Theodore Roosevelt: Famous “Square Deal” Quotation
Perhaps the turning point for Theodore Roosevelt came when J.P. Morgan told him, in a meeting at the White House, “If we have done anything wrong, send your man to my man and they can fix it up.” It was time, the president saw, for government to ensure that no single entity in American life – not big business, not big labor – was favored above any other group, and so vowed to make the laws fair to all. Here he issues his famous clarion call:
All I ask is a square deal for every man. Give him a fair chance. Do not let him wrong any one, and do not let him be wronged.
The promise of American life, Roosevelt knew, was to be found in the equality of opportunity. The reforms of his Square Deal would help ensure that every citizen had a fair chance to compete and succeed.
The origin of this famous slogan came out of the 1904 presidential campaign, when Roosevelt, defending his mediation of the 1903 anthracite coal strike, said that he had given a “square deal” to both the miners and the company owners. The phrase stuck and became the byword for Roosevelt’s domestic reform policies.
Autograph Quotation Signed, as President, 1 page, octavo, The White House, no date.
With accompanying Typed Letter Signed, December 2, 1904.