Os the Primary System.
Abuse of the Elective System, by
the Democratic Party, Under
the Party Whip Lash,
In the Hands of the
“Men Who Con
We, the people, in this State, in the
very season of the year when busy
men would rather be undisturbed in
their usual vocations and pursuits, are
now in the confusion and contests of
political schemes of the managers of a
political party. These “bosses” of the
Democratic party do manage so as to
keep up a continual run of excitement.
Why should our people of the city,
the county, and all over the State,
have to be subjec'el to so much un
necessary political discussion, simply
for the promotion of the personal in
terests of a few professional politi
cians, of a party that is dominated by
lings and cliques of tin-horn states
men, or Democratic demagogues, who
have the presumption to style them
selves “the men who control’” Why
should this condition be so?
We say “condition,” because it is
truly a condition that gives unrest and
unnecessary disturbance of our people,
at a time when they would prefer to
be, and when they should be, in a
■ quiet condition. Wherefore is the ne
cessity for all this political racket we
bear every day about who must or shall
be chosen for various official positions?
The time for choosing or electing offi
cers for national, state, county, and
city is away ahead of us yet. Several
months yet before the general elec
tions. Cannot the great body of the
people, the honest yeomanry, be trust
ed and allowed to make suitable selec
tions from candidates who may appear
just before the regular elec ions.
National issues are not yet definitely
formed or joined for special considera
tion. In local matters there are no
special issues of politics. In some
few cases there may be some personal .
preferments or commercial interests to ;
be considered. Os essential political |
principles there is no general diver-'
sion or division of sentiment. Then ’
we say, why should we have all this
undue agitation and political perturba
tion about a “Democratic piimary.”
We have some pertinent opinions of
our own on the subject, and we pro
pose to express such opinions in our
own way. We are not of that class or
contingent of time-serving men who '
are afraid to utter a word or write a '
line of independent thought, for fear |
that it may be said by some party
whip-snapper that we are “not a good
Democrat,” or not faithful to the sen
timents of our Confederate cause and
its memories. Our Democracy is oi
the true and correct standard, and out
love for onr Confederate comrades and '
the memories with them is as sincere i
and unselfish as any one who may dare,'
in any censorious or covinous manner, 1
to impugn our motive in uttering a» '
independent opinion. We insist that I
we are aloof from any picayunish
quibbling, and we care but little about
the foolish criticisms of those wh«
have no thoughts or opinions of their
own, with no higher aspirations or
broader scope of mind, than to simply
follow the dictation of designing dem
agogues of a party.
“Purity of motive and nobility
of mind shall rarely condescend,
To prove its rights, or prate of
wrongs, or evidence its worth to
And it shall be small care to the
high and happy conscience,
What jealous friends, or envious
foes, or common fools may judge.”
As we stated before, we have som;
■opinions of onr own about the primary
system of the Democratic party, and
we will print them.
The history of “primary” elections
in this state is rather peculiar, in the
manipulation of “machine” politics.
Primary elections are of comparatively
recent origin or invention. There
used to be a condition of affairs, when
politics did not demand any primary
election for a suitable candidate. After
the civil war, and after the en
franchisement of negroes, when Re
publicans could run for office, in some
counties there were more negro voters
than white voters, and so it became
necessary to have the whites, or Dem
ocrats. as called, to concentrate upon
some one who might be the most
available to stand as a candidate.
Court house nominations were the
usual method, but eventually some
men, who thought they were improp
erly ignored in the court house con
ventions. began to protest, and there
came a period for independent candi
dates. They appealed directly to the
people. In such appeal the candi
dates, of course, were willing, and not
only willing but glad, to receive votes
of independent voters, and negroes,
and Republicans, and it became an
active contest between the court house
ring nominees and the the independ
ents, to secure the negro votes, which
were generally the balance of power.
Many of the "independents” were
successful at the ballot box, by the in
fluence of theory of “fraud,” aud"court
house cliques,” and this influence was
augmented by the natural spirit of in
dependence and fair play in many of
the white voters. “Independentism”
seemed to bring about a new political
condition. It engendered new schemes
of trickery, bribery, intimidation, and
gullibility uponjthe ignorant, dishon
est and purchasable and corrupt
voters. Such new schemes were not
confined to the “independents,” but
the “regular nominees,” and their
friends and supporters of the Demo
cratic party, engaged in the tricks and
schemes with as much energy and ac
tivity as any of the “independents.”
In the times of independent politics,
there came the suggestion for fair
play and honest dealings, with
united action and co-operation with
in the party lines, so that every
Democrat might feel assured that
honest methods were adopted, to carry
out Democratic principles and policies.
The great mass of Democrats did not
desire to engage in, nor to succeed by,
any unfair conduct in the party, how
ever anxious they may have been to
have Democratic success. The idea
was then suggested for a “party elec
tion,” to have a “primary” within the
party lines, for the choice and selec
tion of a suitable candidate. That
seemed to be a fair suggestion, and it
was adopted in many places, though it
was not general at first. The party
primary was considered as just the
way to get good men for candidates.
For a while they ran along in this
way, apparently in a satisfactory man
ner, but eventually the wily politici
ans found out how to work their tricks
and schemes in the machinery of the
primary, and many times, the best man
was left out by a fraudulent defeat
in the party primary election, the peo
ple’s preference was ignored and over
run, and scheming political thimble
riggers came out as the winners.
Then in 1891 the legislature enacted a
so-called statute, or law to provide for
protection of primary elections and
conventions of political parties in this
State, and to punish frauds committed
in such primary elections. The pas
sage of such a law is sufficient evidence
of the fact that such frauds were com
mitted, inasmuch as a law to prohibit
and punish evil, is presumed to recog
nize the evil. The evil existed in the
fraudulent and corrupt practices in
Democratic primaries, and the party
leaders and legislators sought to make
a remedy by a law to protect them. So
that now a Democratic primary has the
sanction of law, and any illegal man
agement or illegal voting in such a pri
mary may be punished in the same
w-ay as if it were in a regular popular
election. This law may be intended
as away for obtaining purity in party
politics, but it does not yet reach all
the tricks of the trade. The primaries
have come to be regarded of late as
simply the scheme of artful aspirants
to office, and of designing politicians
under pretense of Democratic integri
ty. We do not believe that the people
in mass have anything to do with set
ting them, or with the management of
them after being set. Primaries, in
the general affairs of State, have here
tofore given opportunities, for “the
men who control,” to bunch certain
districts or counties, for the influence
upon voters in other sections, and so
afford the “wire pullers” the chance
of dispatching “encouraging re
ports” to the weaker or doubt
ful points or precincts. So it has
come a-bout that a Democratic
primary is now considered as the
highest development of invention in
the way of “machine politics.” The
invention is claimed to be operated by
the power or will of the people, but
the astute politicians seem to get the
advantage of official positions as the
product of “the machine.” Primaries
are strictly partisan, and as they are
operated in Georgia, they are denomi
nated and labeled as “purely Demo
cratic.” If any man may assert that
he is a Democrat, without running
with and carrying about with him the
the “machine” label, “the men who
control” will assert that such man’s
Democracy is spurious. At a Demo
cratic primary election, only such as
will carry the machine label as true
and tried and well known Democrats
shall be permitted to have the privilege
to participate in the voting, and this,
with the proviso that every voter must
affirm or swear that he will abide by
the result and support the machine
nominee. Colored Democrats, as vot
ers, are excluded from the primary, it
being generally assumed that all negro
voters are Republicans. Populists are
excluded from voting in a primary up
on the ground that they are “dis
satisfied Democrats,” and they have
deserted the Democratic party, and
so they must not be allowed to come
about the party ballotbox of the Demo
cratic primary. This is done, too, in
view of the fact that a Democratic law
has been enacted to prevent frauds in
Democrats primaries, and in view of
the fact, also, that the Democratic
party has adopted in its own platforms
nearly every important plank or prin
ciple for which the Populist party has
contended. The "machine” Demo
crats then say that they invite Popu
lists to "come back to the old party,
and let ns be friends again.” Whose
and what frauds are contemplated, in
the law for the protection of prima-
ries? Everybody but the “Simon pure,
lily white, machine Democrats” are
excluded from their primaries, so we
ask, who is it that the law implies by
its terms, as the fraudulent managers
and voters? Republicans are excluded
from the Democratic primary on gene
ral principles, or else on particular or
special principles, as not being in any
way desirable or suitable to affiliate
with the machine Democrats in a local
primary. All of these things occur just
as we here state them, and a "primary
