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NEW ENGLAND MAGAZINE

VOL. LIII

AUGUST, 1915

NUMBER 4

A CLEAR CALL

CONGRESSMAN WASHBURN'S POWERFUL APPEAL TO SENATOR WEEKS TO ENTER THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE

T

HE Boston Transcript for Saturday, July tenth, contained an earnest, sincere, and carefully considered letter advocating the nomination of Senator John W. Weeks as the Republican candidate for the presidency in 1916. This important communication is from Hon. Charles G. Washburn, who has been closely associated with Senator Weeks in Congressional work, and who knows him intimately. He speaks with authority, but no single argument which Mr. Washburn presents presents is more convincing than the fact of his writing this letter, the fact that Mr. Weeks has been able thus to win and hold the confidence of his colleague.

We shall take pleasure in quoting somewhat freely from this letter, for the benefit of such of our readers as have not seen it; but would first point out a few general considerations that offer food for serious thought.

In every grave crisis of our national history, a man has appeared peculiarly adapted to meet the exigencies of the hour. To a reverent mind this suggests inevitably the guidance of an over-ruling power. The larger the issue at stake, the more potent for good or ill to humanity, the stronger is the justification of our faith in such guidance. A searching backward look of this kind is solemnly impressive. The

early lives of men who have later become leaders in great events, appear to be a training, often in obscure. positions, for duties that shall subsequently be required of them. The rail-spitter's axe seems more unassociated with the manumission of the slave.

When we look forward today, and inquire, as well as we humanly can, what in the immediate future, are likely to be the difficulties that we shall face as a nation, and what qualities, what trainings, they require of him who is to be our leader, is it not profoundly significant that all thoughts turn toward two points-the possibility, almost probability, of a grave financial crisis, and the stern need of military, and especially of naval preparedness, if we are to escape war and maintain national honor? And is it not a matter of deep gratification that at such a juncture there comes forward, quietly, unheralded, and as if by the very force of events themselves, a man trained to the minute in these two great and difficult subjects? How happy we will be, how favored as a nation, if, in the events most likely to transpire in the course of the next five years, we shall have at the helm a man trained in the broadest problems of finance, and possessing an expert knowledge of army and navy! In our quotations from Mr. Washburn's letter we shall select those parts which particularly bear

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