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

Pillow Fights with the Boys

White House, March 19, 1906.


During the four days Mother was away I made a point of seeing the children each evening for three-quarters of an hour or so. Archie and Quentin are really great playmates. One night I came up-stairs and found Quentin playing the pianola as hard as he could, while Archie would suddenly start from the end of the hall where the pianola was, and, accompanied by both the dogs, race as hard as he could the whole length of the White House clean to the other end of the hall and then tear back again. Another evening as I came up-stairs I found Archie and Quentin having a great play, chuckling with laughter, Archie driving Quentin by his suspenders, which were fixed to the end of a pair of woollen reins. Then they would ambush me and we would have a vigorous pillow-fight, and after five or ten minutes of this we would go into Mother’s room, and I would read them the book Mother had been reading them, “The Legend of Montrose.” We just got through it the very last evening. Both Skip and Jack have welcomed Mother back with frantic joy, and this morning came in and lay on her bed as soon as she had finished breakfast—for she did not come down to either breakfast or lunch, as she is going to spend the night at Baltimore with the Bonapartes.

I was so interested in your reading “Phineas Finn” that I ordered a copy myself. I have also ordered DeQuincey’s works, as I find we have not got them at the White House.