The autobiography of a Pennsylvanian/12 Governor, 1905
THE legislature met again in session on the 3d of January, 1905. My message to it at this time I insert in an appendix entire for the reason that after two years of experience it represents my ripe thought as to the needs and interests of the commonwealth and the judgment of my public work must largely depend upon its recommendations. Many of them, the constabulary, Greater Pittsburgh, the apportionment notwithstanding the impracticable provisions of the constitution, the tax upon coal, and others, have been accomplished. Some, like the exercise of eminent domain only upon the actual ascertainment of the public need, the application of the law of public nuisance to the habitual publication of falsehood, the extension of a park from the front of the Capitol to the Susquehanna River, await the further enlightenment of the people of the state.
There was no consultation with any of the politicians in the preparation of this message, and it was seen by nobody prior to its presentation to the assembly. As was to be anticipated, the suggestion of further action in restraint of “yellow journalism” was like stirring up a cage of wild animals. The newspapers met the suggestion, as usual, not with argument or reasoning, but by objurgation and a strained effort to make still uglier pictures. I did not attempt to influence the members of the legislature in any way and contented myself with having pointed out a method by which this great evil could be controlled should they choose to adopt it. Senator James P. McNichol came to me and said he proposed to vote for the measure if it did not receive another vote in the senate or house. Penrose said I ought to have presented the measure two years before, when it could have been passed. I think a large majority of the members of the legislature and of the people would have been pleased to have seen it a part of our statutory law, but the legislators and the party leaders were both timid. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak. It is the true solution of the difficulty, nevertheless. Intentional falsehood is not information and cannot hide itself behind the liberty of the press. To indulge in malice is not to publish a newspaper. Obscene literature may be destroyed as a nuisance, and on the same principle, the Government of the United States throws out of the mails everything of this character.
Penrose had heard that I proposed to urge a reapportionment of the state into senatorial and legislative districts. He said to me:
“If you wish to recommend reapportionment in a perfunctory way, you may do it, of course, but it will have no effect. The thing cannot be done. It has been tried too often.”
“Senator, I intend to recommend it, and not in a perfunctory way, but with the intention to have it done, if possible.”
Among the milder comments was this brochure, which appeared in the New York Globe, under the name of Wallace Irwin:
|Pennypacker of Penn|
|One moment, please, while a line I scan|
|To a genial, popular, elderly man,|
|Who's always able and willing to bless|
|The noble gentlemen of the press.|
|For the friends are many|
|Of Governor Penny —|
|Pennypacker of Penn.|
|When an artist calls with a pad to trace|
|The lineaments of that thoughtful face,|
|The dear old governor utters a shout|
|And orders the state militia out.|
|For the whims are many|
|Of Governor Penny —|
|Pennypacker of Penn,|
|When a cub reporter suggests a “steal”|
|In a Pennsylvania grab-bag deal,|
|The governor sees that the wight is took|
|And drawn and quartered and hung on a hook,|
|To please the many|
|Admirers of Penny —|
|Pennypacker of Penn.|
|If a newspaper hints that Governor P.|
|Is only human like you and me,|
|He has the editor shot on sight|
|And blows up his office with dynamite.|
|Which is good as any|
|Explosive to Penny —|
|Pennypacker of Penn.|
|For the kind old man is the flower of flowers|
|Of this democratical land of ours.|
|And that is the reason the papers pay|
|Respects to him in the warmest way,|
|As the friend of many,|
|Governor Penny —|
|Pennypacker of Penn.|
On January 14th I presided over a dinner given at the Bellevue-Stratford in Philadelphia to General Henry H. Bingham, the member in longest service in the House of Representatives at Washington. Bingham is dapper, always well clothed, pleasant in speech, brisk and breezy. He was on the staff of Hancock at Gettysburg and was three times wounded. William M. Bunn, of the Clover Club, Justice John P. Elkin, Hampton L. Carson, Senator Penrose, Thomas J. Stewart and Clayton McMichael all made speeches, and it was an affair remembered with pleasure.
On the 17th Knox was elected a member of the United States Senate by the legislature by a vote of 223 to 23, confirming my selection by the largest majority ever given for that office in the state. He is a small man with a clean face who knows exactly what he wants to do under all circumstances and does it, unemotional, wasting no time seeking for popularity and perhaps a little too self-contained. The North American and the Philadelphia Record printed a yarn of the ordinary character that $500,000 were paid in order that he might be made the senator. When I first suggested him I had had no communication with him whatever, and he did not even know that I had him in mind. While on this subject it is just as well to give the statement of the secretary of the commonwealth, Robert McAfee. In an interview in the Pittsburgh Leader, January 22, 1905, he said:
“I was summoned to the executive mansion about nine o'clock in the evening of June 8th, by the governor. On arriving there I found Senator Penrose and Insurance Commissioner Durham closeted with him. I first advised the governor that I had personal confirmation of the fact that Mr. George T. Oliver had declined the offer of an appointment to the Senate. A further discussion on the matter of candidates was taken up, and the governor promptly said that after looking over the state he was of the opinion that Attorney General Philander C. Knox, of President Roosevelt's Cabinet, was the proper man for the place.”
About this time my attention was called to the case of Katie Edwards, convicted of murder, committed under unusual circumstances. She and her husband, with a family of children, lived in Berks County. They were coarse, vulgar and ignorant, and the surroundings were all in accord. The husband had as one of his boon companions a black negro whom he invited to his home, and there they all caroused together. Presently, the woman was about to have another child, and she knew that when it should be born its color and features would disclose that the negro was the father. She was like a wild beast, caught in a trap from which there appeared to be no possible escape. One night the husband was knocked on the head and his dead body thrown into a vat or cistern. She and the negro were both arrested and later were convicted of murder in the first degree. Her child was born in prison. The case of the negro was taken to the Supreme Court. At the instance of Chief Justice Mitchell, with a view to providing for certain features of this case, an act of assembly was passed allowing the Supreme Court in its discretion to award a new trial, because of evidence discovered since the judgment of the Oyer and Terminer Court. The Supreme Court then awarded a new trial to the negro, and upon that trial he was acquitted. The situation was then that the negro was free and the woman in prison under sentence of death. Attention was called to the case all over the United States. Women were aroused and my mail was burdened with letters. Little children wrote to me beseeching my intervention. A petition in her behalf came to me from Ohio with many thousands of signatures. The Board of Pardons refused a pardon. A careful examination of the evidence led me to the opinion that both she and the negro had participated in the murder. If that opinion was well founded it was a case where the processes of justice went astray, and it would be a travesty to have the white woman hanged and the negro man escape unpunished. I refused to issue a death warrant and the governors who succeeded me followed the example set for them. Every once in a while the story of Katie Edwards and her fate crops out in the prints.
