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not think of refusing, and he and Mrs. Roosevelt visited the exposition early in April. It was a gala day at Charleston, and the President and Mrs. Roosevelt were received with every honor due their rank, and with great personal consideration. Governor McSweeney of the state was assisted by Governor Aycock, of North Carolina, in receiving President Roosevelt. A stirring patriotic speech was made by the President during his visit, and a feature of the trip was the presentation of a sword to Major Micah Jenkins of the Rough Riders. A great number of President Roosevelt's former troopers were present, and all were glad, as of old, to crowd around and take him by the hand.
DESTRUCTION OF ST. PIERRE – AMERICAN AID — THE GREAT CoAL STRIKE – PRESIDENT RoosevelT ENDS THE DIFFICULTY — Tour THROUGH NEW ENGLAND — THE TROLLEY ACCIDENT IN THE BERKSHIRES — A PROVIDENTIAL ESCAPE FROM DEATH
DURING the summer of 1902 two matters of great importance occurred in which the whole people of our nation were deeply interested.
Early in May occurred tremendous volcanic eruptions on the islands of Martinique and St. Vincent. At the former island, Mont Pélée threw such a rain of fire upon the town of St. Pierre that the entire place, with about thirty thousand people, was wiped out of existence in a minute. At other points the eruptions were not so bad, yet hundreds lost their lives, and all of the islands of the Lesser Antilles were thrown into a state bordering upon panic.
It was felt that something must be done, and at once, for the sufferers, and a large fund for relief was gathered, of which the Americans contributed their full share. The volcanic disturbances continued for some time, and as it was thought they might also cover certain portions of Central America, nothing was done further concerning a canal to unite the two oceans. The other event of importance was the strike of thousands upon thousands of coal-miners, working in Pennsylvania and other states. The miners did not think they were being treated rightly and went out in a body, and for many weeks not a pound of coal of any kind was mined. This produced a double hardship, for people could get no coal either for the fall or winter, and the miners were, in some cases, reduced almost to the verge of starvation. Neither the workmen nor the operators of the mines would give in, and soon there was more or less violence, and some soldiers had to be called out in an effort to preserve order. As matters went from bad to worse, and it looked as if the entire eastern section of our country would have to go without coal for the winter, there were loud demands that the government take hold of the difficulty and settle the matter, if not in one way, then in another. At last, early in October, the whole country was aroused, for it was felt that with no coal a winter of untold suffering stared the people in the face. President Roosevelt held a conference at Washington with the mine operators and the representatives of the miners. “We must get together, gentlemen,” said he. “The country cannot do without coal, and you must supply it to us.” And he laid down the law in a manner not to be misunderstood. Another conference followed, and then a third, and at last the coal operators asked the President to appoint a Commission to decide upon the points in dispute. To this the representative of the mine workers agreed, and as a result a Commission was appointed by President Roosevelt, which was to settle all points in dispute, and by its decision each side was to abide. In the meantime, while the Commission was at work, the mine workers were to resume their labors. The mines were thereupon once more put in operation, after a strike lasting over five months. This is the greatest coal strike known in American history, and it is not likely that the people at large will ever again permit themselves to suffer for the want of coal as they did during that fall and the winter which followed. Early in June occurred the centennial celebration of the founding of the United States Military Academy at West Point. The occasion was made one of great interest, and among the many distinguished visitors were President Roosevelt and General Miles, head of our army at that time. The President reviewed the cadets and made a speech to them, complimenting them on their truly excellent showing as soldiers. Although very busy with matters of state, President Roosevelt received an urgent call to deliver a Fourth of July oration at Pittsburg. He consented, and spoke to a vast assemblage on the rights and duties of American citizens. To remain in Washington during the hot summer months was out of the question with President Roosevelt and his family,