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

By Joseph Bucklin Bishop | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVIII
INCIDENTS OF A BUSY YEAR

THE year 1902 was one of incessant activity for Roosevelt and was fairly crowded with events of far-reaching importance. Next in importance to the beginning of proceedings against the trusts was the settlement of the great anthracite coal strike, which will be considered comprehensively in the next chapter. In the midst of these larger activities the President was able to find time for the consideration of many matters of scarcely less vital moment. He had recommended earnestly in his first annual message to Congress that reciprocal trade relations be established with Cuba. A bill granting reciprocity passed the House but was held up in the Senate through the influence of the powerful beet- sugar interests. While it was pending, ex-President Cleveland wrote a letter, on January 21, 1902, which was published, in which he came to the support of the President very heartily, saying:

"It seems to me that this subject involves considerations of morality and conscience higher and more commanding than all others.

"The obligations arising from these considerations cannot be better or more forcibly defined than was done by President Roosevelt in his message to Congress, nor better emphasized than has been done by Secretary Root, and yet Congress waits, while we occasionally hear of concessions which rich sugar interests might approve in behalf of trembling Cuba."

The President sent a special message to the Senate in June, urging the passage of the bill on the ground of simple justice to Cuba, but the Senate refused to heed the request.

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