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i 6o   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

the tears streaming down his face but with a smile in his blue Irish eyes, and said: "Do you remember the fun of him, Mrs. Robinson? It was not only that he was a great man, but oh, there was such fun in being led by him. I remember one day when he was governor, and I was in charge of him, and I was riding by the side of his carriage down Madison Avenue, and he suddenly stuck his head out of the window and, 'Burke,' said he, `we are just going to pass my sister's house. I want to get out and say "how do you do" to my sister.' `I don't think you have time, governor,' I said, `I am afraid you are late now.' `Oh, now, Burke, I want you to meet my sister. Get somebody to hold your horse,' he said; `it won't take a minute.' And with that he leaped out of his carriage and was ringing the front doorbell in a flash. I followed him and I heard him call out to you, Mrs. Robinson, that he had his friend Lieut. Burke with him, and could he bring him up-stairs to shake hands, and sure enough he did, and when I went down-stairs again I heard him telling you some story, and the two of you were laughing fit to kill. When I got back that night to my wife, I said: `Susan, if you are ever downhearted, all you have to do is to go up to 422 Madison Avenue when the governor stops to see his sister, and hear them laugh.' "

The commissionership was a big job well done, and the city of New York could not but feel a sense of great regret when President McKinley promoted the active young commissioner to be assistant secretary of the navy in 1897. It was his pride and one of his greatest satisfactions in later years to feel that he was instrumental in preparing our navy for the war with Spain. For many years he had been convinced that the Spanish rule in Cuba should not continue; and the condition in Cuba, he felt, was too intertwined with the affairs of the United States to be differentiated from them. In the days of President Cleveland, my brother had felt that action should be taken, and in the same way he was convinced that Mr. McKinley was only putting off the evil day by not facing the situation earlier in his incumbency.

Two Recreant New York Policemen 161

As was the case in almost every crisis which arose, either national or international, during my brother's life, he seemed to have a prescience of the future, and, therefore, he almost invariably-sometimes before other public men were awake to the contingency-sensed the need of taking steps to avert or meet difficulties which he felt sure would soon have to be faced.

The young assistant secretary of the navy was not very popular with the administration on account of the views which he felt it his duty honestly to express. On March 6, 1898, he writes to my husband: "Neither I nor anyone else, not even the President can do more than guess. We are certainly drifting towards and not away from war, but the President will not make war, and will keep out of it if he possibly can. Nevertheless, with so much loose powder around, a coal may hop into it at any moment. In a week or two, I believe, we shall get that report. If it says the explosion was due to outside work, it will be very hard to hold the country. [He refers to the blowing up of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor.] But the President undoubtedly will try peaceful means even then, at least, at first."

At the time of the writing of that letter, Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt had been very ill and was still very delicate, and my brother had not only the many worries of the department in which he was working, as he himself puts it, "like a fiend, for we have serious matters ahead," but he also had the great anxiety of her condition on his heart. On the 28th of March: "I have been working up to the handle here, and have about all I can do on hand now. I have very strong convictions on this crisis, convictions which, I fear, do not commend themselves to my official superiors." And again on April 2, 1898, he writes in full to my husband, who was always one of his most welcome advisers:

DEAR OLD MAN:   Navy Department, April 2, 1888.

In one way I was very much pleased at receiving your letter, for it shows the thoughtfulness and affection you always feel

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