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clear, consequently, for "favorite sons" throughout the Republican states. John Sherman was the "favorite son" of Ohio, and while he had never aroused very much enthusiasm in the part, he had been cast for it so often that a very strong man would have been required to take it away from him. Moreover, the politicians of Ohio had good reason to be united on his behalf, because he had apparently a better chance for the nomination than any other one candidate.
The situation in Ohio presented only one doubtful aspect. The partisans of Mr. Sherman, and apparently Mr. Sherman himself, began to suspect the good faith of Governor Foraker. A number of small matters had served to breed suspicion. Mr. Foraker had privately opposed the indorsement of Sherman's candidacy by the State Convention of 1887, which renominated him for governor, and had yielded to the demand only on compulsion. The action of some of Mr. Foraker's friends in the district conventions in the spring of 1888 had aroused uneasiness and criticism, and stirred Mr. Hanna to remonstrate with the Governor. If we may judge, however, from the tone of Mr. Hanna's letters up to the last moment, he did not share in the suspicions of Mr. Foraker's good faith.
I know of no conclusive evidence to justify these suspicions, and for a long time their effect remained subterranean. The district and state conventions elected a united Sherman delegation, and in its proceedings there were no symptoms of any lack of harmony. William McKinley, Jr., Benjamin Butterworth, James B. Foraker and Charles Foster were named delegates-at-large. Mark Hanna was sent to the Convention from Cleveland together with Myron T. Herrick. Mr. Herrick, like Mr. Hord in 1884, was elected by the young Republicans, and Mr. Hanna escaped defeat by only a very narrow margin.
During the month of May the friction between Senator Sherman and Governor Foraker increased. It was openly hinted in the newspapers that the Governor was not acting loyally, and that consequently he would not be allowed to make the speech placing Mr. Sherman's name in nomination. The latter's friends feared, or pretended to fear, that like General Garfield in 1880, Mr. Foraker would make so eloquent a speech nominating Sherman that the Convention would bestow the honor on the advocate. The hints became so explicit that Mr. Foraker gave out several interviews stating that he was not a candidate either for first or second place on the ticket; but whether a candidate or not he was thoroughly disgruntled. On May 10 he wrote to Mr. Hanna: "I do not like the outlook for our cause. It may be it is only because no one deems it appropriate to give me any information about it. At any rate I am wholly ignorant as to Mr. Sherman's plans and wishes, hopes and prospects."
Whether or not Mr. Foraker was seriously considering the possible results to himself, of the nomination of another candidate, the distrust of Senator Sherman was at least explicable. At that time the Governor was at the height of his popularity and power. He had been twice elected Chief Executive of his state. His ability and his usefulness to the party were generally recognized. No other Ohio Republican had apparently as much of a following and could look forward to a probably more brilliant future. He had, moreover, a number of extremely zealous friends, who, unlike Mr. Hanna, did not divide their allegiance between Foraker and Sherman. It was generally expected that an attempt would be made to stampede the Convention for Blaine; and if such an attempt were successful Mr. Foraker looked like the best possible choice for second place on the ticket — particularly in view of the fact that the Democrats had nominated for Vice-President Allen G. Thurman of Ohio.
With whatever justification the friction continued to increase, and affected the relations between Governor Foraker and Mr. Hanna. They were still friendly, and the latter continued to write in a cordial and confidential way to the Governor, telling about the apparent obstacles to Sherman's nomination and asking for his assistance in removing them. But Mr. Foraker could not be placated by Mr. Hanna. He felt that he was being denied the influence to which his prominence entitled him. He resented the choice of Mr. Hanna as leader of the Sherman forces and his own relegation to a subordinate position. The impression that he was being treated with scant courtesy was confirmed by the rooms assigned to him at the hotel in Chicago. As quartermaster of the delegation, Mr. Hanna had engaged accommodations at the Grand Pacific. The rooms selected for the Governor were on the floor above the Ohio] headquarters instead of adjoining them; whereupon he wrote to Mr. Hanna and protested bitterly and indignantly. Mr. Hanna explained at length the reasons for the assignment, and in the end Mr. Foraker accepted the arrangement and tacitly acknowledged he had been hasty. Their final exchange of letters before the Convention was more friendly, but manifestly peace had not really been patched up. Mr. Hanna winds up his last letter with the following sentence, "Good-by, until we meet on the battlefield and my Ohio comes out victorious."
