|Birth: ||Nov. 10, 1790|
|Death: ||Oct. 6, 1884|
Ellen was the fourth child and second daughter of Jacob and Judith "Myers" Mordecai. She never married. After the death of her mother in Warrenton, NC, Ellen and her sister Rachel were sent to Richmond to live with their Myers grandmother, the widow of Myer Myers, noted New York silversmith. While there, they received their early education from their aunts, Judah and Richea Myers. In 1809 when Ellen was nineteen, she and her sister Rachel and brother, Solomon, worked for many years as teachers in the family school, Mordecai Female Academy, in Warrenton, NC. Ellen also had the duty of supervising, day and night, the young boarding students who lived in their home. In 1819 after her father sold the Mordecai Female Academy, she worked as a private governess for a family in New York.
Ellen was born Jewish, but converted to Christianity in 1838 and published the narrative of her conversion, "The History of a Heart" in 1845. In the late 1850's, she spent several winters in Mobile, AL, in the home of her favorite brother, Solomon, and while there, she was instrumental in convincing him to embrace Christianity, as she herself had done earlier. He was baptized in a Methodist church in Mobile.
Ellen began in 1859 to write letters called her "Christian Letters" that were to be kept secret from the Jewish members of her family, who would find them unpleasant. The letters reflected her personal religious philosophy, the ways in which her beliefs helped her to accept the limitations and disappointments of her life, and her wish that various other members of the family would convert.
She died at Buck Roe Farm, near Hampton, VA within a month of completing her 94th year. Her remains were brought to Raleigh, NC, and interred in the family burial ground at Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, NC.
Ellen was a prolific collector of family records and current events, including the following papers:
Mordecai, Ellen. Papers, 1811-1885. Accession 28685. 4 volumes and 53 items. Library of VA. Papers, 1811-1885, of Ellen Mordecai (1790-1884) including four scrapbook volumes, and letters and miscellany. The scrapbooks (located in oversize) contain newspaper articles, pictures and sketches, handbills, letters, and other mementos Mordecai collected throughout her life. Topics covered include current fashions, poetry, short stories, politics, memorials to famous individuals, obituaries, and "curious" news. Newspaper clippings range from reports on the death of Jefferson and Adams to an article about sword swallowing and a brief notice about a meeting John Ross, a Cherokee chief, called to raise money for Scotland. Some of the items in the scrapbooks have been removed for conservation reasons and filed separately in folders which indicate the scrapbook from which they were removed. Each item is also numbered, which corresponds to numbered bookmarks in the volume marking the page from which the item was removed. The separated items folders are located in oversize. Letters and miscellany consist of bills of exchange, correspondence relating to family news and the Civil War, envelopes, newspaper clippings concerning the execution of John Brown, the Civil War, and the death of Robert E. Lee, and printed items including an engraving of stautue of Carlo Borromeo d'Arona, a magazine cover, and broadside about morse code.
--- provided by: deegraver Dec. 31, 2012
Jacob Mordecai (1762 - 1838)
Judith Myers Mordecai (1762 - 1796)
Moses Mordecai (1785 - 1824)*
Samuel Mordecai (1786 - 1865)*
Rachel Mordecai Lazarus (1788 - 1838)*
Ellen Mordecai (1790 - 1884)
Solomon Mordecai (1792 - 1869)*
Julia Judith Mordecai (1799 - 1852)**
George Washington Mordecai (1801 - 1871)**
Alfred Mordecai (1804 - 1887)**
Augustus Mordecai (1806 - 1847)**
Elizabeth Kennon Mordecai Myers (1809 - 1861)**
Emma Mordecai (1812 - 1906)**
Laura Mordecai (1818 - 1839)**
North Carolina, USA
Created by: Ruby Mordecai
Record added: Dec 25, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 32400458