ROOSEVELT, Theodore. Autograph letter signed ("T.R") as President, with three humorous illustrations in the text, to his son Archibald Bulloch, "Tenesas Bayou," 10 October 1907. 4 pages, 8vo (4 3/8 x 6 13/16 in.), White House stationery, some soiling and a few small repairs.
"I WAS SO GLAD TO HEAR FROM YOU": TR SENDS HIS SON AN ILLUSTRATED LETTER DURING A HUNTING TRIP
The President, on an extended hunting trip, pens a charming, illustrated letter to his 13 year old son Archibald Bulloch: "I just loved your letter. I was so glad to hear from you. I was afraid you would have trouble with your latin. What a funny little fellow Opdyke must be; I am glad you like him. How do you get on at football. We have found no bear. I shot a deer; I sent a picture of it to Kermit [Archibald's older brother]. A small boy here caught several wild-cats. When one was in the trap, he would push a box towards it, and it would itself get into it, to hide; and so he would capture it alive. But one, instead of getting into the box, combed the hair of the small boy!" Here Roosevelt draws a depiction of the boy and the cat, the cat reared and with his paws in the boy's hair. "We have a great many hounds in camp; at night they all gaze solemnly into the fire." Roosevelt draws a picture here of two dogs staring into the campfire. "Dr. Lambert has caught a good many bass, which we have enjoyed at the camp table." Here Roosevelt sketches Lambert fishing. TR's love of the outdoors and its many sports is legendary.
Trips away from the family had previously proved a source of anxiety for Archibald. When Roosevelt prepared to depart for the Spanish-America War in 1898, the 4-year old Archibald asked, "And is my father going to war?... And will he bring back a bear?" (Edward J. Renehan, Jr., The Lion's Pride: Theodore Roosevelt and His Family in Peace and War, New York, 1998, p.27). Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt later attended Harvard and served as a captain in the Army in World War I and again as a lieutenant colonel in World War II. He prospered as a Wall Street investment banker. Illustrated letters of Theodore Roosevelt are rarely offered for sale.
Provenance: Philip D. Sang (sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, 20 June 1979, lot 820).