Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography

By Henry F. Pringle | Go to book overview

Chapter XIV
A BULLY FIGHT

THIS was the adventure glorious. "San Juan was the great day of my life," said Theodore Roosevelt two decades later.1 It was then that he personified his own ideal, and the sickly boy who had been afraid of bullies vanished forever into the limbo of forgotten things. War, in 1898, was still romantic. One could lead a cavalry charge up toward the smoke of powder. One shouted, "Follow me, men!" dashed on toward certain death, and yet survived. One was half hero and half actor and glamorous in both the rôles; and when the war was over fellow countrymen mad with enthusiasm rewarded the warrior with the garland of public office.

"It seems to me," Roosevelt wrote Frederick MacMonnies in 1904, discussing a statuette contemplated by the sculptor, "it would be better in uniform."2

There were reasons why, the war with Spain an accomplished fact in April, 1898, he should have refrained from active participation. Their fifth child, Quentin, had been born in November and Mrs. Roosevelt was so ill in January that Dr. Alexander Lambert, their New York physician, was summoned to Washington.3 During the months when Roosevelt was calling with enthusiasm for war, he was embarrassed for funds because of the added expenditures for doctors.4 In addition to all this, one of the small boys had been sick.5

Secretary Long, aware of these domestic complications, was astonished and distressed when his assistant announced his intention of resigning. He felt that Roosevelt would merely "ride a horse and . . . brush mosquitoes from his neck in the Florida sands." But even as Mr. Long commented in his diary on April 25, 1898, he wondered whether

____________________
1
RHP, Roosevelt to Hermann Hagedorn, Harvard Club, August 18, 1918.
2
Bishop, J. B., Op. cit., Vol. I, p. 357.
3
Roosevelt to Dr. Alexander Lambert, Jan. 29, 1898.
4
Roosevelt to Douglas Robinson, Feb. 5, 1898.
5
Long J. D., America of Yesterday, p. 169.

-181-

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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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