The autobiography of a Pennsylvanian/14 Comment and Review



CHAPTER XIV


Comment and Review


IT must be conceded that nearly the whole of what at the outset I had planned to do as governor had been accomplished and in addition the beneficial legislation of the special session and the completion of the capitol. This success was largely due to the fact that, subordinate to the interests of the state, the duties to the party, to the legislature, to those who were working with me in the administration, and to individuals were not forgotten. It is a regrettable fact that the chief obstacle in the accomplishment of effective public work is the modern newspaper. This is not because the editor is any lower in ethics or in intelligence naturally than the politician, but because the journals represent a great money-making power entirely irresponsible and without any kind of control or supervision. They ought to be and might be a great help to a man trying to work out correct results, but he is compelled to do without their assistance and generally to overcome their opposition.

The succeeding administration soon gave evidence of what was destined to be its chief characteristics.

1. The divorce congress called by Pennsylvania to endeavor to secure a system of uniformity in divorce legislation, participated in by leading lawyers and divines from all over the country, after long and careful consideration reported a statute proposed to the different states. It was adopted in New Jersey, Delaware and some other states. The attorney general of Pennsylvania declared that there was “no divorce evil” and this serious effort to improve our morals and our lives was killed in the house of its friends and originators.

2. The act making newspapers responsible for negligence and requiring them to print the names of owners and editors was repealed after this fashion. The latter part of it was immediately re-enacted and this enabled it to be said, with a conscience none too nice, that the whole act had been repealed. By this course the administration secured such popularity as could be gained by newspaper favorable report.

3. An act of assembly provided for a commission to erect a statue to Senator Quay “on the capitol grounds at Harrisburg.” The commission had prepared, by a competent artist, a marble statue to be placed in one of the capitol arches and it was now ready for erection. There was the usual outcry and, in obedience to it, instead of to the law, the statue lay in a box for two years. This was a plain and direct violation of a statute by those sworn to see that the laws were enforced. At the next session of the legislature a mandatory act was passed and the statue was put in its place.

4. Neither the district attorney of the county nor the attorney general conducted the prosecution of those who had so well builded the capitol. Private counsel of capacity and experience were employed for the purpose. But the attorney general sat with them through all of the trials and saw to it that the weight of the commonwealth was thrown against the defendants.

It cannot be said that regard for the public weal inspired any of these acts. Nor so far as the head of the administration is concerned was there any ill will or personal motive. In his kindly and good-hearted way, no doubt, he wished things were otherwise. But it was a case of sheer lack of will power to resist the influences surrounding him.


1524 Walnut Street,
Philadelphia.

My dear Governor:

You did it better than well, and personally I thank you. I did not say with what double gratitude the senators of our Big Medicine Lodges (why did I not say Sachems) regard your appointment of Le Conte. I hear but one opinion; and mine you know.

May you have a reign glorious for the dear old state.

Yours with most friendly regard,
Weir Mitchell.

His Excellency,
The Governor.


2043 Arch Street, Phila., Pa.,
April 21, 1903.

To His Excellency,
Governor Pennypacker.

My dear Sir:

Permit me to express my high appreciation of your independent and excellent administration of your great office; and to add that I sincerely pray for God's richest blessings on you, so that you may continue to be “a terror to evil doers” and also “a praise to them that do well.”

Yours most truly,
Cyrus D. Foss.


Land Title Building, Phila., Pa.,
September 11, 1903.

His Excellency,
Sam'l W. Pennypacker.

My dear Governor:

I am much obliged to you for directing the sending to me of a copy of “Vetoes.” Within my memory there has never been a time when a governor of the commonwealth stood with such intelligence and determination as a safeguard against vicious legislation. Thanks to you, schemes of fraud and plunder, great in number as well as in importance, were frustrated.

Certainly in this most vital particular, we are all immensely in your debt.

Very sincerly yours,
John G. Johnson.


Southeast Corner 17th & Spruce Sts.

My dear Governor:

I am just recovering from a severe illness from appendicitis, and am, therefore, quite unable to accept the honor of your appointment as state delegate to the prison congress to be held at Louisville, October 3-8, 1903.

I take the opportunity of congratulating you on your recent appointments of Messrs. Day and Hart as inspectors of Eastern Penitentiary. I feared a calamity there from the extremely ill-chosen appointments of your predecessor, but was not aware until the pending investigation what mischief had been accomplished in three years of bad government.

I think the men you have appointed may be depended on to hunt out the wretched business and correct it, though it cannot be done in a day. I am, my dear Governor, very truly yours,

I. J. Wistar

Philadelphia, September 18, 1903.
To the Hon. S. W. Pennypacker,
Governor of Pennsylvania.


Philadelphia, June 2, 1904.

My dear Friend:

If the current of events drifts you our way—Come.

Sincerely,
D. N. Fell.


February 29th, 1904.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,
Harrisburg, Pa.

My dear Governor:

I have been seriously perplexed about writing to you. I have, for a long time thought it my duty and yet have been so conscious of the little weight that you have given to my advice in the past, that I felt that I might be annoying rather than serving you, as I wished.

Had you only vetoed that miserable libel bill there would have been no occasion to write at all. I regret that the results of your signature have even surpassed my worst anticipations, which were none too good.

A lot of people, who have the ear of the public, have been led to believe that you are their personal enemy, and it is only natural that you should be the subject of their assaults.

On the other hand, I am one of those who know and believe in the rectitude of your purpose. I know you are an honest man, and I know whatever position you obtain you will perform your duties conscientiously, and I am, therefore, most anxious lest you may again do something permanently injurious to you.

