Eliza Johnson stayed out of the public eye as First Lady to President Johnson, partly due to Mary Lincoln’s poor public opinion and partly due to grief and illness. But “her invisibility should not be taken for inactivity.”  When Eliza and Andrew first met in their teens, Eliza tutored him and helped him overcome his lack of formal education. In their White House years, “she clipped articles she thought he would see, shrewdly separating the good news which she gave at the end of each day, from the bad, which he got the next morning. One historian concluded that Andrew Johnson “may have consulted his wife and daughters more than he did any fellow statesman.”  
Facts from First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama by Betty Boyd Caroli. C-SPAN is exploring the influence of First Ladies in its new series
Image: Mrs. Andrew Johnson  engraved by J.C. Buttre, published 1883. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.  

Eliza Johnson stayed out of the public eye as First Lady to President Johnson, partly due to Mary Lincoln’s poor public opinion and partly due to grief and illness. But “her invisibility should not be taken for inactivity.”  When Eliza and Andrew first met in their teens, Eliza tutored him and helped him overcome his lack of formal education. In their White House years, “she clipped articles she thought he would see, shrewdly separating the good news which she gave at the end of each day, from the bad, which he got the next morning. One historian concluded that Andrew Johnson “may have consulted his wife and daughters more than he did any fellow statesman.”  

Facts from First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama by Betty Boyd Caroli. C-SPAN is exploring the influence of First Ladies in its new series

Image: Mrs. Andrew Johnson  engraved by J.C. Buttre, published 1883. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.