Theodore Roosevelt's stolen pocket watch recovered by FBI after it was missing for 37 years

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Special agents from the National Park Service (NPS), in coordination with FBI Investigators, recently recovered a presidential timepiece after it was last seen in a public display in 1987.

The historic pocket watch had been missing for 37 years due to theft. It was taken during the object’s transition from the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site to the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Historic Site in Buffalo, New York.

The invaluable silver pocket watch was gifted to then-future President Theodore Roosevelt by his sister Corinne and brother-in-law Douglas Robinson in 1898, according to the NPS in a media release.


The 126-year-old keepsake is inscribed “THEODORE ROOSEVELT FROM D.R. AND C.R.R.”

Roosevelt was given the watch while impatiently waiting in Washington, D.C. to join the Spanish American War, according to NPS. A week later, he left for San Antonio, Texas to lead the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry. 

He served as 26th president from 1901 to 1909. 

The relic is a Waltham 17 jewel watch in a silver-coined case, with “Riverside” grade and model “1888” with a hunter-style case.

The return of the presidential piece of history was announced by NPS Director Chuck Sams alongside Roosevelt family members, who thanked federal agents during a special event to celebrate the return this week.

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“It is an honor to have a role in preserving American history for current and future generations to learn from,” Sams said.

Front-row seat

The pocket watch had a front-row seat to history. 

It accompanied Roosevelt on his travels while hunting in Africa, exploring the Amazon and charging San Juan Hill in Cuba, according to NPS.

The watch is currently on display at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in the Old Orchard Museum alongside thousands of other items originally gifted to the NPS by the Roosevelt family.

“The stories this watch could tell over the last 126 years include colorful and profound moments in American history,” Jonathan Parker, superintendent of Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, said in a statement. 

Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, New York was the home of Theodore Roosevelt from 1885 until his death in 1919.

“Historic objects are powerful because they are literal participants in historical events, and in the case of this storied watch,” Parker added.

The watch, as of June 27, is on public display for free over the next three months, the NPS said in a news release.

Fox News Digital reached out to the NPS for additional comment.

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