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Theodore Roosevelt


In office
September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
Vice President Charles W. Fairbanks (1905–1909)
Preceded by William McKinley
Succeeded by William Howard Taft

In office
March 4, 1901 – September 14, 1901
President William McKinley
Preceded by Garret Hobart
Succeeded by Charles W. Fairbanks

In office
January 1, 1899 – December 31, 1900
Lieutenant Timothy L. Woodruff
Preceded by Frank S. Black
Succeeded by Benjamin B. Odell, Jr.

In office
1897–1898
President William McKinley
Preceded by William McAdoo
Succeeded by Charles Herbert Allen

Minority Leader of the New York State Assembly
In office
1883

In office
1882–1884

In office
1895–1897

Born October 27, 1858(1858-10-27)
New York, New York
Died January 6, 1919 (aged 60)
Oyster Bay, New York
Political party Republican (1897–1912)
Progressive Party (1912–1916)
Spouse(s) (1) Alice Hathaway Lee (married 1880, died 1884)
(2) Edith Kermit Carow (married 1886)
Children Alice, Ted, Kermit, Ethel, Archie, Quentin
Alma mater Columbia Law School - dropped out; Harvard College
Occupation Statesman, author, historian, explorer, conservationist, civil servant
Religion Dutch Reformed
Signature
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1898
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel
Commands 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment (Rough Riders)
Battles/wars Spanish-American War
*Battle of Las Guasimas
*Battle of San Juan Hill
Awards Nobel Peace Prize (1906), Medal of Honor
The coat of arms of Theodore Roosevelt
Heraldic achievement of Theodore Roosevelt by Alexander Liptak.png
Information ~
Date of origin 17th century
Shield Argent upon a grassy mound a rosebush bearing three roses gules barbed and seeded proper proper.
Crest and mantle Upon a torse argent and gules, Three ostrich plumes each per pale gules and argent, the mantling gules doubled argent.

Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919; pronounced /ˈroʊzəvɛlt/[1][2] ROE-zə-velt) was the 26th President of the United States. He is well remembered for his energetic persona, range of interests and achievements, leadership of the Progressive Movement, model of masculinity, and his "cowboy" image. He was a leader of the Republican Party and founder of the short-lived Progressive ("Bull Moose") Party of 1912. Before becoming President (1901–1909) he held offices at the municipal, state, and federal level of government. Roosevelt's achievements as a naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and soldier are as much a part of his fame as any office he held as a politician.

Born to a wealthy family, Roosevelt was an unhealthy child suffering from asthma who stayed at home studying natural history. In response to his physical weakness, he embraced a strenuous life. He attended Harvard, where he boxed and developed an interest in naval affairs. A year out of Harvard, in 1881 he ran for a seat in the state legislature. His first historical book, The Naval War of 1812, published in 1882, established his reputation as a serious historian. After a few years of living in the Badlands, Roosevelt returned to New York City, where he gained fame for fighting police corruption. He was effectively running the US Department of the Navy when the Spanish American War broke out; he resigned and led a small regiment in Cuba known as the Rough Riders, earning himself a nomination for the Medal of Honor. After the war, he returned to New York and was elected Governor; two years later he was nominated for and elected Vice President of the United States.

In 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated, and Roosevelt became president at the age of 42, taking office at the youngest age of any U.S. President in history.[3] Roosevelt attempted to move the Republican Party in the direction of Progressivism, including trust busting and increased regulation of businesses. Roosevelt coined the phrase "Square Deal" to describe his domestic agenda, emphasizing that the average citizen would get a fair shake under his policies. As an outdoorsman and naturalist, he promoted the conservation movement. On the world stage, Roosevelt's policies were characterized by his slogan, "Speak softly and carry a big stick". Roosevelt was the force behind the completion of the Panama Canal; he sent out the Great White Fleet to display American power, and he negotiated an end to the Russo-Japanese War, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize.[4]

Roosevelt declined to run for re-election in 1908. After leaving office, he embarked on a safari to Africa and a trip to Europe. On his return to the US, a rift developed between Roosevelt and his anointed[5][6] successor as President, William Howard Taft. Roosevelt attempted in 1912 to wrest the Republican nomination from Taft, and when he failed, he launched the Bull Moose Party. In the election, Roosevelt became the only third party candidate to come in second place, beating Taft but losing to Woodrow Wilson. After the election, Roosevelt embarked on a major expedition to South America; the river on which he traveled now bears his name. He contracted malaria on the trip, which damaged his health, and he died a few years later, at the age of 60. Roosevelt has consistently been ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.

Family

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Genealogy

The Roosevelts had been in New York since the mid-17th century. Roosevelt was born into a wealthy family of Dutch origin; by the 19th century, the family had grown in wealth, power and influence from the profits of several businesses including hardware and plate-glass importing. The family was strongly Democratic in its political affiliation until the mid-1850s, then joined the new Republican Party. Theodore's father, known in the family as "Thee", was a New York City philanthropist, merchant, and partner in the family glass-importing firm Roosevelt and Son. He was a prominent supporter of Abraham Lincoln and the Union effort during the American Civil War. His mother Mittie Bulloch was a Southern belle from a slave-owning family in Roswell, Georgia and had quiet Confederate sympathies. Mittie's brother, Theodore's uncle, James Dunwoody Bulloch, was a United States Navy officer who became a Confederate admiral and naval procurement agent in Britain. Another uncle, Irvine Bulloch, was a midshipman on the Confederate raider CSS Alabama; both remained in England after the war.[7] From his grandparents' home, the young Roosevelt witnessed Abraham Lincoln's funeral procession when it came through New York.

Childhood

Theodore Roosevelt at age 11

Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858, in a four-story brownstone at 28 East 20th Street,[8] in the modern-day Gramercy section of New York City, the second of four children of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. (1831–1878) and Mittie Bulloch (1835–1884). He had an elder sister Anna, nicknamed "Bamie" as a child and "Bye" as an adult for being always on the go, and two younger siblings—his brother Elliott (the father of future First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt), and his sister Corinne (grandmother of newspaper columnists Joseph and Stewart Alsop).

Sickly and asthmatic as a child, Roosevelt had to sleep propped up in bed or slouching in a chair during much of his early childhood, and had frequent ailments. Despite his illnesses, he was a hyperactive and often mischievous child, who suffered severely from tone deafness[9]. His lifelong interest in zoology was formed at age seven upon seeing a dead seal at a local market. After obtaining the seal's head, the young Roosevelt and two of his cousins formed what they called the "Roosevelt Museum of Natural History". Learning the rudiments of taxidermy, he filled his makeshift museum with many animals that he killed or caught, studied, and prepared for display. At age nine, he codified his observation of insects with a paper titled "The Natural History of Insects".[10]

Roosevelt described his childhood experiences in a 1903 letter, writing:

As far as I can remember they were absolutely commonplace. I was a rather sickly, rather timid little boy, very fond of desultory reading and of natural history, and not excelling in any form of sport. Owing to my asthma I was not able to go to school, and I was nervous and self-conscious, so that as far as I can remember my belief is that I was rather below than above my average playmate in point of leadership; though as I had an imaginative temperament this sometimes made up for my other short-comings. Altogether, while, thanks to my father and mother, I had a very happy childhood I am inclined to look back at it with some wonder that I should have come out of it as well as I have! It was not until after I was sixteen that I began to show any prowess, or even ordinary capacity; up to that time, except making collections of natural history, reading a good deal in certain narrowly limited fields and indulging in the usual scribbling of the small boy who does not excel in sport, I cannot remember that I did anything that even lifted me up to the average."[11]

To combat his poor physical condition, his father encouraged the young Roosevelt to take up exercise. Roosevelt started boxing lessons.[12] Two trips abroad had a permanent impact: family tours of Europe in 1869 and 1870, and of the Middle East 1872 to 1873.

Paternal influence

Theodore, Sr. had a tremendous influence on his son. Of him Roosevelt wrote, "My father, Theodore Roosevelt, was the best man I ever knew. He combined strength and courage with gentleness, tenderness, and great unselfishness. He would not tolerate in us children selfishness or cruelty, idleness, cowardice, or untruthfulness."[13]

He told his sister Corinne, that he never took any serious step or made any vital decision for his country without thinking first what position his father would have taken.[14]

First marriage and response to catastrophic loss

Diary entry on 14 Feb. 1884.

Alice Hathaway Lee (July 29, 1861 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts – February 14, 1884 in Manhattan, New York) was the first wife of Theodore Roosevelt and mother of their child, Alice. Roosevelt's wife, Alice died of an undiagnosed (since it was camouflaged by her pregnancy) case of kidney failure (in those days called Bright's disease) two days after Alice Lee was born. Theodore Roosevelt's mother had died of typhoid fever in the same house, on the same day, at 3 am, some eleven hours earlier. After the near simultaneous deaths of his mother and wife, Roosevelt left his daughter in the care of his sister, Anna "Bamie/Bye" in New York City. In his diary he wrote a large X on the page and wrote "the light has gone out of my life." A short time later, Roosevelt wrote a tribute to his wife published privately indicating that:

She was beautiful in face and form, and lovelier still in spirit; As a flower she grew, and as a fair young flower she died. Her life had been always in the sunshine; there had never come to her a single sorrow; and none ever knew her who did not love and revere her for the bright, sunny temper and her saintly unselfishness. Fair, pure, and joyous as a maiden; loving , tender, and happy. As a young wife; when she had just become a mother, when her life seemed to be just begun, and when the years seemed so bright before her—then, by a strange and terrible fate, death came to her. And when my heart’s dearest died, the light went from my life forever.[15]

To the immense disappointment of his wife's namesake and daughter, Alice, he would not speak of his wife publicly or privately for the rest of his life and did not mention her in his autobiography. As late as 1919, while working with Joseph Bucklin Bishop on a biography which included a collection of his letters, Roosevelt would mention neither his first marriage nor the circumstances of his second marriage, which took place in London.[16]

A letter written then to a young female friend of Roosevelt's sister Corinne, who had lost a loved one, demonstrated Roosevelt's method of dealing with catastrophic loss. After his death, in her memoirs, his sister Corinne described this letter as "full of a certain quality — what perhaps I might call a righteous ruthlessness specially characteristic of Theodore Roosevelt," because he had written, "I hate to think of her suffering; but the only thing for her to do now is to treat it as past, the event as finished and out of her life; to dwell on it, and above all to keep talking of it with any one, would be both weak and morbid. She should try not to think of it; this she cannot wholly avoid, but she CAN avoid speaking of it. She should show a brave and cheerful front to the world, whatever she feels; and henceforth she should never speak one word of the matter to any one. In the long future, when the memory is too dead to throb, she may, if she wishes, speak of it once more, but if wise and brave, she will not speak of it now."[17] Roosevelt would later indicate that this was his only method of dealing with a such a debilitating loss, indicating to a grieving friend, "There is nothing more foolish and cowardly than to be beaten down by a sorrow which nothing we can do will change."[18] or, in the words of his biographer, Edmund Morris, "Like a lion obsessively trying to drag a spear from its flank, Roosevelt set about dislodging Alice Lee from his soul. Nostalgia, a weakness to which he was abnormally vulnerable, could be indulged if it was pleasant, but if painful it must be suppressed, 'until the memory is too dead to throb.'"[19]

Education

Young "Teedie", as he was nicknamed as a child, (the nickname "Teddy" was from his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee, and he later harbored an intense dislike for it due to her untimely death) was mostly home schooled by tutors and his parents. A leading biographer says: "The most obvious drawback to the home schooling Roosevelt received was uneven coverage of the various areas of human knowledge.".[20] He was solid in geography (thanks to his careful observations on all his travels) and very well read in history, strong in biology, French, and German, but deficient in mathematics, Latin and Greek He matriculated at Harvard College in 1876. His father's death in 1878 was a tremendous blow, but Roosevelt redoubled his activities. He did well in science, philosophy and rhetoric courses but fared poorly in Latin and Greek. He studied biology with great interest and indeed was already an accomplished naturalist and published ornithologist. He had a photographic memory and developed a life-long habit of devouring books, memorizing every detail.[21] He was an eloquent conversationalist who, throughout his life, sought out the company of the smartest people. He could multitask in extraordinary fashion, dictating letters to one secretary and memoranda to another, while browsing through a new book.

