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Even in the midst of the most rugged hunting trips and exhausting labor of the roundup, Roosevelt remained deeply engaged with the minutiae of political, social, and literary life in the East. He corresponded frequently and voluminously with Lodge, his sisters Anna and Corinne (“Darling Bysie” and “Darling Pussie”), and several East Coast editors, keeping up with political developments, justifying and strategizing his and Lodge’s maneuvers, and trading literary critiques, all the while detailing his hunting and ranching adventures at length.
As Wister’s writings developed, he moved the emphasis from hunter to cowboy. But the fundamental patterns of action and character remained, wending through the tales of adventure and welding the values and tropes of the hunting tale to what became the popular western. Winthrop Chanler On that June night in the Hunter’s Cabin, Wister clinked glasses with another Roosevelt nominee, his Harvard clubmate and close friend, Winthrop Chanler. Chanler made no such momentous contribution to popular culture, but he lived a life that in several respects embodied the Boone and Crockett Club spirit at its most unabashed, as well as the voice that went with it.
One sequence of letters from 1890 charts his journey from England to Colorado on a hunting trip. Crossing the Atlantic, he finds himself hemmed in on board by companions not of his choosing. The clubmen generally had a fear of crowds, which they routinely disdained as “mobs” and in animalistic terms. Chanler similarly complains of his fellow passengers: “Such ruffians, such a mob! ”31 Chanler complains to his wife, “The air round me is full of the babble of money-grabbing apes. Real estate, stocks and bonds.