Publication information

Seattle Times
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Is He a Man of Destiny?”
Author(s): Baxter, Marion B.
City of publication: Seattle, Washington
Date of publication: 9 October 1901
Volume number: 5
Issue number: 41
Pagination: 6

Baxter, Marion B. “Is He a Man of Destiny?” Seattle Times 9 Oct. 1901 v5n41: p. 6.
full text
Theodore Roosevelt (assumption of presidency: religious interpretation); Theodore Roosevelt; Theodore Roosevelt (political character); Theodore Roosevelt (political philosophy); Theodore Roosevelt (vice-presidential candidacy); Theodore Roosevelt (compared with Saul); McKinley assassination (personal response); Theodore Roosevelt (assumption of presidency: personal response).
Named persons
Esther; Abraham Lincoln; Theodore Roosevelt; Saul.
Alternate newspaper title: Seattle Weekly Times.

Is He a Man of Destiny?

TO admit that President Roosevelt is a man of destiny is to admit the oversight and direction of human governments by a power superior to human will. We have fallen in the way of speaking of God as holding all nations in the hollow of His hand, setting up one nation and putting another nation down, but it is only when a crisis dawns upon us that we are brought to the realization of the fact that God is supreme. From our standpoint of vision President Roosevelt has for some time been the most striking figure in American politics. He is original, unique, and if such a thing is possible in politics—a self-made man. Newspaper pictures represent him as a man with a wide forehead and a head well developed behind the ears.
     He does not look like a dreamer or as a man to be carried away with the praise of men. His eyes have a directness in them that fit [sic] well with the full round lips and resolute chin. His head is well poised on a strong neck, around which he wears an old fashioned collar, and an equally old fashioned tie. His general make up is that of a fearless, independent man who cares more about being right than anything else. From his first appearance in office until now, he has held to the thought that Theodore Roosevelt was an individual. Because of this independence of character, party wire pullers have found him an unknown quantity, difficult to manage and difficult to be rid of; for, no sooner was he out of the way, than unseen hands seemed to lay hold on him and set him directly in their path again.
     Then, too, he clings to old fashioned notions about the responsibilities of office, and somehow has it in his head that the oath of office is binding to the extent of doing all that he promises to do. Now this is very unpleasant to office seekers and office makers of easy conscience, but the very tenacity with which he clings to these old fashioned notions, puts him in high favor with the great mass, known as common people. Like the emperor of Germany he is fond of preaching sermons, but the sermons are more remarkable for downright good sense than oratory and somehow one loses sight of the preacher in the truth he presents.
     Not long ago[,] during one of his tours, he preached a sermon from this text[:] “Be ye doers of the word.” Now every one knows that it is easier to preach than practice, and then, too, it gives the hearer such an uncomfortable feeling, especially if the preacher fits the coat snug and drives the truth home to the heart.
     We have no means of knowing just how pious Mr. Roosevelt is, but his official career and the record of his daily life so far as we can see is one to be proud of and justifies the prediction that whatever he believes his duty as president of the United States that will he do. He has never sought office for the sake of notoriety; in every case the office sought him, and it is a part of the history of the last Republican victory that he did not desire the nomination of vice president; that he refused to let his name go before the national convention as long as he could do so and preserve his name as a patriot. The situation in which he found himself was critical and cruel. Loved by the country at large, feared and hated by party managers, he yielded to the importunities of party bosses who, Judas like, sold out his future prospects, as they thought[.] Had he refused the nomination he could hardly have explained his course to the common people. He seemed to be at the cross roads [sic] where all signs failed, and standing in the way of God’s chariot he got aboard, and again unseen hands were behind him although he knew it not.
     He is in every way a man of the people[;] no amount of coaching will turn him into an aristocrat. In his rugged determination to do what he thinks right whether any one likes it or not, he seems more like Abraham Lincoln than any other president since his day. Like Saul he hid among “the stuff” when the people would give him office, and in spite of all that was plotted against him by his political enemies, he is president of the greatest government on earth. He comes to the office at a critical time in the history of our country and in all human probability feels the gravity of it. If there is a weak spot in his armor so far as the praise of people be concerned we have not discovered it.
     Much as we love the memory of our martyred president, sorrowful as every true patriot must be over the deep infamy of his taking off, frightful as are the conditions that mock at peace, and continually warn us of the danger that is within, still, at this hour we have much to be grateful for. Had Mr. Roosevelt been other than the man he is the ship of state might have found rough sailing, but no sooner had the blow fallen than the nation steadied herself with the thought that a strong man and true was at the helm. Like Saul he hid from those who would make him king, and like Esther he seems to have come to the kingdom for just this time.