Education: Buckley & the Blight

  • Share
  • Read Later

(2 of 2)

"They will often be reminded, as an ideal to be followed, of the incident that happened in 1904, when an American named Perdicarris was kidnaped in Morocco by a bandit named Rasuli, with whom it was suspected that the Sultan of Morocco was friendly. President Roosevelt, instead of starting negotiations that would have lasted until the death of Perdicarris, sent a cruiser to Morocco and the same day a cable to the Sultan saying: 'I want Perdicarris alive or Rasuli dead. I sent a cruiser to Morocco today.' Perdicarris was released immediately.*The attention of the children will be called to the contrast of the course taken by the great Roosevelt with that of Franklin Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower, which has won the contempt and derision of the world."

*Generally accepted version: 1) Raisuii had already planned to release Perdicaris before the message was even sent; 2) the telegram went not to the Sultan but to the U.S. consul in Tangier; 3) it was written by Secretary of State John Hay, who did not mention a cruiser; 4) T. R. used it as a dramatic device to stir up the languid Republican National Convention in Chicago. Adds Pulitzer Prizewinning Historian Samuel Flagg Bemis: "It remained for historians later to discover that Roosevelt knew when he authorized the message that the American citizenship of Perdicaris was questionable."

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next Page