JOHN ADAMS AND HIS WIFE ABIGAIL
have become renowned for having a marriage that even modern female
historians admire. Abigail spoke her mind and John treated her as his
best friend, adviser and lover. Their son, JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, followed in his father's footsteps and was elected president in 1824.
THOMAS JEFFERSON deeply mourned the loss of HIS WIFE, MARTHA.
Between their marriage in 1772 and her death in 1782, they lost as many
babies as survived, and Thomas was often away. His now-infamous liaison
with slave SALLY HEMINGS would have occurred years after
Martha's death. Some of his contemporaries and modern historians have
speculated that Sally's attraction may have been partly that she was
his late wife's half-sister, fathered by Martha's father in a liaison
with his slave, Sally's mother. Sally apparently bore a resemblance to
JAMES BUCHANAN was the only bachelor president. He
had fallen in love with a millionaire's daughter in his hometown of
Lancaster, Pa., but their relationship failed because of rumors and
GROVER CLEVELAND was the only president
to be married in the White House. His young bride then had a series of
children, which also was a novelty for the White House.
BENJAMIN HARRISON was the only grandson of a president ever elected president. His grandfather, WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON,
had been the oldest man ever elected president (until Ronald Reagan),
the first to die in office and the president to serve the shortest term
THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S second marriage had
brought him several children, who were at playful ages when he entered
the White House. Thus the nation enjoyed hearing about the children's
games and pets, a phenomenon not repeated until the next youngest
president to enter office, JOHN F. KENNEDY.
is famous for having taken his oath as president by kerosene lamp light
from his own father, a notary public. This was necessary because he
took office upon the unexpected death of President WARREN HARDING, when Vice President Coolidge was visiting his Vermont family farmhouse.
was a distant cousin of Theodore's, in an old Hudson River Valley Dutch
aristocratic family. Franklin's wife Eleanor was the daughter of
Theodore's brother, so the first President Roosevelt was her “Uncle
Ted.” Thus ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, so far, is the only first lady
who did not change her last name to take on her husband's — because
they already had the same last name.
BILL CLINTON is the great-great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson Blythe, who served as a Confederate private in the Civil War.
Only eight presidents had second marriages, the most recent being RONALD REAGAN, who was the first divorced man elected president.
fathered the largest number of children of any president. His two wives
bore 15 children total, about evenly split between the two mothers. The
next most prolific presidents were WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON (10) and RUTHERFORD B. HAYES (eight).
- Monticello — The Home of Thomas Jefferson, Charlottesville, Va., (804) 984-9800, <www.rnonticello.org>
- Ronald Reagan Trail, Dixon, III., (877) 533-8687, <www.leecountytourism.com>
- Presidential Log Cabins (Valley Forge, City Point, Medora, plus homes of Washington, Grant, Lincoln and Roosevelt), <www.cr.nps.gov/logcabin/>
- Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Keystone, SD, (605) 574-3171, <www.nps.gov/moru/>
- The Museum of American Presidents, Strasburg, Va., (540) 465-5999, <www.waysideofva.com/presidents/>
- Sulgrave Manor — Ancestral Home of George Washington, England, 01295 760205, <www.stratford.co.uk/sulgrave/>
From the February 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine