I enjoyed watching Ken Burns' The Roosevelts: An Intimate History last week, keeping in mind that these PBS documentary series are usually a heavy bit of American myth-making. Still, there are a few things just too glaring to hide or treat with discretion in 2014, though Burns arrogantly thinks he can.
The War of 1812 didn't gain America much, as a country. It didn't address the complaints that led the Americans to declare war in the first place. We didn't conquer Canada. But we did gain a certain amount of what can be called our "national identity" after the war. Right at the heart of this was a new patriotic (and popular) song.
With the Ken Burns docu-series The Roosevelts: An Intimate History airing shortly on PBS, this seems a good time to share a snippet of their family history. Specifically, the pages that follow are excerpts from Edith Kermit Roosevelt's file regarding a widow's pension for the service of her husband, Theodore Roosevelt.