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As the United States entered the 20th century, newspapers were political
powerhouses. The nation was too large for extensive personal
communications, Magazines were influential, but newspapers were the medium
by which people received their daily news about both the communities in
which they lived and the nation in which they were citizens. None realized
that more than Charles Warren Fairbanks, the onetime wire service reporter
who became a millionaire lawyer and industrialist and served as vice
president under President Theodore Roosevelt. Fairbanks dominated Indiana
politics for two decades. Playing a crucial role in his rise to national
political prominence was his secret ownership interests in newspapers. Many
newspaper owners have sought and held high public office. Few have been as
successful in the endeavor as Fairbanks. None have had such widespread
newspaper holdings without public knowledge. During the peak of his
political power, Fairbanks held controlling or significant financial
interests in the most influential Indiana newspapers, including the
Indianapolis News, Indianapolis Star, and Indianapolis Journal. He was a
major creditor of the Indianapolis Sentinel, the leading Hoosier Democratic
newspaper. His political rivals, particularly Sen. Albert J. Beveridge,
despaired of gaining editorial support in the Indianapolis and other
newspapers when engaged in conflicts with Fairbanks. Fairbanks never
publicly acknowledged a financial interest in any newspaper. The public in
turn-of-the-century Indiana did not realize until his death that its
dominant political leader also was its major newspaper owner. Fairbanks was
a conservative Republican and defender of late 19th and early 20th century
capitalism. One historian judged him to have "left few significant legacies
to his city, state or nation."
The judgment may be too harsh for a man who opposed the imperialism of
the Roosevelt progressives and was a member of the inner circle of the
United States Senate. Nevertheless it is true that it "was in politics, not
in the realm of ideas, or statesmanship, or popular appeal, that Fairbanks
made his mark."
His ability to harness the political system to his personal fortunes
resulted in his election as a United States senator and as vice president
from 1905 to 1909. It made him a contender for the presidency.
PERSONAL AND POLITICAL BACKGROUND
Fairbanks was born in Union County, Ohio, northwest of Columbus, in 1852
and was raised in a middle class farm family. He was graduated in 1872 from
Ohio Wesleyan University where he edited the college newspaper. Cornelia
Cole, whom he married in 1874, was editor of the newspaper of Monnett Hall,
then the female adjunct of Ohio Wesleyan. Upon graduation Fairbanks was
offered and accepted a job as reporter at $20 per week in Pittsburgh for
the Western Associated Press. The general manager of the wire service was
William Henry Smith, Fairbanks' uncle. Smith was a former Cincinnati
newspaper editor who later became a historian of the antislavery movement
and biographer of President Rutherford B, Hayes. Smith had been raised by
Fairbanks' family after his own father died. The job started a long
journalistic association between the Fairbanks and Smith families.
Fairbanks' most notable assignment in Pittsburgh was coverage of a visit of
Horace Greeley, who was running as a third-party candidate for president. A
rain ruined his notes and forced him to write his story from galley proofs
provided by a Pittsburgh editor and New York World correspondent.
After about one year Fairbanks was transferred to Cleveland. While
continuing his work as a wire service reporter, he attended law school and
was graduated in 1874 from Cleveland Law College. Then, with the assistance
of Charles Warren Smith, general manager of the Chesapeake and Ohio
Railroad and another uncle, Fairbanks moved to Indianapolis and became an
attorney for the Indianapolis, Bloomington and Western Railroad. His
practice expanded and he became a specialist in the finances of bankrupt
railroads. That work Fairbanks shrewdly turned to personal advantage by
investing in the securities of those railroads that would have healthy
financial recoveries. He served as an officer or director of several
midwestern railroads. By 1890, although still in his 30s, he was a
millionaire and had turned to politics. Fairbanks never acknowledged his
wealth. He complained of reports of his wealth and said nobody knew
"whether I am worth $50,000 or $1,000,000.''
His debut in politics came in 1888 when he managed the campaign of Hoosier
Walter Q. Gresham, a personal friend, for the Republican presidential
nomination. Gresham was then a federal appellate judge and later would be a
secretary of the treasury. The campaign challenged Indiana's regular
Republicans, who supported Benjamin Harrison. The nomination and the
presidency were won by Harrison. While Gresham was supported by such senior
Indiana Republicans as John W. Foster, the diplomat and onetime editor of
the Evansville Journal, Fairbanks was forced to build an organization of
young men who were not among the state GOP regulars. These men,
particularly lawyer Joseph B. Kealing, were to be his political managers
during the 1890s and early 1900s. Already Fairbanks knew more about
newspapers than most politicians, but the campaign provided a lesson on
their importance. John C. New, editor of the Indianapolis Journal and
Republican national committeeman, used his newspaper effectively on behalf
of Harrison. The Indianapolis News also supported Harrison. The Gresham
forces had no counterweight in Indiana. By contrast the Gresham forces
did well in Illinois where they had the support of the Chicago Tribune.
Fairbanks emerged as the leader of Indiana Republicans after the defeat of
Harrison for reelection in 1892. Spending freely of his personal fortune,
he built an organization of supporters throughout Indiana. He did so by
delivering speeches and cementing friendships in each Hoosier county and by
writing hundreds of letters to grassroots Republicans. His leadership
produced a sweeping victory in state elections in 1894. Republicans won all
13 congressional seats and control of both houses of the state legislature.
Then Fairbanks hitched his star to that of William McKinley and became a
personal friend of the Ohio governor. In 1896 Fairbanks delivered the
keynote speech at the Republican convention that nominated McKinley for the
presidency. In 1897, with the aid of the president-elect, Fairbanks was
elected United States senator by the Indiana legislature. As a confidant of
McKinley, Fairbanks quickly became part of the Senate's inner circle, but
he was never part of its top leadership.
In 1900, according to Fairbanks and one McKinley biographer, Fairbanks was
offered the vice presidential nomination and turned it down. The
nomination went to Theodore Roosevelt, then governor of New York, who
became president when McKinley was assassinated. In 1904 Fairbanks was
Roosevelt's running mate and was elected vice president. The nomination
resulted from Fairbanks' support among conservative Republicans and
Indiana's crucial role as a swing state in presidential elections in the
late 19th and early 20th centuries. Roosevelt was lukewarm to the
nomination, but he accepted the judgment of Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge, who
told the president, "He (Fairbanks) did want it and is after it---and means
to get it. If he pushes for it, he will get it."
As early as 1905 Fairbanks and William Howard Taft, the Ohioan who was
Roosevelt's secretary of war, were mentioned as leading candidates for the
1908 Republican presidential nomination. Roosevelt passed over
Fairbanks and in 1907 tapped Taft as his successor. The president's active
support, including mobilization of convention delegates from corrupt
Republican parties in the one-party Democratic South, made Taft the GOP
standard bearer against Democrat William Jennings Bryan. Fairbanks refused
an offer of renomination as vice presidential candidate. An embittered
Fairbanks resisted the advice of Joseph B. Kealing, his campaign manager,
that he not campaign for Taft because a Taft presidency would "foreclose
everything for at least eight years.'' His hold on the Indiana GOP
peaked in 1908. It had been challenged for about a decade by Beveridge, a
close ally of Roosevelt. Beveridge's influence also waned after 1908, and
he lost his Senate seat in 1910.
Fairbanks' dominance of Beveridge in Indiana proved the adage that the most
successful politics is local. Beveridge stood for imperialism abroad and
reform at home. He was a favorite of the national magazine press, known
for its muckraking during the first decade of the 20th century. David
Graham Phillips, one of the best known muckrakers, had been Beveridge's
roommate at DePauw University. Beveridge had given up his law practice when
he entered the Senate, but he found he had a talent for writing magazine
articles. From 1900 to his death in 1927 he wrote about 10 articles per
year and received $500 to $1,000 per article, substantial payments for that
era. He also wrote books and was a biographer of Chief Justice John
Marshall and of Abraham Lincoln. The national image and his magazine
writing were of little help in Indiana politics. Fairbanks' newspaper
interests and influence frustrated Beveridge for more than a decade. Not
until 1911, after his political career had peaked, did his friend John C.
