December 14, 2011
Sarah Curley was one of two catalogers at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site working on the digitization project there. Below are some of her thoughts at the conclusion of her time there.
I feel lucky to have been a part of the digitization project here at Sagamore Hill. Before I became part of this project, my knowledge of the Roosevelts was very limited, and I had never even been to see the Roosevelt home. Not only did I get to learn more about the history of Sagamore Hill during my time here, but I was fortunate in that I was able to work hands on with pieces of history which I otherwise never would have been exposed.
I have to say that I was most impacted by the items of Quentin Roosevelt that I scanned and cataloged. His folder was extensive, which surprised me as he was only nineteen when he died, and had never married and moved out of Sagamore Hill as the rest of the Roosevelt children had done. I scanned everything from poems with little doodles from his father, to school essays and tearful condolence letters to his parents following his death.
Detail, Letter from Quentin Roosevelt to Theodore Roosevelt, August 22, 1917. From the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site Collection
The documents spanned his whole life from childhood to a young man going off to war. From what I read about him in these boxes, Quentin was an extraordinary human being, with an animated and luminous soul. I mourned his death, as if I had known him, and I often wish I had.
I'm so glad to have been a part of this project. I feel that by looking at Theodore Roosevelt and his family’s personal letters I got to know a more intimate side of history. It had enriched my life and ignited my passion for history.