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Biographies of the Presidents and Their Wives
Source: Government and family records.
WHO WAS THE FIRST PRESIDENT? On Sept. 5, 1774, delegates from twelve states remained in force until Mar. 4, 1789, when the (Georgia was not then represented) met at Phila- Constitution of the United States was proclaimed delphia and organized what has since been com- in effect. monly called the Continental Congress. The mem- The Articles of Confederation, though adopted bers were Delegates, and the voting on all questions by the Continental Congress in 1778, were not was by Stateş (Colonles), each State having one ratified by all of the States, Maryland being the vote. The Delegate in charge was styled President last to assent, until Mar. 1, 1781, The Articles of the Congress.
designated Congress as "the United States in ConThe Continental Congress was in session, at gress Assembled." The Presidents of the Sessions various times and places, until Mar. 2, 1789. One of the Continental Congress after the Articles went of its important acts was the drawing up, and into effect usually signed themselves "President of adoption on July 4, 1776, of the Declaration of the United States in Congress Assembled." Independence. which was signed by "the Repre- These were: Thomas McKean, Del.; John Hansentatives of the United States of America, in som, Md.; Elias Boudinot. N. J.; Thomas Mimin, General Congress, assembled.".
Pa.; Richard Henry Lee, Va.; Nathaniel Gorham, Between Nov. 15. 1777, and July 9, 1778, the Mass.; Arthur St. Clair, Pa.; and Cyrus Griffin, Continental Congress adopted "Articles of Confed- Va. John Hancock was elected but did not serve. eration and Perpetual Union between the States." George Washington was the first President under These Articles gave to the Thirteen Colonies the the Constitution. He was, the Department of State name "The United States of America," and the says, the "first president of the United States of Articles, generally known as the First Constitution, America."
George Washington. Federalist, born on a Lewis Nicola, indicating a disposition to change Friday, Feb. 22 (Feb. 11, O.S.), 1732, died on Dec. the form of government and make him King. He 14, 1799, was the great grandson of Col. John refused to countenance the movement, so it went Washington (1634-1877), who came from York- no further. He established a Spy Service. shire, England, and settled in 1657, or 1658, on a He was President of the Convention that drafted tract in Westmoreland County, Virginia, bordering the Constitution in 1787, the west shore of the Potomac River near its The estate at Mt. Vernon, which George Washmouth. He bought, in 1665, a plantation on the ington inherited from his half-brother Lawrence, Potomac River, between Bridges Creek and Pope's had been named by Lawrence in honor of the Creek, the latter named after Nathaniel Pope, British Admiral, Lord Vernon, under whom Lawwhose daughter, Ann, was Col. John Washington's rence had served at the siege of Cartagena. second wife
Washington's death was due to exposure on Dec. The Washingtons had been aristocrats in Eng. 12, 1799, in a storm while riding over his estate land, adherents of the Stuarts, and when Charles with his managers. He went to bed with a sore I was beheaded, the Washingtons emigrated to throat, followed by ague. He had signed his will America.
on July 9, 1799. The end came about 10:20 P.M.. Col. John Washington had a son, Lawrence Saturday, Dec. 14, 1799. A vault was made for Washington, whose second son was Augustine Washington's body under the dome of the Capitol Washington, born in 1694. Lawrence Washington's at Washington, but the remains were interred at wife, Mildred Warner, was the daughter of Au- Mt. Vernon. gustine Warner, Jr., and Mildred Reade, daughter of Col. George Reade and Elizabeth Martiau, who owning 70,000 acres of land in Virginia and 40.000
He was one of the wealthiest men in the country, in her turn, was the daughter of Nicholas Martiau.
acres in the near-west, which latter Congress gave a French Huguenot. the first American ancestor him for his military service. His estate was valued of George Washington, born in France in 1591,
at what would now exceed $5,000,000. came to Virginia in July, 1620, and died at Yorktown in 1657, of which place he was the original slaves, some of whom belonged to his wife. He was
Washington owned, soon after his marriage, 317 patentee. Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain is
a distiller (at his Dogue Run place), as well as a second cousin, six times removed, of George Wash
farmer. He was a man of powerful physique, 6 feet, ington, through descent from the Warners.
2 inches, in height, with sandy hair, blue eyes, and Augustine Washington by his first wife, Jane Butler, who died Nov. 24, 1729, had four children.
big hands and feet. He weighed 210 pounds when
40 years of age, He was not a prohibitionist, and His second wife, Mary Ball, whom he married March 6, 1731, bore, as her first child, George attended horse shows and races, took part in card
was a horseback rider, hunter and fisherman. He Washington, born, as was his father, at Wakefield,
games, fox hunting. cock fighting and was a on Pope's Creek, fifty miles below Mount Vernon. That mansion burned down on Christmas Eve,
regular theatre goer. After his inaugural in New
York he was a first-nighter at the John St. play1780. Its location later was marked by a granite
house. He was a book collector. shaft, erected by Congress. A new brick house,
The Washington Iamily in America were Episcomodeled after the old one, was built on the site, and dedicated on Feb. 22, 1932. The reservation,
palians, and George Washington attended these by Act of Congress, has become the George Wash- services, at Alexandria, Va., at Philadelphia (where ington Birthplace National Monument, and is ad
most of his official civil career was spent), and at ministered by the National Parks Service.
New York City, where he had a family pew in St.
