“MRS. ROOSEVELT…HAS A RATHER LONG CONVALESCENCE AHEAD OF HER… TITINE AND HELEN AND TOMMY JR. WERE TRUMPS ABOUT ARCHIE”… WITH FURTHER COMMENTARY ON HIS READING RUTH McNERY’S BOOKS
ROOSEVELT, THEODORE. (1858-1919). 26th President (1901-1909), and first American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (1906). Good Autograph Letter, boldly written and Signed “Theodore Roosevelt,” on his imprinted Sagamore Hill embossed stationery, with excellent personal and family content. Three very full pages, octavo. [New York], October 9, 1911. Accompanied by the original stamped envelope, bearing a post office “Oyster Bay, NY” cancellation, and fully addressed in T.R.’s hand. To Mrs. Hitchcock of “Broad Hollow Farm” regarding his ailing wife and with a mention of Archie, his son. Penned while Roosevelt was in hiatus after his presidency, and contemplating a run for a third, non-consecutive term in the Bull Moose Party. Roosevelt writes:
“Titine handed me your most kind and thoughtful note. Mrs. Roosevelt was very much better yesterday; she is not so well today; I am afraid she has a rather long convalescence ahead of her; but she is undoubtedly, altho slowly, improving. Titine and Helen and Tommy Jr. were trumps about Archie. Give them all my love; and with renewed and hearty thanks to you and yours. I am very faithfully yours, Theodore Roosevelt. P.S. I thoroly [sic] enjoyed ‘A Golden Wedding’ which I am returning. Miss [Ruth McEnery] Stuart is a charming writer; and I am really obliged to you for having let me read the stories.”
Archie, to whom TR refers, was the fourth child of President Theodore Roosevelt. He volunteered for the United States Army during 1917, shipped over to France, and was wounded while serving with the U.S. 1st Infantry Division. His wounds were so severe he was discharged from the Army with full disability. He ended the war as an Army captain. For his valor, Archie received two Silver Star Citations, and the French government’s Croix de Guerre. — After the death of his father in 1919, he was noted for sending a telegram informing all his siblings that “the old lion is dead”.
The husband of our recipient was the wife of ‘Tommy, Jr.’. In WWI, he was a member of the Lafayette Escadrille. Captured, he escaped by jumping from a POW train headed towards Germany. He walked over 100 miles, for over a week, to the safe, neutral borders of Switzerland. He died in WWII, and was a test pilot.
Ruth McEnery Stuart (1849–1917) was an American author; known for her writings on Southern black American life.
Letters from Roosevelt referencing his children and family, especially with this intimate content, are quite scarce. An excellent letter for the presidential collector seeking a more personal letter written entirely in TR’s bold hand.