Shaffer gain editorial control of the Star League newspapers, including the
Indianapolis Star, and give Beveridge a significant base of newspaper
support. By contrast national magazines portrayed Fairbanks as a tool
of industrial and financial interests. Yet he remained preeminent in
After 1908 Fairbanks was in semi-retirement. His last hurrah in politics
came in 1916. Democrats had controlled Indiana politics since 1908 while
Republicans mostly fought each other. In 1916 Will Hays, the young state
GOP chairman, united the conservative and progressive wings of the party
behind Fairbanks as the Indiana party's candidate for president. In
bargaining at the national convention, Roosevelt vetoed Fairbanks as a
presidential nominee.  Reluctantly Fairbanks became the vice
presidential running mate of Charles Evans Hughes, the former New York
governor and Supreme Court justice. The Hughes-Fairbanks ticket carried
Indiana, but it lost in a close race nationally to Wilson and Vice
President Thomas R. Marshall, a former Indiana governor. Two years later
While his early fortune came from his law practice and his investments in
railroads, Fairbanks had major holdings later in manufacturing and
farmland. He owned the Fairbanks Co., a foundry, and Indianapolis Frog &
Switch Co., a manufacturer of railroad switching gear. Both were located in
Springfield, Ohio, and were managed by Melvin L. Milligan, his
brother-in-law and a member of a prominent Ohio Republican. Family members
became managers and partners in his enterprises. Brothers William D. and
Luther M. Fairbanks were his partners in farming and banking in central
Illinois. Brother Newton H. was associated with him in manufacturing
companies. Probably both he and William Henry Smith, his uncle, had major
stockholdings in Oliver Typewriter Co.
OWNERSHIP OF THE INDIANAPOLIS NEWS
In the mid-1880s Fairbanks and William Henry Smith started thinking about
buying newspapers. 
At that time he had not started his rise in politics and he and his uncle
were looking upon newspapers solely as business ventures. In 1886 they
considered the purchase of the Indianapolis Journal, the flagship of
Indiana Republicanism, and of the Chicago Times, then for sale due to the
death of longtime editor Wilbur Story. Smith believed the Times could
compete effectively against the Chicago Tribune by adopting an editorial
policy independent of political parties.
The concept of editorial independence as a means of business success was
to be the cornerstone of the later entry of Fairbanks and Smith into
newspaper publishing. Three years later they considered buying the
Indianapolis Sentinel, owned by Samuel Morss and the voice of the Indiana
Democratic party since 1841. None of the purchases were made, although
Fairbanks later was a secret creditor of Morss.
Finally, on May 12, 1892, after several years of discussion about newspaper
ventures, Fairbanks and William Henry Smith bought a controlling interest
in the Indianapolis News from John Holliday. Holliday had founded the
News in 1869 as a politically independent afternoon newspaper. Although it
had an independent editorial voice, it generally endorsed Republican
candidates and policies. Buying a newspaper that already was editorially
independent was a shrewd move. To purchase a partisan newspaper and then
change its policy to one of editorial independence would have been risky.
Nothing illustrates that business peril more than the experience of the
Louisville Courier-Journal, one of the nation's leading Democratic
newspapers. In 1896 the newspaper, appalled at the prospect of free silver,
opposed Democratic standard bearer William Jennings Bryan and readers
"numbered in the thousands, astounded and then enraged, deserted the
Courier-Journal.'' The Courier-Journal weekly edition, with a
circulation of 200,000 copies throughout the South, failed. Probably the
daily edition survived only due to the continued prosperity of the co-owned
afternoon Louisville Times. Editor Henry Watterson was forced to return
from semi-retirement and spend the next few years rebuilding the
Courier-Journal. The newspaper returned to its moorings and in 1900
endorsed Bryan. By 1892 William Henry Smith had been in the news
business almost 40 years. Undoubtedly he realized the risk to the reader
base and thus to business success if he and Fairbanks had purchased a
partisan newspaper and changed its editorial policy to one of political
W.J. Richards, business manager of the News, continued in that position and
as a minority owner. Charles R. Williams, Smith's son-in-law, had a small
ownership interest and became editor. One of Smith's purposes in buying the
News was to provide a better financial opportunity for Williams, who had
been professor of Greek at Lake Forest College before serving nine years
under Smith as assistant general manager of the Associated Press.
Smith's business affairs were managed by his son Delavan, who inherited his
father's interest in the News in 1896. Although he was nine years
older, Fairbanks had close personal ties to his cousin Delavan, who spent
much time as a child at the Fairbanks family farm in Ohio. The News was
organized as a partnership and did not become a corporation until the
After some initial adjustments of ownership, the approximate interests held
were: Richards, 43.3 percent; Fairbanks, 38.1 percent; Williams, 10
percent, and William Henry Smith, 8.6 percent. The Fairbanks-Smith
families held a majority interest, but their control was limited by an
agreement that Richards would run the business side of the newspaper and
Williams would be in charge of editorial policy and operations.
Further, under partnership law, Richards could force a dissolution of the
partnership at any time; if the partners could not agree on the terms of
dissolution, a receiver would be appointed and the newspaper would be sold
at public auction. The partners agreed that Fairbanks' interest would be
kept secret. If it became public, the News' reputation for political
independence, a business asset, would be severely harmed. Fairbanks'
financial interest was kept confidential---in violation of the law after
1913---until after his death 26 years later.
The partnership was successful financially. In part due to a drop in the
price of a copy to two cents, the News ' circulation rose from 23,000
copies daily in 1892 to 34,000 copies daily in 1895.
Publication was six days a week. The Sentinel had an agreement with the
News that barred the News from publishing on Sundays.
The partnership had been capitalized at $250,000, and payments to
partners totaled that amount within 43 months.  Despite the financial
success, the agreements to maintain a politically independent editorial
policy and to keep Fairbanks' ownership secret made the partnership a rocky
one. Only the close family ties of the majority owners prevented
dissolution. The division of responsibility between Williams and Richards
also caused friction and ultimately was to result in complete ownership by
the Fairbanks-Smith families.
As his political control of Indiana Republicanism grew and his involvement
in national politics emerged, Fairbanks became unhappy with the News'
independence. He complained in early 1895 about News editorial policies and
said to William Henry Smith, "I am neither consulted nor are my suggestions
invited.'' Williams answered that "the News as an independent paper can
help you; as your personal organ it could have no influence. It has been my
understanding always that it is not to be known that you have any interest
in the paper. I have acted on that theory.'' Fairbanks remained
In late 1895 Fairbanks, by then involved in the campaign to put William
McKinley in the White House and make himself a United States senator,
believed he was being harmed politically by rumors of his ownership of a
politically independent newspaper. In 1892 he had been "nervously anxious
not to be known in the deal in any way, shape or manner.' Now Fairbanks
urged William Henry Smith to make the News a voice for Indiana GOP
policies. After Smith refused, Fairbanks asked that a letter be published
stating that he did not control the editorial policies of the News Smith
rejected the request and wrote:
When you wrote the letter demanding that the News support Republican
measures, you had in view your relations to the party which occupied so
large a part in your mind, but you overlooked other relations to which I
wish to call your attention. We grant that the letter would protect you
with party workers, but would it with a large and intelligent part of the
party? I think not..
When we entered upon the News enterprise it was with the high purpose to
preserve to the community the benefit of a high-toned, independent
newspaper on the lines which John Holliday had run with unerring skill. You
wanted to prevent the property from getting into hands who would ignore
this high purpose and be unfriendly to your ideal. You did not care who
owned the property so that was made secure. I should not have taken shares
in the enterprise and become in a measure responsible for the tone of the
paper if this had not been the purpose. I believed that the News run as an
independent paper would pay in a double sense: financially and in the
reputation for all interested in it.
Fairbanks also was rebuked by Delavan Smith, who had represented his father
in purchase negotiations. He reminded his cousin that their agreement for
management of the News provided "that you, being a corporation man and
politician, should be unknown to the public in connection with it, and the
paper should in no way be compromised by your political relations and
interests. . . The paper has since been managed strictly in these limits."
Disputes over News policies arose in the future, but Fairbanks, although
the controlling financial partner, always acceded to William Henry Smith's
and Delavan Smith's firm resolve to maintain the newspaper's editorial
independence. That willingness to give way is best explained by deep family
affection. William Henry Smith wrote to Fairbanks as "blood of my blood,
bone of my bone.''Even when grousing about News ' policies, Fairbanks
said to William Henry Smith that "my love for you is unabated.'' And
always, despite differences over business and editorial policies, the Smith
family had an iron-willed resolve to support the political career of their
Due to continuing friction, a scheme was devised to remove Fairbanks as a
partner of record. A contract was prepared under which Fairbanks purported
to sell his share of the News for a $30,000 note from William Henry Smith.
The contract contained a provision under which Fairbanks could repurchase
his interest for $30,000 whenever he ceased his political activities and
the repurchase would not embarrass the News "in its business and character
as an independent newspaper." It was an agreement without substance
because Fairbanks was to receive as interest the same amount he would have
received in partnership payments and he could force dissolution if the
partners refused to readmit him as a partner. The consideration of
$30,000 was far less than what his interest was worth. Smith died before
the contract could be signed.
