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We believe in the principle of a living wage. We hold that it is ruinous for all our people if some of our people are forced to subsist on a wage such that body and soul alike are stunted. (Century, October 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 543; Nat. Ed. XVII, 400.

____________. We shall sedulously safeguard the rights of property and protect it from all injustice. But we hold with Lincoln that labor deserves higher consideration than capital. Therefore we hold that labor has a right to the means of life—that there must be a living wage. Outlook , September 28, 1912, p. 160.

____________. The corporation or individual capitalist paying a starvation wage to an employee, and especially to a woman employee, is guilty of iniquity, and is an enemy of morality, of religion and of the State. Let us as a people face the fact that there must be a living wage for every employee; and that the employer who does not give it is a bad citizen. Outlook, July 15, 1911, p. 570.


See also Dividends; Labor; Tariff; Workers.

Wall Street

It is difficult for me to understand why there should be this belief in Wall Street that I am a wild-eyed revolutionist. I cannot condone wrong, but I certainly do not intend to do aught save what is beneficial to the man of means who acts squarely and fairly. (To Jacob Schiff, March 28, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 48; Bishop II, 41.

____________. The big Wall Street financiers of the type of which I am speaking, the men who are our embittered opponents to night, own railroads, oil, mines, whatever it may be, and also own newspapers and magazines, and have owned legislatures, governors, and judges. Now out warfare, fundamentally, is to break up the alliance between crooked business and crooked politics. We would be the very first to insist that the corporation should have the rights to which it is entitled; it must have its rights. But it is not entitled to a vote and it is not entitled to own any man in public life. The richest man in the world is entitled to every right that the poor man has, but to no more. Now, I will fight for the rights of the richest man in the country just as quick as I will for the rights of the poorest man, provided they are the same rights. (At Elmira, N. Y., October 14, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 42; Nat. Ed. XVII, 33.


The wapiti is the largest and stateliest deer in the world. A full-grown bull is as big as a steer. The antlers are the most magnificent trophies yielded by any game animal of America, save the giant Alaskan moose. When full grown they are normally of twelve tines; frequently the tines are more numerous, but the increase in their number has no necessary accompaniment in increase in the size of the antlers. The length, massiveness, roughness, spread, and symmetry of the antlers must all be taken into account in rating the value of a head. Antlers over fifty inches in length are large; if over sixty, they are gigantic. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 237; Nat. Ed. III, 61.

Wapiti—Habitat of the

The wapiti, like the bison, and even more than the whitetail deer, can thrive in widely varying surroundings. It is at home among the high mountains, in the deep forests, and on the treeless, level plains. It is rather omnivorous in its tastes, browsing and grazing on all kinds of trees, shrubs, and grasses. These traits and its hardihood make it comparatively easy to perpetuate in big parks and forest preserves in a semiwild condition; and it has thriven in such preserves and parks in many of the Eastern States. As it does not by preference dwell in such tangled forests as are the delight of the moose and the whitetail deer, it vanishes much quicker than either when settlers appear in the land. In the mountains and foothills its habitat is much the same as that of the mule-deer, the two animals being often found in the immediate neighborhood of each other. In such places the superior size and value of the wapiti put it at a disadvantage in the keen struggle for life, and when the rifle-bearing hunter appears upon the scene, it is killed out long before its smaller kinsman. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 241; Nat. Ed. III, 65.

Wapiti—Hunting the

No chase is more fascinating than that of the wapiti. In the old days, when the mighty-antlered beasts were found upon the open plains, they could be followed upon horseback, with or without hounds. Nowadays, when they dwell in the mountains, they are to be killed only by the rifle- bearing still-hunter. Needless butchery of any kind of animal is repulsive, but in the case of the wapiti it is little short of criminal. He is the grandest of the deer kind throughout the world, and he has already vanished from most of the places where he once dwelt in his pride. Every true sportsman should feel it incumbent upon him to do all in his power to preserve so noble a beast of the chase from extinction. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 251; Nat. Ed. III, 72.


It must ever be kept in mind that war is not merely justifiable, but imperative, upon honorable men, upon an honorable nation, where peace can only be obtained by the sacrifice of conscientious conviction or of national welfare. . . . A just war is in the long run far better for a nation’s soul than the most prosperous peace obtained by acquiescence in wrong or injustice. (Sixth Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 472; Nat. Ed. XV, 402.

____________. I abhor violence and bloodshed. I believe that war should never be resorted to when, or so long as, it is honorably possible to avoid it. I respect all men and women who from high motives and with sanity and self-respect do all they can to avert war. I advocate preparation for war in order to avert war; and I should never advocate war unless it were the only alternative to dishonor. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 248; Nat. Ed. XX, 212.

____________. Nothing is gained by debate on non- debatable subjects. No intelligent man desires war. But neither can any intelligent man who is willing to think fail to realize that we live in a great and free country only because our forefathers were willing to wage war rather than accept the peace that spells destruction. No nation can permanently retain any “social values” worth having unless it warlike strength necessary for its own defense. (American Sociological Society, Papers, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 276; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 237.

____________. The man who fears death more than dishonor, more than failure to perform duty, is a poor citizen; and the nation that regards war as the worst of all evils and the avoidance of war as the highest good is a wretched and contemptible nation, and it is well that it should vanish from the face of the earth. (Metropolitan, August 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 369; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 316.

____________. I do not believe that the firm assertion of our rights means war, but, in any event, it is well to remember there are things worse than war. (Statement to the press, May 11, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 444; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 381.

____________. Our rule should be the same for the nation as for the individual. Do not get into a fight if you can possibly avoid it. If you get in, see it through. Don’t hit if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting, but never hit soft. Don’t hit at all if you can help it; don’t hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep. (Before National Press Club, Washington, January 24, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 513; Bishop II, 437.

____________. All wise and good women and all wise and good men abhor war. Washington and Lincoln abhorred war. But no man or woman is either wise or good unless he or she abhors some things even more than war, exactly as Washington and Lincoln abhorred them. (April 12, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 134.

War—Definition of

The first thing to do is to make these citizens understand that war and militarism are terms whose values depend wholly upon the sense in which they are used. The second thing is to make them understand that there is a real analogy between the use of force in international and the use of force in intranational or civil matters; although of course this analogy must not be pushed too far. In the first place, we are dealing with a matter of definition. A war can be defined as violence between nations, as the use of force between nations. It is analogous to violence between individuals within a nation—using violence in a large sense as equivalent to the use of force. When this fact is clearly grasped, the average citizen will be spared the mental confusion he now suffers because he thinks of war as in itself wrong.

War, like peace, is properly a means to an end— righteousness. . . . Whether war is right or wrong depends purely upon the purpose for which, and the spirit in which, it is waged. Here the analogy with what takes place in civil life is perfect. The exertion of force or violence by which one man masters another may be illustrated by the case of a black-hander who kidnaps a child, knocking down the nurse or guardian; and it may also be illustrated by the case of the policeman who by force arrests the black-hander or white-slaver or whoever it is and takes his victim away from him. (American Sociological Society, Papers, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 268-269; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 230-231.

War — Industry During

Business men, professional men, and wage-workers alike must understand that there should be no question of their enjoying any rights whatsoever unless in the fullest way they recognize and live up to the duties that go with those rights. This is just as true of the corporation as of the trade-union, and if either corporation or trade-union fails heartily to acknowledge this truth, then its activities are necessarily antisocial and detrimental to the welfare of the body politic as a whole. In war-time, when the welfare of the nation is at stake, it should be accepted as axiomatic that the employer is to make no profit out of the war save that which is necessary to the efficient running of the business and to the living expenses of himself and family, and that the wage- worker is to treat his wage from exactly the same standpoint and is to see to it that the labor organization to which he belongs is, in all its activities, subordinated to the service of the nation. (Before Knights of Columbus, New York City, October 12, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 462; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 396.

War—Opposition During

It may be the highest duty to oppose a war before it is brought on, but once the country is at war, the man who fails to support it with all possible heartiness comes perilously near being a traitor, and his conduct can only be justified on grounds which in time of peace would justify a revolution. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 406; Nat. Ed. X, 288.

War—Origins of

An unmanly desire to avoid a quarrel is often the surest way to precipitate one; and utter unreadiness to fight is even surer. . . . If in the future we have war, it will almost certainly come because of some action, or lack of action, on our part in the way of refusing to accept responsibilities at the proper time, or failing to prepare for war when war does not threaten. An ignoble peace is even worse than an unsuccessful war; but an unsuccessful war would leave behind it a legacy of bitter memories which would hurt our national development for a generation to come. It is true that no nation could actually conquer us, owing to our isolated position; but we would be seriously harmed, even materially, by disasters that stopped far short of conquest; and in these matters, which are far more important than things material, we could readily be damaged beyond repair. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed. XV, 256-257; Nat. Ed. XIII, 196-197.

____________. The real chance of war for this nation comes only if we combine a policy which disregards the interests or feelings of others, with a policy of helplessness to hold our own if our right to do as we wish is challenged. If, on the other hand, we are ready in very fact to hold our own, the chance becomes infinitesimal that we will be called upon to do so. (At Naval War College, Newport, R. I., July 22, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 334; Nat. Ed. XVI, 253.

____________. The questions which sometimes involve nations in war are far more difficult and complex than any questions that affect merely individuals. Almost every great nation has inherited certain questions, either with other nations or with sections of its own people, which it is quite impossible, in the present state of civilization, to decide as matters between private individuals can be decided. . . . There are big and powerful nations which habitually commit, either upon other nations or upon sections of their own people, wrongs so outrageous as to justify even the most peaceful persons in going to war. There are also weak nations so utterly incompetent either to protect the rights of foreigners against their own citizens, or to protect their own citizens against foreigners, that it becomes a matter of sheer duty for some outside power to interfere in connection with them. As yet in neither case is there any efficient method of getting international action; and if joint action by several powers is secured, the result is usually considerably worse than if only one power interfered. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 605; Nat. Ed. XX, 520.

War—Possibility of

One of the difficulties in dealing with foreign affairs is the queer tendency of many people to treat desire on our part to have an adequate navy and coast fortifications as equivalent to the statement that we believe there will be a war, and as justifying offensive war talk. Most certainly we see at times offensive, and therefore utterly improper, talk of war with some entirely friendly nation, now Germany, now England, now Japan. No one can regret such talk more than I do, and it is almost never indulged in by men who would themselves respond to the call to arms if war should unhappily come. A man who is of the type apt to be useful in war is usually of too serious a nature to talk with levity or brutality of war, or in such fashion as to provoke war. My hearty reprobation of this type of offensive agitation does not interfere in the least with my belief, in the first place, that war is unlikely with any power, and in the next place that we can render it still more unlikely, as well as guarantee ourselves against possible humiliation and disaster, by the exercise of moderate forethought and preparation. (Outlook , April 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 157; Nat. Ed. XVII, 113.

War—Results of

Where such results flow from battles as flowed from Bannockburn and Yorktown, centuries must pass before the wound not only scars over but becomes completely forgotten, and the memory becomes a bond of union and not a cause of division. It is our business to shorten the time as much as possible. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, January 1, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 199; Bishop II, 170.

War, Modern — Organization for

Modern war makes terrible demands upon those who fight. To an infinitely greater degree than ever before the outcome depends upon long preparation in advance, and upon the skilful and unified use of the nation’s entire social and industrial no less than military power. The work of the general staff is infinitely more important than any work of the kind in times past. The actual machinery of battle is so vast, delicate and complicated that years are needed to complete it. At all points we see the immense need of thorough organization and machinery ready far in advance of the day of trial. But this does not mean that there is any less need than before of those qualities of endurance and hardihood, of daring and resolution, which in their sum make up the stern and enduring valor which has been and ever will be the mark of mighty victorious armies. (To Henry Bordeaux, June 27, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 526; Bishop II, 449.

War, Righteous

We know that in itself war is neither moral nor immoral, that the test of the righteousness of war is the object and purpose for which it is waged. Therefore, it is worth while for our people seriously to consider the problems ahead of them; and the first problem is the problem of preparedness. (Metropolitan, August 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 369; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 317.
____________. If the people have not vision, they shall surely perish. No man has a right to live who has not in his soul the power to die nobly for a great cause. Let abhorrence be for those who wage wanton or wicked wars, who with ruthless violence oppress the upright and the unoffending. Pay all honor to the preachers of peace who put righteousness above peace. But shame on the creatures who would teach our people that it is anything but base to be unready and unable to defend right, even at need by the sternest of all tests, the test of righteous war, war waged by a high-couraged people with souls attuned to the demands of a lofty ideal. (Metropolitan, January 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 323; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 277.

War, Unjust

War is a dreadful thing, and unjust war is a crime against humanity. But it is such a crime because it is unjust, not because it is war. The choice must ever be in favor of righteousness, and this whether the alternative be peace or whether the alternative be war. . . . Every honorable effort should always be made to avoid war, just as every honorable effort should always be made by the individual in private life to keep out of a brawl, to keep out of trouble; but no self- respecting individual, no self-respecting nation, can or ought to submit to wrong. (At the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 357; Nat. Ed. XIII, 513.

____________. Wanton or unjust war is an abhorrent evil. But there are even worse evils. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 261; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 224.

____________. I abhor unjust war, and I deplore that the need even for just war should ever occur. I believe we should set our faces like flint against any policy of aggression by this country on the rights of any other country. (New York Times, November 15, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 103; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 89.

War and Peace

We are not to be excused if we do not make a resolute and intelligent effort to devise some scheme which will minimize the chance for a recurrence of such horror in the future and which will at least limit and alleviate it if it should occur. In other words, it is our duty to try to devise some efficient plan for securing the peace of righteousness throughout the world. That any plan will surely and automatically bring peace we cannot promise. Nevertheless, I think a plan can be devised which will render it far more difficult than at present to plunge us into a world war and far more easy than at present to find workable and practical substitutes even for ordinary war. In order to do this, however, it is necessary that we shall fearlessly look facts in the face. We cannot devise methods for securing peace which will actually work unless we are in good faith willing to face the fact that the present all- inclusive arbitration treaties, peace conferences, and the like, upon which our well-meaning pacifists have pinned so much hope, have proved utterly worthless under serious strain. We must face this fact and clearly understand the reason for it before we can advance an adequate remedy. (New York Times, September 27, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 5; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 4-5.

____________. The really essential things for men to remember, therefore, in connection with war are, first, that neither war nor peace is immoral in itself, and, secondly, that in order to preserve the “social values” it is absolutely essential to prevent the dominance in our country of the one form of militarism which is surely and completely fatal—that is, the military dominion of an alien enemy. (American Sociological Society, Papers, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 272; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 234.

____________. The only proper rule is never to fight at all if you can honorably avoid it, but never under any circumstances to fight in a half-hearted way. When peace comes it must be the peace of complete victory. (Metropolitan, September 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 33; Nat. Ed. XIX, 28.

War and Peace — Men of

Popular sentiment is just when it selects as popular heroes the men who have led in the struggle against malice domestic or foreign levy. No triumph of peace is quite so great as the supreme triumphs of war. . . . It is true that no nation can be really great unless it is great in peace; in industry, integrity, honesty. Skilled intelligence in civic affairs and industrial en terprises alike; the special ability of the artist, the man of letters, the man of science, and the man of business; the rigid determination to wrong no man, and to stand for righteousness—all these are necessary in a great nation. But it is also necessary that the nation should have physical no less than moral courage. . . . We of the United States have passed most of our few years of national life in peace. We honor the architects of our wonderful material prosperity; we appreciate the necessity of thrift, energy, and business enterprise, and we know that even these are of no avail without the civic and social virtues. But we feel, after all, that the men who have dared greatly in war, or the wink which is akin to war, are those who deserve best of the country. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed. XV, 243-245; Nat. Ed. XIII, 185-186.

War and Peace — Victories of

The victories of peace are great, but the victories of war are greater. No merchant, no banker, no railroad magnate, no inventor of improved industrial processes, can do for any nation what can be done for it by its great fighting men. No triumph of peace can equal the armed triumph over malice domestic or foreign levy. No qualities called out by a purely peaceful life stand on a level with those stern and virile virtues which move the men of stout heart and strong hand who uphold the honor of their flag in battle. It is better for a nation to produce one Grant or one Farragut than a thousand shrewd manufacturers or successful speculators. (Bookman, June 1897.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 330; Nat. Ed. XII, 283.


See also Arbitration; Defense; Force; International Disputes; League For Peace; League Of Nations; Militarism; Military Training; National Defense; Pacifism; Peace; Preparedness; Righteousness; Soldiers; Treason; Unpreparedness.

War of 1812

The war had a dual aspect. It was partly a contest between the two branches of the English race, and partly a last attempt on the part of the Indian tribes to check the advance of the most rapidly growing one of these same two branches; and this last potion of the struggle, though attracting comparatively little attention, was really much the most far-reaching in its effect upon history. The triumph of the British would have distinctly meant the giving a new lease of life to the Indian nationalities, the hemming in, for a time, of the United States, and the stoppage, perhaps for many years, of the march of English civilization across the continent. (1882.) Mem. Ed. VII, 425-426; Nat. Ed. VI, 374-375

____________. The war cannot ever be fairly understood by any one who does not bear in mind that the combatants were men of the same stock, who far more nearly resembled each other than either resembled any other nation. I honestly believe that the American sailor offered rather better material for a man-of-war’s man than the British, because the freer institutions of his country (as compared with the Britain of the drunken Prince Regent and his dotard father—a very different land from the present free England) and the peculiar exigencies of his life tended to make him more intelligent and self-reliant; but the difference, when there was any, was very small. . . . The advantage consisted in the fact that our average commander was equal to the best, and higher than the average, of the opposing captains; and this held good throughout the various grades of the officers. The American officers knew they had redoubtable foes to contend with, and made every preparation accordingly. Owing their rank to their own exertions, trained by practical experience, and with large liberty of action, they made every effort to have their crews in the most perfect state of skill and discipline. (1882.) Mem. Ed. VII, 417-418; Nat. Ed. VI, 367-368.

____________. It was highly to the credit of the United States that her frigates were of better make and armament than any others; it always speaks well for a nation’s energy and capacity that any of her implements of warfare are of a superior kind. This is a perfectly legitimate reason for pride. . . . Thus, it must be remembered that two things contributed to our victories. One was the excellent make and armament of our ships; the other was the skilful seamanship, excellent discipline, and superb gunnery of the men who were in them. British writers are apt only to speak of the first, and Americans only of the last, whereas both should be taken into consideration. (1882.) Mem. Ed. VII, 56-57; Nat. Ed. VI, 50-51.

War of 1812—Origins of

Wide differences in the views of the two nations produced endless difficulties. To escape the press-gang, or for other reasons, many British seamen took service under the American flag; and if they were demanded back, it is not likely that they or their American shipmates had much hesitation in swearing either that they were not British at all, or else that they had been naturalized as Americans. Equally probable is it that the American blockade-runners were guilty of a great deal of fraud and more or less thinly veiled perjury. But the wrongs done by the Americans were insignificant compared with those they received. Any innocent merchant vessel was liable to seizure at any moment; and when overhauled by a British cruiser short of men was sure to be stripped of most of her crew. The British officers were themselves the judges as to whether a seaman should be pronounced a native of America or of Britain, and there was no appeal from their judgment. If a captain lacked his full complement there was little doubt as to the view he would take of any man’s nationality. The wrongs inflicted on our seafaring countrymen by their impressment into foreign ships formed the main cause of the war. (1882.) Mem. Ed. VII, 4-5; Nat. Ed. VI, 4.

