Edith Roosevelt

Infobox_Officeholder
name = Edith Roosevelt


imagesize =
caption = White House portrait
birth_date = birth date|1861|8|6
birth_place = Norwich, Connecticut, U.S.
death_date = death date and age|1948|9|30|1861|8|6
death_place = Oyster Bay, New York, U.S.
order= First Lady of the United States
term_start= September 14, 1901
term_end= March 4, 1909
predecessor= Ida Saxton McKinley
successor= Helen Herron Taft
order2= Second Lady of the United States
term_start2= March 4, 1901
term_end2= September 14, 1901
predecessor2 = Jennie Tuttle Hobart
successor2 = Cornelia Cole Fairbanks
religion=
spouse = Theodore Roosevelt
children = Alice Lee Roosevelt (step-daughter)
Theodore Jr.
Kermit
Ethel Carow
Archibald Bulloch
Quentin
relations = Charles Carrow and Gertrude Tyler Carow

Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt (August 6, 1861 – September 30, 1948), second wife of Theodore Roosevelt, was First Lady of the United States from 1901 to 1909.

Biography

Edith Kermit Carow knew Theodore Roosevelt from infancy. As a toddler she became a playmate of his younger sister Corinne. Born in Norwich, Connecticut, daughter of Charles (1825-1883) and Gertrude Elizabeth Tyler (1836-1895) and a granddaughter of Daniel Tyler who was a general in the American Civil War; she grew up in an old New York City brownstone on Union Square -- an environment of comfort and tradition. After the death of a brother (Feb. 1860 - Aug 1860), Edith was born in 1861. Young Edith Carow had a younger sister, Emily Tyler Carow (1865-1939). Throughout childhood she and "Teedie" were in and out of each other's houses.

At Miss Comstock's school, she acquired the proper finishing touch for a young lady of that era. A quiet girl who loved books, she was often Theodore's companion for summer outings at Oyster Bay, Long Island; but this ended when he entered Harvard College. Although she attended his wedding to Alice Hathaway Lee in 1880, their lives ran separately until 1885, when he was a young widower with an infant daughter, Alice.

Theodore Roosevelt and Edith were married in London in December 1886. They settled down in a house on Sagamore Hill, at Oyster Bay, headquarters for a family that added five children in ten years: Theodore Jr., Kermit, Ethel Carow, Archibald Bulloch, and Quentin. Throughout Roosevelt's intensely active career, family life remained close and entirely delightful. For a short time before reaching the White House, she found herself in competition with future First Lady Helen Taft when Mrs. Taft gave birth to Helen Taft on August 1, 1891 almost two weeks before Ethel Roosevelt was born on August 13, 1891.

After William McKinley's assassination, Mrs. Roosevelt assumed her new duties as First Lady with characteristic dignity. She meant to guard the privacy of a family that attracted everyone's interest, and she tried to keep reporters outside her domain. The public, in consequence, heard little of the vigor of her character, her sound judgment, her efficient household management.

But in this administration the White House was unmistakably the social center of the land. Beyond the formal occasions, smaller parties brought together distinguished men and women from varied walks of life. Three family events were highlights: the debut of "Princess Alice" in 1902, the wedding of "Princess Alice" to Nicholas Longworth, and Ethel's debut. A perceptive aide described the First Lady as "always the gentle, high-bred hostess; smiling often at what went on about her, yet never critical of the ignorant and tolerant always of the little insincerities of political life."

After her husband's death in 1919, she traveled abroad but always returned to Sagamore Hill as her home. She kept till the end her interest in the Needlework Guild, a charity which provided garments for the poor, and in the work of Christ Church at Oyster Bay. After her husband's death, she established a second residence in the Tyler family's ancestral hometown of Brooklyn, Connecticut. Mrs. Roosevelt came out of retirement in 1932 and gave a seconding speech on the behalf of Herbert Hoover in his bid for re-election, thus campaigning against her nephew-in-law Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She had never cared for her niece Eleanor and did not want to see her become First Lady. She died at her Oyster Bay home in New York on September 30, 1948, at the age of 87 and is interred in Youngs Memorial Cemetery of Oyster Bay, NY.

References

*"Original text based on [http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/firstladies/er26.html White House biography] "


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