DURING the years 1887-1890 public opinion in Kansas was aroused against speculation on the board of trade. There were a number of causes, but moral indignation at manipulations of the market was certainly an important factor. Wide publicity had been given to a succession of speculative deals of the worst order. In 1887 a spectacular attempt to corner the wheat market caused the financial ruin of many innocent persons. Widespread failures and panic were reported to have seriously weakened many Chicago banks. At the head of the clique which tried to gain control of the market was one Harper, vice-president of the Cincinnati Fidelity Bank, whose vain attempt ruined that institution. The thousands who lost their savings received small consolation from Harper's sentence to ten years in the penitentiary. 
The following year was marked by a successful corner in September wheat, engineered by Charles L. Hutchinson, who was popularly known as "Old Hutch." He began buying at 87 cents but made his final settlements with the "Shorts" for $2.00. At this time the opposition of the consumers to speculation was illustrated by a circular, inveighing against corners in foodstuffs, which was issued by T. V. Powderly, head of the Knights of Labor.  The Hutchinson deal of 1888 has been called the only successful "big" corner ever made on the Chicago grain market. 
This success of "Old Hutch" inspired imitation and the year of 1889 was one of great speculative activity. Unfortunately it was also a year of falling prices. All over the world crops were good and wheat surpluses piled up. In Chicago the receipts of wheat exceeded by a million bushels the largest amount previously recorded. "Dollar Wheat" was no more, and by mid-summer quota-
tions went as low as 74 cents.  Speculation did not cause this fall, but "trading in futures" unquestionably seemed more sinister and evil to the farmers, impoverished by the low prices.
Throughout this period there was always a section of the press which raised a cry against the "gamblers" and asked for the passage of laws to regulate their trading. The Kansas Farmer was at the front of this agitation throughout 1887 and 1888. At the time of the Harper deal, in 1887, W. A. Peffer, editor of the Kansas Farmer and later a Populist senator, featured an editorial titled: "Some Men That Ought To Be in the Penitentiary." In it he attacked the "grain gamblers," speaking in particular of those who had participated in the attempted corner. "They are all bad men," he wrote, "every one of them, meriting punishment under the laws of the people whom they defy." He closed in the following words:
The Hutchinson corner prompted him to several outbursts of indignation.  One of these ended as follows:
Although this was emphatic and contained a positive demand for punitive legislation, it is not certain whether Peffer at this time advocated regulation by the federal government. On another occasion he expressed warm approval of the campaign for a state law which was under way in Missouri."
During this period (1887-1888), however, most of the principal
newspapers in Kansas were apathetic or actively opposed to legislation of this character. At the time of the Harper deal the Atchison Champion DID propose a measure. "There ought to be a law," the editor wrote, "making it a felony for any bank president, cashier, or other bank official, to speculate or use the funds in his custody for anything but legitimate banking business."  The recommendation was a laudable one, but obviously its object was to enforce greater security in the banking system, not to curb speculation.
More important was the attitude taken by the newspaper which was shortly to take the place of the Kansas Farmer at the head of the agitation. Marsh Murdock, editor of the Wichita Daily Eagle, freely criticized the apostles of the new faith. After the Harper scandal the St. Louis (Mo.) Globe-Democrat had begun a campaign for legislation against "options and futures." Murdock expressed his opinion of the crack-pot reformers:
It would be hard to find a more withering criticism of the type of editorial which Murdock, himself, was writing less than two years later.
The change in his viewpoint did not come gradually, however. As late as November of the following year Murdock was writing editorials of a very similar character. On November 27, 1888, he published an editorial called "Supply and Demand and Prices." In
it he argued that prices were actually determined by the economic laws of supply and demand. He wrote as follows:
The argument follows quite closely the laissez-faire of the familiar orthodox economic dogma, and is remarkable chiefly when compared to Murdock's argument of a later date.
