tv First Ladies Influence Image CSPAN December 16, 2013 9:00pm-10:36pm EST
was glad to see that our regulators agreed with. >> we're almost out of time. before asking one last western, i have a couple of housekeeping matters. i would like to remind you about chief of the national guard oh stop secondly, i would like to present our guest with the national press club coffee mug. >> i do not treat coffee. >> it can serve for other beverages. now when you are in the private sector, what is the first car you are going to buy? i think i am in the private sector. [laughter] [applause]
i will only buy a gm car. i would check with my wife first. >> thank you. thank you for coming today. [applause] i would also like to thank our staff including our journalism institute for helping organize today's events. a reminder, you can find more information about the national press club including a transcript on our website at www.press.org. adjourned.we are
club speech by jim president and ceo. the life and legacy of edith roosevelt. >> ♪ >> that was edith roosevelt, speaking in new york city 20 years after she left the white house. she was the matriarch to a rambunctious family and her husband, theodore roosevelt, was as outgoing as she was private. she was the groundbreaking manager of the white house, overseeing a major renovation that added a west wing, separating the family quarters from the president's office is for the first time. good evening and welcome to c-
span's series, "first ladies." edith roosevelt will usher in season two of the series and the 20th century. we have two historians who know the roosevelts well. meet kathleen dalton. she is the author of "theodore roosevelt -- a strenuous life." and stacey cordery is the author of a biography of alice roosevelt. welcome, the both of you. the 1900 election. it does not last very long because an assassin has other things in mind for president mckinley. tell the story that brings the roosevelts in that very moment momentous time into the white house. >> it is traumatic because theodore roosevelt is climbing the mountains in the adirondacks when he hears the news mckinley was shot. he comes to buffalo. at first, it looks like mckinley
will survive. then, blood poisoning sets in. then t.r. comes to washington. nation.er a mourning it is a national tragedy. it is hard to come to the presidency because of an assassination. he reassures america and turns out to be a very successful president. >> a quick snapshot of how much experience he brings to the job, he was 42 years old. >> very young but he had a lot of experience behind him in government. >> new york state assemblyman, assistant secretary of the navy, civil service commissioner, new york city police commissioner. >> governor of new york. >> politics defined his life? >> politics defined his life, but he wrote 30 books. he was a serious naturalist. he did a lot of things. he widely traveled a lot. a very expansive and interesting life.
>> his spirti triumphed. look forward instead of behind. the things he said, it is a terrible thing to come into the presidency this way. but it would be far worse to be morbid about it. >> we will learn about the woman who helped him throughout his administration in the next 90 minutes. we were talking that the united states, in the dawn of the 20th century, was a horse and buggy nation. a few facts about america at that time. to give you a glimpse of what the country was like, in 1900, the population of the country was about 76 million. 38% of people still work in the agriculture industry and were farmers. in 1902, we ended the war. -- the philippine american war. in 1903, the first time the wright brothers flew a petrol engine aircraft. in 1904, americans started to work on the panama canal.
and 1908, the model t and ended the horse and buggy age. what can we learn about the country that the roosevelts came to administer? >> it was a country marked by progressivism. there were a group of reformers across the nation. they were intent on tearing all the ills of the past century. urbanization, immigration, industrialization, brought many wonderful things to the nation. there were also troubles. abolish child labor. bring women the vote. they were going to take care of injustices suffered by african americans. the list went on and on and on. optimism as roosevelt stepped into the white house. >> we've heard about theodore roosevelt's readiness for the white house. what about edith roosevelt? >> she had managed the governor's mansion in albany quite successfully. they had to move from their home
on long island back and forth. she would be there in the summer when he was the civil service commissioner in washington. she was used to packing up the servants in the households and moved back and forth. she is somebody who knew how to manage things. he was not good with money. he overdrew his checking account all the time. she would organize him and the children. she was a good manager. that is what the first lady needs to do. >> one of the things that has been delightful about the series there are up couple of things. we are learning a lot, but we also learn in what you are interested in. in a few minutes, we will take telephone calls. let me give you the phone numbers. also, a conversation already
going on facebook. you can join it by logging on facebook's c-span page and log into the mix. what we will be asking tonight about edith roosevelt and her husband and children. finally, we are taking tweets. a hashtag for the series we did not have in the first session, @firstladies. we will mix all of that up over the next 90 minutes. one of the other great things is we have a videographer out at the site of the earth's ladies along the way recording the places where they live. tonight, we will introduce you to two of those associated with the roosevelts. what is sagamore hill? >> a big house where all go from the long island public schools. the park service does a fantastic job.
it is a great place to visit. >> one thing you should know if you are planning a visit, it is under complete renovation for the next couple of years. we will show you some of the artifacts. you'll learn a lot. we will start there with a video about edith roosevelt and her children, and you will hear the voice of the curator. let's listen in. >> this is a cartoon by a newspaper man. thomas nast. it shows santa claus arriving at the white house to discover there are children at the white house, that the roosevelts had moved in. the title of the piece was "there is life in the old house yet." a gift to the roosevelts. the country was excited to have
a young family and children to watch. they had a vigorous president with a vigorous and attractive wife. santa claus represented the country's attitude over the excitement in the white house now. the biggest responsibilities edith had in the white house was to control the press's access to the family. what she did -- she arranged to have professional portraits taken of the children. the first two batches were by francis johnson, a well-known society photographer in washington. a picture of clinton, famous for having ridden the elevator to visit archie when he was sick. archie and a bicycle, kermit with jack, the wonder dog. this picture standing in front of the tree. most of the pictures were taken outside.
you take these photographs and it shows you how they were used by the press. we have a picture of him in age three, a picture of ethel. one of my favorites, the little boy, posing with the white house guards. this is how president roosevelt's children were presented to the public. usually, they were used in magazine articles in magazines and that sort of thing. >> it sets the scene for this young family, coming into the white house. how did the public react and what was the role of the press? in promoting what was happening in the white house? >> the public was delighted.
