PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 07/24/1906 - HFSID 15611
Sale Price $2,890.00
As President he signs a typed letter professing a disinterested attitude toward a personal dispute between two US diplomats, one of them the uncle of TR's prospective son-in-law. Framed in the Gallery of History style to 40x23.
TLS: "Theodore Roosevelt" as President, 2 pages, 6¾x8¾. On White House stationery, but written from Oyster Bay, N.Y., 1906 July 24. To David R. Ogden, New York. In full: "I appreciate entirely your natural and disinterested desire to do whatever you can on behalf of Mr. MacNutt. I have taken no official or public action whatever about him, and as at present advised I do not see that it would be either wise or proper for me to do as you request in reference to sending anyone to see Mr. Snowden. Mr. Root has already furnished a copy of all the official information that we have on file. As far as I know, this contains the only official statements that have ever been made on behalf of the administration in the matter, which occurred thirteen years ago and which it does not seem to me calls for any further action whatever by the State Department or President. When Secretary Root returns I shall go over the matter with him, but I do not believe that he will advise me save as he has already advised me, which is as outlined." The words "or President" were added by Roosevelt in holograph. In 1892, FRANCIS A. MacNUTT was Secretary of the U.S. legation in Madrid, Spain under Minister A. LOWDEN SNOWDEN. In 1905, U.S. Ambassador to Austria-Hungary Bellamy Storer and his wife Maria Longworth Storer were spreading rumors that MacNutt had divulged official correspondence to a Spanish ecclesiastic while serving in Madrid 13 years earlier. What made the situation difficult for Roosevelt was that Storer's nephew, Nicholas Longworth, was engaged to the President's daughter, Alice, whom he married on February 17, 1906, five months before this letter was written. It was claimed that the rumor was started by MacNutt's superior, Snowden. In February 1893, MacNutt had been transferred from Madrid to Paris after Snowden wired the State Department that he could not "rely upon [MacNutt's] loyalties". In 1905, while serving the State Department at the Vatican, MacNutt was accused of an offense against the Vatican but was exonerated by a Roman court. It was at this time that the issue of MacNutt's past was brought up. The recipient of Roosevelt's letter, DAVID R. OGDEN, was a cousin of MacNutt's wife, Margaret Van Cortlandt Ogden, and worked tirelessly to remove any treasonous innuendoes associated with MacNutt's name. Although in this letter President Roosevelt maintains his position of non-involvement in the controversy, history shows he conducted his own investigation through his trusted adviser William Dawes Foulke, U.S. Ambassador to Italy Henry White and Secretary of State ELIHU ROOT. The United States was involved in delicate negotiations with King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy at the time in an attempt to broker a maritime arms reduction agreement among European nations. Italy and the Vatican were engaged in a power struggle for political control of Italy. The Storers claimed President Roosevelt was interfering in Papal politics by exerting his influence to have his friend, Archbishop Ireland, elevated to Cardinal. The Storers' meddling in the MacNutt and Ireland affairs caused the President to remove Bellamy Storer as Ambassador in March 1906, a few weeks after Storer's nephew married his daughter. Ink slightly smudged, light "halo" around signature. Lightly soiled on signature page. Fine condition. Framed in the Gallery of History style: 40½x23.
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