• First Wave Statue Exhibit

    Women's Rights

    National Historical Park New York

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Lydia Mount

Lydia Hunt Mount, sister of Richard P. Hunt, was one of the large clan of Hunts and M'Clintocks who signed the Declaration of Sentiments at the Seneca Falls women's rights convention. Affiliated with the Junius Monthly Meeting of Friends (Quakers) at Waterloo and with each other as brothers and sisters, they lived in their daily lives those ideals of equality which they espoused more formally at the Seneca Falls women's rights convention. Lydia Hunt Mount was forty-six years old when she attended the women's rights convention. She had been born about 1800 in Westchester County, New York, the daughter of Richard Hunt and Mary Pell Hunt. In 1824 or 1825, she married Randolph Mount (born January 31, 1793). Sometime afterward, they moved to Geneva, New York, where Randolph worked as a merchant and where their first child, an infant daughter Caroline, was born and died (January 1826-February 1827). They had three more children--all girls--Mary Elenor (born in 1827), Emeline (born December 29, 1929), and Eliza Jane (born about 1834). About 1827, they moved from Geneva to Mount Road, where they bought a farm in the Township of Seneca Falls to live near her brother, Richard P. Hunt, and her sister, Hannah Hunt Plant. After a long illness, Randolph died of consumption (perhaps tuberculosis) on April 2, 1842, when he was only 49 years old. By the time he died, Randolph Mount had amassed considerable wealth.

He, like his brother-in-law, owned both his farm and investments in local commercial and manufacturing enterprises. An inventory of his possessions after his death included not only comfortable furnishings for their house but also farm implements, seven cows, 102 sheep and 47 lambs, one breeding sow, one span of horses, twenty-five acres of wheat on the ground, eighty cords of wood in the woods, thirty shares of stock in the Waterloo Woolen Manufacturing Company, forty shares of stock in the Seneca County Bank, and several outstanding loans, for a total value of $4702.83. This accounting did not include his land. By 1850, Lydia Hunt Mount counted her real estate assets as $13,800. As a widow with three children, Lydia Hunt Mount was thus quite well off financially. She also had the support of her brother, Richard P. Hunt, who took his responsibilities as uncle of three young girls seriously. On October 1, 1844, when she was only seventeen years old, Lydia's oldest living daughter, Mary Elenor Mount, married Gilbert Vail. (For more on Mary Mount Vail, see her biography in this volume.) Richard P. Hunt helped to educate Emeline and Eliza Jane, sending them to a boarding school in Ithaca. Emeline later married Benjamin Billings Bacon. She died February 25, 1888. Eliza Jane married Septimus Swift and lived for many years in the Swift mansion on Main Street in Waterloo before moving to Rochester, where she died. By 1850, Lydia Hunt Mount shared her home with her older sister, Hannah Hunt Plant (aged 55 and also a widow), Hannah's daughter, Henrietta Matilda (aged 23), and one Irish girl, Mary Hackett (aged 13). (For more on Hannah Hunt Plant, see her biography in this volume.) If Lydia Mount had kept the furniture in their home at her husband's death, this family of women lived very comfortably, with a sofa, large mirror, mahogany tea table, clock, three rocking chairs, several side chairs, a portable desk, and blinds over each window in their carpeted parlor, with brass andirons in the fireplace and a hearth rug in front of the parlor stove. They could dine, if they chose, with crockery dinner sets and take their tea with silver spoons. They may or may not have sold the pleasure carriage and the span of horses that Randolph Mount had left. By 1862, Lydia Hunt Mount and Hannah Plant were both living at 100 Williams Street, Waterloo. Lydia Mount died on December 23, 1868, aged 68, and she is buried next to her husband in Maple Grove Cemetery, Waterloo, New York, under a tombstone that reads, "Our Mother Sleeps."


Sources:

  • "Inventory of the goods, chattels, and credits of Randolph Mount," May 5,1842, Surrogate's Court, Seneca County.
  • Woodward, Weltha Bacon. "Bacon-Woodward Pedigree of Paternal Branch," Vol I,Series VI, unpublished typescript (1968) in Waterloo Historical Society,409-413.
  • 1850 Census.


-Judith Wellman, Historian
Historical New York

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