Click the images below for bigger versions:
Wallace, George W., Attorney
Typed Letter Signed, Huntington, West Virginia, October 20, 1913, to Democratic State Chairman Stuart W. Walker, Martinsburg, West Virginia

quarto, one page, formerly folded, hole punches along to edge of sheet, else very good.

$ 75.00 | Contact Us >

Republican Governor of West Virginia offering to his drop law suits against Democrat and Progressive opponents who had published an election campaign allegation (unstated in the letter) that he had bestowed political favors on Negro proprietor of a saloon and brothel.

Newly elected Republican Governor Henry Hatfield, a physician as well as a prominent member of the family involved in the violent Hatfield-McCoy feud, had won election in 1912 despite the national Democratic sweep of President Woodrow Wilson and the bitter Republican Party split with Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressives. Focused on a tumultuous coal workers strike which he denounced as union “anarchy”, Hatfield wanted to sweep under the carpet an election expose published in a Progressive newspaper alleging that a trusted “lieutenant” of his political machine was the “protected” Negro proprietor of a saloon and a house of prostitution, a “vile den of iniquity” where white women were “for sale” to Negro men, the profits benefiting Hatfield’s campaign. The victorious Hatfield had originally retaliated by suing both Long and Democratic chairman Walker for defamation. This letter by Long’s lawyer suggested that if Walker and Long would state publicly that they had not intended to thus “blacken” Hatfield’s “character” by their campaign allegations, the Governor would agree to “let all the [law] suits be dropped.” To sweeten the deal, Wallace, himself a prominent Democrat, mentioned that “About two months ago I was in Washington and had some business with the Attorney General. During a conversation with him your name was mentioned in connection with the District Attorney place for the Northern District. I took great pleasure in telling you were a good fellow…”

Accordingly, one month later, President Wilson appointed Stuart Walker to that federal position, which he held for the next eight years.