November 16, 1906

Roosevelt Writes from the “Canal Zone” to Panama’s President Amador

Typed Letter Signed
2 pages
SMC 1255
When it was all over, Roosevelt described his momentous acquisition of the Panama Canal best: “I took the Canal Zone,” he said, “and let Congress debate.” His audacity involved aiding an insurrection, protecting a government, signing a treaty, and making, at last, the dirt fly. His ally in this was the Panamanian patriot, Dr. Manuel Amador Guerrero who, as the first President of Panama, received Roosevelt when he visited the Canal Zone in November, 1906 – a trip which made Roosevelt the first president to officially visit a foreign country while in office. The day before he left Panama, he sent this letter of thanks, to Amador:
 
The box with those very interesting and curious antiques has just come. I not only value them greatly for themselves, but I am profoundly touched at this fresh proof of your thoughtful kindness, my dear Mr. President, coming as it does on the repeated and gracious courtesy of your charming wife to Mrs. Roosevelt; and after the more than kind and cordial reception which you and the Senora have extended to us.  It is difficult for me to express on behalf of Mrs. Roosevelt and myself how profoundly touched and pleased we are.
 
Roosevelt’s delight with Amador, however, did not stop him from sending American troops to insure that the Panamanian election of 1908 was free from interference - with the result that Amador was defeated.
Typed Letter Signed, as President, 2 pages, quarto, on White House letterhead but datelined Ancon, Canal Zone, November 16, 1906. To the President of Panama, M. Amador Guerrero.
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