tv First Ladies Influence Image CSPAN March 30, 2013 7:00pm-8:35pm EDT
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in combat. fan ofto was not a anything that took andrew jackson away -- rachel was not a fan of anything that took andrew jackson away. she ran the plantation and the firm and kept everything in order. everything loved her -- everybody loved her. a nice letterrite and had nice jewelry. she was not as frumpy and she was reputed to be. rose in politics, that was an ugly sore. >> the campaign was so bitterly fought, that they went all out, calling her a whore. they used every piece that they could find and she was good garbage for them. >> made the statement that i okkeeperther be a do
and live in that palace. >> her niece was 21 years old when she became the white house hostess. all of the negatives they had to say about andrew jackson, they loved her. >> received an education in the fine arts of being a lady. it was that kind of education that enabled her, when rachel suddenly dies, to slide into the role of white house hostess. >> the women liked her. the women's opinions and meant more. she knew exactly how to do things. that jackson has a falling out with. jackson never lost his affection for her. he just could not deal with this
going against his will in his own home. 12 years, no president's wife served as first lady. on this program, we will learn about two administrations that were run by would old presidents. --course, andrew jackson0-- of first, washington's societal ambitions. will washington -- washington's societal ambitions. hear to tell us about those who served in the white house to aupport the presidents, presidential historian. michael, welcome. brady back at our table
tonight. her biography of rachel jackson is called "the french your love andrew."rachel and how do people understand the change that andrew jackson brought to the white house? the first westerner. we have virginia presidents from the old south before that. he grew up in the frontier. the change is enormous. socially, the change is enormous. he is not of the old planter class of the south that previous presidents had been from. not like a newly linder either. he brings different values and the french ambitions to the white house.
was a widowgh he the president, the ghost of his wife, over the white house during his years there. why is that? >> she was the woman of his life. he loved her. when she died just a few months before he was inaugurated, he was a rest. he spent all of his time thinking about her and her memory and having her portraits in his bedroom so he could think of her. it really changed the way the first administration wins. >> we need to go into the campaign of 1822 understand the presidency. 1828 was the year of what? how did it change? >> it was the first time we did not have a majority of electors. the whole election was given over to the house of representatives.
we had these competing factions in the house of representatives. you had crawford from georgia. you had henry clay and calhoun and jackson. jackson won the popular voted, but he did not win the electoral college. when the politicking was going on in the house of representatives, there was an opportunity to make deals. one of the deals that was made henry clay would become the vice president and items with win the election. once we come out of that election, the buildup to the other election is that that was a corrupt bargain. settingescribed 1824 the stage for 1828. the 1828 campaign was older enmity fought together again. how did it play out?
1824, jackson was not quite sure he was ready to be president. vote and it was stolen from him, he knew he was meant to be president. election hade stolen the people's presidency. when he came out in 1828, he came out fighting. >> what was interesting about the campaign was that it was a precursor to modern campaigning. he and his surrogates for out on the stump. as many as 800,000 more americans voted in that election as they had in the previous ones the -- the previous one. how had he thought of that? >> it was the growing development of a national party that martin and iran had been working on with people -- martin
van buren had been working on with people in the south. this was a time of great technological change. we had real growth and newspapers and new communication methods coming to bear as well as a much larger electorate. white maleral suffrage in all of the states. there were more people taking and there was more opportunity to hear about it. the western states had come in. >> rachel jackson became an issue. this is the first time in our early country's history that people targeted the wife of a presidential candidate. someigail adams had taken hard hits from the press. that sort of thing had happened. this was the first time someone actually went out trying to find
what they thought was a search and publicize it widely. >> was the first one looking for dirt? jackson and hated wanted to see jackson go down. when he thought out she had been the voice, he really despise her. was rigorously fundamentalists. it was a moral issue for him. he really thought she would disgrace the white house. he did not do it, but he did not stop it. hack. was his party he did not come down on him.
he just sat back and said, oh my goodness. the open, political cartoons. was this a new phenomenon? >> yes. that had been married for 36 years a bigamous or an adulterous was unprecedented. an adultorer -- adulterer was unprecedented. >> what was she accused of? marriedccused of being before. and she was. she was married to a man who treated her and her family very badly. her whole family hated him. out west, they did not believe you had to stick by your man if
he was horrible. they believe in dissolving an unhappy marriage, so they did. her and criticism of her western frontier lack of class. >> she had an accent. she had a tennessee accent. she did not have an east coast accent. >> were opponents concerned about what the image for the new country would be if he made it to the white house? >> there is a strong class issue running through all of this. it is difficult to talk about in a country that does not have class. would this person be virtuous enough to represent the united states? is this person genteel enough to represent the united states? >> the great tragedy is that after this was a freeze campaign, he went to the white house and she is preparing to go -- after this campaign, he went to the white house and she was
preparing to go with him and what happens? >> she died. she thought people would be rude to her and they might snub her. she thought about not going. she decided that would be admitting they were wrong. she decided to go. on december 22, she died of a heart attack. >> and she was buried in a dress she preplanned -- plan to wear to the inaugural ball. >> this is our first video of the night. we will be showing you video throughout the night. we will take you to the heritage, their home in tennessee and learn more about what enter jackson carried throughout the rest of his life after rachel. >> we do not know what kind of
health rachel was in overall. after the fall of 1828, her health was not good. the campaign for president that jackson was going to have a huge effect on her health. this is a letter jackson wrote on this day that rachel actually died, december 22, 1828. he is writing to his friend. he describes the onset of rachel's illness, her final illness. suddenly,at she was violently attacked with pains in her left shoulder and breast. , contraction of the breast that suffocation was apprehended. it was clear she was in a serious condition. he talked about getting ready to go to washington like he is assuming she will get better and off they will go. unfortunately, she passed away later in the day.
