Skip to main content
Add Me To Your Mailing List
HomeIndex S

Become a Member

Join the TRA today and receive the Association's scholarly journal, participate in Association-sponsored travel and tour opportunities and local TRA Chapter activities and events, and receive invitations to all TRA events.

Index S

Browse Index A-Z

Utilizing this index, you can look up topics in the TRA Cyclopedia. To find a topic in the index, select a letter from the alphabet.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Sagamore Hill

Sagamore Hill takes its name from the old Sagamore Mohannis, who, as chief of his little tribe, signed away his rights to the land two centuries and a half ago. The house stands right on the top of the hill, separated by fields and belts of woodland from all other houses, and looks out over the bay and the Sound. We see the sun go down beyond long reaches of land and of water. Many birds dwell in the trees round the house or in the pastures and the woods near by, and of course in winter gulls, loons, and wild fowl frequent the waters of the bay and the Sound. We love all the seasons; the snows and bare woods of winter; the rush of growing things and the blossom-spray of spring; the yellow grain, the ripening fruits and tasselled corn, and the deep, leafy shades that are heralded by "the green dance of summer"; and the sharp fall winds that tear the brilliant banners with which the trees greet the dying year. (1913.) Mem. Ed.< XXII, 359-360; Nat. Ed. XX, 308-309.

____________. After all, fond as I am of the White House and much though I have appreciated these years in it, there isn't any place in the world like home—like Sagamore Hill, where things are our own, with our own associations, and where it is real country. (To Ethel Roosevelt, June 11, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 556; Nat. Ed. XIX, 508.

Sagamore Hill

See also White House.


See Celtic Literature

Saint-Gaudens, Augustus

The work of a very great artist must be judged by the impression it makes not only upon other artists but also upon laymen. . . . His [Saint-Gaudens] genius had that lofty quality of insight which enables a man to see to the root of things, to discard all trappings that are not essential, and to grasp close at hand in the present the beauty and majesty which in most men's eyes are dimmed until distance has softened the harsh angles and blotted out the trivial and the unlovely. He had, furthermore, that peculiar kind of genius in which a soaring imagination is held in check by a self-mastery which eliminates all risk of the fantastic and the overstrained. He knew when to give the most complete rein to this imagination. . . . It is Saint-Gaudens' peculiar quality that, without abating one jot of the truthfulness of portrayal of the man's outside aspect, yet makes that outside aspect of little weight because of what is shown of the soul within. (At Augustus Saint-Gaudens Exhibition, Corcoran Art Gallery, Washington, December 15, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XII, 562, 564; Nat. Ed. XI, 285, 287.

Saint-Gaudens, Augustus

See also Coinage.

Saloon—Influence of

The In New York the saloonkeepers have always stood high among professional politicians. Nearly two thirds of the political leaders of Tammany Hall have, at one time or another, been in the liquor business. The saloon is the natural club and meeting place for the ward heelers and leaders, and the bar-room politician is one of the most common and best recognized factors, in local political government. The saloonkeepers are always hand in glove with the professional politicians, and occupy toward them a position such as is not held by any other class of men. (Atlantic Monthly, September 1897.) Mem. Ed. XV, 164; Nat. Ed. XIII, 129.


See also Liquor Law

Sampson-Schley Controversy

I do not anticipate any good out of the belated action in the Sampson-Schley case. The trouble is that Sampson, originally absolutely right, had elaborately done the wrong thing again and again; and that their superiors have committed the fatal error of striking soft. It has just been one of the cases where the effort to weave in and out around the trouble has proved a failure. Either the President and Secretary ought to have stood by Schley straight out from the beginning, or if they shared the belief of ninety-five percent of the navy, including all the best officers, they should have hit him hard at the very beginning. In the course they have pursued they have elaborately combined all possible disadvantages. As regards the Board, Dewey, I suppose, will take the lead. The popular feeling is overwhelmingly for Schley, and I think that Dewey now cares very little for the navy people, or for the real interest of the navy. In consequence I thoroughly believe that he will yield to the popular clamor and to his feeling against the administration and whitewash Schley. Of course, he may be true to his old naval traditions, in which case he will be very severe upon him. But I do not regard the outlook as promising. (To H. C. Lodge, August 20, 1901.) Lodge Letters I, 497.

Santo Domingo — Roosevelt's Policy in

I have been hoping and praying for three months that the Santo Domingans would behave so that I would not have to act in any way. I want to do nothing but what a policeman has to do in Santo Domingo. As for annexing the island, I have about the same desire to annex it as a gorged boa-constrictor might have to swallow a porcupine wrong-end-to. Is that strong enough ? I have asked some of our people to go there because, after having refused for three months to do anything, the attitude of the Santo Domingans has become one of half chaotic war toward us. If I possibly can I want to do nothing to them. If it is abso lutely necessary to do something, then I want to do as little as possible. Their government has been bedevilling us to establish some kind of a protectorate over the islands, and take charge of their finances. We have been answering them that we could not possibly go into the subject now at all. (To Joseph Bucklin Bishop, February 23, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 494; Bishop I, 431.

____________. Under the course taken, stability and order and all the benefits of peace are at last coming to Santo Domingo, danger of foreign intervention has been suspended, and there is at last a prospect that all creditors will get justice, no more and no less. If the arrangement is terminated by the failure of the treaty chaos will follow; and if chaos follows, sooner or later this government may be involved in serious difficulties with foreign governments over the island, or else may be forced itself to intervene in the island in some unpleasant fashion. Under the proposed treaty the independence of the island is scrupulously respected, the danger of violation of the Monroe Doctrine by the intervention of foreign powers vanishes, and the interference of our government is minimized, so that we shall only act in conjunction with the Santo Domingo authorities to secure the proper administration of the customs, and therefore to secure the payment of just debts and to secure the Dominican Government against demands for unjust debts. The proposed method will give the people of Santo Domingo the same chance to move onward and upward which we have already given to the people of Cuba. It will be doubly to our discredit as a nation if we fail to take advantage of this chance; for it will be of damage to ourselves, and it will be of incalculable damage to Santo Domingo. Every consideration of wise policy, and, above all, every consideration of large generosity, bids us meet the request of Santo Domingo as we are now trying to meet it. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 358; Nat. Ed. XV, 306.

____________. In Santo Domingo I am trying to forestall the necessity for interference by us or by any foreign power. I was immensely amused when, at a professional peace meeting, the other day, they incidentally alluded to me as having made "war" on Santo Domingo. The war I have made literally consists in having loaned them a collector of customs, at their request. We now give them forty-five per cent of the customs to run the government, and the other fifty-five percent is put up to pay those of their debts which are found to be righteous. This arrangement has gone on two years now, while the co-ordinate branch of the government discussed whether or not I had usurped power in the matter, and finally concluded I had not, and ratified the treaty. Of the fifty-five per cent we have been able to put two and a half millions toward paying their debts; and with the forty-five per cent that we collected for them they have received more money than they ever got when they collected one hundred per cent themselves; and the island has prospered as never before. (At the Harvard Union, Cambridge, February 23, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XV, 493; Nat. Ed. XIII, 568.

____________. In Santo Domingo, after two years' delay I got the Senate to ratify the treaty I had made (and under which, incidentally, I had been acting for two years) and have now put the affairs of the island on a better basis than they have been for a century— indeed, I do not think it would be an overstatement to say on a better basis than they have ever been before. (To Sydney Brooks, December 28, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 152; Bishop II, 130.

____________. Perhaps my conception of the Monroe Doctrine, and of proper international relations between the strong and the weak powers, is best illustrated by what occurred in San Domingo. Revolutionary disturbance had brought San Domingo to such utter anarchy that her government was impotent, and all her creditors unpaid. Finally, I learned that no less than three Old-World powers intended to land troops and seize ports, so as to take control of the custom houses of San Domingo. If this had been done, San Domingo as a nation would have disappeared, and those Old-World powers would have been in practical possession of the island today. This I did not intend to permit; and I did not permit it. But I intended also to try to secure justice for their citizens as San Domingo by herself could neither do justice to others nor protect even her own national life. I made an arrangement with San Domingo by which one American civil official, and only one, was sent in to supervise the entire work of the customs. I notified the foreign powers that they must not seize San Domingo soil. I also notified the people themselves that in any revolution the custom houses were not to be interfered with. The receipts were thus collected without interference. . . . The improper claims of the creditors were rejected. Their just claims were completely satisfied. Old-World nations were kept off the island, and a measure of peace, prosperity and stability came to the island, such as she had never in her history previously enjoyed. (At Santiago, November 24, 1913.) Souvenir of the visit of Colonel Mr. Theodore Roosevelt, ex-President of the United States of America, to Chile. (Santiago de Chile 1914), pp. 51-52.

Santo Domingo

See also Intervention; Senate

Savage Peoples

See Expansion; Imperialism; Missionaries; Primitive Society; Wars Of Conquest.

Schley, Admiral

See Sampson-Schley Controversy.


Scholarship that consists in mere learning, but finds no expression in production, may be of interest and value to the individual, just as ability to shoot well at clay pigeons may be of interest and value to him, but it ranks no higher unless it finds expression in achievement. From the standpoint of the nation, and from the broader standpoint of mankind, scholarship is of worth chiefly when it is productive, when the scholar not merely receives or acquires, but gives.

Of course there is much production by scholarly men which is not, strictly speaking, scholarship; any more than the men themselves, despite their scholarly tastes and attributes, would claim to be scholars in the technical or purely erudite sense. (Outlook, January 13, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 340; Nat. Ed. XII, 85.

____________. The ideal for the graduate school and for those undergraduates who are to go into it must be the ideal of high scholarly production, which is to be distinguished in the sharpest fashion from the mere transmittal of ready-made knowledge without adding to it. If America is to contribute its full share to the progress not alone of knowledge, but of wisdom, then we must put ever-increasing emphasis on university work done along the lines of the graduate school. We can best help the growth of American scholarship by seeing that as a career it is put more on a level with the other careers open to our young men. The general opinion of the community is bound to have a very great effect even upon its most vigorous and independent minds. If in the public mind the career of the scholar is regarded as of insignificant value when compared with that of a glorified pawnbroker, then it will with difficulty be made attractive to the most vigorous and gifted of our American young men. Good teachers, excellent institutions, and libraries are all demanded in a graduate school worthy of the name. But there is an even more urgent demand for the right sort of student. No first-class science, no first-class literature or art, can ever be built up with second-class men. The scholarly career, the career of the man of letters, the man of arts, the man of science, must be made such as to attract those strong and virile youths who now feel that they can only turn to business, law, or politics. There is no one thing which will bring about this desired change, but there is one thing which will materially help in bringing it about, and that is to secure to scholars the chance of getting one of a few brilliant positions as prizes if they rise to the first rank in their chosen career. Every such brilliant position should have as an accompaniment an added salary, which shall help indicate how high the position really is; and it must be the efforts of the alumni which can alone secure such salaries for such positions. (At Harvard University, Cambridge, June 28, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 431-432; Nat. Ed. XVI, 320-321.


See also University

School and Parent — Responsibility of

I wish to extend my profound sympathy to the teachers and instructors who are continually brought into contact with what I may call the cuckoo style of parent — the parent who believes that when he can once turn his child into school he shifts all responsibility from his own shoulders for the child's education, the parent who believes that he can buy for a certain sum—which he usually denounces as excessive—a deputy parent to do his work for him. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 600; Nat. Ed. XIII, 637.

Schooling—Place of

School education can never supplant or take the place of self-education, still less can it in any way take the place of those rugged and manly qualities which we group together under the name of character; but it can be of enormous use in supplementing both. (At University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, February 22, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XV, 347; Nat. Ed. XIII, 504.

Schools, Parochial

We could suffer no national calamity more far-reaching in its effects than would be implied in the abandonment of our system of non-sectarian common schools; and it is a very unfortunate thing for any man, or body of men, to be identified with opposition thereto. But it must be borne in mind that hostility to the public schools is not really a question of sects at all; it is merely an illustration of the survival or importation here of the utterly un-American and thoroughly old-world idea of the subordination of the layman to the priest. Not a few Protestant clergymen oppose our public schools on the one hand, and an ever-increasing number of Catholic laymen support them on the other. At my own home on Long Island, for instance, the chief opponent of the public schools is, not the Catholic priest, but the Episcopalian clergyman, and he reinforces his slender stock of tritely foolish arguments by liberal quotations from the work of a Presbyterian theologian. The fight is not one between creeds; it is an issue between intelligent American laymen of every faith on the one hand and ambitious, foolish or misguided supporters of a worn out system of clerical government on the other, these supporters including Episcopalians and Presbyterians as well as Catholics. Our public-school system is here to stay; it cannot be overturned; wherever hurt even, it is only at the much greater cost of the person hurting it. The boy brought up in the parochial school is not only less qualified to be a good American citizen, but he is also at a distinct disadvantage in the race of life, compared to the boy brought up in the public schools. America, April 14, 1888, p. 3.

____________. We should set our faces like a rock against any attempt to allow State aid to be given to any sectarian system of education; and on the other hand, we should set our faces like a rock against any attempt to exclude any set of men from their full and proper share in the government of the public schools because of their religion. (Speech at Boston, Mass., November 1893.) Mem. Ed. XV, 36; Nat. Ed. XIII, 278.

____________. We are against any division of the school fund, and against any appropriation of public money for sectarian purposes. We are against any recognition whatever by the State in any shape or form of State-aided parochial schools. But we are equally opposed to any discrimination against or for a man because of his creed. We demand that all citizens, Protestant and Catholic, Jew and Gentile, shall have fair treatment in every way; that all alike shall have their rights guaranteed them. The very reasons that make us unqualified in our opposition to State-aided sectarian schools make us equally bent that, in the management of our public schools, the adherents of each creed shall be given exact and equal justice, wholly without regard to their religious affiliations; that trustees, superintendents, teachers, scholars, all alike, shall be treated without any reference whatsoever to the creed they profess (Forum, April 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 25 Nat. Ed. XIII, 21.


See also College; Education Home; Playgrounds; Public Schools Sunday Schools; Teachers; University.

Schrank, John

See Assassination, Attempted.

Schurz, Carl

See Mugwumps.

Science—Study of

There is a twofold warrant for encouragement by the state of science thus followed purely for the sake of science. In the first place, and I cannot too emphatically state this, the knowledge justifies itself. The scientific student is justified if he studies science for serious purpose exactly as is true of the man of arts or the man of letters. Mere addition to the sum of the interesting knowledge of nature is in itself a good thing, exactly as the writing of a beautiful poem or the chiseling of a beautiful statue is in itself a good thing. Only a sordid people, and a blind people, can fail to recognize this fact. No civilization is a great civilization unless upon the foundation of utilitarian achievement is reared the superstructure of a higher life. . . . In the next place, the greatest utilitarian discoveries have often resulted from scientific investigations which had no distinct purpose. Our whole art of navigation arose from the studies of certain Greek mathematicians in Alexandria and Syracuse who had no idea that their studies in geometry and trigonometry would ever have a direct material value. It is impossible to tell at what point independent investigations into the workings of nature may prove to have an immediate and direct connection with the betterment of man's physical condition, as witness the studies of Pasteur. Most of the men and women, indeed the immense majority of the men and women, who work for pure science can not aspire to the position of leadership, exactly as most business men can not expect to press into the front rank of captains of industry. Yet each of us can do work which is not only creditable and useful but which may at some time become literally indispensable in helping to discover some great law of nature or to draw some great conclusion from the present condition or from the former physical history, the geological or paleontological history of the world. (At Albany N. Y., December 29, 1916.) "Opening. of the state Museum." University of the State of New York Bulletin, March 1, 1917, pp. 36-38.

____________. The change in the status of the man of science during the last century has been immeasurable. A hundred years ago he was treated as an interesting virtuoso, a man who was capable of giving amusement, but with whom no practical man dealt with any idea of standing on a footing of equality. Now more and more the wisest men of affairs realize that the great chance for the advancement of the human race in material things lies in the close interrelationship of the man of practical affairs and the man of science, so that the man of practical affairs can give all possible effect to the discoveries of the most unforeseen and unexpected character now made by the man of science. (Before International Congress on Tuberculosis, Washington, D. C., October 12, 1908.) S. A. Knopf, A History of the National Tuberculosis Association. (New York, 1922), p. 281.

Science—Teaching of

I fully intended to make science my life-work. I did not, for the simple reason that at that time Harvard, and I suppose our other colleges, utterly ignored the possibilities of the faunal naturalist, the outdoor naturalist and observer of nature. They treated biology as purely a science of the laboratory and the microscope, a science whose adherents were to spend their time in the study of minute forms of marine life, or else in section-cutting and the study of the tissues of the higher organisms under the microscope. This attitude was, no doubt, in part due to the fact that in most colleges then there was a not always intelligent copying of what was done in the great German universities. The sound revolt against superficiality of study had been carried to an extreme; thoroughness in minutiae as the only end of study had been erected into a fetich. There was a total failure to understand the great variety of kinds of work that could be done by naturalists, including what could be done by outdoor naturalists. . . . In the entirely proper desire to be thorough and to avoid slipshod methods, the tendency was to treat as not serious, as unscientific, any kind of work that was not carried on with laborious minuteness in the laboratory. My taste was specialized in a totally different direction, and I had no more desire or ability to be a microscopist and section-cutter than to be a mathematician. Accordingly I abandoned all thought of becoming a scientist. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 30-31; Nat. Ed. XX, 26-27.

Science and Literature

Modern scientists, like modern historians and, above all, scientific and historical educators, should ever keep in mind that clearness of speech and writing is essential to clearness of thought and that a simple, clear, and if possible, vivid style is vital to the production of the best work in either science or history. Darwin and Huxley are classics, and they would not have been if they had not written good English. The thought is essential, but ability to give it dear expression is only less essential. Ability to write well, if the writer has nothing to write about, entitles him to mere derision. But the greatest thought is robbed of an immense proportion of its value if expressed in a mean or obscure manner. (1914.) Mem. Ed. VI, 335; Nat. Ed. V, 286.

____________. I believe that as the field of science encroaches on the field of literature there should be a corresponding encroachment of literature upon science; and I hold that one of the great needs, which can only be met by very able men whose culture is broad enough to include literature as well as science, is the need of books for scientific laymen. We need a literature of science which shall be readable. (At Oxford University, June 7, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 68; Nat. Ed. XII, 28.

____________. I believe that already science has owed more than it suspects to the unconscious literary power of some of its representatives. Scientific writers of note had grasped the fact of evolution long before Darwin and Huxley; and the theories advanced by these men to explain evolution were not much more unsatisfactory, as full explanations, than the theory of natural selection itself. Yet, where their predecessors had created hardly a ripple, Darwin and Huxley succeeded in effecting a complete revolution in the thought of the age, a revolution as great as that caused by the discovery of the truth about the solar system. I believe that the chief explanation of the difference was the very simple one that what Darwin and Huxley wrote was interesting to read. Every cultivated man soon had their volumes in his library, and they still keep their places on our book- shelves. But Lamarck and Cope are only to be found in the libraries of a few special students. If they had possessed a gift of expression akin to Darwin's, the doctrine of evolution would not in the popular mind have been confounded with the doctrine of natural selection and a juster estimate than at present would obtain as to the relative merits of the explanation of evolution championed by the different scientific schools. (Presidential Address, American Historical Association, Boston, December 27, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 9-10; Nat. Ed. XII, 8-9.