Close friends have urged me to beg you to withdraw from your candidacy or alleged candidacy for a position upon the Supreme Bench. I cannot do this. If, under an attack to the effect that you have sought something in defiance of legal ethics, you withdraw as a candidate, there will be so much confession in it that your future will become blank as far as I can see. Having announced that you will accept, if offered, the position, you must stand to your position. I know, in saying this, I am giving you advice contrary to the wishes of many of my closest friends, but when one attempts to advise a friend, he must be loyal to that friendship and no other, and I am convinced that you would be committing political suicide should you yield now.

Did I not believe you to be thoroughly honest, and did I not know that, whatever the complications, you would strive to do your duty, I would join with them; but say what they can, you have been an honest governor and you will make an honest Supreme Court judge and any quasi-confession, on your part, that you won't, will be the grossest injustice to yourself.

Now, my dear Governor, I am a fool in comparison to yourself, in many things and claim superiority in none, but I cannot feel that I would not be of some service to you did you consult me or rather follow me in some of these matters.

If the nomination is tendered to you, do accept it, and then make a kind of a judge that will answer all criticisms. Your very honesty makes you do things in a way that, were they done by a dishonest man, would convict you, and you are now in the peculiar position of having every act interpreted by the press in the worst light to which it is susceptible, so that you must be more than circumspect and only write and talk with the full knowledge that what you say will be conveyed to the public through unfriendly channels. Of course, the press feel that you have done it an injustice and they don't want that unjust act interpreted by one whom they believe to be their unflinching enemy, and you must bear this in mind in all you say and do.

I hope I am not offending you, but friendship has its duties and I can no longer stand idly by whilst I believe you to be urged to a course that I am convinced would be fatal to you.

If you do not like me for this, I cannot help it, for I would not like myself should I longer refrain from saying what is in my mind on this subject.

Believe me to be,
Faithfully your friend,
George H. Earle, Jr.


April 18th, 1904.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,
Harrisburg, Pa.

My dear Governor:

You do not know how I appreciate your knowledge that I am so interested in your welfare as to prize the information that you have sent me.

There is not the slightest doubt that you have acted unselfishly and for the public welfare. But that is not a startling proposition to me, as I have never known you to do otherwise. You have also done what, had I consulted my selfish interest, I would have wished you to do.

What I objected to, and still object to, was that you were being attacked for having done what you considered your duty, and precluded from receiving something that you were entitled to take, because of bitterness engendered against you by your conscientious performance of duty.

My own feeling was that you had a perfect right to go on the Supreme Bench, and that you should not be persecuted for considering that right, because your conscience had driven you to making public enemies.

You know I did not agree with you about the libel act, but I knew you acted from a sense of duty, and it was atrocious that you should have been hounded, as you were.

My feeling about the matter is so complex that I hardly know whether I make myself intelligible. I wanted you to remain governor very much, no one is more interested in having that office in the hands of a fearless and honest man; but I wanted more that you should get what you had a right to desire, and also that there should be no risk that any one should think that you had given up your just desires, because of unmerited abuse.

Your course, however, may prove to be the wisest after all, as some of your detractors may, in view of your self-sacrifice, begin to be ashamed of themselves. This, at any rate, is my ardent desire.

Thanking you again, I remain,
Your sincere friend,
George H. Earle, Jr.

Is it not a little disturbing that as intelligent a body as “The Bar” can be stampeded by newspaper clamor, as it has just been? I suppose character counts for something still; but after this I am at a loss to say how much.


Office of the Attorney General,
Washington, D. C., June 23, 1904.

The Governor:

Sir:—I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your commission appointing me a senator to represent the State of Pennsylvania in the Senate of the United States, to supply the vacancy in that body occasioned by the death of Hon. Matthew Stanley Quay, until the next meeting of the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

I accept the appointment to take effect July 1, 1904, that being the day immediately following the taking effect of my resignation of the office of Attorney General of the United States.

I beg to add that I fully appreciate the great honor you have done me, and that I shall assume the duties of the high office you have deemed me worthy to fill, with a full appreciation of its grave responsibilities and importance.

With great respect, your obedient servant,
Philander C. Knox.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,
Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


Indianapolis, June 28, 1904.

My dear Governor:

I regretted not seeing you after the close of the convention at Chicago, for I wished to thank you for your great kindness in making a seconding speech. I now take the first opportunity to write you and to say that I am profoundly grateful for your very generous courtesy.

With best wishes, I remain
Sincerely your friend,
Charles W. Fairbanks.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,
Governor, Harrisburg, Pa.


June 29, 1904.

Dear Governor:

I said to Durham in Chicago, that your reluctance at accepting the nomination for governor, was only overcome by the assurance of Quay and others, that it would not interfere with the only ambition you had; and that this obligation, since Quay's death, had become a sacred one. He agreed with me.

Yours sincerely,
David H. Lane.

Hon. Sam'l W. Pennypacker.


Philadelphia, October 7, 1904.

Hon. S. W. Pennypacker,
Executive Chamber, Harrisburg, Pa.

My dear Governor:

In the new Bellevue-Stratford Mr. Boldt has fitted up a room known as the “Clover” room, and he will be the guest of honor at the first dinner the club will give there on Thursday evening the 20th instant. We have all great affection for you, for no one has ever lampooned the club as handsomely and eloquently as you have done, and there is nothing that our people enjoy more. Won't you let me know that you can come, and the invitation of the club will be sent you.

Sincerely yours,
A. K. McClure.


October fifteenth, 1904.

His Excellency, Samuel W. Pennypacker,
Governor of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg.

