Calvin Coolidge, the Man Who Is President

By William Allen White | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
ECCE THE SMALL-TOWN HOMO

And here we must sketch Northampton. For as the years go, Vermont fades out of his background into his inheritance, and Northampton begins to assimilate Coolidge. Northampton twenty years ago was a town of 20,000 people, or such a number. A three-phase town--a college town, a farming town, an industrial town. The college and the farms contributed the native stock to the town; the industries brought the Irish, who are not always strong enough to govern a town. But they added a charm to its politics and a tithe to its taxes and played the game like good sportsmen. Moreover, they furnished a final proof that Coolidge was and is more than a long-nosed Yankee Brahmin: he got on with the Irish. Often they voted for him; always they respected him. He and they, being essentially politically minded, understood one another.

This understanding broadened as his career opened. Years later he was friendly with the ruling cardinal in Boston. Deeply in Calvin Coolidge's heart lies some affinity for the gay loyalty of an

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