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Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 7:15pm

The Complicated Southern History Of Teddy Roosevelt

A Ken Burns documentary airing on GPB-TV this week, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, spans a hundred years of history focusing on the remarkable legacy of the Roosevelt family.

GPB's Bobbie Battista sat down with Burns to talk about the Roosevelts' connection to Georgia.

The Roosevelt story begins with a complicated family. The clan was a fusion of New York, New England, and Georgia dynasties. Teddy Roosevelt's mother, Martha Bulloch, was from Roswell, Georgia. She married Theodore Sr., who was from a prominent New York City family.

But the North-South union would prove problematic for their young son Teddy.

"The most beloved person in all of Theodore Roosevelt's life was his father, the person he admired most. The person who, because of his wife, bought a substitute so he could get out of fighting in the Civil War-- something that shamed his son for the rest of his life," said Burns. "And it made Teddy Roosevelt that belligerent person. But the reason why Theodore Sr. did not go to the Civil War and fight was because his wife was a Southerner."