National Park Service
Eleanor Roosevelt: American Visionary

The Museum Collection

prayer book <click to view> candelabra <click to view> pitcher <click to view> ubshanti figures <click to view>
shelf <click to view>
powder box <click to view> small dishes <click to view> corkscrew <click to view>
cat <click to view> horseshoe <click to view> bird <click to view> bible box <click to view> lamp <click to view> vase <click to view>
ER's mother and father
Eleanor Roosevelt's mother and father
FDR Library
NPX 91-174(09)

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born October 11, 1884, into a socially and politically prominent family with a distinguished heritage. Her father was Elliott Roosevelt, President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt's younger brother. Her mother, Anna Rebecca Hall came from a family of wealthy New York landowners.

Eleanor was an awkward child and her serious nature puzzled her mother. Unlike Anna, she wasn't beautiful. Eleanor later recalled, "I was always disgracing my mother." Although he adored her, her alcoholic father often disappointed Eleanor. Anna died in 1892 and Elliott two years later. Eleanor was only 10 when she and her two brothers were placed in their grandmother's care. At 15, she was sent to England to attend Allenswood. The school for privileged young women emphasized social responsibility and independence.

Young ER
Young Eleanor Roosevelt
in Long Island, NY, 1887
FDR Library 09-2392
ER's school portrait, 1898
Eleanor Roosevelt's school portrait, 1898
FDR Library 09-2397
ER wearing her wedding dress in NYC, 1905
Eleanor Roosevelt wearing her wedding dress in New York City, 1905
FDR Library 09-2404
FDR and ER in Hyde Park, NY, 1922
Franklin D Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt in Hyde Park, NY, 1922
FDR Library 09-1592

On her return home, Eleanor became engaged to her fifth cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, son of Sara Delano and James Roosevelt. The wedding was held in New York City on March 17, 1905. President Teddy Roosevelt gave the bride away. Eleanor once said, "The first 10 years of my marriage I was either having a baby or getting over having a baby."

Eleanor and Franklin had six children, five reached adulthood. In 1910, Franklin was elected to the New York State Legislature. He was appointed Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy in 1913. In 1928 he was elected Governor of New York. In the 1920s Eleanor became increasingly active in Democratic politics and she recognized her aptitude for public service. Eleanor and Franklin developed a unique and productive relationship.

FDR and family in Hyde Park, NY, 1931
Franklin D Roosevelt and family in Hyde Park, NY, 1931
FDR Library 09-1688
Image Gallery
Fala: Roosevelt's best friend <click to view>
Click buttons above for more images.
< Previous

Eleanor Roosevelt: American Visionary
Museum Management Program
"Links to the Past"
Last Modified: 12/5/2006