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

By Joseph Bucklin Bishop | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
LEGISLATURE--THIRD TERM

IN the State election of 1883 the Republicans secured a majority in both houses of the Legislature. Roosevelt was reelected, in spite of the opposition of some of the party machine leaders of his district whose interests and schemes he had antagonized. It was quite generally admitted that his course in the two preceding Legislatures had been the chief influence in causing the Democratic defeat. One of the most influential of the Republican newspapers outside the city of New York said: "It should not be forgotten that Theodore Roosevelt led the Republican minority in the last Assembly and that the minority has grown into a powerful majority. Much of the success of the Republicans in the recent elections was due to the record made by these legislators in opposition to Democratic schemes of extravagance and corruption. Much of that record was due to the sleepless activity of their intrepid leader, Theodore Roosevelt. He led the minority to victory, and it is only fitting that he should now receive a grateful acknowledgment of his services by being elevated to the Speakership."

He frankly declared himself a candidate for Speaker and received the warm support of all except the most avowedly partisan of the Republican journals of the State. But from the outset of the canvass, the old leaders of the party who represented the interests which he had antagonized in his fearless opposition to "deals" with Tammany Hall and other disreputable partisan doings, formed a combination against him and in the end adroitly compassed his defeat. They brought this about by having the most discredited of the machine leaders in his district pretend to support him

-24-

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