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More than a Spasm of Virture

“We built cities, cleared land, and subdued nature. It seems only fitting to relax at the threshold of the uncontrolled and the civilized — perched on a wooden rocker.”

- MISSION MERCANTILE

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 | Updated Wednesday, September 26, 2018

More than a Spasm of Virture

Chuck Bowen, CEO and Founder

Adventuresome. Courageous to explore and experience the unknown or unfamiliar. Bold and outspoken. Determined overcomer.

I founded our company in 2015 based, in part, by looking back to certain giants of virtue, character and example (both those we know personally and also on a broader basis) who have gone before us as role models / guides and embody all that makes Mission Mercantile (and me) who we are and strive to be. One way to put it is we strive to be “old school modern.”

I’ve shared many times about the significant influence my dad had on me and, ultimately, our company. Another who leaves his imprint is Theodore Roosevelt (TR), described as a true “Renaissance Man” (along with the adjectives above).

Roosevelt did his best to live out a virtuous, robust masculinity in his mission to overcome a difficult childhood and young adult life. Theodore was sickly (acute asthma), lost his father at 19, and both his young wife Alice (kidney failure two days after childbirth) and mother (typhoid) within hours of each other when he was 25.

We can imagine the depths of his despair when he wrote in his journal that day "The light has gone out of my life." For the rest of his life he rarely spoke about Alice … his heart was heavy.

Theodore Roosevelt was familiar with San Antonio, TX (the home of Mission Mercantile) having visited here three times. Before becoming vice president and eventually president, TR trained the U.S. 1st Volunteer Cavalry in San Antonio in 1898. The “Rough Riders” won fame during the battle on San Juan Hill in the Spanish American War.

He briefly stayed at the historic San Antonio Menger Hotel. The San Antonio Daily Express reported:

“He has been a western plainsman, a New York businessman, a reformer, a politician, an author and several other things. But above all he is an American gentleman and a patriot.”

 

Previous to that Roosevelt came to South Texas on a hunting trip (1892) and then later visited San Antonio as president (1905) for a Rough Rider reunion … of course!

Mission Mercantile will always honor those men and women who journeyed before us and blazed a trail of high character, nobility and possibility. There’s much more to TR’s story (and ours). We’re kindred spirits. I’ll be sharing more about that with you over the next few days … including something very special that we think would make him proud.

President Theodore Roosevelt

President Theodore Roosevelt