according to the stories of her death, jackson called for her to be bled when she died. he was a big believer in a row of medicine, medicine that did not kill you, would cure you. even though she was not alive anymore, he asks the doctor to bleed her. smalledly, there is a stain on the cap, the little blood that came out when the doctor tried to bleed her. we have a lancet that the doctor would have used to cut her open. we have some things about this morning. a black calling card -- his mourning. a black calling card to suggest he was in deep mourning. to him byt was given a friend of his that has a long
inscription. it is a book called the mourner comforted help them read things that would help them along. jackson was completely devastated. for her to die just as he was actually preparing the plan is to get on the steamboat to go to washington was almost more than he could deal with. this was painted while he was in .ashington after rachel's death had it with him all the time, on his chain or in his pocket or on his bedside table so that he could see it in the morning when he awakens. she was with him pretty much all the time even though she had passed away. this was a book that was important to jackson. psalm book.rachel's
she made this cross stitch cover to keep the book nice. after her death, jackson kept things like this close at hand so that he could refer to them, another way of keeping her clothes. after shed a habit died of purchasing more using our keeping things that reminded him of our. this was the central hall of the hermitage manchin. although the house burned after jackson insisted they repurchase the same wallpaper they had chosen. she liked it and it reminded him of her and he wanted it here. this is jackson's bedroom. she waschel's death, not very far away from him. he kept many mementos of her around. he had a portrait that was a favorite of his copy so that he could have been hanging over the fireplace so that it would be the first thing he saw in the
morning and the last thing he saw at night according to the tradition and stories passed down by the family. he would go out to her tomb every sunday and spend some time out there either thinking about her or thinking about the problems of the day. he wanted the feeling of her close by. this program is interactive. we welcome your but dissipation. there are lots of ways you can do that. you can call us. -- if younumber is live in the eastern time zone. tweet. send us a if you do, use the hashtag #firstladies. writes, dideet, who
what theve plans about jackson life should or should not be like in washington, d.c.? >> she did. she did not like expensive entertainment. she liked to go hear the leading creatures of the day and have family and friends around her in the white house. i think it would have been a domesticated white house. >> the same person ask another question. given her public scrutiny, did in the famous dignitary's attend her funeral? do either of you know the answer to that? >> she was buried two days after she died. given the way news traveled and people travel, no one could have made it. all of the local dignitaries, all of the church bells tolled. everything close down. there was a huge attendance at
her funeral. >> time to step back and telling a little bit of the great love story between rachel and andrew jackson. rachel donelson jackson? >> it was one of the daughters of the first family of tennessee. they made a trip during which many of the people on the trip died. they were some the earliest white settlements. in family was quite positive the area. she was part of the gentry of tennessee. >> we have a question from someone wanting to know how unusual it was for someone, at the age of 24, to be on their second husband? was that considered unusual at the time? >> not particularly. people die all the time, particularly on the frontier.
most people remarry because you needed to have the support in order to live. thate original theory was they divorced. widows and widowers always remarry. someone notiar for to remarry. was --first husband >> he was about 10 years her senior. >> why did they make the match? between the whites and the indians was so ferocious and so strong, the whites wanted to stay there. the indians did not want them there. the battle for territory. the donelsons went to kentucky
where things were safer. >> how long did the marriage lasts? >> not long. 3 or four years. he was too mean. >> he was a nasty, abusive person. dear >> it take courage for her to leave him? -- >> did it takes courage for her to leave him? >> it took courage for her family. she adored her family and they adored her. they were part of the whole decision for her to be low. . >> elope wheno was andrew jackson she met him? >> nobody. he was one of the borders at her
mother's house. he lived in one of the cottages with another batch of a lawyer. you might say, why is one of the gentry renting out cottages? in terms of this being an ongoing war, to have extra guns on hand is always a good thing. >> explain a little bit more about tennessee in that time and what the country looked like. >> this was the far west. it was recently settled. most of the settlers theater came by river the long way or they came over the mountains. this was still rough country. it was not as subtle as kentucky. >> next is a question. this is from mitchell in nashville,- tennessee.
>> put up that rachel's birthday was in june and you included a month and day. my understanding was that no one burth mont --t birth month and date. >> that is true. it is believed it was in june. mistaken, only white property owners voted during that time. is that correct? >> that is correct. in the early days, it was only white property owners of certain standing. franchise expanded to generally being white males. rachel meets the tall andrew jackson.
they are attracted to each other. how did their marriage take place? >> all his life, jackson truly liked women. he loved her mother and saw her as a mother figure. he could not bear to see women mistreated or badly treated in any way. his gallantry was involved with what he saw was the abuse of this woman. when they fell in love, they --ided to be loath - -elo elope. they stayed several months, close to a year. when they came back, they said, we are married now. her whole family, including her mother said, this is our son-in- law, andrew jackson. who is going to tell them, no?
