Today we celebrate the 278th birthday of Deliverance Barrows Ruggles. Thomas Ruggles’ mother must have been quite a woman. She married Captain Nathaniel Ruggles in 1752 and had eight children, seven who lived to maturity. Her husband died in December 1776, just as the Revolutionary War broke out, leaving her with five sons and two daughters ranging in age from 21 to 4. Thomas was only six years old at the time. Her oldest son Nathaniel Jr. settled in Newport Rhode Island and became a successful merchant. Elisha remained in Rochester, Massachusetts and served in the state legislature.
This portrait is believed to be Deliverance. It was the only oil painting in the house when Lizzie died and the manner of dress would be appropriate to the age and time period for Thomas’ mother. When you see the picture in person, you can’t help notice how her eyes follow you all over the room. You have to believe that no one ever gave Grandma Ruggles any guff.
She died in February 1807 at the age of 72.