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Title: Politics of Alabama
Author: Manning, Joseph C. (Joseph Columbus), 1870-
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Published by the Author

Copyright, 1893, BY J. C. Manning.
All Rights Reserved.


To the patriotic people of Alabama who demand "a free ballot and a fair
count," and believe in honest government, this little book is
fraternally dedicated by the author.

[Illustration: J. C. Manning]













Until recently, embracing the past several months, almost national
attention has been centered upon the politics of Alabama.

Notice was first attracted by the famous Kolb-Jones gubernatorial
contest. This campaign was something novel in the South, for until then,
there had not been, for years, any probability of defeat to the
organized Democracy in Alabama.

However, during the Kolb-Jones political fight, astute "organized"
Democratic leaders soon expressed such grave apprehensions of the
success of their ticket that, only a few weeks before the time had come
for the state election (Aug. 1, 1892), Alabama was in the throes of such
political excitement as had probably never before been known in the
history of that commonwealth. This fervor increased up to the day of
election, when, as is known to the entire country, Capt. R. F. Kolb
swept the state with cyclonic victory, notwithstanding the fact that he
was defrauded by the manipulations of the ballot-box stuffers,
unscrupulous returning-officers and unprincipled members of
canvassing-boards. Another man is to-day occupying the seat to which
Captain Kolb is entitled, with the absolute acquaintance of the
certainty of this statement, and with the perfect knowledge that a vast
majority of the people of Alabama are fully aware that, inasmuch as he
has assumed it wrongfully, he is unworthy of the trust. What a shameful
and revolting spectacle!

President Hayes was never more despised by the people of Alabama, than
is Governor Jones by the common people of his own state.

No better or more interesting recital could be given of the rightful
claims of Captain Kolb, than is made in his open letter, written
December 15, 1892, and addressed to the General Assembly and people of
Alabama. In this letter Captain Kolb makes a demand for justice, gives
well-known facts that are susceptible of proof, makes statements of
particular frauds, and asks why an investigation of the matter is not
permitted and the people allowed to choose their own public servants.
The letter is as follows:


     "As I have so far been denied the official rights conferred upon me
     by a sovereign people, I deem it my duty to address this open
     letter to the members of the Legislature and people of Alabama, and
     respectfully ask for an impartial hearing. 'Let justice be done,
     though the heavens fall.' On the 1st of December, 1892, a
     conscienceless and corrupt oligarchy overturned the republican form
     of government in Alabama, and installed as the _de facto_ governor,
     a man who was not elected to the office. I feel that I am airing no
     mere private or personal grievance in thus protesting against and
     denouncing this great crime against law, order and civil liberty. I
     would be an unfaithful steward and unworthy of the sacred trust
     confided to me by the people of Alabama at the polls in August
     last, if I remained silent under the circumstances. Two years ago
     the Democratic party, in convention assembled, refused to nominate
     for governor the acknowledged choice of a majority of the party.
     For the sake of harmony, I bided my time for another two years,
     believing that the people would then rise in their majesty and
     throw off the tyrannous yoke of party bosses. On the 8th of June
     last, the Democratic party again assembled in state convention, to
     nominate candidates for governor and other state officers, and for
     a second time, the rights and wishes of the people were over-ridden
     by fraud and the unfair use of party machinery in the election of
     delegates thereto. My friends did everything in their power to
     bring about a fair and honorable settlement of all differences
     existing between the two factions of the Democratic party in the
     state. All overtures in this direction were treated with scorn and
     derision by the so-called 'organized' Democracy, and we were forced
     to organize our own state convention, which was composed
     exclusively of life-long Democrats. This convention nominated a
     full state ticket and appealed to the justice-loving hearts of the
     true, sovereign people of Alabama, for their verdict on the first
     Monday in August. The issues between the two factions of the party
     were fully presented by both sides of the controversy, in the most
     memorable campaign ever known in the political history of the
     state. On the first Monday in August, the people spoke at the
     ballot-box in thunder tones and declared that the ticket headed by
     myself for governor, received a majority of over 45,000 of the
     votes cast, fully 25,000 of that majority being white voters. By
     frauds and manipulations on the part of election managers and
     county returning-boards in many counties of the state, this true
     majority of 45,000 for myself for governor, was changed into a
     fictitious majority of about 11,000 for Thomas G. Jones. This state
     of facts was admitted to be true for weeks after the election by
     prominent supporters of Governor Jones throughout the state, who
     did not hesitate to say that the Legislature, when it convened,
     would provide for a prompt and impartial investigation of the
     frauds alleged to have been committed, and would declare who was
     rightfully entitled to the office of governor. Governor Jones
     himself is on record as having used the following language on the
     subject, in an interview with Mr. Chappel Cory, editor of the
     Birmingham _Age-Herald_, on August 21, 1892:

     "'If I am not fairly elected I do not want the office. I intend to
     renew my recommendation, made in February, 1891, to the ensuing
     General Assembly, to pass laws to provide for contests before the
     General Assembly, for governor and the other state offices. There
     can be no doubt that such a law will be passed. You may say further
     that if the limited session allowed by the constitution will not
     give sufficient time to hear and decide such contests as may be
     brought, that I will not hesitate to convene the General Assembly
     in extraordinary session for the purpose. I have neither reason nor
     motive to use the power of the office of governor to hinder or
     embarrass investigation; but, were it otherwise, consecration to
     this great trust would leave me no room for doubt as to the pathway
     of duty and honor, when the happiness and contentment of the people
     lay in the balance against partisan success or personal triumph.'
     Commenting on this interview with Governor Jones, the _Age-Herald_
     said editorially: 'There is now no reason why every honest man
     should not adjourn the discussion of the gubernatorial issue until
     the meeting of the General Assembly. Certainly no honest-minded
     Democrat, however bitterly he may have fought for Captain Kolb, can
     find an excuse for keeping alive the fires of factional strife. The
     statement by Governor Jones, which we publish this morning, leaves
     nothing more to be said until the trial shall come up according to
     the law and the constitution. No settlement of a contest is
     possible except by the General Assembly, and the Governor says in
     plain terms it shall be settled and rightly settled. He goes so far
     as to say that if the constitutional limit of fifty days shall not
     give time for the determination of all contests, he will convene
     the General Assembly in extraordinary session for that purpose.'
     Thus, it is plainly apparent, that Governor Jones and his friends
     are pledged to provide for and abide by a legislative investigation
     and adjudication of the contest. Can Governor Jones and his friends
     afford not to keep their pledges? Will Governor Jones follow 'the
     pathway of duty and honor,' or will he sacrifice both upon the
     altar of 'partisan success and personal triumph?' On the occasion
     of his inauguration as the _de facto_ Governor of Alabama, December
     1, 1892, in making an urgent appeal to the Legislature to largely
     increase the present rate of taxation, Governor Jones declared that
     'the Democratic party can dare to do right.' If he deemed it the
     duty of a Democratic legislature to increase the burdens of an
     already taxridden people, surely he can afford to recommend to this
     same Legislature the necessity of investigating alleged election
     frauds, which impugn the integrity of his title to the office of
     governor, and especially, when these frauds are not denied by his
     supporters or the press friendly to him. In other words, will
     Governor Jones 'dare to do right,' in this grave matter, affecting,
     as it does, the rights of the majority of the sovereign people of
     this commonwealth and the perpetuity of a republican form of
     government in Alabama. Will the Legislature, now assembled on
     Capitol Hill, knowing as they do, that all honest and fair-minded
     men among their constituents demand an investigation, 'dare to do
     right,' and enact a law which will insure that justice shall be
     done and a stigma removed, which will otherwise be a stain upon
     Alabama's fair escutcheon forever? I believe the Legislature will
     rise above paltry partisan feeling, and that after becoming
     convinced of the wishes of their people during the Christmas
     recess, will return to the Capitol and effect a just and speedy
     settlement of this vital question. It has been charged that I have
     deserted the Democratic party. I repudiate the base calumny with
     the scorn of conscious innocence. The Democratic party has always
     been and always will be the party of the people, and the so-called
     'organized' Democratic party of Alabama has simply deserted and
     outraged the people. I am now, as I have ever been, true and
     faithful to the principles of Jeffersonian Democracy. I believe in
     and shall ever contend for 'a government of the people, for the
     people and by the people.' There are men high in the councils of
     the so-called 'organized' Democracy, who while admitting my
     election, declare that because I supported the electoral ticket
     nominated by the Lakeview convention, I should be denied even an
     opportunity to contest before the Legislature for the office to
     which I have been elected; and some go so far as to say that, had I
     not given such support, I would have been legally seated in the
     gubernatorial chair of Alabama, on the 1st of December, 1892. No
     sensible, or honest person will contend that my support of the
     Lakeview electoral ticket can affect the merits of my cause of
     contest or change the facts of the previous August election. For
     that support, I have no apologies to make; for I followed the
     dictates of right and conscience. And besides, I could not
     consistently support the electoral ticket nominated by the
     convention of party bosses at the State-house, because such support
     would have been on my part an indirect indorsement of the frauds
     which I honestly believe were committed against me by these same
     party bosses and their henchmen, in the August election. For taking
     the position I did, it is proclaimed by my enemies that I am
     'politically dead in Alabama.' In reply to this, I would say that,
     when they undertake to lay me away in my political coffin, they
     will find that no amount of abuse and vilification will prevent my
     speedy and triumphant resurrection through the sovereign might of
     an outraged people. The political bosses are hereby notified that
     in the future, as in the past, I will ever be found battling for
     true Jeffersonian Democracy and the rights of the masses. In the
     meantime, thanks to a merciful Providence, being in fine health and
     feeling confident of the continued sympathy and support of my
     fellow citizens, I propose to fight now and fight ever until the
     banner of right and reform is planted on the dismantled fortress of
     fraud and usurpation.

