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At once Blaine clubs were organized all over the country, and the Republican party did all in its power to elect its candidate. He was called the Plumed Knight, and many political clubs wore plumes in his honor when on parade.
In the meantime the Democrats had nominated Grover Cleveland.
The fight was exceedingly bitter up to the very evening of election day. When the votes were counted, it was found that Blaine had been defeated by a large majority, and that Grover Cleveland, Roosevelt's old friend had won the highest gift in the hands of the nation.
His work at the convention in Chicago was Theodore Roosevelt's first entrance into national affairs, and his speeches on that occasion will not be readily forgotten. It was here that he came into contact with William McKinley, with whom, sixteen years later, he was to run on the same ticket. The records of that convention show that on one occasion McKinley spoke directly after Roosevelt. Thus were these two drawn together at that early day without knowing or dreaming that one was to succeed the other to the Presidency.
But though Theodore Roosevelt was disappointed over the nomination made at Chicago, he did not desert his party. Instead he did all he could to lead them to victory, until the death of his mother caused him to withdraw temporarily from public affairs.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT AS A RANCHMAN AND HUNTER
IN THE BAD LANDS — BRINGING DOWN HIS FIRST BUFFALO -- RATTLESNAKES, AND A WILD GOOSE
THEODORE ROOSEVELT had now published his “ Naval History of the War of 1812,” and it had created a decidedly favorable opinion among those critics who were best able to judge of the production. It is an authoritative work, and is to-day in the library of nearly every American warship afloat, as well as in numerous government libraries in this country, as at Washington, West Point, and Annapolis, and also in leading libraries of England.
Being out of politics the young author thought of taking up his pen once more. But he was restless by nature, and the loss of his wife and his mother still weighed heavily upon him. So he took himself to the West, to where the Little Missouri River flows in winding form through what are called the Bad Lands of North Dakota.
Here, on the edge of the cattle country, Theodore Roosevelt had become possessed of two ranches, one called the Elkhorn and the other Chimney Butte. Both were located by the river, which during the dry season was hardly of any depth at all, but which during the heavy rains, or during the spring freshets, became a roaring torrent.
At one of these ranches Theodore Roosevelt settled down for the time being, to rough it in hunting and raising cattle. When the weather would not permit of his going abroad, or when the mood of the author seized him, he wrote. As a result of these experiences he has given us a delightful work called “ The Hunting Trips of a Ranchman,” first published in 1885, giving his adventures among the cattle and while on the hunt, sometimes alone and sometimes in company with the rude but honest cow punchers and plainsmen who surrounded him.
Mr. Roosevelt has described the ranch at which he lived for the greater part of his time as a long, low, story-high house of hewn logs, clean and neat, and with many rooms. It faced the river, and in front was