Many first ladies were called Mrs. President or Mrs. Presidentess. The term “first lady” was not used until Dolly Madison’s funeral, when President Zachary Taylor is reputed to have called her “America’s First Lady.”
The first lady has not always been the wife of the president. Some presidents were unmarried or widowed. Martha Jefferson Randolph fulfilled the many of the duties of First Lady when her widowed father Thomas Jefferson was President. Until his marriage to Frances Cleveland, Grover Cleveland’s sister was his acting hostess.