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which continued for six days. In this examination Ivins went over the entire period of Roosevelt's public career, reading from his letters and utterances, and placing before the court every scrap of evidence that he had been able to find that seemed to throw doubt upon his political integrity. From the moment that this merciless examination began till its close, Roosevelt dominated the courtroom and was complete master of himself and of the proceedings, taking control of his own case and requesting his counsel to make no objection to any questions that were asked him. Every doubtful passage in a letter, which the opposing counsel sought to turn to his disadvantage or discredit, he dispelled at once by frank and convincing statements to the court and jury. To the letters that the opposing counsel produced, he added others through his own counsel, and repeatedly his marvelous memory supplied evidence that had been either wilfully or unintentionally overlooked. When a letter of a year long passed was read on one occasion, he asked: “Isn't there an interlineation in there which says so and so?” and an interlineation was found that fully explained an obscure passage and gave it an innocent meaning
Full reports of the trial were published in the newspapers, filling many columns daily, and were eagerly read by the people. The whole country was thus following the case and with the court informing itself of the inside history of Roosevelt's political career. Long before the crossexamination was ended the public made up its mind in Roosevelt's favor. The joyful anticipations of his enemies were turned into angry denunciations of Barnes for his stupidity in giving Roosevelt this opportunity to vindicate himself. One of these enemies, whose hatred of Roosevelt had for many years been so intense as to make him nearly inarticulate, said to me as the trial neared its end: "Of all the blundering lunatics I have ever known, Barnes is the worst. Here we had Roosevelt, after his candidacy against Taft, dead and buried politically. We were rid of him for all time. Now Barnes has not only opened the door for him to come back, but he has pushed him through to the front of the stage and made him a greater popular idol than ever."
In all Roosevelt was ten days on the stand, and when he left it not an utterance or act of his thirty years of public life remained unexplored and not an atom of evidence had been adduced from any source which smirched his political character. His enemies had, indeed, granted him complete vindication, had proved that throughout his career he had kept absolute faith with the principle of conduct in his dealings with political leaders which he avowed in his letter to Senator Lodge, under date of Oct. 11, 1901, already quoted in these pages: “They may ordinarily name the men (for public office) but I shall name the standard and the men have got to come up to it.” Not an atom of proof was adduced to show that in a single instance he had yielded on a matter of principle; but abundant proof was adduced to show that in every instance he had compelled conformity to his standard. There could be no more convincing demonstration that evidence of infidelity to his principles did not exist, for the ability of his enemies to command all sources of information was equal to their zeal in pursuit of it. At the close of the day on which the last of the letters had been read in court he said to a friend: “Do you know what meant more to me than anything else in the trial? There was not a single thing in all these old letters of mine that I am ashamed to have my children read.”
In the preparation of the present narrative of his career, I have read his entire correspondence, and there is not in all of it a single sentence about which he could not have truthfully made the same remark. His enemies could not find what they sought because it did not exist.
When the evidence was all in and the case was virtually ready to go to the jury, the news of the sinking of the Lusitania arrived and Roosevelt gave public expression to his views on that unparalleled outrage, which he sincerely believed at the time would turn the verdict against him. A full account of this will be found in the next chapter.
The case was given to the jury on May 20, and after being out many hours the jury came in with a verdict of 11 to 1 in favor of Roosevelt. They were sent back again, and later came in with a verdict for the plaintiff, with the “suggestion that the costs be evenly divided between the two parties." The Justice informed them that this was not a proper verdict, that they must find for either the plaintiff or defendant, and not put in anything about costs. The jury again retired and on the morning of May 22, after having been out 42 hours, brought in a verdict for Roosevelt.
Anticipating an unfavorable verdict Mr. Barnes and his counsel, Mr. Ivins, had left town the day before and were not in court when the verdict was delivered. Mr. Ivins, in fact, was thoroughly worn-out. He returned to his home a hopelessly ill man and died a short time later.
The jury was warmly thanked by Roosevelt, who posed for a photograph with them and afterwards made them the following address :
"I have been more moved and touched than I can express by what you have done, and I want to say to you that I appreciate to the full the obligation that you men, representing every sphere of political belief, have put me under. There is only one return that I can make, and that, I assure you, I will try to make to the best of my ability. I will try all my life to act in public and private affairs so that no one of you will have cause to regret the verdict you have given this morning. I thank you from my heart. You have put on me a solemn duty to behave as a decent American citizen should, and I shall try to my utmost to fulfill that duty."
The case was subsequently appealed to the Court of Appeals by Mr. Barnes but was never argued before that court.
EARLY ATTITUDE TOWARD THE EUROPEAN WAR
ROOSEVELT's intense interest in the European War and his anxiety about the attitude of the United States toward it are revealed in many letters that he wrote in the period immediately after its outbreak. An effort was made later by his critics to show that he had been at the outset of the war friendly to the Germans and the Kaiser, but this was short lived. How baseless it was, I am able to show by the report of a conversation which Mr. E. A. Van Valkenberg, editor of the Philadelphia North American, had with him on Sept. 5, 1914, only a few weeks after Germany's declaration of war. Mr. Van Valkenberg wrote an account of the conversation in a letter to a friend on Sept. 8, 1914, from which I make the following extracts:
“Dean Lewis and I rode from New York to Philadelphia last Saturday afternoon with Colonel Roosevelt.
“The Colonel, as you know, is a personal friend of the Kaiser and an ardent admirer of the Germans. There seems to be a widespread belief that he sides with Germany on this conflict. Germany is absolutely wrong,' was almost his first utterance after we joined him in his stateroom. The White Paper Book, he declared, places her squarely in the wrong from which nothing she can possibly do in the future will extricate her.
“He expressed the opinion that if Germany were to subjugate England in this war, Germany would invade the United States within five years. He said he would look for an early alliance between Germany and Japan in case the power of Great Britain were broken. The great 'engines' of war which have been perfected by the Kaiser's government profoundly fascinate him. He gave unstinted praise to the genius of the German people, but said that he could see but one possible outcome of the contest-that was, the defeat of Germany."
Roosevelt's chief desire at the beginning of the European struggle was to uphold the hands of President Wilson and to do nothing to embarrass him in formulating a policy. With this desire in mind he published an article in the Outlook, of September 23, 1914, which was quoted afterwards, in garbled form, to show that he had at first upheld Wilson's policy of “neutrality even in thought," and had been inconsistent in his subsequent criticism of it. He said of it to his friends that when he wrote it he hoped the President would become convinced that an official protest should be made against the invasion of Belgium and he did not wish to put any obstruction in his way, while reserving the right to criticize him in case he failed to make the protest. The article is susceptible of this construction, as the following passage shows:
“Neutrality may be of prime necessity in order to preserve our own interests, to maintain peace in so much of the world as is not affected by the war, and to conserve our influence for helping toward the re-establishment of general peace when the time comes; for if any outside Power is able at such time to be the medium for bringing peace, it is more likely to be the United States than any other. But we pay the penalty of this action on behalf of peace for ourselves, and possibly for others in the future, by forfeiting our right do anything on behalf of peace for the Belgians in the present. We can maintain our neutrality only by refusal to do anything to aid unoffending weak Powers which are dragged into the gulf of bloodshed and misery through no fault of their own.”
His letters of the period are far more explicit in defining his real views. I quote a few from a very large number as fair samples of all.