October 06, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Cincinnati


Political Signatures, Letters, Campaign Material and More From Politicians Including Some Associated With William McKinley and William Howard Taft

Lot of 10 (depending on how one counts - for example, is the letter from Mexico one item, or two - letter and poem). Lot of 8. lot of 4. lot o 3. lot of 7. lot 8. Lot of 13. lot of 5. Lot of 4. Lot of 1. lot of 2. lot of 9. lot of 2. lot of 1. lot of 32. 

Four letters to LeRoy Vernon, Chicago Daily News, three typed, one manuscript, all signed by William B. McKinley. They are dated May 1, 1926, Nov. 4, 1914 and Nov. 11, 1914 (both typed with manuscript PS), and one only "Jan. 29," but it is on the same letterhead as the 1926 letter, so likely around that time. The two earlier letters are on McKinley's Champaign, Illinois letterhead and US House of Representatives letterhead, the other two are on Senate Appropriations Committee letterhead. Three have political content, the last is a sympathy note, apparently on the loss of Mr. Vernon's father.

There is a long letter (4pp, 7.75 x 12 in.) from George Dithridge of the Lencedora Gold Mining Company, Lencedora, Chihuahua, Mexico, along with his business card. Dated 28 March 1912 and addressed to the President's Secretary. Mr. Dithridge is an American working in Mexico, and notes in the letter that he does not get mail or much news from the US, and so did not have a name to address the letter to. A small attached note forwards this to W.B. McKinley. Dithridge is writing to support the President in his bid for re-election. In 1912, this would have been William Howard Taft, and he did not win (maybe to his benefit - he was much happier on the Supreme Court). Mr. Dithridge describes how the President is a good friend to Mexico and "His attitude toward Mexico, as it has been to all the nations of the earth is that of a steadfast friend, an elder brother, ... tried and true, calm and trustworthy in judgment, a reliable and dependible [sic] helper for every struggling creature, no matter where his palace or hovel." He also includes a two-page poem, suggesting that the party should get it published in support of the President, and if it is, he would like a copy of the paper.

There are a few other items of less clear provenance in the lot. One is a 5 page typed letter, plus a half page, all on "onion skin" paper. The 5-page letter is signed in type Maria Longworth Storer, Chateau de Carriers, France, Sept. 6, 1910.  Her last paragraph: "I wrote this statement also to prove that Mr. Roosevelt's request to Pope Pius X was not made at the solicitation of Archbishop Ireland, and that the Archbishop heard of it, first of all, from the president himself. After the commission was given to Mr. Storer. The truth should be known in justice to Archbishop Ireland." Presumably she is referring to the requested meeting with the Pope made by Roosevelt in April 1910. The Pope agreed to meet with him, but placed conditions on Roosevelt's behavior while in Rome. TR bristled, and the meeting did not take place.

The half-sheet recounts what TR wrote about Quakers in his biography of Thomas Hart Benton, but the purpose of this paragraph is not clear.

There is a two-page statement about a speech given by Mr. McKinley in June 1910. There are three copies of these two pages, but their purpose is unclear.

TNS, St. Paul, MN, 16 April 1912. This short note signed by Marcus Johnson, simply states: "The Roosevelt people are flooding the state with circulars as per enclosed copy."

The other sheet is a poem about Roosevelt, but none too complimentary, and not likely the circular enclosed by Mr. Johnson. It begins "Seething brain, consuming fire.  / Trickster, Mountebank, and Liar."

William Brown McKinley (1858-1926) served in the US House (1905-1913, 1915-1921) and Senate (1921-1926) representing Illinois. He was also an executive with the Illinois Traction System.

TLS, 1p, Washington, 29 July 1924, on Department of State letterhead. To Leroy T. Vernon, Chicago Daily News, from Leland Harrison, Assistant Secretary. "The Department has received from the American Consul at Santos, Brazil, a telegram dated July 28, 1924, 10 p.m., conveying a message to you from Pike, Santos, which has been paraphrased as follows: Please advise office that I shall go to Sao Paulo as soon as office permits. Cables are being blocked by the censors."

