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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 215



  I shall always keep your letter, for I shall want my children and grandchildren to see it after I am gone. I feel just as you do about the Canal. It is the greatest contribution I was able to make to my country; and while I do not believe my countrymen appreciate this at the moment, I am extremely pleased to know that the men on the Canal do, for they are the men who have done and are doing the great job. I am awfully pleased that you feel the way you do.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT.

In 1887, General William Tecumseh Sherman was much talked about as a candidate for the presidency, until his famous declaration came out: “I will not run if nominated, and will not serve if elected.” During the weeks of talk, however, much was said of General Sherman’s religious views, some contending that he was a Roman Catholic; others that he was a Protestant.

Bok wrote to General Sherman and asked him. His answer was direct:

  My family is strongly Roman Catholic, but I am not. Until I ask some favor the public has no claim to question me further.

When Mrs. Sherman passed away, Doctor T. DeWitt Talmage wrote General Sherman a note of condolence, and what is perhaps one of the fullest expositions of his religious faith to which he ever gave expression came from him in a most remarkable letter, which Doctor Talmage gave to Bok.

New York, December 12, 1886.

MY DEAR FRIEND:
  Your most tender epistle from Mansfield, Ohio, of December 9 brought here last night by your son awakens in my

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