A LETTER which throws interesting light upon the attitude of the President and Mr. Cortelyou toward campaign contributions was the following from the President to Dr. Lyman Abbott on October 7, 1904:
"A week ago this Monday Cortelyou was on here, and he then said to me that if I was elected I would be elected without a promise or pledge of any kind, express or implied, to any corporation or individual. He told me of two or three amusing instances of efforts to get some kind of assurance from him, to which his invariable answer was that they could count upon just treatment--upon my doing nothing that I did not regard as fair and right; but that there must be no misapprehension as to my purpose to go steadily forward along the lines which had marked our course for the last three years. Then a concrete instance came up of the way in which he was handling things. You may have noticed that I had to decide the Customs Stamp Cigar question. After careful consideration I found that my decision had to be against the so-called Tobacco Trust, and in favor of the Independent Tobacco Manufacturers.
" Cortelyou had hoped that I would not have to make the decision, as from the political standpoint at this stage of the campaign, it was sure to cause irritation whichever way it went. I told him, however, that I had looked into the matter very carefully, and had gone over it with Taft and Moody, and we had come to the conclusion that there was but one way we could decide and that was in favor of the Independent Tobacco men. He said very well; that he wished to know at once, because under such circumstances