TR's Father, Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. Signed Receipt on "American Museum of Natural History" Notepaper; 15-Year-Old Teddy Had Begun His Own Natural History Museum 7 Years Earlier!
This remarkable document relates to the origins of New York City's American Museum of Natural History; as well as to future 26th U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), and his lifelong passion for natural science.
The document is signed by two of the founders of the American Museum of Natural History: Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. (1831-1878), Teddy's father, as "Theodore Roosevelt" at left center; and by Dr. Albert S. Bickmore (1839-1914), as "Correct / Albert S. Bickmore" along the left edge. The partly printed partly written receipt, on a half-sheet of "American Museum of Natural History / Central Park" letterhead, was written in New York City on June 28, 1874. Also signed by an unknown worker or tradesman at lower right. Expected folds and notched at upper right. Loss to lower left corner affects the "A" of "Albert." Light stain along the left edge and mounting traces verso, else very good to near fine. 8.125" x 5.375."
The receipt, no. 131, most likely pertained to some of the very first expenditures related to the construction of the American Museum of Natural History. The cornerstone of the first building of the museum had been laid less than a month earlier, on June 2, 1874.
"Am. Museum to J.F. Holden Sr. (?)
To amount for services at Museum from June 10th to June 30th inclusive.
Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. helped make the American Museum of Natural History a reality. His sense of philanthropy, as much as his oldest son's obsession with natural science, probably equally motivated the elder Roosevelt to assist in the creation of the museum. The charter of the future museum was drafted in the front parlor of the Roosevelt home in the spring of 1869, just steps away from young Teddy Roosevelt's bedroom, where the precocious tot had formed the "Roosevelt Museum of Natural History" in his bedroom in 1867. The centerpiece of the boy's collection was a harbor seal skull, which was carefully exhibited side by side with 11 other animal specimens which Teddy had caught, killed, and taxidermized. Teddy Roosevelt later donated his childhood collection to the American Museum of Natural History, which his father had helped to establish.
Teddy Roosevelt's interest in biology, ornithology, and natural science was cultivated by his parents, as Teddy gratefully acknowledged in his autobiography "Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography" (1913). Teddy's interest in the natural world continued throughout all the phases of his life, from child to college student, and from South Dakota rancher to president to retired statesman.
This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.
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