A Writer's Journey

May 5, 2014

First Ladies

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

In America, we don’t have queens. We have Beyoncé. My spell check recognized I didn’t have the accent over the last “e” and corrected it.

But in the political sphere, we have the First Ladies, the name given to the wife of the President. And these ladies embody the saying: “Behind every great man is a great woman.”

I love our First Ladies. They are some of our country’s most fascinating women. And they have shared some of our best romances as well. Let’s take a look at three underappreciated ones, shall we?

Name: Rachel Jackson

Husband: Andrew Jackson, 7th president

Children: 1 son, adopted

Romance: She was married before and there was some debate over whether her first marriage had been annulled when she married Jackson. People made snide comments and Jackson would often challenge them to duels for her honor.

Claim to Fame: Rachel never got a chance to be a First Lady. She died days before Jackson was to be inaugurated. Most scholars agree her death impacted him greatly.

Name: Edith Roosevelt

Husband: Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president

Children: 1 stepdaughter, 4 sons, 1 daughter

Romance: Edith and Teddy grew up next door to each other and Edith was a playmate of his sister. They fell out of touch as they grew up, though Edith did attend Teddy’s first wedding. After he was widowed, the two reconnected and married.

Claim to Fame: As a First Lady, she ran the White House with efficiency and her hospitality was well known within Washington. Outside Washington, not so much. She kept herself and her family out of the public’s eye.

Name: Edith Wilson

Husband: Woodrow Wilson, 28th president

Children: None

Romance: The widowed Edith met the widowed Woodrow at a function while he was still president. They fell in love quickly but held off getting married due to how soon after the death of Wilson’s wife’s death it was. Rumors began to start up and Wilson didn’t want her reputation to suffer. After an appropriate mourning period, the two married.

Claim to Fame: During his second term, President Wilson suffered a stroke. The second Mrs. Wilson essentially ran the country as her husband recovered.

These women deserve their moment in the sun alongside ones like Martha Washington, Abigail Adams and Jackie Kennedy. Hmm, maybe I’ll write a novel featuring one of them. Maybe Edith (Roosevelt). Hmm…


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