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their intentional corruptor. His connection with the Hanna headquarters is admitted both by ex-Senator Charles Dick and Major Rathbone, but both of them exonerate Mr. Hanna from any but the most superficial acquaintance with the business. Mr. Hanna's public statement does not assert that he never heard of the man, but only that he never saw him and did not authorize him directly or indirectly to make any offer to Otis. This statement is confirmed by the assertions of his own agents, by the affidavit of the emissary and by the testimony both of Otis and Campbell. Mr. Hanna's friends may very well be content to let it go at that, and his enemies should certainly give him the credit of one beneficial consideration. If Mr. Hanna had himself planned to purchase the vote of John C. Otis, it is reasonable to believe that the business would have been better managed.
Everybody most closely associated with Mr. Hanna in this fight state unequivocally that the Senator always refused even to consider the corrupt use of money. He paid the expenses of the men who were working for him. Many of his assistants and supporters were subsequently rewarded by appointment to Federal or state offices. All of the Republican malcontents were black-listed and have never since recovered any influence in Ohio politics. But he never authorized any but these usual means of rewarding his friends and punishing his enemies. Moreover, his rejection of corrupt methods was not encouraged by any lack of easy and favorable opportunities. An obvious method of preventing the election of any other candidate would have been to send a couple of Democratic representatives out of the state. Certain of them were known, not merely to be open to persuasion, but eager to be persuaded. Several conspicuous Republicans asked James B. Morrow to call Mr. Hanna's attention to one particular case. He listened goodnaturedly, but answered: "I will not give a cent for any man's vote. I am not engaged in that kind of business. If I am to be defeated by the use of money, well and good; but I shall not spend a dollar illegitimately to prevent that defeat. I would not purchase a single vote — even if that were the only way to save me from being beaten." Mr. Morrow adds that during the fight he was in and out of Mr. Hanna's private room at all hours of the day and night and at the most unexpected moments, and that he never heard a suspicious word.
Mr. James R. Garfield's testimony is equally definite. He heard of two specific instances in which representations were made to Mr. Hanna that a certain vote could be purchased, but without the slightest effect. During some talk about the opportunities of aiding Democratic representatives to leave the state, Mr. Garfield said to him: "You know, of course, how I feel. If money is used I shall vote against you." The Senator replied, "Jim, I know just how you feel, and I should expect you to vote against me." No one who knows the kind of man Mr. Hanna was can doubt the sincerity of such assertions. If he had intended to purchase votes, he doubtless would not have talked about it in public, but neither would he have paraded any conscientious scruples against it. He was not a hypocrite, and he never pretended to be any better than he really was. His ambition to be elected Senator was indissolubly connected with his most vital aspirations. His own career, no less than that of McKinley's, demanded an honorable victory. Like every honest man he had conscientious scruples about buying votes for his own political benefit; and his conscience, when aroused, was dictatorial. He believed certain practices were right which may have been wrong, but if he believed a practice to be wrong, he would have none of it.
It does not follow that no money was corruptly used for Mr. Hanna's benefit. Columbus was full of rich friends less scrupulous than he. Many of these friends were Cleveland business men, who hated the idea of a possible McKisson election about as much as they did that of Mr. Hanna's defeat. They may have been willing to spend money in Mr. Hanna's interest and without his knowledge. Whether as a matter of fact any such money was spent I do not know, but under the circumstances the possibility thereof should be frankly admitted.
Some of my readers may object that in describing the opposition to Mr. Hanna's election as a conspiracy, and his Republican opponents as traitors, reprehensible methods and motives have been imputed to men who may have had conscientious reasons for their behavior. The epithets which have been used are literally correct. No blame could be attached to any Republican who, during the campaign, had either opposed Mr. Hanna or had refused to support him. But his opponents adopted other methods. During the campaign they either explicitly pledged their votes to him, or they did so indirectly by speaking from the same platform with him. If any sanctity attaches to public partisan and personal obligations, all but two or three of Mr. Hanna's Republican opponents were guilty of treachery; and they were traitors not only to their pledges and their party, but to the clearly expressed popular will. On the other hand the Democrats, in order to beat Mr. Hanna, cast their votes for a man who was a Republican "before the people" and who had not any real claim to their allegiance. The opposition was wholly without principle either in its purposes or methods. The Republicans were satisfying a personal grudge by means of a betrayal of their individual and partisan obligations. The Democrats joined them, so as to cut short then and there the political career of their most redoubtable opponent. The stock shibboleth of the conspirators was opposition to "Boss" rule; but this slogan, whatever its pertinence and weight, was sheer hypocrisy in the mouths of its authors.
