Woman of the Century/Mandana Coleman Thorp
THORP, Mrs. Mandana Coleman, patriot and public official, born in Karr Valley, Allegany county, N. Y., 25th January, 1843. She is the daughter of Colonel John Major. By her mother she is a descendant of Major Moses Van Campen, a Revolutionary patriot. She was brought up under the training of the most devoted mother and received a liberal education in Alfred University. The stirring events before and during the Civil War called out the sentiment of every patriotic person. MANDANA COLEMAN THORP. The musical talents of Miss Major were actively enlisted from the echo of the first gun fired upon the national flag. The national airs and the stirring battle hymns were sung by her at nearly all of the meetings held in that part of the State. At the close of the first peninsula campaign, in the summer of 1862, President Lincoln requested the Governor of the State of New York to raise and equip two regiments at once for service in front of General Lee, whose forces were invading Pennsylvania. It was during the organization of those two regiments the patriotism of Allegany, Livingston and Wyoming counties was brought into activity. During the months of July and August, 1862, the loyal people of those communities filled the ranks of the 130th and 136th regiments, and after attending scores of war meetings, urging with song every stalwart yeoman to rally round the flag, Miss Major, on 6th September. 1862, at the military rendezvous on the banks of the Genesee in Portage. N. Y., was married in the hollow square of the 130th regiment by the Rev. Dr. Joel Wakeman. then a captain in the regiment in which her husband, Thomas J. Thorp, was lieutenant colonel, who had up to that time participated in every battle of the Potomac Army, and, although severely wounded at Fair Oaks and Malvern Hill, had refused to stay in the hospital. By permission of the Secretary of War, Col. Thorp was assigned to the new regiment, which became the famous First New York Dragoons, by an order of the War Department, after the battle of Gettysburg. During the years of the war Mrs. Thorp rendered devoted service in the ranks, with other noble women of that period, in their efforts, in gathering and distributing every needed comfort for the wounded and sick in camp and in hospital. She joined the regiment of her adoption and remained with it during the siege of Suffolk, Va. She rode with her full eagle at the head of the regiment in the grand review in Washington at the close of the war in 1865. She never once suggested to her husband that, as he had been several times wounded and made a prisoner of war, he could consistently leave the service, hut she cheered him in the camp and held and, finally, with the star above the eagle, they rode side by side in the Second Brigade, First Division of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac. Since the war she has raised a family and cheerfully aided her husband in all his various enterprises. In Northern Michigan, where they were pioneers, she was made deputy clerk and register of deeds. In the later years, in Arizona Territory, she assisted her husband in the sheep and wool industry, often guarding the camp located in the valley of the Little Colorado river, adjacent to the reservation of the Navajo Indian Nation, while her husband was absent on business. During all her life she has been a quiet but earnest worker in all progressive temperance movements. Her home is now in Forest Grove, Ore.