“Ex-Mayor Merriam, Chairman of the committee, called the meeting to order, and said the audience had assembled to hear the report of the two delegates to the Republican national convention. The Chairman then introduced Rodney Wallace, who was most heartily applauded as he arose to speak.
Mr. Wallace, who was one of the delegates from this district to the Republican convention, said his first choice for President was the able statesman from Vermont, Senator Edmunds, and his second choice was President Arthur, who has given us such an excellent administration. The Massachusetts delegation, almost without exception, worked hard to secure the nomination for Mr. Edmunds, but it was impossible for that convention to nominate anybody but James G. Blaine. Nobody can describe the enthusiasm through the entire convention for Blaine. The California delegation bore a banner inscribed “From Maine to California, through Iowa, all for Blaine,” and, in my opinion now, Mr. Elaine is the strongest man in the Republican party. When the motion was made to make the nomination unanimous, not a voice was raised against it. I believe he will be elected in November and will give us a strong and safe administration.”
The writer does not know whether Mr. Wallace considers his political life ended. He certainly has no longing, desires, and ambitions in the direction of public office. It is equally certain that any office which he will consent to hold, and which the people who know him can give, he can have without opposition.
I come now to a part of my story which it is exceedingly pleasant to relate and of which I am able to speak, to no little extent, from personal knowledge. It is, after all, what one is as a man among men, which speaks most for his honor, or his dishonor. What greater significance generous deeds have, when you know that behind them is no calculating, grasping spirit, which is figuring out how much it can get in return, but a noble, generous, self-forgetful manhood. We have a conviction that the conflict between labor and capital, which just now has reached a threatening pitch of violence, might have been avoided if employers had not in so many cases endeavored to reduce men to mere money-making machines. As a rule strikes do not occur where laboring men are treated with the consideration due them as free citizens. The freedom of Fitchburg from strikes is due to the intelligence of the workmen, and the fairness of the employers. Another says, “nothing does more to destroy the spirit of socialism and communism and to disipate envy than to see wealthy men devoting a part of their wealth to public uses.”