War of 1812—Results of

In the West the war was only the closing act of the struggle that for many years had been waged by the hardy and restless pioneers of our race, as with rifle and axe they carved out the mighty empire that we their children inherit; it was but the final effort with which they wrested from the Indian lords of the soil the wide and fair domain that now forms the heart of our great Republic. It was the breaking down of the last barrier that stayed the flood of our civilization; it settled, once and forever, that henceforth the law, the tongue, and the blood of the land should be neither Indian, nor yet French, but English. The few French of the West were fighting against a race that was to leave as little trace of them as of the doomed Indian peoples with whom they made common cause. The presence of the British mercenaries did not alter the character of the contest; it merely served to show the bitter and narrow hatred with which the Mother-Island regarded her greater daughter, predestined as the latter was to be queen of the lands that lay beyond the Atlantic. (1883.) Mem. Ed. VII, xxxvi; Nat. Ed. VI, xxxi-xxxii.

War of 1812 — Unpreparedness for

The administration thus drifted into a war which it had neither the wisdom to avoid nor the forethought to prepare for. In view of the fact that the war was their own, it is impossible to condemn sufficiently strongly the incredible folly of the Democrats in having all along refused to build a navy or provide any other adequate means of defense. In accordance with their curiously foolish theories, they persisted in relying on that weakest of all weak reeds, the militia, who promptly ran away every time they faced a foe in the open. (1888.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 532; Nat. Ed. VII, 460.

War of 1812

See also Jackson, Andrew; Morris, Gouverneur; Unpreparedness.


See Boer War; Civil War; Revolutionary War; Russo-Japanese War; Spanish-American War; War Of 1812; World War.

Wars, American

Wars are, of course, as a rule to be avoided; but they are far better than certain kinds of peace. Every war in which we have been engaged, except the one with Mexico, has been justifiable in its origin; and each one, without any exception whatever, has left us better off, taking both moral and material considerations into account, than we should have been if we had not waged it. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 214; Nat. Ed. VII, 185.

Wars of Conquest

Many good persons seem prone to speak of all wars of conquest as necessarily evil. This is, of course, a short-sighted view. In its after- effects a conquest may be fraught either with evil or with good for mankind, according to the comparative worth of the conquering and conquered peoples. It is useless to try to generalize about conquests simply as such in the abstract; each case or set of cases must be judged by itself. The world would have halted had it not been for the Teutonic conquests in alien lands; but the victories of Moslem over Christian have always proved a curse in the end. Nothing but sheer evil has come from the victories of Turk and Tartar. This is true generally of the victories of barbarians of low racial characteristics over gentler, more moral, and more refined peoples, even though these people have, to their shame and discredit, lost the vigorous fighting virtues. Yet it remains no less true that the world would probably have gone forward very little, indeed would probably not have gone forward at all, had it not been for the displacement or submersion of savage and barbaric peoples as a consequence of the armed settlement in strange lands of the races who hold in their hands the fate of the years. Every such submersion or displacement of an inferior race, every such armed settlement or conquest by a superior race, means the infliction and suffering of hideous woe and misery. It is a sad and dreadful thing that there should be of necessity such throes of agony; and yet they are the birth-pangs of a new and vigorous people. That they are in truth birth- pangs does not lessen the grim and hopeless woe of the race supplanted; of the race outworn or overthrown. The wrongs done and suffered cannot be blinked. Neither can they be allowed to hide the results to mankind of what has been achieved. (1894.) Mem. Ed. XI, 389; Nat. Ed. IX, 155.

Wars of Conquest

See also Expansion; Imperialism; Mongol Invasions.


See Battleships; Naval Armaments; Submarines; Torpedo Boats.

Washington, Booker T

Booker Washington owed his wonderful success, his wonderful achievement, to the combination of many rare qualities. It was not to any one quality alone that he owed success and achievement, it was to many. He understood, for example, and preached the gospel of efficiency, the gospel of work, and he realized that this is as necessary for the white man as it is for the black man; that for almost all of us there must be a foundation of manual efficiency, of the efficiency that is industrial, or else there cannot be any superstructure of mere efficiency built upon it. Men have got to learn to do the primary useful things before they can do the things that are secondarily useful, and the average man in the community must have the efficiency that shows itself in the work of the mechanic in the city, or the work of the farmer in the country, else the community cannot be on a healthy basis. . . . Also, he had that quality, that essential quality in every teacher . . . which will teach the boy and the girl that the real happiness of life is to be found, not in shirking difficulties, but in overcoming them; not in striving to lead a life which shall so far as possible avoid effort and labor and hardship, but a life which shall face difficulty and win over it, be it ever so hard, by labor very intelligently entered into and resolutely persevered in. He never sought to make you believe that you were going to have easy times ahead of you. There are only a few people who do what he did in life, and they are always the happiest and they are really the most useful. (At memorial service for B. T. Washington, Tuskegee Institute, December 12, 1915.) The Southern Workman, January 1916, pp. 12-13.

____________. It is not hyperbole to say that Booker T. Washington was a great American. For twenty years before his death he had been the most useful, as well as the most distinguished, member of his race in the world, and one of the most useful, as well as one of the most distinguished, of American citizens of any race. Eminent though his services were to the people of his own color, the white men of our Republic were almost as much indebted to him, both directly and indirectly. They were indebted to him directly, because of the work he did on behalf of industrial education for the negro, thus giving impetus to the work for the industrial education of the white man, which is, at least, as necessary; and, moreover, every successful effort to turn the thoughts of the natural leaders of the negro race into the fields of business endeavor, of agricultural effort, of every species of success in private life, is not only to their advantage, but to the advantage of the white man, as tending to remove the friction and trouble that inevitably come through the South at this time in any negro district where the negroes turn for their advancement primarily to political life. The indirect indebtedness of the white race to Booker T. Washington is due to the simple fact that here in America we are all in the end going up or down together; and therefore, in the long run, the man who makes a substantial contribution toward uplifting any part of the community has helped to uplift all of the community. (Preface to E. J. Scott and L. B. Stowe, Booker T. Washington; August 28, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XII, 548; Nat. Ed. XI, 273.

____________. As nearly as any man I have ever met, Booker T. Washington lived up to Micah’s verse, “What more doth the Lord require of thee than to do Justice and love Mercy and walk humbly with thy God.” He did justice to every man. He did justice to those to whom it was a hard thing to do justice. He showed mercy; and this meant that he showed mercy not only to the poor, and to those beneath him, but that he showed mercy by an understanding of the shortcomings of those who failed to do him justice, and failed to do his race justice. He always understood and acted upon the belief that the black man could not rise if he so acted as to incur the enmity and hatred of the white man. . . . He was never led away, as the educated negro so often is led away, into the pursuit of fantastic visions; into the drawing up of plans fit only for a world of two dimensions. He kept his high ideals, always; but he never for- got for a moment that he was living in an actual world of three dimensions, in a world of unpleasant facts, where those unpleasant facts have to be faced; and he made the best possible out of a bad situation from which there was no ideal best to be obtained. . . . To a very extraordinary degree he combined humility and dignity; and I think that the explanation of this extraordinary degree of success in a very difficult combination was due to the fact that at the bottom his humility was really the outward expression, not of a servile attitude toward any man, but of the spiritual fact that in very truth he walked humbly with his God. (Preface to E. J. Scott and L. B. Stowe, Booker T. Washington; August 28, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XII, 550; Nat. Ed. XI, 274-275.

____________. The Booker T. Washington incident was to me so much a matter of course that I regarded its sole importance as consisting in the view it gave one of the continued existence of that combination of Bourbon intellect and intolerant truculence of spirit, through much of the South, which brought on the Civil War. If these creatures had any sense they would understand that they can’t bluff me. They can’t even make me abandon my policy of appointing decent men to office in their own localities. (To H. C. Lodge, October 28, 1901.) Lodge Letters I, 510.

____________.When I asked Booker T. Washington to dinner I did not devote very much thought to the matter one way or the other. I respect him greatly and believe in the work he has done. I have consulted so much with him it seemed to me that it was natural to ask him to dinner to talk over this work, and the very fact that I felt a moment’s qualm on inviting him because of his color made me ashamed of myself and made me hasten to send the invitation. I did not think of its bearing one way or the other, either on my own future or on any thing else. As things have turned out, I am very glad that I asked him, for the clamor aroused by the act makes me feel as if the act was necessary. (To Albion W. Tourgee, November 8, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 192; Bishop I, 166.

Washington, Booker T

See also Tuskegee Institute.

Washington, George

I believe Washington was, not even excepting Lincoln, the very greatest man of modern times; and a great general, of the Fabian order, too, but on the battle field I doubt if he equaled any one of half a dozen of the Union and Rebel chiefs who fought in the great Civil War. (To H. C. Lodge, August 24, 1884.) Lodge Letters I, 9.

____________. After the American Revolution Washington’s greatness of character, sound common sense, and entirely disinterested patriotism, made him a bulwark both against anarchy and against despotism coming in the name of a safeguard against anarchy; and the people were fit for self-government, adding to their fierce jealousy of tyranny a reluctant and by no means whole-hearted, but genuine, admission that it could be averted only by coming to an agreement among themselves. Washington would not let his officers try to make him Dictator, nor allow the Continental army to march against the weak Congress which distrusted it, was ungrateful to it, and refused to provide for it. Unlike Cromwell, he saw that the safety of the people lay in working out their own salvation, even though they showed much wrong-headedness and blindness, not merely to morality, but to their own interests; and, in the long run, the people justified this trust. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 359-360; Nat. Ed. X, 249-250.

____________. No American should ever forget Washington’s insistence upon the absolute necessity of preserving the Union; his appeals to our people that they should cherish the American nationality as something indestructible from within and as separating us in clear-cut manner from all other nations; his stern refusal to yield to the tyranny of either an individual or a mob, and his demand that we seek both liberty and order as indispensable to the life of a democratic republic; and his unwearied persistence in preaching the great truth that military preparedness is essential to our self-respect and usefulness, and that the only way to prepare for war is to prepare in time of peace. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 57; Nat. Ed. XIX, 49.

Washington, George

See also Cromwell, Oliver; Jefferson, Thomas; Revolutionary War; Valley Forge.

Washington and Lincoln

I regard the memories of Washington and Lincoln as priceless heritages for our people, just because they are the memories of strong men, of men who cannot be accused of weakness or timidity, of men who I believe were quite as strong, for instance, as Cromwell or Bismarck, and very much stronger than the Louis-Napoleon type who, nevertheless, led careers marked by disinterestedness just as much as by strength; who, like Timoleon and Hampden, in very deed, and not as a mere matter of oratory or fine writing, sought just the public good, the good of the people as a whole, as the first of all considerations. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, June 19, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 109; Bishop II, 93.
____________. It is the peculiar good fortune of the United States that in its two greatest citizens, Washington and Lincoln, it has developed men whose ideals were lofty, not only as regards their conduct toward their fellow citizens within the borders of their own land, but also as to the way in which their country should behave in dealing with other countries. These men were the greatest of their type, the type of Timoleon and Hampden, and it is no small honor to America that this, the highest, type of statesmanship should have here received its highest development. . . . Both Washington and Lincoln were devoted Americans, devoted patriots. Each was willing to pour out the blood of the bravest and best in the land for a high and worthy cause, and each was a practical man, as far removed as possible from the sentimentalist and the doctrinaire. But each lived his life in accordance with a high ideal of right which forbade him to wrong his neighbor, and which when he became head of the state forbade him to inflict international wrong, as it forbade him to inflict private wrong. Each left to his countrymen as a priceless heritage the ennobling memory of a life which achieved great success through rendering far greater service, of a life lived in practical fashion for the achievement of lofty ideals, of a life lived in accordance with a standard of duty which forbade maltreatment of one man by another, which forbade maltreatment by one nation of another. (Outlook, January 23, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XII, 420-421; Nat. Ed. XI, 184-185.

____________. As a people we are indeed beyond measure fortunate in the characters of the two greatest of our public men, Washington and Lincoln. Widely though they differed in externals, the Virginia landed gentleman and the Kentucky backwoodsman, they were alike in essentials, they were alike in the great qualities which made each able to render service to his nation and to all mankind such as no other man of his generation could or did render. Each had lofty ideals, but each in striving to attain these lofty ideals was guided by the soundest common sense. Each possessed inflexible courage in adversity, and a soul wholly unspoiled by prosperity. Each possessed all the gentler virtues commonly exhibited by good men who lack rugged strength of character. Each possessed also all the strong qualities commonly exhibited by those towering masters of mankind who have too often shown themselves devoid of so much as the understanding of the words by which we signify the qualities of duty, of mercy, of devotion to the right, of lofty disinterestedness in battling for the good of others. There have been other men as great and other men as good; but in all the history of mankind there are no other two great men as good as these, no other two good men as great. (Address at Hodgenville, Ky., February 12, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XII, 452; Nat. Ed. XI, 211.

Washington and Lincoln—Service of

Washington and Lincoln set the standard of conduct for the public servants of this people. They showed how men of the strongest type could also possess all the disinterested, all the unselfish, devotion to duty and to the interests of their fellow countrymen that we have a right to expect, but can only hope to see in the very highest type of public servant. At however great a distance, I have been anxious to follow in their footsteps, and anxious that, however great the difference in degree, my service to the Nation should be approximately the same in kind as theirs. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, November 6, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 145; Bishop II, 125.

Washington and Lincoln — Teachings of

Lip-loyalty to Washington and Lincoln costs nothing and is worth just exactly what it costs. What counts is the application of their principles to the conditions of to-day. Whoever is too proud to fight, whoever believes that there are times when it is not well to arouse the spirit of patriotism, whoever demands peace without victory, whoever regards the demand for ample preparedness as hysterical, whoever attacks conscription and the draft or fails to uphold universal, obligatory military service, is false to the teachings and lives of Washington and Lincoln. Whoever seeks office, or upholds a candidate for office, on the ground that he “kept us out of war,” without regard to whether the honor and vital interests of the nation and of mankind demand the war, is treacherous to the principles of Washington and Lincoln; they did not “keep us out of war,” and they never sought or accepted office on a platform which they cynically repudiated when once they had secured office. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 56; Nat. Ed. XIX, 48.

Washington as Hunter

The greatest of Americans, Washington, was very fond of hunting, both with rifle and fowling-piece, and especially with horse, horn and hound. Essentially the representative of all that is best in our national life, standing high as a general, high as a statesman, and highest of all as a man, he could never have been what he was had he not taken delight in feats of hardihood, of daring, and of bodily prowess. He was strongly drawn to those field- sports which demand in their follower the exercise of the manly virtues—courage, endurance, physical address. As a young man, clad in the distinctive garb of the backwoodsman, the fringed and tasselled hunting- shirt, he led the life of a frontier surveyor; and like his fellow adventurers in wilderness exploration and Indian campaigning, he was often forced to trust to the long rifle for keeping his party in food. When at his home at Mount Vernon he hunted from simple delight in the sport. (1893.) Mem. Ed. II, 421-422; Nat. Ed. II, 361.

Washington’s Birthplace

On Sunday Mother and I spent about four hours ashore, taking our lunch and walking up to the monument which marks where the house stood in which Washington was born. It is a simple shaft. Every vestige of the house is destroyed, but a curious and rather pathetic thing is that, although it must be a hundred years since the place was deserted, there are still multitudes of flowers which must have come from those in the old garden. There are iris and narcissus and a little blue flower, with a neat, prim, clean smell that makes one feel as if it ought to be put with lavender into chests of fresh old linen. The narcissus in particular was growing around everywhere, together with real wild flowers like the painted columbine and star of Bethlehem. It was a lovely spot on a headland overlooking a broad inlet from the Potomac. There was also the old graveyard or grave plot in which were the gravestones of Washington’s father and mother and grandmother, all pretty nearly ruined. (Kermit Roosevelt, April 30, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 563; Nat. Ed. XIX, 506.

Watauga Settlement

The Watauga folk were the first Americans who, as a separate body, moved into the wilderness to hew out dwellings for themselves and their children, trusting only to their own shrewd heads, stout hearts, and strong arms, unhelped and unhampered by the power nominally their sovereign. They built up a commonwealth which had many successors; they showed that the frontiersmen could do their work unassisted; for they not only proved that they were made of stuff stern enough to hold its own against outside pressure of any sort, but they also made it evident that having won the land they were competent to govern both it and themselves. They were the first to do what the whole nation has since done. . . . The Watauga settlers outlined in advance the nation’s work. They tamed the rugged and shaggy wilderness, they bid defiance to outside foes, and they successfully solved the difficult problem of self- government. (1889.) Mem. Ed. X, 178-179; Nat. Ed. VIII, 157-158.

“Watchful Waiting”

The policy of watchful waiting, a policy popular among governmental chiefs of a certain type ever since the days of Ethelred the Unready and for thousands of years anterior to that not wholly fortunate ruler, has failed, as of course it always does fail in the presence of serious difficulty and of a resolute and ruthless foe. We have tried every possible expedient save only the application of wisdom and resolution. (Metropolitan, November 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 374; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 320.

____________. On August 27th, 1913, President Wilson said with marked oratorical effect: “We shall vigilantly watch the fortunes of those Americans who cannot get away from Mexico.” “Vigilant watching” — “watchful waiting” — the phrase matters nothing; for there never is any deed to back it up. Three years have passed since the date of this oration; three years of incessant elocution on the part of Mr. Wilson; three years of repeated invocations to humanity and peace by Mr. Wilson; and Mr. Wilson still continues to “vigilantly watch the fortunes of those Americans who cannot get away.” There are not many of them left now. Hundreds have been killed, and Mr. Wilson has watched their fortunes as disinterestedly as if they had been rats pursued by terriers. This administration has displayed no more feeling of responsibility for the American women who have been raped, and for the American men, women and children who have been killed in Mexico, than a farmer shows for the rats killed by his dogs when the hay is taken from a barn. And now the American people are asked to sanction this policy in the name of peace, righteousness and humanity. (At Lewiston, Me., August 31, 1916.) Theodore Roosevelt, Americanism and Preparedness. (New York, 1917), pp. 15-16.

“Watchful Waiting”

See also Mexico; Unpreparedness.

Water Conservation

The forests alone cannot . . . fully regulate and conserve the waters of the arid region. Great storage works are necessary to equalize the flow of streams and to save the flood waters. Their construction has been conclusively shown to be an undertaking too vast for private effort. Nor can it be best accomplished by the individual States acting alone. Far-reaching interstate problems are involved; and the resources of single States would often be inadequate. It is properly a national function, at least in some of its features. It is as right for the National Government to make the streams and rivers of the arid region useful by engineering works for water storage as to make useful the rivers and harbors of the humid region by engineering works of another kind. The storing of the floods in reservoirs at the headwaters of our rivers is but an enlargement of our present policy of river control, under which levees are built on the lower reaches of the same streams. The government should construct and maintain these reservoirs as it does other public works. Where their purpose is to regulate the flow of streams, the water should be turned freely into the channels in the dry season to take the same course under the same laws as the natural flow. (First Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 121- 122; Nat. Ed. XV, 105.

Water Conservation

See also Conservation; Flood Prevention; Inland Waterways.

Water Power

Running water pays no heed to State lines. Every important river system of our country includes more than one State in its area. The Nation, and the Nation alone, can act with full effect in this matter. Water power will play an enormous part in the future of industrialism. The people should not surrender it in fee to any individual or corporation, but merely rent it for a time on terms amply favorable to the users, but on terms which will safeguard the public; while the fact that the lease is only for a period of years will permit the public to take account of changing conditions. Outlook, January 28, 1911, p. 146.

____________. All the remaining water power in our country should be retained in full by the people, and should be developed and used so as to pay a good, fair profit to the developers, but with the prime aim of keeping the ultimate ownership in the people and making its beneficial use by the people the first consideration. Outlook, April 20, 1912, p. 853.

____________. The public should not alienate its fee in the water-power which will be of incalculable consequence as a source of power in the immediate future. The nation and the States within their several spheres should by immediate legislation keep the fee of the water-power, leasing its use only for a reasonable length of time on terms that will secure the interests of the public. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 405; Nat. Ed. XVII, 293.

