TLS signed “W. R. Hearst,” two pages, 7.75 x 10.5, San Francisco Examiner letterhead, July 31, 1923. Letter to Herman Bernstein, editor of the Jewish Tribune. In part: “I have been in Mexico and out of the way places and have not heard much of the details of the Henry Ford incident you allude to, but the article from the Jewish Tribune is illuminating. That article says ‘We are glad to know that Mr. William Randolph Hearst denies he ever said he favors Henry Ford for the presidency.’ I did not support Mr. Henry Ford for presidency or oppose Mr. Henry Ford for presidency. I simply said in effect that I was surprised to find that Henry Ford had so much strength in various parts of the country, even in the south…The slightest investigation would have made this fact obvious…I did not see any correspondent of the New York Times and consequently did not give him any interview at all and this statement…published in the Times is a pure fake. This correspondent probably saw an interview published in the New Orleans States and added to it…his own inventions making me say what I did not say, namely that I was with Ford for the presidency and that he was the man that should have all the peoples support…My choice for the presidency is Senator Reed on the Democratic ticket and Senator Johnson on the Republican because I know how those men stand on the issue which I consider most important before the American public today, namely, the question of keeping free from foreign entanglements according to the injunction of Washington and the other fathers of our republic.” Handsomely double-matted and framed with a photo of Hearst to an overall size of 28.75 x 17. In fine condition, with intersecting folds passing through the signature. Ford as a presidential candidate appealed to several disparate political factions as a ‘self-made man’ and the ‘people’s tycoon,’ who latched on to his neo-Populist rhetoric against ‘profiteers’ and ‘Wall Street.’ A poll conducted by Collier’s magazine in the spring of 1923 even had Ford as the front runner for the 1924 election, leading all candidates including the incumbent Warren G. Harding. In addition to the political content and discussion of Ford, Hearst’s letter is intriguing in its assertions against competing newspapers, harkening back to the newspaper wars that Hearst had fought during the rise of his publishing empire. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.
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