Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Madeleine Vinton Dahlgren 1835 ~ 1898

 

The wife of the distinguished Admiral Dahlgren was born in Gallipolis, Ohio, about 1835. She was the only daughter of Samuel F. Vinton, who served with distinction as a member of Congress for some years.

At an early age she became the wife of Daniel Convers Goddard, who left her a widow with two children. On the 2nd of August, 1865, she became the wife of Admiral Dahlgren, and three children were born of this marriage. Admiral Dahlgren died in 1870.

Her first contributions to the press were written in 1859 under the signature "Corinne." She also used the pen-name "Cornelia." Her first book was a little book entitled "Idealities." She made several translations from the French, Spanish and Italian languages, among them, "Montalembert's Brochure," "Pius IX," and the philosophical works of Donoso Cortes from the Spanish. These translations brought her many complimentary notices and an autographed letter from Pope Pius IX, and the thanks of the Queen of Spain.

She was also the author of a voluminous biography of Admiral Dahlgren and a number of novels including, "The South-Mountain Magic," "A Washington Winter," "The Lost Name," "Lights and Shadows of a Life," "Divorced," "South Sea Sketches," and a volume on "Etiquette of Social Life in Washington," and quite a number of essays, reviews, and short stories for the leading papers and periodicals of the day. She was a woman of fine talent and a thorough scholar, and in the social circles of Washington of which she was a conspicuous figure, she was considered a literary authority, and the Literary Society of Washington, of which she was one of the founders, had about the only "Salon" ever in existence in Washington.

Her house was the center of a brilliant circle of official and literary life of the Capital city. In 1870- 1873 she actively opposed the movement for female suffrage, presenting a petition to Congress which had been extensively signed asking that the right to vote should not be extended to women.

Mrs. Dahlgren was a devout Catholic, and was for some time president of the Ladies' Catholic Missionary Society of Washington, and built a chapel at her summer home on South Mountain, Maryland, near the battlefield, known as St. Joseph's of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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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