Eleanor Roosevelt Essay

1343 words - 6 pages

Eleanor Roosevelt
Becoming Eleanor Roosevelt, she was born October 11, 1884 into a family of wealth and problems in early age. She was the first child of Anna Hall Roosevelt and Elliott Roosevelt. Young Eleanor encountered disappointment early in her life. Her father always was mourning the death of his mother and fighting his health, turned to alcohol and was absent from home for long periods of time engaged in either business, pleasure or medical treatment. Her mother Anna Hall Roosevelt struggled to balance her life with her husband, responsibilities with the family and toward Eleanor and Eleanor's younger brother Hall. As the years passed, the young mother became increasingly unhappy ...view middle of the document...

Eleanor's life with Grandmother Hall was confining and lonesome until Mrs. Hall sent Eleanor to attend Ellenwood Academy in London in 1899. There Eleanor began to study liberal causes and history played a key role in shaping Eleanor's social and political development. The three years that Eleanor spent at Allenswood were the happiest years of her adolescence. She formed close, lifelong friendships with her classmates; she studied language, literature and history. She learned to state her opinions on controversial political events clearly and concisely and spent the summers traveling Europe with her partner. She gradually gained confidence and independence. She was totally without fear in this new phase of her life. Her partner influence was so strong that as an Eleanor later described that her partner was one of the three most important influences on her life.
She obeyed her family's wishes regarding her social responsibilities. She also joined the National Consumers League and as a member of the Junior League for the Promotion of Settlement Movements, volunteered as a teacher for the College Settlement on Rivington Street. Her commitment to these activities soon began to attract attention and Eleanor Roosevelt, much to her family as well, she soon became known within New York reform circles as a dedicated worker. That summer, as she was riding the train home to Tivoli for a visit with her grandmother, Eleanor was startled to find her cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), then a student at Harvard, also on the train. This encounter reintroduced the cousins and caught up their interest in one another. After a year of chance meetings, clandestine correspondence, and secret courtship, the two Roosevelt’s became engaged on November 22, 1903. Fearing that they were too young and unprepared for marriage, and believing that her son needed a better, more prominent wife, Franklin's mother Sara Delano Roosevelt, planned to separate the couple and demanded that they keep their relationship secret for a year. Sara Roosevelt's plans did not work, and after a sixteen-month engagement, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt married Franklin Delano Roosevelt on March 17, 1905. President Theodore Roosevelt gave the bride, his niece away. The wedding made the front page of the New York Times. Eleanor loved Franklin, but married life was difficult from the start. Sara Roosevelt chose their first home and basically ran their marriage life. Within a year, a daughter (Anna) was born, soon after James was born in 1906, Franklin 1909, who died soon after birth, Elliott in 1910, Franklin in 1914, and John in 1916. She later said of that period of ten years she was always just getting over having a baby or about to have one, and her occupations were considerably restricted during this period. As the Roosevelt family grew, in 1908 Sara Roosevelt gave the couple a townhouse in New York City, which was across to her own home. While the two women were very close Eleanor became...

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