The Everything Theodore Roosevelt Book
Island. That was a long respite for the energetic TR, who needed to be working. He had begun his studies at Columbia Law School and his interest in politics was growing—as was his love for Alice.
    Following the wedding, TR put into perspective the balance between his love for Alice and for nature. He wrote:
I do not think ever a man loved a woman more than I love her; for a year and a quarter now I have never (even when hunting) gone to sleep or waked up without thinking of her; and I doubt if an hour has passed that I have not thought of her. And now I can scarcely realize that I can hold her in my arms and kiss her and caress her and love her as much as I choose .
    The hunt was over; TR had married the woman he loved.
    After TR was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1881, he spent a lot of time in Albany carrying out his legislative duties. He wrote letters to Alice during his times away and invited his friends and fellow politicians into their home in New York City often.
    They were living at the family home on West 57th Street in New York City so Mittie and his sisters could provide Alice with company. He came home for weekends to help out. It was a happy time for TR—until Valentine’s Day, 1884.

A Daughter Is Born; Two Mothers Die
    When TR began his third term in the Legislature, Alice was both pregnant and ill. That put pressure on him. But there was added work-related stress he had to contend with as his term began. TR was facing opposition from his own party as he struggled to become the Speaker of the Assembly. While he was in Albany looking for votes, a series of notes and telegrams arrived that sent him scurrying back to New York City.
    Only six days before his daughter was born, TR wrote Alice in a letter, “How did I hate to leave my bright, sunny little love yesterday afternoon! I love you and long for you all the time, and oh so tenderly; doubly tenderly now, my sweetest little wife. I just long for Friday evening when I shall be with you again.” He did see her shortly, but not under the circumstances he imagined.

What was the cause of Alice’s death?
Alice’s death was attributed to Bright’s disease, a kidney ailment. Today, it is known as acute or chronic nephritis. Sadly, it might have been treatable under ordinary circumstances. In Alice’s case, her pregnancy masked the symptoms.
    Alice sent TR a note on February 11 to assure him that she was fine and that the doctor was not particularly concerned about her health. Next, she sent him a telegram to announce that they had a daughter, who was born on February 12. Then, he received a telegram advising him to return to New York City immediately because Alice’s health was deteriorating. There, a terrible double tragedy and a moment of joy awaited him. They did not offset one another in his thinking.
    When TR arrived at his house on February 13th, he walked into a scene of utter despair. Mittie was dying of typhoid fever in one room; one floor above, Alice was fighting for her life from complications of childbirth and Bright’s disease.
    There was little that TR could do except shuffle from room to room in a futile vigil for two of the most cherished women in his life. Mittie and Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt passed away within hours of each other on February 14, 1884. Alice was twenty-two years old at the time. Mittie was relatively young, too. She was forty-eight.

A Devastating Death
    Mittie died first, at approximately 3 A.M . Alice clung to life for another eleven hours. She fought until she drew her last breath in TR’s arms at about 2 P.M . It was a bitter anniversary for TR. Not only was it Valentine’s Day, but it was the fourth anniversary of his engagement to Alice. It was of little comfort to TR, but at least he was there to hold her as she died.
    A few days after Alice died in 1884, TR expressed in his diary his fond memories of the three years they had together: “We spent three years of happiness greater and more unalloyed

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