The Virginia Capitol Foundation is currently raising funding for the creation of a public art monument to honor stories of achievement and service by women of Virginia. The monument will consist of 12 bronze statues, and an audio app to tell their stories. The project is called, "Voices from the Garden."
Two women were chosen from Virginia's Historic Triangle Region.
Ann Burras Laydon (ca. 1594 - after 1625) - Jamestown
Ann Burras arrived in Jamestown in 1608, aboard the Mary and Margaret, as a teenage maidservant to "Mistress Forrest." Ann and her mistress were the first female settlers in the new colony. Ann married carpenter John Laydon. Early in their marriage, Ann was employed as a seamstress, and records indicate that during the strict military regime of Governor Thomas Dale, she was beaten because shirts she had sewn were deemed faulty. She suffered a miscarriage as a result of the punishment; dispite this, she and John had four daughters. The Laydons survived both the Starving Time and the hostilities of 1622.
Clementina Rind (Ca. 1740-1774) - Williamsburg
Where Clementina Bird was born and when she married William Rind remains a mystery, but we know the couple settled in Williamsburg in 1765, and William began publishing the Virginia Gazette on May 16, 1766. After her husband's death in August 1773, Clementina took over as editor and manager of his press, without skipping a single newspaper issue. She maintained the Virginia Gazette as a nonpartisan newspaper that, in addition to political news, contained a wide range of articles, indicating her interest in science, philanthropy, and education. She expanded the content of the paper to appeal to female readers of the day by including poems and letters of advice. Clementina petitioned the General Assembly to be appointed the colony's public printer, and in May 1774 she was elected by a two-to-one margin over two maile printers. The mother of five children, Clementina died on September 25, 1774 and was buried in Bruton Parish Church graveyard.
Other Women Who Will be Memorialized:
Pamunkey Chief, Cockacoeske (1656-1686) Middle Peninsula
Mary Draper Ingels (ca. 1732 - 1815) - New River Valley
Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (1731 - 1802) - Fairfax County
Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley (1818 - 1907) - Dinwiddie County
Sally Louisa Tompkins (1833 - 1916) - Matthews County
Maggie L. Mitchell Walker (1864-1934) - Richmond
Sarah Garland Boyd Jones (1866 - 1905) - Richmond
Laura Lu Scherer Copenhaver (1868 - 1940) - Smyth County / Marion
Virginia Estelle Randolph (1875 - 1958) - Henrico
Adele Goodman Clark (1882 - 1983) - Richmond