Edith Roosevelt
Portrait, c. 1903
First Lady of the United States
In roleca
September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
PresidentTheodore Roosevelt
Preceded byIda McKinley
Succeeded byHelen Taft
Second Lady of the United States
In role
March 4, 1901 – September 14, 1901
Vice PresidentTheodore Roosevelt
Preceded byJennie Hobart
Succeeded byCornelia Fairbanks
First Lady of New York
In role
January 1, 1899 – December 31, 1900
GovernorTheodore Roosevelt
Preceded byLois Black
Succeeded byLinda Odell
Personal details
Edith Kermit Carow

(1861-08-06)August 6, 1861
Norwich, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedSeptember 30, 1948(1948-09-30) (aged 87)
Oyster Bay, New York, U.S.
Resting placeYoungs Memorial Cemetery
(m. 1886; died 1919)

Edith Kermit Roosevelt (née Carow; August 6, 1861 – September 30, 1948) was the wife of President Theodore Roosevelt and the first lady of the United States from 1901 to 1909. She was previously the second lady of the United States in 1901 and the first lady of New York from 1899 to 1900.

Growing up alongside the Roosevelt family, Edith Carow began a romance with Theodore Roosevelt as a teenager and became a New York socialite. After a falling out in young adulthood, they split up and did not rekindle their friendship until after Theodore was engaged to Alice Hathaway Lee. Edith and Theodore were engaged shortly after Alice's death, and Edith took in Theodore's daughter, also named Alice, as a stepdaughter. They moved into their new home, Sagamore Hill, and she had five children with Theodore. They stayed in Washington, D.C. while Theodore was on the Civil Service Commission, where Edith established a social network of prominent figures, including Henry Adams. The Roosevelts moved back and forth between New York and Washington as Theodore's political career progressed, and she became a public figure as Theodore's wife as he became a war hero in the Spanish–American War and got elected governor of New York. She became second lady of the United States when Theodore was elected Vice President of the United States, and she became first lady shortly after when President William McKinley was assassinated, propelling Theodore to the presidency.

The exact nature of Edith's influence over Theodore's presidency is unknown, but they frequently spoke about politics and he often took her advice. She kept her husband informed of news stories that she deemed important, and she worked as an intermediary to get information for him. Edith resented the press, and she used her influence to control press coverage. To prevent intrusion on their personal lives, she had photographs produced of the family and gave them to the press. She also controlled Washington social life, organizing weekly meetings of the cabinet members' wives, from which she became the gatekeeper of who could attend formal events. Edith made charitable donations throughout her tenure as first lady, and she featured various musical artists at the White House to promote their work. She disapproved of Theodore's chosen successor, William Howard Taft, and had an animosity toward his wife Helen Herron Taft. Edith's most enduring legacies are her oversight of the 1902 White House renovations and her hiring the first social secretary for a first lady, Belle Hagner.

Edith took up travel in the years after leaving the White House, touring Europe and Latin America for the first of many times. She was severely injured after being thrown off of her horse in 1911, permanently losing her sense of smell. Though she disliked Taft and Woodrow Wilson, Edith discouraged Theodore from his campaign against them in the 1912 presidential election, which he lost. Her health declined in the 1910s, and she was devestated by the losses of her son Quentin in 1918 and then her husband in 1919. She remained politically active, supporting Warren G. Harding in 1920 and Herbert Hoover in 1932—the latter being an effort to distance herself from Hoover's opponent, Theodore's distant cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt. Edith took an interest in her ancesty in 1920s, writing a book on her ancestors and purchasing her ancestral home in Brooklyn, Connecticut. She lost two more of her sons in the 1940s, and she was bedridden for the last year of her life. She died on September 30, 1948. Historians have consistently ranked Edith Roosevelt in the upper half of first ladies in periodic polling by the Siena College Research Institute.

Early life


Edith Kermit Carow was born August 6, 1861, in Norwich, Connecticut, to Charles Carow and Gertrude Elizabeth Tyler, the first of their two daughters.[1] Though her family was wealthy, her father was an unsuccessful businessman as well as a chronic gambler and an alcoholic, while her mother was a hypochondriac.[1][2] For much of her childhood, her family was forced to move in with various relatives.[3] She was troubled by her childhood, and she rarely spoke of her parents throughout her adult life.[4]

The Carows were close friends with their neighbors, the Roosevelts, and Edith's early schooling took place at the Roosevelt home, as well as etiquette instruction at the Dodsworth School.[2] Corinne Roosevelt was Edith's closest childhood friend, and Edith was often brought along with the Roosevelt children in their family activities.[1] At age four, she stood with the Roosevelts on their balcony to watch Abraham Lincoln's funeral procession.[5] Edith and Corinne formed their own literature club as children, the "Party of Renowned Eligibles", in which Edith served as club secretary each week over three years.[6] Edith also bonded with Corinne's brother, Theodore Roosevelt, over their mutual love of literature.[7] The Carows moved uptown in 1871, where Edith attended Miss Comstock's School.[2] Here she developed a lifelong sense of strict religious morality.[8] She also took a more active interest in English literature, with a particular focus on the works of William Shakespeare, and she learned to speak fluent French.[1][2]

Adolescence and young adulthood

During the celebrations for the first centennial of the United States in 1876, Edith visited the White House, afterward commenting that it would be unlikely that she should ever visit it again.[9] After graduating from Miss Comstock's School in 1879, she participated in New York social life, attending balls and making social calls. She was unable to travel, as she had to stay home tending for her parents, who had both grown ill.[10]

Edith and Theodore grew closer as teenagers,[11] and they developed romantic feelings for one another.[12] They stayed in touch when Theodore went to Harvard University, but they had a falling out in August 1878.[13] The details surrounding this stage of their relationship are not known. Various reasons have been proposed by the families and by historians for their split, including a rejected proposal, Theodore Roosevelt Sr.'s disapproval of Charles Carow's alcoholism, a rumor that the Roosevelts were afflicted with scrofula, or clashing personalities between two people with strong tempers.[11][7] They revitalized their friendship in December 1879. Theodore was engaged with Alice Hathaway Lee at this time. This caused Edith grief, but she held a dinner in the couple's honor and then attended their wedding.[10] She maintained a close relationship with the Roosevelts over the following years, though she was cold toward Alice.[14] Edith's father died from alcohol-related illness in 1883.[10]

After the deaths of Theodore's wife and his mother in February 1884, he moved west and distanced himself from his life in New York, and Edith did not see him for the following year.[15] He avoided her intentionally, worrying that he would betray Alice by having feelings for Edith.[1] Theodore returned to New York in September 1885,[16] where he encountered Edith by chance at his sister's house.[1] They were secretly engaged in November 1885, unwilling to disclose that Theodore was to rewed so soon after the death of his wife. After their engagement was set, they separated for eight months so Edith could help her mother and sister move to Europe while Theodore could settle his business affairs on the frontier.[16] They remained in contact by letter, but Edith preserved only one of these letters.[17][18]