TLS, 2pp, Washington, 30 January 1925, on United States Veterans Bureau letterhead. To Leroy Vernon from Director Frank T. Hines. Most of the letter outlines the costs to run the Veterans homes in the Midwest - Minnesota to Indiana, Illinois and Iowa. Lots of numbers and variables (cost of power, building types, type of hospital, etc.).

TLS, 1p, Washington, 14 September 1923, on Department of Justice, Bureau of Investigation, William J. Burns letterhead (this was the fore-runner to the FBI). To Leroy Vernon, from William J. Burns telling Vernon that he had already notified the Chicago office "to make a thorough investigation of the matter suggested in your letter," and promising to let him know when he gets a report. He also adds: "I might also state that Chicago is a hot bed for the radical element." Hmmm, all very circumspect.

William John Burns (1861-1932) earned a reputation as "America's Sherlock Holmes" through his work as a Secret Service agent, then he ran the William J. Burns Detective Agency, and the BOI. When he was forced to resign in 1924, as an indirect result of Teapot Dome wrongdoings, the Bureau was taken over by J. Edgar Hoover.

TNS, 1p, Washington, 2 Feb. 1934, on Secretary of the Interior letterhead. To Leroy Vernon from Harold Ickes, who was sending Mr. Vernon some stamps.

TLS, 1p, Washington, 22 Feb. 1934, on National Recovery Administration letterhead. Original letter from Hugh S. Johnson, Administrator of the NRA to Fred Britten, MC (House), informing Britten of the appointment of Robert Gould to a position in the NRA. This letter was then forwarded to Leroy Vernon and signed by Fred Britten - with another mysterious note: "It is fine to have been on a live one."

Two TLsS, each 1p, Washington, 7 Feb. and 19 Feb., 1934. To Leroy Vernon from George H. Dern, Secretary of War. Both letters forwarded from Roosevelt's office, concerning a military award for Dr. Philip Wilson. In the second letter, Mr. Dern states that they could not find any record of a recommendation being submitted on behalf of Dr. Wilson. "The present law governing the award of decorations for World War service permits consideration only of those recommendations which were pending before the War Department on may 26, 1928, the date the Act of Congress was approved. In the absence of a pending recommendation in behalf of Major Wilson, I regret to state that his case is precluded by law from consideration for an award."


TLS, 1p, Washington, 26 June 1919, on War Department letterhead. To Roy Vernon, signed by Arthur Woods, Assistant to the Secretary. Letting Vernon know that a citation for the Chicago Daily News was delivered today, and he is enclosing a list of all Chicago firms awarded citations.

4 letters, all on 6 x 9.25 in. New-York Tribune letterhead notepaper, including the logo with pyramids, clock, harbor and sailing vessel, etc. All appear to be secretarial signed by Whitelaw Reid. (The secretary that wrote the first three has an interesting hand, connecting all words.)

LsS, New York, 14 Apr. 1881, to James M. Vernon. Reid writes to Vernon that he does not know of any vacancies for a "Republican editorial writer." Vernon was still in Chattanooga at this time, presumably looking for another position.

LS, New York, 21 Apr. 1881, to James M. Vernon. Reid indicates that it is not possible for him to pay for a writer to provide discussions of political questions. He seems to suggest that they might consider paying for individual articles rather than a full position.

LS, New York, 19 Nov. 1885. To James M. Vernon. Reid tells Mr. Vernon that he does not know of anyone interested in a position on the Commercial.

LS, 3pp, New York, 6 Feb. probably 1880, but could be later. ("188_" pre-printed; in this case the last manuscript number is not clear). Content suggests it is earlier than the above. Mr. Vernon apparently asked Reid to help raise capital to establish a Republican newspaper in Tennessee. Reid tells him that this is a bad time to start anything (this was just after the "Great Depression" of the 19th century, 1973-1879). "...[T]he present is about as unpropitious a time as would be selected for attempting to raise money in the North for such a purpose, or indeed for any political purpose. I should regard the effort as almost hopeless."


Whitelaw Reid (1837-1912) was born in central Ohio and wrote a popular history of Ohio in the Civil War. He worked with Horace Greeley as editor of the New York Tribune, purchasing the paper after Greeley's death. He controlled the Tribune until his own death in 1912. He became a major voice of the Republican party through the paper. Benjamin Harrison appointed him US Ambassador to France (1889-1892), and Reid ran in the Vice Presidential spot on Benjamin Harrison's second ticket. They lost to Cleveland and Stevenson. He was later appointed Ambassador to the United Kingdom (1905-1912) by Theodore Roosevelt. He died in London while serving in this position.

ALS, 2pp (6 x 9.5 in.), Philadelphia, 17 June 1907, on Barker and Company letterhead. To Leroy Vernon (Chicago Daily News). Barker is sending information to Vernon, which he hopes will be read. "I hope you will write me your view of the economic and political situation in full, at Indianapolis Mr. Roosevelt put himself on the side of the money-oligarchy and against the people for there he put himself on record in favor of the $8,000,000,000 gross over-capitalization of our railroads, in favor of the taking each year from the people the great sum of $350,000,000 by the rule "charge all the _____ will stand." to pay interest on fictitious capital. So the President is with Plutarchy and against the People in the great conflict now on."

There is an additional unsigned note in Barker's hand "Wharton Barker presents his compliments to Mr. Leroy T. Vernon and asks him to read the open letter sent herewith."

Also included is a reprint from Watson's Magazine, Dec. 1906 by Wharton Barker titled "The People or Plutocracy?" 8vo, 6pp.

Plus clipped newspaper obituary (stamped Apr 9 - 1921).

Wharton Barker (1846-1921) was born in Philadelphia and attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he was later one of its longest-serving trustees. When Barker tried to resign from the board a couple years before his death, the board refused to accept his resignation.

His father founded Barker Bros. & Co. banking house, and Wharton followed in the family business, focusing on economics. His grandfather had been a wealthy ship owner and financier, and active in the founding of the country. He had been friends with Andrew Jackson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and De Witt Clinton. The Barker family history is closely entwined with the history of the nation.


When he became disenchanted with both the Republican and Democratic Parties, he turned to the Populists. He was such a fanatic supporter that they ran him as their candidate for President in 1900. He garnered 50,000 votes, so someone was listening to him. Barker died in 1921 after a couple month illness at the age of 74.

Seven copies of documents related to Taft's Presidential Campaigns. All appear to be typed copies of letters, newspaper articles, speeches, etc.

One is titled "Extract for the Concord Evening Monitor - Monday, September 14, 1908 / As to Mr. Taft. President Roosevelt Tells of his Remarkable qualities." 6pp. in which Roosevelt outlines Taft's qualities for the office. "The honest wage-worker, the honest laboring man, the honest farmer, the honest mechanic or small trader, or man of small means, can feet that in a peculiar sense Mr. Taft will be his representative because of the very fact that he has the same scorn for the demagog that he has for the corruptionist,... No consideration of personal interest, any more than of fear for his personal safety, could make him swerve a hair's breadth from the course which he regards as right and in the interest of the whole people."

Second typed article has title page "Taft Makes Good Promise to Labor. Administration's Record Squares with its Pledges." Probably put together for the second campaign, it looks at Taft's record with labor for the past three years. 4pp with title.

Two legal sheets with "Photographs of President Taft at Different Periods in Pathe's Weekly." With captions, photo numbers.

Another sheet has literature that is ready for distribution by the "National Taft Bureau." 2+ pp.

3pp giving Taft's "Work for Farmers." It notes that Taft saw the Department of Agriculture as critical and exempt from "belt tightening" in the face of a smaller budget. Taft cited in his first inaugural address that the scientific work of the Department must continue, since it benefits such a large number of people.

2pp spelling out in some detail Taft's hires of African Americans and their inter-departmental transfers.

