The Will of Elizabeth Basinger

She’s Elizabeth Tondee Elon Basinger. Remember her? We found her headstone in Bonaventure Cemetery a few years ago. She’s a descendant of Peter Tondee, who owned a tavern where the Sons of Liberty met. 

She’s also the grandmother of William Starr Basinger, so she’s Sugar’s 3xgreat-grandmother. 


 This will was written in 1846. I’ll let that sink in. EIGHTEEN FORTY-SIX. Women couldn’t vote. Women rarely owned property. Many women were not literate. 

But this woman, this widow named Elizabeth Tondee Elon Basinger, could read, write, own property, and understood the value of having a will. This was during a time when women were practically invisible. Yet she educated her three children, who died before living a long life. The one of most note is William Elon Basinger, a military officer who was killed in an Indian massacre in Florida.  Her daughter Sarah died as a child the day after Elizabeth’s husband Peter died. Her other son Thomas Elisha, who married Jane Susan Starr, died in his early thirties. 

A hard life indeed, Miss Elizabeth. We honor your memory and thank you for paving the way for a better life for women. 

2 Responses to “The Will of Elizabeth Basinger”

  1. Judith Richards Shubert Says:

    Great tribute to Elizabeth. Her will is fascinating, Ruth.


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