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I do not think there is a more impressive sepulchre on earth than . . . [Napoleon's] tomb; it is grandly simple. I am not very easily awestruck, but it certainly gave me a solemn feeling to look at the plain, red stone bier which contained what had once been the mightiest conqueror the world ever saw. He was a great fighter, at least, though otherwise I suppose an almost unmixed evil. Hannibal alone is his equal in military genius; and Caesar in cruel power and ambition. What a child such a mere butcher as Tamerlane, Genghis Khan or Attila would have been in his hands! (To Anna Roosevelt, September 5, 1881.) Cowles Letters, 49.


See also French Revolution; Revolutions; Self-Government.

National Art

See Art.

National Character

It is character that counts in a nation as in a man. It is a good thing to have a keen, fine intellectual development in a nation, to produce orators, artists, successful business men; but it is an infinitely greater thing to have those solid qualities which we group together under the name of character— sobriety, steadfastness, the sense of obligation toward one’s neighbor and one’s God, hard common sense, and, combined with it, the lift of generous enthusiasm toward whatever is right. These are the qualities which go to make up true national greatness. (At Galena, Ill., April 27, 1900.) Mem. Ed XII, 466; Nat. Ed. XIII, 437.

____________. Good laws in the State, like a good organization in an army, are the expressions of national character. Leaders will be developed in military and in civil life alike; and weapons and tactics change from generation to generation, as methods of achieving good government change in civic affairs; but the fundamental qualities which make for good citizenship do not change any more than the fundamental qualities which make good soldiers. (At Antietam, Md., September 17, 1903.) Mem. Ed XII, 622; Nat. Ed. XI, 337.

____________. Just as in private life many of the men of strongest character are the very men of loftiest and most exalted morality, so I believe that in national life, as the ages go by, we shall find that the permanent national types will more and more tend to become those in which, though intellect stands high, character stands higher; in which rugged strength and courage, rugged capacity to resist wrongful aggression by others, will go hand in hand with a lofty scorn of doing wrong to others. (At Oxford University, England, June 7, 1910.) Mem. Ed XIV, 101; Nat. Ed. XII, 55.

____________. The prime work for this nation at this moment is to rebuild its own character. Let us find our own souls; let us frankly face the world situation to- day as it affects ourselves and as it affects all other countries. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. Ed XX, 300; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 258.

____________. If a nation is not proudly willing and able to fight for a just cause¾for the lives of its citizens, for the honor of its flag, even for the rescue of some oppressed foreign nationality¾then such a nation will always be an ignoble nation, and this whether it achieves the sordid prosperity of those who are merely successful hucksters, or whether it kills its virility by an exclusive appreciation of grace, ease, and beauty. Strength, courage, and justice must come first. (Before Amer. Acad. and Nat. Inst. of Arts and Letters, New York City, November 16, 1916.) Mem. Ed XIV, 453; Nat. Ed. XII, 329.

National Character Growth of

The men who have profoundly influenced the growth of our national character have been in most cases precisely those men whose influence was for the best and was strongly felt as antagonistic to the worst tendency of the age. The great writers, who have written in prose or verse, have done much for us. The great orators whose burning words on behalf of liberty, of union, of honest government, have rung through our legislative halls, have done even more. Most of all has been done by the men who have spoken to us through deeds and not words, or whose words have gathered their especial charm and significance because they came from men who did speak in deeds. (Forum, February 1895.) Mem. Ed XV, 14; Nat. Ed. XIII, 12.

National Character

See also Character; Heroes.

National Decay

If our population decreases; if we lose the virile, manly qualities, and sink into a nation of mere hucksters, putting gain above national honor, and subordinating everything to mere ease of life; then we shall indeed reach a condition worse than that of the ancient civilizations in the years of their decay. But at present no comparison could be less apt than that of Byzantium, or Rome in its later years, with a great modern state where the thronging millions who make up the bulk of the population are wage-earners, who themselves decide their own destinies; a state which is able in time of need to put into the field armies, composed exclusively of its own citizens, more numerous than any which the world has ever before seen, and with a record of fighting in the immediate past with which there is nothing in the annals of antiquity to compare. (Forum, January 1897.) Mem. Ed XIV, 150; Nat. Ed. XIII, 259-260.

____________. It needs but little of the vision of a seer to foretell what must happen in any community if the average woman ceases to become the mother of a family of healthy children, if the average man loses the will and the power to work up to old age and to fight Whenever the need arises. If the homely commonplace virtues, die out, if strength of character vanishes m graceful self-indulgence, if the virile qualities atrophy, then the nation has lost what no material prosperity can offset. (At Oxford University, England, June 7, 1910.) Mem. Ed XIV, 86; Nat. Ed. XII, 42.

National Decay

See also Death; Decadence; Roman Empire.

National Defense

We can afford as a people to differ on the ordinary party questions; but if we are both farsighted and patriotic we cannot afford to differ on the all-important question of keeping the national defenses as they should be kept; of not alone keeping up, but of going on with building up of, the United States Navy, and of keeping our small Army at least at its present size and making it the most efficient for its size that there is on the globe. Remember, you here who are listening to me, that to applaud patriotic sentiments and to turn out to do honor to the dead heroes who by land or by sea won honor for our flag is only worthwhile if we are prepared to show that our energies do not exhaust themselves in words; if we are prepared to show that we intend to take to heart the lessons of the past and make things ready so that if ever, which heaven forbid, the need should arise, our fighting men on sea and ashore shall be able to rise to the standard established by their predecessors in our services of the past. Address of President Roosevelt on the Occasion of the Reinterment of the Remains of John Paul Jones at Annapolis, Md., April 24, 1906. (Government Printing Office, 1906), pp. 18-20.

____________. A nation that cannot take its own part is at times almost as fertile a source of mischief in the world at large as is a nation which does wrong to others, for its very existence puts a premium on such wrong-doing. Therefore, a nation must fit itself to defend its honor and interest against outside aggression; and this necessarily means that in a free democracy every man fit for citizenship must be trained so that he can do his full duty to the nation in war no less than in peace. (1916.) Mem. Ed XX, 232; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 200.

____________. The only kind of peace worth having is the peace of righteousness and justice; the only nation that can serve other nations is the strong and valiant nation; and the only great international policies worth considering are those whose upholders believe in them strongly enough to fight for them . . . A nation is utterly contemptible if it will not fight in its own defense. A nation is not wholly admirable unless in time of stress it will go to war for a great ideal wholly unconnected with its immediate material interest. (1916.) Mem. Ed XX, 261; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 225.

____________. Nations are made, defended, and preserved, not by the illusionists, but by the men and women who practise the homely virtues in time of peace, and who in time of righteous war are ready to die, or to send those they love best to die, for a shining ideal. (1918.) Mem. Ed XXI, 357; Nat. Ed. XIX, 325.

National Defense—Plans for

It is not desirable that civilians, acting independently of and without the help of military and naval advisers, shall prepare minute or detailed plans as to what ought to be done for our national defense. But civilians are competent to advocate plans in outline exactly as I have here advocated them. Moreover, and most important, they are competent to try to make public opinion effective in these matters. A democracy must have proper leaders. But these leaders must be able to appeal to a proper sentiment in the democracy. It is the prime duty of every right-thinking citizen at this time to aid his fellow countrymen to understand the need of working wisely for peace, the folly of acting unwisely for peace, and, above all, the need of real and thorough national preparedness against war. (New York Times, November 29, 1914.) Mem. Ed XX, 208; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 178.

National Defense

See also Army; Defense; Hawaii; League of Nations; Military Training; Navy; Pacifism; Panama Canal; Preparedness; Self-Preservation.

National Duty

Let this nation fear God and take its own part. Let it scorn to do wrong to great or small. Let it exercise patience and charity toward all other peoples, and yet at whatever cost unflinchingly stand for the right when the right is menaced by the might which backs wrong. (1916.) Mem. Ed XX, 260; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 224.

National Duty

See also Duty; "Fear God And Take Your Own Part"; League of Nations.

National Efficiency

In this stage of the world's history to be fearless, to be just, and to be efficient are the three great requirements of National life. National efficiency, is the result of natural resources well handled, of freedom of opportunity for every man, and of the inherent capacity, trained ability, knowledge and will, collectively and individually, to use that opportunity. (Message to Congress, January 22, 1909.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VIII, 2095.

National Existence

While the nation that has dared to be great, that has had the will and the power to change the destiny of the ages, in the end must die, yet no less surely the nation that has played the part of the weakling must also die; and whereas the nation that has done nothing leaves nothing behind it, the nation that has done a great work really continues, though in changed form, to live forevermore. (At Minnesota State Fair, September 2, 1901.) Mem. Ed XV, 333; Nat. Ed. XIII, 473.

____________. I really believe that people sometimes think of "new" nations as being suddenly created out of nothing; they certainly speak as if they were not aware that the newest and the oldest nations and races must of course have identically the same length of racial pedigree. They talk, moreover, of the "destruction" of the inhabitants of Mexico, and of the destruction" of the inhabitants of Tasmania, as if the processes were alike. In Tasmania the people were absolutely destroyed; none of their blood is left. But the bulk of the blood of Mexico, and a part of the blood of the governing classes of Mexico (including Diaz), is that of the Mexicans whom Cortez and his successors conquered. In the same way Australia and Canada and the United States are "new" commonwealths only in the sense that Syracuse and Cyrene were new compared with Athens and Corinth. (To A. J. Balfour, March 5, 1908.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 127; Bishop II, 109.

____________. No nation deserves to exist if it permits itself to lose the stern and virile virtues; and this without regard to whether the loss is due to the growth of a heartless and all-absorbing commercialism, to prolonged indulgence in luxury and soft effortless ease, or to the deification of a warped and twisted sentimentality. Outlook, May 7, 1910, p. 19.

National Greatness

It is not what we have that will make us a great nation; it is the way in which we use it. I do not undervalue for a moment our material prosperity; like all Americans, I like big things; big prairies, big forests and mountains, big wheat-fields, railroads, —and herds of cattle, too, —big factories, steamboats, and everything else. But we must keep steadily in mind that no people were ever yet benefited by riches if their prosperity corrupted their virtue. It is of more importance that we should show ourselves honest, brave, truthful, and intelligent, than that we should own all the railways and grain elevators in the world. We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune. Here we are not ruled over by others, as in the case of Europe; we rule ourselves. All American citizens, whether born here or elsewhere, whether of one creed or another, stand on the same footing; we welcome every honest immigrant no matter from what country he comes, provided only that he leaves off his former nationality, and remains neither Celt nor Saxon, neither Frenchman nor German, but becomes an American, desirous of fulfilling in good faith the duties of American citizenship. (At Dickinson, Dakota Territory, July 4, 1886.) Hermann Hagedorn, Roosevelt in the Bad Lands. (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1921), pp. 409-410.

____________. If we are to be a really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world. We cannot avoid meeting great issues. All that we can determine for ourselves is whether we shall meet them well or ill. (Before the Hamilton Club, Chicago, April 10, 1899.) Mem. Ed XV, 271; Nat. Ed. XIII, 322.

____________. Normally, the nation that achieves greatness, like the individual who achieves greatness, can do so only at the cost of anxiety and bewilderment and heart-wearing effort. Timid people, people scant of faith and hope, and good people who are not accustomed to the roughness of the life of effort—are almost sure to be disheartened and dismayed by the work and the worry, and overmuch cast down by the shortcomings, actual or seeming, which in real life always accompany the first stages even of what eventually turn out to be the most brilliant victories. (At Hartford, Conn., August 22, 1902.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 359-360; Nat. Ed. XVI, 274.

____________. I would not pretend for a moment . . . that merely military proficiency on land or sea would by itself make this or any other nation great. First and foremost come the duties within the gates of our own household; first and foremost our duty is to strive to bring about a better administration of justice, cleaner, juster, more equitable methods in our political, business, and social life, the reign of law, the reign of that orderly liberty which was the first consideration in the minds of the founders of this Republic. Our duties at home are of the first importance. But our duties abroad are of vital consequence also. This nation may fail, no matter how well it keeps itself prepared against the possibility of disaster from abroad; but it will certainly fail if we do not thus keep ourselves prepared. (At Naval War College, Newport, R. I., July 22, 1908.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 338; Nat. Ed. XVI, 256.

____________. In any nation those citizens who possess the pride in their nationality, without which they cannot claim to be good citizens, must feel a particular satisfaction in the deeds of every man who adds to the sum of worthy national achievement. The great nations of antiquity, of the middle ages, and of modern times were and are great in each several case, not only because of the collective achievements of each people as a whole, but because of the sum of the achievemnts of the men of special eminence; and this whether they excelled in warcraft or statecraft, as road- makers or cathedral builders, as men of letters, men of art, or men of science. The field of effort is almost limitless; and preeminent success in any part of it is not only a good thing for humanity as a whole, but should be especially prized by the nation to which the man achieving the success belongs. (At Saint-Gaudens Exhibition, Corcoran Art Gallery, Washington, D. C., December 15, 1908.) Mem. Ed XII, 559; Nat. Ed. XI, 282.

____________. The precise form of government, democratic or otherwise, is the instrument, the tool, with which we work. It is important to have a good tool. But, even if it is the best possible, it is only a tool. No implement can ever take the place of the guiding intelligence that wields it. A very bad tool will ruin the work of the best craftsman; but a good tool in bad hands is no better. In the last analysis the all-important factor in national greatness is national character. (At Oxford University, England, June 7, 1910.) Mem. Ed XIV, 97; Nat. Ed. XII, 52.

National Greatness Source of

No nation can achieve real greatness if its people are not both essentially moral and essentially manly; both sets of qualities are necessary. It is an admirable thing to possess refinement and cultivation, but the price is too dear if they must be paid for at the cost of the rugged fighting qualities which make a man able to do a man's work in the world, and which make his heart beat with that kind of love of country which is shown not only in readiness to try to make her civic life better, but also to stand up manfully for her when her honor and influence are at stake in a dispute with a foreign power. (The Bachelor of Arts, March 1896.) Mem. Ed XV, 235; Nat. Ed. XIII, 177.

____________. Ultimately no nation can be great unless its greatness is laid on foundations of righteousness and decency. We cannot do great deeds as a nation unless we are willing to do the small things that make up the sum of greatness, unless we believe in energy and thrift, unless we believe that we have more to do than simply accomplish material prosperity, unless, in short, we do our full duty as private citizens interested alike in the honor of the State. (At Grant’s Tomb, New York City, May 30, 1899.) Mem. Ed XVI, 494; Nat. Ed. XIV, 333.

