Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rough And Tumble Teddy...!

On the surface, Teddy Roosevelt was a pretty impressive individual.

To me, he became even more so as I found out more about him! This old boy was a lot deeper than I ever gave him credit for, let me tell you!

Thanks to the folks at, this article tells a little of Teddy's early days. I love to find these types of back-stories about historical figures! Makes them more real somehow.

Sep 14, 1901:

An adoptive westerner becomes president of the United States

On this day in 1901, the 42-year-old Theodore Roosevelt is suddenly elevated to the White House when President McKinley dies from an assassin's bullet. But while McKinley's untimely death brought Roosevelt the presidency, 17 years earlier two other deaths had sent the young Roosevelt fleeing to the far West where his political ambitions were almost forgotten.

In February 1884, Roosevelt's young wife died after giving birth to their daughter; a mere 12 hours later his much-beloved mother also died. Devastated by this cruel double blow, Roosevelt sought solace in the wide open spaces of the West, establishing himself on two ranches in the Badlands of Dakota Territory and writing to friends that he had given up politics and planned to make ranching "my regular business." Despite this, three years later he returned to New York City and resumed the political career that would eventually take him to the White House. Even after he had returned to the civilized East, Roosevelt always credited his western interlude with restoring his mental and physical vitality.

From an early age, Roosevelt had been convinced of the benefits of living the "strenuous life," arguing that too many American males had succumbed to the ease and safety of modern industrialized society and become soft and effeminate. Roosevelt thought more men should follow his example and embrace the hard, virile, pioneer life of the West, a place where "the qualities of hardihood, self-reliance, and resolution" were essential for survival. Roosevelt's own western experience was hardly as harsh and challenging as he liked to claim, yet the eastern tenderfoot did adapt quickly to the rougher ways of ranch life. He earned the respect of Dakotans by tracking down a gang of bandits who had stolen a riverboat and once knocked out a barroom bully who had taunted him. Though he spent the vast majority of his life in the East, Roosevelt thereafter always thought of himself as a westerner at heart, and he did more than any president before him to conserve the wild western lands he loved.

I never knew much about Teddy's politics, but I think I liked his attitude about most things. If I ever met him face to face, I probably would like him! Certainly more than most of the politicians of today!

How about we get some fresh coffee and sit outside on the patio for a bit? We can watch the garden die!


sel said...

Now you've got me wondering what happened to his daughter.

Ben in Texas said...

Good history lesson , as always.
Sadly I often get Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt confused. They were just distance cousins weren't they?

Mechanic in Illinois said...

If Teddy knew what was going in the world today he would roll over in his grave. Thanks for the neat story and have a great Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

I really like his quotes - here is a link to a site with some of them.

I think his kind are gone from the American political scene, a pity.

SHARON said...

I remember reading about his daughter, Alice, she married a Longsworth. She was quite a pip. Someone once asked President Roosevelt if he couldn't control his daughter better. Teddy answered that he could run the country or control Alice but he couldn't do both. Teddy gave Eleanor away when she married Franklin. They were all related distantly.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sel...
I don't remember anything about his daughter, but that would probably make for an interesting study!

How some of our older generations reacted to the limelight and politics would make for some good reading!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Ben...
I don't know exactly what the relation was between the two families!

So much we could learn from reading more history!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!

Hey Mechanic...
I think that a lot of the old time leaders would shake their heads at how we are running our government now days!

They would probably have a few colorful suggestions on what we should do!

Glad you enjoyed the post, and I appreciate you coming by this morning!

Hey Anon 7:35...
Probably won't see folks like him around anymore in politics. They were not what would be considered "politically correct" enough to get today's political climate.

They were some tough ol' birds in their day!

Thanks for coming by this morning!

Hey Sharon...
I can just imagine she would be a handful!

Her Dad was probably happy to get her married off!

I've known a few ladies like that in my lifetime, but none of them were famous.

I really appreciate you coming by today!

JoJo said...

Great post. He visited AZ. White Mountain area a few times. He has some history with Ft. Apache.

I am so sorry you still haven't had any rain. It is still raining here every evening.
But I will join you on the patio as it is a littel warmer there than here. Have the little heater going to take out the damp chill.

HermitJim said...

Hey JoJo...
I'm ready to have a little Fall weather settle in here, but it looks like it will be a while!

We are hoping that most of the 100 degree days are gone for a bit, but with Texas weather you never know.

Glad you having a taste of Fall and cooler temps there!

Have a great day, and thanks for coming over!

TROUBLEnTX said...

I don't know, but sounds like he didn't have anything to do with his dotter's upbringing. Wonder who did?

HermitJim said...

Hey Trouble...
In answer to your question, here is a bit of information about Alice and her younger years from Wikipedia..."Seeking solace, Theodore retreated from his life in New York and headed west where he spent two years traveling and living on his ranch in North Dakota. He left his infant daughter in the care of his sister Anna Bamie Roosevelt, also known as "Bye". There are letters to Bamie that reveal Theodore's concern for his daughter. In one 1884 letter, he wrote, "I hope Mousiekins will be very cunning, I shall dearly love her."[1]

You can read more about her at Wikipedia. Pretty interesting lady!

Bob Mc said...

Read some of his books. His trip to South America just about did him in. Upon his return he admitted that he was an old man as a result of it.

Snowbrush said...

I never got over him calling Thomas Paine "a dirty little atheist." Thomas Paine was one of the chief intellects that kept the American Revolutionary Army from collapsing from discouragement. He also wasn't an atheist, and he wasn't even particularly little. Roosevelt showed his ignorance and his bigotry at one fell swoop, and despite the good he did, I've never forgiven him his hatred of Paine.