     "For the information of the members of the General Assembly, I
     desire to give some of the facts in detail, showing the truth of
     the charge that the state ticket headed by myself for governor was
     fraudulently counted out, in August last. My information in regard
     to these frauds is of the most authentic character, and I will be
     able to sustain, by convincing proof, every charge alleged. These
     election frauds, to which I call attention, will be startling
     intelligence to the people in the 'white' counties of the state,
     who at present have no adequate conception of their extent and
     enormity. Let us first examine Governor Jones' own home county of
     Montgomery. Every well-informed person in Montgomery county knows
     and admits that the majority of 6,250 returned for Governor Jones,
     was a sham and a fraud. The same old methods were resorted to, that
     have been practised for years. The boast, openly made before the
     election, that our ticket would be 'counted out,' was carried out
     to the letter. It is a known fact and publicly stated, that not
     over 4,000 votes, all told, were actually cast in the August
     election in Montgomery county, and that an honest count of this
     vote would give me not less than 1,500 majority. The return of
     3,561 votes, claimed to have been cast in the two beats of the city
     of Montgomery, every honest citizen knows to be untrue. I charge
     that there were not 1,000 votes actually cast in the two city
     beats, and all over that number counted were uncast ballots. The
     same is true as to the returns from nearly, if not all, the 'black'
     beats of the county. Tickets for the Jones faction were substituted
     for those cast for the Kolb faction, and a large number of uncast
     ballots were counted for Governor Jones and his faction that were
     never voted at all. Uncast ballots were placed in the ballot-boxes
     and counted for Governor Jones purporting to have been cast by men,
     both white and colored, long since dead, and others by men who have
     not lived in the county for years. The poll lists on file in the
     office of the judge of probate, were either destroyed or stolen, to
     prevent copies being furnished, which would show these facts to
     exist. The vote of Montgomery county alone, honestly counted and
     returned as the votes were cast, would show a difference in my
     favor of not less than 7,700 votes. In other words, I carried the
     county by about 1,500 majority, instead of Governor Jones by over
     6,200 as the fraudulent returns show. The same state of facts
     exists as to Lowndes county--over 1,600 majority was returned for
     Governor Jones when, in fact, I carried the county by over 2,000
     majority. In many of the 'black' beats hundreds of ballots cast for
     the Kolb faction were changed for those of the Jones faction, and
     hundreds more of uncast ballots placed in the ballot-boxes and
     counted for Governor Jones, that were never voted at all by anyone.
     The names of hundreds of dead men appear on the poll lists and
     ballots put in for them and counted for Governor Jones. When a copy
     of the poll lists was demanded of the judge of probate, which I
     charge would show these facts to exist, we were informed that said
     copy would be furnished the next day; but lo, and behold! when next
     day came, we were told that the poll lists had been stolen the
     night before. I charge that the vote of Lowndes, honestly counted
     as cast, would give me over 2,000 majority, instead of over 1,600
     majority for Governor Jones, as returned, which would make a
     difference in my favor of over 3,600 votes. The same facts exist as
     to Wilcox county. I charge that not over 3,000 votes were actually
     cast in this county in the August election, and if honestly counted
     I would have received a majority of not less than 500. Yet by fraud
     and ballot-box stuffing and holding back the returns for over a
     week after the election, a majority of over 4,300 was given to
     Governor Jones. An honest count in this county would show 4,500
     votes in my favor. But it was reserved to Dallas county to outdo
     all others, in the way of ballot-box stuffing and fraudulent
     returns, by which a majority of over 6,100 was figured out for
     Governor Jones. An honest count of the vote as actually cast would
     give me over 3,000 majority, making a difference of over 9,000
     votes in my favor, from this county alone. In Selma beat the
     returns show that 2,642 votes were cast, and a majority of over
     2,300 returned for Governor Jones. The facts are, that not
     exceeding 1,400 votes were actually cast in Selma beat, and fully
     600 of those cast were for the Kolb ticket. The census gave Selma
     beat a population of only 7,600, all told, and yet, they return
     2,642 of this population as having voted. One voter out of five is
     above the average of most populations, but Selma has found a way to
     manufacture nearly three voters out of every five of her people. In
     some of the 'black' beats of the county, only thirty to forty votes
     were actually cast, by both white and colored voters, and yet the
     returns give from 400 to 700 majority from these beats, to Governor
     Jones. I charge that not as many votes were cast in the county of
     Dallas for both Jones and Kolb as the majority claimed for Governor
     Jones. The truth is, that Governor Jones did not actually receive
     over 1,300 votes, all told, in the county, and yet he is
     fraudulently given over 6,100 majority. In Perry county the same
     frauds and ballot-box stuffing were resorted to, and hundreds of
     dead men made to vote for Thomas Goode Jones. With an honest count
     of the vote of Perry as actually cast, I would have received a
     majority of over 500 votes, instead of a majority of over 1,800 for
     Governor Jones, as returned, which would make a difference of over
     2,300 votes in my favor. In Hale county, all will remember, that
     the first report received from that county after the election, gave
     me the county by over 1,600 majority, but the political bosses here
     urged them to hold back the returns and 'doctor' them; that the
     'organized' ticket was in great danger and the 'black belt' was
     expected to do her duty. Hale was equal to the emergency, and in a
     few days revised her returns and figured out over 1,200 majority
     for Governor Jones. I charge that the vote of Hale, if honestly
     counted, as actually cast, would give me a majority of over 2,500,
     which would be a difference of over 3,700 in my favor. The same
     irregularities occurred in Greene county, where a true majority of
     over 500 for me was changed into a fictitious majority of 500 for
     Governor Jones, showing a difference of over 1,000 in my favor. In
     Sumpter county my majority was fully 500 more than was returned for
     me, and about the same in Pickens; and in Marengo county, an honest
     count of the vote as cast would have given me the county by a safe
     majority, instead of 1,000 majority for Governor Jones as returned.

