Elihu Root

ELIHU ROOT was born in Clinton, Oneida County, New York, on 15 February 1845; graduated from Hamilton College, 1864, and New York University Law School, 1867; was admitted to the bar and after a year with the office of Mann and Parsons opened his own firm with John H. Strahan; married Clara Frances Wales, 1878; was U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, 18831885; was a delegate to the New York State constitutional convention, 1894; served as Secretary of War, 1 August 189931 January 1904; was influential in the postwar administration of the former Spanish islands of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines; instituted a series of major Army reforms, including a permanent increase in strength, creation of a General Staff, rotation of officers between staff and line, reduced dependency upon seniority, joint planning by Army and Navy, an improved reserve program with special attention to the National Guard, and reorganization of the Army school system; served on the Alaskan Boundary Commission, 1903; served as Secretary of State, 19051909; served in the U.S. Senate, 19091915; was a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, 1910; was president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 19101925; was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 1912; was president of the New York State constitutional convention, 1915; was head of a special diplomatic mission to Russia, 1917; was a member of the committee of international jurists that planned the Permanent Court of International Justice, 1920; was U.S. commissioner plenipotentiary to the International Conference on the Limitation of Armament, 19211922; wrote a number of books on government and international relations; died in New York City on 7 February 1937.

The Artist

Raimundo de Madrazo (18411920), portrait and genre painter, was a member of a family of Spanish painters. His grandfather, Jose de Madrazo, was a portrait and historical painter. His father, Federico de Madrazo, also a portrait and historical artist, was Spanish court painter and curator of the Madrid Gallery of Art. Raimundo studied at Rome and at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, where he eventually established a studio. As an artist of international standing he commanded premium prices for his work. His $2,000 fee for painting Secretary Root from life moved the scale for official portraits beyond the traditional modest progressions and into 20th century levels.


Portrait, Elihu Root

McKinley and T. Roosevelt Administrations
By Raimundo de Madrazo
Oil on canvas, 31" x 25", 1907


page created 2 March 2001

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