Paul's Chapel, Broadway an George's parents moved about 1735 to Mount
Vesey St. Vernon. That mansion burned in 1739, and the
Washington's first inauguration was in Federal
Hall, Wall and Nassau Sts., New York, April 30, present one was erected on the site. Augustine died April 12, 1743. There George Washington studied
1789; his second. in Philadelphia. mathematics and became a surveyor in the employ
Washington, with the unanimous approval of of Williain Fairfax, father of Lawrence's wife and
his Cabinet, in which sat Thomas Jefferson and manager of the Virginia estate of his cousin. Lord Alexander Hamilton, extended recognition to the Fairfax. George accompanied Lawrence to Bar- improvised government of France--the Committee bados, West Indies, and got smallpox. After his
of Public Safety, with its Dantons and Robesreturn, he entered the military service of Virginia pierres. He later served under Gen. Braddock in the war On Sept. 17, 1796, Washington said in an adbetween the English and the French.
dress: "If we remain one people, under an efficient Washington took command of the Continental government, the period is not far off . * . when we Army, at Cambridge, Mass., July 3, 1775; after may choose peace or war, as our interest guided winning the Revolutionary War, he took leave of by justice, shall counsel." the officers of his force, Dec. 4, 1783, at Fraunces Woodrow Wilson, in The President of the United Tavern, New York City, and formally resigned to States, wrote: "General Washington ... set an Congress, Dec. 20, that year at Annapolis, Md., example which few of his successors seem to have his commission as General and Commander-in-followed * * * He made constant and intimate Chief. He had served without pay, and would ac- use of his colleagues in every matter that he cept only his actual expenses; from the date of his handled. seeking their assistance and advice by commission, June 20, 1775. to Dec. 13, 1783, his letter when they were at a distance *.*It is expenses totaled (14,500. Congress, on July 3, 1798, well known ... that his greater state papers when war with France was imminent. again com- ... are full of the ideas and the very phrases missioned Washington as Lieutenant General and of the men about him whom he most trusted. His Commander-in-Chief, but hostilities were averted. rough drafts came back to him from Mr. Hamilton
In May. 1782, when Washington was at his and Mr. Madison in great part rephrased and reheadquarters at Newburgh, N, Y., dissatisfaction written, in many passages reconceived and given in the army, especially among the officers, found a new color." expression in a letter to him from Brig. Gen. Parson Weems in his "I cannot tell a lie" anec
dote said the cherry tree was barked-not cut Jefferson was a lawyer. He was a writer, not an down, by young Washington.
orator. He served in the Virginia House of Bur. Mrs. Washington, born in 1731, died in 1802, gesses with Washington and in the Continental was a daughter of Col. John Dandridge, planter, Congress; succeeded Patrick Henry, in 1779. as of New Kent County, Va., and widow of Daniel Governor of Virginia; negotiated, in Europe, treaParke Custis, also a rich farmer of that county. ties with various countries; Secretary of State Her marriage to Washington was on Jan. 6, 1759. under Washington: elected Vice-President under General Washington had no children of his own John Adams; elected President in 1800, with Aaron His wife, who was small and plump, with dark hair Burr, his rival for the Presidency, as Vice-Presiand hazel eyes, had become, by her first union, dent; re-elected in 1804, with George Clinton as the mother of four children, Martha Parke Custis, Vice-President. When Burr, who had killed Alex(Col.) John Parke Custis, and two who died in ander Hamilton in a duel, became involved in the infancy. Col. John Parke Çustis (1753-1781). (grandson Richmond, Va., in 1807, on a federal charge of
Blennerhasset expedition and was put on trial at of the Governor of the Leeward Islands, who was
treason, Jefferson t it be known to Chief Justice assassinated), inherited from his father an estate
John Marshall that Burr should be found guilty. of 1,000 acres at Arlington, Va., near Washington, But Burr was acquitted, because no evidence had where the National Cemetery is now located, and shown that he actually had levied war. Jefferson had four children-Eliza (1776-1832), who married was hostile to the Supreme Court also, for the Thomas Law; Martha, born in 1777, who became reason that, to his mind, the court under Marshall the wife of Thomas Peter; George Washington was disposed to build up the Federal power at the Parke Custis, who married Mary Lee Fitzhugh of expense of the States. Va., and whose daughter became the wife of Robert
In 1810, upon the demise of Associate Justice E. Lee, Confederate General; and Eleanor Parke Custis, who became the wife of Major Lawrence tin: "I observe 'old Cushing is dead. At length
William Cushing, Jefferson wrote to Albert GallaLewis, son of Fielding Lewis, whose father, Fielding Lewis, 1725-1781, had married George Washington's majority in the Supreme Court."
then we have a chance of getting a Republican sister, Elizabeth, and was a planter, owning half
Jefferson is credited with decisive influence in of the town of Fredericksburg, on the Rappahan
giving the United States a definite turn to popunock River.
lar rather than aristocratic democracy. In 1804, John Adams, Federalist, who was born in
when Napoleon had made himself Emperor, Jefferthat part of the ancient town of Braintree that is
son remarked of France to John Quincy Adams that now The City of Quincy, Mass., Oct. 30, 1735, and
"it was very much to be wished that they could died there July 4, 1826, was a great-grandson of
now return to the Constitution of 1789 and call Henry Adams, who came with his eight sons from
back the Old Family Jefferson was responsible Barton St. David, Somersetshire, England, in 1636,
for the Embargo and Non-Intercourse Acts of 1807. and settled on a grant of 40 acres.
