It’s President’s Day. I thought it might be fun to look at love stories/quotes of presidents. In my day, we had holidays for Lincoln’s birthday (February 12) and George Washington’s birthday (February 22) instead of the singular day to honor all presidents. For that reason, I begin with Lincoln and Washington.
Teddy Roosevelt’s story touched my romance writer’s heart so I had to share it too.
~~Abraham Lincoln to Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Todd, the daughter of a successful merchant and politician, attracted the attention of up-and-coming politician and lawyer Abraham Lincoln. Her family did not approve of the match, but Mary and Abraham shared a love of politics and literature and a deep love for each other. When Lincoln won his Congressional seat in 1846, Mary joined him in Washington. Something unheard of at the time.
“My wife was as handsome as when she was a girl,” Lincoln once told a reporter. “And I, poor nobody then, fell in love with her, and what is more, have never fallen out.”
~~George Washington and Martha Dandridge Custis Washington
The romance of George and Martha was hardly a wild passionate romance by today’s standards. By the time their engagement was determined, they liked each other a great deal. Eight months after their marriage, George Washington wrote to his agent in England.“I am now I beleive fixd at this Seat with an agreable Consort for Life and hope to find more happiness in retirement than I ever experienced amidst a wide and busthng World.”
Eighteenth century marriages were formed for ease of living. George and Martha chose wisely, perhaps more than they realized at the time. According to historians, they shared forty years together during which they grew to love each other with true devotion.
~~ Theodore Roosevelt and Alice Hathaway Lee RooseveltAlice was Teddy Roosevelt’s first wife. He wrote of her: “Sweetest little wife, I think all the time of my little laughing, teazing beauty, and how pretty she is, and how she goes to sleep in my arms, and I could almost cry I love you so.”
Unfortunately, their love was short lived. On Valentine’s Day in 1884, Roosevelt suffered a double loss. His mother died of typhus and his beloved Alice in childbirth. His diary entry for the day is shown above. Later, he penned this private tribute for his sweetest little wife.
She was beautiful in face and form, and lovelier still in spirit; As a flower she grew, and as a fair young flower she died. Her life had been always in the sunshine; there had never come to her a single sorrow; and none ever knew her who did not love and revere her for the bright, sunny temper and her saintly unselfishness. Fair, pure, and joyous as a maiden; loving, tender, and happy. As a young wife; when she had just become a mother, when her life seemed to be just begun, and when the years seemed so bright before her—then, by a strange and terrible fate, death came to her. And when my heart’s dearest died, the light went from my life forever.
How does your love story compare to these presidential love story and quotes?
Yes, Roosevelt’s letters were the most touching. Poor Washington, that he never knew young love. If life is not softened with a love story, what is it?