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Nicholas Roosevelt Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: --
Date: Dec 1966

Biographical History

Nicholas Roosevelt (1893-1982) was an American author, journalist, conservationist, and diplomat.

Roosevelt was born June 12, 1893, in New York City. Nicholas's father, James West Roosevelt, was the first cousin of President Theodore Roosevelt. Nicholas received his A.B. from Harvard in 1914. He served as an attaché at the American Embassy in Paris for the next two years, and as secretary to the American mission to Spain in 1916-1917. In the 1920s he was a foreign correspondent and editorial writer for The New York Times. In 1926, Roosevelt wrote and published a book, The Philippines, A Treasure and a Problem, in which he argued against the United States granting the Philippines independence on the grounds that Filipinos were incapable of governing their own affairs. In 1930, President Herbert Hoover appointed Roosevelt to serve as Vice-Governor to the Philippines, but he was released from the post after a few months due to nation-wide protests by Filipinos, who were upset about Roosevelt's depiction of their country and people. Shortly after he left his post in the Philippines he was named minister to Hungary, a post he held for three years (1930-1933).

Roosevelt returned to journalism once he came home from Hungary. He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a writer for its journal Foreign Affairs, and an editorial writer for the New York Herald Tribune, where he was deeply critical of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his administration. A life-long Republican, Nicholas Roosevelt criticized the New Deal and big government policies.

In addition to his newspaper work, Roosevelt wrote twelve books including A New Birth of Freedom (1938), Venezuela's Place in the Sun: Modernizing a Pioneering Country (1940), Creative Cooking (1956), and Theodore Roosevelt: The Man as I Knew Him (1967). His autobiography, A Front Row Seat, was published in 1953.

Roosevelt retired from journalism in 1946 due to ill health and moved to Big Sur, California. Inspired by an Arizona trip he took in 1913 with his cousin, Theodore Roosevelt (an avid conservationist), Roosevelt became heavily involved in conservationist movements. He was active in the Save-the-Redwoods League and served on California's recreation commission. In 1970, he published Conservation: Now or Never, an appeal for the conservation of Earth's resources.

Roosevelt died February 16, 1982, in Monterey, California.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Nicholas Roosevelt Papers consists of Correspondence-subject files, Financial and legal material, Memorabilia, and Writings.

Correspondence-subject files reflects Roosevelt's status as a diplomat and journalist who was involved in both American and foreign politics. Roosevelt exchanged correspondence with a variety of politicians, including President Herbert Hoover, whom Roosevelt served as minister to Hungary within his administration. There are also several folders of correspondence with President Theodore Roosevelt, the majority of which is between Theodore Roosevelt and Nicholas's mother, Laura. Laura and Theodore were good friends as well as cousins by marriage. There is also correspondence with the extended Roosevelt family, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Other material relates to Nicholas's books, including letters regarding progress and comments about the book. Incomplete correspondence or correspondence with illegible names are listed last in the series.

Financial and legal files consists of a small number of book contracts, a lease contract for a boat, expense accounts for a trip to Asia, and a folder of miscellaneous financial items such as invoices and receipts.

Memorabilia consists of clippings, diaries, photographs, postcards, scrapbooks, and other assorted items. Clippings are primarily newspaper clippings of Roosevelt's writings for various newspapers. There are also clippings of reviews of Roosevelt's books. His diaries cover his many travels around the world. One diary to note is that of his trip in Arizona with former President Theodore Roosevelt in the summer of 1913, in which he shares stories regarding the popular President. Also included in this series are the family papers of Roosevelt's mother, Laura D'Oremieulx Roosevelt. The majority of these papers were originally stored in a box with a label that read, "D'Oremieulx-Gibbs records and letters," and therefore have been kept together under that heading. Scrapbooks primarily consist of newspaper clippings of reviews of Nicholas's books, articles and editorials that he wrote, or trips that he took. Other items of note include a program for a reception for Theodore Roosevelt after his return from Cuba fighting with the Rough Riders during the Spanish American War; an oral history of Roosevelt's memories of working with Herbert Hoover; and photographs of Nicholas Roosevelt, as well as a photograph of Theodore Roosevelt.

