"THERE SHALL BE SUFFICIENT POWER LODGED SOMEWHERE TO PREVENT WICKED PEOPLE FROM TRAMPLING THE WEAK UNDER FOOT FOR THEIR OWN GAIN": THE SANG COPY OF THIS CORRECTED PRINTER'S GALLEY OF PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT'S ADDRESS ON REFORM AT CAIRO, ILLINOIS ON OCTOBER 3, 1907, WITH ANNOTATIONS TOTALLING OVER 180 WORDS IN TEDDY ROOSEVELT'S HAND
ROOSEVELT, Theodore. Corrected printer's galley of speech, with manuscript annotations. No place: no publisher, circa 1907. Thirteen sheets of unlined paper, each measuring 8-1/2 by 24 inches. $16,000.
Corrected printer's galley of Teddy Roosevelt's October 3, 1907 address at Cairo, Illinois focusing on domestic and global affairs as well as government regulation on the eve of the 1907 Panic, with over 180 words of correction written in Teddy Roosevelt's hand. The Sang copy.
Delivered late in his second term, Roosevelt's address at Cairo, Illinois, is best remembered for its succinct articulation of his theory of reform. At the end of the speech, he states: "Men forget that constructive change offers the best method of avoiding destructive change; and that reform is the antidote to revolution; and that social reform is not the precursor but the preventative of Socialism."
The speech is among Roosevelt's best, accounting for (and perhaps because of) Roosevelt's extensive annotations. His annotations are not just in single-word corrections, but also large paragraphs of added text. The speech opens in an uplifting tone, addressing the men of Illinois and surrounding states before invoking common mythologies of the American Midwest. Roosevelt, an avid reader and writer, even cites Charles Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit, saying: "It is curious and amusing to think that… a man normally so free from national prejudices as Charles Dickens, should have selected the region where we are now standing as the seat of his forlorn 'Eden' in Martin Chuzzlewit… but a score of years after Dickens wrote, it was shown to be a breeding ground of heroes, of soldiers, and statesmen of the highest rank." He then offers a manuscript annotation reading: "This was the region that brought forth mighty Abraham Lincoln, the incarnation of all that is best in democratic life; and from the loins of the same people, living only a little farther south sprang another of our greatest Presidents, Andrew Jackson, 'Old Hickory'—a man who made mistakes like most strong men, but a man of iron will and incorruptible integrity, fearless, upright, devoted to the welfare of his countrymen, bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, a typical American if there ever was one."
Turning to domestic affairs, Roosevelt talks about the future of the country. A manuscript annotation reads: "There are many wrongs to right; there are many and powerful wrong doers against whom to war; and it would be base to shrink from the contest, or to fail to wage it with a high and resolute will. But I am sure that we shall win in the contest, because I know that the" [typed: "heart of our people is sound"]. Roosevelt also mentions industrial regulation, stating: "It is not in accordance with our principles that literally despotic power should be put into the hands of a few men in the affairs of the industrial world. Our effort must be for a just and effective plan of action which, while scrupulously safeguarding the rights of men of wealth, shall yet, so far as is humanly possible, secure under the law to all men equality of opportunity to make a living." A manuscript addition toward the close reads: "The average citizen, the plain man whom we meet in daily life is normally capable of taking care of his own affairs, and has no desire to wrong any one else; and yet that in the interest of all there shall be sufficient power lodged somewhere to prevent wicked people from trampling the weak under foot for their own gain." Roosevelt put a great deal of care into the drafting of this address. The present galley proof is one of three examples with autograph corrections to appear at auction; however, this is the first such copy to appear in over 50 years. From the celebrated Elsie O. and Philip D. Sang collection of Americana, one of the most impressive libraries of Americana assembled in the 20th century. A few pencil annotations and publisher's markings in an unknown hand.
Only slightest soiling, faint horizontal folds, only light wear including scattered marginal tears and separation at the folds of first page. A most unique and exceptional copy extensively annotated by Teddy Roosevelt in extremely good condition.