Regard for our Candidates
Policies, parties and personalities inspire American citizens to support or reject candidates. This was true in past elections and is certainly true today! Current media coverage provides the American people with great detail about candidates' lives, both public and private. How has this influenced our regard for candidates, today?
Many of our presidents experienced turbulent candidacies. Sometimes we marvel at the scandals and difficulties that surface during a campaign, and sometimes we just "love 'em."
Abraham Lincoln received a hand made chair and had songs written for him, just for being nominated. Conversely, his anti-slavery position aroused so much opposition toward the candidate as to cause Mr. Oliver Parker to write the following dire but prophetic prediction:
"...it will require on your part, if elected, the greatest vigilance and precaution to preserve, your life and health, and it is to that end, that I write, to give you due warning of what I fear."
Mrs. Huyck's tall tale reminds us that presidential candidates have been loved and loathed throughout our nation's history.
In spite of the horse's prediction, Democrat Bryan lost to Republican William McKinley in 1896. The following story, told by Mrs. Charley Huyck, recounts how William Jennings Bryan's candidacy was blamed for the death of a horse!
"Father had an old horse named 'Jim'....He was a Republican horse according to what happened. Several very strong [William Jennings] Bryan men ...were joshing father about the coming election and one of them declared that Bryan would be elected. They were standing near the barn and old 'Jim' overheard this remark. The next morning he was missed from his stall and nowhere in sight. A search was soon under way and 'Jim' was found dead in a neighbor's pasture. He had broke out of the barn and run through a barb wire fence and was cut so badly he died. The boys started the story that he was so disgusted at hearing about Bryan's coming election that he committed suicide."