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Roosevelt, Theodore (1858-1919) to W. S. Rainsford

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06881 Author/Creator: Roosevelt, Theodore (1858-1919) Place Written: Oyster Bay, New York Type: Typed letter signed Date: 10 July 1915 Pagination: 2 p. ; 24 x 19.6 cm

Summary of Content: Writes of Creel: "He can only find inconsistencies precisely as he can find them in the writings of Washington or Lincoln- that is, an occasional honest and necessary change of mind and ...circumstances which necessitated a change on my part, precisely as Lincoln's attitude toward emancipation changed in 1861 as compared to 1858 and in 1863 as compared to 1861." With insertions and corrections in Roosevelt's hand. Some water damage to inks.

Background Information:

Full Transcript: July 10th, 1915

My dear Dr. Rainsford:
I thank you for your letter; and I appreciate your having written to Hapgood. When I see you, I will tell you why I ...never can help grinning sardonically over Hapgood's attacks upon me. As for George Creel, he is an absolute liar. I have detected him again and again in wilful and deliberate falsehoods, some about myself, some about Governor Johnson. I have not seen the article in question and unless it is to gratify you I won't look at it. You ask in your letter to Hapgood, "What man who has done or said anything worth while can stand the test of having some one go over all he has said or written or testified, both [struck: for] [inserted: to] friends or foes, in peace or in war, all of it picked on for some unrelated accusing sentence?" From this I gather that George Creel has been trying [struck: to do this] [inserted: much action.] I am willing to bet that he cannot find anything to my discredit in anything I have said or written or testified to under any conditions[inserted: ,] or in anything I have done [inserted: ;]and that he can only find inconsistencies[inserted, struck: ,] precisely as he can find them in the writings of Washington or Lincoln - that is, an occasional honest and necessary change of mind [inserted: ,] and, more often, a change of circumstances which necessitated a change on my part, precisely as Lincoln's attitude toward Emancipation changed in 1861 as compared to 1858 and in 1863 as compared to 1861. Of course, if the sentences are
pi[struck: v][inserted: c]ked out apart from their context and twisted to mean something which they obviously do not mean, then the man thus picking them out is guilty of the meanest form of mendacity and is unfit to associate with decent people and t [2] the man who employs him to write for [struck: the] [inserted: a] magazine is not much better than he is.
When I get back from the west, I want to see you.
Faithfully yours,
Theodore Roosevelt

Dr. W. S. Rainsford,
Ridgefield, Conn.



























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People: Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919

Historical Era: Progressive Era to New Era, 1900-1929

Subjects: Presidents Discussing PresidentsPresidentEmancipation ProclamationEmancipationAfrican American HistorySlaveryCivil WarVice President

Sub Era: World War I

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