Science and Religion

The claims of certain so-called scientific men as to "science overthrowing religion" are as baseless as the fears of certain sincerely religious men on the same subject. The establishment of the doctrine of evolution in our time offers no more justification for upsetting religious beliefs than the discovery of the facts concerning the solar system a few centuries ago. Any faith sufficiently robust to stand the—surely very slight—strain of admitting that the world is not flat and does move round the sun need have no apprehensions on the score of evolution, and the materialistic scientists who gleefully hail the discovery of the principle of evolution as establishing their dreary creed might with just as much propriety rest it upon the discovery of the principle of gravitation. Science and religion, and the relations between them, are affected by one only as they are affected by the other. (Outlook, December 2, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 414; Nat. Ed. XII, 118.

____________. In the world of the intellect it is easy to take the position of the hard materialists who rail against religion, and easy also to take the position of those whose zeal for orthodoxy makes them distrust all action by men of independent mind in the search for scientific truth; but it is not so easy to make it understood that we both acknowledge our inestimable debt to the great masters of science, and yet are keenly alive to their errors and decline to surrender our judgment to theirs when they go wrong. It is imperative to realize how very grave their errors are, and how foolish we should be to abandon our adherence to the old ideals of duty toward God and man without better security than the more radical among the new prophets can offer us. (Outlook, December 2, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 430; Nat. Ed. XII, 123.

____________. There are plenty of phenomena unquestionably proceeding from natural law which nevertheless have in them an element totally incomprehensible to, and probably totally incapable of comprehension by, our intelligence. All successful scientific discoveries have been anathematized by certain pietistic theologians, and exultantly screamed over by certain materialists as marking the end of religion. The discovery that the earth was round, the discovery that the world went round the sun, the discovery of enormous geological ages, the growth of appreciation of law in the natural world, the discovery of the law of gravitation, and recently the understanding of the law of evolution (which, incidentally, had been at least strongly suspected by thinkers as far apart as Aristotle and St. Augustine), were all in succession treated as mischievous heresies by certain champions of orthodoxy, and were also, with equal folly, accepted by certain sceptical materialists as overthrowing spiritual laws with which they had no more to do than the discovery of steam-power has to do with altruism. (Outlook, January 16, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 35; Nat. Ed. XII, 157.


See also Education, Liberal; History; Materialism, Scientific; Reason; Superstition.

Scientific Advance

In the world of intellect, doubtless, the most marked features in the history of the past century have been the extraordinary advances in scientific knowledge and investigation, and in the position held by the men of science with reference to those engaged in other pursuits. I am not now speaking of applied science; of the science, for instance, which, having revolutionized transportation on the earth and the water, is now on the brink of carrying it into the air; of the science that finds its expression in such extraordinary achievements as the telephone and the telegraph; of the sciences which have so accelerated the velocity of movement in social and industrial conditions—for the changes in the mechanical appliances of ordinary life during the last three generations have been greater than in all the preceding generations since history dawned. I speak of the science which has no more direct bearing upon the affairs of our every-day life than literature or music, painting or sculpture, poetry or history. A hundred years ago the ordinary man of cultivation had to know something of these last subjects; but the probabilities were rather against his having any but the most superficial scientific knowledge. At present all this has changed, thanks to the interest taken in scientific discoveries, the large circulation of scientific books, and the rapidity with which ideas originating among students of the most advanced and abstruse sciences become, at least partially, domiciled in the popular mind. (At Oxford University, June 7, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 66-67; Nat. Ed. XII, 26-27.

Scotch-Irish in America

The backwoodsmen were American by birth and parentage, and of mixed race; but the dominant strain in their blood was that of the Presbyterian Irish — the Scotch-Irish, as they were often called. Full credit has been awarded the Round-head and the Cavalier for their leadership in our history; nor have we been altogether blind to the deeds of the Hollander and the Huguenot; but it is doubtful if we have wholly realized the importance of the part played by that stern and virile people, the Irish whose preachers taught the creed of Knox and Calvin. These Irish representatives of the Covenanters were in the West almost what the Puritans were in the Northeast, and more than the Cavaliers were in the South. Mingled with the descendants of many other races, they nevertheless formed the kernel of the distinctively and intensely American stock who were the pioneers of our people in the march westward, and the vanguard of the army of fighting settlers, who, with axe and rifle, won their way from the Alleghanies to the Rio Grande and the Pacific. (1889.) Mem. Ed. X, 96-97; Nat. Ed. VIII, 84.


See Painting.

Sea Power

See Mahan, A. T.; Naval Armaments; Navy.


See Civil War; Slavery; South.

Secret Service

The secret service men are a very small but very necessary thorn in the flesh. Of course they would not be the least use in preventing any assault upon my life. I do not believe there is any danger of such an assault, and if there were it would be simple nonsense to try to prevent it, for as Lincoln said, though it would be safer for a President to live in a cage, it would interfere with his business. But it is only the secret service men who render life endurable, as you would realize if you saw the procession of carriages that pass through the place, the procession of people on foot who try to get into the place, not to speak of the multitude of cranks and others who are stopped in the village. (To H. C. Lodge, August 6, 1906.) Lodge Letters II, 224.

____________. Such a body as the Secret Service, such a body of trained investigating agents, occupying a permanent position in the Government service, and separate from local investigating forces in different Departments, is an absolute necessity if the best work is to be done against criminals. It is by far the most efficient instrument possible to use against crime. Of course the more efficient an instrument is, the more dangerous it is if misused. To the argument that a force like this can be misused it is only necessary to answer that the condition of its usefulness if handled properly is that it shall be so efficient as to be dangerous if handled improperly. (Message to House of Representatives, January 4, 1909.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VIII, 2038.

Sectarian Intolerance

See Antisemitism; Bigotry; Religious Discrimination; Tolerance.

Sectarian Schools

See Schools, Parochial.


I am an American first. To all true Americans sectional hatred and class hatred are equally abhorrent, and the most abhorrent of all is sectional hatred piled on class hatred. We know no North nor South, East nor West. (At Utica, N. Y., September 29, 1896.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 393.

Sectionalism — Decline of

From the evils of sectional hostility we are, at any rate, far safer than we were. The war with Spain was the most absolutely righteous foreign war in which any nation has engaged during the nineteenth century, and not the least of its many good features was the unity it brought about between the sons of the men who wore the blue and of those who wore the gray. This necessarily meant the dying out of the old antipathy. Of course embers smolder here and there; but the country at large is growing more and more to take pride in the valor, the self-devotion, the loyalty to an ideal, displayed alike by the soldiers of both sides in the Civil War. We are all united now. We are all glad that the Union was restored, and are one in our loyalty to it; and hand in hand with this general recognition of the all-importance of preserving the Union has gone the recognition of the fact that at the outbreak of the Civil War men could not cut loose from the ingrained habits and traditions of generations, and that the man from the North and the man from the South each was loyal to his highest ideal of duty when he drew sword or shouldered rifle to fight to the death for what he believed to be right. (Century, January 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 405; Nat. Ed. XIII, 355- 356.


See also American People; Americanism; Civil War; Nationalism; Progressive Party—Appeal Of.


See East; New England; North; Northwest; South; West.

Sedentary Life

See Exercise; Out-Door Life.


See Fourteen Points.


The noblest of all forms of government is self-government; but it is also the most difficult. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 337; Nat. Ed. XV, 288.

____________. The art of successful self-government is not an easy art for people or for individuals. It comes to our people here as the inheritance of ages of effort. It can be thrown away; it can be unlearned very easily, and it surely will be unlearned if we forget the vital need not merely of preaching, but of practicing both sets of virtues—if we forget the vital need of having the average citizen not only a good man, but a man. (At banquet to Justice Harlan, Washington, D. C., December 9, 1902.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, 224.

____________. It must not be forgotten that a great and patriotic leader may, if the people have any capacity for self-government whatever, help them upward along their hard path by his wise leadership, his wise yielding to even what he does not like, and his wise refusal to consider his own selfish interests. A people thoroughly unfit for self-government, as were the French at the end of the eighteenth century, are the natural prey of a conscienceless tyrant like Napoleon. A people like the Americans of the same generation can be led along the path of liberty and order by a Washington. The English people, in the middle of the seventeenth century, might have been helped to entire self-government by Cromwell, but were not sufficiently advanced politically to keep him from making himself their absolute master if he proved morally unequal to rising to the Washington level; though doubtless they would not have tolerated a man of the Napoleonic type. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 424; Nat. Ed. X, 305.

____________. I do not believe that it is safe or wise to pretend that we have self-government and yet by indirect methods to try to rob ourselves of self- government. I believe that the only ultimate safety for our people is in self-control; not in control from the outside. I do not believe in snap judgments, I do not believe in permitting the determination of a moment to be transmuted into a permanent policy; but I do believe
that the serious, sober, well thought-out judgment of the people must be given effect; I do believe that this people must ultimately control its own destinies, and cannot surrender the right of ultimate control to a judge any more than to a legislator or executive; . . . but the control must be there, the power must exist in the people to see to it that the judge, like the legislator and executive, becomes in the long run representative of and answerable to the well-thought-out judgment of the people as a whole. Outlook, January 6, 1912, p. 48.

Self-Government — Fitness for

Fitness [for self-government] is not a God-given, natural right, but comes to a race only through the slow growth of centuries, and then only to those races which possess an immense reserve fund of strength, common sense, and morality. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 358; Nat. Ed. X, 248.

____________. In one sense of the word, self-government can never be bestowed by outsiders upon any people. It must be achieved by themselves. It means in this sense primarily self-control, self-restraint, and if those qualities do not exist—that is, if the people are unable to govern themselves—then, as there must be government somewhere, it has to come from outside. (At celebration of Methodist Episcopal Church, Washington, January 18, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 348; Nat. Ed. XVI, 264.

____________. If our people are really fit for self- government, then they will insist upon governing themselves. In all matters affecting the Nation as a whole this power of self-government should reside in a majority of the Nation as a whole; and upon this doctrine no one has insisted more strongly than I have insisted, for in such case "popular rights" becomes a meaningless phrase save is it is translated into national rights. Outlook, June 24, 1911, p. 379.

____________. Self-government cannot be thrust upon nations from without. It must be developed from within. It cannot exist unless the people have a strong and sound character. . . . Only a very advanced people, a people of sound intelligence, and above all, of robust character is fit to govern itself. No gift of popular institutions will avail if the people who receive them do not possess certain great and masterful qualities; and above all the combination of two qualities—individual self reliance and the power of combining for the common good. . . .

The resolute insistence upon their own rights must go hand in hand with the ready acknowledgment of the rights of others. Above all there must be in the people the power of self-control. There must always be government, there must always be control, somewhere. If the individual cannot control himself, if he cannot govern himself, then the lack must be supplied from outside. Exactly the same thing is true of nations. Only those people who to self-reliance and self-confidence add also self-control can permanently embark on the difficult course of moulding their own destinies. Outlook, November 15, 1913, p. 589-90.

____________. The absolute prerequisite for successful self-government in any people is the power of self- restraint which refuses to follow either the wild-eyed extremists of radicalism or the dull-eyed extremists of reaction. Either set of extremists will wreck the Nation just as certainly as the other. (September 12, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 213.

Self-Government — Responsibilities of

You cannot give self-government to anybody. He has got to earn it for himself. You can give him the chance to obtain self-government, but he himself out of his own heart must do the governing. He must govern himself. That is what it means. That is what self- government means. . . . There must be control. There must be mastery, somewhere, and if there is no self- control and self-mastery, the control and the mastery will ultimately be imposed from without. (At University of Wisconsin, Madison, April 15, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 548; Nat. Ed. XIII, 594.

____________. It behooves us to remember that men can never escape being governed. Either they must govern themselves or they must submit to being governed by others. If from lawlessness or fickleness, from folly or self-indulgence, they refuse to govern themselves, then most assuredly in the end they will have to be governed from the outside. They can prevent the need of government from without only by showing that they possess the power of government from within. A sovereign cannot make excuses for his failures; a sovereign must accept the responsibility for the exercise of the power that inheres in him; and where, as is true in our Republic, the people are sovereign, then the people must show a sober understanding and a sane and steadfast purpose if they are to preserve that orderly liberty upon which as a foundation every republic must rest. (At Jamestown Exposition, April 26, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XII, 593; Nat. Ed. XI, 312.

____________. When I say that I believe not only in the right of the people to rule, but in their duty to rule themselves and to refuse to submit to being ruled by others, I am not using a figure of speech, I am speaking of a vital issue which fundamentally affects our whole American life. I not merely admit but insist that in all government, and especially in popular government, there must be control; and, furthermore, that if control does not come from within it must come from without. Therefore it is essential that any people which engages in the difficult experiment of self-government should be able to practise self-control. There are peoples in the world which have proved by their lamentable experiences that they are not capable of this self- control; but I contend that the American people most emphatically are capable of it. I hold that in the long run, taken as a whole, our people can and will govern themselves a great deal better than any small set of men can govern them. (At St. Louis, Mo., March 28, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 234; Nat. Ed. XVII, 172.

Self-Government and Tyranny

The truth is, that a strong nation can only be saved by itself, and not by a strong man, though it can be greatly aided and guided by a strong man. A weak nation may be doomed anyhow, or it may find its sole refuge in a despot; a nation struggling out of darkness may able to take its first steps only by the help of a master hand, as was true of Russia, under Peter the Great; and if a nation, whether free or unfree, loses the capacity for self- government, loses the spirit of sobriety and of orderly liberty, then it has no cause to complain of tyranny; but a really great people, a people really capable of freedom and of doing mighty deeds in the world, must work out its own destiny, and must find men who will be its leaders—not its masters. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 458; Nat. Ed. X, 334.


See also Democracy; Government; Popular Rule; Representative Government; Washington, George.


The only effective way to help any man is to help him to help himself; and the worst lesson to teach him is that he can be permanently helped at the expense of some one else (At Oxford University, June 7, 1910.) Mem.
Ed. XIV, 102; Nat. Ed. XII, 56.


See also Brotherhood; Charity; Philanthropy; Self-Reliance.


No man can do good work in the world for himself, for those whom he loves who are dependent upon him, or for the State at large, unless he has the great virtue of self-mastery, unless he can control his passions and appetites, and force head and hand to work according to the dictates of conscience. This is so obvious that to many people it will seem too obvious to need repetition. But, though obvious enough in theory, it is continually forgotten in practice; and the political leaders who address, not each man individually, but men in a mass, often forget to inculcate it even in theory. (Outlook, March 25, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 145; Nat. Ed. XVII, 104.


See also Character; Conscience.


The law of self- preservation is the primary law for nations as for individuals. If a nation cannot protect itself under a democratic form of government, then it will either die or evolve a new form of government. (Metropolitan, November 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 387; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 331.


See also National Defense; Preparedness.


The worst lesson that can be taught a man is to rely upon others and to whine over his sufferings. If an American is to amount to anything he must rely upon himself, and not upon the State; he must take pride in his own work, instead of sitting idle to envy the luck of others; he must face life with resolute courage, win victory if he can, and accept defeat if he must, without seeking to place on his fellow men a responsibility which is not theirs. . . . It is both foolish and wicked to teach the average man who is not well off that some wrong or injustice has been done him, and that he should hope for redress elsewhere than in his own industry, honesty, and intelligence. (Review of Reviews, January 1897.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 382, 383; Nat. Ed. XIII, 165, 166.

Self-Reliance See also Self-Help. SELF-RESPECT. There are prices too dear to pay for success or to pay for retention in office, and one of those prices is the loss of self-respect. (Before Liberal Club, Buffalo, N. Y., September 10, 1895.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 275; Nat. Ed. XIV, 196.


See also National Self-Respect.

Selous, Frederick Courteney

No other hunter alive has had the experience of Selous; and, so far as I now recall, no hunter of anything like his experience has ever also possessed his gift of penetrating observation joined to his power of vivid and accurate narration. He has killed scores of lion and rhinoceros and hundreds of elephant and buffalo; and these four animals are the most dangerous of the world's big game, when hunted as they are hunted in Africa. To hear him tell of what he has seen and done is no less interesting to a naturalist than to a hunter. (1910.) Mem. Ed. V, 7-8; Nat. Ed. IV, 7.

____________. For a quarter of a century he was a leading figure among the hard-bit men who pushed ever northward the frontier of civilization. His life was one of hazard, hardship, and daring adventure, and was as full of romantic interest and excitement as that of a viking of the tenth century. He hunted the lion and the elephant, the buffalo and the rhinoceros. He knew the extremes of fatigue in following the heavy game, and of thirst when lost in the desert wilderness. . . . But, in addition, he was a highly intelligent civilized man, with phenomenal powers of observation and of narration. There is no more foolish cant than to praise the man of action on the ground that he will not or cannot tell of his feats. Of course loquacious boastfulness renders any human being an intolerable nuisance. But, except among the very foremost . . . the men of action who can tell truthfully, and with power and charm, what they have seen and done add infinitely more to the sum of worthy achievement than do the inarticulate ones, whose deeds are often of value only to themselves. (Outlook, March 7, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XII, 570-571; Nat. Ed. XI, 292-293.

Senate, The

I do not much admire the Senate, because it is such a helpless body when efficient work for good is to be done. Two or three determined Senators seem able to hold up legislation, or at least good legislation, in an astonishing way; but the worst thing the Senate did this year—the failure to confirm the Santo Domingo treaty—was due to the fact that the Democratic party as such went solidly against us, and this fact, coupled with the absence of certain Republican Senators, rendered us helpless to put through the treaty. The result has been that I am in a very awkward and unpleasant situation in endeavoring to keep foreign powers off Santo Domingo and also in trying to settle Venezuelan affairs. (To Joseph Bucklin Bishop, March 23, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 497; Bishop I, 433.

____________. It is a very powerful body with an illustrious history, and life is easy in it, the Senators not being harassed as are members of the lower House, who go through one campaign for their seats only to begin another. The esprit de corps in the Senate is strong, and the traditions they inherit come from the day when, in the first place, men duelled and were more considerate of one another's feelings, even in doing business; and when, in the second place, the theories of all doctrinaire statesmen were that the one thing that was needed in government was a system of checks, and that the whole danger to government came not from inefficiency but from tyranny. In consequence, the Senate has an immense capacity for resistance. There is no closure, and if a small body of men are sufficiently resolute they can prevent the passage of any measure until they are physically wearied out by debate. The Senators get to know one another intimately and tend all to stand together if they think any one of them is treated with discourtesy by the Executive.

I do not see that the Senate is any stronger relatively to the rest of the government than it was sixty or seventy years ago. Nor do I think that the Senate and the lower House taken together are any stronger with reference to the President than they were a century ago. Some of the things the Senate does really work to increase the power of the Executive. They are able so effectually to hold up action when they are consulted, and are so slow about it, that they force a President who has any strength to such individual action as I took in both Panama and Santo Domingo. In neither case would a President a hundred years ago have ventured to act without previous assent by the Senate. (To John St. Loe Strachey, February 12, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 7- 8; Bishop II, 5-6.

Senate, The

See also Congress; Treaties.

Senatorial Courtesy

See Appointments.

Senators—Election of

I think the people are just as competent to elect United States Senators directly as they are to elect Governors or representatives in Congress or State Legislatures. Outlook, March 30, 1912, p. 720.

____________. If we choose senators by popular vote instead of through the legislatures, we shall not thereby have secured good representatives; we shall merely have given the people a better chance to get good representatives. If they choose bad men, unworthy men, whether their unworthiness take the form of corruption or demagogy, of truckling to special interests or of truckling to the mob, we shall have worked no improvement. There have been in the past plenty of unworthy governors and congressmen elected, just as there have been plenty of bad senators elected. (Outlook, January 21, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 98; Nat. Ed. XVII, 63.

