Mary Izard Middleton
Wife of Col. Walter Izard, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
1747 – 1814 A.D.
Mary Izard, daughter of Col. Walter Izard of Cedar Grove, an officer of the Provincial militia, and Elizabeth Gibbs, his wife, was said to have been one of the most beautiful and accomplished young women of her day in South Carolina. She was married in 1764 to Hon. Arthur Middleton, brother of Mrs. Edward Rutledge and son of Hon. Henry Middleton of The Oaks and Middleton Place.
She died in 1814, half a century after her marriage with the young patriot and statesman and twenty-seven years after her husband, who died on his plantation near Charleston in 1787.
The Middleton’s suffered severely from the war. His biographer tells of some instances which show not only the patriotism of Mrs. Middleton but of her husband’s serene philosophy:
“During the Revolution when Governor Rutledge needed help in 1779, when Provost was trying to reduce Charleston, many of the patriots whose family seats lay in the route of the British, hastened home to save their property, Mr. Middleton merely sent word to his wife to remove to the house of a friend a day’s journey north of Charleston. The buildings at Middleton Place were spared but the house and barns rifled.
“The house he occupied on the Ashley, while large and commodious, did not altogether correspond with the appearance of two more modern wings. Mr. Middleton sometimes talked of taking it down and building on another plan, but friends dissuaded him because it was too large a superstructure to sacrifice to any plan of improvement. Mrs. Middleton sent a servant to tell him the house was on fire. Looking around and seeing that the atmosphere was calm and that the two wings were not in danger, he sent back, saying, ‘Let it burn.’ Mrs. Middleton did not view the matter so coolly and soon had the fire extinguished.”
Mrs. Middleton was the mother of nine children. Three sons and six daughters.
Reference: The Pioneer Mothers of America: A Record of the More Notable Women of the Early Days of the Country, and Particularly of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods by Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, A.B. Third Volume, Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.