As a young Sunday school teacher at Christ Church, Roosevelt was once reprimanded for rewarding a young man $1 who showed up to his class with a black eye for fighting a bully. The bully had supposedly pinched his sister and the young man was standing up for her. Roosevelt thought this to be honorable; however, the church deemed it too flagrant of support of fighting.[22]

While at Harvard, Roosevelt was active in rowing, boxing, the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and was a member of the Porcellian Club. He also edited a student magazine. He was runner-up in the Harvard boxing championship, losing to C.S. Hanks.

Theodore Roosevelt comments on his family life in exhibit at Niagara Falls, New York

In later years, pondering his largely home-based early education and his college experience in his autobiography, Roosevelt expressed mixed feelings about its value in preparing him for public service, writing:

All this individual morality I was taught by the books I read at home and the books I studied at Harvard. But there was almost no teaching of the need for collective action, and of the fact that in addition to, not as a substitute for, individual responsibility, there is a collective responsibility....The teaching which I received was genuinely democratic in one way. It was not so democratic in another. I grew into manhood thoroughly imbued with the feeling that a man must be respected for what he made of himself. But I had also, consciously or unconsciously, been taught that socially and industrially pretty much the whole duty of the man lay in thus making the best of himself; that he should be honest in his dealings with others and charitable in the old-fashioned way to the unfortunate; but that it was no part of his business to join with others in trying to make things better for the many by curbing the abnormal and excessive development of individualism in a few. Now I do not mean that this training was by any means all bad. On the contrary, the insistence upon individual responsibility was, and is, and always will be, a prime necessity.... But such teaching, if not corrected by other teaching, means acquiescence in a riot of lawless business individualism which would be quite as destructive to real civilization as the lawless military individualism of the Dark Ages. I left college and entered the big world owing more than I can express to the training I had received, especially in my own home; but with much else also to learn if I were to become really fitted to do my part in the work that lay ahead for the generation of Americans to which I belonged."[23]

Upon graduating, Roosevelt underwent a physical examination and his doctor advised him that due to serious heart problems, he should find a desk job and avoid strenuous activity. He chose to embrace strenuous life instead.[24] He graduated Phi Beta Kappa (22nd of 177) from Harvard in 1880, and entered Columbia Law School. When offered a chance to run for New York Assemblyman in 1881, he dropped out of law school to pursue his new goal of entering public life.[25]

Early political career

First book published - The Naval War of 1812

While at Harvard, Roosevelt began a systematic study of the role played by the nascent US Navy in the War of 1812, largely completing two chapters of a book he would publish after graduation.[26]

He would later recall that in the middle of Mathematics classes at Harvard, his mind would wander from his lessons to the accomplishments of the infant US Navy[27]. Reading through literature on the subject, Roosevelt found both American and British accounts heavily biased and that there had been no systematic study of the tactics employed in the war. Although a challenge for a young man with no formal military or naval education, but helped in part by his two former Confederate naval officer Bulloch uncles, he did his own research using original source materials and official US Navy records. Unlike previous American and British books that ignored quantifiable facts to push a specific agenda, Roosevelt's carefully researched book was akin to today's modern doctoral dissertations, complete with carefully researched drawings depicting individual and combined ship maneuvers, charts depicting the differences in iron throw weights of cannon shot between American and British forces, and analyses of the differences between British and American leadership down to the ship-to-ship level. It is today considered one of the first modern American historical works. Published after Roosevelt's graduation from Harvard, The Naval War of 1812 was immediately accepted by reviewers who praised the book’s scholarship and style. The newly established Naval War College adopted it for study, and the Department of the Navy ordered a copy placed in the libraries of every capital ship in the Fleet. This book would help establish Roosevelt's reputation as a serious historian.[28] Roosevelt brought out a subsequent edition including questions and answers from both scholars and critics. One modern naval historian wrote: "Roosevelt’s study of the War of 1812 influenced all subsequent scholarship on the naval aspects of the War of 1812 and continues to be reprinted. More than a classic, it remains, after 120 years, a standard study of the war."[28]

Roosevelt as NY State Assemblyman, 1883 photo

State Assemblyman

Roosevelt was a Republican activist during his years in the Assembly, writing more bills than any other New York state legislator. Already a major player in state politics, he attended the Republican National Convention in 1884 and fought alongside the Mugwump reformers; they lost to the Stalwart faction that nominated James G. Blaine. Refusing to join other Mugwumps in supporting Democrat Grover Cleveland, the Democratic nominee, he debated with his friend Henry Cabot Lodge the pros and cons of staying loyal. When asked by a reporter whether he would support Blaine, he replied, "That question I decline to answer. It is a subject I do not care to talk about."[29] Upon leaving the convention, he complained "off the record" to a reporter about Blaine's nomination. But, in probably the most crucial moment of his young political career, he resisted the very instinct to bolt from the Party that would overwhelm his political sense in 1912. In an account of the Convention, another reporter quoted him as saying that he would give "hearty support to any decent Democrat." He would later take great (and to some historical critics such as Henry Pringle, rather disingenuous) pains to distance himself from his own earlier comment, indicating that while he made it, it had not been made "for publication."[30] Leaving the convention, his idealism quite disillusioned by party politics, Roosevelt indicated that he had no further aspiration but to retire to his ranch in the wild Badlands of the Dakota Territory that he had purchased the previous year while on a buffalo hunting expedition.

Retirement

Theodore Roosevelt as Badlands hunter in 1885. New York studio photo.

Roosevelt built a second ranch, which he named Elk Horn, thirty-five miles (56 km) north of the boomtown of Medora, North Dakota. On the banks of the Little Missouri, Roosevelt learned to ride western style, rope, and hunt. He rebuilt his life and began writing about frontier life for Eastern magazines. As a deputy sheriff, Roosevelt hunted down three outlaws who stole his river boat and were escaping north with it up the Little Missouri. Capturing them, he decided against hanging them (apparently yielding to established law procedures in place of vigilante justice), and sending his foreman back by boat, he took the thieves back overland for trial in Dickinson, guarding them forty hours without sleep and reading Tolstoy to keep himself awake. When he ran out of his own books, he read a dime store western that one of the thieves was carrying."[31] While working on a tough project aimed at hunting down a group of relentless horse thieves, Roosevelt came across the famous Deadwood sheriff, Seth Bullock. The two would remain friends for life.[32]

Return to New York

After the uniquely severe U.S. winter of 1886-1887 wiped out his herd of cattle (together with those of his competitors) and his $60,000 investment, he returned to the East, where in 1885 he had built Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, New York. It would be his home and estate until his death. Roosevelt ran as the Republican candidate for mayor of New York City in 1886 as "The Cowboy of the Dakotas"; he came in third.

Second marriage

Following the election, he went to London in 1886 and married his childhood sweetheart, Edith Kermit Carow.[33] They honeymooned in Europe, and Roosevelt led a party to the summit of Mont Blanc, a feat which resulted in his induction into the British Royal Society.[34] They had five children: Theodore Jr., Kermit, Ethel Carow, Archibald Bulloch "Archie", and Quentin.[35]

Reentering public life

NYC Police Commissioner Roosevelt walks the beat with journalist Jacob Riis in 1894 - Illustration from Riis' autobiography

Civil Service Commission

In the 1888 presidential election, Roosevelt campaigned in the Midwest for Benjamin Harrison. President Harrison appointed Roosevelt to the United States Civil Service Commission, where he served until 1895.[36] In his term, Roosevelt vigorously fought the spoilsmen and demanded enforcement of civil service laws. Close associate, friend and biographer, James Bucklin Bishop, described Roosevelt's assault on the spoils system indicating that,

The very citadel of spoils politics, the hitherto impregnable fortress that had existed unshaken since it was erected on the foundation laid by Andrew Jackson, was tottering to its fall under the assaults of this audacious and irrepressible young man.... Whatever may have been the feelings of the (fellow Republican party) President (Harrison) — and there is little doubt that he had no idea when he appointed Roosevelt that he would prove to be so veritable a bull in a china shop—he refused to remove him and stood by him firmly till the end of his term. [37]

During this time, the New York Sun described Roosevelt as "irrepressible, belligerent, and enthusiastic"[37]

In spite of Roosevelt's support for Harrison's reelection bid in the presidential election of 1892, the eventual winner, Grover Cleveland (a Bourbon Democrat), reappointed him to the same post.[38]

New York City Police Commissioner

Roosevelt as NYPD Commissioner 1895

Roosevelt became president of the board of New York City Police Commissioners in 1895. During his two years in this post, Roosevelt radically reformed the police department. The police force was reputed as one of the most corrupt in America. The NYPD's history division records that Roosevelt was "an iron-willed leader of unimpeachable honesty, (who) brought a reforming zeal to the New York City Police Commission in 1895."[39] Roosevelt and his fellow commissioners established new disciplinary rules, created a bicycle squad to police New York's traffic problems, and standardized the use of pistols by officers.[40] Roosevelt implemented regular inspections of firearms and annual physical exams, appointed 1,600 new recruits based on their physical and mental qualifications and not on political affiliation, established meritorious service medals, and closed corrupt police hostelries. During his tenure, a Municipal Lodging House was established by the Board of Charities, and Roosevelt required officers to register with the Board. He also had telephones installed in station houses.

In 1894, Roosevelt met Jacob Riis, the muckraking Evening Sun newspaper journalist who was opening the eyes of New York's rich to the terrible conditions of the city's millions of poor immigrants with such books as, How the Other Half Lives. In Riis' autobiography, he described the effect of his book on the new police commissioner, remembering that

When Roosevelt read (my) book, he came. We were not strangers. It could not have been long after I wrote “How the Other Half Lives” that he came to the Evening Sun office one day looking for me. I was out, and he left his card, merely writing on the back of it that he had read my book and had “come to help.” That was all and it tells the whole story of the man. I loved him from the day I first saw him; nor ever in all the years that have passed has he failed of the promise made then. No one ever helped as he did. For two years we were brothers in (New York City's crime-ridden) Mulberry Street. When he left I had seen its golden age. I knew too well the evil day that was coming back to have any heart in it after that. Not that we were carried heavenward “on flowery beds of ease” while it lasted. There is very little ease where Theodore Roosevelt leads, as we all of us found out. The lawbreaker found it out who predicted scornfully that he would “knuckle down to politics the way they all did,” and lived to respect him, though he swore at him, as the one of them all who was stronger than pull. The peaceloving citizen who hastened to Police Headquarters with anxious entreaties to “use discretion” in the enforcement of unpopular laws found it out and went away with a new and breathless notion welling up in him of an official’s sworn duty. That was it; that was what made the age golden, that for the first time a moral purpose came into the street. In the light of it everything was transformed.

[41]

Always an energetic man, Roosevelt made a habit of walking officers' beats late at night and early in the morning to make sure they were on duty.[42] As Governor of New York State before becoming Vice President in March 1901, Roosevelt signed an act replacing the Police Commissioners with a single Police Commissioner.[43]

Becoming a national figure

Assistant Secretary of the Navy

Roosevelt had always been fascinated by naval history. Urged by Roosevelt's close friend, Congressman Henry Cabot Lodge, President William McKinley appointed a delighted Roosevelt to the post of Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1897. (Because of the inactivity of Secretary of the Navy John D. Long at the time, this gave Roosevelt control over the department.) Roosevelt was instrumental in preparing the Navy for the Spanish-American War[44] and was an enthusiastic proponent of testing the U.S. military in battle, at one point stating "I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one".[45][46]

War in Cuba

Col. Theodore Roosevelt

Upon the 1898 Declaration of War launching the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt resigned from the Navy Department. With the aid of U.S. Army Colonel Leonard Wood, Roosevelt found volunteers from cowboys from the Western territories to Ivy League friends from New York, forming the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. The newspapers called them the "Rough Riders."

Originally Roosevelt held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and served under Colonel Wood. In Roosevelt's own account, The Rough Riders, "after General Young was struck down with the fever, and Wood took charge of the brigade. This left me in command of the regiment, of which I was very glad, for such experience as we had had is a quick teacher."[47] Accordingly, Wood was promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteer Forces, Roosevelt was promoted to Colonel and given command of the Regiment.[47]

Under his leadership, the Rough Riders became famous for dual charges up Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill on July 1, 1898 (the battle was named after the latter "hill," which was the shoulder of a ridge known as San Juan Heights). Out of all the Rough Riders, Roosevelt was the only one with a horse – the troopers' horses had been left behind because transport ships were in short supply – and used it to ride back and forth between rifle pits at the forefront of the advance up Kettle Hill; an advance which he urged in absence of any orders from superiors. However, he was forced to walk up the last part of Kettle Hill on foot, due to barbed wire entanglement and after his horse, Little Texas, became tired.

