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went away, some pelted him with flowers, which bombardment he took in good part.
President Roosevelt's visit to Leland Stanford Jr. University in California came next, and here the students cheered him with vigor. He visited many of the more important buildings, and was entertained by members of the faculty.
His face was now set toward the Golden Gate, and San Francisco was all alive to give him an ovation. It was his first official visit to the Pacific coast, and all whom he met vied with each other to do him honor, while they listened with great attention to what he had to say.
Three days were spent in San Francisco and vicinity, and three days more in a tour of the Yosemite Valley. President Roosevelt was particularly anxious to see some of the big trees of the State, and was driven to several that are well known.
The steps of the Chief Magistrate were now turned northward, to Oregon, and a week was spent at Portland, and in the towns and cities of the Puget Sound territory, and beyond. Here he saw much that was new and novel in the lumber trade and
in the salmon industry, and was received with a warmth that could not be mistaken.
“ He is a President for the whole country, no mistake about that,” said more than one.
“He makes you feel he is your friend the minute you lay eyes on him," would put in another. To many in this far corner of our country, this visit of the President will ever remain as a pleasant memory. They could never hope to get to Washington, more than three thousand miles away, and to have him come out to see them was worth remembering.
The journey eastward was made through Montana to Salt Lake City and then to Cheyenne, where additional addresses were delivered. From the latter point a fast train bore him homeward, and by the next Sunday he was back in the White House once more, as fresh and hearty as ever, and well prepared to undertake whatever important work might come to hand.
And work was there in plenty. Among the first things taken up by the President was a scandal in the Post-Office Department. Without loss of time President Roosevelt ordered Postmaster General Payne to make
a thorough investigation, with the result that many contracts which were harmful to our post-office system were annulled, and some wrong-doers were brought to justice.
Toward the end of July there was considerable disturbance in the Government Printing Office at Washington because a certain assistant foreman, who had been discharged, was reinstated. All of the bookbinders were on the point of striking because they did not want the man returned, as he did not belong to their union. But President Roosevelt was firm in the matter; and in the end the man went back, and there was no strike. This affair caused an almost endless discussion in labor circles, some claiming that the union should have been upheld, while others thought differently.
During the summer, as was his usual habit, President Roosevelt, with his family, spent part of his time at his country home at Oyster Bay. This time the visit to the old homestead was of unusual interest, for, on August 17, the North Atlantic Fleet of the navy visited that vicinity, for review and inspection by the President.
It was a gala occasion, and the fleet pre
sented a handsome appearance as it filed past and thundered out a Presidential salute. Many distinguished guests were present, and all without exception spoke of the steady improvement in our navy as a whole. President Roosevelt was equally enthusiastic, and well he might be, for he had used every means in his power to make our navy all it should be.
Late in September President Roosevelt returned to Washington, and on October 15 delivered the principal address at the unveiling of a statue of that grand military hero, General Sherman.
Here once more he was listened to with tremendous interest, delivering a speech that was patriotic to the core and full of inspiration.
For some time past matters in Colombia had been in a very mixed-up condition. The United States were willing to take hold of the Panama Canal, as already mentioned, but although a treaty had been made to that effect, the Colombian government would not ratify the agreement.
On November 3, the trouble in Colombia reached its culminating point. On that day the State of Panama declared itself free
and independent. The people of that State wanted the canal built by the United States, and were very angry when the rest of the Colombian States would not agree to the treaty which had been made.
At once there were strong rumors of war, and a few slight attacks were really made. The United States forbade the transportation of soldiers on the Panama railroad, and a few days later recognized Panama as an independent republic. The new republic was likewise recognized by France, and, later still, by England. On November 9, Panama appointed a commission to negotiate a canal treaty with our country, and this treaty was signed and sealed at Washington by Secretary of State Hay, acting for the United States, and M. Bunau-Varilla, acting for Panama.
The President's next message to Congress went at great length into the question of the Panama Canal, and in defence of the recognition of the new republic. It also told of what the new Department of Commerce and Labor had accomplished, especially the branch devoted to corporations.
66 We need not be over-sensitive about the