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  Roosevelt, Robert B.
NameRobert B. Roosevelt
, New York , United States
Born August 07, 1829
DiedJune 14, 1906 (76 years)
ContributorThomas Walker
Last ModifedRBH
Oct 02, 2007 11:57am
InfoRobert Barnwell Roosevelt (August 7, 1829 – June 14, 1906) was the brother of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., the uncle of President Theodore Roosevelt and the great-uncle of Eleanor Roosevelt. His father was Cornelius Roosevelt (1794-1871) and his mother was Margaret Barnhill (1799-1861).

He was an early conservationist and worked for the protection of waterways. Roosevelt served in Congress as a Democrat. He was appointed U.S. Minister to the Netherlands by President Grover Cleveland, and served 1888-89.

Roosevelt is credited with influencing his nephew, Theodore Roosevelt, to become a conservationist. He also was a popular author and a friend of such writers such as Oscar Wilde. Theodore Roosevelt, in his biography, credits Robert with being the first to scribe the "Br'er Rabbit" stories (which had been passed down orally by slaves), "publishing them in Harper's, where they fell flat. This was a good many years before a genius arose who, in 'Uncle Remus', made the stories immortal." (Roosevelt was referring to Joel Chandler Harris, who first published the Uncle Remus stories in The Atlanta Journal in 1879).

Roosevelt was the father of many children - both by his wife and by a mistress (Minnie O'Shea Fortescue) whom he subsquently married after the death of his wife. Among the illegitimate offspring who thus became his stepchildren were Kenyon Fortescue (destined for a career as an attorney), and Major Granville Roland "Rolly" Fortescue, who eventually married Grace Hubbard Fortescue (née Grace Hubbard Bell), a defendant in the notorious 1932 murder trial known as the Massie Affair.


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Father Cornelius Roosevelt 1794-1871
Grandfather Jacobus "James" Roosevelt 1759-1840
Uncle James John "James I." Roosevelt 1795-1875
Brother Silas Weir Roosevelt 1823-1870
Nephew James West Roosevelt 1858-1896
Brother Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. 1831-1878
Niece Corinna Roosevelt Robinson 1851-1933
Nephew Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt 1858-1919
Nephew Elliott B. Roosevelt 1860-1894

  05/16/1888 US Ambassador to Netherlands Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/08/1870 NY District 04 Won 63.25% (+31.20%)