Populism in Congress
WITH APPARENT INTENTION of staying a long while at Washington, Watson bought a house then under construction at 129 Fourth Street, S. E., "a handsome four story brick building," he pronounced it. His family, which now included a son and a daughter, was no sooner moved in than they and he were down with grippe. His reaction to the new situation, like his reaction to his first office ten years before, was one of disappointment. "Being in Congress," he wrote, "does not seem near so big a thing as when I was campaigning for the place." Furthermore, "The speaker [Mr. Crisp] is bitterly hostile to me because I would not support him and will give me no chance to acquit myself with credit." With so much to do, however, there was little time for self-pity. "Am organizing a new political party in Georgia," he noted in his Journal, "because the Democratic Party has drifted away from true Principles and is only seeking office. The newspapers denounce me most bitterly but the people seem to be rallying to me with enthusiasm."1 "I worked so hard while in Congress," he later testified, "that while I am passionately fond of music, I did not once attend the opera."
Before Congress convened a show-down upon the question of adherence to the Indianapolis resolution and independence was forced upon all Alliance-elected and pledged congressmen. A short while before the Democratic caucus was called, a confer____________________