Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gertrude Ross Read

                    Gertrude Ross was born about 1732 in New Castle, New Castle County, Delaware.  She was the daughter of Reverend George Ross, rector of Immanuel Church, and his second wife, Anna Catherine Van Gezel.  She was part of a large family, and she was educated at home along with her siblings.  "Gertrude's education surpassed that of most girls of her day.  Her brother, George Ross, went on to become a distinguished lawyer with the Philadelphia bar, and like George Read, signed the Declaration of Independence."

                    Gertrude married Captain Thomas Till, the son of William Till, on June 18, 1752, in New Castle, New Castle, Delaware.  He was Captain of a Sussex County, Delaware, Regiment in 1756 and 1758.  He died before 1763.

                    Gertrude Ross Till was a young widow when she married George W. Read Sr. on January 11, 1763, in New Castle, New Castle, Delaware.  Gertrude and George became the parents of four children:  George Jr., (1765; US District Attorney for Delaware); William (1767; Consul-General for Naples in Philadelphia); John (1769; prominent member of the Philadelphia bar); and Mary (1770; married Matthew Pearce of Maryland).

                    "Gifted with the necessary personality and strength to be the wife of a public-spirited patriot, Gertrude was a great support to George.  Through the course of the Revolution, the couple was separated a good bit of the time.  While in Congress, George wrote to Gertrude on a continual basis, informing her of public affairs and domestic concerns.  She never complained, but instead supported her husband in a cheerful manner with encouraging words.  During this time, she was kept busy having to flee the British at a moment's notice on numerous occasions.  Delaware's location kept the small colony on constant alert for the British Army in Delaware Bay.

                    "Horticulture was a favorite hobby for Gertrude.  The grounds surrounding their home in Newcastle were a testament to her love for gardening when a profusion of flowers arrived each spring.  Tulips were her favorite and she spent a great deal of time enjoying her hobby, with the exception of the Revolutionary War years."  (All quotes can be found here.)  

                    Gertrude Ross Till Read died on September 2, 1802, in New Castle, New Castle, Delaware, at age 70.  She is buried in the Immanuel Protestant Episcopal Church Cemetery in New Castle, New Castle County, Delaware.

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