“One great honored name” 1872–1889

Melba Porter Hay

in Madeline McDowell Breckinridge and the Battle for a New South

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125329
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135236 | DOI:
“One great honored name” 1872–1889

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This chapter provides the personal circumstances of Madeline McDowell, originally named Magdalen after her father's sister Magdalen Harvey McDowell, but her name was later changed to the French form, Madeline. It notes that Madeline was the sixth and next-to-youngest child of Henry Clay McDowell and Anne Clay McDowell. The chapter observes that her family, with its long history of accomplishment and prominence, its political, social, and business ties, and its wealth, played a major role in the development of her personality, her opportunities, and her achievements. It notes that Madeline was a member of that privileged segment of Bluegrass society described by author and family friend James Lane Allen as “a landed aristocracy” in which “family names come down from generation to generation” and where “one great honored name will do nearly as much in Kentucky as in England to keep a family in peculiar respect.”

Keywords: Madeline McDowell; Magdalen Harvey McDowell; Henry Clay McDowell; Bluegrass society; James Lane Allen; landed aristocracy; Kentucky; England

Chapter.  6724 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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