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17[tr-m] Re: Brownsville, Texas 1907

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  • Tweed Roosevelt
    Jan 8, 2000
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      At 08:24 PM 1/7/2000 -0500, Dinosaur Interplanetary Gazette wrote:
      > So... as I'm understanding this... TR signed an executive order as
      >"Commander-in-chief" of the military strictly on the basis of military
      >discipline. Were there any letters or documents expressing his direct
      >opinion? According to the TRA website, he did order an investigation. Was
      >the issue here a conflict between private opinion and defined public
      >obligation as an official? Was any there ever any private expression on the
      >topic? (The work cited is not readily available to me). Thanks for your
      >help. E. Summer

      A great deal has been written and spoken about this subject both at the
      time and subsequently by TR, members of Congress, the black community, the
      press and many historians. Most of the biographies of TR or other
      histories of the times include sections on the incident. A good recent one
      is *The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt* (American Presidency Series) by
      Lewis L. Gould currently available in paperback through Amazon.com (you
      might want to order it through the Theodore Roosevelt site to give the TRA
      the credit). The seminal single book on the subject is *The Brownsville
      Raid* by John Downing Weaver, W. W. Norton, New York, 1970. These books
      should be easily available through inter library loan. The issues are
      quite complex and controversial so your questions do not lend themselves to
      easy answers. Perhaps the books will help.

      Even today, not all agree as to what happened, although the current
      overwhelming view is that the soldiers were innocent and that some
      townsfolk were responsible for either creating the whole incident or taking
      advantage on some other incident to create a disturbance and place the
      blame on the soldiers. It is important to note that this was a serious
      incident which left one man dead and injured at least one other. The truth
      may never be known, although Congress did in the 1970's formally exonerate
      the soldiers, reinstating pensions to the few who were still alive.
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