Tag Archives: Presidential wives

Bess Truman and The Airplane

Few First Ladies were as reluctant as Bess Truman. Bess: The Reluctant Everything Bess Wallace (1885-1982) was considered outgoing and personable all the way through high school. She was a good student, an excellent athlete (a rarity at the turn … Continue reading

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The Private Sorrow of Eliza McCardle Johnson

  First Lady Eliza McCardle Johnson. Quick Bio on Eliza Eliza McCardle (1810-1876) was Tennessee-born and an only child. While most of the American First Ladies were middle-class gentry, if not out-and-out well-to-do, Eliza was likely the poorest of the … Continue reading

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Florence Harding And The Knife in her Back

Warren Harding’s wife was difficult, but his paramours were no picnics either! Warren the Romeo Most citizens of Marion, Ohio in the late-1880s considered Warren Gamaleil Harding one of the handsomest young men in town, plus affable and easy-to-like. When … Continue reading

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Franklin and Eleanor: The Chasm

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a 5th cousin to Eleanor Roosevelt. The Commonalities of Childhood Descended from Dutch ancestors slightly post-Mayflower, both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelts were New York Knickerbockers, an aristocratic old-line status. Both Franklin (1882-1945) and Eleanor (1883-1961) came … Continue reading

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Dolley Madison’s Son Payne Todd: The Final Blow

Dolley Madison’s son, Payne Todd, had always been a disappointment. Payne Todd in Brief Dolley Madison (1768-1849) had been married to John Todd, a Quaker lawyer, for three years. Then he died, leaving her with a two-year-old son. When she … Continue reading

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Nellie Taft Writes Her Memoirs

This is a sad story with a delayed happier ending. Nellie: Discovering the Ambition Helen (Nellie) Herron (1861-1943) was smart as a whip, and as ambitious as Caesar. She had the ambition to want things, and the ambition to work … Continue reading

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The Six FLOTUS Widows of 1947

In January, 1947,  five (and maybe a “half”) widowed First Ladies were still living.  Frances Folsom Cleveland (1864-1947) Frances Cleveland was a First Lady of many distinctions.  She was First Lady two separate times, during the non-consecutive terms of Grover … 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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The Funeral of Dolley Madison: End of an Era

On July 19, 1849, the largest funeral procession ever held in Washington DC till that time, commemorated the life and death of its most popular resident. The Venerable Mrs. Madison Dolley Payne Madison was 81 when she died on July … Continue reading

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Julia Grant: Sleeping With the General

This is Julia’s story. She saw it first hand. General Grant’s One-Two Punch For twenty years, General Ulysses S. Grant had been at the pinnacle: victorious Union General, the Hero of Appomattox, two-term POTUS and world traveler, hosted by kings … Continue reading

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