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CHAPTER XX

GREAT RECEPTION TO ADMIRAL DEWEY GOVERNOR

ROOSEVELT'S INCREASED POPULARITY LAST AN NUAL MESSAGE AS GOVERNOR · VISIT TO CHICAGO - REMARKABLE SPEECH ON THE STRENUOUS LIFE

ALTHOUGH the war with Spain was over, the people of the United States had not forgotten the wonderful work accomplished by Admiral Dewey and his men at Manila, and when the dauntless naval fighter returned to this country, people everywhere arose to do him honor.

“ He well deserves it," said Governor Roosevelt. And he appointed September 29 and 30, 1899, as public holidays, to be observed throughout the entire State as days of general thanksgiving. These days were commonly called “ Dewey Days.”

The reception to the Admiral and to the other naval heroes was to take place in New York and vicinity, and for many days the citizens were busy decorating their homes and places of business with flags and bunt

ing and pictures, and immense signs of “Welcome,” some in letters several feet long. At the junction of Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and Twenty-Third Street, an immense triumphal arch was erected, and reviewing stands stretched along the line of parade for many miles. .

On the day before the grand reception, Governor Roosevelt, with some members of his staff, called upon Admiral Dewey on board of the Olympia, and offered the State's greeting. A pleasant time was had by all, and the governor assured the sea hero that the people of New York and vicinity were more than anxious to do him honor.

It had been arranged that a naval parade should be held on the first day of the reception, and a land parade on the day following. The course of the naval parade was up the Hudson River past Grant's Tomb, and the grand procession on the water included the Olympia, the Admiral's flag-ship, and the New York, Indiana, Massachusetts, Texas, Brooklyn, and a large number of other war-ships of lesser importance, besides an immense number of private steam-yachts and other craft.

The day dawned clear and bright, and the banks of the Hudson were lined from end to end with people. When the procession of war-ships swept up the stream, loud was the applause, while flags waved everywhere, and whistles blew constantly. When passing Grant's Tomb every warship fired a salute, and the mass of sound echoing across the water was positively deafening.

As the Olympia swept up the river, fired her salute, and then came to anchor a short distance below the last resting-place of General Grant, Admiral Dewey stood on the bridge of his flag-ship, a small, trim figure, with a smile and a wave of the hand for everybody. The surging people could see him but indistinctly, yet there was much hand clapping, and throats grew sore with cheering

But there was another figure in that naval parade, the person of one also dear to the hearts of the people. It was the figure of Theodore Roosevelt, dressed, not as a Rough Rider, but as a civilian, standing at the rail of a steamer used by the New York State officials. When the people saw and recog.

nized that figure, the cheering was as wild as ever.

“ It is Roosevelt!” ran from mouth to mouth. “ The hero of San Juan Hill !”

“Hurrah for the Rough Riders and their gallant leader!” came from others. And the cheering was renewed.

In the evening there was a grand display of fireworks and illuminated floats. The immense span of the Brooklyn Bridge was a mass of lights, and contained the words “Welcome, Dewey" in lettering which covered several hundred feet. All of the warships had their search-lights in operation, and it can truthfully be said that for once the metropolis was as light as day.

But all of this was as nothing compared with the land parade which followed. Never before had the streets of New York been so jammed with people. At many points it was impossible to move, yet the crowds were good-natured and patriotic to the core.

The parade started at Grant's Tomb and ended at Washington Square, and was between five and six hours in passing. Admiral Dewey rode in a carriage with Mayor Van Wyck, and received another

ovation. At the Triumphal Arch the Admiral reviewed the parade, and here he was accorded additional honors.

In this parade Governor Roosevelt rode on horseback, in civilian dress. As he came down the street, the immense crowds recognized him from afar, and the hand clapping and cheering was tremendous, and lasted long after he was out of sight.

“ It's our own Teddy Roosevelt !” cried the more enthusiastic.

“Hurrah for the governor! Hurrah for the colonel of the Rough Riders !”

“Hurrah for the coming President !” said another. And he spoke better than he knew.

This demonstration came straight from the people's heart, and it could not help but affect Theodore Roosevelt. Sitting astride of his dark-colored horse like a veteran, he bowed right and left. Next to Dewey, he was easily the greatest figure in the parade.

On January 3, 1900, Governor Roosevelt sent his last annual message to the State legislature. It was an able document, and as it was now recognized everywhere that he was a truly national figure, it was given careful attention. It treated of the corrup

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