Publication information
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Source: Historic Bibles in America
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “Bibles Owned by the Presidents of the United States and Their Families”
Author(s): Wright, John
Publisher: Thomas Whittaker
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1905
Pagination: 27-57 (excerpt below includes only pages 56-57)

Wright, John. “Bibles Owned by the Presidents of the United States and Their Families.” Historic Bibles in America. New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1905: pp. 27-57.
excerpt of chapter
Theodore Roosevelt (swearing in); Ansley Wilcox (correspondence).
Named persons
John R. Hazel; William McKinley; Edith Roosevelt; Theodore Roosevelt; Ansley Wilcox.
From title page: By Rev. John Wright, D. D., LL. D., Author of “Early Bibles of America,” “Early Prayer Books of America,” “Restoration of the Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament for the Sick,” Etc.


Bibles Owned by the Presidents of the United States and Their Families [excerpt]



     It is singular and noteworthy that the only President of the United States who, at his first induction into office, was not sworn upon a Bible was President Roosevelt. He came suddenly to Buffalo when it was evident that President McKinley could not survive the wound inflicted by an assassin. Everything had to be done hurriedly, and at the death of President McKinley Mr. Roosevelt took the oath of office in the house of Mr. Ansley Wilcox, a prominent lawyer of Buffalo. The latter gentleman, in a letter dated October 15th, 1903, writes:

     “According to my best recollection, no Bible was used, but President Roosevelt was sworn with uplifted hand. As I recollect it, there was design in this. There were Bibles, and some quite interesting ones, in the room and readily accessible, but no one had thought of it in advance, there being little opportunity to prepare for this ceremony, and when Judge Hazel advanced to administer the oath to the new President he simply asked him to hold up his right hand, as is customary in this State. We seldom use Bibles [56][57] in this State in administering oaths except in court rooms, and they are not required even in court rooms.”

     The Bible that was used at the beginning of President Roosevelt’s second term of office has the imprint of the University Press, Oxford, and is without date. It is an octavo, bound in full leather. It was first used when Mr. Roosevelt was made the Governor of New York. He then presented it to Mrs. Roosevelt, and it contains an inscription to this effect.



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