1-20 of 31 Results  for:

  • first lady of the united states x
  • Results with images only x
Clear all

Article

Adams, Abigail (11 November 1744–28 October 1818), first lady and woman of intellect, was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, the daughter of William Smith, a Congregational minister, and Elizabeth Quincy. Abigail grew up in a prominent and wealthy family, descended from Puritan leaders and successful merchants. She had no formal schooling, both because of her recurrent illnesses and the limited options available to girls. Yet neither obstacle prevented her from achieving a remarkably broad and sophisticated education. She enjoyed the family’s well-stocked library, the stimulating company of educated relatives and parsonage visitors, and the attentive tutelage of her grandmother. Her studies ranged from Shakespeare to Locke, from Plato to French. She also began two lifelong habits: letter-writing to distant relatives and friends, and the practice of a deep Congregational faith....

Article

Adams, Louisa Catherine Johnson (12 February 1775–15 May 1852), first lady, was born in London, England, the daughter of Joshua Johnson, an American merchant, and Catherine Nuth (or Young). Though it is known that her father was a prominent businessman and that her uncle ...

Article

Cleveland, Frances Folsom (21 July 1864–29 October 1947), wife of Grover Cleveland, wife of Grover Cleveland, was born in Buffalo, New York, the daughter of Oscar Folsom, an attorney, and Emma Harmon. Frances Folsom knew Grover Cleveland as her father’s law partner. When Oscar Folsom died in an accident in 1875, his law partner took over management of his estate and became in effect, although not in fact, Frances Folsom’s guardian. Twenty-seven years her senior, he played the part of doting uncle to “Frankie” while piling up remarkable political victories, rising from mayor of Buffalo to governor of the state....

Article

Coolidge, Grace Anna Goodhue (03 January 1879–08 July 1957), first lady of the United States, was born in Burlington, Vermont, the daughter of Andrew Issachar Goodhue, a steamboat inspector and a mechanical engineer, and Lemira Barrett. Coolidge graduated from the University of Vermont in 1902. After earning her degree, she took additional training for a teaching position at Clarke Institute for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts. During her three years at Clarke she met ...

Article

Eisenhower, Mamie Doud (14 November 1896–01 November 1979), first lady of the United States, was born Mary Geneva Doud in Boone, Iowa, the daughter of John Sheldon Doud, a meatpacker, and Elivera Carlson. Tremendously successful in business, John Doud retired at the age of thirty-six and moved his family to Denver, Colorado; at that time he also purchased a vacation home in San Antonio, Texas. One of four daughters, “Mamie” enjoyed a well-to-do upbringing in Denver. She attended private elementary school and completed her education at Denver’s fashionable finishing school, Miss Woolcott’s....

Article

Ford, Betty (08 April 1918–08 July 2011), first lady of the United States and public health advocate, was born Elizabeth Ann Bloomer in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest of three children of William S. Bloomer, a traveling salesman, and Hortense Neahr Bloomer. She was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her father died of carbon monoxide poisoning in 1934; at his funeral Betty learned from her mother that he had been an alcoholic. Starting dance lessons at age eight, Betty briefly thought of becoming a ballerina. However, she soon gravitated toward modern dance, which, after her 1936 graduation from high school, she studied at the Bennington School of Dance in Vermont. One of her instructors, the influential ...

Article

Garfield, Lucretia Rudolph (19 April 1832–13 March 1918), first lady, was born in Garrettsville, Ohio, the daughter of Zebulon Rudolph and Arabella Mason, farmers. Sickly as a child, demure as an adolescent, and reared in a dutiful but unaffectionate family, Lucretia (or “Crete” as friends called her) grew into a bright, attractive but solemn young woman. At the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute in nearby Hiram, Ohio, a semicollegiate Disciples of Christ institution that her father had helped found, she pursued a formal education somewhat beyond that customary for her time and gender. She also displayed a surprising degree of intellectual independence, not only by obtaining a job as a schoolteacher but by asking, in a college essay, “Is it equitable that a woman who teaches school equally well should receive a smaller compensation than man?”...

