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