Speaker's Bureau

Andrew Jackson, John C. Calhoun and The Petticoat Affair

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After the election of President Andrew Jackson, the ladies of Washington were horrified by the dubious reputation of Peggy Eaton, the wife of the newly appointed secretary of war. After trying for 2 ½ years to have her included in the social life in Washington, Jackson fired his cabinet and destroyed Vice President John C. Calhoun’s hopes of being president. Widowed in 1856, Peggy Eaton married a 19-year-old dancing and music teacher, but he took all of her money and ran off with her 17-year-old granddaughter.

(Presentation lasts 35 to 45 minutes and includes a PowerPoint; a screen or blank wall will be needed.)

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Patricia McNeely

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