May 26th, 2010

10-T, 10-C

Ten random things: March 26

Ten White House hostesses who were not married to the President, and why they served in that role :

  1. Rose Cleveland (sister of Grover Cleveland; Cleveland was unmarried when elected President)
  2. Mary Harrison McKee (daughter of Benjamin Harrison; assumed role when her mother took ill and later died)
  3. Harriet Lane (niece of James Buchanan; Buchanan was a bachelor when elector)
  4. Mary Abigail Fillmore (daughter of Millard Fillmore; acted as hostess to due to her mother's ill health)
  5. Martha Jefferson Randolph (daughter of Thomas Jefferson; Jefferson was a widower when elected)
  6. Emily Donelson (niece of Andrew Jackson; Jackson was a widower when elected)
  7. Jane Irwin Harrison (daughter-in-law of William Henry Harrison; Mrs. Harrison was too ill to come to Washington)
  8. Priscilla Cooper Tyler (daughter-in-law of John Tyler; assumed role when Tyler's first wife died)
  9. Mary Elizabeth Bliss (daughter of Zachary Taylor; acted as hostess due to her mother's ill health)
  10. Mary Arthur McElroy (sister of Chester A. Arthur; Arthur was a widower when elected)

In addition to the book about the V-22 Osprey, I also recently started reading Jon Meacham's American Lion, a history of Andrew Jackson's presidency. Jackson's wife Rachel passed away shortly after his election, so when he went to Washington he asked his niece Emily Donelson to come with him to Washington to serve as his official White House hostess. Donelson herself died in 1836, and Jackson's daughter-in-law Sarah Yorke Jackson assumed the role of White House hostess for the remainder of Jackson's term in office. She had already been serving as co-hostess, having moved into the White House with her husband and children after the main house at The Hermitage, Jackson's estate in Tennessee where they had been living, burned in 1834.