Susannah Mehetable Keate (Rogers) (1813 - 1905)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Death: Died in Saint George, Washington County, Utah
Managed by: Leslie Ann
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About Susannah Mehetable Keate (Rogers)

Biographical Summary #1:

Born in a little cottage in a clearing on the shore of Lake Champlain, about the year 1813, Susanna Rogers grew up in an unusual environment. Her father, D. W. Rogers was a fur trapper and sometimes she accompanied him while he set his traps. A fewyears later her father gave up trapping and moved to a new clearing now known as Rogers Rock, then to Ticonderoga and other upstate towns, known in history for their position and importance in the Revolutionary War. It was while they were in Ticonderoga that LaFayette came to visit the scenes of the great conflict in 1825. A banner was stretched across the street with the words "Welcome LaFayette" outlined in flowers. He was then 68 years of age but still hale and handsome. The Rogers family were all there to welcome him. Susanna was then thirteen. As the patriot came up to their group he stopped and kissed the baby brother. Half aloud Susanna said, "Oh, I wish I were a baby." In true courtly manner and with as great deference as if he were saluting a queen, LaFayette doffed his hat, and bowing low kissed the hand of the embarrassed little girl. This was an incident she remembered all her life.

The next move of the Rogers family was to the city of New York, where Mr. Rogers took over a respectable, but not very pretentious boarding house and sent the children to the best school available. To this place, one October evening in 1833, came a stranger, rather tall and handsome, asking in correct, difficultly spoken English, for lodging. His dress was unusual and as strikingly foreign as his manner and speech. For several days he remained mostly in his room receiving important looking strangers almost every day. Divining that he might appear as an adventurer to his landlord, he secured letters from men of prominence in New York to prove his identity. He was Prince Benedetto Sangiovanni, an Italian refugee, officer under King Murat of Naples, and a personal friend of the Bonapartes, who were then using every possible measure to recover thrones in various European countries. There was a price on his head and, desiring to escape public notice as much as possible, he had sought the secluded shelter of the Rogers' home.

Mr. Rogers was deeply impressed and welcomed the distinguished refugee at his family fireside. Fascinated, yet afraid, for she unconsciously resented his compelling personality, Susanna sat and listened. The history of Sangiovanni is interesting. He was born in 1781, near Salerno, Calabria, Kingdom of Naples. He came of a scholarly if not too distinguished family. In his youth Benedetto was a sculptor. In his young manhood he became fascinated with political and military affairs and when Napoleon placed his brother, Joseph, on the throne in Italy, Sangiovanni was given a military office. Tossed and engulfed in the swirling eddy of revolution which later swept Europe, Sangiovanni, with two other men who were much together, Don Carlos and Prince Murat, fled Europe to save their heads. In after years Susanna heard them tell around her fireplace of their narrow escapes and clever disguises—for the dark, dignified Italian became a very persistent suitor and won her father's consent to marry her. They were married at the M. E. Church in New York, November 5, 1833. It was not a love match for Susanna was only twenty and her husband nearly fifty-two. She was always rather afraid of him, but her father used all his influence to gain her consent as he considered it a great honor for her to marry his friend of kings and would-be kings, whether they were right or wrong. She was a beautiful bride but not a happy one.

After their marriage they remained in New York a week or two, visited Joseph Bonaparte, who was then at Bordeston, and sailed for Florida where Prince Murat had promised to provide Sangiovanni with a large tract of land. He welcomed them cordially to his long, rambling house. Madam Murat was a real "blueblood" of Virginia and she was always kind to Mrs. Sangiovanni. But the Florida climate was damp and Benedetto suffered with rheumatism, so they returned to New York in April 1834 where they visited for a few weeks, then sailed for England.

Mr. Sangiovanni took up modelling again and did very well, but still suffered from rheumatism and longed for sunny Italy. Later he established a home in Liverpool where they lived in comfort and kept open house for his many refugee friends. A tutor was hired to give Susanna finishing lessons in French and Italian in both of which she made considerable progress. During this time a son Guglielmo was born to them and he became the object of the old man's jealousy. He accused Susanna of thinking more of the baby than she did of him and ordered her to let the child's nurse take complete charge of it, at least during the time he was at home. He often took unexplained trips, she knew not where, and never dared ask as he possessed an ungovernable temper, which, with his unreasonable jealousy, made life almost unbearable for her.

