Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Vol. 1

By Joseph Bucklin Bishop | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
LEGISLATURE--SECOND TERM

THE prestige that he had won during his first term in the Legislature secured Roosevelt a renomination without opposition by the Republican organization of his district, and with the warm support of the press he was reelected by an increased majority. His conduct during this session showed the same characteristics that had marked the preceding one. In spite of the advice of well-meaning friends, he persisted in being himself. He received his party's nomination for Speaker, which was merely honorary, as the Democrats had a majority in the body. At the preceding session a bill had been introduced reducing the fare on the elevated railways in New York City from 10 cents to 5. It was introduced as a "strike" upon the railway company, that is, with the intention of making the company use money to secure its defeat. When they were convinced that money was being so used, Roosevelt and his reform associates supported it, and were confirmed in their conviction when on final passage the very members who had introduced it voted against it. It was reintroduced at the succeeding session, when the company decided not to use money for its defeat but to fight it on its merits. The entire "Black Horse Cavalry," including its original supporters, voted against it, but the honest members, including Roosevelt and his associates, voted for it, though doubtful about its principle, being influenced largely in their action by the character of the opposition. It was passed, and when it reached the Governor, Grover Cleveland, he vetoed it on the ground of unconstitutionality. When an attempt was made to pass it over the veto, Roosevelt supported the veto in a speech

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