To his friend he writes of all this.
To John H. Wigmore San Francisco, May 9,1903
My dear Wigmore,—My trip East was a great success. After leaving you I stayed three or four days in Washington, where I found the Department of the Interior pretty well stacked against me; I, however, succeeded in having a day fixed upon which an argument would be listened to, and after this victory went to New York, where I met many old friends and made some new ones. ...
Upon my return to Washington I had several days of argument before the Department, saw the President [Roosevelt] twice and lunched with him, and then went South; was invited by the Legislature of Texas to speak before them, which I did with much satisfaction, especially as there were but two Republicans in both houses.
I stopped with my old friend Mezes, in Austin, who is the dean of the University, ... and easily the most influential man socially, politically, and educationally in the institution. ...
I am having an extremely disagreeable time. The Democrats here insist upon my running for Mayor, urging it as a duty which I owe to the party, because they say I am the only man who can be elected; and as a duty to the city, because they say that the scoundrels who are now in office will continue, and worse ones come in, unless we can elect some clean Democrat. I urge everything against the thing, that comes to my mind, including my poverty, the fact that I made four campaigns in five years, my personal aversion to the office of Mayor, the inability of any one to please the people of San Francisco as Mayor, the conspiracy of the newspapers that exists against a government that is not controlled by them, and the fact that to insist upon my taking this office would be an act of political murder on the part of my friends. ... Yours as always,
Heavy and continued pressure, through the spring and summer, was brought, by his party, to bear upon Lane to accept the nomination for Mayor of San Francisco. His letters show his reluctance and distress. The appeal was made personal, with reminders of sacrifices made for him. He at last agreed to run. His judgment of the situation was fully confirmed in the final event. His defeat was unequivocal. San Francisco had no idea of accepting a Democratic mayor with a leaning toward reform. Lane analysed the political situation in this letter:—
San Francisco, January 26, 1904
My dear Wigmore,—What the effect of my defeat for Mayor will be, it is of course impossible to say. Its immediate effect has been to throw me into the active practice of law, and thus far I have not starved. It will, of course, not lead to my retirement from politics, but it will postpone no doubt, the realization of some ambitions. I think I wrote you just what my state of mind was previous to the nomination. I did not wish to make the fight, did everything that was in my power to avoid the nomination, and even went so far as to hold up the convention in a formal letter which I addressed to it, telling them that I did not wish to be Mayor of San Francisco and begging them to get some one else.