Roosevelt became governor of New York on January 1, 1899, and served with his usual energy and integrity. He was able to get some very progressive legislation made into law, including the most advanced civil service reform law in the nation, and laws aimed at improving the conditions in the tenement sweatshops, strengthening factory inspection procedures, and supporting the eight-hour day law for children and women.
Being governor did not seem to use enough of his boundless energy, so he wrote two books during his first year in office: his classic Rough Riders and his biography of Oliver Cromwell. He also continued his heavy schedule of speechmaking and ceremonial occasions as these two letters to Col. George C. Treadwell, his military secretary, indicate.
His relations with the press were relaxed and generally cordial. Everyday that he was in Albany he met twice with the Capitol press corps and, while answering their questions, he regaled them with anecdotes and gossip. The gossip was understood by the corps to be not for publication and this was enforced by immediate exile from the Governors office!