Quote of the Day

Theodore Roosevelt was a very effective writer and speaker, and he is eminently quotable. For each of the quotes below, the Theodore Roosevelt Center has provided a brief explanation of the setting or the context in which TR made the statement.

The TR Quote of the Day App, available in the Mac App Store or Android Market for your iOS and Android devices, also includes a TR Quiz to test your knowledge about our 26th president.

Quote for October 22, 2014 :


They were men of facts, not theories; and they showed their usual hard common-sense in making a government.


In The Winning of the West, Theodore Roosevelt describes the backwoodsmen who adapted the forms of government they had grown up with to bring structure to their Appalachian communities.

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I am more and more impressed every day, not only with the man’s wonderful power and sagacity, but with his literally endless patience, and at the same time his unflinching resolution.

During his busiest days as president, Theodore Roosevelt found comfort and inspiration in reading the history and writings of Abraham Lincoln.

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Now, fortunately, I always play the political game with the cards on the table, so far as any honest and intelligent man who wants to know the truth is concerned.

Roosevelt wrote these words in a January 1902 letter to Puck magazine’s founders, Joseph Ferdinand Keppler and Adolph Schwartzmann, thanking them for the magazine’s attitude toward his administration.

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In all the world there could be no better material for soldiers than that afforded by these grim hunters of the mountains, these wild rough riders of the plains.

Theodore Roosevelt describes the recruitment and training of his Spanish-American War volunteer division in his published account The Rough Riders.


It was lovely out in the country, with the trees at their very best of fall coloring.

President Roosevelt enjoyed riding horseback with his wife and daughter in mid-October of 1903.

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Doubtless the grizzly could be hunted to advantage with dogs, which would not, of course, be expected to seize him, but simply to find and bay him, and distract his attention by barking and nipping. Occasionally, a bear can be caught in the open and killed with the aid of horses. But nine times out of ten the only way to get one is to put on moccasins and still-hunt it in its own haunts, shooting it at close quarters.

Roosevelt wrote this in Hunting Trips of a Ranchman. He killed his first grizzly bear on September 13, 1884, in the Big Horn Mountains in northern Wyoming.


Mother has gone off for nine days, and as usual I am acting as vice-mother.

In the absence of Mrs. Roosevelt, President Roosevelt describes his adventures reading stories, reciting hymns, and scrambling down Rock Creek with his youngest sons.

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It seems to me that one of the great tests of civilization is the refusal by great powers to jeopardize the rights of weaker, well-behaved powers.

Theodore Roosevelt could find no justification for the German invasion of Belgium in the early months of World War I.

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I think I will beat Taft, that he will carry half a dozen small states, and I a dozen large ones. But the odds in Wilson’s favor are so enormous that I do not see how they can be overcome. However, I shall fight just as hard as I know how up to the last minute.

Theodore Roosevelt shared his thoughts on the Presidential Election of 1912 with his son, Kermit. Roosevelt vowed to be a fighter even in the days before he survived a would-be assassin’s bullet on October 14, 1912.

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Why do you use “autumn” instead of our own more beautiful word “fall”?

Theodore Roosevelt opens a brief letter to botanist Frances Theodora Parsons with this note of “hyper-criticism.”

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As a people we have played a large part in the world, and we are bent upon making our future even larger than the past.

In his message to Congress at the beginning of the second legislative session of Fifty-seventh Congress, Theodore Roosevelt outlines his priorities for 1902.

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