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heard his name everywhere — in the hotels, on the streets, no matter where you went. Every once in a while somebody would shout, * Three cheers for Teddy!' and the cheers would be given with a will.”
As soon as the convention had settled down to business, Governor Black was put up for nomination, and then the Hon. Chauncey M. Depew presented the name of Theodore Roosevelt. He spoke of what had been done in Cuba, and added :
“The Rough Riders endured no hardships nor dangers which were not shared by their Colonel. He helped them dig their ditches ; he stood beside them in the deadly dampness of the trenches. No floored tent for him if his comrades must sleep on the ground and under the sky. In that worldfamed charge of the Rough Riders up the hill of San Juan, their Colonel was a hundred feet in advance."
There was a prolonged cheering when Theodore Roosevelt's name was mentioned, and hundreds waved their handkerchiefs and flags. Other speeches followed, and at last came the voting. Out of the total number cast Theodore Roosevelt received
seven hundred and fifty-three and Governor Black two hundred and eighteen.
“I move we make the nomination of Theodore Roosevelt unanimous !” cried Judge Cady, who had previously presented the name of Governor Black. And amid continued cheering this was done.
Theodore Roosevelt had been nominated on the regular Republican ticket. In
opposition, the Democrats nominated Augustus Van Wyck, also well known, and likewise of as old Dutch stock as Roosevelt himself.
The campaign was a decidedly strenuous one. The Democrats made every effort to win, while on the other hand the Republicans who had wanted Governor Black for another term did not give to Mr. Roosevelt the support promised when his nomination had been made unanimous.
“We shall be defeated,” said more than one friend to Roosevelt. “It seems a shame, but we cannot arouse the party as it should be aroused.”
“I will see what I can do myself,” answered the former leader of the Rough Riders. And he arranged to make a complete tour of the State, taking in almost
every city and town of importance. When some of the old campaign managers heard of this, they came to Roosevelt in great alarm.
“You mustn't do it,” they said. “It will ruin you."
“I will risk it," was the answer of the candidate. And forthwith he started on his tour, taking a handful of his Rough Rider friends with him.
It was a brilliant stroke on the part of Theodore Roosevelt, and it told tremendously in his favor. Wherever he went, the people turned out in large crowds to see him and to listen to what he or his Rough Rider companions had to say. Citizens by the hundred came up to shake him by the hand and wish him success.
Parades were organized to do him honor, and at night there would be brilliant illuminations and fireworks.
“We have aroused the party,” said he, when the tour was at an end. And so it proved. Although Van Wyck was popular, Theodore Roosevelt was elected to the high office of governor by seventeen thousand plurality.
It was certainly a high position for such a young man to occupy. He was barely forty years of age, yet as governor of New York he ruled twice as many people as did George Washington when first President of the United States.
He entered on his new duties with as much zeal as he had displayed when organizing the Rough Riders, and in a few weeks had the reins of government well in hand. It is said that while he was governor he was never surprised by those who opposed him. When they wanted facts and figures he was able to produce them, and he never supported or vetoed a measure unless he was morally certain he was on the right side. He was open-faced to the last degree, and what he said he meant.
During his term of office many measures of importance were considered, but in a work of this kind it is not necessary to go into details. For several important offices he nominated men of his own selection, despite the protests of some older politicians, and these selections proved first-class.
During his term as governor, Mr. Roosevelt did a great work for many poor people
in New York City, who worked in what are called “sweat shops,” — small, close quarters, not fit for working purposes, in which men, women, and children make clothing and other articles. He enforced what was known as the Factory Law, and the owners of the “sweat-shops” had to seek larger and more sanitary quarters for their employees. He also took a strong hand in reforming the administration of the canals, which had been one-sided and unfair.
But perhaps his greatest work was in behalf of a measure meant to make the great corporations of New York State pay their fair share of the general taxes. In the past these corporations had had great rights conferred upon them, and they had paid little or nothing in return.
“This is unjust,” said Governor Roosevelt. “They should pay their taxes just as the poorest citizen is compelled to pay his tax."
When the corporations heard this, many of the men in control were furious, and they threatened the governor in all sorts of ways. They would defeat him if he ever again came up for election, and defeat him