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"Fourth—The national constitution should be so amended as to allow the national revenues to be raised by equitable adjustment of taxation on the properties and incomes of the people, and import duties should be levied only as a means of securing equitable commercial relations with other nations.
"Fifth—The contract convict labor system, through which speculators are enriched at the expense of the state, should be abolished.
"Sixth—Believing that the free expression of the popular will is essential in representative Government, we favor the adoption of the initiative and referendum.
"Seventh—No citizen should be denied the right to vote on account of sex.
"Eighth—All citizens should be protected in their right to one day's rest without opposing any one who consciently observes any other than the first day of the week.
"Ninth—American public schools taught in the English language should be maintained, and no public funds should be applied to sectarian institutions.
"Tenth—The President, Vice President, and Senators of the United States should be elected by the vote of the people.
"Eleventh—Ex-soldiers and sailors should be granted pensions graded upon disability and time of services, not merely as a debt of gratitude, but for services rendered in the preservation of the Union.
"Twelfth—Our immigration laws should be so secure as to exclude paupers and criminals; immigrants wishing to become citizens should be required to register in a court, and the right of franchise should' not be granted until five years thereafter.
"Thirteenth— None but citizens should be allowed to vote in any state, and naturalized citizens should not be allowed to vote for one year after naturalization papers are issued."
The fourteenth plank referred to international arbitration, and the fifteenth plank asked for the cooperation, of all citizens in support of the platform.
The conflict opened over a motion to make the minority report u part of the majority report. The " broad-gagers," or free siiverites, carried this by a vote of 492 to 310. The platform was then taken up and considered section by section. When the free silver plank was reached it gave rise to a prolonged and heated debate, which engaged the best minds in the convention and proved an opportunity for such an exhibition of eloquence as is seldom witnessed. The result was the defeat of the free silver plank by a vote of 387 to 427.
Now came the most interesting episodes of the Convention, and of a kind which must prove far reaching in their effects on the future of the Prohibition party. One was the leap of the Convention from a compound to a simple platform.
This leap was taken on motion of R. H. Patton, of Springfield, 111., a free silver advocate, who moved as a substitute for all planks adopted or proposed a single issue platform. This was the occasion for another interesting debate, free, however, from the acrimonies of the former one. The majority drifted strongly to the single issue idea, which was given the following form, and made the sentiment of the Convention by a decisive vote:
The Prohibition Platform.
We, the members of the Prohibition party, in national convention assembled, renewing our declaration of allegiance to Almighty God as the rightful ruler of the universe, lay down the following as our declaration of political purpose.
"The Prohibition party, in national convention assembled, declares its firm conviction that the manufacture, exportation, importation, and sale of alcoholic beverages has produced such social, commercial, industrial, and political wrongs and is now so threatening to the perpetuity of all our social and political institutions, that the suppression of the same by a national party organized therefor, is the greatest object to be accomplished by the voters of our country, and is of such importance that it, of right, ought to control the political actions of all our patriotic citizens until such suppression is accomplished.
"The urgency of this course demands the union without further dday of all citizens who desire the prohibition of the liquor traffic ; therefore be it
"Resolved, That we favor the legal prohibition by state and national legislation of the manufacture, importation, and sale of alcoholic beverages. That we declare our pu:p se to organize and unite all the friends of Prohibition into one party, and in order to accomplish this end we deem it of right to leave every Prohibitionist the freedom of his own convictions upon all other political questions, and trust our representatives to take such aciion upon other political questions as the changes occasioned by Prohibition and the welfare of the whole people shall demand."
The convention did not feel like leaving out the usual suffrage plank, which had for so many years held an -honored place in the platform, so, upon motion of Mrs. 2lla A. Ifoole, of New York, it passed the following resolution, the vote being almost unanimous:
Resolved, "The right of suffrage ought not to be abridged on account of sex."
Another episode was the withdrawal of the "broadgagers " from further participation in the Convention, and the setting up of a new Prohibition party with candidates representing its principles.
The regular Convention was now free to complete its work, which it proceeded to do with harmonious earnestness. The trend of sentiment had all along pointed to Mr. Leveling as the one to be honored with the nomiuation for the Presidency. His name was presented to the Convention by his friend Mr. W. F. Tucker, of Baltimore, who in part said:
"Maryland has the honor of presenting a man as standard-bearer of the Prohibition party who, back in 1884, did not hesitate to go out and work for that matchless man, John P. St. John, and since that time he has been working and voting the Prohibition ticket. Until a few moments ago he refused to allow his name to be used. He will not sit at home expecting the people to do his work, nor confine his work to the state of Maryland or the South, but he will devote his time to work, so the people of the United States will know he is the standard-bearer of the Prohibition party. I hereby present the name of Joshua Levering, as candidate for the nomination of this convention."
Perhaps no nomination in any national convention was ever seconded so numerously or eloquently. The following eulogium by Mr. Hipp, of Arizona, will serve as a sample of all:
"The candidate whom I favor is worthy to lead us in so great a cause. A prince among men, he stands one of the leaders of the great church to which he belongs. In education, in home and foreign missionary enterprises, in every kind of philanthropic work, he stands without a peer.
"His high character and standing as a Christian man will add strength to our cause, and thousands upon thousands of votes to our party.
"I therefore heartily second the nomination of that spotless son of the Southland, Joshua Levering, of Maryland."
The name of the Ex-Governor L. C. Hughes, of Arizona, was also presented to the Convention, but it did not serve to deflect the strong current of sentiment in favor of Mr. Levering, whose nomination was made unanimous, amid the wildest enthusiasm. On being introduced to the Convention by the chairman, Mr. Stewart, Mr. Levering accepted the trust imposed and the honor conferred, in the following language:
"I would be less than human if my heart did not beat quick, and every nerve pulsate with deep emotion as I stand before you as the candidate against the legalized liquor traffic of this country. When an honor comes as i sacrifice for humanity such as this is, it is an honor worth wearing. I feel my own unfitness forit,and would shrink from its acceptance but for one reason, and that is that the secular press have come to realize that we are earnest in our purpose and do us justice in saying that we are honest. Therefore I feel that I would waive my private interest and yield to your wishes. I am tempted to cry out, as did the servant of the Almighty, when he was called to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt—'Who am I that I should be called to lead the children out of the wilderness?'
"Friends, trusting in the God of battles, and trusting in you and those you represent, I am prepared to stand here and accept this sacred trust, and to the extent of my ability I assure you that wherever the fight is thickest, the white flag of Prohibition will be planted. We may not succeed in planting our flag in the White Plouse, but I think we will come near it; but if we do the Government shall not be run in the interest of any trust or individual. I want to remind you that this great responsibility is yours, and the success of the campaign is not on the standard-bearers so much as on the rank and file. Let us hive the faith to believe that right is might. God and Uumauity expect every Prohibitionist to do his duty,"