And They Lived Historically Ever After: The Wedding of Ann Croghan and Thomas Jesup

After weeks of preparation and anticipation, Ann Croghan married Thomas  Jesup at Locust Grove on July 18, 2015. Of course, Ann and Thomas were actually married in 1822, but we at Locust Grove were delighted to have the opportunity to reenact the occasion. Normally at Locust Grove, our costumed interpreters spend time in the year 1816, so it was an especial treat to step forward into the future and discuss other events in the lives of the Croghan family. Many wonderful people worked together to make this event possible, despite the heat of the day, so in the spirit of that cooperation, for this post several members of our interpreter corps have shared their perspectives on the event, as they had a front row seat to the fun and frivolity of the proceedings.

The happy couple! Photo courtesy Heather Hiner of Fox and Rose Photography)

The happy couple! Photo courtesy Heather Hiner of Fox and Rose Photography)

From Brian Cushing, Locust Grove’s program manager: I am completely in awe of what the first person interpreter team was able to pull off with the recreation of the 1822 wedding of Ann Heron Croghan to General Thomas Sydney Jesup. Hannah Stoppel (Ann Croghan) and Brandon Vigliarolo (Thomas Jesup) hit the books to get an in-depth understanding of who these people were and what their lives were like leading up to their wedding. Their presentations to the interpreters prior to the event helped us all to achieve a more complete understanding of the history of the world of the Croghans. Melissa Alexander did special research on Mary Carson O’Hara, soon to be the wife of William Croghan, Jr., to additionally flesh out the world of Locust Grove in 1822.

Jesup suffered an injury to his right hand during the War of 1812, so Gwynne Potts reminder Brandon to keep his hand in a glove for the event. (Photo courtesy of Heather Hiner of Fox and Rose Photography)

Jesup suffered an injury to his right hand during the War of 1812, so Gwynne Potts reminder Brandon to keep his hand in a glove for the event. (Photo courtesy of Heather Hiner of Fox and Rose Photography)

Another huge credit for pulling this off on the ground goes to Keith Stevenson, usually our 1842 Dr. John Croghan, who chose to stay in plain clothes for this event and was indispensable in helping me get the organizational side of things and “heavy lifting” done throughout the day. Frank Jarboe, who Market Fair attendees will remember as “Parson John”- the traveling 18th Century minister, helped us out by providing the text for the ceremony.  Kelly Stevenson implemented her expert calligraphy skills to make “Reserved” signs for the ceremony and also decorated the bride and groom’s  table for the reception. Executive Director Carol Ely and Marketing Coordinator Bonny Wise made sure there was a piece of cake in the hands of all of the wedding guests at the reception. Mia Seitz made a special promotional sign for the upcoming 18th Century Market Fair in hopes of luring some of our guests back for another incredible experience. And, of course, the long list of Locust Grove staff, docents, gate/admission volunteers, concession volunteers, and an intrepid few who agreed to be all purpose. It was a real team effort to pull off what was a truly unique, spectacular day.

The ladies gathered in the grand parlor to make final preparations for the ceremony.

The ladies gathered in the grand parlor to make final preparations for the ceremony.

From Amy Liebert (Mrs. Emilia Clarke): As the theatrical director for this program, I was blown away by the dedication, energy, creativity and amazing performances our cast brought to this event.

In addition to the amount of work the cast put into their costumes, there was also an all cast rehearsal last wednesday as well as a rehearsal in the morning for the bride, groom, their attendants, Lucy and William, and the minister. This was in addition to the usual regular rehearsals and workshops where our cast members hone their skills.

This was also the first time out for one of our interpreters, Kendra McCubbin and the last appearance for some time of one of our seasoned alums, Julia Bache, who is going off to college in the fall. Julia usually plays Ann Croghan in 1816; however, for this event she was Mary Ann Bullitt.

Jason Hiner stepped in as William Croghan at the last minute and put on a fantastic performance all day.Albert Roberts, stepped into the role of minister for the ceremony (with very little advanced notice!).

William Croghan escorts his daughter Ann Croghan to the ceremony

William Croghan escorts his daughter Ann Croghan to the ceremony

From Sam Loomis (William Croghan, Jr.): Such a good turn out for the heat! Albert gave a lovely sermon on matrimony and sacred bonds, and included a very robust shout against fornication.

