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"Hello, I'm William McKinley."
partial cover image from "American Boys' Life of William McKinley"                                              
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“It is providential that in an era of great possibilities—for either good or evil—the happier fate should be assured by the rise of this man; that whatever of moral malaria might have fastened upon the civic health of the people was corrected by the presence of a man of vigorous right, a prophet of the strenuous life, a citizen who teaches the doctrine ‘Trust in God, and help yourself.’”

—— C. E. Banks and L. Armstrong, Theodore Roosevelt, Twenty-Sixth President of the United States, 1901
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Who goes there? An American!
     Brain and spirit and brawn and heart.
’Twas for him that the nations spared
     Each to the years its noblest part;
Till from the Dutch, the Gaul and Celt
Blossomed the soul of Roosevelt.

—— Grace Duffie Boylan, Theodore Roosevelt, Twenty-Sixth President of the United States, 1901
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“A hero before the election, he is now an inspiration to every American boy.”

—— Opie Read, Theodore Roosevelt, Twenty-Sixth President of the United States, 1901
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“The reins of government have fallen into the hands of a patriot and statesman, a man brave in war and wise in time of peace. We may rest assured that with such a mind and heart and will, the new President will lead the country in the ways of truth and peace. Long live Theodore Roosevelt!”

—— W. A. Wasson, William McKinley: Character Sketches of America’s Martyred Chieftain, [1901?]
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“. . . a gentleman possessed of no less great personality than Mr. McKinley, one moreover whom the breath of scandal has not been able to touch, and whose high rectitude and honesty of purpose is unchallengeable.”

—— anonymous, Detroit Medical Journal, Sept. 1901
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“I believe Roosevelt is a better friend of the masses than McKinley ever was.”

—— Louise M. Schwab, World, 10 Sept. 1901
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“Mr. Roosevelt’s high character, his unquestioned ability, his literary gifts, and his remarkable strength of will are qualities which ought to secure him a distinguished place in the roll of the Presidents of the Union.”

—— anonymous, Times [London], 17 Sept. 1901
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“. . . the whole nation recognizes it as the good providence of God that such a man should take the chair and assume the duties of the man who was a martyr in that cause.”

—— anonymous, Evangelist, 19 Sept. 1901
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“Thus while the people of the United States have lost one highly esteemed public servant they see him replaced by another whose character and experience justify the belief that he will in every way be a worthy successor to President McKinley. President Roosevelt’s courage has never been questioned; good administration is with him a passion; he has preached it and enforced it throughout his public life.”

—— anonymous, Public Opinion, 19 Sept. 1901
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“I do not think it any exaggeration to say that the vast majority of voters would have chosen, had the opportunity for it been necessary, Theodore Roosevelt as the most fit of all men in the United States to receive the mantle of the murdered Chief Executive.”

—— Frank Y. Gladney, Times [London], 19 Sept. 1901
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“He has shown himself worthy to follow in Mr. McKinley’s footsteps.”

—— anonymous, Congregationalist and Christian World, 21 Sept. 1901
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“. . . his every act and word from the time the President was shot down to this time has revealed him as a man of sobriety, good taste and deep feeling.”

—— anonymous, Congregationalist and Christian World, 21 Sept. 1901
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“. . . it is certain that under Mr. Roosevelt we shall all lead the ‘strenuous life’ that lifts nations from higher to higher spheres of influence and success.”

—— anonymous, Electrical World and Engineer, 21 Sept. 1901
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“To-day Theodore Roosevelt stands before the country as one who needs the deepest sympathy which its citizens can accord him. The blow which has fallen upon the nation has fallen upon him with an even more stunning force. He has come into lofty heritage through an overwhelming grief which he shares as fully as the most sorely stricken. The most serious burdens are for his shoulders to bear. There is probably nowhere in this world a man who is personally more deeply stricken at heart than he, and it is to the people over whose destinies he has been so suddenly and grievously called to preside that he must look for the support and confidence which alone can make his position tolerable.”

—— John Kendrick Bangs, Harper’s Weekly, 21 Sept. 1901
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“He has written history and has helped to make history, and his honesty, patriotism, admirable abilities, earnestness and singleness of purpose seem to justify the high hopes held by his fellow countrymen, of all shades of opinion, that President Roosevelt’s Administration will enroll his name with the strong, serious statesmen who deserve the gratitude of the nation.”

