Alice Lee Roosevelt is Born
Alice Lee Roosevelt was born at the Roosevelt family home on 6 West 57th St. in New York City.
Her mother, Alice, was a Boston banking heiress. Her father, Theodore, was then a New York State Assemblyman. Two days after her birth, in the same house, her mother died of undiagnosed Bright's disease; also, on the same day, her paternal grandmother, Martha Bulloch Roosevelt, died of typhoid fever.
Theodore was so distraught by his wife's death that he could not bear to think about her. He almost never spoke of her again, would not allow her to be mentioned in his presence, and even omitted her name from his autobiography. Therefore, his daughter Alice was called "Baby Lee" instead of her name. Alice continued this practice late in life, preferring to be called "Mrs. L" rather than "Alice".
Theodore moved to North Dakota for two years. He left his infant daughter in the care of his sister Bamie, also known as "Bye". Some Roosevelt biographers have claimed that he showed no affection for his child, but there are letters to Bamie that reveal his concern. In one 1884 letter, he said of Alice, "I hope Mousiekins will be very cunning, I shall dearly love her."
Alice Lee Roosevelt, daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, was born Feb. 12, 1884. She was a healthy baby and weighed 8 ¾ pounds.
After her mother's death on Feb. 14th and her father leaving for North Dakota to get over his loss, Alice was cared for by her aunt, Theodore's sister, Anna Roosevelt, known as "Barnie", for two years.
All Alice had of her mother's were a few letters, a couple photos, a collection of poetry and some jewelry. Plus a locket of her mother's hair. Her step-mother -- Edith Kermit Carow (1861- 1948) -- married her father in Dec. 1886.
Alice would ask her father many times as she grew up about her mother, however, Theodore would not talk about his first wife, Alice's mother. She became very resentful. Plus with the stepmother and the new half-siblings, Alice felt left out.
She always felt like the outsider, against a stepmother and five half siblings. Her Aunt Barnie was the one to help keep her mother’s memory alive and tell the child things.