ROOSEVELT AND LITTAUER
The following was contributed by James F. Morrison and
transcribed for the
web site by Melanie Carbin. It was copied by Lewis G. Decker, Fulton County Historian, 1997.
GLOVERSVILLE DAILY LEADER MONDAY FEBRUARY 26, 1900
ROOSEVELT AND LITTAUER
Our Congressman, the Governor's closest advisor
In the New York World and Journal yesterday appeared pictures of Congressman Littauer of this city and accompanying the illustrations were articles referring to him as the most intimate friend and political advisor of Gov. Roosevelt. The New York Sun of Saturday first published the following reference to a speech of Gov. Roosevelt in which mention was first made of the friendship of the two men.
At the Harvard Club dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in Wednesday night, Gov. Roosevelt revealed the name of the man who, he said, was his most intimate friend and the person to whom he most frequently went for political advice. The Governor was speaking of the help he had received from Harvard men during his public career, and then, in substance said,
"I want to tell you that it is a Harvard Man and Congressman who is my most intimate personal friend and who is also my closest political advisor."
"Who is he?" came from all sides.
The Governor tried to go on with his speech, but, finding that impossible, he said, in a voice that could be heard only a few feet from the speaker's table:
The Hon. Lucius N. Littauer of Gloversville, NY, is the representative of the Twenty-second congress district.
The article in the Sunday World was as follows:
"I want to tell you that it is a Harvard man who is my most intimate friend and who is also my closest political advisor - and that man is Lucius Nathan Littauer." - Governor Theodore Roosevelt at the Harvard Club dinner.
The man who was thus referred to by Gov. Roosevelt is the member of Congress representing the Twenty-second congress district, made up of Fulton, Hamilton, Saratoga and St. Lawrence Counties.
Do you as any of his associated in congress or out of it what they think of this intimate friend of the Gov., they tell you "He is a bully good fellow in all that it implies." And this comes from Republicans and Democrats alike.
What is the bond of friendship between him and the Gov.? Congeniality of mind, heart, and purpose in matters political and social.
Lucius Nathan Littauer is one of your wholesome men. He is forty one years old, active in politics, active in business, worth $2,000,000, and despite his wealth, so democratic in his tastes and habits that all men are treated alike, be they rich or poor. He is one of the kind of men who know how to spend money so that he and his friends alike may enjoy the expenditure. He is the most companionable kind of man, ever cheerful, ever ready to tell a good story or to listen with equal readiness to the tale narrated by another. He loves to fish, to shoot, and it is intimated that he can put on the gloves and give the Governor points on boxing, even though he carries more flesh and hasn't had the advantage of eminent authorities on the use of gloves to give him points in a practical way.
Congressman Littauer was born in Gloversville January 1859. His father was wealthy, being a glove manufacturer, with headquarters in New York City.
In 1865 Mr. Littauer came to New York, receiving an education in the public schools until he entered Harvard University, where he met and formed a friendship with the man destined to be the Gov. of New York and who believes the star of destiny will land him in the presidential chair. Mr. Littauer graduated in 1878 and in 1882, with his brother took charge of the business established by his father. He made his residence in Gloversville. He took an active interest in politics, and although a follower of the machine and now one of the active leaders within the machine, being the man now in control of the affairs of his congressional district, he is a civil-service reformer, a man interested in tax reforms, forest and stream reforms, and in fact in all the reforms the Gov. has on his mind - and it is this congeniality of habit and thought that makes him so close to the Governor, he is also a well-informed man on various subjects referring to the material prosperity of the state.
Therefore the Gov. finds in him a mine of information which is cheerfully given at all times, and the frequency with which the men meet at Albany is evidence that the governor spook the truth when he said Littauer was his most intimate personal friend and closest political advisor.
Congressman Littauer never held any office other than the one he now occupies, to which he was first elected three years ago and re-elected by a plurality exceeding 12,000. He is also very close the Senator Platt, who enjoys his society as much as the Governor.
The Sunday Journal published the following:
A Richelieu stand behind the Governatorial chair in the state of New York. His name is Lucius N. Littauer. He is a maker of gloves at Gloversville, NY, and a maker of laws at Washington D.C. - a Congressman from the Twenty-second NY district. Bu he has never been known before as the man behind the chair. Governor Roosevelt says he is, and Congressman Littauer has not denied it.
It came out at the Harvard dinner the other night. The Governor never fails to attend the alumni feasts and always talks to his old chums.
The square-jawed executive had just arisen to the toast of his name and was smiling graciously, while his admirers were clicking glasses and yelling "hooray!" for the man of San Juan. He told the story of great men of Harvard in war and peace.
"Why", said the Governor, in measure words, "It is a Harvard man who is my intimate most personal friend and my closest political advisor".
Some men, bolder than the rest, yelled:
"Who is it Governor? Tell us who it is."
The Governor was slightly disconcerted. He had taken his seat, by he said to his next door neighbor:
"I met Lucius Littauer, the congressman."
And the name of Littauer passed out from the center where the Governor sat to all the purlieus of the banquet hall. Then the name of Littauer became great.
LITTAUER IS POPULAR
The new Richelieu is a popular man in his district, which embraces the counties of Fulton, Hamilton, Saratoga and St. Lawrence. He is about forty years old. He and Roosevelt were together at Harvard and intimate friends. The men were of congenial tastes and similar sentiments.
