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  • Mary Arthur McElroy
    John Sartain
    portrait
    First Family
    This is a steel engraving of Mary Arthur McElroy, sister of President Chester A. Arthur, created by John Sartain. Sartain was one of the prominent engravers of the 19th century. McElroy filled some of the roles of First Lady during Arthur's presidency from 1881 to 1885. Arthur did not remarry after the death of his wife Ellen Herndon Arthur in 1880. McElroy was President Arthur's sister and had a family of her own. Due to this she only spent time in Washington D.C. during the winter social season.
  • Lucy Payne Washington Todd
    Matthew Harris Jouett
    portraits
    likeness
    First Family
    This portrait of Lucy Payne Washington Todd is attributed to Matthew Harris Jouett. Lucy Payne was the sister of First Lady Dolley Payne Madison. She first married George Steptoe Washington, nephew of President George Washington. After his death, she married U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thomas Todd. Her marriage to Todd on March 29, 1812 was the first documented marriage at the White House. Jouett studied under renowned portrait painter Gilbert Stuart and painted multiple portraits of famous figures of the era.
  • Anna Payne Cutts (Ms. Richard Payne Cutts)
    Gilbert Stuart
    portraits
    First Family
    likeness
    This portrait by Gilbert Stuart is of Anna Payne Cutts. Cutts was Dolley Payne Madison's younger sister and she sat for this portrait for Stuart at about the same time she married Richard Cutts, a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts. Born in Rhode Island, Stuart was a renowned portraitist and is known for his portraits of many leading figures, including presidents George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe.
  • "Purity in the President's Chair"
    Caroline Lavinia Scott Harrison
    drawing
    chair
    First Family
    This is a hand-drawn sketch of Benjamin Harrison McKee, affectionately known as "Baby McKee." The drawing was done by Baby McKee's grandmother, First Lady Caroline Scott Harrison. Mrs. Harrison did not sketch often, but her grandson was the subject of some of her sketches. Mrs. Harrison captioned this sketch "Purity in the President's Chair."
  • President Buchanan and Harriet Lane with Gifts from Japanese Delegation
    Unknown
    First Family
    This wood engraving depicts President James Buchanan and Harriet Lane, his niece who served as White House hostess, inspecting gifts given to the United States by the Japanese delegation in the spring of 1860. This was the first visit to the United States by Japanese diplomats. The visit was a response to the 1852-1854 expedition to Japan by Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry that resulted in an open trade treaty between the two nations. Some of the gifts visible in the engraving are katanas, saddles, and fabric. The caption at the bottom of the image is in German.
  • Visitors From the East: President Buchanan Greets Visitors from Far Away, 1860
    Peter Waddell
    delegation
    White House Guests
    First Family
    This 2011 oil on canvas painting by Peter Waddell depicts President James Buchanan with his niece, and White House hostess, Harriet Lane greeting three Japanese visitors to the White House. The Japanese diplomats arrived in the United States in the spring of 1860. The visit was a response to the 1852-1854 expedition to Japan by Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry that resulted in an open trade treaty between the two nations. ***Interior use only for publications***
  • Harriet Lane Johnston
    Unknown
    First Family
    portrait
    This photograph is of Harriet Lane, who was the niece and ward of President James Buchanan. After she finished her boarding school education, she began accompanying Buchanan to formal events. When Buchanan was elected president, Lane assumed the role of White House hostess and was popular with the American public. She married Elliot Johnston in 1866. In 1903, Lane donated her private art collection to the National Art Gallery which later became part of the Smithsonian Institution. As a result she was given the nickname "first lady of the National Collection of Fine Arts."
  • Jane M. Pierce
    John Chester Buttre
    portrait
    First Family
    This engraving of First Lady Jane Means Appleton Pierce was completed by John Chester Buttre in 1886. As the daughter of a Congregationalist minister, Mrs. Pierce discouraged her husband's political ambitions, fainting at the news he was selected as the Democratic nominee for president. During her husband's years in office from March 4, 1853 to March 4, 1857, Mrs. Pierce had to exert herself to meet the social obligations of a first lady. A devout woman, she suffered heavily from the deaths of all three of her children including her son Benjamin, who was killed in a train accident just prior to his father's inauguration.