—— anonymous, Irish-American, 21 Sept. 1901
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“A gentleman in the best sense of a much-abused word; a man of honor upon whose reputation, in spite of the bitterest criticism, not a shadow rests; a man of proven courage, Mr. Roosevelt will continue in the Presidency the very highest traditions of integrity and independence which are associated with the place.”

—— anonymous, Outlook, 21 Sept. 1901
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“Our first duty in this crisis is to give to [McKinley’s] successor under the Constitution our loyal support, in the hope and belief that power will impress him, as it has many great characters known to history, and keep him in the path of his good and great predecessor.”

—— Andrew Carnegie, Outlook, 21 Sept. 1901
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“. . . like President McKinley, he recognises the will of the people, and undertakes to carry it out thoroughly. He may, perhaps, bring somewhat more zeal to the task. That is the only difference that is likely to be apparent.”

—— anonymous, Statist, 21 Sept. 1901
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“In truth, however, there are no real grounds for believing that President Roosevelt is Imperialist in the sense that he would adopt an aggressive policy. That he will maintain the honour and the interests of the United States very firmly, if anybody is so ill-advised as to challenge them, is beyond all question. But that he will refuse to respect the honour and the interests of other States there is nothing in his past life to suggest.”

—— anonymous, Statist, 21 Sept. 1901
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“We need not fear but that the government of the country will be wisely administered under his leadership.”

—— anonymous, Life, 26 Sept. 1901
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“President Roosevelt, promptly anticipating the resignation of the members of the McKinley Cabinet, has induced them to remain in office throughout his term. This is Mr. Roosevelt’s way of confirming the promise he made at Buffalo that he would carry out the policy of his predecessor. In no other way could he have emphasized it so fully and satisfactorily. In no other way could he so happily have met the public desires, or have conveyed to the world the assurance that the assassin’s bullet had produced no change in public aims and administration. It cannot be assumed that President Roosevelt has no initiative of his own, since his whole career has bristled with it. Indeed, the apprehension which assailed the public mind momentarily, when Mr. McKinley was struck down, was that the Vice-President had too much initiative, and that he would probably hasten to substitute new policies in place of those already in operation. All such fears are wisely dispelled. The business world and the thinking world are alike convinced that, although all hearts are wounded, no wound has befallen the republic.”

—— anonymous, Nation, 26 Sept. 1901
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“Whether Mr. Roosevelt, who has a reputation for enjoying personal encounters with bears and mountain lions as well as with Spaniards, will have the moral courage and appreciation of his public duty to protect the lives of himself and his successors by refusing, while holding the office of President, to submit to close and intimate personal contact with hordes of unvouched-for strangers, even if presumably friendly, is a matter of vital importance to all admirers of republican institutions.”

—— E. L. C. M., Nation, 26 Sept. 1901
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“His career has been more interesting than that of almost any other man in the public life of our generation.”

—— anonymous, Collier’s Weekly, 28 Sept. 1901
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“What sort of president will he make? Every one is asking that question, many trustingly, many hopefully, a few doubtfully.”

—— anonymous, Collier’s Weekly, 28 Sept. 1901
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“The whole country has watched him distinguish hitherto obscure offices, and has seen him rise to the highest place in spite of reiterated predictions that each of the offices to which he has been appointed would be the grave of his political career.”

—— Henry Loomis Nelson, Collier’s Weekly, 28 Sept. 1901
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“President Roosevelt has often been charged, in the course of his remarkable public career, with a tendency to immoderation in speech and impulsiveness in conduct. But his severest critics can have no fault to find with him in the trying and delicate situation in which he has recently been placed. From the moment that he was first apprised of the foul deed at Buffalo, Mr. Roosevelt has conducted himself in a manly, dignified, and characteristically straightforward way. His discretion has been equaled only by his kindness and sympathy.”

—— anonymous, Leslie’s Weekly, 28 Sept. 1901
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“The business world as well as the political has the highest confidence in the ability, the integrity and the patriotism of President Roosevelt.”

—— anonymous, Massachusetts Ploughman and New England Journal of Agriculture, 28 Sept. 1901
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“Out in the open of Western life, of service as Civil Service Commissioner, as Police Commissioner of the city and Governor of the State of New York, as soldier and as fighter, he has lived his brief and brilliant life, transparent as a crystal in its honesty and energy, before the eyes of all our people. Eager, impetuous, impulsive, intense, untiring, unguarded, it would be strange if there were not faults and flaws that men could find which are the defects of his virtues. But, be he what he may and think of him what you will, he has been called of God to be the ruler of this people, only indirectly by the popular vote, and in no Christian sense at all by accident, but with the most intense solemnity of circumstance.”