After Delavan Smith became the managing partner upon the death of his
father in 1896, Richards suggested the sale/repurchase contract with
Fairbanks be revived. The action of the minority partner was triggered by a
story in the Kokorno Dispatch that linked Fairbanks to ownership of the
News. There is no evidence that the suggestion was followed. Richards
was dissatisfied with his lack of a voice on editorial policy, and this
eventually resulted in the sale of the News By 1899 a receiver had been
appointed because Richards and the Fairbanks-Smith group could not agree on
dissolution terms. An event that speeded the sale was an editorial in 1899
that endorsed Robert S. Taylor of Fort Wayne for election as United States
senator. Richards was a friend and supporter of Albert J. Beveridge, then
an Indianapolis attorney who was mounting what would be a successful bid
for senator. The editorial was written by Williams and appeared in the
first edition of the News . When Richards saw the editorial, and while
Williams was absent from the office, he ordered a replate and the editorial
was not published in later editions. The editorial was a mark of
Williams' independence because Fairbanks' political associates were
supporting J. Frank Hanly, a former congressman and future governor, for
On June 3, 1899, the News was sold at public auction for $926,000. The
significant bidders were Richards and a Cincinnati man. After the
Cincinnati man made the winning bid, it was announced that he represented
Delavan Smith and Williams. The announcement was misleading. In fact,
Fairbanks owned 75 percent of the partnership that purchased the News,
and he held that interest until his death.
Smith owned 20 percent of the partnership. Williams held a five percent
interest until 1911 when he retired as editor. Upon his retirement the
interest was purchased by Smith for $275,000.
In 1892 Richards' share of the News had been valued at $108,300. His
share of the public sale proceeds was $401,000. Already managing partner,
Smith became publisher and chief executive of the News. William Henry Smith
had trained his son, a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
in the news business. The father hired Smith as an executive of the Western
Associated Press and gave him responsibility for newsgathering in the
western United States. Smith also gained experience in stints with the
Chicago Inter-Ocean and Washington Post. In addition to his interest in the
News , Smith was a substantial stockholder of Mergenthaler Linotype Co. and
Oliver Typewriter Co. Although he often traveled to Indianapolis, Smith
maintained his residence in Lake Forest, Illinois, north of Chicago.
By the time that the Smith-Fairbanks families gained complete control, the
News was the most influential paper in Indiana. One Hoosier reformer
described it as a "curious combination of mugwump-Fairbanks organ."
Over the years the News vigorously supported Fairbanks' senatorial, vice
presidential and presidential ambitions. Often it opposed his policy
stances. The News opposed the annexation of Hawaii and a tariff on imports
from Puerto Rico. Fairbanks supported both measures. Generally the News was
anti-Roosevelt until Fairbanks became vice president. Then it muted its
criticism of the president until 1907 when it became clear Roosevelt would
not support Fairbanks as his successor. More important to Fairbanks'
career than differences over editorial policy was the News support of him
against Beveridge in battles over control of the Indiana Republican Party.
Both men had national ambitions during the 1900-1910 period that could be
realized only with the backing of the state party. Beveridge was unable to
muster significant support from the News or other major Hoosier newspapers
until 1911. Press support was important in the successful effort of
Fairbanks to remain preeminent in Indiana GOP politics and helped offset
Beveridge's better relationship with Roosevelt. Much of Fairbanks' support
reflected the use of his financial resources to buy major interests in
The public sale did not end the friction between Fairbanks and the News. In
1899 Jerry Mathews, Washington correspondent of the News , complained that
Fairbanks had withheld a story from him and had given it to the
Indianapolis Journal. Smith admonished his cousin that "(i)t won't do for
you to keep this up as it would give the enemy an advantage and would
compel us to rely wholly on the junior senator (Beveridge) for news---which
would work to your detriment with the people.'' The incident may have
reflected an uneasy alliance of convenience that Harry C. New, editor of
the Journal, was forging with Fairbanks.
CONTINUING CONFLICT AND AMBITION
Often Fairbanks' outbursts over News' editorial policies came during the
stress of campaigns for higher office. The Indianapolis Star, in which
Fairbanks had at least a creditor's interest, endorsed him for the
presidency. The Star said Fairbanks conservatism would serve the nation
well at a time when it "is menaced by rampant radicalism proclaiming as its
purpose revolutionary changes in the very nature of American
government." After that the campaign did not fare well. In November,
1906, Fairbanks was described unfavorably by David Graham Phillips in "The
Treason of the Senate," among the best known of muckraking articles.
Phillips alleged ties between Fairbanks and J.P. Morgan, the nation's most
powerful banker, and railroad baron E.H. Harriman. Then, in May and
June, 1907, came two heavy setbacks. One was the serving of alcoholic
beverages at a lawn party and luncheon Fairbanks gave for Roosevelt. The
other was a two-part muckraking article in Collier's Weekly .
The lawn party and luncheon at Fairbanks' Indianapolis home came during a
visit that Roosevelt made to deliver a Memorial Day address. Most of
Indiana's political elite were present. Fairbanks and his wife were
teetotalers and publicly adhered to the abstinence policies of their
Methodist Church. Fairbanks had once suggested that buttermilk was
healthier than liquor. Indianapolis Mayor Charles Bookwalter, the master of
ceremonies, noticed an absence of alcoholic beverages. Thinking that
Roosevelt might want a cocktail and without informing the vice president or
his wife, Bookwalter ordered a caterer to provide cocktails.
When reporters noticed Roosevelt drinking a cocktail on the vice
president's lawn, it became a political as well as personal embarrassment.
Derisive stories about "Buttermilk Charlie" becoming "Cocktail Charlie"
abounded in the nation's newspapers and harmed Fairbanks among
prohibitionists, an important political constituency. The incident also
exacerbated Fairbanks' cool relationship with Roosevelt.
Collier's Weekly was one of the nation's best read magazines when it
portrayed Fairbanks as a presidential candidate who "relies on the Wall
Street interests with which he has so long been associated.'' The
magazine was known for its muckraking coverage of public affairs and had a
weekly circulation of about 800,000 copies. The article on Fairbanks
was written by Gilson Gardner, chief political writer for Newspaper
Enterprise Association and Washington correspondent for E.W. Scripps
newspapers. Gardner was familiar with Fairbanks because in 1904, when he
was both Washington correspondent for the Chicago Post and an aide to
Beverage, he provided information for a favorable profile of the then vice
presidential candidate. However, the source of most of the information
for the Collier's article was Jerry Mathews, the former Washington
correspondent for the Indianapolis News. Mathews had become clerk of the
Senate Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds and private secretary to
Fairbanks and thus had access to his business files. Fairbanks claimed that
Mathews held a grudge
because Fairbanks had failed to get him a $5,000 federal job and this
caused him to provide the information.
Much of the article was a hyperbolic rehash of Fairbanks' early career as a
railroad lawyer and financier. It claimed that Fairbanks was worth $4
million by the early 1890s as a result of his investments in bankrupt
railroads for which he was legal counsel. It asserted that Fairbanks had
represented Jay Gould and E.H. Harriman, the railroad magnates, and that
Harriman had used his influence to obtain for him the 1904 vice
presidential nomination. Fairbanks' legal talents were disparaged and he
was portrayed as a financial manipulator who "was speculating in
receiverships, buying, selling, and consolidating railway properties, and
acting as the go-between for the Wall Street interests which wreck and
finance railroads.'' He was described as the Midwest representative of
J. Pierpont Morgan, the nation's most powerful banker. Much of the article
was devoted to allegations that Fairbanks used legal manuevers to avoid
paying wages owed to workers of bankrupt railroads and persuaded courts to
break strikes and jail strike leaders. The article said newspaper stories
that claimed Fairbanks was more favorable to labor than William Howard Taft
and House Speaker Joseph Cannon, rivals for the 1908 GOP presidential
nomination, were false.
Fairbanks exerted an ironfisted control of political news published in
Indianapolis newspapers through his secret ownership interests, particular
the News and Star, according to the article. It asserted that Fairbanks
personally edited dispatches describing how the Republican National
Convention notified him of his nomination for vice president and of an
Indianapolis political rally for him. The article charged that Fairbanks
sought to have an Associated Press reporter transferred because he refused
to falsify crowd estimates and had the Indianapolis correspondent of the
Tribune "peremptorily dismissed for having too favorably mentioned Senator
Beveridge in an article which was to be a review of Indiana politics.''
It also alleged that Fairbanks intervened to keep a story about a Beveridge
speech off the front page of the Star and complained to the Indianapolis
Journal about its favorable coverage of Beveridge.