3pp on "onion skin" copy paper, pinned together with a straight pin, with a couple of glued "extensions" on the paper - each page is a slightly different size, more or less legal size - with numerous manuscript edits. This draft outlines Taft's achievements in combating disease in the Army. "Typhoid fever is the most formidable of all camp diseases, and its ravages in the army were deeply impressed upon the minds of the people during the Spanish-American, war when it made its appearance in more than 90 per cent of all the regiments mustered into the service within eight weeks of their organization. Owing to the sanitary precautions and the method of vaccination against typhoid applied to all the troops in the army of mobilization , both officers and men, but one case of typhoid developed among the soldiers after three months in camp, and one case in the person of a civilian teamster who was unvaccinated. This record is unparalleled in the history of military medicine." The paper goes on to outline the "conquest" (or at least discovery of the cause) of beri-beri, which affected Asian troops the way typhoid affected American troops. They also mention the reduction in yellow fever in Cuba, and ongoing work on hook worm disease in the Philippines. "By reason of his having been Secretary of War, President Taft's interest in all branches of the War Department work has been especially keen and the efforts of the Medical Bureau to reduce the death rate, stamp out disease and build up the health and strength of the United States soldier has had his loyal and continuous and intelligent support."


 The three telegrams are from Frank H. Hitchcock, Postmaster General, and his first Assistant to James M. Vernon, Postmaster of Everett, WA about Vernon representing his association at the convention of Postmasters at Lake Tahoe, CA. The first Assistant simply tells him to take vouchers for expenses incurred in his trip to the convention. Dated June 8, June 10, and June 12, 1911.

TLS, 4pp, on Postmaster General's letterhead, Washington (DC), 8 June 1910. To James M. Vernon, regarding pay and promotions of postal employees. Pages held together with brass brad.

TLS, 1p (approx. 6 x 8 in.), Washington (DC), 24 July 1911. To James M. Vernon about the convention of Postmasters in California, and telling him that Hitchcock has suggested Mr. Vernon to speak at the Washington State Press Association meeting in August.

The Postmaster Everywhere: A Monthly Magazine for Men and Women of Letters, Vol. 20, No. 5, Nov. 1910, 31 numb. pp, in self wraps, with Berryman cartoon on front cover. On pg. 18 is a photo of J.M. Vernon as part of the story of that year's convention.

The airmail group includes a packet of 83 (of 100 originally) Airmail stickers (in folder similar to matchbook, but much longer),  There is a postcard with: "Special Train / Furnished by the Harvester Trust for the instruction of Nebraska People. Be sure to telephone your Farmer Friend to come and see it. They pay the bill and are entitled to one Free Look. / While looking at this Grand Spectacle, be careful not to mention the Tariff, or the Steel Trust, or Canadian Reciprocity, of the Tennessee Coal and Iron Merger, or the 'Dear Harriman' Contribution, or the Aldrich Central Bank, or 'My Friend' George Perkins. If you mention you will get Slugged Over the Ropes!! / Observe the Stool Pigeons on the Train. They are along to Check you Up, and see that you do not get Close Enough to Scratch the Varnish." Postmark of Apr. 17, 1912. Addressed only to "Journal / Sioux City, Iowa."

Plus a card with lithograph of the White House on it, 4 x 6.5 in. And six Air Mail envelopes (unused).

Frank Harris Hitchcock (1867 - 1935) graduated from Harvard in 1891 and George Washington University Law School three years later. While at Harvard, he met and became friends with Theodore Roosevelt at the Audubon Society, the two men sharing a love of birds. Hitchcock credited Roosevelt with aiding his success on the national stage. Hitchcock served in the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce (1897-1905), as Assistant Postmaster General (1905-1908) and Postmaster General (1908-1913). He is credited with establishing the Air Mail service. He also made a priority of prosecution of mail fraud, especially use of the mails to sell worthless stocks.

10 telegrams and 3 letters.

The telegrams cover March 16 - 27, 1920, during the primary elections. Most of the content covers individual states, addressed to Lowden Headquarters in Washington, DC. From Thomas D. Knight, Henry Lincoln Johnson, Frank Lowden, W.E. Hull and Joseph Mason, to various individuals at Lowden's HQ, and some just to whomever was at the HQ. Several are of the nature: "Dyar elected delegate and Rogers alternate both for Lowden Hitchcock agents formenting contest victory impressive." And "Atlanta and Fulton County the biggest and most important in Georgia elected a solid Lowden delegation to the fifth district convention which meets on the twenty ninth stop this insures the election of John W. Martin to the Chicago Convention The Wood people were completely routed."

