Publication information
view printer-friendly version
Source: All in a Life-Time
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “Early Political Experiences” [chapter 7]
Author(s): Morgenthau, Henry
Publisher: Doubleday, Page and Company
Place of publication: Garden City, New York
Year of publication: 1922
Pagination: 109-27 (excerpt below includes only pages 122-24)

Morgenthau, Henry. “Early Political Experiences” [chapter 7]. All in a Life-Time. Garden City: Doubleday, Page, 1922: pp. 109-27.
excerpt of chapter
Theodore Roosevelt (assumption of presidency: public response); Marcus Hanna; Theodore Roosevelt (assumption of presidency: personal response); Theodore Roosevelt (relations with Marcus Hanna); Theodore Roosevelt (political obligations).
Named persons
Marcus Hanna; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt.
From title page: By Henry Morgenthau, in Collaboration with French Strother.

From title page: Illustrations from Photographs.


Early Political Experiences [excerpt]

The Republicans [. . .] have perfected to a greater degree the machine control of their party, and for many years their senatorial oligarchy has controlled the party machinery.
     At the convention that nominated McKinley this machinery worked perfectly, and Mark Hanna, afterward senator from Ohio, was at the throttle. When, however, McKinley died at the hand of an assassin, in Buffalo, the party leaders as well as the country’s leading [122][123] business men were tremendously concerned lest Roosevelt should disregard their wishes. The man that the bosses had reluctantly named Vice-President had hurried down from the Adirondacks, but none of the oligarchs had been able to get a word with him. Leaving Buffalo, he got aboard a train for New York, en route to Washington; the leaders boarded the same train. A member of that group himself told me what followed.
     The leaders agreed that Hanna should come to a personal understanding with the new President. They went to Roosevelt, who welcomed the idea of the interview.
     “I should be de-lighted to have him lunch with me here,” said Roosevelt.
     The table was laid in the drawing-room, and as Hanna entered Roosevelt held out both his hands.
     “Now, old man,” he said, “let’s be friends.”
     Hanna did not take the proffered hands.
     “On two conditions,” he stipulated.
     “State them,” said Roosevelt.
     “First,” said the Senator, “we expect you to carry out McKinley’s policies for the rest of his unexpired term.”
     Roosevelt nodded. “I’ll do that, of course. What is your other condition?”
     “It’s this,” said the Senator, “never call me ‘old man’ again.”
     Then he shook hands. He did more; on his part he promised that if Roosevelt kept his word, and if he retained McKinley’s cabinet and other appointments, he would have Hanna’s support at the next National Convention.
     It was a compact that neither man forgot. Before many months were over rumour reported a conspiracy on Hanna’s part and Roosevelt unhesitatingly repeated this to him.
     “You are carrying out your part of the bargain,” said [123][124] the Senator, “as long as you continue to do so, I’ll carry out mine.”
     When Hanna died, the machine that he had controlled fell for a time into disuse and Roosevelt, taking advantage of the temporary absence of a machine-bred leader, assumed leadership, not as the head of the old machine, but by virtue of his position as President. He did not recognize the machine leaders of the various states, nor did they stand behind him[. . . .]



top of page