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Philander Knox, J. Reuben Clark, articles, Convention, patriotism, publishing
A handwritten letter to J. Reuben Clark from Francis Mairs Huntington-Wilson, written October 13, 1915. Within, Huntington-Wilson discusses his latest articles as a means of publicity for himself and ponders the Republican nomination.
Francis Mairs Huntington-Wilson
J. Reuben Clark
Folder 1-12, Document 9
132 Island Avenue,
Reno, Wednesday, October 13, 1915.
A great man like [?] Knox, with a great national reputation, should be ultra conservative and “sit-tight” rather than risk anything that may tend to be a boomerang and mar his established position. For smaller fry, given the superficiality and “slap-dash” sensationalism and the sentimentalism of our political life, I am inclined to believe it an axiom, disgusting as it is, to be known, favorably if possible, but unfavorably rather than not at all; and above all not to be forgotten. I speak of one’s selfish personal policy.
Acting upon this theory I am sending to Morrow, in the letter herewith, my two articles “American Diplomacy and the War”, and “Should America Join the Allies?” I have re-read them and toned them down slightly and I think both moderate, patriotic, and suggestive rather than conclusive. I did not reach this conclusion without again reading your thoughtful remarks on the subject.
Morrow seems to think he has found an excellent publicity man. If the man has ability, judgment, and discretion, I hope I may be able to use him in such matters. To begin with I hope Morrow can have him place these articles.
I failed to get back from you the other article which begins with the analogy of the dogs out shooting. Will you please get it out and include it with my letter herewith to Morrow unless it is poorer or more unsafe than these two, which I do not remember it to be?
While I was writing your telegram arrived. My “reaction” to it you will find in the letter to Morrow herewith.
Of course my objects are to spread what I believe to be good ideas, -and, in accordance with the first paragraph of this letter, to promote, quite selfishly, my own standing, political and otherwise.
The publicity man must be controlled. There danger lurks, I fear. By indiscretion he might put one in an undignified or ridiculous position that would, for one, be worse than a back seat in oblivion! As your snap judgment is better than most people’s deliberate reflection, do not give more than just a very little time, really, to this damn thing. It is quite unnecessary.
October 14, '15
I have decided to wire you the answer to your wire of yesterday.
Will you please mail me my fragmentary draft of a Republican appeal? You recall it, I daresay. If Hillis, Reynolds & Co. have not an idea above the "Full Dinner Pail" and unless we nominate some man like P.C.K. who is neither reactionary nor “bull moose”, we can easily be beaten, I think. Why don’t you go to the convention as a delegate from Utah? I may try from here or from Chicago, possibly.
I found my watch chain & c here, after all.
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Huntington-Wilson, Francis Mairs, "Letter from Francis Mairs Huntington-Wilson to J. Reuben Clark, October 13, 1915" (1915). World War I Era Documents, 1914-1918. 18.