Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mr. Corbin Courts Nannie

The following is from Leaves From an Old Washington Diary, 1854-1863 by Elizabeth Lindsay Lomax, first published in 1943, edited by Lindsay Lomax Wood.

Friday, February 29, 1856
. . . Mr. Corbin is on a courting expedition and seems a trifle nervous -- He is very attentive to Nannie Maury, but as yet no one knows if she smiles upon his suit or not -- I imagine he is uncertain of his own fate.

Elizabeth Lindsay Lomax was a widow living on G Street near Lafayette Square in Washington DC when she wrote these lines in 1856. She had several unmarried daughters at home, and so she was in the loop on the events in their circles of friends.

The "Mr. Corbin" referred to is probably Spotswood Wellford Corbin. Nannie Maury is Betty Herndon Maury's younger sister Diana. Diana was most likely living at the Naval Observatory in Washington at this time where her father, Matthew Fontaine Maury, was its first director. Diana/Nannie does eventually accept Mr. Corbin's proposal and they were married on April 28, 1858. Their home near Fredericksburg, Virginia, known as Farley Vale, is mentioned frequently in Betty's diary, as is, of course, Diana/Nannie.

No comments: