Puslapio vaizdai

she put on her gloves. «I'll send some medicine by Mr. Todd when he comes back for Miss Addington. Good-by, baby.» And she picked up the infant, and resettled its wrappings, and put it down again, all in a very cuddling way. << I'll help her in her good works all I can,» said Mr. Todd, warmly; and he was so preoccupied with this little feminine domestic by-play that he shook hands with me and bade me farewell in sheer momentary obliviousness of my existence. Mrs. O'Grady called the doctor an angel, and prayed that the Blessed Virgin might watch over her. When they were gone she said to me:

«Sure the doctor 's a nice leydy; but it's wannerful, ain't it, the differ it makes in her whin the man she's in love wid comes roun'?» And that was the first I knew about it. «Indade and indade,» Mrs. O'Grady continued, sitting up, and shifting the baby from one arm to the other, «she niver so much as looked at him before ixcept in consideration of the colic.>>

«How could she help loving him!» I exclaimed, in accents touched with indignation, and was rewarded by some further expression of Mrs. O'Grady's observations.

« Well, ye saw yoursel' she niver did,» she answered; «but it 's no harrum I'm wishin' her. She's a nice leydy, an' she's got a good chanct at him now, luck to her! She was aiger to go furrst-ye saw that? It gives her the better chanct whin she's got him alone over there.»>

I asked if she thought Mr. Todd was in love too.

«Och-him!» said Mrs. O'Grady; «it'll be all the same if she makes 'im think he is, won't it? He's a nice gintleman, but I don' believe he 'd iver know wan pitticoat from anither onnly as it was p'inted out to 'im.»>

A week later I got a note from Sue telling me of the betrothal. She said:

« Brother is so happy that of course we are too.»

But when I saw Mrs. Todd she said: «Well, we 've got Jackson provided for, have n't we? Sue and the doctor and I made the match, but it was my idea. And now I apologize for sending you away that day with a fib in your mouth. I sent Jackson with the doctor, and I did what I could to keep them together after that. Propinquity is the stronghold of match-making-I know that much, if I have made such a poor hand at it with Sue. I consider I 've redeemed myself with Jackson. After a bit she really wanted him, strange as it may seem; but she was

rather helpless about it, if she is a Yankee doctress, and I don't know that we ever could have brought it about if it had n't been for the blizzard. That was a mighty help. We had tried to get him to go with her to the train the night before, but he forgot all about it, and when my back was turned he drifted out of the house before she left. She told me that baby was expected and she might stay there all night. That gave us a great chance, and I reckon we both did our part.» Then, quite innocently: «She ought to be grateful to me.>>

I suppose I looked queer, for Mrs. Todd added, with a touch of unaccustomed asperity: «Well, she wanted him, did n't she? And Jackson is a gentleman. She comes from very plain people, and he 's as good as he can be. He'll learn to darn her stockings by way of showing how wives should be subject to their husbands in all things. A girl in that position could n't expect->

She stopped, looked hard at me, and said grumpily that there was a draft somewhere I must have left the hall door open. But I had already learned the news that even Mrs. Todd was human, and also that her conscience was not quite easy.

«And Jackson-does he like it?» I said, when I had shown that the hall door was shut. «Oh, Jackson->> But at that moment Jackson entered.

«I've been telling about your engagement,» said his mother.

«Congratulate me,» said he, with such a sweet glow on his face that he looked charming. «Yes; you know how unspoiled her womanly nature is, in spite of all corrosive influences; but I think her helplessness that day in the storm brought out her sense of dependence, and helped me to win her. It's an old simile, but it's a good one, about the vine and the oak.»>

I was ashamed of myself, but I could n't help asking, "Will she give up her profession? >>

«Oh, no,>> I was pleasantly answered; « not now, anyhow. It gives her room to do a great deal for others, and that makes it dear to her heart, though she feels with me that even this peculiarly sanctified profession is outside woman's ideal sphere-at least as usually practised. But with me to protect her, I know-» He hesitated for his phrase.

