ROOSEVELT links to Merseyside

Daily Post

April 18th 1941

Extracts from:-


Revealed by a note in a dairy, By Sir Alfred T. DAVIES

It is probably not generally known that the Roosevelt family had a close connection with Lancashire and particularly with the suburb of Waterloo, situate between Liverpool and Southport.

The fact only became known a few years ago with the publication of the magazine, "Personality” of a number of selections of the diaries discovered in the winter of 1927-28, kept by young Theodore Roosevelt, afterwards, President of the United States, when on a European tour in 1869 and 1870, then a boy of ten, in whose journals, it is easy to see the child who was father to the man. As a young lad Theodore was delicate and it was several years after this European visit that he undertook the physical self-education which was to make a “strenuous" almost his own words. Asthma was his trouble, having once mentioned the fact, he does not dwell upon it.

Entry with local interest :-

May 27th 1869, Liverpool, - went to our cousin’s school at Waterloo. We had a nice time, but met Jeff DAVIS’S son and some sharp words ensued.

“Jeff Davis” the cotton planter was former, Commander-in-Chief of the army of the Mississippi, and later president during its brief existence of the Confederacy of the Southern States of America, which had then not long emerged from the Bloody War of Secession with the Northern States led by President Abraham LINCOLN. It has long been known that Jeff DAVIS visited Liverpool in the summer of 1868, but, it will be news to some people that the ROOSEVELT family had a close connection with Merseyside as the diary reveals.

The reason Waterloo was chosen as a place of education for the leading American families may be found perhaps in the picturesque description given by Mr GLADSTONE of the adjoining hamlet of Seaforth, where he himself, like Dean STANLEY received his early education. It was not so much to do with its intellectual stamina, as to the extreme solubrity of its situation on the pure dry sands of the Mersey’s mouth, with all the advantages of the tidal action and the fresh and frequent north west winds.

It was a far cry in those days from Richmond, Virginia, the home town of the DAVIS family and New York the abode of the ROOSEVELTS, to Merseyside.

My own recollections [for I was educated at Waterloo] go back to 1868, but my knowledge of Waterloo, does not enable me to identify the school the young ROOSEVELTS may have attended.


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