ROOSEVELT, Theodore. Typed letter signed ("Theodore Roosevelt"), heavily corrected with numerous autograph additions and amendations, to Hamilton Fish Jr., New York, N.Y., 14 September 1916. 1 page, 4to (10¼ x 8½ in.), "Metropolitan" stationery, three binder holes in left margin, otherwise in fine condition.
"I WOULD REGARD MR. WILSON'S ELECTION AS A CALAMITY TO THE COUNTRY"
A fine letter displaying Roosevelt's profond hostility to Woodrow Wilson and the policies he implemented during his first term as President. After suffering defeat in the Election of 1912, Roosevelt grew increasingly incensed by Wilson's actions. In 1914, Wilson offered apologies and indemnities to Colombia for the U.S. participation in the secession of Panama, which had made it possible for Roosevelt to initiate construction of the Panama Canal. Wilson's determinedly neutral stance towards the World War in Europe further infuriated the bellicose former President. His dislike of Wilson grew into a hatred which became his "consuming passion of the closing years" (Pringle, Theodore Roosevelt, p. 406).
Here, writing to Fish, whom he affectionately calls "Ham," Roosevelt is unable to endorse Samuel Seabury, a New York judge: "I, of course, don't sympathize with you in backing Seabury. I have a very high regard for him. Although he had opposed me in 1912 (and therefore, I believe, opposed true Progressive principles) I nevertheless heartily supported him twice, for Judgeship. At present he is running on the same ticket with Mr. Wilson, and is giving him aid and comfort, so that support for him is support for Wilson." Roosevelt succinctly expresses his opinion on the re-election of Wilson: "I would regard Mr. Wilson's election as a calamity to the country. I therefore cannot support Seabury." He concludes: "My present intention is to take no part whatever in the State campaign, confining myself to the National ticket."
In the Fall, to Roosevelt's disgust, Wilson won a second term, and the bitter Roosevelt complained in a letter to Arthur Lee: "I am completely out of sympathy with the American people...This is yellow, my friend! plain yellow!" (Miller, Theodore Roosevelt: A Life, p. 553).