its weakness and inefficiency.11
To a young man, the selection of a vocation means v
more than simply making a living; more than merely getting bread to eat. It means either failure and humiliation, or it means being a man among men; being a leader in progress; being a factor in your time; in short, it means a career. You are fortunate in living in an age when the possibilities of a career are not confined to the three professions and the government—when you must be either a lawyer,
a doctor, a preacher, or serve the government. This is an age of individual achievement in all lines of activity; an industrial and scientific age. To-day the world does not ask who you are, what is your rank nor what is your lineage. It simply asks: "What have you done, or what can you do?"
men who command attention.
The men of this age, whom history will deign to notice, are the men who have spanned our rivers, built and operated our railroads, built our cities, reared our mighty temples of learning and of industry; the men who have harnessed the lightnings and made them beasts of burden for man; the men who are covering the earth with intelligence. It will be the men who are making and moulding the age. They will be the kings and princes of this century.
Being an officeholder myself, I may be pardoned for saying that most of the men who are holding the offices and wielding authority will be forgotten before the grass has had time to grow over them; for they are not the great captains; they are not the leaders of our progress and of our civilization. As a rule, they d«> not gaze into the firmament or measure the stars; their vision is limited to the weather vane on public building*. They never give the order for advance on any great question, they wait to be commanded to move, and then hesitate until assured that it is the voice of the majority calling to them. They wait until the leaders of thought have captured the stronghold of a wrong, and then they try to plant their flag over
the ramparts that were stormed by others. As a rule, they are moral cowards, following the music wagon of their time, and holding the penny of immediate advantage so close to their eye as to shut out the sunlight of eternal principles.
The second time 1 say to you: This is an age of personal achievement. While accident and a thousand things over which you have no control will, to a limited extent, shape your course, and possibly determine the field in which you are to operate, still, to a very great extent, your career will be just what you make it. I warn you that the conditions of success are hard; that the path to eminence is difficult. The competition in every lield you survey is fierce; the general standard of intelligence is high; a remarkable degree of excellence has already been achieved; if you do not surpass it you must stand with the multitude, and to surpass it means to contest with thousands who are just as able, just as bright and just as ambitious as you are. It requires spirit and tenacity to win. It is not the size of the army that determines the victory, but the spirit pervading it. It is not the hardness of the resisting substance that is to be considered so much as the persistence of the attacking force.
AN ADAGE WHICH NEVER FADE8.
I have tried to frame a sentence that should be an improvement on the old adage, "Perseverance wins the day," but I could not do it. To those of you who are literary experts, I say, ' try it." It has^. onlv four words in it, yet it tells the story of every
great career and great achievement in the entire . history of man. You will pardon me for repeating it. "Perseverance wins the day."
Perseverance in what? I say in aggression; in a forward movement. Perseverance in sitting still can achieve nothing; cannot prevent your starving if you have no bread. All progress is the result of aggression; this brings me to a point I want to emphasize: Aggression is the father of greatness and the mother of achievement. It is the aggressive, the. attacking armies of the world that still excite our wonder. Alexander commanded aggressive armies, Hannibal crossed the Alps with an aggressive army, Oesar conquered the world by aggression, Frederick the Great and Napoleon changed the map of Europe by forward movements. ) To be sure, there are isolated cases of heroic de
fenses, but these are rather the still places in the water; the great current is running the other way. In science, in literature, in art, in goverment, in ' learning, in the industries, in the thousand ciianges that have given us the glories of the century, we see the spirit and the hand of aggression Let me now say a word about the indispensable f handmaid of both perseverance and aggression, and
that is labor—hard labor, without which nothing is accomplished in life. It is labor that lays the foundations of empires, that clears up continents, . that builds cities, that oporates railroads, gathers news, prints papers, cultivates the earth, feeds the nations and elevates man, and it is the men who toil with their hands that are entitled to special consideration, although they get little credit for
their work. The men who gather at banquets dressed in fine linen and soft raiment may imagine -that they are the State, but it is not so. Many of them are simply parasites, eating bread that others toil for; all could be wiped out and the nation would go right on; they would scarcely be missed. It is the intelligent men who create and produce the things that make a State, who are its bulwarks. Kemove them suddenly from existence and the State is lost.
Let me impress upon you that labor is the only door to achievement; there is no other way open. I address you on the assumption that you want to do more than merely live. The four-footed kine which lie down, rise up and lie down again, do this. If you are willing to be simply some rich man's son-in-law aud be taken care of, then I have nothing to say to you. If you are content to simply be well clothed, well fed and well housed, and occasionally invited to a thanksgiving dinner, then you must take little interest in my address. But the fact that you have had the spirit to pursue your course through college, convinces me that you have higher aims, and I commend you to the goddess of ambition. True, she cannot change the laws by which the Almighty governs the universe; she can not remove the accursed stuff that weighs upon the heart; she cannot soften the pillow upon which you end your career nor light the way through the-darkness beyond. You must go to another altar for these things; but she teaches the three great virtues of labor, aggression and perseverance, and she points her pupils to the experience of the world
to show them that dishonesty rots a man down, limits his usefulness and shortens his career, and that therefore he is a fool who will pursue that path. She loves her votaries and few be they who, following her precepts, come away from her altars empty-handed, or visit her shrine in vain.
JiltAIKB MANAGE AFFAIRS OF MEN.
You will find, as you go out into the world, that most of the affairs of the country, both governmental and civil, banking, manufacturing, merchant-ing, railroading, etc., are managed by men who either had no collegiate training or else came from the smaller colleges, and not from the great universities of the East; and those few men who come from those institutions and are in any way conspicuous, graduated there when the institutions were smaller and not so rich. I do not know the reason for this, unless it is that the young men there become institutionized. That is, they are educated out of or away from the spirit that prevails among the people, and having been so long under tutelage they lose all, self-reliance, and the consequent ability to go out and manage affairs.
/ In fact, starting as rich men's sons, they learn
little or nothing about the practical side of life before entering college, and they leave when almost at middle age, with no knowledge of affairs except the art of spending money. You will find graduates by the hundred who have come from the large eastern universities, and very many from great European universities, who are unable to make a -2
living. They have to be eared for almost as a fashionable young woman must be. Although they seemed to have fair natural ability, they are helpless; helpless at the bar, in the pulpit, and in affairs.
You will also soon learn that, while a college education is invaluable, it is not the end and aim of life. It is only a training to begin work. I have already said the conditions of success are hard. You must get right down on the ground; understand the spirit of everyday life; understand human nature and the spirit that pervades the affairs of men, and work up along that line. If you understand how to do this, then, with your college training, your progress will be rapid; otherwise, it will fail. You cannot step out of the university into a high position, and it is not best that you should; for, without a practical knowledge of human nature, and without understanding the spirit of everyday affairs, without actual contact with them, you would soon fail. You are to be congratulated on attending a college where you are kept as near the people as possible, and where those conditions have not yet grown up which tend to give a false notion of life.
Again, if you want to be a potent factor in your day, then you are to be congratulated on attending a college which endeavors to meet the need of the times, and to prepare young men for the great practical problems which confront them. I have nothing to say against the dead languages. 1 suppose there are cases in which a man should study them, but the impression made upon my mind, from a wide observation at the bar and 011 the bench,
was that the onlv tiling that Greek did for a man
now was to enable liim to take a licking philosophically, and that, usually, from a man who never heard of Homer nor his Illiad, but who understood the spirit of modern affairs. Do not understand me to undervalue, the refining effect of literature on the mind. It is a necessity, but it would be strange indeed if, with all the genius and eloquence of the last century, we did not have English classics equal to, if they did not surpass, anything written in Greek, and, I believe, some of the ablest Greek scholars are beginning to admit this.
true meaning of education.
Education means training, not memorizing or stuffing. The mind must be a workshop, not a storehouse. It lias at times seemed to me that many ^ young men coming from the great universities, had
had their minds transformed into garrets, in which you • could find many antique and interesting old things, but nothing that was needed in a modern workshop. Consequently they found themselves three thousand years behind the times and unable to make a living. Bear in mind, there is nothing perfect on earth; don't expect it, for you will be disap-f pointed. The stronger force devours the weaker—
in the woods, in the water, in the church, in business—in fact, everywhere. Institutions are at best only 011 a level with the men of the times, and frequently a hundred years behind. You expect ministers of the gospel to be better than other men. Why should you? They are human, with all the weaknesses of humanity. They are teachers, and they should do their best to set an example. At
least many of them are trying to elevate the race, and to inculcate what they believe to be eternal truths, and are doing the best they can. That is all you have a right to ask of them.