     "In Macon county, by fraud and manipulations, a true majority of
     about 2,000 for me was reduced to a little over 700. In Bullock
     county, by frauds, manipulations and partisan abuses by county
     returning-boards, a majority of over 1,800 was given Governor Jones
     when, in fact, if he was entitled to any majority at all, it
     should have been less than 200. In Autauga county an honest count
     of the vote actually cast, would have given me the county by at
     least 500 majority, but by ballot-box stuffing and fraudulently
     counting-out votes cast for the Kolb ticket and substituting Jones
     tickets instead, a small majority was falsely returned for Governor
     Jones. In all these 'black belt' counties a majority of the judges
     of probate, sheriffs and clerks, whose duty it was to appoint the
     inspectors of elections, were friends of Governor Jones, and in
     most of the counties, the rights of the Kolb faction were utterly
     ignored, and no friend of mine permitted to act as manager or clerk
     at any of the beats. Only at a few 'white' beats, in any of these
     counties, were we allowed any representation. My political enemies
     were not satisfied with this great wrong done me in the 'black
     belt' counties but invaded some of the 'white' counties, and by
     fraud and manipulation in the beats, or by partisan action on the
     part of county returning-boards, on the Saturday following the
     election, robbed me of over 10,000 votes to which I was justly
     entitled. In Conecuh county I received a majority of 1,235 votes,
     and yet, by throwing out boxes and robbing others, this majority
     was all wiped out, and a false majority of 270 given to Governor
     Jones. In Pike county I received a majority of 910 votes and the
     returns from eleven beats, giving me large majorities, were thrown
     out or destroyed by the county returning-board, and a majority of
     55 given to Governor Jones. The contests in both of these counties
     (Conecuh and Pike) have been virtually decided in my favor by Judge
     Hubbard, in his decision in the contest cases for judge of probate
     in each county. His opinion, as rendered, being in favor of Dr. R.
     A. Lee, of Conecuh, and T. H. Brown, of Pike, both of whom were
     candidates for probate judge on the Kolb ticket. In like manner, as
     in Conecuh and Pike, I was robbed of over 1,000 votes in Butler,
     over 1,000 in Elmore, over 600 in Coosa, over 700 in St. Clair,
     over 700 in Shelby, over 100 in Chilton, over 1,000 in Talladega,
     over 500 in Walker, over 1,000 in Morgan and over 1,000 in Madison.
     I have given plain and unvarnished facts, as I believe them to
     exist, and positively assert that a fair and impartial investigation
     will prove every statement made, to be true. It may be asked why the
     evidence is not here adduced to prove these allegations. If adduced
     here, these same parties would say that it was all _ex parte_ and
     that it would be controverted and destroyed, if both sides should be
     heard. Besides, they know that the details necessary to be recounted
     as to each beat in so many counties, would make a summary too
     voluminous to be incorporated in an address. All I ask is that a
     full, fair and impartial investigation shall be had and that a true
     judgment may be rendered. If Governor Jones and his friends are not
     afraid of truth, equity and justice, why do they refuse? If the
     effect would only be to remove a cloud from his title to the office,
     would he not gladly embrace such an opportunity? 'But there's the
     rub.' They well know that an investigation would disclose frauds and
     manipulations which could not be defended, and would prove his claim
     to the office of governor wholly unfounded upon right. That is why
     they dare not permit an investigation. That is why some of them talk
     so glibly what they would not dare to utter over their own
     signatures. That is why the Legislature has treated this matter with
     silence, while patriotic representatives of the people have urged and
     insisted upon action, so that justice might be done, and right
     triumph. Every honest man knows that Governor Jones has no shadow of
     claim to the office of governor. The people, by their votes in
     August, relegated him to private life for the next two years, and yet
     he is sitting up at the Capitol upon a lot of stuffed ballot-boxes
     from the 'black belt,' and claiming his election. Some of his best
     friends have publicly declared that he could not afford to hold the
     office in the face of such fraudulent returns, and if he persisted
     in doing so, he would go down to posterity more despised than
     Rutherford B. Hayes. I am only contending for what is right. As a
     native-born citizen of Alabama, and one who has always endeavored
     to serve my people and state to the best of my ability, both in
     time of war and in time of peace, I feel that I have a right to
     demand that justice be done. Thousands of true men all over this
     great commonwealth honored me with their support in the August
     election, and in their name I demand of the Legislature, a prompt
     and impartial investigation of this matter. These people represent
     a majority of the white voting population and demand a respectful
     hearing. I beg you, members of the Legislature, not to mistake the
     temper of these people. Remember that a large majority of them have
     been life-long Democrats. While they don't believe in, and never
     will submit to the domination of a few party bosses, yet they do
     believe in the time-honored principles of pure Jeffersonian
     Democracy. They have been the true, the tried and unflinching
     Democrats, who have heretofore fought the battles and won the
     victories of the party in Alabama. True to its noble cause, true to
     every great principle, and true to every demand of patriotism upon
     them, they have been in the fore-front of every contest when
     victory was won, and the firm and immovable, the true and faithful
     guardians of its cause, in every defeat we have ever sustained.
     Many of these people were gallant soldiers in the late war, and
     since 1865 have been battling for the Democratic party in Alabama.
     Many of them have reared sons, in whose breasts they early planted
     the principles of true Democracy, and taught them that it was the
     party of the people. They believe that Democracy means that the
     people shall rule, and that white people should govern Alabama.
     They now feel that a few political bosses are undertaking to
     overthrow a republican form of government in this state. I warn you
     to stop and reflect. Don't trifle with these people longer. Let
     justice be done, and sweet Peace will again spread her white wings
     over our beloved state.

     "R. F. KOLB.

     "Montgomery, Ala., Dec. 15, 1892."

Nothing but silence answers this scathing arraignment of the Democratic
party of Alabama. The burning charges of corruption and robbery meet no
rebuttal; none could truthfully be made. Many weeks after the publication
of Captain Kolb's letter, the Birmingham _Age-Herald_, of March 3, 1893,
contained a remarkable editorial confession, headed: "That Political
Pest,"--which may enable one to form some opinion of the sentiment of the
average Jones Democrat regarding the Kolb-Jones contest and "dispute" over
the election. This quotation from the editorial will prove quite

     "Now the fact is that the Populists will fight the Democratic party
     in 1894 on the issue of the last August election, and their cry
     will be so many variations of the contest matter. The plain facts
     of this matter had as well be understood first as last. If Captain
     Kolb and the other gentlemen who ran on his ticket had supported
     Cleveland and held good their claims to being Democrats, a contest
     law would have been enacted. Public sentiment would have compelled
     it, and the dispute over the election would have been legally
     settled, and in all probability Governor Jones would have been
     governor just as he is now. But when Captain Kolb and his fellow
     candidates on his state ticket, went bodily over to Mr. Harrison
     and conspired with Chris Magee, public sentiment revolted. From
     that moment all possibility of a contest law vanished. The
     organized Democracy would not hear to yielding an inch of ground,
     and all the influence of Governor Jones himself could not have
     availed to procure a contest law from the Legislature. That is a
     plain statement of fact. That is the shape it will assume in 1894.
     In the meanwhile, if we begin the campaign already, how are we
     going to have any rest?"

