Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: Roosevelt

Thursday, December 12, 1912

Representative S. A. Roddenberry of Georgia has introduced a House resolution to “forbid the marriage of negroes and persons of any other color.” Angered by the recent marriage of “Jack” Johnson, a negro prize fighter, to Lucille Cameron, a white girl, in Chicago, Mr. Roddenberry spewed forth much vitriol. “We see an African with much brutal force, with no moral character, with no stamina, entering the office of a legal officer in that city, and calling on him to issue—’to Jack Johnson!’—a marriage license to wed a young American woman of our own blood, our own race, our own color. The young officer is directed to issue to the brute a legal certificate permitting a white woman in these days to be bound in the wedlock of black slavery.” Black slavery! He went on and on and on, apparently, and it looks as though the papers printed most of it. “No blacker incubus ever fixed itself upon the social politics of this republic than the embryonic cancer of negro marriage to white people that has lately been in evidence,” he emitted, probably turning redder and redder. “No more voracious parasite ever sucked at the heart of pure society and moral status than the one which welcomes or recognizes everywhere the sacred ties of wedlock between Africa and America.” What a horrible man. I feel sorry for his wife.

Meanwhile, Senator Benjamin F. Shively of Indiana disdained ether and chloroform before an operation in which his toe was to be removed. Instead, while it was being cut off, he smoked a cigar. I expect he hopes to be shot on his way to a speaking engagement so that he may give a speech while a bullet is in his chest, just like Theodore Roosevelt.

The Courier-Herald consulted various Urbana residents and came to the conclusion that the temperature last night dipped below zero. The headline is “MERCURY LOSES STANDING LOCALLY,” and below that, it says, “Weather Indicator Tries to Sneak Out of Bottom of Tube.”


What If Roosevelt Had Won in 1912?

Adolf Hitler might never have come into power, among other things.

Teddy Roosevelt And World War I: An Alternative History (Saturday Evening Post)

Thursday, November 7, 1912

An unknown negro shot “Red Ben” Barnett in the arm at Woody Mathews’ pool room on Market street in Champaign. “Red Ben” is a notorious bootlegger who was recently ordered to leave the Twin Cities and never return.

The Progressive party intends to put up candidates in every district for the 1914 election, when a new house of representatives will be elected. Said Colonel Roosevelt, “The Progressive party has superseded the Republican party. All we need to do is to keep steadily on with the fight and we will win.” Fight, fight, fight. Reading all of this news just makes it clear to me that politics is too important to be left in the hands of the men.

Wednesday, November 6, 1912

Woodrow Wilson will be our next president, and it looks as though the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives will go from 64 to 100; the Senate will probably go from a Republican majority of seven to a Democratic majority of one. Theodore Roosevelt said, “The American people by a great plurality have decided in favor of Mr. Wilson and the Democratic party. Like all other good citizens I accept the result with entire good humor and contentment.” The progressives did far better than the republicans overall. Governor Wilson said a great many things, but the odd bit that struck me was this: “I got up on a chair so that you could not see the patch upon my head.”

The democratic landslide was felt here as well. Congressman McKinley’s re-election bid was defeated by 800. “Boyd Blain, republican candidate for circuit clerk, alone survives the slaughter.” The unofficial chart of local district votes shows the progressives to be very strong. Roosevelt won in Illinois by over 85,000 votes. A straw vote at my school and and Leal School likewise went badly for Taft, although McKinley did far better.

An intoxicated man fired a shotgun at another man at the polling booth at the Collins store on Hill street. His first shot missed, but his sister managed to disarm him before he could get off another shot.

And to wrap up today’s election journal entry, I feel I must paste in this clothing shop advertisement:

1912 Election Resources

The Library of Congress has an extensive collection of materials relating to the presidential election of 1912, and its resource guide also provides links to external websites. Listen to sound recordings of Taft, Wilson, and Roosevelt giving campaign speeches. Check out some sheet music from the election. You’ve already made up your mind about the 2012 candidates anyway.