You turn to the courts of justice; you think of a goddess, blindfolded, holding the scales; you recall eloquent things about eternal justice, etc., and you say, here I will find exact right, here wrongs are corrected, the strong are curbed and the weak protected. You will be disappointed. The administration of justice, or rather of the laws, is better than it ever has been, but it is only a struggling toward the right; only a blind groping in the darkness toward light. The men who administer the laws are human, with all the failings of humanity. They take their biases, their prejudices, with them onto*the bench. Upon the whole, they try to do the best they can; but the wrongs done in the courts of justice themselves are so great that they cry to heaven. You say, why not abolish this if this is so? Because we have nothing better to put in their place, and, defective as they are, they are an immeasurable improvement on the savage state, where each man righted his own wrongs, whether fancied or real. V
Again, you have read eloquent chapters about the origin of government. Let me say to you they are simply romance; they belong to the realm of fiction. You say, "Here only those things aie considered which are for the best interest of man." Well, that is the ideal government and does not exist, v Government grew out <5f an effort to further selfish purposes and personal interests. It has im>
proved a little at every step in its history, and has broadened out and is more humane in its character now than ever before. But to-day you find legislative bodies everywhere, here and in Europe, made up of representatives of selfish interests, and instead of standing on ideal ground and considering only what is for the best interest of mankind, it is simply a struggle by one selfish interest-to get an advantage over another. And it always has been so. The point where conflicting selfish interests compromise or check each other, that point marks the level of the law, and the wrongs done by government are so great that they can be measured only by the eye of omniscience. Some shortsighted people, seeing this fact, conclude it ought to be abolished. This is a fatal mistake. Defect-s ive as it is, it is yet the best that man has been
able to devise, and until the level of morality and intelligence is elevated no better can be devised. People who talk about the abolition of government fail to consider the one great, all-important factor, and that is human selfishness. The same selfishness which has disfigured the governments of the preseut will shape the new ones and make them ; worse than the present, because it was only after
centuries of effort that they could be made as good as they are. But you say, "If this is the case, had we not better keep still about the real character of the courts, the government and all institutions; won't it do harm to talk about it?" No. The greatest reformer and purifier in the physical world is the sun. Let sunlight into the dark places and the poisons collected there disappear. So witli the
dark places in the government and civil affairs that are now festering with wrong; let the sunlight of eternal truth and justice shine on them and they will disappear. Wherever there is a wrong, point it out to all the world, and you can trust the people to right it. "Wrongs thrive in secrecy and darkness.
reason for plain language.
Another reason why I talk thus plainly to you is to impress upon you that the ideal has not yet come. In the pulpit, in the courts, in government, in business—everywhere there is a kind of blind groping toward it, and that man will render mankind the greatest service who, recognizing this fact, will help the race onward to this high plane of eternal sunlight. And let me say, that all great reforms, great movements, come from the bottom and not the top.
Here I want to congratulate you, or certainly most of you, upon not having enervating riches or a paralyzing pedigree. It is gratifying to have had an honorable ancestry, but the fates seem to have decreed that great men shall not "have great sons. Great philosophers are not the sons of great philosophers; great gAricrals not the sons of great generals; great statesmen not the sons of great statesmen; great engineers not the sons of great engineers, and so on through the whole category. Ex-Senator Ingalls, of Kansas, the most brilliant epigrammatist of our country, recently said: "A pedigree may be gratifying to pride, but it is not consoling to ambition." One thing, however, must be said of nearly all great men: They had not bril-
liant but veiy sensible mothers. As to riches— they are a great advantage after you have developed ability; after your character is formed and your habits of industry are lixed, but until this is the case, riches shut the gate to the pathway of glory. This is a strange decree of nature. You would suppose that the surroundings of wealth and refinement and the fact of distinguished ancestry would tend to form a higher grade of men, of superior power and usefulness, but just the contrary is the case. Luxury does not form the hard, strong liber necessary to greatness. The everywhere present and always active law of disintegration pulls them down. Head Froude's "Life of C;esar," a little volume, and you will be astonished to see how the vices and follies of the aristocracy helped to pull down the x mighty Roman Empire. Read the first five or six
chapters of Trevellian's "Life of Charles James Fox," and you will be amazed to see how debauchery devoured the so-called noblemen of England in the last century. It was new blood continually coming up from the ground that saved the empire.
Notice some of the rich men's sons in dudish at-•
tire lounging around the club rooms of our cities ; and aping English manners, and you will under
stand the feelings of the old farmer, who exclaimed when he first saw one: "Gosh! what things a feller sees when he hain't got his gun along." The trouble with rich men's sons, even when they are not dudes, is that they are too much taken up with society matters where the atmosphere is not congenial to greatness. As a rule, the men who have done great things for the world were not society men. The
SrKECHKS AND PAI'EJUS.
immortal Pericles who made Athens the wonder of the world, is known to have attended but one evening's entertainment in his life. I repeat that all great things, great movements and great reforms grow from the ground up and not from the top downward.
When you go away from this institution in search of work, you will find capital consolidated; instead of a few men, hundreds, sometimes thousands, are working in one establishment. You can't see the owners; you see only the manager, who will deal more harshly with you than the owners would, for the manager wants to make a good showing; wants to get his salary raised; wants to make his own family a little more comfortable. He cannot cut salaries above him, so he presses hard below him. You will consider this unjust, but don't forget that selfishness is yet the governing force in the world. You cannot change it, and therefore you must make the best of it.
Let me tell you something, confidentially, here. If you are sent to bring something, bring it, and not an explanation. If you agree to do something, do it; don't come back with an explanation. Explanations as to how you came to fail are not worth two cents a ton. Nobody wants them or cares for them. The fact that you met with an accident and got your legs broken, your neck twisted and your head smashed is not equal to a delivery of the goods.
Let me tell you another thing, also confidentially. Only about one-fourth of your efforts will produce satisfactory results. The sower went forth to sow;
some fell by the wayside and the birds got it; some fell in stony places and it could not get root; some fell among thorns and got choked by its wicked neighbors, and some fell on fertile ground and brought forth a harvest. It always has been thus ami is everywhere so to-day. If all the efforts I have made, which have produced no results, were collected and piled on top of mo, they would bury me so deep that Gabriel's horn would never awaken me. You say I am making you a pessimistic speech. Not at all. • E am simply tellirtg you what there is ahead. The old cardinal said to the young woman: "You are Richelieu's ward; you are a soldier's wife; you must not shrink from hearing the truth."
Now, young friends, you are children of the great State of Illinois; you have shown pluck, ambition and spirit; you are college graduates; you are going out as soldiers in this great intellectual and industrial battle; it is necessary that you should understand the character of the situation. Besides, I have been talking to you al>out seed time; about preparing the ground, planting the seed and tilling the field. T have said nothing about the harvest; it was not necessary; the harvest will be looked after. Men don't grow eloquent in the seed time; it is all toil then; but when the harvest is gathered and the barn is filled with goldeu .grain, 'tis then that the heart is glad and man rejoices. And let me say to you, in conclusion, that just as sure as effect follows cause, as sunlight follows darkness, just so sure does harvest follow sowing; just so sure does reward follow honest effort. Do your duty; work while it is time to work; be true to yourselves ami your nobler manhood; stand by the flag of your country, and not only will your last days be days of gladness, but you will reach the high places of this universe, and your eyes will gaze upon the golden mountain tops where dwell
the spirits of the dawn.
OFFICE HOLDERS MORAL COWARDS.
Potency of the Private Individual.
[Interview, "Evening Post " CMcayo. July 31, 1891.\
Judge John P. Altgeld passed his last day upon the Superior Court bench oC C>ok county to-day. He came down at 10:80 ami found but one litigant iu his court, a lawyer's clerk, who wanted some un-importaut motion entered of record. The dockets were cleared up, and at 11 o'clock the well-known jurist and able lawyer was ready to lay aside the honors and duties of the judgeship. To a reporter for the Evening Post> Judge Altgeld talked freely upon a number of important topics appertaining directly and indirectly to the high office which he was about to vacate.
"Do you expect to resume the practice of law?"
" After a while I expect to resume my law prac-t tice to some extent."
"W7ill you in future take part in politics?"
" I do not expect to take any more interest in politics than any ordinary citizen."
"Is there any truth in the statement that you are a candidate for the office of Governor?"
" No. I am not a candidate for any office."
"Suppose you were tendered the nomination,, would you accept it?"
"That is an idle supposition. There is going to be a scramble next year for the nomination for Governor. I do not want U) be Governor and naturally do not wish to enter a scramble for something 1 do not want. I'nderstand me, T am not declining something that has not been offered and that is not within reach. I believe in the private individual. It is the successful private individual who is the important factor in American society—the man who has convictions and who dares to express them. The whole ofticeholding class is getting to be a cowardly hanging 011 class, which always is careful to see how the wind blows before daring lo either have or express an opinion, and the result is it is a negative class. They do not lead in public opinion or in the formation of a public sentiment on any question. We have in this country now forty odd Governors, and it would be difficult for any man to point out wherein the whole forty had, for ten years, done anything of an enduring character for their country, or for the progress of civilization. We have several hundred Congressmen, we have legislators without number, we count even our judges by the hundred, and taking the whole ofticeholding class together, it is difficult to point out wherein it does ,
anything that can be regarded as raising the standard of public morals, creating a healthy public sentiment, or solving in a proper manner any of the great questions, both economic and social, that are calling for solution. On the contrary, the whole officeholding fraternity simply follows the public band wagon. The really influential men in America are, 1 repeat, the successful private individuals
—positive men, earnest, conscientious, thoroughgoing men. Take successful business men, successful manufacturers, leading railroad men, lawyers, physicians, and even preachers, when they have sufficient independence to develop any individuality— these are the men who mold public opinion and whose favor and support is sought by the politi-* cians, and who, in the end, secure legislation and
shape the policy of the country, using the office-holding classes simply as instruments by which to carry out a purpose. While politics has a strong fascination for me, just as gambling has for some men, and I have, consequently, at different times taken part in politics, yet I have always felt that I would be a great deal better off and could do more for my country if I would let politics alone."
