Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Honest American Voter's Little Catechism for 1880   By:

Book cover

First Page:








Copyrighted, 1880.


John Polhemus, Publisher, 102 Nassau Street.


I was invited the other day to take down, as Stenographer, what purported to be a discussion upon some general political topics, and more especially on the forthcoming presidential election. One of the disputants entrenched himself in what, I believe, scholars call the Socratic method, that is, he pumped his supposed antagonist dry. Whether the world at large may think the dialogue as funny as I did myself, I can form no opinion. It is to solve this question that I give it to the public.


NEW YORK, August 31st, 1880 .


What is a republic?

A state, or Union of states, in which the people holds supreme power.

How does the people exercise this power?

Through men elected for this purpose.

What are these men called?

Senators and members of Congress or Congressmen.

Is there a head or chief in a republic?


What is he called?

The President.

Must the President be elected?

Yes, by the people.

Who declares the voice of the people in this matter?

The electors of the different states, appointed to do it by the people.

Is it necessary that the whole people should agree on one man in order to elect him?

No; it only needs a majority of the nation, voting through the electors.

Do the votes of the electors generally follow the voice of the people in the different states?

They ought to follow it.

Are the electors considered bound to vote as the majority of the people in their different states direct?

Undoubtedly they are.

Then it is fair to say that the vote of a majority of the electors show which way the majority of the people voted?

That's a simple question. Why, of course!

What are the duties of the President?

To mind the business of the nation, and his own, too.

Anything else?

Isn't that enough?

Well, but what is that business?

The business of the nation?


He makes treaties, weeds out old political hacks, and sends them on embassies where they cannot annoy him, and have nothing to do; appoints Judges of the Supreme Court like Joe Bradley, when he wants to play eight to seven, commands the army and navy, gets fifty thousand dollars a year, takes all the presents he can get, lives in the White House, and does a kind of general housekeeping business for the country.

I was not talking of Grant. Let that go. Does he do anything else?

Yes; if he comes from Ohio, he fills nearly every place he's got to give away with lean, hungry Ohio men, so that you can get a "whiff" of that state all over Washington, and in a good many other places too, any time of the day or night.

Really I don't understand you. All our Presidents do not come from Ohio or Illinois!

Thank God they don't.

Just tell me what the Senators have to do?

To prevent Congressmen from making fools of themselves.

Anything else?

Yes; to keep an eye on the "jobs" Congressmen are always trying to put through.

What are the duties of Congressmen?

God knows! I don't think they do themselves.

What should you think?

From the way they go on, I should say: to make a grab whenever they can.

Who is now President of the United States?

Samuel J. Tilden.

That is a mistake. The present President of the United States is Rutherford B. Hayes.

He is, is he? Yes, just about as much as I'm owner of Central Park, when I sit down on a bench there.

What do you mean?

I mean to say a man can't be President of this country unless he is elected, and Hayes was never elected.

Who was elected then?

Why, Samuel J. Tilden, to be sure!

Then how did Hayes get in?

He had some "statesmen" working for him, who kept the right man out and pushed him in.

Do you really mean that?

As certain as death.

Very strange! Who were these "statesmen;" I suppose you mean his friends?

Friends, indeed! Yes, like wolves are to sheep... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books