Theodore Roosevelt's Badger.



it was November 14th 1902 and President Theodore Roosevelt was hunting near onward Mississippi Roosevelt had been invited to go hunting by Mississippi Governor Andrew Lynn Gino Theodore was an avid hunter despite a weak Constitution when he was young and notably bad eyesight he had lived an active life that included two years running his ranch in North Dakota where it becomes so accustomed to hunting that he published three books on hunting and ranching between 1885 and 1896 but that day Roosevelt had little luck fighting game even though most of the other participants had his attendance went to find game for him they used hounds to run down a black bear which they club once it was cornered and then tied to a tree they then suggested that the president shoot the bear but Roosevelt refused saying it would be unsporting still he ordered that someone else kill the bear as it was injured and suffering to put it out of its misery the famous story which made national news at the time inspired a toy manufacturer to market stuffed toy bears under the name Teddy's bear using the famous nickname that Theodore Roosevelt never preferred and creating one of the most popular toys in world history the Mississippi hunt also represented the complex relationship the nation's 26th President had with animals Roosevelt was both a naturalist in an avid at times prolific hunter he started collecting and preserving specimens as a child in fact the the Charter for the American Museum of Natural History was drafted in his family's living room his father a Theodore Roosevelt senior was one of the museum founders in part to encourage his son's passion his collection was eventually shared between the museum and the Smithsonian Institution Rosa passed his passion on to his children resulting in the most bizarre menagerie to ever be in the White House a 1908 newspaper wrote that there is no home in Washington so full of pets of high and low degree as is the White House and those pets not only occupy the attention of the children but the president is himself their good friend and has a personal interest and every one of them while in office Roosevelt his children kept a dazzling array of unique creatures at the White House including this one legged rooster slippers a cat with six toes on each foot who was famous for lounging around the middle of formal dinners Roosevelt found it easier to escort guess around the cab and to move it in addition to five guinea pigs and ten dogs they had a California horned toad called bill the lizard and daughter Alice kept a garden snake named Emily spinach Jonathan the piebald rat was described as particularly friendly son Archie's favorite was a Shetland pony named Algonquin one of two ponies kept by the Roosevelts at the Executive Mansion a gift from the Secretary of the Interior Algonquin was imported from Iceland and a favorite of the press corps in 1903 when Archie was suffering from the measles his brothers took the 350-pound pony up the White House elevator to cheer his spirits then there was Josiah in 1903 Roosevelt was on a railroad tour in the American West when while in Sharon Springs Kansas twelve-year-old / lee gorsuch asked the President of the United States perhaps the most awesome question ever asked of the American executive she asked would you like a badger being Theodore Roosevelt of course he wanted the two-week-old badger she offered in fact he said of the acquisition bother politics this last day in Kansas is the best of them all in a letter to his children he described the only known presidential badger as very good tempered and waddles around everywhere like a little bear back at home Josiah had the run of the White House where the president's daughter Ethel described adorable antics like shredding furniture with his sharp little claws and chasing the gardener up a tree shockingly however as the Badger aged he developed an ugly temper would often hiss like a tea kettle and so had to be sent to the Bronx Zoo Josiah was not however the first of Roosevelt animals to be sent to the zoo his pet Jonathan Edwards didn't quite make it to the White House a gift from a supporter in West Virginia the American black bear had already proved himself to be somewhat difficult while Roosevelt was still serving as governor of New York the bear described as small was also according to Roosevelt queer tempered the name Jonathan Edwards referred to an ancestor of Roosevelt's wife an 18th century New Jersey minister most famous for his sermon sinners in the hands of an angry god in which he argued that the wicked deserved to be cast into hell and the bear had been given the name because he displayed according to the children Calvinist traits in his character revealed himself to even inkling of what that might have meant when he noted that the bear added zest to life in more ways than one and when the zoo agreed to take the bear later that year after Roosevelt had assumed the vice presidency he noted the entire household breathed a sigh of relief at the zoo the donation is shown here on the zoological society's annual report the bear was described as cranky and the zoo noted that had to keep him separated from young cubs result maintained his passion for animal Conservancy in the White House we're kept a detailed list of the birds seen in the White House grounds at about Washington during his administration some of those would have been birds in the White House in addition to the one legged rooster the Rousseau family also had a hen named Baron speckle two macaws Eli Yale and Loretta and a pet barn owl that lived in the greenhouse which was somewhat ironically eventually torn down to build the west wing when their rabbit named Peter rabbit died Roosevelt wrote his son Kermit that yesterday his funeral was held with proper state Archie and his overalls dragged the wagon with a little black coffin in which poor Peter Rabbit lay mother walked behind this chief mourner she and Archie solemnly exchanging tributes to the worth and good qualities of the departed then he was buried with a fuchsia over his little grave as the president's passion for his path became well-publicized world leaders started giving exotic pets as gifts including one gift of five more bearers and the zebra all of which apparently were sent to zoos but one peculiar gift came from medal at the second the Emperor of Ethiopia who sent to Abyssinian lion cubs and a hyena to the great ruler across the Atlantic The Washington Times reported that Quinton and Archie were on pins and needles awaiting the arrival of the Abyssinian lions the lion cubs however had a difficult sea voyage one did not survive the trip and the other was so injured that after a brief visit to the White House was taken to the Bronx Zoo where the cub had to be euthanized having apparently suffered injuries during the trip the hyena however although wobbly after the voyage recovered well when the result children named it bill it had the run of the White House where it baked for table scraps and Roosevelt was said to have taught it tricks but as The Times reported a full-grown hyena is not a pleasant pet to have around the house and bill was sent to the zoo where he thrived but as much as Roosevelt displayed a love of animals he loved hunting them just as much in one hunting trip in Colorado in January of 1901 Theater Russell killed 12 mountain lions but his expedition to Africa on behalf of the Smithsonian after leaving office set that to shame the expedition killed so many critters of all sizes that it took the Smithsonian Institution eight years to catalogue all the specimens among the big-game animals killed were 17 lions three leopards seven cheetahs nine Hyannis eleven elephants ten Buffalo's eleven black rhinos and nine white rhinos in all they collected over 10,000 specimens from bugs to elephants however the animals were killed in order to collect specimens for scientific use tales were spread out both geographically and over time so as to not affect the animal populations and we're rare animals such as the white rhino were taken it was because scientists thought the species would not survive and so there was a greater imperative to acquire specimens for science while they could in response to critics result said I can be condemned only if the existence of the National Museum the American Museum of Natural History and all similar zoological institutions are to be condemned that is not to say that hunting is incompatible with game preservation quite the opposite hunters are often very interested in preserving habitats and game Roosevelt himself was an avid supporter of game preserves in Africa and have vowed environmentalists who played a substantial role the protection of public lands here in the United States but the man who made the toy famous because of the bear he would not shoot shot ten bears in one hunting expedition in Colorado in 1905 and that is the complex relationship of a man who both loved and loved to shoot animals of all kinds if you enjoyed this history guy short then feel free to click that like button subscribe to our Channel and check us out on patreon Twitter Instagram Facebook and our merchandise on teespring com you

