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a brief but impassioned speech espoused man and began to harangue the meeting, the cause of the three dissentients, ending balancing herself doubtfully on the narrow with a request to Conkling to withdraw his edge until ex-Governor Jewell gallantly motion. Garfield had so evidently carried supported her by both his hands until she the Convention with him that Conkling, could be pacified. In swinging her paraafter an exhibition of bad temper and an sol about, she nearly struck me, just below unsuccessful attempt to draw the presiding her, and to avoid further danger I raised officer into the controversy [Hoar had been my umbrella, and sat safe under her (its) made permanent chairman), complied with lee until she subsided.” Garfield's request. It is said, however, that One of the rules which governed the he wrote on a newspaper, “I congratulate Convention of 1876 had left it doubtful you on being the dark horse,'' and sent this whether the unit rule prevailed and on that to Garfield; or, as another version of the account an "unseemly controversy” had incident has it, the message was written on arisen. For the sake of avoiding any una card which was passed to Garfield, who certainty the majority of the Committee read, “Is this the first appearance of the on Rules added a clause which in set terms dark horse in this Convention?”
demolished the unit rule. Garfield, being The action of the Convention on the re- the chairman of the Committee, was again port of the Committee on Credentials was the centre of attraction; he presented the on the whole favorable to the anti-Grant report and made a cogent argument in its forces. The important decision was that favor, at the same time treating the minorithe eighteen anti-Grant delegates from ty with consideration and courtesy. Again Illinois were given seats. It was during he carried the Convention with him and his the consideration of the case of Illinois on report was adopted. This action put an Friday, the third day of the Convention, end to the hope of nominating Grant on the that a scene occurred which throws doubt first ballot and showed that his supporters on the claim of a National Convention to must win over doubtful delegates by perbeing a deliberative body. It was mid- suasion instead of by force; but, had the night and Emery A. Storrs, an eloquent unit rule been enforced, Grant would have lawyer from Chicago, in a speech advocat- received on the first ballot enough votes, ing the admission of the entire Grant dele- probably, to secure the nomination. gation from Illinois, mentioned almost in The majority report of the Committee on one breath “James G. Blaine" and "the Resolutions made no reference to Civil Sergrand old silent soldier!” When the gal- vice Reform, which in 1880 was a vital quesleries resounded in cheers for Grant, Conk- tion, but on the floor of the Convention, ling rose and waved his handkerchief to the Barker, a Massachusetts delegate, moved galleries; these responded with the waving the addition of a resolution, declaring for of handkerchiefs and the brandishing of it in no uncertain terms. This gave rise to umbrellas. The cheers, accompanied by one of the best-remembered sayings of this singing, lasted twenty or thirty minutes, Convention. Flanagan, of Texas, sprang after which followed a wild demonstration quickly to his feet declaring,"To the victors for Blaine. Robert Ingersoll, who was on belong the spoils,” and asking, "What are the platform, waved a woman's red shawl. we up here for? I mean that members of Men took off their coats and used them for the Republican party are entitled to office, flags. Forbes wrote that the enormous and if we are victorious we will have office.” audience was made up largely of Grant's This caused general and hearty laughter. Chicago friends; on the other hand, the Other objections were made and the result New York Times (which favored Grant] looked uncertain, but Charles R. Codman, declared that the galleries were packed another Massachusetts delegate, made a with Blaine shouters. Both seem to have vigorous remonstrance against an indicated been partly right. Forbes wrote further tendency to shelve the subject, and, after that the delegates “caught the fever, and some further discussion, the Civil Service Reone faction after another yelled and pa- form plank was adopted by a viva voce vote. raded with the flags about the hall, acting Not until the evening of Saturday, the like so many Bedlamites. An enthusiastic fourth day, were the candidates put in nomwoman jumped on a rail behind the chair- ination. Two speeches were made, which, with the exception of Rufus Choate's tribute It was nearly midnight of Saturday when to Webster in 1852, are the most splendid the Convention adjourned. No ballot was examples of our convention oratory. In due taken and the main business went over to course, the turn of Conkling came to nom- Monday. During the interval of one whole inate Grant. He mounted a table on the day, in which it had been hoped that some reporter's platform, and began with a slight combination would be made, nothing apvariation of Miles O'Reilly's lines: parently was determined, and, when the
Convention met on Monday, June 7, the “And when asked what State he hails from, nomination seemed no more imminent Our sole reply shall be, He hails from Appomattox
than when the delegates had come together And its famous apple tree.”
