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124   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

spring, when it came time to elect delegates to the Republican National Convention, he was, with the hearty approval of the great mass of his party, chosen as the chief of the four delegatesat-large from New York State. Mr. Joseph Bucklin Bishop gives in his history of "Theodore Roosevelt and His Time" a short account of that convention, of which I quote part:

"He went to the National Convention an avowed advocate of the nomination of Senator John F. Edmunds of Vermont as Republican Candidate for the Presidency in preference to James G. Blaine. The New York Times of June 4th, 1884, refers to him as the leader of the Younger Republicans, and says, `when he spoke, it was not the voice of a youth but the voice of a man, and a positive practical man."'

Mr. Bishop describes Mr. Roosevelt's efforts and the efforts of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge to secure the nomination of their choice, and then continues: "By the nomination of Mr. Blaine which followed later, Roosevelt was confronted with what, in many respects, was one of the most serious crises of his career. He had to decide which of the two courses he should choose; he must separate himself completely from his party and become an absolute Independent, or stay within his party and support its regularly appointed candidate. The nomination of Mr. Blaine had been fairly won. He was unquestionably the choice of the Convention. There was no claim that the will of the majority had been subverted either through the action of a committee on contested seats or in any other way. The problem before him was thus a quite different one from that presented to him twenty-eight years later in the National Republican Convention of 1912. In opposing the nomination of Mr. Blaine, he and his Republican Associates had been acting with a considerable body of Professional Independents. These men were without allegiance to either of the great political parties. Though he had been, during his brief public career, an avowed Republican, seeking to accomplish all his reforms through Republican aid and inside party lines, his Independent associates, as soon as

The Young Reformer   125

the Blaine nomination was made, assumed that he would leave his party and join them in seeking to accomplish Mr. Blaine's defeat by supporting the Democratic candidate. In fact, they not merely asked but demanded that he abandon the course which he had followed since his entry into political life and upon which he had built his public career. They were sincere in their belief that he should do so. It seemed incredible to them that he could do anything else. He gave them full credit for sincerity but declared that the question was one that he must insist upon deciding for himself.

"He admitted frankly that he had worked hard for the nomination of Edmunds but he declined to say at once what course he should pursue in regard to the nomination of Mr. Blaine. Various devices were used to force him to declare his intentions, some by Republican politicians and others by leading Independents, but all in vain. He insisted upon deciding the question for himself and in his own way and time. He went direct from the Convention in Chicago to his ranch in Dakota, and several weeks later put forth a formal statement in which he defined his decision as follows: `I intend to vote the Republican Presidential ticket. While at Chicago, I told Mr. Lodge that such was my intention but before announcing it, I wished to have time to think the matter over. A man cannot act both without and within the party; he can do either, but he cannot possibly do both. Each course has its advantages and each has its disadvantages, and one cannot take the advantages or the disadvantages separately. I went in with my eyes open to do what I could within the party. I did my best and got beaten, and I propose to stand by the result. It is impossible to combine the functions of a guerilla chief with those of a colonel in the regular army; one has a greater independence of action, the other is able to make what action he does take vastly more effective. In certain contingencies, the one can do most good; in certain contingencies the other; but there is no use in accepting a commission and then trying to play the




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