Roosevelt Chronology


Life of Theodore Roosevelt Chronology




1858, October 27th - Born at 28 East Twentieth Street, New York City.

"My father was the best man I ever knew. My mother was a sweet, gracious, beautiful Southern woman, a delightful companion and beloved by everybody."

1880, June 30 - Graduates from Harvard University.

"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 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."

1880, October 27  - Marries Alice Hathaway Lee.


1881  - Publishes The Naval War of 1811.

1881-1884 - Member of the New York State Assembly.

1883 - September. Establishes himself as a ranchman in western Dakota.

1884,  February 14 - Death of his mother and his wife.
"It was a grim and an evil fate, but I have never believed it did any good to flinch or yield for any blow, nor does it lighten the blow to cease from working." (Private letter, March 1884.)

1884, April - As Chairman of the Committee on Cities, presents report which results in vital changes in the charter of New York City.

1884, June - Delegate to the Republican National Convention.

1884-1886 - Ranchman in the Bad Lands of Dakota.

"It was still the Wild West in those days, the Far West, the West of Owen Wister's stories and Frederic Remington's drawings, the soldier and the cowpuncher. That land of the West has gone now, 'gone, gone with lost Atlantis,' gone to the isle of ghosts and of strange dead memories. ... In that land we led a hardy life. Ours was the glory of work and the joy of living."

1885 - Publishes Hunting Trips of a Ranchman.

1886, November - Candidate for Mayor of New York. Defeated by Abram S. Hewitt.
"But anyway, I had a bully time."

1886, December 1 - Marries Edith Kermit Carow, in London.

1887- Publishes Life of Thomas Hart Benton.

1888 - Publishes Life of Gouverneur Morris. Publishes Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail.  Publishes Essays in Practical Politics.

1889 - Publishes first two volumes of The Winning of  the West; succeeding volumes were published, in  1894 and 1896.

1891 - Publishes History of New York.

1893 - Publishes The Wilderness Hunter.

1889-1895 - United States Civil Service Commissioner.

"The opposition to the reform is generally well led by   skilled parliamentarians, and they fight with the vindictiveness natural to men who see a chance of striking at the institution which has baffled their ferocious   greed. These men have a gift at office-mongering, just  as other men have a peculiar knack in picking pockets;   and they are joined by all the honest dull men, who vote   wrong out of pure ignorance, and by a very few sincere and intelligent, but wholly misguided people."

1895 - Publishes, in collaboration with Henry Cabot Lodge, Hero Tales from American History.

Theodore Roosevelt  as President of the Police Commission of the City of New York 


1895-1897 - President of the Police Commission of the City of New York.
"There is nothing of the purple in it. It is as grimy as all work for municipal reform over here must be for some decades to come; and it is inconceivably arduous, disheartening, and irritating, beyond almost all other work of the kind. ... It is not work to be done on a rosewater basis."

1897- Publishes American Ideals.

1897-1898 - Assistant Secretary of the Navy. "The shots that hit are the shots that count."

1898 May - Resigns as Assistant Secretary to become Lieutenant-Colonel of the First U. S. Volunteer Cavalry. the Rough Riders.
"A man's usefulness depends upon his living up to his ideals in so far as he can. Now, I have consistently reached what our opponents are pleased to call 'Jingo Doctrines' for a good many years. One of the commonest taunts directed at men like myself is that we are armchair and parlor Jingoes who wish to see others do what we only advocate doing. I care very little for such a taunt, except as it affects my usefulness, but I cannot afford to disregard the fact that my power for good, whatever it may be, would be gone if I didn't  try to live up to the doctrines I have to preach."

June 24 - Baptism of fire at Las Guasimas.

July 1 - Battle of San Juan Hill.
"As for the political effect of my actions — in the first Place, I never can get on in politics, and in the second, would rather have led that charge and earned my colonelcy than served three terms in the United States Senate. It makes me feel as though I could now leave something to my children which will serve as an apology for my having existed."




1898, November 8 -  Elected Governor of New York.
"At that time boss rule was at its very zenith. . . . In each case I did my best to persuade Mr. Platt not to oppose me. ... It was only after I had exhausted all the resources of my patience that I would finally, if he still proved obstinate, tell him that I intended to make the fight anyhow."

1899 - Publishes The Rough Riders.

1900 - Publishes Oliver Cromwell. Publishes The Strenuous Life.

1900, June 11 - Nominated for Vice-President by the  Republican Party.
"If I have been put on the shelf, my enemies will find,   that I can make it a cheerful place or abode."

1901, March 4 - Takes office as Vice-President.



1901, September 14 - President McKinley dies as the result of an assassin's bullet; Roosevelt becomes twenty-sixth President of the United States.
"The course I followed, of regarding the Executive as subject only to the people, and, under the Constitution, bound to serve the people affirmatively in cases where the Constitution does not explicitly forbid him to render the service, was substantially the course followed by both Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln."

1901, June 17 - Reclamation Act.

1901, June 18 - Isthmian Canal Act.

1901, October 15 - Roosevelt settles the coal strike.
"May Heaven preserve me from ever again dealing with so wooden-headed a set as these coal-operators, when I wish to preserve their interests!" ... "I shall never forget the mixture of relief and amusement I felt when I thoroughly grasped the fact that while they would heroically submit to anarchy rather than have Tweedledum, yet if I would call it Tweedledee, they would accept it with rapture; it gave me an illuminating glimpse into one corner of the mighty brains of these 'captains of industry.'"

