Woman of the Century/Ellen Hardin Walworth

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WALWORTH, Mrs. Ellen Hardin, author, educator and poet, born in Jacksonville, Ill., 20th October, 1832. She is the daughter of John J. Hardin, a well-known lawyer, politician and soldier. He was the friend of Lincoln, Logan, Baker, Douglas and other renowned men of that time. He was in the Black Hawk War. He led the first Illinois regiment to the Mexican War, and was killed in the battle of Buena Vista. His strong character and intellectual qualities were transmitted to his oldest child, Mrs. Walworth. In 1851 her mother became the wife of Chancellor Reuben H. Walworth, of New York. When Chancellor Walworth went west to marry the mother, he took with him his gifted young son, Mansfield Tracy, afterwards known as the author of many novels of the romantic school. The son captivated the fancy of Miss Hardin, a courtship followed, and they were married 29th July, 1852, in Saratoga Springs, N. Y., after he had finished his law studies in Cambridge. The young couple continued to reside in the family homestead, in Saratoga Springs, with the father and mother. Sons and daughters were born to them, and to the outside world no lives could seem more fair and smooth; but storms were gathering, which culminated with the disasters of the Civil War. Trouble and tragedy filled the life of Mrs. Walworth for many years, in which she held her children closely around her, carrying forward their education under the greatest difficulties. The older children were sent to college and the younger tines taught at home. In 1871 she established a boarding and day school in the homestead, and, with one interruption only, continued it until 1887. At that time the death of her oldest son and a temporary failure of her own health caused her to close the school. During those years she had been elected a member of the board of education in Saratoga, being one of the very first women for whom the school franchise was exercised. She served for three years, and by her energy and ability introduced many improvements in the public school system of the place. She was elected a trustee of the Saratoga Monument Association, and is chairman of important committees in that organization. By her personal exertions she has had erected many historical tablets on the battlefields of Saratoga. ELLEN HARDIN WALWORTH A woman of the century (page 756 crop).jpgELLEN HARDIN WALWORTH. She has published numerous historical articles in the leading magazines, and has read papers before the Society for the Advancement of Natural Science, of which she is a member. In the interest of natural science she was largely instrumental in the founding of the Art and Science Field Club in Saratoga, which did much active service. She was vice-president of the Society of Decorative Art of New York City, and she succeeded in taking artists of the first order from Boston and other cities to Saratoga, and thus promoted the advancement of art in northern New York. She was for twelve years president of the Shakespeare Society of Saratoga, which is, with one exception, believed to be the oldest society devoted exclusively to Shakespeare in this country. In 1889 she went to Washington, D. C, to make a winter home in a milder climate, and there she pursues her literary' work. She has compiled a "History of the Saratoga Monument Association," which is published with other original material that shows historical Saratoga in an instructive and attractive form. She is engaged on a biography of Robert K. Livingston, first chancellor of the State of New York. She is the author of many fugitive poems, soon to be collected and published in a volume. She is a life member of the American Historical Association, and is actively concerned in its work. She is one of the founders and active officers of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and she is editor of the "American Monthly Magazine," a successful publication of that society. Her time and labor are given to historical subjects, which may l>e pursued with unusual facility m the national capital. Her summer home is still in Saratoga Springs.