Friday, October 14, 2016

Bull Moose Carey goes for Wilson: Cheyenne Leader for October 14, 1916.

Illustrating the ongoing split in the GOP, and perhaps providing us something that sounds a little familiar for us today, the Cheyenne Leader for October 14, 1916 lead with a story about respected former Republican Governor Carey supporting Woodrow Wilson.

Joseph M. Carey was born in Delaware and studied law at the University of Pennsylvania before coming to Wyoming as its first, territorial, Attorney General.  He went very rapidly from that post to being a Wyoming Territorial Supreme Court justice, and just as rapidly left that post to start ranching, founding a large ranch near what is now Casper Wyoming, the CY Ranch. The ranch house, indeed, still exists in a much updated form near today's Casper College.

Almost as soon as he took up ranching, he took up politics, first serving on the  Cheyenne City Council and then as the Territorial Representative to the U.S. House of Representatives.  He served in the U.S. Senate from 1890 to 1895 but lost that position thereafter.  At that time Senators were elected by the Legislature and there was a great upheaval in the Wyoming Legislature following the Johnson County War which, for a time, threatened the Republican hold on the state.

He returned to politics in 1911 and was elected Governor, but he was one of the Republican Governors who followed Theodore Roosevelt out of the GOP in the 1912 election, at which time he joined the Progressive Party.  He was sincere in his Progressive convictions and like some of the more dedicated Progressives he did not make peace with the GOP like Roosevelt himself did in this election year.  He remained in the Progressive Party until his death in 1924.

The 1916 election year saw quite a few instances like this.  While Roosevelt made peace with the GOP and returned to it, after some indication that he might run as Progressive against Wilson, not everyone did. And some of those Progressives were leaning towards Wilson, with some even going more leftward than that.

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