February 16th, 2017

book cover - tpbol

Presidential wedding anniversary: the Monroes

On this date in 1786, 17-year-old Elizabeth Kortright married 27-year-old James Monroe, in New York City. They met while he was in New York, serving in the Continental Congress. Their first child, daughter Eliza, was born in December 1786. Their son, James, Junior, was born in 1799, while the Monroes were in the US (between his trips to Europe as Ambassador), but died two years later. In 1803, their daughter Maria was born while he was Minister to Great Britain. James was elected President in 1816, and in March 1820, Maria became the first child of a President to be married in the White House.

Elizabeth died in September 1830, five years after the Monroes left the White House; James died the next year.
book cover - rtvp

Vice President Henry Wilson

On this date in 1812, Jeremiah Jones Colbath was born in Farmington, New Hampshire. In 1833 he had his name legally changed by the legislature to Henry Wilson. Wilson moved to Natick, Massachusetts, in 1833 and became a shoemaker. He attended several local academies, and also taught school in Natick. He was a member of the state legislature between 1841 and 1852, and was the owner and editor of the Boston Republican from 1848 to 1851. In 1852, he lost a race for the House of Representatives, and the following year, was defeated in an election for Governor. In 1855, he was elected to the Senate, and re-elected in 1859, 1865, and 1871.

In 1872, President Grant dropped Vice President Schuyler Colfax from the ticket for his re-election (Colfax was tarred by the Credit Mobilier scandal), and replaced him with Wilson. They won the election, and Wilson resigned from the Senate on March 4, 1873, to become the 18th Vice President. Later in the year, he suffered a serious stroke, but recovered. He suffered a second, fatal stroke on November 22, 1875, in the Capitol. Wilson was the fourth Vice President to die in office.