Harriet Lowndes Aiken

Harriet Lowndes Aiken, the wife of William Aiken, Jr.

Harriet Lowndes Aiken
Harriet Lowndes Aiken

This is one of my favorite old portraits in Charleston. For years (many, many) this portrait hung in the main salon of the Aikens-Rhett grand house. Big room, big chandelier, big painting.

Recently it was moved to the homes gallery, a climate controlled environment and the only room in the mansion that has been renovated.

‘Harriet Lowndes, was a beautiful and well-educated daughter of a South Carolina political grandee. She spoke four languages and was destined to become one of Charleston’s leading hostesses. The wife of the Governor (before the Civil War).  William Aiken a son of an immigrant had truly made his way into Charleston society.’

OK, happy ending !!!

Not… the Civil War came, Aiken was arrested, house looted by union troops, the usual.

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