[[Category: Archelaus Hughes Cemetery, Patrick, Virginia]
Mary Dalton, daughter of Samuel, of Mayo, was the wife of Colonel Archelaus Hughes, of Patrick county, Virginia. Col. Hughes carried his wife to Philadelphia, where he held a government position under General George Washington. She figured in the best society, proving herself a most accomplished woman. When I left North Carolina in 1835, where I had been her doctor for several years, she was ninety years old and, but for the "arcus senile" (white spot in the eyes), she seemed not to be more than seventy years old. Every one of the four sisters lived to be nearly one hundred years old, and all were wealthy but one. That generation of the Hughes family were numerous, and all were sprightly and intellectual. I was much among them until I was a practicing physician, and left the country.
Mary (Dalton) Hughes was a woman of buoyant nature. Cheerfulness characterized the whole of her long life of ninety-three years. Her youngest child, Madison Redd Hughes, whom the writer knew long and well, said that she was always addressed and spoken of as "Madame Hughes." We find this to have been the case with a family connection of later date, Octavia Walton LeVert was always spoken of as "Madame LeVert." Mary Dalton Hughes had a good deal of pride, and was given to playful banter. On one occasion the elder Wade Hampton was visiting in her home, and a flock of guineas were making a great noise. Mr. Hampton said: "Madame Hughes; order those fowls killed." In a playful way he continued: "I who command am a Congressman of the United States." With a proud toss of the head she rejoined: "I who refuse am Madame Hughes of 'Hughesville.'"
Wade Hampton was connected with her family through the Winstons. This assertion is made by Senator Pettus, of Alabama, and it may be seen in the genealogy of the Winston family. Wade Hampton (1754-1835) represented South Carolina in Congress, 1795-97, and from 1803 to 1805, commanding on the northern frontier from 1813 to 1814. He was the father of Gen. Wade Hampton, who served during the war between the States as commander of a force known as Hampton's Legion of Cavalry. In 1876 he became Governor of South Carolina, and served in the United States Senate 1879-91. It may be interesting to note the fact that the elder Wade Hampton owned three thousand slaves (see page 289, Dictionary U. S. History, by Jameson). I note this fact in order to make the statement that throughout the South one hundred, or even fifty slaves were considered a goodly number for one man to possess.
Miss Josephine Robertson, of Statesville, North Carolina, who, as a child, spent many happy days at "Greenwood" in Henry county, Va., the home of her grandfather, Col. Joe Martin, and his wife, Sally Hughes, who was a daughter of Mary (Dalton) Hughes, says, "fond memories cluster about 'Greenwood' of the visits of Mary (Dalton) Hughes. She always brought a wealth of cheer with her."
Madison Redd Hughes, youngest child of Mary (Dalton) Hughes, told the writer that his mother always sat bolt upright in her chair, never leaning back. This possibly came of the stilted age in which she lived. He said she always bathed her face before going to bed at night, and rubbed back the wrinkles. Her face was wonderfully smooth, even in extreme age.
Obituary of Mary (Dalton) Hughes (1748-1841).
Departed this life on the 30th day of December, 1841, at her residence in Patrick county, Virginia, of chesmber rheumatism, the venerable Mrs. Mary Hughes, relict of Col. Archelaus Hughes, in the ninety-fourth year of her age. Apart from the extreme age to which it pleased Kind Providence to prolong the life of Madame Hughes, she may truly be said to have possessed very many of the most remarkable and excellent traits of the human character. "Her life began before the existence of this Government, and consequently she witnessed in its most destructive ravages the horrors of the Revolutionary war, and felt its effects on her immediate circle. The brave old soldier, with whom she had linked her earthly fortune, was absent in that momentous struggle in his country's service, and while his safety was the dearest object of her solicitation, the glory and success of her country's arms were never lost sight of. During the struggle she imbibed a spirit of patriotism, which to the last day of her existence, like her other personalities, of the highest, was not in the slightest degree diminished, and which to her many admirers has been a source of peculiar interest. "Kind to the human family with almost a universal benevolence. she dispensed alms in the true spirit of charity. From her lips no account of self-claimed merit was ever heard. To speak of her and to do her justice is the delight of her many relatives and friends who thronged around her and sweetened the gloom of her declining years. To portray adequately the cardinal virtues of her remarkable character is more than at present I shall attempt to do.
"As a mother we may safely say no woman could excel her. As a mistress she was humane and kind, devoted to the comfort of her servants, giving every necessary attention. As a friend the high regard in which she was held by her neighbors sufficiently attest the hospitality of her soul. As a woman she united to the greatest energy of character the most refined and cultured tenderness of disposition. Ready to forgive the frailties of her sex, she raised for herself an elevated ??card of female excellence, up to which she most exactly came, discharging every duty which, in her estimation, was proper to be practiced by the female portion of society. She was sick but a few days, and it seemed that her disease had been arrested, when, after the return of apparent convalescence and in very cheerful spirits, she discoursed the morning she expired. She thus may be said to have retained, to the day of her exit from time to eternity, that hilarity of feeling with which her long years had been characterized. The number of her descendants is almost three hundred.
While Mary (Dalton) Hughes was a devoted mother to all of her children, there was something especially touching about the devotion of son and mother in the case of Col. Samuel Hughes. This son had had a sorrow which he could never forget. His fiance lost her life in the famous theatre fire in Richmond in 1811. After this great sorrow he seemed to lavish a double portion of love on his mother. Their devotion was a thing so beautiful that to this good, day some of the family still hang on their walls the pictures of mother and son, side by side. 
“Sacred to the memory of Mary Hughes the widow of Col. Archelaus Hughes Born in the year of our Lord 1754 Died the 28th day of December 1841 In her we saw the varied virtues blend of Daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend”.
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