Sunday, October 14, 2012

President Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt
26th President of the United States

under the Constitution of 1787
September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909

THEODORE ROOSEVELT was born in New York City on October 27, 1858. He was the second of the four children of wealthy banker, Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. and his wife, Martha Bullock Roosevelt, a southern belle from a prominent Atlanta family. During the Civil War, Mrs. Roosevelt’s brothers fought for the South and for this reason, the elder Roosevelt did not enlist in the Union Army, which he strongly supported. Young Theodore was a nearsighted, asthmatic, frail child who was tutored at home. He loved to read and read everything and he read quickly despite his eyesight. Because of his frequent asthma attacks, he also loved the outdoors and fresh air. He had a strong interest in natural history that fascinated him all his life and he always took numerous hunting and camping trips. When Roosevelt was twelve, his father challenged him to develop his physical stature and a gym was built at their home where the young man spent hours developing his arms and chest. In 1875, the family purchased a summer home at Oyster Bay on Long Island that became a treasured retreat for the entire family.  

Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200.

Roosevelt entered Harvard College at eighteen, originally majoring in science, but during his last two years there he turned to history and literature. He engaged in club and literary pursuits, but he also was very athletic, rowing, boxing, horseback riding and camping. In 1878, he met Alice Hathaway Lee, the daughter of a prominent Boston family and they fell in love. He started his first book, The Naval War of 1812, while he was a senior and he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1880. After graduation, Roosevelt started Columbia Law School, but found he did not enjoy it, deciding in the summer of 1881 to take his new bride on a tour of Europe and while there, he climbed the Matterhorn.

Upon returning home from Europe in the fall, Roosevelt found himself thrust into politics, becoming the nominee of his local Republican club for the state legislature. He had joined the club the previous year and they were a disruptive group that met over a saloon. He easily won his first election at the age of twenty-three and taking his seat in Albany, he soon made his mark. Despite his youth, his Harvard accent and his high squeaky voice, he won the respect of his fellow legislators by calling exposing a corrupt Supreme Court justice that involved railroad magnate Jay Gould. Roosevelt was reelected in 1882, but rejected reelection in 1884.

On February 14, 1884, Roosevelt’s world fell apart when both his wife and his mother died. His mother died of typhoid fever and his wife died of Bright’s disease following the birth of their only child, Alice. Roosevelt plunged deeper into politics, leaving his daughter in the care of his older sister, Anna. He attended the Republican National Convention in Chicago as chairman of the New York delegation and although opposed to the nomination of James Blaine to oppose Grover Cleveland for President, he campaigned heartily for him.

In 1883, while visiting the West, Roosevelt had purchased a ranch in the Dakota Territory that became the Elkhorn Ranch on the Little Missouri River. After the Convention, still suffering from his grief, he moved to the ranch to try the life of a cowboy. For the next several years, he became a sheriff, took part in the capture of three thieves and spent time writing books and magazine articles. In 1885, he once again fell in love and was secretly engaged to Edith Kermit Carow, a life-long friend. In October 1886, he agreed to run as the Republican candidate for mayor of New York City. He lost, coming in third out of three candidates. After losing most of his cattle in the blizzards over the winter of 1886-1887, Roosevelt abandoned his cowboy experiment and returned to New York.

One month after the mayoral election, Roosevelt went abroad. On December 2, 1886, he married Edith in London and remained with her in Europe until spring of 1887. The couple returned to a new home he had built on Sagamore Hill, in Oyster Bay, Long Island. They eventually had five children: Theodore Roosevelt (1887 – 1944); Kermit Roosevelt (1889 – 1943); Ethel Carow Roosevelt (1891 – 1977); Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt (1894 – 1979) and Quentin Roosevelt (1897 – 1918). They also raised Roosevelt’s daughter, Alice.
Discouraged over his loss in the mayoral election, Roosevelt turned to literary and family pursuits. He wrote Essays on Practical Politics, a biography on Gouvernor Morris, and The Winning of the West, which was published in four volumes and became his most famous book.

Roosevelt once again became active in politics during the presidential campaign of 1888. He campaigned for Benjamin Harrison, speaking actively for the Republican candidate. When Harrison was elected, Roosevelt was rewarded with an appointment to the U. S. Civil Service Commission, an office in which he served for six years. He resigned his civil service post to accept the invitation of Mayor William Strong to become commissioner of the New York City police force. His vigorous reforms of the corrupt police force and his tendency to get himself into the headlines gained him a national reputation, which led to his being appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy by President William McKinley in 1897.

In April 1898, two weeks after Congress declared war against Spain, Roosevelt resigned from his Navy post to lead the “Rough Riders” a volunteer cavalry unit composed of cowboys, Indians and football players. On July 1, 1898, the unit charged up Kettle Hill in the face of severe enemy fire, losing one forth of its men. The newspapers reported stories of many American heroes of the Spanish-American War, but Roosevelt became the best known, and they began to call him “Teddy” in cartoons and articles.  The following letter gives an account of his action:


In Trenches about Santiago de Cuba, July 6, 1898.