____________. I believe in the election of United States senators by direct vote. Just as actual experience convinced our people that Presidents should be elected (as they now are in practice, although not in theory) by direct vote of the people instead of by indirect vote through an untrammelled electoral college, so actual experience has convinced us that senators should be elected by direct vote of the people instead of indirectly through the various legislatures. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 180; Nat. Ed. XVII, 133.


See Independence Spirit ; Slavery; West .


See Trees.


Those who have earned joy, but are rewarded only with sorrow, must learn the stern comfort dear to great souls, the comfort that springs from the knowledge taught in times of iron that the law of worthy living is not fulfilled by pleasure, but by service, and by sacrifice when only thereby can service be rendered. (Metropolitan, October 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 264; Nat. Ed. XIX, 244.

Service and Reward

It is simply common sense to recognize that there is the widest inequality of service, and that therefore there must be an equally wide inequality of reward, if our society is to rest upon the basis of justice and wisdom. Service is the tree test by which a man's worth should be judged.

We are against privilege in any form: privilege to the capitalist who exploits the poor man, and privilege to the shiftless or vicious poor man who would rob his thrifty brother of what he has earned. Certain exceedingly valuable forms of service are rendered wholly without capital. On the other hand, there are exceedingly valuable forms of service which can be rendered only by means of great accumulations of capital, and not to recognize this fact would be to deprive our whole people of one of the great agencies for their betterment. The test of a man's worth to the community is the service he renders to it, and we cannot afford to make this test by material considerations alone. (Outlook, March 20, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 562; Nat. Ed. XIX, 105.


See also Duty; Joy Of Living; Work.

Service Test

See Experiment.


One form of servility consists in a slavish attitude—of the kind incompatible with self- respecting manliness—toward any person who is powerful by reason of his office or position. Servility may be shown by a public servant toward the profiteering head of a large corporation, or toward the anti-American head of a big labor organization. (1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 316; Nat. Ed. XIX, 289.

Sevier, John

For many years Sevier was the best Indian fighter on the border. He was far more successful than Clark, for instance, inflicting greater loss on his foes and suffering much less himself, though he never had anything like Clark's number of soldiers. His mere name was a word of dread to the Cherokees, the Chickamaugas, and the upper Creeks. His success was due to several causes. He wielded great influence over his own followers, whose love for and trust in "Chucky Jack" were absolutely unbounded; for he possessed in the highest degree the virtues most prized on the frontier. He was open-hearted and hospitable, with winning ways toward all, and combined a cool head with a dauntless heart; he loved a battle for its own sake, and was never so much at his ease as when under fire. (1889.) Mem. Ed. XI, 144; Nat. Ed. VIII, 510.

Sewall. W. W.

See West.

Sex Instinct

The atrophy of the healthy sexual instinct is in its effects equally destructive whether it be due to licentiousness, asceticism, coldness, or timidity; whether it be due to calculated self-indulgence, love of ease and comfort, or absorption in worldly success on the part of the man, or, on the part of the woman, to that kind of shrieking "feminism," the antithesis of all worth calling womanly, which gives fine names to shirking of duty, and to the fear of danger and discomfort, and actually exalts as praiseworthy the abandonment or subordination by women of the most sacred and vitally important of the functions of womanhood. It is not enough that a race shall be composed of good fighters, good workers, and good breeders; but, unless the qualities thus indicated are present in the race foundation, then the superstructure, however seemingly imposing, will topple. (1916.) Mem. Ed. IV, 233; Nat. Ed. III, 382.

Sex Instinct

See also Birth Control; Marriage.

Shafter, General W. R.

See Spanish- American War.


No man can associate with sheep and retain his self-respect. Intellectually, a sheep is about on the lowest level of the brute creation; why the early Christians admired it, whether young or old, is to a good cattleman always a profound mystery. (1885.) Mem. Ed. I, 112; Nat. Ed. I, 93.

Sheep—Domestication of

No animal seems to have been more changed by domestication than the sheep. The timid, helpless, fleecy idiot of the folds, the most foolish of all tame animals, has hardly a trait in common with his self-reliant wild relative who combines the horns of a sheep with the hide of a deer, whose home is in the rocks and the mountains, and who is so abundantly able to take care of himself. Wild sheep are as good mountaineers as wild goats or as mountain-antelopes, and are to the full as wary and intelligent. (1888.) Mem. Ed. IV, 549-550; Nat. Ed. I, 430.

Sheep, Bighorn—Hunting the

The big- horn ranks highest among all the species of game that are killed by still-hunting, and its chase constitutes the noblest form of sport with the rifle, always excepting, of course, those kinds of hunting where the quarry is itself dangerous to attack. (1885.) Mem. Ed. I, 207; Nat. Ed. I, 173.

____________. Still-hunting the big-horn is always a toilsome and laborious task, and the very bitter weather during which we had been out had not lessened the difficulty of the work, though in the cold it was much less exhausting than it would have been to have hunted across the same ground in summer. No other kind of hunting does as much to bring out the good qualities, both moral and physical, of the sportsmen who follow it. If a man keeps at it, it is bound to make him both hardy and resolute; to strengthen his muscles and fill out his lungs. (1885.) Mem. Ed. I, 220; Nat. Ed. I, 183.

Sheridan, Philip H.

His name will always stand high on the list of American worthies. Not only was he a great general, but he showed his greatness with that touch of originality which we call genius. Indeed this quality of brilliance has been in one sense a disadvantage to his reputation, for it has tended to overshadow his solid ability. We tend to think of him only as the dashing cavalry leader, whereas he was in reality not only that, but also a great commander. Of course, the fact in his career most readily recognized was his mastery in the necessarily modern art of handling masses of modern cavalry so as to give them the fullest possible effect, not only in the ordinary operations of cavalry which precede and follow a battle, but in the battle itself. But in addition he showed in the Civil War that he was a first-class army commander, both as a subordinate of Grant and when in independent command. . . . After the close of the great war, in a field where there was scant glory to be won by the general- in-chief, he rented a signal service which has gone almost unnoticed; for in the tedious weary Indian wars on the great plains it was he who developed in thoroughgoing fashion, the system of campaigning in winter, which, at the cost of bitter hardship and peril, finally broke down the banded strength of those formidable warriors, the horse Indians. (At unveiling of monument to Gen. Sheridan, Washington, D. C., November 25, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XII, 476-477; Nat. Ed. XI, 220-221.

Sherman Anti-Trust Act — Amendment of

The antitrust law should not be repealed; but it should be made both more efficient and more in harmony with actual conditions. It should be so amended as to forbid only the kind of combination which does harm to the general public, such amendment to be accompanied by, or to be an incident of, a grant of supervisory power to the Government over these big concerns engaged in interstate commerce business. This should be accompanied by provision for the compulsory publication of accounts and the subjection of books and papers to the inspection of Government officials. (Seventh Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 493; Nat. Ed. XV. 420.

____________. The attempt in this law to provide in sweeping terms against all combinations of whatever character, if technically in restraint of trade as such restraint has been defined by the courts, must necessarily be either futile or mischievous, and sometimes both. The present law makes some combinations illegal, although they may be useful to the country. On the other hand, as to some huge combinations which are both noxious and illegal, even if the action undertaken against them under the law by the Government is successful, the result may be to work but a minimum benefit to the public. Even though the combination be broken up and a small measure of reform thereby produced, the real good aimed at can not be obtained, for such real good can come only by a thorough and continuing supervision over the acts of the combination in all its parts, so as to prevent stock watering, improper forms of competition, and, in short, wrong-doing generally. The law should correct that portion of the Sherman act which prohibits all combinations of the character above described, whether they be reasonable or unreasonable; but this should be done only as part of a general scheme to provide for this effective and thorough-going supervision by the National Government of all the operations of the big interstate business concerns. (Message to Congress, January 31, 1908.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VII, 1607-1608.

____________. I am advocating . . . amendments to the antitrust and interstate commerce laws in order to make legal proper combinations. But the very corporations that have been loudly insisting that those laws are bad, take not the slightest interest in their amendment. They do not want them changed and they do not care to have them removed from the statute-books, but they expect to have them administered crookedly. Of course, as far as I am concerned such expectation is vain. (To Colonel Henry L. Higginson, February 19, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 96; Bishop II, 83.

____________. Merely to repeal the Sherman Law without putting anything in its place would do harm. It should at once be amended or superseded by a law which would in some shape permit and require the issuing of li censes by the Federal Government to corporations doing an interstate or international business. Corporations which did not take out such licenses or comply with the rules of the Government's administrative board would be subject to the Sherman Law. The others would be under government control and would be encouraged to coöperate and in every way to become prosperous and efficient, the Government guaranteeing by its supervision that the corporations' prosperity and efficiency were in the public interest. (January 8, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 86-87.

Sherman Anti-Trust Act— Enforcement of

When I came into office that law was dead; I took it up and for the first time had it enforced. We gained this much by the enforcement: we gained the establishment of the principle that the government was supreme over the great corporations; but that is almost the end of the good that came through our lawsuits. Outlook, September 21, 1912, p. 105.

____________. When I took office the anti-trust law was practically a dead letter and the interstate commerce law in as poor a condition. I had to revive both laws. I did. I enforced both. It will be easy enough to do now what I did then, but the reason that it is easy now is because I did it when it was hard. Nobody was doing anything. I found speedily that the interstate commerce law by being made more perfect could be made a most useful instrument for helping solve some of our industrial problems. So with the antitrust law. I speedily found that almost the only positive good achieved by such a successful lawsuit as the Northern Securities suit, for instance, was in establishing the principle that the government was supreme over the big corporation, but that by itself that law did not accomplish any of the things that we ought to have accomplished; and so I began to fight for the amendment of the law along the lines of the interstate commerce law. (At Milwaukee, Wis., October 14, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 448; Nat. Ed. XVII, 326.

Sherman Anti-Trust Act— Ineffectiveness of

As construed by the Supreme Court, the Anti-Trust Law accomplishes a certain amount of good, and it has been a good thing to obtain the decision that has been obtained against the Standard Oil Company. But as a means of effectually grappling on behalf of the whole people with the problem created by what are commonly called trusts— that is, of enormous combinations of corporate capital engaged in inter-State business —the Anti-Trust Law is radically and vitally defective, and any effort to strengthen it would be worse than futile, and would result only in prolonging the time during which the corporations will escape control of the kind demanded in the interests of the people. Outlook, June 3, 1911, p. 239.

____________. Again and again while I was President, from 1902 to 1908, I pointed out that under the antitrust law alone it was neither possible to put a stop to business abuses nor possible to secure the highest efficiency in the service rendered by business to the general public. The antitrust law must be kept on our statute-books, and, as hereafter shown, must be rendered more effective in the cases where it is applied. But to treat the antitrust law as an adequate, or as by itself a wise, measure of relief and betterment is a sign not of progress, but of Toryism and reaction. It has been of benefit so far as it has implied the recognition of a real and great evil, and the at least sporadic application of the principle that all men alike must obey the law. But as a sole remedy, universally applicable, it has in actual practice completely broken down; as now applied it works more mischief than benefit. It represents the waste of effort—always damaging to a community—which arises from the attempt to meet new conditions by the application of out-worn remedies instead of fearlessly and in common-sense fashion facing the new conditions and devising the new remedies which alone can work effectively for good. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 381; Nat. Ed. XVII, 274.

____________. It is utterly hopeless to attempt to control the trusts merely by the anti-trust law, or by any law the same in principle, no matter what the modifications may be in detail. In the first place, these great corporations cannot possibly be controlled merely by a succession of lawsuits. The administrative branch of the government must exercise such control. The preposterous failure of the Commerce Court has shown that only damage comes from the effort to substitute judicial for administrative control of great corporations. In the next place, a loosely drawn law which promises to do everything would reduce business to complete ruin if it were not also so drawn as to accomplish almost nothing. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 386; Nat. Ed. XVII, 278.

____________. The Sherman Law, or so-called Anti- Trust Law, is just as mischievous in peace as in war. It represents an effort to meet a great evil in the wrong way. As long as corporations claimed complete immunity from government control, the first necessity was to establish the right of the Government to control them. This right and power of the Government was established by the Northern Securities suit, which prevented all the railroads of the country from being united under one corporation which defied government control. The suits against the Standard Oil and Tobacco trusts followed. The Supreme Court decreed that the trusts had been guilty of grave misconduct and should be dissolved, but not a particle of good followed their dissolution. It is evident that the Sherman Law, or so- called Anti-Trust Law, in no way meets the evils of the industrial world. To try to break up corporations because they are big and efficient is either ineffective or mischievous. What is needed is to exercise government control over them, so as to encourage their efficiency and prosperity, but to insure that the efficiency is used in the public interest and that the prosperity is properly passed around. (January 8, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 86.

Sherman Anti-Trust Act— Prosecutions Under

There is a grim irony in the effect that has been produced upon Wall Street by the complete breakdown of the prosecutions against various trusts, notably the Standard Oil and Tobacco Trusts, under the Sherman law. I have always insisted that while the Sherman law should be kept upon the books so as to be used wherever possible against monopolies, yet that it is by itself wholly unable to afford the relief demanded by the American people as against all the great corporations actually or potentially guilty of antisocial practices. Wall Street was at first flurried by the decisions in the Oil and Tobacco Trust cases. But as regards the Sherman antitrust law Wall Street has now caught up with the Administration. The President has expressed his entire satisfaction with the antitrust law, and now that the result of the prosecutions under it has been to strengthen the Standard Oil and Tobacco Trusts, to increase the value of their stocks, and, at least in the case of the Standard Oil, to increase the price to the consumer, Wall Street is also showing, in practical fashion, its satisfaction with the workings of the law, by its antagonism to us who intend to establish a real control of big business, which shall not harm legitimate business, but which shall really, and not nominally, put a stop to the evil practices of evil combinations. (At Louisville, Ky., April 3, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 250; Nat. Ed. XVII, 185.

Sherman Anti-Trust Act

See also Business; Combinations; Corporations; Government Control; Industrial Commission; Knight Case; Monopolies; Northern Securities Case; Standard Oil Company; Trusts.


See Merchant Marine.

Short Ballot

See Ballot.


See Rifle.

Sickness Insurance

See Social Insurance

Silver—Free Coinage of

There is a certain difficulty in arguing the issue of this campaign, the question of free silver. It is always difficult to make elaborate argument about the eighth commandment. When a man quotes, "Thou shalt not steal," and another promptly replies by asking "Why not?" really the best answer is to repeat the commandment again. If a man cannot at first glance see that it is as immoral and vicious to repudiate debts as it is to steal, why, it becomes quite a hopeless task to try to convince him by the most elaborate arguments. (Before Commercial Travellers' Sound-Money League, New York City, September 11, 1896.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 384; Nat. Ed. XIV, 251.

____________. The policy of the free coin age of silver at a ratio of sixteen to one is a policy fraught with destruction to every home in the land. It means untold misery to the head of every household, and, above all, to the women and children of every home. When our opponents champion free silver at sixteen to one they are either insincere or sincere in their attitude. If insincere in their championship, they, of course, forfeit all right to belief or support on any ground. If sincere, then they are a menace to the welfare of the country. Whether they shout their sinister purpose or merely whisper it makes but little difference, save as it reflects their own honesty. (Letter accepting nomination for Vice-Presidency, September 15, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 548; Nat. Ed. XIV, 362.

Silver and Bimetallism

Some of the anti- free-silver men, the extreme gold men, are as unreasonable in their fanaticism as any representatives of the Rocky Mountain mine-owners. These men violently oppose any scheme looking toward international bimetallism, and, indeed, at times seem to object to it almost as much as to free silver. Such conduct is mere foolishness. The financial question is far too complicated to permit any persons to refuse to discuss any method which offers a reasonable hope of bettering the situation.

The question of the free coinage of silver is not complicated at all. Very many honest men honestly advocate free coinage; nevertheless, in its essence, the measure is one of partial repudiation, and is to be opposed because it would shake the country's credit, and would damage that reputation for honest dealing which should be as dear to a nation as to a private individual. But the question of bimetallism stands on an entirely different footing. Very many men of high repute as statesmen and as students of finance, both at home and abroad, believe that great good would come from an international agreement which would permit the use of both metals in the currency of the world. No one is prepared to say that such an agreement would do harm. There is grave doubt as to whether the agreement can be reached; but the end is of such importance as to justify an effort to attain it. The people who oppose the move are, as a rule, men whom the insane folly of the ultra-free-silver men has worked into a panic of folly only less acute. (Century, November 1895.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 343-344; Nat. Ed. XIV, 244-245.

Silver Issue, The

Many entirely honest and intelligent men have been misled by the silver talk, and have for the moment joined the ranks of the ignorant, the vicious and wrong-headed. These men of character and capacity are blinded by their own misfortunes, or their own needs, or else they have never fairly looked into the matter for themselves, being, like most men, whether in "gold" or "silver" communities, content to follow the opinion of those they are accustomed to trust. After full and fair inquiry these men, I am sure, whether they live in Maine, in Tennessee, or in Oregon, will come out on the side of honest money. The shiftless and vicious and the honest but hopelessly ignorant and puzzle-headed voters cannot be reached; but the average farmer, the average business man, the average workman—in short, the average American— will always stand up for honesty and decency when he can once satisfy himself as to the side on which they are to be found. (Review of Reviews, September 1896.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 371; Nat. Ed. XIII, 156.

____________. The demand for free silver is largely not an expression of opinion, but is rather a demand for something which it is believed will punish the people who have the most thrift and the most intelligence. Yet history teaches us nothing more plainly than that if the hard-working and the thrifty be punished the ultimate loss falls most heavily on the poorer classes. Cheap money is in the end the dearest money for the working man. (Before Commercial Travellers' Sound-Money League, New York City, September 11, 1896.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 391; Nat. Ed. XIV, 257.

____________. With the majority of the men who want cheap money the silver dollar is desired, not because of any abstruse theories about the benefits of bimetallism, but because it is the first step toward that money. . . . These men champion a silver dollar because it is cheaper than the gold dollar, just as they would champion a copper dollar rather than one of silver if copper would be made an issue at the moment. What they really want is irredeemable paper money. In other words these curious beings, who sometimes possess good hearts and sometimes not, but who always possess foggy brains, think that the money is of value precisely in the ratio of its being valueless. Gold and its equivalents possessing the greatest value, and forming, therefore, the currency of all the prosperous civilized communities, seem to them undesirable. They want money that is cheap; that is not so valuable. They like a silver dollar, as compared to a gold dollar, because it is worth only half as much; but they like a paper dollar even more because it is not worth anything. They seem to have a curious inverted idea that the minute we can get money that is not worth anything it will turn out to be able to purchase everything. (Before American Republican College League, Chicago, October 15, 1896.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 299-400; Nat. Ed. XIV, 263.


See also Cleveland, Grover; Currency; Election Of 1896; Gold Standard; Populism.

Simms, William Gilmore

Simms was much the most considerable of the Southern school of writers in the years before the war—for Poe belongs to no school and no section—and he was the most prolific novelist, essayist, and (Heaven save the mark!) poet this country has ever produced. Yet he is now completely forgotten. It is probable that most people, even among those who are fairly well read, do not so much as know the name of an author some of whose books, at least, are well worth a permanent place on our book-shelves. Unfortunately, his faults were many and grave. His natural talents were great, but his education was very defective, and he lived in a society totally devoid of a creative literary atmosphere. He had no idea of such qualities as thoroughness, finish, and self-restraint. His style is hurried and slipshod; many of his passages are wooden or bombastic; and his petulant impatience of criticism forbade his gaining any profit by experience. At one time he was foolish enough to make ventures in the field of European romance, only to meet deserved and dismal failure. (Atlantic Monthly, June 1892.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 334, 335 & 337; Nat. Ed. XII, 287-289.

