Index B

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See Frontiersmen.

Bacon, Robert

See Roosevelt division.

Bad Lands

This broken country extends back from the river for many miles, and has been called always, by Indians, French voyageurs, and American trappers alike, the "Bad Lands," partly from its dreary and forbidding aspect and partly from the difficulty experienced in travelling through it. Every few miles it is crossed by creeks which open into the Little Missouri, of which they are simply repetitions in miniature, except that during most of the year they are almost dry, some of them having in their beds here and there a never-failing spring or muddy alkaline-water hole. From these creeks run coulées, or narrow, winding valleys, through which water flows when the snow melts; their bottoms contain patches of brush, and they lead back into the heart of the Bad Lands. Some of the buttes spread out into level plateaus, many miles in extent; others form chains, or rise as steep, isolated masses. Some are of volcanic origin, being composed of masses of scoria; the others, of sandstone or clay, are worn by water into the most fantastic shapes. In coloring they are as bizarre as in form. Among the level, parallel strata which make up the land are some of coal. When a coal vein gets on fire it makes what is called a burning mine, and the clay above it is turned into brick; so that where water wears away the side of a hill sharp streaks of black and red are seen across it, mingled with the grays, purples, and browns. Some of the buttes are overgrown with gnarled, stunted cedars, or small pines, and they are all cleft through and riven in every direction by deep narrow ravines, or by canyons with perpendicular sides.

In spite of their look of savage desolation, the Bad Lands make a good cattle country, for there is plenty of nourishing grass and excellent shelter from the winter storms. The cattle keep close to them in the cold months, while in the summertime they wander out on the broad prairies stretching back of them, or come down the river-bottoms. (1885.) Mem. Ed I, 11-12; Nat. Ed. I, 9-10.

____________. The Bad Lands grade all the way from those that are almost rolling in character to those that are so fantastically broken in form and so bizarre in color as to seem hardly properly to belong to this earth. If the weathering forces have not been very active, the ground will look, from a little distance, almost like a level plain, but on approaching nearer, it will be seen to be crossed by straight-sided gullies and canyons, miles in length, cutting across the land in every direction and rendering it almost impassable for horsemen or wagon teams. If the forces at work have been more intense, the walls between the different gullies have been cut down to thin edges, or broken through, laving isolated peaks of strange shape, while the hollows have been channelled out deeper and deeper; such places show the extreme and most characteristic Bad Lands formation. When the weathering has gone on farther, the angles are rounded off, grass begins to grow, bushes and patches of small trees sprout up, [and] water is found in places. (1885.) Mem. Ed I, 135; Nat. Ed. I, 111-112.
Bad Lands—Life In the

I heartily enjoy this life, with its perfect freedom, for I am very fond of hunting, and there are few sensations I prefer to that of galloping over these rolling, limitless prairies, rifle in hand, or winding my way among the barren, fantastic and grimly picturesque deserts of the so-called Bad Lands. (To H. C. Lodge, August 24, 1884.) Lodge Letters I, 7.

Bad Lands

See also Chimney Butte Ranch; Elkhorn Ranch; Ranch Life.

Baker, Newton D.

Secretary Baker did not set himself to meet our greatest military need of to-day, which is a thorough mobilization of our whole man- power for service in our armies and in our war industries. He set himself to prevent the meeting of this need. Congress last spring made ready to go ahead with the "fight or work" plan. But Mr. Baker, acting for the President, intervened. He asked for delay, for procrastination, and of course thereby paralyzed congressional action. He protested against the enlargement of the draft-age limits. He protested against planning more than a few months in advance. He said that we were "many months ahead of our original hope in regard to the transportation of men" overseas; but he omitted to add that this was because the original plans were hopelessly inadequate. (Metropolitan, September 1918.) Mem. Ed XXI, 307; Nat. Ed. XIX, 281.

Baker, Newton D.

See also Roosevelt Division.

Ballot, Short

I believe in the short ballot. You cannot get good service from the public servant if you cannot see him, and there is no more effective way of hiding him than by mixing him up with a multitude of others so that they are none of them important enough to catch the eye of the average, workaday citizen. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed XIX, 179; Nat. Ed. XVII, 132.

____________. The public servants for whom you vote should be so few in number that the people may know whom it is they are choosing to administer any particular office. A long ballot, cumbered with many names, is of all possible devices the one best adapted to give professional politicians, bread-and-butter politicians, the utmost possible advantage over ordinary citizens in the choice of public officers. The professional bread-and-butter man, whose business it is, can and will take the time to know about every man on such a ballot. It is his business, but you and I will not normally take the time. I will put it stronger than that. You and I cannot normally take the time; we cannot remember and we cannot be expected to remember the identity of a great number of individuals, no one of whom has to do a very important piece of work. (At Los Angeles, Cal., March 21, 1911.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 605; Nat. Ed. XVI, 437.

Ballot Reform Law

See Election Reforms.


Our fiscal system is not good from the purely fiscal side. I am inclined to think that from this side, a central bank would be a good thing. Certainly I believe that at least a central bank, with branch banks in each of the States (I mean national banks, of course) would be good; but I doubt whether our people would support either scheme at present; and there is this grave objection, at least to the first, that the inevitable popular distrust of big financial men might result very dangerously if it were concentrated upon the officials of one huge bank. Sooner or later there would be in that bank some insolent man whose head would be turned by his own power and ability, who would fail to realize other types of ability and the limitations upon his power, and would by his actions awaken the slumbering popular distrust and cause a storm in which he would be as helpless as a child, and which would overwhelm not only him but other men and other things of far more importance. (To White, November 27, 1907.) Allan Nevins, Henry White. Thirty Years of American Diplomacy. (Harper & Bros., N. Y., 1930), p. 293.

Banking and Currency System

Now about the banking and currency system: I agree with you in your main contentions. I would like to see a thoroughly good system of banking and currency; but apparently you think little of the Aldrich bill, and yet this is the only measure that has been proposed that we can seriously consider. The trouble is that the minute I try to get action all the financiers and business men differ so that nobody can advise me, nobody can give me any aid, and only Senator Aldrich has proposed a bill. (To Henry L. Higginson, February 19, 1908.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 97; Bishop II, 83.


See also Currency; Financiers; Panic of 1907.

Banks—Function of

Banks are the natural servants of commerce, and upon them should be placed, as far as practicable, the burden of furnishing and maintaining a circulation adequate to supply the needs of our diversified industries and of our domestic and foreign commerce; and the issue of this should be so regulated that a sufficient supply should be always available for the business interests of the country. (Second Annual Message, Washington, December 2, 1902.) Mem. Ed XVII, 170; Nat. Ed. XV, 147.


See Expansion; Imperialism; Missionaries; Primitive Society; Wars of Conquest; "Yellow Peril."

Barnes, William

See Libel Suit.

Battle Fleet—World Cruise of

As regards the fleet going to the Pacific, there has been no change save that the naval board decided sooner than I had expected. I could not entertain any proposition to divide the fleet and send some vessels there, which has been the fool proposition of our own jingoes; but this winter we shall have reached the period when it is advisable to send the whole fleet on a practice cruise around the world. It became evident to me, from talking with the naval authorities, that in the event of war they would have a good deal to find out in the way of sending the fleet to the Pacific. Now, the one thing that I won't run the risk of is to experiment for the first time in a matter which would be of vital importance in time of war. Accordingly I concluded that it was imperative that we should send the fleet on what would practically be a practice voyage. I do not intend to keep it in the Pacific for any length of time; but I want all failures, blunders, and shortcomings to be made apparent in time of peace and not in time of war. More-over, I think that before matters become more strained we had better make it evident that when it comes to visiting our own coasts on the Pacific or Atlantic and assembling the fleet in our own waters, we can not submit to any out- side protests or interference. Curiously enough, the Japs have seen this more quickly than our own people. (To H. C. Lodge, July 10, 1907.) Lodge Letters II, 274

____________. I am more concerned over the Japanese situation than almost any other. Thank Heaven we have the navy in good shape. It is high time, however, that it should go on a cruise around the world. In the first place I think it will have a pacific effect to show that it can be done; and in the next place, after talking thoroughly over the situation with the naval board I became convinced that it was absolutely necessary for us to try in time of peace to see just what we could do in the way of putting a big battle fleet in the Pacific, and not make the experiment in time of war. (To Elihu Root, July 13, 1907.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 74; Bishop II, 64.

____________. This demonstration of combined courtesy and strength nowhere received a heartier response than in Japan, which is itself both strong and courteous. No English, German, or other battle fleet had ever gone to the Pacific. I regarded the Pacific as home waters just as much as the Atlantic, and regarded it as essential to find out in time of peace whether or not the fleet could be put there bodily. I determined on the move without consulting the Cabinet precisely as I took Panama without consulting the Cabinet. A council of war never fights, and in a crisis the duty of a leader is to lead and not to take refuge behind the generally timid wisdom of a multitude of counsellors. Except the digging of the Panama Canal this voyage of the battle fleet impressed Europe with a feeling of friendly respect for the United States more than anything else that had occurred since the Civil War. (In conversation with Joseph B. Bishop.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 76; Bishop II, 65.

____________. I am sure you would be delighted if you could see the accounts that have come from our battle fleet, which is now returning from its trip around the world. In gunnery and in battle tactics no less than in the ordinary voyage manœuvres, there has been a steady gain; and the fleet is far more efficient, collectively and individually, now than when it left these waters over a year ago. (To Emperor William II, January 2, 1909.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 338; Bishop II, 287.

____________. No nation regarded the cruise as fraught with any menace of hostility to itself; and yet every nation accepted it as a proof that we were not only desirous ourselves to keep the peace, but able to prevent the peace being broken at our expense. No cruise in any way approaching it has even been made by any fleet of any other power; and the best naval opinion abroad had been that no such feat was possible; that is, that no such cruise as that we actually made could be undertaken by a fleet of such size without innumerable breakdowns and accidents. The success of the cruise, performed as it was. without a single accident, immeasurably raised the prestige, not only of our fleet, but of our nation; and was a distinct help to the cause of international peace. (Outlook, September 10, 1910.) Mem. Ed XVIII, 24; Nat. Ed. XVI, 21.

____________. My point of view at the time the fleet sailed, was that if the Japanese attacked it, it was a certain sign that they were intending to attack us at the first favorable opportunity. I had been doing my best to be polite to the Japanese, and had finally become uncomfortably conscious of a very, very slight undertone of veiled truculence in their communications in connection with things that happened on the Pacific Slope; and I finally made up my mind that they thought I was afraid of them. . . .

I had great confidence in the fleet; I went over everything connected with it and found that the administrative officers on shore were calmly confident that they could keep everything in first-class shape, while the officers afloat, from the battleship commanders to the lieutenants in charge of the torpedo- boats, were straining like hounds in a leash, and the enlisted men were at least as eager, all desertions stopping and the ships becoming for the first time over- manned as soon as there was a rumor that we might have trouble with Japan, and that the fleet might move round to the Pacific. I felt that, in any event, if the fleet was not able to get to the Pacific in first-class shape, we had better find it out; and if Japan intended to have war it was infinitely better that we should gain two or three months necessary to prepare our fleet to start to the Pacific, instead of having to take those two or three months after war began. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, October 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 291, 292; Bishop II, 249, 250.

Battle Fleet

See also Big Stick; Peace.

Battleships—Importance of

Nothing that has yet occurred warrants us in feeling that we can afford to ease up in our programme of building battleships and cruisers, especially the former. The German submarines have done wonderfully in this war; their cruisers have done gallantly. But so far as Great Britain is concerned the vital and essential feature has been the fact that her great battle-fleet has kept the German fleet immured in its own home ports, has protected Britain from invasion, and has enabled her land strength to be used to its utmost capacity beside the armies of France and Belgium. (New York Times, November 22, 1914.) Mem. Ed XX, 129; Nat. Ed. XVIII, III.


See also Navy.

Bear Hunting

Doubtless the grizzly could be hunted to advantage with dogs, which would not, of course, be expected to seize him, but simply to find and bay him, and distract his attention by barking and nipping. Occasionally, a bear can be caught in the open and killed with the aid of horses. But nine times out of ten the only way to get one is to put on moccasins and still-hunt it in its own haunts, shooting it at close quarters. Either its tracks should be followed until the bed wherein it lies during the day is found, or a given locality in which it is known to exist should be carefully
beaten through, or else a bait should be left out, and a watch kept on it to catch the bear when he has come to visit it. (1885.) Mem. Ed I, 281; Nat. Ed. I, 234.


Bears are interesting creatures, and their habits are always worth watching. When I used to hunt grizzlies my experience tended to make me lay special emphasis on their variation in temper. There are savage and cowardly bears, just as there are big and little ones; and sometimes these variations are very marked among bears of the same district, and at other times all the bears of one district will seem to have a common code of behavior, which differs utterly from that of the bears of another district. (1905.) Mem. Ed III, 68; Nat. Ed. II, 449.

Bears, Black

Black bear are not, under normal conditions, formidable brutes. If they do charge and get home they may maul a man severely, and there are a number of instances on record in which they have killed men. Ordinarily, however, a black bear will not charge home, though he may bluster a good deal. I once shot one very close up, which made a most lamentable outcry and seemed to lose its head, its efforts to escape resulting in its bouncing about among the trees with such heedless hurry that I was easily able to kill it. Another black bear, which I also shot at close quarters, came straight for my companions and myself, and almost ran over the white hunter who was with me. This bear made no sound whatever when I first hit it, and I do not think it was charging.

