October 5, 1908
William Taft, Republican candidate for President, while in Kansas City yesterday could not resist the impulse to show his love for the negro race by making unto them a speech. When the presidential nominee was scheduled to speak here it was understood that he was coming only to address the Y. M. C. A. at the Independence Avenue M. E. church.
No one seemed willing in Republican circles this morning to say much regarding the Taft negro meeting which was held in Allen chapel at Tenth and Charlotte street yesterday afternoon. It was said that it was not known that Taft was to speak at the church until a few moments before he arrived there. Despite this fact that it was a non-advertised meeting, there were fully 1,500 negroes gathered to hear the candidate.
Mr. Taft's address to the negroes was presided over by the former mayor of the city, Henry M. Beardsley, under whose administration so many negroes held positions on the city working force.