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try, and there appeared to be a fair chance of winning back some of the ground which had been lost by the party on the silver ISSue.
Ordinarily the Chairman of the National Committee does not have much to do with a Congressional campaign; but in the fall of 1898 Mr. Hanna rendered the Congressional Committee effective and indispensable assistance. On October 14 he wrote to Mr. Thomas H. Carter, who had preceded him as Chairman of the National Committee: —
“MY DEAR SENATOR: —
“I have just returned after three weeks' absence in the East, where I have been working harder than I ever did in my life to secure funds for the Congressional Committee, without which they would have been obliged to shut up shop. I milked the country and turned over all the funds to Chairman Babcock. I don't know whether I can get any more; but I can try and I assure you it will give me pleasure to serve you in any way I can. “Sincerely yours, “M. A. HANNA.”
He did succeed in raising more money, which was spent chiefly in the states of Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming with the object, not only of obtaining additional Republican representation in the Lower House, but of the electing Legislatures which would return Republican Senators. The outcome may be described in Mr. Hanna's own words. After the election a meeting of mutual congratulation was called by the Tippecanoe Club of Cleveland. On this occasion Mr. Hanna said: “It is a matter of great congratulation to us of Cleveland that the election resulted in a vote of confidence in the administration and its policy. When I went East in September I was met with the statement that we would lose the House. Chairman Babcock of the Congressional Committee told me that we would surely lose the House east of the Mississippi River, which proved to be true. But there is great gratification in noting that the House was saved by the states west of the Missouri River — the very states where the free silver craze had its strongest hold on the people. The Republicans of those states, who had wandered after strange Gods, returned to worship at the shrine of prosperity.” The evidence indicates that it was the war rather than prosperity which had brought these Republicans back to the fold. In the East a certain reaction in public opinion against the administration was noticeable. Mr. Theodore Roosevelt, who in the eyes of the country was the chief military hero of the war, was elected by only a small majority to the Governorship of New York. But the West, which had wanted the war more unanimously than had the East, which had an instinctive relish for the excitements and the hazards of war, and which was Imperialist in feeling and conviction, rallied to the administration, which, however unwillingly, had responded to the call of military patriotism. The war, rather than the timid beginnings of an era of prosperity, was uppermost in the voters' minds during the fall of 1898. The truth of this explanation of the facts is confirmed by the irresistible demand, which a year and a half later proceeded from the Republicans of the West, for the nomination of Theodore Roosevelt as VicePresident. During the following year Mr. Hanna's leadership of the Republican party in Ohio received still more emphatic confirmation. Mayor McKisson was, indeed, renominated by the Cleveland Republicans after a bitter fight at the primaries, but failed of reëlection. Not for ten years did a Republican again become Mayor of Cleveland. Nevertheless, although Mr. Hanna exercised less control over the political destiny of his own city than he had a decade earlier, he continued supreme in the state. The Convention held in Columbus on June 1, 1899, nominated for Governor Mr. George K. Nash, one of Mr. Hanna's close associates. The nomination was the outcome of an understanding between Mr. Hanna and Mr. George B. Cox, the “Boss” of Cincinnati. A letter from Mr. Hanna to Mr. Cox, written about a week before the date of the Convention, gives some idea of the relations existing at that time between the two men.
“I am in receipt of yours of the 19th inst., the contents of which were carefully noted. I fully sympathize with your position that we should be guided by whatever is for the best interests of the party in our action at the State Convention. I will be glad to coöperate with you to that end. Of course, no one can tell about the choice of candidates. I will tell you frankly that I am not pledged to any one, but I am opposed to Mr. Daugherty from a party standpoint, and I understand that we agree in that position. You are right in your judgment that we should not meet before going to Columbus; but I will see you some time during the night before the first day of the Convention.
“I admire your good sense and good management and have faith that we can work together.
