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their memory. Whatever may be my fate, wherever my steps may lead, my heart will always burn with increasing admiration for your courage in action, your fortitude under privation, and your constant devotion to duty in its highest sense, whether in battle, in bivouac, or upon the march.'
The fame of Roosevelt's Rough Riders had given their organizer and leader a popularity in the United States second only to that of Admiral Dewey, and for some time before he returned to New York he had been put forward prominently as a candidate for the Governorship of that State on the Republican ticket. Governor Frank S. Black had been elected by an enormous plurality two years previously, and according to all traditions should have been renominated. He was set aside, however, for the new hero, and in the convention at Saratoga held September 27, 1898, Colonel Roosevelt was nominated with great enthusiasm. The friends of Governor
Black had fought bitterly as long as there seemed a chance for success. The charge was made that Colonel Roosevelt was ineligible for the nomination, as he had relinquished his residence in New York when he went to Washington to enter the Navy Department. The leading politicians were opposed to Colonel Roosevelt for other reasons than those of precedent which they offered as an argument for their support of Governor Black. They had not forgotten the ways of the young man who overturned so many precedents on his entrance to the assembly nearly twenty years before, the tenacity with which he had held to his principles when in the Civil Service Commission, nor the quiet firmness with which he had refused to obey the demands of party leaders while he was president of the Police Board. He was not the man politicians were seeking. In fact they would have rejoiced had he found ranch life so fascinating that he could not have given it up at all. He was no more entertaining as a writer of wild adventure on the frontier than as an actor in the political arena; but the entertainment was of a different sort and the men who were serving their country for their own good liked the dashing colonel
far better as a hero at a distance than as a reformer in their assemblies. But the people had decided to have Colonel Roosevelt for their next Governor and the delegates to the convention did not dare deny them.
Senator Horace White, of Syracuse, was chairman of the convention in which Colonel Roosevelt was nominated. Judge J. R. Cady, of Hudson, nominated Governor Black, and the Hon. Chauncey M. Depew presented the name of Colonel Roosevelt in the following speech:
DEPEW'S SPEECH NOMINATING ROOSEVELT.
“Gentlemen: Not since 1863 has the Republican party met in convention when the conditions of the country were so interesting or so critical. Then the emancipation proclamation of President Lincoln, giving freedom and citizenship to four millions of slaves brought about a revolution in the internal policy of our Government which seemed to multitudes of patriotic men full of the gravest dangers to the Republic. The effect of the situation was the sudden and violent sundering of the ties which bound the present to the past and the future. New problems were precipitated upon our statesmen to solve, which were not to be found in the text
books of the schools, nor in the manuals of traditions of Congress. The one courageous, constructive part which our politics has known for half a century solved those problems so successfully that the regenerated and disenthralled republic has grown and prospered under its new birth of liberty beyond all precedent and every prediction.
“Now, as then, the unexpected has happened. The wildest dream ever born of the imagination of the most optimistic believer in our destiny could not foresee when McKinley was elected two years ago the on-rushing torrent of events of the past three months. We are either to be submerged by this break in the dikes erected by Washington about our Government, or we are to find by the wise utilization of the conditions forced upon us how to be safer and stronger within our old boundaries, and to add incalculably to American enterprise and opportunity by becoming master of the sea, and entering with the surplus of our manufactures the markets of the world. We cannot retreat or hide. We must ride the waves and direct the storm.' A war has been fought and won, and vast possessions, near and far away, have been acquired. In the