doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving
by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress,
by the Constitution. the power to do certain things. To do these, it is
authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything
beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution. So you
see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital
point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress
once begins to stretch it's power beyond the limits of the Constitution,
there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt
you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far
as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you..'
you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should
go to talking, he would set others to talking, and in that district I
was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, for the fact is, I was so
filly convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy
to him: Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I
did not have sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to
be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully. I have heard many
speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have
at your- plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches
I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would
have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and
if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.
replied: 'Yes Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust
you again upon one condition. You say that you are convinced that your
vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating
you for it. If, as you go around this district, you will tell people about
this vote, and that you are satisfied that it was wrong, I will not only
vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and perhaps,
I may exert a little influence in that way.'
"If I don't [said I] I wish I
may be shot; and to convince you that I am earnest in what I say I will
come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up
a gathering of the people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue,
and I will pay for it.
"'No, Colonel, we are not rich
people in this section, but we have plenty of provisions to contribute
to a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none. The push
of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a
barbecue. This is Thursday; I will see to getting up on
Saturday week.. Come to my house
on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable
crowd to see and hear you.'
"Well, I will be here. but one
thing more before I say good-bye. I must know your name.
" 'My name is Bunce.'
"Not Horatio Bunce?
"Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw
you before though you say you have seen me, but I know you very well. I
am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for
"It was one of the luckiest hits
of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was
widely known for his remarkable intelligence and incorruptible integrity,
and for a heart brimful and running over with kindness and benevolence,
which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle
of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the
circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him before,
I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should
have had opposition, and had been beaten. One thing is very certain,
no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.
"At the appointed time I was
at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and
to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people
an interest and a confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested
before. Though I was considerably fatigued when I