​February ​12 - ​

   ​​A. Lincoln                                            A. Roosevelt​

​February ​12 - ​A. Lincoln,
A. Roosevelt.

Today marks the birth of two very different influences in Theodore Roosevelt’s life: his favorite President, and his first daughter.


"For some reason or other he is to me infinitely the most real of the dead Presidents."

​Theodore Roosevelt, to Henry S. Pritchett, December 14, 1904.​

Both Alice Lee Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln were born on February the 12th: that seems to be an end to their similarities.

Lincoln was one of the strongest presidential influences on TR’s life. He referred to Lincoln as “infinitely the most real of the dead Presidents.” Lincoln’s portrait hung in Roosevelt’s office as a reminder – though the frame was much smaller than the one of his biggest influence, his father. President Roosevelt would read and reread Lincoln letters and biographies for glimpses of inspirations. TR never considered himself to be a great President, particularly when compared to the likes of Lincoln - and, after all, Lincoln was a war President, something he thought truly escalated one's term of office to greatness. He never sought it out intentionally; he just thought a little war brought out the best in an Executive.

Alice Lee Roosevelt was many things to her father – his first child, but also a painful reminder of her mother, who would die two days after Alice’s birth. She was also a lifelong challenge to Theodore, from awkwardly living alongside, but never truly fitting in with the rest of the Roosevelts. Granted, TR left Alice in his sister’s care, while he set off to ranch in the Badlands – and it was a strange new chapter when she met her sometimes-present father and her new stepmother, Edith Carow Roosevelt. This definitely set Alice up for a bumpy childhood. She complained of never feeling like she fit in with the rest of her step-family, though she would not have called them that.

While Alice was impetuous to the last, causing TR no end of worry from her childhood through her marriage, she was still a loving daughter. When her father became a third party candidate, Alice threw her support behind him - much to the chagrin of her standard Republican husband. And when the Great War was entered into by the United States, Alice - who could not bring herself to serve on the Continent as a nurse like her sister Ethel - still rolled bandages for the Red Cross. She did things her own way, which made her all the more her father's child.

​Theodore Roosevelt

according to ​​Owen Wister,

​Roosevelt, the Story of a Friendship.

​'Why don't you look after Alice more?' a friend once asked Roosevelt. 'Listen,' he said. 'I can be President of the United States - or - I can attend to Alice.'

About the Author

The "founding father" of Historic Experience. Peyton is an actor-historian with over 15 years experience as a John Adams and Theodore Roosevelt interpreter, impersonator, speaker, or whatever descriptor speaks to you. Peyton Dixon is based in central New Jersey and travels across the country bringing American history to life.