On another occasion I was entering his private office as another senator was coming out of the Cabinet room, which was filled. He called out: "Senator Depew, do you know that man going out?" I answered: "Yes, he is a colleague of mine in the Senate." "Well," he shouted, "he is a crook." His judgment subsequently proved correct.
-from "Theodore Roosevelt"
CHAUNCEY M. DEPEW (1834-1928) was, over the course of his long life, in the business of law, of the railroads, of politics... and of speechmaking.
Whether he was heading up the New York Central Railroad as its president or serving the state of New York in the U.S. Senate (which he did from 1899 to 1911), Depew's deepest love was telling captivating stories to as many listeners as possible. He found his greatest audience with this wonderful 1921 book, a series of tales and reminiscences of his encounters with generals (Grant, Garfield), presidents (Lincoln, Roosevelt, and others), and giants of journalism, business, and entertainment.
Graced with an abundance of wit and more than a dash of charm, Depew was a master storyteller, and his memories of eight tumultuous decades in the life of America are as uniquely insightful as they are grandly entertaining.