Category Archives: Nifty History People

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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Andy Johnson and His Father’s Statue

President Andrew Johnson was barely two when his father died. Jacob Johnson, Hero Jacob Johnson (1778-1812) was poor as a church mouse. Born and raised in Raleigh, NC, he had no education, training or skills. Although he served in the … Continue reading

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George Washington: Officer and Gentleman

Of all the residents of 18th Century American Valhalla, George Washington was arguably the one whose character and demeanor were consistently above reproach. Braddock: The Making of An Officer The teenaged George Washington’s first career choice was the British Navy. … Continue reading

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William Henry Harrison: The Windy Inaugural

William Henry Harrison was a well-known “dark horse” President – if such a thing is possible. WHH: Virginia Patrician Contrary to the myth, William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) was as well-born as any First Family of Virginia could be. His family … Continue reading

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