« PreviousContinue »
AT DENVER, COLORADO Mrs. Helen M. Caspar on behalf of the Daughters of the American Revolution
presenting President Roosevelt with a beautiful Silk Flag.
SIOUX FALLS TO FARGO. Leaving Sioux Falls at 9:30 a. m., the train reached Yankton at 11:30 a. m., and here the President made a brief speech, in which he said:
"You need wise laws. See that you get them. You need wise and firm administration of laws; see that you have that. But do not make the mistake of shirking fundamental responsibilities.
As individuals, be strong, honest and fearless.”
In traversing the state the President made a short speech at every stopping point, being accorded a cordial welcome at all points. One feature was the large number of children in the audiences, and the President refered to them several times, saying that he was glad to see that the stock was not dying out. At Mitchell he discussed the work of individuals and the important part they play in the upbuilding of the nation.
The train reached Fargo, N. D., via the Northern Pacific Railroad, early on the morning of April 7, and at 8:30 the reception committee waited on the President and escorted him to the business portion of the city. Several thousand children greeted him. He spoke from a stand in front of the Waldorf Hotel, an immense and enthusiastic body of citizens being present. His speech was about The Philippine Islands and the Army, which follows:
ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT AT FARGO,
NORTH DAKOTA, APRIL 7, 1903—THE PHILIP
PINE ISLANDS AND THE ARMY. My Fellow-Citizens:
The Northwest, whose sons in the Civil War added such brilliant pages to the honor roll of the Republic, likewise bore a full share in the struggle of which the war with Spain was the beginning, a struggle slight indeed when compared with the gigantic death wrestle which for four years stamped to and fro across the South
ern States in the Civil War; but a struggle fraught with consequences to the Nation, and indeed to the world, out of all proportion to the smallness of the effort upon our part.
Three and a half years ago President McKinley spoke in the adjoining State of Minnesota on the occasion of the return of the Thirteenth Minnesota Volunteers from the Philippine Islands, where they had served with your own gallant sons of the North Dakota regiment. After heartily thanking the returned soldiers for their valor and patriotism, and their contemptuous refusal to be daunted or misled by the outcry raised at home by the men of little faith who wished us to abandon the islands, he spoke of the islands themselves as follows:
“That Congress will provide for them a government which will bring them blessings, which will promote their material interests as well as advance their people in the path of civilization and intelligence, I confidently believe. They will not be governed as vassals or serfs or slaves.
They will be given a government of liberty, regulated by law, honestly administered, without oppressing exactions, taxation without tyranny, justice without bribe, education without distinction of social condition, freedom of religious worship, and protection in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'”
What he said then lay in the realm of promise. Now it lies in the realm of positive performance.
It is a good thing to look back upon what has been said and compare it with the record of what has actually been done. If promises are violated, if plighted word is not kept, then those who have failed in their duty should be held up to reprobation. If, on the other hand, the promises have been substantially made good; if the achievement has kept pace and more than kept pace with the prophesy, then they who made the one and are responsible for the other are entitled to just right to claim the credit which attaches to those who serve the Nation well. This credit I claim for the men who