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Emilie Schaumburg


Miss Emilie Schaumburg was a Philadelphia social celebrity. Her grand-father, Colonel Bartholemew Schaumburg, of New Orleans, was a ward of the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, and educated under the auspices of Frederick the Great at the German Military School He was commissioned an officer in the Grenadier Guards, and was sent to this country as adjutant and aide-de-camp to General Count Donop. Colonel Schaumburg, however, never joined Count Donop, as their vessel became separated from the fleet in a storm and came up the Delaware, anchoring at Newcastle where they learned the nature of the struggle for independence. Preferring to fight for a people struggling for their independence rather than for England they joined General Washington and were incorporated into General Sullivan's German Legion and served loyally under Washington throughout the Revolutionary War.

Colonel Schaumburg sacrificed his title and much of his property by espousing the American cause. He was later earnestly solicited by his relatives to return to Germany, but he refused and married a lady who was a descendant of a noted Indian chief of the Lenape Tribe who signed the Treaty of 1685 with William Penn, selling him the large tract of land on which Philadelphia is situated.

Miss Schaumburg is the eighth descendant in a direct line from this aboriginal princess, and was born in New Orleans, though she spent most of her life in Philadelphia. The early portion of her education was largely directed by the Honorable H. D. Gilpin. She had the added accomplishment of speaking several modem languages. When the Prince of Wales visited Philadelphia with his suite, he spent the only evening of his stay at the Academy of Music. He was greatly attracted by the beauty of Miss Schaumburg, and it is said that he declared her the most beautiful woman he had seen in America.

When the great Sanitary Fair was held in Philadelphia, a play was given in which the principal parts were taken by the leading society people of Philadelphia. The one given under the title "The Ladies' Battle," in which Miss Schaumburg sustained the principal role, created a great furore and it was remembered as a piece of acting unrivaled on the American stage. Miss Schaumburg was invited to Chicago when the fair was given there, to take the leading part, and she sustained with credit the great role of Peg Woffington. Miss Schaumburg frequently lent her talent to the cause of charity, and became quite well known throughout the United States for her remarkable gifts in this line.

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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