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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, October 06, 1901, Image 1

Image and text provided by University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1901-10-06/ed-1/seq-1/

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Mrs. Roosevelt was Miss Edith Kennlt
Carow, and her family has been friendly
\u25a0with the Roosevelta for generations. Her
father was Charles Carow, son of Isaao
Carow, a wealthy " New York shipping
merchant. Her mother was '^Ilsa Gertrude
Tyler, daughter of General Tyler of Nor
wich. . \u25a0
It is too early yet to speak of how and
what entertainments are to be given, bat
with the first lifting of the cloud that
hangs over the country, and especially
the White House, the irrepressible young
life of so happy a household is bound to
work its way, and that way will never be
one with which fault can be found.
Mrs. Roosevelt .will not, so say her
friends, advocate any sweeping innova
tions at the White House, but there will
be just as much to learn from the way in
which she performs her dutie3 as leading
lady as in the very recent times when, as
hostess at Albany or at the summer house
at Oyster Bay, she lived her own life,
quite unmoved by criticism or by the ex
ample of those around her whose Incomes
permitted more show and more luxury of
life. •, - v ' ;^, ' \u25a0
XTo Sweeping Innovations.
Of course there is no time set as to
when the formal Introduction of Miss
Roosevelt will take place, but.it may
safely be assumed that she will have an
unusually brilliant winter for a debu
tante, and Mrs. Roosevelt haa moat caro
fully planned h<?T trousseau, which now
will simply need some additions. Already
what Miss Roosevelt is to be 13 belnjj
talked over, showing that the personal
interest Is not to be lost sight of in tha
sudden accession of public interest that
must needs come in such a. tremendous
change of circumstances.
The world at large will have little op
portunity to cavil now at American social
life. There has come to an end with tha
recent tragedy a most wonderfui exhi
bition cf a husband's love and tenderness,
a devotion rarely if ever equaled, but
now as leading lord and lady of the land
are a married couple v,-hos»-devotion to
one another and to their children ha3 been
to every one who knew them an exampla
of the happiest possible married life and
of how a .-woman can sink herself in her
husband's aims without at the same tlmo
losing. her own individuality.
President and Mrs. Roosevelt are tha
voungest couple who have ever occupied
the "White House, and they, with their
children, will unquestionably transform- it
in many ways. But as a nation we can
not fail to , be glad that the office has
fallen to a man and woman who*e alms
are high and whose earnest love for one
another has been known to all their
The first lady of the land comes from a
long line cf ancestors well accustomed to
social life, and a3 a young girl she was a
great favorite in society not only in this
count ry but abroad. She la thoroughly
well posted as to social etiquette, and
there will never be a mistake made as to
the order of precedence, but the formality
that must needs rule will be much miti
gated by the indescribable charm of th«
home life which will dominate every
thing, as it always has done.
"When It was first planned to Introduce
Miss Roosevelt In Washington this win
ter all the details of her debut were most
carefully planned. These will of neces
sity be somewhat changed, but an effort
will be made as far. as possible to follow
the lines that were laid down, and one
may be sure that Mrs. Roosevelt Intends
to fulfill to the letter her duties a3 chap
eron and mother.
Miss Roosevelt's Introduction.
Always a Social Tavorite.
As Is well known. President and Mrs.
Roosevelt have not been people of large
mean?, and have certainly never lived be
yond those means. Last winter when his
term of Governor was over and befor*
the inauguration In March, they kept the
house open at Oyster Bay, although all
their neighbors had long since gone into
town. The children attended school then
and the governess was retained, but the
home iife went on exactly as though It
wa3 from choice that they stayed there,
and to-day the verdict of the children is
that there never wa3 a pleasanter winter.
