Elizabeth Wolcott Gracie

Other Name:
Elizabeth Stoughton Wolcott
June 24, 1819
Home Town:
Litchfield, CT
William Gracie (July 3, 1813)
Biographical Notes:
  Elizabeth Wolcott Gracie was the daughter of Oliver Wolcott, Jr., governor of Connecticut, and Elizabeth (Stoughton) Wolcott. Her paternal grandfather, Oliver Wolcott, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

  It is believed around the year 1810 she may have the attended the Litchfield Female Academy. On July 2, 1813 she married William Gracie, son of Archibald Gracie (1755-1829), who was a New York City lawyer the builder of Gracie Mansion.

Elizabeth died at Gracie Mansion only six years after they married, on June 26, 1819.
  In February 1811, Wolcott wrote the following letter to her uncle Frederick Wolcott asking him to bring a legal case against Litchfield Law School students William Channing Gibbs, Thomas Sowers Aspinwall, and James Gore King for eating pieces of her sister's wedding cake reserved for Sarah Pierce, Sally Burr Reeve, and her aunt Betsey Huntington Wolcott. This letter is considered an excellent parody of legal procedures being studied at Litchfield Law School and shows the familiarity of young women with legal terminology.

Elizabeth S. Wolcott, NYC
[Uncle] Frederick Wolcott, Litchfield
24 Feb 1811

Dear Uncle,
I sent by Mr. W. Gibbs a small trunk containing pieces of Laura's wedding Cake, directed to Aunt Wolcott Mrs. Reeve & Miss Pierce ...
Additional Notes:
There is an unproven story that Elizabeth died tragically of a ruptured blood vessel only hours after her wedding to William Gracie. However, it seems more likely that she died in 1819. The Rochester Telegraph and the Litchfield Republican (July 1, 1819) newspapers reported on that she died "suddenly" of apoplexy (or a stroke) on the Thursday before, which would have been June 24, 1819.

It is also claimed by some that her ghost haunts Gracie Mansion in New York City.

Years at LFA:

Related Objects and Documents
In the Ledger:
help The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.

Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
[We are currently working to update and confirm citations of attendance.]

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