SUPERB LETTER FROM THEODORE ROOSEVELT COMMENTING ON HENRY CABOT LODGE’S ADVICE TO HIM & HIS ROLE BEHIND THE SCENES IN PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS ~~AS HIS OWN POLITICAL FUTURE IS IN FRONT OF HIM T.R. NOTES HE WAS CAUTIONED THAT: “I MUST NOT TAKE AN OPEN PART IN POLITICS”
ROOSEVELT, THEODORE (1858-1919) President of the United States. Superb Autograph Letter Signed, “Theodore Roosevelt.” Three full pages, octavo. Washington D.C. No date. [but from the handwriting and content we are assigning an approximate date of late 1891 /early 1892, while TR was serving on the US Civil Service Commission, having been appointed by Benjamin Harrison, and retained subsequently by Democrat Grover Cleveland upon his election in 1892] Roosevelt writes to: “Dear Greenhalge”. Frederic Greenhalge (1842-1896) was Governor of Massachusetts; a Republican member of the House of Representatives; and a close personal friend of Henry Cabot Lodge. While some 16 years senior to TR, the two had Harvard connections and it appears that Lodge made the introduction to TR, and the two men developed a close political friendship. TR writes:
“I was really pleased — and surprised — that in the midst of your campaign you should take the trouble to answer my note. But I hate to have to say that I don’t see how I can come on and speak. I need hardly say that if I could go on the stump this fall at all it would most assuredly be for you, old fellow. But I find that Lodge entirely agrees with me that I must not take an open part in politics now. Even when my own party was in, and when my work brought me in collision only with my own people, I only ventured to speak in the presidential campaign; and now, when I am fighting the democrats anyhow, I think I would put the Commission in a false position if I took an active part in politics. In a year or so at the farthest I shall be out, and then I am at your service in any way. Meanwhile I am, as always, Faithfully yours, Theodore Roosevelt”.
A letter written at a critical time in American politics. The coming Panic of 1893, was about to beset America. The depression that began in 1893 and ended in 1897, deeply affected every sector of the economy, and produced political upheaval that led to the political realignment of 1896 and the presidency of William McKinley. On the death of V.P. Garret Hobart in late 1899, TR was to become the Vice Presidential candidate in the 1900 election, and would ultimately become President on McKinley’s assassination in September 1901. Simply choice!