The gentlemen of the family preparing for the ceremony in the farm office.

The gentlemen of the family preparing for the ceremony in the farm office. (Photo courtesy Heather Hiner of Fox and Rose Photography) 

From Jason Hiner (William Croghan): The event last week was magnificent. It was similar to the Fourth of July event but with even more CIs and far more interactions since there was a much broader story for the day. And with lots of other Jane Austen Society members milling around in semi-regency attire, guests couldn’t help but be immersed in living history for the day.

Guest gather for the wedding ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Sami Hagan)

Guest gather for the wedding ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Sami Hagan)

Just as the bride and groom were finalizing their vows, a butterfly fluttered above them back-and-forth and then launched itself into the open air above the audience. Several people gasped and Mrs. Croghan pointed up at it and breathlessly exclaimed, “Look!”

I think the part the guests loved the best may have been the prepping of the bride and the groom. The men retired to the farm office and played cards (imploring the guests not to let Lucy know that the fish were out on the table) and the women gathered in the second floor parlor and actually made real preparations. It was glorious. One of the great things on the second floor was that Mrs. Emilia Clarke had to chase several men out of the room because of the state of undress of several of the ladies (multiple wardrobe malfunctions had to be dealt with). A couple of the men she beckoned to come back and then she doled out a punishment like a good school marm. She assigned them to go to their wives and tell them the things they loved about them. It being a day to celebrate nuptials and all…

Mrs. Lucy Croghan sharing advice to unmarried ladies. (Photo courtesy Heather Hiner of Fox and Rose Photography)

Mrs. Lucy Croghan sharing advice to unmarried ladies. (Photo courtesy Heather Hiner of Fox and Rose Photography)

In researching the wedding, it was discovered that a custom of the time was for the guests to take off their stockings, wad them up in a ball, and throw them at the bride and groom for good luck. I’m not making this up. Those 19th centuries crazies loved their dirty laundry apparently. This revelation plunged the CI core into at least 15 minutes of introspection about the scope for a reenactment of this glorious custom. Alas, there were concerns about the potency of sweat produced by the 100 degree heat and the decision was made for everyone to keep their stockings on. The event was the poorer for it, in my opinion.

Mary O'Hara (Melissa Alexander), Ann Croghan (Hannah Stoppel), Thomas Jesup (Brandon Vigliarolo) and William Croghan, Jr. (Sam Loomis)

Mary O’Hara (Melissa Alexander), Ann Croghan (Hannah Stoppel), Thomas Jesup (Brandon Vigliarolo) and William Croghan, Jr. (Sam Loomis) pose for the official portrait of the wedding party. (Photo courtesy of Heather Hiner, Fox and Rose Photography) 

From Melissa Alexander (Mary O’Hara): I am floored by both the preparations leading up to and their execution for this event.  I had the honor of joining many different facets of the preparation team, since I ended up helping with logistics, stitching, and interpreting.  I had the honor of portraying Mary O’Hara, William Croghan, Jr.’s wife, which I enjoyed very much.  The most fun I had was sitting in the great parlor before the wedding with all of the ladies, especially when Hannah (Ann Croghan) donned her wedding veil.  Oh, the squeals of delight!  I am so proud of our whole team at Locust Grove for pulling this event off and I cannot express how honored I am to have been a part of it!

Ann Croghan (Hannah Stoppel) and her maid of honor, Mary O'Hara Melissa Alexander)

Ann Croghan (Hannah Stoppel) and her maid of honor, Mary O’Hara (Melissa Alexander) (Photo courtesy of Heather Hiner of Fox and Rose Photography) 

From Brandon Vigliarolo (Thomas Jesup): It was a great event. Despite the extreme weather I had a great time, especially during the ceremony. It was a neat experience to stand on the steps and take part in a recreation like ours. It was also great to be able to make the day double special for us since we got engaged too! 

From Hannah Stoppel (Ann Croghan) : My favorite part of the day was getting ready with all the ladies in the great parlor…and getting engaged.