If Mark Hanna had been a "Boss" in the sense that Matthew Quay or Thomas C. Platt were "Bosses," the conspiracy would have succeeded. He triumphed only because he represented the will of his party, and enjoyed the confidence of the Republican rank and file in his leadership. If he had not gone upon the stump, if he had not made a favorable impression upon his hearers, and if he had not created a genuine public opinion in his favor, his political career might well have ended in January, 1898. At this critical moment in his public life he was saved, because he had the courage and the flexibility to break away from the limitations of a political manager and to try and create a genuine popular following. Thus his political personality emerged beyond the screen which always hides the real "Boss" from public inspection. In the nice balance of political forces upon which his election depended, the scale was tipped by his ability to create among enough of the people of Ohio the same kind of confidence in himself which until then had been confined to his business and political associates.
On the day of election he made the following speech to his supporters in the Legislature: —
"Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Ohio Legislature: I thank you with a grateful heart for the distinguished honor which you have just conferred upon me. I doubly thank you, because under the circumstances it comes to me as an assurance of your confidence — the assurance, which given to me in the beginning of this term of service to you and to my state, graces me with the strongest hope that I shall be able to fulfil your expectation and do my whole part by the whole people of Ohio. Standing outside of the line of the smoke of battle, which your President has just spoken of, and viewing this situation from the standpoint of a citizen of Ohio, I come to accept this high honor, recognizing that when I assume my duties in the United States Senate that I am the Senator for the whole people of Ohio. This is my native state. I was born in Ohio. I have always loved this commonwealth, have always striven to do what might be in my power to accomplish the advancement of her development and prosperity. If my endeavor is now transplanted to a different field of duty, that duty will be none the less incumbent upon me. In accepting this honor I accept in an appreciative sense the fulness of the responsibilities which go with it, and, under God, I promise my people to be a faithful servant to their interests during the entire time of my service. I thank you."
These words are not really addressed to the Legislature. They are addressed to the people of his native state by a man who really wanted to represent his own people as a whole. He knew that he had really been elected by them; and in the moment of his triumph he recognized fully both the source of the victory and its responsibilities.
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER XVIII
During the campaign in the fall of 1897 the Democratic newspapers kept standing for days in black-faced capitals the following sentence, which was attributed to Mr. Hanna: "No man in public office owes the public anything." They obtained this little rule of official action from a letter which Mr. Hanna was supposed to have written to Mr. David K. Watson, at one time Attorney-General of Ohio, and which reproached him for having interfered with the business of the Standard Oil Company. Mr. Watson had brought suit against the Company because of the trust agreement under which its business was then conducted. Pressure of all kinds was immediately brought to bear upon him to drop it. Mr. Hanna's letter was part of this pressure. No authentic copy of the letter was published, but the New York World, on August 11, 1897, had printed certain alleged extracts from it, including the phrase which the Democratic papers flourished in the face of their readers.
The way in which these extracts came to be published is peculiar. When Mr. Hanna offered himself as a candidate for the Senate, a newspaper correspondent named Francis B. Gessner recollected that seven years before he had been allowed to read in Mr. Watson's office a letter from Mark Hanna about the Standard Oil suit. He went to Mr. Watson,who allowed him to read the letter, but not to copy it. On the basis of what he remembered of its text, reenforced by what other people to whom it had been shown remembered of it, he published in the World the extracts which contained the sentence quoted above. These extracts have been reprinted in Miss Ida Tarbell's "History of the Standard Oil Company," and do not concern us here. Mr. Watson declares that after the publication of Mr. Gessner's article he answered all inquiries by admitting the receipt of some such letter, but denying the accuracy of the alleged extracts.
Mr. Watson further declares that Mr. Hanna at their next meeting after the publication of these supposed extracts asked for the original of the letter and obtained from him a promise to surrender it. Several weeks later, when Mr. Hanna was in Columbus, Mr. Watson went to the Neil House with the letter in his pocket. He claims to have received an offer of $50,000 for the original of this document from a prominent Democratic newspaper in the state. Nevertheless he gave it to Mr. Hanna at a private interview in Mr. Hanna's room at the Neil House. After reading it, Mr. Hanna turned to Mr. Watson (according to the latter's account) and said: "Dave! you once told me that a man who would write such a letter ought not to be a United States Senator. You were right." After some further conversation the letter was torn into small pieces and destroyed. But Mr. Watson claims that as a precaution against subsequent misrepresentation he kept a copy of it. The following is asserted to be a transcript of the original document.
"Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 21,1890. "Hon. David K. Watson, Columbus, Ohio. "Dear Sir: — "Some months ago, when I saw the announcement through the papers that you had begun a suit against the Standard Oil Co. in the Supreme Court, I intended, if opportunity presented, to talk with you, and