it had been a long time since children were in the white house. they had become a fascinating part of our watching what is going on in washington. the antics of the children were in the newspapers. there was very little attempt to stop that, after pr learned this was good press for him. the children and their antics, their pets, they were very important parts of roosevelt's public persona as president. >> how did that contrast with the mckinleys? >> well, mrs. mckinley was an invalid. and president mckinley was quite reserved and would not go out and campaign. it was more like the lincolns. the media was different during the civil war. they did not report so much
about the children. there are -- there were all these yellow journals, newspapers like hearst, would put pictures of the children in their newspapers and all of these magazines that people would buy. though there is so much more active media so they could publicize what was going on in the white house much more actively. >> a really important point. they were all photogenic and did great stuff. they would steal cookie trays from the kitchen and fly down the staircase with them. they would scare guests. they would rollerskate. walk on stilts. >> the white house staff had their hands full. it was all terrific press for theodore roosevelt.
>> we were talking about the fact this is the dawn of a new century but the roosevelts were brought up in the previous century. they were victorian in their attitudes. what kinds of parents were they? >> they were different kinds of parents. edith could be fairly strict. a descendent of jonathan edwards. she thought children should behave. she was fairly strict. she would turn to theodore and ask him to do the spanking, but he did it reluctantly and was indulgent. he liked to play bear and have pillow fights with the kids. the kids looked at him as a large playmate. she had to be the main parent. >> on twitter, did edith have reservations about her husband being president? and i will add about her family, especially after resident mckinley's assassination. >> yes. she beefed-up security whenever she could. those were her greatest fears.
she wrote about these fears of roosevelt's assassination. it was really scary for her. >> he thought carrying a gun was enough for him. he was difficult to watch. >> how many children were there? >> six. >> the first child was not -- >> you should take the alice question. >> explain who alice was and how she related to the rest of the family. >> the daughter of theodore roosevelt and his first wife. when alice hathaway lee died in childbirth, more or less, theodore roosevelt left her with his sister. she was raised there until edith entered the picture. >> it created problems. >> yes.
>> as we learn about her, how much of the historical record exists about her? how much are we able to learn about her life and attitude? >> she contributed to a travel book after t.r. died. she did not do family history. she never wrote family memoirs and did burn most of the letters but not all of them. she wanted to be very private. some of her letters survived. she tried to erase a lot of the record. she did not want people snooping into her private life. even in death. >> that is part of the victorian point you brought up earlier. being a woman in the 19th century. >> one letter where she described her children and their views of them. here is a bit of what she had to say about her family in a letter to a friend.
she said about alice, alice is exceedingly pretty and has a remarkably steady head. in some ways, she is very childlike. ted is a good boy and does well in school. kermit is odd and independent as always. ethel is just a handful. she is a replica. we call archie the beautiful idiot. some of those terms sound harsh to us today, but were terms of endearment. >> it was probably spot on at that point in time. alice was very beautiful. but she had a pretty steady head. she would grow up into a woman who had wonderful political acumen, for example. archie had a tough time and had health problems when he was a young lad. kermit was the poetic one. >> yes. >> both of his parents confided in him.
t.r. thanloser to the other children. i met ethel when she was an older person. she was a very gracious and wonderful lady. i just really liked her. >> everyone liked her. she was just that sturdy rock for the rest of the family. and poor ted. he carried the brunt of all of his father's expectations. manliness and what to do with your life, all of that. >> were the roosevelts with their six children, the largest family in the white house? >> i think so, but -- >> tyler had 15. i do not know if they were all at the white house at the same time.
>> it had to be among the largest family ever. >> it was more typical in those days, a lot larger families. a lot more common. >> ken is on the air. what is your question? >> yes. it will probably be something you address later on in the program. what was edith roosevelt's relationship with william howard taft? >> thank you. we will talk about the tafts later on, but really briefly, how did they know the taft? >> they were social friends. i do not think edith cared for mrs. taft so much. they were friendly during t.r.'s presidency. it is during 1910, after taft shows his hand as president that hostilities break out. >> next is a call from alexander in indiana. hello. >> i have a question about theodore roosevelt.
>> i'm happy to hear it. can you tell us how old you are? >> i'm 12 years old. >> have you studied theodore roosevelt in school already? >> no. i have wrote a paragraph about him. he is my favorite president. >> why? >> because i think he did a lot for this country. >> can you name one thing? >> he fought in the spanish- american war. >> what questions do you have about him? >> did he believe in god and jesus? >> thank you. >> yes, he was a devout christian. >> in fact, incorporating religion into edith's life, we talk about her religion and how it informed her life, she argued for applied christianity. she would urge her husband to think about how his policies affected the poor.
she was a social gospel christian, taking care of the poor and being concerned about the needy. he was episcopalian. at the time, the church was devoted to social gospel, concern for poor people. >> in pennsylvania, you are on. >> thank you. i understand one side of the family wanted to be called roosevelt. and the other rosevelt. is this true? if so, which would be which? >> that comes from the old movie. no, they are all roosevelts. >> the lineage of the family, what is their history? >> the hyde park roosevelts and the oyster bay roosevelt share colonial ancestor. a dutch settler in new york, and
then two or three generations down, the family split. theodore roosevelt, the fifth cousin of franklin roosevelt. the complicated thing is theodore roosevelt had a wonderful niece, he loved dearly, eleanor roosevelt, and then franklin married theodore's niece. franklin would call theodore cousin theodore but then called him uncle theodore. >> i feel the need for a family tree. [laughter] >> distant cousins. franklin and theodore. >> set a stage for this large and bustling family. very quickly, edith determines it was just not going to work for them. a sketch she drew one week
after moving into the white house. a plan for the second floor that shows how very crowded it was to have the family and workspace there. what did she do? >> she picked up on harrison's place in the white house and got together with a very influential firm, mckim, mead & white. there is a big back story here. to cut to the chase, mckim decided he was, as she put it, "tired of living over the store." she wanted to separate the living areas with the public areas. the downstairs was renovated and most people really liked it. the upstairs had seven bedrooms and bathrooms. that was pretty good. alice, the teenage daughter, had her own bedroom. ethel had her own bedroom. mrs. roosevelt put her own study up there. the president had a study in the office in the second floor. but so did the first lady with a
door that adjoined. that was important to her to knock on the door and say, time for bed, you are working too late. >> this really created the white house as we know it today. if you look at the photographs of the white house as it existed, there were large greenhouses around this. she changed the whole feeling of the white house by adding the west wing to it. how cooperative was congress? >> congress voted money for this. they wanted a better house. it was the moment when the united states became a world power, modernizing the presidency, the united states had really arrived as the most successful manufacturing power on earth. they were in the process of becoming a very serious world power. it was a matter of national pride to have a president's house distinguished. as distinguished as the equivalent in another country.
