The White House and the First “Press Bureaus”

  • Stephen Ponder


Theodore Roosevelt’s attempts to lead the nation by appealing to the public through the press changed the polity as well as the presidency. Roosevelt made news constantly, and his ability to dominate the headlines made a strong impression on his supporters and critics throughout the government, as well as among the citizens.


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  1. 6.
    Both major biographers of Pinchot, M. Nelson McGeary Gifford Pinchot: Forester-Politician (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1960),Google Scholar
  2. and Harold T Pinkett, Gifford Pinchot: Private and Public Forester (Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1970), comment on his relentless pursuit of publicity, as does Pinchot himself in his autobiography, Breaking New Ground (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1947).Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    For a case study of Pinchot’s efforts to change public sentiment in the Northwest in 1897, see Stephen Ponder, “Conservation, Economics and Community Newspapering: The Seattle Press and the Forest Reserves Controversy of 1897,” American Journalism 3 (January 1986): 50—60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 16.
    U.S. Agriculture Department, Report of the Secretary (Washington. D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1902, 1908.)Google Scholar
  5. 18.
    Peri E.Arnold, Making the Managerial Presidency (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986), 4—21.Google Scholar
  6. 24.
    See, for example, Theodore Roosevelt, “Forestry and Foresters,” Current Literature 35 (September 1903): 337—8.Google Scholar
  7. 32.
    On the goals of the various conservation commissions, see Charles R. Van Hise, The Conservation of Natural Resources in the United States (New York: Macmillan, 1913), 5–13.Google Scholar
  8. 43.
    Carl E. Hatch, The Big Stick and the Congressional Gavel (New York: Pageant Press, 1967), 1—13, describes the 1907–1909 Congress as one of the most obstructive, particularly on natural resource issues.Google Scholar
  9. 51.
    U.S. House Rules Committee, Departmental Press Agents: Hearing on House Resolution 545, 62nd Cong., 2nd sess., 21 May 1912, 10. See also F. B. Marbut, News from the Capitol (Carbondale, Ill.,: Southern Illinois University Press, 1971), 194—5, and “After Press Agents: Congressman Nelson asks for Investigation of Publicity Bureaus,” Editor and Publisher 11 (25 May 1912): 1.Google Scholar

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© Stephen Ponder 1998

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  • Stephen Ponder

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