«You are sure she will never lose such delicate bloom as she has kept till now,» his mother helped him out.

«Never,» said Mr. Todd, with cordial emphasis. Viola Roseboro.




10 one can examine the records of Presidential Conventions, with their personal successes and failures, and easily escape the conviction that there is far more of tragedy than comedy in our national politics. There are touches of humor here and there, but the dominant note is that of pathos. Behind every great success there is to be seen the somber shadow of bitter disappointment, of wrecked ambition, of lifelong hopes in ruins. As one pursues through biography, autobiography, and memoir, the personal history of the chief figures in the conventions that have been held during the sixty years which have passed since that method of nominating Presidential candidates came into use, he finds it almost invariably ending in sadness and gloom. Not one of those seeking the Presidency with most persistence has succeeded in getting possession of that great office, and few of them, when final failure has come, have shown themselves able to bear the blow with fortitude.

The practice of nominating Presidential candidates in National Convention began in 1831. The Anti-Masonic party, one of those ephemeral political movements whose birth and death occur in a single campaign, first set the example. The National Republican party, which closed its career in the same campaign, was the first real party to use the new method, nominating Henry Clay unanimously in a convention at Baltimore in December, 1831, and recommending the convening of a national assembly of young men at Washington in May of the following year. When this body, afterward known as «Clay's Infant-school,» came together, it also nominated him unanimously. General Jackson, who was then a virtually unopposed candidate for a Democratic renomination, with that quick instinct for getting close to the people» which seldom failed him, saw in the new method great elements of popularity, and hastened to attract them to himself. He directed that a convention be called to nominate a candidate for the Vice-Presidency on a ticket with himself, and this was done, the nominee being Van Buren, who was Jackson's choice. It is a curious fact that this first convention of the Democratic party adopted the

VOL. LII.-39.

two-thirds rule, requiring that proportion of votes to effect a nomination, which has since prevailed in that party's conventions in spite of many attempts to repeal it. In the next following campaign the Democrats nominated their candidates in convention, under Jackson's advice and direction; but General Harrison, the chief candidate of the divided opposition, was put forward in the old way; that is, by State meetings of various kinds, including legislatures. By 1840 the convention system had come into full use, and the result was one convention of exceptional interest-that of the Whigs in December, 1839.

CLAY'S DISAPPOINTMENT AND WRATH. THIS convention was held in a new Lutheran church in Harrisburg, Pa., and it is a safe assertion that never before or since has a house of God been made the scene of so much and so adroit political manoeuvering as went on there for the purpose of preventing the nomination of Henry Clay for the Presidency. The chief manipulator was Thurlow Weed, who appeared there as the friend of Governor Seward, and the future member of the powerful firm of Seward, Weed, and Greeley. This firm was, indeed, the outcome of the ensuing campaign. Greeley was at the convention,"a deeply interested observer,» he styles himself,-little dreaming that the campaign which was to follow would give him the opportunity for developing the qualities which were to make him the first editor of his time, and lead to the foundation of a great newspaper to be forever linked indissolubly with his name. Weed went to the convention with the determination of defeating Clay. He says in his « Autobiography» that he had had the New York delegation instructed for Scott to keep it from Clay, his real candidate being Harrison. He entered into an agreement with friends of Webster, on the way to Harrisburg from New York city, to act together for Clay's defeat. Webster was in Europe at the time, and had sent word to his friends declining to be a candidate, primarily because of Weed's refusal to support him. After detailing these facts, Mr. Weed goes on to say that, on reaching Harrisburg, «we found a decided plurality in favor of Mr. Clay,» but that, «in the opin