1901, December 31- Roosevelt settles the Venezuela affair.
"I told John Hay that I would now see the German Ambassador, Herr von Holleben, myself, and that I intended to bring matters to an early conclusion. Our navy was in very efficient condition."

1903, February 19 - Elkins Rebate Act.

1903, March - Roosevelt settles the Alaskan Boundary dispute.

1903, November 13 - Recognition of the Republic of Panama.
"Panama declared itself independent and wanted too   complete the Panama Canal, and opened negotiations   with us. I had two courses open. I might have taken   the matter under advisement and put it before the   Senate, in which case we should have had a number  of most able speeches on the subject, and they would   have been going on now, and the Panama Canal would be in the dim future yet. We would have had a half century of discussion, and perhaps the Panama Canal. I preferred we should have the Panama Canal first and the half century of discussion afterward.

1903, December 17 - Reciprocity Treaty with Cuba.



1904, November 8 - Elected President over Alton B. Parker, the Democratic nominee.
"I am glad to be President in my own right."

1905, March 4 - Inaugurated as President.

1905, September 5 - Signing of Russo-Japanese Treaty.
"It is enough to give anyone 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."

1905, September -  Publishes Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter.

1906, June 11- Forest Homestead Act.

1906, June 19 - Hepburn Rate Act.

1906, June 30 - Food and Drug Act.

1907, December 16 - American fleet starts round the world.

1909, February 11- Return of the fleet.
"In my own judgment the most important service that I rendered to peace was the voyage of the battle-fleet round the world."

1909, March 4 - Roosevelt retires from the Presidency, being succeeded by William Howard Taft,

1909, March 13 - Sails for Africa.

1909-1910 - Hunting in Central Africa.
"There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm. There is delight in the hardy life of the open, in long rides, rifle in hand, in the thrill of the fight with dangerous game. Apart from this, yet mingled with it, is the strong attraction of the silent places, of the large tropic moons, and the splendor of the new stars; where the wanderer sees the awful glory of sunrise and sunset in the wide waste spaces of the earth, unworn of man, and changed only by the slow change of the ages through time everlasting."

1910, March 14 - Arrives at Khartum.

1910, May 31- Address at the Guildhall, London.
"Either you have the right to be in Egypt or you have not, either it is or it is not your duty to establish and keep order. . . . Some nation must govern Egypt. I hope and believe that you will decide that it is your duty to be that nation."

1910, June 18 - Returns to New York. Publishes African Game Trails.

1910 -  Publishes The New Nationalism.




1912, February 15 - Announces candidacy for the Republican nomination for President.
"My hat is in the ring."

1912 - Publishes Realizable Ideals.

1912, June - Defeated at the Republican National Convention.

1912, August 7 - Nominated for President by the Progressive Party.
"This country will not be a good place for any of us to   live in if it is not a reasonably good place for all of us   to live in." . . . "Laws are enacted for the benefit of the whole people, and cannot and must not be  construed as permitting discrimination against some of   the people."

1912, October 14 - Shot at Milwaukee.
"I did not care a rap for being shot. It is a trade risk, which every prominent public man ought to accept as a matter of course."

1912, November 5 - Defeated by Woodrow Wilson.

1913 - Publishes Theodore Roosevelt — an Autobiography. Publishes History as Literature and Other Essays.

1914-1915 - Winter. In the Brazilian wilderness; explores the River of Doubt.
"I had to go. It was my last chance to be a boy."




1914 - Publishes Through the Brazilian Wilderness. Publishes, in collaboration with Edmund Heller,  Life Histories of African Game Animals.

1915, January 1 - Publishes America and the World War.
"The kind of 'neutrality' which seeks to preserve 'peace'   by timidly refusing to live up to our plighted word   and to denounce and take action against such wrong   as that committed in the case of Belgium, is unworthy   of an honorable and powerful people. Dante reserved   a special place of infamy in the Inferno for those base   angels who dared side neither with evil nor with good.   Peace is ardently to be desired, but only as the handmaid   of righteousness. The only peace of permanent value   is the peace of righteousness. There can be no such   peace until well-behaved, highly civilized small nations   are protected from oppression and subjugation."

1915, May - Libel-suit, William Barnes vs. Theodore Roosevelt; decided in favor of Roosevelt.

1916 - Publishes A Booklover's Holidays in the Open. Publishes Fear God and Take Your Own Part.

1916,  June - Nominated for President by the Progressive Party; refuses the nomination and gives his support to the Republican candidate, Charles E. Hughes.
"We have room for but one loyalty, loyalty to the United States. We have room for but one language, the language of the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg speech."

1917, February - Requests permission of President Wilson to raise and equip a division of volunteers for service in France.
"Peace is not the end. Righteousness is the end." . . . "If I must choose between righteousness and peace I choose righteousness."

1917, May - Request finally refused.

1917 - Publishes The Foes of Our Own Household.

1918, July - Death of Quentin Roosevelt in France. Roosevelt refuses Republican nomination for Governor of New York. Publishes The Great Adventure.
"Our present business is to fight, and to continue fighting until Germany is brought to her knees. Our next business will be to help guarantee the peace of justice for the world at large, and to set in order the affairs of our own household.'

1919, January 6 - Death of Roosevelt.



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