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Political Change

Ferrisophiles may find a letter written by Mr. Ferris on June 30, 1898, hard to believe. The letter was to the Republican State Central Committee asking for a job for Carleton.

"My son Carleton G. Ferris is a stenographer," he wrote. "He has acted as my private secretary for nearly one year. This was year before last. He has been in my office during the past week and I find he is quite as good if not better than when he did my work before. He is a young man of good habits, and would like to work for some of your subcommittees.

"I am a Democrat by birth and education, but this year I shall vote the Republican ticket."

"Possibly you will at once ask what is my politics. I am a Democrat by birth and education, but this year, on account of the financial plank that is forthcoming at Chicago, I shall vote the Republican ticket. I don't offer this as an inducement. I simply state it as fact." No record was found as to whether Carleton got the job.

An inconsistency does show up in Mr. Ferris' saying he was going to vote Republican because he didn't agree with a Democratic platform plank. In 1924 when Al Smith was running for president, Masselink wrote to then U.S. Sen. Ferris in Washington saying he was declining to vote in the election because he was against the repeal of Prohibition. Ferris wrote back to chide him saying: "You must vote the party regardless . . . ."

"If there is not a better party to belong to than the Republican or Democratic I will hunt up something else."

As early as 1894 Ferris had written to a friend to say: "If there is not a better party to belong to than the Republican or Democratic I will hunt up something else. I have had all I want of these old organizations. I am a Democrat by instinct, I am not saying the word politically; I believe in the rights of the people, and unless I see some good reason for remaining in the Democratic Party, I shall join some secret organization for the perpetuation of nobler ideas than either the old parties represent."

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