Gerard A.J. Stodolski, Inc.

Historic Autograph Letters, Manuscripts & Documents

Important Signed & Inscribed Books and Photographs



ROOSEVELT, THEODORE.  (1858-1919).  Twenty-sixth President of the United States (1901-9).  Autograph Letter Signed, “Theodore Roosevelt”, on his imprinted Sagamore Hill note card.  One full page, 16mo.  [Approximately 4 1/2 x 3 ½ inches].  Long Island, July 28, 1916.  Very fine condition.  Stamped with a square, “Received, Jul 29, ’16 NY State Dept of Health” stamp and addressed to “Dear Dr. Williams”.  Roosevelt writes:

“I at once put your letter before the committee; and we appointed a special sub-committee to provide for such an isolation hospital.  With many thanks, sincerely yours, Theodore Roosevelt”.

The 1916 New York City polio epidemic ultimately infected several thousand people, and killed over two thousand, in New York City, primarily in the borough of Brooklyn. The epidemic was announced in June 1916, and a special medical force was assembled under the authority of Dr. Simon R. Blatteis of the New York City Health Department’s Bureau of Preventable Diseases.  Polio was a poorly understood disease in this era, and no polio vaccine existed at this time. Official efforts to stem its spread consisted primarily of quarantines, the closure of public places, and the use of chemical disinfectants to cleanse areas where the disease had been present.      Finding any Theodore Roosevelt letter with medical content is unusual and when one thinks that his relative, Franklin D. Roosevelt, would be struck with the disease, makes this letter especially poignant.                   



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