—— William C. Doane, Outlook, 28 Sept. 1901
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“Honest, personally brave, of a sincere Americanism, the Nation looks to him to lead it further in its career of honorable glory, of honorable success.”

—— anonymous, Saturday Evening Post, 28 Sept. 1901
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“In spite of what his enemies have said of him, it cannot be denied that Theodore Roosevelt possesses many conspicuous qualifications for the exalted place to which he has now been so unexpectedly called. His absolute integrity and fearlessness, his keen, clear judgment of men and measures, his implacable hatred of chicanery and dishonesty, and his remarkable literary attainments—surely these are worth something in a man called to exercise the powers of chief executive of the nation.”

—— anonymous, Albany Law Journal, Oct. 1901
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“. . . it would be absurd to try to offer any comfort to those persons who have professed to feel some anxiety lest Mr. Roosevelt’s well-known diligence and energy in doing his duty might somehow prove disadvantageous to the country. It is simply enough to say that President Roosevelt is a man who acts with great vigor and courage, but not with what is called impulsiveness.”

—— anonymous, American Monthly Review of Reviews, Oct. 1901
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“No man since George Washington has come into the Presidential chair so absolutely free from personal claims of any kind upon him as has Mr. Roosevelt.”

—— anonymous, American Monthly Review of Reviews, Oct. 1901
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“We mourn the death and loss to us of McKinley, but thank God for the providence which gave us Roosevelt.”

—— George James Jones, Cambrian, Oct. 1901
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“His career has been picturesquely American.”

—— anonymous, Chautauquan, Oct. 1901
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“Mr. Roosevelt is the youngest president the nation has ever had, and is of a temperament which stands somewhat in need of sobering and perhaps steadying influences. These characteristics, in a president of the United States, might not in themselves be reassuring, but Mr. Roosevelt is neither stubborn, self-willed, nor over-impressed with his own infallibility. With this combination of qualities, it is safe to predict that the accession of great responsibility will furnish whatever balancing and broadening influences may yet be necessary to supplement the many admirable characteristics now well known to the public.”

—— anonymous, Gunton’s Magazine, Oct. 1901
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“. . . he carries with him to the presidency that confidence and enthusiastic support of the people that have been the lot of few presidents on their first entrance to the white house.”

—— anonymous, Gunton’s Magazine, Oct. 1901
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“There can be no denying . . . that the man who now occupies the presidential chair possesses in many ways the strongest individuality of any man who has occupied that chair since the time of Lincoln.”

—— anonymous, International Socialist Review, Oct. 1901
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“His party contains no more picturesque or courageous figure; nor does his party contain a man more able to give our country a vigorous, efficient administration.”

—— anonymous, Medical World, Oct. 1901
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“We who have lived to witness the third [presidential assassination] have especial reason to be grateful that a man so stamped with every quality of fitness for his high office, so tried and faithful, and withal so young and abounding in the vigor of robust manhood, has succeeded William McKinley.”

—— anonymous, Modern Culture, Oct. 1901
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“. . . he is remarkably well equipped by an unusual training to fulfill the vast and innumerable duties of that position. His career has been an open book to his fellow-citizens for many years past; as author, soldier and public servant he has been always essentially a vigorous, forceful, high-minded man—a natural leader.”

—— Joe Mitchell Chapple, National Magazine, Oct. 1901
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“His own past life is an augury of what he ought to accomplish in carrying out the work of Mr. McKinley.”

—— anonymous, New Jersey Law Journal, Oct. 1901
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“The Republic has no citizen of a more courageous patriotism than Theodore Roosevelt.”

—— anonymous, World’s Work, Oct. 1901
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“. . . he is the most interesting figure in our public life.”

—— anonymous, World’s Work, Oct. 1901
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“The young President gives every sign of being old for his years, discreet, conservative and sound of heart. The Presidency in time past has sometimes wonderfully rounded out and perfected character. Its burdens have strengthened and purified most good men who have borne them. They are consecrating burdens to any man who has possibilities of consecration in him, and Roosevelt has such possibilities in abundance. Every one’s hopes for him are high. Every one’s wishes are for his success. The prayers of the prayerful are going up for him everywhere.”

—— anonymous, Life, 3 Oct. 1901
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“‘The atrocious crime of being a young man’ is one which must be imputed to President McKinley’s successor.”

