Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Page for an 18th Century Valentine's

Once upon a time, John  escorted the lovely Margaret to a dance. After he returned her home, he found her glove in the carriage which prompted an exchange of verses.

John wrote to Margaret:

"Taking 'G' from 'Glove' leaves 'Love'

Tis that I offer thee."

Margaret replied:

"Taking 'P' from 'Page' leaves 'Age,'

And you are too old for me."

A few months later they were married, during which time they continued to exchange verses.

And now for the rest of the story:

John Page grew up at Rosewell Plantation, which was considered the "Best House in Virginia" in the 18th century. He attended the College of William and Mary with Thomas Jefferson. Page served as governor of Virginia (1802-1805). Later he served in the US House of Representatives (1789-1797). He also served as Delegate to the Virginia Assembly (1781-1783, 1785-1786, 1788, 1797, 1800). From 1776-1779 he served as President of the Virginia Council of State.

Margaret Lowther was a poet from New York. She met John Page, a widower, when he served in Congress (then located in New York City) in 1790.

John Page was also a poet who wrote about political issues, such as Shay's Rebellion and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom).

After Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, his friend from college, John Page, wrote, "We know the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs the strong?"

Last autumn I got to visit John Page's home of Rosewell Plantation. Read about his home and family, here.