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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (June 3, 1910)
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VOLUME 10,-NUMBEli 21
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teachers who are going back to tho States on a
Wo have only made one stop at Bahia
and that for a' few hours. Bahia is the oldest
Portuguese city in South America and was for
two centuries the capital of Brazil. We stayed
long enough to pay our respects to the ofllcials,
inspect the cocoa and rubber and get an im
pression of the city and its excellent harbor a
number of passengers supplied themselves with
parrots and monkeys there and we could equip
a good sized zoological garden with specimens
of birds and beasts. As the one big parrot which
I am bringing from Rio is quite enough for
' mo I contented myself with getting Bome wire
at Bahia and tho ship carpenter has fashioned
It into a very neat cage.
Wo passed the mouth of the Amazon eighty
miles from shore, but even though this is the
poriod of low water the turbid flood of this
great river had not entirely lost its color in the
Wo are near enough to Barbados, where I
leave the Verdi for a Venezuela boat to make
.it safe to praise tho weather. Neptune has been
.good to us. The sea has bqen calm and the
'theabrinhterOWOr8 nly mnde the sunlis
Wo crossed the Equator without accident.
otae declared they felt the ship lurch a little
As it went over but the captain assured them
ffiW Lampo l nd ?Iolt had. at groat expense,
depressed the Equator at this point so that the
longest ships can pass over it in safety. On the
way south the men who are crossing the Equator
for the first time are generally ducked in a tank
of salt water by order of Neptune.
' I have enjoyed the trip, the only drawback
being that I am alone, Mrs. Bryan and our
. daughter having- preceded me a couple of weeks
The traffic between the United States and the
east coast of South Amorica is growing. This
vessel increases the number of its passengers
each' trip and the patronage has led the com
... pny.vto put on a still larger stiip, the Vesori
which is now on her third trip south. When
the beauties of South America are known a
greater number of our people will And pleasure
and instruction in a winter's tour of South
Amorica. In . three months one can visit the
Isthmus, Peru, Bolivia, Chili, Argentina, Uru
quay and Brazil and come baclf as" I am coming,
impressed with the futufe of South America and
nnxioua that our nation shall devote more atten
tion t6 the south half of the western hemisphere.
W. J. BRYAN.
Roosevelt, T aft and the
An interesting story printed in the Kansas
City Post and written by its Washington corre
Washington, May 24. With "Roosevelt and
Insurgency" for a battle cry in the fight for
re-election next fall, the house progressives are
today planning to sweep Theodore Roosevelt
into the midst of the terrific campaign which
confronts them. Hitherto secret Information
on which the insurgents based their assurance
of Roosevelt's active support in the fight against
"Cannonism" became available today.
The situation revives an unpublished, report
made tb the insurgent organization in caucus
in March, 1909, by the insurgent educative com
mittee, Representatives Nelson, MSdison .and
Gardner, charged with the mission of obtaining
the indorsement of Roosevelt for the insurgent
policies, in those strenuous closing days of the
The following statements, incorporated in
that report, and known for over a year to every
house insurgent, are here made public for the
On March 2, 1909, Theodore Roosevelt pro
posed to give Representative Nelson, chairman
. of the insurgent executive committee, a letter "
Indorsing the' fight on Cannon and tho house
Ho expressed himself as thoroughly in sym
pathy with the progressive movement, particu
larly In the fight against Cannon, as he said:
"Cannon has been the greatest obstacle in the
way of my -efforts to secure good legislation for
the people of the country, throughout the seven
years of my administration."
On March 4, after spending the evening of
March 3 with President-elect Taft, he begged to
be excused from writing the letter. Asa ground
for his change of purpose, he said that from
conversations with Taft he was afraid such a
course would embarrass his successor.
One of the last acts of Roosevelt's administra
tion as he stood in the president's room in the
senate wing, was to take Representatives Gard
ner and Nelson by the hand, lead them over to
Taft. and plead with the president-elect to take
up the Insurgent cause.
"The Story of the Indorsement That was'
Never Given," was outlined to the insurgent
caucus by the executive committee as follows:
Representatives Nelson, Gardner and Madison
of the executive committee of 'the progressives'
caucus, were present to endeavor to secure Presi
dent Roosevelt's endorsement of the insurgent
attack on Cannon and. the rules projected by
the progressives to be made during the special
tariff session that convened March 15, 1909
They had arranged an appointment with
President Roosevelt for the afternoon of March
3. The eleventh hour of the Roosevelt adminis
tration was at hand and Roosevelt was moving
out of the White House. The executive offices
were in confusion. Clerks were rushing in and
out of the president's office and Roosevelt led
the insurgent committee into the old cabinet
Nelson, as chairman, of the committee, out
lined to the president the plan of attack on
Cannon and the rules, the object and chances
of success for the entire insurgent program and
asked Roosevelt to indorse officially the move
ment. Roosevelt raised himself in his chair
drew up one leg- beneath him in his favorite de
"Now, boys, let me think out loud."
