legalization process began. This was a caucus of voters to choose delegates to the state convention,-and to the county convention. There were eligible probably five or six hundred voters. The caucus was held in the basement of a flat building, one of those offices placed in the basement, that would accommodate perhaps twenty or thirty people. Well, two or three hundred people came. Then who was to control the caucus? It depended on who got there first. Many arrived and found that the building was filled, though the door was not open. People had gone into the first flat and had gone down into the basement that way. Then two or three hundred stood on the outside, and after many menacing words between those who were in and those who were out, the outs threatened that if they were not allowed to vote they would have another caucus of their own across the street or somewhere near there. For fear of that they were finally allowed to vote. But how did they vote? There was a window there, and they were allowed to go along in a file and put their ballots in the window; there was a waste basket there, and there was a ballot box so placed that you could not see what happened to the ballots, but it was generally understood that if you voted a certain kind of ballot it went into the waste basket, otherwise it went into the ballot box. And the count would indicate that.
History of the Direct Primary
The direct primary movement which overlapped the movement for the legalizing of the convention really began in the 'seventies in Pennsylvania. Commonly it is said that the primary nomination, the direct primary, began in Crawford County, from which it was called for many years the Crawford County plan, or sometimes the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, county plan. A similar plan was used in Kansas, or in the western states. In Illinois we used the system in Ogle County, from which it came to be called the Ogle County plan. And where I lived in Iowa they used the direct primary by voluntary rule for many years in the county, just by agreement among themselves. So that for twenty-five or thirty years, or even longer than that, the direct primary was employed in local elections, primarily for county purposes, and in a considerable part of the west and central states, a considerable number of them. In the south also a direct primary was applied earlier than the north for another reason: in the south they wished to have a white man's primary, and they made the primary the election, but in the
primary they put down qualifications that did not apply to the regular election. In the primary nobody could vote except a white man, and so they held their primaries in that way, not by law but by voluntary rule of the party. The direct primary went on in this desultory fashion for a generation. Beginning about 1900, the direct primary movement developed much more rapidly, for various reasons. This was the progressive period. This was a period in which there were a series of revelations regarding widespread corruption throughout the United States. These were the days, or a little bit later, of Governor Hughes' insurance investigation in New York; the days of the Olds inquiry in New York; the days, as you get along a little bit further, of the Illinois jack-pot revelations, the days of the Southern Pacific and California exposures; the days of Burns and his dictagraph in the Ohio Legislature. And there came a ground-swell of opinion demanding the substitution of the direct method for the delegate method. Now, there were many arguments against the convention plan urged at that time, and there were many many arguments urged against the primary, the direct primary, and in favor of the convention, but the historical fact was the that the direct method began to be adopted everywhere instead of the delegate method, not only for county officials but also for municipal offices to some extent and for state offices. That is, nominations for governor and for congressmen began to be included, as well as the nomination for the local county officers.
History of the Presidential Preference Primary
In 1912, in the midst of the terrific controversy that arose in the Republican party between the Progressive and the Stand-patters, under the respective banners of Mr. Taft and Mr. Roosevelt, the direct primary began to apply to the presidential candidate for the first time, and in 1912, under the weight of public sentiment and of party pressure, factional pres-sure, many states passed a law providing for a preferential presidential primary in the different states, either by presidential districts or the the state as a whole, sometimes not making making it clear whether they intended these laws to apply by districts or by the state in its entirety. What we now have is a situation, then, in which the direct primary is the most generally employed system for local office, for local state office. The presidential primary has been adopted by about one-half of the states, but for the choice of about two-thirds of the delegates. That is, the states that have adopted the presidential preference primary law, are