Water Power

See also Electric Power.

Watered Stock

See Stock-Watering.


See Inland Waterways; Mississippi River.

Wayne, Anthony

One of the heroic figures of the Revolution was Anthony Wayne, major-general of the Continental line. With the exception of Washington, and perhaps Greene, he was the best general the Americans developed in the contest; and without exception he showed himself to be the hardest fighter produced on either side. He belongs, as regards this latter characteristic, with the men like Winfield Scott, Phil Kearney, Hancock, and Forrest, who revelled in the danger and the actual shock of arms. Indeed, his eager love of battle, and splendid disregard of peril, have made many writers forget his really great qualities as a general. Soldiers are always prompt to recognize the prime virtue of physical courage, and Wayne’s followers christened their daring commander “Mad Anthony,” in loving allusion to his reckless bravery. It is perfectly true that Wayne had this courage, and that he was a born fighter; otherwise, he never would have been a great commander. A man who lacks the fondness for fighting, the eager desire to punish his adversary, and the willingness to suffer punishment in return, may be a great organizer, like McClellan, but can never become a great general or win great victories. There are, however, plenty of men, who, though they possess these fine manly traits, yet lack the head to command an army; but Wayne had not only the heart and the hand but the head likewise. No man could dare as greatly as he did without incurring the risk of an occasional check; but he was an able and bold tactician, a vigilant and cautious leader, well fitted to bear the terrible burden of responsibility which rests upon a commander-in-chief. (1895.) Mem. Ed. IX, 45-46; Nat. Ed. X, 40-41.


Weakness invites contempt. Weakness combined with bluster invites both contempt and aggression. Self-respecting strength that respects the rights of others is the only quality that secures respect from others. If, in our foreign policy, we are weak, if we use lofty words at the same time that we commit mean or unworthy actions, and above all, if we fail to protect our own rights, we shall not secure the good- will of any one, and we shall incur the contempt of other nations; and contempt of that kind is easily turned into active international violence. (At Kansas City, Mo., May 30, 1916.) The Progressive Party; Its Record from January to July 1916. (Progressive National Committee, 1916), p. 57.

Weakness—Dangers of

A weakling who fears to stand up manfully for the right may work as much mischief as any strong-armed wrong-doer. (Metropolitan, March 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 432; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 370.

____________. Criminals always attack the helpless if possible. In exactly similar fashion aggressive and militarist nations attack weak nations where it is possible. Weakness always invites attack. Preparedness usually, but not always, averts it. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 279; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 240.

Weakness and Strength

It is not enough to be well-meaning and kindly, but weak; neither is it enough to be strong, unless morality and decency go hand in hand with strength. (At State Fair, Syracuse, N. Y., September 7, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 69; Nat. Ed. XVI, 59.

Weakness and Wickedness

We ought not to tolerate wrong. It is a sign of weakness to do so, and in its ultimate effects weakness is often quite as bad as wickedness. But in putting a stop to the wrong we should, so far as possible, avoid getting into an attitude of vindictive hatred toward the wrongdoer. (At Jamestown Exposition, Virginia, June 10, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 236; Nat. Ed. XVI, 174.


See also Courage; Manly Virtues; “Mollycoddle”; Preparedness


I am simply unable to understand the value placed by so many people upon great wealth. I very thoroughly understand the need of sufficient means to enable the man or woman to be comfortable; I also entirely understand the pleasure of having enough more than this to add certain luxuries, and above all, that greatest of all luxuries, the escape from the need of considering at every turn whether it is possible to spend a dollar or two extra; but when the last limit has been reached, then increase in wealth means but little, certainly as compared with all kinds of other things. In consequence, I am simply unable to make myself take the attitude of respect toward the very wealthy men which such an enormous multitude of people evidently really feel. I am delighted to show any courtesy to Pierpont Morgan or Andrew Carnegie or James J. Hill, but as for regarding any one of them as, for instance, I regard Professor Bury, or Peary, the Arctic explorer, or Admiral Evans, or Rhodes, the historian, or Selous, the big-game hunter (to mention at random guests who have been at the White House not long ago)—why, I could not force myself to do it even if I wanted to, which I do not. (To Sir Cecil Arthur Spring-Rice, April 11, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 128; Bishop II, 110.

____________. Wealthy men who use their wealth aright are a great power for good in the community, and help to upbuild that material national prosperity which must underlie national greatness; but if this were the only kind of success, the nation would be indeed poorly off. (Outlook, March 31, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 498; Nat. Ed. XIII, 383.

____________. There are plenty of ugly things about wealth and its possessors in the present age, and I suppose there have been in all ages. There are many rich people who so utterly lack patriotism, or show such sordid and selfish traits of character, or lead such mean and vacuous lives, that all right-minded men must look upon them with angry contempt; but, on the whole, the thrifty are apt to be better citizens than the thriftless; and the worst capitalist cannot harm laboring men as they are harmed by demagogues. (Review of Reviews, January 1897.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 376; Nat. Ed. XIII, 160.

Wealth—Abuse of

Our sternest effort should be exerted against the man of wealth and power who gets the wealth by harming others and uses the power without regard to the general welfare. (1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 385; Nat. Ed. XIX, 349.

____________. A great fortune if used wrongly is a menace to the community. A man of great wealth who does not use that wealth decently is, in a peculiar sense, a menace to the community, and so is the man who does not use his intellect aright. Each talent—the talent for making money, the talent for showing intellect at the bar, or in any other way—if unaccompanied by character, makes the possessor a menace to the community. But such a fact no more warrants us in attacking wealth than it does in attacking intellect. Every man of power, by the very fact of that power, is capable of doing damage to his neighbors; but we cannot afford to discourage the development of such men merely because it is possible they may use their power for wrong ends. If we did so we should leave our history a blank, for we should have no great statesmen, soldiers, merchants, no great men of arts, of letters, of science. Doubtless on the average the most useful citizen to the community as a whole is the man to whom has been granted what the Psalmist asked for— neither poverty nor riches. But the great captain of industry, the man of wealth, who, alone or in combination with his fellows, drives through our great business enterprises, is a factor without whom the civilization that we see roundabout us here could not have been built up. Good, not harm, normally comes from the upbuilding of such wealth. Probably the greatest harm done by vast wealth is the harm that we of moderate means do ourselves when we let the vices of envy and hatred enter deep into our own natures. (At Providence, R. I., August 23, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 76; Nat. Ed. XVI, 64.

____________. Much of the outcry against wealth, against the men who acquire wealth, and against the means by which it is acquired, is blind, unreasoning, and unjust; but in too many cases it has a basis in real abuses; and we must remember that every act of misconduct which affords any justification for this clamor is not only bad because of the wrong done, but also because the justification thus given inevitably strengthens movements which are in reality profoundly antisocial and anticivic. (Annual Message as Governor, Albany, January 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 42; Nat. Ed. XV, 37 The outcry against stopping dishonest practices among the very wealthy is precisely similar to the outcry raised against every effort for cleanliness and decency in city government because, forsooth, it will “hurt business.” . . . It is meet and fit that the apologists for corrupt wealth should oppose every effort to relieve weak and helpless people from crushing misfortune brought upon them by injury in the business from which they gain a bare livelihood and their employers fortunes. (To Charles J. Bonaparte, January 2, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 520, 521; Nat. Ed. XX, 447, 448.

Wealth — Accumulation of

The man who, having far surpassed the limit of providing for the wants, both of body and mind, of himself and of those depending upon him, then piles up a great fortune, for the acquisition or retention of which he returns no corresponding benefit to the nation as a whole, should himself be made to feel that, so far from being a desirable, he is an unworthy, citizen of the community; that he is to be neither admired nor envied; that his right-thinking fellow countrymen put him low in the scale of citizenship, and leave him to be consoled by the admiration of those whose level of purpose is even lower than his own. (At the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 360; Nat. Ed. XIII, 515.

____________. The mere acquisition of wealth in and by itself, beyond a certain point, speaks very little indeed for the man compared with success in most other lines of endeavor. . . . It is a great epic feat to drive a railroad across a continent; it is a great epic feat to build up a business worth building. For the man who performs that feat I have a genuine regard. For the man who makes a great fortune as an incident to rendering a great service I have nothing but admiration—although unfortunately the men who are entitled to our regard, and a little more—to our admiration—for the feats that they have thus done, have too often forfeited all right to that regard and admiration and more than forfeited it by the course that they have afterward, or coincidently, pursued in regard to money-making or in other matters. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 585; Nat. Ed. XIII, 623.

Wealth—Acquisition of

The chicanery and the dishonest, even though not technically illegal, methods through which some great fortunes have been made, are scandals to our civilization. The man who by swindling or wrong-doing acquires great wealth for himself at the expense of his fellow, stands as low morally as any predatory mediaeval nobleman, and is a more dangerous member of society. Any law, and any method of construing the law which will enable the community to punish him, either by taking away his wealth or by imprisonment, should be welcomed. (Annual Message as Governor, Albany, January 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 52; Nat. Ed. XV, 45.

Wealth—Control of

There is no one problem that is so difficult to deal with as the problem of how to do justice to wealth, either in the hands of the individual or the corporation, on the one hand, or, on the other, how to see that that wealth in return is used for the benefit of the whole community. The tendency, as is natural, is for men to range themselves in two extreme camps, each taking a position that, in the long run, would be almost equally fatal to the community. We have, on the one hand, the ignorant declaimer against all men of means; the man who paints his fellows who are well off as being, because of that very fact, the foes of the community as a whole, and, on the other, we find him, who, whether honestly or dishonestly, permits his fear of improper interference with property to take the form of shrinking from and avoiding all proper interference with it, who fears to take any attitude which any of his friends, any of those with whom he associates, may denounce as being an attitude hostile to men of means. (Before Independent Club, Buffalo, N. Y., May 15, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 486; Nat. Ed. XIV, 325.

____________. There may be better schemes of taxation than those at present employed; it may be wise to devise inheritance taxes, and to impose regulations on the kinds of business which can be carried on only under the especial protection of the State; and where there is a real abuse by wealth it needs to be, and in this country generally has been, promptly done away with; but the first lesson to teach the poor man is that, as a whole, the wealth in the community is distinctly beneficial to him; that he is better off in the long run because other men are well off; and that the surest way to destroy what measure of prosperity he may have is to paralyze industry and the well-being of those men who have achieved success. (Review of Reviews, January 1897.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 376; Nat. Ed. XIII, 161.

____________. The point to be aimed at is the protection of the individual against wrong, not the attempt to limit and hamper the acquisition and output of wealth. (Annual Message as Governor, Albany, January 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 47; Nat. Ed. XV, 41.

____________. We have no quarrel with the individuals, whether public men, lawyers or editors. . . . These men derive their sole power from the great, sinister offenders who stand behind them. They are but puppets who move as the strings are pulled by those who control the enormous masses of corporate wealth which if itself left uncontrolled threatens dire evil to the Republic. It is not the puppets, but the strong, cunning men and the mighty forces working for evil behind, and to a certain extent through, the puppets, with whom we have to deal. We seek to control law-defying wealth, in the first place to prevent its doing evil, and in the next place to avoid the vindictive and dreadful radicalism which if left uncontrolled it is certain in the end to arouse. . . . We stand with equal stoutness for the rights of the man of wealth and for the rights of the wage- workers; just as much so for one as for the other. We seek to stop wrong-doing; and we desire to punish the wrong-doer only so far as is necessary in order to achieve this end. We are the stanch upholders of every honest man, whether business man or wage-worker. (To Charles J. Bonaparte, January 2, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 523-524; Nat. Ed. XX, 450.

____________. Those men of enormous wealth who bitterly oppose every species of effective control, by the people through their governmental agents over the business use of that wealth are, I verily believe, most short-sighted as to their own ultimate interests. They should welcome such effort, they should welcome every effort to make them observe and to assist them in observing the law, so that their activities shall be helpful and not harmful to the American people. Most surely if the wise and moderate control we advocate does not come, then some day these men or their descendants will have to face the chance of some movement of really dangerous and drastic character being directed against them. The very wealthy men who oppose this action illustrate the undoubted truth that some of the men who have the money touch, some of the men who can amass enormous fortunes, possess an ability as specialized and non-indicative of other forms of ability as the ability to play chess exceptionally well, or to add up four columns of figures at once. The men of wealth of this type are not only hostile to the interests of the country but hostile to their own interests; their great business ability is unaccompanied by even the slightest ability to read the signs of the times or understand the temper of the American people. (At Louisville, Ky., April 3, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 249; Nat. Ed. XVII, 184.

Wealth—Hostility Towards

If demagogues or ignorant enthusiasts who are misled by demagogues, could succeed in destroying wealth, they would, of course, simply work the ruin of the entire community, and, first of all, of the unfortunates for whom they profess to feel an especial interest. But the very existence of unreasoning hostility to wealth should make us all the more careful in seeing that wealth does nothing to justify such hostility. We are the true friends of the men of means; we are the true friends of the lawful corporate interests, which do good work for the community, when we insist that the men of means and the great corporations shall pay their full share of taxes and have their full share of the public burdens. If this is done, then, sooner or later, will follow public recognition of the fact that it is done; and when there is no legitimate basis for discontent the American public is sure, sooner or later, to cease feeling discontent. (To New York Legislature, May 22, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 143; Bishop I, 122-123.

Wealth—Power of

Neither this people nor any other free people will permanently tolerate the use of the vast power conferred by vast wealth, and especially by wealth in its corporate form, without lodging somewhere in the Government the still higher power of seeing that this power, in addition to being used in the interest of the individual or individuals possessing it, is also used for and not against the interests of the people as a whole. (At Union League Club, Philadelphia, January 30, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 490; Bishop I, 427.

____________. The absence of effective State, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power. The prime need is to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which it is not for the general welfare that they should hold or exercise. We grudge no man a fortune which represents his own power and sagacity, when exercised with entire regard to the welfare of his fellows. . . . We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 20; Nat. Ed. XVII, 13.

Wealth—Responsibility of

To whom much has been given, from him much is rightfully expected, and a heavy burden of responsibility rests upon the man of means to justify by his actions the social conditions which have rendered it possible for him or his forefathers to accumulate and to keep the property he enjoys. He is not to be excused if he does not render full measure of service to the State and to the community at large. There are many ways in which this service can be rendered—in art, in literature, in philanthropy, as a statesman, as a soldier—but in some way he is in honor bound to render it, so that benefit may accrue to his brethren who have been less favored by fortune than he has been. In short, he must work, and work not only for himself, but for others. If he does not work, he fails not only in his duty to the rest of the community, but he fails signally in his duty to himself. (At Labor Day Picnic, Chicago, September 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 516; Nat. Ed. XIII, 487.

____________. It is practically impossible to keep a great fortune so that it shall be neutral. Its possessor will use it either for good or for evil. The individual man of wealth must be either a benefit to the commonweal or the reverse. All honor to the man who is on the watch to take advantage of every opportunity to do good with his money. If he fails to take advantage of the chance when offered, a heavy weight of responsibility lies upon him. In some way or other every man can serve the civilization in which he lives, and not the least of the opportunities open to every man of wealth is that of furnishing the tools and the field for the great non-remunerative work which marks so much of the world’s real progress. (Remarks at dedication, December 29, 1900.) Opening of the Medical School. (Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y., 1901), pp. 21-22.

____________. Our men of vast wealth do not fully realize that great responsibility must always go hand in hand with great privileges. (To King Edward VII, February 12, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 318; Bishop II, 269.

Wealth—Taxation of

No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. Every dollar received should represent a dollar’s worth of service rendered—not gambling in stocks, but service rendered. The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective—a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 20; Nat. Ed. XVII, 14.

Wealth—Tyranny of

Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of a plutocracy. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 484; Nat. Ed. XX, 416.


See also Capitalists; Fortunes; Government , American; Income Tax; Inheritance Tax; “Malefactors Of Great Wealth”; Materialist; Millionaires; Moneyed Men; National Greatness; Popular Rule; Privilege; Property; Special Interests; Success; Wall Street; Work.

Weasel Words

Bill Sewall at that time had two brothers. Sam was a deacon. Dave was NOT a deacon. It was from Dave that I heard an expression which ever after remained in my mind. He was speaking of a local personage of shifty character who was very adroit in using fair-sounding words which completely nullified the meaning of other fair-sounding words which preceded them. “His words weasel the meaning of the words in front of them,” said Dave, “just like a weasel when he sucks the meat out of an egg and leaves nothing but the shell;” and I always remembered “weasel words” as applicable to certain forms of oratory, especially political oratory, which I do not admire. (“My Debt to Maine,” dated March 20, 1918). Maine, My State. (Maine Writers Research Club, 1919), pp. 19-20.

____________. The Baltimore [Democratic] platform offers perhaps as good an example as any platform of the last thirty years of what has become a typical vice of American politics—the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues, and the announcement of radical policies with much sound and fury, and at the same time with a cautious accompaniment of weasel phrases each of which sucks the meat out of the preceding statement. (Outlook, July 27, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 350; Nat. Ed. XVII, 248.

____________. One of our defects as a nation is a tendency to use what have been called “weasel words.” When a weasel sucks eggs the meat is sucked out of the egg. If you use a “weasel word” after another there is nothing left of the other. (At St. Louis, May 31, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 483; Bishop II, 411.


See Public Welfare.

West—Importance of the

Using the word “West” in the old sense, as meaning the country west of the Alleghanies, it is, of course, perfectly obvious that it is the West which will shape the destinies of this nation. The great group of wealthy and powerful States about the upper Mississippi, the Ohio, the Missouri, and their tributaries, will have far more weight than any other section in deciding the fate of the Republic in the centuries that are opening. This is not in the least to be regretted by the East, for the simple and excellent reason that the interests of the West and the East are one. The West will shape our destinies because she will have more people and a greater territory, and because the whole development of the Western country is such as to make it peculiarly the exponent of all that is most vigorously and characteristically American in our national life. (Century, January 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 405; Nat. Ed. XIII, 356.

West—Separatism in the

Evil though the separatist movements were, they were at times imperfectly justified by the spirit of sectional distrust and bitterness rife in portions of the country which, at the moment, were themselves loyal to the Union. This was especially true of the early separatist movements in the West. Unfortunately, the attitude toward the Westerners of certain portions of the population in the older States, and especially in the northeastern States, was one of unreasoning jealousy and suspicion; and though this mental attitude rarely crystallized into hostile deeds, its very existence, and the knowledge that it did exist, embittered the men of the West. (1894.) Mem. Ed. XI, 320; Nat. Ed. IX, 96.

West—Success in the

Now a little plain talk, though I think it unnecessary, for I know you too well. If you are afraid of hard work and privation, don't come out west. If you expect to make a fortune in a year or two, don't come west. If you will give up under temporary discouragements, don't come out west. If, on the other hand, you are willing to work hard, especially the first year; if you realize that for a couple of years you cannot expect to make much more than you are now making; if you also know at the end of that time you will be in the receipt of about a thousand dollars for the third year, with an unlimited field ahead of you and a future as bright as you yourself choose to make it, then come. (To Sewall, July 6, 1884.) William W. Sewall, Bill Sewall's Story of T. R. (Harper & Bros., N. Y., 1919), pp. 13-14.

____________. The man most apt to succeed in the West is he who knows a trade well or who is a skillful craftsman with his hands. An energetic, thrifty, hard- working young fellow who is a good carpenter or blacksmith will always find an opening, and if he labors as hard as he did in the East, will get along much faster. Of course I am not now speaking of such exceptional success as fails to the lot of a few of the men who go West, but of the chances opening themselves to the average man who possesses both push and honesty. It is always possible that a man may make a fortune by speculating in town lots, by striking pay gravel in mining, by having an unusual chance in cattle or sheep; but such instances as these stand on the same plane with the fortunes made in Wall Street. An exceptionally able speculator always runs a chance of making a fortune, West or East, and in both places he also runs at least a hundred chances of losing everything he has in the world. Men forget this, however; and those who, if they stayed at home, would esteem themselves fortunate if they were able to earn a competence, become discontented in the West if they do not rapidly acquire great wealth. Harper's Weekly, January 2, 1886, p. 7.

