Remarks to the Students of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia

October 18, 1905

My friends and fellow citizens:

It is a pleasure to have the chance of greeting you and to be greeted by you. I want to say a word here in a place identified with the names of two of America's greatest statesmen—Patrick Henry and Henry Clay—in the seat of a college which in the Randolph-Macon system commemorates the names of two others of that wonderful group of statesmen which Virginia gave to the nation. I wish here to say a word of recognition to those who are doing this great educational work.

In a republic like ours, it is a mere truism to say that the success of the republic depends upon the trained intelligence of the citizens. The republic cannot succeed if we do not take pains in educating the masters of the republic—that is, the people. Self-government is not too easy a thing. It is easy enough to live under a despotism. You do not have to do anything; just let the other man govern. But it is not easy to live in a republic where each man has to do his part in the governing, and where he cannot do it if there is not a sound basis of moral and intellectual training, and that is the basis that such an institution of learning as that here and its kindred institutions give.

Theodore Roosevelt, Remarks to the Students of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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