Isaac Roosevelt, 1726-1794

The Journal of the American Revolution has uploaded my article about Isaac Roosevelt. I spent much of late summer and early fall working on this project and am happy with how it came out. It had been my loss goal for several years to write about Isaac and the specific “ah ha” moment came one August Saturday at Federal Hall when I was talking to one of rangers about prominent New Yorkers of the colonial, Revolutionary, and Early American periods. When we think of these eras we tend not to think of the Roosevelts, though they were very much prominent in local, national, and international affairs in these decades. That is what I tried to convey in this piece. Isaac Roosevelt was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s great, great grandfather.

I don’t want to give away too many details at the moment but I am preparing a submission to speak at a conference next year about interlocking familial aspects of the Early American and Civil War generations, focusing on one father, son, and grandson, the last of whom features prominently in my book manuscript Incorporating New York. If it comes to pass the Roosevelts, though not front and center, will feature as well. So often we hear that both sides in the Civil War, Union and Confederate, saw themselves as the inheritors of the Founders’ legacy. That is certainly true, but how and why is something we do not always hear about. We’ll see how the pitch to conference selectors goes. In the meantime, here is my biographical narrative of the life and times of Isaac Roosevelt, a founder of the State of New York, ratifier of the U.S. Constitution, and good friend of Hamilton, Jay, and others.

(image/FDR Presidential Library and Museum)