Today in 1800 President John Adams moved into the White House, the first chief executive to live in what was then called the President’s Mansion. One of the house’s most adorable stories – though possibly an apocryphal one – is the time in 1862 that Abraham Lincoln supposedly helped a couple elope. Plus: the New England WizardFest gets underway this weekend in Massachusetts. Mischief managed!
Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was supposedly a wedding planner? (White House History on Twitter)
If Abraham Lincoln can be a vampire hunter, then he can also be a wedding planner, right?
Today in 1800 President John Adams moved into the White House, the first president to live in what was then called the President’s Mansion.
It wasn’t quite finished when he moved in, but he made do.
The White House has seen plenty of presidents since then. Some breathed their last in that house. Some saw new family members born there, and a few held weddings there.
And legend has it, one president served as a wedding planner at the house!
The White House Historical Association shared this possibly apocryphal story on Twitter a while back.
The story comes from a woman called Elizabeth Chandler, and it takes place in 1862, in the midst of the Civil War, though she came forward much later.
Chandler’s parents weren’t on board with her plan to get married, and her intended’s parents didn’t approve either.
They decided to elope in Washington, DC, only neither of them knew anybody in the capital city.
For whatever reason they ended up at the Executive Mansion, and in those days you could just wander in and see the President if you wanted.
According to Chandler, when Abraham Lincoln heard their story, he decided that he would make the wedding happen.
He called for a minister and they had the ceremony right there in the White House.
First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln was one of the witnesses, and the newlyweds spent their wedding night at the White House as the Lincolns’ guests.
We don’t know for sure that any of this happened the way Chandler described, or at all, but it is a story she told for the rest of her long life.
And it does fit with what we know about Lincoln. After all, he was pro-Union!
This weekend in Marlborough, Massachusetts, it’s the New England WizardFest, where you can immerse yourself in the world of witches and wizards.
You didn’t know you were a witch or wizard? Well, it turns out you are, and a thumping good one at that, I’d wager. Once you train up a little.