Page images
PDF
EPUB

such a distance there is really very little that I can do. I have cabled the Italian Government asking if any good purpose can be achieved by at once sending any or all of the American battleships now in Suez to the stricken region.

By the way, I am sure you would be delighted if you could see the accounts that have come from our battle fleet, which is now returning from its trip around the world. In gunnery and in battle tactics no less than in the ordinary voyage maneuvers, there has been a steady gain; and the fleet is far more efficient, collectively and individually, now than when it left these waters over a year ago.

The Chinese envoy here is completely upset by the very unexpected news of what has just happened in China, and I think intends immediately to return. The Chinese are so helpless to carry out any fixed policy, whether home or foreign, that it is difficult to have any but the most cautious dealings with them.

With assurances of my hearty esteem and admiration, and of the eager pleasure with which I look forward to seeing you in person a year from this spring, believe me,

Very faithfully yours,

THEODORE ROOSEVELT. To His Imperial Majesty William II,

Emperor of Germany.

The only personal correspondence that passed between the Czar of Russia and the President took place during the Portsmouth Peace Conference, as follows:

(Original in the Czar's handwriting)

PETERHOF,

July 18, 1905 Dear Mr. Roosevelt:

I take the opportunity of Mr. Witte's departure for Washington to express to you my feelings of sincere friendship.

Thanks to your initiative the Russian and Japanese delegates are going to meet in your country to discuss the possible terms of peace between both belligerents.

I have instructed Mr. Witte, Secretary of State, and my ambassador in the United States, Baron Rosen-how far Russia's concessions can go towards meeting Japan's propositions.

I need not tell you that I have full confidence that you will do all that lies in your power to bring the peace negotiations to a satisfactory conclusion.

Believe me
yours truly

NICOLAS.

(Original in the President's handwriting)

September 6, 1905. To His Majesty

The Emperor of Russia : My dear Emperor Nicolas:

Your very courteous letter was handed me by M. Witte. I need hardly say how delighted I am at the peace that has been made. I have given M. Witte, to present to you, copies of the letters I had sent the Japanese Government at the same time that I was cabling you.

I have an abiding faith in the future of the mighty Slav empire which you rule; and I most earnestly wish all good fortune both for you personally and for your people. With high regard, believe,

Very faithfully yours,

THEODORE ROOSEVELT.

Roosevelt’s correspondence with the Emperor of Japan began at the close of the Portsmouth Peace Conference in 1905, when the President wrote in his own hand a long letter to the Mikado expressing his “sense of the magnanimity, and above all, of the cool-headed, far-sighted wisdom” he had shown in making the peace treaty. This letter was given in full in the account of the Peace Conference published in Scribner's Magazine in September, 1919. The Mikado's reply was as follows:

(Translation) Mr. President:

I received some time ago your kind letter dated September 6th last, which you delivered to Baron Komura on the eve of his departure from your country. The warmest and sincerest sympathy which you expressed in that letter regarding the conclusion of peace touched me deeply. I feel extremely gratified to find that you have fully appreciated the course of action which I have taken with the view to promoting the cause of humanity and civilization as well as the true interests of Japan.

From the moment when you suggested to Japan and Russia to open negotiations for peace until the time when the Plenipotentiaries of the two Powers concluded their labors in your country, you have constantly exercised your noble efforts for the cause of peace and have greatly contributed to the speedy termination of the painful war. The two belligerents and the world at large owe deep and lasting gratitude to you.

In again tendering to you my heartfelt thanks I wish happiness of yourself and prosperity of your country. With profound respect,

Believe me,
Yours always sincerely,

(Signed) MUTSUHITO. Tokio, November 11, 1905.

At the same time the President sent a present to the Mikado, which is described in the following correspondence:

(Original in the President's handwriting)

September 6, 1905. Your Majesty:

Through Baron Kaneko I venture to send you the skin of a large bear which I shot; I beg you to accept it as a trilling token of the regard I have for you and for the great and wonderful people over which you

rule. Let me take this opportunity to thank you for the distinguished courtesy you have shown to Secretary Taft and to my daughter. Let me also say how much I have enjoyed reading the translation of the poems written by Your Majesty, by Her Majesty the Empress, and by the other members of the Royal Family.

I have also written you by Baron Konura.
With profound respect, believe me,

Always sincerely yours,

THEODORE ROOSEVELT. To His Majesty,

The Emperor of Japan.

(Translation) Mr. President:

Your letter and the skin of a large bear shot by yourself which you delivered to Baron Kaneko at the time of his departure from your country, have reached me soon after his return here.

I am very happy to be the recipient of such a rare present, which, I can assure you, will ever be cherished by me as the trophy of a friend commanding my entire admiration.

It afforded me great pleasure to receive your daughter and your Secretary of War Mr. Taft on the occasion of their visit to this country. The only regret is that their short stay did not permit me to give them more cordial reception. With profound respect,

Believe me,
Yours very sincerely,

(Signed) MUTSUHITO. Tokio, November 11, 1905.

Early in 1906 the northeastern portion of Japan was visited with a terrible famine, which threatened the death by starvation of many thousands of persons. When it was at its height President Roosevelt, on February 13, 1906, issued an “appeal to the American people to help from their abundance their suffering fellow men of the great and friendly nation of Japan." Thousands of dollars were contributed through the Red Cross and other agencies by which needed relief was afforded. In recognition of the service rendered, the Mikado wrote to the President in July, 1906:

(Translation)

Great and Good Friend:

When I learned that you had, in great sympathy and good will, invited the American public to come to the aid and succor of the famine stricken people of my northeastern Provinces, I hastened to express to you, through my Representative at Washington, my deep sense of gratitude.

The very generous and substantial contributions subscribed and collected by different American individuals and organizations and especially by the American National Red Cross and the Christian Herald, were duly received by the local authorities concerned through the kindness of the State Department and were, with great care, distributed among the distressed in such a manner as to faithfully carry out the noble intentions of those who so liberally responded to your appeal. I need hardly assure you that by this means the most serious effects of the calamity were greatly mitigated.

Now that the immediate danger has been removed, I wish to assure you that I have been very deeply touched and gratified by the high example of international good will and friendship displayed by the people of the United States and that the memory of it will always be warmly cherished by me.

« PreviousContinue »