Correct response: What is Indiana?
“Three-thousand-seven-hundred campaign orators are said to be in Indiana, and some twenty thousand meetings have been arranged for this week which is one thousand and five hundred for each congressional district in the state – one speaker to each six hundred men or to each one hundred and fifty voters. Based on the presidential vote of 1884, there will be, all in one week, a political meeting for each twenty-five votes in the entire state,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on October 26th, 1888. “We in New York can scarcely comprehend the intensity of Hoosier politics or the unparalleled efforts put forth by both parties to carry that pivotal state. The contest here is not a circumstance to it.”
In other lighter side of politics anecdotes collected from Northern New York historic newspapers:
- On July 9th, 1888, The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported about congressional look-alikes. “Congressman McKinney, of Ohio, bears a striking resemblance to Napoleon Bonaparte, while the profile of Representative Baker, of New York, is almost an exact reproduction of George Washington’s side face.”
- A Chicago politician set the August fashion scene at SPA City. “Alderman John J. Coughlin of Chicago, a visitor at Saratoga, has some ideas of what men should wear on full dress occasions, and a few evenings ago began the ‘reform,’ as he calls it, by appearing at a dancing party in the Grand Union Hotel attired in a full-dress suit of brilliant green. The effect is said to have been startling,” The Morning Star reported on August 1st, 1899. “Mr. Coughlin announces that he will wear a suit of lavender color on his appearance at the next social event.”
- On November 23rd, 1891, The Granville Sentinel boasted that Granville could out do Fort Edward in hospitality to the Washington County Board of Supervisors. “Fort Edward treated the board to a banquet Friday evening. In Granville, it will be a continuous banquet for a week – no one-night affairs!”
- The family that votes together has harmonious dinner conversations. “Nine brothers named Freeman, living near Middleport, Niagara County, who were ardent supporters of the ‘Tippacanoe and Tyler Too’ ticket in 1840, are all in line again this year for Harrison and Morton,” The Morning Star reported on August 4th, 1888.
“All we can hear at present is politics. Harrison and Morton, Cleveland and Thurman, and some pretty warm discussions on free trade, until we almost wish that no such word as politics could be found in the dictionary.” – Bartonville correspondent to The Morning Star, July 21st, 1888.
“The political handshaker will soon greet you.” – The Morning Star, August 2nd, 1888;
“The thermometer must register, even though it does not vote.” – The Morning Star, August 18th, 1888;
“The political pot has not got boiling here yet, but, no doubt, it will soon, as kindling in the shape of political documents are being scattered around with a lavish hand.” – Stony Creek correspondent to The Morning Star, August 31st, 1888;
“Speculation as to whether Vice President Agnew will be on the Republican ticket again this fall continues to be a favorite indoor sport. It is a sport enlivened, from time to time, by Agnew’s own participation in it.” – The Post-Star of Glens Falls, May 26th, 1972.
Photo: Esther Griffin White ca. 1915 courtesy Earlham College Archives.