Remarks in Manchester, New Hampshire

August 28, 1902

It is about years ago that Molly Stark's husband had a saw mill here. Stark did two things. He had his saw mill. He did his work here, but when the country called to arms he was going to do his duty or Molly Stark was going to be a widow, and you and those like you who have done their duty in modern times, in the last few years have been showing yourselves fit representatives of Stark and the men who founded our republic. And gentlemen, we have heard a good deal of criticism about what our people have done in the Philip pines. Those who went out there were our brothers, friends, companions. There was occasionally one of them who did something wrong. Well, we aren't all of us immaculate at home.

There is every reason why we should put a stop to wrongdoing, punish the wrongdoer, be he soldier or civilian, and where it has been possible to get at any soldier who did wrong he has been punished. But the fact remains that you and those like you in the Philippines have written a new page in the honor roll of American history, and shame to us as a nation if we don't stand behind you and appreciate what you have done.

And now just one word. This is one of those great industrial centers the building up of which has meant the building up of the material prosperity of our country. Now there is always certain to be some evil in any great movement forward. Our material progress has been accompanied by certain evils. The marvelous success which has produced such great corporate and individual wealth has meant that certain abuses have grown up in connection with the individual wealth and in connection with the corporations that are the ordinary instruments of industrial activity at present.

There are evils. Let's try to get rid of them, but let's show common sense in the effort. Let's devote our best thought and best energies to finding some method of getting rid of any and all evils in the body politic, but let us above all things beware in using the knife not to handle it so that it will be dangerous to the community even more than to the evil attacked.

Theodore Roosevelt, Remarks in Manchester, New Hampshire Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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