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218   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

reasons did he wish to be elected in his own right, but because, as was the case in former days when he wished to be renominated governor of New York State, he had again initiated many reforms, and had made many appointments, and he wished to carry those reforms into effect and to back up those appointments with his own helpfulness and prestige.

When we parted in Philadelphia, I to return to my home in Orange and he to go on to meet this vital moment of his career, I remember feeling a poignant anxiety about the result of the election, and it can well be understood the joy I felt that evening when the returns proved him overwhelmingly successful at the polls. Late at night, we received a telegram from the White House directed to Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Robinson in answer to our wire sent earlier in the evening. It ran as follows: "Was glad to hear from you. Only wish you were with us this evening." The next morning I received a letter, only a few lines but infinitely characteristic. They were penned by my brother upon his arrival at the White House after we had parted in Philadelphia, some hours before he knew anything of the election returns. In this letter he describes his sudden reaction from the condition of nervous excitement from which he had suffered during the day. He says: "As I mounted the White House steps, Edith came to meet me at the door, and I suddenly realized that, after all, no matter what the outcome of the election should prove to be, my happiness was assured, even though my ambition to have the seal of approval put upon my administration might not be gratified,-for my life with Edith and my children constitutes my happiness." This little note posted to me on the eve of his great victory showed clearly his sense of proportion and his conception of true values.

On November rr, 1904, he writes again: "Darling Corinne: I received your letter. I have literally but one moment in which to respond, for I am swamped with letters and telegrams. We have received between eight and ten thousand. I look forward with keen eagerness to seeing you and Douglas."

Home Life in the White House 219

jAnd so the crucial moment was over, and by a greater maority than had ever before been known in this country, the man of destiny had come into his own, and Theodore Roosevelt, acclaimed by all the people whom he had served so faithfully, was, in his own right and through no sad misfortune, President of the United States of America.

Almost immediately after the excitement of the election, namely, on November 12, 1904, my brother writes to my husband: "If you and Corinne could come on with us to the St. Louis Fair, it would be the greatest possible delight. Now, for Heaven's sake, don't let anything interfere with both of your coming

Needless to say, we accepted the invitation joyfully, and the trip to the St. Louis Fair was one of our most unique experiences. Coming as it did almost immediately after the great victory of his overwhelming election, wherever the train stopped he received a tremendous ovation, and my memory of him during the transit is equally one of cheering groups and swarming delegations.

In spite of the noise and general excitement, whenever he had a spare moment of quiet, I noticed that he always returned to his own special seat in a corner of the car, and became at once completely absorbed in two large volumes which were always ready on his chair for him. The rest of us would read irrelevantly, perhaps, talk equally irrelevantly, and the hours sped past; but my brother, when he was not actually receiving delegations or making an occasional impromptu speech at the rear end of the car to the patient, waiting groups who longed to show him their devotion, would return in the most detached and focussed manner to the books in which he absorbed himself.

Our two days at St. Louis were the type of days only led by a presidential party at a fair. Before experiencing them I had thought it would be rather "grand" to be a President's sister, with the aforesaid President when he opened a great fair. "Grand"

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