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

Big Jim White

White House, Dec. 3, 1904.

The other day while Major Loeffler was marshalling the usual stream of visitors from England, Germany, the Pacific slope, etc., of warm admirers from remote country places, of bridal couples, etc., etc., a huge man about six feet four, of middle age, but with every one of his great sinews and muscles as fit as ever, came in and asked to see me on the ground that he was a former friend. As the line passed he was introduced to me as Mr. White. I greeted him in the usual rather perfunctory manner, and the huge, rough-looking fellow shyly remarked, “Mr. Rosevelt, maybe you don’t recollect me. I worked on the roundup with you twenty years ago next spring. My outfit joined yours at the mouth of the Box Alder.” I gazed at him, and at once said, “Why it is big Jim.” He was a great cow-puncher and is still riding the range in northwestern Nebraska. When I knew him he was a tremendous fighting man, but always liked me. Twice I had to interfere to prevent him from half murdering cowboys from my own ranch. I had him at lunch, with a mixed company of home and foreign notabilities.

Don’t worry about the lessons, old boy. I know you are studying hard. Don’t get cast down. Sometimes in life, both at school and afterwards, fortune will go against any one, but if he just keeps pegging away and doesn’t lose his courage things always take a turn for the better in the end.