____________. The greatness of our nation in the past has rested upon the fact that the people had power, and that they used it aright for great and worthy ends. Washington and Lincoln, each in the degree that his generation rendered possible, trusted to and believed in the people, steadfastly refused to represent anything save what was highest and best in the people, and by appealing to this highest and best brought it out and made it prominent. Each called upon his countrymen to lay down their lives for an ideal, and then called upon the survivors to perform the even harder task of leading their lives in such shape as to realize the ideal for which the dead men had died. (Outlook, March 25, 1911.) Mem. Ed XIX, 146; Nat. Ed. XVII, 105.

____________. No nation can be great unless its sons and daughters have in them the quality to rise level to the needs of heroic days. Yet this heroic quality is but the apex of a pyramid of which the broad foundations must solidly rest on the performance of duties so ordinary that to impatient minds they seem common- place. (Metropolitan, October 1918.) Mem. Ed XXI, 264; Nat. Ed. XIX, 244.

National Guard

Now that the organized militia, the National Guard, has been incorporated with the army as a part of the national forces, it behooves the government to do every reasonable thing in its power to perfect its efficiency. It should be assisted in its instruction and otherwise aided more liberally than heretofore. The continuous services of many well- trained regular officers will be essential in this connection. Such officers must be specially trained at service schools best to qualify them as instructors of the National Guard. (Eighth Annual Message, Washington, December 8, 1908.) Mem. Ed XVII, 637; Nat. Ed. XV, 542.

National Guard

See also Militia.

National Heroes

See Heroes.

National Honor

A really great people, proud and high-spirited, would face all the disasters of war rather than purchase that base prosperity which is bought at the price of national honor. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed XV, 242; Nat. Ed. XIII, 184.

____________. Until we put honor and duty first, and are willing to risk something in order to achieve righteousness both for ourselves and for others, we shall accomplish nothing; and we shall earn and deserve the contempt of the strong nations of mankind. (To Samuel T. Dutton, chairman of Committee on Armenian Outrages, November 24, 1915.) Mem. Ed XX, 446; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 383.

National Honor Danger to

In this presidential election we confront a danger graver than any that has menaced the country from its birth, save at the time of the election of 1860 alone. On the result next month depends whether we shall hang our heads with shame because our country has become the dupe and willing prey of dishonest demagogues, because we have announced that we do not wish to pay our just debts, because we have announced that we do not wish to enforce our laws and are willing to account the national honor as nothing in the balance against successful trickery; or else we shall stand prouder than ever of our citizenship in that great republic whose boast it has been that at last this nation, alone of all nations through the ages, has solved the problem of preserving orderly liberty, of standing stoutly for the rights of the individual, while yet being careful to allow no man to be wronged, and of guarding with jealous care that national honor which can be seriously hurt only by our own folly or our own weakness. (Before American Republican College League, Chicago, October 15, 1896.) Mem. Ed XVI, 396; Nat. Ed. XIV, 260.

National Honor—Defense of

No nation should ever wage war wantonly, but no nation should ever avoid it at the cost of the loss of national honor. A nation should never fight unless forced to; but it should always be ready to fight. The mere fact that it is ready will generally spare it the necessity of fighting. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed XV, 256; Nat. Ed. XIII, 195.

National Honor—Maintenance of

When a question of national honor or of national right or wrong is at stake, no question of financial interest should be considered for a moment. (The Bachelor of Arts, March 1896.)Mem. Ed XV, 236; Nat. Ed. XIII, 178.

____________. In every nation there is, as there has been from time immemorial, a good deal of difficulty in combining the policies of upholding the national honor abroad, and of preserving a not too heavily taxed liberty at home. (1900.) Mem. Ed XIII, 300; Nat. Ed. X, 198.

National Honor

See also Peace; Righteousness; World War.

National Inheritance

In this country of ours no man can permanently leave to his descendants the right to live softly; and if he could leave such a right it would in the end prove to be a right not worth having. The inheritance really worth while which we can transmit to our children and to our children's children is the ability to do work that counts, not the means of avoiding work—the ability for efficient effort, not the opportunity for the slothful avoidance of all effort. (At Chicago, June 17, 1912.) Mem. Ed XIX, 310; Nat. Ed. XVII, 225.

____________. We inherit as freemen this fair and mighty land only because our fathers and forefathers had iron in their blood. We can leave our heritage undiminished to those who come after us only if we in our turn show a resolute and rugged manliness in the dark days of trial that have come upon us. (Metropolitan, January 1918.) Mem. Ed XXI, 283; Nat. Ed. XIX, 261.

National Inheritance

See also American People; Leisure; Work.

National Interests

It is right that the United States should regard primarily its own interests. But I believe that I speak for a considerable number of my countrymen when I say that we ought not solely to consider our own interests. Above all, we should not do as the present administration does; for it refuses to take any concrete action in favor of any nation which is wronged; and yet it also refuses to act so that we may ourselves be sufficient for our own protection. (New York Times, November 8, 1914.) Mem. Ed XX, 92; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 79.

National Literature

See Literature.

National Morality

See International Morality; Morality.

National Obligations—Fulfillment of

President Wilson and Secretary Bryan . . . take the view that when the United States assumes obligations in order to secure small and unoffending neutral nations or noncombatants generally against hideous wrong, its action is not predicated on any intention to make the guaranty effective. They take the view that when we are asked to redeem in the concrete promises we made in the abstract, our duty is to disregard our obligations and to preserve ignoble peace for ourselves by regarding with cold-blooded and timid indifference the most frightful ravages of war committed at the expense of a peaceful and unoffending country. This is the cult of cowardice. That Messrs. Wilson and Bryan profess it and put it in action would be of small consequence if only they themselves were concerned. The importance of their action is that it commits the United States. (Independent, January 4, 1915.) Mem. Ed XX, 178; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 153.

National Obligations

See also International Agreements; Promises; Treaties.

National Parks

See Forest Reserves; Grand Canyon; Yellowstone Park.

National Problems —Solution of

The conditions which have told for our marvellous material well-being, which have developed to a very high degree our energy, self-reliance and individual initiative, have also brought the care and anxiety inseparable from the accumulation of great wealth in industrial centres. Upon the success of our experiment much depends, not only as regards our own welfare, but as regards the welfare of mankind. If we fail, the cause of free self-government throughout the world will rock to its foundations, and therefore our responsibility is heavy, to ourselves, to the world as it is to-day, and to the generations yet unborn. There is no good reason why we should fear the future, but there is every reason why we should face it seriously, neither hiding from ourselves the gravity of the problems before us nor fearing to approach those problems with the unbending, unflinching purpose to solve them aright. Yet, after all, though the problems are new, though the tasks set before us differ from the tasks set before our fathers who founded and preserved this Republic, the spirit in which these tasks must be undertaken and these problems faced, if our duty is to be well done, remains essentially unchanged. (Inaugural Address as President, Washington, March 4, 1905.) Mem. Ed XVII, 313; Nat. Ed. XV, 268.

National Reputation

Other peoples have been as devoted to liberty, and yet, because of lack of hard-headed common sense and of ability to show restraint and subordinate individual passions for the general good, have failed so signally in the struggle of life as to become a byword among the nations. Yet other peoples, again, have possessed all possible thrift and business capacity, but have been trampled underfoot, or have played a sordid and ignoble part in the world, because their business capacity was unaccompanied by any of the lift toward nobler things which marks a great and generous nation. The stern but just rule of judgment for humanity is that each nation shall be known by its fruits; and if there are no fruits, if the nation has failed, it matters but little whether it has failed through meanness of soul or through lack of robustness of character. We must judge a nation by the net result of its life and activity. (At Union League, Philadelphia, November 22, 1902.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 480; Nat. Ed. XVI, 357.

National Responsibility

We are a great nation and we are compelled, whether we will or not, to face the responsibilities that must be faced by all great nations. It is not in our power to avoid meeting them. All that we can decide is whether we shall meet them well or ill. (At Lincoln Club dinner, New York City, February 13, 1899.) Mem. Ed XVI, 474; Nat. Ed. XIV, 315.

____________. American citizens must understand that they cannot advocate or acquiesce in an evil course of action and then escape responsibility for the results. (Everybody's, January 1915.) Mem. Ed XX, 159; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 136.

National Responsibility

See also International Duty.

National Rights

See League of Nations; States' Rights.

National Self-Determination

See Fourteen Points.

National Self-Reliance

No friendliness with other nations, no good-will for them or by them, can take the place of national self-reliance. No alliance, no inoffensive conduct on our part, would supply, in time of need, the failure in ability to hold our own with the strong hand. We must work out our own destiny by our own strength. (At Galena, Ill., April 27, 1900.) Mem. Ed XII, 469; Nat. Ed XIII, 439-440.

National Self-Reliance

See also Alliances; Defense; Preparedness.

National Self-Respect

No amount of material prosperity can atone for lack of national self- respect; and in no way can national self-respect be easier lost than through a peace obtained or preserved unworthily, whether through cowardice or through sluggish indifference. (Century Magazine, November 1895.) Mem. Ed XVI, 348; Nat. Ed. XIV, 248.

National Solidarity

See Sectionalism.

National Unity

I ask you to help strike the note that shall unite our people. As a people we must be united. If we are not united we shall slip into the gulf of measureless disaster. We must be strong in purpose for our own defense and bent on securing justice within our borders. If as a nation we are split into warring camps, if we teach our citizens not to look upon one another as brothers but as enemies divided by the hatred of creed for creed or of those of one race against those of another race, surely we shall fail and our great democratic experiment on this continent will go down in crushing overthrow. (Before Knights of Columbus, New York City, October 12, 1915.) Mem. Ed XX, 471; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 404.

____________. This war has shown us in vivid and startling fashion the danger of allowing our people to separate along lines of racial origin and linguistic cleavage. We shall be guilty of criminal folly if we fail to insist on the complete and thoroughgoing unification of our people. (1918.) Mem. Ed XXI, 330; Nat. Ed. XIX, 301.

National Unity

See also American People; Racial Unity.

National Unselfishness

National unselfishness and self-sacrifice, national self- mastery, and the development of national power, can never be achieved by words alone. National unselfishness— which is another way of saying service rendered to internationalism—can become effective only if the nation is willing to sacrifice something, is willing to face risk and effort and endure hardship in order to render service. (1916.) Mem. Ed XX, 529; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 454.

National Unselfishness

See also International Duty.


We can help humanity at large very much to the extent that we are national—in the proper sense, not in the chauvinistic sense—that we are devoted to our own country first. I prize the friendship of the man who cares for his family more than he cares for me; if he does not care for his family any more than he cares for me, I know that he cares for me very little. What is true in individual relations is no less true in the world at large. (Before Amer. Acad. and Nat. Inst. of Arts and Letters, New York City, November 16, 1916.) Mem. Ed XIV, 451; Nat. Ed. XII, 327.

____________. I do not ask for over centralization; but I do ask that we work in a spirit of broad and far- reaching nationalism when we work for what concerns the people as a whole. We are all Americans. (Outlook, January 14, 1911.) Mem. Ed XIX, 83; Nat. Ed. XVII, 51.

____________. We must resolutely refuse to permit our great nation, our great America, to be split into a score of little replicas of European nationalities, and to become a Balkan Peninsula on a larger scale. We are a nation, and not a hodge-podge of foreign nationalities. We are a people, and not a polyglot boardinghouse. We must insist on a unified nationality, with one flag, one language, one set of national ideals. We must shun as we would shun the plague all efforts to make us separate in groups of separate nationalities. We must all of us be Americans, and nothing but Americans; and all good Americans must stand on an equality of consideration and respect, without regard to their creed or to the land from which their forebears came. (1918.) Mem. Ed XXI, 335; Nat. Ed. XIX, 306.

____________. There is no limit to the greatness of the future before America, before our beloved land. But we can realize it only if we are Americans, if we are nationalists, with all the fervor of our hearts and all the wisdom of our brains. We can serve the world at all only if we serve America first and best. We must work along our own national lines in every field of achievement. We must feel in the very marrow of our being that our loyalty is due only to America, and that it is not diluted by loyalty for any other nation or all other nations. (1918.) Mem. Ed XXI, 358; Nat. Ed. XIX, 326.

Nationalism, American

The first essential here in the United States is that we shall be one nation and that the American nation. We are a new nation, by blood akin to but different from every one of the nations of Europe. We have our own glorious past, we are a nation with a future such as no other nation in the world has before it, if only we, the men and women of to-day, do our full duty and bring up our sons and daughters to do their full duty, as Americans, and as nothing else. (At Springfield, O., May 25, 1918.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 523; Bishop II, 447.

____________. Let us trust for our salvation to a sound and intense American nationalism. The horse-sense of the matter is that all agreements to further the cause of sound internationalism must be based on recognition of the fact that, as the world is actually constituted, our present prime need is this sound and intense American nationalism. The first essential of this sound nationalism is that the nation shall trust to its own fully prepared strength for its own defense. So far as possible, its strength must also be used to secure justice for others and must never be used to wrong others. But unless we possess and prepare the strength, we can neither help ourselves nor others. (1918.) Mem. Ed XXI, 350; Nat. Ed. XIX, 319.

Nationalism and Internationalism

Patriotism stands in national matters as love of family does in private life. Nationalism corresponds to the love a man bears for his wife and children. Internationalism corresponds to the feeling he has for his neighbors generally. The sound nationalist is the only type of really helpful internationalist, precisely as in private relations it is the man who is most devoted to his own wife and children who is apt in the long run to be the most satisfactory neighbor. To substitute internationalism for nationalism means to do away with patriotism, and is as vicious and as profoundly demoralizing as to put promiscuous devotion to all other persons in the place of steadfast devotion to man's own family. (Lafayette Day exercises, New York City, September 6, 1918.) Mem. Ed XXI, 410; Nat. Ed. XIX, 372.

____________. I heartily favor true internationalism as an addition to, but never as substitute for, a fervid and intensely patriotic nationalism. I will gladly back any wise and honest effort to create a league of nations, but only on condition that it is treated as an addition to, and not as a substitute for, the full preparedness of our own strength for our own defense. (October 15, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 231.

Nationalism Versus Particularism

The minute that the spirit which finds its healthy development in local self-government, and is the antidote to the dangers of an extreme centralization, develops into mere particularism, into inability to combine effectively for achievement of a common end, then it is hopeless to expect great results. Poland and certain republics of the Western Hemisphere are the standard examples of failure of this kind; and the United States would have ranked with them, and her name would have become a byword of derision, if the forces of union had not triumphed in the Civil War. (At Oxford University, England, June 7, 1910.) Mem. Ed XIV, 86; Nat. Ed. XII, 42.


