Remarks in Barstow, California

May 07, 1903

My fellow citizens:

This is the first time I have ever been to California, and I cannot say to you how much I have looked forward to making the trip. I can tell you now with absolute certainty that I will have enjoyed it to the full when I get through.

I have felt that the events of the last five or six years have been steadily hastening the day when the Pacific will loom in the world's commerce as the Atlantic now looms, and I have wished greatly to see these marvelous communities growing up on the Pacific slope. There are plenty of things that to you seem matters of course, that I have read about and know about from reading, and yet when I see them they strike me as very wonderful— the way the railroads have been thrust across the deserts, until now we come to the border of that wonderful flower land, the wonderful land of your State.

One thing that strikes me more than anything else as I go through the country—as I said I have never been on the Pacific slope; the Rocky Mountain States and the States of the great plains I know quite as well as I know the Eastern seaboard; I have worked with the men.

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

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