ROOSEVELT, Theodore. Three typed manuscripts, as President, constituting THE FIRST, SECOND AND FINAL DRAFTS OF HIS ACCEPTANCE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION, addressed the Notification Committee of the Republican National Convention, the text with very extensive autograph corrections, plus additions in ink and pencil totalling some 1000 words in Roosevelt's hand. [Oyster Bay, N.Y.], 16, 17 and 19 July 1904 [delivered 26 July 1904].
FIRST DRAFT: 10 pp., folio (13 x 8 in.), plus an inserted manuscript page of smaller size,, p.1 headed "Rough Draft July 16, 1904," with portrait photo as frontispiece inscribed "To Mr. Jas. B. Manning with regards of Theodore Roosevelt, Mar 20 1904." SECOND DRAFT: 12 pp., folio, p. 1 dated "July 17, 1904," frontispiece photo of Roosevelt and Notification Committee at Oyster Bay, 26 July 1904. THIRD DRAFT: 12 pp., folio, p.1 dated "July 19," bound with a 1929 TLS of R.G. Vail concerning the address. Together 35 pages, most pages with extensive marginal or interlinear additions and revisions by Roosevelt, each leaf neatly inlaid to larger sheets, bound in 3 volumes in crimson morocco, gilt-lettered, in morocco-tipped slipcase.
ROOSEVELT ACCEPTS THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION FOR PRESIDENT: "WE FACE THE FUTURE WITH OUR PAST AND OUR PRESENT AS GUARANTORS OF OUR PROMISES..."
A very revealing series of drafts that perfectly document the reflection and painstaking revision by which Roosevelt polished and perfected this lengthy address, delivered from the steps of his Oyster Bay home to the Party's Notification Committee and the media. Clearly, this was a speech Roosevelt viewed as a critical statement of his policies and goals for the 1904 campaign. The incumbent Roosevelt had been unaimously chosen as his party's nominee in Chicago on 23 June at the Republican Party's national convention (see preceding lot). Following established tradition, a notification committee was dispatched to call upon the President at Oyster Bay to formally inform him.
"...Three years ago, I became President because of the death of my lamented predecessor," he begins, I stated then that it was my purpose to carry out his principles and policies for the honor and the interest of the country. To the best of my ability I have kept the promise thus made..." The multiple drafts reveal Roosevelt's highly developed sense of politics. In his first draft, for example, he discreetly avoids the issue of monetary policy. But, mindful that it could not be wholly avoided, Roosevelt began to add a passage between the typed lines. Finding it required more space than he had anticipated, though, he substituted a handwritten page (4) in which he sums up monetary policy succintly. In final form, he contends that "so long as the Republican Party is in power the gold standard is settled, not as a matter of political expediency, not because of shifting conditions in the production of gold in certain mining centers, but in accordance with what we regard as the fundamental principles of national morality and wisdom."
He portray himself as a dutiful steward for his predecessor's policies, but a great many of the accomplishments Roosevelt cites originated wholly with him during his three years in the White House. For example, the Hay--Bunau-Varila Treaty that opened the door to the construction of the Pamama Canal: "At last the dream has become a reality, The Isthmian Canal is now being built...." The nation, he goes on, "has made good our promises of independence to Cuba," proving that "our misssion in the island was one of justice..."; American involvement in the Pacific has grown, he notes, and "our foothold in the Philippines greatly strengthens our position in the competition for the trade of the East," although, he adds, it is yet too early to accord the islands full independence. In general, he states, "Our foreign policy has always been so conducted that, while not one of our just claims has been sacrificed, our relations with all foreign nations are now of the most peaceful kind; there is not a cloud on the horizon. The last cause of irritation between us and any other nation was removed by the settlement of the Alaskan boundary question..." Moreover, he adds, "we have shown that the Monroe Doctrine is a living reality, designed for the hurt of no nation, but for the protection of civilization on the western continent..." He repeatedly contrasts the Republican party's known and firm policies on a variety of issues with what he characterizes as fluid, changeable and unreliable policies endorsed by the Democrats.
In conclusion, he alludes to his party's political heritage, vowing that he and his administration "are striving to do our work in the spirit with which Lincoln approached his...[T]here is not duty, domestic or foreign, which we have shirked,; no necessary task which we have feared to undertake...We face the future with our past and present as guarantors of our promises, and we are content to stand or fall by the record which we have made and are making."
The present drafts constitute THE ONLY EXTENSIVE WORKING MANUSCRIPTS OF A ROOSEVELT SPEECH TO HAVE BEEN OFFERED FOR SALE IN AT LEAST 25 YEARS. R.G. Vail, Librarian of the Roosevelt Memorial Association, in an accompanying letter, observes that there are very few extant manuscripts of Roosevelt's speeches or writings, and asserts that "there is none so significant and important...as this." He adds that "there are no other manuscripts of this speech extant." Published in Letters, ed. Elting E. Morison, 4:858.