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CHAPTER XXVI

CoNTINUING THE WoRK BEGUN BY PRESIDENT McKINLEY — THE PANAMA CANAL AGITATION.—VISIT OF PRINCE HENRY OF PRUSSIA – THE PRESIDENT AT THE CHARLESTON Exposition

PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT had said he would continue the policy inaugurated by President McKinley, and one of the important steps in this direction was to appoint many to office who had been expecting appointment at the hands of the martyred President. This gained him many friends, and soon some who had kept themselves at a distance flocked around, to aid him in every possible Isla,Inner.

Late in September the last of the McKinley effects were taken from the White House, and some days later the newly made President moved in, with his family, who had come down from the Adirondacks some time previous. In Washington the family were joined by Mr. Roosevelt's two brothersin-law, Commander Wm. Sheffield Cowles and Mr. Douglas Robinson, and their wives, and the relatives remained together for some days. It was at first feared by some politicians that President Roosevelt would be what is termed a “sectional President,”—that is, that he would favor one section of our country to the exclusion of the others, but he soon proved that he was altogether too noble for such baseness. “I am going to be President of the whole United States,” he said. “I don’t care for sections or sectional lines. I was born in the North, but my mother was from the South, and I have spent much of my time in the West, so I think I can fairly represent the whole country.” President Roosevelt sympathized deeply with the condition of the negroes in the South, and for the purpose of learning the true state of affairs sent for Mr. Booker T. Washington, one of the foremost colored men of this country and founder of the Tuskegee Industrial School for Colored People. They had a long conference at the White House, which Mr. Washington enjoyed very much. For this action many

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criticised the President severely, but to this he paid no attention, satisfied that he had done his duty as his conscience dictated. President Roosevelt's first message to Congress was awaited with considerable interest. It was remembered that he was the youngest Executive our White House had ever known, and many were curious to know what he would say and what he proposed to do. The Fifty-seventh Congress of the United States assembled at Washington, December 2, 1901, and on the day following, President Roosevelt's first annual message was read in both Senate and House of Representatives. It proved to be a surprisingly long and strong state paper, and by many was considered one of the best messages sent to Congress in many years. It touched upon general conditions in our country, spoke for improvements in the army and the navy, called for closer attention to civil service reform, for a correction of the faults in the post-office system, and for a clean administration in the Philippines, Hawaii, and Porto Rico. It spoke of several great needs of the government, and added that the Gold

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