Story of Theodore Roosevelt - J. W. McSpadden


Down the stairs and into the kitchen burst the small boy, pell-mell. He was in dire need of haste, as his actions and backward glances betrayed, even if the cook, pausing in her work in surprise, had not heard the footsteps closely following after.

Not pausing to waste words with the cook, the boy, whose head came only about to the level of the table, grabbed a piece of dough from out her astonished hands, thrust her skirts to one side, and dived under the table. A moment later the door opened again, and a man entered. He looked around the kitchen inquiringly.

"Have you seen anything of that boy in here?" he asked.

There was no dodging his searching glance. The cook, who was Irish and had a warm spot in her heart for the urchin, let her eyes fall helplessly, and suspiciously, toward the hiding place. Down on all fours went the man and reached for the fugitive from justice. The boy heaved the dough at him, striking him full in the face, then wriggled out from the other side of the table and darted for the door. Midway there he was caught and—a future President of the United States got a spanking!

The home where this domestic tragedy occurred was one of the better-class residences of New York City. For, unlike other famous Presidents, Theodore Roosevelt was not born in the country or amid humble surroundings. His father's house was one of the best in the city, and young Theodore was surrounded by comfort and luxury. And, as if that were not handicap enough to attaining future greatness, the lad himself was sickly.

The Roosevelts were a Dutch stock. The First of that name to come to America established a home in New York, then called New Amsterdam, about 1650, or more than two hundred years before Theodore was born. The little town at the mouth of the Hudson was then like a bit of old Holland, with its sturdy burghers clumping around in wooden shoes and big breeches, its housefraus, with their kirtles and bonnets, and its whirling windmills and general air of contentment.

Thereafter, as the town slowly grew to a city, and the city to a great metropolis, the Roosevelts had their modest share in affairs. We find the naive frequently mentioned in the records, and a street bearing their name.

For many years the family remained strictly Dutch. Its members married into other Dutch families, and their children's names were Jacobus, Nicholas and Johannas, just like their forebears. But America was then, and always has been, the melting pot of the races. The young Dutch gallants, looking about them, found maidens of English, French or other stock who were more to their liking.

And so we come down to the middle of the last century, in the days just preceding the dread Civil War. A young man of the house of Roosevelt, whose father was a prosperous importer and banker of New York, was invited to go South on a visit. A Philadelphia friend was to marry a Georgia girl, and young Roosevelt was asked to be best man. He went, and again the melting pot got in its work. He met and fell in love with a Southern girl, who had come from a family no less distinguished than his own. The young couple heeded not the war clouds which were even then hovering over hearts. They listened only to their own.

And this, in brief, is how Theodore Roosevelt, father of the future President, brought to his Northern home the Southern girl, Martha Bulloch; and that is how the boy who later came into their home had both Northern and Southern blood in his veins.

The boy Theodore was born in his father's brownstone house on Twentieth Street a few steps east of Broadway on October 27, 1858. When the opening gun at Sumter was fired, he was still a baby, and the poignant four years which followed mercifully passed him by with few if any memories. But not so his father and his mother—for one was of the North and the other of the South. His father threw himself energetically into the Northern cause. He was appointed the head of a relief commission from New York, and went from camp to camp in the interests of the starving wives and children left at home. The mother, on her part, wept and prayed for the South, and secretly sent boxes of supplies to her loved ones there. The children—there were four of them in all; a sister older than Theodore, and a later sister and brother—were permitted to help in the packing of these boxes, and were cautioned not to tell their father, so it was all quite exciting and mysterious. The father, however, doubtless knew of much of this in an "unofficial" way, and there is no hint that the dissensions which rent the North and South asunder ever disturbed the relations of the Roosevelt household.

Such boxes were, of course, contraband—that is, they were sent by blockade runners, and were subject to seizure by anybody. And so the Roosevelt children invented a game which they called "Blockade." With their friends they would go to some vacant lot across which there were paths, and some of the children would be blockade runners, while others would be guards. Theodore, now six years old, was ardently "Union" even then, and always tried to guard paths and bridges.

He relates amusing incidents of this period. One day he had suffered punishment at his mother's hands for some minor offense, but when he came to say his prayers at his mother's knee at bedtime, the sense of injury still rankled.

Kneeling down, he said his prayers as usual, and then added in a loud voice:

"And God bless the Union army and I hope it will lick the Rebels!"

Fortunately his mother had a sense of humor, and only smiled at his outburst. But she warned him not to repeat his offense.

Of both his mother and his father the boy retained the tenderest memories. "My mother," he says, "was a sweet, gracious, beautiful Southern woman, a delightful companion and beloved by everybody. She was entirely 'unreconstructed' to the day of her death." By the last remark, he means that her sympathies always remained with the South.

Of his father, he is no less enthusiastic. "He was the best man I ever knew. He combined strength and courage with gentleness, tenderness, and great unselfishness." One day Mr. Roosevelt had an important business meeting downtown. When he arrived there he took out of his overcoat pocket a kitten which he had found straying on the street. One of the most delightful games which the children played with him was to "hold him up" on his return home and laughingly go through his pockets; and many a treasure did they find there.

The boy's early recollections of the home itself show us one of the severely respectable New England houses so common fifty years ago. The black haircloth furniture in the dining-room scratched the bare legs of the children. The middle room was a library, with tables, chairs, and bookcases in formal array. The parlor seemed to the children a place of awe and splendor, but was open to use only on rare occasions. An odor of musty sanctity pervaded it. Its chief ornament was a huge glass chandelier decorated with a great quantity of cut-glass prisms or pendants.

"These prisms," he confesses, "struck me as possessing peculiar magnificence. One of them fell off, one day, and I hastily grabbed it and stowed it away, passing several days of furtive delight in the treasure, a delight always alloyed with fear that I would be found out and convicted of larceny."

This house adjoined an uncle's, and at the rear broad porches communicated with each other, and looking out on a double backyard—a constant joy to the children. Back and forth across the verandas young Theodore would scramble, at imminent danger of tumbling off. At first his mother was constantly uneasy. Then she sat back with the stoic philosophy that countless other mothers have found necessary.

"I am convinced that a special Providence watches over Theodore," she said resignedly. "Otherwise he would have killed himself long ago."


Despite his activity and delight in games, the boy was not strong. His legs were like pipestems, and he was troubled with asthma, so that often he had to be propped up on pillows all night long. He tells of his father sitting up with him, so that the choked little chest could breathe, and even making him take a puff or two at a strong cigar. The boy was literally fighting his way along for a chance to grow.

The summers were a special joy to the Roosevelt children, for they left the hot and noisy city and went to the country, now to one place and then to another. The children loved the country beyond anything, and with the first warm days of spring they began to ask:

"Where are we going this year? When do we start?"

In the country, instead of the closed-in city house with its horsehair furniture and gloomy rooms, they found rambling farmhouses with everything wide open. There were a stable, barnyard, cows, pigs, and horses. And there were all kinds of pets—cats, dogs, rabbits, a coon, and a sorrel Shetland pony named General Grant.

When Theodore's young sister first heard of the real General Grant, she remarked, "Isn't it strange that he should have the same name as our pony!"

In the country the four children went bare-foot most of the time, and the seasons came and went with a round of pleasures—watching the haying and harvesting, picking apples, hunting frogs successfully and woodchucks unsuccessfully, gathering nuts in the autumn, and so on until the reluctant summons came to go back to the city.

Young Theodore had his father's love of the woods and inherited from him his desire to know more about the growing things, both plants and animals. As he grew into boyhood he gradually took the lead, when it came to seeking out an ants' nest, or the tree where the oriole was building its home. Although woefully near-sighted, as he and his parents discovered later, and although those spindle shanks of his refused to let him go far at a time, he made the most of his jaunts and was constantly coming back with some piece of information, such as:

"Do you remember those pollywogs down at the pond? Well, they are turning into frogs!"

On rainy days or in the evenings he would turn to some beloved book of adventure or travels. Once when reading of Livingstone's travels in Africa, he paused to inquire, "What are foraging ants?"

His father and the rest were "stumped" for a moment, but on referring back to the text he was reading they found that Dr. Livingstone had spoken of them as the "foregoing ants."

One such summer was spent in Tarrytown on the Hudson, when Theodore was in his tenth year. Then he essayed his first attempts at authorship—a diary which ceased after two or three weeks, like many another diary since, by other hands. One entry alludes to the sorrel pony for whom General Grant was named:

"I had a ride of six miles before breakfast. I will always have a ride of six miles before breakfast now."

There spoke the future ranchman and lover of horses.

Back to the city they would go regretfully in the fall–often a month later than school time, for the father and mother were closely watching this boy who seemed all spirit and no body.

"I never liked to go to school," he admitted afterwards; yet he managed to get fair grades.

On the big back porches of the two homes the children had rigged up a sort of gymnasium. One of the pieces was a climbing pole, and it was Theodore's pet ambition to shin up to the top. Time after time he would twine his skinny arms and legs around it, and wriggle his way upward, and it was a proud day for him when he at last got up.

In the year 1869, when he was eleven, his father took him to Europe to benefit his health. "A tall, thin lad with bright eyes and legs like pipestems," is how he impressed a fellow passenger. This trip for some reason or another he cordially hated, perhaps by reason of ill health, but four years later they went again, when he was old enough to enjoy it and profit by it.

They went first to Algiers, to avoid a northern winter and for the sake of his weakened lungs. Later he grew stronger and they went to Vienna, where his father held an appointment from President Grant (not the pony this time!) as Commissioner to the Exposition of Vienna. At Dresden the children were placed under a tutor's care.

Here Theodore gained a speaking knowledge of German, took up drawing lessons, which stood him in good stead in later life, in rough-and-ready sketches of things, and continued his hobby for natural history. When it came time for the family to start home, his mother was in despair. His trunk was half-full of specimens. Right and left in the room she chucked them in the effort to make room for his clothing, and as fast as she would discard some beloved trophy he would pounce upon it and try to thrust it in his pocket.

As the boy grew older he gradually got the better of his asthma. He seemed to grow out of it, thanks to his love of the outdoors and constant activity. His lungs grew sound; and while he did not have much stamina he had the next best thing, determination.

His eyes still continued to trouble him, he did not know why. In those days we must remember that there were comparatively few oculists, and the practice of putting spectacles upon children was almost unknown. Theodore was, as he afterwards learned, at a hopeless disadvantage in studying nature. He was so near-sighted that the only things he could observe were the ones he "ran against or stumbled over." When he was about thirteen he was allowed to take lessons in taxidermy from a Mr. Bell, who had a musty little shop somewhat like that of Mr. Venus, which Dickens describes in "Our Mutual Friend."

That summer he got his first gun and went out in the field to get specimens. It puzzled him to find that the others could see and bring down the game, which he could not locate at all. An oculist was finally consulted and the much-needed glasses procured, which literally "opened up a new world" for him. "I had no idea how beautiful the world was until I got those spectacles," he says, as the day grew brighter and the trees were transformed from confused blurs into delicate traceries of living green.

Unluckily for the rest of the family, Theodore insisted upon carrying his specimens, living or dead, from place to place. Once while in Europe, his brother Elliot came to their father with the tearful request that he be allowed to have a room to himself.

"Why, what's wrong with your sharing a room with Theodore?" asked his father.

"Just come and look," was the reply.

His father followed him, and the room that greeted his eyes was indeed a "sight." There were half-mounted specimens, carcasses, and crawling things all mixed up with bottles, glasses, and other thins dear to a taxidermist's heart, but hardly the thing for a hotel bedroom.

"I suppose that all boys are grubby," says Theodore himself at a later date; "but the ornithological small boy, or indeed the boy with the taste for natural history of any kind, is generally the very grubbiest of all."

Young Manhood

On the top of an old-fashioned stage-coach sat three boys. They were off for a jaunt to Moosehead Lake, in Maine, and as the driver cracked his whip and the coach lumbered around curves in the road, revealing glorious glimpses of hill and dale and flowing stream, the spirits of the three boys rose correspondingly.

The boys were about the same age, but two were robust and healthy, and seemed to have much in common. They laughed and jested acid finally began to poke fun at the third boy, who was stoop-shouldered, narrow-chested, and wore huge spectacles.

This boy wriggled around uncomfortably under the constant fire, and at last determined upon revenge. The stage had stopped at a wayside inn during the luncheon hour, and the passengers were stretching their muscles. Goaded into action by the other fellows, young "Owl-Eyes" peeled off his coat and dared the other boys to fight. They accepted his challenge, still in a spirit of jest, and first one, then the other tackled him. What was his amazement and disgust to discover that they were actually playing with him! Try as he might, he could not land a blow, while either of the others handled him "with easy contempt" as the poor victim afterwards described it—handling him so as not to hurt him much, but defeating him without any trouble whatever.

"Oh, let up on him!" one of the boys finally said. "The little shrimp is plucky, but can't fight!"

The little fellow, Theodore Roosevelt, left that field of battle much cast down in spirit. The defeat did him more good than tons of advice. Was he to grow up a weakling, the laughing stock of every other boy? Book-learning, he reflected, was all well enough, but if one had that and nothing more, he was "out of luck."

He had been planning to enter Harvard, and specialize in his beloved natural history and science. Now he decided to fit himself in body as well as in mind.

With his father's consent, he decided to learn how to box. He'd be ready for those fellows next time! He made the acquaintance of an old pugilist, John Long, by name, who looked him over and grunted.

"Not much to go on," he said; "but we'll try not to kill you!"

John Long's boxing quarters were adorned with pictures of famous fighters—men of beef and brawn. It must have caused the old fellow much amusement to watch the young spindle-shanks prance about and flourish the gloves. It took Theodore two or three years according to his own story to make any progress, but slowly, ever so slowly, he gained wind and muscle.

On one occasion, to stimulate interest among his patrons, John Long held a series of "championship bouts" at different weights. The prizes were medals made of pewter, and worth perhaps fifty cents. As luck would have it, Theodore was pitted in succession against two reedy striplings who were "even worse than he was." To the profound surprise of John Long, he won and became the proud possessor of the pewter medal. For years thereafter it was his joy and pride.

After entering Harvard, he kept up his boxing, both because it was benefiting his health and because it was about the only form of exercise for which he had any aptitude. Wrestling he also went in for. Once, he says, he got as far as the finals or semi-finals; but aside from this the chief part he played was to act as a sort of trial horse for his more active classmates.

Still, defeats did not daunt him now, for he felt that he was no longer a weakling. He always gave a good account of himself. They tell yet of seeing this delicate-looking fellow, with the eager look of battle in his eye, coming back again and again for punishment that would have floored a much bigger fighter. He was always game and a "good sport."

Once in the middle of a lively bout the referee called time. Theodore promptly dropped his fists and stood waiting. The other fellow struck at him and landed squarely on his nose, making it bleed profusely. Cries of "Foul!" arose, but Roosevelt ran to the referee, his nose streaming red, and called excitedly:

"Stop! Stop! He didn't hear! He didn't hear!"

Theodore was always fond of horses, but at first did not do much riding, at college. He contented himself with driving a spanking team in a light gig, as the fashion then was.

With his family's wealth and social position behind him, the young man found the doors of Boston's exclusive society thrown open to him. He joined several of the college societies and entered heartily into the life of the university. But even in those days he was not snobbish, being quite as willing to find a "good fellow" among the students with slim pocket-books, as among the well-to-do.

College proved, in some respects, a disappointment to him. He found that specializing in natural history there did not mean collecting and mounting specimens. Instead, it meant laboratory work, and painstaking dissection under the microscope. So he went in for a general course, and did much desultory reading that was not in the course at all. They say of him, that he would frequently drop into a fellow student's room on a visit, when his eye would light upon some unfamiliar book upon the table. He would promptly curl himself up in the window-seat with the book, and forget all about the outside world.

It was about this time that Theodore made two acquaintances who exerted no little influence over his after life. One was a girl named Alice Lee, of whom more later. The other was a backwoodsman, Bill Sewall.

Theodore had been tutored for college by Arthur Cutler, himself a young man of fine attainments and promise. Cutler was fond of going "down to Maine" on hunting and fishing trips, where he had met Sewall, a guide of Island Falls. He urged Theodore to go along, and Theodore was of the sort that needed little urging where the great outdoors was concerned.

Accordingly on one of his trips into the Maine wilderness, Cutler took Roosevelt, whom he afterwards left in charge of the guide. It would have been hard to find two persons of more marked physical contrast. Bill Sewall was a big, husky fellow of thirty-five or -six, towering up like one of the pine trees of his state; while Theodore Roosevelt was not much more than half his age and stature. The two eyed each other critically. They were sizing each other up.

"I want you to take good care of this young fellow," Cutler told the guide privately. "He's plucky enough, but he isn't very strong. He can't help that, you know, but the trouble is that he won't give up, even if he's tired out."

The big guide nodded without making much comment. He possibly thought, "Another tenderfoot!" But he soon found that this spectacled young man, despite his troublesome breathing, was game. They went hunting and camping together, and Roosevelt insisted upon "toting" his full share of arms and equipment. On one of their first trips Bill thoughtlessly took a wider circuit than he had planned, which resulted in a twenty-five mile hike—"a good, fair walk for any common man"—as he afterwards admitted; but Roosevelt, if he was done up, never complained.

Then and there was born a lifelong friendship between the frail city lad and the stalwart backwoodsman. Seated at the friendly campfire they exchanged confidences. Bill told Theodore about the big game and how it was hunted; while Theodore in return told Bill many interesting and surprising bits or fact about the smaller animals and birds, gleaned from his passion for natural history.

"He never could get me interested in fishing," says Roosevelt. "I was too active to be willing to sit still and wait for a bite."

But he got his first lessons in big game hunting. He learned to shoot straight, and to follow the trail. He learned the meaning of many things in the great silent woods.

"That young feller has good stuff in him," Bill Sewall confided to his nephew, Will Dow, who joined them on many expedition. "I don't know what it is, but he is 'different'—different from anybody I ever met. I wouldn't be surprised if we heard from him yet, even if he don't look like he amounted to much."

