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First Ladies: Rachel Jackson, Emily Donelson, Angelica Van Buren

Washington, DC
Monday, March 25, 2013

On this week's program, we follow the scandal in Andrew Jackson's White House and the education of Angelica Singleton Van Buren, President Van Buren's daughter-in-law and White House hostess, by a former first lady.

Andrew Jackson's wife, Rachel, died before the Jacksons moved into the White House following the election of 1828. He relied on his niece, Emily Donelson, to take on the role of White House hostess and later asked her to leave because of scandal -- the Peggy Eaton affair -- that led to the dissolution of Jackson's cabinet and his ongoing war with Washington society.

In the second half of the program, Dolley Madison introduces her young cousin, Angelica Singleton, to Martin Van Buren's son and then guides her through the intricacies of Washington entertainment and politics as Angelica Singleton Van Buren becomes the official White House hostess during Van Buren's single term.

Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013 at 1:54pm (ET)

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Related Resources

Washington Journal (late 2012)