The phrase, Special Relationship has come to describe the “exceptionally close political, diplomatic, cultural, economic, military and historical relations between the United Kingdom and the United States.” The phrase first earned its political associations in 1946 when Winston S. Churchill, the former British Prime Minister, referred to Britain’s relationship with the United States during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency as “special.” Since then the phrase has been used to describe other relationships between British and American political figures such as Heath and Nixon, Thatcher and Reagan, and Blair and Clinton.
However, there is a lesser-known yet equally special Churchill-Roosevelt duo that established their personal and political relationship decades before their contemporaries were ever acquainted.
Winston Churchill, the American novelist and Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, first began their relationship around the turn of the twentieth century during a meeting of the Vermont Fish and Game League in September of 1901. Churchill had been invited to address the meeting and Roosevelt attended as the guest of honor.
Perhaps it was their similar political beliefs, fondness for the outdoors or respect for one another’s craft that forged the early stages of their relationship. For whichever reason the best-selling novelist and the young politician developed a lasting friendship that survived both of their evolving careers and political ambitions long after their first meeting at Isle La Motte. Roosevelt went on to become President of the United States after McKinley’s death and secured a full term when he won the 1904 election. Churchill also entered the political world during the Progressive Era and served in the New Hampshire state legislature in 1903 and 1905 but was unsuccessful in his run for governor of New Hampshire.
Rare PS1298.S3. ML-16 will get you Churchill's papers.