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Theodore Roosevelt

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“I think it would be fine if we could have a repetition of that luncheon”

Theodore Roosevelt, 1858–1919.  26th President of the United States.  Typed Letter Signed, T. Roosevelt, one page, 6½” x 7¾”, on stationery of The Outlook, New York, [New York], December 21, 1911. 

Roosevelt writes to famed social work leader John Adams Kingsbury, mentioning a report and a luncheon of social workers that he had attended with Kingsbury eight months before.  He writes, in full:  “I will look at that report with the greatest pleasure, and  little later I think it would be fine if we could have a repetition of that luncheon.  /  Sincerely yours . . . .”

Kingsbury (1876–1956) was one of the country’s leading social work leaders 1911 to 1935.  A member of Roosevelt’s Progressive “Bull Moose” Party, Kingsbury helped to convince Roosevelt to include in the 1912 Progressive Party platform social and industrial reforms that both the Republican and Democratic Parties later endorsed and enacted into federal law.

Kingsbury began a two-year term as the director of the prestigious New York City Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor in 1911.  He later became the city’s Commissioner of Public Charities, the most important public welfare position in the country.  Kingsbury also served as a member of the executive committee of the New York State Charities Aid Association and as the secretary and a director of the Milbank Foundation, a health research agency.  After World War I, served as assistant director of general relief for the American Red Cross in France, and he organized American relief efforts in Serbia, touring Serbia on behalf of the Serbian Child Welfare Association of America, of which he was the director. 

Roosevelt has signed this letter with a large 3½” black ink signature.  The letter has one normal horizontal mailing fold, which runs between the typed closing and Roosevelt’s signature.  The letter has a staple hole in the blank upper right area and shows general handling and soiling.  Overall, the letter is in very good to fine condition.


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