Mary Norris Dickinson

Wife of Founding Father John Dickinson Image: Portrait of Mary Norris Dickinson First Lady of Pennsylvania and Delaware By Charles Willson Peale, 1772 Mary Norris was born July 19, 1740, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daugther of wealthy Philadelphia Quakers, Isaac Norris and Sarah Logan Norris. Her father was Speaker of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. John Dickinson was born in Talbot County, Maryland, on November 2, 1732, into the family of Judge Samuel Dickinson, his second wife Mary Cadwalader and assorted step-brothers and sisters. The family moved to Poplar Hall, an elegant brick mansion in Delaware a few years later. John Dickinson elected to follow his father into the law. At eighteen, he began to study law in Philadelphia, and in…

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Peggy Shippen Arnold and her daughter

Peggy Shippen Arnold

Wife of American Traitor General Benedict Arnold 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.

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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