there were rats in the white house. it was important for all kinds of reasons. it was a marvelous reflection of the changes discussed as the country takes on a new aspect. so is the executive mansion, which now is renamed the white house. there is only one white house. >> how long did the renovation take? >> one year. 1902. >> where did the family stay? did they go back to sagamore hill? >> over the summer they stayed there. the renovations started before she left. t.r. was hit by the trolley in the middle of this, so they have difficult moments where he is negotiating in a wheelchair because he was hit by a trolley accident.
>> how involved was edith roosevelt in the actual renovations? how much of a vision did she have for ultimate design? >> edith was very interested in the past. mckim was very interested in the present. she was very interested in history. it reflected the long, important path of the united states. she had her eye on the bottom line. edith was good at managing, as you mentioned, she also read the accounts. and when the money got tight, she was very creative and a good steward of the nation's money. she took the carpets on the first floor and she said, we are running out of funds and had them recut. she took curtains from the first
floor and had upstairs furniture reupholstered to save money. >> congress completed in time for the social season in 1902. marvin is on the line with us, los angeles. hi, marvin. >> hello. great to see you back. i have a question about the relationship between edith roosevelt and the franklin roosevelts. i know that eleanor roosevelt supported al smith for governor of new york running against theodore roosevelt junior as the republican candidate. the first time i went to washington was 1955. hoping to see a celebrity, i walked over and saw a crowd and a slim lady with a broad hat was rededicating the statue were
father dedicated 50 years ago and it was alice roosevelt. she seemed to enjoy being the center of attention. this was 1955, after leaving the white house in 1909. >> she loved to be the center of attention. >> she did. the hyde park roosevelts and the oyster bay roosevelts were basically very close. franklin roosevelt loved to come and visit theodore roosevelt. they were friendly. eleanor, of course, was edith and theodore's niece. t.r. used to read her poetry. they were quite friendly. when eleanor and franklin married, theodore gave her away, acting the part of her father. edith signed their marriage license. >> edith offered for them to be married in the white house. >> i would say that theodore was devoted to eleanor and loved
franklin in the beginning. by the 1920's, ted roosevelt has political ambition. some people accused him of being involved with the teapot dome scandal. it turns out it is really not fair. eleanor drove a car with a teapot on top of it to embarrass her cousin. that created bitter feelings for a while. edith remained somewhat friendly towards eleanor. >> we have a question about the destroying of her letters. what do the historians say about the missing records? do we miss the intimate t.r. and edith because of this? >> i think we know a lot about that.
of course, you want to know more. we have a good record of what the relationship was like. theodore roosevelt adored edith roosevelt. she was devoted to him. it is not that they did not have their difficult moments. he was not an easy husband. he forgot birthdays. he could be very inconsiderate. >> wasn't there when children were born. >> right. was always going off hunting. i think we know a lot about them, even though she burned some of the letters. >> he truly did love her. he wrote about her, highly complimentary things. >> we will return and look at the collection of artifacts for the white house here. >> what we show you here are objects of the white house. mainly personal objects. from edith. also, this lovely cup. you can see the presidential seal.
this is a cup and saucer from the white house service that edith ordered in the white house after the renovation was completed. the public was very interested in this activity. we have an example of that. a newspaper article showing the white house service, you can see the cup here in the top picture. she ordered 1125 pieces of new china to replace what she called the scraps, the bits and pieces all in the white house china sets that were in the house when she got there. what we do have here are examples of an image -- invitation to a garden party that she threw. the dinner invitations are very specific. they tell you when to arrive and when the dinner will be over. it is very clear you are not to overstay your welcome. you are not to argue with the president afterward.
you are to come and have your dinner and go home. some of the other objects you see here include a goldplated vanity sets like the one she had as a younger woman. this was very elaborate. it has her initials carved into it. these were used for perfume. a comb, a brush. jars for rouge and other lotions. this was indicative of her status. she was the first lady and she took that job very seriously. this was the glove box was kept on her dresser. and it does open. you see it's lined with velvet and would have held a dozen pair of gloves. she loved fans. she collected fans and liked to carry fans at public receptions. she liked to stand in line next to t.r. he loved to shake hands. by holding fans she did not have to shake hands with strangers
and she was delighted by that. this is the family's china. they didn't use the white house china for their every day meals. they used this china which is english and you can see that it is pretty plain in design except for t.r.'s initials in blue in the middle of the plate. as first lady she did receive a lot of gifts both from friends and family but also from foreign leaders. these lovely silver bracelets were sent to her from the emperor of present-day ethiopia. this is what she kept them in and she wrote notes to herself so she could remember where the different things came from. and it says silver bracelets sent by the interior emperor at the white house.