I believe it was simply dazed, and by accident ran the wrong way and so almost came into collision with us. However, when it found itself face to face with the white hunter, and only four or five feet away, it prepared for hostilities, and I think would have mauled him if I had not brained it with another bullet. . . . None of the bears shot on this Colorado trip made a sound when hit; they all died silently, like so many wolves. (1905.) Mem. Ed III, 71; Nat. Ed. II, 451.

Bears, Grizzly

The grizzly is now chiefly a beast of the high hills and heavy timber; but this is merely because he has learned that he must rely on cover to guard him from man, and has forsaken the open ground accordingly. In old days, and in one or two very out-of- the-way places almost to the present time, he wandered at will over the plains. It is only the wariness born of fear which nowadays causes him to cling to the thick brush of the large river-bot-toms throughout the plains country. When there were no rifle-bearing hunters in the land, to harass him and make him afraid, he roved hither and thither at will, in burly self-confidence. Then he cared little for cover, unless as a weather-break, or because it happened to contain food he liked. . . . .

The grizzly is a shrewd beast and shows the usual bear-like capacity for adapting himself to changed conditions. He has in most places become a cover- haunting animal, sly in his ways, wary to a degree, and clinging to the shelter of the deepest forests in the mountains and of the most tangled thickets in the plains. (1893.) Mem. Ed II, 247-248; Nat. Ed. II, 213-215.

Beebe, William

Nothing of this kind could have been done by the man who was only a good writer, only a trained scientific observer, or only an enterprising and adventurous traveller. Mr. Beebe is not merely one of these, but all three; and he is very much more in addition. He possesses a wide field of interest; he is in the truest sense of the word a man of broad and deep cultivation. He cares greatly for noble architecture and noble poetry; for beautiful pictures and statues and finely written books. Nor are his interests only concerned with nature apart from man and from the works of man. He possesses an extraordinary sympathy with and understanding of mankind itself, in all its myriad types and varieties. In this book, and in his other recent writing (for I wish to draw a sharp line in favor of what he has recently written as compared with his earlier and more commonplace work), some of his most interesting descriptions are of the wild folk he meets in the wilderness—black or yellow, brown or red—and of some nominally tamer folk with whom he has foregathered in civilization. (Review of Jungle Peace; N. Y. Times Review of Books, October 13, 1918.) Mem. Ed XIV, 551; Nat. Ed. XII, 410-411.

Belgian Refugees—Aid to

At the outset of this war I said that hideous though the atrocities had been and dreadful though the suffering, yet we must not believe that these atrocities and this suffering paralleled the dreadful condition that had obtained in European warfare during, for example, the seventeenth century. It is lamentable to have to confess that I was probably in error. The fate that has befallen Belgium is as terrible as any that befell the countries of Middle Europe during the Thirty Years’ War and the wars of the following half-century. There is no higher duty than to care for the refugees and above all the child refugees who have fled from Belgium. . . . .

I appeal to the American people to picture to themselves the plight of these poor creatures and to endeavor in practical fashion to secure that they shall be saved from further avoidable suffering. Nothing that our people can do will remedy the frightful wrong that has been committed on these families. Nothing that can now be done by the civilized world, even if the neutral nations of the civilized world should at last wake up to the performance of the duty they have so shamefully failed to perform, can undo the dreadful wrong of which these unhappy children, these old men and women, have been the victims. All that can be done surely should be done to ease their suffering. The part that America has played in this great tragedy is not an exalted part; and there is all the more reason why Americans should hold up the hands of those of their number who, like Mrs. Wharton, are endeavoring to some extent to remedy the national shortcomings. We owe to Mrs. Wharton all the assistance we can give. We owe this assistance to the good name of America, and above all for the cause of humanity we owe it to the children, the women and the old men who have suffered such dreadful wrong for absolutely no fault of theirs. Introduction to The Book of the Homeless, edited by Edith Wharton. (Scribner's, N. Y., 1916), pp. ix-x.

Belgians—Regard for

The Belgian officials and leading men whom I met impressed me very favorably, and their women seemed to me to have the domestic qualities developed much more like our women in England and America than was the case in France, and yet to have the charm and attractiveness of the Frenchwomen. The king was a huge fair young man, evidently a thoroughly good fellow, with excellent manners, and not a touch of pretension. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, October 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 274; Bishop II, 235.

Belgium—America's Duty Toward

If I had been President, I should have acted on the thirtieth or thirty-first of July, as head of a signatory power of The Hague treaties, calling attention to the guaranty of Belgium’s neutrality and saying that I accepted the treaties as imposing a serious obligation which I expected not only the United States but all other neutral nations to join in enforcing. Of course I would not have made such a statement unless I was willing to back it up. I believe that if I had been President the American people would have followed me. (To Sir Cecil Spring- Rice, October 3, 1914.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 437; Bishop II, 372.

____________. I am not concerned with the charges of individual atrocity. The prime fact is that Belgium committed no offense whatever, and yet that her territory has been invaded and her people subjugated. This prime fact cannot be left out of consideration in dealing with any matter that has occurred in connection with it. Her neutrality has certainly been violated, and this is in clear violation of the fundamental principles of The Hague conventions. It appears clear that undefended towns have been bombarded, and that towns which were defended have been attacked with bombs at a time when no attack was made upon the defenses. This is certainly in contravention of The Hague agreement forbidding the bombardment of undefended towns. . . .

Now, it may be that there is an explanation and justification for a portion of what has been done. But if The Hague conventions mean anything, and if bad faith in the observation of treaties is not to be treated with cynical indifference, then the United States Government should inform itself as to the facts, and should take whatever action is necessary in reference thereto. The extent to which the action should go may properly be a subject for discussion. But that there should be some action is beyond discussion; unless, indeed, we ourselves are content to take the view that treaties, conventions, and international engagements and agreements of all kinds are to be treated by us and by everybody else as what they have been authoritatively declared to be, "scraps of paper," the writing on which is intended for no better purpose than temporarily to amuse the feeble-minded. (New York Times, November 8, 1914.) Mem. Ed XX, 89; Nat. Ed. XVIII 77.

____________. The assertion that our neutrality carries with it the obligation to be silent when our own Hague conventions are destroyed represents an active step against the peace of righteousness. The only way to show that our faith in public law was real was to protest against the assault on international morality implied in the invasion of Belgium. (New York Times, November 29, 1914.) Mem. Ed XX, 201; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 172.

____________. When we sit idly by while Belgium is being overwhelmed, and rolling up our eyes prattle with unctuous self-righteousness about "the duty of neutrality," we show that we do not really fear God; on the contrary, we show an odious fear of the devil, and a mean readiness to serve him. (1916.) Mem. Ed XX, 232; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 200.

____________. The United States Government has signally failed to take action on behalf of Belgium when The Hague conventions, to which the United States was a signatory power, were violated at Belgium's expense. During the last century no civilized power guiltless of wrong has suffered such a dreadful fate as has befallen Belgium. Belgium had not the smallest responsibility for the disaster that has overwhelmed it. The United States has been derelict to its duty, has signally failed to stand for international righteousness and international peace in the course it has pursued with reference to the wrongs of Belgium. (Metropolitan, February 1915.) Mem. Ed XX, 512; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 440.

Belgium — Future Guarantees to

Little or nothing would be gained by a peace which merely stopped this war for the moment and left untouched all the causes that have brought it about. A peace which left the wrongs of Belgium unredressed, which did not leave her independent and secured against further wrong-doing, and which did not provide measures hereafter to safeguard all peaceful nations against suffering the fate that Belgium has suffered, would be mischievous rather than beneficial in its ultimate effects. If the United States had any part in bringing about such a peace it would be deeply to our discredit as a nation. Belgium has been terribly wronged, and the civilized world owes it to itself to see that this wrong is redressed and that steps are taken which will guarantee that hereafter conditions shall not be permitted to become such as either to require or to permit such action as that of Germany against Belgium. (New York Times, October 11, 1914.) Mem. Ed XX, 52; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 44.

____________. At this moment any peace which leaves unredressed the wrongs of Belgium, and which does not effectively guarantee Belgium and all other small nations that behave themselves, against the repetition of such wrongs would be a well-nigh unmixed evil. As far as we personally are concerned, such a peace would inevitably mean that we should at once and in haste have to begin to arm ourselves or be exposed in our turn to the most frightful risk of disaster. Let our people take thought for the future. What Germany did to Belgium because her need was great and because she possessed the ruthless force with which to meet her need she would, of course, do to us if her need demanded it; and in such event what her representatives now say as to her intentions toward America would trouble her as little as her signature to the neutrality treaties troubled her when she subjugated Belgium. Nor does she stand alone in her views of international morality. More than one of the great powers engaged in this war has shown by her conduct in the past that if it profiited her she would without the smallest scruple treat any land in the two Americas as Belgium has been treated. (New York Times, November 1, 1914.) Mem. Ed XX, 78; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 67.

Belgium—Invasion of

Of all the lessons hitherto taught by the war, the most essential for us to take to heart is that taught by the catastrophe that has befallen Belgium. One side of this catastrophe, one lesson taught by Belgium's case, is the immense gain in the self-respect of a people that has dared to fight heroically in the face of certain disaster and possible defeat. Every Belgian throughout the world carries his head higher now than he has ever carried it before, because of the proof of virile strength that his people have given. (New York Times, October 11, 1914.) Mem, Ed. XX, 49; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 42.

____________. There has been no more abhorrent spectacle in history than the revenge Visited upon Belgium for her dauntless defense of national rights and international obligations. In all the grim record of the last year this is the overshadowing accomplishment of evil. . . . Deep though the hurts are which have been inflicted upon civilization by the sacrifice of millions of lives among the bravest and best of the men of

Europe, yet deeper and more lasting is the wound given by the blow struck at international law and international righteousness in the destruction of Belgium. (Metropolitan, October 1915.) Mem. Ed XX, 333; Nat. Ed. , XVIII, 285.

____________. To me the crux of the situation has been Belgium. If England or France had acted toward Belgium as Germany has acted I should have opposed them, exactly as I now oppose Germany. I have emphatically approved your action as a model for what should be done by those who believe that treaties should be observed in good faith and that there is such a thing as international morality. I take this position as an American who is no more an Englishman than he is a German, who endeavors loyally to serve the interests of his own country, but who also endeavors to do what he can for justice and decency as regards mankind at large, and who therefore feels obliged to judge all other nations by their conduct on any given occasion. (To Sir Edward Grey, January 22, 1915.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 439; Bishop II, 373.

Belgium —Relief for

The much advertised sending of food and supplies to Belgium has been of most benefit to the German conquerors of Belgium. They have taken the money and food of the Belgians and permitted the Belgians to be supported by outsiders. Of course, it was far better to send them food, even under such conditions, than to let them starve. (New York Times, November 15, 1914.) Mem. Ed XX, 115; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 99.

Belgium and the Origins of the War

I am very sad over this war. I believe that, in a way, it was fatally inevitable as regards the continental nations, and that each was right, from its own standpoint, under conditions as they actually were. But, to my mind, as regards Belgium, there is absolutely no question that all the right was on her side and all the wrong was committed against her, and she will have to receive full redress and assurance against the repetition of the wrongs, or else our civilization is to that extent broken down. England could not have done other than she did, in interfering for her. (To Elbert Francis Baldwin, October 5, 1914.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 438; Bishop II, 372.


See also Hague Conventions; Hoover, Herbert; Neutrality; World War.

Benton, Thomas Hart

Benton's long political career can never be thoroughly understood unless it is kept in mind that he was primarily a Western and not a Southern statesman; and it owes its especial interest to the fact that during its continuance the West first rose to power, acting as a unit, and to the further fact that it was brought to a close by the same causes which soon afterward broke up the West exactly as the East was already broken. Benton was not one of the few statesmen who have left the indelible marks of their own individuality upon our history; but he was, perhaps, the most typical representative of the statesmanship of the Middle West at the time when the latter gave the tone to the political thought of the entire Mississippi valley. The political school which he represented came to its fullest development in the so- called Border States. . . . Benton was one of those public men who formulate and express, rather than shape, the thought of the people who stand behind them and whom they represent. A man of strong intellect and keen energy, he was for many years the foremost representative of at least one phase of that thought; being, also, a man of high principle and determined courage, when a younger generation had grown up and the bent of the thought had changed, he declined to change with it, bravely accepting political defeat as the alternative, and going down without flinching a hair’s breadth from the ground on which he had always stood. (1887.) Mem. Ed VIII, 11-12; Nat. Ed. VII, 10-11.

____________. Benton, in his mental training, came much nearer to the statesmen of the seaboard, and was far better bred and better educated, than the rest of the men around him. But he was, and was felt by them to be, thoroughly one of their number, and the most able expounder of their views; and it is just because he is so completely the type of a great and important class, rather than because even of his undoubted and commanding ability as a statesman, that his life and public services will always repay study. His vanity and boastfulness were faults which he shared with almost all his people; and, after all, if they overrated the consequence of their own deeds, the deeds, nevertheless, did possess great importance, and their fault was slight compared to that committed by some of us at the present day, who have gone to the opposite extreme and try to belittle the actions of our fathers. Benton was deeply imbued with the masterful, overbearing spirit of the West—a spirit whose manifestations are not always agreeable, but the possession of which is certainly a most healthy sign of the virile strength of a young community. (1887.) Mem. Ed VIII, 27; Nat. Ed. VII, 24.

____________. Benton's capacity for work was at all times immense; he delighted in it for its own sake, and took a most justifiable pride in his wide reading, and especially in his full acquaintance with history, both ancient and modern. He was very fond of illustrating his speeches on American affairs with continual allusions and references to events in foreign countries or in old times, which he considered to be more or less parallel to those he was discussing; and indeed he often dragged in these comparisons when there was no particular need for such a display of his knowledge. He could fairly be called a learned man, for he had studied very many subjects deeply and thoroughly; and though he was too self-conscious and pompous in his utterances not to incur more than the suspicion of pedantry, yet the fact remains that hardly any other man has ever sat in the Senate whose range of information was as wide as his. (1887.) Mem. Ed VIII, 151-152; Nat. Ed. VII, 131-132.

