MOUNT VERNON IS OURS by Elswyth Thane

MOUNT VERNON IS OURS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The telling of story of the preservation of Mount Vernon is doubtless a natural consequence of Elswyth Thane's interest in Washington (Potomac Squire, 1963) and the Tidewater Country of Virginia. It has a romance of enterprise and sacrifice and a heroine-- the inspired invalid lady from South Carolina, Ann Pamela Cunningham, who devoted her life to the cause. Under her leadership, with the help of such distinguished persons as Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie and Edward Everett, she secured the $200,000 required to purchase Mount Vernon from John A. Washington, Jr. She set up the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association and served as Regent from 1858 to 1873, with a network of Vice Regents across the land. Miss Thane has an urgent interest in the many personalities who played a part in the Restoration drama. The very severe crisis of the Civil War found a Miss Sarah Tracy holding the fort at Mount Vernon. Things took a more acrimonious turn from the camaraderie of the beginning project in later years, when Miss Cunningham succumbed to her illness and its treatment (laudanum). In 1873 Lila Macalester Berghmans became the new Regent, and a succession was established. The book is marred by a certain hothouse ferment; it will be primarily of interest to women's groups.

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 1965
Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce