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Hanna Lawrence Drake
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Birth: unknown, USA
Death: 1811
New Orleans
Orleans Parish
Louisiana, USA

Hannah Lawrence
•Sex: F
•Death: 1811
•Burial: Protestant Cemetery on Girod Street, New Orleans, LA.

The Lawrence family had as their immigrant ancestor and first representative in America, William Lawrence (1623-1680), who arrived in the ship "Planter" in 1635. He settled first in Ipswich, Massachusetts, and in 1645 moved to Flushing, Long Island, NY, being one of the patentees of that town.

Hannah Lawrence is the 1st cousin of Effingham Lawrence (1760-1800), son of John Lawrence and Ann Burling. John Lawrence (Effingham's father) and Norris Lawrence (Hannah's father) are brothers. Effingham Lawrence was a prosperous merchant and one of the founders of the Tontine Coffee House.

After Hannah's husband lost his wealth in the celebrated Yazoo land speculation in 1795, and died two years later in a yellow fever epidemic in 1797, she met the situation courageously, and sought to provide for her young family by opening a boarding house at 275 Pearl Street. The city directories from 1797 - 1808 show the name of "Mrs. Hannah Drake," first at 275 Pearl Street, then at 54 Cliff Street, then at 201 Pearl Street, and finally at 96 Maiden Lane, where she remained for four years; but mention of the boarding house occurs only in the 1797 directory, so we don't know how long she found it necessary to maintain it as a source of income.

On March 25, 1809, Mrs. Hannah Lawrence Drake terminated her widowhood by marrying Mr. Robert Welman, previously twice married and twice a widower. Shortly after her 1809 marriage to Robert Muir Welman, a merchant, he became a member of the firm of Welman & Phillips of New Orleans, and he moved his three daughters by previous marriages, along with his new wife and his two newly acquired stepdaughters, Louisa and Mellicent Drake, to New Orleans.

Robert M. Welman's firm of Welman & Phillips provided many of the Louisiana plantations with supplies. Welman, a native of Bermuda, is reputed to have brought the first oleanders and crape-myrtles to Louisiana from Bermuda. He would enclose packets of seeds of plants not indigenous to the locale along with the supplies which the planters bought from his firm. This practice created a wide distribution of plants throughout Louisiana which, up to the time of Welman, were alien to the soil.
Hannah Lawrence did not live long in New Orleans; she died of yellow fever in 1811, and was interred in the Protestant Cemetery on Girod Street in New Orleans. After the death of their mother, Robert Welman remained dutiful to Hannah's children, his stepchildren, and treated them with the same concern and love he accorded his own children. Louisa Drake revered him enough to name her first child after him.

[Source: The Life and Works of Joseph Rodman Drake (1795-1820), a Memoir, by Frank Lester Pleadwell, M.D.]

Family links: 
  Jonathan Drake (1770 - 1797)
  Louisa Hannah Drake Nicholls (1790 - 1852)*
*Calculated relationship
Created by: Bobby and Carol Babin E...
Record added: Aug 08, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 95008506

- Bobby and Carol Babin Estes
 Added: Aug. 8, 2012

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