Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Vol. 2

By Joseph Bishop Bucklin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
FROM KHARTOUM TO LONDON

SOON after retiring from the Presidency in March, 1909, Colonel Roosevelt went to Africa on a hunting-trip. He had arranged before his departure for several formal addresses which he was to make in Germany, England, France, and Norway on his return. When he reached Khartoum in March, 1910, on his way home, he yielded to urgent appeals and made two addresses on Egyptian affairs, one at Khartoum and the other at Cairo, which aroused much controversy and led later, to a speech on the same subject, also by urgent request, at the Guildhall in London. From Khartoum he went to Rome, Vienna, Budapest, Paris, Brussels, The Hague, Copenhagen, Christiania, Stockholm, Berlin, and thence to London. At the close of his tour he paid a cheerful and joyous visit to his long-time correspondent and friend, Sir George Otto Trevelyan, at, the latter's Warwickshire home at Welcombe, Stratford-on- Avon. During that visit his narrative of his experiences in Egypt and Europe so strongly impressed and fascinated Sir George that he urged him most earnestly to put it in writing. This Roosevelt did in the following year, in the form of a letter to Trevelyan, under date of October 1, 1911, of which Roosevelt himself preserved a copy. This letter, about 25,000 words in length, is an intimate account of his experiences in Egypt and in the chief capitals of Europe, with frank and searching comments upon the characteristics and personalities of the kings, emperors, and other eminent personages with whom he came in contact. It is a "human document" of quite exceptional character. What Trevelyan thought of it was expressed in a letter that he wrote to Roosevelt, under date of October 21, 1911:

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