Edith and her sister had inherited an interest in a building on Stone Street in New York, and in 1886 they took the New York Elevated Railroad Company and the Manhattan Railway Company, alleging that they caused damage to the building during rail construction. The trial went on until it was decided in the Carow sisters' favor in 1890.[19]

Marriage and family

Sagamore Hill

Edith and Theodore traveled to London, where they were wed at St George's, Hanover Square on December 2, 1886. Over the winter, they spent their honeymoon in Europe, going to France and visiting Edith's family where they had taken residence in Italy before returning to England.[20] The Roosevelts returned to New York in March 1887.[17] For the next two months, they stayed with Theodore's sister, Bamie.[21] Then they moved into the Oyster Bay home that Theodore had intended to live in with his first wife, Sagamore Hill.[20] She promptly had her own family's furniture brought in to replace that which was intended to be used by Theodore's first wife.[22] This became the family's home for the rest of their lives.[23] Edith decided that her stepdaughter Alice was to live with them and that Alice was to refer to her as her mother.[17] Separating Alice from her aunt, who had previously been caring for her, began a lifelong enmity between Edith and her stepdaughter.[24]

Sagamore Hill had a staff of approximately 12 servants, and Edith found herself learning to manage the entire staff and estate by herself.[25][20] Each morning, Edith tended to the household chores while Theodore worked on his writing, and then they would go out walking or rowing in the afternoons. She was content with a quiet, domestic life, but she accepted that Theodore would frequently bring home company for her to entertain.[20] To her displeasure, her husband was frequently away on trips west. At this time, she began suffering headaches that plagued her for the rest of her life, sometimes leaving her bedridden.[23]

Edith's first child, Theodore Jr., was born September 13, 1887. She hired her own childhood nanny, Mary Ledwith, to care for the children.[23] Following his birth, she underwent a period of postpartum depression.[26] She experienced a miscarriage the following year.[27] In addition to her growing family, she also considered her husband to be one of the children for his involvement in the children's trouble-making,[28][29] and she cared for their family friend Cecil Spring Rice during his visits.[30] In October 1888, Edith joined Theodore in traveling west to campaign for Benjamin Harrison in that year's that year's presidential election, and she found the experience enjoyable.[31] After Harrison's victory, he repaid Theodore with a position on the Civil Service Commission the following year.[23] By this time, Edith was pregnant again, and she stayed at Sagamore Hill while Theodore moved to Washington, D.C.[29] Theodore's absences especially took a toll on her while she pregnant, causing her depression.[32] Edith's second son, Kermit, was born on October 10, 1889. She joined her husband in Washington that December.[29]

Washington, D.C.

During her time in Washington, Edith took on more serious hosting responsibilities as the wife of a political figure,[33] and she befriended several of the city's major figures, developing a particularly close friendship with Henry Adams.[33][34] She found that she preferred Washington to New York, and after arriving, she made her first of many visits to the Smithsonian Institution and Fischer's antique shop.[35] Later in life, she looked back fondly on these years.[36] Attending several receptions in 1890, Edith was received at the White House with her husband, now as a guest rather than a tourist.[37] She retired to Sagamore Hill at the end of the social season that summer, and she accompanied Theodore on his travels west. While initially hesitant, she came to share her husband's love of the Badlands and Yellowstone.[38]

Edith gave birth to a daughter, Ethel, on August 13, 1891.[29][33] With her family growing, and with both their New York and Washington homes to maintain, the family struggled financially. Edith found herself in charge of all the family's finances over the following years, keeping meticulous records and allotting $20 per day to her husband.[39] The increasingly erratic behavior of Theodore's alcoholic brother, Elliott, became the family's primary focus until his sudden death in 1893.[40]

The Roosevelts were invited to dine at the White House for the first time on February 1, 1894, by President Grover Cleveland, where Edith was sat directly next to the president.[41] A few months later, Edith had another son, Archibald, on April 9, 1894.[29][33] When Theodore considered running a campaign to be mayor of New York in 1894, Edith implored him not to because she preferred life in Washington and because they could not count on a mayor's salary. He severely regretted not running to the point of depression, and Edith made a short-lived promise not to give further input on his political career.[42][43]

Entering public life

The Roosevelts in 1894

Theodore was appointed New York City Police Commissioner in 1895, and the Roosevelts returned to New York as their primary residence. Edith was forced to leave Washington after establishing a strong social circle in the city, though the move also came with an increased salary for Theodore. In April of the same year, Edith's mother died, and Edith's sister Emily came to live with the Roosevelts for several months.[44] Theodore was rarely at home as he became heavily invested in his work as police commissioner.[45] She eventually joined him in the city when he would work overnight, and after her period of mourning for her mother ended, Edith began attending cultural events in the city.[46]

The Roosevelts returned to Washington in 1897 when Theodore was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy by the newly-elected William McKinley.[47][48] Edith once again delayed a move to Washington because of pregnancy.[49] Her youngest child, Quentin, was born on November 9, 1897.[48] She spent the following four months recovering from an abdominal abscess, which was ultimately treated with surgery.[47][50]

When the Spanish–American War broke out, Edith supported American efforts to end Spanish rule over Cuba.[47] Though she was apprehensive about Theodore's desire to join the fighting, she defended his decision against critics.[51] Edith traveled to Florida on June 1, 1898, to see Theodore off as he left to fight with the Rough Riders.[52] She wrote to him almost every day while he was away and stayed informed through newspaper, which often covered Theodore's exploits with the Rough Riders as he became increasingly famous.[53] The Rough Riders returned to the United States that August and were put under quarantine in Montauk, New York, as disease had spread on the battlefield.[54] Violating the quarantine, Edith and Theodore secretly reunited, and she worked tirelessly over the next four days as a Red Cross volunteer at the camp.[55]

Theodore had returned as a war hero, and their home became a place of public interest.[56][57] When Theodore began his campaign to be elected Governor of New York, Edith worried he would be targeted by anarchist assassins.[48][58] She did not join him on the campaign, out of both her need to support the children and her desire to avoid public attention. She instead took charge of the mail that he received. Theodore went on to win the election.[54]

First lady of New York

Edith Roosevelt in 1900

At the reception for Theodore's inauguration as governor, Edith held a bouquet in each hand so that she would not have to shake hands with thousands of visitors—a practice that she continued throughout her husband's political career.[59][60] By this time, her children were older, and their time in school or with a governess gave Edith some degree of freedom from her previous responsibilities.[61] She renovated the New York State Executive Mansion in Albany after moving in so that it was a suitable home for her children,[48] and she redecorated the mansion with new artwork.[59]

