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Charles Maris Keyser, of Baltimore, in 1870. Tins issue of this marriage was three sons and four daughters. Mrs Levering died in May, 1888. In March, 1892, Mr. Levering married his first wife's sister, Margaret I. Keyser, who died in August, 1895.
Though actively and arduously engaged in a large and responsible business, few citizens of Baltimore hold more conspicuous place in the work that counts for a great city's social estate, philanthropy, moral and mental status, and general enterprise. Of excellent judgment, boundless enenergy, unswerving probity, and pleasing demeanor, his life has been a series of rapid, complimentary steps to the highest esteem of his fellow men, the implicit confidence of the public, and the most responsible civic and political trusts.
In 1857, at the early age of twelve years, he united with the Baptist Church, under the preaching of Rev. Jacob Knapp, and in 1871, became a constituent member of the Eutaw Place Baptist Church of Baltimore, which connection he has since retained. He has been Superintendent of the Sunday school of this church since 1881.
He easily ranks as one of the most energetic, liberal and prominent members of his denomination, and in 1888 was a prime mover and helper in the organization of the American Baptist Educational Society, whose treasurer he became, and which responsible post he has held ever since. In 1885 he was elected President of the Young Men's Christian Association of Baltimore, and has been unanimously reelected ever since.
He was once elected as Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention. In 1886, he was chosen President of the House of Refuge of Maryland, and in appreciation of his useful and satisfactory services in this charitable field ho has been reelected to the same responsible position annually ever since.
He also holds the honorable position of President of the Board of Trustees of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, at Louisville, Ky., is Vice President of the American Baptist Publication Society, and is one of the directors of the Maryland Trust Company and of the Provident Savings' Bank of Baltimore.
In 1884 he connected himself with the Prohibition cause and has ever since been one of its ablest, most iarnest and consistent exponents. The same qualities of head and heart, the same energy and devotion to purpose, that have endeared him to his fellow men and imposed on him so many business trusts and civic honors, soon opened for him wide avenues to political distinction. He became a trusted counsellor and favorite leader in his party, and, in 1887, presided as chairman of the Prohibition Convention of his State. He occupied the same post of honor and responsibility in the State Convention of 1893. In 1888, he was a delegate of his party to the National Prohibition Convention at Indianapolis, and in 1892 he was a delegate to the National Convention at Cincinnati. On the latter occasion he declined the honor of a nomination for the Vice Presidency of the United States in favor of Dr. E. B. Cranfill.
In 1891, Mr. Levering received the nomination of his party for State Controller, and in 1895 he was nominated by his party for Governor of the State of Maryland. After an energetic campaign he increased the Prohibition vote of his State to 8,000, a gain of fifty per cent. over any previous vote cast for a Prohibition nominee in the State.
After so rapid a rise in the councils and esteem of his party, it was but natural that his name should be conspicuous in the National Convention of 1896, in connection with the highest honors at its disposal, This Convention met in Pittsburg, on May 27 and 28, 1896. It was the seventh National Convention in the history of the party, and one of the largest and most broadly representative. It was also to be one of greater excitement and intensity of feeling than any other.
Long before it assembled there was manifest a factious disposition in the party respecting the dominant questions of free coinage of silver and woman's suffrage. The advocates of the first of these two principles, became known as "broad-gagers." They insisted that what they advocated should be incorporated in the National platform. Their opponents, that is, those who insisted that the platform should not be weighted with embarrassing questions, became known as "narrow-gagers," or "straight Prohibitionists."
The battle royal for the control of the party management and for the shaping of its future policy upon the above lines, began in the Committee on Platform. In that tribunal every inch of ground was hotly contested, but without evidence of other than some satisfactory agreement in the end, until a vote was reached on the plank favoring the free coinage of silver. This test showed the free silverites, or "broad-gagers" to be in a minority in the Committee, and led to a presentation to the Convention of a majority and minority report.
The scene of battle thus shifted, its bitterness was speedily renewed by the introduction of the majority and minority reports of the Committee on Resolutions.
The Majority Report.
The Prohibition party, in National Convention assembled, at Pittsburg, Pa., May 27, 1896, acknowledging Almighty God as the source of all power in Government, do hereby declare:
"First—We hold, with the United States Supreme Court, that the statistics of every State show a greater amount of crime and misery attributed to the use of anient spirits obtained at retail liquor-saloons than to any other source. We maintain that the liquor dealers corrupt legislation, debauch voters, bribe officials, intimidate public men, control political parties, and make good government in the centres of population impossible.
"Second—We are unalterably opposed to the alcholic drink traffic, and declare for the suppression of the manufacture, sale, importation, exportation, and transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes. We utterly reject all plans for regulating or compromising with this traffic, whether such plan be Local Option, taxation, license, or public control.
"Third—We call the attention of wage-earners to the fact that the enormous waste caused by the liquor traffic is inevitably at the cost of production, and we maintain that success for the Prohibition party will remove this great burden from industry. j
"Fourth—-We stand unequivocally for good govern-1 ment honestly and economically administered in every detail. We stand for fullest protection of the elective franchise, which is the basis of our civil liberties. With the • destruction of the liquor power, the greatest corrupter and debaucher of votes and voters will have disappeared, and the people and their representatives will be free to promote the best interest of all.
"Fifth—There is no greater peril to the nation than the competition of political parties for the liquor vote, and any party not openly opposed to the saloon will engage in such competition, court the favor of the criminal classes, and baiter away public morals and the purity of the ballot.
"Sixth—We call upon voters to enforce the declarations of the churches against the liquor traffic by supporting the Prohibition party, which aims to settle the only political question upon which the churches make deliverances; and we maintain that a new era of political righteousness will come when the voting members of the churches stand at the ballot-box in State and National elections for principles and candidates of the Prohibition party."
Those opposed to divisive issues wanted to stop right here, but the " broad gage " folks wanted to say more and presented the following as a minority report:
The Platform Which The Minority Wanted.
"First—That all money be issued by the Government only and without the intervention of any private citizen, corporation or banking institution. It should be based upon the wealth, stability, and integrity of the nation, and be a full legal tender for all debts, public and private, and should be of sufficient volume to meet the demand of the legitimate business interests of the country, and for the purpose of honestly liquidating all our outstanding coin obligations. We demand the free and unlimited coinage of silver and gold at a ratio of 16 to 1, without consulting! any other nation.
"Second—Land is the common heritage of the people, and should be preserved from monopoly and speculation. All unearned grants of land subject to forfeiture should be reclnimed by the Government, and no portion of the public domain should hereafter be granted except to actual settlers. Continuous use being essential to tenure.
"Third—Railroads, telegraph, and other monopolies should bu owned and operated by the Government, giving to the people the benefit of service and product therefrom at cost.