Colonel Roosevelt and the Rough Riders after capturing San Juan Hill

For his actions, Roosevelt was nominated for the Medal of Honor which was subsequently disapproved. As historian John Gable wrote, "In later years Roosevelt would describe the Battle of San Juan Hill on July 1, 1898, as 'the great day of my life' and 'my crowded hour.'.... (but) Malaria and other diseases now killed more troops than had died in battle. In August, Roosevelt and other officers demanded that the soldiers be returned home. The famous 'round robin letter', and a stronger letter by Roosevelt – now acting brigade commander[48] – were leaked to the press by the commanding general, enraging Secretary of War, Russell Alger and President McKinley. Roosevelt believed that it was this incident that cost him the Medal of Honor."[49]

Medal of Honor

In September 1997, Congressman Rick Lazio, representing the 2nd District of New York, sent two award recommendations to the U.S. Army Military Awards Branch. These recommendations, addressed to Brigadier General Earl Simms, the Army's Adjutant General, and Master Sergeant Gary Soots, Chief of Authorizations, would prove successful in garnering the much sought after award.[50] Roosevelt was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 2001 for his actions.[51] The medal is currently on display in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.[52] He was the first and, thus far, the only President of the United States to be awarded with America's highest military honor, and the only person in history to receive both his nation's highest honor for military valor and the world's foremost prize for peace.[53] His oldest son, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., would also posthumously be awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Normandy on June 6, 1944.[54]

After his return to civilian life, Roosevelt preferred to be known as "Colonel Roosevelt" or "The Colonel." As a moniker, "Teddy" remained much more popular with the general public; however, political friends and others working closely with Roosevelt customarily addressed him by his rank.

Governor and Vice-President

Chicago newspaper sees cowboy-TR campaigning for governor

On leaving the Army, Roosevelt was elected governor of New York in 1898 as a Republican. He made such an effort to root out corruption and "machine politics" that Republican boss Thomas Collier Platt forced him on McKinley as a running mate in the 1900 election, against the wishes of McKinley's manager, Senator Mark Hanna. Roosevelt was a powerful campaign asset for the Republican ticket, which defeated William Jennings Bryan in a landslide based on restoration of prosperity at home and a successful war and new prestige abroad. Bryan stumped for Free Silver again, but McKinley's promise of prosperity through the gold standard, high tariffs, and the restoration of business confidence enlarged his margin of victory. Bryan had strongly supported the war against Spain, but denounced the annexation of the Philippines as imperialism that would spoil America's innocence. Roosevelt countered with many speeches that argued it was best for the Filipinos to have stability, and the Americans to have a proud place in the world. Roosevelt's six months as Vice President (March to September 1901) were uneventful.[55] On September 2, 1901, at the Minnesota State Fair, Roosevelt first used in a public speech a saying that would later be universally associated with him: "Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far."

Presidency 1901–1909

On September 6, President McKinley was shot while at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. Initial reports in the succeeding days suggested his condition was improving, so Roosevelt embarked on a vacation at Mount Marcy in upstate New York, across the state from Buffalo. He was returning from a climb to the summit on September 13 when a park ranger brought him a telegram informing him that McKinley's condition had deteriorated, and he was near death.

Official White House portrait by John Singer Sargent

Roosevelt and his family immediately departed to go to Buffalo. When they reached the nearest train station at North Creek, at 5:22am on September 14, he received another telegram that McKinley had died a few hours earlier. Roosevelt arrived in Buffalo that afternoon, and was sworn in there as President at 3:30pm.

Roosevelt continued McKinley's cabinet and promised to continue McKinley's policies. One of his first notable acts as president was to deliver a 20,000-word address to Congress[56] asking it to curb the power of large corporations (called "trusts"). For his aggressive attacks on trusts over his two terms he has been called a "trust-buster."

In the 1904 presidential election, Roosevelt won the presidency in his own right in a landslide victory. His vice president was Charles Fairbanks.

Roosevelt dealt with union workers also. In May 1902, United Mine Workers went on strike to get higher pay wages and shorter work days. He set up a fact-finding commission which stopped the strike. It resulted in the workers getting more pay for less hours.

In 1905, he issued a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, which allows the United States to "exercise international policy power" so they can intervene and keep smaller countries on their feet.

Roosevelt helped the well-being of people by passing laws such as The Meat Inspection Act of 1906 and The Pure Food and Drug Act. The Meat Inspection Act of 1906 banned misleading labels and preservatives that contained harmful chemicals in them. The Pure Food and Drug Act banned food and drugs, that are impure or falsely label, from being made, sold, and shipped.

The Gentlemen's Agreement also came into play in 1907. This law banned all school segregation, yet controlled Japanese immigration in California.

Building on McKinley's effective use of the press, Roosevelt made the White House the center of news every day, providing interviews and photo opportunities. After noticing the White House reporters huddled outside in the rain one day, he gave them their own room inside, effectively inventing the presidential press briefing.[57] The grateful press, with unprecedented access to the White House, rewarded Roosevelt with ample coverage.[57]

He chose not to run for another term in 1908, and supported William Taft for the presidency, instead of Fairbanks. Fairbanks withdrew from the race (and in 1912 he supported Taft for re-election, against Roosevelt).

Policy on civil rights, minorities, and immigration

Roosevelt was the first president to appoint a representative of the Jewish minority to a cabinet position, Secretary of Commerce and Labor, Oscar S. Straus, 1906-09.

In 1886 he said: "I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn't like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth." He later became much more favorable.[58][59]

Quote regarding African Americans: "I have not been able to think out any solution of the terrible problem offered by the presence of the Negro on this continent, but of one thing I am sure, and that is that inasmuch as he is here and can neither be killed nor driven away, the only wise and honorable and Christian thing to do is to treat each black man and each white man strictly on his merits as a man, giving him no more and no less that he shows himself worthy to have."[60]

Starting in 1907 eugenicists in many States started the forced sterilization of the sick, unemployed, poor, criminals, prostitutes, and the disabled. Roosevelt said in 1914: "I wish very much that the wrong people could be prevented entirely from breeding; and when the evil nature of these people is sufficiently flagrant, this should be done. Criminals should be sterilized and feeble-minded persons forbidden to leave offspring behind them."[61]

Judicial appointments

Supreme Court appointments

Roosevelt appointed three Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States:

Other judicial appointments

In total Roosevelt appointed 75 federal judges, a record for his day surpassing the 46 appointed by Ulysses S. Grant. In addition to his three Supreme Court appointments, Roosevelt appointed 19 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, and 53 judges to the United States district courts.

Five of Roosevelt's appointees - George Bethune Adams, Thomas H. Anderson, Robert W. Archbald, Andrew McConnell January Cochran, and Benjamin Franklin Keller, were originally placed on their respective courts as recess appointments by President McKinley. Following the assassination which resulted in McKinley's death on September 14, 1901, Roosevelt chose to formally nominate those judges for confirmation by the United States Senate, and all were confirmed.

States admitted to the Union

Post-presidency

African safari

Roosevelt standing next to a dead elephant during a safari

In March 1909, shortly after the end of his presidency, Roosevelt left New York for a safari in east and central Africa. Roosevelt's party landed in Mombasa, British East Africa (now Kenya), traveled to the Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) before following the Nile up to Khartoum in modern Sudan. Financed by Andrew Carnegie and by his own proposed writings, Roosevelt's party hunted for specimens for the Smithsonian Institution and for the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The group included scientists from the Smithsonian and was led by the legendary hunter-tracker R.J. Cunninghame and was joined from time to time by Frederick Selous, the famous big game hunter and explorer. Among other items, Roosevelt brought with him four tons of salt for preserving animal hides, a lucky rabbit's foot given to him by boxer John L. Sullivan, an elephant-rifle donated by a group of 56 admiring Britons, and the famous Pigskin Library, a collection of classics bound in pig leather and transported in a single reinforced trunk.

All told, Roosevelt and his companions killed or trapped over 11,397 animals, from insects and moles to hippopotamuses and elephants. These included 512 big game animals, including six rare white rhinos. The expedition consumed 262 of the animals. Tons of salted animals and their skins were shipped to Washington; the quantity was so large that it took years to mount them all, and the Smithsonian was able to share many duplicate animals with other museums.

Regarding the large number of animals taken, Roosevelt said, "I can be condemned only if the existence of the National Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and all similar zoological institutions are to be condemned."[62] However, although the safari was ostensibly conducted in the name of science, there was another, quite large element to it as well. Along with many native peoples and local leaders, interaction with renowned professional hunters and land owning families made the safari as much a political and social event, as it was a hunting excursion. Roosevelt wrote a detailed account of the adventure in the book African Game Trails, where he describes the excitement of the chase, the people he met, and the flora and fauna he collected in the name of science.

Republican Party rift

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Roosevelt certified William Howard Taft to be a genuine "progressive" in 1908, when Roosevelt pushed through the nomination of his Secretary of War for the Presidency. Taft easily defeated three-time candidate William Jennings Bryan. Taft had a different progressivism, one that stressed the rule of law and preferred that judges rather than administrators or politicians make the basic decisions about fairness. Taft usually proved a less adroit politician than Roosevelt and lacked the energy and personal magnetism, not to mention the publicity devices, the dedicated supporters, and the broad base of public support that made Roosevelt so formidable. When Roosevelt realized that lowering the tariff would risk severe tensions inside the Republican Party—pitting producers (manufacturers and farmers) against merchants and consumers—he stopped talking about the issue. Taft ignored the risks and tackled the tariff boldly, on the one hand encouraging reformers to fight for lower rates, and then cutting deals with conservative leaders that kept overall rates high. The resulting Payne-Aldrich tariff of 1909 was too high for most reformers, but instead of blaming this on Senator Nelson Aldrich and big business, Taft took credit, calling it the best tariff ever. Again he had managed to alienate all sides. While the crisis was building inside the Party, Roosevelt was touring Africa and Europe, to allow Taft to be his own man.[63]

1909 cartoon: TR hands his policies to the care of Taft while William Loeb, Jr. carries the "Big Stick"

Unlike Roosevelt, Taft never attacked business or businessmen in his rhetoric. However, he was attentive to the law, so he launched 90 antitrust suits, including one against the largest corporation, U.S. Steel, for an acquisition that Roosevelt had personally approved. Consequently, Taft lost the support of antitrust reformers (who disliked his conservative rhetoric), of big business (which disliked his actions), and of Roosevelt, who felt humiliated by his protégé. The left wing of the Republican Party began agitating against Taft. Senator Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin created the National Progressive Republican League (precursor to the Progressive Party (United States, 1924)) to defeat the power of political bossism at the state level and to replace Taft at the national level. More trouble came when Taft fired Gifford Pinchot, a leading conservationist and close ally of Roosevelt. Pinchot alleged that Taft's Secretary of Interior Richard Ballinger was in league with big timber interests. Conservationists sided with Pinchot, and Taft alienated yet another vocal constituency.

Roosevelt, back from Europe, unexpectedly launched an attack on the federal courts, which deeply upset Taft. Roosevelt was attacking both the judiciary and the deep faith Republicans had in their judges (most of whom had been appointed by McKinley, Roosevelt or Taft.) In the 1910 Congressional elections, Democrats swept to power, and Taft's reelection in 1912 was increasingly in doubt. In 1911, Taft responded with a vigorous stumping tour that allowed him to sign up most of the party leaders long before Roosevelt announced.

Election of 1912

The battle between Taft and Roosevelt bitterly split the Republican Party; Taft's people dominated the party until 1936.

Republican primaries

Late in 1911, Roosevelt finally broke with Taft and LaFollette and announced himself as a candidate for the Republican nomination. Roosevelt, however, had delayed too long, and Taft had already won the support of most party leaders in the country. Because of LaFollette's nervous breakdown on the campaign trail before Roosevelt's entry, most of LaFollette's supporters went over to Roosevelt, the new progressive Republican candidate.

