Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/364

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

stabbed the South to the quick, and during all the years of reconstruction turned the dagger found in the festering wound."

"By their fruits ye shall know them." Where are the higher moral aims to which a crusade of "moral ideas" and "higher law" should summon? Territorial magnitude has supplanted compact as basis of union. The prevailing passion is that the committee on insurance of the American Bar Association has called "the riotous desire of bigness." A gigantic egotism: a supreme power cemented by bribes to the phalanx on which that power depends; a Federal force which was ordained for the protection of the citizen from power; perverted to one which exists for the plunder of the citizen by power; all the unclean progeny brought to the birth by the malign mother of predatory trusts; a civil liberty which is the crowned courtesan of all the appetites—are our present help in time of trouble.


The governor of Indiana, in his message of January 5, 1905, stated: "The statistics of political debauchery in this State for 1904, if it were possible to present them, would be nothing short of astounding. * * * In a single county, casting a little more than 5,000 votes, there were in the last campaign nearly 1,200 votes regularly listed as purchaseable, and $15,000 raised by assessments from candidates, and otherwise were spent in efforts to control the county." He called this "the pollution of the very fountain of republican government." The present secretary of state, shortly before his assumption of that office, described the second city in the land as governed by criminals. The question, with him was whether it was capable of honest self-government. It is a solecism to speak of freedom as "corrupt and contented;" yet one might find vouchers for what is claimed to be such bestriding this western world, like a Colossus, from Philadelphia to San Francisco. A government of corruption by consent of the governed is that government of the people or government of them who buy the people? One who in the roll-call of statesmen, without excess of egotism, might answer "Here," McCall, of Massachusetts, is reported to have said, "The nation is about to devour the States." The consequence predicted would seem