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1916 Theodore Roosevelt Oyster Bay Letter

"That's a mighty nice letter of yours!"

Letter to fellow African Adventurer and Allied War Supporter Herbert Ward

 This 1916 letter had Theodore Roosevelt as his usual exuberant self complimenting fellow African adventurer and Allied war supporter Herbert Ward on his "mighty good letter" and then apologizing for rushing off to other business.

After he left the Presidency in 1909 Roosevelt went on a safari to Africa with his son Kermit and staff for National Geographic Society. Herbert Ward had accompanied Henry Stanley to the Dark Continent in order to make improvements to the Congo"s transport networks and later joined Stanley on his Emin Pasha relief mission to the Sudan and in 1890 penned his famous work Five Years With The Congo Cannibals. Other titles about his African adventures included My Life with Stanley"s Rear-Guard, and A Voice from the Congo record his observations and experiences of the peoples indigenous to the area and the situations he encountered on his journeys deep into the interior of the Congo. Roosevelt probably read Ward's earlier works before traveling to Africa.

After returning to America Roosevelt resumed a career in writing, working for various newspapers and magazines. By 1916 when this letter was written he had become frustrated with President Woodrow Wilson's timidity in response to German aggression and sympathized with France and England in World War I, which America had not yet joined. That was probably the reason for Herbert Ward to write to Roosevelt for Ward was on a speaking tour in America in support of the war effort and probably to promote his new book, "MR. POILU, NOTES AND SKETCHES WITH THE FIGHTING FRENCH." The introduction to that book has this explanation of Ward's presence in America when he wrote the letter to Roosevelt:

In February of the present year (1916) he sailed from Bordeaux to New York, carrying warm credentials from M. Hanotaux. Lecturing to large, and influential audiences in the principal centres from New York to the Pacific, his knowledge and experience of the French nation and the French soldier brought a mass of new information, and threw a much-needed light on the facts and conditions of the situation. As a result he secured generous response everywhere, and raised many thousands of pounds, wisely and well used by the American War Relief Clearing House in Paris. On his return to England, further lectures in London and the more important provincial towns resulted in very large additional funds being raised, the whole amount being given to the French Red Cross at Knightsbridge

In addition to work as a writer Theodore Roosevelt in 1916 campaigned for Charles Evans Hughes to unseat President Woodrow Wilson and later in 1917 after America joined the war he would be active in raising money for World War I in a similar manner as Herbert Ward, giving speeches and writing articles in support of the Allies war efforts.

The letter is on plain paper 7 X 10" and reads as follows:

                                                    Oyster Bay
Long Island, N.Y.
June 6th, 1916

My dear Mr. Ward:

               That's a mighty nice letter of yours!
I thank you for it.        I have only time to send
 this line of appreciation.

                        Sincerely yours,

                                /S/ T. Roosevelt

Herbert S. Ward, Esq.
     112 Pleasant St.
          Brookline, Mass

A clean letter with a very nice Roosevelt signature brings with it associations with Roosevelt's travels to Africa and his support of the Allies war effort in World War I.

Price: $600

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