Robert Roosevelt’s Brooklyn Bridge

The Strawfoot

484px-Robert_Roosevelt_-_Brady-HandyThe Roeblings and the Roosevelts are two of the most prestigious families in American history. There was also a connection between the two clans: Robert Roosevelt, Teddy’s uncle, was a trustee in the Brooklyn Bridge Company. Today Robert is less well-known than other Roosevelts, but he was a very prominent figure in Gilded Age America . He was a U.S. Congressman in the early 1870s and later an alderman and diplomat. Roosevelt was a Tammany Democrat, but also a reformer. He helped take down Boss Tweed’s infamous Ring.

Roosevelt joined the trustees in June 1879 when the construction of the bridge was already very much underway. He was an active member of the board who attended meetings and read financial documents with a lawyer’s care. Roosevelt was involved in a very public dispute with the Edgemoor Iron Company over the business’s inability to provide material in a timely manner. He…

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