people just accepted it because the family, neighbors, and friends accepted it. >> when did the details come about that their divorce was not finalized? was filed ine virginia. there were stipulations in the settlement that it had to be posted a certain amount of time and in different places. he did not go through with posting all of it. he was playing games with the whole divorce anyway. >> so who is at fault? [laughter] to court to take it in kentucky before a jury. at that time, they had been living together as a married couple for two years. when she was accused of adultery, she was living with andrew jackson. -- gonead gone bad back, she would have still been
married to this person she hated. did the hermitage become their home? >> my mind is going blank. early in the 18th century. they started in that area. they started in a bigger place. he got into some financial trouble and they moved to the hermit is. at that time, it was a log house. atour next video is a glance rachel and andrew jackson's life at the hermitage. >> he was retiring for a while. when they first moved here, he spent a lot of time at home. the primary people who would have visited prior to the war of 1812 would have largely been friends and relations from the area. rachel had a huge family. they have lots of kids. there was a lot of them and they
were in and out all the time. rachel was close to her family. jackson was an orphan and grew close to rachel's family. emily donelson, the house she grew up in, is less than two miles away from here. he has become this national hero and there were people here all the time. achel was the knowledge to be pretty nice hostess, cordial and welcoming. during jackson's saying after the battle of new orleans from 1815 to the rest of her life, they have lots and lots of company. they had many, many parties or even in jenner's here at the hermitage. ers hear -- dinners here at the hermitage. they acquired a good deal of silver as they went along, such
as these plants cups. they would have been used for an evening party where some highly the third up punch was served. -- liquored up punch was searched. it was more about her comfort in big cities than it was about her actual appearance or clothing. she was not a fan of anything that took into jackson away from the hermitage. during the war of 1812, there were letters from her that say things like, do not let fame and fortune blind you to the fact that you have a wife, i am home, and i need you. well that she would have preferred him to stay home and the plantation owner andrew jackson.
this is the earliest letter we have said jackson wrote to rachel. 1796 when hen in was in east tennessee on business. it is addressed to her, my dearest heart. it is with great displeasure that i sit down to write to you. what pleasing hopes i view the future when i am restored to your arms or i can spend my days in domestic sweetness with you, the deer companion of my life, never to be separated from you again during this fluctuating life. the garden was always considered one of her really special places. lots of comments from visitors about her gathering flowers. there is one story. when a young lady was here on her honeymoon and she and her husband were invited to stay. she mentions that the garden was
special to rachel. when they were preparing to leave, to move onto the next stage of their honeymoon, she walked in the garden with >> and we are back talking about our twosonian era with guests at the table. we'll take a question from twitter next. murdoch asks, did rachel jackson provide political guidance to andrew jackson. do we know that? >> i don't know that we know that. he was shrewd politically but i he probablybably -- took care of the political sphere himself. think practically no for sure. of such -- weords have a lot of their letters and ory're always personal financial but they're really not politics. talking before the program began about jackson's large personality and how sure his opinions.
would you talk about that? of hisas absolutely sure beliefs wholeheartedly and when disagreed withho that as aten took sign of enmity and that was really difficult. >> personal. >> personal enmity, yes. >> so that would be further he might not have sought guidance from any other person? >> what he really couldn't stand friend ore who was a worse yet, a relative, who because thath him was really personally dishonest as far as he was concerned. learn more about how that unfolds in his presidency as the conversation continues. loy in durham, north carolina. welcome to the conversation. caller: hi. many slaves did the jacksons have in tennessee and would those same slaves travel with
them in the white house? >> thank you. either of you know the answer to that? they had 300-odd slaves. it was a rather large plantation. no, nobody at the time would travel with large numbers of slaves. perhaps a bring couple of personal servants but had become iffier as sentiment grew in the north and less and less possible freeing slaves to territories. >> so jackson wins election and comes to washington. the story of his inaugural party. he has the inauguration, he horseback back to the president's house and the public aboutited but there are 20,000 people who had attended house isuration so the open to the public and this is
thedemocratic republic of people of the west and they crash into the house and dance on the tables, they drink all the wine. there was a 1600 pound cheese that had been sent as a gift to the new president that was completely devoured during this time so the white house was beaten up pretty bad. even jackson had to be escorted because they feared for his safety. >> he left the party early and went back to his hotel to go to bed. over our past several programs, we have been talking about the burgeoning and strong washington society developing in the town. how did it react to this opening of the white house to the masses? with horror, you know, quite a smith, who was kept diaries and letters said, oh, the pity, the was, it's not the way it with every other party after an theguration, it was part of
select few who came, not the public. >> once the party, the inauguration party was over, this is a man you described as mourning.ense was the white house social for a few years after that? >> it wasn't social very much at the first year. they had to refinish it and replace all the drapes and chair where muddy boots had been trampling and put things even after that, to the disappointment of washington society, they said, we're in will not beg, we giving parties. >> let's take a quick glimpse at that timed about census bureau statistics. 1830,s america in population at this point, 12.9 million in 24 states and once again more than 30% growth since the 10 years earlier census. slaves,re two million about 15% of the population. and the largest cities continued york,east coast -- new philadelphia and baltimore. what else should people know about the period in this country?