The Roosevelt turnout is a most demo
cratic one. The coachman ' is certainly
not up to the accepted standards of smart
society, for he nas a mustache, and there
Is no footman or second man. It has al
ways pleased both Mr. -and- Mrs. Roese-,
velt to live their lives independent of any
changes of fashion or of popular feeling,
and the heme has been from time Imme
morial the typical American home. In, 'tha
best sense of the word, and yet thefe is
no doubt that when at the White House,
with the necessary formality that the po
sition must needs bring, the President
and Mrs. Roosevelt will carry .out In
every detail the social as well as the poli
tical demands made upon them.
Of Modest Means.
at any entertainment and Is lnvartably
the first guest to leave after a dinner.
No matter how busy and how full her
life may be some portion cf tha day is
always put apart for absolute quiet, and
certain hours are devoted exclusively to
her children, who receive' probably tha
tenderest care and attention that have
ever been lavished upon children in their
position in life. Their Interests are bers
and she la more like an elder sister than
a mother to them, while in time of Ill
ness, no matter how good a trained
nurse she may have, the greater part of
the nursing falls upon her.
An Ideal wife and mother she was often
called, and rightly, at tha time of the
Spanish war. She never made any com
plaint, never showed any signs of anxiety
excepting: that those who knew her in
timately saw her grow visibly paler and
thinner, but she never broke down until
after her husband had returned from the
war, and during that time she was en
tirely with her children, her one endeavor
seeming to be to prevent any sadness
coming to them.
Ftr*-et e f >\vn, Ehe always dresses for din
ner, hv.d her dinner gowns are more or
less elaborate. Iier one wish seems to be
to hsvc fcr»r clothes dainty and attractive,
but incorjp'Cuous, yet she admits a fond
ness lor rich fabrics.
"Do you knovy Mrs. Roosevelt very
well?" 18 eft en asked of those people
v.-ho are linov.-n to be en her visiting list.
There are few who can say they do,
for her list of intimate friends is limited,
er'l while she is always gracious and
j'iiralEg to her acquaintances she Ic not
tf>; least diffuse, and seems to keep her
bifc-fct for her husband and her immediate
home circle.
taJker, but is a brilliant conversationist
— on apparent Inconsistency explainable
by her being a remarkably good listener,
and possessing that rare charm of draw
ing 1 out the very best In any one sfte talks
to. She has a keen prr.se cf humor and
coulfi, If ehe cho«e, be sarcastic, but
\u25a0Whether frcm. kindliness of heart, good
t>ree<2!r:j? or as an exhibition r>f her mar
velous Bclf-control Ehe rarely if ever exer
cise* that Cift.
Not a beauty at "ret glance, Sirs. Roose
velt is nevertheless an unusual!}- pretty
woman, rather above middle height, with
a eMght, girlish figure. She is a brunette
in cororinjr, with bro^-n eyes and hair, but
fiiir f.Uin, with considerable color. She
v.-ould be noticed anyv.-here from her ex
ceedingly ladylike appearance and from a
certain individuality in dress, for, while
ehe dreeres timply, her clothes always
Eult her and have a marked personality
about them.
She rareiy, If ever, wears a large hat,
end is generally seen in a small bonnet,"
g,n& she does not chanpe the style of her
li?t as the fashions change. It must be
and It always Is, but because
j l^shion dictates that only hats are to.be
r.ora, Mrs. Roosevelt does not seem to
find it necessary to blindly follow the law.
Ker brown hair curls in soft ringlets
around her face, but 1b brushed smoothly
back from her temples and arranged in
t soft coil at the back of her head.
She wears it In the same style, whether
for clay or evening, but with evening dress
the Vvonrs an aigrette, wh!ch adds height
and crn pha;- iz«s the lonsr line of her shoul
ders, crie of her chief !»er«.utlcs. She Is a
wor.-.an who looi-is much better In evening
cress than in s-trcet dress, and her even
ing gov/ris are always rather elaborate.
