Page images
PDF
EPUB

THEODORE ROOSEVELT AND AFRICA

13

and myself, returned to camp to send than ever. Many of us will feel, with out tools, equipment, and men, prepara- respect to the things that Roosevelt tory to taking care of the great skins wanted us to do and which we never and skeletons of the four elephants. He seemed to have time to do, that now and sat down under a tree with our we have time for nothing else. luncheon, and for two or three hours As to Africa, perhaps no man in we conversed of intimate things. For modern times has gotten so much out of a number of months the Colonel had the “Dark Continent” as did Roosevelt. seen no one from home except the mem- In the "Foreword" of his African Game bers of his own party. We were fresh Trails he describes Africa in two pages from the United States and there was with a vividness others have failed to much to talk of. He spoke much of his give in volumes. And no single senfamily, of Mrs. Roosevelt, and his sons tence of it consists of word and phrase and daughters. It was then that I merely: every bit of it stands for the learned to love Roosevelt.

man's own personal experience and his It is not an easy thing to give expres- own intense thinking and feeling. I sion to the thoughts that come to my

wish that the African hall of the Amermind of this man who has so recently ican Museum might be done as a mepassed beyond our range of vision. morial to Theodore Roosevelt. I would What I feel most is that whereas Roose- have this Foreword on a bronze tablet velt is gone, his influence seems greater at the entrance :

are

are

Africal - In the Words of Roosevelt “I speak of Africa and golden life. On the land and in the water joys"; the joy of wandering through there are dread brutes that feed on lonely lands; the joy of hunting the the flesh of man; and among the mighty and terrible lords of the wil- lower things that crawl, and fly, and derness, the cunning, the wary, and sting, and bite, he finds swarming the grim.

foes far more evil and deadly than In these greatest of the world's any beast or reptile; foes that kill great hunting-grounds there

his
crops

and his cattle, foes before mountain peaks whose Snows

which he himself perishes in his hundazzling under the equatorial su; dreds of thousands. swamps where the slime oozes and The dark-skinned races that live bubbles and festers in the steaming in the land vary widely. Some are heat; lakes like seas; skies that burn warlike, cattle-owning nomads; some above deserts where the iron desola- till the soil and live in thatched huts tion is shrouded from view by the shaped like beehives; some are fisherwavering mockery of the mirage : vast folk; some are ape-like naked savgrassy plains where palms and thorn- ages, who dwell in the woods and trees fringe the dwindling streams; prey on creatures not much wilder mighty rivers rushing out of the or lower than themselves. heart of the continent through the The land teems with beasts of the sadness of endless marshes; forests of chase, infinite in number and incredgorgeous beauty, where death broods ible in variety. It holds the fiercest in the dark and silent depths.

beasts of ravin, and the fleetest and There are regions as healthful as most timid of those beings that live the northland, and other regions, ra- in undying fear of talon and fang. diant with bright-hued flowers, birds It holds the largest and the smallest and butterflies, odorous with sweet of hoofed animals. It holds the and heavy scents, but treacherous in mightiest creatures that tread the their beauty, and sinister to human earth or swim in its rivers; it also 1 Quoted from the Foreword of African Game Trails, through the courtesy of Charles Scribner's Sons.

1

holds distant kinsfolk of these same creatures, no bigger than woodchucks, which dwell in crannies of the rocks, and in the tree tops. There are antelope smaller than hares, and antelope larger than oxen. There are creatures which are the embodiments of grace; and others whose huge ungainliness is like that of a shape in a nightmare. The plains are alive with droves of strange and beautiful animals whose like is not known elsewhere; and with others even stranger that show both in form and temper something of the fantastic and the grotesque. It is a neverending pleasure to gaze at the great herds of buck as they move to and fro in their myriads; as they stand for their noontide rest in the quivering heat haze; as the long files come down to drink at the wateringplaces; as they feed and fight and rest and make love.

The hunter who wanders through these lands sees sights which ever afterward remain fixed in his mind. He sees the monstrous river-horse snorting and plunging beside the boat; the giraffe looking over the tree tops at the nearing horseman; the ostrich fleeing at a speed that none

may rival; the snarling leopard and coiled python, with their lethal beauty; the zebras, barking in the moonlight, as the laden caravan passes on its night march through a thirsty land. In after years there shall come to him memories of the lion's charge; of the gray bulk of the elephant, close at hand in the sombre woodland; of the buffalo, his sullen eyes lowering from under his helmet of horn; of the rhinoceros, truculent and stupid, standing in the bright sunlight on the empty plain.

These things can be told. But there are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm. There is delight in the hardy life of the open, in long rides rifle in hand, in the thrill of the fight with dangerous game. Apart from this, yet mingled with it, is the strong attraction of the silent places, of the large tropic moons, and the splendor of the new stars; where the wanderer sees the awful glory of sunrise and sunset in the wide waste spaces of the earth, unworn of man, and changed only by the slow change of the ages through time everlasting.