The Philadelphia Record asked me for an expression of opinion upon the question as to what is Philadelphia's “greatest need,” to which I replied:
“In my judgment Philadelphia, better than any other municipality upon the continent, represents the honest, conservative and healthful instincts of the American people, and is less swayed by fleeting, emotional impulses than any other city. In spirit she is patriotic and in achievement she excels. What she most needs is a newspaper, possessing her characteristics, imbued with her sentiments, and which has the capacity and the inclination to make her accomplishments known to the world and to defend her against the written and spoken assaults of rivals elsewhere and of the unfaithful who have come among her people in an effort to better their fortunes.”
John P. Dwyer, the managing editor of the Record, a bright and capable fellow, with whom I have always been on good terms, then wrote, making this rather astonishing proposition on behalf of that journal:
“It will turn over to you on any day you may select within the next three months, its entire plant, one of the most modern and complete in the world and offering every advantage for the printing and circulation of a newspaper, with the understanding that you shall have absolute charge of the men and materials at hand, or any other equipment that you may require, to prepare, print and circulate a newspaper of the character you have in mind. The proposition is made in the utmost good faith and with the earnest hope that you will see your way clear to its acceptance.”
Bromley Wharton, my secretary, wrote in response:
“The governor directs me to say that while he very much appreciates the generosity of your proposition and the exceedingly courteous and complimentary terms in which it is couched, the time is too inadequate and the task is too overwhelming to permit him to accept.”
Dwyer returned to the charge, saying, in a long letter, among other things:
“You can have your own time and dictate your own terms on this point. Whatever time you think you need to do yourself and your ideas justice, will be cheerfully granted and that the Record indulges in the hope that it may induce you to reconsider your determination.”
Wharton again wrote, January 31st:
“The governor instructs me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 12th inst. and to suggest to you the propriety of renewing your proposition after the expiration of his term.”
In its issue of February 3d, the Record printed the entire correspondence.
On the 3d of March Andrew Carnegie gave out an interview in Pittsburgh, in which he said:
“How are the Pennsylvania newspaper men and Governor Pennypacker getting along these days?”
When told the relations were peaceful, he replied:
“I am glad of it. He is a great governor. I had the pleasure of meeting him at State College last summer and was much impressed. He is so democratic. He is an honest man and has made a wonderful record as an executive. When next you see him, I wish you would tell the governor that I favor his re-election.”
Mr. Carnegie was reminded that the Pennsylvania Constitution prevented Governor Pennypacker from succeeding himself without allowing a term to intervene.
“That's too bad,” replied Mr. Carnegie. “This is one case where I agree with Tim Campbell in remarking, ‘What is the constitution among friends?’ If he cannot succeed himself, then tell Governor Pennypacker I am for him for any higher office that he wants.”
In the morning of that day Mrs. Pennypacker and I, accompanied by the staff, went down to Washington to take part in the inauguration of President Roosevelt. We had rooms at the Raleigh Hotel. The city was overcrowded and the railroads were overburdened. Mrs. Joseph C. Audenried, the widow of Colonel Audenried, who was on the staff of General William T. Sherman during the war, a daughter of Coffin Colket of Philadelphia, a second cousin of mine, and a leader in the fashionable life of the city and country, gave a dinner to Mrs. Pennypacker and myself. A swarthy, dark-eyed woman, she was good-looking and entirely gracious. Our clothes had not arrived, due to the delay on the trains, and we were compelled to appear as we were dressed for the cars, and she treated the fact with due lenity. At the dinner were the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States and their wives, and Mr. and Mrs. Wayne MacVeagh. Mrs. Audenried's daughter married a French count, the Count Divonne, and lives on the shores of Lake Geneva and has been a figure in the social life of Paris.
The next day was bleak and cold. The military parade consisted of three divisions of about ten thousand men in each. The first was commanded by General Frederick D. Grant, of the Regular Army, a self-contained man who looked very much like his father, and whom I have encountered several times as I have gone through life. The second division, consisting of the troops of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, was under my command, with Governors Preston Lea of Delaware, Edward C. Stokes of New Jersey and Edwin Warfield of Maryland commanding the troops of their states. The third division was commanded by Governor F. W. Higgins of New York. For the first time in my life I played the rôle of a major general. At the last minute Stokes of New Jersey fell by the wayside, it was said because of dread of the responsibility, and I had on the moment to put some one else in command of his brigade. At nine o'clock in the morning I bestrode a beautiful horse belonging to the police force in Philadelphia, and after forming my line beyond the capitol, and waiting on the hill in the cold wind for an hour or two, I rode down Pennsylvania Avenue in the presence of 250,000 people. I was told that I received more plaudits than any other man who took part except the President. As we approached the reviewing stand I heard Roosevelt in his boisterous way, as he turned to the ladies behind him, shout:
“Here comes Governor Pennypacker!”
It was my method of meeting Smith of the Press and Van Valkenburg of the North American, who for years by editorial and cartoon had been telling the people of the country that the Governor of Pennsylvania was afraid to ride a horse. They were blown out of the water and there was little said of the subject thereafter. We dismounted from our horses at 5 P. M., having been in the saddle all day long. There is no need to tell what a physical strain such a proceeding imposes and it is no wonder that every inauguration day is accompanied with its toll of death. I concluded that it would be my last appearance on that stage. The Record reported: “But of all these governors, Pennypacker received the lion's share of attention,” and the Press said: “What is more, he rode remarkably well.”
We went to the inauguration ball and there met Mrs. Roosevelt, who told Mrs. Pennypacker that I had been very kind to her daughter Ethel. The Vice-President and Mrs. Fairbanks invited us to a reception and the Honorable Edward D. Morrell, Congressman from Pennsylvania, whose mother is the wife of John G. Johnson, gave a reception to Mrs. Pennypacker and me which was largely attended.
In my message to the legislature there had been pointed out the objections to the growing habit in that body of appointing commissions to do executive work as an encroach- ment upon the authority of another branch of the govern- ment In making provision for the Lewis and Clark Exposition in Oregon, the legislature again undertook to select the commission. The bill was vetoed upon that ground and the state was unrepresented in the celebration.