It wasn't so very much later, however, that the break came -- fifty-three days later, to be exact. On January 19, 1889, the Wichita Daily Eagle carried as its leading editorial, "There Would Be No Mortgages." Marsh Murdock had been converted. He stated flatly that the law of supply and demand was inoperative and had no effect upon the price of wheat. A few speculators fixed this price without reference to the rest of the population. The remedy was legislation, state and national. He took as his text a statement from the Newton Republican, "Wheat is worth a dollar a bushel in St. Louis." Murdock exploded:
These were strong words, due to be repeated again and again, and we can only wonder why Murdock was prompted to reverse
his opinions so suddenly and so drastically. With this editorial the leadership of the campaign against "options and futures" passed from Peffer and the Kansas Farmer to Murdock and the Wichita Daily Eagle. 
During the spring the Wichita Daily Eagle reported the progress through the Missouri legislature of a bill designed to prohibit option gambling in that state. The character and prospects of this measure were lauded in an editorial early in May.  Somewhat later Murdock viewed the new law with thorough approval, and perhaps a little envy. "It would be a matter of much conjecture," he wrote, "if indeed it should now turn out that `poor old Missouri' had taken the first step in the destruction of that most precious of all steals, option dealing." 
In June he resumed the offensive, and on June 2, 1889, he published another violent editorial on the subject, "A Great Outrage." This contained in particular one new argument (new to Murdock), one that was to be used again and again-the idea of "wind" wheat. This Was based on the fact that the number of futures contracts vastly exceeded the number of bushels of grain actually exchanged through the market. "They (the `grain gamblers') deal in `wind' contracts," he wrote, "and load down and depress all the markets of the country with millions upon millions of bushels of grain, and millions of pork and millions of lard which never existed in fact." "Grain is not sold," he concluded, "it's wind; yet the competitive effect is the same on the price to the producer as if such `wind' had actually turned into golden grain." 
This ingenious (or "ingenuous") argument, however fallacious, was easier to reconcile with his former statements concerning supply and demand, than was the argument in his editorial, "There Would Be No Mortgages." Another interesting development was the greater emphasis which he now placed upon national legislation: "If the producers of this country really realized the cost to them of sustaining this line of high-handed gambling they would camp around the national capitol until Congress had wiped out the evil power, and camp in such numbers as would menace the life of every individual member who should fail to act promptly and resolutely." In January he had spoken of taking "every legislator in the country,
including Congress." Now he expressed his doubts concerning the effectiveness of state legislation. "Ohio and Missouri," he stated, "have both made efforts of late to wipe out the bucket shop business, but it is not believed these efforts will amount to anything." 
Throughout the summer Murdock kept hammering away at this subject, finally crystallizing his argument into a vehement appeal for national legislation: "This option dealing is sapping the life-blood of every Western farmer, and it is time that our farmers demand a national law to prevent a few gamblers from making a price on their products." 
He began trying to show that option dealing was responsible for other ills and asserted that the railroads were suffering from its baneful influence:
At another time he wrote
This appeal to sectional interests was one of the most effective arguments that could have been made and it was frequently repeated. Stress was placed on Liverpool, Chicago, and Eastern boards of trade.
Murdock kept up his campaign, on through the summer, through the fall, and on into the winter. Editorials, letters to the editor, and exchange items kept the question constantly agitated. The Wichita Daily Eagle was everywhere recognized as the leader of the movement. Other newspapers, when they referred to the question usually paid tribute to the Eagle's campaign. Frequently they reprinted Murdock's heated editorials. The Topeka Capital, the Leavenworth Times, the Lawrence Daily Journal, and a number of the smaller weeklies gave favorable notice in their columns to Murdock's efforts.
The editors of the Atchison Champion were preoccupied with their attack on the "dressed beef monopoly," and were not very favorably impressed by Murdock's editorials. They commented:
Speaking of Hutchinson's corner during the preceding summer they had remarked tolerantly, "The old raider made heaps of money for himself and indirectly gave the wheat growers of this country a tremendous lift." 
Either as a result of the criticism in the newspapers or as a consequence of general hostility to grain speculation many farmers refused to give information to the collectors of crop statistics. The Wichita Daily Eagle attempted to persuade the farmers to abandon such tactics. Murdock called the situation "An Unreasonable Scare":
This admonition failed to stop the obstruction. Almost a year later the Emporia Daily Republican noted:
The farmers' organizations joined in the attack upon the exchanges. On the subject of crop statistics the Farmers' Alliance, the most vigorous of the farm bodies, made the charge that the federal and state reports were false, and were manipulated for the advantage of speculators. As a remedy it proposed to collect the statistics through the units of its own organization. J. Fount Tillman, secretary of the national executive board, explained this scheme when he mailed the brethren blank forms for acreage reports. Under the circumstances this effort could hardly meet with success, but it is tremendously significant that such an attempt should have been made. 
