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he was shot, said should be modified.

Yielding to the importunities of friends and keeping
silent on this occasion, laid my husband open to the charge
of inconsistency when he did speak out four years later.
Frank Hatton was the leader in this charge. He said,
."Gresham had been willing to accept a nomination at the
hands of the party that adopted the '88 platform." Mr.
Hatton knew Judge Gresham never would have accepted
that platform, and also that if he had agreed in advance
to make Thomas C. Piatt Secretary of the Treasury, he
could have said what he pleased in his letter of acceptance.
This attack of Mr. Hatton's — it was part of his newspaper
business, he was then editing the Washington Post — did
not disturb our friendly relations.

But never did there ever come a word of criticism from
either Thomas C. Piatt or Matthew S. Quay that there
was any deception on Mr. Gresham's part in dealing with
them or that he wanted the nomination on the platform
that was adopted. And afterwards Mr. Piatt showed his
kindly feelings for me in many ways.

"If Judge Gresham is nominated," said John R. Cow-
dry, Union Labor nominee for President, "I will withdraw
and he will poll the labor vote of the country." At the
same time, M. H. DeYoung, the member of the National
Committee from California, was saying: "Allison, Sher-
man, and Harrison cannot carry the Pacific slope because
of their Chinese records."

In the meantime, the representatives of the Central
Labor Union of Indianapolis visited the various State
headquarters and protested against General Harrison's
nomination because they said he was hostile to labor or-
ganizations. They extended their objections to John C. New



588 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM

and to Editor Halford, because the Indianapolis Journal
under their management was an open, or "rat shop."

Thursday evening there was a great Gresham "Tin
Bucket" parade. Actual laboring men from Fort Wayne
and LaFayette, from the mills of South Chicago, represent-
atives of "Little Italy," and the immigrants of every other
nationality in Chicago, under the leadership of William
Lorimer of Chicago, George W. Wilson of Fort Wayne, and
Albert W. Wishard and Joseph B. Kealing of Indianapo-
lis, marched the streets, through the hotels and into the
political headquarters of the New York, Pennsylvania, and
other large State delegations. They said, "We represent the
votes." Each man carried a dinner pail. This parade, the
assaults of the newspapers on the "free whiskey platform,"
telegrams from prominent people at home, speeches from
men like Colonel R. G. Ingersoll, Albert J. Beveridge,
Colonel DeWitt C. Wallace, and others, to each State
delegation in turn, showing how easy it would be to elect
Gresham, brought the representatives of the special inter-
ests and the practical politicians to their knees.

Following the "Tin Bucket" parade Senator Quay made
his second visit to Judge Gresham, but without exacting
any pledges. The ground swell was so strong that even
Joseph Medill was for a time converted to the idea that
"the lone hand would win." But his candidate told him,
"No." And then the old man went back to the conven-
tional methods, but could not get his candidate to make
the desired pledges. H. A. Orth, a son of the old congress-
man, had promised some of the West Virginia delegates
all the offices they wanted if they would vote for his candi-
date, Judge Gresham. They said, "All right, let's go and
call on the Judge." The call was made and in the pres-
ence of Orth the West Virginians bluntly asked if his agree-
ments would be honored. The Judge answered, "While
Mr. Orth is my friend, I cannot make any agreements as
to the future." In telling of the incident, Mr. Orth said,



REPUBLICAN CONVEKTION OF 1888 589

"If Judge Gresham had not been in Chicago, I would have
held my men."

Chauncey M. Depew told the railroad men, "Nominate
Gresham, and he will Wabash all of us." Thomas C.
Piatt talked of nominating Alger and Depew. Senator
Teller, in meeting this talk, did not mince words. The
nomination of Alger, who had nothing but money, and
Depew, who was smirched with lobbying and corrupting
the New York legislature with Erie and New York Central
money, would be a disgrace, he said. General Harrison,
he said, could not be elected because of the opposition of
the labor and greenback vote.

When the Harrison managers secretly brought forward
the alleged speech of Judge Gresham against the Germans
at Lowden's School House in Harrison County in 1855,
German editors and Germans from Harrison County said
it was not true.

