Worlock, Wilber W.
Autograph Letter Signed, Grand Union Hotel, New York City, to Executive Chairman, Republican National Committee, New York

octavo, 4 pages, written in ink, in a very clear, legible hand, very good.

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One of the earliest analyses of the Cuban expatriate vote in Florida.

 

             Worlock, (yes, his actual name, not a pseudonym), a young Civil War veteran and newspaperman, who had come to New York from Ohio to give the Republican Party “zealous” service by “pen and voice”, reported that a man from Jacksonville, Florida told him that many of the state’s “naturalized Cuban residents were disposed to support the Republican ticket”, but were being “swerved” by the “bugaboo” assertion on the part of patriotic (?) democrats” that Blaine, if elected, would  immediately “declare War” on Spanish Cuba.

             This “ludicrous” assertion might have some impact, given “how easily … some men are influenced.”  Worlock was optimistic about the presidential campaign in general, believing “the masses” would support the Republicans, “their staunchest friends … if Republicans will but put, and keep their ‘Rifle’ of action in proper order, and charge it with the ‘Cartridge’ of earnest purpose, we shall in November next, most assuredly score the ‘bulls-eye’ of victory.”

Though nothing comparable to the vast immigrant flow from Europe and Asia, the 1880s saw a steady wave of immigration from Cuba to the United States, especially to southern Florida. Tampa alone showed an increase from 700 to 5,500, the city becoming a hotbed of anti-Spanish Cuban revolutionaries. While Florida, like the rest of the “solid South” voted Democratic in the 1884 presidential race, Democrat Cleveland beat Republican Blaine in the state by only 4,000 votes. So the Cuban immigrant could have made a difference.