(1861 1948)

Edith Roosevelt (1861-1948)

Art by Mattie Hinkley (tumblr, instagram)

Edith Roosevelt was the first First Lady to employ a full-time, salaried social secretary.  Although Edith was not an activist First Lady, the addition of paid staff dedicated to the First Lady elevated the position and paved the way for First Ladies like Edith’s niece Eleanor.  

Although Edith was not an activist, she did serve as a go-between and convey information about the Russo-Japanese War to Teddy.  Teddy won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese War.  

With a family of six children, Edith and Teddy needed more space than most First Families.  Edith hired architects and petitioned Congress for funds to separate the living quarters from the offices.  The result was the creation of the West Wing.

Past Cool Chicks from History posts about First Ladies can be found here.


ROYAL JEWELS - These three brooches were more likely belonged to Empress Maria Luisa of Bourbon-Parma (1870 - 1899), wife of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria (1861 - 1948).  Member of the House of Bourbon, the fleur de lys figured prominently on her family coat of arms. This symbol can also be seen on the tiara created for her by the Viennese jeweller Köchert, on the occasion of her marriage in 1893.

Photo: Sotheby’s 

The Green Cushion (c.1895). Irving Ramsey Wiles (American, 1861-1948). Watercolor, graphite, and gouache on paper. Met.

This watercolor portrays a young woman reclining on an Empire revival-style recamier couch. The woman at leisure was a popular subject in late-19th-century American painting. An exceptionally fresh demonstration of Wiles’s work in watercolor, The Green Cushion was awarded the William T. Evans Prize for the best entry at the American Water Color Society’s 1897 exhibition.