Letter to Samuel W. Pennypacker from George H. Earle, Jr., May 16, 1906
|Letter to Samuel W. Pennypacker from George H. Earle, Jr., May 16, 1906
May 16th, 1906.
Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker,
Your letter both pleased and surprised me. I thought you understood me well enough to know that I have always felt that my deep interest in you was making me a nuisance. I have always predicted that before your term was out the people would know what they know now, that is, that you were the most fearless, public-spirited, and honest governor that we have had in this generation. Your courage, at times, has made me fear you would combat evils that could not, at present, be remedied and so lose support that would enable you to remedy some that could. You have never done a thing that I have not understood the highness of your motives but you have done some things that I wanted you not to. Lately you have been making yourself so thoroughly understood and appreciated that I have gladly taken advantage of the growing unanimity of opinion in your favor to let you alone, and you don't know how delighted I am to find that you notice it. I am thus assured that my importunities have not tired you in the past. Now you understand just exactly why I have not bothered you.
As to the Press article, some one has to speak in favor of the right when so speaking is unpopular. The more unpopular, the greater the necessity; and so I was foolish enough to call attention to what we all have believed in, and shall all believe in again. The Republican party has done much for this country. It has often created and preserved prosperity by fighting crazes. For the first time in its history, it is yielding to one. If it would only say "we have made this prosperity, it is our child, and shall have our protection," and stand to its guns, it will beat Bryanism to death as it always has. But with its leader caring more for popularity than principle, courageous, as he is uninformed, I, myself, am convinced that it will have to go out of power in order that it may return chastened and more trusted than ever. Tillman and Bryan are going to beat him to death at their game; he could have beaten them to death had he kept his promise and continued the policy of William McKinley, as he promised to do. I worked hard for Roosevelt's re-election, had great admiration for him, and still have, but I very much fear him. Your careers have been remarkably unlike. He started with an almost inexhaustible popularity, which is daily fading away. You incurred tremendous misrepresentation and criticism and are now being understood and appreciated. I remember you once wrote me that "he who shall try to save his life will lose it."
It is surprising at this time to find how many "old things" are true when the greater part of the world is engaged in discrediting and despising them.
Now have I not written you a long enough letter to warn you against ever charging me again with neglect?
Sincerely your friend,
George H. Earle, Jr.
- from The Autobiography of a Pennsylvanian (1918) by Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker; pp. 455-56.