Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Theodore Roosevelt's Two Wives Of The Badlands

Roosevelt, pictured here in 1884. 
Theodore Roosevelt's Native Wives
Left Behind To Pursue Politics
By Dakota Wind
BADLANDS, N.D. - On November 6, 1934, an Arikara named Sand Hill Crane (a former US Scout too) gave an interview to Colonel Alfred Welch about Theodore Roosevelt and his two native wives. Here's what he said:


“Yes, I know about Roosevelt and the Gros Ventre [Hidatsa] woman he took. He got her. That was the way we did it then. He gave some horses for her. Her name was Brown Head. She was Hidatsa. She’s dead now," said Sand Hill Crane. After Roosevelt left Brown Head, she became the wife of Foolish Woman, a member of the Hidatsa and Sand Hill Crane's cousin, but shortly after their marriage, Brown Head died. 

Then Sand Hill Crane went on to explain, “He got another one. Her name was See The Woman. She was one-half French and one-half Hidatsa. She’s alive yet up at Shell Creek. Yes, I knew him well. He was all right. When he went away he gave the women some horses and things." After Roosevelt's convalescent stay in the Badlands, he returned to the east and entered the political arena. Of Roosevelt's relationship with the two women, Sand Hill Crane shared this, "
So he went away. Then he became a big man. We never said anything about these women to anyone. That’s the way the white men did then in the country."

Roosevelt believed that the American Indians had no claim to the land, and had no desire to hold property. It is evident too, that he didn't think his marriages to Brown Head and See The Woman were valid either, as he left them behind when he sufficiently recovered from the loss of his wife, Alice Lee Roosevelt, and his mother, Mittie Roosevelt.