The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America

The Wilderness Warrior

Theodore Roosevelt

and the Crusade for America

Douglas Brinkley

Dedicated to the memory of
Dr. John A. Gable (1943–2005),
executive director of the Theodore Roosevelt Association;
Sheila Schafer of Medora, North Dakota,
whom I love with all my heart;

Robert M. Utley (aka “Old Bison”)
Historian of the American West

Defenders of the short-sighted men who in their greed and selfishness will, if permitted, rob our country of half its charm by their reckless extermination of all useful and beautiful wild things sometimes seek to champion them by saying that “the game belongs to the people.” So it does; and not merely to the people now alive, but to the unborn people. The “greatest good for the greatest number” applies to the number within the womb of time, compared to which those now alive form but an insignificant fraction. Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us to restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations. The movement for the conservation of wild life and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method.

A Book-Lover’s
Holidays in the Open

And learn power, however sweet they call you, learn power, the smash of the holy once more, and signed by its name. Be victim to abruptness and seizures, events intercalated, swellings of heart. You’ll climb trees. You won’t be able to sleep, or need to, for the joy of it.

Holy the Firm


Chapter One
  The Education of a Darwinian Naturalist

Birds Above All—The Face of God—Sitting at the Feet of Darwin and Huxley—The Swashbuckling Adventures of Captain Mayne Reid—Boy Hunters and the White Buffalo—The Last Link—The Foraging Ants—Bear Bob Stories—Collecting for the Roosevelt Museum—Drawn to the Hudson River Valley—Of James Fenimore Cooper and the Adirondack Park—Albert Bickmore and the American Museum of Natural History—In Search of Live Animals

Chapter Two
  Animal Rights and Evolution

Protection of Harmless Wildlife—Feeling Pain—T.R.’s Family and the Humane Movement—Henry Bergh and the SPCA—Are Turtles Insects?—Theodore Sr. and the Civil War Surrogate—The Art of Taxidermy—The Talented Mr. John Bell—Travelling to Europe—Jackal Hunting in Palestine—Journey Down the Ancient Nile—Damn the Old Mummy Collectors—Comprehending the Origin of Species—Evolution from the Stork—Thomas Huxley and Man’s Place in Nature

Chapter Three
  Of Science, Fish, and Robert B. Roosevelt

Learning the Latin Binomials—In the Shadow of Linnaeus—Preparing for Harvard—“Tranquility” in Oyster Bay—What Is Wilderness?—With Moses Sawyer in the Adirondacks—Under the Sway of the American West—Protecting Alaska—The Willful and Wily Robert Barnwell Roosevelt—Fish of the Great Lakes—Save the Shad—Seth Green and the Hatcheries—The Sage of Lotus Lake—Yachting in the Great South Bay—Eels and Evolution—The Frogs of Illinois—Forgotten Mentor

Chapter Four
  Harvard and the North Woods of Maine

The Moosehead Lake Hazing—Evolution of the Red Crossbills—The Loathsome Death of Frederick Osborn—Homage to Edward Coues’s
Bird Key—Under the Wing of Arthur Cutler—Shorebirds of New York and New Jersey—The Philadelphia Centennial—Harvard Zoologists—Summer Birds of the Adirondacks—North Woods of Maine—Will Sewall and the Art of Surviving in the Wild—An Ode to Alice Lee—The Birth of Weasel Words—A Bull Moose in the Making—Thoreau’s Mount Katahdin—Galumphing About—My Debt to Maine

Chapter Five
  Midwest Tramping and the Conquering of the Matterhorn

Boxing for Harvard—The Highs and Lows of Exuberance—Mount Desert Island Aglow—The Heroic Historian Francis Parkman—Goin’ to Chicago, Chicago—Competitive Grouse Hunting in Iowa—Tramping on the Plains—The Red River Valley Appeal—Getting Serious about Law—Sou’-Sou’-Southerly—Honeymooning in Europe—Conquering the Matterhorn—Beware the New York Assemblyman—Spencer Fullerton Baird and America’s Attic—The White Owl and the War of 1812

Chapter Six
  Chasing Buffalo in the Badlands and Grizzlies in the Bighorns

The Lordly Buffalo—Chugging on the Northern Pacific Railroad—Barbed Wire on the Open Range—The Badlands of North Dakota—Reveling in the Real Earth—The Great Buffalo Hunt—Turning Rancher and Stockman—The Maltese Cross Brand—Valentine Deaths of His Loves—Bighorns and Beyond—Lonely Bugle Call of Elk—Rolling Plains and Antelope Herds—Grizzly, King of the Rockies

