By David MacKenzie
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Additional resources for Apis: The Congenial Conspirator, The Life of Colonel Dragutin T. Dimitrijevic
AFTER THE BIRTH of their second son, Kermit, Edith moved to Washington in December 1889, where the Roosevelts lived in a rented townhouse. She had dreaded leaving her quiet life at Sagamore Hill for the political obsessions of Washington society, but she quickly felt at home. Edith’s transition was facilitated by the circle of friends her husband had cultivated, including William Howard Taft, who had come from Ohio to serve as Harrison’s solicitor general – and who would become Roosevelt’s closest political ally.
Summoned to New York, Theodore arrived too late to say goodbye. The death plunged him into a three-month period of grief. “Like a fledgling shoved too soon from the bough,” biographer Edmund Morris wrote, “he tumbled nakedly through the air; some of his diary entries are not so much expressions of sorrow as squawks of fright . . ” As he would do all his life, Roosevelt turned to work as therapy. With the arrival of spring, he was surprised to be thinking “pleasant” thoughts about his father. Roosevelt finished the year with six honor grades out of eight.
Bounding up the stairs of Morton Hall in his evening clothes, Roosevelt seemed out of place among the spittoons, poker tables, and rough-hewn benches, the air thick with smoke from cheap cigars. “He looked like a dude, side-whiskers an’ all, y’know,” one of the ward members told an interviewer years later. But Roosevelt persisted. “As a friend of mine picturesquely phrased it, I ‘had to break into the organization with a jimmy,’” he wrote. ’” It wasn’t long before his boundless energy, curiosity, and compassion won him a reputation as a fearless advocate.
Apis: The Congenial Conspirator, The Life of Colonel Dragutin T. Dimitrijevic by David MacKenzie