Insightful correspondence from a New Yorker among the Hamptons of South Carolina on the eve of war
Moving among intellectual circles that included Francis Lieber, Charles Francis Adams, Samuel Gridley, and Julia Ward Howe, Sally Baxter (1833–1862) was the beautiful New York belle who captivated William Makepeace Thackeray, personifying his heroine Beatrix Esmond, and who then married Frank Hampton of the famous South Carolina family and became mistress of Woodlands plantation. Hampton left a small collection of letters to her New York relations that are both informative and entertaining. In a clear and uninhibited style, she tells the poignant story of her short life as she reports on social events and plantation life and records her observations on local politics and the impending Civil War.
Ann Fripp Hampton lives in Summerville, South Carolina.
"What these letters do . . . is authenticate and corroborate a vertically cut and frozen vision into the past, when neither wealth, nor status, nor will could prevail over events."—Journal of Southern History
"These forty-seven letter are still important because of Sally's particular identity and because they add yet another dimension to the role of women during the Civil War. Best of all, A Divided Heart is delightfully entertaining."—North Carolina Historical Review
"The book will help provide a realistic understanding of Southern society during the Civil War years."—Augusta Chronicle