Calvin Coolidge; His First Biography;
Author: Robert Mann Washburn
Format: Kindle Edition
This volume was published in 1923.
From the book's Preface:
It was only a plain New England farm among
the folks of the hills of Vermont. There was
neither train nor telephone nor trolley. It was much
as God had made it. There lay a child, young and
weak and helpless, and a mother proud in the gift
of prophecy. And there stood by the child's cradle
one great and powerful, Fate. She had sought him
out in his simple atmosphere. Her protecting arm
she raised above him. She took him by the hand
and ever led him on. She saw in him virtue to be
recognized. Capacity was quick to see and to seize
opportunity. She commissioned into the service a
good and a great merchant of Boston. She cried
gangway to a creditable public servant, who stood
high and third on Beacon Hill, who blocked his
progress, who was then drafted into the grand army
of the politically dead. She commanded striking
policemen to open a path before him. A great Police
Commissioner gave wings to his feet. She led him
towards horizons as boundless as the seas, fame,
power and financial freedom. She set him in the
seats of the mighty. Even Death rode on before him
and cleared the way.
I have known him for sixteen years, since we were
in the House in Massachusetts in 1908. In 1913,
when he was Senate-Chairman of the Committee on
Railroads, I was House-Chairman. For five years
we were legislative colleagues.
His First Biography is an attempt to write of a
personal friend as he is. He has a marked indi-
viduality which appeals and stimulates an honest,
human story; history and romance, fact and fancy.
It seeks to cover the whole keyboard, setting out
cheerfully into the happy notes of the treble and
venturing at times among the gloomier notes of the
bass. It ventures to touch upon his particular indi-
vidualities, not only for the truth but also to lighten
the portrait with amusement, it is thought innocent.
It thus cinches its sincerity, sets off its praise. It
analyzes honestly his success and its causes. It also
attempts to respect the proprieties of the Presidency.
It drives at quality not quantity, symbolized by
the man and by his characteristic caution to the
R. M. W.
236 Bay State Road,
September 15, 1923