William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas


[TOC] [part 12] [part 10] [Cutler's History]


Political Conventions and Election. - Governor St. John, declining to call the State Legislature together, so that the State could be divided into seven Congressional districts, the Republican Congressional Conventions were held in May, in the districts, and Congressman Anderson, for the third time, and Congressmen Haskell and Ryan, for the fourth time, were nominated.

On June 29, at a State Convention held at Topeka, the Republicans nominated Edmund N. Morrill, of Brown County; Bishop W. Perkins, of Labette; Samuel R. Peters, of Harvey; and Lewis Hanback, of Saline, for Congressmen-at-Large.

The Republican State Convention met at Topeka to nominate a State ticket, August 9, and for the third time nominated Gov. St. John and Secretary Smith; re-nominated Lieut. Gov. Finney; Attorney General Johnston; Associate Justice Brewer and Superintendent Speer; nominated Samuel T. Howe, of Marion County, for State Treasurer; E. P. McCabe, of Graham, for Auditor. Mr. Howe and Mr. McCabe were each nominated on the fifth ballot. Though Gov. St. John received 79 per cent of the delegate vote, yet there was an earnest protest made by the minority element against his nomination for the third time; something unprecedented in the history of the party in Kansas.

At the St. John caucus, over which ex-Lieut. Gov. Joseph P. Root presided, Gov. St. John said:

We are on the eve of a great revolution that shall test to the utmost the strength of all political parties in contests to come. The Republican part in Kansas is the party of progress, which takes the lead in everything calculated to advance the interests of the people. Let there be nothing ambiguous in the platform and we can go to the polls prepared to win the grandest victory which has ever crowned the Republican party in Kansas.

Anti-St. John Caucus - B. S. McFarland, of Johnson County, was Secretary; Senator Harrison Kelley, of Coffey, President of the Anti-St. John caucus. Senator Ira F. Collins, of Nemaha, suggested a roll-call of delegates - 79 delegates representing 22 different counties, responded. Remarks were made by Senator Solon O. Thacher, of Douglas; Speaker John B. Johnson, of Shawnee; John A. Martin, of the Atchison Champion, and others.

Senator Thacher regarded the Republican party of more importance than the history or destiny of any man. Gov. St. John's strength does not represent more than half of the Republican party. His nomination would be injurious to the party because its idea is against a third term, and it will bring disaster to the party in the Lower House of the Legislature. He requested manly action on the part of Republicans. Speaker Johnson said he would like to call the Convention to order; retire first from the race; let a written protest be filed against the nomination of Gov. St. John as over-riding the precedent of the party established against the third term, and let the solid vote be cast for Senator Thacher. Editor Martin, the Kansas member of the National Republican Committee, said he expected to do everything he could to put upon record this contemplated evasion of the precedent of the party.

A committee consisting of Messrs. John A. Martin, ex-Senator William Martindale, of Greenwood; Senator R. W. Blue, of Linn; A. D. Brown, of the Burlington (Coffey County) Patriot; Cyrus Leland, of Doniphan, former Chairman of the Republican State Central Committee; Dr. H. C. Linn, Pottawatomie Indian Agent, and J. H. Shimmon, of Lawrence, were appointed to report a plan of action for the Anti-St. John, Anti-Third Term protestants. The committee submitted a report which embodied the following protests:

The minority of this Convention opposed to the third nomination of Gov. St. John, through their Chairman and Secretary, desire to put upon record their formal protest against a violation of the precedents and customs of the party of the State, which have been uniformly against the nomination of a Governor for a third term. They also put upon record their protest against this nomination for a third term, it being personally obnoxious to a large majority of the Republican voters of the State; it will endanger Republican success in a number of counties, and it threatens to alienate the support of a large number of Republican voters. The party, even in Kansas, cannot, we believe, afford to force upon such a body of Republican voters a candidate who is obnoxious to them.

Organization of the Convention. - Senator Henry C. Sluss, of Sedgwick, was elected Chairman of the Convention, receiving 284 votes; Senator Kelley, of Coffey, the Anti-St. John candidate, had 85 votes.

Ballot for Governor. - John P. St. John received 287 votes; Solon O. Thacher, 62; John B. Johnson, 12: John A. Martin, 2. Total, 365.

Platform - Making a declaration of faith in the principles of the party, and having confidence in the present administration, as to the Nation and State, it declared in favor of the following:

First - That we declare ourselves unqualifiedly in favor of the prohibition of the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors as a beverage, and pledge ourselves to such additional legislation as shall secure the rigid enforcement of the constitutional provision on this subject in all parts of the State.

Second - That we request our delegation in Congress to secure such an amendment to the revenue laws, as will prevent the issuing of receipts or stamps to sell intoxicating liquors to any persons other than those entitled so to do under State laws.

Third - that we demand the enactment of such laws as will prevent unjust discrimination by railroad companies. That will provide for such freight and passenger tariff as shall fully protect the interests of the people.

Fourth - that we request the next Legislature to submit such an amendment to the constitution of the State as will secure to women the right of suffrage.