As I have written, at the head of the National Guard when I became governor, was Major General Charles Miller, born in Alsace, a stout man, fluent in speech, agreeable in manner, with much bonhommie, and a faculty for getting along. Starting with nothing, he rose to association with Joseph C. Sibley and became a magnate of the Standard Oil Company and enormously wealthy. He had great capacity, was always helpful and knew how to get along with men. At the hotel he would say to the waiter: “There is no ten-cent tip this time,” and putting down beside his plate a two-dollar bill, our party would receive with promptness the best that could be secured. He drank good wines and owned speedy horses. I am grateful to him for much assistance many times rendered in the work of the Guard. But he had neither the training of a soldier nor the special knowledge necessary to fit him for the command. General J. P. S. Gobin of Lebanon had seen real service in the war of the Rebellion and the war with Spain, had been lieutenant governor of the state and had been ranking brigadier general of the Guard, something of a martinet, with that rigidity and inadaptability which led men to call him a “crank,” but able and in love with the work. Whenever the Guard was called into the service it was always Gobin and his brigade that received the encomiums of the military experts. But he was no match for Miller in the practical affairs of life. Miller had held no higher rank than that of colonel on the staff of Brigadier General John A. Wiley. With abundant tact and abundant means, he made very large contributions to the political campaigns, and in Stone's administration he had been elevated over the head of his own chief, over the head of Gobin, and was made the major general in command. It was a rank injustice, but he had the support of all of the political forces and seemed secure. He made me some presents of bronze statuary, and in a hearty way would have done much more had it been permitted. I sent for him and explained to him, in as kindly a way as I knew how, my feeling that it was due to Gobin, his work and desert that I should put him in command. Miller was sadly disappointed, but showed the traits which gave him his strength. He had had trouble with his wife, leading to much gossip around his home, but had finally secured a divorce and a new spouse. He had arranged to take the present wife over to Alsace to introduce her to his people there and all he asked was that I should postpone the blow and let him wear his uniform and have the dignity of his position through the summer. To this suggestion I was glad to assent. It was a really painful duty, but it was performed.
One morning I went into my office and found lying on my table applications for charters for twenty-nine water companies awaiting approval. It was a manifestation in the concrete of one of the very great and growing evils of our development, the insidious grasping by commercialism, following the course of the Church in the ancient time, of the necessities of life as a means of profit. I at once sent a special message to the assembly, recommending that it take away from water companies the right of eminent domain. Such an act was passed and during the entire remainder of my term not more than three or four water companies were chartered.
Among the visitors who were entertained at the executive mansion was General Fitzhugh Lee of Virginia, a nephew of General Robert E. Lee, and himself a distinguished figure in the War of the Rebellion and the war with Spain. Among my predilections is a sympathetic feeling for Virginia and the Virginians. Lee, a stout, robust and affable man, stayed over night with me and we became quite chummy. He had come to urge participation by the state in the forthcoming Jamestown Exposition, and he and I both made addresses at a meeting held in the Capitol. The result was that the legislature made an appropriation of $100,000 and arranged to take part in the exposition. Lee telegraphed to me: “I shall refuse ever to ride again to Gettysburg with a drawn sabre.” Two weeks later he was dead.
An official memorial service to the memory of Senator Quay was held by the senate and house on the evening of March 22d, at which I delivered the address which has been printed in various shapes since.
During these later days of the session I was receiving much encomium, even from the city dailies, for the reason that they did not like the legislators, and they watched with pleasure, while the analysis, which had formerly been applied to journalism, was now being applied to legislation. Cooper of the Media American wrote editorially:
“Governor Pennypacker has proved to be the wisest, most discriminating and at the same time most thoroughly honest executive that ever sat in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial chair.”
And Moser of the Collegeville Independent:
“Governor Pennypacker has been easily the most virile, the most capable and in many respects the most popular executive since the days of Andrew G. Curtin.”
The session of the legislature ended on the 13th of April. A Department of Health had been created, to which had been given very great authority and a power which extended to the person of the individual citizen and might even be regarded as an infringement of his personal liberty. The value and permanence of the legislation would depend mainly upon the manner in which the department should be organized. It was at first suggested to me that it should be placed in charge of Dr. B. H. Warren, but that thought I instantly dismissed. I then had an interview with Dr. Charles B. Penrose, who had been very much interested in the matter, and he named to me a gentleman connected with one of the schools in the western part of the state. I had a talk with this gentleman, but was still not satisfied. Then Dr. Penrose told me he thought Dr. Samuel G. Dixon,president of the Academy of Natural Sciences, would be
Group of Governor Pennypacker's Pennsylvania Constabulary
willing to undertake the task. That suggestion suited me exactly. Dixon consented and I made the appointment. Under his direction it has come to be accepted as the most important and efficient organization for this line of work in the United States. There is good ground for hope that many of the inflammatory diseases due to specific poisons, such as typhoid fever, smallpox, diphtheria and tuberculosis, may be in time stamped out of existence.
The legislature also, upon my urgency, provided for a state police or constabulary, and here the same kind of question arose. Such a body, if organized upon political lines, would have tremendous power over the state and would be correspondingly dangerous. After talking over a number of persons, some of them connected with the Guard, and consulting with several persons, I tendered the position to John C. Groome, captain of the City Troop, who accepted. He proved to be just the man needed, of the right age, slim, erect, quick to see and to act, possessing a rare combination of decision of character and sound judgment. I told him I wanted a police force and absolutely nothing else. Not a man on the force was selected upon the recommendation of anybody. The men were all chosen upon the results of physical and mental examination and what political or religious creed any one of them professes is officially unknown. Groome has made the constabulary famous all over the United States. Two hundred and forty in number, they have maintained the peace within the state as was never done before. Not once since has it been necessary to call out the National Guard, and that vast expense has been saved. While organized labor has unwisely assailed them as “Pennypacker's Cossacks,” one of the greatest of their merits has been that they have saved labor from the oppression of force and have done away with that kind of police intervention which came from men employed by the corporations.
There were certain principles which underlay the disapproval of those bills which were negatived. There was no extension of the right to take property by eminent domain, the effort to create new crimes by statute as an easy means of collecting debts or enforcing duties was ever looked upon with disfavor, and in no instance during my term did I permit increase in the number of the judiciary. Among the bills vetoed was one prepared under the auspices of eminent physicians and surgeons, ostensibly for the “Prevention of Idiocy,” which authorized them to perform experiments upon the inmates of the institutions for the feeble-minded, and another urged by the osteopaths which provided for a third board of medical examiners.
An act had been passed for uniting Allegheny City and Pittsburgh in one municipality. There was some protest, mainly on the part of those interested in maintaining a dual set of officials, and Governor Stone argued before me the objections at length, but I was heartily in favor of the project, because it would simplify the municipal government, lessen the expense and give Pennsylvania what no other state possesses — two great cities. In my message I had advocated the passage of the act and now I signed the bill. While I was being lauded in Pittsburgh, I was again being berated in Philadelphia. The Bullitt Bill, under which Philadelphia was governed, written by John C. Bullitt, a capable lawyer, concentrated all power in the hands of the mayor, upon the theory that in that way responsibility would be fixed. The mayor had the appointment of from seven to twelve thousand officials and this fact gave him great political power when he chose to exercise it. John Weaver, a lawyer, born in England, short, stocky and energetic, had been elected mayor by grace of the Republican organization. Then he turned on his old friends and sought repute as a reformer. Ere long he concluded that he had been deceived by his new associates and again recanted, but for the time being he was using his control over the officials for all it was worth politically against the Republican organization. Under the influence of Durham and others, an act was passed, taking away from the mayor the appointment of certain heads of departments and vesting it in the city councils. It is extremely unlikely that Durham so acted out of regard for the principles of government and altogether probable that he was trying to get ahead of Weaver and to provide against like conduct on the part of future mayors. The newspapers of the city, equally impervious to any consideration of what would be for the benefit of the municipality, were against anything the organization wanted or tried to do and, therefore, with great violence opposed the measure. They called it vile names and made ugly pictures. They assumed that I would veto the bill. They argued that my integrity and my zeal for the welfare of the community and all my well-known great virtues left no other course open. Delegations of lawyers, preachers and citizens came to Harrisburg and argued the matter before me. I wrote an opinion and, resting on the ground that it involved a matter of governmental policy, that the bill had been passed by a majority of over two-thirds of the members of the legislature, more than enough to overcome the veto of the governor, that the representatives from Philadelphia had so voted and that it was in line with the democratic tendencies of the time, I signed the bill. Incidentally it may be added that, except in cases of exceptional fitness, no man born abroad, like John Weaver or Rudolph Blankenburg, ought to be elected mayor of Philadelphia, for the reason that, having no part in her traditions, he cannot be in sympathy with the aspirations and thought of her people. He would be continually trying to make her imitate Hamburg or some other European town which he has abandoned, criticising the ways which made her famous, sending the Liberty Bell to be exhibited along with fat cattle at state fairs, and doing similar antics which show his misfit.
