First Ladies: Margaret Smith Taylor

Lead: The wife of Zachary Taylor, hero of the Mexican War and 12th President of the United States, passed most of her marriage moving from one frontier army post to another. Her fifteen months in the White House were spent largely in seclusion.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born in Calvert County, Maryland, the daughter of a well-to planter and veteran of the Revolutionary War, Margaret Smith met her future husband while visiting relatives in Kentucky. They were married the following year and began the nomadic life that enveloped his nearly four decades of military service. Insisting on going with Zachary to the many wilderness stations to which he was posted, she raised her four surviving children in crude wintertime log cabins and warm weather army tents. Against their wishes, daughter Sarah eloped with young Lt. Jefferson Davis, the future President of the Confederacy. She died of malaria after only three months of marriage. Margaret’s favorite post was Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and from there she received the news of her husband’s exploits in the Mexican War.

First Ladies: Sarah Childress Polk

 Lead: The wife of the tenth President of the United States was the ideal political spouse: devoted, principled, and ambitious.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1823 James Knox Polk was stuck in what he considered a dead end job as a clerk employed by the Tennessee legislature. He asked Andrew Jackson, just beginning his first run for the Presidency, what advice he would give for success in politics. Jackson told him, "stop this philandering...settle down as a sober married man." "Which lady shall I choose?" asked Polk. "The one who will never give you no trouble," replied Jackson, "you know her well." "You mean Sarah Childress?" Polk asked, thought a minute, went out and asked her to marry him. He never regretted the choice.