" Have you, then, no future policy in regard to political life'?"
" What are your views on the question of the salaries paid the judges of Cook county? Several lawyers, including some judges, have said the salary paid was not high enough to have secured the best men for the bench?" i "I have always regarded the salary paid the
judges in Cook county as not only ample, but exceedingly liberal, and the truth is that there are very few men on the beach here who ever made as much practicing law as they are making as judges. High salary does not secure the highest order of judges. New York City pays almost fancy salaries to its local judges, and the bench there will not compare favorably with the bench in other cities
where the salary is very low. The truth is, that when the salary is made very high the office he-comes a plum which is scrambled for by the politicians, and the abler lawyers and modest men decline to enter into the contest. There are many very able lawyers at our bar who would be glad to serve the public on- the bench for even a much lower salary than is now paid, provided they could get the positions without a political scramble.
"Further, outside of Chicago the judges get only one-half what is x>aid here; they have to work the whole year, and as a matter of fact, do much more business during the year than Chicago judges do, for tiiey frequently open court at 8 o'clock in the morning and run until 9 o'clock at night, and it is claimed by lawyers who practice throughout the State, as well as in Chicago, that the bench in the country is much abler than in Chicago. Being still on the bench myself," added the Judge, with a smile, "1 can talk with a little more freedom on this subject than I otherwise could.
"The people of Chicago will have no troublo in getting plenty of good men to serve them as judges, and in my opinion they will get a higher order of talent and get more painstaking and conscientious men, if the salary of judges is not increased, than if it is increased."
" Have you any ideas as to how the judgeships could be taken out of the ordinarv scramble and swirl of politics?" was asked.
" I do not believe in taking the election of judges out of the hands of the people," answered Judge Altgeld, after a minute's meditation. "The people
can be trusted in the long run to discriminate in this regard and select pretty good men. I do not believe in a few committeemen sitting in a back room and determining who shall and who shall not occupy a position on the bench, and while it is de_ sirable that the bench shall be non-partisan, I question whether the attempt to have a few men select judges and divide them between the parties, will, in the end, prove satisfactory. I would leave it in the hands of the people, as it has been, but I would not convert the office into such a fat plum that it would be sought after by any other class of men than those, who, from the very highest motives, are willing to serve the public as judges, without reference to any extraordinary moneyed compensation, and, 1 will repeat, there are many men, who have long been an ornament to the Chicago bar, and and who would be an honor to the bench, who would serve for even a much smaller salary than is now paid, if they were not elbowed out of the way by politicians."
ADDRESS TO THE LABORING MEN OF
[Delivered September 8, 1803.] J
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:
Yon are to be congratulated on the success of your celebration. Two great demonstrations in Chicago alone are vying with each other iu honoring Labor Day. These vast assemblages represent sturdy manhood and womanhood. They represent honest toil of every kind, and they represent strong patriotism and desirable citizenship. The law has set apart this day in recognition of the nobility of labor, and as the Governor of this great State, I have come to pay homage to that force which lays the foundation of empires, which builds cities, builds railroads, develops agriculture, supports schools, founds industries, creates commerce, and moves the world. It is wisely directed labor that has made our country the greatest ever known, and v
has made Chicago the wonder of mankind. I say wisely directed labor; for without wise direction labor is fruitless. The pointing out and the doing are inseparably connected. More than this, ahead of the directing, there must go the genius which originates and conceives, the genius which takes the risk and moves a league forward. All three are necessary to each other. Weaken either, and
there are clouds in the sky. Destroy either, and the hammer of industry ceases to be heard. Glance over this majestic city, see its workshops, its warehouses, its commercial palaces, its office temples, and the thousand other structures that show the possibilities of human achievement and tell who did all this. You say the laboring men; yes, that is correct; but I tell you that if the gods keep a record of our doings, they have set down the men who originated all this, and then dared to make a forward step in building, as among the greatest of laborers. We are at present in the midst of a great industrial and commercial depression. Industry is nearly at a stand-still all over the earth. The consumptive power, or rather the purchasing power, of the world has been interfered with, producing not only a derangement but a paralysis, not only stopping further production, but preventing the proper distribution of what there is already created; so that we have the anomalous spectacle of abundant food products on the one hand, and hungry men without bread on the other. Abundant fabrics on the one hand, and industrious, frugal men going half clad on the other. Employer and t employe are affected alike.
There are thousands of honest, industrious and frugal men who walk the streets all day in search of work, and even bread, aud there are many hundreds of the most enterprising employers who sweat by day and walk the floor by night trying to devise means to keep the sheriff away from the establishment. You are not responsible for this condi-3—
tion. Men here and in Europe, who call themselves statesmen, have inaugurated policies of which this is a natural result. Considering the increase in population, the increase in the industries and commercial activity of the world, as well as the increased area over which business was done, there has in recent years been a practical reduction in the volume of the money of the world of from thirty-three to forty per cent., and there had of necessity to follow a shrinkage in the value of property to a corresponding extent. This has been going on for a number of years, and as it has progressed it lias become harder and harder for the the debtor to meet his obligations. For the value of his property kept falling while his debt did not fall. Consequently, every little while a lot of debtors, who could 110 longer stand the strain, succumbed. The result was that each time there was a Hurry in financial circles. By degrees these failures became more frequent, until finally people who had money took alarm, and withdrew it from circulation. This precipitated a panic and with it a harvest of bankruptcy. No doubt there were secondary causes that contributed, but this one cause was sufficient to create the distress that we see. If for some years to come there should not be sufficient blood in the industrial and commercial world to make affairs healthy, then you must console yourselves with the thought that our country, with all the other great nations, has been placed 011 a narrow gold basis, and you will not be troubled with any of these cheap dollars that the big newspapers claim you did not want. The present depression,
resulting from a lack of ready money in the world, shows how indispensable capital is to labor—all the wheels of industry stand still the moment it is withdrawn. It also shows that while the interests of the employer and the employe may be antagonistic 011 the subject of wages, they are the same in every other respect; neither can do anything without the other.....certain it is that the employe cannot prosper unless the employer does. On the other hand, if the purchasing power of the employe is destroyed, the employer must soon be without a market for his goods. The great American market was due to the purchasing power of the laboring classes. If this should in the end be destroyed it will change entirely the character of our institutions. Whenever our laboring classes are reduced to a condition where they can buy only a few coarse articles of food and clothing, then our glory will have departed. Still another thing has been made more clear than before, and that is, that the employers, as a rule, are not great capitalists of the country. As a rule, they are enterprising men who borrow idle capital, and put it to some use, and whenever they are suddenly called on to pay up and are not t able to borrow elsewhere, they are obliged to shut down.
There are many advanced thinkers who look forward to a new industrial system that shall be an improvement on the present, and under which the laborer shall come nearer getting his share of the benefits resulting from invention and machinery, than under the present system. All lovers of their kind would hail such a system with joy. But we
are forced to say that it is not yet at hand. As we must have bread and must have clothing, we are obliged to cling to the old system for the present, and probably for a long time to come, until the foundations can be laid for a better one by intelligent progress. Classes, like individuals, have their bright and their dark days, and just now there seems to be a long dark day ahead of you. It will be a day of suffering and distress, and I must say to you there seems to be no way of escaping it, and I therefore counsel you to face it squarely and bear it with that heroism ami fortitude with which an American citizen should face and bear calamity. It has been suggested that the State and different branches of government should furnish employment during the winter to idle men. Certainly everything that can be done in this line will be done, but I must warn you not to expect too much from this source. The powers of government are so hedged about with constitutional provisions that much cannot bo done. The Stato at present has no work to do. The parks can employ only a few men. The city has work for more men, but it is also limited in its fuuds. The great drainage canal may, and probably will, - give employment to a considerable \
number of men, but, after all, you must recognize that these things will be only in the nature of makeshifts; only to tide over; only to keep men and their families from starving. And on this point let me say it will be the duty of all public officials to see to it that no man is permitted to starve on the soil of Illinois, and provision will be made to that end. But all this is temporary. The laborer must
look to ways and means that are permanent for the improvement of his condition when the panic is over, and these measures must be along the line of and in harmony with the institutions of this century, and must move by a gradual and steady development. Nothing that is violently done is of permanent advantage to the working man. He can only prosper when his labor is in demand, and his labor can be in demand only when his employer prospers and there is nothing to interfere with consumption.
