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Maria "Mariah" E. Waddell

(1832-1853)

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At a Glance

Maria E. Waddell was the only daughter of Hugh Waddell, eminent Hillsborough lawyer. The family home was in Twin Chimneys in Hillsborough, NC. Hugh Waddell maintained a law office, not standing, at the extreme northeast intersection of West King and North Wake Streets. He was an alumnus of the University of North Carolina and served as a North Carolina State Representative, Senator and Lieutenant Governor.

Maria E. Waddell is listed in the Burwell School Catalogue of 1848-51 [1] and was probably enrolled from about 1846-1850. A notice in the The Hillsborough Recorder [2] of January 12, 1853 announces her marriage to John Cheshire Badham on January 4, 1853. The Badhams were a firm of commission merchants in Edenton. Maria E. Waddell, aged 20, died a little over two months after her marriage to John Cheshire Badham.

An obituary clipping in the Heartt-Wilson Papers in the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill notes that Maria E. Badham, only daughter of the Hon. Hugh Waddell and wife of John C. Badham, died, aged twenty, March 5, 1853, in New York, NY [3].

Story

Maria Waddell grew up in Hillsborough at Twin Chimneys. Maria would have walked to the Burwell School as a day student.

Maria was well known in the Hillsborough community, with five brothers and an extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins nearby at Moorefields as well as in town. Her mother and aunt Elizabeth were known for their musical entertainments at Moorefields. Maria would have traveled to Wilmington, Castle Hayne, and other Eastern North Carolina locations to visit relatives who were prominent families of North Carolina. She chose to be married in Wilmington by the Rev. Robert Brent Drane, rector of St. James Episcopal Church.

Mary’s husband John C. Badham, the oldest of six children, was well traveled. His parents William and Mary Britt Badham and brothers William and Thomas Conor Badham were merchants who from Edenton dealt with businesses in major cities in the United States and England. His Irish grandmother Sarah Britt lived in the family home. John studied in Pennsylvania and New York. At the time of his law studies, Ballston Spa NY was the center of social gatherings for prominent national lawmakers. His classmates included Chester Arthur, later President of the United States. When John returned to Edenton, he quickly entered into politics.

The Badham family papers collected by his brother Thomas are at East Carolina University Library.

Maria and John Badham were married January, 1853 in Wilmington. They soon embarked to New York City, where Maria died in March, 1853. She is buried in the exclusive Green Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, burial site of many famous people. The young John never remarried. Upon his death in 1861, he had served twice in the NC House and one term in the NC Senate representing Edenton and Bladen County. He joined the CSA as Lt. Col. and was killed at the battle of Williamsburg in May, 1861.

Dennis Heartt’s The Hillsborough Recorder ran a lengthy contributed obituary of Maria Badham in March, 1853:

Obituary

Died, in New York, on Saturday the 5th inst. in the 21st year of her age, Mrs. Maria E. Badham, wife of John C. Badham, Esq., and only daughter of the Hon. Hugh Waddell of this place. In the death of this lovely young lady, how truly may it be said, “Death loved a shining mark!” With a mind highly cultivated, a heart ardent and affectionate, a spirit joyous and buoyant with bright hope and fond expectation, lovely and fascinating in appearance and manners, she was indeed the bright centre of a charmed circle, shedding joy and gladness on all around her. And it is true, that nothing could stay the hand of the destroyer! that the young, the lovely, the idolized bride, the only daughter of tender and devoted parents, was his chosen mark, and no skill of Physicians, no change of clime, could arrest his hand! Sad, oh! sad is the thought when we thus regard this melancholy dispensation. But oh! may we hope this lovely flower, which so lately bloomed in its rich beauty and sweetness here, has only been transplanted to bloom and flourish in still greater beauty and richer fragrance, in the garden of God, the Paradise above! How cheering, how comforting the faith and hope which can look beyond the tomb. To a young friend with whom she was in the habit of conversing freely, she said, “though weak and helpless myself, my hope is in Christ, and death has no terrors for me.” The name Jesus was precious to her, and on Him she leaned. Deeply do we sympathize with the heart-stricken parents, and bereaved friends, and mingle our tears with theirs for their loved and lovely one! And oh! may they find in the consolations and hopes of religion, that comfort which the world cannot give nor human sympathy impart.

“Hope looks beyond the bounds of time,

When what we now deplore

Shall rise in full immortal prime,

And bloom to fade no more.”

Sources

The Book of Burwell Students

The Hillsborough Recorder, March 1853 and July 27, 1853

US Census Hillsborough Orange County NC 1850

Alumni Records The Pennsylvania College Gettysburg PA Obituary Report of 1862

NC Marriage Records

Hillsborough Historical Society Newsletter Vol IV No. 21, February, 1965

NCpedia Biography Hugh Waddell, Alfred Moore

Charlotte Democrat, August 8, 1879 [3]

Biographical Data

Important Dates

Maria "Mariah" E. Waddell was born in 1832. She died on March 5, 1853, and was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Kings County, NY.

Places of Residence

Schools Attended

Relatives

References

  1. Burwell School Catalogue of 1848-51.
  2. The Hillsborough Recorder was published from 1820 to 1879 by Dennis Heartt. It was a weekly newspaper.
  3. Mary Claire Engstrom. The Book of Burwell Students: Lives of Educated Women in the Antebellum South. (Hillsborough: Hillsborough Historic Commission, 2007).