Benton, Thomas Hart, and the Oregon Question

One of the first subjects that attracted Benton’s attention in the Senate was the Oregon question, and on this he showed himself at once in his true character as a Western man, proud alike of every part of his country, and as desirous of seeing the West extended in a northerly as in a southerly direction. Himself a slaveholder, from a slave State, he was one of the earliest and most vehement advocates of the extension of our free territory northward along the Pacific coast. . . . Benton's intense Americanism, and his pride and confidence in his country and in her unlimited capacity for growth of every sort, gifted him with the power to look much farther into the future, as regarded the expansion of the United States, than did his colleagues; and moreover caused him to consider the question from a much more far-seeing and statesmanlike stand point. The land belonged to no man, and yet was sure to become very valuable; our title to it was not very good, but was probably better than that of any one else. Sooner or later it would be filled with the overflow of our population, and would border on our dominion, and on our dominion alone. It was therefore just, and moreover in the highest degree desirable, that it should be made a part of that dominion at the earliest possible moment. (1887.) Mem. Ed VIII, 39-40; Nat. Ed. VII, 34-35.

Benton, Thomas Hart, and the Slavery Question

From this time the slavery question dwarfed all others, and was the one with which Benton, as well as other statesmen, had mainly to deal. He had been very loath to acknowledge that it was ever to become of such overshadowing importance; until late in his life he had not realized that, interwoven with the disunionist movement, it had grown so as to become in reality the one and only question before the people; but, this once thoroughly understood, he henceforth devoted his tremendous energies to the struggle with it. . . .

He had now entered on what may fairly be called the heroic part of his career; for it would be difficult to chose any other word to express our admiration for the unflinching and defiant courage with which, supported only by conscience and by his loving loyalty to the Union, he battled for the losing side, although by so doing he jeopardized and eventually ruined his political prospects. . . .His was one of those natures that show better in defeat than in victory. In his career there were many actions that must command our unqualified admiration; such were his hostility to the Nullifiers, wherein, taking into account his geographical location and his refusal to compromise, he did better than any other public man, not even excepting Jackson and Webster; his belief in honest money; and his attitude towards all questions involving the honor or the maintenance and extension of the Union. But in all these matters he was backed more or less heartily by his State. . . . When, however, the slavery question began to enter upon its final stage, Benton soon found himself opposed to a large and growing faction of the Missouri Democracy, which increased so rapidly that it soon became dominant. But he never for an instant yielded his convictions, even when he saw the ground being thus cut from under his feet, fighting for the right as sturdily as ever, facing his fate, fearlessly, and going down without a murmur. (1887.) Mem. Ed VIII, 236, 237; Nat. Ed. VII, 204.

Benton, Thomas Hart, as Expansionist

Benton, greatly to the credit of his foresight, and largely in consequence of his strong nationalist feeling, thoroughly appreciated the importance of our geographical extensions. He was the great champion of the West and of western development, and a furious partisan of every movement in the direction of the enlargement of our western boundaries. . . . Without clearly formulating his opinions, even to himself, and while sometimes prone to attribute to his country at the moment a greatness she was not to possess for two or three generations to come, he, nevertheless, had engrained in his very marrow and fibre the knowledge that inevitably, and beyond all doubt, the coming years were to be hers. He knew that, while other nations held the past, and shared with his own the present, yet that to her belonged the still formless and unshaped future. More clearly than almost any other statesman he beheld the grandeur of the nation loom up, vast and shadowy, through the advancing years. (1887.) Mem. Ed VIII, 195, 196; Nat. Ed. VII, 169.

Berry Schools, the

I have been intending, ever since I first saw Miss Martha Berry, to come down and see this school, not only for the sake of the school itself, not only for what is being done with you boys and girls here, but because I think that this school is an example that must be widely followed—I will put it a little stronger than that—that must in its essentials, be universally followed in the South and in the North also. As soon as I had seen her and heard what she had done, I saw in the first place that she was trying to do the right thing; and in the next place, that she knew how to do it. There is another thing that I was much struck by at once. Miss Berry said that this school was being made a Christian Industrial School. You are going to raise a mighty poor quality of Christians if you can't have decent houses and have the men and women lead decent lives in them. So you must have the school industrial. And, on the other hand, I think that the greatest industrial efficiency is a curse to a nation if those able to practice it fail to have and to live up to the ordinary Christian morality. This school does both. What this school aims to do is to train mind and body, and what is more than mind and body—character. Again, one prime feature of this school is that it seeks to help each man in the only way in which any man can be permanently helped, by helping him to help himself. It trains the boy to go back to the farm, and to do his part in making farming a skilled profession; making it a profession like the law, like any other profession. It trains the girl so that she can go back to the farm and, as wife and mother, do her part—and it is a part even greater than the man's—in elevating the home. That is the industrial side of the school. You must have the Christian side as well. In addition to helping yourselves, you must steadily try to help others. (At Mount Berry, Ga., October 8, 1910.) The Southern Highlander, March 1919, pp. 6-7.

Beveridge, Albert J.

He has . . . played a distinguished part in our political life, and during his brilliant service of twelve years in the United States Senate he championed with fidelity all the honorable causes for which Marshall and his fellow Federalists stood a century before; he emulated their devoted nationalism, their advocacy of military preparedness; their insistence upon a wide application of the powers of the government under the national Constitution, and their refusal to worship shams instead of facts; and he followed Abraham Lincoln in refusing to follow the Federalists where they were wrong—that is, in their distrust of and high-spirited impatience with the people. (Outlook , July 18, 1917.) Mem. Ed XII, 427-428; Nat. Ed. XI, 189-190.

Bible as a Guide

It would be a great misfortune for our people if they ever lost the Bible as one of their habitual standards and guides in morality. (Outlook, May 27, 1911), p. 223.

Bible Reading in Public Schools

I believe in absolutely non-sectarian public schools. It is not our business to have the Protestant Bible or the Catholic Vulgate or the Talmud read in those schools. There is no objection whatever, where the local sentiment favors it, for the teacher to read a few verses of the ethical or moral parts of the Bible, so long as this causes no offense to any one. But it is entirely wrong for the law to make this reading compulsory; and the Protestant fanatics who attempt to force this through are playing into the hands of the Catholic fanatics who want to break down the Public School system and introduce a system of sectarian schools. (To Michael Schaap, February 22, 1915.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 422; Bishop II, 358.

Bible Study—Desirability of

I enter a most earnest plea that in our hurried and rather bustling life of to-day we do not lose the hold that our forefathers had on the Bible. I wish to see Bible study as much a matter of course in the secular college as in the seminary. . . . I ask that the Bible be studied for the sake of the breadth it must give to every man who studies it. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed XV, 607, 608; Nat. Ed. XIII, 643, 644.


See also Christianity; Religion; Sunday school; Ten Commandments.

Big Business

See Business.

Big Stick, the

Boasting and blustering are as objectionable among nations as among individuals, and the public men of a great nation owe it to their sense of national self-respect to speak courteously of foreign powers, just as a brave and self-respecting man treats all around him courteously. But though to boast is bad, and causelessly to insult another, worse, yet worse than all is it to be guilty of boasting, even without insult, and when called to the proof to be unable to make such boasting good. There is a homely old adge which runs: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." If the American Nation will speak softly, and yet build, and keep at a pitch of the highest training, a thoroughly efficient navy, the Monroe Doctrine will go far. (At Chicago, Ill., April 2, 1903 Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, 265-266.

____________. “Speak softly and carry a big stick— you will go far.” If a man continually blusters, if he lacks civility, a big stick will not save him from trouble; and neither will speaking softly avail, if back of the softness there does not lie strength, power. In private life there are few things more obnoxious than the man who is always loudly boasting; and if the boaster is not prepared to back up his words his position becomes absolutely contemptible. So it is with the nation. It is both foolish and undignified to indulge in undue self- glorification, and, above all, in loose-tongued denunciation of other peoples. (At Minnesota State Fair, September 2, 1901.) Mem. Ed XV, 334; Nat. Ed. XIII, 474.

____________. The only safe rule is to promise little, and faithfully to keep every promise; to "speak softly and carry a big stick." (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 610; Nat. Ed. XX, 524.

____________. The recent voyage of the fleet around the world was not the first occasion in which I have used it to bring about prompt resumption of peaceful relations between this country and a foreign Power. But of course one of the conditions of such use is that it should be accompanied with every manifestation of politeness and friendship—manifestations which are sincere, by the way, for the foreign policy in which I believe is in very fact the policy of speaking softly and carrying a big stick. I want to make it evident to every foreign nation that I intend to do justice; and neither to wrong them nor to hurt their self-respect; but that on the other, I am both entirely ready and entirely able to see that our rights are maintained in their turn. (To White- law Reid, December 4, 1908.) Thomas A. Bailey, Theodore Roosevelt and the Japanese-American Crisis. (Stanford University Press, 1934), pp. 301-302.

Big Stick, the, and the World War

One of the main lessons to learn from this war is embodied in the homely proverb: "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Persistently only half of this proverb has been quoted in deriding the men who wish to safeguard our national interest and honor. Persistently the effort has been made to insist that those who advocate keeping our country able to defend its rights are merely adopting "the policy of the big stick.” In reality, we lay equal emphasis on the fact that it is necessary to speak softly; in other words, that it is necessary to be respectful toward all people and scrupulously to refrain from wronging them, while at the same time keeping ourselves in condition to prevent wrong being done to us. If a nation does not in this sense speak softly, then sooner or later the policy of the big stick is certain to result in war. But what befell Luxembourg five months ago, what has befallen China again and again during the past quarter of a century, shows that no amount of speaking softly will save any people which does not carry a big stick. (Outlook, September 23, 1914.) Mem. Ed XX, 28; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 24.


Prejudice and bigotry never discriminate. If the bigot ever paused to discriminate, he would cease to be a bigot. (Fall 1917; reported by Leary.) Talks with T. R. From the diaries of John J. Leary, Jr. (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1920), p. 146.


See also Anti-Semitism; Catholics; Religious Discrimination; Tolerance.


See Silver.


See Mahan, A. T.


See Science.

Bird Collecting

Three days ago I shot a yellow-throated or Dominican warbler here— the first I had ever seen. I was able to identify it with absolute certainty, but as the record might be deemed of importance I reluctantly shot the bird, a male, and gave the mutilated skin to the American Museum of Natural History people so that they might be sure of the identification. The breeding-season was past, and no damage came to the species from shooting the specimen; but I must say that I care less and less for the mere "collecting" as I grow older. (To John Burroughs, July 11, 1907.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 87; Bishop II, 75.

Bird Study with John Burroughs

John Burroughs and I had a very pleasant time during our three days at Pine Knot. I was much pleased to be able to show him all the birds I had said I would, including the Bewick's wren, the blue grosbeak, the gnatcatcher, the summer redbird, etc. The one bird about which we were doubtful was the Henslow's bunting. I think he found the place almost too primitive, for a family of flying squirrels had made their abode inside the house. This tended to keep him awake at nights, whereas we have become rather attached to them. In one ploughed field I found a nighthawk sitting. If I had chosen to knock it down with my hat I could have done so, but I wanted not to hurt it; and as I endeavored softly to seize it, it got away just as my fingers touched it. It did not go far, but sat lengthwise along the limb of a small tree and let me come within two feet of it before flying. When I see you again I am going to point out one or two minor matters in connection with the song of the Bewick’s wren and the looks of the blue grosbeak, where we were a little puzzled by your accounts. I suppose that there is a good deal of individual variation among the birds themselves as well as among the observers. (To Frank M. Chapman, May 10, 1908.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 131; Bishop II, 113.

Birds—Legal Protection of

Laws to protect small and harmless wild life, especially birds, are indispensable. Such laws cannot be enacted or enforced until public opinion is back of them; and associations like the Audubon Societies do work of incalculable good in stirring, rousing, and giving effect to this opinion. (Outlook, January 20, 1915.) Mem. Ed XIV, 568; Nat. Ed. XII, 426.

Birds—Preservation of

Birds that are useless for the table and not harmful to the farm should always be preserved; and the more beautiful they are, the more carefully they should be preserved. They look a great deal better in the swamps and on the beaches and among the trees than they do on hats. There are certain species in certain localities which it is still necessary to collect; but no really rare bird ought to be shot save in altogether exceptional circumstances and for public museums, and the common birds (which of course should also be placed in public museums) are entirely out of place in private collections; and this ap plies as much to their eggs and nests as to their skins. (Outlook, September 16, 1911.) Mem. Ed XIV, 506; Nat. Ed. XII, 374.

____________. The State should not permit within its limits factories to make bird-skins or bird-feathers into articles of ornament or wearing-apparel. Ordinarily birds, and especially song-birds, should be rigidly protected. Game-birds should never be shot to a greater extent than will offset the natural rate of increase. All spring shooting should be prohibited and efforts made by correspondence with the neighboring States to secure its prohibition within their borders. Care should be taken not to encourage the use of cold storage or other market systems which are a benefit to no one but the wealthy epicure who can afford to pay a heavy price for luxuries. (Annual Message as Governor, Albany, January 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed XVII, 63; Nat. Ed. XV, 54-55.