Roosevelt, stepping up his attack on judges, carried nine of the states that held preferential primaries, LaFollette took two, and Taft only one. The 1912 Primaries represented the first extensive use of the Presidential Primary, a reform achievement of the progressive movement. However, these primary elections, while demonstrating Roosevelt's continuing popularity with the electorate, were not nearly as pivotal as primaries became later in the century. There were fewer states where a common voter had an opportunity to express a recorded preference. Many more states selected convention delegates at state party conventions, or in caucuses, which were not as open as they later became. While Roosevelt was popular with the public, most Republican politicians and party leaders supported Taft, and their support proved difficult to counter in states without primaries.

Formation of the Bull Moose Party

At the Republican Convention in Chicago, despite being the incumbent, Taft's victory was not immediately assured. After two weeks, Roosevelt, realizing he would not be able to win the nomination outright, asked his followers to leave the convention hall. They moved to the Auditorium Theatre, and then Roosevelt, along with key allies such as Pinchot and Albert Beveridge created the Progressive Party, structuring it as a permanent organization that would field complete tickets at the presidential and state level. It was popularly known as the "Bull Moose Party," which got its name after Roosevelt told reporters, "I'm as fit as a bull moose."[64] At the convention Roosevelt cried out, "We stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord." Roosevelt's platform echoed his 1907–08 proposals, calling for vigorous government intervention to protect the people from the selfish interests.[65]

To destroy this invisible Government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day." - 1912 Progressive Party Platform, attributed to him[66] and quoted again in his autobiography[67] where he continues "'This country belongs to the people. Its resources, its business, its laws, its institutions, should be utilized, maintained, or altered in whatever manner will best promote the general interest.' This assertion is explicit. ... Mr. Wilson must know that every monopoly in the United States opposes the Progressive party. ... I challenge him ... to name the monopoly that did support the Progressive party, whether ... the Sugar Trust, the Steel Trust, the Harvester Trust, the Standard Oil Trust, the Tobacco Trust, or any other. ... Ours was the only programme to which they objected, and they supported either Mr. Wilson or Mr. Taft...

Assassination attempt

The bullet-damaged speech and eyeglass case on display at the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace
X-Ray of Roosevelt's ribcage showing the bullet at lower left

While Roosevelt was campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 14, 1912, a saloonkeeper named John Schrank shot him, but the bullet lodged in his chest only after penetrating both his steel eyeglass case and passing through a thick (50 pages) single-folded copy of the speech he was carrying in his jacket.[68] Roosevelt, as an experienced hunter and anatomist, correctly concluded that since he wasn't coughing blood, the bullet had not completely penetrated the chest wall to his lung, and so declined suggestions he go to the hospital immediately. Instead, he delivered his scheduled speech with blood seeping into his shirt.[69] He spoke for ninety minutes. His opening comments to the gathered crowd were, "Ladies and gentlemen, I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose."[70] Afterwards, probes and X-ray showed that the bullet had traversed three inches (76 mm) of tissue and lodged in Roosevelt's chest muscle but did not penetrate the pleura, and it would be more dangerous to attempt to remove the bullet than to leave it in place. Roosevelt carried it with him for the rest of his life.[71]

Due to the bullet wound, Roosevelt was taken off the campaign trail in the final weeks of the race (which ended election day, November 5). Though the other two campaigners stopped their own campaigns in the week Roosevelt was in the hospital, they resumed it once he was released. The overall effect of the shooting was uncertain. Roosevelt for many reasons failed to move enough Republicans in his direction. He did win 4.1 million votes (27%), compared to Taft's 3.5 million (23%). However, Wilson's 6.3 million votes (42%) were enough to garner 435 electoral votes. Roosevelt had 88 electoral votes to Taft's 8 electoral votes. (This meant that Taft became the only incumbent President in history to come in third place in an attempt to be re-elected.) But Pennsylvania was Roosevelt's only Eastern state; in the Midwest he carried Michigan, Minnesota and South Dakota; in the West, California and Washington; he did not win any Southern states. Although he lost, he won more votes than former presidents Martin Van Buren and Millard Fillmore who also ran again and also lost.

1913–1914 South American Expedition

The initial party. From left to right (seated): Father Zahm, Rondon, Kermit, Cherrie, Miller, four Brazilians, Roosevelt, Fiala. Only Roosevelt, Kermit, Cherrie, Rondon and the Brazilians traveled down the River of Doubt.

Roosevelt's popular book Through the Brazilian Wilderness[72] describes his expedition into the Brazilian jungle in 1913 as a member of the Roosevelt-Rondon Scientific Expedition, co-named after its leader, Brazilian explorer Cândido Rondon. The book describes the scientific discovery, scenic tropical vistas, and exotic flora and fauna experienced during the adventure. A friend, Father John Augustine Zahm, had searched for new adventures and found them in the forests of South America. After a briefing of several of his own expeditions, he persuaded Roosevelt to commit to such an expedition in 1912. To finance the expedition Roosevelt received support from the American Museum of Natural History, promising to bring back many new animal specimens.

Once in South America a new far more ambitious goal was added: to find the headwaters of the Rio da Duvida, the River of Doubt, and trace it north to the Madeira and thence to the Amazon River. It was later renamed Rio Roosevelt (Rio Teodoro today, 640 km long) in honor of the former President. Roosevelt's crew consisted of his 24-year-old son Kermit, Colonel Rondon, a naturalist, George K. Cherrie, sent by the American Museum of Natural History, Brazilian Lieutenant Joao Lyra, team physician Dr. José Antonio Cajazeira, and sixteen skilled paddlers and porters (called camaradas in Portuguese). The initial expedition started, probably unwisely, on December 9, 1913, at the height of the rainy season. The trip down the River of Doubt started on February 27, 1914.

Roosevelt, wearing sun helmet, barely survived an expedition in 1913 into the Amazonian rain forest to trace the River of Doubt later named the Rio Roosevelt.

During the trip down the river, Roosevelt contracted malaria and a serious infection resulting from a minor leg wound. These illnesses so weakened Roosevelt that six weeks into the adventure he had to be attended day and night by the expedition's physician and his son, Kermit. By then he was unable to walk due both to the infection in his injured leg and an infirmity in his other owing to a traffic accident a decade earlier, riddled with chest pains, fighting a fever that soared to 103 °F (39 °C), and at times delirious. Regarding his condition as a threat to the survival of the others, Roosevelt insisted he be left behind to allow the by then poorly provisioned expedition to proceed as rapidly as it could. Only an appeal by his son convinced him to continue.

In spite of his continued decline and loss of what ultimately amounted to over fifty pounds (20 kg) of his original two-hundred twenty, Commander Rondon had been repeatedly slowing down the pace of the expedition in dedication to his commission's mapmaking and other geographical goals that demanded regular stops to fix the expedition's position by sun-based survey.

Upon Roosevelt's return to New York, friends and family were startled by his physical appearance and fatigue. Roosevelt wrote to a friend that the trip had cut his life short by ten years. He might not have really known just how accurate that analysis would prove: for the rest of his few remaining years he would be plagued by flareups of malaria and leg inflammations so severe that they would require surgery.[73][74]

Before Roosevelt had even completed his sea voyage home doubts were raised over his claims of exploring and navigating a completely uncharted river over 625 miles (1,000 km) long. When he had recovered sufficiently he addressed a standing-room-only convention organized in Washington, D.C. by the National Geographic Society and satisfactorily defended his claims.

Later years and death

When World War I began in 1914, Roosevelt strongly supported the Allies of World War I and demanded a harsher policy against Germany, especially regarding submarine warfare. Roosevelt angrily denounced the foreign policy of President Wilson, calling it a failure regarding the atrocities in Belgium and the violations of American rights.[75] In 1916, he campaigned energetically for Charles Evans Hughes and repeatedly denounced Irish-Americans and German-Americans who Roosevelt said were unpatriotic because they put the interest of Ireland and Germany ahead of America's by supporting neutrality. He insisted one had to be 100% American, not a "hyphenated American" who juggled multiple loyalties. When the U.S. entered the war in 1917, Roosevelt sought to raise a volunteer infantry division, but Wilson refused.[76]

Roosevelt's attacks on Wilson helped the Republicans win control of Congress in the off-year elections of 1918. Roosevelt was popular enough to seriously contest the 1920 Republican nomination, but his health was broken by 1918, because of the lingering malaria. His son Quentin, a daring pilot with the American forces in France, was shot down behind German lines in 1918. Quentin was his youngest son and probably his favorite. It is said the death of his son distressed him so much that Roosevelt never recovered from his loss.[77]

Roosevelt's Grave in Youngs Memorial Cemetery Oyster Bay, New York
Twenty-six steps leading to Roosevelt's grave, commemorating his service as 26th President

Despite his faltering health, Roosevelt remained active to the end of his life. He was an enthusiastic proponent of the Scouting movement. The Boy Scouts of America gave him the title of Chief Scout Citizen, the only person to hold such title. One early Scout leader said, "The two things that gave Scouting great impetus and made it very popular were the uniform and Teddy Roosevelt's jingoism."[78]

Roosevelt was considering a third Presidential campaign in 1920, and was believed to have been the front-runner for the Republican nomination until he was laid low by illness. His family and supporters threw their support to Roosevelt's old military companion, General Leonard Wood, who was ultimately defeated by Warren G. Harding.[79]

On January 6, 1919, Roosevelt died in his sleep at Oyster Bay of a coronary thrombosis (heart attack), preceded by a 2 1/2-month illness described as inflammatory rheumatism,[80] and was buried in nearby Youngs Memorial Cemetery.[81][82] Upon receiving word of his death, his son Archie telegraphed his siblings simply, "The old lion is dead."[77] The U.S. Vice-President at that time, Thomas R. Marshall, said that "Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight."[83]

Political positions and speeches

Immigration

In an 1894 article on immigration, Roosevelt said, "We must Americanize in every way, in speech, in political ideas and principles, and in their way of looking at relations between church and state. We welcome the German and the Irishman who becomes an American. We have no use for the German or Irishman who remains such... He must revere only our flag, not only must it come first, but no other flag should even come second."[84]

Square Deal speech

Theodore Roosevelt introduced the phrase "Square Deal" to describe his progressive views in a speech delivered after leaving the office of the Presidency in August 1910. In his broad outline, he stressed equality of opportunity for all citizens and emphasized the importance of fair government regulations of corporate 'special interests'.

Conservationist speech and legacy

Roosevelt was one of the first Presidents to make conservation a national issue. In a speech that TR gave at Osawatomie, Kansas, on August 31, 1910, he outlined his views on conservation of the lands of the United States. He favored the use of America's natural resources, but not the misuse of them through wasteful consumption [85].

One of his most lasting legacies was his significant role in the creation of 150 National Forests, 5 national parks, and 18 national monuments, among other works of conservation. In total, TR was instrumental in the conservation of approximately 230 million acres of American soil among various parks and other federal projects.[86]

Speech for federal control of monopolies

In the Eighth Annual Message to Congress (1908), TR mentioned the need for federal government to regulate interstate corporations using the Interstate Commerce Clause, also mentioning how these corporations fought federal control by appealing to states' rights.

Writer

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Despite his weakened condition and slow recovery from his South America expedition, Roosevelt continued to write with passion on subjects ranging from foreign policy to the importance of the national park system. As an editor of Outlook magazine, he had weekly access to a large, educated national audience. In all, Roosevelt wrote about 18 books (each in several editions), including his Autobiography,[87] The Rough Riders[88], History of the Naval War of 1812,[89] and others on subjects such as ranching, explorations, and wildlife. His most ambitious book was the 4 volume narrative The Winning of the West, which attempted to connect the origin of a new "race" of Americans (i.e. what he considered the present population of the United States to be) to the frontier conditions their ancestors endured throughout the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries.