West, The

See also Benton, T. H.; Boone, Daniel; Canadian Northwest; Cattleman; Clark, George Rogers; Cowboys; Expansion; Explorers; Frontier; Frontiersmen; Homestead Law; Hunters; Individualism; Jesuits; Louisiana Purchase; Manifest Destiny; Methodist Church; Militia; New England; North-West; Pioneer; Scotch-Irish; Sevier, John; Slavery; Texas; Vigilantes; War Of 1812; Watauga Settlement; Western; Westward; Wister, Owen.

West Indies

The events of the last four years have shown us that the West Indies and the Isthmus must in the future occupy a far larger place in our national policy than in the past. This is proved by the negotiations for the purchase of the Danish Islands, the acquisition of Porto Rico, the preparation for building an Isthmian Canal, and, finally, by the changed relations which these years have produced between us and Cuba. (At Charleston Exposition, S. C., April 9, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 34-35; Nat. Ed. XVI, 29.

West Indies

See also Cuba; Haiti; Martinique; Monroe Doctrine; Porto Rico; Santo Domingo; Slavery.

West Point

Not merely has West Point contributed a greater number of the men who stand highest on the nation's honor-roll, but I think beyond question that, taken as a whole, the average graduate of West Point, during this hundred years, has given a greater sum of service to the country through his life than has the average graduate of any other institution in this broad land. Now, gentlemen, that is not surprising. It is what we had a right to expect from this military university, founded by the nation. It is what we had a right to expect, but I am glad that the expectation has been made good. And of all the institutions in this country, none is more absolutely American, none, in the proper sense of the word, more absolutely democratic than this. Here we care nothing for the boy's birthplace, nor his creed, nor his social standing; here we care nothing save for his worth as he is able to show it. Here you represent with almost mathematical exactness all the country geographically. You are drawn from every walk of life by a method of choice made to insure, and which in the great majority of cases does insure, that heed shall be paid to nothing save the boy’s aptitude for the profession into which he seeks entrance. Here you come together as representatives of America in a higher and more peculiar sense than can possibly be true of any other institution in the land, save your sister college that makes similar preparation for the service of the country on the seas. (At Centennial Celebration, U. S. Military Academy, West Point, June 11, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 303-304; Nat. Ed. XVI, 227-228.

West Point and Annapolis

West Point and Annapolis already turn out excellent officers. We do not need to have these schools made more scholastic. On the contrary we should never lose sight of the fact that the aim of each school is to turn out a man who shall be above everything else a fighting man. In the army in particular it is not necessary that either the cavalry or infantry officer should have special mathematical ability. Probably in both schools the best part of the education is the high standard of character and of professional morale which it confers. (Sixth Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 476; Nat. Ed. XV, 406. geographically. You are drawn from every walk of life by a method of choice made to insure, and which in the great majority of cases does insure, that heed shall be paid to nothing save the boy’s aptitude for the profession into which he seeks entrance. Here you come together as representatives of America in a higher and more peculiar sense than can possibly be true of any other institution in the land, save your sister college that makes similar preparation for the service of the country on the seas. (At Centennial Celebration, U. S. Military Academy, West Point, June 11, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 303-304; Nat. Ed. XVI, 227-228.

West Point and Annapolis

West Point and Annapolis already turn out excellent officers. We do not need to have these schools made more scholastic. On the contrary we should never lose sight of the fact that the aim of each school is to turn out a man who shall be above everything else a fighting man. In the army in particular it is not necessary that either the cavalry or infantry officer should have special mathematical ability. Probably in both schools the best part of the education is the high standard of character and of professional morale which it confers. (Sixth Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 476; Nat. Ed. XV, 406.

West Point

See also Army Officers; Westward Movement.

Western Explorers

The hunters were the pioneers; but close behind them came another set of explorers quite as hardy and resolute. These were the surveyors. The men of chain and compass played a part in the exploration of the West scarcely inferior to that of the heroes of axe and rifle. Often, indeed, the parts were combined; Boone himself was a surveyor. Vast tracts of Western land were continually being allotted either to actual settlers or as bounties to soldiers who had served against the French and Indians. These had to be explored and mapped, and as there was much risk as well as reward in the task it naturally proved attractive to all adventurous young men who had some education, a good deal of ambition, and not too much fortune. A great number of young men of good families, like Washington and Clark, went into the business. (1889.) Mem. Ed. X, 144; Nat. Ed. VIII, 127.

Western Settlement

The method of settlement of these States of the Mississippi valley had nothing whatever in common with the way in which California and the Australian colonies were suddenly filled up by the promiscuous overflow of a civilized population, which had practically no fear of any resistance from the stunted and scanty native races. It was far more closely akin to the tribe movements of the Germanic peoples in time past; to that movement, for example, by which the Juttish and Low Dutch sea- thieves on the Coast of Britain worked their way inland at the cost of the Cymric Celts. The early settlers of the territory lying immediately west of the Alleghanies were all of the same kind; they were in search of homes, not of riches, and their actions were planned accordingly, except in so far as they were influenced by mere restless love of adventure and excitement. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 5-6; Nat. Ed. VII, 5.

____________. The Americans began their work of Western conquest as a separate and i
ndividual people, at the moment when they sprang into national life. It has been their great work ever since. All other questions, save those of the preservation of the Union itself and of the emancipation of the blacks, have been of subordinate importance when compared with the great question of how rapidly and how completely they were to subjugate that part of their continent lying between the eastern mountains and the Pacific. (1889.) Mem. Ed. X, 21; Nat. Ed. VIII, 18.

____________. The West was neither discovered, won, nor settled by any single man. No keen-eyed statesman planned the movement, nor was it carried out by any great military leader; it was the work of a whole people, of whom each man was impelled mainly by sheer love of adventure; it was the outcome of the ceaseless strivings of all the dauntless, restless backwoods folk to win homes for their descendants and to each penetrate deeper than his neighbors into the remote forest hunting-grounds where the perilous pleasures of the chase and of war could be best enjoyed. We owe the conquest of the West to all the backwoodsmen, not to any solitary individual among them; where all alike were strong and daring there was no chance for any single man to rise to unquestioned pre-eminence. (1889.) Mem. Ed. X, 136; Nat. Ed. VIII, 120.

Western Territory — Struggle for

It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of the treaties and wars by means of which we finally gave definite bounds to our territory beyond the Mississippi. Contemporary political writers and students, of the lesser sort, are always painfully deficient in the sense of historic perspective; and to such the struggles for the possession of the unknown and dimly outlined Western wastes seemed of small consequence compared to similar European contests for territorial aggrandizement. Yet, in reality, when we look at the far-reaching nature of the results, the questions as to what kingdom should receive the fealty of Holstein or Lorraine, of Savoy or the Dobrudscha, seem of absolutely trivial importance compared to the infinitely more momentous ones as to the future race settlement and national ownership of the then lonely and unpeopled lands of Texas, California, and Oregon. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 195; Nat. Ed. VII, 169.

Westward Movement

The whole character of the westward movement, the methods of warfare, of settlement and government, were determined by the extreme and defiant individualism of the backwoodsmen, their in-born independence and self- reliance, and their intensely democratic spirit. The West was won and settled by a number of groups of men, all acting independently of one another, but with a common object, and at about the same time. There was no one controlling spirit; it was essentially the movement of a whole free people, not of a single master-mind. There were strong and able leaders, who showed themselves fearless soldiers and just law- givers, undaunted by danger, resolute to persevere in the teeth of disaster; but even these leaders are most deeply interesting because they stand foremost among a host of others like them. (1889.) Mem. Ed. XI, 224; Nat. Ed. IX, 12.

____________. On the vital question of the West and its territorial expansion the Jeffersonian party was, on the whole, emphatically right, and its opponents, the Federalists, emphatically wrong. The Jeffersonians believed in the acquisition of territory in the West, and the Federalists did not. The Jeffersonians believed that the Westerners should be allowed to govern themselves precisely as other citizens of the United States did, and should be given their full share in the management of national affairs. Too many Federalists failed to see that these positions were the only proper ones to take. In consequence, notwithstanding all their manifold shortcomings, the Jeffersonians, and not the Federalists, were those to whom the West owed most. (1896.) Mem. Ed. XII, 279; Nat. Ed. IX, 434-435.

____________. [The] marvellously rapid westward extension of our people across the continent would have been impossible had it not been for the quiet, faithful, uncomplaining, often heroic, and almost always absolutely unnoticed service rendered by the regular army. Abreast of the first hardy pioneers, whether miners or cattlemen, appeared the West Point officer and his little company of trained soldiers; and the more regular settlers never made their appearance until, in campaign after campaign, always very wearing and harassing, and often very bloody in character, the scarred and tattered troops had decisively overthrown the Indian lords of the land. Save for the presence of the regular army a large portion of the territory inclosed within the limits of the flourishing States of the great plains and the Rockies would still be in the possession of hostile Indians, and the work of settlement in the West could not have reached its present point. (Atlantic Monthly, February 1892.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 295-296; Nat. Ed. XII, 254-255.

Western; Westward

See Also Cross References Under West , The. Wharton, Edith.
See Belgian Refugees. Whig Party.

The principles of the Whigs were hazily outlined at the best, and the party was never a very creditable organization; indeed, throughout its career, it could be most easily defined as the opposition to the Democracy. It was a free constructionist party, believing in giving liberal interpretation to the doctrines of the Constitution; otherwise, its principles were purely economic, as it favored a high tariff, internal improvements, a bank, and kindred schemes; and its leaders, however they might quarrel among themselves, agreed thoroughly in their devout hatred of Jackson and all his works. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 177; Nat. Ed. VII, 153-154.

White, Henry

The most useful man in the entire diplomatic service, during my Presidency and for many years before, was Harry White; and I say this having in mind the high quality of work done by such admirable ambassadors and ministers as Bacon, Meyer, Straus, O'Brien, Rockhill, and Egan, to name only a few among many. When I left the Presidency, White was ambassador to France; shortly afterwards he was removed by Mr. Taft, for reasons unconnected with the good of the service. (July 1913.) Allan Nevins, Henry White. Thirty Years of American Diplomacy. (Harper & Bros., N. Y., 1930), p. 305.

White, Horace

See Mugwumps.

White House

The White House is the property of the nation, and so far as is compatible with living therein it should be kept as it originally was, for the same reasons that we keep Mount Vernon as it originally was. The stately simplicity of its architecture is an expression of the character of the period in which it was built, and is in accord with the purposes it was designed to serve. It is a good thing to preserve such buildings as historic monuments which keep alive our sense of continuity with the nation’s past. (Second Annual Message, Washington, December 2, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 194-195; Nat. Ed. XV, 167-168.

____________. I don’t think that any family has ever enjoyed the White House more than we have. I was thinking about it just this morning when Mother and I took breakfast on the portico and afterwards walked about the lovely grounds and looked at the stately historic old house. It is a wonderful privilege to have been here and to have been given the chance to do this work, and I should regard myself as having a small and mean mind if in the event of defeat I felt soured at not having had more instead of being thankful for having had so much. (To Kermit Roosevelt, June 21, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 528; Nat. Ed. XIX, 474.

____________. We were all of us, I am almost ashamed to say, rather blue at getting back in the White House, simply because we missed Sagamore Hill so much. But it is very beautiful and we feel very ungrateful at having even a passing fit of blueness, and we are enjoying it to the full now. (To Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., October 2, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 548; Nat. Ed. XIX, 492.

White Slave Traffic

As regards the white- slave traffic, the men engaged in it, and the women too, are far worse criminals than any ordinary murderers can be. For them there is need of such a law as that recently adopted in England through the efforts of Arthur Lee, M.P., a law which includes whipping for the male offenders. There are brutes so low, so infamous, so degraded and bestial in their cruelty and brutally, that the only way to get at them is through their skins. Sentimentality on behalf of such men is really almost as unhealthy and wicked as the criminality of the men themselves. My experience is that there should be no toleration of any “tender-loin” or “red light” district, and that, above all, there should be the most relentless war on commercialized vice. The men who profit and make their living by the depravity and the awful misery of other human beings stand far below any ordinary criminals, and no measures taken against them can be too severe. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 236; Nat. Ed. XX, 203

White Slave Traffic

See Also Prostitution.

Whitman, Walt

Of all the poets of the nineteenth century, Walt Whitman was the only one who dared use the Bowery—that is, use anything that was striking and vividly typical of the humanity around him—as Dante used the ordinary humanity of his day; and even Whitman was not quite natural in doing so, for he always felt that he was defying the conventions and prejudices of his neighbors, and his self-consciousness made him a little defiant. . . . Whitman wrote of homely things and every-day men, and of their greatness, but his art was not equal to his power and his purpose; and, even as it was, he, the poet, by set intention, of the democracy, is not known to the people as widely as he should be known; and it is only the few—the men like Edward FitzGerald, John Burroughs, and W. E. Henley—who prize him as he ought to be prized. (Outlook, August 26, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 439-440; Nat. Ed. XII, 98-99.


See Vice; Weakness.

Wild Life—Destruction of

It is deeply discreditable to the people of any country calling itself civilized that as regards many of the grandest or most beautiful or most interesting forms of wild life once to be found in the land we should now be limited to describing, usually in the driest of dry books, the physical characteristics which when living they possessed, and the melancholy date at which they ceased to live. (Outlook, January 20, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 566; Nat. Ed. XII, 424.

Wild Life—Preservation of

In a civilized and cultivated country wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen. The excellent people who protest against all hunting, and consider sportsmen as enemies of wild life, are ignorant of the fact that in reality the genuine sportsman is by all odds the most important factor in keeping the larger and more valuable wild creatures from total extermination. Of course, if wild animals were allowed to breed unchecked, they would, in an incredibly short space of time, render any country uninhabitable by man—a fact which ought to be a matter of elementary knowledge in any community where the average intelligence is above that of certain portions of Hindoostan. Equally, of course, in a purely utilitarian community, all wild animals are exterminated out of hand. In order to preserve the wild life of the wilderness at all, some middle ground must be found between brutal and senseless slaughter and the unhealthy sentimentalism which would just as surely defeat its own end by bringing about the eventual total extinction of the game. It is impossible to preserve the larger wild animals in regions thoroughly fit for agriculture; and it is perhaps too much to hope that the larger carnivora can be preserved for merely aesthetic reasons. But throughout our country there are large regions entirely unsuited for agriculture, where, if the people only have foresight, they can, through the power of the State, keep the game in perpetuity. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 252; Nat. Ed. III, 73-74.

____________. Every believer in manliness and therefore in manly sport; and every lover of nature, every man who appreciates the majesty and beauty of the wilderness and of wild life, should strike hands with the far-sighted men who wish to preserve our material resources, in the effort to keep our forests and our game beasts, game-birds, and game-fish—indeed, all the living creatures of prairie and woodland and seashore— from wanton destruction. Above all, we should realize that the effort toward this end is essentially a democratic movement. It is entirely in our power as a nation to preserve large tracts of wilderness, which are valueless for agricultural purposes and unfit for settlement, as playgrounds for rich and poor alike, and to preserve the game so that it shall continue to exist for the benefit of all lovers of nature, and to give reasonable opportunities for the exercise of the skill of the hunter, whether he is or is not a man of means. But this end can only be achieved by wise laws and by a resolute enforcement of the laws. Lack of such legislation and administration will result in harm to all of us, but most of all in harm to the nature-lover who does not possess vast wealth. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 267-268; Nat. Ed. III, 86-87.

____________. All civilized governments are now realizing that it is their duty here
and there to preserve, unharmed, tracts of wild nature, with thereon the wild things the destruction of which means the destruction of half the charm of wild nature. The English Government has made a large game reserve of much of the region on the way to Nairobi, stretching far to the south, and one mile to the north, of the track. The reserve swarms with game; it would be of little value except as a reserve; and the attraction it now offers to travellers renders it an asset of real consequence to the whole colony. The wise people of Maine, in our own country, have discovered that intelligent game preservation, carried out in good faith, and in a spirit of common sense as far removed from mushy sentimentality as from brutality, results in adding one more to the State’s natural resources of value. (1910.) Mem. Ed. V, 12-13; Nat. Ed. IV, 11.

____________. The civilized people of today look back with horror at their mediaeval ancestors who wantonly destroyed great works of art, or sat slothfully by while they were destroyed. We have passed that stage. We treasure pictures and sculptures. We regard Attic temples and Roman triumphal arches and Gothic cathedrals as of priceless value. But we are, as a whole, still in that low state of civilization where we do not understand that it is also vandalism wantonly to destroy or to permit the destruction of what is beautiful in nature, whether it be a cliff, a forest, or a species of mammal or bird. Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests, and exterminate fishes, birds and mammals—not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements. But at last it looks as if our people were awakening. (Outlook , January 25, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 561-562; Nat. Ed. XII, 419-420.

____________. I hope that the efforts of the Audubon societies and kindred organizations will gradually make themselves felt until it becomes a point of honor not only with the American man, but with the American small boy, to shield and protect all forms of harmless wild life. True sportsmen should take the lead in such a movement, for if there is to be any shooting there must be something to shoot; the prime necessity is to keep, and not kill out, even the birds which in legitimate numbers may be shot. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 365; Nat. Ed. XX, 314.

Wild Life

See Also Audubon Socities; Birds; Conservation; Game; Hunting; Yellowstone Park.

Wilderness, The African

There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm. There is delight in the hardy life of the open, in long rides rifle in hand, in the thrill of the fight with dangerous game. Apart from this, yet mingled with it, is the strong attraction of the silent places, of the large tropic moons, and the splendor of the new stars; where the wanderer sees the awful glory of sunrise and sunset in the wide waste spaces of the earth, unworn of man, and changed only by the slow change of the ages through time everlasting. (1910.) Mem. Ed. V, xxvii; Nat. Ed. IV, xxiv-xxv.

Wilderness, The American

The differences in plant life and animal life, no less than in the physical features of the land, are sufficiently marked to give the American wilderness a character distinctly its own. Some of the most characteristic of the woodland animals, some of those which have most vividly impressed themselves on the imagination of the hunters and pioneer settlers, are the very ones which have no Old World representatives. The wild turkey is in every way the king of American game-birds. Among the small beasts the coon and the possum are those which have left the deepest traces in the humbler lore of the frontier; exactly as the cougar—usually under the name of panther or mountain lion—is a favorite figure in the wilder hunting tales. Nowhere else is there anything to match the wealth of the eastern hardwood forests, in number, variety and beauty of trees; nowhere else is it possible to find conifers approaching in size the giant redwoods and sequoias of the Pacific slope. Nature here is generally on a larger scale than in the Old World home of our race. The lakes are like inland seas, the rivers like arms of the sea. Among stupendous mountain chains there are valleys and canyons of fathomless depth and incredible beauty and majesty. There are tropical swamps, and sad, frozen marshes; deserts and Death Valleys, weird and evil, and the strange wonderland of the Wyoming geyser region. The waterfalls are rivers rushing over precipices; the prairies seem without limit, and the forest never-ending. (1893.) Mem. Ed. II, 6-7; Nat. Ed. II, 5-6.

Wilderness Life

All life in the wilderness is so pleasant that the temptation is to consider each particular variety, while one is enjoying it, as better than any other. A canoe trip through the great forests, a trip with a pack-train among the mountains, a trip on snow-shoes through the silent, mysterious fairy-land of the woods in winter—each has its peculiar charm. To some men the sunny monotony of the great plains is wearisome; personally there are few things I have enjoyed more than journeying over them where the game was at all plentiful. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 144- 145; Nat. Ed. II, 514.