As is easily apparent from reading the foregoing editorial, the principal
excuse of the "machine bosses" as to why the office of governor was stolen
from Captain Kolb, is "because he did not support Cleveland!" This silly
twaddle about Captain Kolb going over to Harrison, is just such
nonsensical stuff as the average of Alabama Democratic editors deem fit to
feed the Democratic "gods and little fishes" on. What other available
matter have they, when truth, right and reason have forever departed from
their sanctums and from their cause?



Excepting those who have resided in the South, few people outside have
any true conception whatever, of what means a contest against the fixed
ideas and established policies of the ruling element in this section.
Not until recently have the searching currents of thought inundated, to
a great and perceptible extent, the foundations of bitter prejudice that
have been the main basis of the monster political structure which has
towered in its glory in the South since the days of reconstruction. For
a long time, few there were who would dare to revolt against its darkened
walls, lest they might forever be driven from the shadow of its wings.

It is no idle charge that is embodied in the frequent statement that the
"par" prejudiced Democratic politicians in Alabama will adopt any method,
foul or fair, _especially foul_, that may perpetuate the control of that
party, in this state. And it has been the dire dread of becoming a victim
of just such venomous partisans as these that has awed aspiring men of
this state into party line and once made it seriously doubtful whether
any able man would jeopardize his political prospects by being so bold as
to stand out in opposition to the "Democracy (?) of Alabama," and its
shadowy practices, which Southern young men have been taught by
gray-haired parents to believe justifiable.

When, for once, the prejudice of the leaders and the animosity of the
rabble of the Democratic party is fully aroused and incited against any
person who would ally himself with the opposition, then the subject of
this ardent persecution may expect that never will he, nor his seed, go
forgotten by an unrelenting foe, until such prejudice-bearing life is

The time has been when Alabama Democrats would not concede it a
right for a Southern voter to be anything else than a "booster"
for the "machine bosses." The privilege to oppose the Democratic
party--considering the treatment accorded those who lately antagonized
that party in the South--is generally supposed by "Bourbons" not to
exist, even now.

During the heat of political campaigns,--and especially was it the case
in Alabama last year,--every imaginable pressure is brought to bear upon
those who do not see fit to support the Democratic ticket. Ostracism is
practised in both social and business life. Merchants withhold supplies
from farmers, wealthy landlords threaten the discharge of their tenants,
and mortgage-holders talk wildly of foreclosures, to those who express a
desire to exercise the right of franchise according to their own belief
and as free men of a so-called free republic. In no other section of the
country are such political forces as these exerted to so radical a
degree, or is the "party lash" wielded with so tremendous a flourish.
The "party lash" cracker must be devised so as to "drive them into
line;" it makes no difference what the nature of the material may be, if
its popping is fitting for the time and purpose.



The rank and file of Democrats in Alabama, until recently, have blindly
drifted along, neglecting every interest. Thinking of nothing else,
scarcely, than "machine boss" protection from the near approach of some
highly-pictured prospective woe, ever since before the late war, when
slaveholders waved the party lash and popped the cracker of "secession
or ruin,"--until now, when the sons of ex-slaveholders, and others that
form the "domineering bossism" in Alabama, pop the cracker of "Democracy
or negro rule." From the time when the "old plantation darkey," hat in
hand, stood humbly before his master to hear that he was no longer a
chattel slave, until now, the "bulldozing" ex-slaveholding lord has
"blowed" about the danger of "negro rule" and the sons of this class of
office-holding hierarchy have as blusteringly echoed the farce. They
failed to remember that it was the wrinkled hands of the old colored
slave that were stretched out in protection over his master's loved ones
when the deadly flash and quaking thunder of battle threatened Southern
homes, and they soon unkindly pictured them as demon clutches. There is
no reasonable ground for fear of "negro supremacy." It is the domination
of the man with the black heart, without special reference to "hide,"
that the yoemanry of Alabama must really fear. It is not the supremacy
of the negro that curses, or may curse the white productive classes, but
it is the supremacy of "machine bosses" who, through the fraudulent
manipulation of the ballot-box in counties with a predominance of
colored population, roll up fictitious and enormous majorities in order
to defeat the will of the white people of other counties. This
white-"hided," black-hearted class, which has always popped the cracker
of "negro supremacy" are now those who wrongfully dominate a majority of
the white people of Alabama on account of stuffed ballot-boxes
extravagantly based upon a negro population. The "antediluvian,"
ex-slaveholding Democrat has talked much about this or that party being
a "negro party," but for a certainty this Pharisaical set can now see in
their own "dear old Democratic party" in Alabama a full-fledged "negro
party." The Kolb-Jones election demonstrates this fact. Jones having
received majorities in no other than "black belt" counties. Be it said
to the credit of the "black belt" negroes, however, they protest that
they did not vote for Jones and are amazed that the country has palmed
the Democratic party of Alabama, and the responsibility for its
existence, off on them. The national election in Alabama, a fac-simile
of the state election, sustains the apparently dark complexion of that

The "Force Bill" cracker is another very available "party lash" snap.
Democratic campaign orators never fail to picture, in their denunciation
of this hobgoblin, burly negroes guarding the polls with bayonets while
timid white men come trembling forward to deposit their ballots. "Unless
the Democratic ticket is elected, such a state of affairs will most
certainly exist," shouts the office-holder, and there are, even now,
voters in Alabama who are simple enough to believe it. No party
advocates or indorses a measure of any such provisions, yet the people
of the South are told that a vote against the Democratic party means the
support of just such a state of affairs, and if possible, something
worse. It is argued by Democrats, that under such a perilous
probability, no farmer could justly consider his empty pocket,
poverty-stricken home, overworked and shabbily-clothed family, and
poorly-educated children, "and go off to discussing the money question."

Until of recent years, the rank and file of the people in Alabama
usually "kicked up the dust" in their terrible display of hostility to
anything antagonistic to the Democratic party. In the meantime, the
"machine bosses" wielded the "party lash" and popped the snap crackers
over their heads; ingeniously playing upon their passions and
prejudices, and always holding the offices.



The people of Alabama were plunged into the bloody, surging sea of
trouble in the sixties by the same extremist element in the South, which
has more than once ruled more desperately than wisely, and is, in times
of great emergency, scarcely conservative or sensible. The writer often
imagines he can hear some of these same old blustering members of the
ex-slave- and present office-holding hierarchy exciting the common
people back before the sixties with their now "moss-covered" harangues,
and wonders if some of the common herd could again be herded by these
same herdsmen and be driven into another conflict of "a poor man's fight
and a rich man's war."

If it had not been for the rash domination of this "rule or ruin" element
in the South at that time, there is no doubt but that "the war between the
States" could have been averted, with far greater advantage to the people
of this section.

