The following letter by Roosevelt was written shortly after he accepted the position of president of New York City's Board of Police commissioners.
April 25, 1895
My Dear Mr. Dabney:
Department of Agriculture,
First, let me thank you sincerely for the copy of Mr. Sanford's address. I shall read it with great interest because, curiously enough, I am just finishing a chapter on Tennessee, in which I speak of the founding of Blout College, and speak much of Blout. Blout was a fine old fellow, and a very singular character, as Governor of the Southwestern Territory. He was not well treated by the administration, the Northeastern people as a whole failing to understand the pressure of the Indians. The curious thing was that they pandered to Kentucky, which did not deserve any particular tenderness, and utterly neglected Tennessee, where Blount was behaving admirably in all kinds of ways. I am especially interested in the very kind of land titles of which Mr. Sanford treats. If you happen to be writing to him or see him do let him know how much I appreciate his allusion to myself in so scholarly an address.
I think that my name is becoming rather stale, and that I could not possibly leave the affairs of the Commission in better hands than those of my colleague Procter.
I thank you for what you say about me. I accepted the position of Police Commissioner with the utmost reluctance, and mainly because I felt I had done about all that I could do here. I think that my name is becoming rather stale, and that I could not possibly leave the affairs of the Commission in better hands than those of my colleague Procter. He is the salt of the earth. It is not often that one gets as brave, modest, able and entirely disinterested a man in a position of this kind. I earnestly hope the President will give him a colleague like him.
With hearty thanks,Very sincerely yours,
[The above letter is reproduced exactly as written and was obtained through the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Libraries]