Misters Roosevelt, Churchill, and Murchie

The American Empire, it might well be said, was born on the day Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders defeated the Spanish in Cuba. Roosevelt was surely the first American Emperor — though a democratic emperor, and his Cuban adventure was the heroic gesture that crowned him. Largely ignoring the Constitution, Teddy expanded the powers of the Presidency so as to rein in monopolies. He made the United States a world power, and the United States and the world have not been the same since.

One of Roosevelt’s Rough Riders was Teddy’s Harvard classmate, Guy Murchie. Roosevelt wrote of Murchie:[1][2]

The Harvard contingent was practically raised by Guy Murchie, of Maine. He saw all the fighting and did his duty with the utmost gallantry, …

One biographical note states:[3]

Guy Murchie (1872–1958), after graduating from Harvard College and the Harvard Law School, organized the Harvard contingent of Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders for the Spanish-American War. He later became a United States marshal for Massachusetts and an Attorney in Boston.

Before Teddy Roosevelt became president, Guy Murchie had been a close friend and attorney of Winston Churchill. Murchie appeared to have also been conspiring with Churchill to make Roosevelt the next president of the United States. Murchie wrote the following in a letter to Churchill: [4]

Roosevelt will be back in a few days now probably and later we can have crystallized our political boom scheme. General Wood thinks it is a fine one and so does another confidential of mine. It remains to be discovered what the man himself will say! …

This was written shortly before President McKinley was assassinated.

On the morning of the assassination, Friday, September 6, 1901, Vice President Roosevelt and some “distinguished guests” took a Senator’s yacht to Isle La Motte, Vermont for “the annual dinner of the Fish and Game League.” The first three names on the guest list were Mr. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Guy Murchie.[5]

McKinley died on September 14. Soon afterward, Murchie and Mr. and Mrs. Churchill were invited to the White House to dine with Roosevelt. Robert W. Schneider reports:[6]

On November 10, the Churchills and Murchie were present at a White House dinner for members of the Cabinet.

This Guy Murchie was more than just a Rough Rider. It seems he was something of a power broker. When Murchie had a son, he named the boy after himself: Guy Murchie, Jr. President Roosevelt and wife were present at the christening, not merely as honored guests—but as godparents.[7][8]

© 2016 Dan Jensen

 

[1] February 23, 1907. Duluth Evening Herald, Sunday Morning, February 24, 1907, page 1, column 7.

[2] Roosevelt, Theodore. The Works of Theodore Roosevelt: The Rough Riders, page 14.

[3] Letters of Louis D. Brandeis: Volume II, 1907–1912: People’s Attorney, Page 27.

[4] Schneider, Robert W. Novelist to a Generation: the Life and Thought of Winston Churchill, page 59.

[5] The Vermonter: The State Magazine, Volume VII, No. 4. (November 1901), page 369–70.

[6] Schneider, Robert W. Novelist to a Generation: the Life and Thought of Winston Churchill, page 59.

[7] February 23, 1907. Duluth Evening Herald, Sunday Morning, February 24, 1907, page 1, column 7.

[8] No Mollycoddlers, Says Roosevelt. New York Times, February 24, 1907.

One comment on “Misters Roosevelt, Churchill, and Murchie

  1. kaweah says:

    The Winston Churchill discussed in this entry is not the English statesman, but rather the American novelist. He was a very successful novelist, but has been utterly eclipsed by his British namesake over the past century.

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