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With thanks, congratulations and good wishes, be

lieve me,

Sincerely yours,

THEODORE ROOSEVELT.

From San Francisco the fleet went to New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, China and Japan, and home by way of the Suez Canal. It was gone about 16 months, arriving at Hampton Roads on February 22, 1909. In placing Admiral Sperry in command the President wrote him a letter, March 21, 1908, which shows in the following passages how desirous he was to maintain friendly relations with Japan:

“I need not tell you that you should exercise the most careful watch throughout the time that you are in Oriental waters for you will naturally exercise the most careful watch at all times both before and after you leave the Orient. I wish to impress upon you, what I do not suppose is necessary, to see to it that none of our men does anything out of the way while in Japan. If you give the enlisted men leave while at Tokio or anywhere else in Japan be careful to choose only those upon whom you can absolutely depend. There must be no suspicion of insolence or rudeness on our part.

“I firmly believe that the Japanese Government will use every effort to see that the highest consideration and courtesy are accorded to our people, and you of course will do everything in your power to show the utmost consideration and courtesy to the Japanese with whom you are brought in contact, not only in Japan but elsewhere. We want to take peculiar care in this matter."

The President went to Hampton Roads to meet the fleet on its return, and on board the flagship of the Admiral he delivered an address of congratulation which is published in full in his “Autobiography.'

The return of the fleet was greeted with a great outburst of pride and praise, and the newspapers that had been most violent in their opposition to the voyage were loudest in their congratulations and expressions of national rejoicing over its achievement.

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CHAPTER VI

LETTERS ON MANY SUBJECTS-GENERAL LEE-VISIT. ING ROYALTIES JEFFERSON__"IN GOD WE TRUST"

As in other years, Roosevelt's letters in 1907 exhibit the wide range of his interests. One that he wrote on January 16, 1907, to the committee of arrangements for the celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of General Robert E. Lee, commanded warm approval in the South.because of its generous estimate of General Lee's character. In it he said:

General Lee has left us the memory, not merely of his extraordinary skill as a general, his dauntless courage and high leadership in campaign and battle, but also of that serene greatness of soul characteristic of those who most readily recognize the obligations of civic duty. Once the war was over, he instantly undertook the task of healing and binding up the wounds of his countrymen, in the true spirit of those who feel malice toward none and charity toward all; in that spirit which from the throes of the Civil War brought forth the real and indissoluble Union of to-day. It was eminently fitting that this great man, this war-worn veteran of a mighty struggle, who, at its close, simply and quietly undertook his duty as a plain, every-day citizen, bent only upon helping his people in the paths of peace and tranquillity, should turn his attention toward educational work; toward bringing up in fit fashion the younger generation, the sons of those who had proved their faith by their endeavor in the heroic days."

To Melville E. Stone, Manager of the Associated Press, who had written to him about the approaching visit of a prince from one of the smaller European countries, he wrote on July 16, 1907:

“I hope he will come incog. To be perfectly frank, I think it unfortunate that he should come at all. As you know, we make a strong effort to prevent royalties coming here. Mr. Bacon will send you a circular issued by John Hay some years ago to our diplomatic and consular representatives, explaining this point. I am continually importuned to get over here, now Emperor William, now President Diaz, now King Edward, and now all sorts and kinds of princes. If one comes it makes a precedent which others are apt to follow, and you know as well as I do that with all these princes we are apt to have difficulties--sometimes because some demagogue thinks it will help him to say disagreeable things about them; sometimes because of the officious and rather snobbish action of the people who regard themselves as of high social position in desiring to entertain the princes; and sometimes from the simple fact that in a democratic government like ours it is very hard to arrange properly for the reception of members of royal houses. Of course you understand that I can not make him a guest of the nation. Congress only can do that.'

His absorbing interest in the welfare of the working people of the land, which began when he was a member of the New York Legislature and deepened steadily throughout his life, finds expression in a letter to his official associate, Justice W. H. Moody, of the Supreme Court, on September 21, 1907, together with his estimate of Jefferson :

"I am continually brought in contact with very wealthy people. They are socially the friends of my family, and if not friends, at least acquaintances of mine, and they were friends of my father's. I think they mean well on the whole, but the more I see of them the more profoundly convinced I am of their entire unfitness to govern the country, and of the lasting damage they do by much of what they are inclined to think are the legitimate big business operations of the day. They are blind to some of the tendencies of the time, as the French noblesse was before the French Revolution; and they possess the same curious mixture of impotency to deal with movements that should be put down and of rancorous stupidity in declining to abandon the kind of reaction and policy which can do nothing but harm. Moreover, usually entirely without meaning it, they are singularly callous to the needs, sufferings, and feelings of the great mass of the people who work with their hands. They show this in their attitude toward such a matter as the employers' liability bill, They are simply unable to understand what it means to a working man's family to have the breadwinner killed or crippled. They are not able to grasp the unmerited and dreadful suffering thus brought on many different people. Heaven knows how cordially I despise Jefferson, but he did have one great virtue which his Federalist opponents lacked—he stood for the plain people, whom Abraham Lincoln afterwards represented.

"By the way, speaking of Jefferson, isn't it humiliating to realize that Jefferson-who I think was, not even excepting Buchanan, the most incompetent chief executive we ever had, and whose well-nigh solitary service as President to his country, the acquisition of Louisiana, was rendered by adopting the Federalist principles which he had most fiercely denounced—isn't it humiliating to think that he should have been, as President, rather more popular than Washington himself at the very close of his administration, and that almost all the State legislatures, excluding Massachusetts but including Rhode Island and Vermont, should have petitioned him to serve for another term and should have sent him formal messages of grateful thanks for his services after his term was over! We lived through Jefferson's administration, though he did us much damage; and we could live through Bryan or a reactionary; but I do not want to see the experience tried.”

To a clergyman who had differed with him about placing “In God We Trust" on the new coinage, he wrote on November 11, 1907:

“When the question of the new coinage came up we looked into the law and found there was no warrant therein

for putting 'IN GOD WE TRUST' on the coins. As the
custom, although without legal warrant, had grown up,
however, I might have felt at liberty to keep the inscrip-
tion had I approved of its being on the coinage. But as
I did not approve of it, I did not direct that it should again
be put on. Of course the matter of the law is absolutely
in the hands of Congress, and any direction of Congress in
the matter will be immediately obeyed. At present, as I
have said, there is no warrant in law for the inscription.

“My own feeling in the matter is due to my very firm conviction that to put such a motto on coins, or to use it in any kindred manner, not only does no good but does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence which comes dangerously close to sacrilege. A beautiful and solemn sentence such as the one in question should be treated and uttered only with that fine reverence which necessarily implies a certain exaltation of spirit. Any use which tends to cheapen it, and above all, any use which tends to secure its being treated in a spirit of levity, is from every standpoint profoundly to be regretted. It is a motto which it is indeed well to have inscribed on our great national monuments, in our temples of justice, in our legislative halls, and in buildings such as those at West Point and Annapolis -in short wherever it will tend to arouse and inspire a lofty emotion in those who look thereon. But it seems to me eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by use on coins, just as it would be to cheapen it by use on postage stamps, or in advertisements.

*As regards its use on the coinage we have actual experience by which to go. In all my life I have never heard any human being speak reverently of this motto on the coins or show any sign of its having appealed to any high emotion in him. But I have literally hundreds of times heard it used as an occasion of, and incitement to, the sneering ridicule which it is above all things undesirable that so beautiful and exalted a phrase should excite. For example, throughout the long contest, extending over several decades, on the free coinage question, the existence of this motto

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