Above is a beautiful statue of the Roman goddess Diana. It was the first sculpture I saw in the garden. It looked brand new and I read later it had recently been restored. It was added to the garden between 1921 and 1927 by the owners Daniel and Helen Devore (not the original owners I might add and more on that in a future post). An article with more information can be found at this link.
On a more somber note the painting above was printed on one of the information signs. Perhaps a mother, grandmother and two small children, and someone coming out of the shed (which may be a spring house) holding meat or a bag of vegetables perhaps. Chatham Manor has quite a history and you can read all about it at this link. It was a plantation and it gives a detailed description of what it must have been like for the enslaved people here. There were 100 men, women and children. Since going to several old homes in Virginia over many years, including Mount Vernon which was George Washington's home, I have read a lot of this part of our history, and if you go to this link there is an article about two revolts that happened here.
There was also the Civil War. It is only recently that I found out some of my own ancestors fought on both sides of the war, never having learned this growing up in England. I don't even think my parents knew, but a few of our ancestors emigrated to America as far back as colonial times to Virginia, and later also to Maryland. One relative who was a Methodist in the same area I grew up, converted to Mormonism when he settled in America, and ended up in Utah. One of his descendants is a current historian in the Mormon Church. I have my husband to thank for all these interesting facts, as he has been researching both our families for the last four years.
It is said every time but it really is hard to comprehend that such a beautiful area, a beautiful house has this kind of history, and we always say the same at other places, as there are many plantations in Virginia, and many battle fields where we walk. Two very famous conflicts took place not far away from our home, the original one being The First Battle of Bull Run in Manassas. We are both interested in history and have learned a lot from visiting places such as these.We had a chat with a very nice gentleman who was a docent at the manor house. We also saw the 12 minute movie he recommended, and there were several people mentioned that I had heard of before. We never miss a movie if available. It gives you a good sense of what went on, and helps all those jigsaw pieces of information to fit together in your head.
One notable was Walt Whitman who was born in Huntington, Long Island on May 31st, 1891. He was 42 years of age when the Civil War started. An American poet, many of his poems can be found here. He was also an essayist and journalist. He came to the manor house when it had been turned into a hospital, looking for his wounded brother. He didn't find George, who as it turned out only suffered a small facial wound. However, what he saw at Chatham affected him deeply. Help was badly needed and he stayed on as a volunteer nurse to assist the doctors as they dressed wounds, and carried out any menial task he was given. He recorded his experiences on scraps of paper that he stuck together with pins. These were eventually published and people were able to read about everything he saw there, about the horror of war, and about the men who fought in that war.
Clara Barton was also a nurse at Chatham. She was born on December 25th, 1821. There were no trained nurses in her day, no nursing schools, was self-taught and she became known as the American Florence Nightingale. She was a teacher, a patent clerk, carried out humanitarian work and was a civil rights advocate before women received the right to vote. She also founded the Red Cross. That's quite a resume isn't it, especially in a day when women weren't supposed to be so forward thinking and even more so when I learned that as a child she was painfully shy? How she became a nurse in the Civil War is an amazing read, her life is an amazing read and I highly recommend clicking on her name where you will learn more.
Another amazing lady, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, the first U.S. Army female doctor, a surgeon, was one of those who tended to the wounded. She astounded people because she wore men's pants, sensibly putting aside voluminous skirts of the day, for ease of movement but for hygiene purposes in her surroundings. Not only a doctor and surgeon, she was an abolitionist, prohibitionist, and prisoner of war. She was captured by Confederate forces after crossing enemy lines to treat wounded civilians, and arrested as a spy. As a prisoner of war she was sent to Richmond, Virginia, until she was released in a prisoner exchange. After the war she was given the Medal of Honor for her efforts of treating the wounded during the Civil War. However, it was later taken from her, along with hundreds more from other people, as it was decided that she/they had not been given their medal for gallantry in action. I learned from two of the Park Rangers, both young ladies who had just begun their shift as we ended our house tour, that she refused to give it back. We all felt very strongly as we discussed this and was glad she had kept her medal. I mentioned that it didn't seem right after what she did, and that being a woman may have been a factor. We found ourselves nodding in agreement. Unfortunately her name was struck off the list from the Army Medal of Honor Roll in 1917. Her medal was eventually given back to her posthumously in 1977, by President Jimmy Carter. After the war she was a writer and lecturer supporting the women's suffrage movement until her death in 1919. All this information and more can be read if you click on her name in red lettering above. Such a fascinating and an amazing lady! Another link on her life can be found at this website.Visiting Chatham Manor House certainly was very interesting, and I have enough photos for at least two more posts.