In January, 1890, the Kansas State Grange and the Farmers' Alliance appointed representatives to a committee which was to seek
some basis for the union of the two organizations. This committee adopted a platform which expounded the grievances of the Kansas farmers. Its third "plank" denounced speculation:
This was taken as a model by many of the local alliances, and a flood of similar platforms was issued during the first half of 1890. These resolutions were soon followed by appeals to congress. On December 12, 1889, Sen. Preston B. Plumb, of Kansas, presented:
During the next three months more than forty such petitions were submitted to congress by various groups in Kansas. Two of these were presented by Sen. John J. Ingalls on February 13, 1890, "praying for such legislation as will prevent the selling of futures in agricultural products."  Vinland Farmers' Alliance, Douglas county, and Bethel Alliance, Cowley county, were typical petitioners.  The campaign against options and futures rapidly approached a climax. The people of Kansas had placed the problem squarely before their representatives in congress.
John J. Ingalls secured a third term in the United States senate without much opposition. It expired in 1891, an unfortunate time for any office-holder who sought reelection.  The extended agricultural depression which had stimulated the farmers' interest in economic issues had also tremendously increased their political consciousness. All over the country the debtor classes were howling for financial legislation, and the mortgage-ridden farmers joined in the cry. A platform adopted by a joint committee from the Kansas State Grange and the Farmers' Alliance stated:
Of more immediate importance in Kansas was the question of mortgage relief. The increasing number of foreclosures stimulated the popular demand for some sort of "stay law." Sen. Leland Stanford's bill, providing for the grant of government loans on real estate, was widely approved in Kansas but was reported adversely by the committee on claims. 
The farmers, thoroughly aroused, demanded that congress act at once in their interest and pass the desired legislation. With an election approaching they examined critically the records of their representatives in congress. Senator Ingalls, they found, had been very active in securing the passage of pension bills, but he had sponsored almost nothing that was of general significance. He was celebrated for his speeches in behalf of civil rights for the Southern negroes, which usually contained considerable "waving of the bloody shirt." He had a national reputation for being a scholar and a good speaker. He was popular among his fellow senators and more than once had been elected president pro tem. In one important respect, however, his record appeared fatally deficient. The Emporia Daily Republican included this item among its editorial briefs:
A quarter of a column, completely blank, followed this introduction!  C. V. Eskridge, the Republican's editor, elaborated on his subtle gibe:
"The farmers are down on Ingalls," says an exchange, "because he has failed to secure any legislation in their behalf." This is not exactly the truth. The
farmers are down on Ingalls because he has not attempted to secure any legislation in their behalf. 
Such was the cry, repeated in almost every attack upon the senator, "Ingalls has not even tried to get anything done for the Kansas farmer." At a time when the "Kansas farmer" was interested in politics more than ever before in his life, it was a complaint that was extremely embarrassing to his candidacy.
Senator Ingalls' political misfortunes did not end here. His party was weakened by great factional dissentions that had been increased by recent political blunders made by the senator. Just before the meeting of the last Republican Presidential convention Ingalls had written a private letter which contained his caustic criticism of almost every possible Republican candidate (including the successful one, Harrison). Unluckily, the "Bonebrake letter" was made public, and many "good Republicans" were infuriated by Ingalls' nasty comments about their favorite candidates.
He was noted for the successful straddle he had hitherto maintained on the delicate question of prohibition. But in August, 1889, The Forum published an article, "Prohibition and License," written by Ingalls.  It failed to win the favor of either side. The extremists among the Prohibitionists were infuriated by his admission that:
The sale of bitters, elixirs, and other concoctions containing alcohol, has undoubtedly increased. Malaria, indigestion, and other disorders have developed in localities previously considered salubrious, and there is probably no town of one thousand inhabitants where a bibulous but discreet inquirer, if properly vouched for, cannot find, at his hotel, or the club, or in the cellar of a friend, a bottle of beer or a flask of whiskey. . , 
These critics voiced their suspicion of the senator's sincerity, and recalled a time when Ingalls allegedly had characterized teetotalers as the "capons and epicenes of society." 