Simplified Spelling

See Spelling Reform.


See "Mollycoddle."


See Ousel.


See Conscientious Objectors; Draft; Military Service; Pacifists; Profiteers.

Slander—Punishment of

I hope in the end to see legislation which will punish the circulation of untruth, and above all of slanderous untruth, in a newspaper or magazine meant to be read by the public; which will punish such action as severely as we punish the introduction into commerce of adulterated food falsely described and meant to be eaten by the public. At present men sufficiently wealthy to pay for slander and libel, and the other men wishing to earn a base livelihood by pandering to the taste of those who like to read slander and libel, can undoubtedly do an enormous quantity of damage to the upright public servant. But keep in mind that I am not concerned with him; I am speaking from the standpoint of the public. The enormous damage, the incredible damage, is done to the public, by completely misinforming them as to the character of the decent public servant, and also misinforming them as to the character of that man in public life who is an unworthy public servant. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 639; Nat. Ed. XIII, 670.


Black slavery was such a grossly anachronistic and un-American form of evil, that it is difficult to discuss calmly the efforts to abolish it, and to remember that many of these efforts were calculated to do, and actually did, more harm than good. We are also very apt to forget that it was perfectly possible and reasonable for enlightened and virtuous men, who fully recognized it as an evil, yet to prefer its continuance to having it interfered with in a way that would produce even worse results. Black slavery in Hayti was characterized by worse abuse than ever was the case in the United States; yet, looking at the condition of that republic now, it may well be questioned whether it would not have been greatly to her benefit in the end to have had slavery continue a century or so longer—its ultimate extinction being certain—rather than to have had her attain freedom as she actually did, with the results that have flowed from her action. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 117; Nat. Ed. VII, 102.

____________. Slavery must of necessity exercise the most baleful influence upon any slaveholding people, and especially upon those members of the dominant caste who do not themselves own slaves. Moreover, the negro, unlike so many of the inferior races, does not dwindle away in the presence of the white man. He holds his own; indeed, under the conditions of American slavery he increased faster than the white, threatening to supplant him. He actually has supplanted him in certain of the West Indian Islands, where the sin of the white in enslaving the black has been visited upon the head of the wrong-doer by his victim with a dramatically terrible completeness of revenge. (1894.) Mem. Ed. XI, 260; Nat. Ed. IX, 44.

Slavery And Expansion

The greed for the conquest of new lands which characterized the Western people had nothing whatever to do with the fact that some of them owned slaves. Long before there had been so much as the faintest foreshadowing of the importance which the slavery question was to assume, the West had been eagerly pressing on to territorial conquest, and had been chafing and fretting at the restraint put upon it, and at the limits set to its strivings by the treaties established with foreign powers. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 129; Nat. Ed. VII, 112.

Slavery and Freedom

The attitude of slaveholders toward freedom in the abstract was grotesque in its lack of logic; but the attitude of many other classes of men, both abroad and at home, toward it was equally full of a grimly unconscious humor. The Southern planters, who loudly sympathized with Kossuth and the Hungarians, were entirely unconscious that their tyranny over their own black bondsmen made their attacks upon Austria's despotism absurd; and Germans, who were shocked at our holding the blacks in slavery, could not think of freedom in their own country without a shudder. On one night the Democrats of the Northern States would hold a mass-meeting to further the cause of Irish freedom, on the next night the same men would break up another meeting held to help along the freeing of the negroes; while the English aristocracy held up its hands in horror at American slavery and set its face like a flint against all efforts to do Ireland tardy and incomplete justice. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 204; Nat. Ed. VII, 176.

Slavery and Separatism

There had always been a strong separatist feeling in the South; but hitherto its manifestations had been local and sporadic, never affecting all the States at the same time; for it had never happened that the cause which called forth say particular manifestation was one bearing on the whole South alike. . . . But slavery was an interest common to the whole South. When it was felt to be in any way menaced, all Southerners came together for its protection; and, from the time of the rise of the Abolitionists onward, the separatist movement through the South began to identify itself with the maintenance of slavery, and gradually to develop greater and greater strength. Its growth was furthered and hastened by the actions of the more ambitious and unscrupulous of the Southern politicians, who saw that it offered a chance for them to push themselves forward, and who were perfectly willing to wreak almost irreparable harm to the nation if by so doing they could advance their own selfish interests. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 120-121; Nat. Ed. VII, 105.

Slavery in the West Indies

No race ever so sacrificed the permanent welfare of the race to the profit of the individuals of two or three generations, no race ever for temporary ease and gain invited such nemesis of race destruction as the Northern white race—English, French, Dutch, and Danish—did by the introduction of black slavery in the West Indies. Whites can live and thrive in these lands; not only are the upper-class whites of creole origin in the islands a handsome, vigorous, and fertile people, but the same thing is true of the few spots where white yeoman farmers or fishermen have permanently established themselves, as is notably true of Saba, but also in small isolated localities which I came across elsewhere. The white did not die out because he could not live and work. He died out because for his ease and profit he wickedly introduced negro slaves whose descendants elbowed his descendants from the land—the process going on at practically the same rate of speed before and after slavery was abolished. (1917.) Mem. Ed. IV, 310; Nat. Ed. III, 446.


See also Abolitionists; Benton, T. H.; Brown, John; Civil War; Haiti; Negro; South.


See Housing; Riis, Jacob A.

Social Abasement

See Labor; Service; Work.

Social and Industrial Justice

Friends, our task as Americans is to strive for social and industrial justice, achieved through the genuine rule of the people. This is our end, our purpose. The methods for achieving the end are merely expedients, to be finally accepted or rejected, according as actual experience shows that they work well or ill. But in our hearts we must have this lofty purpose, and we must strive for it in all earnestness and sincerity, or our work will come to nothing. (At Carnegie Hall, New York, March 20, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 222; Nat. Ed. XVII, 170.

____________. The leaders in the fight for industrial and social justice to-day should be the men to whom much has been given and from whom we have a right to expect in return much of honesty and of courage, much of disinterested and valorous effort for the common good. The multimillionaire who opposes us is the worst foe of his own children and children's children, and, little though he knows it, we are their benefactors when we strive to make this country one in which justice shall prevail; for it is they themselves who would in the end suffer most if in this country we permitted the average man gradually to grow to feel that fair play was denied him, that justice was denied to the many and privilege accorded to the few. (At Chicago, June 17, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 311; Nat. Ed. XVII, 225.

____________. Before I began to go with the cow- punchers, I had already, as the result of experience in the legislature at Albany, begun rather timidly to strive for social and industrial justice. But at that time my attitude was that of giving justice from above. It was the experience on the range that first taught me to try to get justice for all of us by working on the same level with the rest of my fellow citizens. It was the conviction that there was much social and industrial injustice and the effort to secure social and industrial justice that first led me to taking so keen an interest in popular rule. (Outlook, October 12, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 435; Nat. Ed. XVII, 315.

____________. Life means change; where there is no change, death comes. We who fight [for] sanctity for the rights of the people, for industrial justice, and social reforms are also fighting for material well-being; for justice is the handmaiden of prosperity; and without justice there can be no lasting prosperity. We pledge ourselves not only to strive for prosperity but to bring it about; for it can only come on a basis of fair treatment for all; and on such a basis it shall come, if the people intrust power to us. (At Chicago, June 17, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 307; Nat. Ed. XVII, 222.

____________. We must strive to do away with the social and economic injustice that have come from failing to meet by proper legislation the changed conditions brought about by the gigantic growth of our gigantic industrialism. We of this State must make it our business to help in efficient fashion the country districts, to shape matters so as to encourage the growth of the farming communities, and to help give the people in these communities the advantages which have come in disproportionate measure to the city rather than to the country during the industrial growth of the last fifty years. We must guard the interests of the wage-worker, the man who works with his hands; we must safeguard the woman who toils, and see that the young child does not toil. We must see that, by far-reaching legislation, the workman who is crippled, and the family of the workman who is killed in industry, are compensated, so that the loss necessarily incident to certain industries shall be equitably and fairly distributed instead of being placed upon the shoulders of those least able to bear them. We must make it a matter of obligation by the State to see that the conditions under which working men and women do their work shall be safe and healthful. So far as by legislation it is possible, we must strive to give to the working man the power to achieve and maintain a high standard of living. Finally, and as a matter of course, we must do everything possible to promote and conserve the business prosperity of the whole country. (Before New York Republican State Convention, Saratoga, September 27, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 35; Nat. Ed. XVII, 27.

____________. The next fact to remember is that it is of no use talking about reform and social justice and equality of industrial opportunity inside of a nation, unless that nation can protect itself from outside attack. It is not worth while bothering about any social or industrial problem in the United States unless the United States is willing to train itself, to fit itself, so that it can be sure that its own people will have the say- so in the settlement of these problems, and not some nation of alien invaders and oppressors. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 279; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 240.

Social and Industrial Justice

See also Capital; Courts; Industrial Justice; Labor; Progressive Movement; Square Deal.

Social Conditions

I don't at all like the social conditions at present. The dull, purblind folly of very rich men, their greed and arrogance, and the way in which they have unduly prospered by the help of the ablest lawyers, and, too often, through the weakness and short-sightedness of the judges, or by their unfortunate possession of meticulous minds; these facts, and the corruption in business and politics, have tended to produce a very unhealthy condition of excitement and irritation in the popular mind, which shows itself in part in the enormous increase in the Socialistic propaganda. (To William H. Taft, March 15, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 117; Bishop II, 100.

Social Conventions

I have not the slightest objections to conventions, no matter how pointless, when they do not interfere with one's comfort; but I do strongly object to them, when for no earthly reason, they do so interfere. As regards the table, I have had two life-long convictions. First, that when I wanted to eat a soft boiled egg, I wanted to eat it out of a cup, and not to peck at it inside its shell as if I was a magpie robbing a nest. Second, and vastly more important, that when I was eating a fish, especially if it was a smelt, or something of the kind, when there was no earthly reason why I should be forbidden a knife, and forced to make ineffective jabs at the fish with my fork, while it scattered free around the place. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, December 27, 1899.) Cowles Letters, 227.

Social Insurance

It is abnormal for any industry to throw back upon the community the human wreckage due to its wear and tear, and the hazards of sickness, accident, invalidism, involuntary unemployment, and old age should be provided for through insurance. This should be made a charge in whole or in part upon the industries, the employer, the employee, and perhaps the people at large to contribute severally in some degree. Wherever such standards are not met by given establishments, by given industries, are unprovided for by a legislature, or are balked by unenlightened courts, the workers are in jeopardy, the progressive employer is penalized, and the community pays a heavy cost in lessened efficiency and in misery. What Germany has done in the way of old-age pensions or insurance should be studied by us, and the system adapted to our uses, with whatever modifications are rendered necessary by our different ways of life and habits of thought. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 376; Nat. Ed. XVII, 269.

Social Insurance

See also Workmen's Compensation.

Social Legislation

Much the same kind of argument that is now advanced against the effort to regulate big corporations has been again and again advanced against the effort to secure proper employers' liability laws or proper factory laws with reference to women and children; much the same kind of argument was advanced but five years ago against the franchise- tax law enacted in this State while I was Governor.

Of course there is always the danger of abuse if legislation of this type is approached in a hysterical or sentimental spirit, or, above all, if it is approached in a spirit of envy and hatred toward men of wealth.

We must not try to go too fast, under penalty of finding that we may be going in the wrong direction; and, in any event, we ought always to proceed by evolution and not by revolution. The laws must be conceived and executed in a spirit of sanity and justice, and with exactly as much regard for the rights of the big man as for the rights of the little man—treating big man and little man exactly alike. (At Chautauqua, N. Y., August 11, 1905.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers IV, 455.

Social Legislation

See also Child Labor; Denmark; La Follette, R. M.; Labor; Pure Food; Social And Industrial Justice; Workmen's Compensation.

Social Revolution—Results of

In the hideous welter of a social revolution it is the brutal, the reckless, and the criminal who prosper, not the hard- working, sober, and thrifty. Life is often hard enough at best; it is sometimes quite as hard for the rich as for the poor, and too often the good man, the honest and patriotic citizen, suffers many blows from fate, and sees some rascals and some idlers prosper undeservedly; but the surest way to increase his misery tenfold is for him to play into the hands of the scoundrelly demagogues, to abandon that stern morality without which no man and no nation can ever permanently succeed, and to seek a temporary relief for his own real or imaginary sufferings by plunging others into misery. (Before American Republican College League, Chicago, October 15, 1896.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 404; Nat. Ed. XIV,

Social Revolution

See also Revolutions.

Social Work

Anyone who has a serious appreciation of the immensely complex problems of our present-day life, and of those kinds of benevolent effort which for lack of a better term we group under the name of philanthropy, must realize the infinite diversity there is in the field of social work. Each man can, of course, do best if he takes up that branch of work to which his tastes and his interests lead him, and the field is of such large size that there is more than ample room for every variety of workman. Of course there are certain attributes which must be possessed in common by all who want to do well. The worker must possess not only resolution, firmness of purpose, broad charity, and great-hearted sympathy, but he must also possess common-sense sanity, and a wholesome aversion alike to the merely sentimental and the merely spectacular. (McClure's, March 1901.) Mem. Ed. XV, 198; Nat. Ed. XIII, 261.

Social Work

See also Charity; Philanthropy; Reform; Riis, Jacob A.


Socialism . . . is blind to everything except the merely material side of life. It is not only indifferent, but at bottom hostile, to the intellectual, the religious, the domestic and moral life; it is a form of communism with no moral foundation, but essentially based on the immediate annihilation of personal ownership of capital, and, in the near future, the annihilation of the family, and ultimately the annihilation of civilization. (Outlook, March 20, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 563; Nat. Ed. XIX, 106.

____________. The Socialists are trying to construct a party based on class consciousness, and for one class only. Socialism may mean almost anything. A Socialist may be a man who in practice is a violent anarchist, and the greatest possible menace to this country, or he may merely be a radical reformer with whom most of the men who think as I do can work heartily as regards the major part of his programme. But we thoroughly repudiate his doctrine of class consciousness. The Progressives preach social consciousness as an antidote to class conciousness. We point out to the reactionaries who so bitterly opposed us that such social consciousness is the only effective antidote to the class consciousness of the Socialist. (Introduction dated September 12, 1913.) S. J. DuncanClark, The Progressive Movement. (Boston, 1913), p. xvi.

____________. We ought to go with any man in the effort to bring about justice and the equality of opportunity, to turn the tool-user more and more into the tool-owner, to shift burdens so that they can be more equitably borne. The deadening effect on any race of the adoption of a logical and extreme socialistic system could not be overstated; it would spell sheer destruction; it would produce grosser wrong and outrage, fouler immorality, than any existing system. But this does not mean that we may not with great advantage adopt certain of the principles professed by some given set of men who happen to call themselves Socialists; to be afraid to do so would be to make a mark of weakness on our part. (At the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 366; Nat. Ed. XIII, 520.

____________. It is to the last degree improbable that State socialism will ever be adopted in its extreme form, save in a few places. It exists, of course, to a certain extent wherever a police force and a fire department exist; and the sphere of the State's action may be vastly increased without in any way diminishing the happiness of either the many or the few. It is even conceivable that a combination of
legislative enactments and natural forces may greatly reduce the inequalities of wealth without in any way diminishing the real power of enjoyment or power for good work of what are now the favored classes. In our own country the best work has always been produced by men who lived in castes or social circles where the standard of essential comfort was high; that is, where men were well clothed, well fed, well housed, and had plenty of books and the opportunity of using them; but where there was small room for extravagant luxury. (Sewanee Review, August 1894.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 253; Nat. Ed. XIII, 219-220.

____________. On the social and domestic side doctrinaire Socialism would replace the family and home life by a glorified state free-lunch counter and state foundling asylum, deliberately enthroning self- indulgence as the ideal, with, on its darker side, the absolute abandonment of all morality as between man and woman; while in place of what Socialists call "wage slavery" there would be created a system which would necessitate either the prompt dying out of the community through sheer starvation, or an iron despotism over all workers, compared to which any slave system of the past would seem beneficent, because less utterly hopeless. (Outlook , March 20, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 556; Nat. Ed. XIX, 100.

Socialism—Spread of

There has been during the last six or eight years a great growth of socialistic and radical spirit among the workingmen, and the leaders are obliged to play to this or lose their leadership. Then the idiotic folly of the high financiers and of their organs, such as the Sun, helps to aggravate the unrest. (To H. C. Lodge, October 2, 1906.) Lodge Letters II, 240.

Socialism and Individualism

It is true that the doctrines of communistic Socialism, if consistently followed, mean the ultimate annihilation of civilization. Yet the converse is also true. Ruin faces us if we decline steadily to try to reshape our whole civilization in accordance with the law of service, and if we permit ourselves to be misled by any empirical or academic consideration into refusing to exert the common power of the community where only collective action can do what individualism has left undone, or can remedy the wrongs done by an unrestricted and ill-regulated individualism. (Outlook , March 27, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 563; Nat. Ed. XIX, 106.

____________. The goal is a long way off, but we are striving toward it; and the goal is not Socialism, but so much of Socialism as will best permit the building thereon of a sanely altruistic individualism, an individualism where self-respect is combined with a lively sense of consideration for and duty toward others, and where full recognition of the increased need of collective action goes hand in hand with a developed instead of an atrophied power of individual action. (Century, October 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 536; Nat. Ed. XVII, 394.

Socialism in Italy

What I saw of Italy made me feel that there was infinite need for radical action toward the betterment of social and industrial conditions; and this made me feel a very strong sympathy with some of the Socialistic aims, and a very profound distrust of most of the Socialistic methods. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, October 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 235; Bishop II, 201.

Socialism in Sweden

I was saddened to see how Socialism had grown among the people, and in a very ugly form; for one of the Socialist tracts was an elaborate appeal to stop having children; the Socialists being so bitter in their class hatred as to welcome race destruction as a means of slaking it. Personally, as Sweden practically has not only free but almost democratic institutions, I could not understand the extreme bitterness of the Socialist attitude, and in view of what at that very moment the Russians were doing in Finland, I felt that any weakening of Sweden in Russia's face came pretty near being a crime against all real progress and civilization. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, October 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 285; Bishop II, 244.


See also Bolshevism; Collectivism; Individualism.


Because of things I have done on behalf of justice to the working man, I have often been called a Socialist. Usually I have not taken the trouble even to notice the epithet. I am not afraid of names, and I am not one of those who fear to do what is right because some one else will confound me with partisans with whose principles I am not in accord. Moreover, I know that many American Socialists are high-minded and honorable citizens, who in reality are merely radical social reformers. They are oppressed by the brutalities and industrial injustices which we see everywhere about us. When I recall how often I have seen Socialists and ardent non-Socialists working side by side for some specific measure of social or industrial reform, and how I have found opposed to them on the side of privilege many shrill reactionaries who insist on calling all reformers Socialists, I refuse to be panic- stricken by having this title mistakenly applied to me. None the less, without impugning their motives, I do disagree most emphatically with both the fundamental philosophy and the proposed remedies of the Marxian Socialists. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 551; Nat. Ed. XX, 474.

Soil Conservation

In any great country the prime physical asset—the physical asset more valuable than any other—is the fertility of the soil. All our industrial and commercial welfare, all our material development of every kind, depends in the last resort, upon our preserving and increasing the fertility of the soil. This, of course, means the conservation of the soil as the great natural resource; and equally, of course, it furthermore implies the development of country life, for there cannot be a permanent improvement of the soil if the life of those who live on it, and make their living out of it, is suffered to starve and languish, to become stunted and weazened and inferior to the type of life lived elsewhere. Outlook , August 27, 1910, p. 919.

