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Virginia.—George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thos. Jefferson, Benja. Harrison, Thos. Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton.
North Carolina.—Wm. Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn.
South Carolina.—Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton.
Georgia.—Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, Geo. Walton.
Decoration Day. — The observance of "Decoration Day" has grown spontaneously from the tender remembrance by the mothers, sisters, younger brothers, and all who survived the war for the Union, of the heroes who perished that we might live to enjoy a united, free, and just government. The practice of setting aside a day to visit the graves of their fallen soldiers, recall the memory of their noble deeds, and strew their tombs with flowers, took its rise early in the late war: first in particular places, here a city, there a village, or it might be a county. In some places it was on one day, in others on another. After a time the practice became more general. In some cases governors recommended the observance of a particular day; but there was no wide extended agreement. In time, partly through the influence of leading members of the Christian commission, which had done so much for soldiers during the war, partly through the influence of the pulpit and press, and, finally, through the systematic efforts of the Grand Army of the Republie and various veteran soldier associations, many State legislatures were induced to make a given day a legal holiday for this purpose, and the president and governors were led to unite in recommending the observance of the same day, now known as "Decoration Day" in nearly every State of the Union. Precisely when, or in what community, the first instance of calling upon the citizens in general to come together for this purpose took place,' it seems to be impossible at this late day to determine. It is claimed that there were instances of this kind ai early as the spring of 1863, some say as early as the summer of 1862.
De Fuca Explorations.—The boundary line on the far northwest had for many years been a serious question between the United States and Great Britain. That part of the Pacific coast had been visited, on behalf of Spain, by the Greek pilot De Fuca in 1592, by Admiral Fonte in 1640, aud by subsequent explorers, who had mapped a great portion of it as far as the fifty-fifth degree north latitude. The Nootka treaty of 1790,between Spain and Great Britain, only gave the latter some fishing and trading rights in the vicinity of Puget Sound. The discovery and exploration of Columbia River by Captain Robert Gray, an American, who gave the name of his vessel to the river; the purchase of Louisiana and all that belonged to it to the Pacific from the French in 1803, their claim being the best, next to that of Spain; the exploration of Columbia River from its sources to its mouth by Lewis and Clarke, by order of the United States, in 1804-5; and the treaty of limits concluded between Spain and the United States in 1819, by which all the territory north of forty-two degrees north latitude was expressly declared to belong to the United States, were held to be sufficient proofs of the title of the United States to that territory. Still Great Britain laid claim to a large portion of the region. Captain Winship, a hardy New Englander, in 1810 built a house on the Columbia, but the floods came and the winds blew, and it fell the same year and the settlement was abandoned. The fort and fur-trading house at Astoria, established in 1811 by John Jacob Astor, were given up to the British, who were then engaged in the prosecution of the war of 1812. The place was then named Fort George. Subsequently it passed into the control of the Hudson Bay Company, and a feeble attempt was made to cultivate the soil. In the "forties" the immigration was large, and in '43 they formed a provisional government. For years previous to these events the boundary line question had been the subject of correspondence between Great Britain and the United States. At times the question became so serious as to threaten the peaceful relations of the two countries, and the subject so much absorbed public attention that the Democratic National Convention of 1844 in its platform declared for a certain boundary line or war as a consequence. (See Northwest Boundary.)
De Facto and De Jure.—These terms are generally used in connection with the holding of office. One who has actual possession of an office and exercises its functions is said to be an officer de facto, or in fact; one who is entitled to an office, but does not actually fill it, is said to be an officer de jure, or by right. A de facto officer may hold his office without wrongful intent, though without legal sanction, as when there have been technical irregularities in the appointment, or when the law under which he was appointed is afterward declared unconstitutional by the courts. The acts of a de fatto incumbent are valid as respects third persons and the public generally if the officer holds his position by color of right (that is, with supposed authority based on reasonable grounds), if he holds it with some degree of notoriety, if he is actually in exercise of continuous official acts, or if he is in actual possession of a public office. For application of these terms in 1877 to Hayes and Tilden, see Presidents De Facto and De Jure.