  • Dolley Payne Todd Madison
    Bass Otis
    portrait
    First Family
    This reproduction is of a portrait of First Lady Dolley Payne Todd Madison painted by Bass Otis in the mid-19th century. Dolley Madison served as first lady during her husband's tenure as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817.
  • Dolley Madison
    Consolidated Cigar Company
    portrait
    First Family
    This portrait of Dolley Madison, titled "Mrs. James Madison," is from a series of tobacco cards produced by the Consolidated Cigar Company between 1889 and 1893. First Lady Dolley Madison was a popular White House hostess while her husband, President James Madison, served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817.
  • Abigail Adams
    Bureau of National Literature and Art
    portrait
    First Family
    This engraving is of First Lady Abigail Adams and was copyrighted by the Bureau of National Literature and Art in 1903. The engraving displays Mrs. Adams in a dress and bonnet facing right. She was first lady while her husband John Adams served as president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. Their family was the first to live in the White House, which was ready for occupancy in 1800, toward the end of his term in office.
  • Sarah Yorke Jackson
    Mayna Treanor Avent
    portrait
    First Family
    This portrait of Sarah Yorke Jackson was completed by Mayna Treanor Avent circa 1921, after a Ralph Eleaser Whiteside Earl portrait from circa 1833. Sarah Yorke Jackson was the wife of Andrew Jackson Jr., who was the adopted son of President Andrew Jackson. Sarah filled the role of White House hostess during the last months of the Jackson administration after the death of Emily Tennessee Donelson, wife of President Jackson's orphaned nephew Andrew Jackson Donelson. President Jackson and his wife, the late Rachel Jackson, served as guardians for Andrew Jackson Donelson and his siblings. Rachel never fulfilled the duties of first lady as she passed away just three months before President Jackson took office. Emily Tennessee Donelson and Sarah Yorke Jackson stepped in to fill that role and serve as White House hostess during his eight year administration.
  • Abigail Adams Arriving at the White House
    Louis S. Glanzman
    First Family
    This watercolor, entitled "Abigail Adams arriving at the White House," was created by Louis S. Glanzman around 1970. Glanzman used pen and ink to complement the underlying watercolors. In this image, First Lady Abigail Adams is greeted by her husband, President John Adams. President John Adams's family was the first to live in the White House, which was ready for occupancy in 1800, toward the end of his term in office.
  • Sarah Dabney Strother Taylor
    Unknown
    portrait
    First Family
    This oil on canvas portrait, completed by an unknown artist in 1822, depicts President Zachary Taylor's mother, Sarah Dabney Strother Taylor. Sarah is pictured facing left with a lace bonnet. The Taylors were farm and plantation owners, moving from Virginia to Kentucky when the future president was an infant. Prior to being elected, President Taylor served in the United States Army. He fought in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and the Second Seminole War. His reputation as a war hero during the Mexican-American War helped propel him to the presidency.
  • Abigail Adams Supervising the Hanging of the Wash in the East Room
    Gordon Phillips
    First Family
    East Room
    This oil on canvas painting was created by Gordon Phillips in 1966. It depicts First Lady Abigail Adams and her granddaughter, Susanna, watching a servant hang laundry in the unfinished East Room. When President John Adams and his family moved into the White House in 1800, many of the rooms and hallways were incomplete. The East Room could not be used as a place to host receptions, so Mrs. Adams used it to dry laundry. Susanna was the daughter of Charles Adams, the President and First Lady's second son and younger brother to future president John Quincy Adams.
  • Mrs. Adams Winding Silk, President John Q. Adams at the Table
    Louis S. Glanzman
    First Family
    This 1970 oil on panel painting by artist Louis S. Glanzman shows President John Quincy Adams and First Lady Louisa Catherine Adams. This painting depicts Mrs. Adams winding silk while President Adams works at a table. President Adams and his father, President John Adams, were the first father and son elected president of the United States. The elder father served from 1797-1801 while the younger served from 1825-1829.
