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Letter to Chairman Marcus A. Hanna of the Republican National Committee

November 12, 1896


We are through with the election, and before turning to the future I want to express to you my great debt of gratitude for your generous life - long and devoted services to me. Was there ever such unselfish devotion before? Your unfaltering and increasing friendship through more than twenty years has been to me an encouragement and a source of strength which I am sure you have never realized, but which I have constantly felt and for which I thank you from the bottom of my heart. The recollection of all those years of uninterrupted loyalty and affection, of mutual confidences and growing regard fill me with emotions too deep for pen to portray. I want you to know, but I cannot find the right words to tell you, how much I appreciate your friendship and faith. God bless and prosper you and yours is my constant prayer.

Now to the future. I turn to you irresistibly. I want you as one of my chief associates in the conduct of the government. From what you have so frequently and generously said to me in the past, I know that you prefer not to accept any such position, but still I feel that you ought to consider it a patriotic duty to accept one of the Cabinet offices, which I want to fill with men of the highest character and qualifications. I want you to take this tender under the most serious consideration and to permit no previous expressed convictions to deter you from the performance of a great public duty.

May I not expect to see you here very soon? Please give to Mrs. Hanna and the family the sincere personal regards of Mrs. McKinley and myself.

Your friend,

Source: Herbert Croly, "Marcus Alonzo Hanna: His Life and Work", MacMillan: New York, 1912, p. 229.

William McKinley, Letter to Chairman Marcus A. Hanna of the Republican National Committee Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/345943

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