Monday, January 19, 2009

Presidential Message from Theodore Roosevelt

The design on this postcard was copyrighted by The Cogswell Company in 1909, the year Roosevelt left office. The publisher was The Hiawatha Company, Minneapolis. With a new President taking office 100 years later in 2009, it is good to remember the words of this message.

This postcard is interesting not only for its message, but also for its typographic design. Looking closely, it appears that the type is hand drawn — no two letters are exactly the same, and the baselines are not straight. The first two words overlap the image in an unusual way, and dingbats are used on the right to make the text justified.

The message here was originally part of some remarks made by Roosevelt at Mitchell, South Dakota on April 6, 1903. The following is how it appeared in A Compilation of the Messages and Speeches of Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1905, By Theodore Roosevelt, edited by Alfred Henry Lewis:

You can lift up a man if he stumble, if he lies down you cannot carry him. If you try to, it will not help him and it will not help you. So, fundamentally, it must rest upon yourself to win success. As I said, law can do something, wise legislation, wise administration of government can do something.

If you have bad laws, badly administered, they will spoil any prosperity. It is easy enough to get a bad law that will stop the whole business, but to get a good law is not so easy. It is easy to sit outside and say how the man inside should run the machine, but it is not so easy to go inside and run the machine yourself.

This prosperity to which we have attained, has been reached under a series of economic moves included in a system through carrying out certain ideas in the currency and in the tariff. We cannot afford to reverse the system.

Improvements can be made. In the tariff, for instance, schedules are not sacred, and as the needs of the nation change and shift it will be necessary to change certain schedules to meet those shifting needs.

[The Minneapolis Tribune, April 7, 1903.]


  1. Hi!

    I was flabbergasted when I saw how many wonderful postcard blogs there are in the blogosphere! I have been stumbling over gorgeous postcard images as I visit blog after blog after blog. My cheeks hurt from smiling! I love finding people with similar interests.

    I am starting a postcard event called Postcard Friendship Friday. I'll put Mister Linky on my blog to keep us all connected. It would be wonderful if you could join, visit, and leave a comment on the other blogs who have joined the event too!

    You don't even have to be a collector to join! There are zillions of postcard images on Flickr to pick from. Vintage, postcrossing, retro, personal travels, kitsch…… the list of postcard types is long!

    I'll see you on Friday


    PS Please comment back if you would like to join!

  2. Hello Postcardy Lynne,
    You already know that I admire your writing and today I finally get to recognize that by awarding you the Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence. You can pick it up here:


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