we open the case here so you can get a close up look at the figurines which were given to her by the french government. they are made of french porcelain and they were used to decorate the tables at the white house. but it was clear they were a gift to her and she liked them and she made sure she took them with her when she left the white house. >> a sense of life at the white house under the roosevelts. you were making the point this was the dawn of america on the international stage and roosevelt as the adventuring president in some ways. how did they use their social aspects of the white house to advance that view? >> in order to for the united states to be taken seriously as a world power, the united states president had to entertain heads of state elsewhere. so the white house changing really made a difference. plus all of those diplomatic
receptions and open events, big dinners, i think 40,000 people came through the white house in the first year. it creates good will. if you had dinner with someone you're more likely to be able to work with them afterwards. and sometimes we underestimate the power of face to face interactions. the roosevelts did a good job of this because they knew how to socialize. >> 4o,000 guests in the white house in the first year alone. >> that's a lot. >> it's a lot but if you are highly organized she had her social secretary and knew how to do this. as t.r. modernized the presidency and changed the navy and changed the government and created the first far eastern desk in the state department it
was really amateur in the early 20th century they were modernizers. >> hiring of the social secretary one of the things most historians point to as the modern first lady. what was the concept of a social secretary? how did she use her? >> she hired a woman who was interesting in her own right. by age 16, she was an orphan and had brothers to take care of so she went into the work force. she eventually worked for the war department. but she also did the task of being a social secretary where you help an elite woman with her correspondence and whatever hosting duties she had. this is what she did. so she was an old hand at this.
and she came into the roosevelt white house at the time when the first lady was inundated by all the details of alice's day -- debut, so alice is making her social debut and there were letters to write, there were invitations to offer. there were flowers and many things to take care of. that's when bell stepped in she stayed until the end and was quite a member of the family. at one point edith said i think of you as my daughter. so they had quite a close relationship. bell, bell became a surrogate mother in some ways when children couldn't go to edith for something. they wrote and said could you send us some treats and alice was not supposed to take a bracelet from a young man but
she did and lost it so she asked bell for help recoverings it. very close relationship. >> is it fair to say this managing of the social side was serious business, and edith was a tough manager? controlling her guest list? >> she didn't want people who were adulterers or unacceptable socially to be a part of their entertainment. and of course, most people were white and there weren't that many jews invited to the white house at the time. and so it was washington elites and people in government, foreign diplomats and people like new york society. so it was an exclusive group. >> it's important because she begins what is a tradition now
of the bureaucraticization of the office of the first lady. now bell was not the first social secretary to work for the first lady but she stays the longest. mrs. taft does not have the same sort of social secretary relationship and that is to her peril. >> that's the influence of edith roosevelt, she began the bureaucraticization of the role of the first lady. >> let's talk to bud who is watching us in st. louis. >> thanks for coming back again. >> glad to be back. >> i'm a major teddyphile and just a note, we got a great connection here in st. louis with t.r. with the world's fair. and i know that the history museum down in forrest park there is a great photograph of
him at the opening ceremonies. but my question was this, and i guess because he did so much i have trouble keeping dates straight. i do know that i believe that his first wife and his mother died the same day and that more or less forced him to go west, take up the cowboy life. my question when he came back, when did he marry edith? was it before the spanish american war and did she help him overcome that sorrow of his first wife and mother? and thanks for taking my call. >> i'm going to ask very brief touching on this story because we'll spend more time on that later. what about the dates of their marriage? let's give them facts. >> february 14, 1884 is when
alice dies and then t.r. marries edith december 1886 and the spanish american war is july 1898. >> and you are right, there is a very unforgettable story of the death of theodore roosevelt's first wife. but we're going to keep you hanging on a little bit to tell you later in the program. ed is watching us in north dakota. this is roosevelt territory. >> thanks for taking my call. i am the chairman of the theodore roosevelt foundation and our effort with the foundation is to sustain life as legacy as a cattle
rancher here in north dakota. earlier your mentioning of about a method of keeping the socially unacceptable people out of the white house. tell me about how the first lady felt when cowboys and rough rider friends were coming through the white house. >> i think edith understood that his time in the dakotas was precious to him. she said he would never have been president if it had not been for his time in the dakotas. the theodore roosevelt center is a wonderful project. i think she understood she had visited the ranches that he had and understood that his time being a rancher meant everything to him, so she put up with some people like desperadoes and farmers and cowboys who tr loved.
>> she was quite a young woman and he was head over heels with her husband, and he was in love with north dakota. she wanted to know all about the things that he loved. those new marvelous, colorful characters from north dakota had a marvelous patina for her. >> did he have a ranch throughout their presidency? >> no, he had to sell it. he was sort of a failed cattle rancher. it.weather was against my grandfather was a wheat farmer not far from there, and those were hard times. it is now a national park. >> there are oil derricks there. north dakota had an oil boom and natural gas boom and the landscape is bothered a bit, but
there is a very large tr contingent and they loved him there. >> you have to understand north dakota. there is the theodore roosevelt center where there are 155,000 letters. and there is the foundation that your caller mentioned. there is a joint effort to keep the memory of theodore roosevelt alive. >> joan is in silver spring, maryland, outside of washington. >> i would like to know how did edith and theodore meet, and how long was their courtship before they married? >> we will answer that, but before i leave the question of
the time of their white house years, we think of modern first ladies. compare with a modern first lady, particularly jackie kennedy, in the white house? bringing performers into the white house, this is something that edith roosevelt did. how did she approach introducing americans to culture and supporting the cultural life of the white house? >> she had the musical taste of the pair. theodore roosevelt was not as bad as president grant. he said there were two songs, one is yankee doodle dandy and the other isn't. she worked with the steinway company and brought amazing entertainment to the white house. including pablo casals. she brought the entire philadelphia orchestra at one time.
she had tastes that were not quite in line with her husband's family. she loved the corcoran art gallery, theater and art and music. spirituals.o tr brought indian songs. he helped encourage john lomax to discover cowboy songs. they wanted people to understand america had culture. it was not a colonial society anymore. it depended upon european cultures for borrowing artists. they are really important in that sense, too. >> since they had sagamore hill, why did they need a retreat?
