Autobiography of Seventy Years - Vol. 1

By George F. Hoar | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVIII
FOUR NATIONAL CONVENTIONS
1880

As the time approached for the Republican Convention of 1880, it had become clear that it would witness a mighty struggle. Conkling, Don Cameron, who had succeeded to his father's power in Pennsylvania, and Logan, of Illinois, the most distinguished volunteer soldier of the war, and a great favorite with his old comrades, were the most conspicuous leaders of the party who desired to restore the old Grant regime. They were seconded by Howe, formerly Senator from Wisconsin and later Postmaster-General under President Arthur, Creswell, of Maryland, Postmaster-General in President Grant's first term, Governor Boutwell, of Massachusetts, who had a very distinguished public career as Governor, member of the House of Representatives, Secretary of the Treasury, and Senator. They selected as their candidate their old chieftain, General Grant. He was strong not only in the powerful support of these great political leaders, but in the solid confidence of the business men of the country, in the attachment of the great Methodist denomination to which he belonged, in the love of the old soldiers, in the memory of his great public service, both in war and peace, and the general respect of the whole American people. Against this was the unwritten, but well- understood, rule of action by which the people had been governed since the time of Washington, that no person should be elected to the office of President for more than two terms. Against him, also, was the feeling that his judgment, which had been sound and unerring in the selection of fit men for good military service, was very much at fault in choosing men in whom he should confide in civil

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