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Roosevelt, Theodore (1858-1919) to John G. Bourke

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC08001 Author/Creator: Roosevelt, Theodore (1858-1919) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Typed letter signed Date: 9 February 1893 Pagination: 2 p. ; 26.6 x 20.4 cm

Summary of Content: "I hate to bring in any question of race origin into our politics, and I want to see us all act simply and purely as Americans."

Full Transcript: February 9, 1893.
Capt. John G. Bourke,
Third Cavalry,
C.f. War Department, Washington, D.C.
My Dear Captain Bourke:
I am glad you saw my allusion to your book. I make ...a religious point of puffing it on all occasions. I wish you could see the speech too. I should like to have you write a paper on the lines you suggest. All of the incidents you wrote of [struck: I have known of] [inserted: and names you mentioned are familiar to me.] In my speech, however, I was, as a matter of fact, considering the thing chiefly from the American standpoint. I hate to bring in any question of race origin into our politics, and I want to see us all act simply and purely as Americans; in other words, my dear sir, act precisely as you have always acted. To me it is equally abhorrent to object to a man because he is of a certain race origin, or to bid for the voters of that race origin by a plank put it in specially for them as such, and not as American citizens. I can no more understand , for instance, voting against a man because he is Catholic by conviction, and Irishman by descent, than I can understand putting in an American political platform an Irish home-rule plank, with which [2] we have nothing at all to do. I know you sympathize with me in both these respects. I must have a chance for a real talk with you when next you come to Washington.
Cordially yours,
Theodore Roosevelt


See More

People: Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919
Bourke, John G., 1846-1896

Historical Era: Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900

Subjects: Progressive EraPresidentPoliticsAfrican American HistoryVice President

Sub Era:

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