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126   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

game out on a lone hand. I am by inheritance and by education a Republican. Whatever good I have been able to accomplish in public life has been accomplished through the Republican party. I have acted with it in the past and wish to act with it in the future. I went as a regular delegate to the Chicago Convention and intend to abide by the outcome of that Convention. I am going back in a day or two to my Western ranch as I do not intend to take any part in a campaign this Fall."' [This determination not to take part in the campaign he recalled later, for reasons which were eminently characteristic.]

" ` When I started out to my ranch two months ago,' he said in October, `I had no intention of taking any part whatever in the Presidential canvass, and the decision I have now come to is the result of revolving the matter in my mind during that time. It is altogether contrary to my character to keep a neutral position in so important and exciting a struggle, and besides any natural struggle to keep a position of some kind, I made up my mind that it was clearly my duty to support the ticket."'

He faced the storm of disapproval and abuse calmly, and in reply to an open letter of regret and remonstrance from an Independent, he wrote: "I thank you for your good opinion of my past service. My power, if I ever had any, may or may not be as utterly gone as you think, but most certainly, it would deserve to go if I yield any more to the pressure of the Independents at present, when I consider them to be wrong, than I yielded in the past to the pressure of the machine when I thought it wrong." He declined a renomination for the assembly, which he could have had without opposition, and two separate offers of nominations for Congress, on the ground that his private interests, which he had neglected during his service in the legislature, required his attention.

His courageous attitude in connection with the disapproval of the Independents was indeed characteristic. He was invariably willing to run the risk of the disapproval of any faction when he had positively made up his own mind as to the right

The Young Reformer   127

or wrong of any question, and he set his mind and heart upon

those "private interests" of which he speaks.

In a later chapter I give several of his letters of this period

in connection with a trip which he arranged for the members of

his family to the Elkhorn Ranch and the Yellowstone Park in

1890. All his craving for the out-of-door life, all his sympathy

with pioneer enterprise, such as his heroes Daniel Boone and

Davy Crockett had indulged in, were satisfied by those long days on the open prairies, and by the building of his ranch-houses with the assistance of his old friends, Bill Sewall and Will Dow, the two stanch Maine lumbermen, uncle and nephew, with whom he had made many an excursion in the Maine woods in earlier days. Theodore Roosevelt, however, was not to be allowed by his country to remain too long the rider and dreamer under cottonwood-trees, or even a potent influence for good in Western affairs, as he became. Already rumors were abroad that he would be the choice of the Republican party for the nominee for mayor of New York City, and he was recalled from the wilds of North Dakota to a stirring triangular campaign in which Henry George, representing "Single Tax" beliefs, Abraham S. Hewitt, Democratic nominee, and the young ranchman from Dakota battled lustily against each other, with the result that Mr. Hewitt was elected mayor of New York.

In the autumn of 1886 he sailed for Europe to marry his old friend Edith Carow, and for a brief period led a life of leisure and travel. Only very rarely in his busy existence had he time for just that life again, and the consequence is that some of his letters at that period have an unusual value. He humorously described some of his travels in Italy in a letter dated December, 1886, as follows: "My lack of knowledge of the language has given me some soul-harrowing moments, -a mixture of broken English with German and French proving but an indifferent substitute for Italian, so I sometimes get what I do not want, as when yesterday, an effort to state that after dinner we wished only black coffee, expressed with deprecatory waves

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