Publication information
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Source: In the Land of the Strenuous Life
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “At the White House” [chapter 12]
Author(s): Klein, Felix
Publisher: A. C. McClurg and Co.
Place of publication: Chicago, Illinois
Year of publication: 1905
Pagination: 242-61 (excerpt below includes only pages 247-48)

Klein, Felix. “At the White House” [chapter 12]. In the Land of the Strenuous Life. Chicago: A. C. McClurg, 1905: pp. 242-61.
excerpt of chapter
Theodore Roosevelt (assassination attempts); presidents (protection); Theodore Roosevelt (protection); McKinley assassination (personal response); Theodore Roosevelt; Theodore Roosevelt (personal philosophy).
Named persons
Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt; Denis J. Stafford.
From title page: By Abbé Felix Klein, of the Catholic University of Paris.

From title page: Author’s Translation.


At the White House [excerpt]

     Dr. Stafford congratulated the President on having just escaped from an attempt on his life by a lunatic, who succeeded in making his way into the White House. He was easily arrested; but one cannot but experience a shock on learning that the fellow, the day before, on returning from church, had actually shaken hands with the President. “But,” Dr. Stafford and I [247][248] simultaneously protested, “ought not the head of the nation to provide better for his own protection?” Our advice, I must confess, seemed to make but little impression on Mr. Roosevelt, who said he did not wish—and who shall blame him?—to spoil his life by precautions against hypothetical dangers. “That fellow,” he said, returning to the recent attempt, “is a fool! I do not want him injured. But how I should have liked to kill McKinley’s assassin!” This memory gave a movement of anger; and one felt that this moralist, orator, writer, statesman, was quite capable of coping physically with any antagonist. He has done so, indeed, during his presidency, when twice he personally overthrew assailants; and several times, also, during his bear and buffalo hunting expeditions. He is a complete man, in whom mind and muscle, soul and body, are harmoniously developed, the realized ideal of the nation to which he belongs; who by years of ranch-life turned an originally weak constitution into one of robust health; who in politics never hides his convictions; who in foreign affairs, perhaps like others, has exaggerated the rights of his own country; but who, if we judge him by his intentions and acts as a whole, regulates his conduct, as he says, by the motto of Lincoln: “Do the best; but if you can’t do the best, then do the best you can.”



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