ion of the delegates from Pennsylvania and New York, Mr. Clay could not carry either of those States, and without them he could not be elected.» Mr. Weed makes no mention of the plan which was arranged for preventing Clay's success, but he has always been suspected of having intimate knowledge of it, if he was not its author. It was proposed to the convention by a member of the Massachusetts delegation, in the form of a rule directing each delegation to take informal ballots as to candidates until a majority should be recorded for some one candidate, upon which a report of the result should be made to the convention, and the vote of the majority of each delegation should be reported as the vote of that State. This was the origin of the «unit rule,» which has since been used in Democratic conventions in conjunction with the «two-thirds rule.» The effect of this rule was the defeat of Clay and the nomination of Harrison. Weed admits a bargain in favor of Harrison with the friends both of Webster and of Scott, and says the «final vote was intentionally delayed by the friends of the stronger candidate [Harrison] for twenty-four hours» in order to placate the angry friends of Clay, «whose disappointment and vexation found excited expression.» Greeley makes frank admission, in his «Recollections of a Busy Life,» as to the plot, by saying that the parties to it, chiefly Weed, "judged that he [Clay] could not be chosen, if nominated, while another could be, and acted accordingly,» adding, "If politics do not meditate the achievement of beneficent ends, through the choice and use of the safest and most effective means, I wholly misapprehend them.>> This somewhat Jesuitical view did not strike Clay and his friends as an adequate justification of the methods by which an admitted majority of the convention had been prevented from expressing its will. John Tyler of Virginia, one of Clay's most ardent friends in the convention, was so overcome with grief at Harrison's nomination that he shed tears; and after several unavailing efforts to get some one else to take the nomination for Vice-President, Tyler was named for it, his tears having convinced the convention that the placing of so devoted a friend of Clay on the ticket would go far to heal the wounds that the methods of the convention had caused. Clay's rage at the outcome was unbounded. He had been assuming in the Senate a lofty indifference to the Presidency, his famous saying, "I would rather be right than be President, having been made public only a short time before the convention met. There was

nobody in the Senate at that time of sufficiently nimble wit to think of the biting retort which Speaker Reed, many years later, made to a congressman who, for the thousandth time, was strutting about in Clay's cast-off garments, «Don't give yourself the slightest uneasiness; you'll never be either.»> But Clay had given himself great uneasiness, for he was most desirous of the nomination. He had been a candidate eight years earlier, when he had no chance of election, and he believed firmly now that if nominated he could be elected. When the news from Harrisburg reached him in Washington he lost all control of himself. «He had been drinking heavily in the excitement of expectation,» says Henry A. Wise, who was with him. «He rose from his chair, and, walking backward and forward rapidly, lifting his feet like a horse stringhalted in both legs, stamped his steps upon the floor, exclaiming, My friends are not worth the powder and shot it would take to kill them. It is a diabolical intrigue, I know now, which has betrayed me. I am the most unfortunate man in the history of partiesalways run by my friends when sure to be defeated, and now betrayed for a nomination when I, or any one, would be sure of an election.>>>

This view of his own fate was confirmed strangely by subsequent events. He was nominated unanimously by the Whigs in 1844, and defeated at the polls, and was again a candidate for the nomination in 1848, failing to secure it, though his party was successful in the election which followed. He took both defeats very much to heart, saying of the first, in a letter to a friend: «The late blow that has fallen upon our country is very heavy. I hope that she may recover from it, but I confess that the prospect is dark and discouraging.» In regard to the second, he refused to support General Taylor, who had been nominated in preference to himself, saying: «Magnanimity is a noble virtue, and I have always endeavored to practise it; but it has its limits, and the line of demarcation between it and meanness is not always discernible. . . . I think my friends ought to leave me quiet and undisturbed in my retirement. My race is run. During the short time that remains to me in this world I desire to preserve untarnished that character which so many have done me the honor to respect and esteem."