Soldierly Qualities

In a regiment the prime need is to have fighting men; the prime virtue is to be able and eager to fight with the utmost effectiveness. I have never believed that this was incompatible with other virtues. On the contrary, while there are of course exceptions, I believe that on the average the best fighting men are also the best citizens. I do not believe that a finer set of natural soldiers than the men of my regiment could have been found anywhere, and they were first-class citizens in civil life also. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 297; Nat. Ed. XX, 254.

Soldierly Qualities — Development of

It is by no means necessary that we should have war to develop soldierly attributes and soldierly qualities; but if the peace we enjoy is of such a kind that it causes their loss, then it is far too dearly purchased, no matter what may be its attendant benefits. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed. XV, 243; Nat. Ed. XIII, 185.

Soldierly Qualities

See also Fighting Edge; Manly Virtues; Military Training; Pacifists.


A war is primarily won by soldiers; the work of the non-soldiers, however valuable, is merely accessory to the primary work of the fighting men. (Metropolitan, September, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 27; Nat. Ed. XIX, 23.

____________. There is nothing sacrosanct in the trade of the soldier. It is a trade which can be learned without special difficulty by any man who is brave and intelligent, who realizes the necessity of obedience, and who is already gifted with physical hardihood and is accustomed to the use of the horse and of weapons, to enduring fatigue and exposure, and to acting on his own responsibility, taking care of himself in the open. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 333; Nat. Ed. X, 226.

Soldiers—Debt to

In a great war for the right the one great debt owed by the nation is that to the men who go to the front and pay with their bodies for the faith that is in them. At the front there are of course of necessity a few men who, from the nature of the case, are not in positions of great danger—as regards the staff and the high command, the burden of crushing responsibility borne by such men outweighs danger. But as a rule the men who do the great work for the nation are the men who, for a money payment infinitely less than what they would earn in civil life, face terrible risk and endure indescribable hardship and fatigue and misery at the front. (Metropolitan, November 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 268; Nat. Ed. XIX, 248.

Soldiers — Discrimination Against

To strive to discriminate against him in any way is literally an infamy; for it is in reality one of the most serious offenses which can be committed against the stability and greatness of our nation. If a hotel-keeper or the owner of a theatre or any other public resort attempts such discrimination, everything possible should be done by all good citizens to make the man attempting it feel the full weight of a just popular resentment, and if possible, legal proceedings should be taken against him. As for the commissioned officers, it both is and must be their pride alike to train the enlisted man how to do his duty and to see that the enlisted man who does his duty is held in honor and respect. (To William Howard Taft, February 3, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 6; Bishop II, 4.

Soldiers, Disabled—Training of

A peculiarly important branch of [our educational system] at the present time ought to be the training of the disabled and the crippled returning soldiers, so that they may become, not objects of charity, but self-supporting citizens. (Metropolitan, November 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 280; Nat. Ed. XIX, 258.


See also Army; Draft; Military Service; Militia; Veterans; Volunteer System.

South, The

I fully believe in and appreciate not only the valor of the South, but its lofty devotion to the right as it saw the right; and yet I think that on every ground—that is, on the question of the Union, on the question of slavery, on the question of State rights—it was wrong with a folly that amounted to madness, and with a perversity that amounted to wickedness. (To James Ford Rhodes, November 29, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 402; Bishop I, 349.

____________. Great though the need of praise is which is due the South for the soldierly valor her sons displayed during the four years of war, I think that even greater praise is due to her for what her people have accomplished in the forty years of peace which followed. For forty years the South has made not merely a courageous, but at times a desperate struggle, as she has striven for moral and material well-being. Her success has been extraordinary, and all citizens of our common country should feel joy and pride in it; for any great deed done or any fine qualities shown by one group of Americans of necessity reflects credit upon all Americans. Only a heroic people could have battled successfully against the conditions with which the people of the South found themselves face to face at the end of the Civil War. (At Richmond, Va., October 18, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 39; Nat. Ed. XVI, 33-34.

____________. I have just finished a fortnight's trip in the Southern States, where I was received with the utmost enthusiasm. As far as I know I did not flinch from one of my principles; but I did do my best to show the Southern people not only that I was earnestly desirous of doing what was best for them, but that I felt a profound sympathy and admiration for them; and they met me half-way. This does not mean any political change at all in the South, and it means but a slight permanent change in the attitude of the Southerners; but I think it does mean this slight permanent change, and it marks one more step toward what I believe will some day come about—the complete reunion of the two sections. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, November 8, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 181; Bishop II, 155.

South, The

See also Civil War; Confederates; Copperheads; Lee, R. E.; Negro; North; Nullification; Reconstruction; Sectionalism; Slavery; Tuskegee Institute; Washington, Booker T.

South America

Portions of South America are now entering on a career of great social and industrial development. Much remains to be known, so far as the outside world is concerned, of the social and industrial condition in the long-settled interior regions. More remains to be done, in the way of pioneer exploring and of scientific work, in the great stretches of virgin wilderness. The only two other continents where such work, of like volume and value, remains to be done are Africa and Asia; and neither Africa nor Asia offers a more inviting field for the best kind of fieldworker in geographical exploration and in zoological, geological, and paleontological investigation. (1914.) Mem. Ed. VI, 328; Nat. Ed. V, 280.

____________. When the white man reached South America he found the same weak and impoverished mammalian fauna that exists practically unchanged to- day. Elsewhere civilized man has been even more destructive than his very destructive uncivilized brothers of the magnificent mammalian life of the wilderness; for ages he has been rooting out the higher forms of beast life in Europe, Asia, and North Africa; and in our own day he has repeated the feat, on a very large scale, in the rest of Africa and in North America. But in South America, although he is in places responsible for the wanton slaughter of the most interesting and the largest, or the most beautiful, birds, his advent has meant a positive enrichment of the wild mammalian fauna. None of the native grass-eating mammals, the graminivores, approach in size and beauty the herds of wild or half-wild cattle and horses, or so add to the interest of the landscape. There is every reason why the good people of South America should waken, as we of North America, very late in the day, are beginning to waken, and as the peoples of northern Europe—not southern Europe—have already partially wakened, to the duty of preserving from impoverishment and extinction the wild life which is an asset of such interest and value in our several lands; but the case against civilized man in this matter is gruesomely heavy anyhow, when the plain truth is told, and it is harmed by exaggeration. (1914.) Mem. Ed. VI, 68; Nat. Ed. V, 58.

South America — Exploration of

There yet remains plenty of exploring work to be done in South America, as hard, as dangerous, and almost as important as any that has already been done. . . . The collecting naturalists who go into the wilds and do first- class work encounter every kind of risk and undergo every kind of hardship and exertion. Explorers and naturalists of the right type have open to them in South America a field of extraordinary attraction and difficulty. But to excavate ruins that have already long been known, to visit out-of-the-way towns that date from colonial days, to traverse old, even if uncomfortable, routes of travel, or to ascend or descend highway rivers like the Amazon, the Paraguay, and the lower Orinoco—all of these exploits are well worth performing, but they in no sense represent exploration or adventure, and they do not entitle the performer, no
matter how well he writes and no matter how much of real value he contributes to human knowledge, to compare himself in any way with the real wilderness wanderer, or to criticise the latter. (1914.) Mem. Ed. VI, 166; Nat. Ed. V, 142-143.

South America—Trade with

We wish to open the countries of South America to our business, we wish to create a market for the products of our business men, the farmers, and wage-workers in South America. This cannot be done at all unless it is to the advantage of the various peoples of South America to have such products. It cannot be made a striking success unless the South Americans find that it is very much to their advantage to deal with us, and unless they so thrive and prosper that it will be greatly to our advantage to extend our dealings with them. In private life a man's only customers who are worth anything are those who can pay for what they get, and his best customers are those whose prosperity increases so that they can get a great deal; in other words it is self- evidently to the advantage of every business man to have a prosperous community with which to do business.

In just the same way it is to the advantage of us as a nation to see the nations with which we do business thrive, prosper, and enormously to increase their material well-being, and therefore their wish and their ability to enter into business relations with us. (At New York City, October 3, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 394; Nat. Ed. XVI, 294-295.

South America

See also Brazil; Colombia; Germany; Intervention; Latin America; Monroe Doctrine; Panama Canal; Venezuela.

South American Wars of Independence

The Revolutionary War itself had certain points of similarity with the struggles of which men like Bolivar were the heroes; where the parallel totally fails is in what followed. There were features in which the campaigns of the Mexicans and South American insurgent leaders resembled at least the partisan warfare so often waged by American Revolutionary generals; but with the deeds of the great constructive statesmen of the United States there is nothing in the career of any Spanish-American community to compare. It was the power to build a solid and permanent Union, the power to construct a mighty nation out of the wreck of a crumbling confederacy, which drew a sharp line between the Americans of the North and the Spanish-speaking races of the South. . .

The men who brought into being and pre served the Union have had no compeers in Southern America. The North American colonies wrested their independence from Great Britain as the colonies of South America wrested theirs from Spain; but whereas the United States grew with giant strides into a strong and orderly nation, Spanish America has remained split into a dozen turbulent states, and has become a by-word for anarchy and weakness. (1894.) Mem. Ed. XI, 318- 319; Nat. Ed. IX, 95.


See Kings; Royalty.


There are few evils greater than an irresponsible sovereignty, where the final power is exercised by men who cannot be held accountable for its exercise. Outlook, November 15, 1913, p. 592.


See also Power.

Sovereignty, Popular

See Constitution; Democracy; Government; Popular Rule; Self- Government.

Sovereignty, State

See States' Rights.

Spain—Decay of

The expulsion of Moor and heretic, the loss of the anarchistic and much misused individual liberties of the provincial towns, the economic and social changes wrought by the inflow of American gold—all of them put together do not explain the military decadence of the Spaniard; do not explain why he grew so rigid that, at first on sea and then on land, he could not adapt himself to new tactics, and above all, what subtle transformation it was that came over the fighting edge of the soldiers themselves. For nearly a century and a half following the beginning of Gonsalvo's campaigns, the Spanish infantry showed itself superior in sheer fighting ability to any other infantry in Europe. Toward the end of the sixteenth century, neither the Hollanders, fighting with despair for their own firesides, nor the Scotch and English volunteers, actuated by love of fighting and zeal for their faith, were able on anything like equal terms to hold their own against the Spanish armies, who walked at will to and fro through the Netherlands, save where strong city walls or burst dikes held them at bay. Yet the Hollander, the Englishman, and the Scotchman were trained soldiers, and they were spurred by every hope and feeling which we ordinarily accept as making men formidable in fight. A century passed; and these same Spaniards had become contemptible creatures in war compared with the Dutch and Scotch, the English and French, whom they had once surpassed. Many partial explanations can be given for the change, but none that wholly or mainly explain it. (To A. J. Balfour, March 5, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 122-123; Bishop II, 105,106.


See also French Revolution

Spanish-American War

I would regard a war with Spain from two viewpoints: First, the advisability on the ground both of humanity and self-interest of interfering on behalf of the Cubans, and of taking one more step toward the complete freeing of America from European domination; second, the benefit done to our people by giving them something to think of which isn't material gain, and especially the benefit done our military forces trying both the Army and Navy in actual practise. I should be very sorry not to see us make the experiment of trying to land, and therefore to feed and clothe, an expeditionary force, if only for the sake of learning from our blunders. I should hope that the force would have some fighting to do. It would be a great lesson, and we would profit much by it. (To W. W. Kimball, November 19, 1897.) Henry F. Pringle, Theodore Roosevelt. (Harcourt, Brace & Co., N. Y., 1931), p. 176.

____________. War is a grim thing at best, but the war through which we have passed has left us not merely memories of glory won on land and sea, but an even more blessed heritage, the knowledge that it was waged from the highest motives, for the good of others as well as for our own national honor. Above all, we are thankful that it brought home to all of us the fact that the country was indeed one when serious danger confronted it. (Annual Message as Governor, Albany, January 2, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 5-6; Nat. Ed. XV, 5-6.

Spanish-American War—Mismanage- Ment in

The mismanagement of the transportation, and hospital services has been beyond belief. The wounded lie in the mud on sodden blankets; some of my men went forty-eight hours without food after being sent to the hospital. The attendance has been bad; and above all, they have had no proper food and but little medicine. I have had to buy from my own pocket rice and oatmeal and condensed milk for my sick men and beans and cornmeal and sugar for the wornout hungry fighters who were still able to dig in the trenches. It is small wonder that of the 600 men with whom I landed, today over 300 are dead or in hospital from wounds and disease. Shafter's utter incapacity and the lack of transportation, that is, the utter lack of executive ability and head, both at Washington and here, are responsible for it all. Nothing but the splendid fighting capacity and uncomplaining endurance of the regular army (with which my regiment alone of the volunteer organization can be classed) carried us through. The suffering has been hideous; and at least half of it was readily avoidable. There have been practically no supplies at the front save hardtack, bacon and coffee; and for men in high fever such fare is not good. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, July 19, 1898.) Cowles Letters, 218-219.

Spanish-American War—Origins of

Our own direct interests were great, because of the Cuban tobacco and sugar, and especially because of Cuba's relations to the projected Isthmian canal. But even greater were our interests from the standpoint of humanity. Cuba was at our very doors. It was a dreadful thing for us to sit supinely and watch her death agony. It was our duty, even more from the standpoint of national honor than from the standpoint of national interest, to stop the devastation and destruction. Because of these considerations I favored war; and to- day, when in retrospect it is easier to see things clearly, there are few humane and honorable men who do not believe that the war was both just and necessary. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 251; Nat. Ed. XX, 215.

____________. I believe it criminal for us to submit to the murder of our men, and to the butchery of Cuban women and children. The resources of diplomacy have been exhausted. This nation has erred on the side of overbearance. When you talk of this war being undertaken to satisfy the political greed of a parcel of politicians you show the most astounding ignorance of the conditions. The only effective forces against the war are the forces inspired by greed and fear, and the forces that tell in favor of war are the belief in national honor and common humanity. (To Henry Jackson, April 6, 1898.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 105; Bishop I, 90.

Spanish-American War—Results of

There was never a war in which so much was accomplished for humanity, at so small a cost of blood, as the war which resulted in the freeing of Cuba and the starting of the Philippines on the road toward self- government and civilization. (Outlook, June 4, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 190; Nat. Ed. XII, 219.

____________. There was one peculiar reason for pleasure in the Spanish-American War, one reason above all others why our people should look back to it with pride and satisfaction, and that is the fact that it marked in very truth the complete reunion of our country. In that war there served in the ranks and in the positions of junior officers the sons of men who had worn the blue and the sons of men who had worn the gray; and they served under men who in their youth had begun their careers as soldiers, some of them in the army of Grant, some of them in the army of Lee. . . . In our own regiment there were at least as many sons of the ex-Confederates as sons of ex-Union soldiers, and they stood shoulder to shoulder, knit together by the closest of ties, and acknowledging with respect to one another only that generous jealousy each to try to be first to do all that in him lay for the honor and the interest of the flag that covered the reunited country. (At unveiling of monument, 1st U. S. Volunteer Cavalry, Arlington, Va., April 12, 1907.) Mem. Ed. III, 626-627; Nat. Ed. XI, 340-341.

Spanish-American War — Roosevelt in

Of course I can't leave this position until it is perfectly certain we are going to have a war, and that I can get down to it. I don't want to be in office during war, I want to be at the front; but I would rather be in this office than guarding a fort and no enemy within a thousand miles of me. Of course being here hampers me. If I were in New York City I think I could raise a regiment of volunteers in short order when the President told me to go ahead, but it is going to be difficult from here. (To General Whitney Tillinghast, March 10, 1898.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 117; Bishop I, 101.

____________. I do not know that I shall be able to go to Cuba if there is a war. The army may not be employed at all, and even if it is employed it will consist chiefly of regular troops; and as regards the volunteers only a very small proportion can be taken from among the multitudes who are even now coming forward. Therefore it may be that I shall be unable to go, and shall have to stay here. In that case I shall do my duty here to the best of my ability, although I shall be eating out my heart. But if I am able to go I certainly shall. It is perfectly true that I shall be leaving one duty, but it will only be for the purpose of taking up another. I say quite sincerely that I shall not go for my own pleasure. On the contrary, if I should consult purely my own feelings I should earnestly hope that we would have peace. I like life very much. I have always led a joyous life. I like thought and I like action, and it will be very bitter to me to leave my wife and children; and while I think I could face death with dignity, I have no desire before my time has come to go out into the everlasting darkness. So I shall not go into a war with any undue exhilaration of spirits or in a frame of mind in anyway approaching recklessness or levity. (To Dr. Sturgis Bigelow, March 29, 1898.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 118; Bishop I, 102.

____________. If I went I shouldn't expect to win any military glory, or at the utmost to do more than feel I had respectably performed my duty; but I think I would be quite as useful in the Army as here, and it does not seem to me that it would be honorable for a man who has consistently advocated a warlike policy not to be willing himself to bear the brunt of carrying out that policy. I have a horror of the people who bark but don't bite. If I am ever to accomplish anything worth doing in politics, or ever have accomplished it, it is because I act up to what I preach, and it does not seem to me that I would have the right in a big crisis not to act up to what I preach. (To Douglas Robinson, April 2, 1898.) Corinne Roosevelt Robinson, My Brother Theodore Roosevelt, 162.

Spanish-American War — Unprepared- Ness for

I feel that I ought to bring to your attention the very serious consequences to the Government as a whole, and especially to the Navy Department — upon which would be visited the national indignation—for any check, no matter how little the Department was really responsible for the check—if we should drift into a war with Spain and suddenly find ourselves obliged to begin it without preparation, instead of having at least a month's warning, during which we could actively prepare to strike. Some preparation can and should be undertaken now on the mere chance of having to strike. Certain things should be done at once if there is any reasonable chance of trouble with Spain during the next six months. For instance, the disposition of the fleet on foreign stations should be radically altered, and altered without delay. For the past six or eight months we have been sending small cruisers and gunboats off to various parts of the world with a total disregard of the fact that in the event of war this would be the worst possible policy to have pursued. . . . If we have war with Spain there will be immediate need for every gunboat and cruiser that we can possibly get together to blockade Cuba, threaten or take the less protected ports, and ferret out the scores of small Spanish cruisers and gunboats which form practically the entire Spanish naval force around the island. (To John D. Long, January 14, 1898.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 98; Bishop I, 84.

Spanish-American War

See also Cuba; Dewey, Admiral; Maine; Navy; Rough Riders; Sampson-Schley Controversy; Veterans.

"Speak Softly"

See Big Stick.

Special Interests

In this country at the moment our chief concern must be to deprive the special interests of the power to which they are not entitled and which they use for the corruption of our institutions and to our economic and social undoing. There are persons who contend that "special interests" is a vague and indeed a demagogic term, and incapable of definition. . . . Practically there is little difficulty in saying whether or not the average big concern is the beneficiary of special privilege. A special interest is one which has been given by law certain improper advantages as compared with the mass of our people, or which enjoys such advantages owing to the absence of needed laws. As regards certain great corporations, the facts are so patent—being often made so by confession or judicial proceeding—that no discussion of them is necessary. (Outlook , March 25, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 142; Nat. Ed. XVII, 101.

Special Interests — Control by

One of the fundamental necessities in a representative government such as ours is to make certain that the men to whom the people delegate their power shall serve the people by whom they are elected, and not the special interests. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 28; Nat. Ed. XVII, 21.