45 thoughts on “Theodore Roosevelt's Badger.

  1. Likeable as he was, I always thought TR's emphasis on manhood was a bit overdone. I always thought the most real "badass" US president was Andrew Jackson, who would literally fight you at the drop of a hat, and was tough enough to back it up. Gotta give TR props, though, IIRC he took a bullet while giving a speech and refused to leave the podium for medical attention until his speech was finished, speaking for 90 minutes while bleeding.

  2. I don't remember the specific hunter but, recently, there was a big kerfuffle over a video in which a preserve in Africa had put up one of it's aged (and more disagreeable) animals to be hunted. The hunter who won the bid quite rightly pointed out that he would happily donate to any preservation society that could do even 100th as much as a single hunter could in order to preserve and protect these animals. Regardless of the protestations of so-called "animal lovers", the hunter was the ONLY person who was donating his money and advocacy to the actual preserve protecting these animals; funds from elsewhere were nowhere to be found.

  3. I hunt, but only pest animals. I'm a Proud Pest Hunter. Squirrels, Deer, black birds and predator birds, pigeons, etc. Pest Hunting is civilization protection. Protect your hood from pest. Be a man.

  4. HG, your mention of Jonathan Edwards sparked something in me. Nearly 60 years ago, my grandfather handed me three very old books. One was an original sermon manuscript devoted to the evil of slavery and dated 1767. It was written by Jonathan Edwards Jr., an early abolitionist. History is addictive.

  5. It's true about hunting and conservation. South African preservationist's sell off the right to hunt down some of it's rhinos. They limit this to highly aggressive rhinos that are a danger to others of it's species and humans. The money generated goes to support the preserve.