[graphic][merged small]

Personal Glimpses of Theodore Roosevelt

By DAVID STARR JORDAN

R

OOSEVELT entered Harvard In our exploration of Hawaii in 1901,

College in 1876 at the age of my colleague, Dr. Barton W. Ever

eighteen, hoping to become a mann, and I came across a very beautinaturalist, having already made a con- ful fish, the Kalikali, golden yellow siderable collection of birds, besides with broad crossbands of deep crimson. many observations as to their habits. This then bore the name of Serranus His eyesight being defective, however, brighami given it by its discoverer, and not connecting well with magnify- Alvin Seale. But the species was no ing glasses, his early ambition was dis- Serranus; and it was moreover plainly couraged by his teachers to whom the

the type of a new genus. This we called chief range of study lay within the field

Rooseveltia, in honor of “Theodore of the microscope. They overlooked the

Roosevelt, Naturalist” and in recognifact that besides primordial slime and tion of his services in the promotion of determinant chromosomes, there were zoological research. With this complialso in the world grizzly bears, tigers,

ment he was "delighted.” “Who would elephants and trout, as well as song

not be?” he said. birds and rattlesnakes, -all of which

In the various natural history exyield profound interest and are alike

plorations undertaken by me-and by worthy of study.

others during his administration as So, being discouraged as to work

President of the United States-we along his chosen line, and in his love of

could always count on intelligent and outdoor science, the young naturalist

effective sympathy. In so far as scienturned to political philosophy, his secondary interests lying in history and

tific appointments rested with him he politics. He then closed up his private

gave them careful and conscientious

consideration. Indeed, during his adcabinet, giving his stuffed bird skins (through Professor Baird of the Smith

ministration, governmental science

reached its high-water mark. In 1905 sonian) to me. These I transferred to the University of Indiana where they

I was preparing for an exploration of are now in a befitting glass case in

the deep seas around Japan by means Owen Hall, each skin nicely prepared

of the Fish Commission steamer “Aland correctly labeled in the crude

batross.” While I was talking this matboyish handwriting which the distin- ter over with Roosevelt he said, poundguished collector never outgrew.

ing the table with his fist: “It was to Long after all this, I once took occa

help along things like this, Dr. Jordan, sion to remind Mr. Roosevelt that "they

that I took this job!" spoiled a good naturalist” in making

The story of Roosevelt's relation to him a statesman. But the naturalist was Tutuila in Samoa has never been told, never submerged in the exigencies of and though scientific only in part, it statesmanship. During an automobile may be related here. 1 drive in 1912 across the Santa Clara Val- The three islands of Samoa were held ley, Roosevelt displayed a keen interest for a period of years under the joint in the sparrows and warblers of the protectorate of Great Britain, Germany, thickets along the road. These he could and the United States. The general call by their first names and mostly by result was unsatisfactory, a condition their second. Once in the Yosemite with due mainly to the petty intrigues of John Muir, he noted elements in bird and German agents. In Stevenson's words, squirrel life which had escaped even his

“There was a fresh conspiracy every keen-eyed and sympathetic companion. day," and a good account of this situa1 This incident is republished by courtesy of The New Republic.-THE EDITOR.

[ocr errors]

tion was given by “R. L. S.” in A Foot- having in their tissues a substance note to History.

analogous to strychnine, which would England at last exchanged her rights produce the dangerous and often fatal here for certain advantages elsewhere, disease known as ciguatera. In addiand the islands themselves were di- tion, Professor Kellogg had rendered a vided, l'polu, the center of population, material service in teaching them how and Savaii, the largest of the group, to get rid of the mosquito and thus to going to Germany, while Tutuila, with abate their two most dreaded scourges, its magnificent harbor at Pago Pago, “dengue" and "elephantiasis," both disand little Manua went to the United eases being produced by minute animal States. The native Tutuilans took the organisms carried from person to permatter seriously and were much pleased son by the mosquito. with the new arrangement. The two I also called to their minds the sad chieftains, Mauga and Paa Vei, then fact that just about the time their deed caused to be drawn up an elaborate of gift was received at Washington, the document formally deeding the sover- President of the United States had cignty of their island to the United been assassinated by an insane ruffan. States. Now, in the etiquette of the It was probable that in the confusion South Seas, to receive a present without which followed, the document had been acknowledgment is a flagrant insult, misplaced and the incoming President, but the people saw the United States always thoughtful about such matters, occupy the island and erect docks,

had possibly never seen it. I would storehouses, and residences without a

bring the affair to his attention, sure word of thanks.