Jefferson, sometimes called, in his campaigns, John was the eldest son of John Adams, farmer, and of Susanna Boylston, daughter of Peter Boyls- sandy, when, in 1760, he entered the College of
"Long Tom," was tall, raw-boned, freckled and ton, of Brookline, Mass. He graduated at Harvard William and 'Mary. He played the violin. He did in 1755; taught school at Worcester; practised law
not claim membership in any religtous denomiat Boston; served in the State Legislature, and in nation. the Revolutionary Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, and in the Continental Congress; was a
Jefferson was the first of the Presidents in
augurated at Washington. His predecessor, John signer of the Declaration of Independence; Commissioner to France, 1778, with Benjamin Franklin
Adams, drove out of Washington while Jefferson
was being inaugurated. and Arthur Lee; Minister to Holland; helped to
Mrs. Jefferson, born in 1748, died in 1782, tall, negotiate treaties in Europe; Minister to England 1785-1788; elected Vice-President in 1788, and slim, vivacious, with brown eyes, was a daughter again in 1792; chosen President in 1796. He was
of John Wayles, & wealthy lawyer of Charles City
County, Va. Her first husband was Bathurst Skelinaugurated at Philadelphia. Washington attended.
ton, who died before she was twenty. The Federal party under Adams was opposed to the western expansion of the country, and the
of the six children of the Jeffersons only two, party began to lose grip in the succeeding adminis
daughters, lived beyond infancy. Martha, 1772tration of Jefferson when the latter acquired the
1836, became the wife of Thomas Mann Randolph, Louisiana Territory in 1803 from France. The op
Jr., afterward governor of Virginia; Mary (Maria), position to expansion was strong in New England.
1778-1804, was married to her cousin, J. W. Eppes. Adams was the first President to live in the Mrs. Jefferson died 19 years before her husband White House. He was a Unitarian and was a became President, and Mrs. Madison for a time cousin of Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, who acted as mistress of the White House. Levees were also was a signer of the Declaration. He was an abolished as soon as Jefferson became President. orator and a pamphleteer; a man of medium Jefferson inherited through his wife from her height, active, Horid, and corpulent. He died on father 40.000 acres of land and 135 slaves. the same day as Jefferson, and was buried in a James Madison, Republican, was born March 16, crypt under the First Parish Church at Quincy. | 1751, at Port Conway, King George County, Va., The Library of Congress has many letters of both and died June 28, 1836, at Montpeller, Orange Co., the Adamses.
Va. He was a son of James Madison, descendant of Mrs. Adams (Abigal Smith), born in 1744, died in John Madison, of England, who in 1653 took out a 1818. was a daughter of the Rev. William Smith, a patent for land on Chesapeake Bay between the Congregational minister of Weymouth, Mass. Her York and North Rivers. James Madison's paternal mother, Elizabeth Quincy, was a great-granddaugh- grandmother, Frances Taylor, of Orange County, ter of the Puritan divine, Thomas Shepard of Cam- had four brothers, one of whom was grandfather bridge, Mass., and a great grand-niece of the Rev. of President Zachary Taylor. Madison's mother John Norton, of Boston.
was Nellie Conway, and he was oldest of 12 children. Thomas Jefferson, born April 13, 1743, died Madison graduated at Princeton in 1771; studied July 4,
1826. was of Welsh descent, according to an law at Princeton one year; returned to Virginia. unsubstantiated tradition in his family (his grand continued the study of law; helped draft the Virfather dwelt at Uxbornés, in Chesterfield County, ginia State Constitution, and was a member of the Va., southwest of Richmond), and is called the first State Lefislature; a delegate to the Contifounder of what is now known as the Democratic rental Congress; again a member of the Virginia Party. He was born at Shadwell, in Albemarle Legislature; once more a delegate to the ContiCounty, Va.. the third of ten children, two of nental Congress; served in the Federal Convention, whom died in infancy. His mother was a daughter and helped draw up, and signed, the Federal Conof Isham Randolph, a rich Virginian. His father, stitution; drew up the Virginia Resolution against Peter Jefferson, with the aid of 130 slaves, tilled a the alien and sedition laws; Secretary of State 1.900-acre tobacco and wheat plantation.
under Jefferson; President for two terms. The President died at Monticello, which he had Madison was small in stature, neat in attire. built from his own design. It was saved to his quiet, polite and scholarly. He spent the latter family by friends who satisfied the claims of his part of his life on his estate at Montpelier. There creditors, and is now a national shrine. He wrote he was buried. He was an Episcopallan. his own epitaph, now on his tomb. It runs thus: Mrs. Madison, Dolly Payne, born in 1772, died
*Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of in 1849, was raised as a Quaker, and was a daughthe Declaration of American Independence, of the ter of John Payne of North Carolina. Her mother, Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and Mary Coles, vas a cousin of Patrick Henry. Her Father of the University of Virginia."
grandfather, Josias Payne, was a son of George In the Continental Congress treaties were pro- Payne (or Paine) of Goochland County, Va. Her posed by which all of the land west of the crest first husband, whom she married when nineteen, of the Alleghany Mountains was to be divided was John Todd, a Pennsylvania lawyer and Quaker between France and Spain, the latter to receive who died in 1793 at Philadelphia in a yellow fever all south of the Ohio River. The treaties were epidemic. He left her one son, Payne Todd. defeated by Jefferson, with the aid of Patrick The first marriage in the White House was on Henry and their associates,
March 11, 1811, and united Justice Thomas Todd, of the U. S. Supreme Court, and Lucy Payne companion during his long diplomatic career in Washington, widow of Phillip Steptoe Washington Europe. (nephew of Dolly Payne.)