Character and beliefs

Roosevelt Family in 1903 with Quentin on the left, TR, Ted, Jr., "Archie", Alice, Kermit, Edith, and Ethel

Roosevelt intensely disliked being called "Teddy," and was quick to point out this fact to those who used the nickname, though it would become widely used by newspapers during his political career. He attended church regularly. Of including the motto "In God We Trust" on money, in 1907 he wrote, "It seems to me eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by use on coins, just as it would be to cheapen it by use on postage stamps, or in advertisements." He was also a member of the Freemasons and Sons of the American Revolution.[90]

Roosevelt had a lifelong interest in pursuing what he called, in an 1899 speech, "the strenuous life." To this end, he exercised regularly and took up boxing, tennis, hiking, rowing, polo, and horseback riding. As governor of New York, he boxed with sparring partners several times a week, a practice he regularly continued as President until one blow detached his left retina, leaving him blind in that eye (a fact not made public until many years later). Thereafter, he practiced judo attaining a third degree brown belt and continued his habit of skinny-dipping in the Potomac River during winter.[91][92]

Sagamore Hill, Roosevelt's estate

He was an enthusiastic singlestick player and, according to Harper's Weekly, in 1905 showed up at a White House reception with his arm bandaged after a bout with General Leonard Wood.[93] Roosevelt was also an avid reader, reading tens of thousands of books, at a rate of several a day in multiple languages. Along with Thomas Jefferson, Roosevelt is often considered the most well read of any American politician.[94]

Legacy

Roosevelt's face on Mount Rushmore

For his gallantry at San Juan Hill, Roosevelt's commanders recommended him for the Medal of Honor, but his subsequent telegrams to the War Department complaining about the delays in returning American troops from Cuba doomed his chances. In the late 1990s, Roosevelt's supporters again took up the flag for him and overcame opposition from elements within the U.S. Army and the National Archives. On January 16, 2001, President Bill Clinton awarded Theodore Roosevelt the Medal of Honor posthumously for his charge up San Juan Hill, Cuba, during the Spanish-American War. Roosevelt's eldest son, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., received the Medal of Honor for heroism at the Battle of Normandy in 1944. The Roosevelts thus became one of only two father-son pairs to receive this honor.

1910 cartoon shows Roosevelt's multiple roles from 1899 to 1910

Roosevelt's legacy includes several other important commemorations. Roosevelt was included with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln at the Mount Rushmore Memorial, designed in 1927. The United States Navy named two ships for Roosevelt: the USS Theodore Roosevelt (SSBN-600), a submarine that was in commission from 1961 to 1982; and the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), an aircraft carrier that has been on active duty in the Atlantic Fleet since 1986.

The Roosevelt Memorial Association (later the Theodore Roosevelt Association) or "TRA", was founded in 1920 to preserve Roosevelt's legacy. The Association preserved TR's birthplace, "Sagamore Hill" home, papers, and video film.

Among the schools, neighborhoods, and streets named in Roosevelt's honor are Roosevelt High School in Seattle, Washington, the surrounding Roosevelt neighborhood, the district's main arterial, Roosevelt Way N.E., and Roosevelt Middle School in Eugene, Oregon.

Overall, historians credit Roosevelt for changing the nation's political system by permanently placing the presidency at center stage and making character as important as the issues. His notable accomplishments include trust-busting and conservationism. However, he has been criticized for his interventionist and imperialist approach to nations he considered "uncivilized". Even so, history and legend have been kind to him. His friend, historian Henry Adams, proclaimed, "Roosevelt, more than any other living man ....showed the singular primitive quality that belongs to ultimate matter – the quality that mediaeval theology assigned to God – he was pure act." Historians typically rank Roosevelt among the top five presidents.[95][96]

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles is named after him as well as the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.

Popular culture

Theodore Roosevelt impersonator Joe Wiegand performs October 27, 2008 in the East Room of the White House, during a celebration of Roosevelt's 150th birthday.

Roosevelt's 1901 saying "Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick" is still being occasionally quoted by politicians and columnists in different countries – not only in English but also in translation to various other languages.

Roosevelt's lasting popular legacy, however, is the stuffed toy bears—teddy bears—named after him following an incident on a hunting trip in Mississippi in 1902. Roosevelt famously ordered the mercy killing of a wounded black bear. After a national cartoonist illustrated the President with a bear, a toy maker heard the story and asked TR if he could use his name on a toy bear. Roosevelt approved and the teddy bear was born. Bears and later bear cubs became closely associated with Roosevelt in political cartoons thereafter.[97]

On June 26, 2006, Roosevelt, again, made the cover of TIME magazine with the lead story, "The Making of America—Theodore Roosevelt—The 20th Century Express": "At home and abroad, Theodore Roosevelt was the locomotive President, the man who drew his flourishing nation into the future."[98]

In 1905, Roosvelt, an admirer of various western figures, named Captain Bill McDonald of the Texas Rangers, as his bodyguard and entertained the legendary Texan in the White House. Ironically, in the 1912 campaign, McDonald was Woodrow Wilson's bodyguard. Wilson thereafter named the Democrat McDonald as U.S. Marshal for the Northern district of Texas.[99]

Roosevelt has been portrayed many times in film and on television. The actor Karl Swenson played him in the 1967 western picture Brighty of the Grand Canyon, the story of a real-life burro who guided Roosevelt on a hunting trip to find mountain lions.[100]

Frank Albertson played Roosevelt in the episode "Rough and Ready" of the CBS series My Friend Flicka."[101]

Media

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the first presidents whose voice was recorded for posterity. Several of his recorded speeches survive.[102] A 4.6-minute voice recording,[103] which preserves Roosevelt's lower timbre ranges particularly well for its time, is among those available from the Michigan State University libraries. (This is the 1912 recording of The Right of the People to Rule, recorded by Edison at Carnegie Hall). In what some consider the best example of Roosevelt's animated oratorical style, an audio clip[104] sponsored by the Authentic History Center includes his defense[105] of the Progressive Party in 1912 wherein he proclaims it the "party of the people" in contrast with the other major parties.

Electoral history

See also

Notes and references

Notes

  1. ^ His last name is, according to the man himself, "pronounced as if it was spelled 'Rosavelt.' That is in three syllables. The first syllable as if it was 'Rose.'" Hart, Albert B.; Herbert R. Ferleger (1989). "Theodore Roosevelt Cyclopedia" (CD-ROM). Theodore Roosevelt Association. pp. 534–535. http://www.theodoreroosevelt.org/TR%20Web%20Book/TR_CD_to_HTML571.html. Retrieved 2007-06-10. ;
    An audio recording in which Roosevelt pronounces his own last name distinctly. To listen at the correct speed, slow the recording down by 20%. Retrieved on July 12, 2007.
    "How to Pronounce Theodore Roosevelt". http://inogolo.com/pronunciation/d227/Theodore_Roosevelt. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  2. ^ "T.R.: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt", 1996, 'The American Experience'
  3. ^ John F. Kennedy is the youngest person to be elected President. Roosevelt was not elected into office as President until 1904, when he was 46.
  4. ^ Frederick W. Marks III, Velvet on Iron: The Diplomacy of Theodore Roosevelt (1979); Greg Russell, "Theodore Roosevelt's Diplomacy and the Quest for Great Power Equilibrium in Asia," Presidential Studies Quarterly 2008 38(3): 433-455
  5. ^ "On Safari With Theodore Roosevelt, 1909". www.eyewitnesstohistory.com. EyeWitness to History. 1997. http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/tr.htm. Retrieved 13 September 2009. 
  6. ^ "James S. Sherman, 27th Vice President (1909-1912)". www.senate.gov. U.S. Senate. http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/generic/VP_James_Sherman.htm. Retrieved 13 September 2009. 
  7. ^ Pringle (1931) p. 11
  8. ^ Roosevelt, Theodore An Autobiography, 1913, The MacMillan Company, "On October 27, 1858, I was born at No. 28 East Twentieth Street, New York City..."
  9. ^ LOST IN TONE
  10. ^ "TR's Legacy—The Environment". Retrieved March 6, 2006.
  11. ^ Bishop, Joseph Bucklin,(1920)"Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Book I,p. 2
  12. ^ Thayer, William Roscoe (1919). Theodore Roosevelt: An Intimate Biography, Chapter I, p. 20. Bartleby.com.
  13. ^ Roosevelt, Theodore (1913). Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography, Chapter I, p. 13.
  14. ^ "The Film & More: Program Transcript Part One". Retrieved March 9, 2006.
  15. ^ Miller, Nathan, (1992) Theodore Roosevelt - A Life, pg 158, ISBN 9780688132200, ISBN 0688132200, New York, Quill/William Morrow
  16. ^ Bishop, Joseph Bucklin,(1920)"Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Book I,p. 33-35
  17. ^ Robinson Roosevelt, Corinne, 1921, My Brother Theodore Roosevelt, Kessinger Publishing (March 2003), ISBN 0766143813, pg 240-241.
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ Morris, Rise of, pg 232.
  20. ^ Brands T. R. p. 49–50
  21. ^ Brands p. 62
  22. ^ Thayer, William Roscoe (November 2000). "Origins and Youth". Theodore Roosevelt; an Intimate Biography. Nalanda Digital Library. http://www.nalanda.nitc.ac.in/resources/english/etext-project/Biography/roosevelt/index.htm. Retrieved 22 November 2008. 
  23. ^ Autobiography, pg 40
  24. ^ Morris, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, pg 67
  25. ^ Brands, pp 123–29
  26. ^ Autobiography, pg 35
  27. ^ Morris, Rise of, pg 565
  28. ^ a b Crawford, Michael J.. "The Lasting Influence of Theodore Roosevelt’s 'Naval War of 1812'". ijnhonline.org. International Journal of Naval History. http://www.ijnhonline.org/volume1_number1_Apr02/article_crawford_roosevelt_1812.doc.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  29. ^ Morris, Rise of, pg 267.
  30. ^ "Theodore Roosevelt, A Biography, by Henry Pringle", pg 61
  31. ^ Hagedorn, Herman (1921). Roosevelt in the Bad Lands. New York: Houghton-Mifflin. pp. 379. 
  32. ^ Morris, Rise of, 241–245, 247–250
  33. ^ Thayer, Chapter V, pp. 4, 6.
  34. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica, 1910 Edition, Topic: Theodore Roosevelt
  35. ^ Although Roosevelt's father was also named Theodore Roosevelt, he died while the future president was still childless and unmarried, so the future President Roosevelt took the suffix of Sr. and subsequently named his son Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. Because Roosevelt was still alive when his grandson and namesake was born, his grandson was named Theodore Roosevelt III, and the president's son retained the Jr. after his father's death.
  36. ^ Thayer, ch. VI, pp. 1–2.
  37. ^ a b Bishop, Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Book I, pg 51
  38. ^ Bishop, Theodore Roosevelt and His Time pg 53
  39. ^ Andrews, William, "The Early Years: The Challenge of Public Order - 1845 to 1870", - New York City Police Department History Site. Retrieved August 28, 2006.
  40. ^ Editors, "Leadership of the City of New York Police Department 1845–1901", - The New York City Police Department Museum. Retrieved August 28, 2006.
  41. ^ Riis, Jacob, A, The Making of an American Chapter XIII, page 3.
  42. ^ Brands ch 11
  43. ^ Cartoon of the Day explanation, Robert C. Kennedy, Harper's Weekly, September 6, 1902
  44. ^ Brands ch 12
  45. ^ "April 16, 1897: T. Roosevelt Appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy". Crucible of Empire - Timeline. PBS Online. http://www.pbs.org/crucible/tl7.html. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  46. ^ "Transcript For "Crucible Of Empire"". Crucible of Empire - Timeline. PBS Online. http://www.pbs.org/crucible/Transcript.txt. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  47. ^ a b Roosevelt, Theodore (1898). The Rough Riders, Chapter III, p. 52. Bartleby.com.
  48. ^ Miller, Nathan, (1992) Theodore Roosevelt - A Life, pg 308, ISBN 9780688132200, ISBN 0688132200, New York, Quill/William Morrow
  49. ^ [2]
  50. ^ Soots Letter
  51. ^ Brands ch 13
  52. ^ Rucker, Philip (March 21, 2009). "Obama's Turnabout On Vets Highlights Budgeting Nuances". The Washington Post. p. A02. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/20/AR2009032003236.html?hpid=topnews. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  53. ^ "Medal of Honor". Life of Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt Association. http://www.theodoreroosevelt.org/life/medalofhonor.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  54. ^ Center of Military History
  55. ^ Brands ch 14–15
  56. ^ Theodore Roosevelt website
  57. ^ a b Rouse, Robert (March 15, 2006). "Happy Anniversary to the first scheduled presidential press conference - 93 years young!". American Chronicle. http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/6883. 
  58. ^ Morris, Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, p. 826 and ch. 17
  59. ^ Dyer, Thomas (1992). Theodore Roosevelt and the Idea of Race. LSU Press. p. 186. 
  60. ^ Roosevelt, Theodore; ed. by Archibald Roosevelt (1968). Theodore Roosevelt on Race, Riots, Reds, Crime. Probe. p. 13. 
  61. ^ Roosevelt, Theodore (1968). Theodore Roosevelt on Race, Riots, Reds, Crime. Probe. p. 27. 
  62. ^ O'Toole, Patricia (2005) When Trumpets Call, p. 67, Simon and Schuster, ISBN 0-684-86477-0
  63. ^ Thayer, Chapter XXI, p. 10.
  64. ^ Carl M. Cannon, The Pursuit of Happiness in Times of War, Rowman & Littlefield: 2003, p. 142. ISBN 0742525929.
  65. ^ Thayer, Chapter XXII, pp. 25–31.
  66. ^ Patricia OToole (2006-06-25). "The War of 1912". Time Magazine. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1207791-2,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  67. ^ Roosevelt, Theodore. An Autobiography: XV. The Peace of Righteousness, Appendix B, NEW YORK: MACMILLAN, 1913.
  68. ^ Wisconsin Historical Society
  69. ^ Medical History of American Presidents
  70. ^ Excerpt from the Detroit Free Press, at Historybuff.com
  71. ^ Roosevelt Timeline
  72. ^ [3] Facsimile of the first edition (1914)
  73. ^ Hanson, David C. (2005). "Theodore Roosevelt: Lion in the White House". Retrieved March 6, 2006.
  74. ^ Thayer, Chapter XXIII, pp. 4–7.
  75. ^ Brands, 749-51, 806-9
  76. ^ Brands 781–4; Cramer, C.H. Newton D. Baker (1961) 110–113
  77. ^ a b Dalton, (2002) p. 507
  78. ^ Larson, Keith (2006). "Theodore Roosevelt". Retrieved March 6, 2006.
  79. ^ Pietrusza, David. 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents (2007). pp. 55-71 (on Roosevelt's prospective candidacy), 167-175 (on Wood and his support by TR's family)
  80. ^ Pinals, Robert S (February 2008). "Theodore Roosevelt's inflammatory rheumatism". J Clin Rheumatol 14 (1): 41–4. doi:10.1097/RHU.0b013e3181639ad0. ISSN 1076-1608. PMID 18431099. 
  81. ^ "Business to Stop in Silent Tribute; Stock Exchanges and Courts Will Suspend for Day at 1 o'clock This Afternoon; Church Bells will Toll," New York Times. January 8, 1919
  82. ^ "Bury Roosevelt with Simple Rites as Nation Grieves; Government's Representatives and Old Friends Pay Last Tribute at His Bier," New York Times. January 9, 1919.
  83. ^ Manners, William. TR and Will: A Friendship that Split the Republican Party. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1969.
  84. ^ Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York, New York: Basic Books. p. 267. ISBN 0465041957. 
  85. ^ DiNunzio, Mario (1994). Theodore Roosevelt: An American Mind. New York, New York: Penguin Books USA. p. 145. ISBN 0-14-02-4520-0. 
  86. ^ "Conservationist Theodore Roosevelt". Theodore Roosevelt Association. November, 2005. http://www.theodoreroosevelt.org/life/conservation.htm. Retrieved February 20, 2010. 
  87. ^ Roosevelt, Theodore (2006). An Autobiography. Echo Library. http://books.google.com/books?id=VZi1sGSjFfEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Autobiography%2Broosevelt. 
  88. ^ Roosevelt, Theodore (1904). The Rough Riders. New York: The Review of Reviews Company. http://books.google.com/books?id=jO4YAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Rough+Riders%2Broosevelt. 
  89. ^ Roosevelt, Theodore (1900). The Naval War of 1812. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. http://books.google.com/books?id=6xkbAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=History+of+the+Naval+War+of+1812%2Broosevelt. 
  90. ^ The Origins of the SAR Accessed 26 December 2008
  91. ^ Thayer, Chapter XVII, pp. 22–24.
  92. ^ Shaw, K.B. & Maiden, David (2006). "Theodore Roosevelt". Retrieved March 7, 2006.
  93. ^ Amberger, J Christoph, Secret History of the Sword Adventures in Ancient Martial Arts 1998, ISBN 1-892515-04-0.
  94. ^ David H. Burton, The Learned Presidency 1988, p 12.
  95. ^ The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia (2005). "Biography: Impact and Legacy". Retrieved March 7, 2006.
  96. ^ "Legacy". Retrieved March 7, 2006.
  97. ^ "History of the Teddy Bear". Retrieved March 7, 2006.
  98. ^ ""The Making of America—Theodore Roosevelt—The 20th Century Express"". Time. 2006. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1207820,00.html. Retrieved 2006-03-26. 
  99. ^ "Harold J. Weiss, Jr., and Rie Jarratt, "McDonald, William Jesse"". tshaonline.org. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/MM/fmc43.html. Retrieved March 9, 2010. 
  100. ^ ""In Memory of Karl Swenson (1908-1978)"". zunshine.com. http://www.zunshine.com/swenson/intsteven.html. Retrieved January 18, 2010. 
  101. ^ "My Friend Flicka". Classic Television Archives. http://ctva.biz/US/Western/MyFriendFlicka.htm. Retrieved March 18, 2009. 
  102. ^ Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
  103. ^ [4]
  104. ^ [5]
  105. ^ Roosevelt, Theodore (1913). Youngman, Elmer H. ed. Progressive Principles. New York: Progressive National Service. p. 215. http://books.google.com/books?id=qLYJAAAAIAAJ&jtp=215. Retrieved April 14, 2009. 

