Category Archives: Nifty History People

Seward and Davis: An Unlikely Friendship

Jefferson Davis and William Seward in their old age. William H. Seward: Republican Whig The 1850s was decade seething with unrest; a volcano just waiting to erupt. The Whigs had always been a cobbled-together party of various factions and sections … Continue reading

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Harriet Hanks, Lincoln’s Cousin-Niece

It’s a complicated family line. The Lincoln-Hanks Kinship Abraham Lincoln, as everyone knows, was the son of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks. Nancy Hanks, Abe’s mother, had an aunt, also named Nancy Hanks, who had an illegitimate son named Dennis, … Continue reading

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Zachary Taylor: Reconciliation

Zachary Taylor was a lifelong soldier – up through the ranks. Colonel Taylor: Commandant In the early 1830s, Colonel Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) was the commandant of Fort Crawford, a small outpost in Priairie-du-Chien, Wisconsin, as the Black Hawk War was … Continue reading

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Robert Lincoln’s Second Father

Robert Lincoln was twenty-one when he became man of the family. Young Mr. Lincoln Abraham Lincoln died intestate: he had not made a will. Thus, by law, his estate would be divided into thirds: a third to his widow, and … Continue reading

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Dolley and Her Sisters: The Merry Wives of Washington

Dolley Payne was the eldest daughter of eight; she had three younger sisters. Dolley Payne: Quaker Daughter John Payne, Dolley’s father was a convert to the Quaker religion, and like many people who choose their faith, was strict in its … Continue reading

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John Tyler Woos MRS. Gardiner

Mr. and Mrs. Tyler 1: On his twenty-third birthday, John Tyler (1790-1861) married Miss Letitia Christian, the daughter of a wealthy pedigreed Virginia family. The courtship was traditional, the marriage bore fruit: eight little Tyler’s made an appearance, seven living … Continue reading

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George Washington Custis: Man in the Middle

George Washington Parke Custis was remarkable only in relationship to two giants, neither of whom he was actually related to. GW Custis: Fatherless Baby Only weeks after the fourth child and only son of John Parke Custis (1781-1857) was born, … Continue reading

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