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Theodore Roosevelt, the future President, was one of a family of four. He had a brother Elliott and two sisters. His brother was several years younger than himself, but much more robust, and would probably have lived many years and have distinguished himself, had he not met death in a railroad accident while still a young man.
In the years when Theodore Roosevelt was a boy, New York City was not what it is to-day. The neighborhood in which he lived was, as I have already mentioned, a fashionable one, and the same may be said of
many other spots near to Union Square, where tall business blocks were yet unknown. The boys and girls loved to play in the little park and on the avenue, and here it was that the rather delicate schoolboy grew to know Edith Carew, who lived in Fourteenth Street and who was his school companion. Little did they dream in those days, as they played together, that one day he would be President and she his loving wife, the mistress of the White House.
Mr. Roosevelt was a firm believer in public institutions, and he did not hesitate to send his children to the public schools, espe
cially his boys, that they might come in direct personal contact with the great outside world. So to a near-by institution of learning Theodore and Elliott trudged day after day, with their school-books under their arms, just as thousands of other schoolboys are doing to-day. But in those days there were few experiments being tried in the schools, and manual training and the like were unknown. The boys were well grounded in reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as spelling, history, and geography, and there was great excitement when a “spelling-bee” was in progress, to see who could spell the rest of the class or the gathering down.
It is said upon good authority that Theodore Roosevelt was a model scholar from the start. He loved to read Cooper's “Leatherstocking Tales," and works of travel, and preferred books above anything else. But when he found that constant studying was ruining his constitution, he determined to build himself up physically as well as mentally.
In the summer time the family often went to the old Roosevelt “out of town"
mansion on Long Island. This was called “Tranquillity,” a fine large place near Oyster Bay, set in a grove of beautiful trees. The journey to “ Tranquillity" was in those days a tedious one, but the Roosevelt children did not mind it, and once at the old place they were certain of a good time so long as their vacation lasted. Here it was that Theodore Roosevelt learned to ride on horseback and how to handle a gun. And here, too, the boys would go boating, fishing, and bathing, to their hearts' content.
Mr. Theodore Roosevelt the elder was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, and the religious teaching of his children was not neglected. At an early age the future President became a member of that denomination and has remained a member ever since.
The church was on the East Side, and had high-backed pews, and here were delivered sermons that were as long as they were full of strength and wisdom. That these sermons had their full effect
upon the future President is shown by his addresses delivered before the Young Men's Christian Association of New York City and a church community of the West, years later. In ad
dressing the Young Men's Christian Associa tion Mr. Roosevelt, who was then governor of the State, said:
“ The vice of envy is not only dangerous, but also a mean vice, for it is always a confession of inferiority. It may provoke conduct which will be fruitful of wrong to others; and it must cause misery to the man who feels it. It will not be any the less fruitful of wrong and misery if, as is often the case with evil motives, it adopts some high-sounding alias. The truth is, gentlemen, that each one of us has in him certain passions and instincts which, if they gain the upper hand in his soul, would mean that the wild beast had come uppermost in him. Envy, malice, and hatred are such passions, and they are just as bad if directed against a class or group of men as if directed against an individual.”
Golden words, well worth remembering. A person who believes in them with all his heart cannot go far wrong in his actions, no matter what his station in life.
NICKNAMED TEDDY GOES TO. HARVARD COLLÈGE
MEMBER OF MANY CLUBS - DEATH OF MR. RooseVELT - - ANECDOTES OF COLLEGE LIFE
THE instincts of the hunter must havé been born in Theodore Roosevelt. His first gun was given to him when he was ten years of age, and for the time being his books and his studies were forgotten, and he devoted his whole time and attention to shooting at a target set up in the garden of the country home and in going out with the older folks after such small game as were to be found in that vicinity.
The horses on the place were his pets, and he knew the peculiarities of each as well as did the man who cared for them. Riding and driving came to him as naturally as breathing, and the fact that a steed was mettlesome did not daunt him.
“My father often drove four-in-hand,” he has said. “I liked very much to go with him, and I liked to drive, too.”