ROOSEVELT ROOSEVELT DIVISION
ROOSEVELT, THEODORE. See also BOYHOOD;
ROUGH RIDERS; SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR; SUNDAY
SCHOOL; WHITE HOUSE.
William W. Moir, October 10, 1898.) Roosevelt
Memorial Association Library.
ROOSEVELT, THEODORE. I am, if I am anything,
an American. I am an American from the crown of my
head to the soles of my feet. If I take office I will take it
as a free-man, as an equal to my fellow freemen, to
serve loyally, honestly, and conscientiously every
citizen of this great Commonwealth. (At Cooper Union
Hall, New York City, October 15, 1886.) Mem. Ed.
XVI, 117; Nat. Ed. XIV, 74.
____________. I am just an ordinary man without any
special ability in any direction. In most things I am just
above the average; in some of them a little under, rather
than over. I am only an ordinary walker. I can't run. I
am not a good swimmer, although I am a strong one. I
probably ride better than I do anything else, but I am
certainly not a remarkably good rider. I am not a good
shot. My eyesight is not strong, and I have to get close
to my game in order to make any shot at all. I never
could be a good boxer, although I like to box and do
keep at it, whenever I can. My eyesight prevents me
from ever being a good tennis player, even if otherwise
I could qualify.
So you see that from the physical point of view I
am just an ordinary, or perhaps a little less than
ordinary man. Now, take the things that I have done in
public life or in private life either, for that matter. I am
not a brilliant writer. I have written a great deal, but I
always have to work and slave over everything I write.
The things that I have done, in one office, or another,
are all, with the possible exception of the Panama
Canal, just such things as any ordinary man could have
done. There is nothing brilliant or outstanding in my
record, except, perhaps, this one thing. Whatever I think
it is right for me to do, I do. I do the things that I
believe ought to be done. And when I make up my
mind to do a thing, I act. (January 1909; reported by
Davis.) Oscar King Davis, Released for Publication.
(Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1925), pp. 131-132.
____________. I am not in the least a hero, my dear
fellow. I am a perfectly commonplace man and I know
it; I am just a decent American citizen who tries to
stand for what is decent in his own country and in other
countries and who owes very much to you and to
certain men like you who are not fellow countrymen of
his. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, May 29, 1915.)
Mem. Ed. XXIV, 211; Bishop II, 181.
ROOSEVELT AS A LEADER. I'm no orator, and in
writing I'm afraid I'm not gifted at all, except perhaps
that I have a good instinct and a liking for simplicity
and directness. If I have anything at all resembling
genius it is the gift for leadership. (To Julian Street.)
Mem. Ed. IX, 213; Nat. Ed. X, 357.
____________. I am already an old man, and the
chances are very small that I will ever again grow into
touch with the people of this country to the degree that
will make me useful as a leader; and a man who has
been a leader is very rarely useful as an adviser when
the period of his leadership has passed. (To E. A. Van
Valkenberg, September 5, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 487;
Bishop II, 414.
ROOSEVELT DIVISION, THE. If a war should
occur while I am still physically fit, I should certainly
try to raise a brigade, and if possible a division, of
cavalry, mounted riflemen, such as those in my
regiment ten years ago. (To John St. Loe Strachey,
November 28, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 146; Bishop II,
____________. If war came, I would certainly wish you
in my division; but it would not be possible to say in
advance in just what position I could use you; and
moreover the Administration would be apt to try either
not to employ me at the front or not to give me a free
hand. (To Bacon, July 7, 1916.) James Brown Scott,
Robert Bacon. Life and Letters. (Doubleday, Page &
Co., Garden City, N. Y., 1923), p. 254.
____________. My hope is, if we are drawn into this
European war, to get Congress to authorize me to raise
a Cavalry Division, which would consist of four cavalry
brigades each of two regiments, and a brigade of Horse
Artillery of two regiments, with a pioneer battalion or,
better still, two pioneer battalions, and a field battalion
of signal troops in addition to a supply train and a
sanitary train. I would wish the ammunition train and
the supply train to be both motor trains; and I would
also like a regiment or battalion of machine guns; al-
though I should want to consult you as to just the way
in which this organization should be maintained, for of
course the machine guns would be distributed among
the troops. (To Captain Frank McCoy, July 10, 1916.)
Major- General James G. Harbord, “Theodore Roose-