____________. As yet with the great majority of our most interesting and important wild birds and beasts the prime need is to protect them, not only by laws limiting the open season and the size of the individual bag, but especially by the creation of sanctuaries and refuges. And, while the work of the collector is still necessary, the work of the trained faunal naturalist, who is primarily an observer of the life histories of the wild things, is even more necessary. The progress made in the United States, of recent years, in creating and policing bird refuges, has been of capital importance. (1916.) Mem. Ed IV, 224; Nat. Ed. III, 374-375.

Birds—Protective Coloration of

There is probably no such thing among mammals and birds as a coloration which under all the conditions of the wearer's life is always either completely revealing or completely concealing; but it may be one or the other, nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of the thousand. Out in the Bad Lands of the Little Missouri I once saw a raven against a coal-seam in a cliff, and its color for the moment was concealing; and once at dusk a poorwill lit on the bare veranda beside me, and its coloration was for the moment revealing. Yet under all ordinary circumstances, the direct reverse is true in each case; and it is just as absurd to deny that a raven (or a crow, or a grackle, or a cowbunting, or a white egret, or a full-grown black-and-white skimmer on its nest) is revealingly colored and conspicuous, as to deny that a whippoorwill (or a nesting grouse, or a desert lark, or a fledgling skimmer) is concealingly colored and inconspicuous. (American Museum Journal, March 1918.) Mem. Ed VI, 413-414; Nat Ed. V, 356-357.

____________. These common Argentine birds, most of them of the open country, and all of them with a strikingly advertising coloration, are interesting because of their beauty and their habits. They are also interesting because they offer such illuminating examples of the truth that many of the most common and successful birds not merely lack a concealing coloration, but possess a coloration which is in the highest degree revealing. The coloration and the habits of most of these birds are such that every hawk or other foe that can see at all must have its attention attracted to them. Evidently in their cases neither the coloration nor any habit of concealment based on the coloration is a survival factor, and this although they live in a land teeming with bird-eating hawks. (1914.) Mem. Ed VI, 36; Nat. Ed. V, 31.

____________. Certainly many of the markings of mammals, just as is the case with birds, must be wholly independent of any benefit they give to their possessors in the way of concealment. . . . An instant's reflection is sufficient to show that if the gaudily colored males of these two birds are really protectively colored, then the females are not, and vice versa; for the males and females inhabit similar places. (1910; Appendix of African Game Trails.) Mem. Ed VI, 385-386; Nat. Ed V, 332.


See also Audubon Societies; Grey, Sir Edward; Lark; Meadow -Lark; Mocking Bird; Ousel; Wild Life.

Birth Control

Voluntary sterility among married men and women of good life is, even more than military or physical cowardice in the ordinary man, the capital sin of civilization, whether in France or Scandinavia, New England or New Zealand. If the best classes do not reproduce themselves the nation will of course go down; for the real question is encouraging the fit, and discouraging the unfit, to survive. (1916.) Mem. Ed IV, 77; Nat. Ed. III, 249.

____________. Thrift and hard work will avail no more than a cultivated taste and an amiable philanthropy if there is wilful sterility in marriage, if men and women forget the great primal and elemental law of racial well- being, and this whether the fault be due to vice in its crude and repulsive forms, or to timidity and unwillingness to run risk, or to cold and selfish shrinking from the trouble and labor which are inseparable from every kind of life that is really worth living. (Outlook, March 25, 1911.) Mem. Ed XIX, 149; Nat. Ed. XVII, 107.

____________. Criminals should not have children. Shiftless and worthless people should not marry and have families which they are unable to bring up properly. Such marriages are a curse to the community. But this is only the negative side of the matter; and the positive is always more important than the negative. In our civilization to-day the great danger is that there will be failure to have enough children of the marriages that ought to take place. What we most need is insistence upon the duty of decent people to have enough children, and the sternest condemnation of the practices commonly resorted to in order to secure sterility. (Outlook, April 8, 1911.) Mem. Ed XIV, 164; Nat. Ed. XII, 195.

Birth Control—Evils of

The loss of a healthy, vigorous, natural sexual instinct is fatal; and just as much so if the loss is by disuse and atrophy as if it is by abuse and perversion. Whether the man, in the exercise of one form of selfishness, leads a life of easy self-indulgence and celibate profligacy; or whether in the exercise of a colder but no less repulsive selfishness, he sacrifices what is highest to some form of mere material achievement in accord with the base proverb that "he travels farthest who travels alone"; or whether the sacrifice is made in the name of the warped and diseased conscience of asceticism; the result is equally evil. So, likewise, with the woman. In many modern novels there is portrayed a type of cold, selfish, sexless woman who plumes herself on being "respectable," but who is really a rather less desirable member of society than a prostitute. Unfortunately the portrayal is true to life. The woman who shrinks from motherhood is as low a creature as a man of the professional pacificist, or poltroon type, who shirks his duty as a soldier. (1916.) Mem. Ed IV, 78; Nat. Ed. III, 250.

Birth Control—Falsity of Arguments for

To quiet their uneasy consciences, cheap and shallow men and women, when confronted with these facts, answer that "quality is better than quantity," and that decrease of numbers will mean increase in individual prosperity. It is false. When quantity falls off, thanks to wilful sterility, the quality will go down too. During the half-century in which France has remained nearly stationary, while Germany has nearly doubled in population, the average of individual prosperity has grown much faster in Germany than in France; and social and industrial unrest and discontent have grown faster in France than in Germany. (Outlook, April 8, 1911.) Mem. Ed XIV, 157; Nat. Ed. XII, 189.

Birth Control—Penalty for

If the national legislators were wise, they would place the heaviest burden of taxation on the unmarried; they would relieve every mother or father of a substantial sum of taxes for each child that they have; and they would so arrange the law that there would be no relief from taxes for a married couple without children and a very substantial additional and cumulative relief from taxes for the third child and the fourth child. I should personally favor continuing the relief in marked form for all subsequent children. Outlook, September 27, 1913, p. 163.

Birth Control—Remedies for

There are many remedies, all of them partial. The State can do something, as the State is now doing in France. Legislation must be for the average, for the common good. Therefore legislation should at once abandon the noxious sentimentality of thinking that in America at this time the "only son" is entitled to preferential consideration, either for the sake of himself or of his mother. The preference, as regards all obligations to the State, should be given to the family having the third and fourth children. In all public offices in every grade the lowest salaries should be paid the man or woman with no children, or only one or two children, and a marked discrimination made in favor of the man or woman with a family of over three children. In taxation, the rate should be immensely heavier on the childless and on the families with one or two children, while an equally heavy discrimination should lie in favor of the family with over three children. This should apply to the income tax and inheritance tax, and as far as possible to other taxes. I speak, as usual, of the average, not the exception. Only the father and mother of over three children have done their full duty by the State; and the State should emphasize this fact. (Metropolitan, October 1917.) Mem. Ed XXI, 168. Nat. Ed. XIX, 161.

Birth Control—Selfishness of

I do not believe in reckless marriages, where the man is unable to support a wife, nor in couples who recklessly and thoughtlessly have multitudes of children whom they are unable to bring up properly, nor in the man who forces upon an unfit wife excessive and unlimited child-bearing. But this form of reckless and brutal selfishness is not as wicked as the cold, calculating, and most unmanly and unwomanly selfishness which makes so many men and women shirk the most important of all their duties to the State. Outlook , September 27, 1913, p. 164.

Birth Control—Spread of

It is due to moral, and not physiological, shortcomings. It is due to coldness, to selfishness, to love of ease, to shrinking from risk, to an utter and pitiful failure in sense of perspective and in power of weighing what really makes the highest joy, and to a rooting out of the sense of duty or a twisting of that sense into improper channels. Moreover, this same racial crime is spreading almost as rapidly among the sons and daughters of immigrants as among the descendants of the native- born. If it were confined to Americans of old stock, while it would be a matter of shame to us who are of the old stock, we could at least feel that the traditions and principles and purposes of the founders of the Republic would find their believers and exponents among their descendants by adoption; and in such case I, for one, would heartily throw in my fate with the men of alien stock who were true to the old American principles rather than with the men of the old American stock who were traitors to the old American principles. But the children of the immigrants show the same wilful sterility that is shown by the people of the old stock. (Outlook , April 8, 1911.) Mem. Ed XIV, 154; Nat. Ed. XII, 187.

Birth Control Versus Birth Encouragement

What this nation vitally needs is not the negative preaching of birth control to the submerged tenth, and the tenth immediately adjoining, but the positive preaching of birth encouragement to the eight-tenths who make up the capable, self-respecting American stock which we wish to see perpetuate itself. (Metropilitan, October 1917.) Mem. Ed XXI, 158; Nat. Ed. XIX, 153.

Birth Rate

Taking into account the women who for good reasons do not marry, or who when married are childless or are able to have but one or two children, it is evident that the married woman able to have children must on an average have four or the race will not perpetuate itself. This is the mere statement of a self-evident truth. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 194; Nat. Ed. XX, 166.

____________. A caste or a race or a nation, where the average family consists of one child, faces immediate extinction, and therefore it matters not one particle how this child is brought up. But if there are plenty of children then there is always hope. Even if they have not been very well brought up, they have been brought up, and so there is something to work on. (Metropolitan, May 1916.) Mem. Ed XXI, 146; Nat. Ed. XIX, 143.

Birth Rate—Character of the

Two- thirds of our increase now comes from the immigrants and not from the babies born here, not from young Americans who are to perpetuate the blood and traditions of the old stock. It surely ought to be so obvious as to be unnecessary to point out that all thought of the next generation, all thought of its vocational, artistic, or ethical training is wasted thought if there is not to be a next generation to train. The first duty of any nation that is worth considering at all is to perpetuate its own life, its own blood. That duty will not be performed unless we have not merely a high but a sober ideal of duty and devotion in family life, unless our men and women realize what true happiness is, realize and act on the belief that no other form of pleasure, no other form of enjoyment, in any way takes the place of that highest of all pleasures which comes only in the home, which comes from the love of the one man and the one woman for each other, and for their children. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed XV, 599; Nat. Ed. XIII, 636.

Birth Rate and Race Perpetuation

If the average woman does not marry and become the mother of enough healthy children to permit the increase of the race; and if the average man does not, above all other things, wish to marry in time of peace, and to do his full duty in war if the need arises, then the race is decadent, and should be swept aside to make room for one that is better. Only that nation has a future whose sons and daughters recognize and obey the primary laws of their racial being. (1916.) Mem. Ed IV, 79; Nat. Ed. III, 251.

____________. The fundamental point to remember is that if there are not in the average family four children, the race goes back, and that the element which has three children is stationary, and that the group where the average family has two children or less represents a dying element in the race. I am of course speaking of averages, and not of exceptional cases. . . .

It is not a good thing to see a poor and shiftless couple have a very large number of chil- dren, but it is a great deal better thing than seeing a prosperous capable family with but one or two. After all, while there is life there is hope, whereas nothing can be done with the dead. If a race, or an element in a race, dies out, then that is the end of it. But if a race or an element of a race continues to exist, even though under unfavorable conditions and with results that are not what they ought to be, there is always the chance that something can be made out of it in the future. The evil or shiftless man who leaves children behind him represents a bad element in the community. But the worst element in the community is that furnished by the men and women who ought to be good fathers and mothers of many healthy children, but who deliberately shirk their duty. (Outlook, January 3, 1914.) Mem. Ed XIV, 173; Nat. Ed. XII, 202.

Birth Rate

See also Children; Eugenics; Marriage; Race Suicide; Sex Instinct ; Women.

Bishop, Joseph B.

See Goethals, George W.


See Buffalo.


Law-abiding citizens are rarely blackmailed. The chief chance for blackmail, with all its frightful attendant demoralization, arises from having a law which is not strictly enforced, which certain people are allowed to violate with impunity for corrupt reasons, while other offenders who lack their political influence are mercilessly harassed. (New York Sun, June 20, 1895.) Mem. Ed XVI, 260; Nat. Ed. XIV, 182.

Blaine, James G.

Mr. Blaine was nominated much against the wishes of many of us, against my wishes and against my efforts. He was nominated fairly and honorably because the delegates at the Chicago convention fairly represented the sentiment of the great Republican States. He was nominated because those whom Abraham Lincoln, in one of his quaint, homely phrases that meant so much, called "the plain people," wished to see him as their President. He was nominated against the wishes of the most intellectual and the most virtuous and honorable men of the great seaboard cities, but he was nominated fairly and honorably, because those who represent the bone and sinew of the Republican party, those who have constituted the main strength of that party wished it, and I for one am quite content to abide by the decision of the plain people. (Before Republican meeting, Malden, Mass., October 20, 1884.) Mem. Ed XVI, 81; Nat. Ed. XIV, 46.

____________. For my good fortune I knew Mr. Blaine quite well when he was Secretary of State, and I have thought again and again during the past few years how pleased he would have been to see so many of the principles for which he had stood approach fruition.

One secret, perhaps I might say the chief secret, of Mr. Blaine's extraordinary hold upon the affections of his countrymen was his entirely genuine and unaffected Americanism. . . . Mr. Blaine possessed to an eminent degree the confident hope in the nation's future which made him feel that she must ever strive to fit herself for a great destiny. He felt that this Republic must in every way take the lead in the Western Hemisphere. He felt that this Republic must play a great part among the nations of the earth. The last four years have shown how true that feeling of his was. (At Augusta, Me., August 26, 1902.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, 124-125.

Blaine, James G.

See also Election of 1884.


See Contraband.


See Foreign Policy; Statesmanship.


I think I hate nothing more than a bluff where the bluffer does not intend to make it good. (To H. C. Lodge, May 2, 1896.) Lodge Letters I, 219.