    Roosevelt is the Progressive I would vote for.

  6. Go to Teddy's home on long island all the time. One of my favorites. But do have a problem with the amount he killed. While at the same time he started national Parks

  7. President Roosevelt was also famous for being a prolific conversationalist. A famous person visited him at the White House. Afterwards, a member of the press asked him what he told the President. He answered, "My name."

  8. >> BULLY!!! There's no complexity. T.R. enjoyed animals–period. In all their forms, and wanted others to enjoy them as well. It had been that way for millions of years, up until the 1960s warped humanity. Back in T.R.'s day, the wild was overly abundant. The complexity is only imposed by us today, as we look back at that era through the judgmental lens of our guilt-ridden, narcissistic blindness. So cheers to you T.R., you damned bull moose you.

  9. For an excellent perspective of that 1902 bear hunt, read : "Holt Collier: His Life, His Roosevelt Hunts, and the Origin of the Teddy Bear" and "The Bear Hunter's Century
    ". Also if ever out on Long Island, NY, take the time to visit The Sagamore Hill Natl. Historic Site https://www.nps.gov/sahi/index.htm Theodore Roosevelt's family home. It is amazing!

  10. You do Jonathan Edwards a disservice by characterizing his entire sermon by saying that it says "sinners deserve to be cast into hell." If you read it all the way through, you will discover that it does say sinners deserve to be cast into hell, but God is holding that doom back waiting for any who would turn from their evil ways to receive the grace of God and to find salvation. So, how does this angry God treat sinners? With grace and forebearance pleading, waiting, hoping that some would turn and find grace, forgiveness and eternal life.

  11. The more I learn about this complex and sometimes seemingly contradictory man, the more I admire and respect him.
    I doubt he 'loved shooting animals' though. I think he, like most hunters, loved to hunt and be outdoors. I suspect he viewed shooting them as a necessary evil. And even so, hunting isn't cruel or evil if it's done right. Humans are part of nature. We are animals too. And animals kill other animals, that's just nature. You could argue that a human with a gun is a much better way to go than being torn apart by wolves or hyena.

  12. The idea that conservation and hunting went together is not new.  For example, in the TV series "Young Indiana Jones" old Indy was explaining to people that in the 1920s conservationists regularly hunted animals for the express purpose of obtaining specimens for taxidermy and museums.  That was 20 years ago.  Did they expect a species to become extinct?  Maybe.

  13. I have hunted the same trails as our former president. I spent time in the area of North Dakota where his ranch was. His work on understanding our birds and their life cycles contributed to the baseline for modern conservationists.

    I also have a lot badger experience. I met a lady in Montana who had a pet badger.
    I also have a very large one mounted as a rug. It seems ranchers prefer not to host them on their property.

  14. I named my long haired dachshund after Teddy Roosevelt. His hair is very soft like a teddy bear. His registered name is Sir Theodore. I call him Teddee. ???

  15. Man if only you knew how many bears and cats were in these Colorado hills at that time. Shit right now we have more than we can handle. Had a mountain lion in my yard Christmas Eve!

  16. I have a great deal of admiration for Theodore Roosevelt. While I would rather shoot animals with a good camera, I understand that TR was a man of his time, and big game hunting was accepted then. I don't think of myself as better or more enlightened, just from a different time, and it's interesting that so many of the animals he shot have gone into museums and other places of scientific research; his kills were not frivolous massacres but an attempt to gain specimens for study and preservation. The animals now preserved mean that others do not have to suffer the same fate in the name of science. I am not a hunter and I am aware that I lack the stomach for it, but while I don't always agree with the practice the reality is that many hunters are very aware of their part in the larger nature as a whole and are first in line for responsible and ethical treatment of animals. Mr. Roosevelt was a complex and very interesting person, and I think history is better for his being a part of it.

  17. You should do a show on James Smithson who provided the seed money for the Smithsonian having never placed foot in America and Alexander Graham Bell grave robbing of his bones to bring him back to America for a proper burial. I'd be curious as to what else you dig up on the curious fellow.

  18. I can't imagine a White House press corps that was fond of anything to do with the President and First Family that they covered, not something known much in modern times. What a different time, indeed! Lol. Outstanding video, as always! Please keep them coming and God bless you and your family, my friend!

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