Theodore Roosevelt had many different careers during his lifetime, including author, State Assemblyman, cattle rancher, New York City Police Commissioner, U.S. Civil Service Commissioner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Lieutenant Colonel in the 1st U.S. Volunteer Calvary during the Spanish American War, New York State Governor, Vice President, and President of the United States of America.
In this letter, Theodore Roosevelt responds to a request for a biographical sketch of his life. He provides a brief history of his family and schooling, and his fondness for horses, hunting, and the Western plains. He also includes further detail regarding his political career. Written on pages torn from a journal.
Mrs. Bellamy Storer encouraged TR to sit for this portrait after his return from the Spanish American War in 1898. In 1902 Roosevelt agreed to be painted in his Rough Rider uniform by Fedor Encke. In a letter to Mrs. Storer in December in 1902, Roosevelt said "Just at this time I could have received no other present which would have appealed to me so much as the picture by Encke, and I thank you for it with all my heart. I took an immense fancy to the picture. I cannot say that I think it looks particularly like me, but most emphatically it does look the way I should like to have my children and possible grandchildren think that I looked! I have always wanted to have a picture taken in uniform, although I have felt shamefaced about sitting for such a picture in view of my very brief military career. So I do wish you to feel that you have given me the very thing of all others I wanted" (Theodore Roosevelt Papers, Library of Congress).
In April, 1898, TR resigned his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to join the 1st Volunteer Cavalry. He wrote to a friend that "for the last year I have preached war with Spain. I should feel distinctly ashamed if I now failed to practice what I have preached." He went to war in uniforms made by Brooks Brothers, 11 extra pairs of eyeglasses, and several felt Rough Rider hats.
Western Union Telegram from Theodore Roosevelt to General Leonard Wood in Santiago, Cuba announcing Roosevelt's election as New York State Governor. The handwritten message states "Am elected -- Roosevelt." Leonard Wood served alongside Theodore Roosevelt as Colonel of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry during the Spanish-American War. While Roosevelt returned state-side with his "Rough Riders" in August 1898, Leonard Wood remained in Cuba with the 2nd Volunteer Cavalry.