An Artist Visits the White House Past

Paintings by Peter Waddell

The Confidant

First Lady Lucy Hayes and Her Maid, 1879

Lucy Webb Hayes was a popular first lady and officially supported her own interests: children, education, and abolition. Her personal maid Mary, along with Mary’s mother Winnie Monroe, were intimate members of the Hayes household and came from Ohio with the family to serve at the White House. A cat named “Siam” was sent to the Hayes children by the American consul in Bangkok; it was the first Siamese cat in the United States.

Listen:

William Bushong, Historian at the White House Historical Association, on The Confidant

"An Artist Visits the White House Past" (if no audio, click here)

In Depth

Read William Seale’s catalog essay for The Confidant, and discover the historical resources used to create the painting.

All images © the White House Historical Association except where otherwise noted.