—— anonymous, Nation, 3 Oct. 1901
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“Of the five Vice-Presidents who have succeeded to the Presidency since 1840, Mr. Roosevelt is the only one, with the possible exception of Fillmore, whose accession has not caused a shock of surprise and disappointment.”

—— anonymous, Saturday Evening Post, 12 Oct. 1901
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“The office of President Roosevelt is to him doubly a trust—a trust from the people and a trust from the man whose political executor, in a sense, he has becomingly recognized himself to be.”

—— anonymous, Puck, 16 Oct. 1901
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Not in the flush of triumph, the pride of victory won,
Not ’mid applauding millions that claim thee for their own,
Not with pomp and glory, dost thou come to the crownless throne,
                 Roosevelt, Roosevelt.

But with heart oppressed with sorrow, and eyes o’er-filled with grief,
’Mid a little group of mourners, dost thou take the guard-relief,
And lift the heavy burden that fell from the murdered chief,
                 Roosevelt, Roosevelt.

—— Samantha Whipple Shoup, Independent, 17 Oct. 1901
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“His executive experience at the age of forty-three is greater than most public men can refer to at seventy-three.”

—— anonymous, Conservative, 24 Oct. 1901
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“. . . when the last honors had been paid to the beloved dead and he was at rest, there was no lack of confidence manifest as Theodore Roosevelt stepped into the pilot house and assumed the duties of the great office of President of the United States. . . .”

—— anonymous, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Monthly Journal, Nov. 1901
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“. . . one whose brilliant intellect, vigorous and sturdy manhood, unblemished character, courageous, active career, profound patriotism and unquestioned loyalty are ample and sufficient guarantee that under his guidance and direction our destinies are secure. . . .”

—— anonymous, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Monthly Journal, Nov. 1901
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“. . . Mr. Roosevelt is the first President to represent and to reflect in his every fiber the cosmopolitanism of the great modern city. . . .”

—— anonymous, Cambrian, Nov. 1901
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“Whatever apprehensions concerning his course which at any time even his friends may have cherished have all arisen from the possession of a temperament one of the most phenomenal existing among the public men of modern times. From this temperament come a physical and mental energy and a power of endurance most remarkable. If he were noted merely for abounding physical courage, impetuosity, love of conflict, mental alertness and ability, tremendous industry in administrative work, and for political success, he would still be a striking figure in public life. But the interesting and important thing about Theodore Roosevelt is that he puts all the resources of this extraordinary temperament—all his chivalric bravery and exhaustless energy—at the service of high political ideals.”

—— anonymous, Century Magazine, Nov. 1901
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                                           For him we pray:
Give him such wisdom swift and keen
     He shall restore us Yesterday!

—— Clinton Dangerfield, Century Magazine, Nov. 1901
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“Why President Roosevelt should be regarded as an impetuous man is, I confess, somewhat of a mystery to me. I have had some little opportunity of seeing him under various circumstances, and of judging whether he has acted hastily or simply with determination because he has the courage of his convictions. But one thing should not be forgotten, and that is the influence of blood, the strongest influence in forming a man’s character and controlling his actions. He has in his veins the blood of a long line of Dutch ancestors, a race noted rather for their phlegm than for their impetuosity.”

—— A. Maurice Low, Forum, Nov. 1901
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“As president, Mr. Roosevelt is growing in public confidence and esteem as the days go by. The American people admire to the full the honesty and courage so characteristic of the man. But it must be frankly confessed that there was, in the background, just a little fear lest the manly, wholesome frankness of which he is the embodiment might be a little too prompt for the president of the United States, where such large and subtle conflicting interests converge. But this fear is rapidly passing away. Business men everywhere, as if by inspiration, have acquired great confidence in the stability and conservatism of his administration.”

—— anonymous, Gunton’s Magazine, Nov. 1901
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“. . . Roosevelt may be said to combine in his own person the most prominent qualities of our most conspicuous presidents, the purity of character of George Washington, the scholarly attainments of John Adams, the iron will of Andrew Jackson, the intense patriotism of Abraham Lincoln, the persistency of purpose of U. S. Grant, the ‘bull-dog’ tenacity of Grover Cleveland, and the wide popularity of William McKinley.”

—— anonymous, Irrigation Age, Nov. 1901
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“It is apparent to the least observant that the personality of our new President is widely different from that of his predecessor. His habits of mind and of speech, his method of reasoning and of forming conclusions, and above all the temper in which he deals with opposition are quite foreign to our conceptions of William McKinley.”

