Roosevelt's successful campaigns in the Spanish-American War provided both a major boost to his campaign for governor of New York State in 1899 and the raw material for the publication of what was to be his most profitable book, Rough Riders. The book was originally written to be published as installments in Scribner's Magazine with book publication to follow. He received a substantial payment for each installment and the book was the best seller of all his works.
Written in his first year in office as governor, the book tells the story of the regiment which TR recruited and led throughout the campaign in Cuba. Although it is undoubtedly a memoir about TR more than anything else (Mr. Dooley, the comic Irishman created by Finley Peter Dunne, said that the book ought to be called Alone in Cuba!), it is also an exciting tale of battlefield courage by a motley group of men, who could tell stories of their lives in mining camps, cattle-ranges, Indian wars, lawless deeds of violence and brawls in saloons.
The original manuscript for Rough Riders was acquired by the New York State Library in 1942 as part of the Gotshall Collection and is one of only two complete book manuscripts of Roosevelt still extant. Throughout the typescript, which was dictated by TR, can be found his handwritten annotations and changes.