Made in New Jersey

Hostess of the Nation

Seating Chart, Menus, Social Registers, Menu Record

The Progressive Era was a heady time in New Jersey. Republicans and Democrats alike adopted social reforms and safety regulations designed to protect state residents from the excesses of industrialization. The era saw legislation establishing the minimum legal age when children could work, the maximum length of a workday or week was defined, and the Seventeenth Amendment was passed in 1913, which provided for the direct election of senators rather than their selection by the state legislatures. This era also saw the rise to prominence of Governor Woodrow Wilson and, in Washington, a dynamic woman from New Jersey, Lucinetta “Lucy” Kean. Lucy Kean was the mother of U.S. Senator John Kean. While her son attended the Senate Chamber, in D.C., she held court in her townhouse on I Street several nights a week, entertaining Progressive Era figures from Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes to First Daughter Alice Roosevelt to Vice President Garret Hobart of New Jersey. Lucy Kean was considered one of the nation’s leading hostesses from 1899 until 1912.