The First Ladies

ISBN: 9781402242724

By: Feather Schwartz Foster

Published: 02/08/2011

The Legacies and Personalities that built the White House

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The Legacies and Personalities that built the White House As a young nation grew into its own, it was not just the presidents who led the way. The remarkable women of the White House, often neglected by history, had a heavy hand in the shaping of America. The earliest First Ladies of the United States left countless untold legacies behind after their role at the White House was over. Decidedly different from their modern day counterparts, the nation’s first presidential wives made their impact not in terms of political policy or broad social and civic service, but instead with unique, personal, and often long-lasting accomplishments. Read the unforgettable stories of how: Martha Washington set the tone for First Ladies and walked the fine line between royal pretention and republican accessibility. Sarah Polk worked diligently, constantly giving the high office her utmost attention. Julia Grant not only adapted to the ups and downs of her husband’s political career, but flourished wherever she landed. And it was Nellie Taft’s ambition that ultimately led her husband to the presidency.

About the Author

Feather Schwartz Foster

Researching the subject for more than 40 years, Feather Schwartz Foster has given more than 200 lectures about the women whose marriages are included in the book, including the Christopher Wren Society in Williamsburg, Virginia. She also is a “Resident Guest” at the President’s Park in Williamsburg.


Table of Contents


Acknowledgments                                   ix
Martha Washington (1731–1802): The Domestic Lady W   1
Abigail Adams (1744–1818): John’s Wife               7
Dolley Madison (1768–1849): The Magnificent        15
Louisa Adams (1775–1852): The Shadow Lady          21
Rachel Jackson (1767–1828): Her Sacred Name        27
Julia Tyler (1820–89): The Rose of Long Island         33
Sarah Polk (1803–91): Sarah, Straight and Strong        39
Three Reclusives and Miss Lane                45
Mary Lincoln (1818–82): The Born Diva              55
Julia Grant (1826–1902): Rock Solid to the Core        63
Lucy Hayes (1831–89): The Old-Fashioned New Woman  69
Frances Cleveland (1864–1947): A Star Is Born       75
Caroline Harrison (1832–92): Alias Martha Stewart    83
Edith Roosevelt (1861–1948):
The Elegant White House                            89
Nellie Taft (1861–1943): The Wind Beneath           95
Ellen Wilson (1860–1914): The Steel Magnolia        103
Edith Wilson (1872–1961): Dragon Lady             109
Florence Harding (1860–1924): Duchess           117
Grace Coolidge (1879–1957): Bountiful Graces       125
Lou Hoover (1874–1944): The Unsung Hero           131
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962):
The Incomparable Mrs. R                            139
Bess Truman (1885–1982):  Reluctant Lady            145
Mamie Eisenhower (1896–1979):
The Grandma Next Door                            151
Author’s Note                                     159
Bibliography                                       163
About the Author                              177


Martha Washington
First Lady: 1789–97
The Domestic Lady W.

It has been said that the best political decision George Washington ever made was to marry


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“Feather Schwartz Foster's guide to the Founding Mothers isn't just a list of people and their details, but a chance to delve into the little-known lives of the presidents' wives: their ...

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Format: Paperback

Length: 7 in
Width: 5 in
Weight: 8.56 oz
Page Count: 192 pages


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