Edward to John III--Letter in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

L.S. and myself--Edward Coles to Rebecca Coles, February 4, 1810, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

Some of the Misses--Edward Coles to John Coles III, December 17, 1810, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

for judging from--Edward Coles to John Coles III, November 25, 1812, Princeton University Library. Back

have more perfectly--Edward Coles to Rebecca Coles, May 12, 1813, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

Picture fastidious Edward--The story is told in a letter from Edward to John III, March 28, 1813, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

had written him--John Coles II and Eliza Coles to Edward Coles, April 1, 1807, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

Miss Hay visited Enniscorthy--In a letter to Coles dated August 4, 1807 (Princeton University Library), William Rives writes, Papa and Mama sent their compliments to the family, and my sister desired to be remembered to Miss Hay. Back

give Miss Hay--Edward Coles to brothers and sisters in Virginia, February 3, 1810, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

only three years younger than her stepmother--For genealogical details, see Tyler's Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, vol. 8 (April 1927), 277-278; and Thomas J.C. Williams, A History of Washington County, Maryland, Hagerstown, 1906, vol. 1, p. 198. Back

provided him with a small estate--Harry Ammon, James Monroe: The Quest for National Identity, New York, 1971, p. 279. The estate, "Ashfield," was worth about $6,000 (Ammon, p. 571). In correspondence between George Hay and James Monroe, we see evidence of Hay's financial obligations to Monroe (see esp. George Hay to James Monroe, March 14, 1814, New York Public Library). Back

his father Anthony--Tyler's Quarterly, op. cit. The name of George Hay's first wife (Marie Antoinette's mother) is not given. Back

to stay at the President's House--Ralph Ketchum, James Madison: A Biography, Charlottesville, 1990, p. 519. Ketchum states that the bridesmaids at the President's House wedding of Judge Todd and Lucy Washington, of whom Miss Hay was one, were "young people of the household," meaning that, like Coles, they were staying there as guests of the Madisons. Back

But what think you--Edward Coles to brothers and sisters in Virginia, February 3, 1810, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

The bridesmaids were--Katherine Anthony, Dolly Madison: Her Life and Times, Garden City, 1949, p. 208. Back

Lucy's opinion was--Lucy Todd to Dolley Madison, April 18 and May 29, 1812. Cited in Ralph Ketchum, James Madison: A Biography, Charlottesville, 1990, p. 520. Coles' infatuation with Miss Hay seems to have been at least three months old. Back

I expect to hear--Edward Coles to John Coles III, May 6, 1812, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The letter seems to say "Miss A.," rather than "Miss H.," but all other evidence points clearly to Marie Antoinette Hay as the lady in question. The "A" could have been either a reference to "Antoinette," which may have been what Miss Hay preferred to be called, or a slip of the pen. Back

Helen Skipwith Coles writes--Helen Coles to Selina Skipwith, June 17, 1812, Roberts Coles Collection. Back

Hay exploded in letter--George Hay to James Monroe, March 13, 1812, New York Public Library. The details of the story are all from this letter. Back

Although it was gratifying--Edward Coles to John Coles III, May 6, 1812, Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

In the Carter collection at the University of Virginia there is a table of plantation income and expenses from 1816-1838. I suspect, since the table is in with other Coles papers, that the plantation was on the Enniscorthy estate--perhaps one of those belonging to one of Edward's brothers. (The number of slaves on the plantation was 21, which would be just about right for such a plantation.) In 1816 the plantation sold $4095.72 of wheat, $4440.80 of tobacco, $301.93 of other items, and earned $387.71 in interest on privately loaned money and stock, for a total income of $9226.16. Expenses were $171.38 in taxes, $250 for an overseer, $238.60 for slaves' clothing, $523.33 for carriage and storage, $141.00 for agricultural implements and etc., for a total of $1655.15, for a profit of $7571.01 for the year. Personal and housekeeping expenses for the year were $919.44, leaving $6651.57 free and clear, of which $4808.75 was invested in stocks and loans and $795.00 in real estate. (What happened to the rest is unclear.)

