Monday, October 27, 2008

Taft and Coolidge

Here is another letter from a former president about an upcoming president. William Howard Taft wrote this letter in 1924 to his daughter telling her that Coolidge was gathering delegates and will probably win the nomination at the convention.

I also found something else in this letter fascinating – Taft talking to his daughter about her thesis. Helen Taft Manning was very well educated and went to be a college president (check where). In an era when women were just starting to really have this opportunity, she is a great example. I thought I’d transcribe the part about her education:
I sincerely hope that you are getting along successfully with your thesis. I don’t expect to hear form you in any lengthy correspondence while this burden is on you. I hope that you have settled down now to a satisfaction with your plan. There is real pleasure, after your plan in adopted, in filling it out and carrying out your general purpose. There is also a great advantage in finishing up what you have on hand. If you let it go for another year, you may want to change the plan and you will feel along, so that it will take you another full fear, whereas that ought to be behind you. The project of the book may well take you a long time, but it is wise to get the thesis out the way.

I find this very enlightening on Taft as it tells us that he was very supportive of his daughter’s educational pursuits and in fact was trying to keep her motivated (as all of us who have been here (and I’ve been there twice) now that is very hard to keep going) in finishing up her thesis promptly (I had to figuratively chain myself to my computer chair to finish up my final rewrites).

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