Some thirty years later, Bill Sewall acted as collector of customs on the Aroostook border. He had been appointed to this position by his old friend, Theodore Roosevelt, now President of the United States.

Facing the World

Young Roosevelt graduated from Harvard with the class of 1880. He did not shine particularly; he was number twenty-two in the class. His graduating thesis was on a natural history subject.

He left college, however, with much better health than when he had entered it, thanks to the boxing lessons and the Maine camping trips. He likewise made some firm friends, among them Albert Bushnell Hart, the historian; Henry Cabot Lodge, historian and afterwards senator; Josiah Quincy, who became Assistant Secretary of State; and Robert Bacon, who was later Secretary of State and Ambassador to France.

Although Roosevelt did not specialize in history other than the "natural" sort, his first essay in authorship was in this field, and while in college his attention was directed to the fact that the existing histories of the War of 1812 contained many errors. He began to compare documents for himself and ended by writing The Naval War of 1812, which he published in two volumes after leaving college, at the age of twenty-three. It is now recognized in England as well as in America as an authority on the subject.

We have already mentioned that among his college friends was a young lady, Miss Alice Lee. She lived in Chestnut Hill, a suburb of Boston, and thither the young collegian often wended his way.

One day his Professor in Rhetoric was criticizing a theme, and objecting to it on the ground that it was over-sentimental. "What do you think about it, Mr. Roosevelt?" the Professor asked suddenly and at random. "Do you think that an undergraduate is liable to fall in love?"

Roosevelt stammered and blushed so furiously that his secret was out.

He was married to Miss Lee, on his twenty-second birthday, shortly after his graduation.

Although he gained many things at college, he suffered a grievous loss in the death of his father, which occurred while Theodore was in his sophomore year. Mr. Roosevelt died in the prime of life; he had not yet reached fifty. He had been a comrade to all his children, but especially to this, his eldest son, whose fight for health and strength he had watched so keenly. Between the older man and the younger a rare friendship had existed. For a time the son felt lonely indeed as he faced the world.

Whither should he turn, what should he do? the college graduate asked himself—and he would have given much for a father's guidance, as he made his decision.

His friend, Bill Sewall, the Maine guide, made a practical suggestion. "Why don't you go into politics, Theodore?" he asked.

When he returned to New York with his diploma in his pocket, the magic word "politics" still haunted him. Fortunately he was not obliged to earn his own living, so could take his time in finding his niche. As a preliminary he took a special course in law at Columbia University; and he also busied himself with getting out his Naval History of the War of 1812.

He began to inquire into the local political situation, and was informed by some of his friends that politics was vulgar, and that the city organization was a ring composed of saloon-keepers, prize-fighters, street car conductors, cab drivers, and the like.

"Very well then," said young Roosevelt with a squaring of his jaw which was to become so famous in later life, "if the people who run these organizations, whoever they are, are the governing class, then I propose to be one of the governing class."

He lost no time in enrolling as a member, in a ward Republican club and paying his dollar, as many another had done, but he did not stop here; he attended all the committee meetings and speedily came to know every man Jack there by his first name.

The boss of this district was one Jake Hess, who was frankly puzzled by this newcomer. Roosevelt then wore side-whiskers, which were much in vogue among the dandies, and looked somewhat like a "dude" or "silk stocking," as Jake expressed it. But the young man gave himself no airs, and when a subject was up, such as street cleaning, which interested him, he jumped to his feet and surprised himself as well as everyone else by making a speech. He had had no training as an orator, but he spoke with simple, direct earnestness which held attention and secured applause,

Nevertheless, when a vote was taken on the subject, Roosevelt was disgusted to find that he was defeated, 95 to 3. The boss had quietly shaken his head the other way.

Now there was a red-headed Irishman in the back of the hall who began to take an interest in this young college "dude." He was an Irish gang leader named Joe Murray, who for some time had been chafing under the boss's tyranny. He decided quietly to start a little insurrection, and get this college chap on his side. Roosevelt, on his part, took to Joe Murray, just as he had to big Bill Sewall. There was something of the elemental man in them both.

The time was approaching when nominations must be made for the State Legislature, and Jake Hess had made up his mind to re-nominate the man who then represented that district. This man, however, was not in good repute. The newspapers had been hammering him severely. Joe Murray decided it was time to launch his revolt, and incidentally wrest control away from the old boss. He went quietly around and secured enough votes to defeat Hess's man; then came to Roosevelt with a proposition.

"I say," he remarked casually, "how would you like to run for Legislature?"

It was said as quietly as "It's a fine day!"

"Humph!" said Roosevelt, thinking he was poking fun at him.

"Oh, I'm serious," Murray assured him. "We've got to have a candidate to beat Hess's man."

"Then that lets me out," Roosevelt assured him emphatically. He may have been thinking of that 95 to 3 vote, when a single nod of Hess's bead was too much for him.

"Will you help me find a candidate then?" asked Joe Murray easily.

"Surely," replied Roosevelt.

The next night he gave Murray half-a-dozen names.

"He won't do. He won't do. He won't do," said the Irishman, checking off one after another. "Young fellow, you've got to serve!" he repeated, looking Roosevelt in the eye.

"Nell, I'll run if you say so," replied Roosevelt with sparkling eyes. "But I certainly thought you were fooling, when you first mentioned it."

And to the amazement of the old boss, when it came to a showdown, his man was defeated, and Theodore Roosevelt, an untried young fellow, was chosen as the candidate. East-side campaign methods were not gentle, but his heart thrilled with every whoop which greeted his rough-and-ready appeals. If this was "politics," then he liked it!

However, he didn't ask people to vote for him, but for the things that he stood for—cleaner streets, honest administration, and better conditions generally. He even told the saloon-keepers their licenses should be higher rather than lower!

In spite of this almost brutal frankness, the crowd, struck by his evident sincerity, rallied to his support. He was elected, at twenty-three, being the youngest member of the State Legislature. He himself explained this surprising turn of events very simply.

"I put myself in the way of things happening," he remarked dryly; "and they happened."

A Foretaste of Politics

"Gentlemen, I demand his impeachment!"

The young member of the State Legislature from New York City was making one of his first speeches. It was not a long one, but it created a sensation.

Roosevelt was attacking the record of a prominent judge who, moreover, was a close friend of Jay Gould and of the powerful financial interests.

Roosevelt's entry into the Assembly, a short time before, had brought with it a shock to his ideals. He found the Legislature dominated by political rings who cared more for their own pockets than for the State's good. Some were brazen enough to say so. He found that whether Democrat or Republican (he himself was an ardent Republican) measures were not decided along party lines. "The interests"—that is, the moneyed corporations—wielded the lash, and the legislators fell in line.

"When you've been here a little longer, young man," a veteran told Roosevelt one day, "you'll learn that there's no politics in politics."

At another time, when he protested that a certain act was unconstitutional, the other member replied seriously, with a phrase that has since become proverbial:

"Oh, what's the Constitution between friends!"

The youthful legislator was naturally disheartened at these evidences of graft, and set himself from the first to oppose them. Of course, he got himself cordially disliked, but he went serenely on. The most important affair of the sort, and one which threatened to finish him politically, was the attack upon the judge already mentioned. This official had used his judicial office to further the schemes of Jay Gould and a group of speculators in a shady transaction. He had gone so far as to write them that he was "willing to go to the very verge of judicial discretion to serve your vast interests."

The scandal had become public property, and the newspapers demanded an investigation. The wary lawmakers at Albany side stepped it. They were not courting investigations of any sort. But Roosevelt, the impulsive newcomer, was not so canny. He tried to "start something." He made a brief but impassioned speech, one of the first of many he was to make in after life on the general theme of "honesty."

"We have a right to demand," he cried in closing, "that our judiciary shall be kept beyond reproach, and we have the right to demand that, if we find men acting so that there is not only a suspicion, but almost a certainty, that they have had dealings with men whose interests were in conflict with these of the public, they should be at least required to prove that the charges are untrue."

Although his resolution to investigate this powerful judge was lost, when first presented, Roosevelt set that hard jaw of his and brought it up at another session. It was defeated again. Meanwhile "the interests" sent their men to see him, and active lobbying was done in the halls of the Capitol. Some of the newspapers ridiculed him, while others applauded him. He began to be talked about from one end of the state to the other.

When he presented his resolution a third time, it carried almost unanimously; but the special committee appointed to "investigate" brought in a report "whitewashing" the judge, or, in other words, exonerating him.

Roosevelt had won a tactical victory which the other side had turned into defeat; but his re-nomination to the Legislature was inevitable.

Then an old friend of the family, a shrewd lawyer, invited the young lawmaker out to lunch one day, and undertook to give him some friendly advice. Roosevelt says:

"He explained that I had done well in the Legislature, that it was a good thing to have made the 'reform play,' that I had shown that I possessed ability such as would make me useful in the right kind of office or business concern; but that I must not overplay my hand."

Young Roosevelt listened respectfully, but when he returned to Albany he went right on fighting! Apparently he was cutting himself off from any chance of a future career, either in business or in politics. As it turned out, however, he found himself the acknowledged leader of the reform movement, and the floor leader of his party.

This was the time when Grover Cleveland, then a newcomer also into state politics, was serving as Governor. Although of a different political faith, the two men speedily found each other kindred spirits, and young Roosevelt threw himself wholeheartedly into the support of the new executive's reform measures.

Thomas Nast, one of the first and most famous of our cartoonists, drew a picture at this time, which was published in Harper's Weekly, in 1884. It depicts Roosevelt standing opposite to Cleveland, who is signing a reform bill they have successfully enacted into law. It is one of the earliest cartoon likenesses of Roosevelt.

Several of these reform measures dealt with living conditions in New York City, such as the overcrowding of tenements, sweat-shop work, and the like. Necessarily, someone's corns were trodden upon, and loud were the howls on the part of "the interests." But the reformers went right ahead.

Then in the midst of this public work, Roosevelt suffered from a terrible double blow.

His wife, whom he had idolized, suddenly died, leaving him an infant daughter. Upon the same day his mother also breathed her last.

These two were the dearest beings upon earth to him. Ever since his father's death he had been more than usually devoted to his mother, whom he often addressed in his letters as "Motherling." Now in a moment she and his young wife were both lost to him.

For a brief time he seemed as one stunned. Then resolutely pulling himself together, he went back to Albany.

"It was a grim and cruel fate," he wrote to Bill Sewall; "but I have never believed it did any good to flinch or yield, for any blow, nor does it lighten the blow to cease from working."

In the same year, however, came another sorrow—this time political. He had been made a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Chicago. It was the memorable year, 1884, when James G. Blaine was nominated for President, and for a time seemed an easy winner. But the Democrats had pitted against him Grover Cleveland, the reform Governor of New York, and in the closest of elections Cleveland won.

Roosevelt, as a delegate to the convention, had opposed the nomination of Blaine, but unlike many other Republicans he did not "bolt his ticket"—even for Cleveland, whom he greatly admired. His stand made no friends in either camp. The "bolting" Republicans accused him of trying to "keep solid with the machine," while the Blaine camp called him "lukewarm." Even the Democrats taunted him with being more a "party man" than the reformer he had posed to be.

Sick in mind and body (for his old enemy, asthma, had been troubling him of late), disgusted with the whole field of politics, and literally a man without a home, Roosevelt determined to "chuck it all." He had for many years longed to visit the West. Now he decided to make his home there. It was one of the turning points in his adventurous career.

A Tenderfoot in the West

"Well, I reckon I'll take a chance with you, old Four Eyes!"

This was the salutation given the young, pale-looking Easterner by a husky ranchman in Dakota.

Roosevelt, seized with an impulse which he had felt ever since his younger brother Elliot had returned home with tales of a big-game hunt in the West, had now "obeyed that impulse."

One morning in September at the unearthly hour of three he had gotten off a Northern Pacific train at a station called Little Missouri. It was a forlorn-looking place with half-a-dozen saloons, a store or two, a few houses which were not much more than shanties, and a hotel known by the imposing name of Pyramid Park. Roosevelt made his way to this hostelry and pounded lustily on the door until admitted by the drowsy proprietor, who grumblingly fixed up the "dude" for the rest of the night.

The next morning the "dude" began to look around and to make inquiries. He wanted to stop out there awhile and do some hunting, he averred. The proprietor and a few husky cow-boys who chanced to be in town looked him over and grinned at each other. Here was a typical tenderfoot from the East. They promptly christened him "Four Eyes," from the ever-present glasses.

At last a ranchman named Joe Ferris came along and agreed to "take a chance." He informed Roosevelt that he was employed with an outfit at Chimney Butte Ranch, some six or seven miles up the Little Missouri.

"If the other fellers like you and you can git along with them, it's all right with me!" he remarked naively.

Roosevelt, too, was willing to take a chance (he always was, for that matter!), so he mounted a horse and went along with Ferris.

Chimney Butte Ranch proved to be a log house with one room, which served as kitchen, dining-room, and bedroom. Outside was a corral for the horses, and a chicken run. All around stretched a wild, desolate-looking country called the Bad Lands. The other occupants of the shanty were Sylvane Ferris, brother of Joe, and their partner, Bill Merrifield.

They greeted the newcomer briefly but not unkindly—the etiquette of the plains is not formal—and as he sat down to his first meal with them, they quietly sized him up. The first impressions were mutually agreeable, although the ranchmen had a lingering suspicion that Four Eyes might be chasing out there to escape justice back East.

Joe Ferris agreed to go on a buffalo hunt with Roosevelt, though privately doubting whether the tenderfoot could hit anything. They rode over to a neighboring ranch—that is, it was only forty miles away—owned by a Scotchman, Gregor Lang. Here they made their headquarters, for buffalo were reported plentiful in that region.

As luck would have it, the weather turned in bad, with a thin, driving rain. Out on the plains, with no hills or trees to break it, such a rain is anything but comfortable. Joe Ferris was willing to wait for clearer skies; but Roosevelt had come out there to hunt buffalo, and hunt he did. Every morning they would sally forth on horseback, rifles across their saddle-bows, looking for the buffalo which always seemed to be out of reach. Every night they would return soaking wet. The guide would roll himself up by the fire in a buffalo robe and soon snore deeply. He was tired out and he admitted it. But the tenderfoot seemingly took a new lease of life after supper and sat up two or three hours longer talking with Lang, who, like Bill Sewall back East, he found a congenial spirit.

At last, after they had been there about a week, the wind changed anti the rain ceased.

"Now," said Roosevelt determinedly, "we ought to find that buffalo."

Thanks to the clear day, they soon came upon fresh bison tracks, and followed three of the lumbering beasts all day long, but at a distance. Just at sunset they came upon a bull in an arroyo, or dried watercourse, and both hunters fired. The bull was evidently wounded, but dashed past so close to Roosevelt's horse that it shied, nearly unseating him. His rifle was knocked against his forehead, cutting a gash that brought blood into his eyes.

The maddened bull then charged Ferris's horse, got past him, and went floundering off across the prairie.

There was nothing to do but dismount and picket. Roosevelt's slight wound had to be attended to, so that he could see at all. The horses were tired out, and night was descending. They ate their supper, then fastened the horses' ropes to the saddles, placed the saddles upon the ground to serve as pillows, and soon fell asleep.

In the middle of the night a rude jerk of the "pillows" from under their heads awakened Roosevelt and his guide with a start. They sat up with the one thought, "Indians," going through their heads. The marauding Crees and Dakotahs were still using the Bad Lands as their hunting ground.

However, it was not Indians this time, but wolves which had frightened their horses, causing them to dash off. Fortunately the wolves were soon frightened away, the horses recaptured, and the hunters lay down again. During the night a fine, cold rain began to fall, and by morning their blankets were soggy masses.

"Say, are you the Jonah, or am I?" asked Ferris, looking reproachfully at "Four Eyes."

The other only grinned.

"We'll get that buffalo yet!" he remarked hopefully.

The guide stared at him. This was a new species of tenderfoot, he decided.

All that day they hunted in the rain, but did not come up with their wounded bison. The rain had obliterated the tracks. Once Roosevelt's pony stepped into a gopher hole and pitched his rider over his head. Again the horse got mired in a quicksand and the two men had to tug and haul to get him back to dry land.

They made their way back to Lang's ranch pretty well tuckered out, as Ferris expressed it, but Roosevelt could still grin, and vowed that he had had the time of his life. He had fallen in love with the Bad Lands despite the week of rain and hardship. And despite its name, he saw that the country had many attractive aspects. It was wild, free and un trammeled, just the reverse of over-civilized New York.

"Well, how do you like it by now?" asked the Scotchman that night, with a quizzical smile.

"Bully!" replied Roosevelt. "Say, Lang, I've been thinking about staking out a claim and running a string of cows out here. How much would it set me back?"

He was using the "lingo" of the country.

"Well," said the Scotchman cautiously, "I reckon it would hurt the looks of forty or fifty thousand dollars."

"All cash down?"

"Nope. Ten thousand dollars would do the trick of starting you."

"Suits me," said Roosevelt. "If you'll be my foreman, I'll start right in!"

Roosevelt had been there only ten days and had never met these men before. But, as Bill Sewall said, he was never "over-cautious."

Lang, however, was already tied up with another outfit. He suggested that Merrifield and Sylvane Ferris might be interested. The two others were sent for, and the upshot of the matter was that Roosevelt placed a check for fourteen thousand dollars in their hands with instructions to stake out a claim and buy as large a herd as the money would cover.

The next day his hunting luck turned, and he shot and killed his first buffalo.

He returned East strengthened in body and spirit, for his work as a legislator was not yet ended, leaving his two associates to stock up the new ranch at Chimney Butte. It was to prove a refuge for him when he retired from his first essay in political life.

