Remarks at Raymond, California

May 15, 1903

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I did not realize that I was to meet you today, still less to address an audience such as this and I had only come prepared to go into the Yosemite with John Muir, so I must ask you to excuse my costume. (Cries of "It is all right !") I have enjoyed so much seeing Southern California and San Francisco that I felt my trip would be incomplete if I did not get up into your beautiful country and then see the Yosemite. Before I came on this trip I was inclined to grumble because I found we were giving relatively four times as much time to California as to any other State. Now I feel that we did not give it half enough. It ought to have been eight times instead of four times. I have enjoyed being here. I have never been on the Pacific Coast before. For a number of years I lived in the Rockies. I was in the cow business in those days. Great though my pleasure has been in seeing your wonderful soil, your wonderful climate, your fruits and flowers, your extraordinary and beautiful natural products, yet what I have liked most has been meeting the men and women, and finding that the fundamental fact throughout this country is that wherever you go, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, a good American is a good American, and nothing else. [Applause] Here, as everywhere that I have been in California, I am greeted by men who wear the button which shows that in the times that tried men's souls they proved their truth by their endeavor. As they then belonged to different regiments, doubtless raised in different States, but fought for one flag and one country, so now wherever we are citizens, in the East, in the West, or here beyond the West, in California, wherever we are citizens, our duties are the same; our duty is to lead our lives in a spirit of decency, of courage and of common sense, that will make us fit to be citizens of this great republic. [Cheers and applause]

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

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