THEODORE ROOSEVELT ON WOODROW WILSON
CONDEMING WILSON’S ADMINISTRATION’S LACK OF ACTION
“PERSONALLY, HOWEVER, I BELIEVE THAT IF WE HAD HAD A PRESIDENT OF THE RIGHT KIND, A PRESIDENT LIKE ANDREW JACKSON, FOR INSTANCE, WHO WOULD NOT HAVE TOLERATED THE DREADFUL THINGS DONE TO US BY GERMANY, HE COULD HAVE AROUSED OUR PEOPLE. A ‘BUGLE CALL FROM THE WHITE HOUSE’ WILL AROUSE MANY A SLOTHFUL OR TIMID OR SHORTSIGHTED…AMERICAN”
ROOSEVELT, THEODORE. (1858-1919). Twenty-sixth President of the United States (1901-9). Superb Typed Letter Signed, “Theodore Roosevelt,” on his imprinted Oyster Bay, Long Island, N.Y stationery. One full page, small quarto. September 1st, 1915. Top left is marked “Private.” To A.V. Baird of Delaplane, Virginia. Very fine condition. TR writes:
“Your letter is one of the best I have received; but you state the melancholy truth when you say that the most depressing feature of the present situation is that the great majority of Americans strongly approve Wilson’s stand. It is dreadful to have the Virginians show the kind of spirit they are showing. Personally, however, I believe that if we had had a President of the right kind, a President like Andrew Jackson, for instance, who would not have tolerated the dreadful things done to us by Germany, he could have aroused our people. A “bugle call from the White House” will arouse many a slothful or timid or shortsighted or money-getting American who nevertheless deep down somewhere in him has the root of right feeling. Faithfully yours, Theodore Roosevelt.”
Roosevelt expresses his dismay for the President who he grew increasingly frustrated with due to Wilson’s timid and cautious response to the German threat. With the sinking of the Lusitanian a few months earlier, Roosevelt spoke with greater thunder publicly about the need for a strong response from America to the attack. In this letter he clearly sympathizes with a Virginia resident on the apathetic spirit on the part of the public, and privately shares with him the need for a “bugle call from the White House:” Just outstanding content, and worthy of inclusion into the finest of Presidential or American collections.