O'Neill, Margaret(Peggy O'Neill), c.1796–1879, wife of John Henry EatonEaton, John Henry,
1790–1856, U.S. Senator (1818–29) and Secretary of War (1829–31), b. Halifax co., N.C. After being admitted to the bar, he practiced in Franklin, Tenn., and married Myra Lewis, a ward of Andrew Jackson.
..... Click the link for more information. , U.S. secretary of war under President Andrew Jackson. She was the daughter of a Washington tavern keeper and married John Timberlake, a purser in the U.S. navy. After his death, she became (1829) the wife of Eaton, who soon afterward entered the cabinet. The wives of the other cabinet members refused to accord her social recognition because of the alleged intimacy between Major Eaton and Peggy O'Neill before their marriage and because of her humble birth. President Jackson, a close friend of Eaton, tried in vain to ensure Peggy Eaton a place in society. The attempt almost disrupted the cabinet and worsened the relations between the President and the Vice President, John C. CalhounCalhoun, John Caldwell
, 1782–1850, American statesman and political philosopher, b. near Abbeville, S.C., grad. Yale, 1804. He was an intellectual giant of political life in his day. Early Career
Calhoun studied law under Tapping Reeve at Litchfield, Conn.
..... Click the link for more information. , whose wife was a social leader. As a result, Jackson transferred his favor to Martin Van BurenVan Buren, Martin,
1782–1862, 8th President of the United States (1837–41), b. Kinderhook, Columbia co., N.Y. Early Career
He was reared on his father's farm, was educated at local schools, and after reading law was admitted (1803) to the bar.
..... Click the link for more information. , who as a widower was better able than others to recognize Mrs. Eaton. She was well received at the court of Spain, to which her husband was appointed minister in 1836, and was a social favorite in London and Paris. Her maiden name is also recorded by historians as O'Neale and O'Neil.
See biography by L. Phillips (1974).