The plantation grew somewhat over the years and the profit fluctuated from a low of $3000 to a high of $14000. But it always showed a profit. Why Edward's plantation at Rockfish failed to show a profit between 1809 and 1815 is not known, but due to the embargoes and the War of 1812 it is possible that Edward's career as a Virginia planter was poorly timed. Back

I am very much obliged--Edward Coles to John Coles III, December 16, 1811, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

plan for your prosperity--Dolley Madison to Edward Coles, May 13, 1813, Private Collection of Charles Feinberg. Back

I have now--Edward Coles to Payne Todd, January 3, 1815, Princeton University Library. Back

Notwithstanding the many reports--Edward Coles to Rebecca Coles, December 2, 1812, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. "Charles" is Marie Antoinette's brother, the son of George Hay by his first wife. Charles later became chief clerk of the Naval Department and served for a short time as acting secretary of the Navy in 1829 (Edna Mary Colman, Seventy-Five Years of White House Gossip, New York, 1925, p. 165). The "springs" were the hot springs on the western side of the Blue Ridge that served as a resort area for aristocratic families from Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas. Most members of the Coles family visited them at least once a year, and a trip to the springs was usually the occasion for a visit of several days or weeks at Enniscorthy by friends and relatives who lived east of the Blue Ridge (see Perceval Reniers, The Springs of Virginia, Chapel Hill, 1941, for an account of the springs and of the Coles family's relationship to them). Back

and am determined to pursue--A week later Coles writes: The H's were at the last drawing room and at the ball last night. I treat Mrs. H. with the most respect and friendly attention but have not noticed or even spoken to Miss H. Not however from any pre-determination not to do so but it has so happened that we have never come in contact and I am determined not to go out of my way "to pay my respects." (Edward Coles to Rebecca Coles, December 9, 1812, Historical Society of Pennsylvania.) Back

On February 17, 1813--National Intelligencer, Feb. 18, 1813. For this reference I am indebted to George Anikis, who is completing a biography of the Ringgold family of Washington County, Maryland. For the details of Marie Antoinette's marriage and later life, and the character of her husband, see Williams, p. 198; George A. Hanson, Old Kent: The Eastern Shore of Maryland, Baltimore, 1876, p. 67; J. Thomas Scharf, History of Western Maryland, Philadelphia, 1882, vol. 2, pp. 1023-1026; Esther Rossiter Bevan, "Fountain Rock, the Ringgold Home in Washington County," Maryland Historical Magazine, vol. 47, no. 1 (March 1952), 19-28; and Stephen Frederick Tillman, Spes Alit Agricolam, Washington, D.C., 1962, p. 15. Back

Sam Ringgold inherited 15,000 acres--See the will of Thomas Ringgold, Sam's father, in the Maryland State Archives (MSA No. C1109, Kent county Register of Wills; MdHR 8814, folder 1066, 1-15-4-6). For this reference I am again indebted to George Anikis. Back

Local legend says--See Scharf, vol. 2, p. 1023 and Bevan, pp. 23-24. Back

his widow moved to Hagerstown--Williams, p. 198. General Ringgold's second wife was a lady of rare beauty and accomplishments and brilliant in conversation, Williams tells us. Whilst a widow she built the house on Washington Street opposite Prospect in Hagerstown . . . for a home, but her widowhood lasted only three years. In 1832 she married R.M. Tidball of Winchester, Va. The two lived for a number of years in their home in Hagerstown. In 1860, Mrs. Tidball, being again a widow, removed to San Francisco and there spent the remainder of her days with her son, Col. George Hay Ringgold, paymaster in the army. She died October 27, 1875, at the age of eighty-five years. George Hay Ringgold published a book of poetry entitled Fountain Rock, Amy Wier, and Other Metrical Pastimes (New York, 1860), but his descriptions of his boyhood are too abstract to be of biographical interest. Back

Edward Coles

Chapter 10