Ladies and gentleman, I give you Thomas F. Bayard: 19th-century American legislator and diplomat. A Democratic senator from Delaware, he spent most of his legislative career opposing things: civil rights, Reconstruction, tariffs, silver coinage, and pretty much anything the Republicans were for. As a diplomat, he pursued closer relations with Britain, along with trade and peace with the rest of the world. He was thoroughly reactionary, even by the standards of his time. I hope he proves an interesting subject for you. --Coemgenus (talk) 01:06, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Note: This is a WikiCup nomination. The following nominators are WikiCup participants: Coemgenus. To the nominator: if you do not intend to submit this article at the WikiCup, feel free to remove this notice. UcuchaBot (talk) 00:01, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Comments, leaning support. Usual batch of quibbles, of which this is the first tranche.
The problem with the first paragraph is there are too many numbers "three" and "four" denoting political statistics. Suggest the prose be played with a bit, perhaps it isn't necessary to say four year term re SecState, but simply give the years, 1885 to 1889. Your use of the word "term" may be slightly misleading the reader into thinking it is appointment for a set term (like, say, the Fed Chairlady these days) when it was at the pleasure of the President.
It should be less numerical now, and clearer about the Sec State appointment. --Coemgenus (talk) 23:33, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Early life etc.
There is something of a menagerie of Bayards in the first paragraph. Part of the problem is that you are insisting on calling him Bayard. It might be best to call him Thomas here, and that could make things a bit less daunting.
I thought there was some MoS taboo against calling the subject by his first name, but I couldn't find it. I changed it. --Coemgenus (talk) 23:33, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
"and rose quickly in the legal profession. In 1853, he was appointed United States Attorney for Delaware" While I have no doubt he was a fine lawyer indeed, would it not be more plausible that he gained the position through the fact that the Democrats had just regained power in Washington and Pops Bayard was a prominent Democrat? Also you might want to make clear whether the US Attorney position was part-time or full-time, did he continue in his law firm?
I added the bit about his appointment being related to a Democrat winning the 1852 election, but I can't find anything about the post being full- or part-time. The sources I have are very brief when it comes to his early life. I'll look around to see if I can find more.--Coemgenus (talk) 23:38, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
"a partnership that would last until Shippen's death in 1858" Given it only lasted four years, I'm not sure I like the phrasing, since usually "that would last until … " presages something a little more dramatic.
The fact that Pops and Tom Bayard stayed north and voted on the nomination of Douglas is significant, they could have gone south and supported Breckinridge. Perhaps a bit more text could be devoted to this. I did get a slight giggle out of the description of Douglas as "eventual nominee", given it took two conventions, but of course there were eventually two nominees!
I added a bit about the party split. The sources are maddeningly vague about the Bayards' role in the 1860 campaign. Tansill never mentions Breckenridge by name, and mostly cites James Bayard's letters about his despair for the Union and how much he hates abolitionists. I really wish there was a modern bio, Tansill is very frustrating to read. --Coemgenus (talk) 23:44, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
I think you are not adequately getting across the status of Delaware as a Southern state without (or with very few) slaves and northern weather. People today think of Delaware as an ugly city, uglier interstates, speed traps and toll booths, and little different from the North.
I added some about Delaware's odd position as a barely enslaved slave state. --Coemgenus (talk) 12:03, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
"He also condemned the impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson, " In the same speech? Because impeachment hadn't gone too far by then.
No, it was later. I modified the text to reflect that. --Coemgenus (talk) 12:03, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm not certain it could be said that Johnson foiled Congress's plans. The other way around to some extent.--Wehwalt (talk) 03:09, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Changed "foiled" to "threatened," since they did all right in spite of Johnson. --Coemgenus (talk) 12:03, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. I'll address these over the weekend. --Coemgenus (talk) 12:54, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
I think you should mention the passage of the Specie Payments Resumption Act, at present, it's only piped in the image caption and should be linked in text.
