By the end of 1898, Theodore Roosevelt was on top of the world, a perch he relished and where he sincerely believed he belonged. Earlier that summer in Cuba, he and his Rough Riders managed to scale San Juan Hill and defeat the defending Spanish garrison during the short-lived, Spanish-American War. The battle itself become a public relations boon for Roosevelt and his men. Already a seasoned politician and a man of some fame, TR returned to New York and rode the larger tide of national popularity to the highest office in his home state, the governorship of New York.
Among TR’s letters of congratulations on his election victory was one written by a west Texan by the name of T.A. Bledsoe, president of an organization in Abilene, calling itself the, “Democratic Rough Riders”.
As the name implies, the organization was inspired in equal measure by their political affiliation, the Democratic Party, and the martial exploits of governor-elect, Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican. This post highlights Roosevelt’s hand-written note in response to Bledsoe’s letter.
It’s short, to the point, and memorable, like TR himself. Enjoy.