June 11, 1917

Theodore Roosevelt Lambasts Woodrow Wilson for Refusing to Let Him Lead a Division in World War I

Typed Letter Signed
1 page
SMC 2022
Blind in one eye; wracked by malarial fevers; arthritic, overweight, and still carrying a bullet in his breast from an assassination attempt five years before, Theodore Roosevelt was dying to serve in World War I. He was, he reminded all who could hear, an ex-Commander in Chief of the United States Army, and ready to once again lead “his” First United States Volunteer Cavalry into the fray. But President Wilson, whom Roosevelt detested, refused the appointment – for reasons which Roosevelt excoriates him here. 

If Mr. Wilson had been able to rise above the cheapest kind of party politics, I would be over myself. My four sons are going….

The recipient of this letter, the promising young Harvard archaeologist Oric Bates, was apparently on his way over to serve in Egypt; he died, however, while training as an officer, in 1918. Also dead in The Great War was Roosevelt’s youngest son, Quentin; his other boys survived, all distinguished for their bravery.
Typed Letter Signed, 1 page, quarto, on the letterhead of the Metropolitan magazine, New York City, June 11, 1917. To Oric Bates at Harvard.
Read transcript Bookmark