American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" (1962)


Dutton Peabody Nominates Ransom Stoddard at the Territorial Convention Session

Audio mp3 delivered by Edmond O'Brien


 Chair: The Chair recognizes its old friend, that distinguished member of the Fourth Estate, founder, owner, publisher, and editor of the Shinbone Star, Mr. Dutton Peabody, Esquire.

Peabody: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for those kind words, but why don't you tell them the whole truth: founder, owner, editor, and I also sweep out the place.

Fellow delegates, like all of you I have listened in awe and admiration to the magnificent oratory of the Honorable Major Cassius Starbuckle, the cattlemen’s mouthpiece, the lowing herds. But seriously, under the spell of his eloquence I could see once again the vast herd of buffalo and savage redskin roaming our beautiful territory with no law to trample them except the law of survival, the law of the tomahawk and the bow and arrow.

And then with the westward march of our nation came the pioneer and the buffalo hunter, the adventurous ,and the bold. And the boldest of these were the cattlemen who seized the wide-open range for their own personal domain, and their law was the law of the hired gun.

   But now, now today have come the railroads and the people, the steady, hard- working citizens, the homesteader, the shopkeeper, the builder of cities. We need roads to join those cities, dams to store up the waters of the Picket Wire, and we need statehood to protect the rights of every man and woman, however humble.

How do we get it? I'll tell you how. We get it by placing our votes behind one man -- one man! And we have that man with us here. He is a man who came to us not packing a gun, but carrying instead a bag of law books. Yes, he is a lawyer, and a teacher, the first west of the Rosy Buttes. But more important, he is a man who has come to be known throughout this territory in the last few weeks as a great champion of law and order.

Ladies and gentlemen, I nominate as your delegate and mine, to the Congress at Washington, the Honorable Ransom Stoddard!

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HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.