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    Martha Patterson (Johnson)

    Birth: 10-25-1828

    Death: 7-10-1901

Biography

Excerpt:
"One of the five children of President Andrew Johnson and First Lady Eliza McCardle Johnson, Martha Johnson occasionally served as White House hostess throughout her father’s administration. She attended school in nearby Georgetown and visited the White House during the Polk administration while her father represented Tennessee in the House of Representatives. In 1855 she married David Trotter Patterson, who, from 1866 to 1869 would succeed his father-in-law by representing Tennessee in the United States Senate.
At age 36, Martha Patterson took on the social role of first lady, filling in for her mother Eliza. The Civil War had taken a hard toll emotionally and physically on Mrs. Johnson, and the first lady mostly confined herself to her bedroom on the Second Floor. Following the assassination of President Lincoln, the resolute Johnson family, ten of whom moved into the White House in June 1865, was catapulted into the national spotlight.
With her mother ailing, Martha took on managing the household; bringing some much needed order to a distraught staff. Longtime White House staff member William H. Crook described Martha in his memoirs as “the real mistress of the White House. No woman could have acted with greater sense or discretion . . . She made no pretenses of any sort, but was always honest and direct.”
One account of a March 26, 1866, White House reception describes Mrs. Patterson receiving guests adorned in a dress of “black velvet, low neck and short sleeves” with her hair “ornamented with flowers and back curls.”....
In addition to her work in the White House Residence, her concern for the sanitary and healthy workspace of the wings led to the demolition of the earlier east wing in 1866. Mrs. Patterson even directed agricultural chores at White House, including tending the dairy cows that often grazed on the White House Grounds.
Throughout her father’s tumultuous administration, Martha Patterson maintained and enhanced the splendor of the White House interiors. Her desire to display presidential portraits in the people’s house fostered a greater appreciation of American history for all those who visited the Johnson White House. Her efforts to secure and return these important artifacts to their rightful place continues today as a key component of the White House Historical Association’s mission."

Citations

Biography and Citation Information:
Biography: 
Excerpt: "One of the five children of President Andrew Johnson and First Lady Eliza McCardle Johnson, Martha Johnson occasionally served as White House hostess throughout her father’s administration. She attended school in nearby Georgetown and visited the White House during the Polk administration while her father represented Tennessee in the House of Representatives. In 1855 she married David Trotter Patterson, who, from 1866 to 1869 would succeed his father-in-law by representing Tennessee in the United States Senate. At age 36, Martha Patterson took on the social role of first lady, filling in for her mother Eliza. The Civil War had taken a hard toll emotionally and physically on Mrs. Johnson, and the first lady mostly confined herself to her bedroom on the Second Floor. Following the assassination of President Lincoln, the resolute Johnson family, ten of whom moved into the White House in June 1865, was catapulted into the national spotlight. With her mother ailing, Martha took on managing the household; bringing some much needed order to a distraught staff. Longtime White House staff member William H. Crook described Martha in his memoirs as “the real mistress of the White House. No woman could have acted with greater sense or discretion . . . She made no pretenses of any sort, but was always honest and direct.” One account of a March 26, 1866, White House reception describes Mrs. Patterson receiving guests adorned in a dress of “black velvet, low neck and short sleeves” with her hair “ornamented with flowers and back curls.”.... In addition to her work in the White House Residence, her concern for the sanitary and healthy workspace of the wings led to the demolition of the earlier east wing in 1866. Mrs. Patterson even directed agricultural chores at White House, including tending the dairy cows that often grazed on the White House Grounds. Throughout her father’s tumultuous administration, Martha Patterson maintained and enhanced the splendor of the White House interiors. Her desire to display presidential portraits in the people’s house fostered a greater appreciation of American history for all those who visited the Johnson White House. Her efforts to secure and return these important artifacts to their rightful place continues today as a key component of the White House Historical Association’s mission."
Citation Notes: 
https://www.whitehousehistory.org/martha-johnson-patterson-hostess-of-the-andrew-johnson-white-house
Citation for Birth Info:
Citation Type: 
Book or Book Chapter
Book or Monograph Title: 
America's Royalty: All the Presidents' Children
Author(s) or Editor(s): 
Sandra L. Quinn-Musgrove, Sanford Kanter
Chapter Title: 
Andrew Johnson's Children
Publisher Location: 
Westport, Connecticut
Publisher Name: 
Greenwood Press
Year: 
1995
Start Page: 
97
Citation Notes: 
https://books.google.com/books?id=D6egBFIqZJQC&lpg=PA97&pg=PA97#v=onepage&q&f=false
Citation for Death Info:
Citation Type: 
Book or Book Chapter
Book or Monograph Title: 
America's Royalty: All the Presidents' Children
Author(s) or Editor(s): 
Sandra L. Quinn-Musgrove, Sanford Kanter
Chapter Title: 
Andrew Johnson's Children
Publisher Location: 
Westport, Connecticut
Publisher Name: 
Greenwood Press
Year: 
1995
Start Page: 
97
Citation Notes: 
https://books.google.com/books?id=D6egBFIqZJQC&lpg=PA97&pg=PA97#v=onepage&q&f=false