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It is said that Abraham Lincoln not only chopped wood for a living, but that he rather enjoyed the outdoor exercise. Be that as it may, it remains a fact that Mr. Roosevelt frequently goes forth into the woods on his estate to fell a tree, or split one up, just for the exercise thus afforded. This he did while he was governor of New York, and once astonished some newspaper men who had come to see him on business by the dexterity with which he cut a large tree trunk in two. He even invited his visitors to “take a hack at it’’ themselves, but they respectfully declined.
He still kept up his athletic exercise, and one of his favorite amusements was to go on long horseback rides, either alone, or with some relative or friend. At other times he would go deep into the woods with his young sons, showing them how to bring down the nuts from the trees, or how to use their guns on any small game that chanced to show itself. His family life was then, as it has always been, a happy one; but of this let us speak later.
GREAT RECEPTION To ADMIRAL DEwFY — Gover Nor Roos EveLT's INCREASED PopULARITY — LAST ANNUAL 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 bunting 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.