Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Portrait of 18C American Women

1754 Joseph Blackburn fl 1752-1778 Abigail Chesebrough (Mrs. Alexander Grant) Art Inst Chicago

When Abigail Chesebrough was born on May 16, 1734, in Newport, Rhode Island, her father, merchant "King" David, was 32, and her mother, Abigail, was 21. Abigail Chesebrough Grant (1734-1807). Daughter of Abigail Rogers and David Chesebrough. Stepdaughter of Margaret Sylvester Chesebrough. When she was 16 years old, she inherited half of her maternal grandmother’s real and personal estates in Bristol, Rhode Island. She was also her father’s sole surviving child, which made her heiress to one of the largest fortunes in Newport. Married the Scot Alexander Grant in 1769. He represented Lord Grant’s interests in the New World.  Alexander Grant II on October 20, 1760, in Newport, Rhode Island.  Her husband Alexander Grant II was born in 1730.  He was the only child of Alexander Grant was born in 1689 in Glenmoriston, Inverness-shire, Scotland and his mother Isabella of  Inverness-shire, Scotland.  He represented his wealthy employer, relative, and benefactor, Sir Alexander Grant, Baronet of Dalvey, a London merchant in the New World.  Alexander Grant II spent much of his time between Jamaica & London & Rhode Island.  Although Abigail was reluctant to move from the colonies, they moved to London in the late 1760s.  Abigail Chesebrough and Alexander Grant II had six children in 21 years.  He died on January 18, 1783, in London, England, at the age of 53.  She died on December 1, 1807, in London, England, at the age of 73.

See Patricia and Edward Shillingburg's 2015 book Women's Words featuring the  Dering Letters which were given to the Shelter Island Library in New York, in 1916 by General Sylvester Dering.   Approximately 240 of them written by women. The men wrote about business, church business, and politics, and the women wrote about life's events and their feelings. There are letters from and about Abigail Cheseborough Grant in this collection.