My dear Governor Pennypacker:

Permit me to express to you the sincere appreciation of the Academy for your splendid address of welcome to the foreign delegates of the International Peace Congress. I know that the fact of your presence, as well as your address, were much appreciated by the delegates.

Very respectfully yours,
L. S. Rowe,
President.


Philadelphia, Penna.,
Oct. 28, 1904.

(Personal and confidential)
Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,
Executive Chamber, Harrisburg, Penna.

Dear Governor:

I have yours of 27th instant, in reference to Mr. Durham. I realize and appreciate the force of your suggestion as to Mr. Durham's visits to Harrisburg from your point of view as explained by you. As a matter of fact, however, I think we can safely put the matter on the ground of his health at the present time, as he has been ordered by his physician to go back to the Adirondacks immediately after election for a month. Durham is getting along very well and holding his own first-rate, but it will be necessary for him to exercise very great care during the winter. I will explain the situation more fully to you when I have an opportunity of seeing you personally, as there are phases of it which I can not very well write about, and in the meantime I suggest that you let the matter drop until we can meet. I fully appreciate the fact that you are viewing the subject with a view to the interests of us all.

Yours truly,
Boies Penrose.


December 6, 1904.

My dear Governor:

I am much pleased with your note and am glad that I was able to accept.

Sincerely,
Theodore Roosevelt.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,
Governor of Pennsylvania,
Harrisburg, Pa.


Pittsburgh, Pa., January 12th, 1905.

My dear Governor:

I read your message of January 3d to the General Assembly of the State of Pennsylvania with a great deal of pleasure and had hoped to be able to get over to Harrisburg yesterday and congratulate you upon your able document, but owing to pressing business matters I was unable to be away from my duties here.

You certainly did credit to yourself when you wrote the message, and I have today received a copy of the message from the adjutant general's office in pamphlet form which I shall take home and preserve for future reference. The message shows to the people of this commonwealth just what kind of a governor they have, a good thinker and a man of integrity and honest purpose, and if I may be permitted to quote the words of our mutual friend, the late lamented Senator Quay, "When Governor Pennypacker lays down the mantle of executive of the State of Pennsylvania, he will be looked upon as the greatest governor that this state ever had." I don't know that these are his exact words, but that was the tenor of what he said. I hope to be able to get over to Harrisburg and have a talk with you sometime soon.

Remember me with much kindness to Mrs. Pennypacker and your daughters, and also to Secretary Wharton.

Believe me, my dear sir, to be as ever your sincere and true friend,

Very respectfully,
Sam'l Moody,
General Passenger Agent.

Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker,
Executive Mansion, Harrisburg, Pa.


January 23, 1905.

Dear Governor Pennypacker:

I think it is to your courtesy that I owe the copy of your Inaugural Address. I had intended to write to you to thank you for the address before I received this copy. I am so much obliged to you, as it seems to me that every man of intelligence should be, for your admirable and successful attempt to check the license of the press.

Our Vice President, Wilson, once said to me, I think with the tears in his eyes, that since the Tweed scandal no public man in America was sure for ten days that the press of America would not undertake to break down his character forever. Wilson said that since the New York Times won distinction by exposing the Tweed scandals, every newspaper man in America thought he could make himself famous by exposing somebody. He referred at that time to the habit of ascribing the worst possible motive to every act of every public man, which seems to be engrained now in the management of the daily press. That you have done so much to check this habit ought to be a matter of pride to you.

With great respect, I am,
Truly yours,
Edward E. Hale,
Chaplain to the Senate.


March 15th, 1905.

My dear Governor:

I learn that you have a most serious duty to perform to one of your profession. It is the appointment of several judges for Allegheny County. My friend, Judge Cohen, was appointed by Governor Stone and by reason of dissension in Republican ranks the whole Republican ticket, carrying the good judge with it, much to the regret of good citizens generally, was defeated.

All I can say is that, in my opinion you would make no mistake if you re-appoint him and I believe that I express the opinion of the best people of the “Smoky City.”

Please present my kindest greetings to your good wife and receive them for your good self. I have very pleasant memories of you both and hope we are to meet again.

Always very truly yours,
Andrew Carnegie.

Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker,
Harrisburg, Pa.


March 15, 1906.

Dear Governor Pennypacker:

Having the pleasure and privilege to know you personally, I address these lines to you on behalf of a German, Trautwin, who has been sentenced to be hanged on March 28th. Will you please treat these lines as altogether personal and private.

Today I had a letter from Trautwin in which he says:

“I gave my wife a good home, but when I was at work she had sinful intercourse with an Italian. I told my wife that the people were speaking about her, but she would not listen. At last I found her myself at night, at nine o'clock in company with an Italian with whom she had had sinful intercourse. I become so infuriated that I could not speak. I drew a pistol and fired a shot. My wife fell and the Italian ran away. I did not intend to shoot her. You cannot tell what love can drive a man to do.”

The letter of Trautwin gives me the impression that he is not a bad fellow. He is absolutely uneducated and perhaps hardly fit to accurately state his case. When facing the shame of his wife he seems to have lost all self-control and blazed away.

Knowing that class of Germans so well, the rural, among which I was personally raised, I thought it fit to send you these lines. I want it to be strictly understood that I in no way want to interfere with the findings of your courts, I simply want to give you my private and personal opinion about Trautwin and the act he committed, leaving it absolutely to your judgment what action you perhaps may deem fit to take with regard to the man.

Believe me, dear Governor,
Yours most sincerely,
H. Sternberg,
German Ambassador.


Philadelphia, 4-13-1905.

My dear Governor:

Swing your axe.

