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Letter from Hermann Speck von Sternburg to Theodore Roosevelt

Description:

Hermann Speck von Sternburg reports on the fighting between Japanese and Chinese forces in Manchuria. He finds the Chinese ill prepared both on land and sea to meet the Japanese offensive and believes the Japanese could approach Peking within two months. In the naval battle of Yalu, for instance, the Chinese had the wrong ammunition on their ships. Had they had the right ammunition, they ought to have won the battle and kept control of the sea.

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895); Military readiness; Naval battles; China; Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1850-1924; Lodge, Anna Cabot Mills Davis, 1850-1915; Roosevelt, Edith Kermit Carow, 1861-1948; Roosevelt, Theodore, 1887-1944

Date: 1895-02-19

Letter from Theodore Roosevelt to Anna Roosevelt Cowles

Description:

Theodore Roosevelt agrees with his sister Anna Roosevelt Cowles about Secretary of the Navy Hilary Hebert's poor address on the Navy and feels Congress doesn't take war preparedness seriously. The Navy should be increased. Though Republican boss Thomas Collier Platt wants to legislate Roosevelt out of his Police Commissioner job, the legislators are wary of doing so. He recommends reading Brooks Adams's Civilization and Decay.

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Military readiness; Police administration--Law and legislation; Books and reading; United States. Navy; Platt, Thomas Collier, 1833-1910; Herbert, Hilary A. (Hilary Abner), 1834-1919; Adams, Brooks, 1848-1927

Date: 1896-03-01

Letter from Theodore Roosevelt to Anna Roosevelt Cowles

Description:

Governor Roosevelt writes about the possibilities of being renominated for Governor of New York or chosen as a vice-presidential candidate. Roosevelt discusses the Second Boer War and the potentially dangerous commonalities between Great Britain's military preparedness and that of the United States. 

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: South African War (1899-1902); Nominations for office; Vice-Presidential candidates; Presidents--Nomination; Military readiness--Social aspects; Military readiness; South Africa; Great Britain; Canada; Australia; Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1850-1924; Platt, Thomas Collier, 1833-1910; Payn, Louis Frisbie, 1835-1923; Roosevelt, Edith Kermit Carow, 1861-1948; Carow, Emily Tyler, 1865-1939

Date: 1899-12-17

Letter from Theodore Roosevelt to Hermann Speck von Sternburg

Description:

President Roosevelt supports the Monroe Doctrine and wants South America to "develop on its own lines, with an open door to all outside nations." He wishes that the same policy could be applied to China. Roosevelt is saddened by England's military "decay" and wonders if the Franco-Russian alliance will be permanent.

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Monroe doctrine; International relations; Geopolitics; Great powers--Foreign relations; Military readiness; South America; China; France; Germany; Great Britain; Russia

Date: 1901-10-11

Letter from Theodore Roosevelt to William Sowden Sims

Description:

President Roosevelt believes Lieutenant Sims is too pessimistic about the quality of American naval vessels. However, he prefers that Sims believe the United States Navy to be not good enough rather than too good. Roosevelt thanks Sims for the useful suggestions for improvement. 

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Spanish-American War (1898); Military readiness; Naval strategy; Naval gunnery; Warships--Design and construction; United States. Navy

Date: 1901-12-27

Letter from Theodore Roosevelt to H. C. Taylor

Description:

President Roosevelt asks Admiral Taylor for ideas to improve the Navy's "gun pointing" and battleship design. Of the two topics, Roosevelt believes marksmanship to be the most important in fighting a war.

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Naval gunnery; Naval strategy; Military readiness; Battleships--Design and construction; Shipbuilding; United States. Navy

Date: 1901-12-27

Address of President Roosevelt at Indianapolis, Indiana (prepared copy)

Description:

In a military policy speech given before a group of soldiers and veterans of the Spanish American War, President Roosevelt stresses the need for preparedness. He says the borders of the United States, once separated from Europe and Asia by the vast oceans, have been brought closer to potential threats by modern naval technology. He insists that the United States must become very engaged in international affairs, ready to back up words with action, and he affirms his belief in the Monroe Doctrine. For the Army, he believes in small but strong regular National Guard units which can train up and lead a larger volunteer force in the event of war. He believes this would be impossible for the navy, however, as it takes years to build warships and train sailors on the “highly specialized work” of operating them; Roosevelt feels that the naval craft and crews prepared in time of peace would be the factor on which success would rest. He concludes by saying the entire nation, inland included, should be proud of the United States Navy.

Resource Type: Speech

Subject: Spanish-American War (1898); Preparedness; Veterans; Warships; International relations; Military readiness; United States. Army; United States. National Guard Bureau; United States. Navy

Date: 1902-09-23

Address of President Roosevelt at Indianapolis, Indiana (delivered copy)

Description:

In a military policy speech given before a group of soldiers and veterans of the American Civil War and Spanish-American War, President Roosevelt stresses the need for preparedness. He says the borders of the United States, once separated from Europe and Asia by the vast oceans, have been brought closer to potential threats by modern naval technology. He insists that the United States, now a world power, must become very engaged in international affairs, ready to back up words with action, and he affirms his belief in the Monroe Doctrine. For the army, he believes in small but strong regular National Guard units which can train up and lead a larger volunteer force in the event of war. He believes this would be impossible for the navy, however, as it takes years to build warships and train sailors on the “highly specialized work” of operating them; Roosevelt feels that the warcraft and crews prepared in time of peace would be the factor on which success would rest. He concludes with anecdotes and a message on the need for citizens and soldiers to do their duty every day and not just in moments of glory.

Resource Type: Speech

Subject: American Civil War (1861-1865); Five Forks, Battle of (Virginia : 1865); Gettysburg, Battle of (Pennsylvania : 1863); Missionary Ridge, Battle of (Tennessee : 1863); Philippine American War (Philippines : 1899-1902); Shiloh, Battle of (Tennessee : 1862); Siege of Yorktown (Virginia : 1781); Spanish-American War (1898); Courage; Peace; Preparedness; Veterans; Cuba; Indiana--Indianapolis; New Mexico; Philippines; Philippines--Manila; Puerto Rico; Virginia--Appomattox; United States. Army; United States. Navy; Arthur, Chester Alan, 1829-1886; Cleveland, Grover, 1837-1908; Dewey, George, 1837-1917; Harrison, William Henry, 1773-1841; McKinley, William, 1843-1901; Washington, George, 1732-1799

Date: 1902-09-23

Letter from Charles Edgar Clark to Theodore Roosevelt

Description:

Charles Edgar Clark expresses his concerns over the weaknesses of the United States Navy in the Atlantic and West Indies. He believes that any large force sent by Germany would have the advantage since the majority of the United States fleet is currently in the Pacific. Admiral Taylor is also recommended as a good officer for large commands.

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Turret ships; Battleships; Military readiness; West Indies; United States. Navy; Germany. Kriegsmarine; Taylor, H. C. (Henry Clay), 1845-1904

Date: 1903-02-05

Only on condition that we are well prepared can we ask for peace

Description:

President Roosevelt pulls back a curtain to display a statue of Columbia, holding a sword in one hand and a shield in the other. Behind her is a battleship armed for war, and next to her is a cannon. Caption: President Roosevelt's ideal of Columbia, now that she is a world power.

Resource Type: Cartoon

Subject: Columbia (Symbolic character); Military readiness; Sea-power; United States. Navy; Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919

Date: 1903-03-07

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