The McKinley tariff became a law on October 1. Congress adjourned on the same day and on November 4th, the autumn elections, largely for Congressmen, took place. The bill, said McKinley, is "protective in every paragraph and American in every line and word."1 The people passed upon it, giving it an utter condemnation. Mills, the leader of the Democratic tariff reform party in the House, closed his speech against the bill with, "When you leave this House and Senate with this enormous load of guilt upon your heads and appear before the great tribunal for trial, may the Lord have mercy on your souls."2 Protectionist literature has much to say about the expedients of the tariff reformers to discredit the bill before the people. Peddlers were sent through the rural districts offering 5¢ tin cups for twenty-five cents and 25¢ tin pails for one dollar and asserting that the advance was due to the McKinley Bill.3 On account of the duty on tin plate it was asserted that the working-man's dinner pail would be heavily taxed. "In hundreds of cases," said in a newspaper interview Speaker Reed who was a loyal supporter of this legislation, "the 'drummers' were, intentionally or unintentionally, missionaries to preach Democratic doctrine. They went all over the country with the stories of advances in prices that were to be made next week or next month on account of the____________________
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Publication information: Book title: History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the Mckinley-Bryan Campaign of 1896. Volume: 8. Contributors: James Ford Rhodes - Author. Publisher: Macmillan. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1920. Page number: 365.