Margaretta Sophia Howard Ridgely

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c. 1865

This carte-de-visite taken in a Baltimore photo studio around the end of the Civil War shows Margaretta Sophia Howard Ridgely (1824-1904), wife of Hampton’s fourth master Charles Ridgely (1830-1872). Her maternal grandfather was Governor Charles Carnan Ridgely, meaning that she and her husband were first cousins. Margaretta, raised at “Cowpens,” an estate just to the east of Hampton, had been a childhood playmate of her Ridgely cousins. The mother of eight children, after her husband’s untimely death in Rome in 1872, she returned to Hampton and managed the estate until her own death 32 years later.

Cardboard, paper. H 10.8, W 5.7 cm
Hampton National Historic Site, HAMP 31234