Some women just keep picking the wrong guy. First, Elizabeth Graeme got a “Dear Jane” letter from her intended, William Franklin (Ben’s son). The cad married another woman during a trip to England. Then, the charming scoundrel she eventually married turned out to be a Loyalist and the Patriots confiscated her family home. They split (quite a scandal) and it took years to reclaim her home.
At least she had a beautiful setting in which to mend her broken heart. Built in 1722, the manor originally belonged to Sir William Keith, William Penn’s provincial governor in his new colony. The furnishings are sparse, but the paint and floors are original and the park setting is idyllic.
When Elizabeth married, her family’s estate became her husband’s property. Although it was her husband and not she who was the turncoat, the Confiscation Act of 1778 permitted the seizure of any traitor’s property. In 1848, Pennsylvania granted property rights to married women but the law was repealed. It wasn’t until 1893 that women could own property, regardless of marital status.