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Early White House Hostesses
NINETEEN wives of the Presidents have performed the duties of 'First Lady' of the land, of White House mistress and of hostess of the nation. Three of these, Mrs. Tyler, Mrs. Zachary Taylor and Mrs. Andrew Johnson, were invalids and hence unable to act, to the full extent, their parts in official life, their places in that respect being taken by relatives of the Presidents named.
Later White House Hostesses
MRS. ABRAHAM LINCOLN was a member of a true Southern family. Therefore it may reasonably be supposed that sometimes her position at the White House, as the wife of the Great Liberator, was somewhat painful, inasmuch as the views of the members of her own family were not strictly in accord with those of her husband.
White House - Relatives As 'first Ladies'
THE 'First Ladies' of the land have included, besides the wives of the Presidents, relatives of Chief Executives such as daughters, daughters-in-law, sisters and nieces. Sometimes, because of the invalidism of a President's wife, there has been two or three 'First Ladies' in one administration.
White House - Secretaries To The Presidents
EVERY President had had a private secretary, but not until the McKinley administration did a President have a Secretary to the President. The office of Secretary to the President is now a regular Government office, and is held only by men of high ability. All Presidents up to Buchanan, in 1857, paid the salaries of their private secretaries out of their own pockets.
Letters And Gifts For The Presidents
THE first letter received by a President of the United States at the White House was, of course, one delivered to President John Adams in November, 1800, soon after Mr. Adams had taken possession of the newly finished 'President's House.'
White House - Employees And Clerical Staff
THE White House staff of employes consists of more than forty men and women including the clerical force in the executive office, Mrs. Roosevelt's social secretary and three maids, the steward, the two butlers, the President's family cook (a white woman in the Roosevelt administration), the house cook and assistant, one pantry man, four cleaners, the gardener and his assistants, laundresses, firemen, watchmen, janitors, plumbers and electricians.
White House - Secret Service And Military Aides
WHILE foreign rulers are surrounded at all times by bodyguards, our own Presidents are attended on all public occasions, and on even many private occasions, by detectives in plain clothes who are known as Secret Service men members of the Bureau of Secret Service detailed for the purpose.
Presidential Messages And Cabinets
NO STORY of the White House would be complete without some mention of the President's official family, the Cabinet. And as the members of the Cabinet are the President's official advisers, and, therefore, have much to do with the messages of the Chief Executive, a few facts of interest relating to Presidential messages and proclamations are included in this chapter.
White House - Public And Private Rooms
COMPARING the White House to a human being, the building itself may be said to be the body, while the home within is the soul. The tangible and visible soul of the White House, therefor, consists of the rooms and the furniture therein, together with the decorations, bric-a-brac and so on, all of which are a part of the home as established by the lady or ladies of the Presidents' families.
White House Portraits And Painters
PORTRAITS of all the Presidents, from Washington to Roosevelt, may be seen in the White House collection of paintings. The famous portrait of Washington, the one cut from its frame and preserved by Dolly Madison when the cry of 'the British are coming' startled the members of the White House family in 1814, previous to the burning of the mansion, is still one of the gems of the collection.
White House - Maintenance Of Buildings And Grounds
THE commanding officer, as it were, of the White House and the park that surrounds it and of all the buildings on the premises, is known as the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds. Under the charge of this officer of the United States Army, (for the appointment has for many years been given to some military officer of distinction) are, as already inferred, the main building, the Executive Offices, the Conservatories, the stables, and the grounds generally.
White House - Three Alarms Of Fire
THE alarming cry of 'Fire!' has been heard at least three times in the Executive Mansion. The first such alarm occurred in 1814, when President Madison and his family occupied the President's House, and when the British invading army took possession of the mansion and set fire to it. The building on this occasion was much damaged as to exterior, while almost all of the interior fittings, furniture, decorations and general equipment were totally destroyed.
Babies Of The White House
IN THE one hundred and eight years of the existence of the White House less than twenty children have been born within its walls. To have entered the world in the Executive Mansion is therefor an experience so unusual as to be unique, for the newcomer is hailed at the time as the most important baby in the land. The only child born to a President within the White House was the second daughter of Grover Cleveland.
Child Life At The President's House
THE prattle and play, song and shout of children has been heard in the White House in nearly every administration. The first child to play in the original President's house was the little orphaned granddaughter of John Adams, Susanna Adams, then only three years old. Jefferson used to romp with his little grandson, and John Quincy Adams always showed the utmost solicitation about his little granddaughter.
Sons Of The Presidents
TRUE it is that in many cases the lives of the sons and grandsons of distinguished men are obscured by the greatness of fathers or grandfathers. In the case of the Presidents, however, many notable exceptions to this more or less usual state of affairs may be cited. For example, two members of the Adams family of Massachusetts, father and son, became Presidents of the United States.