Defender of the Constitution.—A name applied to Daniel Webster, principally by reason of his second speech in reply to Robert Y. Hayne in the Senate. (See Foot's Resolution.)
Deficiency Bill. (See Appropriations.)
De Golyer Contract—In 1872 the Board of Public Works at Washington had under advisement about forty different kinds of pavement, one of which it intended to select for use. James A. Garfield was retained by the attorney of the De Golyer and McClellan patent to prepare a brief on this patent and to argue its merits before the board, the attorney himself having been called away from Washington. For these services he received a fee of $5,000. 'It was charged, and the charge was revived during the presidential campaign of 1880, that Garfield had done no work to deserve this fee, which had been given, it was said, as a bribe to influence his action in Congress, and especially as chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the House. On the other hand, it was shown that he did considerable laborious work in connection with the matter, and that, moreover, the money required had already been voted, so that the alleged bribe would have been on the rather remote contingency of a deficiency and a consequent additional appropriation. Moreover, the objections to the whole transaction were not to the pavement itself, but to the contract with the company, and with this Garfield had no connection.
Delaware was one of the original States of the Union. The capital is Dover. The population in 1880 was 146,608, in the last census (1890) is 168,493. Delaware sends only one member to the House of Representatives, and has but three electoral votes. Since 1860 it has voted for the Democratic national candidates, except in 1872, and the Democratic vote has been, as a rule, steadily increasing. It took its name from the river and bay, which, in turn, were named after Lord De la Ware, one of the early Governors of Virginia. It is familiarly known as the Diamond State from its shape, and the Blue Hen State from a game breed of fighting cocks of which the State was proud. (See Governors; Legislatures.)
Democrat.—Thus did the Federalists call all their opponents. Of these only a portion accepted the title, and after 1810 Democrat and Democratic may be taken as synonymous. The word as first used was intended to denote revolutionary tendencies. (See Democratic Society.)
Democratic Clubs. (See Democratic Society.) Democratic Invincible Club. (See American Knights.)
Democratic Party. (See Democratic-Republican Party.)
Democratic Reading - Room. (See American Knights.)
Democratic - Republican Party.— This party, known first as the Republican, then as the DemocraticRepublican, and generally in our own time, merely as the Democratic party, has as its fundamental principles the limitation of the powers of the federal government to those granted by the letter of the Constitution and the increase of the direct influence of the people in the affairs of the government. Though the party has from time to time swerved from these principles, when the exigencies of the political situation seemed to demand it (and the slavery question caused very violent fluctuations of this nature), yet to these principles it has always returned, and while acting on them its greatest successes have been gained. The adoption of the Constitution left the antiFederal party without a cause; there was no organized opposition to the Federal party, to which most of the prominent men of the time belonged, and from it the Republican party, as the Democratic-Republican party was first called, was but gradually differentiated. The financial measures of Hamilton clearly showed his purpose of applying to the Constitution loose principles of construction, and'his proposals to assume the State debts, and later to incorporate the United States bank, and to levy a tax on distilled spirits, were the first measures that marked a divergence in the Federal party. Madison, Jefferson and Randolph opposed these measures as unconstitutional. As was natural, the following of Hamilton consisted largely of the commercial interests, while the agricultural interests as naturally favored a view tending to localize political power. It was not until 1792 that the party thus segregated, was known by the name of Republican. Those that were then known as Democrats, agitating, loud-mouthed and abusive partisans of France, in the war she was then engaged in, were not acknowledged by the Republicans as their party, though the two were frequently united in action; i n the third House, the Republicans elected their candidate for Speaker, and the merging of the two factions was hastened by this event, though, for sometime thereafter, the line between the two was plainly visible within the