Biography and History

Ann Caroline Bayard (1797-1871), a member of the prominent Philadelphia and Delaware Bayard family, was raised in an environment of politics. Her father, James Asheton Bayard (1767-1815); two brothers, Richard Henry Bayard (1796-1868) and James Asheton Bayard (1799-1880); and nephew, Thomas Francis Bayard (1828-1898) served in the United States Senate and their acquaintances appear to have been involved in the family’s social circles, of which Ann Caroline Bayard was an active part.

Little is known about Ann Caroline Bayard, but it appears that she was educated at Mrs. Mortimer’s Ladies’ Seminary in Philadelphia. Later in life, she and her brother, Henry Milligan Bayard, operated the Bayard family's ironworks, Victoria Furnace, which was located on Clark's Creek northeast of Dauphin, Pennsylvania.

Bayard’s circle of friends included Caroline Bollman, daughter of Justus Erich Bollman; Martha M. A. Levy (1798-1889), daughter of Judge Moses Levy and niece of Louis McLane; Sarah P. Bache, granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin and wife of Charles Hodge who served as president of the Princeton Theological Seminary; and Charlotte Mortimer, who married Dr. Ithemer B. Crawe. Letters between these young women are indicative of their progressive families--all were educated, read and exchanged views on books, and were involved with notable individuals in the literary and political worlds. Bayard corresponded with many notable politicians, including Louis McLane and Henry Clay.

Many members of Ann Caroline Bayard’s immediate family were notable. Her father, James Asheton Bayard (1767-1815), was a 1784 College of New Jersey graduate, a lawyer in Wilmington, a U.S. representative from Delaware at-large from 1797 to 1803, and a United States senator from Delaware from 1804 to 1813. A Federalist, Bayard helped negotiate the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. Her mother, Ann Bassett Bayard, was the daughter of Chief Justice Richard Bassett. With this example of public service, several of John and Ann Bayard’s children, particularly their sons Richard Henry, James Asheton, and Edward, were motivated to serve the public.

Richard Henry Bayard (1796-1868) graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1814; served as mayor of Wilmington from 1832 to 1835; a U.S. Senator from Delaware from 1836 to 1839 and from 1840 to 1845; Chief Justice of Delaware from 1839 to 1841; Brigadier General in the Delaware State Militia in 1846; and the American charge d'affaires in Belgium from 1850 to 1853. He married Mary Sophia Carroll (1804-1886), and both corresponded with Henry Clay. James Asheton Bayard (1799-1880) practiced law in Wilmington and served as U.S. District Attorney for Delaware from 1838 to 1843 and U.S. Senator from Delaware from 1851 to 1964 and 1867 to 1869. He married Ann Francis (1802-1864) and they were the parents of five children, including Thomas Francis Bayard who served in the U.S. Senate from 1869 to 1885; as Secretary of State under President Grover Cleveland, from 1885 to 1889; and ambassador to England from 1893 to 1897, and Edward Bayard, a lawyer and homeopathic physician, married Tryphena Cady, older sister of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Another son, Henry Milligan Bayard, married Emma Dixon.

Source: From the finding aid for C1423

  • Bayard Family Papers. 1801-1915 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C1423

    The Bayard Family Papers, dating from 1801 to 1915, document Ann Caroline Bayard (1797-1871) and her politically active family who lived and worked in the mid-Atlantic area. Her father, James Ashton Bayard (1767-1815); two brothers, Richard Henry Bayard (1796-1868) and James Asheton Bayard (1799-1880); and nephew, Thomas Francis Bayard (1828-1898) served in the United States Senate and their acquaintances appear to have been involved in the family’s social circles, of which Ann Caroline Bayard was an active and important part. This collection consists of correspondence to Ann Caroline Bayard and other family members, legal records, photographs, and genealogical information regarding the Bayard family.