The masses of the people of Alabama were not at heart secessionists, but
it is, as heretofore, unwritten truth that this state was seceded
fraudulently by the original "machine bosses" who dictated the seating
of the delegates in the "secession convention," and who ruthlessly
sacrificed the lives and property of the poor in a vain endeavor to add
to the coffers of the rich landlord by further enslaving humanity.

Reformers in Alabama are to-day fought hardest and persecuted most by
the sons of the class of men who fought the poor white man during the
late war and spoliated his meagre possessions, in order that the
shackles might be kept on the ankles of the black man so the rich
landlord could prolong his princely ways. Opposing the present movement
for universal industrial freedom are represented those who have
strangled Liberty at every stage of her growth, and who respect the
needs of the poor white man now, as little as they did the wants of the
poor slaves then.

The common people always fight all the battles in times of war, create
all the wealth in periods of peace; but, whether in the battle of blood
or the struggle for bread, they have never reaped a substantial benefit
from either contest. They have been engaged in a prolonged, though
varying struggle, all down the history of the ages, and greed and
avarice have always sapped their energies and sucked their life-blood.

Such is truly a too real recital of the actual experience of the Alabama
citizen ex-soldier, as he now is in the ranks of "the common masses of
the common people," battling for bread with about as much hope of
reaping a happy reward in this contest, as he had of winning a
soul-swelling victory in that of the sixties. How sad is the narrative
of the real life of the average Alabamian, who has always been loyal to
the political leaders of his native state, worshiping even at the shrine
of the name "Democracy," but, after years of toil, privation and
endurance, approaches the verge of eternity unable to bequeath a
heritage of neither full-fledged liberty nor free-titled land to
uneducated, homeless and hopeless children.



Some species of the brute creation open their eyes in nine days, but
some of the poor, blinded and burden-bearing creatures of humanity
scarcely ever succeed in getting their eyes fully open to the light of
God's blessed bestowals to mankind. Others soon realize the
repulsiveness of the black shadows that enthrall them and bite the dust
in anguish in their struggle to be free. And often, when higher reason
fails to prompt one to action, unsatiated appetite constitutes a
never-failing reminder. As necessity is the mother of invention, so is
poverty productive of thought. The earlier one's condition is reduced to
want, the sooner will the thought "materialize into action." Thus it is
with the debt-ridden toiler, the farmless farmer and the produceless
producer in their unrest in Alabama to-day. The general want has
produced general thought. Thought has instituted inquiry. Investigation
has inaugurated a revolt. The opposition to the Democratic party was, in
this manner, born out of want. Term it the "third party," or whatever
you may choose, it is really a necessary party; and its growth will
continue as long as the wants and demands of the neglected productive
interests go unheeded.

The ingenious old party leaders may appeal to the passions of some; the
"Force Bill," like Banquo's ghost, may continue to "bob up;" the farcial
cry of "negro supremacy" may again fill the air; but the wide-awake
spirit is becoming prevalent, and these politicians, instead of being
absorbed with the tar-_iff_, will soon be astounded at the tear-_off_
from the Democratic party.

The feeling of the usurer's grasp is more likely, hereafter, to convince
the possessor of the ballot of his duty, than will the artful arraying
of one section by corporation talent. The presence of the legislative
curse that makes the over-producing producer produceless, will, in days
soon to come, more largely influence a vast majority of the citizens of
this state in the exercise of their inalienable will, than will the
Democratic hobgoblin of the farcial prospective (?) "Force Bill." The
appeal for education that comes from the innocent eyes of little
children, as they caress a weary mother's careworn face, shall soon
carry more force of persuasion with the voter than will the bluster of
office-seekers in their feigned warnings of "negro rule;" and the father
will then seek to hand down to his children the magic wand that is
dispelling brutishness from the face of all the earth.

Thought having once inundated the passion-played Southern public mind,
an awakening is begun, and, aroused to an appreciation of affairs as
they exist, the rank and file of the people of Alabama are in an
astounding state of agitation. Some idea of the extent of this unrest
can be derived by recalling to mind the results of the last elections.
This change in public sentiment, and attainments of the reform crusaders
against the organized Democracy, will best be appreciated by an
understanding of the campaign intolerance and election methods which
have made the "Bourbon" historic, and which is fast making all those who
believe in keeping sacred our free institutions, shrink from the support
of men of such a party and a party of such methods and men.



The revolt of the common people of Alabama against the "machine bosses"
is, simply speaking, a revolution against revolutionists; and the
increasing strength of the former is rapidly developing the intolerant
spirit of the latter. This savage-natured sentiment that has characterized
the campaign policy of the Democratic party of the South in its treatment
of the opposition, has often received the scathing criticism of many a
caustic pen. Yet nothing too severe could be said in its condemnation.

It is the most idle and hollow mockery for any writer or any newspaper
to attempt to repudiate the rightful accusation, so long made, that the
Democratic party in the South is responsible for the campaign intolerance
that is practiced in this section. These outbursts of violence in the
South and in Alabama are but the spasmodic ventings of an overwrought
public sentiment that has been instilled and tutored by the press and
leaders of that party ever since the war. In reality, not half has been
told of the attempts at stifling free speech in Alabama.

Although the entire record of the "Bourbon" element is indeed unenviable
and astonishing, yet, never before in the history of Southern Democratic
campaign ruffianism had this spirit reached the height of deviltry
displayed during 1892, in Alabama. With organized rabbles at their back,
and partisan courts at their faces, political bullies openly boasted of
their lawlessness and engaged in their dastardly outrages defiant to
morality, honesty, conscience or prosecution.

During the last weeks of the Kolb-Jones campaign this barbaric nature
was beginning to be fully drawn out; the most cowardly demonstration of
its existence having first been made at Florence, Ala., where the writer
was attacked at midnight, July 27, by a mob that had assembled at the
depot to do him violence upon his departure from the town. The mob, as
was stated by dispatches published in the Democratic press, consisted of
"fifty enraged citizens." The riotous crowd was incited and collected by
partisans, for no other than a political cause; and had it not been that
the writer succeeded in reaching the platform of the car unobserved, no
doubt but that he would have been egged, stoned, or shot to death. The
lights had been extinguished in the depot, which is located in a desolate
part of the town, and every other arrangement was seemingly made for the
doing of a dark and bloody deed. These villainous plans proved, however,
to be advantageous to the writer, who escaped a brutally-designed
assassination by getting on the platform of the car before the shower of
missiles had commenced. The writer's hat suffered ruin from the
"indignation," and a Memphis & Charleston car was turned into the shops
spattered and battered. Herewith is given a letter, referring to the
Florence incident, and as its author is one of Alabama's most eminent
ministers, this document will prove valuable literature:

     "Study of L. F. WHITTEN,
         Pastor M. E. Church, South.
             JASPER, Ala., Aug. 1, 1892.