THE Democratic convention of 1844 is memorable for several reasons. It was the first con

vention to develop a «dark horse,» the first to bring about a nomination by means of a ❝stampede,» and the first to have its proceedings reported by telegraph. Van Buren, who had been President, and had been defeated in 1840 by Harrison, was the leading candidate, and had a majority of twentysix in the convention. An attempt to defeat the two-thirds rule failed, and from that moment Van Buren's prospects became hopeless. Eight ballots were taken without result, and a great deal of bad feeling was springing up between the supporters of Van Buren and his chief competitor, General Cass. On the eighth ballot forty-four votes were cast for James K. Polk, who had been mentioned modestly up to that time as a possible nominee for Vice-President. His name came before the convention at the moment when the warfare between the rival factions was at its hottest point. A New York delegate had just charged that somebody, name not mentioned, had "thrown a firebrand into the party,» and was, in fact a «Nero who has come among us, and is now probably fiddling while Rome is falling. Several voices shouted, "John Tyler, and another cried, «We have three Neros.» Great uproar followed, and when the man who had made the original charge left the hall he was accused of "throwing a firebrand, and then meanly skulking from the room.» A storm of hisses and groans followed, with earnest demands from time to time for the name of the fiddling Nero. In the midst of the din a delegate from New Hampshire arose, and begged to appear before the convention as the apostle of harmony.» His State had presented to the convention the name of its << favorite son,» but in the interest of harmony she withdrew it and presented that of James K. Polk. A delegate from Maryland, in a voice trembling with emotion, said that one million people are looking with anxiety to this convention, and if their voices could be concentrated they would demand a nomination irrespective of party faction.» Therefore, Maryland would cast her vote for James K. Polk. The « stampede » now began to move. An editor from Ohio, who was a delegate, said that he was ready to make any sacrifice for union and harmony; that he was a friend of Texas [the annexation of Texas was the «firebrand » alluded to], and that, «should the convention give Ohio a candidate in favor of this object, he would pledge that the Lone Star should be blazoned on the Democratic standard in Ohio, and they would lead on to certain victory.» (Tremendous cheering.)

The ninth ballot was begun while the con

vention was at this pitch of harmony and enthusiasm. State after State gave its solid vote to Polk. The New York delegation retired for consultation. While they were out the ballot proceeded till Virginia was reached. The chairman said that Virginia resigned her first choice, Mr. Van Buren, «with a bleeding heart,» but that her chief desire was to «defeat that apostate, Henry Clay, with a tail twenty years long, and a pack of hungry expectants of twenty years' standing dragging after it; to defeat that man Virginia yields, and places her heart upon the altar of her country and her principles.» This remarkable specimen of convention oratory-which finds an echo in much of the latter-day contribution to that portion of our political literaturehit the New York delegation square in the face as it returned to the hall with one Benjamin F. Butler in its front. Mr. Butler at once «responded with all his heart» to the noble words of the gentleman from Virginia, and, acting in accordance with a private letter from Mr. Van Buren, took the «responsibility of withdrawing that honored name in the best interests of the Democratic party.» He begged leave to add that it had been his privilege recently to spend « some happy days under the same roof with the venerable patriot, Jackson, at the Hermitage,» where he had found him «with one eye intent on his final home, to which he was doubtless rapidly gliding, and with the other fixed on his country and her hopes of prosperity.» While occupying this trying position, the venerable Jackson had conveyed to Mr. Butler the fact that Van Buren was his first choice,» and that he viewed the possible failure to nominate him with "despondency »; still, Mr. Butler had received a letter from him since the convention had been in session, containing a postscript with this pious message to the delegates: «May God bless you, my dear friends, and may He guide all the deliberations of the convention, leading them in union and harmony to act for the best interests of my beloved country.» That completed the work. The «stampede » went on till every vote was recorded for Polk, and the first «dark horse » crossed the line a winner, amid «indescribable enthusiasm.» That there was a carefully laid plot behind this «spontaneous >> movement was quite generally suspected. In commenting upon the outcome, the New York «Evening Post,» which supported Polk's candidacy later, said: «We believe that if the secret history of the convention, from the adoption of the two-thirds rule through its various proceedings, could be written, a large

number of the delegates would stand disgraced in the eyes of their constituents.>>



