HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS

The Theodore Roosevelt Collection

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This very large collection of the papers of President Theodore Roosevelt was the gift of Paul C. Richards, who spent two decades assembling it. The more than one hundred original manuscripts of Roosevelt’s articles, books and speeches illustrate the range of the late President’s interests, including natural history, ranching, hunting, civil service reform, naval history, Abraham Lincoln, Panama and the Philippines. Several drafts of Roosevelt’s formal acceptance of the presidential candidacy sent to the Republican National Convention of 1904 are among the documents. Other manuscript holdings include three chapters of his autobiography, a handwritten draft of his comments on President Wilson’s peace policy, and a draft of the November 1, 1918 joint statement by Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, his political opponent for almost a decade, urging unity in the election of a Republican Congress.

Almost seven hundred largely unpublished holograph letters spanning the years 1881 to 1918 are part of the collection. This correspondence includes letters to and from William Jennings Bryan, Andrew Carnegie, King Edward VII, Felix Frankfurter, Edward Everett Hale, Rudyard Kipling, David Lloyd George, Admiral Perry, Kaiser Wilhelm II and many others. There are family letters and Roosevelt’s correspondence with William Sewall, who managed his Elkhorn Ranch in the Dakota Territory, spanning some thirty-five years.

The Theodore Roosevelt Collection contains approximately eighty-five photographs of Roosevelt, many of which are inscribed, as well as contemporary engravings, cartoons and postcards. Campaign materials such as buttons, music, posters and ribbons survive from the elections of 1900, 1904 and 1912; three original recordings of Roosevelt’s speeches are also among the memorabilia. There are books by and about Roosevelt, including signed first editions.

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