4. Jan. 1903-July 15, 1904: Naturalist and Nominee

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President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was a prolific writer of books, articles, and especially letters, and received as much mail as he sent. His correspondents ranged from heads of states to average Americans, and covered a wide range of topics. Discover what Roosevelt and his correspondents had to say about the issues of their day.

As the Roosevelt family returned to the renovated White House, expanded to include offices in a new West Wing, President Roosevelt received correspondence containing the usual patronage requests, as well as matters touching on domestic politics and foreign affairs. A new secretary, William Loeb, was on hand to help. A two-month cross-country speaking tour in 1903 included trips to Yellowstone and Yosemite, which allowed T. R. to indulge his love of nature and advocate conservation measures. Treaties negotiated in 1903 awarded the U.S. rights to build a canal across the isthmus of Panama. In 1904, William H. Taft joined Roosevelt’s cabinet as secretary of war, and in June the Republican Party nominated T. R. as its candidate for president.

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