As I write, word comes that Woodrow Wilson has been nominated. I do not know him, but from what I hear he promises if elected to be a real leader in the war against injustice. The world wants earnest men right now—not cynics, but men who believe, whether rightly or wrongly; and the reason that the East is so much less progressive as we say, than the West, is because the East is made up so largely of cynics.
Thanking you once more for your appreciative words, believe me, sincerely yours,
TO BENJAMIN IDE WHEELER PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
Baddeck, Nova Scotia, July 81, 
My dear Mr. Wheeler,—Your letter followed me here, where at least one can breathe. This really is a most beautiful country filled with self-respecting Gaelic-speaking Scotch from the islands of the north—crofters driven here to make place for sheep and fine estates on their ancestral homes in the Highlands.
I am proud of your words of commendation. The express job is the biggest one yet. I believe we’ve done a real service both to the country and to the express companies. The latter will probably live if their service and their rates improve. Otherwise the Government will put them out of business, requiring the railroads to give fast service for any forwarder, as in Germany.
Politically, things look Wilson to me. Taft won’t be in sight at the finish. It will be a run between Wilson and T. R. I can’t name five states that Taft is really likely to carry. My friends in Massachusetts say Wilson will win there, and so in Maine. Well, I suppose you and I are in the same sad situation—eager to break into the fight but bound not to do it. Do you know I believe that T. R. has discovered, and just discovered, that it is our destiny to be a Democracy. Hence the enthusiasm which Wall Street calls whiskey. ... Sincerely yours,
TO GEORGE W. LANE
Washington, September 17, 1912
My dear George,—I am mighty glad to get your Labor Day letter, but sorry that its note is not more cheerful and gay. I can quite understand your position though. We are all obsessed with the desire to be of some use and unwilling to take things as they are. I do not know a pair of more rankly absurd idealists than you and myself, and along with idealism goes discontent. We do not see the thing that satisfies us, and we can not abide resting with the thing that does not satisfy us. We are of the prods in the world, the bit of acid that is thrown upon it to test it, the spur which makes the lazy thing move on.