>> it's a period of incredible change. much like the period that we've through in the last, with the information revolution. huge period of change. we had gone from an agrarian society that thomas jefferson was talking to being of multiple ethnicities, multiple religions, waves of immigration, the railroads, the telegraph, all kinds of things were changing the way life was lived. thehat was happening to north-south unity at this point? of the seeing the seeds civil war? >> north-south unity was a difficult one. neverunding fathers had settled that question because it wasn't easy to settle. 1820, weme you get to have an economic crisis in 1819 admissione have the of missouri and the missouri crisis which precipitates a free put in one free state
and one slave state and won't talk about slavery anymore. by the time we're in the late '30's, thearly spector of slavery is casting a over america. >> next question. calling, chatham is the county seat of county, virginia, and we have in our courthouse a rachel because she 1767orn here supposedly in which was the year we broke off and organized our county and her was a surveyor and she supposedly left her when she was and the gossip was that he had to leave town because they of interested in some of his surveys but anyway, we do the site marked and we have house.eft from the frame
part --inia play any you know. >> thanks, mary. pick it up from her. do you know this part of her biography? where she was born and lived until she was 12 when they decided to go over the mountains territory but basically we know nothing about her girl hood. we extrapolate it was like the girlhood of other children on settledern edges of territory. >> next is joellen in columbus, ohio. air.e on the caller: hello. i was calling to see if rachel had any children. no. despite her deep wish for rachel had no children. she was one of 11 and those of her brothers and sisters who had very large families, as well. but she had no children of her own. she had -- they adopted one of sons that belonged to her
brother and sister-in-law when middle aged so there wasan andrew jackson who her nephew. >> and there was another son, jackson had been in battle and found -- and had slaughtered many people, women and children, found an infant, tried to give it back to a creek woman who was alive. she said, you'd best kill him, familykilled all of his anyway. jackson takes him home and raises him as a son. it's a very interesting kind of story because here's jackson, yet he'sn killer, and adopted this son and raises him own.s >> he writes a lot of letters to rachel saying there's something special, he's an orphan, i was an orphan, there's some reason i him and he's not to be in the servants' quarters. and he'se in the house
to be educated. he wanted to send him to west john quincy adams was president by then so it was impossible. a fairly quietas one and the social side of the and social means politics by this time in point doesso at what he decide he actually needs assistance? emily, rachel's niece and nephew, were with him all of time, that they were so close, all these nieces and same namell named the so it's difficult sometimes to figure out which andrew donelson we mean but this particular young man had been one of their president'scame the secretary. cousin,arried his first emily donelson, and they planned all along to come with the jacksons and they went ahead and accompanied him. >> how did she create the role lady in the
administration? >> she had lovely manners. girl,s a very pretty young, in her early 20's. she had very good manners, had trained in a lady's academy in nashville. society loved her. >> they loved her and one of the her wassons they loved because she was young and malleable and the old grande dames of washington could run all over her as they could not someone like rachel. -- they always liked the innocent young nieces. as someone who cast himself as the people's president, he the whitely large in house, it seems. fairly nice parties and lots of redecorating. how did that square with his public image? >> he believed with democracy d and he was very concerned about moneyed and elites controlling the country so that is the core democracy he was trying
to create. he really believed in people being part of the democracy. but it didn't preclude entertaining. beingdidn't preclude him cultivated and having manners and becoming a lawyer and interact in to society. >> he always wanted to be a gentleman. goals, tone of his prove he was a gentleman and if you look at some of his becausersies, they're in the early days other men did not treat him as equals. lee in durango, colorado. caller: yes. know, what was the to-do about the election of 1828? we know what was said about rachel jackson, but what was the side?ts on the other were --.there >> among other things, they said was a pimp adams
which is the most ridiculous could possibly image. it was based on a little thing withad nothing to do sexual activities. they said a lot of bad things -- anddams and balls also about his wife. theyas, after all, believed, a foreigner. she was born in great britain had americanhe parents and legally was an american but they saw her as a possibly foreign influence. and she wasn't happy in the white house particularly either. cultivated and washington was a squat little town really at this time. we promised scandal, intrigue. andasn't just in the 1828 rachel jackson and the criticism she received but also what the peggy eaton affair which colored and framed much of the jackson presidency. was peggy eaton and how did this unfold? daughtereaton was the
of a washington, d.c., hotel tavern owner. many politicians stayed in his know and the family got to them well. she was beautiful. she was well educated. sing and perform. she actually sometimes appeared topublic, which, good forbid, any lady should do. as not quiteen quite. >> she was beautiful. and shevivacious, didn't really know her place. she really interfered and went into situations that were part of the men's women and this was a period in the american history specificesticity is and there's the women's sphere and the men's sphere and the women's sphere is to guard the the morals of society while the men go out and fight in this new capitalist world. margaret eaton and i call her margaret because that's what she
liked to be called. i think peggy is a bit of an insult because she didn't like to be called that. she really was somebody who was going up against a different was going at it in a very difficult way. she was outspoken and bold and not a woman's role. issue did she become an for the cabinet? >> her husband killed himself. on a navalrsuer vessel, he killed himself so she a widow. >> with two children. >> yes. and one person who had lived at the o'neal's hotel was john henry one of jackson's closest friends, supporters, a and supporter of rachel throughout all the bad times and he was worried, at margaret's suggestion, that he ruined her reputation. there was a lot of talk they had why herffair and that's
husband killed himself and so he asked jackson, should i marry her? and jackson said, certainly. he was always for love and romance. >> and jackson was familiar with her. >> he liked her. >> he stayed in the same boarding house and knew her when she was a young girl so he felt she was perfectly respectable and this was a good thing. rise to the level of a cabinet scandal? >> they married too soon. they married too soon. >> she should have been mourning for at least a year and she john eaton well before that and that was a problem. oncell, and besides that, the cabinet was named and it wife,es eaton and his whose social bona fides are not then she presses right ahead and goes and calls the hautiest of the men, florideother
and floride refuses to return her call. those days, that was akin to slapping someone in the face. >> society was very structured and the protocol of society was very structured and the first youon you would see when came into town, you would visit the vice president and you would she startedard, so in on this process but she did floriderectly and calhoun was not about to return woman.to this >> it came to a point where jackson's cabinet was in an resignationsny because of it. >> all the wives except one peggy eatonall on or when the president gave a big an honoredhe was guest often at his side attempting to force these women recognize her, it was, hello, walk on.would
everything was so cold and so margaret was totally mortified and the worst of all, gave the cut to margaret was emily donelson, his niece. quotes fromwo andrew jackson at the time period that gives you the sense involvementdent's peak over the so-called petticoat affair. suppose i have been sent here by the people to consult washington as to the proper persons of the cabinet?" and to peggy eaton herself -- did it become a constitutional crisis with his cabinet resigning? well, it did, and unfortunately, it's jackson's margaretefending of eaton that turns it from a social crisis into a political crisis. he couldn't leave it alone.
