CHAPTER XVI
POLITICS

THE political situation in 1884 was interesting, particularly to a young person who was of college age and was brought up on the Springfield Republican. Despite the rugged honesty of President Grant, abuses had crept into the Federal Government by the connivance of some of his appointees. The situation had not been thoroughly remedied by President Hayes or by President Garfield. The bargaining power of the tariff had reacted upon the party in office. The Boston Journa was gospel to a great part of New England, especially to Vermont, and it espoused the cause of James G. Blaine, 'the plumed Knight' of that day. While I am speaking of Vermont, I may mention that it took a fine-toothed comb to find a Democrat in that State. There were, of course, a few hereditary ones, among them my Uncle Willard Gay. It befell that in one year his party nominated him as candidate for State Treasurer to oppose his Republican brother-in-law, my Uncle William H. DuBois. It was a great joke in the family. The Springfield Republican was anathema to the latter, who still regarded the Democratic Party as in league with the Devil.

Grover Cleveland had attracted attention by his fight against corruption in Buffalo and by his vigorous efforts for simple governmental honesty as Governor of New York. My father was a 'Mugwump,' the name given to one who did not have faith in the entrenched Republican Party to reform itself. Although I lacked three years and my brother lacked one of being old enough to vote, we were enthusiastic in supporting the revolt. Cleveland was elected and my Republican relatives in Vermont felt sure that the country would go to the 'demnition bowwows.' Cleveland's appointees to the Cabinet were for the most part outstanding men with deep faith in Jeffersonian principles, and an era of reform government set in at Washington. Cleveland was defeated for re-election in 1888 by Benjamin Harrison of Indiana; but the tables were turned in 1892 when Cleveland was re-elected and served efficiently without the lure of a third term in the White House. Mr. Cleveland had married at the White

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