ONE OF AMERICA'S MOST COMPETENT PRESIDENTS THEODORE ROOSEVELT
Teddy Roosevelt had overcome many difficult circumstances in his lifetime. When President McKinley was assassinated in September of 1901, he felt he was well-prepared for the challenges he would face as the nation’s commander in chief.
Although young TR had been raised by a wealthy, well-connected family in New York, he was personally burdened with poor health. Because he suffered from asthma, he did not attend school but was instead educated at home by tutors and his parents. This allowed him to delve deep into studies of the natural world. He was reported to have had a photographic memory and a great love for books. In fact, he would later author more than 35 books himself.
A YOUTHFUL AND DETERMINDED THEODORE ROOSEVELT AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY
His passion for nature led him to Harvard University, where he studied biology. He graduated magna cum laude in 1880. Although he entered Columbia Law School, he left to pursue a post with the New York Assembly. He was elected to represent the New York County 21st District from 1881 to 1884. Coincidently, Columbia awarded him a law degree in 2008 posthumously, as a member of the class of 1882. In 1901, Yale University awarded Roosevelt an honorary doctorate in law.
On his 22nd birthday, Roosevelt married Alice Hathaway Lee. Their daughter Alice Lee Roosevelt was born in February of 1884. Tragically, Roosevelt’s wife passed away two days later on Valentine’s Day exactly 4 years after they had publicly announced their engagement. Her illness had been masked by her pregnancy and had advanced to kidney failure. On the same day, in the same home Roosevelt’s mother passed away from Typhoid fever.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT - ROUGH RIDER OF SAN JUAN HILL
It is hard to imagine how anyone could cope with such tragic circumstances especially considering that Roosevelt had formerly lost his father in 1878 while studying at Harvard. He abandoned his political ambitions for the moment and left his newborn daughter, Alice Roosevelt, in the care of his sister, Anna Roosevelt. He spent the following years living as a rancher in the Dakota badlands. Perhaps gaining first-hand experience of the great outdoors assisted him in regaining his internal motivation and move past this difficult period.
In 1885 T.R. built a home on Long Island, New York. On a visit to London in early December of 1886, Roosevelt married Edith Kermit Carow whom he had known since childhood. Together they raised Roosevelt’s daughter Alice Lee Roosevelt, and five children of their own: Theodore "Ted" Roosevelt III, Kermit Roosevelt, Ethel Carow Roosevelt, Archibald Bulloch "Archie" Roosevelt, and Quentin Roosevelt.
PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT AND HIS HIGHLY ENERGIZED FAMILY- MINUS ALICE ROOSEVELT
Roosevelt began working for the federal government and served in the US Civil Service Commission from 1888 to 1895. In 1895, he became president of the board of New York City Police Commissioners. Roosevelt was very successful in his efforts to reform the police department and providing them with proper support. Having established his reputation in these two roles, President William McKinley appointed Roosevelt Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1897 to boost the limited effectiveness of the sitting Secretary of the Navy.
In 1898, at the beginning of the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt resigned from the Department of the Navy to form the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment (a.k.a. the Rough Riders) who fought in Cuba. In 2001, Roosevelt was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty” at San Juan Hill in 1898. He was the only President of the United States to be awarded America's highest military honor to date.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT AS A ROUGH RIDER DURING THE 1898 SPANISH AMERICAN WAR
After returning to the U.S. a war hero, Roosevelt was able to capture the popular vote in the New York gubernatorial election of 1898. This victory was followed by his nomination for vice president in President William McKinley’s reelection campaign after the death of Vice President Garret Hobart.
As fate would have it, on September 6, 1901, President McKinley was shot and, at the young age of 42, Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest President in US history. Building on the momentum he had established in previous government roles, Roosevelt was determined to be an active reformer, providing citizens with a “Square Deal” under his leadership. He is memorialized for appointing 75 federal judges including 3 Supreme Court judges. In 1906 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating an end to the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). He chose not to run for another term in 1908, and instead spent more than a year on expedition in Africa.
THE IRREPRESSIBLE THEODORE ROOSEVELT ON SAFARI
Although Roosevelt survived an assignation attempt in 1912, his trip to the Amazon jungle in 1913-1914 was said to have led to a worsining his health. A minor leg wound turned into tropical fever that caused delirium and a loss of more than 50 pounds. He never fully regained his strength and stamina. In 1919, at the aage of only 61, T.R. died in his sleep at home. He was survived by his sisters Corinne and Anne, his wife Edith, five children and eight grandchildren. His son Quentin had been lost at war in 1918.
Raleigh DeGeer Amyx is an American collector of museum-quality historical artifacts. For more than 30 years he has dedicated his life to buying, selling and trading authentic pieces for the benefit of his world-renowned collection. Among Mr. Amyx's many treasures are several items that were owned by President Theodore Roosevelt and others that bear his original signature. If you would like to open a confidential dialog with Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, about historical memorabilia, please inquire below.
HISTORIAN & COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX