Saturday, March 3rd 2012

Alice Vanderbilt Shepard (1888) by John Singer Sargent
Alice Vanderbilt Shepard was the daughter of Elliot Fitch Shepard and Margaret Louisa Vanderbilt, a daughter of William Henry Vanderbilt. In 1895 Alice married Dave Hennen Morris, who later became the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium.
Alice was known to her family as “Angela” because of the sweetness of her disposition and the beauty of her face, well-demonstrated by her attached portrait. She was no true angel, however, and climbed a tree against her father’s specific interdiction and fell out fracturing her thoracic spine. Her father, a hard man, refused to call the doctor to punish her disobedience. She grew up deformed in a mansion on the Hudson now occupied as the clubhouse of the Sleepy Hollow Country Club.
She was courted for sometime by “Dave” Hennen Morris who saw her face around the funnel of the steamer to France and knew at once that he must marry her. When he pursued her more closely, he saw that she had a deforming scoliosis which did not change his ardor one bit. When he presented himself to ask for her hand in marriage, her father (the hard man), told him he would never amount to anything good and asked him to leave and and have no further contact with the family. When he was allowed to say good-bye to her in the hall, he asked her to elope with him. She climbed out the window that night for an extraordinary life. Her sister later packed up her clothes in a trunk and sent them on by Railway Express. Mr. Shepard was infuriated at the insubordination of yet another daughter and refused to speak to her for a year, as the family story goes.

Alice Vanderbilt Shepard (1888) by John Singer Sargent

Alice Vanderbilt Shepard was the daughter of Elliot Fitch Shepard and Margaret Louisa Vanderbilt, a daughter of William Henry Vanderbilt. In 1895 Alice married Dave Hennen Morris, who later became the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium.

Alice was known to her family as “Angela” because of the sweetness of her disposition and the beauty of her face, well-demonstrated by her attached portrait. She was no true angel, however, and climbed a tree against her father’s specific interdiction and fell out fracturing her thoracic spine. Her father, a hard man, refused to call the doctor to punish her disobedience. She grew up deformed in a mansion on the Hudson now occupied as the clubhouse of the Sleepy Hollow Country Club.

She was courted for sometime by “Dave” Hennen Morris who saw her face around the funnel of the steamer to France and knew at once that he must marry her. When he pursued her more closely, he saw that she had a deforming scoliosis which did not change his ardor one bit. When he presented himself to ask for her hand in marriage, her father (the hard man), told him he would never amount to anything good and asked him to leave and and have no further contact with the family. When he was allowed to say good-bye to her in the hall, he asked her to elope with him. She climbed out the window that night for an extraordinary life. Her sister later packed up her clothes in a trunk and sent them on by Railway Express. Mr. Shepard was infuriated at the insubordination of yet another daughter and refused to speak to her for a year, as the family story goes.

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    Alice Vanderbilt Shepard (1888) by John Singer Sargent
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    saw this painting yesterday!
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Source: Wikipedia