In 1839 Benedetto's brother, a doctor, interceded with the King of Naples and secured permission for Mr. Sangiovanni to return there but he was afraid. He learned that his former wife, whom he heard was dead, was still living there. A son, serving in the French army in Algiers who had learned of his father through the uncle in Naples, wrote him urging him to return to his mother. Susanna realized that she was not a legal wife and begged him to go and leave her free to return to America with her baby. He would not allow her to do this, vowing that he loved her and would not go to Italy without her. When she refused to go he never spoke of Italy again but he continued to curse the English climate and to complain about everything.

One afternoon while Susanna was taking little "Sanjo" for a walk, she noticed a group of people listening to a young man who was reading from a book. Beside him stood another man with several books in his arm. They were Mormon Elders, Wilford Woodruff and Heber C. Kimball. After hearing them several times, she applied for baptism but they urged her to wait and talk it over with her husband. When she explained the difficult situation at home they advised her to pray and follow her own conscience in the matter. Susanna, determined to go to America with other Latter-day Saint converts, secured money from a secret chest of her husband's, and, with her baby, sailed from Liverpool. From this point on herbiography is similar to that of other pioneers, sacrificing, struggling, suffering, yet true to the faith, and with no regrets for leaving the past which had now become a closed book. She cast her lot with the Saints in Nauvoo and in time became the plural wife of William Pickett, his first wife being the widow of Don Carlos Smith. Mr. Pickett was a southerner who had joined the Church and had gone to Illinois, but he could not stand the trials encountered in Nauvoo and shortly after the great mobbings and the expulsion of the Saints he apostatized from the Church, leaving Susanna, near childbirth, to shift for herself. Her son Horatio was born May 10, 1848 in a Missouri river dugout at Winter Quarters. At the time of his birth May storms were on in the area, and when he was four days old Susanna, who was alone in the dugout except for a very young girl and the infant, arose from her bed and baled water out of their lodging. Horatio was four years old when he and his mother and his half-brother came to Utah crossing the plains with an independent company under the leadership of Joseph Kelting in 1852.

Susanna and her sons settled in Salt Lake City and lived as comfortably as conditions would permit. Guglielmo was nearly a young man and could help with the family income. She found employment as a teacher and during this time had many wonderful experiences which increased her faith. When the call came for the Dixie Cotton Mission, Susanna and her two boys were with the first three hundred families who left their home in November, 1861, and arrived at St. George valley December 24th of that year. They camped on what was later known as the Old Adobe Yard. Here, in St. George, they again went through the hardships of settling and subduing a barren desert country. After the town was surveyed and the lots drawn they, with others, moved on their city lot. Susanna again married in polygamy, this time James Keate who already had a family. He was a shoemaker and having his other family to provide for Susanna continued to teach school. She never missed an opportunity to be a Good Samaritan no matter who the needy wayfarer might be. An Indian child was taken into her home and heart and reared to maturity. She was named Cora and grew to be a refined, educated woman of whom Susanna was justly proud. After her marriage Cora reared three fine children of her husband's whose Indian mother had died.

Life dealt kindly with Susanna during her later years. She was nearing 92 years of age when she passed away at the home of her son Horatio. Anyone who ever knew this intellectual, stately lady must have pleasant memories of "Auntie Keates." —Ethel J. Bennett

Source: Our Pioneer Heritage, published by Daughters of Utah Pioneers.

Biographical Summary #2:

"...Susanna Keate was 64 years old when she helped Wilford Woodruff and the women of St. George do the temple work for seventy eminent women of the world.

She was born Susanna Mehitable Rogers in Quebec in 1813. Her early life was spent moving around Canada with her family, following her father’s work as a trapper. She sometimes went with her father as he set traps.."

SOURCE: http://www.keepapitchinin.org/2011/12/12/eminent-women-ann-fairfax-washington-lee-and-susanna-mehitable-rogers-sangiovanni-pickett-keate-part-2/

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Хронология Susannah Keate

1813
July 5, 1813
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
1833
November 5, 1833
Age 20
New York
1835
April 27, 1835
Age 21
England
1848
May 10, 1848
Age 34
Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska, United States
1905
January 9, 1905
Age 91
Saint George, Washington County, Utah
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Saint George, Washington County, Utah