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Quick Facts About Harriet Lane 

  • Born May 9th, 1830
  • Orphaned at age ten
  • Lived with her Uncle James Buchanan or "Nunc" as she called him
  • Attended Georgetown Visitation Convent
  • Accomplished pianist
  • First woman ever to be given the title "First Lady"
  • Married Henry Elliot Johnston of Baltimore, MD
  • Had two sons, James and Henry- both died during childhood
  • Began a home for invalid children, now part of John Hopkins Hospital
  • Donated collected art to assist in forming Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Funded St. Albans school for training choir boys
  • Died July 3, 1903


Our Blogs

The History Bucket


Because the world is a bucketful of questions.  And someone's gotta answer them

While working with the object collections of we come across many questions.  Visit here to see some of the more unusual stories that we have uncovered.

[Read My Blog]

Historically Speaking


The staff and volunteers of the Archives Department at never know what they'll find when working on the documents and records in the collections.  Fortunately, when they do discover something noteworthy they are very willing to share!

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Marianne's PhotoBlog


Because pictures are worth a thousand words, but sometimes they need an interpreter.

You know that cliché about a picture being worth a thousand words? Ok, well, imagine the stories going on in my head after cataloging several hundred photos every single day!

[Read My Blog]

Wheatland: A Love Story

Who would have guessed that a young lady would fall in love with an old President and his old house?

One Young Lady, One Old House, Two Hundred Years of History

I’m Jennifer Walton, Museum Associate at President James Buchanan's Wheatland, and I love an old President and his old house! Over the past nine years, I’ve learned quite a lot about both, and I would love to share it with you!

[Read My Blog]

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