Theodore Roosevelt became President of the United States without knowing it, at 2:15 in the morning of 14 September 1901. He was bouncing in a buckboard down the rainswept slopes of Mount Marcy, in the Adirondacks. Constitutionally, not so much as a heatbeat impeded the flow of power from his assassinated predecessor to himself. Practically, more than just four hundred miles of mud and rails still separated him from William McKinley's death chamber in Buffalo, where preparations for an emergency inauguration were already under way.
-Edmund Morris, from the prologue to Theodore Rex