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

Spring in Washington

White House, March 20, 1905.

Poor John Hay has been pretty sick. He is going away to try to pick up his health by a sea voyage and rest. I earnestly hope he succeeds, not only because of my great personal fondness for him, but because from the standpoint of the nation it would be very difficult to replace him. Every Sunday on my way home from church I have been accustomed to stop in and see him. The conversation with him was always delightful, and during these Sunday morning talks we often decided important questions of public policy.

I paid a scuttling visit to New York on Friday to give away Eleanor at her marriage, and to make two speeches—one to the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and one to the Sons of the American Revolution.

Mother and I have been riding a good deal, and the country is now lovely. Moreover, Ted and Matt and I have begun playing tennis.

The birds have come back. Not only song-sparrows and robins, but a winter wren, purple finches and tufted titmice are singing in the garden; and the other morning early Mother and I were waked up by the loud singing of a cardinal bird in the magnolia tree just outside our windows.

Yesterday afternoon Archie and Quentin each had a little boy to see him. They climbed trees, sailed boats in the fountain, and dug in the sand-box like woodcocks.

Poor Mr. Frank Travers died last night. I was very sorry. He has been a good friend to me.