41- Secretary of War Elihu Root


The Elihu Root mug is part of a biographical series profiling individuals who served as the U.S. Secretary of War.  An image of Elihu Root and a short biography are features of this history mug.

Small Mug, 11 oz.

Large Mug, 15 oz.

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Elihu Root was a lawyer, statesman, and Secretary of State.  He served as the Secretary of War under McKinley and Roosevelt.  Root was the leading force to modernize the War Department.  He transformed the Army from a motley collection of frontier outposts and coastal defense units, into a modern organized military machine.  He restructured the National Guard and created the Army War College for the advanced study of military doctrine and established the use of general staff.  As Secretary of War, he designed American policies for the new colonial possessions that resulted from the Spanish American War, especially those in the Philippines and Cuba.  Root authorized the 1901 Platt Amendment which allowed American Intervention in Cuba if needed to maintain a stable government.  Elihu Root is remembered for his impact on U.S. foreign affairs and for being one of the most accomplished cabinet members in United States history.

The first two Secretaries of War were appointed between 1781 and 1789 to serve the Congress of the Confederation. The position became part of the President’s Cabinet starting with the administration of George Washington.  Washington created four cabinet positions to provide him with a source of key advisors, in the form of Attorney General, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of State, and Secretary of War.  Current presidential cabinets are made up of sixteen officers.  Cabinet members are chosen by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

This Elihu Root History Mug is part of our Secretary of War series which includes the many unique individuals who served as U.S. Secretary of War.

The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history.  The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton.  He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia-tone.  The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.

  • Mugs are food and microwave safe.
  • To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
  • Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.


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