THAT HAT!! My kingdom for THAT HAT!
Frances Tucker Montresor was a drop-dead gorgeous New York city native who rocked this hat and jacket modeled after a British soldier’s uniform like nobody’s business.
She was officially a member of the What The Hell Country Do I Belong To Now club. Born in NY in 1744, when white people living in American Colonies felt like they were British, Frances came of age during the Revolution when EVERYTHING changed.
Before the war, life was great. Her husband John was a British lieutenant. She looked great in red. All hail King George, etc.etc.
When the war broke out she and her husband sided with the Brits. John was stationed all over the US fighting battles here, making maps there, and having a LOT of affairs and illegitimate children.
The guy was a cad. I stare at this portrait of Francis and wonder if she’s thinking of shoving a dueling pistol up his nose.
Along with stepping out on his wife, John cheated the British government and misspent official funds so badly that he was dragged back to England and had to testify to Parliament. Having six kids and not being allowed to own property, Frances had little choice but to follow her husband back to England.
She should have thrown him overboard. He continued to screw up his books and screw around on her until he was sent to jail (where he died) because he couldn’t pay his debts.
In the novel Charlotte Temple, the character of Julia Franklin was based on Frances, who was related to the author, Susanna Rowson. There is a genuine SCANDAL that connects Frances and her husband to the novel, but that’s a post for another day.
I’m happy to report that she outlived the jackass by 27 years. I hope they were happy ones.
Note: This John Copley portrait of Francis is owned by the US State Department.