Clara Hamilton <I>Harris</I> Rathbone

Clara Hamilton Harris Rathbone

Albany, Albany County, New York, USA
Death 23 Dec 1883 (aged 49)
Hildesheim, Landkreis Hildesheim, Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany
Burial Hanover, Region Hannover, Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany
Memorial ID 13980435 View Source

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 for burials of others.

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Gravesite Details

Grave reused in 1952 for another burial

Family Members


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