Historian Remembers Harriet Lane, the Greatest First Lady
= July 26, 2005, 8:03 am
Author = Milton Stern / Harriet Lane, America's First Lady
Industry = Media
Summary = She was the first White House Hostess to be called "First
Lady." Enough said.
Body = Washington Historian Remembers Harriet Lane, the Greatest
She was the first White House Hostess to be called "First Lady."
Lane was a century ahead of her time,” says Washington Historian
and Biographer Milton Stern. “She used her intelligence, political
skills, charm and
beauty to push legislation through Congress when she was only twenty-seven
She was the
niece of America's Bachelor President and his official hostess in
Lancaster, London and Washington. Anyone who met her was instantly
enamored. Queen Victoria bestowed upon her the title "Honorary
Ambassadress." The Washington press
corps proclaimed her "Our Democratic Queen," and the Chippewa
named her "the Great Mother of the Indians." U.S. Naval
and Coast Guard ships were named after her and still are. Songs
were written about her, and women dressed like her. She was the
most admired woman in the country and established a style of entertaining
never before seen in the White House. She was the first of her kind
to be an advocate for social causes: hospital and prison reform
and the plight of the American Indians. And only she could get away
with beating the Prince of Wales at bowling, which she taught him
in the first place!
Her world was
guided by tragedy and death, yet she lived every day to the fullest.
She conducted herself with grace and dignity and dedicated her life
perpetuation of the memories of those dearest to her heart and the
social welfare of all Americans, especially children.
monument has been dedicated in her memory, her legacy and generosity
live on in Baltimore and Washington through the establishment of
the Johns Hopkins Pediatric and Teaching Hospital, St. Albans School
for Boys, the Smithsonian
American Art Museum, and the President James Buchanan Monument in
Meridian Hill Park.
guest list was complete without her, as a society columnist wrote,
"There is no more elegant figure in the official and social
gatherings during the social season than the niece of President
More than twenty
years after her death, she was named one of the most memorable women
in American History, but more than 100 years after her death, few
remember America’s greatest First Lady.
is the author of “Harriet Lane, America’s First Lady”
(www.harrietlane.net), the first extensive biography of President
James Buchanan’s niece. Due to his thorough research of Harriet
Lane’s life, he has been interviewed on numerous radio programs
and is considered the definitive expert on the life of
for Lane, she was the niece of a chief executive who was wrongfully
blamed for events that had been unfolding since the drafting of
the Constitution,” Stern says. “His position as the
fifteenth President, who was followed by America’s
greatest President, Abraham Lincoln, made him the scapegoat. Few
realize that Lincoln supported Buchanan’s policies in regard
to South Carolina’s secession from the Union until Fort Sumter
was attacked, and Buchanan supported Lincoln’s during
the entire Civil War.”
When asked why
he wrote Harriet Lane’s biography, Stern said, “She
was an inspiration not only to American women, but also all Americans,
as she devoted her entire life to social causes and for the betterment
of this great country. Americans
still benefit from her generosity.”
is also the author of “America’s Bachelor President
and the First Lady” and the Executive Editor of “SelfPublisher
News” (www.selfpublishernews.com). He resides in Washington,
DC, with his toy parti-poodle, Serena Rose Elizabeth Montgomery.
His next book, “On Tuesdays, They Played Mah Jongg”
(www.mahjongg.us), will be released in the fall.
Web Site = http://www.harrietlane.net
= Contact information:
Harriet Lane, America’s First Lady
© 2005 ISBN 1411626087
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