Fascinating Facts About The First Ladies

Martha Washington, 1731-1802 


George Washington’s wife was the first to be given the title “lady” by the press, as in “Lady Washington,” and the first wife of a president to appear on U.S. postage stamp.

Abigail Adams, 1744-1818


John Adams’ wife urged her husband to “remember the ladies” when he was writing the nation’s Declaration of Independence in 1776. She also was the first woman to be both a president’s wife and the mother of a president, and the first to live in the White House.

Martha Jefferson, 1748-1782

No known portrait exists of Thomas Jefferson’s wife, who died 18 years before her husband was elected president. Their daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph served as White House hostess and was the first to give birth in the presidential mansion in Washington, D.C.

Dolley Madison, 1768-1849

James Madison’s wife is the only first lady given an honorary seat on the floor of Congress and was the first American to respond to telegraph message—sent by inventor Samuel Morse.


Sarah Josepha Hale

The Mother of Thanksgiving 

Sarah Josepha Hale’s legacy is astounding. She penned the famed poem, Mary Had a Little Lamb and is one of America’s first female novelists. She published many famous authors as the editor of one of the most influential and successful periodicals of the time, Lady’s Book.  Sarah campaigned for the completion of the Bunker Hill monument and the preservation of Washington’s Mount Vernon plantation, all while being a single mother of five children. And finally, Sarah Josepha Hale is known as the mother of Thanksgiving, for she successfully lobbied for it to become a National Holiday.

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