Teddy Roosevelt’s roughest ride
Mineola, L.I.: Theodore Roosevelt was indeed a flawed, fallible man who embraced white supremacy and harbored prejudices against many ethnic groups. While serving on the U.S. Civil Service Commission, for example, he wrote to his sister Anna Roosevelt Cowles: “Monday we dined at the Camerons; various dago diplomats were present, all much wrought up by the lynching of the Italians in New Orleans. Personally I think it rather a good thing, and said so.”
Still, as Clay Risen notes in his biography, T.R. remains a pivotal figure in the history of our republic, garnering “the vice presidency and presidency; a slew of progressive legislative achievements,” and “the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese War.”
America’s 26th president is not in the same league as treasonous Confederate generals. Despite his many failings, Teddy Roosevelt was a patriot. He strove to bring his nation together.
Rosario A. Iaconis