ROOSEVELT, Theodore. Typed letter signed ("Theodore Roosevelt") as President, with one autograph addition, to Frank S. Black, former Governor of New York, Washington, 27 April 1904. 1 page, 4to, White House stationery, integral blank, very minor soiling, otherwise in fine condition.
ROOSEVELT'S BID FOR RE-ELECTION IN 1904
After a successful first term in which Roosevelt used executive power to attack corporate abuse and successfully completed plans for the construction of the Panama Canal, his renomination at the Republican Convention in Chicago was a virtual certainty: "The President's popularity was at its highest. Early in 1904, the Supreme Court upheld the government's position in the Northern Securities case, the Senate ratified the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty, putting the stamp of approval on his greatest foreign policy coup, and Union veterans were hailing his unilateral decision to increase their pensions" (Miller, Theodore Roosevelt: A Life, p. 438). With his nomination all but assured, Roosevelt writes to Black, requesting that he present the nominating speech: "Would you be willing to make the nominating speech for me at the National Convention? I know no one who could do it as well."
Roosevelt's choice of Black was an intriguing one. Roosevelt had defeated incumbent Governor Black in his quest for the 1898 gubernatorial nomination. Black's administration had been marred by scandals involving contracts to improve the Erie Canal and prominent Republicans had been anxious to replace the tarnished Governor with the recently returned Colonel of the Rough Riders. Roosevelt handily defeated Black's bid for renomination at the state convention. Here, six years later, the President magnanimously turns to his former foe to make his nominating address. After his successful nomination, Roosevelt sailed easily into the Fall campaign and won the election handily over his Democratic opponent, Alton B. Parker.