Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Detached Malevolence

Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth. Beautiful Portrait in a yellow dress. 1903

I can be President of the United States, 
or I can control Alice. 
I cannot possibly do both. - Teddy Roosevelt

Teddy R Roosevelt's journal.  His mother and his wife died on Valentines day 1884
Teddy Roosevelt's journal.  
On Valentine's Day 1884, Theodore Roosevelt’s mother, Mittie, and his wife, Alice Lee, both died in the family home. Mittie was 48 when she died of typhoid fever. Alice Lee had given birth to their daughter Alice two days before she died of Bright’s disease, a severe kidney ailment.
Theodore Roosevelt poses in a New York City photographer’s studio wearing western-style clothing
Theodore Roosevelt poses in a New York City photographer’s studio. 
Roosevelt, overwhelmed by the loss, asked his sister to care for his infant daughter while he moved to the Dakota territories. Two years later he returned to New York and married Edith Kermit Carow.
Alice Roosevelt, beautiful portrait of the young girl. 1900s
I valued my independence from an early age 
and was always something of an individualist . . .
Well, a show-off anyway. - Alice
Alice, headstrong and independent, had a difficult relationship with her step-mother, with her father, with authority, and with the feminine expectations of the 1900's.
Alice Rosevelt Longworth, arms folded, a stubborn, independent girl c.1900s
I’ve never been treated as inferior by any man. - Alice
Alice became a frequent topic of the gossip columns. She refused to be shipped off to school in Manhattan, threatened, that she would "do something disgraceful". She smoked in public, chewed gum, wore pants, raced her car on D.C. streets, sometimes with male passengers and always unchaperoned.

Alice Roosevelt Longworth. c.1910
My father always wanted to be the corpse at every funeral, 
the bride at every wedding 
and the baby at every christening. - Alice
She carried her pet boa constrictor around her neck and she was seen in establishments of ill repute placing bets on horse races. She also caroused with the children of the elite, an extreme embarrassment to her trust-busting father. 
Miss Alice Roosevelt. Travel to Asia
Called "Princess Alice" and "The Other Washington Monument", she became a celebrity and fashion icon for a generation of Gibson Girls.  A shade of blue she favored became extremely popular and was known as "Princess Alice Blue".
Alice Roosevelt sitting on a stone animal in Korea
Alice Roosevelt, sitting on a stone animal in Korea.
President Roosevelt, wishing to capitalize on her popularity while limiting the local gossip sent Alice on a 1905 congressional junket to the Far East. 
Billed as the largest diplomatic mission in U.S. History, the junket's participants included Secretary of War William Howard Taft, Alice's future husband Ohio Congressman Nicholas Longworth, and 29 other politicians.
Alice Roosevelt and Nicholas Longworth wedding card.
D.C. is a town of successful men 
and the women they married before they were successful. - Alice

Longworth, 15 years older than Alice, a hard drinker, and a philanderer, engaged in antics with Alice like jumping fully-clothed into the ship's pool.  
Taft attempted to chaperone the pair, creating a strained relationship and Alice was eventually banned from the Taft White House after she buried a voodoo doll of Mrs. Taft in the White House front lawn. 
Alice Roosevelt c. 1920s
I leave the good deeds to Eleanor. - Alice
She campaigned against Franklin Delano Roosevelt and was disdainful of her popular cousin. 
Alice Roosevelt Longworth at the New Embassy Row Hotel
Responding to Senator Joseph McCarthy 
after he called her Alice: 

The truckman, the trashman, and the policeman on the block 
may call me Alice, but you may not. - Alice

1973 1st Lady Pat Nixon Shares Fur Coat w Alice Roosevelt Longworth
First Lady Pat Nixon shares her fur coat with Alice Roosevelt Longworth, 1973  
She was supportive the Kennedys and had a friendship with Richard Nixon until he misquoted her father during his televised resignation speech. 
Alice Roosevelt Longworth. Age 90. Sits below her portrait
I'm the only topless octogenarian in Georgetown Hospital. - Alice
A life-long smoker, she had two mastectomies.
Alice Roosevelt Longworth holds embroidered pillow "If you can't say anything good about someone sit right here by me"
My specialty is detached malevolence. - Alice
She died in 1980, at 96. 

#Politics #Quote #Feminist #Celebrity 

No comments :