The Private and Family Life of Theodore Roosevelt

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, National Park Service

The collection at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site contains a variety of personal artifacts from different generations of the Roosevelt family. Highlights include artifacts from Theodore Roosevelt's grandfather Cornelius Van Schaack Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt's father Theodore Roosevelt Sr., and Theodore Roosevelt's mother Martha Bulloch Roosevelt. 

Theodore Roosevelt Sr. was one of the biggest influences in Theodore Roosevelt's life. A prominent philanthropist in 19th century New York City, Theodore Roosevelt Sr. helped found the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Children's Aid Society, among other organizations. Theodore Roosevelt looked up to his father as "the ideal man." This oil portrait of Theodore Roosevelt Sr. was painted in 1884 by Daniel Huntington and is one of several copies produced for TR Sr.'s children. Theodore Roosevelt hung this portrait in his library at Sagamore Hill because he liked his father to look upon him as he worked.

The portrait of Theodore Roosevelt Sr hangs in the Library.

This box of two target pistols belonged to Theodore Roosevelt's father, Theodore Roosevelt Sr., and were supposedly the only guns Theodore Roosevelt Sr. ever owned.

This silver coffee pot belonged to Theodore Roosevelt's grandfather, Cornelius Van Schaack Roosevelt. It bears the Roosevelt family coat of arms and the motto "Suaviter et fortiter."

Pieces from a silver tea service belonging to Martha Bulloch Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt's mother. All pieces are engraved "MB."
Clockwise: The set includes a coffeepot, a tea pot, a pitcher, and sugar bowl.

Sterling silver sugar shaker with the initials "M.B.R." for Martha Bulloch Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt's mother.

Roosevelt family silver in the Dining Room.

Oyster plate in Kitchen.

Produced by Royal Crown Derby between 1877-1890, these dishes belong to a larger set of formal china made for Theodore Roosevelt with his initials "TR" in the center. The Roosevelt family used this china in the White House but it is not the official White House china.
Clockwise: Gravy boat, sauce bowl with lid, vegetable dish with lid, gravy boat dish, dinner plate, and serving dish with plate.

Roosevelt family china, used in the White House, on the dining room table.

This sterling silver coffee pot was a 25th wedding anniversary present for Edith and Theodore Roosevelt in 1911.

Sterling silver coffee pot in the Dining Room.

Roosevelt leather picnic basket containing service for four, including: cake plates, teacups, silver box with silver cups, thermoses, forks, spoons, and butter knives.

Edith Roosevelt cross-stitched the linens at Sagamore Hill with the letters "R of S," which stood for Roosevelts of Sagamore. Several other Roosevelt families lived in Oyster Bay and Edith found that when they sent out the laundry to be cleaned, theirs linens often got mixed up with other Roosevelt family linens.

Linens embroidered "R of S" in the third floor Linen Closet.

Two silver plaques depicting a man in armor and a woman with plumed head gear in high relief. Theodore Roosevelt purchased this plaque as a boy on his travels in Germany.

German plaque on the wall, left of the fireplace, in the Library.

Theodore Roosevelt had this bronze lion inkwell on an onyx base in his apartment as a student at Harvard.

Leather suitcase with the letters "T. ROOSEVELT" on both sides and paper travel decals.

Theodore Roosevelt's suitcase in the third floor Trunk Room.

Five-piece gold shaving kit with pigskin case designed for Theodore Roosevelt with TR monogram, the presidential seal, and an image of the White House and Capitol buildings. The set contains a Gillette razor, 2 blade holders, a brush holder, and a soap holder.

Theodore Roosevelt's favorite portrait of his wife, Edith. On the reverse is a handwritten note by their daughter, Ethel, describing how the photo was carried with Roosevelt throughout his African Safari in 1909-1910.

Portrait of Edith Roosevelt on Theodore Roosevelt's desk in the Libary.

Gold and malachite brooch with earrings that belonged to Edith Roosevelt.

Edith Kermit Roosevelt's toiletry set, engraved "EKR." The set includes a tortoiseshell comb, gold clothes brush, gold hair brush, nail file, manicure scissors, button hook, assorted toiletry bottles, and cosmetic container.

Edith Roosevelt was very fond of needlework. She cross-stitched this sampler to represent all of the important phases of her husband Theodore Roosevelt's life.

Preliminary sketch by TR of the house and grounds at Sagamore Hill. One side, inscribed in pen in Edith's handwriting, "Map made by T.R. for his mother + aunt when he first bought this property, Sagamore Hill." This side has a pencil sketch of the first floor of the home. The grounds and fields are sketched on the opposite side, depicting fields, orchards, woods, buckwheat, asparagus, cedar hill, corn field, eel grass, roads, and Swan property on left.

Watercolor of the exterior of the Theodore Roosevelt home, Sagamore Hill, and surrounding trees and vegetation. Attributed to Miss Gertrude Young, Alice Roosevelt's governess. On the reverse side is a pencil sketch of the windmill at Sagamore Hill. Inscribed, pencil: La. 29 Juin 1900 R

This sterling silver and leather writing case belonged to Alice Roosevelt Longworth, the eldest daughter of Theodore Roosevelt.

Silver and leather writing case on desk in Alice's bedroom.

Bronze relief of three of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt's children: Archie, Ethel, and Kermit.

Bronze relief of Roosevelt children in the second floor hall, outside the Nursery and the Gate Room.

Children's shoes on the top shelf of the whatnot in the Nursery.

Quentin Roosevelt wore this leather flying cap while serving as a pilot in the U.S. Army in France during World War I. Quentin was killed when his plane was shot down by the Germans in France on July 14, 1918.

Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt Jr. in the front hall oustide the North Room.

Sketch of Kermit Roosevelt wearing his World War One uniform.

Oil painting by Elizabeth Shoumatoff of Ethel Roosevelt Derby wearing her World War II Red Cross uniform.

Theodore Roosevelt writes to his youngest son Quentin "Quenty-Quee" Roosevelt from Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. He includes a line drawing of a mule carrying TR's clothes and describes the mule "pack train."

Theodore Roosevelt writes to his youngest son Quentin Roosevelt describing a mother bird feeding her babies and himself feeding an elk at the zoo (he includes a drawing of both).

Theodore Roosevelt writes to his youngest son Quentin Roosevelt describing his brief encounter with a "B'rer Terrapin and a B'rer Rabbit." In the letter he includes a drawing of the rabbit and the turtle he describes in the letter.

Quentin Roosevelt writes to his mother Edith Roosevelt. and describes in great detail a game that he wants called "Going to the North Pole," and includes a small drawing of the game at the end of the letter. Postscript says Ethel will not let him have dessert unless he finishes his soup because Mother said so. Asks if this is true.

Quentin Roosevelt writes Theodore Roosevelt regarding a bathing trip with his friends and includes a sketch of them bathing in a river or lake. This letter may have been a school project, note the red markings.

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