"In short, silver miners receive a silver dollar in exchange for bullion worth somewhat less than that, selling the government metal worth fifty to seventy cents, and receiving back a silver dollar. " For all intents and purposes, this sentence describes the same transaction twice.
I think I fixed the duplication. --Coemgenus (talk) 00:35, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
" William B. Allison, a Republican from Iowa, agreed, and led the effort in the Senate. Allison offered an amendment in the Senate requiring the purchase of two to four million dollars per month of silver, but not allowing private deposit of silver at the mints." Accordingly, Allison did not agree, at least with free silver.
Removed "agreed" and changed the sentence to be more accurate, I think. --Coemgenus (talk) 00:45, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
" In fact, the Potter committee had the opposite effect, as they uncovered telegrams" The pronoun should be "it" but perhaps the sentence is better recast.
Yes, I reworded it a bit. --Coemgenus (talk) 00:45, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
I find no discussion here of Bayard's service as president pro tempore. I see it in the infobox, and I'm guessing that the brief tenure was because of the tie between the parties in the Senate, now that there was no VP.
Yes, I missed that that was even in the info box. I added it to the text. --Coemgenus (talk) 01:05, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
"Blaine's nomination turned many reform-minded Republicans away from their party, and Bayard and Cleveland were most likely to attract their votes." Why those two?
They were seem as less corrupt than the average politician, and corruption is what turned the Mugwumps away from Blaine. I clarified it, I think. --Coemgenus (talk) 01:29, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
The first paragraph needs dates when this was occurring
Can "suzerainty" be either linked or alternately phrased?
I linked it. I think suzerainty is the best way to describe what the Germans wanted. --Coemgenus (talk) 23:30, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
The paragraph it's in is very long, anyhow. I'd recommend splitting it at "Shortly thereafter".
Good point. I split it. --Coemgenus (talk) 23:30, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
"the lame duck 49th Congress" - seems a little informal, unless "lame duck" is a well-used political term outside my knowledge. (I took AP U.S. Gov and have never heard it.)
It was more common before the 20th amendment, but it still happens. I linked the term. --Coemgenus (talk) 23:30, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
"Charles C. Tansill, a conservative historian, found much to praise in Bayard and wrote two volumes about him in the 1940s" - Can you elaborate a little?
I expanded this part with some more detail. --Coemgenus (talk) 00:30, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
"Bayard served on the Electoral Commission that decided the disputed 1876 presidential election." - I feel like the caption could be a bit more detailed regarding, if available, Bayard's role on it and the election's importance.
Bayard was just one of fifteen members who heard evidence and voted on the disposition of the disputed electoral votes. He didn't have any special role beyond that. I'm not sure what else to add without the caption getting too long. --Coemgenus (talk) 00:30, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
In the first paragraph of Reconstruction, you can replace one or two of the "his son"s with "Thomas".
What'd Bayard do in the Senate from 1874 to 1875? The end of "Reaction to Reconstruction" leaves me wondering.
Congress only met for a few months in 1875 (January to March, then again in December.) Other than voting against the Civil Rights Act of 1875, I don't think he did much of note. --Coemgenus (talk) 00:07, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
What evidence is there that Bayard was an Episcopalian?
His biographer doesn't mention religion much, but Bayard was buried in an Episcopal cemetery. I haven't seen anything to suggest he professed any other faith than that. --Coemgenus (talk) 00:07, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
"As war threatened" - Seems awkward, or at least incomplete.
Tezero: thanks for your review. I'll address all of these over the next couple of days. I think that's all of them. --Coemgenus (talk) 16:49, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Support; looks good to me. Tezero (talk) 01:01, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks again for the review! --Coemgenus (talk) 12:12, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Link to Bar, Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act. Otherwise looks good to go.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 02:14, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, they're both linked now. --Coemgenus (talk) 12:47, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
SupportComment from Hamiltonstone. Generally excellent article.
