The Nursery and Its Deities 19
And so these were the three Deities of the Nursery in which Theodore Roosevelt spent his first years, and even at that early time they realized that in that simple room in the house which the patriotic women of America are about to restore as a mecca for the American people there dwelt a unique little personality whose mentality grasped things beyond the ken of other boys of his age, and whose gallant spirit surmounted the physical difficulties engendered by his puny and fragile body.
The nursery at 28 East zoth Street in the early years of the Civil War missed its chief deity, my father. From the letters exchanged by my mother and father, preserved by each of them, I have formed a clear realization of what it meant to that nursery to lose for almost two years the gay and vigorous personality who always dominated his environment as did later his son.
Mr. William E. Dodge, in a very beautiful letter written for the memorial meeting of the Union League Club in February, 1[878, just after my father's death, gave the following interesting account of my father's special work in the Civil War. This letter was read after an eloquent speech delivered by Mr. Joseph H. Choate. The part of the letter to which I especially refer ran as follows:
"When the shadows of the coming war began to grow into a reality he (Theodore Roosevelt) threw himself with all his heart and soul into work for the country.
"From peculiar circumstances he was unable to volunteer for military service, as was his wish, but he began at once to develop practical plans of usefulness to help those who had gone to the front.
"He became an active worker on the Advisory Board of the Woman's Central Association of Relief, that wonderful and far-reaching organization of patriotic women out of which grew the Sanitary Commission.
"He worked with the `Loyal Publication Society,' which, as many of our members know, was a most active and useful