     "My dear Brother Manning:

     "As soon as I have the time, I hasten to tender to you my sincere
     sympathies for the barbarous and uncivilized treatment you received
     at Florence a few days since. The correspondent of the _Age-Herald_,
     who lives at Florence, saw 'an amusing sight last night to see the
     boasted disciple of Kolbism, J. C. Manning, run from a volley of
     rotten eggs thrown by fifty enraged men.' He could have seen in this
     'amusing sight,' the return of the Spanish Inquisition and diabolic
     intolerance of barbarism, had he been able to look ahead. This was
     outrageous and inhuman treatment for which I assure you I am full of
     regrets. I am ashamed that it has happened in Alabama or the South.
     This spirit shown you, and the abuse heaped upon you, if not
     denounced and punished speedily, will culminate in the hottest
     persecution of an honest minority; which will prohibit free speech
     and destroy the right to oppose the majority, although that majority
     be led by the devil himself. If that spirit is not rebuked in our
     state and the righteous indignation of our people does not stamp it
     out swiftly, then the darkest days of the Rebellion will be bright
     as compared to those to follow. This spirit will invade the pulpit
     and go into the sanctum of the editor, and sermons will have to be
     pleasant, pacific and agreeable, and editors must agree with those
     in authority, or else the minister will be driven out of town, and
     the editor will be rotten-egged or swung up by the thumbs! If that
     comes to pass, then give me a monarchical government. I should
     greatly prefer to appeal to Cæsar, than to an enraged mob of 'fifty
     or more citizens' (?) fired up with red liquor, and thirsting for
     the blood of the man who differs from them,--a set of brainless,
     heartless sapheads. I heard a gentleman who saw it, denounce it as
     the most villainous thing he ever saw in a land of freedom. He does
     not belong to your party,--neither do I,--but he was for you. You
     keep on, if you die at your post. Mobs to-day, mausoleums to-morrow.
     The party that resorts to such tactics may ride the top of the wave
     to-day, but the good time is coming when that rotten and rum-soaked
     method will be buried out of sight under an avalanche of ballots of
     brave men, who scorn the rotten-egg method of answering brainy
     arguments, which 'Bourbons' have not sense enough to meet in any
     other way. For my part, I do not believe in intolerance. The day has
     passed to allow it. God holds the reins of government. Life, liberty
     and free speech are our own inalienable rights. To destroy these, as
     the mobs would do, is to muzzle the press, kill the stump-speaker,
     and hang the preacher who does not court popular applause, and who
     defies public sentiment that is wrong.

     "Cordially yours for the Right,
          L. F. WHITTEN."

     "P. S. I said I do not belong to your party. I am a political
     Prohibitionist, and pray for the day to dawn when the sober and
     sensible and honest manhood of our country may get together and
     rule it.

     "L. F. W."

Other instances of this frenzied partisan madness soon abounded. But the
most wicked resort of Democratic party passion, be it said to its
eternal shame, was made upon Col. J. M. Whitehead, editor of _The Living
Truth_, Georgiana, Ala. Not content with destroying peace, planning and
attempting midnight assassinations, hooting and howling at public
meetings, these haters of civil liberty and "dying hard" Democrats come
forth in their extreme infernalism, and hurl eggs at a gray-haired,
one-legged, ex-Confederate soldier and citizen of irreproachable
manhood. In response to a request for a statement on this subject, the
writer received the following reply from Colonel Whitehead:

     "GREENVILLE, Ala., April 3, 1893.

     "J. C. Manning:

     "_Dear Sir_,--You ask me to write to you some of my experiences
     during the campaign last year with our friends, the organized
     Democracy. Knowing their methods so well, their 'wild and woolly'
     ways did not surprise me. I had some experiences with them in 1884,
     when I was an independent candidate for Congress in this district,
     against Herbert. At Ross Hill, Covington county, I was set upon by
     their tools, who had been organized before to kill me. It was a
     miracle that the plan failed. As it was, I had an arm broken, a
     shoulder dislocated and was left for dead on the ground. I had just
     closed a speech in which I had exposed the unfaithfulness of their
     Congressman (the nominee), which I had been doing for the past two
     weeks and he had heard of it. He is now the Secretary of the Navy!
     I had challenged him to a joint discussion and he had declined. He
     was a Confederate soldier and so was I. I had lost a leg and he had
     lost the use of an arm, but nothing of this kind could stand in the
     way of his ambition. I never had any doubt but that he and his
     henchmen instigated this cowardly assault upon me. Last year, most
     of my speeches were made in the 'white counties' where our friends
     are largely in the majority. I went to Union Springs, in Bullock
     county,--a 'black county'--to engage the Hon. W. C. Oates in a
     joint debate. He declined and I made no attempt to speak. As I was
     leaving on the train from the depot that night, I was honored with
     a shower of eggs coming through the car window at which I was
     sitting. They passed within a few inches of my nose and breaking on
     the other side of the car, fell on the good clothes of an
     enthusiastic Democrat. Of course he was mad, while I was in the
     best possible humor. I did the laughing and he did the swearing. It
     took place as the train moved off, so that there was no chance to
     investigate who the parties were. They were under the cover of
     darkness, and doubtless will there remain."

     "Most respectfully,
         J. M. WHITEHEAD."

"They are under the cover of darkness, and doubtless will there remain."
What manner of Democracy (?) is this, which forms a prominent part of
the nation's administration--even entering the make-up of the cabinet of
the President! It is no surprise that an opposition cause to such a
party as this Democracy (?) would dare to undergo the most trying
difficulties in its struggle to maintain freedom of speech and to
sustain human liberty; it is no wonder that the Southern champions of
reform dare to preserve law, protect home and have honest government.



"Bourbon" campaign intolerance, ballot-box stuffing and other similar
crimes against human liberty have become a common practice in the
political contests in Alabama. It is said frequently by the opposition
in this state that one's skill in fraudulent election manipulation wins
promotion in the councils of the Democratic party. It is also not untrue
that voters who have been accomplices in perpetrating election frauds
have been rewarded with official positions "on account of efficient
services rendered the party."

The election law in Alabama was framed for facilitating fraud as an
alleged necessity for protection from negro supremacy. But, once having
secured the "machine," the "bosses" have taken advantage of this
"original purpose," and have carried the practice of stealing ballots so
far as to feloniously take white men's votes in order to preserve the
"machine" intact. This practice has been carried out to such an
outrageous extent that an overwhelming majority of "white" ballots have
frequently been reversed by the "machine bosses" in order to continue
the evolution of the office-holding hierarchy. The original ballot-box
stuffing law has been recently displaced by another equally as
iniquitous. This new law was enacted at the last session of the
Legislature and is known as the "Sayre Election Bill." As fair and able
criticism that has been made of this bill appeared in the _Alliance
Herald_, Montgomery, Ala., edited by Frank Baltzell, one of the ablest
and most forcible writers in the South. The _Alliance Herald_ says of
this measure:

     "The law should be captioned, 'A Bill to be entitled an Act to
     Perpetuate the Frauds which have heretofore been practiced in
     Alabama.' It is very ingenious in its draft, very adroit in its
     omissions and very mischievous in its operations. The principal
     idea in the bill is that it absolutely puts the control of
     elections in this state into the control of the inspectors of
     elections, by making everything about voting so hedged about by
     secrecy that it is impossible to ever get the evidence of any fraud
     that may be committed, and by making them the absolute directors
     and controllers of those who may not be able to read and write. The
     principal omission of the bill is that it does not provide for the
     appointment of inspectors from each party or faction, or rather
     fails to make provision for the enforcement of the existing section
     in the code which provides for it, effective and certain to be
     enforced. All the frauds in the elections are due to that defect.
     The probate judge, clerk and sheriff do not pretend to enforce the
     law fairly. Appeal to the courts to secure enforcement is a farce,
     as appeal from the decision of the court delays the application of
     the remedy, if the supreme court should order it, until after the
     election shall be past. Each party or faction should be guaranteed,
     under a heavy penalty upon these officers, fair and just
     representation in the management, by having at least one inspector
     and one clerk--those, too, whose names shall be suggested; for to
     appoint one ignorant, careless or indifferent inspector, to watch
     two inspectors and two clerks, is folly. The average ballot-box
     stuffer can count out every time, when that is done. One man is
     needed to watch the one who reads the ballot, and another to watch
     the clerks. Without these two, the 'slick' artist can count out
     every time. This omission in the bill makes it safer than the
     present law, for a voter can now keep a list, and those of his
     party can give their names and voluntarily tell him for whom they
     voted, and thereby afford evidence available in a contest. This
     bill purposely does away with this right by putting all the power
     in the hands of the inspectors and keeping everybody fifty feet
     away from any evidence whatever. The law is almost wholly devoted
     to how voting shall be done. Nobody is concerned about that.
     Everybody wants to know how the counting will be done, or how the
     stuffing will be prevented. That power is kept securely in the
     hands of the inspectors, and the inspectors' appointment is equally
     as firmly kept in the hands of the judge of probate, clerk and
     sheriff. That may seem a very adroit way of perpetuating fraud, but
     it is neither smart, shrewd nor fair.