Daughters Of The Presidents
AS FOR the daughters of Presidents, some facts concerning their lives are given in the present chapter, while a further record of their achievements as hostesses at the White House will be found in the chapters telling of the 'First Ladies' and of White House brides, romances and entertainments.
Grandchildren Of The Executive Mansion
GRANDSONS and granddaughters have played a part at the White House domestic life in at least ten of the twenty-six Presidential Administrations. The very first of all the granddaughters was Susanna Adams, the orphaned child of a son of President John Adams. Only two years old at the time, she was the first 'granddaughter of the nation.'
Brides Of The White House
A WHITE HOUSE bride has always become a national character at the time of her nuptials, while a White House wedding has always been regarded as a national event. From the time of the first wedding in the President's House in 1811, when a niece of Dolly Madison's married a Congressman, to the last such wedding in 1906, when President Roosevelt's daughter was wedded, every man, woman and child in the land has taken an interest in White House marriages.
ONE President, Cleveland, came to the White House a bachelor and took a wife while living there, the marriage ceremony being performed in the Blue Room. One President, Tyler, lost his first wife while a tenant of the White House, and took his second wife while still living there.
White House - Romance Of Nellie Grant
THE two most romantic weddings in the White House, aside from the Cleveland wedding, was first, the one that took place during the administration of President Grant, when his daughter, Ella Wrenshall Grant, better known as Nellie Grant, married Algernon Sartoris. This now celebrated event took place in the East Room on the twenty-first of May, 1874.
White House - Romance Of Alice Roosevelt
OF ALL the White House weddings in a hundred years none created so much interest among high and low throughout the civilized world as that at which the eldest daughter of President Roosevelt, Miss Alice, was united to Congressman Nicholas Longworth, of Cincinnati. The officiating clergyman on that occasion was Bishop Satterlee, of Washington. After the ceremony the bridal pair went to Friendship Lodge, the country place of Mrs. John R. McLean, in the suburbs of Washington, for the honeymoon.
Entertaining At The White House
UP TO the coming of President McKinley to the White House the entertainments at the mansion were comparatively simple and unpretentious. This simplicity was consistent with the family life and traditions of most of the Presidents. When Mr. McKinley was inaugurated for the second time, however, we had just finished a war which had made this nation a world power.
White House - Etiquette And Precedence
GEORGE WASHINGTON saw the necessity which would confront his successors, as well as himself, for some plan regulating the etiquette at the White House entertainments, dinners, receptions and the like. Upon consulting Alexander Hamilton, he received from Hamilton the following formal 'Code of Procedure,' which, with certain broad changes, has governed every President from Washington to Roosevelt.
White House - Early-day 'drawing-rooms' And Levees
IN PRESIDENT MONROE'S time, the regular weekly receptions were called a 'drawing-rooms,' of which a correspondent for a newspaper of the time informs us that: 'The secretaries, senators, foreign ministers, consuls, auditors, accountants, officers of the army and navy of every grade, farmers, merchants, parsons, priests, lawyers, judges, auctioneers and nothingarians all with their wives, crowd to the President's house every Wednesday evening.
White House - Latter-day Receptions And Handshaking
PRESIDENT JACKSON held public receptions which anybody might attend, with or without invitation. This custom was in accordance with the opinion that the Executive Mansion belonged to the people, and that therefor the people should have the privilege of entering the mansion at any time when the President have notice that he would be 'at home.'
Holidays At The White House
ALL the holidays observed by the American people have been celebrated by the Presidents and their families at the White House, with the exception, in latter days, of the Fourth of July and Labor Day, these holidays occurring while the Chief Executive is away at his summer home.
White House - Dinners And Other Meals
FACTS relating to the serving of meals, the table service and the kitchen, at the White House, are of peculiar interest to all American housewives and to home-makers generally. Information- on this important subject will be found in this and the succeeding chapter. At the present time, under the régime of President and Mrs. Roosevelt, the customary dinner hour at the Executive Mansion is half-past seven for small dinners, and eight o'clock for banquets.
White House - At The Table And In The Kitchen
NEITHER the food served at the President's table, nor the routine of the kitchen, is different from the viands or the cooking common to the home of any other citizen of wealth and position. And, as is sometimes the case in private homes, when the guests invited number too many for the regular White House kitchen staff to provide for, such meals are cooked and served by a caterer and his corps of assistants.
Calling On The President
CALLERS at the White House are required to observe certain rules, both, written and unwritten. These rules vary with each administration, all depending upon the wishes or the habits of the President who happens to occupy the mansion at the time. Grant, for example, was most rigid in insisting upon punctuality on the part of his callers, and would see them only at certain hours.
Notable Visitors At The White House
OVERNIGHT visitors at the White House, in the various administrations, have embraced notable men and women from all States in the Union and from all the countries of the world. Visitors who have broken bread with the Presidents and their families at luncheon or dinner, or who have been received informally in the evenings and at other times, include men, women and children from every walk of life.
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