ROOSEVELT, THEODORE. 1858-1919.
ROOSEVELT ON NATIVE AMERICANS .
Typed Letter Signed ("Theodore Roosevelt), 1 p, 4to, New York, February 17, 1917, to Professor W.M. Patterson of Columbia University, on letterhead of Metropolitan magazine, additionally annotated by Roosevelt, page creased and moderately toned, waterstaining to lower and lower right margin with some mildewing to the latter, upper right margin with ½ inch loss not affecting text, leaf tipped at corners to mount, matted and framed to 15 by 17 inches.
Roosevelt writes a scholar praising his recent book on Native American music and dance. In part: You interest me much by showing that the extraordinary sense of rhythm, which our Indians possess, does not represent a quality which we could not attain, but a quality which our ancestors probably have had, and which we have lost. In the old days, I was much struck and puzzled by the rhythm of the Sioux and Mandan dances, and of recent years was even more impressed with the Navajo and Hopi song and dance music. I dont know that I have any real ear for rhythm at all. I dont even know enough to be able to tell why it is I like the prose of De Quincy and Poe, which always gives me a sense of color, and of music; or why I am so fond of the old ballad poetry. I have always believed that Longfellow, in his saga of King Olaf, and Belisanus, and some of his other poems, reached a very high ballad notewhich most of our small cultivated literary people ignore, when they speak patronizingly of Longfellow.