     "The law provides for booths or stalls--one for each fifty voters as
     shown by the preceding election. One voter at a time gets a ticket
     from an inspector, goes into the booth and is allowed five minutes
     to prepare his ticket. If he cannot read or use his hands to make a
     cross mark opposite each name of the candidate for whom he desires
     to vote, the inspector appoints one of the partisans of his
     party--not the voter's--to fix the ticket. He will fix it, too.
     Nobody can see or hear what transpires between the voter and this
     appointed manipulator. No penalty is provided for deceiving or
     wrongly marking the ticket. All the frauds about that feature are
     protected. When it is marked, the voter casts it. Why not number
     it, so that it can be identified in case of contest or dispute?
     That would prevent fraud, and is not wanted. No one is allowed
     within fifty feet of the voting place nor the booths. There is
     great particularity about the way the ticket shall be prepared, and
     none shall be voted unless they shall have the initials of the
     inspector who hands them out, on the ticket. Any other ticket, if
     voted, shall not be counted. There is another chance for fraud.
     Suppose the inspector refuses to mark his initials on the tickets,
     there is no penalty and each one can refuse and defeat the

     "The law requires the registration of voters to be completed the
     first twelve days in June, before the August and November
     elections. Before registering for each election, the voter must
     present his poll-tax receipt. When he registers he gets a
     registration certificate. When he votes he must present this
     registration certificate and leave it with the inspector. The way
     is not plain how it will get back to him, when he delivers it in
     August and desires to vote in November, but it is supposed that he
     will have a slim or good chance at that, as he shall be in accord
     or opposition to the officer who ought to return it. If the
     registrar fails to act after he shall be appointed, there is no way
     for the voters of the beat to register that year; the probate judge
     and registrar can manage that little trick so as to disfranchise
     all the opposition beats with heavy majorities. The probate judge
     can appoint another, but there is no penalty for not serving nor
     for the appointment of an incompetent registrar. That feature is
     well fixed. The bill provides penalties for everything to protect
     secrecy, but nothing to protect the honesty of the count. It seems
     to proceed on the assumption that the principal thing about an
     election is secrecy, and that the honest expression of the will of
     the voters is not to be protected. The inspectors will fix that for
     the party to which they belong and the probate judge will see that
     no other party or faction has any chance or prospect. As a remedy
     for the troubles now complained of in the state, the bill is wholly
     at variance from everything needed. It simply puts in the power of
     the probate judge, clerk and sheriff of a county the power to
     control every election."

The foregoing review of the "Sayre Election Law," is no more than a just
exposure of a legislative document devised and enacted for the
subversion of the will of the people. In other language, this law is
nothing more nor nothing less than a legalized plot to commit treason
against a republican form of government.

With the registration of voters and the management of elections in their
own hands, the "machine bosses" of the "black belt" never fail to return
any majority "that is needed." As an instance of this corruption, let us
refer to the vote of last August, and of last November, in some of the
polling places in the "black belt" counties. In the city of Montgomery,
when in fact less than 1,000 votes were cast in August, 3,561 votes were
returned. Some weeks after the state election, one of the managers of
election in Beat 5 in Montgomery county, stated to Captain Kolb that
there were about 200 votes actually cast in this beat in the August
election and that the Kolb ticket received over one hundred and fifty of
them, and Jones the balance, but the returns gave Jones over four
hundred majority! This statement was made to Captain Kolb unsolicited,
and by a man who said he had voted for Jones, but was suffering from a
punctured conscience on account of the wrong he had done the people of
Alabama and himself, by assisting in ballot-box stuffing. Hundreds of
similar cases that occurred in the August election may be given, where
the ballot-boxes were not only stuffed, but the count reversed.

During the session of the Legislature, at the time of the election of
district court solicitors for the present term, a gentleman who happened
to be in Montgomery at the time, found the following letter on the floor
in the office of the Merchants' Hotel:

     "HATCH., Nov. 8, 1892.

     "MR. J. V. SMITH, Seale, Ala.:

     "We are going to be 'snowed under' here to-day. Our only hope is to
     be able to throw out the box. Write me by this P. M. mail the most
     complete plan to do it. Would too many ballots in the box do it? or
     which is best?"

     "Yours, L. 3--3.--"

The envelope which contained this interesting letter, was addressed "J.
V. Smith, Esq., Seale, Ala.," and bears the postmark--"Hatchechubbee,
Ala., Nov. 8, 1892." This letter revealed "election methods." Upon
investigation, it was learned that Hatchechubbee is a small box of not
over 300 votes and that it took two days to do the counting, and then, in
spite of being "snowed under," the Democratic ticket claimed 79 majority!
It is only ten miles from Seale to Hatchechubbee. At Oswichee, a beat in
the same county of Russell,--in which is Hatchechubbee,--there were 74
more votes in the box than were voters' names on the poll list. Just such
"double-dealing" as this, no doubt, won Cleveland's majority in this
county. It is useless to add that "J. V. Smith" is an office-holder. He
was elected solicitor for the present term in the Third Congressional
District. As to "L. 3--3.--" it will be noticed that the letter _C_ is
third in the alphabet, which makes "L. 3.--3.--" when the letter _C_ is
used in place of "3.--3." read "L. C. C." This "L. C. C., Hatchechubbee,
Ala.," is quite partisan in his feelings and is very much disturbed in
his sleep with nightmares of "negro supremacy!"

"Doctoring" registration lists is an effective way of preventing boxes
from being thrown out on account of not having enough names on the poll
list. In some of the "black belt" counties these lists are very sacred,
as they contain the names of many dead negroes and good coon-dogs. An
ex-sheriff of Marion county stated to the writer that, in the discharge
of the duties of that office several years ago, it became necessary for
him to save his own life by killing a negro criminal, who had attacked
him. The ex-sheriff said that the occurrence often came to his mind,
which was full of regrets because of the affair. "However," said he, "I
am now feeling easy over the affair, as upon examining the registration
lists at the court-house a few days ago, I found the name of this same
negro registered, and learned that he was voted for Jones."

Many are the ways by which the Democratic party has overcome any
opposition in Alabama. "Doctoring" registration lists, stuffing
ballot-boxes, reversing the count, throwing out election returns, etc.,
has been quite a pastime for the "machine bosses." And soon they will
begin to realize "the cost of their game."

