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During the roll call for the vote on the nomination of Vice-President, Mr. Curtis, of New York, desired that the State be allowed a little time to complete the count, as she was "not quite ready to report her vote.” Mr. Huested, of New York, asked that the rule might be suspended, so that other States might be called before New York. At the end of the roll call, New York was again called, and gave her vote--60 for Logan, 6 for Gresham, and 1 for Foraker. The official record continues :
"The President-The question now is, shall the nominations be made unanimous ? And the motion was carried unanimously.”
The Convention, was now substantially over. Of 820 votes, only 780 had been cast. The adjournment took place at 9:45 P. M., June the 6th.
Mr. Roosevelt's record in this Convention was a most uncommon one to be made by a man twenty-six years old. As the head of the delegation of the decisive State, as the politics of the country was divided at that time, he displayed throughout the exciting and at times tumultuous proceedings, the tenacity, intelligence, and courage characteristic of his whole career. He listened attentively to all suggestions, treated the rights of all delegates with respect, asserted his own views, and acted distinctly upon his own motion, neither driving nor consenting to be driven.
It was remarked that the Harvard men from New York and Boston were active before the Convention adjourned sine die, and there was much said by the delegates and spectators, including particularly the men of the press, that the two delegates-at-large, representing two great cities—one the metropolis of the continent, and the other of New England would be "heard from hereafter;" and so it has turned out.
The Republican National Convention at Philadelphia, sixteen years later, was presided over by Senator Lodge, of Massachusetts, and nominated by acclamation. lacking his own vote when the roll was called of unanimity, Governor Roosevelt, of New York, for the Vice-Presidency. The only opposition of a personal or political nature to this nomination, centred upon the Secretary of the Navy, Governor Long; and there was a small but able and earnest group of men, in years, youthful, but of marked accomplishments, who idealized Colonel Roosevelt, so that they held, that after being Governor of New York, he should never be a candidate for any office other than that of President of the United States. These gentlemen unwisely misapprehended the wants of the State of New York, and strangely disbelieved in the dignity of the office of Vice-President, and, curiously enough, undervalued the personal power of Mr. Roosevelt on the stump, and the potential prestige of his fame as a ranchman and as the discoverer and commander of the Rough Rider soldiers in the Spanish War.
Theodore Roosevelt breaks State and National records with his appear
ance in the Republican Convention, of 1884, in his twenty-sixth year, at the head of the New York Delegation. Grant and Garfield were two of the four Presidents who took the oath of office when under fifty years of age-Grant forty-seven, Garfield forty-nine. The twenty-fifth President, at the age of forty-two years, ten months and two weeks, was a full Presidential term younger than any predecessor in the great office.
Two of the youngest men in the country, who entered the National army as boy soldiers, were McKinley, who was seventeen, and Foraker, sixteen, at the time of enlistment. There were rare cases of boys of fourteen and fifteen years getting into the ranks, and to the firing line, but there was no show for Theodore Roosevelt as a three-year-old boy. If he had been twelve years old, the probability is he would have reached the front through even greater difficulties than he experienced when he fought his way to the firing, fighting line.
STARTING CIVIL SERVICE REFORM.
Vory Interesting Testimony-Business Advantages Gained-Funny Questions and
Answers—The Conspicuous Lead of Roosevelt in the Crusade-Important Official Letter from Him.
WHEODORE ROOSEVELT was appointed by President Harrison a mem
ber of the National Civil Service Commission, in May, 1889, and served
to May, 1895. When he took office, the only Commissioner was Mr. Charles Lyman, of Connecticut. Honorable Hugh S. Thompson, ex-Governor of South Carolina, was made Commissioner at the same time Roosevelt was, and after serving for three years, resigned. He was succeeded by Mr. George D. Johnston, of Louisiana, removed by the President in November, 1893, and replaced by Mr. John R. Proctor, the former State Geologist of Kentucky.
It was a matter of fitness that Roosevelt was in substance chief of the Commission, and he took satisfaction in saying it “never varied a hand's breadth from its course” in all his six years. He had pleasure in making the remark: "In the Fifty-First and Fifty-Second Congresses, Mr. Lodge, of Massachusetts, led the fight in the Lower House. He was supported by such party leaders as Messrs. Reed, of Maine, and McKinley, of Ohio, among the Republicans; and Messrs. Wilson, of West Virginia, and Sayers, of Texas, among the Democrats."
In his “American Ideals” and other essays, Mr. Roosevelt said it seemed of interest to "show exactly what has been done to advance the law and what to hinder its advancement, during these six years, and who have been the more prominent among its friends or foes.” He continued, "I wish to tell the adventures of Philip on his way through the World,' and show who robbed him, who helped him, and who passed him by. It would take too long to give the names of all our friends, and it is not worth while to more than allude to most of our foes, and to most of those who were indifferent to us; but a few of the names should be preserved, and some record made of the fights that have been fought and won, and of the way in which, by fits and starts, and more than one setback, the general advance has been made.”
