Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Vol. 2

By Joseph Bishop Bucklin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
ROOSEVELT AND Trevelyan -- CONCLUDED

IN November, 1906, President Roosevelt made a visit to , to inspect the work of building the canal, making the journey on the battleship Louisiana. While on the return trip he wrote a letter, November 23, to the Isthmus of Panama, Trevelyan, in which, after describing what he had seen on the Isthmus, he said:

"In a very amusing and very kindly, and on the whole not unjust book in which Captain Younghusband describes the Philippines, he spoke of our army out there as looking not like an army in the European sense but like the inhabitants of a Rocky Mountain mining town. I know just what he meant, and the comparison was not unjust, and in some ways was more exact than he realized. Our army in service now wears a flannel shirt, light or heavy khaki trousers, leggins and a soft slouch hat, and each man on the average believes in his work and has much power of initiative. Well, in dress and traits the five thousand men on the Isthmus keep making me think of our army as I have actually seen it busily at work at some half war-like, half administrative problem. Of course there are many exceptions, but on the average the white man on the Isthmus feels that he is doing a big job which will reflect credit on the country, and is working with hearty good will. He is well housed and well fed. He often has his wife and children with him, in which case he lives in a really delightful cottage, the home life being just such as one reads about in Octave Thanet's stories of the West and of American labor people.

"I do not like a sea voyage myself, though of course I am interested very much in this great battleship and in her

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