Wife of General and President Ulysses S. Grant

Julia Boggs Dent was born January 26, 1826 at White Haven plantation near St. Louis, Missouri, the fifth of seven children. Her parents were Frederick and Ellen Dent, who owned about thirty black slaves; they refused to free them only when the law required it. From about 1831 through 1836, Julia attended the Misses Mauros' co-ed, one-room boarding school in St. Louis. Growing up at White Haven, she fished, rode horses, and …Read More...

A Civil War Love Story

Born August 28, 1831 in Chillicothe, Ohio, Lucy Ware Webb was the daughter of physician James Webb and Maria Cook Webb. When Lucy was two years old, her father died of cholera while on a trip to Lexington, Kentucky to free slaves he had inherited from his aunt. Lucy developed strong abolitionist convictions from her father and grandfather, both of whom were slaveholders at one time.

Image: Lucy and Rutherford B. Hayes
Wedding photograph, …

Wife of 21st President Chester A. Arthur

Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur was the wife of the 21st President of the United States, Chester A. Arthur, but she would not join him at the White House. Ellen died on January 12, 1880, before her husband was elected vice president November 2, 1880; and before James A. Garfield's assassination would have made her first lady, but she has been honorably credited with the role.

Early Years
Ellen Herndon, nicknamed Nell, was …

First Lady of the United States

Ida Saxton McKinley, wife of William McKinley, 25th President of the United States, was First Lady from 1897 to 1901. She and her husband developed a unique way of coping with her epileptic seizures during her public appearances, and the love they shared during the early years of happiness endured through more than twenty years of illness.

Image: Ida McKinley
Photograph from the 1896 Presidential Campaign

Early Years
Ida Saxton was born …

First First Lady to Support Women's Rights

Caroline Harrison, the wife of President Benjamin Harrison, was First Lady from 1889 until her death. She is remembered for her efforts to refurbish the aging White House. Her public support of women's rights and higher education for women focused greater attention on those issue and promoted greater acceptance of a First Lady's political ideals.

Early Years
Caroline Scott was born on October 1, 1832 in Oxford, Ohio, the second daughter of …Read More...

First Lady for Her Bachelor Uncle, James Buchanan

Harriet Lane (1830-1903) was the niece of lifelong bachelor and 15th United States President James Buchanan. At age 26 she moved into the White House and acted as First Lady of the United States from 1857 to 1861, one of the few women to hold that position while not being married to the president. Known as the Democratic Queen, Lane was admired for her beauty and vivaciousness, and she used her position …Read More...