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Hero Tales from American History

“Hence it is that the fathers of these men and ours also, and they themselves likewise, being nurtured in all freedom and well born, have shown before all men many and glorious deeds in public and private, deeming it their duty to fight for the cause of liberty and the Greeks, even against Greeks, and against Barbarians for all the Greeks.”

–PLATO: “Menexenus.”

 

Theodore Roosevelt  Henry Cabbot Lodge
Theodore Roosevelt
(1858 – 1919)
Henry Cabot Lodge
(1850 – 1924)

TO E. Y. R.

To you we owe the suggestion of writing this book. Its purpose, as you know better than any one else, is to tell in simple fashion the story of some Americans who showed that they knew how to live and how to die; who proved their truth by their endeavor; and who joined to the stern and manly qualities which are essential to the well-being of a masterful race the virtues of gentleness, of patriotism, and of lofty adherence to an ideal.

It is a good thing for all Americans, and it is an especially good thing for young Americans, to remember the men who have given their lives in war and peace to the service of their fellow-countrymen, and to keep in mind the feats of daring and personal prowess done in time past by some of the many champions of the nation in the various crises of her history. Thrift, industry, obedience to law, and intellectual culvation are essential qualities in the makeup of any successful people; but no people can be really great unless they possess also the heroic virtues which are as needful in time of peace as in time of war, and as important in civil as in military life. As a civilized people we desire peace, but the only peace worth having is obtained by instant readiness to fight when wronged–not by unwillingness or inability to fight at all. Intelligent foresight in preparation and known capacity to stand well in battle are the surest safeguards against war. America will cease to be a great nation whenever her young men cease to possess energy, daring, and endurance, as well as the wish and the power to fight the nation’s foes. No citizen of a free state should wrong any man; but it is not enough merely to refrain from infringing on the rights of others; he must also be able and willing to stand up for his own rights and those of his country against all comers, and he must be ready at any time to do his full share in resisting either malice domestic or foreign levy.

Henry Cabot Lodge
Theodore Roosevelt

Washington, April 19, 1895

 

  •     George Washington by Henry Cabot Lodge
  •     Daniel Boone and the Founding of Kentucky by Theodore Roosevelt
  •     George Rogers Clark and the Conquest of the Northwest by Theodore Roosevelt
  •     The Battle of Trenton by Henry Cabot Lodge
  •     Bennington by Henry Cabot Lodge
  •     King’s Mountain by Theodore Roosevelt
  •     The Storming of Stony Point by Theodore Roosevelt
  •     The Burning of the “Philadelphia” by Henry Cabot Lodge