Arizona Historical Society

“I hope to pay one last visit to the ranch, with little Ted, who will then be nearly eleven; and I shall think of you very often, riding over the immense rolling plains, with their mat of short, sun-scorched grass; for it has always seemed to me that we two felt those plains as no one else I have ever seen does,” wrote Theodore Roosevelt to Patty Selmes in 1897 (underline in original text).

Established by an Act of the First Territorial Legislature on November 7, 1864, the Arizona Historical Society (AHS) is Arizona’s oldest historical agency. The items in their collections illuminate Roosevelt’s relationship to the Great Plains, as well as his connections to the Selmes, Greenway, and Ferguson families. Isabella Greenway was the first U.S. congresswoman in Arizona history, as well as the daughter of Patty Selmes. The Selmes family called North Dakota home.

Materials in this collection include correspondence from Gutzon Borglum regarding the creation of Mount Rushmore, letters examining national politics, as well as items relating to the history of the Rough Riders. Most importantly, this collection shows the value Roosevelt and his family placed on developing and preserving relationships over a lifetime. 

Click here to view items from this collection.