Western CT State University Archives' Digital Collections

Roraback's Decline

<a href="/omeka/items/browse?advanced%5B0%5D%5Belement_id%5D=50&advanced%5B0%5D%5Btype%5D=is+exactly&advanced%5B0%5D%5Bterms%5D=Suicide+victim%2C+J.+Henry+Roraback">Suicide victim, J. Henry Roraback</a>

Roraback, 9 years after Candlewood.

Just as the water was settling in the Rocky River basin, the Stock Market crash of 1929 heralded in significant political changes. Even before Roosevelt's election in 1932, Roraback's "boss" status can be seen to have come under negative scrutiny as is evidenced in Lane W. Lancaster's "The Background of a State 'Boss' System" (American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 35, No. 5; Mar., 1930, pp. 783-798).

The "Boss" himself hails from a tiny hamlet in the most Yankee portion of the state, Litchfield County; he understands the language and the point of view of his neighbors and wins their steady allegiance...[reforms would] render precarious the position of the present system. 

Roraback, who was close to Herbert Hoover (they had lunch two weeks before the crash), saw a loss of influence as the Great Depression progressed, but he remained a powerful influence in the Republican party until his death.

Through the 1920s and 30s, Roraback spent much of his time in Hartford, but he maintained his rural persona and status with a home in Harwinton in the heart of Litchfield County Connecticut. The Skinner House where he lived still stands, though, in a different location. 

Click to see Harwinton Historical Society's piece on Roraback and his Harwinton home.