Their children were: George Washington Adams, James Monroe, Republican, was born in West- born at Berlin in 1801; John Q. Adams Jr., born at moreland County, Va., near the Potomac River. Boston July 4, 1803; Charles Francis Adams, born not far from Washington's birthplace, April 28, at Boston in 1807; and Louisa Catherine Adams. 1758, and died on July 4, 1831, at New York City. born at St. Petersburg in 1811, and died there in His ancestry was Scottish. The first Monroe in 1812. Their son, C. F. Adams, lawyer, served in the Virginia settled there in 1650. James was a son of Massachusetts Legislature; Free Soil candidate for Spence Monroe and Elizabeth Jones, sister of Judge Vice-President in 1848; served in Congress: MinisJoseph Jones, a Virginia delegate to the Continen- ter to England during the Civil War; President of tal Congress.
the Geneva Board of Arbitration. He attended William and Mary College, but soon,
Andrew Jackson, Democrat, was born in the vith teachers and students, among the latter being Lancaster district of the Wexhaw (New Lancaster John Marshall, left and joined the Revolutionary County, S. C.), eer settlement the North Army under George Washington, was wounded in
Carolina-South Carolina line. Marquis James in action at Trenton, N. J., and fought at Harlem
his biography. "Andrew Jackson: The Border CapHeights, (N. Y. City) at White Plains, N. Y., and tain,"' Indianapolis, 1933. makes an exhaustive at Moninouth, N. j.
study of the documents extant and declares the He served in the Virginia Legislature and in the
weight of evidence is that Jackson was born March
15, 1767, in the Crawford house then and now on Continental Congress; helped to draw up the Fedel Constitution; served as United States Senator;
the South Carolina side of the boundary which was Envoy to France, 1794 (recalled by President Wash
then in dispute and was not determined until 1813.
He died at his home, The Hermitage, near Nashington); Governor of Virginia (1799-1802); Pleni
ville, Tenn., June 8, 1845. potentiary to France (Jan.-July, 1803), and took
He was a posthumous son of Andrew Jackson. part in the Louisiana Purchase: Minister to England (1803) and to Spain (1804); Secretary of State
who came over from North Ireland in 1765, and his under Madison, and in 1814-15 also Secretary of land. He studied law at Salisbury, N. C., practiced
mother was Elizabeth Hutchinson, also from IreWar; President for two terms.
at Nashville, helped draw, in 1796, the Constitution As President in 1823 he formulated the Monroe
of Tennessee; served in Congress, and in the U. S. Doctrine, which declares against European aggran
Senate; resigned in 1798 to become a Tennessee dizement in the three Americas. His body was buried in the Marble Cemetery, of which he killed Charles Dickinson and was him.
Supreme Court Judge: fought several duels, in one Second Street, N. Y. City, but in 1858, the cen- self severe wound Dickinson, it was said, had tenary of his birth, was interred in Hollywood insulted Mrs. Jackson. Cemetery, Richmond, Va. Monroe lived on his es- In 1812 Jackson, "Old Hickory," headed 2,000 tate, Ash Lawn, in Albemarle County, Virginia, 5
troops against the British; in 1813 he defeated the miles from Charlottesville, 1799 to 1825, when he Creek Indians on the Tallapoosa River; in 1814 he left the White House. While president, about 1823, became a Major-General in the army; defeated the he moved into a country home at Oak Hill, Loudon British at Mobile, at Pensacola, and at New OrCounty, Va., (designed for him by Thomas Jeffer- leans; seized Florida temporarily from the Spanish, son, and built by James Hoban, designer of the and quelled Negro and Indian disorders there. White House) and maintained it as his residence In 1821, after the purchase of Florida, he was from 1825 to 1830, removing on his wife's death to appointed Governor; 'in 1823 entered the U.S. New York City, to be near his two daughters, who Senate. In 1824 he got more electoral votes for were married and lived there. He had inherited President than J. Q. Adams, but the election was the 1,800-acre Oak Hill estate from his uncle, Judge thrown into the House of Representatives, where Joseph Jones. It was in the Autumn of 1823 that Adams was chosen President by 13 States, with 7 Monroe, during a vacation at Oak Hill, drew up States for Jackson, and 4 for Crawford. In 1828 his Monroe Doctrine message to Congress.
Jackson was elected President, and re-elected in He had studied law, as well as polítics, under the
1832. guidance of Thomas Jefferson, and in his earlier He was shot at, in the Capitol at Washington, years practiced at Fredericksburg, Va. His office Jan. 29, 1835, by Richard Lawrence, a house there has been restored and preserved. He was an
painter. The weapon missed fire. Jackson was a Episcopalian.
