Robinson, Corinne Roosevelt

Corinne “Conie” Roosevelt Robinson (1861-1933) was the fourth child of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., and Martha Bulloch Roosevelt.  Corinne was educated by private tutors, including her Aunt Anna Bulloch who lived with the family until 1866. Corinne later attended Miss Comstock’s School in New York City.  She married Scottish-born Douglas Robinson (1855-1918), a wealthy financier and real estate broker, on April 29, 1882.  Robinson, a friend of Corinne’s brother Elliott, was the great-nephew of President James Monroe.  Corinne and Douglas had four children, Theodore Douglas, Corinne (“Corinney”) Douglas, Monroe Douglas, and Stewart Douglas.  The family alternated between homes in Orange, New Jersey, and Henderson House, their “Scottish Castle” in the Adirondacks. 

While writing about her own childhood, Corinne Robinson, the youngest sibling, recalled, “In looking back over our early childhood there stands out clearly before me, as the most important asset of the atmosphere of our home, the joy of life, combined with an earnest effort for spiritual and intellectual benefit.”  Edith Kermit Carow, Corinne’s childhood friend, married her older brother Theodore in 1887.

Corinne and her husband accompanied Theodore and Edith to the Dakota Badlands in 1890.  The short visit to the site of TR’s Elkhorn Ranch provided Corinne the opportunity to meet TR’s western friends, ride horses, and explore her brother’s beloved Badlands. 

Like her father before her, Corinne supported a wide array of charitable causes, particularly the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.  Corinne also supported TR’s political aspirations, frequently hosting dinner parties and round-table discussions in her home.  Corinne, who made regular visits to the Executive Mansion during TR’s presidency, later commented that she and her brother would frequently engage in all-night discussions.  Corinne spoke at the 1920 Republican Party National Convention.  She also served as a member of the party’s Executive Committee and as a member of New York State Committee. 

Corinne was also an accomplished poet and literary scholar.  Encouraged by family and friends, most notably Edith Wharton, Corinne’s first published poem, “The Call of Brotherhood,” appeared in Scribner’s Magazine in 1911.  A collection of poems, The Call of Brotherhood appeared in print the following year.  Additional publications included One Woman to Another and Other Poem (1914), Service and Sacrifice (1919), My Brother Theodore Roosevelt (1921), The Poems of Corinne Roosevelt Robinson (1924), and Out of Nymph (1930). 

Unlike Edith Kermit Roosevelt and other Oyster Bay relatives, Corinne supported FDR, her niece Eleanor’s husband, during the presidential election of 1932.  She died in New York City on February 17, 1933.