Peggy Shippen Arnold

Wife of American Traitor General Benedict Arnold

Image: Peggy Shippen Arnold and her daughter
By Sir Thomas Lawrence

Peggy (Margaret) Shippen was born on July 11, 1760, to one of the most prominent families in Philadelphia, which included two Philadelphia mayors and the founder of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. Her mother Margaret was the daughter of prominent lawyer Tench Francis and her father Edward Shippen IV was a judge, who tried to remain neutral during the American Revolution, but the family was well-known for their loyalist tendencies, meaning loyal to the British. With the creation of the state of Pennsylvania in 1776, Shippen lost his judgeship and other political offices he had held under the royal government.

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Ann Morris

Wife of Founding Father Gouverneur Morris

Ann Cary Randolph Morris was one of the loveliest and most sought after young women in Virginia, but she was accused of incest and infanticide, and was exiled from Virginia plantation society.

Early Years
Ann Cary Randolph was born on September 12, 1774, at Tuckahoe Plantation near Richmond, Virginia. Known to friends and family as Nancy, she was the eighth child of Ann Cary and Thomas Mann Randolph Sr. Following her mother’s death in March 1789 and her father’s subsequent remarriage in September 1790, Nancy went to live with her sister Judith and her husband Richard Randolph at Bizarre, their plantation near Farmville, Virginia, apparently because of differences with her new stepmother who was not much older than she.

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Elizabeth Monroe

First Lady: Wife of Fifth U.S. President James Monroe

Elizabeth Kortright was born June 30, 1768, and was raised in New York City. Her mother died when Elizabeth was nine, and Hester Kortright, her paternal grandmother, raised the young girl. Hester had a reputation of being a strong and independent woman, who owned and managed her own vast real estate holdings in old Harlem. Elizabeth was considered one of the most beautiful women of her generation.

James Monroe was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on April 28, 1758, on his parents’ small plantation. He lost both parents by age 16 and inherited his father’s estate. He enrolled in William and Mary College in 1774 but when the American Revolution began he left after two years. He enlisted as a lieutenant in the 3rd Virginia Regiment, and was seriously wounded at Trenton, and his heroism earned him the rank of major.

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Mary Marshall

Wife of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall

Image: Mary Willis Ambler Marshall
Portrait circa 1790

Mary Willis Ambler was born March 18, 1766, in Yorktown, Virginia. She was the second of five girls born to Rebecca Burwell and Jacquelin Ambler, a prominent Yorktown family, and was part of the bustling life of the port city and the nearby colonial capital of Williamsburg. Mary Marshall grew up learning many of the traditional lessons of girls at the time.

John Marshall was born on September 24, 1755, at Germantown in Fauquier County, on the Virginia frontier. He was the son of Colonel Thomas Marshall and Mary Randolph Keith Marshall, and the oldest of 15 children.

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Dolley Madison

First Lady and Wife of Founding Father James Madison

Image: Dolley Payne Todd Madison
First Lady of the United States 1809-1817
By Rembrandt Peale c. 1817

Dolley Payne was born on May 20, 1768, in the Quaker settlement of New Garden in Guilford County, North Carolina. Her parents, John and Mary Coles Payne, had moved there from Virginia in 1765. Her mother, a Quaker, had married John Payne, a non-Quaker, in 1761. Three years later, John was admitted to the Quaker Monthly Meeting in Hanover County, Virginia, and Dolley Payne was raised in the Quaker faith.

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Anne Carter Lee

Wife of General Henry ‘Light Horse Harry’ Lee III

Anne Hill Carter was born in 1773, the daughter of Charles and Anne (Butler Moore) Carter of Shirley Plantation on the James River. Shirley was Virginia’s first plantation, which the Hills and Carters had inhabited since 1613. Anne would become not only the wife of Revolutionary War hero ‘Light Horse Harry’ Lee, but the mother of arguably the greatest general to ever walk the earth, Robert E. Lee.

Anne was the great-granddaughter of Robert Carter, one of America’s earliest men of wealth. His wealth came from service as land agent for the English Proprieter, Lord Fairfax, for whome he collected rents on the millions of acres owned by Fairfax in Virginia. His position gained for him an estate of some 300,000 acres and made him so powerful that he became known as King Carter.

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Sarah Ward

Wife of Revolutionary War General Artemas Ward

Sarah Trowbridge was born on December 3, 1724, in Groton, Massachusetts, daughter of Reverend Caleb and Hannah (Walter) Trowbridge, and of direct maternal descent from Increase Mather and John Cotton.