The proceedings of the Convention show how it was
manipulated. After the platform was adopted the roll of
the States was called for nominations.

Illinois, through Leonard Swett, who had been one of
Abraham Lincoln's friends, presented the name of Walter
Q. Gresham. It was seconded by C. K. Davis of Minne-
sota, John R. Lynch, the colored man from Natchez,
Mississippi, and Samuel W. McCall of Massachusetts.

Ex-Governor Albert G. Porter presented the name of
General Benjamin Harrison of Indiana, and he gave an
admirable delineation of General Harrison's character and
ability, but, doubtless thinking of Garfield in 1880, he
dwelt on the fact that in 1880, when Indiana was an October
State, Albert G. Porter, as a candidate for governor against
a united party with a State candidate for Vice-President,
had carried the State by a plurality of 7,000, while General
Harrison in 1876 as the Republican candidate for governor
had lost the State by the same ratio, and that Mr. Blaine
had met a similar fate in 1884. This thrust at General



590 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM

Harrison and kind allusion to Judge Gresham threw Gen-
eral Harrison's managers into consternation. But what was
most important, the Quays and Platts accepted this speech
of Governor Porter's as official notification that soon he
and a large majority of the Indiana vote would be cast for
Gresham. It was this speech, supplemented by the march
of the "Tin Bucket Brigade," that sent Quay scurrying
to Gresham. There was not the danger that Quay and
Piatt thought. While Albert G. Porter was a "dark horse "
candidate — "no pony, ' ' as one of the practical men put it —
he was willing to compromise on a place in the cabinet.

Failing to get an understanding with the popular candi-
date, the practical men brought into play all the arts that
in a previous National convention had diverted votes to
favorite sons who were utterly unavailable to go before the
people. One of the old tricks of a National convention to
weaken a strong candidate and keep a weak one in the
field was to loan the latter votes. Senator Quay, who had
posed as being for Senator John Sherman, made good his
word that he was really committed to no one. He and
three other of his Pennsylvania delegates actually voted
on the first ballot for William Walter Phelps of New Jersey,
as a means of holding the New Jersey delegates to Phelps.
At the last minute Mayor Fitler of Philadelphia, who had
never before been heard of as a Presidential possibility, was
brought out and voted for by the delegates from Phila-
delphia. And thus it was that Senator Quay prevented
any of the Philadelphia delegates from keeping their prom-
ise to Brainerd to vote for Gresham.

E. H. Terrell of Texas and Jacob H. Gallinger of New
Hampshire, seconded the nomination of General Harrison.

Iowa, by W. P. Hepburn, presented the name of Senator
W. B. Allison. It was seconded by B. U. Bosworth of
Rhode Island.

Michigan, by R. E. Frazier, presented the name of
General R. A. Alger. It was seconded by C. J. Noyes of



REPUBLICAN CONVENTION OF 1888 591

Massachusetts, Patrick Egan of Nebraska, T. E. Estes
of North Carolina, and L. F. Eggers of the Territory of
Arizona.

Meantime, there had been an adjournment from one
o'clock to three. That it was not decided until the last to
put Mr. Depew in nomination was the belief at the time.
It was also understood that Governor Porter's speech nomi-
nating General Harrison was the circumstance that finally
determined this move. The Convention was showing signs
of getting away from the practical men. At the adjourned
session. Senator Frank H. Hiscock, on behalf of New York,
nominated Mr. Depew. It was seconded by G. G. Hartley,
as he said, on behalf of one of the congressional districts of
Minnesota.

Senator John Sherman of Ohio was presented to the
convention by Pennsylvania, by General H. D. Hastings,
and seconded by Governors J. B. Foraker of Ohio, and
Anson of North Carolina.

Charles E. Smith of Philadelphia, despite objections
from other Pennsylvania delegates, presented the name of
Mayor E. H. Fitler of Philadelphia.

Senator John C. Spooner closed the nominations by
presenting the name of Governor J. H. Rusk of Wisconsin.
It was 8 o'clock in the evening when the convention ad-
journed until II A. M. Friday for the balloting.