Fairbanks made no public reply to the Collier's article. Later he
characterized the article as "absolutely false in every essential fact and
inference.'' In fact much of the article was factually true. What was
false were a few facts and the hyperbolic conclusions about sinister
conduct. Fairbanks said the "suggestion with regard to the newspaper
situation at Indianapolis is on a par with other statements---as the
statement is an absolute perversion of facts.'' He denied business ties
with Gould and Harriman and with Mergenthaler Linotype Co., which had
received a lucrative contract from the Government Printing Office. Much
of the spin in the article was unfair, but the gist about his newspaper
interests was true.
It was against the background of campaign stress that Fairbanks had another
clash with the News over its editorial policies. The News had attacked
House Speaker Cannon's opposition to a pure food and drug law. Relying on
rumors about Fairbanks' ownership of the News, Cannon persuaded some
Illinois newspapers to publish editorials critical of the vice president.
What Fairbanks described as the most savage attacks were printed in the
Chicago Post, a newspaper owned by John C. Shaffer, a close friend of
Beveridge. Cannon's effort to pressure Fairbanks to intervene worked;
Fairbanks' intervention did not.
Fairbanks wrote Williams that he "had indulged the hope that my friends at
home might refrain for a few years at least from attacking my friends. I am
helpless and almost hopeless." Williams answered that the News had made
a policy rather than personal attack on Cannon and told Fairbanks his best
interests would be served by passage of a pure food and drug law.
Fairbanks called upon friends to intervene. James A. Hemenway, who had
succeeded Fairbanks in the Senate, wrote Smith that many "hold out the idea
that the News is Fairbanks' organ and that he inspires and is responsible
for what appears in its editorial columns. Unfortunately, we seem to be
unable to convince our friends that this is not true.''
Earlier Fairbanks had been embarrassed by News editorials that criticized
Sen. Nelson Aldridge of Rhode Island and Sen. John C. Spooner of Wisconsin,
both members of the top Republican leadership. Aldridge was described as
representing the nation's most corrupt interests. The News said Spooner was
a man of ability, but one who represented corporate and railroad
interests. The complaints of Fairbanks and his allies fell on deaf ears.
The Collier's article brought about a healing between Fairbanks and Delavan
Smith, who had expressed his outrage at what he considered an unfair attack
on his cousin. Fairbanks replied that "(e)verything looks admirable. I am
deeply touched by the kindness of the people in the face of the villainy of
the muckrakers.'' The vice president said he had "never seen such
recklessness in my life. How can men indulge in pure, unadulterated
invention and the likes is more than I can tell." While the News
continued an independent course on public policy issues, it endorsed
Fairbanks for president and Smith became personally involved in the
In January, 1908, Roosevelt endorsed Taft for the Republican nomination.
While the campaign for the nomination lasted until June, the president's
action effectively ended Fairbanks' chances to succeed Roosevelt.
INTERESTS IN OTHER NEWSPAPERS
While his majority ownership in the News was the most rewarding financially
and politically, Fairbanks had a myriad of other newspaper interests. In
fact, during some of the years of his political ascendancy, he held a
financial interest---often a controlling one---in every Indianapolis daily
newspaper except the politically insignificant Indianapolis Sun. Mostly he
invested in other newspapers to enhance his political fortunes, but the
first purchase after the News was mainly for business advantage.
In 1899, after the News was sold to Fairbanks, Delavan Smith and Williams,
two of the newspaper's former owner-executives joined to found the
Indianapolis Press as a competitor of the News. The Press' owners were John
H. Holliday, who had founded the News in 1869 and had sold it to Fairbanks
and William Henry Smith in 1892, and W.J. Richards, who had been business
manager and a minority owner until 1899. The Press built a daily
circulation of 18,000 copies, but it lost money. The News pursued a
business strategy of spending freely from profits to maintain editorial
quality and thereby forcing the money-losing Press to deplete its
capital. Brown paraphrases Delavan Smith as saying:
We are spending money lavishly out of earnings. It is costing us nothing in
the way of capital. In the meantime our friends of the Press , not having
yet begun to earn a surplus, are spending out of capital acquired from sale
of their former interest in the News . If we make a good enough paper to
satisfy the reading public, the Press will get tired out its expenditures
of capital without profit.
The archives do not disclose the extent of Fairbanks' involvement, but as
majority owner his consent was needed to acquire the Press. In early 1901
the News bought and killed the Press. The price was $150,000, but the News
sold the Press' equipment for $81,285, bringing the actual cost down to
While the decision to buy and eliminate the Press was a business one, it
aided Fairbanks in his fight with Beveridge for dominance among Indiana
Republicans. Richards had served as both editor and business manager of the
Press, and he used its pages to support Beveridge. The Press' demise cut
seriously into Beveridge's support among state capital newspapers. The only
remaining newspaper that treated him sympathetically was the Indianapolis
Journal, which also was supporting Fairbanks. The Journal's support of
Beveridge was soon to disappear.
Indiana journalism still was intensely partisan at the onset of the 20th
century. The state had Republican and Democratic editors' associations.
Indianapolis was the center of the party press. The Democratic banner was
carried by the Sentinel. The Journal was the Republican voice. Louis
Ludlow, the Washington correspondent for the Sentinel and later the Star,
described the battles between the newspapers as "partisan journalism of the
slapstick variety.'' He said "(m)embers of the Republican Party
throughout Indiana swore by the Journal and swore at the Sentinel.''
Fairbanks changed all that.
The Sentinel was purchased in 1888 by Samuel S. Morss, a successful
publisher in other cities and minister to France from 1893 to 1897. Morss
encountered financial problems. Whether Morss borrowed first from Fairbanks
or whether Fairbanks bought Morss' notes from another lender is not known.
Archival records do show that by 1892 Fairbanks was a secret creditor of
Morss and used his financial leverage to influence the policies of
Indiana's leading Democratic newspaper. Since the Sentinel kept its
Democratic moorings, it is most likely the influence was used to mute
criticism of Fairbanks while keeping up the drumfire against his Republican
After buying the Sentinel, Morss made a major mistake in switching from
morning to afternoon publication, a move that cost the newspaper its
Associated Press franchise and put it on the financial rocks. The
Sentinel also lost part of its subscriber base when it remained neutral
during the Democratic battle over free silver in 1896. When Morss died
in 1903, Democratic Party leaders tried to keep the newspaper alive. They
succeeded only in turning it into a scandal sheet. The News acquired
the Sentinel in 1906 for $116,500, but the actual cost was $25,000. About
$91,500 was realized from the sale of the newspaper's equipment. The
sale also helped the Star because it and the Sentinel published Sunday
George C. McCulloch, a Muncie traction magnate, started the Muncie Star in
May, 1899. Earlier that year McCulloch, a former state Republican chairman,
had joined with Fairbanks' allies to unsuccessfully oppose the election of
Beveridge as U.S. senator. In 1903 McCulloch started the Indianapolis Star
and Terre Haute Star. The three morning newspapers were known as the Star
League and quickly became a force in state politics. Generally, the
Star League newspapers were favorable to Fairbanks and unfavorable to
Beveridge. However, the junior senator did believe the Star treated him
better than the News or Journal. The Journal was owned after 1878 by
John C. New, a leader of the Benjamin Harrison forces in Indiana
Republicanism, and his son, Harry S. New. The newspaper's support swung to
Fairbanks in the 1890s and after 1899 steered a middle course between
Fairbanks and Beveridge. The Journal struck financial shoals, and Harry S.
New, the future senator and postmaster general, sold the newspaper in the
winter of 1902-1903.
The Journal's buyer of record was Charles L. Henry, a Muncie businessman
who had made a fortune in street railways and had served as a congressman.
The secret majority owner was Fairbanks. The purchase decision for
Fairbanks was primarily a political one. The Journal was losing money and
had no prospect of becoming profitable. Henry may have believed the
newspaper could become profitable. His agreement with Fairbanks made Henry
responsible for covering future Journal losses. Fairbanks' ownership of
the Journal stripped Beveridge of any significant support among
Indianapolis newspapers in the continuing contest between the two men for
control of the Indiana Republican Party. The small circulation Indianapolis
Sun was the only newspaper that supported Beveridge. Beveridge had asked
John C. Shaffer, his friend and the publisher of the Chicago Post, to buy
the Journal, but Shaffer could not raise the money to match the financial
resources of Fairbanks. In 1904, campaigning to retain his Senate
seat, Beveridge complained that "(n)o paper in Indiana has yet told the
people even that I am a candidate to succeed myself except our county
McCulloch offered to buy the Journal before he started the Star. At the
time Fairbanks refused because he judged a sale to McCulloch was not in his
political interest and because his agreement with Henry forced Henry to
invest more money to cover Journal losses. Relations between Henry and
Fairbanks were ruffled in early 1904 when Henry attempted to oust New as
Republican national committeeman for Indiana. Joseph B. Kealing and state
GOP chairman James Goodrich, allies of Fairbanks, supported Henry, but
Fairbanks remained neutral. Finally, in June, 1904, with the Journal
almost bankrupt and with Henry threatening to put it into receivership,
Fairbanks agreed to sell the newspaper to the Star. At the time of the sale
Fairbanks owned more than 80 percent of the Journal . Fairbanks may
have received Star League bonds in the sale. Gardner claimed in 1907 that
Fairbanks owned $200,000 worth of the bonds. Future events suggest
that Fairbanks retained enough financial interest to exert influence over
the Star League's editorial policies.
