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JAMES B. "CHAMP" CLARK - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 05/13/1912 - HFSID 321198

As Speaker of the House (and front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination), he writes to supporters in New York. Clark's support from New York City delegates would backfire at the Convention, prompting William Jennings Bryan to throw his support behind Wilson.

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JAMES B. "CHAMP" CLARK
As Speaker of the House (and front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination), he writes to supporters in New York. Clark's support from New York City delegates would backfire at the Convention, prompting William Jennings Bryan to throw his support behind Wilson.
Typed Letter signed: "Champ Clark" as Speaker of the House, 1 page, 7¼x10½. Washington, D.C., 1912 May 13. On official letterhead to Harry W. Walker, New York City, New York, in full: "I have your very cordial letter and thank you for the same. Please remember me to your brother Ralph, and to your mother, and also to Col. Ed. Knox. I have no doubt that a friendly interview from him would be of service. Also, give my best compliments to Mr. Kennedy. Your friend". James B. "Champ" Clark (1850-1921) was a Democratic Member of Congress from Missouri (1893-1895, 1897-1921). He was Speaker of the House from 1911 to 1919. Clark was the front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1912, and led in delegates on the first ballot, but couldn't obtain the two-thirds then necessary for nomination and ultimately lost to Woodrow Wilson. Although he played a key role in steering early Wilson legislation through the House, he opposed the Federal Reserve Act (despite the placement of two Federal Reserve Banks in Missouri) and broke with Wilson entirely on the issue of entry into World War I. He was defeated in the Republican landslide of 1920. His son, Joel Bennett Clark, was a US Senator from Missouri (1932-1945). Harry T. Walker was a New York Times columnist well connected with New York City Democrats. Clark succeeded in winning support from many New York delegates at the Democratic National Convention (June 25-July 2, 1912), but at a fatal cost. When 3-time nominee William Jennings Bryan, not a contender in 1912 but still very influential with Southern and Western delegates, learned that the Democratic machine in New York City ("Tammany Hall") was throwing its support behind Clark, Bryan switched his own support to Wilson, and enough of his admirers followed suit to secure Wilson the nomination and - with the Republican Party split - the Presidency. Multiple folds. Heavily toned. Light surface creases. Edges frayed and worn. Irregularly torn on left and right edges. Small stain on left edge. Pencil notes (unknown hand) on verso. Otherwise, fine condition.

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