When he went back West, he was resolved to "make good." He knew that the rough-and-ready Westerners would respect a man only who could ride well, hit hard, and shoot straight. He had been accustomed to horse-back riding for many years, and while he never rode with the easy, careless grace of a cowboy, he sat in his saddle firmly. He now learned to throw a rope, to brand cattle, to ride with the herd at night,—in a word, he entered into every detail of ranch life.

One little incident, among several, will serve to show how he finally "made good."

One night he was forced to put up at a shabby little hotel, where, just as he entered, a "bad man" was showing off. He had fired two shots through the face of the clock on the wall above the bar, and still flourished his smoking weapon. As he caught sight of the tenderfoot, he grinned broadly.

"Oh, here's 'Four Eyes'!" he shouted. "Step up, gentlemen, all of you. Good old 'Four Eyes' is going to set us up to the drinks."

Roosevelt grinned back at the bully, as though it were only a joke, and went on his way to the back room. The other, however, was not to be shaken off so easily. He followed after him, with foul and abusive language, and pointing his six-shooter ordered him "to step up and buy the drinks for the crowd, and be quick about it!"

"Well, if I must, I must, I suppose," said the victim resignedly, and made as if to obey.

The bully waited with a triumphant leer, but Roosevelt noted in a flash that his feet were planted close together. As he himself passed the fellow on the way to the bar, Roosevelt's right fist shot out, followed by his left. He remembered old John Long's boxing lessons. The blows caught the gunman full on the jaw and he went down like a sheep. In falling his head struck on the corner of the bar, knocking him senseless. The crowd had to pick him up and put him to bed.

Roosevelt spent a somewhat anxious night, he later confessed. He fully expected the bully to be waiting for him outside the next morning with that handy pistol. But he was agreeably disappointed. The other fellow had "folded his tent like the Arab, and as silently stole away."

Roosevelt comments amusedly that the name "Four Eyes" seemed to pursue him everywhere. These keen-eyed cowboys seemed to think that a man with defective vision must be "yellow," until it was proven different. It always took him a few days to break into a strange outfit, when, he adds, "By this time I would have been accepted as one of the outfit and all strangeness would have passed off, the attitude of my fellow cowpunchers being one of friendly forgiveness, even towards my spectacles."

Elkhorn Ranch

Roosevelt returned East in the fall to take part in the presidential campaign, but as we have. already seen, he was out of touch with affairs. Cleveland defeated Blaine, who from the outset had never been Roosevelt's choice. Now he decided that he was done with politics, and he set about actively building a new home in the West.

On one of his hunting trips he had found the antlers of two elk locked in a death embrace. The site here was rising ground with water nearby and a fine view of the buttes beyond. This place he picked for the new home, which he christened Elkhorn Ranch. While East he wrote to Bill Sewall and Will Dow to go back with him.

"Now a little plain talk, though I do not think it is necessary, for I know you too well," he wrote Bill. "If you are afraid of hard work and privation do not come West. If you expect to make a fortune in a year or two, do not come West. If you will give up under temporary discouragements, do not come West. . . . Now I take it for granted you will not hesitate."

Bill didn't. He came with Dow to New York, and they went out to Chimney Butte with Roosevelt.

The Maine guide's eye roamed up and down this arid Western country, so vastly different from the verdure and pine-clad hills of his native State.

"Huh! You won't make any money raising cattle here," he commented.

"Bill, you don't know anything about it!" snapped Roosevelt.

"Well, I guess that's just about right, too," laughed Bill.

The site of the new Elkhorn Ranch was some forty miles to the north. They rode up there slowly, driving ahead of them a small herd of "shorthorns," which were to be the nucleus of a much larger herd. In those days cattle roamed at large for miles over the country, and often would not be reclaimed until the round-ups, in which all the ranchers took part. Then the stray cattle would be driven in to some common point, and identified by the brands. Roosevelt's own brand was a Maltese cross.

In the early days of the Elkhorn Ranch, Roosevelt was challenged to fight a duel by a hot-tempered Frenchman, whose claim adjoined his own. He was a marquis of the old school, and taking offense at something that Roosevelt was reported to have said, he sent a note by a courier, saying, "There is a way for gentlemen to settle their differences." Roosevelt promptly sent back word that the report was a lie; that the marquis had no business to believe hearsay evidence; and that he himself would follow within the hour. At the Frenchman's gates he was met again by the. messenger, bearing an apology from the marquis and a cordial invitation to take dinner with him.

Colonel Roosevelt at Yosemite


They tell many tales of Roosevelt's ranching days which make interesting reading. Here is another that is too typical of the man to be omitted.

One day he was in the editorial office of The Bad Lands Cowboy, the one newspaper that the section boasted. The editor was a Michigan graduate and, of course, a congenial soul. A little group of idlers sat around spinning yarns, most of which were not fit for polite ears. The worst offender in the lot was a man who had the reputation of being a "two-gun man"—that is, a fellow who could shoot from either hip, and whose fingers were lightning-quick on the trigger.

After this man had reeled off a string of foul talk, Roosevelt, thoroughly tired of it, looked him straight in the eye, and said quietly:

"Bill, I like you, but I don't know why, as you are the dirtiest talker I ever listened to!"

The hearers gasped with astonishment and fully expected some gun-play. But instead of that the man grinned sheepishly and replied:

"I don't belong to your outfit, Mr. Roosevelt, and I'm not beholden to you for anything. All the same, I don't mind saying that mebbe I've been a little bit too free with my mouth."

It was a lot for such a man as that to say, and was not said because he was afraid of Roosevelt. He simply respected the man who dared to stand up and tell him the truth. For thirty years thereafter he was one of the many personal friends whom Roosevelt came to count in the great West.

At the end of the first year Elkhorn Ranch boasted a fine stand of cattle and horses. Many of the latter Roosevelt had himself broken to the saddle—not without many a tumble, as he ruefully admits. Once he broke a small bone in his shoulder, and again one in his left arm. The nearest doctor was miles away, so Bill Sewall patched him up as best he could, and Roosevelt went on about his business until the bones healed.

Best of all, the bracing air of the plains completed the cure for his throat and lungs. His asthma and heavy breathing disappeared. His long fight during sickly childhood and young manhood was over. He had become the strong, virile figure later so famous in America as the apostle of the "strenuous life."

He entered into every phase of ranch work, although as boss of the outfit he might have shirked some of it. He even essayed to cut down trees all day long, alongside such mighty men of the axe as Dow and Sewall. One day, after such a session, he overheard the others talking.

"How many trees did you fellows cut down to-day, Dow?" someone asked.

"Well, Bill cut down fifty-three, I cut forty-nine, and the boss he beavered down seventeen."

Roosevelt, who was not supposed to be listening, had to grin at this. He had seen too many stumps gnawed in two by beavers, not to get the force of the remark.

The Elkhorn ranch house was largely built by these logs which the men themselves cut and rolled into place. When completed it was a long, low structure with an inviting veranda. There was a big living-room with a stone fireplace at one end, ornamented by the inter-locked elk horns. Roosevelt had his own bedroom and a rubber bathtub, an unusual luxury.

"I got out a rocking-chair," he says—"I am very fond of rocking-chairs—and enough books to fill two or three shelves. I do not see how anyone could have lived more comfortably. We had buffalo robes and bearskins of our own killing. We always kept the house clean—using the word in a rather large sense. There were at least two rooms that were always warm, even in the bitterest weather, and we had plenty to eat."

With such an ardent hunter as "the boss," there was usually fresh meat in the house— antelope, deer, grouse, duck, and, in the earlier days, elk and bison. It was an unwritten law with all ranchmen that their beeves were not to be killed for food. This was sometimes broken over, in case of necessity, or where they wanted to put a "maverick" or stray bull out of the way. But it was not considered ethical to kill good cattle.

Roosevelt would often go out alone, sometimes for two or three days at a time, with only some hardtack or bacon in his saddle-bags. He liked not only the joy of the chase, but the opportunity to study nature at close range and uninterruptedly. Born of these expeditions he wrote a book, which began as a series of magazine articles on "Hunting Trips of a Ranchman," which is full of good yarns and bits of description.

The ranch house stood on a low bluff over-looking a bend in the Little Missouri, a peaceful enough stream most of the time but liable to be swollen to a raging torrent in flood season. Ordinarily the stream twisted down in lazy curves between narrow channels flanked by cliffs. A row of cottonwood trees stood along the shore in front of the ranch house.

The men had good reason to know the curves and peculiarities of this river, especially after one memorable trip by boat after some horse thieves. There were three of them, and they had made off with Roosevelt's one boat in order to avoid pursuit. But Dow and Sewall got busy with their handy tools and made a flat-bottomed boat in three days. Then the three men got some provisions together and started upstream after the bandits.

It was cold weather and a freezing wind blew against them.

"We're likely to have this darned wind in our faces all day," remarked Will Dow.

"We can't," objected Bill Sewall, "unless it's the crookedest wind in Dakota, for we're coming to a bend soon."

Presently they paddled round the bend, and Bill was heard muttering to himself:

"It is  the crookedest wind in Dakota!"

After a long paddle they came upon the camp of the thieves, who were not expecting them, for the one left at camp was not pretending to guard it.

"Hands up!" called the Elkhorn outfit, rushing forward.

The man obeyed without a word.

Securing him, they waited in ambush for the two others. The latter, though surprised, showed fight, and as the leader hesitated, Roosevelt walked straight up to him, covering him with a six-shooter and ordering:

"You thief, put up your hands!"

The man's hands went up.

The captors' troubles, however, were by no means over. The only way they could take their prisoners to the nearest jail, many miles away, was by river. They started, but got delayed by an ice jam and their provisions ran low. It was an exciting trip of three or four days. The prisoners could not be bound too tightly, for fear they would freeze, so there was constant danger of their escaping.

Finally, Roosevelt secured a "bronco," or half-broken horse, rode fifteen miles across country to a ranch and secured a "prairie schooner." In this he conveyed his three prisoners at last to the county jail.

"What I can't make out," said one bewildered ranchman, "is why you took all that trouble to jail 'em, instead of hanging 'em offhand!"

Roosevelt relates another more amusing incident in which a couple of calves figured prominently.

He and a man named Meyers were trying to get a drove of cattle to swim the river. All got started except the two calves, which refused to budge. Meyers solved the difficulty with his animal by calmly picking it up, slinging it across his shoulders, mounting his horse, and swimming across with it—no mean feat.

But Roosevelt's calf was larger, so he had recourse to his lariat. The rope landed around the calf, which began kicking and struggling, and ended by running around behind the horse and catching the rope under the animal's tail. The horse began to "do figures," as the plainsmen say, and bolted over the edge of the bluff and into the water.

Down went his rider with him, while the surprised calf described ,a half-circle in the air and landed "kerplunk!" beside them. That took all the fight out of the calf, but the horse, not yet calmed down, swam frantically across the river, and the calf followed after, "making a wake like Pharaoh's army at the Red Sea."

In Politics Again

One day while sitting in his rocking-chair before the open fire at Elkhorn Ranch, Roosevelt read in a New York paper that he had been nominated for Mayor of that city. This was news to him and of a surprising nature. He decided to jump on a train, go back East, and find out "what all the shooting was about."

He found a three-cornered fight ahead for the mayoralty, with his corner the weakest and least promising. But he loved a fight for the fight's sake, and promptly threw himself into the thickest of the campaign. He stumped the city, speaking from the open ends of trucks, or upon convenient soap boxes, with a vim which surprised even himself. He was working off some of that Western steam.

This was in 1886. Cleveland, then President, was at the height of his popularity, and partly on this account the Democrats in New York had no difficulty in electing their man. Roosevelt, the Republican candidate, ran some thirty thousand votes behind.

Still it had been a good fight, and Roosevelt had shown himself a factor to be reckoned with. The politicians knew that thereafter he would be a national figure.

"Anyway," he said cheerfully, "I had a bully time."

The election over, he did not return at once to the ranch. He had business of a personal nature which took him to London. There he was married to an old friend of his boyhood, Edith Kermit Carow. He was then twenty-eight; she, twenty-five. Their tastes were congenial, and mutual friends predicted for them an ideally happy home life, as it afterwards proved.

Roosevelt's father in the years just before his death had made his home at Oyster Bay, in Long Island. Here the son brought his bride to a new home called Sagamore Hill, which was to be closely identified with him and his family in succeeding years.

He turned from politics to authorship, and found keen zest in this as in everything else. His "Hunting Trips of a Ranchman" had proved successful. This was followed by a "Life of Benton," one of the great pioneer of the West. Now he took up an Eastern subject in a "Life of Gouverneur Morris," which in turn was succeeded by his greatest historical work, "The Winning of the West."

This idyllic home life was by no means unbroken. He made two flying trips to Dakota, the first being on receipt of bad news from the ranch. A winter of exceptional severity had set in and cattle had perished by the hundreds. Roosevelt lost half his herd and was lucky to save any. He wrote to a friend:

"You cannot imagine anything more dreary than the look of the Bad Lands. Everything was cropped as bare as a bone. The sagebrush was just fed out by the starving cattle. The snow lay so deep that nobody could around; it was almost impossible to get a horse a mile. In almost every coulee there were dead cattle."

On his return East, in 1888, Harrison was elected President, and Blaine was made his Secretary of State. Roosevelt was spoken of Assistant Secretary, and frankly wanted the place, as he was always interested in international questions. But Blaine could not forget that Roosevelt had refused him his support, four years before.

Roosevelt was accordingly offered a post in the Civil Service Commission—a place where there was lots of work and very little glory—but he promptly accepted it. Some of his friends tried to dissuade him from this step.

"Can't you see," they argued, "that you will be buried politically, if you take this place? Your duties will bring you into constant conflict with Senators and Congressmen, who in turn will have it in for you, if you ever want another office."

The Civil Service Commission was being tried out, to offset the "spoils system." For many years our Government had been run under the motto, "To the victors belong the spoils." As soon as a different party came into power, thousands of officeholders, such as post-masters, were dismissed, and their places filled by adherents of the party in power. This may have been good "politics," but it was poor business and resulted in getting many inefficient persons in office.

This, then, was the job that Roosevelt was expected to tackle—to act as a buffer between the hordes of hungry office-seekers and the country at large.

Roosevelt saw at once that what was needed was a campaign of popular education on the subject. He went at it in characteristic fashion by engaging in some picturesque "scraps" with certain lawmakers in Washington, challenging them in the press to prove statements that they were making. For example, Senator Gorman of Maryland told a pathetic story in the Senate about a poor letter-carrier who had failed to get a position because, in a competitive examination, he couldn't tell how far it was from Baltimore to Hong Kong. The next day, in the newspaper, Roosevelt demanded to know the name and address of the letter-carrier; but the Senator deemed it beneath his dignity to answer.

"Well, at any rate, Roosevelt is digging his own political grave," remarked his foes.

Which, by the way, was the first of the many political graves that yawned for him during his whole life! But somehow Roosevelt always refused to remain buried. He persisted in attending his own funeral.

Between whiles he stuck to his authorship, trying to complete his "Winning of the West." There were many other distractions, as both he and Mrs. Roosevelt were in receipt of many invitations to social affairs.

"I am very glad to have been in this position," he wrote to his sister; "I think I have done good work, and a man ought to show that he can go out into the world and hold his own with other men. But I shall be glad when I get back to live at Sagamore and can devote myself to one definite piece of work. We Americans are prone to divide our efforts too much."

For six years Roosevelt served on this Commission—four years under Harrison, and two years under Cleveland during his second term.

Each fall he would take a vacation of one month in the Wrest, usually a hunting trip in the Rockies. The ranch was finally given up, much to his regret, because the "boys" of his outfit had become scattered.

Then came a call to return to his native city of New York, to take a position in public affairs that was more to his liking. It was to assume charge of the police force.

As Police Commissioner

The New York Police Commission consisted of four members, who had oversight of all the police of that great city, in the year 1895, when Theodore Roosevelt was invited by the reform Mayor Strong to serve as its president.

Roosevelt accepted, and entered upon his duties with so much vigor and enthusiasm that he speedily became, in effect, the whole Board —just as he had overshadowed the other members of the Civil Service Commission in Washington.

The New York police force, while containing many fine members, was also honeycombed with "graft." From the highest offices down, preferment went by "pull." It was openly charged that a police captain had to pay $10,000 or more to the man "higher up" before he could gain his appointment. Lieutenants and sergeants paid their tribute in turn to the captains; and the roundsmen collected from saloon-keepers and others who desired special protection.

Roosevelt was thoroughly familiar with this state of affairs, and once in office began house-cleaning with all the quietness of "a wooden-legged man having a fit on a tin roof." He had not been in power a week before he was attracting more attention than the Mayor himself.

One of the first things that he set himself to correct was the system of graft and bribe-taking. Naturally he aroused intense opposition from many sources. The men "higher up" dared not fight in the open, but lost no opportunity to undermine his authority. The gamblers, saloon-keepers, and others who were accustomed to pay for protection also became alarmed. The majority of the patrolmen, however, soon saw that the new move would be of advantage to them. They would no longer have to pay for the chance of promotion.

Among some of the roundsmen, however, he became a source of terror. They were the fellows who loafed on their job, or wandered off their beat. Roosevelt began to check up on such fellows, by the simple expedient of himself wandering around from precinct to precinct at unheard-of hours, like old Haroun-al-Raschid.

One morning about two-thirty, a policeman sat passing the time away chatting with another officer, when a man muffled up in an overcoat came striding quickly around the corner.

"Officer Smith," he said to one of the men, "don't you belong on Post 21?"

"Yes—but—" stammered the astonished man, starting after his questioner.

"Never mind now," the other cut him short. "Go back to your post. Tell me all about it down at headquarters, to-morrow morning."

On another night he surprised a roundsman and two patrolmen having a sociable glass in the backroom of a saloon. He waited until they came out, then hailed them.

"Whose beat is this?" he demanded.

"What business is it of yours?" replied the roundsman insolently.

"All three of you report in the morning at headquarters. We will find out then whose beat it is!" And the man in the big coat and slouch hat walked rapidly away.

