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Peggy Dow (1780-1820)

Charles W. Andrews. Memoir of Mrs. Anne R. Page (Philadelphia, 1844), frontispiece.


Anne Randolph Page, the daughter of Colonel Richard Kidder Meade, was born and raised near Fredericksburg, Virginia. Though the Meade family was wealthy, they lived simply and practiced philanthropy. Mrs. Page’s mother provided the early religious education for the Meade children.

Anne Page married Matthew Page, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, in 1799. She moved with him to his home “Annfield,” which he named for her, a 2,000-acre estate with 200 slaves in Frederick County, Virginia. After a religious experience, she became an active proponent of emancipation although her husband would not allow her to free the slaves at Annfield. Mrs. Page devoted time to their education and care. Both her brother, Bishop William Meade, and her eldest daughter, Sarah Page Andrews, joined her in her fight against slavery and support of the colonization of freed slaves in Liberia.

In her writings, Anne Page describes the defining religious experience which prompted her to support emancipation:

“On the Sabbath after church, I was going, according to the general custom, to dine out; but the spirit of God spoke better counsel, and enabled me to turn into a solitary November home, without a white person near. This was the first time I had returned home on Sunday from a religious motive. I shut myself up in my room, where my soul was engaged with the thoughts of judgment and eternity. While thus engaged in my chamber, an old blind negro woman was led in, who was a dear child of God. We began a conversation in which she used expressions respecting entire confidence in Christ, which made an indelible impression upon my mind, being quite clear to me at this distant period. I think I owe her, under God, much of my religious joy in after years. Dark old creature, I often visited her in her cottage, and witnessed the evidences of her triumphant faith. She was a living example of Christ formed in the soul, the hope of glory.” (p. 17)



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