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Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Doll
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[THEODORE ROOSEVELT]. Rough Rider Doll, ca. 1900. Made of felt, brass, leather and linen. The face appears to be hand-painted. The head and body are filled with straw or wood shavings. 10 in.

Inventory #24200       Price: $1,898

Historical Background

In April 1898, Roosevelt resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. With Colonel Leonard Wood, Lt. Colonel Roosevelt formed the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry regiment, dubbed the Rough Riders, composed of men from across the nation and from diverse backgrounds and professions. Soon after landing in Cuba, Roosevelt was promoted to command the regiment.

On July 1, at the battle of San Juan Hill, the Rough Riders fought alongside the African American “Buffalo Soldiers” of the 24th Infantry and the 9th and 10th Cavalry. Despite the defender’s superior position, the Americans took Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill. Approximately 200 Americans were killed (including 30 “Buffalo Soldiers”) The decisive victory gave American forces a strategic position from which to attack the main Spanish garrison in Santiago de Cuba, which surrendered two weeks later.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was born in New York City, graduated from Harvard University in 1880, and attended Columbia Law School. He served in the New York State Assembly from 1882 to 1884, and as president of the New York City Police Commissioners from 1895 - 1896, then as Assistant Secretary of the Navy from 1897 to 1898. After gaining fame as a hero in Cuba during the Spanish-American War, he won election as Governor of New York, serving from 1899 to 1900. He ran as Vice President to William McKinley in 1900 and became President in September 1901, when McKinley was assassinated. Reelected in 1904, Roosevelt was President until 1909. A prolific author and naturalist, Roosevelt was instrumental in the Progressive movement of the early twentieth century, helped preserve the nation’s natural resources, and extended American power throughout the world with a focus on a modern navy.


Soiling consistent with age and use. The hat is somewhat loose, but still attached. Small hole in the foot.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History holds a very similar doll.

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