8. Nov. 15, 1908-Dec. 1910: On Safari and in the Arena

President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was a prolific writer of books, articles, and especially letters, and received as much mail as he sent. His correspondents ranged from heads of states to average Americans, and covered a wide range of topics. Discover what Roosevelt and his correspondents had to say about the issues of their day.

Delighted at the thought that his chosen successor, William H. Taft, would continue Roosevelt’s policies as president, T. R. prepared to leave the White House on March 4, 1909. To give Taft room to govern, and to give himself an adventure, on March 23, 1909, T. R. and his son Kermit departed for a safari in Africa. Although removed from most sources of news, T. R. still received word of Taft’s failure to continue the Roosevelt agenda. T. R. left Africa in March 1910 for a tour of Europe, during which he met with European heads of state, collected his Nobel Peace Prize, and delivered his famous “Man in the Arena” speech at the Sorbonne. After his triumphant return to the U.S. in June 1910, T. R. published books on political topics and his time in Africa. T. R.’s continued popularity insured a steady stream of mail arrived whether he was at home or abroad.