“Uncle [President Taylor] places so much confidence in me that he gives himself no uneasiness.”
First Ladies of the US Harriet Lane Johnston Full Image

Harriet Lane

Harriet Rebecca Lane Johnston
Years of service: 1857-1861
Born: 1830

First Ladies of the US Harriet Lane Johnston Full Image

Orphaned as a young girl, Harriet Lane's adoring uncle, James Buchanan, was cherished by her. Harriet’s charm, friendliness, and political savvy made her an accomplished White House Hostess. Her popularity and fashion sense were only a few positive aspects of her uncle’s presidency as war loomed and Southern states began secession from the Union. After turning down countless marriage proposals, Harriet eventually married Henry Johnston. Both of her sons tragically died as teenagers from rheumatic fever. Harriet’s response to her grief was founding the Harriet Lane Home in 1912 – now known as the Harriet Lane Clinic — part of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.


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Leaders in Literacy

4/30/2024 through 4/30/2025

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First Ladies as Teachers, Educators, and Librarians.

The right to an education is a foundational principle of America’s history, and many First Ladies have taken up this cause. We celebrate National First Ladies Day by kicking off this featured exhibit, presented by Huntington Bank.