CLEVELAND, Grover, President. Typed manuscript signed ("Grover Cleveland"), with autograph emendations throughout in ink totaling some 75 words, Morristown, N.J., 30 October 1902. 11 pages, 4to, typed on rectos only, pages neatly bound with paper tape at left-hand margins. Enclosed in a half brown morocco clamshell protective case.
CLEVELAND ATTACKS THE REPUBLICAN'S TARIFF POLICY
The full typescript of an important political address by the former president with a focus on the tariff question. In his 1892 campaign against Harrison, Cleveland had called for a reduction in protective tariffs; in the Bryan-McKinley contest tariffs were also an issue. Cleveland explains that "a tariff constructed for the purpose of protection as chief object, is at all times and in every feature of it, an unjust and unfair burden upon the masses of our people...It was not long ago that the democratic party in advocating the reduction of tariff taxation to the revenue needs of the government, based its insistance largely upon the right and justice of cheapening for the masses of our people the prices of necessities of life...When we consider that the theory of our institutions guarantees to every citizen the full enjoyment of all the fruits of his industry and enterprise...it is plain that the extraction of more than this is indefensible extortion, and a culpable betrayal of American fairness and justice..." Quoting from his 1887 Presidential message he notes that "this announcement...was made a target for all sorts of attack in a presidential election" (that of 1888). He assails the McKinley Tariff Act, which raises "the price to consumers of all articles imported," and "render[s] it possible for...our manufacturers to make these taxed articles and sell them for a price equal to that demanded for the imported goods." This plainly shows, he asserts, "the heedlessness of its authors," and "their disregard of the interests of the people." But, "I am not here to speak of Democratic misfortune or miscarriage, but to call attention to the unyielding tenacity of high-tariff repacity and arrogance...."
Following Cleveland's retirement from the White House, he maintained a keen interest in the political scene, and campaigned strongly in the 1904 election for Alton B. Parker, who unsuccessfully opposed Roosevelt.