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Margaret Taylor was sixty years old and a semi-invalid when her husband, Zachary, became President. The prospect of assuming the role of First Lady did not interest her. She lived her sixteen months in the White House in seclusion. This led to all sorts of unfounded rumors about the unseen First Lady such as that she smoked a corncob pipe and was uncouth. (Actually, she was the daughter of Maryland landed gentry and she hated tobacco.) Her daughter, Betty Taylor Bliss, took on the duties of White House hostess. When the President died in June 1850, Margaret was shattered. She died two years later without ever discussing her life as First Lady.