Bird-Lore/Volume 01/No. 2/A Letter from Governor Roosevelt

Bird-Lore: Volume I, No. 2
The Audubon Societies: A Letter from Governor Roosevelt by Theodore Roosevelt

(to the editor)

A Letter from Governor Roosevelt

At the annual meeting of the New York State Audubon Society, held in the American Museum of Natural History on March 23, 1899, a letter was read from Governor Roosevelt, which is of such interest and importance that we print it in advance of a report of the meeting, which will appear in a future issue.

Governor Roosevelt regretted his inability to be present, and addressed the following letter to Mr. Frank M. Chapman, Chairman of the Executive Committee:

My dear Mr. Chapman:—

I need hardly say how heartily I sympathize with the purposes of the Audubon Society. I would like to see all harmless wild things, but especially all birds, protected in every way. I do not understand how any man or woman who really loves nature can fail to try to exert all influence in support of such objects as those of the Audubon Society.

Spring would not be spring without bird songs, any more than it would be spring without buds and flowers, and I only wish that besides protecting the songsters, the birds of the grove, the orchard, the garden and the meadow, we could also protect the birds of the sea shore and of the wilderness.

The Loon ought to be, and, under wise legislation, could be a feature of every Adirondack lake; Ospreys, as every one knows, can be made the tamest of the tame, and Terns should be as plentiful along our shores as Swallows around our barns.

A Tanager or a Cardinal makes a point of glowing beauty in the green woods, and the Cardinal among the white snows.

When the Bluebirds were so nearly destroyed by the severe winter a few seasons ago, the loss was like the loss of an old friend, or at least like the burning down of a familiar and dearly loved house. How immensely it would add to our forests if only the great Logcock were still found among them!

The destruction of the Wild Pigeon and the Carolina Paroquet has meant a loss as severe as if the Catskills or the Palisades were taken away. When I hear of the destruction of a species I feel just as if all the works of some great writer had perished; as if we had lost all instead of only part of Polybius or Livy.

Very truly yours,

Theodore Roosevelt.