The campaign that followed in the fall of 1899 was very lively. Mr. Hanna's personal prominence and his relations with the administration made it of national importance, while the fact that John R. McLean was the Democratic nominee gave the people of Ohio a chance to vote on an echo of the senatorial fight of January, 1898. The speakers on both sides discussed national issues exclusively. Mr. Hanna put in a large part of October on the stump, and was greeted everywhere with favor and enthusiasm by large crowds. He spoke incidentally on the issue of Imperialism; but in the great majority of his speeches he claimed support for the Republican party, because of the fulfilment of its pledges. By the fall of 1899 prosperity had been undoubtedly restored, and equally without doubt the revival of business enterprise was in part due to the increasing confidence of business men in the political situation. A political party can very rarely claim any responsibility for the course of business during one of its periods of domination; but in this case the Republicans were justified in crediting themselves and their leaders with the business improvement. The Bryan Democracy and the “Populistic” agitation in the West associated therewith had threatened the business of the country with real dangers; and their successful opponents had contributed both to the exorcism of the free silver ghost and to the renewal of general confidence.
The speeches of Mr. Hanna delivered in the fall of 1899 give the first clear and well-rounded expression of his answer to the general American economic problem. The situation had changed essentially since 1897. Not only had prosperity really come, but it had brought with it unexpected developments. The latter part of 1898 and 1899 had constituted a period of unprecedented industrial reorganization. Almost every morning newspaper was filled with accounts of the formation of new railroad and industrial combinations. The relation between this process of business consolidation and the existing Republican political supremacy was unmistakable. It became the subject of Democratic attack during the fall of 1899, and Mr. Hanna did not hesitate or fear to come out frankly in favor of these combinations. He approved of them as a natural business growth, due to the excesses of desperate competition which had prevailed during the business depression. He regarded them, furthermore, as necessary instruments for the development of the export trade of the country, which at that juncture was becoming unprecedentedly large in manufactured products. He urged upon his listeners the desirability of his own bill subsidizing American shipping as a necessary help to the proper development of this export trade. He wanted the government to take this further step in promoting industry, in order that American manufacturers might have the advantage of adequate means of transportation in making their assault on the markets of the world. The result was an emphatic indorsement of the administration. Mr. George K. Nash was elected by a plurality of about 50,000 votes over McLean. The tide had evidently turned in the East as well as in the West. Similar testimonials were obtained in other states, and undoubtedly the increasing prosperity of business and the effect thereof upon the earnings of labor contributed decisively to the Republican success. The renomination of the President, who had fought the war and under whose administration prosperity had returned was assured, while at the same time there was every indication that Mr. Bryan would again be the candidate of the Democratic party. Seldom has any administration after three years in office commanded such united support from its party as in the beginning of 1900 did the administration of Mr. McKinley. Much of the credit of this result belongs to the diplomacy with which the President handled the Republican leaders in and out of Congress. He had the gift of refusing requests without incurring enmity, of smoothing over disagreements, of conciliating his opponents, of retaining his friends without necessarily doing too much for them, of overlooking his own personal grievances and of steering the virtuous middle path between the extremes and eccentricities of party opinion. But decisive as was the President's contribution to the popularity of his administration, Mr. Hanna also deserves a certain share of the credit. More than any other single man, with the exception of the President himself, Mr. Hanna was responsible for the operation of that most vital of party functions, the distribution of patronage. Under his direction and that of the President the appointments to office became, as it rarely had been in the past, a source of strength to the McKinley administration. During these years Mr. Hanna accomplished in an exceptionally able manner the work of reënforcing and consolidating the existing leadership of the Republicans. The distribution of . patronage necessarily occasions many personal disappointments and grievances, which weaken the President with certain individuals and factions in his party. Any disposition on the part of the President or his responsible advisers to play favorites or to cherish grudges, any tendency to misjudge men and to be deceived by plausible misrepresentation, any failure to distinguish properly between the more influential and the less influential factions, has a damaging effect upon party harmony and its power of effective coöperation. To name only recent examples Mr. Cleveland, Mr. Harrison and Mr. Taft have all weakened their administrations by mistakes in selections to office. No doubt President McKinley and Mr. Hanna made similar mistakes both from the point of view of administrative efficiency and of good feeling within the party, but on the whole they certainly exercised the President's power of appointment with unusual success. They not only selected for the higher offices efficient public servants, but by virtue of an unusually clear understanding of individuals and local political conditions, they made leading Republicans feel, in spite of certain individual grievances, that the offices were being distributed for the best interests of the whole party. So far as Mr. Hanna was concerned, this success was due to