he spent enormous amounts of time trying to defend her honor, affidavits about where she was, tracking down the who made these terrible and finally it becomes, in his mind, that it against him,attack as well, it's not just margaret, it's an attack against him. >> that's when he grows to hate calhoun. >> that's when he sees calhoun behind all of this. back to nieceis donelson because you said she us malleable but also told he could not abide by close people, especially family members, who disagreed with him. what happened between the two? influenced by the ladies that she joined in the -- the ostracism of margaret eaton and he she did receive her at the white house, but he she treat her as a
friend and she would not and so he sent her home. next is a question from john in annandale, virginia. john. caller: hi, great series, as always. i'm wondering how andrew jackson's personality or by himh was affected becoming a widower, if at all. i know wilson, for example, quickly remarried, which wasn't the case here. but there was any noticeable change in him? >> he was devastated. >> yes. was not just devastated, though. he was embittered. his whole first term really didn't accomplish anything because he was either in mourning or he was attempting to out, he wasaton fighting with his favorite niece and nephew. he asked actually -- his cabinet to resign. thats a whole huge thing
involved him because he saw her as a surrogate for rachel. if they could treat her this way, they might have treated his that way. and he could not let it go. >> next up is a call from dorothy in westerville, ohio. hi. caller: hi. thank you so much for taking my call. the program has been remarkable so far. is, how did rachel fieryith andrew jackson's temper? for your up and listen answer. >> thank you. >> the only person who actually control jackson when he was in a rage was rachel. particular time they were going down river and there was a a numberd of them with of happy young bucks who were zigzagging,o were zigzagging, zigzagging, so their held up and he took out
a gun and he said, i'll just she a couple of them and stopped that whole operation. i don't know if he would have or but maybe. >> next is nancy from new jersey. hi, nancy. caller: fabulous. either like to know if of your guests have seen the old movie depicting the jacksons charlton heston and susan hayward. it showed a beautiful love story. accurate? >> it wasn't particularly accurate but it had great really actors and it was romantic. i loved it. the book came out, "the president's lady" in 1961. it was a best seller for years. last question for this part of our program is from gary robinson on twitter and it sets
the stage for the next half hour of our conversation. what was secretary of state theburen's role in petticoat affair and jackson's cabinet? van burenry of state had the unfortunate benefit of widower himself so he didn't have to have this social from his wife as the other cabinet members did. free to go and see margaret eaton and he. her frequently. he treated her well, and he gained tremendous, tremendous that.t from jackson for 19thvery interesting century historian who says the whole political history of the last 30 years -- and he's writing at the beginning of the civil war -- can be attributed the soft handwhen of martin van buren touched mrs. eaton's knocker. although there's a double entendre there, it points out martin van buren
inercuts calhoun and steps and places himself in position to be the next one to run for calhoun had been the natural choice. >> how did it become a successful bid for the presidency? >> it was somewhat complicated. he resigned. he got the -- he got eaton to resign, he got the rest of the cabinet to resign and then he appointed -- jackson said you can't just resign, that's not good. i have to do something for you he nominated him to be the minister, basically ambassador, martint britain, and van buren left for great britain happy to be the new ambassador st. james andf calhoun who was the seated vice president had the deciding vote the senate on the appointment of this nomination and he cast a it, infuriating van buren's sealing future. >> martin van buren comes to the white house, the first
northerner, far northerner, new york state. >> from new york state. the first born as an american. with american citizenship as his birth right. adams another first, the were of english heritage. he was dutch. >> he grew up speaking dutch. english was a second language to differentwas from a culture. >> and a widower president coming to the white house. his wife died many years before to set the stage for our conversation on his white house and first lady who served him, to listen now to white house historian bill seale. president truman's favorite portrait because she was pretty. southern belle, a tall girl. today you would say she was athletic looking. she married abraham van buren, springs.t saratoga she was from new columbia, south carolina, was a belle and had
plenty of money at the time. the single tons were a big, big family. she had plenty of money, bought pretty clothes. she was apparently a lot of fun so she and abraham went to europe on their honeymoon where she was introduced to young queen victoria approximately her age and was so excited about the way the queen received women that she came back to the white platform built at the end of the blue room which was called the blue room thathe first time in administration, van buren, and she received all her friends all roomite at the end of the and they just nodded, they didn't shake hands or anything. taken very well at all. country that never allowed ambassadors to wear uniforms. they didn't like that at all so
the platform was removed. she lived on to the 1870's in married to abraham. and not a lot known about her. few letters and she was i guess what you would call a belle at that time. worry about things much. >> martin van buren came to the with aouse as a bachelor number of sons and was it a quiet place in his term here? >> yes. very quiet. he was facing a tremendous thetical crisis because of panic of 1837 which he inherited from jackson and jackson's policies. >> several weeks after he was it struck like that. >> and it went on so that he was a depression president. a depression president and this was the first huge economic depression the united states had had. a small one in 1819 but it wasn't nearly of this scale. basically, we had already had an interconnected global economy and there were calls out on banks from london, there were
