Remarks in Alliance, Nebraska

April 25, 1903

Honor to all good citizens, but honor most of all to the men who took the lead in taming the shaggy wilderness, to the trail blazers, to the men who first of the world marked out that earliest of high ways, the spotted line, the blazed trail; the men who first on horse—· back steered across the great lonely plains and drove their cattle up to feed upon the ranges, from which the buffalo had not yet vanished ! To you from the Black Hills, who coming here in 1876, or at the time immediately around that date, have developed the wonderful mines of that region, have built up in what was then an Indian haunt, a wilder ness, cities like Deadwood and Lead, it has fallen to your lot to see one of the great epoch feats of the country. You are among that body of men who conquered a continent for a race and a people, who did your full share in making the nineteenth century the most wonderful upon which the sun has ever shone. The pioneer days have gone, but the need of the old pioneer virtues remains the same as ever. You won, and you could win only because you had in you the stuff out of which strong men are made. In the days of 1876, here in the Black Hills, the room for the weakling or the coward was small, and now the man who will do decent work here must be the man who has got the stuff in him.

Theodore Roosevelt, Remarks in Alliance, Nebraska Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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