Victoria Josephine Coolidge (Moor) (1846 - 1885) MP

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Birthplace: Plymouth, Windsor , Vermont, United States
Death: Died in Plymouth, Windsor, Vermont, United States
Managed by: Maureen O'Brien
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About Victoria Josephine Coolidge (Moor)

Victoria was a neighbor of John Coolidge in Plymouth. She attended Black River Academy for one year. She married John Coolidge and set up housekeeping in the cramped quarters behind the village store that her husband ran. She was a consumptive and became, soon after her marriage, a chronic invalid. Calvin Coolidge, in his Autobiography, is poetic in describing his mother. He describes her death, "When she knew that her end was near she called us children to her bedside, where we knelt down to receive her final parting blessing. In an hour she was gone. It was her thirty-ninth birthday. I was twelve years old. We laid her away in the blustering snows of March. The greatest grief that can come to a boy came to me. Life was never to seem the same again." Calvin carries his mother's picture with him the rest of his life.

Victoria Josephine Moor Coolidge by Hendrik Booraem V.

Calvin Coolidge was twelve years old, he recalled in his autobiography, when "the greatest grief that can come to a boy" came to him: his mother, Victoria Josephine Moor Coolidge, died. It was March 14, 1885, her thirty-ninth birthday. The ground was still frozen, and the body could not be interred properly for some weeks more, but they "laid her away in the blustering snows of March," and Calvin, a silent, serious boy, struggled to cope with his overwhelming sense of loss. In the following year he would often walk at sunset to the village cemetery, less than a mile from his home, to stand beside his mother's grave. He kept a small portrait of her, in a silver case, on his person all his life, through his presidency and beyond. It was found in a suit pocket the day he died.

Coolidge was an intensely sensitive and sentimental man, although his natural reticence let him to conceal the fact. He was deeply emotional about close relationships, and it is not surprising that he remained devoted to his mother's memory. But it is interesting that he shared these qualities with her. Victoria Moor Coolidge, like her son, was fond of reading, stirring language, and natural beauty. An invalid during most of Calvin's boyhood, she used to read poems to him and his sister Abbie. Together, from the front porch, they would drink in the spectacular sunsets over the Green Mountains.

Victoria Moor was born in the house next door to the Coolidge home in 1846, to Hiram and Abigail Moor. She married John Coolidge when she was twenty-two. As a girl she was light-skinned, with delicate features and a golden glint in her hair à very much the same as her son when he was young. Her features, Coolidge always felt, were very similar to those of his younger son Calvin Jr. Her temperament, observant and witty, also seems to have been much the same.

Vermont vital records, usually thorough and reliable, do not give a cause of death for Victoria Coolidge. There are two traditions: one, that she was injured in a buggy accident when Calvin was small, became an invalid, and died of unspecified complications; the other, that she died slowly of tuberculosis. Both may be right. The image of her that remained with her son was that of the patient, kind sufferer who called her children to her side in the sitting room to give them her dying blessing, that snowy March of 1885.

Sources

  1. Find A Grave, Link to source, (accessed 21 AUG 2012).
  2. New England Historical and Genealogical Register, (New England Historic and Genealogical Society), 1923, Vol. 77, Page 303, [Birth].
  3. New England Historical and Genealogical Register, (New England Historic and Genealogical Society), 1923, Vol. 77, Page 303, [Death].
  4. Ancestry.com Online Newspaper Database, Davenport Democrat and Leader (Davenport, Iowa), 04 JUL 1927, [Death].
  5. Wikipedia, "Calvin Coolidge", Link to source, (accessed 05/15/2010).

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Victoria Coolidge's Timeline

1846
March 14, 1846
Plymouth, Windsor , Vermont, United States
1868
May 6, 1868
Age 22
Plymouth, VT, USA
1872
July 4, 1872
Age 26
Plymouth, Windsor, Vermont, United States
1875
1875
Age 28
1885
March 14, 1885
Age 39
Plymouth, Windsor, Vermont, United States
1885
Age 38
Plymouth, VT, USA