2009 Theodore Roosevelt Symposium

Theodore Roosevelt: Family Man in the Arena

October 15-17, 2009

"Nothing else takes the place or can take the place of family life, and family life cannot be really happy unless it is based on duty, based on recognition of the great underlying laws of religion and morality, of the great underlying laws of civilization, the laws which if broken mean the dissolution of civilization." - Theodore Roosevelt at the Pacific Theological Seminary - 1911

Theodore Roosevelt had one of the most visible families in American history. Unlike most Presidents, whose families are carefully sequestered from the American public, Roosevelt was content to make the whole family the story: a son's first deer kill, the wedding of Alice Roosevelt in the White House, another son's difficulties with football at Harvard, or a Shetland pony's ride up the White House elevator. This symposium examined the adventure and the challenges of family life among the Roosevelts.

View 2009 Theodore Roosevelt Symposium brochure (PDF)

Kathleen DaltonKathleen Dalton

Author of perhaps the best one-volume biography of TR, Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life, Dalton has spoken widely about Theodore Roosevelt, including appearances on C-SPAN’s Book TV, the History Channel, the Arts and Entertainment Channel, and public television.

Dalton is the Cecil F.P. Bancroft Instructor of History and co-director of the Brace Center on Gender Studies at Phillips Academy Andover as well as an external fellow of Boston University’s International History Institute.                   

Stacy CorderyStacy Cordery

A historical biographer by inclination, Cordery has spent the last decade studying the Roosevelt family, culminating in her highly acclaimed biography, Alice Roosevelt Longworth: From White House Princess to Washington Power Broker

(2007). Cordery serves as Professor of History and Archives Curator at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois.

Betty Boyd CaroliBetty Boyd Caroli

Author of The Roosevelt Women (1999), America’s First Ladies (1996), and Inside the White House (1992), Caroli frequently appears on national television and BBC to discuss the role of presidents' wives in American politics. She has been a guest on Today, The O'Reilly Factor, Lehrer NewsHour, "Book Notes" with Brian Lamb, and many others.

James Marten

James Marten

Marten is professor and chair of the history department at Marquette University. He is founding secretary-treasurer of the Society for the History of Children and Youth and current president of the Society of Civil War Historians. He has written or edited a dozen books, including Children and Youth in a New Nation (2009); Childhood and Child Welfare in the Progressive Era: A Brief History with Documents (2004); and The Children's Civil War (2000).

Amy VeroneAmy Verone

Amy Verone is Chief of Cultural Resources, Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, the Roosevelt family home in Oyster Bay, New York. Previously she worked at the National Archives, the National Museum of American Art, the National Museum of American History, and Canterbury Shaker Village.

Kathleen Dalton, author of Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life, took time to sign her book.

Kathleen Dalton at book signing

In a high school student break out session, students learn about portraying a historical character from Karen Nelson, Dickinson State University communications instructor, who researches and portrays Medora de Mores in Medora, North Dakota.

High School session during Symposium

Participants enjoyed the fall weather as they hiked to the Elkhorn Ranch, Roosevelt's home in the Dakota Badlands.

Walk to the Elkhorn Ranch

James Marten speaking at the Rough Riders Hotel.

Marten at the Rough Rider Hotel

Participants view Edward Curtis photos, which have been digitized for inclusion in the Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library, were on display.

Attendees with photo exhibit

Stacy Cordery answers a participant's question during a panel on Roosevelt's children which generated many questions from the audience.

Stacy Cordery answers audience questions

One of the optional tours on Saturday afternoon was to the Chateau de Mores State Historic Site, home of the Marquis de Mores, who founded the town of Medora and named it after his wife.

Chateau de Mores

Kathleen Dalton delivers her keynote lecture "'Those Roosevelts' in the Arena" on October 15, 2009.

Dr. Stacy Cordery delivers her lecture "Alice Blues: Revisiting the First Daughter" on October 16, 2009.

Panel discusses the children of Theodore Roosevelt and their lives. The panel is co-moderated by Clay S. Jenkinson and Amy Verone and includes Stacy Cordery, Gary Cummisk, Steven Doherty, Frank Varney, David Meier and Betty Boyd Caroli. The panel took place on October 16, 2009.

Kathleen Dalton, keynote speaker at the 2009 Theodore Roosevelt Symposium, delivers her luncheon presentation on October 16, 2009.

Betty Boyd Caroli delivers her lecture "A New Look at the Roosevelt Women" on October 16, 2009.

Dr. James Marten delivers his lecture "The Burden of Being Roosevelt: Roosevelt and the Idea of Family" on October 17, 2009.

Panel summarizes and addresses final questions for the 2009 Theodore Roosevelt Symposium at Dickinson State University. The panel is moderated by Clay S. Jenkinson and includes Stacy Cordery, Kathleen Dalton, James Marten and Amy Verone. The panel took place on October 17, 2009.

For videos from all of our symposia, please visit our YouTube channel