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  • White House Messenger Edgar R. Beckley
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    staff
    Residence staff
    North Drive
    North Grounds
    This black-and-white photograph of White House messenger Edgar R. Beckley on the North Drive of the White House was taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston. Beckley served as White House Messenger for nearly 40 years, from the Ulysses S. Grant to the Theodore Roosevelt administrations. In his role, Beckley travelled across Washington, D.C. on horseback to deliver important messages from the president. In 1908, Beckley was transferred to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where he worked until his retirement in 1920.
  • Colonel William H. Crook
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    staff
    Residence staff
    portraits
    This black-and-white, photographic portrait of longtime White House staff member Col. William H. Crook was taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston around 1890. Col. Crook served at the White House from 1864-1915. He started as bodyguard and doorman, later advancing to the roles of executive clerk and disbursing officer of the White House. Col. Crook documented his experiences in his memoir, "Through Five Administrations," originally published in 1910.
  • Dolly Johnson in the White House Kitchen
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    staff
    Ground Floor
    Kitchen
    This photograph of Dolly Johnson in the White House kitchen was taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston in 1893. In 1889, Johnson came to Washington, D.C. from Louisville, Kentucky, to serve as chief cook for President Benjamin Harrison. Her immediate predecessor, Madame Madeleine Pelouard of France, was known for her haute cuisine, but several newspapers of the time deemed Johnson’s cooking more suitable for the president’s “plain American taste.” She also worked in this role during President Grover Cleveland's second term as president.
  • White House Conservatory
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    conservatory
    This photograph of the White House Conservatory was taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston in 1890. The White House Conservatories were expansive in the late nineteenth century, maintaining plants of all kinds that bloomed year-round. Though beloved by many presidents, the conservatories were demolished in 1902 as a part of Theodore Roosevelt's major renovation of the White House.
  • White House Stables
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    south grounds
    This photograph of the White House Stables was taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston in 1890. This image shows the stables immediately before they were expanded for President Benjamin Harrison in 1891. This High Victorian mansard-roofed structure is the last of the White House Stables before they were demolished in 1911. This stable was built during the Ulysses S. Grant administration in 1871.
  • Overlooking the North Lawn
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    north grounds
    This photograph of the North Lawn was taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston in the summer of 1890. It features the seasonal flowers during the Benjamin Harrison administration. It was taken from an upstairs bedroom window.
  • Interior of the Corcoran House
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    Washington, D.C.
    This image by Frances Benjamin Johnston shows the Corcoran House through to the ballroom. W. W. Corcoran was a philanthropist, banker, and patron of the arts who made his fortune in America. Corcoran hosted many parties for Washington's elite and displayed his vast art collection at this house. Corcoran lived in the northwest corner of Lafayette Square, near the White House, at H Street and Connecticut Avenue.
  • H Street View of Corcoran Mansion
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    Washington, D.C.
    This photograph of the Corcoran House was taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston. It shows the H Street view of the Corcoran House in Washington, D.C. W. W. Corcoran was a philanthropist, banker, and patron of the arts who made his fortune in America. Corcoran hosted many parties for Washington's elite and displayed his vast art collection at this house, located in the northwest corner of Lafayette Square.
  • Jerry Smith in Front of a North Portico Window
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    Residence staff
    This portrait photograph is of White House staff member Jerry Smith holding his signature feather duster. Smith started working at the White House during the Ulysses S. Grant administration in the late 1860s, and served as butler, cook, doorman, and footman until his retirement some 35 years later. Shortly before dying at age 69 in 1904, Smith was visited at his home by President Theodore Roosevelt.
  • William McKinley
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    portrait
    This portrait photograph by Frances Benjamin Johnston shows President William McKinley seated at his desk in the Treaty Room. The Treaty Room, also historically called the Cabinet Room, is located in the Second Floor residence of the Executive Mansion. The desk McKinley is seated at was acquired during the Ulysses S. Grant administration and historically resides there in the room's contemporary use as the president's private study. Johnston was one of the earliest female photographers and photojournalists, and had her own studio in Washington, D.C.
  • Ida Saxton McKinley
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    portrait
    This portrait of First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley was taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston. Johnston was one of the earliest female photographers and photojournalists, and had her own studio in Washington, D.C.
