In His Own Words: A Baby is Born

Aug 06, 2013

Theodore Roosevelt wrote regularly to his daughter-in-law, Belle. Many of his letters included humorous stories of various family matters, particularly while Belle and Kermit lived in South America. In this letter, Roosevelt relates anecdotes regarding the birth of his son Ted's third child, Cornelius Van Schaack Roosevelt.

"Eleanor is as well as possible, and too pretty and alert for anything. The new baby is a darling little mite. As I thought Cornelius Van Schaack a good deal of a name for him to carry, and his one really distinguished ancestor was Jonathan Edwards, I suggested this name for him to Ted, over the telephone; whereupon Ted gleefully answered that he had already suggested it, but that Eleanor had responded that she would as soon name the baby Julius Caesar! So you can keep the name in reserve for your family!

Grace, Cornelius, and Theodore Roosevelt

Grace Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, III and Cornelius V. S. Roosevelt, 1916. From the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs collection.

"Gracie was much interested when told that the stork was about to present her with a little brother or sister. 'Who'll be its mother?' said Gracie. 'Oh, I'll be,' answered Eleanor. Gracie pondered over this, then glanced at nice Anna, the Swedish maitresse, and said ‘Are you Anna’s mother too?’ The negative reply somewhat puzzled her; and later she remarked to the chauffeur ‘Well, Axel, you can be its brother anyhow!’ After the arrival of the baby she expressed much regret that she had not seen the stork.”

Posted by Keri Youngstrand on Aug 06, 2013 in History  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)  |  Share this post

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