The Naval War of 1812 • The Strenuous Life • The Rough Riders
Letter to George Otto Trevelyan, Jan. 22, 1906Theodore Roosevelt
Just at present I am having a rough-and-tumble time with Congress, and have been enjoying the experience of keeping my temper resolutely under every kind of provocation. I have four or five measures I am anxious to get through, namely, first and foremost, the appropriations for the Panama Canal; second, the railway rate legislation; third, the Philippine tariff; fourth, the Santo Domingo treaty; and fifth, joint statehood for the territories, or at least for Oklahoma and Indian Territory. I think I shall get the first three all right (and they are the most important) and there is a chance of my getting the last two. To succeed in getting measures like these through one has to be a rough-and-tumble man oneself; and I find it a great comfort to like all kinds of books, and to be able to get half an hour or an hour’s complete rest and complete detachment from the fighting of the moment, by plunging into the genius and misdeeds of Marlborough, or the wicked perversity of James II, or the brilliant battle for human freedom fought by Fox—or in short, anything that Macaulay wrote or that you have written, or any one of most of the novels of Scott and of some of the novels of Thackeray and Dickens; or to turn to Hawthorne or Poe; or to Longfellow, who I think has been under estimated of late years, by the way.