Emily served as hostess until her health declined and she ultimately died in 1836, but not before wreaking all manner of havoc in what became known as the Petticoat Affair. Well! Since you asked! Emily refused to receive Peggy Eaton, new wife of Secretary of War, John Henry Eaton due to allegations that the two had had an extramarital affair that culminated in Peggy’s first husband’s suicide. SCANDAL! The snub split the cabinet (and their wives) and caused a rift between Emily and her uncle.
FUN FACT: Jackson blamed John Quincy Adams for his beloved wife's death because of repeated episodes of ridicule targeted at Rachel. You see, in 1791, Rachel thought she was divorced from her first husband and went ahead and married Mr. Jackson. Turns out this was not the case. The two married again legally in 1794. Whether intentional or not, it was common knowledge among politicos that Rachel was a bigamist.
After continued stints in Europe, JQ moved his family to Washington to serve as Secretary of State under James Monroe. Apparently Louisa’s drawing room became a hot gathering spot for diplomats and the politically elite.
John and Louisa moved into the White House in 1825 in the midst of bitter political climate. Louisa already suffered from depression and she became a bit of a recluse. Despite all, she managed to pull off elegant events and act the gracious hostess when such duties were required.
"Our union has not been without its trials," John Quincy Adams wrote. But, "she always has been a faithful and affectionate wife, and a careful, tender, indulgent, and watchful mother to our children."
FUN FACT: If JQ’s diary is to be believed Louisa raised silkworms to collect the silk . . . in the White House. Everyone needs a hobby!
Mary was a staunch supporter of her husband's goals to save the Union. Despite some of her family's Confederate leanings, she was exceedingly loyal to Abe and his political ideology.
Lincoln was regarded as the first "western" president, and while they lived in the White House Mary's manners were often criticized as coarse and pretentious. She did not have an easy time as First Lady. It probably didn't help that (based on evidence of mood swings, outbursts, excessive spending, and migraines) Mary most likely suffered from bi-polar disorder.
FUN FACT: Mary Todd totally dated (or whatever they did in the 1840s) Stephen Douglas before she married Abraham Lincoln. Stephen Douglas was Abe’s contentious and outspoken political presidential rival.