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Mary L. Garrett


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At a Glance

Mary Lea Garrett and her sister Anne Elizabeth Garrett , also known as Bettie, were the daughters of Dr. Richard Garrett and Mary Lea Garrett of Chatham County, NC. After the death of their mother at an early age, they went to live with their maternal grandfather, Woodson Lea, also of Chatham County, NC [1].


Both Mary and her sister attended the Burwell School as music scholars. Mrs. Burwell (Margaret Anna Robertson) mentioned Mary in a letter to her daughter Frances Armistead Burwell  on 20 February 1856.

"The Garretts came day before yesterday. Mary has again stopped Music, finally I presume. You never saw anyone grown as she has. She is as tall as Nannie."

On 12 December 1860, The Raleigh Register [2] carried the news of Mary's marriage to Robert James Powell of Powellton. Robert became a captain in the C.S.A. and returned after the war to farm in Chatham County, NC. Mary outlived her husband by eighteen years. Both of them are buried in St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church Cemetery in Pittsborough, NC [1].

Biographical Data

Important Dates

Mary L. Garrett was born on October 2, 1841. She died on February 3, 1911.

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 Raleigh Register.