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Caroline E. Cowan

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At a Glance

Caroline (Cuddy) Cowan was an orphan from New Bern, NC. She is assumed to be an orphan since her father, John Cowan, was listed as deceased in her marriage announcement--an unusual practice [1].


Caroline likely attended the Burwell School in the early 1840s. She was Mrs. Burwell's first boarder at the school and consequently held a special place in her heart. The feeling was most likely mutual. Caroline Cowan may have regarded the Burwell School as a second home. Mrs. Burwell (Margaret Anna Robertson) wrote affectionately of Caroline in her letter to her daughter Frances Armistead Burwell  on 25 January 1856:

"I had a long affectionate letter from Vene Cole the other day & one from Cuddy Green (Cowan that was). She was the first boarder I ever had, was a little child when she lived here. She has now three children & they say her husband is killing himself drinking. She sent me a beautiful embroidered white crape scarf--much too youthful for me. Nan will have it. I valued the expression of kind feeling--how such little affectionate attentions sweeten life."

Caroline Cowan's marriage announcement to James G. Green was listed in The Hillsborough Recorder [2] on 19 April 1848. It was unusual to publish notices of student marriages in the Recorder, in this case, it may have indicated that Caroline had a special place in the Burwell family. Eight years later, she was still writing affectionate letters to Mrs. Burwell and sending her Christmas gifts [1].

Biographical Data

Caroline was called Cuddy.

Places of Residence

Schools Attended



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