Saturday, April 4, 2020

1739 Tales about Older Women & Scoundrels in Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette

In the 18C American colonies, unmarried woman & widows could accumulate money & property in their names; but as soon as they married, all of their assets became the property of their husbands.
1739 Attributed to Pieter Vanderlyn (American colonial era artist, 1687-1778). Catherine Ogden.

March 27, 1739 The Pennsylvania Gazette
We hear that Tuesday Night last, a young Dutchman was married to an old Dutchwoman, who was known to have Money. They had a Fiddle at the Wedding, and when the Bride was about to Dance, the Bridegroom told her he was oblig’d to go out a little Way and would return in a short Time. She danc’d ’till it was late, and then he not appearing, she went to look for him in the Bed-Chamber; where she found to her great Surprize that he had been and taken away her Money, and he has not since been heard of.


1739 John Smibert (American Colonialera artist, 1688-1751) Mary Ann Faneuil Mrs John Jones 1715-1790

May 31, 1739 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Yesterday one James Johnson, met a Man riding into Town, who (in Company with another Man, not yet taken) robb’d him in his Journey from North-Carolina to this Place of upwards ofThree Hundred Pounds, Carolina Money, and a Note for Fifty Pounds Sterling; and laid hold of him: The Highwayman beg’d not to be expos’d, and pretended he had marry’d a rich Widow in Town, and would immediately refund the Money, if the other would go with him to his House; on this Pretence he led him to the outside of the Town, then leap’d on his Horse and made his Escape down to the Lower-Ferry, but finding himself closely pursued, and the Boat not ready to go over, he made into the Neck, where he was taken some Hours after; and after an Examination before a Magistrate, committed to Prison.


1739 Pieter Vanderlyn (American colonial era artist, 1687-1778). Deborah Glen Sanders of New York


Thursday, April 2, 2020

10-Year-Old Nova Scotia Girl Learning about Proper Tea Ettiquite at Finishing School in Early America


Anna Green Winslow (1759-1779) was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the daughter of Joshua Winslow & his wife Anna Green. In 1770, at the age of 10, she was sent south to a finishing school in Boston, where she lived with her aunt & uncle, Sarah & John Deming. During her separation from her family, she kept a diary sporadically from November 1771 to May 1773. Her aunt encouraged the diary as a penmanship exercise & as a running letter to her parents. Most entries detail her daily routine. She writes of sermons; weather; entertainments; current fashions; & family matters. And this 10-year-old girl writes of taking tea with friends & family of all ages. Winslow was reunited with her parents in 1773, when Joshua Winslow moved them to Marshfield, Massachusetts. In 1775, he was exiled as a Tory; but his family remained behind. Before the end of the Revolution, Anna Green Winslow died of tuberculosis in Hingham, Massachusetts. Anna was 20, when she died.

Some excerpts from Anna's diary:

Nov'r 18, 1771 ...Mr. Beacon ask'd a question. What is beauty--or, wherein does true beauty consist? He answer'd, in holiness--and said a great deal about it that I can't remember, & as aunt says she hasnt leisure now to help me any further--so I may just tell you a little that I remember without her assistance, and that I repeated to her yesterday at tea



Jan'y 31, 1772 ... I was at Aunt Sukey's with Mrs Barrett dress'd in a white brocade, & cousin Betsey dress'd in a red lutestring, both adorn'd with past, perlsmarquesett &c. They were after tea escorted by Mr. Newton & Mr Barrett to ye assembly at Concert Hall...



Feb. 18, 1772 ...Saterday I din'd at Unkle Storer's, drank tea at Cousin Barrel's, was entertain'd in the afternoon with scating...



March 9, 1772 ...It's now tea time--as soon as that is over, I shall spend the rest of the evening in reading to my aunt. It is near candle lighting...



April 14, 1772 ...I went a visiting yesterday to Col. Gridley's with my aunt. After tea Miss Becky Gridley sung a minuet. Miss Polly Deming & I danced to her musick...



April 16, 1772 ...I dined with Aunt Storer yesterday & spent the afternoon very agreeably at Aunt Suky's. Aunt Storer is not very well, but she drank tea with us...



April 24, 1772 ...I drank tea at Aunt Suky's. Aunt Storer was there, she seemed to be in charming good health & spirits...



May 11, 1772 ...I had the pleasure of drinking tea with aunt Thomas the same day, the family all well, but Mr G who seems to be near the end of the journey of life...



