ROOSEVELT, THEODORE

Theodore Roosevelt Letter Written Just After His Nomination as 3rd Term Presidential Candidate

Item #18675


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ROOSEVELT, THEODORE - Theodore Roosevelt Letter Written Just After His Nomination as 3rd Term Presidential Candidate
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ROOSEVELT, THEODORE - Theodore Roosevelt Letter Written Just After His Nomination as 3rd Term Presidential Candidate

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TR Letter Written Just Days Following His Nomination as Third Term Candidate

for President of the United States

 

ROOSEVELT, THEODORE.(1858-1919). Twenty-sixth president of the United States. TLS. (“T. Roosevelt”). 1p. Large 8vo. New York, August 10, 1912. On stationery of The Outlook. To Rev. Dr. Judson Swift, General Secretary of the American Tract Society.

 

“I thank you for your letter, and thoroughly appreciate the importance of the point you make, that we should prepare to send out an abundant supply of literature to all parts of the country. That matter is at present receiving the attention of the managers, and we shall do all that is possible in that respect. I have taken the liberty of sending your letter to them so that they may know just how you feel in the matter and if they find there is anything you could do, I am sure it will give them much pleasure to call upon you…” 

 

The 1909 conclusion of Roosevelt’s second presidential term was by no means the end of his political career; He continued to play an active role as an unofficial ambassador, lecturer and author of books and articles, which appeared in theMetropolitan Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, The Kansas City Star,and Outlook, a Christian magazine.

 

Though Roosevelt had handpicked his presidential successor, William Howard Taft, their political differences were obvious, and in 1912, Roosevelt announced his intention to run against Taft for the Republican nomination. After failing in his attempt, Roosevelt called his own convention and created the Progressive Party, widely referred to as the Bull Moose Party, which chose him as its presidential candidate on August 7, 1912, just days before he penned our letter. The split in the Republican Party caused by Taft and Roosevelt contributed to Woodrow Wilson’s election as the 28th President of the United States.

Raised in a pious Christian household, Roosevelt carried the values instilled in him by his father for the rest of his life. Roosevelt, Sr., a businessman who devoted much of his time to missionary work, religious contemplation and philanthropy, helped found New York City’s Children’s Aid Society and supported the establishment of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). Roosevelt subscribed to the doctrine of “muscular Christianity,” which emphasized the relationship between physical and spiritual health. Even during his years at Harvard, Roosevelt heeded his father’s advice to “take care of your morals first, your health next, and finally your studies,” which he implemented by teaching a Sunday school class, praying daily and avoiding the temptations of smoking, gambling and premarital sex, (Faith and the Presidency: From George Washington to George W. Bush, Gary Scott Smith). As a child, Roosevelt’s father required his son to memorize biblical passages, a lesson that led to a deep love and appreciation of the Bible that remained for the rest of his life. He would often isolate himself to read the Bible privately, and his wife claimed that it was the one book that was always present on his reading stand. During his presidency, Roosevelt regularly attended services at the Grace Reformed Church in Washington, D.C. and often entertained church members at the White House. Roosevelt rarely spoke about his faith, preferring to allow his actions to speak for themselves. “Many emphasized that his regular reading of the Bible, church attendance, exemplary ethical ideals, everyday conduct, promotion of biblical teachings, and service to others abundantly demonstrated his faith in God and Christian commitment,” (ibid.).

Founded in 1825, the American Tract Society was the first U.S. organization to publish and distribute Christian literature on a large scale. Swift, who previously acted as a field secretary for the society, served as its General Secretary from 1910 to 1921. In this capacity, he encouraged the idea of Christian unity and widespread evangelization at home and abroad. TR, a longtime friend, delivered an address at the 1905 American Tract Society meeting in Washington where Swift was presenting his fieldwork. “One of the best things done by this society, and by kindred religious and benevolent societies, is supplying in our American life of to-day the proper ideals,” (“Material Welfare and the Spiritual Life,” The Roosevelt Policy: Speeches, Letters and State Papers, Vol. 1). Swift’s book, A Manual of Devotion for Soldiers and Sailors, was published as part of the American Tract Society’s “Patriot Library,” a twenty volume series of books and tracts distributed to men serving in the United States Army and Navy during World War I and which was printed with a quote from Roosevelt along with his facsimile signature.

Folded with three small paper hinges along the left edge, otherwise in very fine condition.


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