See Also Adventure ; Grand Canyon; Hunting; Nature ; Outdoor Life.

William Ii

I wish the Kaiser well. I should never dream of counting on his friendship for this country. He respects us because he thinks that for a sufficient object and on our own terms we would fight, and that we have a pretty good navy with which to fight. . . . I get exasperated with the Kaiser because of his sudden vagaries like this Morocco policy, or like his speech about the yellow peril the other day—a speech worthy of any fool congressman; and I cannot, of course, follow or take too seriously a man whose policy is one of such violent and often wholly irrational zigzags. . . . If the Kaiser ever causes trouble, it will be from jumpiness and not because of long-thought out and deliberate purpose. In other words he is much more apt to be an exasperating and unpleasant than a dangerous neighbour. (To Spring-Rice, May 13, 1905.) The Letters and Friendships of Sir Cecil Spring-Rice. (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1929), I, 470-471.

____________. My chief interest at Berlin was in the Emperor himself. He is an able and powerful man. . . . Moreover, he is entirely modest about the many things which he thoroughly knows, such as the industrial and military conditions and needs of Germany. But he lacks all sense of humor when he comes to discuss the things that he does not know, and which he pride himself upon knowing, such as matters artistic and scientific. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, October 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 294-295; Bishop II, 251-252.

____________. It is very possible that the same spirit which makes the Emperor like to hector small kings also makes him dictatorial in his family. In public affairs, experience has taught him as far as his own people are concerned that he must be very careful in going too far in making believe that he is an all-powerful monarch by divine right, and I think he likes to relieve himself by acting the part where it is safer. In international affairs he at times acts as a bully, and moreover as a bully who bluffs and then backs down; I would not regard him nor Germany as a pleasant national neighbor. Yet again and again, and I think sincerely for the moment at least, he dwelt to me on his desire to see England, Germany and the United States act together in all matters of world policy. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, October 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 302; Bishop II, 258.

____________. To paint the Kaiser as a devil, merely bent on gratifying a wicked thirst for bloodshed, is an absurdity, and worse than an absurdity. I believe that history will declare the Kaiser acted in conformity with the feelings of the German people and as he sincerely believed the interests of his people demanded; and, as so often before in his personal and family life, he and his family have given honorable proof that they possess the qualities that are characteristic of the German people. Every one of his sons went to the war, not nominally, but to face every danger and hardship. Two of his sons hastily married the girls to whom they were betrothed and immediately afterward left for the front. (New York Times, October 11, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 53; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 45.

William Ii—Power of

William is no longer the German people. He is not as big a man in Germany . . . as he is out of Germany. I must say that on the whole I was disappointed with him. I found him vain as a peacock. He would rather ride at the head of a procession than govern an empire. That is what has contributed mostly to his downfall, for he certainly has had a downfall. (Recorded by Butt in letter of June 30, 1910.) Taft and Roosevelt. The Intimate Letters of Archie Butt. (Doubleday, Doran & Co., Garden City, N. Y., 1930), I, 421.

____________. I was not a little surprised to find that the Emperor was by no means as great a character in Berlin as outsiders supposed him to be, and that both the men highest in politics and the Administration and the people at large, took evident pleasure in having him understand that he was not supreme, and that he must yield to the will of the Nation on any point as to which the Nation had decided views. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, October 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 291; Bishop II, 249.

William Ii and Roosevelt

It always amuses me to find that the English think that I am under the influence of the Kaiser. The heavy-witted creatures do not understand that nothing would persuade me to follow the lead of or enter into close alliance with a man who is so jumpy, so little capable of continuity of action, and therefore, so little capable of being loyal to his friends or steadfastly hostile to an enemy. Undoubtedly with Russia weakened Germany feels it can be fairly insolent within the borders of Europe. I intend to do my best to keep on good terms with Germany, as with all other nations, and so far as I can to keep them on good terms with one another; and I shall be friendly to the Kaiser as I am friendly to every one. But as for his having any special influence with me, the thought is absurd. (To H. C. Lodge, May 15, 1905.) Lodge Letters II, 123.

____________. My course with him during the last five years has been uniform. I admire him, respect him, and like him. I think him a big man, and on the whole a good man; but I think his international and indeed his personal attitude one of intense egoism. I have always been most polite with him, have done my best to avoid our taking any attitude which could possibly give him legitimate offense, and have endeavored to show him that I was sincerely friendly to him and to Germany. Moreover, where I have forced him to give way I have been sedulously anxious to build a bridge of gold for him, and to give him the satisfaction of feeling that his dignity and reputation in the face of the world were safe. In other words, where I have had to take part of the kernel from him, I have been anxious that he should have all the shell possible, and have that shell painted any way he wished. At the same time I have had to speak with express emphasis to him on more than one occasion; and on one occasion (that of Venezuela) have had to make a display of force and to convince him definitely that I would use the force if necessary. (To Henry White, August 14, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 319; Bishop II, 270.

____________. In the fundamentals of domestic morality, and as regards all that side of religion which is moral, we agreed heartily; but there is a good deal of dogmatic theology which to him means much and to me is entirely meaningless; and on the other hand, as is inevitable with a man brought up in the school of Frederick the Great and Bismarck— in contrast to any one whose heroes are men like Timoleon, John Hampden, Washington, and Lincoln— there were many points in international morality where he and I were completely asunder. But at least we agreed in a cordial dislike of shams and of pretense, and therefore in a cordial dislike of the kind of washy movement for international peace with which Carnegie’s name has become so closely associated. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, October 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 295; Bishop II, 252.

William Ii

See also Algeciras Conference; Germany.

Wilson, James

I cannot do better than base my theory of governmental action upon the words and deeds of one of Pennsylvania’s greatest sons, Justice James Wilson. Wilson’s career has been singularly overlooked for many years, but I believe that more and more it is now being adequately appreciated; and I congratulate your State upon the fact that Wilson’s body is to be taken away from where it now rests and brought back to lie, as it should, in Pennsylvania soil. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was one of the men who saw that the Revolution, in which he had served as a soldier, would be utterly fruitless unless it was followed by a close and permanent union of the States; and in the Constitutional Convention, and in securing the adoption of the Constitution and expounding what it meant, he rendered services even greater than he rendered as a member of the Continental Congress, which declared our independence; for it was the success of the makers and preservers of the Union which justified our independence. He believed in the people with the faith of Abraham Lincoln; and coupled with his faith in the people he had what most of the men who in this generation believed in the people did not have; that is, the courage to recognize the fact that faith in the people amounted to nothing unless the representatives of the people assembled together in the National Government were given full and complete power to work on behalf of the people. He developed even before Marshall the doctrine (absolutely essential not merely to the efficiency but to the existence of this nation) that an inherent power rested in the nation, outside of the enumerated powers conferred upon it by the Constitution, in all cases where the object involved was beyond the power of the several States and was a power ordinarily exercised by sovereign nations. (At Harrisburg, Pa., October 4, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 82- 83; Nat. Ed. XVI, 69-70.

Wilson, Woodrow

Wilson, although still the strongest man the Democrats could nominate, is much weaker than he was. He has given a good many people a feeling that he is very ambitious and not entirely sincere, and his demand for the Carnegie pension created an unpleasant impression. (Letter of December 23, 1911.) Harold Howland, Theodore Roosevelt and His Times. (New Haven, 1921), p. 208.

____________. Wilson was from their standpoint the best man that they could have nominated. I do not regard him as a man of great intensity of principle or conviction, or of much reality of sympathy with our cause. He is an adroit man, a good speaker and writer, with a certain amount of ability of just the kind requisite to his party under present conditions. He showed his adroitness during the campaign, and he may well be able to show similar adroitness during the next four years in the Presidency, and with the same result. In the campaign he talked ardent but diffuse progressiveness. He championed concretely a number of minor things for which we stand, and he trusted to the fact that the Bourbon Democrats, especially the Bourbon Democrats of the South, but also those of the North, would feel that they had to stand by him because their only hope is in the Democratic Party. He may do the same thing successfully as President. (To Hiram W. Johnson, January 28, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 412; Bishop II, 351.

____________. Nothing is more sickening than the continual praise of Wilson’s English, of Wilson’s style. He is a true logothete, a real sophist; and he firmly believes, and has had no inconsiderable effect in making our people believe, that elocution is an admirable substitute for and improvement on action. (To Owen Wister, June 23, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 454; Bishop II, 386.

____________. Wilson is a very adroit and able (but not forceful) hypocrite; and the Republican leaders have neither courage nor convictions and therefore can do little against him. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, February 3, 1916.) Cowles Letters, 306.

____________. President Wilson, however amiable his intentions, has rendered to this people the most evil service that can be rendered to a great democracy by its chosen leader. He has dulled the national conscience and relaxed the spring of lofty, national motives by teaching our people to accept high sounding words as the offset and atonement for shabby deeds and to use words which mean nothing in order to draw all meaning from those which have a meaning. It will be no easy task to arouse the austere self-respect which has lulled to slumber by those means. (Telegram to W. P. Jackson, June 8, 1916.) The Progressive Party; Its Record from January to July 1916. (Progressive National Committee, 1916), p. 88.

____________. Mr. Wilson has been tried and found wanting. His party because of its devotion to the outworn theory of State rights, and because of its reliance upon purely sectional support, stands against that spirit of far-sighted nationalism which is essential if we are to deal adequately with our gravest social and industrial problems. Mr. Wilson and his party have in actual practice lamentably failed to safeguard the interest and honor of the United States. They have brought us to impotence abroad and to division and weakness at home. They have accustomed us to see the highest and most responsible offices of government filled by incompetent men, appointed only for reasons of partisan politics. They have dulled the moral sense of the people. They have taught us that peace, the peace of cowardice and dishonor and indifference to the welfare of others, is to be put above righteousness, above the stern and unflinching performance of duty, whether the duty is pleasant or unpleasant. (To Progressive National Committee, June 22, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 575; Nat. Ed. XVII, 423.

____________. He is so purely a demagogue that if the people were really aroused and resolute—as they were in ’98—he would give them leadership in the direction they demanded, even tho to do so stirred with fear his cold and timid heart. But his extreme adroitness in appealing to all that is basest in the hearts of our people has made him able for the time being to drug the soul of the nation into a coma. He is responsible for Germany’s brutal wrong doing to us; he is responsible for the existence of the very peace party which he brings forward as an excuse when told that he ought to act boldly. (To H. C. Lodge, February 28, 1917.) Lodge Letters II, 498.

____________. Wilson dislikes courage and patriotism and resents ardor and fervor. He is pursuing with much ingenuity the course best calculated to put a premium on tepid indifference and to discourage the qualities in our boys and young men which above all others ought to be encouraged. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, April 26, 1917.) Cowles Letters, 311.

____________. Wilson feels tepidly hostile to Germany, but he feels a far more active hostility toward Wood and myself. His sole purpose is to serve his own selfish ends. No doubt he would do something that was useful to the country, if he were sure it would help him; but his inveterate habit is not to do the thing that is useful, but by lofty phrases and sentences to make believe that he is doing it, so as to persuade good puzzleheaded people that he is doing it. (To Wister, May 10, 1917.) Owen Wister, Roosevelt, The Story of a Friendship. (Macmillan Co., N. Y., 1930), p. 365.

____________. Wilson is profiting to the full by his two great powers; that of puzzling ordinary men who are well-meaning but not wise; and that of appealing to the basest element in every man, wise or unwise. He has profited immensely by his entire devotion to his own interest. He is neither for nor against Democracy or reaction, Germany or the Allies, radicalism or conservatism, socialism or high finance; he is for himself, and for or against any man or any cause exactly as it suits his own interest. We should have beaten him last year if it had not been for the smallness of soul of the Republican leaders. Now I suppose he will appear as the “great idealist of the war for Democracy.” (To H. C. Lodge, May 26, 1917.) Lodge Letters II, 526.

____________. He is a conscienceless rhetorician and he will always get the well-meaning, foolish creatures who are misled by names. At present anything he says about the World League is in the domain of empty and windy eloquence. The important point will be reached when he has to make definite the things for which he stands. (Letter of December 28, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, xlvii.

____________. This is a grumble from a faithful Tribune reader, over an editorial in Sunday’s Tribune. For Heaven’s sake never allude to Wilson as an idealist or militaire or altruist. He is a doctrinaire when he can be so with safety to his personal ambition, and he is always utterly and coldly selfish. He hasn’t a touch of idealism in him. His advocacy of the League of Nations no more represents idealism on his part than his advocacy of peace without victory, or his statement that we had no concern with the origin or cause of the European war, or with his profoundly unethical refusal for two and a half years to express a particle of sympathy for poor Belgium. His supporters are cheered when we tell about him being a misguided idealist. He is not. He is a silly doctrinaire at times and an utterly selfish and cold-blooded politician always. (To Ogden Reid, January 1, 1919.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 550; Bishop II, 470.

Wilson, Woodrow—Criticism of

I do not like to bother the men who are at the helm, and I kept silent as long as I thought there was any chance that Wilson was really developing a worthy policy. I came to the conclusion that he had no policy whatever; that what he did was mischievous; and that the bulk of my fellow citizens were inclined to support him in his actions. Therefore, it seemed to me well that some man should speak to them frankly and as only one of their own countrymen should speak to them. I do not believe I have spoken intemperately; but I have put the emphasis with all clearness where I thought it ought to be put. If this country is going to take the position of China, then I at least desire that the bulk of the citizens shall understand what they are doing, and I also wish it understood that I will not be a party to the transaction. (To Rudyard Kipling, January 16, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 438; Bishop II, 373.

____________. I have been assailed because I have criticised Mr. Wilson. I have not said one thing of him that was not absolutely accurate and truthful. I have not said one thing of him, which I did not deem it necessary to say because of the vital interests of this Republic. I have criticised him because I believe he has dragged in the dust what was most sacred in our past, and has jeopardized the most vital hopes of our future. I have never spoken of him as strongly as Abraham Lincoln in his day spoke of Buchanan and Pierce when they were Presidents of the United States. I spoke of him at all, only because I have felt that in this great world crisis he has played a more evil part than Buchanan and Pierce ever played in the years that led up to and saw the opening of the Civil War. I criticise him now because he has adroitly and cleverly and with sinister ability appealed to all that is weakest and most unworthy in the American character; and also because he has adroitly and cleverly and with sinister ability sought to mislead many men and women who are neither weak nor unworthy, but who have been misled by a shadow dance of words. He has made our statesmanship a thing of empty elocution. He has covered his fear of standing for the right behind a veil of rhetorical phrases. He has wrapped the true heart of the nation in a spangled shroud of rhetoric. He has kept the eyes of the people dazzled so that they know not what is real and what is false, so that they turn, bewildered, unable to discern the difference between the glitter that veneers evil and the stark realities of courage and honesty, of truth and strength. In the face of the world he has covered this nation’s face with shame as with a garment. (At Cooper Union, New York City, November 3, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 520; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 447.

Wilson, Woodrow — Support of

No man can support Mr. Wilson without being false to the ideals of national duty and international humanity. No one can support Mr. Wilson without opposing the larger Americanism, the true Americanism. No man can support Mr. Wilson and at the same time be really in favor of thoroughgoing preparedness against war. No man can support Mr. Wilson without at the same time supporting a policy of criminal inefficiency as regards the United States navy, of short-sighted inadequacy as regards the army, of abandonment of the duty owed by the United States to weak and well-behaved nations, and of failure to insist on our just rights when we are ourselves maltreated by powerful and unscrupulous nations. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 249; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 214.

Wilson Administration

The present Administration, during its three years of life, had been guilty of shortcomings more signal than those of any Administration since the days of Buchanan. From the standpoint of national honor and interest, it stood on an even lower level than the Administration of Buchanan. No Administration in our history had done more to relax the spring of the national will and to deaden the national conscience. (To Progressive National Committee, June 22, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 567; Nat. Ed. XVII, 416-417.

Wilson and Bryan

Wilson and Bryan are the very worst men we have ever had in their positions. It would not hurt them to say publicly what is nevertheless historically true, namely, that they are worse than Jefferson and Madison, I really believe that I would rather have Murphy, Penrose or Barnes as the standard-bearer of this nation in the face of international wrong-doing. (To H. C. Lodge, December 8, 1914.) Lodge Letters II, 450.

____________. The antics between Wilson and Bryan have given me a certain saturnine pleasure. Of course, I entirely agree that on the point at issue, as set forth by Bryan, Wilson was right. But it is only possible to support Wilson in refusing to arbitrate the case as Bryan demanded by taking the ground that he has committed literally an infamy in negotiating the thirty all-inclusive arbitration treaties or commission treaties. If it was right to pass those treaties, it is right now, and not only right but necessary, to grant Germany’s request and have a Commission of Inquiry to last for one year in accordance with the terms of the treaties. (To H. C. Lodge, June 15, 1915.) Lodge Letters II, 459.

Wilson and Lincoln

I am sick at heart about Wilson, and therefore about the American people. The only thing to say in defense of the people is that a bad colonel always makes a bad regiment. If, the day after the firing on Sumter, Lincoln had stated that he was too proud to fight and if he had then carried on a four- months’ correspondence with Jefferson Davis, well written from the rhetorical standpoint but without a deed to back any word, and if Seward had resigned because these notes were too stiff, by midsummer of ’61 the northerners as a whole would have said that Greeley was quite right and they would let the erring sisters go. Yet even then I think somebody would have roused them in the end. I have done everything I can to rouse them. I have the skeleton of a division already outlined, with acceptances from my Chief of Staff, my brigade commanders, colonels, etc. (To Frederick Palmer, August 28, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 466; Bishop II, 396.

Wilson’s Foreign Policy

It is folly to pay heed to any of the promises in the platform on which he now stands in view of the fact that almost every important promise contained in the platform on which he stood four years ago has since been broken. We owe all of our present trouble with the professional German- American element in the United States to Mr. Wilson’s timid and vacillating course during the last two years. The defenders of Mr. Wilson have alleged in excuse for him that he confronted a difficult situation. As regards Mexico, the situation which Mr. Wilson confronted was nothing like as difficult as that which President McKinley confronted in connection with Cuba and the Philippines at the time of the Spanish War. Under the actual circumstances we could with only a minimum of risk have protested on behalf of Belgium, a small, well-behaved nation, when she was exposed to the last extremity of outrage by the brutal violation of her neutral rights, this violation being itself a violation of The Hague conventions to which we were a signatory power. As regards the foreign situation generally during the great war, the fact of the existence of the war made it far easier and safer for Mr. Wilson to assert our rights than if he had had to deal with some single strong power which was at the time unhampered by war. During the last twenty years questions have arisen with powers of the first rank, such as England, Japan, and Germany, each of which has necessitated far greater courage, resolution, and judgment on the part of the President dealing with it than President Wilson need have shown in order to put a complete stop to the continually repeated murder of American men, women, and children on the high seas by German submarines — the Lusitania being merely the worst of many such cases. The same feebleness that was shown by President Wilson in dealing with Germany abroad was also shown by him in dealing with the organized German outrages within our own land, and, finally, in dealing with the organized German-American vote. The continued existence of the German-American menace at home is directly due to Mr. Wilson’s course of action during the last two years. (To Progressive National Committee, June 22, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 572; Nat. Ed. XVII, 421.

