Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography

By Henry F. Pringle | Go to book overview

Chapter XIII
LORD OF THE NAVY

THE truth is, Will, complained President-elect McKinley to William Howard Taft after Election Day in 1896, " Roosevelt is always in such a state of mind."1

The appointment of Theodore Roosevelt as Assistant Secretary of the Navy was one of the many perplexities which faced Mr. McKinley. The head of the New York police board was clearly entitled to reward for his valiant services against Bryan, but was it wise to assign him to the Navy Department? The young New Yorker was "in such a state of mind" about so many things. There had been continuous rows in the police board. Perhaps the President-elect had read a recent magazine article in which Roosevelt had hailed "the rugged fighting qualities" without which no nation could "achieve real greatness," and had spoken with scorn of the "timidity of wealth" and its distaste for war. 2 Mr. McKinley may have reflected that timid wealthy men had raised $3,350,000 for his campaign chest. Besides, he was a man of peace and Roosevelt was admittedly a jingo.

"If I can only go out of office. . . with the knowledge that I have done what lay in my power to avert this terrible calamity. . . I shall be the happiest man in the world,"3 McKinley remarked to Cleveland on the night before his inauguration, regarding the Spanish War.

Roosevelt was the avowed opponent of peace, but the pressure calling for his appointment as Assistant Secretary of the Navy was great. Cabot Lodge had gone to Canton, Ohio, where the President-elect discussed policies and expressed the friendliest feeling for his friend, Roosevelt.

"I hope he has no preconceived plans which he would wish to drive through the moment he got in," McKinley said. And Lodge, perhaps with a cough, assured him there was no need for concern on this score. 4

____________________

Butt ArchieOp. cit., Vol. II, p. 441.

Works, Vol. XIII, pp. 177-78.

3
Rhodes J. F., The McKinley and Roosevelt Administration, p. 41.
4
Lodge H. C.,Op. cit., Vol. I , p. 241.

-165-

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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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