Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography

By Henry F. Pringle | Go to book overview

Chapter VII
PRACTICAL POLITICIAN

IT was not a harmonious gathering which assembled at Utica, New York, on April 22, 1884, to select delegates for the approaching Republican National Convention. The presidential campaign was far enough away to make pretenses of unity unnecessary. Once again, Roosevelt was to benefit from party discord.

The situation was made no happier by an aura of defeat. The wealth of jobs and contracts and graft which had tumbled from the Republican cornucopia for so many years was soon to dwindle to a trickle and then cease. The men in derby hats, the thick-jowled men, the men who had enjoyed the emoluments of power, knew it; and so their gloom was deep. They blamed each other. They particularly disliked Roosevelt, the dude from New York, because he had accepted none of the traditional rewards. He was much too cheerful on the eve of the disaster.

Roosevelt, as a delegate to the State convention from the Twentyfirst District, was exceedingly busy. He had surrounded himself with Hunt, O'Neill, and the other independents who had made themselves so obnoxious in the legislature. It was rumored that he nursed a personal grudge against the leaders who favored either Blaine or Arthur for the presidential nomination and that he proposed to defeat their plans. It was further rumored that he had joined forces with another foolish visionary, Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, to nominate Senator George F. Edmunds of Vermont for the Presidency.

That Roosevelt had plans and possibly aspirations in the field of national politics had been demonstrated during recent weeks. In January, for example, he abandoned completely his ill-considered advocacy of a tariff for revenue. He said that "anything approaching a free trade platform is certain to be defeated." The influence of the East alone was enough to bring repudiation to any party that favored it.1

Roosevelt was still an object of suspicion, to those who did not know

____________________
1
New York Times, Jan. 19, 1884.

-79-

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Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Book I 1
  • Chapter I - Teedie 3
  • Chapter II - Growth 16
  • Chapter III - Thou Goddess, Indifference! 26
  • Chapter IV - Alice Lee 40
  • Chapter V - Butter and Jam 54
  • Chapter VI - I Rose like a Rocket 65
  • Chapter VII - Practical Politician 79
  • Chapter VIII - Gentleman Cowhand 92
  • Chapter IX - The Years Between 106
  • Chapter X - A Job Once More 120
  • Chapter XI - Sword of Righteousness 132
  • Chapter XII - The Nation in Peril 152
  • Chapter XIII - Lord of the Navy 165
  • Chapter XIV - A Bully Fight 181
  • Chapter XV - Reward for a Hero 201
  • Chapter XVI - Yearnings and Consummation 216
  • Book II 235
  • Chapter I - Middle of the Road 237
  • Chapter II - The First Attack 251
  • Chapter III - The Rights of Labor 264
  • Chapter IV - The Big Stick 279
  • Chapter V - Setting for a Melodrama 301
  • Chapter VI - I Took Panama 315
  • Chapter VII - Trimming Sail 339
  • Chapter VIII - The Imperial Years Begin 359
  • Chapter IX - Imperial Years 372
  • Chapter X - The Japanese Menace 398
  • Chapter XI - Malefactors of Great Wealth 413
  • Chapter XII - The Wicked Speculators 432
  • Chaper XIII - Substantial Justice 446
  • Chapter XIV - Handing Down the Law 465
  • Chapter XV - End of the Reign 476
  • Book III 495
  • Chapter I - The First Error 497
  • Chapter II - Among the Kings 508
  • Chapter III - Return Triumphant 525
  • Chapter IV - True Democracy 540
  • Chapter V - Battling for the Lord 553
  • Chapter VI - Drums of War 572
  • Chapter VII - The Final Blow 589
  • Appendix 605
  • Bibliography 607
  • Index 613
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