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Quiz about Little Known First Ladies
Quiz about Little Known First Ladies

Little Known First Ladies Trivia Quiz

A match quiz on some of the lesser known U.S. First Ladies who may have died before their husbands took office, served in a limited capacity or are considered unofficial First Ladies.

A matching quiz by Joepetz. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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5 mins
Match Quiz
Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
6 / 10
Last 3 plays: Guest 35 (0/10), Guest 24 (10/10), Guest 172 (3/10).
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
1. Was a lesbian  
  Alice Roosevelt
2. Not mentioned in her husband's autobiography  
  Hannah Van Buren
3. Died on the same day as her mother-in-law  
  Rachel Jackson
4. Was half-sister to a slave  
  Martha Jefferson
5. Was called the Mistress of the White House  
  Margaret Wilson
6. Became a member of an ashram in India and renamed Nishtha  
  Priscilla Tyler
7. Had a sister who was the mother of a president  
  Jane Harrison
8. Sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War  
  Mary McElroy
9. Was younger than her husband's children  
  Rose Cleveland
10. Was buried in the inaugural ball gown she never wore  
  Mary Dimmick Harrison

Select each answer

1. Was a lesbian
2. Not mentioned in her husband's autobiography
3. Died on the same day as her mother-in-law
4. Was half-sister to a slave
5. Was called the Mistress of the White House
6. Became a member of an ashram in India and renamed Nishtha
7. Had a sister who was the mother of a president
8. Sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War
9. Was younger than her husband's children
10. Was buried in the inaugural ball gown she never wore

Most Recent Scores
Jan 16 2024 : Guest 35: 0/10
Jan 13 2024 : Guest 24: 10/10
Jan 09 2024 : Guest 172: 3/10
Jan 05 2024 : Guest 24: 7/10

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Was a lesbian

Answer: Rose Cleveland

Rose Cleveland was the sister of President Grover Cleveland who served as First Lady until the president married Frances Folsom in 1886. She was well known for her intellectual pursuits. She was quite open about her relationship with wealthy American philanthropist Evangeline Marrs Simpson with whom she spent the remainder of her years living together in Italy. To what extent their relationship was is unknown but their letters clearly indicated a romantic interest and Rose became upset when Evangeline married in 1896.

The relationship between the two women and Rose's sexual orientation was not publicly known until 1978 because historians removed Rose's letters from her collection due to their content and hid them in a safe until they were discovered.
2. Not mentioned in her husband's autobiography

Answer: Hannah Van Buren

Hannah Van Buren was born Hannah Hoes in 1783. Although she and Martin Van Buren had five children together and were married twelve years, the president did not mention her anywhere in his autobiography which is over 800 pages long. The reason generally stated for this is because Hannah suffered from tuberculosis for much of their married life and the president had a difficult time watching her health deteriorate as she became physically weaker as the years went on. In fact, he rarely spoke about his wife even to his children who did not even know her first name.

Since Hannah died before Martin took office, the First Lady duties were given to his daughter-in-law Angelica.
3. Died on the same day as her mother-in-law

Answer: Alice Roosevelt

Alice Roosevelt was the first wife of Teddy Roosevelt. She died at the age of 22 two days after giving birth to the couple's only child, also named Alice. She died on the same day and in the same house where her mother-in-law also died just a few hours earlier. Both deaths were entirely unexpected. To make things worse for the future president, they both died on Valentine's Day 1884 which was the anniversary of his engagement to Alice and held a special meaning for both of them. Roosevelt burned all of his correspondence with Alice and remained heartbroken over her death even during his second marriage. According to his daughter Alice, the president rarely spoke of her mother and she learned everything about her from her grandparents.
4. Was half-sister to a slave

Answer: Martha Jefferson

Martha Jefferson was Thomas Jefferson's wife who died before he became president. She was the half-sister of slave Sally Hemmings with whom Jefferson would later have an affair. Hemmings was the daughter of Martha's father who, like Martha's husband, had relations with his slaves.

It is believed that Martha's father John Wayles likely raped Hemmings' mother and had as many as six children with her. After father died, Martha inherited Sally and her family and eventually Thomas Jefferson owned them. Sally was a trusted slave who mainly sought to the needs Jefferson's daughter with Martha, also named Martha.
5. Was called the Mistress of the White House

Answer: Mary McElroy

Mary McElroy was the sister of President Chester A. Arthur who was a widower when he took office. The president asked Mary to come to Washington and help raise his now motherless young daughter, Nell. Mary agreed but she had her own family in New York and spent very little time in Washington. Arthur refused to call her his First Lady because he felt that would insult his late wife Ellen whom he still loved so he referred to her as the Mistress of the White House.

Mary only hosted events during the winter which was the prime traditional season for the biggest events. Despite this, her events were considered the gold standard and future first ladies followed her protocol for many years to come.
6. Became a member of an ashram in India and renamed Nishtha

Answer: Margaret Wilson

Margaret Wilson was the oldest daughter of Woodrow Wilson. She served as First Lady after mother Ellen died but before her father remarried to Edith Bolling. In her younger days, Margaret was a singer. She never married, probably because her father's will stipulated that she would inherit a yearly sum as long as she never married.

In 1938, Margaret traveled to India where she joined an ashram and became a devoted follower. However, she kept her American ways and culture though also embraced the Hindu philosophy.

It is not believed she converted to Hinduism but rather observed the culture of it. While in India, she was called Nishtha which means devotion.
7. Had a sister who was the mother of a president

Answer: Jane Harrison

Jane Harrison (nee Irwin) was the daughter-in-law of William Henry Harrison. Jane married Harrison's son William. William Jr. died before his father took office but Jane was selected to temporarily fill the role of First Lady until the president's wife Anna could travel to D.C. However, the president infamously died within thirty days and Anna never served officially in the capacity of First Lady. According to contemporary sources, the acting First Lady at the time was the president's daughter Anna but for whatever reason Jane is the one who has been credited.

Jane's sister Elizabeth married another of the president's sons, John. John and Elizabeth were the parents to Benjamin Harrison, who would become president himself in 1889.
8. Sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War

Answer: Priscilla Tyler

Priscilla Tyler was the daughter-in-law of President John Tyler who served in the position after the President's first wife Letitia died and before he remarried to his second wife Julia. Like her father-in-law and the rest of her family, Priscilla sided with the Confederacy during the U.S. Civil War. Because the Tylers were a prominent slave-holding family in the South, Priscilla's husband Robert was appointed to a high-ranking position in the Confederate Treasury Department and she was active in charities for Confederate families.
9. Was younger than her husband's children

Answer: Mary Dimmick Harrison

Mary Dimmick Harrison was the second wife of President Benjamin Harrison and a niece to his late wife Caroline. Mary and Benjamin married after the president had left office and their marriage was controversial. She was decades younger than he was and younger than both of his children. Neither his daughter Mary or his son Russell attended the wedding or spoke to the former president ever again.
10. Was buried in the inaugural ball gown she never wore

Answer: Rachel Jackson

Rachel Jackson was the wife of Andrew Jackson. She died in December 1828 after her husband was elected but before he took office. Jackson attributed her death to verbal attacks from his opponents, many of whom were vicious and insulting. In particular, Rachel was attacked about her first marriage and whether or not her second marriage was bigamous. Rachel was buried in the gown she had made for her husband's inauguration.
Source: Author Joepetz

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor stedman before going online.
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