27th President. Three-page typed letter signed (TLS) “Wm. H. Taft”, first page headed “Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D.C.”, sent from Pointe-au-Pic, Canada, August 19, 1924, 8×10.5, sent to Gus Karger, the Washington correspondent to the Cincinnati Times-Star and a long-time friend to Taft, in full:
Your very interesting letter came this morning, and certainly everything thus far seems to show that Calvin is enjoying the same political good fortune that has attended him during his career. The settlement of the reparations and Ruhr controversy, which now seems at hand, must inevitably work progress toward prosperity the World over, and especially between the European countries and this country. Accompanying this is the continued maintenance of high prices for farm products – an argument that La Follette and his crowd are hardly likely to meet by a charge that the prices are due to the manipulation of the Republican capitalists.
I skimmed through John Davis’ speech, and it was a good speech from the standpoint of a candidate. It reminded me of his excellent briefs, of which I have read many. It was a lawyer’s argument and well put. It was in contrast to that of Calvin. I think that John’s had more interest for the public than Cal’s – interest in the sense of enjoying a cursory reading, heightened in John’s case by the fact that he was attacking, and in Cal’s case that he was writing an annual message. As some ladies have said, Cal’s message was not interesting. I think it will be interesting for the Republican orators who will use the arguments and statements therein as a basis for their stump speeches. It is a message characteristic of Cal – it is the kind of a message you would have expected. He states, as succinctly as he could reasonably be expected to do, the achievements of his last four years of Republican asministration, and when they are put in the way in which he puts them, without ornate language, but just directly, they make a very formidable basis for a claim that much has been done. I don’t think that John Davis’ attack, based on the oil scandal, will resuscitate the feeling that existed at the time of the first disclosures. It is a curious thing how the fight in the Democratic Convention seemed to dissipate the threatening clouds created by the scandal. Perhaps it was not only the Democratic Convention and the fight there – it was also the dragging out to an infinite weariness of the examinations and the unfairness with which they were conducted, and the evident and greedy manifestation of the use of the investigations for political purposes, which deprived the issue of a character fatal to Republican success. It may be as you say that the people who gathered at Washington to hear Coolidge’s speech of acceptance are too confident. It perhaps is an excessive reaction from the despair in which they were. It may be that we don’t know how many people will follow La Follette, and that is an element of uncertainty that ought to eliminate over-confidence. I showed your letter to Charley and he was not disposed to be obdurate in respect to lending you to the committee, though he thinks that the importance of your work on the Time-Star in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana is so great that he doubts whether it would be wise for the party to make the change, but I think his attitude is such that if the question becomes acute, you will be able to accept if you think wise.
A week ago Sunday, Charley and Annie and the rest of us had for a day a distressing time, due to the fact that Louise Semple developed appendicitis and had to be operated on. Fortunately, Dr. Lyle, the chief operating surgeon of St. Luke’s Hospital in New York, an Episcopal Hospital, was here and performed the operation, with the assistance of a Montreal doctor, who practices here in the summer. The operation was performed in the operating room of a Convalescent Home here which we of the Pointe-au-Pic Association had fitted up two years ago for such operations. The operation was most successful and there were no complications. It would have involved great risk had she not had it performed now, and she comes back tomorrow, after ten days, able to walk and to resume here ordinary life here.
I regret to say, on the other hand, that my brother Harry’s daughter is at Rochester, Minnesota, undergoing an operation for abscesses in the lungs and pleural cavity that are most distressing and most dangerous. The poor girl has undergone a suffering that it would seem human nature could not undergo. She has shown great fortitude and courage and great tenacity of life, and that is the only hope we have that she may pull through. Her name is Louise, too, but her married name is Snowden.
We hope that Bob will be here day after tomorrow, which will make all our family present, except the two months’ old baby of Charlie, whom being weened the mother was afraid to bring away because of a change of diet. That will make twenty-five in our household, and I hope to have the privilege of getting some photographs so as to record the presence here of the family.
Do keep writing to me, because I enjoy your letters so much, as do all the circle.
Approximately a dozen words handwritten by Taft within the text. Unbelievably lengthy, personal letter touching upon many subjects.
Karger was the press chief of William Howard Taft’s 1908 presidential campaign and director of the Republican Party’s press bureau in the 1912 presidential election.
Paperclip impressions at top left of each leaf, folds, browning, else fine.