In October, 1904, Fairbanks' political interests received a setback.
Shaffer persuaded Daniel G. Reid, a banker and railroad financier, to
provide most of the money to purchase the Star League. The circulation
war with the Journal had proved costly, and McCulloch wanted to recover his
investment in the newspapers. Shaffer became publisher of the
Indianapolis Star and provided Beveridge with a powerful voice in the
Indiana press. It did not last long. In late 1905, a year in which severe
factional fighting erupted between Fairbanks and Beveridge forces,
Fairbanks made a pact with Reid. Shaffer was ousted and the Star returned
to its pro-Fairbanks editorial policy. Shaffer raised the money to buy
out Reid in 1908, but he did not gain the control he had sought. McCulloch
had retained $441,000 in preferred stock and $100,000 in bonds of the
Star League newspapers and forced a receivership. During the receivership
the Star League continued its support of Fairbanks. That so distressed
Beveridge that he asked Federal Judge Albert B. Anderson to speed judicial
proceedings involving the receivership. It was not until 1911 that
Shaffer gained control of the newspapers. Then the Star League supported
Beveridge and became a voice for Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive Party.
Sometimes the intertwining of business and political interests produced
bizarre results. In December, 1904, McCulloch purchased the small
circulation Indianapolis Sun and retained ownership of the newspaper until
1910. McCulloch continued the Sun's pro-Beveridge editorial policy.
Fairbanks' investment in the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune resulted from
the friendship of William Henry Smith and Delavan Smith with the Richard
Smith (no relation) family. Apparently Fairbanks did little more than act
as a financial backer of Delavan Smith. The newspaper passed under the
control of John McLean, publisher of the Cincinnati Enquirer, and the
Smith/Fairbanks families became minority owners. Richard Smith's son joined
the staff of the Indianapolis News and eventually became managing editor.
The Commercial Tribune was of political importance to Fairbanks because it
circulated in southeastern Indiana. Gardner asserted that Fairbanks
retained enough of a financial interest to force the removal in 1904 of the
newspaper's Indianapolis correspondent. 
In 1910 Fairbanks acquired a majority interest in the Muncie Evening Press.
The interest was held in the name of his son Richard. The owner of record
and holder of a minority interest was George Lockwood, general manager of
the Marion Chronicle and a political ally of Fairbanks. Later Lockwood
purchased the Fairbanks interest.
THE LIBEL AND POSTAL DISCLOSURE CASES
Fairbanks' ownership of the Indianapolis News triggered two major criminal
actions by the federal government. In one Delavan Smith and Williams faced
prison terms for criminal libel. In the other Smith was prosecuted for
criminal fraud because the News made false statements to the Post Office
that Smith was the newspaper's sole owner. Both cases were dismissed.
After Fairbanks was defeated in his bid for the 1908 Republican
presidential nomination, he actively campaigned for William Howard Taft.
The News did not. Smith had been incensed at Roosevelt's mobilization of
GOP forces, particularly the patronage-driven corrupt delegations from the
South, on behalf of Taft. He instructed the News to pursue a neutral policy
between Taft and William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic nominee. By
1908 the News had a circulation of about 85,000 and continued as Indiana's
most influential newspaper. Taft barely carried Indiana in the November,
1908, election. Republicans lost the governorship, 11 of 13 congressional
seats, and control of the state legislature. Roosevelt blamed Fairbanks,
whom he correctly believed owned the News and incorrectly believed
controlled its editorial policies.
The New York World published charges during the campaign that an American
syndicate had reaped huge profits when the United States bought for $40
million the assets of the French company that held the concession to build
the Panama Canal. Douglas Robinson, brother-in-law of Roosevelt, and
Charles P. Taft, half-brother of William Howard Taft and publisher of the
Cincinnati Times-Star, were alleged to be among the profiteers. The
purchase was history's most expensive real estate deal at the time it was
completed in 1904. The wire services picked up the story and it was carried
by the News and most other major American newspapers. The News also printed
follow-up stories and editorials. On the eve of the election, the News
claimed in an editorial that Roosevelt was withholding information about
the alleged scandal and asked, "But who got the money?'' Later, the
World admitted the allegations against Robinson and Charles P. Taft were
The News' coverage of the allegations was no more extensive or biased than
that of many other newspapers. Nevertheless, in December, 1908, Roosevelt
singled out the News and assailed as false its stories and editorials about
the canal purchase. The president charged that "Delavan Smith is a
conspicuous offender against the laws of honesty" and "certainly knew that
all the statements he made were false.'' Roosevelt leaked word that he
believed Fairbanks was behind the allegations in the News of scandal in his
and President-elect Taft's families. Oscar K. Davis, Washington
correspondent of the New York Times and an intimate of Roosevelt, wrote
that the president "has taken a slap at the Vice President" and reported:
What lies behind this in fact is the wrath of the President, the
President-elect, and their friends at the fit of sulks displayed by Vice
President Fairbanks and his Indiana crowd after the Chicago convention. Mr.
Smith is the cousin of Mr. Fairbanks, and the latter is frequently charged
with having an interest in the Indianapolis News.
Roosevelt's broadside was intended to injure Fairbanks politically and
undermine the influence of the News. Matters became more serious when the
World, owned by press titan Joseph Pulitzer, came to the defense of the
News. In an editorial the World said Roosevelt's statements about the
purchase of French canal assets were "full of flagrant untruths" and
"reeking with misstatements.'' The president became enraged and
thereafter events escalated. Roosevelt personally supervised grand jury
investigations that resulted in criminal libel indictments being returned
in Washington, D.C., against Smith and Williams. Federal prosecutors
unsuccessfully sought evidence of Fairbanks' ownership of the News so that
he also could be indicted. The effort failed because Fairbanks' "name
never appeared in the (News') books, nor was it spoken in reference to
ownership of the property, It was only in later years that this came to be
known in the (News') office." Federal prosecutors sought to have Smith
and Williams extradited from Indiana to the District of Columbia.
The News executives claimed that extradition was barred by the Sixth
Amendment, which guarantees an individual the right to be tried in the
district in which the crime was committed. Prosecutors asserted they could
be tried in Washington because copies of the News circulated in the
nation's capital. Judge Albert B. Anderson ruled in favor of Smith and
Williams and wrote:
(T)hat man has read the history of our institutions to little purpose who
does not look with grave apprehension upon the possibility of the success
of a proceeding such as this. If the history of liberty means anything---if
constitutional guaranties are worth anything---this proceeding must
fail. .(I)f the Government has that power and can drag citizens from
distant States to the capital of the nation, there to be tried, then...this
is a strange result of a revolution where one of the grievances complained
of was the assertion of the right to send parties abroad for trial.
Later, the government dismissed the indictments.
There is no evidence that Anderson's decision was a result of bias.
Precedents established in two efforts to extradite Charles Dana, editor of
the New York Sun , from New York to Washington favored Smith and Williams.
Nevertheless, Anderson had been appointed a judge by Roosevelt at the
behest of Fairbanks and over the opposition of Beveridge. At the time
Anderson acknowledged his appointment was due to Fairbanks' political
Later, as a result of the decision, Roosevelt called Anderson a "damned
jackass and a crook.''
Anderson's reaction was unprintable.
Joseph B. Kealing, U.S. attorney for Indiana and Fairbanks' political
manager, resigned rather than represent the government in the extradition
hearing. His letter of resignation said the federal action "is dangerous,
striking at the very foundation of our form of government.''
Earlier he had written Fairbanks that "I will go up or down with you.''
