Theodore Roosevelt Confidently Reports that the Mortally Wounded President McKinley is Doing Well

September 9, 1901

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Theodore Roosevelt Confidently Reports that the Mortally Wounded President McKinley is Doing Well
Typed Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 245

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      Background

      Theodore Roosevelt was in Vermont on Friday, September 6th, 1901, and about to make a speech when he was taken aside by two members of his traveling party, Vermont’s Lieutenant Governor Fisk, and its junior Senator, Redfield Proctor. President McKinley, they informed him, had been shot in Buffalo. Roosevelt was stunned, but soon reassured by a second message, that the President’s wound was not fatal. Still, he immediately motored to a special train waiting in Burlingame, to take him to the President’s bedside that night. A few days later, in this letter, Roosevelt wrote to Redfield’s brother , Fletcher from Buffalo about that hurried trip, and expressed his confidence that McKinley was clearly on the mend.
       
      Roosevelt writes that he’s sorry, but he doesn’t know anything about a coat lost on the train trip down; the car, however, went back Saturday night. Everything is going on most satisfactorily, he says, with the President. Roosevelt feels assured not only that McKinley will recover, but that his recovery will be so speedy that in a very short time he will be able to resume his duties. He adds that it was a pleasure to talk to Proctor about New York politics, and he only wishes his state was about half as civilized as Vermont.
       
      Roosevelt left McKinley’s side the next day, on the 10th, to go hiking in the Adirondacks. Three days later, however, McKinley suddenly took a turn for the worse. and died in the early morning hours of September 14. Roosevelt, having a “bully tramp” in the woods, received word of the President’s deteriorating condition on the 13th, but hung back, not wanting to go back to Buffalo again, he told his wife, unless he were really needed.


      Typed Letter Signed, as Vice President, 1 page, quarto, Buffalo, N.Y., September 9, 1901. To Fletcher D. Proctor in Proctor, Vermont.
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      Buffalo, N.Y. September 9th, 1901

      Mr. Fletcher D. Proctor,
      Proctor, Vt.

      My dear Mr. Proctor, -

      I have your favor of the seventh and am awfully sorry to say that I have not the vaguest idea about that coat. I never saw any spare coat in the car so far as I can remember. The car left here Saturday evening.

      Everything is going on most satisfactorily with the President. I feel assured not only that he will recover, but that his recovery will be so speedy that in a very short time he will be able to resume his duties.

      It was a real pleasure to have even the brief talk we had. When you get out to my house I want to tell you at length the conditions of New York politics. Good Heavens, I wish we were about half as civilized as Vermont!

      Faithfully yours,

      Theodore Roosevelt