"Richard Bassett, who served as Senator and Governor of Delaware" should this read "Richard Bassett, who served as Senator for, and Governor of, Delaware"? hamiltonstone (talk) 04:02, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
You're right. Fixed it. --Coemgenus (talk) 11:44, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
"When Bayard refused to comply, he was briefly arrested before being released on parole." My understanding of "parole" is that it is a form of bond while awaiting trial. The article mentions neither a trial, nor the dropping of charges. What happened?
I understood it to be more like a military parole, since he was arrested by soldiers, not police. In the Civil War, captured soldiers were often paroled, which meant that they could go home if they promised not to bear arms against the enemy again. If you re-enlisted and were captured again, there were some sort of negative consequences, but I'm not sure what exactly. I linked the term to the section on POW parole in the parole article, to make it clearer. --Coemgenus (talk) 11:59, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
"a resolution he wrote that demanded..." but then later "the President ignored the request". Not sure it is sufficiently accurate to cast a "demand" as a "request". Can an editor look more closely at the nature of this interaction and render the language more consistent?
The Senate saw it as a demand, Grant saw it as a request. It wasn't binding, in either case, more like evidence of the Senate's opinion. I think the language is more clear now. --Coemgenus (talk) 11:44, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
"specie" is a technical term that will require linking or explanation.
The link goes to a disambig, so I just explained it briefly. --Coemgenus (talk)
"began embroiled in a feud with the Tammany Hall wing of the party" began to be? became?
Good catch -- should be "became". Fixed it. --Coemgenus (talk) 11:48, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
"The rights of American fisherman in Canadian waters had been disputed since American independence, but the most recent dispute..." Can you try and copyedit this passage to avoid the repetition of disputed / dispute?
It should read better now. --Coemgenus (talk) 12:24, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
"Joseph Chamberlain, a leading statesman in Parliament, led their delegation," I think, since three countries are involved (US, Canada, UK) this should probably read "Joseph Chamberlain, a leading statesman in the British Parliament, led their delegation," otherwise, as well as not distnguishing between Britain and Canada, we also dn't know who "their" refers to. hamiltonstone (talk) 12:05, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Good point. Changed it. --Coemgenus (talk) 12:24, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
You have a Harv error under the Articles refs -- if you install Ucucha's script they'll automatically show up in bold red so you can't miss 'em...
Thanks, I didn't realized I never used that article. The script is helpful. --Coemgenus (talk) 15:39, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Like to see a source review for formatting/reliability -- if no-one above would like to take that, list a request at the top of WT:FAC. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 14:39, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
If no one volunteers today, I'll list it there. --Coemgenus (talk) 15:39, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
@Ian Rose:, should I ask someone directly? I'd hate to see this fail because of lack of interest among the reviewers. --Coemgenus (talk) 11:30, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
Some comments on the first few sections, to be going along with (nothing major) – more tomorrow:
Is "Senator from" or "Senator for" the accepted form? You use both in the article
"From" is better, I think. Changed it. --Coemgenus (talk) 01:07, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
Bayard's appointment as Secretary of State is mentioned twice, in first and third paragraphs
The sentence in the first paragraph: "After four years in private life, he returned to the diplomatic arena as Ambassador to the United Kingdom" is too detailed at this point, especially as his ambassadorship is dealt with in the third paragraph. I'd alter the lead to read: "In 1885, President Grover Cleveland appointed him Secretary of State, and in 1893 made him Ambassador to the United Kingdom.". I'd begin the third paragraph: "As Secretary of State, Bayard worked with Cleveland..." etc
These two points have the same answer: in the first paragraph, I was trying to give a very brief summary of his life. The second and third are longer versions. It's a way of structuring the lede that I was encouraged to adopt in an earlier review, and I like it well enough, but if you think it's wrong, I'm glad to make adjustments. --Coemgenus (talk) 01:07, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
Early life and family
A couple of very minor points: Should "Anne Francis" be "Anne, née Francis"? And I think the final sentence: "The couple would go on to have twelve children" a bit clumsy. Perhaps "The marriage produced twelve children" would be neater?