Article

Grant, Julia Dent (26 January 1826–14 December 1902), wife of President Ulysses S. Grant, wife of President Ulysses S. Grant, was born at White Haven, near St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Frederick Dent, a planter, and Ellen Wrenshall. The fifth of eight children, she enjoyed a privileged childhood on her father’s plantation and attended the Misses Mauros’ boarding school in St. Louis. When she was seventeen, her brother Frederick introduced her to his former West Point roommate Ulysses S. Grant. After a two-year courtship and a four-year engagement, Julia Dent and Ulysses S. Grant were married in 1848 and began married life in the army posted to Sackets Harbor, New York. Over the next decade, they had four children....

Article

Harding, Florence Mabel Kling DeWolfe (15 August 1860–21 November 1924), first lady of the United States, was born in Marion, Ohio, the daughter of Amos Kling, a banker, and Louisa Bouton. Florence grew up in an affluent atmosphere, attending the best school in Marion. When she demonstrated a flair for the piano, she was sent to study at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. At the age of nineteen, Florence eloped with Henry “Pete” DeWolfe, the ne’er-do-well son of a prominent Ohio family. The quick marriage was necessitated by Florence’s pregnancy; a son was born six months later. Florence sought and was granted a divorce from DeWolfe in 1886. In 1891, she was remarried to ...

Article

Harrison, Anna (25 July 1775–25 February 1864), first lady to President William Henry Harrison, first lady to President William Henry Harrison, was born Anna Tuthill Symmes near Morristown, New Jersey, the daughter of John Cleves Symmes, a New Jersey Supreme Court justice and Revolutionary War soldier, and Anna Tuthill Symmes. After her mother died in 1776, she was reared by her father and her maternal grandparents. Her grandmother made sure that she received a proper education, and Anna took classes, both in classical languages and in English, first at the Clinton Academy in Easthampton and then at a New York City boarding school operated by ...

Article

Harrison, Caroline Lavinia Scott (01 October 1832–25 October 1892), first wife of Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901), the twenty-third president of the United States, first wife of Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901), the twenty-third president of the United States, was born in Oxford, Ohio, the daughter of John Witherspoon Scott, an ordained Presbyterian minister and college professor, and Mary Potts Neal. She attended the Oxford Female Institute, a school her father had helped found, and she briefly taught piano there (1851–1852). In 1853 she married Benjamin Harrison, whom she had met while he was attending Miami University, and the next year she moved with him to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he practiced law. Although he was a grandson of the ninth president of the United States, Benjamin Harrison earned little the first years of their marriage, and acquaintances commented on how cheerfully his wife accepted her reduced circumstances. Records of the First Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis (where the Harrisons were members) referred to her “artistic tastes” and “charming vitality.” She gave birth to two children before her husband’s law practice was well established. A third child died at birth....

Article

Hayes, Lucy Ware Webb (28 August 1831–25 June 1889), wife of the nineteenth president of the United States, was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, the daughter of James Webb, a medical doctor, and Maria Cook. When Lucy was two, her father died during a cholera epidemic in Kentucky, where he had gone to free slaves he had recently inherited. Until Lucy and her two older brothers needed better schools, they lived with their mother in Chillicothe. In 1844 the family moved to Delaware, Ohio, where Lucy entered the preparatory department of what is now Ohio Wesleyan University. Later she took courses in the college department, where her brothers were enrolled, even though young women were not usually allowed to study there. It was near the popular sulphur spring on the school’s campus that visiting ...

Article

Hoover, Lou Henry (29 March 1874–07 January 1944), First Lady and national Girl Scout leader, was born in Waterloo, Iowa, the daughter of Charles Delano Henry, a banker, and Florence Weed. Because her mother suffered from asthma, the family, seeking a more favorable climate, moved to Whittier, California, in 1887. Schoolgirl essays reveal her maturity and a growing curiosity about the world. Classmates remembered her leadership and her firm insistence on the inclusion of two African-American boys in her circle of friends. Her interests included writing, drawing, and camping and hiking in the Sierra Nevadas with her father. Later, as president of the Girl Scouts, she fondly recalled being a girl scout long before the organization existed....

