He was running for election in 1924, the year of this letter, so he clearly wanted the press to view his campaign favorably
John Charles Shaffer was a noted newspaper editor and publisher of the day. Shaffer built his empire from a humble start as a telegraph operator, to become a major newspaper publisher and owner of business concerns in grain and railroad transportation. He arrived in Chicago in 1874 and began amassing a fortune...
John Charles Shaffer was a noted newspaper editor and publisher of the day. Shaffer built his empire from a humble start as a telegraph operator, to become a major newspaper publisher and owner of business concerns in grain and railroad transportation. He arrived in Chicago in 1874 and began amassing a fortune through his railroad investments. In 1901, Shaffer purchased the Chicago Evening Post, and then a series of other papers including the Indianapolis Star, Muncie Star, Terre Haute Starr, and the Louisville Herald. He then purchased the Denver Post, Denver Times, and Rocky Mountain News. Shaffer was also a philanthropist who focused mainly on music, funding the Chicago Symphony orchestra and the civic opera in Chicago. Shaffer was a strong supporter of the Republican Party.
President Coolidge followed a policy of conferring with leading newspaper publishers to ascertain their views on national problems, and in October 1923 had John C. Shaffer, publisher of the Shaffer group of newspapers, at luncheon in the White House. The two remained in touch. At the end of 1924, at the International Livestock Show in Chicago, Deacon, an 11-month-old Hereford calf owned by Shaffer, walked away as the Grand Champion. Coolidge attended that show and sent personal congratulations to Shaffer.
Typed letter signed, as president, on White House letterhead, Washington, February 12, 1924, to John C. Shaffer. “Thank you very much for your kind favor of recent date. I trust that you will have a pleasant journey to California, and a very helpful vacation. I hope you may come down to see me at your convenience. Everything seems to be going as well as well as it could under the circumstances.”
Coolidge was working on passage of two important bills, the Immigration Act of 1924, which sharply limited immigration, and the Revenue Act of 1924, which lowered the top marginal tax rate to around 40 percent. Perhaps that is what he refers to when he says, “Everything seems to be going as well as well as it could under the circumstances.” Coolidge did a good job of positioning himself to secure the 1924 nomination. He outmaneuvered potential challengers, and he deftly managed the fallout from the Teapot Dome scandals. So perhaps the reference was to that.
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