____________. Neither in national nor in private affairs is it ordinarily advisable to make a bluff which cannot be put through—personally, I never believe in doing it under any circumstances. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 616; Nat. Ed. XX, 529.


There is a good deal about the system of censorship that we have established which has an unpleasant suggestion of being applicable only to out- patients of an idiot asylum. Much of it has been exceedingly foolish. But there is one line along which I wish the censorship could be extended. I wish it were possible to censor all boasting, and devote ourselves to achievement,—not to improper exaggeration of what we have done, and above all not to grandiloquent statements of what we are going to do. Censor the boasting! Remember that every great speech that has come down through history has obtained and kept its place only because it represented either achievement in the past, or a resolute purpose for achievement in the future. (At Trinity College, Hartford, June 16, 1918.) Commencement at Trinity College. (Hartford, Conn., 1918), P. 4.


See also Deeds.

Boer and Briton

It was pleasant to see the good terms on which Boer and Briton met. Many of the English settlers whose guest I was, or with whom I hunted . . . had fought through the South African war; and so had all the Boers I met. The latter had been for the most part members of various particularly hard- fighting commandos; when the war closed they felt very bitterly, and wished to avoid living under the British flag. Some moved West and some East; those I met were among the many hundreds, indeed thousands, who travelled northward—a few overland, most of them by water—to German East Africa. But in the part in which they happened to settle they were decimated by fever, and their stock perished of cattle sickness; and most of them had again moved northward, and once more found themselves under the British flag. They were being treated precisely on an equality with the British settlers; and every well-wisher to his kind, and above all every well-wisher to Africa, must hope that the men who in South Africa fought so valiantly against one another, each for the right as he saw it, will speedily grow into a companionship of mutual respect, regard, and consideration such as that which, for our inestimable good fortune, now knits closely together in our own land the men who wore the blue and the men who wore the gray and their descendants. There could be no better and manlier people than those, both English and Dutch, who are at this moment engaged in the great and difficult task of adding East Africa to the domain of civilization; their work is bound to be hard enough anyhow; and it would be a lamentable calamity to render it more difficult by keeping alive a bitterness which has lost all point and justification, or by failing to recognize the fundamental virtues, the fundamental characteristics, in which the men of the two stocks are in reality so much alike. (1910.) Mem. Ed V, 39-40; Nat. Ed. IV, 34-35.

Boer War

The South African business makes me really sad. I have a genuine admiration for the Boers; but the downfall of the British Empire, I should regard as a calamity to the race, and especially to this country. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, December 17, 1899.) Cowles Letters, 226.

____________. The trouble with the war is not that both sides are wrong, but that from their different standpoints both sides are right. The Boers feel themselves to be fighting for the same principle for which their ancestors and ours fought three centuries back against the Spaniards; whereas the English fight just as we should fight if, in Mexico for instance, the Americans were treated as the Uitlanders were treated in the Transvaal. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, February 2, 1900.) Cowles Letters, 234.

____________. I have a very warm feeling of regard for England, and have felt that though the Boers were perfectly right from their standpoint and also had the technical right in the case, yet that England was really fighting the battle of civilization. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, February 5, 1900.) Cowles Letters, 235.

____________. The British behaved so well to us during the Spanish War that I have no patience with these people who keep howling against them. I was mighty glad to see them conquer the Mahdi for the same reason that I think we should conquer Aguinaldo. The Sudan and Matabeleland will be better off under England's rule, just as the Philippines will be under our rule. But as against the Boers, I think the policy of Rhodes and Chamberlain has been one huge blunder, and exactly as you say, the British have won only by crushing superiority in numbers where they have won at all. Generally they have been completely outfought, while some of their blunders have been simply stupendous. Now of course I think it would be a great deal better if all the white people of South Africa spoke English, and if my Dutch kinsfolk over there grew to accept English as their language just as my people and I here have done, they would be a great deal better off. The more I have looked into this Boer War the more uncomfortable I have felt about it. Of course, this is for your eyes only. I do not want to mix in things which do not concern me, and I have no patience with the Senators and Representatives that attend anti-British meetings and howl about England. I notice that they are generally men that sympathized with Spain two years ago. (To Sewall, April 24, 1900.) William W. Sewall, Bill Sewall's Story of T. R. (Harper & Bros., N. Y., 1919), p. 105. BOERS. The Boers are belated Cromwellians, with many fine traits. They deeply and earnestly believe in their cause, and they attract the sympathy which always goes to the small

____________. The trouble with the war is not that both sides are wrong, but that from their different standpoints both sides are right. The Boers feel themselves to be fighting for the same principle for which their ancestors and ours fought three centuries back against the Spaniards; whereas the English fight just as we should fight if, in Mexico for instance, the Americans were treated as the Uitlanders were treated in the Transvaal. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, February 2, 1900.) Cowles Letters, 234.

____________. I have a very warm feeling of regard for England, and have felt that though the Boers were perfectly right from their standpoint and also had the technical right in the case, yet that England was really fighting the battle of civilization. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, February 5, 1900.) Cowles Letters, 235.

____________. The British behaved so well to us during the Spanish War that I have no patience with these people who keep howling against them. I was mighty glad to see them conquer the Mahdi for the same reason that I think we should conquer Aguinaldo. The Sudan and Matabeleland will be better off under England's rule, just as the Philippines will be under our rule. But as against the Boers, I think the policy of Rhodes and Chamberlain has been one huge blunder, and exactly as you say, the British have won only by crushing superiority in numbers where they have won at all. Generally they have been completely outfought, while some of their blunders have been simply stupendous. Now of course I think it would be a great deal better if all the white people of South Africa spoke English, and if my Dutch kinsfolk over there grew to accept English as their language just as my people and I here have done, they would be a great deal better off. The more I have looked into this Boer War the more uncomfortable I have felt about it. Of course, this is for your eyes only. I do not want to mix in things which do not concern me, and I have no patience with the Senators and Representatives that attend anti-British meetings and howl about England. I notice that they are generally men that sympathized with Spain two years ago. (To Sewall, April 24, 1900.) William W. Sewall, Bill Sewall's Story of T. R. (Harper & Bros., N. Y., 1919), p. 105.


The Boers are belated Cromwellians, with many fine traits. They deeply and earnestly believe in their cause, and they attract the sympathy, which always goes to the small

Bolshevism; Bolshevists

See also Russia; Socialism.

Bonaparte, Charles J.

See Justice—Department of.

Book Lovers and Nature Lovers

There are men who love out-of-doors who yet never open a book; and other men who love books but to whom the great book of nature is a sealed volume, and the lines written therein blurred and illegible. Nevertheless among those men whom I have known the love of books and the love of outdoors, in their highest expressions, have usually gone hand in hand. It is an affectation for the man who is praising outdoors to sneer at books. Usually the keenest appreciation of what is seen in nature is to be found in those who have also profited by the hoarded and recorded wisdom of their fellow men. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 359; Nat. Ed. XX, 308.


Books are almost as individual as friends. There is no earthly use in laying down general laws about them. Some meet the needs of one person, and some of another; and each person should beware of the booklover's besetting sin, of what Mr. Edgar Allan Poe calls "the mad pride of intellectuality," taking the shape of arrogant pity for the man who does not like the same kind of books. Of course there are books which a man or woman uses as instruments of a profession—law books, medical books, cookery books, and the like. 322.I am not speaking of these, for they are not properly "books" at all; they come in the category of time-tables, telephone directories, and other useful agencies of civilized life. I am speaking of books that are meant to be read. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 375; Nat. Ed. XX,

____________. A thoroughly good book for young people is almost invariably one of the best books that grown people can read. Similarly, an introduction to any study, if done as it should be by a man capable of writing not merely the introduction, but also the study itself, is certain to be of interest to the most advanced student. (Bookman, February 1896.) Mem. Ed XIV, 355; Nat. Ed. XII, 292.

____________. To me the heading employed by some reviewers when they speak of "books of the week" comprehensively damns both the books themselves and the reviewer who is will- ing to notice them. I would much rather see the heading “books of the year before last.” A book of the year before last which is still worth noticing would probably be worth reading; but one only entitled to be called a book of the week had better be tossed into the wastebasket at once. Still, there are plenty of new books which are not of permanent value but which nevertheless are worth more or less careful reading; partly because it is well to know something of what especially interests the mass of our fellows, and partly because these books, although of ephemeral worth, may really set forth something genuine in a fashion which for the moment stirs the hearts of all of us. (1916.) Mem. Ed IV, 195; Nat. Ed. III, 350.

____________. Fortunately I had enough good sense, or obstinacy, or something, to retain a subconscious belief that inasmuch as books were meant to be read, good books ought to be interesting, and the best books capable in addition of giving one a lift upward in some direction. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, January 23, 1904.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 163; Bishop II, 140.

____________. It seems rather odd that it should be necessary to insist upon the fact that the essence of a book is to be readable; but most certainly the average scientific or historical writer needs to have this elementary proposition drilled into his brain. Perhaps if this drilling were once accomplished, we Americans would stand a greater chance of producing an occasional Darwin or Gibbon; though there would necessarily be some havoc in the ranks of those small pedants who with laborious industry produce works which are never read excepting by other small pedants, or else by the rare master who can take the myriad bricks of these myriad little workers and out of them erect one of the great buildings of thought. (Bookman, February 1896.) Mem. Ed XIV, 355-356; Nat. Ed. XII, 292-293.

____________. Personally, granted that these books are decent and healthy, the one test to which I demand that they all submit is that of being interesting. If the book is not interesting to the reader, then in all but an infinitesimal number of cases it gives scant benefit to the reader. Of course any reader ought to cultivate his or her taste so that good books will appeal to it, and that trash won't. But after this point has once been reached, the needs of each reader must be met in a fashion that will appeal to those needs. Personally the books by which I have profited infinitely more than by any others have been those in which profit was a by-product of the pleasure; that is, I read them because I enjoyed them, because I liked reading them, and the profit came in as part of the enjoyment. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 376; Nat. Ed. XX, 322.

Books—Lists of

Edith sent me ex-President Eliot's list of books. It is all right as a list of books which a cultivated man would like to read; but as the list it strikes me as slightly absurd. I have never head of Woolman's Journal, but to include it and Penn's “Fruits of Solitude,” while leaving out Cervantes and Montaigne, seems odd. To put in Emerson's “English Traits,” and leave out Herodotus, Tacitus and Thucydides; to put in Tennyson's “Becket,” Middleton's “Changeling” and Dryden's “All for Love” and entirely leave out Æschylus, Sophocles, Molière and Calderon; to put in a translation of the Aeneid and to leave out Homer; in short to put in half the books he has put in, while leaving out scores of really great masters, of every description, from Aristotle to Chaucer and Pascal and Gibbon, not to speak of all poetry and novels—why I think that such things done and left undone make the list ridiculous as the list of books to “give a man the essentials of a liberal education”; although excellent if avowedly only one of a hundred possible lists of excellent books, any one of which lists would furnish good reading. (To H. C. Lodge, September 10, 1909.) Lodge Letters II, 347.

____________. If President Eliot's “List of Best Books” is complete, will you send it to me? If I am able I'd like to write something on it; I don't believe in a list of “100” or “25” “best” books, because there are many thousands which may be “best” according to the country, the time, the condition, the reader; but I do believe in “a” 25 to 100 or any other number of “good” books, each such list being merely complementary to and not a substitute for many other similar lists. The books in my pigskin library on this hunt are good; they are no better than any one of the totally different sets I took on each of my last three hunting trips, except that I have a longer list for the longer trip. (To L. F. Abbott, October 21, 1909.) Lawrence F. Abbott, Impressions of Theodore Roosevelt. (Doubleday, Page & Co., Garden City, N. Y., 1919), p. 188.

____________. As regards Mr. Eliot's list, I think it slightly absurd to compare any list of good books with any other list of good books in the sense of saying that one list is “better” or “worse” than another. Of course a list may be made up of worthless or noxious books; but there are so many thousands of good books that no list of small size is worth considering if it purports to give the “best” books. There is no such thing as the hundred best books, or the best five-foot library; but there can be drawn up a very large number of lists, each of which shall contain a hundred good books or fill a good five- foot library. This is, I am sure, all that Mr. Eliot has tried to do. (Outlook , April 30, 1910.) Mem. Ed XIV, 470; Nat. Ed. XII, 343.

____________. The room for choice is so limitless that to my mind it seems absurd to try to make catalogues which shall be supposed to appeal to all the best thinkers. This is why I have no sympathy whatever with writing lists of the One Hundred Best Books or the Five-Foot Library. It is all right for a man to amuse himself by composing a list of a hundred very good books; and if he is to go off for a year or so where he cannot get many books, it is an excellent thing to choose a five-foot library of particular books which in that particular year and on that particular trip he would like to read. But there is no such thing as a hundred books that are best for all men, or for the majority of men, or for one man at all times; and there is no such thing as a five-foot library which will satisfy the needs of even one particular man on different occasions extending over a number of years. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 378; Nat. Ed. XX, 324.

____________. There is no such thing as a list of “the hundred best books,” or the “best five-foot library.”

Dozens of series of excellent books, one hundred to each series, can be named, all of reasonably equal merit and each better for many readers than any of the others. (1916.) Mem. Ed IV, 189; Nat. Ed. III, 345.

Books for Children

I think there ought to be children's books. I think that the child will like grown- up books also, and I do not believe a child’s book is really good unless grown-ups get something out of it. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 20; Nat. Ed. XX, 17.

