William Taft 1921 Letter Signed, on the Titanic, Harding's View on the League of Nations, His Speaking Fees -- ''...He...hasn't any pole star of conduct except his own selfishness and vanity...''

Excellent and intimate letter signed by William Howard Taft from 12 May 1921, discussing a wide variety of topics. Written on Taft's personal stationery to journalist Gus Karger, the former President discusses the League of Nations, noting with satisfaction that newly elected President Warren G. Harding supported the League, and excoriating an opposing Senator for his ''selfishness and vanity''. Taft also writes about the Titanic sinking and presenting a medal to RMS Carpathia Captain Arthur Rostron, as well as happily collecting $500 in speaking fees. Finally, he writes of Vermont, its citizens and a type of ''Vermont species'' who would rather ''be a considerable person in Vermont'' than a less important person in a bigger city such as New York.

Four page letter reads in part, ''...I am greatly rejoiced at the clear cut decision of [President Warren] Harding and [Secretary of State Charles Evans] Hughes to have a representative in the three bodies on the other side, I have felt that it would not be wise to express, so completely as I feel it, my satisfaction. It is only carrying out what the President has in many of his speeches clearly given everybody to understand he was going to; but the Bitter Enders [those who reject U.S. membership in the League of Nations] have always ignored these statements in the sweeping general elections that they have used in respect to Harding's attitude. Of course [Senator Henry Cabot] Lodge will be with Harding before he gets through. His course is as wavering as possible, full of emphatic statements, which he has to take back, or at least to vary from every little while. He has to explain them. He...hasn't any pole star of conduct, except his own selfishness and vanity, and a desire to be regular and to be on the side of the man who has any power with his own party. He will criticise Harding under his breath, I have no doubt, and say some sneering things before he will come around. If [Senator Philander] Knox opposes Harding, which you intimate that he is thinking of doing, it means the end of his power and that of [Senator Boies] Penrose in Pennsylvania, and the ultimate coming to the Senate of [William E.] Crow and [Pennsylvania Governor William C.] Sproul...the Governor and Crow are in control there, and they would be glad to side with Harding against any insurrection on the part of the Senators from the State. Indeed Sproul was a League of Nations man; and while he goes with his party, he would not be with the Bitter Enders...

The Delaware people have been misled as to my willingness to go West next Fall to speak in a lecture course there, and so they telegraphed me to know whether I could come this month. I found a day when I could go and make $500.00 by going...I delivered five lectures on legal ethics. My last lecture was early enough Wednesday morning to enable time to catch the noon train for New York, which landed me there in time to attend a dinner which Dwight, Hilles' partner, gave to Hilles on the eve of his sailing for Europe...Dwight had there...the Captain of the Maurentania on which Hilles sails. That Captain was the Captain of the Carpathia, Captain Rostron, who saved so many lives of passengers who were picked up in the boats from the Titanic after the Titanic went down. Congress voted him a medal and and [sic] its thanks, and I presented the medal to him. He was wearing the evidence of it in a button in his evening dress. Of course that was the biggest thing in his life and he very much cherishes it. Meantime it is a good thing to have the friendship of the Captain, as Hilles will have, and I hope it means that he will get as comfortable service as possible.

Hilles is hopeful that Dillingham's candidate from Vermont may be induced to accept the Chief Justiceship of the Court of Customs Appeals to Washington instead of the Circuit Judgship [sic], in order to give a chance to promote Mayer. Mayer deserved promotion...I knew the Vermont species and that this Judge would much prefer to live in Vermont, visit New York, have his expenses paid in New York, and return to Vermont, and to be a considerable person in Vermont, rather than to be buried in Washington...If they think the canny Vermonters who live near the Canadian line do not know the difference between a real Circuit Judgeship of a circuit like New York, Connecticut and Vermont, and the Chief Justiceship of a Customs Court, they are not familiar with Vermonters. My Father was a Vermonter...The case of Upton is dreadful...to nominate a man because of the political services of his wife is characteristic of the reasons that would govern Hays, but I am sure would not govern Harding, except that Hays persuaded him into a promise...Affectionately yours, [signed] Wm H Taft''.

Four page letter on four separate sheets measures 8'' x 10.5''. Heavy dampstaining to right and top edges, though not affecting legibility. Overall in fair condition with remarkable content.

Price: $1,500
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William Taft 1921 Letter Signed, on the Titanic, Harding's View on the League of Nations, His Speaking Fees -- ''...He...hasn't any pole star of conduct except his own selfishness and vanity...''William Taft 1921 Letter Signed, on the Titanic, Harding's View on the League of Nations, His Speaking Fees -- ''...He...hasn't any pole star of conduct except his own selfishness and vanity...''William Taft 1921 Letter Signed, on the Titanic, Harding's View on the League of Nations, His Speaking Fees -- ''...He...hasn't any pole star of conduct except his own selfishness and vanity...''
William Taft 1921 Letter Signed, on the Titanic, Harding's View on the League of Nations, His Speaking Fees -- ''...He...hasn't any pole star of conduct except his own selfishness and vanity...''
William Taft 1921 Letter Signed, on the Titanic, Harding's View on the League of Nations, His Speaking Fees -- ''...He...hasn't any pole star of conduct except his own selfishness and vanity...''
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