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Associated Press—and lifted an army ready to perish from the jungles rank with fever, and wafted them to a land of health and plenty, saving thousands of precious lives. The people rejoiced in the man, commended and celebrated the hero, and elected him, when there was "peace with honor," Governor of the State of New York.
PRESIDENT'S PERSONAL EXPRESSIONS.
Kindly Views and Pleasant References—A Fighter, Not a Quarreler—Experiences as Governor of New York Intensely Interesting as He Telle Them—Some of His Vetoes—Sentences Good for Scrap-Books—Noble Passages from Orations— Method of Public* Speaking.
THE controversies the President has had, and he has often been in a state of hostilities, have been the issue of public affairs. His father was best known for his benevolence, his charities, his constant interest in the poor; and the heart of the son has in it the same tenderness. However, he strikes hard at the sore places of those who have power and sell it to rob the people. His hatred of that sort of thing burns with perpetual ardor, but does not carry with it a vengeful personal temper. He forgives heartily the man he has thrust aside or knocked down. General MacArthur spoke officially of "the splendid ferocity" of his soldiers in a combat with the Filipinos, but he did not want any more Filipinos hurt than were sufficient to make them understand the race the little brown men called the "Big North Americans."
Roosevelt carries into public warfare this "ferocity," with like limitations, and his desire to see the "Big North Americans" win is a grand and ceaseless passion. We do not hear from Washington that there are personal enemies that the President desires to damage. There has been but a mere shadowy gossip, as to one case, and in that there have been personal considerations manifest and courtesies, showing that if there was an estrangement it was formal and on public account, and permitting personally of pleasing and not perfunctory civility.
We hear frequently of the President's friends, of his attachment to old hunters and soldiers. Perhaps there were altogether half a dozen cases of the Rough Rider regiment, who offended and were reprimanded, and with these exceptions, a thousand men are friends of the first class. Roosevelt knows the boys who were in the mud and thorn bushes of Santiago, as far as he sees them, and gives them a "view hello" that does them good, and the occasional encounters he has of the kind, yield him delight; and when he says, "By George, I am glad to see you," he means it and gives and takes pleasure.
Two Rough Riders hove in sight, in the midst of a glowing and rolling sea of people at Toledo, Ohio, as he was on the way from the far West "strenuous" tour, in the Presidential campaign of 1900. He saw afar the faces of the two shining welcome, and the procession, several miles long, had to stop while greetings were exchanged after the manner of plainsmen and the mountaineers; and when the multitude were told "Teddy" was talking with some Santiago comrades, there were ninety-nine cheers for everybody.
An example of the good-fellowship of the President at a banquet, occurred when the Union League New York Club banqueted Ambassador Choate, February 17, 1899, and Governor Roosevelt made the quaint observation that "when our host spoke with such just eulogy of the Anglo-Saxon race, I could not help turning to Mr. Cockran and asking him, in our joint behalf, where the Dutch and Irish come in."
He said, too, that he knew when our Ambassador (Choate) was in England, he would remember "not only the facts that have been put before you in the magnificent oratory of Mr. Cockran to-night, but one other fact that Mr. Cockran forgot. Mr. Cockran did well," Mr. Roosevelt said, "to dwell upon the place that had been won by the great qualities of the English-speaking peoples; did well to dwell upon how much we have owed to the feats of the great captains of industry, to the feats of the men of letters, of the men of law. But the Ambassador will also remember how much has been owing to the men who carried the sword; and the Ambassador will go to England holding his head the higher, not only because he goes from a land that has won such triumphs of peace; not only because he goes from a land that has added to the reputation of the jurists of the world, because it has produced men like himself; that has added to the oratory of the world by the presence in it of men like yourself, Mr. Cockran; but he will go holding his head the higher because Dewey's guns thundered at Manila and the Spanish ships were sunk off Santiago Bay! All honor to the men of peace; and also all honor to the race that has shown that besides the men of peace, it can in time of need bring forth men who are mighty in battle, to better our state or social life, in effort to make our politics more honest, more straightforward, more representative of the best hope and thought of the community, in which you have been able to count upon the generous and disinterested assistance of Mr. Choate. I, myself, know well what I owe to Mr. Choate; and I know you will not think that I wander from our subject this evening when I say that I appreciate to the full the way in which both Mr. Choate and Mr. Root have helped me when I have needed to draw upon all that I could draw upon in the way of intelligence and disinterested interest in the public good. It is a peculiar pleasure to see a man who has served the State so disinterestedly, with such genuine ability and without the least idea of reward in the way of office, chosen to fill one of the most honorable offices in the land, not because he has sought it (for it came to him before he had a chance to seek it) but because of the sentiment of the people that they wished at this time to be represented by one of those men who make all of us proud of being Americans. And we may well feel satisfied, not merely with having Mr. Choate as Ambassador, but with the political conditions which have rendered it possible, in choosing the man who should represent us to a country with which we have the closest and most intimate ties of blood and of friendship, to pay heed solely to the eminent fitness of the man himself, and to the worth of the spirit which he has so nobly represented."
