First Ladies: Abigail Fillmore

Lead: Well-read and cultured, Abigail Fillmore maintained a well-tuned political sense in an otherwise lackluster administration.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When Abigail Power’s preacher father died in 1799, her mother migrated to Cayuga County, then on the New York frontier. Mrs. Powers took responsibility for the education of the children and so well did she did do her job that by the time she was nineteen Abigail was teaching in a country school near Sempronius, New York. In the winter of 1818, she looked up from her desk into the bright, inquiring eyes of a big farm boy who had appeared in her classroom with little notice. The eighteen-year-old was ambitious to become a lawyer and Abigail responded to his enthusiasm. His name was Milliard Fillmore and after an eight-year courtship, much of the time spent apart as he was reading for the bar, they began a twenty-seven year marriage.



First Ladies: Margaret Smith Taylor

Lead: The wife of Zachary Taylor, hero of the Mexican War and 12th President of the United States, passed most of her marriage moving from one frontier army post to another. Her fifteen months in the White House were spent largely in seclusion.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born in Calvert County, Maryland, the daughter of a well-to planter and veteran of the Revolutionary War, Margaret Smith met her future husband while visiting relatives in Kentucky. They were married the following year and began the nomadic life that enveloped his nearly four decades of military service. Insisting on going with Zachary to the many wilderness stations to which he was posted, she raised her four surviving children in crude wintertime log cabins and warm weather army tents. Against their wishes, daughter Sarah eloped with young Lt. Jefferson Davis, the future President of the Confederacy. She died of malaria after only three months of marriage. Margaret’s favorite post was Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and from there she received the news of her husband’s exploits in the Mexican War.

Anne Hutchinson II

Lead: In 1637 the Massachusetts Bay Colony put religious reformer Anne Hutchinson on trial for challenging the authority and theology of the Church.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Hutchinson and her family had emigrated from England to the Massachusetts to escape what they felt was religious persecution. An intelligent and independent thinker, Anne began to hold a weekly discussion group in her home. She and her followers did not hesitate to criticize the colony’s religious and political leaders for what they perceived as the leaders’ narrowness on morality and religion. Anne held the dangerous view that God spoke to individuals rather than through the clergy or church officials. Believing Hutchinson to be a threat to order and peace, the Massachusetts General Assembly enacted a law stipulating that women could neither organize, lead, nor attend meetings. Undaunted, Anne refused to stop and John Winthrop, one of the founders and Governor of the colony, in 1637, brought her to trial for insulting churches and their ministers and not honoring the fathers of the Commonwealth.



Anne Hutchinson I

Lead: In the 1630s thousands of Puritans migrated to New England. More than one would be considered a rebel. One such troublemaker was Anne Hutchinson.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Anne Marbury Hutchinson was born in Alford, Lincolnshire, England, in 1591. The daughter of an English clergyman, a troublemaker in his own right, who frequently clashed with Anglican leaders, Anne grew up to be an educated, independent thinker and trained midwife. She married an English merchant, William Hutchinson in 1612 and in 1634 they and their eleven children immigrated to the Massachusetts to escape what they considered to be religious persecution.



Civil War Women Spies IV

Lead: By June 1862 Civil War Memphis, Tennessee was occupied by the Union. Young Belle Edmondson began her life as a smuggler and Confederate spy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Belle Edmondson was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi, in 1840, the youngest of eight children. At the onset of the Civil War in 1861, the Edmondsons were living on a farm just southeast of Memphis near the Mississippi border. Although there were some strongholds of Union sentiment particularly in eastern Tennessee, the state had joined the Confederacy. The Edmondsons were staunch supporters of the southern cause. Two of Belle’s brothers fought at Shiloh and Belle helped nurse the wounded from the battle



Civil War Women Spies V

Lead: During the American Civil War, socialite Elizabeth Van Lew ran a Union spy ring in the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Elizabeth Van Lew was a southern girl, born in Richmond, in 1818, the daughter of a wealthy family with connections and kin in the north. Van Lew was educated in Philadelphia and returned home a vigorous and keen abolitionist. During the 1850s she convinced her family to free their slaves and at the outbreak of hostilities remained loyal loyal to the Union. She committed herself to do whatever she could to support the Federal cause.



Civil War Women Spies III

Lead: Civil War Union spy Sarah Emma Edmonds spent a good part of her life disguised as a man. In the Army she often disguised her disguise.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Although women were not permitted to enlist as soldiers in either army during the Civil War, perhaps as many as 400 did so, by bending their gender. In April 1861 Sarah Emma Edmonds, after four attempts, finally was able to enlist in Flint, Michigan as a male volunteer, Private Frank Thompson.

Edmonds was born in Nova Scotia in 1841. She ran away from an unfortunate home situation as young girl and at the outbreak of the war, was living in Flint, working as bookseller, disguised as a man, using the name Frank Thompson. After Fort Sumter, she continued the transgender role, after four attempts enlisted, and served as a male nurse and occasionally as a spy.


Civil War Women Spies II

Lead: In the summer of 1861 Washington hostess Rose Greenhow helped the infant Confederacy win the First Battle of Manasas at Bull Run Creek.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Rose O’Neal Greenhow was born to a slaveholding family in southern Maryland in 1817. As a young woman, she moved to Washington City to live with her aunt who ran a boarding house in the Old Capitol Building. She earned the nickname “Wild Rose” because of her subtle mind and biting tongue. Charming, intelligent, and witty, Rose entertained frequently and cultivated friendships with some of the most powerful political figures of her time – John C. Calhoun, James Buchanan and William Seward. Rose became one of the most popular and captivating figures in Washington’s antebellum society.