That’s right, folks! Hannah and Brandon became engaged themselves on the morning of the event! Their smiles on the steps are real! Best wishes to you both!


Best wishes to you, Hannah and Brandon!

The wedding was a truly wonderful day–we certainly hope you enjoyed it, and we look forward to having you as our guests at Locust Grove again soon!

With warmest regards,




Vows: Ann Heron Croghan to General Thomas Sidney Jesup

Major William Croghan and his wife, Mrs. Lucy Clark Croghan of Kentucky request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter

Ann Heron Croghan


General Thomas Sidney Jesup

Saturday, the Eighteenth of July, Eighteen Hundred and Twenty-Two

 Four O’Clock in the afternoon

Locust Grove, Kentucky.

 A picnic will precede the ceremony, commencing at noon with a reception to follow at five o’clock.  Dancing for reserved guests will be held from seven o’clock to ten o’clock in the evening.


Miss Croghan was born at Locust Grove on October 20, 1797, the fourth of eight children, and the eldest daughter. She is the grand-daughter of John and Ann Clark, the niece of General George Rogers Clark and Captain William Clark, and the sister of Dr. John Croghan and Colonel George Croghan. Ann was educated at home and at the Domestic Academy in Springfield, Kentucky, and is an accomplished pianist.

General Jesup was born in Berkeley County, Virginia on December 16, 1788. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1818 and served under General James Wilkinson in the army on the Mississippi. He was later selected as Brigade Major by General William Hull, and was a prisoner of war in Montreal after the American surrender at Detroit. After  his parole, Jesup was made commander of the 25th infantry in April 1813, and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel after the Battle of Chippewa. He suffered an injury to his right hand in July of that year during the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, and was commander in New Orleans in 1815. General Jesup was appointed Quartermaster General of the United States Army on May 8, 1818 by President James Monroe.


The groom was encouraged in his courtship of Ann by George Hancock, the husband of Elizabeth (Eliza) Hancock, neé Croghan, the bride’s sister. Indeed, Mr. Hancock wrote to General Jesup on two separate occasions regarding the match, as Miss Croghan had attracted the attention of several gentlemen in addition to General Jesup. First, in August of 1821, Mr. Hancock wrote:

“…Your having heard that Miss Cn was to be married to Mr B is another instance of the disposition of mankind to circulate reports, that have not the smallest grains for their origin…  Mr. B. has been only once or twice I believe at locust grove since the death of Mrs B.; … I again declair that she never would have married D.; …”

Later, in August of 1821,  Hancock assured Jesup of the efficacy of his attachment to Miss Croghan, writing:               “…You must have been impressed with the belief that Miss A [Ann Croghan] was engaged to D. [Davis]… I most positively say that she never was engaged to him, … At the time you addressed her I know that she intended to have you, and the morning you addressed her at Mrs Prestons that she had determined to engage herself, but was advised by a Female Friend first to consult her Father, & she determined not to encourage you until she had & supposed that she would in a short time see you in Washington, when if her father consented she would engage herself.” The couple became engaged in the spring of 1822.


The wedding is anticipated with much excitement by the extended family of the bride, as her uncle John O’Fallon has commented to his brother-in-law Dennis Fitzhugh “I suppose on the occasion of so great a match for Ann Croghan there will be a splendid wedding accompanied with much hustle and display.” The couple will be attended by members of their families during the Presbyterian ceremony.

Following their marriage, the couple will divide their time between Washington City and Locust Grove. General Jesup is encouraged by the promise of the Kentucky frontier, and has been known to remark that “The Society of Kentucky is more to my taste than that of the Atlantic – they have here, more of the frippery of fashion the trappings of State, and, perhaps, of the refinements of literature than we have in the West; but they are without that manliness of mind – that enthusiasm and chivalry which form so prominent a feature in the character of Kentucky.”

Read more about Ann Croghan and Thomas Jesup’s wedding here. 


No RSVP is necessary for the wedding; however, reservations will be taken for the ball to follow. The bride and groom have asked that in lieu of gifts, donations of $8 for adults and $4 for children to be given to Locust Grove (picnic and wedding). Children 6 years of age are not expected to present gifts.  The picnic is a timeline event and guests are encouraged to wear historic attire from any time period they so desire. The ball is $12 per adult and $6 for children. Further information regarding this joyous occasion may be found here. Miss Croghan and General Jesup look forward to the pleasure of your company.


