DEATH OF QUENTIN ROOSEVELT -- REFUSAL TO BE A CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK
EARLY in July 1918 a movement was started, under the leadership of men who for years had been among Roosevelt's bitterest political enemies, to induce him to consent to become the Republican candidate for Governor of New York. The party was in desperate straits at the time. The Governor, who was a Republican and whose administration had been very unpopular, was a candidate for reelection and had such complete control of the party machinery that he was able to dictate his own renomination, unless Roosevelt would consent to enter the primaries against him. The shrewdest politicians of the party were convinced that without Roosevelt's candidacy defeat in the November elections was certain. They called a state conference of the party leaders, at Saratoga, since under the primary law there could be no convention, and invited Roosevelt, Root and Taft to deliver addresses before it. Roosevelt consented with the others. On the morning of the day, July 17, 1918, on which he was to make his address, word reached him that his son Quentin, an aviator in the army at the front in France, had been killed in an aerial battle. When the news was conveyed to him at Oyster Bay, as he was starting for New York, he said, after taking. it to his wife:
" Quentin's mother and I are very glad that he got to the front and had a chance to render some service to his country and to show the stuff there was in him before his fate befell him."
He went to the city and when asked if he would go to the conference and make his address, he said: "I must go;