The Resubmissionists, on the other hand, looked upon him as a traitor to the cause and bitterly accused him of presenting a grossly falsified picture of the status of prohibition in Kansas. The senator had written:
The opponents of prohibition challenged his facts and his figures and called his conclusions "erroneous and enigmatical." 
To top this controversy there came the publication of the "Coney letter." It was another private letter of Ingalls which was used by his enemies in an attempt to show that The Forum article was entirely hypocritical, Written only for the satisfactory check involved.  Although there was actually nothing in the letter to justify this charge, it was used with considerable effect in the campaign to discredit Ingalls. As a result of all this agitation there were many Kansans in 1890 who agreed with the stranger in Ware's "'The Kansas Bandit":
In the fall of 1889 Senator Ingalls made an even greater mistake. He gave to reporters from the New York World his famous interview on politics:
These were strange words from a senator who had been chosen to his first term because his predecessor had been suddenly exposed as politically corrupt. This interview was a magnificent blunder, which was capitalized both by the enemies of Ingalls in his own state and by the opponents of Republicanism throughout the nation.
These issues and these blunders, however, were insignificant in view of the furious discontent among the farmers and their overwhelming demand that the government act immediately to relieve
their condition. Early in 1890 the Farmers' Alliance approached the peak of its strength. Established daily newspapers turned over columns and pages to alliance news, and alliance papers-The Farmer's Friend, The Alliance Herald, The Alliance Gazette, etc., etc., were founded in communities all over the state.  In the last week of March, 1890, the county presidents of the Farmers' Alliance held a meeting at Topeka, to determine the policy of the organization. Care was taken to secure secrecy for these deliberations, but an "enterprising" reporter from the Topeka Daily Capital penetrated the defenses, and that paper published a full account of the proceedings of each meeting. Delegates were present from sixty-two counties, representing all sections of the state. B. H. Clover, president of the State Alliance, was chairman, and Dr. S. McLallin, editor of the alliance Advocate, was secretary. 
After some discussion the assembly passed, by a vote of forty-three to nineteen, a resolution declaring against the reelection of Senator Ingalls. It stated:
The simple argument in this resolution had been used all over the state, with increasing emphasis, for the preceding three months. It remained as the basic issue all through the campaign.
The problem of the "grain gamblers" was taken to Washington at the first session of the fifty-first congress. On January 20, 1890, Rep. Benjamin Butterworth of Ohio introduced a bill defining "options" and "futures" and imposing special taxes on dealers therein.  It was referred to the house committee on agriculture, where it was amended slightly and returned with a favorable report .  Although the measure was never debated it was widely indorsed by farmers' organizations. 
When Senator Ingalls introduced an amendment to the Sherman Anti-Trust bill, covering the same subject, he seems simply to have copied the Butterworth bill. The language and grammar of the amendment were severely criticized during the course of debate. Ingalls answered:
Ingalls offered his amendment on March 21, 1890. The Sherman Anti-Trust bill was coming up for debate.50 The question of trusts and monopolies had been closely linked to the problem of option-dealing in much of the popular agitation. Murdock declared that any man who cornered the grain market "is doing more to injure the country than the combined forces of any power put together."  Nevertheless, Ingalls recognized that his amendment was of the second class, and went far beyond the purposes of the Anti-Trust bill, as stated in its title. He moved, therefore, that the title of the bill be amended so as to read: "A bill to suppress and punish unlawful trusts and combinations, to prevent dealing in options and futures, and for other purposes." 
Several other changes were being made in Sherman's bill at this same time, March, 1890. Amendments were added to give labor unions and farmers' organizations exemption from the measure.  Criminal punishments, as well as civil, were specified in the John H. Reagan amendment. 
