Monday, November 3, 2008

Taft vs. Roosevelt, 1912

This is one of my favorite finds of all time: a political collage on the back of a postcard during the intense campaign of 1912 between William Taft and Theodore Roosevelt.

The handwritten note to Miss Frances Ganzhorn in Tannersville, Pa., includes commentary that could've been written today: "Doesn't the above sound a little like the usual dinner discussion served up daily?" There's a symbol of some kind, or a drawing crossed out, and the writer goes on: "Sister OK. Hope you are well--all well here. 'God Save the King.' Have you heard from her? Will send you some photos soon. WHJ" There are little drawings and allusions ("Clark's dog") and "PJ Conroy's" with a finger pointing toward a harp -- inside jokes, perhaps, lost to time.

For more information on this particular election, I recommend 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft & Debs -- the Election That Changed the Country, by James Chace (2004, Simon and Schuster).

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