Knoxville (865) 558-3033 • Nashville (615) 812-6096 •

Case Auctions
Live Auction

Summer Fine Art & Antiques Auction - Day 1

Sat, Jul 8, 2023 09:00AM EDT
Lot 586

Teddy Roosevelt Signed Note to Important White House Employee

Estimate: $700 - $750
Sold for

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
ANS: President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909, handwritten note written as President and addressed to Patrick E. McKenna, longtime White House doorkeeper and Presidential confidant serving from 1903-1940. The note is dated March 3rd 1909, President Roosevelt's penultimate day in office, and reads: To P.E. McKenna / with all best wishes of Theodore Roosevelt / March 3rd 1909." This note may have accompanied a letter of recommendation given to McKenna by President Roosevelt on this day and which is transcribed in Albert Loren Cheney's publication PERSONAL MEMOIRS OF THE HOME LIFE OF THE LATE THEODORE ROOSEVELT AS SOLDIER, VICE PRESIDENT, AND PRESIDENT, IN RELATION TO OYSTER BAY (1919) and which reads: "The White House, Washington, March 3, 1909. To Whom It May Concern: P.E. McKenna has served me for five years as assistant door-keeper at the White House. He is absolutely honest, always willing and obliging. I trust him entirely and should certainly have kept him if I were going to continue as President. Theodore Roosevelt." Housed under glass in a carved, ebonized wood frame with green mat alongside a printed copy of a photograph of President Roosevelt. Sheet: 7 3/4" H x 5 1/4" W. Frame: Biographical note: McKenna, or 'Pat' as he was known to every President since the first Roosevelt brought him to the White House from Oyster Bay in 1903, served for thirty-seven years as doorkeeper to numerous Presidents. When informed of McKenna's death in July of 1940, then-current President Franklin Delano Roosevelt offered the following statement: "Because I have always thought of Pat McKenna as one of my oldest personal friends, I am grieved and shocked by his death. I had known him since the Administration of President Theodore Roosevelt and saw much of him in the Administration of President Wilson, and finding him here in March 1933 meant much toward making the task of the Presidency more easy. Nobody can ever quite replace him. At the door of many Presidents, he had come to know almost everybody who called at the executive offices during all these years. But this was more than a mere knowledge of faces-he knew the personal characteristics of practically every one prominent in public life during the last forty years. He was a shrewd judge of character and because he and I were such really good friends he was able to help me on many occasions in many ways. I shall miss him greatly." (Adapted from "Patrick M'Kenna, White House Aide, Doorkeeper to the President Since 1903, When Named by Theodore Roosevelt, Dies"; New York Times; July 2, 1940)


Excellent condition, with slight fading to ink.

Available payment options

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Amex
  • Diners
  • Discover
  • JCB
  • Union Pay

Payment must be received no later than five (5) days after the sale.

If paying with a credit card, a 3% credit card processing fee will be applied to the final sales price (i.e. hammer price + buyer's premium + applicable taxes). If you have a credit card on file with Case, any winning bids will be automatically charged (up to $3000) along with applicable fees 72 hours after you receive your invoice unless other arrangements have been made.

If paying with wire transfer, please use the following information:
Bank: Pinnacle Bank
150 Third Avenue South, Suite 900
Nashville, TN 37201
Phone # (865) 766-3000
Swift Code: PNFPUS44
Routing, Transit, ABA: 064008637
Beneficiary: Case Antiques, Inc.
4310 Papermill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37909
Account #: NOT DISCLOSED (please refer to your invoice email for the Deposit Account Number or contact us )