Several concern campaign expenditures, such as this from W.E. Hull to Frank Smith, MC: "Wood is spending a quarter of a million in Michigan His advertising bill alone will be one hundred thousand I think Ill win just the same If you could do something to bear on parties to investigates these terrible expenditures which is practically buying up the Republican Party it should be done." Two other telegrams suggest there should be investigations into campaign spending.

There is a group of two letters, one telegram and newspaper clippings that concern Mr. Stewart's candidacy. Henry Lincoln Johnson telegraphs Frank Smith 20 March: "Very important for our New York Representative to get behind the candidacy of Gilchrist Stewart... He is making race for National Convention from Harlem District No man is firmer for us than he."

The earliest letter, 26, Feb., TLS from Gilchrist Stewart to William L. Houston informing him that Stewart has launched his candidacy for delegate and asking to be put in touch with Lowden campaign manager in Washington. ALS to Mercer Vernon from W.L. Houston, Washington DC, March 8. He notes that he is sending clippings about Mr. Stewart's candidacy for delegate to the convention. Plus two clippings.

In a letter dated 16 March 1920, from William Tully, New York. He tells the campaign that as far as he can tell, Gilchrist Stewart did not file a petition for delegate to the National Convention in the 21st Congressional district.


The election of 1920 was wide open. The Republicans had about a dozen viable candidates, but the two at the top of the heap were Major General Leonard Wood and Governor Frank Orren Lowden, Governor of Illinois. In these telegrams, one can see the battle for every delegate to the convention, even in this relatively short time span. At the convention, neither candidate could get the required majority. Hiram Johnson was running a distant third. When the "back room" meetings occurred to attempt to negotiate a compromise candidate, Warren G. Harding came to the top, and went on to become the Republican Candidate, and President, that election.

5 letters to James Vernon, editor: 

LS, 2pp (5 x 8 in.), Paris, 20 March 1885. Marked "Personal," on Legation of the United States letterhead. Manuscript secretarial letter signed by Levi P. Morton. Contains some circumspect references to politicians - "our Republican friend in New York," for example.

ALS, 2pp (5 x 8 in.), New York, 16 Nov. 1885. Congratulates Vernon on the success the Republicans have had in New York and says that he has been so busy of late that he can only help monetarily.

ANS, 1p (5 x 8 in). New York, 30 May 1887. Enclosing $10 for the Young Men's Republican Club.

ANS, on Rhinecliff, NY letter sheet, 12 Oct. 1888. Question about his liability for debts of a company in which he owns stock.

TLS, Albany, NY, 20 Jan. 1896. On State of New York Executive Chamber letterhead. Thanking Mr. Vernon for his support for higher party positions. Forwarding Vernon's letter to the Chairman of the Republican State Committee.


Levi Parsons Morton (1824-1920) was born in Vermont, but worked all over the Northeast (clerk in Massachusetts, merchant in New Hampshire, Boston and New York, where he went into banking). He served in the US House, was a commissioner to the Paris Exhibition in 1878 before becoming US minister to France, Vice President of the US (1889-1893) and Governor of New York (1895-1896).

ALS, 1p, Washington (DC), 24 Feb. 1906. To A.S. House, Secretary of the Photograph Company of America, requesting rates per 100 and per 1000 photographs, telling Mr. House that he will probably need a quantity of photos in the coming summer.

TLS, 1p, Washington, 5 March 1906. Also to Mr. House telling him that he needs several hundred photographs and asking to have the company representative in Washington call on him at the Cochran Hotel.

TNS, 1p, Washington, 13 March, 1906. To Leroy (Roy) Vernon, Chicago Daily News, letting him know that he is sending a photograph as requested, and adding his signature "which I wish on the proof you send me."

ANS, 1p (5.25 x 8 in.), Washington, 12 April 1906, on Senate Press Gallery stationery. To Mr. Prince, "I hereby authorize you to make and deliver to the bearer, Mr. Leroy T. Vernon, at his expense, a platinum finished photograph similar to a picture of me which he will show you with this order."


