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'Tis Sixty Years Since by Charles Francis Adams

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In the single hour self-allotted for my part in this occasion there is
much ground to cover,--the time is short, and I have far to go. Did I
now, therefore, submit all I had proposed to say when I accepted your
invitation, there would remain no space for preliminaries. Yet something
of that character is in place. I will try to make it brief.[1]

As the legend or text of what I have in mind to submit, I have given the
words "'Tis Sixty Years Since." As some here doubtless recall, this is
the second or subordinate title of Walter Scott's first novel,
"Waverley," which brought him fame. Given to the world in 1814,--hard on
a century ago,--"Waverley" told of the last Stuart effort to recover the
crown of Great Britain,--that of "The '45." It so chances that Scott's
period of retrospect is also just now most appropriate in my case,
inasmuch as I entered Harvard as a student in the year 1853--"sixty
years since!" It may fairly be asserted that school life ends, and what
may in contradistinction thereto be termed thinking and acting life
begins, the day the young man passes the threshold of the institution of
more advanced education. For him, life's responsibilities then begin.
Prior to that confused, thenceforth things with him become
consecutive,--a sequence. Insensibly he puts away childish things.

[1] Owing to its length, this "Address" was compressed in delivery,
occupying one hour only. It is here printed in the form in which it was
prepared,--the parts omitted in delivery being included.

In those days, as I presume now, the college youth harkened to inspired
voices. Sir Walter Scott belonged to a previous generation. Having held
the close attention of a delighted world as the most successful
story-teller of his own or any preceding period, he had passed off the
stage; but only a short twenty years before. Other voices no less
inspired had followed; and, living, spoke to us. Perhaps my scheme
to-day is best expressed by one of these.

When just beginning to attract the attention of the English-speaking
world, Alfred Tennyson gave forth his poem of "Locksley Hall,"--very
familiar to those of my younger days. Written years before, at the time
of publication he was thirty-three. In 1886, a man of seventy-five, he
composed a sequel to his earlier effort,--the utterance entitled
"Locksley Hall Sixty Years After." He then, you will remember, reviewed
his young man's dreams,--dreams of the period when he

" ... dip't into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be,"

--threescore years later contrasting in sombre verse an old man's stern
realities with the bright anticipations of youth. Such is my purpose
to-day. "Wandering back to living boyhood," to the time when I first
simultaneously passed the Harvard threshold and the threshold of
responsible life, I propose to compare the ideals and actualities of the
present with the ideals, anticipations and dreams of a past now
somewhat remote.

To say that in life and in the order of life's events it is the
unexpected which is apt to occur, is a commonplace. That it has been so
in my own case, I shall presently show. Meanwhile, not least among the
unexpected things is my presence here to-day. If, when I entered Harvard
in 1853, it had been suggested that in 1913, I,--born of the New England
Sanhedrim, a Brahmin Yankee by blood, tradition and environment--had it
been suggested that I, being such, would sixty years later stand by
invitation here in Columbia before the faculty and students of the
University of South Carolina, I should under circumstances then existing
have pronounced the suggestion as beyond reasonable credence. Here,
however, I am; and here, from this as my rostrum, I propose to-day to
deliver a message,--such as it is.

And yet, though such a future outcome, if then foretold, would have
seemed scarcely possible of occurrence, there, after all, were certain
conditions which would have rendered the contingency even at that time
not only possible, but in accordance with the everlasting fitness of
things. For, curiously enough, personal relations of a certain character
held with this institution would have given me, even in 1853, a sense of
acquaintance with it such as individually I had with no other
institution of similar character throughout the entire land. It in this
wise came about. At that period, preceding as it did the deluge about to
ensue, it was the hereditary custom of certain families more especially
of South Carolina and of Louisiana,--but of South Carolina in
particular--to send their youth to Harvard, there to receive a college
education. It thus chanced that among my associates at Harvard were not
a few who bore names long familiarly and honorably known to Carolinian
records,--Barnwell and Preston, Rhett and Alston, Parkman and Eliot; and
among these were some I knew well, and even intimately. Gone now with
the generation and even the civilization to which they belonged, I doubt
if any of them survive. Indeed only recently I chanced on a grimly
suggestive mention of one who had left on me the memory of a character
and personality singularly pure, high-toned and manly,--permeated with a
sense of moral and personal obligation. I have always understood he died
five years later at Sharpsburg, as you call it, or Antietam, as it was
named by us, in face-to-face conflict with a Massachusetts regiment
largely officered by Harvard men of his time and even class,--his own
familiar friends. This is the record, the reference being to a marriage
service held at St. Paul's church in Richmond, in the late autumn of
1862: "An indefinable feeling of gloom was thrown over a most auspicious
event when the bride's youngest sister glided through a side door just
before the processional. Tottering to a chancel pew, she threw herself
upon the cushions, her slight frame racked with sobs. Scarcely a year
before, the wedding march had been played for her, and a joyous throng
saw her wedded to gallant Breck Parkman. Before another twelvemonth
rolled around the groom was killed at the front."[2] Samuel Breck
Parkman was in the Harvard class following that to which I belonged.
Graduating in 1857, fifty-five years later I next saw his name in the
connection just given. It recorded an incident of not infrequent
occurrence in those dark and cruel days.

It was, however, in Breck Parkman and his like that I first became
conscious of certain phases of the South Carolina character which
subsequently I learned to bear in high respect.

So far as this University of South Carolina was concerned, it also so
chanced that, by the merest accident, I, a very young man, was thrown
into close personal relations with one of the most eminent of your
professors,--Francis Lieber. Few here, I suppose, now personally
remember Francis Lieber. To most it gives indeed a certain sense of
remoteness to meet one who, as in my case, once held close and even
intimate relations with a German emigrant, distinguished as a publicist,
who as a youth had lain, wounded and helpless, a Prussian recruit, on
the field above Namur. Occurring in June, 1815, two days after Waterloo,
the affair at Namur will soon be a century gone. Of those engaged in
it, the last obeyed the fell sergeant's summons a half score years ago.
It seems remote; but at the time of which I speak Waterloo was
appreciably nearer those in active life than are Shiloh and Gettysburg
now. The Waterloo campaign was then but thirty-eight years removed,
whereas those last are fifty now; and, while Lieber was at Waterloo, I
was myself at Gettysburg.

[2] DeLeon, "Belles, Beaux and Brains of the Sixties," p. 158.

Subsequently, later in life, it was again my privilege to hold close
relations with another Columbian,--an alumnus of this University as it
then was--in whom I had opportunity to study some of the strongest and
most respect-commanding traits of the Southern character. I refer to one
here freshly remembered,--Alexander Cheves Haskell,--soldier, jurist,
banker and scholar, one of a septet of brothers sent into the field by a
South Carolina mother calm and tender of heart, but in silent suffering
unsurpassed by any recorded in the annals whether of Judea or of Rome.
It was the fourth of the seven Haskells I knew, one typical throughout,
in my belief, of what was best in your Carolinian development. With him,
as I have said, I was closely and even intimately associated through
years, and in him I had occasion to note that almost austere type
represented in its highest development in the person and attributes of
Calhoun. Of strongly marked descent, Haskell was, as I have always
supposed, of a family and race in which could be observed those virile
Scotch-Irish and Presbyterian qualities which found their
representative types in the two Jacksons,--Andrew, and him known in
history as "Stonewall." To Alec Haskell I shall in this discourse again
have occasion to refer.

Thus, though in 1853, and for long years subsequent thereto, it would
not have entered my mind as among the probabilities that I should ever
stand here, reviewing the past after the manner of Tennyson in his
"Locksley Hall Sixty Years After," yet if there was any place in the
South, or, I may say, in the entire country, where, as a matter of
association, I might naturally have looked so to stand, it would have
been where now I find myself.

But I must hasten on; for, as I have said, if I am to accomplish even a
part of my purpose, I have no time wherein to linger.

Not long ago I chanced, in a country ramble, to be conversing with an
eminent foreigner, known, and favorably known, to all Americans. In the
course of leisurely exchange of ideas between us, he suddenly asked if I
could suggest any explanation of the fact that not only were the
publicists who had the greatest vogue in our college days now to a large
extent discredited, but that almost every view and theory advanced by
them, and which we had accepted as fixed and settled, was, where not
actually challenged, silently ignored. Nor did the assertion admit of
denial; for, looking back through the vista of threescore years, of the
principles of what may be called "public polity" then advanced as
indisputable, few to-day meet with general acceptance. To review the
record from this point of view is curious.

When in 1853 I entered Harvard, so far as this country and its polity
were concerned certain things were matters of contention, while others
were accepted as axiomatic,--the basic truths of our system. Among the
former--the subjects of active contention--were the question of Slavery,
then grimly assuming shape, and that of Nationality intertwined
therewith. Subordinate to this was the issue of Free Trade and
Protection, with the school of so-called American political economy
arrayed against that of Adam Smith. Beyond these as political ideals
were the tenets and theories of Jeffersonian Democracy. That the world
had heretofore been governed too much was loudly acclaimed, and the
largest possible individualism was preached, not only as a privilege but
as a right. The area of government action was to be confined within the
narrowest practical limits, and ample scope was to be allowed to each to
develop in the way most natural to himself, provided only he did not
infringe upon the rights of others. Materially, we were then reaching
out to subdue a continent,--a doctrine of Manifest Destiny was in vogue.
Beyond this, however, and most important now to be borne in mind,
compared with the present the control of man over natural agencies and
latent forces was scarcely begun. Not yet had the railroad crossed the
Missouri; electricity, just bridled, was still unharnessed.

