Before the split with Theodore Roosevelt, he tells TR protege Congressman Herbert Parsons he is grateful “for all you have done for me.”.
Herbert Parsons was a close friend and political ally of Theodore Roosevelt. In 1904 he was elected to the first of three consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1906, President Roosevelt successfully maneuvered to place Parsons as president of the New York County Republican Party over the candidate of...
Herbert Parsons was a close friend and political ally of Theodore Roosevelt. In 1904 he was elected to the first of three consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1906, President Roosevelt successfully maneuvered to place Parsons as president of the New York County Republican Party over the candidate of “Boss” Thomas Platt. Parsons worked closely with Roosevelt to carry out the President’s wishes and to ensure him the loyalty of county Republicans. He also, in the years before Taft and Roosevelt came to a complete split, did all he could to promote Taft. On January 20, 1910, Parsons resigned his leadership of the Republicans in New York County, after long and bitter contests with powerful House Speaker Joseph Cannon and the New York state party organization.
Typed Letter Signed as President, on White House letterhead, Washington, January 21, 1910, to Parsons, lamenting his loss and congratulating him for bringing a high tone to government. “I did not know that you intended to resign until I saw your resignation in the papers. I am very sorry that you decided to take yourself out of the activity in New York politics that has done so much to put them on a higher and better plane. No one can know who has not been closely allied with you the amount of details that it has involved and the bickerings and bitterness and the disheartening circumstances that you have had to encounter. You have distinctly raised the tone of the local politics in New York, and I hope the consciousness of that will be a sufficient reward for what otherwise must have seemed to you a most thankless task. I sincerely hope that you will find someone to succeed you who will follow your quiet and successful course. If Otto Bannard could be induced to take it up, I am sure he would carry on the work well, but I suppose he will hardly be able to take it. With warm regards to yourself and Mrs. Parsons, and with congratulations to you both on the work well done…” He adds in holograph “with gratitude for all you have done for me.”
This is as fine a statement as we can recall seeing of Taft’s approval of morality in government while he was in the White House. Taft’s candidate to replace Parsons, Otto Bannard, a banking and insurance executive who had run for Mayor of New York in 1909, did not get the nod. It went instead to a Rooseveltian progressive named Lloyd C. Griscom.
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