The Ingalls amendment, which proposed "to prevent dealing in options and futures," began by defining those two terms. An "option" was understood to mean any contract or agreement by which a party acquired the right, without being thereby obligated, to deliver to another at a future date any of the articles named in the act. A "future" was defined as any contract whereby a party agreed to sell and deliver at a future time, any of the articles men
tioned in the act, when that party was not yet the owner of the article. The specified articles were "wheat, corn, oats, rye, barley, cotton, and all other farm products; also beef, pork, lard, and all other hog and cattle products." Dealers in options and futures were required to pay an annual tax of $1,000, and a further tax of five cents per pound for every pound of cotton, beef, pork, lard, or other hog and cattle products, and twenty cents per bushel for every bushel of the other products mentioned.
Dealers in options and futures were required to obtain a license for their trade from the collector of internal revenue. In addition to the annual tax of $1,000, paid in advance, they were required to post a bond for $50,000 with the collector. He was directed to keep a register, open for public inspection, listing every application for a license, together with the action taken upon it. The dealers were required to make a complete report of their transactions each week, paying at this time the additional tax on each pound or bushel.
The penalties provided were: (1) A fine not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000 for dealing without a license; (2) A fine of this same amount, or imprisonment for not less than six months or more than two years, or both fine and imprisonment, for making a fraudulent report. The act expressly provided that compliance with its provisions would not exempt any person from obedience to a state law. 
Senator Sherman was not pleased by the additions to his measure. He complained that they were being offered as a means of defeating the whole bill:
He defended his own bill, as it had been reported from committee, and then attacked the amendments offered by Reagan and by Ingalls. They dealt with matters which were not germane to the original proposition, especially the Ingalls amendment:
There was, in addition, a constitutional difficulty, so serious as to be fatal:
He repeated that to put such an amendment on to his bill was not treating the subject fairly, "unless the Senate wants to defeat the original proposition." He announced that he would Vote against all amendments which did not seem to carry out the object defined in the original bill. He protested that he was not opposed to the purpose of the Ingalls amendment, but that he felt its provisions should first be perfected and matured by the judgment of a committee. "When they are So considered," he concluded, "we shall have time enough to act upon them." 
On the following day, March 25, 1890, Sen. J. Z. George of Mississippi suggested that the whole bill be referred to the judiciary committee. Sherman opposed this motion, stating that a majority of that committee was notoriously opposed to his measure. He asked only that the senate should vote on the bill as it stood. The amendments, he said, could be considered separately:
Although he remained opposed to the amendments he agreed to accept the senate's decision. "Let the judgment of the Senate," he said, "be carried out when expressed." 
Sen. Z. B. Vance of North Carolina also objected to the motion made by Senator George. He stated:
The motion was defeated without a roll call.
The Reagan amendment was the first to be considered and was adopted by a vote of 34 to 12. Ingalls supported it, although his colleague, Plumb, voted with Sherman and the handful of senators who opposed it. 
Next in order was the amendment of Senator Ingalls. He obtained permission to modify it slightly, in order, apparently, better to meet the objection to the bill as a revenue measure originating in the senate. The fourth section had opened with the simple statement: "That special taxes are imposed as follows . . ." He changed the whole emphasis by adding a short preamble to that section: That for the purpose of preventing and suppressing, as far as may be, the dealing in options and futures as herein defined, special taxes are . . 
Sen. George F. Hoar offered an objection to the all-inclusive nature of the measure:
He suggested an amendment to solve this difficulty:
This change was accepted and the amendment as amended was agreed to, without a yea and nay vote. 
On the next morning, March 26, 1890, Ingalls made a few unimportant changes in the wording which had been rendered necessary by a different enumeration of the sections. (Joined to the Sherman bill, section one of the amendment became section six of the combined measure.) 
The debate on the Sherman bill in the committee of the whole opened that morning.  Sen. George G. Vest of Missouri, denying that he was opposed to the purpose of the proposed legislation, attacked "some of the particular measures which had been included in it." The varied supporters of the bill made strange company, he said, charging that some of them were deserting the principles of their party:
The Ingalls amendment, Vest charged, licensed and legally recognized an illegal combination which it denounced as opposed to the laws of the United States and all the states. The true reason for the senate's support of this unconstitutional measure was fear of the Farmers' Alliance:
Sen. James B. Eustis of Louisiana objected to the measure in the interests of the New Orleans Cotton Exchange:
He was particularly indignant that a Northerner and Republican should have presumed to offer legislation which affected cotton and protested that the bill was a step toward centralized government:
He coupled with the state's rights argument an outright defense of future selling, as practiced on the New Orleans Cotton Exchange:
Eustis concluded by denouncing any interference from the federal government with the police power of the state, "which is the supremest attribute of its sovereignty." 