The statement suggests that Kealing, the government's chief legal officer
in Indiana, knew of and for political reasons did not disclose to the
Justice Department that the vice president was the controlling owner of the
Roosevelt's attempted prosecution of Smith and Williams was an abuse of
federal power. Redress was available under state libel laws for Robinson
and Charles P. Taft. The president's use of federal prosecutors was an
effort to punish what he justifiably felt were smears of his Panama Canal
policy and not merely to vindicate the honor of the Roosevelt and Taft
families. Roosevelt's actions raised the specter of seditious libel.
Congress had refused to pass a federal libel law in the century that had
passed since it permitted the Sedition Act of 1798 to expire. The U.S.
Supreme Court had held in 1812 that there was no federal common law of
libel. Roosevelt sought to bring Smith and Williams under federal
prosecution by having indictments returned in the District of Columbia
where Congress by statute had adopted the libel law of Maryland. The
president's actions have properly been called an unwarranted threat to a
free press and the "last gasp of seditious libel.'' The refusal of
Judge Anderson to extradite Smith and Williams was consistent with American
values of press freedom. In the postal disclosure prosecution Smith was not
on such firm ground.
In 1912 Congress passed a law that required newspapers to disclose to the
Post Office and semi-annually publish the names of persons with significant
newspaper interests. To avoid disclosure Delavan Smith and Fairbanks
signed a sham sale contract. In return for a note, Fairbanks purported to
sell his partnership interest to Smith. The agreement gave a repurchase
option to Fairbanks and set interest payments at the amount Fairbanks would
have received in profits if he had retained ownership. The provisions
were similar to those in the agreement that was prepared in 1896 for the
signatures of William Henry Smith and Fairbanks. Sworn statements
claiming that Smith was the sole owner of the News were filed with the Post
Office. When probate of Fairbanks' estate disclosed his 75 percent
ownership, the federal government sought and obtained an indictment of
Smith for fraud.
The statements were signed and filed under oath by Hilton U. Brown, general
manager of the News. Evidence showed that Smith had supplied the
information on ownership.
Because there was no proof that Brown knew the information was false, he
was not charged with perjury. A hearing on the indictment was held before
Judge Anderson, who a decade before had presided over the Panama Canal
criminal libel proceedings. Because Smith had not signed a sworn statement
and Brown was not aware of its falsity, Judge Anderson ruled the fraud
had not been violated.
Neither Fairbanks nor Smith ever publicly admitted Fairbanks' majority
ownership of the News, but the newspaper in 1919 did correct its sworn
statement to the Post Office.
Smith continued as publisher of the News until his death in 1922. Then
the Fairbanks family purchased his 25 percent interest from his estate for
The price indicated the total value of the News was about $3.3 million.
Thirty years earlier it had been acquired for about $250,000. Over that
period several million dollars in profits had been paid to the
Fairbanks/Smith families. Circulation grew from about 23,000 to 120,000
copies daily. By 1920 profits were about $500,000 annually.
In 1933 the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for its exposure of municipal
corruption. In 1948 the News was merged with the Indianapolis Star and
became part of the newspaper group of Eugene Pulliam. The Fairbanks' heirs
owned a 30 percent interest in the Star and News.
The News ceased publication in 1999.
Journalism at the turn of the century was dominated by publishers such as
Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst and E.W. Scripps. These giants
were often reform-minded and wanted to place their personal stamp upon the
world. Fairbanks was not of the mold of Pulitzer, Hearst or Scripps.
He did not identify with the newspapers he controlled, and, in fact, kept
his ownership interests secret. To publicly identify with the newspapers
would have endangered their financial success and their political
usefulness to him. Fairbanks did not consider himself a journalist. That
was an accurate self-portrait because he did not practice journalism. He
was an astute investor who reaped huge profits. His business acumen was
demonstrated by backing financially the journalistic and business judgment
of William Henry Smith in the purchase and operation of the News. Even when
political power was the major motivation for an investment, as certainly
was the case with the purchase of the money-losing Indianapolis Journal,
the investment was successful financially. In the Journal purchase he
shrewdly shifted the risk for future losses to his partner.
William Henry Smith and Delavan Smith were journalism entrepreneurs and
managers. They operated the News as a newspaper that by the standards of
the day objectively printed the news and displayed independence of thought
on the editorial page. That this was the type of journal the public wanted
is demonstrated by its more than fivefold growth in circulation over 30
years and its dominance in both influence and profitability among Hoosier
newspapers. At times Fairbanks was angry at the editorial policies of his
newspaper, but close family ties kept him faithful to the original pact
that the Smith family would run the newspaper and Fairbanks' ownership
would be kept secret. The agreement was of immense importance in Fairbanks'
rise to dominance in Indiana politics and to national political influence.
While it would disagree with Fairbanks on policy issues, the News never
wavered in its support of his political aspirations and his control of the
Indiana Republican Party.
Fairbanks' other newspaper investments were politically profitable. They
effectively isolated Beveridge from politically influential press support
during the peak of Fairbanks' political career. The press support was
crucial in his election as senator and vice president and allowed him to
coalesce Hoosier Republicanism behind him in his quest for the presidency.
The secrecy surrounding his newspaper investments is not endearing in a
journalistic sense, but it proved to be of huge business and political
value. The secrecy did not bother Fairbanks. His values were those of a
lawyer/capitalist and politician and not those of a journalist.
 Madison, James H., "Charles Warren Fairbanks and Indiana
Republicanism," in Gray, Ralph D. (ed.), Gentlemen From Indiana: National
Party Candidates 1836-1940 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society,
1977), p. 173.
 Ibid, p. 174.
 Rissler, Herbert J., "Charles Warren Fairbanks, Conservative
Hoosier," Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University, 1961, pp.
25-27. Rissler's dissertation is the best biographical account of
Fairbanks. Most but not all of Fairbanks' letters were available when the
dissertation was written. Cornelia Cole Fairbanks was an accomplished woman
in her own right. She was considered a brilliant Washington hostess and
served two terms as president general of the Daughters of the American
 Fairbanks to William Henry Smith, Feb. 21, 1896, William Henry Smith
Papers, Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis, Ind.
 Ludlow, Louis, From Cornfield to Press Gallery (Washington, D.C.: W.F.
Roberts Co., 1924), pp. 137-138; Madison, op. cit. p. 176.
 Gresham, Matilda, Life of Walter Quintin Gresham 1832-1895, published
1919 (Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries, 1970 reprint), pp. 569-570;
Rissler, op. cit., p. 48.
 Rissler, op. cit., p. 48.
 Rissler, op. cit., pp. 55-59; Madison, op. cit., p. 177; Braeman,
John, Albert J. Beveridge American Nationalist (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1971), p. 30.
 Madison, op. cit., pp. 178-180; Merrill, Horace Samuel, and Marion
Galbraith Merrill, The Republican Command 1897-1913 (Lexington: University
of Kentucky Press, 1971), pp. 4-5, 17-19. In 1898 Fairbanks was appointed
chairman of the Anglo-American Joint High Commission on the Alaskan
boundary dispute. As a result of his service, Fairbanks, Alaska, was named
 A previously unpublished manuscript written by Fairbanks is published
in Gould, Lewis, "Charles Warren Fairbanks and the Republican National
Convention of 1900: A Memoir," Indiana Magazine of History, Vol. 77, pp.
358-372 (December, 1981). Fairbanks said he rejected the offer, which was
made on behalf of McKinley by Sen. Mark Hanna, chairman of the Republican
National Committee and McKinley's campaign manager. Fairbanks' account is
supported in Olcott, Charles S., The Life of William McKinley (Boston:
Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1916), Vol. II, p. 268, and in Walker, Ernest
George, "Vice-President Fairbanks," in Stealey, O.O. (ed.), Twenty Years in
the Press Gallery (New York: Publishers Printing Co., 1906), pp. 278-279.
More recent biographers such as Margaret Leech and Wayne Morgan do not
mention Fairbanks as a vice presidential contender in 1900.
 Madison, op. cit., p. 183; Phillips, Clifton J., Indiana In
Transition: The Emergence Of An Industrial Commonwealth 1880-1920
(Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau and Indiana Historical Society,
1968), pp. 89-90.
 Lodge to Roosevelt, May 27, 1904, in Selections from the
Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge 1884-1918 (New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons, 1925), Vol. II, p. 79.
 Leslie's Weekly, Vol. II, p. 161 (May 4, 1905).
 Rissler, op.cit. pp. 213.
 Ibid, p. 216.
 Braeman, op. cit., pp. 42-55, 98-111.
 Ibid, pp. 35, 213, 244-249, 314-322.
 Ibid , pp. 73; 142, 187, 215; Bowers, Claude G., Beveridge and the
Era (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin Co., 1932), pp. 211,259.
 Phillips, David Graham, "The Treason of the Senate," Cosmopolitan,
Vol. 42, pp. 77-84 (November, 1906); Gardner, Gilson, "The Real Mr.