"It's Roosevelt!" gasped the man, with an oath.

Such tales as this got into the daily press and were repeated all over town. The force "stiffened up." They stayed on the job, as no man ever felt safe with such a restless fellow as their present Commissioner around. A cartoon in one of the papers entitled, "The Patrolmen's Nightmare," showed only the familiar eyeglasses and gleaming teeth shining through the darkness.

Another great fight into which he plunged was the question of the Sunday closing of saloons. Now there was a law on the books stating clearly that all such places should be closed, but it had become a dead-letter—at least among the privileged ones. The more prosperous barkeeper who paid his fee to a friendly police official, or to Tammany Hall, was allowed to keep open shop; while the poorer man around the corner who did not "come across" was promptly raided.

Roosevelt promptly set himself against this double abuse. If the law meant anything at all, it meant what it said; otherwise it ought to be repealed. It also meant the same thing to all classes, rich and poor. Accordingly, he sent his fiat forth that on and after such a date all saloons should be closed on Sunday.

The public read this edict with amazement and amusement. Some of the newspapers ridiculed him; others applauded; but none thought that it could be enforced. They pointed out that New York was too big a city to be subject to the laws of a one-horse town; that there was too large a foreign element; that the "interests" (another name for the grafters) would not permit this; that it interfered with "personal liberty"; and that the police force itself either could not or would not enforce the edict.

In fact, there were columns written about it all over the country. One would have thought that the very Constitution itself was threatened. But after the third Sunday was passed, the saloons, big and little—with pulls and without—were closed.

"It was as dry as Sahara!" one newspaper remarked.

The Germans, deprived of their Sunday beer, announced their intention of holding a parade of protest, and invited him, ironically, to review it. What was their astonishment. when some twenty thousand marched by in line, to find him in the reviewing stand bowing and smiling!

He was again the chief mourner in his own funeral procession!

Another reform on which he presently embarked, and which caused an even more vigorous howl, was in regard to tenement houses. For years the poorer people on the East Side of New York had been at the mercy of grasping landlords. Houses were crowded in so closely that the air shafts were little better than chimneys. Many rooms had no outside windows. Living conditions were unspeakable.

Roosevelt's friend, Jacob A. Riis, had long fought for better conditions, and on a former occasion had taken him into the East Side, to see for himself how the "other half" lived.

"I'll help you tackle this thing, Riis," he said, "when I have the chance—and we'll hit it hard."

The chance now came, for Roosevelt was not only Police Commissioner but also a member of the Health Board. Aided by Riis and other members of the Board, he got busy. Tenements which were built illegally—that is, without complying with sanitary requirements—were torn down. Playgrounds were opened. The old Tombs prison, which was dirty and overcrowded, was razed and a new one built on modern lines. The police lodging-houses, which had become hotbeds of vagrancy and crime, were shut up.

These things are easy to enumerate, but the doing of them was a slow and painful operation. Landlords rushed into court to obtain injunctions. Ward politicians assailed him. The yellow journals had their fling. Even respectable citizens who were not fully informed joined the chorus of protest. Roosevelt was denounced as a reformer and visionary.

In a letter to his sister, he writes:

"Every man's hand is against me; every politician and every editor; and I live in a welter of small intrigue. . . . I rather think that in one way or another I shall be put out of office before many months go by. But as I don't see what else I could have done, I take things with much philosophy and will abide the event unmoved. I have made my blows felt at any rate!"

Assistant Secretary of the Navy

In the spring of 1897, President McKinley took his seat and began the selection of his official household. Roosevelt was tendered, and accepted, the post of Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

We remember that the first book that Roosevelt wrote, while still in college, was "The History of the Naval War of 1812." The subject of the Navy had always interested him, and as a young man he saw with concern the first feeble efforts this country made to build up a modern sea force. In the eighties we did not have half-a-dozen first-class fighting ships.

Roosevelt, even as a young man, was an apostle of preparedness. "There would have been no war in 1812," he said, "if we had had a score of ships of the line."

"I suppose the United States will always be unready for war," he added, "and in consequence will always be exposed to great expense, and to the possibility of the gravest calamity, when the nation goes to war. This is no new thing. Americans learn only from catastrophes and not from experience."

The politicians were delighted when they heard of his appointment to this post. It removed a thorn in their side, in New York, and apparently shelved this too energetic man in an out-of-the-way Government job. So they thought, but again they reckoned without Roosevelt.

He saw in this new field merely another big opportunity; and he took off his coat and went at it. He found the Navy inadequate in both ships and men. Congress was very grudgingly adding a ship or two each year, but not calling them "battleships"; they were only "coast defense ships"! Many of the officers had held their positions for so many years that their eyesight was bad; and the gunnery was consequently poor. Annapolis was turning out young officers, but they were not being given a chance. Roosevelt made it one of his first duties to get these younger men into office, and insist upon scientific gunnery.

Soon after he took up his work as Assistant Secretary he became convinced that war with Spain over the Cuban situation was inevitable. For many years Spain had systematically mistreated this large island lying practically within our own domains. Both our motives of humanity and our business interests demanded that we intervene and put a stop to her cruelty. Roosevelt, with characteristic energy, worked night and day to build up a more efficient fighting force on the sea.

Here as elsewhere he encountered opposition. He was trampling upon traditions. "They didn't do it that way," he was told. The great masses of Governmental red tape maddened him. One day, after a fruitless lot of wrangling with a naval commission, he burst out with:

"Gentlemen, if Noah had been obliged to consult such a commission as this about building the ark, it wouldn't be built now!"

When our battleship Maine  was blown up in Havana harbor, while on a peaceful visit there, it sent a thrill of anger throughout the country. "Remember the Maine!"  became a war-cry. The deed, however, proved of immense help to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. It strengthened his hands and "helped him to sharpen his tools," as he expressed it. He spurred on the work of his Department with feverish zeal, going ahead faster than his superior, Secretary Long, or President McKinley desired. They still hoped to keep the peace with Spain, even after that country sent a formidable navy to these waters.

Ten days after the Maine  disaster, Roosevelt cabled Rear Admiral George Dewey, then stationed at Hong Kong, as follows:

"Secret and confidential.—Order the squadron, except the Monocacy, to Hong Kong. Keep full of coal. In the event of declaration of war with Spain, your duty will be to see that Spanish squadron does not leave the Asiatic coast, and then offensive operations in Philippine Islands. Keep Olympia  until further orders."

This message was the keynote and incentive of Dewey's brilliant dash across Manila Bay, and the victory that startled the world. Said Senator Cushman, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee: "If it had not been for Roosevelt, we would not have been able to strike the blow we did at Manila. It needed his energy and promptness."

Things happened quick and fast in those opening months of 1898, and before summer came, Spain and the United States were formally at war. Then Roosevelt did another unexpected thing. Congress authorized the formation of three new regiments of cavalry; and he volunteered to raise one of them.

The offer was accepted, but when he resigned from the Navy Department to undertake his new duties, he encountered a storm of protests. Some of the very persons who said that he had been going ahead too fast now urged him to remain in the Department. They insisted that he could not be spared.

Roosevelt, however, felt that he had done everything possible in the way of getting the Navy into shape; and, like the Irishman, if there was a fight, he wanted to be in it.

"I couldn't stay," he wrote his sister afterward. "That was the sum and substance of it—although I realize well what a change for the worse it means in my after life."

The Rough Riders

On a fateful day in 1898 the governors of four Western Territories received the following telegram:

"The President desires to raise—volunteers in your Territory to form part of a regiment of mounted riflemen to be commanded by Leonard Wood, Colonel; Theodore Roosevelt, Lieutenant-Colonel. He desires that the men selected should be young, sound, good shots and good riders, and that you expedite by all means in your power the enrollment of these men."

R. A. ALGER., Secretary of War.

The last sentence of this telegram gives a fair description of the "Rough Riders," as this regiment was promptly nicknamed. It was just such a command as Roosevelt had long dreamed of taking.

Then why was he not made Colonel, you ask? It was a fine bit of self-denial on his part, that he did not take this position. Secretary Alger, who was a friend of his, offered him the post; but Roosevelt thought that he had not had sufficient military experience for it. He knew of Leonard Wood, an Army surgeon, who had seen active field experience in Indian campaigns, and felt that here was an ideal man with whom he could serve.

"Then why don't you take the colonelcy; and I will appoint Wood lieutenant-colonel?" asked Secretary Alger.

"No," replied Roosevelt bluntly. "I feel that I would then be climbing to preferment upon another man's shoulders."

And so he took the second office.

Great was the rejoicing among the plainsmen when news was flashed around that "a regiment of rough riders is going to be raised to go and lick the Spaniards." That suited them right down to the ground, and soon men were pouring into San Antonio, the recruiting ground, in droves. There were two or three times as many applications as vacancies. The regiment was recruited in record time.

A motley collection of riders it was, at first glance. There were cowboys from Dakota swapping yarns with boys from Texas; ranch men from the Rockies; prospectors from the coast; bronco-busters; two-gun men; sheriffs and other officers of the law rubbing elbows with gamblers and "bad" men. Alongside of these were a bunch of Easterners who had hurried out there to get into "Roosevelt's regiment": some policemen from New York eager to serve their "Chief" again; football, baseball, tennis, and golf players; polo players who were old neighbors and riders with Roosevelt in Oyster Bay; and college athletes of every stripe. It was indeed a weird assortment, but the men had one common bond: they could ride and fight, they were afraid of nothing, and they adored Roosevelt.

When the members of the regiment had been carefully selected, and were assembled on the parade ground, Roosevelt rode up, facing them, and said:

"Gentlemen: You are now about to take oath and be mustered into the service of your country. If any of you doesn't mean business, let him say so now. An hour from now it will be too late to back out. Once you're in, I shall depend on you to see it through."

Of course, not a man flinched; and soon the officers were busily working out field tactics, arms, supplies, and all the other vexatious but necessary details which go to make up a fighting machine.

The time was so short that no elaborate system of drill was attempted; and for the ordinary tactics the men got along surprisingly well. Their knowledge of horsemanship was a prime advantage. For equipment there were not arms enough to go around; so the men were given "two revolvers and a lariat," much to the dismay of certain Eastern editors, who were disposed to poke fun at the Rough Riders.

Roosevelt himself found that his best efforts could be directed back in Washington getting supplies from the War Department. There was an endless amount of red tape to cut, and with the Department turned upside down by the sudden declaration of war, it was not easy. Repeatedly he would be refused some request because it was "irregular," and then would appeal to Alger, who promptly went over the bureau chief's head.

He tells amusingly of one official who insisted upon supplying heavy woolen uniforms for the troops, on the ground that it was now summertime and they always began issuing the "heavy-weights" at that time, looking to the fall campaign. That these troops were going at once to the tropics apparently meant nothing to him, and it took a special appeal to the Secretary to get the light khaki uniforms that Roosevelt wanted—this being a new style of clothing at the time.

Another bureau head told him that he must advertise for thirty days for horses—which would have meant missing the Santiago expedition entirely—and again the Secretary had to be appealed to. The same thing happened with wagons and other equipment.

"On the last occasion," says Roosevelt. "when I came up in triumph with the needed order, the worried office head, who bore me no animosity, but who did feel that fate had been very unkind, threw himself back in his chair and exclaimed with a sigh:

"'Oh, dear! I had this office running in such good shape—and then along came the war and upset everything!'

"His feeling was that war was an illegitimate interruption to the work of the War Department!"

On the 29th of May the Rough Riders took train for Tampa, and a week later were debarking from a transport off the southern coast of Cuba. It was dangerous business. Had one of the Spanish ships been in the offing, or a regiment of soldiers been in ambush on the shore, the results must have been disastrous.

"We disembarked," said Roosevelt some years later, "higgledy-piggledy, just as we had embarked."

The only way to get the horses and mules ashore apparently was by pitching them over-board and letting them swim for it. The men were crowded into boats and landed on the slippery dock at Daiquiri. What a wonderful target such a boatload would have made for snipers in the hills; but luckily the Spaniards did not see fit to contest the landing.

That first night they camped on a swampy flat near where they had come ashore, and at noon next day an order came from General Joseph Wheeler to march to the front at once. This necessitated taking a trail through the jungle leading to the west, and climbing a ridge. The march was made on foot, in single file, and many of the men, unused to walking, found it pretty stiff going. One wag suggested that the name of the regiment be changed from "Roosevelt's Rough Riders" to "Wood's Weary Walkers."

Once over the crest of the ridge the men left the narrow and dangerous jungle trail and deployed into the open field of a large plantation. Still there were no signs of life, and the suspense grew oppressive.

Suddenly a sharp order came back through the ranks: "Silence, everybody, and on guard!"

The men crouched in the long grass and peered ahead. The day was fine and clear. A scorching sun shone out of a blue sky. Back in the woods birds were singing. Palm and banana trees stood tall and stately like sentinels. It was a scene of peaceful, tropic beauty.

A moment later a faint pop was heard, followed by a droning sound like the humming of a lazy bee. Another followed, then another, and a trooper remarked, "I got it that time!"

The poor fellow dropped back wounded. The bullets from the Spaniards' Mauser rifles were beginning to sing, but the foe himself was invisible. Smokeless powder was being used.

"Load chamber and magazine!" came the sharp command, which was quickly obeyed.

The men strained their eyes to try to locate the source of the unseen firing. Ping! sang the bullets past their ears. It was a trying moment. Then a newspaper correspondent, standing by Roosevelt's side, pointed to a slight depression about three-quarters of a mile away. It was the trench which concealed the Spaniards.

The land which lay between was rough and jungle-filled. The moment the soldiers left the open spot where they now were they would get out of touch with each other. However, there was nothing for it but to go forward and attack. Wood and Roosevelt deployed one force to the right—only to lose it promptly for the rest of the day!

"I was afraid later I was going to be court-martialed for losing that platoon!" Roosevelt naively remarks.

When they finally wormed their way across the valley, it was only to find that the enemy had vanished again. It had been only a preliminary skirmish, with perhaps a dozen Rough Riders wounded; but it taught them to be constantly on their guard. The Spaniards did not intend to fight in the open.

This little skirmish, lively enough while it lasted, took place at Las Guasimas, in the southern part of Cuba. The troops were then ordered northward in the direction of Santiago; but it was almost a week before they came in contact with the enemy again.

Living conditions were far from ideal. A torrential rain had set in, and nearly every day the downpour would visit them. There were swamps, jungles, flies and mosquitoes. The tobacco supply gave out in the Rough Rider camp—a very real hardship. But most of the men were inured to hardship of one kind or another; and Roosevelt proved that his own life in the West had not been in vain. He refused to have a different mess or tent from that afforded the humblest private.

On account of a shift in officers, Wood was made head of a brigade, with the rank of Brigadier General. Roosevelt succeeded him as Colonel of his regiment.

On the night of June 30, after a long and muddy march, the Rough Riders joined other units of Wood's brigade near Santiago. The Spaniards held a fortified town called El Caney, and orders were received to attack and take the hills overlooking it the next morning. The tired soldiers lay down in their tracks, their arms beside them, and slept till dawn.

With the first beams of the sun the notes of the bugle called the men to arms again. A hasty breakfast was served; arms and ammunition inspected; final orders given; and then came the command to advance.

The American troops were divided for the attack which followed. Part of them were to move against El Caney, while the rest were to drive the Spaniards from San Juan ridge. It was the latter battle in which the Rough Riders engaged.

Only one road, which was little more than a muddy trail, led to the ridge, by way of a ford across a small stream, the San Juan River.

Roosevelt, mounted on his pony, Texas, led his troops, who were on foot, working their way forward as best they could through the jungle grass at the edge of the stream. He was a fair target for the shrapnel guns mounted on the crest beyond. Here and there members of the troop were struck down, and one shrapnel bullet struck him a glancing blow on the wrist, raising a bump as big as a hickory nut; but otherwise he escaped unwounded.

There were two or three brigades down in that valley exposed to the Spanish fire—seven thousand men in all. The tropic sun beat down upon them, and the Mausers and shrapnel sang about them like angry hornets, with death in their sting.

Roosevelt rode back and forth among his men encouraging them and awaiting the order for the final charge. As an interesting side incident, it has been told of him that in addition to the spectacles he always wore, he had a dozen other pairs on or about his person—inside his coat and even in his saddle-bags. He was not going to take any chances in failing to see the enemy!

At last came the order to "support the Regulars in an assault upon San Juan Hill."

Roosevelt needed no further instructions. There lay the enemy in plain sight, in a red-roofed blockhouse on the crest of the hill. As for the "Regulars" he was to support, he did not stop to inquire.

"Go get 'em, boys!" he yelled, waving his slouch hat; and his men with a cheer rose up and started up the hill after him.

Part way up the slope they came upon a regiment of colored troops. It was the Regulars they were ordered to support. These soldiers were crouching in the grass firing steadily upon the enemy.

"Why don't you charge?" asked Roosevelt. "Because we have no orders to do so," replied their commanding officer.

"I will give you the order," said Roosevelt impetuously. Then as the elderly army officer naturally hesitated, he added: "Then let my men go through, sir."

They did so, and the colored troops fell in behind the Rough Riders with a yell and raced after them up the slope. What did it matter if the bullets sang and spat about them with increased fury? They could fight back, and the Spaniards should not get away this time. Now and again some brave fellow stumbled forward and lay still or else remarked to a comrade, "Well, I got mine that time." But never for a moment did the line waver; they followed like mad that figure on horseback, waving his slouched hat like a battle-flag.

Forty yards from the top they encountered a barbed wire fence. Down off the horse went Roosevelt, rolling under the fence, and advancing on foot. Under the fence and over it rolled and scrambled his men. Another moment and the hilltop swarmed with Rough Riders and negro Regulars.

The Spaniards did not wait for them. They promptly fled from their first line of trenches and lay entrenched further on up the rising ground. They swept the exposed land with an intermittent fire.