Chapter Seven
  Cradle of Conservation: The Elkhorn Ranch of North Dakota

Jottings Away—Grover Cleveland’s Triumph—Badlands Snow—The Dominant Primordial Beast—Beavering for Firewood—The Fashion Plate—A Trip After Bighorn Sheep—An Adobe of Iron Desolation—Birth of the Literary Sportsman—Outmatched by George Bird Grinnell—The White Wolf and the Native Americans—The Elkhorn Ranch and Conservationist Thinking—Old Bullion Returns—Deputy Sheriff of Billings County—Courting of Edith Carrow—Defeated for Mayor of New York City—Winter of the Blue Snow

Chapter Eight
  Wildlife Protection Business: Boone and Crockett Club Meets the U.S. Biological Survey

Ranch Life Lore—Out of Big Game—Birth of the Boone and Crockett Club—Idaho as God’s Country—Ranch Life Continued—Frederic Remington and Frontier Types—Burning the Midnight Oil—Dr. Merriam, I Presume—The Cyclone and the Shrew—Jaguar Eyes and the Flash of Green Fire

Chapter Nine
  Laying the Groundwork with John Burroughs and Benjamin Harrison

The Late Great John Burroughs—Sharp Eyes of the Naturalist—Busting Bad Guys at the U.S. Civil Service—Brother Elliott Struggles with Life—Who’s Not Afraid of Western Developers?—Reading Elliott Coues—Bears, Bears, and More Bears—The Itinerant Historian—Bullish against the Hay-Adams Circle—Americanism and The Winning of the West—Carousing at Sagamore Hill—The Medora Magic—Yellowstone Days—Springing into Action at the Metropolitan Club—President Benjamin Harrison Steps Up to the Plate—Cooke City Crooks—The Darwinian Cowboy—Birth of the National Forest System—Frederick Jackson Turner’s Closed Frontier—Grover Cleveland Picks Up the Conservationist Torch—Awe and Admiration at Two Ocean Pass

Chapter Ten
  The Wilderness Hunter in the Electric Age

Shooting Wild Boars in Texas—The Mighty Javelina Charge—Deadwood Days and Pine Ridge Blues—The Triumph of the Log Cabin—Boom and Bust at the Chicago World’s Fair—The Panic of 1893—Albert Bierstadt’s Moose—Boone and Crockett Club Ventures into Publishing—W. B. Devereaux and Colorado Camera Hunting—Americanism of The Wilderness Hunter—President Grover Cleveland and the Yellowstone Game Protection Act of 1894—Getting On with Interior Secretary Hoke Smith—Garbage Dump Bears—The California National Parks—Good-Bye to Brother Elliott—Social Darwinism Run Amok

Chapte Eleven
  The Bronx Zoo Founder

Clashes with Dr. C. Hart Merriam—Buffalo Mania—Welcome to the New York Zoological Society—Mr. Madison Grant—Husband Taxidermy and Dr. William Temple Hornaday—Hunting in Foreign Lands—New York Police Chief Doldrums—Support from Cornelius Bliss—Squabbling Over Bears and Coyotes With Dr. C. Hart Merriam—Cervus Roosevelt—Anchors Away with Hornets, Wasps, and Yellowjackets—Daydreaming of the Faraway Olympic Mountains—The “Forever Wild” Mammals of the Adirondacks—Where the Buffalo Roam Stamp (or Pike’s Peak)

Chapter Twelve
  The Rough Rider

The White Chief Clamors for War—Remember the Maine—Here Come the Rough Riders—From San Antonio to Tampa Bay—Quick-Come-See, There Goes Colonel Roosevelt—Musing over Edmund Demoulins and Anglo-Saxon Superiority—Dear Sweet Josephine—Cuban Wood Doves—In the Death Grip of Vultures and Crabs—Beating Back the Spanish Sharks—Repairing in Montauk—Mascots Remembered—Going for the Governorship—Remington’s Bronco Buster—Walks with Leonard Wood—The Roosevelt Special—Victory at the Ballot Box

Chapter Thirteen
  Higher Political Perches

Smashing His Way into the Governorship—Reforming the New York Forest, Fish, and Game Commission—Gifford Pinchot, My Boy—The Pinchot-LaFarge Expedition—Learning about Forestry Science—Sparring with Easy Boss Platt—The “Strenuous Life” Doctrine—Citizen Bird Flies into Albany—The Hallock Bill—Bronx Zoo as Bird Refuge—Burroughs the Bird-Watcher—Lobbying with Mr. Dutcher—The American Ornithological Union Makes Its Play—Audubon Societies and the Lacey Act