Edith grew comfortable with her life in Albany, as the family was financially secure and her role as first lady allowed her to spend more time with her husband.[48][62] She pursued new hobbies in the city, joining the Friday Morning Club and accompanying Frances Parsons on botanical trips.[63] Edith was more cautious about public life, as her husband had become one of the most prominent American political figures. Her receptions and her public activity became the subject of national press coverage, though the coverage was generally positive.[59] When entertaining, Edith's primary focus was the flower arrangements, while an aide addressed food, seating, and music.[48][64] In March 1900, Edith and her sister vacationed in Cuba where she visited San Juan Hill, the site of her husband's most famous battle.[65]

Edith was uncomfortable with the proposition of Theodore running for Vice President of the United States.[48] It would again uproot the family's lives in a move to Washington, and it would involve a cut in Theodore's salary.[66][67] The two at one point drafted an official declination of the role saying he was needed as the governor of New York, but he attended the 1900 Republican National Convention, and he was chosen to join the Republican electoral ticket.[68] In the days leading up to the convention, the Roosevelts dined at the White House with President McKinley, where Edith reveled in the fact that she and Theodore were much younger than the other guests of their status.[69] As the presidential campaign commenced, she tended to their home while he traveled to garner support.[70] She became incredibly thin during the campaign, caused by the stress of Theodore being away and the possibility that he might win.[71] After Theodore was elected vice president, Edith began receiving requests that she donate some of her possessions to be auctioned, as was common for prominent women of the time.[72] She started a diary, deciding that her insights as the wife of a public figure were worth preserving.[73]

Second lady of the United States

Edith attended Theodore's inauguration as vice president in Washington on March 4, 1901.[72] Edith and the children subsequently had lunch with the McKinleys, watched the inaugural parade, and then returned to Sagamore Hill.[74][75] Theodore joined the rest of the family soon after, as the vice president was not needed until the next Congressional session later in the year.[76] Edith felt that the vice presidency was not a good fit for him, as the job gave him little to do.[72] Nonetheless, she enjoyed the time that she was able to spend with him. Over the following months, they attended the Pan-American Exposition, went horseback riding with Edith's new horse Yagenka, and endured a variety of medical ailments in the family.[77]

In August 1901, Edith took her children on a vacation to the Adirondack Mountains while Theodore was on a speaking tour. It was here that she received a telephone call from her husband informing her that President McKinley had been shot.[74] Edith correctly speculated that the perpetrator was an anarchist.[78] On September 14, 1901, McKinley died.[74] Only six months into his term as vice president, Theodore became president of the United States, and Edith became first lady of the United States.[48][79]

First lady of the United States

Becoming first lady

Edith's first duty as first lady was to attend the funeral of William McKinley.[80] She dreaded the idea of Theodore being president, fearing both for his safety and for her children who would receive national attention.[81] Only after leaving the White House did she realize how much anxiety her worries brought her during her tenure.[82] Especially stressful for her were Theodore's absences on tours and hunting trips, during which she was in a fear of constant worry until his return.[83] She received some relief as she became first lady when she spoke to former President Cleveland about her concern for Theodore, to which he simply responded "don't worry, he is all right".[84]

Upon entering the White House, Edith rearranged the furniture in the living quarters and then promptly slept for two days.[85] One benefit of their new position meant that the Roosevelts no longer had to worry about money,[48] and she came to enjoy her life as first lady.[86] For her sitting room, Edith used an oval library adjacent to the president's office.[48] From here, she could watch over him and scold him if he was working too late.[87] Instead of overseeing meal preparation in the White House, Edith hired caterers, allowing her to lighten her schedule and to avoid potential criticism for her own catering decisions.[88] She likewise delegated management of the staff to the chief usher.[89] Rather than hire a housekeeper, Edith took responsibility for the care of the mansion.[48]

Life as first lady

Edith Roosevelt and her son Quentin in 1902

Edith's morning activities while first lady included answering her mail, reading the newspaper, shopping, and studying French. In the evenings, she went horseback riding with her husband and spent time with her children.[86][90] Despite the tribulations of White House life, Edith and Theodore adored one another and maintained a strong relationship.[91] Each Tuesday, Edith organized a meeting with all of the wives of cabinet members to run concurrently with cabinet meetings, which they used to plan and budget White House entertainment, allowing them to collaborate and preventing White House events from being overshadowed. Here Edith also governed who was allowed on guest lists, excluding anyone that did not meet her moral standards, particularly those who were involved in adultery.[88][89]

In addition to her role as first lady, Edith continued as the caregiver for her children. This included caring for her children and her husband whenever they fell ill or were injured, which happened many times throughout her tenure.[92][93] Quentin's childhood friend Earle Looker later wrote Edith seemed to regret that her role as first lady prevented her from being more active in the children's play.[94] She hoped for another child, but her two pregnancies in 1902 and 1903 both resulted in miscarriages.[95] For two months beginning in April 1903, Theodore ventured off on a trip to the west, and Edith cared for the children on her own, first on a cruise aboard the USS Mayflower and then in the White House. Worried about his safety the entire time, she was relieved when he returned.[96] Besides her own children, Edith also made sure to dedicate time to her stepdaughter Alice, who had felt neglected by Theodore.[97]

The Roosevelts in 1903 (left to right: Quentin, Theodore, Theodore Jr, Archibald, Alice, Kermit, Edith, and Ethel)

As the White House became too hot in the summer, the Roosevelts returned to Sagamore Hill each year.[98] Edith was confident in Theodore's chances for his reelection, as she had a low estimation of his opponent, Alton B. Parker. Despite this, she still lost five pounds from the stress as the election neared.[99][100] She was disappointed when, in the jubilation of his victory, Theodore announced that he would not run for election again. She knew he would come to regret the announcement, and she later said that she would have done anything in her power to prevent it if she had known what he was going to say.[101]

In May 1905, Edith set off to create a presidential retreat to which the family could escape.[102] Their home at Sagamore Hill was frequently visited by reporters, politicians, and those seeking favors of the president.[103] She went to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Albemarle County, Virginia, where she purchased a cabin from a family friend.[102] This cabin became Pine Knot.[104][105] The same year, Edith joined Theodore in a voyage to Panama to oversee the construction of the Panama Canal.[104] Theodore went on another trip across the country in fall 1907, and she again anticipated his return, looking forward to each letter he sent.[106] In the final ten months of her tenure as first lady, a series of attacks on unaccompanied women in Washington led Theodore to appoint a bodyguard for Edith's walks. He chose Archibald Butt, the new White House military aide. Butt accompanied Edith on her walks and shopping trips, and she felt herself able to speak freely to him in a way that she did not with most people.[107]

White House hostess

Edith Roosevelt and her daughter Ethel in 1904

The nation was in mourning when the Roosevelts entered the White House, so the first lady's traditional role of hosting social events was postponed for 30 days.[108] As Washington became active again, Edith increased the amount of social events held by the White House each season, including dinners, teas, garden parties, and concerts.[109] The 1902 social season saw approximately 40,000 people visit the White House, far more than any previous year.[110]

