ills

Pictures and Illustrations.

John P. Altgeld.

525

The Presidenial Bee.

June 8, 1896.

Hon. James S. Hogg,
Attorney at Law, Austin, Texas.

Dear Governor: — The delay in answering your favor of the 1st was due to absence from the city on my part.

I feel highly flattered by your inquiry, but am glad to be able to say that I am not eligible to the Presidency. I was born in Germany and came to this country when I was three months old.

While I am an enthusiastic American and almost a crank on the subject of republican institutions and of government by the people, still I do not know what effect the buzzing of a Presidential bee might have upon my nervous system. I notice that it weakens most men. They are in constant fear of spoiling their chances, and consequently accomplish nothing.

We have had three or four great Presidents, but as a rule the great men of this country have not been Presidents. In fact, the men whose labors made republican institutions possible in America, and most of the men who later on shaped our destinies, were men who could not have been elected President. It requires positive and aggressive men to do much for their country. Could I have my choice in the matter I should prefer belonging to the latter, but as it is, I expect to walk in the shady valleys and to seek contentment in the humbler walks of life.

Many of us up here have watched you with much interest for several years, and have come to look upon you as one of the most able and aggressive men in the country, who has never bent before the winds that have been blowing so hard against Democratic principles, and I hope that I shall soon have the pleasure of seeing you.

With my kind regards, I am,
Very truly yours,
JOHN P. ALTGELD.