Notes From Ride of Martha B. Wadsworth


Notes From Ride of Martha B. Wadsworth


Gilmore, Margaret E.




1910 June 15


Margaret E. Gilmore records the notes from Martha B. Wadworth’s historic ride.


Cary T. Grayson Papers, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, Staunton, Virginia


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum




Notes from Famous Ride of Martha Blow Wadsworth - 1910

In 1910 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt felt that many of the mounted officers in the regular army were becoming too “soft” for the war which he sensed was in the offing. He therefore issued an order requiring all mounted officers to take a riding test, the distance 40 miles to be ridden in a single day. The officers protested, but the order prevailed. A number of the officers fell by the wayside.

One evening, when Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Wadsworth were dinner guests at the White House, the President’s order was evidently a topic of conversation. The President was amazed when he heard Mrs. Wadsworth state that she, a woman, could ride not only that far, but twice as far, in a day.

Upon her return to the Valley, Mrs. Wadsworth set about to prove her statement, and, according to records on file in the office of the Livingston County Historian at Geneseo, she proved her point. In a single day, using frequent changes of mounts, she rode four times from Ashantee around Conesus Lake - a distance of 213.6 miles - in 15 hours and 7 minutes riding time.




Gilmore, Margaret E., “Notes From Ride of Martha B. Wadsworth,” 1910 June 15, WWP20684, Cary T. Grayson Papers, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.