It was an honor President McKinley appreciated, that his name was T. R.--4
placed by Theodore Roosevelt in the few he gave of the Representatives in Congress who were helpers of “Philip” on his way.
The Charleston, South Carolina, News and Courier said of the appointment of Civil Service Reform members of the Commission, that Harrison deserved credit, yet the delay in making appointments had been harmful; but, "at any rate,” Harrison appointed two of the best men in the United States Civil Service Commissioners. The News and Courier added: "In character, ability, and devotion to the cause of reform, the new Commission is all that. could be desired. Mr. Lyman, the hold-over member of the Commission, is thoroughly in sympathy with his work. In his recent address before the Civil Service Reform Association of New York, Mr. George William Curtis referred to Mr. Roosevelt, one of the new Commissioners, as one of the few ‘recognized local leaders of the dominant party who have publicly insisted that the declared policy of the party on this subject shall be rejected.' The peculiar fitness of ex-Governor Thompson, of South Carolina, for the office to which he has just been appointed was recognized by Mr. Cleveland.”
The Baltimore "American,” May 27th, 1889, observed :
"Civil Service Reform is likely to receive more practical attention from the new Civil Service Commission appointed by President Harrison, and to make more progress under their wise supervision, than at the hands and through the methods of those who have somewhat superciliously proclaimed themselves its custodians."
In the Century Magazine for February, 1890, Theodore Roosevelt defined his Civil Service Reform position to be, "If a party victory meant that all the offices already filled by the most competent members of the defeated party were to be thereafter filled by the most competent members of the victorious party, the system would still be absurd, but would not be particularly baneful. In reality, however, this is not what the system of partisan appointments means at all. Wherever it is adopted it is inevitable that the degree of party service, or more often of service to some particular leader, and not merit, shall ultimately determine the appointment, even as among the different party candidates themselves. Once admit that it is proper to turn out an efficient Republican clerk in order to replace him by an efficient Democratic clerk, or vice versa, and the inevitable next step is to consider solely Republicanism or Democracy, and not efficiency, in making the appointment; while the equally inevitable third step is to consider only that peculiar species of Republicanism or Democracy which is implied in adroit and unscrupulous service rendered to the most influential local boss."
The Review of Reviews for August, 1890, referred to the effort of Mr. Schurz to defeat Colonel Roosevelt for Governor, as an instance of the manner in which "a cause like Civil Service Reform may suffer its worst wounds
at the hands of its friends," and continued: “Mr. Roosevelt stands before the country as the most eminent and influential Civil Service reformer the country has produced, with the exception of the Hon. Dorman B. Eaton, whose pioneer position with regard to this reform is historic. There was certainly as strong reason why Civil Service reformers should have supported Mr. Roosevelt as why they should have supported Mr. Schurz himself if he had been running for the governorship. Moreover, it is to be remembered that the only possible alternative was the turning over of the State of New York to the absolute control of Tammany Hall. The election came at a time when the interests of the State imperatively demanded that the Governor should be courageous, disinterested, and a believer in the principle of appointing men to office on the ground of their honesty and fitness. Fortunately the attitude of reformers like Mr. Schurz did not succeed in bringing upon the State of New York the calamity of Mr. Roosevelt's defeat. The voters were true to the real issues. But although the foremost American Civil Service reformer was put into a position to effect a vast improvement in the public service of the State of New York, the conduct of officers and leaders of the Civil Service Reform League in opposing him was undoubtedly a serious blow to the cause."
It was officially reported that from July 1st, 1890, to June 30th, 5,251 applicants were examined for the departmental service at Washington, of whom 3,366 passed and 1,885 failed to pass. For the customs service 1,579 were examined, 992 passed, and 587 failed; for the postal service 8,538 were examined, 5,840 passed, and 2,698 failed to pass; for the railway mail service, 3,706 were examined, 2,588 passed, and 1,118 failed to pass. The whole number examined for the four branches of the classified service was 19,074, of whom 12,786 passed and 6,288 failed to pass. Compared with the previous year this shows a decrease of 3,920 in the whole number examined, a decrease of 1,161 in the whole number who passed, and a decrease of 2,759 in the whole number who failed to pass. The whole number appointed in the year covered by this report is as follows: Departmental service, 1,152; customs service, 320; postal service, 2,861; and railway mail service, 1,062; total, 5,395.
“An excellent feature in the Southern States," the report held, "was the elimination not only of the questions of politics and religion, but of the ques
A fair proportion of the men appointed from these States has been colored, these successful colored applicants being in many cases graduates of the colleges or higher institutions of learning established especially for their race. They rarely belonged to the class of colored politicians which has hitherto been apt to monopolize such appointments as colored men received
On the contrary, they were for the most part well educated, selfrespecting, intelligent young men and women, who, having graduated from