Ann Pamela Cunningham (1816-1875)

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LINTON & BIRD CHRONICLES, Volume IV, Issue 4, Winter 2009-2010, ISSN 1941-3521

Ann Pamela Cunningham (1816-1875)

(Project)

Terry Louis Linton © 1995-2010

(First Published) Direct Genealogy Lineage of Thomas Jefferson Bird Sr. (1861-1931) And Drusilla Gay (1867-1948) (book, Terry L. Linton © 1987) (Linton Research Fund, Inc., Publication © 1987) (First Revision, Febuary © 1989) (Second Revision, December, © 1991,  (Third Revision, May, © 1995,) (printed in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, USA)

Linton Research Fund Inc., Publication © 1995

LINTON & BIRD CHRONICLES, Volume II, Issue 1, Spring © 2007, ISSN 1941-3521

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Ann Pamela Cunningham (1816-1875)

Ann Pamela Cunningham was the daughter of Colonel, Robert Cunningham (1786-1859). Robert was born on October 18, 1786, at Rosemont Plantation, on the Saluda River, Laurens County, South Carolina. Robert was the son of Patrick Cunningham (1760-1796) and Ann Harris (1765-1799) Robert died on July 7, 1859, at Rosemont Plantation, at age 72.

On Feb 22, 1814, Robert Cunningham married Louisa Bird (1794-1873) at Rosemont Plantation. Louisa Bird was the daughter of Colonial, William Bird (1757-1812) and Catharine Dalton (1763-1822). Colonel, William Bird was born May 18, 1757, in Birdsboro, Amity Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. William was the son of Ironmaster, William Bird (1706-1761) and Brigitte Huling (1710-1792). Colonel William Bird died on May 18, 1757, at Aviary Plantation, Sparta, Warren County, Georgia.

Louisa Bird was born in 1794 in Alexandria, Virginia. She died on October 6, 1873 at Rosemont Plantation, at age 79. She was buried in the First Presbyterian Churchyard, Columbia, South Carolina.

Colonel, Robert Cunningham and Louisa Bird had one daughter, Ann Pamela Cunningham. Ann was born on August 15, 1816, at Rosemont Plantation, Laurens County South Carolina.

Ann was home schooled, from a governess, at Rosemont Plantation. Ann attended a select boarding school in Columbia, South Carolina, until she was seventeen. Ann had became a accomplished horsewoman at Rosemont Plantation. In 1833, after her return home from boarding school, Ann was thrown from her horse and suffered a severe spinal injury, which made her a lifelong invalid.

Ann spent the rest of her life in constant search for relief from pain which this injury caused. Ann spent much time in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania under the care of Doctor Hugh L. Hodge.

In 1853, Ann Pamela Cunningham founded the Mount Vernon Ladies Association of the Union and was the leading force that saved George Washington's (1732-1799) Mount Vernon Plantation. Ann became interested in Mount Vernon when she received a letter written by her mother, Louisa BIRD Cunningham from Rosemont Plantation, after a homeward journey from Philadelphia where she had left Ann . The letter is reported to have read as follows: "It was a lovely moonlit night that we went down the Potomac. I went on deck as the bell tolled and we passed Mount Vernon. I was painfully distressed at the ruin and desolation of the home of Washington, and the thought passed through my mind: Why was it that the women of his country did not try to keep it in repair, if the men could not do it? It does seem such a blot on our country."

Inspired by her mother's idea, Ann wrote her first appeal to save Mount Vernon. Ann Pamela just signed the appeals as A Southern Matron, and the movement began. One of Ann’s first inspired backers was the distinguished leader, of the time, her 1st cousin, Senator William Lowndes Yancey (1814-1863) William was born on Aug 10, 1814, at Aviary Plantation, Sparta, Warren County, Georgia. He moved to, Alabama and was elected State Senator. William died Jul 27, 1863, at his plantation in Montgomery, Alabama.

Ann Pamela devoted the rest of her life with unselfish devotion to the effort of saving Mount Vernon Plantation with all of her energy and time.

On June 1 1874, Ann Pamela Cunningham made her memorable farewell address to the Board of Regents at Mount Vernon

Ann Pamela Cunningham died on May 1, 1875, at Rosemont Plantation, at age 58. Ann was buried on May 2, 1875, in the Columbia, First Presbyterian Churchyard, South Carolina.

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How are you Related to Ann Pamela Cunningham (1816-1875)

View the BIRD Family Tree

View the CUNNINGHAM Branch of the BIRD Family Tree

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Link to Mount Vernon

Link to Rosemont Plantation

View Ann Pamela Cunningham Brief Sketch By Terry Louis Linton 1982

View Historical Sketch of Ann Pamela Cunningham By Jeffrey C. Weaver 2001

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Ann Pamela Cunningham (1816-1875)

Farewell Address to the Board of Regents Mount Vernon

On June 1, 1874, Ann Pamela Cunningham made her farewell address to the Board of Regents at Mount Vernon Plantation.