____________. As good Americans, you ought unqualifiedly to condemn at least 99 per cent of that policy. His first note, ‘the strict accountability note,” would have been excellent if he had lived up to it, but as he has for two years failed to live up to it, it becomes infamous. We then had two years of note-writing, of tame submission to brutal wrong-doing, and of utter failure to prepare. Then he broke relations. This was excellent, but only if he meant to follow it up; it amounts to nothing whatever by itself. Seven weeks have gone by, and he has done not one thing. He is himself responsible for the growth of the pacifist and pro-German party in Congress. He never asked for any real action, and the little action he did ask for was asked for so late that he must have known perfectly well any small group of Sen ators could prevent its being taken. Congress has been summoned to meet in April. By that time, either submarine warfare against England will have succeeded, in which case what Mr. Wilson does is of no earthly consequence, or, what is far more probable, it will have failed, in which case he will have put us in the ignoble position of sheltering ourselves behind the British Navy until all danger is past. Indeed, he has already put us in such a position. (To John J. Richeson, March 21, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 494; Bishop II, 421.

Wilson’s Partisanship

The simple truth is that never in our history has any other administration during a great war played politics of the narrowest personal and partisan type as President Wilson has done; and one of the features of this effort has been the careful and studied effort to mislead and misinform the public through information sedulously and copiously furnished them by government officials. An even worse feature has been the largely successful effort to break down freedom of speech and the freedom of the press by government action. Much of this action has been taken under the guise of attacking disloyalty; but it has represented action, not against those who were disloyal to the nation, but against those who disagreed with or criticised the President for failure in the performance of duty to the nation. The action of the government against real traitors, and against German spies and agents, has been singularly weak and ineffective. The chief of the Secret Service said that there were a quarter of a million German spies in this country. Senator Overman put the number at a larger figure; but not one has been shot or hung, and relatively few have been interfered with in any way. The real vigor of the Administration has been directed against honest critics who have endeavored to force it to speed up the war and to act with prompt efficiency against Germany. (1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 323; Nat. Ed. XIX, 295.

____________. When this war broke out I, and all those who believed as I did, cast all thought of politics aside and put ourselves unreservedly at the service of the President. Of course if Mr. Wilson had really meant to disregard politics he would at once have constructed a coalition, non-partisan Cabinet, calling the best men of the nation to the highest and most important offices under him, without regard to politics. He did nothing of the kind. In the positions most vital to the conduct of the war, and in the positions now most important in connection with negotiating peace, he retained or appointed men without the slightest fitness for the performance of the tasks, whose sole recommendation was a supple eagerness to serve Mr. Wilson personally and to serve Mr. Wilson’s party insofar as such serving benefited Mr. Wilson. . . . Mr. Wilson applies the most rigid party test. He explicitly repudiates loyalty to the war as a test. He demands the success of the Democratic party, and asks the defeat of all pro-war men if they have been anti- Administration. He asks for the defeat of pro-war Republicans. He does not ask for the defeat of anti-war Democrats. On the contrary, he supports such men if, although anti-war, they are pro-Administration. He does not ask for loyalty to the nation. He asks only for support of himself. There is not the slightest suggestion that he disapproves of disloyalty to the nation. I do not doubt that he feels some disapproval of such disloyalty; but apparently this feeling on his part is so tepid that it slips from his mind when he contemplates what he regards as the far greater sin of failure in adherence to himself. (At Carnegie Hall, New York City, October 28, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 432-433; Nat. Ed. XIX, 390-391.

Wilson’s War Message

The President’s message [of April 2] is a great state paper which will rank in history with the great state papers of which Americans in future years will be proud. It now rests with the people of the country to see that we put in practice the policy that the President has outlined and that we strike as hard, as soon, and as efficiently as possible in aggressive war against the government of Germany. (Statement to the press, April 2, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 496; Bishop II, 423.

Wilson, Woodrow

See also Democratic Party; Election Of 1912; Election Of 1916; Foreign Policy; Fourteen Points; Hague Conventions; Hughes, Charles E.; League For Peace; League Of Nations; Lese Majesty; Lusitania; Mexico; National Obligations; Neutrality; New Freedom; Peace ; Preparedness; President ; Progressive Party; Roosevelt Division; Tariff; Trusts; “Watchful Waiting”;

World War. Wisconsin

See La Follette, Robert M.

Wister, Owen

I really think you have done for the plainsmen and mountainmen, the soldiers, frontiersmen and Indians what nobody else but Bret Harte and Kipling could have done, and neither of them have sufficient knowledge to enable them to do it even had they wished. (To Wister, May 26, 1894.) Owen Wister, Roosevelt, The Story of a Friendship. (Macmillan Co., N. Y., 1930), p. 37.

____________. Mr. Owen Wister’s stories . . . turned a new page in our literature, and, indeed, may almost be said to have turned a new page in that form of contemporary historical writing which consists in the vivid portrayal, once for all, of types that should be commemorated. Many men before him have seen and felt the wonder of that phase of Western life which is now closing, but Mr. Wister makes us see what he has seen and interprets for us what he has heard. His short sketches are so many cantos in the great epic of life on the border of the vanishing wilderness. He shows us heroic figures and a heroic life; not heroes and the heroic life as they are conceived by the cloistered intellect, but rough and strong and native, the good and evil alike challenging the eye. To read his writings is like walking on a windy upland in fall, when the hard weather braces body and mind. There is a certain school of American writers that loves to deal, not with the great problems of American existence and with the infinite picturesqueness of our life as it has been and is being led here on our own continent, where we stumble and blunder, and still, on the whole, go forward, but with the life of those Americans who cannot swim in troubled waters, and go to live as idlers in Europe. What pale, anaemic figures they are, these creations of the émigré novelists, when put side by side with the men, the grim stalwart men, who stride through Mr. Wister’s pages! It is this note of manliness which is dominant through the writings of Mr. Wister. Harpers’ Weekly, December 21, 1895, p. 1216.

Witte, Count

I suppose Witte is the best man that Russia could have at the head of her affairs at present, and probably too good a man for the grand dukes to be willing to stand him. He interested me. I cannot say that I liked him, for I thought his bragging and bluster not only foolish but shockingly vulgar when compared with the gentlemanly self-respecting self-restraint of the Japanese. Moreover, he struck me as a very selfish man, totally without high ideals. He calmly mentioned to me, for instance, that it was Russia’s interest to keep Turkey in power in the Balkan Peninsula; that he believed that Turkey would last a long time, because it would be a very bad thing for Russia to have the Bulgarians, for instance, substituted for the Turks, for the very reason that they might give a wholesome, reputable government and thereby build up a great Slav State to the South. He added cynically that such a consummation might be good for sentimental reasons, but that sentiment did not count in practical politics. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, September 12, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 480-481; Bishop I, 418.

Woman Suffrage

Personally I believe in woman’s suffrage, but I am not an enthusiastic advocate of it, because I do nor regard it as a very important matter. I am unable to see that there has been any special improvement in the position of women in those states in the West that have adopted woman’s suffrage, as compared with those states adjoining them that have not adopted it. I do not think that giving the women suffrage will produce any marked improvement in the condition of women. I do not believe that it will produce any of the evils feared, and I am very certain that when women as a whole take any special interest in the matter they will have suffrage if they desire it. But at present I think most of them are lukewarm; I find some actively for it, and some actively against it. I am, for the reasons above given, rather what you would regard as lukewarm or tepid in my support of it because, while I believe in it, I do not regard it as of very much importance. (To Lyman Abbott, November 10, 1908.) The Remonstrance, January 1909, p. 3.

____________. It seemed to me that no man was worth his salt who did not think very deeply of woman’s rights; and that no woman was worth her salt who did not think more of her duties than of her rights. Now, personally I am rather tepidly in favor of woman’s suffrage. When the opportunity came I have always supported it. But I have studied the condition of women in those States where they have the suffrage and in the adjacent States where they do not have it; and, after such study I have never been able to take as great interest in the question as in many other questions because it has always seemed to me so infinitely less important than so many other questions affecting women. I do not think that the harm that its opponents fear will come from it, but I do not think that more than a fraction of the good that its advocates anticipate will come from it. In consequence, while I favor it, yet, as I said, I favor it tepidly, because I am infinitely more interested in other things. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 597; Nat. Ed. XIII, 634.

____________. As for woman suffrage, I have never said very much about it, and always to the same effect, that I tepidly favored its application wherever it was shown to be desired by the majority of the women themselves, but that I did not regard it as a reform of much consequence, nothing like as important as any number of others, for I thought it would do only the tiniest fraction of the good that is anticipated—although I do not think it will do any of the harm that is anticipated. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, June 29, 1911.) Cowles Letters, 292.

____________. I believe in woman’s suffrage wherever the women want it. Where they do not want it, the suffrage should not be forced upon them. I think that it would be well to let the women themselves, and only the women, vote at some special election as to whether they do or do not wish the vote as a permanent possession. In other words, this is peculiarly a case for the referendum to those most directly affected—that is, the women themselves. (Outlook, February 3, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 276; Nat. Ed. XVI, 208.

____________. Personally I feel that it is exactly as much a “right” of women as of men to vote. But the important point with both men and women is to treat the exercise of the suffrage as a duty, which, in the long run, must be well performed to be of the slightest value. I always favored woman’s suffrage, but only tepidly, until my association with women like Jane Addams and Frances Kellor, who desired it as one means of enabling them to render better and more efficient service, changed me into a zealous instead of a lukewarm adherent of the cause—in spite of the fact that a few of the best women of the same type, women like Mary Antin, did not favor the movement. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 196; Nat. Ed. XX, 167.

____________. It is the men who insist upon women doing their full duty, who insist that the primary duty of the woman is in the home, who also have a right to insist that she is just as much entitled to the suffrage as is the man. We believe in equality of right, not in identity of functions. The woman must bear and rear the children, as her first duty to the state; and the man’s first duty is to take care of her and the children. In neither case is it the exclusive duty. In neither case does it exclude the performance of other duties. The right to vote no more implies that a woman will neglect her home than that a man will neglect his business. Indeed, as regards one of the greatest and most useful of all professions, that of surgery and medicine, it is probably true that the average doctor’s wife has more time for the performance of political duties than the average doctor himself. (Metropolitan, May 1916.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 148; Nat. Ed. XIX, 145.

Women—Careers for

I believe that man and woman should stand on an equality of right, but I do not believe that equality of right means identity of function; and I am more and more convinced that the great field, the indispensable field, for the usefulness of woman is as the mother of the family. It is her work in the household, in the home, her work in bearing and rearing the children, which is more important than any mans’ work, and it is that work which should be normally the woman’s special work, just as normally the man’s work should be that of the breadwinner, the supporter of the home, and if necessary the soldier who will fight for the home. There are exceptions as regards both man and woman; but the full and perfect life, the life of highest happiness and of highest usefulness to the State, is the life of the man and the woman who are husband and wife, who live in the partnership of love and duty, the one earning enough to keep the home, the other managing the home and the children. (To Mrs. Harriet Taylor Upton, November 10, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 148; Bishop II, 127.

____________. Women should have free access to every field of labor which they care to enter, and when their work is as valuable as that of a man it should be paid as highly. Yet normally for the man and the woman whose welfare is more important than the welfare of any other human beings, the woman must remain the housemother, the homekeeper, and the man must remain the breadwinner, the provider for the wife who bears his children and for the children she brings into the world. No other work is as valuable or as exacting for either man or woman; it must always, in every healthy society, be for both man and woman the prime work, the most important work; normally all other work is of secondary importance, and must come as an addition to, not a substitute for, this primary work. The partnership should be one of equal rights, one of love, of self-respect and unselfishness, above all a partnership for the performance of the most vitally important of all duties. The performance of duty, and not an indulgence in vapid ease and vapid pleasure, is all that makes life worth while. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 195; Nat. Ed. XX, 167.

____________. Let any woman who says that she prefers a career to marriage under stand that she is preferring the less to the greater. The prime benefactors of humanity are the man and woman who leave to the next generation boys and girls who will turn out good and useful men and women. I honor the good man, I honor the good woman still more. I believe that the woman should have open to her everything that is open to man, every profession, every opportunity; and, further more, I believe with all my heart that no other woman and no man will ever have a career approaching in dignity, in usefulness to the whole community, in fine self-sacrifice and devotion, the career of the good mother who brings into the world and rears and trains as they should be reared and trained many healthy children. (Outlook, January 3, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 178; Nat. Ed. XII, 206.

____________. It is entirely right that any woman should be allowed to make any career for herself of which she is capable, whether or not it is a career followed by a man. She has the same right to be a lawyer, a doctor, a farmer, or a storekeeper that the man has to be a poet, an explorer, a politician, or a painter. There are women whose peculiar circumstances or whose peculiar attributes render it advisable that they should follow one of the professions named, just as there are men who can do most good to their fellows by following one of the careers above indicated for men. More than this. It is indispensable that such careers shall be open to women and that certain women shall follow them, if the women of a country, and therefore if the country itself, expect any development. In just the same way, it is indispensable that some men shall be explorers, artists, sculptors, literary men, politicians, if the country is to have its full life. Some of the best farmers are women, just as some of the best exploring work and scientific work has been done by women. There is a real need for a certain number of women doctors and women lawyers. Whether a writer or a painter or a singer is a man or a woman makes not the slightest difference, provided that the work he or she does is good. (Metropolitan, May 1916.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 143; Nat. Ed. XIX, 141.

Women Position of

To talk of a wife or mother as an "economic parasite" is the veriest nonsense. If she is worth her salt, she is a full partner; and the man is not worth his salt unless he acknowledges this fact and welcomes it. And the more each partner loves and respects the other, the more anxious each is to share the other's burden, the less either will feel like encouraging the other to shirk any duty that ought to be faced. The duties are mutual and reciprocal. (Outlook , January 3,1914) Mem. Ed. XIV, 177; Nat. Ed. XII, 205.

____________. Of all species of silliness the silliest is the assertion sometimes made that the woman whose primary lifework is taking care of her home and children is somehow a "parasite woman." It is such a ridiculous in version of the truth that it ought not to be necessary even to allude to it. (Metropolitan, May 1916.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 142; Nat. Ed. XIX, 140.

Women Rights of

I believe in woman's rights. I believe even more earnestly in the performance of duty by both men and women; for unless the average man and the average woman live lives of duty, not only our democracy but civilization itself will perish. I heartily believe in equality of rights as between man and woman, but also in full and emphatic recognition of the fact that normally there cannot be identity of function. Indeed, there must normally be complete dissimilarity of function between them, and the effort to ignore this patent fact is silly. (Outlook, February 3, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 276; Nat. Ed. XVI, 208.

____________. Working women have the same need to combine for protection that working men have; the ballot is as necessary for one class as for the other; we do not believe that with the two sexes there is identity of function; but we do believe that there should be equality of right; and therefore we favor woman suffrage. Surely, if women could vote, they would strengthen the hands of those who are endeavoring to deal in efficient fashion with evils such as the white- slave traffic; evils which can in part be dealt with nationally, but which in large part can be reached only by determined local action, such as insisting on the wide-spread publication of the names of the owners, the landlords, of houses used for immoral purposes. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 376; Nat. Ed. XVII, 269.

____________. The relationship of man and woman is the fundamental relationship that stands at the base of the whole social structure. Much can be done by law toward putting women on a footing of complete and entire equal rights with man¾including the right to vote, the right to hold and use property, and the right to enter any profession she desires on the same terms as a man. Yet when this has been done it will amount to little unless on the one hand the man himself realizes his duty to the woman, and unless on the other hand the woman realizes that she has no claim to rights unless she performs the duties that go with those rights and that alone justify her in appealing to them. A cruel, selfish, or licentious man is an abhorrent member of the community; but, after all, his actions are no worse in the long run than those of the woman who is content to be a parasite on others, who is cold, selfish, caring for nothing but frivolous pleasure and ignoble ease. The law of worthy effort, the law of service for a worthy end, without regard to whether it brings pleasure or pain, is the only right law of life, whether for man or for woman. The man must not be selfish; nor, if the woman is wise, will she let the man grow selfish, and this nor only for her own sake but for his. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 193; Nat. Ed. XX, 165.

Women in Industry

As regards women, there should be strict regulation as to the number of hours they are allowed to be employed and as to the conditions of their work, both as regards cleanliness and surroundings. As yet no way has been devised by which the government can directly deal with the cases in which the wages paid are insufficient to sustain life under the conditions demanded by the woman's self- respect. I am well aware that this is a question fraught with the greatest difficulties, but it is imperative for us to face the fact that we are making a failure of our democratic experiment just to the extent that there exist large classes of people, and especially large classes of women, who work under conditions and for salaries such that they cannot retain their self-respect. No adequate remedy has yet been proposed. In all probability a great many remedies would have to be concurrently tried and adopted. But nothing is gained by blinking the fact that remedies are imperatively needed. (Outlook , February 4, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 105; Nat. Ed. XVII, 70.

Women in Politics

Now for the statement that women have no proper share in a political convention, and that men ought to be able to regulate their own politics and meet all needs without direct assistance from the women. That man knows little of our political, social and industrial needs as a nation who does not know that in political conventions the politics that ought to be "regulated" are the politics that affect women precisely as much as they affect men; and he must be unfortunate in his life of acquaintances if he does not know women whose advice and counsel are pre-eminently worth having in regard to the matters affecting our welfare which it is of most consequence to have dealt with by political conventions. . . The Progressive Party is the one party which since the war has dealt with real issues; and these real issues affect women precisely as much as men. The women who bear children and attend to their own homes have precisely the same right to speak in politics that their husbands have who are the fathers of their children and who work to keep up their homes. It is these women who bear children and attend to their own homes, and these men, their husbands, who work for their wives and children and homes, whom the Progressive Party is endeavoring to represent and in whose interest the Progressive Party proposes that the governmental policy of this nation shall here after be shaped. Such being the case, it is eminently wise that the women should share in the political conventions, and that they should join with the men in regulating the politics, which are in no proper sense only "the politics of the men," . . . because they are of as vital concern to the women as to the men. Mr. Roosevelt’s Speech on Suffrage, delivered at St. Johnsbury, Vt., August 30, 1912, pp. 2-3.

Women in Public Affairs

Women have the vote in this State. They should be given it at once in the nation at large. And in the councils of this State, and in the councils of our party, women should be admitted to their share of the direction on an exact equality with the men, and wherever it is wisely possible their judgment and directive power should be utilized in association with men rather than separately. (Before Republican State Convention, Saratoga Springs, N. Y., July 18, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 400; Nat. Ed. XIX, 363.


See also Birth Control; Children; Family; Home; Howe, Julia Ward; Husbands; Marriage; Mother; Prostitution; Teachers; White Slave Traffic. Wood, Leonard.

I only met him after I entered the navy department, but we soon found that we had kindred tastes and kindred principles. . . . Like so many to the gallant fighters with whom it was later my good fortune to serve, he combined, in a very high degree, the qualities of entire manliness with entire uprightness and cleanliness of character. It was a pleasure to deal with a man of high ideals, who scorned everything mean and base, and who also possessed those robust and hardy qualities of body and mind, for the lack of which no merely negative virtue can ever atone. He was by nature a soldier of the highest type, and, like most natural soldiers, he was, of course, born with a keen longing for adventure; and, though an excellent doctor, what he really desired was the chance to lead men in some kind of hazard. To every possibility of such adventure he paid quick attention. (1899.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 4; Nat. Ed. XI, 4.

____________. The successful administrator of a tropic colony must ordinarily be a man of boundless energy and endurance; and there were probably very few men in the army at Santiago, whether among the officers or in the ranks, who could match General Wood in either respect. No soldier could outwalk him, could live with more indifference on hard and scanty fare, could endure hardship better, or do better without sleep; no officer ever showed more ceaseless energy in providing for his soldiers, in reconnoitering, in overseeing personally all the countless details of life in camp, in patrolling the trenches at night, in seeing; by personal inspection that the outposts were doing their duty, in attending personally to all the thousand and one things to which a commander should attend, and to which only those commanders of marked and exceptional mental and bodily vigor are able to attend. (Outlook , January 7, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XII, 521; Nat. Ed. XI, 250.

