The Many Faces of Harriet Chew Carroll
When Harriet Chew of Philadelphia married Charles Carroll Jr. in 1800, her future could not have looked brighter. Charles, the only son and intended heir of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, one of the wealthiest men in Maryland, was handsome, urbane, educated, and madly in love with Harriet. But only a decade later, Harriet’s world began to fall apart, and in 1816 she and Charles permanently separated.
In this illustrated lecture presented in celebration of Women's History Month, historian Mary C. Jeske will explore the many facets of Harriet’s life: her marriage and life as a young bride, her struggle to cope as her husband descended into alcoholism, and her success in adapting to her new situation after she returned to her native Philadelphia. Despite her personal tragedies, financial dependence on the goodwill of her father-in-law, and the legal constraints on women that limited her options, Harriet managed to create a remarkably independent, fulfilling, and happy life for herself, a testament to her inner strength and resilience. Dr. Jeske is an editor at the Charles Carroll of Carrollton Family Papers.