>> it took a while to get to sagamore hill because it is all the way in long island. in 1905 and 1906, he had a lot of political conflict and difficulty and at times when he was having a rough time, he had gained a lot of weight. she wants him to have an overnight in the cabin. i have been to the cabin. it's very primitive. there is no plumbing, no electricity, nothing. they had a kerosene stove. they had to do everything for themselves. they needed a quick escape. >> we took a camera there. let's take a look. remember this is a very wealthy family who grew up in the height
of society. keep that in mind when you see the house that edith built called pine knot in virginia. >> edith sought a place for rest and repairs to the president. close enough to d.c. that they could get out as often as needed, but far enough away that there was wilderness. she bought a cottage and 15 acres and her renovations that she prescribed for $280. the deed was written in her name. the renovations that she did include this porch, which he called her piazza. most of what you see is original. the color of the house now is the color that it was when the roosevelts were here. the interior is completely unfinished. she wanted it to be natural in every sense.
this room was divided into two and edith wanted to have the family be here together. they cooked the meals by the fireplace. t.r. would do the cooking, and edith would boil the water for the tea, and the children would fetch the wood and do the various things that were needed to get the meals together. when edith saw the cottage for the first time, there were no fireplaces. the cottage was unfinished. she had designed these stone ledges that are built into the fireplace to provide some functionality. the stairs were originally in the center of the room so they took up the whole thing.
she wanted the bottom floor to be in an open room and the other was she wanted to create a room upstairs. this is the room she created for ethel. it had a door so ethel would have been able to shut off her brothers from entering her room. this is where edith and t.r. slept. this was the master bedroom, as it were. you can see the light streaming through the boards. it is no more better appointed than the other rooms. this is the boys' room. all four of the boys would have slept in this room when they were here. this has a wonderful mantle and even better yet, it has stone supports that edith would have designed. this was a family place. in that sense, it was unique to the roosevelts because sagamore hill had become a place where tr had constantly a hubbub of activity. this was the one place where it was private family time, and the
roosevelts made it very clear they did not want anyone but family here. >> so you wanted to tell the story about pine knot. >> pine knot was important because there was no more privacy in the white house and very little at sagamore hill by this time. they had to go far off the grid, as we say now. >> the driving distance from washington today, how long would it take you to get there? >> a little bit more than an hour. >> one can go visit today? >> i believe you can. >> this looks rustic. today, there would have to be a perimeter and the press would be hanging out and making sure no
one was coming and going and using lenses to get to them. press leave them alone? >> edith lost sleep when they first went there because she was worried about intruders and she did not feel it was safe. as close to the farm, they would sometimes have neighbors come over. they went out at night to take a little walk down the road. there were secret service men that edith had secretly put there and she did not tell tr. >> he really didn't want protection? >> he didn't think he needed it. he carried a pistol. he was cavalier about it, where she was very worried. he was eventually shot in the
1912 campaign and there were other attempts to get at him, so she had reason to be nervous. >> adrian asked on facebook, was edith into hiking, nature, and hunting like teddy? did she enjoy being outside and living a more rustic life? >> she believed in the simple life -- getting away from society and not needing all the modern comforts, i'm not sure that she ever hunted. >> she did hike. after a certain number of children, i think -- he would sit on the porch and read.
she was not like a classic big victorian lady. she would go on hikes. after he died, she traveled around the globe and took a canoe trip to a distant waterfall. >> next is johnny from denver, colorado. >> thanks for your wonderful series. i hope it continues. my question is on mount rushmore. about whether she had an opinion about the monument, seeing how she was alive during its conception and construction. >> she knew the person who carved it, but i don't remember reading anything -- i'm not sure it's finished, or was it? i think it was finished in the 20's or 30's, but i'm not sure
she ever sees it. some people think that tr shouldn't be on there. the builder admired him very much. i think the fact that the bull moose monument -- it's a monument to other great presidents. >> barbara says, i would like to know if edith cooked very much. do we know about whether or not she prepared food for her family? >> no, i think she was proud that she had never made a bed in her life except maybe at pine knot.
>> the women's movement that was going on, where did edith stand on this? i very much would like to know the answer to that. >> she said in private that she thought suffrage was a good idea. women could vote in western states, so i believe in 1904, you could vote in utah and colorado and some other western states. she was very quiet about it. when susan b. anthony came to the white house, alice was the person who was most sympathetic to suffrage. >> barbara is in peoria. >> i would love to know whether it is true that theodore roosevelt asked booker t. washington as a guest to dinner, and if so, was that a first?
>> in 1902, theodore roosevelt did invite booker t. washington, the leader of the tuskegee institute and a very important figure in african-american history. he was recognized as an important educator but also dealt with political patronage for the republican party. edith and tr had him to dinner. frederick douglass would come to the white house and talk to lincoln, but i don't think a dinner was involved. it is not the first time an african-american came, but it came to be an advisor, but it may be the first dinner. >> it could be. people threatened to kill tr. they said they should put a bomb under his chair because he advocated social equality to
blacks and whites. you have to remember in african- american history, after reconstruction, this is the nadir, the low point of legal segregation, and african- americans in the south were treated very badly. it was very controversial to cross the color line socially. >> in one biography of her, there are a number of citations of personal correspondence where she would use what we would consider derogatory terms about african-americans. he writes in the book, edith's comments fall in the range of general white attitudes among the upper-middle-class in those years. it was delivered without much thought of implications.
