Mary Elizabeth Bliss served as White House hostess in her ill mother’s, Margaret Mackall Smith Taylor, place.
Betty, as she was called, was born on April 20, 1824. She was the youngest of the Taylor children and one of three daughters to survive childhood.
She and her siblings grew up on their Louisville plantation and at various U.S. Army forts where her father was in command.
After her father was elected president in late 1848, Betty married William Wallace Smith Bliss on December 8. Bliss had been an officer with her father. President Zachary Taylor appointed Bliss as his Presidential Secretary.
Betty served as official hostess during White House functions for her father. She was referred to as Miss Betty and it is stated her “naturalness became her trademark”.
Her father died on July 9, 1850 while still in office. She accompanied her mother to Mississippi where she lived with another sister. Her mother, Peggy Taylor died two years after her husband.
The next year, William Bliss died of yellow fever. Betty was a widow at the age of twenty-nine.
On February, 11, 1858 she married Philip Pendleton Dandridge.
She died on July 25, 1909 at the age of 85.