The world has been 6low to accord labor its due. For thousands of years pillage, plunder^and organized robbery, called warfare, were honorable pursuits, and the man who toiled, in order that all might live, was despised. In the flight of time, it was but yesterday that the labor of the earth was driven with the lash, and either sold on the block like cattle, or tied by an invisible chain to the soil, and wras forbidden to even wander outside his parish. In the yesterday of time, even the employers of labor were despised. The men who conducted great industries, who carried 011 commerce, who practiced the useful arts, the men who made the earth habitable, were looked down upon by a class that considered it honorable to rob the toiler of his bread, a class which, while possessing the pride of the eagle, hatj only the character of the vulture. Great has been the development since then. This century brought upon its wings higher ideas, more of truth and more of common sense, and it announced to mankind that he is honorable who creates; that he should be despised who can only consume; that he is the benefactor of the race who
gives it an additional thought, an additional flower, an additional loaf of bread, an additional comfort; and he is a curse to his kind who tramples down what others build, or, without compensation, devours what others create. The century brought with it still greater things. Not only did it lift the employer to a position of honor, influence and power, but it tore away parish boundaries, it cut the chains '
of the serf, it burned the auction block, where the laborer and his children were sold; and it brought ideas; it taught the laboring man to extend his hand to his fellow-laborer; it taught him to organize, and not only to read but to investigate, to inquire, to discuss, to consider, and to look ahead; so that today, the laborer and his cause, at least theoretically, command the homage of all civilized men, and the greatest States in Christendom have set apart a day to be annually observed as a holiday in honor of labor.
The children of Israel were forty years in marching from the bondage of Egypt to the freer atmosphere of Palestine, and a halo of glory envelops their history. In the last forty years the children of Toil have made a forward march which is greater than any ever made in the wilderness. True, the «
land is not conquered. You have simply camped upon that higher plane where you cat} more clearly see the difficulties of the past, aud where, in the end, you may hope for a higher justice and a happier condition for yourselves and your children, but a great deal remains to be done. In a sense, you are just out of the wilderness. You ask, along what lines, then, shall we proceed when the times get
better in order to improve our condition? I answer, along lines which harmonize, uot only with nature's laws, but with the laws of the land. Occupying, as I do, a position which makes me in a sense a conservator of all interests and classes, I desire to see the harmonious properity of all; and let me say to you that, until all the active interests of the land prosper again, there can be 110 general demand for your services, and, consequently, 110 healthy prosperity. What I wish to point out is the absolute necessity of each class or interest being able to take care of itself in the fierce struggle for existence. You have not yet fully reached this state. Tn the industrial world, as well as in the political world, only those forces survive which can maintain themselves, and which are so concentrated that their influence is immediately and directly felt. A scattered force, no matter how great, is of 110 account in the sharp congests of the age. This is an age of concentration. Everywhere there is concentration and combination of capital and of these factors which to-day rule the world. The formation of corporations has greatly accelerated this movement, and no matter what is said about it, whether we approve it or not, it is the characteristic feature of our civilization, and grows out of increased invention, the speedy communication between different parts of the world, and the great industrial generalship and enterprise of the time. It is questionable whether this tendency to combination could have been stopped in any way. It is certain, without this concentration of force the gigantic achievements of our times would have boon an impossibility. Combination and concentration are the masters of the age. Let the laborer learn from this and act accordingly. Fault-finding and idle complaint are useless. Great forces, like great rivers, cannot bo stopped. You must be able to fight your own battles. For the laborer to stand single-handed before giant combinations of power means annihilation. The world gives only when it is obliged to, and respects only those who compel its respect.
Government was created by power and has always been controlled by power. Do not imagine that it is sufficient if you have justice and equity 011 your side, for the earth is covered with the graves of justice and equity that failed to receive recognition, because there was 110 influence or force to compel it, and it will be so until the millennium. Whenever you demonstrate that you are an active, concentrated power, moving along lawful lines, then you will be felt in government. Until then you will not. This is an age of law as well as of force, and 110 force succeeds that does not move along legal lines. The laboring men of the world always have been, and are to-day, the support and principal reliance of the government They support its flags in time of war, and their hands earn the taxes in time of peace. Their voice is for fair play, and 110 great government was ever destroyed by the laboring classes. Treason and rebellion never originated with them, but always came from the opposite source. Early in our history there occurred what was called Shay's rebellion, but they were not wage-workers who created it. Then came the so-called whisky rebellion, created not by day laborers. During the war of 1812, a convention was hold in the East which practically advocated a dissolution of the Union, but wage-workers were not among its members. The great rebellion of 1861 was not fomented by the laboring classes, but by those classes which ate the bread that others toiled for. It was a rebellion by those who had long been prominent as leaders, who largely controlled the wealth of the country, who boasted of aristocratic society, and many of whom had been educated at the expense of the country whose flag they fired on. While, on the other hand, the great armies which put down this rebellion and supported the flag were composed of men who had literally earned their bread by the sweat of their brows. It is true that at times a number of laborers, more or less ignorant, who thought they were being robbed of the fruits of their toil, have indulged in rioting; and, while they have always lost by it, and while they cannot be too severely condemned, yet they <lo not stand alone in this condemnation, for there have been many broadcloth mobs in this country and in different sections of it, whose actions were lawless and as disgraceful as that of any labor mob that ever assembled. I must congratulate organized labor upon its freedom from turbulence. Rioting is nearly always by an ignorant class outside of all organizations, and which, in most cases, was brought into the community by conscienceless men to defeat organized labor. There should be a law ■compelling a man who brings this class of people into our midst to give bond for their support and their good behavior, for at present they are simply a disturbing element. They threaten the peace of society and bring reproach on the cause of labor.. The lesson I wish to impress upon you is that in business, in the industries, in government, everywhere, only those interests and forces survive that can maintain themselves along legal lines, and if you permanently improve your condition it must be by intelligently and patriotically standing together all over the country. Every plan must fail unless you do this.
At present you are to a great extent yet a scattered force, sufficiently powerful, if collected, to make yourselves heard and felt; to secure, not only a fair hearing, but a fair decision of all questions. Unite this power and you will be independent: leave it scattered and you will fail. Organization is the result of education as well as an educator. Let all the men of America wrho toil with their hands once stand together and no more complaints will be heard about unfair treatment. The progress of labor in the future must be along the line of patriotic association, not simply in localities, but everywhere. And let me caution you that every act of violence is a hindrance to your progress. There will be men among you ready to commit it. They are your enemies. There will be sneaks and Judas Iscariots in your ranks, who will for a mere pittance act as spies and try to incite some of the more hot-headed of your number to deeds of violence, in order that these reptiles may get the credit'of exposing you. They are your enemies. Cast them out of your ranks. Remember that any
permanent prosperity must be based upon intelligence and upon conditions which are permanent. And let me say to you again, in conclusion: This fall and this winter will be a trying time to you. The record of the laborers of the earth is one of patriotism. They have maintained the government, they have maintained the schools and churches, and it behooves you now to face the hardships that are upon you and see that your cause is not injured by grave indiscretions. Make the ignorant understand that government is strong and that life and property will be protected and law and order will be maintained, and that, while the day is dark now, the future will place the laborer in a more exalted position than ho has ever occupied.
ALTGELD ON LABOR DAY.
"Words fitly spoken are like apples of gold in pictures of silver." And nowhere of late have such words been spoken with more force and with promise of more good effect than by Governor Altgeld, at Chicago, on Labor Day.
Governor Altgeld, at that meeting, was emphatic-/ ally the right man in the right place. Not because
of his official rank, though it was entirely proper, under existing circumstances in Chicago, that the Governor of Illinois should be there. It is, however, as a citizen of Chicago, elected to high office by the votes of its workingmen, who believe in and trust him as they do no other man, that John P. Altgeld could be most effective on such an occasion.
He had the demagogue's opportunity. He could easily have fallen in with the schemes of those who propose to use the State as a means of relief. Instead of this, having in mind the constitutional limitations of the powers of the State, he pointed out the impossibility of such a plan. He held before his hearers no illusory hopes or promises, but while insisting that it was the duty of society <
to assist them, he pointed out the necessity of sacrifice and courage on their own part.
The mutual dependence upon each other, of labor and capital, met with clear and forcible treatment at the Governor's hands. The argument is somewhat trite, but is usually without effect because made by men who have no sympathy with labor, in answer to other men equally without sympathy with capital, who declare eternal war between the '
two elements. In the hands of Governor Altgeld, talking to the Chicago workingmen, the argument becomes effective. When made in connection with a statement of the causes which have brought about present conditions and the things necessary to their betterment, it cannot fail to exert a deep and wholesome influence.
This speech is ore of the most notable made v
since the beginning of hard times. In many respects it is more important than any which has been made at Washington. It required both courage and a high sense of duty to make it. Its influence is for good, and it should have wide circulation and acceptance.—St. Louis Republic, September 7, 1893.
altgeld's conservative speech.
Just as all sensible, patriotic citizens were shocked, and their sense of the duty and limits of the State Executive outraged, by Governor Altgeld's famous fulmination pardoning the anarchists, so the same citizens should rejoice that within a few mont is he should give utterance to views upon the existing evil conditions of industries at once calm, sound and fearless. Nothiug is more remarkable about Governor Altgeld's address at Kuhn's Park, Labor Day, than its freedom from truckling demagogy.
