President Zachary Taylor said of Margaret, “My wife was as much a soldier as I was.”
First Ladies of the US Margaret Taylor Full Image

Margaret Taylor

Margaret “Peggy” Mackall Smith Taylor
Years of service: 1849-1850
Born: 1788

First Ladies of the US Margaret Taylor Full Image

Margaret Smith, known as “Peggy,” spent her youth on a wealthy plantation in Maryland. After she married Lieutenant Zachary Taylor in 1810, she spent her life following her husband from one military camp to another in the remote western wilderness. Enslaved people assisted Margaret with her domestic duties, including the birth of seven children. The four children who reached adulthood were sent to live with relatives to attend formal schools. As First Lady, Margaret remained upstairs in the private family quarters and oversaw the White House staff. Her youngest daughter, Betty Bliss, served as White House Hostess for the sixteen months of the Taylor presidency. Margaret never fully recovered from the death of her husband.


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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.