Presbyterian, tall and thin. He was an enemy of Mrs. Monroe, Eliza or Elizabeth, born at N. y. the Bank of the United States, and finally, ČonCity in 1768, and died in 1830, was a daughter gress to the contrary notwithstanding, drove it out of former Capt. Lawrence Kortright of the British of existence. He sent federal troops to Charleston Army. While in France with Monroe, who was the
to scare South Carolina from its plan to nullify American Minister, she secured the release from
the national tariff laws. the prison, La Force, of Mme. de Lafayette, who
Mrs. Jackson, born in Halifax County, Virginia, hourly expected to be executed. One of Mrs.
in 1767, was the daughter of Col. John Donelson, a Monroe's sisters was the wife of M. Heyliger, Grand surveyor who, in 1779, sold his fronworks in Pittsyl. Chamberlain to the King of Denmark; another
vania County, Va., and settled in Kentucky, later sister married Nicholas Gouverneur of N. Y. City.
removing to Tennessee. Her first husband, Capt. John Quincy Adams, a son of President John Lewis Robards, divorced her, after accusing Jack
son, who married her, first, at Natchez in 1791. Adams, and likewise a Unitarian, was born in that part of the ancient town of Braintree that is now
before the divorce was granted, and again in 1794,
after the decree. the City of Quincy, Mass., July 11, 1767, and died following a stroke of paralysis while in Congress
Mrs. Jackson died in 1828, before her husband
went into the White House. She had no children. at Washington, Feb. 23, 1848. His mother's grand
but Gen. Jackson adopted one of her sister's childfather was John Quincy. J. Q. Adams was educated
ren, a boy, who was named Andrew Jackson jr. in Europe, graduated at Harvard, and practiced
and who inherited the General's estate. law, was Minister to Holland, and to Portugal, un
The mistresses of the White House in the Jackson der Washington; in his father's administration
Administration were his wife's niece, Emily, a was Minister to Prussia; served in the Massachu
slender brunette, who had married her cousin, setts Senate: in 1803 entered the United States
Major A. J. Donelson. and Sarah York Jackson, Serate as a Federalist, then became a Republican and later a Whig.
a Philadelphia Quakeress, married to the Presi
dent's adopted son. Resigning from the Senate, he taught rhetoric
Martin Van Buren, Democrat, was born at at Harvard; Minister to Russia under Madison: Kinderhook, N. Y., Dec. 5, 1782, and died there took part in the peace treaty at Ghent: Minister to of asthma July 24, 1862. He was the first president England; Secretary of State under Monroe, nego- born as an American citizen after the Declaration tiated the Florida Purchase and took part in for
of Independence, all his predecessors having been mulating the Monroe Doctrine: chosen President
born as British subjects. He was a son of Abraham by the House of Representatives, though Gen. Jackson had got the highest number of electoral Goes), widow of a man named Van Alen. The late
Van Buren and Mary Hoes (originally spelled votes at the election Jackson, 99; Adams, 84;
James J. Van Alen was his half-brother. The whole Crawford, 41; Clay, 37. Soon after his Presidential family was of Dutch origin. term ended he was elected to the House of Representatives from Massachusetts as an Independent,
Van Buren practiced law; was Surrogate of Co
lumbia County, N. Y.; a State Senator, Attorneyand fought the slave power. He was buried at
General of the State; re-entered the State Senate, Quincy, Mass., in a crypt under the First Parish became U. S. Senator in 1821, and resigned to Church.
become Governor of New York; Secretary of State Mrs. John Quincy Adams (Louisa Catherine
under President Jackson: resigned in 1831 to be Johnson) born in London. Feb. 12, 1775, died in Minister to England but was not confirmed: elected 1852, was a niece of Thomas Johnson of Maryland. Vice-President in 1832; in 1836, elected President; Her father had lived abroad for years and by direc- Free Soil candidate for President in 1848, but was tion of Congress acted as American fiscal agent in deteated. He was a member of the Dutch Reformed France and later in England. Miss Johnson be- Church. came the wife of Adams at London and was his Mrs. Van Buren, like her husband, was of Dutch descent, was a blood relative of his mother, Mary Mrs. Letitia Semple were the mistresses of the Hoes, and was his classmate at the public school White House. at Kinderhook, N. Y. She was born in 1783, and The second Mrs. Tyler was Julia Gardiner, died in 1819.
daughter of David Gardiner, whom he married on of the Van Buren children, Abraham, 1807-1873, June 26, 1844, at N. Y. City. She was born on was a West Point graduate, an army officer on the Gardiner's Island, near Easthampton, N. Y. in western frontier, secretary to his father as Presi- 1820, and died in 1889. She was a member of the dent, an army officer in the Mexican War, and in family that held manorial rights on that island. his later years a man of leisure at N. Y. City. of her children, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, lawyer, Another son, "Prince" John, 1810-1866, & lawyer, legislator, became, in 1888, President of William was elected Attorney-General of N. Y. State in and Mary College, Williamsburg. Va. He died in 1845.
Charles City County, that state, Feb. 12, 1935. Abraham's wife, Angelica Singleton, born in Another son, Judge David Gardiner Tyler, ConSouth Carolina in 1820, daughter of Richard Single- federate veteran, former member of Congress and ton, a wealthy planter, was a cousin of William a student under Gen. Robert E. Lee, died aged 81, c. Preston (a U. $. Senator from S. C.), and of Sept. 5, 1927, at the ancestral homestead, SherPresident Madison's wife. She was mistress of the wood forest, in Charles City County, Virginia. Her White House during most of Van Buren's term youngest
son, Robert Pitzwalter Tyler, died, aged Mrs. Van Buren was a member of the Dutch Re- 70, at Richmond, Va., Dec. 30, 1927. The second formed Church.
