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

By Joseph Bishop Bucklin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXIII
UNDIMINISHED ACTIVITIES OF HIS CLOSING YEARS

His grief at the death of Quentin did not permit Roosevelt to lessen his interest in the great war and the attitude of the nation toward it. He continued to write and speak with unabated zeal and undiminished force. When in the autumn news came of the deportation and enslavement of Belgians by Germany, he was among the first to utter a protest. In a letter that he wrote to Mr. F. W. Whitridge, the organizer of a great mass meeting in Carnegie Hall, New York, on December 15, 1916, that had been called to express public indignation at Germany's conduct, he said:

"This action (by Germany) is paralleled by the action of the Assyrian conquerors of Syria and Palestine; but until the present war broke out it was supposed that such hideous infamies were effectively checked by the system of international law which has grown up under modern Christian civilization. But Germany has trampled under foot every device of international law for securing the protection of the weak and unoffending. She has shown an utter disregard of all considerations of pity, mercy, humanity and international morality. She has counted upon the terror inspired by her ruthless brutality to protect her from retaliation of interference.

"The outrages committed on our own people have been such as the United States has never before been forced to endure, and have included the repeated killing of our men, women and children. The sinking of the Marina and the Cheming the other day, with the attendant murder of six Americans, was but the most recent in an unbroken chain of injuries and insults, which by comparison make mere wrong to our property interests sink into absolute insignificance.

-460-

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