during the preceding week. On the first
ballot Grant received 304; Blaine 284; He declared that with Grant the Republi- Sherman 93; George F. Edmunds 34; E. can party could "grandly win." Pointing B. Washburne 30; William Windom 10; out in well-chosen words Grant's title to necessary to a choice, 378. It was clear greatness, he was never effusive, tawdry, or that the adherents of Blaine and Sherman grandiloquent. He seized the salient points could control the nomination by uniting that suggested to all grateful recollections. on one or the other, but such a combinaCertainly he was a strong candidate who tion was never made. Sherman expected was victor in war, magnanimous at Lee's the nomination by drawing from the backsurrender, a lover of peace, as shown by the ers of both Grant and Blaine, in the event Geneva arbitration, a believer in sound that the sharp contest should result in the money as exemplified by the veto of the in- nomination of neither. He was friendly flation bill. The only objection to Grant, to both candidates and to their chief supConkling said, was the "third term” and porters, but he suffered by not having to this objection he applied his scathing a unanimous delegation from his own State, ridicule. He was heard all over the hall, receiving only 34 of Ohio's votes while and the long applause that followed was Blaine got 9 and Edmunds I. In Ohio not entirely that of a claque; part of it was two delegates were chosen from each Conin genuine approval of an eloquent speech. gressional district by a district convention Benjamin Harrison, a delegate from In- and four from the State at large by the State diana, a cold critic of oratory, who later Convention, which had this year instructed developed into an excellent public speaker, these to vote for Sherman and requested the unconsciously applauded as vigorously as district delegates to do likewise. In certain Grant's most sympathetic friends, although parts of the State, however, there was a strong he himself was opposed to the general's feeling for Blaine, and Sherman, being nomination. Conkling's was an effective aware of this, desired that Garfield's district speech in holding together his solid pha- should send him as a delegate. (Garfield lanx, but it failed in conciliation. As the was still a Representative in the lower House necessary votes to nominate Grant must of Congress, although he had been chosen come largely from the supporters of Blaine Senator for six years, from March 4, 1881.] and Sherman, it was not a happy stroke to Sherman had practically the naming of the cast a slur on each of those candidates. delegates at large and Garfield, assuring After Grant's nomination had been second- him of his earnest support, told him that he ed in a five-minute speech, Garfield rose to was eager to go to the Convention as one of present the name of Sherman. To follow the four; and so it was arranged. GarConkling's oration was a difficult rôle, and field's influence in his own district was very his subject was far less inspiring, yet he powerful, yet this district sent two delegates made a great speech, presenting strong who voted for Blaine. In view of all the reasons for the nomination of Sherman and facts, it is pretty difficult to avoid the alterreceiving an enthusiastic acclaim from the native mentioned in a private letter of Sheraudience in the Convention hall. After- man's of April 8: “If this district (Garward it was often sneeringly suggested field's) should be against my nomination, that Garfield spoke for himself rather than it would be attributed to either want of for Sherman, but this sneer was prompted influence on his (Garfield's) part, or, what by the outcome of the Convention. is worse, a want of sincerity in my support."
A survey of the whole proceedings of the ful and that if neither Grant, Blaine, nor Convention reveals Garfield's work on be- Sherman could secure the prize, he might half of his candidate as a cold performance win it for himself. His speech nominating of duty utterly lacking enthusiasm; and Sherman was one of the great efforts of his this is entirely comprehensible when it is life and furthered his own cause far better remembered that the personal and political than that of the man for whom he spoke. friendship between him and Blaine was On the Sunday night, however, intervening so close that Blaine's nomination would un- between his speech and the balloting, he redoubtedly have given him great pleasure. fused, according to the New York Tribune, On the twenty-ninth ballot, nineteen dele- to entertain the idea of being a candidate. gates from Massachusetts dropped Ed- On Monday (June 7th) twenty-eight balmunds and voted for Sherman, making his lots were taken and the twenty-ninth, the vote 116. This proved that he was satis- first ballot of the Tuesday, gave no indicafactory to the Independent Republicans; tion that the dead-lock would be broken, but on the next ballot he received only 120, nor was there any notable change until the and afterward his vote fell off, rendering thirty-fourth. On the second ballot Garit apparent that he could not attract a suf- field had received one vote from Pennsylficient number of the supporters of Blaine vania which, with five exceptions, was to secure the nomination. This meant continued to the thirty-fourth. On differthat he was out of the race. The highest ent occasions he got another vote, twice number that Blaine received was 285. He from Alabama, three times from Maryland. could not get the votes of the Independent On a number of ballots he received two Republicans who actually preferred Grant from Pennsylvania, but