Best Deals & Download PDF eBook Banquet by the Democratic Club, in Celebration of the 156th Birthday of Thomas Jefferson, on Thursday, April 13th, 1899, at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York by National Democratic Club
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Excerpt from Banquet by the Democratic Club, in Celebration of the 156th Birthday of Thomas Jefferson, on Thursday, April 13th, 1899, at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York
Gentlemen of the Democratic Club, permit me to extend on your behalf, a most hearty welcome to the distinguished Democrats who are our guests to-night. It is fitting that this Democratic Club celebrate the birthday of him whose monument is the Declaration of Independence, the first Democratic President, the first Secretary of State, the constructor of the first Democratic platform, the founder of the Democratic party.
Thomas Jefferson was a party man of the Democratic type. To him as a Democrat the world is a debtor for that which was a novelty in political government until his own immortal words proclaimed the doctrine that the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is inalienable, and to secure it governments are instituted "deriving their just powers from the consent of governed." As a Lawgiver, the Northwestern Ordinance, framed by him, is his imperishable record. It has been, under the Constitution, a source of the greatness and power and a chief peculiarity of the American Union. It was formulated in 1784, developed in 1787, greatly perfected after the Mexican War for the government of territories theoretically under the absolute control of Congress, yet always in a condition of self-government, in order that they may fit themselves to become American States. As a Diplomatist and skillful Politician the acquisition of Louisiana places him beyond all present rivalry. To his great achievement our country owes the vast domain west of the Mississippi, now the seat of eleven prosperous States. May our country always have such a President when the wise enlargement of the national territory becomes expedient or necessary!
A Democratic President controlled by the teachings of Jefferson and traditions of his party would to-day have a definite policy perfectly understood by the nation at large; but modern Republicanism is opportunism - no one knows whither it is going.
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