PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT AND MRS. ROOSEVELT (SOUVENIR OF VISIT- 1902)

This cabinet card features President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) and first lady, Edith Roosevelt (1861-1948). Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States and served between 1901 and 1909. He was truly a remarkable man. Among the titles that could describe him are; athlete, naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, cowboy, soldier, father, cowboy, and politician. He had a wide range of interests and achievements. As president, Roosevelt was a leader of the progressive movement, was a successful “trust-buster”, created an active government conservation effort, helped develop the Panama Canal, and negotiated a settlement to the Russo-Japanese War (won the Nobel Peace Prize). He was well known for his international relations policy characterized by the slogan, “speak softly and carry a big stick”. Roosevelt’s political career included holding positions as a New York State Assemblyman, member of the Civil Service Commission, New York City Police Commissioner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of New York, and Vice President under William Mckinley. Upon Mckinley’s assassination, Roosevelt became the President of the United States. Roosevelt was a busy and productive man. Despite all the aforementioned activities, he also had a military career. He led a regiment of soldiers during the Spanish American War. He helped form a unit called “The Rough Riders”. The Rough Riders included an interesting combination of soldiers, including many cowboys, and many ivy leaguers. The unit was very successful and fought valiantly during the war. Pictured alongside Roosevelt on this cabinet card is his first lady, Edith Roosevelt. She was Roosevelt’s second wife; his first wife had died. Interestingly, Edith and Teddy were childhood friends and playmates. In fact they were next door neighbors while growing up in New York City. She was best friends with Roosevelt’s sister and even attended Roosevelt’s first wedding. Edith Kermit Carow and Theodore Roosevelt had five children. The caption on this cabinet card raises some interesting questions. This cabinet card was given out, or sold, as a souvenir. What event or place used the photograph as a memento? What is the significance of the year 1902? Perhaps a visitor to this site will have some knowledge they can share to address these questions.   (SOLD)

PRETTY FRESHMAN CONGRESSMAN’S WIFE IN WASHINGTON D. C.

The pretty lady in the beaded dress is a congressman’s wife. Her husband is one of the freshman congressmen that just arrived in Washington D. C. to begin their term. They come to our capitol city flush with hopes of fulfilling their unrealistic campaign promises. It won’t take long for these new lawmakers to figure out that their main focus will be to devise ways to stay in office. Anyway, the lady in this photograph is filled with excitement. She has come to Washington with a different agenda than her idealistic husband. She is looking forward to the teas and the gala events that are so popular in this social city. She is preparing to meet the First Lady. That will be a real treat. Frances Folsom Cleveland is warm and beautiful. Her marriage to Grover Cleveland is quite the story. Grover Cleveland was the law partner of Frances Folsom’s father and knew Frances since her infancy. When Folsom died, Cleveland was the executor of his estate and he oversaw Frances’s mothers finances, as well as Frances’s education. After a scandal in which Cleveland was accused of fathering an illegitimate child; he proposed to Frances. She needed time to consider his offer and left for a European tour which included some considering. She returned to America and accepted his marriage proposal. They married in the White House, and she, at age twenty-one,  became the youngest First Lady in American history. Anyway, the fine looking lady in this photograph went to G. W. Davis, to have this image taken. Davis has a studio at 925 Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington D. C.. He also has a studio in Richmond, Virginia. Here comes the moment of truth. Everything written in this blog entry is accurate with just one exception. That exception concerns the identity of the woman in this photograph. As far as I know, she is not a congressman’s wife. Her true identity has been lost to history.