on no ballot a to him, nor could he attract the Sher- total of more than two until the thirtyman strength. Politically the supporters of fourth, when Wisconsin gave him sixBlaine and Grant were sympathetic, both teen. In this crucial moment of his life being, in the main, Stalwarts, but the bitter Garfield said: “Mr. President, I rise to a feeling between Conkling and Blaine made question of order. ...I challenge the any diversion to him from the Grant follow- correctness of the announcement. The ing impossible. Grant's highest vote was announcement contains votes for me. No 313, and this on the ballot next to the last, man has a right, without the consent of the when his full strength was called out to person voted for, to announce that person's prevent the nomination of Garfield. His name, and vote for him, in this Convention. average vote was about 306, the exact num- Such consent I have not given.” This is ber that he received on the last ballot, and the official account which Senator Hoar, these 306 have gone down into history as who, be it remembered, was the presiding the solid Grant phalanx, steady in their officer, corrects slightly in his Autobisupport, holding firm to him to the last ography by saying that after the word So faithful and consistent a following was “given" there should be a dash instead of exceedingly likely at any time to draw from a period, for he interrupted Garfield in the the other candidates and bring about a middle of a sentence by declining to enterstampede to Grant as the strongest; and tain his question of order and commanding it was then thought, and present study con- him to resume his seat. “I was terribly firms the contemporaneous impression, that afraid," Hoar further related, “that he a union of the anti-Grant forces was pos- would say something that would make his sible on no other man than Garfield. nomination impossible, or his acceptance
For some weeks before the Convention impossible, if it were made." Garfield Garfield had been talked of, as the possi- afterward said to the reporter of a Cleveble nominee and, when the delegates and land newspaper: “If Senator Hoar had hangers-on came to Chicago, the gossip of permitted, I would have forbidden anythe crowd pointed in his direction. On the body to vote for me. But he took me off third day of the Convention, after having my feet before I had said what I intended.” espoused the cause of the three recalcitrant These statements must be given their due delegates from West Virginia and made his weight; yet nobody can doubt that Garfamous reply to Conkling, he must have felt field, with his magnificent presence and that his hold on the delegates was power- stentorian voice, could have commanded
the attention of the Convention and, by de- administration. The appointment of Robclining emphatically to be a candidate un- ertson could be looked at in no other way der any circumstances, have turned the tide than an attempt to build up an anti-Conkwhich was setting in his favor. But his ling machine in a Conkling stronghold. characteristic vacillation prevented him Robertson had been at the head of the from taking the most glorious action of his Blaine supporters in the New York delegalife, that of absolutely refusing consent to his tion of 1880, and had joined in the stamnomination. But apparently the thought pede to Garfield. Conkling and his brother of his trust was overpowered by the convic- Senator, Thomas C. Platt, regarded his aption that the prize was his without the pointment as a personal insult and resigned usual hard preliminary work.
their positions as Senators; they then apOn the thirty-fifth ballot Garfield received pealed to their legislature to return them 50; on the thirty-sixth and last, 399; to to the Senate as their vindication. This Blaine 42, Sherman 3 and Grant 306. The plan met with strenuous opposition, and Blaine and Sherman following, together with the New York legislature was engaged in a the Independent Republicans, nominated bitter Senatorial contest, in which ConkGarfield. Both Blaine and Sherman sent ling was being assisted by the Vice-Presitelegrams asking their delegates to vote dent, Chester A. Arthur, when Garfield, for him, and on the last hallot Garfield after only four months of office, was shot at had the solid vote of Maine, and all but the railroad station in Washington. On one from Ohio (that one being, of course, September 19 he was dead, but he left his his own).
party in New York State rent asunder. In his “Recollections” John Sherman Conkling and Platt had been defeated for has magnanimously absolved Garfield from re-election to the Senate, but the bitter any breach of trust; after the President's feeling aroused by the appointment of death he once said to me, “Garfield had a Robertson remained and two factions called great head and a great heart.”
Stalwarts and Half-Breeds contended for Garfield's was probably, with the excep- mastery. For the presidential nomination tion of Sherman's, the strongest nomination of 1884, the Stalwarts in the main supportwhich could have been made. In Novem- ed Arthur and the Half-Breeds Blaine. ber he was elected, carrying the State of Though Arthur had been a machine politiNew York, which was absolutely necessary cian of the most advanced type, he had on for his success, by over 20,000 plurality. his succession to the presidency shaken For the first time the “solid South” gave himself free from his old associations and, their electoral votes to the Democratic can- pursuing a manly course, had gained the didate, who this year was General Han- confidence of the country. He desired cock.
