(15) Harriet Rebecca Lane Johnston


Harriet Rebecca Lane Johnston



Death date



James Buchanan 

Dates of service


Relationship to president


Other marriages 

Henry Elliot Johnston 



First Ladies National Library Biography of Harriet Lane

White House History Biography: Harriet Lane

Papers/letters collections

James Buchanan and Harriet Lane Johnston Papers

Manuscripts for: Harriet Lane

Historical sites

Gravesite: Harriet Rebecca Lane Johnston

Harriet Lane Clinic

Fascinating details

  • James Buchanan was her maternal uncle and was known for being a lifelong bachelor. 
  • Had full responsibility over all White House decorations and social events.
  • The first woman family member to be named “first lady of the land” in public print.
  • Some sources claim Harriet to be a transitional figure in the role of ‘first lady’ as she had a more substantial role in political and social functions including promoting American art, experimenting with campaigning, and influencing the president.