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    Theodore Roosevelt Typed Letter Signed. Two pages, 7.75" x 9.5", New York City; August 1, 1914. Addressed to Richard Washburn Child (1881-1935) on Theodore Roosevelt's personalized stationery. He writes about the uphill battle to reunify the Republican party, and the efforts of the two "machines," William Barnes and Charles F. Murphy, to block any progressive reforms. It reads in part:

    "...Your plan is a new one to me, and it may well be the best one; but the needs differ so in different localities that about all I can say is that I am entirely with the local people of your stamp in whatever they wish to do in the several localities. If Fuller makes such a campaign as you suggest against Grafton Cushing, why couldn't he say straight out that he is standing for the Progressive platform because that is the platform of Abraham Lincoln Republicanism applied to the needs and problems of the present day?

    To me names mean very little. But I appreciate that they mean a great deal to the average man and that we have got to take that fact into account. If there is a considerable Democratic revolt against the Democratic party, I would do my best to make common sense with the men engaged in it, provided they were men of good character and would conscientiously work for our principles even though they declined to accept our name. I would do precisely the same thing in the case of the Republicans. Here in New York, for instance, the one first essential is to get clean and honest government, to try to do away with the two machines led by [William] Barnes and [Charles F.] Murphy. We cannot get any of the social and industrial reforms first is to put the cart before the horse, so far as this state is concerned; and the average citizen would think we were insincere or unimportant if we tried to get him into such a fight. What I am trying to do now, for instance, is to get the Hennessey Democrats, who are against Murphy, and the up-state Republicans, who are honestly against Barnes and who really do agree with nine-tenths, at least, of our principles, to join with us in a common fight against the common enemy. Win or lose, it was the only thing there was to do this year." Signed, "Theodore Roosevelt."

    In 1914, Roosevelt had begun to consider running for president once more. However, he knew that the fractured Republican party, especially its more conservative leaders, would never nominate him again. He decided to attempt to unify the party once more, but was hindered by "Boss Murphy" and Barnes, prominent and influential political figures with a conservative focus. Murphy was the longest-serving head of New York City's Tammany Hall and heavily influenced New York politics for decades while Barnes was a journalist and Chairman of the New York State Republican Party. Roosevelt declared he would not support any state ticket pushed by Barnes, who had supported Taft's nomination in 1912 over his own. In an editorial from the same month, he accused Barnes of corruption and conspiring with Murphy to block any progressive reforms in the party. A week before this letter, Barnes brought a libel suit against Roosevelt. The following year it would be ruled in Roosevelt's favor, forcing Barnes to essentially retire from public life.

    Condition: Gently soiled with smoothed folds.


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    6th Saturday 10:50 am CT
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