Senator Ingalls took the floor to answer these critics. He denied that the amendment had been dictated by the Farmers' Alliance. He said it was not directed against sales, by farmer or broker, of any commodity to be delivered at a future time, unless the party making the sale was not the owner of the commodity. It was, he said, directed against:
This definition was a trifle vague, especially for legal purposes, but it was good campaign oratory.
Ingalls sought to meet the constitutional objections. He argued that the amendment was not a violation of the privilege and prerogative of the house of representatives. There was a distinction, he said, between the revenue power and the taxing power. The Constitution, Article I, Section 7, provided that "all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives." In Section 8, however, congress was given the power to "lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States." The oleomargarine bill, Ingalls said, had been an exercise of congressional power under this latter clause. "Everybody who voted for that bill or against it," he asserted, "knew that it Was not a bill for raising revenue." He quoted from Story On the Constitution, and decisions of the Supreme Court,  to support his argument. 
The Constitution, he insisted, was a growth and not a manufacture, and the Constitution of 1890 was vastly different from the Constitution of 1789. "The people of the United States have a reasonable degree of respect for the Constitution," he said, "but they are not afraid of it." He met the objections of the Southern defenders of state's rights with ridicule and contempt:
Another slight change was made in the bill at this time. Senator Hoar proposed an addition to his amendment of the amendment,
exempting "articles to be consumed by the person to whom they are delivered or in his establishment." He said:
Unanimous consent was given for this revision. 
The important question, hinted at in this discussion, of distinguishing between "legitimate" business contracts and the "gambling" contracts, now came to the front. Senator Ingalls had confidently asserted that his amendment Would apply only to the gambling in agricultural products, but he had not substantiated the statement. The amendment as it stood, Sen. Henry W. Blair, of New Hampshire complained, would unquestionably interfere with the legitimate basis of the cotton and woolen manufacturing in his state, which generally required contracts for future delivery of the raw materials. He demanded exemption for the "legitimate business of the country in the cotton manufacture." 
Senator Sherman, troubled by the dilemma, said:
Blair aroused laughter by retorting that the dictionary was "right over in the corner."  The senators continued, nevertheless, to hunt for such a distinction.
Senator Hoar suggested, as protection for legitimate business contracts, a proviso excluding "bona fide contracts for the actual delivery of the property contracted for." Sen. John H. Mitchell of Oregon, pointed out another difficulty. Under the terms of the amendment, he argued, farmers would be unable to contract for sale of their crops until harvest, for until then they would not own the product of their labor. A remedy was offered by Sen. William B. Allison of Iowa. He proposed that the words "owner or producer" should be substituted for "owner" in all the terms of the amendment. Sen. Joseph N. Dolph of Oregon asked that "owner or producer" be changed further so as to include "any lawful agent of the pro-
ducer." Ingalls offered two amendments which embodied these suggestions and they were adopted by unanimous consent. 
While the senate was in a mood for accepting changes, the critics of the bill tacked on what became known as the "encumbering amendments." Sen. Matthew C. Butler of South Carolina proposed that the list of products taxed in the act be extended to include stocks and bonds. Senator Eustis offered an amendment to cover cotton prints, steel rails, salt, boots and shoes, lumber and lead. Senator Blair made a motion to add woolen goods, whisky, and all kinds of intoxicating liquors to the list. All of these amendments were adopted amidst laughter and joking. Ingalls inquired whether the stocks and bonds were to be taxed by the bushel or by the pound. "I think by the bushel," Butler replied, "or the ton if the Senator would prefer it." 