—— anonymous, Modern Culture, Nov. 1901
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“If any man can be declared a true type of Americanism, that man is Theodore Roosevelt.”

—— Joe Mitchell Chapple, National Magazine, Nov. 1901
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“The President of the United States, Mr Roosevelt, is not only a good ruler, as recent events have shown, but a very plucky fellow, both morally and physically.”

—— anonymous, Feilding Star, 18 Nov. 1901
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“He is quick, impulsive, and likely to cause a sensation at any time.”

—— anonymous, Richmond Dispatch, 24 Nov. 1901
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     “Most of our Presidents have been well fitted for the work they had to do, but no President has had the forcefulness and ability, combined with the education and varied training and experience, of the young man who is now the twenty-sixth President of the United States.
     Out of the clouds of misconception and the false impressions thrown about this picturesque figure by the cartoonists and the paragraphers, more interested in sensationalism than in reality, there suddenly emerges this intensely earnest, forceful, brave, patriotic, humanity-loving, broad-minded, non-sectional American, this practical idealist, to become the youngest ruler of the greatest country in the world.”

—— anonymous, Century Magazine, Dec. 1901
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“The accession of President Roosevelt to the chief seat in our nation, as the sequel of the terrible tragedy that placed the responsibility of this high place, with all its solemnities, upon him, seems to have united our people, with one mind to rally to his support. . . .”

—— Clark Bell, Medico-Legal Studies, 1902
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“. . . common decency and common sense and common justice would have suggested that, excepting extraordinary cases, he should have carried out the policy of his principal. But no sooner is Rooster in office than he begins to advertise himself all over the United States, just like one of these spirit-rapping doctors, to fix himself up for the next presidency. . . .”

—— Charles C. Moore, Blue Grass Blade, 5 Jan. 1902
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“His demagoguery consists in appeals to the brutal tendencies in man, through slouch hat and clanking spur and through crude familiarities with soldiers and policemen. Yet in this apparel he is as far from the presidential figure as possible. The cropped-hair, the nose-glasses with the flying thread attached, the facial mannerisms and eccentricities place him apart from the dignified and courtly school of Buchanan, Garfield, Cleveland, Harrison or McKinley. If Mr. Roosevelt’s successor shall wear a monocle and lead a pug dog, we ought not to marvel.”

—— Edgar Lee Masters, The New Star Chamber and Other Essays, 1904
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“In the Vice-Presidential office he was a veritable Pegasus hitched to a plow.”

—— John S. Wise, Recollections of Thirteen Presidents, 1906
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“In every position that he has occupied . . . President Roosevelt has done well, and there does not seem to be anything too little or too big for him to tackle.”

—— O. O. Stealey, Twenty Years in the Press Gallery, 1906
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“Roosevelt’s speeches strongly remind one of Teddy bears: they all look alike. Of course, the Strenuous One is always sure of an audience: man’s love of the circus is proverbial.”

—— anonymous, Mother Earth, Oct. 1907
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“No one doubted the purity of his intentions, the honesty of his convictions, or his conscientious purpose to make good the loss sustained by the country, and to carry forward the policies advocated by his predecessor.”

—— Jay Henry Mowbray, Illustrious Career and Heroic Deeds of Colonel Roosevelt, 1910
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“He expressed his own judgment of his success as a public man by saying that it was not due to any special gifts or genius, but to the fact that by patience and laborious persistence he had developed ordinary qualities to a more than ordinary degree.”

—— Lawrence F. Abbott, The Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911
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“He is a noble fellow. He has an excess of temperament, but a serviceable conscience as well.”

—— Richard Watson Gilder, Letters of Richard Watson Gilder, 1916
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“. . . a young fellow of infinite dash and originality.”

—— John Hay, The Life and Letters of John Hay, 1916
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“If ever a man desired, yes, longed for, the recovery of another, with all his might, that did Theodore Roosevelt, when he stood in the shadow of President McKinley’s threatened death. Apart from all other considerations, he did not want to have the presidency thrust upon him in that terrible way.”

—— Ansley Wilcox, How Theodore Roosevelt Became President of the United States . . . , 1919
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“An evil chance dropped William McKinley before an assassin’s bullet; but there was a fitting irony in the fact that the man who must step into his place had been put where he was in large measure by the very men who would least like to see him become President.”

—— Harold Howland, Theodore Roosevelt and His Times, 1921
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“He is a big man—big for the country, big for mankind.”

—— Alfred Henry Lewis, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1922
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