Theodosia Burr Alston: Portrait of a Prodigy

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Corinthian Books, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages
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For Vice President Aaron Burr, providing his daughter, Theodosia, with an extraordinary education was much more than just a lifelong obsession. By the time she could walk, Burr had envisioned an incredible goal for her and crafted a master plan to achieve it. He was not interested in turning out just a smart, pretty girl; a father's pride; or a husband's delight. Burr was no petty theorist. He was a brilliant, passionate, egotistical visionary on scale that made the gods cringe. Theodosia was not trained to serve hearth, husband, or plantation. In the 1790s, Burr embraced the radical feminist theories of Mary Wollstonecraft, who argued that girls should receive the same education as boys. From her teens through her marriage in 1802, Theodosia was groomed and educated to become a female Aaron Burr and take her intended station in life: nothing less than president, queenor empress. From her birth into Aaron Burr's illustrious New England family -- her childhood amidst the leaders and the high society of the new nation; her marriage to Joseph Alston, a South Carolina slave-owning aristocrat; her voyage down the Ohio River to become the Empress of Mexico -- to her tragic and mysterious death at sea, this is the true story of Theodosia Burr Alston. Directly from the letters she exchanged with her father, husband, and friends emerges the portrait of an amazing woman and a true American prodigy -- and for twenty-one days, the First Lady of South Carolina. The meticulously researched book also explores whether Burr's intensely close relationship with his daughter may have triggered the legendary Aaron Burr - Alexander Hamilton duel.

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Review: Theodosia Burr Alston

User Review  - Nancy - Goodreads

I readthis book because I volunteer at Brookgreen Gardens in SC. The plantation where Theodosia lived with her husband, SC governor Joseph Alston, is now part of these gardens. I enjoyed reading about Theodosia and learning of her role in local history. Read full review

About the author (2003)

Richard N. ("Dick") Cote is the author of two biographies: Theodosia Burr Alston: Portrait of a Prodigy and of Mary's World: Love, War, and Family Ties in Nineteenth-century South Carolina. He also authored a mother-daughter novel, The Redneck Riviera, set in contemporary Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Dick majored in political science and journalism at Butler University. He spent six years in the U.S. Air Force, and then eight years conducting historical research and writing in Wisconsin. In the fall of 1979 he joined the staff of the South Carolina Historical Society, where he worked for four years before turning to writing full-time. During the 1980s and early 1990s he delved into South Carolina biography, social history, plantation life and culture, and architecture. He draws on all of these wells of information for his books. Dick lives in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., where he writes, lectures, and serves as Editor-in-Chief of Corinthian Books.

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