American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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Roosevelt's Pocket Diary

Diary entry
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
Diary entry
February 13, 1880
Page 2
Manuscript Division
Gift of Alice Roosevelt Longsworth, 1958 (54.6)

Diary entry
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
Diary entry
February 14, 1884
Manuscript Division

Diary entry
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
Diary entry
February 16, 1884
Manuscript Division

Theodore Roosevelt's seven surviving pocket diaries provide a unique insight into the inner man. On 13 February 1880, an ecstatic Roosevelt recorded his great joy, because the woman of his dreams, Alice Hathaway Lee, who he had actively courted for more than a year, had finally accepted his proposal of marriage. Knowing that his love was reciprocated and that he could now "hold her in my arms and kiss her and caress her and love her as much as I choose" gave the enraptured young Roosevelt enormous satisfaction.

On February 14, 1884, Theodore Roosevelt received a terrible blow-both his wife and mother died within hours of one another in the Roosevelt house in New York City. His mother, age 50, succumbed to typhus, and his wife Alice died at the age of 22 giving birth to her namesake. The following diary entries lovingly describe his courtship, wedding, happiness in marriage, and his grief over the death of his wife Alice, after which he never spoke of the union again. Roosevelt's seven surviving diaries provide a unique insight into the inner man.

Additional Views:
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
Diary entry, February 17, 1884
Manuscript Division

Diary entry, February 3, 1880
(Traveling by sleigh to see Alice Lee
at her home in Chestnut Hill, MA.)
Manuscript Division

Diary entry, July 4, 1880
(A walk in the woods with Alice
Lee and a statement of
Roosevelt's affection for her.)
Manuscript Division

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