Yours always,
Edward M. Paxson.


Washington, D. C., April 13, 1905.

Governor Pennypacker,
Harrisburg, Pa.

To you and the members of the legislature I return my profound acknowledgment for the interest in our Jamestown Celebration. I shall refuse ever to ride again to Gettysburg with a drawn sabre.

Fitzhugh Lee.


His Excellency,
Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,
Governor Pennypacker,

My dear Sir:

May I beg your Excellency to consider favorably the appropriations made for our charitable institutions which are really doing the work which the state should otherwise do.

I beg your Excellency's special consideration for the Protectory for Boys above Norristown, which contains 300 inmates and will be able to receive 300 more, when the new wing shall be completed, which is now in progress of erection.

I have the honor to remain,
Your faithful servant,
P. J. Ryan.


Philadelphia, April 28, 1905.

My dear Governor:

I send you a note from Edward S. Buckley, trustee, as to the appropriation to the Pottsville Hospital.

The Evening Bulletin last night in its correspondence columns had an article on the Ripper bills, in which the writer refers to you as "Easily the brainiest and greatest governor Pennsylvania has ever had." It stirs me to the depths to have the truth spoken. The conviction is everywhere.

Most sincerely yours,
Hampton L. Carson.


Philadelphia, Pa., May 2, 1905

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,
Executive Building, Harrisburg.

My dear Governor:

I received your communication of the 27th inst. on my return to Philadelphia to-day. A large number of lawyers are opposed to Judge Biddle's renomination on the ground of his advanced age. The Republican organization is also unfavorable to his renomination.

I have told all of Judge Biddle's friends, who have approached me on the subject, that the only opposition I had to him, was based upon the sentiment of the lawyers and the organization who all feel his age should bar him.

However, in view of your request, it will afford me great pleasure to renominate him.

Sincerely yours,
Israel W. Durham.

Harrisburg, Pa., May 5, 1905.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,

Harrisburg, Pa.

My dear Governor Pennypacker:

Permit me to say that your treatment of myself with respect to Senate Bill No. 211 has been most agreeable to my feelings, and I am greatly your debtor for it.

Yesterday I was compelled to stop in Richmond on my way north, and it may not be unwelcome for you to know that I there heard sentiments of the most profound kindness expressed about yourself in view of the manner in which you had received General Fitzhugh Lee when the latter was in this city. You certainly have a number of very warm friends in Virginia, and I am sure if upon occasion you should visit that state, you would receive a warm welcome.

Very sincerely yours,
Lyman D. Gilbert.

Chambersburg, Pa., 6/13/1905.

My dear Governor Pennypacker:

My letter yesterday was intended as the formal acknowledgment which the occasion seemed to require. I want this to speedily follow, assuring you of my most grateful appreciation of the preferment you have bestowed upon me.

To be selected as a justice of the Supreme Court is in itself a distinguished honor. How much is that honor enhanced when the selection is made by one himself distinguished as a jurist, and known to cherish its highest and best ideals in connection with the Bench. When I think of the honor you have done me, it is in this light that I attempt its estimate. It shall be my constant endeavor to justify so far as I may by faithful effort, the selection you have made.

With assurances of my high regard, and grateful appreciation of your kindness, I beg to remain,

Very faithfully yours.

John Stewart.

Governor Pennypacker.

Philadelphia, Pa., Oct. 11, '05.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,

Executive Chamber, Harrisburg, Pa.

Letter received. We are in a crisis and need all support. If Philadelphia fight is not won we will have a contest all over the state. If we win we will probably have no trouble for some time in Pennsylvania. We confidently expect to win Philadelphia contest but must make every effort until election day. I am convinced that no party conditions in the state can be injured by your presence in Philadelphia and it would greatly help in our contest. If I do not hear to the contrary from you to-night or to-morrow morning, I will have announced that you will be present at Academy of Music meeting on the eighteenth. You suggest that you will have to speak out on certain matters. I will have to leave this entirely to your best judgment and discretion, with full confidence in your loyalty to the cause and your sincere interest in our local success.

Boies Penrose.


November 13, 1905.

My dear Judge:

Accept my warmest thanks for your goodness in the matter of Jacobs. Your prompt kindness has relieved me from a position which I thought it right for me to take, but which without your help would have been very distasteful.

As regards your nephew's application I have had a talk with the chairman of the committee and from his statement it would appear that the applicant is not only outside of the letter of the rules but of their spirit as well, and this on a liberal construction of them.

However, I am to have the record sent to me and shall look into the matter to see whether there is any rightful way of modifying this conclusion.

I may now congratulate you upon holding your rightful position as the properly chosen guide and leader of the Republican party of the commonwealth.

Carson will tell you that in the very rush of the flood of abuse, I never for a moment lost my faith that sometime during your term of office, the tide would be sure to turn. This was based merely on the simple faith that character, learning and devotion to duty cannot for long be mistaken for their opposites.

An amusing feature of the praise of which you are now the victim, is the naïve forgetfulness to call upon you for a repeal of the press “muzzler,” A more convincing testimony to the insincerity of the howlers could not well be.

Within these last few minutes Senator John M. Scott said to me: “Since Quay's death, your friend is the first politician in Pennsylvania.”

Amid unstinted laudation from opposite quarters there must be danger of getting giddy.

By the way, have you considered the great reform in England of the ancient abuse of money in elections (including nominations)? A conversation the other night with an English publicist brought the subject to my mind. Expenses there have been efficiently limited and regulated and above all, the thing works.

I rather think that action in that direction will be more potent than in the respects concerning which there is so much clamor, patent ballot honesty, patent registration honesty, and other mechanical factors of morality.

