Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography

By Henry F. Pringle | Go to book overview

Chapter IV
ALICE LEE

FIRST saw her on October 18, 1878," he wrote, "and loved her as soon as I saw her sweet, fair young face. . . . We spent three years of happiness such as rarely comes to man or woman."1 So began a memorial to Alice Hathaway Lee of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, written by Theodore Roosevelt some time during 1884. She was remembered but rarely mentioned in the thirty-five years that followed.

October 18, 1878, was a week before Theodore's twentieth birthday, at the start of his junior year at Harvard. A good many years afterwards he was to remark to his friend Henry White that women interested him very little,2 but this was not true in his boyhood and youth. The small boy traveling in Europe had noted in his diary that he sorely missed a playmate, Edith Carow.3 In the spring of 1876, while preparing to enter Harvard, he had attended a neighborhood party where he had enjoyed the company of " Annie Murray . . . a very nice girl, besides being very pretty, ahem!"4 The previous winter he had enrolled in a dancing class and had gone on skating parties in Central Park, a few blocks from his home in New York. Theodore had not been precisely a dashing youth; his younger brother, Elliott, was more of a social leader. He got along well enough, however, and enjoyed himself.

A tendency to lead the conversation into dull paths of natural science may have minimized his appeal at first. Cambridge changed this. By the autumn of 1878, as we have seen, he was evolving into outward semblance of a young man of fashion. His intimates of Porcellian found him, though still overenthusiastic about botany and bugs, entirely acceptable. Their sisters, if amused, liked him. As Theodore's junior year ended he had even become a romantic figure; while his class-

____________________
1
Roosevelt Theodore, Memorial to Alice Lee, etc., RHP.
2
Nevins Allan, Henry White, p. 291.
3
Diaries, p. 103.
4
Mrs. Cowles, Op. cit., p. 9.

-40-

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Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Book I 1
  • Chapter I - Teedie 3
  • Chapter II - Growth 16
  • Chapter III - Thou Goddess, Indifference! 26
  • Chapter IV - Alice Lee 40
  • Chapter V - Butter and Jam 54
  • Chapter VI - I Rose like a Rocket 65
  • Chapter VII - Practical Politician 79
  • Chapter VIII - Gentleman Cowhand 92
  • Chapter IX - The Years Between 106
  • Chapter X - A Job Once More 120
  • Chapter XI - Sword of Righteousness 132
  • Chapter XII - The Nation in Peril 152
  • Chapter XIII - Lord of the Navy 165
  • Chapter XIV - A Bully Fight 181
  • Chapter XV - Reward for a Hero 201
  • Chapter XVI - Yearnings and Consummation 216
  • Book II 235
  • Chapter I - Middle of the Road 237
  • Chapter II - The First Attack 251
  • Chapter III - The Rights of Labor 264
  • Chapter IV - The Big Stick 279
  • Chapter V - Setting for a Melodrama 301
  • Chapter VI - I Took Panama 315
  • Chapter VII - Trimming Sail 339
  • Chapter VIII - The Imperial Years Begin 359
  • Chapter IX - Imperial Years 372
  • Chapter X - The Japanese Menace 398
  • Chapter XI - Malefactors of Great Wealth 413
  • Chapter XII - The Wicked Speculators 432
  • Chaper XIII - Substantial Justice 446
  • Chapter XIV - Handing Down the Law 465
  • Chapter XV - End of the Reign 476
  • Book III 495
  • Chapter I - The First Error 497
  • Chapter II - Among the Kings 508
  • Chapter III - Return Triumphant 525
  • Chapter IV - True Democracy 540
  • Chapter V - Battling for the Lord 553
  • Chapter VI - Drums of War 572
  • Chapter VII - The Final Blow 589
  • Appendix 605
  • Bibliography 607
  • Index 613
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