Mrs. Tyler was a Roman Catholic. W. H. Harrison, a Whig, of English descent, was James K. Polk, a Democrat, was born in born at Berkeley, Charles City County, Va., Feb. 9, Mecklenburg County, N. C., Nov. 2, 1795, and died 1773, and died of pneumonia at Washington, April at Nashville, Tenn.. June 15, 1849. The name 4, 1841. He was the third son of Benjamin Harri- originally was Pollock, and the family came from son, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Ireland. His father was Samuel Polk, a farmer He graduated at Hampden Sidney College and and surveyor, and his mother was Jane Knox, of studied medicine. Against the advice of his guard- Iredell County, N. C. ian, Robert Morris, he joined the army and went He graduated at the University of North Carowest and fought the Indians.
lina; practiced law in Tennessee; served in the Harrison was Secretary of the Northwest Terri. Legislature and in Congress; elected Governor of tory: & delegate in Congress; Governor of the Tennessee in 1839. Called the "Napoleon of the Indlana Territory, defeated the Indians at Tip- Stump," he was, 1835-1839, Speaker of the U. S. pecanoe, on the Wabash River; in 1812 took com House of Representatives; chosen President in mand of all United States troops in the northwest; 1844. He was a Methodist in his latter days. wore in 1813 defeated the British in Canada. In 1816 his hair long, and was democratic and affable. he entered Congress; in 1819 he was in the Ohio Mrs. Polk, born in 1803, died in 1891, was a Senate; in 1824 he entered the U. S. Senate, re- daughter of Joel Childress, a wealthy planter near signing to be Minister to Colombia; in 1836 he was
Murfreesboro, Tenn. She was educated in a defeated for President; in 1840 he was elected, and Moravian school. She abolished drink and dancing a month after his inauguration he died of pneu- from White House receptions. She was a handsome monia. Harrison was an Episcopalian,
woman of the Spanish type. Having no children, Mrs. Harrison was a daughter of Col. John Cleves Mrs. Polk, after her husband's death, adopted a Symmes, & delegate to the Continental Congress, niece. & soldier in the Revolutionary Army, and Chief Justice of the N. J. Supreme Court. She was born
Zachary Taylor, a Whig, fifth in descent from
an English immigrant of 1658, was born in Orange at Morristown, N. J., in 1775, and died in 1864.
County, Va., Nov. 24, 1784, and died July 9, 1850, Of President Harrison's sons, the third, John at the White House. From Virginia he had moved Scott Harrison of Indiana, 1804-1878, was a Whig in Congress and the father of Benjamin Harrison, elected to the presidency from Louisiana.
to Kentucky, to Wisconsin, to Florida, and was
His the 23rd President. Mrs. Harrison, who was an invalid, did not go to Acer in the Revolution. There is no official record
father, Col. Richard Taylor, was an American ofthe White House with him, but remained at her at the Department of State or at the War Departhome, North Bend, O. She was brought up as a ment of the date of Gen. Taylor's birth. In a letter Methodist.
dated at Matamoras, Mex., July 31, 1836, he stated The mistress of the Executive Mansion during he was born Nov. 25, 1785. On his tombstone the Gen. Harrison's occupancy was Mrs. Jane Findlay date is Nov. 24, 1784. Another date, named by Harrison, wife of the President's second son, Col. several encyclopedias, is Sept. 24, 1789. W. H. Harrison jr. Her sister, Elizabeth Irwin, was Zachary Taylor at 23 entered the army, fought the wife of John Scott Harrison.
the Indians along the Wabash and in Florida, in John Tyler, a Jeffersonian Republican, second the Black Hawk and Seminole Wars; defeated the son of Judge John Tyler and Mary Armistead, both Mexicans at the Rio Grande border of Texas, beof English ancestry, was born at Greenway, Charles came a Major-General, and, with Gen. Winfield City County, Va., March 29, 1790, and died Jan. 17, Scott, was a hero of the Mexican War; elected 1862, of liver trouble, at Richmond, Va.
President in 1848. He was a cotton planter and He graduated at William and Mary College in had a large landed estate in Louisiana. He was 1807; practiced law; served in the Virginia House buried near Louisville, Ky. He was an Episcopalian. of Delegates (1811-1816); entered the House of Mrs. Taylor was a daughter of Walter Smith, a Representatives in 1816, retiring in 1821 because planter of Calvert County, Md. Her Christian name of his health; served again (1823-1825) in the was Margaret. She was born in 1788 and died in Legislature: became rector and chancellor of Wil- 1852. Hiam and Mary College; in 1825 elected Governor Her younger daughter, Elizabeth ("Betty") of Virginia, and was re-elected; elected to the U.S. Taylor, wife of Major W. W. S. Bliss, was mistress Senate in 1827 and re-elected in '1833; defeated, in of the White Houe. "Betty," when a widow married 1836, for Vice-President on the State-Rights Whig P. P. Dandridge of Winchester, Va. The Taylors' ticket; resigned from the Senate after refusing to older daughter. Ann, became the wife of Dr. Robert obey á resolution of the Virginia Legislature de- Wood, Assistant Surgeon-General of the army. manding he vote for the Benton resolution; in Another, Sarah Knox Taylor, became the wife of 1838 re-entered the Virginia Legislature; in 1840 Jefferson Davis. chosen Vice-President, and became President on Taylor's son, Richard, 1826-1879, born in KenGen. Harrison's death.
