Smithsonian Collections Blog

Highlighting the hidden treasures from over 2 million collections

Collections Search Center

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Alice Roosevelt the American Princess

Alice Roosevelt Longworth in a Rickshaw in China 1905Alice Roosevelt accompanied Secretary of War William Howard Taft’s diplomatic mission to Hawaii, the Philippines, China, Japan and Korea in 1905. While Alice was abroad she met important royal figures such as: Cixi, Empress Dowager of China, the Meiji Emperor, and the King and Crown Prince of Korea.

While abroad Alice, the daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, was viewed as royalty herself with several international newspaper accounts referring to her as the "American Princess."

By reputation Alice Roosevelt was a mover and shaker and enjoyed the adventure the trip abroad provided. The photographs taken by
Burr McIntosh beautifully illustrate her bold spirit enjoying a Sumo match, dressing up in kimono, and an spontaneous jump into water while fully clothed! We are currently working on imaging the albums and hope to brings these images to you online soon!

Rickshaw, Alice Roosevelt in China, 1905
Burr McIntosh, photographer
The Alice Roosevelt Longworth Collection of Photographs of the 1905 Taft Mission to Asia

Photographs collected by Alice Roosevelt from the 1905 trip. In addition to original photo albums, the collection includes extremely rare photographic portraits of royalty received personally by Alice.

Rachael Cristine Woody
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives


  1. Clearly a woman born ahead of her time and quite possibly even ahead of our time! Wealth and position help of course but I rather think whatever her personal circumstances had been she would have made her mark in the world. I'll look forward to viewing the albums online in due course. Steph UK

  2. It is great to read more about Alice, TR and Kermit's adventures usually get more acknowledgemtn. Great post!

  3. I too am eagerly looking forward to seeing the albums online,especially the shots of her famous fully clothed plunge, as I have been facinated by Alice for years!

  4. What's the latest status on getting the albums online?