Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. 1919.

Incidents of Home-Coming

Oyster Bay, May 31st, 1901.

I enclose some Filipino Revolutionary postage stamps. Maybe some of the boys would like them.

Have you made up your mind whether you would like to try shooting the third week in August or the last week in July, or would you rather wait until you come back when I can find out something more definite from Mr. Post?

We very much wished for you while we were at the (San Francisco) Exposition. By night it was especially beautiful. Alice and I also wished that you could have been with us when we were out riding at Geneseo. Major Wadsworth put me on a splendid big horse called Triton, and sister on a thoroughbred mare. They would jump anything. It was sister’s first experience, but she did splendidly and rode at any fence at which I would first put Triton. I did not try anything very high, but still some of the posts and rails were about four feet high, and it was enough to test sister’s seat. Of course, all we had to do was to stick on as the horses jumped perfectly and enjoyed it quite as much as we did. The first four or five fences that I went over I should be ashamed to say how far I bounced out of the saddle, but after a while I began to get into my seat again. It has been a good many years since I have jumped a fence.

Mother stopped off at Albany while sister went on to Boston, and I came on here alone Tuesday afternoon. St. Gaudens, the sculptor, and Dunne (Mr. Dooley) were on the train and took lunch with us. It was great fun meeting them and I liked them both. Kermit met me in high feather, although I did not reach the house until ten o’clock, and he sat by me and we exchanged anecdotes while I took my supper. Ethel had put an alarm clock under her head so as to be sure and wake up, but although it went off she continued to slumber profoundly, as did Quentin. Archie waked up sufficiently to tell me that he had found another turtle just as small as the already existing treasure of the same kind. This morning Quentin and Black Jack have neither of them been willing to leave me for any length of time. Black Jack simply lies curled up in a chair, but as Quentin is most conversational, he has added an element of harassing difficulty to my effort to answer my accumulated correspondence.

Archie announced that he had seen “the Baltimore orioles catching fish!” This seemed to warrant investigation; but it turned out he meant barn swallows skimming the water.

The President not only sent “picture letters” to his own children, but an especial one to Miss Sarah Schuyler Butler, daughter of Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, President of Columbia University, who had written to him a little note of congratulation on his first birthday in the White House.

White House, Nov. 3d, 1901.

I liked your birthday note very much; and my children say I should draw you two pictures in return.

We have a large blue macaw—Quentin calls him a polly-parrot—who lives in the greenhouse, and is very friendly, but makes queer noises. He eats bread, potatoes, and coffee grains.

The children have a very cunning pony. He is a little pet, like a dog, but he plays tricks on them when they ride him.

He bucked Ethel over his head the other day.

Your father will tell you that these are pictures of the UNPOLISHED STONE PERIOD.

Give my love to your mother.

Your father’s friend,