Chapter Fourteen
  The Advocate of the Strenuous Life

The Ballad of Oom John—Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird—Far and Near—The Strenuous Life Doctrine—We Want Teddy!—The Robert B. Roosevelt Endorsement—Cougar Collecting in Colorado—My Life as a Naturalist—Let the Blacktails Roam Free—Gavels Away as Vice President—Confession to Hamlin Garland—Fuming at C. G. Gunther’s Sons—Persona Trapped—Learning Conservation from Vermonters—Shooting of William McKinley—Conquering Mount Marcy, at Last—Death of an Ohio President

Chapter Fifteen
  The Conservationist President and the Bully Pulpit for Forestry

The New Agenda—Looking for Rangers in All the Right Places—Seth Bullock Turns Black Hills Ranger—Dining with Booker T. Washington—The Lay of the Land—First Annual Message—Major Pitcher, Buffalo Jones, and Yellowstone—The Bully Crusader—The Deer Family—Promoting Cameras over Guns—Changing Ways at USDA—The Great Western Water Crusade—Supporting the Newlands Act—Near-Death Collision—Inspecting the Biltmore Estate—An Operation—Father to His Brood—Joined at the Hip with Darwin in Saddlebag

Chapter Sixteen
  The Great Mississippi Bear Hunt and Saving the Puerto Rican Parrot

Train Ride to Smedes—Holt Collier’s 3,000 Dead Bears—Briar Patches and Canebreaks—Clifford Berryman and the Birth of the Teddy Bear—The Buffalo Soldiers Protect California’s Parks—Don’t Call Me Teddy!—Luquillo Forest Reserve of Puerto Rico—The Endangered Puerto Rican Parrot—Loretta and Eli Yale—El Yunque Forever

Chapter Seventeen
  Crater Lake and Wind Cave National Parks

Championing National Parks—Fighting Opposition to the Grand Canyon—Shifting Gears to Crater Lake—The Committee of Steel—Wishing
upon a Star—The Oregon Circuit—Preserving the Cascades—The Subterranean Wonder of Wind Cave—Mapping the Underworld—Senator Gamble Finds Cause—John Lacey Yet Again—The Virginian Rides into Town—Vigilante Justice for Wildlife—Nebraska Tree Farmers—Thirteen New National Forests—Great Spatial Silence

Chapter Eighteen
  Paul Kroegel and the Feather Wars of Florida

Darwin’s Evolutionary Laboratory of Florida—Enamored of Brown Pelicans—White Storks of Chemnitz—Cheers for Stout Paul Kroegel—Surviving the Big Freeze—The Adventures of Captain Paul—Frank M. Chapman and Bird Studies with a Camera—Ma Latham’s Oak Lodge—Stopping the Feather Wars—The Creation of Pelican Island as a Federal Bird Reservation—No Trespassing Allowed—Warden Kroegel on Patrol—The Wicked Murder of Guy Bradley—Pelican Watcher Prevails—Terns of Passage Key

Chapter Nineteen
  Passports to the Parks: Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Yosemite

Planning the Great Loop—Rejection of the Yellowstone Hunt—Those Loathsome Nature Fakirs—Camping and Tramping with John Burroughs—Naturalists at Yellowstone—Dr. Merriam on the Mind—High Times with Seth Bullock—Worrying about Edgar Lee Hewett’s Ruins—The Keokuk Buffalo Wire—A Pilgrimage to John Lacey’s Iowa—Saint Louis Doldrums—Josiah the Badger—Goin’ to Santa Fe—Ridin’ Fast to the Grand Canyon—The Great Chasm—Man Can Only Mar It—Keepin’ on to Los Angeles—Big Tree Country Sequoias—San Francisco Promenade—Mariposa Grove Camping with John Muir—The Blue Merry Eyes of Muir—Mount Shasta It Is—William L. Finley and Three Arch Rocks—Dragging It Out in Seattle—Bringing Back Baby Josiah

