Roosevelt, Theodore

1913 TLS during his Marquette, Michigan lawsuit for libel against an editor who accused TR of drunkeness!

Price: $750.00

Description:
(1858-1919) “Rough Rider” 1898, NY Governor 1899-1901, Vice President 1901, assumed presidency on assassination of McKinley; President 1901-09. Awarded 1906 Peace Prize, 1st US recipient of a Nobel Prize. On May 26, 1913, in a widely covered Marquette, Michigan trial, Theodore Roosevelt sued the editor of the conservative Republican Ishpeming Iron Ore newspaper, George Newett, for libel. Iron Ore editorials were often inflammatory with unfounded commentary. Accusations of drunkenness followed Roosevelt in the 1912 presidential campaign, and he vowed to sue the next paper that printed such accusation. During The 1912 campaign, TR bashed Marquette GOP candidates as corporate lackeys. Newett wrote a scathing editorial, "The Roosevelt Way", saying: "Roosevelt lies and curses in a most disgusting way; he gets drunk, too, and that not infrequently, and all his intimates know about it. All who oppose him are wreckers of the country, liars, knaves, and undesirables. He alone is pure and entitled to a halo. Rats. For so great a fighter, self-styled, he is the poorest loser we ever knew!" En route to Milwaukee where he was to speak, Roosevelt retained a lawyer to file a libel suit, filed the day he narrowly survived assassination in Milwaukee. When TR arrived in Marquette for the May 26-June 4 trial, he was buoyed by cheering crowds. He had an impressive witness array to vouch he was not a drunkard, inc. Gifford Pinchot, Robert Bacon, and Jacob Riis; Adm. George Dewey sent a deposition. Almost a dozen witnesses were journalists who covered him over the years; none had ever seen him drunk or suspected intoxication, Roosevelt's drink of choice was milk! Newett's lawyer tried to have other editorials with similar accusations put in as evidence that TR's drinking was widely reported; it wasn't allowed, the case resting on his editorial only. Newett’s star witness, a journalist who swore he’d seen TR drunk, fled the country because of grand larceny charges before the trial began. In the end, Newett gave a retraction and TR was awarded requested minimum damages, 6 cents, the trial more about restoring his good name. On leaving the courtroom, TR was asked what he would do with his 6c. He reportedly said: "That's about the price of a GOOD paper." The Ishpeming Iron Ore cost 3 cents. TLS ("T. Roosevelt") on plain paper (no letterhead), Marquette, Michigan, May 30 1913, to George Leslie Omwater (actually, Omwake), Collegeville, Penna. TR, in the midst of his libel suit against a Marquette editor, declines Omwake's invitation to "speak in one of the few Reformed Church colleges in the country". TR is not going with Mr. (Edward) Bok nor is he going to Hill School by car, so it will not be possible for him to visit. TR thanks Omwake for asking him and is appreciative. GEORGE LESLIE OMWAKE (1871-1937), 8th president of Ursinus College 1912-36. Ursinus College is private independent college in Collegeville, Penna., founded in 1869 by members of the German Reformed Church. The college is named after Zacharias Ursinus, a 16th-century German theologian, an important figure in the Protestant Reformation. EDWARD W. BOK (1863-1930) Dutch-born editor of The Ladies Home Journal 1889-1919. His 1920 autobiography won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography. He and Roosevelt formed a long, close friendship, in part based on their Dutch backgrounds. On June 6, TR traveled to Pottstown, Penna. to give a June 9 commencement address on "Good citizenship" to the graduates of the Hill School, then a private boys boarding school.

Condition: Very good, 2 mail folds
Type:Letter






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