(Engagement portraits courtesy of Heather Hiner of Fox and Rose Photography

Eliza Croghan and Cholera in Kentucky

A few weeks ago, Louisville suffered a major water main break, which meant that much of the city, including Locust Grove was under a 24-hour boil water advisory. In the midst of this event, I started thinking, as one does, about the connection between cholera and the Croghans. You see, Eliza Croghan Hancock died of cholera at Locust Grove on July 12, 1833, 182 years ago today, during a major cholera epidemic in Kentucky. Cholera, a waterbourne disease, was a common cause of death in cities, like Louisville, that were connected by river traffic. Clean drinking water through standardized sanitation practices was of especial importance to fighting the disease, but could be difficult to come by on the frontier of Kentucky. Eliza’s death from the disease occurred during  the major pandemic of 1832-1833. Lexington was hit especially hard during this period, as more than 500 people in a population of 7000 people died of cholera during the summer of 1833.

Elizabeth (Eliza) Croghan was born on April 9, 1800, the fifth child and second daughter of William and Lucy Croghan. She, along with her older sister Ann, was educated at home by her mother, father, and aunt Emilia Clarke. Eliza and Ann briefly attended Louisa Keats’ Domestic Academy in Springfield in 1810, but Eliza was so homesick they returned home to Locust Grove to finish their education. Eliza married George Hancock, a Virginia planter and the brother-in-law to her uncle William Clark on September 29, 1819. The Hancocks owned and lived at Locust Grove from 1828 to 1834.

Eliza Croghan Hancock

Eliza Croghan Hancock

As morbid as it seems, I have pulled the following letters from the Locust Grove manuscript collection between Eliza’s husband, George Hancock, and her brother-in-law, Thomas Jesup, detailing the cholera epidemic in Kentucky and Eliza’s death. As death from cholera is relatively quick, it is likely that Eliza was already suffering from another illness before her death, as indicated by Hancock’s earlier letters. Before she died, Eliza was a lively member of the Croghan family, so the first letter presented here was written by a ten-year-old Eliza to her older brother, William, Jr. I thought it might be nice to commemorate her life as well as her death.

Eliza C. Croghan to William Croghan Jr.:

[December 25, 1810]

Dear Brother

As Mr Walker is going up to Lexington Mama told me to Wright to you.  Sister Ann is just return from Cousin Eliza Gwathmy wedding and brought us some cake to dream on she says they wear very mery at the wedding and Cousin Betsy looked very pretty but what devirted me most was the blusxder Coock Robin made Aunt had a large cake made of brown sugar for the servoants and Coock Robin thru mistake toock one of Aunts best cakes and left her the one that was made of brown sugar.  The pretty Miss sally hughs is married to Mr Wade the dancing Master Mr and Mrs Hughs was very much against the match and sent Mr wade away but Miss sally said she loved him so well if he did not come back she would die so they sent for Mr wade back and they were married.  The very same day Mr wade toock his wife have behind him on his horse to Louisville home Miss Polly Prather I believe to Mr Newman.

I suppose you will be supprised to hear we are at home we went as far as Uncle Andersons but when we came to part some body began to cry recan you think it was me Mama got uneasy and said she could not part with us so here we are at home.  I am trying to learn what I can under the tuishion of Papa Mama and cousin Emilia I often think of the girls at the academy & Mama Keats, but we should have had to part some tim or other.  I think by this time I have tired you and if you will only excuse my bad writing bad spelling & bad diction I will forever be your affectionate sister.

