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2 November 2006
ROOSEVELT, Theodore (1858-1919). Autograph letter signed ("Theodore Roosevelt"), as New York State Assemblyman, to Isaac Dayton, New York, 17 November 1883. 2 pages, 8vo.
"I AM A CANDIDATE FOR THE SPEAKERSHIP..." ROOSEVELT ROCKETS TO THE TOP OF THE GOP CAUCUS, only two years into his term in the Albany legialsture. "Although not personally acquainted with you," Roosevelt tells a newly elected Assemblyman, "I take the liberty of writing to state that I am a candidate for the speakership; and if you are not yourself a candidate, and feel that you can consistently support me, I shall be greatly obliged. Permit me to add that all we 'Young Republicans' are delighted that a gentleman of your character and ability is to be in Albany this winter, to assist, and if necessary to guide us." Roosevelt himself was a relative newcomer to Albany. He had just won reelection to his second term, and already his fellow Republicans were putting him forward as their candidate for Speaker. In the Democratic controlled Assembly there was no chance of the Republicans winning the Speakership, but Roosevelt was the clear leader of the minority, especially since the election of Governor Grover Cleveland. Like Roosevelt, Cleveland was appalled by the rampant corruption and the two men worked effectively together. But Roosevelt's meteoric rise in New York State politics was stopped by the devastating tragedy that befell him three months after this letter: the unexpected deaths of both his wife in child birth on 14 February 1884) and of his mother, in another room on the house that same day. Letters from Roosevelt's tenure in the Assembly are comparatively rare.
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Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)
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