Sunday, August 31, 2014

First Lady Profile #4--Frances Cleveland!

Once the official engagement announcement was made, the country was in the grips of "Frankie mania."  Everyone, it seemed, wanted to catch a glimpse of Frances Folsom's beautiful dark eyes, wavy chestnut-colored hair, and lovely warm smile.

No one, it seemed, could resist her warmth and charm. A White House staff member remembered her arrival at the mansion early on the morning of her wedding, emerging from her carriage excitedly and greeting everyone with a huge smile.--Susan Sinnott
 --I didn't know much about Grover and Frances Cleveland before reading Sinnott's book.  I found them to both be fascinating people.  They were the only couple to do numerous things in the White House.

Only and Firsts:
--Grover Cleveland was the only president to be married in the White House.  And only 2 other presidents were married while in office, John Tyler and Woodrow Wilson
--Grover Cleveland was the only president to serve 2 terms that weren't consecutive.  He was the 22nd and 24th president.
--Grover and Frances were the only couple to have a baby while in the White House.
--Frances was the youngest first lady, she was only 21 when she married Grover and moved into the White House.
--Frances was the 1st First lady to enjoy immense popularity.
--Later on she became the 1st First lady to re-marry after her husband died.

--Frances was born on July 21, 1864, to Oscar and Emma Folsom. Oscar was Grover Cleveland's best friend and law partner.  Frances was actually named Frank, but switched to Frances later in life.
--She was an only child, a sister named Nellie had been born after her, but died in infancy.
--Her father died a day after her 11th birthday.
--Grover made sure Frances and her Mom were taken care of.
--She attended and graduated from Wells College.

--She married Grover while he was president on June 2, 1886.  Her wedding dress is on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
--The American people fell in love with Frances.  Everyone wanted to style their hair like hers and dress the same.  She was a very popular first lady.
--She championed women entering the workforce
--Despite Frances popularity, Grover lost when he ran for president again to Benjamin Harrison.
--Frances gave birth to their first child, Ruth in 1891.  The country so loved the couple and the new baby, that a candy bar was named after her, Baby Ruth.

--The couple moved back into the White House after Grover beat Harrison.
--In September of 1893, Frances gave birth to their 2nd child, Esther, in the White House.
--Frances gave birth to 3 more children, another girl and two boys.
--Sadly, their oldest daughter Ruth, died when she was 13 from diphtheria.
--Frances became a widow when Grover died on June24, 1908.
--She remarried in 1913, to Professor Thomas Preston Jr.
--She was involved in the cause for higher education for women.  She played a big part in the founding of the New Jersey College for Women.
--Frances died on October 29, 1947.  She had lived through 4 wars, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II.

My Frances Cleveland Books:
-Frances Folsom Cleveland--Susan Sinnott
-America's First Ladies--Diana Dixon Healy
-First Ladies--Betty Boyd Caroli
-First Ladies of the White House--Nancy J. Skarmeas

Previous Profiles:
-Eleanor Roosevelt
-Julia Grant
-Louisa Adams

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