"It was like Shadrach, Meshach and Company in the fiery furnace," wrote one of the troopers later; "but Teddy never got scorched."

General Sumner, in command of the brigade, now arrived, and Roosevelt turned to him for further orders.

"Shall I drive them out, sir?" he asked. "Go ahead!" ordered Sumner.

Roosevelt called to his men, and then dashed forward again. A hundred yards up the trail he glanced around and was amazed to see that only five men had followed him. Two of these were already wounded.

Dashing back, he berated his men.

"Are you afraid?" he taunted.

"Sorry, Colonel," said one. "We didn't hear you before. Lead ahead!"

This time away they went and stormed the Spanish entrenchments. There was some close fighting, and a few prisoners were taken. The rest of the enemy got away. One Spaniard drew a bead on Roosevelt as he scrambled through another barbed-wire entanglement, and Roosevelt shot him with his revolver.

The Spaniards attempted a counter-attack that afternoon, but were easily driven off, the troopers laughing and cheering as they rose to fire. This was a lot more exciting than a round-up!

By the next day the fight had settled down into a siege. Roosevelt, always impetuous, chafed sorely because he was not allowed to go ahead and attack the city. He ever after believed that he could have taken it. But that cautious old campaigner, General Joe Wheeler, did not want to sacrifice needless lives. They settled down to hold the Spanish forces in Santiago like rats in a trap; while Cervera's proud fleet lay bottled up in the harbor with our navy guarding the high seas outside.

The rest is history—how the Spanish fleet made its futile dash—and how the city itself surrendered.

Meanwhile, the American army lying encamped back of Santiago had become stricken with malaria. Denied many of the ordinary comforts, the men suffered severely. Roosevelt beheld disease and discomfort making inroads upon the health of his Wien, and stormed at the army red-tape which made this possible. He saw that now that the active fighting was over, the American army must be sent north as soon as possible. Not being a "regular" officer himself, he wrote a blunt letter stating his opinion, which was given out to the Associated Press.

A storm of protest from Government officials and others of his critics was aroused by this letter; but it accomplished its purpose. An investigation was ordered, and the army was sent north to a more bracing climate.

Governor and Vice President

The Rough Riders were sent north to recuperate, and ordered into camp at Montauk Point, well out toward the tip of Long Island. When they disembarked they found themselves popular heroes. "Teddy" and his men were the chief topic of the day.

All wars bring out their idols, and more than one President—beginning with Washington—has been elected because of his military record. The Spanish War had been a short one, and its battles little more than skirmishes; yet a skirmish is quite as dangerous and calls for as much gallantry as the greater battles. There was something about the story of Roosevelt's picturesque dash up San Juan hill that fired the popular imagination. He was the outstanding hero on land, just as Dewey and Hobson were the naval heroes.

The political bosses were quick to see this fact, and decided that, after all, Roosevelt might he useful to them. He had been unpopular as a reformer, but a military idol was a different thing. They needed a popular leader badly in their campaign of 1898, so they turned hopefully to the Colonel of the Rough Riders.

The Republicans were facing a hard fight for the Governorship that year. A scandal in connection with the Erie barge canal had brought them into disfavor upstate, while in New York City the Democrats were solidly entrenched under Richard Croker, boss of Tammany Hall.

The Republican State leader was Senator Thomas C. Platt, who was called the "easy boss" because of his quiet but no less efficient methods. His word was law, and no member of his party had the courage to stand against him. Platt disliked Roosevelt's blunt way of doing things and said that he was "always going around stirring up trouble." He had fought Roosevelt's nomination as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and only yielded because he figured that this office would shelve the too-active young man and get him out of the way.

Now in a few short months the turn of Fortune's wheel had made it impossible to ignore this man.

"There's only one candidate who can win for us this fall," the party leaders told Platt, "and that's Roosevelt."

Platt made a wry face. "Well, if we must, we must!" he said; and went to call on the Colonel out at Montauk Point. Roosevelt politely returned the call within a few days; but at first neither man committed himself. They were only sizing each other up.

Roosevelt himself was not at all enthusiastic over the nomination. "I would rather have led the Rough Riders than be Governor of New York three times over," he told a friend. "I should say that the odds are against my nomination; but I can say also, with all sincerity, that I don't care in the least."

His friends were likewise doubtful, and frankly uneasy when they saw him calling upon the "easy boss." But Roosevelt only laughed.

"We had an excellent luncheon, and a fine chat about—the Greek poets!" he said.

His friends knew later that he made no promises to the boss then, or at any other time. But when the Republican Convention met, it nominated Roosevelt for Governor.

An Independent Party had been organized to fight the bosses in both of the old parties. They had asked Roosevelt to be their candidate, and when he refused in favor of the "regular" nomination, they were much disgruntled, and openly charged that he was "wearing Platt's collar."

Roosevelt followed his favorite method of taking the case directly to the people. He went by special train from one end of the State to the other. No village was too small to be denied a back-platform address. He told the people very plainly where he stood, and what he proposed to do if elected. No matter whether they agreed with him politically, they could not but be impressed by his downright honesty.

For three weeks he traveled and talked, morning, noon, and night. The reporters who went with him marveled at his endurance. They said that no other living man could have stood the strain. Yet this was the man who, a few years before, had been told constantly by the doctors to safeguard his health!

The campaign was no walk-over. It was in doubt until midnight of the day of the election. Out of a total of over a million votes cast, Roosevelt won by a margin of seventeen thousand. But his managers were well satisfied. Without him they would have been defeated.

Roosevelt was inaugurated Governor of the great State of New York, January 1, 1899. He went into office with no "strings" attached to him, and also with the slight advantage of having been an Assemblyman some years before. He knew the machinery of the Legislature from the inside. He set himself quietly to work upon the reform measures which he had advocated, not by loud appeals to the leaders, but by committee conferences. One after another of the leaders rallied to his support, with the result that before he had been in Albany six months he was easily master of the situation.

Platt, the "easy boss," was greatly disturbed by this assumption of authority. He asked Roosevelt to visit him at the old Fifth Avenue Hotel, in New York. and Roosevelt did so openly and frequently. They would breakfast together like the best of friends; and while Roosevelt willingly listened to his senior's advice on many matters of legislation there was a point beyond which the new Governor would not budge. In the matter of appointments, for example, he was adamant, as Platt soon learned.

"You will be glad to know that you are going to have an excellent man to assist you as Superintendent of Public Works," the Senator remarked very pleasantly over the coffee cups.

"Who's that?" asked Roosevelt, looking up.

"Why, So-and-So," answered Platt, handing him a telegram. "He has already accepted."

Roosevelt glanced at the name on the telegram. It was one who had been implicated in the Erie Canal frauds, and whom he had promised the voters before election to sweep out of office.

"I'm sorry," he said, "but I cannot appoint that man."

Platt forgot his duties as host and openly raged at this man who dared thus to defy him. But his appointee was not nominated.

At another time, due to Roosevelt's quiet efforts through one of his committees, a bill levying a special tax upon public franchises was introduced. Platt had sent a State Senator to Roosevelt, telling him to kill the measure. After they had argued the matter pro and con, Roosevelt rose to end the interview.

"It is useless to talk further about it," he said. "My mind is made up."

"But, Mr. Roosevelt," the Senator persisted, "Senator Platt is equally determined. It will mean your political ruin if you press this bill. You know as well as I do that, with Wall Street arrayed solidly against you, you can never get another office."

"I am not seeking office," the Governor snapped.

"I know that," the other hastened to correct himself; "but there's no need in committing political suicide."

Roosevelt, however, would not yield and as he shook hands with the Senator he smiled and said:

"Well, I guess this marks my finish!"

"No!" said the other, "it only marks your beginning!"

Nevertheless, Platt had by no means surrendered. He did not know the meaning of the word. He remembered that a Governor held office for only two years; and he began to lay his plans ever so carefully to prevent Roosevelt's re-nomination. He was too wily to attack him openly, for Roosevelt still had popular opinion on his side. He must find some other way to shelve him.

Finally, Platt hit upon it and rubbed his hands with glee.

The office of Vice President of the United States, while high-sounding, was regarded by astute politicians as a sort of political grave-yard. Once a statesman got into that place he was buried. Here was a chance to dig another grave for Roosevelt.

Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay


The Republican National Convention was to meet in the summer of 1900; and Platt let it be known that Roosevelt for Vice President would be acceptable to him. The idea speedily caught on and ran like a prairie fire. The West particularly liked the suggestion; they regarded Roosevelt as one of them.

He himself saw Platt's little game from the outset. He was uneasy. He liked being Governor, and he did not like the idea of being Vice President. Early in that year, before the delegates to the convention were chosen, he came out with the flat-footed declaration:

"Under no circumstances could I. or would I, accept the nomination for the Vice Presidency."

He meant it, but public clamor was too strong for him. He succeeded only in preventing the New York delegates from being instructed for him. Then thinking himself safe he went down to Philadelphia, where the convention was held, to see the fun.

The moment his familiar slouch hat and beaming smile were seen, the stampede broke.

As delegate-at-large from the State of New York, he seconded the nomination of McKinley for President—and sealed his own fate for second place.

"Teddy! Teddy! We want Teddy!" they yelled.

Roosevelt's smile changed to a frown and he shook his head vigorously. The next day when the convention reached the nomination for Vice President, he stayed away altogether, and said he wasn't a candidate. It was somewhat like old King Canute placing a chair by the seashore and forbidding the tide to rise. The delegates roared his name and would listen to none other. He was nominated by acclamation.

When the committee waited on him—not to ask him but to tell him—he was found reading a Greek play in his hotel room.

Although he accepted the nomination with genuine reluctance, he soon threw himself into the campaign with his customary vigor. There were no halfway measures with him.

It was not thought best, by the campaign managers, for President McKinley to stump the country seeking reelection. He stayed quietly at his home, in Canton, Ohio, receiving visiting delegations. To Roosevelt, instead, was allotted the task of stumping the country at large. It was a job to his liking, and at it he went, morning, noon, and night, as a few months before he had campaigned for Governor.

Roosevelt was not a polished orator. His voice was not particularly pleasing, his gestures were forceful rather than graceful, and he did not indulge in poetical or rhetorical flights. But he made up in vehemence and sincerity what he lacked in grace. He drove home his points with sledge-hammer blows.

Those were the days of the "free-silver" agitation, which had been at its height four years before. Bryan was again the Democratic candidate for President, and was an orator of wonderful charm and power. The Republicans were for the gold standard; the West and South were for silver; consequently Roosevelt was about as popular in some sections as a tax-collector. As he traveled through the West, however, there were many personal friends of his ranching and hunting days, as well as his Rough Riders, to see that he had a fair deal.

In one mining camp a "two-gun" man named Seth introduced him to the crowd and then sat directly back of him while he spoke. Seth's hand rested carelessly on his hip and his eye wandered back and forth around the room. At the conclusion of the speech which was listened to with close attention, Roosevelt turned to his friend and complimented him upon the audience.

"They heard me through," he said, "and there wasn't a single interruption."

"You just bet there wasn't," came the reply. "I sent word around that I would shoot the first son of a gun who started anything!"

For over two months Roosevelt stumped the country, traveling over twenty thousand miles, making over five hundred speeches, and addressing audiences totaling at least three million people. Such figures speak for themselves as to his tremendous energy and vitality.

In the election that followed, the Republican ticket was elected by a plurality of about three-quarters of a million.

Roosevelt's term as Governor came to an end, January 1, 1901. He took oath of office as Vice President, March 4. Between whiles he went on a short hunting trip in Colorado—that was his idea of resting up—then reported for his routine duties in Washington with what cheerfulness he could assume. As Vice President there was really little that he could do.

Roosevelt was eliminated from active politics—just as the astute Platt had planned.

Called to the Presidency

Again the hand of Fate intervened. Before the new term was six months old, President McKinley was struck down by an assassin's bullet. The first reports, however were so reassuring that the Vice President remained in the Adirondacks, on a short vacation with his family.

One misty morning Roosevelt decided to climb Mt. Marcy. He had promised Mrs. Roosevelt and the children an outing and was not the sort of man to let the weather deter him. But the further up the mountain they went, the thicker grew the weather A fine rain began to fall. Roosevelt thought that by climbing to the summit they could emerge into the sunshine, but later gave it up anti they returned to the shores of a lovely little lake, called "Tear in the Clouds," where they spread their luncheon despite the rain.

Just then a man emerged from the forest near by, and as soon as he caught sight of the party, he began waving a yellow envelope excitedly. He was one of several messengers who had been scouring the woods for Roosevelt all morning.

Roosevelt hastily tore open the envelope and found the following telegram:

"The President's condition has changed for the worse. Cortelyou"

"I must go at once," said Roosevelt, and started down the mountain with the man, without waiting to eat his lunch. It required a three or four hours' brisk walk to reach the summer camp at which he was stopping, and this in turn was some thirty miles away from the nearest railroad. The nearest telephone was at a hotel some ten miles distant, and he sent a man on a fast horse there to get further news from Buffalo. It arrived in the middle of the night, short and ominous:

"Come at once."

Roosevelt threw his bag into a buckboard he had waiting, and started with only a driver on an all-night ride through the mountain trails to the station. It was a thick night, and the road, none too good at best, was at times dangerous. Sharp curves around the side of the hill, narrow passages where a wrong turn would spell disaster, steep pitches—these constantly confronted them. But when the driver reined in, Roosevelt commanded, "Go on!"

They came through safely at five-thirty in the morning and found a special train waiting. The train broke the speed record across new York, being given the right-of-way over every other train. Its fastest mile was done in forty-one seconds. It arrived in Buffalo, over four hundred miles away from Mt. Marcy, early in the afternoon. Roosevelt said afterwards that it seemed "like a century."

At Buffalo he was met with the news, "The President is dead."

He was driven at once to a private house where he found the Cabinet awaiting him. The Government had been without an actual head for thirteen hours.

"Mr. Vice President—" said the Secretary Elihu Root, and then his voice broke.

Roosevelt gripped his hand. "I understand all you would say," he replied in husky tones, and withdrew with him to a bay window, where they conversed for a few minutes.

Judge Hazel of the Federal Court was present, and the two men turned to him and faced the other Cabinet members. The Vice President spoke in firm tones:

"I shall take the oath at once in accordance with your request. And in this hour of deep national bereavement I wish to state that it shall be my aim to continue absolutely unbroken the policy of President McKinley for the peace and prosperity of our beloved country."

Then Judge Hazel stepped forward, handed him a Bible, and administered the oath of office. Theodore Roosevelt had become the twenty-fifth President of the United States.

Before the group dispersed he called the Cabinet together for their first official meeting.

"Gentlemen," he said, "I wish each one of you to remain as a member of my Cabinet. I need your advice and counsel. I tender you the office in the same manner that I would tender it if I were entering upon the discharge of my duties as the result of an election by the people, with this distinction, however, that I cannot accept a declination."

The members remained, but there was a good deal of doubt in their own minds, as well as with the country at large, of a McKinley Cabinet becoming a Roosevelt Cabinet. The methods of the two men were dissimilar, though each was a statesman in his own way. McKinley, suave, dignified, a gentleman of the old school, very seldom antagonized people. He was struck down while at the height of his popularity, and the whole nation mourned.

Roosevelt while sincere was thought to be rash and impetuous. People wondered how he would suit the high office of President. He, however, never lost sight of the first pledge which he had made to the Cabinet. He proceeded slowly, cautiously, and with every desire to carry out the McKinley program. The Cabinet and the country were not long in recognizing this, and the first feelings of dismay gave place to a confidence in the new Executive.

Roosevelt assumed office on September 14, 1901. The popular imagination had been stirred by his meteoric rise. Less than five years before he had been Police Commissioner of New York City.

The Big Stick and the Square Deal

The new President was speaking:

"There is a homely old adage which runs, 'Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.' If the American nation will speak softly, and yet build and keep at a pitch of the highest training a thoroughly efficient Navy, the Monroe Doctrine will go far."

The phrase, "the big stick," instantly "caught on," and thereafter a huge club was the favorite weapon supplied to the President by the cartoonists. They seemed to forget the first part of the proverb, "speak softly," although Roosevelt himself tried to remember. Occasionally he broke over, for he was only human, but one or two notable incidents will serve to illustrate this double policy of quiet words, backed up by force of arms.

He had spoken of protecting the Monroe Doctrine which, we recall, has been the foreign policy of the United States ever since the time when President Monroe in a message to other Powers had advised them that America, both northern and southern hemispheres, must be kept free from outside interference. Now this policy was to be put to the acid test.

Venezuela owed large sums of money abroad, and three nations, England, Italy, and Germany, undertook to collect it by blockading her ports. They threatened seizure of her soil. At this point Roosevelt warned them against landing troops, as an infraction of the Monroe Doctrine. England and Italy expressed their willingness to arbitrate, but Germany insisted upon seizing coast cities, declaring that such occupation would be only "temporary."

Roosevelt summoned the German ambassador to the White House, a certain Von Holleben, whom Secretary Hay described as a man "absolutely without initiative and in mortal terror of his Kaiser."

"My dear sir," said Roosevelt, "please inform his majesty the Kaiser that he is driving us both into an untenable position. He must countermand his order to land troops, and must consent to arbitrate."

"There is nothing to arbitrate," replied the ambassador haughtily. "My Imperial master has gone over the question and cannot change his mind now."

"Then I must lay certain other facts before you," said the President quietly, but with deadly earnestness. "An American squadron under Admiral Dewey lies off the coast of Cuba. I shall have to instruct him to sail within ten days for Venezuela and intercept the German troops by force if necessary."

The ambassador could hardly believe his ears. Defy Germany? Preposterous! He decided it was a bit of American bluff. He bowed himself out politely, but did not transmit this message to the War Lord, Wilhelm.

A week later he called again at the White House and, after several topics were discussed, Roosevelt asked him pointblank about news from Berlin.

"I did not deem it wise, for the sake of the friendship existing between our two countries, to send that message," said Von Holleben, smiling.

