Theodore Roosevelt once wrote, “There is no form of happiness on the Earth, no form of success of any kind, that in any way approaches the happiness of the husband and the wife who are married lovers, and the father and mother of plenty of healthy children.”
Time spent with family was precious to him, and he involved his six lively children in his professional life whenever he could. His role as a loving father is part of his enduring legacy. His six children were watched with interest by the American people, and most of them put on a good show.
|The Roosevelt family 1903, L to R: Quentin, Theodore Sr., Theodore Jr., Archie, Alice, Kermit, Edith, Ethel.|
Here is a little more about each of his children:
|Alice in her wedding dress, 1905|
Alice, oldest, was the unpredictable, rebellious, but loyal child. She was named for her mother, Alice Lee Roosevelt, who died two days after her birth. Her father left her with his sister Anna while he went west for two years. He was so distraught that he never allowed others to speak his wife’s name in his presence. He called his daughter “Baby Lee” and other nicknames. Young Alice was raised by her father and stepmother after they married in 1886, when she was three. They moved into the White House when she was 17, and Alice became a press magnet and fashion icon. She became known as an unconventional socialite and a controversial celebrity. A rule-breaker, she smoked in public, stayed out late partying, and—horrors—rode in cars with men.
After she married Congressman Nicholas Longworth of Ohio, Alice did not calm down. Her only child is alleged to be the result of an affair with another congressman. Her father once told his friend, author Owen Wister, after she interrupted their conversation several times, “I can either run the country, or I can attend to Alice, but I cannot possibly do both.” He gave her responsibility on a diplomatic mission to Asia with Secretary of War William Howard Taft. Alice loved attention, and is known for her outrageous sayings, such as, “I have a simple philosophy: Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. Scratch where it itches,” and “If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.”
|Theodore "Ted" Roosevelt Jr.|
|Kermit Roosevelt 1926|
Kermit was born in 1889. His intellect got him through Harvard in two and a half years. He was an avid reader, adventurer and writer. He traveled with his father in Brazil on the trip that came to be known as the River of Doubt expedition, and with his brother, Ted, in Asia, the story of which is chronicled in their book East of the Sun and West of the Moon. He served in both World Wars and was awarded the Military Cross for service in WWII. He became a writer and a businessman and joined his father on safari in Africa. He married Belle Willard, and they had four children. He founded the Roosevelt Steam Ship Company and the United States Lines. His suicide in 1943 has been attributed to alcoholism and depression, which he battled for many years.
|Ethel Roosevelt, 1905|
Ethel born in 1891. Her coming out party was held in the East Room of the White House when she was 17, shortly before Theodore Roosevelt left office. In 1913, she married surgeon Richard Derby. They had four children. She became a pioneering World War I nurse, serving in France at the same hospital where her husband served. She was a tireless volunteer for the Red Cross. She also led the successful campaign to preserve Sagamore Hill, the beloved family home in Oyster Bay, New York, and was one of the first two women to serve on the Board of Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History.
Archibald “Archie” Roosevelt was born in 1893. He served as a distinguished Army officer and was seriously wounded in battle during both World Wars. He earned the Silver Star, Purple Heart, and Croix de Guerre. He later founded a successful bond brokerage house in New York and became a spokesman for conservative politics. It was his pony, Algonquin, that was famously smuggled into the White House. He married Grace Lockwood, and they had four children. This photo was taken after he was wounded in World War I.
Quentin, the youngest child, was born in 1897. He was said to be the child most like his father. Quentin dropped out of Harvard to volunteer as a pilot during World War I, and died heroically in battle at age 20. This photo was taken shortly before he was shot down July 14, 1918.
Giveaway:This month I’m giving away a copy of my pre-World War I novel, The Crimson Cipher. To enter, leave a comment and your contact information.
Susan Page Davis is the author of more than sixty published novels. She’s always interested in the unusual happenings of the past. Her newest books include The Twelve Brides of Christmas and The Outlaw Takes a Bride. She’s a two-time winner of the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award, and also a winner of the Carol Award and the Will Rogers Medallion, and a finalist in the WILLA Awards and the More Than Magic Contest. Visit her website at: www.susanpagedavis.com .