Home  »  Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children  »  (To Joel Chandler Harris)

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

Uncle Remus and White House Pets

(To Joel Chandler Harris)

White House, June 9, 1902.

Your letter was a great relief to Kermit, who always becomes personally interested in his favorite author, and who has been much worried by your sickness. He would be more than delighted with a copy of “Daddy Jake.” Alice has it already, but Kermit eagerly wishes it.

Last night Mrs. Roosevelt and I were sitting out on the porch at the back of the White House, and were talking of you and wishing you could be sitting there with us. It is delightful at all times, but I think especially so after dark. The monument stands up distinct but not quite earthly in the night, and at this season the air is sweet with the jasmine and honeysuckle.

All of the younger children are at present absorbed in various pets, perhaps the foremost of which is a puppy of the most orthodox puppy type. Then there is Jack, the terrier, and Sailor Boy, the Chesapeake Bay dog; and Eli, the most gorgeous macaw, with a bill that I think could bite through boiler plate, who crawls all over Ted, and whom I view with dark suspicion; and Jonathan, the piebald rat, of most friendly and affectionate nature, who also crawls all over everybody; and the flying squirrel, and two kangaroo rats; not to speak of Archie’s pony, Algonquin, who is the most absolute pet of them all.

Mrs. Roosevelt and I have, I think, read all your stories to the children, and some of them over and over again.