There were eight ballots in all — three on Friday, the
2 2d, two on Saturday, the 23d, and three on Monday, the
25th. It is to be remembered that several men who were
not even nominated were voted for as favorite sons.

Following the announcement of the third ballot, the
Convention adjourned until 8 p. m. At the evening session
Mr. Depew withdrew his name. But before the adjourn-
ment. Colonel George R. Davis, one of the Illinois delegates,
secured the adoption of a motion that Colonel R. G. Ingcr-
soll be invited to address the assembly after the adjourn-
ment. As soon as the Convention adjourned, many of the
38



592 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM



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REPUBLICAN CONVENTION OF 1888 593

delegates went out. The galleries were crowded. Colonel
Ingersoll started in with his old-time eloquence, but soon
bluntly declared he was for Gresham. This created a great
commotion. A demonstration was begun for Gresham, a
counter one for Mr. Blaine, some of the New York dele-
gates started to leave, and Colonel Ingersoll was not per-
mitted to continue his speech. It was claimed Colonel
Ingersoll violated the proprieties of the occasion by men-
tioning the name of a single man. His answer was that
it was a mass meeting, and as a member of that body he
was for only a single man. "I was talking to Tom Piatt
right down there before me, and he knew it. And he knew
I had a lot more to say." Some papers said this was a
great mistake on Ingersoll's part and ruined Gresham's
chances, but this was untrue. It really helped him, for
after that Piatt made overtures.

Within an hour Mr. Gresham walked past Thomas
C. Piatt's rooms in the Grand Pacific Hotel to Colonel and
Mrs. Ingersoll's apartment and thanked Colonel Ingersoll
for his speech. Piatt and the men on the inside with their
spies knew of this.

In the last chapter we copied from the letter of Colonel
Ingersoll of May 18, 1888, in which he advised that a
promise be given to make James G. Blaine Secretary of
State. In nominating Mr. Blaine for the Presidency in
1876 at Cincinnati, the speech of Colonel Ingersoll was
the best ever made in a National convention, and Blaine's
nomination was prevented only by adjourning the conven-
tion. This was brought about by some one asserting in a
loud voice that as there were no lights and it was getting
dark, they must wait until morning to vote. Meantime,
the art of handling a great convention had been advanced.
When Colonel Ingersoll reached Chicago and the Judge
explained it was not necessary for him to consider Mr.
Blaine — which was not unpleasant news to Ingersoll, for
he had broken with Blaine — but that he would have to



594 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM

make pledges to Piatt and Quay, "which I will not do" —
the Colonel promptly approved the Judge's morals and
said, "I will go down with you."

Before he made his final speech. Colonel Ingersoll made
a score of speeches to the crowds and various State dele-
gations. Many thought that Ingersoll, Albert J. Beveridge,
and the other orators, and the "Tin Bucket Brigade," were
carrying the delegates off their feet. There were men in
the New York delegation, old friends of President Arthur
and ex-Senator Conkling, who favored the nomination of
Judge Gresham. Senator Henry M. Teller of Colorado, a
native son of New York, was on the ground, pleading with
these men in the New York delegation to vote their real
sentiments, and telling them how he and Judge Gresham
had made it possible for Piatt to come back four years
before.

That Friday afternoon H. H. Porter, the railroad man
in the Angle case, went into the First National Bank where
Samuel Allerton, S. K. Nickerson, Lyman J. Gage, and the
other capitalists were assembled, and said that Judge
Gresham was a dangerous man, and if something was n't
done, he would be nominated. But Gresham and Ingersoll
knew better.

On Friday, before Depew withdrew, and before a single
New York vote had been cast for General Harrison, Thomas
C. Piatt says that General Harrison, in the event of his
election, in consideration of Piatt casting his New York
votes for him, promised through L. T. Michener, then
Attorney-General of Indiana, to make Piatt Secretary of
the Treasury. Mr. Piatt was supported in his statement
by Senator Frank Hiscock, J. S. Fassett, and James S.
Clarkson. As evidence of Michener's authority to make
this pledge, Mr. Piatt said Mr. Michener delivered to him,
Piatt, the following autograph letter, which Piatt published
when he was not appointed Secretary of the Treasury:



REPUBLICAN CONVENTION OF 1888 595

Indianapolis, June 12, 1888

Hon. L. T. Michener,
My Dear Sir:—

I have to-day, and heretofore, fully explained to you my
views upon certain questions, and you are authorized on occasion
to explain them to other friends.