Primary sources

Secondary sources

  • Blum, John Morton. (1954). The Republican Roosevelt. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Series of essays that examine how TR did politics OCLC 310975
  • Brands, Henry William. (1997). T.R.: The Last Romantic. New York: Basic Books. Reprinted 2001, full biography OCLC 36954615
  • Brinkley, Douglas. (2009). The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America. New York: HarperCollins. 10-ISBN 0-060-56528-4; 13-ISBN 978-0-060-56528-2;
  • Chace, James. 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft, and Debs - The Election That Changed the Country. (2004). 323 pp.
  • Cooper, John Milton The Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. (1983) a dual scholarly biography
  • Dalton, Kathleen. Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life. (2002), full scholarly biography
  • Fehn, Bruce. "Theodore Roosevelt and American Masculinity." Magazine of History (2005) 19(2): 52–59. Issn: 0882-228x Fulltext online at Ebsco. Provides a lesson plan on TR as the historical figure who most exemplifies the quality of masculinity.
  • Gluck, Sherwin. "T.R.'s Summer White House, Oyster Bay." (1999) Chronicles the events of TR's presidency during the summers of his two terms.
  • Goldman, Eric F. Rendezvous with Destiny: A History of Modern American Reform. (1952) Bancroft Prize, 1953, ISBN 1566633699
  • Gould, Lewis L. The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. (1991), standard history of his domestic and foreign policy as president
  • Harbaugh, William Henry. The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt. (1963), full scholarly biography
  • Keller, Morton, ed., Theodore Roosevelt: A Profile (1967) excerpts from TR and from historians.
  • Kohn, Edward. "Crossing the Rubicon: Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and the 1884 Republican National Convention." Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 2006 5(1): 18–45. Issn: 1537-7814 Fulltext: in History Cooperative
  • Millard, Candice. River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey. (2005)
  • McCullough, David. Mornings on Horseback, The Story of an Extraordinary Family. a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt. (2001) popular biography to 1884
  • Mellander, Gustavo A. (1971). The United States in Panamanian Politics: The Intriguing Formative Years. Daville,Ill.:Interstate Publishers. OCLC 138568.
  • Mellander, Gustavo A.; Nelly Maldonado Mellander (1999). Charles Edward Magoon: The Panama Years. Río Piedras, Puerto Rico: Editorial Plaza Mayor. ISBN 1563281554. OCLC 42970390.
  • Morris, Edmund The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, to 1901 (1979); vol 2: Theodore Rex 1901–1909. (2001); Pulitzer prize for Volume 1. Biography.
  • Mowry, George. The Era of Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of Modern America, 1900–1912. (1954) general survey of era; online
  • Mowry, George E. Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement. (2001) focus on 1912
  • O'Toole, Patricia. When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt after the White House. (2005). 494 pp.
  • Pearson, Edmund. Theodore Roosevelt. 1920.
  • Powell, Jim. Bully Boy: The Truth About Theodore Roosevelt's Legacy (Crown Forum, 2006). Examines TR policies from conservative/libertarian perspective. ISBN 0307237222
  • Pringle, Henry F. Theodore Roosevelt (1932; 2nd ed. 1956), full scholarly biography
  • Putnam, Carleton Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography, Volume I: The Formative Years (1958), only volume published, to age 28.
  • Renehan, Edward J. The Lion's Pride: Theodore Roosevelt and His Family in Peace and War. (Oxford University Press, 1998), examines TR and his family during the World War I period
  • Strock, James M. Theodore Roosevelt on Leadership. Random House, 2003.
  • Watts, Sarah. Rough Rider in the White House: Theodore Roosevelt and the Politics of Desire. 2003. 289 pp.

Foreign policy

  • Beale Howard K. Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World Power. (1956). standard history of his foreign policy
  • Holmes, James R. Theodore Roosevelt and World Order: Police Power in International Relations. 2006. 328 pp.
  • Marks III, Frederick W. Velvet on Iron: The Diplomacy of Theodore Roosevelt (1979)
  • David McCullough. The Path between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870–1914 (1977).
  • Ricard, Serge. "The Roosevelt Corollary." Presidential Studies Quarterly 2006 36(1): 17–26. Issn: 0360-4918 Fulltext: in Swetswise and Ingenta
  • Tilchin, William N. and Neu, Charles E., ed. Artists of Power: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Their Enduring Impact on U.S. Foreign Policy. Praeger, 2006. 196 pp.
  • Tilchin, William N. Theodore Roosevelt and the British Empire: A Study in Presidential Statecraft (1997)

Further reading

  • Testi, Arnaldo (1995). "The Gender of Reform Politics: Theodore Roosevelt and the Culture of Masculinity," Journal of American History, Vol. 81, No. 4, pp. 1509–1533.
  • THE WILDERNESS WARRIOR; Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, By Douglas Brinkley, 2009

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
William McKinley
President of the United States
September 14, 1901-March 4, 1909
Succeeded by
William Howard Taft
Vacant
Title last held by
Garret Augustus Hobart
Vice President of the United States
March 4, 1901-September 14, 1901
Vacant
Title next held by
Charles W. Fairbanks
Preceded by
Frank S. Black
Governor of New York
1899-1900
Succeeded by
Benjamin B. Odell, Jr.
Government offices
Preceded by
William McAdoo
Assistant Secretary of the Navy
April 19, 1897 – May 10, 1898
Succeeded by
Charles Herbert Allen
Party political offices
New political party Progressive Party presidential candidate
1912
Party disbanded
Preceded by
William McKinley
Republican Party presidential candidate
1904
Succeeded by
William Howard Taft
Preceded by
Garret Hobart
Republican Party vice presidential candidate
1900
Succeeded by
Charles W. Fairbanks

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

I have always been fond of the West African proverb "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."

Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (1858-10-271919-01-06), also known as T.R. or Teddy, was the 26th President of the United States (1901–1909).