Farewell Address to the Board of Regents Mount Vernon

Ann Pamela Cunningham, Regent

"To the Council of the Ladies' Mount Vernon Association of June, 1874. LADIES: It was my intention, as well as my duty, to have met you at this ti me and conformed in person to the legal requisition accompanying a resignation so important as mine; but Providence does not permit.

But, in parting, I feel it due to you as to me, to the responsibilities I solemnly assumed, which were so important in their results, to tho se you have taken upon yourselves, to say a few words as to those responsibilities, or duties, laid down in the beginning of our work, not to be lightly regarded, for they were pledges to future generations as well as to ours. The minds and hearts which conceived the rescue of the home of Washington, of the completion of a worthy 'tribute' to public integrity and private virtue, an expression of the gratitude due and felt by a country destined to act such an important part in the drama of the world conceived it with all the reverence felt in older regions for the resting-places of the ir honored dead, where only pious hands are permitted to be in 'charge ,' so as to have them carried down to admiring ages in the same condition as when left.

Such was the pledge made to the American heart when an appeal was made to it to save the Home and Tomb of Washington, of the Father of his Country, from all change, whether by law or desecration. Such to the last own er of Mount Vernon, ere he was willing to permit it to pass from his hand s. Such to the Legislature of his mother State, ere she gave us legal rights over it. Such we are bound to keep. Our honor is concerned, as we ll as our intelligence and legal obligations. The mansion and grounds around it should be religiously guarded from changes -should be kept as Washington left them.

Ladies, the Home of Washington is in your charge; see to it that you keep it the Home of Washington. Let no irreverent hand change it; no al hands desecrate it with the fingers of progress! Those who go to the Ho me in which he lived and died, wish to see in what he lived and died! L et one spot in this grand country of ours be saved from change! Upon you rests this duty.

When the Centennial comes, bringing with it thousands from the ends of the earth, to whom the Home of Washington will be the place of places in our country, let them see that, though we slay our forests, remove our dead, pull down our churches, remove from home to home, till the hearthstone seems to have no resting-place in America, let them see that we do kn ow how to care for the Home of our Hero! Farewell!

Ladies, I return to your hands the office so long held-since December 2d, 1853.

Respectfully,

ANN PAMELA CUNNINGHAM.

June 1st, 1874."

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Phot by Luke C. Dillon, of Washington, D.C., original print in the South Carolina Senate Chamber Room.

 

Ann Pamela Cunningham (1816-1875)

Terry L. Linton © 1982

First Published

A Brief Bird Family History, Terry L. Linton © 1982

Linton Research Fund Inc., Publication © 2008

All Rights Reserved

Linton & Bird Chronicles Volume III, Issue 3, Fall © 2008

 

Ann Pamela Cunningham was the grandniece of Mark Bird (1738-1812) and Mary Ross (1744-1790) Ann Pamela Cunningham was born August 15, 1816, at her father's Rosemont Plantation, in Laurens County, South Carolina. Ann died May 1, 1875, at Rosemont Plantation.

In 1853, Ann Pamela Cunningham founded the Mount Vernon Ladies Association of the Union and saved George Washington's Mount Vernon Plantation. Ann raised the funds nation wide to purchase and restore Mount Vernon as a public shrine when the U. S. Government would not. Ann lived in Mount Vernon before and during the restoration. The Association appealed to the American people in a campaign to raise two hundred thousand dollars need to acquire Mount Vernon Plantation from John Augustine Washington Jr. In December, of 1858, Ann Pamela Cunningham and the Association purchased the mansion, outbuildings and two hundred surrounding acres. The restoration of Mount Vernon began immediately and Mount Vernon was opened to the public. Sense 1858, the Association has owned and maintained Mount Vernon under a charter granted by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In her farewell address, on June 1, 1874, Ann Pamela Cunningham, founder and first Regent of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association wrote "Ladies, the home of Washington is in your charge, see to it that you keep it the home of Washington. Those who go to the home in which he lived and died wishes to see in what he lived and died. Upon you rest this duty. Let them see that we know how to care for the home of our hero."

 

South Carolina State Road Marker

Rosemont

About 2 1/2 miles southwest, a granite monument stands on the site of Rosemont, birthplace and home of Ann Pamela Cunningham, founder and first regent of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union. Through her efforts Mount Vernon was purchased by the association in 1858, and Washington’s home was restored and maintained for posterity.

Erected by Ann Pamela Cunningham Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution.

(Route 221 Marker)

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