Mr. Hanna firmly believed in the probable success of the Sherman candidacy, and his anticipations were far from unreasonable. Senator Sherman was the most eminent Republican whose name was placed formally in nomination. The candidates offered by other states, such as Depew of New York, Rusk of Wisconsin, Alger of Michigan, Gresham of Illinois, and Harrison of Indiana, had no advantage over Sherman in availability, and their titles to the nomination were wholly inferior. The thundercloud of a Blaine stampede looked ominous; but if that danger could be escaped, it seemed like plain sailing. A few days before the meeting of the Convention, Mr. Hanna gave to the newspapers the following numerical estimate of Sherman's probable strength. "We hope," he said, "to have three hundred delegates. Two hundred of them will come from the South and the remainder from the West and East. Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are with us. We shall probably get the entire delegation from the latter state on the third or fourth ballot. If we get Pennsylvania and our other friends are steadfast, nothing can prevent Sherman's nomination. In the sober thought of the delegates, he better represents the wishes of the Republican party than does any of the other candidates." The phrase "sober thought" betrays the fact that the supporters of Sherman feared more than anything else a stampede for Blaine.
When the Convention assembled the outlook for Sherman continued to be favorable. The voting began on Friday, June 22, and on the first ballot Sherman received 229 votes, which was twice as many as his nearest competitor. On the second ballot the number of his supporters ran up to 249, certain accessions having been made in Pennsylvania. But his strength never equalled Mr. Hanna's estimate of 300 votes. Massachusetts only gave him 9 out of a total of 28, Pennsylvania 53 out of 60, Ohio 46, and the rest came from the South. On the subsequent ballots Mr. Sherman's strength slowly declined. He continued to lead his competitors until and including the sixth ballot, but in the meantime Benjamin Harrison had been gaining steadily. The latter was nominated on the eighth ballot, and in selecting him the Convention had nominated the next best man to Mr. Sherman.
The official proceedings of the Convention were tame enough, but behind them was a seething caldron of negotiation and intrigue. It exhibited at its worst the regular method of nominating presidential candidates, because, in the absence of a strong popular preference for any one man, free opportunity was provided for the use of dubious methods and the action of equivocal motives. During the first two days the most active subterranean intrigue was being carried on in favor of Blaine; but Mr. Blaine never gave it open and authoritative countenance. While a considerable part of the Convention was ready to be stampeded, the sentiment in Mr. Blaine's favor was not general enough to afford sufficient body to the project. Until Sunday, however, the hopes of the supporters of Mr. Blaine ran high. On Sunday they vanished, and the delegates who had been waiting for a possible Blaine stampede began really to consider whom they could gain most by nominating.
In spite of the fact that Sherman had been losing since the second ballot, he is said still to have had a fair chance on Sunday. New York was hesitating between Harrison and Sherman, and it would not have taken much to make the tide set towards Ohio. More remarkable was the sudden and unexpected strength developed by William McKinley. In spite of the fact that he was not a candidate, a few delegates persisted in voting for him, and for a while on Sunday his candidacy developed a subterranean strength which was never represented in the ballot. McKinley was, indeed, assured by the delegates of several states that Ohio might get the nomination in his person — provided Sherman would withdraw. These representations were telegraphed to Sherman, but he refused to release any of his supporters. Mr. McKinley had protested on Saturday during the session of the Convention against the unauthorized use of his name. His scrupulous loyalty to Senator Sherman was a matter of very favorable comment in Republican newspapers after the close of the Convention.
Senator Theodore E. Burton in his " Life of John Sherman" in the series of "American Statesmen" makes the following comment on the defeat of Mr. Sherman: "At this Convention (1888) the delegation from Ohio was for the first time unanimous for him. There were, however, rumors of lack of cordiality on the part of some leading members of the delegation, which did much to diminish support from other states." One of the delegates involved by these rumors was Governor Foraker. He was openly accused of treachery by the supporters of Sherman. He vehemently and indignantly denied the accusation, but he never convinced his colleagues, and his behavior had certain dubious aspects. On Sunday an interview with him appeared in the newspapers, stating that Sherman was no longer a possibility, and that on Monday he would vote for Blaine. This interview he subsequently repudiated, but if he had not given it out, why should it be fabricated? It is significant also that members of the Columbus Club had paraded the streets of Chicago waving aloft portraits of the Governor and wearing his badges on their coat. It is stated that the name of Blaine could be read on the other side of these badges.
These circumstances are mentioned, not because they afford conclusive proof that Mr. Foraker was playing a double game, but merely to explain the conviction of his colleagues that he was not loyal to John Sherman. In his statement Mr. Foraker admits the existence of bad feeling in the delegation, but attributes it to another cause. He says: "A great many colored delegates from the South, as is their custom, had tickets to the Convention which they desired to sell. They brought their tickets to our rooms at the hotel, and Mr. Hanna, in the presence of us all, bought them. I protested against such methods, saying that it would bring scandal on the entire delegation and hurt Sherman's cause. Mr. Hanna and I had a spirited discussion over the matter, and it resulted in my leaving the rooms and seeking apartments on another floor." There is some truth