Also I am linking the full text of the Republican campaign text-book (1912) here because I don’t know where else to put it, but I don’t want to lose it.

Tuesday, October 22, 1912

The Urbana progressives have this to say today: “Fellow voters, in the coming election let us forget our old party traditions that made us vote for Satan himself if he bore the right party label. Let us be men for once and all and show our manhood and good common sense by casting our ballot for Theodore [Roosevelt], the greatest man now living.” Col. Roosevelt indeed seems like a great man, but is that the quality that makes a good president? If I were able to cast a vote, I would still be making up my mind about it all. I suppose I would vote based on the issue that seemed to me most important, which now is woman suffrage … and of course that wouldn’t be an issue if I were allowed to vote!

An aged Urbana man named Charles Judd went to Danville on Sunday. He attempted to board an I.T.S. car to return home, but the conductor would not let him on, owing to his intoxicated condition. Mr. Judd angrily hurled a whiskey bottle at the conductor. “Then he ran, and, although an old man, gave two policemen a good race around the public square.” He is now being held on a charge of assault.

Thursday, October 17, 1912

Chicken thieves driving a team of mules hitched to a wagon raided the hennery of Attorney H. T. Schumacher in Champaign last night.

Theodore Roosevelt’s rib was fractured from the impact of the bullet that struck him. Guinea pigs were inoculated with a solution of scrapings from the bullets remaining in the assassin’s revolver, and they are still alive and showing no symptoms of poisoning. Colonel Roosevelt is demanding beefsteak instead of eggs but will be given no meat until the danger period (of blood poisoning) has passed.

Many advertisements have referenced the coming election. I have cut out an example from today’s paper:

Wednesday, October 16, 1912

When asked if he regretted shooting Theodore Roosevelt, John Schrank replied, “Regret that I did not kill him—that is what I feel. It was the greatest failure I ever had in my life and I have had many.” He called Roosevelt “the great American political boss. He waves his hat and we are all to obey. I hate him when he waves that hat of his and the people shout and he shows his teeth. Especially I hate his teeth.”

Schrank scoffs at the idea that he is crazy. “I have been watching this man Roosevelt ever since the assassination of William McKinley. The murdered president has appeared to me several times in dreams. Once he sat up in his coffin and pointed at Roosevelt. ‘That man was responsible for my death,’ said Mr. McKinley. I have had my eye on him ever since.”

Roosevelt’s bullet wound is more severe than first thought, but the doctors feel no present good can come of an operation to remove the bullet at this time, so there it will remain. Blood poisoning is the larger worry now.

Tuesday, October 15, 1912

Theodore Roosevelt was shot by a maniac in Milwaukee last night! As Roosevelt entered the motorcar that would take him to a speaking engagement at the auditorium, a “scraggly attired man” fired a shot from a .32-caliber revolver into his right side.

Roosevelt’s stenographer and two military men apprehended the shooter. Thinking he was only grazed, the colonel waved his hat at the crowd and said, “My good friends, I’m not hurt. I’m going on to the hall to speak. Good luck.” He would not allow his private physician to examine him.

At the hall, his physician persisted, but Roosevelt said, “I’m going to make a speech if it’s the last one.” He walked to the stage, greeted the wildly cheering crowd, and pulled the notes for his speech from his pocket, only to find that the bullet had penetrated the thick manuscript and lodged in his chest. He covered the area with his hand so that the audience could not see it and proceeded to make his speech.

He told the audience, “I do not care a rap about being shot, not a rap. I have had a good many experiences in my time, and this is only one of them.” After his speech (only slightly curtailed), he was taken to the hospital, where they pronounced the wound superficial, although the bullet was lodged in his chest. He boarded his special train at midnight for Chicago, where he will be placed under surgical care. As he left, he declared that he was “feeling bully.”

Of course this means that we did not get a visit from Colonel Roosevelt today at West Side Park, which is disappointing, but I am glad he seems to be all right.

Aunt Jemima at the White House

This alarming ad appeared in the Urbana Courier-Herald on October 15, 1912.