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

By Joseph Bucklin Bishop | Go to book overview

CHAPTERXXXIV
REBUKES TO RIOTOUS STRIKERS AND LYNCHERS-- DEALINGS WITH SENATORS--LETTERS ON VARIOUS TOPICS

EARLY in April, 1905, the President left Washington to attend a reunion of his Rough Rider regiment at San Antonio, Texas, on the 7th of that month, and later went on a short hunting trip in Colorado. On the eve of his departure he made a remark which had wide circulation: "Oh, things will be all right; I have left Taft sitting on the lid." He delivered addresses at various points in Texas, including one before the Legislature of the State, in each of which he expounded his views in regard to Government regulation and control of corporations and railways. He was greeted with great enthusiasm everywhere. On his return trip he reached Chicago on May 10, at the moment when a general strike of labor unions was in progress. A committee of the strikers called upon him to present their cause and secure his sympathy. What happened was described by the President later in two letters that he wrote after reaching Washington. The first was to Mr. Root, on May 13, 1905:

"Perhaps the thing that pleased me most was in Chicago when the labor men called upon me. A good many people had been anxious that I should dodge Chicago, which of course I would not have been willing to do under any circumstances. As it turned out, the labor people called on me themselves and made a statement most foolish and offensive, so that they justified me completely in saying good- temperedly, but with unmistakable emphasis, just what my attitude was and would be in regard to mobs and disorder generally."

-438-

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