Letter to His Children by Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt and Churchill are my favorite political leader. They are both brave, confident and are man of letter. They have achieved so much in politic and are super busy men, but they still find time to write so many books. You can tell they have self control and very good at time management, and most importantly, they have very charming personality.

I want to know more about these two great leaders. Thus I start reading books written by them. I have just finished Churchill’s World War Two Vol 1 and before I start Vol 2, I decided to read some of the writing by Roosevelt.

I have a glimpse from John Burroughs’ Camping with President Roosevelt. In this book, Old John admired the manly and friendly personality of the president and his extensive knowledge of natural history.

In his letter to Children, Roosevelt has described what he see during his trip–Horses, cats, dogs, cougar, birds, deer. It is pretty funny to see president mentioned every family members, including pets and horses in his letter. Roosevelt has been a great playmate of young kids for quite a long time and regret being old and eased to be playmate for his young friends.

Roosevelt has a daughter Alice with his first wife Alice Hathaway Lee, who died when giving birth to the baby. He has another five children with his second wife Edith Kermit Carow, his childhood and family friend: Theodore “Ted” III (1887–1944), Kermit (1889–1943), Ethel (1891–1977), Archibald (1894–1979), and Quentin (1897–1918). Relationship between Mr and Mrs Roosevelt and Alice were not very good. Most of the letters were written for his five children.


When the kids are young, Roosevelt would draw pictures in the letters, which were cherished and reread by his children for many times.

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When his children were getting older and gone to school, he gave some advice to them from time to time in a very friendly manner.

I am entirely satisfied with your standing, both in your studies and in athletics. I want you to do well in your sports, and I want even more to have you do well with your books; but I do not expect you to stand first in either, if so to stand could cause you overwork and hurt your health. I always believe in going hard at everything, whether it is Latin or mathematics, boxing or football, but at the same time I want to keep the sense of proportion. It is never worth while to absolutely exhaust one’s self or to take big chances unless for an adequate object. I want you to keep in training the faculties which would make you, if the need arouse, able to put your last ounce of pluck and strength into a contest. But I do not want you to squander these qualities.

A man must develop his physical prowess up to a certain point; but after he has reached that point there are other things that count more.

You would have had nothing like special training (in Army or Navy), and you would be so ordered about , and arranged for ,that you would have less independence of character than you could gain from them. You would have had fewer temptations; but you would have had less chance to develop the qualities which overcome temptations and show that a man has individual initiative.


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