THE MAN AS I KNEW HIM BY
FERDINAND IGLEHART doctor of divinity and pastor of the Park Avenue Methodist Church in New York City, we were associated with him in his work as Police Commissioner" in closing Sunday saloons and were engaged with him in the desperate fight against evil and crime in the great city.
“I suspect that if any one had been there, that beautiful October day, with spirit ears keen enough, he would have heard the angels, with their harps, serenading the child that heaven had sent to earth. So on this little piece of ground, a few feet front and a few feet deep, was born the babe that grew to be the giant who set all the bells to ringing, the whistles to blowing, the bands to playing, the children to laughing, the multitude to shouting, the battle-drums to beating, and the millions to practical service for their fellowmen and for the public good. The old birthplace, four stories high, was the foundation and first story of the magnificent structure of the Roosevelt character and life”.
“There should be an eleventh commandment: "Thou shalt tell the truth, and thou shalt tell it just as much on the stump as in the pulpit." Do not fail to perform whatever you have promised. On the other hand, do not, through weakness, folly, or wickedness, promise, or ask to have promised, what you know cannot be performed. When a man runs for office, if you ask him to promise what you know cannot be done, you are asking him to lie. You are taking a position that is infamous for yourself, because you are asking him to take an infamous position. On the other hand, if you ask him, as you have a right to ask him, to do what can be performed, and he fails to redeem his promise, hold him to the strictest accountability. If he promises you the millennium, distrust him. If he tells you that, providing you vote for his particular patent remedy, he will cure all diseases of the body politic, and will see that everybody is happy, rich, and prosperous, not only distrust him, but also set yourselves down as fools if you follow him”.
“Recently Colonel Roosevelt said to me: "You remember the walk we had from the church to the White House, a dozen years ago, when I turned my heart inside out to you, and told you I believed God had raised me up to lead the nation in its desperate fight for its life against the illegal despotism of combined wealth in collusion with corrupt municipal, state and federal office holders, and that my daily prayer was that God would spare my life long enough to see that menace to the republic removed? He did spare me, and I thank Him. But I thank Him most for sparing me to take a part in the settlement of the great world war. No Hebrew prophet was ever called up to cry out against the danger confronting his nation, or the moral evils that curse the world, more truly than I have been called up to plead for an ideal Americanism, strong, brave, just and pure, 100 per cent, loyal American, and also to fight to the death absolute despotism in its oppressions and crimes, which in its demoniacal rage for world rule has killed off the flower of the world, its young men, and caused more agony than has ever been suffered since the world began. I thank God that I have lived to see the victory which places the United States in the forefront of the free peoples of the world and which means universal democracy with its liberty, happiness, thrift and love to the millions of the oppressed children of earth, which will hasten the establishment of the Kingdom of Christ in the world, with its universal peace, righteousness, and love."
“Before Mr. Roosevelt had made his name and fame a household word I noticed that he was by far the best informed man I had ever met. Of the hundreds of subjects I have taken up with him, there was not one about which he did not know much more than I did myself, and some of those subjects were specialties upon which years of study and labor had been spent. And as years advanced I learned that he was not only regarded by those closest to him, but by well-nigh universal consent, as the best informed man in the largest range of subjects of anybody in the nation, if not in the world”.
“I find one who is given to wrong-doings and professes to be good I strike him with all the power that is in me." After the address I commended what he said? and he replied: "Dr. Bowman, I absolutely have no use for a man who is a. counterfeit."
“I give here the estimate of Rabbi Henry Pereira Mendes, one of the most eminent Hebrew scholars in America”,
“The question of what kind of a man Roosevelt was is of tremendous importance, but more so is the question what kind of men his memory inspires us to be. It is little use saying he awakened conscience, touched the heart, and was a great moral force, unless we feel that he has awakened our conscience, touched our hearts and made us a moral force in our own little world of society, politics and family. We can imagine such a man in past years of our American-Jewish history, and thereby estimate his worth”.
“He is said to have had from his earliest youth this characteristic of absorbing good from every one and everything with which he came in contact. He had it to the fullest in the wisdom of his maturity. He would discuss himself in as frank manner as he would discuss his opponents. His career as a member of the Legislature, as Civil Service Commissioner, Police Commissioner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Colonel of Rough Riders, Governor of New York, Vice-President and President of the United States, as author, historian, naturalist, hunter, sportsman, husband, father, citizen, carried through it all as the one controlling motif a consistent determination to do what he thought was right. It mattered not one whit how that course affected himself or anyone else or anything if he thought it was right he did it—and he did it to the hilt”.
“It would be my wont to say of Colonel Roosevelt that which he would have me say of him. Could we consult him now, I know it would be his wish, above all things, that we draw something from his example of benefit to the people he loved so much”.
“The lesson of the patriotism of Theodore Roosevelt, which will live forever, is his monument. This patriotism was not the kind that is born of extremities; it was not that fire, splendid as it is, which burns in the souls of men only when their country is in danger. His patriotism was not the patriotism stirred only by martial music—it was the patriotism of good citizenship, at the fireside, the plow, the mart, in low places and in high places, in season and out of season; it was the patriotism which caused him to make his country's welfare his own business and to interest himself continually in the practical politics of his community. He believed and acted always the patriotism of peace as well as of war, and it moved the man to measure his every act, from his earliest manhood to the date of his death, by how, in his good judgment, he could do the most for his country's welfare. This is the only patriotism which, in the last analysis, is worth while”.