Theodore Roosevelt Letters

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Theodore Roosevelt passed away on this date in 1919. Roosevelt was the 26th president of the United States, serving from 1901-1909. In our William Crawford Gorgas collection, we have several letters from President Roosevelt, including some written while he was serving as president. William Crawford Gorgas was a United States Army physician and later the 22nd Surgeon General of the U. S. Army from 1914 to 1918. You may recognize Gorgas’ name, as his mother was Amelia Gayle Gorgas, whom the main library at the University of Alabama is named after, and his father Josiah served as president of the University. William Gorgas became well-known for his work with yellow fever. During the Spanish American War, Gorgas was appointed chief sanitary officer of Havana, Cuba, where he eradicated yellow fever by controlling the mosquito population. As a result of this success, Gorgas was assigned to create sanitation plans in the Canal Zone during the building of the Panama Canal.

In addition to the letters from Theodore Roosevelt, the William Crawford Gorgas collection also contains letters from William Taft, Woodrow Wilson, John D. Rockefeller and Walter Reed, as well as Grogas diaries and journals illuminating his ife and work and many articles and other publications written about Gorgas work in disease prevention. The digitization of this collection is an on-going project, and we will feature other items in the collection as the project continues.

This letter was written by Theodore Roosevelt from the White House to Gorgas during Gorgas’ time as Cheif Sanitary Officer in Ancon, Panama, and concerns restroom sanitation.

Another letter from President Roosevelt was sent to Gorgas the following year, reccomending a man for a position working under Gorgas.

This letter was written after Roosevelt had left office, introducing Gorgas to an acquaintance who was coming to visit the Canal Zone.

The following letter introduces Gorgas to another acquaintance.

This letter is hand-written from Theodore Roosevelt. He asks Gorgas for assistance in finding his son-in-law a position serving with the Army overseas during World War I.

Finally, this letter was written by Roosevelt a month later, thanking Gorgas for his courtesy. One could assume it is in reference to his request made in the previous letter.

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