On the 26th of April the Republican Convention met and nominated J. Lee Plummer for State Treasurer and Charles E. Rice, James A. Beaver and George B. Orlady for judges of the Superior Court. One of the resolutions set forth:
“The intense Pennsylvanianism of Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker, the rugged honesty of his administration and the independence, fearlessness, wisdom and watchful care with which he has executed the laws, safeguarding in every possible way all the interests of this commonwealth, command our admiration and respect.”
At two o'clock on the morning of May 11th, we were aroused by a call on the telephone for help. Near Steelton, a freight train on the Pennsylvania Railroad met with an accident, the result of which was that one or two of the cars fell on the west-bound track. Just then the express passenger train, going westward, came along, struck these cars and exploded a lot of dynamite on the freight train. It was a remarkable combination of unfortuitous events. About twenty people were killed and about a hundred injured. On one of the sleepers were James R. Tindle and his wife, the daughter of Senator Knox, who were both somewhat cut with glass. She is a little woman, but she showed her breeding and at once took command of the situation. She walked in her night dress and bare feet a mile along the track to Steelton, and there suggested calling me up at the mansion. Bromley Wharton went for the Tindles in an automobile, brought them to the mansion, where they were put to bed and treated, and there they remained for a day or two. The Senator, coming on from Washington, found that they had not been seriously injured.
On my suggestion the legislature appropriated $30,000 for the purpose of erecting an equestrian statue of Anthony Wayne at Valley Forge. The commission appointed consisted of Richard M. Cadwalader, president of the Pennsylvania Society Sons of the Revolution, John Armstrong Herman, great-grandson of General John Armstrong, and Colonel John P. Nicholson, the authority on the history of the War of the Rebellion. The sculptor selected was H. K. Bush-Brown. I myself went to his studio at Newburgh-on-the-Hudson to examine the statue and rejected the first model because General Wayne was represented with his eyes turned to the ground. I wanted him looking toward the enemy on the front, with nothing to indicate excitement or to lessen the recognition of the seriousness and thoughtfulness of his character. The statue in bronze was later placed on the outer line at Valley Forge where the Pennsylvania troops stood and it faces toward the position of the British in Philadelphia. It is regarded as an unusual artistic success, and is the first recognition ever given the great soldier by the state.
Justice John Dean of the Supreme Court having died, I, on the 8th of June, appointed Judge John Stewart of Chambersburg to fill the vacancy. I had had many associations with Stewart — a slender, vigorous and eloquent Scotch-Irishman; and only a month before we met at Middle Spring, near Shippensburg, where a monument was dedicated and he delivered the oration. He has proven to be a useful member of our highest court. It is only just to Senator Penrose to say that he was not only satisfied with the selection, but himself suggested that it be made.
Sunday, June 11th, I made an address at Manheim, in Lancaster County, on the occasion of the presentation of the red rose which had been reserved as the rental for the land given by Baron Stiegel to the church. It is rather an impressive and idealistic ceremony, attracting always much attention. Miss Boyer, one of the descendants of Stiegel, presented to me a large glass goblet made by him which she had inherited.
I had long been dissatisfied with the conduct of the Insurance Department at the head of which was Israel W. Durham, the most powerful political leader in Philadelphia, a situation which had been left to me by my predecessor. The business was well conducted under the management of the Chief Clerk McCullough, but my feeling was that Durham ought to devote at least a part of his time and thought in attention to it. I wrote to him October 11th, 1904, saying to him in effect that I expected him to spend at least one day of the week in his department at Harrisburg. The situation was complicated by the fact that his health was being undermined by disease. In answer to my letter, I received this reply:
Philadelphia, Pa., October 18, 1904.
(Personal and confidential)
Honorable Samuel W. Pennypacker,
- Executive Chamber, Harrisburg, Pa.
Mr. Durham has casually in conversation taken up with me your communication of October 11th, regarding the propriety of his going once a week to Harrisburg, and calling his attention to the editorial in the Evening Bulletin. I suggested to Mr. Durham that perhaps I might take this matter up with you more freely than he would like to do, and I requested him to leave your communication with me for that purpose. As a matter of fact, the Insurance Department has an office in Philadelphia, at Tenth and Chestnut streets, and has for many years had an office at that place. Three-fourths of the current business of the department is done in the City of Philadelphia. There has been absolutely no criticism upon the administration of the department since Mr. Durham has been commissioner. A gentleman of such independent proclivities as Mr. Charles Platt advised me last fall that the administration of the Insurance Department under Mr. Durham was more satisfactory than they had ever had it, and expressed his gratification in a substantial way by inclosing me a voluntary contribution of $100 for the State Committee. Mr. West, a director of The Union League, has expressed himself to me in a similar manner. Of course, Mr. Durham has been compelled to be absent a good deal from Pennsylvania on account of his health, but when he is home I know that the business of the department receives his personal attention, and there is no one having business with the department who cannot see him readily. As I have said, the large proportion of those having business with the department can see him more conveniently to themselves in Philadelphia than at any other place.
Mr. Durham is of a sensitive nature and I know would not want to go contrary to any emphatically expressed wish of yourself upon the subject, and I believe it would be a very great hardship upon him in the present condition of his health for you to insist upon him going to Harrisburg just at this time when there would be absolutely no definite object pertaining to his office accomplished thereby. I suppose after January he wall be in Harrisburg anyhow and will then be able to conform substantially with the suggestion made by you. The criticism of the Bulletin hardly seems to me to be based on any good ground in the utter absence of complaint upon the part of those having business with the department, and in view of the fact that an office is open at Tenth and Chestnut streets in Philadelphia, I hope you will not insist upon your suggestion.
- Yours truly,
- Boies Penrose.