the nomination, and while an analysis of his
support in the Convention shows that his Garfield chose Blaine, his closest friend office-holders had been active in sending and most trusted political adviser, for his delegates favorable to him, it does not apSecretary of State, and this choice involved pear that he sacrificed the dignity of his him in a quarrel at the outset of his ad- office by making any efforts on his own ministration. Blaine was the more master- behalf. ful man of the two, and it was undoubtedlyW hile the Convention of 1880 is one of due to him that William H. Robertson was the most interesting in our history, that of appointed Collector of the Port of New 1884 is one of the least interesting. The York. The actual incumbent, an appoint- eager strife which characterized the action ment of Hayes, was a good officer and there before and during the earlier Convention was no administrative reason for the change. is absent. At the same time, there was no But the Collector's position was very im- well-defined issue between the parties and portant, as he might control the political there were no differences of principle within machine of New York City. Before the the Republican party itself. The domipresidency of Hayes, this machine had been nant aim seemed to be the selection of a controlled by Conkling, and Hayes's re- man strong enough to defeat the Demomoval of Chester A. Arthur, Conkling's cratic candidate, who would, undoubtedly, henchman, was for the purpose of better be Grover Cleveland. In 1882 Cleveland had been elected Governor of New York not nominated on one of the early ballots, by 192,854 majority over the Republican the movement toward General Sherman candidate; he had made an admirable would be irresistible, he advised his brother Governor, stood high in his own party, out- to accept the nomination if it came "unside of Tammany Hall, and had won the sought and with cordial unanimity.” But approval of independent thinkers, among neither Blaine's advice nor his brother's both Republicans and Democrats. could move the general. His final word,
In the end the Convention nominated sent to John B. Henderson, who became Blaine, but the result came not of self-seek. permanent chairman of the Convention ing and manipulation on his own part; on was: Prevent, if you can, the mention of the contrary, the nomination sought him. my name; should a break occur after the He was the choice of the majority of the first ballot and “my name be presented as Convention and undoubtedly of the major- a compromise," decline for 'me; lastly, "if ity of his party. “I neither desire nor ex- in spite of such declination I should be pect the nomination," he said. “But I nominated,” decline with emphasis. For don't intend that man in the White House “I would not for a million dollars subject shall have it.” (February 22.) He was myself and family to the ordeal of a political entirely sincere when, in writing to one of canvass, and afterward to a four years' serhis most active supporters, he forbade the vice in the White House." use of money, saying that the nomination While the absence of Senators Hale and must be the “unbiassed, unbought judg- Frye (Blaine leaders in 1880] and Conkling ment of the people.” (May 8.] The real rea- was conspicuous, there were many able son of Blaine's indifference was that he men among the delegates. Massachusetts feared that he could not carry New York, sent Senator Hoar, William W. Crapo, and as the Democrats would have the solid John D. Long, and Henry Cabot Lodge, South, the electoral vote of that State as delegates at large, and, as district delewas necessary to Republican success. He gate, Edward L. Pierce: 25 of her 28 votes, shrank from the canvass, and like many including these five, were given to Edother Republicans cast about for a candi- munds. From New York came Theodore date who might win. His eye lighted on Roosevelt and Andrew D. White, as deleGeneral Sherman, to whom he imparted gates at large, and, as district delegate, his views in a private letter, written on George William Curtis, who was made May 25. But General Sherman would not chairman of the delegation. These three listen to the suggestion. “I would account supported Edmunds, while Thomas C. myself a fool” he wrute, "a madman, an Platt, a district delegate, the former lieuass, to embark anew, at sixty-five years of tenant of Conkling, had separated from age, in a career that may become at any the Stalwarts and was strongly in favor of moment tempest-tossed by perfidy, the de- Blaine. Three of the delegates at large falcation, the dishonesty or neglect of any from Ohio were Foraker, William McKinsingle one of a hundred thousand subordi- ley, and Mark Hanna, this being the first nates utterly unknown to the President." appearance of Hanna on the stage of na
John Sherman, now Senator, had the tional politics. The warm friendship which support of a part of the Ohio delegation, existed between him and McKinley until but he also had doubts of Republican McKinley's death had already begun, alsuccess. In two confidential letters to his though McKinley desired the nomination brother, the general, he showed plainly of Blaine, while Hanna was an earnest and his position: “A nomination is far from be- faithful worker for John Sherman. The ing equivalent to an election. The chances following of Blaine must not be regarded are for the Democrats but for their pro- as entirely of the Thomas C. Platt stripe; verbial blundering.” (January 29.) “I some of the best men of the party, like would gladly take it (the nomination) as an McKinley and William Walter Phelps, were honorable closing of thirty years of political advocates of his nomination. life, but I will neither ask for it, scheme for In the Convention harmony prevailed. it, nor have I the faintest hope of getting The reports of the Committees on Credenit." (March 7.] Later (May 4), when it tials and on Resolutions were unanimously seemed to the Senator that, if Blaine were adopted; the majority report of the Com