Fairbanks," Collier's Weekly, Vol. 39, pp. 13-16 (June 1, 1907) and pp.
14-15, 26 (July 13, 1907).
 Hays, Will H., The Memoirs of Will H. Hays (Garden City, N.Y.:
Doubleday & Co., 1955), pp. 101-104; Madison, op. cit., pp. 187-189.
 Morison, Elting E. (ed.), The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1951-1955), Vol. VII, pp. 1060-1062;
Mowery, George E., Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement
((Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1947), pp. 352-353.
 Fairbanks' letters in both the Charles Warren Fairbanks and Warren
Charles Fairbanks Collection, Lilly Library, Indiana University,
Bloomington, Ind., and Charles Warren Fairbanks Papers, Indiana Historical
Society, Indianapolis, Ind., contain numerous letters to and from family
members on business ventures.
 Fairbanks provided Smith with personal legal advice in connection his
service as general manager of the Associated Press. This included a legal
opinion on the investments by Smith and other officers of the Associated
Press in a rival wire service. The investments effectively cartelized
distribution of news by wire services in the United States. Gray, Edgar
Laughlin, "The Career of William Henry Smith, Politician-Journalist,"
Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Ohio State University, 1951, pp. 177-185;
William Henry Smith to Fairbanks, April 4, 1891, and Fairbanks to William
Henry Smith, April 11, 1891, Fairbanks Collection, Lilly Library. A copy of
the April 11 letter is in the William Henry Smith Papers, Indiana
 William Henry Smith to Fairbanks, Sept. 17, 1886, Fairbanks
Collection, Lilly Library; Fairbanks to William Henry Smith, Nov. 26, 1886,
William Henry Smith Papers, Indiana Historical Society.
 William Henry Smith to Fairbanks, Feb. 15, 1889, Fairbanks
Collection, Lilly Library.
 Charles R. Williams to William Henry Smith, July 6, 1892, William
Henry Smith Papers, Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio.
 Williams to William Henry Smith, May 13, 1892, and Aug. 11, 1892,
William Henry Smith Papers, Ohio Historical Society; Brown, Hilton U., Book
of Memories (Indianapolis: Butler University, 1951), pp. 184-187. Brown
joined the News as a reporter in 1881, later was city editor and general
manager, and continued as an executive of the newspaper until he died in
1958 at age 99.
 Plummer, Leonard Niel, "Political Leadership of Henry Watterson,"
Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1940, p. 46.
 Ibid, pp. 46-49, 189-197.
 William Henry Smith to Fairbanks, Dec. 15, 1882, William Henry Smith
Papers, Ohio Historical Society (future son-in-law has poor financial
prospects as college professor).
 A copy of the will of William Henry Smith is in the Hilton U. Brown
Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis, Ind.
 Ferdinand Winter to Hilton U. Brown, Nov. 11, 1922, Fairbanks
Collection, Lilly Library.
 Delavan Smith to Williams, Oct. 4, 1896, Brown Papers, Indiana
I-Historical Society; Fairbanks to William Henry Smith, June 7, 1893, and
Richards to William Henry Smith, Nov. 29, 1895, William Henry Smith Papers,
Indiana Historical Society; Fairbanks, Memo to File, Aug. 10, 1893,
Fairbanks Collection, Lilly Library.
 Brown, op. cit., p. 188.
 Williams to William Henry Smith, My 13, 1892, William Henry Smith
Papers, Ohio Historical Society; William Henry Smith to Fairbanks, Nov. 30,
1895, and Delavan Smith to Fairbanks, Nov. 30, 1895, Fairbanks Collection,
 William Henry Smith to Fairbanks, Nov. 30, 1895, Fairbanks
Collection, Lilly Library.
 Delavan Smith, Memo to Internal Revenue Service, 1917, Brown Papers,
Indiana Historical Society.
 William Henry Smith to Fairbanks, no date (1892), Fairbanks Collection,
Lilly Library; Memo to File, no date, Brown Papers, Indiana Historical Society.
 Fairbanks to William Henry Smith, Feb. 16, 1895, Fairbanks
Collection, Lilly Library.
 Williams to Fairbanks, Feb. 18, 1895, Fairbanks Collection, Lilly
 Williams to Delavan Smith, Aug. 11, 1892, William Henry Smith Papers,
Ohio Historical Society.
 William Henry Smith to Fairbanks, Nov. 30, 1895, Fairbanks
Collection, Lilly Library.
 Delavan Smith to Fairbanks, Nov. 30, 1895, Fairbanks Collection, Lilly
 William Henry Smith to Fairbanks, Nov. 30, 1895, Fairbanks
 Fairbanks to William Henry Smith, March 18, 1895, William Henry Smith
Papers, Indiana Historical Society.
 A copy of the document is in the Brown Papers, Indiana Historical
 W.J. Richards to Delavan Smith, Sept. 21, 1896, Brown Papers, Indiana
 Brown, op. cit., pp. 188-190.
 Braeman, op. cit., pp. 31-32.
 Brown, op. cit, pp. 190-191. A copy of the agreement between
Fairbanks and Delavan Smith for the purchase is in the Brown Papers,
Indiana Historical Society.
 Ferdinand Winter to Delavan Smith, Sept. 20, 1920, Brown Papers, Indiana
Historical Society; Brown to Warren C. Fairbanks, March 25, 1922, Fairbanks
Collection, Lilly Library; Indianapolis Star, Sept. 6, 1919.
 A copy of the sale agreement between Williams and Delavan Smith is in the
Brown Papers, Indiana Historical Society. After leaving the News, Williams
completed and had published the biography of Rutherford B. Hayes that had
been started by William Henry Smith.
 Phillips, Clifton J., op. cit., p. 528; Braeman, op. cit., p. 71.
 William Dudley Foulke to Theodore Roosevelt, March 7, 1908, quoted in
Braeman, op. cit., p. 73. Foulke was a member of the civil service reform
movement and a friend and frequent correspondent of Roosevelt. He had once
been part owner and editor of the Richmond Palladium and was editor of the
Richmond Evening Item from 1909 to 1912.
 Rissler, op. cit., pp. 201-202, 224.
 Braeman, op. cit., pp. 77, 142-143.
 Delavan Smith to Fairbanks, Nov. 23, 1899, Fairbanks Papers, Indiana
 New would become Republican national chairman, United States senator
and postmaster general.
 Indianapolis Star, Sept. 8, 1906.
 Phillips, David Graham, op. cit., pp. 77-78.
 Brown, op. cit., p. 198.
 Madison, op. cit. , p. 185; Rissler, op. cit. , pp. 190-191, citing
the Atlanta Constitution and New York Sun..
 Rissler, op. cit., p. 189.
 Gardner, op. cit., July 13, 1907, p. 26.
 Mott, Frank Luther, American Journalism, revised ed. (New York:
Macmillan Co., 1959), p. 591.
 Ponder, Stephen, "Gilson Gardner: A Partisan Reporter in the Election
of 1912," paper presented to History Division, Association for Education in
Journalism and Mass Communication, Minneapolis, Minn., August, 1990. The
article was Shipp, Thomas R., "Charles Warren Fairbanks: Candidate for Vice
President," Review of Reviews (August, 1904), pp. 176-181.
 Fairbanks, unpublished manuscript, no date, Fairbanks Collection,
Lilly Library. Later, Mathews represented such newspapers as the New York
Sun and Chicago Daily News and became a successful Washington lawyer.
 Gardner, op. cit., p. 16, June 1, 1907
 Ibid, June 1 and July 13, 1907.
 Ibid, p. 14, June 1, 1907.
 Ibid, June 1 and July 13, 1907.
 Fairbanks, unpublished manuscript, Fairbanks Collection, Lilly Library.
 Fairbanks to Delavan Smith, June 7, 1906, Delavan Smith Papers,
Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis, Ind.
Beveridge wrote Shaffer and suggested the attacks on Fairbanks be stopped.
Shaffer agreed. Bowers, Claude, Beveridge and the Progressive Era (Boston:
Houghton, Mifflin Co., 1932), pp. 258-259. Beveridge's intervention came
during a period in which he and Fairbanks had reached an accommodation.
 Fairbanks to Williams, June 7, 1906, Delavan Smith Papers, Indiana
 Williams to Fairbanks, June 11, 1906, Delavan Smith Papers, Indiana
 James A. Hemenway to Delavan Smith, June 11, 1906, Delavan Smith
Papers, Indiana Historical Society.
 Rissler, op. cit., p. 175.
 Fairbanks to Delavan Smith, June 29, 1907, Delavan Smith Papers,
Indiana Historical Society.
