Rare ALS, two pages, 6 x 9.5, The Portland letterhead, October 1, 1910. Letter to Thomas Forsyth of the Boston Belting Company, in part: "Just a line to let you know that you are not forgotten. I will be in San Francisco the 16th of this month and will try and make it a point to see Mr. John Britton as I play there for one week…Tom my friend Mr. Roosevelt has brought the name of insurgency to the front. He is without doubt the voice of the people. The people in this universe of ours are beginning to take notice not of a man's politics but of his integrity, honesty and interest in the people's welfare and that Mr. Roosevelt althrough the sweep the insurgents have made throughout the country shows what the people want—they have sickened of Cannonism Aldrichism and Tawneyism and they will get their men Cannon or Aldrich when the time comes for their renomination. Tawney got his already. Well with the best in the world to you and your brother." On the reverse of the second pages Sullivan signs his name again and adds the dates of his forthcoming trip: "John L. Sullivan, St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco Cal, Oct 16th to 22nd, Regards to Ed Harkins, John Muldoon and John Good." In fine condition, with splitting to the mailing folds. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope, addressed in Sullivan's own hand.
Long retired from his days in prizefighting, this letter finds Sullivan touring the Northwest, performing vaudeville and giving lectures and boxing seminars to consistently packed theatres. Years earlier Sullivan developed a friendship with then New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt, himself an avid boxer who later lost vision in his left eye after a White House sparring session. Roosevelt held particular esteem for Sullivan, whom he considered ‘as game and straight and honest a fighter as ever stepped in the ring,’ telling words given Roosevelt’s later denunciation of prized fights in the wake of the Johnson-Jeffries Fight on July 4, 1910. Sullivan’s regard for Roosevelt is likewise made readily apparent in his aggressive tone, touting the former president as “the voice of the people,” while deriding lesser Republicans like Nelson Aldrich, Joseph Cannon, and James Tawney. A rare letter from the legendary pugilist, and the first we've offered in over five years.
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