tucky, served in the Confederate Army under In 1861 Tyler was a delegate from Virginia to the Stonewall" Jackson, and rose to be a LieutenantPeace Convention of 13 northern and 7 border General. He died at N. Y. City. States, at Washington, called after the secession Millard Fillmore, a Whig. born in Cayuga of South Carolina, to adopt a place for settling the County, N. Y., Jan. 7, 1800, died March 8, 1874, controversy between the North and the South. He was of English descent, the first of the name in was President of the gathering. The U. S. Senate the U. S. having been John, a mariner, of Ipswich, rejected the convention's proposals. Tyler was a Mass. Millard's father, Nathaniel, was a pioneer delegate to the Confederate Provisional Congress log-cabin settler in Cayuga County, N. Y. in 1861, and was elected by Virginia to the Con- Fillmore served apprenticeship as a wool carder, federate Congress, but died before it assembled. and then went to Buffalo and taught in a public
Tyler was an Episcopallan, tall, thin, clean-school; studied law under Asa Rice and Joseph shaven, with a Roman nose and a high receding Clary, and in 1823 was admitted to the bar. In forehead. His eyes were blue, his voice soft and 1836 he formed the law firm of Fillmore, Hall melodious.
and Haven. He served in the Legislature (1829The first Mrs. Tyler was Letitia, a daughter of 1831), and in the 23rd, 25th, 26th and 27th ConRobert Christian, a planter of New Kent County, gresses; in 1844 was the unsuccessful whig candiVe., and was born in 1790. She was delicate, and date for Governor; State Comptroller in 1848 and died in the White House, in 1842. She was an in that same year was elected Vice-President, and Episcopallan.
succeeded to the Presidency on Gen. Taylor's death, Of her children, Robert Tyler, 1818-1877, lawyer, July 9. 1850. editor, poet, married Priscilla, a daughter of T. AI The letters to President Fillmore are with the Cooper, the tragedian, and she and her daughter, Buffalo Historical Soc.; there are 44 volumes, and a list of the letters in these volumes is being pre- | Lincoln of Rockingham, Va., and great-grandson pared for the Library of Congress with the view to of Mordecai Lincoln of Berks County, Penn.)., 4 photostat such as have historical importance. A a carpenter and cabinet maker and wheelwright. collection of letters from Fillmore has been pub- He built the Primitive Baptist Church at Gentrylished under the auspices of the Buffalo Historical | ville, Ind. At 22 he was apprenticed to Joseph Soc. Ex-President Fillmore passed his last years Hanks of Elizabethtown, Ky., and married Joseph's at Buffalo, and was buried in Forest Lawn Ceme- sister, Nancy. Her ancestor. Thomas Hanks, emitery. He was a Unitarian. He was Chancellor of grated from England to Virginia in 1644. Nancy's the University of Buffalo from the time of its cousin, Miss Rose Ella Hanks, 84, daughter of founding in 1846 until his death.
Joseph Hanks, died in Canon City, Colo., in 1939, The first Mrs. Fillmore, born in 1798, died in Lincoln's cousin, Mrs. Henry K Harrison, 62, 1853, was the daughter of a Baptist clergyman, the daughter of David Lincoln, died in Birdsboro, Pa., Rev. Lemuel Powers of Stillwater, Saratoga County, in 1939. N. Y. She taught school in Cayuga County, N. Y., The log cabin in which Nancy Hanks lived and in a backwoods district, and continued to teach was married has been deeded to the State of after Fillmore married her. Owing to Mrs. Fill-Kentucky by W. L. Clements of South Bend, Ind.. more's poor health, her daughter, Miss Mary and his father, W. A. Clements of Springfield, Ky. Abigail (born 1832, 'died 1854), was the White House mistress. Mrs. Fillmore's other child, Millard from
The cabin, in 1911, was moved to Harrodsburg. Ky., its original site at Beachland,
ку., Powers Fillmore, was born in 1828 and died in 1889. on the banks of the Little Beech Fork, in Wash
The second Mrs. Fillmore, whom he married at ington County. The cabin, enclosed in a brick
church, built by Mrs. E. B. Ball of Muncie, Ind..
now known as the Lincoln Marriage Temple, in and was a daughter of Charles Carmichael and Pioneer Memorial State Park, was dedicated as a Temperance Blachley of Morristown, N. J., and shrine, on June 12, 1931. widow of Ezekiel C. McIntosh, a prominent mer- Abraham had a sister, Sarah, and a brother, chant of Albany. She bore Fillmore no children. Thomas. The sister married but had no children. Franklin Pierce, a Democrat, was born on
The brother died in infancy. In 1816 Abraham's Friday, Nov. 23, 1804, inaugurated on Friday, died parents moved across the Ohio River into Indiana, on Friday, Oct.'8. 1869, at Concord, N. H. He first where his mother died in 1818. His father then saw the light at Hillsborough, N. H. He was a son
married a widow, Sarah Bush Johnston. In 1830 of Benjamin Pierce, who was a farmer, an officer the family moved to Macon County, Ill., and in in the Revolutionary Army, and Governor of the 1831 to Coles County, Ill., where Abraham's parents State.
