Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Short Stories > Presidential Problems > CHAPTER III
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】
In response to this the governor, evidently unwilling to allow the matter at issue between us to rest without a renewal of argument and protest, at once addressed to me another long telegraphic communication, evidently intended to be more severely accusatory and insistent than its predecessor. Its general tenor may be inferred from the opening words:

    Your answer to my protest involves some startling conclusions, and ignores and evades the question at issue—that is, that the principle of local self-government is just as fundamental in our institutions as is that of Federal supremacy. You calmly assume that the Executive has the legal right to order Federal troops into any community of the United States in the first instance, whenever there is the slightest disturbance, and that he can do this without any regard to the question as to whether the community is able to and ready to enforce the law itself.

After a rather dreary discussion of the importance of preserving the rights of the States and a presentation of the dangers to constitutional 113 government that lurked in the course that had been pursued by the general Government, this communication closed as follows:

    Inasmuch as the Federal troops can do nothing but what the State troops can do there, and believing that the State is amply able to take care of the situation and to enforce the law, and believing that the ordering out of the Federal troops was unwarranted, I again ask their withdrawal.

I confess that my patience was somewhat strained when I quickly sent the following despatch in reply to this communication:

    Executive Mansion.
    Washington, D. C., July 6, 1894.

    While I am still persuaded that I have neither transcended my authority nor duty in the emergency that confronts us, it seems to me that in this hour of danger and public distress, discussion may well give way to active efforts on the part of all in authority to restore obedience to law and to protect life and property.

    Grover Cleveland.

    Hon. John P. Altgeld,
    Governor of Illinois.

This closed a discussion which in its net results demonstrated how far one’s disposition and inclination will lead him astray in the field of argument.

I shall conclude the treatment of my subject 114 by a brief reference to the legal proceedings which grew out of this disturbance, and finally led to an adjudication by the highest court in our land, establishing in an absolutely authoritative manner and for all time the power of the national Government to protect itself in the exercise of its functions.

It will be recalled that in the course of our narrative we left Mr. Debs, the president of the Railway union, and his three associates in custody of the law, on the seventeenth day of July, awaiting an investigation of the charge of contempt of court made against them, based upon their disobedience of the writs of injunction forbidding them to do certain things in aid or encouragement of interference with mail transportation or interstate commerce.

This investigation was so long delayed that the decision of the Circuit Court before which the proceedings were pending was not rendered until the fourteenth day of December, 1894. On that date the court delivered an able and carefully con............
Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved