YEAR OF THE JUBILEE
The year of the jubilee was a year of rejoicing, a year of deliverance from tribulation, according to American folksong and story. Many Americans prayed and dreamed that 1896 would be the dawn of future happiness.
The year was the most momentous in sixty-five-year-old Teller's life. He had speeches to give and Senate business to take care of. In the Senate, civility was cast aside, a casualty of the passion of the times. Teller lashed out at Vermont's venerable senator Justin Morrill: “I am a Republican in the truest and best sense. I helped create the Republican Party. I was in it before the Senator from Vermont.” Teller warned prophetically, “He must allow me to go out of it in the way I came in.” He reminded longtime antagonist John Sherman that westerners “get no more sympathy and no more support than if we have been aliens in an alien land.” Finally, he bitterly took to task gold Republicans and the Democratic Cleveland administration: “If there ever was a nation in the world that seems to be governed by imbeciles and men without thought or men without reason it is fair to say we are now in the hands of that class of people.” 1
Henry had other matters to contemplate. His long-ago political ally James Belford wrote to him in March. He anticipated no relief for silver from either the St. Louis or Chicago (Democratic) conventions. Nevertheless, Belford warned, “no Republican can carry this state on a gold platform or on a straddle platform—on this you can rely.” Teller agreed.