what kind of influence can we know that she might have had in this thinking on this topic? >> this is a couple that has been together every day. they went horseback riding, they went walking. they had a very close relationship. i think what lewis l. gould is doing in his book, and i would and i think what louis l. gould is doing in his would call. gould, i him the founder of modern first lady scholarship. looking at ing is the letters and the terms that edith is using to describe and finding cans them certainly as he just said -- as you just read, within boundaries of what white
americans used but more extreme used.heodore roosevelt what effect does she have on her husband? we don't know. really know. >> it would be interesting to look at the timeline of the with some incident of the things she's written and gone and said. brownsfield incident. >> african-american soldiers who are falsely accused of shooting the town of brownsfield, texas when they face segregation local hostility. know the dn't want to details but assumed they were guilty. dishonorable discharges and quite unjustly. fair amount of african-american the north where people could vote. and there was certainly -- he lost them over that. that as makes the point he's no longer going to run for
president, he's less atentedive needs of african-americans. question teresting that dr. gould has on the book. prompted more questions. it's also a good -- it's a errible topic but shows you that history is never done being written. more questions to asked. this is a good one. in singers of -- >> spirituals. > spirituals -- well, that was considered, you know, giving time.an audience at that so, again, minstrel shows, it's spirituals. -- we have to be careful about looking back. so much has changed. very true. >> yeah, at the end of his life, w.e.b.eared on stage with dubois and said justice has not been done to black people and his is something i want to face. >> their daughter taught
african-americans at sunday school as well. a very interesting race n the roosevelt family is interesting. >> too they're not eleanor roosevelt. >> no, they're not. to e're going to return saginaw hill to the family home in long island and learn more about the collection that shows life of the roosevelts. watch that. >> this is a fascinating piece. pictures e take baby and snapshots. the roosevelts at some point had of their children, kermit, archie.nd they had these done on them. work is would have been done by professional sculptor. it would have been expensive. fascinates me it was done. we don't have similar pieces for he older children or for quinton who was the youngest. but we have this piece and it outside of the wall the nursery on the second floor of the roosevelt home. raised her five children
from infancy, obviously, and she souvenirs. nd there's actually in t.r.'s letters, references to ethel walking around in little red shoes. of the children had little red shoes at some point or another. edith obviously kept those but the children did not actually destroy. the book is "peter rabbit" in french. it belonged to ethel. the roosevelts were fortunate as up, r children were growing the beatrix potter books were brand new. they read them to their children. the children would read back to them. ooks were important to the roosevelts at all ages. and i love the fact that there's obviously a way a new oduce a child to language.
it helped to make it easier to story rench to make it a you already knew. the sample was done in the 1920s roosevelt.y edith it tells the story of her family's life. the top ee right in row, representations of her and their herself six children. it goes on to show highlights of roosevelts career, his ctions as vice president for cuba, for being president, to how that he was a writer, the pelican on the third row to show interests.vation and then on the bottom row three ons in union fofrm and a gold star for clinton who was kill in world war i. and it's a lovely piece. had learned to do needlework. as a small girl, she did needlework throughout her lifetime. it's a poignant, very touching what was tion of
important to her. to tell you about some resources. website.eo is on our but there's also a special feature. we have been aqume latering all f the programs for this series and as you know as you've been watching this along the way, we're finished, we'll have done individual biographies f each of the women who served as first lady of the united states. our website has all of these the videosith all of of past programs plus many tours that didn't make it to air. other things. we have a special feature each week. onespecial feature for this imore ther item from sag hill. there's a dog bowl she kept in study. i have to click on the link. ne other resource i'd like to tell you about is our partner for this series is the white house historical association. they've been helpful to prepare
the way for the resources. published a terrific book of biographies, the first lady of the united states. it available for you at cost and on that same website, there's a link if you it, it will have individual biographies of each of the first ladies and you can prepared for the ones that are coming up in the years ahead. that to you quickly as we can. if you can show that on the screen, that would be great. if i have too much in front of it. there it is. that's what it looks like. you can have that as part of own collection. i would like to get to the part people have been asking us a lot about. years ofe did y and theodore. they knew each other as very small children. how did that happen. >> they grew up in the same city.borhood in new york th grew up in east 20th street nd she grew up near union square. so they were on tour together. sister, his younger
karin's best friend. they watched the invalid corps civil war, the men who lost arms and legs marching down square together from his grandfather's window. so they were playmates. together.books they were like family. so -- watched true they abraham lincoln's funeral procession? >> yes, funeral procession. cried when she saw all of the invalided soldiers. so that's 1865. were really little. >> and memories of those -- >> yes. we've got ink depictions of that on the screen. it's amazing -- you can get in and see the tiny figures of children peering out the window. miraculous find. >> really, indeed, it is. they were children together and eople thought there was a romance there, but in turn, he married someone else. how did that happen? well, that's the mystery of the summer house. there was an argument.