Chapter Twenty
  Beauty Unmarred: Winning the White House in 1904

Playing Historian of the World—Greenspace Adoration—Alaska on the Mind—Our Wilderness Reserves—The Immensity of Tongass—Dreaming of Golden Trout—The Samurai Spirit—The Albatross of Midway—Hobart the Vassal of Luck—Landslide 1904—Andrew Carnegie and the Forest Museum—Meet Me in Saint Louis—Sully’s Hill National Park—Tin Can Grizzlies—Captain William Sprinkle and Breton Island—Marching to Chain Bridge—Telling Standard Oil to Take a Hike—Warring over Seals—Lincoln’s Hair Ring—Stumping for Stump Lake

Chapter Twenty-One
  The Oklahoma Hills (or, Where the Buffalo President Roams)

Spirit Trail of Southwestern Oklahoma—Cecil Andrew Lyon’s Texas Invite—Lessons in Oklahoma History—The Baynes Plan—Catch ’Em
Alive Jack Abernathy—Greyhounds, Wild Horses, and Wild Wolves—The President as Buffalo Man—Gentlemen of the Press—Dallas Mayhem—San Antonio Spurs—Red River Ranchman—Peace Piping with Quanah Parker—Colorado Gospel Days—Punching Back at the Nature Fakirs—Mr. Abernathy Comes to Washington—Publication of Out-door Pastimes—Buffalo Comeback—The American Bison Society—The Making of an Oklahoman—The Preservation of the Species—Buffalo Thunder into the Flathead Indian Reservation, Fort Niobrara, and Wind Cave—Why Haven’t You Visited the Wichita Forest and Game Preserve?

Chapter Twenty-Two
  The National Monuments of 1906

How Was Devils Tower Made?—John Goff Is Mauled—Pushing for Statehood—Adding Utah to the Board—Down with the Anarchists—The Stench of Standard Oil—The Sad Lament of San Francisco—My Western Friends Named Wister and Remington—The Antiquities Act of 1906—The Four Corners of John Wetherill—The Mining Snakes of Arizona—Defending Alaska’s Seal Rookeries—Mesa Verde Mother and the Clip-joint Thieves—Poor Ota Benga—Patting Pinchot on the Back—Wild Turkey Hunt in Virginia—El Morro of New Mexico—Montezuma Castle of Arizona—Mr. Lacey’s Petrified Forest

Chapter Twenty-Three
  The Prehistoric Sites of 1907

Welcoming James R. Garfield to Interior—The Great Forest Preserve Pickpocketing—Hate Mail from the West—Using Arbor Day as Sword—Those Sick Oil Gluttons—Visiting Mount Vernon—Lovely Days at Pine Knot—Our Last Glimpse of Passenger Pigeons—Extinct or Not Extinct?—Old Remington Keeps Getting Better—New Winds in Chaco Canyon—Lassen Peak and Cinder Cone—Steamboating Down the Ole Miss—All the Way to Memphis—The Great Lakes–to–Gulf Deep Waterway Association—Yin-Yang Views—Ben Lilly in the Canebrakes—Holt Collier to the Rescue—Enduring the Scorn of Mark Twain—Could the Boone and Crockett Club Be Wrong?—The Rosetta Stones of Gila Cliff Dwellings and Tonto National Monument

Chapter Twenty-Four
  Mighty Birds: Federal Reservations of 1907–1908

Hurrah for Reverend Herbert K. Job’s Wild Wings—Onward with the Federal Bird Reservations of Louisiana—Three Arch Rocks—No to Oil Derricks on the Pacific Coast—Mosquito Inlet and the Tortugas Group—The Lumbering Manatees—Birds on the Edge of Extinction—The Unsolved Murder of Columbus McLeod—Winning the Feather Wars—Those Magnificent Hunters—Inside a Crocodile’s Belly—The Incredible Mr. William L. Finley—Contradictions in Klamath Basin—The Haranguing Specialist—Memorializing the Oregon Fight

Chapter Twenty-Five
  The Preservationist Revolution of 1908

Muir Trees—Seizing and Saving the Grand Canyon—The Pinnacles of Grandeur—To Jewel Cave Unknown—Sun Burning Bright over Natural Bridges—Let’s Do Something for Lewis and Clark—Here Comes the Governors Conference—Giving William Jennings Bryan the Snub—At the Grand Canyon—The First of July’s Crowded Hour Reserves—Africa on the Mind—“Come On, Boys, Join the Country Life Commission”—All the Way to Tumacacori—Shadow Boxing with Jack London—Thinking about History as the Big Sure Winner—Joint Conservation Congress—Saving the Farallons—Sorry for Hetch-Hetchy—War over Loch-Katrine in Wyoming—The Conservative Radical

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