Source: Timely Topics
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “President Roosevelt”
Date of publication: 20 September 1901
Volume number: 6
Issue number: 3
|“President Roosevelt.” Timely Topics 20 Sept. 1901 v6n3: pp. 41-42.|
|Theodore Roosevelt (assumption of presidency); Theodore Roosevelt (at Adirondacks); Theodore Roosevelt (swearing in); Theodore Roosevelt (public statements); McKinley cabinet (retention by Roosevelt).|
|Chester A. Arthur; John Hay; John R. Hazel; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt; Elihu Root; Ansley Wilcox.|
Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office of
President of the United States at 3:32 September 14.
At the time of President McKinley’s relapse the then Vice-President was in the Adirondack’s [sic]. Scouts and guides were sent to find his party who had left the club house on a hunting expedition.
When Colonel Roosevelt was reached and informed of the critical condition of the President, he could scarcely believe the burden of the messages personally delivered to him as so short a time before he had left the President apparently entirely out of danger and on the rapid road to recovery.
The Adirondack stage company placed relays of horses at his disposal to cover the 35 miles to the nearest railroad station. The trip was exceedingly dangerous as mile after mile was traveled in almost impenetrable darkness. He did not learn that President McKinley had passed away until he reached the station at 5:20 in the morning. He reached Buffalo early in the afternoon.
After a brief call at the Milburn house to offer his condolance [sic] and sympathy to the broken-hearted widow he took the oath of office at the home of his friend Ansley Wilcox.
The ceremony took place in the library, Judge Hazel administering the oath. Members of the cabinet and a few intimate friends were the attendance.
Secretary Root, who, twenty years ago, had been present at a similar scene, when Arthur took the oath, after the death of another President who fell a victim to an assassin’s bullet, almost broke down when he requested Mr. Roosevelt, on behalf of the members of the cabinet of the late President, to take the prescribed oath. There was not a dry eye in the room.
The new President was visibly shaken, but he controlled himself, and  when he lifted his hand to swear it was as steady as though carved in marble. With the deep solemnity of the occasion full upon him, he announced to those present that his aim would be to be William McKinley’s successor in deed as well as in name. Deliberately he proclaimed it in these words:
“In this hour of deep and terrible bereavement, I wish to state that it shall be my aim to continue absolutely unbroken the policy of President McKinley for the peace and prosperity and honor of our beloved country.”
President Roosevelt has asked the entire cabinet to retain their portfolios during his administration and all but Secretary Hay have consented.
President Roosevelt has expressed himself as very earnestly desiring to preserve intact the cabinet of President McKinley, and every effort will be made to induce Secretary Hay to abandon his reported desire to retire to private life almost immediately. If these efforts prove successful there will be witnessed the extraordinary spectacle of the entire cabinet of the dead President remaining as the adviser and helpers of his successor.