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T is a pleasure to say the author of this book has found the material for
it of extraordinary interest. The President's ancestors may be traced
in events for many generations. Their records are of authenticity, and their reputations, honorable. There is ample information of the families of Theodore Roosevelt's father and mother. On both sides they appear in public affairs with distinction, with a spirit of adventure and of generosity, in works of charity, and enterprises of integrity and usefulness.
The sources of information consulted and quoted, yield history at every step of investigation, and the first surprise is that with less than twenty-five years of manhood, the President has done so much, and that his good labors are so many and varied. His work as an Assemblymen in New York, was greater than that of any man of like years and opportunities. He earned his winnings in every field. It is but twenty-five years ago that his courage and ability gave him rare prominence in state legislation and national politics; and before he sought the Wild West as a new world, he was a man of reputation, broad as the country, and biographical material appears in public recordsthose of the Assembly and of Conventions-an attempt to grasp the municipal government of the City of New York, that failed because his competitors for the Mayoralty were Abram Hewitt and Henry George.
He had hardly reached manhood, when he was a competent writer of history, and he is to-day the most reliable of the historians of our wars with England, of the early celebrities of the City of New York, and of the Winning of the West, a work that would make him famous if he had done nothing else conspicuous. He told the world how the Great West became the heart of our country. His education in public trusts was in the Civil Service Commission of the Nation and the Police Commission of New York. No more difficult tasks could have been selected, and while his success was imperfect, his impressions upon the situations were those of marked improvement, indelible and indestructible. He became an enthusiastic toiler in the Navy, and his works there were excellent and most apt. He put the fighting edge on the American warships. Then came his war service in the Army, with an element of power that he chiefly discovered or invented and exclusively