we don't know what happened. but t.r. and edith were together. things seemed to be going very well, and then there was some sort of a fight. and after that they broke apart, theodore went off to harvard. the room, he saw alice hathaway lee, told a that , i'm going to marry woman, and, indeed, he did. lee?ho was alice hathaway >> the bottom province, came dents of people who over on the mayflou tear or intermarried with them. daughter of a wealthy banker, and a very beautiful woman and really quite and athletic. and t.r. was incredibly taken with her. many suitors. so he had to work hard. he sort of surrounded her. charmed her little brother and sister and her cousins and her uncles. finally he became so familiar she gave in. 50 how old were they when they married? >> they were -- 1980 -- oh i
just 20 -- e feels 21 and she was something like 19. so they're very, very young. that's not unusual in that time period. >> how long were they married? 1884 on she died in valentine's day. so four years. story that i the earlier said was one you'd never if you hasn't heard it before. tell the story of what happened in the roosevelt house on that in 1884?'s day alice had been born. the baby was born two days before. mother had e bright's disease, which is a kidney disease. was up in ing, t.r. the state -- up in albany with the state assembly. he got telegrams saying ill.down, your mother is she had typhoid fever. ut he'd get more telegrams,
alice is not doing well either. train to down on the new york. came into the house and they both died that day. and it was -- it was a tragedy his was, you know, broke heart. and he was just distraught. he had already been west. he did flee to the west and as very, very sad for a long time. >> and so hard to imagine, really, losing your mother on floor and a few floors below, your young wife a few days after childbirth. in happened to roosevelt the years after? how did he approach this? and was he -- was it surprising married again? >> it was surprising to him. sister, don't let me un into edith at your house anymore because edith was friends with both sisters. so when theodore roosevelt went dakotas, he vowed he was never going to marry again. that youctorian notion
were committed to your wife even though she had died. he was heard to walk the floor out there. said he constancy, he met edith. so there was an impromptu meeting at -- bailey's house. >> and they discovered that old died and was rekindled. they courted in secret. and didn't tell anyone about it. and then there was a funny moment when other people noticed must have been in love because it was printed in the andpapers they were engaged roosevelt had not told his sisters. o then he had to explain the sad letter to his sisters saying it's kind of true. to show how far he travelled diaryist.ly, he was a we have that on the screen. >> the light has gone out of my life. big x on that day, the light has gone out of my life to and to to travel to that
marrying edith in the short time. >> he threw himself into his work. atented tended a double funeral. he was young and vigorous and alive. they had been sweethearts. knew him before this tragedy happened, right? been through the death of his mother and wife. solace inely he found an old dear friend. >> alice roosevelt, the child inherited once she married. and you've made reference many her outsized personality. >> yes. >> what was the relationship women. tween the two >> that's an interesting question. did theirith said she best by alice. said i need people less
outgoing than i am. she was a good mother. worked with alice. alice had a leg problem, she -- she d her legs, she was indulgent with alice. alice said i'm not going to go boarding school, so her step mother gave into that. as alice got older, i think she as seeking attention that she never ever had. so to find that attention, couldn't quite get it from her quite get it 't from her step mother. sibling, it from her alice looked on a bigger stage for that. nce alice began to cross the lines of propriety as edith saw them, their relationship became strained. >> was there a difference with the way she treated her own versus the way -- >> she preferred ethel. alice knew that. i think alice was strong willed, had been a little spoiled by
would her grandparents buy her anything. willed, edith ng would have preferred a little more pliant, little traditional daughter. had one. no one seemed to talk to alice about her mother's death. t.r. was never willing to explain to her why she had a different mother. olson on twitter, what was the relationship bammy, t.r.'s and sister that's a political t.r.s. nte of >> he had a lighthouse where t.r. would come to have secret meetings. she was a smart and capable person. so she didn't -- she also ran to sagimore hill and set it up before edith moved in. a little bit of competition between bammy and who's going to be the political advisor.
most of the time, they worked together. and was formidable brilliant. she's an important person in eleanor roosevelt's life too. we're going to return to how ore hill to look at edith ran that house hold which as her own. ed >> sagimore hills designed to be home.er it was always their primary residence. the first five or six years they married, they lived here, they lived here year round. they the white house, lived here year round again even though it was hard to heat in the winter. their life,enter of even if they weren't here, it was where their hearts were. the house hold. not only in sagamore hill, but the places they lived, in albany, in washington, d.c. he managed the family's accounts and the family investment ms. what we have here is an account
book. an example of the annual counts. it's from 1891, i think it is. and it basically every family member is listed and then she expenses that he she paid for each family member every month of the year. it's also broken down into grocery bills, what she was butcher, what she might pay for a plumber to come in and do repairs. she counted every pennive in. and kept good track of every penny. it was never a commercial adventure. they did not try to be self-sufficient. sagamore h wanted from hill was basically to offset the there.e of living hey did raise hay, alfalfa, grains they had a lovely
garden. they had an arbor, eight different kinds of grapes, blueberry fields. the idea is to feed the family and the staff who lived on site. to reduce the cost of maintaining a property like this. sagamore book, the hill guest book. when people would come up to see t.r. and edith, they would sign names like they were visiting the white house. casual list. it's not as formal as the white house list would have been. there would have been politicians or government officials but even family signed the book. see here on august -- in visitedt anna roosevelt and that was t.r.'s older sister bammy that her brother-in-law, douglas -- douglas robinson who karin's husband was visiting. so only a family visit that day. signatures from
them. so sometimes, i mean, i don't think these people signed their name. went back and made note of who had been visiting. a wonderful illustration done by the visitors showing hope at sunset. it's what the illustration said. -- you know, it's a way for the family to keep track of who came to see them. families were here. when their friends were here, and what they were up to while visiting. sagamor k at life on hill. statistics again. the d to choose some from two-term administration. in 1904, the supreme court antitrust act.
