EDMUND LESTER PEARSON
I. THE BOY WHO COLLECTED ANIMALS
II. IN COLLEGE
III. IN POLITICS
IV. "RANCH LIFE AND THE HUNTING TRAIL"
V. TWO DEFEATS
VI. FIGHTING OFFICE-SEEKERS
VII. POLICE COMMISSIONER
VIII. THE ROUGH RIDER
IX. GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK
X. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
XI. THE LION HUNTER
XII. EUROPE AND AMERICA
XIII. THE BULL MOOSE
XIV. THE EXPLORER
XV. THE MAN
XVI. THE GREAT AMERICAN
THE BOY WHO COLLECTED ANIMALS
If you had been in New York in 1917 or 1918 you might have seen
walking quickly from a shop or a hotel to an automobile a thick-
set but active and muscular man wearing a soft black hat and a
cape overcoat. Probably there would have been a group of people
waiting on the sidewalk as he came out for this was Theodore
Roosevelt Ex-President of the United States and there were more
Americans who cared to know what he was doing and to hear what he
was saying than cared about any other living man.
Although he was then a private citizen holding no office he was
a leader of his country which was engaged in the Great War.
Americans were being called upon--the younger men to risk their
lives in battle and the older people to suffer and support their
losses. Theodore Roosevelt had always said that it was a good
citizen's duty cheerfully to do one or the other of these things
in the hour of danger. They knew that he had done both; and so it
was to him that men turned as to a strong and brave man whose
words were simple and noble and what was more important whose
actions squared with his words.
He had come back not long before from one of his hunting trips
and it was said that fever was still troubling him. The people
wish to know if this is true and one of the men on the sidewalk
a reporter probably steps forward and asks him a question.
He stops for a moment and turns toward the man. Not much thought
of sickness is left in the mind of any one there! His face is
clear his cheeks ruddy--the face of a man who lives outdoors;
and his eyes light-blue in color look straight at the
questioner. One of his eyes it had been said was dimmed or
blinded by a blow while boxing years before when he was
President. But no one can see anything the matter with the eyes;
they twinkle in a smile and as his face puckers up and his white
teeth show for an instant under his light-brown moustache the
group of people all smile too.
His face is so familiar to them--it is as if they were looking at
somebody they knew as well as their own brothers. The newspaper
cartoonists had shown it to them for years. No one else smiled
like that; no one else spoke so vigorously.
"Never felt better in my life!" he answers bending toward the
"But thank you for asking!" and there is a pleasant and friendly
note in his voice which perhaps surprises some of those who
though they had heard much of his emphatic speech knew but little
of his gentleness. He waves his hand steps into the automobile
and is gone.
Theodore Roosevelt was born October 27 1858 in New York City at
28 East Twentieth Street. The first Roosevelt of his family to
come to this country was Klaes Martensen van Roosevelt who came
from Holland to what is now New York about 1644. He was a
"settler" and that says Theodore Roosevelt remembering the
silly claims many people like to make about their long-dead
ancestors is a fine name for an immigrant who came over in the
steerage of a sailing ship in the seventeenth century instead of
the steerage of a steamer in the nineteenth century. From that
time for the next seven generations from father to son every
one of the family was born on Manhattan Island. As New Yorkers
say they were "straight New York."
Immigrant or settler or whatever Klaes van Roosevelt may have