Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography

By Henry F. Pringle | Go to book overview

Chapter VII
TRIMMING SAIL

IN APRIL, 1903, passing through Des Moines, Iowa, on a tour that extended to the Pacific coast, Roosevelt was received with unusual enthusiasm. He had made many speeches on the journey, partly in support of the legislative program he hoped to force through Congress and partly to make more certain the presidential nomination in 1904. At Des Moines the crowds pressed about the rear platform of his special train. The President seemed exhilarated and happy. But as the train left he grew morose. All this meant nothing, he said to a member of his party -- nothing personal. The cheers would have been as loud for any other President. The homage had been for the office, not for the man.

"President of the United States!" he said, and his voice took on the staccato of emphasis. "I'd rather be e-lect-ed to that office than have anything tangible of which I know. But I shall never be elected to it. They don't want it. . . Hanna and that crowd. . . . They've finished me . . . I have no machine, no faction, no money. All this (he waved his hand to indicate the crowd they had just left) has no significance. . . . You see, I cannot hope to be renominated without the support of my own State. . . . If you have read the newspapers you have seen. . . the quarrel between Odell and Platt. . . . Hanna is the man who started them. . . [and] I will become. . . a subject for elimination."1

Roosevelt's gloom had very little real foundation. The congressional elections of 1902 had been encouraging. The strife in New York State was merely a successful attempt by Benjamin B. Odell to depose Tom Platt as the Republican leader.2 Roosevelt's theory that Hanna had started a quarrel had no basis. Reason did exist, however, for a degree of apprehension regarding Odell. This leader's reputation had been tarnished by accusations that he held stock in a grocery concern which had sold supplies to State institutions.3 Roosevelt was familiar with the

____________________
1
Denison Lindsay, "Seven Years of Roosevelt", The Circle, March, 1909.
2
Alexander D. S., Op. cit., pp. 415-17.
3
New York Times, Oct. 25, 1902.

-339-

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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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