____________. One of the most important items of the work done by our Government in Cuba was the work of hygiene, the work of cleaning and disinfecting the cities so as to minimize the chance for yellow fever, so as to do away with as many as possible of the conditions that told for disease. This country has never had done for it better work, that is, work that reflected more honor upon the country, or for humanity at large, than the work done for it in Cuba. And the man who above all others was responsible for doing that work so well was a member of your profession, who when the call to arms came himself went as a soldier to the field¾the present Major-General Leonard Wood. Leonard Wood did in Cuba just the kind of work that, for instance, Lord Cromer has done in Egypt. We have not been able to reward Wood in anything like the proportion in which services such as his would have been rewarded in any other country of the first rank; and there have been no meaner and more unpleasant manifestations in all our public history than the feelings of envy and jealousy manifested toward Wood. And the foul assaults and attacks made upon him, gentlemen, were largely because they grudged the fact that this admirable military officer should have been a doctor. (Before Long Island Medical Society, Oyster Bay, N. Y., July 12, 1905.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers IV, 432-433.

____________. The part played by the United States in Cuba has been one of the most honorable ever played by any nation in dealing with a weaker power, one of the most satisfactory in all respects; and to General Wood more than to any other one man is due the credit of starting this work and conducting it to a successful conclusion during the earliest and most difficult years. . . . General Wood of course incurred the violent hatred of many dishonest schemers and unscrupulous adventurers, and of a few more or less well-meaning persons who were misled by these schemers and adventurers; but it is astounding to any one acquainted with the facts to realize, not merely what he accomplished, but how he succeeded in gaining the good-will of the enormous majority of the men whose good-will could be won only in honorable fashion. Spaniards and Cubans, Christian Filipinos and Moros, Catholic ecclesiastics and Protestant missionaries¾in each case the great majority of those whose opinion was best worth having¾grew to regard General Wood as their special champion and ablest friend, as the man who more than any others understood and sympathized with their peculiar needs and was anxious and able to render them the help they most needed. (Outlook , July 30, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XII, 528; Nat. Ed. XI, 256.

Wood, Leonard

See Also Cuba; Grey, Sir Edward.


See Action; Boasting; Criticism; Deeds; Oratory; Practicality; Weasel Words.


We hold work not as a curse but as a blessing, and we regard the idler with scornful pity. It would be in the highest degree undesirable that we should all work in the same way or at the same things, and for the sake of the real greatness of the nation we should in the fullest and most cordial way recognize the fact that some of the most needed work must, from its very nature, be unremunerative in a material sense. Each man must choose so far as the conditions will allow him the path to which he is bidden by his own peculiar powers and inclinations. But if he is a man he must in some way or shape do a man's work. (At Colorado Springs, Col., August 2, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XV, 325; Nat. Ed. XIII, 457.

____________. The work is what counts, and if a man does his work well and it is worth doing, then it matters but little in which line that work is done; the man is a good American citizen. If he does his work in slip shod fashion, then no matter what kind of work it is, he is a poor American citizen. (Before Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, Chattanooga, Tenn., September 8, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 202; Nat. Ed. XVI, 153.

____________. Doubtless most of you remember the distinction drawn between the two kinds of work¾the work done for the sake of the fee, and the work done for the sake of the work itself. The man or woman in public or private life who ever works for the sake of the reward that comes outside of the work will in the long run do poor work. The man or woman who does work worth doing is the man or woman who lives, who breathes that work; with whom it is ever-present in his or her soul; whose ambition is to do it well and to feel rewarded by the thought of having done it well. That man, that woman, puts the whole country under an obligation. As a body all those connected with the education of our people are entitled to the highest praise from all lovers of their country, because as a body they are devoting heart and soul to the welfare of those under them. (At Philadelphia, Pa., November 22, 1902.) Proceedings of the Dedication of the New Buildings of the Central High School. (Board of Public Education, 1910), p. 63.

____________. Work [is] the quality which makes a man ashamed not to be able to pull his own weight, not to be able to do for himself as well as for others without being beholden to any one for what he is doing. No man is happy if he does not work. Of all miserable creatures the idler, in whatever rank of society, is in the long run the most miserable. If a man does not work, if he has not in him not merely the capacity for work but the desire for work, then nothing can be done with him. He is out of place in our community. We have in our scheme of government no room for the man who does not wish to pay his way through life by what he does for himself and for the community. If he has leisure which makes it unnecessary for him to devote his time to earning his daily bread, then all the more he is bound to work just as hard in some way that will make the community the better off for his existence. If he fails in that, he fails to justify his existence. Work, the capacity for work, is absolutely necessary; and no man’s life is full, no man can be said to live in the true sense of the word, if he does not work. (At Topeka, Kan., May 1, 1903.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, 355-365.

____________. No individual ever became great and no individual ever led a really worthy life, unless he or she possessed within himself or herself the power, if need be, for effort long sustained, at the cost of discomfort, of pain, and hardship; and the power to face risk, to face danger and difficulty and even disaster, rather than not achieve a worthy end. (At Occidental College, Los Angeles, March 22, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 513; Nat. Ed. XIII, 580.

____________. We Progressives are trying to represent what we know to be the highest ideals and the deepest and most intimate convictions of the plain men and women, of the good men and women, who work for the home and within the home. Our people work hard and faithfully. They do not wish to shirk their work. They must feel pride in the work for the work’s sake. But there must be bread for the work. There must be a time for play when the men and women are young. When they grow old there must be the certainty of rest under conditions free from the haunting terror of utter poverty. We believe that no life is worth anything unless it is a life of labor and effort and endeavor. We believe in the joy that comes with work, for he who labors best is really happiest. We must shape conditions so that no one can own the spirit of the man who loves his task and gives the best there is in him to that task, and it matters not whether this man reaps and sows and wrests his livelihood from the rugged reluctance of the soil or whether with hand or brain he plays his part in the tremendous industrial activities of our great cities. We are striving to meet the needs of all these men, and to meet them in such fashion that all alike shall feel bound together in the bond of a common brotherhood, where each works hard for himself and for those dearest to him, and yet feels that he must also think of his brother's rights because he is in very truth that brother's keeper. (At Madison Square Garden, New York City, October 30, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 462; Nat. Ed. XVII, 339.

Work Dignity of

Under the old system [in Russia] the men whose boots the porter blacked looked down on him for blacking them. Are we entirely free from this attitude in America? Until we are we may as well make up our minds that to just that extent we are providing for the growth of Bolshevism here. No man has a right to ask or accept any service unless under changed conditions he would feel that he could keep his entire self-respect while rendering it. Service which carries with it the slightest implication of social abasement should not be rendered. (Metropolitan, March 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 373; Nat. Ed. XIX, 338.


See also Effort ; Idlers; Leisure; National Inheritance ; Pleasure; Reward; Strenuous Life; Wealth.


The prosperity of the wage earning class is more important to the state than the prosperity of any other class in the community, for it numbers within its ranks two thirds of the people of the community. The fact that modern society rests upon the wage earner, whereas ancient society rested upon the slave, is of such transcendent importance as to forbid any exact comparison between the two, save by way of contrast. (Forum, January 1897.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 149; Nat. Ed. XIII, 259.

____________. Gradually I hope to see the wage- worker become in a real sense a partner in the enterprise in which he works; and to achieve this end he must develop the power of self-control, the power of recognizing the rights of others no less than insisting upon his own; he must develop common sense; and that strength of character which cannot be conferred from without, and the lack of which renders everything else of no avail. (Metropolitan, November 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 274; Nat. Ed. XIX, 253.

____________. In the long run the one vital factor in the permanent prosperity of the country is the high individual character of the average American worker, the average American citizen, no matter whether his work be mental or manual, whether he be farmer or wage-worker, business man or professional man. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 315; Nat. Ed. XV, 270.

Workers Interests of

It would be idle to deny that wage earners have certain different economic interests from, let us say, manufacturers or importers, just as farmers have different interests from sailors, and fisher men from bankers. There is no reason why any of these economic groups should not consult their group interests by any legitimate means and with due regard to the common, overlying interests of all. I do not even deny that the majority of wage earners, because they have less property and less industrial security than others and because they do not own the machinery with which they work (as does the farmer), are perhaps in greater need of acting together than are other groups in the community. But I do insist (and I believe that the great majority of wage earners take the same view) that employers and employees have over whelming interests in common, both as partners in industry and as citizens of the Republic, and that where these interests are apart they can be adjusted by so altering our laws and their interpretation as to secure to all members of the community social and industrial justice. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 553; Nat. Ed. XX, 475.

Workers Needs of

We wish to get for the workers, among other things, permanency of employment, pensions which will permit them to face old age with a feeling of dignity and security, insurance against accidents and disease, proper working and living conditions, reasonable leisure¾all these as tending toward enabling the worker to get for himself interest and joy in life, and on condition that he prove his fitness for partnership, for the enjoyment of rights, by the way in which he in his turn performs his duties and heartily and nobly recognizes his obligation to others. Now, of course, it ought to be accepted as an axiomatic truth that none of these things can be obtained from an unprosperous business; that if profits are not existent, all talk of sharing them becomes idle. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 88; Nat. Ed. XIX, 76.

Workers Rewards for

The toiler, the manual laborer, has received less than justice, and he must be protected, both by law, by custom, and by the exercise of his right to increase his wage; and yet to decrease the quantity and quality of his work will work only evil. There must be a far greater need of respect and reward for the hand worker than we now give him, if our society is to be put on a sound basis; and this respect and reward cannot be given him unless he is as ambitious to do the best possible work as is the highest type of brain worker, whether doctor or writer or artist. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 192; Nat. Ed. XX, 164.

Workers — Treatment of

Everything possible should be done to secure the wage-workers fair treatment. There should be an increased wage for the worker of increased productiveness. Everything possible should be done against the capitalist who strives, not to reward special efficiency, but to use it as an excuse for reducing the reward of moderate efficiency. The capitalist is an unworthy citizen who pays the efficient man no more than he has been content to pay the average man, and nevertheless reduces the wage of the average man; and effort should be made by the government to check and punish him. When labor- saving machinery is introduced, special care should be taken—by the government if necessary—to see that the wage-worker gets his share of the benefit, and that it is not all absorbed by the employer or capitalist. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 554; Nat. Ed. XX, 476.

Workers — Welfare of

The well-being of the wage-worker is a prime consideration of our entire policy of economic legislation. (First Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 112; Nat. Ed. XV, 97.

____________. It is humiliating to think that until very recently we had done nothing whatever to regulate such an industry as that of the manufacture of poisonous matches, and that even yet we have to struggle against that attitude of mind which has shown itself among those judges who have decided against workmen's compensation laws on the ground that they interfere with liberty of contract. The railway employees on any railway doing interstate business can be guaranteed their rights only by the action of the Federal Government, and no greater wrong can be committed against labor than the wrong committed by those who, on the bench or in the legislatures, seek to prevent the Federal Government from having full power in this matter. The Federal Government should pass drastic compensation laws as regards its own employees, and as regards all wage-workers employed in connection with interstate commerce. But as regards labor the field of action is wider for the State governments than for the Federal Government. The legislators in the several States should see to the abolition of the sweat-shop system everywhere; they should secure to the laboring man release from employment for one day in seven; they should secure far-reaching and thoroughgoing workmen's compensation acts, and acts providing for the sanitary inspection of factory, workshop, mine, and home; they should provide suitable and plentiful playgrounds for children in all the cities; they should rigidly supervise the conditions of tenement-house life, should pass and enforce rigid anti-child-labor laws and laws limiting women's labor. (Outlook , February4, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 107; Nat. Ed. XVII, 71.


See Also Capital; Collective Bargaining; Employer; Employment; Government Employees; Industrial Arbitration; Labor; Social Insurance; Socialism; Square Deal; Strikes; Unemployment; Violence; Wages.

Workmen's Compensation

Workmen should receive certain and definite compensation for all accidents in industry irrespective of negligence. The employer is the agent of the public and on his own responsibility and for his own profit he serves the public. When he starts in motion agencies which create risks for others, he should take all the ordinary and extraordinary risks involved; and the risk he thus at the moment assumes will ultimately be assumed, as it ought to be, by the general public. Only in this way can the shock of the accident be diffused, instead of falling upon the man or woman least able to bear it, as is now the case. The community at large should share the burdens as well as the benefits of industry. (Seventh Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 509; Nat. Ed. XV, 434.

____________. Our present system, or rather no system, works dreadful wrong, and is of benefit to only one class of people —the lawyers. When a workman is injured what he needs is not an expensive and doubtful lawsuit, but the certainty of relief through immediate administrative action. The number of accidents which result in the death or crippling of wage-workers, in the Union at large, is simply appalling; in a very few years it runs up a total far in excess of the aggregate of the dead and wounded in any modern war. No academic theory about “freedom of contract” or "constitutional liberty to contract" should be permitted to interfere with this and similar movements. (Eighth Annual Message, Washington, December 8, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 589-590; Nat. Ed. XV, 501-502.

Workmen's Compensation Act— Constitutionality of

A typical case [of the triumph of legalism over justice] was the decision rendered but a few months ago by the court of appeals of my own State, the State of New York, declaring unconstitutional the Workmen's Compensation Act. In their decision the judges admitted the wrong and the suffering caused by the practices against which the law was aimed. They admitted that other civilized nations had abolished these wrongs and practices. But they took the ground that the Constitution of the United States, instead of being an instrument to secure justice, had been ingeniously devised absolutely to prevent justice. They insisted that the clause in the Constitution which forbade the taking of property without due process of law forbade the effort which had been made in the law to distribute among all the partners in an enterprise the effects off the injuries to life or limb of a wage-worker. In other words, they insisted that the Constitution had permanently cursed our people with impotence to right wrong, and had perpetuated a cruel iniquity; for cruel iniquity is not too harsh a term to use in describing the law which, in the event of such an accident, binds the whole burden of crippling disaster on the shoulders least able to bear it—the shoulders of the crippled man himself, or of the dead man's helpless wife and children. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 191; Nat. Ed. XVII, 143.

Workmen's Compensation Laws —Need for

We should have in the national law-books and on the statute-books of every State . . . a far-reaching and thoroughgoing compensation act by which there should be paid automatically a certain specified sum to any man who is crippled in any industry such as railroading and to the kinsfolk of any man who loses his life therein. It should not be left to lawsuits. Lawsuits are objectionable on three different grounds. In the first place, there is always a chance that an excessive amount of damages may be recovered—more than the railroad ought to pay. In the next place, there is always a chance that no damages will be recovered, and, therefore, the man on whose behalf the suit is brought will get nothing; and, finally, the only person certain to benefit from the suit is the lawyer, who is the only person who ought not to have any interest in it. (At Freeport, Ill., September 8, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 209-210; Nat. Ed. XVI, 159-160.

____________. In nation and State alike there should be far-reaching and comprehensive legislation to guarantee safe and healthy conditions for the workmen while at work. In both these regards the workman should not be left to fight for his own interests, and should be explicitly forbidden from making contracts which would imperil these interests. His protection in the place where he works, and his right to compensation if injured, should be guaranteed by the laws of the land. If one of the machines owned by an employer is damaged, the employer has to pay for the damage; and if the man who runs it is hurt, it is just as much the duty of the employer to compensate him as it is to repair the machine. In each case those who use the product will in the end, and quite properly, pay for the damage. (Outlook , February 4, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 106; Nat. Ed. XVII, 70.

Workmen's Compensation Laws— Purpose of

When laws like workmen's compensation laws and the like are passed, it must always be kept in mind by the legislature that the purpose is to distribute over the whole community a burden that should not be borne only by those least able to bear it—that is, by the injured man or the widow and orphans of the dead man. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 570; Nat. Ed. XX, 490.

World Court

See International Court.

World League

See League For Peace; League of Nations

World War

It is idle to say that this is not a people's war. The intensity of conviction in the righteousness of their several causes shown by the several peoples is a prime factor for consideration, if we are to take efficient means to try to prevent a repetition of this incredible world tragedy. . . . To each of these peoples the war seems a crusade against threatening wrong, and each man fervently believes in the justice of his cause. Moreover, each combatant fights with that terrible determination to destroy the opponent which springs from fear. It is not the fear which any one of these powers has inspired that offers the difficult problem. It is the fear which each of them genuinely feels. Russia believes that a quarter of the Slav people will be trodden under the heel of the Germans, unless she suc ceeds. France and England believe that their very existence depends on the destruction of the German menace. Germany believes that unless she can so cripple, and, if possible, destroy her western foes, as to make them harmless in the future, she will be unable hereafter to protect herself against the mighty Slav people on her eastern boundary and will be reduced to a condition of international impotence. Some of her leaders are doubtless influenced by worse motives; but the motives above given are, I believe, those that influence the great mass of Germans, and these are in their essence merely the motives of patriotism, of devotion to one's people and one's native land. (New York Times, October 11, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 54, 56; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 46, 48.

____________. This year we are in the presence of a crisis in the history of the world. In the terrible whirlwind of war all the great nations of the world, save the United States and Italy, are facing the supreme test of their history. All of the pleasant and alluring but futile theories of the pacifists, all the theories enunciated in the peace congresses of the past twenty years, have vanished at the first sound of the drumming guns. The work of all The Hague conventions, and all the arbitration treaties, neutrality treaties, and peace treaties of the last twenty years has been swept before the gusts of war like withered leaves before 1 November storm. In this great crisis the stern and actual facts have shown that the fate of each nation depends not in the least upon any elevated international aspirations to which it has given expression in speech or treaty, but on practical preparation, on intensity of patriotism, on grim endurance, and on the possession of the fighting edge. (New York Times, November 29, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 214; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 183.

____________. This war is the greatest the world has ever seen. The vast size of the armies, the tremendous slaughter, the loftiness of the heroism shown and the hideous horror of the brutalities committed, the valor of the fighting men and the extraordinary ingenuity of those who have designed and built the fighting machines, the burning patriotism of the peoples who defend their hearthstones and the far-reaching complexity of the plans of the leaders — all are on a scale so huge that nothing in past history can be compared with them. The issues at stake are elemental. The free peoples of the world have banded together against tyrannous militarism and government by caste. It is not too much to say that the outcome will largely determine, for daring and liberty-loving souls, whether or not life is worth living. A Prussianized world would be as intolerable as a world ruled over by Attila or by Timur the Lame. (Preface dated May 1, 1917.) Mrs. Humphry Ward, Towards the Goal. (Scribner's, N. Y., 1917), pp. vii-viii.

____________. At the outbreak of the war our people were stunned, blinded, terrified by the extent of the world disaster. Those among our leaders who were greedy, those who were selfish and ease-loving, those who were timid, and those who were merely short- sighted, all joined to blindfold the eyes and dull the conscience of the people so that it might neither see iniquity nor gird its loins for the inevitable struggle. The moral sense of our people was drugged into stupor by the men in high places who taught us that we had no concern with the causes of this war, that all the combatants were fighting for the same things, that it was our duty to be neutral between right and wrong, that we should look with tepid indifference on the murder of our unarmed men, women, and children, that we ought to be too proud to fight for our just rights, that our proper aim should be to secure peace without victory for the right. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 3; Nat. Ed. XIX, 3.

____________. In this great war for righteousness, we Americans have a tremendous task ahead of us. I believe the American people are entirely willing to make any sacrifice, and to render any service, and I believe that they should be explicitly shown how great the service is they are called upon to render, how great the need is that they should unflinchingly face any sacrifice that is made. (Metropolitan, September 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 32; Nat. Ed. XIX, 27.

____________. This is the people's war. It is not the President's war. It is not Congress's war. It is America's war. We are in honor bound in conducting it to stand by every official who does well, and against every official who fails to do well. Any other attitude is servile and unworthy of an American freeman. (Metropolitan, January 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 282; Nat. Ed. XIX, 260.

