Theodore Roosevelt Letters to the Saltonstall Family
This series contains nine letters from Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) to Leverett Saltonstall (1825-1895) and his son, Richard Middlecott Saltonstall (1859-1922).
Theodore Roosevelt had a longstanding relationship with the Saltonstall family. Roosevelt was a classmate of Richard Middlecott Saltonstall in the Harvard Class of 1880, and was also related to the Saltonstalls by marriage. Richard’s mother, Rose Lee, was the aunt of Roosevelt’s first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee (1861-1884).
Roosevelt’s 15 Nov. 1885 letter to Leverett Saltonstall (1825-1895) begins “Dear Uncle Leverett,” and congratulates Saltonstall on his appointment as collector of the port of Boston by President Grover Cleveland. Even though the two men were active in different political parties, they remained close. In 1893, Roosevelt presented Leverett Saltonstall with a set of portraits of Sir Richard Saltonstall and his wife that had been given to him by Lord North. In a series of three letters, Roosevelt attempts to help Saltonstall write to Lord North to learn more about the portraits, but neither correspondent knows the correct way to address a letter to a Lord. “Dear Lord so-and-so,” suggests Roosevelt. He eventually discovers the proper form of address from “Chamberlain, the new M.P.,” most likely Joseph Chamberlain, father of future prime minister Neville Chamberlain.
Roosevelt’s letters to his classmate Richard include an 1891 congratulatory note on Richard’s engagement to Eleanor Brooks (1867-1961) and a sympathy note on the death of Richard’s father Leverett. The two classmates continued their friendship even after Roosevelt became president, as evidenced by a 1901 note on Executive Mansion stationery asking Saltonstall to “bring down some of the fellows to see me” and “take dinner at the White House.” A poignant 1905 letter thanks Saltonstall for taking an interest in Roosevelt’s son Theodore, Jr. (1887-1944), reflecting on the difficult time Ted was having adjusting to life as the son of the president.
Letters to Leverett Saltonstall (1825-1895)
Letter from Theodore Roosevelt to Leverett Saltonstall, 15 November 1885
"I must send you just a line with my most cordial and earnest congratulations"
Letter from Theodore Roosevelt to Leverett Saltonstall, 29 July 1893
"I heartily appreciate what you so kindly say about my service as civil service commissioner."
Letters to Richard Middlecott Saltonstall (1859-1922)
Letter from Theodore Roosevelt to Richard Middlecott Saltonstall, 15 August ...
"I know of no man who more deserves a good wife than you, and of no one better fitted to make a girl happy."
Letter from Theodore Roosevelt to Richard Middlecott Saltonstall, 24 April 1895 ...
"I loved and respected your father, and I deeply feel for all of you..."