The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977 Page: 34
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Even in 1912, however, Roosevelt's indictment of the decision on the
delegates produced disagreement and rebuttal. The Taft forces issued a
lengthy response to the charges in July, 1912. It contended that the great
majority of Roosevelt's delegates challenges, especially of southern Republi-
cans, were not serious and were made to counteract publicly Taft's strength
below the Mason-Dixon line.3 Senator Robert M. LaFollette, who had no
love for either Taft or Roosevelt, commissioned his former law partner,
Gilbert E. Roe, to establish "The Truth About the Contests." Roe con-
cluded that "at worst the National Committee seated less than 50 Taft
delegates on insufficient evidence. Those in charge of the Roosevelt cam-
paign tried to seat more than I5o Roosevelt delegates Without Any Evid-
ence At All."4
Since I912 historians have not endeavored to establish the facts in the
delegate contests in specific states. They have adopted the view that "To
analyze accurately the merit of the contests whereby Roosevelt delegations
were disqualified at Chicago would require a doctoral thesis." The present
article examines this problem in Texas, to see what light the history of the
Taft-Roosevelt contest for Republican delegates in a single state sheds on
the larger issue of justice and equity at the GOP national convention it-
Social Justice and Popular Rule (20 vols.; New York, 1926), XVII, 232-242. The
scholarly opinions quoted are John M. Blum et al., The National Experience (New
York, 1973), 538 (first quotation), and John A. Garraty, The American Nation: A
History of the United States Since 1865 (New York, 1971), 263 (second quotation).
SThe essential document for all the contests is Milton W. Blumenberg (comp.), Of-
ficial Report of the Proceedings of the Fifteenth Republican National Convention (New
York, 1912), hereafter cited as Official Report. For the Taft case, the basic source,
probably prepared by Charles D. Hilles, is Statement Relating to Contests Over Seats
in the Republican National Convention (Washington, 1912), William Howard Taft
Papers (Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress), Series 9B, a copy of which is more
conveniently available in Congressional Record, 62nd Cong., 2nd Sess., XLVIII, Pt.
12, pp. 523-557. The detailed response from the Roosevelt camp is A Stolen Nomina-
tion for the Presidency (New York, 1912). For other useful documents in this episode,
see the pro-Taft statement by Congressman Frank W. Mondell (R.-Wyo.) in Con-
gressional Record, 62nd Cong., 2nd. Sess., XLVIII, Pt. 10, pp. 9563-9575; the rebuttal
of Representative George W. Norris (R.-Neb.), ibid., 9575-9582, 9639-9648; the pro-
Roosevelt discussion of Representative Stanton Warburton (R.-Wash.), ibid., Pt. I1,
pp. IIo091-11115; and a summary of a statement by Charles D. Hilles on the Taft case,
ibid., Pt. 12, pp. 445-448.
4Gilbert Roe, "The Truth About the Contests," LaFollette's Magazine, July 20, 1912,
PP. 7-8, July 27, 1912, pp. 8-9, I4; August 3, 1912, pp. 7-9, 15 (quotation). See also
Roe to Robert M. LaFollette, June 24, 1912, LaFollette Family Papers (Manuscripts
Division, Library of Congress). Series B, Box 72. In addition to the materials previously
cited, Cecil A. Lyon to William Howard Taft, August I, 1912, Charles W. F. Dick
Papers (Ohio Historical Society, Columbus), part of which was published in the Austin
Statesman, August 4, 1912, is valuable for the Texas case. An interesting and shrewd
review of the whole delegate issue, done well with limited evidence, is Ernest R. Clark,
"Was the Nomination of William H. Taft at the 1912 Republican National Convention
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977, periodical, 1976/1977; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/m1/52/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.