____________. Our government, National and State, must be freed from the sinister influence or control of special interests. Exactly as the special interests of cotton and slavery threatened our political integrity before the Civil War, so now the great special business interests too often control and corrupt the men and methods of government for their own profit. We must drive the special interests out of politics. That is one of our tasks to-day. Every special interest is entitled to justice—full, fair, and complete—and, now, mind you, if there were any attempt by mob-violence to plunder and work harm to the special interest, whatever it may be, that I most dislike, and the wealthy man, whomsoever he may be, for whom I have the greatest contempt, I would fight for him, and you would if you were worth your salt. He should have justice. For every special interest is entitled to justice, but not one is entitled to a vote in Congress, to a voice on the bench, or to representation in any public office. The Constitution guarantees protection to property, and we must make that promise good. But it does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 16; Nat. Ed. XVII, 10.

Special Interests — Influence of

It is as true as it is forgotten that the influence of any interest upon legislation and administration is strictly proportional to the extent to which the interest is organized—not, mark you, for political, but for business, purposes. Outlook , April 20, 1912, p. 855.

Special Interests—Program of

The representatives and beneficiaries of the special interests desire, not unnaturally, to escape all governmental control. What they prefer is that popular unrest should find its vent in mere debate, in unlimited discussion of an academic kind as to the sanctity of contract, full liberty of contract, and other kindred subjects. They feel the need of construing the Constitution with rigid narrowness when property rights are involved, and of carrying the "division of power" theory to such an extreme as to deprive every governmental agency of all real power and responsibility. They prefer the status quo, for they know that the mass of conflicting judicial decision has created just what they wish, a neutral ground where State and nation each merely exercises the power of maintaining that the other has none. I wish to contrast with this position of the special interests the spirit and purpose of Progressive Nationalism. Its advocates desire to secure to both State and nation, each within its own sphere, power to give the people complete control over the various forms of corporate activity, and power to permit the people to safeguard the vital interests of all citizens, of whatever class. (Outlook , January 14, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 84; Nat. Ed. XVII, 52.

Special Interests—Rule by

No free people can afford to submit to government by theft. If the will of the people is defeated by fraud, then the people do not rule. If those who are thus foisted on them represent the special interests instead of the people, then the interests and not the people rule. When the people are denied their only thoroughly efficient weapon, the direct primary, against this usurpation, as was done by the ruling in the California case, then under the system thus established the people cannot rule. (Outlook , July 13, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 329; Nat. Ed. XVII, 241.

Special Interests

See also Corporations; Government; New Nationalism; Privilege; Self- Government; Tariff; Wall Street; Wealth.

Special Legislation

See Legislation.


Specialization is a good thing, but it may readily be carried too far; and after it has reached a certain point it is well to try to develop again, and on a larger scale, the man who has a special side, but who possesses broader instincts also, and who is able to combine the peculiar aptitudes of the specialist with the larger power that belongs to the man with a broad grasp of the general subject. (Outlook , September 16, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 500; Nat. Ed. XII, 368-369.


See also Historians; Naturalists.


No legislation can by any possibility guarantee the business community against the results of speculative folly any more than it can guarantee an individual against the results of his extravagance. When an individual mortgages his house to buy an automobile he invites disaster; and when wealthy men, or men who pose as such, or are unscrupulously or foolishly eager to become such, indulge in reckless speculation— especially if it is accompanied by dishonesty — they jeopardize not only their own future but the future of all their innocent fellow citizens, for they expose the whole business community to panic and distress. (Seventh Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 500; Nat. Ed. XV, 426.


See also Prosperity.


The conscienceless stock speculator who acquires wealth by swindling his fellows, by debauching judges and corrupting legislatures, and who ends his days with the reputation of being among the richest men in America, exerts over the minds of the rising generation an influence worse than that of the average murderer or bandit, because his career is even more dazzling in its success, and even more dangerous in its effects upon the community. (Forum, February 1895.) Mem. Ed. XV, 7; Nat. Ed. XIII, 6.


See also Financiers.

Speech—Liberty of

See Free Speech.

Spelling Reform

Most of the criticism of the proposed step is evidently made in entire ignorance of what the step is, no less than in entire ignorance of the very moderate and common-sense views as to the purposes to be achieved, which views are so excellently set forth in the circulars to which I have referred. There is not the slightest intention to do any thing revolutionary or initiate any far-reaching policy. The purpose simply is for the Government, instead of lagging behind popular sentiment, to advance abreast of it and at the same time abreast of the views of the ablest and most practical educators of our time as well as of the most profound scholars—men of the stamp of Professor Lounsbury and Professor Skeat. If the slight changes in the spelling of the three hundred words proposed wholly or partially meet popular approval, then the changes will become permanent without any reference to what public officials or individual private citizens may feel; if they do not ultimately meet with popular approval they will be dropt, and that is all there is about it.

They represent nothing in the world but a very slight extension of the unconscious movement which has made agricultural implement makers and farmers write "plow" instead of "plough"; which has made most Americans write "honor" without the somewhat absurd, superfluous "u"; and which is even now making people write "program" without the "me" . . . .

It is not an attack on the language of Shakespeare and Milton, because it is in some instances a going back to the forms they used, and in others merely the extension of changes which, as regards other words, have taken place since their time. It is not an attempt to do anything far-reaching or sudden or violent; or indeed anything very great at all.

It is merely an attempt to cast what slight weight can properly be cast on the side of the popular forces which are endeavoring to make our spelling a little less foolish and fantastic. (To Charles A. Stillings, Public Printer, August 27, 1906.) Simplified Spelling. (Government Printing Office, Washington, 1906), pp. 5-6.

____________. I could not by fighting have kept the new spelling in, and it was evidently worse than useless to go into an undignified contest when I was beaten. Do you know that the one word as to which I thought the new spelling was wrong—thru—was more responsible than anything else for our discomfiture? But I am mighty glad I did the thing anyhow. In my own correspondence I shall continue using the new spelling. (To Brander Matthews, December 16, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 39; Bishop II, 33.

"Spend And Be Spent"

See Leaders—Need For: Life.

Spiritual Development

It is more important that a people should be of full stature from the spiritual and moral standpoint than from the standpoint of culture, but the latter is very important also, and no National development that omits it can ever be really satisfactory. Outlook , September 23, 1911, p. 160.

Spiritual Development

See also Character; Moral Sense.

Spiritual Growth

All our extraordinary material development, our wonderful industrial growth will go for nothing unless with that growth goes hand in hand the moral, the spiritual growth that will enable us to use aright the other as an instrument. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 575; Nat. Ed. XIII, 615.

Spiritual Training

We must direct every national resource, material and spiritual, to the task not of shirking difficulties, but of training our people to overcome difficulties. Our aim must be, not to make life easy and soft, not to soften soul and body, but to fit us in virile fashion to do a great work for all mankind. This great work can only be done by a mighty democracy, with those qualities of soul, guided by those qualities of mind, which will both make it refuse to do injustice to any other nation, and also enable it to hold its own against aggression by any other nation. (Before Knights of Columbus, New York City, October 12, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 471; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 404. SPOILS SYSTEM. There is in American public life no one other cause so fruitful of harm to the body politic as the spoils system. (Scribner's, August 1895.) Mem. Ed. XV, 195; Nat. Ed. XIII, 115.

____________. No cause is more potent in working the degradation of American political institutions than the spoils system, and by cutting it out root and branch we will do more to elevate the tone of our political life than we can do in any other conceivable way. (Before Boston Civil Service Reform Association, February 20, 1893.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 231; Nat. Ed. XIV, 159.

____________. It is one of the hardest tasks that decent citizens have to face, when they come into public life, to find themselves pitted against the brigades of trained mercenaries who are paid out of the public chest, into which these very citizens, who are trying to overthrow them, pay their own taxes; for you, the ordinary citizen, the average American, are taxed for the support of the very men against whom you have to work hardest if you want to obtain good government. You go through the average ward organization in any big city, or into any place where the spoils system prevails, and you find these mercenaries in possession. You find them at the crossroads in the country, when the fourth-class postmaster, as the time for the primaries comes around, marshals eight or ten people of the neighborhood whom he has been able to placate, or whom he has an interest in placating, because they will help him keep his two- hundred-and-fifty-dollar per year salary. And when you turn from him to the man who has a great local office, you find that he hires his "heelers" to support his faction, in a spirit as absolutely and professedly immoral as that in which the Hessian troops were hired by the British king a century ago. We want to do away, as far as we can, with the profound iniquities of such a system. (At memorial meeting for George William Curtis, New York, November 14, 1892.) Mem. Ed. XII, 490; Nat. Ed. XI, 233.

____________. The spoils theory of politics is that public office is so much plunder which the victorious political party is entitled to appropriate to the use of its adherents. Under this system the work of the government was often done well even in those days, when civil service reform was only an experiment, because the man running an office if himself an able and far-sighted man, knew that inefficiency in administration would be visited on his head in the long run, and therefore insisted upon most of his subordinates doing good work; and, moreover, the men appointed under the spoils system were necessarily men of a certain initiative and power, because those who lacked these qualities were not able to shoulder themselves the front. Yet there were many flagrant instances of inefficiency, where a powerful chief quartered friend, adherent, or kinsman upon me government. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 155; Nat. Ed. XX, 133.

Spoils System—Evils of

I think that, of all people who are harmed by the spoils system, the poor suffer most. The rich man who wishes to corrupt a legislature, or the rich company which wishes to buy franchises from a board of aldermen and pay a big price for it, do not suffer so much as the poor from the results of the system. I dare say that in New York we see the system at its worst, but at its best it is thoroughly rotten, and a disgrace to every community enjoying the right of suffrage. (Before Civil Service Reform Association, Baltimore, February 23, 1889.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 149; Nat. Ed. XIV, 92.

____________. Moreover, great though the evil is that the spoils system works to the public service, this is but a minor affair. The chief curse comes in its effects upon our public life. . . . No one cause has been so potent in tending to degrade American political life as the spoils system. It puts a premium upon partisan activity with a view to a reward out of the public treasury and powerfully discourages good men from taking part in contests where they find themselves opposed by bands of drilled henchmen, kept together by what has been aptly styled the cohesive power of public plunder. The plea sometimes advanced by honest but thick- headed beings that more efficient service can be secured if the subordinates and the heads of departments are of the same political faith is simply nonsense. Congregationalist, January 12, 1893, p. 53.

____________. No question of internal administration is so important to the United States as the question of civil-service reform, because the spoils system, which can only be supplanted through the agencies which have found expression in the act creating the Civil Service Commission, has been for seventy years the most potent of all the forces tending to bring about the degradation of our politics. No republic can permanently endure when its politics are corrupt and base; and the spoils system, the application in political life of the degrading doctrine that to the victor belong the spoils, produces corruption and degradation. . . . The spoils-monger and spoils-seeker invariably breed the bribe-taker and bribe-giver, the embezzler of public funds and the corrupter of voters. (Scribner's, August 1895.) Mem. Ed. XV, 176-177; Nat. Ed. XIII, 99.

____________. The necessarily haphazard nature of the employment, the need of obtaining and holding the office by service wholly unconnected with official duty, inevitably tended to lower the standard of public morality, alike among the office-holders and among the politicians who rendered party service with the hope of reward in office. Indeed, the doctrine that "To the victor belong the spoils," the cynical battle-cry of the spoils politician in America for the sixty years preceding my own entrance into public life, is so nakedly vicious that few right-thinking men of trained mind defend it. To appoint, promote, reduce, and expel from the public service, letter-carriers, stenographers, women typewriters, clerks, because of the politics of themselves or their friends, without regard to their own service, is, from the standpoint of the people at large, as foolish and degrading as it is wicked. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 156; Nat. Ed. XX, 134.

____________. One of the worst features of the old spoils system was the ruthless cruelty and brutality it so often bred in the treatment of faithful public servants without political influence. Life is hard enough and cruel enough at best, and this is as true of public service as of private service. Under no system will it be possible to do away with all favoritism and brutality and meanness and malice. But at least we can try to minimize the exhibition of these qualities. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 168; Nat. Ed. XX, 144.

Spoils System — Operation of

If a party victory meant that all offices already filled by the most competent members of the defeated party were to be thereafter filled by the most competent members of the victorious party, the system would still be absurd, but it would not be particularly baneful. In reality, however, this is not what the system of partisan appointments means at all. Wherever it is adopted it is inevitable that the degree of party service, or more often of service to some particular leader, and not merit, shall ultimately determine the appointment, even as among the different party candidates themselves. Once admit that it is proper to turn out an efficient Republican clerk in order to replace him by an efficient Democratic clerk, or vice versa, and the inevitable next step is to consider solely Republicanism or Democracy, and not efficiency, in making the appointment; while the equally inevitable third step is to consider only that peculiar species of Republicanism or Democracy which is implied in adroit and unscrupulous service rendered to the most influential local boss. (Century, February 1890.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 160; Nat. Ed. XIV, 100-101.

____________. A system which opens the public service to all men, of whatever rank in life, who prove themselves most worthy to enter it, and which retains them in office only so long as they serve the public with honesty, efficiency, and courtesy, is in its very essence democratic; whereas, on the contrary, the spoils system—which still obtains in most European kingdoms, and reaches its fullest development under the despotic government of Russia—is essentially undemocratic, in that it treats the public service not as the property of the whole people, to be administered solely in their interest, but as a bribery chest for the benefit of a few powerful individuals, or groups of individuals, who use it purely in the spirit of personal or political favoritism. It is among the most potent of the many forces which combine to produce the ward boss, the district heeler, the boodle alderman, and all their base and obscure kindred who in our great cities are ever striving to change the government from an hon est democracy into a corrupt and ignorant oligarchy, wherein only the vile and the dishonest shall rule and hold office. (Century, February 1890.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 170; Nat. Ed. XIV, 109.

____________. Under the spoils system a man is appointed to an ordinary clerical or ministerial position in the municipal, federal, or State government, not primarily because he is expected to be a good servant, but because he has rendered help to some big boss or the henchman of some big boss. His stay in office depends not upon how he performs service, but upon how he retains his influence in the party. This necessarily means that his attention to the interests of the public at large, even though real, is secondary to his devotion to his organization, or to the interest of the ward leader who put him in his place. So he and his fellows attend to politics, not once a year, not two or three times a year, like the average citizen, but every day in the year. It is the one thing that they talk of, for it is their bread and butter. They plan about it and they scheme about it. They do it because it is their business. I do not blame them in the least. I blame us, the people, for we ought to make it clear as a bell that the business of serving the people in one of the ordinary ministerial government positions, which have nothing to do with deciding the policy of the government, should have no necessary connection with the management of primaries, of caucuses, and of nominating conventions. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 159; Nat. Ed. XX, 136.

Spoils System

See also Appointments; Boss; Bribery; Civic Duty; Civil Service Reform; Corruption; Honesty; Jackson, Andrew; Merit System; Office; Patronage; Political Assessments; Politics.


Vigorous training of mind, body, and soul in manly sport is a first-class thing; to obtain rest and enjoyment by looking at other men practise an interesting sport is entirely proper; excessive indulgence in the latter type of amusement, however, with the consequent distortion of the perspective of life, is of course noxious; and enjoyment in looking on at a sport because it is cruel, or is dangerous to the lives of those taking part in it, is thoroughly vicious and demoralizing. Outlook, October 21, 1911, p. 409.

____________. Granting that athletic sports do good, it remains to be considered what athletic sports are the best. The answer to this is obvious. They are those sports which call for the greatest exercise of fine moral qualities, such as resolution, courage, endurance, and capacity to hold one's own and to stand up under punishment. For this reason out-of-door sports are better than gymnastics and calisthenics. To be really beneficial the sport must be enjoyed by the participator. Much more health will be gained by the man who is not always thinking of his health than by the poor beingwho is forever wondering whether he has helped his stomach or his lungs, or developed this or that muscle. Laborious work in the gymnasium, directed towards the fulfilling of certain tests of skill or strength, is very good in its way; but the man who goes through it does not begin to get the good he would in a season's play with an eleven or a nine on the gridiron field or the diamond. The mere fact that the moral qualities are not needed in the one case, but are all the time called into play in the other, is sufficient to show the little worth of the calisthenic system of gymnastic development when compared with rough outdoor games. Harper's Weekly, December 23, 1893, p. 1236.

Sports — Commercialism in

Commer- cialism though sometimes inevitable, is always an unhealthy element in any sport, and when it becomes the chief factor in continuing the sport's existence, it is time for that sport to be brought to an end. . . .

Neither in the case of automobiles nor in the case of flying machines should we permit the kind of commercialization of sport which means the coining of money out of that shameful and hysterical curiosity which is to be satisfied only by seeing men risk their lives, where the risking of the life is itself what really attracts the onlooker, and not the courage or address shown in a manly sport. Outlook, October 21, 1911, pp. 409.410.

Sports — Participation in

I went in for boxing and wrestling a good deal, and I really think that while this was partly because I liked them as sports, it was even more because I intended to be a middling decent fellow, and I did not intend that any one should laugh at me with impunity because I was decent. (To Edward S. Martin, November 26, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 6; Bishop I, 3-4.

____________. Always in our modern life, the life of a highly complex industrialism, there is a tendency to softening of fibre. This is true of our enjoyments; and it is no less true of very many of our business occupations. It is not true of such work as railroading, a purely mod ern development, nor yet of work like that of those who man the fishing fleets; but it is preeminently true of all occupations which cause men to lead sedentary lives in great cities. For these men it is especially necessary to provide hard and rough play. Of course, if such play is made a serious business, the result is very bad; but this does not in the least affect the fact that within proper limits the play itself is good. Vigorous athletic sports carried on in a sane spirit are healthy. The hardy out-of- door sports of the wilderness are even healthier. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 235; Nat. Ed. III, 59.

Sports—Place of

Sport is a fine thing as a pastime, and indeed it is more than a mere pastime; but it is a very poor business if it is permitted to become the one serious occupation of life. . . . I thoroughly believe in sport, but I think it is a great mistake if it is made anything like a profession, or carried on in a way that gives just cause for fault- finding and complaint among people whose objection is not really to the defects, but to the sport itself. (At Cambridge Union, Cambridge, Eng., May 26, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 505-506; Nat. Ed. XIII, 573.

____________. If sport is made an end instead of a means, it is better to avoid it altogether. . . . Sportsmen . . . do run the risk of becoming a curse to themselves and to every one else, if they once get into the frame of mind which can look on the business of life as merely an interruption to sport. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 312; Nat. Ed. III, 123. SPORTS—RISK IN. There are very few sports, indeed, where it does not exist. Under a proper system of rules it is doubtful whether football is as dangerous as mountaineering or as the better kinds of sport on horseback, such as riding across country and playing polo. No untrained boy or man unfit to take part in the game and unacquainted with the rules should be allowed to play. If he does he is liable to meet with fatal accidents, precisely as a man would be who, with no knowledge of horsemanship, mounted a spirited horse and tried to ride him over the fences. But after every precaution has been taken, then it is mere unmanliness to complain of occasional mishaps. Among my many friends who have played football I know of few who have met with serious, and none who have met with fatal, accidents; but more than one has been killed, and many have been injured, in riding to hounds, in polo, and in kindred pastimes. The sports especially dear to a vigorous and manly nation are always those in which there is a certain slight element of risk. Every effort should be made to minimize this risk, but it is mere unmanly folly to try to do away with the sport because the risk exists. Harper's Weekly, December 23, 1893, p. 1236.

