Monday, September 17, 2012

100. Anna Nesfield Cochran Green (1795-1842)

Number 100--and we're still in the Cs!?!  Indeed.

Anna (or Ann) Cochran (or Cochrane) was among the first students at the Mordecai school, arriving in 1809 and staying to the end of 1810.  When she didn't return in 1811, Rachel Mordecai commented, "I fear it will be long ere we shall find equal sense, solidity, & sweetness combined."  She may have gone on to Mrs. Rivardi's for 'polishing' after leaving Warrenton, but the Mordecais kept close tabs on her, so the outlines of her story are well-known.  By 1817, she was married to James Severn Green and living in Wilmington; when Rachel Mordecai moved to Wilmington to marry in the 1820s, she and Anna Cochran Green were friends.  Anna was frequently pregnant or newly delivered in those years, according to Rachel's letters.  When Mordecai alumna Jane Vance Dickinson died in 1828, Anna was among the three close friends to receive a mourning ring.  Anna's daughter Mary married in 1834, and was planning to move West.

So that's what I could learn before 1996.  What's available about Anna Cochran Green online, sixteen years later?

Looks like Anna Cochran was born in 1795, daughter of Robert Cochran Jr. (1772-1842) and the former Ann Maria de Keyser, in Wilmington.  Her name is often found with a middle name, Nesfield or Nessfield--a name that resembles that of a Cochran relative, Ann Nessfield Steele.  Anna's father was Collector for the Port of Wilmington, probably a fairly prominent job.  She married Major James Severin Green in June 1815, in Wilmington.  James Green's niece, Eliza Bradley, was a Mordecai student too (she arrived at Warrenton in 1811, just after Anna left).  Anna and James Green had at least nine children, born between June 1816 and September 1837--more than 21 years of childbearing.  We know she outlived at least one of her children, William, who died at age 14 in 1840.  Anna died in 1842, age 46; her youngest child, Sally, would have been just five years old that year.  Here is Anna's tombstone (and James's) in Wilmington (though it has her born in 1794 instead of 1795).  James outlived Anna by 20 years.

There is a portrait of Ann Nesfield Cochran Green, c. 1820, and a silver mug engraved with her name and birthdate (October 10, 1795), in a private collection in Wilmington.  (It's mentioned in the notes of Linnard R. Hobler, "Pure, Bright, and Solid:  Raising a New Standard for John McMullin and his Silver," a Master's Thesis from 2011, Corcoran School of Art.)  I found this little thumbnail version of the portrait on (at right)--the first image on this blog of a Mordecai student.

So, happy 100!  We're about 20% through the rolls now. ;)

99. Sally Clifton

There's a student on my rolls for the Mordecai school named Sally Clifton.  She was at the school for three terms, 1810 to mid-1811.  Beyond that, I don't have an adult name or a hometown attached to her record.  There's a sum paid to "ACM for S Clifton" in the ledger for June 1811--ACM is Alexander Calizance Miller, the school's music teacher.  That seems to be the only other mention of Miss Clifton in my notes.

Not much to go on, but let's see what I can find....

I pretty quickly found a Sally Clifton from the right neighborhood and era--but she married in June 1810.  So, probably not our Sally.  (There was at least one married woman who attended as a student, or at least attempted to enroll; the Mordecais found that remarkable enough to tell the story in family correspondence.)  So many other Sally Cliftons in the South!  But even checking for Sarahs and Saras too, I'm not finding a Sally Clifton who makes sense as a possible Mordecai student. 

Dead end for this entry, I think, so far, anyway.  Good thing #100 isn't so disappointing...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

95., 96., 97., 98. The Clarkes (Jane, Martha, Mary, Nancy)

I have four girls named Clarke in the rolls of the Mordecai school:

Jane Clarke attended two sessions, from summer 1811 to summer 1812.
Martha Clarke was there for one session in 1815, then for the last four sessions (1817-1818).
Mary R. Clarke of Nottoway Co., VA was there for one session, 1816 (second half).
Nancy Clarke was a student for four years, eight sessions, 1815-1818.

Nancy and Martha are at the school in overlapping times, and they have the same adult name, Col. John Clarke, attached to their accounts.  Mary R. Clarke has a different adult's name, Thomas C. Clarke, on her account.  But "Col. Clarke" appears in the school ledger in January 1815, for Mary, unless I misread Martha there; "John Clarke" appears for "Miss Nancy" in April 1815; And "Col. J. Clarke" for Nancy in February 1816; so this whole group might be kin.  (David Clarke and William Clarke are other names in the ledger, but they seem to be attached to student Olivia Norfleet--still, could be a further connection.)  I'm also thinking that "Mary R" and "Martha" might be the same girl--Mary R. would fill in one of the gap sessions for Martha.... hmmm.

Clarke is a fairly common surname, and none of these girls has an unusual first name.  But let's see what we can find anyway (acknowledging that Clarke may be Clark, Martha may be Patsy, Nancy may be Ann, etc.).

.... Hm, not too many leads.  Will leave this here for now.