Christine Beshar, Trailblazing Lawyer

Christine Beshar (born Christine Luise Luitgarde Annette von Wedemeyer), one of the first women to be named partner in a Wall Street law firm, established a pioneering child-care service for its employees. Ms. Beshar specialized in trust and estate law. She was made the first female partner in 1971 at  Cravath, Swaine & Moore. She worked there until her death, in 2018, at the age of 88. In 1989, she proposed that the firm offer onsite child care for their employees. The firm had moved and a back up child care facility was no longer available to the employees.  They were… Read More

Read more

Eliza Southgate Bowne, NYC mayor’s wife, homemaker, letter writer

Eliza Southgate was born in Maine, on Sept. 24, 1783,  the daughter of a wealthy landowner. Eliza was the third of 12 children. Her father was a doctor and eventually he became a judge. She attended boarding school and like her siblings, was very educated and traveled often. She met Walter Bowne while visiting Saratoga Springs. Bowne was a wealthy Quaker from Long Island, and he would later be elected the 59th mayor of New York City in 1829. They married in the spring of 1803 and moved to New York. She loved NYC immediately and often wrote letters to family and friends of… Read More

Read more

Madame Marguerite de Bonneville, friend, caretaker of Thomas Paine

Madame Marguerite de Bonneville met Thomas Paine (writer, Common Sense) during the time he spent in Paris after the Revolutionary War. She was his landlady and they became close friends. Her husband, Nicholas, was devoted to the same principles of freedom of speech and freedom of the press as was Paine. Ms. Bonneville was a disciple of the radical feminist, Etta Palm d’Aelders, an outspoken Dutch Feminist.  When Paine came back to America, she and her 3 sons (Benjamin, Louis, and Thomas, of whom Paine was godfather), accompanied him. She was his caretaker, moving him from Washington DC, to New Rochelle New… Read More

Read more

Elizabeth Jackson Sands, mother, wife, farm manager, agent

Elizabeth Jackson Sands, mother, wife, farm manager and agent in an undercover munitions ring run from her Port Washington property, from the Battle of Brooklyn through to her daring contraband shipment run across the Long Island Sound. With the help of her friends, family, military contacts and slaves, she balanced taking care of her family, raising her crops and cows, and running a contraband munitions smuggling ring out of her cellar and backyard for the Continental Army. The Sands family was one of the original three families that settled in and owned what is now Sands Point, N.Y. Elizabeth married… Read More

Read more