|Title||Martha Johnson Patterson|
|Collection||First Lady Dolls|
Martha Johnson Patterson (1828-1901)
Daughter of Andrew Johnson - White House Hostess from 1865-1869
Andrew Johnson once declared Martha to be "my favorite child." Martha Johnson received a rigorous education in the classics, mathematics, sciences, history, geography, grammar, composition, as well as subjects taught young women in preparation for social life, including French, music and needlepoint.
At the age of 27 years old, Martha Johnson married David Trotter Patterson on December 13, 1855. She had her first child at the age of 29, after which she assumed the traditional role of housekeeper and mother, but also continued her role as aide and confidant to her father.
Under the direction of her mother, First Lady Eliza Johnson, Martha Patterson assumed great responsibility for the Johnson Administration White House, playing several different roles. Foremost was that of the primary hostess who welcomed the general public and invited gusts, aided by her sister Mary Stover.
Martha Patterson excelled by "will-power," "common-sense," and "ceaseless industry." As she famously explained of the family's intentional image, "We are a plain people, sir, from the mountains of Tennessee, and we do not propose to put on airs because we have the fortune to occupy this place for a little while."
At the last Johnson Administration reception, Martha Patterson reflected, "I am glad this is the last of entertainments - it suits me better to be quiet and in my own home. Mother is not able to enjoy these things. Belle (her daughter) is too young, and I am indifferent to them - so it is well it is almost over."
Martha Johnson Patterson died July 10, 1901 in Greeneville, Tennessee.
NOTE: Eliza Johnson, mother of Martha Johnson Patterson, arrived at the White House on August 6, 1865, with an entourage including her two sons, her two daughters, her remaining son-in-law and five grandchildren. Among the relatively obscure First Ladies of the 19th century, few have been left with as distorted legacy as Eliza Johnson.
Before leaving Nashville, Eliza had conferred with her younger and more passive daughter, Mary Stover and her older, efficient one, Martha Patterson. They decided the part each would play in the presidential household.
Contrary to popular perception, Eliza Johnson did assume a public role as First Lady, but she restricted it to that of hostess at formal dinners and the visits of heads of state. Martha Patterson took on the task of hostess who appeared in the receiving line at the large open-house receptions to which the general public was admitted to meet the President. Mary Stover was to assist her sister at these public receptions, but also direct the tutoring and activities of her three young children and her young niece and nephew, as well as serving as daytime aide and companion to her mother in the First Lady suite.
|Event||Bicentennial First Lady Doll Exhibit - Community Project|
|Creator||Parks, Phyllis Juhlin|
|Costume||Costume by Gladys Price Phillips|
|Given||Given by the P.E.O. Sisterhood|
|Source||Uintah County Library|