"advocating a return to civilian (and conservative) government". Why the parentheses? The prewar government of the southern states had always been conservative: I suggest "advocating a return to conservative civilian government"
There's a bit more to it than that. Bayard wanted civilian government, but also opposed black suffrage, which was supposed to be the core of Republican voting strength in the South. It would have been possible, if unlikely, to have a civilian-run South that was not conservative, if the Republicans' black supporters were allowed to vote them into office; Bayard was against this idea. --Coemgenus (talk) 01:20, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
"a resolution he wrote..." – "introduced", or "tabled", maybe?
"Introduced" works. I avoid "tabled"; it means different things in Britain and America. --Coemgenus (talk) 01:20, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
The machinations described in the second paragraph are a little hard to follow, even for a veteran reviewer of Wehwalt's coin articles like me. I don't really know what was going on; it strikes me that Bayard's role in this affair was pretty marginal, so I wonder whether this level of detail is really necessary?
The problem with the coinage debates of the 19th century is that it takes a long time to explain, since people are unfamiliar with the terms. Bayard's role may not have been immense, but support for the gold standard was one of his signature issues, so I thought it was important to explain what all the fuss was about. --Coemgenus (talk) 10:40, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Clashes with Hayes
"Bayard supported the effort, which passed both houses was sent to the President." Something wrong with the syntax – possibly the omission of "and" after "houses"
I'm not sure the Potter committee warrants a mention in the section title; it is not particularly significant in the text, and is fairly marginal to Bayard.
OK, I changed it to "Election of 1880". --Coemgenus (talk) 10:40, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
"many former Tilden adherents began to think their candidate could not win his home state" – who is "their candidate"? Clarify if this is a reference to Tilden, though if they were former Tilden adherents he was presumably not their candidate.
You're right, I struck out "former." --Coemgenus (talk) 10:40, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
"the Democratic party elected a president for the first time since 1856." I don't think this wording is right; a Democrat was indeed elected, but this was by the electorate, not the Democratic party.
I tweaked the language to make it more precise. --Coemgenus (talk) 10:55, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Samoa and Hawaii
"Among the first foreign policy challenges Bayard and Cleveland faced concerned American influence in the Samoan Islands" – grammatically incorrect: "was that concerning" in place of "concerned" would work
On the matter of Cleveland's defeat in 1888: interesting, this. He won the popular vote, with an increased aggregate and almost exactly the same proportion of the vote as in 1884. But this time, he failed to take New York, and that did for him. Ah, well...
There were widespread fraud allegations in Indiana, too. It was an interesting race. --Coemgenus (talk) 10:55, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
"law upon the subjects to which it confines its interposition..." What on earth does that mean? (I'm not surprised there were diplomatic tensions if they went on at each other like that)
I think it means "law as to the subjects the U.S. chooses to apply it's influence to,", e.g., we are in charge where we say we're in charge.
"Olney, for his part, thought Bayard soft-pedaled the note and asked Cleveland to remove him, which Cleveland declined". It's not immediately clear from this that Olney asked Cleveland to remove Bayard.
Should be clearer now(?) --Coemgenus (talk) 10:55, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Death and legacy
Nothing to comment on here, except can 13 years really be said to be "shortly after his death"?
Compared to 2014, it was, but I take your point. Changed it to "Thirteen years after..." --Coemgenus (talk) 10:55, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
An excellent article, comparable with others on American politics which I have enjoyed and reviewed in the past. I wish I had noticed it sooner. My issues are mostly trivial, and I see no difficulty in supporting promotion to FA when these have been looked at. Brianboulton (talk) 19:42, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the thorough review. I'm glad you liked it. --Coemgenus (talk) 10:55, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Support: Note the section title that I've tweaked. I'm satisfied with your responses to my points and believe the article now meets all the criteria for promotion. Sorry it's taken so long. Brianboulton (talk) 22:21, 28 April 2014 (UTC)