Books for Statesmen

Now and then I am asked as to “what books a statesman should read,” and my answer is, poetry and novels—including short stories under the head of novels. I don't mean that he should read only novels and modern poetry. If he cannot also enjoy the Hebrew prophets and the Greek dramatists, he should be sorry. He ought to read interesting books on history and government, and books of science and philosophy; and really good books on these subjects are as enthralling as any fiction ever written in prose or verse. Gibbon and Macaulay, Herodotus, Thucydides and Tacitus, the Heimskringla, Froissart, Joinville and Villehardouin, Parkman and Mahan, Mommsen and Ranke—why! there are scores and scores of solid histories, the best in the world, which are as absorbing as the best of all the novels, and of as permanent value. The same thing is true of Darwin and Huxley and Carlyle and Emerson, and parts of Kant, and of volumes like Sutherland's “Growth of the Moral Instinct,” or Acton's Essays and Lounsbury's studies—here again I am not trying to class books together, or measure one by another, or enumerate one in a thousand of those worth reading, but just to indicate that any man or woman of some intelligence and some cultivation can in some line or other of serious thought, scientific, or historical or philosophical or economic or governmental, find any number of books which are charming to read, and which in addition give that for which his or her soul hungers. I do not for a minute mean that the statesman ought not to read a great many different books of this character, just as every one else should read them. But, in the final event, the statesman, and the publicist, and the reformer, and the agitator for new things, and the upholder of what is good in old things, all need more than anything else to know human nature, to know the needs of the human soul; and they will find this nature and these needs set forth as nowhere else by the great imaginative writers, whether of prose or of poetry. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 377; Nat. Ed. XX, 323.


See also Drama; Literature; Pigskin Library; Poetry; Reading.

Boone, Daniel

Daniel Boone will always occupy a unique place in our history as the archetype of the hunter and wilderness wanderer. He was a true pioneer, and stood at the head of that class of Indian fighters, game-hunters, forest-fellers, and backwoods farmers who, generation after generation, pushed westward the border of civilization from the Alleghanies to the Pacific. (1895.) Mem. Ed IX, 13-14; Nat. Ed. X, 12-13.

____________. Boone's claim to distinction rests not so much on his wide wanderings in unknown lands, for in this respect he did little more than was done by a hundred other back woods hunters of his generation, but on the fact that he was able to turn his daring woodcraft to the advantage of his fellows. As he himself said, he was an instrument “ordained of God to settle the wilderness.” He inspired confidence in all who met him, so that the men of means and influence were willing to trust adventurous enterprises to his care; and his success as an explorer, his skill as a hunter, and his prowess as an Indian fighter, enabled him to bring these enterprises to a successful conclusion, and in some degree to control the wild spirits associated with him. (1889.) Mem. Ed X, 130; Nat. Ed. VIII, 115.

Border Wars

See Frontier Warfare.

Boss—Menace of the

I will tell you who is the real menace in American political life—not the king; he does not exist and never will; not the dictator, but the boss; the man who does by manipulation, by intrigue, by alliance with crooked judges, by crooked business men, by the assessment of judges, in every way that is contrary to the principles of good citizenship, the man who by doing all that gets enormous political power and exercises it as he chooses, that man is a menace. (Speech at Troy, N. Y., October 17, 1910.) Mem. Ed XIX, 47.

Boss—Power of the

A boss . . . can pull wires in conventions, can manipulate members of the legislature, can control the giving or withholding of office, and serves as the intermediary for bringing together the powers of corrupt politics and corrupt business. If he is at one end of the social scale, he may through his agents traffic in the most brutal forms of vice and give protection to the purveyors of shame and sin in return for money bribes. If at the other end of the scale, he may be the means of securing favors from high public officials, legislative or executive, to great industrial interests; the transaction being sometimes a naked matter of bargain and sale, and sometimes being carried on in such manner that both parties thereto can more or less successfully disguise it to their consciences as in the public interest. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 179; Nat. Ed. XX, 153.

____________. You can have public influence in two ways; indeed, all of us who are practical politicians know that the "boss" is often far more powerful than is he who is the figurehead. The man who pulls the wires for definite purposes (generally for distinctly bad purposes) is the man of real power, and is often the man who does not hold public office at all. For our great good fortune it is true also that many of the men who do the best work publicly are men who are in private life. (At memorial meeting to George William Curtis, New York City, November 14, 1892.) Mem. Ed XII, 483; Nat. Ed. XI, 227.

Boss Rule

The present conditions in the two old parties, and the platforms put forth by both of them and judged by the standards outlined above, show that it is hopeless to get anything good out of them. To endeavor to punish each alternately by voting for the other is to follow the course most gratefully appreciated by the corrupt bosses of both. There is nothing that the bosses of the two parties more heartily approve than the action of the man who does not attempt to wrest control of either party away from the boss or to establish a new party, but contents himself with action which results in keeping the bosses in control of each party and merely forcing these bosses to alternate with one another in control of the government. Mr. Taft's election means the perpetuation of the control of the Cranes, Barneses, Penroses, and Guggenheims. Doctor Wilson's election means the perpetuation of the control of the Murphys, Taggarts, Sullivans, the Evans-Hughes people, and their like. The bosses are just as powerful in one party as in the other. (Outlook , July 27, 1912.) Mem. Ed XIX, 349; Nat. Ed. XVII, 246.

Boss Rule Versus Popular Rule

The main issue is that we stand against bossism, big or little, and in favor of genuine popular rule, not only at the election but within the party organization, and above all, that our war is ruthless against every species of corruption, big and little, and against the alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, as to which it has been found that too often in the past the boss system has offered a peculiarly efficient and objectionable means of communication. We are against the domination of the party and the public by special interests, whether these special interests are political, business, or a compound of the two. (New York Times, August 27, 1910.) Mem. Ed XIX, 9; Nat. Ed. XVII, 4.

____________. Democracy means nothing unless the people rule. The rule of the boss is the negation of democracy. It is absolutely essential that the people should exercise self-control and self-mastery, and he is a foe to popular government who in any way causes them to lose such self-control and self-mastery whether from without or within. But it must be literally self- control and not control by out- siders. (Before New York Republican State Convention, Saratoga, September 27, 1910.) Mem. Ed XIX, 36; Nat. Ed. XVII, 28.

Bosses—Cooperation With

Even the boss who really is evil, like the business man who really is evil, may on certain points be sound, and be doing good work. It may be the highest duty of the patriotic public servant to work with the big boss or the big business man on these points, while refusing to work with him on others. . . . I have known in my life many big business men and many big political bosses who often or even generally did evil, but who on some occasions and on certain issues were right. I never hesitated to do battle against these men when they were wrong; and, on the other hand, as long as they were going my way I was glad to have them do so. To have repudiated their aid when they were right and were striving for a right end, and for what was of benefit to the people—no matter what their motives may have been—would have been childish, and moreover would have itself been misconduct against the people. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 182; Nat. Ed. XX, 156.

Bosses—Supporters of

The big bosses who control the national committee represent not merely the led captains of mercenary politics but the great crooked financiers who stand behind these led captains. These political bosses are obnoxious in themselves, but they are even more obnoxious because they represent privilege in its most sordid and dangerous form. (Address at Chicago, June 17, 1912.) Mem. Ed XIX, 291; Nat. Ed. XVII, 209.

Bosses—Tactics of Successful

A successful boss is very apt to be a man who, in addition to committing wickedness in his own interest, also does look after the interests of others, even if not from good motives. There are some communities so fortunate that there are very few men who have private interests to be served, and in these the power of the boss is at a minimum. There are many country communities of this type. But in communities where there is poverty and ignorance, the conditions are ripe for the growth of a boss. . . . He uses his influence to get jobs for young men who need them. He goes into court for a wild young fellow who has gotten into trouble. He helps out with cash or credit the widow who is in straits, or the breadwinner who is crippled or for some other cause temporarily out of work. He organizes clambakes and chowder parties and picnics, and is consulted by the local labor leaders when a cut in wages is threatened. For some of his constituents he does proper favors, and for others wholly improper favors; but he preserves human relations with all. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 180; Nat. Ed. XX, 154.

Bosses and Leaders

People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. I will tell you. The leader holds his position, purely because he is able to appeal to the conscience and to the reason of those who support him, and the boss holds his position because he appeals to fear of punishment and hope of reward. The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives. (At Binghamton, N. Y., October 24, 1910.) Mem. Ed XIX, 58; Nat. Ed. XVII, 38.

Bosses and Reformers

One of the reasons why the boss so often keeps his hold, especially in municipal matters, is, or at least has been in the past, because so many of the men who claim to be reformers have been blind to the need of working in human fashion for social and industrial betterment. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 178; Nat. Ed. XX, 152.

Boss; Bosses

See also Bribery; Corruption; Independent; Machine; Organization; Party Allegiance; Party System; Platt, T. C.; Politicians; Primaries; Saloon; Tammany Hall.

Bourgeoisie, the

The wealthier, or, as they would prefer to style themselves, the “upper” classes, tend distinctly towards the bougeois type; and an individual in the bourgeois stage of development, while honest, industrious, and virtuous, is also not unapt to be a miracle of timid and short-sighted selfishness. The commercial classes are only too likely to regard everything merely from the standpoint of "Does it pay?" and many a merchant does not take any part in politics because he is shortsighted enough to think that it will pay him better to attend purely to making money, and too selfish to be willing to undergo any trouble for the sake of abstract duty; while the younger men of this type are too much engrossed in their various social pleasures to be willing to give their time to anything else. It is also unfortunately true, especially throughout New England and the Middle States, that the general tendency among people of culture and high education has been to neglect and even to look down upon the rougher and manlier virtues, so that an advanced state of intellectual development is too often associated with a certain effeminacy of character. (Century, November 1886.) Mem. Ed, XV, 120; Nat. Ed. XIII, 81.


See also Materialist; Middle Class; Millionaires; Money; W Ealth.

Boxer Rebellion

See China; Chinese Indemnity.


Boxing is a thoroughly good and manly sport. There are very few sports as good for strong young men who require an outlet for their vigor. Outlook , October 21, 1911, p. 409.


See also Prize-Fighting.

Boy, the American

Of course what we have a right to expect of the American boy is that he shall turn out to be a good American man. Now, the chances are strong that he won't be much of a man unless he is a good deal of a boy. He must not be a coward or a weakling, a bully, a shirk, or a prig. He must work hard and play hard. He must be clean-minded and clean- lived, and able to hold his own under all circumstances and against all comers. It is only on these conditions that he will grow into the kind of American man of whom America can be really proud. (St. Nicholas, May 1900.) Mem. Ed XV, 468; Nat. Ed. XIII, 401.

Boy Scouts

[The Boy Scout movement] has already done much good, and it will do far more, for it is in its essence a practical scheme through which to impart a proper standard of ethical conduct, proper standards of fair play and consideration for others, and courage and decency, to boys who have never been reached and never will be reached by the ordinary type of preaching, lay or clerical. . . . The movement is one for efficiency and patriotism. It does not try to make soldiers of boy scouts, but to make boys who will turn out as men to be fine citizens, and who will, if their country needs them, make better soldiers for having been scouts. No one can be a good American unless he is a good citizen, and every boy ought to train himself so that as a man he will be able to do his full duty to the community. (To James E. West, July 20, 1911.) Boy Scouts of America. The Official Handbook for Boys. (New York, 1914), pp. 389-390.

____________. I wish to greet the Boy Scouts and to express my hearty belief in and admiration of the work they are doing. . . . I believe in work and I believe in play; I believe in drudgery when drudgery is necessary; and in love of adventure also. Above all, I believe that the American citizen of the future should be brave and hardy, that he should possess also the personal prowess, and that he should also possess the spirit which puts personal prowess at the service of the Common-wealth; which is another way of saying that he must be law-abiding, and have consideration for the right; and the feelings of others. The Boy Scout Movement is pre-eminently successful along all of these different lines. (To J. W. Patton, April 12, 1913.) Murray, W. D. History of the Boy Scouts of America. (Boys Scouts of America, New York, 1937), p. 243.

Boyhood, Roosevelt's

I was a rather sickly, rather timid little boy, very fond of desultory reading and of natural history, and not excelling in any form of sport. Owing to my asthma I was not able to go to school, and I was nervous and self-conscious, so that as far as I can remember my belief is that I was rather below than above my average playmate in point of leadership; though as I had an imaginative temperament this sometimes made up for my other shortcomings. Altogether, while, thanks to my father and mother, I had a very happy childhood I am inclined to look back at it with some wonder that I should have come out of it as well as I have! It was not until after I was sixteen that I began to show any prowess, or even ordinary capacity; up to that time, except making collections of natural history, reading a good deal in certain narrowly limited fields and indulging in the usual scribbling of the small boy who does not excel in sport, I cannot remember that I did anything that even lifted me up to the average. (To Richard Watson Gilder, August 20, 1903.) Mem. Ed XXIII, 4; Bishop I, 2.


I would rather have a boy of mine stand high in his studies than high in athletics, but I would a great deal rather have him show true manliness of character than show either intellectual or physical prowess. (To Kermit Roosevelt, October 2, 1903.) Mem. Ed XXI, 500; Nat. Ed. XIX, 444.


Brazil has been blessed beyond the average of her Spanish-American sisters because she won her way to republicanism by evolution rather than revolution. They plunged into the extremely difficult experiment of democratic, of popular, self-government,
after enduring the atrophy of every quality of self- control, self-reliance, and initiative throughout three withering centuries of existence under the worst and most foolish form of colonial government, both from the civil and the religious standpoint, that has ever existed. The marvel is not that some of them failed, but that some of them have eventually succeeded in such striking fashion. Brazil, on the contrary, when she achieved independence, first exercised it under the form of an authoritative empire, then under the form of a liberal empire. When the republic came, the people were reasonably ripe for it. The great progress of Brazil—and it has been an astonishing progress—has been made under the republic. (1914.) Mem. Ed VI, 326; Nat. Ed. V, 277- 278.