James Bennett McCreary (1838-1918) began his political career in the Kentucky House of Representatives. He later represented his state of Kentucky in the US House and Senate, as well as serving as Governor of the state (1875-1879, 1911-1915). During the Civil War, he rode with John Hunt Morgan (11th KY Cav.) achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

TLS, 1p, Washington (DC), 28 Jan. 1924. To Leroy Vernon, Chicago Daily News, from Edwin Denby, then Secretary of the Navy. Telling Vernon that the department is considering having someone write the story of the USS Shenandoah's Polar Expedition, but they have not yet decided to do it. If they do, they will let the Daily News know.

Edwin Denby (1870-1929) was born in Southern Indiana (Evansville), but went to China with his father when the elder Denby was appointed US Minister at Peking. He returned to the states in 1894 and attended the University of Michigan law school. While there, he also played on the Wolverines football team. He settled in Michigan after graduating in 1896. He served in the Michigan House before being elected to the US House of Representatives in 1905. After losing in 1910, he resumed his law practice in Detroit.

Denby enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1917 and served in WWI. He was discharged in 1919 as a Major. When Warren G. Harding took the office of President, Denby was appointed Secretary of the Navy (1921-1924). There was a rash of mail robberies at the time. Denby ordered Marines in every mail truck and rail car as guards. He impressed upon them that if they were threatened, both should go for their guns. Even if one died, the other should be able to shoot the robber. All mail robberies stopped while the Marines guarded the mails.


Denby got tangled up in the Teapot Dome scandal. Denby got approval to transfer naval oil reserves to the Department of the Interior. The Secretary of the Interior, Albert B. Fall, then leased these oil fields to friends in exchange for $400,000 in personal loans. It appears that Harding had no role in this scheme, and it is not even clear that Denby knew what was going on, nor does it appear that he received any personal benefit, but he was forced to resign along with Fall. He resumed his law practice, and died just a few years later  just shy of his 59th birthday.

TLS, 1p, Washington (DC), 14 Apr. 1934. On Democratic National Committee letterhead, indicating James A. Farley as Chairman, to Leroy (Roy) Vernon, Chicago Daily News. Signed "Jim,." With "Roy" written over the more formal address.

TNS, 1p (7 x 8.75 in.) n.p., 12 Dec. 1937. Get well wishes to Roy Vernon, also signed "Jim." Paper with blindstamp "Post Office Department, United States of America" encircling a Pony Express rider.


James Aloysius Farley (1888-1976) was one of the first Irish Catholics to achieve success in national politics. He served as chairman of the New York Democratic Committee (1930-1944) before moving to the DNC (1932-1940), serving at the same time as Postmaster General (1933-1940) - with significant overlap of all three offices. His appointment to Postmaster was FDR's selection, but Farley broke with Roosevelt when the latter broke the two-term tradition to run for a third term in 1940. FDR sent Farley to Rome to meet with Pope Pius XI and Cardinal Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII) to normalize relations with the Vatican. Outside of government positions, Farley ran Coca-Cola for three decades, and was largely responsible for making it the global business it is today.

TNS, 1p., 6.25 x 9.25 in., Washington (DC), 24, July 1931, on White House letterhead. To Roy Vernon, from Walter H. Newton, Secretary to the President. Returning letter left with him. Walter Hughes Newton (1880-1941) served as representative in the US House from Minnesota, resigning when Herbert Hoover appointed him his personal Secretary. He also served as regent of the Smithsonian, member of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, among other positions.

TLS, 1p, Washington, 29 Jan. 1917, US House Committee on Agriculture letterhead. To Leroy Vernon, from James T. McDermott (D, IL) (1872-1938). "Enclosed find a copy of a letter that I sent Mr. Lawson. Some "yap" in Chicago on the staff there keeps shooting at me, and I wish you would take it up with Mr. Lawson. As you know, I have a wife and two boys in Chicago, and it is not fair or right for them to criticise me personally."

ALS, 1p, Pomeroy, WA, 7 Apr. 1897, on the East Washingtonian letterhead, Peter McClung, Publisher. Addressed to the President of the United States. Letter in support of James Vernon for Governor of Alaska.