- Yours truly,
I had opposed every effort made by the departments to establish branch offices outside of Harrisburg, where they would be beyond personal supervision and, therefore, the argumentative part of this letter made little impression. However, I wrote to Penrose that if Durham were ill I would wait until he recovered his health. He then went to California. Upon his return and after learning that he had taken up his political activities I again insisted, and it ended in his resigning the office July 1st. Penrose asked me at all events to appoint David Martin in his place, which I did, and I wrote a kindly letter to Durham expressing appreciation of the condition of the department. This conduct was not at all pleasing to those who wanted me to apply approbrious epithets to him, and it was no alleviation, rather an aggravation, that Martin attended faithfully to his duties. “Just draw a large black fine around Governor Pennypacker's administration as the last and worst of its kind in the political history of Pennsylvania,” was the spirited comment of the Philadelphia Record.
Frank M. Fuller, the apparently robust and entirely upright capable and agreeable secretary of the commonwealth, died on the 10th of July and three days later was buried at his home in Uniontown. Penrose and I were among the honorary pall-bearers. The after-occurrences at the funeral were astonishing. The services at the grave were scarcely concluded when we were hurried away in automobiles to a luxurious dinner with cocktails and wines, at the home of Jonah V. Thompson, a plain and quiet old gentleman, who had made a fortune of $30,000,000 in coal and coal lands. The home was a castle up on a hill-top with stables and other buildings in the rear in which a sybarite might be willing to live. In front was a paved courtyard, enclosed by a wall about two feet high, filled with flowering plants, native and exotic. It was entered, as the visitor came up the hill, by an approach of two or three steps. When we arrived it was perhaps half-past two o'clock in the afternoon. At the top of the steps, at this time in the day, in full dress considerably emphasized, stood the mistress of the household, who had perhaps experienced life through thirty summers. A fan hung at her feet. It was suspended from her neck by a chain of large diamonds which almost reached the pave. Taking our hands, she led the Senator and me inside to the dining table. I sat on her right and the Senator on her left. The conversation here was continuous and, to say the least, lively. At the other end of the table sat Jonah, grum and silent. The situation was too manifest to be misunderstood. The exuberant specimen of young womanhood was describing to me her manner of swimming. Much to the amusement of Penrose and in absolute innocence, I inquired:
“Can you swim on your back, too?”
“Oh, yes,” she replied.
In the exhilaration of the moment she set up a game on us. She had a French chauffeur and she instructed him that he was to take the Senator and me into the town and, on the way, show us how he could run a car. I unwittingly took another car and saw the Senator shoot by clinging to his seat, pale and distraught.
The next day I was at the camp of the National Guard at Mount Gretna and there, on foot, as was my wont, inspected, personally, each man and held the review from a barouche.
On the 24th of July, Senators Penrose and Knox visited me at Pennypacker's Mills and there talked to me about the question of a special session of the legislature, which was being very generally discussed, especially in Philadelphia, with reference to the affairs of that city. I had been considering the matter, but a man trained in the law always has the sense that there must be a legal justification for that which he does. The demand had been mainly local. Just at this juncture the Supreme Court decided the Greater Pittsburgh act to be unconstitutional and furnished the justification. A serious matter affecting the interests of the western part of the state, for which the legislature had endeavored to provide, had failed. At that instant my qualms disappeared and a special session became inevitable. Penrose had heard that I was considering the matter and came to urge his opposition. He also wanted me to appoint J. A. Berkey of Somerset County to the place made vacant by the death of Fuller. A few days later I gave that position to Robert McAfee, a much stronger man, and made Berkey Commissioner of Banking, which satisfied him and the Senator.
The following correspondence shows the attitude of the party people toward the question of a special session:
Pittsburgh, August 16, 1905.
My dear Governor Pennypacker:
I have just run down from Canada for a few days and take time to express my appreciation of your appointment of Mr. McAfee as Secretary of the Commonwealth, which occurred during my absence. I have known Mr. McAfee intimately for over thirty-five years and each year's acquaintance has added to my regard for him. He is a sterling man and I believe will strengthen your administration.
Since my last talk with you I have thought considerably on the subject of our conversation (the calling of an extra session for the consideration of a Greater Pittsburgh Bill) and am confirmed in my opinion that it would be a great mistake to call the legislature together either for that or any other purpose unless in a case of extreme emergency. I know that there are some matters of legislation, including that for a Greater Pittsburgh, which you would like to see consummated during your term as governor, but I doubt if these things could be accomplished through the medium of the present legislature. Next spring matters might be in such shape that it would be advisable to call an extra session, but to do so now I would regard as extremely impolitic. I hope you will pardon me for thrusting my view upon you in this way, but the best interests of the state and party will be bestsubserved by following this plan.
- With great respect, I remain, very sincerely yours,
- George T. Oliver.
- With great respect, I remain, very sincerely yours,
August 21, 1905.
My dear Governor:
Rumors are flying all over the state that great pressure is being brought to induce you to call the legislature in extra session. That you will not be led into such a cruel trap I feel most confident. No true friend of yours or of our party will advise, much less urge, you to commit such a crime against yourself or the state you love so well. Men who take shadows for substance, men who place self above their party, their state, and our nation, may for personal reasons want an extra session, but no true friend of Pennsylvania will ask you to commit such a blunder. What justification can be put forth to warrant such a call in the face of existing conditions? On you alone will fall the odium that such a session would result in, for I tell you, Governor, you could no more confine the members of the house to the specifications in your proclamation than you could change the course of the heavenly bodies, so please don't be persuaded by the Syrians who would, for the sake of some personal gain, lull you to a destructive sleep. Every one in Pennsylvania knows that you favored, and now favor, the decent things so earnestly advocated by our dear departed friend, Colonel Quay. Every one knows that it was through no fault of yours that personal registration, uniform primaries and the apportionment of our state failed, therefore, don't permit the enemies of those natural Republican principles to use you to wash their filthy garments on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Governor, I know, as well as any human being can know such a thing, that Matthew Stanley Quay, if here, would tell you not to listen to such appeals. I say to you. Governor, in all the sincerity of my heart that to call the legislature together at this or any other time during the remainder of your term would prove the most disastrous act you could possibly commit. Don't dim the lustre of your splendid record, but go on pursuing the splendid good road you have built throughout the length and breadth of our great state, and when your term ends you will feel grateful to yourself and pleased with the real friends like myself who urge you to keep clear of the vicious trap set for you by men who pretend sincerity where only selfishness, greed and hypocrisy lurk.
In writing this you know I have no motive save my love and affection for you and I am confident you will so understand.
- Faithfully your friend,
- J. C. Delaney.
- Faithfully your friend,
At that time Wesley R. Andrews was chairman of the Republican State Committee. He wrote to me:
August 24, 1905.
