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Pendleton Bill. (See Civil Service Reform.)
Pennsylvania was one of the original States of tha Union. The capital is Harrisburg. The population in 1880 was 4,282,891, and in the last census (1890) 5,258,014. Pennsylvania is entitled to twenty-eight seats in the House of Representatives and to thirty electoral votes. It is Republican in national politics. It was named after William Penn, its founder. Popularly it is called the Keystone State, because it occupies the place of the keystone in an arch representing the thirteen original States. (See Governors; Legislatures.)
Pennsylvania of the West.—A name applied to the State of Missouri.
People's Party.—In 1884 Benjamin F. Butler, of Massachusetts, was nominated for the presidency by the Anti-Monopoly party at Chicago, May 14th, and by the Greenback-Labor party at its convention in Indianapolis, May 27th and 28th. This common ticket of the two parties was known as the People's party.
Pensions.—A pension is a regular payment of money to a person by the government in consideration of past services in its employ. Pensions were formerly granted in the United States only to enlisted men of the army or navy who had suffered during our various wars, except in a few special instances. But in 1869 an act was passed providing pensions at the rate of their salary to United States judges who have served ten years and resigned at seventy years or upward. Pensions have also been granted to the widows of former Presidents, Mrs. Lincoln, Mrs. Garfield, Mrs. Polk and Mrs. Tyler. Employes in the life-saving service, in the quartermasters and paymaster's departments, and nurses have also received them. Private pension bills are often passed, but by far the largest number of pensioners of the United States are such under general laws. As early as 1806 the United States had adopted a system of pensions for those who had become disabled in its military and naval services. In 1818 the system was extended to persons in reduced circumstances who had served at least nine months at any period of the Revolutiou, whether disabled or not. Abuses at once began to be apparent, and many persons received money who were not entitled to it. From that time till the period of the Civil War, the general rule in the many successive pension acts that were passed was to extend the government's bounty. Since 1862 the pension laws have been more numerous and generous than ever, especially for the last few years, when a surplus in the national treasury has made Congress liberal in the extreme. One of the most conspicuous of these laws was the "Arrears of Pensions Act," approved by President Hayes on January 25, 1879. It provided for the payment of pensions from the date of discharge or disability, and not from the date of application, as previous laws had provided in ease the claim was not made within a certain time. The political parties seem of late years to be afraid of alienating the votes of soldiers if they refuse to pass the most extravagant laws. This particular bill was a measure rushed through by the claim agents almost without debate, and has given rise to countless abuses. Widows (till remarriage) of soldiers or sailors who have died of wounds contracted in the line of duty in the United States service, children under sixteen, and mothers, and sisters under sixteen, who were dependent on the deceased, are entitled to a pension in the above order of priority. Only one full pension is allowed, and if it goes to childEen or to sisters, it is equally divided between them. It is impossible to enumerate all the causes for which pensions are granted, or the circumstances under which they are allowed. The United States is probably the most liberal nation in the world in this respect. The Forty-ninth Congress passed a multitude of private pension bills, most of which were vetoed by President Cleveland, and only one of which was passed over his veto. The amount paid by the government in pensions in 1791 was $175,813.88. The smallest amount paid in one year was $62,902.10, in 1803; the largest was $118,548,959.71, in 1891. The largest amount paid up to the Civil War was $4,589,152.40, in 1833. The following table shows the number of pensioners on the roll, and the disbursements on account of pensions since 1861:
Pernicious Activity.—On July 14, 1886, President Cleveland directed a circular letter "to the head3 of departments in the service of the general government," warning them and their subordinates against using "their official positions in attempts to control political movements in their localities." The letter contained the following sentence: "Office-holders are neither disfranchised nor forbidden the exercise of political privileges; but their privileges are not enlarged, nor is their duty to party increased to pernicious activity by office-holding."
Personal Liberty Laws.—A name given to laws passed by many of the Northern States for the purpose of impeding the operation of "fugitive slave laws." They generally forbade the use of State jails for the purposes of the fugitive slave laws; forbade the State magistrates to act under them; provided counsel for the fugitives, and secured to them trial by jury and the benefit of "habeas corpus." The fugitive slave law of 1850 placed its operation entirely in the hands of federal officers. Changes were made in the personal liberty laws to correspond to the increased stringency of the laws of 1850. Most of the Northern States passed acts of this nature, and thus was the Compromise of 1850 met in the North. This was one of the main grievances that at this time so increased Southern bitterness against the North.
Personal Liberty Party.—The strict enforcement in New York of laws directed against the sale of liquor on Sundays, caused the formation there of an organization favoring the abolition of such restrictions on the sale of liquor as are deemed to conflict with the liberty of the individual, that is, the total prohibition of its sale on Sunday. This organization took the name of Personal Liberty Party, and in New York, on October 6, 1887, adopted a platform declaring that laws of the above description have notoriously failed to improve morality while they interfere with the personal liberty of the individual, and citing as people whose habits of life are thus interfered with the German element of our population who are "assiduous, temperate and law abiding people."
Personation is a fraud practiced in elections and consists in voting under different names at the same polling place.
Peruvian Guano Troubles.—In the early part of 1881 Chili had practically brought Peru to her feet in a war which the two countries had been waging against each other. Chili seemed inclined to press for a cession of the southern part of Peru as part of the war indemnity. This region is especially rich in guano deposits which have been found to be very valuable. Claims for discovering these deposits—the two principal ones being known as the Landreau and Cochet Claims—had for many years been pressed on the Peruvian government without success, though the government had virtually acknowledged their justice. At this- time they were owned hy Americans, who, fearing that their claims would be hopeless if the territory should be transferred to Chili, sought the aid oi our government to prevent Chili from acquiring the territory; it is asserted that the diplomacy of Blaine, Secretary of State at the time, was exerted in favor of this scheme, by reason of which fact he is sometimes referred to as the "guano statesman," and his foreign plans as a "guano policy." Our Minister to Peru, General Stephen A. Hurlbut, seems to have threatened the displeasure of the United States should Chili insist on the cession. This was unwarranted, even by Blaine's instructions, and of course unjustified by the rules of international comity in a war with which we had nothing to do. When, however, Chili arrested Calderon, the President of that one of the two conflicting governments in Peru which we had recognized, President Arthur in December, 1881, sent a special envoy, William H. Trescott, of South Carolina, accompanied by Walker Blaine, son of the Secretary of State, to the scene of the difficulties. Blaine's instructions to Trescott implied that the administration felt some reason to suppose that Chili had intentionally offended us by the arrest of Calderon, and that we had determined to assume a severer tone with Chili. About this time Frelinghuysen succeeded Blaine. He revoked part of Blaine's instructions to Trescott and ordered a more pacific course, and Trescott was soon recalled. Chili subsequently secured the coveted territory. It is asserted by some that government officials were interested in the guano claims and secured the following of a policy, so long as Blaine was Secretary, that must soon have plunged us into a war with Chili, had not a more pacific tone been adopted and our interference with Chili been brought to an end.