Throughout their lifetimes, Theodore and Edith Roosevelt received numerous gifts from the public, including everyone from everyday Americans to foreign dignitaries.
Wooden tray made from one of the fence rails supposedly split by Abraham Lincoln as a young man in Illinois. This tray was made by the students of the Rhinelander School in New York City. It was presented to Theodore Roosevelt on April 16, 1897. The Rhinelander School was part of the Children's Aid Society, which was an organization that Theodore Roosevelt's father, Theodore Roosevelt Sr., helped to establish in 1853.
Gold pocket watch with Roosevelt family crest and Phi Beta Kappa fraternity key. The gold fraternity key was presented to Theodore Roosevelt on December 5, 1901 by Dr. Pockman, the president of the Rutgers chapter of the fraternity. Theodore Roosevelt was the fifth United States President to become a member of the society.
First Lady Edith Roosevelt received this set of bisque figurines as a French diplomatic gift in May 1902. The 'Scarf Dance' figurines were designed by French sculptor Agathon Léonard and produced by the National Porcelain Factory of Sèvres. Intended for use as a table centerpiece, they combine the finest French craftsmanship in a very traditional medium with the avant-garde subject of modern dance.
Edith Roosevelt received this silver loving cup from the crew of the Battleship Louisiana after Thedore and Edith Roosevelt's trip to see the construction of the Panama Canal in 1906. Initially the crew was cautious about having a woman onboard a battleship because it was seen as bad luck, but the crew enjoyed having her on board and presented this loving cup to her as a memento.
Top: Wooden cane with silver tip.
Middle: On September 7, 1902 Theodore Roosevelt toured the Civil War battlefields Chickamauga and Chattanooga in Tennessee. He received a wooden cane with a silver plaque that was supposedly cut from the battlefield and is inscribed with the names of three Union generals and three Confederate generals who fought in the battle symbolizing unity. The next day, TR referenced the symbolism of the cane when he gave a speech in Asheville, North Carolina urging "We never can succeed in making this country what it can and shall be made until we work together."�
Bottom: Wooden cane with silver plaque presented to Theodore Roosevelt by Otis Barker in 1917. The head of the cane was made from materials from Daniel Webster's boat "Lapwing."
During Theodore Roosevelt's great western tour of the United States in 1903, a young girl from Kansas presented TR with a badger. Josiah became one of the Roosevelt family pets. Eventually Josiah had to be given away because he had a bad habit of biting people. The Roosevelt family received a stuffed badger in return that was placed on the floor of the library at Sagamore Hill among TR's other stuffed animal rugs and specimens.
Buffalo hide given by Indian Court of Affairs Chief Justice John Grass of the Standing Rock Reservation to Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. Grass had fought in the Battle of Little Bighorn. This hide was painted by the Native Americans of the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota and South Dakota and depicts the Battle of Little Bighorn.
This mosaic designed by Vatican artists depicts Pope Leo XIII in the papal gardens. The mosaic was sent to Theodore and Edith Roosevelt in 1902 by Pope Leo XIII with the Pope's "expression of his high esteem" for the President and his wife. At the time of the exchange, William Howard Taft, who was the Governor General of the Philippines, was in Rome to negotiate the purchase of church lands in the Philippines by the United States. In return, TR gave the Pope a set of books that he wrote.
The Dalai Lama gave this buddha statuette to Theodore Roosevelt through the U.S. Minister to China William Woodville Rockhill. In June of 1908 Rockhill met with the Dalai Lama regarding peace between Russia and China. In corresponding with Rockhill, Theodore Roosevelt wondered what kind of gift he should give to the Dalai Lama in return. On August 1, 1908 TR wrote to Rockhill, "I have not the vaguest idea of that the Tale Lama would like. I sent the Pope a copy of my books. It is just possible that he glanced at the outside of the cover of one, but I do not know that the Tale Lama would even care to do as much as this. Will you let me know?"