Book Review: Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris

Happy New Year! First Post of 2017, may we all do the best with what we have and that the world be a better place.

I will not sugarcoat this, the book was overwhelming to get through, only because Theodore Roosevelt did so much in the two terms that he served as President, it was a lot to absorb.
The book started out as TR riding down a slippery mountain with a driver, wagon and horse. He had been at a family vacation in the Adirondack mountains when he got word that President McKinley was gravely ill due to an assassination attempt. Congressmen had encouraged TR to accept the Vice Presidential position because they thought it would keep him quiet and out of their way. It ended up that being the Vice President is only a breath away from being the president.
Reading this book while the country was going through a Presidential election, especially when our two candidates were from New York as was Theodore Roosevelt was just interesting. Adding to it, we had visited New York City this last July. So I still had those pictures in my mind along with TR’s beloved Sagamore Hill.
Some of the accomplishments during his presidency were; building a Navy fleet, only second to Britain. started the Panama Canal, settled a coal strike, a peace treaty between Japan and Russia, National Conservation, 18 national monuments and five national parks, plus there is so much more.
He would answer each letter that was sent to him, He read sometimes two books per day. He had an amazing mind and was a very beloved president by the people, second to Abraham Lincoln. I did enjoy this book and learned a lot, just had to read it a little at a time.
Thank you for stopping.

Book Review: Edith Kermit Roosevelt, Portrait of a First Lady by Sylvia Jukes Morris

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I did an earlier post when I finished the first book of these three. I am now halfway into the second book titled Theodore Rex. Theodore Roosevelt is gone from his family for long periods of time, campaigning, living in New York City, going out west on hunting trips, and doing what public officials do during the late 1800’s and the first 10 years of the 1900’s. He has a large family and is away often. I wondered what Edith Roosevelt was like and if she minded these absences. I decided to find a book about her which is written by the wife of Edmund Morris, the author of the Theodore Roosevelt books.

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I enjoyed this book immensely Not only did it give much description of Sagamore Hill. which I could see since we had visited there a few months ago in July, but it read like a story book and flowed easily. Edith was a very private person and she and Theodore burned their letters to each other at her urging. She and Theodore adored each other. She put up with his absences well until after he came back from the River of Doubt trip. They were both in their 50’s and she tried to get him to stay home with her but he didn’t get it because he had always done what he wanted. As the book put it, she had not kept a tight leash on him so why would it change. She decided that she just needed to accompany him instead. They were a great first family and she did many things for the White House. She revamped it and brought it back to it’s original glory. Started the white house china collection, Had the west wing built so that there would be a separation of the living quarters and the working quarters. Made the hall for the First Lady’s portraits. She really was devastated when Theodore died and a bit of her died also. I am sure she felt that she did not have enough time with him since he was gone so often. She lived to be in her eighties. After Theodore died she traveled much, went and bought a house of her ancestors to stay in the summertime. Did some speaking engagements. Spoke out against Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore’s 5th cousin, but then they made up at how he handled WWII. She ran Sagamore Hill which was a working farm, paid the bills, took care of the children and Theodore when they were sick. Theodore had no sense of finances. Edith would give him $20.00 each day and when he came home at night he had no idea what he spent it on. Edith understood this highly active, highly intelligent man and knew that he needed to go on these trips. .

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When Theodore died the book explained that they took him up the hill to Young’s Cemetery, which we visited. Here are their graves in that small, lovely, quaint cemetery. I give this book high recommendation if you are into history and learning about people. .

 

Book Review: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

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Recently I finished the first book that Edmund Morris wrote about Theodore Roosevelt. There are two others following his life. This book was in depth and it was obvious that the author did much research. The Prologue starts on January 1, 1907 and describes Theodore Roosevelt as President. People stand in line to shake his hand in front of the White house. He has a great sense of humor and a wonderful laugh. He loves being President and uses the word Dee-lightful often. He is a very courteous, kind and respectful person. He loves children, physical activity and his White House is very interesting to say the least. He was born on Octobert 27, 1858, his mother Mittie was from the south and was described as “such loveliness of line and tinting…such sweet courtesy of manner. His father, Theodore Roosevelt Senior was 27 years old, handsome, wealthy, gregarious and philanthropist. He loved and helped humanity and Theodore Roosevelt said he was the best man he every knew. This book starts at his birth and ends with the assassination of President William McKinley whom Theodore at that moment was the Vice President. When I was at Sagamore Hill I was speaking with a Ranger and said I was reading these books and he said that he had not because it seemed like a daunting task.He said he reads other literature but he would know TR so much better.   I recommend them if you love history. I am especially enjoying them because Teddy was born in New York city and it mentions many of the streets we were on and of course Oyster Bay. I look forward to moving on to book number two.