Edith found comfort in the fact that the first lady did not have to make social calls, instead receiving the social calls of others each afternoon.[111] Being first lady came with new obligations that brought Edith displeasure, including participation in large receiving lines and the White House Easter Egg Roll.[112] She found the egg roll distasteful, commenting on how it ruined the grass and lamenting the smell of rotting eggs as the event went on.[113] Though at this point it was common to refer to the president's wife as the "first lady", she never used the title herself, instead signing her name as Mrs. Roosevelt.[114]

While the Roosevelts were staying in Oyster Bay in 1902, Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich of Russia was touring the United States, and he engaged in what Edith considered to be vulgar behavior. She refused to recognize him socially, leaving to have lunch with relatives before he arrived. Her rejection of the duke was praised by the press and by members of the Russian aristocracy.[115]

When Theodore won reelection, the tone of the White House improved, as the beginning of this term was a cause for celebration instead of the somber feelings and mourning that followed the assassination of President McKinley.[104] This led up to Edith's most prominent social event as first lady, in which she hosted the White House wedding of her stepdaughter Alice to Congressman Nicholas Longworth on February 17, 1906.[116]

White House renovations

Edith disliked the White House upon moving in, describing it as "like living over the store".[48] As the scope of federal politics had changed over the 19th century, the building had become cramped with more employees and demand for workspace restricted the residential areas.[117] In 1902, renovations began on the building, and the Roosevelts found other places to live for six months.[86] While Theodore moved to a home on Lafayette Square, Edith returned to Sagamore Hill with the children.[118] From here, she stayed updated on the renovations and prevented the implementation of any ideas she disliked.[86] The renovations were carried out by McKim, Mead & White.[119] The earliest point of contention was the location of the White House conservatory. Architect Charles Follen McKim wished to destroy it, and Edith protested. They settled on relocating the conservatory, an agreement that McKim dubbed the "Treaty of Oyster Bay".[120] She also objected to McKim's proposed design for her writing desk, calling it "ugly and inconvenient".[121][122]

Edith saw the construction of a feature long desired by past first ladies: separate living quarters secluded from the executive offices and public areas where the family could live uninterrupted by visitors.[119] This separation came with the establishment of the West Wing and the East Wing.[123] Aware that extravagant spending could provoke controversy, she reduced costs wherever possible, having older furniture brought in rather than purchasing newer items.[124] The largest change was in the East Room, which was entirely redesigned, including a new ceiling, wallpaper, carpeting, and three electric crystal chandeliers.[125] She also had a tennis court installed, hoping that it would encourage her husband to maintain a healthy weight.[86][126] Other renovations included changes to the public areas and a redesign of the garden. The renovations were generally received positively.[118][127] The Roosevelts moved back in to the White House on November 4, 1902, as renovations neared completion. They were completely finished by the following month.[123]

After the State Dining Room was expanded to seat over one hundred guests, Edith purchased more china for the White House.[128] As they were unable to find American-made china, Edith had Wedgwood china imported and then painted with the great seal in the United States.[118][128] She then ensured the continuation of the White House china collection that was started by Caroline Harrison.[88] Along with her social secretary Hagner and reporter Abby Gunn Baker, Edith tracked down much of the china used by previous administrations.[129][127] At the end of her tenure, she had all of the damaged pieces destroyed, feeling that selling or gifting them would degrade the collection.[130] She also organized the creation of a portrait gallery that featured official portraits of the first ladies; since then, every first lady has had an official portrait of her likeness produced.[88]

Political influence

Edith Roosevelt in 1905

Edith did not share her political opinions publicly,[131] but she often shared them with her husband—a fact that was generally known by the public.[132] Since Theodore did not read the newspapers, Edith read four each day and brought clippings to him if she thought they warranted his attention.[133] Because of a lack of historical records, it is unknown to what extent or in what areas Edith had political influence over her husband.[134] One government official, Gifford Pinchot, said that she had "much more ... to do with government business than was commonly supposed" after Theodore appointed her chosen pick, James Rudolph Garfield, to the Civil Service Commission.[135] She sometimes worked together with William Loeb Jr., the president's secretary, to convince Theodore of her ideas.[132]

Edith's influence over Theodore persisted throughout his presidency, and she would dissuade him from ideas she disliked.[136] When Theodore asked for reduced security, Edith instructed the Secret Service to ignore his request.[137] She also had two Secret Service agents stationed at Pine Knot each night without telling Theodore.[138] Edith had little interest in the political affairs of the Republican Party and its members,[131] but she took an interest in certain political issues and gave her evaluations of the men with whom the Roosevelts interacted.[132] When Theodore became increasingly adamant about progressive reforms in his second term, she agreed with his positions.[139]

Shortly after becoming first lady, Edith put her efforts toward helping her friend Frances Metcalfe Wolcott fix her marriage following a divorce. Theodore wished to keep her ex-husband, former senator Edward O. Wolcott, from returning to the senate, in part because of political alliances, but possibly in part because Edith had a negative opinion of him for neglecting Frances. They were successful in keeping Edward from being elected, but he never reunited with Frances.[140] The Roosevelts later got Frances's son, Lyman M. Bass, a prominent position as a New York district attorney.[141]

Edith often served as an intermediary for the Roosevelts' associates to get information to the president.[133] During peace negotiations for the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, Edith was in contact with Spring-Rice, who at this point was a diplomat at the British embassy in Russia. It would have been untoward for Spring-Rice and Theodore to communicate directly given their respective positions, but Spring-Rice wrote to Edith and his letters included valuable information for Theodore.[99][142]

Charitable work and the arts

Edith donated handkerchiefs and other items to be auctioned for charity during the first two years of her tenure, establishing a "handkerchief bureau" to facilitate the donations. This practice ended after the handkerchiefs were scrutinized and criticized, which caused her a great deal of emotional distress.[143] She also made frequent donations of her own personal money anonymously to those in need, so long as she could first confirm the facts to ensure she was not "'carrying' people when they should 'learn to walk'".[144] Edith frequently did needlework for charity, participating in the St. Hilda Sewing Circle with Oyster Bay's Christ Episcopal Church.[145] In 1905, she voiced her support for the Audubon Society's efforts to end the use of decorative plumes on women's hats.[146] In 1907, she joined the New York Assembly of Mothers.[147]

Edith sponsored a variety of classical instrumentalists and singers, giving them a venue to perform at the White House.[148] Edith enjoyed classical music, such as the work of Richard Wagner.[145] She featured the famous German composer Engelbert Humperdinck when he visited the United States, which led to her appearance at a charity performance of Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel for The Legal Aid Society.[149] Edith also supported the theater and allowed the performance of plays at the White House at a time when actors were seen as lower class.[150]

Press and public relations

Among Edith's greatest concerns with becoming first lady was the effect it had on her privacy.[151] She valued her privacy, and she considered the press to be her greatest annoyance while living in the White House.[112] She would exert her influence over journalists, such as on occasions when she wore the same dress multiple times but convinced the reporters to describe it differently.[119][112] To control media coverage of her family, she had photographs taken of herself and her children that were then given to the press.[152]

