- NAME: Caroline Harrison
- OCCUPATION: Women's Rights Activist, U.S. First Lady
- BIRTH DATE: October 01, 1832
- DEATH DATE: October 25, 1892
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Oxford, Ohio
- PLACE OF DEATH: Washington, D.C.
- Maiden Name: Caroline Lavinia Scott
- Full Name: Caroline Lavinia Harrison
- AKA: Caroline Scott
- AKA: Caroline Harrison
- Nickname: Carrie
Best Known For
Caroline Harrison married future U.S. President Benjamin Harrison in 1853. As first lady, she oversaw the installation of electricity in the White House.
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"It has been said 'that the men to make a country are made by self-denial,' and is it not true that this society, to live and grow and become what we would desire it to be, must be composed of self-denying women? Our hope is in unity and self-sacrifice. 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."
By late 1891, Caroline Harrison's health had begun to decline. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis the following spring. She then traveled to the Adirondack Mountains in New York, hoping that the climate there would help her recover, but when she returned to Washington, D.C., that September, she was sicker than ever.
While her husband sought re-election, Caroline's condition worsened. She died at the White House on October 25, 1892, at the age of 60. After a period of mourning, Mamie Harrison took over her mother's role as hostess for presidential functions. Benjamin Harrison lost his bid for re-election to Grover Cleveland.
Four years after Caroline Harrison's death, her husband married her niece, Mary Dimmick, who had worked as her secretary at the White House.
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When the 19th Amendment was ratified, women were finally given the right to vote, and over the years many courageous women have stepped onto the national political stage as well. In 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress and almost a century later Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina woman to serve on the Supreme Court. And within the last two decades, the esteemable Hillary Clinton has served as First Lady, a New York senator and Secretary of State. These women, and many more, are setting the stage for the future of female leaders in Washington.
Visit Biography.com's Women's History group to explore more biographies, photos and videos of some the world's most fascinating women."
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