Blaine, the bitterest political enemy of Senator Roscoe Conkling the leader of the New York "stalwarts."
ROSCOE CONKLING (1829-1888), American lawyer and political leader, was born in Albany, New York, on the 30th of October 1829.
He was the son of Alfred Conkling (1789-1874), who was a representative in Congress from New York in 1821-1823, a Federal district judge in 1825-1852, and U.S. minister to Mexico in 1852-1853.
Roscoe Conkling was admitted to the bar at Utica, New York, in 1850, was appointed district-attorney of Oneida (disambiguation)|Oneida county in the same year, and soon attained success in the practice of his profession.
In this opposition he was joined by his brother, Frederick Augustus Conkling (1816-1891), at that time also a Republican member of Congress.
In the Republican national convention of 1876 Conkling sought nomination for the presidency, and after the disputed election of this year he took a prominent part in devising and securing the passage of a bill creating an electoral commission.
Robertson, a political opponent of Conkling, as collector of the port of New York, and when this appointment was confirmed by the Senate in spite of Conkling's opposition, Conkling and his associate senator from New York, Thomas C. Platt, resigned their seats in the Senate and sought re-election as a personal vindication.
Being unsuccessful, Conkling took up the practice of law in New York city, again declining, in 1882, a place on the bench of the Supreme Court, and appeared in a number of important cases.
While in public life Conkling always attracted attention by his abilities, his keenness and eloquence in debate, his aggressive leadership and his striking personality.
Conkling (ed.), The Life and Letters of Roscoe Conkling (New York, 1889).
Two years later the Republicans, having split over a struggle for patronage into the two factions known as " Stalwarts " or administrative party and " Halfbreeds " of whom the leader was Roscoe Conkling, were defeated, Grover Cleveland being chosen governor.
His cause was espoused by Senator Roscoe Conkling, for a time successfully; but on the 11th of July 1878, during a recess of the Senate, the collector was removed, and in January 1879, after another severe struggle, this action received the approval of the Senate.
His nomination was coldly received by the public; and when, after his election and accession, he actively engaged on behalf of Conkling in the great conflict with Garfield over the New York patronage, the impression was widespread that he was unworthy of his position.