The New York Times/1901/08/01/Bryanites Convene in a Columbus Bedroom

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Small Stir at Birth of the "Progressive Democracy"—Ohio Followers of the Nebraskan Against Trusts and "Hannaism"

COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 31.—The Progressive Democratic Party" was organised here to-day. The attendance was so small that many doubted at first whether any attempt would be made to hold a State convention.

The week following the recent Democratic State Convention a conference was held at Cleveland, protesting against the platform adopted by that convention, which ignored Bryan, free silver, and other issues, and which did not reaffirm either of the National platforms on which Bryan made his runs for the Presidency. At that conference a call was issued for a State convention of "Bryan Democrats" and others opposed to the Democratic and Republican State platforms to meet here today. Fewer than a dozen men responded to the call, and to-day attended the launching of the new party.

George A. Groat, who called the conference at Cleveland and presided over it on July 17, was Temporary and Permanent Chairman to-day, and was made Chairman of the State Committee of the new party. His name was presented for Governor, but he said he did not want any office. He was afterward put on the ticket for Supreme Court Judge, but he declined to accept the nomination. The convention was held in Mr. Groot's room at the Great Southern Hotel, and in that small room he made his keynote speech of about 4,000 words.

Those who met with Chairman Groot were J. W. Lindsay of Delaware, Dr. Abner L. Davis of Findlay, Bernard Hubart of Toledo, Richard Inglis of Youngstown, R. B. Connell of Columbus, George W. Moore of Greenville, and H. M. Huber of New Richmond. The reporters, who were perched on and about the bed, outnumbered the delegates two to one. A few spectators stood at the open door. The total attendance did not exceed thirty, while the forms of a State convention were carried out between the course of 2 and 4 P. M.

A delegation from the Hocking Valley headed by Henry Leonard of Logan and including Hiram Tanning, W. P. Bates, George Guthrie, and two men from New Lexington, reported to-night that they had come to the city to attend the convention, and being unable to find it they went to the races. Even the promoters of the movement did not disguise their disappointment at the small attendance. At the conclusion of the proceedings a vote of thanks was given to the reporters, and they returned the compliment to the minority.

It was announced that the platform sent out from Cleveland on July 17 in circulars and published at the time had already been adopted on the referendum system by many subscribing to the same. The features of the platform were the following:

The laudation of Bryan and the reaffirmation of the Kansas City platform. Planks were also inserted calling for the public ownership of all public utilities; that all money of whatever kind shall be issued by the Government without the intervention of banks; that the "money trust, the parent of all trusts," shall be destroyed for "without a money aristocracy, there can be no imperialism" The destruction of all trusts is demanded. Such Democrats as approve a gold standard and who supported McKinley for President are told henceforth to affiliate with the Republican Party.

On returning thanks for his election as permanent Chairman, Mr. Groot said great reforms had sprung from humble beginnings, and he was glad to know that there were, some who refused to be led around by the money trust with rings in their noses.

The following ticket was nominated:

Lieutenant Governor—HENRY C, CORDERY.
Supreme Court Judge—RIAL M. SMITH.
State Treasurer—J. C. SHEPARD.
Attorney General—S. L CLARK.
Clerk of Supreme Court—CHARLES BONSALL.
Member of the Board of Public Works—R. B. CONNELL.

It was decided to call the new organization "The Progressive Democratic Party." Other names proposed were: "The Bryan Democratic Farty," "The Independent Party," and "The Reform Party."

Harmony prevailed throughout the proceedings till (illegible text) came to the selection of a name. J. W. Lindsay, who last night, with three Populists, met in the State conference, wanted to call the organization "The Independent Party," so as to include all "who were opposed to Hannaism." He insisted that the Democratic State Convention in Ohio "had veered around into Hanna's lines."

When Chairman Groot announced that the convention had voted to name the organization "The Progressive Democratic Party," Lindsay said he would not co-operate any further. Lindsay, wanted the Populists last night and the Progressive Democrats to support Mayor Jones of Toledo for Governor on independent lines.

A State Executive Committee of nine members was selected, with George A. Groot as Chairman and Bernard Hubert as Secretary, and this committee spent the evening in Mr. Groot's room or in the elevator arranging for campaign work.

It is customary for conventions in Ohio to authorize their State Committees to fill vacancies, but this was not done to-day. After Chairman Groot and others left to-night, Dr. Reemelin positively declined the nomination for Governor, and it was reported that the others would not accept.