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ficulty and settle the matter, if not in one way, then in another.
At last, early in October, the whole country was aroused, for it was felt that with no coal a winter of untold suffering stared the people in the face. President Roosevelt held a conference at Washington with the mine operators and the representatives of the miners.
“We must get together, gentlemen," said he. “ The country cannot do without coal, and you must supply it to us.” And he laid down the law in a manner not to be misunderstood.
Another conference followed, and then a third, and at last the coal operators asked the President to appoint a Commission to decide upon the points in dispute. To this the representative of the mine workers agreed, and as a result a Commission was appointed by President Roosevelt, which was to settle all points in dispute, and by its decision each side was to abide. the meantime, while the Commission was at work, the mine workers were to resume their labors. The mines were thereupon once more put in operation, after a strike
lasting over five months. This is the greatest coal strike known in American history, and it is not likely that the people at large will ever again permit themselves to suffer for the want of coal as they did during that fall and the winter which followed.
Early in June occurred the centennial celebration of the founding of the United States Military Academy at West Point. The occasion was made one of great interest, and among the many distinguished visitors were President Roosevelt and General Miles, head of our army at that time. The President reviewed the cadets and made a speech to them, complimenting them on their truly excellent showing as soldiers.
Although very busy with matters of state, President Roosevelt received an urgent call to deliver a Fourth of July oration at Pittsburg. He consented, and spoke to a vast assemblage on the rights and duties of American citizens.
To remain in Washington during the hot summer months was out of the question with President Roosevelt and his family,
and early in the season he removed to Oyster Bay, there to enjoy himself as best he might during the short time allowed him for recreation.
That the business of the administration might not be too seriously interrupted, he hired a few rooms over a bank building in the village of Oyster Bay, and these were fitted up for himself and his several secretaries and assistants. To the bank building he rode or drove every day, spending an hour or more over the routine work required. By this means undesirable visitors were kept away from his private residence, and he was permitted to enjoy himself as he pleased in company with his family.
While Mr. Roosevelt was summering at Oyster Bay, it was arranged that he should make a short tour through New England, to last from August 22 to September 3. The trip covered every New England State, and was one of great pleasure to the President until the last day. Everywhere he went he was greeted by enthusiastic crowds, and, of course, had to make one of his characteristic speeches, accompanied by a great deal of hand-shaking.
On the last day of the trip he was at Dalton, Massachusetts, the home of Governor Crane. It had been planned to drive from Dalton to Lenox, a beautiful spot, adjoining Laurel Lake, where are located the summer homes of many American millionaires.
The trip was begun without a thought of what was to follow. In the party, besides President Roosevelt, were Governor Crane, Secretary Cortelyou (afterward made a member of the Cabinet), United States Secret Service officer William Craig, and the driver of the carriage. It may be mentioned here that William Craig was detailed as a special guard for the President, and had been with him since the tour was begun.
There are a number of trolley lines in this section of Massachusetts, all centring in Pittsfield. As the mass of the people were very anxious to see President Roosevelt, the trolleys going to the points where he would pass were crowded, and the cars were run with more than usual speed.
As the carriage containing the President and his companions attempted to cross the
trolley tracks a car came bounding along at a rapid rate of speed. There seemed to be no time in which to stop the car, and in an instant the long and heavy affair crashed into the carriage with all force, hurling the occupants to the street in all directions. The Secret Service officer, William Craig, was instantly killed, and the driver of the carriage was seriously hurt.
There was immediate and great excitement; and for the time being it was feared that President Roosevelt had been seriously injured. He had been struck a sharp blow on the leg, and had fallen on his face, cutting it not a little. The shock was a severe one, but in a little while he was himself once more, although his face was much swollen. Later still a small abscess formed on the injured limb, but this was skilfully treated by his physician, and soon disappeared. The others in the carriage escaped with but a few bruises and a general shaking-up.
The result of this accident, small as it was to the President personally, showed well how firmly he was seated in the affection of his fellow-citizens. From all over the country, as well as from his friends in