SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
Teller's career took a new turn in 1882. His increasingly bitter split with fellow Colorado senator Hill was being fought both at home and in Washington. They contested each other's appointments and tried to remove federal appointees of the other faction. The bitterness spilled over into the state as they contested local and state elections, particularly as Teller's term neared its end in 1882. Both sides jockeyed for position to dominate the Republican caucus in the legislature.
Hill's newspapers, primarily the Denver Republican, viciously pounded Teller and his supporters. The Denver Republican, a rival paper claimed, “fairly reeked with foulness.” Henry grew infuriated with his colleague, and his feelings would not change for years. In 1883 he wrote Thomas Dawson, newspaperman and his eventual longtime secretary, complaining that “while he [Hill] was my associate in the Senate he was not willing to take half of the appointees from among his friends; he wanted them all.” Teller knew he faced an acrimonious fight from the local level right up to the statehouse to gain reelection to the Senate. 1
The possibility existed once more that the Colorado Republican Party might split into two factions, potentially leading to another Democratic victory. Teller was not certain of victory in any event; Hill had built up a loyal, growing group of backers. The junior senator had boasted that Teller could not win reelection. His money and his newspapers gave Hill an advantage over his political rival.