sharing my love of books with you

Tag: Aida D. Donald (Page 1 of 4)


Suzerainty – the position or power of a suzerain (a state in its relation to another over which it has political control)

“Latin America was screened off from European interference by the 1823 Monroe Doctrine, which stated that European countries would not be allowed to interfere in the affairs of these republics, and the nation’s new empire in the Pacific, especially the Philippines, would be a territory under U.S. suzerainty.”

Aida D Donald, Lion in the White House


Polestars (yes, it is pronounced like two words, pole stars) – that which serves as a guide or director

“Everyone knew Roosevelt was a man of action, however, and the new president, although trotting in McKinley’s path, had polestars of his own to guide him in national politics and in world affairs.”

Lion in the White House, Aida D. Donald

Roosevelt on the Strenuous Life

“In speaking to you, men of the greatest city of the West, men of the state which gave to the country Lincoln and Grant, men who preeminently and distinctly embody all that is most American in the American character, I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life; the life and toil of effort; of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires more easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.”

spoken by Theodore Roosevelt April 10, 1899 in Chicago before the Hamilton Club, as quoted in Lion in the White House by Aida D. Donald


Sylvan – of or characteristic of the woods or forest

“[Roosevelt] also tightened laws to prevent loggers from devastating sylvan ares, and he stopped pollutions in the Saratoga area by fiat.”

Lion in the white house, Aida D. Donald


Redoubtable – evoking fear; fearsome; formidable; commanding respect or reverence

“Most of the nation’s fleet was in the Pacific, and it was a formidable force under the command of the redoubtable Admiral George Dewey.”

Lion in the White House, Aida D. Donald

(Yes, the “T” is pronounced in Redoubtable, but not the “B”. I wasn’t entirely sure when I read the word, so I wanted to let you know as well.)


Flotilla – a group of small naval vessels, especially a naval unit containing two or more squadrons

“Despite great effort, however, Roosevelt was not able to accumulate an especially impressive flotilla. He sourly wrote to a friend that he had scored only one unarmed cruiser, two second-rate torpedo boats, and twelve tugs, yachts, and merchant steamers.”

Lion in the White House, Aida D. Donald


Palaver – profuse and idle talk; a conference or discussion

“Almost inevitably, given the emotional state of the nation, Congress stepped into action, passing a bill authorizing fifty million dollars for the construction of three battleships, sixteen destroyers, fourteen torpedo boats, four submarines, and funds to buy auxiliary ships abroad.

Roosevelt was elated, if puzzled, by the sudden activity after so much delay and palaver.”

The Lion in the White House, Aida D. Donald

(I have to add that this word, Palaver, is used in a song in Les Miserables, my favorite musical. I was delighted to find the word in my book so I could share it with you!)

Mr. Roosevelt on Mrs. Roosevelt

“There is nothing the world – no possible success, military or political which is worth weighing in the balance for one moment against the happiness that comes to those fortunate enough to make a real love match – a match in which lover and sweetheart will never be lost in husband and wife… I am just as much devoted to Mrs. Roosevelt now as ever I was.”

from a personal letter by Theodore Roosevelt, as quoted in Lion in the White House by Aida D. Donald

Major General Wood on Roosevelt

“In December 1898, Major General Leonard Wood wrote to the adjutant-general of the army in support of the initiative to grant Roosevelt the Medal of Honor. Wood’s letter is, even today, the best nonpartisan account of the colonel’s bravery ever written:

Colonel Roosevelt, accompanied only by four or five men, led a very desperate and extremely gallant charge on San Juan Hill, thereby setting a splendid example to the troops and encouraging them to pass over the open country intervening between their position and the trenches of the enemy… He gathered up a few men and led them to the charge… The charge in itself was an extremely gallant one, and the example set a most inspiring one to the troops in that part of the line… There was no doubt that the magnificent example set by Colonel Roosevelt had a very encouraging effect and had great weight in bringing up the troops behind him. During the assault, Colonel Roosevelt was the first to reach the trenches in his part of the line and killed one of the enemy with his own hand… His services on the day in question were of great value and of a most distinguished character.

Major General Leonard Wood
Lion in the White House, Aida D. Donald


Peregrinate – to travel from place to place, or from one country to another; to live in foreign countries

“The records for the fall of 1886 are sparse, for Roosevelt was carrying the biggest secret of his peregrinating life. He had fallen in love with Edith Carow and planned to marry her; he wanted no publicity.

Lion in the White House, Aida D. Donald
« Older posts