My attention has been called to articles in the newspapers to the effect that the question as to the advisability of calling an extra session of the legislature was being considered, which statement, in the absence of corroboration, I do not credit, having in mind the general unreliability of the comments contained in a certain class of so-called newspapers. However, the matter is of sufficient importance to prompt me to write to you to the effect that having knowledge of the political situation in every county in Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia and Allegheny, I desire to register my emphatic protest against the calling of an extra session of the legislature, if such action is contemplated, and for the reason the Republican voters of Pennsylvania are not in accord with such sentiment, believing, as they do, that the local matters in Philadelphia are not of sufficient importance to warrant the assembling of the legislature, at a large expense to the taxpayers, for the purpose of acting upon the recommendation of a few timid persons totally unfamiliar with the real situation. Again the calling together of an extra session of the legislature would, in my opinion, ruin the leaders of the Republican party in Pennsylvania, place the party in an equivocal position and shatter, if not disrupt, the party organization. The question to my mind is not at all debatable and should not be for one moment considered; and in this matter I not only speak for myself but for the great organization of which I am the executive head. I do not know that such a thought has occurred to you and I sincerely hope it has not, but if it has, I pray that you will give the matter your usual very careful consideration, having in view, as I believe you always have, the best interests of the Republican party of the great State of Pennsylvania. I speak thus strongly and warmly, for in my opinion there is but one side to the question and that to pander to the advice of the timid at this time means disruption to the party, great and overwhelming.
Apropos to this question, I inclose herewith a letter I received yesterday from my brother, three times chairman of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania, an ex-member of the Pennsylvania State Senate and twice a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, for your information regarding the way an extra session of the legislature is viewed from the standpoint of a level-headed man who has ever been on the firing line when the interests of the Republican party were at stake. I value his opinion greatly because he was a trusted lieutenant of the late Senator Quay and represents that great army whom Senator Quay in his lifetime designated as the “men in blouses.”
With assurances of my esteem and regard, I am
- Yours sincerely,
- W. R. Andrews, Chairman.
- Yours sincerely,
He enclosed this letter from W. H. Andrews, generally designated as “Bull” Andrews.
Pittsburgh, Pa., August 22, 1905.
I see by the morning papers that the report is that Penrose is in favor of calling an extra session of the legislature, etc., etc. Now you get hold of the Senator and tell him for God's sake not to think of such a thing. If he allows this to be done it will certainly be his doing-up. He must assume to the dignity that it is a great mistake to have the legislature called. There is nothing to call them together for, and it will be the greatest mistake he ever made to have the governor call the extra session. You must get hold of Penrose and pound this into him. Now do not allow him to go any further with this fool play, but put a stop to it. I will try and get down there in a few days and see. Now you give this matter your prompt attention and get this idea out of the mind of the Senator. The people do not want any such thing to happen. Let the Senator take that stand and let him appeal to the people and they will support him in his views.
- Your affectionate brother,
- W. H. Andrews.
- Your affectionate brother,
August 24, 1905.
After the fullest investigation and most careful consideration since I saw you last, I am more fully persuaded than ever that an extra session of the legislature is out of the question. I have hoped to see you before this to discuss the matter more fully in detail with you, but have been unable to reach you at Harrisburg or get definite information as to your movements. I am in Philadelphia every day and in case you come to town I will be very glad to meet you at the Historical Society rooms or any other place convenient to you. The state ticket will be at the head of the Bigelow and Flinn local tickets in Allegheny County, so that we will poll a heavy majority there. Every other county in Pennsylvania is in excellent shape, outside of Philadelphia, with the exception of some eight or ten counties in which trouble of strictly local character exists. There is absolutely nothing in the nature of a concerted move through the state, and I do not recall an election for state treasurer in the last ten years, with the exception of the election of the present incumbent, Mathues, in which there appeared to be as little serious disaffection. We are all quite confident that the bottom has dropped out of the fight in Philadelphia and that the new ticket which we intend to put up in a short time will be elected by a substantial majority. I sincerely trust, therefore, that you will not press the suggestion of an extra session and will let me know when I can see you on your next visit to Philadelphia.
- Yours sincerely,
- Boies Penrose.
- Yours sincerely,
It is quite evident from this correspondence that the politicians had learned that I contemplated calling an extra session and, fearing the consequences, tried to dissuade me, that they, including Penrose, were from the start opposed to the project and that the newspapers, with their usual inability to make a correct diagnosis of what is going on before them, attributed the movement to the Senator. The objections were that an extra session would mean a large outlay, that Governor Pattison had ignominiously failed when he called such a session, and that it would be used by insincere Democrats, supported by the press, to make political capital out of the situation. They were all more or less well grounded. There were certain measures, however, which I was anxious to see enacted, mainly the Greater Pittsburgh Bill, and reapportionment of the state, about which I was in dead earnest, and I had already determined to call the session, but not until after the election. For the postponement there were two controlling reasons. If it were called before, it would have been said that the object was to affect the election and both the deliberations and results would be influenced by political considerations. If the Republican party should be defeated, as I believed it would be, my interference would be assigned as the cause.
At this juncture I concluded to sell the greater part of my library. It was the most complete collection of the early literature relating to Pennsylvania which any individual had ever possessed. It is impossible that any man shall ever again have one of like importance. To part with it was to tear up forty years of my life by the roots. I had made a secret covenant with the commonwealth, unknown to the commonwealth, that if my future were provided for by a return to the Bench or otherwise, this record of its life should be preserved intact. One of the consequences of its failure to keep this unknown covenant is the loss which happened, greater to it than to me. I kept the faith for two years and a half. During that time the books, 12,000 of them, had remained in my house in town, a house which cost me $13,000. I could not rent the house or sell it, because there were the books. They were ever in danger of fire. They were ever in danger of theft, and now the time had come when it became manifest to me that no dependence was to be placed upon the promises of the politicians, that the people were utterly indifferent, and that it was necessary for me to be giving some attention to my own needs. Retaining two or three thousand books relating to the family and to the neighborhood of my home, the Mennonite books, the Schwenkfelder books and those of special interest and affection, the rest were sold. I was too busy with the affairs of the state to give the sales attention, and what I could have myself sold without expense, could I have given the time to it, for $75,000 or more, netted me between $27,000 and $28,000. Then I rented my house.
The Republicans of Chester County, on the 9th of September, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the party. About twenty thousand people gathered at West Chester. Vice-President Fairbanks and I rode around in a barouche together and, with Marlin E. Olmsted, one of the very ablest men in the state, made speeches. Transportation was over-burdened and I rode to Phœnixville in a baggage car, sitting on a chest.
On the 15th, along with N. B. Critchfield, Secretary of Agriculture, I went to Richland in Lebanon County to overlook the farm of Isaac S. Long, who is the champion corn grower of the United States. He has succeeded in raising 140 bushels of shelled corn to the acre. He hopes to reach 200 bushels. Upon land naturally fertile, he applies barnyard manure and lime heavily and eschews commercial fertilizers. While the corn is growing he goes through his field and selects the ears for seed and the seed is kept warm through the winter. He rejects every stalk bearing two ears, contending that one well-developed ear is preferable. He sells seed corn in New York at $5 a bushel. Upon my pointing out a quantity of wild carrots on his place, he said they were not objectionable, since the long roots went down into the subsoil and aided in rendering it available.