calls out to american banks, they didn't have the money. and they collapsed. and as the banking crisis out, we don't have a national currency at this point, state banks started to driesse and everything up. >> what was the depth of the depression for most americans? boy., by that may there were riots over food in new york city. really serious. >> it was still going on in 1843. it didn't go away. >> it got a little bit better but not nearly for a long time. it was really a good 5 years. >> did he have a cabinet or his ability to -- skill set to help resolve the crisis? well, presidents don't hold all these levers even now and a feds before we have although he did recommend an independent treasury system is something like that but martin van buren and the democratic party had been arguing against federalism and
against these federal projects so they sort of backed corner on into a that. >> i don't think anyone at that time could have dealt with a major depression. just had to wait for the economy to heal. didn't have the tools. they really didn't know what was causing it and they certainly didn't have a structure in place, for example, we have the fed today that will loan money are having runs so they don't close and don't go under -- but we didn't really gote this problem until we to the new deal. >> and with this great trial going to in the rest of the how interested was the van buren administration in having a social side? very social person. that was one of his great skill sets. little dinner parties. he was very personable. he, like jackson, always liked and loved women friends so there was still -- there was side to the white house because a lot of his socially.g was done
>> he would go elsewhere but in terms of large-scale the new year's day party, which was traditional, partyetty much his big until his eldest son married singleton. where we bring in dolley madison and what role does she have to play in this administration? referred to by carl anthony brilliantly as the queen mother, think, she had a beautiful angelica singleton, martin van buren had four single secretary and his chief aide and she introduced them all at a dinner party. was dolley madison back in washington? >> her husband had died. had to sell off the plantation. bestr son wasn't the manager so she moved back to washington. she also loved the washington scene. bought a house on
lafayette square. she was right there. immediately jumped in to the social swing where she had been happiest and she came back a widow. >> back to >> we now talk about the buren administration. are you there? we have lost her. let's go to kentucky. i am calling about mrs. jackson. i thought she had a son who passed away. i would also like to comment on angelica's impression on the of the whitetess house and representing the buren administration abroad and how dolley madison and influenced her role. thank you.
>> she died shortly after rachel moved to washington. buren spent the first year in the white house without a hostess. for a season in which he was wildly successful. she did a fabulous job. they went to europe where she met the queen of england and she really jumped to it. .he went to the french academy when she came back for the next season is when she sort of had a problem. that is when she had that tableau of the new year's open house.
this is just the beginning of the next presidential season and you hear her acting in a cleanly matter. it did not go well. queenly matter.clea did not go well. >> did you want to serve as first lady? or was it is expected of her as the only woman in the family? >> she wanted a bigger stage for herself. she was afacebook -- new bride went to took on her hostess thining duty. >> at first he was very positive. she was pretty and young and people would like to see paper cutouts of her. it was her trip to europe that did great harm to the administration. she had gone overboard and she was shocked when public opinion
lashed out at her because we a depression and she was posing on a diais if she was a queen. >> what did they do with it? >> they built it into the blue room. that woulda sofa have been anti-republican. she did not know better. she had seen victoria and france and she thought this would the cool and she built a platform with the ostrich fetters -- feathers. after the whig politicians talking about them being born with golden spoons in their mouth and wasting public money, they pulled out the platform. did the europeans see the
first capital? -- first couple? >> incredible. they took europe by storm. angelica's mother's brother was a holdover from the jackson administration. buren kept it on. he was called a slave breeder by an irish militant. there was growing tension there. on aublicity of angelica positive side did not really cover up those deeper things. >> tonight we are telling the story of two widow presidents that have relatives. twitter question -- why was it dowedtant for unmarried/wi
presidents to have a hostess? would that be true for a single president today? >> not as much today as it was then. in a parliamentary system where you have a chief of state and prime minister, there is someone to do those ceremonial duties. there is an important function there for a president partner. social and entertaining piece that is there. it is difficult for these bachelor presidents to pull that off without having a female. atwomen entertaining ladies the time, there had to be hostess. jackson wass it -- for entertaining and asking dolley madison and one of
his daughters, but to have these large entertainments, you needed a lady at them. >> this is a to kill your instant we have come a but this is a house -- and this is a particular instant, but this is a house. >> chat from baltimore. what is your question? caller: when angelica was presented to queen victoria, what was her impression of angelica? >> we were told that she was charmed of her. we do not know of any consequence correspondence. i think the european courts were fascinated and relieved that they turned out to be civilized, that they were not
backwards our bay area ends on the which was unexpected of americans. >> angelica's family was very wealthy. she had a great interest in fashion. she would come in the finest dress. it was the just she was presented to the queen in. she was polished. >> what about family cultures? angelica coming from the plantations like an very wealthy in the south. androm the plantation life a very wealthy family in the south. lovedtin van buren society. he was nervous because he was always willing off plans. a lot men who disliked him would say, oh he just deals with the
