The attacks got worse and worse as the Jacksons made their way along the campaign trail, setting a precedent that candidates' wives were now fair game for political sniping. Rachel was ridiculed for her weight, her rural background, and, of course, the botched marriage. To make matters worse, Jackson's opponents continually compared his wife to John Quincy Adams' wife, Louisa, considered to be more appropriate for the White House than Rachel almost exclusively because she was wealthy and pretty.
Charles Bird King
"Oh Christ, she brought out the harp. She is good."
Sadly, although her husband's political career survived the rumors and he won the presidency, Mrs. Jackson would never set foot in the White House as first lady. The anguish from being repeatedly ridiculed caused Rachel to sink into a deep depression, and she died of a heart attack before the inauguration. Jackson himself attributed the death to the attacks against her, and -- while making clear that we are ourselves not doctors and can't claim firsthand knowledge of the medical conditions at play -- he was 100 percent right.