Then for thirty minutes he proceeded to out
line his position in the impending legislative
struggle. He pointed out to himself and tho
insurgents that throughout his administration
Speaker Cannon and 'certain of his. followers in
the house had opposed measure after measure
that he advanced and advocated. He said in the
beginning that personally he was in sympathy
with the -insurgents and with what they were
trying to do. Pie paused for-a moment.
Then he continued, saying that . he. was now
getting out of the limelight, -that another, was
about to take up the reins and that the new
president might not like to have them taken
out of his" hands. ' f- .-,..-. .
Roosevelt declared that it seemed-td' him that
he would be encroaching on the prerogatives of
his successor if he publicly indorsed the insur
gents' movements, that he. had been dealing with
these" -things in his own way and that his suc
cessor would want to do the same without in
terference. Throughout the interview the only objection
Roosevelt made to a public declaration of his
sympathy with the progressive movement was
''the fact that his successor might be embarrassed.
"I don't want to seem, to interfere at all. I
"don't want to appear to seize the reins from the
hands of my successor," arid he' swept put his
hands in a suggestive gesture. "I'm like that
talkative New Bedford mate, whose captain told
him, 'What I want from you is silence, and lit
tle of that.' "
For one hour and a' half Roosevelt talked
over the quest of the insurgent and they out
lined their various projects. Repeatedly the
president evidenced his desire to aid their cause,
seeking only a way to do so that ;would. not leave
him open to the charge of interfering with Taft's
administration. . - ' .
Finally he. made this suggestion: He offered
to write a letter to Chairman Nelson of the' in
surgent committee indorsing the insurgent pro
gram. He told reminiscently of writing a Sim!-,
lar letter for the use of the "organization re
publicans" early in his administration, in -return
for which they had promised to put through the
Roosevelt legislative program.
"And you see what they have done for me,"
he added, leaning forwaTd and grasping the
arms of his chair. He said that under the; cir
cumstances he "would Hot write the letter for
publication, but 'that it could be used 'amonEr
the members of tlie house without reserve", not
even excepting "Uncle Joe" himself; - '". "
The letter was to be a complete indorsement
of the insurgents' program for amending the
rules and tho reduction of the speaker's power.
When the insurgents left the White Hbuse
it was understood that Roosevelt."wa"s"'to write
the letter and send .it to Nelson. At noon the
next day Roosevelt sat in the president's room
off the senate chamber, at the capitol, signing
the final bills of his administration. All the
ceremonial preparations for the inauguration of
President Taft were under way.
About Roosevelt, as he bent over the desk,
were grouped several members of the house and
senate. President-elect Taft was there. Roose
velt, summoning a page, sent for the . Insurgent
committee that had waited on him the day be
fore. Only Gardner could be found and Roose
velt dispatched him to find Nelson.
When Gardner and Nelson returned Boosevelt
was busy with the numerous bills on the desk
before him. He arose quickly, grasping Nelson
by the hand and said:
"Well, I'm sorry."
Then he told them that without discussing
directly the suggestion he had made to the in
surgents, he had brought up the rules-Cannon
matter in Taft's presence, and that as a result
he had reached the conclusion that to write the
letter would be unwise in view of what Taft
He again expressed his sympathy with tho In
surgents plans, however. Gardner turned, to
him and asked: "Wejl, Mr. President, w'ont
you7?Sc Mr Taft t0 d0 what he can for us?"
With an impulsive gesture Roosevelt turned
to the two insurgents, grasped each by the hand
and led them over to where Taft stood
mT,he ote occupants of the room started -a
little, and turned their attention toward the
president and the president-elect. Roosevelt
fSSniif1! ?ight sriln8t Cannon and the rules,
and said that they had asked for his support.
For probably five minutes he pleaded with hfs
successor for the insurgents and their cause,
hand's6 o7f!" re(1U?St: "At leaBt eep V"
Taft listened to Roosevelt's fervid plea, threw
up his hands and turned the matter in a joking
J5l!ln haE an hour Roosevelt had surrend
?f !eP,8lJeny to, Taft and had severed him
self entirely from politics.
fn?a??0t dicutssed Politics publicly since.
But the insurgents have sent letter after letter
to Africa and Europe. The replies to these let
ters are guarded carefully by their recipients.
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