Contents

Sourced

I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life.
  • The light has gone out of my life.
    • Entry in Roosevelt's diary, after which he put a large X, on 1884-02-14, the day in which both his mother and wife died within hours of each other.
  • There is a curse on this house.
    • Theodore repeating what his brother, Elliot Roosevelt, said when Theodore reached his home in New York City to find both mother and wife dying on the evening of 1884-02-13. In this same house their father had also died a slow and agonizing death on 1878-02-09 at the age of 46 from stomach cancer.
  • Gentlemen: you have now reached the last point. If anyone of you doesn’t mean business let him say so now. An hour from now will be too late to back out. Once in, you’ve got to see it through. You’ve got to perform without flinching whatever duty is assigned you, regardless of the difficulty or the danger attending it. If it is garrison duty, you must attend to it. If it is meeting fever, you must be willing. If it is the closest kind of fighting, anxious for it. You must know how to ride, how to shoot, how to live in the open. Absolute obedience to every command is your first lesson. No matter what comes you mustn’t squeal. Think it over — all of you. If any man wishes to withdraw he will be gladly excused, for others are ready to take his place.
    • Address to U.S. Army recruits (1898), as quoted in U.S. Army Field Manual 22-5 (1986)
  • I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life.
    • Speech at the Hamilton Club, Chicago (1899-04-10)
  • Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
    • Speech at the Hamilton Club, Chicago (1899-04-10)
I can be President of the United States, or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly do both.
  • I have always been fond of the West African proverb "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    • Letter to Henry L. Sprague (1900-01-26); This is the first known use of this phrase, which became a signature motto of Roosevelt's after he used it in a speech as Vice-President at the Minnesota State Fair:
There is a homely adage which runs "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." If the American nation will speak softly and yet build and keep at a pitch of highest training a thoroughly efficient Navy, the Monroe Doctrine will go far. (1901-09-02)
(Accounts of the precise wording with which he introduced this proverb vary. Another version is given below, within a more extensive transcript of the speech.)
  • Death is always and under all circumstances a tragedy, for if it is not, then it means that life itself has become one.
  • I'm as strong as a bull moose and you can use me to the limit.
  • I can be President of the United States, or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly do both.
    • Response when a dignitary asked if he could better control his daughter, as quoted in Hail to the Chiefs : My Life and Times with Six Presidents (1970) by Ruth Shick Montgomery, and TIME magazine (3 March 1980)
  • Probably the greatest harm done by vast wealth is the harm that we of moderate means do ourselves when we let the vices of envy and hatred enter deep into our own natures.
    But there is another harm; and it is evident that we should try to do away with that. The great corporations which we have grown to speak of rather loosely as trusts are the creatures of the State, and the State not only has the right to control them, but it is duty bound to control them wherever the need of such control is shown.
    • Speech at Providence, Rhode Island (1902-08-23), Presidential Addresses and State Papers (1910), p. 103
Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
  • The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight; that he shall not be a mere passenger, but shall do his share in the work that each generation of us finds ready to hand; and, furthermore, that in doing his work he shall show, not only the capacity for sturdy self-help, but also self-respecting regard for the rights of others.
  • Our aim is not to do away with corporations; on the contrary, these big aggregations are an inevitable development of modern industrialism, and the effort to destroy them would be futile unless accomplished in ways that would work the utmost mischief to the entire body politic. We can do nothing of good in the way of regulating and supervising these corporations until we fix clearly in our minds that we are not attacking the corporations, but endeavoring to do away with any evil in them. We are not hostile to them; we are merely determined that they shall be so handled as to subserve the public good. We draw the line against misconduct, not against wealth.
    • State of the Union address (2 December 1902)
  • A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. More than that no man is entitled to, and less than that no man shall have.
    • Speech at Springfield, Illinois (1903-07-04)
  • Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
    • "The Square Deal" Labor Day speech to the New York State Agricultural Association, Syracuse, NY (1903-09-07)
  • No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor.
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena...
  • Any country whose people conduct themselves well can count upon our hearty friendship. If a nation shows that it knows how to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and political matters, if it keeps order and pays its obligations, it need fear no interference from the United States. Chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, may in America, as elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power.
  • It is enough to give any one a sense of sardonic amusement to see the way in which the people generally, not only in my own country but elsewhere, gauge the work purely by the fact that it succeeded. If I had not brought about peace I should have been laughed at and condemned. Now I am over-praised. I am credited with being extremely longheaded, etc. As a matter of fact I took the position I finally did not of my own volition but because events so shaped themselves that I would have felt as if I was flinch- ing from a plain duty if I had acted otherwise. ... Neither Government would consent to meet where the other wished and the Japanese would not consent to meet at The Hague, which was the place I desired. The result was that they had to meet in this country, and this necessarily threw me into a position of prominence which I had not sought, and indeed which I had sought to avoid — though I feel now that unless they had met here they never would have made peace.
To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.
  • Men with the muckrake are often indispensable to the well-being of society, but only if they know when to stop raking the muck, and to look upward to the celestial crown above them. … If they gradually grow to feel that the whole world is nothing but muck their power of usefulness is gone.
    • Address on the laying of the cornerstone of the House Office Building, Washington, D.C. (1906-04-14)
  • Malefactors of great wealth.
    • Phrase first used in a speech at Provincetown, Massachusetts (1907-08-20)
  • To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.
  • It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.
  • Every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.
  • The object of government is the welfare of the people. The material progress and prosperity of a nation are desirable chiefly so far as they lead to the moral and material welfare of all good citizens.
    • The New Nationalism (1910)
  • We stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord.
    • Speech at Progressive Party Convention, Chicago (1912-06-17)
  • We wish to control big business so as to secure among other things good wages for the wage-workers and reasonable prices for the consumers. Wherever in any business the prosperity of the businessman is obtained by lowering the wages of his workmen and charging an excessive price to the consumers we wish to interfere and stop such practices. We will not submit to that kind of prosperity any more than we will submit to prosperity obtained by swindling investors or getting unfair advantages over business rivals.
    • Speech at Progressive Party Convention, Chicago (1912-06-17)
We stand equally against government by a plutocracy and government by a mob.
  • Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.
  • We stand equally against government by a plutocracy and government by a mob. There is something to be said for government by a great aristocracy which has furnished leaders to the nation in peace and war for generations; even a democrat like myself must admit this. But there is absolutely nothing to be said for government by a plutocracy, for government by men very powerful in certain lines and gifted with "the money touch," but with ideals which in their essence are merely those of so many glorified pawnbrokers.
To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
  • If I must choose between righteousness and peace I choose righteousness.
    • America and the World War (1915)
  • You could no more make an agreement with them than you could nail currant jelly to a wall - and the failure to nail current jelly to a wall is not due to the nail; it is due to the currant jelly.
    • Letter to William Roscoe Thayer (2 July 1915)
  • There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism…. The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.
    • Speech before the Knights of Columbus, New York (1915-10-12)
  • The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
  • Please put out the light, James.
    • Last words, to his valet, James Amos (1919-01-06), as quoted in Adventures of Theodore Roosevelt (1928) by Edwin Emerson, p. 336
  • A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.
    • As quoted in Stepping Stones : The Complete Bible Narratives (1941)
  • A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.
    • As quoted in Art of Communicating Ideas (1952) by William Joseph Grace, p. 389
  • In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
    • As quoted by [John M. Kost] (25 July 1995) in S. 946, the Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1995: hearing before the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management and the District of Columbia of the Committee on Governmental Affairs (1996)
  • Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
    • As quoted in The Military Quotation Book, Revised and Expanded: More than 1,200 of the Best Quotations About War, Leadership, Courage, Victory, and Defeat (2002) by James Charlton
  • The United States of America has not the option as to whether it will or it will not play a great part in the world...It must play a great part. All that it can decide is whether it will play that part well or badly.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 282 - by Barack Obama

The Strenuous Life (1900)

The Strenuous Life : Essays and Addresses (1900)
No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expediency.
  • No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expediency.
  • If we stand idly by, if we seek merely swollen, slothful ease and ignoble peace, if we shrink from the hard contests where men must win at hazard of their lives and at the risk of all they hold dear, then the bolder and stronger peoples will pass us by, and will win for themselves the domination of the world.
    • "The Strenuous Life"
  • In life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is:Never flinch.Never foul. Hit the line hard.
    • "The American Boy"

Speak softly and carry a big stick (1901)

No hard and fast rule can be laid down as to where our legislation shall stop in interfering between man and man, between interest and interest.
Quotes from a transcription of Roosevelt's speech at the opening of the Minnesota State Fair, as it appeared in the Minneapolis Tribune (3 September 1901)
  • No hard and fast rule can be laid down as to where our legislation shall stop in interfering between man and man, between interest and interest. All that can be said is that it is highly undesirable on the one hand, to weaken individual initiative, and on the other hand, that in a constantly increasing number of cases we shall find it necessary in the future to shackle cunning as in the past we have shackled force.
  • The vast individual and corporate fortunes, the vast combinations of capital which have marked the development of our industrial system, create new conditions, and necessitate a change from the old attitude of state and the nation toward property.
  • Right here let me make as vigorous a plea as I know how in favor of saying nothing that we do not mean, and of acting without hesitation up to whatever we say. A good many of you are probably acquainted with the old proverb, “Speak softly and carry a big stick — you will go far.” If a man continually blusters, if he lacks civility, a big stick will not save him from trouble, and neither will speaking softly avail, if back of the softness there does not lie strength, power. In private life there are few beings more obnoxious than the man who is always loudly boasting, and if the boaster is not prepared to back up his words, his position becomes absolutely contemptible. So it is with the nation. It is both foolish and undignified to indulge in undue self-glorification, and, above all, in loose-tongued denunciation of other peoples. Whenever on any point we come in contact with a foreign power, I hope that we shall always strive to speak courteously and respectfully of that foreign power.
  • Let us make it evident that we intend to do justice. Then let us make it equally evident that we will not tolerate injustice being done us in return. Let us further make it evident that we use no words which we are not which prepared to back up with deeds, and that while our speech is always moderate, we are ready and willing to make it good. Such an attitude will be the surest possible guarantee of that self-respecting peace, the attainment of which is and must ever be the prime aim of a self-governing people.

Address at Providence (1901)

Address at Providence, Rhode Island (1902-08-23)
  • We are passing through a period of great commercial prosperity, and such a period is as sure as adversity itself to bring mutterings of discontent. At a time when most men prosper somewhat some men always prosper greatly; and it is as true now as when the tower of Siloam fell upon all alike, that good fortune does not come solely to the just, nor bad fortune solely to the unjust. When the weather is good for crops it is also good for weeds.
  • Where men are gathered together in great masses it inevitably results that they must work far more largely through combinations than where they live scattered and remote from one another… Under present-day conditions it is necessary to have corporations in the business world as it is to have organizations, unions, among wage workers.
  • The great corporations which we have grown to speak of rather loosely as trusts are the creatures of the State, and the State not only has the right to control them wherever need of such control is shown…(Applause) The immediate necessity in dealing with trusts is to place them under the real, not the nominal, control of some sovereign to which, as its creatures, the trusts owe allegiance, and in whose courts the sovereign's orders may be enforced. In my opinion, this sovereign must be the National Government.

Seventh Annual Message (1907)

A heavy progressive tax upon a very large fortune is in no way such a tax upon thrift or industry as a like would be on a small fortune.
Seventh annual message to the US Senate and House of Representatives (3 December 1907), published in A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1908, Vol. 11, p. 1242
  • A heavy progressive tax upon a very large fortune is in no way such a tax upon thrift or industry as a like would be on a small fortune. No advantage comes either to the country as a whole or to the individuals inheriting the money by permitting the transmission in their entirety of the enormous fortunes which would be affected by such a tax; and as an incident to its function of revenue raising, such a tax would help to preserve a measurable equality of opportunity for the people of the generations growing to manhood. We have not the slightest sympathy with that socialistic idea which would try to put laziness, thriftlessness and inefficiency on a par with industry, thrift and efficiency; which would strive to break up not merely private property, but what is far more important, the home, the chief prop upon which our whole civilization stands. Such a theory, if ever adopted, would mean the ruin of the entire country — a ruin which would bear heaviest upon the weakest, upon those least able to shift for themselves. But proposals for legislation such as this herein advocated are directly opposed to this class of socialistic theories. Our aim is to recognize what Lincoln pointed out: The fact that there are some respects in which men are obviously not equal; but also to insist that there should be an equality of self-respect and of mutual respect, an equality of rights before the law, and at least an approximate equality in the conditions under which each man obtains the chance to show the stuff that is in him when compared to his fellows.