If the laboring men looked for a fiery Mark Antony harangue, catering to their discontent and dwelling upon the wrongs that labor suffers at the hands of capital, they must have been woefully disappointed. He faced the industrial situation as the Governor of the State of Illinois should, squarely and candidly. He told his hearers that if "there are thousands of honest, industrious and frugal men who walk the streets all day in search of work or even bread, there are many hundreds of the most enterprising employers who sweat all day and walk the floor by night trying to devise means to keep the sheriff away from the establishment." He counseled his hearers to face the situation like men, and endure the present hardships with "that heroism and fortitude with which an American citizen should face and bear calamity."
But the most important part of the Governor's speech was that in which he spoke of the government as the creature and safeguard of the laboring men. He cautioned his hearers against every act of violence, that could only hinder their progress, and closed by a warning to the ignorant, that "government is strong, and that life and property will be protected and law and order will be maintained."
Such was the tenor of Governor Altgeld's speech to the representatives of that labor which has no affinity or sympathy with anarchy and violence. It was rendered all the more noteworthy by the fact that 011 the day of its delivery hundreds of pamphlets containing his incendiary message of pardon were being distributed through the mails from the "Executive Mansion, Springfield, 111." Evidently the Governor is essaying the difficult role of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. He cannot too quickly cast off his anarchist notions and act up to the lights and views of his Labor Day speech.—Chicago Journal (a Republican newspaper).
THE DEBUT OF ILLINOIS.
j Delivered at a Banquet to Foreign Representatives, at the World's Fair Grounds, Oct 11, 1893. j
Illinois was young; many of her citizens remembered the time when she was not yet a State; thousands remembered the time when the Indians roamed over her prairies. But she was conscious of having had a most romantic and remarkable career. Upon her prairies and along her rivers had been performed deeds of heroism equal to any famed in song or story. Here the red savage had •committed some of his most bloody butcheries, and within her boundaries was fought that great battle of debate and of ballots which, in 1822, arrested the progress of the slave power and then and there fixed the doom of Slavery and shaped the future of the entire country, by determining that Illinois should forever be a free State.
> On her State plains were mustered many of the
great armies, and from her people came many of those renowned chieftains who crushed the mighty rebellion; and she gave to the Nation a number of statesmen whose genius shaped the policy and whose hands guided the destiny of the Republic through its darkest days.
She was also conscious of having no rival in material growth, grandeur and greatness. There
was not another State in the world, four hundred miles long and two hundred miles wide, nearly every acre of which was a garden. She was the greatest agricultural State, the greatest dairy State, one of the greatest fruit States; she surpassed all other States in the extent of her coal fields, and had scarcely an equal in the extent of her quarries; her railroads penetiated every neighborhood, her manufacturing industries covered the whole field of human ingenuity, and the enterprise of her merchants was seen in every mart under the sun.
She had built great cities, and when the fury of
the elements had laid one in ashes; while the
embers were yet smoldering, she re-built it upon a a scale of grandeur and magnificence that astonished mankind.
But while she was conscious of all these things, she had not yet formed a close acquaintance with the people of the world; she had not yet formally made her debut. While her older sisters had received some attention, she had stood in the background; but she now resolved to step to the front and to close this century by bringing together, in one grand group, all of the highest and* best achievements of modern civilization. She resolved to celebrate the anniversary of the discovery of America by bringing together here, on her soil, the greatest material productions, as well as the creations of genius and the conceptions of the grandest intellects of the time, so that the spirit which guided the discoverer across the ocean could now, four hundred years later, at one glance, in one enchanting view, see the mighty results which followed in the wake of that lonely voyage.
With this end in view, she asked her sister States, the older and the younger sisters, to help her; and promptly, generously, nobly they responded. The nations of the earth were invited, people of all countries, of all climes and of all conditions—from the most highly civilized to the savage—all the devotees of learning, scholars in their seclusion, scientists in their laboratories, philosophers amid their speculations, and religionists amid their devotions, were invited to come, and they accepted the invitation. There are here represented nations whoso histories run beyond the advent of letters, nations whose corner-stones are hidden in tradition. Their representatives have come, bringing the good will of the sovereigns, and bringing with them the highest and best products of their people, material and intellectual; they have-come from the great empires of Europe, from the vast countries of Asia, from the snow-covered lands of the North, from the time-worn basin of the Mediterranean, from the depths of Africa, from the islands of the sea; all are here, bringing not only the product of their hands, but the achievements of their intellect.
Representative women were here from all over the civilized world. Woman, for the first time in * her history, standing on an independent basis in the Congress of Nations. Men of science were here, men who have stolen from nature her secrets, men who arrest disease and strangle pestilence, men who span rivers and build cities, men who have harnessed the lightning to the chariots of men were here; men whose eyes have pierced the —4
rocks and who have forced Mother Earth to give us an idea of her age, men who have reached into the Universe and measured the faces of the stars were here; men who paint for the ages and men who chisel for all time were here; moralists who hold their faces to the sun and look to the elevation of man were here; and the devotees of religion were here- the children of Buddha, the soldiers of Mohammed, the followers of the Cross—worshipers from every altar aud from every shrine were here; not to destroy, nor even to anathematize, but rather to confer for the good of humanity. Never since the first gfey dawn of time has there been such a collection of all that was great in achievement, such an assemblage of the master spirits of the world.
■ But the entertainment is drawing to a close. The sighs of autumn are heard in the air, the Spirit of Dissolution—yea, sad thought—the Spirit of Dissolution is hovering over the groat Exposi-tion; that miracle of the centuries is going the way of all the earth. And as our guests take their departure, we hope they will carry with them that same kindly feeling for us that we have conceived for them.
Gentlemen of the Old Worlds, as you go back to your ancient capitals, to your cities that are white with the frost of ages, tell your sovereigns and tell your people that the people of Illinois and of the great American Republic appreciate the honor which has been done them, and will ever remember it We could not •have succeeded with--out you. It was not a local, it was not a national Exposition; it was the Grand Exposition of the human race.
Say to them that Illinois affords a market for everything that grows, from the equator to the poles; for everything that is produced, from Siberia to Africa; for everything that genius can design or hand can make. Say to them that Illinois has not only been introduced into the society of Nations, but that henceforth she will keep "open house;" that she stands on the shore of the great Inland Sea and holds aloft a torch to light the way for every traveler and every wayfaring man under the sun to her gates; that at her door all honest people are welcome. Say to them that every man who comes with good intent or noble purpose, or who brings new thought or lofty sentiment; every man who comes with mind to think or hand to do, no matter at what altar he kneels or at what shrine he bows, is welcome in Illinois.
ADDRESS AT THE OPENING OF COLUMBUS CLUB HOUSE, CHICAGO.
[Delivered October 12, 1893.)
Gentlemen: You ask me to speak for Illinois. This is so great a subject that, to do it justice, would keep you here a week. But I have no thought of making a talk four hundred miles long or two hundred miles wide. I will simply say that the most enthusiastic of us have no conception of the greatness and wonderful development of Illinois. So rapid has been its growth that we ourselves do not fully comprehend it. You have been • an eye-witness of its more recent development; you are familiar with its institutions and know of the the constant struggle to keep them abreast with the age. The State has reached the highest pinnacle of material grandeur—no matter what she may do in the building of cities, she can never surpass her recent effort. She can never build greater rail- \
roads, greater warehouses, greater factories, or finer buildings. If her development is to continue, then the great forces which have created these things must, be turned into new channels; we have got to look to a broader field; we have got to fix our eyes upon a higher point in the distant heavens, and instead of laboring only for the attainment of the material, we must strive for the intellectual; instead
of dealing only with houses and railroads and lands and shops, that can last but for a day in the Almighty's calendar of time, we must turn to principles that run through the ages, and to truths that live through eternity.
From the coining of dollars, we must turn to the building of character. We must stop our mad rush after the material long enough to reflect that manhood is a matter of growth, that can expand, grow strong, or can shrivel up and be lost; that it gradually takes on not only the color, but the actual nature of the things that occupy it; 60 that he who contemplates only the earth will become earthy, while he who gazes at the stars will acquire elevation of thought, and in time the one or the other will be written on his countenance, v The object of your organization is social, and
neither political nor commercial, but you have adopted a name which stands for a new era and a higher order of things, and which implies that you have a higher motive than simply to have a good time. The State could feel but little interest in this, and it would be entirely at variance with the character and career of the great discoverer. If your aim is to be as earnest in life as his was, then you are in a position to render the State great and lasting service, to become a pillar and a power in it. Whether you do this or not, will depend upon the course you pursue. If you make this club house a center of intelligence, a place for discussions and the growth of a broader thought— if you keep your finger upon the pulse of humanity, upon the great masses of the people, keep so
near to them that you feel their breath and hear their heart-beats, so near to them that you understand their wants, and know the real nature as well as the cause of their suffering, and then shape your actions accordingly—then, let me say to you again, this club will become h power in the land and an ornament to the State. But, 011 the other hand, if you pursue the policy, so common with clubs, of being exclusive, of feeling that when you get within your own precincts you are so much better than the men who walk outside; if your spacious rooms become the lounging place for the weaklings who want to hang on to the skirts of fashionable society, or if, in time, you simply become a rich man's club, then the State will have little to hope from you; for there never was a rich man's club that fought for liberty or struggled for humanity; there never was a rich man's club that won a battle or saved a nation. Occasionally they have had generous impulses and lofty purposes; but even then, when they honestly intended to do something for the world, they generally began wrong. They usually commence at the top and want to work downward; a process which is contrary to the laws of Jehovah and the decrees of nature, and which, of necessity, fails. In all nature, in all conditions of life, development, growth, progress is from the ground upward. The seed must be planted in the ground, and must have time to grow. This accounts for the fact that some of our wealthy clubs wield so little influence.
