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Visual Evidence


Drawing 1: Delaware Avenue, Buffalo,
New York, 1873.
[Drawing 1] with link to larger version of photo.
(National Park Service)

The house where Roosevelt became our 26th President, known today as Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, was constructed in 1839 as part of a United States Army Barracks at the northern boundary of Buffalo. Strained relations between the United States and Great Britain during this period and political unrest in Canada during the Upper Canada Rebellion caused alarmed citizens to petition the government to build a military post in Buffalo. The commanding officer and post surgeon occupied the house, which was described as "a substantial building, with a portico and large columns."¹ When the Army abandoned the barracks in the 1840s, the house passed into private ownership. In 1884, Buffalo lawyer Ansley Wilcox and his family took up residence there. By that time Delaware Avenue had become the most fashionable street in the city. Elegant mansions lined both sides of the avenue while stately elm trees formed a canopy over it.

Questions for Drawing 1

1. Why did Buffalo citizens want to have a military post in the area?

2. What happened to the house after the Army left the area?

3. Based on the short quote above, try to locate the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site on the left side of Delaware Avenue. What features may have made this a popular area for wealthy families to live?

4. What evidence can you find in the drawing of Buffalo's growth as an industrial city?

* The drawing on this screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a larger version of Drawing 1, but be aware that the file will take as much as 32 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.

 

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National Park Service arrowhead with link to NPS website.