____________. Brazil offers remarkable openings for settlers who have the toughness of the born pioneer, and for certain business men and engineers who have the mixture of daring enterprise and sound common sense needed by those who push the industrial development of new countries. Both classes have great opportunities, and both need to be perpetually on their guard against the swindlers and the crackbrained enthusiasts who are always sure to turn up in connection with any country of large developmental possibilities. On the frontier more than anywhere else, a man needs to be able to rely on himself and to remember that on every frontier there are innumerable failures. (1916.) Mem. Ed IV, 81-82; Nat. Ed. III, 253.


See also Monroe Doctrine

Brazilian Expedition

The official and proper title of the expedition is that given it by the Brazilian Government: Expedicão Scientifica Roosevelt-Rondon. When I started from the United States, it was to make an expedition, primarily concerned with mammalogy and ornithology, for the American Museum of Natural History of New York. This was undertaken under the auspices of Messrs. Osborn and Chapman, acting on behalf of the Museum. The scope of the expedition was enlarged, and . . . was given a geographic as well as a zoological character, in consequence of the kind proposal of the Brazilian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, General Lauro Müller. In its altered and enlarged form the expedition was rendered possible only by the generous assistance of the Brazilian Government. (1914.) Mem. Ed VI, xxxiii; Nat: Ed. V, xxxi


Any form of bribery is not only criminal but is also, unless done by an old hand, useless; what is known as a "bar room" canvass is, for a gentleman, especially ineffective; the loafers and vagabonds will take anyone’s money, or drink with him, but will vote against him just the same. . . . Hiring wagons for voters, paying great numbers of men to work, etc., are generally, although not always, merely thinly disguised forms of bribery. In districts where crooked work is feared detectives must be hired. Some districts are so rotten that it is almost impossible to win without bribery; in such cases a gentleman should go in simply with the expectation of defeat; no form of bribery is ever admissible. (To Corinne Roosevelt Robinson, April 15, 1886.) Cowles Letters, 76.

____________. There can be no crime more serious than bribery. Other offenses violate one law while corruption strikes at the foundation of all law. Under our form of government all authority is vested in the people and by them delegated to those who represent them in official capacity. There can be no offense heavier than that of him in whom such a sacred trust has been reposed, who sells it for his own gain and enrichment; and no less heavy is the offense of the bribe-giver. He is worse than the thief, for the thief robs the individual, while the corrupt official plunders an entire city or State. He is as wicked as the murderer, for the murderer may only take one life against the law, while the corrupt official and the man who corrupts the official alike aim at the assassination of the Commonwealth itself. Government of the people, by the people, for the people, will perish from the face of the earth if bribery is tolerated. The givers and takers of bribes stand on an evil pre-eminence of infamy. The exposure and punishment of public corruption is an honor to a nation, not a disgrace. The shame lies in toleration, not in correction. (Third Annual Message, Washington, December 7, 1903.) Mem. Ed XVII, 208- 209; Nat. Ed. XV, 179-180.

Bribery—Prevention of

I do not see how bribe-taking among legislators can be stopped until the public conscience becomes awake to the matter. Then it will stop fast enough; for just as soon as politicians realize that the people are in earnest in wanting a thing done, they make haste to do it. (Century, January 1885.) Mem. Ed XV, 86; Nat. Ed, XIII, 52.


See also Boss; Corruption; Elections.


See Boer War; England.

"Broomstick Preparedness."

See Preparedness.


It seems to me that the great lesson to be taught our people is the lesson both of brotherhood and of self-help. In our several ways each of us must work hard to do his duty, each must preserve his sturdy inde- pendence; and yet each must realize his duty to others. And to each who performs his duty, in whatever way, must be given the full measure of respect. (Campaign Speech, New York City, October 5, 1898.) Mem. Ed XVI, 449; Nat. Ed. XIV, 297.

Brotherhood—the Rule of

When all is said and done, the rule of brotherhood remains as the indispensable prerequisite to success in the kind of national life for which we strive. Each man must work for himself, and unless he so works no outside help can avail him; but each man must remember also that he is indeed his brother's keeper, and that while no man who refuses to walk can be carried with advantage to himself or any one else, yet that each at times stumbles or halts, that each at times needs to have the helping hand outstretched to him. To be permanently effective, aid must always take the form of helping a man to help himself; and we can all best help ourselves by joining together in the work that is of common interest to all. (First Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1901.) Mem. Ed XVII, 110; Nat. Ed. XV, 95.

Brotherhood—the Spirit of

Each group of men has its special interests; and yet the higher, the broader, and deeper interests are those which apply to all men alike; for the spirit of brotherhood in American citizenship, when rightly understood and rightly applied, is more important than aught else. (At Labor Day Picnic, Chicago, September 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed XVI, 510; Nat. Ed. XIII, 481.

____________. This spirit of brotherhood recognizes of necessity both the need of selfhelp and also the need of helping others in the only way which ever ultimately does great good, that is, of helping them to help themselves. Every man of us needs such help at some time or other, and each of us should be glad to stretch out his hand to a brother who stumbles. (Before Young Men's Christian Association, New York City, December 30, 1900.) Mem. Ed XV, 528; Nat. Ed. XIII, 492.


See also Charity; Fellowship; Philanthropy; Young Men's Christian Association.

Brown, John

John Brown rendered a great service to the cause of liberty in the earlier Kansas days; but his notion that the evils of slavery could be cured by a slave insurrection was a delusion. Outlook, September 3, 1910, P. 20.

Browning, Robert

Robert Browning was a real philosopher, and his writings have had a hundredfold the circulation and the effect of those of any similar philosopher who wrote in prose, just because, and only because, what he wrote was not merely philosophy but literature. The form in which he wrote challenged attention and provoked admiration. That part of his work which some of us—which I myself, for instance—most care for is merely poetry. But in that part of his work which has exercised most attraction and has given him the widest reputation, the poetry, the form of expression, bears to the thought expressed much the same relation that the expression of Lucretius bears to the thought of Lucretius. As regards this, the great mass of his product, he is primarily a philosopher, whose writings surpass in value those of other similar philosophers precisely because they are not only philosophy but literature. (Presidential Address, American Historical Association. Boston, December 27, 1912.) Mem. Ed XIV, 4-5; Nat. Ed. XII, 4-5.

Brownsville, Tex., Riot

I have been amazed and indignant at the attitude of the negroes and of short- sighted white sentimentalists as to my action. It has been shown conclusively that some of these troops made a midnight murderous and entirely unprovoked assault upon the citizens of Brownsville—for the fact that some of their number had been slighted by some of the citizens of Brownsville, though warranting criticism upon Brownsville, is not to be considered for a moment as provocation for such a murderous assault. All the men of the companies concerned, including their veteran non-commissioned officers, instantly banded together to shield the criminals. In other words, they took action which cannot be tolerated in any soldiers, black or white, in any policeman, black or white, and which, if taken generally in the army would mean not merely that the usefulness of the army was at an end but that it had better be disbanded in its entirety at once. Under no conceivable circumstances would I submit to such a condition of things. (To Silas McBee, November 27, 1906. ) Mem. Ed XXIV, 33; Bishop II, 28.

____________. When I took the stand I did on these negro troops I of course realized that trouble would come of it politically because of the attitude certain to be taken, I regret to say, by unwise sentimentalists and self-seeking demagogues in our Northern States, especially in those where the negro vote is an important factor. But it was just one of those vital matters where I did not feel that I had any right to consider questions of political expediency and still less of personal expediency. (To B. Lawton Wiggins, late 1906.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 34; Bishop II, 29. BRYAN, WILLIAM J. Bryan is a personally honest and rather attractive man, a real orator and a born demagogue, who has every crank, fool and putative criminal in the country behind him, and a large proportion of the ignorant honest class; and in the middle west, where the decisive battle will be waged, we shall beat him only after a very hard struggle. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, July 19, 1896.) Cowles Letters, 187.

____________. Poor Bryan! I do not know whether I feel more irritated or sympathetic with him. I never saw a bubble pricked so quickly. No private citizen in my time, neither General Grant nor Mr. Blaine, for instance, has been received with such wild enthusiasm on his return from a foreign trip; and in twenty-four hours he made his speech and became an object of indignation and laughter. He has retained his good nature and kindliness; but he has still further lost credit since he made his speech and found out that his panacea of government ownership was unpopular, by attempting to crawfish on it, and thereby has added an appearance of insincerity to an appearance of folly and recklessness. (To Whitelaw Reid, September 25, 1906.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 37; Bishop II, 31.

____________. Of course I do not dare in public to express my real opinion of Bryan. He is a kindly man and well-meaning in a weak way; always provided that to mean well must not be translated by him into doing well if it would interfere with his personal prospects. But he is the cheapest faker we have ever had proposed for President. (To William Kent, September 28, 1908.) Mem. Ed XXIV, 115; Bishop II, 99.

Bryan and Altgeld

For Mr. Bryan we can feel the contemptuous pity always felt for the small man unexpectedly thrust into a big place. He does not look well in a lion's skin, but that is chiefly the fault of those who put the skin on him. But in Mr. Altgeld's case we see all too clearly the jaws and hide of the wolf through the fleecy covering. Mr. Altgeld is a much more dangerous man than Mr. Bryan. He is much slyer, much more intelligent, much less silly, much more free from all the restraints of some public morality. The one is unscrupulous from vanity, the other from calculation. The one plans wholesale repudiation with a light heart and bubbling eloquence, because he lacks intelligence and is intoxicated by hope of power; the other would connive at wholesale murder and would justify it by elaborate and cunning sophistry for reasons known only to his own tortuous soul. (Before American Republican College League, Chicago, October 15, 1896.) Mem. Ed XVI, 394-395; Nat Ed. XIV, 258-259.

Bryan, William J.

See also Arbitration; Election Of 1896; Hague Conventions; Hysterics; National Honor; Wilson, Woodrow; World War.

Bryce's American Common-Wealth

You must by this time be tired of hearing your book compared to De Tocqueville's; yet you must allow me one brief allusion to the two together. When I looked over the proofs you sent me I ranked your book and his together; now that I see your book as a whole I feel that the comparison did it great injustice. It has all of Tocqueville's really great merits; and has not got, as his book has, two or three serious and damaging faults. No one can help admiring the depth of your insight into our peculiar conditions, and the absolute fairness of your criticisms. Of course there are one or two minor points on which I disagree with you; but I think the fact that you give a good view of all sides is rather funnily shown by the way in which each man who refuses to see any but one side quotes your book as supporting his. (To Bryce, January 6, 1889.) H. A. L. Fisher, James Bryce. (Macmillan Co., N. Y., 1927), I, 235.

Buchanan, James

See Democratic Party; Wilson Administration.

Buffalo—Extermination of the

While the slaughter of the buffalo has been in places needless and brutal, and while it is greatly to be regretted that the species is likely to become extinct, and while, moreover, from a purely selfish standpoint, many, including myself, would rather see it continue to exist as the chief feature in the unchanged life of the Western wilderness; yet, on the other hand, it must be remembered that its continued existence in any numbers was absolutely incompatible with anything but a very sparse settlement of the country; and that its destruction was the condition precedent upon the advance of white civilization in the West, and was a positive boon to the more thrifty and industrious frontiersmen. . . . Above all, the extermination of the buffalo was the only way of solving the Indian question. (1885.) Mem. Ed I, 229; Nat. Ed. I, 191.

____________. The extermination of the buffalo has been a veritable tragedy of the animal world. Other races of animals have been destroyed within historic times, but these have been species of small size, local distribution, and limited numbers, usually found in some particular island or group of islands; while the huge buffalo, in countless myriads, ranged over the greater part of a continent. Its nearest relative, the Old World aurochs, formerly found all through the forests of Europe, is almost as near the verge of extinction, but with the latter the process has been slow and has extended over a period of a thousand years, instead of being compressed into a dozen. The destruction of the various larger species of South African game is much more local, and is proceeding at a much slower rate. It may truthfully be said that the sudden and complete extermination of the vast herds of buffalo is without a parallel in historic times.

No sight is more common on the plains than that of a bleached buffalo skull; and their countless numbers attest the abundance of the animal at a time not so very long past. On those portions where the herds made their last stand, the carcasses, dried in the clear, high air, or the mouldering skeletons, abound. (1885.) Mem. Ed I, 223-224; Nat. Ed. I, 186.

Buffalo Hunting

The buffalo is more easily killed than any other kind of plains game; but its chase is very far from being the tame amusement it has lately been represented. It is genuine sport; it needs skill, marksmanship, and hardihood in the man who follows it, and if he hunts on horseback, it needs also pluck and good riding. It is in no way akin to various forms of so- called sport in vogue in parts of the East, such as killing deer in a lake or by fire-hunting, or even by watching at a runway. No man who is not of an adventurous temper, and able to stand rough food and living, will penetrate to the haunts of the buffalo. The animal is so tough and tenacious of life that it must be hit in the right spot; and care must be used in approaching it, for its nose is very keen, and though its sight is dull, yet, on the other hand, the plains it frequents are singularly bare of cover; while, finally, there is just a faint spice of danger in the pursuit, for the bison, though the least dangerous of all bovine animals, will, on occasions, turn upon the hunter, and though its attack is, as a rule, easily avoided, yet in rare cases it manages to charge home. (1885.) Mem. Ed I, 230; Nat. Ed. I, 191-192.

Bull Moose

I wish in this campaign to do whatever you think wise—whatever is likely to produce the best results for the Republican ticket. I am as strong as a bull moose and you can use me to the limit. One side of the problem is the fact that I must not seem to neglect my duties as Governor of New York. (To Mark Hanna, June 27, 1900.) Mem. Ed XXIII, 162; Bishop I, 139.

