Janet Livingston Montgomery - Introduction

Janet Livingston Montgomery

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Introduction

Meet the creator of Montgomery Place, Janet Montgomery (1743–1828).

Through this program, we will explore her various identities as a member of the Hudson Valley gentry, estate builder, agricultural entrepreneur, and well-known widow of the Revolutionary War hero, General Richard Montgomery. We will see how her approach to land use was firmly rooted in the traditions of the 18th century. We’ll also consider her interests and motivations in creating her new estate. What inspired a 58-year old woman who already owned a substantial farm and home to put all her resources into establishing a grand new estate? How did her unusual drive and energy in creating Montgomery Place impact the Hudson Valley region and the nation at large?  

This sketch is the only known portrait of Janet Montgomery. The simple rendering, drawn by her niece Cora Livingston when Janet was in her seventies, evokes a woman who was confident and persistent in her pursuits. While other members of Janet’s family left legacies of themselves in the form of oil portraits, Janet expressed her aspirations differently, by creating Montgomery Place as a legacy for her nephew.     

Janet Livingston Montgomery, by Cora Livingston. Pencil on paper, c. 1820. Bard College, Montgomery Place Collection.

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