Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Vol. 1

By Joseph Bucklin Bishop | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIX
ILLUMINATING LETTERS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS, INCLUDING QUESTIONS OF POLICY

A GREAT flood of congratulatory letters poured in upon the President after his election. His replies to those that came from personal friends, written as they were in the full flush of his great triumph, are among the most completely self-revealing that he ever penned. They disclose the fundamental principles upon which he based his policies, and the profound and matured convictions which animated his public conduct. They show also that his head was not in the least turned by the victory, that he regarded it as a vote of confidence by the nation, and that the supreme joy which he derived from it was the assurance it gave of overwhelming popular support of the issues for which he stood and which were dearest to his heart.

Writing to George Haven Putnam, of New York, on November 15, 1904, he made a vigorous defense of a much criticized method of procedure that he had followed in advancing his policies:

"I shall do all I can to deserve the confidence the Nation has reposed in me. But there is one point [in your letter] which I should like to correct and which I fear is a misapprehension of yours. You speak of 'men like Quay and Addicks having no claim under existing conditions to having any essential part in making me President for the four years beginning with March 4,' and this seems to imply that you think that in the past three and a half years I have dealt with them because they had such claim. I have never dealt with Addicks at all. With Quay and all the other Senators I have dealt continually, and during the next four years I shall deal with all the men of this kind

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