Roosevelt clicked his teeth together.

"Very well then," he said. "I shall instruct Admiral Dewey to sail in three days instead of ten."

Von Holleben's jaw dropped. He saw that he had made the worst blunder of which a diplomat is capable—of underestimating his opponent's power and sincerity.

"But"—he stammered—"you do not know my Imperial master! This means war!"

"That," rejoined Roosevelt, "rests with the German Emperor. Please cable him the facts at once: that the first move to land troops means war; but that if he will agree to arbitrate, I will publish to the world that it was upon his initiative, and praise him as a power for peace."

As the crestfallen ambassador turned to leave the room, Roosevelt added: "Remember, I must have my reply in forty-eight hours, or Dewey sails."

Well within the allotted time Von Holleben presented himself at the White House again, beaming. He had just received a message from Berlin saying that the Kaiser would arbitrate.

The other incident no less typical occurred at home.

For months the coal industry in Pennsylvania had been paralyzed by a strike. The miners protested that their wage scale was not fair and their working hours too long. They walked out in a body, leaving the mines idle. With the approach of winter the fuel situation became acute. Coal rose to famine prices. This was in the autumn of 1902.

The big coal operators were banded together, and positively refused to take any steps looking toward a settlement of the question. Granted Government protection, they felt that either the miners would be starved out or the public frozen out, in either event of which they themselves would win.

Roosevelt invited both sides to a conference at the White House. The miners' representatives came willingly enough; but the coal operators grudgingly. Roosevelt proposed an Arbitration Commission which should decide upon the merits of the case. Meanwhile the miners were to return to work at once. The miners agreed to this, but the operators refused. Like the Kaiser, they felt that there was "nothing to arbitrate." As Roosevelt says:

"They were curiously ignorant of the popular temper; and when they went away from the interview they, with much pride, gave their own account of it to the papers, exulting in the fact that they had 'turned down' both the miners and the President."

Roosevelt refused to accept the rebuff, however, and after much parleying he at last got the two sides together and a Commission appointed. It was done quietly and amicably, and not until this big issue was settled and the whole country breathed a sigh of relief, did Roosevelt confess what other measures he had in mind. He had arranged with the Governor of Pennsylvania to send Federal troops into the mining district, seize the mines in the name of the Government, operate them, and appoint a Commission headed by ex-President Grover Cleveland.

He was convinced that here was a national crisis second only to the Civil War, and that the people would have been with him even in the most drastic measures.

It was this determination on the part of Roosevelt which made "the big stick" his particular emblem. People forgot that the big stick, while it was flourished on occasion, very seldom hit anybody.

The other slogan most generally associated with Roosevelt after he became President was "the square deal." What he meant by this may be shown from his own words:

"The labor unions shall have a square deal, and the corporations shall have a square deal, and, in addition, all private citizens shall have a square deal."

Behind these simple words there lurked the possibilities of a great fight—as the President himself well knew. This was the era of "big business," of gigantic mergers or trusts which threatened to engulf every industry in the land. Roosevelt instructed the Attorney-General to bring suit for the dissolution of one of these vast railroad mergers, and after a struggle of two years it was dissolved. The "Beef Trust," a combination of the big Chicago packing houses which absolutely controlled prices of meat, also came in for regulation. Born of this was the Pure Food Law, which aimed to prevent adulteration of foods.

The labor unions, on their side, came in for castigation more than once. "I am a union man myself," he told the labor leaders, "but will not stand for unfair methods on your part any more than in the case of big business."

In one instance, a man named Miller was discharged from the Government Printing Office because he was non-union. Roosevelt promptly reinstated him. When some of the labor leaders called upon the President to protest, he told them quietly but firmly that he was President of all the people, and not merely of the labor unions.

This doctrine of "a square deal for all the people" struck a popular chord; and people learned that it was not a mere pose on his part; he meant what he said. He proved it also in his daily life at the White House. He was accessible morning, noon, and night to any caller who had business.

"The doors of the White House swing open just as easily to any cowboy from the plains as to any Wall Street magnate—but no easier."

One day a Senator came to call, and found Roosevelt closeted with some stranger, with whom he was having a royal time, judging from the laughter frequently heard from the inner room.

"Who is in to see him?" asked the Senator of Secretary Loeb.

"One of his old Rough Rider regiment, I believe," was the reply.

"Then what chance has a mere Senator?" retorted the other, smiling.

So popular did Roosevelt's policies become that the old-school politicians, both Republican and Democrat, viewed them with alarm. They threatened to wipe out party lines. Roosevelt himself was as nearly cosmopolitan as any President who had ever served. The West claimed him no less than the East; while the South regarded him as a "grandson," and showed him every mark of affection when he visited his mother's old home.

At the end of the unexpired term of three and a half years, which he served for McKinley, he was unanimously nominated for President "in his own right," as he expressed it, and was elected by the largest majority ever given a candidate. He was no longer "His Accidency," as he laughingly said.

The Panama Canal and Other World Events

The greatest single achievement of President Roosevelt was the Panama Canal. One hundred or five hundred years hence when most of his other acts are forgotten, they will say of him, "He was the man who dug the Panama Canal."

Behind the opening of this great waterway from ocean to ocean lies a tangle of diplomacy and international politics such as only a Roosevelt could solve. He cut the Gordian knot.

In a speech at the University of California, in 1911, while the Canal was yet in the building, he said:

"I am interested in the Panama Canal because I started it. If I had followed traditional, conservative methods, I should have submitted a dignified state paper of probably two hundred pages to Congress, and the debate would have been going on yet. But I took the Canal Zone, and let Congress debate, and while the debate goes on, the Canal does also!"

Let us see, briefly, the situation which confronted him in 1904.

Down on the Isthmus of Panama a French company had spent hundreds of millions in trying to "dig the ditch," only to abandon the task. De Lesseps, who made his reputation in opening the Suez Canal, lost it again at Panama. But the French company still held the franchise under treaty with Colombia, which then owned Panama.

Further to complicate the situation, England and America had a joint agreement to construct a canal across the Isthmus. And as if all this were not enough, another route was under active consideration across Nicaragua.

Fortunately, Roosevelt had an exceedingly able Secretary of State in John Hay, who burned much midnight oil in getting treaties straightened out. The Nicaragua route was finally given up; England waived her treaty rights in Panama; and France agreed to sell her concessions and machinery for $40,000,000. There remained only the matter of making a satisfactory treaty with Colombia. This was easier said than done, however, as that country had a notoriously unstable government, and a Dictator was even then in power.

"You could no more make an agreement with Colombia," said Roosevelt later, "than you could nail currant jelly to the wall; and the failure is not due to the nail, it is due to the jelly."

Maroquin, the Colombian Dictator, had accepted a new agreement with the United States, in place of the old one with France, but later believing he could "hold us up," he sent word to his Senate to reject the treaty. Our country then turned again to a consideration of a canal across Nicaragua.

At this juncture another of the sporadic revolutions occurred to the south. Roosevelt himself somewhat humorously lists fifty such outbreaks which occurred in and around Colombia in the same number of years. This time it was Panama throwing off the Colombian yoke.

Roosevelt saw in this revolution an opportunity to get his canal. He ordered the cruiser Nashville to proceed to Panama to safeguard our interests. Colombia sent an army of 450 men, under four generals, to quell the revolution, and during the firing which followed, one Chinaman was killed. Thanks to our moral backing, the revolution was successful, and two days later the Republic of Panama was recognized by the United States. Two weeks later a treaty was drafted with the new Republic enabling us to dig the canal.

Naturally there was a good deal of opposition, especially on the part of Roosevelt's enemies, to this procedure. They said it was high-handed and unconstitutional. But as a matter of fact, it was probably the only way in which the Canal could have been gotten under way.

"The people of Panama were a unit in desiring the Canal," said Roosevelt later, "and in wishing to overthrow the rule of Colombia. . . . When they revolted I promptly used the navy to prevent the bandits, who had tried to hold us up, from spending months of futile bloodshed in conquering the Isthmus, to the lasting damage of the Isthmus, of us, and of the world."

Years after, under another administration, a new treaty was concluded with Colombia, and $25,000,000 offered as a salve to her official dignity.

Meanwhile, although the international pot continued to boil and seethe, Roosevelt went vigorously ahead with his ditch digging. He was fortunate in getting two able men as his chief assistants—Dr. Gorgas, a sanitary engineer who changed the Canal Zone from a mosquito-infested, yellow-fever district to one of cleanliness and health; and Colonel Goethals, an eminent civil engineer in the army, who carried the construction work through to triumphant completion.

Some months after the work was started, Roosevelt himself went to Panama to see how the work was getting along. Arrived there, he refused invitations to wine and dine, and instead spent three days in the tropic rain and mud inspecting everything. He climbed up in the monster steam shovels. He tramped miles with Goethals. He had another of his "bully" times, and he came back to Washington satisfied that the work was in competent hands.

While he was still wrestling with the Panama question, another great international problem arose demanding solution.

The war between Russia and Japan had come to an inglorious close, so far as Russia was concerned. Her land forces had been no match for the Japanese; while her fleet which sailed away around the coasts of India, thousands of miles from home waters, had been sunk or scattered in the memorable battle of the Sea of Japan.

In the summer of 1905 Roosevelt tendered his offices as mediator in the war, and both parties accepted. They sent representatives to this country, who met in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

From the first, however, it looked like a deadlock. The Japanese, claiming the victory, demanded an indemnity. The Russians, pointing to their vastly superior resources, said they had only begun to fight; and that the fight should go on, if a cent of indemnity were exacted.

All summer they wrangled, and everybody concerned gave it up as a bad job—that is, all except Theodore Roosevelt. He only set his jaws firmly together and kept trying. He had the commissioners meet him singly and collectively at his home at Sagamore Hill, and on the Presidential yacht, Mayflower.

At last his efforts were crowned with success. The Japanese receded from their position with regard to an indemnity, and a treaty was signed, in September.

This event added immensely not only to Roosevelt's prestige abroad, but also to that of the United States. Up to this time we had held aloof from Old World affairs, and were therefore not considered a "world power."

Roosevelt now took still another step to impress this new position upon the rest of the world. He decided, in 1907, to send a fleet of battleships around the world.

In reading this simple sentence the reader can have no idea of the furor it caused. Timid folk at home said that he would stir up war with Japan. Others said that he was exceeding his constitutional rights, as at Panama. Congress said that it would cost too much money. Abroad, naval critics scoffed at the idea, saying that half our ships would be laid up for repairs before the voyage was half completed.

Roosevelt calmly went ahead, assuming full responsibility for the cruise. He admitted that he had not even consulted his Cabinet.

"In a crisis," he contended, "the duty of a leader is to lead, and not to take refuge behind the generally timid wisdom of a multitude of councillors."

Roosevelt was, in fact, our first great apostle of preparedness. It was one of the ruling doctrines of his life. He insisted that the nation which did not show herself ready invited attack, while the one that was armed remained at peace. Regarding the cruise of the fleet, he said:

"My prime purpose was to impress the American people; and this purpose was fully achieved. The cruise did make a very deep impression abroad; boasting about what we have done does not impress foreign nations at all, except unfavorably, but positive achievement does; and the two American achievements that really impressed foreign peoples during the first dozen years of this century were the digging of the Panama Canal and the cruise of the battle fleet round the world."

The fleet set sail in November, 1907, a squadron of sixteen battleships and a flotilla of torpedo-boats. They were sent around to the Pacific by way of the Straits of Magellan (the Canal was not then finished), thence to Sand Francisco, and across to New Zealand and Australia.

From Australia the fleet proceeded to the Philippines, and thence to China and Japan. The "Jingoes" who had been trying to trouble between Japan and America were bitterly disappointed at the result of our visit there. The Japanese were courtesy itself, and our naval officers left there highly delighted.

The fleet came home by way of the Indian Ocean, the Suez Canal, and the Mediterranean Sea. Here they stopped long enough to help the sufferers from the earthquake at Messina, which they did most effectively. Thence they proceeded across the Atlantic to home ports, where they were accorded a royal welcome.

"Not a ship was left in any port," says Roosevelt proudly, "and there was hardly a desertion. The fleet practiced incessantly during the voyage, both with guns and in battle tactics, and came home a much more efficient fighting instrument than when it started, sixteen months before."

Apostle of "The Strenuous Life"

We have already mentioned two of the phrases by which Roosevelt came to be identified in the popular mind, "the big stick" and "the square deal." A third phrase no less intimately associated with him was "the strenuous life." It came from a book by this title, which he wrote and which attracted wide attention. Among other things, he said:

"I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life—the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife."

All his life long he was a living example of this doctrine. He had used it as a youth to overcome sickness; and in middle age it became second nature with him. The man's capacity to do things was astounding. Every minute found him active.

Here is the program of a typical day while President: Rises at 7:30; through breakfast at 9:00; opens mail and dictates, 9:00 to 10:00; receives visitors, 10:00; receives callers by appointment, 11:00 to 1:30; luncheon, 1:30 to 2:30; transacts executive business, 2:30 to 4:30; outdoor exercise, 4:30 to 7:30; dinner, 7:30 to 9:00. The evening hours were devoted to reading or quiet study of legislative problems.

Such a program would be exhaust even the most robust constitution, and Roosevelt stood up under it only because he never neglected his outdoor exercise. He enjoyed a lively bout at tennis, and the men who faced him, young military officers or even dignified diplomats like M. Jusserand, the French ambassador, were called the "tennis cabinet."

At times the members of the tennis cabinet would vary the program by taking a long hike across country, and they made it a point of honor never to turn aside at anything which barred their progress—"for instance," says Roosevelt, "swimming Rock Creek or even the Potomac if it came in our way. Of course, under such circumstances, we had to arrange that our return to Washington should be made when it was dark, so that our appearance might scandalize no one."

On more than one occasion on an early spring walk they swam across Rock Creek when it was running ice. They took a chance on this small stream of leaving their clothing on, and running briskly to keep warm. For the Potomac they removed most of their clothes, making a bundle of them high up on their shoulders. M. Jusserand, on one such jaunt, failed to remove his gloves, and the President called his attention to the fact.

"Yes," replied the ambassador, glancing at them. "I think I will leave them on; we might meet ladies!"

To be invited by the President to go on one of these walks was, to the uninitiated, a huge compliment. The favored mortal felt justly inclined to strut. But once accepted, if the visitor were not in the pink of physical condition, such walks were likely to prove a nightmare to him.

One young fellow, a smart army officer, told his experience ruefully. Roosevelt who looked, and was, as hard as nails, grinned at him and said, "Come ahead!" They did not keep to the beaten paths but crossed gulleys, climbed over and under tree-trunks, negotiated barbed-wire fences, went across plowed ground, and finally ended by wading a creek which came up well above their waists. Seeing a bridge not a quarter of a mile away, the young officer ventured to suggest that a less damp route might have been undertaken.

"What difference does it make?" asked the President, with a wicked look in his eye. "It was the shortest route, and a little wetting does no harm."

This was the method by which he chose his secret service men, the husky, young fellows whose duty obliged them to follow their Chief everywhere; and a lively assignment it was. Most of them came to like it. Only the sluggards rebelled, and they did not last long.

Roosevelt saw, with great disapproval, that the army was filled with "arm-chair officers"—men who had been in routine, department life for so long that they had forgotten how to walk or ride. He knew that such officers were valueless in case a war arose, and he believed too deeply in preparedness to overlook it. He suddenly startled officialdom by issuing an executive order that every officer on the active list should prove his fitness for duty by walking fifty miles in three days, or riding one hundred miles in the same length of time.

A tremendous stir followed, and the President was accused of harsh, tyrannical methods. His answer to this was twofold. One cold day in February, in the face of a driving sleet storm, he rode quietly out from the White House stables, accompanied by only one or two others. All day they rode down across Maryland and at its close they had—with one change of horses—a hundred miles chalked up to their credit. He had proved that under adverse conditions it was possible to do in one day what he had allowed for in three.

The other instance was no less typical—this story, by the way, having been told the present writer by one of the participants. Roosevelt sent an informal note around to the War Department stating that he was going out for a little walk the next Saturday afternoon, and that he would be pleased to have any and all commissioned officers then stationed in Washington accompany him. While it was not a command, the officers young and old "felt that they had better go."

A typical Roosevelt stroll it was. He himself led the way, and made a veritable obstacle race of it. At one place in Rock Creek Park there is a little rise surmounted by rocks with a narrow cleft between—a wicked "fat man's misery." Up went Roosevelt like a mountain goat and clambered through. Up went the younger officers one by one, with more or less success. But it was "cruelty to dumb animals" when it came to the stodgy brigadier generals! Some of them never forgot that walk to their dying day.

The lesson while harsh was salutary. Its only moral was, "Keep fit!"

Roosevelt intermingled walking with riding, and was always fond of a good saddle-horse—one with "pep" and go that would take a four-rail fence if necessary. When he first inspected the White House stables he was disgusted. They had some good-looking mounts, sleek, well-groomed animals, but too sleepy to suit him.

"I asked for horses, not rabbits!" he said.

During the indoor days of winter his favorite exercise was boxing. He tried wrestling also, but having cracked two ribs of a young college man who undertook to "take him on," he decided to stick to boxing. His favorite instructor was Mike Donovan. The first time Mike faced him with the gloves, his respect for his opponent's official position prevented him from fighting very hard. He contented himself with countering all of Roosevelt's blows, and when he himself had openings he administered only "love taps." Roosevelt dropped his hands.

"Oh, I say!" he exclaimed, "fight fair!"

"What do you mean?" asked Donovan.

"You know what I mean. You're not half trying."

Thereupon, Donovan put on a little more steam, and was surprised to find that Roosevelt was keeping up with him. Before the end of the bout both men were going their hardest.

