Emma Folsom and her daughter Frances Cleveland at the time of her marriage to the President in 1886.
There was a time when the best a mother might hope for in terms of her daughter rising to the heights of political power was to be married to the President of the United States.
There is no known image of the first American woman who had the experience of witnessing this happening, Juliana Gardiner in 1844, following the elopement of her daughter Julia to incumbent widower President John Tyler, but eleven other mothers would also share this experience. And as medical care improved through the twentieth century, more of them had the pleasure of being known as the President’s Mother-in-Law.
Among the last twelve First Ladies, eight such women were able to share the glory with the women who raised them.
Not that they all were pleased about their daughters living in the great white mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue. Regardless of how high a pinnacle their sons-in-law reached, two of them could never reconcile themselves to the idea that their daughters had married well: the moms of Grace Coolidge and Bess Truman.
Here, then, on Mother’s Day is a glimpse at those women who lived to see their daughters grow up to be First Ladies.
Edith Wilson’s mother Sallie Bolling and Woodrow Wilson on the Washington Senators opening day in 1915.
Lemira Goodhue, mother of Grace Coolidge.
Bess Truman’s mother Madge Wallace with her nurses on the White House South Lawn.
Mamie Eisenhower and her mother Minnie Doud on the front steps of the family’s Denver home.
Janet Auchincloss had a proper plastic bonnet for the rain but a newspaper was good enough for Jackie Kennedy Onassis at the 1980 graduation ceremony of the latter’s daughter.
Rosalynn Carter with her mother Allie Smith and daughter Amy touring a National Geographic building exhibit.
Nancy Reagan after presenting her mother Edie Davis with an award plaque for a lifetime of volunteer work at her Arizona elderly care home.
Hillary Clinton with her mother Dorothy Rodham who lived to see her daughter become Secretary of State.
Laura Bush and her mother Jenna Welch in July of 2001.
Mrs. Obama and her mother Marian Shields Robinson.
Categories: First Ladies
Tags: Bess Truman, Hillary Clinton, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Laura Bush, Mamie Eisenhower, Michelle Obama, Nancy Reagan, Rosalynn Carter