It became common practice for well-off women to hire a secretary in the 1890s, but no such secretary had ever been hired by a first lady.[153] A few weeks into her tenure, Edith hired Belle Hagner as a social secretary, creating the first formalized staff office for the first lady.[70][89] Hagner was responsible for answering Edith's mail, managing her schedule, overseeing guest lists,[70] and communicating information about the first lady's activities to the press.[119] In Theodore's second term, Congressman Thomas W. Hardwick objected to Hagner's employment on government funds and raised a motion to dismiss her. The remainder of the House of Representatives saw this as an affront against the first lady, and Hardwick was the lone voice in support of the motion.[154]

Fashion was not important to Edith, and she often kept outfits over multiple seasons, sometimes having adjustments made to keep them updated.[155] When Mamie Fish wrote a critical article about the first lady's fashion consisting of "three hundred dollars a year", Edith chose to cut it from the newspaper and place it in her scrapbook.[86] The first published caricature of a first lady depicted Edith during her husband's dinner at the White House with Booker T. Washington.[156]


Edith had her reservations when Theodore selected secretary of war William Howard Taft as his successor to run as a candidate in the 1908 presidential election. This was complicated by the attempts of Taft's wife, Helen Herron Taft, to exert her own influence on the White House.[157] Edith and Helen had developed a rivalry over the years, both distrusting each other and the other's husband.[158] This rivalry would contribute to a rivalry between Theodore and William in the following years.[159] The tone of the White House became melancholy when the 1909 social season began, as the Roosevelts' presence there was coming to a close. The incoming Taft family, though generally well-liked, lacked the energetic reputation of the Roosevelts.[160] Helen Taft had already begun planning the changes she would make in the staff. Edith had bonded with these people over the years, and she became emotional when discussing Taft's intentions.[161]

While taking inventory of her belongings, Edith caused controversy because she intended to keep a $40 couch that had been purchased during White House renovations. After the backlash, she decided to leave it behind, saying that it was now tainted by negative associations of the controversy.[137] Archibald Butt described this incident as the only time he ever saw her angry. Two years later, President Taft bought a new couch and had the original sent to her.[162] As their time in the White House came to a close, Theodore grew excited about the prospect of a year-long African safari. This frightened Edith, especially when he said that he did not fear death during the expedition.[163] Shortly before leaving, the Roosevelts learned of the sudden death of their nephew, Stewart Robinson, and they spent these final days in mourning.[164]

Return to Sagamore Hill

A 1912 cartoon of Edith restricting the public's access to Theodore after he was shot
Edith Roosevelt in 1917

After leaving the White House in 1909, Edith returned to Sagamore Hill while Theodore and Kermit went on a safari.[165] Her children had all left Sagamore Hill with the exception of Edith, who had just reached adulthood. The solitude became too much for Edith after a few months, so she took her children Edith, Quentin, and Archibald on a trip to Europe.[166] She visited France, Switzerland, and Italy, including a stay at her sister's home.[165] She returned in November, only to leave for Egypt the following March to reunite with Theodore and go on another European tour.[166] They returned to New York in June 1910, and for the first time in nearly two years, Edith, Theodore, and their children were all reunited.[167] Theodore began embarking on speaking tours shortly after their return, again leaving Edith alone until she eventually decided to accompany him in March 1911.[168]

With her life having settled and her children all grown, Edith found herself wishing for a grandchild.[169] This came true on August 6, 1911, when Theodore Jr. and his wife Eleanor Alexander had a daughter, Grace.[170] The following month, Edith was injured after being thrown off of her horse. She was unconscious for the next two days and began physical rehabilitation for several months thereafter. She temporarily lost her sense of taste from the accident, and she permanently lost her sense of smell.[171] As she recovered, Edith and Ethel left for a weeks-long trip to the Caribbean in February, giving her a chance to get away as Theodore again became active politically.[172]

As Theodore considered another presidential campaign in 1912, Edith advised him not to, telling him that he would "never be president again".[173] She strongly disliked the idea of Theodore returning to politics.[174] When her attempts to discourage him failed, she assisted him in speech writing and accompanied him to the 1912 Progressive National Convention, though she did not campaign for him.[175] Edith again feared for Theodore's safety as he resumed his political activity, and her fears were validated when he was non-fatally shot by an assassin while campaigning.[176] Theodore was not elected president, and Edith loathed the eventual winner, Woodrow Wilson, whom she considered a "vile and hypocritical charlatan".[175]

In June 1913, Edith learned that her sister was to undergo an appendectomy and traveled to Italy to join her, staying until August.[177] Later that year, Theodore and Kermit went on another expedition, this time to South America. Edith accompanied them in the beginning, but she returned home as they began the second stage of the trip charting unexplored areas in Brazil. Theodore's trek was dangerous and nearly fatal, leaving Edith worried until his return in May 1914.[178] Her health declined that year, preventing her from attending Kermit's wedding.[166] In April 1915, Edith underwent what was described as "a necessary operation".[166][179]

As Theodore led the movement for United States involvement in World War I, Edith found herself unable to keep up with the political figures passing through their home in the way that she once was.[166] For her part, Edith marched with the "Independent Patriotic Women of America", which had been organized by Ted Jr. and his wife Eleanor.[180] She also became president of the Needlework Guild.[181] To get away from the politics of the war, Edith and Theodore left for the Caribbean in February 1916.[180] They had planned further vacations over the following year, but as relations with Germany declined, the Roosevelts canceled them in anticipation of war.[182] Edith encouraged her sons to fight when the United States declared war.[183] She took up typing to distract herself, but this effort was short-lived.[184] On July 17, 1918, Edith learned that Quentin's plane had been shot down and that he had been killed.[185] To escape the reminders of Quentin at Sagamore Hill, Edith, Theodore, and Quentin's fiancée Flora Payne Whitney spent a month at Ethel's home in Dark Harbor, Maine.[186]


Theodore's health declined in 1918, and he went to the hospital on November 11. Edith stayed by him each day until his death on January 6, 1919.[187] As was tradition for the widow, she stayed inside while the funeral took place two days later.[188] Edith considered herself to have died with Theodore–something she told only her sister in law Corinne—but she felt that she had to her part for the family and take on Theodore's as well.[189] From February through May, she went to Europe to see her sons, stay with her sister, and visit Quentin's grave.[187] She then accompanied Kermit on a vacation in South America that December.[190] Both of these trips were fueled by a need to avoid memories of Theodore at Oyster Bay, but as time passed, she began traveling for leisure.[191] The following decade was marked by further ventures around the world.[192][190]

Edith did not need the pension provided to first ladies, but she worried about embarrassing the other former first ladies by refusing it, so she instead used it to support others, including former members of Theodore's Rough Riders.[193] To maintain some control over Theodore's legacy, Edith also agreed to work with all of her husband's biographers, though she did not approve of all their work.[194] She especially disliked the biography written by Henry F. Pringle for its portrayal of Theodore as immature.[195]

