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ROOSEVELT, Theodore.

Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter.

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1905 Stock Code: 145504
£2,750.00
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With TLS from the "conservation President" to the dedicatee

First edition, first printing, with a typed letter signed from Roosevelt as President to the book's dedicatee, John Burroughs, tipped in at the dedication page, and with the envelope loosely inserted (both White House stationery and dated 11 February 1908).

Roosevelt's letter reads: "Dear Oom John: the same greeting that Roosevelt uses in the book's dedication I was very glad to hear from you. Give my warm regards to Mrs. Burroughs. I was sure you would like my message. It exprest my deepest convictions, and I felt the time had come to speak as I did. I, too, very earnestly hope that the Republican party will take up the tariff. I look forward to the appearance of your next volume. Did you seem my two articles in Scribner's. Affectionately yours, Theodore Roosevelt". The president and Burroughs were close and here he uses the affectionate soubriquet "oom", the Dutch word for uncle.

John Burroughs (1837-1921) "was one of several naturalists whom Theodore Roosevelt knew because of his role in the evolving conservation movement of the early twentieth century. Born in New York two decades before Roosevelt, Burroughs contributed to the American understanding of nature through his large literary output, which included works about Henry David Thoreau and his friend Walt Whitman, whom he admired. He worked for the U.S. Treasury Department from 1863 through 1872, when he resigned to focus full-time on his writing. In 1903, Burroughs published an article in The Atlantic Monthly that challenged the sentimental and improbable characterizations of animals then being published by those he termed "nature fakers." A battle lasting half a decade ensued as naturalists sided with Burroughs or with those he criticized. Roosevelt felt as Burroughs did. In April 1903, the two men toured Yellowstone Park together and Burroughs wrote about it in Camping and Tramping with Roosevelt, published in 1906. In 1907 Roosevelt publicly entered the nature-fakers controversy when he gave an interview and circulated an article defending Burroughs and stating his own views" (theodorerooseveltcenter.org, retrieved 6 January 2021). This interview is presumably the "message" that Roosevelt refers to here.

With an autograph letter signed from Emory S. Turner, a former major in the Union Army and subsequently president of the Anderson Company auction house, explaining that, after a conversation with Burroughs about Roosevelt and the new book, Burroughs made a gift of his most recent Roosevelt letter, which Turner then mounted in his copy (dated New York, 12 February 1908).

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Description

Octavo. Original moderate brown cloth, gilt-lettered spine and front cover, the latter with large gilt block of a snarling bobcat, top edge gilt, others untrimmed. Housed in a custom brown quarter morocco box by the Chelsea Bindery.

Illustrations

Photogravure portrait frontispiece after the photograph by Peter A. Juley with facsimile of Roosevelt's signature and 48 half-tone plates from photographs.

Condition

Inner hinge cracked before frontispiece but sound, light silverfishing to binding (sometimes penetrating through cloth to boards), white mark to back cover, a few leaves carelessly opened. A good, clean copy.

Bibliography

Wheelock p.10.

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