See also Allegiance; American People; Americanism; Big Stick; Citizenship ; Independence Spirit ; Internationalism; Loyalty; New Nationalism; Patriotism; States' Rights.

Nationality, Dual

Surely it ought not to be necessary to say that the rights of every citizen in this land are as great and as sacred as those of any other citizen. The United States cannot with self-respect permit its organic and fundamental law to be overridden by the laws of a foreign country. It cannot acknowledge any such theory as this of "a dual nationality"—which, incidentally, is a self-evident absurdity. (Metropolitan, June 1915.) Mem. Ed XX, 438; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 375.


See also Allegiance; Citizenship.

Nationals—Protection of

See Intervention.

Natural Gas

See Mineral Fuels.

Natural History

The time has passed when we can afford to accept as satisfactory a science of animal life whose professors are either mere roaming field collectors or mere closet catalogue writers who examine and record minute differences in "specimens" precisely as philatelists examine and record minute differences in postage-stamps—and with about the same breadth of view and power of insight into the essential. Little is to be gained by that kind of "intensive" collecting and cataloguing which bears fruit only in innumerable little pamphlets describing with meticulous care unimportant new sub-species, or new "species" hardly to be distinguished from those already long known. (Introduction to Tropical Wild Life in British Guiana by William Beebe and others; dated December 10, 1916.) Mem. Ed XIV, 521; Nat. Ed. XII, 389.

Natural History—Roosevelt's Interestin

I can no more explain why I like "natural history" than why I like California canned peaches; nor why I do not care for that enormous brand of natural history which deals with invertebrates any more than why I do not care for brandied peaches. All I can say is that almost as soon as I began to read at all I began to like to read about the natural history of beasts and birds and the more formidable or interesting reptiles and fishes. (American Museum Journal, May 1918.) Mem. Ed VI, 443; Nat. Ed. V, 384.

Natural History—Teaching of

I don't believe for a minute that some of these men who are writing nature stories and putting the word "truth" prominently in their prefaces know the heart of the wild things. Neither do I believe that certain men who, while they may say nothing specifically about truth, do claim attention as realists because of their animal stories, have succeeded in learning the real secrets of the life of the wilderness. They don't know, or if they do know, they indulge in the wildest exaggeration under the mistaken notion that they are strengthening their stories.

As for the matter of giving these books to the children for the purpose of teaching them the facts of natural history—why, it's an outrage. If these stories were written as fables, published as fables, and put into the children's hands as fables, all well and good. As it is, they are read and believed because the writer not only says they are true, but lays stress upon his pledge. There is no more reason why the children of the country should be taught a false natural history than why they should be taught a false physical geography. (Everybody's Magazine, June 1907.) Mem. Ed VI, 424; Nat. Ed. V, 367.

Natural History

See also Naturalists; Nature Study; Science.

Natural Resources

If in a given community unchecked popular rule means unlimited waste and destruction of the natural resources—soil, fertility, water-power, forests, game, wild life generally— which by right belong as much to subsequent generations as to the present generation, then it is sure proof that the present generation is not yet really fit for self-control; that it is not yet really fit to exercise the high and responsible privilege of a rule which shall be both by the people and for the people. The term "for the people" must always include the people unborn as well as the people now alive, or the democratic ideal is not realized. (1916.) Mem. Ed IV, 228; Nat. Ed. III, 378.

____________. The steadily increasing drain on . . . natural resources has promoted to an extraordinary degree the complexity of our industrial and social life. Moreover, this unexampled development has had a determining effect upon the character and opinions of our people. The demand for efficiency in the great task has given us vigor, effectiveness, decision, and power, and a capacity for achievement which in its own lines has never yet been matched. So great and so rapid has been our material growth that there has been a tendency to lag behind in spiritual and moral growth; but that is not the subject upon which I speak to you to-day. Disregarding for the moment the question of moral purpose, it is safe to say that the prosperity of our people depends directly on the energy and intelligence with which our natural resources are used. It is equally clear that these resources are the final basis of national power and perpetuity. Finally, it is ominously evident that these resources are in the course of rapid exhaustion. (At Conference on the Conservation of Natural Resources, Washington, May 13, 1908.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 162; Nat. Ed. XVI, 123.

Natural Resources

See also Conservation; Forest ; Game; Inland Waterways; Irrigation; Public Lands; Reclamation; Soil Conservation; Water Power; Wild Life.

Natural Selection

See Progress.


Nowadays the field naturalist—who is usually at all points superior to the mere closet naturalist—follows a profession as full of hazard and interest as that of the explorer or of the big-game hunter in the remote wilderness. He penetrates to all the out- of-the-way nooks and corners of the earth; he is schooled to the performance of very hard work, to the endurance of fatigue and hardship, to encountering all kinds of risks, and to grappling with every conceivable emergency. In consequence he is exceedingly competent, resourceful and self-reliant, and the man of all others to trust in a tight place. (1910.) Mem. Ed V, 402; Nat. Ed. IV, 346.

____________. The outdoor naturalist, the faunal naturalist, who devotes himself primarily to a study of the habits and of the life histories of birds, beasts, fish, and reptiles, and who can portray truthfully and vividly what he has seen, could do work of more usefulness than any mere collector, in this upper Paraguay country. The work of the collector is indispensable; but it is only a small part of the work that ought to be done; and after collecting has reached a certain point the work of the field observer with the gift for recording what he has seen becomes of far more importance. (1914.) Mem. Ed VI, 71; Nat. Ed. V, 60.

____________. Specialization, like every other good thing, can be carried to excess; and no forms of specialization are less desirable than those which make of the outdoor naturalist a mere collector of "specimens," and of the indoor naturalist a mere laborious cataloguer and describer of these specimens when collected. The outdoor naturalist ought to be able to do all the indoor work too; and he ought to have the power to see and to portray the life histories of the shy creatures of the far-off wilderness. But it is well if he can go even beyond this.

Natural Resources

See also Conservation; Forest; Game; Inland Waterways; Irrigation; Public Lands; Reclamation; Soil Conservation; Water Power; Wild Life.

Natural Selection

See Progress.


Nowadays the field naturalist—who is usually at all points superior to the mere closet naturalist—follows a profession as full of hazard and interest as that of the explorer or of the big-game hunter in the remote wilderness. He penetrates to all the out- of-the-way nooks and corners of the earth; he is schooled to the performance of very hard work, to the endurance of fatigue and hardship, to encountering all kinds of risks, and to grappling with every conceivable emergency. In consequence he is exceedingly competent, resourceful and self-reliant, and the man of all others to trust in a tight place. (1910.) Mem. Ed V, 402; Nat. Ed. IV, 346.

____________. The outdoor naturalist, the faunal naturalist, who devotes himself primarily to a study of the habits and of the life histories of birds, beasts, fish, and reptiles, and who can portray truthfully and vividly what he has seen, could do work of more usefulness than any mere collector, in this upper Paraguay country. The work of the collector is indispensable; but it is only a small part of the work that ought to be done; and after collecting has reached a certain point the work of the field observer with the gift for recording what he has seen becomes of far more importance. (1914.) Mem. Ed VI, 71; Nat. Ed. V, 60.

____________. Specialization, like every other good thing, can be carried to excess; and no forms of specialization are less desirable than those which make of the outdoor naturalist a mere collector of "specimens," and of the indoor naturalist a mere laborious cataloguer and describer of these specimens when collected. The outdoor naturalist ought to be able to do all the indoor work too; and he ought to have the power to see and to portray the life histories of the shy creatures of the far-off wilderness.

But it is well if he can go even beyond this. I believe that certain men who, while they may say nothing specifically about truth, do claim attention as realists because of their animal stories, have succeeded in learning the real secrets of the life of the wilderness. They don't know, or if they do know, they indulge in the wildest exaggeration under the mistaken notion that they are strengthening their stories.

As for the matter of giving these books to the children for the purpose of teaching them the facts of natural history—why, it's an outrage. If these stories were written as fables, published as fables, and put into the children's hands as fables, all well and good. As it is, they are read and believed because the writer not only says they are true, but lays stress upon his pledge. There is no more reason why the children of the country should be taught a false natural history than why they should be taught a false physical geography. (Everybody's Magazine, June 1907.) Mem. Ed VI, 424; Nat. Ed. V, 367.

Natural History

See also Naturalists; Nature Study; Science.

Natural Resources

If in a given community unchecked popular rule means unlimited waste and destruction of the natural resources—soil, fertility, water-power, forests, game, wild life generally— which by right belong as much to subsequent generations as to the present generation, then it is sure proof that the present generation is not yet really fit for self-control; that it is not yet really fit to exercise the high and responsible privilege of a rule which shall be both by the people and for the people. The term "for the people" must always include the people unborn as well as the people now alive, or the democratic ideal is not realized. (1916.) Mem. Ed IV, 228; Nat. Ed. III, 378.

____________. The steadily increasing drain on . . . natural resources has promoted to an extraordinary degree the complexity of our industrial and social life. Moreover, this unexampled development has had a determining effect upon the character and opinions of our people. The demand for efficiency in the great task has given us vigor, effectiveness, decision, and power, and a capacity for achievement which in its own lines has never yet been matched. So great and so rapid has been our material growth that there has been a tendency to lag behind in spiritual and moral growth; but that is not the subject upon which I speak to you to-day. Disregarding for the moment the question of moral purpose, it is safe to say that the prosperity of our people depends directly on the energy and intelligence with which our natural resources are used. It is equally clear that these resources are the final basis of national power and perpetuity. Finally, it is ominously evident that these resources are in the course of rapid exhaustion. (At Conference on the Conservation of Natural Resources, Washington, May 13, 1908.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 162; Nat. Ed. XVI, 123.

Natural Resources

See also Conservation; Forest ; Game; Inland Waterways; Irrigation; Public Lands; Reclamation; Soil Conservation; Water Power; Wild Life.

Natural Selection

See Progress.


Nowadays the field naturalist—who is usually at all points superior to the mere closet naturalist—follows a profession as full of hazard and interest as that of the explorer or of the big-game hunter in the remote wilderness. He penetrates to all the out- of-the-way nooks and corners of the earth; he is schooled to the performance of very hard work, to the endurance of fatigue and hardship, to encountering all kinds of risks, and to grappling with every conceivable emergency. In consequence he is exceedingly competent, resourceful and self-reliant, and the man of all others to trust in a tight place. (1910.) Mem. Ed V, 402; Nat. Ed. IV, 346.

____________. The outdoor naturalist, the faunal naturalist, who devotes himself primarily to a study of the habits and of the life histories of birds, beasts, fish, and reptiles, and who can portray truthfully and vividly what he has seen, could do work of more usefulness than any mere collector, in this upper Paraguay country. The work of the collector is indispensable; but it is only a small part of the work that ought to be done; and after collecting has reached a certain point the work of the field observer with the gift for recording what he has seen becomes of far more importance. (1914.) Mem. Ed VI, 71; Nat. Ed. V, 60.

____________. Specialization, like every other good thing, can be carried to excess; and no forms of specialization are less desirable than those which make of the outdoor naturalist a mere collector of "specimens," and of the indoor naturalist a mere laborious cataloguer and describer of these specimens when collected. The outdoor naturalist ought to be able to do all the indoor work too; and he ought to have the power to see and to portray the life histories of the shy creatures of the far-off wilderness.

But it is well if he can go even beyond this. No man leads a hardier or more adventurous life than the collecting naturalist whose quest him takes him to the uttermost parts of the earth. He works in the wildest lands, and on the shifting borders where the raw outskirts of civilization merge into savagery. He works with the wild men of the forest and the desert, and with the men only one degree less wild who do the most primitive work of Civilization on the borders of the forest and the desert. If he has eyes to see he will have many a tale to tell; and if he can tell it aright the tale becomes an addition to that shelf of true stories of adventure in strange lands which is so fascinating a part of the great library of worth-while literature. (American Museum Journal, December 1918.) Mem. Ed XIV, 525; Nat. Ed. XII, 389.


See also Beebe, William; Burroughs, John; Muir, John; Nature Fakers; Science; Selous, F. C.; South America.


It is an incalculable added pleasure to any one's sum of happiness if he or she grows to know, even slightly and imperfectly, how to read and enjoy the wonder-book of nature. (1905.) Mem. Ed III, 313; Nat. Ed. III, 124.

Nature—Harshness of

The very pathetic myth of "beneficent nature" could not deceive even the least wise being if he once saw for himself the iron cruelty of life in the tropics. Of course "nature"—in common parlance a wholly inaccurate term, by the way, especially when used as if to express a single entity—is entirely ruthless, no less so as regards types than as regards individuals, and entirely indifferent to good or evil, and works out her ends or no ends with utter disregard of pain and woe. (1914.) Mem. Ed VI, 142; Nat. Ed. V, 121.

____________. Death by violence, death by cold, death by starvation—these are the normal endings of the stately and beautiful creatures of the wilderness. The sentimentalists who prattle about the peaceful life of nature do not realize its utter mercilessness; although all they would have to do would be to look at the birds in the winter woods, or even at the insects on a cold morning or cold evening. Life is hard and cruel for all the lower creatures, and for man also in what the sentimentalists call a "state of nature." The savage of today shows us what the fancied age of gold of our ancestors was really like; it was an age when hunger, cold violence, and iron cruelty were the ordinary accompaniments of life. (1910.) Mem. Ed V, 196; Nat. Ed. IV, 169.

Nature—Joy in

The lack of power to take joy in outdoor nature is as real a misfortune as the lack of power to take joy in books. Outlook, September 23, 1911, p. 162.


See also Adventure; Book-Lovers; Outdoor Life; Wild Life; Wildernss.

Nature Fakers

The modern "nature-faker" is of course an object of derision to every scientist worthy of the name, to every real lover of the wilderness, to every faunal naturalist, to every true hunter or nature-lover. But it is evident that he completely deceives many good people who are Wholly ignorant of wild life. Sometimes he draws on his own imagination for his fictions; sometimes he gets them secondhand from irresponsible guides or trappers or Indians. (Everybody's Magazine, September 1907.) Mem. Ed VI, 435; Nat. Ed. V, 377.

