Theodore Roosevelt Virtual Exhibit

Active Reformer

Letter to Eugene Philbin
Letter to Eugene Philbin
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Roosevelt attempted to reform government agencies during his term as governor much as he had done as police commissioner in New York City and later as president.

In this letter to Eugene A. Philbin, district attorney in New York City, he discusses appointments to the board of trustees of the New York Soldiers and Sailors Home in Bath, New York. Famed General Daniel Sickles was one of the trustees of that institution and TR, against the wishes of the board, was attempting to reform its administration.

The Squair Collection includes many letters of Roosevelt and his family.

Text of letter:

State of New York
Executive Chamber
Albany

March 3, 1900.

Hon. Eugene A. Philbin
#111 Bway, New York City

My dear Mr. Philbin:--

I thank you for your letter of the 2nd inst in reference to the Bath Soldiers Home investigation. I am very glad to learn that I shall get the report in time to take into account its recommendations in making my nomination to the Senate.

I was much amused at General Sickles letter to you. It showed the qualities which have ruined his usefulness as a Manager of the Institution. One fairly comic feature was his misunderstanding as to why I wished a preliminary report. He was actualy unable to see that instead of its being a move in the interests of the trustees, it was to prevent such delay as would insure the retention in office of the present trustees until after the meeting of the legislature in January next.

With great regard and congratulations upon the way you have been performing your task, I am,

Faithfully yours,

[signed, Theodore Roosevelt]

Lyle Squair, compiler - Theodore Roosevelt Collection - SC22110

Last Updated: June 24, 2009