Sunday, May 24, 2009

For your home economics notebook: Who is a historic home keeper from your area who is still known today? Is her home still standing? If so, visit it and write a bit about her.

Here's an example of a historic home keeper in my neck of the woods. Her name is Dorothea (Dolly) Cross Gordon (1779-1859), and she was married to Captain John Gordon Below is what remains of her homestead which stands along the Natchez Trace. Originally, there was a long porch across the front, as well as several outbuildings around the home.

Captain John Gordon was fifteen years older than Dorothy (to the day -- they were born on the same date, which also became their wedding date). He was a merchant, a famous fighter and diplomat in wars with Native Americans, a soldier, an owner of racing horses, and a friend of President Andrew Jackson. He partnered with a chief of the Choctaws to operate a ferry across the Duck River, which travelers along the old trace had to pass in order to proceed along the Trace that ran from Natchez to Nashville. At the time he operated his ferry, he lived very near Choctaw land.

The Gordons had ten children. His military activities took him away from home much of the time. So, it fell mostly to Mrs. Gordon to supervise the building of a home/trading post near her husband's ferry. He died shortly after the home was completed in 1812. She continued to oversee the farm and businesses he left her until her own death in 1859. She also finished raising the couple's ten children, plus a number of orphaned or stray children.

Though Mrs. Gordon moved with her family to Nashville when she was a child, she was born in Virginia, and she was proud of being a descendant of Pocahontez. She was said to be kind, well-respected, and to have a positive nature.

You will show me the path of life;
In Your prescence if fullness of joy..
Psalm 16:11

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