Theodore Roosevelt, Book Signed 1910
1910 “Theodore Roosevelt” Signed Book “African Game Trails An Account of The African Wanderings an American Hunter-Naturalist” Deluxe Full Two Volume Set
THEODORE ROOSEVELT (1858-1919). 26th President of the United States (1901-1909), a leader of the Republican Party and founder of the Progressive ("Bull Moose") Party of 1912.
1910-Dated, First Edition Book titled, “African Game Trails An Account of The African Wanderings an American Hunter-Naturalist,” Full 2 Volume Set, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1910. Hardcover. Fine. No dust jacket As Issued. Deluxe Limited Edition. Copy 97 of 500 SIGNED by President, Nobel Laureate Theodore Roosevelt, the Signature “Theodore Roosevelt” measuring fully 4.25” long which is nearly the full width of the page! Book Condition: This Deluxe Limited Edition is bound in three quarter pig skin leather over beige paper boards, with deckled interior page edges.
The books carried by TR on his journey are listed, and were all bound in pig skin leather for the trip. Illustrated throughout, all intact with the original tissue guards for the images. Printed on “Ruisdael” paper by the De Vinne Press. Slight tear damage to head and foot of each spine, of volume 1 front Board detached and corners are worn from use. Interior is sharp, tight and clean aside from the end papers toned from contact with the leather corners as is typical of this set, with scattered expected light foxing. A very handsome copy worthy of some relatively easy conservation. Boldly Signed in borwn ink by the Author, “Theodore Roosevelt” on the frontis page with his massive 4.25” long full signature. A similar set in Very Fine condition is listed at $9,500 and we have traced another set in quite similar condition as this current example listed at $6,800. No doubt, a major rarity that is a classic and highly prized by autograph collectors whenever a copy becomes available. (See more online at: www.EarlyAmerican.com.)
THEODORE ROOSEVELT and his African Safari:
In March 1909, shortly after the end of his presidency, Roosevelt left New York for a safari in east and central Africa. Roosevelt's party landed in Mombasa, British East Africa (now Kenya), traveled to the Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) before following the Nile to Khartoum in modern Sudan. Financed by Andrew Carnegie and by his own proposed writings, Roosevelt's party hunted for specimens for the Smithsonian Institution and for the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
The group, led by the legendary hunter-tracker R. J. Cunninghame, included scientists from the Smithsonian and was joined from time to time by Frederick Selous, the famous big game hunter and explorer. Among other items, Roosevelt brought with him four tons of salt for preserving animal hides, a lucky rabbit's foot given to him by boxer John L. Sullivan, a Holland and Holland double rifle in .500/450 donated by a group of 56 admiring Britons, a Winchester 1895 rifle in .405 Winchester, an Army (M1903) Springfield in .30-06 caliber stocked and sighted for him, a Fox No. 12 shotgun, and the famous Pigskin Library, a collection of classics bound in pig leather and transported in a single reinforced trunk.
Roosevelt and his companions killed or trapped approximately 11,400 animals, from insects and moles to hippopotamuses and elephants. These included 512 big game animals, including six rare white rhinos. The expedition consumed 262 of the animals. Tons of salted animals and their skins were shipped to Washington; the quantity was so large that it took years to mount them all, and the Smithsonian shared many duplicate animals with other museums. Regarding the large number of animals taken, Roosevelt said, "I can be condemned only if the existence of the National Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and all similar zoological institutions are to be condemned."
Although the safari was ostensibly conducted in the name of science, it was as much a political and social event as it was a hunting excursion; Roosevelt interacted with renowned professional hunters and land-owning families, and met many native peoples and local leaders.
Roosevelt became a Life Member of the National Rifle Association, while President, in 1907 after paying a $25 fee. He later wrote a detailed account in the book African Game Trails, where he describes the excitement of the chase, the people he met, and the flora and fauna he collected in the name of science.