Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Ladies of the Washington Era


Mary A. Sitgreaves
Among the intimate friends of "Nellie Custis'' was Mary A. Sitgreaves, the second daughter of Colonel Daniel Kemper of the Revolutionary Army. She was born in New York, April 1774. During the occupation of New York by the British, her father removed to Morristown, New Jersey. The headquarters of General Washington were in the neighborhood and through her frequent visits to the camp Miss Kemper became an intimate friend of Mrs. Washington. During a visit to her uncle, Dr. David Jackson of Philadelphia, she met in the drawing-room of the President Honorable Samuel Sitgreaves, a member of Congress, and they were married June, 1796.

Susan Wallace
Mrs. Susan Wallace, the mother of Horace Binney Wallace, lived opposite Washington's house in Philadelphia. She was the daughter of Mrs. Mary Binney of Philadelphia, and married John Bradford Wallace, who died in 1849. He was the nephew of Mr. Bradford, the second attorney-general of the United States. Mrs. Wallace was also one of the close friends of Mrs. Washington.

Mary Abigail Fillmore
Mary Abigail Fillmore, the only daughter of President Fillmore, was, on account of her mother's delicate health, mistress of the White House during President Fillmore's term. She was a remarkably intellectual young woman, highly educated, and a fine linguist. Her taste and talent for sculpture was scarcely second to that of her most intimate friend the distinguished Harriet Hosmer, and but for the cutting off of her life by cholera at the age of twenty-two years, she might have become as distinguished as this beloved schoolmate. She was much admired and attained a national reputation on account of the graceful and acceptable manner in which she presided over the White House.

The Mother of Webster
Daniel Webster spent his childhood in a log cabin on the banks of the Merrimac in an unfrequented part of New Hampshire. From his mother he received those lessons which formed his mind and character and fitted him for the great part he was to play in public life. She denied herself everything possible that he might go to Exeter Academy and to Dartmouth College. Her faith in his ability for future greatness being so strong, she desired to give him every opportunity for education. To her Webster always gave the credit for his success in life.

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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