Sagamore Hill

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Today we hopped on to the Long Island Expressway thinking that it would be smooth sailing to Oyster Bay, especially since we were on an interstate. No such luck my friends. There are so many people that the speed limit is 55 mph. What would have taken 25 minutes at home took over an hour to get to our destination. Never the less, I was thrilled to get here.

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Generally tickets to tour Sagamore Hill can be purchased online for the day that you will be visiting. I tried that and they were sold out so we didn’t get inside. I still loved being there though. When I am at places like this I just stop and think that Teddy Roosevelt built this home, designed it and raised his family here. It was called the Summer White House. He really loved Sagamore Hill and I can understand why. This is the porch he would stand on and give his speeches.

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This is the field that people would come and stand in to listed to his speeches.

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Family words that are carved about a doorway. I found them in the cemetery also.

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Decoration on the house.

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Cloeup of the details of the house.

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This tree had been planted by the Roosevelt Family.

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Big Tree with the roots growing up and out.

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Full length of the tree, this is also where the family pulled up and got out of the carriage.

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Another side of the house.

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This addition was added later and was Teddy’s library.

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Edith Roosevelt would come out and sit in the Arbor where it was coolier.

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The Arbor near the pet cemetery.

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We then went to the town cemetery where Teddy and Edith are buried. Tom and I like cemetery’s, we think they are very interesting.

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Lots of greenery and very well taken care of. It was just a quaint small local cemetery. Teddy died at the age of 60.

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Pretty black wrought iron fence. It was so pretty and pleasant there.

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We were going to go to Fire Island national seashore but just didn’t want to fight the traffic. I am always impressed with the skyline of New York City. It was a fun day making good memories. Thanks for stopping.

Happy Birthday America

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“The Constitution was made for the people and not the people for the Constitution.” -Theodore Roosevelt

 

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The Bill of Rights were originally proposed to meet concerns from a number of Constitutional delegates that the Constitution, while effectively laying out the foundation of the US government, contained no guarantee of rights for its citizens. These were men who had just fought a revolution against a tyrannical government, and they felt that simply enumerating the powers of a government was no true protection against the rise of another tyrant. A compromise was reached which allowed the original Constitution to pass, with the understanding that amendments would be made immediately after passage. There were originally 12 amendments proposed, but only ten were approved by the three-fourths majority of state legislatures needed to amend the Constitution. Many of the protections Americans take for granted come from the Bill of Rights. Free speech, freedom of religion, the right to a trial by jury, requiring a warrant to search a private home and the right to bear arms are just a few of the more important rights guaranteed by these amendments. The first ten Amendments to the Constitution were passed in 1791 and are collectively known as the Bill of Rights.

The ten Amendments included in the Bill of Rights allow the following rights and freedoms to all Americans.

1. The First Amendment grants freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, and the right to protest.

2. The Second Amendment grants the right to bear arms

3. The Third Amendment states that soldiers cannot take over a home during war or peace without the homeowner’s permission.

4. The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from unreasonable and unlawful search and seizure of property.

5. The Fifth Amendment allows all citizens due process and states that a person cannot be forced to serve as a witness against himself when accused of a crime.

6. The Sixth Amendment provides a speedy and public trial by jury for all who are accused of a crime.

7. The Seventh Amendment also allows a trial by jury to be held for certain civil disputes.

8. The Eighth Amendment prevents those accused of suffering cruel and unusual punishment.

9. The Ninth Amendment states that no one’s Constitutional rights should be used to infringe upon the rights of another citizen.

10. The Tenth Amendment provides each state with powers that are not specifically assigned to the nation’s government in the Constitution.

And to End this Post an excerpt from a speech by Theodore Roosevelt.

THE MAN IN THE ARENA
Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”
delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910
download PDF of complete speech

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

 

 

 

 

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I don’t know how I was so lucky to be born an American but I am eternally grateful. Here is one of my favorite videos by Kid Rock. Born Free.