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Mary Louisa Slacum Benham Papers (MS062)

 Collection — Assorted Box: 2
Identifier: MS062
Notes and reminiscences of Mrs. Benham's life from her childhood and youth in Alexandria to her adult travels along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Also covers the settlement of Oregon (through her brother William's experiences there), the careers of her siblings and her elderly musings. Alexandria sections include materials on Mrs. Benham's family life, the Potomac River, Monsieur Generis' dancing school, the Woods and Warren Play Actors (the summer theater), Parson Muir, Bishop Meade, Christ Church, Mount Vernon, Washington Lodge, Washington City and President Monroe's daughter's wedding. Also highlighted are many prominent Virginia and Washington D.C. families such as the Washington's, Lewis', Moore's, McCormick's, Meade's and Vowell's. Local customs, social life and institutions are discussed.


  • 1802-1884



.184 Cubic Feet (22 folders) : Contents include fragile handwritten documents. Handle with care.

Custodial History

Material was acquired from the Lloyd House (Alexandria, VA.), through Mrs. Betsy Stark, the descendant of Mrs. Benham.


No accruals are expected.

Existence and Location of Originals

Local History and Special Collections, Alexandria Library

Biographical Information/Organizational History

Daughter of George Slacum (1756-1810), an Alexandria, Virginia, merchant and Jane Howard. Sister of George Washington Slacum, a State Department consul, and William Slacum, a purser in the Navy. Ms. Benham grew up in Alexandria. She moved to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1830 upon her marriage to lawyer, Joseph S. Benham. They had three daughters. In 1839, the Benham's moved to New Orleans. From c. 1870-1884, she lived in San Francisco with her daughter, where she wrote these memoirs.
Mary Louisa Slacum Benham Papers Finding Aid
Aaron Hoppenstedt
26 May 2017
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Local History and Special Collections Branch, Alexandria Library Repository

717 Queen Street
Alexandria VA 22314 United States