Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Vol. 2

By Joseph Bishop Bucklin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXIV
THE END

THEODORE Roosevelt died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Oyster Bay, at 4 o'clock in the morning of January 6, 1919. The cause of death was an embolus, or clot of blood in the heart. He spent his last day, Sunday, with his family in full confidence that he was on the road to complete recovery of health. His last literary work, in addition to the subjects mentioned in the preceding chapter, had been upon a review of a book by one of his cherished naturalist friends, William Beebe, and in correcting proofs of an editorial article on Labor that he had written for the Metropolitan Magazine. He went to bed at 11 o'clock, and his last words were to his faithful colored servant, James Amos: "Please put out the light." He sank at once into a quiet sleep and never awoke.

He died as he would have wished to, in the home that he loved, with his family about him, in the full possession of his faculties, in the midst of work that was nearest to his heart, and at the summit of his fame. Never during his life had his influence with his countrymen been greater, or his place in the hearts of the American people higher. At the moment of his death it could have been said of him with literal truth, in the language of the Proverbs: "He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." He had become the acknowledged foremost leader of his party and its unanimous choice as its candidate for the Presidency in 1920. More than that, he was recognized as the Great American of his time. This was the unanimous verdict of the nation when the news of his unexpected death startled it into a full recognition of his worth and of its irreparable loss.

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