I asked an intelligent man rocently, "Why is it that some of our clubs, made up of brainy, energetic, wealthy, and even public-spirited men—men who, in their individual capacities wield power, exert influence- why is it that, when acting in concert, or in a body, as a club, the reverse is true; for thoy make very little imprint upon the history of their country? As clubs they exert little or no influence in municipal government, or in shaping any public measure, or in settling any great public question, whether it be social, economical or political."
"Why," he replid, "it is because these clubs do not go with or even attempt to direct the great currents that make up our active life. They are exclusive, and when they do venture out, they talk over and talk at the people, and not io them; for they never get near enough to them to be heard. Their influence is nil, and the great mass of the people go along managing their affairs, running the government and making our history, unconscious of the existence of these finely clothed clubs."
Again, gentlemen, you will become a power and a blessing to the State if you make this club an agency to quietly but earnestly sow the seeds of patriotism; not in the air, but in the ground; not as an effervescence, but as a serious fact; not in revelry, but with ail the solemnity of prayer. So that all young men and young women shall acquire a serious and a lofty idea of the duty they owe their country.
On the other hand, if you deal with patriotism simply as a fashionable subject, then the State can expect but little of you; for thero is nothing so cheap in this country to-day as this post-prandial, champagne - effervescing, after - dinner patriotism. Patriotism is serious; it is like piety, it is like virtue; it vauuteth not, and it never stands on street corners and proclaims itself. Its habitation is deep in the sou), and its face is always modest. And the men who are ready to die at the altar of their country are not the boasting patriots of a banquet hall.
Building up empires aud developing, as well as maintaining human institutions is serious work, and it requires the strength that comes from deep and solemn convictious to do it. The safety as well as the glory of the State, lie in the patriotism of the great masses of the people. They carry its burdens and move its machinery in time of peace, and they shoulder the muskets and go forth to battle and to death in time of war. If your club shall keep in close touch with them and sow seeds of patriotism on this ground, and see that they are watered by the dews aud warmed by the sunlight of liberty and truth, then the career of this club will become memorable in the annals of the State.
STATE CHARITABLE INSTITUTIONS.
[Address to the Trustees and Superintendents of the Charitable Institutions of Illinois, at Spring/teld, November 28, 1893.)
Gentlemen: 1 have invited you to meet here today in order to have a genera) conference relating to the management of the great public institutions of this State, and to enable me to make a few suggestions which I could not so well make by correspondence.
While public sentiment in America has been progressive and liberal, and while almost countless sums have been appropriated in the most generous manner, for the building and maintaining of great public institutions for almost every purpose, these institutions have not yet all reached the highest degree of excellence. Another fact to bo deplored is that the officials in charge of these institutions are not held in that high regard by the public to which the groat responsibilities and importance of their duties should entitle them. In some European countries to serve as a superintendent or as a trustee of a great hospital or a great asylum is to hold a position of honor and distinction in the eye of the public, and to consequently enjoy the confidence and good opinion of the public, while in this country these places have, in some cases, come to be
regarded as political spoils, and the men who hold them have come to be looked upon merely as politicians who have been lucky enough to get a few plums for^themselves and their friends, and instead of being honored and regarded with a still higher degree of confidence, it often happens that men who are appointed to these places are looked upon with jealousy and even distrust.
Now, I want to say, that all of these great charitable institutions were founded for the most noble purpose that man can conceive, and in this State they have become so large that they require a high order of business capacity and integrity to manage them, and there is 110 field in which a man can do-more good for the unfortunate, or in which he can render his country more valuable service, than he can right here, and there is 110 work that should give a man more honor or the confidence and esteem of the public in a higher degree than the work you have in hand.
(ientlemen, those of you who are trustees are serving without compensation. You have agreed to give your time, as far as it may be necessary, to these institutions free of charge, and let me impress upon you strongly right here, that there is only one way in which you can get anything out of it in the way of satisfactory compensation, and that is to manage these institutions better than they have ' ever been managed; to place them upon a higher plane than they have ever been placed, and to make them do better work than they have ever done. It is not necessary to say a word in disparagement of the past. No matter how good it may havo been,, almost infinite improvement is yet possible.
address to the trustees, etc. 51*
Those of you who have passed middle lifo have long since discovered that the things which give us most pleasure are those which we have done extraordinarily well. If we have done one thing in all our lives better than other people could do it, that one thing will give us pleasure as long as we live, while the ten thousand other things which we have done only tolerably well are forgotten. If you will take hold of these institutions in the right spirit you can, in a few years, make more reputation, win more honor for yourselves and your families, than you can in thirty years of the ordinary management.
The people of Illinois have beon exceptionally liberal. They have aimed to make provision for almost every class of unfortunates, and they want these to have the best of care. There is no reason in the world why the institutions of this State should not be made the very best upon earth.. Everything is furnished by the people that they could be asked to furnish. But I notice that a great source of weakness in some American institutions is the fact that the management has no high conception of duty or principle, and instead of lookiug only to the highest interests of the institution, spends its energy in seeing how it can take care of friends or how it can make money out of the public, and the result is poor discipline, inefficient service, extravagant management and a general lowering of the tone of the institution. In this State 1 have adopted the policy of requiring that all those who fill important places must be in personal sympathy with the administration, and
personally interested in carrying out its policies; but this rule has not been applied to minor places, and my instructions have been not to employ anybody, 110 matter by whom recommended or urged, unless it was reasonably apparent that he, or she, was honest and competent and would do efficient work; and further, that nobody must be retained for one hour after it became apparent that he, or she, was not the right person for tlie placd, and that political pressure must be absolutely disregarded in passing upon a case of this kind; that only the best interests of the institution must be considered. But, notwithstanding these instructions, we have had trouble in certain localities. That was one reason why I wished to have you meet here to-day, and I wish now to repeat and to emphasize these instructions; that the whole energy of the superintendents and of the trustees, and of everybody connected with the management, shall be bent to place these institutions upon the very highest plane of excellence and superiority possible, and that no personal considerations, no •considerations of friendship or political patronage must be permitted to stand in the way one minute.
The public is reasonable. It asks only what is fair. This being a Democratic administration, when you employ men for important positions the public will not find any fault with you if you employ Democrats, but it will find fault and it should condemn you for employing men who are either incompetent or dishonest, or who are not thoroughgoing. Let me say here, one trouble constantly met with in the employment of men who are urged by local
politicians is that they are simply what is called "good fellowrs." Now, no business can be run on good-fellowship alone. We need energy and thoroughgoing purpose; and let me say to you. gentlemen, that if you were to attempt to make places for the friends of local politicians in these public institutions, and were to shut your eyes to laxity of management and extravagance, you would never get any satisfaction out of having held this office; for when you step out of the office there will -be nothing to give you any comfort, and the very men whom you have helped to place in positions will not respect you after you have ceased to give them a job. In this connection let me suggest, further, that you cannot manage an institution with a high degree of independence and thoroughness, if you fill the places with men whom, for any reason, it may be embarrassing to remove. You should not have an omploye in an institution whom you can not remove, without a moment's hesitation, whenever it becomes apparent that the best interests of the institution require it. There has kbeen some embarrassment on account of the great expectations of the localities or towns in the immediate vicinity > of certain institutions. The people of these towns
seem to regard the institutions as belonging to them, and they expect to run them—to furnish the help and supplies—&nd they usually want to do it in their own way, and they do not want to»have too thorough a scrutiny of the management. They don't want too much competition in furnishing supplies, and they don't want such thorough-going methods employed as interferes with their friends.
The position of the local trustee is most embarrassing. No matter how able or honest a man is, his position is embarrassing. His town expects everything of him. To serve his townsmen and neighbors he must go in one direction, while his duty toward the State may require him to go in another. In a few cases we have no local trustees, and our experience is the most satisfactory there.
INSPECTION 1JY TRUSTEES.