Roosevelt's "strenuous life" was by no means limited to physical exercise, however. "A sound body, a sound mind," was his motto, and he saw to it that the latter was constantly nourished. He was fond of reading, liking history and biography especially. His list of well-read authors was wide, ranging from Herodotus and the classical Greek writers to Gibbon, Macaulay, Carlyle and later dramatists and poets. He was counted one of the most widely read men who ever held public office.

"He knows a little bit about more different things than any man I have ever met," said one college president of him.

When on his hunting trips out West he invariably had a choice volume in his saddle-bags. And during his most crowded days as President he left an open book on his dressing-table for the odd moment's perusal.

Best of all, the whole outdoors was an open book to him. He knew most of the birds by plumage and song. On one of his rambles near his home at Oyster Bay he listed the names of twenty-five or more birds seen that morning, and those marked with a star had been heard singing.

He knew the animals small and large, and once while President engaged in a lively controversy which was amusing to everybody except those immediately concerned. A writer of animal stories who was gifted with a lively imagination was hotly accused by Roosevelt of "nature faking."

From White House to African Jungle

During the last year of his second term as President, Roosevelt announced that he would not be a candidate for reelection. No President had served more than two terms, and although his first one was filling out that of McKinley, he felt that his seven-and-a-half years of service were equivalent to two full terms.

Besides, he was honestly desirous of a change. He was beginning to feel cooped up, and he wanted to get away from the haunts of men. These words which he wrote to a friend at the time are prophetic:

"With the life I have led it is unlikely that I shall retain vigor to a very advanced age, and I want to be a man of action as long as I can."

His eyes were turned towards the tropics; he wanted to hunt big game in the jungle; and he busily laid plans to this end during his last months in office. He arranged with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington to collect specimens for them, as he was never a believer in killing merely for the sake of killing. He had also the satisfaction of securing the Presidential nomination in his party for his friend, William H. Taft. And within a few days after he left the White House, in March, 1909, he set sail for Africa.

Of course, there were many people who did not approve of this new jaunt. They said he was too old for such a trip (he was just fifty), that he would get malaria or the "sleeping sickness," a dangerous African disease communicated by the bite of a fly. But Theodore Roosevelt was now a private citizen and felt that he could do as he pleased.

He sailed from New York accompanied only by his son Kermit, a well-grown young man of nineteen and almost as good a shot as his father. They went direct to Naples, where they changed ships to the German East Africa line. While in this port the King and Queen of Italy did him the courtesy of coming personally to call upon him.

On April 21 he reached his first objective point, Mombasa, a port of British East Africa, where he was met by two famous big-game hunters who were old friends of his, R. J. Cunninghame and Leslie Tarlton. The hunting grounds which they had picked out were three

hundred miles inland by train toward the heart of the Soudan.

In order that he might miss nothing of the gorgeous tropical scenery through which they passed he was given a seat upon the cow-catcher of the locomotive. For two days it slowly puffed its way through the wilderness, part of which was a vast Governmental preserve of wild life.

Imagine, if you can, a tremendous menagerie without bars or visible bounds, spanned by the blue arch of heaven, and enlivened by the sight and sound of thousands of beautiful birds! That was what this tired "city man" saw from his front seat in this greatest of all motion-picture theaters.

"At one time we passed a herd of a dozen or so great giraffes, cows and calves, cantering along through the open woods a couple of hundred yards to the right of the train. Again, still closer, four waterbuck cows, their big ears thrown forward, stared at us without moving until we had passed. Hartebeestes were everywhere. Huge black ostriches appeared from time to time."

And many another beast and bird did he meet on this journey. Once in the dusk the locomotive narrowly missed running over a hyena, and the animal gave Roosevelt a fierce yelp of greeting as it sprang to one side.

The train journey ended at Kapiti Plains, where their safari, or caravan, set forth. This was a small army of black boys (the "boys" being grown men) who traveled on foot carrying tents, provisions, and ammunition, while the four white men rode on horses. One boy carried a case of books—"a Pigskin Library of eighty odd volumes." Roosevelt might be ready to forsake civilization, but he could not cut himself off utterly.

So they rode north and west into the jungle. It opened and swallowed them up, and for weeks at a time the world heard nothing from the Roosevelt Expedition, except as an occasional runner reached the railroad again bearing news and letters.

Roosevelt, as might be expected, was having the time of his life. He studied big game at close range in its native haunts, and in one of the few genuinely wild spots still left in the world. Across the kop j es and through the tangled jungle grass he rode, constantly stirring up antelope, giraffe, gnu, gazelles, zebra, hyenas, or listening to the angry chattering of disturbed monkeys or parakeets.

Only occasionally did their guns speak in these first days, and then to secure some particularly choice specimens. Roosevelt was drinking in all the sights and sounds with boyish eagerness—the cries of the wild denizens of the forest, the clarion notes of tropic birds, the rich hues and odors of the vegetation, the flaunting colors of the morning and evening skies. It was in very truth a new world.

What he particularly desired to hunt was some big game—the bigger the better. As they came into the lion country all his hunting sense was on the alert; for here it was hunt or be hunted. The black boys all spoke of the king of beasts in terms of respect. More than one of them bore marks of a lion's claws upon his body.

Finally, after several days of stalking they came upon unmistakable signs. A patch of grass waved in a ravine just ahead of Roosevelt's horse, and his boy jumped back, calling "Simba!"

"Shoot!" called out one of the other hunters.

Roosevelt quickly fired, and a wounded lion half-grown, followed by another, broke cover running away. The hunters were disappointed, but in mercy killed the wounded cubs.

That same afternoon in a dried watercourse they encountered a full-grown lion, who when roused came straight at Roosevelt with an angry roar of defiance. The first shot from his gun only wounded him. The animal swerved to one side so that his second shot missed. As the beast still showed fight, three of the hunters fired at once and he fell dead.

The party was fortunate enough to bag another lion the same day, Roosevelt firing the finishing shot; and near a water-hole where they camped they got three more. They spent two weeks at a ranch in the Kitanga Hills before crossing the veldt to the Kilimakiu Mountain.

Once while stopping to visit at an ostrich farm, a black boy came running up to tell them there was a rhinoceros on the hillside less than a mile away.

One may well believe that Roosevelt and the rest lost no time in springing to their saddles and galloping away to the spot indicated. They did not have to seek this huge beast. He was standing in plain sight, and by the look in his pig-like, wicked eyes, he did not propose to wait until somebody "started something." He felt that he himself was the official starter.

Head down, he charged at Roosevelt, who led the procession. Almost at the same instant Roosevelt fired, but though he was using one of the heaviest guns and undoubtedly wounded the animal he did not stop it. Roosevelt stood his ground and fired again. The rhinoceros finally crumpled when only a few paces from him, and lay dead.

Then came other rare game—giraffes, water-bucks, impalla, and once a python whose neck he fortunately broke with a bullet when it charged him. One day in stalking a hippopotamus, he came upon this tropic scene:

"As we crept noiselessly up to the steep bank which edged the pool, the sight was typically African. On the still water floated a crocodile, nothing but his eyes and nostrils visible. The bank was covered with a dense growth of trees, festooned with vines; among the branches sat herons; a little cormorant dived into the water; and a very large and brilliantly colored kingfisher, with a red beak and large turquoise breast, perched unheedingly within a few feet of us."

Their first encounter with elephants, near Mount Kenia, was quite as exciting as the earlier events. In a dense woodland they found a herd of elephants feeding and selected a particularly fine bull. Roosevelt crept up as closely as he dared, then as the bull grew uneasy and lifted his trunk, he fired. The wounded beast came straight at him with a trumpet of rage, when a second bullet, well directed, laid him low. Had the hunter hesitated or tried to run, he would have been crushed under foot.

A moment later, before Roosevelt had time to reload, the bushes parted and another elephant, evidently the mate of the slain one, came charging through. This time discretion was the better part of valor. Roosevelt dodged behind a tree, while Cunninghame fired.

The beast trumpeted shrilly and continued on down the glade. It did not again try to attack the two hunters.

Space does not permit us to tell in more detail of this famous African hunt, which actually lasted nearly eleven months. Roosevelt himself has given us a highly entertaining book on the subject, entitled African Game Trails.

The party came through in excellent physical shape, considering the nature of the county and the hardships of the trip. Roosevelt himself had a few touches of fever, and members of the party suffered at times from malaria, dysentery, and heat prostration. None, fortunately contracted the sleeping sickness.

Roosevelt kept a list of "game shot with the rifle during the trip," and it is amazing for its variety. He shot nine lions, and Kermit eight. They did not limit their kill on these marauders. Others running into eight or more specimens each were hyenas, elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, wart-hogs, zebras, giraffe, buffalo, bushbuck, hartebeest, gazelles, and waterbuck. This by no means exhausts a list, many of the names of which would re unfamiliar to the reader who is not a naturalist. It includes over fifty different animals and a score of different birds, as well as snakes, lizards and crocodiles.

Roosevelt and Kermit kept only a dozen trophies for themselves. They shot nothing that was not used either as a museum specimen or for meat—usually for both purposes.

"We were on hunting grounds practically as good as any that ever existed; but we did not kill a tenth, nor a hundredth part of what we might have killed had we been willing. The mere size of the bag indicates little as to a man's prowess as a hunter."

This is a worthwhile sportsman's creed and might be learned with profit by hunters of wild game, great and small.

To the Smithsonian Institution they forwarded hundreds of fine specimens; and the "Roosevelt Collection" which may be seen there to-day remains as a unique monument to a former President.

Finally they embarked on the headwaters of the Nile, and floated down to Khartoum, where Mrs. Roosevelt and his daughter Ethel were gladly awaiting the wanderers. Thence they went down the Nile through Egypt to Cairo, and "Bwano Tumbo" the Mighty Hunter, came in touch again with the outside world.

The Guest of Europe

Once in touch with civilization again, after a year's absence, Roosevelt expected to be treated as a private citizen and after a quiet visit in Europe return home. But his first reception at Khartoum, where the British officials accorded him the highest dignities and the cheering crowds followed him everywhere, soon convinced him to the contrary. He was a world figure even more commanding than when he laid down the reins of office.

"I guess we are in for it!" he remarked to Mrs. Roosevelt; and cabled to New York to send him a private secretary by the earliest boat.

The journey down the Nile was like a triumphal progress of one of the Pharaohs; but it was marred by one incident toward its close. Egypt was then a protectorate under Great Britain, and a Nationalist party was striving for power. The Premier, Boutras, had lately been assassinated by agents of this party, who now went so far as to warn Roosevelt that if he made any public criticism of this deed his own life would be in danger.

They utterly mistook their man, as we know, for at a speech in Cairo, Roosevelt denounced the deed in plain terms and told the Nationalists that they would be denied self-government until they showed themselves fit for it. There was a great outcry, and extra guards were placed around the speaker, but no attack followed.

In Italy, his next stopping-point, he was unfortunately the center of another controversy. After being entertained by the King and Queen, he expressed a desire through the American Ambassador for an audience with the Pope. The latter acquiesced, but laid down as a condition that Colonel Roosevelt should kindly refrain from visiting the Methodist Mission in Rome. The Colonel refused to accept this restriction, and gave the facts to the newspapers. This threatened to start a bitter religious debate on both sides of the Atlantic, but Roosevelt at once added that it was only a private and personal matter, and he appealed to his good friends, both Catholic and Protestant, to view it in that light.

His progress northward through Europe was like a royal pilgrimage. Had he been an emperor he could not have received higher honors. It was enough to turn the head of any man, but Roosevelt received it all with quiet dignity as if accorded to his country rather than himself.

At the Austrian frontier he was greeted by a personal representative of the aged Emperor, Francis Joseph, and conducted to Vienna as the Emperor's personal guest.

At Paris the scenes of popular enthusiasm were repeated. Down the Champs Elysees through wildly cheering crowds his carriage was driven to the Sorbonne, where he delivered an address on "Citizenship in a Republic," a ringing message on the plain, everyday duties of every citizen, to make his country ideally great. He described no Utopia, but a nation whose guiding principles were the Ten Commandments.

In Germany, the Kaiser had planned a series of pageants and entertainments for him, but the program was greatly simplified by the news of the death of King Edward VII of England. The fete-weary Roosevelt was not sorry to be spared the entertaining; but he had a fine visit with the Kaiser, who had become his genuine admirer and friend, despite the Venezuelan incident a few years earlier.

In his guest's honor, the Kaiser arranged a review of the Prussian army at Potsdam; and for half a day the two men sat on horseback side by side and watched that marvelous military machine wheel in glittering precision across the plains. At the end of the review, the Emperor said:

"Friend Roosevelt, I am glad to welcome you as the foremost American citizen to this review. You are the first private citizen to have reviewed the troops of Germany."

The University of Berlin, where he spoke, made him a Doctor of Philosophy. Thence he went as the special representative of the United States to attend the funeral of King Edward. London just then swarmed with royalty, practically every reigning house of Europe being represented. None of them stood on ceremony where Roosevelt was concerned, but sent their cards to the Dorchester House, where he was stationed, at all hours of the day and night. Perhaps history has never seen, or never will see again, so many crowned heads seeking out a private citizen.

It is said, though we cannot vouch for the truth of this story, that one afternoon of a particularly busy day when Roosevelt was struggling with some correspondence, the footman entered bearing a tray with some royal card. The Colonel glanced at it and exclaimed:

"Hang these kings! I wish they'd give a fellow a chance to finish his work!"

The Kaiser also was in London, and frankly glad to see his "friend Roosevelt" again. He appropriated him unblushingly at every opportunity. One evening at Buckingham Palace while the Colonel stood chatting with Czar Ferdinand of Bulgaria, Wilhelm came stalking across the room and clapped Roosevelt on he shoulder.

"Friend Roosevelt, come over here!" he ordered. "Here's a king you will be really  glad to meet!"

What the snubbed Ferdinand thought about it we do not know, but a moment later Roosevelt found himself looking up at a tall young man who was beaming down cordially at him. It was Alfonso XIII of Spain, the man who had lost Cuba twelve years before. In the friendly handclasp and conversation which followed, Spain and America went far toward renewing ties of friendship.

While on the subject of the German Emperor two other stories widely circulated demand retelling.

One day in going over his engagements the Kaiser said: "I must have some further talk with you, friend Roosevelt. Come to-morrow afternoon, can't you? I can see you at two, but can give you only three-quarters of an hour."

To which Roosevelt quickly replied: "It will give me great pleasure to call upon you at two, but I can allow myself only half an hour."

The other incident occurred some years later when the World War had broken out. The United States was still neutral, and the Kaiser was anxious to keep on good terms with us as long as possible. Roosevelt, the private citizen at Oyster Bay, had made one or two statements about "hyphenated Americans," which might be detrimental to German interests. So the Kaiser sent a confidential agent to see him.

"His Imperial majesty," the agent said smoothly, "is relying upon your good and friendly offices in this country. He desires to recall to you the many evidences of his friendship and the courtesies extended to you while abroad."

"Yes," replied Roosevelt, "I remember with pleasure the courtesies received from the German Emperor. I remember also, with equal pleasure, the many courtesies extended to me by the King of the Belgians."

The closing incident of Roosevelt's trip through Europe was even more sensational than the opening one, in Egypt. He had been given the official freedom of the City of London, and invited to make a speech at the Guild-hall. Here the diplomats and parliamentarians, used to smooth, evasive language, were amazed to hear him discussing the African question in plain terms.

He began by praising British rule in East Africa, Uganda, and the Soudan—speaking from his personal observation. Conditions in Egypt, however, did not please him, and he was no less frank in saying so. He said the British policy in Egypt was weak-kneed, and led to such outbreaks as the recent murder of the Premier. Looking the British lawmakers straight in the face he concluded:

"Either you have the right to be in Egypt, or you have not; either it is or it is not your duty to establish and keep order. If you feel you have not the right to be in Egypt, if you do not wish to establish and to keep order there, why, then, by all means get out of Egypt!"

Then there was a buzzing of official hornets! Staid, conservative old England was first amazed then downright angry at the presumption of this outsider who dared tell her what to do! It threatened to be more than a tempest in a teapot, until Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, calmly announced that he had seen a draft of the speech before it was delivered, and had approved of it. And on sober second thought, England admitted that he was right. But it was a new brand of diplomacy.

The Home-Coming, and a New Fight

When Theodore Roosevelt reached home, on that day in June, 1910, he was given an unprecedented welcome. As his ship passed through the Narrows of New York harbor, the guns on the neighboring forts fired the presidential salute of twenty-one guns. The battleships in the bay took it up, followed by the screaming of whistles and sirens from every craft for miles around.

"Teddy is home! Teddy is home!" they seemed to say.

At Quarantine his party was met by two members of President Taft's Cabinet and a committee of three hundred New Yorkers, and was transferred to a revenue-cutter which took them up the bay to the Battery. There he landed and was met by Mayor Gaynor, who made him an address of welcome; to which Roosevelt replied:

"I have thoroughly enjoyed myself; and now I am more glad than I can say to get home, to be back in my own country, back among people I love. I am ready and eager to do my part in solving the problems which must be solved."

From the Battery a great parade moved uptown, with him as the central figure escorted by his old beloved regiment of Rough Riders, reassembled from every corner of the United States to don the khaki again. It was a constant cry from him of "Hello, Bill! How are you, Jerry!" His silk hat was battered to pieces before the day was over; while the crowds jamming sidewalks and windows all along Fifth Avenue yelled themselves hoarse.

But what did Roosevelt mean, in his reply to Mayor Gaynor, "I am eager to do my part in solving the problems which must be solved?"

Just this. He felt that the Republican party had come to a parting of the ways. It had fallen too much under the domination of the big business interests. The last year of his own term as President had been marked by bitter fights with Congress. For one thing he had wanted the tariff revised downward. For another, he believed thoroughly in reclamation and conservation of our natural resources—our forests, mines, and natural water-power.

In securing the nomination and election of Taft to succeed him, Roosevelt had hoped that these progressive policies would be continued. But Taft had not been able to stand against Congress and "Wall Street." The new tariff bill which was finally passed in the first year of the Taft administration revised the tariff upward instead of downward, that is, made prices on foreign goods dearer. There had also been grave scandals regarding the seizure of public coal lands in Alaska.

