Salisbury Bread Riot

Civilian Women Protest During the Civil War In the western Piedmont of North Carolina, residents of the town of Salisbury and Rowan County developed a work ethic and political values that were consciously in opposition to the perceived life of leisure practiced by the eastern planter class. Westerners valued hard labor and self-sufficiency. In the predominantly yeoman countryside, this self-reliant attitude meant that the bulk of labor was done not by slaves but by family members. Image: Salisbury Train Depot Rowan County nurtured small farms that grew subsistence crops – wheat, corn, tobacco and vegetables. Industry complemented agriculture; wealthy planters operated grain mills for profit, while hundreds of British immigrants mined Rowan’s gold fields at the ramshackle settlement of Gold…

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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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George Spangler Farm

Site of a Union Field Hospital On July 1, 1863, the George Spangler farm buildings were seized – the main house, summer kitchen and Pennsylvania bank barn. Based on the size of the buildings on the property, the farm’s relatively protected position from enemy artillery fire, its supply of well water, the large and accessible farm fields and its promixity to Baltimore Pike, it was chosen as the site of the field hospital for the Union XI Corps with at least seven Federal surgeons. Image: The George Spangler Farm, circa 1890, shows the house, barn and small outbuildings such as the smokehouse and summer kitchen. It is the best surviving example of a farm used as a corps field hospital…

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Susanna Boylston Adams

Mother of Second U.S. President John Adams Image: John Adams Birthplace Susanna Boylston born March 5, 1708, in Brookline, Massachusetts, to Peter and Ann White Boylston, was an early-American socialite, who came from a prominent family of scientists and medical doctors. She is among the least well known of the famous Adams family, for her name appears infrequently in the large body of Adams writings. However, her son’s diary reveals that she had a fiery temper. In 1720, Adams, Sr. purchased a farm in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts, and lived there until his death. The future President lived here with his parents until 1764, when he married Abigail Smith. This saltbox house, characterized by the sloping roof, is where the…

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Anna Wells

Wife of Union General William Wells After his distinguished service in the Battle of Gettysburg, cavalryman William Wells began corresponding with 18-year-old Anna Richardson, his sister’s roommate. He shared his experiences in the war, and she wrote about news from the home front. From this simple beginning, a romance blossomed, and on a furlough home in January 1865, William and Anna became engaged during a sleigh ride – the only time they had been together since their correspondence began. Arahanna ‘Anna’ Richardson was born on July 20, 1845. William Wells was born in Waterbury, Vermont, on December 14, 1837. After attending the Barre Academy and Kimball Union Academy (Meriden, NH), Wells worked in his father’s wholesale flour and grain business….

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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.

Daniella Wheeler

Wife of Confederate General Joseph Wheeler After the Battle of Chickamauga (September 1863) CSA General Joseph Wheeler and his troopers were sent into central Tennessee, where they destroyed railroads and at least 500 Union supply wagons. By October 9 Wheeler had safely crossed the Tennessee River at Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Daniella Jones Sherrod met Wheeler at her parents’ home, Caledonia Plantation, at nearby Courtland, and they began a courtship. Image: The Wheeler Family in 1896 Joseph and Daniella, front center With their four daughters and two sons Daniella Ellen Jones was born on August 20, 1841, daughter of Richard Jones and Lucy Early Jones, who was the daughter of Georgia Governor Peter Early. The Jones family moved from Georgia to…

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Elizabeth Oakes Smith

Feminist Author and Women’s Rights Activist Elizabeth Oakes Smith (1806-1893) was a poet, novelist, editor, lecturer and women’s rights activist whose career spanned six decades. Today Smith is best known for her feminist writings, including “Woman and Her Needs,” a series of essays published in the New York Tribune between 1850 and 1851 that argued for women’s equal rights to political and economic opportunities, including the right to vote and access to higher education. Early Years Elizabeth Oakes Prince was born August 12, 1806, near North Yarmouth, Maine, to David and Sophia Blanchard Prince. After her father died at sea in 1808, her family lived with her maternal and paternal grandparents until her mother remarried and moved with her stepfather…

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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…

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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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