Nobel lecture (1910)

All really civilized communities should have effective arbitration treaties among themselves.
Address at The National Theatre in Oslo, Norway (5 May 1910)
  • In our complex industrial civilization of today the peace of righteousness and justice, the only kind of peace worth having, is at least as necessary in the industrial world as it is among nations. There is at least as much need to curb the cruel greed and arrogance of part of the world of capital, to curb the cruel greed and violence of part of the world of labor, as to check a cruel and unhealthy militarism in international relationships.
  • We must ever bear in mind that the great end in view is righteousness, justice as between man and man, nation and nation, the chance to lead our lives on a somewhat higher level, with a broader spirit of brotherly goodwill one for another. Peace is generally good in itself, but it is never the highest good unless it comes as the handmaid of righteousness; and it becomes a very evil thing if it serves merely as a mask for cowardice and sloth, or as an instrument to further the ends of despotism or anarchy. We despise and abhor the bully, the brawler, the oppressor, whether in private or public life, but we despise no less the coward and the voluptuary. No man is worth calling a man who will not fight rather than submit to infamy or see those that are dear to him suffer wrong. No nation deserves to exist if it permits itself to lose the stern and virile virtues; and this without regard to whether the loss is due to the growth of a heartless and all-absorbing commercialism, to prolonged indulgence in luxury and soft, effortless ease, or to the deification of a warped and twisted sentimentality.
  • Moreover, and above all, let us remember that words count only when they give expression to deeds, or are to be translated into them. The leaders of the Red Terror prattled of peace while they steeped their hands in the blood of the innocent; and many a tyrant has called it peace when he has scourged honest protest into silence. Our words must be judged by our deeds; and in striving for a lofty ideal we must use practical methods; and if we cannot attain all at one leap, we must advance towards it step by step, reasonably content so long as we do actually make some progress in the right direction.
  • All really civilized communities should have effective arbitration treaties among themselves. I believe that these treaties can cover almost all questions liable to arise between such nations, if they are drawn with the explicit agreement that each contracting party will respect the others territory and its absolute sovereignty within that territory, and the equally explicit agreement that (aside from the very rare cases where the nation's honor is vitally concerned) all other possible subjects of controversy will be submitted to arbitration. Such a treaty would insure peace unless one party deliberately violated it. Of course, as yet there is no adequate safeguard against such deliberate violation, but the establishment of a sufficient number of these treaties would go a long way towards creating a world opinion which would finally find expression in the provision of methods to forbid or punish any such violation.
  • Finally, it would be a masterstroke if those great powers honestly bent on peace would form a League of Peace, not only to keep the peace among themselves, but to prevent, by force if necessary, its being broken by others. The supreme difficulty in connection with developing the peace work of The Hague arises from the lack of any executive power, of any police power to enforce the decrees of the court. In any community of any size the authority of the courts rests upon actual or potential force: on the existence of a police, or on the knowledge that the able-bodied men of the country are both ready and willing to see that the decrees of judicial and legislative bodies are put into effect.
  • In new and wild communities where there is violence, an honest man must protect himself; and until other means of securing his safety are devised, it is both foolish and wicked to persuade him to surrender his arms while the men who are dangerous to the community retain theirs. He should not renounce the right to protect himself by his own efforts until the community is so organized that it can effectively relieve the individual of the duty of putting down violence. So it is with nations. Each nation must keep well prepared to defend itself until the establishment of some form of international police power, competent and willing to prevent violence as between nations. As things are now, such power to command peace throughout the world could best be assured by some combination between those great nations which sincerely desire peace and have no thought themselves of committing aggressions. The combination might at first be only to secure peace within certain definite limits and on certain definite conditions; but the ruler or statesman who should bring about such a combination would have earned his place in history for all time and his title to the gratitude of all mankind.

The New Nationalism (1910)

Speech at Osawatomie, Kansas (31 August 1910), published in The New Nationalism (1910)
  • No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. Every dollar received should represent a dollar's worth of service rendered — not gambling in stocks, but service rendered. The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective — a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.
  • Practical equality of opportunity for all citizens, when we achieve it, will have two great results. First, every man will have a fair chance to make of himself all that in him lies; to reach the highest point to which his capacities, unassisted by special privilege of his own and unhampered by the special privilege of others, can carry him, and to get for himself and his family substantially what he has earned. Second, equality of opportunity means that the commonwealth will get from every citizen the highest service of which he is capable. No man who carries the burden of the special privileges of another can give to the commonwealth that service to which it is fairly entitled.

Address at Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1912)

I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.
Address at Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1912-10-14, delivered just after an assassination attempt upon him by John Schrank. Roosevelt credited the thickness of his prepared speech, which was shot through, as having prevented the bullet from entering his heart.
  • Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.
  • First of all, I want to say this about myself: I have altogether too important things to think of to feel any concern over my own death; and now I cannot speak to you insincerely within five minutes of being shot. I am telling you the literal truth when I say that my concern is for many other things.
  • I am in this cause with my whole heart and soul. I believe that the Progressive movement is making life a little easier for all our people; a movement to try to take the burdens off the men and especially the women and children of this country. I am absorbed in the success of that movement.
  • Friends, I will disown and repudiate any man of my party who attacks with such foul slander and abuse any opponent of any other party.
  • I cannot tell you of what infinitesimal importance I regard this incident as compared with the great issues at stake in this campaign, and I ask it not for my sake, not the least in the world, but for the sake of common country, that they make up their minds to speak only the truth, and not use that kind of slander and mendacity which if taken seriously must incite weak and violent natures to crimes of violence. Don't you make any mistake. Don't you pity me. I am all right. I am all right and you cannot escape listening to the speech either.
  • I am all right — I am a little sore. Anybody has a right to be sore with a bullet in him. You would find that if I was in battle now I would be leading my men just the same. Just the same way I am going to make this speech.

Theodore Roosevelt — An Autobiography (1913)

An attitude of moderation is apt to be misunderstood when passions are greatly excited and when victory is apt to rest with the extremists on one side or the other; yet I think it is in the long run the only wise attitude...
  • Among the wise and high-minded people who in self-respecting and genuine fashion strive earnestly for peace, there are the foolish fanatics always to be found in such a movement and always discrediting it — the men who form the lunatic fringe in all reform movements.
    • Ch. VII : The War of American and the Unready
  • I abhor unjust war. I abhor injustice and bullying by the strong at the expense of the weak, whether among nations or individuals. I abhor violence and bloodshed. I believe that war should never be resorted to when, or so long as, it is honorably possible to avoid it. I respect all men and women who from high motives and with sanity and self-respect do all they can to avert war. I advocate preparation for war in order to avert war; and I should never advocate war unless it were the only alternative to dishonor.
    • Ch. VII : The War of American and the Unready
  • Each nation has its own pet sins to which it is merciful, and also sins which it treats as most abhorrent. In America, we are peculiarly sensitive about big money contributions for which the donors expect any reward. In England, where in some ways the standard is higher than here, such contributions are accepted as a matter of course, nay, as one of the methods by which wealthy men obtain peerages. It would be well-nigh an impossibility for a man to secure a seat in the United States Senate by mere campaign contributions, in the way that seats in the British House of Lords have often been secured without any scandal being caused thereby.
    • Ch. VIII : The New York Governorship
  • I do not believe that it is wise or safe for us as a party to take refuge in mere negation and to say that there are no evils to be corrected. It seems to me that our attitude should be one of correcting evils and thereby showing that, whereas the Populists, Socialists, and others really do not correct evils at all, or else do so at the expense of producing others in aggravated form, on the contrary we Republicans hold the just balance and set ourselves as resolutely against improper corporate influence on the one hand as against demagogy and mob rule on the other. I understand perfectly that such an attitude of moderation is apt to be misunderstood when passions are greatly excited and when victory is apt to rest with the extremists on one side or the other; yet I think it is in the long run the only wise attitude...
    • Ch. VIII : The New York Governorship
  • As regards capital cases, the trouble is that emotional men and women always see only the individual whose fate is up at the moment, and neither his victim nor the many millions of unknown individuals who would in the long run be harmed by what they ask. Moreover, almost any criminal, however brutal, has usually some person, often a person whom he has greatly wronged, who will plead for him. If the mother is alive she will always come, and she cannot help feeling that the case in which she is so concerned is peculiar, that in this case a pardon should be granted. It was really heartrending to have to see the kinfolk and friends of murderers who were condemned to death, and among the very rare occasions when anything governmental or official caused me to lose sleep were times when I had to listen to some poor mother making a plea for a "criminal" so wicked, so utterly brutal and depraved, that it would have been a crime on my part to remit his punishment.
    On the other hand, there were certain crimes where requests for leniency merely made me angry. Such crimes were, for instance, rape, or the circulation of indecent literature, or anything connected with what would now be called the "white slave" traffic, or wife murder, or gross cruelty to women or children, or seduction and abandonment, or the action of some man in getting a girl whom he seduced to commit abortion. In an astonishing number of these cases men of high standing signed petitions or wrote letters asking me to show leniency to the criminal. In two or three of the cases — one where some young roughs had committed rape on a helpless immigrant girl, and another in which a physician of wealth and high standing had seduced a girl and then induced her to commit abortion — I rather lost my temper, and wrote to the individuals who had asked for the pardon, saying that I extremely regretted that it was not in my power to increase the sentence. I then let the facts be made public, for I thought that my petitioners deserved public censure. Whether they received this public censure or not I did not know, but that my action made them very angry I do know, and their anger gave me real satisfaction.
    • Ch. VIII : The New York Governorship
  • We demand that big business give the people a square deal; in return we must insist that when any one engaged in big business honestly endeavors to do right he shall himself be given a square deal; and the first, and most elementary, kind of square deal is to give him in advance full information as to just what he can, and what he cannot, legally and properly do. It is absurd, and much worse than absurd, to treat the deliberate lawbreaker as on an exact par with the man eager to obey the law, whose only desire is to find out from some competent Governmental authority what the law is, and then to live up to it. Moreover, it is absurd to treat the size of a corporation as in itself a crime.
    • Appendix A

Quotes about Roosevelt

By sheer force of moral purpose, by clarity of perception, by mastery of detail and benign manipulation of men, he had become, as Henry Adams admiringly wrote him, "the best herder of Emperors since Napoleon. ~ Edmund Morris
Alphabetized by author
  • My dear Roosevelt
    You have established a record as the best herder of Emperors since Napoleon.
    I should long ago have written you my gratitude had not men — and women — taught me to hold my tongue before my betters. On public affairs I am still a scholar, not a professor; and when I think I know enough to help you, I will do it … You have taught us how to herd Emperors, but also you have shown that, of all cattle, Emperors are most easily herded.
    • Henry Brooks Adams, in a letter (6 November 1905), published in ‪Henry Adams : Selected Letters‬ (1992) edited by Ernest Samuels, p. 463
  • Roosevelt was a great personality, a great activist, a great preacher of the moralities, a great controversialist, a great showman. He dominated his era as he dominated conversations ... the masses loved him; he proved to be a great popular idol and a great vote getter.
  • Death had to take him in his sleep, for if he was awake there'd have been a fight.
    • Thomas R. Marshall, Vice-president of the U.S., upon hearing the death of Teddy Roosevelt, as quoted in F.D.R. : 1905-1928‎ (1947) by Elliott Roosevelt, p. 449
  • The peace the President had made possible at Portsmouth was the result of just such an inexplicable ability to impose his singular charge upon plural power. By sheer force of moral purpose, by clarity of perception, by mastery of detail and benign manipulation of men, he had become, as Henry Adams admiringly wrote him, "the best herder of Emperors since Napoleon."

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Theodore Roosevelt
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Theodore Roosevelt 
Birth October 27, 1858 in New York "New York City"
Death: January 6, 1919 in New York "Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, New York"
Burial: January 1919 in "Young's Memorial Cemetery, Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York"
Father: Theodore Roosevelt (1831-1879)
Mother: Martha Bulloch (1834-1884)
Skill(s): Polymath,author,historian,conservationist,Civil servant
Wife: Alice Hathaway Lee (1861-1884)
Wedding: October 27, 1880 in Massachusetts "Brookline, Massachusetts"
Wife (2): Edith Kermit Carow (1861-1948)
Wedding2: December 1, 1886 in "London, England"
Sex:
AFN # 8QSM-3D
Signature:
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Theodore Roosevelt was born 27 October 1858 in New York to Theodore Roosevelt (1831-1879) and Martha Bulloch (1834-1884) and died 6 January 1919 in New York, at the age of 60 years of unspecified causes. Theodore married Alice Hathaway Lee 27 October 1880 in Massachusetts.

For a detailed biography, see the Biography tab.

Children


Offspring of  Theodore Roosevelt and Alice Hathaway Lee (1861-1884)
Name Birth Death
Alice Lee Roosevelt (1884-1980)
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Offspring of  Theodore Roosevelt and Edith Kermit Carow (1861-1948)
Name Birth Death
Theodore Roosevelt (1887-1944)
Kermit Roosevelt (1889-1943)
Ethel Carow Roosevelt (1891-1977)
Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt (1894-1979)
Quentin Roosevelt (1897-1918)
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This article uses material from the "Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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