This section is from the book "A Book Written By The Spirits Of The So-Called Dead", by Carl Gustaf Helleberg. Also available from Amazon: A Book Written by the Spirits of the So-Called Dead.
On the 7th of April, among other things, I received . the following:
" Unless some changes are made in the conduct of your government direful consequences are to be apprehended. Under the present mode of administration it is" continually subjected to very heavy straining, and it can not much longer stand it. Many reforms are needed, and the requirements of patriotism demand that they be seriously considered and acted upon. Your civil service is entirely wrong, and can not be continued much longer without serious detriment to your form of government. The integrity and stability of your institutions are constantly menaced by it. You claim that you have an elective government. Is the claim true ? Thousands of important public offices are not filled by the elective voice of the people. They are filled by appointment from purely partisan considerations—for partisan purposes, and as a reward for party services and party zeal. Fitness and worthiness are secondary and minor considerations. Hence arises clamorings of party strife, and the engendering of the festering sore curses of corruption. The Presidential office had better be abolished than to continue it invested with such vast patronage in dispensing official appointments. There exists no valid reason why the people themselves should not select from their neighbors postmasters, revenue officers, etc., as well as state, county, and township officers. The Presidential office should either be dispensed with or its incumbent elected by a direct vote of the people without the intervention of the cumbersome and corrupting electoral machinery. The electing of men to elect other men to office is the dodging of a responsibility and the surrendering of aright of the people that can not be defended upon sound principles.
" Another danger confronts you menacingly and demands watchful attention. It is the startling aggregations of wealth among the few, and wrung from the sweat of labor. These immense accumulations find utilization in the creation of merciless monopolies which have already assumed gigantic and threatening proportions in the United States.
" Stock gambling is not a whit better in morals than any of the games of cards by whicch the unwary are fleeced out of their hard earnings. The participants and operators in the one are no better than in the other, and yet the one, under your Christian civilization is applauded while the other is denounced. How long yet will the people continue to be hoodwinked and handicapped by designing political tricksters. We have seen the star of hope, but now behold the star of promise rising in its refulgent splendor, and therefore we take heart. H. Greeley."
Hon. o. p. morton.
On the 13th of April the following communication was received, purporting to come from the late United States Senator from Indiana, Oliver P. Morton, viz : " Amid the rancor and jealousies of party strife I came in for a full share of abuse and vituperation. I was denounced most bitterly as an ambitious man, wholly unconscionable and indifferent as to the means employed in the accomplishment of party ends. Now, I frankly confess that I was not a saint in politics, nor always, politically speaking, perfectly orthodox. I am free to admit that I was so constituted that when I once believed a certain view to be sound and right I never hesitated to use all the appliances and machinery of party to secure its triumph. I was called a bold man in politics. I am proud of this, for it is in contradistinction to all that is sneaking. I aimed to always be right, and believed, in a certain qualified and honorable sense, that the ends justified the means. Those who are vociferating so loudly and screaming so painfully about bad and corrupt men, are generally traveling in the same boat, with the same sails spread to the breeze. In my mind and heart the country's good was always a paramount consideration, and I have as few regrets as most men who have devoted as long a period to public life. The man out of office feels himself called upon to denounce the man who is in, and affects to believe himself especially endowed with the requisite qualities to purify the public service, but when safely ensconced in the incumbency he too soon finds himself a Barkis, who "is willing." There are many good and true men engaged in public political life, but none perfect, and you would be as successful in ransacking hades for an angel of light as in your efforts to find a perfeet politician. Whatever is wrong and corrupt in your public service and political life will never be corrected and pacified by the politicians alone. As well might you hope for a deadly eating cancer to eradicate itself, or the upas tree, with its deadly emanations, to give forth health-breeding and life-sustaining exhalations. The remedy rests alone and wholly with the great masses of the people. The prostitution of-office to the debasing influences of bribery and corruption must be made odious by fixing austere penalties against the offender, and the prompt and indiscriminate enforcement of them. Misfeasance and malfeasance in public office ought to be considered an unpardonable crime, and the guilty dealt with accordingly. Let the people teach their officials the doctrine that a continuation of political existence depends wholly on fidelity to the public interests, and the honest, faithful and efficient administration of their official trusts. When there is willful dereliction of duty, or a failure by grossly reprehensible conduct to meet the just public expectations, not only relegate the offender to the walks of private life, but impose such punishment as shall be deemed adequate to the enormity of the crime, and will deter others from the commission of like offenses.
" O. P. Morton." gov. a. p. willard.
May 19, 1882, I received the following from Ash-bel P. Willard, who I learn was at one time Governor of the State of Indiana, viz.:
"Good morning, sir. I was, during my earth life, a politician, and, to a certain extent, a successful one, if success may be measured and determined by captivating the masses, and thereby securing elevation to office. I was in early life surrounded by poverty, and arose from humble conditions to the chief magistracy of the great commonwealth of Indiana. I was of the common people, always kept myself closely allied to them and their interests, and if you will excuse the egotism, always felt that I was near their hearts. I was called an orator, and probably to some extent this was true, for nature had favored me highly in that direction by organization, and I have occasion to be thankful that whatever gifts I may have possessed, they were aimed to be exercised for the promotion of the public good and the happiness and prosperity of the people. In youth I obtained a common education and taught school, and by teaching the young the rudiments of education I was enabled to study and observe the different tendencies and characteristics of mind. While engaged in this pursuit I discovered some properties of my own mind and some gifts of speech, which, in public utterance, subsequently distinguished me—not so much in the forum as on the "hustings" during periodical political excitements. I soon discovered that the power I was enabled to wield in political disputations was attracting the people to me, and their voices at the ballot-box soon called me into official position and subsequent prominence.
" Whatever faults I may have had, it is a proud satisfaction for me to know that it was never charged that I ever betrayed either a private or public trust. But in my day things were quite different from what they are now. The politicians in my day were imbued with a different and a higher patriotic sense of obligation to the public interests and the general public weal. The great war of the rebellion seems to have poisoned the divine streams of patriotism, and the politicians of to-day seem to have drank too freely therefrom. You have passed through evil times, and they are still upon you.
" The best minds of the spirit world are hard at work seeking to purify the waters of political life. It must begin at the fountain head. The people, the great masses who constitute the fountain of all political power, must be awakened to a realization of the wretched condition into which they have permitted public affairs to drift. There must be a quickening of the public conscience and a revivifying of the patriotism of the early fathers of the republic. The sanctifying influences of the patriotism of the revolution must again permeate the hearts of the people. The politicians, always cunning and watchful of the tendencies and driftings of the public mind, will either fall in with the new order of things, or be forced to retire and subside from public notice. The great minds and patriotic hearts of Washington, Lafayette, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Hancock, Paine, Webster, Clay, Douglas, Lincoln, Garfield, and hosts of others, are coming from the skies, leaving for awhile the glorious pursuits and joys of spirit unfoldments to speak to the people, and to lead them away from the demoralizing and corrupting influences of the partisanship of the day into better channels and loftier patriotism.
"How shall the work of purifying the public service, restimulation of patriotism, and the placing of the waning fortunes of the country upon the high road of prosperity be done ? First. What is needed to be done? Second. How shall it be done? These questions, so pregnant with mighty results, should engage your earnest and prayerful consideration. These matters may be discussed and presented to you, and I am glad that the means will be furnished to lay them before the people.
" If what I have said will be the means of arousing one patriotic citizen to the necessity of the governmental reformation now in contemplation by our spiritual congress, I shall feel then supremely happy that the little effort in writing these feeble lines was not in vain.
"I was known when in the form, and am still, as Ashbel P. Wlllard."