Saturday, March 26, 2011

61. Margaret Broadfoot Hooper (1801-1880)

Margaret Broadfoot of Fayetteville was at the Mordecai school for a long time--nine sessions, or four-and-a-half years, from mid-1810 to the end of 1814. Her father Andrew Broadfoot, born in Scotland, died in early 1810; her cousin and guardian William Broadfoot paid her tuition and attended examinations in place of a parent. She took music lessons at the school, and the ledger shows an atlas being purchased for her. Because she was with the family so long, the Mordecais kept track of her after she left school, and I already have a lot of the details from their letters and the letters of Lucy Plummer Battle. Margaret Broadfoot was among those who welcomed Rachel Mordecai Lazarus to Wilmington as a new bride in 1821. She married later that year herself, to a newspaper editor named James Hooper, in Fayetteville (she sent Rachel Lazarus a piece of her wedding cake, somehow), and in 1823 she had lost some weight and her "manners [were] more formed" when Rachel saw her. In 1826, she had moved back to Wilmington. She started her own "infant school" in 1831 when her husband's financial condition became "much embarrassed."

In 1845, she was a widow in Chapel Hill staying with a Miss Mallett (one of her husband's cousins married a Caroline Mallett); her old schoolmate Lucy Plummer Battle visited with her there, and reminisced about old school days:
"I called on Tuesday to see Mrs. James Hooper, who is an old schoolmate (Margaret Broadfoot). Of course she did not know me. But as soon as I told her who I was, she seemed very glad to see me. I invited her & Miss Mallett to take tea with me but they could not do so. From her I learned the wearabouts &c of several of my old friends. I enjoyed her society wonderfully." (Lucy Martin Plummer Battle to her husband William, 4 October 1845, Battle Family Papers, Southern Historical Collection)
But by the time of the 1850 census, Margaret was back in Fayetteville, listed as a 50-year-old widow with real estate worth over $10,000. She died in 1880.

The whole family seems to be buried together, which is helpful: Margaret Broadfoot Hooper's dates are 1801-1880; her mother's name is given as Hetty Coit or Hetty Mumford (1776-1820); James Hooper's dates (1797-1841) indicate that Margaret became a widow in 1841, at age 40. She seems not to have had any children.

Some extra items about Margaret's husband: James Hooper's grandfather was William Hooper, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence from North Carolina. His brother Thomas married another Mordecai alumna from Fayetteville, Eliza Donaldson, in 1825, but Eliza died within six months of the wedding. James Hooper's stepfather was Joseph Caldwell, the first president of UNC.

No comments:

Post a Comment