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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Mayor Welsh's Resignation Letter


Members of the City Commission


The Supreme Court of Michigan has issued a verdict on the recall matter. In all good faith, we are obligated to abide by it.

It will be remembered that before my departure [to Europe], I issued a public statement to the affect that the people could be assured of having their inherent right of approval of or dissension from the final decision of the court; that it would be done in a normal, orderly manner at the regular spring election when I fully expect to be a candidate for mayor.

Strategy of the “opposition”, obvious from the beginning, involved a continuous barrage of falsehood and misrepresentation, prostitution of the daily press and arousal of the public mind to a state of frenzy. Thus beclouding the sense of perception of many people, it was aimed to push through a special election with greatest possible haste. Such abnormal conditions will not exist when the regular spring election is held. By that time, calm deliberation and reasoned judgment will prevail. It is under these conditions that I propose to fight the last round of this battle, under my own terms—not under one-sided, stacked-deck rules and regulations.

A municipal administration, harassed by the disruptive impacts of relentless political feuding, cannot function effectively; not can a citizenry split and bewildered by emotional tensions devote to civic affairs the required clear thought and judgment. The welfare of this community transcends in importance the petty connivings, personal grievances and animosities of self-seeking individuals.

Therefore, to pave the way for a free expression of the people, unhampered by deliberately fomented bitterness, I herewith submit to the City Commission my formal resignation as mayor of the City of

Grand Rapids. The final round is thus postponed, but by no means abandoned.



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Note: The carbon copy typed by Helen Meade was not dated. The transcription above is from the letter in Coll.# 158, History & Special Collections Dept., GR Public Library

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