Dear Diary

February 3, 1880
Theodore Roosevelt Wrote in His Diary

Do you keep a diary or a journal? Do you remember any entries that stand out?
On February 3, 1880, Theodore Roosevelt wrote in his diary: “… I drove over in my sleigh to Chestnut Hill, the horse plunging to his belly in the great drifts, and the wind cutting my face like a knife. My sweet life was just as lovable and pretty as ever; it seems hardly possible that I can kiss her and hold her in my arms. ”

Who was Roosevelt’s “sweet life?”

Roosevelt’s “sweet life” was Alice Hathaway Lee, whom he married 10 months after his February 3 diary entry. Sadly, Alice Hathaway died four years later, after giving birth to the couple’s first child in 1884. Only a few hours earlier, Roosevelt’s mother, Martha Bulloch Roosevelt had died in the same house.

After the double funeral and the christening of his new baby daughter, Alice, on February 17, 1884, Roosevelt wrote, “For joy or for sorrow my life has now been lived out.”

Yet, Theodore Roosevelt’s life had only just begun.

After his wife’s death, Roosevelt consoled himself by writing, hunting, fishing, and working on his ranch in the Dakota Territory.

Two years later, he married his childhood friend, Edith Kermit Carow. The Roosevelts had a close and happy family life and little Alice soon became the eldest sister of four boys and a girl. When Roosevelt became president of the United States, the White House became a playground for his six children and a collection of pets, including several dogs, a pony, and a flying squirrel.

Roosevelt continued to record his life, not only in his diaries, but also in his letters. Have you started to record your own personal history?