Eliza C. Croghan

George Hancock to Genl. T.S. Jesup:

Locst Grove Octr 26th 1832

Dear Genļ

We reached home 5 days since, after a very fatigueing journey.  We found William quite ill, but…will be soon restored to health.  I was anxious that Eliza should have remained in Lexington…I could not prevail on her to do so.  She was indisposed on the road, and after arriving at home was quite ill, she is now however much better, …

Th Cholera is I think subsiding in Louisville.  Most of the cases are mild, and 4 in 5 cured – deaths about 5 to 8 per day.  The deaths almost entirely among the dissolute; the Better classes almost without an exception are cured of it.  In some instances it has been severe on farms.  Judge Speed lost 6 nigro men in 2 days.  I have had 2 cases on this place – but both cured – & I take some credit to myself for their recovery, (there being no physician at hand).  In town we have lost 2 … I intended to remove all mine, Charles yours & the Doctors to L.G. but Dr Tompkins persuaded me that if I crowd them with those here, that all will be in danger.  I therefore have left all in town.

…The farm has suffered awfully with Bilious fevers this fall, only one death however…but nearly all have been sick – some dangerously.  Chs McSorly was confined 3 weeks…my business of course much changed on the farm.  …

Yours truly

Geo: Hancock

Locust grove Nov. 1 1832

Dear Gen.

…Eliza is much recovered and in a few days will be well.  William has improved astonishingly and will be well in a week more I think.

Since my last we have had one case of Cholera – cured – and as the disease is said to be abating in Louisville, I hope we will soon have nothing to fear in the country – on yesterday a man belonging to Charles [Croghan] died very suddenly (Harry) only sick two or three hours.

…Doctr Tompkins stays constantly with us, and this of course [illegible] us somewhat to our being here.  …


Geo: Hancock

Locust Grove June 20th 1833

Dear Sir:

It has been a long time since we have heard from our friends in Washington, and I think the uneasiness on their account, felt by my wife, tends very much to retard her recovery from a violent Bilious (sic) attack.

Some days since we thought her nearly well, but within the last two days she has relapsed; and is now quite ill – Doctr Tompkins (who is with us) think her better since morning however; … the Cholera, and sickness of the neighborhood prevents my leaving home for Va.  …

–The cholera has made dreadful havoc in the country around us, on Mr Browns farm 12 men died in 36 hours.  Wm Bullitts, Wm Thompsons &c. have all suffered.  We have no case on the farm yet.  I keep us strict [illegible] and hope we may excape.

This morning it is reported that some Farmer (probably Judge Speed) has discovered an infallible remedy for it, in any Stages; having cured every case & having 40 cases.  – it is Cayenne Pepper mixed with Castor oil, and a warm Bath.  …

Geo: Hancock

Locust Grove June 24th 1833

Dr Sir

…Eliza is better today.  Mrs Pearce is with her, the Doctr thinks her convalescent.  The cholera is with us; we have 5 cases today – it yields readily to medicine and I hope none will prove fatal.  You can conceive nothing to equal the gloom spread over the country here.  No one leaves home.  Crops of wheat standing uncut, corn fields abandoned to winds. – and what makes all worse is it is incessantly raining; as yet there are few cases in Louisville.  … I hope Mrs Jesup & the children are well, and that they will come out with Mrs Croghan & see us again.

Yours truly

Geo: Hancock

Locust grove June 30th  1833

Dear Genļ

Since my last to you the Cholera has increased to an alarming extent.  We have not well ones enough to attend the sick – and it is difficult to get a Physician.  Dr. Tompkins is with us now and has promised not to leave us until Eliza is better.  I fear her situation is very critical.  My mother was taken with Cholera (I fear) tonight.  If Dr Croghan is with you for Gods sake send him on to us.


Geo: Hancock

     William Croghan, Jr.  to Charles W. Thruston:

Pittsburgh Sepr 8, 1833

Dear Charles

From my summer excursion, …I have in a great measure attained…my health, which is much improved.  The trip to Quebec, I did not make; learning when in New York of the decease of my poor dear Sister, my plans were all immediately changed, & forthwith, I hastened to Washington City, feeling a dub anxiety on the occasion for my aged Mother.  The safe return of the Dr about that time after a protracted voyage & in fine health, had a happy influence & I left her, doing quite well, & resigned to this heavy affliction.  …The Cholera here the past season, has offered to many … a pretext for not paying me my Rents, …

W. Croghan

While it was a trying 24 hours under the boil water advisory, 1833 was an even more difficult year for Louisville. I for one am certainly thankful for the Louisville Water Company, and the Lexington health ordinance that prevented pigs from roaming free in the streets.

With best regards for your continued good health,