Very truly yours,
Mayer Sulzberger.
Samuel W. Pennypacker.

January 14th, 1906.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,

Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

My dear Governor:

I have your letter of January 12th and thank you sincerely for the cordial invitation to make the executive mansion my home at Harrisburg, if I should visit the city, in response to your request to have Senator Penrose and myself “come to Harrisburg and go over with me the proposed legislation at the special session, if it would be agreeable to you.”

I regret that I cannot accept your invitation, because the duties of my office are so exacting, numerous and important that I find it impossible, by giving from twelve to eighteen hours every day of the week to their consideration, to discharge them to my satisfaction.

I have been placed upon three of the most active and important committees of the Senate, one of which, the Interoceanic Canals Committee, has undertaken the investigation of everything relating to the Panama Canal and expects to hold practically continuous sessions until that work is completed. The work of the Judiciary Committee, of which I am a member, is voluminous and important, and I find the fact that I have been attorney general has added to my labor upon that committee.

I am interested as a citizen of Pennsylvania in the subjects of the proposed legislation at the extra session of its legislature you have called, and heartily approve, as you well know, enacting into law the suggestions contained in your proclamation; but having fully and freely made my attitude towards these subjects generally known, I do not see how I can be of further use.

Wholly apart from the impossibility of being able to give the matter attention on account of lack of time, I seriously doubt the wisdom of a senator of the United States involving himself in responsibilities in respect to legislation in his state. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has all of the machinery of government, and all the brains and experience in the personnel of its government to deal wisely and with technical accuracy with its affairs. Voluntary assumption of responsibilities for legislation by one upon whom the laws of the commonwealth cast no duties would imply a doubt as to the efficiency of the state government that cannot be entertained.

I do not believe the practice of United States Senators actively concerning themselves with state legislation is general or is generally approved.

I anticipate that your wisdom in convening the legislature in extraordinary session will bring lasting good to the commonwealth and add to the fame you have already won as one of its most conscientious and able governors.

Sincerely yours,
P. C. Knox.

Feby. 19th, 1906.

My dear Friend:

I trust it is not too late for me to congratulate you on the splendid work of the extra session, which is entirely due to your foresight in calling the legislature together, and your firmness in standing out for the radical measures of reform which have grown into laws under your excellent direction. It is a calamity that the organic law of our state prevents the people from continuing you in the office which you have done so much to adorn.

Very sincerely yours,
George T. Oliver.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,

Harrisburg.

March 6, 1906.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,

Executive Chamber, Harrisburg, Penna.

Dear Governor:

I have received the poem entitled "Greater Pittsburgh" published in the Pittsburgh Leader, and forwarded to me by you. The poem is correct in the suggestion that had it not been for your efforts the Greater Pittsburgh bill would have failed at the extra session of the legislature. I congratulate you on the result.

Yours sincerely,
Boies Penrose.

May 3, 1906.

My dear Major:

Good for your governor! His proclamation has the true ring of American statesmanship. It is a consolation to know that we have, at least, one Pennypacker in a postion of power and possessing the courage to put the curb on anarchy: proclaiming the "square deal" for every honest man willing to work. This is the policy that, in the end, will safeguard the lawful rights of labor and save the country from unnecessary bloodshed. He is a man of the old school and we need more of them. . . .

Sincerely,

M. Kerwin.


May 16th, 1906.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,

Harrisburg, Pa.

Dear Governor:

Your letter both pleased and surprised me. I thought you understood me well enough to know that I have always felt that my deep interest in you was making me a nuisance. I have always predicted that before your term was out the people would know what they know now, that is, that you were the most fearless, public-spirited, and honest governor that we have had in this generation. Your courage, at times, has made me fear you would combat evils that could not, at present, be remedied and so lose support that would enable you to remedy some that could. You have never done a thing that I have not understood the highness of your motives but you have done some things that I wanted you not to. Lately you have been making yourself so thoroughly understood and appreciated that I have gladly taken advantage of the growing unanimity of opinion in your favor to let you alone, and you don't know how delighted I am to find that you notice it. I am thus assured that my importunities have not tired you in the past. Now you understand just exactly why I have not bothered you.

As to the Press article, some one has to speak in favor of the right when so speaking is unpopular. The more unpopular, the greater the necessity; and so I was foolish enough to call attention to what we all have believed in, and shall all believe in again. The Republican party has done much for this country. It has often created and preserved prosperity by fighting crazes. For the first time in its history, it is yielding to one. If it would only say “we have made this prosperity, it is our child, and shall have our protection,” and stand to its guns, it will beat Bryanism to death as it always has. But with its leader caring more for popularity than principle, courageous, as he is uninformed, I, myself, am convinced that it will have to go out of power in order that it may return chastened and more trusted than ever. Tillman and Bryan are going to beat him to death at their game; he could have beaten them to death had he kept his promise and continued the policy of William McKinley, as he promised to do. I worked hard for Roosevelt's re-election, had great admiration for him, and still have, but I very much fear him. Your careers have been remarkably unlike. He started with an almost inexhaustible popularity, which is daily fading away. You incurred tremendous misrepresentation and criticism and are now being understood and appreciated. I remember you once wrote me that “he who shall try to save his life will lose it.”

It is surprising at this time to find how many “old things” are true when the greater part of the world is engaged in discrediting and despising them.

Now have I not written you a long enough letter to warn you against ever charging me again with neglect?

As ever,
Sincerely your friend,
George H. Earle, Jr.



August 3, 1906.

