Martha Washington, 1731-1802
George Washington’s wife was the first to be given the title “lady” by the press, as in “Lady Washington,” and the first wife of a president to appear on U.S. postage stamp.
Abigail Adams, 1744-1818
John Adams’ wife urged her husband to “remember the ladies” when he was writing the nation’s Declaration of Independence in 1776. She also was the first woman to be both a president’s wife and the mother of a president, and the first to live in the White House.
Martha Jefferson, 1748-1782
No known portrait exists of Thomas Jefferson’s wife, who died 18 years before her husband was elected president. Their daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph served as White House hostess and was the first to give birth in the presidential mansion in Washington, D.C.
Dolley Madison, 1768-1849
James Madison’s wife is the only first lady given an honorary seat on the floor of Congress and was the first American to respond to telegraph message—sent by inventor Samuel Morse.