Theodore Roosevelt Comments On, and Then Annotates, a Manuscript Detailing the Attempt Made on His Life

February 5, 1913

Add to History Board Share Print
Back to The Collection
See full images and transcript
Theodore Roosevelt Comments On, and Then Annotates, a Manuscript Detailing the Attempt Made on His Life
Typed Letter Signed
5 pages | SMC 258

Quick Reference


      Roosevelt comments on a manuscript detailing, step by step and minute by minute, the assassination attempt made on his life on October 14, 1912. He corrects the common misperception of what he said about the assassin when shot – “Don't hurt him. Bring him here. I want to look at him" and discusses both the nature of his wound, and its effect on him.
      Typed Letter Signed (“T.R.”), with one autograph correction, 2 pages, quarto, on the letterhead of “Office of Theodore Roosevelt,” The Outlook, 287 Fourth Avenue, New York, February 5, 1913. To Sturgis Bigelow in Boston.

      With Manuscript, in unidentified hand - but most likely Bigelow's -  amended in autograph by Roosevelt; 2 pages, quarto, no place or date.
      Read More

      all pages and transcript

      Page 1/5

      Page 1 transcript
      The Outlook
      287 Fourth Avenue
      New York                                                                                  
      February 5th, 1913. 

      Office of Theodore Roosevelt

      Dear Sturgis:

      Ethel feels that her late host is the very nicest of all nice persons!  So do Ethel's papa and mama.  She is a dear, and you and all your household have done everything for her.  Will you tell the household so, by the way!

      Always yours,


      P.S. Your other note has just come.  Your memory is astonishingly accurate.  I have made three slight corrections.  I was getting into the barouche, having just left a lighted hotel, so that I could not see the crowd distinctly.  What I said when the man was caught was: "Don't hurt him.  Bring him here.  I want to look at him."  After the bullet I had no real pain.  The wound felt hot.  When I began to speak my heart beat rapidly for some ten minutes, but aside from that about all the real trouble I had was that on account of my broken rib I had to breathe quick and short, so that I could not speak as loudly as usual, nor use as long sentences without breathing.  When I got to the railway car I shaved and took out the studs and buttons from my bloody shirt to and put them in a clean shirt, as I thought I might be

      Page 2/5

      Page 2 transcript
      stiff next morning.  This all tired me a little, and when I lay down in my bunk my heart was again beating fast enough, and my breath was short enough, to make me feel somewhat uncomfortable.  But after a while I found I could turn, if I did it very carefully, to my unwounded side, and then I fell asleep.

      Dr. Sturgis Bigelow.
      56 Beacon Street,
      Boston, Mass.

      Page 3/5

      Page 3 transcript
      Dr. Sturgis Bigelow
      56 Beacon Street
      Boston, Mass.

      Page 4/5

      Page 4 transcript

      1. Getting into barouche on back seat
      2. having just left ... hotel.  Stood up to ack-
      3. knowledge cheers.  Man in second
      4. row pushed pistol, (38 in ..44 frame),
      5. held in both hands, between two men
      6. in front row.  Fired from distance of
      7. 4 - 5 feet.  Blow of bullet like
      8. kick of a mule.  T. was knocked
      9. back on back seat.  Man seized
      10. by crowd.  T. did not say "Don't
      11. hurt the poor fellow,", but  "Don't hurt him. Bring him
      12. here - I want to look at him."
      13. Put hand on man's head and
      14. forced it back to see face - whether
      15. he knew him.  Did not.
      16. Tried handkerchief at mouth.
      17. No blood.  Inferred lung not
      18. injured.  Ordered coachman to drive
      19. to hall, reasoning -- "If I can
      20. speak I want to.  If I get well it is
      21. all right.  If I die I want to have made
      22. this speech."
      23. Bullet perforated doubled MS., & iron
      24. spectacle case obliquely.  Black & blue
      25. spot big as a dinner plate around point
      26. of entrance of ball.  (Pain at time or
      27. in speaking? -- No real pain; wound felt hot; heart beat rapidly for first ten minutes while I was speaking; I had to breath quickly and short so could not speak
      as loud & as long sentences as usual.

      Page 5/5

      Page 5 transcript

      28. Week later doctors asked at golf
      29. club by gentlemen -- "Is it true that
      30. he made speech because he was so
      31. drunk he did not know he was shot?"
      33. "People don't blame the man who tells
      34. a lie -- they blame the man who calls
      35. attention to it,"