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"Big Stick" Quote, Round 3

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  • E. Summer
    For quite some time, I ve been trying (along, I m sure, with MANY others) to pin down the source of the Big Stick proverb. . TR attributed it to a West
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 14, 2004
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      For quite some time, I've been trying (along, I'm sure, with MANY others)
      to pin down the source of the "Big Stick proverb.".

      TR attributed it to a "West African Proverb" which read, in effect, "Speak
      softly and carry a big stick and you will go far."

      So far as I know, however, no one has ever located that actual West African
      Proverb.

      John Gable and others suggested it may have originated in the McGuffey's
      Readers, but I've completed an examination of more than a decade of
      original copies (ncluding supplemental books) and am unable to locate it.

      Another suggestion has been that TR read some African History books in
      FRENCH, and that this may have been the source of the "proverb."

      And, of course, it's been suggested that the proverb was manufactured from
      whole cloth to fit the needs of a particular speech.

      From time to time I make some new efforts to track this down, and would
      appreciate anyone's current ideas on the topic.

      Regards from what's left of New York City.

      Edward Summer
      Planetarium Station
      POB 502
      NY, NY 10024-0502
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