I have now passed in rapid review what may perhaps without exaggeration
be referred to as an array of conditions and theories, ideals and
policies. It remains to refer to the actual results which have come
about during these sixty years as respects them, or because of them;
and, finally, to reach if possible conclusions as to the causes which
have affected what may not inaptly be termed a process of general
evolution. Having thus, so to speak, diagnosed the situation, the
changes the situation exacts are to be measured, and a forecast
ventured. An ambitious programme, I am well enough aware that the not
very considerable reputation I have established for myself hardly
warrants me in attempting it. This, I premise.

Let us, in the first place, recur in somewhat greater detail to the
various policies and ideals I have referred to as in vogue in the
year 1853.

First and foremost, overshadowing all else, was the political issue
raised by African slavery, then ominously assuming shape. The clouds
foreboding the coming tempest were gathering thick and heavy; and,
moreover, they were even then illumined by electric flashes, accompanied
by a mutter of distant thunder. Though we of the North certainly did not
appreciate its gravity, the situation was portentous in the extreme.

Involved in this problem of African slavery was the incidental issue of
Free Trade and Protection,--apparently only economical and industrial in
character, but in reality fundamentally crucial. And behind this lay
the constitutional question, involving as it did not only the
conflicting theories of a strict or liberal construction of the
fundamental law, but nationality also,--the right of a Sovereign State
to withdraw from the Union created in 1787, and developed through two

These may be termed concrete political issues, as opposed to basic
truths generally accepted and theories individually entertained. The
theories were constitutional, social, economical. Constitutionally, they
turned upon the obligations of citizenship. There was no such thing then
as a citizen of the United States of and by itself. The citizen of the
United States was such simply because of his citizenship of a Sovereign
State,--whether Massachusetts or Virginia or South Carolina; and, of
course, an instrument based upon a divided sovereignty admitted of
almost infinitely diverse interpretation. It is a scriptural aphorism
that no man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and
love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other.
And in the fulness of time it literally with us so came about. The
accepted economical theories of the period were to a large extent
corollaries of the fundamental proposition, and differing material and
social conditions. Beyond all this, and coming still under the head of
individual theories, was the doctrine enunciated by Thomas Jefferson in
the Declaration of Independence,--the doctrine that all men were created
equal,--meaning, of course, equal before the law. But the theorist and
humanitarian of the North, accepting the fundamental principle laid down
in the Declaration, gave to it a far wider application than had been
intended by its authors,--a breadth of application it would not bear.
Such science as he had being of scriptural origin, he interpreted the
word "equal" as signifying equal in the possibilities of their
attributes,--physical, moral, intellectual; and in so doing, he of
course ignored the first principles of ethnology. It was, I now realize,
a somewhat wild-eyed school of philosophy, that of which I myself was a
youthful disciple.

But, on the other hand, beside these, between 1850 and 1860 a class of
trained and more cautious thinkers, observers, scientists and
theologians was coming to the front. Their investigations, though we did
not then foresee it, were a generation later destined gently to subvert
the accepted fundamentals of religious and economical thought, literary
performance, and material existence. The work they had in hand to do was
for the next fifteen years to be subordinate, so far as this country was
concerned, to the solution of the terrible political problems which were
first insistent on settlement; yet, as is now apparent, an initial
movement was on foot which foreboded a revolution world-wide in its
nature, and one in comparison with which the issues of slavery and
American constitutionality became practically insignificant,--in a word,
local and passing incidents.

Finally, it remains to consider specifically the political theories
then in vogue in their relation to the individual. In this country, it
was the period of the equality of man and individuality in the
development of the type. It was generally believed that the world had
hitherto been governed too much,--that the day of caste, and even class,
was over and gone; and finally, that America was a species of vast
modern melting-pot of humanity, in which, within a comparatively short
period of time, the characteristics of all branches of Indo-Aryan origin
would resolve themselves. A new type would emerge,--the American. These
theories were also in their consequences far-reaching. Practically, 1853
antedates all our present industrial organizations so loudly in
evidence,--the multifarious trades-unions which now divide the
population of the United States into what are known as the "masses" and
the "classes." As recently as a century ago, it used to be said of the
French army under the Empire, that every soldier carried the baton of
the Field-Marshal in his knapsack. And this ideal of equality and
individuality was fixed in the American mind.

Not that I for a moment mean to imply that in my belief the middle of
the last century, or the twenty years anterior to the Civil War, was a
species of golden age in our American annals. On the contrary, it was,
as I remember it, a phase of development very open to criticism; and
that in many respects. It was crude, self-conscious and self-assertive;
provincial and formative, rather than formed. Socially and materially
we were, compared with the present era of motors and parlor-cars, in the
"one-hoss shay" and stove-heated railroad-coach stage. Nevertheless,
what is now referred to as "predatory wealth" had not yet begun to
accumulate in few hands; much greater equality of condition prevailed;
nor was the "wage-earner" referred to as constituting a class distinct
from the holders of property. Thus the individual was then
encouraged,--whether in literature, in commerce, or in politics. In
other words, there being a free field, one man was held to be in all
respects the equal of the rest. Especially was what I have said true of
the Northern, or so-called Free States, as contrasted with the States of
the South, where the presence of African slavery distinctly affected
individual theories, no matter where or to what extent entertained.

Such, briefly and comprehensively stated, having been the situation in
1853, it remains to consider the practical outcome thereof during the
sixty years it has been my fortune to take part, either as an actor or
as an observer, in the great process of evolution. It is curious to note
the extent to which the unexpected has come about. In the first place,
consider the all-absorbing mid-century political issue, that involving
the race question, to which I first referred,--the issue which divided
the South from the North, and which, eight years only after I had
entered college, carried me from the walks of civil life into the
calling of arms.

And here I enter on a field of discussion both difficult and dangerous;
and, for reasons too obvious to require statement, what I am about to
say will be listened to with no inconsiderable apprehension as to what
next may be forthcoming. Nevertheless, this is a necessary part of my
theme; and I propose to say what I have in mind to say, setting forth
with all possible frankness the more mature conclusions reached with the
passage of years. Let it be received in the spirit in which it
is offered.

So far, then, as the institution of slavery is concerned, in its
relations to ownership and property in those of the human species,--I
have seen no reason whatever to revise or in any way to alter the
theories and principles I entertained in 1853, and in the maintenance of
which I subsequently bore arms between 1861 and 1865. Economically,
socially, and from the point of view of abstract political justice, I
hold that the institution of slavery, as it existed in this country
prior to the year 1865, was in no respect either desirable or
justifiable. That it had its good and even its elevating side, so far at
least as the African is concerned, I am not here to deny. On the
contrary, I see and recognize those features of the institution far more
clearly now than I should have said would have been possible in 1853.
That the institution in itself, under conditions then existing, tended
to the elevation of the less advanced race, I frankly admit I did not
then think. On the other hand, that it exercised a most pernicious
influence upon those of the more advanced race, and especially upon
that large majority of the more advanced race who were not themselves
owners of slaves,--of that I have become with time ever more and more
satisfied. The noticeable feature, however, so far as I individually am
concerned, has been the entire change of view as respects certain of the
fundamental propositions at the base of our whole American political and
social edifice brought about by a more careful and intelligent
ethnological study. I refer to the political equality of man, and to
that race absorption to which I have alluded,--that belief that any
foreign element introduced into the American social system and body
politic would speedily be absorbed therein, and in a brief space
thoroughly assimilated. In this all-important respect I do not hesitate
to say we theorists and abstractionists of the North, throughout that
long anti-slavery discussion which ended with the 1861 clash of arms,
were thoroughly wrong. In utter disregard of fundamental, scientific
facts, we theoretically believed that all men--no matter what might be
the color of their skin, or the texture of their hair--were, if placed
under exactly similar conditions, in essentials the same. In other
words, we indulged in the curious and, as is now admitted, utterly
erroneous theory that the African was, so to speak, an Anglo-Saxon, or,
if you will, a Yankee "who had never had a chance,"--a fellow-man who
was guilty, as we chose to express it, of a skin not colored like our
own. In other words, though carved in ebony, he also was in the image
of God.

Following out this theory, under the lead of men to whom scientific
analysis and observation were anathema if opposed to accepted cardinal
political theories as enunciated in the Declaration as read by them, the
African was not only emancipated, but so far as the letter of the law,
as expressed in an amended Constitution, would establish the fact, the
quondam slave was in all respects placed on an equality, political,
legal and moral, with those of the more advanced race.

I do not hesitate here,--as one who largely entertained the theoretical
views I have expressed,--I do not hesitate here to say, as the result of
sixty years of more careful study and scientific observation, the
theories then entertained by us were not only fundamentally wrong, but
they further involved a problem in the presence of which I confess
to-day I stand appalled.

It is said,--whether truthfully or not,--that when some years ago John
Morley, the English writer and thinker, was in this country, on
returning to England he remarked that the African race question, as now
existing in the United States, presented a problem as nearly, to his
mind, insoluble as any human problem well could be. I do not care
whether Lord Morley made this statement or did not make it. I am
prepared, however, to say that, individually, so far as my present
judgment goes, it is a correct presentation. To us in the North, the
African is a comparatively negligible factor. So far as Massachusetts,
for instance, or the city of Boston more especially, are concerned, as
a problem it is solving itself. Proportionately, the African infusion is
becoming less--never large, it is incomparably less now than it was in
the days of my own youth. Thus manifestly a negligible factor, it is
also one tending to extinction. Indeed, it would be fairly open to
question whether a single Afro-American of unmixed Ethiopian descent
could now be found in Boston. That the problem presents itself with a
wholly different aspect here in Carolina is manifest. The difference too
is radical; it goes to the heart of the mystery.