To His Excellency,

The Governor of Pennsylvania,
Harrisburg, Penna.

My dear Governor:

The leases which have been signed with the farmers to secure to the United States the right to maneuver on their farms, contains the provision that the damages done to their crops and improvements will be adjusted by a board to consist of three members: A civilian to be appointed by the Secretary of War, a militia officer to be appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania, and an army officer to be appointed by me.

I have recommended that the civilian members be paid ten dollars per day for each day the board is in session, which will probably be from October 1st to October 14th, 1906, but so far have not been informed if this would be approved.

I would be very much obliged if you can appoint the militia officer.

It is desired that he be a resident of this locality; familiar with the values of the farms, crops and improvements and also that he be a lawyer.

If you have no such officer in mind, I suggest the name of Captain Fred M. Ott who, I am informed, does combine the desired qualifications and who is the captain of the Governor's Troop, but you, of course, will know much more about this than can I.

Trusting that we may have the pleasure of seeing you in camp before we leave Pennsylvania, with kindest regards,

Very truly yours,
F. D. Grant,
Major-General U. S. Army,
Commanding Camp Roosevelt.

August 9, 1906.

Dr. Martin G. Brumbaugh,

3332 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

Dear Doctor:

You now have the opportunity to do a fine turn for me and for the man who, above others, is most responsible for your election as superintendent of schools. I refer to Mr. Shoemaker. He is desirous of succeeding the late Judge Hanna. Will you point out to the governor, personally, that Mr. Shoemaker left a bed of sickness to go to the meeting, and had he not been present an election could not have been held that night, as the vote would have been a tie with the result of a bitter fight in the board. Point out to him, also, the fact that Mr. Shoemaker was bound by every tie of friendship to vote with his old friends of the former board, the men who regarded him as one of them and who felt sure that he would be afraid to vote against them. Point out to the governor his sterling integrity and independence as shown on this occasion, as an evidence of his character.

I believe Shoemaker to be one of the finest men in our board, and I am sure that he would make an upright and capable judge. Outside of the governor, himself, no man wielded the influence that Shoemaker did in your election.

I speak of this matter in this frank way because I have all along felt that your election was the governor's fight, and that this ought to interest him at least, in a man who made, what seemed to be, great sacrifice in voting for you. At the same time, it is only fair to say that Mr. Shoemaker did not regard it as a sacrifice, inasmuch as it was a matter of conscience with him and this could mean no sacrifice.

I am sending this letter to your house because I do not know just where you are at the present time, and I trust that when you receive this that you will see the governor personally if possible.

With kind regards,
Very truly yours,

Geo. H. Cliff.


New York, August 23, 1906.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,

Pennypacker's Mills, Schwenksville, Pa.

My dear Governor:

I am very grateful to you for your letter of August 19. I am not surprised at your original action, in view of the statement which Mr. Untermyer made that day, and I presume I should have felt like taking similar action but for the fact that he undertook to incur whatever expense he has incurred in full faith that every dollar of it would be returned by the policyholders, and the present indications are that his faith in the policyholders' interest was justified.

With assurances of regard, and with the hope of a still better acquaintance with you in the future, I am,

Very sincerely yours,
Alton B. Parker.



Roxbury, Mass.,

September 12, 1906.

My dear Governor Pennypacker:

I am sure I owe to your kindness the invitation to your great ceremonial of the 4th of October.

I regret extremely that I cannot be present. I would like to congratulate you personally on the completion of so grand a monument of your admirable administration.

With great respect, I have the honor to be

Your obedient servant,
Edward E. Hale.

(Chaplain U. S. Senate.)


My dear Governor:

I cannot express in language too strong the very great satisfaction with which I have seen the appointment you have made.

The bar, as I do, will thank you in their hearts if not by their words.

Mr. Ferguson, in a few months, with a little public service, will make a very good judge — honest, intelligent and capable.

I am.
Most sincerely yours,

John G. Johnson.

28th Nov.

Nov. 27, 1906.

My dear Governor:

Your Thanksgiving Proclamation presents such a gratifying contrast to the usual proclamation by governors of other states that I cannot refrain from congratulating you on the thoroughly appropriate and felicitious language in which yours is constructed. It is in itself a strong appeal to the grateful spirit and is brimful of scriptural adaptations.

I hope you and yours are all well, and with great respect, beg to remain, my dear Governor,

Very sincerely yours,
Ethelbert Talbot.

January 2, 1907.

Dear Governor Pennypacker:

I think you will be interested in the very vigorous presentation of another vigorous executive which I send herewith.

Mr. Roosevelt has rather jealously guarded these photographs, and for a time declined to allow us to use them. It is by reason of the relaxation of the rigor of his restriction that I am permitted to ask your acceptance of the enclosed suggestion of the strenuous life in “Roosevelt as a Wood Chopper,” which I send with best wishes for the new year, and for all your years. I am sorry that you are soon to remove from among us, for I feel that you have introduced a new note of sturdy interest and honesty, combined with great ability, into Pennsylvania's gubernatorial succession.

Yours truly,

J. Horace McFarland.

To Gov. Samuel W. Pennypacker,

Harrisburg, Pa.

January 15th, 1907.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker.

My dear Governor: In closing my official work I take my pen for the last time to express my appreciation deeper than words can express, of your kind note.

To have served under you, to have been chosen by you, and to have maintained to the end the position with which you honored me are distinctions which I and my children will cherish above all other considerations of pride.

God bless you, my dear Governor. I shall never know one like you.

Ever affectionately yours,
Hampton L. Carson.

January 17th, 1907.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,

Schwenksville, Pa.

