Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Rebecca Calhoun Pickens Bacon 1836 ~ 1916


Mrs. Bacon was born near Edgefield Court House, South Carolina. She was the daughter of Governor Francis W. Pickens, a wealthy planter of the South, and she enjoyed all the advantages attendant upon such a life in the ante-bellum days.

After a thorough training with governesses she attended a course at the famous Montpelier Institute, presided over by Bishop Elliot of Georgia, where she was graduated with high honors. Having lost her mother when very young, she accompanied her distinguished father to Washington while he was there in Congress, and elsewhere in his political career. In this way she attained unusual accomplishments and became a fine linguist. In 1856 her father was appointed by Mr. Buchanan Minister to Russia, with residence at St. Petersburg, at that time the most brilliant court in Europe. There she married John E. Bacon, secretary of the American Legation at that court, after which they made an extended tour through Europe.

Upon the election of Mr. Lincoln she returned to the United States with her husband, who entered the Civil War and served until its close. After the war the family settled in Columbia, South Carolina. In 1884 Mrs. Bacon went to South America, her husband having received from Mr. Cleveland the appointment of Minister to Paraguay and Uruguay. She resided four years at Montevideo, where she acquired a thorough knowledge of the Spanish language. Her letters on South America were widely read and greatly admired.

In February, 1893, Mrs. Bacon was elected by the National Board of the Daughters of the American Revolution state regent for South Carolina. No more appropriate appointment could have been made, as in addition to her superior qualifications she is lineally descended on the paternal side from General Andrew Pickens, who ranked with Sumter and Marion as one of the principal leaders in the war for independence. On her maternal side Mrs. Bacon is descended from General Elijah Clarke, of Georgia, and of Revolutionary fame; also Captain Arthur Simpkins, an intelligent and brave officer and staunch friend of his country. Her father's mother was a daughter of Christopher Edward Wilkinson, whose grandfather was Landgrave Joseph Moreton, colonial governor of South Carolina under Charles II, in 1681, and who married the niece of the famous Admiral Blake, of England.

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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