As I have already said, the universal "melting-pot" theory in vogue in
my youth was that but seven, or at the most fourteen, years were
required to convert the alien immigrant--no matter from what region or
of what descent--into an American citizen. The educational influences
and social environment were assumed to be not only subtle, but
all-pervasive and powerful. That this theory was to a large and even
dangerous extent erroneous the observation of the last fifty years has
proved, and our Massachusetts experience is sadly demonstrating to-day.
It was Oliver Wendell Holmes, who, years ago, when asked by an anxious
mother at what age the education of a child ought to begin, remarked in
reply that it should begin about one hundred and fifty years before the
child is born. It has so proved with us; and the fact is to-day in
evidence that this statement of Dr. Holmes should be accepted as an
undeniable political aphorism. So far from seven or fourteen years
making an American citizen, fully and thoroughly impregnated with
American ideals to the exclusion of all others, our experience is that
it requires at least three generations to eliminate what may be termed
the "hyphen" in citizenship. Not in the first, nor in the second, and
hardly in the third, generation, does the immigrant cease to be an
Irish-American, or a French-American, or a German-American, or a
Slavonic-American, or yet a Dago. Nevertheless, in process of tune,
those of the Caucasian race do and will become Americans. Ultimately
their descendants will be free from the traditions and ideals, so to
speak, ground in through centuries passed under other conditions. Not so
the Ethiopian. In his case, we find ourselves confronted with a
situation never contemplated in that era of political dreams and
scriptural science in which our institutions received shape. Stated
tersely and in plain language, so far as the African is concerned--the
cause and, so to speak, the motive of the great struggle of 1861 to
1865--we recognize the presence in the body politic of a vast alien mass
which does not assimilate and which cannot be absorbed. In other words,
the melting-pot theory came in sharp contact with an ethnological fact,
and the unexpected occurred. The problem of African servitude was solved
after a fashion; but in place of it a race issue of most uncompromising
character evolved itself.

A survivor of the generation which read "Uncle Tom's Cabin" as it week
by week appeared,--fresh to-day from Massachusetts with its Lawrence
race issues of a different character, I feel a sense of satisfaction in
discussing here in South Carolina this question and issue in a spirit
the reverse of dogmatic, a spirit purely scientific, observant and
sympathetic. And in this connection let me say I well remember
repeatedly discussing it with your fellow-citizen and my friend, Colonel
Alexander Haskell, to whom I have already made reference. Rarely have I
been more impressed by a conclusion reached and fixed in the mind of one
who to the study of a problem had obviously given much and kindly
thought. As those who knew him do not need to be told, Alexander Cheves
Haskell was a man of character, pure and just and thoughtful. He felt
towards the African as only a Southerner who had himself never been the
owner of slaves can feel. He regarded him as of a less advanced race
than his own, but one who was entitled not only to just and kindly
treatment but to sympathetic consideration. When, however, the question
of the future of the Afro-American was raised, as matter for abstract
discussion, it was suggestive as well as curious to observe the fixed,
hard expression which immediately came over Haskell's face, as with
stern lips, from which all suggestion of a smile had faded away, he
pronounced the words:--"Sir, it is a dying race!" To express the thought
more fully, Colonel Haskell maintained, as I doubt not many who now
listen to me will maintain, that the nominal Afro-American increase, as
shown in the figures of the national census, is deceptive,--that in
point of fact, the Ethiop in America is incurring the doom which has
ever befallen those of an inferior and less advanced race when brought
in direct and immediate contact, necessarily and inevitably competitive,
with the more advanced, the more masterful, and intellectually the more
gifted. In other words, those of the less advanced race have a fatal
aptitude for contracting the vices, both moral and physical, of the
superior race, in the end leading to destruction; while the capacity for
assimilating the elevating qualities and attributes which constitute a
saving grace is denied them. Elimination, therefore, became in Haskell's
belief a question of time only,--the law of the survival of the fittest
would assert itself. The time required may be long,--numbered by
centuries; but, however remotely, it nevertheless would come. God's mill
grinds slowly, but it grinds uncommon small; and, I will add, its
grinding is apt to be merciless.

The solution thus most pronouncedly laid down by Colonel Haskell may or
may not prove in this case correct and final. It certainly is not for
me, coming from the North, to undertake dogmatically to pass upon it. I
recur to it here as a plausible suggestion only, in connection with my
theme. As such, it unquestionably merits consideration. I am by no means
prepared to go the length of an English authority in recently saying
that "emancipation on two continents sacrificed the real welfare of the
slave and his intrinsic worth as a person, to the impatient vanity of
an immediate and theatrical triumph."[3] This length I say, I cannot go;
but so far as the present occasion is concerned, with such means of
observation as are within my reach, I find the conclusion difficult to
resist that the success of the abolitionists in effecting the
emancipation of the Afro-American, as unexpected and sweeping as it was
sudden, has led to phases of the race problem quite unanticipated at
least. For instance, as respects segregation. Instead of assimilating,
with a tendency to ultimate absorption, the movement in the opposite
direction since 1865 is pronounced. It has, moreover, received the final
stamp of scientific approval. This implies much; for in the old days of
the "peculiar institution" there is no question the relations between
the two races were far more intimate, kindly, and even absorptive than
they now are.

That African slavery, as it existed in the United States anterior to the
year 1862, presented a mild form of servitude, as servitude then existed
and immemorially had almost everywhere existed, was, moreover,
incontrovertibly proven in the course of the Civil War. Before 1862, it
was confidently believed that any severe social agitation within, or
disturbance from without, would inevitably lead to a Southern servile
insurrection. In Europe this result was assumed as of course; and,
immediately after it was issued, the Emancipation Proclamation of President
[3] Bussell's (Dr. F.W.) "Christian Theology and Social Progress."
Bampton Lectures, 1905. Lincoln was denounced in unmeasured terms by
the entire London press. Not a voice was raised in its defence. It was
regarded as a measure unwarranted in civilized warfare, and a sure and
intentional incitement to the horrors which had attended the servile
insurrections of Haiti and San Domingo; and, more recently, the
unspeakable Sepoy incidents of the Indian mutiny. What actually occurred
is now historic. The confident anticipations of our English brethren
were, not for the first time, negatived; nor is there any page in our
American record more creditable to those concerned than the attitude
held by the African during the fierce internecine struggle which
prevailed between April, 1861, and April, 1865. In it there is scarcely
a trace, if indeed there is any trace at all, of such a condition of
affairs as had developed in the Antilles and in Hindustan. The attitude
of the African towards his Confederate owner was submissive and kindly.
Although the armed and masterful domestic protector was at the front and
engaged in deadly, all-absorbing conflict, yet the women and children of
the Southern plantation slept with unbarred doors,--free from
apprehension, much more from molestation.

Moreover, as you here well know, during the old days of slavery there
was hardly a child born, of either sex, who grew up in a Southern
household of substantial wealth without holding immediate and most
affectionate relations with those of the other race. Every typical
Southern man had what he called his "daddy" and his "mammy," his
"uncle" and his "aunty," by him familiarly addressed as such, and who
were to him even closer than are blood relations to most. They had cared
for him in his cradle; he followed them to their graves. Is it needful
for me to ask to what extent such relations still exist? Of those born
thirty years after emancipation, and therefore belonging distinctly to a
later generation, how many thus have their kindly, if humble, kin of the
African blood? I fancy I would be safe in saying not one in twenty.

Here, then, as the outcome of the first great issue I have suggested as
occupying the thought and exciting the passions of that earlier period,
is a problem wholly unanticipated,--a problem which, merely stating,
I dismiss.

Passing rapidly on, I come to the next political issue which presented
itself in my youth,--the constitutional issue,--that of State
Sovereignty, as opposed to the ideal, Nationality. And, whether for
better or worse, this issue, I very confidently submit, has been
settled. We now, also, looking at it in more observant mood, in a spirit
at once philosophical and historical, see that it involved a process of
natural evolution which, under the conditions prevailing, could hardly
result in any other settlement than that which came about. We now have
come to a recognition of the fact that Anglo-Saxon nationality on this
continent was a problem of crystallization, the working out of which
occupied a little over two centuries. It was in New England the process
first set in, when, in 1643, the scattered English-speaking settlements
under the hegemony of the colony of Massachusetts Bay united in a
confederation. It was the initial step. I have no time in which to
enumerate successive steps, each representing a stage in advance of what
went before. The War of Independence,--mistakenly denominated the
Revolutionary War, but a struggle distinctly conservative in character,
and in no way revolutionary,--the War of Independence gave great impetus
to the process, resulting in what was known as Federation. Then came the
Constitution of 1787 and the formation of the, so called, United States
as a distinct nationality. The United States next passed through two
definite processes of further crystallization,--one in 1812-1814, when
the second war with Great Britain, and more especially our naval
victories, kindled, especially in the North, the fire of patriotism and
the conception of nationality; the other, half a century later,
presented the stern issue in a concrete form, and at last the complete
unification of a community--whether for better or for worse is no
matter--was hammered by iron and cemented in blood. It is there now; an
established fact. Secession is a lost cause; and, whether for good or
for ill, the United States exists, and will continue to exist, a unified
World Power. Sovereignty now rests at Washington, and neither in
Columbia for South Carolina nor in Boston for Massachusetts. The State
exists only as an integral portion of the United States. That issue has
been fought out. The result stands beyond controversy; brought about by
a generation now passed on, but to which I belonged.

Meanwhile, the ancient adage, the rose is not without its thorn,
receives new illustration; for even this great result has not been
wrought without giving rise to considerations suggestive of thought.
Speaking tersely and concentrating what is in my mind into the fewest
possible words, I may say that in our national growth up to the year
1830 the play of the centrifugal forces predominated,--that is, the
necessity for greater cohesion made itself continually felt. A period of
quiescence then followed, lasting until, we will say, 1865. Since 1865,
it is not unsafe to say, the centripetal, or gravitating, force has
predominated to an extent ever more suggestive of increasing political
uneasiness. It is now, as is notorious, more in evidence than ever
before. The tendency to concentrate at Washington, the demand that the
central government, assuming one function after another, shall become
imperial, the cry for the national enactment of laws, whether relating
to marital divorce or to industrial combinations,--all impinge on the
fundamental principle of local self-government, which assumed its
highest and most pronounced form in the claim of State Sovereignty. I am
now merely stating problems. I am not discussing the political ills or
social benefits which possibly may result from action. Nevertheless,
all, I think, must admit that the tendency to gravitation and
attraction is to-day as pronounced and as dangerous, especially in the
industrial communities of the North, as was the tendency to separation
and segregation pronounced and dangerous seventy years ago in the South.

