In 1803, a woman by the name of Elizabeth, or Betsy as she was known, was the daughter of a wealthy
shipping magnate. At the age of 18, Betsy met Jérôme Bonaparte, the younger brother of the French emperor, and married him when he was visiting the Baltimore U.S.
Betsy craved a sophisticated life and she found some small consolation in
where women prided themselves on being fashionable. After being married to a Bonaparte, Betsy believed that it was impossible to, “ever bend my spirit to marry any one who had been my equal before my marriage,” or “to be contented in a country where there exists no nobility.” Betsy shocked Washington society with her daring outfits as one woman described her outfit as: Washington
the thinnest sarcenet and white crepe without the least stiffening in it … there was scarcely any waist to it and no sleeves; her back, her bosom, part of her waist and her arms were uncovered and the rest of her form visible.
Many were shocked by the “almost naked woman,” that she was warned to change her cloths or she would not be accepted in society. Undaunted, Betsy did not change her style of daring clothing and magnificent jewellery, causing her to set the fashion for many in
After the War of 1812, Betsy successfully had her marriage officially annulled in
. Betsy continued to live in Maryland where she died in 1879 at the age of 94. Baltimore
On Saturday, November 1st, head to McFarland House to experience their Game of CLUE Murder Mystery night. Interrogate the suspects and help solve the murder. Click here for more information.