Thirty-six years ago when Franklin Pierce was elected President the happy end of the anti-slavery agitation was announced.
But ten years after the election of Pierce, Abraham Lincoln issued the proclamation of emancipation. The course of American history does not depend upon Presidents but upon the people. Of that fact even the managers of nominating conventions are aware, and therefore, although they detest Civil Service reform and insist that it is extinct, I venture to predict that one of the great conventions which will soon assemble, will praise the President for his fidelity to reform and the other will denounce him as the chief of sinners against it, each party assuming not that reform is dead, but what is perfectly true, that it is more alive than ever before.
Party platforms are valuable not so much for what they say as for what they indicate. They are rag bags of an extraordinary assortment of pieces, but they are all of the texture and the colors which are believed to be popular. They would make a most
crazy quilt, but they are an excellent guide to the political fashion because they are selected by very shrewd judges.
I think that nobody is more interested than we are to know the exact situation of the reform movement or to state it more accurately. Last year we told what we believed to be the truth of the present administration, in regard to reform, as we have always sought to tell the truth of every administration and we were assured that our meeting was like a funeral feast. But we ...
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