that he would make a courteous reWhen I went to Samoa in 1902, I

sponse. This kept the people quiet for found the inhabitants of Tutuila much

the time, and expectant as to the fuworked up over the matter. Tuamanua, ture. chief of the tiny outlying island, was in I then sent a statement of facts to the a state which, on a larger scale, would President, and soon after left the isbe called rebellion. I went before the

land; but I read in the press in the fall little congress at Pago Pago and ex- of 1902 that President Roosevelt had plained to the people that the United

sent a gold watch each to Mauga and States did not wish to take away any Paa Vei, also a flag to the little native of their rights. It had paid the owners

police corps or Fitafitas, and that in for the land occupied as well as for all Pago Pago they had had a "red-letter service required. It had, moreover, day of rejoicing." through the governor, Captain (later

On returning to Washington I found Rear Admiral) Uriel Sebree, taken

that the deed of gift had been filed ungreat pains to safeguard the interests

der the head of "Docks," Pago Pago, of the people in their relations to trad

from the official point of view, being ers in copra, the dried meat of the

merely the water front of a naval stacocoanut which is the principal export tion. Fear of precedent had prevented of that region. I also called attention

acknowledgment. to the fact that in the interest of the

McKinley's advisers emphasized this people the President had sent Professor

point but Roosevelt characteristically Vernon Kellogg (of Stanford Univer

did not care a straw for precedent. He sity) and me to study the fisheries of

did what a natural man should do. IIe the islands to find out all the kinds and

made it right with the people. He said what they were good for. I had myself afterward to me in regard to it, "It furnished them with a series of paint- always pays for a nation to be a gentleings of poisonous fishes, some species

man.”

[ocr errors]

Roosevelt, the Man of Abundant Life

By GIFFORD PINCHOT

W"

E who loved Roosevelt have Roosevelt was the greatest preacher not lost him. The quali- of righteousness in modern times.

ties we treasured in him, Deeply religious beneath the surface, his loyalty, his genial kindness, his he made right living seem the natural unwearied thoughtfulness for others, thing, and there was no man beyond the generosity which made him prefer the reach of his preaching and example. his friends in honor to himself, his In the sight of all men, he lived the tenderness with children, his quick de- things he taught, and millions followed light in living, and the firm soundness him because he was the clear exemplar of his life's foundations, are potent

of his teaching. with us vet. The broad human sym- Unless we may except his Conservapathy which bound to him the millions tion Policies 2 Roosevelt's greatest servwho never saw his face, his clean cour- ice during his presidency was the inage and self-forgetful devotion to his spiration he gave young men. To them country, the tremendous sanity of his he was the leader in all they hoped to grasp on the problems of the nation be and do for the common good. The and the world, and the superb simpli- generation which was entering mancity and directness of his life and hood while he was President will carry thought still live as the inspiration and with it to the grave the impress of his the basis for the new and better world leadership and personality. which is to come.

To the boys of America he was all The people loved Roosevelt because they hoped to be

they hoped to be-a hunter, a rider, a he was like them. In him the common sportsman, eager for the tang of danqualities were lifted to a higher tension ger, keen and confident, and utterly and a greater power, but they were still unafraid. There was no part of his the same. What he did plain men un- example but was good for boys to folderstood and would have liked to do. low. Roosevelt, half boy till his life's The people loved him because his end, yet the manliest of men, of a finethoughts, though loftier, were yet ness his best friends best understood, within their reach, and his motives was their ideal, and will not cease to were always clear in their sight. They be because he has passed on. knew his purposes were always right. To him the unforgivable sin, and To millions he was the image of their there was but one, was betrayal of the better selves.

interests of his country. The man who

1 Address at Roosevelt Memorial Meeting, Metropolitan Opera House, Philadelphia, afternoon of Sunday, February 9.

? The name of Gifford Pinchot is closely connected with the work in conservation accomplished by Roosevelt, who states the high value he placed on Mr. Pinchot's services in the chapter on “The Natural Resources of the Nation" in his Autobiography (p. 429):

"Gifford Pinchot is the man to whom the nation owes most for what has been accomplished as regards the preservation of the natural resources of our country. He led, and indeed, during its most vital period embodied, the fight for the preservation through use of our forests. He played one of the leading parts in the effort to make the national Government the chief instrument in developing the irrigation of the arid West. . .

The story of the forestry work of the Roosevelt administration is one of great historical interest. It includes the training of foresters at a newly opened forest school at Yale, the development of our present Forest Service with trained foresters in control of the public lands, the great increase by Executive Order of the area of the national forests, and their opening to settlers under regulation, the calling of the first meeting of governors in this country (May, 1908), and the appointment of a National Conservation Commission with the purpose of making an inventory of all the resources of the nation. Gifford Pinchot was chairman of this commission. All of this work from 1901 to 1909 formed the basis of the country's present practical enlightenment on conservation.—THE EDITOR.

« PreviousContinue »