Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was the 26th President of the United States (1901-1909), previously served as, Police Commissioner of New York City, Governor of New York and Vice President of U.S. He backed an idea known as progressivism / socialism in the late 19th & early 20th centuries
For Teddy Roosevelt’s 1905 second Inaugural Parade, six of the most notable legendary Indian Chiefs still active entered the parade route. They were riding on horseback moving impressively alongside each other on the ultra-wide avenue. America’s greatest Chiefs all came dressed in full ceremonial grandeur.
As the six Great Chiefs approached the presidential box, all inside the president’s box rose to their feet. The six Chiefs turned in their saddles to face President Theodore Roosevelt to respectfully honor him for his second inauguration. They all made the trip to gain an audience with Roosevelt for special requests.
All six chiefs — Geronimo (Chiricahua Apache), Quanah Parker (Comanche), Buckskin Charlie (Ute), American Horse (Oglala Sioux), Little Plume (Piegan Blackfeet) and Hollow Horn Bear (Brule Sioux) — accepted Roosevelt’s invitation and came to Washington as “Sovereign Leaders.”
Geronimo, the oldest Chief, who wanted to convince the President to allow the Apache people to return to their ancestral homelands in the American southwest. Unfortuneately, Roosevelt could not. Fearing more bloodshed with settlers; however, Geronimo published his autobiography and dedicated it to Roosevelt.
Quanah Parker, a so-called “half-breed,” (a white mother) campaigned against federal land-allotment policies seeking to break up of tribal lands; even so, Parker did get a land allotment to include the rights of the Indian children to finally provide a $500,000 fund promised by a broken treaty with Comanche people.
Teddy Roosevelt’s 1905 second Inaugural Parade, included six of the most notable legendary Indian Chiefs still alive who entered the parade route.
From his four-volume history entitled "The Winning of the West (1889–1896),” Theodore Roosevelt contended the clashes between westward pioneers and the Indians forged a new race, the American people.” Each new generation moved further west distrusted authority more but evolved into a very individualistic people.
Roosevelt felt immigrants were no longer European; they had to innovate for basic survival and ever-changing environments with no government or laws. Yet hostility against the pioneers essentially united the various tribes who ended war among themselves to fight as one against settlers then later for peace.
Their appearance at the inaugural parade, their subsequent meetings with Roosevelt and their overall legacy for sowing seeds for Native American sovereign rights are the focus of a photographic exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI).