Theodore's uncle and neighbor, Robert B. Roosevelt

Theodore’s uncle and childhood neighbor, Robert B. Roosevelt

I was in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress earlier today looking at the Theodore Roosevelt Papers when I came across something fun. It was a letter that Theodore had written to his father’s brother, Robert Roosevelt. What was so neat about it was that the letter was of the “catch up” variety. Theodore, though now president, was sending off a quick missive the way one does with family. Today it would have been an email.

Theodore Roosevelt wrote well over 100,000 letters in his lifetime to people of all walks of life. Some of the letters Roosevelt wrote to his children over the years were written with the idea that they would be published some day. And indeed some of them were. The diaries of political figures are often written in this same way.

Roosevelt quick note, which he sent off in 1902 less than a year after becoming president if I remember correctly, was not in that spirit. It was just a note to “Uncle Bob” saying they would all have to get together and catch up when they all had the time. Coming across the letter 112 years was a brief break in the day.

(image/Library of Congress)