The Platt-Quigg-Payn men did not know of Littauer's power with Roosevelt until they found out that Roosevelt had to talk it over with Littauer before he would accept Platt's nomination for Governor.
Then when Platt concluded to fling an issue or two into the wing, if Littauer said "Yes" and Platt "No" it was a very sad affair for Platt and Platt's pride.
Not long ago Roosevelt said that the McKinley-Hay-Pauncefote Treaty was mostly bad. It was discovered afterward that Littauer had just dined with the Governor.
Platt said Roosevelt must save the party by running for vice president. The purpose of this was a plain as the nose on Mr. Platt's face. Roosevelt said he would not be side-tracked.
Platt's men discovered that shortly before this announcement was made by the Governor, Littauer had lunch with the governor.
When Roosevelt intimated that he was about to request Platt's Fish and Game commission men - henchmen numbering five - to walk off the end of a plank into the waters of oblivion, it strangely followed a breakfast the fighting Governor had with Littauer.
In fact, the wise are crying that if Littauer takes a few more meals with Roosevelt, it will all be up with Platt in this state.
LITTAUER MAY SUCCEED ODELL
Littauer spends much time in Albany, where the Governor rules. One of the rumors is that Roosevelt wants Littauer as chairman of the Republican state committee.
Besides the power of influence Littauer has the power of wealth. He is a millionaire, just as Hanna is a millionaire. In other words, as Hanna is to McKinley, so is Littauer to Roosevelt.
Platt men ogled Littauer sadly last Friday when Littauer appeared in the state committee with a proxy for W. W. Worden, of Saratoga. Plattites asked if it were the beginning or the end.
GLOVERSVILLE DAILY LEADER MONDAY MARCH 19, 1900
ROOSEVELT'S RIGHT HAND MAN
New York Herald discusses the rise of Lucius Littauer
The New York Herald yesterday contained the following, which will be read with a great deal of interest by the many friends of Hon. L. N. Littauer in this his home district:
There is a stocky built, good looking, young appearing fellow in the House of Representatives at Washington who is destined to cut a figure in New York State politics, and is already taking a part in national affairs. His name is Lucius N. Littauer. He is a representative from the Twenty-second congressional district.
Don't know him? Better ask Governor Roosevelt about him then. These two have their political heads together very often nowadays. Littauer is Roosevelt's confidant, not to say advisor - this is not because of his experience as a political, for of that he has but little, but because of a certain quality of hard headed, close fisted business sense. This is a mental stock in trade for which Roosevelt has great respect. It is easily converted to political ends.
Roosevelt is Littauer's hero. He looks up to the brainy New Yorker, and believes there is big political future ahead for the Governor. Littauer gives Roosevelt advise from a view point far removed from the adulatory circles which surround him at Albany. Sometimes this is good for a public man. In return, Roosevelt sets in motion certain influences at Washington which he can control which result in the swift advancement of Littauer there.
It is an effective combination, this co-partnership of two young hustlers who propose to carve out something for themselves. Littauer hopes to see Roosevelt President of the United States some day, and he has no envy for the rapid progress of the senior member of the political firm of Roosevelt & Co. He is content to be the silent partner.
The advancement in congress of Mr. Littauer has been a wonder to many of the old timers of the House, who probably did not know of his backing. He holds a prominent position on the committee on appropriations of the House, a place eagerly sought by and usually given to members with years of service to their credit. And yet this comparatively young man - he is just 41 - just came to Washington at the beginning of the last congress.
He had never held public office before. He was not even a politician, in the accepted sense of the term. He served his first term in congress without making any decided sensation. He did not thrust himself forward, but gradually widened a circle of friends, who knew him as a shrewd, practical, energetic fellow, willing to work and taking and interest in it. His constituents re-elected him.
When the present House was being organized there was a vacancy on the appropriation committee belonging to New York. Somebody whispered "Littauer." Could it have been Mr. Roosevelt? Any how, the suggestion found favor with Speaker Henderson, and Littauer went on. Thus Mr. Littauer comes into connection with national affairs. He will be heard from further, from time to time. This alliance with Mr. Roosevelt dates back a number of years, Littauer helped to boost him into his seat in the state assembly. He followed his course after he went to Washington in the several capacities in which Roosevelt has served the national government.
When they began to talk of Roosevelt for the vice presidency Littauer was one of the first to advise against it. He looks for better things for the governor, anyhow, and furthermore he does not believe that Roosevelt would be happy to preside over the senate. There is not enough action in that office to suit the Rough Rider.
This Littauer shows a great deal of political perspicuity for a man whose training has been in that of the counting house and Board room. When he was twenty-three years old he was placed at the head of an immense commercial enterprise. His father had been a manufacture of gloves at Gloversville, New York and after the young man came out of Harvard he was put in charge of the business. In Gloversville are made the greatest portion of the gloves worn in the United States, and Mr. Littauer's firm turns out its share. His business affiliations expanded, and he is connected with many enterprises. Thus he has gathered his store of business acumen, good judgment and policy, which he find easy to apply to politics.
He is an independent fellow - very. Sometimes he may be considered stubborn. This is often the case when a man who sees further than his neighbor, and has the nerve to stand by his farsightness.
Since it has been whispered abroad that he stands close to Gov. Roosevelt he finds himself sought after by men who he never heard of before, and who probably did not know his history by heart. Mr. Littauer makes it a point to refuse his intimacy with the governor to further anyone's schemes, unless he sees in them something to redound to Mr. Roosevelt's credit.
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