Winnie Davis

Daughter of Confederate President Jefferson Davis Varina Anne ‘Winnie’ Davis As the daughter of President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis, Varina Anne ‘Winnie’ Davis appeared with her father at numerous Confederate veterans’ events after the American Civil War and became known as ‘Daughter of the Confederacy.’ She also authored two novels and wrote for Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World newspaper. Early Years Varina Anne Davis was born June 27, 1864 in the White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia – ten months before the end of the American Civil War. ‘Winnie,’ as she was called, was the second daughter and the youngest of six children born to Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his wife Varina Howell…

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Eleanor Agnes Lee

Daughter of Confederate General Robert E. Lee The Lee daughters had impressive pedigrees. They were direct descendants of the aristocratic Lees of Virginia and England, as well as George and Martha Washington. Mrs. Robert E. Lee’s father, George Washington Parke Custis, was the first president’s adopted son and the man who established the 1,100-acre plantation called Arlington. Several years later, Custis built Arlington House (1817), the ancestral home of the Custises and Lees on the Potomac River overlooking Washington DC. Agnes Lee Eleanor Agnes Lee, born February 27, 1841, was called Agnes. She was the third of four daughters and the fifth of seven children of Mary Anna Custis and Robert E. Lee, born at the family’s Virginia estate, Arlington….

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Fanny Seward

Daughter of Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State The only daughter of Frances and William Henry Seward – Secretary of State under President Abraham Lincoln – Fanny Seward was a delicate young woman who dreamed of becoming a writer. She kept detailed journals of her life in Washington, DC during the Civil War. Image: Fanny Seward with her father, circa 1861 Early Years Frances Adeline Seward was born December 9, 1844 into privilege in Auburn, New York, the only surviving daughter of William H. Seward and Frances Adeline Miller Seward. Fanny was given a progressive education and upbringing by her parents, which undoubtedly led her to become a passionate reader. William Seward was a powerful Whig politician who served as United…

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Susan Fenimore Cooper

Author and Daughter of James Fenimore Cooper Susan Fenimore Cooper was a writer and amateur naturalist, who is best known for Rural Hours, her nature diary of Cooperstown, New York. She also wrote a novel, short stories, children’s stories, and dozens of magazine articles on a wide variety of subjects. Early Years Susan Augusta Fenimore Cooper was born on April 17, 1813 in Scarsdale, New York, the daughter of the novelist James Fenimore Cooper and Susan De Lancey Cooper. She was their second child, and the eldest to survive childhood. In the summer of 1813 the Coopers traveled to Cooperstown, New York, the settlement founded by James’ father, Judge William Cooper. Along the way they stopped to rest and Susan’s…

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Sarah Knox Taylor

Daughter of President Zachary Taylor Sarah Knox Taylor was the daughter of Zachary Taylor, a career military officer and future U.S. president (1849-4850). She met future Confederate president Jefferson Davis while living with her family at Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. They wed in 1835, but the marriage was short-lived. Childhood Sarah Knox Taylor was born on March 6, 1814 Margaret Smith Taylor and future president Zachary Taylor. Her middle name and her nickname Knoxie originated from Fort Knox II in Vincennes, Indiana, where she was born. She had three sisters and a brother, and grew up in various military installations, receiving most of her education from her mother.

Nellie Grant

Daughter of Union General Ulysses S. Grant Nellie Grant was the third child and only daughter of Union general and later president and first lady, Ulysses S. Grant and Julia Dent Grant. Grant was an affectionate father and his devotion to Nellie was touching to all who observed it. Nellie was only thirteen when she moved into the White House, and the press adored her. Image: Nellie at age 15 Early Years Nellie Grant was born on the Fourth of July in 1855 at White Haven, her mother’s family home near St. Louis, Missouri. She was first named Julia, at the insistence of her father, but was christened Ellen Wrenshall Grant at eighteen months to honor her dying grandmother. She…

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Grace Bedell

A Child’s Letter to One of Our Greatest Leaders Image: In 1999 the village of Westfield, New York erected these statues commemorating the meeting between Abraham Lincoln and Grace Bedell on February 16, 1861. Grace was eleven years old in 1860, when she wrote a letter to the presidential candidate from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln. Grace’s father was a staunch Republican and active Lincoln supporter, and one day in October 1860 he brought home a picture of Lincoln and his running mate in the 1860 presidential election, Hannibal Hamlin. Years later Grace explained her feelings that day: You are familiar with Mr. Lincoln’s physiognomy, and remember the high forehead over those sadly pathetic eyes, the angular lower face with the deep…

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Theodosia Burr Alston

Daughter of Vice President Aaron Burr Theodosia Burr Alston (1783–1813) was a brilliant, independent and highly-educated woman in an age which valued none of those traits in females. From her birth into New York’s high society, her childhood among the leaders of the new nation, her marriage to a Southern slaveholding aristocrat, to her mysterious disappearance at sea, Theodosia Burr Alston’s life was quite unique for a woman in 19th century America. Childhood and Early Years Theodosia Burr was born on June 21, 1783 in Albany, New York, the daughter of Theodosia Prevost Burr and the controversial U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr. Burr had distinguished himself as an officer in the Revolutionary War, during which he became a member of…

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Abigail Adams Smith

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Biography Daughter of Abigail Adams October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The primary purpose is to promote regular mammograms as the most effective way to save lives by detecting breast cancer at its early stages. Nabby Adams Smith (1765-1813), daughter of John and Abigail Adams, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 45. Of course, she had none of the advantages we now have to help her fight the disease. Abigail Amelia Adams Smith Nabby was shy and somewhat withdrawn, but a striking woman, with long red hair, a round face, deep-blue eyes and a porcelain complexion. She commanded respect simply because of the quality of her mind and her unfailing…

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Anna Surratt

Daughter of Accused Lincoln Assassination Conspirator Anna was only 22 years old when her mother Mary Surratt was sentenced to death as a conspirator in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. Despite Anna’s heartbreaking efforts to save her mother, Mary Surratt was hanged not quite three months after the assassination. Anna’s parents, Mary and John Surratt, were married in 1840, and lived on land John had inherited from his foster parents in what is now a section of Washington known as Congress Heights. John and Mary had three children: Isaac (born on June 2, 1841), Anna (January 1, 1843) and John Jr. (April 13, 1844). When Anna was nine, her father purchased 287 acres of land…

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