Jefferson’s house is up on the top of a hill, as are most of the others,—there are very few on the roads. Most of them are from a mile to five miles back, and although the land is covered with timber they built of brick, and imported Italian laborers to do the wood-carving. When I think of how much less in money and in trouble make a place far more magnificent in California, I wonder our people have not lovelier places. Of course, the difference is that in Virginia there were just three classes of people—the aristocrat, the middle class, and the negroes. The aristocracy had the land, the middle class were the artisans, and the negroes the slaves. The only ones who had fine houses were the aristocracy, whereas with us the great mass of our people are business and professional men of comparatively small means and we have few men who build palaces.
Things have blown up in Ireland, I see, and the Irish are going to suffer for this foolish venture. This man Casement who is posing as the George Washington of the Irish revolution, has held office all his life under the English Government and now draws a pension. His last position was that of Consul General at Rio de Janeiro. I got a pamphlet from him a year or so ago, in which he proposed an alliance between Germany, the Republic of Ireland, and the Republic of the United States, which should control the politics of the world. ...
Doesn’t the thought of Henry Ford as Presidential candidate ... surprise you? It looks to me very much as if the Ford vote demonstrates Roosevelt’s weakness as a candidate. Last night I went to dinner at old Uncle Joe Cannon’s house, and as I came out Senator O’Gorman pointed to Uncle Joe and Justice Hughes talking together and said, “There is the old leader passing over the wand of power to the new leader.” ...
Well, old man, I know that I do not need to tell you to keep your spirits up and your faith strong. Give me all the news, good as well as bad. Affectionately yours,
FRANKLIN K. LANE
TO FRANK I. COBB
NEW YORK WORLD
Washington, May 8, 1916
My dear Cobb,—Here is a memorandum that has been drafted respecting the leasing bill, that we are now pushing to have taken up by the Senate. This bill, as you know, covers oil, phosphate, and potash lands. ... There are three million acres of phosphate lands, two and a half million acres of oil lands, and a small acreage of potash lands, under withdrawal now, that cannot be developed because of lack of legislation. ...
The situation here is tense. Of course, nobody knows what will be done. I favor telling Germany that we will make no trade with her, and if she fails to make good her word we will stop talking to her altogether. I am getting tired of having the Kaiser and Carranza vent their impudence at our expense, because they know we do not want to go to war and because they want to keep their own people in line. ... Cordially yours,