Former President Benjamin Harrison Explains That Former Presidents Should Be Seen and Not Heard

September 4, 1900

Add to History Board Share Print
Back to The Collection
Manuscript
See full images and transcript
Former President Benjamin Harrison Explains That Former Presidents Should Be Seen and Not Heard
Autograph Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 1244

Quick Reference

      Background

      Appalled by McKinley’s imperialism, ex-President Harrison writes here that he won’t speak on behalf of McKinley's re-election. Although still a Republican, he is mindful of how, when he “spoke out, just a little, on the Porto [sic] Rico matter” he was roundly criticized by the Administration. All Washington, he recalls, “agreed that Ex Presidents ‘should be seen and not heard.’" He insists that he has “no disappointments & God knows no jealousies”: he just has “some difficulties.” It’s better to say, he concluded after the campaign of 1896, that he would not make any more political speeches, and leave it at that. Besides, he closes, “it is not usual for Ex Presidents to make stump speeches.”

      Soon after this letter, however, Harrison did give an interview: in it, he argued not so much for McKinley, as against Bryan.


      Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page, octavo, Berkeley Lodge, Old Forge, New York, September 4, 1900. To D.M. Ransdell.
      Read More

      all pages and transcript

      Page 1/2

      Page 1 transcript

      Page 2/2

      Page 2 transcript