26th President. Typed letter signed (TLS) “Theodore Roosevelt” AS PRESIDENT, December 30, 1907, The White House, Washington stationery to “Mrs. W.E. Roosevelt” in New York City [the wife of Roosevelt’s cousin William Emlen Roosevelt], in full:
Just a line to say how we enjoyed Phil. He is a dear boy and we are all genuinely attached to him, from Archie and Quentin – to whom he behaves as the very most attractive type of elder brother – to Edith and myself. We have past four pleasant days at Pine Knot and I am now with the ‘beasts at Ephesus.’
Give my love to Emlen, to dear Aunt Lizzie, and to all your family.
In very good condition, mailing fold.
Highly uncommon letter with amazing references to TR’s family. His son Archie became a distinguished veteran of both World Wars as well as a banker. Quentin became a pilot during WWI and was shot down over France in 1918. Edith was Roosevelt’s second wife and First Lady.
Philip James Roosevelt (1892-1941) was the son of Roosevelt’s cousin and financial advisor Emlen.
Edith had sought out a retreat where TR could relax and be close to nature. In 1905, she purchased Pine Knot, a cottage located in Abemarle County, Virginia, and without indoor plumbing or heat. Roosevelt only made 8 visits to the retreat – with one referenced in the letter offered here.
Roosevelt also makes mention of a Biblical passage from 1 Corinthians 15:32, in which Paul wrote, “If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.'” Ephesus was a Roman city in modern Turkey, where Paul proselytized and wrote several of his letters to the church in Corinth.