The best history articles, as well as books, are generally based on primary sources-official reports, letters, and interviews, for example. And occasionally, the long hours a historian spends mining dusty archives yields information that alters the way we view the past.
An article in this issue, "TR's Plan to Invade Colombia," features such a find. While researching his Ph.D. dissertation, Commander Henry Hendrix uncovered evidence that during the tense weeks after the 1903 Panamanian revolution, President Theodore Roosevelt sent his commanders on the scene plans for the U.S. capture of the Colombian port of Cartagena if Colombia tried to forcibly recover its former province. A Marine brigade led by the commandant of the Corps was to have spearheaded the operation. As Commander Hendrix points out, the Cartagena plan reveals the President's mental agility in using his naval "big stick" to protect Panama from outside aggression.
On Our Scope
By Richard G. Latture, Editor-in-Chief