On the 28th, as chairman of a commission consisting of Colonel John P. Nicholson, Daniel Eberly and myself, I presented the statue in bronze, of a private cavalryman on his horse, to the care of the borough of Hanover, erected by the state to commemorate the cavalry battle there anterior to Gettysburg. The statue is a good figure and a success. When I began to speak the cannon began to boom a salute and every six words were punctuated with a shot.
Harrisburg had a home week during the first week in October and was given up to festivities and celebrations. On Tuesday, from a stand in the park, General Horace Porter, Governor William A. Stone, General Thomas J. Stewart and I made addresses. Porter, a rugged-looking man, a brigadier close to Grant, and later Minister to France, belongs to a family which has contributed more men of distinction to public life in America than any other in Pennsylvania. Olmsted, always efficient, had general charge of the demonstration.
The legislature, upon my insistence, had made an appropriation of $375,000 to the City of Philadelphia to assist in deepening the channel of the Delaware, upon condition that the city devote a similar sum to the purpose. Neither Mayor Weaver nor any one else in Philadelphia gave the matter the slightest attention and the councils were about to adjourn. I then wrote to the mayor telling him it was a subject of the utmost importance. The letter was made public, councils made the additional appropriations, and I saw that the check was sent by the state treasurer. It was the first direct aid given by the state to that city in modern times.
There was a Republican meeting in the Academy of Music, Philadelphia, on the 18th of October. It was a gloomy time. Everybody had the sense that defeat was coming. Fairbanks, Taft, Foraker, Knox and Carson all declined to be present, and the newspapers said I would not go. Those around me at Harrisburg advised me not to identify myself with a failing cause. Penrose wrote me a pathetic letter. It was a situation which appealed to manhood. The time to render assistance is when it is needed, and I wrote to Penrose that I would be with him and speak. Only Peter Boyd, the president of the Colonial Trust Company, an intelligent and whole-souled little man, who later committed suicide, and I were on the platform with Penrose to speak.
The Enterprise National Bank of Allegheny failed, having on deposit more than a million dollars of the funds of the state. These deposits were amply secured, but it was certain there would be an uproar and I did not want the responsibility of the national government to be shifted upon the state. At once I wrote to President Roosevelt and created a sensation of my own for what was regarded as my temerity.
October 25, 1905.
To the President,
- Washington, D. C.
The Enterprise National Bank, doing business in Allegheny, Pa., recently failed, having at the time among its deposits $1,030,000 of the moneys of this commonwealth. These moneys were deposited upon the faith of the stability of the institution arising through its organization as a national bank, and because of these deposits the commonwealth is much interested in the ascertainment of the condition of its financial affairs. Our commissioner of banking has no control over it and no power to make any such investigation. Since it was organized under federal law and is subject to your supervision, I write to ask that a full, complete and careful investigation may be made, so that everything connected with the condition of its affairs and the causes which have led to such condition may be fully disclosed. I am ready to render all the assistance in my power to secure a thorough ascertainment of the facts.
- I am, sir, with respect,
- Very truly yours,
- Samuel W. Pennypacker.
- Very truly yours,
- I am, sir, with respect,
This was a course without precedent and was a practical assertion of state rights. A state ventured to call on the nation to perform its duty. This bank failure was at once exploited by the political orators and it came just at a time to destroy all hopes of the election of the Republican candidate for state treasurer. At the election, November 7th, William H. Berry, a garrulous, kindly, ignorant, good-mannered slouch, who had been born in Illinois, come east to seek his fortune, and failed to find it, was chosen by the people to manage the financial affairs of the commonwealth. On the 11th, without further consultation with anybody, I called an extra session of the assembly to meet January 15, 1906, and consider legislation upon the following subjects:
First. — To enable contiguous cities in the same counties to be united in one municipality in order that the people may avoid the unnecessary burdens of maintaining separate city governments.
Second. — To increase the interest paid by banks, trust companies and similar institutions for the use of state moneys; to impose proper limitations upon the amount of such moneys to be held by each of such institutions; to make it a misdemeanor to pay or receive, to offer or request any money or valuable thing or promise for the use of such moneys, other than the interest payable to the state, and to adopt such measures as may be necessary for the protection of the public moneys.
Third. — Reapportionment of the state into senatorial and representative districts.
Fourth. — To provide for the personal registration of voters.
Fifth. — To provide for the government of cities of the first class and the proper distribution of the power exercised by such municipalities.
Sixth. — To designate the amount to be expended each year in the erection of county bridges and to take such other measures in regard to them as safety may require.
Seventh. — To abolish fees in the offices of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Insurance Commissioner.
There was great excitement throughout the state and all sorts of discussion. The purpose was to prevent the elimination of Penrose. It was to help Knox. It was to remove the stains from my administration. It was due to the results of the election and, so far as the thought of the newspapers went, there was not one of them to seize the simple explanation that there was a man at the head of affairs doing what he could, with the circumstances and forces surrounding him, to benefit the commonwealth and doing it successfully. All failed to recognize that most of the recommendations were only duplications of former messages. Knox, who had been in favor of the movement from the beginning, came out warmly in its support.
On the 25th, at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia, I presented to the American cruiser “Pennsylvania” a set of silver on behalf of the state which had cost $25,000 and was the most elaborate and costly given by any of the states to vessels named in their honor. It was specially designed by J. E. Caldwell & Company of Philadelphia. The chief piece was ornamented by casts of the heads of the chief historical personages of the state, selected by me. Quay had been much interested in the matter and it was because of his desire that the bill was passed making the appropriation. He, Penrose and I were the commission having the matter in charge.
Monuments to the Pennsylvania soldiers who gave up their lives at Andersonville and fought at Chattanooga, had been erected and were now to be handed over by the state to the national government. In order to save time and expense, Stewart had arranged to have one journey cover both events. His plan was to go by sea to Savannah and thence across Georgia to Andersonville and Chattanooga. The generals and their wives, the colonels and their wives, the governor and his wife and daughter, Eliza B., formed a jolly party when they met on the boat on the evening of December 1st. On the way down the Delaware there was a good dinner to eat, and there were mirth and jollity and the company of fair women. Alas! the gaiety soon ended and the women soon disappeared, to be seen no more until we reached Savannah. A storm raged at sea. The boat, a fruit vessel, was only about half-loaded. When we were off Hatteras the vessel was thrown around by the waves in a way such as I had never seen before. Mrs. Pennypacker was thrown out of her chair and returned home with a black eye. I got up in the night and was tossed into a corner with some crockery and badly bruised. All were seasick except my daughter and myself. One morning I started to go from the saloon down to the dining-room for breakfast, but the brass covering of the stairway was going in five different directions with great rapidity and I called to the steward to bring my breakfast up to the saloon. Along one side stood a sofa. He put a small table in front of the sofa and, placing the tray on the table, held them secure while I sat on the sofa and ate. Presently came a great lurch. First went the steward, the table and tray following, then the governor and then the sofa, and they were all piled up promiscuously together against the wall at the far side of the room. I ate another breakfast sitting on the floor propped against the wall for support.