____________. I wish to express my hearty appreciation of your warfare against the sham nature- writers—those whom you have called "the yellow journalists of the woods." From the days of Aesop to the days of Reinecke Fuchs, and from the days of Reinecke Fuchs to the present time, there has been a distinct and attractive place in literature for those who write avowed fiction in which the heroes are animals with human or semihuman attributes. This fiction serves a useful purpose in many ways, even in the way of encouraging people to take the right view of outdoor creatures; but it is unpardonable for any observer of nature to write fiction and then publish it as truth, and he who exposes and wars against such action is entitled to respect and support. (To John Burroughs, October 2, 1905. Preface to Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter.) Mem. Ed III, xxix; Nat. Ed. II, 390.

____________. Once more let me say that if the fairy-tale mark were put on the stories of these writers, criticism would pass. Apparently, however, they wish to be known as teachers, or possibly they have a feeling of pride that springs from the belief that their readers will think of them as of those who have tramped the wilds and met nature in its gentleness and in its fierceness face to face. (Everybody's Magazine, June 1907.) Mem. Ed VI, 430; Nat. Ed. V, 372.

Nature Stories

The preservation of the useful and beautiful animal and bird life of the country depends largely upon creating in the young an interest in the life of the woods and fields. If the child mind is fed with stories that are false to nature, the children will go to the haunts of the animal only to meet with disappointment. The result will be disbelief, and the death of interest. The men who misinterpret nature and replace facts with fiction, undo the work of those who in the love of nature interpret it aright. (Everybody's Magazine, June 1907.) Mem. Ed VI, 432; Nat. Ed. V, 374.

Nature Study

The great book of nature contains many pages which are hard to read, and at times conscientious students may well draw different interpretations of the obscure and least-known texts. It may not be that either observer is at fault, but what is true of an animal in one locality may not be true of the same animal in another, and even in the same locality two individuals of the same species may differ widely in their traits and habits. (1905.) Mem. EdIII, 122; Nat. Ed. II, 495.

____________. The ordinary naturalist, if he goes into the haunts of the big game, is apt to find numerous small animals of interest, and he naturally devotes an altogether disproportionate share of his time to these. Yet such time is almost wasted; for the little animals, and especially the insects and small birds, remain in the land long after the big game has vanished, and can then be studied at leisure by hosts of observers. The observation of the great beasts of the marsh and the mountain, the desert and the forest, must be made by those hardy adventurers, who, unless explorers by profession, are almost certainly men to whom the chase itself is a dominant attraction. (Foreword to F. C. Selous' African Nature Notes and Reminiscences; dated May 23, 1907.) Mem. Ed XIV, 485; Nat. Ed. XII, 356.

____________ Undoubtedly wild creatures sometimes show very unexpected traits, and individuals among them sometimes perform fairly startling feats or exhibit totally unlooked-for sides of their characters in their relations with one another and with man. We much need a full study and observation of all these animals, undertaken by observers capable of seeing, understanding, and recording what goes on in the wilderness; and such study and observation cannot be made by men of dull mind and limited power of appreciation. The highest type of student of nature should be able to see keenly and write interestingly and should have an imagination that will enable him to interpret the facts. But he is not a student of nature at all who sees not keenly but falsely, who writes interestingly and untruthfully, and whose imagination is used not to interpret facts but to invent them. (Everybody's Magazine, September 1907.) Mem. Ed VI, 434-435; Nat. Ed. V, 376.

Nature Study and Photography

The photographer plays an exceedingly valuable part in nature study, but our appreciation of the great value of this part must never lead us into forgetting that as a rule even the best photograph renders its highest service when treated as material for the best picture, instead of as a substitute for the best picture; and that the picture itself, important though it is, comes entirely secondary to the text in any book worthy of serious consideration either from the standpoint of science or the standpoint of literature. Of course this does not mean any failure to appreciate the absolute importance of photographs; . . . what I desire is merely that we keep in mind, when books are treated seriously, the relative values of the photograph, the picture, and the text. (1910; Appendix of African Game Trails.) Mem. Ed VI, 375-376; Nat. Ed. V, 323-324.

Nature Study

See also Natural History; Science.

Naval Academy

See Annapolis; West Point .

Naval Armaments

I don't want this country to lead the race for big ships, but it seems to me well nigh criminal for us to fall behind. I think the ship provided for last year and the ship to be provided for this year, two in all, should be at least eighteen thousand tons apiece. Japan's new battleship, the Satsuma, is of this size, which is the Dreadnaught size. I do not think we can afford to take any chances with our navy. (To Congressman Foss, December 19, 1906.) Thomas A. Bailey, Theodore Roosevelt and the Japanese-American Crisis. (Stanford University Press, 1934), p. 120.

____________. I should like to see the British Navy kept at its present size but only on condition that the Continental and Japanese Navies are not built up. I do not wish to see it relatively weaker to them than is now the case. As regards our own Navy, I believe in number of units it is now as large as it need be, and I should advocate merely the substitution of efficient for inefficient units. This would mean allowing for about one new battleship a year, and of course now and then for a cruiser, collier, or a few torpedo-boat destroyers. (To Reid, August 7, 1906.) Royal Cortissoz, The Life of Whitelaw Reid. (Charles Scribner's Sons, N. Y., 1921), II, 343.

Naval Armaments — Limitation of

I have been thinking more and more that we might at least be able to limit the size of battleships, and I should put the limit below the size of the Dreadnaught. Let the English have the two or three of Dreadnaught stamp that they have already built, but let all nations agree that hereafter no ship to exceed say fifteen thousand tons shall be built. I am inclined to think that, although not a very large, this would be a very real advance, and it is possible that the powers would agree to it, for surely they must be a little appalled by going into an era of competition in size of ships. Germany, which, as you know, has been extremely lukewarm in all Hague matters, might be inclined to agree with us in limiting the size of battleships, because her coasts are shallow and it is a disadvantage to her to have to build large ships. (To Carnegie, September 6, 1906.) Burton J. Hendrick, The Life of Andrew Carnegie. (Doubleday, Doran & Co., Garden City, N. Y., 1932), II, 307-308.

____________. I entirely agree with his [Victor Emmanuel] position about disarmament. It would be an admirable thing if we could get the nations not to improve their arms. Ask the King if it would not be possible to get them to agree hereafter not to build any ships of more than a certain size. Of course the United States has not any army and can do nothing to decrease the size of armaments on land; but I will be glad to follow any practical suggestion as to putting a stop to the increase of armaments at sea. I think that the reduction in the size of ships as above outlined would be a practicable, though a small, step. (To White, September 13, 1906.) Allan Nevins, Henry White, Thirty Years of American Diplomacy. (Harper & Bros., N. Y., 1930), p. 254.

____________. While President I had sounded, unofficially and informally, Germany and England as well as others powers to see if we could not limit the size of armaments, at least by limiting the size of ships; but had found that while all the other powers were willing, Germany and England would not consent; Germany taking the ground that the status quo put her at an improper disadvantage, and England saying—as I believe quite properly—that naval superiority was vital to her existence and that if Germany intended to alter the status quo she could not agree under any consideration to refrain from a policy of ship-building which would prevent such alteration from coming into effect. I added that while I had no proposition to make myself I did wish that the German authorities would seriously consider whether it was worth while for them to keep on with a building program which was the real cause why other nations were forced into the very great expense attendant upon modern naval preparation. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, October 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 267; Bishop II, 229.

Naval Expenditures

Our ships should be the best of their kind—this is the first desideratum; but, in addition, there should be plenty of them. We need a large navy, composed not merely of cruisers, but containing also a full proportion of powerful battleships, able to meet those of any other nation. It is not economy—it is niggardly and foolish shortsightedness—to cramp our naval expenditures, while squandering money right and left on everything else, from pensions to public buildings. (Atlantic Monthly, October 1890.) Mem. Ed XIV, 315; Nat. Ed. XII, 272.

Naval Officers

The business of a naval officer is one which, above all others, needs daring and decision, and if he must err on either side the nation can best afford to have him err on the side of too much daring rather than too much caution. (Report as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, May 1897.) Mem. Ed XXIII, 86; Bishop I, 73.

Naval Personnel

Taken as a whole there are no better citizens of this country than the officers and enlisted men of our navy. Outlook, January 7, 1911, p. 15.

____________. No navy in the world has such fine stuff out of which to make man-of-war's men. But they must be heartily backed up, heartily supported, and sedulously trained. They must be treated well, and, above all, they must be treated so as to encourage the best among them by sharply discriminating against the worst. The utmost possible efficiency should be demanded of them. They are emphatically and in every sense of the word men; and real men resent with impatient contempt a policy under which less than their best is demanded. The finest material is utterly worthless without the best personnel. In such a highly specialized service as the navy constant training of a purely military type is an absolute necessity. (New York Times, November 22, 1914.) Mem. EdXX, 130; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 112.

____________. History, modern and ancient, has invariably shown that an efficient personnel is the greatest factor toward an effective navy. No matter how well equipped in other respects a navy may be, though its fleet may be composed of powerful, high-speed battleships, manoeuvred by complicated tactics based upon the latest development of naval science, yet it is grievously handicapped if directed by admirals and captains who lack experience in their duties and who are hampered by long deprivation of independent action and responsibility. To oppose such a fleet to one equally good, led by officers more active and more experienced in their duties, is to invite disaster. (Message to Congress, December 17, 1906.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers V, 1011.

Naval Personnel — Efficiency of

I have no question that the officers and men of our Navy now are in point of fighting capacity better than in the times of Drake and Nelson; and morally and in physical surroundings the advantage is infinitely in our favor. (To Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., November 14, 1906.) Mem. Ed XXI, 574; Nat. Ed. XIX, 515.

Naval Personnel—Training of

Exactly as it is of no use to give an army the best arms and equipment if it is not also given the chance to practise with its arms and equipment, so the finest ships and the best natural sailors and fighters are useless to a navy if the most ample opportunity for training is not allowed. Only incessant practice will make a good gunner; though, inasmuch as there are natural marksmen as well as men who never can become good marksmen, there should always be the widest intelligence displayed in the choice of gunners. Not only is it impossible for a man to learn how to handle a ship or do his duty aboard her save by long cruises at sea, but it is also impossible for a good single-ship captain to be an efficient unit in a fleet unless he is accustomed to manœuvre as part of a fleet. . . . A thoroughly good navy takes a long time to build up, and the best officer embodies always the traditions of a first-class service. Ships take years to build, crews take years before they become thoroughly expert, while the officers not only have to pass their early youth in a course of special training, but cannot possibly rise to supreme excellence in their profession unless they make it their life-work. (McClure's Magazine, October 1899.) Mem. Ed XII, 513-515; Nat. Ed. XIII, 426, 427.

____________. Though the sea-mechanic has replaced the sailorman, yet it is almost as necessary as ever that a man should have the sea habit in order to be of use aboard ship; and it is infinitely more necessary than in former times that a man-of-war's-man should have especial training with his guns before he can use them aright. In the old days cannon were very simple; sighting was done roughly; and the ordinary merchant seaman speedily grew fit to do his share of work on a frigate. Nowadays men must be carefully trained for a considerable space of time before they can be of any assistance whatever in handling and getting good results from the formidable engines of destruction on battle-ship, cruiser, and torpedo-boat. Crews cannot be improvised. To get the very best work out of them, they should all be composed of trained and seasoned men; and in any event they should not be sent against a formidable adversary unless each crew has for a nucleus a large body of such men filling all the important positions. From time immemorial it has proved impossible to improvise so much as a makeshift navy for use against a formidable naval opponent. Any such effort must meet with disaster. (Century, November 1899.) Mem. Ed XV, 297-298; Nat. Ed. XIII, 411-412.

____________. The ships will be absolutely useless if the men aboard them are not so trained that they can get the best possible service out of the formidable but delicate and complicated mechanisms intrusted to their care. The markmanship of our men has improved so during the last five years that I deem it within bounds to say that the navy is more than twice as efficient, ship for ship, as half a decade ago. The navy can only attain proper efficiency if enough officers and men are provided, and if these officers and men are given the chance (and required to take advantage of it) to stay continually at sea and to exercise the fleets singly and above all in squadron, the exercise to be of every kind and to include unceasing practice at the guns, conducted under conditions that will test marksmanship in time of war. (Sixth Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1906.) Mem. Ed XVII, 475; Nat. Ed. XV, 405.

Naval Preparedness

The first and most essential form of preparedness should be making the navy efficient. (Everybody's, January 1915). Mem. EdXX, 160; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 137.

____________. In public as in private life a bold front tends to insure peace and not strife. If we possess a formidable navy, small is the chance indeed that we shall ever be dragged into a war to uphold the Monroe Doctrine. If we do not possess such a navy, war may be forced on us at any time.

It is certain, then, that we need a first-class navy. It is equally certain that this should not be merely a navy for defense. Our chief harbors should, of course, be fortified and put in condition to resist the attack of an enemy's fleet; and one of our prime needs is an ample force of torpedo boats to use primarily for coast defense. But in war the mere defensive never pays, and can never result in anything but disaster. It is not enough to parry a blow. The surest way to prevent its repetition is to return it. No master of the prize ring ever fought his way to supremacy by mere dexterity in avoiding punishment. He had to win by inflicting punishment. If the enemy is given the choice of time and place to attack, sooner or later he will do irreparable damage, and if he is at any point beaten back, why, after all, it is merely a repulse, and there are no means of following it up and making it a rout. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed XV, 253; Nat. Ed. XIII, 193.

____________. Those well-meaning but fatuous advocates of peace who would try to prevent the unbuilding of our navy utterly misread the temper of their countrymen. We Americans are ourselves both proud and high-spirited, and we are not always by any means far-sighted. If our honor or our interest were menaced by a foreign power, this nation would fight, wholly without regard to whether or not its navy was efficient. In the event of a crisis arising, the peace advocates who object to our building up the navy would be absolutely powerless to prevent this country going to war. All they could do would be to prevent its being successful in the war. (Outlook, May 8, 1909.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 385; Nat. Ed. XVI, 291.

Naval Preparedness — Demand for

It is difficult for me to restrain my indignation at the cowardice of so many of the men to whom we ought to look for aid in any movement on behalf of Americanism. . . . More important than any other question is, it seems to me, the matter of providing an adequate coast defense and an adequate Navy. (To H. C. Lodge, March 13, 1896.) Lodge Letters I, 215.

____________. Let us at once take action to make us the second naval power in the in the world. Let us take the action this year, not the year after next. Do it now. The navy is our first line of defense. It is from the national standpoint literally criminal to neglect it. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. EdXX, 290; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 249.

