Remarks in Frederick, Oklahoma

April 09, 1905

Fellow citizens:

The next time I come to Oklahoma I trust I will come to a State, and it won't be my fault if this is not so. I greet the veterans of the Civil War who came here today to greet the President, because we are one people and one country, and not to be divided forever. I am glad to see Qunah Parker, who has done so well with his farm. One thing of which I am proud is that I have tried to give a fair deal to every man.

Give the red man the same chance as the white. This country is founded on the doctrine of giving each man a fair show to see what there is in him. I have traveled four days in Texas, and I am now in what will soon be a great State of the Union. There is nowhere I feel more at home than in a town like this. I have confidence in the character of the men and women who have come here. Ever since the Revolution we have been making new States. Now we are about a: the close of this period.

I do not feel that I have to explain my policies to the Oklahoma people. You like to have the American people play a big part in the world, and play that part well. I know the Western people are with us when I say we must build the Panama Canal. You do not think I should be quiet while the American people are being held up. We want our rights, not as a favor, but as a right. I have had a middling busy three and a half years. I have liked my job. I enjoyed it and was thankful to the people for telling me to go on with it.

Now, I want four days' play. I hear you have plenty of jack rabbits and coyotes here. I like my citizens, but don't like them on a coyote hunt. Give me a fair show to have as much fun as even a President is entitled to have. Good-by, and good luck.

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

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