When the 1920 presidential election approached, Edith campaigned for Republican Warren G. Harding.[187] She made appeals to women specifically, as they had just been granted the right to vote.[196] In January 1921, Edith traveled the Caribbean, including a voyage deep into the jungle of British Guiana with a party of six to see Kaieteur Falls.[197] She joined Archibald on a trip to Europe in January 1922, where they visited Paris, Berlin, and then London, taking her first airplane trip to the latter. From Europe, she traveled on her own to South Africa.[198] Edith hosted a party for Theodore's friends in 1922 in which they visited his grave and shared their memories of him, which became a yearly tradition.[194][199] After hearing that her grandson Richard Derby Jr. had died in late 1922, she traveled to Pará, Brazil, the following January to distract herself.[200] She traveled through Connecticut in April 1923, where she visited her ancestors' hometown Brooklyn, Connecticut. This inspired her to research her ancestry more thoroughly.[201]

Edith and Kermit went on another trip in December 1923, going to California and then Hawaii before arriving in Japan the following January. The region had just been devastated by the Great Kantō earthquake, and tremors were still frequently occurring. They stayed at the newly-constructed Imperial Hotel, which was designed to withstand earthquakes, but Edith feared for her safety as the tremors continued. She was delighted by the Noh drama performed in Japan, particularly Sumida-gawa, which told the story of a mother who lost her son.[202] She had a much lower opinion of China and the Soviet Union as she passed through them.[203]

Further travel and political involvement

Theodore Jr. was a candidate in the 1924 New York gubernatorial election. Franklin D. Roosevelt (Theodore's fifth cousin) and his wife Eleanor Roosevelt (Theodore's niece) lambasted him as they campaigned for his opponent, creating a feeling of strong resentment from Edith.[193][195] That same year, Edith co-wrote a travelogue titled Cleared for Strange Ports with Kermit and his family.[204][190] In 1925, Edith and Kermit published another book together, American Backlogs: The Story of Gertrude Tyler and Her Family, 1660–1860, detailing the history of Edith's ancestors in New England.[204][190] The book was of interest to only a limited few and saw poor sales.[205]

Edith traveled to Yucatán, Mexico, in early 1926 where she visited Chichen Itza.[206] This year, she began featuring the poet Elbert Newton as a guest of honor in a poetry reading group that she hosted.[207] Then in 1927, Edith ferried across the Paraná River in Argentina until she reached the Iguazu Falls in Brazil.[206] By this time, Edith began having heart murmurs, which she called her heart attacks. Knowing that her health would not let her travel as frequently, she searched for a vacation home in the United States.[208] She purchased Mortlake Manor in Brooklyn, Connecticut,[190] which had been built for her great grandfather, Daniel Tyler III.[193] Around this time, Edith confessed to her daughter that after leading a happy life, she had only been happy twice since Theodore's death—both in a dream.[209] She took multiple trips to Mortlake Manor each year from then on, including an annual pilgrimage on July 4.[210] Edith was not significantly affected by the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression.[211] After Theodore Jr. was appointed Governor of Puerto Rico, Edith went to stay there in January 1930 and again that December.[212] She traveled to Jamaica the following March.[213]

When Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated as the Democratic candidate for the 1932 presidential election, she was frustrated by well-wishers who congratulated her, believing Franklin to be her son.[187] Over 300 letters celebrating Franklin's nomination arrived as Sagamore Hill.[214] She vocally proclaimed support for Franklin's opponent, Herbert Hoover, and began campaigning for him.[193] To demonstrate her support, she took an airplane to the White House, visiting it for the first time since she was first lady. She did not recognize the interior, as it had been thoroughly furnished, and she considered the whole experience "hateful".[215] Franklin went on to win the election.[214] Theodore Jr. had been appointed Governor-General of the Philippines under the Hoover administration, and Edith traveled to visit him there shortly before the inauguration.[216] Edith opposed Franklin's New Deal policies, insisting that they were nothing like Theodore's progressive platform.[217] She maintained good relations with her niece-in-law Eleanor after the latter became first lady,[187] and she generally approved of Eleanor's public activities.[218]

Later life and death

Edith's heart condition, diagnosed as paroxysmal tachycardia, became more severe in the 1930s, leaving her in pain for hours at a time.[219] She spent March 1934 in Greece before making her final journey to South America in January 1935.[220] Her income at this point had decreased, and she could no longer afford elaborate vacations.[221] After taking a fall in November 1935, Edith broke her hip. It did not heal well, and she spent five months in the hospital.[222] Because of the injury, she could no longer live an active life.[214] Continuing her recovery in early 1937, she rented a home, Magnolia Manor, for a few months in St. Andrew's, Florida. She had not seen the house before renting it and discovered that it was a cockroach-infested house in a poor neighborhood, cast under shadow by moss-dripping trees.[223]

Edith spent the early months of 1938 in Portugal, though she found the journey much more difficult in her old age.[224] While Edith was in Haiti in early 1939, she received news that her sister was dying in Italy. The two had been almost estranged by that point, and Edith spent the rest of her life guilt-ridden, feeling that she had abandoned her sister.[225] As she neared 80 years old in 1941, Edith found that she was no longer capable of managing her own finances and mail, for which she felt ashamed.[226] Kermit's alcoholism became more severe in 1941, and on June 4, 1943, he fatally shot himself.[227] No one told Edith, who had adored Kermit especially among her children, that his death was a suicide.[194] Theodore Jr. also died during the war, his death caused by a heart attack.[187]

Edith was bedridden in early 1947, where she stayed for the remainder of her life.[228] She died at the age of 87 on September 30, 1948, one day after she fell into a coma.[228] She was buried next to Theodore. Edith wished for a simple funeral, and by the time of her death she had recorded every detail of how to organize it.[229] Her instructions were: "Simplest coffin possible. If the church has no pall, cover with one of my crepe shawls. Nothing on coffin but bunch of pink and blue flowers from my children. Processional Hymn No. 85 'The Son of God.' Not slow tempo. Recessional Hymn No. 226 'Love Divine.' The anthem from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Service as in Prayer Book. Do not take off my wedding ring and please no embalming." Her chosen epitaph read, "Everything she did was for the happiness of others".[228]


Official portrait

Edith was widely popular as first lady, maintaining strong public approval until her tenure ended.[230] She was compared positively against her predecessor, Ida Saxton McKinley, whose poor health prevented her from being active as first lady.[86] She was more socially active than the first ladies of the preceding two decades in this vein, as they either had abbreviated tenures or were unable to fulfill their duties.[231] Contemporary views of Edith nonetheless saw her as withdrawn because of her emphasis on privacy.[131] Besides social activity, Edith was the most athletic first lady to occupy the White House at that point, regularly engaging in walks and horseback riding.[87] She was the last first lady to live in an environment where horseback riding was a common part of life,[232] and she disliked using automobiles.[151]

Edith is often recognized for the wisdom, both scholarly and political, that she provided her husband throughout his career.[187] Edith read extensively throughout her life, preferring British, French, and German writers of the nineteenth century, including William Makepeace Thackeray and Jean Racine.[232] Theodore once confessed his belief that she looked down on his literary knowledge,[137] and he acknowledged that he was worse off whenever he did not take her advice.[233]

Historians have little information about Edith's own state of mind when studying her life, as she avoided public comment and did not preserve her letters.[234] She worried that her letters might some day be published, and she sometimes requested that recipients destroy them after reading.[114] Surviving letters and other papers are kept in various archival collections, including those of the Harvard Library and the Library of Congress.[229][235] Many of Edith's relatives and associates wrote memoirs that include detailed descriptions of their interactions.[236] Edith was given little scholarly attention in the decades after her death.[237] The first full biography about her, and the largest in scope, was Edith Kermit Roosevelt: Portrait of a First Lady, published by Sylvia Jukes Morris in 1980.[236]

The Smithsonian's First Lady collection was created soon after the Roosevelts left the White House. When the museum's advocates asked her for a contribution, Edith said that she wasn't sure she could help: she often cut up dresses for the material after she wore them, and her inaugural gown was no exception. Her daughter later donated the remaining bottom half, and the Smithsonian refashioned the bodice using photographs.[238]

Historical evaluation

Historians credit Edith for her development of the first lady's office as its own institution.[239] The historian Catherine Forslund has described Edith as the "first truly modern occupant of her post", citing her involvement in the White House renovations and the hiring of her own employee.[70] The historian Stacy A. Cordery said that the White House renovations organized by Edith was one of her "most important legacies",[240] and that her hiring of a secretary was "a significant innovation crucial to the creation of the modern institution of first ladies".[235] Historians disagree about Edith's views on race. Gould pointed to her use of racist language and her allowance of racist songs to be performed at the White House to suggest strong anti-black views.[241] Black people were specifically disallowed from her receptions, as was anyone of a lower social class.[242] Gould presented a more negative image of Edith entirely, portraying her as having an "acidic personality" and casting doubt on her success as a mother.[229] Deborah Davis contradicted Gould's account and said that Edith was an admirer of Booker T. Washington.[241]

Since 1982, Siena College Research Institute has periodically conducted surveys asking historians to assess American first ladies.[243] Edith has been ranked:


