Republican gubernatorial candidate Nathan Miller was on such a tight schedule on October 12th, 1920 that one of the keynote speakers in his entourage got left behind at the railroad depot south of Ticonderoga village, on Lake Champlain.
At least that’s the official explanation.
“The speakers were hurried from Montcalm Landing to Ticonderoga’s theatre in automobiles, and in the rush to get to the village, Col. Theodore Roosevelt, whom Ticonderogians particularly wished to see and hear, was left behind,” the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported.
It’s plausible that Miller was getting weary of Roosevelt, son of the former U.S. President, upstaging him.
“When Lieut. Col. Roosevelt was introduced … applause indicated that the name of his late father has a warm spot in the hearts of those in attendance,” The Post-Star reported about an earlier campaign stop at Glens Falls that day.
Roosevelt did speak at Westport, two stops after Ticonderoga, and noticed a familiar Ticonderoga resident in the crowd.
“Casting his eyes over the crowd when he was speaking … Roosevelt happened to spot Harold Pinchin, the Ticonderoga policeman, standing in the outskirts,” the Sentinel reported.
Roosevelt and Pinchin served in the same U.S. Army division in France during World War I.
“With characteristic Rooseveltian friendliness, he let out a shout, ‘Pinchin, come here.’ They had only a moment or two to talk of war time experiences, but they did have time for a hearty handshake.”
It was a busy three-day campaign sweep through the Hudson River and North Country regions.
Miller, Roosevelt and other prominent Republicans left New York City via special train the morning of October 11th and made stops in various communities along the way, wrapping up the day with an evening rally at Troy.
On October 12th, the entourage campaigned at Ballston Spa, Saratoga Springs, Fort Edward, Hudson Falls, Glens Falls, Whitehall, Ticonderoga, Port Henry, Westport and Plattsburgh.
On October 13th, the campaign continued to Watertown and the western side of the North County.
Miller, who in November defeated incumbent Democrat Al Smith, emphasized national issues, particularly his opposition to the United States entering the League of Nations.
Miller chided Smith for not debating national issues.
“The Democratic standard bearer in this state refuses to discuss the great national issues awaiting,” Miller said October 13th at Watertown.
Smith said Miller was too preoccupied with national issues.
“I am meeting with very little success in my effort to induce Judge Miller to discuss with me the problems which are pressing the state for solution at this time,” Smith said in an October 13th speech at Binghamton.
At Ticonderoga, Miller made a favorable impression on editors of the Republican-leaning Sentinel.
“With but a few minutes to give to Ticonderoga, Judge Miller’s speech was necessarily short, but it was sufficient to give an audience that was large for a daylight meeting a good idea of the man who is carrying the Republican state standard.”
Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt courtesy United States Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division.