Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Alice Delancy Izard  1748 ~ 1832


Alice Delancy Izard

The correspondence of Ralph Izard has been published and he has been acclaimed a great patriot. Few realize, however, how worthy, through her great executive ability, and her aid to him in the days of his invalidism, the wife of this patriot is of sharing his fame. She was the daughter of Peter Delancey, of Westchester. She was married in 1767 to Ralph Izard. Mr. Izard represented his country abroad for many years but during part of the Revolutionary War their home was in Dorchester, South Carolina.

An interesting anecdote related of Mrs. Izard illustrates well to what a severe trial the courage of American women was put during this stormy period. Her husband's life was sought by the British because of his ardent support of the cause of the colonies. At one time a number of British soldiers from Charleston invaded their plantation, surrounded the house and demanded that Mr. Izard give himself up. There seemed no way of escape, but his wife hastily concealed him in a clothes-press, while she awaited the entrance of his enemies. The search was instituted, which, proving unsuccessful, the soldiers threatened to fire the house unless he surrendered himself. In their rage and disappointment they proceeded to ransack the house. They fell upon the wardrobe of Mr. Izard and the marauders arrayed themselves in his best coats. Valuable articles were seized in the presence of the mistress of the house, and an attempt was even made to tear the rings from her fingers, all of this being done to draw the fire of her temper and compel her to disclose her husband's whereabouts. But through all the trying scene Mrs. Izard preserved in a wonderful manner her self-control. So calm and dignified was she that the plunderers, doubting the correctness of the information they had received, and, perhaps, ashamed of themselves, withdrew. No sooner were they gone than Mr. Izard made his escape across the Ashley and gave notice to the Americans on the other side of the river of the approach of the enemy. The neighborhood rallied, met the British detachment, and so completely routed them that few of their party returned within their lines to relate the disaster.

After the Revolution Mr. and Mrs. Izard found their estate in a condition of lamentable dilapidation, and they would probably have come, as did many others at that period, to poverty and suffering but for the energy and good management of Mrs. Izard, who soon restored good order and rendered the "Elms," the old family residence, a seat of domestic comfort and liberal hospitality. During her husband's illness, which lasted several years, she was his devoted nurse, while the management of the estate, embarrassed by losses sustained during the war, devolved upon her. She conducted all of his business correspondence, and found time to read to him several hours every day, and notwithstanding these cares each day was marked by some deed of quiet charity. In the faithful performance of the duties before her and in doing good for others her useful life was closed in 1832, in the eighty-seventh year of her age.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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