“Tramping” with “Oom John”
In a year when we’re all longing for spring, I thought we could spend some time with the man who was born on April 3 and attributed his optimistic nature to this “hopeful” time of year — naturalist and Roxbury native, John Burroughs.
Making selections was hard — Burroughs was a frequent topic in this paper and his obituary, memorial services and centennial celebrations alone could fill many columns.
So I focused instead on the day-to-day news of his doings and sayings, and the unassuming way he lived among his neighbors and friends.
Coincidentally, the News is now running a serial story, “Roosevelt, Burroughs and the Trip that Saved Nature,” sponsored by the New York News Publishers Association. Although we are now on Chapter 5, you can find the entire series here on our website in the “Features” section. The book is meant to introduce children to the conservation movement, which got an enormous “leg up” from the lasting friendship between Burroughs and Roosevelt. This is how it all started . . .
March 27, 1903 — John Burroughs Honored
President Roosevelt has invited John Burroughs, the naturalist who is a native of Roxbury, to accompany his party on a trip to Yellowstone Park. The invitation [was] inspired by Mr. Burroughs’ article in a March periodical which the President had been reading.
HAPPY CAMPERS: President Theodore (never "Teddy" to his friends) Roosevelt and John Burroughs during their historic trip to Yellowstone in 1903. Photographer unknown.