World War—American Responsibility During

All of the terrible iniquities of the past year and a half, including this crowning iniquity of the wholesale slaughter of the Armenians, can be traced directly to the initial wrong committed on Belgium by her. invasion and subjugation; and the criminal responsibility of Germany must be shared by the neutral powers, headed by the United States, for their failure to protest when this initial wrong was committed. In the case of the United States additional responsibility rests upon it because its lack of influence for justice and peace during the last sixteen months has been largely due to the course of timid and unworthy abandonment of duty which it has followed for nearly five years as regards Mexico. (To Samuel T. Dutton, Chairman of Committee on Armenian Outrages, November 24, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 447; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 384.

World War — American Rights During

Submission to an initial wrong means that all protests against subsequent and lesser wrongs are hypocritical and ineffective. Had we protested, in such fashion that our protest was effective, against what was done in Belgium by Germany, and against the sinking of the Lusitania by Germany, we could have (and in such case we ought to have) protested against all subsequent and minor infractions of international law and morals, including those which interfered with our commerce or with any other neutral rights. But failure to protest against the first and worst offenses of the strongest wrong-doer made it contemptible, and an act of bad faith, to protest against subsequent and smaller misdeeds; and failure to act (not merely speak or write notes) when our women and children were murdered made protests against interference with American business profits both offensive and ludicrous. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 239; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 206.

World War—America's Duty in

A deputation of Belgians has arrived in this country to invoke our assistance in the time of their dreadful need. What action our Government can or will take I know not. It has been announced that no action can be taken that will interfere with our entire neutrality. It is certainly eminently desirable that we should remain entirely neutral, and nothing but urgent need would warrant breaking our neutrality and taking sides one way or the other. Our first duty is to hold ourselves ready to do whatever the changing circumstances demand in order to protect our own interests in the present and in the future; although, for my own part, I desire to add to this statement the proviso that under no circumstances must we do anything dishonorable, especially towards unoffending weaker nations. Neutrality may be of prime necessity in order to preserve our own interest, to maintain peace in so much of the world as is not affected by the war, and to conserve our influence for helping toward the re- establishment of general peace when the time comes; for if any outside Power is able at such time to be the medium for bringing peace, it is more likely to be the United States than any other. But we pay the penalty of this action on behalf of peace for ourselves, and possibly for others in the future, by forfeiting our right to do anything on behalf of peace for the Belgians in the present. We can maintain our neutrality only by refusal to do anything to aid unoffending weak powers which are dragged into the gulf of bloodshed and misery through no fault of their own. Of course it would be folly to jump into the gulf ourselves to no good purpose; and very probably nothing that we could have done would have helped Belgium. We have not the smallest responsibility for what has befallen her, and I am sure that the sympathy of this country for the suffering of the men, women, and children of Belgium is very real. Nevertheless, this sympathy is compatible with full acknowledgment of the unwisdom of our uttering a single word of official protest unless we are prepared to make that protest effective; and only the clearest and most urgent National duty would ever justify us in deviating from our rule of neutrality and non-interference. Outlook, September 23, 1914, p. 173.

____________. I have been in a very difficult position. I am in opposition to the Administration, and to say how I myself would have acted, when I am not in power and when the action I would have taken is the reverse of that which the present Administration takes, would do harm and not good. This is especially so because the bulk of our people do not understand foreign politics and have no idea about any impending military danger. When I was President, I really succeeded in educating them to a fairly good understanding of these matters, and I believe that if I had been President at the outset of this war they would have acquiesced in my taking the stand I most assuredly would have taken as the head of a signatory nation of the Hague Treaties in reference to the violation of Belgium neutrality. But, of course, I should not have taken such a stand if I had not been prepared to back it up to the end, no matter what course it necessitated; and it would be utterly silly to advocate the Administration taking such a position unless I knew that the Administration would proceed to back up its position. In my articles I spoke very plainly, but I believe with proper reserve and courtesy. (To Sir Edward Grey, October 3, 1914.) Twenty-Five Years, by Viscount Grey of Fallodon. (Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1925), II, 139-140.
____________. As a nation, during the past eighteen months we have refused to prepare to defend our own rights by our own strength. We have also refused to say one word against international wrong-doing of the most dreadful character. We have refused to carry out the promises we made in The Hague conventions. We have been guilty of all these mean sins of omission, we are officially told, in the hope that the Administration may secure the empty honor of being a go-between when the belligerents decide to make peace. The actions of the Administration have tended to create such conditions that the “peace” shall be in the interest of the wrong- doer, and at the expense of his helpless victim. It is not right that this nation should be asked thus to shirk its duty to itself and to others in order to secure such a worthless function for any person whatsoever. Our plain duty was to stand against wrong, to help in stamping out the wrong, to help in protecting the innocent who had been wronged. This duty we have ignobly shirked. (Metropolitan, October 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 330; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 284.

____________. In this crisis I hold that we have signally failed in our duty to Belgium and Armenia, and in our duty to ourselves. In this crisis I hold that the Allies are standing for the principles to which Abraham Lincoln said this country was dedicated; and the rulers of Germany have, in practical fashion, shown this to be the case by conducting a campaign against Americans on the ocean, which has resulted in the wholesale murder of American men, women, and children, and by conducting within our own borders a campaign of the bomb and the torch against American industries. They have carried on war against our people; for wholesale and repeated killing is war—even though the killing takes the shape of assassination of non-combatants, instead of battle against armed men. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 255; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 220.

____________. Our country has shirked its clear duty. One outspoken and straightforward declaration by this government against the dreadful iniquities perpetrated in Belgium, Armenia, and Servia would have been worth to humanity a thousand times as much as all that the professional pacifists have done in the past fifty years. (Metropolitan, January 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 306; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 262.

____________. We Americans are not, and must not permit ourselves to become, swayed by question of material gain in this war. We must think primarily of our duties. We must keep our minds fixed on what we owe to others, and what we owe to ourselves. We owe a service to humanity. Our sons and brothers at the front pay this service in blood. The rest of us must pay it in money. (September 17, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 217.

World War — America's Part in

For the sake of our own souls, for the sake of the memories of the great Americans of the past, we must show that we do not intend to make this merely a dollar war. Let us pay with our bodies for our souls' desire. Let us, without one hour's unnecessary delay, put the American flag at the battle-front in this great world war for Democracy and civilization, and for the reign of Justice and fair-dealing among the nations of mankind. (To Senator George E. Chamberlain, Spring 1917.) C. R. Robinson, My Brother Theodore Roosevelt, 326.

____________. Along many lines of preparation the work here is now going fairly fast—not much of a eulogy when we are in the ninth month of the war. But there cannot be much speed when military efficiency is subordinated to selfish personal politics, the gratification of malice, and sheer wooden-headed folly. (Letter of October 14, 1917.) Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., Average Americans. (G. P. Putnam's Sons, N. Y., 1919), p. viii.

____________. America played in the closing months of the war a gallant part, but not in any way the leading part, and she played this part only by acting in strictest agreement with our Allies and under the joint high command. She should take precisely the same attitude at the Peace Conference. We have lost in this war about two hundred and thirty-six thousand men killed and wounded. England and France have lost about seven million. Italy and Belgium and the other Allies have doubtless lost three million more. Of the terrible sacrifice which has enabled the Allies to win the victory, America has contributed just about two per cent. At the end, I personally believe that our intervention was decisive because the combatants were so equally matched and were so weakened by the terrible strain that our money and our enthusiasm and the million fighting men whom we got to the front, even. although armed substantially with nothing but French field-cannon, tanks, machine-guns, and airplanes, was decisive in the scale. But we could render this decisive aid only because for four years the Allies, in keeping Germany from conquering their own countries, had incidentally kept her from conquering ours. (Kansas City Star, November 26, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 442; Nat. Ed. XIX, 398.

World War—America's Purpose in

We are fighting this war for others. But we are also, and primarily, fighting it for ourselves. We wish to safeguard to all civilized nations which themselves do justice to others, the right to enjoy their independence, and therefore to enjoy whatever governmental system they desire. But rightly and properly our first concern is for our own country. Our own welfare is at stake. Our own interests are vitally concerned. We are fighting for the honor of America and for our permanent place among the self-governing nations of mankind. We are fighting for our homes, our freedom, our independence, our self-respect and well-being. We are fighting for our dearest rights, and to avert measureless disaster in the future from the land in which our children's children are to dwell when we are dead. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 5; Nat. Ed. XIX, 4.

____________. We fight for our own rights. We fight for the rights of mankind. This great struggle is fundamentally a struggle for the fundamentals of civilization and democracy. The future of the free institutions of the world is at stake. The free people who govern themselves are lined up against the governments which deny freedom to their people. Our cause is the cause of humanity. But we also have bitter wrongs of our own which it is our duty to redress. Our women and children and unarmed men, going about their peaceful business, have been murdered on the high seas, not once, but again and again and again. With brutal insolence, after having for well nigh two years persevered in this policy, Germany has announced that she will continue it, at our expense and at the expense of other neutrals, more ruthlessly than ever .... I ask that we send a fighting force over to the fighting line at the earliest possible moment, and I ask it in the name of our children and our children's children, so that they may hold their heads high over the memory of what this nation did in the world's great crisis. I ask it for reasons of national morality no less than for our material self-interest. I ask it for the sake of our self- respect, our self-esteem. Speech by Theodore Roosevelt, Stock Yards Pavilion, Chicago, April 28, 1917. (National Security League, N. Y., 1917), pp. 5-6.

____________. We are fighting for humanity; but we are also, and primarily, fighting for our own vital interests. Our army in France will fight for France and Belgium; but most of all it will be fighting for America, Until we make the world safe for America (and incidentally until we make democracy safe in America), it is empty rhetoric to talk of making the world safe for democracy; and no one of these objects can be obtained merely by high-sounding words, or by anything else save by the exercise of hard, grim, common sense in advance preparation, and then by unflinching courage in the use of the hardened strength which has thus been prepared. (Metropolitan, September 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 22; Nat. Ed. XIX, 19.

World War — Causes of

Looking back at the real and ultimate causes rather than at the temporary occasions of the war, what has occurred is due primarily to the intense fear felt by each nation for other nations and to the anger born of that fear. Doubtless in certain elements, notably certain militaristic elements, of the population other motives have been at work; but I believe that the people of each country, in backing the government of that country, in the present war have been influenced mainly by a genuine patriotism and a genuine fear of what might happen to their beloved land in the event of aggression by other nations. (New York Times, October 18, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 60; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 51.

World War — Consequences of

Unless all history is valueless as a guide, we are going, sooner or later, to have to pay for the enormous destructions of capital in this war. We cannot hope to evade some period of depression. How severe that will be depends largely upon ourselves. We cannot avoid it, but we can make it less severe than it otherwise might be. In this labor and capital must work together—must realize that their problems are alike, and that unless the employer is prosperous, the employee cannot be. Equally so, unless the employee is treated fairly, the employer and the community cannot be prosperous. The partners in the enterprise must realize their responsibilities to each other and act accordingly. (Fall 1917; reported by Leary.) Talks with T. R. From the diaries of John J. Leary, Jr. (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1920), p. 154.

World War—Entrance Into

We did not go to war to make democracy safe, and we did go to war because we had a special grievance. We went to war, because, after two years, during which, with utter contempt of our protests, she had habitually and continually murdered our noncombatant men, women, and children on the high seas, Germany formally announced that she intended to pursue this course more ruthlessly and vigorously than ever. This was the special grievance because of which we went to war, and it was far more than an empty justification for going to war. As you know, my own belief is that we should have acted immediately after the sinking of the Lusitania. (At Johnstown, Pa., September 30, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 511; Bishop II, 436.

World War — Intervention in

The first thing I would like to do . . . would be to interfere in the world war on the side of justice and honesty, by exactly such a league [of neutrals] as you mention. I do not believe in neutrality between right and wrong. I believe in justice. (To Baron Rosen, August 7, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 461; Bishop II, 392.

____________. The storm that is raging in Europe at this moment is terrible and evil; but it is also grand and noble. Untried men who live at ease will do well to remember that there is a certain sublimity even in Milton's defeated archangel, but none whatever in the spirits who kept neutral, who remained at peace, and dared side neither with hell nor with heaven. They will also do well to remember that when heroes have battled together, and have wrought good and evil, and when the time has come out of the contest to get all the good possible and to prevent as far as possible the evil from being made permanent, they will not be influenced much by the theory that soft and shortsighted outsiders have put themselves in better condition to stop war abroad by making themselves defenseless at home. (New York Times, November 29, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 216; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 185.

World War — Participation in

France and England have been fighting the battle of this nation as certainly as they have been fighting for themselves. Every consideration of honor, of self-respect, of self- interest, and self-preservation demand that we Americans throw our full force into this war immediately, without reservation, with entire loyalty to our allies, and with the stern and steadfast determination to fight the war through to a victorious finish. Moreover, we should act at once. We have to atone for three years of folly and indecision. We are a nation of a hundred millions of people, richer in wealth and resources than any other on the earth. Yet we were so utterly unprepared that although Germany declared war on us seven months ago we are still merely getting ready our strength, we still owe our safety exclusively to the fleets and armies of our hard- pressed and war-worn allies, to whose help we nominally came. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 5; Nat. Ed. XIX, 5.

____________. I am certain that as rapidly as possible the various units should be transferred to France for intensive training; that as soon as possible an American force, under the American flag, should be established on the fighting line, should be steadily fed with new men to keep its members to the required point, and steadily reinforced by other units, so that it would be playing a continually more important part in the fighting. It is an ignoble thing for us not to put our men into the fighting line at the earliest possible moment. Such failure will excite derision and may have a very evil effect upon our national future. (To Newton D. Baker, April 22, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 214; Nat. Ed. XIX, 202.

____________. In my judgment, the way to render help to the Allies is primarily to wake America to its own shortcomings as regards its own effort, to enlighten it as to the need of making that effort quickly and formidably felt; or in other words, to struggle as hard as possible to increase our weight in the war. It would be a far more difficult thing for me to get our country speeded to action by knowledge of England’s effort than to get it speeded to action by knowledge of its own shortcomings and duties. (To Sir Arthur Lee, February 21, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 514; Bishop II, 439.

World War—Peace Settlement of

There are multitudes of professional pacifists in the United States, and of well-meaning but ill-informed persons who sympathize with them from ignorance. There are not a few astute persons, bankers of foreign birth, and others, who wish to take sinister advantage of the folly of these persons, in the interest of Germany. All of these men clamor for immediate peace. They wish the United States to take action for immediate peace or for a truce, under conditions designed to leave Belgium with her wrongs unredressed and in the possession of Germany. They strive to bring about a peace which would contain within itself the elements of frightful future disaster, by making no effective provision to prevent the repetition of such wrong-doing as has been inflicted upon Belgium. All of the men advocating such action, including the professional pacifists, the big business men largely of foreign birth, and the well-meaning but feeble-minded creatures among their allies, and including especially all those who from sheer timidity or weakness shrink from duty, occupy a thoroughly base and improper position. (Independent, January 4, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 183; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 157.

____________. If the United States enters . . . a congress with nothing but a record of comfortable neutrality or tame acquiescence in violated Hague conventions, plus an array of vague treaties with no relation to actual facts, it will be allowed to fill the position of international drum-major and of nothing more; and even this position it will be allowed to fill only so long as it suits the convenience of the men who have done the actual fighting. The warring nations will settle the issues in accordance with their own strength and position. Under such conditions we shall be treated as we deserve to be treated, as a nation of people who mean well feebly, whose words are not backed by deeds, who like to prattle about both their own strength and their own righteousness, but who are unwilling to run the risks without which righteousness cannot be effectively served, and who are also unwilling to undergo the toil of intelligent and hard-working preparation without which strength when tested proves weakness. (New York Times, November 29, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 202; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 173.

____________. Peace in Europe will be made by the warring nations. They and they alone will in fact determine the terms of settlement. The United States may be used as a convenient means of getting together; but that is all. If the nations of Europe desire peace and our assistance in securing it, it will be because they have fought as long as they will or can. It will not be because they regard us as having set a spiritual example to them by sitting idle, uttering cheap platitudes, and picking up their trade, while they have poured out their blood like water in support of the ideals in which, with all their hearts and souls, they believe. For us to assume superior virtue in the face of the war-worn nations of the Old World will not make us more acceptable as mediators among them. Such self-consciousness on our part will not impress the nations who have sacrificed and are sacrificing all that is dearest to them in the world, for the things that they believe to be the noblest in the world. (New York Times, November 29, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 215; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 185.

____________. What is needed at this time is not the compounding of felony by the discussion of terms with the felons, but the concentration and speedy development of our whole strength so as to overwhelm Germany in battle and to dictate to her the peace of unconditional surrender . . .Our present business is to fight, and to continue fighting until Germany is brought to her knees. Our next business will be to help guarantee the peace of justice for the world at large, and to set in order the affairs of our own household. (1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 256, 257; Nat. Ed. XIX, 238, 239.

____________. The one absolute essential for our people is to insist that this war be seen through at no matter what cost, until it is crowned with the peace of overwhelming victory for the right. There are foolish persons who still say we ought to make peace now, a negotiated peace, and then be good friends with Germany. These persons with all the lessons of the last four years fresh in their minds still cling pathetically to the belief that if only we will show that we are harmless Germany will begin to love us. (Metropolitan, January 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 284; Nat. Ed. XIX, 261.

____________. We must win the war as speedily as possible. But we must set ourselves to fight it through no matter how long it takes, with the resolute determination to accept no peace until, no matter at what cost, we win the peace of overwhelming victory. The peace that we win must guarantee full reparation for the awful cost of life and treasure which the Prussianized Germany of the Hohenzollerns has inflicted on the entire world; and this reparation must take the form of action that will render it impossible for Germany to repeat her colossal wrong-doing. (Lafayette Day exercises, New York City, September 6, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 408; Nat. Ed. XIX, 370.

____________. When the American people speak for unconditional surrender, it means that Germany must accept whatever terms the United States and its Allies think necessary in order to right the dreadful wrongs that have been committed and to safeguard the world for at least a generation to come from another attempt by Germany to secure world dominion. Unconditional surrender is the reverse of a negotiated peace. The interchange of notes, which has been going on between our government and the governments of Germany and Austria during the last three weeks, means, of course, if persisted in, a negotiated peace. It is the abandonment of force and the substitution of negotiation. This fact should be clearly and truthfully stated by our leaders, so that the American people may decide with their eyes open which course they will follow. (Kansas City Star, October 26, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 418; Nat. Ed. XIX, 378.

____________. It is our business to act with our Allies and to show an undivided front with them against any move of our late enemies. I am no Utopian. I understand entirely that there can be shifting alliances, I understand entirely that twenty years hence or thirty years hence we don't know what combination we may have to face, and for this reason I wish to see us preparing our own strength in advance and trust to nothing but our own strength for our own self-defense as our permanent policy. But in the present war we have won only by standing shoulder to shoulder with our Allies and presenting an undivided front to the enemy. It is our business to show the same loyalty and good faith at the Peace Conference. Let it be clearly understood that the American people absolutely stand behind France, England, Italy, Belgium, and the other Allies at the Peace Conference, just as she has stood with them during the last eighteen months of war. Let every difference of opinion be settled among the Allies themselves and then let them impose their common will on the nations responsible for the hideous disaster which has almost wrecked mankind. (Kansas City Star, November 26, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 442; Nat. Ed. XIX, 399.

World War

See also Americans, Hyphenated; Aviation; Baker, Newton D.; Belgium; Conscientious Objectors; Contraband; Democracy; Draft ; England; Fourteen Points; France; Germany; Hague Conventions; Japan; League Of Nations; Liberty Loans; Lusitania; Militarism; Military Service; Munitions; Neutral Rights; Neutrality; Pacifism; Peace ; Pershing, John J.; Preparedness; Profiteers; Roosevelt Division; Russia; Submarine Warfare; Treaties; Unpreparedness; Volunteer System; William Ii; Wilson, Woodrow .


See Jiu Jitsu.


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