Image: Major General Artemas Ward
Continental Army

Artemas Ward was born on November 26, 1727, at Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, to Nahum and Martha (Howe) Ward. He was the sixth of seven children. His father had broad and successful career interests as a sea captain, merchant, land developer, farmer, lawyer and judge. As a child he attended the common schools and shared a tutor with his brothers and sisters.

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Sarah Pinckney

Wife of Founding Father Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

Image: Sarah Middleton Pinckney
Henry Benbridge, Artist

Sarah Middleton was born on July 5, 1756, at Charleston, South Carolina, daughter of Mary Baker Williams Middleton and Henry Middleton. Her father served as President of the Continental Congress and her brother Arthur Middleton signed the Declaration of Independence.

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney was born into the Pinckney family of aristocratic planters at Charleston, South Carolina, on February 25, 1746. He was the oldest son of Charles Pinckney, chief justice of the Province of South Carolina and the celebrated planter and agriculturalist Eliza Lucas Pinckney, who introduced the cultivation of indigo, which rapidly became a major cash crop in South Carolina. His brother Thomas Pinckney served as Governor of South Carolina and a diplomat in the George Washington administration.

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Abigail Morgan

Wife of Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan

Daniel Morgan was born in 1736 in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Lloyd) Morgan. After quarreling with his father, Daniel left home at the age of 16. After working at odd jobs in Pennsylvania, he moved to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, where he worked as a farm laborer and teamster – a driver of a team of horses doing hauling.

General Daniel Morgan

Morgan was a large man and poorly educated, but also strong and not afraid of hard work. He saved enough money to buy his own wagon and team at the age of 19, and transported supplies to the frontier posts of Virginia. A legendary brawler and drinker in a country full of brawlers and drinkers, he found plenty of work hauling farm produce to market from the backwoods over the mountains. By 1758 he was settled near Winchester, Virginia.

Morgan served as a civilian teamster during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). In spring 1756, while taking supplies to Fort Chiswell, Morgan irritated a British officer who struck him with the flat of his sword. He then knocked the officer out with one punch. For that he was punished with 500 lashes on his bare back (usually fatal), and thus acquired a hatred for the British Army.

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Mary Sumter

Wife of Patriot Militia General Thomas Sumter

General Thomas Sumter
Charles Willson Peale, Artist

Mary Cantey was born in 1723. Thomas Sumter was born August 14, 1734, in Louisa County, Virginia, the son of William and Patience Sumter. Educated in common schools, Thomas worked in his father’s gristmill, and after his father’s early death, cared for his mother’s sheep and plowed his neighbor’s fields.

It has been said that Thomas Sumter was a wild boy. He gambled, went to cockfights, and horse races. When the Indians started causing problems, he joined the Virginia militia and served as a sargeant during the Cherokee War of 1760-1761. He accompanied Lieutenant Henry Timberlake on an arduous peace mission to the Overhill Cherokee towns in Tennessee in 1761.

Sumter and Timberlake escorted three Cherokee chiefs to London in 1762 to meet King George III. Upon returning to the colonies in August 1762, Sumter landed in Charleston and spent that winter with the Cherokee. He was paid by the British ministry for information about Indian affairs along the frontier.

Returning briefly to Virginia, Sumter was imprisoned for an old debt. His friend and fellow soldier Joseph Martin arrived at the prison, and asked to spend the night with Sumter in jail. Martin gave Sumter 10 guineas and a tomahawk. Sumter used the money to buy his way out of jail in 1766.

He traveled to Eutaw Springs, South Carolina, where he opened a crossroads store, earned the respect from the community, and was made a justice of the peace.

In 1767, Sumter married widow Mary Cantey Jameson, who was eleven years his senior. They had one child, Thomas Sumter, Jr., born August 30, 1768. Together they became successful plantation owners. As he became more prosperous, Sumter built a larger store, a sawmill and a gristmill, and began to obtain more and more land.

Sumter in the Revolutionary War
Thomas Sumter became the leader of rebel partisan forces in the South Carolina Piedmont (the plateau between the coastal plain and the Appalachian Mountains) during the American Revolution. In 1775, he raised a band of Patriot militia and served as its captain. In November, he and his troops took part in the Snow Campaign against loyalist militia (British supporters).

In February 1776, Sumter was elected lieutenant colonel of the Second Rifle Regiment of the South Carolina Militia, and participated in several battles in the early months of the war. He and his regiment were in Charleston on September 20, 1776, as part of a defensive force when the city was attacked.

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