What Caused Teddy Roosevelt to Move West and Almost Give up Politics Forever?

Col Theodore Roosevelt stands triumphant on San Juan Hill, Cuba after his "Rough Riders" captured this hill and its sister Kettle Hill during the Spanish American War. Theodore Roosevelt Association and Library of Congress as well as Public Domain

Col Theodore Roosevelt stands triumphant on San Juan Hill, Cuba after his "Rough Riders" captured this hill and its sister Kettle Hill during the Spanish American War. Theodore Roosevelt Association and Library of Congress as well as Public Domain

Answer: His wife and mother died within 12 hours of each other

History - In February 1884, Roosevelt’s young wife died after giving birth to their daughter; a mere 12 hours later his much-beloved mother also died. Devastated by this cruel double blow, Roosevelt sought solace in the wide open spaces of the West, establishing himself on two ranches in the Badlands of Dakota Territory and writing to friends that he had given up politics and planned to make ranching “my regular business.” Despite this, three years later he returned to New York City and resumed the political career that would eventually take him to the White House. Even after he had returned to the civilized East, Roosevelt always credited his western interlude with restoring his mental and physical vitality.

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