Remarks at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri
Cardinal Gibbons, ladies and gentlemen:
It is indeed a pleasure to be received here as a guest of the first and oldest university founded in our country west of the Mississippi River in the Louisiana Purchase. I know your work. I have myself been much in the West, and I have come across the traces of your work, both among the communities of our own people and among the Indian tribes.
I thank you personally for your kind allusions to me, and would hold myself recreant to the principles upon which this government was founded did I not strive as Chief Executive to do fair and equal justice to all men without regard to the way in which any man chooses to worship his Maker.
Theodore Roosevelt, Remarks at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/343438