election” may bring out us a nominee
some man who may not be suitable as a
candidate to any of these other politi
cal parties, and he may not be satis
factory to his own party, except to
those who control the machinery of
the party. His primary election
may be made by his personal
or corporation friends, or paid workers,
with less than one-fourth of the legal
voters of the district or county where
in the primary election is held, thus
making a minority nomination for all
voters, and maybe with a bare major
ity of the voters of his own party. If
there may be more than two candi
dates in the primary canvass and elec
tion, the nominee by the plurality
rule may be a minority nominee in
his own party. Yet, as it may be so,
when the result of the primary ballot
ing is announced, it is expected of
every other candidate that he must
yell and throw up his hat in the air in
a "hurrah for the Democratic pri
mary,” and swear allegiance and fidel
ity forever to such schemes and frauds
as have conspired and contributed to
bring about his own defeat. Then
every fellow who thinks or pretends
that he thinks “the party” is
of more importance than his
own principles, either personally or
politically, starts out on a canvass,
and goes about the matter to induce
all the members of all other political
parties, and the voters of the minority
in his own party, to abide by the Dem
ocratic primary and to support the
nominee. Colored voters are coaxed
and cajoled, and bought and sold, as if
they were the only important element
in the ensuing general election. Pop
ulists are importuned to yield and sac
rifice their own opinions, and to re
turn to the ranks of “the old party,”
and they are told that if they have any
grievances for adjustment, let it be
done "in the party,” and they are per
suaded that they can easily settle the
whole matter by simply voting in the
general election for "our man,” the
primary nominee of the Democratic
party. Republicans are either whip
ped or wheedled into voting for the
Democratic primary nominee, or as he
may be called “the local candidate,”
on the ground that it need
not in any waPWpAforidisturb their
allegiance to their own party in the
broader expanse of national politics.
Have you not, our readers, already ,
heard the remark many times here, i
that a man can be a Republican in
national elections, and a Democrat in
local electrons? How about such a
politician when it comes to voting for
a United States senator by the legisla
ture, after a Democratic primary for
such senator? Or how about represen
tatives in congress, or for president?
Democratic primaries may have the es- ■
feet of getting some good citizen all :
mixed up on general election day, or ‘
may get the colored voters tangled and '
troubled in their minds.
Primaries, as commonly conducted
now, seem to be the schemes for sinis
ter demagogy more than for the pur
pose of any sincere Democracy. They
appear to be the contrivance of de
signing politicians for preliminary
preferment for personal advancement,
rather than the maintenance of politi
cal principles and the promotion of
We have thus given our views in
general as to “primaries.” With re
gard to the next primary which has
been setfor the 15th of May, we frankly
say that we do not approve it as or
dered, and we are not yet convinced
of the propriety of holding it at the
time set for it in the manner indicated.
Whether it was set for the “ins” or
the “outs,” we do not care, and as a
political movement, we think it cannot
make much difference for the “ins” or
the “outs,” as to the methods to be
practiced. We do not believe that it
was fixed as a primary election by the
people for the people, so much as it
was set as a primary of the politicians
for the politicians, amongst “the men
We will now examine some of the
special features of the system and law
The law or Act about protection of
primary elections is not a salutary
law. It is obnoxious to constitutional
authority and legal propriety. In the
first and foremost consideration, it is
not a constitutional law or Act. It is
the very worst or most objectionable
form of special or class legislation.
It was specially enacted for partisan
purposes. It is uncertain or indefinite
in its terms or specifications as to who
shall put it in force, motion, or opera
tion. It simply provides for "any
political party” or convention to
spring it into action or call for an
election, without designating any
person or officer who may make such
call or be responsible for such elec
tion. It sets forth a general power
that may be exercised by one political
party, or more parties. It seeks or
pretends to give authority to
managers of the political ma
chinery of parties, which should
pertain only to the proper po
litical regulations of the State, to be
prescribed by and operated under gen
eral law. It gives the power to “any
political party,” and there may be one
or more, two, three, or four, each with
its own rules, and each may be differ
ent from all others, with inconsistent
and antagonistic doctrines and rules.
