Theodore Roosevelt

Information
A photo of the Portland Monument of Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider; 1922; granite

Location

South Park Blocks between Madison and Jefferson streets, Portland

Creation and Dedication

Made by artist Alexander Phimister Proctor, presented to the City by Dr. Henry Waldo Coe. It is in the City of Portland and Multnomah County’s Public Art Collection, courtesy of the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

Vandalism/Removal

On October 11, 2020, protesters toppled the statue. Protest organizers had promoted the day on social media as an “Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage”—which was on the eve of the federally observed holiday of Columbus Day (now recognized by many instead as Indigenous Peoples’ Day). Soon after the statue was toppled, a banner unfurled near the site read, “Stop honoring racist colonizer murderers.” Later, the mayor of Sandy, Oregon, Stan Pulliam, proposed to repair, install, and maintain the Roosevelt statue (along with the statues of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington).

Current Status

The statue is part of the Historic Resource Inventory (subject to City Council Demolition Review). It is currently in storage, in need of repair.                                                                                                              

Noted Issues:

At 42, Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest president in the nation’s history. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for mediating the Russo-Japanese War, worked on immigration with Japan, and sent the Great White Fleet on a goodwill tour of the world.

Roosevelt focused on conservation. He added national forests in the West, reserved lands for public use, and fostered irrigation projects [1].

While some celebrate Roosevelt, others have questioned his legacy. He has been criticized for espousing a genocidal outlook toward Native Americans and justified their extermination as part of the purportedly noble endeavor of European imperialism.

[1]https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/theodore-roosevelt/