Naval Preparedness — Results of

No small part of the respect and good will inspired by the United States in the world at large during recent years has been due to the known preparedness for war of the United States navy. Outlook, January 7, 1911, p. 15.

Naval Vessels

See Battleships; Submarines; Torpedo Boats.

Navy—Dependence on

We all of us earnestly hope that the occasion for war may not arise, but if it has to come then this nation must win; and . . . in winning the prime factor must of necessity be the United States Navy. If the navy fails us then we are doomed to defeat. It should therefore be an object of prime importance for every patriotic American to see that the navy is built up; and that it is kept to the highest point of efficiency both in personnel and material. Above all, it can not be too often repeated to those representatives of the nation in whose hands the practical application of the principle lies, that in modern naval war the chief factor in achieving triumph is what has been done in the way of thorough preparation and training before the beginning of the war. It is what has been done before the outbreak of war that counts most. (At Annapolis, Md., May 2, 1902.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, 33-34.

____________. Unless the United States is prepared to take a place beside China, it will keep its navy and its little army at the highest point of efficiency; if we cannot protect our own interests with our own navy, then all the arbitration and other treaties that all the international philanthropists of the world can devise will not, in even the smallest degree, protect us. If we believe otherwise, we shall have a bitter awakening; and if ever that bitter awakening comes, I trust that our people will remember the foolish philanthropists and the recreant congressmen and other public servants at whose doors the responsibility will lie. (Outlook, May 31, 1913.) Mem. Ed XIV, 228; Nat. Ed. XII, 244.

____________. If, as an aftermath of this war, some great Old World power or combination of powers made war on us because we objected to their taking and fortifying Magdalena Bay or St. Thomas, our chance of securing justice would rest exclusively on the efficiency of our fleet and army, especially the fleet. No arbitration treaties, or peace treaties, of the kind recently negotiated at Washington by the bushelful, and no tepid goodwill of neutral powers, would help us in even the smallest degree. If our fleet were conquered, New York and San Francisco would be seized and probably each would be destroyed as Louvain was destroyed unless it were put to ransom as Brussels has been put to ransom. Under such circumstances outside powers would undoubtedly remain neutral exactly as we have remained neutral as regards Belgium. (New York Times, September 27, 1914.) Mem. EdXX, 11; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 9.

Navy Efficiency of

I have for some time been much interested in the development of our gun practice. It looks very much as if we were behind the age in this all-important branch of naval work¾the very branch in which we possessed the decisive superiority that mainly contributed to our victories in 1812. . . . I am certain that a board of experts who know something of what foreign navies can achieve in gun practice, as well as from practical experience what our people can do, could from personal inspection of our training ships and our cruisers, not merely give valuable hints in the way of improving the gun practice, but also get information that would be of great assistance to us. (To Secretary Long, January 4, 1898.) Papers of John Davis Long. (Mass. Hist. Soc., 1939), p. 40.

____________. It is not possible to improvise a navy after war breaks out. The ships must be built and the men trained long in advance. Some auxiliary vessels can be turned into make-shifts which will do in default of any better for the minor work, and a proportion of raw men can be mixed with the highly trained, their shortcomings being made good by the skill of their fellows; but the efficient fighting force of the navy will be found almost exclusively in the warships that have been regularly built and in the officers and men who through years of faithful performance of sea duty have been trained to handle their formidable but complex and delicate weapons with the highest efficiency. (First Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1901.) Mem. Ed XVII, 137; Nat. Ed. XV, 118.

____________. Not only should our navy be as large as our position and interest demand, but it should be kept continually at the highest point of efficiency and should never be used save for its own appropriate military purposes. (New York Times, November 22, 1914.) Mem. EdXX, 131; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 113.

Navy function of the

There are always a certain number of well-meaning, amiable individuals ¾coupled with others not quite so well- meaning—who like to talk of having a navy merely for defense, who advocate a coast¾defense navy. Such advocacy illustrates a habit of mind as old as human nature itself¾the desire at the same time to do something, and not to do it, than which there is no surer way of combining the disadvantages of leaving it undone and of trying to do it. A purely defensive navy, a mere coast-defense navy, would be almost worthless. (At Naval War College, Newport, R. I., July 22, 1908.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 330; Nat. Ed. XVI, 250.

____________. The navy must primarily be used for offensive purposes. Forts, not the navy, are to be used for defense. The only permanently efficient type of defensive is the offensive. A portion, and a very important portion, of our naval strength must be used with our own coast ordinarily as a base, its striking radius being only a few score miles, or a couple of hundred at the outside. . . .But the prime lesson of the war, as regards the navy, is that the nation with a powerful seagoing navy, although it may suffer much annoyance and loss, yet is able on the whole to take the offensive and do great damage to a nation with a less powerful navy. (New York Times, November 22, 1914.) Mem. EdXX, 128; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 110.

____________. The navy is our first line of defense, but it must be remembered that it can be used wisely for defense only as an offensive arm. Parrying is never successful from the standpoint of defense. The attack is the proper method of efficient defense. For some years we have been using the navy internationally as a bluff defensive force, or rather asserting that it would be so used and could be so used. Its real value is as an offensive force in the interest of any war undertaken for our own defense. Freedom of action by the fleet is the secret of real naval power. This cannot be attained until we have at our disposal an effective military establishment which would enable us when threatened to repel any force disembarking on our coast. This is fundamental. It is only by creating a sufficient army that we can employ our fleet on its legitimate functions. The schemes of the navy must always be correlated with the plans of the army, and both of them with the plans of the State Department, which should never under any circumstances undertake any scheme of foreign Policy without considering what our military situation is and may be made. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. EdXX, 283; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 243.

Navy need for

A great Navy does not make for war but for peace. It is the cheapest kind of insurance. No coast fortifications can really protect our coasts; they can only be protected by a formidable fighting Navy. (To Secretary John D. Long, September 30, 1897.) Mem. Ed XXIII, 97; Bishop I, 83.

____________. If we intend to claim to be a great nation then we must fit ourselves so that we may be ready at need to make good that claim. That can only be done by building up and maintaining at the highest point of efficiency the United States navy. (At Naval War College, Newport, R. I., July 22, 1908.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 333; Nat. Ed. XVI, 253.

____________. Our own navy should be ample to protect our own coasts and to maintain the Monroe Doctrine. There are in Europe and Asia several great military commonwealths, each one of which will in all probability always possess a far more formidable army than ours, even though, as I earnestly hope, we adopt some development of universal military training on the lines of the Swiss system. Therefore, it is of the highest consequence that our navy should be second to that of Great Britain. (December 17, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 286.

Navy Roosevelt’s Labors for the

During my term as President I have more than doubled the navy of the United States, and at this moment our battle fleet is doing what no other similar fleet of a like size has ever done¾that is, circumnavigating the globe—and is also at this moment in far more efficient battle trim, from the standpoint of battle tactics, and even from the standpoint of gunnery, than when it started out a year ago, while the individual ships are each just a trifle more efficient. (To Sydney Brooks, December 28, 1908.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 150; Bishop II, 129.

Navy, American

The navy of the United States is the right arm of the United States and is emphatically the peacemaker. Woe to our country if we permit that right arm to become palsied or even to become flabby, and inefficient. (New York Times, November 22, 1914.) Mem. EdXX, 135; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 116.

Navy, American Division of

One closing legacy. Under no circumstances divide the battleship fleet between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans prior to the finishing of the Panama Canal. Malevolent enemies of the navy will try to lead public opinion in a matter like this without regard to the dreadful harm they may do the country; and good, entirely ignorant, men may be thus misled. I should obey no direction of Congress and pay heed to no popular sentiment, no matter how strong, if it went wrong in such a vital matter as this. When I sent the fleet around the world there was a wild clamor that some of it should be sent to the Pacific, and equally wild clamor that some of it should be left in the Atlantic. I disregarded both. At first it seemed as if popular feeling was nearly a unit against me. It is now nearly a unit in favor of what I did. (To William H. Taft, March 3, 1909.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 139; Bishop II, 119.

Navy, American Program for

In building . . . [our] navy, we must remember two things: First, that our ships and guns should be the very best of their kind; and second, that no matter how good they are, they will be useless unless the man in the conning- tower and the man behind the guns are also the best of their kind. It is mere folly to send men to perish because they have arms with which they cannot win. With poor ships, were an Admiral Nelson and Farragut rolled in one, he might be beaten by any first-class fleet; and he surely would be beaten if his opponents were in any degree his equals in skill and courage; but without this skill and courage no perfection of material can avail, and with them very grave shortcomings in equipment may be overcome. The men who command our ships must have as perfect weapons ready to their hands as can be found in the civilized world, and they must be trained to the highest point in using them. They must have skill in handling the ships, skill in tactics, skill in strategy, for ignorant courage cannot avail; but without courage neither will skill avail. They must have in them the dogged ability to bear punishment, the power and desire to inflict it, the daring, the resolution, the willingness to take risks and incur responsibility which have been possessed by the great captains of all ages, and without which no man can ever hope to stand in the front rank of fighting men. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed XV, 252; Nat. Ed. XIII, 192.

NAVY, American Service of

Never since the beginning of our country's history has the navy been used in an unjust war. Never has it failed to render great and sometimes vital service to the Republic. It has not been too strong for our good, though often not strong enough to do all the good it should have done. Our possession of the Philippines, our interest in the trade of the Orient, our building the Isthmian Canal, our insistence upon the Monroe Doctrine, all demand that our navy shall be of adequate size and for its size of unsurpassed efficiency. (At University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, February 22, 1905.) Mem. Ed XV, 344; Nat. Ed. XIII, 502.

Navy, American and British

I am speaking purely as an American. No man in this country who is both intelligent or informed has the slightest fear that Great Britain will ever invade us or try to go to war with us. The British navy is not in the slightest degree a menace to us. I can go a little further than this. There is in Great Britain a large pacifist and defeatist party which behaves exactly like our own pacifists, pro- Germans, Germanized Socialists, defeatists, and Bolsheviki. If this party had its way and Great Britain abandoned its fleet, I should feel, so far from the United States being freed from the necessity of building up a fleet, that it behooved us to build a much stronger one than is at present necessary. (December 24, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 288.

Navy, Assistant Secretary of the— Appointment as

As soon as I received the news of my appointment I thought of you, and knew you would be pleased. Of course, it was Lodge who engineered it, at the end as at the beginning; working with his usual untiring loyalty and energy. Platt did his best to defeat me; and Gorman, with the help of the Populists, came near causing serious trouble in the Senate. However, I went through; and without making a promise, or even request of any kind, save to ask Olcott and Doty to vouch for my efficiency, etc., as you know. I am very glad to get out of this place; for I have done all that could be done, and now the situation has become literally intolerable. I do not object to any amount of work and worry, where I have a fair chance to win or lose on my merits; but here, at the last, I was playing against stacked cards. (To White, April 16, 1897.) Allan Nevins, Henry White, Thirty Years of American Diplomacy. (Harper & Bros., N. Y., 1930), p. 121.

Navy as Guarantor of Peace

So far from being in any way a provocation to war, an adequate and highly trained navy is the best guarantee against war, the cheapest and most effective peace insurance. The cost of building and maintaining such a navy represents the very lightest premium for insuring peace which this nation can possibly pay. (First Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1901.) Mem. Ed XVII, 136; Nat. Ed. XV, 117.

____________. Our navy is the surest guarantee of peace and the cheapest insurance against war, and those who, in whatever capacity, have helped to build it up during the past twenty years have been in good faith observing and living up to one of the most important of the principles which Washington laid down for the guidance of his countrymen. (At University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, February 22, 1905.) Mem. Ed XV, 344; Nat. Ed. XIII, 502.

____________. I wish to reiterate, and to say with just as much earnestness as I have spoken to-day on other subjects, that I want a first-class fighting navy because it is the most effective guarantee of peace that this country can have. Uncle Sam can well afford to pay for his peace and safety so cheap an insurance policy as is implied in the maintenance of the United States navy. There is not a more paying investment that he makes. (At Naval War College, Newport, R. I., July 22, 1908.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 337; Nat. Ed. XVI, 256.

____________. A strong navy is the surest guaranty of peace that America can have, and the cheapest insurance against war that Uncle Sam can possibly pay. (Outlook , May 8, 1909.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 386; Nat. Ed. XVI, 291.


See also Battle Fleet; Chaplains; Desertion; English Navy; Long, John D.; Mahan, A. T.; Maine; Marksmanship ; Merchant Marine; Military Forces; Military History; Monroe Doctrine; Pacifism; Peace ; Preparedness; War of 1812.


You colored men and women must set your faces like flint against those who would preach to you the gospel of envy, hatred, and bitterness. May you realize that the way in which you can help your fellow citizens as well as the members of your race, is not by empty declarations, least of all by preaching vindictiveness and hatred, but by leading your lives as every-day citizens in such fashion that they shall add to the sum total of good citizenship. When you succeed in getting the ordinary white man of the community to realize that the ordinary colored man is a good citizen you have a friend in him, and that white man is benefited so greatly that there is only one person who receives a greater benefit, and that is the colored man himself. (Before National Negro Business League, New York City, August 19, 1910.) Report of the Eleventh Annual.Convention of the National Negro Business League. (Nashville, 1911), p. 193.

Negro—Duty of the Educated

Remember . . . that no help can permanently avail you save as you yourselves develop capacity for self-help. You young colored men and women educated at Tuskegee must by precept and example lead your fellows toward sober, industrious, law-abiding lives. You are in honor bound to join hands in favor of law and order and to war against all crime, and especially against all crime by men of your own race; for the heaviest wrong done by the criminal is the wrong to his own race. You must teach the people of your race that they must scrupulously observe any contract into which they in good faith enter, no matter whether it is hard to keep or not. If you save money, secure homes, become taxpayers, and lead clean, decent, modest lives, you will win the respect of your neighbors of both races. Let each man strive to excel his fellows only by rendering substantial service to the community in which he lives. The colored People have many difficulties to pass through, but these difficulties will be surmounted if only the policy of reason and common sense is pursued. You have made real and great progress. (At Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, Ala., October 24, 1905.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 474; Nat. Ed. XVI, 353.

