Remarks in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

April 01, 1903

Congressmen, Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Mr. Mayor, gentlemen and ladies:

I am very greatly touched and pleased by this greeting—a wholly unexpected one. I had not supposed that my speechmaking would begin before to-morrow. There is not much for me to say to you.

I feel rather when I come here like sitting at the feet of Gamaliel and learning the prosperity in which you of this state, you of this city have so abundantly shared must come primarily from two sources, the individual skill and efficiency of the individual man, capitalist or wage worker, working for himself as a foundation, but upon it is the super structure of the men who work not merely for themselves, but for one another.

The President of the Senate was kind enough to speak of what has been done for the wage worker and therefore the citizens as a whole, in this State. I go away from Washington with a light heart, very largely because of the admirable work done by the gentlemen on the Anthracite Strike Commission. And surely no publication by any association designed purely to teach a moral lesson to our people can be better worth scanning and learning than the document containing the conclusions of those men; and, if as a people we will take to heart the lessons taught therein, it will be better for all of us.

Fundamentally our interests are the same. Fundamentally you hurt or help some of our people, and inevitably you hurt or help others. Fundamentally the most important lesson to be learned in our national life is the lesson of our solidarity of interests, and, that every man of us, if he is fit to be a citizen of this republic, must pull his own weight and must also do his best to help his brother at the same time.

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

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