14 August 1880, New Echo (Phelps Co., Mo)
“ It has been said to me by some of my good Democrat friends that they did not want me to leave them. I can inform them I am not leaving democracy, I am only sticking close to it. They are leaving it and following after the monied aristocracy of the northeast. I am kind of a Davy Crockett type of fellow, both politically and religiously. I look until I know I am right, then I go ahead regardless of man. I have watched the movements of congress for some time, praying for them to do something to relieve the people. I could see no move by either of the old parties to relieve an oppressed people. When there was bill introduced to relieve the tillers of the soil, both of the old parties voted it down. I then saw the toiling masses would need to do something for themselves: I then jumped on the National Greenback platform . I plainly saw there was no difference in the leaders of the two old parties financially: I looked with anxiety for something on our behalf by our Dick, but lo! Not a word: consequently, I voted for him every time out of the depths of my heart, thinking he would fight for the poor oppressed people; I was mistaken; I kept listing until I decided R.P. ad done as Esau and sold his birthright for a morsel of meat. After I had all these thoughts, just before the adjournment of congress, our Dick fills the country with electioneering pamphlets. Dick I can’t support you any more: I fear you sold out to the money kings. They have stolen enough to buy our congressmen that love money better than they love their country. We must change our class of legislators. I stuck close to the old Democratic party; consequently tought they would not steal, they talk so much about the Radicals stealing. Amid all my troubles, up comes the Gates steal; a man that was blowed up by the Democratic Party, so called, thinks I then when the legislature meets they will judge him sure. I was mistaken again; they went ‘up’ there, and guess enough of them sold out to sustain and whitewash him, and enact laws to make the toilers pay. I lost confidence in the old Democratic Party, so called. Now, brother and sister toilers, we must do something for ourselves and our families; old issues are dead, and now new ones have come which we are all interested in equally. My impression is we should all jump on the National boat and all pull together. Oppression has caused every reform; oppression caused the Revolutionary war. Let us show the money kings we have some of the blood of our Revolutionary fathers in our veins. ..” – P.P. (Ptolemy Philadelphus) Brown, 1829-1904.
Most of his comments revolved around the new National Greenback Party platform. The National Greenback Party emerged from the Grange movement seeking to redress negative agendas, taxes, and economic policies detrimental to American rural farmers and growers. The Greenback Party would be an alliance of organized labor and reform-minded farmer’s intent on toppling the political hegemony of the industrial - and banking-oriented Republican Party that had ruled the North during the Reconstruction period. By 1890, it was evolving once more into the predecessor of the Populist party, i.e. The People’s Party.