Theodore Roosevelt Typed Letter Signed. One page, on Pullman Private Car stationery, 5" x 7.8", [Maryland]; May 3, 1912. A to J.C. Elliott of Jacksonville, Illinois, concerning his recent victories in the 1912 Republican presidential primaries:
Former president Roosevelt wrote this letter to J.C. Elliott (unidentified) from his private Pullman car "Pilgrim", while on a two-day campaign swing through Maryland, giving speeches in such places as Salisbury, Havre de Grace, and Baltimore. Although William Howard Taft was his handpicked successor to the presidency, Roosevelt and his progressive allies had become disenchanted with Taft. Taft not only replaced many of Roosevelt's cabinet, but also appeared to turn his back on the progressive agenda favored by the former president and his followers. Progressivism had risen in popularity in the state level and its adherents feared that Taft's policies were threatening its potential success at the national level.
Roosevelt decided to join the race against Taft for the Republican nomination in 1912, entering the primary contests. As he noted in this letter offered here, he was victorious in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Nebraska, and Oregon. He ended up winning nine of the twelve primaries while Taft only won one. Yet when the Republicans held their national convention in Chicago from June 18 to June 22, Taft controlled the party machinery and received the nomination. Roosevelt was enraged and he and his supporters formed the Progressive Party (popularly known as the "Bull Moose" party), which chose the former president as its standard-bearer.
The 1912 presidential election was won by Democratic candidate Woodrow Wilson, with 42% of the popular and 435 electoral votes in a four-way race, which included Roosevelt and Taft. Roosevelt's popularity carried his Progressive Party into a second place finish, winning more votes than Taft and the Republicans.
Condition: The letter is in fine condition, with a light horizontal fold in the middle. Fine condition with light horizontal fold. Item #821
"May 3rd, 1912. My dear Mr. Elliott: I never write sentiments-not even as admirable a sentiment as that of Abraham Lincoln's-but I agree with you as to the good sense of the voters at the primaries in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Nebraska and Oregon... Theodore Roosevelt."