Roosevelt is “getting hot” Regarding Criticism of Panama Canal
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“I am getting hot about both Shonts and Stevens. They ought to see that your article is a splendid article.”
Lindsay Denison was sent by Everybody’s Magazine to explore charges by Poultney Bigelow, author, journalist, and son of the owner of the New York Evening Post. A vociferous critic of construction in the Panama Canal Zone, Bigelow wrote numerous reports and testified before Congress charging poor labor conditions, disease among the workforce, graft, corruption and fiscal malfeasance.
Making Good at Panama, Denison’s article in Everybody’s Magazine, found that there were problems, but asserted that they were not nearly as dire as Bigelow suggested. Nevertheless, John F. Stevens, chief architect of the Panama Canal, and Theodore P. Shonts, chairman of the Isthmian Canal Commission, must have reacted poorly to the criticism, which angered Roosevelt. THEODORE ROOSEVELT (1858-1919).
Typed Letter Signed as President, to Mr. Lindsay Denison. Washington, D.C., March 28, 1906. 1 p., 7 x 8¾ in. With one correction in Roosevelt’s hand.
March 28, 1906.
My dear Denison:
I have your letter of the 26th instant. I am getting hot about both Shonts and Stevens. They ought to see that your article is a splendid article. Whether there is some simple single point as to which you were wrong or not, I do not care a rap. The general effect of your article is simply admirable, and they ought to know it and see it and I am surprised that they do not.
[signed] Theodore Roosevelt
Mr. Lindsay Denison
Fine. Expected folds, slight edge toning, and minor surface soil on verso.