A Puritan in Babylon: The Story of Calvin Coolidge

By William Allen White | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
Fate Begins to Shift Scenery for a New Day

BUT Frank Stearns, y-clept Lord Lingerie, lost no ardor because of the rebuke from the leaders in Lodge's stronghold. He returned to Boston to take up the promotion of the Coolidge gubernatorial candidacy where he had left it. He and Murray Crane and Guy Currier had their plans well developed before the Chicago Republican national convention. It was Stearns' part of the work of the triumvirate to impress the newspapers with Coolidge's peculiar talents. Stearns spent his money giving dinners in Coolidge's honor, to which he invited the right sort of people. They were social affairs. Coolidge was never a hate fellow, but he did appeal to the sort of men who would gather around a rich man's board. Here Stearns enlisted the services of Dwight Morrow of the New York House of Morgan and at one of those dinners, more or less crystallized around the Amherst crowd in Massachusetts politics, Morrow presided. He had invited Colonel John C. Coolidge, Calvin's father. "To prove to you that Calvin is a chip off the old block," declared the toastmaster, "let me read to you Colonel Coolidge's reply:

"Gentlemen: Can't come. Thank you.

" John Coolidge"

At these dinners Frank Stearns was host, but never speaker. As an expert in the new profession of political publicity, Mr. Stearns planned to have at his table men of power with an interest in politics. They represented the ruling class. Of course in the Massachusetts legislature and in the Commonwealth at large many men realized the evils of the times. A few men sought to protest. Fewer still sought to make their protest effective by sponsoring corrective legislation, some of which was enacted. But the more

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