Whatever appears in the failure of municipalities to have good government in New York, and however great the profligacy with which the affairs of cities are administered, the State is liberal in caring for and publishing the documents that are the official history of the State, now more populous and powerful, and far more prosperous, than were all the original States.
Theodore Roosevelt, when Governor of New York, presided over twice as many people as lived in the Union in the days of Washington, and took pains with these public papers. They are numerous, touching a surprising variety of subjects, and he estimated highly the thorough and perfect preservation of his record. There is much in his public papers that is pertinent; but the reasons given for the action of the Governor, or his refusal to act in many cases, bring us continually in contact with the Chief Executive of the State, and no question arose in association with which he had any duty to perform, that he did not take heartily in hand; and he strove, as a public officer has seldom striven, to ascertain the views of all the people, as to the course of his Administration, especially those he knew to be disinterested, save in the public good, and there never has been a Governor of New York, perhaps none of any of the States, who so laboriously called tor information from all sources. His appointments of Commissions of Investigation were remarkable for the character of the men he summoned, and the ardor with which he inspired them to ascertain all the facts and to recommend action upon them, according to the evidence they were able to obtain. When he had been five months Governor, in a speech to the Civic Club, New York City, he made an appeal for help from those who could give it, for "good advice," saying he wished the people could understand how much he needed it, and how strongly he desired to be advised "on difficult bills," such as were continually coming to him from the Legislature.
In the work of providing for competent investigation, and getting advice from good citizens, irrespective of party, Governor Roosevelt was indefatigable. He made an extraordinarily close approach to coming to an understanding with the people. They had the immense advantage of knowing all the time exactly what he wanted, he made no reservations; he was glad to get the whole truth, let it help or hurt whom it might. That is his political policy.
At the Lincoln Club Dinner, in New York City, February 13, 1899, Governor Roosevelt responded to the toast, "The State of New York." He opened by addressing "Mr. President, or at least, Mr. Senator for the present." He recalled that just one year before, three days before the Maine was blown up, he had spoken before the same club, and the year had given a chance "for America to win honor undying, through the soldiers by sea and land." He had a communication to make about a work of charity, for there seemed to be a stormy period right ahead, and there was a great shortage of food and coal, and he wanted all that could be done to relieve the distress in an organized way should be done, and he wanted the municipal authorities to know that the State authorities would do all they could to aid individual charitable efforts. He had gone, he said, a little outside his authority, and added, "If I need any backing, I know I can count on the Legislature for it." "If one sat beside the Senator," he said, "he was certain to meet some new issue," for "(.he Senator has the happiest of gifts, the capacity to say and to do the right thing at the right moment." As for himself, the Governor said, he had tried, so far as in him lay, to keep every promise made on the stump or off the stump, during or prior to the last campaign, which was when he was elected Governor, and to leave behind him all the divisions, if there were any, of the Republican party. The war the last year was one of the most righteous of modern times, and brought to a triumphant conclusion.
The Governor said:
"I am glad to feel, when I am speaking to the Republican Club, that I can take for my text to-night the admirable speech delivered in the Senate of the United States by the Republican Senator from the State of New York, Senator Thomas C. Piatt, in support of the ratification of the treaty—a speech admirable in temper and in tone, in which all of us as Republicans may take pride; a speech, also, which set forth in the broadest spirit the reasons why all patriotic Americans should desire the ratification of the treaty, no matter what their views might be as to the question of expansion in the abstract. But, indeed, in this matter, while we must shape our national course as a whole in accordance with a well settled policy, we must meet such an exigency as it arises in a spirit of wise patriotism. No sensible man will advocate our plunging rashly into a course of international knight errantry; none will advocate our setting deliberately to work to build up a great colonial empire. But neither will any brave and patriotic man bid us shrink from doing our duty merely because this duty involves the certainty of strenuous effort and the possibility of danger. Some men of high reputation, from high motives, have opposed the ratification of the treaty just as they had previously opposed the war; just as some other