Publication information

My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “How the Path Led to the White House” [chapter 10]
Author(s): Robinson, Corinne Roosevelt
Publisher: Charles Scribner’s Sons
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1921
Pagination: 194-205 (excerpt below includes only pages 204-05)

Robinson, Corinne Roosevelt. “How the Path Led to the White House” [chapter 10]. My Brother Theodore Roosevelt. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1921: pp. 194-205.
excerpt of chapter
McKinley assassination (personal response); Corinne Roosevelt Robinson; Edith Roosevelt; Edith Roosevelt (personal history).
Named persons
John Elliott; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley; Edith Roosevelt; Corinne Roosevelt Robinson; Theodore Roosevelt.
From title page: With Illustrations.

How the Path Led to the White House

     A little later they [Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt] went to a hunting-lodge in the Adirondacks, and all the world knows what happened on September 6, 1901. Then came the great anxiety as to whether Mr. McKinley would recover from the assassin’s onslaught, and on September 14, he succumbed to the weakness engendered by his wound. While the dramatic drive from the Adirondack Mountains, where Theodore Roosevelt was found, was in process, I, the only member of the Roosevelt family near New York, was inundated in my Orange Mountain home by reporters. That evening after receiving a number of reporters and giving them what slight information I could give, I said that I could not stand the strain any longer, that I could not be interviewed any more, and with the dear cousin, John Elliott, who had been our early childhood companion, and who happened to be visiting me, I went into my writing-room, shut the door to the world outside, and a strange coincidence occurred. My sister-in-law, Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, had shortly before returned to me a number of childhood letters which we had exchanged, first as little children, and then as growing girls, for we had always been very intimate friends. These letters were in a box on my writing-table, and I said to my cousin John: “Let us forget all these terrible things that are happening, and for a moment, at least, go back into our merry, care-free past. Here are these letters. I am going to pick one out at random and see how it will remind us of our childhood days.”
     So speaking, I put my hand into the box and proceeded to draw out a letter. Curiously enough, as I opened the yellow envelope and the sheets fell from it, I saw that it was dated from Washington in 1877, and looking more closely I read aloud the words:
     “Dearest Corinne: Today, for the first time, I went to the White House. Oh, how much I wished for you. It seemed so wonderful to me to be in the old mansion which had been the [204][205] home of President Lincoln, and which is so connected with all our country’s history. It gave me a feeling of awe and excitement. I wish you could have been here to share the feeling with me, for I don’t suppose it is likely that we shall ever be in the White House together, and it would have been so interesting to have exchanged our memories of things that had happened in that wonderful old house. But how unlikely it is that you or I shall ever come in contact with anything connected with the White House.”
     As I read these words, I exclaimed with astonishment, for it did seem a curious freak of fate that almost at the very moment that I was reading the lines penned by the girl of fifteen, an unexpected turn of the wheel had made that same young girl the lady of the White House.