Strenuous Life


A champion of “The Strenuous Life,” Theodore Roosevelt believed in “…the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife…” Learn more about Roosevelt’s opinions on the strenuous life, including sports, exploration and big game hunting, and how they affected his life and career.

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River of Doubt

The River of Doubt was Roosevelt’s last great adventure and, as he called it, his “last chance to be a boy.” After his defeat in the 1912 election, Roosevelt looked to his familiar pattern of adventure as therapy. Following an invitation to speak in Buenos Aires, Roosevelt gathered a party to explore the uncharted Rio da Duvida (“River of Doubt”) in Brazil.  Kermit Roosevelt, American naturalist George Cherrie, and Colonel Candido Mariano de Silva Rondon were among his companions.  Their mission was to chart the unknown river and to collect specimens for the Museum of Natural History.

Rondon, Cândido Mariano da Silva

Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon accompanied Theodore Roosevelt down Brazil’s River of Doubt in 1914.  Rondon’s scientific precision in mapping the river sometimes clashed with Roosevelt’s desire to reach the end quickly, especially once disasters of many kinds struck the expedition.