Ladies, the home of Washington is in your charge…let no irreverent hand change it; no vandal hands desecrate it with the fingers of progress! Those who go to the home in which he lived and died, wish to see in what he lived and died! Let one spot in this grand country of ours be saved from change! Upon you rests this duty!
Born in 1816, Ann Pamela Cunningham was raised at Rosemont, a plantation on the Saluda River in Laurens County, South Carolina. At the age of seventeen, she suffered an injury to her spine when she was thrown from a horse and was crippled for the rest of her life. In 1853, when she was 37 years of age, she was distressed to receive a letter from her mother describing the neglected, decaying condition of Mount Vernon, the plantation home of George Washington in Virginia.
A Historical Sketch of Miss Cunningham’s life published in 1903 gave more details about the incident that led to her life’s mission:
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