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    Cleveland predicts, "we shall beat the Conspiracy in 1892"

    Grover Cleveland Autograph Letter Signed "Grover Cleveland." Seven pages of two bifolia, 5" x 8", Washington, D.C.; November 13, 1888. Addressed to Congressman William L. Scott, a close personal friend and political supporter, President Cleveland reflects on his election loss to Benjamin Harrison. He writes:

    "... I have felt more than once since Election, that perhaps those who like you, had worked so hard to achieve success would think you had a poor candidate, and would [illeg.] care to 'hear a word out of my head.' But I will not stand by and have you suppose for a moment that the labor of the Committee can me misunderstood or unappreciated by anyone on account of what a paper like the Herald can say...

    My trouble is not with the committee but with myself; and all my grief us in the reflection that perhaps with some other candidate your work and the work of other good friends would have brought success. I don't feel like a man defeated, but only like a member of a defeated party which tried to do something for the country... we shall beat the Conspiracy in 1892, and there's no mistake about it...

    The fact that is most prominent to my view is that the farmers did not support us. This is very disquieting and makes me feel very much irritated that the very people for whom we took our political lives in our hands to save and benefit, were too slow or too bigoted to see the way to their interest and salvation. I think their minds were clouded and their reason closed in, by sectional appeals to their passions and hatred of the South. These sentiments were constantly harped on and they were stupidly inflamed by the silly talk about 'Rebel Brigadier,' 'tariff made by Southern press' in 'Southern interests' &c &c...

    The working men did well. They are in the towns and read and ponder on the question presented. The farmer did not.

    Of course I do not point out of sight the shameless and wholesale purchase of votes; but with better information fewer of them would have sold their votes..."

    Although Cleveland won the popular vote, he lost the electoral college. The main issue in the election was tariffs. Cleveland proposed that tariffs be lowered, to the benefit of consumers. Benjamin Harrison, his opponent, took the position that high tariffs protected American workers. The Republican party went so far as to suggest through the publication of an ill-gotten letter from the English ambassador, that Cleveland's policies would favor England. The notion of tariffs took on a protectionist air, and Cleveland was likely correct in surmising that his position cost him votes with the very people he hoped to help. Harrison's campaigning on tariffs helped him eke out a victory in Cleveland's home state of New York. Had Cleveland won that "swing" state, he would have secured enough electoral votes to defeat Harrison.

    An even dirtier tactic employed by the Republican party was the buying of votes, as Cleveland references in his letter. Although the use of vote buying was a tactic used by both parties, the Republicans got caught red-handed when a circular distributed by the treasurer of the National Party in Indiana telling chairmen to ensure that floaters be divided in "Blocks of Five" was discovered and distributed nationwide by the Democratic party. Cleveland was absolutely correct in determining that his party would succeed in the next election. A fantastic letter written by the losing candidate in a controversial election.

    Condition: Gently toned, otherwise near fine.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2018
    18th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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