Author Archives: Feather Foster

John Quincy Adams: Arborist

John Quincy Adams came late to nature. JQA: The City Fellow John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) was born in rural Massachusetts, but lived within ten miles of Boston, then considered a major city (pop. 10,000) in the Colonies. As a very … Continue reading

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VP James Sherman: Voting for the Dead Guy

James Sherman was VP for William Howard Taft. A Little Bit About Sherman James Schoolcraft Sherman (1852-1912) was born and raised in upstate New York – very very distantly related to General Cump and Senator John of the same name. … Continue reading

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BULLY! The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt: A Book Review

BULLY! The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt really is “BULLY!” – as in Theodore Roosevelt’s usage, meaning “terrific!” “great idea!” It was written a few years back, and it has been sitting on my shelf unread for a few … Continue reading

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Abigail Adams and Polly Jefferson

Abigail Adams always loved children. The Lonely Childhood of Polly Jefferson Mary (or Maria) Jefferson (1778-1804), called Polly as a child, was the second surviving daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson. Her older sister Martha (1772-1836), nicknamed Patsy from birth, … Continue reading

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James Buchanan: Tired Ol’ Buck

James Buchanan was nearly seventy in 1861, a time when 75 was a ripe old age. The Election of 1856 When James Buchanan (1791-1868) was elected in 1856, he was a) the last President born in the 18th century; b) … Continue reading

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Brother Generals: Hancock and Armistead

Few ties are as strong as the military bands of brotherhood. The Gist of the Matter Two soldiers, close friends for years, had the unlikely distinction of meeting (sort of) for the last time at Gettysburg. One fought for the … Continue reading

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Mrs. Coolidge and Mrs. Hoover: A Rare Friendship

On the surface, there were only superficial commonalities between FLOTUS Grace Coolidge and her successor Lou Henry Hoover. The FLOTUS Sorority Many historians refer to the position of First Lady as a sorority. There are only a few dozen FLOTUSES … Continue reading

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Alben Barkley: The Last VP of His Kind

When Al Barkley became Vice President to Harry Truman in 1949, the position had been primarily ceremonial for 150 years. The VPOTUScy in General When our country formulated its Constitution in 1787, the position of Vice President was an afterthought. … Continue reading

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Will and Nellie Taft: A Modern Marriage, Part 1

William Howard Taft and Helen (from-birth Nellie) Herron were born and raised Victorians – but they had a very modern marriage. The Early Years Both William Howard Taft (1857-1930) and Helen Herron (1861-1943) were pedigreed Cincinnatians. He was the son … Continue reading

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The Eisenhower Tragedy: Ikkie

Nothing pained Ike and Mamie Eisenhower more than the death of their firstborn son. The Parents Eisenhower Mamie Doud became “Mrs. Dwight Eisenhower” on July 1, 1916. She was nineteen. Surprising everyone, including herself, Mamie adapted well to army living. … Continue reading

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