Mary Dagworthy

1748 – 1814

I was a Trenton schoolteacher who helped soldiers and sang for a President.

I was born in a town that was once known as Maidenhead, New Jersey – today it’s called Lawrence Township – in 1748, to John and Sarah Dagworthy. My father was a wealthy Englishman who owned a 180-acre farm in the country, and several other properties in Trenton.

When the acts of Parliament got everybody worked up in 1774, I was 26 and living and teaching school in Trenton, in a building on South Street that would later be known as the Eagle Hotel. My two brothers had fought for the British in the French and Indian War, but our family supported the fight for independence.

When the war came through Trenton, I saw firsthand the suffering of the soldiers, and I was very active in caring for the sick and wounded. I also provided aid to others who passed through our town. In June 1780, I joined a group of Trenton women to raise money and make clothes for our soldiers.

But my proudest moment was in April 1789, when General George Washington came through Trenton on his way to New York to be inaugurated as our first President. Our citizens built a triumphal arch for him to pass through, and as he did I was one of the ladies who serenaded him with a victory song!

I lived in Trenton all my life and died there in 1814 at age 66.


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