To this I shall later return. I now merely point out what I apprehend to
be a tendency to extremes--an excess in the swinging of our
political pendulum.

We next come to that industrial factor which I have referred to as the
issue between the Free Trade of Adam Smith and Protection, as inculcated
by the so-called American school of political economists. The phases
which this issue has assumed are, I submit, well calculated to excite
the attention of the observant and thoughtful. I merely allude to them
now; but, in so far as it is in my power to make it so, my allusion will
be specific. I frankly acknowledge myself a Free-Trader. A Free-Trader
in theory, were it in my power I would be a Free-Trader in national
practice. There has been, so far as I know, but one example of absolute
free trade on the largest scale in world history. That one example,
moreover, has been a success as unqualified as undeniable. I refer to
this American Union of ours. We have here a country consisting of fifty
local communities, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from
tropical Porto Rico to glacial Alaska, representing every conceivable
phase of soil, climate and material conditions, with diverse industrial
systems. With a Union established on the principle of absolutely
unrestricted commercial intercourse, you here in South Carolina, and
more especially in Columbia, are to-day making it, so to speak,
uncomfortable for the cotton manufacturer in New England; and I am glad
of it! A sharp competition is a healthy incentive to effort and
ingenuity, and the brutal injunction, "Root hog or die!" is one from
which I in no way ask to have New England exempt. When Massachusetts is
no longer able to hold its own industrially in a free field, the time
will, in my judgment, have come for Massachusetts to go down. With
communities as with children, paternalism reads arrested development.
One of the great products of Massachusetts has been what is generically
known as "footwear." Yet I am told that under the operation of absolute
Free Trade, St. Louis possesses the largest boot and shoe factory in its
output in the entire world. That is, the law of industrial development,
as natural conditions warrant and demand, has worked out its results;
and those results are satisfactory. I am aware that the farmer of
Massachusetts has become practically extinct; he cannot face the
competition of the great West: but the Massachusetts consumer is greatly
advantaged thereby. So far as agricultural products are concerned,
Massachusetts is to-day reduced to what is known as dairy products and
garden truck; and it is well! Summer vegetables manufactured under glass
in winter prove profitable. So, turning his industrial efforts to that
which he can do best, even the Massachusetts agriculturalist has
prospered. On the other hand, wherever in this country protection has
been most completely applied, I insist that if its results are analyzed
in an unprejudiced spirit, it will be pronounced to have worked
unmitigated evil,--an unhealthy, because artificially stimulated and too
rapid, growth. Let Lawrence, in Massachusetts, serve as an example. Look
at the industrial system there introduced in the name of Protection
against the Pauper Labor of Europe! No growth is so dangerous as a too
rapid growth; and I confidently submit that politically, socially,
economically and industrially, America to-day, on the issues agitating
us, presents an almost appalling example of the results of hot-house

Nor is this all, nor the worst. There is another article, and far more
damaging, in the indictment. Through Protection, and because of it,
Paternalism has crept in; and, like a huge cancerous growth, is eating
steadily into the vitals of the political system. Instead of supporting
a government economically administered by money contributed by the
People, a majority of the People to-day are looking to the government
for support, either directly through pension payments or indirectly
through some form of industrial paternalism. Incidentally, a profuse
public expenditure is condoned where not actually encouraged.
Jeffersonian simplicity is preached; extravagance is practised. As the
New York showman long since shrewdly observed: "The American people
love to be fooled!"

But I must pass on; I still have far to go. As respects legislation, I
have said that sixty years ago, when my memories begin, the American
ideal was the individual, and individuality. This, implied adherence to
the Jeffersonian theory that heretofore the world had been governed too
much. The great secret of true national prosperity, happiness and
success was, we were taught, to allow to each individual the fullest
possible play, provided only he did not infringe on the rights of
others. How is it to-day? America is the most governed and legislated
country in the world! With one national law-making machine perpetually
at work grinding out edicts, we have some fifty provincial mills engaged
in the same interesting and, to my mind, pernicious work. No one who has
given the slightest consideration to the subject will dispute the
proposition that, taking America as a whole, we now have twenty acts of
legislation annually promulgated, and with which we are at our peril
supposed to be familiar, where one would more than suffice. Then we
wonder that respect for the law shows a sensible decrease! The better
occasion for wonder is that it survives at all. We are both legislated
and litigated out of all reason.

Passing to the other proposition of individuality, there has been, as
all men know and no one will dispute, a most perceptible tendency of
late years towards what is known as the array of one portion of the
community--the preponderating, voting portion--against another--the more
ostentatious property-holding portion. It is the natural result, I may
say the necessary as well as logical outcome, of a period of too rapid
growth,--production apportioned by no rule or system other or higher
than greed and individual aptitude for acquisition. I will put the
resulting case in the most brutal, and consequently the clearest, shape
of which I am capable. Working on the combined theories of individualism
controlled and regulated by competition, it has been one grand game of
grab,--a process in which the whole tendency of our legislation,
national or state, has during the last twenty years been, first, to
create monopolies of capital and, later, to bring into existence a
counter, but no less privileged, class, known as the "wage-earner."

Of the first class it is needless to speak, for, as a class, it is
sufficiently pilloried by the press and from the hustings. Much in
evidence, those prominent in it are known as the possessors of
"predatory wealth"; "unjailed malefactors," they are subjects of
continuous "grilling" in the congressional and legislative committee
rooms. The effort to make them "disgorge" is as continual as it is
noisy, and, as a rule, futile. It constitutes a curious and in some
respects instructive exhibition of misdirected popular feeling and
legislative incompetence. None the less, the existence of a monopolist
class calls for no proof at the bar of public opinion. Not so the other
and even more privileged class,--the so-called "wage-earner"; for,
disguise it as the trades-unionist will, angrily deny it as he does, the
fact remains that to-day under the operation of our jury system and of
our laws, the Wage-earner and the member of the Trades-Union has become,
as respects the rest of the community, himself a monopolist and,
moreover, privileged as such. Practically, crimes urged and even
perpetrated in behalf of so-called "labor" receive at the hands of
juries, and also not infrequently of courts, an altogether excessive
degree of merciful consideration. At the same time, both here and in
Europe Organized Labor is instant in its demand that immunity, denied
to ordinary citizens, and those whom it terms "the classes," shall by
special exemption be conferred upon the Labor Union and upon the
Wage-earner. The tendency on both sides and at each extreme to
inequality in the legislature and before the law is thus manifest.

Viewing conditions face to face and as they now are, no thoughtful
observer can, in my judgment, avoid the conviction that, whether for
good or ill, for better or for worse, this country as a community has,
within the last thirty years--that is, we will say, since our centennial
year, 1876--cast loose from its original moorings. It has drifted, and
is drifting, into unknown seas. Nor is this true of English-speaking
America alone. I have already quoted Lord Morley in another connection.
Lord Morley, however, only the other day delivered, as Chancellor of
Manchester University, a most interesting and highly suggestive
address, in which, referring to conservative Great Britain, he thus
pictured a phase of current belief: "Political power is described as
lying in the hands of a vast and mobile electorate, with scanty regard
for tradition or history. Democracy, they say, is going to write its own
programme. The structure of executive organs and machinery is undergoing
half-hidden, but serious alterations. Men discover a change of attitude
towards law as law; a decline in reverence for institutions as

While, however, the influences at work are thus general and the
manifestations whether on the other side of the Atlantic or here bear a
strong resemblance, yet difference of conditions and detail
--constitutional peculiarities, so to speak--must not be
disregarded. One form of treatment may not be prescribed for all. In our
case, therefore, it remains to consider how best to adapt this country
and ourselves to the unforeseeable,--the navigation of uncharted waters;
and this adaptation cannot be considered hi any correct and helpful,
because scientific, spirit, unless the cause of change is located.
Surface manifestations are, in and of themselves, merely deceptive. A
physician, diagnosing the chances of a patient, must first correctly
ascertain, or at least ascertain with approximate correctness, the seat
of the trouble under which the patient is suffering. So, we.

And here I must frankly confess to small respect for the
politician,--the man whose voice is continually heard, whether from the
Senate Chamber or the Hustings. There is in those of his class a
continual and most noticeable tendency to what may best be described as
the _post ergo propter_ dispensation. With them, the eye is fixed on the
immediate manifestation. Because one event preceded another, the first
event is obviously and indisputably the cause of the later event. For
instance, in the present case, the cause or seat of our existing and
very manifest social, political and financial disturbances is attributed
as of course to some peculiarity of legislation, either a subtreasury
bill passed in the administration of General Jackson, or a tariff bill
passed in the administration of Mr. Taft, or the demonetization of
silver in the Hayes period,--that "Crime of the Century," the
Crucifixion of Labor on the Cross of Gold! Once for all, let me say, I
contemplate this school of politicians and so-called "thinkers" with
sentiments the reverse of respectful. In plain language, I class them
with those known in professional parlance as quacks and charlatans. Not
always, not even in the majority of cases, does that which preceded bear
to that which follows the relation of cause and effect. A marked example
of this false attribution is afforded in more recent political history
by the everlasting recurrence of the statement that American prosperity
is the result of an American protective system. Yet in the Protectionist
dispensation, this has become an article of faith. To my mind, it is
undeserving of even respectful consideration.

