Editorís note: This undated letter was most certainly written and distributed in
preparation for the Democratic convention of 1912. Senator-elect Vardaman is giving
his support for Oscar Underwood of Alabama and then Champ Clark of Missouri. This
convention ultimately nominated Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey. This letter was
apparently dictated to Mary Dinkins and signed with a rubber stamp.

From the collection of James M. Vardaman


James K. Vardaman
    Jackson, Miss.



My Dear Friend:-

           I know the backward conditions of farming and the consequent demoralization in all other lines of business will necessarily cause a sacrifice to one who neglects his work to look after politics. But there are public duties which are paramount and our obligations to the state and the nation just now render it necessary for us to see to it that none but worthy men are put in offices of trust and places of responsibility.

           I believe the democrats at Baltimore will nominate the next President of the United States. It is necessary that good, true men be sent to represent the people in that convention. The agent of predatory wealth, the political rounder and the unscrupulous partisan, such as Mississippi has been cursed with for the last four years should have no place in that convention. And it is your duty to see to it that such men are not sent as delegates.

           In the name of good government, let us see that the right sort of men are sent to the state democratic convention. The state convention will select a new executive committee. It is needless for me to call your attention to the fact that the present executive committee is it no way the servant of the people, nor has it undertaken in any way to promote the interests of the people. A change is Imperative.

           I do hope that you will see that the right things are done in your county. Personally, I am very much in favor of Mr. Underwood for president. He is the only democrat the south has had since the war who could be elected president. If the south shall stand by him, he will be nominated, and I predict will receive the largest vote any man has ever received for president of the United States. I have given this matter very serious thought and I say to you as my friend, that it is the best thing for us in Mississippi to do.

           After Underwood I am for Champ Clark. And one of these men is going to be nominated. Let us do our duty as we understand it and see to it that the democracy of Mississippi does not fall into the band, or rather remain in the hands of the old ring that has written the blackest page in her history in the Secret Caucus of 1910 and the villainous campaign of 1911.

           Talk this matter over with our friends, and promise me, PLEASE, to be at the polls on the day of the election and also on the day of the beat convention.

                                                                                 Cordially and sincerely,
                                                                                         Your friend,
                                                                                                 /s/ Jas. K. Vardaman


Original Letter