Sports, Collegiate

It is a bad thing for any college man to grow to regard sport as the serious business of life. It is a bad thing to permit sensationalism and hysteria to shape the development of our sports. And finally it is a much worse thing to permit college sport to become in any shape or way tainted by professionalism, or by so much as the slightest suspicion of money-making; and this is especially true if the professionalism is furtive, if the boy or man violates the spirit of the rule while striving to keep within the letter. . . . The college undergraduate who, in furtive fashion, becomes a semiprofessional is an unmitigated curse, and that not alone to university life and to the cause of amateur sport; for the college graduate ought in after-years to take the lead in putting the business morality of this country on a proper plane, and he cannot do it if in his own college career his code of conduct has been warped and twisted. Moreover, the spirit which puts so excessive a value upon his work as to produce this semiprofessional is itself unhealthy. . . . I think our effort should be to minimize rather than to increase that kind of love of athletics which manifests itself, not in joining in the athletic sports, but in crowding by tens of thousands to see other people indulge in them. It is a far better thing for our colleges to have the average student interested in some form of athletics than to have them all gather in a mass to see other people do their athletics for them. (At Harvard University, Cambridge, June 28, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 437-438; Nat. Ed. XVI, 325-326.


See also Athletics; Boxing; Football; Fox - Hunting; Gymnastics; Hunting; Jiu Jitsu; Mountain Climbing; Playgrounds; Prize- Fighting.

Square Deal, the

A square deal for every man! That is the only safe motto for the United States. (To Victor A. Olander, Illinois State Federation of Labor, July 17, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 176; Mem. Ed. XIX, 169.

____________. There must be ever present in our minds the fundamental truth that in a republic such as ours the only safety is to stand neither for nor against any man because he is rich or because he is poor, because he is engaged in one occupation or another, because he works with his brains or because he works with his hands. We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less. (At State Fair, Syracuse, N. Y., September 7, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 69; Nat. Ed. XVI, 59.

____________. When I say I believe in a square deal I do not mean, and probably nobody that speaks the truth can mean, that he believes it possible to give every man the best hand. If the cards do not come to any man, or if they do come, and he has not got the power to play them, that is his affair. All I mean is that there shall be no crookedness in the dealing. In other words, it is not in the power of any human being to devise legislation or administration by which each man shall achieve success and have happiness; it not only is not in the power of any man to do that, but if any man says that he can do it, distrust him as a quack. . . . All any of us can pretend to do is to come as near as our imperfect abilities will allow to securing through governmental agencies an equal opportunity for each man to show the stuff that is in him; and that must be done with no more intention of discrimination against the rich man than the poor man, or against the poor man than the rich man; with the intention of safeguarding every man, rich or poor, poor or rich, in his rights, and giving him as nearly as may be a fair chance to do what his powers permit him to do; always providing he does not wrong his neighbor. (At Dallas, Tex., April 5, 1905.) Daniel Henderson, "Great-Heart." The Life Story of Theodore Roosevelt. (New York, 1919), p. 180.

____________. When I say "square deal," I mean a square deal to every one; it is equally a violation of the policy of the square deal for a capitalist to protest against denunciation of a capitalist who is guilty of wrong-doing and for a labor leader to protest against the denunciation of a labor leader who has been guilty of wrong-doing. I stand for equal justice to both; and so far as in my power lies I shall uphold justice, whether the man accused of guilt has behind him the wealthiest corporations, the greatest aggregations of riches in the country, or whether he has behind him the most influential labor organizations in the country. (Letter of April 22, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 560; Nat. Ed. XX, 482.

____________. In the first place, my dear sir, I trust I need hardly assure you that I shall not "surrender" to the bankers, or to any one else, and there will be no "secret midnight conferences" with any big financier, or any one else. I have not seen Mr. Morgan, but I intend to see him soon, and he will call at the White House just as openly as Mr. Gompers did the other day, just as openly as he has called in the past, and just as openly as Mr. Gompers and his associates have more often called in the past. I know I have your hearty support in the proposition that the doors of the White House swing open with equal readiness to capitalist and wage- worker, to the head of a great corporation or a union, to the man who is neither—all shall have a fair hearing from me, and none shall exert any influence save that their case, openly stated and openly repeated, warrants. (To Thomas E. Watson, November 12, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 56; Bishop II, 48.

____________. We must stand for the good citizen, because he is a good citizen, whether he be rich or whether he be poor, and we must mercilessly attack the man who does evil, wholly without regard to whether the evil is done in high or low places, whether it takes the form of homicidal violence among members of a federation of miners, or of unscrupulous craft and greed in the head of some great corporation. Outlook , June 19, 1909, p. 395.

____________. I stand for the square deal. But when I say that I am for the square deal, I mean not merely that I stand for fair play under the present rules of the game, but that I stand for having those rules changed so as to work for a more substantial equality of opportunity and of reward for equally good service. One word of warning which, I think, is hardly necessary in Kansas. When I say I want a square deal for the poor man, I do not mean that I want a square deal for the man who remains poor because he has not got the energy to work for himself. If a man who has had a chance will not make good, then he has got to quit. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 16; Nat. Ed. XVII, 10.

Square Deal

See also Business; Capital; Industrial Justice; Labor; Opportunity; Progressive Movement; Social And Industrial Justice; Tariff. 


See Order.

Standard Oil Company

If we had our way, there would be an administrative body to deal radically and thoroughly with such a case as that of the Standard Oil Company. We would make any split-up of the company that was necessary real and not nominal. We would step in such a case as this where the value of the stock was going up in such enormous proportion and forbid any increase of the price of the product. We would examine thoroughly and searchingly the books of the company and put a stop to every type of rebate and to every practice which would result in the swindling either of investors or competitors or wage-workers or of the general public. Our plan—the plan to which Mr. Archbold of the Standard Oil Trust so feelingly objects as "Abyssinian treatment"—would result in preventing any increase of cost to the consumer and in exercising the kind of radical control over the corporation itself, which would prevent the stock-gambling antics which result in enormous profits to those on the inside, to those who, in the parlance of the street, know that "there is a melon to be cut." (At San Francisco, September 14, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 425; Nat. Ed. XVII, 311.

____________. The Standard Oil Corporation and the railway company have both been found guilty by the courts of criminal misconduct; both have been sentenced to pay heavy fines; and each has issued and published broadcast these statements, asserting their innocence and denouncing as improper the action of the courts and juries in convicting them of guilt. These statements are very elaborate, very ingenious, and are untruthful in important particulars.

The amount of money the representatives of certain great moneyed interests are willing to spend can be gauged by their recent publication broadcast throughout the papers of this country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, of huge advertisements attacking with envenomed bitterness the Administration's policy of warring against successful dishonesty, and by their circulation of pamphlets and books prepared with the same object while they likewise push the circulation of the writings and speeches of men who, whether because they are misled or because, seeing the light, they yet are willing to sin against the light, serve these their masters of great wealth to the cost of the plain people. The books and pamphlets, the controlled newspapers, the speeches by public or private men, to which I refer, are usually and especially in the interest of the Standard Oil Trust and of certain notorious railroad combinations, but they also defend other individuals and corporations of great wealth that have been guilty of wrong-doing. (Special message to Congress, January 31, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 94; Bishop II, 80.

____________. The Standard Oil Company took the lead in opposing all this [anti-trust] legislation. This was natural, for it had been the worst offender in the amassing of enormous fortunes by improper methods of all kinds, at the expense of business rivals and of the public, including the corruption of public servants. If any man thinks this condemnation extreme, I refer him to the language officially used by the Supreme Court of the nation in its decision against the Standard Oil Company. Through their counsel, and by direct telegrams and letters to senators and congressmen from various heads of the Standard Oil organization, they did their best to kill the bill providing for the Bureau of Corporations. I got hold of one or two of these telegrams and letters, however, and promptly published them; and, as generally happens in such a case, the men who were all-powerful as long as they could work in secret and behind closed doors became powerless as soon as they were forced into the open. The bill went through without further difficulty. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 491; Nat. Ed. XX, 423.

Standard Oil Company

See also Campaign Contributions; Northern Securities Case; Sherman Anti-Trust Act; Trusts.

State Ownership

See Government Ownership; Socialism.

States' Rights

States' rights should be preserved when they mean the people's rights, but not when they mean the people's wrongs; not, for instance, when they are invoked to prevent the abolition of child labor, or to break the force of the laws which prohibit the importation of contract labor to this country; in short, not when they stand for wrong or oppression of any kind or for national weakness or impotence at home or abroad. (At the Harvard Union, Cambridge, February 23, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XV, 492; Nat. Ed. XIII, 567.

____________. To preserve the general welfare, to see to it that the rights of the public are protected, and the liberty of the individual secured and encouraged as long as consistent with this welfare, and curbed when it becomes inconsistent therewith, it is necessary to invoke the aid of the government. There are points in which this governmental aid can best be ren dered by the States; that is, where the exercise of States rights helps to secure popular rights, and as to these I believe in States' rights. But there are large classes of cases where only the authority of the National Government will secure the rights of the people, and where this is the case I am a convinced and a thoroughgoing believer in the rights of the National Government. (Outlook, September 10, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 26; Nat. Ed. XVI, 24.

____________. Little permanent good can be done by any party which worships the States' rights fetich or which fails to regard the State, like the county or the municipality, as merely a convenient unit for local self- government, while in all national matters, of importance to the whole people, the nation is to be supreme over State, county, and town alike. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 397; Nat. Ed. XX, 341.

States' Rights and Foreign Relations

Inasmuch as in the last resort, including that last of all resorts, war, the dealing of necessity had to be between the foreign power and the National Government, it was impossible to admit that the doctrine of State sovereignty could be invoked . . . . As soon as legislative or other action in any State affects a foreign nation, then the affair becomes one for the nation, and the State should deal with the foreign power purely through the nation. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 430; Nat. Ed. XX, 369.

States' Rights and National Rights

I am for the rights of the people. I am for popular rights and where they can best be obtained by the exercise of State rights I am a good States' rights man; and where they can best be obtained by the exercise of the power of the nation I am a nationalist. I believe in national rights. In other words, I treat national rights and States' rights as not in themselves ends, but as means to the end; as means to the end of securing better government and justice as between man and man. (Before Chamber of Commerce, New Haven, Conn., December 13, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 109; Nat. Ed. XVI, 92.

____________. We are for both the rights of the nation and the rights of the States, because we are for the rights of the people; and where States' rights means popular rights, then we are for States' rights; and where the exercise of the national power is necessary in order to secure the rights of the people, then we are for national rights, because national rights then means popular rights. Above all, we feel that by legislative and judicial and executive action alike it should be made evident that there is no neutral ground over which neither State nor nation has real control, and in which wrong doers of sufficient wealth to hire the most cunning legal counsel can dwell unmolested by either nation or State. (At Cleveland, O., November 5, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 69.

States' Rights and Nationalism

I cannot too often repeat that true Nationalism represents in its essence merely a demand for the people's rights, for the rights of the whole people. Therefore true Nationalism means championship of the rights of the States when insistence on their rights offers the best method of securing popular rights, and championship of the power of the Federal Government when the rights of all the people are involved, because then the rights of the people as a whole can be secured only by the action of the Federal Government. (Outlook, March 25, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 144; Nat. Ed. XVII, 102.

States' Rights

See also Nullification. Statesmanship

The first requisite in the statesmanship that shall benefit mankind, so far as we are concerned, is that that statesmanship shall be thoroughly American. No American statesman who forgot to be first and foremost an American was ever yet able to do anything to benefit the world as a whole. The world moves upward as a whole by means of the people who make the different countries of the world move upward; the man who lifts America higher, by just so much makes higher the civilization of all mankind. (At dinner in honor of J. H. Choate, New York City, February 17, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XII, 539; Nat. Ed. XI, 266.

____________. No man ever really learned from books how to manage a governmental system. Books are admirable adjuncts, and the statesman who has carefully studied them is far more apt to do good work than if he had not; but if he has never done anything but study books he will not be a statesman at all. (Atlantic Monthly, August 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 57; Nat. Ed. XIII, 42.

____________. The blood-and-iron statesman of one nation finds in the milk-and-water statesman of another nation the man predestined through the ages to be his ally and his.
tool. (Metropolitan, August 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 360; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 309. STATESMEN. The business of statesmen is to try constantly to keep international relations better, to do away with causes of friction, and secure as nearly ideal justice as actual conditions will permit. (To Baron Kentaro Kaneko, May 23, 1907.) Julian Street, Mysterious Japan. (Doubleday, Page & Co., Garden City, N. Y., 1921), p. 225.

____________. It does not seem to me that it is fair to say that passionate earnestness and self-devotion, delicateness of conscience, and lofty aim are likely to prove a hindrance instead of a help to a statesman or a politician. Of course if he has no balance of common sense, then the man will go to pieces; but it will be because he is a fool, not because he has some of the qualities of a moral hero. Undoubtedly many great statesmen whose names are written in history in imperishable—though personally I think in rather unpleasant — character, have lacked these characteristics, yet there are other great men who certainly have possessed them. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, September 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 178; Bishop II, 152.

____________. The first duty of a statesman is efficiently to work for the betterment of his country and for its good relations with the rest of the world. He must have high ideals, and in addition he must possess the practical sagacity and force that will enable him measurably to realize them. If he does not possess the high ideals, then the greater his ability the more dangerous he is and the more essential it is to hunt him out of public life. Sagacity, courage, all that makes for efficiency—these are of use only if the man's character is such that he will use them for good and not for evil. On the other hand, fine aspirations, no matter how good, are useless if a man lacks either strength and courage or else the practical good sense which will enable him to face facts as they actually are and to work with his fellows under existing conditions, instead of confining himself to complaints about the conditions, or to railing at the men because they are not other than he finds them. (Outlook, January 23, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XII, 420; Nat. Ed. XI, 183.


See also Lawyers; Leaders; Politicians.


See Monuments.

Steel Trust

See Tennessee Coal And Iron Company.

Steffens, Lincoln

See Corruption.


See Birth Control; Marriage; Race Suicide; Women.

Sternberg, Baron Speck Von

All that your Majesty says about poor Speck is simply warranted by the facts. He was not only a devoted German, but he had an intense feeling of devotion to you personally, a feeling shared to the full by the poor Baroness whom his death has left so lonely. He was also sincerely attached to America, and he played no small part in promoting the good-will between the two countries; which good-will, however, is due primarily to your Majesty's own actions during the past six years. (To Emperor William II, January 2, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 337; Bishop II, 286.

____________. Among the many other good men was a staunch friend, Baron Speck von Sternberg, afterward German ambassador at Washington during my presidency. He was a capital shot, rider, and walker, a devoted and most efficient servant of Germany, who had fought with distinction in the Franco-German War when barely more than a boy; he was the hero of the story of "the pig dog" in Archibald Forbes's volume of reminiscences. It was he who first talked over with me the raising of a regiment of horse riflemen from among the ranchmen and cowboys of the plains. When ambassador, the poor, gallant, tender-hearted fellow was dying of a slow and painful disease, so that he could not play with the rest of us, but the agony of his mortal illness never in the slightest degree interfered with his work. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 39; Nat. Ed. XX, 34.


See Corporations; Dividends.


The issuing of valueless watered stock does not come in point of morality one whit above the issuing of counterfeit money. The issuing of valueless watered stock I regard as, if possible, an even worse moral offense than the issuing of counterfeit money; and yet you will find that unwise people, when I say this, will assert that I am attacking capital. I am defending capital when I attack watered capital; and while there is great difficulty in going back and correcting all the abuses of the past, yet we ought to make it absolutely impossible that in the future in this country of ours there can be the issuance of counterfeit stocks. Outlook , June 8, 1912, p. 295.

____________. When the stock is watered so that the innocent investors suffer, a grave wrong is indeed done to these innocent investors as well as to the public; but [certain] public men, lawyers, and editors, . . . do not under these circumstances express sympathy for the innocent; on the contrary they are the first to protest with frantic vehemence against our efforts by law to put a stop to over-capitalization and stock-watering. The apologists of successful dishonesty always declaim against any effort to punish or prevent it on the ground that such effort will "unsettle business." It is they who by their acts have unsettled business; and the very men raising this cry spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in securing, by speech, editorial, book or pamphlet, the defense by misstatement of what they have done; and yet when we correct their misstatements by telling the truth, they declaim against us for breaking silence, lest "values be unsettled!" They have hurt honest business men, honest working men, honest farmers; and now they clamor against the truth being told. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 518; Nat. Ed. XX, 446.

Straus, Oscar S.

I have had from Mr. Straus aid that I can not over-estimate, for which I can not too much express my gratitude, in so much of the diplomatic work that has arisen in this administration— aid by suggestion, aid by actual work in helping me to carry out the suggestions; and Mr. Straus was one of the two or three men who first set my mind, after I came in as President, in the direction of doing everything that could be done for the Hague Tribunal, as that seemed to be the best way to turn for arbitration. (At White House, January 1904.) Oscar S. Straus, Under Four Administrations from Cleveland to Taft. (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1922), p. 178.

Straus, Oscar S.

See also Cabinet.


See Courage; Decency; Fighting Qualities; Manly Virtues; Weakness.

Strenuous Life, The

I preach to you, then, my countrymen, that our country calls not for the life of ease but for the life of strenuous endeavor. The twentieth century looms before us big with the fate of many nations. If we stand idly by, if we seek merely swollen, slothful ease and ignoble peace, if we shrink from the hard contests where men must win at hazard of their lives and at the risk of all they hold dear, then the bolder and stronger peoples will pass us by, and will win for themselves the domination of the world. Let us therefore boldly face the life of strife, resolute to do our duty well and manfully; resolute to uphold righteousness by deed and by word; resolute to be both honest and brave, to serve high ideals, yet to use practical methods. Above all, let us shrink from no strife, moral or physical, within or without the nation, provided we are certain that the strife is justified, for it is only through strife, through hard and dangerous endeavor, that we shall ultimately win the goal of true national greatness. (Before the Hamilton Club, Chicago, April 10, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XV, 281; Nat. Ed. XIII, 331.

____________. Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty. No kind of life is worth leading if it is always an easy life. . . . I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well. (Before Iowa State Teachers' Association, Des Moines, November 4, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 455; Nat. Ed. XVI, 340.

____________. I always believe in going hard at everything, whether it is Latin or mathematics, boxing or football, but at the same time I want to keep the sense of proportion. It is never worth while to absolutely exhaust one's self or to take big chances unless for an adequate object. (To Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., May 7, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 479; Nat. Ed. XIX, 424.

____________. We are face to face with our destiny and we must meet it with a high and resolute courage. For us is the life of action, of strenuous performance of duty; let us live in the harness, striving mightily; let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out. (Campaign Speech, New York City, October 5, 1898.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 442; Nat. Ed. XIV, 291.

Strenuous Life, The

See also Duty; Joy Of Living; Life; Manly Virtues; Strife; Vigor; Virtues; Work.

Strife—Law of

The law of worthy national life, like the law of worthy individual life, is, after all, fundamentally, the law of strife. It may be strife military, it may be strife civic; but certain it is that only through strife, through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and by resolute courage, we move on to better things. (At Republican Club Dinner, New York City, February 13, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 475; Nat. Ed. XIV, 316.

Strike, Pullman

See Altgeld, John Peter.


A strike is a clumsy weapon for righting wrongs done to labor, and we should extend, so far as possible, the process of conciliation and arbitration as a substitute for strikes. Moreover, violence, disorder, and coercion, when committed in connection with strikes, should be as promptly and as sternly repressed as when committed in any other connection. But strikes themselves are, and should be, recognized to be entirely legal. (Message to Congress, March 25, 1908.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VII, 1684.

