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Dorothy Quincy Hancock 1750 ~ 1830


Dorothy Quincy Hancock

Mrs. Hancock was one of those who, by her courtesies to the officers and ladies of the British army when Burgoyne was under the convention of surrender, made Cambridge a brilliant center of hospitality and fashion. She was the daughter of Edmund Quincy, of Massachusetts, and was born in 1750. At the age of twenty-four she married John Hancock, one of the great men of the age, and, aided by the luster of his fortunes, she became a leader in society, filling her station with rare dignity and grace. At her table there might be seen all classes; the grave clergy, the veteran and the gay, the gifted in song, or anecdote or wit. The dinner hour was at one or two o'clock; three was the latest for formal occasions. The evening amusement was usually a game of cards, and dancing was much in vogue. There were concerts, but theatrical productions were prohibited. Much attention was paid to dress; coats of various colors were worn by the men. All of which shows that the new country was capable of a salon and much pretentious social intercourse, not-withstanding the war they had just passed through and the hardships they had endured.

During the life of her husband Mrs. Hancock was of necessity much to the gay world, in which she occupied a position of unusual distinction. After Hancock's death, she married Captain Scott, with whom she passed a less brilliant yet no less happy life. Her later years were spent in seclusion. She was still, however, surrounded by friends who felt themselves instructed and charmed by her superior mind. She went but little into society, yet, whenever she appeared she was received with great attention. La Fayette, on his visit to this country, called upon her and many spoke of the interesting interview witnessed between "the once youthful chevalier and the splendid belle." She died in her seventy-eighth year, a woman of whose brilliant life and beautiful poise her countrymen may well be proud.

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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