Public Papers and Letters of Oliver Max Gardner: Governor of North Carolina, 1929-1933

By Edwin Gill; David Leroy Corbitt | Go to book overview

gain and that of their friends, should continue this grip." To the amazement of everyone, young Roosevelt won the election.

He had been senator only a few hours when the decree came from the political boss saying that "blue-eyed Billy Sheehan" must be elected to the United States Senate. True to the principles for which he had fought in the election, Roosevelt declared war on Sheehan and collected around him quickly a group of leaders determined that the hand-picked candidate for the Senate should not prevail. This militant group held their lines with such courage that Sheehan withdrew rather than submit to defeat. It was freely predicted that the courage of Roosevelt had ruined his political career.

Another glimpse of the rising statesman: During this session of the Legislature Roosevelt refused to accept an appropriation made to his home county, because he declared it was not needed. This unusual action on the part of a public man so impressed a Republican senator that he declared: "I hope that the stenographer will not fail to record the protest made by the Senator from Dutchess. It will stand as a monument greater than any that has ever been or will be erected to perpetuate the achievements of his illustrious relative, Theodore Roosevelt."

Thus we get a picture of a typical Roosevelt throwing his youthful conviction against privilege and corruption in government and against wastefulness and greed in public life.

I pass over the eventful years when Roosevelt was called to take an active part in the affairs of the Nation. We remember him as vice presidential nominee of his party in 1920 and as assistant secretary of the navy during the World War; again we recall him as the man who at three successive National Conventions nominated his friend, Alfred E. Smith, for president. During this period he broadened the base of his national

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