passed the rest of their lives. Franklin Pierce graduated at Bowdoin College in 1824; practiced law; served in the New Hampshire recently have found a record in the office of the
Research technicians of the National Park Service Legislature, in the United States House of Representatives, and in the U. S. Senate, resigning in
Court of Springfield, Ill., of a license granted to
William F. Berry to operate a tavern "under the 1842 to resume his profession; a Brigadier General in 1847, in the war with Mexico; elected President
name of Berry & Lincoln' at New Salem, Ill. This
license was issued by the clerk of the Court. in 1852. After his term he made a tour of Europe. Pierce
Abraham cleared the forest and helped build
their cabin home; with Denton Offutt he carried was handsome, graceful, well-dressed; and was a notable orator. He was an Episcopalian. He left
farm produce by water to New Orleans, and sold an estate valued at $72,000.
it; he ran at one time a ferryboat across the Ohio
River from the Kentucky shore to the mouth of Mrs. Pierce, born at Hampton, N. H., in 1806, died in 1863. was a daughter of the Rev. Jesse
Anderson Creek; kept a general store at New
Salem, Ill.; served as an officer of volunteers in Appleton, President of Bowdoin College. Of the
the Black Hawk Indian War; Postmaster at New children of the Pierces, one son died in infancy, Salem; he served in the Illinois Legislature 1834another at the age of 4, and the youngest, Benjamin, eleven years of age, was killed, Jan. 6, 1853, elected to the House of Representatives and served
1841; practiced law at Springfield, Ill.; in 1846 in a railroad accident near Andover, Mass. James Buchanan, a Federalist, later a Democrat,
one term; in 1858 debated slavery with Stephen A. of Scottish descent, was born near Mercersburg.
Douglas in the latter's successful campaign for re
election to the US Senate; in 1860 elected PresiPa,, April 23, 1791, and died of rheumatic gout, at
dent; re-elected in 1864, Lancaster, Pa., June 1, 1868.
President Lincoln was shot Friday (Good Friday), He served as a volunteer in the defense of Baltimore, in the War of 1812; graduated at Dickinson
April 14, 1865, at Ford's Theatre, Washington, at
the performance of “Our American Cousin,' by College in 1809; practiced law; served in the Pennsylvania Legislature; elected in 1820 to the U. S.
John Wilkes Booth, an actor, and died the next House of Representatives, from which he resigned Sergt. Boston Corbett, U. S. Army, near Fredericks
day. The assassin was shot to death April 26. by in 1831, when President Jackson appointed him Minister to Russia; reelected in 1834 to the U. S.
burg. Va. For participation in Booth's crime, Senate, where he stayed until 1845, when he be
Mrs. Mary E. Surratt, David E. Harold, George A.
Atzerodt, and Lewis Payne (Powell) were hanged came' Secretary of State under President Polk. In 1849 he retired to Wheatland, his 22-acre estate
after trial. The original plot was to assassinate near Lancaster, Pa.; in 1853 was Minister to
the President, Vice-President, and certain members England: in 1856 he was elected President.
of the Cabinet; one of the conspirators knifed the The Buchanan papers are mainly with the Penn
Secretary of State, William H. Seward, in his bed
room, but the wound was not serious. Lincoln was sylvania Historical Soc., but the Library of Congress has his letters to Harriet Lane Johnston.
buried at Springfield, Ill. The coffin was partly
opened on April 14, 1887 to see if the body was President Buchanan was a Presbyterian and a
there intact and again in 1901. bachelor. The mistress of the White House in his
Lincoln had proposed to his Cabinet on Feb. 5, Administration was his sister Jane's daughter,
1865, that the South be compensated for the loss Harriet Lane, whose father, Elliott T. Lane, came from an old Virginta family, had grown wealthy as
of slave labor by payment of $400,000,000. The
Cabinet was unanimously against the suggestion, & transcontinental trader, and lived at Mercers
and it was dropped. burg. Pa Miss Lane, tall and blonde with violet eyes, had been educated at a Roman Catholic school
LINCOLN'S GETTYSBURG ADDRESS at Georgetown: later in life she became an Episco- Following is Lincoln's own version revised by pallan. Her mother died when she was seven, her him from his own notes, of the address at Gettysfather when she was nine. Thereafter she made
burg on Nov. 19, 1863. The great battle had been her home with her uncle, and was with him in
fought on July 1-3, 1863. his career abroad.
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers Abraham Lincoln, a Whig, later a Republican, brought forth on this continent a new nation, 6 It. 4 in. in height, was born in Hardin County
conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposi(that spot is in what is now Larue County), Ky.,
tion that all men are created equal. Feb. 12. 1809, and was a descendant of Samuel Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing Lincoln and wife, Martha, who came over from
whether that nation or any nation so conceived and Hingham, near Norwich, England, in 1636, arriving
so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a at Salem, Mass., on June 20, and later settled at
great battlefield of that war. We have come to Hingham, Mass.
dedicate a portion of that field, as a final restingSamuel Lincoln, the pioneer, died in 1690, of place of those who here gave their lives that that smallpox, aged 71, the father of 11 children. His
nation might live. It is altogether fitting and third son, Mordecai, (1657-1727) had a son, Mor
proper that we should do this. decai (1686-1736), who had a son, John (died in But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate-we 1788), who had a son, Abraham (1744-1786), who cannot consecrate-we cannot hallow this ground. had a son, Thomas (1778-1851). He was the father The brave men, living and dead, who struggled of Abraham, the President.
here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power The Lincoins in successive generations lived in to add or detract. The world will little note, nor New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Kentucky. long remember, what we say here, but it can never
Abraham's father. Thomas (grandson of John forget what they did here. It is for us the living,