While all First Ladies occupy their own place in American History, Elizabeth Monroe set the precedence for the formality regarding the Presidency we see today. She was influenced by her privileged upbringing, as well as her exposure to European society while living there during her husband’s tenure as United States Minister. While in Paris, during the French Revolution, Elizabeth Monroe valiantly saved the Marquis de Lafayette’s wife by visiting the woman as she lay in a Parisian prison. Scheduled to be executed by guillotine, like her grandmother, mother, and sister; Madame Lafayette was spared a similar fate by receiving help from her American friends. American’s showing their support for Madam Lafayette showed the French that the execution was not favored.
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