Woman Who Ran the Colt Firearms Factory

When firearms manufacturer Samuel Colt died in 1862, majority ownership in the Colt Fire Arms Company passed to his wife, Elizabeth Jarvis Colt. Called the Grande Dame of Connecticut, she worked tirelessly to preserve her husband's accomplishments and safeguard his legacy. The company continued to thrive under her leadership for almost forty years.

Image: Elizabeth Jarvis Hart Colt
With her son Caldwell
Portrait by Charles Loring Elliott

Early Years
Elizabeth …

Wife of 21st President Chester A. Arthur

Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur was the wife of the 21st President of the United States, Chester A. Arthur, but she would not join him at the White House. Ellen died on January 12, 1880, before her husband was elected vice president November 2, 1880; and before James A. Garfield's assassination would have made her first lady, but she has been honorably credited with the role.

Early Years
Ellen Herndon, nicknamed Nell, was …

First Lady of the United States

Ida Saxton McKinley, wife of William McKinley, 25th President of the United States, was First Lady from 1897 to 1901. She and her husband developed a unique way of coping with her epileptic seizures during her public appearances, and the love they shared during the early years of happiness endured through more than twenty years of illness.

Image: Ida McKinley
Photograph from the 1896 Presidential Campaign

Early Years
Ida Saxton was born …

Romantic Legends of the Civil War

Arabella Griffith married Francis Barlow the day after he enlisted in the Union Army. Francis was a well-established New York lawyer, while Arabella was 10 years his senior and a member of New York high society. The following year she joined him in service to the Union Army.

Image: Arabella Griffith Barlow

Arabella Wharton Griffith was a young woman of twenty-two years when she moved from rural New Jersey to New York City to …Read More...

Women Who Lost Husbands in the Civil War

Approximately 620,000 soldiers died in the American Civil War. The Union lost around 360,000 soldiers - 110,000 killed in combat; the Confederacy lost around 260,000 men - 93,000 killed in combat. Disease killed the rest. While not all of these soldiers were married, the War created an unprecedented number of young white widows, many of whom had been married for a very short time.

Image: Tintype of Union Widow Adelia Springer and …

Wife of Author Herman Melville

Elizabeth Shaw Melville copied her husband's works and edited his manuscripts when asked, before and after his death. She was devoted to the author, even when his behavior was erratic.

Elizabeth Shaw was born June 13, 1822 in Boston, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Elizabeth Knapp Shaw and Lemuel Shaw, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court and an old friend of the Melville family. It seems that everyone called her Lizzie. Her siblings …Read More...