WEBSTER was an avowed candidate for the Presidency for twelve years or more, but though he sought the nomination from four successive Whig conventions, he was balloted for in only two, and the highest number of votes that he ever received was only one ninth of the total cast. He fell a victim each time to what, in the bitterness of his defeat in 1848, he called the sagacious, far-seeing doctrine of availability.» Thurlow Weed had from the beginning told him, with great frankness, that this was his most serious enemy. Mr. Weed says that he called on Webster at Washington in the spring of 1839, and that Webster said to him, «I think I shall be the Whig candidate.» Weed expressed doubt, and when Webster asked who would be the candidate, replied, «It looks to me like Harrison.» Whereupon Webster exclaimed: «You are misinformed. The party will choose a man with larger civic experience, who is better adapted to the place.» To this Weed replied that the real question was, « Who will poll the most votes?» He then asked Webster if he would consent to be the nominee for Vice-President on the ticket with Harrison, but «<Webster would not listen to this.» Eight years later Weed records that he again visited Webster, this time at Marshfield, when the latter greeted him with the inquiry: «Well, how do things look now? I suppose the question still is, Who will poll the most votes?>» «Yes,» replied Weed, and that man is General Taylor, who will be the next President.» Webster broke out in contemptuous surprise: «Why, Taylor is an illiterate frontier colonel, who has n't voted for forty years!» Weed insisted that Taylor was the man, and again asked Webster to take second place, but Webster again refused, saying: «I shall remain in the field as a candidate for President. I am not a candidate for any other place.>>

Both Harrison and Taylor were elected, the result giving very strong evidence that Mr. Weed's faith in the popular strength of availability was «well grounded.» Mr. Webster's contempt for both men was openly displayed, but he consented to accept the position of Secretary of State under the former, and composed for him an inaugural address, which Harrison declined to use, saying that the people would know it was not his, but

Webster's, and he thought it best to give them the one which he had prepared himself. He submitted this to Webster for revision. It had a great deal in it about the Roman republic and proconsuls, and Webster spent nearly an entire day over it. His friend Peter Harvey says in his «Reminiscences >> that when Webster returned to his home, late for dinner, his wife, struck with his worried and tired look, said she hoped nothing had happened, and that Webster replied: «You would think something had happened if you knew what I have done. I have killed seventeen proconsuls as dead as smelts, every one of them!» His opinion of Taylor was no more complimentary, for he spoke of his nomination in a public speech soon after it was announced as one «not fit to be made.» Yet, as Mr. Weed points out, if Webster had humbled his pride and had accepted second place with either of these two men, he would have realized his cherished desire of being President, for each died before the expiration of his term.

Webster's final appearance as a candidate was in 1852. His spokesman in the convention was Rufus Choate, who made a most eloquent speech in support of his candidacy, and did all that could be done to secure his nomination. Yet his highest vote was only 32 in a total of 293. The faithful Peter Harvey, who was at the convention, which sat in Baltimore, went directly to Webster's house in Washington after Scott had been nominated. Webster met him at the door «with an expression of grief,» but said not a word as to the result, merely asking for Mr. Choate. The latter arrived later, and the family sat down to tea. Still not a word was uttered by any one about the convention. Webster and Choate were closeted for an hour or so afterward, and then Choate departed for Boston. Harvey met him there a few days later, when Choate spoke of the interview as one of the most affecting he had ever had, saying that the appearance of the family and everything about the house seemed to remind him of scenes he had witnessed in families which had lost a beloved member, and adding, «and that sad meal which we partook with Mr. and Mrs. Webster reminded me of the first meal after the return from the grave, when the full force of the bereavement seems to be realized.» Upon this funereal household, in the very depths of its gloom, there came strains of jubilant music, and the shouting of an enthusiastic crowd of Washington Whigs, who, in celebrating Scott's nomination, conceived the notion of including Mr.

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