  • Jane M. Pierce
    Consolidated Cigar Company
    portrait
    First Family
    This illustration of First Lady Jane Means Appleton Pierce was created by the Consolidated Cigar Company. This portrait of Mrs. Pierce, along with several other first ladies, were featured on a series of tobacco cards printed by the company. The daughter of a Congregationalist minister, Mrs. Pierce discouraged her husband's political ambitions, fainting at the news he was selected as the Democratic nominee for president. During her husband's years in office from March 4, 1853 to March 4, 1857, Mrs. Pierce had to exert herself to meet the social obligations of a first lady. A devout woman, she suffered heavily from the deaths of all three of her children including her son Benjamin, who was killed in a train accident just prior to his father's inauguration.
  • Anna Tuthill Symmes Harrison
    Unknown
    portrait
    First Family
    This reproduction of a watercolor portrait is of First Lady Anna Tuthill Symmes Harrison, published around 1910-1960. This portrait shows Mrs. Harrison, possibly in her mourning outfit, after the death of her husband, President William Henry Harrison. President Harrison died a month into his presidency, before Mrs. Harrison moved from their home in Ohio and into the White House.
  • John Quincy Adams Dances with His Son's Bride, Mary Catherine Hellen
    Robert C. Magis
    First Family
    wedding
    In this illustration, President John Quincy Adams dances with his new daughter-in-law, Mary Catherine Hellen, at his son's wedding on February 25, 1828. The groom, John Adams II, speaks with his mother, First Lady Louisa Catherine Adams, on the left, while Dr. William Hawley, the officiating clergyman and rector of nearby St. John's Episcopal Church, stands near the mirror on the right. The room is likely the Elliptical Saloon, today known as the Blue Room, one of the State Floor parlors.
  • Eliza Monroe
    Unknown
    First Family
    portrait
    This portrait by an unknown artist depicts Elizabeth "Eliza" Kortright Monroe, daughter of President James Monroe and First Lady Elizabeth Monroe. Eliza was their first child, and this portrait may have been done during her father's tenure as United States Minister to France.
  • Letitia Christian Tyler
    Unknown
    portrait
    First Family
    This portrait is of Letitia Christian Tyler and was created sometime between 1830-1840 by an unknown artist. Mrs. Tyler was the first wife of President John Tyler. She died in 1842, a year into her husband's term in office.
  • The Wedding at the White House
    Henry Alexander Ogden
    First Family
    wedding
    This hand colored wooden engraving by illustrator Henry Ogden depicts the wedding of Ellen Wrenshall Grant to Algernon Sartoris on May 21, 1874 in the East Room of the White House. Ellen, more often referred to as Nellie, was President Ulysses S. Grant's only daughter. She was 18 at the time of her wedding to Sartoris, a well-to-do English singer. This engraving was published in "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper" on June 6, 1874.
  • Hayes Family and Friends in the Library
    Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper
    First Family
    Yellow Oval Room
    This engraving shows President Rutherford B. Hayes, First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes, two of their children (likely Frances and Scott), and their friends enjoying an evening of entertainment in their library. This room is now the Yellow Oval Room, located on the Second Floor of the Executive Mansion. At the piano is Secretary of the Interior Carl Schurz. The engraving, possibly tinted by P. Hall Baglie, was based on a sketch by Georgie A. Davis and appeared in "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper."
  • The Confidant: First Lady Lucy Hayes and Her Maid, 1879
    Peter Waddell
    First Family
    pets
    This modern painting of First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes and her personal maid, Mary, was commissioned by the White House Historical Association and painted by artist Peter Waddell. The painting captures Mary assisting Mrs. Hayes in a bedroom in the White House. Mary was the daughter of Winnie Monroe, who also worked in the White House as a nurse and cook. Both Mary and Winnie were close members of the Hayes household staff, moving with the family from their home state of Ohio to Washington, D.C. upon President Rutherford B. Hayes' election. On the purple chair beside the two women rests Siam, the Hayes children's pet Siamese cat. Siam was sent to the children by the American consul in Bangkok and was the first Siamese cat in the United States. ***Interior use only for publications***
  • Eliza McCardle Johnson
    John Chester Buttre
    portrait
    First Family
    This engraving of First Lady Eliza McCardle Johnson was done by John Chester Buttre published in 1883. It is based on a photograph of Mrs. Johnson. When her husband became president in 1865 she assumed the role of First Lady in a limited capacity. Mrs. Johnson hosted formal dinners and met with heads of state but left the rest of the position's responsibilities to her daughters.