Negro—Education of the

The white man, if he is wise, will decline to allow the negroes in a mass to grow to manhood and womanhood without education. Unquestionably education such as is obtained in our public schools does not do everything toward making a man a good citizen; but it does much. . . . Of course the best type of education for the colored man, taken as a whole, is such education as is conferred in schools like Hampton and Tuskegee; where the boys and girls, the young men and young women, are trained industrially as well as in the ordinary public-school branches. The graduates of these schools turn out well in the great majority of cases, and hardly any of them become criminals, while what little criminality there is never takes the form of that brutal violence which invites lynch-law. Every graduate of these schools—and for the matter of that every other colored man or woman— who leads a life so useful and honorable as to win the good-will and respect of those whites whose neighbor he or she is, thereby helps the whole colored race as it can be helped in no other way; for next to the negro himself, the man who can do most to help the negro is his white neighbor who lives near him; and our steady effort should be to better the relations between the two. (Sixth Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1906.) Mem. Ed XVII, 415-416; Nat. Ed. XV, 354-355.

Negro—Future of the

It is true of the colored man, as it is true of the white man, that in the long run his fate must depend far more upon his own effort than upon the efforts of any outside friend. Every vicious, venal, or ignorant colored man is an even greater foe to his own race than to the community as a whole. The colored man's self-respect entitles him to do that share in the political work of the country which is warranted by his individual ability and integrity and the position he has won for himself. But the prime requisite of the race is moral and industrial uplifting.

Laziness and shiftlessness, these, and above all, vice and criminality of every kind, are evils more potent for harm to the black race than all acts of oppression of white men put together. The colored man who fails to condemn crime in another colored man, who fails to co- operate in all lawful ways in bringing colored criminals to justice, is the worst enemy of his own people, as well as an enemy to all the people. Law-abiding black men should, for the sake of their race, be foremost in relentless and unceasing warfare against lawbreaking black men. If the standards of private morality and industrial efficiency can be raised high enough among the black race, then its future on this continent is secure. The stability and purity of the home is vital to the welfare of the black race, as it is to the welfare of every race. (At Lincoln dinner, Republican Club of New York City, February 13, 1905.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 465; Nat. Ed. XVI, 346.

____________. He has a hard road to travel anyhow. He is certain to be treated with much injustice, and although he will encounter among white men a number who wish to help him upward and onward, he will encounter only too many who, if they do him no bodily harm, yet show a brutal lack of consideration for him. Nevertheless, his one safety lies in steadily keeping in view that the law of service is the great law of life, above all in this Republic, and that no man of color can benefit either himself or the rest of his race, unless he proves by his life his adherence to this law. Such a life is not easy for the white man, and it is very much less easy for the black man; but it is even more important for the black man, and for the black man's people, that he should lead it, (Preface to E. J. Scott and L. B. Stowe’s Booker T. Washington; dated August 28, 1916.) Mem. Ed XII, 549; Nat. Ed. XI, 274.

Negro Opportunities for the

It is . . . to the interest of the colored people that they clearly realize that they have opportunities for economic development here in the South not now offered elsewhere. Within the last twenty years the industrial operations of the South have increased so tremendously that there is a scarcity of labor almost everywhere; so that it is the part of wisdom for all who wish the prosperity of the South to help the negro to become in the highest degree useful to himself, and therefore to the community in which he lives. The South has always depended, and now depends, chiefly upon her native population for her work. (At Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, Ala., October 24, 1905.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 471; Nat. Ed. XVI, 351.

Negro Square Deal for the

It is a good thing that the guard around the tomb of Lincoln should be composed of colored soldiers. It was my own good fortune at Santiago to serve beside colored troops. A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country is good enough to be given a square deal afterward. More than that no man is entitled to, and less than that no man shall have. (At Lincoln Monument, Springfield, Ill., June 4, 1903.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 459.

Negro, the, and the Old Parties

For many years the attitude of the Democratic party toward the colored man has been one of brutality, and the attitude of the Republican party toward him one of hypocrisy. One party has brutally denied him, not only his rights, but all hope of ever being treated aright; the other has hypocritically pretended to be zealous for his rights, but has acted only in ways that did him harm and not good. . . . For nearly half a century the Republican party has proceeded on the theory that the colored man in the South, in order to secure him his political rights, should be encouraged to antagonize the white man in the South; for nearly half a century the Democratic party has encouraged the white man of the South to trample on the colored man. The Republican policy has utterly and miserably failed in its object; it has not only done no good to the colored man, but has harmed him, has also harmed the white man of the South, and through the votes of the colored man of the South in the national convention has finally destroyed the Republican party itself. The Democratic party has succeeded in its policy, but at the cost of the utmost damage not only to the colored man, but also to those in whose interest the policy was supposed to be carried on¾the white men of the South themselves. One of the greatest services that can be performed for the white men of the South is to emancipate them from their slavery to the Democratic party, As regards the colored man, I need hardly point out that the Democratic party is, as it always has been, his consistent foe; and no man who supports the Democratic party and its candidates in this contest can honestly say that he is the friend of the colored man, or entitled to be listened to when he pretends to be such. (Outlook, August 24, 1912.) Mem. Ed XIX, 412, 415; Nat. Ed. XVII, 300, 302.

Negro, the, and the Progressive Party

Unlike the Democratic party, the Progressive party stands for justice and fair dealing toward the colored man; and, unlike the Republican party, it proposes to secure him justice and fair dealing in the only practicable way, by encouraging in every part of the country good feeling between the white men and the colored men who are neighbors, and by appealing in every part of the country to the white men who are the colored man's neighbors, and who alone can help him, to give him such help, not because they are forced by outsiders to do so, but as a matter of honorable obligation freely recognized on their own part. The plans already tried by the Republican and Democratic parties have failed utterly and hopelessly. No other plan than the one we propose offers the remotest chance of benefiting either the white man or the colored man of the South. Therefore it is merely the part of wisdom to try our plan, which is to try for the gradual re- enfranchisement of the worthy colored man of the South by frankly giving the leadership of our movement to the wisest and justest white men of the South. . . . In the South we propose to proceed just as we are proceeding in the North, by appealing to what is best in the best men in the country, the most upright and honest and far-sighted citizens. The average American objects to being driven, but he is susceptible to any appeal made frankly to his sense of honor and justice. We no more propose to try, or pretend to try, to dragoon the people of Georgia or Louisiana than the people of New York or Illinois. We feel that when the movement is allowed to come from within, the men of the right type from the South Atlantic and Gulf States will act as their brethren elsewhere act; and then the colored man who is a good citizen will have the same chance in one place as in another. (Outlook, August 24, 1912.) Mem. Ed XIX, 415, 417; Nat. Ed. XVII, 303, 304.

Negro, the, in the North

The attitude of the North toward the negro is far from what it should be and there is need that the North also should act in good faith upon the principle of giving to each man what is justly due him, of treating him on his worth as a man, granting him no special favors, but denying him no proper opportunity for labor and the reward of labor. (At Lincoln dinner, Republican Club of New York City, February 13, 1905.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 463; Nat. Ed. XVI, 344.

Negro Appointments

So far as I legitimately can I shall always endeavor to pay regard to the likes and dislikes of the people of each locality, but I cannot consent by my action to take the position that the door of hope—the door of opportunity—is to be shut upon all men, no matter how worthy, purely upon the grounds of color. Such an attitude would according to my conviction be fundamentally wrong. . . . The question simply is whether it is to be declared that under no circumstances shall any man of color, no matter how good a citizen, no matter how upright and honest, no matter how fair in his dealings with all his fellows, be permitted to hold any office under our government. I certainly cannot assume such an attitude, and you must permit me to say that in my view it is an attitude no one should assume, whether he looks at it from the standpoint of the true interest of the white men of the South or of the colored men of the South—not to speak of any other section in the Union. It seems to me that it is a good thing from every standpoint to let the colored man know that if he shows in marked degree the qualities of good citizenship—the qualities which in a white man we feel are entitled to reward—then he himself will not be cut off from all hope of similar reward. (To R. G. Rhett, November 10, 1902.) Mem. Ed XXIII, 195; Bishop I, 168.

____________. Concerning Federal appointments in the South. Frankly, it seems to me that my appointments speak for themselves and that my policy is self-explanatory. So far from feeling that they need the slightest apology or justification, my position is that on the strength of what I have done I have the right to claim the support of all good citizens who wish not only a high standard of Federal service but fair and equitable dealing to the South as well as to the North, and a policy of consistent justice and good-will toward all men. In making appointments I have sought to consider the feelings of the people of each locality so far as I could consistently do so without sacrificing principle. The prime tests I have applied have been those of character, fitness and ability, and when I have been dissatisfied with what has been offered within my own party lines I have without hesitation gone to the opposite party. . . . I certainly cannot treat mere color as a permanent bar to holding office, any more than I could so treat creed or birthplace—always provided that in other respects the applicant or incumbent is a worthy and well-behaved American citizen. ( To Clark Howell, February 23, 1903.) Mem. Ed XXIII, 196; Bishop I,169.

Negro Problem—Nature of the

It is in the South that we find in its most acute phase one of the gravest problems before our people: the problem of so dealing with the man of one color as to secure him the rights that no one would grudge him if he were of another color. To solve this problem it is, of course, necessary to educate him to perform the duties a failure to perform which will render him a curse to himself and to all around him. . . .

The problem is so to adjust the relations between two races of different ethnic type that the rights of neither be abridged nor jeoparded; that the backward race be trained so that it may enter into the possession of true freedom, while the forward race is enabled to preserve unharmed the high civilization wrought out by its forefathers. The working out of this problem must necessarily be slow; it is not possible in offhand fashion to obtain or to confer the priceless boons of freedom, industrial efficiency, political capacity, and domestic morality. Nor is it only necessary to train the colored man; it is quite as necessary to train the white man, for on his shoulders rests a well-nigh unparalleled sociological responsibility. It is a problem demanding the best thought, the utmost patience, the most earnest effort, the broadest charity, of the statesman, the student, the philanthropist; of the leaders of thought in every department of our national life. (At Lincoln dinner, Republican Club of New York City, February 13, 1905). Mem. Ed XVIII, 462, 464; Nat. Ed. XVI, 344, 345.

Negro Problem—Roosevelt and the

The most damaging thing to me any one can do is to give the impression that in what I .have been trying to do for the negro I have been actuated by political motives. That is why I have been so insistent that neither you nor any one else shall take any step to secure a negro or any other delegation from the South. I do not want the nomination unless it comes freely from the people of the Republican States, because they believe in me, and because they believe I can carry their States. And in the South I want to make it as clear as a bell that I have acted in the way I have on the negro question simply because I hold myself the heir of the policies of Abraham Lincoln and would be incapable of abandoning them to serve political or personal ends. (To a member of the Republican National Committee, March 13, 1903.) Mem. Ed XXIII, 285; Bishop I, 247.

Negro Problem — Solution of the

The negroes were formerly held in slavery. This was a wrong which legislation could remedy, and which could not be remedied except by legislation. Accordingly they were set free by law. This having been done, many of their friends believed that in some way, by additional legislation, we could at once put them on an intellectual, social, and business equality with the whites. The effort has failed completely. In large sections of the country the negroes are not treated as they should be treated, and politically in particular the frauds upon them have been so gross and shameful as to awaken not merely indignation but bitter wrath; yet the best friends of the negro admit that his hope lies, not in legislation, but in the constant working of those often unseen forces of the national life which are greater than all legislation. (Reviews of Reviews, January 1897.) Mem. Ed XVI, 377.

____________. I have not been able to think out any solution of the terrible problem offered by the presence of the negro on this continent, but of one thing I am sure, and that is that inasmuch as he is here and can neither be killed nor driven away, the only wise and honorable and Christian thing to do is to treat each black man and each white man strictly on his merits as a man, giving him no more and no less than he shows himself worthy to have. I say I am "sure" that this is the right solution. Of course I know that we see through a glass dimly, and, after all, it may be that I am wrong; but if I am, then all my thoughts and beliefs are wrong, and my whole way of looking at life is wrong. At any rate, while I am in public life, however short a time that may be, I am in honor bound to act up to my beliefs and convictions. I do not intend to offend the prejudices of any one else, but neither do I intend to allow their prejudices to make me false to my principles. (To Albion W. Tourgee, November 8, 1901.) Mem. Ed XXIII, 192; Bishop I, 166.

____________. Neither I nor any other man can say that any given way of approaching that problem will present in our time even an approximately perfect solution, but we can safely say that there can never be such solution at all unless we approach it with the effort to do fair and equal justice among all men; and to demand from them in return just and fair treatment for others. Our effort should be to secure to each man, whatever his color, equality of opportunity, equality of treatment before the law. As a people striving to shape our actions in accordance with the great law of righteousness we cannot afford to take part in or be indifferent to the oppression or maltreatment of any man who, against crushing disadvantages, has by his own industry, energy, self- respect, and perseverance struggled upward to a position which would entitle him to the respect of his fellows, if only his skin were of a different hue. (At Lincoln dinner, Republican Club of New York City, February 13, 1905.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 463; Nat. Ed. XVI, 345.

Negro Suffrage

I have always felt that the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment at the time it was passed was a mistake; but to admit this is very different from admitting that it is wise, even if it were practicable, now to repeal that amendment. . . . There is no white man from a Southern district in which blacks are numerous who does not tell you, either defiantly or as a joke, that any white man is allowed to vote, no matter how ignorant and degraded, and that the negro vote is practically suppressed because it is the negro vote. To acquiesce in this state of things because it is not possible at the time to attempt to change it without doing damage is one thing. It's quite another thing to do anything which will seem formally to approve it. (To Henry S. Pritchett, December 14, 1904.) Mem. Ed XXIII, 403, 404; Bishop I, 350, 351.


See also Abolitionists; Brownsville Riot; Haiti; Lynching; Slavery; Tuskegee Institute; Washington, Booker T.

Neutral Nations—Duty of

I entirely agree with his [M. Renault's] thesis that neutrals who sign conventions have a duty to stand up for them. I shall never accept the view that neutrality between right and wrong is proper. I shall never accept the view that all wars are to be condemned alike, or that all kinds of peace are to be glorified. I put righteousness as the end. Usually peace is the means to righteousness; but occasionally war offers the only means by which righteousness can be achieved. (To J. J. Jusserand, April 2, 1915.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 440; Bishop II, 374.

____________. In my view the really unprecedented folly was in exercising our loose tongues in a way thoroughly to irritate Germany and yet to do nothing whatever to back up these aforesaid tongues by governmental action. If it was our duty to remain neutral politically, it was emphatically our duty to remain morally neutral. Any political neutrality not based on moral reasons is no more and no less admirable than the neutrality of Pontius Pilate or of the backwoodsman who saw his wife fighting the bear. Either The Hague Conventions meant something or they did not mean something. Either they can be construed according to their spirit or by legalistic device the letter can be twisted so as to give a faint shadow of justification for violating the spirit. If they meant nothing, then it was idiocy for us to have gone into them. If they meant anything, Wilson and Bryan are not to be excused for failure to try to make them good by whatever action was necessary; and political neutrality when they were violated was a crime against the world and a thoroughly base and dishonorable thing on our part. (To Owen Wister, July 7, 1915.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 458; Bishop II, 389.