May 16, 1772 ...Thursday I danc'd a minuet & country dances at school, after which I drank tea with aunt Storer...



May 31, 1772 ...I spent the afternoon at unkle Joshua's. yesterday, after tea, I went to see how aunt Storer did...



Source: Diary of Anna Green Winslow, A Boston School Girl of 1771 (edited by A. M. Earle 1894).


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

1753 American Mother & Child


1753-54 John Wollaston (fl 1736-1767). Mrs Daniel Carroll II (1731-1763) & Daniel Carroll 1752-1790.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Lady Washington - Martha 1731-1802


1771-81 Lady Washington Attributed to Samuel Blyth (English, 1744-1795)

As some of the British referred to her, Lady Washington - Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was born at Chestnut Grove in New Kent County, Virginia, June 2, 1731. Her father, John Dandridge (1700/1701 — 1756), emigrated to Virginia from England with his older brother William when John was 13 or 14 years old. He settled in New Kent County and became county clerk in 1730, the year he married Martha's mother, Frances Jones (1710 — 1785) of York County.

Frances Jones Dandridge's widowed mother lived in Williamsburg with her second husband, watchmaker John Flournoy. Her grandfather Rowland Jones (Martha's great-grandfather) was the first rector of the newly formed Bruton Parish Church from 1674 until his death in 1688.

Martha was the eldest of three brothers and five sisters, the youngest of whom was born when Martha was 25 and already had four children of her own. She married Colonel Daniel Parke Custis in 1750 and lived in his Pumunkey River mansion, White House. Custis managed the large New Kent County plantation of his father, Councillor John Custis, who lived at the brick house known as Custis Square in Williamsburg.

Martha and Daniel Custis had four children: Daniel, born in 1751; Frances, born in 1753; John (Jacky) born in 1755; and Martha (Patsy), born in 1756 or 1757. Daniel died at the age of three, and Frances died at four years of age. July 26, 1757, when Martha Custis was only 26 years old, her husband died suddenly.

Martha married Colonel George Washington (1732 — 1799) January 6, 1759. Washington had been commander of the First Virginia Regiment in the French and Indian War and had been elected a burgess representing Frederick County in 1758. He had acquired Mount Vernon by lease from the widow of his half-brother Lawrence in 1754. (He inherited the plantation upon her death in 1761.) Before his marriage, Washington had increased the size of Mount Vernon from the original one-and-one-half-story dwelling to a two-and-one-half story home. George and Martha Washington and her children Jacky and Patsy moved to Mount Vernon in April 1759.

Mount Vernon remained George and Martha's home until their respective deaths, although they spent much time elsewhere during the war and presidential years. June 19, 1773, Martha's teenage daughter Patsy died at Mount Vernon. The following year, Martha's son John Parke Custis married Eleanor Calvert at her home, Mount Airy, in Prince George County, Maryland. George Washington attended the wedding, but Martha was so grief-stricken over Patsy's death, she was unable to make the trip. John and Eleanor had five children before his death from "camp fever" (probably typhoid fever) November 5, 1781.

Although Martha remained at Mount Vernon when George went to Philadelphia as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, she often accompanied him to his headquarters during the war years. She spent the winter of 1775 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in the spring of 1776, she followed him to New York. In the spring of 1777, she arrived at his headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey, but she returned to Mount Vernon for the summer. The next winter she joined her husband at Valley Forge, and later she stayed with him during campaigns in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

Martha and George Washington raised two of their grandchildren, Eleanor Parke Custis (Nelly) and George Washington Parke Custis (called "Wash" or "Tub") at Mount Vernon. When Martha's son's widow Eleanor remarried Dr. David Stuart in 1783, she and her two eldest daughters lived at the Stuart home in Abingdon, while the two youngest children continued to live at Mount Vernon. In 1784, Martha's 15-year-old niece, Frances Basset, came to live at Mount Vernon. She married George's nephew, Major George Augustine Washington, in 1785.

George Washington was inaugurated president on April 30, 1789. As the wife of the president, Martha lived with her husband and grandchildren Nelly and Wash in Philadelphia until they returned to Mount Vernon March 15, 1797. George Washington died at Mount Vernon December 14, 1799. Martha was widowed for two and one-half years until she, too, died at Mount Vernon May 22, 1802.

From the website of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.