  • William McKinley
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    portrait
    This portrait photograph by Frances Benjamin Johnston shows President William McKinley standing by his desk in the Treaty Room. The Treaty Room, also historically called the Cabinet Room, is located in the Second Floor residence of the Executive Mansion. The desk behind McKinley was acquired during the Ulysses S. Grant administration and historically resides there in the room's contemporary use as the president's private study. Johnston was one of the earliest female photographers and photojournalists, and had her own studio in Washington, D.C.
  • Caroline Harrison's Pet Collie, Dash
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    pets
    This photograph by Frances Benjamin Johnston shows First Lady Caroline Harrison's dog, a collie mix named Dash. Johnston was one of the earliest female photojournalists and had a studio in Washington, D.C.
  • Frances Cleveland and Cabinet Wives
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    Cabinet
    This photograph by Frances Benjamin Johnston shows First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland with the wives and a sister of President Grover Cleveland's cabinet. Johnston was one of the earliest female photojournalists and had a studio in Washington, D.C. Seated left to right: Nannie H. Wilson, Olive Harmon, Mary Jane Carlisle, Mrs. Cleveland, Agnes Olney, Leila Herbert. Standing left to right: Emma Morton, Jane Francis, Juliet K. Lamont.
  • Frances Folsom Cleveland
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    portrait
    This portrait of First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland was taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston. Johnston was one of the earliest female photojournalists and had a studio in Washington, D.C.
  • Frances Folsom Cleveland
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    portrait
    This portrait of First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland was taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston. Johnston was one of the earliest female photojournalists and had a studio in Washington, D.C.
  • East Garden
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    Jacqueline Kennedy Garden
    This hand-colored photograph by Frances Benjamin Johnston shows the East Garden as it appeared in 1921. The East Garden is now called the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden.
  • Baby McKee and "His Whiskers"
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    South Grounds
    This is a photograph of Benjamin Harrison McKee, affectionately nicknamed "Baby McKee" by the press, holding the reigns of "His Whiskers," a goat presented to him by his grandfather President Benjamin Harrison. Also pictured from left to right are his uncle, Russell Harrison, son of the president, Russell's daughter Marthena Harrison, the dog Jack, and sister Mary Lodge McKee. Mary Scott Harrison McKee, "Baby McKee" and Mary's mother, took over as White House hostess upon the death of her mother, First Lady Caroline Lavinia Scott Harrison in 1892.
  • The White House Conservatory
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    Conservatory
    This photograph of the White House Conservatory was taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston. The massive Conservatory contained houses dedicated to specific plants such as orchids, ferns, grapes, geraniums, roses, and camellias and even had a house only for the propagation of plants. The Conservatory was located on what is today the West Colonnade and West Wing of the White House.
  • White House Orchids
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    Conservatory
    This photograph shows the orchid house that was added to the White House Conservatory complex during the Ulysses S. Grant administration. A tropical flower rare to the United States at the time, orchids underwent a boom in popularity beginning in the mid-1800s. This photograph was taken by the prominent female photographer of the era, Frances Benjamin Johnston, who was known for her portrait and architectural photography and often photographed the White House.
  • Alice Roosevelt Longworth
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    First Family
    portrait
    This hand-colored, full-length portrait photograph is of Alice Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt's daughter, and was taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston.
  • Ethel Roosevelt in the White House Garden
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    First Family
    portrait
    This portrait photograph by Frances Benjamin Johnston shows Ethel Roosevelt, daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, sitting in the White House garden.
  • Police Roll Call Inspection at the White House
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    staff
    This photograph by Frances Benjamin Johnston shows Archie and Quentin Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt's youngest sons, standing in an inspection line with uniformed guards near the White House.
  • Archie Roosevelt on Algonquin
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    First Family
    pets
    This photograph by Frances Benjamin Johnston shows Archie Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt, riding Algonquin, the family pony.
  • Archie Roosevelt on a Bicycle
    Frances Benjamin Johnston
    First Family
    This photograph by Frances Benjamin Johnston shows Archie Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt, posed on a bicycle at the bottom of the steps leading to the South Portico.