Cavalry Division, Fifth Army Corps.
(Through headquarters First Brigade, Cavalry Division

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report relative to the Second Cavalry Brigade in the assault on the works to the east of Santiago de Cuba, and the action on the heights, during the afternoon and night of the 1st of July. The brigade was composed of troops A. B, C, D, E, F, G, and L also headquarters and band, of Tenth United States Cavalry, under command Lieut. Col. T. A. Baldwin. Tenth Cavalry; troops A. B, C, D. E. G. L and K. First United States Cavalry. under command of Lieut. Col. C. D. Viele, First Cavalry. and troops A, B, D, E, F, G, K, and L, First United States Volunteer Cavalry. under command of Lieut. Col. Theodore Roosevelt, First United States Volunteer Cavalry. On the morning of July 1, 1898, the brigade was camped at El Poso, about 3 miles from Santiago de Cuba, in support of Grimes's battery of artillery, which was in position on a ridge just above the old sugar mill.
Early in the morning we received orders to prepare for a move to the front in support of a move which Lawton's division was making upon Santiago by way of Caney. At 7 a. m. Captain Grimes's battery opened fire on the Spanish works. which fire was rapidly returned by Spanish artillery using smokeless powder, with the result that they promptly located our position by the clouds of smoke from our guns and inflicted quite a severe loss upon both the brigade and battery, the First Volunteer Cavalry being the principal sufferers. The brigade moved down the road toward Santiago in rear of the First Cavalry Brigade, with instructions to deploy to the right after crossing the San Juan, and continue to extend to the right, reaching out toward General Lawton's left, and holding ourselves in rear of the First Brigade as a support. On reaching the stream the First Volunteer Cavalry. which was in lead, crossed the stream with comparatively slight loss. and deployed to the right in good order, but at about this time a captive balloon was lead down the road in which the troops were massed, and finally anchored at the crossing of the stream, the approach and anchoring of this balloon served to indicate the line of approach of our troops and to locate the ford, and the result was a terrific converging artillery and rifle fire on the ford, which resulted in severe loss of men.

Under this fire the First United States Cavalry and the Tenth United States Cavalry crossed the stream and deployed to the right, where they were placed in position in rear of the First Brigade. We lay in this position some time, partially covered by small rises of ground, but, generally speaking, exposed to a heavy dropping fire from the forts and blockhouses. After remaining in this position for about one hour and a half the order to advance was given, and the brigade advanced in as good order as possible, but more or less broken up by the masses of brush and heavy grass and cactus, passing through the lines of the First Brigade, mingling with them, and charging the hill in conjunction with these troops, as well as some few infantry who had extended to the right. Our first objective was the hill with a small red-roofed house on it. This was promptly taken, and after short delay the brigade went forward to the right of the main hill, covered with heavy intrenchments, and took it under very heavy fire. Swinging around to the right and flanking and taking the angle to the right of the hill, our right finally rested about 800 yards to the right of the road passing into Santiago de Cuba. Here we held on under heavy fire all night, the enemy making repeated and fierce attempts to regain his lost position and works. The brigade intrenched itself as best it could, and before morning had covered itself fairly well. All during the 2d and a portion of the 3d the enemy 'kept up a constant fire and made repeated attempts to regain his lost position on our front.
In regard to the conduct of the brigade as a whole, I can only say that it was superb. That dismounted cavalry should have been able to charge regular infantry in strong position, supported by artillery and the general lay of the land, seems almost incredible, yet this is exactly what the Cavalry Division of the Fifth Army Corps did in this fight, passing over a long zone of fire and charging steep hills topped with works 2d blockhouses. Some idea of the severity of the enemy's fire may be gained from the fact that of the five officers of the brigade staff four were killed and wounded and one exhausted by the intense heat.
In an action where everyone so well performed his full duty it is difficult to select cases of especial merit. I desire, however, to mention the following: Lieut. W. E. Shipp, brigade quartermaster, killed while leading a charge; Capt. M. J. Heney, shot through the leg while delivering an order; Capt. A. L. Mills, shot through the head while assembling men for a second charge; Lieut. J. H. Parker, Thirteenth United States Infantry, for marked gallantry while in charge of the Gatling-gun battery; Lieut. J. B. Hughes, Tenth Cavalry. for conspicuous bravery in handling his Hotchkiss battery; Lieut. Col. Theodore Roosevelt, for conspicuous gallantry in leading a charge on one of the hills; Sergt. William Brittain, Troop G, First United States Cavalry, for great gallantry in supporting and waving the regimental standard to encourage and lead on the First under heavy fire, he having been wounded, Cadet E. Haskell, United States Military Academy, for gallantry in action, coolness, and courage, after being shot through the body.
Lieutenant-Colonel Viele and Lieutenant-Colonel Baldwin handled their regiments with skill and courage, and by their example encouraged and steadied their men. Major Wint, Tenth Cavalry, displayed great courage, and was severely wounded while repelling a charge on our front during the night of the 1st of July.
I have the honor to submit herewith reports from Lieutenant-Colonel Viele, Lieutenant-Colonel Baldwin, and Lieutenant-Colonel Roosevelt; also reports from one of the surgeons and various company commanders of the regiments comprising the brigade. I desire also to invite attention to the coolness, courage, and gallantry of Capt. Wm. O. O'Neil, First United States Volunteer Cavalry, killed in action. Maj. Webb Hayes, Fifth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, temporarily on duty with the brigade, did gallant service; was cool and collected under fire; he was slightly wounded.
The brigade took into action 75 officers and 1,446 men, and lost 21 officers killed and wounded: 217 men killed and wounded; a loss of 28 per cent of officers and 15 per cent of enlisted men.
I desire also to state that Captain McCormick, Seventh United States Cavalry, on temporary duty with First Volunteer Cavalry, rendered efficient and gallant service during the action until finally overcome by heat. The intense heat of the day and almost entire absence of wind added much to the difficulty of the work. 
Very respectfully,
Colonel First U. S. Volunteer Cavalry,
Commanding Second Brigade, Cavalry Division

