Theodore Douglas Robinson
Theodore Douglas Robinson (Assistant Secretary of the Navy).jpg
Robinson in 1924
Assistant Secretary of the Navy
In office
November 11, 1924 – March 4, 1929
PresidentCalvin Coolidge
Preceded byTheodore Roosevelt III
Succeeded byErnest L. Jahncke
New York State Senate
In office
January 1, 1921 – December 31, 1924
Preceded byBurt Z. Kasson
Succeeded byJeremiah Keck
In office
January 1, 1917 – December 31, 1918
Preceded byFranklin W. Cristman
Succeeded byJames W. Yelverton
New York State Assembly
In office
January 1, 1912 – December 31, 1913
Preceded byJudson Bridenbecker
Succeeded byE. Bert Pullman
Personal details
Theodore Douglas Robinson

(1883-04-28)April 28, 1883
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
DiedApril 10, 1934(1934-04-10) (aged 50)
Jordanville, New York, U.S.
Political partyProgressive (1912)
Republican (1917–1929)
Spouse(s)Helen Rebecca Roosevelt (m. 1904)
RelationsSee Roosevelt family
Parent(s)Douglas Robinson Jr.
Corinne Roosevelt
EducationSt. Paul's School
Alma materHarvard University (1904)

Theodore Douglas Robinson (April 28, 1883 – April 10, 1934) was an American politician from New York who served as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy from November 1924 to 1929. He was a member of the Roosevelt family through his mother and was the eldest nephew of President Theodore "T.R." Roosevelt, Jr. (1858–1919). As an Oyster Bay Roosevelt, Theodore was a descendant of the Schuyler family.[1][2]

Early life

Theodore Douglas Robinson was born on April 28, 1883 in New York City to Douglas Robinson Jr.[3] and Corinne Roosevelt. He attended St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire and graduated from Harvard University in 1904.[4]


His father was a real estate dealer who was president of Douglas Robinson Company, Charles S. Brown Company, and the Douglas Land Company,[5] trustee of the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company, director of the Equitable Life Insurance Society and the Astor Trust Company. He had three younger siblings: Corinne, Monroe, and Stewart.[3]

His maternal grandparents were Theodore "Thee" Roosevelt Sr., a businessman/philanthropist, and Martha Stewart "Mittie" Bulloch, a socialite. His paternal grandparents were Douglas Robinson Sr. and Frances Monroe, who was a grandniece of President James Monroe.[4]


In 1910, he first ran for the New York State Legislature, but was defeated in the primaries by Charles S. Millington. He ran again in 1912, and was elected to the 135th Legislature, serving in the New York State Assembly.[4]

In 1912, Robinson was elected Chairman of his uncle Theodore's Progressive "Bull Moose" Party in the State of New York, and served until 1914.[4]

From 1917 until 1918, he was a Republican member of the New York State Senate in 1917 and 1918 (both 32nd D.). Also in 1918, he was campaign manager for then Attorney General of New York Merton E. Lewis's bid for the Republican nomination for governor against incumbent Governor Charles S. Whitman. Lewis lost the nomination to Whitman, who lost his reelection campaign to Al Smith.[6]

Later in 1918, he declined renomination and enlisted in the United States Army, becoming an officer at Camp Zachary Taylor, a training camp in Louisville, Kentucky.[3][7]

He returned to the New York State Senate and served again from 1921 to 1924, sitting in the 144th, 145th, 146th and 147th New York State Legislatures, all four with the 35th district. During his time with the New York State Senate, he introduced a number of bills focusing on stray cats, census of men and materials, and revocation of the New York branch of the German American Alliance.[4] In 1921, along with Assemblyman Joseph Steinberg, he led an investigation into John Francis Hylan, the then Mayor of New York City.[4]

In 1924, he was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy by Calvin Coolidge, taking the reins from his cousin, Theodore Roosevelt III. He served from November 1924 to 1929,[8][9] and during his term changed the Navy's slogan from "Join the Navy and See the World" to "Join the Navy and Show the World."[10][4]

Personal life

In 1904, he married his sixth cousin Helen Rebecca Roosevelt (1881–1962), daughter of James "Rosey" Roosevelt Roosevelt (1854–1927) and Helen Schermerhorn Astor (1855–1893) from the Astor family. Rosey was the half-brother of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.[11] Together they had:

Robinson lived in Herkimer County, New York, where his family had an estate since 1725 called "Henderson House". He died of pneumonia on April 10, 1934,[11] after being ill for only a few days.[4] His funeral was at the family estate,[24] His pallbearers were Edmund B. Rogers, Franklin B. Lord, G. Palen Snow, Elbridge G. Chadwick, Wendell Blagden, Warren Motley, John Cutter, and James Hackson. The funeral was attended by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Col. Theodore Roosevelt and Eleanor Alexander Roosevelt, Mr. and Mrs. Kermit Roosevelt, Warren D. Robbins, Courtland Nichols, Mr. and Mrs. Phillip McKim Garrison, and Mr. and Mrs. Trubeee Davison, and Senators Henry I. Patrie, Walter W. Stokes, and Henry D. Williams.[25]