On the subject of inspection by trustees and by the State Board of Public Charities, I will say that, to my mind, little is accomplished by going to an institution in a body, getting a good dinner and taking a walk around it, or even through it, and those trustees who simply go to the board meetings, and do not give the institution much attention in any other way, do not do their full duty. Each institution is so large that it is almost impossible for one man, acting as superintendent, to keep a wide-awake, energetic spirit prevailing all over it, and the trustees can help very much in this regard if they will go singly, and go often and go at unexpected hours, to an institution, and go all over it; look into every room, nook and corner of it; go into the kitchen; go into the dining-room when the patients are eating; look after everything. In this way they will greatly assist in keeping up the tone, and will make it very much easier for the superintendent to keep the entire force of employes in that spirit in which nothing will be neglected. I want to impress upon you that every person who is guilty of brutal conduct toward patients should be promptly discharged, not simply for some particular acl, but because of a disposition unsuited for the place. Let me hero also suggest the advisability of having a competent female physician in each of our large asylums, where women are confined.
BILL OF FARE.
The vital importance of having a thoroughly competent person to supervise the making of the daily bill of fare, and the cooking and service, must not be overlooked. The success of your management will depend largely on this. There is such a great variety of substantial articles of food, costing about the same price, that with a little ingenuity the table can be greatly improved without increasing the expense. This has been too generally neglected in the past. Not only the superintendent, but the trustees, should give the table all the attention possible.
But the principal reason for calling you together here to-day was to consider the subject of purchasing supplies, and in doing this I do not wish to be understood as reflecting upon any person who has bought supplies for any of the institutions in the past, and certainly not upon the able men now filling these places, but I want to speak of the system. The system which has been retained thus far is the old system of having a man who is connected with the institution go out into the market .and look around and buy where, in his judgment, lie can buy the best. At least that is the theory of it; but in practice the system generally works this way: If the man who does the purchasing is dishonest he makes an arrangement with some business house, or rather with the salesman of whom he buys, to be paid a commission in cash upon all that he buys. If he is honest at the beginning, then the usual experience is about this: He gets acquainted with the different salesmen in large establishments. He is invited to take a ride. He is invited to go to the theatre. He is invited to do the town. He is treated to wine. He lias a good time. He is treated right royally. He gets a kindly impression of his host, and when on the following day the host assures him that certain goods are the best and cheapest in the market, he is inclined to believe it, and he buys them. Later 011, as purchases increase, the host very kindly presents him with a watch, as a Christmas gift. Occasionally he throws in a suit of clothes', and ere long a point is reached where valuable presents are made very frequently. These presents are not given by the head of the business house which makes the sales; they are given by the salesman who makes them, and then they go onto the books of the concern under the head of expense account. Now, the large corporations of this State and other States, the railroad companies and other concerns that do heavy buying, long ago abandoned this system, abandoned it absolutely. They said they did not want to send a dishonest man into the market to buy for them; that it was wrong to send an honest man into the market under existing con-ditious; and third, what is still more important, that the most honest man living could not, on the whole, buy as cheaply in that way as they could buy under what is called the competitive system; that is, by giving everybody who has the goods to sell a chance to bid. Hence, all of the corporations have adopted the plan of never permitting a purchasing agent to go into the market; but they make out a requisition of what they need, or of what they will need for a few weoks or a month ahead. They make fifteen or twenty copies of this, send it out to that many different houses carrying the line of goods that are wanted, and receive bids from all these houses, and the lowest bidder is given the contract, the right being always reserved to reject any goods that are not satisfactory. Their experience is, that even in the purchase of the most staple articles, the bids will vary from ten per cent, to twenty per cent. By purchasing in this way the supplies are obtained, not only at the lowest figure that some one reliable house may be willing to sell for on that particular day, but at the lowest figure that any reliable house is willing to sell for on that day, and among so many business houses there.will always be one or more that will have special reasons for bidding low on one day that may not have 011 others, especially when it is remembered that the orders from these institutions are usually large and that the institutions pay cash. Almost everything that is needed in these institutions can be described in a requisition, and when it comes to the purchase of an article —5 like cloth, the bid may bo accompanied by sample. Several of the institutions of the State have already adopted this system, and their experience is that they get their supplies from ten per cent, to twenty-five per cent, cheaper than they were able to get them before. But even if, in the long ruu, supplies could not be obtained cheaper in this way than under the old system, this plan should be adopted because it is correct in principle, and because it gives everybody an equal chance and is a preventative to scandal. T want this system adopted in every institution in this State and rigidly adhered to. It is not necessary to discuss the feasibility or practicability of it, because it has been tried too long to be open to question. Requisitions should be made out in copies of at least twelve or more, and copies sent to every business house that is at all within reach or that competes in that country, and then when the bids come in they should all be attached to a copy of the requisition. The lowest should be accepted and they, together with each requisition, should be laid away, so that they can be examined at any time in the future. With rare exceptions all supplies should be purchased at the office of the institution, and the purchaser should not go into the market.
Now, in conclusion, gentlemen, let me say, that if you can get this system of purchasing supplies firmly established, you will have rendered a great service to the State and have succeeded in putting our institutions upon a business plane that they have not occupied so far, and if you shall succeed in placing the institutions of this State upon so high a plane that they will be regarded as the very best in the world, then you can afford to retire from their management soon, with the consciousness that as long as you live you will derive a pleasure from the thought that this thing was done better than it was ever done before; that you have led the way in establishing a reform, and that you have rendered your country a substantial service, which entitles you to the gratitude and the honor of all patriotic people. I shall have something to say to you at another time, on the subject of placing the institutions of this State on a higher scientific plane.
SPEECH AT UNVEILING OF STATUE OF GENERAL SHIELDS.
[Delivered in Memorial Hall, in the Capitol, at Washington, J). <?., December 6, 1893.)
Note—The proceedings were in the presence of a vast assemblage, including the Vice-President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and prominent, men from all parts of the country.
Fellow-Citizens of America:
We are here to perform an unusual ceremony, to do an act that is not common, and that has never been and never can be so. We are here not to mourn the departure of a friend, but to honor the memory of a hero; not to shed tears, but to place a laurel wreath. We are here to pay that tribute which civilized people give to the memory of such of their sons as have rendered great and distinguished service to their country. Occasions of this kind are not common, because few men ever render a service to mankind that ensures the gratitude of a Nation.
There have been ages in the history of the world in which no monuments were erected, either because there were no men of sufficient genius and grandeur of soul to do great deeds, or else there were no people of sufficient appreciation to recognize them; and the fact that occasions of this character
are now more frequent than ever shows the advance of civilization, and it also shows that liberal institutions, giving freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of action for honest men, are more conducive to the growth of genius and the development of greatness than the repressive institutions of the past.
The greater frequency of occasions of this character in this century may warrant us in saying that the genii travel in groups; that brilliancy never wanders alone, but as the brighter stars range themselves together, so in the march of the ages, by a kind of natural assimilation, superiority and brilliancy go together. The basis of all demonstrations of this character is gratitude—that gratitude which a living people feel for the distinguished dead. In early times great services were always of a military character, because all people were exposed to the ravages of war. Nearly all the early heroes were warriors. But as the world progressed, as civilization moved a league onward, and men began to understand that only through the arts of peace can the world be permanently blessed, they came to regard the founding of States as an act of / immortality, and instead of remembering only
soldiers, they began to erect statues to those men who made it possible for cities to grow, for learning to flourish, for industries to thrive, and for the arts to beautify life.
OTHER HEROES CREATED.
And then, when civilization had again moved a step forward, and the wants of man began to develop under the new order of thiugs, when it was discovered that there is nothing fixed or stationary in all the universe; that change and consequent growth or dissolution are perpetual; that the law of concentration and the law of separation are everywhere simultaneously at work, and that those laws apply not only to the heavens and to the entire physical creation, but to all social, religious, economic and political existence; when it was noticed that the tendency of the stroug to devour the weak was inherent and eternal; that grasping selfishness is but a manifestation of a universal law; that government, instead of being the protector of the poor and the weak, is in constant danger of being used as an instrument by the cunning and designing to despoil the ignorant and the unwary; when it was found that it required constant vigilance to prevent the very best institutions from being productive of great wrong, and that problems constantly arise that are difficult of solution, and vitally affect the happiness of men, then the world created another class of heroes. It began to honor the men who devoted their lives to the solution of these problems. It began to build statues to statesmen. Not to the men who were merely office-hold- \ ers, for they do little good and win no glory, but it built statues to the men who, whether in office or out of office, helped to light the way for humanity.
ADDED GLORY TO THE FLAG.
To-day we honor the memory of a man whose career meets all three of the requirements we have
mentioned. He was a brilliant soldier, he helped to lay the foundation of States, and he assisted in guiding the destiny and shaping the institutions, not only of a great commonwealth, but of the great American Republic. A lawyer and a soldier, a judge and a legislator, an executive officer and a popular leader, he was honest, brilliant and brave.
, He added glory to the flag of his country on both foreign and domestic soil.
I shall not attempt to tell the full story of his life; there are others who can do it better. I will refer to only such parts of it as tell a lesson to the age and to posterity.
James Shields was born in a village in Ireland in 1810. When about sixteen years old he came to America and stopped for a time on the seaboard, working his way upward, teaching school and doing some newspaper work. He then studied law and settled in Kaskaskia, 111. The military bent of his mind led him to participate in Indian warfare for a time, but he returned to his law practice.
, In 1836 he was elected a member of the Illinois Legislature, and later held the office of Auditor; in 1843 he was appointed one of the judges of the / Supreme Court of the State, and in 1845 was made
Commissioner General of the United States Land Office.
BRAVE IN BATTLE.
At the commencement of hostilities with Mexico, he was appointed Brigadier General and served under Gen. Zachariah Taylor on the Rio Grande, under Gen. Wood in Chihuahua, and through the
extended campaigns of Gen. Scott, everywhere displaying great skill as a military leader. At Cerro Gordo he was shot through the lungs and was breveted as Major General for gallant conduct. After his recovery he participated in all of the campaigns in the valley of Mexico, and was again severely wounded at the battle of Chipuitapec.
Returning from Mexico, he was, in 1848, elected a United States Senator by the Legislature of Illinois, and served in the Senate of the United States until in the spring of 1855. Subsequently he went to the then Territory of Minnesota, assisted in organizing the State government there, and was elected United States Senator from that State, serving, however, but a short time. He then went to California, and at the beginning of the civil war was in Mexico superintending a mine. He at once hastened to Washington, tendered his services to the government, was appointed a Brigadier General in August, 1801, and on March 23, 1862, he won a victory over the great Stonewall Jackson at Winchester, in one of the hardest fought battles of the war, and was again severely wounded.
So brilliant was his conduct in this battle, that he was congratulated, not only by Gens. McClellan and Banks, but by the great War Secretary, Stanton, for "energy, activity and bravery'' displayed by him, and was further honored by Gov. Curtin, of Pennsylvania, who ordered that the flags of Pennsylvania be inscribed " Winchester, March 23, 1862."
In 1863 he resigned his commission in the army anl went to California, but afterward returned, settled in Missouri and resumed the practice of law, for Gen. Shields was always obliged to work for a living. In Missouri he served as a railroad commissioner; he was a member of the Legislature, and in 1879 was appointed to serve out the brief unexpired term of Senator Bogy in the United States Senate. This was his last public service.
The people of Illinois delight to honor him, and having been invited to erect two statues in Memorial Hall, at Washington, of citizens who had achieved military or civic renown, the Legislature of that great commonwealth, at its last session, declared Gen. Shields to have been a distinguished warrior, statesman and jurist, and it directed this statue to be made and placed iu position here.
patriotism does not depend on birth.
The life of Gen. Shields shows that love of country and lofty patriotism do not depend on the locality of birth. He was reared almost to manhood on foreign soil, and yet no truer patriot ever bled for the American flag.
The American Nation differs from all other nations on earth; it differs from its ancestry and differs from its component parts.
The brain and muscle of all peoples meet here; all give and all receive; all are burnished; none remain the same; all are transformed, not by intermarriage through generations, but as by magic, so that in a few years after landing on our shores, even though they retain their mother language, they are no longer English, German or Scandinavian—no longer Teuton, Celt, Latin or Slav—but are of that new, cosmopolitan people known the world over as Americans. Empires can only be founded by labor; it requires labor to clear forests and span rivers, to found schools and churches, to build factories, railroads and cities. The making of a mighty State requires hewing and lifting, delving and spinning. It requires that endurance that comes from being used to hard conditions. Gen. Shields saw this; he saw that where the foreign-born people joined hands with tho native-born, joined their industry and frugality to the magnificent genius of tho native-born citizens, it made a force such as oxistod nowhere else.
Ho saw that those States which had the greatest number of foreign-born citizens co-operating with and standing shoulder to shoulder to the native-l>orn made the greatest progress. In them was found the best agriculture, the most railroads, the most factories, the finest cities, tho best schools, the most libraries, and the greatest material and intellectual development, while those States having no foreign-born citizens lagged far behind.
More than this, he saw that those people did not take up arms against their adopted country, but came promptly forward in 'support of the Union. Not only did their industry, joined to that of the native American, help to produce that material wealth which enabled the government to carry on a protracted war, but they and their sons made up a large per cent of our armies, and formed a large per cent, of the dead and wounded on every battlefield.
Gen. Shields himself was shot a number of times while fighting for the flag of his country; yet, he in his day heard men, as we do in our day, inveigh against the foreign-born, and seeking to apply a different law to them from that applied to the native.
The life of Gen. Shields is a fitting response to all such people. If the great Shields could animate this statue but for an hour, with what infinite scorn would his proud spirit look upon these men, who, having bled on no battlefield, stormed the ramparts of no armed enemy, solved no great problem for humanity, done nothing to develop our resources, taken no part in laying the foundation of State or building its superstructure; who, having done nothing to make their country great, or their age illustrious, now seek to turn the accident of birth into a virtue by an act of Congress.
POVERTY NO BAR TO SUCCESS.
But to my mind, the most important feature in the career of Gen. Shields, the most inspiring lesson to the world, and especially to the ambitious young men of America, is the fact that he was poor; that he had to toil for daily bread, not only for himself, but for his family; that, notwithstanding this poverty, by strong resolution, by lofty purpose, by keeping his eye fixed upon the star of patriotism and of duty, he has won renown and a place in the galaxy of the world's heroes. Every age has produced millions of brilliant and able men, who, failing to keep their eye turned to the sun, losing sight of lofty ideals, gave way to dissipation and carried only indescribable wretchedness to miserable graves.
Every age has produced millions of strong and industrious men who knew no higher God than the dollar, who coined their lives in sordid gold, who gave no thought to blessing the world or lifting up humanity; men who owned ships and palaces and the riches of the earth, who gilded meanness with splendor and then sunk into oblivion. Posterity erected no statue to their memory and there was not a pen in the universe that would even preserve a letter of their names.
Let the young men of America learn from this statue and from the career of Gen. Shields that the paths of virtue and of honor, the paths of glory and immortality are open to them.
SPEECH AT BANQUET TO DIRECTOR GENERAL DAVIS.
[Tendered by Foreign Commissioners, at the Auditorium,
November 11, 1893.)
But few men are so fortunate as to have their narnefc associated with groat affairs. But few men are ever blessed with an opportunity to render their country or their age a service that will hand their names down to posterity. The temple of fame is so carefully guarded by the genii that but few mortals ever en tor it.
Millions of men with high ambition, with pat-^ riotic fervor and noble sacrifice, have had to cou-
tent themselves with the approval of their own conscience and the good opinions of thoir neighbors. They have died in the arms of their families and passed to the shadows beyond without having left even a foot-print on the path they trod. • The man in whose honor we have met to-night has been more highly favored. The fates seem to f> smile on him; again and again have they beckoned
him onward and upward. He served his country as a soldior; he served it in the national halls of legislation; he served it in a position of great financial responsibility, and then the fates beckoned him still higher, and he served his country as Director General of the great Columbian Exposition. Most fortunate man, to have his name prominently associated with the building, the making and the managing of that wonderful World's Fair! Most fortunate are all of the great men whose genius and creative force made and managed that marvel of the age which has placed a wreath of immortality on the brow of this century, and which will emblazon the names of its creators in the temple of achievement, where they will be honored by the generations to come as these read of, talk of, and wonder over the glories of the famous White City.
Gentlemen of the foreign commission, in honoring this distinguished citizen of Illinois you honor our State and honor our people, and you place our State and our people under still greater obligations to you and to your sovereigns and your people.
As I have not heretofore had an opportunity of conveying to you the gratitude of this great State, permit me now to say that in coming as you did from all countries and bringing us the best wishes of your sovereigns, and the highest and best productions of the genius and the industry of your people, you have done us an honor which our people highly appreciate and will take pride in repaying if ever an opportunity offers.
But more than this, by the appreciative and friendly spirit you have shown while with us, by your generous kindness and obliging conduct, you have won for yourselves, your sovereigns and your people, our love and affection.
The exposition has taught its lesson to you and to us. It has pointed the tendency of civilization; it has thown the possibilities of human achievement; it has brought all people nearer together and it has most effectively taught the gospel of peace by showing that peace alone creates. The arm of war destroys, while the world halts; but the hand of peace builds and leads the world upward.
Again, in my view, the exposition has taught that freedom is the great creative and moving force of all progress and of all achievement. Freedom of thought, freedom of speech and freedom of action for the honest man give activity to hand and to brain, and set in motion all the agencies that advance civilization and move the world.
I believe that the country which gives the greatest freedom to its citizens will have the advantage in the future, as it has had in the past, in the race between natious for industrial activity and general development.
You are about to take your departure. You will return to your countries to wrestle with the great national problems which confront you there, while wo struggle with those which confront us here. With many of you it is the question of militarism; the question of saving the mental and physical energy which it destroys and of avoiding the great burdens it entails.
With usthe'great problem is that of industrial and commercial development. Some of us believe that herein we have an advantage because, not having to maintain a largo military establishment, we can direct all this energy and force into the channels of industry and material and intellectual development, and that, having this advantage, we should in time outstrip those nations that are not so fortunate.
But however this may be, let me assure you of our good-will, and say to you that here in Illinois you will ever be kindly remembered, and here you will always find a welcome. Our benedictions will follow you across the seas to your homes in Europe and the Orient, and our prayers will be speak for you the choicest blessings of Divine Providence.