Teddy Roosevelt in the Dakota Territory
Teddy Roosevelt and Horse bronze sculpture honors the future President who arrived in the Dakota Territory in 1883. He came to hunt buffalo and to escape the grief of his wife‘s death. Roosevelt bought a ranch near Medora, North Dakota, and became a cowboy, rancher and a hunter. He also went on long expeditions into the Badlands and wrote about his adventures. Roosevelt made frequent trips to the city of Bismarck to negotiate with cattle barons and Native Americans. He was an advocate for conservation, and his visits to the area helped shape the preservation of its natural resources. In 1886, Roosevelt left the Dakota Territory and returned to New York. But he never forgot the beauty of the Badlands.
Roosevelt’s experience in the Dakota Territory had a lasting impact on him and the nation. His time there introduced him to conservation, something he carried with him for the rest of his life. He became an advocate for the protection of the American wilderness and the conservation of natural resources. As President, he established the United States Forest Service, created five national parks, and signed the 1906 Antiquities Act, which enabled him to designate national monuments. Millions of acres of public land were preserved through his efforts. His time there also shaped his political beliefs in the importance of self–reliance and hard work.
In April 2010, the Theodore Roosevelt National Park was established in the Badlands of the Dakota Territory to commemorate Roosevelt’s time there and his contributions to American conservation. The park is home to the Little Missouri River, prairie grasslands, and wildlife that Roosevelt encountered.
In this one third scale sculpture, Teddy is standing next to his horse with his left hand on his pistol. A photo of the future President posing with his horse inspired the sculpture. However, with the changes I made, it is my hope that the sculpture conveys him staring off towards the horizon of the Dakota Prairie Grasslands and ready for any threat that might come his way. In the land that inspired him to be self reliant and instilled in him the value of hard work which shaped his Presidency.