The Outdoorsman

I’m not one to talk politics, but I did want to do a post on the outdoorsman also known as our 26th president. Beyond his presidency, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt was best known as a naturalist, hunter, historian, and being robustly masculine. His interest in the outdoors began at an early age. As a sickly child who suffered greatly from asthma, he founded the “Roosevelt Museum of Natural History” in his bedroom and spent many hours studying natural history. Despite his illness, Teddy pursued a life filled with rigorous physical activities, including hunting and boxing while at Harvard University. After a disappointing effort in politics, Roosevelt left the East coast determined to permanently retire from public life at his ranch in the Badlands. On the banks of the Little Missouri he learned how to ride western style, rope, and hunt big game. He also began to write about his frontier lifestyle for several magazines on the East coast. As deputy sheriff, Roosevelt hunted down three outlaws and single handedly guarded them for forty hours without sleep (evidently he read Tolstoy aloud to keep himself awake). Unfortunately, his investments out West were wiped out by the winter of 188, forcing him to move back East and reenter the world of politics in New York. During the Spanish-American war, Teddy became a conspicuous war hero as lieutenant colonel of the Rough Riders, a group of volunteers including Roosevelt’s western frontier and Ivy League buddies. Throughout his political career, Roosevelt never lost touch with his love of the outdoors. He was a forefather of natural conservation and during his presidency he increased the natural forests in the West and reserved lands for public use. Unfortunately, his love of adventure would be the culprit in deteriorating his health. Roosevelt contracted malaria during his major Roosevelt-Rondon Scientific Expedition to South America and never fully recovered. Despite his declining health, he continued to remain active and was a key supporter of the Boys Scouts. To this day he is the only person to hold the title of Chief Scout Citizen granted to him by the Boy Scouts for his immense support. Teddy Roosevelt died in his sleep of a heart attack in 1919. Upon hearing the news, his son Archie telegraphed his siblings informing them that simply, “the old lion is dead”.

For further reading on Roosevelt’s life and accomplishments as an outdoorsman, I recommend Theodore Roosevelt – Outdoorsman by R. L. Wilson



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6 responses to “The Outdoorsman

  1. Is he RIDING a moose? This is an amazing series of photos. His facial expressions seem to say something like: “Yeah this outfit I’m wearing has fringe” or “What? I’m just on a horse, jumping over a fence- ain’t no thing.” I love it!

  2. Haha, that made me lough out loud. That’s exactly what rolls through my mind when I look at photos of Teddy Roosevelt. Happy you liked the post!

  3. While in college, I was a tour guide for the New York State Capitol Building. Teddy was the governor of NY while the Capitol Building was in construction. It became so elaborate and blew its budget several times over. Finally, TR called for a stop to all construction, and many of the chambers and room in the building and completely bare of decoration from about 6 feet from the ceiling up. Lots of funny stories surrounding that. One notable story about TR as governor was a purported incident where he was found (along with his son) tying all the sheet of the Executive Mansion together and scaling the exterior walls of the home. Hilarious.

  4. The book “Life and Times on Pleasant Pond” introduces the interested reader to the area in northern Maine where Teddy Roosevelt, at the age of 19, traveled to regain his strength and to discover the outdoors after the death of his father.
    During his three subsequent visits, a lifelong friendship developed with his mentor Bill Sewall, the northern Maine woodsman who introduced Roosevelt to hunting and fishing while hiking around Island Falls and Mattawamkeag Lake, and climbing Mount Katahdin. These experiences, and his lifelong friendship with Bill Sewall, lead Roosevelt to become known a naturalist, hunter, historian, and being robustly masculine.
    In the pictures, Bill Sewall is the man with the long white beard.
    YouTube Life and Times on Pleasant Pond movie

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