In Savannah the lazy darkies, the magnolias, the moss hanging over the trees, the suavity of the man who meets you, are all very attractive. We arrived at 7.30 A. M. and hastened to the De Soto Hotel, where we were welcomed in a speech by Mayor Myers, to which I responded. Then we were taken in automobiles through the country to Bethesda, an orphan school for boys founded by George Whitefield and still flourishing. There I stood on the steps of the building and addressed the boys. Afterward we were taken to Bannon Lodge, where the mayor gave us a luncheon and then we returned to Savannah, having made a round of about twenty miles.
I ventured an interview on the negro question, which was published and kindly received.
The solution of that question is to treat the negro kindly. Give him a chance to work. The rest will come along. Development will come soonest and best from the exercise of such faculties as he has. The negro ought to be at work. It is a mistake for him to try to grow too fast. All substantial growth is slow. The Southern people can best solve the question here where conditions are fixed. The old Roman thought that there were no noble men but Romans, and yet the Germans poured in upon them and taught them a far different lesson. Modern Italy is the outcome. So is France. You people have to take what there is about you and make the best of it. Greece did not kill the Helots. She accepted them. That hardy race of tillers of the soil, known as villains in England, are today the backbone of that country — the English people itself.
From Savannah, through a country apparently not very thrifty, we went to Atlanta, an enterprising modern city exemplifying the new life of the South. There Governor Joseph M. Terrell and Mrs. Terrell gave us a reception at the executive mansion. A young lady about nineteen came up to be presented and the governor, introducing her, said:
“This is the most beautiful young lady in Atlanta, and I want you to kiss her.” Southern hospitality grated a little on Northern phlegm. The girl stood blushing before me. I said to her: “That is not the first time I have known a man to try to give away what does not belong to him.” I did not kiss her. Possibly it was a mistake.
At Atlanta I met the state treasurer and this colloquy occurred.
I. — “What is the length of Georgia?”
He. — “About four hundred miles.”
I. — “A hundred miles longer than Pennsylvania. What
is the breadth of Georgia
He. — “About three hundred miles.”
I. — “A hundred miles broader than Pennsylvania. What are your revenues?”
He. — “About a million dollars, but it takes a good deal of that to pay the interest on the debt. What are the revenues of Pennsylvania?”
I. — “About twenty-five million dollars a year.”
He. — “What is your debt
I. — “We have none.”
He. — “Great Gawd! twenty-five million dollars of revenue and no debt!”
At Americus, the nearest point to Andersonville upon the railroad, and about twelve miles distant, a crowd gathered in the town hall and a young lawyer named Robert E. Lee made an address of welcome, to which I replied. He had committed his speech to memory, and was much embarrassed, but it was couched in the best of tone and great kindliness.
At Andersonville were six hundred Pennsylvania soldiers, who had been imprisoned there during the war and who had been sent there by the state forty years afterward to take a last look at the place. It was a solemn occasion and the memories were all painful. In presenting the impressive memorial to the United States, I said:
Six hundred survivors of the war which ended forty years ago, the commander-in-chief of the National Guard of Pennsylvania and his military staff, the major general commanding that Guard and his three brigadier generals have come a distance of one thousand miles to dedicate a memorial. What is its significance? “What mean ye by these stones?” It is true of nations, as it is of men, that they may rise on stepping stones of their dead selves to higher things. But the pathway is ever attended by indescrible sufferings. During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army won but two great battles, and yet that war ended in success. Its spirit was typified, not by the victories at Saratoga and Yorktown, but by the sufferings at Valley Forge. The Dutch struggle for independence had but few victories, but it lasted eighty years and the power of Spain, then the mightiest of nations, was broken. Christianity, the most important influence in the development of man in the history of the world, is exemplified not by knights in armor and chariots, but by Him who was nailed to the cross, Who regenerated the sons of men, wearing not a helmet but a crown of thorns. When the early impressions of the war have in time become less vivid, a calm judgment will show that the valor of the soldiers on the field of Gettysburg was no more potent factor than the endurance best exhibited in the prison pens of Andersonville. The men who perished here have not died in vain. Through their deaths the government has taken on a new life and even Georgia has grown mightier than ever before because of what they did and suffered.In behalf of the commonwealth, I accept this monument, reflecting credit, as it does, upon the commission in charge of its erection, because of its magnificent proportions and artistic effects, and I present it to you, sir, as the representative of the national government with a full faith that here it will stand, for all time to come, as a testimonial to the suffering and valor of those soldiers who lost their lives that the country might survive.
General E. A. Carman, United States Volunteers, accepted the memorial.
I wandered on foot over the field. An old soldier came to me and said that when he was here he knew and bunked with a man named Pennypacker. He went with me and showed me the place, upon the opposite side of a little stream from the spring which is said to have miraculously begun to flow after the prison was established, where they had dug a sort of cave in the side of a hill in which to sleep.
“And what became of him?” I asked.
“Oh! He died of the scurvy.”
On returning home, I looked up the record in Bates' history of the Pennsylvania volunteers and found him described there as “Missing in action.” Such is fame and such often the rewards of effort.
On the 8th, I accepted the monument erected for the 109th Pennsylvania Regiment at Orchard Knob, near Lookout Mountain, and near Chattanooga in Tennessee.
During this month Judge John H. Weiss, who had long presided over the common pleas of Dauphin County, died. At once there was a scramble and the Bar of the county divided pretty evenly with very much bitterness of feeling. The political forces urged me to appoint S. J. McCarroll, who was counsel for the Dairy and Food Bureau, and about half the bar gathered to his support. The other half vindictively objected. To have gratified either side, after the contest grew warm, would have raised a storm. As it happened a year or two before there had been a vacancy in the Superior Court and every member of the Dauphin County bar had signed a petition to me to appoint a neighbor, Thomas H. Capp of Lebanon. I did not appoint him, but I had kept the petition. One evening Olmsted came to the executive mansion to urge the appointment of McCarroll. After he had talked to me for half an hour, I said to him: “Olmsted, I cannot appoint McCarroll,” and I gave him reasons. He was disappointed. Then I said to him: “How would Capp do?” He was astonished, but I knew that Capp and he were close personal, professional and political friends. A twinkle came into his eye and he departed. To the surprise of everybody, I appointed Capp from outside the county, but the joke of it was that not a member of the Bar could object for the reason that he knew he had endorsed Capp for the higher court. And the dove of peace folded its wings in absolute silence