Stalwartfaction was unsuccessful, he prevented the nomination of James G. Blaine, his bitter personal enemy. The deadlocked convention chose James A. Garfield as a compromise candidate, and Chester A. Arthur was named for Vice President as a sop to the
Stalwarts.Conkling gave Garfield only lukewarm support but claimed afterward that the President-elect had promised him the patronage in return. Garfield denied this and further antagonized Conkling by making Blaine Secretary of State. When an anti-Conkling man was appointed collector of the port of New York, Conkling resigned from the Senate in protest. Platt soon followed his leader, earning for himself the nickname
Me Too.The two expected vindication through reelection by the state legislature, but both were defeated. Conkling then retired to the private practice of law, in which he was highly successful.
See biography by his nephew, A. R. Conkling (1889); study by D. M. Jordan (1971).
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