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    Silver Service Presented to the "Heroine of Tampico" for Service During the Mexican War

    Ann Chase Presentation Silver Service with accompanying note and newspaper article. Ann McClarmonde (1809-1874) was born in Ireland and, following the death of her father, immigrated with her family to the United States at the age of fifteen. She joined her brother's business as a bookkeeper in Philadelphia and soon had a share of the company. By twenty-seven, she and her brother found themselves doing business in Tampico, Mexico, where she was in constant contact with the American Consul Franklin Chase. Two years later, McClarmonde and Chase were married and she settled into her new life as a consul's wife.

    Three days after the United States declared war on Mexico, the Mexican government seized all property of American citizens in Mexico and forced all Americans living in coastal towns to move farther inland or leave the country. Franklin, as an American, was forced out, but Ann, who held British citizenship, refused to leave and remained to carry out her husband's business. She fed information to U. S. Commodore David Connor, commander of the Home Squadron in the Gulf of Mexico, including a plan of the city with the location of all defenses, which led to the bloodless capture of the city by the American army. For her efforts, the ladies of New Orleans presented Ann, the Heroine of Tampico, with this beautiful silver service.

    The cup is hallmarked Sheffield 1844 and has beautiful repousse work typical of fine early Victorian silver. The cup retains the original gilt interior. The napkin ring is unmarked. The King's pattern flatware is marked with the maker's hallmark "T&L" as well as the retailer's mark "Bailey & Co." The cup, napkin ring and each piece of flatware is hand engraved "FAC". Other later additional monograms and inscriptions are also present.

    The leather covered fitted case is lined with blue velvet and has a white silk liner for the lid that is impressed with the trade mark of the retailer, Bailey & Co 136 Chestnut St., Philadelphia. (The firm was located at 136 Chestnut St between 1836 and 1851 and was the precursor of Bailey, Banks & Biddle).

    Included with the silver is a short note, two pages, 5.25" x 3.25", August 9, 1911, to Edith Rawson, which reads, in part: "One day last month much to my surprise the enclosed article was published in one of our daily papers and as the set I am sending...belonged to Ann Chase, I knew you would enjoy this little history of her life..." Also, the newspaper clipping mentioned in the above letter with the article, "A Daily Lesson in History: Mrs. Ann Chase, the Heroine of Tampico in the Mexican War," giving a short biography of her life.

    More Information: The cup bears an inscription along the lip on the outside reading: "Kennett Longley Rawson from Josephine Chase Rawson June 1st 1944."

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2013
    1st-2nd Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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