If I were asked the cause of that change, little short of
revolutionary, if indeed in any respect short of it, which has occurred
in the material condition of the American people, and consequently in
all its theories and ideals, within the last thirty years, I should
attribute it to a wholly different cause. Mr. Lecky some years ago, in
his book entitled "Liberty and Democracy," made the following statement,
in no way original, but, as he put it, sufficiently striking: "The
produce of the American mines [incident to the discoveries made by
Columbus] created, in the most extreme form ever known in Europe, the
change which beyond all others affects most deeply and universally the
material well-being of men: it revolutionized the value of the precious
metals, and, in consequence, the price of all articles, the effects of
all contracts, the burden of all debts."

In other words, referring to the first half of the sixteenth
century,--the sixty years, we will say, following the land-fall of
Columbus,--the historian attributed the great change which then occurred
and which stands forth so markedly in history, to the increased
New-World production of the precious metals, combined with the impetus
given to trade and industry as a consequence of that discovery, and of
the mastery of man over additional globe areas. Now, dismissing from
consideration the so-called American protective system, likewise our
currency issues and, generally, the patchwork, so to speak, of
crazy-quilt legislation to which so much is attributed during the last
thirty years, I confidently submit that in the production of the results
under discussion, they are quantities and factors hardly worthy of
consideration. The cause of the change which has taken place lies far
deeper and must be sought in influences of a wholly different nature,
influences developed into an increased and still ever increasing
activity, over which legislation has absolutely no control. I refer, of
course, to man's mastery over the latent forces of Nature. Of these
Steam and Electricity are the great examples, which, because always
apparent, at once strike the imagination. These, as tools, it is to be
remembered, date practically from within one hundred years back. It may,
indeed, safely be asserted that up to 1815, the end of the Wars of
Napoleon and the time of your Professor Lieber, steam even had not as
yet practically affected the operations of man, while electricity, when
not a terror, was as yet but a toy. Commerce was still exclusively
carried on by the sailing ship and canal-boat. The years from the fall
of Napoleon to our own War of Secession--from Waterloo to
Gettysburg--were practically those of early and partial development. Not
until well after Appomattox, that is, since the year 1870,--a period
covering but little more than the life of a generation,--did what is
known to you here as the Applied Sciences cover a range difficult to
specialize. As factors in development, it is safe to say that those
three tremendous agencies--Steam, Electricity, Chemistry--have, so to
speak, worked all their noticeable results within the lifetime of the
generation born since we celebrated the Centennial of Independence. The
manifestations now resulting and apparent to all are the natural outcome
of the use of these modern appliances, become in our case everyday
working tools in the hands of the most resourceful, adaptive, ingenious
and energetic of communities, developing a virgin continent of
undreamed-of wealth. Naturally, under such conditions, the advance has
been not only general and continuous, but one of ever increasing
celerity. So Protection and the Currency become flies on the fast
revolving wheel!

But what has otherwise resulted?--An unrest, social, economical,
political. Not contentment, but a lamentation and an ancient tale of
wrong! We hear it in the continual cry over what is known as the
increased cost of living, and feel its pressure in the higher standard
of living. What was considered wealth by our ancestors is to-day hardly
competence. What sufficed for luxury in our childhood barely now
supplies what are known as the comforts of life. Take, for instance, the
motor,--the automobile. I speak within bounds, I think, when I say there
are many fold more motors to-day racing over the streets, the highways
and the byways of America than there were one-horse wagons thirty-five
years ago. Six hundred, I am told, are to be found within the immediate
neighborhood of Columbia; and, since I have been here I have seen in
your streets just one man on horse-back! These figures and that
statement tell the tale. A few years only back, every Carolinian rode
to town, and the motor was unknown. A single illustrative example, this
could be duplicated in innumerable ways everywhere and in all walks
of life.

The result is obvious, and was inevitable. Entered on a new phase of
existence, the world is not as it was in the days of Columbus, when a
single new continent was discovered containing in it what we would now
regard as a limited accumulation of the precious metals. It is, on the
contrary, as if, in the language of Dr. Johnson, "the potentiality of
wealth" had been revealed "beyond the dreams of avarice"; together with
not one or two, but a dozen continents, the existence and secrets of
which are suddenly laid bare. The Applied Sciences have been the
magicians,--not Protection or the Currency.

And still scientists are continually dinning in our ears the question
whether this state of affairs is going to continue,--whether the era of
disturbance has reached its limit! I hold such a question to be little
short of childish. That era has not reached its limits, nor has it even
approximated those limits. On the contrary, we have just entered on the
uncharted sea. We know what the last thirty years have brought about as
the result of the agencies at work; but as yet we can only dimly dream
of what the next sixty years are destined to see brought about.
Imagination staggers at the suggestion.

What, then, has been of this the inevitable consequence,--the
consequence which even the blindest should have foreseen? It has
resulted in all those far-reaching changes suggested in the earlier part
of what I have said to-day, as respects our ideals, our political
theories, our social conditions. In other words, the old era is ended;
what is implied when we say a new era is entered upon?

To attempt a partial answer to the query implies no claim to a prophetic
faculty. Whether we like to face the fact or not, far-reaching changes
in our economical theories and social conditions are imminent, involving
corresponding readjustments in our constitutional arrangements and
political machinery. Tennyson foreshadowed it all in his "Locksley Hall"
seventy years ago:--"The individual withers, and the world is more and
more." The day of individualism as it existed in the American ideal of
sixty years since is over; that of collectivism and possibly socialism
has opened. The day of social equality is relegated to what may be
considered a somewhat patriarchal past,--that patriarchal past having
come to a close during the memory of those still in active life.

And yet, though all this can now be studied in the political discussion
endlessly dragging on, strangely and sadly enough that discussion
carries in it hardly a note of encouragement. It is, in a word,
unspeakably shallow. And here, having sufficiently for my present
purpose though in hurried manner, diagnosed the situation,--located the
seat of disturbance,--we come to the question of treatment. Involving,
as it necessarily does, problems of the fundamental law, and a
rearrangement and different allocation of the functions of government,
this challenges the closest thought of the publicist. That the problem
is here crying aloud for solution is apparent. The publications which
cumber the counters of our book-stores, those for which the greatest
popular call to-day exists--treatises relating to trade interests, to
collectivism, to socialism, even to anarchism--tell the tale in part; in
part it is elsewhere and otherwise told. Only recently, in once Puritan
Massachusetts, processions paraded the streets carrying banners marked
with this device, more suggestive than strange:--"No master and no God!"

What are the remedies popularly proposed? In that important branch of
polity known as Political Ethics, or, as he termed them, Hermeneutics,
which your Professor Lieber sixty years ago endeavored to treat of, what
advance has since his time been effected?--Nay! what advance has been
effected since the time, over two thousand years, of his great
predecessor, Aristotle? I confidently submit that what progress is now
being made in this most erudite of sciences is in the nature of that of
the crab--backwards! In the discussions of Aristotle, the problem in
view was, how to bring about government by the wisest,--that is, the
most observant and expert. In other words, government, the object of
politics, was by Aristotle treated in a scientific spirit. And this is
as it should be. Take, for example, any problem,--I do not care whether
it is legal or medical or one of engineering: How successfully dispose
of it? Uniformly, in one way. Those problems are successfully solved, if
at all, only when their solution is placed in the hands of the most
proficient. Judged by the discussions of to-day, what advance has in
politics been effected? Do the _Outlook_ and the _Commoner_ imply
progress since the Stagirite? Not to any noticeable extent. We are, on
the contrary, fumbling and wallowing about where the Greek pondered and

Democracy, as it is called, is to-day the great panacea,--the political
nostrum; as such it is confidently advocated by statesmen and professors
and even by the presidents of our institutions of the advanced
education. "Trust the People" is the shibboleth! "Let the People rule!"
"The cure for too much Liberty is more Liberty!" To Democracy plain and
simple--Composite Wisdom--I frankly confess I feel no call,--no call
greater than, for instance, towards Autocracy or Aristocracy or
Plutocracy. Taken simply, and applied as hitherto applied, all and each
lead to but one result,--failure! And that result, let me here predict,
will, in the future, be the same in the case of pure Democracy that, in
the past, it was in the case of the pure Autocracy of the Caesars, or
the case of the pure Aristocracy of Rome or of the so-called Republics
of the Middle Ages. A political edifice on shifting sands.

