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by the upright stem of a great pine. As soon as he was by it, he sank suddenly on one knee, turning half round, his face fairly aflame with excitement; and as I strode past him, with my rifle at the ready, there, not ten steps off, was the great bear, slowly rising from his bed among the great spruces. He had heard us, but apparently hardly knew exactly where or what we were, for he reared up on his haunches sideways to us. Then he saw us, and dropped down again on all fours, the shaggy hair on his neck and shoulders seemed to bristle as he turned toward us. As he sank down on his forefeet I had raised the rifle; his head was bent slightly down, and when I saw the top of the white head fairly between his small, glittering, evil eyes, I pulled trigger. Half rising up, the huge beast fell over on his side in the death throes, the ball having gone into his brain, striking fairly between the eyes as if the distance had been measured by a carpenter's rule. The whole thing was over in twenty seconds from the time I caught sight of the game; indeed, it was over so quickly that the grizzly did not have time to show fight at all or come a step toward us. It was the first I had ever seen, and I felt not a little proud, as I stood over the great brindled bulk, which lay stretched out at length in the cool shade of the evergreens. He was a monstrous fellow, much larger than any I have seen since, whether alive or brought in dead by the hunters. As near as we could estimate (for of course we had nothing with which to weigh more than very small portions) he must have weighed about twelve hundred pounds."
Strange as it may seem the President acknowledges that sometimes in his Little Missouri Ranch he seated himself on his porch, but the result was he would rock gently to and fro, gazing sleepily out at the weird looking buttes opposite, until their sharp outlines grow indistinct and purple in the afterglow of the sunset: "The story-high house of hewn logs is clean and neat, with many rooms, so that one can be alone if one wishes to. The nights in summer are cool and pleasant, and there are plenty of bear-skins and buffalo robes, trophies of our own skill, with which to bid defiance to the bitter cold of winter. In summer time we are not much within doors, for we rise before dawn and work hard enough to be willing to go to bed soon after nightfall. The long winter evenings are spent sitting round the hearthstone, while the pine logs roar and crackle, and the men play checkers or chess, in the fire light. The rifles stand in the corners of the room or rest across the elk antlers which jut out from over the fireplace. From the deer horns ranged along the walls, and thrust into the beams and rafters, hang heavy overcoats of wolf-skin or coon-skin, and otter fur or beaver fur caps and gauntlets. Rough board shelves hold a number of books, without which some of the evenings would be long indeed.
"In the still fall nights, if we lie awake we can listen to the clanging cries of the water-fowl, as their flocks speed southward; and in cold weather the coyotes occasionally come near enough for us to hear their uncanny wailing.
The larger wolves, too, now and then join in, with a kind of deep, dismal howling; but this melancholy sound is more often heard when out camping than from the ranch-house. The charm of ranch life comes in its freedom, and the vigorous open-air existence it forces a man to lead.”
A NATIONAL FIGURE IN 1884.
Theodore Roosevelt Leads New York Delegation in a National Convention, When
Twenty-Six Years of Age-He Broke All Records as a Young Leader, and Kept Party Faith-McKinley and He in Debate.
HE XXVth President of the United States first appeared in national
T political life
, bounding into the arena, a man of
twenty-six years and leader of the Republican delegation of New York, June 3rd, 1884, in the National Political Convention that nominated Blaine for president. His official services were limited to membership of the Assembly of his State, but he was a conspicuous figure and factor in the proceedings. In the seventeen years since, his countrymen have had constant occasion to be interested in him, and he has largely influenced the public opinion of the country.
The Hon. Powell Clayton, of Arkansas, was proposed, at the request of the National Republican Committee, as Temporary Chairman of the Convention. . This was meant as a compliment to the Republicans of the South. Mr. Lodge, of Massachusetts, took the floor, and said it was the right of the Convention to revise the suggestion; and without any view of personal contest, but simply to make a nomination which would have the best political effect, he moved to substitute the name of the Hon. John R. Lynch, of Mississippi, and asked that the roll might be called on that question. The motion was seconded by Mr. Dutcher, of New York. There was opposition to the change. It was really a question between the white and the colored delegates from the South, whether the honor of the Temporary Chairmanship should be placed upon a white or black man. Mr. Clayton is the present Minister to Mexico, and Mr. Lynch, a distinguished and influential colored citizen. Mr. George William Curtis, of New York, said: “In the person of Mr. Lynch, we offer you a representative of those people who, in great part, and at unspeakable cost, constitute the Republican party and the citizens whom he represents."