He was a member of the Masons and the Elks as well as the Racquet and Tennis Club, Harvard Club, Union League, Republican Club, Knickerbocker Club, The Brook, Downtown Association of New York City, Meadow Brook Golf Club, Piping Rock Club, National Golf Links of America, Fort Orange Club of Albany, Fort Schuyler Club, Yahnundasis Golf Club of Utica and the Mohawk Valley Country Club.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Taylor, Robert Lewis. Along The Way: Two Paths From One Ancestry Xlibris Corporation, 2014
  2. ^ Brogan, Hugh and Mosley, Charles American Presidential Families October 1993, page 568
  3. ^ a b c "DOUGLAS ROBINSON DIES SUDDENLY AT 63 | Brother-in-Law of Col. Theodore Roosevelt Stricken with Heart Disease on a Train. | NOTED AS REALTY OPERATOR | Father of State Senator | Was Partner of W.H. Wheelock, in Charge of Government Real Estate". The New York Times. September 13, 1918. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "T. D, ROBINSON DIES ILL ONLY FEW DAYS | Former Assistant Secretary of Navy a Nephew of Late President Roosevelt. | NOTED FOR FIGHTING SPIRIT | Served as State Assemblyman and Senator From Herkimer District for Many Years". The New York Times. April 11, 1934. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  5. ^ Mitiam Sheffey Joe Tennis Christa Smith Anderson. "White Top, the Douglas Land Company, and the Roosevelts · Hall Collection". Hall Collection. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Death Takes Ex-Governor Of New York. Charles S. Whitman, Hanover, Conn., Native Was Elected in 1914". Associated Press in The Hartford Courant. March 30, 1947. Retrieved 2010-03-22. Charles S. Whitman, 78, former governor of New York, died tonight.
  7. ^ "ROBINSON TO ENTER SERVICE | Senator Will Enlist In Artillery Officers' Training Camp". The New York Times. August 15, 1918. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Another Roosevelt". TIME. 1933-03-27. Archived from the original on November 22, 2010.
  9. ^ Hopson, Carol. "The Garden in the Woods – The Cemetery at Gelston Castle". Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  10. ^ Marolda, Edward J. (2001). Theodore Roosevelt, the U.S. Navy, and the Spanish–American War. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-312-24023-3.
  11. ^ a b "Mrs. Theodore Robinson Dies | Navy Official's Widow Was 80". The New York Times. July 10, 1962. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  12. ^ "ROBINSON ESTATE DIVIDED. | Children of Former Navy Assistant Will Share $262,796". The New York Times. October 10, 1935. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Douglas Robinson in Court". The New York Times. September 25, 1934. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  14. ^ "MISS LOUISE MILLER ENGAGED TO MARRY | Ex-Governor's Daughter to Be Wed to Douglas Robinson, Son of Former Navy Official. | BOTH OF NOTED ANCESTRY | Bridegroom-Elect Kin of President Roosevelt and of Present Chief Executive of State". The New York Times. October 12, 1932. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  15. ^ a b c "DOUGLAS ROBINSON, A RETIRED RANCHER". The New York Times. 31 May 1964. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  16. ^ a b c "Theodore Douglas Robinson". Find A Grave Memorial. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  17. ^ "HELEN D. ROBINSON WEDS J. A. HINCKLEY | Daughter of Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy Married Near Herkimer, N. Y. | BISHOP ATWOOD OFFICIATES | Ceremony In Ancestral Home of Bride, Who Is a Grandniece of Late President Roosevelt". The New York Times. June 15, 1930. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  18. ^ "John Arthur Hinckley". The New York Times. February 17, 1940. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  19. ^ "Helen Rebbeca Robinson Cutting". Find A Grave Memorial. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  20. ^ "MRS. H. R. HINCKLEY WED IN MARYLAND | Grandniece of President Theo. Roosevelt the Bride of Col. Geo, W, Cutting of Army". The New York Times. September 14, 1944. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  21. ^ "MRS. ALIDA R. WALKER TO BE MARRIED TODAY | Kin of Late Theodore Roosevelt Will Be Bride of Dean Sage". The New York Times. May 1, 1944. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  22. ^ "DEAN SAGE, RANCHER, WAS A LAWYER HERE". The New York Times. November 3, 1963. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  23. ^ Special To The New York Times (3 January 1971). "Mrs. Alida Sage to Be Married In Spring to E. T. H. Talmage Jr". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  24. ^ "ROBINSON FUNERAL PLANS | Mrs. F. D. Roosevelt Going to the Service for Her Cousin". The New York Times. April 12, 1934. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  25. ^ "NOTABLES MOURN FOR T. D. ROBINSON | Mrs. F. D. Roosevelt, His Cousin, Attends the Funeral Near Herkimer, N.Y. | SIMPLE SERVICE AT HOME | Burial in Family Cemetery on Estate | Wagon Substituted for a Hearse". The New York Times. April 15, 1934. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
New York State Assembly Preceded byJudson Bridenbecker New York State Assembly Herkimer County District 1912–1913 Succeeded byE. Bert Pullman New York State Senate Preceded byFranklin W. Cristman New York State Senate 32nd District 1917–1918 Succeeded byJames W. Yelverton Preceded byBurt Z. Kasson New York State Senate 35th District 1921–1924 Succeeded byJeremiah Keck Government offices Preceded byTheodore Roosevelt III Assistant Secretary of the Navy 1924–1929 Succeeded byErnest L. Jahncke