Fortunately for his friends, the two libel suits which he went through in his later years, subjected him to a microscopic scrutiny, both as to his personal and his political life. All the efforts of very able lawyers, and of clever and unscrupulous enemies to undermine him, failed; and henceforth his advocates may rest on the verdicts given by two separate courts.
As for the great political acts of his official career, Time has forestalled eulogy. Does any one now defend selling liquor to children and converting them into precocious drunkards?
Does any one defend sweat-shops, or the manufacture of cigars under worse than unsanitary conditions? Which of the packers, who protested against the Meat Inspection Bill, would care to have his name made public; and which of the lawyers and of the accomplices in the lobby and in Congress would care to have it known that he used every means, fair and foul, to prevent depriving the packers of the privilege of canning bad meat for Americans, although foreigners insisted that the canned meat which they bought should be whole some and inspected?
Does any American now doubt the wisdom and justice of conserving the natural re sources, of saving our forests and our mineral sup plies, and of controlling the watershed from which flows the water-supply of entire States? These things are no longer in the field of debate.
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They are accepted just as the railroad and the telegraph are accepted. But each in its time was a novelty, a reform, and to secure its acceptance by the American people and its sanction in the statute book, required the zeal, the energy, the courage of one man- -Theodore Roosevelt. He had many helpers, but he was the indispensable backer and accomplisher.
When, therefore, I have commended him for these great achievements, I have but echoed what is now common opinion. A contemporary can never judge as the historian a hundred years after the fact judges, but the contemporary view has also its place, and it may be really nearer to the living truth than is the conclusion formed when the past is cold and remote and the actors are dead long ago. So a friend's outlined portrait, though obviously not impartial, must be nearer the truth than an enemy's can be--for the enemy is not impartial either.
We have fallen too much into the habit of imagining that only hostile critics tell the truth. I wish to express my gratitude to many persons who have assisted me in my work. First of all, to Mrs. Roosevelt, for permission to use various letters. Next, to President Roosevelt's sisters, Mrs.
William S. Cowles and Mrs. Douglas Robinson, for invaluable information. Equally kind have been many of Roosevelt's associates in Government and in political affairs: President William H. Charles J. Bonaparte, former Attorney-General; Hon. George B. Cortelyou, former Secretary of the Interior; Hon. James R. Garfield, former Commissioner of Commerce. George W. Nicholas Roosevelt and Mr. Charles P.
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Curtis, Jr. Albert J. Beveridge, ex-Senator; to Mr. James T. Williams, Jr. Alexander Lambert; to Hon. James M. Beck; to Major George H. Charles S. Bird; to Mrs. George von. Meyer and Mrs. Curtis Guild; to Mr.
Hermann Hagedorn; to Mr. James G. King, Jr. Lewis; to Hon. Regis H.
Post; to Hon. Richard Trimble; to Mr.
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John Woodbury; to Gov. Charles E. Hughes; to Mr. Louis A. Coolidge; to Hon. James Ford Rhodes; to Hon. Cameron Forbes. I am under especial obligation to Hon. Charles G. Washburn, ex-Congressman, whose book, "Theodore Roosevelt: The Logic of his Career," I have consulted freely and commend as the best analysis I have seen of Roosevelt's political character. I wish also to thank the publishers and authors of books by or about Roosevelt for permission to use their works.
These are Houghton Mifflin Co. Putnam's Sons; The Outlook Co.
To Mr. Ferris Greenslet, whose fine critical taste I have often drawn upon; and Mr. Ives, who has prepared the Index; and to Miss Alice Wyman, my secretary, my obligation is profound. Roosevelt are given without his name as they occur in the footnotes. Leupp: "The Man Roosevelt. Winston Co. Ogg: "National Progress, Riis: "Theodore Roosevelt; the Citizen.
Two men more unlike in origin, in training, and in opportunity, could hardly be found. Lincoln came from an incompetent Kentuckian father, a pioneer without the pioneer's spirit of enterprise and push; he lacked schooling; he had barely the necessaries of life measured even by the standards of the Border; his companions were rough frontier wastrels, many of whom had either been, or might easily become, ruffians. The books on which he fed his young mind were very few, not more than five or six, but they were the best.
- The Project Gutenberg eBook, My Brother Theodore Roosevelt, by Corinne Roosevelt Robinson.
- Two Part Invention No.15 BWV 786 b minor - Piano.
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- Lost in the Shadow of Fame : The Neglected Story of Kermit Roosevelt; A Gallant and Tragic American?
- EL SI DE LAS NIÑAS (Spanish Edition).
And yet in spite of these handicaps, Abraham Lincoln rose to be the leader and example of the American Nation during its most perilous crisis, and the ideal Democrat of the nineteenth century. Theodore Roosevelt, on the contrary, was born in New York City, enjoyed every advantage in education and training; his family had been for many generations respected in the city; his father was cultivated and had distinction as a citizen, who devoted his wealth and his energies to serving his fellow men.
But, just as incredible adversity could not crush Abraham Lincoln, so lavish prosperity could not keep down or spoil Theodore Roosevelt. In his "Autobiography" he tells us that "about his ancestor, Claes Martensen van Roosevelt, came to New Amsterdam as a 'settler'--the euphemistic name for an immigrant who came over in the steerage of a sailing ship in the seventeenth century. From that time for the next seven generations from father to son every one of us was born on Manhattan Island.