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Chapter Fourteen. Theodore Roosevelt and the Joys of Family Life

Jon L. Brudvig

Subject History » Social History

Place Americas » Northern America

Period 1000 - 1999

People Roosevelt, Theodore

Key-Topics children, education, family

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444331400.2011.00016.x


In 1900, when Theodore Roosevelt's political enemies conspired to banish him to the vice presidency, TR begrudgingly accepted his fate. Though his political career appeared headed for the political graveyard, TR was quick to realize one of the job's perks, spending more time with family. During the ensuing campaign he looked forward to extended stays at Sagamore Hill, his home in Oyster Bay, New York. During one visit, TR spotted two men photographing his unsuspecting children. TR, furious at the invasion of his family's privacy, made it clear that although he was a public figure, thus fair game for journalistic fodder, his family was off limits. “In my home,” declared TR, “I will be left alone” ( Caroli 1998 , 90). Home, the private moments spent with those he loved, was sacred. “It is impossible to win the great prizes of life without running risks, and the greatest of all prizes are those connected with home,” wrote TR. Though he spent his career in the public arena, TR took the responsibilities of parenthood seriously. His love of family and home fulfilled him. Although life afforded many opportunities for success, TR contended that “a household of children … makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison” ( Roosevelt 1920 , 347, 337; Bishop 1947 , 7). Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., called “Teedie” until adolescence, was the second child born ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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