Yet, to-day what do we see and hear in America? Tell it not in Gath;
publish it not in the streets of Askalon I Two thousand years after the
time of Aristotle, we see a prevailing school working directly back to
the condition of affairs which existed in the Athenian agora under the
disapproving eyes of the father of political philosophy. Panaceas,
universal cure-alls, and quack remedies--the Initiative, the Referendum,
and the Recall are paraded as if these--nostrums of the mountebanks of
the county fair--would surely remedy the perplexing ills of new and
hitherto unheard-of social, economical, and political conditions.
Democracy! What is Democracy? Democracy, as it is generally understood,
I submit, is nothing but the reaching of political conclusions through
the frequent counting of noses; or, as Macaulay two generations ago
better phrased it, "the majority of citizens told by the head";--the
only question at just this juncture being whether, in order to the
arriving at more acceptable results, both sexes shall be "told," instead
of one sex only. Moreover, I with equal confidence make bold to suggest
that while conceded, and while men have even persuaded themselves that
they have faith in it, and really do believe in this "telling" of noses
as the best and fairest attainable means of reaching correct results,
yet in so doing and so professing they simply, as men are prone to do,
deceive themselves. In other words, victims of their own cant, they
preach a panacea in which they really do not believe. Nor of this is
proof far to seek. _Vox populi, vox Dei_! If you extend the application
of this principle by a single step, its loudest advocates draw back in
alarm from the inevitable. They seek refuge in the assertion--"Oh! That
is different!" For instance, take a concrete case; so best can we

One of the greatest scientific triumphs reached in modern times--perhaps
I might fairly say the greatest--is the discovery of the cause of yellow
fever, and its consequent control. As a result of the studies, the
patient experimentation and self-sacrifice of the wisest,--that is, the
most observant and expert,--the amazing conclusion was reached that not
only the yellow fever but the innumerable ills of the flesh known under
the caption of "malarial," were due to causes hitherto unsuspected,
though obvious when revealed,--to the existence in the atmosphere of a
venomous insect, in comparison with the work of which the ravages on
mankind of the entire carnivorous and reptile creation were of
comparatively small account. The mosquito flew disclosed, the
atmospheric viper,--a viper most venomous and deadly. How was the
disclosure brought about? What was the remedy applied? Was the discovery
effected through universal suffrage? Was the remedy sought for and
decided upon by the Initiative, or through a Referendum at an election
held on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of a certain month and
year? Had recourse in this case been had to the panacea now in greatest
political vogue, we all know perfectly well what would have followed.
History tells us. The quarantine, as it is called, would have been
decreed, and a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer appointed. The
mosquito, quite ignored, would then have gone on in his deadly work. We
all equally well know that the man, even the politician or the
statesman, who had suggested a solution of that problem by a count of
noses would have been effaced with ridicule. Even the most simple minded
would have rejected that method of reaching a result. Yet the ilia of
the body politic, too, are complicated. Indeed, far more intricate in
their processes and more deceitful in their aspects, they more deeply
affect the general well-being and happiness than any ill or epidemic
which torments the physical being, even the mosquito malaria. Yet the
ills of the body politic, the complications which surround us on every
side,--for these the unfailing panacea is said to lie in universal
suffrage, that remedy which is immediately and of course laughed out of
court if suggested in case of the simpler ills of the flesh.

This, I submit, is demonstration. The true remedy is not to be sought in
that direction in the one case any more than the other.

There is a considerable element of truth, though possibly a not
inconsiderable one of exaggeration, in this statement from a paper I
recently chanced upon in the issue of the sober and classical _Edinburgh
Review_ for October last,--a paper entitled "Democracy and
Liberalism":--"History testifies unmistakably and unanimously to the
passion of democracies for incompetence. There is nothing democracy
dislikes and suspects so heartily as technical efficiency, particularly
when it is independent of the popular vote." But to-day, what is
politically proposed by our senatorial charlatans and the mountebanks of
the market-place? The Referendum, the constant and easy Recall, the
everlasting Initiative are dinned into our ears as the cure-alls of
every ill of the body politic. On the contrary, I submit that, while in
the absence of any better method as yet devised and accepted, the
process of reaching results by a count of the "majority told by the
head" of the citizens then present and voting has certain political
advantages, yet, for all this, as a final, scientific, political
process, it is unworthy of consideration. A passing expedient, it in no
degree reflects credit on twentieth-century intelligence.

And now I come to the crux of my discussion. Thus rejecting results
reached by the ballot as now in practical use, a query is already in the
minds of those who listen. At once suggesting itself and flung in my
face, it is asked as a political poser, and not without a sneer,--What
else or better have I to propose? Would I advise a return to old and
discarded methods,--Heredity, Caste, Autocracy, Plutocracy? I
respectfully submit this is a question no one has a right to put, and
one I am not called upon to answer. Again, let me take a concrete case.
Once more I appeal to the yellow fever precedent. The first step towards
a solution of a medical, as of a political, problem is a correct
diagnosis. Then necessarily follows a long period devoted to
observation, to investigation and experiment. If, in the case of the
yellow fever, a score of years only ago an observer had pointed out the
nature of the disease and the manifest inadequacy of current theories
and prevailing methods of prevention and treatment, do you think others
would have had a right to turn upon him and demand that he instantly
prescribe a remedy which should be not only complete, but at once
recognized as such and so accepted? In the present case, as I have
already observed, from the days of Aristotle down through two and twenty
centuries, men had been experimenting in all, to them, conceivable ways,
on the government of the body politic, exactly as they experimented on
the disorders of the physical body. But only yesterday was the source of
the yellow fever, for instance, diagnosed and located, and the proper
means of prevention applied. The cancer and tuberculosis are to-day
unsolved problems. By analogy, they are inviting subjects for an
Initiative and a Referendum! Yet would any person who to-day, standing
where I stand, expressed a disbelief, at once total and contemptuous, of
such a procedure as respects them, be met by a demand for some other
panacea of immediate and guaranteed efficiency? And so with the body
politic. I here to-day am merely attempting a diagnosis, pointing out
the disorders, and exposing as best I can the utter crudeness and
insufficiency of the market-place remedies proposed. Have you a right,
then, to turn on me, and call for some other prescription, warranted to
cure, in place of the nostrums so loudly advertised by the sciolists and
the dabblers of the day, and by me so contemptuously set aside? I
confess I am unable to respond, or even to attempt a response to any
such demand. I am not altogether a quack, nor is this a county fair.

"Paracelsus," so denominated, was one of Robert Browning's earlier
poems. In it he causes the fifteenth-century alchemist and forerunner of
all modern pharmaceutical chemistry, to declare that as the result of
long travel and much research

"I possess
Two sorts of knowledge: one,--vast, shadowy,
Hints of the unbounded aim....
The other consists of many secrets, caught
While bent on nobler prize,--perhaps a few
Prime principles which may conduct to much:
These last I offer."

So, _longo intervallo_, I have a few suggestions,--the result of an
observation extending, as I said at the beginning, over the lives of two
generations and a connection with many great events in which I have
borne a part,--a part not prominent indeed, and more generally, I
acknowledge, mistaken than correct. My errors, however, have at least
made me cautious and doubtful of my own conclusions. I submit them for
what they are worth. Not much, I fear.

What, then, would I do, were it in my power to prescribe alterations and
curatives for the ills of our American body politic, of which I have
spoken; or, more correctly, the far-reaching disturbances manifestly due
to the agencies at work, to which I have made reference? Let us come at
once to the point, taking the existing Constitution of the United States
as a concrete example, and recognizing the necessity for its revision
and readjustment to meet radically changed conditions,--conditions
social, material, geographical, changed and still changing.

It was Mr. Gladstone who, years ago, made the often-quoted assertion
that the Constitution of the United States was "the most wonderful work
ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man." I do
not think he was far wrong; though we, of course, realize that the
Federal Constitution was a growth and in no degree an inspiration. That
Constitution has through a century and a quarter stood the test of time
and stress of war, during a period of almost unlimited growth of the
community for which it was devised. It has outlasted many nationalities
and most of the dynasties in existence at the time of its adoption; and
that, too, under conditions sufficiently trying. I, therefore, regard it
with profound respect; and, so regarding it, I would treat it with a
cautious and tender hand. Not lightly pronouncing it antiquated, what
changes would I make in it if to-morrow it were given me to prescribe
alterations adapting it to the altered conditions which confront us? I
do not hesitate to say, and I am glad to say, the changes I would
suggest would be limited; yet, I fancy, far-reaching.

And, in the first place, let us have a clear conception of the end in
view. That end is, I submit, exactly the same to-day which Aristotle had
in view more than twenty centuries ago. It is, not to solve all
political problems, but to put political problems as they arise in the
hands of those whom he termed the "best,"--but whom we know as the most
intelligent, observant and expert,--to be, through their agency, in the
way of ultimate solution. If, adopting every ill-considered and
half-fledged measure of so-called reform which might be the fancy of the
day, we incorporated them in our fundamental law, but one thing could
result therefrom,--ultimate confusion. The Constitution is neither a
legislative crazy-quilt nor a receptacle of fads. To make it such is in
every respect the reverse of scientific. The work immediately in hand,
therefore, is to devise such changes in the fundamental law as will tend
most effectually to bring about the solution of issues as they may
arise, by the most expert, observant and reliable. This accomplished, if
its accomplishment were only practicable, all possible would have been
done; and the necessary and inevitable readjustment of things would, in
politics as in medicine and in science, be left to solve itself as
occasion arose. Provision cannot be made against every contingency.

This premised, the Constitution of the United States is an instrument
through which powers are delegated by several local communities to a
central government. The instrument, it was originally held, should be
strictly construed and the powers delegated limited; and in this
respect, with certain alterations made obviously necessary to meet
changed conditions, I would return to the fundamental idea of
the framers.

In saying this I feel confidence also that here in South Carolina at
least I shall meet with an earnest response. The time is not yet remote
when local self-government worked salvation for South Carolina, as for
her sister States of the Confederacy. You here will never forget what
immediately followed the close of our Civil War. As an historic fact,
the Constitution was then suspended. It was suspended by act of an
irresponsible Congress, exercising revolutionary but unlimited powers
over a large section of the common country. You then had an
illustration, not soon to be forgotten, of concentration of legislative
power. An episode at once painful and discreditable, it is not necessary
here to refer to it in detail. Appeal, however, was made to the
principle of local self-government,--it was, so to speak, a recurrence
to the theory of State Sovereignty. The appeal struck a responsive,
because traditional, chord; and it was through a recurrence to State
Sovereignty as the agency of local self-government that loyalty and
contentment were restored, and, I may add, that I am here to-day.
Ceasing to be a Military Department, South Carolina once more became a
State. Not improbably the demand will in a not remote future be heard
that State lines and local autonomy be practically obliterated. In that
event, I feel a confident assurance that, recurring in memory to the
evil days which followed 1865, the spirit of enlightened conservatism
will assert itself here and in the sister States of what was once the
Confederacy; and again it will prevail. In the future, as in the past,
you in South Carolina at least will cling to what in 1876 proved the ark
of your social and political salvation.

