Occasionally, there were views or policies which raised my 21st Century eyebrows, but the letter which stayed with me long after I first read it; the letter which I mention to anyone who asks about my work this summer, is one that fills me with tremendous respect and admiration for America’s 26th President.
While cataloging correspondence from the Library of Congress Manuscripts Division, I came across the typewritten words of a woman who held the position of “Social Secretary” to the White House. The creation date was 1902. The history of women in the White House suddenly fascinated me, as a major part of social history at the turn of the 20th century. This is not a time period that I would historically associate with female agency in cosmopolitan American society, much less political inclusion, so I was very curious to know more about her. How did she rise to this position? What did she do? Does the White House still have a Social Secretary position?
Wind Cave NP was established by an Act of Congress, with a signature from Theodore Roosevelt, on January 9, 1903. It was the second national park TR established during his presidency.
A well-known cartoon by Homer Davenport depicts a reverent Uncle Sam clasping TR on the back. The cartoon is captioned, “He’s good enough for me.” Perhaps the cartoon contributed to TR securing his 1904 presidential win. TR writes to Davenport afterward, thanking him for the cartoon “with all my heart.” Mutual sentiment and respect it seems. Or was it?
I discovered the photographer wasn’t just a family friend but the famous photographer Edward Curtis. If the name doesn’t click right away, his images and his legacy will. Curtis’ passion was photographing the vanishing Native American tribes of the United States. The passion would possess him for 30 years and in the end drain him financially and emotionally.
As this week ends in the Easter celebration, do your plans include an Easter bonnet and a walk around town to show it off?
A true writer, TR, knew exactly how to convey a message.
TR’s accomplishments set an example for those who wish to make a mark on the world. Is anyone up for “deep work”?
R & R for the Roosevelt clan took the form of a simple two story home called Pine Knot.
Gregory J. Dehler’s The Most Defiant Devil: William Temple Hornaday and His Controversial Crusade to Save American Wildlife published by the University of Virginia Press, presents a biography of the early zoologist William Temple Hornaday.