History Podcasts

The Podcast Putting Ladies First. FLOTUS podcast brings you comprehensive biographies of the First Ladies of the USA from Martha Washington to Melania Trump.


United States


The Podcast Putting Ladies First. FLOTUS podcast brings you comprehensive biographies of the First Ladies of the USA from Martha Washington to Melania Trump.




Mary Todd Lincoln

With Civil War, Death and Debt, find out about the plagued life of Mary Todd Lincoln in the season finale. Bibliography: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/mary-todd-lincoln/ https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/abraham-lincoln/ https://www.mtlhouse.org https://www.mtlhouse.org/biography Betty Boyd Caroli, First Ladies, The Ever-Changing Role, From Martha Washington to Melania Trump, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019) American...


Harriet Lane

Find out all about Dear Miss. Lane, favoured by Queen Victoria, patron of the first paediatric hospital in the States, and leading figure in federal sponsorship of the arts. Bibliography: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/harriet-lane/ http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=16 https://millercenter.org/president/buchanan/essays/lane-1857-firstlady American National Biography Database by Mary K. Dains Lloyd C Taylor Jr. ‘Harriet...


Jane Means Appleton Pierce

Jane Pierce is remembered for her tragic personal life more than anything else during her tenure as First Lady: find out more in the latest episode of the podcast. Bibliography: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/jane-means-appleton-pierce/ https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/franklin-pierce/ Pierre-Marie Loizeau, “First Lady But Second Fiddle” or the rise and rejection of the political couple in the White House: 1933-today,’ European...


Abigail Powers Fillmore

What connects Abigail Fillmore with The Greatest Showman movie? You'll have to listen to the latest episode of FLOTUSpodcast to find...


The Taylor Women

As we creep closer to the Civil War, the presidency of Zachary Taylor shows that the absence of a First Lady leaves room for gossip and speculation to run rife. Bibliography: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/margaret-mackall-smith-taylor/ https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/zachary-taylor/ American National Biography...


Sarah Childress Polk

The most politically minded First Lady so far, find out more about how Sarah Polk enhanced her husband's political career in the latest episode. Bibliography: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/sarah-childress-polk/ https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/james-k-polk/ American National Biography Database Sarah Agnes, Wallace, Sarah Polk, John W. Childress, ‘Letters of Mrs. James K. Polk to Her Husband,’ Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Vol....


The Tyler Women

An invalid, an actress and a socialite; this episode we take at look at how Letitia, Priscilla and Julia Tyler all forged the First Lady role during the administration of "His Accidency," John Tyler. Bibliography: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/letitia-christian-tyler/ https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/julia-gardiner-tyler/ https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/john-tyler/ American National Biography...


Anna Harrison

We discuss the FLOTUS who held the title for the shortest amount of time, Anna Harrison! Nevertheless, there are some important things we can learn from her... Bibliography: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/anna-tuthill-symmes-harrison/ https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/william-henry-harrison/ American National Biography database https://millercenter.org/president/harrison/essays/harrison-1841-anna-firstlady...


The Van Buren Women

Despite the fact that Van Buren had been a widower for 18 years by the time he enters office, we take a look at the experiences of his late wife and his daughter-in-law, who eventually acts as White House hostess during his tenure. Many thanks to all the providers of the following resources: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/hannah-hoes-van-buren/ https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/martin-van-buren/ American National Biography Database...


Season 2 Trailer

Tune in for a round up of Season 1 and a trailer of Season 2


The Jackson Women

In the final episode of our early republic series, we have a change of scene at look to life on the frontier with Rachel Jackson and Emily Donelson before Andrew Jackson takes the White House. Shownotes: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/rachel-donelson-jackson/ American National Biography Database Harriet Chappell Owsley, ‘The Marriages of Rachel Donelson,’ Tennessee Historical Society, Vol. 36, No. 4, (Winter 1977) pp. 479-492 Stanley F. Horn ‘The...


Louisa Catherine Adams

In this episode we explore the life of Louisa Catherine Adams, the first non-native First Lady who spent much time at the court of Tsar Alexander I before ascending to the White House. Shownotes: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/louisa-catherine-johnson-adams/ American National Biography Database Joan R. Challinor, ‘The Mis-Education of Louisa Catherine Johnson,’ Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol. 98 (1986)p. 21-48 L. H. Butterfield,...


Elizabeth Monroe

This episode we discuss the life and changes to the First Lady role made by Elizabeth Monroe. Show Notes: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/elizabeth-kortright-monroe/ https://millercenter.org/president/monroe/essays/monroe-1817-firstlady https://www.history.com/topics/first-ladies/elizabeth-monroe American National Biography Database Entry Fred I. Greenstein, ‘The Political Professionalism of James Monroe,’ Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 39, No. 2,...


Dolley Madison

In this episode, discover how "Queen Dolley" reshaped the existing social norms in Washington DC, renovated the White House, and became a symbol of national unity. Shownotes: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/dolley-payne-todd-madison/ American Nation Biography Database Merry Ellen Scofield, ‘Yea or Nay to Removing the Seat of Government: Dolley Madison and the Realities of 1814 Politics,’ The Historian, Vol. 74. No. 3, (Fall 2012) pp. 449-466 John Todd Jr,...


The Jefferson Women

This episode explores the wife and daughter of the third President, Thomas Jefferson, who was the first widower to fill the role. Step back in time to the early Republic via revolutionary Paris to discover how a lack of a presidential spouse highlighted the gendered roles taking shape in the early years of the presidency. Shownotes: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/martha-wayles-skelton-jefferson/ Review: Dinah Mayo-Bobee, ‘Martha Jefferson Randolph, Daughter...


Abigail Adams

We explore the history of the second First Lady, Abigail Adams, in this episode of the podcast. Abigail transforms the role and is remembered as one of the most interesting female characters in American political history. Shownotes: American National Biography Database David S. Shields and Fredrika J. Teute, ‘The Court of Abigail Adams,’ Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 35, No. 2, (Summer 2015) pp. 227-235 Linda Garbaye, Women and Politics in North America: The Experience of Abigail...


Martha Washington

This episode discusses the first First Lady of the United States: Martha Washington. We look at her childhood in colonial Virginia, her participation in the Revolutionary War, and how she shaped the office of the First Lady in the early days of the Republic. Shownotes: Thanks to the London Library for use of their resources in researching this podcast. American National Biography Database- Martha Washington Entry By Samuel Willard Crompton John Parke Custis and Billy J. Harbin ‘Letters...


Welcome to FLOTUS!

Welcome to this introductory episode of FLOTUS podcast! This episode kicks off the series by explaining my background as a historians and my research on First Ladies, ready to take you through the history of all 47 First Ladies from Martha Washington to Melania Trump. All episodes are researches by Elizabeth Rees using sources accessed from the London Library, Library of Congress and presidential libraries- all citations will be included in the shownotes.