Strikes—Mediation of

Where possible it is always better to mediate before the strike begins than to try to arbitrate when the fight is on and both sides have grown stubborn and bitter. (At Labor Day Picnic, Chicago, September 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 515; Nat. Ed. XIII, 486.

Strikes—Public Interest in

No man and no group of men may so exercise their rights as to deprive the nation of the things which are necessary and vital to the common life. A strike which ties up the coal supplies of a whole section is a strike invested with a public interest. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 540; Nat. Ed. XX, 464.

Strikes in War-Time

The strike situation in the United States at this time is a scandal to the country as a whole and discreditable alike to employer and employee. Any employer who fails to recognize that human rights come first and that the friendly relationship between himself and those working for him should be one of partnership and comradeship in mutual help no less than self-help is recreant to his duty as an American citizen and it is to his interest, having in view the enormous destruction of life in the present war, to conserve, and to train to higher efficiency alike for his benefit and for its, the labor supply. In return any employee who acts along the lines publicly advocated by the men who profess to speak for the I. W. W. is not merely an open enemy of business but of this entire country and is out of place in our government. (Before Knights of Columbus, New York City, October 12, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 462; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 397.


See also Capital And Labor; Coal Strike; Collective Bargaining; Industrial
Arbitration; Labor Disputes.

Submarine Warfare

The news this morning of the sinking of our three ships—City of Memphis, Vigilancia, and Illinois—with loss of American life, makes it imperative that every self-respecting American should speak out and demand that we hit hard and effectively. Words are wasted on Germany. What we need is effective and thoroughgoing action. Seven weeks have passed since Germany renewed with the utmost ruthlessness her never wholly abandoned submarine war against neutrals and noncombatants. She then notified our Government of her intention. This notification was itself a declaration of war and should have been treated as such. During the seven weeks that have since elapsed she has steadily waged war upon us. It has been a war of murder upon us; she has killed American women and children as well as American men upon the high seas. She has sunk our ships, our ports have been put under blockade. . . .

Seemingly her submarine warfare has failed and is less menacing now than it was seven weeks ago. We are profiting and shall profit by this failure. But we have done nothing to bring it about. It has been due solely to the efficiency of the British navy. We have done nothing to help ourselves. We have done nothing to secure our own safety or to vindicate our own honor. We have been content to shelter ourselves behind the fleet of a foreign power. (Published statement, March 19, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 492-493; Bishop II, 419-420.

Submarine Warfare

See also Contraband; Germany; Lusitania; World War.


The events of this war have shown that submarines can play a tremendous part. We should develop our force of submarines and train the officers and crews who have charge of them to the highest pitch of efficiency—for they will be useless in time of war unless those aboard them have been trained in time of peace. These submarines, when used in connection with destroyers and with air-ships, can undoubtedly serve to minimize the danger of successful attack on our own shores. (New York Times, November 22, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 128; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 110.


To judge a man merely by success is an abhorrent wrong; and if the people at large habitually so judge men, if they grow to condone wickedness because the wicked man triumphs, they show their inability to understand that in the last analysis free institutions rest upon the character of citizenship, and that by such admiration of evil they prove themselves unfit for liberty. (At the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.) Mem. Ed.XV, 363; Nat. Ed. XIII, 518.

____________. I think that any man who has had what is regarded in the world as a great success must realize that the element of chance has played a great part in it. Of course a man has to take advantage of his opportunities; but the opportunities have to come. If there is not the war, you don't get the great general; if there is not a great occasion, you don't get the great statesman; if Lincoln had lived in times of peace, no one would have known his name now. The great crisis must come, or no man has the chance to develop great qualities. . . . Normally the man who makes the great success when the emergency arises is the man who would have made a fair success in any event. I believe that the man who is really happy in a great position—in what we call a career—is the man who would also be happy and regard his life as successful if he had never been thrown into that position. If a man lives a decent life and does his work fairly and squarely so that those dependent on him and attached to him are better for his having lived, then he is a success, and he deserves to feel that he has done his duty and he deserves to be treated by those who have had greater success as nevertheless having shown the fundamental qualities that entitle him to respect. (At the Cambridge Union, Cambridge, Eng., May 26, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 508-509; Nat. Ed. XIII, 575-576.

____________. There are many forms of success, many forms of triumph. But there is no other success that in any shape or way approaches that which is open to most of the many, many men and women who have the right ideals. These are the men and women who see that it is the intimate and homely things that count most. They are the men and women who have the courage to strive for the happiness which comes only with labor and effort and self-sacrifice, and only to those whose joy in life springs in part from power of work and sense of duty (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 394; Nat. Ed. XX, 338.

____________. There are two kinds of success, or rather two kinds of ability displayed in the achievement of success. There is, first, the success either in big things or small things which comes to the man who has in him the natural power to do what no one else can do, and what no amount of training, no perseverance or will-power, will enable any ordinary man to do. This success, of course, like every other kind of success, may be on a very big scale or on a small scale. The quality which the man possesses may be that which enables him to run a hundred yards in nine and three- fifths seconds, or to play ten separate games of chess at the same time blindfolded, or to add five columns of figures at once without effort, or to write the "Ode to a Grecian Urn," or to deliver the Gettysburg speech, or to show the ability of Frederick at Leuthen or Nelson at Trafalgar. No amount of training of body or mind would enable any good ordinary man to perform any one of these feats. Of course the proper performance of each implies much previous study or training, but in no one of them is success to be attained save by the altogether exceptional man who has in him the something additional which the ordinary man does not have.

This is the most striking kind of success, and it can be attained only by the man who has in him the quality which separates him in kind no less than in degree from his fellows. But much the commoner type of success in every walk of life and in every species of effort is that which comes to the man who differs from his fellows not by the kind of quality which he possesses but by the degree of development which he has given that quality. This kind of success is open to a large number of persons, if only they seriously determine to achieve it. It is the kind of success which is open to the average man of sound body and fair mind, who has no remarkable mental or physical attributes, but who gets just as much as possible in the way of work out of the aptitudes that he does possess. It is the only kind of success that is open to most of us. Yet some of the greatest successes in history have been those of this second class—when I call it second class I am not running it down in the least, I am merely pointing out that it differs in kind from the first class. To the average man it is probably more useful to study this second type of success than to study the first. From the study of the first he can learn inspiration, he can get uplift and lofty enthusiasm. From the study of the second he can, if he chooses, find out how to win a similar success himself. I need hardly say that all the successes I have ever won have been of the second type. I never won anything without hard labor and the exercise of my best judgment and careful planning and working long in advance. Having been a rather sickly and awkward boy, I was as a young man at first both nervous and distrustful of my own prowess. I had to train myself painfully and laboriously not merely as regards my body but as regards my soul and spirit. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 62; Nat. Ed. XX, 54.

Success—Attainment of

No great success can ever be won save by accepting the fact that, normally, sacrifice of some kind must come in winning the success. (At Occidental College, Los Angeles, Cal., March 22, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 513; Nat. Ed. XIII, 580.

____________. It has always seemed to me that in life there are two ways of achieving success, or, for the matter of that, of achieving what is commonly called greatness. One is to do that which can only be done by the man of exceptional and extraordinary abilities. Of course this means that only one man can do it, and it is a very rare kind of success or of greatness. The other is to do that which many men could do, but which as a matter of fact none of them actually does. This is the ordinary kind of success or kind of greatness. Nobody but one of the world's rare geniuses could have written the Gettysburg speech, or the Second Inaugural, or met as Lincoln met the awful crises of the Civil War. (To Henry Beach Needham, July 19, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 513; Bishop I, 446.

Success—Standards of

It is a bad thing for a nation to raise and to admire a false standard of success; and there can be no falser standard than that set by the deification of material well-being in and for itself. (At the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 360; Nat. Ed. XIII, 515.

____________. The acquisition of wealth is not in the least the only test of success. After a certain amount of wealth has been accumulated, the accumulation of more is of very little consequence indeed from the standpoint of success, as success should be understood both by the community and the individual. (Outlook, March 31, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 498; Nat. Ed. XIII, 382.

Success and Failure

No man can be guaranteed success. Men who are not prepared for labor and effort and rough living, for persistence and self- denial, are out of place in a new country; and foolish people who will probably fail anywhere are more certain to fail badly in a new country than anywhere else. During the whole period of the marvellous growth of the United States there has been a constant and uninterrupted stream of failure going side by side with the larger stream of success. (1916.) Mem. Ed. IV, 82; Nat. Ed. III, 253.

Success and Morality

It is inexcusable in an honest people to deify mere success without regard to the qualities by which that success is achieved. Indeed there is a revolting injustice, intolerable to just minds, in punishing the weak scoundrel who fails, and vowing down to and making life easy for the far more dangerous scoundrel who succeeds. (At North-field, Mass., September I, 1902.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, I35.

____________. When we can create the public opinion which will mean that the average honest man turns away from the successful knave, one of the prime incentives for being a successful knave will have vanished. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 588; Nat. Ed. XIII, 626.

____________. If there is one tendency of the day which more than any other is unhealthy and undesirable, it is the tendency to deify mere "smartness," unaccompanied by a sense of moral accountability. We shall never make our Republic what it should be until as a people we thoroughly understand and put in practice the doctrine that success is abhorrent if attained by the sacrifice of the fundamental principles of morality. The successful man, whether in business or in politics, who has risen by conscienceless swindling of his neighbors, by deceit and chicanery, by unscrupulous boldness and unscrupulous cunning, stands toward society as a dangerous wild beast. The mean and cringing admiration which such a career commands among those who think crookedly or not at all makes this kind of success perhaps the most dangerous of all the influences that threaten our national life. (Century, June 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 378; Nat. Ed. XIII, 342.

____________. There are very different kinds of success. There is the success that brings with it the seared soul—the success which is achieved by wolfish greed and vulpine cunning—the success which makes honest men uneasy or indignant in its presence. Then there is the other kind of success—the success which comes as the reward of keen insight, of sagacity, of resolution, of address, combined with unflinching rectitude of behavior, public and private. The first kind of success may, in a sense—and a poor sense at that— benefit the individual, but it is always and necessarily a curse to the community; whereas the man who wins the second kind, as an incident of its winning becomes a beneficiary to the whole commonwealth, (At banquet of Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, New York City, November 11, 1902.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, 200-201.


See also Character; Democracy; Family Life; Materialist; Rewards; Wealth.


In any purely native American community manhood suffrage works infinitely better than would any other system of government, and throughout our country at large, in spite of the large number of ignorant foreign-born or colored voters, it is probably preferable as it stands to any modification of it; but there is no more "natural right" why a white man over twenty-one should vote than there is why a negro woman under eighteen should not. "Civil rights" and "personal freedom" are not terms that necessarily imply the right to vote. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 180; Nat. Ed. VII, 156-157.

____________. A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user. The mere possession of the vote will no more benefit men and women not sufficiently developed to use it than the possession of rifles will turn untrained Egyptian fellaheen into soldiers. This is as tree of woman as of man—and no more true. Universal suffrage in Hayti has not made the Haytians able to govern themselves in any true sense; and woman suffrage in Utah in no shape or way affected the problem of polygamy. I believe in suffrage for women in America, because I think they are fit for it. I believe for women, as for men, more in the duty of fitting one's self to do well and wisely with the ballot than in the naked right to cast the ballot, (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 196; Nat. Ed. XX, 168.

____________. Universal suffrage should be based on universal service in peace and war; those who refuse to render the one have no title to the enjoyment of the other. We stand for the democracy of service; we are against privilege, and therefore against the privilege which would escape service in war. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 9; Nat. Ed. XIX, 8.


See also Civic Duty; Military Service; Negro Suffrage; Voting; Woman Suffrage.

Sugar Trust

See Trusts.

Sunday—Observance of

I never want to see the observance of our American Sunday changed. There is a great deal to condemn in it, possibly, from a foreign standpoint, and a great deal that is narrow, but I believe it is wholesome and strengthening. It is very hard not to be able to shoot, for instance, on Sundays, but then the majority of our people believe it is wrong and I certainly would be the last to try to change their opinions. If I were a private citizen I would possibly join you today in tennis, but were I to do so as President all the papers in the country would have something to say about it and the example might be harmful to many. I am afraid that I sometimes shock the sensibilities of our people, but I never want to do so in any matters pertaining to the morals or the religious prejudices of the people. (Recorded by Butt in letter of July 27, 1908.) The Letters of Archie Butt. Personal Aide to President Roosevelt. (Doubleday Page & Co., Garden City, N. Y., 1924), P. 77.


See also Church Attendance

Sunday Liquor Law

See Liquor Law; Police Commissioner.

Sunday School Teaching

There were many things I tried to do because [my father] did them, which I found afterward were not in my line. For instance, I taught Sunday-school all through college, but afterward gave it up, just as on experiment I could not do the charitable work which he had done. In doing my Sunday-school work I was very much struck by the face that the other men who did it only possessed one side of his character. My ordinary companions in college would, I think, have had a tendency to look down upon me for doing Sunday-school work if I had not also been a corking boxer, a good runner, and a genial member of the Porcellian Club. (To Edward S. Martin, November 26, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 6; Bishop I, 3.

____________. I am really pleased that you are going to teach Sunday school. I think I told you that I taught it for seven years, most of the time in a mission class, my pupils being of a kind which furnished me plenty of vigorous excitement. (To Ethel Roosevelt, June 11, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 567; Nat. Ed. XIX, 509.


There is superstition in science quite as much as there is superstition in theology, and it is all the more dangerous because those suffering from it are profoundly convinced that they are freeing themselves from all superstition. (Outlook, December 2, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 418; Nat. Ed. XII, 113.

Supreme Court

One of the most admirable features of our constitutional system is the high position which it gives to the judiciary. In no other country in the world have the judges possessed or exercised the enormous influence upon the constitutional and institutional growth of society that they have here exercised. This is particularly true of the national judiciary, and therefore of its head, the Supreme Court. It would be hard to overstate the debt due by the American people to the bench, national and State, and hardest of all to overestimate the debt due to the Supreme Court. (Outlook , March 4, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 116; Nat. Ed. XVII, 79-80.

____________. We are now entering on a period when the vast and complex growth of modern industrialism renders it of vital interest to our people that the court should apply the old essential underlying principles of our government to the new and totally different conditions in such fashion that the spirit of the Constitution shall in very fact be preserved and not sacrificed to a narrow construction of the letter. Much of the future of this country depends upon the direction from which the judges of the Supreme Court approach the great Constitutional questions that they will have to decide. It is impossible to overestimate the services which may be rendered on this court by the judge who is really a far-sighted statesman, who has the modern type of mind, who is fully alive to the great governmental needs of the time and to the far-reaching importance which the decisions of the courts may have, and who in dealing with the problems that confront him never forgets that in addition to being a lawyer on the bench he is also an American citizen in a place of the highest responsibility who owes a great duty not only to the people of this country to-day, but to the people of this country to-morrow. (Outlook, November 5, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XII, 534; Nat. Ed. XI, 262.

____________. Marshall performed a great and needed service, one of the greatest services any statesman ever performed, when in a period of national weakness he put the Supreme Court behind the national ideal. But such a practice as he inaugurated could be maintained permanently only if it was exercised with the greatest moderation. For over half a century it was thus exercised; But under the strain of what I must call class pressure—the pressure of the privileged classes—this power has during the last fifty years come to be exercised in utterly reckless fashion. The result has been in a lamentably large number of cases to make the courts the bulwarks of special privilege against justice. Against this misconception and perversion of our Constitution the organization of the Progressive party is the protest of the American people. (At New York City, February 12, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 504; Nat. Ed. XVII 375.

Supreme Court—Justices of

In the ordinary and low sense, which we attach to the words “partisan" and "politician," a judge of the Supreme Court should be neither. But in the higher sense, in the proper sense, he is not in my judgment fitted for the position unless he is a party man, a constructive statesman, constantly keeping in mind his adherence to the principles and policies under which this nation has been built up and in accordance with which it must go on; and keeping in mind also his relations with his fellow statesmen who in other branches of the government are striving in cooperation with him to advance the ends of government. (To H. C. Lodge, July 10, 1902.) Lodge Letters I, 518.

____________. The judges of the Supreme Court of the land must be not only great jurists, but they must be great constructive statesmen. And the truth of what I say is illustrated by every study of American statesmanship, for in not one serious study of American political life will it be possible to omit the immense part played by the Supreme Court in the creation, not merely the modification, of the great policies through and by means of which the country has moved on to its present position. (At banquet to Justice Harlan, Washington, D. C., December 9, 1902.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, 221.

____________. All sober and serious statesmen and publicists, and all leaders of the people, when they deal with the Supreme Court, should remember not only the incalculable service it rendered under Marshall, but the menace it was to the nation under Taney, and the way in which it then forced Abraham Lincoln and all far-seeing patriots to antagonize it. There is no reason for supposing that Marshall and Taney differed in ability as lawyers or in sincerity and loftiness of private character. But one was a great, fat-seeing statesman who builded for the future, the other was a man who clung to outworn theories, . . . and who in consequence worked for the detriment of the country as surely as if it had been his conscious purpose so to do. (Outlook, November 5, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XII, 534; Nat. Ed. XI,: 261.

____________ Taney was probably as good a lawyer as Marshall; the abysmal difference between the two men came because one was a statesman and the other was not. We now need on the Supreme Court not better lawyers, but broad-minded, far-seeing Statesmen, utterly out of sympathy with higgling technicalities. (To H. C. Lodge, April 11, 1910.) Lodge Letters II, 374.

____________. The office of chief justice is, under some circumstances, as great an office as that of President, and at all times comes second only to it in importance. And the man who fills that office is, like the President, the representative of all the people, and is entitled to their respect and support. (Outlook, March 4, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 117; Nat. Ed. XVII, 80.

Supreme Court—Power of

Under our form of government no other body of men occupy a position of such far-reaching importance as the justices of the Supreme Court. Neither the executive nor the legislative branch of the government, under ordinary conditions, does as much in shaping our Constitutional growth as the Supreme Court. This is not true of any other country. In every other country the judges, though they exercise a great and decisive influence in civil contests between individuals, have little or no power to shape the governmental course of development—that is, the course of national development, the course of affairs that affect the people not individually but as a whole. In our country, however, a number of causes which were not in evidence during the first decade after the establishment of the Constitution have combined to render the Supreme Court in many ways the most important governmental body in the land, and to give it a position which places it infinitely above any other court in the entire world. (Outlook, November 5, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XII, 531; Nat. Ed. XI, 259.

____________ It is contended that in these recent decisions the Supreme Court legislated; so it did; and it had to; because Congress had signally failed to do its duty by legislating. For the Supreme Court to nullify an act of the Legislature as unconstitutional except on the clearest ground is usurpation; to: interpret such an act in an obviously wrong sense is usurpation; but where the legislative body persistently leaves open a field which it is absolutely imperative from the public standpoint to fill, then no possible blame attaches to the official or officials who step in because they have to, and who then do the needed work in the interest of the people, The blame in such cases lies with the body which has been derelict, and not with the body which reluctantly makes good the dereliction. Outlook, November 18, 1911, p.653

Supreme Court

See also Constitution; Courts; Division Of Powers; Judges; Judiciary; Law; Legalism; Marshall, John; Moody, W. H.; Wilson, James.


See Western Explorers.

Survival of Species

See Animals.


See Labor Conditions.


See Socialism.


See Military Training; Preparedness.


See Fellow-Feeling; Fellowship


The Theodore Roosevelt Association is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Tax Identification #13-559-3999

GuideStar: We have earned a 2024 Platinum Seal of Transparency with Candid and a Four-Star Rating !

GuideStar: We have earned a 2024 Platinum Seal of Transparency with Candid and a Four-Star Rating !