My dear Governor:

Judge Staake has just handed me a letter from you under date of January 7th, 1907, in which you give me credit for the inception of the idea of the congress for bringing about uniformity in the divorce laws of the country. I am glad to have the letter, and will treasure it.

In this connection I will take the opportunity to send to you my most cordial greetings and congratulations upon the successful close of what must be regarded as one of the greatest administrations of the great office of Governor of Pennsylvania that we have ever had. While you have been criticised for originating new ideas, as everyone must be who deviates from the beaten path in public matters, no act of yours has ever been successfully assailed as being selfish or malicious, and no suggestion even of anything except the most absolute honesty of purpose has ever been made in regard to any of your personal or official acts. I know the affairs of Pennsylvania fairly well, — I could not help having this knowledge from my long connection with the state government. I have been a pretty thorough student of Pennsylvania history, and I feel that I am entirely within the bounds of fact when I say that more has been accomplished in general progress in the line of great constructive improvement, as well as in the bettering of conditions of government, during your administration than in any two equal periods in the career of the commonwealth. A great deal of this has come from suggestions made by yourself, and much of the rest has been the result of the encouragement given by you to those whose ambitions for Pennsylvania found a ready response in your co-operation.

Now that you have retired from office you will find that those who have criticised some of the details of your work will give you credit for the great essential things which have been accomplished by you and your associates, and that the trifling matters which have been assailed will be forgotten in the general appreciation of the great progress that has been made under your leadership.

And on the personal side you have made a legion of friends and won a host of admirers. To me it has been a great pleasure and privilege to have been associated with you and to have known you well, and I want to thank you for all the kindnesses you have shown me and to extend to you my hearty good wishes and the hope that your life will be contented and prosperous and that your lines may be cast in pleasant places.

With kindest personal regards, and trusting that I may soon see you, I am,Very cordially your friend,

Wm. C. Sproul.


February 16th, 1907.

My dear Gov. Pennypacker:

I am just in receipt of your letter, and am going to still further trespass on your kindness. Mr. Hayden writes me that he has sent the Gazette file (with his library) to Mr. Henkels at 1112 Walnut Street, for sale. If it will not inconvenience you, will you, the next time you are in the city, visit Mr. Henkels' place and purchase the file for me, using your own judgment as to the price? If any error is made, I would rather it was on the side of liberality, as Mr. Hayden appears to be an enthusiastic collector, and I think he ought to receive good value for what he has gathered together.

I note what you say about resuming practice in Philadelphia. If I can assist you in this or in any other way, I will surely do so. I hope, however, that our good old state will yet secure your services as one of their judges of its highest tribunal. That is where you ought to be.Very sincerely, your friend,

George T. Oliver.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,

Pennypacker's Mills, Pa.

1400 N. 13th St., Phila.,
February 22, 1907.

Dear Governor:

I read your contribution to the Public Ledger. It is a simple recital of a sincere man who performed his duty without a selfish motive or an ambitious desire. I know you abandoned a congenial environment with its material advantages, reluctantly, for an office, distinguished as it was, that had always brought trouble to its occupant.

The two men who were primarily opposed to your candidacy were Quay and yourself. I speak whereof I know, but how many people believe it?

For your tribute to politicians, I thank you. How is it our independent friends cannot realize, that the average man in public affairs, is the same as the average man outside?

I have been acquainted with every governor of Pennsylvania since 1860. I have had a reasonable intimacy with the political intrigues of their administration, and their achievements, and I say, challenging contradiction, that yours, for its exclusion of politics and for things done, stands out in bold relief compared with them all. May the world come to know you as some of your friends do.

I sought for opportunities to call on you when in the city, but you had gone when the announcement of your arrival was printed.

I have a few more years of work in me, and they are at your disposal when occasion requires.

With highest regards.
Your sincere friend,

David H. Lane.

Hon. Sam'l W. Pennypacker.




Greensburg, Pa.,

February 22d, 1907.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,

Schwenksville, Pa.

My dear Governor:

I have read with very great interest indeed your very able paper in Sunday's Ledger, reviewing the work of your administration.

I am satisfied that your conduct of public affairs during the past four years will become historic for your accomplishment in constructive legislation, and that the people of the country will point to it with very great pride.

Yours very truly,

Cyrus E. Woods.


February 27, 1907.

My dear Governor Pennypacker:

I am in receipt of the Ledger containing your recent article and I most heartily thank you for it. You have made a great record in a great office and I congratulate you upon it. I wish that all good may follow you.

Charles W. Fairbanks.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,

Harrisburg, Pa.

March 5, 1907.

My dear Sir:

I think I can honestly say that not a day goes around that I do not miss you as governor of this state. Your ears must often burn, as your admirers so frequently inform me that you are going down in history as one of the greatest governors of Pennsylvania.

The present governor has taken me into his confidence and is determined upon learning the truth and doing all in his power to formulate a good administration for the people. It is, however, unfortunate, as you have already said, that the governor of this commonwealth should have all his duties thrown upon him at the time the legislature meets.

With all I have upon me just now in fighting the anti-vaccinationists, in trying to impress those in power with the importance and comprehensiveness of the responsibilities that you have placed upon me, and looking after the work of this department that comes in each day, I feel depressed and only arouse from such depression when I get my morning mail and read such comforting congratulations from my friends, and men like yourself, who have an intelligent and comprehensive knowledge of the work I have before me.

Thanking you for your encouragement and expressions of appreciation of my labors, I am,

Yours faithfully,

Samuel G. Dixon.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,

Schwenksville, Pa.

May 27/07.