Mr. Ben F. Prentiss, of Missouri, said he entertained the idea that a refusal to endorse the recommendation of the National Committee would
go forth as a stigma upon General Powell Clayton. He said: “Go cautiously, gentlemen, for we would not succeed in placing a more fitting servant in the Chair than General Powell Clayton." At this point the official proceedings of the Convention read as follows:
"Mr. Theodore Roosevelt, of New York-I trust that the motion made by the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Lodge) will be adopted, and that we will select as Chairman of this Convention that representative Republican, Mr. Lynch, of Mississippi. Mr. Chairman, it has been said by the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Stewart) that it is without precedent to reverse the action of the National Committee. Who has not known numerous instances where the action of a State Committee has been reversed by the State Convention ? Not one of us but has known such instances. Now there are, as I understand it, but two delegates to this Convention who have seats on the National Committee and I hold it to be derogatory to our honor, to our capacity of self-government, to say that we must accept the nomination of a presiding officer by another body, and that our hands are tied and we dare not reverse its action.
“Now, one word more. I trust that the vote will be taken by individual members, and not by States. Let each man stand accountable to those he represents for his vote. Let no man be able to shelter himself behind the shield of his State. What we say is, that one of the cardinal doctrines of the American political government is the accountability of each man to his people, and let each man stand up here and cast his vote, and then go home and abide by what he has done. It is now, Mr. Chairman, less than a quarter of a century since, in this city, the great Republican party for the first time organized for victory, and nominated Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, who broke the fetters of the slave and rent them asunder forever. It is a fitting thing for us to choose to preside over this Convention or of that race whose right to sit within these walls is due to the blood and the treasure so lavishly spent by the founders of the Republican party. And it is but a further vindication of the principles for which the Republican party so long struggled. I trust that the Hon. Mr. Lynch will be elected Temporary Chairman of this Convention.”
Mr. Roosevelt carried the roll call, and at the end of it, General Clayton, who had been absent when the State of Arkansas voted, arose and said, he desired to vote for Mr. Lynch. The record was made and the vote stood; Lynch, 424 Clayton, 384. Mr. McKinley, of Ohio, voted for Clayton. When the vote had been declared, upon motion of General Clayton, the nomination of Lynch was made unanimous.
Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge, of Massachusetts, was the member from that State of the Committee on Resolutions, and after the regular report, one was
introduced in the Convention, stating that all members were bound in honor to support the nominees of the Convention.
George A. Knight, of California, hoped that "No honest Republican would dare to stand on the floor of the Convention and vote down that resolution.” He said there were already whisperings in the air that “men who once stood high in the Republican party, openly avowed they would not support one man if he be nominated by the Convention.” The reference was to Mr. Blaine as the nominee, and to Mr. Curtis, of New York, as one who might be a bolter. There was not authority for saying so; but there were expressions of opinion to the effect that he would in any event be against Mr. Blaine, and he was pointedly indicated when Mr. Knight said: "Let all those, be they editors of newspapers or conducting great periodical journals, who refuse to support the nominee-let them be branded, that they not only come here and violate the implied faith that was put in them, but the direct and honest convictions of the Convention expressed by direct vote upon that subject.”
Mr. Curtis, touched by the remark of Mr. Knight, took the floor, and said: "A Republican and a free man I came to this Convention. By the grace of God, a Republican and a free man I will go out of this Convention." He then recited the recall of Joshua R. Giddings, twenty-four years before, when he was retiring from the Convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln, giving this personal incident of Giddings' movement to pass out of the Convention: “As he passed my chair, and I reached out my hand (I was wellnigh a boy, and unknown to him), I said, 'Sir, where are you going?' He said to me: 'Young man, I am going out of this Convention, for I find no place in a Republican Convention for an original anti-slavery man like me.'” Mr. Giddings yielded to persuasion and took his seat, as Mr. Curtis told it, "by a universal roar of assent.” The speech of Mr. Curtis then caused the recall of Giddings.
Mr. Curtis added: "The gentleman last upon the floor says that he dares any man upon the floor to vote against that resolution, I say to him, in reply, that the practical man has to do his part in the maintenance of the solid integrity of the political organization to which he is attached; that the presentation of such a resolution in such a Convention as this is a stigma, is an insult, to every honorable member who sits here.
“Ah, Mr. Chairman, this question is not a new question. In precisely, if I do not mistake, the same terms in which this is couched, it was brought up in the last Republican Convention. And a man from West Virginia-I honor his name—that man said, in the face of the roar of the gallery, in the face of all dissent-Mr. Campbell, of West Virginia—'Hold! I am a Repub