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Foundations of a Public Life:  Family Life

Family Life

"Father was not a disciplinarian by temperament...These parent-like duties he seemed to feel lay entirely in the feminine realm, and should rightfully be tackled by Mother and Granny!"

     - Anna Roosevelt, 1949

After an extended European honeymoon, the Roosevelts settled into a comfortable life in New York. Franklin attended Columbia Law School and was admitted to the New York bar in 1907. The couple's first child, Anna, was born in 1906. Five sons would follow during the next ten years. One died in infancy of influenza.

Sara Roosevelt, whom ER hoped could be the loving mother she never had, played a dominating role in the Roosevelt household, creating tension between Eleanor and Franklin. Sara's wedding gift was a townhouse adjoining another she built for herself. The two homes had connecting doorways. Initially uncertain and insecure, ER deferred to her mother-in-law on many matters, including household management, social protocols, and child-rearing.

Franklin clerked at a prominent New York law firm. But he was bored by the law and already hoped to enter politics and follow the path blazed by his cousin, Theodore Roosevelt, all the way to the White House.

To learn more about the Gold Locket, shown above, visit our Digital Artifact Collection.
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