Category Archives: Nifty History People

The Abysmal Health of Woodrow Wilson

If his health history had been known in 1912, Woodrow Wilson might never have been nominated. The White House Physician: Cary T. Grayson Shortly after President Woodrow Wilson took the oath of office in 1913, there was a luncheon for … Continue reading

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Mary Todd Lincoln and Henry Clay

In 1832, Mary Todd was thirteen years old; Henry Clay was about to challenge Andrew Jackson for the Presidency. Ellerslie and Ashland Ellerslie Plantation, about three miles from Lexington, KY, was the ancestral home of the Todd family, named for … Continue reading

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Martha Dandridge, Mistress Custis

Nearly ten years before she became Mrs. George Washington, Martha Dandridge became Mrs. Daniel Parke Custis. The Turbulent and Eccentric Daniel Parke  Daniel Parke (1669-1710), the grandfather-in-law to Martha Custis, long dead by the time she married into the family, … Continue reading

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The First Ladies and the Doorman

Jerry Smith spent 35 years as a White House factotum, in a variety of positions. The Scant Basics About Jerry Jeremiah Smith was a free Negro, born in Anne Arundel County, MD in 1835. Very little is known of him, … Continue reading

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Saving Mount Vernon for the Ages

Sometimes when men can’t do it, women can. Mount Vernon When George Washington died in 1799, he willed his great estate to Martha, his widow, for the remainder of her life, which was not that long. She died in early … Continue reading

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Col. Elmer Ellsworth, The Lincolns’ Favorite

Few Lincoln favorites were as beloved by the entire Lincoln family as Elmer Ellsworth. The Young Militia Colonel Ephriam Elmer Ellsworth (1837-61) was a poor New York fellow with long bootstraps. Blessed with a charismatic personality, solid brains, and an … Continue reading

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Benjamin Harrison: Cold Man in the White House

Most politicians excel at the glad-hand. Benjamin Harrison was the exception. BH: POTUS Grandson William Henry Harrison died after only one month as President of the US. His grandson Benjamin Harrison (1832-1901) was only nine years old. His memories were … Continue reading

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