Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση


March 4th, 1883-March 4th, 1887.

Archibald J. Weaver was born in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, April 15, 1844; lived on a farm until seventeen years of age; then entered Wyoming Seminary, at Kensington, Pennsylvania, remaining there three years as a student and four years as a teacher of mathematics; in 1867 entered the law department of Harvard University, remaining till 1869; was admitted to the bar at Boston in February, 1869, and immediately removed to Nebraska, settling at Falls City in the practice of law; was a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1871; in 1872 was elected District Attorney of the First Judicial District; in 1875 again member of a Constitutional Convention and the same year was elected Judge of the First Judicial District, and re-elected in 1879, holding the office until a Representative to the 48th Congress; and was re-elected to the 49th Congress. On account of the rapid increase of population the census of 1880 entitled Nebraska to two additional members of Congress; and accordingly in 1882 Weaver of Richardson, Laird of Adams, and Valentine of Cuming County, were elected. This gave a valuable combination of talent and experience. Four years of previous congressional experience made Mr. Valentine a valuable worker; training on the bench prepared Judge Weaver for legal investigations; while a vivid fancy and impetuous nature made Laird an impromptu orator and "picturesque character."

A bill being before the House for the protection of cattle from "contagious diseases," and men from New England arguing that state laws could answer the purpose, Mr. Weaver exclaimed:

What has Massachusetts of the cattle industry of this country? Not enough to make a breakfast for the people of the United States. In Massachusetts, if all the steers and stags and bulls were cows, there would be only one cow to a family of seven,-scarcely enough to furnish milk for the babies.

Take the great State of Nebraska for example,-with one-fourth of the population of Massachusetts, and her 700,000 head of cattle, where 500 head of cattle don't make a large herd, but where a single herd, under one charge, often embraces thousands of head. How does the argument apply to Kansas with her 1,500,000 head,-Illinois with her 2,500,000 head-to Missouri with her 2,000,000 head, and to any of the great cattle growing states of the West?

The magnitude of the industry, and the danger from Texas fever, admonished him that only the interposition of Congress, under the clause of the constitution for the regulation of "interstate commerce," could meet the emergency.


Judge Weaver was conspicuous in the debates upon land grants to railroads, and all questions relative to the administration of the public domain. He took a very active part in the passage of a bill to regulate railway charges upon lines passing into and through states, and illuminated his precise judicial style with a flash of irony in the following paragraphs:

Mr. Brown goes so far as to argue that Congress has no power to pass any bill interfering with or regulating transportation of freight from state to state; but does make one strong admission, which forever ought to set the American people at ease, and operate as an estoppel against any railway seeking to gainsay the proposition, namely, that Congress has the power to appoint its agents for gathering statistical information in reference to any branch of industry; so that if we never succeed in passing this or any other bill, we have at least secured a concession of a representative of 6,000 miles of railroad that Congress may go into the statistical business with perfect safety. The gentleman evidently thinks the creature is bigger than the Creator and has reversed the adage, vox populi, vox Dei, and come to the conclusion that the voice of Vanderbilt, Gould and Huntington is the voice of God.


During the first session of the 49th Congress he delivered a very comprehensive speech for the "free coinage of silver."

In the opening sentence he charged "a conspiracy to double the national burden and the industries of the country, by mak ing money dear, and all species of property cheap."

Continuing he said:

Who has ever seen gold dollars doing the business of this country? Gold is not the money that keeps alive the thousand industries that supply bread for the sustenance, and clothes for the protection of the millions.

After a very thorough statement of our money supply, the value of our property subject to taxation, the increase of our population, commerce, manufactures and agriculture, and a comparison of them all with the great nations of the civilized world, there followed the emphatic declaration:

From the standpoint of national indebtedness, alone, we can readily see how impracticable it is to undertake to erect a single standard of gold; but when we go a step further and consider mechanical, corporate and private indebtedness, and then consider the amount of gold there is in the world, together with the annual product, the proposition appears too absurd to discuss.

He knew of but one firm of New York brokers "who have shown the manhood to expose the fallacies of this great cry against silver," and he added to his speech their very compre hensive circular.

