The Grand Old Party: Adventures in Research
From the NYT September 29, 1880 “Grand Rally at Warren”
General Ulysses S. Grant, a man of many scandals, was no longer President of the U.S. as of March, 1877, but continued as a party campaigner. On behalf of Republican candidate James A. Garfield, he gave a speech in Warren, Ohio. In his speech, he had these words to say about the Republican party:
“The Republican Party is a party of progress and of liberality toward its opponents. It encourages the poor to strive to better their condition, the ignorant to educate their children, to enable them to compete successfully with their more fortunate associates, and, in fine, it secures an entire equality before the law of every citizen, no matter what his race, nationality, or previous condition. It tolerates no privileged class.”
A Figure from the Common Lot, Chapter Four: “The Eye of a Magpie”, section ii., Élucide
From Cookesville, Papa brought home rumors. “Rutherford is starting a paper. He wants Horace to be his editor, or give him the name of a good man, one or the other. Rutherford’s sold on Hayes . . . for some reason.” That had been the small joke. Mother smiled. Because they’d been at the end of dinner, her hands had little to do but stir her coffee.
“Well.” He answered himself. “High time. We need our own organ in Cookesville.” Papa set off justifying Rutherford’s adventure, as though at his own table he were ever opposed. “The Beacon is nothing but a simple-witted, half-literate, barking yellow dog of a rag. Rowan should have been scuttled ten years ago. He was a copperhead then. He’s still a copperhead. But the shame of it, Fern, is that he refuses to talk down General Grant. You know what you call that? Conspicuous virtue. He does it for mischief, as much as selling Tilden in a Republican county. He’d just like hearing someone say the word ‘scandal’.”
Copyright 2017 Stephanie Foster