Sherman was more than ever outraged by the treatment accorded his bill. He denounced the senate's horseplay:
The Ingalls amendment, he thought, might well be discarded:
Ingalls, of course, dissented:
In a long tirade against "grain gambling," he included many of the
arguments that Murdock had used in his crusading editorials. In its course he took a dig at Vest and paid his respects to the Farmers' Alliance. He continued:
He spoke tolerantly of the "encumbering amendments":
Several times that afternoon the motion was made to have the bill referred to the judiciary committee. Each time it was rejected, and at a late hour the bill was declared reported to the senate from the committee of the whole. The senate refused a motion to refer it back to the finance committee by a vote of 31 to 17, and another motion to commit it to the judiciary committee failed by a vote of 29 to 24. 
On the next day the senate proceeded to consider one by one the amendments which had been adopted in the committee of the whole. This procedure continued until the proviso offered by Senator Sherman, exempting labor and farmers' organizations, was reached. The debate which this precipitated was carried on for a short time until Sen. o. H. Platt of Connecticut arose. He criticized the whole bill and said that large parts were probably unconstitutional:
When Platt had finished, Sen. Edward C. Walthall moved to refer the bill and all its amendments to the committee on the judiciary with instructions to report in twenty days. The motion carried by a Vote of 31 to 28, although Sherman and Ingalls both voted against it. 
It is interesting to note that Senator Ingalls was a member of the judiciary committee. Perhaps he was permitted to embalm his own proposition, for the committee lived up to its reputation as a "grand mausoleum of Senatorial literature." When the committee made its report, a week later, the amendments of Sherman and N. W. Aldrich, exempting labor unions and farmers' organizations, had disappeared. The amendment of the senator from Kansas, likewise was nowhere to be found.  The coroner's verdict must be: "Buried in Committee." Thus was ended the legislative career, brief but hectic, of Ingalls' belated attempt to "do something for the farmer."
Did Senator Ingalls honestly desire legislation to prohibit the practices he denounced? This question of sincerity cannot be answered positively.
Consideration must be given to other possible motives for his sponsorship of the measure. Political expediency had dictated some demonstration of action for the relief of the farmers. ". . . There is no one thing which they [the Farmers' Alliances] have more imperatively and more unanimously demanded," Ingalls said, "than the enactment of some law which will put a stop to the gambling in the products of their labor."  In a desperate effort to stave off defeat he apparently hoped to win the support either of the alliances or a sizeable faction within them.
He tried to counter the deadly argument, "Ingalls has done nothing for the Kansas farmer."
On March 28 three newspapers which were supporting Ingalls for reelection to the United States senate, printed similar editorials. The Wichita Daily Eagle exulted in the nearing success of its campaign. In "Ingalls and the Gamblers" Murdock remarked that he had been urging national legislation to prohibit "pretended buying and selling of wind wheat," for more than a year. He continued: We did not dream that it was possible that within a year's time the matter discussed would become a national question. But it undoubtedly is. The question is before both Houses of Congress. The editorials 0f the Eagle were sent to Butterworth, of Ohio, whose bill is going to become a law in some shape. Senator Ingalls' speech was a forceful declaration showing an honest reflex of the conclusions reached and held by the thinkers among the farmers of the west. Murdock criticized the alliance for its resolution against Ingalls:
. . . the resolution sets out that the senator has been derelict as to the agricultural and labor interests of this state. We ask how so, and since when? can any member of that alliance point to a single instance wherein, or to a man who ever made a stronger or more pointed demand, a demand bristling with earnestness, than that made by Ingalls in behalf of the producers of Kansas, and that in which he denounced the methods by which they are being robbed, on the very day that the above resolution was pulled from a side pocket and forced upon the Topeka convention?
The Topeka Daily Capital said in part that Senator Ingalls is making a great attempt to further the farmers' interests by putting a stop to gambling in agricultural products, and he deserves their support. 
Dan Anthony wrote in the Leavenworth Times:
Not all the comment was favorable. The Kansas City (Mo.) Times remarked:
The campaign to congratulate Ingalls for his valiant struggle in behalf of the farmer backfired. The Emporia Daily Republican picked up Murdock's challenge. It commented sarcastically:
A few days later it said:
If, as some charged, the Ingalls amendment was a political device, it failed, for he went down to defeat before the Populists. The people of Kansas, his opponents asserted, felt that it was "too little and too late."
1. Taylor, Charles Henry, ed., History of the Board of Trade of the City of
Chicago (Chicago, 1917), v. II, pp. 749-758.