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Ferguson, Elizabeth 1739-1801

Patriot; born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1739; daughter of Dr. Graeme, of Graeme Park, near Philadelphia; became famous during the Revolution by a futile mission which she goodnaturedly undertook. She was a cultivated woman, and enjoyed the personal friendship of many eminent persons. Her husband was in the British army, yet she possessed the esteem and confidence of both Whigs and Tories. Johnstone, one of the peace commissioners sent over here in 1778, finding they could do nothing with the Congress, employed Mrs. Ferguson to sound Gen. Joseph Reed as to his disposition to aid the royal government in bringing about a reconciliation between it and the revolted colonies. She was patriotic and judicious. Johnstone instructed her as to what she should say to Reed, and she performed the errand without losing the esteem of any one. Her husband never joined her after the war. His estate was confiscated, but the State of Pennsylvania returned a part of it to her in 1781. After the war she applied herself to literature and philanthropy. She died in Montgomery county, Pa., Feb. 23, 1801.

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