  1. ^ a b c d e f Schneider & Schneider 2010, p. 163.
  2. ^ a b c d Cordery 1996, p. 294.
  3. ^ Morris 1980, p. 20.
  4. ^ Morris 1980, p. 15.
  5. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 1–2.
  6. ^ Morris 1980, p. 42.
  7. ^ a b Gould 2013, p. 6.
  8. ^ Morris 1980, p. 32.
  9. ^ Anthony 1990, pp. 223–224.
  10. ^ a b c Cordery 1996, p. 297.
  11. ^ a b Cordery 1996, p. 296.
  12. ^ Morris 1980, p. 58.
  13. ^ Forslund 2016, p. 299.
  14. ^ Morris 1980, p. 65.
  15. ^ Cordery 1996, pp. 297–298.
  16. ^ a b Cordery 1996, p. 298.
  17. ^ a b c Forslund 2016, p. 300.
  18. ^ Gould 2013, p. 9.
  19. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 7–8.
  20. ^ a b c d Schneider & Schneider 2010, p. 164.
  21. ^ Morris 1980, p. 106.
  22. ^ Morris 1980, p. 109.
  23. ^ a b c d Forslund 2016, p. 301.
  24. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 11–12.
  25. ^ Gould 2013, p. 11.
  26. ^ Morris 1980, p. 113.
  27. ^ Morris 1980, p. 116.
  28. ^ Caroli 2010, p. 121.
  29. ^ a b c d e Schneider & Schneider 2010, p. 165.
  30. ^ Morris 1980, p. 111.
  31. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 116–117.
  32. ^ Morris 1980, p. 119.
  33. ^ a b c d Cordery 1996, p. 300.
  34. ^ Gould 2013, p. 12.
  35. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 121–122.
  36. ^ Gould 2013, p. 15.
  37. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 122–124.
  38. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 127–131.
  39. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 138–139.
  40. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 143–145.
  41. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 148–149.
  42. ^ Cordery 1996, pp. 300–301.
  43. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 152–153.
  44. ^ Cordery 1996, p. 301.
  45. ^ Morris 1980, p. 157.
  46. ^ Morris 1980, p. 162.
  47. ^ a b c Forslund 2016, p. 302.
  48. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Schneider & Schneider 2010, p. 166.
  49. ^ Morris 1980, p. 166.
  50. ^ Cordery 1996, p. 302.
  51. ^ Morris 1980, p. 173.
  52. ^ Cordery 1996, pp. 302–303.
  53. ^ Forslund 2016, pp. 302–303.
  54. ^ a b Cordery 1996, p. 303.
  55. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 183–184.
  56. ^ Gould 2013, p. 18.
  57. ^ Morris 1980, p. 184.
  58. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 187–188.
  59. ^ a b c Gould 2013, p. 19.
  60. ^ Forslund 2016, p. 303.
  61. ^ Morris 1980, p. 193.
  62. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 200–201.
  63. ^ Morris 1980, p. 194.
  64. ^ Morris 1980, p. 196.
  65. ^ Morris 1980, p. 203.
  66. ^ Gould 2013, p. 20.
  67. ^ Morris 1980, p. 199.
  68. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 204–205.
  69. ^ Morris 1980, p. 204.
  70. ^ a b c d Forslund 2016, p. 304.
  71. ^ Morris 1980, p. 206.
  72. ^ a b c Gould 2013, p. 22.
  73. ^ Morris 1980, p. 207.
  74. ^ a b c Cordery 1996, p. 305.
  75. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 208–209.
  76. ^ Morris 1980, p. 209.
  77. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 210–211.
  78. ^ Morris 1980, p. 212.
  79. ^ Morris 1980, p. 214.
  80. ^ Morris 1980, p. 219–220.
  81. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 26–27.
  82. ^ Gould 2013, p. 68.
  83. ^ Gould 2013, p. 81.
  84. ^ Morris 1980, p. 220.
  85. ^ Cordery 1996, p. 306.
  86. ^ a b c d e f g Schneider & Schneider 2010, p. 167.
  87. ^ a b Anthony 1990, p. 296.
  88. ^ a b c d Caroli 2010, p. 124.
  89. ^ a b c Cordery 1996, p. 307.
  90. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 224–225.
  91. ^ Gould 2013, p. 79–80.
  92. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 240, 243–245, 320.
  93. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 36, 72, 82.
  94. ^ Morris 1980, p. 318.
  95. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 81–82.
  96. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 266–268.
  97. ^ Morris 1980, p. 273.
  98. ^ Gould 2013, p. 33.
  99. ^ a b Forslund 2016, p. 310.
  100. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 279–280.
  101. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 280–281.
  102. ^ a b Morris 1980, p. 289.
  103. ^ Morris 1980, p. 292.
  104. ^ a b c Schneider & Schneider 2010, p. 168.
  105. ^ Forslund 2016, p. 309.
  106. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 322–324.
  107. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 328–330.
  108. ^ Gould 2013, p. 30.
  109. ^ Forslund 2016, p. 307.
  110. ^ Gould 2013, p. 40.
  111. ^ Schneider & Schneider 2010, pp. 166–167.
  112. ^ a b c Cordery 1996, p. 310.
  113. ^ Morris 1980, p. 266.
  114. ^ a b Anthony 1990, p. 299.
  115. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 42–44.
  116. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 303–304.
  117. ^ Morris 1980, p. 242.
  118. ^ a b c Forslund 2016, p. 305.
  119. ^ a b c d Caroli 2010, p. 123.
  120. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 40–41.
  121. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 41–42.
  122. ^ Morris 1980, p. 243.
  123. ^ a b Gould 2013, p. 45.
  124. ^ Anthony 1990, pp. 301–302.
  125. ^ Morris 1980, p. 255.
  126. ^ Morris 1980, p. 248.
  127. ^ a b Cordery 1996, p. 309.
  128. ^ a b Morris 1980, p. 253.
  129. ^ Forslund 2016, p. 306.
  130. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 338–339.
  131. ^ a b c Gould 2013, p. 48.
  132. ^ a b c Cordery 1996, pp. 310–311.
  133. ^ a b Gould 2013, p. 90.
  134. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 89–90.
  135. ^ Gould 2013, p. 91.
  136. ^ Anthony 1990, pp. 296–297.
  137. ^ a b c Caroli 2010, p. 125.
  138. ^ Cordery 1996, p. 312.
  139. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 324–325.
  140. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 34–35.
  141. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 101–103.
  142. ^ Cordery 1996, p. 311.
  143. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 50–51.
  144. ^ Morris 1980, p. 332.
  145. ^ a b Gould 2013, p. 24.
  146. ^ Gould 2013, p. 101.
  147. ^ Gould 2013, p. 54.
  148. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 48–66.
  149. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 51–52.
  150. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 66–67.
  151. ^ a b Gould 2013, p. 27.
  152. ^ Caroli 2010, pp. 122–123.
  153. ^ Gould 2013, p. 28.
  154. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 99–101.
  155. ^ Morris 1980, p. 277.
  156. ^ Forslund 2016, p. 308.
  157. ^ Cordery 1996, p. 313.
  158. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 107–108.
  159. ^ Gould 2013, p. 109.
  160. ^ Morris 1980, p. 336.
  161. ^ Morris 1980, p. 335.
  162. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 337–338.
  163. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 332–334.
  164. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 339–340.
  165. ^ a b Cordery 1996, p. 314.
  166. ^ a b c d e Schneider & Schneider 2010, p. 169.
  167. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 362–363.
  168. ^ Cordery 1996, p. 315.
  169. ^ Morris 1980, p. 367.
  170. ^ Morris 1980, p. 373.
  171. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 373–374.
  172. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 122–123.
  173. ^ Caroli 2010, pp. 125–126.
  174. ^ Cordery 1996, pp. 315–316.
  175. ^ a b Forslund 2016, p. 312.
  176. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 124–125.
  177. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 396–397.
  178. ^ Cordery 1996, p. 316.
  179. ^ Morris 1980, p. 406.
  180. ^ a b Morris 1980, p. 408.
  181. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 127–128.
  182. ^ Morris 1980, p. 411.
  183. ^ Schneider & Schneider 2010, pp. 169–170.
  184. ^ Morris 1980, p. 415.
  185. ^ Morris 1980, p. 423.
  186. ^ Morris 1980, p. 425.
  187. ^ a b c d e f g Schneider & Schneider 2010, p. 170.
  188. ^ Morris 1980, p. 437.
  189. ^ Morris 1980, p. 445.
  190. ^ a b c d e Cordery 1996, p. 317.
  191. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 449–450.
  192. ^ Forslund 2016, p. 313.
  193. ^ a b c d Forslund 2016, p. 314.
  194. ^ a b c Forslund 2016, p. 315.
  195. ^ a b Gould 2013, p. 130.
  196. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 447–448.
  197. ^ Morris 1980, p. 450.
  198. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 452–453.
  199. ^ Morris 1980, p. 452.
  200. ^ Morris 1980, p. 453.
  201. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 455–456.
  202. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 458–459.
  203. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 459–461.
  204. ^ a b Forslund 2016, pp. 313–314.
  205. ^ Morris 1980, p. 457.
  206. ^ a b Morris 1980, p. 464.
  207. ^ Morris 1980, p. 471.
  208. ^ Morris 1980, p. 467.
  209. ^ Morris 1980, p. 472.
  210. ^ Morris 1980, p. 469.
  211. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 473–474.
  212. ^ Morris 1980, p. 474.
  213. ^ Morris 1980, p. 475.
  214. ^ a b c Cordery 1996, p. 318.
  215. ^ Morris 1980, p. 477.
  216. ^ Morris 1980, p. 79.
  217. ^ Morris 1980, p. 482.
  218. ^ Morris 1980, p. 483.
  219. ^ Morris 1980, p. 485.
  220. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 486–487.
  221. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 487–489.
  222. ^ Morris 1980, p. 489.
  223. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 494–495.
  224. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 495–496.
  225. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 497–498.
  226. ^ Morris 1980, p. 502.
  227. ^ Morris 1980, pp. 501–507.
  228. ^ a b c Morris 1980, p. 516.
  229. ^ a b c Forslund 2016, p. 316.
  230. ^ Caroli 2010, pp. 124–125.
  231. ^ Gould 2013, pp. 25–26.
  232. ^ a b Gould 2013, p. 23.
  233. ^ Schneider & Schneider 2010, p. 171.
  234. ^ Gould 2013, p. 89.
  235. ^ a b Cordery 1996, p. 319.
  236. ^ a b Forslund 2016, p. 317.
  237. ^ Gould 2013, p. 131.
  238. ^ Steinmetz 2013.
  239. ^ Gould 2013, p. 112.
  240. ^ Cordery 1996, p. 308.
  241. ^ a b Forslund 2016, pp. 307–308.
  242. ^ Anthony 1990, p. 305.
  243. ^ a b c d e Sienna 2008.
  244. ^ Sienna 2014.


Further reading

External videos
video icon Presentation by Sylvia Jukes Morris on Edith Kermit Roosevelt: Portrait of a First Lady, November 10, 2001, C-SPAN
Honorary titles Preceded byLois Black First Lady of New York 1899–1900 Succeeded byLinda Odell VacantTitle last held byJennie Hobart Second Lady of the United States 1901 VacantTitle next held byCornelia Fairbanks Preceded byIda McKinley First Lady of the United States 1901–1909 Succeeded byHelen Taft