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In His Own Words: Election Day

Nov 05, 2013

Theodore Roosevelt's first term as president was thrust upon him in contrast to his second term, which he sought. As the 1904 presidential election was his first, one can imagine the trepidation with which he looked forward to Election Day. In the following passage, Theodore Roosevelt relates to his son, Kermit, his actions and emotions the night of the 1904 presidential election.

“On the evening of the election I got back from Oyster Bay, where I had voted, soon after half-past six. At that time I knew nothing of the returns and did not expect to find out anything definite for two or three hours; and had been endeavoring not to think of the result, but to school myself to accept it as a man ought to, whichever way it went. But as soon as I got in the White House Ted met me with the news that Buffalo and Rochester had sent in their returns already and that they showed enormous gains for me. Within the next twenty minutes enough returns were received from precincts and districts in Chicago, Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts to make it evident that there was a tremendous drift my way, and by the time we sat down to dinner at half-past seven my election was assured. Mrs. Cortelyou was with us at dinner, just as interested and excited as we were. Right after dinner members of the Cabinet and friends began to come in, and we had a celebration that would have been perfect if only you had been present. Archie, fairly plastered with badges, was acting as messenger between the telegraph operators and me, and brining me continually telegram after telegram which I read aloud. I longed for you very much, as all of us did, for of course this was the day of greatest triumph I ever had had or ever could have, and I was very proud and happy. But I tell you, Kermit, it was a great comfort to feel, all during the last days when affairs looked doubtful, that no matter how things came out the really important thing was the lovely life I have with mother and with you children, and that compared to this home life everything else was of very small importance from the standpoint of happiness.”

Posted by Grant Carlson on Nov 05, 2013 in History  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)  |  Share this post

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