Neutral Nations

See also Belgium; Hague Conventions; Treaties.

Neutral Rights

The United States senator or governor of a State, or other public representative, who takes the position that our citizens should not, in accordance with their lawful rights, travel on such ships, and that we need not take action about their deaths, occupies a position precisely and exactly as base and as cowardly (and I use these words with scientific precision) as if his wife's face were slapped on the public streets and the only action he took was to tell her to stay in the house. (1916.) Mem. EdXX, 246; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 212.

Neutral Rights—Protection of

The administration should represent American interests; it should see that while we perform our duties as neutrals we should be protected in our rights as neutrals; and one of these rights is the trade in contraband. To prohibit this is to take part in the war for the benefit of one belligerent at the expense of another and to our own cost. Of course it would be an ignoble action on our part after having conspicuously failed to protest against the violation of Belgian neutrality to show ourselves over-eager to protest against comparatively insignificant violations of our own neutral rights. But we should never have put ourselves in such a position as to make insistence on our own rights seem disregard for the rights of others. The proper course for us to pursue was on the one hand, scrupulously to see that we did not so act as to injure any contending nation, unless required to do so in the name of morality and of our solemn treaty obligations, and also fearlessly to act on behalf of other nations which were wronged, as required by these treaty obligations; and, on the other hand, with courteous firmness to warn any nation which, for instance, seized or searched our ships against the accepted rules of international conduct that this we could not permit and that such a course should not be persevered in by any nation which desired our good- will. (New York Times, November 22, 1914.) Mem. EdXX, 123; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 106.

____________. I blame the Administration, but I blame even more the American people, who stand supine and encourage their representatives to permit unchecked the murder of women and children and other non- combatants rather than to take a policy which might, forsooth, jeopardize the life of some strong fighting man. (Metropolitan, January 1916.) Mem. EdXX, 317; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 272.

Neutral Rights—Violation of

[The violation of Belgian neutrality] was not the only one. The Japanese and English forces not long after violated Chinese neutrality in attacking Kiao-Chau. It has been alleged and not denied that the British ship Highflier sunk the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse in neutral Spanish waters, this being also a violation of The Hague conventions; and on October 10th the German Government issued an official protest about alleged violations of the Geneva convention by the French. Furthermore, the methods employed in strewing portions of the seas with floating mines have been such as to warrant the most careful investigation by any neutral nations which treat neutrality pacts and Hague conventions as other than merely dead letters. Not a few offenses have been committed against our own people. If, instead of observing a timid and spiritless neutrality, we had lived up to our obligations by taking action in all of these cases without regard to which power it was that was alleged to have done wrong, we would have followed the only course that would both have told for world righteousness and have served our own self- respect. (New York Times, November 29, 1914.) Mem. EdXX, 194; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 166.

Neutral Trade

It is thoroughly immoral in any way to help Germany win a triumph which would result in making the subjugation of Belgium perpetual. It is highly moral, it is from every standpoint commendable, to sell arms which shall be used in endeavoring to secure the freedom of Belgium and to create a condition of things which will make it impossible that such a crime against humanity as its subjugation by Germany shall ever be repeated, whether by Germany or by any other power. (Metropolitan, October 1915.) Mem. EdXX, 343; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 294.

Neutral Trade

See also Contraband; Munitions.


As for neutrality, it is well to remember that it is never moral, and may be a particularly mean and hideous form of immorality. It is in itself merely unmoral; that is, neither moral nor immoral; and at times it may be wise and expedient. But it is never anything of which to be proud; and it may be something of which to be heartily ashamed. It is a wicked thing to be neutral between right and wrong. Impartiality does not mean neutrality. (1916.) Mem. EdXX, 239; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 206.

____________. There is no meaner moral attitude than that of a timid and selfish neutrality between right and wrong. (Metropolitan, August 1915.) Mem. EdXX, 351; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 301.

____________. The milk-and-water statesmanship of the American Government during the past year has been a direct aid to the statesmanship of blood-and-iron across the water; it may not be as wicked, but it is far more contemptible. The United States has signally and culpably failed to keep its promises made in The Hague conventions, and to stand for the right. Instead, it has taken refuge in the world-old neutrality between right and wrong which is always so debasing for the man practising it. As has been well said, such a neutral is the ignoblest work of God. (Metropolitan, November 1915.) Mem. EdXX, 382; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 327.

Neutrality—Guaranty of

It is eminently desirable to guarantee the neutrality of small civilized nations which have a high social and cultural status and which are so advanced that they do not fall into disorder or commit wrong-doing on others. But it is eminently undesirable to guarantee the neutrality or sovereignty of an inherently weak nation which is impotent to preserve order at home, to repel assaults from abroad, or to refrain from doing wrong to outsiders. It is even more undesirable to give such a guaranty with no intention of making it really effective. . . . To enter into a joint guaranty of neutrality which in emergencies can only be rendered effective by force of arms is to incur a serious responsibility which ought to be undertaken in a serious spirit. To enter into it with no intention of using force, or of preparing force, in order at need to make it effective, represents the kind of silliness which is worse than wickedness. (New York Times, November 22, 1914.) Mem. EdXX, 125; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 108.

Neutrality, Belgian

Our course toward foreign nations has combined unworthy submission to wrongs against ourselves, with selfish refusal to keep our word and do right by others. Under the sixth article of the Constitution treaties are “the supreme law of the land.” The Hague conventions were treaties of this kind. They included a guaranty from Germany that she would not violate the territory of neutral nations (including the territory of Belgium) and a guaranty by Belgium that if an attempt was made to violate her territory she would fight to prevent the violation. Germany broke her solemn promise to us, and offended against the Supreme law of our land. Belgium kept her solemn promise made by her to us, to Germany, to France, Russia, and England. We shirked our duty by failing to take any action, even by protest, against the wrong-doer and on behalf of the wronged, by permitting this violation of our law, of the law which we guaranteed, of "the supreme law of the land,” and by announcing through our President that we would be "neutral in thought as well as in deed" between the oppressor and the oppressed. (1916.) Mem. EdXX, 246; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 212.

Neutrality, Belgian—Violation of

I feel in the strongest way that we should have interfered, at least to the extent of the most emphatic diplomatic protest and at the very outset—and then by whatever further action was necessary—in regard to the violation of the neutrality of Belgium; for this act was the earliest and the most important and, in its consequences the most ruinous of all the violations and offenses against treaties committed by any combatant during the war. . . . Inasmuch as, in the first and greatest and the most ruinous case of violation of neutral rights and of international morality, this nation, under the guidance of Messrs. Wilson and Bryan, kept timid silence dared not protest, it would be—and is—an act of deliberate bad faith to protest only as regards subsequent and less important violations. Of course, if, as a people, we frankly take the ground that our actions are based upon nothing whatever but our own selfish and shortsighted interest, it is possible to protest only against violations of neutrality that at the moment unfavorably affect our own interests. (New York Times, November 29, 1914.) Mem. EdXX, 193, 194; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 166, 167.

Neutrality and Peace

The kind of “neutrality” which seeks to preserve “peace” by timidly refusing to live up to our plighted word and to denounce and take action against such wrong as that committed in the case of Belgium, is unworthy of an honorable and powerful people. Dante reserved a special place of infamy in the inferno for those base angels who dared side neither with evil nor with good. Peace is ardently to be desired, but only as the handmaid of righteousness. The only peace of permanent value is the peace of righteousness. There can be no such peace until well-behaved, highly civilized small nations are protected from oppression and subjugation. (1915.) Mem. EdXX, xxii; Nat. Ed. XVIII, xxi.

____________. President Wilson has been much applauded by all the professional pacifists because he has announced that our desire for peace must make us secure it for ourselves by a neutrality so strict as to forbid our even whispering a protest against wrong- doing, lest such whispers might cause disturbance to our ease and well-being. We pay the penalty of this action . . . on behalf of peace for ourselves, by forfeiting our right to do anything on behalf of peace for the Belgians in the present. We can maintain our neutrality only by refusal to do anything to aid unoffending weak Powers which are dragged into the gulf of bloodshed and misery through no fault of their own. (Outlook , September 23, 1914.) Mem. EdXX, 23; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 19.

Neutrality and the League

By all means go into any wise league or covenant among nations to abolish neutrality (for of course a league to enforce peace is merely another name for a league to abolish neutrality in every possible war). But let us first understand what we are promising, and count the cost and determine to keep our promises. (1918.) Mem. Ed XXI, 351; Nat. Ed. XIX, 320.

Neutrality in the World War

When I had the great pleasure and honor of being associated with you and other men whom I highly regarded in the effort to bring about peace between Russia and Japan, I could in good faith act as a neutral. But neutrality in the present war is a crime against humanity and against the future of the race. . . . If I had had the power I would have made this nation actively interfere, if possible at the head of all neutral nations, on the ground of the violation of The Hague Conventions as regards Belgium. (To Baron Rosen, August 7, 1915.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 461; Bishop II, 392.


See also Arbitration; Belgium; Contraband; Justice; League For Peace ; Lusitania; Pacifism; Peace; Preparedness; World War.

New England

On the whole, the New Englanders have exerted a more profound and wholesome influence upon the development of our common country than has ever been exerted by any other equally numerous body of our people. They have led the nation in the path of civil liberty and sound governmental administration. But too often they have viewed the nation's growth and greatness from a narrow and provincial standpoint, and have grudgingly acquiesced in, rather than led the march toward, continental supremacy. In shaping the nation's policy for the future, their sense of historic perspective seemed imperfect. They could not see the all-importance of the valley of the Ohio, or of the valley of the Columbia, to the republic of the years to come. The value of a county in Maine offset, in their eyes, the value of these vast, empty regions. (1894.) Mem. Ed XI, 321-322; Nat. Ed. IX, 97-98.

New Freedom, the

The worth of any such phrase as this of our scholarly and well-intentioned President lies in its interpretation. A careful study of the articles that have appeared by President Wilson dealing with this subject since he was President has left us somewhat puzzled as to what he really does mean; but of course I assume that there must be meaning, and if this assumption is warranted, then the “New Freedom" means nothing whatever but the old license translated into term of pleasant rhetoric. The "New Freedom" is nothing whatever but the right of the strong to prey on the weak, of the big men to crush down the little men, and to shield their iniquity beneath the cry that they are exercising freedom. The "New Freedom" when practically applied turns out to be that old kind of dreadful freedom which leaves the unscrupulous and powerful free to make slaves of the feeble. There is but one way to interfere with this freedom to inflict slavery on others, and that is by invoking the supervisory, the regulatory, the controlling, and directing power of the government. (Before National Conference of Progressive Service, Portsmouth, R. I., July 2, 1913.) Mem. Ed XIX, 519; Nat. Ed. XVII, 380.

____________. A patient and sincere effort to find out what Mr. Wilson means by the "New Freedom" leaves me in some doubt whether it has any meaning at all. But if there is any meaning, the phrase means and can mean only freedom for the big man to prey unchecked on the little man, freedom for unscrupulous exploiters of the public and of labor to continue unchecked in a career of cutthroat commercialism, wringing their profits out of the laborers whom they oppress and the business rivals and the public whom they outwit. This is the only possible meaning that the phrase can have if reduced to action. It is, however, not probable that it has any meaning at all. It certainly can have no meaning of practical value if its coiner will not translate it out of the realm of magniloquent rhetoric into specific propositions affecting the intimate concerns of our social and industrial life to-day. To discriminate against a very few big men because of their efficiency, without regard to whether their efficiency is used in a social or antisocial manner, may perhaps be included in Mr. Wilson's meaning; but this would be absolutely useless from every aspect, and harmful from many aspects, while all the other big unscrupulous men were left free to work their wicked will. The line should be drawn on conduct, not on size. The man who behaves badly should be brought to book, whether he is big or little; but there should be no discrimination against efficiency, if the results of the efficiency are beneficial to the wage-earners and the public.

We have waited for a year to see such propositions made, and until they are made and put into actual practice, and until we see how they work, the phrase "New Freedom" must stand as any empty flourish of rhetoric, having no greater and no smaller value than all the similar flourishes invented by clever phrase-makers whose concern is with diction and not action. (Century, October 1913.) Mem. Ed XIX, 541- 542; Nat. Ed. XVII, 398-399.

New Nationalism, the

[I] ask that we work in a spirit of broad and far-reaching nationalism when we work for what concerns our people as a whole. We are all Americans. Our common interests are as broad as the continent. I speak to you here in Kansas exactly as I would speak in New York or Georgia, for the most vital problems are those which affect us all alike. The National Government belongs to the whole American people, and where the whole American people are interested, that interest can be guarded effectively only by the National Government. The betterment which we seek must be accomplished, I believe, mainly through the National Government. The American people are right in demanding that New Nationalism, without which we cannot hope to deal with new problems. The New Nationalism puts the national need before sectional or personal advantage. It is impatient of the utter confusion that results from local legislatures attempting to treat national issues as local issues. It is still more impatient of the impotence which springs from overdivision of governmental powers, the impotence which makes it possible for local selfishness or for legal cunning, hired by wealthy special interests, to bring national activities to a deadlock. This New Nationalism regards the executive power as the steward of the public welfare. It demands of the judiciary that it shall be interested primarily in human welfare rather than in property, just as it demands that the representative body shall represent all the people rather than any one class or section of the people. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed XIX, 26; Nat. Ed. XVII, 19.

____________. The New Nationalism represents the struggle of freemen to gain and to hold the right of self- government as against the special interests, who twist the methods of free government into machinery for defeating the popular will. At every stage, and under all circumstances, the essence of the struggle is to equalize opportunity, to destroy privilege, and to give to the life and the citizenship of every individual in the commonwealth the highest possible value, both to himself and to the nation. (At Cleveland, O., November 5, 1910.) Mem. Ed XIX, 69.

