The 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, lived on Long Island in Oyster Bay. During his presidency he made a name for himself as the “Conservationist President” and he made attempts to be a peacemaker around the world despite the fact that he was often an advocate for war. One such example is when Roosevelt served as a peacemaker in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905. The Treaty of Portsmouth, which was signed in the North room of the Oyster Bay house, ended the war between Japan and Russia. Gifts from the Russian Czar as well as the Japanese Emperor Meiji and his admirals scatter the entire home. The most interesting and eye-catching gift is a small samurai uniform for a doll which sits center stage, surrounded by taxidermy animals, an expansive library, and among many other things a head statue of his favorite President, Abraham Lincoln, given to him as a gift as well. Theodore Roosevelt saw Lincoln as the father of the Republican Party, which he was also a member of. His library includes 8,000 of the 16,000 books which were once on the property and a large book full of German folklore gifted to him from Kaiser Wilhelm prior to World War I. As for the taxidermy animals, there are many. Theodore Roosevelt is widely renowned for the National Parks and Historic sites which he helped establish and for advocating for conservation of the worlds animals. Trophies held from bison, buffalo, antelope, elk, rhino, elephant, mountain lion and multiple species of bear hunts are also scattered all throughout the house as decoration. Not all of these animals were killed by the President, but he did keep a garbage can made from an elephant’s foot, an inkwell made from a rhino’s foot, a dinner bell made from elephant tusks (commissioned by the President, crafted by his Taxidermist), and many rugs made from various furs. Also positioned in the North room, the largest set of elephant tusks on the western hemisphere, weighing 1000 pounds each and taken from an elephant that was 105 years old. While this all may seem brutish and unnecessary it is a token of Theodore Roosevelt’s hand in conservation, which was a major focus of his presidency. He even toured Yosemite Valley with John Muir in 1903 and by 1905 his department had taken control over the National Forest Reserves. They took steps to reduce or in many cases restrict commercial use of the public lands, including water, animals, and lumber. For this reason and many others, Teddy Roosevelt was a very important President, the 26th of the United States, and he lived in Oyster Bay at Sagamore Hill.
First film taken of Theodore Roosevelt at Sagamore Hill, summer of 1912. Reviewing mail with his son Archie and walking, with axe in hand, with his dogs.
LibraryOfCongress. “Scenes of Theodore Roosevelt at Sagamore Hill, 1912.” YouTube, YouTube, 4 Jan. 2010, www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymK4obRBdDI.