Roosevelt returned to New York City on August 15 and soon accepted an invitation to run for Governor of New York. He won by a small majority by overcoming great political odds and tireless campaigning. However, he quickly alienated his party and by the time of the Republican National Convention of 1900, his nomination as McKinley’s running mate put him in a position that would no longer trouble his Republican state machine. He campaigned vigorously and a huge majority elected the McKinley-Roosevelt ticket.

On September 13, 1901, while on a mountain-climbing expedition in the Adirondacks, Roosevelt learned that McKinley had been shot and was dying. He hurried on to Buffalo, New York and in the house where McKinley’s body lay, the forth-three year old was sworn in as President. He proved to be a powerful and effective leader in a time of national expansion and easily gained reelection in 1904, declaring that he would not run again. He had become know as “Teddy” a name he hated, but which he endured for public purposes. 

Message of President Theodore Roosevelt nominating Elihu Root to be Secretary of State

His family ran the White House as a home in which their children played and friends were warmly received. Always the naturalist, he publicized the conservation of natural resources and set aside 125 million acres of western land as national forests. He pioneered government regulation of big business and oversaw passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act.

In 1908 Roosevelt reluctantly promoted William Howard Taft in a successful presidential campaign. When he left the White House in 1909, he was only fifty years old. He sailed to Africa with his twenty-year-old son Kermit to hunt big game. After this yearlong adventure, he embarked on a tour of Europe with his family, being wined and dined by kings and queens and cheered by crowds wherever they went.

Message of President Theodore Roosevelt nominating George Dewey Admiral of the Navy

Admiral of the Navy was a rank in the United States Navy that has only been held  by George Dewey. In recognition of his victory at Manila Bay in 1898, Congress authorized a single officer to hold the rank of admiral, and promoted Dewey to this rank in March 1899. By a Congressional Act of March 24, 1903, Dewey's rank was established as Admiral of the Navy, effective retroactive to March 1899. The text of the act read as follows:
It was further specified that this rank was senior to the four-star rank of admiral and was equal to admiral of the fleet in the British Royal Navy. The rank lapsed with the death of Admiral Dewey on January 16, 1917.
The rank Admiral of the Navy was seen as a six-star rank during World War II, with the establishment of the rank of five-star fleet admiral. It was during this time that the Department of the Navy specified that the new 1944 version of the rank of fleet admiral was to be junior to Dewey's rank of Admiral of the Navy. During the preparations for the invasion of Japan, a proposal was raised by the Navy Department to appoint Chester W. Nimitz to the rank of Admiral of the Navy, or grant him some equivalent rank.[3] The proposal, however, was dropped after the Japanese surrender
Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President is hereby authorized to appoint, by selection and promotion, an Admiral of the Navy, who shall not be placed upon the retired list except upon his own application; and whenever such office shall be vacated by death or otherwise the office shall cease to exist.

He returned to the United States in June 1910 and he became clearly unsatisfied with the conservative direction of the Taft government. He made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 1912 with his Progressive“Bull Moose” party and on October 14, 1912; a deranged assailant fired a bullet at him in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The bullet entered his chest, just missing his right lung. Roosevelt delivered his scheduled speech before entering the hospital, and within two weeks he was back on the campaign trail.

During the winter of 1913-14, Roosevelt received a proposal to explore the River of Doubt in Brazil. Although an even more strenuous expedition than his earlier African safari, he and his son Kermit explored the river that was later renamed the Roosevelt. He came down with a tropical fever and seriously injured his leg on this trip, pulling through, but the ordeal contributed to his premature death.

When war was declared against Germany, Roosevelt made a strenuous effort to get involved, offering to raise two divisions. His offer was turned down but he proudly announced to the country that all his sons and his son-in-law were on their way to the front. Both Kermit and Archibald were wounded and his son-in-law was gassed. However, the most severe blow was when his youngest son Quentin was shot down and killed while flying over Cambrai.

Roosevelt complained of being old, had been sick and hospitalized late in 1918 and had lost the hearing in one ear. Early on the morning of January 6, 1919, he died of an arterial blood clot at his home Sagamore Hill, in Oyster Bay.

Dad, why are you a Republican?

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