Theodore Roosevelt Is At The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time
The trap was set for Theodore Roosevelt the instant his nine-car train arrived in Victor, Colorado, September 1900. Roosevelt was on the campaign trail as vice presidential candidate to current Republican President William McKinley and, just as in our audiobook by Theodore Roosevelt, “Through the Brazilian Wilderness,” he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Republicans for Gold Standard Democrats for Silver
There was a great presidential debate on whether the US should be on the gold standard or the silver standard. The gold standard meant that every American dollar was backed by a dollar’s worth of gold, at the current fluctuating market price.
The Democrats had a different idea, supporting a free silver policy, where silver would be used to back paper money, just as gold, but with the government, not the market, determining the value of silver.
A major industry in Victor, Colorado in 1900 was the mining of both silver and gold, but with the free silver policy of the Democrats, the citizens of Victor stood to make a lot of money. William Jennings Bryan was the Democratic candidate supporting silver.
Roosevelt Faces Angry Crowd
So, when Roosevelt appeared as a proponent of McKinley’s gold standard, there was a lot of anger- McKinley and Roosevelt would cost them money.
You could feel the anger in the crowd the instant Roosevelt stepped off his train at 3PM. The moment Roosevelt shook the Mayor’s hand, the crowd began booing and jeering.
The day’s plan called for Roosevelt to walk to the Victor Armory and give a speech, but here another trick played out. Since Roosevelt’s train was delayed and he was late, Bryan’s democrat supporters announced to the crowd that they should meet the vice presidential candidate at his train. When the crowd left the armory empty, Free Silver proponents took their place, so that when Roosevelt entered the armory, it was essentially filled with people who hated him. There was talk of tar and feathering Roosevelt.
Saving Roosevelt from an Angry Crowd
It was an explosive situation, and the local postmaster, Danny Sullivan, rushed Roosevelt back to the train as crowds began throwing rocks, sticks and cans. Sullivan grabbed a wooden 2 x 4 and swung it around over his head, protecting the future President of the United States. Roosevelt himself was swinging and fighting as the crowd around him was pushing and trying to knock him around. Although Roosevelt was a good fighter, Sullivan got him on the train and out of town.
McKinley and Roosevelt Win
Despite the Victor setback, Roosevelt was a great campaigner with McKinley. They won by a landslide with the campaign themes of “Peace, Prosperity and Conservation.”
One year later, President McKinley was assassinated. Suddenly, at the age of 43, Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest President of the United States.
You can see pictures and listen to free sound clips of Theodore Roosevelt’s “Through the Brazilian Wilderness” by clicking here: https://listen2read.com/through-the-brazilian-wilderness/
This wild, dangerous adventure to unexplored, tropical Brazil nearly killed Roosevelt only a few years after he became the 26th President of the United States.
PS: “Through the Brazilian Wilderness” is the full and complete 11 hour 43 minute dramatic reading of Roosevelt‘s adventure, augmented with sound effects and music. It is one of our most popular audiobooks.