These were only two of many things which Roosevelt regarded as "problems which must be solved." What he would do about it, was the question now asked by the newspapers and citizens generally; for they knew him too well to vision him as sitting idly by with hands folded. He left them not long in doubt.

"This," he said, "is the duty of every citizen, but is peculiarly my duty; for any man who has ever been honored by being made President of the United States, is thereby forever rendered the debtor of the American people, and is bound throughout his life to remember this, his prime obligation."

He had probably counted the cost to himself. It would have been so easy to sink back into cosy retirement at Oyster Bay, now at the height of his popularity and do nothing to injure it! He knew that a fighter constantly makes enemies. But he could not fold his arms.

One of the first lamentable results of his re-entry into politics was his estrangement from Taft, the "dear Will" of former days. It was inevitable in view of the wide divergence of their political views; and the breach was only healed in the closing months of Roosevelt's life.

Roosevelt made a noteworthy trip across the continent, delivering speeches, then returned to New York, where he became associate editor of The Outlook. One facetious journalist thereupon dubbed it The Outlet, which in a sense it was. Through its pages he discussed with fearless freedom the questions of the day which pressed for solution. He believed, for example, in a strong, centralized government which should have power in any crisis to override the rights of any State. He called this the "New Nationalism," and it is exactly what took place when the World War was, upon us. But Roosevelt was in advance of his time, and was called "radical" and "dangerous."

As the campaign of 1912 for the Presidency approached, it was seen that a "showdown" of Taft forces and Roosevelt forces was inevitable. At first he had insisted that he was not a candidate, and he was doubtless sincere. But he saw that there was no other candidate in sight, and after the governors of seven States had sent him a joint appeal asking him to stand for the nomination, he reluctantly admitted that "his hat was in the ring."

The national Republican Convention which followed, at Chicago, was one of the stormiest political gatherings ever staged. Some States had elected two sets of delegates, representing the two wings of the party. The "standpatters" had been instructed for Taft, and the "progressives" for Roosevelt.

The latter's campaign headquarters, at a nearby hotel, was a seething riot of enthusiasm, Crowds went by in the streets constantly chanting, "We want Teddy! We want Teddy!" The mere sight of the Colonel's slouch hat wrought up the delegates to frenzy.

Roosevelt stayed away from the convention which wrangled over seating or unseating delegates. The chairman, Elihu Root, one of the ablest public men of his time, tried to be fair; but it was soon evident that he favored the Taft interests. Root, like other sincere public men, admired Roosevelt but was afraid of "his radical tendencies."

The upshot of it all was that the Roosevelt delegates refused to vote. They withdrew in a body, leaving the nomination to Taft; and repaired to another public auditorium, where they nominated Roosevelt by acclamation.

That night when a reporter asked him how he felt, he replied, "I feel as fit as a bull moose!"

And that was how the Bull Moose, or Progressive party, was born.

Roosevelt's Last Campaign

Roosevelt's hat was in the ring; the fight was on in earnest. It was a three-cornered fight with antagonists worthy of his steel. The Democrats nominated Woodrow Wilson, the reform Governor of New Jersey, many of whose principles were Roosevelt's own.

The Colonel plunged into the campaign with all his old-time vigor. It meant little to him that he had spent months in arduous travel already. He would not spare himself for the new cause. He planned two speaking trips to cover the country from East to West, but could carry out only a part of the program.

In the middle of October, only three weeks from election, he reached Milwaukee, where he was scheduled to speak. While in an open automobile on the way to the auditorium, a man suddenly stepped out of the crowd and at a distance of ten feet fired a revolver point-blank at him. Roosevelt felt a stinging sensation in his right breast and sank back on the seat of the car.

The crowd surged in around the would-be assassin, and Roosevelt saw that the fellow was in danger.

"Don't hurt him!" he cried, ignoring his own wound. "Bring him to me!"

The man was brought face to face with the one he had sought to kill. He proved to be a weak-minded fellow whose brain had become inflamed by statements of partisan newspapers to the effect that Roosevelt was seeking to make himself a dictator and set aside the constitution.

Just then the police appeared, and the man was turned over to them.

"Now to the hospital!" cried Roosevelt's friends; but he would have none of it.

"No!" he protested. "I am going to make this speech."

"You are risking your life!" they argued.

"So much the more reason I should go on. This may be the last speech I shall ever make."



And deliver the speech he did. When he appeared before the audience a few minutes later, the entire assemblage rose to its feet as a tribute to his courage. He grasped a chair for support and then reached inside his breast pocket for his manuscript. As he drew it forth he faltered a little and his voice shook during the opening sentences.

The manuscript was perforated with two bullet holes, as it had been once folded. Only these fifty or hundred pages had stood between him and death.

Not until after his speech, which lasted well over an hour, would he submit to a surgeon's examination. Then it was found that the paper had deflected the course of the bullet so that it had missed perforating his right lung by only half an inch. When protested with for going on, he only said:

"I tell you with absolute truthfulness that I am not thinking of my own life, I am not thinking of my own success. I am thinking only of the success of this great cause."

As soon as Governor Wilson heard of Colonel Roosevelt's injury he offered on his own account to refrain from any further public campaigning. It was a sportsmanlike offer, but Roosevelt would not hear of it.

"The welfare of any one man in this fight is wholly immaterial," he replied. "This is not a contest about any man. It is a contest concerning principles."

Two weeks later, thanks to his robust constitution, he was recovered sufficiently to address a final rally in Madison Square Garden, New York. Speaking with quiet restraint to the vast, cheering throng, he said:

"I am glad beyond measure that I am one of the many who in this fight have stood ready to spend and be spent, pledged to fight, while life lasts, the great fight of righteousness and for brotherhood and for the welfare of mankind."

Five days later when the election took place it was found that this new party, only a few weeks old, had outstripped the old and run second. The final vote stood: Wilson, 6,286,214; Roosevelt, 4,126,020; and Taft, 3,483,922.

Thereupon, Roosevelt's many political critics charged him with Republican defeat. They said that he had "split his party because he couldn't run it." The winds of controversy howled about his head.

He, however, retired to private life undisturbed. It had been a good fight.

In Quest of the River of Doubt

Were this the story of some mere fiction hero, the reader would doubtless feel that enough had been told to depict him as a man of action, initiative, and undoubted courage; whereas pages have literally been left out of this true story of one American's life. One final adventure, however, remains yet to be told.

His voyage to Africa, far from satisfying his longing for the wilderness, only whetted it. For several years he had considered an expedition into the heart of South America, the headwaters of the Amazon. He had been told of one stream in particular, about which so little was known, that it was down on some maps as the "River of Doubt."

He had been invited to address some scientific societies in both Brazil and Argentina, and decided that he would make use of this opportunity to do a little exploring on his own ac count. When he laid the project before the American Museum of Natural History, in New York, they favored it and detached three of their best men, Anthony Fiala, George K. Cherrie and Lee E. Miller, to go with him. His son Kermit was also in the party.

The principal object of the expedition was to collect specimens of flora and fauna in this Brazilian plateau, and then follow the course of Rio de Duvida, the River of Doubt, from its headwaters downward to its junction with the mighty Amazon.

The scenes of his visits in Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires were typical of those in Europe. He was greeted with tremendous interest and listened to with close attention. They called him "Le hombre mundial," the man of the world, the great cosmopolite.

While Roosevelt enjoyed these contacts with people of other nations, he was eager to be off into the wilds. As soon as practicable the expedition was organized, with one or two South American members and Indian guides and carriers for the equipment.

From the outset the trip differed from that of Africa in being one of hardship, with very little )pleasure to relieve its tedium. Once in the jungle, and civilization dropped away as behind! a closed door. They waded streams where in lurked the piranha, a cannibal fish a foot long, armed with teeth, which will attack horsey and men with all the ferocity of a shark, if it cents blood. They pushed their way through thorny thickets, cutting a path with machetes. Around their heads swarmed mosquitoes and flies by the million, no less blood-thirst than the piranhas. Red wasps darted about angrily. All the men had to wear thick veils, Although the tropic heat caused the perspiration to pour down their backs. There was not a breath of air in the midst of these thickets. Again they would plunge up to their knees in a swamp ooze which threatened to engulf them.

All the going was not as bad as this, but it was sufficiently trying to test the stoutest. Fiala relates that one day he had charge of the boat containing their supplies while the rest of the party explored inland. By and by one of the Indians accompanying the expedition came back to the shore, panting and grunting.

"All in!" was probably what he intended to say as he rolled over in the corner of the boat and went to sleep.

Twenty minutes later another Indian hove in sight. "Heap plenty work—me tired!" he muttered, and lay down beside the other fellow. Then a third Indian came.

By this time Fiala was worried and organized a relief expedition. About sundown he came across a Brazilian explorer lying exhausted in a little clearing and covered with dust and blood. They sent him back with three men to take care of him, and pushed on. Finally they came upon the Colonel and Kermit staggering toward camp and supporting another Brazilian officer between them. All looked "done up," as well they might.

"Are you all right, Colonel?" greeted Fiala, anxiously.

"I'm bully!" replied Roosevelt, with a dust-covered grin.

This great stamina on the part of a man well past middle age, and unaccustomed to the country, filled the natives with a genuine awe. They looked on Roosevelt as a sort of superman, just as did many Americans, for that matter!

They visited a huge ranch in the interior, where the Brazilian senhor grazed thirty thousand head of cattle, besides innumerable horses, pigs, sheep, and goats. From this ranch they rode out to hunt jaguars, and sighted an armadillo but failed to bag it. A few days later they hunted peccaries. Again it was a tapir hunt which claimed their attention. A book could be—and has been—written about these South American adventures.

Steadily they pushed on into the wilderness until even the occasional Portuguese ranch or Indian village was left behind. They encountered bands of wild Indians, called Nhambiquaras, who were naked, and who had never seen a white man. The explorers traveled on foot part of the time, paddled at other times, and portaged not a little. After over five weeks of effort they reached the headwaters of the River of Doubt, and began to work down-stream.

The hardest part of their journey was yet ahead of them. The country was hilly and without trails, and cut by many streams swollen by the rains which of late had been falling almost incessantly. And always the hordes of gnats, flies, and mosquitoes filled the air.

They followed the river as closely as possible, marking its curves and position on their topographical maps, and taking daily chances on its unknown and treacherous current. Once the canoes were crushed against rocks, and they had to hollow others out of tree-trunks. At another time, Kermit and an Indian narrowly escaped drowning in a whirlpool.

The whole party, one after another, fell sick through their exertions and exposure. Roosevelt bruised one leg severely against a boulder, and contracted a tropical fever. For forty-eight hours they did not know whether he would live or die. Then he struggled to his feet and buckled his belt around him with his old, grim determination. By this time their food was running low, and he realized that his illness was imperiling them all.

"Go on ahead without me," he had implored them the day before; but they shook their heads.

During the next day or two, he was carried for a portion of the time on an improvised litter, until he grew stronger.

A few days later they reached the first outpost of civilization, the house of a man who had a rubber plantation. He was the first civilized being they had met in seven long weeks. Here the party stopped "for repairs," and Roosevelt, iron-man though he was, proved the chief sufferer. His injured leg had developed an abscess, and the fever still clung to him. But after ten days of rest they proceeded down-stream to Manaos, on the Amazon.

Soon after, the Roosevelt party set sail for New York. The Colonel himself looked old and thin. He leaned upon a cane, to favor his injured leg. But he beamed in triumph. He counted the expedition a huge success.

"We put upon the map," he said, "a river some fifteen hundred kilometers in length, of which the upper course was not merely utterly unknown to, but unguessed at, by anybody; while the lower course, although known for years to a few rubber-men, was utterly unknown to cartographers."

In honor of his achievement, the Brazilian Government changed the name of the Rio de Duvida, the River of Doubt, to Rio Teodoro, the River Theodore.

The Last Trail

The ship bearing Roosevelt back to New York reached there the middle of May, 1914. A few short weeks later found Europe in the throes of World War, while a menacing cloud hung over this country.

Although far from a well man, Roosevelt saw the perils which confronted America. In a series of speeches and magazine articles he pleaded preparedness, military and naval. It was the old doctrine he had so often expounded, but still it fell upon deaf ears. The administration at Washington sedulously avoided even the appearance of warlike measures; and President Wilson was re-elected, in 1916, with the rallying cry, "He kept us out of war!"

Even with the sinking of the Lusitania  no move was outwardly made to rebuke Germany, beyond an exchange of diplomatic notes. Roosevelt protested with all his power. He insisted upon our making ready without delay for the contest that would be forced upon us.

"There must not be merely preparedness in things material," he cried, "there must be preparedness in soul and mind. To prepare a great army and navy without preparing a national spirit would avail nothing."

It seems strange now, as we look at the Great War in retrospect, that Roosevelt should have become unpopular with many classes of people for such sentiments; but he was. The German-American newspapers bitterly attacked him as a fomenter of strife, and many American papers and people followed their lead. They did not know until afterwards that it was propaganda of the most insidious kind. In those first months of war the one man in America whom Germany feared most was Theodore Roosevelt. They would have assassinated him, if they had dared.

When the national election for President came around in 1916, the Progressive party again nominated him; but realizing the need of a united front for preparedness, he declined to run on an opposition ticket, and announced his intention of supporting Charles E. Hughes, the Republican candidate, which he did.

Wilson was re-elected on a peace program, but the maelstrom of war was too strong for America. We were sucked in, in the early days of 1917. Then—and not till then—did the country awake and set itself the feverish task of preparing for war.

Roosevelt did not stop to say, "I told you so!" This was no time for fault-finding or recriminations; it was the time for action. The day on which the German ambassador was handed his passports, Roosevelt asked permission to raise a division of volunteers. Already, two hundred thousand men had asked to serve under his command. The War Department, however, declined his offer. They preferred to organize all troops under regular army officers. The days of the old Rough Riders were passed.

"I am the only man in the United States who is denied the privilege of going to war," said he. But he derived some consolation from the fact that all four of his sons saw active service. Two were wounded, and a third, Quentin, laid down his life.

During the months of active preparation before we sent any troops overseas, Roosevelt's zeal for action led him to attack the administration more than once. Here again he alienated himself from many friends, who felt that now of all times the country must bear a united front. That some mistakes were bound to be made was only natural; and Roosevelt laid himself open to being called "a public scold" through his continual criticism of the War and the Navy Departments. Some even accused him of ulterior motives—of using the war to "play politics"—but none who knew his patriotic sincerity believed this.

Roosevelt cared little what people thought or said about him personally. He believed that he spoke for the public conscience, and he went ahead, writing, speaking, traveling—not sparing his own strength any more than if he were fighting on the other side in the trenches. That he did speed up action on this side is undoubted. None knew, however, at what a cost to his own health.

The Brazilian fever had not entirely left him. Then a sudden breakdown early in 1918 warned him of his physical condition. He was taken to the Roosevelt Hospital in New York suffering from a complication of diseases. The middle compartments of his ears were affected, and an immediate operation was necessary. The chances of recovery were slight, he was frankly told.

"There are certain things I should like to live for," Roosevelt said, shutting his teeth. "I should like to see my boys come back from France. I should like to see my country win this war. But if I can't all right, Doctor—go ahead!"

The surgeon went ahead, and the sick man recovered. It seems incredible, but a few weeks later he was completing a speaking tour in the West! Those who had called him a superman were not far wrong!

He spent that year of 1918 in harness—still working, talking, writing on pressing public questions—except for the days when fever or inflammatory rheumatism proved too much for him. Although still a man not old in years, the threescore summers and winters that he had lived had been crammed with enough action to make a century for most men. And now Time the inexorable was swinging his scythe.

The boys came home from war—all save that youngest son whose grave was near the frontier of France. Again the family fore-gathered and there was a fine, old-time Christmas at Sagamore Hill. The Armistice had been declared; the world was at peace; and now as the Colonel looked around at his reunited family circle, he felt that there was yet much to live for. He may have recalled the words of the poet, Browning,

"I was ever a fighter so—one fight more,

The best and the last!"

This new fight, he resolved, should be for Americanism. He foresaw already the danger of Bolshevism and other foreign influences as an aftermath of war. The "hyphenated" Americans had proved a menace in war; and they were still a menace.

On the evening of January 5, 1919, a great meeting of the American Defense Society was held in the Hippodrome, New York, and he as its honorary president, though unable to attend, sent this message:

"There must be no sagging back in the fight for Americanism merely because the war is over. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language . . . and we have room for but one soul loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people."

That was Theodore Roosevelt's last public message; it was the reaffirmation of his own lifetime creed.

Not feeling entirely well, he spent the evening quietly at home with his family. As he looked around the big, cheery library ornamented with trophies of the chase; then at his books waiting like old friends to welcome him; and as he listened to the laughter and conversation of his family circle, he sighed contentedly. World-traveler though he was, it was good to be home.

About eleven o'clock he laid aside his book and bade the others goodnight.

"Please put out the light, James," he said to his old body servant, when ready to retire.

These were his last words. The next morning at dawn they found that he had passed away peacefully while asleep.

A memorable cartoon published in a New York paper, a few days later, represented Fame as a woman sculptor chiseling the record of his life upon a granite tablet. Under the name ROOSEVELT she had inscribed: Biographer, Historian, Ranchman, Lawmaker, Sportsman, Naturalist, Explorer, Statesman. Underneath these words, in bold letters which dwarfed the rest, she was cutting the most important word of all, AMERICAN.

These who words come nearer to summing up his career than volumes of biography. If he had chosen his own epitaph we believe he would have chosen these words with which he is associated in the minds and hearts of his countrymen to-day; they sound the keynote of his birthplace in New York preserved as a lesson in patriotism to future generations; the re-echo at his grave at Oyster Bay, a shrine to thousands who come in silent tribute.