____________. [On October 14, 1912 at Milwaukee, an attempt was made on Colonel Roosevelt’s life; though wounded he insisted upon delivering his scheduled speech before being treated. His opening words to the great audience were:] Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose. Mem. Ed XIX, 441; Nat, Ed. XVII, 320.

Bull Moose Campaign

See Election of 1912; Progressive Movement.


I abhor injustice and bullying by the strong at the expense of the weak, whether among nations or individuals. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 248; Nat. Ed. XX, 212.


See also Fighting Man; Fighting Qualities; Manly Virtues; "Molly Coddle."

Bureau of Corporations

See Corporations.

Bureaucracy—Tyranny of

The tyranny of politicians with a bureaucracy behind them and a mass of ignorant people supporting them would be just as insufferable as the tyranny of big corporations. Outlook, June I9, 1909, p. 392.


See also Government; Politicians; Public Officials.

Burns, John

See Lloyd George, David.

Burroughs, John

Foremost of all American writers on outdoor life is John Burroughs; and I can scarcely suppose that any man who cares for existence outside the cities would willingly be without anything that he has ever written. To the naturalist, to the observer and lover of nature, he is of course worth many times more than any closet systematist; and though he has not been very much in really wild regions, his pages so thrill with the sights and sounds of outdoor life that nothing a by any writer who is a mere professional scientist or a mere professional hunter can take their place or do more than supplement them—for scientist and hunter alike would do well to remember that before a book can take the highest rank in any particular line it must also rank high in literature proper. Of course for us Americans Burroughs has a peculiar charm that he cannot have for others, no matter how much they too may like him; for what he writes of is our own, and he calls to our minds memories and associations that are very dear. His books make us homesick when we read them in foreign lands; for they spring from our soil as truly as "Snowbound" or "The Biglow Papers." (1893.) Mem. Ed II, 416; Nat. Ed. II, 356-357.

Burroughs, John

See also Birds; Muir, John; Nature Fakers.

Business — Complexity of Modern

The machinery of modern business is so vast and complicated that great caution must be exercised in introducing radical changes for fear the unforeseen effects may take the shape of wide-spread disaster. Moreover, much that is complained about is not really the abuse so much as the inevitable development of our modern industrial life. We have moved far away from the old simple days when each community transacted almost all its work for itself and relied upon outsiders for but a fraction of the necessaries, and for not a very large portion even of the luxuries, of life. (Annual Message, Albany, January 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed XVII, 49; Nat. Ed. XV, 43.

____________. There has been an immense relative growth of urban population, and, in consequence, an immense growth of the body of wage-workers, together with an accumulation of enormous fortunes which more and more tend to express their power through great corporations that are themselves guided by some master mind of the business world. As a result, we are confronted by a formidable series of perplexing problems, with which it is absolutely necessary to deal, and yet with which it is not merely useless, but in the highest degree unwise and dangerous to deal, save with wisdom, insight, and self-restraint. (At Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, N. Y., May 20, 1901.) Mem. Ed XV, 314; Nat. Ed. XIII, 448.

Business—Government Aid to

It is our aim to help legitimate business. We wish to see the business man prosper and make money, for unless he does prosper and make money he can neither permanently pay good wages to his employees nor permanently render good service to the public. Therefore, on grounds not only of abstract morality but of self- interest, we wish to favor the business man and see him succeed. We wish to give him laws under which there will be a reasonable administrative governmental body to which he can appeal to find out just what he can and what he cannot do; laws which will encourage him in the use of the great modern business principles of combination and co-operation, and which by the creation of a proper administrative body will exercise such supervision and control over him as will guarantee that there will be no stock-watering or other devices of overcapitalization for which the honest investors and wage-workers alike have to pay, that there will be no unfair and discriminatory practices against rivals, no swindling of the general public, and no exploitation of wage-workers. (Before National Conference of Progressive Service, Portsmouth, R. I., July 2, 1913.) Mem. Ed XIX, 526; Nat. Ed. XVII, 386.

Business — Progressive Policy Toward

The Progressive proposal is definite. It is practicable. We promise nothing that we cannot carry out. We promise nothing which will jeopardize honest business. We promise adequate control of all big business and the stern suppression of the evils connected with big business, and this promise we can absolutely keep. Our proposal is to help honest business activity, however extensive, and to see that it is rewarded with fair returns so that there may be no oppression either of business men or of the common people. We propose to make it worth while for our business men to develop the most efficient business agencies for use in international trade; for it is to the interest of our whole people that we should do well in international business. But we propose to make those business agencies do complete justice to our own people.… We favor co- operation in business, and ask only that it be carried on in a spirit of honesty and fairness. We are against crooked business, big or little. We are in favor of honest business, big or little. We propose to penalize conduct and not size. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed XIX, 390, 391; Nat. Ed. XVII, 281, 282.

Business—Regulation of

It is absurd and wicked to treat the deliberate law- breaker as on an exact par with the man eager to obey the law, whose only desire is to find out from some competent governmental authority what the law is and then live up to it. It is absurd to endeavor to regulate business in the interest of the public by means of long- drawn lawsuits without any accompaniment of administrative control and regulation, and without any attempt to discriminate between the honest man who has succeeded in business because of rendering a service to the public and the dishonest man who has succeeded in business by cheating the public. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed XIX, 171; Nat. Ed. XVII, 126.

____________. Our proposal is to put the government, acting for the general public, in such shape that it will not ask justice as a favor but demand it as a right which it is ready and able to enforce. We propose to use the power of the government to help the business community prosper by helping the honest business man in all honest and proper ways to make his business successful. We also propose to use it to protect the whole public against dishonest business men and to save the wage-worker from such cruel exploitation. (Before National Conference of Progressive Service, Portsmouth, R. I., July 2, 1913.) Mem. Ed XIX, 526; Nat. Ed. XVII, 386.

Business, Big

We must face the fact that big business has come to stay, and that it cannot be abolished in any great nation under penalty of that nation's slipping out of the front place in international industrialism. (1917.) Mem. Ed XXI, 90; Nat. Ed. XIX, 78.

____________. There should be no penalizing of a business merely because of its size; although of course there is peculiar need of supervision of big business. (Before Republican State Convention, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., July 18, 1918. ) Mem. Ed XXI, 400; Nat. Ed. XIX, 363.

____________. This is an era of combination. Big business has come to stay. It cannot be put an end to; and if it could be put an end to, it would mean the most wide-spread disaster to the community. The proper thing to do is to socialize it, to moralize it, to make it more an agent for social good, and to do away with everything in it that tends toward social evil. … No great industrial well-being can come unless big business prospers. China is the home of the small industrial unit, and the Chinese laborer is badly off. (1917.) Mem. Ed XXI, 84; Nat. Ed. XIX, 72.

Business, Big—Control of

I stand for the adequate control, the real control, of all big business, and especially of all monopolistic big business where it proves unwise or impossible to break up the monopoly. (At Louisville, Ky., April 3, 1912.) Mem. Ed XIX, 250; Nat. Ed. XVII, 185.

____________. What is needed is, first, the recognition that modern business conditions have come to stay, in so far at least as these conditions mean that business must be done in larger units, and then the cool-headed and resolute determination to introduce an effective method of regulating big corporations so as to help legitimate business as an incident to thoroughly and completely safeguarding the interests of the people as a whole. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed XIX, 170; Nat. Ed. XVII, 125.

____________.All very big business, even though honestly conducted, is fraught with such potentiality of menace that there should be thoroughgoing governmental control over it, so that its efficiency in promoting prosperity at home and increasing the power of the nation in international commerce may be maintained, and at the same time fair play insured to the wage-workers, the small business competitors, the investors, and the general public. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed XIX, 391; Nat. Ed. XVII, 282.

____________.It is imperative to exercise over big business a control and supervision which is unnecessary as regards small business. All business must be conducted under the law, and all business men, big or little, must act justly. But a wicked big interest is necessarily more dangerous to the community than a wicked little interest. "Big business” in the past has been responsible for much of the special privilege which must be unsparingly cut out of our national life. I do not believe in making mere size of and by itself criminal. The mere fact of size, however, does unquestionably carry the potentiality of such grave wrong-doing that there should be by law provision made for the strict supervision and regulation of these great industrial concerns doing an interstate business, much as we now regulate the transportation agencies which are engaged in interstate business. The antitrust law does good in so far as it can be invoked against combinations which really are monopolies or which restrict production or which artificially raise prices. But in so far as its workings are uncertain, or as it threatens corporations which have not been guilty of antisocial conduct, it does harm. Moreover, it cannot by itself accomplish more than a trifling part of the governmental regulation of big business which is needed. The nation and the States must co-operate in this matter. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed XIX, 172; Nat. Ed. XVII, 126.

Business, Big—Privilege and

The big business which depends for success upon special privilege, that is, upon having to secure that to which it is not entitled and to which other people are entitled, that kind of big business desires to own politicians, desires to own newspapers. (Speech at Elmira, N. Y., October 14, 1910.) Mem. Ed XIX, 42; Nat. Ed. XVII, 33.

Business, Big—Role of

In the world of international industry the future belongs to the nation which develops either the big-scale businesses; or else the ability among small-scale business men, working men, and farmers, to co-operate, to work together and pool their resources for production, distribution, and the full use of scientific research; or else, what is most desirable, develops both types of business. The small individualistic business cannot compete in any field in which either of the other types flourishes. Therefore, whether we like it or not, we must either permit and encourage the development of these two types or fall behind other nations, as Spain once fell behind England and France. (1917.) Mem. Ed XXI, 91; Nat. Ed. XIX, 78.

Business, Big—the Square Deal and

We demand that big business give the people a square deal; in return we must insist that when any one engaged in big business honestly endeavors to do right he shall himself be given a square deal; and the first, and most elementary kind of square deal is to give him in advance full information as to just what he can, and what he cannot, legally and properly do. It is absurd and much worse than absurd to treat the deliberate lawbreaker as on an exact par with the man eager to obey the law, whose only desire is to find out from some competent governmental authority what the law is and then to live up to it. Outlook , November 18, 1911, p. 654.

Business, Legitimate

I very much wish that legitimate business would no longer permit itself to be frightened by the outcries of illegitimate business into believing that they have any community of interest. Legitimate business ought to understand that its interests are jeopardized when they are confounded with those of illegitimate business; and the latter, whenever threatened with just control, always tries to persuade the former that it also is endangered. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed XIX, 392; Nat. Ed. XVII, 283.

Business, Legitimate—Test of

If a business man cannot run a given business except by bribing or by submitting to blackmail let him get out of it and into some other business. If he cannot run his business save on condition of doing things which can only be done in the darkness, then let him enter into some totally different field of activity. The test is easy. Let him ask whether he is afraid anything will be found out or not. If he is not, he is all right; if he is, he is all wrong. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed XV, 622; Nat. Ed. XIII, 656.

Business and Government

First and foremost we must stand firmly on a basis of good, sound ethics. We intend to do what is right for the ample and sufficient reason that it is right. If business is hurt by the stern exposure of crookedness and the result of efforts to punish the crooked man, then business must be hurt, even though good men are involved in the hurting, until it so adjusts itself that it is possible to prosecute wrong-doing without stampeding the business community into a terror-struck defense of the wrong doers and an angry assault upon those who have exposed them. Outlook, June 19, 1909, p. 392.

____________.We must quit the effort to meet modern conditions by flint-lock legislation. We must recognize, as modern Germany has recognized, that it is folly either to try to cripple business by making it ineffective, or to fail to insist that the wage-worker and consumer must be given their full share of the prosperity that comes from the successful application and use of modern industrial instrumentalities. (At Cooper Union, New York City, November 3, 1916.) Mem. Ed XX, 517; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 444.

Business and Labor

Business and labor are different sides of the same problem. It is impossible wisely to treat either without reference to the interests and duties of the other —and without reference to the fact that the interests of the general public, the commonwealth, are paramount to both. (1917.) Mem. Ed XXI, 89; Nat. Ed. XIX, 77.

Business Class, the

We are a business people. The tillers of the soil, the wage-workers, the business men—these are the three big and vitally important divisions of our population. The welfare of each division is vitally necessary to the welfare of the people as a whole. The great mass of business is of course done by men whose business is either small or of moderate size. The middle-sized business men form an element of strength which is of literally incalculable value to the nation. Taken as a class, they are among our best citizens. . . . The average business man of this type is, as a rule, a leading citizen of his community, foremost in everything that tells for its betterment, a man whom his neighbors look up to and respect. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed XIX, 170; Nat. Ed. XVII, 125.

Business In War-Time

In this present crisis the right course to follow is to guarantee the business man who works for the governmeat a good profit; then to put a heavy progressive tax on all the excess profits above this (1917.) Mem. Ed XXI, 82; Nat. Ed. XIX, 71.

Business Success

Business success, whether for the individual or for the nation, is a good thing only so far as it is accompanied by and develops a high standard of conduct—honor, integrity, civic courage. The kind of business prosperity that blunts the standard of honor, that puts an inordinate value on mere wealth, that makes a man ruthless and conscienless in trade, and weak and cowardly in citizenship, is not a good thing at all, but a very bad thing for the nation. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed XVII, 327; Nat. Ed. XV, 280.


See also Capital; Combinations; Competition; Corporations; Corruption; Employer; Financiers; Government Control; Industrial Revolution; Labor; Laissez-Faire; Monopolies; Profits; Sherman Anti-Trust Act; Speculation; Trusts; Wall Street.

Byrne, William M

See Office—Conduct In.


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Copyright 2012