In fome ways she Is rather Bngiish in
style, orpeciaiiy in this matter of dress,
for no m atter how rimp'.e may be her
All about the management of the house
bold has been charmingly simple, very
dainty and always the same. A true spirit
of hospitality welcomed every guest, who
was :r.a.ge to feel that his or her presence
\u25a0wtls the most to be desired In the world.
"Wine was always served, but neither the
Jfreeteecit nor his wife cared for it.
Tile mentx was always simple and never
comprised many courses, for the President
Cicllked a long dinner. Everything was
well served, but on most simple lines and
la a way that would be quite possible for
jv-ople cf half their means. This, how
ever, with an app«arance of -" absolute
ccaifort everywhere — comfort, not show,
being apparently the watchword.
lira. Roosevelt Is not a very great
Simplicity Boles.
There is ra g-oEsip or scandal allowed In
the Roosevelt household. The matters
dieccesel are public issue, and thero Is
eo cuest who does not feel irresistibly
compelled to stand cp for what Is best
arid right, co high is the keynote that Is
sounded. This is not saying there Is not
plenty of life and Jollity, for merriment
reigns supreme with young and old, and
never has it been allowed that the cares
of office or the anxieties of politics should
intrude upon the fun and merriment that
eo on unc«fiPir.s-ly.
The Koosovelt household has always
been democratic In Its simplicity.- There
Lave never been any Attempts made at
elaborate entertaining. A dinner for
fcrty guests la never markedly different
£roia the dinner of six or eight, the only
exception being some outside maid per
vast brought in to lend assistance.
There have been no gorgeous banquets
to be chronicled ano^f social events, and
rtea the ctws columns gave the inform
ation that Mr. and. itr». Theodore Roose
velt entertained, at dinner there have
never been tny wonderful table decora
tions to chronicle.
A Charming Household-
/ \ / j who now takes her place as
{ Y j the first lady of the land, is a
I woman most eminently fitted
fcr the position. Although
»»m early childhood she has never bean
publicly before the world, and has In fact
been noted for her shrinking from publi
city, hers is ore of those rare personali
ties which are bour.d to assert themselves
ur.fier eny and all circumstances.
And those friends who have known her
from childhood are waiting to see how
\u25a0weU every duty will b« fulfilled, for they
knew her perfectly balanced character,
hep marvelous reserve force and her
calm, cool Judgment of people and things.
2£ra. Xtoosovtlt might be taken as the
type cf the American woman; essentially
fenilnlne and dainty In appearance, sho
i-s-s yet er.ourh fondness for outdoor life
and eports to be In touch with the
amuscsients with which her husband Is
\u25a0«Vh«ther ilrn. Roosevelt is entertaining
a csuaa party of quests, presiding- at
icae public entertainment or public func
tion, or alone with her children and their
governess, she Is absolutely the same
Tie only time when she is In any way
different is when surrounded by her very
1! sited circle cf lstimato friends, who are
tritn.Cs cf her childhood, and who oom
pcte a rare circle cf cultivated and intel
lectual women. Their talk is of the lat
est bocks and the leading Interests of the
Bbe Is positive In many ways, with her
own Ideas .firmly " settled as to what
should and should" hot be done. It is
said that when she first went to Albany
and. found .that public receptions devolved
upon her formal handshaking: she an
nounced her' Intention of not shaking
hands with anyone. It was wondered
how she would avoid it, but when the
time cam* for. Mrs. Roosevelt's first pub-
llc reception she was. there to greet her
quests In the most : charmingly affable
fashion, but her hands tightly grasped
a large bouquet. No one could feel of
fended ! at the gracious manner and the
sweet smile and the' few pleasant .words
of greeting^ and ..there "were feW-~" who
noticed that the handshake was omitted.
She haa recognized that It is impossible
to- : jflva i out' "to everybody and' conse-
quently reserves as much strength as she
can. She rarely visits away from home,
and 'although she is by no means a re
cluse, as both she and the President are
fond of going about, she never stays late

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