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…

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Clara Stone Hay

Wife of John Hay: President Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary On the shores of Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire, John and Clara Stone Hay sought refuge from public life, and in 1888 they began acquiring abandoned farms that would eventually total nearly 1000 acres. In 1889 John and Clara hired architect George F. Hammond who designed a summerhouse in the style of the time with gambrel roof and a long open porch. They named it The Fells, a British term for a rocky upland pasture, due to his Scottish ancestry. Image: The Fells Estate and Gardens Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire 84 acres and a 22-room Colonial Revival home Construction was completed in 1891, followed by a renovation in 1897. Clara Stone Hay had…

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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…

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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.

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.

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….

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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.

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…

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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…

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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…

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