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PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 04/06/1917 - HFSID 50444

THE DAY THE U.S. ENTERED WORLD WAR I, HE WRITES FUTURE CONGRESSMAN HAMILTON FISH TO COMMEND HIM FOR HAVING SET UP MILITARY TRAINING CAMPS FOR YOUNG MEN. THEODORE ROOSEVELT. Typed Letter Signed: "Theodore Roosevelt", 1 page, 7¼x8½. New York, 1917 April 6. To Hon.

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THE DAY THE U.S. ENTERED WORLD WAR I, HE WRITES FUTURE CONGRESSMAN HAMILTON FISH TO COMMEND HIM FOR HAVING SET UP MILITARY TRAINING CAMPS FOR YOUNG MEN.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT
. Typed Letter Signed: "Theodore Roosevelt", 1 page, 7¼x8½. New York, 1917 April 6. To Hon. Hamilton Fish, Jr., New York. In full: "I most heartily endorse the work of the Junior Patriotic League. There is nothing more essential at this time than to teach applied patriotism, practical patriotism, to our boys and young men. This is what you are doing. Moreover, I especially congratulate you on sending the boys to training camps. It is most unfortunate that at present those camps should be so largely confined to sons of people of means. Every boy in our land should have a chance to go there, and it is fine that your body should give this chance to so many, who otherwise would be unable to go." After the sinking of the Lusitania in May 1915, a group of fifteen Harvard graduates, including THEODORE ROOSEVELT (Class of 1880) and HAMILTON FISH, JR. (Class of 1910) had sent a telegram to President Wilson, demanding that military measures be taken immediately. The President, however, did not find preparedness a pressing matter, prompting Roosevelt and two others to approach General Leonard Wood to hold summer camps for the military training of business and professional men. These camps were held in Plattsburg, New York under the auspices of the Military Training Camps Association. Although the camps attracted businessmen and political notables who paid their own way, they were also attended by younger recruits, including Roosevelt's sons, Ted, Quentin and Archie, and their cousin, Philip. These camps may have been the model for Fish's camps for young boys. After the war began and his sons went off to fight, Roosevelt wanted to fight too. He besieged the War Department and the White House to authorize his raising a volunteer division with his commanding one of its brigades. His request was rejected, which fueled his ire against Wilson. On July 15, 1917, less than three months after this letter was written, Fish had the opportunity to demonstrate his own patriotism. He was commissioned Captain of Company K, Fifteenth New York National Guard (colored), which became the Three Hundred and Sixty-ninth Infantry. For his distinguished service in WWI, Fish was decorated with the Silver Star and the Croix de Guerre. Fish had previously served as a Progressive (Theodore Roosevelt's Party) in the New York State Assembly (1914-1916). After the War, he represented New York in the U.S. Congress (1920-1945). He was one of three Republican Congressmen ritually lampooned in the speeches of President Franklin Roosevelt: "Martin, Barton and Fish." Fish died in 1991 at the age of 103. Creased, soiled and folds (the creases and folds touch signature).

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