Governor St. John Before the Convention - A committee appointed to wait upon the Governor and inform him of the action of the Convention returned with him, and the governor expressed himself in the following language:

I am here simply to tender to you my heartfelt thanks for this, the third indorsement given to me by a Republican Convention of Kansas. I am not vain enough, I think, to claim this a victory for myself. It is not. It is a victory for principle, and principle is everything. Men are nothing except as they have at heart an honest defense of the principles at stake. The Republican party is a party of the whole people. It extends a helping hand to suffering humanity everywhere. It believes in morality and sobriety; a paper currency worth one hundred cents on the dollar in gold in every State; a tariff, not for revenue only, but one that gives protection to American industry; such a tariff as shall afford a fair compensation to the laborer for his service faithfully rendered. It claims protection for all against monopolies or corporations, that every man shall have a right at the polls in shaping the laws. It means in Kansas that our State shall be kept in the very front ranks of the highest civilization. To my friends, I tender again my most sincere thanks. For those who have conscientiously opposed me, I have no hard words, no unkind feelings. At heart we have the same interests - the prosperity and happiness of the homes of our people. Then as Republicans, now that our battle among ourselves, so far as I am concerned, is over, let us go forward to a victory that shall redound to the honor and benefit of the whole people. Finally, I trust that my conduct shall never cause a regret to the members of this convention. Again I thank you. I will leave you to attend to the business before you.

The National Labor Greenback State Convention met at Topeka, August 23, and nominated the following State ticket: Governor, Charles Robinson; Lieutenant Governor, James G. Bayne; Secretary of State, A. P. Elder; Auditor of State, W. A. Garretson; Treasurer, J. H. Ludlow; Attorney General, J. D. McBrian; Associate Justice, L. C. Uhl; State Superintendent, Jacob S. Whitman.

In their declaration of principles, they say:

We are opposed to railroad and telegraph monopolies regulating the charges for transferring persons and property, and the use of telegraphs, and hold that all the corporations created by law, should be governed by law, in the interests of the people.

We demand that the Legislature enact laws providing for the health and safety of those engaged in mining, manufacturing and building pursuits.

We pledge the party to the enforcement of all laws upon the statute book of the State.

Candidates for Congress on this ticket were, First district, Charles H. Moody; Second, Alfred Taylor; Third, Daniel J. Cole. At large, John Davis, H. L. Phillips, Allen Williams (colored) and Samuel N. Wood.

Democratic State Convention met at Emporia, August 30, and the following ticket was put in nomination:

Governor, George W. Glick; Lieutenant Governor, Frank Bacon; Secretary of State, Samuel L. Gilbert; Auditor, W. L. Brown, Treasurer, Charles E. Gifford; Attorney General; Sidney Hayden; Associate Justice, James W. Green; Superintendent of Public Instruction, D. E. Lantz. Mr. Hayden declined to run, and H. Miles Moore was nominated by the State Committee. Cyrus A. Leland, John O'Flanagan and Martin V. B. Bennett, were nominated for Congressmen-at-Large; Leonard T. Smith, for the First District; Nelson F. Acers for the Second; John C. Cannon, for the Third. Messrs. Bennett and Smith declined to run.

The platform adopted contained nineteen planks and declared unmistakably in favor of temperance, sobriety and morality, but favored a resubmission of the amendment to the Constitution of the State, at the general election of 1884; it favored the election of President, Vice President, United States Senators and Postmasters by the people; making one term of six years for President and Vice President; four years for Congress.

The State Election occurred in November. Cyrus O. French was elected Judge of the Tenth Judicial District, to fill vacancy occasioned by the death of Hon. D. P. Lowe; George Chandler was elected for a full term commencing January 8,1883, from the Eleventh Judicial District.

John Z. Sexton was elected from the Twenty-third Senatorial District, as successor to Hon. Samuel S. Benedict, of Wilson; John Johntz was elected to succeed Hon. F. H. Burris, of Dickinson, from the Thirtieth District.

The House of Representatives was elected under the Apportionment Act of 1881, and eighty counties returned 125 Representatives; Rawlins County organized May 25, 1881, elected S. T. Lloyd, but he was not admitted as a member, though he was allowed mileage and per diem from January 9 to 25, 1883, inclusive.

The question of liquor prohibition, and regulating railroad fares and freights, entered into the election of members of the Legislature, and upwards of fifty regular Republican candidates for the House were defeated at the polls.

The vote on Governor was, for Glick, 83,237; Gov. St. John, 75,158; Robinson, 20,933; scattering, 56; Glick's plurality, 8,079. The vote on Secretary of State was for Smith, 99,282; Gilbert, 60,471; Elder, 23,422; scattering, 6; Smith's majority, 15,383. The vote on Auditor was for McCabe (colored) 86,160; Brown, 66,130; Garretson, 24,603; scattering, 215; McCabe's plurality, 20,030.

John A. Anderson's majority for Congress was 22,089; Dudley C. Haskell's plurality was 4,485; Mr. Taylor's vote was 5,710; there was 13 scattering votes. Thomas Ryan's majority was 9,076.

For Congressmen-at-Large, Peters had 99,866 votes; Morrill, 98,349; Perkins, 98,328; Hanback, 97,354; Wood, 83,364; O'Flanigan, 59,872; Leland, 58079; Davis, 26,701; Phillips, 25,644; Williams, 22,243; Bennett, 1,417; Cannon, 588; scattering, 354.

Mr. Wood received most of the Democratic votes, there being but two Democratic candidates; Peters and other Republican candidates received Democratic votes.

[TOC] [part 12] [part 10] [Cutler's History]