Taking another step in the discussion of changes, the Constitution is
founded on that well-known distribution and allocation of powers first
theoretically suggested by Montesquieu. There is a division, accompanied
by a mutual limitation of authority, through the Judiciary, the
Executive, and the Legislative. As respects this allocation, how would I
modify that instrument? I freely say that the tendency of my thought,
based on observation, is to conservatism. I have never yet in a single
instance found that when the people of this or any other country
accustomed to parliamentary government desired a thing, they failed to
obtain it within a reasonable limit of time. Hasty changes are wisely
deprecated; but I think I speak within limitation when I say that
neither in the history of Great Britain,--the mother of Parliaments--nor
in the history of the United States, has any modification which the
people, on sober second thought, have considered to be for the best,
long been deferred. Action, revolutionary in character, has not, as a
rule, been needful, or, when taken, proved salutary. This is a record
and result that no careful student of our history will, I take it, deny.

Such being the case, so far as our Judiciary is concerned, I do not
hesitate to say I would adhere to older, and, as I think, better
principles, or revert to them where they have been experimentally
abandoned. It took the Anglo-Saxon race two centuries of incessant
conflict to wrest from a despotic executive, practically an autocracy,
judicial independence. That was effected through what is known as a
tenure during good behavior, as opposed to a tenure at the will of the
monarch. This, then, for two centuries, was accepted as a fundamental
principle of constitutional government. Of late, a new theory has been
propounded, and by those chafing at all restraint--constitutionally
lawless in disposition--it is said the Recall should also be applied to
the Judiciary. Having, therefore, wrested the independence of the
Judiciary from the hand of the Autocrat, we now propose to place it, in
all trustfulness, in the hands of the Democrat. To me the proposition
does not commend itself. It is founded on no correct principle, for the
irresponsible democratic majority is even more liable to ill-considered
and vacillating action than is the responsible autocrat. In that matter
I would not trust myself; why, then, should I trust the composite
Democrat? In the case of the Judiciary, therefore, I would so far as the
fundamental law is concerned abide by the older and better considered
principles of the framers.

Next, the Executive. Again, we hear the demand of Democracy,--the
Recall! Once more I revert to the record. This Republic has now been in
working operation, and, taken altogether, most successful operation,
for a century and a quarter. During that century and a quarter we have
had, we will say, some five and twenty different chief magistrates.
There is an ancient and somewhat vulgar adage to the effect that the
proof of a certain dietary article is in its eating. Apply that homely
adage to the matter under consideration. What is the lesson taught? It
is simply this,--during a whole century and a quarter of existence there
has not been one single chief executive of the United States to whom the
arbitrary Recall could have been applied with what would now be agreed
upon as a fortunate result. In the Andrew Johnson impeachment case was
it not better that things were as they were? On the other hand, every
one of the seven independent, self-respecting Senators who then by a
display of high moral courage saved the country from serious prejudice
would have been recalled out-of-hand had the Recall now demanded been in
existence. Its working would have received prompt exemplification; as it
was, the recall was effected in time, and after due deliberation. The
delay occasioned no public detriment. In this life, experience is
undeniably worth something; and the experience here referred to is
fairly entitled to consideration. No political system possible to devise
is wholly above criticism,--not open to exceptional contingencies or to
dangers possible to conjure up. Such have from time to time arisen in
the past; in the future such will inevitably arise. This consideration
must, however, be balanced against a general average of successful
working; and I confidently submit that, weighing thus the proved
advantage of the system we have against the possibilities of danger
which hereafter may occur, but which never yet have occurred, the scale
on which are the considerations in favor of change kicks the beam.

In view, however, of the growth of the country, the vastly increased
complexity of interests involved, the intricacy and the cost of the
election processes to which recourse is necessarily had, I would
substitute for the present brief tenure of the presidential office--a
tenure well enough perhaps in the comparatively simple days which
preceded our Civil War--a tenure sufficiently long to enable the
occupant of the presidential chair to have a policy and to accomplish at
least something towards its adoption. As the case stands to-day, a
President for the first time elected has during his term of four years,
one year, and one year only, in which really to apply himself to the
accomplishment of results. The first year of his term is necessarily
devoted to the work of acquiring a familiarity with the machinery of the
government, and the shaping of a policy. The second year may be devoted
to a more or less strenuous effort at the adoption of the policy thus
formulated. As experience shows, the action of the third and fourth
years is gravely affected--if not altogether perverted from the work in
hand--by what are known as the political exigencies incident to a
succession. Manifestly, this calls for correction. The remedy, however,
to my mind, is obvious and suggests itself. As the presidency is the
one office under our Constitution national in character, and in no way
locally representative, I would extend the term to seven years, and
render the occupant of the office thereafter ineligible for reÎlection.
Seven years is, I am aware, under our political system, an unusual term;
and here my ears will, I know, be assailed by the great "mandate"
cackle. The count of noses being complete, the mind of the composite
Democrat is held to be made up. It only remains to formulate the
consequent decree; and, with least possible delay, put it in way of
practical enforcement. Again, I, as a publicist, demur. It is the old
issue, that between instant action and action on second thought,
presented once more. Briefly, the experience of sixty years strongly
inclines me to a preference of matured and considerate action over that
immediate action which notoriously is in nine cases out of ten as
ill-advised as it is precipitate. Only in the field of politics is the
expediency of the latter assumed as of course; yet, as in science and
literature and art so in politics, final, because satisfactory, results
are at best but slowly thrashed out. As respects wisdom, the modern
statute book does not loom, monumental. Its contemplation would indeed
perhaps even lead to a surmise that reasonable delay in formulating his
"mandate" might, in the case of the composite Democrat as in that of the
individual Autocrat, prove a not altogether unmixed, and so in the end
an intolerable, evil.

Thus while a change of the Executive and Legislative branches of the
government might not be always simultaneously effected, by selecting
seven years as the presidential term the election would be brought
about, as frequently as might be, by itself, uncomplicated by local
issues connected with the fortunes or political fate of individual
candidates for office, whether State, Congressional, or Senatorial; and
during the seven years of tenure, four, at least, it might reasonably be
anticipated, would be devoted to the promotion of a definite policy, in
place of one year in a term of four, as now. If also ineligible for
reelection, there is at least a fair presumption that the occupant of
the position might from start to finish apply himself to its duties and
obligations, without being distracted therefrom by ulterior personal
ends as constantly as humanly held in view.

Having thus disposed of the Judiciary and the Executive, we come to the
Legislative. And here I submit is the weak point in our American
system,--manifestly the weak point, and to those who, like myself, have
had occasion to know, undeniably so. I am here as a publicist; not as a
writer of memoirs: so, on this head, I do not now propose to dilate or
bear witness. I will only briefly say that having at one period, and for
more than the lifetime of a generation, been in charge of large
corporate and financial interests, I have had much occasion to deal with
legislative bodies, National, State and Municipal. That page of my
experiences is the one I care least to recall, and would most gladly
forget. I am not going to specify, or give names of either localities or
persons; but, knowing what I know, it is useless to approach me on this
topic with the usual good-natured and optimistic, if somewhat unctuous
and conventional, commonplaces on general uprightness and the tendency
to improved conditions and a higher standard. I know better! I have seen
legislators bought like bullocks--they selling themselves. I have
watched them cover their tracks with a cunning more than vulpine. I have
myself been black-mailed and sandbagged, while whole legislative bodies
watched the process, fully cognizant at every step of what was going on.
This, I am glad to say, was years ago. The legislative conditions were
then bad, scandalously bad; nor have I any reason to believe in a
regeneration since. The stream will never rise higher than its source;
but it generally indicates the level thereof. In this case, I can only
hope that in my experience it failed so to do. Running at a low level,
the waters of that stream were deplorably dirty.

That the legislative branch of our government has fallen so markedly in
public estimation is not, I think, open to denial. To my mind, under the
conditions I have referred to, such could not fail to be the case. It
has, consequently, lost public confidence. Hence this popular demand for
immediate legislation by the People,--this twentieth-century appeal to
the Agora and Forum methods which antedate the era of Christ. It is true
the world outgrew them two thousand years ago, and they were discarded;
but, living in a progressive and not a reactionary period, all that, we
are assured, is changed! The heart is no longer on the right-hand side
of the body. To secure desired results it is only necessary to start
quite fresh, as a mere preliminary discarding all lessons of experience.

Such reasoning does not commend itself to my judgment. On the contrary,
the failure of the American legislative to command an increasing public
confidence, while both natural and obvious, is, if my observation guides
me to conclusions in any degree correct, traceable to two reasons. So
far as government is concerned, the law-making branch is assumed to be
made up of the wisest and the most expert. Meanwhile, it is as a matter
of fact chosen by the process I have not over-respectfully referred to
as the counting of noses; and, moreover, by an unwritten law more
binding than any in the Statute Book, that counting of noses is with us
localized. In other words, when it comes to the choice of our
law-makers, reducing provincialism to a system we make the local
numerical majority supreme, and any one is considered competent to
legislate. He can do that, even if by common knowledge he is incompetent
or untrustworthy in every other capacity. Localization thus becomes the
stronghold of mediocrity, the sure avenue to office of the second-and
third-rate man,--he who wishes always to enjoy his share of a little
brief authority, to have, he also, a taste of public life. In this
respect our American system is, I submit, manifestly and incomparably
inferior to the system of parliamentary election existing in Great
Britain, itself open to grave criticism. In Great Britain the public man
seeks the constituency wherever he can find it; or the constituency
seeks its representative wherever it recognizes him. The present Prime
Minister of Great Britain, for instance, represents a small Scotch
constituency in which he never resided, but by which he was elected more
than twenty years ago, and through which he has since consecutively
remained in public life. On the other hand, look at the waste and
extravagance of the system now and traditionally in use with us. To get
into public life a man must not only be in sympathy with the majority of
the citizens of the locality in which he lives, but he must continue to
be in sympathy with that majority; or, at any election, like Mr. Cannon
in the election just held, where for any passing cause a majority of his
neighbors in the locality in which he lives may fail to support him, he
must go into retirement. I cannot here enlarge on this topic, vital as I
see it; I have neither space nor time, and must, therefore, needs
content myself with the "hints" of Paracelsus. I will merely say that as
an outcome this localized majority system practically disfranchises the
more intelligent and the more disinterested, the more individual and
independent of every constituency. It reduces their influence, and
negatives their action. It operates in like fashion everywhere. My
field of observation has been at home, here in America; but it has been
the same in France. For instance, while preparing this address I came
across the following in that most respectable sheet, the London
_Athenaum_. A very competent Frenchman was there criticising a recent
book entitled "Idealism in France." Reference was by him made to what,
in France, is known as the "_scrutin d'arrondissement,"_ or, in other
words, the district representative system. The critic declares that this
system has there "created a party machine which has brought the country
under the sway of a sort of Radical-Socialist Tammany, and bound
together the voter and the deputy by a tie of mutual corruption, the
candidate promising Government favors to the elector in return for his
vote, and the elector supporting the candidate who promises most. Hence
a policy in which ideas and ideals are forgotten for personal and local
interests, as each candidate strives to outbid his rivals in the bribes
that he offers to his constituents. Hence, finally, a general lowering
in the tone of French home politics, every question being made
subservient by the deputies to that of their reÎlection."

I would respectfully inquire if the above does not apply word for word
to the condition of affairs with which we are familiar in America.

But let me here again cite a concrete case, still fresh in memory;
nothing in abstract discussion tells so much. Take the late Carl
Schurz. If there was one man in our public life since 1865 who showed a
genius for the parliamentary career, and who in six short years in the
United States Senate--a single term--displayed there constructive
legislating qualities of the highest order, it was Carl Schurz. Yet at
the end of that single senatorial term, for local and temporary reasons
he failed to obtain the support of a majority, or the support of
anything approaching a majority, of those composing the constituency
upon which he depended. Consequently he was retired from that
parliamentary position necessary for the accomplishment, through him, of
best public results. Yet at that very time there was no man in the
United States who commanded so large and so personal a constituency as
Carl Schurz; for he represented the entire Germanic element in the
United States. Distributed as that element was, however, with its vote
localized under our law, unwritten as well as statutory, there was no
possibility of any constituency so concentrating itself that Carl Schurz
could be kept in the position where he could continue to render services
of the greatest possible value to the country. I, therefore, confidently
here submit a doubt whether human ingenuity could devise any system
calculated to lead to a greater waste of parliamentary ability, or more
effectually keep from the front and position of influence that
legislative superiority which was the arm of Aristotle to secure.
"Cant-patriotism," as your Francis Lieber termed it; and, on this
score, he waxed eloquent. "Do we not live in a world of cant," he wrote
from Columbia here to a friend at the North seventy-five years ago,
"that cant-patriotism which plumes itself in selecting men from within
the State confines only. The truer a nation is, the more essentially it
is elevated, the more it disregards petty considerations, and takes the
true and the good from whatever quarter it may come. Look at history and
you find the proof. Look around you, where you are, and you find it
now." And, were Lieber living to-day, he would find a striking
exemplification of the consequences of a total and systematic disregard
of this elementary proposition in studying the United States Senate from
and through its reporters' gallery. The decline in the standards of that
body, whether of aspect, intelligence, education or character, under the
operation of the local primary has been not less pronounced than
startling. The outcome and ripe result of "cant-patriotism," it affords
to the curious observer an impressive object-lesson,--provincialism
reduced to a political system; what a witty and incisive French writer
has recently termed the "Cult of Incompetence." Speaking of conditions
prevailing not here but in France, this observer says:--"Democracy in
its modern form chooses its' delegates in its own image.... What ought
the character of the legislator to be? The very opposite, it seems to
me, of the democratic legislator, for he ought to be well-informed and
entirely devoid of prejudice." Taken as a whole, and a few striking
individual exceptions apart, are those composing the Senate of the
United States conspicuous in these respects? They certainly do not so
impress the casual observer. That, as a body, they increasingly fail to
command confidence and attention is matter of common remark. Nor is the
reason far to seek. It would be the same as respects literature, science
and art, were their representatives chosen and results reached through a
count of noses localized, with selection severely confined to
home talent.

I am well aware of the criticism which will at once be passed on what I
now advance. Local representation through choice by numerical majorities
within given confines, geographically and mathematically fixed, is a
system so rooted and intrenched in the convictions and traditions of the
American community that even to question its wisdom evinces a lack of
political common-sense. It in fact resembles nothing so much as the
attempt to whistle down a strongly prevailing October wind from the
West. The attempt so to do is not practical politics! In reply, however,
I would suggest that such a criticism is wholly irrelevant. The
publicist has nothing to do with practical politics. It is as if it were
objected to a physician who prescribed sanitation against epidemics that
the community in question was by custom and tradition wedded to filth
and surface-drainage, and could not possibly be induced to abandon them
in favor of any new-fangled theories of soap-and-water cleanliness. So
why waste time in prescribing such? Better be common-sensed and
practical, taking things as they are. In the case suggested, and
confronted with such criticism, the medical adviser simply shrugs his
shoulders, and is silent; the alternative he knows is inescapable. After
a sufficiency of sound scourgings the objecting community will probably
know better, and may listen to reason; in a way, conforming thereto. So,
also, the body politic. If Ephraim is indeed thus joined to idols, the
publicist simply shrugs his shoulders, and passes on; possibly, after
Ephraim has been sufficiently scourged, he may in that indefinite future
popularly known as "one of these days" be more clear sighted and wiser.

None the less, so far as our national parliamentary system is concerned,
could I have my way in a revision of the Constitution, I would increase
the senatorial term to ten years, and I would, were such a thing within
the range of possibility, break down the system of the necessary
senatorial selection by a State of an inhabitant of the State. If I
could, I would introduce the British system. For example, though I never
voted for Mr. Bryan and have not been in general sympathy with Mr.
Roosevelt, yet few things would give me greater political satisfaction
than to see Mr. Bryan, we will say, elected a Senator from Arizona or
Oregon, Mr. Roosevelt elected from Illinois or Pennsylvania, President
Taft from Utah or Vermont. They apparently best represent existing
feelings and the ideals prevailing in those communities; why, then,
should they not voice those feelings and ideals in our highest
parliamentary chamber?

As respects our House of Representatives, it would in principle be the
same. I do not care to go into the rationale of what is known as
proportional representation, nor have I time so to do; but, were it in
my power, I would prescribe to-morrow that hereafter the national House
of Representatives should be constituted on the proportional basis,--the
choice of representatives to be by States, but, as respects the
nomination of candidates, irrespective of district lines. Like many
others, I am very weary of provincial nobodies, "good men" locally known
to be such!

As I have already said, in parliamentary government all depends in the
end on the truly representative character of the legislative body. If
that is as it should be, the rest surely follows. The objective of
Aristotle is attained.

Exceeding the limits assigned to it, my discussion has, however,
extended too far. I must close. One word before so doing. Why am I here?
I am here,--a man considerably exceeding in age the allotted threescore
and ten--to deliver a message, be the value of the same greater or less.
I greatly fear it is less. I would, however, impart the lessons of an
experience stretching over sixty years,--the results of such observation
as my intelligence has enabled me to exercise. I do so, addressing
myself to a local institution of the advanced education. Why? Because,
looking over the country, diagnosing its conditions as well as my
capacity enables me, observing the evolution of the past and
forecasting, in as far as I may, the outcome, I am persuaded that the
future of the country rests more largely in the hands of such
institutions as this than in those of any other agency or activity. Do
not say I flatter; for, while I can hope for no advancement, I think I
have not overstated the case; I certainly have not overstated my
conviction. There has been no man who has influenced the course of
modern thought more deeply and profoundly than Adam Smith, a Professor
in a Scotch University of the second class. So here in Columbia seventy
years ago, Francis Lieber prepared and published his "Manual of
Political Ethics." Adam Smith and Francis Lieber were but
prototypes--examples of what I have in mind. The days were when the
Senate of the United States afforded a rostrum from which thinkers and
teachers first formulated, and then advanced, great policies. Those
days, and I say it regretfully, are past. Unless I am greatly mistaken,
however, a new political force is now asserting itself. I have recently,
at a meeting of historical and scientific associations in Boston, had my
attention forcibly called to this aspect of the situation now shaping
itself. I there met young men, many, and not the least noticeable of
whom, came from this section. They inspired me with a renewed confidence
in our political future. Essentially teachers,--I might add, they were
publicists as well as professors. Observers and students, they actively
followed the course of developing thought in Europe as in this country.
Exact in their processes, philosophical and scientific in their methods,
unselfish in their devotion, they were broad of view. It is for them to
realize in a future not remote the University ideal pictured, and
correctly pictured, from this stage by one who here preceded me a short
six months ago. They, constituting the University, are the "hope of the
State in the direction of its practical affairs; in teaching the lawyer
the better standards of his profession, his duty to place character
above money making; in teaching the legislator the philosophy of
legislation, and that the constructive forces of legislation carefully
considered should precede every effort to change an existing status; in
teaching those in official life, executive and judicial, that demagogy,
and theories of life uncontrolled by true principles, do not make for
success, when final success is considered, but that, if they did lead to
success, they should be avoided for their inherent imperfection.... The
province of the University is to educate citizenship in the abstract."

It is the presence of this class, to those composing which I bow as
distinctly of a period superior to mine, that you owe my presence
to-day,--whatever that presence may be worth. I regard their existence
and their coming forward in such institutions as this University of
South Carolina, as the arc of the bow of promise spanning the political
horizon of our future.

Through you, to them my message is addressed.

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