MR. WEAVER: Mr. Speaker, there is no use in urging this question with a view to convincing money kings of this country. Their whole purpose is to steal something by legislation, by act of Congress. Nothing seems to satisfy their ambition but gold. Love of country-patriotism-a desire for the prosperity of the masses never found lodgment in their ignoble souls.

Favoritism must stop. The representatives of the people must correct the existing evils and legislate for the masses, or in absence of this, when there shall be no other hope, the barefooted militia will come down from the hills and take charge of the Capitol.



John A. Logan dead! no, not dead!

"There is no death!

What seems so is transition:

This life of mortal breath

Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call death."

[ocr errors]

The noble traits of John A. Logan have been indelibly stamped upon the hearts of the American people. His whole life as warrior and statesman was dedicated to giving full force and significance to the affirmation of the Declaration of Independence "That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." When that mighty effort for the destruction of constitutional liberty had well nigh sapped the foundations of this Republic, when weak and wavering men, to avoid the terrible consequences of war, were willing to make concessions, looking to the separation of this Union, then it was that John A. Logan, rising above all considerations of party policy, inspired by a patriotism and love of country as fervent as that which moved the heart of William Wallace to strike mightily for freedom of his countrymen, then it was, I say, that this great warrior and statesman breathed upon the discontented and wavering element of his own party utterances of such pure and patriotic devotion to his whole united country as will make his memory as lasting and imperishable as the Republic itself.

The noble traits of his character in his devotion to his country were made more conspicuous because of his lifelong affiliation with a party that was now engaged in a war for the destruction of the Union and the dedication of one part thereof to human slavery.

Before the bugle blast of war had called any of our country's defenders to the field, but when every movement of the discontented element attested the fearful truth that civil war with all its dire consequences was about to test the national bond, upon this floor, in February, 1861, John A. Logan said: "I have been taught that the preservation of this glorious Union, with its broad flag waving over us as the shield of our protection on land and sea, is paramount to all parties and platforms that ever have existed or ever can exist. I would to-day, if I had the power, sink my own party and every other one with all their platforms into the vortex of ruin, without heaving a sigh or shedding a tear, to save the Union, or even to stay the revolution where it is."

This was but a patriotic declaration before the clash of arms; but in confirmation of his entire consecration and devotion to the preservation of the Union we have only to let impartial history bear witness. Not content to serve his country in the halls of Congress away from the exposure and danger of shot and shell, this brave man rushed into the thickest of the battle. Where Logan went victory

perched upon the stars and stripes. He was the inspiration and his soldiers followed him into battle with a spirit of confidence and determination that knows no defeat.

From whatever cause that may be assigned by the faithful chronicler of events, yet no one will ever attempt to gainsay that where John A. Logan went there was victory,there was fighting. He was one whose presence meant a contest, a struggle to the death. Let Belmont and Donelson and Vicksburg and Corinth, and Champion Hill and other battlefields attest to the truth of the allegation.

In that contest for the preservation of the Nation, for right against wrong, for freedom against slavery, for all that was good and pure and noble, against all that was wicked and wrong and oppressive, wherein from the beginning of the contest to the close more than two and one-half million of citizen soldiers placed their lives upon the altar of their country in the contest-we do know that John A. Logan was the greatest volunteer soldier, the greatest commander taken from civil life. He was the recognized leader of that great army of volunteer soldiers, and from the close of the war has been the defender and champion of the cause of the common soldier in the Congress of the United States. The defenders of our common country whose valor has been attested on a hundred battlefields have lost their greatest friend and our country has lost a great warrior and pure statesman. John A. Logan has been in the public service almost continuously for more than thirty years, and during all these years of faithful service his conduct has been so pure that not even a suggestion of corruption was ever associated with his name. His mission in life was not a struggle for the accumulation of gold. He sought not to pacify his conscience with the gilded bubble of wealth; he neglected not the elements of intellectual and moral greatness for the sordid and perishable things of time. His whole life was dedicated to his country, to human rights, to making more firm and lasting the foundations of this Republic. He has woven his name in history with illustrious and praiseworthy deeds. Oh, that we had more Logans in the public service! More whose every thought and every effort were given to the discharge of public duty; more who sought no opportunity from public position to secure illgotten gains to the detriment of the general public; more who come to high public place because the public demand their service and not because the place is made the subject of barter or to serve some special interest.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »