Leadership begins with vegetable meat and nut granula

June 8th, 1917

Diary of Prime Minister David Lloyd George

His Majesty, Haig and I bickered over what to do with Roosevelt. He has reported for induction. The only thing we agreed upon is that his regiment should not be called the Rowdy Roosevelt Raiders. After five hours of heated debate, I am sorry to say that the Roosevelt Rootin’ Tootin’ Bunch is still on the table. For now, we intend to place him as a lieutenant in a rearguard sector in a map room somewhere in the deepest, safest trench we can bury him in. No doubt he will tire of this quickly and demand a more dangerous assignment. Oh, what to do with him?

June 10th, 1917

Cable from American President Woodrow Wilson to United Kingdom Prime Minister David Lloyd George

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

We had no idea you intended to allow Theodore Roosevelt to join your ranks as a combatant. This is ill-advised. We are prepared to offer Mr. Roosevelt a position as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy in our newly formed “Polar Department” if you will release him from his obligations. We will send an armed convoy to retrieve him and accompany him on his journey across the Atlantic back to the United States if you will consent.

Sincerest good wishes,

Woodrow Wilson

June 12th, 1917

Cable from United Kingdom Prime Minister David Lloyd George to American President Woodrow Wilson

Mr. President,

We are doing all that is in our power to encourage Mr. Roosevelt to return to the United States. We have offered to release him from his duties here and staunchly reinforced your generous plans for him. His preference at this time is to remain a commissioned officer in the British ranks unless you can offer him a military equivalent with guaranteed combat duty in the American armed forces. Although we have encouraged him to take a diplomatic role, Mr. Roosevelt insists on a more visceral kind of service and it takes our best efforts to keep him ensconced in our rearguard intelligence division and not racing to the front. Press coverage of his and his sons’ service, and the attendant adoration they receive, is quickly cementing their positions — and thus ours. The time to act is now, if you wish to have him back and the only way to do it is to offer him rank and command.

Yours Sincerely,

DLG

June 13th, 1917

Cable from American President Woodrow Wilson to United Kingdom Prime Minister David Lloyd George

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

Our offer to Theodore stands, but if he will not accept it we must make peace with his decision and do all that is in our power to see that he survives the war and returns to the American people intact.

Sincerest good wishes,

Woodrow Wilson

June 13th, 1917

Letter to Theodore Roosevelt from American President Woodrow Wilson

Dear Mr. Roosevelt,

Our offer of a salaried, cabinet-level position to you still stands. This is a position in which you would be able to do your duty to your country and still be able to go home to your lovely wife and home at Oyster Bay on weekends. I want you to know that I respect your decision to serve in the British armed forces. But know this: while our friends abroad would benefit from your sacrifice, your people at home would benefit more from your leadership.

Sincerely, your friend,

Woodrow Wilson

June 13th, 1917

Letter to American President Woodrow Wilson from (Lieutenant) Theodore Roosevelt

Mr. President,

You speak to me of friendship and sacrifice, two things about which you know little. I would rather shed blood for a friend than be a token in an office, gathering dust like some artifact. You may think you can move my arms in time like some dancing marionette, but you can’t control my mouth. No one can. You know as well as I do that service and leadership are not to be found pushing papers for pinheads while real men thrust their spears in the mud until they are completely spent with the effort. I lost 80 lbs. in 4 weeks subsisting on nothing but Kellogg’s “nut granula” and “vegetable meat” and having my legs strapped to an oscillation-machine. You think I can’t handle war? You would no more have me lead than you would have a cat drive a car. You would no more be my friend than a fox befriends a chicken’s egg. There was a time in which I lifted this country on my back and dragged it with my teeth. You would know nothing about that. You and I both wear glasses, but my vision is clear. Is yours?

Good day,

Theodore Roosevelt

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to my newsletter: https://dashfire.substack.com/

Care to read a hilarious account of Theodore Roosevelt hunting Bigfoot? Find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Squabble-Titans-Recollections-Roosevelt-Rainforest/dp/B097X4R4LN

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Dash Fire Diaries

Dash Fire Diaries

1.1K Followers

Envisioning a past that never was. Step through a surreal portal where objective truth, imagined history and satirical fiction coexist.