« PreviousContinue »
and the Finance Club. In his senior year he became a member of the Porcellian Club, the Hasty Pudding, and the Alpha Delta Phi Club, and also one of the editors of a college paper called the Advocate. On Sundays he taught a class of boys, first in a mission school, and then in a Congregational Sunday school. It was a life full of planning, full of study, and full of work, and it suited Theodore Roosevelt to the last degree.
As he grew older his love of natural history was supplemented by a love for the history of nations, and particularly by a love of the history of his own country. The war of 1812 interested him intensely, and before he graduated he laid plans for writing a history of this war, which should go into all the details of the memorable naval conflicts.
It was while in his third year at Harvard that Theodore Roosevelt suffered the first heavy affliction of his life. On February 9, 1878, his father died. It was a cruel blow to the family, and one from which the faithful wife scarcely recovered. The son at Harvard felt his loss greatly, and it was some time before he felt able to resume his studies. The elder Roosevelt’s work as a philanthropist was well known, and many gathered at his bier to do him honor, while the public journals were filled with eulogies of the man. The poor mourned bitterly that he was gone, and even the newsboys were filled with regret over his taking away. In speaking of his parent, President Roosevelt once said: “I can remember seeing him going down Broadway, staid and respectable business man that he was, with a . poor sick kitten in his coat pocket, which he had picked up in the street.” Such a man could not but have a heart overflowing with goodness. While at college Theodore Roosevelt often showed that self-reliance for which he has since become famous. To every study that he took up he applied himself closely, and if he was not at the head of the class, he was by no means near the foot. When he was sure of a thing, no amount of argument could convince him that he was wrong, and he did not hesitate at times to enter into a discussion even with some of the professors over him. Although a close student, and also a good all-round athlete, Theodore Roosevelt did
not forget his social opportunities. Boston was but a short distance from his rooms in Cambridge, and thither he often went to visit the people he had met or to whom he had letters of introduction. He was always welcome, for his manner was a winning one, and he usually had something to tell that was of interest—something of what he had seen or done, of the next foot-ball or base-ball game, of the coming boat races, of his driving or exploring, or of how he had added a new stuffed bird to his collection, or a new lizard, and of how a far-away friend had sent him a big turtle as a souvenir of an ocean trip in the South Seas. There is a story that this big turtle got loose one night and alarmed the entire household by crawling through the hallway, looking for a pond or mud-hole in which to wallow. At first the turtle was mistaken for a burglar, but he soon revealed himself by his angry snapping, and it was hard work making him a prisoner once In Ore.
MARRIES MIss ALICE LEE – TRAVELS IN EUROPE— BoLD MoUNTAIN-CLIMBING — STUDYING LAW IN NEw York — ELECTED TO THE ASSEMBLY — PERsoNAL ENCOUNTER WITH THE ENEMY
IT was a proud and happy day for Theodore Roosevelt when, in the summer of 1880, he was graduated from Harvard. He took scholarly as well as Social honors, and came forth a Phi Beta Kappa man. His fellowstudents wished him well, and his family greeted him most affectionately.
Yet with it all there was just a bit of melancholy in this breaking away from a place that had been as a second home to him for four long years. The students were scattering to the four points of the compass, and he might never see some of them again. But others were there whom he was to meet later, and who were destined to march under him up the bullet-swept slopes of San Juan in far-away Cuba. But at that time there was no thought of war and carnage,