This Day (Wedding Day Blues Edition)

Published:April 18, 2011 by Brendan Wolfe

Saturday was Emancipation Day in Richmond, today is Patriot’s Day in New England, and yesterday, in 1861, Virginia finally seceded from the Union by a vote of 88 to 55. (The future Confederate general and ardent Lost Causer Jubal Anderson Early voted no, by the way.)

Still, it is possible to call your attention to something other than the Civil War, and to prove it, I’ll note that on this day in 1743 — a Thursday, and just a handful of days after the birth of Jefferson — the redoubtable James Blair met his heavenly match. The prickly Scottish minister co-founded the College of William and Mary and was the bane of many a royal governor.

The most remarkable bit from our entry, though, is regarding Minister Blair’s marriage:

On June 2, 1687, he married seventeen-year-old Sarah Harrison, of Surry County. The marriage was unhappy. At the wedding she adamantly refused to assent to the portion of the ceremony obliging her to obey her husband. They apparently had no children, and she may have become an alcoholic. Sarah Harrison Blair died on May 5, 1713, and James Blair lived another thirty years as a widower.

Nevertheless, upon his death, Blair was buried beside his beloved, possibly alcoholic Sarah in the Jamestown churchyard.

IMAGE: Jamestown churchyard