in 1905, the national forest service was created. food and drug act in 1906, something she said earlier contentious time. roosevelt wins the nobel peace in that year. in 1908, the federal few istration creates a things while roosevelt was in office. edith's influence? > she played a large role but behind the scenes. they called her the perfection of invisible government which i liked.he would have for example, going back to the she never hing, called the president of the people in the white house. making it much more formal, thank you. she played a role in personnel, time, t at one point in we know she suggested someone -- the service commission. to get rid of a
ambassador from britain. she didn't like very much. to get one in. she said i pulled every string i knew to pull to get you here. you failed to get him. a back door to theodore roosevelt. en in the white house, henry cab bought liles, for example, would talk about the post office scandal rather than that you can she could be a pathway roosevelt to discuss matters diplomacy that he could not discuss with the diplomats themselves. the time briefly walking and so forth. day.ead four newspapers a he was not so. >> he didn't have time. to read n't like newspapers. he read a lot of things. she read newspapers and she stories and hand to him. >> what would you like to add
about her influence. favored his conservation policies. record for that. runs for hen he president in 1912, she cries the day after he loses. nd she -- she feels really behind him. but she edits his speeches and his articles. with her arly talks about policy. she sits in political meetings this, is like mrs. carter. she was knitting looking unobtrusive but then they happened at the meeting afterward. so she's a very active first lady. lancaster, minnesota. >> hi, thank you for taking my calls. a quick question. concerned edith's kind of life the presidency and after t.r. died. washington ve in society after that? influence have much r relationship with franklin
and eleanor after she begins the run in politicings. >> thank you for that question. to dissect it a little bit. roosevelts leave the white house. the hey believe that political career is over at that point. >> no, i think they said that. she thought that that was true. sagamore d back to hill. .r. goes on safari in africa for a year. they ride cam pems in egypt and sites of revisit the their honey moone and italy and other places. europe.avel back to he comes back, taft is in trouble because the republican arty is split between progressives and conservatives. 1912. ets back in in >> she supported all of snem. >> it was a painful moment. win.knew he couldn't
this is when the primary system comes in. states voted to have primaries instead of caucuses choose candidates. to predict. he won all of the primaries. they were all knew. one knew what that meant. when it came time to go, taft controlled the delegates and got nomination. >> seven years after his unsuccessful run, theodore the velt dies, 1919 was year of his death. he was 60 years old. how did he die? out. heart gave >> yeah. an embolism killed him. -- nd was he failing in the or was he robust until -- > he explores it brazilian jungle in 1913, he almost dies. injury, fever, and then so yes, he has rheumatism. gets infection. eye. ind in one >> he's in bad shape. but part of it is the way he's lived his life. packed a lot into his
60 years. strenuous life. >> was edith with him when he die? >> downstairs. house. e >> she had been taking care of him. they knew it was serious. he die at sagamor hill? >> he did. spend her he postwhite house years? there were many. she lived for a long time. travelled, elled, travelled. went to south america many times. >> south africa. went around the world, shep went to the caribbean. with kermit and other children. >> was she political? >> except for this one moment th hoover, she sifrp sympathized with alison, upset ted's career not going well. theodore roosevelt jr. was navy,ant secretary of the ran for governor in new york. he tried to follow in his footsteps and it didn't
work well. >> she had a sad family life in postwhite house years losing three of her sons. awful, horrible year -- yes. and on died in world war i then she lost sons in world war ii. those stories?l ed ted dies in normandy. kermit kills himself. will outlive everyone. first born child will outlive everyone. she marriede person and her relationship turned out after being such a big factor in parents' relationship. not sure what you're looking for. be uh she married a man that president thatme
would have put alice in the white house. have a torturous relationship. she will have a child. of will not be the father that child. the most powerful republican in will be the .c. father of that child. and she becomes a sort of a -- fly?d >> more like a -- she was a wise observer. advice.ought out her she was the other washington monument she was famously called. funny. y >> yes. >> going to show a little bit more of the clip that we started our program with. it's the republican rally she spoke at. i want to understand the family olitics of both sides of the roosevelts when we do. let's watch and we'll come back to you. mr. theodore roosevelt.
dip into politics in her post white house years. should people know about that relationship between the two roosevelt families and their political aspirations? >> well, she was mad at eleanor car.he dome and she feels supporting ted and political ambitions. she was being a good republican. lot of people saw hoover as a progressive republican in t.r.'s mold. >> david welch wants to know progressive movements was closest to her heart. >> she supported parks and in oilser bay. i wouldn't think of her as being an active reformer but she of s sympathetic with some the reforms. >> we're going tie a bow around all of this. learned.e let's take a call from joel in michigan.
hi, joel? the only book i've seen about her. were her impersonations of as everybody d said they were? >> yes, apparently, they really, really were that good. a mean one of mrs. taft that got in the way of the transition from the roosevelt to white house as well. but she's a good mimic. did i read as they were departing, she was photographed tongue out at the express her opinion of the transition? surprised.'t be ways was she best suited to be a 20th century first lady? > i think 20th century first ladies have had to be partners. it's such a demanding job that president really needs not
only emotional support, but he practical help. have been quiet delegations throughout the first time in history 506789. was an excellent answer, dork. theodore roosevelt said i've seen the power of being the best of wives and mothers, a house t manager of hold and at the same time the ideal great lady and mistress of white house. >> what strengths, in particular, did edith have that a ped her husband become successful president. >> she was patient. >> that was one of the most important characteristic? things we didn't talk about is how very different these two were in terms of characters, and right? so where t.r. was outgoing and edith was stranger, much more reserved and i think
wisdom was knolling roosevelt e theodore his head and when to say, now, theodore. him down when he was more excitable and impulsive calm and s quite deliberate. >> she was a better judge of people, everybody said that. often said, when ever i went against edith's advice, i regretted it. to squeeze in the last question for robert in vandergriff, pennsylvania. >> thank you for taking my call. >> you mentioned that roosevelt family.om a wealthy i was interested in the source of his wealth. they maintain the wealth in his presidency. seemed to be so about money? >> the roosevelts. family had merchant wealth, banking wealth. of property and
collected rents. so he spent a lot of his father on from his ranching and wasn't very careful money. his ey really lived on writing and salary. that's why they were strapped. as a th was very poor child compared to the roosevelts. o she was always in the habit of pinching the pennies. it wasn't really until he got to he white house that he felt -- sorry, she felt that she had enough money finally to entertain and could relax a bit. >> as we close, we've shown you he biography stacy wrote about alice. i wanted to getting it on screen. dalton's book, "theodore roosevelt." as we close out very quickly, if we look at the pantheon of first ladies that we'll be understanding and learning more should is year, where
she fit? what's been the influence on the job and her influence on american history. eleanor and franklin roosevelt came to the white house in the middle of the 1933, they told friends we'd really like our to be like uncle theodore's and aunt edith. they were role models for other presidential couples. vigorous and active but also maintained a homey kept their personal life alive. so i think that she's really organizational pioneer in some ways. >> and you would say? a i think the first lady has fine line to walk between being of embodiment of the eremonial aspects of the job and the global stage that the first lady needs to occupy and house like this is your as well as mine. edith did that very, very well. he changes she made, the
professionalization of the office itself, these are a clear edith had that we're stepping into a new century and the future was going to be terrific. to n that note, thank you for be d kathy dalton with us tonight to tell us about life of edith roosevelt, the 20th first lady of the 20th century. thank you for your scholarship.