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As a free American citizen, I deem it proper under the present circumstances, connected with the fact, that it will be out of my power to see you all before the day of the Convention, to state to you some of the reasons why I am before you as a candidate for nomination to Congress in this District. I will in as brief a manner as possible, give a few reasons. In the first place, I have lived in the county of Warren for over 38 years, and during all that time Warren county has never had a candidate for Congress,-except my father, 36 years ago, at which time the District reached clear to the Lakes of the North, and was Democratic. My father was then beaten by Edward A. Hannegan. The county of Warren has ever been the Banner county of the District, for the Whig party and afterwards for the Republican party. I mean "Banner," for the reason that her large majorities have always saved the District in the elections. Especially has this been the case for the last 14 years-known and read by all men, and not pretended to be denied. And for that 14 years the two largest counties in the District,-Tippecanoe and Montgomery counties,-have had the Representative in Congress, and still they ask a continuation of Congressional favors. I and my friends in Warren county have come to the conclusion that Warren county has now claims, based upon the principles of justice and equity, which cannot be gainsaid or denied by any one; nor is the same pretended to be answered in any part of the District. Warren county Republicans have "hewn the wood and drawn the water," for candidates outside of the county. Faithful servants indeed. Yet without pay or reward, so far as political honors are concerned. Warren county only asks that in a lifetime, she be gratefully remembered by the district, by giving her at least one term in Congress. A party to be successful must do right, and be grateful and magnanimous to those who give them power and position-any other course in perilous. I do not say these things to intimidate any one in the district, for I say most frankly, that the Republicans of Warren county have, and will bear more ingratitude than any county in the district. Her education and training has been such, that she prefers "suffering affliction with her own people, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness" of her political adversaries. While on this subject, it is not intended in the least to discredit the Republican strength of other counties, for it is all needed by way of general harmony. But when counties of the district, who are asking for a continuation of the political preferment, by the way of succession, can only neutralize the opposition vote, (and even some doubts as to that), then Warren county only asks for credit for her large excess of Republican votes, by the way of paramount right and justice. Her claim is certainly a modest one, which has not been insisted upon in this light since Warren county was in this district. Should these claims be ignored and disregarded in the coming convention, I and my friends will ask it as a favor, not to find fault with us for insisting that simple justice be done in the premises. Great responsibilities rest upon every Republican in the district, and let each be his own judge of what is just and right. Very many in the district-especially young men-may want to know something as to my antecendents. I give this with great pleasure. I am 54 years of age, was born in the Territory of Indiana, on or near that classical stream, called Leatherwood, which when properly interpreted, means success. A man born on that stream has never been known to fail. I was one of the first nine students who attended Wabash College, at Crawfordsville, at its commencement. While attending that institution I chopped cord-wood to pay for my board and tuition; and not the least of all, I taught in the primary class of that College, two of my honorable competitors, (Col. Wilson and General Wallace). From thence I was a school teacher, and from thence to the law. I have practiced my profession as a lawyer, in Williamsport 32 years, filling many offices of honor and profit in the county. During four years of the rebellion I was a member of the Legislature, doing the best I could for my country's cause in that dark struggle. While in the Legislature, I served on the Committee of Arbitrary Arrests with Jason B. Brown, Balis W. Hanna, and others; and was compelled in duty to the Republican party to make a minority report, which can be seen at Indianapolis or at my office, to satisfy the mind of every Republican that I did my duty. I was afterwards made chairman of the Committee on Education, and did all I could to raise the standard of education in Indiana. The establishment of teacher's institutes, the Normal School, the right of colored children to be educated, giving colored persons of the State their proper share of the school funds, to repeal the odious law which rejected the evidence of colored persons, from giving evidence in certain cases in the Courts of the State, preventing the passage of the most iniquitous, unconstitutional Military Bill, intended to curtail the executive power of Gov. Morton, and engulf the State in civil war and secession; and many other things equally as good. But you may want to know how I stand on the issues of the day. Well, that is certainly a matter of grave import, and one which the greatest minds of the age seems to differ. We as a nation, for the last ten years have traveled with great speed, crumbling to ashes old and long seated prejudices existing against the rights of man, and have accomplished the grandest achievement of any age of the world's history, and made that achievement a part of the organic law of the nation. If I should be nominated and elected to Congress, you may want to know what I would do for the country. I can only answer this in general terms, and you will have to judge what I would do in detail. In the first place, I would not waste or squander a single dollar of my own money, nor would I by my vote or acts allow one dollar of the public money to be wasted or squandered for any thing whatever; this would include the most rigid economy in all the departments of government; no person or persons should be allowed pay for services never rendered, and in fact to make the matter short, I would not permit any fraud or theft upon the treasury department. To sum up then, I am for a rigid and economical administration of the government, and therefore as a part of the means to support the government. I am in favor or a justly discriminating Revenue Tariff, but not one cent for protection. In conclusion I shall ever insist upon the integrity of the nation as to its creditors, and the debt of the nation must be paid, as to whether by this generation or those to follow us is a question to be determined by the legislators of the country with all the facts before them. And to secure this debt I shall maintain that the public wealth, the domain, and the solemn word of the national should ever be held as a sacred pledge. Hence I am opposed to public subsidies, or the giving of the public wealth for the sole protection of private interest, and should only consent to them when thereby our credit is strengthened, our political domain made more valuable, and our ability to pay enhanced. And now my countrymen let me say to you as we part, that I believe in, and shall maintain with all the power that God has given me, the great principals of our holy cristianity, and shall urge forward with a like zeal the civilization of our times, which makes us stand to-day, first in rank among the proud nationalities of the earth. B.F. Gregory April 14, 1870

Date: 4/14/1870
Origin: Warren Republican
Record ID: 00002997
Type: Periodical
Source Archive: Warren County Historical Society
Date Entered: 2/28/2011
Collection: Newspaper Clipping Scrapbook
Entered By: WCHS

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