ANS, 1p, Washington, 8 Apr. 1911, on House committee on Rivers and Harbors letterhead. To James M. Vernon from John A. Moon (D, TN) (1855-1921).  Thanking him for a letter sent, apparently supporting something Moon proposed or suggested.

TNS, 1p, Chicago, 13 Oct. 1924, on Republican National Committee letterhead. To Leroy Vernon from William M Butler, Chairman, thanking him for his letter and suggestions.

TNS, 1p, 13 Oct. 1924, also on RNC letterhead. Also thanking Leroy Vernon for his letter, signed Roy D. West, Secretary.

3pp typed statement (carbon copy), possibly a press release, concerning Senator La Follette, likely Robert Marion La Follette (R, WI) (1855-1925).  Goes on about La Follette's role in the campaign, which appears to be 1924 in which he ran as a Progressive. He was one of the founders of the National Progressive Republican League, and was unsuccessful in his bid for the Republican nomination in 1912 and 1916.

Plus a one-page humorous story, at top "Compliments / J B X (?)."


And a Chicago Historical Society Illustrated Handbook (1935) with enclosed letter thanking Leroy Vernon for his membership and informing him on the privileges of  membership.

ALS, 1p, Olympia, WA, 21 April 1896. On State of Washington, Executive Department letterhead, signed by J.H. McGraw, Governor. To James M. Vernon, Everett, WA, arranging to meet him at the 1st National Bank in Seattle.

TLS, 1p, J.H. McGraw, Seattle, WA, 16 Feb. 1897, on First National Bank of Seattle letterhead. To President (Elect) William McKinley. Letter to recommend James M. Vernon, editor of the Everett Times, though not for any specific post. "I am confident that any recognition that he may receive from your administration will be looked upon with great favor by Washington republicans generally."

John Harte McGraw (1850-1910) was a native of Maine, but settled in Seattle. He held several high prestige positions, including president of the bank (above) and Chamber of Commerce.  He served as the 2nd Governor of Washington (1893-1987). He made money during the Klondike Gold Rush (1896-1899), used to repay the state for irregular activities during his term in office. He died of scarlet fever, in 1910, not yet 60 years of age.

ALS, 1p, Washington (DC), 26 Jan. 1897, on US House of Representatives letterhead, with nice vignette of US Capitol in upper left corner. To President and fellow Ohioan William McKinley, letter in support of the appointment of James Vernon (editor of the Everett [WA] Times and Republican leader in the West) for the position of Governor of Alaska. Hulick writes: "He is a man well qualified for the office! and deserves recognition for his services to the party, as an editor of a Republican paper and an earnest advocate of the principles of his party."


George Washington Hulick (1833-1907) was born in Batavia, Clermont County, Ohio. He graduated from Farmer's College (near Cincinnati). He taught school for two years before studying law, being admitted to the bar in 1857. With the advent of the Civil War, he enlisted on April 27, 1861 in the 22nd Ohio Inf.  and mustered out in mid-August (100-day unit). He served on local boards, was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1868. He was elected to the US House, serving 1893-1897. He then resumed his law practice in Batavia until his death in 1907.

Approx. 32 items; approx. 22 letters and notes, 5 telegrams, 5 drafts or summaries of communications, most from 1911-1912.

Includes 7 letters/notes on White House letterhead (all 5.5 x 9 in.), most to Leroy Vernon while Charles Hilles was Taft's personal secretary. In the earliest (11 Sept. 1911) Hilles confirms that Roy's father lives in Everett, Washington. This is followed by a telegram in October that they had arrived in Everett and were looking forward to meeting his father [James] the following day.

TLS, 1p, 10 Jan. 1912, on White House stationery, to Mr. J.E. Johnson, Treasury Dept., as a cover to a copy of a speech given by Taft concerning what at the time was known as "the negro problem." (apparently Roy was also sent a copy) Group includes column from a periodical and a piece of campaign literature.

There is a multi-page draft of what seems like a letter concerning the selection of a candidate in the upcoming election (presume 1912). No names mentioned.

