Saturday, February 23, 2013

Elizabeth Hamilton Halleck, born February 9, 1835

Elizabeth Hamilton Halleck
Elizabeth Hamilton was born February 9, 1835 in Westernville, New York. She was the daughter of Colonel John Church Hamilton, and granddaughter of Alexander Hamilton.
Alexander Hamilton, 
Elizabeth's Grandfather

She was 26 years old when the Civil War began.

When Henry Halleck married Elizabeth Hamilton on April 10, 1855, he was a wealthy and respected California lawyer, director of a bank and two railroads, and part owner of one of the richest mercury mines in the world.   She was twenty years old.  The Hallecks lived in an unpretentious home in the exclusive South Park district on Rincon Hill at the corner of Second and Folsom Streets. Their only child, Henry Wager Halleck Jr. was born the next year. 
Henry Halleck
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Halleck tendered his services to the government, and General–in–Chief Winfield Scott summoned Halleck and his family to Washington in 1861, and  Elizabeth Halleck attracted the interest and curiosity of the public.  She was a natural subject for Brady's camera and for E. & H. T. Anthony's series of cartes de visite devoted to the new celebrities created by the early years of the war.

Carte de Viste photograph by Matthew Brady
On August 30, 1865, Halleck was reassigned to command the Military Division of the Pacific, headquartered in San Francisco, until March 1869, when he was assigned to command the Division of the South, headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. This was his last assignment.

Henry Wager Halleck died at Louisville on January 9, 1872, in the arms of his brother-in-law, Schuyler Hamilton. 

Elizabeth's brother, 
Schuyler Hamilton
He was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. He left no memoirs for posterity and apparently destroyed his private correspondence and memoranda. His estate at his death showed a net value of $474,773.16.

Elizabeth Hamilton Halleck married George Washington Cullum on September 23, 1875, (Cullum's first marriage). Cullum had served as General Halleck's Chief of Staff In the war In the West and on his staff In Washington, DC. The couple spent their last years in New York City. 
George Washington Cullum
The New York Cancer Hospital was a cancer treatment and research institution founded in 1884 by Elizabeth Halleck Cullum and her cousin Charlotte Astor.  Charlotte Astor was the wife of John Jacob Astor III, who had donated $225,000 toward a cancer hospital. 

Charlotte Astor
Elizabeth Cullum and Charlotte Astor founded the institution as a protest against those who considered cancer a vile, shameful disease. At the dedication, Dr. Fordyce Barker said that cancer was "not due to misery, to poverty, or bad sanitary surroundings, or to ignorance or to bad habits..."

In 1884, Elizabeth Cullum laid the cornerstone of the hospital's first building at 106th Street and Central Park West in New York City – the first hospital in the United States dedicated specifically for the treatment of cancer. Elizabeth would die before the first building was completed. 

Elizabeth Hamilton Halleck Cullum died of uterine cancer on September 15, 1884, at the age of 49. Charlotte Astor also died of cancer, just a week before the hospital's grand opening in December 1887.
The New York Cancer Hospital

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