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Clara Hamilton Harris Rathbone
Birth: Sep. 4, 1834
Albany County
New York, USA
Death: Dec. 23, 1883
Hildesheimer Landkreis
Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany

American folk figure. Clara was the daughter of US Senator Ira Harris of New York. After her mother died, her father married a widow whose son, Henry Rathbone, would grow up to be a Union soldier during the Civil War. Clara and Rathbone were engaged at the time they accompanied President and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln to Ford's Theater in Washington, DC, on the President's last night alive (April 14, 1865). Clara and Rathbone married 2 years later, on July 11, 1867. They had 3 children, the oldest of whom, Henry Riggs Rathbone, would grow up to represent Illinois in the US House of Representatives. After Henry Rathbone Sr was appointed US Consul to Hannover, Germany, in 1882, his mental health deteriorated rapidly and he murdered Clara. He lived out his remaining years in a mental institution, and their children were returned to the United States to be raised by an uncle. Clara was buried in Germany, and her husband was buried in a grave next to hers following his death in 1911. But the graves, lacking visitors for the next 4 decades, were reused in 1952. 
Family links: 
  Ira Harris (1802 - 1875)
  Louisa Tubbs Harris (1809 - 1845)
  Henry Rathbone (1837 - 1911)
  Henry Riggs Rathbone (1870 - 1928)*
  Gerald Lawrence Rathbone (1871 - 1936)*
  Clara Pauline Rathbone Randolph (1872 - 1918)*
  Frederick B Harris (1830 - 1830)**
  Clara Hamilton Harris Rathbone (1834 - 1883)
  Amanda Judson Harris Miller (1836 - 1902)*
  William Hamilton Harris (1838 - 1895)*
  Louise Hannah Harris (1840 - 1903)*
  Pauline Harris (1850 - 1922)**
*Calculated relationship
Note: The photo supposedly of Clara was posted not by me but by someone else. According to a blog post at, the photo is not of Clara but rather of someone else with a similar name.
Stadtfriedhof Engesohde
Hannoversche Landkreis
Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany
Created by: Collins Crapo
Record added: Apr 17, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13980435
Clara Hamilton <i>Harris</i> Rathbone
Added by: Jim
Clara Hamilton <i>Harris</i> Rathbone
Added by: Karl Stelly
Clara Hamilton <i>Harris</i> Rathbone
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Frankie
Photos may be scaled.
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- Kevin Morgan
 Added: Feb. 12, 2017

- T Armitage
 Added: Jan. 22, 2017

- Cindy Knight Schneider
 Added: Dec. 11, 2016
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