Article

Jackson, Rachel Donelson Robards (15 June 1767–22 December 1828), wife of President Andrew Jackson, wife of President Andrew Jackson, was born on the frontier near Pittsylvania County, Virginia, the daughter of John Donelson, a surveyor, and Rachel Stockley. When Rachel was born, the Donelsons were one of the leading families in the county. Though she later loathed politics, the petite, dark-eyed girl visited Washington and Jefferson with her father, a Virginia aristocrat. Often described as illiterate, Rachel in fact received an exemplary education by frontier standards; she could read, write, and was skilled at the harpsichord and household arts....

Article

Johnson, Eliza McCardle (04 October 1810–15 January 1876), wife of President Andrew Johnson, wife of President Andrew Johnson, was born in Greeneville, Tennessee, the daughter of John McCardle, a shoemaker, and Sarah Phillips. Attending local schools up to the sixth grade, Eliza was unusually well educated for a woman in early East Tennessee and seems to have been exceptionally intelligent. After her father’s death, she assisted her mother in making quilts....

Article

Johnson, Lady Bird (22 December 1912–11 July 2007), first lady of the United States, was born Claudia Alta Taylor near Karnack, Texas, the youngest (and only daughter) of three children born to Thomas Jefferson Taylor, a general merchant and landowner, and Minnie Lee Pattillo Taylor. As the daughter of a wealthy businessman, she had a privileged youth, although her mother died in September 1918 when Lady Bird (thus nicknamed at an early age) was only five years old. Bird, as she was called by friends and family, received her early education in a one-room country school, and then at nearby Jefferson, Texas, before enrolling at Marshall High School where she graduated at age fifteen. She later credited the following two years at the private St. Mary's Episcopal School for Girls in Dallas as developing her interest in theater, literature, and writing. In September 1930 she enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin. Rather than graduating in 1933 with a degree in history, she remained an additional year to take more classes in journalism, and in 1934 she was awarded degrees in both history and journalism....

Article

Lincoln, Mary Todd (13 December 1818–16 July 1882), first lady, was born in Lexington, Kentucky, the daughter of Robert Smith Todd, a well-known Whig politician and, at various times in his life, a banker and partner of a dry-goods firm, and Eliza Parker. Both of her parents were descendants of a large, wealthy, influential family, whose earlier members had founded the town of Lexington....

Article

Madison, Dolley (20 May 1768–12 July 1849), first lady, was born near Guilford, North Carolina, the daughter of John Payne, an unsuccessful merchant and planter, and Mary Coles. When Dolley was one year old the Paynes left North Carolina and moved back to rural eastern Virginia, settling with the Coles family. There she grew up in comfort; throughout her life she defined herself as a Virginian. Her family were Quakers, and in 1783 her father manumitted his slaves and moved his wife and eight children to Philadelphia. There he opened a starch business, which failed in 1789. His wife then supported the family by converting her home into a boardinghouse. Dolley Payne came of age during difficult years; she saw her father slide into debt, expelled from his Quaker congregation, and die a broken man, leaving her mother and her sisters in severely reduced circumstances....

Article

McKinley, Ida Saxton (08 June 1847–26 May 1907), first lady, was born in Canton, Ohio, the daughter of James A. Saxton, a banker, and Kate Dewalt. Ida was the second of their three children and the eldest of two daughters. She attended local schools and then went to private schools in Delhi, New York, and in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1869 she graduated from the Brook Hall Seminary in Media, Pennsylvania. At the age of twenty-two she made a six-month tour of Europe with her sister, Mary Saxton, a chaperone, and other companions. When Ida returned to Canton, she worked at her father’s Stark County Bank during 1870....

Article

Nixon, Pat (16 March 1912–22 June 1993), first lady, was born Thelma Catherine Ryan in Ely, Nevada, the daughter of William Ryan and Katarina “Kate” Halberstadt. Her father called his youngest child his “St. Patrick’s babe in the morn” because she just missed being born on St. Patrick’s Day. Throughout her life she was known as “Pat,” and after her father’s death she began using the name Patricia as a tribute to him. William Ryan was a miner until he decided to try truck farming in Artesia (now Cerritos), California. Pat remembered hard times but close family ties as the Ryans worked to make the farm a financial success. Life became more difficult when Kate Ryan succumbed to cancer when Pat was fourteen years old. William Ryan died of silicosis just prior to Pat’s graduation from high school, making his daughter and two sons orphans....