Letter to Kermit Roosevelt
Washington, November 10, 1904
Darling Kermit: I am stunned by the overwhelming victory we have won. I had no conception that such a thing was possible. I thought it probable we should win, but was quite prepared to be defeated, and of course had not the slightest idea that there was such a tidal wave. If you will look back at my letter you will see that we carried not only all the States I put down as probably republican, but all those that I put down as doubtful, and all but one of those that I put down as probably democratic. The only States that went against me were those in which no free discussion is allowed and in which fraud and violence have rendered the voting a farce. I have the greatest popular majority and the greatest electoral majority ever given to a candidate for President.
On the evening of the election I got back from Oyster Bay, where I had voted, soon after half past six. At that time I knew nothing of the returns and did not expect to find out anything definite for two or three hours; and had been endeavoring not to think of the result, but to school myself to accept it as a man ought to, whichever way it went. But as soon as I got in the White House Ted met me with the news that Buffalo and Rochester had sent in their returns already and that they showed enormous gains for me. Within the next twenty minutes enough returns were received from precincts and districts in Chicago, Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts to make it evident that there was a tremendous drift my way, and by the time we sat down to dinner at half past seven my election was assured. Mrs. Cortelyou was with us at dinner, just as interested and excited as we were. Right after dinner members of the Cabinet and friends began to come in, and we had a celebration that would have been perfect if only you had been present. Archie, fairly plastered with badges, was acting as messenger between the telegraph operators and me, and bringing me continually telegram after telegram which I read aloud. I longed for you very much as all of us did, for of course this was the day of greatest triumph I ever had had or ever could have, and I was very proud and happy. But I tell you, Kermit, it was a great comfort to feel, all during the last days when affairs looked doubtful, that no matter how things came out the really important thing was the lovely life I have with mother and with you children, and that compared to this home life everything else was of very small importance from the standpoint of happiness.
I have been reading Robinson's poems again and like them as much as ever. Your loving father.
Note: Ted was Roosevelt’s son, Theodore Roosevelt III. Mrs. Cortelyou was the wife of the Republican National Committee Chairman. Archie was Roosevelt’s son, Archibald.
Source: Elting E. Morison, ed„ The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt vol. 4, The Square Deal 1903-1905 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1951), 1024-1026.
Theodore Roosevelt, Letter to Kermit Roosevelt Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/345955