ladies. he deals with the ladies through the back door. he was very social. so was his sons. >> a little sidebar, but there were stories that martin van buren is responsible for the universal expression, ok. >> during the election of 1840, supporters of martin van buren started referring to him and the phrase "ok" was picked up by the campaign. .t stuck it began the universal expression that we use all the time. , what is your question? caller: i want to know if angelica did anything beyond hostessing. in himre disappointed
not helping with the causes because they had conflict with the other frontiers. did she advised him that sort of thing? or simply a hostess? we have no evidence of her delving into politics. and duringin life the civil war, she was quite quiet about where her sentiments fell in anything politically. she does not express a political view. >> but her influence in politics was a negative one during the administration. >> because she was young and she made mistakes. >> did you recover? >> she did, i think. they tore out the dais. by then, the administration was almost over anyway. wasn't going to sink
the administration. there were some serious issues in the united states. slavery was a huge one. these are big and difficult issues. the size of the north and the south are pulling apart from each other. the center is not going to hold. >> what about the mormons and buren? >> i don't know. >> bill, you are on the program. burrsimulates that ub is the true father of martin van buren. how serious with that claim be?
that it is a delightful tale. it is almost impossible. during the campaign of 1840, that was certainly raised. been a close associate of burr. both of them were charmed. martin vanood that buren's mother living in a tavern in new york after having all of these kids already from her first marriage, but that is highly unlikely. i would likeer -- to know if angelica had any kids. that isshe did he read a thing about young women and that white house. -- yes she did. that is the thing about young women in the white house.
>> angelica was pregnant twice in the white house. the first child she lost. shortly after that, she retreated from public life because she was already pregnant. she kept a private after that. kept it private after that. >> missouri. caller: hello? >> hi. you are on. caller: i'm wondering why martin van buren did not remarry after his wife died. >> interesting question. there is little talk about this. they were first cousins. they knew each other going up. hannah was his wife. they had all of these children together.
we do not have too many stores of him having romantic dalliances with other women or even possibly proposing. he has friendships with women, but not another romantic connection. why didwer ask you -- he not even mention having a daughter in his autobiography? >> he did not mention it here did it is a rambling bit of an autobiography. -- he wanted to name the girl after the mother. he asked, was the name anna or hannah? he always kept a locket with a painting of her with him. that is all we know. >> we will show a video to a place you know well. it is the historic home that
occupied.rnens any tell us about it? >> sure. he bought in case the white house didn't work out so stot. he was very pleased to acquire that property. >> we will visit it in new york. you will see that next sto. [video clip] they would spend the summer months here. in the dining room, angelica would have served as hostess. they had many events. during those times come it angelica was in residence and hostess of those occasions. she was quite refined. she was wealthy.
she had the appropriate graces of the time. so much so that she welcomed the french ambassador and he can't lamented her. .- he complimented hedrr later he added another 100 acres. in the green room, one of two parlors on the first floor. typically the women of the house would engage in a variety of activities. they would read or recite from memory to one another. they would often play parlor games in here. angelica was trained on the heart. we have a heart here. there were occasions when she would play the haprp in the gren room. .his is the breakfast room it is a much were intricate room compared to the one you saw earlier. does a one where the family had
their daily meals. -- it is the one where the family had their daily meals. you can see the monograms. angelica would serve someone tea. 1843 while angelica and abraham were visiting her father in law, she suffered a miscarriage. we know from letters that she wrote in, lest on this coach in got betterll -- she, lese on this coach in the main hall. abraham andd floor, angelica would have spent a great deal of time while they were visiting her father in law . we have several justices that were warned by angelica -- worn by angelica. it is easy to imagine her wearing them at events.
angelica would have likely used this parasol during the summer while visiting. i believe that martin van buren and his daughter-in-law had a very close relationship. he was very amiable and was successful in politics. he was trained in the social graces of the 19th century. -- she was trained in the social graces of the 19th- century. i i think they genuinely cared for one another. >> by a number of them are served in different places. >> yes. >> we have been talking about ande early "first ladies" whether they influenced -- and and this country -- and whether they influenced fashion in this country. >> she was definitely like
jackie kennedy, selling to be emulated. >> let's talk about how the family used this after they lost the white house. buren put a lot of productive making a productive farm and made money out of doing it. that was an important component. he also had his family there. he had cousins and nephews and nieces. he had families stay there. of family.ouse full >> he also had political mbition.l anda
>> absolutely. he made it clear that if the country call for him, you would certainly go forward. go forwould certainly afford ward. >> what about his bid with the -- >> sort of like another dutch president who bucks the party he represented, martin van buren ames to 1848 and makes pretty substantial decision that he is going to go against what he spent his life working for -- united, and credit party -- and he will run a third-party campaign with his son, john. they run on the free liberty ticket. very interesting third-party.
