October 24, 1912

Woodrow Wilson Suspends His Campaign on Account of Theodore Roosevelt Assassination Attempt

Typed Letter Signed
1 page
SMC 172
When, on October 14, 1912, Theodore Roosevelt, trying for a third term, was shot by a fanatic opposed to third terms, the three-way campaign between Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson ground to a halt – almost. Here Governor Wilson tells a political operative that he wishes with all his heart that it were possible for him to address a noonday meeting near the Borough Hall as suggested, but cannot. “You know my action in politics is now rendered very uncertain by Mr. Roosevelt's state of health,” he writes here. “I have been cut out of a score of meetings that I had planned to attend. Apparently all that I can do now is to do my duty by the Jersey people and to fulfill the one or two large engagements which are to conclude the campaign.”
 
Wilson did not resume his campaign, in full, until the 28th, when Roosevelt was out of the hospital and on his way to recovery – but not even the Bull Moose’s extraordinary physical comeback could overcome Wilson’s lead in the three-cornered race. Wilson won with 41% of the popular vote, Roosevelt and Taft essentially splitting the rest. Still, Roosevelt, as a third party candidate, won 88 electoral votes – to Taft’s eight.
Typed Letter Signed, as Governor and Presidential nominee, 1 page, quarto, on his personal letterhead, 88 West State St., Trenton, New Jersey, October 24, 1912. To John Eastmond in Brooklyn, New York.
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