Teddy Roosevelt's Knife
Theodore Roosevelt was the first and only President to kill a cougar with a knife. .
From Roosevelt's cowboy days in the Dakota Territory, Teddy carried his sterling silver hunting knife made by Tiffany & Co., dated 1884. When his wife and mother both died on the same day, February 14, 1884, Roosevelt went west to the badlands of Dakota, and threw himself into hard work and long days herding cattle. The ranch hands ridiculed his fancy clothes, meticulous grammar, and Tiffany-inscribed knife.
Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children:
Keystone Ranch, Colo., Jan. 14th, 1901 -
"Soon we saw the lion in a treetop, with two of the dogs so high up among the branches that he was striking at them. He was more afraid of us than of the dogs, and as soon as he saw us he took a great flying leap and was off, the pack close behind. In a few hundred yards they had him up another tree. This time, after a couple of hundred yards, the dogs caught him, and a great fight followed. They could have killed him by themselves, but he bit or clawed four of them, and for fear he might kill one I ran in and stabbed him behind the shoulder, thrusting the knife right into his heart. I have always wished to kill a cougar as I did this one, with dogs and the knife.”
On March 23rd, 1909, Roosevelt went on safari in Africa. The trip was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society and received worldwide media attention. Despite his commitment to conservation, his party killed over 6,000 animals, including some of the last remaining white rhino.
In the photo, Theodore Roosevelt is seen with his highly-decorated deer-skin hunting suit, and Tiffany-carved hunting knife and rifle. Photographed by George Grantham Baine in 1885 in New York City. Public domain from many sources.
© 2007 - Sarasota Florida Knife Collectors Club