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OUR AMERICAN LETTER., Issue 7923, 3 June 1889
OUR AMERICAN LETTER.
Keokuk, lowa (U.S.A.), April 27. PRESIDENT HARBISON NEEDS PROTECTION,
President Harrison was elected to office on a protective platform, and the least that his party can do for the country is to protect the President himself—to protect him from imposition and deception, and from the weakness and mistaken kindness of his friends. The office seeking and office filling business is perplexing and thoroughly disgraceful. How can a man escape making serious mistakes when the crowd around him are so selfish and clamorously hungry 1 He is the servant of the people, and he represents the interests of the whole people. If ever a president was thoroughly honest and conscientious in endeavoring to do his duty rightly, President Harrison seems to be the man. He steadfastly refuses to appoint men to office whom he knows are unfit to fill it; but he lacks omnipresence and omniscience. He is entirely ignorant of the character and claims of many whose names are urged on him for recognition and appointment. If he were to personally investigate every case, his term would expire before the cilices could be filled, There is no man in this country, nor in any other, so bored, so battered, so besieged, and so imposed on. Yet amid all he possesses his soul in patience, without getting angry or expressing contempt for the weakness of human nature. He must be a good man, worthy of the confidence and protection of his countrymen. He will try to do right. That is the divine lesson he "has been learning during a lifetime.
The appointments made thus far for diplomatic positions are generally creditable, though the unfortunate principle of reward for political service has influenced some cases. Patrick Egan, an exile from Irelaud, who only completed his naturalisation last April, was selected to be Minister Plenipotentiary to Chili. No one believes he waß appointed because ho was the fittest man that could be found to promote friendly commercial intercourse with South America, which is announced to be one of the features of our "aggressive foreign policy." Mr Halstead, the editor of tho Cincinnati 'Commeicial,' was appointed Minister to Germany, and rejected by the rfenato as a penalty for having dared to criticise in his paper certain acts of the Senate. His rejection refiects more credit on Mr Halstead than on tho Senate, This has aroused a warm discussion in the Press as to the propriety of appointing editors of newspapers to diplomatic positions. To this there are two objections the first personal, the second political. There is certainly an objection to any appointment conferred aB a reward for political service. In accepting such an appointment, and becoming a part of the Administration, he surrenders whatever authority his journal might possess as an independent critic, and it becomes, for the time being, distinctly, and in a sense officially, a representative not of the public, nor of its readers, nor even of its party, but of the Administration and its policy. If, however, the editor thinks it worth while to change his journalistic independence for a political honor, tho matter concerns him and his journal, and from his decision the public have no appeal. Foreign Governments as a rule object to treating confidentially with a man who is not only the representative of the United States, but also of his journal. They cannot forget that he is an editor, and suspect that he also cannot forget it. I cannot but believe that any journalist in a foreign court will iiud himself at a disdavantage. A NEW NATIONAL HOLIDAY. April 30 inst. is the centennial anniversary of the adoption of the Federal Constitution, and of the inauguration of General Washington as first President. Congress has made this day a national holiday, to be observed by the people assembling in their several churchesjj and rendering thanks to God for the many blessings bestowed upon the nation, and to implore a continuance of them for many centuries yet to come. Though among the youngest of nations, we have a history big with events. The movement which landed the Pilgrim Fathers, the Cavaliers, and the Huguenots on the Atlantic coast was, measured by results, the greatest migratory movement in history. The revolutionary war was, in its influence on the human race, the greatest war in history. The Civil War, in which so many brave men clad in blue and grey lost their lives, was the greatest civil war ever fought. We have now the biggest territory, stretching from Canada to xVlexico on the south and from Sandy Hook to the Golden Gate on the west. We could put all of Great Britain in one of our Western States, and have plenty of room to spare. We have the biggest prairies, the biggest mountains, the biggeat natural water-course, the biggest waterfall, the biggest cyclones and blizzardß. We have the biggest wheat fields, the biggest cotton crops, the biggest coal, gold, and silver yields, the biggest oil wells, and the biggest monopoly to control them. We have the biggest railway and telegraph systems, tho biggest farms, the biggest corporations, the biggest trusts, and the biggest labor organisations. We have the biggest elections, the barbecues, the biggest processions, the biggest mass meetings, the biggest corruption fund, and the biggest lot of public offices to be distributed every fourth year. We have not the biggest I population, but shall have by 1988; nor the biggest cities, but when New York will have annexed Brooklyn, Jersey City, and other suburbs she will rival London. We have not a church equal to St. Paul's or St. Peter's, but we have the biggest operahouse. We have not yet the biggest universities, but we promise ourselves the biggest in the near future. There is one building in Worcester costing L 600.000, one in Philadelphia costing L 1,000,000, and one in California costing |L1,500,000. We have the biggest if not the best newspapers ; the biggest if not the wisest school Fchool system; the biggeat surplus in our Treasury ; and pay the biggest tobacco and drink bills. How our orators will swell on the 30th. THE DEMOCRACY AND ROYALTY. Mrs Mackay, an American woman, has just won a signal social triumph in London. She has given the Prince of Wales a reception that exceeded in splendor anything of the kind ever given in London. This shows in tho strongest possible light tho tendency of modern society. A hundred years ago it would have been impossible for a woman like Mrs Mackay to have broken through the circle of birth and aristocracy; but to-day a bonanza silver mine has elevated a poor boarding-house-keeper of Virginia City, Nevada, to be the social equal of princes and the supreme dictator of fashion in the proudest capitals of Europe. This shows most conclusively that the ruling god of modern society is money, and not descent, rank, brains, or mental worth. THE BUSINESS OUTLOOK. The business outlook and monetary situation throughout the country are considered favorable and promising for the future, though in some trade centres there is a depression that it was hoped would have disappeared ere this, The most significant sign of a revival in trade and commerce is the magnificent promise of a bountiful crop. The steadiness of securities in the stock market is another favorable sign, though railway earnings in some parts of the country have been seriously affected by hostile legislation. Exports are increasing in value; there is a greater demand for American securities abroad, which will diminish specie payments to Europe; a much better tone prevails in the iron and coal trade; and there is less disturbance' between capital and labor. In view of these aud other encouraging elements in trade and commerce, there is less conservatism in the investment of capital, consumption is stimulated, confidence in the future is being established, prices are advancing, and a fair margin of profit can be maintained.
OUR AMERICAN LETTER., Issue 7923, 3 June 1889
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