2 April 1912 - New England Is Fast Lining Up For Roosevelt
It is in The Washington Times, dated Tuesday evening, 2 April 1912, that we find the headlines, "New England Is Fast Lining Up For Roosevelt." Vermont and Maine would be followed by other States, as the New York contest grows bitter. Taft managers had abandoned hope of winning on first ballot. Anyone old enough to remember hearing stories about the battle between Taft and Roosevelt in April, 1912?
This 1912 news article was written by Judson C. Welliver, in April, 1912, claiming that (Teddy) Roosevelt had captured both the Vermont and the Maine State conventions, and that New Hampshire and the preponderating share of Massachusetts would follow their lead. The Roosevelt managers had issued an enthusiastic declaration that they had seized the better part of New England, routed Taft in the territory that was expected to be his Gibraltar, and decided the Presidential fight.
It was reported that the Roosevelt situation was regarded as better than ever before, partly because of the New England victories, and partly by reason of the now announced purpose of the New York bosses to permit no instructions.
See Campaign Crumbling
As the news article continues, "William Barnes, Jr., of Albany, is the man who has made this situation, all at once, the mort engrossing in the whole fight. Next week will see the crumbling of the Taft campaign, for New York, Maine, and Vermont will all hold their conventions then. New York meets at Rochester, Vermont at Burlington, and Maine at Bangor."
Desperate efforts were then known and made by Taft people for months past to get an instructed delegation from New York. It was thought that if Roosevelt could be badly defeated in New York county, it would convince the State machine that an endorsement of Taft would be good politics. BUT . . . the New York primaries constituted such a tremendous fiasco that the bad politics of a Taft instruction became more apparent than ever.
It was reported that Barnes stated positively some time ago, the place then held by William Loeb, if Loeb would come in and use his power to get instructions for the president. But Loeb refused and said he was equally hostile to Roosevelt and Taft. Loeb was hostile to Roosevelt because Roosevelt was too progressive. Loeb refused Taft because he can't win.
Mr. Barnes comes of a race of great politicians and wanted to boss New York in his time, as his ancestors had done. But what was the use of bossing the party, if the State was in control of the other party? Barnes wanted the substance, not the shadow, of power. He wanted to keep New York in the Republican column, therefore, he wanted to make it the pivot at the national convention, the maker of a Presidential nomination. That was reported as Barnes' game back then.
It was reported that if Barnes won int he big part he was playing, he would likely be chairman of the national committee in 1912.
Lower Mississippi Valley Flood
Also in that same newspaper was mention of a flood crisis in the lower Mississippi valley, April 2, 1912, within 48 hours. The people of the entire valley were fleeing from the lowlands back of the levees. The river had risen a foot at Memphis within the last twenty-four hours and the levees were strained to the breaking point.
Stirred by the desperate situation, president Taft rushed to Congress an emergency message asking for the immediate appropriation of $500,000 to be expended in relieving the present dangerous conditions, and averting a possible great life and property loss as the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers were breaking over their banks and threatening to wash away the protecting levees and the smaller contributory streams unable to empty into the two big rivers were backing up and flooding the cities and towns along their shores.
Havoc Wrought by Floods
~ Hickman, KY - hundreds homeless and 1000 men out of work as result of break in levee. Estimated property loss $100,000.
~ Columbus, KY - flood so high small steamer launches run through streets.
~ St. Louis, MO - One million dollars estimate of damage in northern Indiana and Illinois.
~ St. Joseph, MO - Missouri river above flood stage and families in lowlands have abandoned homes.
~ Cedar Rapids, IA - Cedar River has left banks and has flooded homes and stores.
~ Des Moines, IA - One hundred families driven from home by flood.
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