ROOT, ELIHU. (1845-1937). American senator, secretary of war and secretary of state; winner of the 1912 Nobel Peace Prize. TLS. (“Elihu Root”). 1¼pp. 4to. Washington, D.C., July 31, 1903. To politician and journalist CHARLES EMORY SMITH (1842-1908).
“I gave the directions asked for by your letter of June 29th for the preparation of a statement regarding Mr. Weightman’s service while he was on the rolls of the War Department, but no record has been found except as follows: He was appointed by General Alger May 26, 1899, as Assistant to the Commissioners of the Vicksburg National Military Park, at a compensation of $200 per month. The oath of office was taken on the first of June 1899. He resigned September 17, 1900. There is nothing to show how much or what kind of assistance he rendered to the Commission. He had previously been Secretary of the Commission to investigate the conduct of the war with Spain, but I cannot find that there is any record in the War Department relating to that. I hope you are not allowing yourself to be too much disturbed about the matters in the Post Office Department which hark back to your time as Postmaster-General. So far as I can see, every thinking person realizes that in time of war, and under an extension of the postal service to new countries and new conditions, the President must necessarily strain and in many instances depart from the rules which he has made for the ordinary conditions of peace, and of course what the Postmaster-General did the President did. Moreover, so far as I can see, nobody cares a baubee whether the Civil Service rules were strained or not under the circumstances which existed while you were Postmaster-General. Please give my kind regards to Mrs. Smith, and believe me always, Faithfully yours…”