Suppose the opposition party, which now has control of thirty-nine
counties out of the sixty-six in the state, should resort to the
shameful election tactics of the Democratic party! Who could picture
the termination of such a result? Referring to such a revolutionary
improbability, the _Alliance Herald_ says:

     "When the thirty-nine 'white' counties shall commence to count, if
     they should regard that as the last resort, the figures in a state
     election would be as startling as amusing. Think of Dallas rolling
     up 10,000 majority one way, and Etowah rolling up 12,000 for the
     opposing ticket. Then let Montgomery roll up her 7,000 and see how
     they would compare with Coosa's 7,000 or Cleburne's 5,000. Then let
     Wilcox come serenely forward with her usual 6,000 and DeKalb call
     her hand with 7,000. Lowndes, too, could bob up serenely with her
     6,000 and Dale could 'see her' with as blossoming a rose of
     innocence in a game she does not understand and show up 6,000. The
     'white' counties have been holding aloof, until the tricksters
     worked them in November, but they have found out a thing or two,
     and if counting must be done they will startle the natives with the
     unblushing character of what could be done. The 'black belt' had
     best not force this competition. When Dallas kills 5000 'white'
     votes in a 'white' county, by fraudulently counting that number of
     negro votes in order to succeed, should the whites play for even,
     it will not be difficult to divine what will be the result. The
     _Herald_ does not advocate this sort of tactics nor does anyone in
     the 'white' counties, but there is a great deal of silent thinking
     about it. No one wants to do it; but if self-preservation shall
     demand it to thwart the aggressions of the 'black belt,' just watch
     and see how the innocent and guileless man can 'swear to conduct
     this election for the best interests of the white people' and down
     the 'black belt.'"

But the writer thinks "self-preservation" will not demand such a course.
This is not a time for such practices. The common people know it. They
are determined to press forward their revolt against the party that gave
birth to such revolutionary ideas. The common people of Alabama will not
submit longer to such outrages. They are demanding, and, in the name of
God and humanity, _will have_ a free and fair expression of their
political will on the rostrum and at the polls.



The people of Alabama will no longer vote the Democratic ticket simply
because the "antediluvian" leaders say so. They will no longer be
intimidated by party threats, or blindly driven by party lash, but they
are going to have a good reason for so doing, hereafter, before casting
their votes for the party which has been in power in Alabama for
eighteen years, during the whole of which time the people have grown
poorer and poorer and no measures have been adopted or suggested for
their relief. The great masses of the people cannot again be forced to
neglect more pressing interests to take issue on tariff reform only.
While these people favor tariff reform they demand other more vital
things as well, and they have formulated these demands into a party
platform; and the brave and patriotic people who have the courage to
maintain their convictions, will no longer be frightened from the issues
they indorse, by threats of disrupting an existing political
party,--especially when there no longer remains any necessity for
keeping that party together.

For what purpose are political parties organized and why do they
continue their existence? The reading and thinking masses understand
that there is but one answer: Political parties are formed to educate
the people upon a proposed policy and to be instrumental in having such
policy enacted into law as soon as the majority of voters favor and cast
their votes for it. When the policy which brings a party into existence
has become accepted as a proper theory of government and ceases to have
any opposition, then the necessity of the political party itself ceases,
for it has nothing else to accomplish. It is proper and usual, however,
for such a party to continue its existence until some other living
issues arise which demand the consideration of the voter. When this is
done, one of the political parties which has accomplished its mission,
should, by appropriate platform, present the issues of the voters of the
country; or some new party having that object in view, should be formed.

The Republican party was formed for the purpose of eradicating chattel
slavery in America, opposed secession, and incidentally favored a high
protective tariff to enable the United States Government to carry on the
Civil War. The Democratic party in the South favored slavery and
secession, and thus the issues were made. The Republican party established
the objects of its organization and it is conceded that it was right, both
in its opposition to slavery and secession, and hence the issues then
dividing the old parties are now dead issues, leaving the only issue the
incidental one of protection. The fundamental principles promulgated by
Jefferson upon which the Democratic party was organized, have been
instilled into the hearts of practically all Americans and no organized
political party is necessary to maintain them. The issues formerly
dividing the Democratic and Republican parties (excepting the tariff)
are no longer in politics; and the political "bosses" of neither party
can show why those who once opposed slavery and secession should remain
as a separate political organization, and those who once favored it
should remain as one also, while there are living issues concerning the
welfare of the masses of the common people, about which no concern is
manifested by either of the old parties.

Had the Democratic party adopted the living issues and burning demands
of the common people in its platform, and honestly advocated their
speedy enactment into law, then it would be the party of the people. The
rank and file of that party in the South and West does not express any
marked disapproval of the principal demands for reform that are embodied
in the platform of the People's party, yet, nine-tenths of the voters of
the Democratic party are controlled adversely to their political belief
by one-tenth--the Wall Street or Eastern portion. And, as S. S. King,
Esq., a noted reform author, has said, "Whistling against the wind in
the effort to drown the fury of the tempest, has always been as
effectual as the effort of Western and Southern Democracy to reform in
the face of Wall Street dictation." Unfortunately for the Democratic
party, it has been controlled by this un-Democratic Eastern end of
itself until the importunings of the common people of the West and
South have been ignored. The thunder of the "Tammany tiger" having
drowned the appeals of the Western and Southern producers, they have
been forced to present their demands by independent political action,
and the People's party was necessarily the result; and if these people
have the courage and manhood to stand firm to their convictions, and to
resist the "party lash" which the "machine bosses" will of course
continue to vigorously apply, there can be no question as to its success
in Alabama.

First and foremost, however, before the strength of any new issues can
even be tested in this state, the "machine bosses" who have reigned
supreme in Alabama for the last nineteen years must be dethroned. In the
name of Democracy they have perverted every principle which the word
represents, and by "bulldozing" and fraud, have constantly thwarted the
will of the people at the ballot-box. They have inaugurated methods as
corrupt and revolutionary as their despotic minds could conceive, that
their dominancy of the common people, might be perpetuated with ease;
they have shaken the very foundation of the sacred covenant of liberty,
broken the peace, blighted the prosperity and threatened the homes of
the people; they have also hastened the time when all good,
liberty-loving and truly democratic citizens of this state must unite in
re-establishing the fact that they are the equals of the "machine
bosses," and that a majority should rule. When this is established in
fact as well as in theory, then, and not until then, will the demands of
the people, which are favored by a majority of the people, be enacted
into law. Whether favoring or opposing the demands of the common people,
all honest citizens should unite in an effort to secure to those
favoring them, the right to have the issues that come before the people
fairly tested by a free ballot and a fair count of the votes polled.
Anything else is slavery, which will not be submitted to by the common
people of Alabama. In the language of the greatest Alabamian of to-day,
Capt. R. F. Kolb, the grandest Commoner of them all, whose every impulse
is actuated by a desire to do service to his downtrodden fellow men:

"The common people of Alabama believe that democracy means that the
people shall rule. They now feel that a few political 'bosses' are
undertaking to overthrow a republican form of government in this state.
I warn the 'machine bosses' to stop and reflect. Don't trifle with these
people longer. Let justice be done and sweet Peace will again spread her
white wings over our beloved state."

      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's note:

Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

Punctuation has been corrected without note.

The following misprints have been corrected:
  "manmer" corrected to "manner" (page 14)
  "addresed" corrected to "addressed" (page 34)
  "day" corrected to "days" (page 34)
  "the the" corrected to "the" (page 37)

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