a forerunner of the republican party. a basically believed in free soil and free labor and no slavery. has beeusbandd her involved in future ambitions? >> no, not really. >> certainly the others work. university. to what is interesting is that after she is widowed or even before that she spends the last part of her life in new york city. it is a cosmopolitan journey. >> a call from naples, florida. caller: hi. i grew up in the 1930s and 1940s.
my last election of the lennon -- a collection of the wall -- it was an abandoned home. in total disrepair. .he grounds were totally wild and evidence -- and the evidence was totally absent. did the property get improved? a man of wealth about the property and started to repair it and then the government took it over. did you tell that part of the start? caller: -- did you tell that part of the story? basically became a large and ornate farmhouse.
gone through several reiterations. they try to make a teahouse out of it. and basically had never been owned again by anyone who had enough money to do anything great for it, but also never had money to ruin it either. the gentleman you mentioned purchased the house and try to restore it. saved itdid, at least it di from complete ruin and then legislation was passed to make it as part of the national park service. yn.next is a call from marylanil >caller: hi there. i'm enjoying your program. i'm wondering what abraham did while angelica was acting as host is in the white house. thank you. >> the president's always lives
in the white house. .hat is why they had relatives they wanted people that they got along with. in the whiteo live house and abraham was the secretary and the principal aid to his father. >> yes. he had been to west point and had fought in the civil war. did anyonetter -- ever mention hannah? you said you wanted to talk more about that. >> what i really wanted to say was not so oddren in mentoring his wife. leaders would talk about their lives without mentioning wives or children. it was so personal and it had nothing to do with their
success. >> we have about seven minutes left. i would like to wrap this up and talk about the time period. administrations -- two administrations that are very much intertwined and scandal politics. let's talk in a broad sense about the changing country and the changing political parties. >> one of the major things that we forget because we are so comfortable with united states being a two-party system and that that being what democracy is, you forget that during the early republic, there wasn't a two-party system. the founding fathers hated parties and thought they would be terrible for democracy. it was the buren generation that they needed and ordered, structured system of making things happen. ,e need a party, philosophy show up and vote on the same
things. orneed to hang together durin r things will spin out of control, and they did. >> how do washington, d.c. change? >> it grew like crazy. >> at the beginning it was kind of a big swamp with a lot of trees and dirt. word be a house in here and there. you would see a building -- there would be a house there and a building their. .t became a place i think what is important about this is that it is the time when steamboats had changed the whole situation about selling from the south and the slave power was growing and abolition sentiment is growing like crazy in the north.
that is why we see someone like van buren running on the free thatticket, which is abolition is heartist party. >> this elephant in the room takes stage. >> during this time, he had two political firsta- ladies. one says that she loves the renderings of the white house. thatere is a major piece you always see sticking out from the house e-reader that is a major addition. they put in humming and central heating. ,hey got a lot of heat for it
white house changed a lot. >> that was on basic repairs. it starts out a certain way and then it gets all run down. as it does with your own house. they keep putting off repairs that are pretty much needed. >> especially if you are andrew jackson and take many people. isabella, you're on the air. caller: hi. i'm wondering why did they usually marry their relatives? >> can i also ask how old you are? caller: 12. >> are you learning a lot? caller: yes. >> glad to have you in the
audience. >> there were a limited number of people. at the time, your cousins would be the only people available to you. it was not uncommon at all. it was not uncommon for that to happen. sense did not have any that there was anything odd about that. it seemed like a good thing. you knew what that person was like annual about them. that personwhat was like and you knew all about them. .> they were dutch speakers these were their own people. >> there was a book written about martha washington. this is her story about rachel and andrew jackson of being gentle. it is available for those of you
who want to learn more. you talk about a theme. that is the changing role of women in politics. what was happening for women and their ability to influence politics? is thatwas gaining abolitionist movement. they were part of that movement and were also feminist. it was not the kill your to see -- women with opinions earlier it was not peculiar to see women with opinions. >> how did the ladies in the thenistration deal with administration's -- gilbert the
panic of 1837? -- how did the ladies in the administrations deal with the panic of 1837? >> very well. >> last question. quick question is that i heard that the burens president family spoke a foreign language in the white house, and the answer is the family of martin van buren's. >> i do not believe that his children did. i doubt he spoke dutch in the white house. by the time he went into his he went to the countryside to speak with the people who spoke dutch. the dutch speaking and the hugs and out began to die out. valley began ton hb
die out. >> what happens next? >> he goes home. >> what happens in the white house? >> the war hero. harrison comes in and unfortunately catches pneumonia during his inauguration and ic dies. it sets the stage for a very interesting conversation on our next program of "first ladies." thank you for being here tonight to talk as through 12 years of a changing country and the president's and first ladies. >> thank you. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
she suffers a stroke and dies less than a year and half later. julia esident read mary'marriesd tyler. she brings in the annexation of texas. "first ladies" live monday night at 9 p.m. eastern on c- span, c-span 3, and c-span radio and c-span.org. also on monday, an encore presentation from our "first ladies" series, including martha washington, martha washington, and the programon, you just saw. there is still time to buy the
special edition of the book " of the unitedf the unitefirst s states of america." plu s shipping. c-span.org/products. >> remarks from mayor mia love. then the legal issues facing the military. after that, discussion on heart editorial cartoon is a printer the effort universal healthcare law. , theemarks from mia love republican mayor of sarasota springs, utah. this is about 45 minutes.