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298   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

of his fellow citizens, and as the time approached for the Republican Convention of 1916, feelings of all kinds waxed almost as hot as in those thrilling days of 1912. In fact, in many ways, there was even a greater excitement in the hearts of the more valiant Americans, who believed that the time was already ripe to make the world safe for democracy. These more valiant Americans also believed that the man most fitted to aid in making the world thus safe was Theodore Roosevelt. On the other hand, the stand-pat Republicans were still smarting from what they considered, I think unjustly, his betrayal of them, and they were not ready to enroll themselves under his banner. The Progressives, on the other hand, were equally opposed to any compromise, and when the great convention met in Chicago, peace between the contending factions seemed an illusive and unattainable ideal, and so it proved. Those were days of tragic excitement in the great auditorium, where sat, tied hand and foot, what seemed to be a mercenary army, so little did true patriotism appear to actuate the delegates to that important congregation of individuals. On the other hand, near by, in a smaller hall, the almost fanatic enthusiasm for the much higher ideal was also to make itself a party to the defeat of its own object, although at that moment of honest and high-minded enthusiasm it could hardly be blamed for any attitude born of that enthusiasm.

Again the battle raged, and again the personality of Theodore Roosevelt became the deciding factor. Conferees were chosen by both the Republican Convention and the Progressive Convention, but they could not find a common ground upon which to agree, and that fateful week in early June ended with the nomination of Charles E. Hughes by the Republican Convention, and, against his wish, with the nomination of my brother on the Progressive ticket. Perhaps there was never a more dramatic moment, a moment of more heartfelt disappointment, than when the convention of the Progressive party received the statement brought to it by John McGrath, secretary

Whisperings of War   299

of Colonel Roosevelt, which ran as follows (I quote from a contemporary newspaper in Chicago)

"Announcement was made here this afternoon at 4:50 o'clock that Roosevelt has refused to accept the Progressive nomination for President.

"Colonel Roosevelt's statement was brought to the convention by John McGrath, his secretary. It follows:

" `To the Progressive Convention: I am very grateful for the honor you confer upon me by nominating me as President. I cannot accept it at this time. I do not know the attitude of the candidate of the Republican party toward the vital questions of the day. Therefore, if you desire an immediate decision, I must decline the nomination. But if you prefer it, I suggest that my conditional refusal to run be placed in the hands of the Progressive National Committee.

" `If Mr. Hughes' statements, when he makes them, shall satisfy the committee that it is for the interest of the country that he be elected, they can act accordingly and treat my refusal as definitely accepted. If they are not satisfied they can so notify the Progressive party, and at the same time, they can confer with me and then determine on whatever action we may severally deem appropriate to meet the needs of the country.'

" `I move,' said James R. Garfield, `that the letter of Colonel Roosevelt be received in the spirit in which it is meant, and that it be referred to the National Committee, with power to act thereon.'

"The motion was carried, and at 5 P. M. the Progressive Convention, the liveliest in the history of politics, came to an end with the playing of the national air."

The closing scenes of the Republican Convention were as cold and as unemotional as was the reverse in the body sitting in the other hall, so close at hand. I, myself, went from one spot to the other, torn with conflicting emotions. In the Republican Convention there had been no enthusiasm whatsoever for any candidate up to the moment when Senator Fall, of New


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