New Nationalism, the

See also Progressive Party

New Orleans—Battle of

See Jackson, Andrew

New York Assembly—Roosevelt's Service in

All I can say . . . is this: as I served you last year, so will I serve you this. If you are satisfied with what I did last year, you may return me; if not, I will take my dismissal. The duties of an assemblyman are not of a very high nature. I think all one needs to have there is honesty and courage. I certainly shall do the best I can to serve you with these qualities. And I use honesty not in the sense of merely refraining from taking that which is not your own, though I wish some of my fellow assemblymen had adopted that principle. I use it also in the higher sense, that of carrying private morality into public life. It is not always necessary to vote strictly within party lines, and I am happy to say that though I generally vote in the Republican party, still I wish to feel when I return that every citizen in the district can feel that I have served him to the best of my ability. I shall certainly try to please you and make every man feel as far as possible that I have served the cause of good government in the city and State of New York. (At Republican mass-meeting 21st Assembly Dist., New York City, October 28, 1882.) Mem. Ed XVI, 14; Nat. Ed. XIV, 12.

____________. In the legislature the problems with which I dealt were mainly problems of honesty and decency and of legislative and administrative efficiency. They represented the effort, the wise, the vitally necessary effort, to get efficient and honest government. But as yet I understood little of the effort which was already beginning, for the most part under very bad leadership, to secure a more genuine social and industrial justice. Nor was I especially to blame for this. The good citizens I then knew best, even when themselves men of limited means—men like my colleague Billy O'Neill, and my backwoods friends Sewall and Dow—were no more awake than I was to the changing needs the changing times were bringing. Their outlook was as narrow as my own, and, within its limits, as fundamentally sound. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, water, and the other ceremonies attendant upon the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the adoption of the federal Constitution. (1891.) Mem. Ed IX, 422; Nat. Ed. X, 536.

____________. Uncharitableness and lack of generosity have never been New York failings; the citizens are keenly sensible to any real, tangible distress or need. A blizzard in Dakota, an earthquake in South Carolina, a flood in Pennsylvania—after any such catastrophe hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised in New York at a day's notice, for the relief of the sufferers; while, on the other hand, it is a difficult matter to raise money for a monument or a work of art. (1891.) Mem. Ed IX, 422; Nat. Ed. X, 535.

____________. [I]. feel that in a peculiar degree New York is not representative of the country, and what is more that almost each considerable section of New York is peculiarly unrepresentative of the state as a whole. The commercial and business world, the world of Wall Street, of the banks, of the big mercantile houses, and of the clubs, has absolutely no touch with the world of the East Side; just exactly as the little knots of idealistic reformers, who mean well but do not know, have no kind of touch with the great and rather sordid political machines of the city, which emphatically do know, and often do not mean well at all. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, October 16, 1902.) Cowles Letters, 252.

New York City—Government of

During three years' service in the State Legislature fully half my time was occupied in dealing with the intricate municipal misgovernment of this city, and it became evident to me that there could be no great or effective change for the better in our City Government except through the unsparing use of the knife wielded by some man who could act unhampered by the political interests which sustain the present abuses, and without fear of either personal or political consequences. It is not enough that the Mayor refrain from making bad appointments or that he play a passively good part; to work a real reform he must devote his whole energy to actively grappling with and rooting out the countless evils and abuses already existing.

The chief reason for the continuance of these evils and abuses lies in the fact that hitherto no man having power has dared to deal with them without reference to the effect upon National and State politics. Many excellent gentle- men have deplored their existence and would have been glad to remedy them; but every effort against the spoilsmen who are eating up the substance of the city has been checked by the consideration that to assail them would affect unfavorably the control of some convention or the success of some election. (Letter accepting nomination for Mayor, New York Times, October 17, 1886.) Mem. Ed XVI, 111- 112; Nat. Ed. XIV, 68-69.

New York City

See also Machine; Police; Saloon; Tammany Hall.

New York Legislature

Few persons realize the magnitude of the interests affected by State legislation in New York. It is no mere figure of speech to call New York the Empire State; and many of the laws most directly and immediately affecting the interests of its citizens are passed at Albany, and not at Washington. In fact, there is at Albany a little home rule parliament which presides over the destinies of a commonwealth more populous than any one of two- thirds of the kingdoms of Europe, and one which, in point of wealth, material prosperity, variety of interests, extent of territory, and capacity for expansion, can fairly be said to rank next to the powers of the first class. (Century, January 1885.) Mem. Ed XV, 81; Nat. Ed. XIII, 47.

Newell, F. H.

See Conservation.


See Journalism; Press.


See Lark.

Nobel Peace Prize

The medal and diploma will be prized by me throughout my life, and by my children after my death. I have turned over the money to a committee, including the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Secretaries of Agriculture and Commerce and Labor, in trust, to be used as a foundation for promoting the cause of industrial peace in this country. In our modern civilization it is as essential to secure a righteous peace based upon sympathy and fair dealing between the different classes of society as it is to secure such a peace among the nations of the earth; and therefore I have felt that the use I have made of the amount of the Nobel Prize was one peculiarly in accordance with the spirit of the gift. (To Nobel Prize Committee, January 8, 1907.) Mem. Ed XXIII, 485; Bishop I, 422.

____________. I think it eminently just and proper that in most cases the recipient of the prize should keep for his own use the prize in its entirety.

But in this case, while I did not act officially as President of the United States, it was nevertheless only because I was President that I was enabled to act at all; and I felt that the money must be considered as having been given me in trust for the United States. I therefore used it as a nucleus for a foundation to forward the cause of industrial peace, as being well within the general purpose of your committee; for in our complex industrial civilization of to-day the peace of righteousness and justice, the only kind of peace worth having, is at least as necessary in the industrial world as it is among nations. There is at least as much need to curb the cruel greed and arrogance of part of the world of capital, to curb the cruel greed and violence of part of the world of labor, as to check a cruel and unhealthy militarism in international relationships. (Before Nobel Prize Committee, Christiania, Norway, May 5, 1910.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 410; Nat. Ed. XVI, 305.

North and South

I believe that the North has hearty sympathy with the trials of the South and is generously glad to assist the South whenever the South does not render it impossible by “superfluity of naughtiness.” (To Henry S. Pritchett, December 14, 1904.) Mem. Ed XXIII, 404; Bishop I, 351.


See also Civil War; Copperheads; Negro.

Northern Securities Case

I know the stress you are under, but as regards this Northern Securities business no stress must make us go one hand's breadth out of our path. I should hate to be beaten in this contest; but I should not merely hate, I should not be able to bear being beaten under circumstances which implied ignominy. To give any color for misrepresentation to the effect that we were now weakening in the Northern Securities matter would be ruinous. The Northern Securities suit is one of the great achievements of my administration. I look back upon it with great pride, for through it we emphasize in signal fashion, as in no other way could be emphasized, the fact that the most powerful men in this country were held to accountability before the law. Now we must not spoil the effect of this lesson. (To George B. Cortelyou, August 11, 1904.) Mem. Ed XXIII, 374-375; Bishop I, 324-325.

____________. During the last few years the National Government has taken very long strides in the direction of exercising and securing this adequate control over the great corporations, and it was under the leadership of one of the most honored public men in our country, one of Pennsylvania's most eminent sons—the present Senator, and then Attorney-General, Knox—that the new departure was begun. Events have moved fast during the last five years, and it is curious to look back at the extreme bitterness which not merely the spokesmen and representatives of organized wealth, but many most excellent conservative people then felt as to the action of Mr. Knox and of the Administration. Many of the greatest financiers of this country were certain that Mr. Knox's Northern Securities suit, if won, would plunge us into the worst panic we had ever seen. They denounced as incitement to anarchy, as an apology for socialism, the advocacy of policies that either have now become law or are in fair way of becoming law; and yet these same policies, so far from representing either anarchy or socialism, were in reality the antidotes to anarchy, the antidotes to socialism. (At Harrisburg, Pa., October 4, 1906.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 86; Nat. Ed. XVI, 72-73.

____________. By a vote of five to four the Supreme Court reversed its decision in the Knight case, and in the Northern Securities case sustained the government. The power to deal with industrial monopoly and suppress it and to control and regulate combinations, of which the Knight case had deprived the Federal Government, was thus restored to it by the Northern Securities case. After this later decision was rendered, suits were brought by my direction against the American Tobacco Company and the Standard Oil Company. Both were adjudged criminal conspiracies, and their dissolution ordered. The Knight case was finally overthrown. The vicious doctrine it embodied no longer remains as an obstacle to obstruct the pathway of justice when it assails monopoly. Messrs. Knox, Moody, and Bonaparte, who successively occupied the position of attorney-general under me, were profound lawyers and fearless and able men; and they completely established the newer and more wholesome doctrine under which the Federal Government may now deal with monopolistic combinations and conspiracies. . . .

From the standpoint of giving complete control to the National Government over big corporations engaged in interstate business, it would be impossible to overestimate the importance of the Northern Securities decision and of the decisions afterward rendered in line with it in connection with the other trusts whose dissolution was ordered. The success of the Northern Securities case definitely established the power of the government to deal with all great corporations. Without this success the National Government must have remained in the impotence to which it had been reduced by the Knight decision as regards the most important of its internal functions. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 489-490; Nat. Ed. XX, 420-422.

____________. I talked over the matter in full with Knox. He believed that the Knight case would not have been decided over again as it actually was decided, and that if we could differentiate the Northern Securities case from it, we could secure what would be in fact (although not in name) a reversal of it. This I felt it imperative to secure. The Knight case practically denied the Federal Government power over corporations, because it whittled to nothing the meaning of "commerce between the States." It had to be upset or we could not get any efficient control by the National Government. (In conversation with Mr. Washburn.) Charles G. Washburn, Theodore Roosevelt, The Logic of His Career. (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1916), p. 67. 

Northwest, the Old

The old Northwest, the middle or northern west of to-day, was the true child of the federal government, and the states now composing it, the states lying around the Great Lakes and in the valley of the upper Mississippi, sprang into being owing to the direct action of the union founded by Washington. It was a striking instance of historic justice that in the second great crisis of this nation's history, the Northwest, the child of the union, should have saved the union, and should have developed in Abraham Lincoln the one American who has the right to stand alongside of Washington; while it was from the Northwest that those great soldiers sprang, under whose victorious leadership the Northern armies fought to a finish, once and for all, the terrible civil war. It was the Northwest which preserved the union in the times that tried men's souls, and it is the Northwest which to-day typifies alike in inner life and in bodily prosperity those conditions which give us ground for the belief that our union will be perpetual, and that this great nation has before it a career such as in all the ages of the past has never been vouchsafed to any other. (Address before the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, January 24, 1893.) Theodore Roosevelt, The Northwest in the Nation. (Wisconsin State Historical Society, 1893), p. 99.

Northwest Ordinance of 1785

Congress regarded the territory as forming a treasury chest, and was anxious to sell the land in lots, whether to individuals or to companies. In 1785, it passed an ordinance of singular wisdom, which has been the basis of all our subsequent legislation on the subject.

This ordinance was another proof of the way in which the nation applied its collective power to the subdual and government of the Northwest, instead of leaving the whole matter to the working of unrestricted individualism, as in the Southwest. The pernicious system of acquiring title to public lands in vogue among the Virginians and North Carolinians was abandoned. Instead of making each man survey his own land and allowing him to survey it when, how, and where he pleased, with the certainty of producing endless litigation and trouble, Congress provided for a corps of government surveyors, who were to go about this work systematically. (1894.) Mem. Ed XII, 20-21; Nat. Ed. IX, 213.

Northwest Ordinance of 1787

The Ordinance of 1787 was so wide-reaching in its effects, was drawn in accordance with so lofty a morality and such far-seeing statesmanship, and was fraught with such weal for the nation, that it will ever rank among the foremost of American State papers, coming in that little group which includes the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Washington's Farewell Address, and Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and Second Inaugural. It marked out a definite line of orderly freedom along which the new States were to advance. It laid deep the foundation for that system of widespread public education so characteristic of the Republic and so essential to its healthy growth. It provided that complete religious freedom and equality which we now accept as part of the order of nature, but which were then unknown in any important European nation. It guaranteed the civil liberty of all citizens. It provided for an indissoluble Union, a Union which should grow until it could relentlessly crush nullification and secession; for the States founded under it were the creatures of the nation, and were by the compact declared forever inseparable from it. (1894.) Mem. Ed XII, 27-28; Nat. Ed. IX, 218-219.


See also Canadian North-West; Clark, George Rogers.


Norway is as funny a kingdom as was ever imagined outside of opéra bouffe¾although it isn't opéra bouffe at all, for the Norwegians are a fine, serious, powerful lot of men and women. But they have the most genuinely democratic society to be found in Europe, not excepting Switzerland; there are only two or three states in the American Union which are as real democracies. They have no nobles, hardly even gentry; they are peasants and small towns-people¾farmers, sailors, fisherfolk, mechanics, small traders. On this community a royal family is suddenly plumped down. It is much as if Vermont should offhand try the experiment of having a king. Yet it certainly seemed as if the experiment were entirely successful.

I was interested to find that the Norwegians in America had on the whole advised a constitutional kingdom rather than a republic, on the ground that the king would not in any way interfere with the people having complete self-government and yet would give an element of stability to the government, preventing changes from being too violent and making a rallying- point; one philosophic leader pointing out that this was not necessary in America, where people had grown to accept the republic as a historic ideal, in itself a symbol and pledge of continuity, but that in Norway the republic would not stand for any such ideal of historic continuity, and moreover would be looked down on by its monarchic neighbors—the last being a touch of apprehension on the score of possible international social inequality which was both amusing and interesting.

For such a kingdom, constituted of such materials and with such theories, the entire royal family, king, queen, and prince, were just exactly what was needed. They were as simple and unpretentious as they were good and charming. . . .

I had to speak to the Nobel Committee, at the University, at a huge “Banquet” of the canonical—and unspeakably awful type—and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the vigorous, self-reliant people; they lined the streets in dense masses, and had a peculiar barking cheer, unlike any I ever heard elsewhere. But we enjoyed most the family life—it was real family life— of our host and hostess; it was not only very pleasant, but restful, in the palace; we felt as if we were visiting friends, who were interesting and interested, and who wished us to be comfortable in any way we chose. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, October 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 278, 281; Bishop II, 238, 240.


See Books; Literature; Reading.


At this time it is not necessary to discuss nullification as a constitutional dogma; it is an absurdity too great to demand serious refutation. The United States has the same right to protect itself from death by nullification, secession, or rebellion that a man has to protect himself from death by assassination. Cal houn's hair-splitting and metaphysical disquisitions on the constitutionality of nullification have now little more practical interest than have the extraordinary arguments and discussions of the schoolmen of the Middle Ages. (1887.) Mem. Ed VIII, 72; Nat. Ed. VII, 62-63.


See also States' Rights.


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