A letter on Hilles' personal stationery, 25 Mar. 1912 is a cover for a newspaper clipping about Roosevelt literature being circulated without a union stamp, and a note from Arthur E. Clarke on The Mirror and Farmer (paper) letterhead.

A couple letters from May 1912 are addressed to William B. McKinley, presumably about the upcoming Republican Convention in Chicago in June.

One telegram from Hilles to Vernon asks Roy "whether you would care to take charge of literary bureau for the campaign." A draft of a letter from Roy to Hilles declines the offer, saying that if he were to do that he would have to resign from the news.  There follows a summary of the communications between Roy Vernon, Mercer Vernon and Charles Hilles about the campaign. It appears that the campaign was trying to negotiate a leave of absence for Roy from the newspaper. There are retained copies of two letters to Hilles, presumably from Roy Vernon, attempting to clarify what happened while he was gone. "Because of the non-delivery of one of my brother's (Mercer's) telegrams informing me of what you were doing, I was utterly at a loss how to interpret the second one when it reached me in Nebraska..." This may have been the trigger for this summary string of communications.

Beginning with the letter dated August 1, 1912, Hilles' communications are on Republican National Committee letterhead, as he became Chairman of the RNC. One of the longer letters to Roy indicates that the committee was probably wrong in trying to arrange a leave without his approval before hand, and hope it has not jeopardized his employment.

Many of the letters and notes are "mysterious," intentionally so, we suspect. "I shall write Washington to see if I can get any line on the two Interior Department matters which you mention." A letter in September is an attempt to get Roy to write a weekly column for the Philadelphia Ledger for the RNC, which Roy seems to have declined, according to Hilles' next letter. The letter of Nov. 7 begins: "Your congratulatory telegram of yesterday which came to me this morning has the right ring to it, and I very much appreciate your kind words of commendation. We may be beaten but we are not dismayed." The last item has a penciled nate of 2/8/13 and appears to be a draft of a letter to Mr. Hilles from Roy Vernon, thanking him for the photograph of himself and "It is with the greatest possible regret that I see the time approaching when you are to leave Washington officially and temporarily only, as I believe. I ask you to accept my sincere congratulations on the enviable record you leave behind you...."

Charles Dewey Hilles (1867-1949) was born in Ohio. He was superintendent of the Boys' Industrial School of Hio, then moved to the New York Juvenile Asylum. He left that position to become William Howard Taft's private secretary. He was also active in the Republican Party, serving as RNC chairman from 1912-1916, and was a delegate to the quadrennial conventions from 1916-1940. He was also a delegate to the New York convention that ratified the 21st Amendment, ending Prohibition. He died shortly after suffering a stroke in 1949. A number of Hilles' papers (64 linear feet of them!) are at the Yale University Library.

4 documents, all on US Senate letterhead, various committees: 

TLS, 1p, Washington, 17 Feb. 1934; on letterhead of the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments. To Leroy Vernon, signed. Jas. Hamilton Lewis (1863-1939), Chairman of this committee (D, IL).

TLS, 1p, Washington, 9 Jan. 1934; on letterhead of George W. Norris, Nebraska. To Leroy Vernon, signed G.W. Norris. Letter about voting fraud and whether it can be stopped. George William Norris (1861-1944) was a Representative from Nebraska (1903-1912), then was elected to the Senate (1913-1942). He is known as the "father of the TVA," and Norris Dam, the first TVA dam, was named for him.

TNS, 1p, Washington, 6 May 1933, on letterhead of Committee on Rules. To Leroy Vernon, signed G.H. (George Higgins) Moses, Chairman. Sending his filings for Mon. and Tues. since he was leaving town for a couple days.

TNS, 1p, Washington, 3 May 1910, letterhead of Committee on Industrial Expositions. To James M. Vernon, signed W.L. Jones. (Wesley Livsey Jones (1863-1932) served as a representative (1899-1908), then Senator (1909-1932) from Washington State. Informing Mr. Vernon of his appointment as Postmaster at Everett.





The onion-skin paper slipped around in the typewriter, so the letters are occasionally out of alignment or over-typed, as made. Folds as expected. Overall very good with just a few with dark stain that appears to be water damage (just the group of duplicate pages).

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