October 1, 2024

Caroline Scott Harrison

October 1, 1832

Caroline Scott Harrison — Born October 1, 1832 (Oxford, OH).  Died October 25, 1892 (Washington, D.C.)

Caroline Lavinia Scott HarrisonWhite House Years: 1889-1892

  • Caroline Harrison laid the foundations of the first lady taking an active role in the preservation of the White House; she initiated this by starting a collection of White House china, got rid of the rats by bringing in ferrets, and brought electricity to the White House.
  • In addition to White House improvements, Caroline Harrison founded the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and served as its first president general.
  • The first White House Christmas tree was installed during her time as first lady.
  • Caroline Harrison gathered support and funds for the Johns Hopkins University medical school, but only if it agreed to admit women.
  • Sadly, Caroline Harrison’s health was ailing, and she died in the White House of tuberculosis in 1892.
  • After Caroline Harrison’s death, her daughter, Mary Harrison McKee, acted as the lady of the house for the remainder of Benjamin Harrison’s presidency.


  • Since this Society has been organized, and so much thought and reading directed to the early struggle of this country, it has been made plain that much of its success was due to the character of the women of that era. The unselfish part they acted constantly commends itself to our admiration and example. If there is no abatement in this element of success in our ranks, I feel sure their daughters can perpetuate a society worthy the cause and worthy of themselves," said Caroline Harrison on the Daughters of the American Revolution.


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