 Rissler, op. cit., p. 213.
 Brown, op. cit., pp. 192-193.
 Ibid, p. 193.
 Delavan Smith, Memo to Internal Revenue Service, Brown Papers,
Indiana Historical Society.
 Braeman op, cit. p. 77.
 Quoted in Phillips, Clifton J., op. cit., p. 526. Ludlow was elected
congressman in 1928 and served several terms.
 Ludlow, Louis, op. cit., p. 96.
 Williams to William Henry Smith, July 6, 1892, William Henry Smith
Ohio Historical Society.
 Brown, op. cit., pp. 194-195.
 Miller, John W., Indiana Newspaper Bibliography (Indianapolis: Indiana
Historical Society, 1982), p. 276.
 Delavan Smith, Memo to Internal Revenue Service, 1917, Brown Papers,
Indiana Historical Society.
 Phillips, Clifton J., op. cit., pp. 95, 527.
 Braernan, op. cit., p. 142.
 Miller, op. cit., p. 274.
 Charles L. Henry to Fairbanks, June 2, 1904, Fairbanks Collection, Lilly
 Braeman, op. cit., p. 77.
 Beveridge to John C. Shaffer, no date (1904), quoted in Phillips,
op. cit., p. 91.
 Henry to Fairbanks, June 2, 1904, Fairbanks Collection, Lilly Library.
 Rissler, op. cit., p. 138. New acknowledged Fairbanks' neutrality.
Indianapolis Sentinel , Dec. 31, 1903.
 Henry to Fairbanks, June 2, 1904, and Nov. 4, 1904, Fairbanks
 Gardner, op. cit. , June 1, 1907, p. 14.
 Frank C. Ball became owner of record of the Muncie Star . Miller,
op. cit. , p. 89. However, it is apparent from the Muncie newspaper's
continued membership in the Star League that Reid was the controlling owner.
 Braeman, op. cit., p. 142.
 lbid, p. 143.
 Editor & Publisher , Dec. 5, 1908, p. 1.
 Ibid, p. 187.
 Ibid , p. 215; Phillips, Clifton J., op. cir. , p. 528.
 Miller, op. cit. , p. 286. The Sun's name was changed later to the
Times and in 1922 the newspaper was purchased by Scripps-Howard. The Times
ceased publication in 1965.
 Williams to Delavan Smith, Nov. 29, 1897, and I.F. Mack to Delavan
Dec. 10, 1896, William Henry Smith Papers, Ohio Historical Society.
 Gardner, op. cit. , June 1, 1907, p. 14.
 George Lockwood to Fairbanks, May 18, 1911, Fairbanks Collection, Lilly
 Ewbank, Louis, The Indianapolis News Panama Libel Case , Report of
Proceedings in United States District Court, District of Indiana
(Indianapolis: printed for the Indianapolis News by Fulmer-Cornelius Press,
1909), p. 72.
 New York World , Oct. 3, 1908.
 Indianapolis News, Nov. 2, 1908.
 U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Foreign Affairs, The
Story of Panama: Hearings on the Rainey Resolution, 62d Cong., 2d Sess.,
1913, pp. 302, 520-521; The Roosevelt Panama Libel Case against the New
York World, (New York: Press Publishing Co., 1911), p. 9.
 Roosevelt to William Dudley Foulke, Dec. 1, 1908, in Morison, op.
cit., Vol. VI, pp. 1393-1395. The letter was released to the Associated
Press and its content published by almost all of the nation's major newspapers.
 New York Times , Dec. 7, 1908. Davis became executive secretary of the
Progressive Party, the third party formed by Roosevelt in 1912.
 New York World , Dec. 8, 1908.
 Copies of the indictments are found in Case File, U.S. District
Court, District of Indiana, United States v. Delavan Smith and Charles R.
Williams, 1909, Chicago Branch, National Archives, Chicago, Ill. They also
are on file in the National Archives, Washington, D.C. (Suitland, Md.).
As to Roosevelt's personal supervision: Roosevelt to Henry L. Stimson, Dec.
9, 1908; Jan. 28, 1909, and Feb. 10 and Feb. 13, 1909, in Morison, op. cit.
, Vol. VI, pp. 1415, 1489, 1516-1518. See also note 1, p. 1415. Stimson was
the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. The Washington
correspondent of the Times of London reported on Jan. 16, 1909, that
federal prosecutors "realize they will earn his (Roosevelt's) gratitude if
their efforts are successful.."
Also indicted in Washington, D.C., were Joseph Pulitzer, two of his
editors, and the World . Indicted in New York were the World and one of its
editors. A lower court dismissal of the New York indictments was upheld by
the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Press Publishing Co., 219 U.S. 1
(1911). Ultimately the indictments in Washington, D.C., against Pulitzer,
his editors, and the World were dismissed.
See Peirce, Clyde L., The Roosevelt Panama Libel Cases (New York: Greenwich
Book Publishers, 1959), for an account based largely on newspaper files.
See also Peirce, Clyde L., "The Panama Libel Cases," Indiana Magazine of
History, Vol. 33 (June, 1937), pp. 171-187.
 Indianapolis Star , Jan. 19 and 20, 1909; New York Times , Jan. 21
 Brown, op. cit. , pp. 200-201.
 Prosecutors relied on Benson v. Henkel, 198 U.S. 1 (1905) wherein
the Supreme Court held a defendant in a mail fraud case could be tried in
the district in which the mail was received.
 United States v. Smith, 173 F. 227, 232 (D.Ind. 1909).
 Case File, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, United States
Publishing Company, 1909, National Archives, Washington, D.C. (Suitland, Md.).
 In re Dana, Case No. 3554, 6 F. Cases 1140 (S.D.N.Y. 1873); In re
Dana, 68 F. 886 (S.D.N.Y. 1895).
 Joseph B. Kealing to Fairbanks, Dec. 13, 1902, Fairbanks Collection,
 New York Times , Oct. 23, 1910; Indianapolis News , Oct. 24, 1910.
 Brown, op. cit., p. 199.
 The Roosevelt Panama Libel Case against the New York World and
Indianapolis News (New York: New York World , 1910), p. 19.
 Joseph B. Kealing to Fairbanks, Jan. 27, 1909, Fairbanks Collection,
 Smith, James Morton, Freedom's Fetters (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell
University Press, 1956) provides an account of the prosecution of
Jeffersonian editors under the Sedition Act of 1798 (1 Stat. 596). When the
Jefferson administration attempted to prosecute critical newspaper editors
under the common law of libel, the effort was held unconstitutional in
United States v. Hudson and Goodwin, 11 U.S. (7 Cranch) 32 (1812).
 The indictments in New York of the World and one of its editors was
on circulation of the newspaper at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point
and at the federal post office in Manhattan. A federal statute (30 Stat.
717) applied state law to federal reservations where Congress had not
passed a comparable statute.
 Gibson, Michael T., The Supreme Court and Freedom of Expression from
1791 to 1917 , 55 Fordham L. Rev. 263, 290 (December, 1986).
 37 Stat. 553. The disclosure requirement was held to be
Lewis Publishing Co. v. Morgan, 229 U.S. 288 (1912).
 Memo of E.L. Slack, special assistant to the U.S. Attorney General,
1920, Harding Panama Papers, School of Journalism, Southern Illinois
University-Carbondale, Carbondale, Ill.
 See notes 46 and 47 and accompanying text.
 Case File, U.S. District Court, District of Indiana, United States
v. Smith, 1920, Chicago Branch, National Archives, Chicago, Ill.;
Indianapolis Star, Oct. 28, 1919.
 35 Stat. 1094
 United States v. Smith, 262 F. 191 (D.Ind. 1920).
 Indianapolis Star , Oct. 3, 1919. The News continued to deny in its
news columns that Fairbanks had been the majority owner. In its obituary
upon Delavan Smith's death, the News on Aug. 26, 1922, claimed Smith was
the sole owner and had given Fairbanks an option to purchase the newspaper.
 Ferdinand Winter to Brown, Nov. 8, 1922, Brown Papers, Indiana
Society; Brown to Warren C. Fairbanks, March 25, 1922, Fairbanks
Collection, Lilly Library. The News also was converted from a partnership
to a corporation after Brown's death.
 Profit statements are found in the Brown Papers, Indiana Historical
 Central Newspapers, Inc., Form 10-K for year ending Dec. 31, 1989, on
file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, p. 8. Richard N.
Fairbanks to author, May 2, 1989.
 Emery, Michael, and Edwin Emery, The Press and America: An
Interpretative History of the Mass Media, 6th ed. (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.:
Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1988), pp. 250-260.