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356   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

following Monday, the very Monday of his death. The following then, his final article, represents his matured judgment based on protracted discussion and correspondence. It is of peculiar importance as the last message of a man who, above every other American of his generation, combined high patriotism, practical sense and a positive genius for international relations."


"It is, of course, a serious misfortune that our people are not getting a clear idea of what is happening on the other side. For the moment, the point as to which we are foggy is the League of Nations. We all of us earnestly desire such a league, only we wish to be sure that it will help and not hinder the cause of world peace and justice. There is not a young man in this country who has fought, or an old man who has seen those dear to him fight, who does not wish to minimize the chance of future war. But there is not a man of sense who does not know that in any such movement if too much is attempted the result is either failure or worse than failure.

" Would it not be well to begin with the league which we actually have in existence, the league of the Allies who have fought through this great war? Let us at the peace table see that real justice is done as among these Allies, and that while the sternest reparation is demanded from our foes for such horrors as those committed in Belgium, northern France, Armenia, and the sinking of the Lusitania, nothing should be done in the spirit of mere vengeance. Then let us agree to extend the privileges of the league as rapidly as their conduct warrants it to other nations, doubtless discriminating between those who would have a guiding part in the league and the weak nations who would be entitled to the privileges of membership, but who would not be entitled to a guiding voice in the councils. Let each nation reserve to itself and for its own decision, and let it clearly set forth

questions which are non-justiciable. Let nothing be done that will interfere with our preparing for our own defense by introducing a system of universal obligatory military training modelled on the Swiss plan.

"Finally make it perfectly clear that we do not intend to take a position of an international Meddlesome Matty. The American people do not wish to go into an overseas war unless for a very great cause and where the issue is absolutely plain. Therefore, we do not wish to undertake the responsibility of sending our gallant young men to die in obscure fights in the Balkans or in Central Europe, or in a war we do not approve of. Moreover, the American people do not intend to give up the Monroe Doctrine. Let civilized Europe and Asia enforce some kind of police system in the weak and disorderly countries at their thresholds. But let the United States treat Mexico as our Balkan peninsula and refuse to allow European or Asiatic powers to interfere on this continent in any way that implies permanent or semi-permanent possession. Every one of our Allies will with delight grant this request if President Wilson chooses to make it, and it will be a great misfortune if it is not made.

"I believe that such an effort made moderately and sanely but sincerely and with utter scorn for words that are not made good by deeds, will be productive of real and lasting international good."

No one has the right to declare what Theodore Roosevelt would or would not have done or said in connection with international problems as they arose, after his death, but every one has the right to quote his own words, written under his own signature, and no words could be stronger than those in which he made his plea for America First and for sound nationalism. But I have voluntarily gone far afield from my actual narrative.

Events continued to move with astounding rapidity in that autumn of 1918. My heart, like the heart of many another mother, was wrung by the news of the terrible fighting in the Argonne Forest, and again wrung by alternate hopes and fears



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