|To Frank Morrison
Lewiston, Maine, September 8, 1906.
Secretary, A.F. of L.
You will no doubt appreciate the hard and constant work I have had to do in this campaign. Before it opened and while at Washington I received a letter from Stuart Reid saying that this would be a "gruelling" campaign for me, and it has been beyond doubt.
Some things have transpired about which I could neither write or wire you. I had good reason to feel that there were leaks and which I feared would lead to obstacles to our efforts. Then again, some things have been done by a pretended friend1 of whom I shall tell you when I see you and an unwarranted action by one of our own men which to say the least, will do us no good, and which I believe will come up to torment us in the future, and beside that, the manner in which the matter was gotten out. When you learn of it you will be as much shocked as I was, and hurt as I am. To think of one part of [the] thing being done after I positively directed that it should not be done, is astounding and one that I cannot allow to pass without rebuking at the proper time. I have withstood my own sense of justice, to tell the party at once that his conduct was improper, and unjust and against my wishes and direction, because I felt sure that it would further hurt us if I did.
However, more of this when I see you.
The outlook is good. Cannon, Taft, Lodge and many other of the "Big Guns" were here and thundering at me. The trusts and corporations have sent a quarter of million of dollars to buy the election if it can be done; every voter is being reached, the Grand Army men, the old soldier dependents upon pensions are appealed to; the banker and lawyers, business men have been circularized to stand together against our movement and all sorts of danger warnings are sounded lest labor in its fight for justice, should win. Well, with this evening's meeting at Richmond our campaign here will close and the voting begin Monday morning. I expect to remain until the result is known, for I think that if I should leave before that time, some of our opponents would by word of mouth pass along some rumor among the voters and thus hurt us. In all the campaign I have tried to keep my head and avoid any possible mistake that might prove injurious to our cause now or hereafter.
Now, I am going to suggest to our men, and I shall follow this course myself, that if we succeed in defeating Mr. Littlefield that we should be as modest as possible in making claims of victory for labor. We should give the fullest possible credit to the people generally for awakening to demand their rights and justice. Labor will get a great deal of credit without our taking it or loudly proclaiming it. The less boastful we shall be, the greater will be our power in the future and the greater benefit will our movement be to the working people and all the people.
If Mr. Littlefield should be elected we can and may rightfully claim a moral victory for Mr. Littlefield has been killed even in his own party here, and then we have conducted an honest, clean cut campaign and compelled all our opponents to declare that organizations of labor are good, the labor question, human rights and right and justice have been the keynotes of our speeches and the seed has been sown which will bear good fruit.
Well, dear Frank, I can't write more now, must get ready now for lunch and then for the trip to and meeting at Richmond. Am anxious to get back to the office.
Hope you are well. Just got your telegrams2 which I have answered by wire.
With kindest wishes to you and our office and other friends, I am,
Yours sincerely, Sam'l. Gompers.
Preserve this letter, for I want to refer to it and other matters to which it relates.
TLtpSr, reel 103, vol. 115, pp. 443-45, SG Letterbooks, DLC. Typed notation: "Copy."