Released for Publication: Some inside Political History of Theodore Roosevelt and His Times, 1898-1918

Released for Publication: Some inside Political History of Theodore Roosevelt and His Times, 1898-1918

Released for Publication: Some inside Political History of Theodore Roosevelt and His Times, 1898-1918

Released for Publication: Some inside Political History of Theodore Roosevelt and His Times, 1898-1918

Excerpt

In the early part of 1898 I was reading copy on the New York 'Sun' when, one night, there came to my desk a cable from Havana, saying that the commission then sitting there to investigate the explosion which had destroyed the battleship Maine on the night of February 15th would report that the ship had been blown up from the outside. I passed the message across the desk to my colleague, the late Frank Matthews, who was handling general telegraph copy, and he agreed with me that this news meant war with Spain.

Each desk man on the 'Sun' had one day, or night, off a week. When I went to the office on the night before my next night off, I took my gripsack with me, and after work that night, instead of returning home, I went over to Jersey City and took the four-o'clock train for Washington. At the capital I called on David S. Barry, then the Washington correspondent of the 'Sun,' and asked him to take me to Mr. Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, whom I had never met, despite the fact that I was doing newspaper work during the time that he was Police Commissioner of New York City. We went up to the Navy Department and Barry introduced me to the Assistant Secretary. I told Mr. Roosevelt that I believed we were in for war with Spain, and he promptly agreed. I said I intended to ask the 'Sun' to send me with the fleet, but that if the 'Sun' did not send me, I intended to resign from it and enlist in the Navy. In case the 'Sun' should send me . . .

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