Fight of Missouri Democratic Factions and Its Result May Forecast National Isaacs Dave Ball Gains Over Mr. Dockery
"JEFFERSON 'CITY, April 8.-(Special) 1899
Politicians who know whereof they speak are confidently predicting that Missouri will be the battleground for the two factions of the national Democracy in 1900, as it was in 1800. They point to the Pertle Springs convention as the foundation of the Chicago platform, on which William J. Bryan made his spectacular race. It was shrewd manipulation on the part of ex-Governor Stone and his faction, which defeated the wishes of ex-Governor Francis and the Cleveland wing of the state Democracy and made possible the Pertle Springs convention and the unequivocal declaration for the free coinage of silver at the ratio of 1G to 1. This convention came at the crisis of the party. The South was wavering between loyalty to her favorite son, Carlisle, and allegiance to the silver tradition. It was tho Pertle Springs convention which decided the course of the South. The tide was started, which Bryan took at its flood.
Politicians are wondering whether Francis and Seibert will be able to do for Gorman, or the man whom the Maryland strategist may select, what Stone and Cook and Dave Ball did for Bryan. This is the issue which is even now confronting Missouri politics. The election of "Dockery or Dave Ball to the governorship is a matter of very small moment compared with the return of conservatism and the repudiation by the Missouri Democracy of the wild spirit of radicalism which has swept the party."
If Dockery shall be elected governor and If Missouri should send a delegation to the next national convention favorable to Gorman's plan for a. unification of all faction of the Democrat party, then Francis becomes a national figure in politics and the recognized Democratic leader In Missouri. Stone's Eyes Are Open. It Is a shrewd game that Francis and Seibert are playing. Selbert and Dockery are the middlemen who are to reconcile Francis and the radical element. Stone is, well aw are of every move that ls being made. He knows that national stakes are being played for, and for this reason he is so Interested in the gubernatorial contest,' "and for this reason he has declared for any man rather than Dockery. It is this complicated situation which makes David Ball, of Pike County, not only a possibility but a probability for governor.