Dear Governor:

I was out of town last week and did not receive yours of May 22 till yesterday. If I could go through the files of the Public Ledger for the period of your administration, I am sure that I could find more than one editorial cordially recognizing and sustaining your views upon eminent domain. Certainly what you wrote on the subject left a strong impression upon me, and if I had had a volume of your messages at hand when I was writing the article you inclose, I should have strengthened it by a citation. When I read the article in print I felt that it should have included more distinct recognition of your attitude, but the reference to the subject there was only incidental, and could not be complete. What you say of checks upon corporations interests me very much. The actual character or purpose of legislation affecting corporations is so often obscure to the outside observer, as in the recent instances of trolley and electric power companies, that I doubt if any of us really appreciated at the time the consistency of your attitude. Would not this be a proper subject for present treatment? I should prize a paper from you on the line suggested by your note, or if you do not feel disposed to that, I shall hope when I have an opportunity of seeing you, to get the material from you for a review of what I have always recognized as one of the strongest of the many very strong features of your administration.

Believe me, dear Governor,
Very sincerely yours,

Alfred C. Lambdin.



Washington, D. C.,
November 22, 1907.

My dear Governor:

I thank you for the poem on Greater Pittsburgh. When the truth of history is known, you will be honored as the real father of the Greater Pittsburgh, for if it had not been for your own great wisdom, backed by your personal courage, there would have been no extra session of the legislature, and if it had not been for your state pride in desiring to see a greater city at the western end of the state, the legislation under which the Greater Pittsburgh has now come into existence would not have been included in the program.

I felicitate you upon the result.
Very sincerely yours,
P. C. Knox.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,
Schwenksville, Pa.


Philadelphia, March 8, 1907.

My dear Governor:

Accept my thanks for your review of your administration. It will stand the test of time and when the newspapers get over their wounded vanity at being told they are not always the incarnation of wisdom and greatness, they will acknowledge it.

Yours sincerely,
James T. Mitchell.


Columbia, Pa., Nov. 28, 1907.

Dear Governor Pennypacker:

I see that I shall have to make this a very personal and familiar letter, and beg you to pardon it.

It was with a sense of genuine pleasure that I read your kindest of letters of Nov. 26, informing me that The Historical Society of Pennsylvania would invite me to be their guest at a reception to be given me at some time in the near future which might suit my convenience; and telling me also that, the idea having originated with you, you yourself would arrange for my comfort, would make my reception a success, and would, so to say, brush away the possible thorns in the path, and metaphorically strew it with laurel and roses. … Now, my dear Governor, nothing in the world could be kinder, more generous or more delicately enticing; but one consideration has been overlooked, a vital one, and that is the state of my health.

This it is that prevents me from subjecting myself to any undue excitement, and which has for some years caused me to absent myself from all public functions. The recital of our ailments is tedious, but you will pardon me for touching upon mine that I may justify what would otherwise seem ungratefulness.

Some years ago, after a too prolonged siege of visiting, I was suddenly stricken with heart failure, neurasthenia, and all its ills following, and for some years thereafter my life was despaired of, attacks of heart failure making it seem that the end might come at any time. All exciting causes were avoided. And out of consideration for my delicate health, Franklin and Marshall did me the honor to give me Litt.D. in absentio. Only last year I had an invitation from a professor at Yale who was authorized to speak for the faculty in inviting me to talk to one of the classes upon poetry, quite informally, if I wished, they were good enough to say—yet I knew I should not be able to go through the ordeal and had to give up the alluring idea.

Indeed, I could no more undertake to undergo a reception (you can see I unconsciously use the word “undergo” as if one expected a surgeon's operation) than I could climb Pike's Peak, for each might prove fatal to the weak heart.

I have been told that my mother was one of the most frail of women, and that it was not unusual for her to faint day after day, and I often think that some of my lack of robustness comes to me from her, but then one loves to inherit even a defect from his mother.

It is the strain that does the injury, and nothing can eliminate the strain. By avoiding events which might be injurious I have been enabled to do a little work, such as it is, now and then, and to remain among the living.

You surely do not wish to exterminate me! And yet a reception might do it. Such things have happened. A live poet at a reception might pass muster, but I ask you, my dear Governor, what you would do with a collapsed poet?

I fear the strain, and so do my doctors, and under the circumstances I feel that you will surely understand my inability to be present, much as I should enjoy the honor which would accrue.

It is so unhandsome in one to refuse such a distinction and such proffers of wide hospitality, for I am conscious that there would be assembled many men eminent in literature, law and the liberal arts and sciences, that I feel oppressed by my own inability to accept your kind invitation. But I beg you will at least believe me sincere in my profound thanks, and that with the highest appreciation of all your intended kindness, I hope I may submit, without offense, how impossible it is for me to accept the honors which you propose and which you and others so bountifully mean to shower upon me.

I am, dear Governor, I assure you, under a mountain of obligation, and remain,

Most sincerely yours,
Lloyd Mifflin.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.


December 25, 1911.

Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,
Philadelphia, Pa.

My dear Governor:

Of course I do not expect that you remember me, but I had the pleasure of meeting you here and at Harrisburg.

It seems to be that a public official who has served the commonwealth wisely and conscientiously as you have, must feel a rankling and resentment at the unjust ridicule and criticism that has been your share to suffer.

The late Judge Searle of Montrose told me the last time I ever saw him alive that in fifty years Pennypacker would be regarded as the greatest of our governors.

I am not asking for anything, not even a reply, but think it more fitting, at this season, to express to you my appreciation of your services as an official and citizen, than to eulogize you after your death.

Sincerely,
Edward B. Farr.