Writings includes articles, books, book reviews, editorials, letters to the editor, reflections, and speeches. Most of the articles are from Roosevelt's time as a foreign correspondent and editorialist for The New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune, and as a reporter for foreign newspapers. Material for his books includes drafts, corrections, galleys, manuscripts, notes, and research. Books that have significant material in the collection are: Creative Cooking (1956), Economic Forces in the Development of American History (1951), A Front Row Seat (1953), Good Cooking (1959), A New Birth of Freedom (1939), Stream of Liberty (1954), and Theodore Roosevelt: The Man as I Knew Him (1967). Book reviews are by Roosevelt for books written by other authors. Editorials are from his time as an editor for The New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune. Personal narratives and reflections include an account of the Republican Convention of 1912, at which former President Theodore Roosevelt unsuccessfully challenged sitting President William Howard Taft for the Republican nomination for President. Speeches include notes and transcripts of speeches and lectures throughout his career as a diplomat and journalist. At the end of the series are a few miscellaneous items such as the draft of a book chapter for an unpublished book, some notes, and a poem, and a few pieces by others.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is arranged alphabetically by name or topic, apart from Roosevelt's diaries, which are arranged chronologically.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Adamic, Louis, 1899-1951.
Albright, Horace M. (Horace Marden), 1890-1987.
Atchley, Dana W. (Dana Winslow), 1892-1982.
Churchill, Winston, 1874-1965.
Clemenceau, Georges, 1841-1929.
Colby, William Egan, 1920-1996.
Dulles, Allen, 1893-1969.
Dulles, John Foster, 1888-1959.
Eisenhower, Milton Stover, 1899-1985.
Feis, Herbert, 1893-1972.
Finley, John H. (John Huston), 1863-1940.
Gilbert, Prentiss Bailey.
Grew, Joseph C. (Joseph Clark), 1880-1965.
Gunther, John, 1901-1970.
Hagedorn, Hermann, 1882-1964.
Hanfstaengl, Ernst, 1887-1975.
Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964.
Hull, Cordell, 1871-1955.
Kellogg, Frank B. (Frank Billings), 1856-1937.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.
Knox, Frank, 1874-1944.
Krock, Arthur, 1886-1974.
Lamont, Thomas W. (Thomas William), 1870-1948.
Landon, Alfred M. (Alfred Mossman), 1887-1987.
Lewis, Sinclair, 1885-1951.
Lippmann, Walter, 1889-1974.
Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1902-1985.
Lottinville, Savoie, 1906-1997.
Lucas, Dione, 1909-1971.
Marshall, George C. (George Catlett), 1880-1959.
Mayo, Katherine, 1868?-1940.
Miller, Henry, 1891-1980.
Moley, Raymond, 1886-1975.
Montgomery, John Fleshman, 1905-
Nevins, Allan, 1890-1971.
Osborne, Lithgow, 1892-1980.
Reinhardt, Aurelia Henry, 1877-1948.
Robinson, Edgar Eugene, 1887-1977.
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979.
Roosevelt family.
Roosevelt, Archibald, 1918-1990.
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962.
Roosevelt, Franklin D., Jr. (Franklin Delano), 1914-1988.
Roosevelt, Nicholas, 1893-1982.
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1887-1944.
Saltonstall, Leverett, 1892-1979.
Sansom, George Bailey, Sir, 1883-1965.
Schuyler, Louisa Lee.
Seldes, George, 1890-1995.
Shirer, William L. (William Lawrence), 1904-1993.
Stimson, Henry L. (Henry Lewis), 1867-1950.
Sulzberger, Arthur Hays, 1891-1968.
Toynbee, Arnold, 1889-1975.
Wadsworth, James Wolcott, 1846-1926.
Warner, Langdon, 1881-1955.
Warren, Earl, 1891-1974.
Wood, Leonard, 1860-1927.


Authors, American.
Conservationists -- United States.
Diplomats -- United States.
Journalists -- United States.
National parks and reserves -- United States.
Nature conservation -- United States.


Arizona -- Description and travel.
United States -- Diplomatic and consular service -- Hungary.
United States -- Diplomatic and consular service -- Philippines.
United States -- Foreign relations -- 1929-1933.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Hungary.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Philippines.
United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms

Book reviews.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Drafts (documents)
Galley proofs.
Genealogies (histories)
Manuscripts for publication.
Oral histories (literary works)
Programs (documents)
Speeches (documents)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Nicholas Roosevelt Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents

Correspondence-subject files

Financial and legal files