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Theodore Roosevelt
and the Dakota Badlands
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The Further Career of the Marquis de Mores

Perhaps a word should be said here about the career of the Marquis de Mores after the failure of his Medora venture. Since his name is inextricably associated with the history of Medora, it is of interest to recount what eventually became of him. The story of his subsequent life is both stirring and tragic. De Mores returned to France, and then went to India for a year. Then he journeyed on to China where he toyed with plans designed to increase the influence of his native France. Returning to France he became involved in its political storms and it is alleged he took a part in the Dreyfus Affair and in trying to overthrow the government. He dreamed of augmenting the power of France in Africa, and as a means of doing so he is supposed to have conceived a plan to unite the Moslems against England. He went to Tunis in 1896 to lead an expedition into the Sudan and unite the Arabs in resisting the English advance in Africa. Against the advice of friends, he exchanged an Arab escort for one of wild Touareg tribesmen. They led him into an ambush at the well of El Ouatia. There he fell, but not until after he had left a ring of dead men around him. French colonial officials later recovered De Mores' body and returned it to Paris. He is buried there.

Roosevelt's Later Visits to Medora

When Roosevelt returned from the Cuban campaign in 1898, he found himself widely acknowledged as a national hero. In the same year he was elected Governor of New York, and in 1900 he was elected Vice President of the United States. An assassin's bullet less than a year later killed President McKinley and Roosevelt became President—the youngest man in history to assume that office. While making a tour of the West in March 1903 Roosevelt stopped in Medora where, as he described it, "the entire population of the Bad Lands down to the smallest baby had gathered to meet me." In 1911 he again made a short stop in that Badlands cowtown, and from the near platform of his private car, shook hands with his former acquaintances.

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