It gives occasion for discord and strife
where the policy of the State should
be for the promotion of harmony and
peace. It gives power to a few to con
travene the will of many. It is special
legislation for purposes which are pro
vided for by the general law. The
general law provides for elections by
the people, and not for parties of the
people, on certain fixed times and
places as designated in a lawful way,
and prescribes the qualifications for
voters as electors, and is inclusive
of all who may be legally qualified
as electors of the people, while the
Act for the “primary” is uncertain
as to the rules or managers, and it is
limited as to its electors, and exclusive
of all who do not come up to or within
the uncertain rules which may be cov
ertly prescribed by uncertain persons,
who may specify or prescribe such
regulations as may be at variance with
the public policy of the State,and with
the political liberty and freedom of
conscience of the legal electors or
voters of the State. The Act to pro
tect party primaries is uncertain in its
provisions for rules, and seeks or
assumes to give authority to uncertain
parties or persons to fix the plans and
times for public elections,and tends to
allow for the control and governing of
the elective franchise by uncertain and
various parties or persons, and seeks
to confer on such uncertain parties or
persons the power to prescribe
additional and extra oath or oaths
for electors, not prescribed or
specified in and by the State
Constitution. It is the State
constitution, and not the “Atlanta
Constitution,” that should be taken
as the authority and guide for fixing
rules, regulations, and oaths for elec
So much now for this view as to the
unconstitutionality of the act for the
protection of Democratic party prima
ries from the frauds of its own party
managers and its own party voters.
In another view, or from another
standpoint, this law for primary elec
tions gives occasion for “repeating,”
or voting more than once by a portion
of the electors who cast ballots in such
primaries. The voters who may cast
the majority or plurality of votes, get
their candidate as the nominee. Those
who may be in the minority of course
do not. obtain their choice of candi
dates,and are bound by the rules made
by the managers, and are expected to
support the minority nominee in the
ensuing election, so that it comes
about that the majority or plurality |
voters may vote twice for their nomi
nee, while all the others vote for him
only once, when their competitors are
voting the second time for the same
candidate. Such repeating by the
primary and secondary ballot is un
fairly sanctioned by a special law,
and approved by the managers and
manipulators of party machinery,
while those who may refuse to go into
any such primary, and simply prefer
to wait for the general election, are
denounced as politically derelict, and
are proscribed by such party managers.
Such schemes of political management
are not likely to promote the harmony
that should prevail amongst the peo
In a local view, we present the fol
In 1898, in a primary election, a vote
was taken “For” and “Against” elec
tion of Judges and Solicitors of City
Criminal Court “by vote of the peo
ple.” The “For” such election to be
“by vote of the people,” received a
large majority. Now the “managers”
of aparty, “so-called,” propose to limit
the people who shall vote in a political
primary, and will then assume to dic
tate that such vote under such limita
tions and restrictive rules as the
bosses dictate, shall be considered
and declared as an election “by the
people.” Such presumption is ridic
We deem this article as sufficient for
this time on this subject of the party
primary election system. We may
have something more to say later on.
ts Robebt L. Rodoebs.
Court Petitioned to Declare Georgia Han
dle Company Bankrupt.
In the United States District Court
at Atlanta, Ga., Friday afternoon, a
petition was filed by Mrs. E. G. Coff
man, W. D. Manley and C. S. Wrenn
asking that the Georgia Handle Com
pany be declared an involuntary bank
E. G. Coffman, general manager and
chief stockholder of the Georgia Han
dle Company, left the city Tuesday,
ostensibly to go to Macon, but it was
later ascertained that he did not show
up in the Central City.
Congressman Sparkman Renominated.
The Democratic congressional con
vention for the First Florida district
met in Tallahassee Wednesday and re
nominated Hon. Stephen M. Spark
man by acclamation for a fourth term
in the lower house of congress. Mr.
Sparkman had no opposition.
Beal Estate For Sale
The tracts, lots, and parcels of land*
as stated below are for sa|e, cheap for
cash, or will exchange for available
merchandise at reasonable prices.
The land lots indicated will be sold
with special warranty of title, with
plat and grant, with the original
No. Diet. Sec. Acres. County.
942 2 3 40 Paulding.
124 7 2 40 Fannin.
90 1 81 Rabun.
118 26 2 40 Gilmer.
57 11 1 40 Union.
137 19 3 40 Paulding.
308 10 1 160 Union.
650 16 2 40 Cobb.
718 16 2 40 Cobb.
719 16 2 40 Cobb.
885 16 2 40 Cobb.
887 16 2 40 Cobb.
915 16 2 40 Cobb.
958 16 2 40 Cobb.
843 16 2 40 Cobb.
646 17 2 40 Cobb.
16 17 2 40 Cobb.
17 17 2 40 Cobb.
86 17 2 40 Cobb.
1090 17 2 .40 Cobb.
267 20 2 40 . Cobb.
1006 16 2 40 Cobb.
514 15 2 40 Cobb.
567 15 2 40 Cherokee.
584 15 2 40 Cherokee.
585 15 2 40 Cherokee.
638 15 2 40 Cherokee.
639 15 2 40 Cherokee.
640 15 2 40 Cherokee.
641 15 2 40 Cherokee.
642 15 2 40 Cherokee.
255 13 2 160 Cherokee.
10£ 2*l 2 40 Cherokee.
101 1 202} Troup.
731 19 3 40 Paulding.
72 3 3 40 Paulding.
501 3 3 40 Paulding.
880 2 3 40 Paulding.
1175 18 3 40 Paulding.
13 13 1 160 Pickens.
246 6 1 160 Chattooga.
708 18 2 40 Polk.
981 21 3 40 Polk.
7 26 3 160 Murray.
1012 12 1 40 Lumpkin.
314 11 1 40 Lumpkin.
697 11 1 40 Lumpkin.
573 5 1 40 Lumpkin.
830 11 1 40 Lumpkin.
148 8 2 160 Fannin.
629 3 4 40 Floyd.
643 18 2 40 Douglass.
8 3 490 Wayne.
95 3 490 Wayne.
96 3 490 Wayne.
151 3 490 Wayne.
200 3 490 Wayne.
} 173 3 245 Wayne.
160 2 490 Wayne.
| 75 2 245 Charlton.
}x} 17516 25} Upson.
}x} 111 12 25} Taylor.
i 368 28 125 Early.
i 113 16 1 80 Union.
} 175 16 1 80 Union.
815 14 1 40 Forsyth.
398 5 1 40 Dawson.
157 11 202} Henry.
104 19 2 40 Cobb.
9QI £1 2 74 Cherokee.
Three lots, 50x150 feet each, alto
gether being Nos, 14, 15 and 16, on
Mt. Zion avenue, in the village of Mt.
Zion, Carroll county, Ga.
One-lot, No, 114, in block 17, in
Montrose Park, Montrose county Col
Si? acres on Satterfield Ford road,
5 miles from Greenville, in Greenville
county, S. C.
Three lots at Montreal, on G. C, &
N. railroad, DeKalb county, Ga.
1,100 acres; 700 hammock, 400 up
land, in Screven county, Ga. This is
a fine place, divided by the Georgia
Central railroad. 50 miles from Savan
nah. Railroad station on the place; good
location for country store. Splendid
situation for factory for staves and
cooperage works. Enough good tim- -
ber on the hammock land to pay fox
the place three or four times over.
Investors are invited to examine this
1.149 acres on west bank of Savan
nah river, in Effingham county, Ga..
grant of 1784, and descent of title to
1.150 acres on Satilla river, in Cam
dem county, Ga., grant from state,,
and deeds on record for 100 years
back. Good title, by descent to pres
1,150 acres on St. Mary’s river, in
Camden county, Ga. Grant and deeds
on record 100 years back. Good title,,
by descent to present owner.
430 acres on west bank of Savannah
river, in Screven county, Ga. Deeds
on record since 1827. Good title, by
descent to present owner.
I desire to sell these lands as soon
as possible, and they must go at low
prices, very low for cash, or on easy
terms and long time with 5 per cent.,
interest, as purchasers may desire and!
prefer. Persons desirous of investing;
money for future profits by enhance
ments should examine these offers al
once. I have other lands, which I
will sell on good terms and low prices.
In writing for information about any
of these lands, refer to them by th*
number, district, section and county,,
and enclose two stamps, 4 cents, for
reply. Robbwv L. Rodokbb,
ts Attornev at Law. A'Hanta. Ga.