Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 192



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 192

material calculated to cement the foundation for a more permanent structure.

He noted, early in its progress, the gathering strength of the drift toward woman suffrage, and realized that the American woman was not prepared, in her knowledge of her country, to exercise the privilege of the ballot. Bok determined to supply the deficiency to his readers, and concluded to put under contract the President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison, the moment he left office, to write a series of articles explaining the United States. No man knew this subject better than the President; none could write better; and none would attract such general attention to his magazine, reasoned Bok. He sought the President, talked it over with him, and found him favorable to the idea. But the President was in doubt at that time whether he would be a candidate for another term, and frankly told Bok that he would be taking too much risk to wait for him. He suggested that the editor try to prevail upon his then secretary of state, James G. Blaine, to undertake the series, and offered to see Mr. Blaine and induce him to a favorable consideration. Bok acquiesced, and a few days afterward received from Mr. Blaine a request to come to Washington.

Bok had had a previous experience with Mr. Blaine which had impressed him to an unusual degree. Many years before, he had called upon him at his hotel in New York, seeking his autograph, had been received, and as the statesman was writing his signature he said: “Your name is a familiar one to me. I have had correspondence with an Edward Bok who is secretary of


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