“It cannot too often be pointed out that to strike with ignorant violence at the interests of one set of men almost inevitably endangers the interests of all. The fundamental rule in our national life —the rule which underlies all others—is that, on the whole, and in the long run, we shall go up or down together...”
EXTREMELY SCARCE FIRST EDITION OF ROOSEVELT’S FIRST STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, SIGNED BY ROOSEVELT ON THE HALF-TITLE.
“On September 6, 1901, a deranged anarchist named Leon Czolgosz shot [President William] McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. McKinley died eight days later, and Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th president. Only 42 years old when he took office, he was the youngest president in the nation’s history, and his youth and vigor immediately transformed the public image of the presidency. From the time of his First Annual Message to Congress in December 1901, Roosevelt expressed the progressive belief that government should mediate between conflicting forces (including capital and labor, isolationism and expansionism and conservation and development) in order to stabilize American society” (History, A&E).
Roosevelt begins the address by paying tribute to McKinley (“It is not too much to say that at the time of President McKinley's death he was the most widely loved man in all the United States”), emphasizing the tragic implications of the assassination (“The blow was aimed not at this President, but at all Presidents; at every symbol of government”) and encouraging the country against the forces of anarchy. (“This great country will not fall into anarchy, and if anarchists should ever become a serious menace to its institutions, they would not merely be stamped out, but would involve in their own ruin every active or passive sympathizer with their doctrines. The American people are slow to wrath, but when their wrath is once kindled it burns like a consuming flame.”)
He then - in over 100 pages of text - assesses the current state of country and offers his extraordinarily detailed vision for the immediate future: anti-trust regulation, new public works; environmental conservation, et al. The address serves as a manifesto of Roosevelt’s beliefs and a strong argument for his goals, many of which he would achieve over the next seven years.
Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1901. Octavo, original red cloth; custom half-morocco box and slipcase. Signed by Roosevelt in full on half-title. Only light scattered wear to cloth; signature particularly strong. SCARCE.
Price: $20,000 .