Oh Denise, we love Chatham! Your photos and text give great insight into this old mansion. Thank you for featuring one of my favorite places. Diana is looking great after her facelift. You captured her beautifully.ReplyDelete
That's great Martha Ellen :) Thank you so much!Delete
A lot of history there. The Diana statue particularly stands out.ReplyDelete
Thank you William, I thought Diana looked brand new when I first saw her.Delete
Thanks for this tour!ReplyDelete
You are very welcome Christine :)Delete
You do go on some fascinating excursions. This one combined beauty, and more than a little sadness.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for educating us and sharing both.
We are very fortunate that there is a lot of history in this area.Delete
I do know the first two people, but had not heard of Dr. Walker. What a fascinating story she had! I am glad she kept the medal, and that Jimmy Carter finally legitimized her. Slavery was such a sad chapter for this country. As was our dealings with the Indians earlier. How can God be with our country when we have done such awful things?ReplyDelete
I hadn't heard of Dr. Walker either Ginny. I'm glad for the opportunity to go to these interesting places to find out about people who I hadn't heard of before, especially those who did so much for those around them.Delete
Interesting. I've been to Chatham a couple of times but it was years ago. I don't think they told the story of the slave revolt then. I'm glad the park service is covering this part of history.ReplyDelete
Hi Linda, me too, it is so important to learn all aspects of history. Thank you :)Delete
Very infortmativr for me as an esl teacherReplyDelete
That's great Gosia, so glad you found it interesting :)Delete
I enjoyed reading this, thank you Denise.ReplyDelete
That makes me happy you enjoyed it Valerie, thank you :)Delete
Os jardins são espectaculares e aproveito para desejar a continuação de uma boa semana.ReplyDelete
Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
O prazer dos livros
Obrigado, estou feliz que você tenha gostado e gostaria de desejar uma boa semana :)Delete
Hello, Loved this post and learn the history of Chatham. It is a beautiful place, lovely statues and garden. Wishing you a happy day!ReplyDelete
So glad Eileen, thank you. I am looking forward to going back in the spring. Happy day to you too :)Delete
This is a beautiful home and the grounds are lovely. Thank you for such an informative post. Gregg has been working on your family backgrounds a couple years longer than I have been working on mine. I started doing research in Dec 2017. I am working on my family only. Bob’s sister has been building a family tree for their side of the family for several years.ReplyDelete
Hi Linda, you are very welcome :) That's great about your own family research. Gregg has so much fun with this.Delete
I like to think of the historical past as a fairy tale, everyone in long gowns living the simple life. I suppose each time has its charm, but, of course, there are these stories too. It is remarkable that she was able to become a nurse and start the Red Cross. It would be harder to do that today, which says a lot!ReplyDelete
The sculpture is amazing. How they carve them out of stone and give them the appearance of movement is a marvel to me.
I agree Sandi, I think Hollywood gave us that fairytale for a lot of years. I have always been drawn to sculptures, ever since I was a little girl. Thank you :)Delete
the county I was born in is Chatham County in Savannah GA, I am wondering if they were connected some how.. when looking at history, like this plantation, I always keep in mind, there is no where one earth you can visit that horrors did not happen. London had childrens hands chopped off for stealing bread, just think of the horrors in Rome, feeding people to lions, every single place on earth occupied by humans has its own horror in history... and always there will be more. before we chased the native Americans off their land, they were enslaving other native Americans. each moment of history has its own horrorReplyDelete
That's interesting Sandra, maybe they are connected in some way. What you say is very true. Every country! My dad used to have a really old booklet with 'crimes' such as stealing a loaf of bread because they were hungry, and being sent away for years, and worse.Delete
This looks such a beautiful place to visit.ReplyDelete
The statues and gardens are lovely.
All the best Jan
Thank you Jan and all the best to you too :)Delete
What a wonderful detailed post, I really enjoyed this!ReplyDelete
Thank you Laurie, so glad :)Delete
Thanks for this informative and enjoyable tour, Denise. Chatham House sounds like a place we should include on a future road trip.ReplyDelete
You are very welcome Dorothy, glad you enjoyed it :)Delete
Very interesting reading...ReplyDelete
Thank you Rose :)Delete
Such a lot of history there!ReplyDelete
You've put so much thought and research into this post Denise, thank you :D)
Hi Sue, thank you, I get rolling and all this history is hypnotic, the more I read the more I want to know :)Delete