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

A Tribute to Archie

White House, March 11, 1906.

I agree pretty much to all your views both about Thackeray and Dickens, although you care for some of Thackeray of which I am not personally fond. Mother loves it all. Mother, by the way, has been reading “The Legend of Montrose” to the little boys and they are absorbed in it. She finds it hard to get anything that will appeal to both Archie and Quentin, as they possess such different natures.

I am quite proud of what Archie did the day before yesterday. Some of the bigger boys were throwing a baseball around outside of Mr. Sidwell’s school and it hit one of them square in the eye, breaking all the blood-vessels and making an extremely dangerous hurt. The other boys were all rattled and could do nothing, finally sneaking off when Mr. Sidwell appeared. Archie stood by and himself promptly suggested that the boy should go to Dr. Wilmer. Accordingly he scorched down to Dr. Wilmer’s and said there was an emergency case for one of Mr. Sidwell’s boys, who was hurt in the eye, and could he bring him. Dr. Wilmer, who did not know Archie was there, sent out word to of course do so. So Archie scorched back on his wheel, got the boy (I do not know why Mr. Sidwell did not take him himself) and led him down to Dr. Wilmer’s, who attended to his eye and had to send him at once to a hospital, Archie waiting until he heard the result and then coming home. Dr. Wilmer told me about it and said if Archie had not acted with such promptness the boy (who was four or five years older than Archie, by the way) would have lost his sight.

What a heavenly place a sandbox is for two little boys! Archie and Quentin play industriously in it during most of their spare moments when out in the grounds. I often look out of the office windows when I have a score of Senators and Congressmen with me and see them both hard at work arranging caverns or mountains, with runways for their marbles.

Good-bye, blessed fellow. I shall think of you very often during the coming week, and I am so very glad that Mother is to be with you at your confirmation.