Sincerely yours,

Benjamin Harrison.

Henry M. Teller never forgave Mr. Piatt for going over
to Blaine in 1884. And when the time came to deliver the
goods. Teller was one of the senators who helped prevent
the consummation of the 1888 deal. He served notice on
President-elect Harrison that he and the other silver sena-
tors would prevent the confirmation of "a gold bug" like
ex-Senator Piatt as Secretary of the Treasury. Joseph Me-
dill promised to aid Mr. Teller to make good his threats.

Always on good terms with Thomas C. Piatt, after the
entire story came out, Robert G. Ingersoll often rubbed it
into the "Easy Boss": "Now, Thomas, if you were only
Secretary of the Treasury, we would not be in this awful
silver muss."

That Friday night, or rather between i and 2 a. m., at
a caucus in the Gresham headquarters in the Grand Pacific
Hotel, after it had been agreed by Thomas C. Piatt to give
General Harrison "part of the New York delegates," it was
decided there should be no nomination on that day, Satur-
day, but that the convention should adjourn until Monday.
Mr. Piatt was not present at this caucus but was repre-
sented by Stephen B. French, one of the New York City
delegates. There were present Senator Charles B. Farwell
and George R. Davis of the Illinois Delegation, Senator
Quay, Senator Aldrich of Rhode Island, and representatives
from California, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Michigan.
Senator Farwell was made chairman of this meeting.

While this caucus was in progress, Patrick Ford, another



596 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM

of Piatt's lieutenants, was telling John C. New, in the
Harrison headquarters in the Grand Pacific Hotel, that
General Harrison's Chinese record and his antipathy to the
Irish would certainly lose him New York if he should be
nominated. Ford, it was said, worked Mr. New up to a
great state of excitement, but it was nothing to compare
with the consternation he produced the next night in the
Harrison headquarters.

In those days the real work of a National convention
was often done by a few men in a caucus. At a later and
smaller caucus, of which the newspapers did not even get
a trace, or at least made no mention. Quay proposed to
nominate Major McKinley. All agreed but Piatt, and his
objection prevailed. He afterwards said his reason was
that, after the experience with Garfield in 1880, he never
would trust an Ohio man's pledge in a National conven-
tion. Partly out of resentment, Piatt opposed McKinley's
nomination in 1896, when it was patent long in advance
that it was inevitable; but he was also a man of ideas, and
this was one of the means of forcing the McKinley men to the
adoption of the gold standard in the platform of that year.

The Convention met on Saturday at 11 a. m., and
there were two more ballots.

Stephen B. French and thirteen others of the New
York delegates withheld their votes from General Har-
rison and scattered them for Blaine and other candidates.

At two in the afternoon the Convention took a recess
to four, and then adjourned, by a vote of 492 to 316,
to Monday morning. New York voted solidly against- ad-
journment. As to what this meant, Mr. E. W. Halford
stated in his telegram to his paper, the Indianapolis Jour-
nal, that appeared by special train the next morning in
Chicago: "New York's support of General Harrison will be
withdrawn on Monday. Piatt, George R. Davis, chair-
man of the Illinois delegation, the Californians who are
making believe for Blaine, form the combine that control?



REPUBLICAN CONVENTION OF 1X8 8



597



THE FOURTH BALLOT



THE FIFTH BALLOT



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Georgia

Illinois

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Kentucky

Louisiana

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Maryland

Massachusetts..
Michigan


Maryland . .

Massachusetts

Michigan


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Mississippi


Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Nebraska

Nevada


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Nebraska

Nevada


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Online LibraryMatilda GreshamLife of Walter Quintin Gresham, 1832-1895 (Volume 2) → online text (page 13 of 38)